Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Girls Night Out....

We went on the Girls Night Out last week, and I did, despite worries that I definitely wouldn't have any, actually wear clothes.

After six outfit changes I went for a Chinese style (black with pink, grey and white flowers) wrap over shirt dress, over a black vest and grey trousers.  Pink shoes to tie in.  Big chunky metal bracelet to complete the look.

Whether that sounds trendy or not I have no idea...... I've realised I have no idea what trendy is.

Still a good time was had.  Slightly too much wine was drunk.  And frankly, having seen some of the outfits out around town, I could have gone out in an old 80s Boob tube and Ra Ra shirt, and no-one would have battered an eyelid.

Sleep.....? When cots become cot beds......

Just when you think you've got it all sorted; the girls are playing nicely together in the garden, you're actually getting some laundry sorted and ironed, and they're both sleeping through from 7.30pm until approx 6am; that's when it all goes awry again.

We have reached the point where our younger is nearly 2 years old and she can reach the top of her cot with her foot.  From 2 years of watching her older sister, she has a 'climbing' habit.  And it's purely a matter of time before she utilises her skills to throw herself out of her cot.  So we had to do it.  We had to convert the cot into a cot bed.  This weekend.

The first night was fine.  She was exhausted from a very busy day.  She went to bed late due to all the excitement surrounding the change to a new 'bed'.  So she was asleep before she could really worry about the change. 

The second night was fine.  Hubby sat with her for a bit after lullabies, and she fell to sleep whilst he was still there.  "We need to be careful we don't let that happen too often" he commented that night.  "Else she'll always want us to sit with her until she gets to sleep". 

He was right.

Today the problems started at nap time.  Usually she is brilliant at nap time.  She'll even switch into her pyjama bottoms for comfort, and snuggle up in her cot happily.  I'll say 'night night' and she'll wave me out of the room and indulge in between 1 and 2 hours kip.  Today she was absolutely not happy.  Every time I tucked her in and left the room she'd scream, run to the safety gate at her door, and stand screaming for me.

The screaming quickly reduced to whining, but 40 mins later, after so many 'tuckings-in' I lost count, when she was still getting up the second I left, I gave up and took them both out in the car for a drive.  I haven't done that in a while!  My elder was tired out too, the double buggy had been left in the boot of the hubby's car (scatty did you say?), so only my car could accommodate them both for a nap simultaneously. 

It completely messed up the afternoon's plan.  Instead of "quiet time with eldest whilst youngest naps, walk across to local supermarket for nappies, post letters, hand in forms to leisure centre, walk back via park, tea, bath bed".  It become "stressful time having to keep leaving my elder to sort the younger, stressful 30 mins trying to get the car seats back in my car (why they weren't in is a whole other story), weird 90 mins of driving around my local town so they'd sleep, a quick trip into the supermarket, forgot to post letters, no time to hand in forms, no time for park, no time for walk, a quick play in the garden, off to bed".

At 8.30pm tonight though, after trying to settle the younger down for 90 mins, I was seriously regretting letting her sleep in the day at all.  She was screaming as if she was scared to be left.  Very weird, considering that she's always been really good at saying goodnight and falling to sleep after we've left the room.

Hubby had the answer.  He pointed out that sleeping in a cot bed after a cot, was akin to me sleeping out in the middle of the garden after sleeping in my room.  Because, for her, the bars of the cot formed a wall around her, cocooning her. 

So how are we supposed to help her with this one then?  I guess I won't be doing much in the evenings this week!?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

What on "EARTH" do I wear for a Girls Night Out!?

Ok.  Ok.  So it's been a while.  I am a typical mother, tied to the kitchen sink, pinny permanently attached, coarse hands from all the floor scrubbing, drawers in the lounge full of apples off the trees (for all the chutney), a veggie plot, and a chicken.  For the hubby's breakfast eggs obviously.

Hmmmm.  Yeah.  Right! 

More accurately, is that I'm a typical mother, who avoids the kitchen sink in favour of a dishwasher, always forgets to wear a pinny when cooking, and am thus forever trying to wash garlic oil out of my clothes, have embarrassingly soft hands from all the non-manual labour and hand cream and last saw a drawer full of apples at my Grandad's house 25 years ago.  Would love, but wouldn't have the time, energy, or desire to spend all day weeding.  And live in a house whose deeds specifically deny me the option of having a chicken.

And being a mother, I very rarely get a girls night out.  In fact, the last two girls night's out we had involved going to a restaurant and basically staying there until we couldn't eat or drink any more. 

So I have absolutely no idea what 30-something women are wearing for a night on the town.  I even bought the September edition of Cosmopolitan (haven't read it in years) for inspiration, since they had a "Friday Night Fever" feature, gatecrashing the getting ready routines of four different groups of girls.  Was it helpful?  In short.  No.

I can't see me going out in the Vintage gear of the first group.  I certainly wouldn't get away with the outfits of the 20-24 year old Liverpudlians.  The student's outfits I could have worn when I was, surprise, surprise, a student. And the society girls looked like they were going to a ball.  Not for a night out in a smallish East Midlands town. 

So, back to She magazine?  Er, it turns out not actually.  Since their fashion pages advocate blood orange leather jackets teamed with Vivienne Westwood orange silk trousers (tapered trousers at that).  Honestly?  To wear outside?  In front of other people?

So back to the original question.  What on "Earth" do I wear for a Girls Night Out.  I don't even know if jeans are acceptable these days or not?  Maybe I'll just start with the shoes.  If I get those right, surely the rest will just fall in line?  Help!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Why do Cars park on the Pavement?

Why?  Oh why?  Oh why?

Why would you park half on the road and half on the pavement?  Why would you do this, in a residential area, in a manner which effectively blocks the pavement?

Do you not realise that anyone with a buggy (pushchair, if you prefer), cannot get past the car?  Do you not realise that the mother and her buggy now have to venture into the road?  Unnecessarily.  Just to get past your inappropriately parked car.

When you park like that, do you not realise that you are putting the lives of babies and young children, along with their carers, at risk?

When you do it, thinking that cars are perhaps less likely to clip your wing mirror, do you not think that buggies with projecting parasols might accidentally scratch your car when trying to pass?

Is it really worth it?  Do you really think other cars on the road seriously can't get past you if you don't park that way?


I think I'll start a campaign against this...... who's with me?

Monday, 16 August 2010

Keeping Them Entertained.......

Found a fab list of tricks to keep the kids entertained.....


Breastfeeding...What you really need to know.

"So you'll be breastfeeding then?" says the matron-like midwife, with not an inch of doubt in her tone.

"Er... yes.  I'd like to try" says I, not really ready to commit this thought to paper.  Least of all to her very official looking paper. 

She scribbled it down. 

"And what pain relief were you thinking off............" 

And that was that.  No in depth discussion about what breastfeeding might involve.  No reference to guidebooks, DVDs, or Internet sites of note that could perhaps help me with the forthcoming task.  Nope.  Just an assumption that I'd be breastfeeding and that was that.

Then, 3 weeks after giving birth, when I was finding it very difficult, the Health Visitor had a similar level of presumption about her.  "You'll have to express more" she said.  Ignoring the fact that I'd said two minutes earlier "I can't express.. at all."  Even with the very clever, freaky looking, motorized pump they'd suggested would help.

That was my first encounter with breastfeeding as a subject matter.  Back in 2006.  By 2008, with my second, the experience hadn't changed much.  So I'll be providing some useful, matter of fact, tips on breastfeeding over the next few weeks.  Starting with this:

There are 4 key factors that determine whether or not you will be able to successfully breastfeed.  When I say successfully, I mean in a way that; ensures your baby gets enough milk to last them the next 3-4 hours (timed from the start of the feed), is putting on an appropriate level of weight that you are happy with; and in a manner where each feed doesn't take much longer than an hour to complete. You may have different measures of success.  So be it.  Here are the key factors:

1. How much milk your body produces
2. How fast your body is able to release the milk
3. How well your baby can suckle to obtain the milk
4. How good the baby's latch is.

Before you start breastfeeding it is worth knowing this; that you have control over the last factor, the latch.   That's it.  All the rest is pre-determined.  Much like how good, or not, your eyesight is. 

So go for it.  Try your best.  Follow all the advice appropriate to your situation.  And if it's still not successful, remember that this is the 21st Century, and you can now buy baby milk from the shops!  I was not breastfed.  At all.  And I am perfectly well and healthy.  But I do recognise the benefits, which is why I tried it with my girls for as long as I was able.  (roughly 3 months for each child).

So keep logging on for more breastfeeding advice, along with the usual tips and hints for parenting, and still, somehow, maintaining our yummymummyness!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

How to keep the Children Entertained!

When the girls are winding me up. Or winding each other up. I firmly shout "Song Time" over the din.

Grab our cushions. One each. All sit down on the carpet in a circle and sing songs.

Not just any old songs. And not the current iTunes top ten. But traditional, action songs.

Here's my list. Sing loud. Have a dance. And above all be silly! Have fun!

Incy Wincy Spider (involving lots of tickling!)
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Horsey Horsey
Old MacDonald had a Farm
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Five Little Ducks
I Hear Thunder, I Hear Thunder!
If you’re happy and you know it
Hokey Cokey
Ring O Roses
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Jack & Jill
One Finger, One Thumb, Keep Moving
This Old Man, He Played One
The Farmer’s In His Den
This Little Piggy
Round & Round the Garden
Humpty Dumpty
Pat a Cake
The Wheels on the Bus
Rock a Bye Baby
Oranges & Lemons
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
Sing a Song of Sixpence
The Grand of Duke of York
Pop goes the Weasel

The Rest
Jingle Jangle Scarecrow
Red Tractor
Five Teddy Bears Jumping on the Bed
Five Little Speckled Frogs
Terrible Crocodile
Animal Fair
There were Five in the Bed and the little one said….
Roly Poly, Roly Poly
Wind the Bobbin Up
Five Current Buns in the Baker’s Shop
I’m a Little Teapot
Hickory, Dickory Dock
One Man Went to Mow
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Touch your nose….
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Teddy Bears
Here we go round the Mulberry Bush
The Sun has got his hat on
Two Little Dicky Birds

Monday, 9 August 2010

It should definitely be Scatty Mummy!

I'm still trying to get the stain off my favourite shoes......

We took the girls out for a meal at the local 'Inn' on Saturday lunch. The 'Inn' at Troway do great British food, brilliant offerings for the children (they eat free on weekdays), and have colouring books, crayons, reading books, jigsaws etc, to keep them entertained whilst you wait for the freshly cooked food to arrive.

My youngest, Lottie, is helpfully starting to tell us when her nappy needs changing. Repeating "nappy, nappy, nappy" tends to do the trick. She is also starting to say "wee-wee". And on Saturday I realised that she was trying to tell us she needed to go before she actually did. It caught me by surprise, but I thought, well she's young, but she has been copying her big sister recently, so perhaps potty training will be faster for her and easier for me. We can always hope.

So I whipped her out of her high chair, and scuttled off to the toilet with her. She was really good. She tried to help with her trousers, pulled down her pull-up nappy, and when I sat her on the toilet she grinned, and started to go.

Brilliant! I thought. For roughly a second. It took that long for me to notice that I hadn't sat her far enough on the toilet. Her "wee-wee" was all over the seat, all over the floor and all over my feet.

This is definitely why Jimmy Choos just don't go with children. And why I have such difficulty finding yummy clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry that are child-proof, or at the very least, easily washable!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Or should it be Scatty Mummy?

It's no surprise that there's a general consensus that having children kills off your brain cells. Particularly if other Mummies have the same kind of daily experiences as me.

Today I hit the shops with the elder, 4yrs, in tow. Not wanting to browse around, as she was getting tired, and was likely to run down the aisles any minute, I asked a male sales assistant, where I could find the waterproof mattress protectors.

He duly led the way across the store to the correct section and I, trying to steer my daughter in the correct direction behind him, followed.  The elder immediately hid behind a display. I had to do the quick telling off, look up again, clock the sales assistant and continue following him.

He headed straight for the tills. He got in behind one of the tills. I stood next to the till. And he looked up and said, "Can I help you?".

I looked at him. Carefully. Thought about it. And turned around. Another sales assistant was stood slightly further back in the shop looking at me with a confused expression on his face.

I had, of course, managed to follow the wrong sales assistant after telling my daughter off.

You could have fried eggs on my face. Not a good look.

A very timid mummy followed the original sales assistant to the correct side of the shop for my mattress protectors, and tried to protest my innocence... mumbling about uniforms, etc... I didn't help myself.

Hence my apparent evidence in support of the brain cell theory. Doesn't 'distraction by a 4yr old' count as a defence?

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Yummy Mummy Guide to Pregnancy! Part 1.

Oh I remember it well.

The excitement. The fear. The panic that every step I made would jolt my baby's head about.

Come on ladies, don't panic! Though pregnancy can come with a whole host of issues that you'd never even considered (from a healthy skin glow and bouncy hair, to constipation and leg cramps), it is an amazing experience.

I just thought I'd share a couple of tips for some of the most common ailments suffered during pregnancy.

Firstly, you may find that, if you don't eat much in the way of salt like me; I don't even add it to my potatoes; your leg cramps and something that I call 'restless legs', are even worse. Packets of salted crisps reduced my problems in this area. Before the packetofcrispsaday diet I took to in despair, I'd spent many a sleepless night pacing the bedroom, doing stupid numbers of leg stretches.

Secondly, the constipation issue. A yogurt a day on top of plenty of fruit and veg, if you can manage it. If you are still in the feeling nauseous stage, and can't face fruit and veg at the moment, try the odd few sliced bananas hidden in your cereal. But honestly, for about 10 weeks I couldn't eat much more than toast, ginger biscuits, and potato waffle cobs (sorry, should that be sarnies, or bread cakes?) and my girls turned out fine! Your body will tell you what nutrients it needs, so don't panic if you think you're not eating well when you go through the icky stage. Just try and drink plenty of water.

And finally for this instalment, the clothing dilemma..... What to wear when your trousers don't fasten, the hipster style falls off your hips, and the over-the-bump jeans slide down under your bump. I gave in to braces. Hidden, of course, under a gorgeous blouse.* After all, who's gonna know?!

* OK, so semi-gorgeous blouse. This is me.

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