Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Day Zero Project

Fellow Mummy blogger Love in the Nest has recently started a 'Day Zero Project'.  This involves listing 101 things that you wish to accomplish in the next 1001 days.  Number 13 on her list was to inspire someone else to start their own.  She can now tick this one off!

I started writing my list 3 days ago and have finally finished.  Although I began feeling a bit nervous at the enormity of the challenge, nerves have finally given way to excitement and now can't wait to start ticking them off.

I will be blogging my progress along the way and will be linking up to my Day Zero Project page, where you can take a sneaky peek at the list in its entirety.

Wish me luck.....the countdown has already begun!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Noddy-Land on the Move...

.... AKA travel-cots.  Figured this is maybe something I should review as have so far purchased one good and one decidedly not-so-good one.  Let's start with the not-so-good.

This was purchased in my, "I can't possibly have this baby yet, we haven't bought one of these." state.  Why I felt travel cots were essential for Baby W's arrival, honestly, have no idea.  But I did.  In my panic I bought the first one I found which happened to be a Red Kite Sleep Tight travel cot.  At just £25 it was affordable and it is very sturdy and very secure.  That's the good bit.  The bad bit, it doesn't travel well.  Holey-moley this is heavy.  And big.  I imagine would require serious furniture re-arranging to fit into many hotel rooms.  I also found quite tricky to put up and collapse on my own, mainly due to the size and weight of it.  Am hoping may come in useful as a kind of temporary prison when W is more mobile and need to run out and fetch the washing.  If staying in one place, great. If travelling, not good.

So, with a holiday looming went in search of an alternative.  Ideally smaller and much, much lighter.  And found exactly that.  Second attempt was the Samsonite Pop up Bubble travel cot. At around £50 it was twice the price but does exactly what it says on the tin.  It pops up!  On its own! Stick 4 poles in and you are away.  And it travels well being both small and very, very light.  W has slept in it 3 times now and seems perfectly happy despite the size.  Should also fit at the side of the bed in almost any room.  Plus, it is not going to use up all of our luggage allowance this summer.  I love it.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Seven Words

This week in seven words...

Two years married and still in love.

Describe your week in just seven words and linky up at Doing it all for Aleyna.

This Week Baby I Promise....

It is Monday again so....

This week Baby I turn off the TV while we play instead of sneakily watching it over your shoulder.

Think I may actually find this one quite hard!  Want to share yours?  Simply post your own and linky up here...

Can't wait to see them!

Mum of One x

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Belly-busting countdown.....23 days left is Thursday again.  Weigh-in day....already. Unlike last week am not feeling at all positive.  Other than running round after W and Mr B exercise has been virtually non-existent, and over indulgence so bad that have deleted avoided entering calorie counts on myfitnesspal app.  The shame was just too great.  Do not have high hopes for today.

"Ok.  Just tell me quickly and we'll say no more about it." strategy may be best at this stage.



Ok so that could have been worse.  Just another 10 to go in the next 3 weeks then. Easy, no?

This week I am mostly blaming water retention.
Denial is a wonderful thing.

Better dust off Davina.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Listography: Last Week in Pictures

Kate, at Katetakes5, had a busy week.  So this weeks Listography is simply the last week in pictures, words, or pictures plus words, depending on energy levels and how taxing a week it was.  Mine was hectic. Pictures only it is.  Linky up at Kate's.

This Week Baby I Promise....

Spent a lovely Sunday afternoon yesterday at a christening with lots of lovely mummies, thanks Dom :).  As ever, felt great to have a collective rant, especially over cake.  General consensus is that parenting is tricky.  Some things come naturally, others will take a while, and some you may be doomed to be forever rubbish at.

So, have decided that I will aim to do one thing better for W each week.  Monday morning seems a good time to start so......

This week baby I dress you more often in proper clothes rather than keeping you in baby-grows because it is easier.

Am so glad that what you cannot currently see is me batting away his sticky little paws from the laptop.  'Yep just a minute W...'

Still plenty of rubbish parenting going on here.  Fear perfection may be many weeks away yet.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Seven Words

Describe your week in seven words and then head on over to to link up.

Mine this week would have to be

Why do hangovers now last for days?

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 19 August 2011

Eeeney-Weaney-Miney-Mo: Stage 1

Weaning.  Without doubt my favourite phase with Baby W so far.  He just looked so delighted with himself on starting solid food.

W seemed to be ready to wean from about 4 months old.  He would stare longingly at my food and had begun to start waking in the night, something he, mercifully, had not done often from about 8 weeks.  So he was ready.  But was I?  Seems strange looking back but I remember being absolutely terrified.

There appeared to be 2 main weaning strategies.  Either beginning with puréed food or baby led weaning (BLW).  BLW basically means allowing your child to feed themselves right from the very beginning.  Appropriate sized chunks of finger food are offered and if baby likes it it gets eaten, if he doesn't it won't.  Sounds easy enough but at 4 months W's co-ordination was not quite good enough for this and babies probably need to be around 6 months old to have much success.

So it was the purée route for us.  Did I mention I was TERRIFIED.  However, not for the first time since W's arrival, the fabulous mummy-next-door came to my rescue.  She lent me her copy of Gina Ford's Contented Little Baby Book of Weaning.  It literally takes you by the hand and leads you step by step through each phase of weaning.  Instructions are specific to the teaspoonful so for the nervous new mum it really takes away some of the fear!  Not only does she tell you how much to give but when and how often to give it. You basically start with baby rice and puréed pears and then gradually introduce a new puréed fruit or veg every few days.  W LOVED it and so far has not refused anything he has been offered.  He also began sleeping through the night again, HURRAH.

There are a few things you will need before you start though.....

Firstly something for your little one to sit in.  W was still too small to sit unaided so we opted for the Bumbo and this was just fantastic.  I could pop him up on the table in front of me in it and away we went. Again, also WIPE CLEAN, so fabulous for my ever increasing OCD.

Secondly feeding kit basically consisting of:

  • Bib....pelican bibs are good for catching dribbles or you can get some plastic ones that look like raincoats.....when you hit stage 2 of weaning you will be praying someone made an adult version of these!
  • Bowls
  • Weaning spoons
  • Storage pots
There are several weaning-kits available which will include everything you need to get started.  I opted for a boys blue one from Tommee Tippee.

And then you are all set!

My final weaning purchase was a bit of an extravagance but, as am sure other working Mums will agree, sometimes you just can't put a price on convenience.  My Philip's combined food steamer and blender was one of these.  At around 50 quid it's not cheap but saved me so much time when making seemingly endless amounts of purée.  You simply peel and chop your fruit or veg, pop in the jug, hit button and it will steam them, turn same jug upside down, hit button and it blends them.  GENIUS!  Of course you can get exactly the same result with a saucepan, sieve and masher but trust me, this way is much quicker!

So for any new Mums that are nervous about beginning this phase I would say, if your baby looks ready GO FOR IT.  It is sooooooo much fun once you get going!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Belly-busting countdown.....30 days left

Its Thursday.  Weigh-in day.  Having spent the last week crunching, bouncing, wiggling and planking until I could plank no more woke up feeling pretty positive.  Ok.  Pre weigh-in ritual begins.  Clothes off, check.  No food or drink consumed since waking, check.  Been to the loo...well you never know, check.  Mr B at the ready and off we go.

"Is your eye lined up with the 0?"
"You sure?  You're definitely lined up? You're sure?  Ok, ok, here we go."
"Errr....................3!  You've lost 3lbs"

HURRAH!!!!!! Naked victory dance ensues.

"Are their 12lbs in a stone or 14?"
"Oh.  That would just be the 1lb then."


Highchair Hopes

After Baby W stared hungrily on at mealtimes from just 4 months old we began weaning fairly early on.  By 6 months he was ready for finger food and he just loves feeding himself.  At this stage we found his Bumbo seat with attachable tray ideal.  I could plonk a home made rusk in front of him and he was happy playing with this for a good half hour, enabling me to get stuck into the washing up.  Also really handy when visiting the grandfolks. Once he got a fair bit bigger, and much much stronger a problem arose.  He learnt how to detach the tray himself and said tray, plus whatever foodie contents, would be sent flying across the kitchen while he giggled on with glee.

Time for a highchair me-thinks.  Having no idea where to start with the huge amount available I did a quick poll of my Facebook Mummy friends.  As ever, they came up trumps with 2 clear winners.  The Stokke Tripp Trapp and a white plastic one from IKEA.  Both clearly loved by their owners but at opposite ends of the budget scale!  The Tripp Trapp will set you back in the region of 150 GBP and the cushions an extra 25 GBP.  Having said this it really is a beautiful bit of furniture which will grow with your child until they reach 5 or 6.  It does not, however, have a tray, requiring your child to be fed at the dining table and, given Baby Ws current penchant for food-flinging I really want to keep mealtimes to the kitchen where at least the floor can be wiped clean!  Pity same can't be said for the walls.

'The plastic one', as it appears to be commonly known, or the Antilop to give it it's proper name, with detachable tray, will set you back a mere 15.29 GBP .  It is available in red, white or blue and consists of a plastic seat with safety belt and silver metal legs.  It is extremely lightweight, completely wipe-clean, HUGE plus for me, and very easy to store as you can simply pull the legs off.    Mr B and I decided to give this a whirl figuring that if it didn't work out we have only lost 15 quid.....and Baby W LOVES it.  I wasn't really sure why the safety belt was required until this happened....

....He was either trying to look extremely cool or was making a break for freedom.  Given he knew he was about to be fed more home-made bolognese I fear the latter.  We now use the belt.

I think this is probably one of the best value baby products I have come across so far and love having W in the kitchen with me more.  A little of me still yearns for the beautiful smooth lines of the Tripp Trapp though and perhaps when W is a bit older, eating meals with us more and perhaps getting more of his food actually into his mouth, we may dig a bit deeper and invest in one.

MOO Score IKEA Antilop highchair
Ease of use: ★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★★
Best bit: Wipe clean! Excellent for my ever increasing OCD.
Worst bit: Tray can be awkward to detach

Monday, 15 August 2011

Belly-busting countdown...36 days left.

Holy moley have just realised have only 36 days left until our first beach holiday post Baby W's arrival.....and I'm still fat.  Fat and flabby.  At least around the tummy area.  Somehow have managed to lose enough weight from almost all other areas, boobs obviously not included, that appear almost as they did pre-pregnancy but NOT my tummy.  I have a 'MUMMY TUMMY'.  How is that really a kinder way of saying 'FLABBY BELLY'? All my own fault.  From about four months gone a meal just wasn't a meal without a pudding and should I manage to eat just two Cadbury Twirls at lunchtime it was a good day.  Now, here I am contemplating heading out in public in a bikini. I fear no amount of fake tan will hide this monster.

The really strange thing is that I'm sure I had this fear before I was pregnant and, looking back, I was really slim and, dare I say it, toned.  Why on earth was I worried?  I would gladly give my right arm to have that body back....although obviously may need the right arm as-well.

So.....I now have a plan.  All be it way too late for any hope of 'Baywatch Babe-ness' am now simply hoping to avoid making small children cry in horror, or worse, laugh.  My plan is two-fold and consists of thus:

1. Calorie counting.  "Nooooooo" I hear my inner-self cry but, hey, you got me into this mess.  In order to help me on my way am using a fantastic app I have just discovered on my i-Phone.  It is called 'myfitnesspal' and can be found online at  It has been really easy, though also quite shameful, to keep track of exactly how many calories I get through a day with a really simple in-built search function for almost any food or drink imaginable. Even better news, IT IS FREE!

2. Exercise.  Jeepers.  It has been a while.  I have opted for the 'cheaper than a gym' option of DVDs which am trying to cram in when Baby W sleeps.  Obviously some days this just doesn't happen.  For this I am alternating between Davina's 'Super Body Workout' and 10 minute solution's 'Blast Off Belly Fat'.  Have only just begin but I reckon must be working as after first few attempts at both it actually hurt to breathe for a while!

Am aiming to lose a stone.  Or half of one.  Or perhaps a few pounds.

MOO Score for myfitnesspal
Ease of use:★★★★
Value for money:★★★★★
Best bit: It is free!
Worst bit: The shame!

MOO Score for Davina's 'Super Body Workout' and 10 minute solution's 'Blast Off Belly Fat'
Too early to say
Stay tuned!

Friday, 12 August 2011

So what the blog is this all about then?

The honest answer would be that I am not really sure.  A friend of mine recently introduced me to the world of blogging and thought this may be fun.  Being a bit of an A-type personality though decided that I need to have a purpose along with my general ramblings.

Being a relatively new mum to an 8 month old son and returning to work part time I have found the last few months a bit of a roller-coaster.  The highs have been unbelievable, the lows heartbreaking and the in-betweens mostly hilarious and generally messy.  One thing that has been a huge help from the very beginning though was the advice from other mums.  There are just some things that books, midwives, baby clinics and the internet won't tell you that an honest friend, over coffee, or a whole load of wine, will.  At the end of the day parenting seems like the ultimate obstacle course that the majority of us feel like often we are scaling blindfolded and any little glimpse along the way can really help.

So I think this blog will be mostly about the experiences me, Mr B (the husband) and Baby W have along our way.  I will aim to let you know the good, the bad and the ugly of the baby and toddler products and services we encounter along our obstacle course in the hope it may help out one or two other dazzled frazzled mums.

Aaaaaah.....the stacking cups!

As a more experienced Mummy recently pointed out on seeing the above pic of Baby W, "Aaaaaah, the stacking cups.  Single most useful toy ever invented."  How right she was.  I picked up a set one week ago from the Early Learning Centre for just 6 GBP and have been worth every penny.  Without these today alone the washing machine would not have been emptied, lunch would have been burnt to a cinder and the delivery man from Amazon may have actually kicked in the front door.  No mummy should be without them!

MOO Score for Stacking Cups
Ease of use: ★★★★★
Value for money:★★★★★
Best bit: Easily portable
Worst bit: Can't fault them