Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mother's Day

 I'm happy to have a Mother who's always stood by her convictions and raised me 'the right way'.

I'm happy to have a Mother who constantly challenges me and doesn't accept my BS!

I'm happy to have a Mother who is always rooting for me and wants me to succeed.

I'm happy to have a Mother who has taught me how to be compassionate, loving, FEARLESS and to be real.



I'm happy to be a Mother to my Sebastian. 

Today is my second Mother's day and I can say that this day is more special than Christmas or my birthday, because it signifies the reason for my being.

I love you, Seb.

Love Mama x
 
 
 
 
 

 



Saturday, 29 March 2014

Mama Ponders: A degree in Nursery Rhymes?

Having spent the past year revisiting Nursery Rhymes and singing them with an 'Adult's' perspective, I have become interested in the origins of nursery rhymes.

Seb preparing his dissertation on Nursery Rhymes
 
I haven't looked into any backgrounds yet, but thought wouldn't it be cool to do a post grad module in Nursery Rhymes for either an English Literature or Sociology degree?

I come from a moderately socialist background and that attracted me to study English Literature as that in the main focuses on the language and modes an author uses to explain what is happening around them. From reading, for example, a romantic piece written in the 19th Century, we can often grasp what life was like and take note of the political and social climate in the background, giving a rounder context to the story.

I'm no scholar (yet) in nursery rhymes, but some seem to be quite depressing and use cheerful melodies to disguise the gravity of despair. For example, the famous 'Ring-a-ring-a-roses' which is talking about the bubonic plague where people sneezed (a tissue) then died (we all fall down), had their ashes spread in the water (ashes in the water, ashes in the sea) then the ascent to heaven (we all jump up with a 1,2,3). Sad!!!!!!

Other sad ones to check out are: 
Ladybird, Ladybird
Oranges and Lemons
Mary, Mary quite contrary (describing Mary I's method of torture to Protestants!)

Thanks God for 'Old MacDonald had a farm'!!

For any parents or nerds (or both) who want to understand a little more of what these songs mean, check out this channel on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/NurseryRhymeHistory

Love Mama x 😖😖

 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Teeny Tiny's Tummy: 2 in1 Homemade apple and grape juice and eton mess

Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I went to the Supermarket and fancied trying my 14 month old Seb on grapes. I usually buy other fruits, but they were on offer.

I've been drilled, encouraged, guilt tripped by my Mom into making Seb's juice fresh daily. I get a scowl if I put a hint of packaged juice or a drop of squash (cordial) into his Sippy cup. No exaggerations!

As I'm off work and so is she, there's been nowhere to hide by way of shortcuts!

Now onto how I made the juice (preparation time 5mins) :

Blend the grapes and chunks of apple in a bowl or pan.

When the mixture is very thin, add some cool boiled water to lessen the sweetness of the grapes.

Add some lemon juice to stop the juice from oxidising (spoiling).

As there are 'bits' or grape skin in the mixture, sieve straight into your baby's sippy cup.

Watch their face light up at the delicious taste made from natural ingredients.


Ingredients (Apple is missing)


Now onto the Eton Mess (preparation time 5mins)

I had a brainwave as I sieved the juice and saw the grape skin build up: This could be a nice snack for this Mama.

Raided the cupboards and found meringue, crème fraîche and thought: Eton Mess time!

The recipes and ingredients vary, but it is a traditional English dessert made of berries, cream and meringue.

It's a mess, so all you have to do is mash up the ingredients. I too have been in a mess this week: a bit stressed and worn out, so this was a nice 'pick me up'.

 
 
 
 
My recycled mess
 
A mess eating a mess!
 
So there you have it: sweet homemade juice for the baby and a dessert for the messy Mama!!!
 
Love Mama x

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Baby Fashion: 'Hug a hoodie'


Gap | Debenhams | Asda George


Hoodies can be great for playing in the house or for keeping warm during cooler days.

These hoodies were gifts and as they aren't purchases I would have made myself, it's been great trying Seb in more casual styles at home or at the park.

I admit to not liking hoodies on Seb as I come from a generation of 'hoodie' wearers that were frowned upon by society. Sadly, I do associate negative stereotypes with hoodies wearers which is ridiculous as people who commit crime can wear suits and ties too...



Am I being too sensitive or do you feel like this too?

Anyway, as our dear old Prime Minister said, we should 'hug a hoodie'.

I love hugging mine!

Love Mama x

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Teeny Tiny's Tummy: I only eat food with flavour

This morning after burning up some calories at one of Birmingham's most popular parks, Cannon Hill in Edgbaston, we went to the supermarket on the way home. Knowing it would be Seb's lunchtime by the time we were done, I knew he wouldn't be able to wait for me to make him something from scratch.

I then decided to venture into the unknown and buy him a 'takeaway' by cult favourite Ella's Kitchen.

In the past, I've bought packet fruit made by Ella's Kitchen such as their apple & banana puree, mango brekkie (which lasted only from the checkout to the car!) which went down a treat with Seb. I like their natural ingredients promise and I can tell that they promote a more honest dialogue when it comes to showcasing what goes into making their food. (You can check their website here : http://www.ellaskitchen.com/)


So here I am, standing a little bewildered in the baby food aisle wondering what to feed tiny. Torn between the Spal Bol and Lamb Roast Dinner because out of everything else on the shelf, I guessed he should be used to these tastes. As it is Sunday, I thought, why not go for the Lamb Roast dinner?


I'll tell you why not: it was bland. As fresh as a daisy. Seb was not a happy chappy. This is a baby who eats his food 99.1% of the time and whose new word at meal times is 'more' (I kid you not). After taking a few spoonfuls, he screwed up his face and gave me a foreign hand signal. Huh, what? I think he actually pushed the spoon away?!

This NEVER happens. Mayday. Mayday.

I took a taste and empathised. I could taste carrot and a hint of mint, but no lamb at all.

Just to say that when I cook for Seb, I NEVER add salt, but do put less than a pinch of  age appropriate seasonings in some of his meals with meat in.

All I knew is this situation was turning ugly and we needed a solution fast!

Mom came in with a loaf of tiger bread made by the Supermarket bakery. Not my first choice for baby to have, but it certainly gave a bit more 'oomph' to the meal and quelled his hunger.

I am still a fan of Ella's Kitchen  and their fruit and breakfast ranges are great, but as my Seb has only had two packaged meals in his short life, he certainly is not made for 'takeaways'.

Are there any packaged foods that go down a treat (with flavour) that your little one loves?

Love Mama x
 

Baby Fashion: Wanting 'the other'

This is the first time since having Seb where I've longed to buy girls' clothes. I love boys wear and know of so many cool styles to dress your little man in. However, today I liked the British retailer 'Mamas and Papas' on Facebook, scrolled through their posts and noticed a buy one, get one free promotion on some lines.

My heart felt a sharp pang when I saw these beautiful dresses and skirts. Awwwww!!!

 Girls Purple All-Over Printed Skirt £22

 Girls Striped Skater Dress £26

 Girls Contrast Mock Dress £26

 Girls all over Floral Dress £34
 
Such beautiful patterns and shapes to suit your Baby girl.
I'm going to tell one of my best friends to get something from this deal for her little Ameilia.
Now i'm off to swoon over more dresses for my future daughter!
Does anyone else do this too?

Love Mama x
 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Baby Fashion: Your style or mine?

Who doesn't love shopping for baby clothes? Say no and I'd call you a liar. Even Dads and uncles are secretly in on it with the old 'I had to return some socks and chanced across this pair of baby jeans that err happened to be next to customer services'. A likely story!

The problems can arise however, when that top or jeans clashes with your baby's 'style'. As superficial as it sounds, many new parents are fashion conscious when it comes to their tiny! Not just anything can touch this newborn skin yanno...



Kourtney Kardashian walks with her daughter Penelope Disick in Mexico
Mom of two, Kourtney Kardashian is open about choosing stylish items for her son Mason and daughter Penelope
 
A few celeb Moms have spoken publicly about choosing or at least moulding their child's fashion choices. Kourtney Kardashian, Rachel Zoe and even UK reality TV-ite Chantelle Houghton have expressed the importance of dressing their babies in a style that reflects their budding personalities.

That's all well and good, but for many of us young Mom's with a limited bank balance, the reality is that we rely on gifted items for the little one.

The question is: what do we do when the item isn't 'our' style?
 
My advice is to prepare yourself for receiving such items. Grin politely, sing out a fake 'thanks' and try to 'work' them. It's bad practise to discard or give them to Charity when people have spent money on your child. Even if inwardly you feel like:

 
Put it this way, I vowed that Seb would escape the grip of Disney and wouldn't have any associated merchandise. In his first year, he received countless Disney pyjama sets and now sports a snuggly Mickey mouse bathrobe. I use them but, for example, make sure his Disney sets are the very last ones in rotation; you know worn on wash days, so they aren't seen too often.

Here are some practical tips for working unwanted baby items:
  • If it's a top that you don't like, layer over it with a jumper or cardigan.

  • If it's a coat you don't like, get the baby involved in some age appropriate messy play. The quicker it gets dirty, the longer it can stay in the wash basket ;-)

  • Funky looking socks could make great hand puppets. They were funny to begin with and now can perform in front of a drooling audience!

  • Trousers or skirts are more tricky, but just take them out once in a blue moon and be grateful baby will outgrow them soon!


Love Mama x


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Full Circle : The Best is yet to come

If you would like to know the background of what teeny and I have been through in the year leading up to today, scroll down and read the four posts.

This is where the fun part begins and below are the themes which this blog will centre itself around!

Stay tuned for:

Teeny Tiny's Tummy: Food! A run down of Seb's favourite meals, tips how to prepare them and progress on his eating skills. Also a retrospective look on breastfeeding and ways to make it work for you and baby.
 
Baby Fashion: Staple items for teeny tinies, favourite designers/shops, tips on how to buy at the most cost effective times. Possibly, some OOTD's from the Tiny.




http://www.caerphilly.gov.uk/parklife/pl_images/playgrounds.jpg
Chicken Run: Ideas on experiences you could create for your toddler, recommendations of places we've been to. How Seb likes to burn up energy before his naps.



Beauty- Young Moms have to look good too! Product recommendations which help to keep me looking human at best, alive at worst. Reviews, wish lists etc.

Yay!

Love Mama x

Ups and Downs, Smiles and Frowns


Seven week old Seb after his op
 
Five weeks after Seb was born, I found a lump on his groin. It was very big and had appeared from nowhere! In a panic, my Mom and I went to A&E where we were seen straight away. He is diagnosed with an inguinal hernia which will need operating! *Cue tears and panic*

I was so stressed and worried, I lost half a stone in about three weeks.

I couldn't eat or sleep properly and was burnt out.

Fortunately, I had my Mom and her friends who rallied round and really helped.

More A&E & a drastic drop in weight later, he is finally admitted to hospital for his operation. It was 45 mins and took him a few weeks to recover fully. 

Thankfully, we noticed a change in Seb for the better. He was no longer in pain and started to gain weight and strength. :-)

This, however, was the time when the cracks appeared in my relationship.

As my boyfriend was in his final year of uni, he was putting his studies first. To make things worse, he lived in another city and didn't come every weekend as we had planned. I didn't argue or make him feel bad about not being there for me, because I empathised with his situation too. Deep down I just hoped everything would come together in the end.

Sadly, they didn't. In the Spring, a few situations took place when I knew that we couldn't work anymore. I knew that I had to put my son's happiness even before my own.

In the Summer, he left for his home country abroad. That was ok as the original plan was for Seb and I to join him. Again, a few situations took place that showed me staying in the UK was best.

It struck me yesterday, that it's been nine months since I last saw him and two months since I last spoke to him. Time has flown by.

It was weird because for all those years, i'd been 'happy' with my boyfriend. I was in love...with the idea of being in love. This situation is not all his fault, I admit.

The good news is, I'm a good Mother and come from a line of good Mothers who have passed down the art of self sacrificial love.

My focus is raising Sebastian to become a wholesome, responsible, moral, socially aware, well educated and loving man.
 
Ultimately, I'd love to find the right man who wants to marry me and who loves Seb as his son. I'd love to have more children at some point, but likely not until my thirties.

Anyhoo, as I said to one of my best friends last night: I know i'm doing the right thing by Seb because I'm the first and last person he sees everyday. It's my name he calls as soon as he wakes up; no one else's.

As long as he's happy, I'm happy.

Love Mama x




January 16th 2013: It was like an episode from ER

After the day I wrote the 'Nostalgia, Ultra' post, the hospital had decided to induce me on the 16th January. Had I realised that Michelle Obama, Muhammad Ali and Benjamin Franklin RIP had birthdays too on teeny's original due date, Jan 17th, I may have left it! Anyhoo, I was too fat and cumbersome to care. I was ready to meet my tiny!

At 8am, I arrived at the hospital like Mariah Carey with a matching amount of luggage and entourage to boot!
 

Checked in, obs taken, pessary in; we're ready to be induced into labour. LET'S GET THIS!


The contractions began and oh la la! For anyone who has yet to experience it, my contractions felt like a blunt kneeding pain somewhere in the back of my hip and above my bum. I got my boyfriend to massage it, which helped but that hour went by slowly! 

The nurse comes in and reads tiny's heart rate monitor when it had 'decreased' for the second time in four hours. Apparently, this was cause for concern but I was relaxed. I had my heart set on a water birth and it was GOING to happen.
 


A Senior Consultant came in and said I had only dilated 1cm within three hours and they were concerned about the baby's heart rate, when the possibility of a C-Section came up. 
Woah - This was nowhere in the birthing plan! 

It was for the best and as soon as I uttered 'yes', that's when it was like an episode of ER!

Nurses, Anesthetists and Consultants burst in the room. They wheeled me into the theatre and administered an epidural.

My boyfriend, looking utterly bewildered joined me, wide eyed the whole time. I on the other hand (high from the drugs) started to crack jokes with the surgeons about going there 'more often' for a free bikini wax!!!


One hour and a massive pull and tug later, tiny was out!!!!! 

Apparently, he weed and pooed on the staff as soon as he left me! 

When I heard his first cry, I cracked up in hysterics.  (Blame the drugs!)

My boyfriend now looking even more bewildered and teary held our son for the very first time. 

5 llbs 7oz was our Sebastian.



 

And so began the start of my new life, with my teeny tiny.

 
Love Mama x

 

 




































 













 




A teeny tiny explanation

I disbanded this blog last year as once my son was born, my life changed soooo much. Blogging and even computer time shrunk to snatch and grab sessions between feeds, changes and sleeps!

In the next few posts, I'll blog from the perspective of what happened during the time to bring you up to speed, then after those posts, the blog will be current.

Love Mama x