Sunday, March 30, 2008


See excerpt below (or click here) taken from Daily Mail on 27th March 2008:-

Cough medicine banned for children under two as 100 remedies are taken off the shelves - 27th March 2008

A small child receives cough medicine - but the treatments contain ingredients that could be fatal in high doses (picture posed by model)Cough and cold remedies for children under two are to be pulled from the shelves immediately amid safety fears.
At least 100 products will be put under the counter as parents are warned about the danger of giving toddlers potentially fatal overdoses.

The dramatic move means popular medicines will effectively be banned for any youngster under the age of two and parents of all children up to six will have to ask for them. It could signal a return to old-fashioned remedies such as honey and lemon drinks.
Best-selling brands affected include Tixylix, Robitussin, Benylin and Calpol. The alert centres on 12 ingredients in the medicines, many of which have been used by drug firms for years.

At least five deaths of British children under two have been linked to cough and cold remedies and more than 100 serious cases of suspected adverse reactions have been reported.

A similar warning was issued in the U.S. in January.

A small child receives cough medicine - but the treatments contain ingredients that could be fatal in high doses.

Today, six products directly targeted at children under two will be removed from open sale, although they may still be supplied by a pharmacist for use with older children.

They include Boots Chesty Cough Syrup 1 Year Plus and Asda Children's Chesty Cough Syrup.

Another 59 products - authorised for use in children under two but not marketed at them - will also be taken off the shelf and sold only to parents whose children are older.

A further 58 products aimed only at children aged two to six will also be taken down. Anyone buying any of the 117 products will be instructed on the exact dose they should give. In the long term, manufacturers will re-label and re-package them so they can go back on normal sale.

In a simultaneous move, parents will be told to use temperature-lowering drugs such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat babies and toddlers suffering cold symptoms.

They will also be advised to use a simple cough syrup such as glycerol, honey or lemon, with vapour rubs for a stuffy nose.

Parents of children under two who have any of the affected products at home will be advised to take them to a pharmacist or back to where they bought them.

Those with children between two and six are being urged to seek advice before using the products. The updated advice comes from the drug safety watchdog, the Commission on Human Medicines. None of the remedies has been shown to be dangerous when used correctly. But there has been growing concern that parents may unwittingly give children too much, because they either miscalculate the dose or use additional doses to ensure the medicine works. Mixing different products can also lead to an overdose if they contain the same ingredient. Children under two are at greatest risk simply because they are smaller.

Last year the American College of Chest Physicians said cough mixtures were of little use to adults and could harm children. Research by U.S. doctors showed that plain honey was better than many expensive medicines.
Professor Rosalind Smyth, chairman of the CHM paediatric medicines expert advisory group, said last night: "Coughs and colds are generally self-limiting conditions which will get better themselves, usually within a few days.
"The management of symptoms in the under-twos is best achieved with treatment to control fever - ibuprofen or paracetamol - together with simple cough mixtures."

Cambridgeshire GP Dr David Haslam said parents should not panic. He said: "This is about removing potential risk. The problem with combination products is that children get a potentially toxic cocktail of ingredients".

"It's safer to use the tried and tested remedies of paracetamol and ibuprofen.

"We know how they work and what the side effects are."

The ingredients that will no longer be licensed for children under two are the antihistamines brompheniramine, chlorphenamine and diphenhydramine; cough suppressants dextrometorphan and pholcodine; expectorants guaifenesin and ipecacuanha and decongestants phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, oxymetazoline and xylometazoline.

The Proprietary Association of Great Britain, which represents medicine makers, is launching an information campaign with leaflets in pharmacies and other shops.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

7-night Holiday Essential List

This is NOT a list of everything we took, but what we actually USED in the 7 days we were in Tenerife:-

1 x pack of 38 x nappies (a very close call!)
1 x box of 900g formula (this was only just enough for Drew feeding 6ozs every 3hrs)
2 x vests
1 x dress
1 x babygrow
2 x muslin cloths
1 x hat with neck protector
1 x pair baby sunglasses
1 x tube of spf50 suncream
6 x toys (inc. 2 x new toys)
2 x Colins (comforters)
2 x kids dvd's
1 x inflatable baby chair for the pool
1 x beach cabana tent
1 x blanket
1 x sleeping grobag
1 x travel first aid kit

and for mummy and daddy...
8 x paracetamols
2 x packets of Halls sore throat sweets
8 x rennies
1 x antihistamine
2 x eyemasks
4 x film dvd's (inc. the Davina McColl workout)

Holiday Success!

Well we did it! We ALL survived the flight AND a weeks' holiday in Tenerife!

I highly recommend going away with a baby as young as Drew (4.5months). Not only is she FREE to fly and stay in the hotel, but we proved YOU can relax!

The new toys bought for the flight worked a treat and Drew did manage to sleep in our arms on the way over and on the return flight. We took advice and gave Drew some milk as the plane went up and came down to help with the pressure in her ears and as far as we could tell, Drew had no problems. As far as Drew knew, it was cold wet and miserable when she got in a small tin pot. She went to sleep and woke up in a warm sunny paradise, full of inflatable toys!

Jerry managed to organise a taxicab as soon as we landed. I don't think the driver noticed Jerry's honest attempt at speaking the local lingo as in his true 'Delboy' style, Jerry thanked him for the ride - 'Merci' he said.

Not having gone away abroad with Drew before, we had no idea how many nappies, clothes, etc to pack, so it was sort of suck it and see really. However, I kept a tally of exactly what we used for 7 nights away as a future guide. Check out our "7-night Holiday Essentials List" POST.

Previous to going away, we bought a pop-up 'Beach Cabana' with SPF50 protection (from John Lewis - ONLY £24.00) and BOY...were we the new kids on the block with that little innovation!

We were the only people who had one in the whole complex and there were over 3000 rooms in the hotel, aimed at old fogies, and families with children and/or babies. We set-up the pop-up tent next to the pool everyday and we stayed there from 8.30am til 5.00pm. We enhanced the beach cabana by installing a rope fixed to the roof (using the free sewing kit left in our hotel room...good eh?!) so we could hang Drew's toys from it so it would act like an activity mat like we have at home. With relaxing Air and Zero 7 on the ipod with mini-speakers, she definitely had 5* accommodation! Drew loved it and stayed in her pop-up paradise to play with her toys until she needed to have her milk. At that point, we popped up a poolside umbrella, brought her out, fed her, and then went for a swim. Drew would then sleep quite happily in the tent until she was ready to feed again...easy!

With Drew sleeping from 7am - 7pm already, our evenings were pretty much our own. Drew knew nothing of bring transferred from her cot in our hotel room to the buggy on an evening which allowed us to go out to the restaurants. Every now and again, she would open one eye, check out where she was, see us and just go back to sleep.

Drew had a few poohs on the flights and a massive runny green one on the way back and thankfully Daddy was holding her! It was so bad, he formed a nice neat single queue behind him whilst he sorted her out!

All in all, the weeks' holiday was a roaring success helped an awful lot by Drew...she's so easy...maybe I shouldn't speak too soon!!! Just to bore you, have a look at our holiday photos HERE.

Baby Puke

It wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't wearing a v-neck jumper.

The creamy warm milk managed to slide down between my boobs and rested gently at the bottom of my bra and gathered into a nice neat puddle. That was when Drew's name came up on the display...it was our turn. Great timing.

As I walked from the waiting room to the doctor's room carrying Drew, I could sense the 'eau de lait' which was slowly trickling under each boob. It was surprisingly warm and if it hadn't been for the smell, I would have been not that bad.

So with my bra a little heavier than 2 minutes ago, I was seeing the Nursery Nurse so I could weigh Drew, just to check that she was on target. Whilst leaning over Drew on the floor, undressing her down to her Birthday suit, the curdled stream made its way back up and dribbled quite neatly onto Drew's neck.

What the Nursery Nurse must have thought initially is anyone's guess...but she said it was quite something that I was able to store Drew's formula milk in my bra and it kept it warm...just like breast milk! When I explained it was puke, her puzzled look said it all...'why am I storing baby puke in my underwear?'...

I was too tired to explain and as I made my quick exit, I'm sure I caught sight of her typing the word 'nutter' on my medical notes.

Anyhoo..Drew's weight is 13lbs 6oz (nearly 5months old)...probably a few ounces lighter than 2minutes ago anyway!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Travelling with a baby

I forgot to tell you!

We booked a weeks' holiday to Tenerife and we leave next Tuesday...2 days to go!

I've used the same Travel Checklist I devised when Drew was a newborn, but how things change...I certainly don't need to take the expressing machine anymore! Phew!

There are many concerns about going on holiday abroad with your new baby...
  • How will Drew be on the plane...how do we keep her entertained
  • Will her ears hurt because of the cabin pressure
  • Will the baby cot be clean and safe
  • Will the hotel room be clean and safe
  • How many nappies do we pack
  • I MUST buy Drew some new clothes and for Mummy of course
  • My WeightWatcher 'Eating Out Guide' doesn't include holiday restaurants...what should I eat?
  • How will we look after Drew on the flight, when I'm petrified of flying and need to sit on Jerry's lap too
Well, I took some advice from the girls from my postnatal group and bought a few more travel-sized toys an will give them to Drew when we are on the plane so it's something new.

We're packing a pillow in our hand luggage for Drew to sit on and (hopefully) go to sleep on.

Most importantly, we're taking our portable DVD player accompanied by Sponge Bob Squarepants and the Night Garden troop. For Mummy, I'm taking Davina McColl's workout DVD and for Daddy, Davina McColl's workout DVD.

As normal, being ultra-organised, we're all packed already and its Saturday evening. We checked with Bristol Airport and they make exceptions on carrying liquids in your hand luggage if you have a baby which is great news. So, we're going armed with enough bottles in case there is a delay (picked up this valuable advice from watching Airport!).

I'm looking forward to the break, the warm-ish weather and spending time with Drew and Jerry, but I'm feeling a bit anxious about getting on the plane. I just hate the thought of something going wrong or someone blowing us up. I have a massive fear of terrorism on planes and although I have completed a Fear of Flying course with Virgin (and I have the certificate to prove it), I still have that little thing in me that looks around the plane like a meercat trying to identify the terrorist amongst the passengers so I can keep an eye on them. I even think about stashing my plastic cutlery in my clothing in case I need to use it to overcome a hijacker. I know its silly, but it COULD happen. Drew will probably be fine and I'll be the wobbly whimpering wet mess lying in the aisle where I feel its safer than near the windows, making my mind go to that 'happy place'. No diazapan for me this time. I'm being good because of Drew and I don't think it would be fair leaving Jerry to look after two big babies! I'll let you know how it goes, but pray for us!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Turning Over

Well Drew is showing signs that she wants to turn over. Thank goodness...I mean...I spend my time cooing, singing, jigging and speaking in a high-pitched tone all day to her, the least she could do is TURN OVER for goodness sake!

She has never liked lying on her front although the Midwives suggest you try it for a short time daily. If I'm honest, I haven't done that simply because she screams and cries. However, she IS better on her front now and lifts her head really well. When she lays on her back now, she is trying really hard to turn and can get onto her side as if she is reaching for a toy. It's just that link from being on her side to being on her front she hasn't yet got the hang of. I think she's not quite sure what to do with the arm that gets caught as she turns.

Having thought about it a bit more, its probably the telly she's reaching to see more clearly!

Anyway, I look forward to the day when she can do this...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How do I get everything done???!!!*!*!*!*!*!

Get up
Dry & style hair
Clean teeth
Shoes on
and GO....

That's how it should be. No interruptions. No distractions. Of course, any Mum knows that our multi-tasking skills are tested to the max. when you have a baby and if you have more than one...well it doesn't bare thinking about at the present moment.

Jerry is lovely and calls me everyday and asks how I am, how Drew is and how my day is going. Lovely, but he also leaves me notes. Not love notes. Notes asking me to do things...if I have time. If I have time??????

if you have time, can you put a whole load of loft items on eBay...can you take the bathroom cabinet back to Ikea...walk the dog...collect my prescription contact lenses...fill the car with stuff from the garage and take to the dump...if you have time."

I found it difficult to explain to Jerry why I hadn't managed to get his 'little jobs' completed. And then would come the most annoying question ever...

"What have you been doing all day?"

Lucky for Jerry, I have learnt to control my fiery Scorpion star sign temper and rather than react to his typical wind-up question, I decided to keep a record of what I did in a day and present him with it. However, that proved too difficult and it morphed into a flowchart which has now been adopted as Drew's set of 'Baby Instructions' in case I ever decide to have a day off!

Check it out HERE and bear in mind...this is just the bare minimum and doesn't include the following:
  • Walking dog (which I do daily)
  • Ironing Jerry's work shirts (which I do weekly)
  • Prepare and cook meal (which I do daily)
  • Go shopping (which I don't do daily since my maternity leave pay has kicked in)
  • Put clean clothes away (which I do daily)
  • Dust & Clean (which I only do when we have VIPs)

Naughty Fish - UPDATE

Well, we thought it was about time 'Minty' the Molly fish was taken out of his padded high security cell and returned to the confines of the fish tank. We thought after all this time he would have learnt his lesson and would be ready to be reintegrated into 'fish' society.

Boy, were we wrong about Minty! No sooner had we dropped the four walls and waited until he got used to his surroundings, he was back to his old tricks, bullying the other fish, nipping and head-butting one in particular. This victimised fish, Jerry named him Shaun, was already wounded from the previous attack and still swims with a limp.

So..there was nothing for it. We had to take drastic action. I say 'WE', but as soon as Jerry knew what had to be done, he suddenly found some washing up to be done and decided to empty the dishwasher! I know!

I had trouble catching Minty so Jerry agreed to capture him, but said he didn't like to kill or murder so would have nothing to do with the actual 'act'. I reminded Jerry he was the one who actually caught Shaun, so was a conspirator to murder and that would also carry a heavy sentence...this knowledge didn't do much for his conscience, but who cares...at least he knows how to use the dishwasher now and that's the most important thing.

So with Minty in the little fishnet, I carried him to our family bathroom and hovered over the toilet bowl with him...wondering if what I was about to do was very wrong. Maybe fish DID have feelings...how long would it take Minty to die...should I have dropped him down our downstairs toilet which might be a quicker death as it had a macerator...should I say a quick prayer...

I felt a bit silly talking to God about Minty and asking for forgiveness, so I chose to just drop him in. I'm sure God was completely aware of our fishy dilemma and I should say at this point, I did call the Aquatics Store where we bought Minty to ask for forgiveness...I mean advice. They said re-home him. I asked if they would take him back and they said no...doh! Re-homing was easier said than done. Who would want an angry fish? So, there we were...hovering over the white ring of heaven. It was now or never. I dropped him in. He swam towards the side of the pan and before he had time to say "Damn" (get it?!)
, I pulled the flush.

It was only then I had a thought...I should have removed the blue cistern block. Now Minty's in the porcelain pipeway in the 'blue' sky. Job done. Jerry is still waking up in the night in a cold sweat saying 'Minty'!