Friday, 12 December 2014

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth....

My darling boy, is still very much toothless... now this is of course fine but I am getting to the point where I am bored of calling every bad night, cold, cough, rosy cheek teething. I know for a fact that this isn't just me... all us first time mums are guilty of blaming every little thing on teething!

This has been going on for months and I think I just have to assume that it's going to take some time (much like the growth of his hair!)
Of course it doesn't matter that all his pals have teeth, but it is a little frustrating on my part. Teething seems to be going on for months and months and we don't even have the white gums that people speak of. 

I remember when we went on our first family holiday, Harry was 4 months old and after one rough night and a slightly pink cheek we ran out to the local pharmacy to buy every teething product going. 

Wanna know what I now know that I wish I knew then? Babies (in most cases) don't teeth at four months... we all think it's teething but it's not. We all read so much about every little stage that we wait with anticipation for them to arrive and convince ourselves that we are experiencing them we know deep down that we are not.

All that being said, I really want these first few teeth to show up. I am bored of waiting and more importantly know he is in pain. I suppose I know now why that song was written... "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!" Nothing I'd like more at this stage! Bring those little buggers on!!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Mind your own business!!

First it's "when are you getting engaged? ", then it's "when will you have a baby?", then it's "thinking about number two yet?"


I don't blame people, they are natural questions and often just conversation fillers but I can't help but get a tad frustrated.

Firstly there is the obvious issue, what if we were trying (we're not) and we were having problems. Secondly there is the reality of the situation. Harry is not yet nine months. I am still getting to gripes with him and the immense life change I've encountered. 

Don't get me wrong, conversations are starting to be had between the hubs and I but surely that is where the discussion should start and end? It's nobody's business and I just can't  deal with anyone else asking me!!

The other day I turned round in an angry tone and answered (not true) "we are stopping at one, just so happy as we are" I know it's childish it's just my coping mechanism.

In a previous blog post I ranted about my anger at people asking me "if my baby was ok?" due to the smallness of my bump... I talked about my friend who was asked throughout her pregnancy if she was having twins (obviously she wasn't)

Is it me, or do people need to mind there own business and stop overstepping the mark/putting pressure on us poor folk?! 

I think yes. I've just had enough of it. Anyone else with me??


Monday, 27 October 2014

Back to life, back to reality.

After 11 months of leisure (well not quite), this week I officially return back to the working world. 

Don't get me wrong, I am not going back full time, or in fact returning to my former place of work. I am joining a fresh new company, on a freelance basis, and in truth I could not be more excited.


It's interesting that my blogging has fallen to the bottom of my to do list the last few months, this makes me sadder I am sure than it makes you. In truth, I ran out of things to say, something I never could imagine possible.  At one stage I was blasting out three posts a day!

Harry has been as happy as Larry (thank goodness), his sleep is fine, bar a few nights here and there, his eating is good and his development generally is normal. I spend my days at various classes, sipping coffee with friends, cooking, cleaning, reading, and most importantly playing with my 8.5 month old little man. 

I have a great life, but it isn't exactly "newsworthy". I know that I am boring now. I am ok with that. 


I knew it the first time I met up with one of my very best friends, alone (Harry was with the hubs). After a few minutes of me updating her on Harry's development, followed by a few more minutes of video footage to back up what I'd told her (I am sure she was thrilled), she asked... "so what else?" At this point I went blank...

"What else?"

"There isn't anything else?!"


The reason for my lacklustre blogging performance of late isn't that I am too busy... come on... post 7pm I have plenty of time and it's not like I can go anywhere... the reason is that I am boring and have nothing to say!

Since sorting out this new job, I have found my voice again. I feel I have something to say. Please don't think me a terrible person, I love being a Mummy and wouldn't change it for the world. But a few hours here and there talking about other things has done me the world of good and for the first time in a while I feel like the old me. I feel like I am more than just Harry's mum and it feels good. No, it feels great.

I am by no means ready for full time employment, I just couldn't do that at this stage, but I feel blessed to have the best of both worlds. I feel confident and happy and like I bring more to the table than my gorgeous son. 

And hey, if nothing else, it's got me blogging again!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

How time flies

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but next week my little boy will be 6 months old... 6 months, half a year... The thought of it actually terrifies me, he is getting so big and independent (baby independent, mums/dads... you get me) and it is scary, very scary.

Not only is he now able to roll... not quite crawl but certainly "shuffle" but he can hold things, take things and the biggest of them all? He now eats 3 square meals a day (plus snacks and 4 bottles.... all I do is feed!!) Each night, I venture to my freezer where dozens of zip lock bags are labelled accordingly. I take my little pots and pick and choose what combination of food and veg my wee man will be tucking into the following day. It's like going to a sweetie shop and has become a little highlight of my day (yes I can imagine that I sounds very sad!)


Next week things get even more scary as we can experiment with gluten, citrus fruits, eggs (well cooked of course), fish (no shellfish), chicken and meat! I am beyond excited for this new stage but also a little terrifying, before I know it he'll be chowing down on proper solids and walking around (watching him hold and chew a rusk brought me to tears!)

Time really does fly.. I remember religiously counting down the days of my pregnancy waiting with sheer excitement to meet my boy... now I just wish time would stand still. Every moment is so previous and must be remembered as they just go so fast. 

I don't know if it is just me, but over the last few weeks I can't help but get choked up when I see a newborn baby... I guess Harry just looks so big in comparison and I miss those early days. Having said that, we hung out with a two year old on Friday who made Harry look like a teeny tiny baby!!

My parents always tell me that they just don't know where the time went, one minute I was crawling around the lounge causing mischief and the next my Dad was giving me away on my wedding day. I always found comments like this overly sentimental and nonsensical (especially given my former status as someone with very little patience). Parenthood has changed me beyond recognition. Not only am I now a patient person, but I don't sweat the small stuff... arguments with friends are a thing of a past as my relationships have changed so much (old friends don't seem particularly interested in me anymore and new friends are all mummy's who think and feel exactly how I do) and life is about one thing and one thing only FAMILY. I live and breathe my family and love every second of it. I don't miss my before life, I don't crave me time... I just want to spend every second with my boys sucking in every possible memory.

Time really does fly and I am terrified I am going to miss something.... 


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Weaning.. stage 1

Who knew that eating food could be so complicated? Certainly not me. Having enjoyed and been prepared for every stage of motherhood thus far (when I say prepared, what I mean is, I've read about it and know it's coming... your baby week by week is my current bible) I was a little shocked and unprepared for the new world that is weaning.

Harry is a small baby, weighing it at 6.2lbs at birth, he's not been a huge boy, having said that, he's a growing boy with a big old appetite (he currently weights in at 14.9lbs so he's done a lot of growing) I decided to wean a little earlier than the NHS guidelines as he was a showing "signs" that he was ready. He was watching me eat, trying to grab my food, waking earlier and most importantly nailing 10oz of milk per feed. This boy was ready for food. Whilst I knew this, the affirmation from my health visitor gave me the confidence to kick things off.

First things first, the equipment!! Here we go again, SHOPPING! Within a few days I'd purchased, weaning bibs, spoons, baby bowls, freezer tray, a blender steamer (it's this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-AVENT-SCF870-21-Combined/dp/B003MAJ5OC and I love it) and most importantly, a high chair. This was tricky as I had no idea what to look for. At first, I was tempted by the uber modern, spaceship looking highchairs, but I soon realised that I wanted something that was easy to clean, something that could be adjusted to the height of my kitchen table (so feeding is comfortable and one day we will all eat together), was comfortable for Harry and most importantly was super safe. I did a lot of research and decided on the Cosatto Noodle. The reviews were great and it wasn't too pricey.


When it arrived, it was a little scary! It looked so big, I was convinced that my little man would never fill it!! Thankfully, the straps are totally adjustable so he's vey comfy in it and totally safe. It was really easy to assemble and generally is easy to use.

Now that I had all the equipment, it was time to get cooking!!! I decided to kick things off with baby rice. It's funny baby rice, I guess it's worth doing as it's such a familiar taste that it's not too much change at once, but it's so runny that it's a little disappointing (for me) after all the hype of real food! Nevertheless, my little man loved the stuff and at first trial nailed a whole bowl plus a full bottle, I was as you can imagine very proud ;-)


After three days of baby rice (in case you're wondering, I am following a combination of three experts Gina Ford, Annabel Karmel & myself - I may be no expert but I am Harry's mummy and I have common sense!) we were onto the fun stuff. 

  

Starting with carrot, then moving onto sweet potato, apple, avocado, cauliflower it has been so much fun and so funny!  Make sure you have the video camera at the ready when you introduce new tastes as their reaction is priceless. 

So far, Harry has loved everything with one exception. Avocado. This was quite the disaster resulting in myself, my friends and her couch covered in the stuff. I think we will leave avocado until his tummy matures a little. There was also one incident with apples... I thought apples were apples (stupidly) so thought I'd try granny smiths. HUGE MISTAKE. Harry's shuddered his way through two mouthfuls and then firmly gave up. We had a much better result from granny smiths. 

Once he has tried a handful more fruits & vegetables (I have loads chilling in the fridge!) I will start to mix flavours together. At the moment I am giving them alone, in some cases with a little milk or baby rice to thicken or water down dependant on the consistency on whatever it is that I am making) It's nuts to think that in a few weeks he will be able to stomach protein, dairy and carbs!! He really is growing up so fast. 

Everyone said that weaning was so fun and I didn't really get it but trust me, everyone is right. It is not only fun to see their reaction but so satisfying to see them eat/enjoy food, I also love the process 
of "cooking" for Harry, it's a very enjoyable and motherly process, what can I say, I love weaning and can't wait for stage 2!

Friday, 18 July 2014

The Silver Cross Pioneer

As a lover of all things Silver Cross (already the proud owner of the Wayferer pram & pushchair & Simplicity car seat, which is compatible with the the Wayferer & Pioneer) I was more than thrilled when I was asked to review the gorgeous brand spanking new Pioneer Pram & Pushchair.

Upon arrival of my new (well, Harry's new) toy I was extremely excited. As Harry is now 5 months, it's been a while since I've experienced the thrill of a new item of this scale to experiment with. 


Let's start with the basics, the pram comes in a series of colours from Chill Red, to Lime Green, I am a creature of habit so opted for black (I wanted it to match my car seat and be gender neutral for future babies!)

The first thing I noticed once unwrapped and assembled (which took all of a minute, I am not someone usually capable of "building" but even I could manage this one in a jiffy) was how modern and sleek the system looked. It's stylish, modern but with a traditional character, it feels like a sexy version of the quintessential Silver Cross big and beautiful pram. 

Like the Wayferer, the pram comes with lots of bits and pieces, you have the following...

- The hood & apron pack
- Ventilated carrycot
- Pushchair system
- Rain cover
- Puncture proof wheels
- Seriously big shopping basket
- Four way suspension

What makes this pram special? Having spent a month or so getting to know this pram in detail, and having taken it on holiday (easy peasy as it folds up simply) I can honestly say that this pram is like no other and here are three reasons why:

1. The Wheels... The big wheels make it so easy to drive, like most mummy's I seem to spend the majority of my life walking my bubba to sleep. I go to the park, the shops, the lake, the beach, indoor, outdoor, on smooth services, on rough services and this pram makes the ride smooth, comfortable and relaxing for my boy, and easy and pleasurable for me. Steering is a breeze, curbs are easy as pie and you don't have to worry about the tyres getting damaged on rougher services such as woodland.

2. The Shopping Basket... I can honestly say that my shopping basket is the envy of all my mummy friends. It is huge! I seem to have so much stuff all the time that absolutely has to be taken everywhere I go. Now that I am weaning Harry it is even worse, cooler bags, spoons, spoon holders, sippy cups, bibs, change of clothes etc etc etc!! This shopping basket fits the lot and leaves room for what it's designed for... SHOPPING!!! I have those clip on bag holders for the handle of the pram but always find myself tripping over them or kicking them as I walk. It is such a pleasure to have such a huge shopping basket now that fits everything!

3. The Carrycot... The ventilated carrycot is such a pleasure for Harry. He isn't the easiest baby to get to sleep during the day but I am not exaggerating when I say that he is out like a light as soon as he is placed into the cool (especially in this weather) comfy carrycot. He's like a new baby, I am sure the weaning has helped but I was so surprised the first time I popped him in and he drifted off to sleep seconds later (see below)


All in all, I couldn't be more thrilled with my new pram. It's gorgeous to look at, enjoyable to use and most importantly my little man loves it which is just fab as he'll be using it until he's a toddler! I can't wait for him to be able to use the pushchair! (only a month to go!)

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The first holiday...

We have just arrived home from our very first family holiday. To say I was nervous in advance of the trip is an understatement. Although I packed every item ever created for babies on holiday's, and read up on everything from mosquito bites to cooling techniques for warm weather, I felt entirely unprepared and lacking in control. It's taken me almost four months to feel like a very confident & competent mother so the thought of taking an enormous step back due to time different, unfamiliarity & heat was a little overwhelming. Having said all that, I couldn't have been more wrong.It was a fabulous trip and I now can't wait to go again soon!


Let's kick off with the flight. The night before travelling, I of course couldn't sleep. I spent the entire night running through various lists in my head, meaning that when the alarm buzzed loudly at 5am the morning of the trip, I was suffering with a pretty bad headache. In terms of luggage, we weren't travelling light. Two huge suitcases for check in, one for Harry... one for the hubs, myself and Harry. Two pieces of hand luggage, one with all the usual changing bits, plus a few welcome additions.. a change of clothes for the baby and for me... in case of any 'accidents', Calpol sachets (just in case), a seat belt extension (most airlines don't provide then anymore), several sterilised bottles and many dummies. I was advised to dress the baby in layers as it can get cold on a plane with all the air conditioning so I did just that. The second piece of hand luggage was an empty wheelie, ready for all the milk that we were collecting upon arrival at the airport. 

Once the milk was collected, the bags were checked in and the pram dropped off, it was time to get comfy. As we were travelling from Luton, our plane was small, this meant no basinette's. Not a huge problem, just a little uncomfortable for a 5 hour flight. After take off (I fed Harry on the way up to avoid ear popping) he fell nicely asleep and remained that way for 97% of the flight, not quite as good as his stats for the way home where he fell asleep during take off and woke the next morning having been through landing, customs, security, the drive home, a change and a dream feed! His only brief wake up was due to a explosive poo. A poo that not only beat a nappy. but beat a vest, a t-shirt & a jumper! Normally not a problem, but this poo decided to rear it's rather ugly head just as we were about to land. This meant that I was crammed into a teenie weenie plane toilet, with a extremely pooey, laughing baby. The plane was going down pretty quickly which was making me feel a little dizzy. By the end of the change I was pretty much on my knees, much to the amusement of my little man!

I'd decided after much debate not to borrow my friends pram, or take my new SilverCross proper pram. I decided to take my SilverCross car seat and new Pioneer base as the wheels are really big, ideal for sand and the shopping basket is huge, ideal for a big old changing bag, a parisol, fan and some shopping! I'd worked out how to tie the seatbelt securely round the car seat, so we were good to go!

I'd spoken to the hotel in advance to ensure we had a travel cot in our room, so once checked in, and unpacked, it soon felt like home. I'd taken small play mat, my own sheets for the cot & lots of toys to make it feel as familiar as possible and I think it worked. We had no issues putting Harry down at night... not to say there weren't any issues on the trip. as you'll soon read!

I've never really been one for poolside holiday's. I usually get itchy feet and want to go explore which ever village, town or City I am closest to. This holiday was different, having not been a way for a year (the honeymoon) and in that year had a baby & purchased and moved into a new home, it was time for a break.I was well aware in advance that this would be no normal holiday. Books wouldn't be read, sleeps would not be had and iPods would not be listened to. Having said all that, both myself and the hubs had time to relax, swim and sunbathe and of course spend lots of delicious bonding time with our little man. We took a tent with us on the trip, and to say that this was useful is an understatement.
A friend had recommended the contraption and I was a little dubious at first. How wrong I was, this tent was amazing. It had a blow up floor so is super comfy, is cool, UV protected and protects against bugs. I filled it with toys and it became Harry's favourite place to be. It was also brilliant for a change when I couldn't face walking to the nearest toilet (lazy I know!)

A few other items also made the trip a little easier, the snooze shade was amazing. As were only two hours ahead, we used the plane as an opportunity to switch our timings a little. Bath time was at 6.30pm as usual (local time) followed by the nightly feed. After this we'd put the baby in the cot until we were ready to go to dinner (around 9pm) at which point we'd gently transfer him to the car seat (no need to strap him in as everything was in walking distance) and on the snooze shade would go. He was such a good boy, not waking once in the evening whilst we were out. Transferring him back to the cot was tricky without waking him so we used it as an opportunity for a quick top up and change. This worked well and meant that he almost slept through (he usually wakes around 5am and wants a little cuddle or chest rub) pretty much every night. We managed the temperature by putting the air con on before we left for supper and turning it off when we returned, this meant the room was cool but not freezing, not only that we avoided the dry eyes and colds that come from a night spent with the air con on. When out for dinner we usually sat outdoors as it was quite cool in the evenings, but a few times I did move us indoors if I felt it was a little warm.

Easy peasy.

Well, up until day 5. 

Day 5 we noticed Harry was pooing a lot more than usual. 5 or 6 times in a day which for him us highly abnormal. He had no fever, wasn't dehydrated and seemed happy so we decided to keep an eye on it but not panic. The next day, the penultimate day of the holiday we were out and about when I became very distressed. Harry had poo'd 10 times and it was only 1pm. After a further explosive, runny and very light coloured poo at around 1.15pm I decided enough was enough. I broke down in the cafe we happened to be frequenting in a sheer panic that my baby was unwell. It's funny because even though I was in a state, blubbering to the hubs, I knew in my heart of heats that he was fine. He had no fever, had lots of wet nappies and was happy. I of course couldn't take the risk so bundled us into the first available taxi demanding through my tears to be taken to the nearest hospital (the poor taxi driver must have thought I was insane). 3 minutes later, one call to the ambulance service, the taxi driver made the call and handed me the phone (I think it thought there was something seriously wrong with the baby) and we were there. After a VERY thorough examination he was confirmed that he was fine. He had picked up a tummy virus, maybe from the flight, maybe from the pool, maybe from anywhere and it would pass in a few days with no treatment.  This was of course all true and by the next morning our little boy was back to normal. 

The evening of the hospital panic day was kicked off by my first bath with Harry. I've always left this task to the hubs as I feel it is important father son bonding time, but after the day I'd had I needed to spend the extra time with my boy. I don't know if he was rewarding me for my horrible day, or just found bathing with me particularly funny but I've never heard him hysterically laugh like he did in that tub. Giggling and chuckling away made the whole horrible ideal disappear and I soon felt happy and relaxed again.

And that was that. A week in the sun flew by and I wish we could have stayed for longer. 99% of the items I included on 'the holiday packing list' had been used and it was time to come home. Another first out the way, another milestone to tick off. I had a brilliant trip and can't wait for the next one... funny isn't it that these babies have no idea that they are being taken abroad, must be quite odd for them suddenly experiencing heat and seeing so many new things! I wonder if Harry will remember his first holiday? Probably not, thankfully I have hundreds of photos to jolt his memory :-)