Saturday, 28 November 2009

A letter to my hangover

Hangover,

As much as I hate you I seem to be spending quite a lot of time with you lately. This morning however I am particularly cross with you. Last night I had a night out with the girls. You knew it was happening and you also knew that I had been looking forward to it for a long time. You also knew that M had taken a few hours off work this morning just to help me avoid seeing you for a few hours. I think it was actually my first lie in in seven months. But you couldn't wait could you? You pounced on me at six thirty am and gave me a raging thirst and a banging head. Thanks. You've now decided to stay all day despite me trying desperately to make you feel as unwelcome as possible. You and Little Legs do not make good companions. Please leave.

Yours crossly,

Me x (Actually scrub that kiss, you don't deserve it)

Friday, 27 November 2009

Baby Led Weaning - some words of encouragement

Recently I've had a few emails and contact from people who are having some problems or wanted some advice about baby led weaning. You'll see from some of my earlier posts that I'm definitely not an expert but I think I'm well positioned to offer some reassurance. We've definitely bounced up and down the weaning road with some success but also some notable failures. For those of you out there who may be worrying about whether your baby is eating enough, or whether baby led works for you I hope this post helps a little bit.

Somebody mentioned baby led weaning to me before Little Legs was even 5 months old but I didn't have a clue. I was already a bit worried about the whole weaning process anyway as we'd had such a difficult start to milk feeding in general. I won't go into the ins and outs of my problems with breastfeeding because thats a post on its own but needless to say we battled on until she was 12 weeks old and then switched to formula. I felt as though we'd only just got the milk feeds established so the thought of weaning her was daunting to say the least.

Then two things happened. Someone leant me Gill Rapley's Baby Led Weaning book, and the highchair arrived. I started to feel quite excited about introducing Little Legs to solids so we started. I started her with baby rice as she was only five and a half months old and I was too much of a coward to give anything else.

Then I started to get a bit braver, I started giving her rice cakes, cucumber, banana, fingers of roasted veg. I batted off the concerns of friends and family with a nonchalant wave. Baby led weaning was the way forward for us. I remember my Mum looking on with horror at every meal time as Little Legs would gum her food happily but then launch it across the room, Eating a big fat nothing every time. I wasn't worried though, I was quietly confident that she would eat in time. I thought it was a doddle, but then it happened, "that incident" as we now call it. Little Legs choked. She didn't just gag, she actually choked. The culprit was a piece of sweet potato. All I remember was screaming as I saw her gasping for breath. I frantically got her out of her highchair. All my well intentioned first aid training went out the window as all I could manage in blind panic was to tip her upside down. It worked. Little Legs went back to giggling, as she does best whilst I sat with her on my knee and just cried.

Needless to say, the book went back to my friend and it was on with the purees. But for me, something just didn't feel right with spoon feeding Little Legs. She's such an independent little madam and seemed so curious when she saw us eating that I decided to give baby led one more try. It was the best decision I ever made.

Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been without its anxieties. There have been a few more gagging incidents but thankfully no more choking. For a long period of time Little Legs did just play with her food but when we started to relax a bit as opposed to monitoring every mouthful she was eating, so too did Little Legs. We slowly but surely realised that there was less and less food on the floor, and in the nooks and crannies of the highchair, and more and more in her nappy. Then the scales tipped the other way, I started to worry that Little Legs was taking too many solids and not enough of her milk as you'll see from my earlier post Baby led weaning and formula feeding.

Little Legs turned seven months old this week and everything has finally fallen into place. She's well established now on three solid meals and three milk feeds a day. Her weight gain is good and she's a bright, beautiful little baby. The purpose of this post isn't to push people down the baby led weaning path. I guess I just wanted to say that you should do what feels right for you and your baby. Follow your instincts, your heart, and your baby and everything will be fine.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Wordless Wednesday


I know its early but funny innit?

Monday, 23 November 2009

My wedding vows - amended version

M,

This is the poem I read to you on our wedding day as part of my wedding vows. I've amended it slightly to reflect our change in circumstances:

I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give

(Please bear in mind that "the best of myself" is a slightly different version to the one you married. This one comes complete with hairy legs, no make up and stinking of baby sick)

I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realise that your interests, desires and needs
are no less important than my own.

(Whilst this is true, playing war games on your Playstation whilst Little Legs bounces in her jumperoo is not allowed, nor does it constitute child care)

I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.

(If I can squeeze it into that hour when Little Legs is in bed and before I collapse on the sofa from exhaustion)

I promise to keep myself open to you,
to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost fears
and feelings, secrets and dreams.

(The window's a bit blurry as I haven't had chance to clean it)

I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting.

(I can face the changes, I'm just not sure about the alive and exciting bit. Does managing to get a shower and cook the tea without interruption constitute exciting?)

I promise to love you in good times and in bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how.
Completely and forever.

(Now this bit I can definitely do. I love you hon)

Love from me x

"I promise by Dorothy R Colgan" (as amended)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Why I love baby led weaning

I needed to do a supermarket shop today. Problem is I had a hungry seven month old relying on me to provide her with a tasty treat first. Provide I did. Little Legs had a lunch of:

Pineapple
Baby corn
A finger of cheese
Half a breadstick
2 potatoes cold (roasted the night before)
Cucumber
Avocado mashed on pitta bread
Yoghurt

I in return got a nice clear fridge with no waste for M to moan about, and a very happy baby. The dog used to make a good dustbin. Little Legs is certainly giving her a run for her money. Do I win the prize for giving the most random lunch? I think contents of a later nappy will be prize enough.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Sincere Apologies to Very Bored housewife


Here is your award.
I must explain. I typed my post in draft last night and I included you on it and published the post this morning. I love reading your blog and thats why I gave you the award. I didn't read your post about your pregnancy until this morning, after I'd published my post. I read your post and it made me cry and after reading all of the lovely comments people had sent you I just didn't feel right giving you an award for "Honest scrap". Anyway in light of your latest post please don't be offended by this award its heartfelt and just a way of saying I love your blog.

Sorry again

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

My first award and ten secrets!


I got my first award. Yay!



Thanks to planb. Although I wasn't so grateful after I had to delve into my dark side for ten things that no one knows about me. Its at times like these that I'm glad my blog's anonymous.

Anyway, I'm going to steal my first two from planb

1) I sort of want another baby too.
2) I also don't know what a meme is.

Now for my own, if you are of a sensitive disposition it's probably best not to read on:

3) I once tried to steal one of those yellow flashing lights you see at roadworks. I hid it in my coat and glowed like ET. The police saw me and made me put it back.
4) I hate small talk. A lot of people I know would be surprised by this due to the amount of rubbish I've been known to utter on occasions
5)Once when I was hungover I went to Burger King and ate three bacon and double cheeseburgers in quick succession. I wasn't sick
6) I sometimes pick my toenails in bed
7)When I lived abroad I had a sink in my bedroom which I peed in once when drunk
8) I am totally confused by commas, semi colons and colons as readers of my blog will testify
9)I've got an old Roxette tape which I sometimes play when no one's around
10)I used to think that the longest day of the year was longer than 24 hours.

Anyway, in the tradition of the award I have to pass it on and ask that the lucky recipients reveal 10 things about themselves that noone else knows. And the winners are....

Tired Mummy's blog
Notes from Lapland
Me the Man and the Baby
Wife of bold
Hot Cross Mum

Sorry guys!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The way to a man's heart..

Heathers hilarious post at Notes from Lapland reminded me so much of M and inspired this post.

For those of you who don't know, M's my husband. He's not had too many mentions of late, mainly due to the fact that I've seen very little of him since his new Playstation game arrived.

Picture the scene, its 5am on a Friday morning and my contractions start, quickly followed by my waters breaking. I decide to let M sleep as he was late in from work the night before. Between contractions I put some washing on, clear a bit of ironing, do the washing up, have a quick hoover round and feed the dog. By 7am my contractions are coming thick and fast so I decide to wake M and tell him the news. His exact words were "Right, I'll have some weetabix then we'll go".

Half an hour later we set off for the hospital. M decided to take a detour. "Where are you going" I screamed. "To Somerfield. I'll need some supplies for during the day" he replied. I sat in the car timing my contractions, which by this time were four to five minutes apart while M strolled round the supermarket filling his basket with goodies.

When we got to the hospital I thought that would be it. He was well stocked up for the day so I thought he'd remain by my side, the dutiful husband. I was wrong. We'd been there less than an hour when he piped up "I'm just going to get some sandwiches from the canteen for later. Just in case it closes". During the rest of my long and painful labour he proceeded to consume said sandwiches, the bag of supermarket supplies plus hot cross buns, toast and more sandwiches lovingly prepared by the midwives. Yes,you heard right, the midwives!

After a long and agonising delivery, M's first words? "There, that wasn't as bad as you thought was it?" I didn't have the energy to do any more than pinch him. But pinch him I did, hard.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Newsflash! I'm turning into my mother

Its happening. I can feel it. Its creeping up on me bit by bit. I hear it in the things I say, I see it in the things I do.

When I was little I hated vegetables. Mum tried every which way to get me to eat them. I remember spoons hurtling towards me, loaded with the stuff as Mum made the strangest noises desperately trying to persuade me that eating vegetables was fun. It didn't work. She used to tell me that carrots were goldfish. How she thought that would persuade me to eat them when I had two fish happily swimming round in a tank in my bedroom is beyond me. I guess she was desperate.

Then she got crafty. I would tuck into mashed potato only to discover broccoli, carrots, cabbage, you name it hiding in the middle. It didn't work. So she got craftier. As I cleaned plates of my favourite foods she would grin at me. "There was grated carrot in that you know" she would say. Yeah? Cheers.

But I did it today. Whats worse is that my daughter isn't a stroppy seven year old, she's barely 7 months and I'm already resorting to dirty tactics. Today, I actually took the trouble to hide bits of broccoli in her macaroni cheese. As if that wasn't enough I spread the leftover green stuff on the bottom of a rice cake handing it to Little Legs clean side up. So you see despite my many protests during my twenties that I wouldn't turn into my Mum,I quite clearly have.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Baby led weaning and formula feeding

I'm not going to think about this post too much, I'm just going to type just to get my thoughts and worries down in print so forgive me if its all a bit disjointed.

We've been doing really well with the Baby led weaning. Its really worked for us and Little Legs is becoming a dab hand at feeding herself. I'm able to cook the same meal for all of us, sometimes with a few simple adaptations, and then we all sit down as a little family and eat together. Its exactly what I imagined at meal times.

Until recently, I never really worried about how much Little Legs was eating, food was for playing with and she was still taking 5-7 oz formula five times a day. I was happy for her just to explore different tastes and textures, confident in the knowledge she was getting all she needed from her milk.

But things are starting to change. Little Legs is eating more and more and seems to have a really good appetite for solids. Don't get me wrong, I'm over the moon that she loves food and this is the point of weaning, obviously, but is she cutting back on her milk too quickly?

She'll eat three good solid meals a day, but when it comes to formula, although I'm offering it four times a day, she seems to have no appetite for it. Yesterday, at a push I managed to get her to take 17oz over the full day but I don't think its enough.

She's putting on a good amount of weight, she looks healthy but have I let her lead the way too much taking baby led weaning too literally? I don't know the answer. I really don't. All I want to do is whats right by her and for her to grow up healthy and happy but sometimes I just feel as though I'm feeling my way in the dark.

After a shaky start to weaning, I began to gain in confidence all the time. Every time I watched Little Legs tuck into a meal I was more and more sure I'd made the right decision. Now I'm having a wobble again. Hopefully its a temporary one, hopefully someone can offer some reassurance. Hopefully Little Legs will start guzzling milk again. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully.....

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Time to put away the books


About a year ago I was pregnant with Little Legs and convinced I was going to be Super Mum. It was in that optimistic madness that I signed up to do an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Psychology via distance learning. I remember colleagues and friends with children looking at me like I had three heads but I thought I knew better. When you've read every leaflet, article and book containing the word "baby" during your pregnancy you're perfectly equipped. Aren't you?

Then Little Legs arrived and my world was turned upside down. She was a beautiful little bundle but she was totally dependent on me and I didn't have a clue. You see she didn't do what it said in the books. My attempts at breastfeeding looked nothing like the pictures in the book, I couldn't even hold her properly. She didn't fit into the times in the Gina Ford book even The Baby Whisperers renowned Eat, Activity, Sleep and You time didn't work. The only activity I managed was looking at Little Legs in my sleep deprived haze, apologising for the fact I was a crap Mum.

My pre reads arrived in August. Of three huge books I managed three chapters. One in each actually. After reading a chapter in one I would put it to one side hoping the next book would be easier, or at least have more pictures.

I had to start interacting via discussion groups with my fellow students. It was then I realised I was completely and utterly out of my depth. Debates about 'crime genes' and 'psychopathy' went way over my head. No one wanted to discuss whether Dr Browns bottles really helped with wind, or bedtime routines or the pros and cons of baby led weaning. But I did. I struggled on but last week had to admit that it was time to call it a day. Today I received an email confirming I have been officially withdrawn from the course.

At first I felt sad, like I'd failed but now as I put the books away I feel a sense of relief. My baby brain may have replaced my academic one temporarily, but I'm happy with that. Over 6 months I've learnt to be a Mum and I'm not brilliant but I'm not bad either. Right now I can look Little Legs in the eye and I've got nothing to apologise for because we're doing okay.

One day I'll dust the books off and dive straight back into my studies but for now I'm delighted with my lot, she's gorgeous.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Does Lasagne make a good finger food? Enough said.

A sleepless night but this made me smile

I am officially done in.

Little Legs is not well. She was fine in herself all day yesterday, a little bit of a cough and a bit off her food but nothing we couldn't cope with. Then I got scared. We settled down to watch a film last night but when I listened to her on the monitor she seemed to be breathing really really quickly. I woke her up and she was burning up. Anyway, to cut a long story short, after a dose of Calpol and a quick chat with NHS Direct her temperature and breathing had both settled down. The nurse thought her breathing might have been a way of cooling herself down which I suppose makes sense but it didn't stop us being absolutely terrified. M and I spent hours pacing the floor trying to get her back to sleep and then I spent another few sleepless hours on the blow up bed in her room because I was too scared to sleep.

It could be teeth, it could be a viral infection we just don't know so today we've decided to hibernate as a little family and see how it goes. I think M was secretly delighted at this idea as he just got up at the crack of dawn to collect his new "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" game. There will be some mysteries of this 33 year old man which I will never solve. His need to play war games on a daily basis is one of them.

Anyway, after a long night and possibly a long day ahead of us this little man put a grin back on my face

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1226398/Baby-boy-gives-fingers-world--inside-WOMB.html

Monday, 9 November 2009

Food for thought

My Mum's coming to stay on Thursday. I can't wait. Last time she came Little Legs was at the stage where if any food did make it into her mouth she promptly spat it out. Mum was understandably worried about the whole baby led weaning thing and very tactfully mashed up the little roast potato we were giving her. I can't wait for Mum to sit down at the table with us now and watch Little Legs get stuck into her dinner. Sods law says LL will choose that moment to refuse everything offered, but we live in hope.

Mum coming has made me think about my memories of food as a child. I come from a big family, and as the youngest when it came to mealtimes I learnt the meaning of "you snooze you lose" very quickly. I remember my plate being put down in front of me and knives and forks appearing from all directions as the best bits of my dinner were snaffled by my siblings. That bit aside, the fact is that we all sat round the table as a family every night and discussed our day. I loved that. It was this particular memory which has encouraged me to go down the baby led weaning route. Little Legs sits at the table with us at every meal time and the swell of pride as we watch her tuck in is overwhelming.

The other thing I remember about food as a child is the sheer variety. I'm mixed race, a combination of Jamaican, Chinese and English. West Indian food and rice dishes formed a large part of my diet as a child and my Mum's cooking is fabulous. I'm ashamed to admit that none of us have ever asked my Mum to teach us these recipes and I would hate to think that one day they could be lost to our family forever. So, this time when Mum visits I'm going to don my apron and learn. I hope one day Mum will still be around to teach Little Legs West Indian cooking which has been in our family for generations and I hope she'll be as proud of her heritage as I am.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Baby Led Weaning - Mystic Pizza


I made homemade pizza yesterday. Actually, I'm not sure you can call it homemade with a shop bought base but I think its a fairly close call.
Anyway I topped a pizza for Little Legs with 3 tablespoons of passata spread over the base, grated mild English Cheddar and some nice pieces of ham. I sprinkled some oregano over the top and a drizzle of olive oil. Get me. In the oven at 200 degrees for 10 mins and hey presto.

I decided to share the pizza with Little Legs in my never ending quest to lose some poundage. I gave her three slices and I tucked into the crusts. (The sacrifices we make!) I looked up from my plate (I'm fairly tunnel vision when it comes to food) and realised the three slices had disappeared. When I say disappeared, I mean disappeared. Not mushed up somewhere, not stuffed down the side of the highchair, not hiding in the folds of the curtains. Gone. The dog was nowhere in sight so I couldn't blame her. All I could see was Little Legs, her face smeared with tomato sauce and a stringy bit of cheese hanging out of her mouth.

One of two things is now going to happen. I'm either going to discover the whereabouts of the pizza within a nappy, or there's going to be a stink of cheese from the vicinity of the highchair. I'm not sure yet which way its going to go.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Calling all budding actors and actresses, its panto time!

Its the time of year when panto comes to town but why not try something new this year and let your children experience the fun first hand by starring in their very own panto!

Robinsons have designed an interactive website which allows your children to do just that. Visit http://bit.ly/PutOnAPanto and see what fun there is to be had. The website is really user friendly so you can leave your little ones to navigate around it on their own. The site will take them through the steps from planning, to practising and finally performing the show. They can even upload their own photographs to appear on a poster and invites advertising the performance.

I used to love things like this when I was a little girl and the website had me wishing Little Legs was a bit older so we could do our very own show.

There's scripts, props and costume ideas for Snow White, Peter Pan, Cinderella and Aladdin and M was loving the sound effects you can produce just by using your keyboard. When I asked him to do the washing up he managed to drown me out with a loud booing.

Now where's my old bridesmaid dress, I feel a Cinderella moment coming on?

The Sleepy Feed

Little Legs,

The time is nearly upon us when we'll cut out your 10pm "sleepy feed" as we call it. Maybe we should have done it by now, who knows? Now you're well away on solids though the time has nearly come. So I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much we'll miss that time.

Every day you're changing and growing so fast. I'm so proud of you. You're learning so many new things now that you'd rather be exploring everything and everyone rather than sitting with me and getting cuddles. But that is as it should be and for me this means letting go a little bit.

You won't know this but when 10pm comes, me and your Dad race to see who can run upstairs to your room the quickest. We usually collapse laughing at the top of the stairs, trying to compose ourselves so we don't wake you up. But when I win I relish those quiet times with you, in your dimly lit nursery.

I smell your hair and skin and watch your beautiful little face. This is the moment when I steal cuddles and rather than wriggle away trying to explore anything close, you snuggle into my neck and your little fingers nip the skin on my neck as you sleep. I could hold you close like that forever, my precious little girl.

Last night we tried to miss your sleepy feed out but you woke in the early hours looking for a feed. Maybe, just maybe, you don't want to leave this time behind yet either.

Love Mum x

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Finger Foods an A to Z

I've said it before and I know its daft but even with a vast array of foods to choose from I still find myself struggling to come up with new and interesting ideas, particularly for lunchtimes.

For that reason I've decided to set up a new link where I'm going to keep a list of fingers foods we've tried together with some hints and tips as to how best to prepare and serve them where appropriate. I've made a start tonight but only got to "B" so bear with me. The link is http://weaningtalesrecipes.blogspot.com/ or click in the right place on the sidebar and all being well it should take you straight there. I'm hoping to complete the basics of this in the next day or two with a view to adding to it over time so I hope for those of you doing BLW that you find it a useful resource.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Help find Madeleine

Baby Led Weaning - Lamb burgers

Thought I would share this recipe as I've just made these tonight and they went down quite well.

Ingredients
500 g lamb mince
3 baking potatoes
Dijon mustard
Bread Rolls

This made two Little Legs size burgers and four adult size burgers. M ate three. No need.

Use two of the bread rolls to make breadcrumbs either in a blender or by hand as I did. I used wholemeal bread but to be honest, any will do. I then mixed the breadcrumbs with the lamb, a bit of lemon juice and a couple of teaspoons of Dijon mustard. Mix it all together make into burgers and pop into the fridge for at least half an hour.

Make the potato wedges by par boiling for 5 to 10 minutes and then cook in the oven at 200 degrees for about half an hour. The burgers take about 10 minutes frying turning regularly.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Baby Led Weaning - A Dad's perspective

Me and M managed to escape for a nice lunch today leaving Little Legs with the grands. As we usually do when we're away from her we spent the majority of the time talking about her and then M started looking at the menu going through what he thought she would like to eat if she were there. This got me thinking about M's perspective of BLW and what we're doing. To be honest I did all the research. I only spoke to M about it briefly and then took it upon myself to introduce it. Looking back I don't think he even had a say in it so I was interested to see how much he knew about what we were attempting. The conversation went like this:

Me: What do you think Baby Led Weaning is?
Him: Giving Little Legs sticks of food, not mush. (Nicely put)

Me: BLW is usually seen as an extension of breastfeeding why do you think that is?
Him: The baby's used to having something more substantial in its mouth (Hmmm not quite)

Me: What do you think about it
Him: Its messy.

Me: Where do you think the idea of BLW came from:
Him: A man

Before I could ask any more he said "Never mind fluff head what do you fancy for lunch I'm starving".

So there it is M's perspective of BLW in a nutshell.

On a more positive note we seem to be making some progress. There's definitely less waste on the highchair, on the floor and up the walls and more in the nappy. Three dirty nappies between 7am and 11am is taking it a bit far though. Saying that, after a random tea tonight of rice cakes, cottage cheese and porridge pancakes I can kind of see why that might be happening. Thanks to C-star by the way for the pancake recipe, they went down a treat. If you want to give them a try have a look at her fab blog called "Jacob Led Weaning". The link's in my blog roll.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Blogging causes weight loss

I've lost two pounds. Two pounds isn't exactly earth shattering I know but I've been trying to shift the last few baby pounds for months now to no avail and now its happening. I don't think its just coincidence that this has happened since I started writing my blog almost two weeks ago. See now in my spare time I don't think about food I think about my blog. I no longer raid the cupboards I think about my blog. And, when I'm not thinking about my blog I'm thinking about other blogs. I could spend the time I spend blogging exercising but Little Legs is exercise enough for now thank you very much.