Thursday, 26 May 2016

Tips for decorating a child's bedroom

I absolutely loved decorating my two daughter's bedrooms.  Well, I say loved.  I didn't love the sanding of the walls and the mess, but I definitely loved planning and designing their rooms to not only look good but be pretty functional too, housing the pile of 'stuff' that seems to be ever expanding and includes the most random toys and objects.  A butterfly pen and shoe box lid are currently the coveted items of the month if you are interested.  Today I thought I'd share a few tips if you are thinking about decorating a small persons bedroom.  

1. Get pinning
If you haven't caught the Pinterest bug, then seriously where have you been?  Pinterest is amazing for getting room inspiration all in one place.  You can search by colour, by style, by furniture.  Start by creating a board and pull together what you like.  You should see some sort of pattern or theme begin to emerge, whether that be bright colours, neutrals, animal safari or stars.  If your little one is old enough, get them involved too and let them look at children's bedrooms online to see what they like or don't like. 

2. Now forget half the pins
As I've said, Pinterest is amazing, but it also has alot of unrealistic designs on there. Designs that only Kim and Kanye could afford and pull off.  An actual carved tree complete with bed and swing probably isn't going to fit in your three bed semi. Now's the time to start to be realistic about what you can afford, what will fit in the room and what is going to be practical.  That's not to say forget the tree altogether if that's what you like, but try to think how that could be incorporated into the room, maybe with a picture or use of linens.   

3.  Think about the longevity of the room
If your little one wants pink unicorns all over the walls, that's great. But, you're going to have to be prepared to re-decorate when they change their mind on the whole mythical creatures thing. Our daughter is almost four, so as we were paying for a new built in wardrobe in her bedroom, we also decided to have a desk installed which will be useful in years to come.  

4. Accessories
If you aren't completely redecorating a room, playing around with accessories can refresh and change the feel of a room.  Sites like notonthehighstreet have gorgeous items that would fit perfectly in any child's bedroom.  Using cushions and bed linens can pull a room together, and don't forget the windows too.  Changing the curtains can really refresh and re-style a room.  Places like Dunelm and B&Q have good selections of curtains.  If you need blinds, the VELUX website has some beautiful themes and fabrics specifically tailored to little ones. 

5.  Have fun with it
I knew that I wanted my daughter's bedrooms to be a bit different and we came up with a safari theme and star theme.  Even though they are different, the colours we used are still keeping in with the overall colour theme in our house.  You can look at our finished star theme and safari theme bedrooms here.  

Decorating a child's bedroom should be a fun process and whether you go all out and re-decorate or choose to refresh the room, just go for it and have fun, because if you can't have a giant dinosaur on the wall as a three year old, when can you?

Thanks for reading, 

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This post was kindly sponsored by VELUX.  All words and opinions are my own. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Enough is enough

Regular readers of my blog will know that we have really struggled with LL and silent reflux.  When I last blogged about it, I wrote that we were going to give weaning a try and see if that would settle her symptoms and pain.  You can read all about that here and read how I felt belittled and questioning myself when I saw the GP before Christmas.

Fast forward to a week ago, and after a horrendous weekend of no sleep and LL being unsettled, I decided enough was enough.  Even though I'd read weaning could help symptoms, I really didn't feel like I could cope with the silent reflux any longer.  It wasn't fair on LL nor on us. Feeling constantly tired is so draining, and I just thought we shouldn't have to cope with this.  At 6 months, we shouldn't still be up eight times a night with a crying baby in pain.  

I rang the GP surgery early in the morning and got an appointment that same morning.  I'd been awake most of the night with LL and I'd gone over in my head what I wanted to say, and what I wanted from the GP.  After my previous failed appointment I wanted to be more prepared this time.

I attended the appointment and I must have talked for about 5 minutes without drawing breath.  I told the GP that I'd been sent away before Christmas, but LL was still suffering and things were no better.  I told him of her symptoms, the crying, the pain, the back arching, never sleeping for more than 2-3 hours, the constant drooling, the reflux that I could see her swallowing back.  I told him I could cope with alot, but I felt that this was it now.  We needed treatment.

After listening to me, the GP began to try and reassure me this was all normal.  The pain is probably linked to teething he said.  Teething!!!! I argued that she couldn't be teething since birth and that I wouldn't have booked to see a GP for teething. I said I wasn't happy. 

More discussion followed about how he thought this was normal, and I argued my point that being up 8 times a night with a 6 month old is not normal at all.  I then told him my profession, and I said as a professional and a mum, that this is not normal.  Eventually he asked what it is I would like to do, and I suggested a trial of ranitidine. He reluctantly agreed and told me I'd need to return in 3 weeks.

As I walked out the surgery, even though I had got the medication I wanted to try LL on, I wasn't happy.  Yet again I had been made to feel like it was me.  I felt I was being undermined.  I am well aware that medication is not always the best thing, and I know that sometimes things are 'normal', but for 6 months now I have struggled.  LL has struggled.

Was it me? Is it me who is struggling? Is this normal? Luckily my husband is amazing, and he supported me 100%.  He has seen how LL is.  He's heard me get up in the night dozens of time to settle her when she is crying.

It's so strange, because in my profession I wouldn't have thought twice of arguing my point or standing up for what I believe in.  But sitting there as a mum and asking for help felt very different.  I was nervous, unsure of myself and although I managed to convey my concerns, I still left feeling that maybe I should just get on with it.

I hated bringing my job into it, but I felt I had no choice.  I felt I wasn't being listened to.  But really, my job has nothing to do with it whatsoever.  I sat there as a mum.  I sat there as a mum just trying to get support for her baby. A mum who knows her baby better than anyone else can.

And so here we are.  We are now trialling ranitidine twice a day.  I really hope it works. I really want it to.  I want LL to not be in pain and I want to feel awake and not like a zombie.  I want to stop worrying about what type of night we are going to have.  I want to stop Googling the effects of silent reflux and stop lurking about in reflux message forums.  I just want this reflux under control.  Enough is enough.

Friday, 20 May 2016

New Baby Gift Ideas

My lovely and dear friend has recently had a baby, hello if you're reading, and last week I got to finally meet her beautiful daughter and have those intoxicating and utterly perfect newborn snuggles.  Having trawled the internet for the perfect present, I thought I'd share with you what I picked out to welcome a very special new arrival. 

Greeting blanket
There are so many blankets to choose from when you search for a new baby blanket that it can be a bit overwhelming, but as soon as I decided on buying a blanket I knew precisely the company and type of blanket I wanted.  I picked out the Pure Love Bamboo greeting blanket from the wonderful company, Nature's purest.  My friend had actually bought the same blanket for Bee, and it is the softest and most beautiful blanket, that 4 years later, we still use.  This blanket is a perfect size for a newborn and is so so soft.  It comes in a beautiful keepsake box too. What makes this product stand out for me is the company.  Nature's purest is a small Leicestershire based company and the customer service is amazing.  To me, that makes all the difference.  I bought the blanket direct from them and I really felt like a valued customer (they didn't know I was a blogger).  I can't recommend them enough. 

Another company I absolutely love is Jelly Cat.  Their little rabbits seem to be a staple in any nursery.  I was browsing their website and found this gorgeous whale chime.  I do have a slight obsession with stripes, but I thought it was so gorgeous and the little chime noise it makes is lovely and perfect for a newborn.  

A black and white book
I found that after I had LL, I had lots of beautiful books to read to her, but none that she could actually focus on and look at clearly.  As we all know, babies focus on high contrast colours which in turn aids their visual development.  I picked up this black and white bath book from Priddy Books which is ideal for a newborn due to the soft pages. 

I also found a lovely selection in Marks and Spencer and chose this Shapes and Patterns book. 

When I had just had Bee all of those years ago, a lovely friend came round completely unprompted with a huge container of delicious pasta bolognese.  She brought it around on a day that our cupboards were bare and I think I had had 2 hours sleep.  I can honestly say it was one of the kindest things someone has ever done for me at a time I really needed it.  I've never forgotten it.  After having LL another amazing friend left a meal for me and my husband on our doorstep in a little cool bag. I really do have the best friends.  

I think that whenever you see new parents, taking them something to eat is a must.  Even if they say they are ok for food, taking them something they can stick in the fridge or freezer really does help.  In those heady first few weeks, preparing a meal really can seem like mission impossible with a crying baby, engorged boobs, raging hormones and empty cupboards because you can't get to the shops.  The gift of food really is an amazing gift, and I think way more useful to new parents than a bunch of flowers (unless they're edible). 

Hope that gives you some new baby gift inspiration, 

Thanks for reading, 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Mothercare Orb : Review

Whilst buying a pram is one of the loveliest and most exciting things to do when you are expecting a new baby, it's also one of the hardest decisions known to man, and will involve at least one argument regarding the price of said pram with your other half. Brain surgery is not as complex as debating between the hundreds of prams available, debating their ability to fold down with one finger whilst looking nice and fitting into the boot of your car alongside a weekly shop. 

With this in mind, I thought I'd write a review of the pram we purchased for LL.  Our old pram that we bought for Bee was like the beast of prams and to be honest was quite knackered from all the mileage its done. After lots of debating, procrastination and one argument in the car park we plucked for the Mothercare Orb in grey.  

This is the Orb in pushchair mode, slightly reclined. 

My first tip before we go any further, is to look at the website Idealo , it tells you the current price of hundreds of products and has information of when that product has been on sale and for how much.  We nearly bought the Orb at full price, but held off and got it amazingly cheap during a Mothercare event.  

I absolutely adore the Orb and we've had lots of compliments on it when we are out and about.  Setting the pram system up initially was a bit tricky as all we had was a big booklet of diagrams, however, on YouTube there are lots of videos on how to set it up and we found these much easier to follow.  

In pram mode, the base of the pram is lovely and soft and the pram feels strong and sturdy.  It fitted quite snuggly in the boot of my car, but I don't find it too bulky. It's also really easy to put up an down, and sure, it took me a little while to get used to it, but I can now do it at super speed before Bee can even start to complain that I've not unfastened her seatbelt.   

We have now converted the pram into pushchair mode as LL is 6 months old and this really is where the orb comes into its own as you can 'spin' the chassis so baby either faces you or faces out.  This is perfect for me as I didn't like how Bee suddenly faced out when she was too big for the pram mode, I like to still be able to see what LL is up to.  On a couple of occasions when LL has been really unsettled we've been able to spin her round and looking at the world has provided a distraction for her and settled her, and probably given her a rest from looking at us. 

The Orb handle lifts up, the chassis spins and baby is then forward facing.

I can't comment on the corresponding car seat for the Orb, as we used Bee's infant car seat, but the Orb was compatible with a buggy board for Bee. 

I highly recommend looking at the Orb if you're looking for a new pram or pushchair. There are hundreds of prams to choose from out there but this really does tick all of the boxes for me and I couldn't be happier with it (and I'm not even sponsored by Mothercare). 

Thanks for reading,  

Monday, 16 May 2016

Six months

I can't believe LL is now 6 months old and I know that is a complete cliché to say.  But today I look at her and just feel amazed at this little person developing and growing in front of my very eyes.  Of course, she still needs my constant care and attention and she looks so tiny sometimes resting on my hip as I carry her around, but she is no longer that tiny, tiny 6lb 2oz baby that we brought home.  She doesn't have that very newborn baby smell that I can't quite find the words to explain.  She no longer squeaks or has a tiny little cry.  She no longer lies still in a moses basket and looks around trying to focus on faces. 

My little LL now rolls and smiles and giggles.  She holds her arms out when she wants picking up, and when she cries she makes a 'mmmm' sound, that to me sounds like she is saying mama.  She stares intently at Bee, and watches her every move.  She is fascinated with Pablo the dog and loves to try and grab a handful of his hair whenever he is unfortunate enough to be within her arms reach.  She can roll over and sit up. She loves cuddles and would happily snuggle on my knee all day if she could. She also loves her milk and I'm sure she would snuggle and breastfeed all day long too if I let her.  

For the first 6 months of having a baby, it's like you are in a cocoon. Everyone showers you with love.  Parents give you a knowing smile when they see you.  Strangers are fascinated and eager to meet your little newborn.  Those six months are so hard, yet so absolutely wonderful.  My heart grew so much to love LL like I never knew it could.  There was a LL shaped space in our family all along that I never knew existed.

I feel so proud of her.  My beautiful little baby girl.  Healthy and growing and thriving. But a part of me also feels a little sad.  

I feel sad that she no longer fits into the carry cot of her pram, she instead proudly sits up in the push chair mode and looks around. I feel sad that the moses basket is now in the loft and I will never get to rock her in it ever again.  I miss her kicks when she was in my stomach throughout the day, my constant little companion.  I think I won't ever walk into a hospital again and watch a heart beating inside me on a little screen. I won't go in one day in the midst of labour, feeling anxious, scared and excited, and then leave with a tiny baby the next.  I feel that a chapter in my life may now be closed.  

And it's oh so easy to get caught up in those moments passed.  To yearn for those feelings, yearn for time to pause or move slower.  As the days go by, it almost feels like trying to catch bubbles and hold onto them without them popping.  An impossible task.    

But I know there is so much more to come.  When she takes those first steps, when she utters her first words and watching LL and Bee's sisterly bond grow and develop. 

We may be breaking free from that cocoon of the first six months, but I am excited for our new adventures.  Life is too short to try and catch those bubbles without popping them, because if you waste your time doing that, you lose sight of the magic and fun of just actually being in the moment and enjoying every single bubble. 

Happy six month birthday LL x

Friday, 13 May 2016

OGX Weightless Hydration Coconut shampoo and conditioner : review

I am a tad fickle and not very loyal when it comes to shampoo and conditioners for my hair.  I tend to just go with whatever I fancy in Boots, never being loyal to a particular brand.  It completely depends upon my mood on the day as to what I end up coming home with.  Bar a very pricey internet purchase of products after the birth of my first daughter (I blame the hormones and the products were rubbish), I tend to buy reasonably priced products, because for my hair they do the job.  Now that my hair is ALOT shorter (but not a mum bob), I knew I wanted something that was still conditioning but also wouldn't weigh my hair down.  

I have used some of the OGX products before, and so I thought I'd try their Weightless Hydration Coconut Water shampoo and conditioner.  I find that some coconut products can be very sickly smelling and overpowering, but the scent on this is light, fresh and almost sweetie like.  I love it.  My hair feels so soft after using, and it really doesn't weigh my hair down at all.  You only need a very small amount of product and I've found that I haven't needed to wash my hair as often as I was doing with my previous hair products.  

My very short hair has quite alot of colour through it, but the conditioner is rich enough to feel as though it is conditioning my hair, without it feeling weighed down and leaving a residue.  OGX products and ingredients are not tested on animals and are all paraben free. This is my new favourite, and I am only sad that I haven't found this product earlier.   

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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Trusting your instincts

One of the things that has been drilled into me from when I started my paediatric training a long, long time ago, was to trust a parents instinct.  Parents know their child better than anyone else, they are with that child most of the time, and more often than not, if they feel something isn't quite right, it's usually because it isn't.  Whenever I used to see families, I would always bear that in mind, and I've supported many a parent in accessing their GP or local services because they had that feeling.   

Health professionals are notorious for being able to give advice, but not being so great at applying it to themselves, and this is exactly the position I found myself in just before Christmas.  I knew something wasn't quite right with LL, and in the back of my mind I just knew it was silent reflux.  All her symptoms pointed towards it.  She was so unsettled, would have long crying periods and hardly slept at night, crying in pain and tensing.  But, she was otherwise well, was meeting all of her developmental milestones and everyone commented on what a happy little soul she was when they met her.  

I began to doubt myself.  Was I just imagining it? Was I really tired and struggling and just laying the blame on LL? 

As the days went by and she didn't get better, I then began questioning myself again. What was I doing wrong? Was it my breast milk? Was it something I was eating? Was it the quick labour? You name it, and I thought it, usually coming to the conclusion it must be something to do with me. 

Things came to a head several days after Christmas when my husband had witnessed how unsettled she was all day.  On the fourth day of no sleep and a crying baby for most of the day, we agreed I'd go to the GP.  I had made notes to take with me as evidence really, to tell them my concerns. I also thought I'd tell them my job, thinking that they may take my concerns seriously.  

I still have the list I made on my phone: 

Appears in pain after feeds, often inconsolable.  Jerks and tenses. Hard to settle. Wakes every 20 mintues in pain at night.
Snuffly nose, very mucousy
Sometimes gags
Frequently comfort feeds
Hiccups alot
Lots of wind
Affecting her as time settled is not very often. 

I read that list now and feel really sad.  I feel sad that it's such a long list that I made, and I was clearly very tired and desperate for some help.  

The GP made me feel very stupid.  He said that some babies were unsettled and that she was probably crying because she was breastfeeding and she wanted to be close to me at all times.  But surely it's silent reflux I said? He asked me what I wanted to do, I said I didn't know, and he told me to come back if things didn't improve. 

I left the surgery nearly in tears. So basically it was me after all, I thought, it isn't silent reflux at all.  I had a perfectly healthy baby and I was wasting the GP's time.  I decided then to just get on with it.  If I had to have no sleep, then so be it.  If she needed to be next to me all the time, then so be it.  But still at the back of my mind I had this niggle that something else was going on. 

It's only recently that I came across my list again.  And LL still has very unsettled periods, unsettled nights and appears in pain. Her symptoms perfectly match silent reflux. After more research, it can settle once baby is weaned onto foods as food is heavier than milk, it can keep any acid in the stomach where its supposed to be. LL turns 6 months in a few weeks so we are going to hang on for a bit longer and hopefully once weaned things will improve even more.

Things are definitely better since those crazy few weeks, but I still feel annoyed with myself more than anything really, because I didn't listen to myself, I didn't trust my instincts.  Those first few months could have been very different if we had got medication for LL and had been seen by a paediatrician. But as my dad said to me, what's done is done now, and there's no use dwelling on it.  

This is quite a personal post for me really, but I wanted to share with you, because if there is anyone reading this with concerns about their little one, then really keep shouting about it until you are heard.  Your instinct really is everything.   

It took every ounce of me to get through some days on one or two hours sleep, and hence the reason why I had been completely absent on my blog. If anyone else is going through similar, hang on in there.  Things do get better and be kind to yourself.  Being a parent is hard, and if you've got an unsettled baby with no sleep, it's even harder.  

As I said, we're not quite out of the woods yet, but I know things are improving because I'm sat her typing away, and some nights when I get a bit of sleep it lifts me up for the next few days.  Parental instinct is everything, I just wish I had been a bit stronger and listened to mine. 

Monday, 9 May 2016

Initial necklace

When LL was born I really wanted a piece of jewellery that incorporated something linked to her and her big sister.  I wanted something really delicate and discreet that could be worn everyday, but was also smart enough to wear in the evening.  During my usual research nights (also known as Googling and being on Pinterest during night feeds), I came across a gorgeous initial necklace that Blake Lively had worn at an event. 

It was very pretty and delicate with a tiny circle with an initial engraved upon it.  The search was then on to find a replica of this necklace, and it wasn't easy.  Many of the necklaces I found had circle pendants that were way too big, that were way too expensive or were too cheap and didn't look like they would last very long. 

I had almost given up, and then I found Minetta jewellery on Not On The High Street and their personalised delicate disc necklace was just perfect.

The chain is very thin and delicate which is just what I wanted, and the gold discs are small and perfectly sized for two very tiny initials which have been hand stamped.  I ordered the 14K gold fill necklace with chain length 45.5cm. 

I love that the company is based in England and most of their pieces can be personalised, meaning that the necklace supports small businesses and without a site such as Not On The High Street, I wouldn't have otherwise found.   

This would make such a lovely gift for anyone really, or as a little treat for yourself. I think this necklace looks so pretty as well as meaning something very special and keeping my girl's initials close to me.

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Friday, 6 May 2016

Using a baby Carrier Sling : review

When Bee was a baby, I didn't really carry her around in a baby carrier all that much.  We had a Baby Bjorn carrier that I sometimes used if we went out for a walk, but other than that I didn't tend to use or need it all that often.  With LL it's a completely different story.  I don't know if it's because of her silent reflux that she likes to be upright most of the time and close to me, or the fact that because she is baby number two I haven't unfortunately got that luxury of being able to carry her around and potter about like I used to do with Bee (this mama has to get stuff done).  Maybe it's a mixture of the two, but I am now a total convert of the baby carrier sling.    

I admit that I was never very keen on 'baby wearing', in fact I don't really like the term.  It sounds like you're putting your baby on like a hat, and I always thought it looked a bit precarious to be honest with a knot here and there. One of my lovely friends lent me her Kari-me baby carrier sling and honestly, I now wear it most days.  LL absolutely loves it and within minutes of going in she's settled and often will fall asleep. 

Baby carrier slings differ from the more structured baby carriers due to the fact they are literally just one very long piece of fabric.  You tie and wrap the fabric around your body to almost create a 'pocket' for baby to sit in. 

The first thing you have to master is how to fasten the sling and once you've got the hang of it, it's so so easy.  I think most baby carrier slings are based on the same basic tie method (obviously always check), and I just watched a few YouTube videos and within about 10 minutes I had mastered the basic knot. I found this video, How to Moby Wrap, really useful.

I find the baby carrier sling much more comfortable to wear than a more structured baby carrier as you can adjust the weighting on your shoulders and fan out the material.  Due to how baby is positioned it also means that their weight is more evenly spread.  This means I can often just wear the sling around the house and get on with jobs and I also have my hands free for essential afternoon tea parties of plastic food and ballet lessons with the dog from Bee!  

I can definitely see a difference in using the carrier sling, LL is close to me and she just looks much more snug and comfortable, and because the carrier is made of a strip of fabric, it's so easy to take out and about and also to wash.  

As with any carrier, there are precautions to follow, such as making sure baby is positioned correctly and ensuring their airway is not compromised.  

I can't recommend the carrier sling enough and honestly, it's so easy to do once you've had a little practice.  There are quite alot of styles and brands to choose from, and comparing my carrier to my friends, there is little variation (that I can see), they all seem to work on the same premise, but differ in designs and fabric compositions. 

Getting a baby carrier sling is now an essential for me, and I wouldn't go back to wearing the more structured baby carrier.  Using a carrier sling really has saved my sanity on more than one occasion, and a happy mama is a happy baby (well, most of the time).

Thanks for reading,  

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

This is not a mum bob

You may have noticed by now, but I went and did it.  I cut all of my hair off! Well, most of it.  I had been debating cutting it short for so long, and nearly did it half way through my pregnancy, but I stopped myself as I wasn't sure if it was me or the pregnancy hormones talking.

Just before Christmas, when LL was a month old I went and got it cut to just above my shoulders.  I was so so fed up of the amount of time it was taking to wash and dry my hair, it was like a military operation washing and drying and styling it and I really wanted a change.  This is a picture of me just before I had LL, and my hair was soooo long. 

In that first appointment I had it cut to my shoulders and it felt amazing.  When I first washed it, it felt so lovely and strange to hardly have anything to wash.  It did mean I couldn't just tie it up as it was too short, but the time I saved on drying it (it used to take me at least 15 minutes to dry) meant I could style it by just putting a few loose curls through it.  Here's a picture of phase one of the chop. (This picture just reminds me of being absolutely exhausted, LL had been up ALL night the night before). 

I'm definitely an all or nothing type of person, so last month I decided to go even shorter.  The cut is now just below my chin and it really does feel short.  I asked for quite a blunt cut as I really didn't want a mumsy looking bob.  I may have aged inside since having my two girls, but I still want to look young (ish).  I am a tad addicted to Pinterest for scouting for hair inspiration, so you can check out my page to see the kind of styles I showed to my hairdresser. I was trying to channel Caroline Flack and I think it was one of the Olsen twins (I spend way to much time during night feeds prowling Pinterest and celebrity gossip sites).

I think this is the shortest I'll go, as much shorter and I won't be able to get the curls and waves I like in my hair. Styling wise, I've been using L'oreal Wild Stylers by Next Day Hair spray and it's such a fantastic product for giving freshly washed hair that bit of texture and making it look messy.

I'm glad I had it cut in stages, as it really was such a change.  It also took me some time to figure out how to style it.  I was initially really curling my hair as that was what I was used to doing, but being this short, it literally just needs a wave at the ends.  I've also had to switch hair shampoo and conditioner for one that wouldn't weigh my hair down (review coming soon).  

I think I want to go a bit blonder next time, which is tame as I did tell my husband I wanted pink hair! Looking back at old pictures with my long hair, I do miss it.  But I think I just miss the idea of it.  I really was fed up with it for months before I got it chopped off.  And anyway, life's way to short too have boring hair isn't it?

Thanks for reading, 

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Monday, 2 May 2016

The things I thought I'd never do

Before I became a mum, I watched, sometimes with fascination, at other times with unease - border line disgust, at the things new mums did around me.  I made a promise to myself that I would not do such things, that motherhood would not change me that much, and that I had to draw a line. Then, I became a mum, and that line? I practically stamped all over it. Here's a list of things that I promised myself I would never ever do, that I now totally do as a mum of two. 

1. The Boob Lift
As all breastfeeding mums know, you are supposed to swap which boob you start feeding from at every single feed.  I knew this, and thought I'd get a nice bracelet or failing that at least a hair band, which I could switch from wrist to wrist after feeds so I would know which side to feed my little one from.  The reality? It's a miracle if some days I brush my hair and put a hair band in that, never mind remembering to put one on my wrist. The result? The dreaded boob lift, where you lift up each boob to try and judge which one feels more full of milk.  I've seen mums hoist up their boobs at groups, almost in some yoda like trance, carefully considering each boobs weight and density.  I have to say, I'm much more discreet than that, but nonetheless, I've done the lift. 

2. The Nappy Sniff
When I saw a mum do this I actually recoiled.  She lifted her little one into the air and gave her little one's bottom a good sniff to ascertain if his or her's nappy needed urgently changing.  Why not just go and change them I thought to myself, how lazy! and who wants their bottom sniffing anyway?  Several years later, and I've been known to do the occasional sniff. I misunderstood that sometimes, the whole rigmarole of actually getting everything ready and going to the change room is pretty exhausting on approximately 30 minutes sleep, especially if that awful smell is from that kid lying next to yours.  

3.  Have an annoying catchphrase
Uh, I hate annoying catchphrases.  Just because you have a baby it doesn't mean that you lose your ability to converse in adult language surely? Fast forward to severe sleep deprivation and watching Topsy and Tim and a certain pink pig, and I found myself saying, 'okey dokey', OUT LOUD, to a complete stranger.  The horror. 

4. Share my food
I can remember very clearly that a colleague told me that she was once eating a chocolate cake and her daughter wanted to share it.  My colleague ended up eating hardly any of the said cake, and I can remember being horrified.  There would be no way on this Earth that this was ever going to happen to me. Ever. I mean, I really love cake. And now? Whilst I might not agree to give the entire piece of chocolate cake away, Bee definitely has her fair share off my plate. 

5. Sing or dance in public. Sober. 
Pre-baby singing and dancing was reserved for nights out on the town after a few drinks and channelling my inner Beyonce.  Now? I can command a room with my rendition of twinkle, twinkle and actions to wheels on the bus.  Well, almost.  There was that one time when I thought I was on the X-factor.  But my point is, now I just do it. Ok, sometimes I mime, but if it brings a little smile to LL's face, I'm doing it

So there you have it, it's official. I do the things I never ever thought I would, because I've got two little people whom I love more than I ever ever thought I could. 

Is there anything you do now you're a mum that you never thought you would? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading,