The Happiness Project – Week 3

I’m going to try and stay in my happy Friday mood and ignore the fact I just lost the draft to this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway…happy Friday everybody! A definitely had the Friday feeling this morning after another messy breakfast! ( I don’t really enjoy weaning at all!!!):

I'm so happy I made a big mess that mummy has to clean up! Yeahhh!

I’m so happy I made a big mess that mummy has to clean up! Yeahhh!

Yesterday I spent most of the day without A and it was LOVELY! My mum looked after A whilst I went to the office to discuss returning to work. This is what I enjoyed:

  • sitting on the train in peace
  • not having to lift a buggy onto the¬†train
  • going for a coffee with a friend ALONE
  • going to a shop ALONE
  • not having to feed her lunch ( I really don’t like this weaning business much!)

I really wish my mum lived here! Not just so she can babysit of course ūüôā

Monday was a very happy day visiting Great Granny, I’m really lucky to still have 3 out of 4 grandparents.

Yesterday A decided to make daddy happy by learning to do squats, they can now go to the gym together:

Other happy moments included my best friend’s baby and A falling asleep at the same time in their buggies in the park so we could have a nice chat, seeing how big the NCT babies have become whilst sitting in high chairs in the pub and seeing my mum.

What has made you happy this week?

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Lunch with Great Granny

Yesterday A and I took the train to go and have lunch with my Granny. In the travel buggy she got and we made our way to Waterloo just after rush hour:

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Yes she has a lot of buggy “friends” to keep her occupied! They should really make more toys that you can attach the the buggy that don’t have a short attachment, none of them are really long enough so I created my own buggy proof toys!

We then got on the train to Salisbury, there is always the “where will we put the buggy on the train” stress. I initially sat in the empty wheelchair area, which is ideal but a wheelchair got on, mild¬†panic set in (if I have to fold the buggy then how will she sleep ???!!)¬†but thankfully, I found a good spot (this was about 30 mins later when she was napping):

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Arabella loves the train and finds it all quite fascinating:

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When she was tiny, I was scared to go on the Tube with her, let alone take a 90 mins train ride. The key is to time it well, ideally when they need to nap so you know that for at least half of the journey they will be asleep!

Granny is my dad’s mum and she is where I get a little “poshness” from, she deserves a full post as she is such an amazing lady, how many people’s Grannies are the world authority of fans ??!! (yep even her books are for sale on Amazon here¬†and here¬†for example). I will definitely write more about her in the future.

A and Granny got on like a house on fire, it was lovely to see them interacting, I think “G” (as my husband calls her, I don’t think she would approve!) was surprised at how much A had changed last time : “she can sit up?!”, “she is going to eat real food?!” etc.

Here are some sweet pics, Granny even got a cuddle (after we had move Granny’s second G&T away from A’s reach…)

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We had a lovely lunch, A only screamed once when a waiter she clearly didn’t like got too close! She was so much better behaved than at home at the moment, I guess it was all the noise etc. I am clearly boring or our flat smells, because the minute we got home she started whining again!

It’s amazing to think that one day I might have lunch with A’s children and their children but then I need to make to at least 90 like G has!

Before we left we took Granny’s first selfie:

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Yes A is a poser (I trained her well!). See you soon Granny!

What To Buy For Baby

I put together a list of things to buy for a pregnant friend of mine and then she sent it to another friend and then I passed it on to two women I didn’t know but who posted on my local parents FB group and who said it was really helpful so I thought I would share it with the world ūüôā

I used my experience and that of friends to put this together as well as the many hours I spent reading about all the stuff you can buy babies! So I broke it down into a few Bs.

  • Body

Your baby will need nappies and clothes as a basic necessity, you can’t do without these but you can definitely do without a lot of the other stuff!

Regarding clothes you don’t know how big your baby is going to be, you can use the predicted weight but its’ not very accurate.¬†My advice would be to buy 10 vests and 10 sleep suits to begin with. A mix of “newborn” and size 0-1 months¬†and maybe one or 2 “tiny baby” just in case. BUY THEM FROM A SUPERMARKET. I wasted money on nice babygros, they come in packs from supermarkets and are totally fine! Have one or 2 nice ones for when people come over but more is a waste of money. True clich√©: they grow out of things quickly and stuff gets poo stained!
However some cute clothes are definitely needed:
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And a Chrismas Elf outfit is de rigueur for a winter baby:
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I used water wipes at the beginning as they are gentle enough to use on newborn skin: http://waterwipes.com. Then moved onto huggies pure and now use Tesco wipes. Coconut oil is great for dry, flaky skin. Sunflower oil is supposed to be great too. Another tip is put a pop sock of oats into the bath if they baby has dry skin.¬†I have baby moisturiser that I have never used so I wouldn’t bother with that.
  • Baby carrier
We have the ergo baby 360 (http://store.ergobaby.com/baby-carrier/four-position-360) and it’s great but fabric slings are better for tiny newborns and good for in the house.¬†They love sleeping in slings, they feel safe and secure. A sling library is a great place to go and try slings on before investing
  • Boobs/Bottle
I could go for hours about my love/hate relationship with¬†breastfeeding¬†but all I will say is go on kellymom.com, it’s a great website about feeding.¬†Be aware of the symptoms¬†of tongue tie, if something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and speak to a professional lactation consultant ASAP!
If¬†you want to express and use bottles, a double pump is the best, they are really much faster. I had the Medela Swing, which is good but wish I’d had a double one. You can rent the Medela hospital grade one or this one¬†is supposed to be good:
MAM bottles are really good when combining breastfeeding and bottle feeding so they don’t get too much “nipple confusion”, which is a whole debatable subject!
  • Bed
If you don’t want your baby to sleep in a draw, then this is what I recommend ūüôā
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We rented this: http://www.bednest.com,¬†A slept in it until she was 4 months old. The great thing with the bednest is YOU CAN GIVE IT BACK. I don’t get moses baskets, they are cute but they can be noisy (they squeak), you can’t clean them and all babies seem to grow out of them within a month or 2.
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The bednest is unescapable!
A REAL¬†GREAT PRODUCT¬†is the Cocoonababy. A actually slept in it until she was 4 months old, we put in on our bed, in the bednest (this is not recommended according to the bednest guidelines but we did it anyway), on the sofa, on the floor etc. It’s easy to transport from room to room or even if you go away,¬†babies are super cosy and in a natural position it in and it avoids “flat head syndrome”. It can also really help with reflux as they are not flat on their back.
Newborns can’t control their arms and legs and the movement often wakes them up so swaddling is important, you can wrap them yourself in beautiful swaddling blankets¬†like we did (but probably didn’t do it enough):
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but I would recommend buying a swaddle with Velcro or a zip like this:
Here is the Cocoonababy and the beautiful swaddling blankets in action:
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White noise can help them sleep, so get your hands on Ewan the Dreem Sheep or our friend Eddie.
  • Bath

This¬†bath seat is indispensable (you can also buy it here), if not you have to hold the baby and wash it at the same time, which is really hard! 10 pounds well spent, I don’t know how people manage without one!

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  • Buggies

I would either buy the Uppababy Cruz¬†or Vista¬†because they both have massive baskets and a good pull down sunshade.¬†You can’t go wrong with either and the Vista can even become a double buggy.¬†The second best thing is probably a Bugaboo. We don’t have a car so how easy folding the buggy is doesn’t matter to us but if you’re going to use a car a lot then think about that (the mamas and papas Armadillo Flip XT is easy to fold for example).

  • Bits and Bobs

You don’t need to buy a specific changing table unless you want to, we just have a changing mat on top of a cheat of drawers. We even use this kitchen trolley (from Ikea) to store muslins, wipes etc. I would buy good quality muslins (less is more) as the cheap ones are not very so or absorbent.

http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/30216536/

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We have a nappy bin but its not indispensable. Changing bags that come with a changing are mat are really useful but you could just use any bag as long as it fits on the buggy.

I bought this baby gym from Mothercare and she still uses it, another 10 pounds well spent!

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A bumbo can be useful before they can sit up, but it’s definitely worth buying a second hand one.

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A bouncy chair is also very useful:

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I would really advise mums to be¬†to buy THINGS SECOND HAND except for a mattress and a car seat (unless you know for sure it’s not been in an accident), make a list for friends so you don’t only end up with clothes.

It’s myth that they wont let you leave the hospital without a car seat, you can carry babies on your lap or in a sling in a mini cab: it’s the LAW: https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules/when-a-child-can-travel-without-a-car-seat.

That’s all I can think of for now!

The Friday Happiness Project – Week 2

Happy Friday everyone! This week was fine, I had one bad moment, which I will blog about another day but this post is about happy things! So what has made me happy this week?

-watching all of True Detective, it’s VERY dark but so good. I think it contained some of the most twisted stuff I’ve seen in a long time. It ended at Lafayette General hospital, in the same town of a shooting at a cinema yesterday, very sad coicindence. America, please put down your guns. Moving on…what are we going to watch next?

-I got creative and finally decorated one of the walls in A’s room, still not finished but looking much more like a child’s room. I am now obsessed with gettingr the flat really finished, one last project before I go back to work.


– This might not seem like much but I’m going to be sent my first baby product to review soon, which in my life as a blogger is an exciting milestone!

– I weigh the least I have weighed in years #sorryimnotsorry

– A discovered the joys of strawberries and started initiating peekaboo #proudmummy


  
What made you happy this week?

10 Naughty Things I Have Done Since Becoming A Mum (and some I still do!)

So let’s be honest, having a baby is far from easy (even though some people seem to make it look/sound easy, I’m pretty sure these are the same people who “never revised” for exams but always got good grades…) and sometimes a mum’s gotta do what a mum’s gotta do to survive! I’m not proud of this list of 10 naughty things I’ve done as a mum but I hope it makes some of you feel better! Some of these are funny, some sad and some not really that bad …

  1. Said “I’m fine” when clearly I wasn’t and didn’t understand what on earth I was supposed to be “enjoying” about motherhood – I’ll admit it I hated most of the first month but that’s OK, especially when you’re dealing with tongue tie
  2. Put the baby down for a nap “awake but drowsy”, I.e. Crying, get in the shower and then pray that once I turn the water off, the crying will have stopped – thankfully we are finally past this stage
  3. Told my newborn to shut up in the middle of the night – again see above
  4. Relied heavily on “buggy naps” – definitely still happens especially in the afternoon
  5. Not washed my hair for nearly a week – thankfully this doesn’t happen anymore, definitely need a hair cut though
  6. Pretend I didn’t have time to cook so we can have a takeaway for dinner – this still happens but my husband doesn’t read my blog!
  7. Spend far too much time on my phone rather than get down on the floor and play with my daughter – need to work on this one
  8. Eat chocolate every day – see above
  9. Put the iPad in front of my 7 month old during breakfast so I can drink my tea in peace – have now discovered CBeebies and it’s even better!
  10. Give me my baby McFlurry as her first taste of food – she loved it of course!

What would your list be? Has anybody else done any of these?

Linking up with Honest Mum’s #brilliantblogposts

 
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Maman, Mummy and Mom

I was born in England and then moved to France when I was 7 and came back to England to go to University when I was 18 years old and have been in London ever since, that’s my life basically and that’s why I am bilingue.

My introduction to the French language was quite traumatic, I was put in a French school knowing only a few words, namely: “bonjour, merci, aurevoir, s’il vous plait and chausson aux pommes (I was addicted to them so quickly learnt how to ask for one in the boulangerie). It wasn’t easy but it was definitely an effective way of learning the language as a few tears, lifelong traumatic childhood moments (they are for another post, it involved learning poems by heart…) and 3 months later I could speak French as well as the other enfants. I was even top of the class after the second trimestre (to be fair I was put back a year to help with the language barrier, I then jumped “CE2” two years later so I was back in the right school year).

Hopefully A’s language development won’t be so traumatic! So far I have been speaking both languages to her and now realise this isn’t going to work. I find it weird speaking French to her when I’m around people who only speak English but sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do and so from now on it’s fran√ßais all the way. This should avoid confusion and hopefully she will end up bilingual, its not going to be easy as she lives in England, has an American dad (hence one day if we live in the US, I will become “mom”, I don’t really like that idea as I associate that word with ‘soccer mom” and I cannot be one of those ! Shoot me if I do become one) and I am basically the only regular exposure she has to French. When she is older she can watch French TV and I must start reading French books to her. I’m convinced one of her first words will be “bisou” because I give her like 100 of those a day (did I just write “like”? I’m already becoming a MOM!)

The advantages of being bilingual are obviously numerous; I got my first “proper” job thanks to my language skills and they really helped my career. Also once you know one language, it really is easier to learn others, indeed there was a time when I spoke German (I have to blog about living in Berlin one day).

I have to stop being lazy and not worry about others and really make an effort to speak French to her so then hopefully we will be able to talk behind papa’s back without him understanding a word ūüôā

Why I Love Our Cybex Callisto Pushchair

Back in the January sales, we bought a Cybex Callisto pushchair (http://cybex-online.com/en/pushchairs/callisto.html) as we needed something lighter and easier to fold than the Bugaboo Frog, which recently got a puncture so I have switched to this.

I’ll get straight to the point or its best “USP” in my opinion. We first used in on holiday in Tenerife and fell in love with it back then but I hadn’t realised a key feature which is that the hood can cover the whole seat and therefore the whole baby, which would have really helped in the sun!!!

Indeed no need for finding shade and using swaddling blankets and pegs:

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When you can do this:

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This is a seriously great feature that I haven’t seen on any other pushchairs. Most people have to buy a cover to keep¬† little legs out of the sun and create a dark environment that blocks out stimulation for naps.

The rain cover is great too, it actually FITS and stays put:

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The handlebar is quite high, which I find comfortable but it might be a bit too high in you were on the short side. Folding it down is easily done by pressing on the button on the handlebar and pressing down on the back. Its got a handy pocket on the back of the canopy. The basket at the bottom is the main let down as its not very big and not that easy to access

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I still managed to fit quite a lot of “stuff” in it!

It’s not¬† the lightest of its kind but I can lift it and there is a handle on the side that you can use once its folded.The seat seems comfortable and large enough to last a few years. I think I’ll use the other one for when I go shopping or need to carry a lot of stuff but if not, this is the day to day buggy from now on.

It’s just so much easier to push, especially one handed which when you live in a building with multiple doors is a real plus!

Hopefully we’ll be using some more Cybex products in the future.

The Friday Happiness Project – Week 1

Happy Friday!

On Sunday night, I watched the “Happy Movie” (http://www.thehappymovie.com/), it was a really positive movie with some interesting scientific facts thrown in (some people are genetically less predisposed to happiness – unfortunate for them!). It made me think about what makes me happy and what would make me happier. I recently wrote a post about winning the lottery, for me the main advantage to becoming a millionaire would be to be able to make others happy, indeed winning the lottery won’t make me happier – this is actually a scientific fact “As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness.”. What would definitely make me happy would be to make my closest friends and family financially secure and to be able to spend time with them by going on amazing holidays!

The plan is reflect on the week every Friday and remind myself of some happy moments in the past week. So here goes:

  • Arabella getting her second tooth this week, this means that hopefully the crazy night teething will pause for a few days! Its also really cute to see her with 2 bottom teeth.
  • Eating a delicious lunch at Shake Shack with my best friend and our babies
  • My brother is working at my sister’s company for the summer and he got an email thanking him from a customer on his third day at work, that made me really happy
  • Monday was a really happy day, my sister came to visit us and its so nice to see how excited she was to see and play with Arabella

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  • Arabella wearing her first hair clip – so cute!

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So this week, a lot of the happy moments came from family and friends, not material things (well except a cheap hairclip). Some THING that is going to make me happy is the Chipotle Burrito my husband will bring back tonight for dinner!

Have a happy weekend everybody!

Baby Products That Need To Be Invented

If anybody would like to become a billionaire, you simply need to create one of these products, as far as know none of them exist:

  • A self cleaning high chair
  • A high chair with high sides so no food can be thrown on the floor
  • A bib that ties around the waist so it doesn’t ride up
  • A “weaning hat” so hair doesn’t get covered in food
  • An “attach spoon” so said spoon can’t be thrown on the floor
  • A treadmill or “vibrator” for buggies to get babies to sleep, ideally could be used with a crib too
  • An integrated white noise surround sound machine for cots
  • Nappies that NEVER leak
  • A cheap, lightweight sturdy playpen, could be inflatable but with high sides
  • An “anti-rolling” sleeping bag with an integrated sleep positioned or something
  • Glow in the dark teether
  • Glow in the dark cup

Do any of these things exist?

As I think some of these ideas are brilliant, I’m linking up with #brilliantblogposts
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

How My Life has Changed in 7.5 Months

Back in November 2014, out “popped” Bella-Roo and as the¬†cliche goes “our lives were changed forever” but how so? Here are a few insights into my new life…

I am now thinner than before I got pregnant but my boobs will never be the same again, this is very sad as they used to be one of my best “assets”, I need to think of what my new “thing” will be and probably have to wear push up bras for the first time in my life. Sigh.

We no longer regularly eat in restaurants, again I am thinner (I’m not saying thin, let’s not get crazy here) but we spend less money.

I get excited when Bella-Roo sleeps past 7AM, I have indeed learnt to take pleasure in the “little” things. Indeed I now love Lidl chocolate, good bye Paul Young, hello SMP and Lidl.

I have an excuse to have beauty treatments at home in the evening, however this happens once about every 2 months (see SMP above).

Going to a bar on a Saturday night and being asked for my ID was probably the highlight of the year but then once I was in said noisy bar, I just felt like a MUM.

I have plenty of time to buy clothes online in the sale for Arabella for when she is older (this is called saving money Mister B), yet this means she has about as many clothes as me, good for any friends having a girl in the future bad for my wardrobe space.

I have a lot of time to read things on my phone so am quite up-to-date on current affairs, however I am getting tendinitis, yep life is hard.

The good times (her giggling, smiling, playing with her, teaching her things, putting her in cute clothes, seeing how she loves the bath etc)¬†do make up for the bad times (the crying, dirty nappies, whining, trying to do everything with one hand, the mess from feeding her, the list goes on…). I’m definitely trying to make the most of it before I have to go back to work, oh no I won’t have to because I AM GOING TO WIN THE LOTTERY.