Loud and Proud – A bit of a break and reaching a milestone

Its been an amazing two weeks with going on holiday and getting a proper restful break where I got to sit on my bum for a good few days. Granted it was looking after Little Z for some of it due to his chicken pox which had the most excellent timing of all popping out at once as soon as we landed, but still. Its been a lovely couple of weeks where we managed to all switch off work and the busy life and just sit about and bond with each other. Our holiday was booked months and months ago and it was our “screw all this waiting about to grow our family, lets go on holiday” holiday. It would have been a holiday where I would have sat about on a lounger and wondered what the future would bring us, whether I was happy in my job, whether I should change my job, whether I should write do something drastic and exciting. It’s something I tend to do on holidays. Ponder and muse about how I could take a bit of a diversion and do “something else”.

This time it was a different and slightly surreal feeling. I wasn’t pondering and musing. I knew, hopefully, what the next few months, and indeed year, would bring. I would take a year off work, hopefully have a baby and look after it. All being well we will be a family of four and that’s a very very strange feeling. Of course its lovely but it does feel slightly alien just now when its been “just the 3 of us” for so long. I’ve also reached the huge 20 week milestone and I cannot believe how fast the pregnancy is flying by. I’ve written about Weeks 19 and 20 here. This pregnancy has been a lot more tiring for all sorts of reasons and some days have felt very long. But it is flying by in a complete blur. Each appointment and scan brings with it a sense of nervousness and a slight apprehension about what news to expect. Thankfully its all been so far so good and I hope it does carry on like that. I still need to make the decision about what kind of birth I would like but I’ve left that until the 36 week mark. That way I am pretty much ignoring any anxious feelings about it and that’s fine by me. So a bit of a rambly post that doesn’t sound like much to many people but I’m pretty thankful for coming this far!

Now its your turn. Come link up with any of your little or big loud and proud moments. They can be old or new and about whatever has made you proud and happy of what you’ve achieved. All you need to do is grab the badge, link up below and visit a couple of the other posts if you can! It’s open till Sunday night so you have plenty of time. Next week your friendly host is Suzanne from 3 Children and It.

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Pregnancy Diary – Weeks 19 and 20.

Pregnancy Diary Weeks 19 and 20

It feels like its been ages since I’ve done one of these. I need to become a bit more regular at it I think. You can read about my rage phase in weeks 16 and 17 right here. Thankfully the rage has gone away and its felt like I’ve had a few calm weeks, temper wise. We’ve spent the last few weeks busily trying to wrap up work and pack for our holiday, as well as fitting in a lot of naps from being so tired.

I was really relieved to find that the pelvic girdle pain had eased off a bit from the excruciating couple of weeks where I could barely walked and spent a few days sobbing from being fed up of it all. Its still painful, and some days really painful, but at least I can walk and drive again without wanting to cry. It does feel worse if I have a long busy day but I finally had a physio appointment and the exercises and advice the lovely lady gave to me seem to be working a bit. She also explained that a hormone called Relaxin is what loosens all the tendons and ligaments in pregnancy and I probably got a surge of it around the 18 week mark which is what caused the extreme pain. It sounds like it may have balanced out a bit and I’m hoping it does stay that way.

The hospital very kindly let us have our second scan at the 19 week mark as we were going to go off on holiday. We’d already decided that we didn’t want to know the gender and, like with little Z, it would be a surprise. I did spend the entire duration of the scan trying to still guess what it would be. It was playing a bit of a determined game of hiding away and crossing its legs though so it was hard to tell. Plus I don’t really know much about trying to decipher a sonograph. I was slightly worried I couldn’t feel the baby kicking by this time but the sonographer pointed out how active the baby was and she was right. It was booting my insides repeatedly all the time she was scanning it and waving its arms about quite a lot so that’s assured me that everything is well. At the end of the scan I asked the lady if she was, pointing out we still didn’t want to know. Apparently this hospital doesn’t the gender anymore unless specifically asked. Hmm, I still wondered whether she knew but that was that. Our surprise has been sealed. With Little Z I had a very strong instinct it was a boy but with baby number 2 I swing back and forth with different feelings.

Little Z has strangely been hugging my bump randomly and constantly greeting it with “Hello Penguin!”. I have no idea where he got that idea from but it went on for a couple of weeks and he was adamant there was a little penguin curled up in there. As he is a bit like a solid little hurricane with his hugs and slams into me quite a bit we ended up telling him there was a baby in there. He didn’t look quite as horrified this time but his eyes did widen as he quizzed me with:

Did you eat the baby

So we’re still kind of working on that but it is so sweet to now see him greet the baby rather than the penguin he was hoping for. When he doesn’t want a penguin he still asks for a boy so we keep pointing out its whatever we are given and reminding him he has a lot of fun with all his girl cousins too. He looks thoughtful for about a few seconds and, depending on his mood, accepts or rejects what we tell him.

The cravings has subsided slightly but I am still keeping Vimto very much in business and have restocked my sour sweet collection. I’ve also invested in some Corsodyl and probably should see a dentist soon. This pregnancy isn’t being too kind to my gums.

The baby did finally start kicking properly around the 20 week mark, on holiday! Obviously this baby must take after its mummy. So that’s 3 of us to gang up on the Other Half each year for all our dream destinations.

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Mauritius – The Safari, Walking with Lions, and the Zoo

If you’ve read our first postcard from Mauritius post you will know that our first few days were eventful with Little Z breaking out in chicken pox and confining us to the beach, lots of paddling about in the ocean and a million sandcastles of all shapes and sizes. Luckily a good few days later they dried up and with no more batches coming out we were ready to join the big Mauritian outdoors and go on Safari and make a visit to the petting zoo.

The Other Half was very excited about going on the Walking with Lions tour. I was slightly less excited at the thought of him being lunch but I was did quite fancy seeing the big turtles and seeing what they had for kids. So off we went to Casela to have a good day out with the animals.

Casela

Casela is a massive nature park which house a large number of species and has a lot of fun activities that you can do including ziplining, quad biking, segway-ing to ride around looking at the giraffes and zebras in their natural surroundings, the walking with lions tour, and a petting zoo for kids. I think you could spend the entire day there nipping around doing all the different things. Being pregnant limited my options a fair bit and being a small person, it limited Little Z’s options a bit too. We still had lot of fun working our way round seeing everything. We decided to dot he jeep safari where you’re enclosed in a very secure vehicle and the driver takes you around to see the lions, lionesses, cheetahs and white tigers. Its still a somewhat a bit of a rough ride through all the natural terrain and I needed to hold on tight to both Z and the bump to make sure both were ok. I opted not to do the giraffe and zebra one to give the poor bump a rest. It was so impressive seeing lions close up though. I think I was about a yard away from them most of the time. They mostly ignored the jeep other than to give us a bit of a lazy glance before going back to lying down in the hot afternoon sun.

Lion in Mauritiusa>

href=”http://notmyyearoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Lioness-in-Mauritius.jpg”>Lioness in Mauritius

Cheetahs In Mauritius

White Tiger in Mauritius

Lion cub Mauritius

I think my most favourite bit about the lions and tiger section was seeing the brand new lion and tiger cubs. The lion cubs were about a a month and a half old and the tiger cub was only 5 weeks old. They are currently being cared for by a specialist team and the poor tiger cub is currently teething so was loving a good chew on all his carers big boots. He is named Tigger and kept giving everyone around him a fierce little mew which was very very cute. Every so often he’d go for a cuddle and a good scratch from one of his carers. The lion cubs are named Serengeti, Ichita and Mambo and were very playful. They succeeded in keeping little Tigger a bit more cheery despite all his teething pains and looked very playful together.

It’s amazing to see the relationship of the lions with their carers. I was waiting for the Other Half to come back from his walk and suddenly saw a pack of lions roar at each other and have a bit of a scuffle. It looked like a bit of a push and shove match was going on. They got louder and one of the carers shouted over like a parent telling his kids to pack it in. They stopped pretty much straight away and then kept glancing back over their shoulder to see if the parent was still about. From what I gathered, they rear some of the pack and return them back to the wild and some will stay on at the nature park. Tigger the tiger cub is the first cub to be born in Mauritius in a very very long time and he was evidently a little bit extra special to them all.

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Lion cub 2 Safari Mauritius

Lion Cubs Mauritius

The petting zoo is small but big enough for little children to enjoy a lot. Little Z got to pet a fawn and get up close to a pretty big old and wise looking tortoise. He was very wary about getting too near it but I think its the first time he saw one in so much detail. We chose not to enter the Emu’s den as they looked slightly fierce. I did stand for a while watching a man bravely (or stupidly) enter the pen to see whether the Emus would charge at him. They didn’t charge but they did stomp on over quickly to examine the stranger that was entering their space.

petting farm

Turtle

turtle climbing

Emu Mauritius

duck mauritius

deer mauritius

Rooster mauritius

Thankfully the Other Half didn’t get eaten for lunch and came back to say the walk with the lions was amazing. It does look very impressive from the 200+ photos he took of the whole thing and there’s even a DVD that we have yet to watch. I think I would maybe possibly try it if I wasn’t pregnant. Next time. Maybe. Oh but then I’d have to look after Z still and I’m happy to sit it out so that the Other Half can have another go. Obviously.

Walk with the lions

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A postcard from Mauritius

Hello!

I think we’ve been here about 5 days now, I’m not too sure, I’ve kind of lost track of time but I think it’s Friday. It is absolutely beautiful and we are loving it. We did spend the last few days tending to Little Zs chicken pox though. Oh the irony of wondering why he’s escaped them all these years and then getting a full blown dose of it as soon as we landed. It started off as a single spot for a few days and the “is it / is it not chicken pox” pondering confirmed itself a few days later. The hotel has been lovely and a regular dose of calamine lotion and piriton have really helped it. We’re now at the stage where we can see other humans but we’re yet to go in the pools.

Thank goodness for the huge beach and ocean. So we definitely don’t feel like we’re missing out. We’ve never made so many sandcastles!

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We have spent our days making sand hoovers, sitting in pedolos and making every bartender make strawberry milkshakes.

Mauritius has a very tropical atmosphere and that brings with it a regular daily visit from ants and geckos. The hotel staff spray all the rooms on a daily basis but i suppose it’s inevitable. There are messages on the TV about how the staff can remove geckos from your room, with a loving picture of one being cradled in someone’s hands. Ahh, lovely. So the first night we rang them, a bit late but we knew that the softies within us wouldn’t let us sleep with a gecko running about the walls. Two men turned up with a broom, located it instantly, gave it a whack and thwacked it out of the French doors as if they were playing golf. I think the only way to describe us after that was … speechless. We’ve not called them after that. Little Z has instead become accustomed to them and nature in general and keeps trying to catch one. As well as bees, ants, everything really.

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The food is amazing and I don’t think I’ve ever tasted pineapple as nice anywhere else. I am being very restrained about not diving into it though, as I’m sure there’s something about pineapple and labour and how women eat lots of it to bring it on when they’re fed up of being overdue. Oh but pineapples and chillies! Wow. I am definitely going to remember that post labour.

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Today we go to safari where the Other half has booked a trip to walk with the lions. Because he is mental. I’ve outright refused to do it figuring I would probably make a good meal for the lions right now. Plus I’m not sure they’d let me anyway, being 20 weeks now. This is why I outright refused. Of course.
We have been assured that they are very very well safe. Ok then. Little Z and I are going to stick to the petting farm and zoo where I’m sure the ponies and giraffes won’t want to eat us. No doubt we will take a million photos of it all.

Ooh and the baby kicked. Properly!! I really should do a pregnancy update soon.

Wish you were here….. Xx

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Win a £75 iTunes or Google Voucher with HTC One M9

There is a fantastic giveaway on the blog this month, courtesy of Three Mobile to celebrate the launch of the brand new HTC One M9.

HTC One M9

If there’s one thing I love is to take one too many photos with my phone and then to message it to everyone I know. Ever since Little Z came along that’s probably increased about three fold. The HTC One M9 has an impressive 20 megapixel camera, a 26.8mm lens and a standby battery life of 402 hours it gives a trigger happy phone lover the perfect little gadget to take along to all trips.

Three Mobile are offering one very lucky winner a £75 Google or an iTunes voucher depending on your phone. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is to answer one question by leaving a comment below:


“What’s the best photo editing app and why”

For a bonus entry you can tweet about the comp with whatever you would like. Please remember to also include the following:


#CompWithHTC @notmyyearoff http://notmyyearoff.com/2015/05/win-a-75-itune…ith-htc-one-m9/

(Please leave an additional comment to confirm you’ve tweeted, thanks!)

A winner will be picked at random on the 1st June 2015 and will be informed via email.

Terms and Conditions for Entrants

1. The competition will run for 30 days from the date of announcement.

2. To enter the competition, participants must submit a comment with the answer to the question published on the competition post (‘What’s the best photo editing app and why?’). Additionally entrants can take part sharing their comment on Twitter using the hashtag provided.

3. The entry must include the hashtag #CompWithHTC.

4. The prize is a £75 apps voucher (either Google Play or iTunes).

5. Participants must be a resident of the UK to win The Prize.

6. This competition is not restricted to HTC users – any individual who owns a mobile phone can enter.

Good luck!

Free competitions at ThePrizeFinder – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/%C2%A375-itunes-or-google-voucher#sthash.OLcavRAo.dpuf



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