Thursday, 31 March 2011

Nappy rash: Satan's ailment!

Poor Immie has nappy rash, not just a little bit, but really red raw! The doctor assures me it is as a result of the antibiotics she is on for her ear. I can't wait till she has finished them, so her bottom returns to normal.

At antenatal class and just after you have had your baby, midwives will tell you "Don't use a barrier cream, they don't need them" blah blah blah.

I have always used a barrier cream on Immie ever since she had a sore bottom when I was still breastfeeding and I had been drinking orange juice, not realising it would effect her! So anyway ever since then I have used a barrier cream, Bepanthen to be precise (tried sudocrem but it didn't suit Immie's skin) Up until now we have never had a problem, not even a hint of nappy rash. But oh lordy now she's got it, she has well and truly got it. Poor little mite, looks really sore :(

One thing they don't tell you is in extreme cases the rash will spread down the legs and on to the tummy! So having spent 48 hrs convincing myself she had chicken pox, I now realise it is just this evil bout of nappy rash.

The doctor prescribed metanium, but all that did was stain her clothes. So the doc has now prescribed some cream with antiseptic in. Hopefully that will clear it.

If it doesn;t work I may have to resort to what my Grandma reckons they used when she was a baby, LARD!

Mama x

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Mummy top tip #2

Buy a decent thermometer!

Before Immie was born we were confused about different types of thermometers. Digital in ear, digital under arm, forehead thermometers, dummies with thermometers built in etc

We settled on the digital one that goes in your arm pit. It came as part of a baby grooming set which included a hair brush, tooth brush, nail scissors, snot sucker (aka a nasal aspirator!) and a few other items. For some reason we were being skinflints and decided any other type of thermometer was a luxury and not needed.

I can safely say at 11 months, we have decided we were clearly being ridiculous. Trying to get an unwell baby to let you put something cold in their arm pit is ridiculously difficult and Immie has never let us, choosing instead to pull it out and fling it across the room!

I then tried a dummy with a thermometer built in, quite expensive but I figured Immie loves a dummy so it'd be ok. WRONG! The digital bit is so heavy she just pulls the dummy straight out.

So today after having been to the docs AGAIN (I even said to the doc we need our own parking space now!) and being told her temperature was up (even though she felt ok to me!) we decided to bite the bullett and get an in ear digital thermometer. We opted for a Braun one, expensive but got good reviews and is very easy to use!

Ive taken all our temperatures (Makes me feel like a doctor or something LOL). Mine and OH both had temps of 36.6 but poor Immie's was 38.4, so yes she has a fever. So Ive dosed her up with calpol and put her in her cot, I'm hoping she'll sleep it out. She didn't even bat an eyelid with I stuck the thermometer in her ear.

So my top tip is if you are looking for a thermometer, if you can afford one, get an in ear one, they seem a lot less fuss!

Mama x

Monday, 28 March 2011

This time last year

This time last year I was 36 weeks pregnant. I was about to embark on my last week at school before the Easter Holidays started and therefore my maternity leave. A whole year off spanned out in front of me. I was knackered but excited, excited for a year off, excited for a year of not marking coursework but most of all excited for the imminent arrival, this time last year I had no idea if I was having a boy or girl, although my gut feeling was a girl. The nursery was ready, my hospital bag was packed (just incase I went in to early labour!) and I was spending much of my time sat on a gym ball as my back and hips were aching beyond belief.

So here we are a year later and Ive still got back ache and the occassional hip pain, I'm definitely knackered. But I'm having to psyche myself up to going back to work after the Easter hols, excitement has been replaced with feeling daunted and fearful. Instead of a hospital bag, I now have a changing bag, packed and ready to go if we go out.

But the biggest difference is Immie. The little person who frustrates me beyond belief sometimes, who cracks me up regularly, who gives me kisses and cuddles, whose every little development surprises me on a daily basis.

Ive mentioned elsewhere that I struggled to adjust to being away from work and being a mummy but the last 6 mths have been fab and are making the thought of going back to being Helen Stokes, Subject Leader and Teacher very difficult to get my head round. To say I'm torn is an understatement. But I'm sure I'll be fine when I get back in to it, but for now, its time to enjoy my last 4 weeks off!

Mama x

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Sometimes you just know

Immie has been having baby swimming lessons since she was 3 months. On the whole she loves them and they go without a hitch.

Due to the dreaded lurge for the past 6 weeks (her and me!), we've been a bit hit and miss in going. I really wanted her to go this afternoon as after today there are only 2 more sessions left before the Easter hols. (After Easter we will be going on a Sunday morning, lovely but there is something special about going on a week day when I'd normally be at work!)

Anyway at about 12.50 Immie was getting grizzly and decided she wanted a nap. This was not ideal as we have to leave at 1.30pm to get to the pool in time. So I just knew, that today's lesson was already on the back foot. While she slept I frantically packed the swimming bag after spending 20 mins trying to find the bloody swim nappies! At 1.35 I finally bit the bullet and went and woke her. She was absolutely zonked and therefore was none too impressed with me for waking her up. I hoped she would drop back off in the car but that was wishful thinking.

When we got to the pool, she got changed ok but the minute I passed her to the instructor she started to cry, "here we go" I thought! Fortunately she was fine throughout the lesson. She grizzled when I got her out the pool. Then I put her in the play pen while I got changed. I'd just got my cossie off when I hear this almighty wail! Quickly followed by the poolside assistant trying to calm her down. I knew it was Immie. The hollering continued. I then heard the instructor yell from the pool "My goodness is that Imogen making all the noise!?" How embarrassing, she was disturbing everyone! When I went to pick her up there were big fat tears rolling down her cheeks and little sobs. By the time we got to the car she was over it.

As I drove home I thought, I knew she was up to going this week, when she was so desperate for that nap I should have just left her and cancelled the lesson. But then if I cancelled everything every time she wanted a nap we'd never leave the house! It just goes to show though, mummies always know their child inside out.

Mama x

PS She screamed in her bath tonight too (this is unheard of, she loves her baths!) so I suspect a big bad tooth is on the way!

Ooh a blog award!

I started this blog as a bit of release for me, but every now and again I check out the stats to see if anyone was reading. Imagine my surprise when I noticed traffic was coming via another mummy blogger, the rather fabulous wouldliketo beayummymummy

So headed over to check out what the reference was and imagine my surprise to see she'd given me a blog award! To say I am excited is an understatement! I am just chuffed that anyone reads my blog because I absolutely love reading other peoples, especially when they are mummy blogs, you learn so much from fellow mummy bloggers and as it says at the top of my blog, my family live miles away so mummy bloggers are my support network!

Anyway enough of the oscar style speech, I'm now going to nominate my own set of bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award.

The Liebster Blog award is for people with ‘little’ blogs (less than 300 subscribers) to share blog love and spread the word.

The rules are:

1. Post displaying the award (Its over there! ------>), linking back to the person who awarded you (check!)
2. Choose your own blog picks (below) and let them know they’re awarded
3. Hope everyone discovers some new favourites
4. Revel in the blog love!

I choose to award the following wonderful mummy bloggers:
1) After Anabelle
2) Cancer and Baby equals chaos!
3) Finding my new normal
4) Working mum on the verge
5) A juggling act

There were some overlaps with wouldliketobeayummymummy's so went for some different ones so we can spread the love :)

Hurrah for blog love! and thank you wouldliketobeayummymummy for my award! Mwah!

Mama x

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Proud mummy alert

So far we've been pretty lucky, there haven't been too many tears from Immie when I have dropped her off at nursery. She's always been pretty calm.

But today was different. Still no tears but something had changed... her confidence.

When we got there I had to sign a form as I had to leave some amoxicillin there for her ear infection. Last time it took a while and because I put her down she started to grizzle. So today I thought I'll hold her until I'm ready to leave. Except Immie had other ideas. After a minute she started wriggling to get down, so I popped her on the floor, fully expecting a whinge but she didn't. She crawled off to a basket of toys, searched for a specific toy she wanted to play with, pulled it out and amused herself. When I went to leave she didn't even give me a 2nd look! haha

But I wasn't sad, oh no I was proud. Proud that my baby girl was confident enough to be able to make a decision for herself. Albeit a small decision to me or you but in her world a big decision, what she wanted to play with.

This is why I am happy for her to go to nursery because I know it will make her confident, it will help her to progress and yes I would love to be a SAHM but I actually believe nursery is good for her!

So today I am a proud mummy. I'm also a pleased mummy as I obviously made a good choice in the nursery as she clearly feels safe, happy and relaxed enough to be able to be confident. Today has been a good day.

Mama x

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Why can you never push a pram round a shop that is aimed at kids?

Today Immie and I have been to Wakefield, I needed to get some door spongy things to stop her trapping her fingers in the doors, as apparently doors are fascinating, especially if you open and close them multiple times!

Anyway I put Immie in her pushchair as I knew I'd want to look at things and we then went in to Mothercare. Now Mothercare (Im surprised the EU allow that name given that it discriminates against fathers etc!) so the whole focus of Mothercare is children, babies and their parents. Primarily children under the age of 10, but particularly babies and toddlers, so why on earth to they put their display units so close together and put things in aisles making it a nightmare to push a pushchair or pram around? My pushchair is fairly small (I've seen some massive ones!) and it is very easy to move so I shouldn't really have any problems, its like they haven't thought of their customer base at all!

Mothercare aren't the only ones either. The branch of Next I like to visit has its baby and children's department at the back of the shop, but to get there you have to walk through Womenswear where the display units and racks are packed so close together and at a jaunty (presumably arty) angle that it is a nightmare! If you manage to make it to the back of the shop, then you are faced with all the kids racks packed so close together you have no hope!

It drives me crackers, I wish they would just consider their customer base a little more.

Mama x

Monday, 14 March 2011

Breast Feeding is hard, FACT

Ok it has been a few months now since I stopped breast feeding but I was watching a program today that was talking about breast feeding and it stirred up some emotions i'd rather it hadn't.

Before I had Immie I was very philosophical about breast feeding, I thought "I'll give it a bash, see how it goes but if it doesn't work I can always switch" then I got sucked in by the breast feeding nazis.

Now don't get me wrong, if you can do breast feeding and find it straightforward I'm sure it is a lovely experience. But this wasn't the case for me and it made the first 3 months a lot more upsetting than they needed to be.

You see it all started on the post-natal ward after birth. I had no idea what I was doing, Immie didn't really feed that well and nobody really bothered to ask me how it was going. I've since found out CSection mummies can find breast feeding more tricky, something to do with hormones. Anyway, non of that was explained to me. I was discharged on the Monday afternoon, got home and Immie wasn't really feeding. I begged my OH to go and buy some formula but he wouldn't. Instead he insisted on phoning the hospital. At that point they said I had to go back in and pack a bag because I'd probably be staying over night. I was gutted, I cried and cried. I didn't want to go back to the hospital. I was shattered and just wanted to be home with my baby.

So we got back, I was stuffed in a room on my own (with lots of propaganda breast feeding posters on the wall!). That night, the nurses still didn't show me particularly well what to do (one old bag was particularly stroppy with me, I don't think she could see what the problem was!) Over the course of 2 days I had a variety of nurses touch my boobs and squeeze my nipples, now I come to think of it, not one of them asked me if it was ok to do that and not one of them actually asked me how I was feeling or gave me options, it was just expected that I would keep breast feeding.

The next morning, they sent in a breast feeding link worker who bought a long a knitted woolly boob and attempted to show me what to do, she then left me with a DVD player and some crap DVDs where women who loved breast feeding, basically went on about how marvellous it was. (Not what you need when you're struggling) I have to say this did not help one bit!

That night I had a mini-melt down and an auxiliary nurse found me sobbing in my little room, cuddling Immie but with no idea what to do as I just couldnt manage to feed her! Eventually the nurses took my baby away for a few hours so I could sleep and calm down (I've no idea where they took her, still a bit pissed off they could have taken her anywhere and I wouldn't have known!)

Eventually a rather lovely nurse just gave me lots of gentle encouragement and told me if I managed to get Immie to feed off both boobs I could go home, this cheered me up, and eventually I just about managed it.

So we came home and I managed to breast feed Immie for 3 months. However, I was never totally happy that I was getting the correct position. She fed ok, but never for very long and never more than one side, but I was feeding every hour or so. It wasnt the growth spurt either, this was all the time.

Things came to a head when my mate was round and I was expressing so I could go out that evening and she commented that I was hardly getting anything out at all and she'd have filled up 4 bottles in the time I'd expressed 2oz!

About a week later I came down with a cold and so did Immie, at that point I was exhausted and made the decision to open the emergency carton of formula milk. Immie gulped it down and wasn't bothered at all. From that point on I gave up breast feeding. Immie was happier, I was happier, I only wished I'd done it sooner!

Despite my relaxed attitude when I was pregnant, I felt under so much pressure by the nurses etc to keep going, in hindsight, I would have bonded with Immie more quickly and enjoyed the early months a lot more if I hadnt had so much stress feeding! But I didn't have the guts to stand up to the nurses.

When I next saw my Health Visitor and explained why I had stopped etc but that Immie was like a different baby she said "Well you made the right decision then". This is what I needed to hear. I felt like a weight had been lifted.

Everyone assumes breast feeding is easy because it is natural. It isn't. It is a skill, that takes good teaching and lots of practice. But most of all, you shouldn't be made to feel bad if its not for you.

So if and when we decide to have another baby, I am a lot clearer in my mind as to what I will do. I will definitely give breastfeeding another go, I've got a sneaking suspicion I know where I was going wrong, but I certainly won't be flogging a dead horse. If it doesn't work, I'll have the confidence to make my own decisions earlier.

Mama x

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

My daughter, the Olympic swimmer!

Since she was 3 months old, Immie has attended swimming lessons.

It's the one thing we've stuck to doing together (Baby music class got canned due to lack of interest, shame as I liked it and baby massage and baby & mummy yoga were 6 week classes, didn't enjoy baby & mummy yoga at all, I felt incompetent because my baby was the only one who screamed and wouldn't keep still!)

Anyway, Immie goes to Puddleducks for her swimming lessons. It was recommended to me by a friend and I have to say it has been brilliant! She loves going. She is happy as larry in the water. She has no problem being dunked under, she kicks her legs, splashes about. We are currently encouraging them to jump in, "swim" (I hold her, she kicks!) turn in the water and hold on to the side, so if ever they fall in they know what to do. Immie is now very confident in the water and never screams in the bath, even if you dump a bowl of water on her head and it gets in her eyes.

Some would say that babies don't need swimming lessons, that you can teach them yourself etc Personally as I can afford it, I'd rather she learnt from a proper teacher who can teach her correctly (I could probably teach her to swim but Im not sure she'd master the strokes correctly) and sees it as a fun but serious thing, swimming is a valuable skill. I also find because its a lesson, the pressure is off me and its something we enjoy together. Not an opinion shared by others I know, but my opinion.

So I renewed her lessons for the summer term, she's going to have to switch to a Sunday as I'll be back at work, I'm so relieved they offer Sunday lessons. Puddleducks aren't the cheapest but in my experience they are the best. The staff (teacher and poolside assistants) are fab and I think it is worth every penny. If you're in the market to sign your baby up to swimming lessons, I'd really suggest having a look and seeing if there is a Puddleducks franchise near you

Click here to visit the Puddle Ducks website

Before long, Immie will be giving Rebecca Adlington a run for her money!

Mama x

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bi-weekly bin collections and nappies = disaster!

So a few years back, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, like many other councils decided to switch to bi-weekly bin collections. Each week the bin collections would alternate 1 week = grey bin full of household rubbish, the following week = Recyclables.

Now when it was just Me and Christopher this was just about manageable. But since the arrival of Immie it has been a nightmare. Nappies take up space, no matter how much you squash em! On average we get through about 7-9 nappies a day, sometimes more. We're finding that by the end of the first week and with another one to go, our grey bin is full! General household rubbish and nappies can fill a grey wheelie bin easily. We're very good at recycling now, we recycle card, paper, plastic, glass and tins. But since the nappies started, we're finding we end up stock piling black bin bags in our garage for a week or so till the bin gets emptied. This causes 2 problems 1) There is nothing like the smell of week old stinky nappies in your garage to give it a pleasant aroma 2) When the bin is empty we fill it straight back up again! Meaning the stock piling starts again.

We asked the council for a bigger wheelie bin but apparently you need 5+ ppl in your house to get one and the cat doesn't count! (No wonder chavs pop out the sprogs, its prob so they get a bigger bin!)

So I have had to start doing mid week tip runs with the stinkies. I hate going to the tip. It's like going to the West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, no one appears to have a brain cell. But anyway, it got me thinking, we can't be the only family with this problem. Our estate for example is chocca with families. So if every family on our estate has to make 1 tip run per week to keep on top of the rubbish, I wonder how that effects the environment in terms of pollution??

No amount of recycling initiatives can avoid the fact that a bi-weekly collection isn't enough for your average family, so if we're having to bin stuff anyway, why not go back to weekly bin collections on top of the recycling program, thus creating more jobs (more bin men needed) and cutting down on the pollution of everyone driving their cars to the tip. I can't imagine it would put the council tax up a huge amount to add that extra collection back in.

Oh and yes I did look in to reusable nappies BUT they use up so much energy having to wash and dry them it negates any environmental benefits of using them.

Hmmmmm time to write to my MP maybe.....

Mama x

Monday, 7 March 2011

Mummy top tip #1

Before your baby is born you will buy/get given loads of baby toiletries (baby lotion, baby wash, baby shampoo, talc etc etc)

When you attend antenatal classes you will suddenly be told these products are the work of the devil and should not be let anywhere near your squidgy little bundle.

Mummy top tip: Don't bin them, use them for yourself! Baby talc smells lush and Baby top to toe softwash is excellent for shaving your legs!

Mama x

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Little Bunny Foo Foo and other assorted crap I sing to Immie

Poor Immie has just woken up inconsolable. Proper big fat tears, hysterical crying. I think it is those pesky toothy pegs, combined with her fighting off this virus, it has made for one miserable little tortoise.

One way I find really works in calming her down is to lay her on our bed with me and for me to sing to her. The only problem is, I really can't remember the words to many nursery rhymes/children's songs. It is amazing how something you knew inside out as a child is confined to the bin in your brain!

So my current repertoire consists of

- Little Bunny Foo Foo
- 10 green bottles (really tedious by the time you reach 6!)
- Baa Baa Black Sheep (Yes I am pretty non PC)
- Hickory Dickory Dock
- Hey Diddle Diddle
- Twinkle Twinkle litte star

And thats about it.

I did attempt teddy bears picnic the other day but that resulted in me singing over and over 'At 6 o'clock their mummies and daddies will take them home to bed because they're tired little teddy bears' because I truly couldn't remember the words!

I really need to find some lyrics to more nursery rhymes and children's songs!

Mama xx

I'm not a hypochondriac honest!

Before I became pregnant I hardly ever went to the doctors. I'd soldier on and self medicate.

When I became pregnant I swore I wouldn't be the type of mummy who is at the docs every 5 mins with their child over every little sniffle.

Since I'd had Immie all this has gone out the window. Some months we seem to be at the docs every week. (not always for Immie, but for me too!)

I can't work out if we're picking up every sort of illness going or if I just worry more?

Poor Immie hasn't been well for a month. She's had a nasty cough and cold that she just can't seem to shake. We have been to the docs a couple of times and had amoxicillin a couple of times (1 for ear infection and 1 because I think the doc wanted to get rid of me for a week or so!)

But last night her temperature was up and down. One minute boiling, the next shivering. Calpol didnt appear to fix it, so I phoned out of hours doctor. I was told to give her Ibuprofen instead, then take her to the our of hours surgery at the hospital.

When we arrived Immie insisted on waving at every poorly person in the waiting room, then she did some clapping, which had the whole waiting room giggling. I passed her, her Emily toy (that crinkles and rattles) she grabbed it in her arms and said "ahhhhhhh" at which point the whole waiting room said "ahhhhhhhhhh"! She wasn't doing a very good job of looking ill. But right on cue she did a nasty cough, so I felt justified in being there.

After a 45 minute wait we saw a very lovely doctor (according to my husband his badge said he was a paediatric specialist which was good). He examined Immie (who was of course the perfect angel and didn't look ill at all! See He concluded she had a lot of fluid behind her ears which was pushing on her ear drums (hence she was pulling her ears), the snot and cough was all linked to this too. He said he thought she'd probably had a couple of colds, hence it was lasting so long but that as it was viral, there was nothing he could prescribe. Just keep giving paracetemol and ibuprofen and ride it out.

So there we have it, the magic words that all docs seem to be obsessed with "Viral". I am convinced viral is a code word for "The NHS needs to save money, so you're not getting anything on prescription, its just a cold, go home, give them over the counter stuff and ride it out."

At least I know I'm not making it up now or being a fussy mummy. I just hope my poor baby shakes this soon. Apart from anything else, Im having to wash her snot caked bedding twice a week!!!

Mama xx

Tuesday, 1 March 2011



Everyone does them. Men, women, children, young, old, the super intelligent, the not so intelligent, cats, dogs etc even the queen does a poo!

Babies do particularly stinky poos. It all starts with that 1st black poo when they are born that looks like tar. Then as they get used to breast milk (if you are breast feeding) its like korma with little seeds in, I'm reliably informed this is fat or something, I thought Immie had been eating sesame seeds!

If your baby is unwell they can go all manner of colours, green, brown, very dark brown almost black etc. In Immie's case when I was drinking orange squash and still breast feeding hers went green! (Something to do with additives in orange squash, even sugar free stuff!)

Then when you move on to weaning, it is a whole different ball game. Meat produces particularly stinky poos, and lentils well I'll leave you to imagine.

So we all know pooing (or passing stools if you are a little bit shy about these things) is a normal fact of life, so why do I feel so mortified when I pick Immie up from nursery and they describe her poo to me?? Apparently today's was explosive (I blame the amoxicillin!) or as I like to call it, a poonami! I can only think its because as a mummy you don't mind changing your babies nappy, it doesn't bother you but the thought of changing someone elses childs stinky nappy makes my stomach flip. I just feel really sorry for all the girls who work at the nursery who have to change lots of stinky nappies. Bleurgh. They deserve a medal!

Mama x