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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 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: spoiling the sibling

Week: 39 Waist: 40 inches (no change) Feeling: In the mood to spoil I’ve spent my first week of maternity leave thoroughly spoiling BB, knowing it could be the last week it’s just the two of us at home. I’m probably setting us up for problems with the level of spoiling that’s gone on, and as predicted, it’s been a fairly busy week. We’ve been to the park, the library, baked, eaten the products of our baking and this afternoon we’ve got a hotly anticipated trip to the cinema. This morning, with BB safely stowed at pre-school, I also had a pre-labour pedicure so my feet are now officially ready for the delivery suite (when I had BB I had one foot firmly wedged on the midwife’s shoulder, so thought it best to safe than sorry). […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: it’s been a BAD WEEK

Week: 35 Waist: 40.5 (+0.5 inches) Feeling: Hormonal Highs are always followed by lows. This time last week I was feeling rather smug after the baby’s head engaged and instead of feeling even more uncomfortable and full of pressure I felt liberated because I could breathe freely and my heartburn subsided. I did a five mile run in which I felt like I was skipping and marvelled at how well I felt. Not anymore. This is probably the result of it having been a trying couple of weeks owing to Misery Guts spending two days in hospital with a severe migraine (again) and almost two weeks recovering at home (it’s a long story) and my tiredness from the whole ordeal finally catching up with me. It all started when we went to Ikea to collect a chest of drawers big enough to take BB’s and the new baby’s clothes. I’d never been to an Ikea before, and I never want to again. It brought out the worst in me, and next time I’ll happily pay the £39 charge to have an item delivered to my door. In fact I would pay more than that if it meant not having to drive for two hours, queue to get into the car park, battle my way through people wandering about in no particular direction in a windowless vacuum with lights that are too bright only to queue to collect the damned thing and then again to pay. […]

If someone had told me this is what lunchtimes would involve, I wouldn’t have believed them

She might have just turned 3, but BB is itching to start school. She asks me daily what colour her uniform will be (I don’t know because it depends which over-subscribed school we actually manage to get her into), who will collect her and pick her up (again I don’t know because it depends how far away said school is) and can she go to the school in Time For School on Cbeebies (at last a question I can actually answer – no.) Being an August baby by this time next year she will be in reception class, but until then I’ve got to come up with ways to satisfy her school curiosity or suffer death by questioning. So when aplaceforeverything.co.uk asked me to review LEGO’s latest lunch box set, launched to celebrate the release of the LEGO movie, I had an idea: we could start, like school, having ‘packed lunch’ at home (pictured). This is a brilliant idea, even if I do say so myself. I realise it’s a total waste of cling film, but the look on her face as she unwraps each item and says ‘wow’ is worth it (also pictured). […]

By |September 15th, 2014|Family life, Food, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: it’s no surprise my waist has expanded this week

Week: 32 Waist: 38.5 inches (+0.5 inches) Feeling: Crampy legged I’m pleased to be able to report my craving for chicken soup now appears to have passed. In fact I don’t think I’ll be eating any for a very long time. Instead I’m eating and drinking other things it would never occur to me to consume normally, like squash (the liquid kind). I’ve been ridiculously thirsty throughout the entire pregnancy, and lately I’ve really been fancying squash, which I haven’t drunk for years. So when the nice people at Vimto kindly sent me some samples of their new no added sugar Squeezy water enhancer they came at the perfect time. […]

Thanks to the garden we switched the telly off for TWO WEEKS

Living in a fourth floor flat means being able to run through a door into a garden isn’t an activity which features in BB’s usual routine. So when we decamped to my parents’ house in Dorset while they were sunning it in Spain for two weeks BB thought all her Christmases had come at once. She pram pushed (pictured), she scootered, she ran barefoot in the grass, she watered the plants and ate breakfast, lunch and dinner in the great outdoors, leaving CBeebies mercifully switched off for almost our entire trip, which has got to be a holiday in itself. With her 3rd birthday falling slap bang in the middle of our holiday and with the garden at our feet it was the perfect opportunity to throw a birthday barbecue and try out a set of garden games we were sent by Two Little Fleas, who are encouraging families to spend more quality time together by playing outdoors this summer. […]

I managed to pull off a recognisable Peppa Pig cake using Brio…

Apologies for the radio silence. We’re one week into our two week holiday in Dorset, and while I thought I’d post as normal for one reason and another it hasn’t turned out that way. But before it’s too late I thought I’d share the result of the plans for BB’s 3rd birthday cake which have been going round in my head for the last month (pictured). It took more than four hours and a lot of rolling up icing and starting again but I managed to pull off a recognisable Peppa Pig eventually. I’m not sure Mary Berry would approve of my methods: I used Brio level crossings to mould the house into a square (the only things I could find that were small and solid enough) and the daisies were shop-bought, but apart from that I did it myself with the help of a hemisphere cake tin from Lakeland (I’m thinking this can be used to make owls/hedgehogs/princess dresses in the future). […]

By |August 18th, 2014|Craft, Family life, Food, Parenting, Recipes|0 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: hello third trimester

Week: 28 Waist: 37 inches (-0.5 inches…again!) Feeling: Coming down with a cold, worst luck The quest for decent maternity clothes continues. When I was expecting BB in 2011 there was a plethora of inspiring ranges to choose from, and I remember having to rein myself in to curb the spending. What’s changed? Last month I ordered four tops from H&M – nothing fancy, several vests and a ‘smart’ top – but the fabric was so thin it was virtually transparent so I sent them straight back again. Instead I’ve spent the last few weeks in a (non-maternity) maxi dress from Peacocks, which is just the ticket in this hot weather. Sadly this isn’t going to see me into autumn though, and it was while pondering this that I stumbled upon what actually appears to be a nice selection of affordable outfits to house my growing bump. And you’ll never guess where from: Asda. That’s right, you did read correctly. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my waist has got SMALLER

Week: 26 Waist: 37 inches (-1 inch) Feeling: Still chickeny Oddly, my waist measures a whole inch less than it [...]

What’s wrong with a big pot yoghurt poured into a bowl and eaten with a spoon?

It’s been almost 10 years since Ella’s Kitchen pioneered the squeezable ‘pouch puree’ baby food concept and despite claims the format is no match for real fruit/veg and is no substitute for a ‘proper meal’ blah blah blah it’s fair to say the market is now awash with copycat brands. Which is why I was surprised to discover that gourmet yoghurt brand The Collective’s new Suckies are the first fresh branded yoghurt pouches on the market for kids. You’d think Petits Filous or someone would have thought of it before – why has it taken so long? Needless to say BB’s eyes lit up when a polystyrene box full of samples landed on our mat for the purposes of review this week. Like Ella’s Kitchen, Suckies come in brightly coloured pouches which became instantly referred to by BB – and no doubt countless toddlers – as ‘the red one’ and the ‘green one’ as opposed to their proper names. […]

By |July 23rd, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments

Perhaps ‘Two Kitchens Kate’ simply wants to be a wife and mother

If you could have two kitchens, a fully staffed and automatically stocked one with catering standard equipment and a ‘private’ one for when you fancy preparing a meal in bare feet without a professional chef peering over your shoulder, would you?I ask because I’m becoming increasingly incensed by reports of ‘Two Kitchens Kate’ at 1a Kensington Palace. Apparently the Cambridge’s have put in an all-singing all-dancing kitchen, which presumably palace protocol dictates they have, and which  ‘scandalously’ cost £170,000 of taxpayers’ money (don’t get me started: it’s generally agreed the monarchy bring in as much tourist revenue as they cost, an industry which supports one in 12 jobs. And I bet the Cambridge’s are responsible for a large stake in that. Of course the methodology varies, but their wedding was said to boost London’s economy by £107m while the birth of Prince George boosted consumer spending by $383m according to Britain’s Centre for Retail Research) plus a smaller one for ‘Kate’s’ – why oh why does such sexism still wheedle its way into the British media? – own personal use.I don’t blame her. What if she fancies making Prince George’s tea herself, and actually wants to be the one to scrape the peas off the wall and floor afterwards? […]

By |July 7th, 2014|Family life, Food, Money, News, Parenting, Weaning|0 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: chicken soup for the soul (or baby)

Week: 23 Waist: 36 inches (+0.5 inches, possibly owing to Misery Guts’ work trip to the Cadbury factory) Feeling: Chickeny I’ve developed my first pregnancy craving: chicken soup. And not just any old chicken soup. It has to be fresh (tins are a no-no), it has to have actual pieces of chicken in and there can’t be any other ingredient other than chicken (sweetcorn is the stuff of the devil). I realise it’s been one of the hottest weeks of the year, but I can’t get enough of the stuff. I’m sipping as I write. It’s now got to the point that my local Tesco has been sold out of its Creamy Chicken Soup for three days in a row, and I’ve had no option but to move on to the Finest version instead, which oddly isn’t as nice (forget Covent Garden, have you seen the fat content?) […]

‘My snaps are soft and my fig rolls are flaccid’

That’s not a euphemism, I’m deadly serious. There’s an emergency in the crummy mummy household: the biscuit tin is failing in its one sole task of keeping the biscuits fresh. Within days of opening a new packet the ginger snaps are soft and the fig rolls are flaccid, despite a satisfactory sounding ‘click’ when opened and closed. After a thorough inspection of the lid, which is pierced with lots of little holes I’ve always assumed are necessary for freshness, I can’t figure it out. Misery Guts says there’s probably rubber on the other side of the holes and something has perished, resulting in stalegate – is he right? I have absolutely no idea. The thing is I don’t want to just replace the tin with a new one because it was a wedding present from a school friend (I can’t tell you the number of kitchen utensils now forever associated with old friends). And it might only be four years old, but we’ve got history: I dipped into it for ginger snaps in a bid to relieve morning sickness, I feasted on fig rolls when possessed with breast-feeding induced roaring hunger and it’s where BB now carefully selects her chocolate covered malted milks between finger and thumb. […]

By |June 27th, 2014|Family life, Food, Parenting, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Top Bananas! The best family recipes ever

At last. It may have taken two years but Mumsnet has finally compiled a cookbook featuring Mumsnetter’s best recipes, which means no more bookmarking pages from the website and balancing my laptop precariously next to the kitchen sink while attempting to recreate the concoctions. The compendium of wise is called Top Bananas! and features the tried and tested recipes of more than 300 mums with dishes ranging from basic Broccoli Balls to Luscious Lamb Shanks. As well as speedy suppers you can create while simultaneously emptying the washing machine and doing general mum things, there’s proper meals for the grown-ups even Misery Guts is game to try. My favourite bit is the chapter devoted to unashamedly unhealthy but rite-of-passage party treats such as Ice Cream Cone Cakes and Party Toffee Popcorn, which will surely send the anti-sugar brigade into overdrive. I can’t actually remember the last time I saw such naughty recipes in a family cookbook – probably my mum’s good old 1980s Jane Asher party cakes book. […]

By |May 30th, 2014|Books, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments