Paddington: there’s going to be a run on marmalade, duffle coats and Cornishware

There’s much excitement in the crummy mummy household: Paddington the movie has finally been released and we can’t wait to go and see it. Admittedly most of this excitement is from me: even though I’ve promised BB there are no Scary Bits she’s slightly dubious after our last trip to the cinema, when I took her to see Book of Life without researching the plot (ghosts + lost souls + Land of the Forgotten = lots of Scary Bits) Mostly I’m excited because there’s nothing like a good old British film at Christmas – acting greats including Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters, famous London landmarks such as Paddington Station and icons of Britishness like stripy Cornishware pottery (pictured) all brought together – what more could you want? Of course there’s no doubt there’s going to be a run on marmalade, duffle coats, Cornishware and everything else Paddington-related as a result, and good on them: I like it when everyday, honest things nobody usually notices get their 15 minutes of fame. […]

Mother’s ruin: Misery Guts is back at work and mum has gone home

The babymoon is over. Misery Guts is back at work, my mum has gone home and BB, Little B and I are on our own, forging new routines and getting to grips with being three. It’s definitely a case of the blind leading the blind, and means only one thing: by 7 o’clock I need a drink. Sadly I can’t indulge as often as I’d like owing to the small issue of breast feeding, so I’ve decided that when I have one it’s going to be a good one. Pictured is this week’s tipple: a mother’s ruin gin cocktail after the nice people at Greenall’s sent me a bottle of their new wild berry blackberry and raspberry infused gin. Misery Guts didn’t need much prompting to whip up one of the signature serves: gin, vanilla syrup and lemon juice with blackberries and raspberries. It was absolutely delicious, although I only dared to have a few sips for fear of going to bed and waking up to find Little B on the floor/under the duvet/etc etc. […]

By |November 26th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes|0 Comments

School admissions: what would God say?

I can hardly believe it’s time to apply for a school place for BB. Being an August baby she’ll start school within weeks of turning four next September, which means we have until January to get our application in. Our first choice is the local Catholic primary, whose performance is ranked in the top 7% of primary schools in the country, which unfortunately is also one of the reasons it’s the first choice of parents across town. The school is so oversubscribed there exists a list of Strict Criteria one must meet in order to be in with a chance of obtaining a place, and that criteria is ranked into Strict Categories. For example, it’s not enough to simply be a practicing Catholic and live in the parish. Our priest must fill out a form stating exactly how often we attended mass in the six months prior to applying for the school place, and when it comes to the dreaded Strict Criteria there’s a big difference between attending ‘frequently’ – twice or more a month – and ‘regularly’ – three or more times a month. Several Strict Category rankings in fact. (Surely twice or more a month could mean three times a month, which makes one a regular attendee rather than frequent, in which case I’m totally lost…) […]

By |November 24th, 2014|Family life, Parenting, School, Work life|2 Comments

Hopefully that’s our last medical-related appointment for now…

Not only was Little B diagnosed with tongue tie on the day he was born, the paediatrician also discovered a heart murmur. This was found at his paediatric check, which took place when he was just a few hours old because we were on a six hour discharge from the hospital. I wasn’t overly concerned: he has a good colour, has put on a whole 2lbs since he was born almost three weeks ago and doesn’t look like there might be something wrong with him. Apparently a heart murmur isn’t unusual in really newborn babies after their circulation switches from running on the inside to functioning on the outside, and we were told that had the paediatric check taken place the following day they may not have detected anything at all. […]

When the nurse brandished some shears I nearly passed out…

At 13 days old Little B’s tongue tie has finally been sorted out. I’m not normally squeamish, but when the nurse brandished a pair of shears scissors to make the snip at the base of his tongue I nearly passed out. And I’m not joking. Admittedly the room was hot – stiflingly hot as only ante natal units are – and I was already feeling a little light headed because it was way past lunchtime owing to the fact they were ‘running behind’. But even so, after reading somewhere that they take the baby away to cut the tongue tie, I didn’t expect to have to hold him down while they actually did it. […]

By |November 12th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy, Weaning|2 Comments

I’m loving NOT being pregnant

Isn’t the human body amazing? It takes 40 weeks to grow a baby but just a matter of days for it to look like there was never anything there at all. This is how mine has changed in the 10 days since Little B was born, although suggesting it looks like there was never anything there at all is stretching it a bit. There’s no doubt I’m a mother: the tell-tale linea nigra across my stomach, the midwife’s needlework skills and the fact I’m in dire need of some serious heavy duty eye cream are all dead giveaways, but all things considered, when fully clothed, I reckon I’ve escaped relatively unscathed. […]

Breast feeding a baby with tongue tie: ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

Little B was diagnosed with tongue tie by our midwife as soon as he was born, meaning a little lip of skin is anchoring his tongue to the bottom of his mouth. Apparently this is more common in boys than girls, and isn’t good in the latching on stakes. The limited movement of his tongue makes achieving a good latch a challenge, and he keeps slipping off because he simply can’t get a good purchase on the boob. As a result he inevitably ends up sucking the nipple as opposed to the breast, meaning both are now cracked, bleeding and Oh So Sore. Luckily the situation is affecting me more than him – rather than losing weight as many newborns do he’s actually gained 5% of his bodyweight since birth and now weighs 8lbs. It’s the actual feeding which is the problem, and has made me realise that breast feeding a newborn and breast feeding a toddler are two completely different things. […]

By |November 7th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy, Weaning|0 Comments

I may have overplayed the ‘he won’t actually be able to do anything’ card

I think it’s fair to say BB has taken to being a big sister like a duck to water. After six weeks of broken nights and being generally unsettled in the run up to Little B’s arrival, almost a week in we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. She goes down at night without a fuss about ‘the baby in mummy’s tummy’, sleeps through the night and no longer wakes up grizzling. She loves kissing him, looking at him and lying next to him (pictured), and I may have overplayed the ‘he won’t actually be able to do anything yet’ card as she’s delighted when he simply grips her finger. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: we did it!

I fully expected to be penning a week 41 post today: instead I am writing this with our four day old son sleeping peacefully on Misery Guts’ chest. That’s right: BB is officially a big sister after Little B graced us with his presence in the early hours of Thursday morning. Just three days overdue compared to BB’s 14, his delivery couldn’t have been more different – or quick. Instead of being anchored to a hospital bed on my back by an epidural, heart monitors, various drips and a catheter I delivered Little B on all fours in the tranquillity of a birthing pool on the 13th floor of the Royal Sussex Hospital with the bright lights of Brighton twinkling outside. The midwife passed him to me under the water and he emerged calmly blinking up at me, less than two and a half hours after arriving at hospital apparently only 2cms dilated, and then we climbed out of the pool and snuggled down on bean bags on the floor. […]