Monday, 25 February 2013

What Could I Say?

As a mother, I am very aware that there will be times when I am unable to protect Ebony. I won’t be able to stop her suffering heartache when her first love ends, I won’t be there to stop her falling over in the playground at school, and I won’t always be able to shield her from the upset in the world. I know this, and I think that’s why I try to hard to protect her from harm now, because I still can.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Recipe: Vegan Marzipan Cupcakes



These cupcakes are perfect for any marzipan lover. Probably not so great for people who don’t like marzipan.They’re quick, easy to make, and taste great. I made two batches, the first I decorated with simple icing, and the second I covered in a perversely sickly (in a good way) frosting. Here’s how you do it:

Friday, 22 February 2013

bumGenius Review & Giveaway

Maternity leave is no picnic. A baby can require 3000 nappy changes in the first year alone. This works out at about eight a day, which I think is probably a conservative estimate because I’m sure in the early months I was changing closer to twenty.

In the UK, three billion disposable nappies end up as landfill each year. That’s eight million nappies every single day. It takes at least 200 years for a disposable nappy to decompose. That means, the baby who dirties the nappy today, will be a Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandparent by the time it decomposes.



Knowing this, there was no way I was going to use disposable nappies. I was in washable nappies as a baby, and I wanted to do the same for my baby.


I chose the bumGenius nappies because a trusted friend, who had used about three different types of washable nappies, told me they were the best. I did some research online and decided to buy a 20 pack from The Cotton Nappy Company for £285.

It is estimated that disposable nappies cost over £1000 per baby. Even when you consider the cost of washing and drying reusable nappies, you will still save hundreds of pounds. £285 may sound like a big investment, but it will last you until your baby no longer needs nappies, and, will last for many more babies after that even!

bumGenius V4 nappies grow with your baby. They are suitable from 7-35lbs (birth - approx 3 years). The adjustable poppers on the front of the nappy allow you to make the nappies longer when needed. Each nappy comes with a lightweight inner for newborns, and a larger insert for when the baby grows.

I love the look of the bumGenius nappies, they are really cute and colourful, and Ebony has always seemed really comfortable in them. There are lots of different colours available. There are no horrible chemicals in them, and they’re not plasticy like the disposables.

I usually wait until there are just three clean nappies left, and then I stick all the dirties in the wash. I put it on a 40 degree long cycle (they can withstand up to 60 degree washes) which takes about an hour and a half. I use a normal eco detergent and a spoonful of Bio D’s Nappy Fresh powder. When that’s done, I either line dry the nappies and inners or stick them in the tumble drier for fifty minutes. Job done.

The nappies are available with velcro or pop fastenings
When you’re out and about, simply put the dirty nappies in your wet nappy bag. The drawstring fastening keeps any smells inside, and when you get home you can put it straight into the dirty nappy wash.


The one problem I have encountered with the bumGenius nappies is that after about a year, the velcro has deteriorated on some (but not all) of the nappies which makes them a bit annoying to put on, especially if the baby is rolling round and crawling off at the time. The good news is, there is a solution. You can buy bumGenius refresher kits online for £1.49 and give your nappies a new lease of life. Or, to avoid this problem completely, you can buy the bumGenius V4 nappies with popper fastenings instead of velcro.

The Cotton Nappy Company have, very kindly, provided a fantastic prize for this post. One lucky reader will win a bumGenius V4 nappy (in the colour of your choice) worth £15.99, a wet nappy bag and 10 flushable liners. 


The competition closes on Friday 8 March 2013.
To be in with the chance to win this amazing price, simply fill in one/all of the below. Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 18 February 2013

The First Hour Campaign Isn't About You

I don’t know if there’s something leaking into the water supply, causing a general feeling of disgruntledness among the population. Or if years of reading vile hatred spew from the Daily Mail has actually turned people into twisted individuals unable to fight the overwhelming compulsion to moan.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

My Life in Isolation

Aside from the rather traumatic hospital visit on Thursday, I haven’t left the house for nine days now, and in the nine days, I am almost certain the house has grown smaller. It will take at least seven days for the antibiotics to work. Until then, Ebony will still have pneumonia in her right lung, and her immune system will be working hard to fight it.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Teaching Your Toddler to Love Reading

Teaching your child to read is one of those crucial life moments that all expectant parents daydream about. You imagine them, snuggled up on you knee, toying with the letters and spelling it out until they work out what the word is. Learning to read is a right of passage, and it’s something we look forward to sharing with our children.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Planning a Home Birth

It was reported in last week’s Telegraph, that experts are hoping the TV show Call the Midwife will encourage more women to have their babies at home. Currently only 2.4 per cent of women choose to have their babies at home, and for first time Mums that figure is even lower.

Whenever I tell people I had my daughter at home, I am asked if this was on purpose. Most people seem surprised that anyone would choose to have their first baby out of a medical setting. I felt that by being removed from a medical environment, I would be able to enjoy a more natural birth.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Ebony's First Visit to Hospital

To say I’m not a fan of hospitals is a bit like saying the Daily Mail isn’t a big fan of immigration. Hospitals make me feel sick and panicked and enclosed. I hate the smell and I hate touching hospital things.

Ebony was born at home for that reason. I can’t imagine anywhere I’d feel less relaxed than a hospital. I haven’t ever really spent much time in hospital. I’ve never stayed in overnight as a patient. I’ve only been in an ambulance twice; once when I had suspected meningitis, and once when a speeding motorbike collided with my thirteen year old self. That was probably the closest I ever came to needing hospital treatment, and in actual fact, the motorbike had just knocked my shoe off.


My husband is the polar opposite of me. He has no problems with hospitals, and will create wild and unreservedly fanciful symptoms so he can guarantee an overnight stay. He is no stranger to IVs, x-rays, CT scans, and invasive procedures. I have sat by his bedside and watched many a baffled doctor try to make sense of his bizarre rag-doll-esque problems.

Struggling to breathe
Clearly, Ebony has decided to follow in her father’s footsteps, and so I spent yesterday at the hospital. She had been suffering with a fever on and off for a couple of days. After a morning of playing with her tea set, I took her upstairs for a nap. As soon as I lay her down, she started to cough and retch. She could hardly breathe, she threw up and started to scream in pain. It was really scary.


After a few more projectile vomits, and associated costume changes, I managed to get her into the baby carrier so we could get to the doctors.

We saw a duty Doctor. Or, rather, a random mad woman with no medical qualifications. I explained the symptoms, and she went to get a thermometer. Just as she stuck it in Ebony’s ear, she said, “Ooops. I’m meant to look in it first.” Ebony was the starring role in Fisher Price’s My First Patient. Great. The, I’ll say Doctor, but I think we all know that her being able to back this up with paperwork is very unlikely, looked in Ebony’s ear: “Hmmm. Red.” She said, wisely, “Ear infection.”

Hooked up to machines
The Doctor took Ebony’s temperature, it was 38.6, “36.8” she typed into her notes. She then started talking about antibiotics for the ear infection which Ebony hadn’t shown any signs of having. I pointed out Ebony’s breathing problems. Eventually, the Doctor’s face changed from
I am not a real Doctor to I am alarmed and not a real Doctor. She said I needed to take Ebony at A&E.

Luckily for us, A&E had real Doctors. Ebony was quite floppy when we arrived at A&E. We stripped her off, and they started doing tests. They made her wear a wee bag. I have never heard of a wee bag before, but there is something very wrong with the person who invented it. You know those nose bags you get for horse feed? It’s one of them. For weeing in. They stick it to you.

Her head was really hot, but her feet were freezing cold. She was having a lot of trouble breathing. They gave her some ibuprofen and then brought her a nebuliser so she could get some oxygen. 



Having a sleep on Daddy
Ebony had to have a chest x-ray to determine where the infection was. I went in with her and had to wear one of those huge red aprons, and I had to hold her hands to try and keep her sitting still. She didn’t seem too bothered about the x-ray, luckily.

After the x-ray, we were sent up to the children’s assessment ward. The nurse in the assessment ward said Ebony would be staying in overnight for observations. My husband looked instantly heartbroken. We saw a pediatrician who told us that the x-ray showed that Ebony had pneumonia. No ear infection.

By this point, we’d been at the hospital for a few hours and Ebony hadn’t had a wee. They wanted to run tests on her urine and seemed concerned that she hadn’t had a wee for so long. I said it was probably because someone had stuck a bag to her, and if they got her a potty, she’d probably wee. I was met with bemused faces.

After a few more potty related hints, they brought a potty over, and as soon as I sat Ebony on the potty she had the biggest wee I’ve ever seen. The nurse’s chin nearly hit the floor. A few minutes later, I heard her telling the other staff in the hallway, “Thirteen months and using a potty!” From then on, Ebony earned herself the title Star Wee-er of the ward. In all honesty, I’m hoping it’s not the nickname that sticks with her for life.

Feeling a bit better
Ebony’s blood pressure had gone down, and her urine tests must have produced good results, because as she ate some hospital food, we were told she’d be able to go home soon. It was such a relief to find out she could go home. I really didn’t think there was any chance of getting her to sleep in one of those hospital cots.


After an hour or so of waiting around, we were loaded up with antibiotics and sent on our way. We were given a nebuliser to take home in case her breathing gets bad again. Luckily we haven’t had to use it, although Ebony has had to help Dolly with it a few times. I think Dolly might be suffering pneumonia too by the looks of things.


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

I've Been Nominated for a New Blog Award


I started this blog (well, actually my old blog but then I relocated to here) so I could have somewhere to rant. I found that emails, text messages, phone calls, in person and to strangers on buses just wasn’t enough anymore. I needed somewhere new to vent. So I set up the blog.

Then it all went a bit smushy when my daughter was born and I fell head over heels in love with her. I have actually been accused of going a bit soft since becoming a Mum. That’s a bit of a tangent, anyway.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Can we Stop MPs Imparting Parenting Advice?

What a wonderful world we live in. Today’s Daily Mail reports that our Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, will defend the rights of parents to smack their offspring. Ah, justice. Nothing quite says I love you like a bit of physical violence.

Grayling proudly states he smacked his own children to send a message when they were badly behaved. Great message: Dad’s an arsehole.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Tiny Little Baby Steps

She is growing up so fast. Every night, when I lie next to her in bed, waiting for her to drop off, she feels longer than she did the night before. Her clammy legs, which were once only as long as my index finger, now stretch down the length of my body. They are strong and determined, she climbs across me, ignoring my pleas for sleep.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Should We Force Children to Eat?

According to today’s Telegraph, nine out of 10 parents surveyed admitted to throwing away leftovers from their child’s dinner plate. The article asks whether we should be forcing our children to eat what’s on their plates.

The simple answer to that is no. If there is a lot of food left at the end of each meal, we are probably unknowingly trying to overfeed our children.

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