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Little B’s first smile: the most rewarding moment so far

At 5 weeks and 4 days old I’ve managed to capture Little B’s smile on camera for the first time. There have been fleeting mini smiles over the past week or so – and never with a camera to hand – but now he’s properly beaming and throwing in gurgles for good measure. After almost six weeks of not sleeping longer than a couple of hours at a time, the pain of bleeding nipples and stinging stiches, the indignity of big pants and industrial strength wadding, scraping poo from under my fingernails (not mine, obviously), soothing colic, cold tea, snatched baths and even colder dinner, to be rewarded with a smile is the most momentous, fulfilling moment so far. […]

By |December 10th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy|2 Comments

Is putting a baby to sleep on their tummy REALLY so bad?

Is putting a baby to sleep on their tummy really so bad? All the medical advice seems to say yes, [...]

By |December 5th, 2014|Beauty, Family life, Health, Parenting, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Phil & Ted’s Dot double buggy review: walking is getting rather tricky

I thought the three year age gap between BB and Little B would eliminate the need for a double buggy. I was wrong. Although BB will quite happily walk the couple of miles to Tesco and back, anything further and she (quite rightly) starts complaining, which given that we don’t have the car during the week and go everywhere on foot is making life rather tricky. So when MadeForMums asked me to review Phil & Ted’s latest Dot double buggy (pictured), I jumped at the chance. The double-decker style forward-facing Dot is designed to hold two children from birth to five years old, with the younger on the bottom and the older on the top. Marketed as Phil & Ted’s ‘most compact’ double pushchair to date, its 59cm wide slimline design makes it no wider than a standard stroller. And with a seat height of 65cms the Dot boasts one of the tallest seats on the market, although the main seat is rather snug and I would say there’s only limited growing room left. I’d be surprised if BB would fit into it when she’s five. […]

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. […]