Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I'd never heard of it before. Bronchiolitis. I even had to look it up to see how to spell it! Not a very nice virus for babies to get, but unfortunately, quite common at this time of year.

The symptoms are very similar to those your baby would suffer with a cold or cough. However, it was the gasping for breath and the refusing to feed which made us become more concerned. That and Harriet's scream which changed from a girly baby 'wah' to a manly 'roar'!!

So, the symptoms include:
  • stuffy nose
  • mild fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • refusing to eat / drink
Harriet's had this virus for some weeks although it wasn't so bad and having taken her to see the GP and had her oxygen levels checked, because she was at 94%, there was no need to go to hospital.

However, after we thought it had all gone away, one quite Friday night last week turned into a bit of a panic. The evening was tough. Jerry was out with his mates for a curry and Harriet screamed. All night. This is when the scream changed into a 'roar'. I was in constant contact with Jer as I thought it was a trapped burp that I just couldn't do anything about. I refused to let Jer cut his night short, so did as much as I could to calm her down, but she wouldn't drink her milk either. Eventually, after about 4 or 5 hours, she fell asleep. Probably from exhaustion. Jerry returned home and we all went to bed.

We were then awoken by Harriet 'roaring' at 3.00am. Also waking Drew who we managed to clam down and get her back to sleep. We called NHS Direct although I wasn't sure we needed to. Jer was adamant her breathing was worse, but I wasn't sure. Always good to go with instinct and to double-check though.

On calling NHS Direct and answering their initial questions, they called for the paramedics and ambulance. Within minutes, they were all here and confirmed that her oxygen levels were in the 80's and she needed to be admitted to hospital. Her colour was very pale too and that was quite worrying. They were also concerned she hadn't eaten recently and you can see she was visibly lacking in energy and was finding it too tiring to get her breath.

Jer went along in the ambulance with Harriet as I would have been too upset at that point. After being transferred to Bath Hospital as Bristol was full, Harriet was given humidified air and an energy tube was fitted so she could be given regular, but little feeds. Small feeds to prevent her being sick.

Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus called
'Respiratory Syncytial Virus' (CLICK HERE). Something that was confirmed Harriet did have by way of a nasal swab at the hospital. There is no medicine that can kill the virus and the infection can clear up on its own without having to be hospitalised, but at the point the oxygen levels go down to beyond 92%, they will admit them to hospital for treatment.

Thankfully, the staff at the hospital took great care with Harriet and there was always Doctors, consultants and nurses in our room. We were never left alone for more than one hour. The nurses even fed Harriet themselves via the tube every hour whilst they let us sleep in the hospital bed next to her cot.

Harriet's still got a cough and she snores a bit when she sleeps and we also have to keep her warm and indoors until she's better so she doesn't catch any more cold or cough germs.

But phew!!! Am I glad she's back home and better! I've said it before and I'll say it again...why didn't we have a hamster instead???***!!!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Johnny Vegas?

Is it me or does our new daughter look like Johnny Vegas?

Eeeek! I'm sure I would have remembered THAT!

Author's Note:
After reading this post, my Dad thought he'd do a little 'photoshopping' (see below...even MORE scarey)

Thursday, November 26, 2009


For reference, I started writing this post on 6th Nov. However, November has turned out to be a 'November Nightmare'! Both kids have been suffering with one illness after another. Two kids ill at the same time is tough and something I never considered when we were thinking about how lovely it would be to have another soft bundle of joy...what fluffy cloud in cuckoo land were we sitting on???!!!

So, today is 26th Nov and I think we're finally past the worst of it. Harriet is still a little snuffly and Drew did puke up (again) on Jerry last night, but she's not coughing anymore which is a massive relief.

Anyway, here's the original post...

We should DEFINITELY buy shares in nappies!!

Every day brings a new challenge, but today was one of THOSE days.

Summarised version so as not to bore you...
  • Day started well. Went to SureStart centre with Drew and Harriet
  • Harriet stayed awake and Drew had fun with her friends
  • Left early to visit the Doctors for 2nd time for Harriet as she has a nasty rash on her face and neck and the eczema cream prescribed two days ago only made it worse
  • Different Doc said it wasn't eczema but some kind of 'virus' and to monitor it
  • We've been monitoring it for a few weeks, so asked to be referred to a specialist, but Doc gave us mild steroid cream instead and if it doesn't go away by next week, they will refer us
  • Went home, gave Drew her lunch which resulted in her being put in the naughty corner twice for throwing cutlery and food (Barney the K9 hoover cleaned it all up, but that's not the point!)
  • Put Drew to bed. By this time, Drew has had 3 runny poohey nappies. Harriet lagging behind with 1
  • Drew took an hour to get to sleep, only to wake up an hour later having coughed so hard and woken up AND had another runny pooh and been sick
  • Harriet has only had 10minutes sleep by this time, having woken by Barney barking at a delivery man who rung our doorbell
  • The rest of the day is a misty blur of pooh, puke and tears!
Now you can see why I chose THIS title for this post!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Big Girl Swings

The title of this maybe somewhat misleading.

For those of you who typed in these exact words but were expecting to find the services of an overweight lady looking to share her 'time' with you and your partner, I would suggest you select another result from your search engine as I think you'll be sorely disappointed with this site.

However, as you're here, you might as well read on before you go though...

Recently, we went to visit my parents in Teignmouth. I won't bore you I promise!

We visited the children's play park located in the town centre where Drew was able to explore and experience the varied apparatus for her age group. Not forgetting to drag her minder around with her..."Grandad" of course.

Normally, Drew sticks mostly to the toddler swing and
small slides. But she also likes to sit and watch the other children play. She seems to have a fascination for this. Nothing wrong with that! Everyone does it...people watching!

Anyhoo...she had been watching some older children on the older swings. The swings WITHOUT a front and a back. Just a seat and two chains. Drew then decided she wanted to have a go. With her minder's assistance, she climbed aboard and held on tightly and was swung back and forth by an obedient Grandad (too obedient for his own good sometimes!!).

I know it's not much to write home about, but it did make me smile. Drew is growing up fast before our eyes. I'm sure she'll always like coming to the park though. Although ten years down the line, she'll probably be leaning up against the swings, carving her initials into the paintwork, smoking a cigarette (I SO hope not!) and using her blackberry to tell her friends how embarrassing her parents are for putting up photos (like this one below) onto the Internet. I'll just tell her Daddy made me do it!

For info...this is a photo
taken yesterday (17th Nov 09) just after Drew had asked to have a pooh in her potty and produced a wonderful specimen. She received a BIG gold star on her chart and a 'well done' sticker, plus the chance to flush it away, say 'by-bye' AND wash her hands over and over again. She doesn't know how lucky she is!!! The day before, she did the same, but it was more of a lonely malteaser.

Drew, if you ARE reading this and you're 20 years old. I'm sorry. But I obviously have too much time on my hands OR I'm just a proud Mummy. Which do you think???


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dirty Harry!!

Well, I took a photo of Drew's, so it's only fair Harry got the same treatment.

What do you think?

Sort of an 'army camoflage green' I think.

U R G H ! * ! ? * ? !

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What happens when it all goes quiet...

Need I say more???

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Spectator Sport

I know how difficult it is to get a child / toddler to wash their hands and that's something we've been lucky with. Drew likes to stand on her little step, get the soap and rub her little hands together, before drying them (not very well) on the towel. Ah! Bless her little OCD ways she's probably inherited from her parents!

So, picture this...

This morning, I go for a number one. I'm quickly followed by Drew who sees it as a chance to wash her hands - again. So there I am, sitting quite innocently 'doing my thang', Drew balancing on her Fifi step, washing her hands. In saunters Barney as if we were expecting him and he starts to lick my legs, glancing up at me every now and again with his sad puppydog eyes. In the background, I hear Harriet begin to cry out in her 'I'm 4 weeks old...how dare you leave me and go to the toilet - scream'. I turn to get some toilet paper and guess what? Yep...one sheet left. Who does that??? At that same moment, I notice Drew has turned her attention to the toilet brush. As I'm trying to explain in the most simplest way that this brush is not that great for brushing her hair, the doorbell goes and Barney, who was concentrating on covering ever
y part of my leg with warm Barney saliva, pushes open the toilet door and runs straight to the front door to welcome our unknown visitor with a very loud and very annoying bark.

With that, Drew needed to see what all the fuss was about and with her hands all washed and cleaned, her hair brushed (of sorts), she quickly follows him out of the door, forgetting she is stood on her Fifi step.

So, down goes Drew and the tears start. I now have Barney barking, Drew crying, unable to get up, Harriet crying in the living room, someone at the door and the situation has been made a million times worse because SOMEONE couldn't be bothered to put a new toilet roll on the holder!!!! Do they think the toilet roll fairy does it???

So, chaps...you all know you do it. If there was ever the motivation needed to complete this simple little chore, PLEASE don't ignore it. Don't leave 1 or 2 sheets for the next visitor to the toilet...you never know...next time it could be YOU!!

Oh and incase you're wondering...I never got to answer the door. A tennis ball was promptly used to stem the volume from the dog. Drew calmed down enough to tell me she had a 'baddie' and felt much better hitting her Fifi step and telling it off. And me? Well, I only just made it up the stairs with my jeans round my ankles.

And Jerry calls this a life of luxury...let me at 'im!!!&*£$%!**!!

...and it was all yellow

You'll have guessed that the reason I've not posted for while is because I've given birth. And you'd be right. AND THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT!!!!!!!!!!!

We gave birth one week
early, 48hrs after getting a stretch and sweep which I'm sure that did the trick. I'm SO glad I went into labour when I did though as it felt like 9 years being pregnant, not 9 months! So, I'd like to introduce our (nearly ginger) daughter, Harriet Abigail. Born 18th September 2009 weighing 7lbs 10ozs. I say nearly ginger as her hair did look a bit red...nothing wrong with that...I don't want to start a ginger whinging incident. 4 weeks on and she's more of a conker colour. Bless!

Jer did his usual Quentin Tarantino impression and filmed during the birth, although there isn't as much footage as there was with Drew. Firstly, because the whole process only took 5 hours and secondly, because I thought I was going to die as the pain was so unbearable and Jer had to hold me up for quite a few hours. Something he moaned about afterwards as he got a bit of backache!!!! Grrrr!!!

So, YES - there will be a short edited movie uploaded shortly. Keep watching this space!! It's amazing how quickly you slip back into the newborn baby routine, but we forgot ALL about winding and burping a baby...cor! It takes ages!

Drew has taken to her baby sister remarkably well and with a few minor tantrums right at the start, she loves to help us change Harriet's nappy and rock her moses basket. Even if it is at warp-speed! In this period of new beginnings, Drew has been grasping onto new words - colours, numbers, animals, sounds etc. and the word of the moment is 'yellow'. This also happens to be the exact same colour of Harriet's nappy contents. Nice.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Dad's Point of View

I can't believe what I've just read that someone has written about Dads and their role at birth...

Waiting in my local GP Surgery, I picked up a parenting magazine, (probably) packed with useful features, tips and 100 ways to improve your life whilst still getting the cleaning done, etc. My eyes were drawn to a feature about Dads and their role at the birth of their child, accompanied by a beautiful photo of a six-packed tanned model (the Dad) standing in a labour room, cradling a (very clean and cute) baby in his arms, making his biceps bulge (naturally), suggesting the birth had only just occurred. You know the type...

I'd like to also point out that this magazine was filed inside a rigid plastic lever arch file, as were all the others, in an attempt by the Surgery to prevent any of the patients from stealing their literature (presumably implemented by their Security Control Monitoring HQ). Why would
anyone want to steal a magazine? I don't know, but looks like it's big business in MY surgery anyway, so watch yourselves...the lever arch security prevention squad may hit your surgery soon!

So, back to this feature...it was well-written (in places) and the style was pleasing, informal with a comical undertone and was obviously targeting all those nervous soon-to-be-Dads and suggested that their role in the delivery suite was paramount. In fact, I quote...

'Being a good dad in the delivery room is like being a great referee in a football match. If no one notices you are there but everything goes smoothly, and the big players (the midwife, obstetrician/doctor and your partner) shake your hand at the end, you’ve played a blinder.'

I'll tell you what! If no one noticed (or notices in 8 weeks time) MY husband during labour, boy -would HE be in trouble! Is a good referee really one that isn't noticed?

Maybe it IS personal preference and I should take that into consideration, BUT surely as a Referee - a manager of 22 people - he would need to have a strong personality and a belief in himself. Actually M A N A G E people and communicate with them effectively and in a timely manner. He would need to be fit...very fit, be dedicated, neutral, able to read 'the game' and be relatively thick-skinned. Above all, a referee has to have a reservoir of discretion and common sense. To summarise, a Referee exists primarily to facilitate the smooth running of a match. Does it remind any of you of YOUR labour experience? Well does it?

The National Childbirth Trust sees the father’s role at the birth as fulfilling one of three roles...
"A coach, who actively assists his partner with breathing and relaxation techniques that involve a high degree of physical involvement. A teammate, who is there to provide physical or emotional support as needed. And a witness, who finds holding hands and ‘just being there’ is enough.”

Slightly different from the multi-skilled, multi-talented Manager of everything in'it??!!

It is a very personal experience going through labour for BOTH Mummy and Daddy, but I gave Jerry strict instructions based on hearing those experiences of others. So, for Jerry, I said...Whatever happens, if I ask for an Epidural, then it's because I NEED one because the pain is too much for me and I expect you to back me up and demand it too. That's all I asked from recollection.

However, I asked Jerry for his point of view in his own words for this post...
'I see my role in labour as having the ability to know what my wife is thinking before she says it. Knowing intimately her feelings and fears and reinforce her messages to the Midwifery Team. I also believe that a Dad needs to not just listen to his wife, but also to the professionals (not the 70's long running hit tv series), then weigh up the options and ensure the best option for wife and baby is implemented. It's also about injecting a bit of humour into the whole experience so taking a back seat is not really an option or what I would want anyway.

For example..
Julie: Jerry, I really need an #*?%ing Epidural! Pleeeease!
Jerry: I think it's time Julie had an Epidural.
Midwife: I think a hot bath might be a good idea at this stage.
Jerry: Okay...but I really think she needs an Epidural.
Midwife: Lets try a hot bath first
Jerry: Okay...good plan, but if she's still suffering after trying the bath, WE will want the Epidural
Julie: I tried the
#*?%ingbath, now get me an Epidural!
Jerry: Could you arrange an Epidural now please
Midwife: Yes, okay.

So, to summarise, you many want your birthing partner to 'go unnoticed', or have a breathing coach, or you may want a strong supportive partner with psychic abilities. Whatever you want, it might be useful for you to discuss what you want prior to the birth. I'm not suggesting role play (although that might be quite funny to do!) but discuss what you want to happen with various different scenarios.

One last thing, I do remember Jerry ate all my energy snacks I packed (Minstrels, Lion bars, etc) as I wasn't allowed to eat them once I'd been given an Epidural. I was SO upset about that. Jerry said he was 'doing me a favour'!! SO, make sure you take a secret stash of chocolate with you which you can gorge yourself on after the event!! Good luck one and all.

Monday, July 20, 2009

To work or NOT to work, that is the question!

I just came back from my local GP surgery and just realised I've NOT formally announced this yet, but I am pregnant again and due on 26th September 2009. Hence, why I have a pretty countdown clock on my BLOG!

There's a few reasons why
I didn't reveal this earlier, but mainly it was due to the situation with my employer. As both Jerry and I work for the same company (and in the same office in the financial sector), we were both dragged through a 'weeding out' and reduction process, where we were all at risk of being made redundant. We knew it was coming and in May, our 'consultation period' began, meaning our employer 'proposed' the redundancies, giving us 90 days notice. During this time, we had the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy, apply for other positions within the company or elsewhere, or maybe have the opportunity to be in a pool along with other colleagues, all competing for the same position.

All our performance marks from the last 3 years and our current performance rating were entered into a matrix. Our Line Managers were asked to present business cases to keep members of their team who were deemed high achievers and were then interrogated on all the fine details, having to present hard evidence to back up their case on all of us. Everything they did was apparently done as if it had to be presented at a tribunal...just in case. When there were two or more similar scores, a selection pool process was used and interviews held. Those interviews would then determine whether someone was successful or not.

In my case, I was given the opportunity to go into a pool OR take V.R. However, the catch was that the role I would be applying for was FULL-TIME (not PART-TIME which I am currently doing). They asked me there and then 'Did I want to to be considered or not?'

I know that being pregnant, you have many rights and don't get me wrong, I DO know my rights, inside AND out. But, I don't walk around wit
h rose-tinted glasses and I know that anything could be manipulated and I didn't want to take that risk. I was just concerned that my scores 'could' be manipulated once they knew I was pregnant.

To cut a very long story short, I was asked to attend an interview for the role I was already doing, but with a full-time work pattern. After what seemed like an eternity preparing for the competency-based interview, going through it and then waiting for the outcome, I got the job.

I am pleased, but as a result, friends/colleagues were not as lucky, which makes it hard to be happy. It also brings new problems...my full time role starts in August before I go on maternity leave and Drew's nursery cannot fit her in for those extra 2 days when I will now be working.

Fortunately...or unfortunately...you'll see why in a mo...my very lovely amazing parents who are not even local to us have very very kindly offered to look after Drew for 2 days each week until I go on maternity leave. That's the 'fortunate' bit!

Unfortunately, for those of you who read my posts on SPD back in 2007 ('Groin Pain' and 'SPD & Me'), you'll know all about this already, but SPD, a pregnancy-related illness, has returned. With a vengeance. I knew it might return with the 2nd pregnancy and I have been proved right. This time, however, I felt twinges months earlier than I did the first time round.

SPD generally affects women in the end of the first trimester or after delivery. However, you can experience symptoms at any point during a pregnancy. If you have the symptoms of SPD in one pregnancy, it is likely that you will experience the same symptoms with recurring pregnancies. And I was warned that during 2nd and 3rd pregnancies, the symptoms tend to start earlier and progress faster...(great!!)

So, donning my trusty crutches, I visited the Surgery this morning because the pain was so severe. My GP was keen to sign me off until my maternity leave starts at end of August, but as a compromise, he's agreed that I can work from home instead. But that's it. There is nothing more they can do.

It's an odd pain to describe as I've never experienced anything like it and I've researched this SPD illness in great detail and feel I have done as much as I can, but at the end of the day, there is NO cure.

If you're not sure whether you have SPD or not, below is a comprehensive list of symptoms you may experience:-
  • pubic pain / burning sensation
  • pubic tenderness to the touch
  • lower back pain, especially in the sacro-iliac area
  • difficulty/pain rolling over in bed
  • difficulty/pain with stairs, getting in and out of cars, sitting down or getting up, putting on clothes, bending, lifting, standing on one foot, lifting heavy objects, etc.
  • sciatica (pain in buttocks and down the leg)
  • 'clicking' or bones grinding in the pelvis when walking
  • waddling gait (walking like duck!)
  • difficulty getting started walking, especially after sleep
  • feeling like hip is out of place or has to pop into place before walking
  • bladder dysfunction (temporary incontinence at change in position)
  • knee pain or pain in other areas can sometimes also be a side-effect of pelvis problems
There ARE ways in which you can avoid extreme SPD pain, but it does mean you end up doing practically nothing. AND I MEAN NOTHING!! See list below:-
  • Avoid strenuous exercise
  • Avoid prolonged standing
  • Avoid vacuuming / cleaning
  • Avoid stretching exercises and squatting
  • Brace the pelvic floor muscles before performing any activity which might cause pain
  • Rest the pelvis
  • Sit down for tasks where possible (eg preparing food, ironing, dressing)
  • Avoid lifting and carrying
  • Avoid stepping over things
  • Avoid straddle movements especially when weight bearing
  • It might sound funny...but avoid vibrations such as shouting
  • Bend the knees and keep the legs 'glued together' when turning in bed and getting in and out of bed
  • Place a pillow between the legs when in bed or resting
  • Avoid twisting movements of the body
  • If pain is very severe, crutches (available FREE from NHS Physiotherapists) will help take the weight off the pelvis and assist with mobility
  • For more extreme cases, a wheelchair may be considered advisable
Most women suffering with SPD find coping is difficult. I think the thing that's worse than all the pain and discomfort is that, personally, I feel a huge burden to family and friends and in some instances I have read that some women are concerned for their own mental health. Relatively unknown to many, SPD can have a devastating effect on women. Midwives and other healthcare professionals have a duty to take the condition seriously, although I wasn't diagnosed for a number of weeks when I first had this in 2007.

More research IS needed to ascertain cause, to identify more effective pain relief, and most importantly to raise awareness of SPD and increase information and support.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


So this is going to be bit backward timewise, but just recently, Drew's Nursery had to close for a day due to a 'suspected' case of Swine Flu (click HERE for the complete lowdown on Swine Flu).

Nursery? Yep...I sort of forgot to tell you about the transition from our childminder, Rhea, to Nursery.

This happened in May of this year as Rhea became pregnant with her second child and selfishly she wanted to take maternity leave too!

So, we had to look for a nursery that Jerry and I were happy with so
the 'viewings' started.

Originally, we both chose the most expensive nursery and why not? It's our precious princess we're talking about!

However, after shopping around, poking our heads in and out of paint-splashed rooms and corridors carrying the 'number 2' scent our noses had come accustomed to, we asked ourselves a good question. The expensive nursery...what did it actually have that the others didn't have? The answer was as follows...
- a big car park
- CCTV cameras which parents could view from Reception
- parent key fob for front door access

BUT...did we actually need that?? Was it essential when choosing a nursery? Of course, every parent wants to ensure they choose the very best place for their babies, but you don't want to be conned into buying into something that you don't really need.

And that's what made our decision NOT to go for the top-notch nursery. The other important factor was OFSTED results. All registered nurseries are OFSTED inspected and you can view the OFSTED report, results and complaints for nurseries HERE. Just search for the Nursery name.

In the end, we went with our gut feeling. How we felt when we walked in. How the staff made us feel. What we saw and what we heard. Having a recommendation is also beneficial. This is what swung it for us.

So although Drew has only just stopped crying as of today (15th July 2009) when we drop her off, we are still confident we made the right decision for US and the proof is in the pudding. She actually sleeps on a mat with her other nursery buddies for up to 2 hours each day!! That's pretty good going!

So, it may seem like a minefield, but there are lots of tips out there. CLICK HERE for loads of helpful tips on what to look out for and questions to ask when you're looking round regarding the activities, the staff and the nursery itself and don't get panicky about it.

It's normal to feel like you're abandoning your precious pooper-scooper with strangers who will never get them to sleep, never know them like you do, never know what they like to eat, never know what they're thinking...but you'll be wrong. It's the Nursery staff member's jobs to know and do all of that. Just chill and give yourselves PLENTY of time to find the right place for YOU and make sure you start looking around
as soon as you can whilst you are still on maternity leave. In most areas the best will have long waiting lists and it’s first come first served.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Walking! A bit...

At flippen' last!

Talk about bad timing though...

Tues is one of my non-working days, but as I'm such a 'keener', I booked myself onto a training course in London. Whilst stood staring at the train times on the digital board hung high up above me, my phone rang. It was Rhea, our friend and childminder. Drew was with her for the day whilst Mummy bettered her education.

Rhea was ecstatic. Drew had started walking. I think we both screamed together down the phone and I couldn't wait to get home to see her take some steps...however, my train wasn't due for a while and by then...Drew would be in La-La Land.

Anyway, Rhea said Drew had taken about 3 steps!!! 'HOORAY' I say, thinking through my smiles and tears...only 3???? Well...I suppose I can't expect her to walk with confidence all over the place...so I'm told....but I SO wanted her too!! So, I got home and yes, Drew was in bed but Daddy tried to get her walking and she was having none of it! Temperamental so-and-so!!

Officially and for the record, Drew took her first steps on Tues 7th April, age 17 months. Just narrowly missing a trip to the Docs to have her legs and feet checked over and having to have Forrest Gump splints tied to them...I joke, but Jerry and I were both wondering what would come next if she didn't start walking.

Since then, she hasn't stopped, hence my excuse for not adding this post until now!! See Drew in action below...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Haircut

I've come to the conclusion that Drew's hair length is what held her up with her walking developing any earlier. No...really...hear me out! All her inner strength and motivation seems to have gone to growing her blond golden locks. Drew does have VERY long hair and for sometime she has looked like a cave woman (apart from when Nanna Sandra cut her fringe as an interim measure. Lucky that turned out okay...you should have seen what Barney looked like after his 'interim measure haircut' from Nanna Sandra...he nearly lost his manhood poor little thing! He's still in therapy now!

nyhoo...we couldn't avoid it any longer and I was having flashbacks of when I went to school with half my breakfast in my hair!

So, on 30th May 2009,
Drew had her first hair salon cutting experience and photos and a Certificate to prove it. My advice? Take lots of distracting toys and food!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Organix Review

Organix was created in 1992 by Lizzie Vann to campaign for better food for babies and children and to offer parents a range of foods that are a healthier alternative to home cooking without compromising on taste, quality and nutrition.

As a child, Lizzie suffered many ailments that now as an adult, she believes were linked to foo
d. That was one of her main reasons for setting up Organix. She wanted to make a real difference!

Organix asked me to review their products with Drew, so how could I say no???

Their product range provides healthy foods for babies, toddlers ('Goodies') and older children ('No Junk'). Their
babyfood range begins with simple baby rice, pureed fruits suitable for stage 1 (4 to 6 months) and stage 2 (7 to 9 months) moving on to finger foods for babies such as Rice Cakes, Crunchy Carrot Sticks and Crunchy Sweetcorn Rings suitable for stage 2 (7-9 months). The 'Goodies' biscuits are sweetened with grape juice instead of processed sugar and no nasty additives. All are made with wholegrain flour, to increase the fibre and vitamin levels, which so I'm told, is good for keeping poohs solid!

From speaking to my Community Midwife, I know that some toddlers eat too much salt, fat and sugar which can result in health problems later in life. Nasty nutrients which are found in many snacks including toddlers lunch box snacks, alongside all sorts of unnecessary food additives, preservatives and colourings.

The 'Goodies' snacks for toddlers come with Organix ‘No Junk Promise’. Each food they make will always be safe, pure and nutritious.

The Organix range is very cleverly packaged. Brightly coloured cardboard packaging, colours dependent upon the flavour and the cardboard is 100% recycled, so make sure YOU recycle after your toddler has finished playing with the box! The cereal bars for toddlers are covered in shiny foil wrappers in an array of bright colours and are easy to open on the run!

As soon as you open the cereal bars, you are hit with an amazing smell of fruits. Dark in colour, the bar is smooth and soft so can easily bitten into by a child with few teeth and it can be easily broken into small bite size pieces with minimal effort.

Drew LOVES the cereal bars, but rarely eats a whole one during one meal. However, they are a handy-sized snack to tuck into your handbag and a quick easy healthy fix for your child.

Okay, so dried fruit sounds pretty boring, BUT Organix have a range of different products that are lip-smackingly more-ish! Sultanas & Chopped Apricots, Raisins & Sultanas, Banana & Date Fruit Bar, Date & Apple Fruit Bar. Counting towards one of your 'five a day', these are a winner if you're out and about and you've got a whiny baby on your hands! Even better, Drew can be kept busy for a while with these dried fruit snacks in her nifty 'Snack Catcher'! Friends from my antenatal group introduced me to this product, bought from my local Asda store for about £3.00, made by Munchkin.

Organix also provide a range of packet savoury snacks which are very low in saturated fat. They are baked instead of fried and no artificial flavours either.

I should point out that I don't just give Drew a range of Organix products each mealtime. These products are given as additional snacks between meals or in addition to her lunch, dinner or tea. In fact, Organix recommend that any snack should be limited to a ‘treat’ and only fed on special occasions.

For babies, Organix offer several different fruit purees, veggie and meat meals, rice cakes, and packet finger foods. I tended to go for making my own fruit puree and meals once I'd bought my hand-blender as its THE cheapest option and you know exactly what your baby is consuming. However, these products for babies are a great addition to have in your kitchen cupboard... especially when you've forgotten to get one of your purees out of the freezer to defrost! Don't say it'll never happen to you...cos it will!!

I don't think there's any Organix product that Drew hasn't tried and tested and I would highly recommend their range, but in the end, you just can't beat REAL fresh fruit...BUT Organix is definitely the next best thing...and Drew would agree!!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Money-saving Tips for Parents

Believe it or not, in 2008, the term 'credit crunch' was added to the latest edition of The Oxford English Dictionary!! So this just shows how much the current economic climate is affects us all.

Luckily, there ARE loads of ways that you can save some serious wonga without having to give up the things you love.

Below are just 8 Money-Saving Tips for you paents out there.Feel free to add your own ideas to this post too!

Invest for your child’s future
By claiming Child Benefit, you’ll be sent a voucher for £250 (£500 for low income families) to be invested for your child in their own Child Trust Fund. Anyone can contribute to the fund on their behalf, so it’s a good way for family and friends to buy a present for your child without cluttering up the house with yet another stuffed bear. There are many providers of Child Trust Funds out there, so have a look at an online guide for information on where to invest.

Make your own purees
Babyfood in jars is expensive and is often not as healthy as home-made food. Buy a hand-blender (from as little as £4.18 from Tesco) and start by pureeing soft fruit such as raspberries and bananas, before going on to blending whole meals. Cook your own meals as normal (without any salt added), reserve a portion for junior, blend and voila! A nutritious meal for a fraction of the price of a jar.

Buy second-hand
Your baby doesn’t care whether its clothes are brand-new or second-hand. Babies will often wear clothes just once or twice, so skip the designer shop and look on eBay or your local charity shop. Mother-and-baby groups often have ‘nearly new’ sales too. Also, when you’ve finished with your baby clothes and maternity wear, sell those on to make some money.

Claim Childcare Vouchers
If your employer offers Childcare Vouchers, be sure to use them. The first £55 of Childcare Vouchers per week come free of income tax and National Insurance contributions which will save you a tidy sum in tax.

Recycled Items
Don't be afraid to ask your midwife and/or health visitor for help, they visit lots of mums who are only too glad to give up unwanted items, also your health visitor can help with items such as safety gates, fire guards etc. Also, join the Freecycle website http://www.freecycle.org. It’s a n
on-profit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff FOR FREE in your own towns!!

Money-off Vouchers
Supermarkets have some really good quality cheap children's clothes and their own brand nappies aren't bad either. Don't waste money when your child will grow out of clothes faster than they can wear them out. Also sign up for all the baby clubs such as Boots Parenting Club and Tesco. They send out coupons and have lots of deals to get loads of extra points on your club cards.

Buy in Bulk
Buy those basic things, like nappies and baby food, or other regular purchases in bulk. It will save you time and money. You can save over 30% on buying the things individually each time you need them, and you won't have to make as many trips to the shops either.

Have fun for free
Take advantage of the free services offered locally such as the your library, local art galleries, parks and any special events organised by your council. You'll find loads of information on fun things to see and do on your local council's website.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Going Potty!

Well I had hoped my next blog post would be to proudly state that Drew was now walking. However, she's yet to master that feat, although on Friday 13th March, she did start walking whilst holding one hand...its going to be a slow process...

But who cares about walking when your baby can pooh in a potty????!!!!! Yep - Drew's first attempt and it worked!

Drew's got this new game she plays with me and it's who can strain the most when you're having a no.2. She is well-rehearsed in this department and we all know fully well when she's trying to 'squeeze the cheese'.

So, I could tell she was having one of these private moments (I say 'private', but we were in the kitchen and Barney was intent on watching what was going on in case it involved food). I sat her fully-clothed on her new potty. It's called a '
Potette Plus' and comes with a neat little bag to catch the 'little items'. Very clever. She squeezed and squeezed. Her little eyes welled up and her face went red. I made the squeezing noises and face too and she thought it was very funny.

It's the first time Drew's been okay with sitting on the potty as normally I try to put her on there and she can't wait to get off. This time, it seemed to be working.
After about 1 minute, all was calm. I stripped her down to check the contents of her nappy. Nothing, but a nappy full of methane which my nose evaluated instantly.

So, rather than take her off completely, I kept her with her nappy off and 'plopped' her back
down on her potty, gave her something to play with and within minutes, she started straining again. I was able to put the shopping away and leave her on the kitchen floor next to me entertaining herself and Barney and when I next checked, we had a lovely (not really little) package was sitting in the bottom of the potty! Drew was excited as Mummy was excited and we both enjoyed some well-deserved grapes for her trouble. I know...I spoil her don't I. So, I understand the trick now is to catch them at it and do the same whenever you can. I'm SO glad I'm back in the office tomorrow for the rest of the week...phew!

Oh and for those out there who are doubting this story, you know I wouldn't let this momentous occasion go without photographic evidence would I??

Here it is below....BEHOLD!
The "No. 2 from Drew"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cough, Cough, Cough

I spoke too soon about Drew sleeping through for so long on my last post, 'Happy Slapper', me thinks!!!

For the last 2 nights, Drew's been coughing continually through the night. We'd forgotten what is was like getting up in the middle of the night. Being woken by an annoying cough every 30 seconds, shortly followed by a loud cry of help, pain and tiredness. The cough being Drew, the cry being me, Jerry AND Drew.

We tried everything as usual. Calpol, then 2hrs later, Nurofen, Calgel, Olbas Oil, raising the cot at her head end, Vicks on her chest, changing her nappy, giving her warm milk...everything. Both nights, she lay awake coughing for 4 hours. Poor little thing. We ARE so tired!

At 10.30am today, she had her mid-morning nap as usual. But this time, she slept 'til 2.30pm! I wish she told us...we would have gone back to bed too!!

Tonight, we thought we'd try something different. Something my Mum says she used to do when me and my brother had a cough. Instead of raising the cot at the head end, we raised the cot at her feet end...yep...guess what?

It worked! Well, it's 9.30pm and no coughing! So far so good! Maybe I've just jinxed ourselves again...ooops!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Slapper

Okay, so we can't complain...Drew has been sleeping right through the night, 12 to 13 hours, for weeks now. We do KNOW we're lucky. However, there is always a downside...Drew has become a 'Happy-Slapper'.

Urban Dictionary Definition : Happy slaps, Happy slapper, Happy slapping:
"Slapping a random person (they can be on the bus, walking down the street, whatever) whilst recording the act with a video camera phone".

Obviously, Drew doesn't have a REAL mobile phone, but give it time. However, she seems to like to smack other babies, usually those younger than her. She carried out a full-on slap to the head at 'Nursery Rhyme Time' at the library the other week. Thankfully, I didn't see it, but EVERYONE heard it. It was a loud slap which landed on a little baby boy's head. Thing is, it doesn't matter how much I say 'NO' and tell her off and move her away from the situation, she thinks its highly amusing and looks to me to see if I think she did a good job!!

Everyone says its just a phase and she will stop doing it, but in the meantime, I worry everytime I put her anywhere near smaller babies. You know when she's going to do it though...she has this cheeky little smile which forms. Then she looks at you and her smile gets bigger. She then turns her gaze back to her happy-slapper victim. You then have about 5 seconds to remove her before she carries out her attack. Sometimes I make it, sometimes (like at the library) I'm not so quick.

Let's hope this phase doesn't last too much longer. Whatever next? Grand theft auto??????

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Maybe a bit of a delicate subject to write about?

Nah. Not unless you've done your homework and got all the facts. Below is a link to ALL the information you'll need. I was going to copy and paste paragraphs from Brian Deer's investigation, but there is SO much information, its easier for me to provide you with the link, for which I have Brian Deer's permission.

Source: The MMR-autism crisis - our story so far - An investigation by Brian Deer

Drew had her MMR jabs a few weeks ago now and although a needle in each arm wasn't too pleasant for Drew to endure and me to watch, I feel happier that she's had it.

Unfortunately, I stupidly forgot to bring a treat to make her feel better as the tears started. Luckily, my friend, Yosh, and her son, Kaishu, were in the Doctor's waiting room and gave me an animal biscuit for Drew. Not a REAL animal biscuit...you know...like a doggie biscuit...I mean 'animal'-SHAPED biscuit. And thanks goodness Yosh gave us the biscuit! Instant cork!

Anyway, don't get anxious about giving your baby the MMR. READ the facts, then make your own decision.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jerry's 40th Birthday Party

Here it is...the night we surprised Jerry
with his SKA-themed 40th Birthday Party in Bristol!
Check out the short film below!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bad Blogger or Bad Mother!

It's been SOOO long since my last post - HUGE apologies! In fact, SO much has happened so rather than do loads of posts, I'll try to condense into this one. So I left you last time on Nov 5th. I had just gone back to work with a few hiccups, Drew had started with our childminder, Rhea and was just starting another teething phase. Since then what's happened I hear you ask?!! Well, Drew's had her 1st birthday (click here to read the post) and suffered with a cough and cold (twice) and teething. She's now eating normal food as well. I say 'normal', what I mean is she eats what we eat (less the added salt). She likes the odd dog biscuit every now and then, but only when she sees one of us has left the gate open to the kitchen and she spies it with her 'babygate radar' and makes a break for it at amazing speed. I don't think Barney's that bothered...he gets to eat what she drops on the floor which seems to be half her meals!!

We also had Christmas at my parents which was very relaxing...check out Drew's Second
Christmas post and photos here.

Enjoy and I promise I'll keep more on top this BLOG..unless there's no one out there???