Woohoo! January is done for another year!

I for one am so glad that January is over and done with. It’s like month full of Mondays and it just keeps going and going and going…For me it was a dreary, post-Christmas slump of a month and I couldn’t wait for it to be over and to move on to Feb, a month closer to spring!

It was my first month without my measly statutory maternity pay (It’s not much, but you miss it when it’s gone!) I think it rained & stormed pretty much the whole month, I had to start thinking about work and nurseries and dreaded Aunt Flo came to visit me for the first time in 18 months!!! (TMI?!)

But we all made it through, and I celebrated at the end of it with one of my oldest, bestest friends 30th Birthday. (and reminded myself just why I do not do shots any more – ouch!!)

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February is already off to a great start with our little boy finally finding his way to put one hand in front of the other and crawling!! It is true what they say…now the fun really starts!! Trying to get ready with a very inquisitive little boy who finds mummy’s make up and hair styling wires far more interesting than the smorgasbord of bright coloured toys I lay out in front of him is proving to be very tricky indeed! He seems to have developed so much over the past week or so, making lots of conversation with new sounds and syllables, pulling himself up in his cot, spinning around happily in circles on his bottom and of course, crawling.

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This month I want to take Henry to a lot more group activities as he is now mobile and less likely to be squished by bigger babies. My NCT friends and I went out to the under 18 month session at Active Tots in Stratfield Saye last week  (http://www.activetots.org) and loved how clean it was and Henry got so much more enjoyment out of it than I thought he would. He loved freely sliding down the soft slides and playing with the babies in the ball pit. This week I want to take him to Bouncing Tots which is in Basepoint, off of Wade Road (http://www.bouncingtots.co.uk) . We’re also going to be independently taking him swimming again more, after having had to cancel his swimming lessons due to them falling bang in the middle of his morning nap time. As hard as it is with this weather it’s so nice to get him out every day to one thing or another.

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I love sites such as http://northhantsmum.wordpress.com and www.mumsintheknow.co.uk/basingstoke for finding out all the fun things to do with little ones week by week. I also vow to go to more Sure Start stay and plays which are government funded as I hardly ever go to them and Henry loves to play with the other babies and get filthy at the messy plays! 

I’d love to know what things you’re going to be doing with your baby this month and what ideas you have to keep them entertained!

Maternity photography.

As the time went on, I realised more & more that I wanted to capture my pregnancy on film before the baby arrived. Despite feeling pretty fat and unattractive I knew if I didn’t then I would regret it. A close friend of mine has a fab hair and make up business and also offers wedding and maternity photography and I knew she was the only person I wanted to (quite literally) bare all to! She made me feel at ease with the camera and knew exactly what shots to take to show off my bump and not my insecurities, giving me prints which I could look back on and cherish.
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I decided to have my shoot at 8 months, so my bump was big enough, but I wasn’t feeling too ginormous and suffering from water retention – even if I felt like I had a few too many chins!! So make sure you choose the right time to suit you. Confidence is key for a happy shoot, so you don’t want to be worried about stretch marks or water retention; your photographer should make you feel at ease and work around your insecurities rather than highlighting them.
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Lighting in photography really makes the image, and it’s especially true for pregnancy photography. A good photographer will use the light to reflect the emotion and theme of the shot you require. A soft natural light will create a flattering image and if you want to show off your bump in underwear for example, using a sheer, voile type material to cover you will create a soft cover for any insecurities whilst showing your bump off.
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Before your shoot have a think about any props you might like to give your photographer to incorporate – do you know the name/sex of your baby? Can you create a sign to include this? Or post IT notes with all your name choices? Maybe a balloon with the sex or name written on it, or a chalk board with the due date? Have you already bought your baby’s first toy which you could incorporate? Or some tiny baby shoes? Would your partner like to be involved? Do you have other children who you could include? Maternity shots with siblings make for wonderful pics.
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Have you got a favourite outfit – if any of your clothes still fit! Depending on what you have pre-organised take a selection of options with you to change into on the day. There are so many options, so if you want to have creative input then have a think about them before hand and share with your photographer at your consultation.
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It’s really important to mention that even if you categorically think a maternity shoot isn’t for you, in 10 years time when you look back you may really wish you had put your insecurities aside and have captured your blossoming self – even if you don’t show any one I bet you will pleased you did it and your photographer will bring out the best in you, even if you feel tired, fat, nauseous or terrible so you are sure to be pleasantly surprised at how good you look! When your children are all grown up they will love to see you carrying them all those years ago too!
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If you want to capture your pregnancy similarly to this then contact Emma either on her website, http://www.emmatrotman.co.uk or on her Facebook – Emma Trotman Photography. She is based in Hampshire and will discuss your options and give you a consultation to make sure you are given a package to suit you, to make sure you get the best images for what you are looking for while making you feel at ease and happy on the day. Let her know that you found her details via my blog.