Saturday, 19 July 2014

Being positive

I'm not normally a fan of meme's, but there's one doing the rounds at the moment which has my full support. It's one that I firmly believe everyone should do, every day, even if they just do it in their head and don't share it with the world.

The current popular meme invites people to post daily their three positives for that day for a week.

My only problem is actually narrowing it down to three! I've always been a "glass half full " kind of gal but this really went into overdrive in 2006 when I developed a real appreciation for being alive and appreciating all the small things, and started to let go of the things that really don't matter. If you can't change it, or it's not in your control, just let it go.

Every day I wake up happy and appreciative of my life, the things I have, and the people I share my life with. Of course there are things in my life which are not perfect, but even on the most miserable and shittiest of days I can look around me and just be grateful.

If you haven't been doing this, try the meme and then turn it into a habit. You'll be much happier for it.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Attack of the guilts

Last night I did something I've never done before and was wracked with guilt. Typically it's not even something I consciously did, but the finger of blame is shouting at me in my head.

Of course I know it was probably a one off, and no harm came of it...but THE GUILT!

As many of you know I wear two hearing aids and BB (Before Baby), I took my hearing aids out for bed.  Obviously I can't do that anymore and have taken to just turning off the one against my pillow.

I've occasionally rolled over in my sleep and as my active hearing aid hits the pillow the feedback prompts me to switch one off and the other on. I can only assume I was so knackered I just turned it off without switching the other one on.

Of course this meant the sound of the baby waking went unheard,  the sound of hungry grumbles were unheard, but the sound of his wailing went on for long enough to eventually alert the OH to wake up and I was subsequently woken very abruptly by a shove.

Of course he was fine, snuggled straight in for a feed and went straight back to sleep.

I, on the other hand,  barely slept at all for fear of repetition!  My social worker for the deaf gave me a baby monitor with a vibrating alert specifically to help with this,  the only problem is it vibrates at the slightest noise instead of the louder baby is awake and hungry noise.  Not helpful.

Oscar is now almost too big for his crib and we're about to start introducing him to the cotbed in the nursery.  This is going to be challenging and I suspect I'm about to really experience sleep deprivation!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

What they don't tell you

All my life I've known that if I had the chance to have a baby I was going to do my damndest to breastfeed.

So there I was, pregnant. Determined . With boobs. Ready.

Midwife: How are you planning to feed baby?
Me: Breast
Midwife: Marvellous! Make sure you go to the parenting class to learn everything you need to know.

*at parenting class*

"Breast is best.... No faffing about in the night... Less to carry...drink plenty "

Marvellous says I! I know everything I need to know. Right? Nuh-uh.

They don't talk about flat nipples, leaky boobs, how many muslins you need, and that breast fed babies still get wind.

And they definitely don't tell you how long baby may feed for. Ok in the main it's about 15-20 minutes,  but then you get the occasional marathon session. Setting times to go places and meet people are loosely made,  friends begin to realise that you're either going to be late,  or arrive and lob a boob out before you've barely even said hello.

This post is brought to you from the sofa,  waiting to get dressed for a much needed shopping trip for nappies with baby still feeding over hour and a half!
Still wouldn't change a thing. :-D

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Relax Baby

With a young baby in the house it can be hard to find time to relax. It's also a bit tricky to get the baby to relax for bed, especially when Daddy works late and arrives home and the baby gets excited!  I kid you not, he may only be 9 weeks old but the minute Daddy walks through that door he's all smiles and giggles for him, no matter if he's been Grumpy Baby all day.

I've been looking to find ways to settle him down on an evening and build a routine for him including, bath, massage, feed, cuddles, and eventually sleep. As well as trying to work out the order of each of those things to suit both us and Oscar, I was also a bit clueless how best to massage a baby.

There are all sorts of videos available on places like You Tube, but none that I can see by any professionals, or that are particularly instructive.  I was recently contacted by the New Stork Times to review their downloadable "Massage for Happy Babies Routine".  It's on special offer at the moment until the end of June and can be downloaded for the reduced price of £4.99 (normally £7.99) from their website:  It's produced by a professional maternity reflexologist and infant massage instructor.

The video is a demonstration in real time with a step by step instruction to massage and relax your baby, it allows you to easily follow along.  I initially made the mistake of trying to watch and do at the same time.  I'd definitely recommend you watch it a couple of times first, and then you can be better prepared, and really just use it as a prompt.

The first time we did this properly together I wasn't sure it was really going to work. Oscar was definitely giving me some WTF vibes! I guess it was the first time we had tried something like this, and it was all new and crazy to him.  After about 10 minutes I really began to see him just chill out.  He was still quite noisy, cooing every so often and flinging his arms about, but his noises and movements were much more "chilled out baby" than "stressed out baby".  Now he settles straight into it immediately.

The routine involves more than just massage and includes some stretches which is especially great if little one has spent some time in his car seat that day.

The final part of the routine is baby on their tummy, which Oscar isn't too keen on just yet.  It's not recommended until baby is about 16 weeks or comfortable on their tummies, so we left that bit for now.

All in all it's 30 minutes of baby bonding, relaxation for both of you, and builds yours and your baby's confidence.  Since starting this I've seen Oscar stretching and reaching so much more.

As well as the massage, if you purchase it you also receive other downloads for free:

Relaxation for New Mothers
Relaxation for New Mothers Hypnotherapy Audio from Cariad Hypnotherapy. Tracey specialises in hypnobirthing and hypnofertility.
New Stork Times Baby Massage Routine eBook It also includes some common FAQ’s
Baby Sleep Solution Report and Audio
Baby Bowen Report
Understanding and Treating Baby Colic eBook
You can find them on Facebook here and twitter @newstorktimes

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Working mum

Being on maternity leave has freed up so much time, I can bake, get my house in order, finish all those unfinished projects, right?


So many people assume that my life now consists of coffee mornings, baking, and watching box sets on Netflix, and that I'll be home anytime they decide to drop in, or that if am at home it will be convenient to call round and cuddle Oscar.

I get to have an afternoon with the girls once week to catch up, exchange hi's and lows and show off our babies. I have appointments at breastfeeding clinics, doctors appointments, shopping to do, a never ending mountain of washing, drying and ironing to do, amongst lots and lots of other mundane tasks.

Oh and I have a baby to feed and look after throughout all of these things. It isn't easy. He doesn't sleep and feed according to my schedule and around things I need to do, so I've become an expert at multi tasking and can even hang out washing while holding the baby.

It's bloody hard, especially when you've had next to no sleep for two days because someone is having a growth spurt and is cluster feeding.

But.... I wouldn't change a thing. He is my world and will come first above everything. So forgive me if I sometimes don't answer the phone, reply to a text message, or acknowledge a comment. I'm busy working as a mum.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Getting the shopping in

I recently signed up for the opportunity to be a #MorrisonsMums along with lots of other bloggers.  Over the years I've shopped at a number of different supermarkets, and tended to favour two of them in the main, swapping between them depending on offers available, and how flush we are! 

When I told my OH what I was doing he got rather excited. He's fairly unique in his species in that he generally doesn't mind going to the supermarket, but he got a bit excited about this, especially when I showed him that Morrisons have permanently lowered the prices of over 1000 every day foods.  For a Bank Holiday shop we would probably normally have taken ourselves to one of the other favoured supermarkets, so we were interested to see how successful this shopping trip would be.

I'm a frequent shopper at Morrisons and can generally predict how much I'll be paying at the till by glancing at the contents of my trolley.  OH and I took the opportunity to treat ourselves a little with this shop.  We stocked up the freezer, topped up the beer stocks, picked up nappies and baby supplies, and purchased items we may normally have gone to a local bargain store for.  I was worried looking at the content of our trolley that we may have blown our budget. Can you believe we had change to spare? That's impressive!

One of the things I love about Mozzers is the wide variety of fruit and vegetables on offer. I'm yet to try everything that's available, but now prices have dropped I'm looking forward to trying a few more things Signs pointing out the reduced prices, and plenty of stock even though it was Sunday on a Bank Holiday weekend!

The final thing that pleased me as we left was a trip to change Oscar's nappy. Nappy changes are not normally cause to smile, I do understand your confusion!  As I've never needed to change a nappy in a supermarket before I asked about baby changing facilities.  As well as being given directions, I was asked if I had everything I needed. I was a bit puzzled by this question, but once inside the changing facilities, all was revealed:

Clearly a baby and parent friendly supermarket - perfect for a #MorrisonsMum

As Oscar was 5 weeks old on Bank Holiday Monday we decided to cook a real treat of a dinner with our shopping.  For me there was only one criteria, it had to contain something I'd deprived myself of throughout the pregnancy.

Steak.  Yes I know I can eat steak when pregnant, but if I can't have it rare, I just don't see the point.  We each had a good sized thick rump steak and cooked it to our very rare tastes.

To prep the steak I ensured they were left out to reach room temperature, and then rubbed down with a little olive oil and then seasoned.  I prefer to fry my steaks, so heated a frying pan up on a high heat, and then added the steaks to the hot, dry frying pan.  With the pan being so hot, and the oil on the steaks, they only needed a couple of minutes on each side to get them well cooked on the outside, and rare in the middle.  Perfect!Served these with mini corn cobs, jacket potato, mushrooms and coleslaw; and we had a veritable feast!

Amazingly dinner only cost us about £7.00, which is bloody good!  If we'd done a Roast Chicken dinner, I think we could have managed that for four servings at about £2 each.  Morrisons have definitely got prices to shout about.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Pretty breastfeeding underwear

A while back,when boobs first started their pregnancy bloom, I struggled with finding nursing bras in those larger sizes, and that were also pretty, and affordable.  Following Oscar's arrival, the post baby bloom arrived and the search was on once more.

My friend Annie who shares similar traits to me sent me a link one day which brought a ray of hope.  She suggested I look at an online shop, very appropriately called nursing-brashop.  At first glance I was immediately impressed by the set up and the very clear indications that it catered to sizes across the board, including those elusive larger sizes.

As well as browsing by size you can also browse by brand, and by type. I was impressed with the variety of types of bras available.  Far better than I'd been able to search for elsewhere.

I quickly placed an order for two bras, one plain and simple, and one pretty one as a treat for myself.  The shop made me even happier when I discovered free UK delivery was part of the service. As I'd ordered quite late in the day I knew dispatch wouldn't be same day, but I received an email the next day advising me about dispatch.  Unfortunately it transpired that my luxury bra was not in stock in my size and I was given an apology and offer of either cancelling that element of my order with a refund, or I could wait approximately a week for it to come in.  I opted to wait, and within a couple of days I'd received my plain one, and within a week I received an update to advise me the second bra was on its way to me.

Is it sad that I was excited about this?  Sadly for me when it arrived I'd guessitimated my size incorrectly, but the returns/exchange process couldn't have been easier!  It would have been nice if the postage for this had been free, but with free UK delivery I can't really complain.  My exchange was seamless, and alternative size was received exceptionally quickly.

Everyone I've talked to who has searched for larger size nursing bras has somehow missed out on this little gem.  All you bigbreasted nursing mums, do go take a peep at what's on offer.  Let's face it, our chebs deserve a little TLC.