When Your Best Friend Is Having A Baby // My Baby Shower Gifts……

cool bananas, cool bananas blog, burts bees, the bright company, cool bananas, cool bananas blog, baby shower giftsThere are certain milestones in life, which will stop you in your tracks & are guaranteed to make you well up with tears (of joy). Like when your bezzie of 30 years (Yes, I’ve known H THAT long, since we were babies) gets married. & When that same friend announces her pregnancy? Well, I could have burst with happiness. I’ll even admit, unashamedly, I was a blubbering mess just the other week as I was chatting to & stroking her bump, that’s totally normal, right?!

I suppose the best way to describe our friendship, is it’s more like a sisterly connection: At times, we’re polar opposites, we don’t live in & out of each others pockets, in fact, weeks or a month can go by without much contact sometimes (we can blame that on ‘life’), but we always pick up where we left off. & I know that wherever life takes us both, we will always be there to support one & another at the drop of a hat. View Post

Sleeping Beauty..

Bear @ 5days old

Bear at 5 days old.

Don’t let the title of this ‘ordinary moment’ kid you: For sleep itself is a commodity we severely lack in this household. My darling little boy is the epitome of the phrase ‘Sleep is for the weak!’ As a baby, whilst all the other mamas around me could go about having a social chit-chat as their cherubs took a nap in their buggy, bear would have none of this. He’s always been ridiculously inquisitive, never wanting to miss a beat. Poking his little head up here & there, when you’d least expect it: earning the nickname ‘meerkat’.

During his first two weeks in this world, he would only sleep on me, snuggled on my chest with his squishy cheek planted just so: & his ear listening to my heart beat.

The early days...

The early days…

baby, sleep, cool bananas, cool banana blogThe day that we discovered our Baby Bjorn carrier & ‘baby wearing’ was a liberating experience: I regained the use of my arms, whilst still providing the comfort he craved. There was a time when we were inseparable, & I cherished every second of this: I loved having a cheeky nap with bear & feeling completely guilt free about the dust gathering on the furniture & having the reason excuse for this inertia: ‘ If I put him down he’ll wake straight back up’.

baby, sleeping, cool bananas, cool bananas blog

Snuggles aren’t just exclusively for Mummy y’know…

Night time sleeping has always been a battle: fraught with frequent waking’s, cuddles required or a drop of milk administered: but I think we may have turned the corner lately & we’ve achieved a number of complete nights’ with no disturbance. I’m relieved to an extent (& the bags under my eyes are thankful) but there’s also a feeling that I’m not ‘needed’ by him as much, that he’s becoming much more independent & self-sufficient.

So when it reaches ‘nap-time o’clock’ during the day & he so delicately asks me to sing ‘Twonkle, twonkle* mummyeee?’ (* twinkle twinkle to you & me) & to be rocked off in my embrace, my heart is flooded with the warmth of those memories from days gone by, & an element of sadness: how much longer will he ‘need’ these nap time cuddles from me? I’m not ready to give these up-I’m a long way off.

baby, sleep, sleeping, cool bananas, cool bananas blog

The sleep positions he gets into!

We are lucky, given how much comfort & reassurance he needed as a dinky dot, that he’s a remarkably independent toddler, & a real social butterfly: he inspires me & I often think we can learn a lot from our children & how they engage around others: they interact with no prejudice & with an innocence that is beautiful.

I’m pleased we didn’t take any notice of those doo good-ers & their advice against baby wearing & co-sleeping, as it’d make him a clingy & frightful child. The proof is in the pudding as they say, & this little pud is a melting pot of gooey chocolate & ice cream that everyone wants a piece of.







Spring Fashion: Brights

Spring Fashion: Toddler style.

toddler, brights, style, spring, HM, Gap, cool bananas, cool bananas blog

Has spring finally sprung? We’ve been treated to a glorious weekend, so my enthusiasm has been restored (for now). It’s beautiful at this time of year, with all those electric colours of nature fully in bloom. & I do love bright colours! Admittedly, with my wardrobe I stick to a pallet of more muted tones, but I adore the flash of a bright pigment here & there. Perhaps this explains why my son is capped in the brightest apparel I can get my mits on! & With this in mind, what better time could there be to showcase my mini fashionista’s closet? (Rachel Zoe eat your heart out!)

toddler, brights, style, spring, fashion, HM, gap, cool bananas blog, cool bananas

toddler, brights, fashion, spring, colour, style, HM, gap, cool bananas blog, cool bananasSome of our favourite brights shown here are from: H&M, GAP, & Me&I. I’m always on the look out for places that stock slightly more unique & Crazy coloured designs, what’s your favourite stockiest?

& As Far as accessories go….I think you’ll agree with me, his best accessory is his killer smile. Oh, & he is also a little inseparable from his ‘man bag’, Larry the ladybird.

toddler, brights, smile, fashion, style, spring, HM, Gap, cool bananas, cool bananas blog

Do you have a mini fashionista? If so why not share their style & link up to: Pearl & Butler .
Fashion Friday on MummysGotStyle.com



The Ordinary Moments {14 #2}

{The ordinary moments 14 #2} The inappropriate things my toddler Says:

The ordinary moments

The things my toddler says (no, make that Shouts!) that are totally inappropriate: When taken out of context that is, if you happen to be a passer by & not his full time interpreter (me). For toddler speech as we are all aware is perfectly clear & makes complete sense to them & to us (the parent/ carer/ FT interpreter), but in reality is a muddle of different sounds & words, constituting to an entire foreign language for others.

For example, whilst zipping up & down the food isle of a supermarket & passing the cereal section filled to the hilt with all those sugary naughty’s, in his loudest (yet cutest) husky voice my little ball of energy suddenly shouts “NUTS!! DADDYEES NUTS!!” If I don’t respond within a split second of these words parting from his lips, & incase I need reminding “Mummyeee? DADDYEES NUTS’! I would like to clear this up fellow shoppers, my son is not referring to a part of my beloved husbands anatomy, no, no-no. He is most obviously pointing out to me that: ‘Mummy, we have just passed the Honey & nut cornflakes, & Daddy likes to consume these for breakfast’. I’m perfectly aware of all the bemused looks I receive when he proclaims this in his special way, though I get far too much of a giggle from it to correct him or offer an explanation to anyone.

cool bananas, supermarket, the ordinary moments, cornflakes

Shouting those inner most thoughts!!

& The other example, may sound like the start of a bad ‘toilet humour’ joke. Alas, this is not the case. My little bear is fond of Winnie the Pooh. “Fantastic” I thought! “I loved Winnie the Pooh when I was younger” & looked forward to watching & reading the works of A.A Milne together. Oh Boy!! Little did I realise bear would march around shouting “POO!! Mummyeee, POO”. Whenever he was thinking of the yellow fluffy pooh bear. This was made worse (much worse) recently: when daddy & bear were out, they came across a Gigantic Winnie the Pooh teddy bear, of the plush & stuffed variety:

winnie the pooh, winnie, pooh, pooh bear,  A A milne

Gigantic Winnie the Pooh!

Our ‘bear’ apparently picked Winnie up & refused to put him down. Daddy being a big softy treated little dude to this new stuffed creature.  So now I have to content with the random ‘out loud’ thoughts from said child of not just “POO. Mummyee POO” Noooo, But “BIG POO! Mummyeee, BIG POO”. Hahahaha. Just watch those poor buggers around us fleeing for cover in the worry that a little toddler has just created a ‘big poo’ in the literal sense!!



Family Fun: Buggy Walks & Buggy Talks.

Soakin' up that london sun

Soakin’ up that london sun

Family Fun with: Buggy Walks & Buggy Talks….

Its fantastic when the weekend arrives & we get to spend some quality ‘family’ time together. Deciding what to do however is a fraught with much um-ing and ahr-ing.  Ultimately for us, the weather will have a major impact on our final choice of activity! We’re a very ‘outdoorsy’ family, & whenever we have the opportunity to ‘pound the streets’ with Bear in his buggy, this comes up trumps. Located on the outskirts of London, we are perfectly positioned for town or country walks, today’s choice: a town walk. Out of the front door & over to Petts Wood for Brunch. Once we arrived Bear promptly evacuated his buggy for the more appealing prospect of Garden games with Nana & Granddad! & Our choice of buggy? The ‘Phil & Teds Dot’. Choosing the right buggy can be a tiresome task, & this is how we eventually settled with ours:

When we were purchasing our buggy & Bear was just a mere bump, I must have read every article possible on travel & buggy ‘systems’. Jeez, Is there a lot to take in! Given our passion for the outdoors, we decided pretty early on that a ‘3 wheel’ sports design would suffice for us. We opted for the Britax B-smart travel system, with the isofix car seat + base. As a new parent this was very simple to use & easy for us get to grips with. Sadly though, as my little munchkin grew, became more alert & upright (like the modern day man!) I noticed he wasn’t at all comfortable in the seat of the B-smart. It appeared the seat needed to incline further & to compensate for the lack of this he had to pull himself forward. I’m not sure if this was a one off faulty buggy or an overall issue with this particular design. Panic started to ensue within me! I adored the robustness of the B-Smart & i felt assured using a brand such as ‘Britax’. Having already spent the time researching & splashing out a fair amount of cash, what would i do now that it appeared ‘not fit’ ? Paying that kind of large sum again wouldn’t be possible.

I contacted Britax (their customer service was pretty good) & because the purchased was made through Mothercare, they directed me back to a store for help. Off I trotted down there. Slightly apprehensive, I demonstrated to the manager what was wrong, & he totally agreed. I received such good customer service; my mind was instantly put at ease. Luckily, because the buggy was within it’s guarantee & deemed ‘faulty’, I was able to exchange it. Hesitant to go for the same design again, incase the issue would reoccur, I exchange for a different make & model. Electing this time for the Phil & Teds Dot . It’s just slightly smaller than the original Phil & Teds (read all about it here). What a great decision! We’ve had it for 1 & ½ years now, & I have no complaints. The fantabulous thing about this design is that it’s a ‘fully adaptable’ stroller for 2 children. Of course, I’m not trying to drop any subtle not so subtle hints’ to my darling hubbie (would I?), but it makes a great choice for the possibility of siblings!

Phil & Teds dot. Look- the child who 'never sleeps' sleeps!! That's gotta be a good stroller!!

Phil & Teds dot. Look- the child who ‘never sleeps’ sleeps!! That’s gotta be a good stroller!!

Mummy push...bear push!

Bear push….mummy push!

I use ours with a Bowron stroller lambskin fleece & I’d highly recommend the benefit of these: it’ll stop bubba from getting all sweaty betty in hot weather but keeps them snug as a bug in the winter. On our trips to sunnier climes, it has been a godsend-keeping bear from over heating.

Omnomnom... Ice cream & lambskin keeping bear cool

Omnomnom… Ice cream & lambskin keeping bear cool

For our ‘world’ travels, I did purchase a ‘umbrella’ stroller: the Maclaren Techno XT . It may sound extravagant to have bought a ‘holiday’ buggy, but hear me out; I think this is well founded. I picked mine up on eBay, second hand for £70 & being a well-made Maclaren it was in such good condition. It’s travelled around the globe with us, has been man handled by countless ground staff & momentarily lost on the tarmac at Miami airport, fortunately to be found again (looking a little soggy) & It’s still going strong! Now, I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t fancy putting a £300 buggy like my precious ‘dot’ though all of that? I appreciate which one would dent the wallet more, if it had to be replaced!

The well travelled stroller..Maclaren techno XT

The well travelled stroller..Maclaren techno XT

A good buggy/ system can set you back a small fortune. But if you invest wisely, they can last you for years. My best tips are:

  • Buy from a retailer where you can return to store: I know there are heaps of great deals online, but there really is nothing quiet like the reassurance & convenience of being able to visit a store in the instance of any faults-as per my experience
  • Price match. Nearly all stores price match. Find your products with corresponding prices & present them to the shop. That way you can get Internet best prices in your local store. Mothercare , Kiddicare & John Lewis (to name a few) all engage in price matching. & Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  • Try before you buy. Kiddicare Lakeside has a huge area for ‘test driving’ strollers. & The best bit? No ‘Learner plates’ required-even if you are a novice! Baby shows are also handy for this.
  • Buy what is best suited for you. Don’t be influenced by celebs: what they use more than likely has been ‘gifted’ as a form of PR. So don’t believe the hype.
  • Less is, well, less. Space is key, so buy according to your available space & weight tolerances…. These pieces of equipment can weigh as much as a small army tank. Great at toning your arms, but also great at ‘putting your back out’! Check the dimensions will fit in your car, or how suitable they’ll be on public transport.
  • Research. Narrow down your choices & check the reviews. You’ll find these splashed all around the Internet (Which? are always great at unbiased opinions).
  • Check your home contents insurance. In fact, at the same time have a look at what other ‘baby’ equipment might be covered. Children are an expensive hobby!

As I write this London basking in some unseasonably warm sun & we have been taking full advantage of every ray: We dusted off the cobwebs on ‘dot’, pumped up her tyres & I’ve been let loose on those pavements again! Watch out pedestrians…….we’re going a’ cruising’ & “I’m rollin’ with ma homie’!

Family Fever
I’ve linked this with My family Fever: go check out the other tried & tested reviews this week!

Tongue Tie & Breastfeeding

Make yourself a cuppa & grab a yummy biscuit. Lets get stuck in, read on….

Did anyone watch BBC news breakfast on Tuesday morning? The chances are, that if you’re reading this you probably did. Or you’ve landed here after scoring the internet for advice and help on tongue tie. Before my little bear was born, I’d heard the phrase ‘tongue tie’ being used in a jovial way for when you got your words all muddled up. Shortly after his slightly dramatic entrance into the world I had the displeasure of understanding it’s origin. Not a laughing matter I assure you. I won’t give you the medical low down, you can read that here: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tongue-tie/Pages/Introduction.aspx

I will tell you about my experience, and I hope in some way it can help anyone going through a similar situation.

You can see left, how restricted Bear's tongue movement is. & right- nickname bear, & a bear by nature!

You can see left, how restricted Bear’s tongue movement is. & right- nickname bear, & a bear by nature!

As you read on, it may be difficult to wrap your head around why I seemed so hell bent on pursuing breastfeeding, given everything I came up against? & In retrospect 2 years down the line, I often think ‘Wow, I was stubborn’. I feel so grateful that I had such an amazing support network around who backed me for persevering with breastfeeding, yet were really reassuring that if I wanted or needed to switch to formula this was perfectly ok too. I feel like I made the best decisions for Bear & me, at that particular time & that’s the most important thing. Would I handle it differently now? Maybe, maybe not. I’m satisfied I coped the best way I could back then. Ultimately I did what I intrinsically felt was right in that moment.

So I said bear made a slightly dramatic entrance into the world. The point is regardless of how he arrived, he did. He was healthy, here & that was the ultimate goal. After a ridiculous amount of hours in ‘active’ labour on just gas & air, I had an epidural & eventually ended up needing an emergency C-section. It couldn’t have been further from my ‘hypnotherapy-water-natural- birth please’ but I’d always remained realistic, that these things no matter how well you prepare yourself, just don’t always go to ‘plan’. As crazy as it sounds, I think it’s fair to say I always like to feel ‘in control’ & I may be stating the bloody obvious, that during the birth process this gets thrown out the window (along with all your heirs and graces)! But having total control taken away & being told ‘We have to deliver your baby with medical intervention/ major surgery’ I think sent me off on a crusade afterwards. I wanted to do everything within my power to be ‘natural’ & ‘breast is best’ blah, blah, blah. When I was in a very sorry state with nipples so severely damaged that I’d rather have been in labour again, this was my driving force. Slightly crazy. No, downright bonkers really.

Baby bear: the first few weeks. As close to a breastfeeding picture i would allow to be taken!

Baby bear: the first few weeks (hours old, days old, weeks old). As close to a breastfeeding picture i would allow to be taken!

I knew from the very first feed in hospital something was wrong. I took full advantage of the nursing staff around & asked if he was latching on properly at every opportunity. They reassured me that his latch was great & it was just because my nipples needed to ahem, ‘toughen up’ (What? Really?) & Explained that once milk production started it would be fine. Being a ‘first time mummy’ I just accepted this advice, I knew no different. & It’s hardly a hot topic whilst you’re pregnant, talking about what happens to your ‘udders’ in the early stages of feeding. I avidly followed a certain baby magazine & not once did I see any articles about breastfeeding hurting. You just presume that baby goes on & ‘voilà’ they feed. At least, that’s what I thought.

I had to stay in hospital for a couple of nights & I feel this was the worst but part of the whole delivery/ post birth for me: there you are, with your new bundle of joy, you’re recovering from major surgery, your husband/ partner is not allowed to stay, you’re all on your own. & Your baby just won’t stop screaming (Even though he’s become a permanent fixture to you breast for what feels like all night). You’re sharing a room with 3 other mother & babies and one rude, condescending mum turns to you and says ‘You need to feed your baby’. Now, had I my wits about me I would have responded to her with my sharp tongue. But I felt like there was something seriously wrong with bubba’s feeding & her comment only served to increase my worry.

Baby bear starting to look skinny-worrying times

Baby bear starting to look skinny-worrying times

When I returned home, M commented on how much bear cried. Was it normal for a newborn to scream that much? Talk about feeling helpless. At 5 days old, my lovely photographer friend Lyanne visited to do a newborn shoot with us. She gets you to feed baby so they’re ‘milk drunk’ & snoozy, it makes for some great pictures (see below)! But little bear just didn’t want to cooperate with this. Ly observed Bear feeding & advised me to check with my midwife if he was tongue tied so I did, straight away. This was dismissed immediately.  Ly wasn’t convinced & neither was I, so I asked for second & even 3rd opinions. Dismissed every time, I resided myself to the fact that breastfeeding was just this bloody painful & required me to shed a tear every time a feed happened. I envied seeing women so easily feeding their child.

Little bear at 5 days old. www.lyannewylde.com

Little bear at 5 days old. www.lyannewylde.com

Mummy & baby bonding time, bliss! & a Photo shy but ever so proud daddy......

Mummy & baby bonding time, bliss! & a Photo shy but ever so proud daddy…… www.lyannewylde.com

At 3 weeks old, I will say I hit a brick wall. I just couldn’t carry on being in so much pain. I wanted to enjoy & savour every precious moment bonding with bear, not fearing the pain. With so much conflicting advice about mixed feeding I just didn’t know what to do. I visited a local drop in feeding clinic where a lovely lady confirmed Bear was in fact severely tongue tied (90%). How the bloody hells bells, did that keep getting missed?! A referral to Kings Collage Hospital London was made for a ‘tongue division’, but I was warned this would take at least 3 weeks. Panic ensued within me. By this point, Bear had lost weight & it was starting to get very worrying: my GP & midwife were really concerned. I could not wait 3 weeks. I wouldn’t. It was early December, what if we had snow & it was delayed even further? In sheer desperation, I searched high & low and found a lady who would come to you & perform the procedure. I researched her & asked my local feeding clinic: although legally they weren’t allowed to recommend anyone, they said this particular lady was well known & had a great reputation. My husband M & I affectionately referred to her as ‘the boobie lady’, her name was Ann Dobson. She deserves a medal. I’m not sure what we would have done without her. She had visited us within a day of calling her & performed the tongue dividing procedure immediately. Unfortunately Bear had to have this operation repeated a few weeks later due to scar tissue formation.

Eventually he started feeding better, I was able to express milk as well as breastfeed to top him up (& allow my nipples to heal) & he would have a little formula to help him along also. I’d suffered 3 bouts of mastitis, and severe nipple trauma & started to make a slow recovery from this. At 5 months I had taken all i could, & it was a easy transition to formula (I’m still not sure my nipples have forgiven me for the sheer bloody torture!)

We were extremely fortunate to have financial assistance from family to be able to afford a private practitioner, for which we are ever so grateful. This isn’t going to be an option for everyone, but what mother with a newborn will be prepared to wait 3 weeks when their child is already suffering? It’s incredibly frustrating that this can be so easily diagnosed & treated; yet there just doesn’t seem to be enough sufficiently trained ‘medical’ staff for this. I stumbled across a petition today calling for a mandatory check for tongue tie as routine postnatal examination http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/57164. We can only hope, right?

I can hardly believe that in just over 2 years this is the first time I’ve heard tongue tie being discussed in the media. I’m so pleased it’s being explained on a platform such as the BBC & it can only serve to help raise the profile of this condition.

Super Busy Mum
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