My Crafty Past…….

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True story: Before motherhood turned me Bananas (hehe) I used to moonlight as a jewellery designer. No, really, I did. It was a business I thoroughly enjoyed: It got my creative juices flowing to the max: I achieved a fair amount of success- having items featured in national publications, & I managed to earn some money along the way. Continue reading →

List Lover Extraordinaire………

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Bullet points or paragraphs? Helpful reminders or a painful reality that our memory isn’t quite as sharp as we perhaps thought? Whatever your preference- short & sweet: long & drawn out, neatly arranged in a alphabetical filing system, or scattered throughout the house like debris from a tornado (that’s my style): I’ll happily bet we are all guilty of writing them.

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Ahh, the list of ‘child’ swear words! Just incase you ever forget…..

Continue reading →

Ditching the Dummy……

Ditching the dummy: a milestone achievement

A cloud has been lifted in Cool Bananas HQ this week: a momentous achievement, some may even call it (bah! That sounds ever so OTT). For the first time in donkeys, I can see Bear’s most gorgeous face in all it’s grubby-cuteness glory, minus the plastic monstrosity that’s been a somewhat permanent fixture on there: the blasted binky, a pesky pacifier, that sodding dummy.

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Whoo hoo! I can see his face! (& what a lovely little face it is!)

Unless of course, we have a nose-picking fail, & in that instance his face is somewhat obscured like this……

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In all fairness, I really haven’t been overly bothered by his obsessive relationship with his ‘dum dum’. To be honest, there was a part of me that thought it was really quite endearing: it was an element of ‘baby’ that he still maintained. Although he is now a fully-fledged toddler, there was something so innocent & sweet about his dependence upon this comforter, that melted my heart. The way he delicately treated it, how it could soothe away his woes: an image & memory that took me straight back to the baby days. Those days which now seem so far away. I felt confident *kidded myself* that when he was ready, he’d give it up happily, willingly.

Describing this moment as ‘momentous’ for me sums up the emotions I feel perfectly. For it is such an ordinary moment, which I know in a few years will seem so inconsequential: yet currently it’s representative of a new chapter to us (excuse me whilst I just have a quick sob). I fully embrace all of Bears developmental milestones, or social achievements: it is truly amazing to witness him blossom, an honour to be by his side throughout his accomplishments (Not a single day will pass by, without me counting those lucky stars for being blessed with him in our life) New chapters are always tinged with a little sadness, closing the door on the baby days, memories made, time you will never regain. Remembering. Vowing to never forget those times gone by. Scared you will. Petrified by how quickly time vanishes, & all the new experiences that await your journey *reaches for the tissues, again*

Dummys/ pacifiers/ binkys: they can be a hotly debated topic amongst the parenting community. Before having a child I sat on the fence about them, unsure what all the fuss was about? I personally don’t see the problem in them-their design is orthodontic friendly (more so than thumb sucking, or so I’ve been told) & if Bear develops an overbite of the jaw in the future-I’m pretty convinced that’s going to be genetically inherited, from Mr Bananas or I.

& FYI any dummy haters: Hell hath no fury like my Bear having a stinkin’ tantrum. Sure, pacifiers don’t look pretty: there have been many occasions when a photo opportunity has be ruined, ‘photo-bombed’ if you will, by this piece of junk. But quite frankly, if it helps defuse a strop & prevents my eardrums from becoming perforated by the high pitch screams, I’ll happily accept help from this unattractive accessory.

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Photobombed by the dummy!

How did we manage this transition I hear you ask? Did we use the much-discussed ‘dummy tree’ or ‘dummy fairy’ story technique to explain the absence? No siree Bob! We went straight up, cold turkey. After one dummy too many being bitten though, shouty mummy may have piped up (she defiantly did, momentarily) We calmly explained to Bear that he would no longer need a ‘dum dum’ because he was too big for them: with too many teeth & that these were for babies who had none. He nodded in agreement ‘Whoo hoo!’ I thought, perhaps clearly far too prematurely: what then ensued can be described as a deafening, headache inducing, screaming fit. After this period of ‘grieving’ he expressed for his good friend Le Binky, calm descended & we haven’t looked back. Phew!! & He now proudly announces to all whom will listen ‘No dumdum, no more!’ waving his hands wildly & pointing at his mouth.

So we say: Buh bye Binky, so long sucker (see what I did there? Sucker, ha), we’ve ditched you dumdum. Cheers to you, pacifier pal: for the memories, for being a good friend (of sorts) to our little bear. & I’m eternally grateful for the moments of peace & quite you provided.

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Exhaustion, Reflection & Strength….

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Please forgive my absence from all things Banana-rama-blog related over the last week or so. I’ve hit a brick wall, metaphorically speaking that is (phew, the family car is unscathed!). I’ve been exhausted, unable to do much apart from snooze at any given moment. WARNING: unattractive ‘cat nap’ picture to follow……

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The last time I felt this overwhelming sense of being utterly pooped (sorry if I’m sounding dramatic) was in the early baby haze-days. You know, those days & weeks following the arrival of your new addition? When you’re not able to comprehend much of anything. All you can think about is sleep: oh, & not forgetting of course, the all consuming emotions that grip your every waking moment!

The only other episode in my life I can relate this to, for those of my non-parent readers (aka. You well rested bunch) is at the age of Fourteen when I was ‘knocked for six’ by glandular-sodding-fever. Over night, I morphed from a teenager bursting at the seams with endless amounts of energy, into a shadow of myself: too weak to move, relegated on the sofa. Physically I felt like a ninety year old, with the smallest of movements being comparable to that of lifting a ten ton truck & depleting any strength I could fathom (ok, so I’ve never attempted to bench press a 10 ton truck, forgive my comparison!) School became sporadic for what felt like a few months: actually this was a saving grace for me-it meant I could escape those bullies & spend some precious time in the presence of my best friend, my mum.

After being surrounded by so many inspirational women, men, writers & bloggers recently, my mind has been running wild with ideas: the enthusiasm to express myself through my blog & writing has seen no end. But gathering the oomph to just open my adored laptop? Well, it’s been non-existent.

Being weighed down with a nasty viral infection has left me in emotional turmoil (along with physical weakness) Instinctively I don’t like to give up, fail*, or feel defeated (can you tell I’m a little competitive?). I’ve felt like a shit mum this week, instead of my usual chipper self, jumping at the chance to play ‘cars’ or ‘trucks’ & savor those precious moments with Bear, I’ve tried my best to coax him to the sofa for snuggles & lure him over with a DVD. For the most part, I can report we had success (the fact that he too has been under the weather, probably contributed to his willingness!).

During these times of fatigue, I find myself reflecting: *whispers* I’m not quite the ‘wonder woman’ I think I am (just don’t tell Mr. Banana pants I told you that). I don’t possess any super powers, & sometimes (just sometimes) I have to learn to accept I simply must rest & recoup. These moments of contemplation can only make me stronger (I tell myself).

Giving yourself the time & head space to explore your inner thoughts can help you find a new perspective on issues: it encourages you to generate new ideas to push yourself forward.

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It may sound like utter nonsense to some people, but for me, allowing myself to break away from life’s daily routines & whilst my body recovers is quite a liberating process: & For a control freak like me, quite an achievement. I realize that in order to be the Best Mummy possible, I need to be the best me possible. To truly ‘savor’ the precious moments with Bear, I need to have a clear, fresh head & not be clouded by so many distractions.

I think above all, the most vital lesson I’ve gained this week is: we must all listen to our bodies more, tune in to our needs. Instinct? That’s our sixth sense & no medical degree can compete against human instinct. Having a rest, or a break from the norm is not showing defeat. It shows strength. I am strong, & I will continue to build upon my mental & physical tenacity, throughout life. Having a little set back, a bump in the road is all part of our journey.

journey, destination, quote, motivation, cool bananas, cool bananas blog, blogger, lifestyle blogger, success, failure, strength* I appreciated the term ‘fail’ or ‘failure’ is a very subjective one. This is my personal opinion & how I’m feeling right now. I accept there are many different levels of failure, & yes, I am pretty harsh on myself.

I promise that once this cloud of ‘blergh’ has lifted (be gone virus!), the loveable, bubbly crazy banana lady you all know SHALL return!! Thank you to every single one of you who has sent me well wishes. Fear not, Bananas shall rise again!

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Remembering To Remember & Trying To Forget….

Remembering to remember & trying to forget: navigating the emotional rollercoaster of being a parent.

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Now, if only i could remember….& then forget!

Everybody is probably aware of those ‘viral’ articles on the web about ‘You know you’re a mom when’. Now, I’m not using these examples to spark a debate, that’s for other folk to do. Nope, I’m going to hold my hands up & admit I ticked the box for a number of these ‘examples’! The one that occurs frequently in Cool Bananas HQ is: Laundry. I’ve lost count of the multiple times spent rewashing the same load, because I always forget to remove it from the machine! & With a toddler ruling the roost, I can hardly blame ‘baby brain’ for this now.

Then it occurred to me: once we all become parents (fathers included) something odd happens to our memory. There are certain aspects from this magical pilgrimage of raising wild ones children, which remain crystal clear: You’ll never forget them, & you can recall certain events with such clarity-creating a crisp image & an entertaining story. Continue reading →

Love The Little Things #13: Sunshine In a Bottle

Sunshine in a bottle

I’m delighted to report, that as I sit here & compile my weekly ‘little loves’ round up, I’m doing so from the comfort of my al fresco office, basking in some highly anticipated British sunshine (can I get a Whoop whoop?)

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This week has been a scorcher, by UK standards anyway (it’d take Saharan type temperatures to warm my cockles!) But we’ve had a reasonable amount of sunshine & warmth this week, so suddenly the world seems just that little bit, well brighter? The everyday, mundane activities appear more attractive with a little sunlight beaming down, don’t they? Even though this means I’m in a constant battle with my arch nemesis: pollen, squinting through swollen, itchy eyes- ‘tis a sacrifice I’ll make for Le grand Soleil!

Another week has flown by & it’s time for a brew, biscuit & catch up on life, joining forces with my great blogging crew: Morgana at But why mummy why taking the helm. Lets set sail! Continue reading →