those nine months of a baby bump!

pregnancy spring

Having done a bit of a comparison over the past 5 months with baby Jack, it’s now my turn, with my nine months of having a baby belly!

It was nice for me to put all these photos together at last, and really be able to see the difference as my bump grew. It also brings back some lovely memories – and the surprises I had along the way, too! When I found out I was expecting, of course I imagined how the next 9 months (I found out almost straight away) would look. And, of course, the reality was quite different!

It was Autumn when I first discovered I was expecting Jack. As per the familiar wisdom that babies, especially first babies, take a good while before they start to show, I didn’t think I would need to start wearing different clothes until we got through the cold months, and were well into the warmer weather of Spring. I thought I would then only need the very roomy clothes for the final months, when it would be summer.

Oh, how I smile at that now!

I started to show almost straight away. By two months, I looked very obviously pregnant. As most of my clothes were fitted at the waist, I had to rethink everything I wore very quickly, as I literally had nothing that would fit!

I also wanted to keep my new state secret for a little while, and enjoy this special secret with just those closest to me, and I also became even more camera shy. I’d always thought I would want to let my bump show straight away, and was surprised at how private a time it felt to me. I think this reflects in my pause in blogging too, even though I love reading other people’s experiences about it all.

I didn’t want to rush out and spend a lot of money on a new winter wardrobe that was just for a few months, and so those long, early weeks were spent in a couple (literally, there were only two!) of very large jumpers, which I thought were doing a great job of hiding my bump, but weren’t especially fun to wear. Any thoughts of looking stylish were now on hold!

Then a couple of weeks before my third trimester was up, I went to our local deli, and as soon as the lady behind the counter saw me, she loudly congratulated me – my secret was clearly out! Those jumpers were clearly not hiding anything anymore…

It was at last time to buy a few things, and I could share our happy news. I shared it with you online too, with the first photo of this post, when I was around four months, and spring had come early to Melbourne. I remember that even though all the blossoms were out, it was still so cold!

It turned out that the kinds of things I wanted, and had just assumed I would get, like cotton smock dresses and empire maxi dresses, were suddenly impossible to find. I also really wanted to stick to things I could wear for a long time, not just when I was pregnant.

Luckily for me, lots of summery things were on sale – it’s one of the great advantages of living in the Southern hemisphere – and I found a few suitable summer dresses on Asos, just buying non-maternity styles a couple of sizes bigger than usual. For once I really appreciated that “you might also like” function as it led to a couple of great finds!

The timing meant I needed four season’s worth of clothes. I went to London for 3 weeks when I was 5 months along, going from a Melbourne spring to a British Autumn, and then to Fiji in October, going from a warm Melbourne spring to a hot and tropical climate – my new wardrobe had a LOT of work to do!

I took another piece of advice I’d often heard about having a baby belly, and didn’t go mad buying loads of things. In the end I got just a few actual maternity pieces (a skirt, a pair of leggings, two plain tops and one dress) and a three light stretchy dresses to wear with a couple of long cardigans, and wore all the possible combinations (many times over!) for those cooler months.

It was the perfect capsule wardrobe, and the perfect introduction to finally really having one!

I got back to Melbourne to find spring was giving way to summer very early, and I was glad to have those summer dresses ready to go.

They say you can’t really imagine what pregnancy will be like until it happens to you, and for me that was definitely true. I remember thinking my bump was huge at 5 months, but when I see the pictures now I clearly had a very long way to go! It was at this point everything sped up, and the difference between that second and third trimester was huge. What I imagined a full term belly would look like actually came at around 6 months – I’d underestimated just how big this baby belly would be!

The summer dresses I bought definitely got a good workout, and I just about lived in them from September onwards, as you can see here.

My biggest memory of being pregnant is of being at the beach, where we went almost every day during the summer. Being in the water felt so amazing! I really appreciated living so close to the beautiful Victorian coast, and am already looking forward to getting back there this summer, with Jack on the outside this time.

I can definitely say I am happy to have followed the advice of not getting carried away with shopping for those 9 months, as already they seem so long ago, and like they were over so quickly, although of course those last weeks did NOT feel so short at all..! I am already looking forward to buying new things with far less restrictions for this coming summer. I also think I now have a much better idea of what I’d like to wear (and do!) should there be a second time!

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We took this photo just a couple of days before I gave birth, and I love seeing that bump in its final stages! I makes me almost miss having it. Almost!

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These first 5 months

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Well, hello, stranger! It has been about a year since my last blog post, and I can’t quite believe it! It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from my blog since I started it way back in 2008, and I am surprised to have taken such a long pause. It wasn’t planned, and now it is nice to be back. And with my baby boy Jack, too, who I welcome on here now for the first time!

I’ve been drafting this post in my head from around the three month mark in his life. I was already amazed at how much he had grown, how fast it had gone, and how three months is a full trimester in pregnancy. I remember those weeks and months going so slowly, and now he is is finally here on the outside, the time just flies. It is of course a little bitter sweet sometimes, but it is mostly just so wonderful. Seeing him grow and change, his character develop and the new skills he learns everyday is such am amazing gift, and such a joy!

The very first thing I bought for baby Jack was this elephant suit. I got it in Peter Jones in September, when I was, fittingly, five months pregnant, travelling on my own (sort of!) in London, and shopping in my childhood haunt just around the corner from my primary school with his Ouma. I was sometimes slightly superstitious about buying baby things but I had to start somewhere. And this was too cute, with its elbow patches and tiny wooden buttons.

Once he was born I decided I would photograph Jack in it every month, to really see just how much he grows. I didn’t think it would fit beyond three months, but yesterday, at a little over 5 months, it went on – but only just! Just two weeks earlier it fitted, but now: no! And now that this little photographing phase is finished, I can share it here, and say hello. It’s good to be back. I look forward to all our new adventures here.

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moments for me and a giveaway for you with DermaVeen

dermaveen jThis post is supported by Nuffnang and DermaVeen

Now winter is really drawing in, I am finding having a long bath at night time a hugely enjoyable luxury. They might not happen very often but when they do, they’re brilliant.

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And I feel extra lucky right now as my bathroom has that extra special bonus: a lock on the door! There’s something about being able to click that handle and closing the door properly on the outside world for a while. Add some fresh flowers picked from the garden and I can make some very nice time just for myself. There is nothing like a good hot bath to unwind and wash away the stresses of the day, whatever they may be.

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I’ve been using it as an opportunity to treat my very sensitive skin, too. DermaVeen very kindly sent me a bumper pack of products to try. My favourites are the soap free body wash, which doesn’t irritate my skin at all and smells nice but not perfumed (and which I am about to repurchase), the oatmeal shampoo and conditioner (John loves these too), the hand cream, and the eczema cream for any really dry patches (hello elbows). All work really well for me. I also really like the body lotion, which is very light and non-greasy, but does leave a white residue for a minute or two after application – this disappears though, without leaving any white dusty bits, I’m happy to report.

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And a good armload of pampering goodies is always a GREAT motivation to really enjoy a bath!

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It’s so nice to take a moment to escape from daily life, in such a simple, easy-to-do way.

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There are few worries that a relaxing bath and a good mug of tea can’t help. As much as I’d like to also zone out and watch makeup tutorials, I’m too scared to bring my iPad in with me, although I’ve a few friends who do that to watch YouTube – they’re braver than I am, ha!

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Of course there is the old fashioned option of reading a book, an actually papery book with pages. Especially one written in 1935, extolling the benefits of a good hot bath and really treating yourself to your bathing beauty treats!

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And the chance to think about things, nice things like more little treats to pop into the day, those little things that can make a big difference and make waking hours that much more enjoyable. I actually wrote about how one of my favourite vintage things does just that! I’ve also been really enjoying having plenty of greenage displayed in vases here and there, and like to refresh them once a week. It’s very good for the eyes to rest on, and makes the heart sing just that little bit to see nature at work and the shadows at play with the leaves just before I turn out the bedside lamp.

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GIVEAWAY!

And now I am chuffed to say it’s giveaway time! It’s a good one too and I am absolutely not going to be jealous of whoever win this one *cough*.

Thanks to DermaVeen, one lucky winner and a friend will get an indulgent day all to themselves: an indulgent spa treatment in NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, WA according to their location of residence. (Please see T’s & C’s for specifics.)

And there are 10 Runners-up prizes: 10 DermaVeen hampers, each containing 11 DermaVeen products and valued at $164 in total. (Specific product details in T’s & C’s.)

So, for your chance to win, just share your favourite indulgent #momentsforme, either:

+ submit an image of your favourite indulgent moment on your instagram OR
+ on your facebook

Please remember to tag your entries with #momentsforme AND @laneway_esme

+ alternatively you can add a comment to this post – but everyone likes a photo so that might just be the way to go… just a little insider tip!

Competition opens 06/07/2015 12:00am and closes 09/08/2015, 11.59pm.

Terms and conditions are here.

Good luck to you all! I am chuffed to be part of a team of six bloggers for this, and while I wish luck to everyone, I would of course really love it if the winner was one of you!!! 😀

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a new dress, an old coat and my favourite black boots

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What I wore last Sunday, for not-too-exciting act of going quite late to the bakery to buy a ciabatta, which were all sold out, so we went home with a baguette instead. And I took my new dress for its first outing, and it turns out it matches my green 1940s coat so perfectly, it’s uncanny. It’s by a label called Love and I got it from Asos, and I love the floral print, wrap front and fluttery sleeves, which are of course hidden away here. I love this coat (from etsy a couple of years ago, but I can’t find the seller, sorry!) and it is super soft, heavy and very warm, and haven’t worn it much yet this winter because it simply hasn’t been cold enough yet. I’m sure we’ll get there! The wind was picking up though, as you can see..!

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These boots have been on very high rotation since Autumn, and they came about in one of the nicest ways. They were a gift from Bared Footwear, a Melbourne based footwear company who make the most incredibly comfortable – and nice! – shoes and boots I have ever worn.

I first heard of them through Cecylia and Claire (who no longer blogs but has a great instagram), who both have shoes by them and told me just how good they were. I actually bought these, my first pair of boots by Bared, before these one happened, and they are also amazingly comfortable. I love it when things like that work out! They literally feel like walking on clouds, and the store has the nicest and most helpful staff. I love supporting local brands and can’t sing these guys’ praises highly enough! They have a great mens’ collection, too, and John bought a pair of brogues he loves.

And then the wind really started blowing and we decided it was time to get home and eat some of that fresh baguette with a baked Camembert… winter is good!

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old things and bits and pieces at home

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This afternoon I knuckled down and tackled some decluttering that needed to happen at home. Nothing drastic, just a reassessment and reorganising of the bits and pieces that seem to gather here and there. I’ve been planning for when we move again, which should happen some time early next year, and what we will want to bring. This then made me think about how while it can seem tempting to live with military-like super strict tidiness, it would be pretty dull – and wouldn’t suit me at all. I like to have my old things around me because they make me happy. Just not too much of it – trying to whittle it down and keep the chaos at bay!

When we last moved, we had a HUGE clear out, and have been chipping away at it so it gets more and more manageable, and so I only the things I really love left. While a lot of my stuff is still packed in boxes (and it’s amazing how little of it I’m missing… there’s a lesson) some things definitely needed to be part of my everyday life.

Like: my 1930s peach teddy, so soft and fragile and to be worn again next spring or summer, and the two veiled vintage hats I still have. The blue one lost its netting somewhere along the way but it’s still special and still here. The coral one is still hanging on and might just get some air time in spring. Both on top of the Ikea duvet cover that about a billion people have and constantly pops up on the internet and always make me smile. That, too, will be moving with us again. (The bed it is on, however, will definitely not be!)

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The coral bubbly delicate vase. I don’t know anything about it, really, other than I really like it. Currently sporting some low maintenance red leafies that really could do with updating pretty soon…

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My treasured vintage silk kimono. Four pics, for splashes of peachy-coral, I see a theme here… I would love to say I am still wearing this every morning and evening but it is waaaay to cold here at the moment.

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Ok, more peachy-coral, and more green! I bought these vintage, cloth-covered coat hangers from the vintage shop I was working in, years ago now, after having some on my mental wish list for years. Not necessarily the most practical but you can’t be practical all the time.

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A 1930s silk bias cut night gown. Again, not so practical for wearing but so special.

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A very old candle holder, shaped like a fancy leaf and with a flower flame snuffer-outer thing. It hasn’t seen a candle for far too long. One day.

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My shell bobby pin tin. On a doily. It pleases one of the two people who share this bedroom..! And my green Japanese cups.

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And finally, my old and battered Gladstone bags. They weigh a tonne and keep snapping shut on my hand whenever I go rummaging inside them for something but I don’t care, they make me happy!

And that’s about it – not exactly a crazy unmanageable amount. I am so glad that you understand this desire for some little familiar, not-absolutely-needed-for-living but just nice things – it can’t be all bare and boring all the time.

Now I am going to wash my hair after washing it in the sink yesterday because we are having hot water issues and I have an irrational dread of being stuck in a cold shower, and then drying it with some mousse and it really not working out (yuck). I might even risk the shower this time.

old-gladstone-bags

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