Little Pink Teacup

Little Pink Teacup: October 2013

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Bear - Six Weeks



Last week my baby Bear turned six whole weeks old. Six weeks! Where the dickens did that time go?

Now, I'm not a huge fan of baby updates, I'll be honest, I don't often read them unless it's a big milestone like a year. It's not that I don't care, but I've already been there once and typically they're all roughly the same, and if they're not, they will be soon. I, not sure if they're entirely such a good idea to read if you're the type of person that gets competitive over their child.

But I figured that because it was six weeks and I've been pretty quiet about my little man, I'd share just for fun (I won't be cross if you don't read it though, I promise).



So Bear's doing really well, the health visitor I took him to see yesterday was very thrilled with him and his 'lovely skin'...I'm not sure if she genuinely thought he was a lovely baby as he laid about nude, babbling and smiling, or if she was just so relieved to be having a conversation without an interpreter or hindered by a heavy accent (yes, we live in one of those areas). Weight is average. Height above average and interestingly (for me), head slightly below...it's interesting because we are a family of big heads, the first I've our GP saw Moo, he felt the need to comment on her large head.

He is smiling, babbling, attempting to laugh, winding himself and lifting his head well. He's also doing all those medical things like turning towards light, sound and string at me for seemingly hours on end.

He isn't letting me sleep or opening his palms up.

My next step is to get him out of the swaddle and into a sleeping bag as he keeps wriggling free and pulling the blanket over is head which makes me nervous.

So there we have it...6 weeks...please stop growing so fast little baby!

Clare

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Ozeri Duckymeter



One item I would say that any new parent needs is a bath thermometer considering how sensitive newborns are to temperature. There are lots and lots of different ones out there, but I believe that this blows all the bog standard ones strait out of the water (sorry, couldn't resist).




Using a round, easy-to-read screen (about the size of a 50p piece), the Duckymeter screen lights up either blue, green or red to indicated temperature. Blue is cold, green just right and red too hot. The reading is displayed in farenieght and is clear enough to read from a standing position above the bathtub.

The thermometer is of a reasonably large size, bigger than an average rubber duck and has no buttons or switches, it's sensor activated. The LED screen remains constant whilst in the water, checking the temperature every second. The display will light up blue if the water temperature falls below 95 degrees and red if it goes above 102.2, leaving a reading anywhere between firmly in the green, and therefore safe, area.


Moo is hugely fond of all of her bath toys (and will often be found playing with them on the bathroom floor in the middle of the day), and when bathing with Bear, she gets a lot of enjoyment out of this duck thermometer! For me I find it very reassuring and takes a lot of the doubting I had with my eldest over the temperature of the water, I had been bathing her in water that was too cold and had no idea so it's great to have the thermometer constantly updating the water temperature for me.

Here are my pros and cons...

Pros.
- Constantly checks the water temperature to give you an up-to-date reading.
- Easy-to-read screen.
- Automatic so no buttons or switches.

Cons.
- Can sometimes take a long time to tun off after removal from bath.



The Ozeri Duckymeter is priced at £9.99 and available from Amazon.

Clare

Please note we were sent this item for review, however all thoughts and opinions or my own.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, 28 October 2013

All About Me



I was recently tagged in this post by Donna and so thought that I'd give it a go!

1) First off tell us your name and what you do (nice easy one there)…
I'm Clare and I am a restaurant supervisor in a small, independent coffee shop as well as working part-time in my husband's business coaching sport to children (I spend a lot of time doing the boring stuff nobody else wants to do).
2) I live at home with…
We are the husband (Mister Teacup), our eldest who is three (Moo) and our youngest (Bear) who is seven-weeks.
3) My favourite thing to do is…
Visit the Tate Modern, ride roller coasters and drink coffee with anyone important in my life.
4) My favourite thing to eat is…
Steak. Cake. Cheese.
5) When I get cross I…
Scowl, pout and sulk because I'm very immature like that.
6) Sometimes I worry because…
Sometimes? I'm ALWAYS worrying because that's what I do. If I haven't got something, I'll find it...
7) My favourite book is…
A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Attwood.
8) My favourite toy is (easy now)…
I love Spyrograph as a child? And the wicker picnic basket (I used to pretend to be a poor, country girl living in the extension). Moo has a fantastic Disney Princess castle that talks which I could entertain myself with for a very long time.
9) I dislike…
Racism, human rights violations, cheap perfume, spitefulness and anyone who thinks that making someone feel small in any way is acceptable behaviour.
And snakes. Yuck.
10) When I grow up I want to be…
Hmmm. I want to be a home-owner and financially secure. I'd also like to work for myself. Regardless, I'll be happy so long as my children are happy and healthy and they both out-live me. When I grow up I want to make them proud.

And here's a picture of my mug...

Apparently I now have to tag some people, sooooo I tag...

Kelly - tiasmum 12
Michelle - Satchels and Pearls (such a beautiful blog)

Clare

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Traditional Toys


I love traditional-style things. I'm not a huge fan of plastic, strait lines and contemporary when it comes to my home (unfortunately my husband is the opposite and my house is rife with black furniture and gadgets).

I love a traditional, old-school toy. Yes, bells and whistles are exciting but by joe does it stunt a child's imagination some. Recently my toddler is battling between gadgets and her imagination. She lives her innotab and our iPads but we try to limit these and encourage her to go off and play with her kitchen, castle, Duplo etc.

Here's my pick of my favourite old-school toys.


Probably the greatest, most appealing and diverse toy of all time; the rocking horse.
Beautiful, elegant and fun, a rocking horse looks absolutely gorgeous in your home and provides endless fun for your little one. I fully intend to get Bear one for his first birthday. No child could fail at looking adorable on one of these bad boys!
Rocking horses - Little Bird Told Me £85+ (available in a range of sizes from 9m-3yrs+)

Fun for big 'uns, little 'uns and everyone in between...skittles.
Go on, you can't resist, I can't resist...there's something super fun and tempting about rolling a ball and creating carnage! I love a good game of skittles and o definitely prefer these wooden style ones, the faces make it all the more fun to send them flying!
Pirate skittles - Not on the High Street £15.99 (also available are fairy skittles).


School-ground favourite, Cat's Cradle.
Literally hours of my morning break and lunchtimes lost to this at primary school.
And I was rubbish but this would make a fab stocking stuffer.
Cat's Cradle game - Not on the High Street £3.99


Entertaining for the little ones, the push-along.
Available in a variety of designs, these usually wooden (more modern ones plastic), having moving legs that spin as if walking as you push them along the floor.
Great for winding up the cat!
Blue Bear Push-along - Big Jigs Toys £8.99


Last, but no means least we have the beautiful, timeless classic; the dolls house.
Oh how I would love to have one of these in my house, have been dreaming of one beautifully decorated, with quaint little dolls and Moo sat playing with a ribbon in her hair...
...the reality is I have a contemporary-decorated home, my daughter despises ribbons and fussiness of all kinds and her hair often resembles that of a guinea pig that's had a run in with the Hoover (seriously, it's a curly mop of blonde craziness)! Moo is a loud, active, clumsy, tomboy. Think bull in a china shop...on Red Bull. She has a plastic Disney Princess castle that she adores, but as we all know plastic is hard-wearing (fished Sow White out of the loo last month), she's not quite ready for little pieces of wood and cloth. Fingers crossed for next year!
Dolls House - Toys'r'us £49.99 (currently half price-Oct '13)

Clare

Please note this is not a sponsored post, all information was sourced by myself.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, 25 October 2013

Be Nice and Man Up


I warn in advance that this might be considered a somewhat controversial post, I'd like to apologise in advance if it offends anyone.

I sometimes think that social media is a bit of a curse. If you follow me on Twitter, then you'll know that I'm on it regularly, tweeting away random nonsense, possibly over-sharing and a bit of whining that only a sleep-deprived mother of a young baby can achieve. You might also know that I loathe Facebook. My newsfeed was either constant moaning, lists of trivial information like their day's to-dos and stupid captioned pictures. I'm not into all that, and when I'd try to talk about what I consider to be genuine topics, about issues that are important to me such as racism and human rights, I was set upon and argued with. This is something I don't really encounter on Twitter though I'm not sure if it's to do with the kind of people that use the platform...or the kind of people I befriend and added to my Facebook.

Recently I've thought more and more that actually, social media can turn some small-scale issues into massive witch hunts, scandals and full-blown dramas. Why? Why do we do it? It doesn't make anyone happy, so why? There is so much in the world going on...and people are freaking out at supermarkets and hurling abuse at take-away providers. We are all aware that the people that have to answer these tweets and messages are people too, right? That whoever authorised or made the mistake, was a person, with feelings and thoughts and not, in fact, a robot incapable of ever making a mistake, ever.

I think I reached my limit around the time of ASDA's mental patient fiasco. As someone who has suffered from paranoia, anxiety and depression (and that's to name just the fun stuff), I guess you could consider me to have mental-health 'issues' (call it denial, but I consider myself incredibly lucky that that's all I have after a short-lived career in social care showed me exactly how I could've ended up). So I'm 'mental', okay...but like most of us 'nutters' I'm actually a reasonably-well-functioning member of society who also happens to like horror films. What's the connection? Well, in the horror-genre, patients of mental-health establishments are often portrayed as dangerous and terrifying (they're usually ghosts though, long dead and super crazy), which is what a certain Halloween costume was based upon. To be upset by this I would also have to be upset with the notion that people think all mother's who've suffered the loss of a child are crazed murderers (Friday the 13th), that a jealous child can become a serial killer (Halloween) or that any house that's seen a death is haunted (just about every ghost film, ever). If we're going to start flying off the handle on something such as Halloween costumes, then surely we should extend it to the whole horror business, correct? And what about fiction in general? Where were the local authority when Harry Potter was living in the cupboard under the stairs? Where were the benefit fraud officers whilst Grandpa Joe laid in to bed twenty years? He clearly was well enough to leap out of bed, dance to a jaunty tune around the room before toddling off to a certain Chocolate factory...

Do I sound crazy yet? Am I reading too much into this? I know you're sat there thinking that mental health has a stigma that wizardry and Michael Myers does not, and you'd be right. I'm not saying that the supermarkets in question were right, they weren't, and I'm not supporting what was done but it was a mistake. The people who run the website, the twitter and Facebook accounts...they're all people. People make mistakes. Yes, a large company is faceless, but the people on the front line are not. They are people that get up, feed their children and then go to work, just like you and me. They are people who have to work for their money and aside from making a very small-scale error (blown up by a very large network) have never caused anyone any harm. I work in retail, I've dealt with shouting, screaming, rude and insulting customers. It's not nice. Why can't people just be nice when standing up for what they believe in? Nastiness isn't needed, ever. When did we all become so sensitive? Shouldn't we all just man up?

If people put as much effort into the real problems in the world as they did the Halloween costume scandal, think of what we could achieve! I saw more about that 'incident' (and I'm still seeing it mentioned now) than I ever have about the poor migrant workers who lose their lives trying to get away from a nightmare existence. More than human rights atrocities. Not. Cool.

What do YOU think?

Rant over (apologies).

Clare

P.S. I noticed it seems to be acceptable to dress as a zombie nurse/headless horseman/witch. I don't see any medical professionals or wicans taking to Twitter in outrage, not to mention all the recent uproar in regards to decapitation. Personally I feel that the outrage over ASDA and Tesco did nothing to educate the ignorant on mental health.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Absence




Hello all!

You may or may not have noticed that I be not been around much and therefore not been blogging my usual amount. This is because I've unfortunately been quite unwell with exhaustion and dehydration and so haven't had the energy the blog or even think, I'm spending quite a bit of time sat on the sofa at the moment, often with a thumping headache. So until my brain returns to a bit more normality, I'll leave you with some questions that are playing on my mind...

- Why does my toddler mumble whilst walking down the road but scream indoors?
- Why is my baby always sick on me and never my husband?
- Why can't anyone in my household keep things clean?!
- Why do we have a delivery service for everything but exclusively pudding? Sometimes (especially when poorly) I just want cake. Cake and chocolate. Cake, chocolate and biscuits. I want them all delivered to my door by a young man with thumping bass music playing from his car and I won't be satisfied until I get just that.

And now, a really cute picture...



Be back soon!

Clare

Labels: , ,

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Bright Bots Terry Nappies



You can call the way I dress my children many things but 'dull' is not one of them! I have always been a fan of colourful clothing and accessories for children and when Moo was a baby I actively sought out baby vests and sleep suits that weren't pastel. I loathe an over-load of pastel on babies, and I really don't like too much white, either. That doesn't mean I shove them out of the door looking like a clown caught in a horrific paint-factory explosion, I like to think that they at least look co-ordinated and smart to a certain degree (they are children, after all, not show-ponies), but colour is big to me.

I even extended this thought process to Bear's reusable nappies, opting for something a bit more exciting than your average white when selecting my terry towels. I originally came across Bright Bots on Amazon. An Australian brand, they bring colour to the world of cloth nappies and as far as I'm aware, are the only brand of excitingly-coloured terry nappies out there! 



Bright Bots are available in their standard 'brights' which are blue, green, red, lime, orange and the lushest royal purple I have ever seen or the 'girls' version which are still colourful, but more muted and feminine colours such as a baby pink, lilac etc. bear being a boy, I thought it somewhat unkind to stick him in a pink nappy, even though I really like pink!

Terry nappies take, apparently, an average of ten washes to reach maximum absorbency so the initial set-up is a bit time consuming but worth it if you want maximum results right from the get-go.

I love the colours that come in the brights pack and I am a huge fan of the presentation (pyramid style) and very basic, minimal packaging, after all, reusable nappies are the Eco-friendly option so a tonne of packaging does defeat one of the point.

I found the sizing of the nappies to be good, not too generous for my newborn and I must admit that I like that variance of terry towels, the different folds to suit your needs, and the ability to adjust and shape them to fit around your awkwardly-shaped child. Here are my pros and cons...

Pros.
- Attractive and colourful.
- Eco-friendly.
- Quick drying.
- Good size for most babies.
- Easy to work with.
- Very absorbent.

Cons.
- Colours can run in the wash the first few times, though this is stated on the packaging.


I'm really happy with my Bright Bots, terry nappies aren't as complicated or as time-consuming as a lot of people think, I wish they were waterproof though as the wraps get on my nerves a bit. If you'd like to try terries, I suggest here for folding tips.

You can buy Bright Bots in the UK from Amazon and a variety of online nappy retailers. I got mine from Fill Your Pants as they had the best price.

Clare

Please note that I bought this product with my own money and was not in any way compensated.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Baby's First Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching (seriously, where has the year gone), it's only natural that as parents, our thoughts turn to our children. This will be Bear's first Christmas and like with Moo, I know he won't be old enough to get any appreciation out of it. I don't care. I still want him to have presents under the tree and a stocking at the foot of his bed, just like his sister did. Moo was almost three months old for her first festive period, Bear will be approaching four months so very similar in age. I still have her 'Baby's First Christmas' stocking and so intend to use that again. It's small, room enough for a few little, token pieces.

I know a lot of people don't do Christmas for babies, but like I said. I do and I feel it's doubly important with a toddler in the house.


John Lewis Baby's First Christmas stocking £9.95

The great thing about babies at Christmas is that big or small, they know no different. Here's a few tips on super stocking stuffers for a magical baby's first Christmas...

A good gift, is a useful gift.
Bibs, socks, weaning spoons...all things that will be needed whether sooner or later so take this opportunity to make something boring into something adorned with pretty paper and ribbon.

Avoid the novelty.
I get it, the urge to buy everything you see emblazoned with 'baby's first Christmas' is strong, it is an incredibly special time for most of us...but remember that it is one day and while the odd bit here and there (things like socks and bibs are a good purchase for your first if you intend to have more) will do no harm, but don't go crazy or you'll end up with a cupboard full of the stuff! In my opinion, the perfect moments is an ornament, invest in something sturdy that will stand the test of time, to be brought out and hung every year as a reminder.

Theme it.
Children open their stockings on Christmas morning, right? Why not fill the stocking with items to make the day extra special? First Christmas socks, a chocolate Father Christmas, new cutlery for festive lunch or a special decoration for the tree...

Shop smart.
Poundland, Savers and Supermarkets all offer very cheap, good quality and even branded items at teeny prices, ideal for filling a little (or big) stocking.



Other great stocking fillers for babies (dependant on age) include a rattle, baby biscuits, chocolate coins, mittens, a hat, a wash mitt, a toothbrush, baby soap, a small book, dummies and fruit.

Is this your baby's first festive fiesta? Will you be splurging or saving?

Clare

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, 14 October 2013

Joy and Joe Sling



It's taken me absolutely ages to write his review, Bear is now five weeks old and I didn't realise that it would take me quite so long to pluck up the courage to take him out in the baby sling. I used only one type of baby carrier with Moo and it was a complete disaster! It was awkward, uncomfortable and inconvenient, no matter how we tried it. The result? Frustration, pains and tears from both of us.

So I was a little bit scared to try a wrap-sling style with Bear but I really wanted to try baby wearing and it was important for my purse and for my blog, to find an affordable product to do just that with. I needn't of been so apprehensive about wearing a sling.



The Joy and Joe soft baby carrier is almost undoubtedly the best sling wrap on the UK market. Made of a single, one-way stretch piece of cotton with a built-in pocket for easy storage, the sling is easy to use in a multitude of styles. So far I've only used the standard and most common 'wear' but I hope as Bear grows older, that we'll be able to explore other techniques. Included with the wrap was a little booklet that featured safety tips and a guide on how to tie your sling and it arrives to you neatly folded away in it's pocket.



It took me three attempts before I perfected the tie, but I was a complete novice and despite have qualifications in tying knots (yes, really) I'm not going to pretend I'm anything special when it comes to these things.

The fabric is nice and wide (20cm wide, 5m long) so that it distributes the weight of your child evenly across your shoulders (a must with my large bosom) and when tied, sits comfortably around our bust rather than on top of it. I personally found it really comfortable to wear and Bear immediately snuggled in once I shuffled him into it (the getting in and getting out is a bit awkward for us still...we're learning) so obviously he approved. 


Back and front view - images courtesy of Joy and Joe.

Our first trip out of the house wearing it, we headed to town via the bus as we were at a relative's home and not our own. We wore the sling for almost two hours across sitting, standing and walking; not once did I feel as if it was insecure, coming loose or moving position. Bear slept for the entire journey and I soon got the hang of wearing my baby strapped to my front.


I really enjoyed our first experience of baby wearing and now that I know the benefits as well as how easy and affordable it is, I'd recommend it to anyone. Here are my pros and cons...

Pros.
- Comfortable for all body types.
- Built-in pocket to fold away nice and compact for storage or travel.
- Affordable.
- Available in variety of colours/patterns.
- Comes with instructions.
- 100% cotton.
- Suitable from birth to 35lbs.

Cons.
- I found the instructions that came within the booklet a little confusing. My husband hen accidentally threw it away and I had to go on to the website to have my next attempt. I found the picture instructions without text to be much easier to follow.

The Joy and Joe wraps come in a variety of colours and start at just £17.99 (mine is from the Plain J collection), they've even got beautiful woven wraps now for those looking for something a bit more luxurious.

Whether you're looking for a great-value first-sling like I was, or you're a seasoned baby-wearer, you honestly can't go wrong with Joy on Joe on both quality and price.

Clare

Please note this product was sent to me for the purposes of review, however all thoughts and options are my own.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

My Parenting Secrets



There's an elephant in the room when it typically comes to groups of parents getting together. I'm talking about the competitiveness. The one-up-manship. The judgement. 

I like to think that my closest friends and I don't participate in this, however I will hold my hands up and say that inwardly I have judged parents who I am not that close to. When my friend's daughter didn't walk until nearly two and mine started at nine months, I can honestly say that not once did I think how much better mine was over hers, we constantly reassured her that she was just into different things and I know I was quietly concerned, not smug.

Unfortunately, not everyone is like this and a relative recently confided that her best friend regularly makes digs about how her daughter still sleeps in their room at nineteen months. While that's not for me and yes, I'll admit, it's not conventional, I'd certainly never say it to her face and make her feel as if she were in the wrong. Nobody's at harm, right?

So, with this in mind I'd like to step forward and offer up ten of my parenting secrets that either make me a really bad or a really good mum, depending in where you stand!

1. My toddler's rarely allowed juice. Only on special occasions and only then with food. It's water or milk in our house.

2. I prefer my children to not have too many character or branded items of clothing. I prefer plain, neutral or non-labelled items, too many cartoon characters in my opinion is tacky. The same goes for toys and books too. I much prefer to encourage my children to embrace and use their imagination, create their own characters or when reading a book, imagine what that character might've looked like without television or film dictating it already. Typically, I don't buy such items myself, but leave it to family and friends as it's easier to tell people what they like by listing characters and films

3. I let my toddler eat some meals on the sofa and she often eats at a separate time from us. And all with the television on...

4. Toddler only wears her pyjamas all day if she is ill. The baby rarely leaves the house in his sleep suit.

5. I have absolutely no issues telling your child off along with mine if I see them fighting.

6. Sometimes I let my toddler watch cartoons on my iPad in bed so I can eat my dinner in peace.

7. I'm a cuddler, I cuddled my eldest to sleep until she was over a year and I'm doing the same with my youngest. I don't think it does any harm for your children to know you love them. 

8. My toddler regularly sneaks into my bed at night and snuggles with us. I'm okay with this. Most of the time. Sometimes baby joins us too. Four in the bed and the little one said...

9. If the baby drops his dummy on the floor (indoors) I pop it in my mouth and then give it back. 

10. Until recently my toddler still had a dummy at night. She still has a bottle at bed. She's three.

So there, I've revealed what I think puts me in last place in the mummy race...but yknow what? My children are clean, healthy and happy. So what if my toddler can name all ten Disney Princesses but forgets to take her knickers off at the toilet sometimes? And so what if my baby laundry is constantly piled high because I dress him so much? We function well.

Would anyone like to share their 'parenting secret'?

Clare

P.S. I swaddle my baby too...and he loves it!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, 7 October 2013

NMA - Through the Never



NMA - Non-Mummy Adventure.

So Friday was a few firsts for me; first hair cut in about a year, first time I'd made an effort in my appearance since before Bear was born,  first time I'd been to the cinema in over two years and the first time I'd left Bear for longer a walk to the corner shop.

My husband and I drove to Crawley on Friday afternoon to see the new Metallica film 'Through the Never' at the IMAX. I'd left Bear that morning with my husband to go to the hairdressers, but I was only gone for about ninety-minutes and just down the road. Crawley on the other hand is an hour's drive away from our little home and so we were apart for several hours. I will admit I was a bit teary as I said goodbye but only because I wasn't with him and not because I believed he would receive anything but the best care from my mother-in-law.

We stopped off before the film to meet up with a friend and have a cheeky Starbucks. Now, I'm a coffee snob, I'm not going to lie. I wouldn't go so fa as to call myself an expert but work in the industry and I know good coffee. Starbucks is way down on that scale however my husband loves their frappucinos and I will admit their seasonal drinks provide a pleasing novelty. I ended up with a salted carmel hot chocolate with lashings of whipped cream and despite the fact it needed to be hotter and I had to ask for a spoon, it was very nice. I also necked a single espresso in the hope I'd stay awake for the whole movie. 



The film itself was a super-amped, high definition, three-dimensional mega-concert with a bit of a story spliced in. My husband and our friend loved it...I thought it was okay but then again, I'm not a die-hard Metallica fan, whereas they are. I've seen them live a few times, there's only so many times you can hear 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' without being bored if you're not a majar fan. I thought the story would be more present and involved, it was a bit narsacistic but then when isn't something like this? It was odd, gory, graphic and loud...essentially a metal fan's dream movie. Like I said, it was okay.


We finished our evening with dinner at TGIFridays, discussing the film, our up-coming gigs and the big Metallica announcement this week. The men didn't find my attempts at humour funny...I suggested the bad was breaking up, as well as a multitude of cross-dressing-based rumours. I also decided to attempt what I perceive to be the biggest burger, ever (foolishly didn't get a photo) and managed it (but donated half my chips).

I really, really enjoyed myself, however, because although dinner and a movie is quite mundane for most, for me the whole experience did wonders for reminding me who I am, underneath the layer of myself labelled 'Mummy'. It reminded me that I can still look nice, wear clothes unsuitable for breast-feeding in and have my company enjoyed if not talking about anything child-related.

Here's my 'ootd', excuse the toilet selfie!


I'm already looking forward to my next evening out.

Clare

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, 4 October 2013

What IS in a name?

In the blogging world we have total control over how much we share with people. We can be totally anonymous (though I bet that's really hard) or completely open to the whole world. We can use silly nicknames to discuss the people in our life, or we could use initials, abbreviations or just their names.

I choose not to share my family's names on my blog because I share my location and our photographs, I think there is such a thing as too much sharing...however I don't look down my nose at those who do. I have mentioned them on both Twitter and Instagram previously, however. My daughter is Moo because, weirdly, that's what she's called at home, or more often, her name followed by the word moo, as if it were double barrelled. I don't know why but I know she's not the only little girl with that name who gets called it! My son is Bear because for the longest time my husband wanted to name him Charlie (which I didn't like) and the only thing that kept springing to mind was 'Charlie Bear' so it sort of stuck.

My husband is simply that or 'Mister Teacup'...because the latter sounds funny!

I, as you know. Refer to myself by name...Clare, I do this because while anonymity is there to protect my family, I wanted to be as open and as honest about myself as possible. 

Rambling over now!

Clare

Labels: , ,

3M Nexcare HotCold Maternity Breastfeeding Compress


Breastfeeding is very, very new to us. I wasn't able to breastfeed Moo for a number of reasons so Bear has been a total learning curve, they are like chalk and cheese, only sharing reflux and good sleeping habits (the latter of which I am SO grateful for, and have probably jinxed now).

I feel like you are flooded with advice on breastfeeding, at least in our NHS trust...too much, perhaps and not all of it terribly useful or practical unfortunately, but for all the leaflet, vague health-care professionals and propaganda on health centre walls, the missed out one incredibly important fact; it hurts.

I had no idea that something so natural could hurt so much (aside from giving birth, actually, as women, we get a bit of a rough deal)! It didn't for the first couple of days and thn suddenly, BHAM! Pain, so much pain in the nipple department. Turns out Bear had slight tongue-tie and in the first few days of life, did quite a bit of damage to me. Apparently it's quite normal for it to hurt and doesn't necessily mean that you're doing it wrong, he was gaining weight like nobody's business so we had certainly cracked it. His tongue-tie was corrected nd we carried on with our feeding though the pain remained.

It was at this point that I was reminded that I had been sent some hot and cold breast pads by 3M Nexcare to try. They can be used either hot to stimulate milk flow before a feed (not a problem for me, I'm stimulated enough, I over-produce) or cold to ease pain and sooth after a feed. Brilliant, those bad boys went strait from the package and into the fridge to chill.


Just before the next feed, I went and got a chilled pad from the fridge, popped it in it's little cotton cover and kept it to hand for when we had finished. With Bear fed and winded, I gave the pad a try, applying it to the breast I had most recently used it did offer some comfort and relief from the soreness. The instructions say that you can pop it into your nursing bra and so because I don't have the spare hands to go around with one pressed to my bosom, I did just that. The instructions recommend that you do it for no longer than 20 minutes which I can understand as it did strt to ache in an overly-cold way. They did the trick though and my breasts definitely felt less tender after I'd used them. Here are my pros and cons...

Pros.
- Sooths sore and swollen breasts after a feed.
- Easy to use, simply pop in fridge to chill and once used, put back again.
- Clear Instructions.
- Soft, washable covers.
- Diverse product (did not use hot as wasn't needed).
- Wearble comfortably in bra.
- Clear instructions.

Cons.
- Packaging is only cardboard and quite flimsy, I would be concerned that they could daily get upturned by an inconsiderate postman.




I would highly recommend these to anyone just starting out breastfeeding for the first time or to anyone suffering from a lot of pain. I feel that they provide relief and reduce the need for things such as nippe shields.

Clare

Please note I was sent these for the purposes of review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Christmas Wishlist #1

With the shops starting to stock festive goodies, my thoughts have turned to Christmas; what I need to plan, what I need to buy...and what I would like to receive (hehe cheeky)! So here's a few little gems that I've come across...can you tell that I'm a bag person?



Have you spotted any goodies for Father Christmas to bring yet?

Clare

Labels: , ,

Little Explorers



We (Moo and I) were recently picked by Cussons Mum and Me to be 'twesters' (Twitter testers) for their new Little Explorers range. Little Explorers is their children's (post baby-stage) toiletries with four products on offer; bath 'crackles', hair and body wash, bubbly bath and squidgy soap. Below I have included three mini reviews of the products (sadly our hair and body wash befell an unfortunate accident and I was unable to find it locally to re-purchase).



Funky Fizz Bath Crackles.
A single-use, foil sachet of green and yellow popping bath crystals that fizz in the bath; think popping-candy for your tub! You simply run the water, tip them in and listen for the pop and bang, as well as watch the water 'change colour'.
Moo was not a fan, she has a thing about certain textures and she felt like there was 'dirt' at the bottom of the bathtub. This is purely something about her and I thought they were fun, even if I did drop half the contents down the toilet!

Pros.
- Quite loud noise which is exciting to children.
- Smell lovely.

Cons.
- If changed colour of the water, only vaguely to a light aqua green, not as exciting as I had hoped.



Super Shapable Squidgy Soap.
A pressurised can (like hair mousse) that dispenses shapable soap foam. 
Moo LOVED this and enjoyed experimenting with the nozzle and had lots of fun rubbing it onto herself and washing...and making a mess.



Pros.
- Fun.
- Shapable.
- A little goes a long way.

Cons.
- Difficult to control amount dispensed.


Mega Mild Bubbly Bath.
A generously-sized bottle of bubble bath that is really kind to delicate and sensitive skin whilst still giving quite a hefty amount of bubbles, it's ideal for use in toddler baths and smells lovely and clean (I know that sounds like a stupid statement, but some toiletries can smell so perfumed and strong).
Moo enjoys a good bubble bath so this ticked all the boxes for her.

Pros.
- A little goes a long way.
- Nice scent.
- Large quantity.
- Bottle easy to grip.

Cons.
- I really couldn't think of anything, it's a mild bubble bath that does just that. Cannot fault it!

I would definitely re-purchase the bubble bath and I did already buy a second packet of the bath crackles as Moo saw them in the shop and begged for them (even after her experience...once again she was afraid of them). I'd be interested in buying the hair and body wash that we never got to try (if I can ever find it, obviously popular) and yes, I would buy the squidgy soap also, but perhaps not regularly as Moo gets a bit over-excited with it.


The Little Explorers range is available in shops now priced at £1 for the bath crackles, £2.49 for squidgy soap/hair and body wash and £2.99 for the bubble bath.

Clare

Please note we were sent these items for the purpose of review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Labels: , , ,