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When we were invited to try Bubble Tea at Birmingham’s new Bubbleology we jumped at the opportunity. Neither of us had ever tried Bubble Tea so we had no idea what to expect. Turns out we aren’t the only ones. When we asked on Instagram Stories 54% of people hadn’t tried Bubble Tea.

Bubbleology Birmingham is located on the top of the Bull Ring shopping centre, opposite Victoria Secrets. The store is kitted out with a bar area and seating. Although the seating has been closed during Covid restrictions. Walking in the menu is on display by the counter allowing you to make your choice while you queue.

There are a few things in life that you can guarantee but when visiting Wales we find three things to be always be true. You will have stunning views just about everywhere you go. Secondly it will rain. Thirdly you will have an amazing time even if you just go for the day.

We don’t have a favourite part of Wales. It changes every time we visit. But we are fast discovering that areas surrounding Snowdonia National Park are well worth the visit. Our latest trip was to Harlech. Situated on the coast this place offers a beautiful beach, a castle with stunning views and a great base to explore.

Just a quick life update from us. We are two days away from the end of our TWW and have been throwing ourselves into anything to distract us. That has included a trip to Wales, which we’ll share in a post shortly! All out latest going on’s are on our Instagram Stories if you want to keep up!

It was also a nice surprise to receive a nomination for Teletext Holiday’s ‘Best Travel With Kids’ Blog. it’s an area we want to focus on more within the blog and the nomination is nice confirmation that we are going in the right direction.

If Covid hadn’t hit we had big plans but we are hoping that at least some of them will be repeatable in the future.

If you to want read more about the other nominations check out Teletext Holidays site here.

It feels weird writing this post. It seems like we have been talking about Baby Smith Number Two for so long. In fact at times the preparation to get to this day had seemed overwhelming. For those of you following along you may have read the posts, if not here’s a quick breakdown of the journey so far:

  • Laura needed to get to a BMI of 35 to be able to try at the clinic we used to have Annabelle
  • We initially planned to try in May 2020 but Covid!
  • This time around it was meant to be Laura’s egg we were using – until we found out she was almost infertile
  • We decided to try Laura carrying my embryo in a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
  • Laura lost 70 lbs to reach her BMI in time for us to have an appointment as soon as clinics reopened
  • Laura’s first womb check showed the lining is at 8.7cm but we can’t do the transfer till it was 9cm – second appointment needed
  • Laura’s womb responds to medicine and gets to 9cm
  • We found out that the clinic would start to let partners into the operation theatre mid-August
  • Our transfer day is the 25th of August – I can be there!

And so TRANSFER DAY!

The 2WW (Two Week Wait) from implantation until being able to test for pregnancy can seem like the world’s longest time. Waiting, hoping, wondering, wishing, there is so much emotion that goes into it, and it’s so hard knowing there isn’t much that you really can do to determine the result.

Of course, after throwing so much time, money and heartache into IUI and/or IVF, you’ll likely try any old wives tales, any advice going, that may help. So here’s what we did before our positive pregnancy test – disclaimer of course, none of this is at all proven to make a difference.

However, it can’t hurt, right? So here they are!

1. Pineapple core

Purchase a whole pineapple, and divide into 5 sections. Eat one section per day, starting on the day of implantation (or day of insemination if you aren’t doing IVF). The core of the pineapple is most important to eat, this is said to promote implantation.

2. Brazil nuts

Eat 6 Brazil nuts per day for 6 days, starting on the day of implantation. Brazil nuts are an incredible source of selenium, which is a mineral that helps to thicken the uterine wall, and a healthy lining aids implantation. If you don’t like nuts, as my wife doesn’t, I recommend grounding them up and adding to smoothies – she barely noticed them! Which brings me to my next point-

3. Smoothies

Green smoothies! We packed those babies with the pineapple and brazil nuts as above, as well as a half orange for Vitamin C, banana for potassium, spinach for iron, oats and chia seeds – we got as many nutrients into Sarah as possible per day, and actually continued making and drinking smoothies for her whole pregnancy to try to grow a strong and healthy baby!

4. Rest

Shortly after implantation, within 2-3 days, I couldn’t stop Sarah from sleeping if I had tried. She would nap anywhere, anytime. We quickly adapted so S could nap whenever she felt the need – after all, your body needs lost of rest and relaxation to grow a baby in general! So we would recommend doing as much sleeping as possible.

Some of the naps feature in the funny video we put together you can see in this post.

One thing that had come up a lot in our research was that it was a good idea to keep the womb ‘warm’, and to keep blood flowing to and through it as much as possible. So we channeled that advice into our final two points, 5 and 6:

5. Fertility yoga

It’s a thing! We found some fertility yoga videos on YouTube and did them daily throughout the TWW. The poses are catered to not put stress on the body, but to instead ‘warm’ the womb, stretch and relax you. Well worth it, and a fun 20 minutes to set aside all day!

6. Womb dancing

And finally, we would dance around the kitchen together to George Michael’s ‘Faith’ (his documentary had just come out, and it seemed relevant!). It was lots of fun and made for wonderful memories later on, the dancing (Sarah made sure to do some hip rolls!) helped warm the womb, and best of all, it made us laugh, which is so important during this often stressful time.

The TWW is a time of anticipation at what’s to be and excitement, but also of anxiety and stress, and it can seem to be the slowest two weeks of your life. As well as the above to help implantation, we found making the most of that time to be the best way to get through it. Plan date nights or days, go on family walks, pamper yourself, read a new book – distract yourself from the impending date, and make some fun memories on the way.

Did you do anything more or different than the above to try to get that baby to ‘stick’?

If Covid-19 has taught us anything it is to appreciate where we live, even more. This year we have been to see the lavender in The Cotswolds, the sunflowers at our local farm and the Confetti Fields in Wkye Manor in Worcestershire. It turns out flowers fields have a few benefits as days out with a toddler. Firstly they are wide open spaces, perfect for running around. Secondly they have beautiful flowers which mean you can distract a toddler with pretty colours. Thirdly they tend me cheap and have space for a picnic so it’s a cost effective day out.

The Confetti Fields started in 1997 and grow flowers that become natural, biodegradable confetti that can be used at celebrations – especially weddings! Our trip was on a hot August day as the fields opened later this year than usual. Our first visit was in 2018, two days before Annabelle was born.

Life with a toddler is never dull. That is in part because they are full of energy. Part because the energy required to keep up with them means you never sit still. We find that we are best with Annabelle when we have a plan. That’s not to say every minute is planned for but that we have a general plan.

Annabelle normally naps for an hour and half – two hours at lunchtime. That means our plans have to be morning plans or afternoon plans. Usually they end up being afternoon plans as neither of us are great at getting moving 🙂

As lockdown restrictions are being eased we are trying to take advance of getting out and about more. With the weather looking okay we decided to check out Balsall Heath City Farm. You can check out their website here.

The farm opened in 1980 as an inner city oasis to give children access to animals they might not otherwise get to see. There are over 50 animals on the farm, a great vegetable patch and plenty of other things to see.

Just like Annabelle is two.

Okay we may have said that already. Our girl turning two has been a big event in our household. As Annabelle’s birthday turned two on a Thursday we had 3 days of celebrations.

We also put together a video of her last year. It’s half an hour long (in case you want to watch it) but there were just so many highlights.