Saturday, December 25, 2010

State of The Art

Auntie Sue was really amazed with her state of he art iPhone from Taiwan!!

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Christmas Day 2010

Kids asleep. Parents doing the washing up.

After her 3rd mulled wine and refusing to give the muslin back to Harri, Barney Nanna plays 'peekaboo' with herself.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

You WILL enjoy the snow!!!!

So at last the snow has arrived. 18th Dec and we woke up to find our suburban plot had become a winter wonderland.

Opening the curtains in the girls bedrooms, both were clearly 'WOWed' by the soft white blanket covering our garden. Although, once our eyes adjusted to the dim awakening of dawn, nestling neatly in a deep hole was one of Barney's...
Christmas offerings!!

So, after breakfast, we sat infront of the flickering flames of our cosy warm fire. Christmas songs playing softly in the background. Then Daddy thinks it would be a good idea to go out in the snow with the sleigh we never used last year because all the stores ran out of stock.

Drew flatly refuses stating it's "warm and cosy in my house".

Daddy ignores Drew and all subsequent pleas from not only Drew, but me as well.

The girls cried as we got their winter woolies on and I even put two pairs of socks on both Harri and Drew.

As we ventured outside, Drew looked at the yellow plastic sleigh Daddy was pulling (with doglead attachment)...you could tell by her face she wasn't going to get on it.

Grumpy faces and protuding bottom lips ignored, Daddy pushed on calling for his troops to "keep up" pointing at the most far away position on the snow-covered field. Reluctantly, us girls followed Daddy's excited footprints, lagging a good 10ft behind, when Drew said she was cold. We'd not even got to where Daddy wanted us to be and already - a grade 6 whine from Drew.

Having persuaded Daddy that there was no difference between and area covered in snow, we finally came to a stop.

Daddy asked Drew if she wanted to climb aboard and was promptly met with "no. I'm cold".

To encourage Drew and humouring Daddy, I climbed on and he pulled me around in a big circle...that started Harri off on a top of the scale grade 10 thinking her Mummy was being kidnapped by a bobble-hat wearing snow-monster!!!

My little round trip still didn't convince Drew who had now moved up to a grade 8.

Undeterred, Daddy got Harri on the sleigh and pulled her around instead and thankfully, she loved it. As soon as I pulled her round, she fell backwards and her enjoyment ended there.

Drew finally gave in and climbed aboard with me behind her for security, not without reminding us how cold she was.

After a quick 10 second trip across the snow, Drew had had enough. "I want to go home. I'm cold" she reminded us again.

Looking at a red-nosed Harri, i echoed Drew's thoughts, but Daddy wasn't done. Ignoring his girls pleas to return home, Daddy, clearly annoyed, said "you will enjoy the snow!!"

Ignoring his outburst, we offered to pose for a photo to prove we got out there and then with both girls crying, I started back to the house.

Defeated, Daddy sighed and kicked the snow. He started a slow retreat home, looking longingly behind him at the other Daddies playing in the snow.

Back at the house, we all warmed our hands with cups of hot chocolate whilst Daddy gazed out the window with his nose squished against the glass.

It Reminded me of a scene from The Griswolds European Vacation when the Dad, Clark, drags his tired family from pillar to post, making them see and do everything in every city until in Paris, they crack.

If u haven't seen it...u should. We ARE The Griswolds!

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Pat Butcher

Drew's really getting into dressing up and imaginery play. In fact, after Mummy's recent (clears throat) low-alcohol night out, Drew likes to pretend she 'goes out for drinks' and carries my handbag with her. What's funny is, she leaves the room only to return 30 seconds later saying she'd had too much to drink but remembered to buy milk and eggs on the way home!!! Thats my girl!!!!

Drew received lots of jewellery for her 3rd Birthday but luckily, she understands we don't wear any of it to nursery.

I wasn't allowed to have my ears pierced until I was over 18yrs old. I absolutely hated the fact that the girls around me had theirs pierced at the time, but looking back, I'm glad my Mum made that decision. I don't like little girls with earrings in. It's a an accident waiting to happen and to be honest...it makes them look like mini Pat Butchers (from Eastenders). Minging.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where HAS the time gone????

Did we accidentally come by a time machine?

Christmas is right around the corner...

Harrys just starting to take her first independent steps and Drew, now out of nappies permanently, starts ballet lessons this Saturday!!!

Where did the time go?

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Diaper-free Drew

This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

On 24th Nov 2010, our 3 year old daughter, Drew, went to bed nappyless!

A board meeting was held to which Mummy, Daddy and Drew all attended (Harriet was unavailable since she was asleep, but the minutes will be circulated accordingly).

Drew raised the issue and after due consideration, an agreement was reached which suited all parties.

Mummy and Daddy agreed to allow Drew to sleep through the night without her nappy, on the proviso that the mirror light in the bathroom remains on and Drew takes herself to the toilet and is responsible for all toilet trips (including all logjammers). Mummy and Daddy would only need to be consulted in escalation circumstances only (e.g. Logjammer misalignment, inappropriate use of fingers and loo roll, matress water ingress.)

All parties agreed to proposal and a review has been set for 3 weeks time.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pulling Hair

Reaching out with her hand, she plunged her fingers into the soft golden tresses. Wrapping the silky blonde locks swiftly around her fingers, she was ready. She'd done this before. She knew what she was doing. With one quick short movement, she tightened her grip on the shiny strands, flung her head back and with a smile starting to appear, she pulled. Hard...

...Sounds like a scene from a female cage-fight doesn't it? Or a paragraph belonging to a Jackie Collins novel.


That's my youngest, Harri, learning that pulling hair gets her attention. Unwanted attention. But she gets it. Boy, I hope she grows out of this one soon!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ball Pool

I thought a ball pool at home was a good idea.
That was until Harriet was sick in it.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm a sinner!

Father forgive me...for I know not what I do.

We broke the cardinal sin and took our kids to...

wait for it...



As Jerry queued to buy our salt-ridden snacks, I got myself, Drew and Harry settled in a quiet corner of this devil's dwelling, plopping Harry in a highchair.

As I started to feed Harry (home-cooked and defrosted roast dinner I should probably point out), I felt like all eyes were on me. I'm sure people were thinking 'how could she bring her kids in here?' and to be honest, I was thinking the same.

Jerry bought fishfingers for Drew and after she refused to eat them as they 'didn't look right', Drew ate a selection of cheese, breadsticks and fruit from Mummy's 'safe' snackbag.

Quite a successful trip to MacDonalds me thinks!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One Hungry Baby

One week away from her 1st Birthday, Harriet has started waking up through the night.

The only thing that makes her go back to sleep?

More milk

I'm not talking about a few ounces. I'm talking about a whole extra bottle. That's before 9.30pm. Then she'll wake again in the early hours for more.

What's going on? Why is Harriet SO hungry? We even give Nursery an extra meal to feed her at teatime as each day we picked her up, she was crying and visibly hungry. That seemed to work for a couple of weeks. However, she's still not getting enough it seems.

Surprisingly, my Health Visitor has suggested that Harry is using ALL her calories and needs more. Something I also didn't know was that babies use up a lot of calories due to an illness or infection and Harry has had her fair share of illnesses, so it makes a lot of sense. So, we need to give her higher calorific foods and the surprising bit is that means...things like Rice Pudding mixed with double cream, Butter on bread/toast instead of margarine, Full Fat Cheese Spread, Bananas mixed with double cream, Chocolate Mini rolls.

It's so weird because I'm so used to giving both Drew and Harriet
snacks to fill them up such as fruit, rick cakes, healthier baby biscuits, dried fruit. Not ever would I think to give them anything like I've listed above.

It's worth a try though so I'm will be stocking up with everything I need to fill her up ready for tonight...we SO need to catch up on sleeeeeeeeeeeeep!!

For those of you who are nodding and saying - "ooooh that's the same as my baby", PLEASE see your Health Visitor first. Every baby is different and the weight/height/development of your baby needs to be considered before changing to a higher calorific diet. Harry is not overweight or underweight, but she is up on her feet and walking with help, so she needs that energy and at the moment, she is using every little bit and its not enough.

For reference, I've made a list of calorific foods you can try:-
High Calorie Foods for Babies / Toddlers
Pork Cocktail Sausages
Thomas the Tank Engine Yogurts
Chocolate Buttons
Full Fat Cheese
Apple Sauce
Sweet Potato
Chocolate Mini Rolls
Porridge (with cream)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Teddy - Replaced

It's a sad time.

Poor old Teddy and May.

Since we introduced Drew to her new doll, 'Giggling Lucy', Drew's original bedtime security item was Teddy.

In September, when Harriet was born, Drew was introduced to May and she joined Teddy in their primary positions in bed with Drew, every night.
Not now.

When we climb the stairs for bed now, Drew only asks that Lucy comes up and we give her a muslin incase Lucy is sick... I like that. Forward-planning!!

But as I sit here in the living room, poor old Teddy and May have been resigned to sleeping together in Lucy's Moses Basket on the floor...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

These Boots Are Made For Walking

Well, I was going to mention that H began crawling at an incredible rate about three weeks ago (Aug '10) at 10.5 months old, but that's old news now.

H has decided crawling is way too easy for a baby of her calibre and she's getting up on her feet more and more each day. She ain't running a marathon, but she is pulling herself up so she can reach Barney's tail, Drew's piano and the wires we thought were safely tucked away.

If Harriet is walking before her 1st birthday on 18th Sept, then she'll have been beaten Drew by oh lets say 6months!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The True Meaning of love

Today, I asked Drew what she thought 'love'meant.

It is one of the most difficult questions for mankind. Centuries have passed by, relationships have bloomed and so has love. But no one can give the proper definition of love.

So, after thinking about this for a few seconds, she giggled and said 'blueberries'.

There you have it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Spots, Scene-change and Stuff like that...

Cor, times are achanging. I've not had a chance to update you for ages and since my last post (May 16th), Harry's had chicken pox BADLY, she started rolling everywhere, often finding her trapped under the poof in the lounge (and I don't mean Jerry).

Harry's like a completely different baby now and smiles and laughs all the time. She sleeps 100times better than she did when she was suffering with colic and breathign problems. She's teething, and like all babies, has the odd bad night. One thing that is odd though...she has her two bottom teeth through. That's fine. But she's now got another one
coming through at the top, but to the left of where her front teeth will be and its not a fang type tooth! That's Harry. Always got to be different!

June 1st also saw me going back to work. Although a month on, I'm still waiting for my blackberry/mobile phone, it was pretty easy getting back into the work swing of things. I'm working 3days a week at the moment, but start back full time at the end of August. I've not done that for a long time. That will be difficult. Not cos of the work, but because I'll miss my time with Drew and Harry. You can see why :(

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Picken Chox!

Is it wrong to want to pick my daughter's scabs?

Yup...Drew's had it. The dreaded chicken pox. Or as Drew calls it - 'Picken Chox''. I have to say, I wasn't looking forward to inviting chicken pox into our house through the front door and allowing it to stay for a fortnight holiday, but as it was making the rounds with Drew's best buddies, it was only a matter of time before the 'pox' weeded its way through our letterbox and nested in Drew's bedroom.

My Mum said when I was young, it was normal for parents to have 'chicken pox parties'. This didn't involve any cakes, party games or presents however. No...just the exchanging of germs. Can you imagine a game of pass-the-parcel, but it would be more like pass-the-germs! Nice.

I think I would have been up for that had we not had Harry who was on a roll of being germ-free AND happy and not crying for the first time since her arrival. So, I did try to avoid it, but it was to no avail.
Saying that, Drew caught it and although she continued life as normal but was confined indoors for about 5 days with myself and Harry, Harry has yet to get it. Very odd.

Drew seemed to survive having chicken pox pretty well. She didn't have many spots and the spots she did have were mostly on her belly and back. She didn't scratch them hardly at all, although the lotion we applied 3 times a day must have done the trick. She had one night where she was restless and we were all awake until 2.00am consoling her, so I think we got away scott

The only thing we have to remind us of this event are the scabs on Drew's back and belly. Drew's already found out how satisfying it is to pick scabs, having picked a few off and brought them to us as proud trophies for surviving 'picken chox'. Darn it...I wanted to do that!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Parents' Evening

We just got back from Drew's first Parent's Evening.
It reminded me that I hadn't added a post for a while. So HUGE apologies.
Life is moving fast, but not fast enough to let you know our developments.

Harry (as I type this she has just woken up. 1 hour early. Grrrr!)

[slight pause]

Okay, back with you again. She's gone back to sleep.

Where was I? Oh yes, Harry [she types anxiously waiting for another cry] has been sleeping through for a number of weeks having not been ill for a while. However, we came to the conclusion she just isn't a happy baby. But as I type this, I know that's not true. She does smile and laugh and has a very recognisable giggle, but we find that she cries more than she smiles. We decided there must be a reason for this and took her to see the Osteopath who helped me with my Symphasis Pubis Dysfunction. He also specialises in osteopathy with children, so we had no hesitation taking Harry along to see him.

I listed her problems starting with the bronchiolitis which started when she was 3 months old, moving onto the constant throat rattle, the crying for no apparent reason and her difficulty in bringing burps up. After reeling off Harry's 'problems', Martin, the Osteopath, felt her trunk area and immediately felt a tightness of her diaphragm. He advised that this tightness was common in babies with colic and could be as a result of all the coughing she did when she had bronchiolitis again and again. He did what Osteopaths do, manipulated her ribs and organs in that area, giving her diaphragm more space to expand, thus allowing her to breathe more easily and help prevent wind getting stuck.

We've since been twice and Jerry and I both feel Harry is much happier and there is a definite change in the pain she seemed to be suffering. She also sleeps much better in the day.

We had weaned her off the dummy a few weeks ago, just after we did it with Drew. However, due to the symptoms of colic, our ears could take no more and back the dummy went. I'm not going to get uptight about giving it back to her because I know we can take it back in time to come as we did with Drew.

Drew's vocabulary is increasing by the day and as with all kids her age, will repeat most things...in her own way. She's stringing 2 to 3 words together and slowly we're teaching her to say full sentences (e.g. "I would like some water please") instead of "WATER!!!"

So, I drive an inebriated but happy Jerry and I to Drew's Nursery for Parent's Evening. Jerry's been on an all day work event with a 3-course meal and 'drinks'. He arrives home just in time to put the girls to bed and to talk our babysitter friend, Claire, into staying for more than just an hour so we can go out for a meal and in his words, go clubbing.

Mouthing to Claire, behind an enthusiastic Jerry, I explain he has been drinking and is to be ignored.

On the journey to the Nursery, I explain to Jerry that under no circumstances is he to ask a silly question or show me up in the process.

On entering the Nursery, we are shown to one of the rooms where there are seats available and told to help ourselves to wine and nibbles. Jerry chooses to sit on the scatter cushions on the floor under a canopy, he calls the loveseat, and then asks me to furnish him with a handful of cheesy wotsits and more importantly, a glass of white wine.

Knowing how particular Jerry is about what wine he drinks, I advise him that not only do I think he's had enough to drink for now, but the Pinot Grigio that's on offer will not meet his oaky Chardonnay requirements.

Tutting, he asks for a Pinot anyway, which reconfirms my first thought. He definitely had HAD too much to drink.

We are given 2 large A3 sized books to look through. They are a diary of Drew's time at the Nursery with loads of informative developments from when she first learnt her shapes to learning how to ask for a wee-wee. Interspersed amongst the text written by her keyworkers are loads of photos which made us both go 'Ah' quite a few times.

I was concerned that she was still visibly upset and cried everytime we leave her at Nursery and that she appeared not to want to play with any of the other children. Drew's keyworker was really good and explained that because Drew only attends Nursery once a week, she doesn't have much time to bond with the other children and on the other days of the week, she always has one to one attention from either me, Jerry or our childminder. Once I go back to work in June (hooray!), we hope this will change and Drew will be at Nursery more than once a week and will therefore have more of an opportunity to bond and get into the routine of going to Nursery. (We hope!)

Thankfully, I managed to keep Jerry mostly quiet by pointing out the photos in the book which seemed to work. However, as soon as he said 'I do have one thing that worries me', both the Keyworker and I shuddered...probably for different reasons.

'I'm a bit concerned about Drew's OCD issues'. With both of us not saying anything, I interrupted and tried to explain to Jerry that ALL kids have their strange ways or routines and that this should not be confused with the REAL OCD. At home, we say she has OCD, but honestly, I know she doesn't. Having actually researched this,
Drew does not spend hours stacking and restacking books, she doesn't line up her toys in straight, even rows, she doesn't ask to be kissed 3 times on the forehead before closing the door at night-time. That, apparently, is OCD. Generally, all toddlers (aged 1-3) will all go through a phase where they want or need to be in constant control of everything and need a routine. This is how they learn. Jerry seemed to think that it needed mentioning and that it was something the Keyworker should be addressing. Sensing we were over our 10 minute time slot, I laughed the OCD question off as a silly Daddy question and said our thankyous and our goodbyes, shooshing a mint-sucking Jerry back out the door to the car.

Phew! So, we made it through our first Parent's Evening alive!

I think Jerry is looking forward to the next one.

Or is he just looking forward to more cheesy wotsits and a glass of the Nursery's finest!!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Drew's 1st Birthday Film

We recently found that our camcorder was chockablock and we needed to delete some of the files to make some space. Going through the footage, we found some film of Drew and Kaishu's 1st birthday party held at our house in 2008.

So, rather than waste the footage, I made a short film. See link below (takes you to Facebook)...


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Holding the chains in both hands, I gently lent back, closed my eyes and stretched out my legs in front of me. Moving my head to face the sky above me, I could feel the warmth of the struggling springtime sun on my face and just then, the momentum of the swing gradually swung me forwards and ever so lazily backwards. I stayed like that for what seemed eternity, listening to the birds calling to each other, only just noticing the repetitive squeak of the rusty chains as I rocked back and forth. As I opened my eyes, I focused on the clear blue sky...still swinging forwards, backwards, forwards, backwards and then...



The beautiful silence broken by my beautiful daughter whose ever-developing vocabulary now features 'Zat?' of which we hear pretty much hourly. Also known as 'What is that?'

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dummies Fairy

'The Dummies Fairy' visited our house 3 days ago and guess what? Last night was the 3rd night that Drew has slept soundly WITHOUT a dummy.

Drew only had her dummy when she went to bed and we managed to wean her off relying on it during her daytime nap a few months ago, but the night-time sleep was more of a challenge!
I can't take full credit for this as 'The Dummies Fairy' is something that Supernanny, Jo Frost, recommends and states it has a 100% success rate...so it HAD to work!

Searching for 'Dummy Fairy' on the Internet, I could only find sites SELLING Dummy Fairy packs, so instead of spending money, I got creative and made my own and if anyone else would like to use MY Dummies Fairy Pack, you can obtain all the bits you need FOR FREE!! Simply add a comment to this post requesting the Dummy Fairy Pack FOR FREE, leaving your email address and I will send you everything you need.

My pack caters for both boys and girls and inside our pack is the following:-
  • The Dummies Fairy Fairytale
  • A letter from your child TO The Dummies Fairy
  • A letter from The Dummies Fairy TO your child
  • A Certificate from The Dummies Fairy TO your child (sample below)
Once you've received all the bits, you'll need to buy a Gift Bag, and if you want, buy some sprinkles of some kind (fairy dust!) to go inside the bag and then on a day when you've got nothing going on in the evening, read the Fairytale to your child in the morning. Then, together, read the letter your child is going to put in the Dummies Fairybag and get them to sign it (in their own way!). Put their letter and ALL the dummies in the Fairybag and together put the bag on handle of your back door. If you don't have a back door, don't despair, just use a door that's rarely used. This is so your child can't get at the dummies during the day! For the rest of the day, keep talking about how the Dummies Fairy will be coming tonight to collect your child's dummies and how GOOD your child is for giving generously to the Dummies Fairy so that other children can have his/her dummies. Keep reminding them that they are such a BIG girl/boy for not needing their dummies anymore and how exciting it will be when the Dummies Fairy comes.

By mentioning it throughout the day, there should be no surprises come bedtime and you can
refer to the Dummies Fairy bag, and their letter to the Dummies Fairy. It's up to you, but I also chose to let OUR Dummies Fairy leave a special present for Drew in the Fairybag (cuddly Waybuloo toy, colouring pencils and stickers) and mentioning the 'special present' to Drew also helped Drew get off to sleep. Come the morning, she found it in the bag after her first night going cold turkey. Her face was a picture!

We've let her keep the giftbag as it was a Peppa Pig gift bag and she will often play with it and say 'Fairies, dummies - all gone' without a care in the world.

Remember! Jo Frost says it has a 100% success rate, and if it doesn't work, it's because YOU, the parents' have given in or not followed the instructions. Good luck Fairy Helpers!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Magic Sleep Fairy

Harriet will be 6 months on 18th March and we were resigned to thinking she was a 'problem' baby. (I don't mean staying out all night, dying her hair bright pink and tattooing her neck with a spiders web). I mean not wanting to get into a sleeping/feeding routine and not really knowing what she wants or when she wants it. We also thought she would
n e v e r sleep through the night.

Today is 8th March, the sun is shining and it's warm outside and as the great Bob Dylan once said 'the times, they are a-changing'. For the second time today, Harry has gone to bed and fallen asleep without any fuss or crying. That's not all, but last night, Harry slept through til 6.50am without waking for attention or a feed. It's been a long old time, but I think we've got there.

Our one saving grace has been Alison Scott-Wright - THE Magic Sleep Fairy. She doesn't have a magic wand. She doesn't have fairy wings either or a halo. Okay, she's not really a fairy, but she can work magic with babies and she certainly worked miracles with Harry!

As you may be aware, for the last two years, I have written reviews for children’s
books for Early Times, an independent publication in the South West aimed at parents with children aged from birth – 4 years. I also write a column ‘Just Ask Jewels’ in the same publication, offering honest, down to earth advice on the mother and baby experience and includes excepts from this BLOG.

I was sent Alison's book to review, The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan. Initially, I thought it would be yet another self-help parenting book containing nothing I didn't already know and would only fit one type of baby. However, as I started reading this book, I realised I was very wrong. Alison's winning formula, The Reassurance Sleep-Training Technique is the just one part of the book, but there are alsorts of topics covered in this book such as; Sleeping, Feeding, Gastro-related and dietary-related intolerances, covering all types of babies, quoting questions from other parents, always providing a response. It's really well written too. Easy to understand and is jammed packed full of information and techniques. So, I wrote about how great I thought Alison's book was and then carried on with my hectic life.

Getting back to Harry, I have to be honest, Jerry and I had come to the thought that she just wasn't a routine baby and our lives would be unorganised as far as she was concerned. A sad fact, but we were looking forward to when she would start school. Even friends would sympathetically say that maybe she was more independent than Drew and just didn't like being in a routine and she would sleep when she wanted. For two very organised control freaks, this was something Jerry and I couldn't deal with very well and although I tried to accept it, I lost the plot.

After being talked out of leaving home at 37 with just a small suitcase, I remembered A
lison's book. Chapter 1 'Sleep Matters' talked about why babies should even have a routine. Alison compared our lives to that of a baby...

'Getting out of bed, washing, dressing eating meals, going to work, taking children to school, shopping, cleaning and so on, right through to going to bed at the end of the day, are all little pockets of routine and within each we follow a similar sequence of actions. The actual events may not be exactly the same from day to day, but we still have our basic 'routine rituals' that keep us on track. If the pattern gets interrupted or disturbed it can throw us out of sync and make us forget for a moment what we should do next! Putting a similar basic daily feeding and sleeping pattern in place for a baby will give him/her a sense of security and reassurance.'

I promise I won't quote the whole book, but I have to say that the 'Establishing positive sleep habits and bedtime practice' section talks about how important it is that a baby gets enough rest to aid their cognitive and physical development. Without enough, a baby can become irritable, fretful, factious and difficult to feed. This was Harry all over. Crying when she was put in her cot, crying when she woke up, crying when we tried to feed her and not taking the whole feed. A general annoyance really.

There's no magic circle secret to Alison's Reassurance Sleep-Training Technique, but you do need to be in it to win it, so there needs to be consistency from both parents and anyone else who looks after your baby. There's no space for half-hearted attempts. So after reading what we needed to do, I removed the cot mobile and the musical lullaby thingy and all toys from the cot. The first step of the technique. I felt awful, but Harry would be going to bed to sleep, not to play. Then I got ready for the tears and screams and there were lots...let me assure you.

I won't bore you with the bits in the middle but whether your baby is one week or 5 months old, if you want to find out how to get YOUR baby sleeping through the night, I would definitely recommend buying a copy of Alison's book. At nearly 6 months old, Harry is living proof Alison's technique works and sanity in the Hartell household has been restored.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Well, you can see by the date of my last post (Jan 17th 2010), that I'm been somewhat distracted...

It's been a month of illness after illness with both Harry and Drew. I won't bore you, but we've had all substances from all orifice's. It started off with Harry having suspected Bronchiolitis AGAIN, swiftly followed by a bout of sickness and diarrhea for them both. Hot on the heels of the hershey-squirts was Drew and Harriet teething - simultaneously! Harry now has two front bottom teeth through and she's not even 6 months!! Its been THE most draining time since they've both been born. For everyone.

I promise I will be a better Blogger!!
I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! I promise I will be a better Blogger!! etc, etc, etc...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Introducing Solids

Quite a controversial topic so I have found, but one I'm not afraid to talk about here.

When to introduce solids. It's always been something that parents have been told should NOT happen before the baby is 6 months old. However, Harry (our very hungry 4-month old baby, who will not sleep through the night and demands milk 3 hourly, even at night) urged me to investigate the reasons for this further.

We are told that the World Health Organisation carried out research which proved babies digestive systems were not ready to receive solids any earlier than 6 months old. This is something which is backed by the UK Government and is the message which filters down to us via our Health Visitors.

However, Dr Gillian Harris, a clinical psychologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital who also lectures at Birmingham University, says that such guidelines are "based on no scientific evidence whatsoever". She claims that they are derived from WHO studies in developing countries and are simply not applicable in the UK.

“We have bigger babies who are growing much faster,” she says. “I don’t know a single health professional in this country who agrees with the Department of Health's suggestion that mothers should breast-feed exclusively for six months, and research shows that only 2 per cent of women manage it.” She adds that “there is no reasoning in terms of allergy prevention and no reasoning in terms of health”.

Annabel Karmel, the baby food guru, agrees. “There is a lot of confusion over when to introduce solids to your baby,” she says. “Many parents carry on giving fruit and vegetable purees for far too long, leaving it too late to introduce lumpy food. This makes the transition to family food difficult and increases the propensity for babies to be fussy eaters."

With this new-found information, I dropped in to see my Health Visitor at my local GP to get some more advice and suggestions with what to do with 'Hungry Harry'.

I was surprised to hear that she agreed with the view of Dr Gillian Harris above and added that as a direct result of the WHO's and Government's advice, Health Visitors were finding there were a large number of undernourished babies in the UK. Babies were crying out to fed more and parents were so concerned about causing actual bodily harm to their babies, they ignored the cries of their unhappy babies and just became stressed, worn-out parents, eventually going to their Health Visitors pleading for help.

In Harriet's case, my Health Visitor advised me to introduce baby rice and pureed vegetables on the day she turned 4 months old. Once fully introduced to vegetables, I could then progress onto pureed fruit.

I can't tell you what a relief it was to hear this advice and since introducing solids on 18th January 2010, Harry is less demanding and is sleeping for a lot longer through the night. For us, it was definitely the right advice.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Synchronised Poohing

As a parent, your bowels really do take second place in a household of nappy-wearing ankle-biters.

With both kids ready to go out the front door, I stupidly decided to have a last-minute no. 2.

However, I never even made it near the bathroom.

Drew & Harry must have read my mind.

First, I could hear Harry filling her nappy in her usual 'parpy' way and whilst changing her nappy and getting the contents out from under my fingernails, Drew had gone unusually quiet and left the room, only to return to advise me there was a pooh-pooh in her nappy. Great! I then chased Drew round the house as changing her nappy has become a game of cat and mouse. Having caught her hiding behind the coats, I changed her nappy. Then looked at the clock.

Too late for my pooh-pooh!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Drew Hartell - 2nd Birthday 2009

Just shows you doesn't it...time DOES move quicker the older you get.

Drew turned 2 years old on 8th Nov 2009 (last year now!).

If you've been reading my BLOG recently, you'll know November was 'November Nightmare' as both rugrats were ill, so her birthday was a bit of a forced affair.

We threw a party at our local soft play centre with all her friends there, but little Drew was tired and grumpy
through most of it. I wasn't so sure she would be aware what was going on anyway at such a young age, but at the point she sat down next to her giant pink number two (for those of you with the same brain as me, let me assure you I do not mean that Drew magicially produced a pink coloured bowel movement - see photo evidence below), and she saw all the party food, the balloons, the presents and her 'hot air balloon' birthday cake with candles, you could see by her face, she KNEW it wasn't just a normal get together. All eyes were on her.

I think the
icing on the cake for Drew was having 'Happy Birthday' sung to her and she could see we were all singing to her...she looked so embarrased and excited at the same time. I will remember that face forever.