Friday, 25 February 2011

The 'first' coffee morning..

So I faced my fear and went to a mum and baby 'coffee morning' - not out of my own free will but because a friend I was meeting said we should do this instead.  No way out Scarlett this thing going to happen...

First challenge was getting myself and Finley washed, dressed fed and ready to leave the house...all by 9.30 am. It was like a scene out of matrix with nappies, wipes and bottles being thrown into the bag at break neck speed while dressing Finley and making sure his favourite toy was packed for the car journey.

We managed to make it out, all be it 15 minutes late, and we were ready to meet the mums and their bundles of "joy" - I use that term loosely as follows:

The hall was set out with loads of play equipment and split into two halves - one for the babies and one for the walkers and up - I later found out that this divided room was a complete waste of time as the walkers plus were freely stamping all through the baby area regardless of babies laying playing or not. These children's mums were too busy having their 'coffee' and chatting across the room to notice the stampeded  through the baby mats and I caught one boy twice before he landed on Finley. I decided the safest measure was to sit on the floor with my legs either side of him as a buffer, I then became a target being hit by a sensory ball!

The dressing up box seemed to be a popular port of call for the children and one girl obviously got the first pick as she was running towards us wearing a fairy costume covered by a Mexican poncho and a huge sombrero while screaming 'eeeeeeeeeee'.

I did get chatting to a lovely lady with a 10 week old baby girl who had that slightly frazzed look that I had when Finley was that age, she introduced herself to me and together we chatted while being a combined force against the surrounding rampage. She even managed to latch the baby on and feed her while continuing eye contact with that's an expert skill to have learnt, I never managed to accomplish this when I was breast feeding Finley.

I also was a rebel of the group by not signing in...I was approached by the group leader to advise that next time I must sign in and I was handed a form to fill in with all my details for the 'next time'...hmmm, they now have my telephone number and know where I live eek!

 So what is the etiquette regarding telling off other peoples children? If a child does something dangerous or hurtful to your child is it frowned upon to say to them that "that wasn't nice"? I kept it safe and just smiled sweetly while edging Finley ever closer to me for protection from some of these wild children.  Maybe there is an unwritten 'coffee morning' rule that I have yet to learn.

I must also add that with it being half term there were numerous school age children there so maybe I had picked the 'dangerous' week to go, they will be back in school now till Easter.

Will I be going back you probably wonder...Well Finley seemed to enjoy the element of danger and slept soundly as soon as we had left so maybe I will brave it once more just to make up my mind....

Scarlett x

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Today I will be wearing baby sick...

From the first day of Finley being outta the womb he hasn't failed to sick up some milk at the most inappropriate moments and normally it is caught by what ever I am wearing that day. 

Today for example at a formal family gathering (cue routing around for smart clothing to wear as my chilled mummy look just wouldn't be received very well lol) he managed to be sick all down my trousers, one nasty burp and I was doused in milk, and back to smelling of baby sick.  I've become so used to it now its quite strange to see people going 'Oh no he's just been a little sick!!' whenever we visit the 'non baby homes' - you know the ones they tend to have beautiful fluffy carpets, immaculately clean sofas and glass objects at ankle height.  They also look bemused that I am so blasé about the fact my offspring has brought up white substance that has narrowly missed their pristine rug but has been caught by a) his clothing b) my clean top or c) both.

I have no idea when this little phenomenon will end but in the mean time Fairy Non bio and my water company are being kept in business and my house resembles a Chinese laundry on cold or rainy days.  But in the mean time I'm making sure I have that handy Muslin cloth to hand at all times. So if you're a mummy too I'm sure I may be in good company with some of you also knowledgeable in 'eau du baby sick' :o)

Its a shame, I've never looked good in white....

Scarlett x

Saturday, 19 February 2011

7 month wonder

So Finley is just coming up to the 7 month mark and its so amazing how much he has changed. Its great to see his personality coming through and to see what a real cheeky little chappy he is.
 He has now mastered the rolling bit from front to back and is grabbing everything in sight and putting it in his mouth - now comes the real test of my house cleaning abilities. One missed bit near him on the floor and you got yourself a 'choking hazard' (I blame the NCT first aid course I went on when he was 8 weeks old for this traumatising thought!). He can stand on his feet with supports and he also has developed a thing for the ladies and is all too keen on giving the 'love me' smiles to female passers by, men he's a bit wary of still although Daddy get the smiles and giggles (especially when he been having a grumpy crying day with mum).

The other 'good' bit is that he still isn't fully on the move yet so I know I'm not going to turn my back in the room and he's going to be shooting towards the door!  There are a lot of mummies I have spoken to in my family/friends circle who couldn't wait for baby to be crawling/waking but to be honest I'm just enjoying him being my baby and not wishing the time away - plus I don't need to have eyes in my bum yet!!

So come one own up - Who swapped my newborn??

Scarlett x

Thursday, 17 February 2011

New Mummy Confession...

I'm going to confess something now....I'm scared of mother and baby groups. There it's now out in cyber space, I've admitted it.  My whole fear of these groups was summed up by a trip to Sainsburys yesterday...

I stopped to have lunch with Finley in the cafe there, loads of space and highchairs so I don't feel bad if Finley has a tantrum or squeals at the top of his lungs (a new talent he has just learnt).  Well looking around  I noticed this cafe seemed to be the local mummy haunt - literary every few tables there was a groups of mummies, having tea and cake and discussing the latest child care techniques.  One group of 'la de da' mummies took up residence on the table next to mine.  There were 4 of them, immaculately dressed and all their babies supporting the latest lines in Baby Gap. The high chairs were scrubbed to the bare wood by their disinfecting wipes and the babies safely secured - now came the battle of the lunch boxes.  Each of the mummies seemed to take pride in discussing what their baby had for lunch, how long it had taken to make, what organic ingredients they had used and how WONDERFUL it was that their babies seemed to eat everything offered and never would a jar of food cross their lips...

...Hmm there was I spoon feeding a organix fruit pot into Finley's mouth feeling guilty that I hadn't picked the fruits from my organic orchard and crushed them with my bare (disinfected) hands into a puree which I then froze within 20 minutes of crushing to preserve all the fruity goodness.  This is was just a small section of the yummy mummies discussion, they went onto put the world to right about putting a baby in nursery, how to offer finger foods and of course how well behaved their babies are.  THIS is why I am scared of Baby groups - I imagine all these type mummies concentrated into one room. I never was any good at competition!  I cant just imagine the guilt complexes that would be installed into my brain!

So for now I'm just hanging out my my regular friends, some have children that Finley socialises with, he will also be put into nursery when I go back to work part time so he will most definitely not be missing out any interaction that the baby groups can offer.....maybe one day I'll be brave enough to visit one and who knows my fears will probably be unfounded and they may just be mummies like me who are learning on the job! :o)

Scarlett x

Monday, 14 February 2011

The curse of the cauliflower cheese...

Well I've been making sure Finley tries a whole range of foods, especially foods which I do not like but I don't want a fussy eater when he's older. So armed with my Annabel Karmel baby cook book I decided to try to make cauliflower cheese:

I don't like cauliflower or cheese so I have never made this dish before but the instructions were so easy I thought I would cook it up with no problems at all....well until I made it that is, the sauce turned out to be an epic fail :(

Lol - looks like I got a fair bit of the cornflower outside the pan as well as in!  So perfect cooking mama I am certainly not!  This is going to be written off and the cauliflower will be served as a part of a vegetable puree for Finley tonight and the 'cheese sauce' is never to be spoken of again!
Any tips on cauliflower cheese sauce will be gratefully accepted!


Friday, 11 February 2011

The Wonder of Weaning

Finley is coming up to 7 months old as per the current guidelines we tried to hold off weaning him till 6 months old. Finley however had other ideas and at about 5 and a half months old he started to refuse his milk and started to waking up more during the night. The classic signs of a baby wanting to wean is waking up more during the night, feeding more, showing an interest in your food and grabbing food from your plate among other signs. None of the books I read said that they may go off milk as a sign of weaning but this was the case with Finley.  We started on the baby rice for his evening meal and he couldn't get enough of it!
Finley's Christmas eve baby rice!
Then we moved on to mixing pureed veg with the rice and so on. We are currently on 3 meals a day with milk also and are trying to introduce new foods regularly. At the moment we are starting him on dairy such as cheese (which he doesn't like) and yogurt (again which he doesn't like lol).  It can take a baby a few times of trying something to actually like it so hang on in there if it gets regurgitated on first trials.

Now they do push on you the idea of 'baby led weaning' (blw) in that at 6 months a baby can eat finger foods instead of having to puree everything as they say baby is able to chew and digest foods at this age so we can avoid the pureed stage all together.  I decided to go down the traditional puree route after a scary moment when Finley choked on a small lump of carrot in his puree which hadn't been mixed enough. Having to pull a choking baby out of the highchair and being sprayed with mushed up carrot while patting baby on the back is not fun and scared the life out of me. I think I would be bald with worry had I gone down the BLW route and giving him solids at every meal! eek! BUT I do know mums who have done BLW and all as been going well so really the choice is up to mummy as to what suits her and bubba best.

One final tip is plastic bids - after having all my lovely baby Cath Kidston kids bibs stained by pureed banana and carrot I learnt the hard way.  Plastic bibs can be wiped clean and do not stain nearly as much as the fabric bibs as long as the food isn't left on them for too long.

There will be more posts to come on weaning I'm sure as we moved onto stage 2 known as 'The Lumpy bits' dun dun duuuuun!

Happy Weaning!

H xx

Thursday, 10 February 2011

All Hail the Jumperoo...

The saviour of my arm muscles and my sanity - the humble Jumperoo!  Who ever designed this little gem of play equipment really needs a knighthood. For those who haven't heard of the jumperoo it is a bouncing and rotating seat in an activity station and when baby bounces it has sensors which activate lights and sounds. I never liked the look of the door bouncers so this was ideal. Its free standing and allows baby to bounce and play with the knowledge that he is not going to flip forwards and be found hanging upside down!

Finley in his Jumperoo 5 & half months old
Finley loves his jumperoo, he likes being on his feet and if you try to sit him on your lap he always wants to be standing.  It allows me some free hands time to get some tidying done in the house or getting the dinner on (or even the luxury of having a minute in the day to go to the loo!). As its free standing it can also be moved so baby isnt left unattended.

The makers of the jumperoo 'fisher price' advertise it as being 6 months on but as Finley is a big baby he's been using the jumperoo from about 4 months and now he's nearing 7 months its really come into his own. Its helping beat the baby tantrums of them wanting to be mobile but not yet having learnt how to move.  The only downside is that they are quite expensive but I picked up this one on eBay for £50 secondhand, and to be honest it didn't even look like it had been used! Bargain! So if you are looking in to getting one check out eBay or even your local NCT sale but you wont regret having it! 

One final point however is a pooing baby and a jumperoo do not go hand in hand - if you see baby straining in the jumperoo then do not allow to bounce on as learnt from experience - that poo can travel! The baby vest and sleep suit were not salvageable after that episode...

Anyone else loving the Jumperoo?


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sleeping through the night...

Finley is just coming up to 7 months old, from the day he was born one of the first questions I always got asked was 'how is he sleeping?'. Those of you will babies will probably have been asked this question too on numerous occasions. The truth being a newborn sleeps when it wants to sleep and in my case most of that sleeping was done during the day!  I still haven't forgotten how much of a killer sleep deprivation is. I was in a zombie state for the newborn weeks, i was told to 'sleep when the baby sleeps' well this would be all well and good but if I had done that then I probably would never had had a shower or fed myself. As soon as Finley was a sleep it was action stations rushing about to do all the things I needed to do to make myself feel slightly normal!

Finley sleeping on Dad 3 weeks old

The holy grail was 'sleeping through the night'. I had lots of mummy friends telling me that their little one was sleeping through from 6 weeks old and that they get 12 hours sleep a night blah blah blah.  I didn't get this, I still had 2 night feeds a night to do, I still had a 3am wake up cry. I was told by the health visitor that as Finley was a big boy that he should be managing to get through the night without a feed.

I thought that I would never witness a 'sleeping through the night' BUT it did come, it came with the weaning and at 6 months (3 weeks into being weaned) Finley decided he would sleep and in fact he decided he would sleep from 7pm to 7.30 am! The first night this happened I didn't get the unbroken sleep I craved, I was checking his breathing every hour wondering why he hadn't woken up and wondered why the bottle I had prepared out of habit wasn't being called for. He woke up giggling and I had finally realised that this mythical 'sleeping through the night' did exist. I can also happily say that he has continued to sleep through, we have had the odd night when he has woken up with teething pains but he is soon settled. So my fellow mummies it will happen but each baby takes their own time.  I must also point out that several of the baby books I was given say that sleeping through is classed as 6 hours unbroken sleep - not much good if these 6 hours start when baby has gone to bed early evening and you get woken at 1 am!

So here's to reaching that mile stone and celebrating the luxury of sleep!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Welcome to my World

On the 21st July 2010 my world changed, it got brighter, it made sense, it also came with huge responsibility. On this day I became a mummy. My little boy Finley was born weighing 7lb 14oz and from the moment he was put into my arms I realised that my world would never be the same again, I would never be the person I was before.  The pure love you have for your new baby is like nothing on earth, and I knew that I had been given the greatest gift of all and now I had to start learning the job role of 'mummy' pretty sharpish!

Finley 3 days old
 This blog is to document my daily life as a first time mummy, to share tips and advise I have learnt along the way and to hopefully get tips and advise from other mummy readers. Its my way of looking back when I'm old and grey and remembering every inch of Finley's life, the mundane stuff and the magical stuff.

 If only they hadn't forgotten to give me that baby manual that came with Finley at the hospital before I left....