Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Baby Led First Foods

I felt inspired (thanks @BabyMakingMama )to blog about this today.

You may or may not know that I have three children. Two boys and a girl, 5, 3 and 6 months respectively.

With my eldest son, Jayden, I followed the traditional method of weaning onto solids religiously. I bought a couple of puree books, I recommend Annabel Karmel as her recipes taste delicious if you are going down that route incidentally, and set about introducing my son to the delights of non-mummy-milk foods. I started with baby rice which is pretty tasteless really, mixed up with breastmilk; just an introduction to new texture I suppose. Then on to a new taste every few days, eg a few days of pureed carrots, then apple, then parsnip/squashes, then apple AND carrot, then mashed potato... gradually increasing the lumpiness until FINALLY I dared to give him a piece of food to hold himself. And the fear in the room was palpable. I was literally terrified that he would choke, but he didnt and we all lived to tell the tale.

Alongside this, he gradually started cutting out breastfeeds by himself by asking for mummy milk less frequently, then a week after his first birthday he had his last feed after a couple of nights of only a bedtime feed, he just lay down one night and that was it, didn't reach out to me other than a cuddle. I had NO discomfort in my breasts, no engorgement, no leaking, nothing. He never asked again and though I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it, I knew that it was perfect because he did it in his own time.

My second son, Reuben. Well I was a little more experienced I guess and felt I could bypass the babyrice thing, seemed a little pointless to me to be perfectly honest. So Reubens first meal was finely mashed banana. And he absolutely loved it. We quite quickly moved onto different tastes, quickly combining tastes, textures, flavours etc. We introduced him holding food much sooner, probably a couple of weeks after his first taste of food at 6 months. He got the hang of it very quickly and yet again I seem to have a 3 year old who will eat anything, curry, spicy things... anything!

He continued breastfeeding longer than his brother, but that is the case with most things with my little Roo as he has severe speech delay and consequently some learning difficulties, which I can tell you is a real challenge to us as parents considering Jayden was very forward in his communication. Isn't it hard not to compare our children? (In terms of what they do and at what age I mean). Reuben breastfed until 16 months old and actually I think he may have stopped a month earlier but to be honest I wasn't ready! Thankfully he humoured me and he continued with a bedtime feed until we were both ready and then he stopped peacefully too.

Now Daisy. She is 6 months old. Ive been reading about Baby Led Weaning onto Solids for some time now and we followed it to a degree with Reuben but we're pretty much going all out with it with Daisy.

Why did I decide on this route this time?

I have come to believe that a lot of baby rearing is an instinctive thing, for both the baby and the mother. If I believe that, then I have to believe that a baby will come to eating instinctively and at their own pace. This might mean for some babies that they wont eat until some time past 6 months and thats ok too. As the gut isn't sealed until 6 months, they shouldn't have solids until then though. At around 6 months, most babies will have head control and will be showing some hand co-ordination.

So around 2 weeks ago Daisy started showing interest, and I mean REAL interest in our family mealtimes. We started sitting her in a highchair once she could support herself and play with her toys while we ate, we wanted her to feel involved as up to that point she'd be playing on her nest so a little 'removed' I guess. So when she'd be on our laps at the table (when she was done with playing!) she would grab at food as it passed her between my plate and my mouth!

So last Saturday, she was 5 months, 3 weeks, and I gave her a stick of Cucumber and she put it straight in her mouth and sucked the living daylights out of it, didn't 'eat' any of it but that wasnt really the point. So since then, at mealtimes, we have given her something similar, bits off our plates, steamed carrot stick, long slice of banana, slices of apple and cheese, anything that she can hold herself and put to her mouth, but not break too easily as at this point it's to do with the new experience.

So we're actually only a few days into this, but its been so lovely seeing her really going for it with eating by herself. I put a spoon on her tray and she picks it up and puts the end in her mouth too.

I don't think I'm going to be too puritanical about this, for example I will probably spoon some things such as yoghurts as I am keen that she gets a balance of nutrition but its amazing the difference it has made to our family mealtimes. It's so much easier that she sits and eats with us, because often she would want to be breastfed at that time and so I would feed her at the table which is fine of course but invariably means my food is cold by the time I've finished it. So now, she sits and messes with the bits of food I've put on her tray, I get to eat my hot meal and we're all happy.

I hope I've put across the fact that I don't believe there is a particular right or wrong here, only whats right or wrong for a family within the constraints of what is healthy for the child (ie, no whole nuts, honey-risk of infant botulism etc etc). I am really enjoying the process which is making it more enjoyable for Daisy.

How are you enjoying your weaning onto solids experience?

Monday, 29 November 2010

Winter Dilemma

My 5 year old is almost speechless with excitement about the possibility of snow. Naturally to him, all the snow means to him is making snowmen, snowball fights and a day off school.

To say that the UK is ill-equipped to deal with snow is somewhat of an understatement. The country ground to a halt earlier this year when the snow came. The shops ran out of milk and loads of schools closed, including my sons.

I'm fortunate in that I can work from home if necessary but my husband can't as he's a driving instructor. It's one thing to expose your pupils to a wide range of driving conditions, but its quite another to expose himself to mortal danger of being driven in dangerous conditions by an exuberant teenager who really wants to jump out of the car and throw snowballs at passing cars (apologies for the sweeping judgements in evidence here...).

So tonight I am waiting with baited breath to see if there's an email from school entitled 'snow day' because there is apparently some geek in the council department staying up later than me in the hope of getting a day off work courtesy of God. (yes damage caused by snow is still referred to as an act of God, whether you believe in Him or not...)

For my sons sake I'd love it to snow, for our 'how will we afford Christmas sake' I hope I don't wake up to a winter wonderland tomorrow. What a dilemma.
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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Happiness measure?

It says on BBC news website today that our dear Prime Minister wants to know how happy we all are.

My first instinct to that was to question whether he cares at all, then I thought I'd read it to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps his election promises stood for something after all. Perhaps he really does care about the state of the family.

He starts well...

"He said the government's "most urgent priority is to get the economy moving, to create jobs, to spread opportunity for everyone".
"Without a job that pays a decent wage it is hard for people to look after their families in the way that they want, whether that's taking the children on holiday or making your home a more comfortable place.
"Without money in your pocket it is difficult to do so many of the things that we enjoy."

But he said the government also had to focus on the long-term and he said "the country would be better off if we thought about well-being as well as economic growth".

GDP was too "crude" a measure of progress as it failed to take into account wider social factors - he cited the example of "irresponsible" marketing to children, an immigration "free for all" and a "cheap booze free for all", which had all boosted economic growth at the expense of social problems."

Unfortunately I was still left with that old familiar feeling that I'd heard it all before. And the last paragraph put it succinctly...

"Trade union Unite attacked the plan as "another attempt by the coalition to pull the wool over peoples' eyes".

General Secretary elect Len McCluskey said: "No doubt Cameron will use the index to claim that despite rising unemployment, home repossessions, longer NHS waiting lists and unaffordable education, the people of this country are happier under Tory rule. The reality is a gathering gloom."

... and I have to agree. The general feeling among people I know is one of discontent, and I suspect that many people would use such a survey to voice that discontent.

The idea seems ok in principle but in reality I think its yet another PR exercise to make the government appear to care about the average family. Cuts in provision of surestart centres, NHS cuts, reductions in employing Midwives, demonising independent Midwives, increasing taxes for drivers, increasing VAT... The list goes on.

Back to the drawing board please Mr Prime Minister Cameron.

from link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11833241
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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Disgusting or Inspiring?


I saw an article today in a newspaper about a hospital trust which has been forced to take down a picture of a little girl pretending to breastfeed her dolly. There were complaints along the lines that the poster is inappropriate, crude and disgusting.

The hospital responded by saying that the poster was part of a wider campaign to promote breastfeeding and specifically to say that its normal, and that children will ultimately copy their parents, so its part of trying to help create a 'normalized' breastfeeding culture.

A 39 year old grandmother asked for it to be removed, saying that its not normal and that little girls shouldn't be breastfeeding their dolls.

So theres the context of this blog.

Breastfeeding is a highly emotive subject. Statistics show that most women who give up breastfeeding for one reason and another, wish they had carried on for longer. Wrapped up in there is a whole raft of emotions and so it is easy to see why when it comes to encouraging women to breastfeed, people will often come down in one of two camps. Either the 'breastfeeding is best for mother and baby and SHOULD be actively promoted' camp, and the 'women should be left to decide without any kind of influence' camp.

Oddly enough, my observation is that people who fall into the second camp also would class themselves as pro-choice and base this stance on informed choice...

How can a woman make an informed choice without possessing the facts. The facts as they stand are that breastfed babies are better protected from childhood illnesses such as ear infections. They are less likely to develop allergic disorders such as asthma and excema. They are less likely to suffer painful gastroenteritis - incidences of this in part due to poorly made up formula milk.

The breastfeeding mother is statistically less likely to develop ovarian and breast cancer. These things are not my opinions, they are research based facts.

Armed with these facts, I wonder if more women would try breastfeeding. Statistics show that not every woman does try.

Another very unpopular statistic is the one that says that less than half a percent of women have medical reasons not to breastfeed. And I bring that up only to quote from the article (link to this story at end of blog) ...

"Councillor Jean Ashworth, who works as a healthcare assistant at the Infirmary, said the move was the latest in a string of unpopular measures to promote breastfeeding.

"The picture is highly offensive and everyone is up in arms about it," she said: "We all know breast is best, but they are going overboard and upsetting new mums who can't breastfeed for medical reasons."

Is it only the mothers who have medical reasons not to breastfeed who are 'up in arms'? Or is it that Jean the Councillor has an issue with breastfeeding perhaps? An issue that has nothing to do with other mothers and everything to do with her own breastfeeding story?

Going back to the grandmother... she said, and I quote "The picture is shocking and it isn't normal. Children copy their parents but I don't think any little girls should be breastfeeding their dolls."

The article doesn't elaborate on exactly what it is about the picture which isn't normal.

If breastfeeding is simply a choice of how to feed your baby, then there should be no problem with this picture. If it was a picture of a little girl 'feeding' her dolly with a bottle, I am confident in my assertion that this wouldn't have made it to the paper, unless of course an indignant breastfeeding mother said something about it, but then she would be branded a fanatic.

Why is it ok that a child pretends to bottlefeed a dolly but shocking when the child pretends to breastfeed her dolly? Children copy their parents, fact.

That's why we don't swear in front of children, we don't let them watch violence. We act kindly to one another. We do this because children learn by example. Todays children pretending to breastfeed their dollies are the next generations breastfeeders.

When I was breastfeeding my second son, my firstborn son (yes, SON) would come sit with me and 'breastfeed' his teddy bear alongside me. He considers it perfectly normal that Mummys feed their babies 'mummys milk'. I asked him the other day what do babies eat and he replied mummys milk without hesitation. I was so proud of him on that moment. Children don't wield judgements as adults do, he is simply expressing what he believes to be normal.

The photo of the little girl in my opinion is a picture of an ideal world. She had to have seen a woman (likely her mother) breastfeeding in order to pretend to do the same. So to her, its normal. When the time comes for her to make a decision about her breastfeeding journey, I hope that will have an influence. I was inspired by the picture. It made me hopeful. While there are children, there is hope and they are, without doubt, worth the aggro us 'breastfeeding fanatics' get along the way.

The Link

(opinions expressed in this blog are, as ever, my own)
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Friday, 26 November 2010

I'll tell you what I like

Naturally for starters there's my 3 heart wrenchingly precious children and wonderful husband but sometimes it helps me to remember that I like things, and that those things make me happy. Some of them are fairly standard and I would defy any warm blooded woman to say the first one doesn't ring a bell.

-being warm
-savoury and sweet together like cheese and grapes
-people who wear their hearts in their sleeves
-freshly changed bed linen
-my animals
-driving big cars
-driving my 1967 VW Beetle
-where the light refracts and makes speckly pattern on the floor/walls, we call them fairies here

hmmm, well as I'm falling asleep in my phone I suspect now im not really fit for anything but sleeibgImm. I shall continue this tomorrow!
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Thursday, 25 November 2010


I have so much to be thankful for. My loving husband, 3 beautiful crazy children, a family that cares for me, a roof over my head and beliefs, activities, interests and hobbies that fulfil me.

I've travelled quite a bit and in 2002 spent some time in Belo Hotizante, Brazil. Kev and I did some street work, taking food and other stuff to dome families living under the arches of a bridge. We met a woman living there and she wasn't well. Her floor was mud, her walls were packing crates. We knocked on her door and spent some time with her. We asked her if there was anything else we could do for her to help. She replied "I might not have much that you can see, but I've got a big heart and that's all that matters".

This lady was a mother and grandmother. Her 'under bridge' community doted on her. She loved and was certain of their love. She was the most thankful woman I've ever met and I still feel humbled now thinking about her.

I'm thankful for so many things, I'm thankful I met her, not because of a contrast in standards of living, but because her thankfulness reminds me that the things we should be thankful for are not really things at all.
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Snow already?

The UK doesn't know how to deal with snow. And its here already. Not in my neck of the woods thankfully, especially as with hubby being a driving instructor, but in the UK. Global warming as we speak.

Do I rush out now and get snow chains? Will I look back and see this post and wish I had?

No doubt more on this when we get snowed in.
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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Shopping + Children

Today was probably the worst shopping experience I have ever had with my children in tow. I do tend to avoid it as it really is no fun for them, whether its food supermarket shopping or town shopping. As a child I hated it... following my mum in and out of shops on a Saturday morning was as far from my idea of fun as possible.

So that's why I avoid it but of course sometimes its a necessary evil. I need to have the Christmas shopping done by the 1st December due to changing my mortgage provider I'm paying double that date then back to normal from 1st Jan. So December is going to be a bit of a squeeze. Thankfully I've been saving for Christmas but even so, it makes sense to know exactly where we'll be.

I digress... So this morning I decided to take 6 month old baby Daisy and Reuben my 3 year old with me into town. I had my list. I knew what to get. I knew where to go. I had an 'in/out' extraction planned with military precision. I had snacks and drinks, healthy and a lil chocolate bribe in case things for desperate.

So how come after one shop was I heading back to the elevator wishing I hadn't even tried it, muttering under my breath that I didn't know why I even thought I could do it.

Surprisingly this isn't where I tell you why (in the usual course of a blog there is generally a summing up and solution after all) I'd love to tell you why, not least because then I could write a brilliant child behaviour book and that would be that.

No, what happened next is simply down to my own stubbornness. He had to get it from somewhere right? Reuben was pushing my buttons to the max. Artfully combining pitifully whinging to full on screaming his cute blond head off. People were looking, undoubtedly thinking what a rubbish mother I am (and they wouldn't be totally wrong but I'm giving it my best shot) bit I needed to do the blessed Christmas shopping. It won't do itself no matter what my husband thinks. Presumably the same fairy that cleans and tidys will do the Christmas shopping too.

I didn't finish it by any stretch of the imagination but I did go to a few more shops and make a decent start. (incidentally at this point I must point out that the baby mercifully lept throughout the whole episode).

I appreciate that he found it boring. He wasn't allowed to hare around like a mad thing but its all a learning curve. I can't protect him from every boring situation. As a mother if I did, I'd be telling him that life is always fun and frivolous and I'd be doing him no favours.

Life has plenty of opportunity for fun and fizz but I want him to be well rounded and able to be comfortable in any situation, and that includes dealing with situations he'd rather get over and done with. For example the whole shopping experience would have passed quicker had I not had to stop every couple mins to deal with a tantrum.

No doubt there's something to be said for avoiding the situation in the first place and is now the time to be instilling these lessons?

I certainly wasn't expecting today to yield any lessons. While it was going on it just felt hard and tiring but now, as ever with parenting, the learning curve is an organic, constant thing, always unexpected, and I don't think I'll ever 'get there' but tomorrow I'll give it another go...
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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

On the side of caution

I looked on BBC news website today for inspiration to blog. The two headlines this evening are the North and South Korea conflict and the Will and Kate marriage plans.

One of them scares me half to death and the other gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and it didn't take a genius to work out which.

One of them causes me to worry about a future tainted by nuclear arms. The other causes me to think about a young happy couple embarking on their future together.

I did actually start to write about how I feel about the Korea situation but it degenerated fairly quickly into morbid speculation which to be honest is not my usual style and so is a bit indicative of my feelings on the subject. Perhaps I need to leave that where it is for the time being.

I feel quite positive about the upcoming Royal nuptials. Friday 29th April 2011. Apparently the nation gets an extra bank holiday, though when I mentioned going to London that day, hubby looked at me like I'd just spontaneously grown another head, so perhaps not.

I hope that the course of the engagement runs smoothly for them. This could be a but of a turning point for the way the Royals are viewed. In the main, I think people like Prince William, no matter their opinion of the rest of the family. I think his popularity status would increase if he styled his hair better but we can't have everything LOL.

I am not saying that these stories are actually even comparable, after all people lost their lives today thanks to the power struggle between governments, and that's tragic. What I am saying is that some days its easier to leave the bad news til later.

I will say a prayer for the families that list loved ones today, for all of us for protection from a nuclear armed North Korean government, and for Will and Kate, that they get their happily ever after.

What would you say a prayer for today?x

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Monday, 22 November 2010

Think healthy

I don't want to appear too simplistic about this but I do believe that for the vast majority of normal people, health is as much a state of mind as body.

The difference between men and women when they get a cold is a case in point. We playfully suggest that he has 'man-flu' and no I'm not about to go on an anti-male diatribe, but seriously guys... man up! LOL

Of course when I say normal people, I mean people with normal health. I don't mean people with physical illnesses which need medical treatment etc. For goodness sake if you are sick, get help.

I am a normal (and thankful daily) healthy person. Buy at times, like these days, I feel unhealthy. my new daughter is 6 months old, I have a 5 and 3 year old and I need to be functioning at a higher level than I am currently in order to enjoy life more. My bones ache, I feel lethargic and I'm tired and cranky.

But I barely exercise (discounting. the schoolrun) I eat rubbish (not literally LOL) and on top of that I'm a bread eating Coeliac. How stupid is that?

All of which can be rectified if I start thinking differently. Blog earlier in the evening might be a good start, don't eat after 7pm might be another. Go to that exercise class with free creche on a Friday morning would beyond no doubt, start running again (though on a practical note my SPD wrecked pelvis might object to that).

Aaaand the one thing that would make the major difference. Remember that I'm Coeliac so when those lovely cakes and biscuits tempt me, eat a jacket potato instead of that fabulous panini.

It's got to be worth it, and thats where my state of mind comes into it. Just how bad do I want to be healthy? Or am I just used to feeling this way? As a mother I tend to just soldier on anyway because that is what we do, but I know that there is more potential in me than that. I can still carry on but I have the choice to do it feeling x100 better than I do now and probably do a better job than I'm doing now.

Do you think you have more potential too?x
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Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Pope

I was interested today to read about the furore surrounding the Popes comments on the use of condoms - from interviews being collated into a book and released this Tuesday.

The media have latched onto it as a sort of 'comedown' from a known 'truth' that we all know that the Catholics don't do contraceptives. A little extra digging on t'internet reveals that its not really anything of the sort. What they're actually saying is that in the case of AIDS, its more about the preservation of life rather than the prevention of it.

The Catholics say that only God has the authority to say if a baby should be conceived it not and it is this standpoint that the no condoms thing comes from. The church has been condemned in the past (and present) for being archaic and out of touch - after all, who is interested in a life of abstinence? I remember reading something a few years ago where the church said that abstinence was the only sure fire way of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The reaction from the secular world was predictably outraged.

But really what is wrong with that comment? On a purely factual level, abstinence is the best way of not contracting an STD/I. I don't see the problem with it being promoted as a form of disease prevention. This is not a revolutionary thought.

A lot of effort has gone into the concept (dare I say reality in a limited % of the world) of informed choice.

Some of the media outrage has been surrounding the idea that people are impressionable and so the church saying don't use condoms will actually cause an increase in the spread of the disease.

To me this says a bit about the low opinion some elements of the media have about the people 'on the ground/at risk from contracting the disease due to the fact they live in an area with a high incidence of the disease'.

Abstinence is a form of contraception. It should be taught alongside other methods. Theres nothing outrageous about that view. People should have the choice, not just handed a bag of condoms or a supply of The Pill and told to get on with it. Is that choice? Thats just people who think they know better inflicting their own judgements in the situation.

To come back to the Pope, I'm not even a Catholic but I do think in this respect he was given too hard a time.

On the other hand, just get me started on the view that condoms shouldn't be used as a contraceptive (or any other method) and you'll hear me give and entirely different view on his 'Holiness'... but that's probably another blog for another day.
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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Non stop

Customer consultation, rug searching, eldest child gymnastics class, food shopping, middle childs friends birthday party, house tidying, friends for coffee, kids to bed, settle baby.


Long day...

Aaaand bed...
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Friday, 19 November 2010

Children in Need

A short bloggle today as I'm attached to the TV watching the lovely Terry Wogan. What a legend!

The first total was nearly £5million so a good start. These things used to irritate me as a teen though. It wad incomprehensible to me that they'd 'only' raise 14/15million when there was 55million people living in the UK. I'd think surely if every person gave a quid or even better a fiver, then wouldn't that be amazing.

So all I'd be is infuriated by the whole thing.

As I've gotten older I guess I've mellowed out a bit. Something is after all better than nothing and to boot, the profiles of some amazing charities are raised. There are some incredibly generous people out there with big hearts.

The stories of the things that some children live with are extraordinarily touching. I so hope that every penny reaches the organisations making a difference to children's lives.

As a little bonus too, there's the celebrities making general idiots of themselves in the name of charity.

p.s. I've had a much better day today!
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Thursday, 18 November 2010

One of those days

It really was. I just wanted to rewind and start over! Every now and then you get these days when everything you do and say is not right in the eyes of a cranky 5 year old. The fact that he was in bed by 7pm is neither here nor there because he then chose to stay awake reading and drawing without my knowledge until I went upstairs at 8pm, checked in on them and saw the glimmering torchlight under his duvet.

So back to this morning and it took nearly an hour to get him in his school uniform, then when I made it into a race and his 3 year old brother consequently got dressed before him, he had an absolute fit saying that wasn't fair as I'd helped him. Pointing out that his brother is actually not capable of dressing himself and needs help and what a big boy you are because you can do it yourself... didn't work. Still one stressed out 5 year old, though at least he's not still running round in his underwear.

Being woken at 5.30am don't get us off to the best start in the world to be fair.

Thankfully it wasn't my turn on the schoolrun so I trot off with little brother and littler sister to a toddler group we go to where I help out by doing the arts and crafts table. From thy second we arrive middle son is pestering me for biscuits. It's 9.30am for petes sake! Baby spat up approximately 17 million times and drenched every item of clothing on her, on me, in my bag...

On the way home he fell asleep, normally fine but as I had to wake him rather than allow his to wake naturally, he was then cranky as anything and he had to eat lunch and get round to nursery for the afternoon.

Needless to say... we were late.

So now usually daughter has her longer nap and I had planned to write and do a transcription that I've been putting off for eternity. Would she settle?! Of course not. 2 frustrating hours later, husband comes home and I manage to squeeze half hour work in before pick up time.

Rain!!!! Argh.

Decided after school to go to the library, usually a big hit with our boys. I spent the time there stopping them from disturbing homework club. We borrowed a DVD chosen by my eldest which he promptly decided he didn't like once it had been on for 5 mins ager we got home.

I'd be happy if dinnertime hadn't happened at all and let's just say bedtime... well anyway.

So now I feel like an old harpy fishwife and a hopeless mother as I've spent most of the day exasperated. No doubt a million things I could have done differently in order to have a better day. Would love supernanny to give me song tips but without the ritual humiliation on television.

Thankfully tomorrow is another day, and they actually fell asleep pretty quickly so fingers crossed.
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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Mum In Business

I love the term Mumpreneur. It's so expressive and makes me feel like I am part of some exclusive club. It says that not only are you living the frantic life that is motherhood, but you're running your own business to boot.

My observation of a lot of Mumpreneurs is that the businesses are generally to do with some aspect of family life. My own business is no exception. I provide pet services and invariably my customers are or have children. Of course in this business I'm not going to light any financial fires, become a self made millionaire etc, but it does help with the extra things we'd like, whereas my paid job (yes I have one of those too) pays for the things we need, the mortgage for example!

We are tremendously lucky as women to be living in this time in history. Women have opportunities that our own mothers simply didn't have. We can choose to run our own businesses, and you know what? We'll raise our kids at the same time. It doesn't have to be either, or.

Saying that, we also have the opportunity to decide not to work (if that's individually possible of course...) and raise our children. But its choice and that is something we need to keep a hold of. Brave women fought and died for us to have that opportunity and freedom.

It bothers me when I hear of women not voting. I think everyone should vote, male and female, but the fact that the female vote was so desperately fought for, we almost have an obligation to tale advantage of it.

The attitude of our Grandparents, saying that Granny would 'do a bit of dressmaking for her pin money' belongs firmly in the past. The money we make as Mumpreneurs may not always be a significant addition to the household finances, but it is part of a statement about the fact that women are amazing. Historically looked over in terms of power in financial and family terms, those says should be long gone.

This week is global entrepreneurial week, today is the womens day (eek can't remember what they're calling it...) and its a reminder to all of us that the opportunity to live to our potential is only limited by ourselves.
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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Royal Engagement

I've long been a bit of a Royalist. I love Englands Royal family. For all that they are supposed to be the upper of the upper class, I think that on the inside they are just a family like the rest of us. Trials and tribulations to rival a few soap operas but that's life isn't it.

Unfortunately Prince William has had a more dramatic upbringing than most. Who doesn't remember where they were when the news broke of Princess Dianas death...? He and his brother lost their mother and they essentially had to grieve in the public domain.

In lots of ways Prince William has had a bizarre life but somehow he's managed to turn out a seemingly nice well adjusted man.

I'm happy (in a kind of abstract 'oooh, love the Royals' happy) for Prince William and his lovely Kate. By all accounts she's a very down to earth person.

Let's face it though, they already have a better chance of a successful marriage than Charles and Di seeing as there's no-one else in the marriage. Good luck to them.
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Monday, 15 November 2010

NaBloPoMo prompt about spirituality

Im going to be brave and stand up here and say I am a Christian (that's not the brave bit) and I believe there it only one way to God (that was the brave bit).

Strangely though I do still have an enormous amount of respect for others spiritual beliefs. Although I do categorically believe my above statement, I also believe that true believers of any faith must believe the same (obviously only counting here the faiths that have a God).

I've been giving it thought today and remember a couple of conversations in the past where people have become very upset that I have that belief.

Faith is about the heart belief. My faith is in my heart, at the centre of my being. It is part of how I define myself, how I see myself in the context of the world. How I see meaning in the world and in my existence.

My God is a jealous God. He wants my undivided attention in respect to who I worship. That's the God I see consistently throughout the Bible. I also see a God who loves me and wants the best for me. He loves my family and wants me to put them first, in the same way that He put family first when Christianity was 'born'.

I'm not proselytising (sp?) here. This is what I believe. I don't attack others beliefs which is probably why I always am so surprised when people feel the need to attack mine. Why is Christianity fair game to judgmental people? That's a rhetorical question by the way.
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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Trying to remember what I wanted to be as a child when I grew up should be easier than this I suspect.

Surely its one of those red letter memories, the ones we whip out when it comes up as a theme for a new years party (last year) or at a Mr & Mrs party (a few months ago).

I do remember the profession that I gave serious thought to though, although I don't think that's the one I'm grasping for as far as memories go. I wanted to be a vet. It seemed a no brainer really, loved animals, wasn't squeamish, watched 'All Creatures Great and Small' religiously, mum was a riding instructor and I was getting the grades needed. When it came to it though, and I was picking my A-levels, I realised I was more interested in human behaviour than animal and I chose Psychology, Sociology.... and Art... My need to express myself in some medium was always there, I guess now its just developed into the written word.

So I rather lamely abandoned James Herriott with no defined idea in mind other than following my interest.

Before vetting though, its starting to come back to me, I wanted to be a Riding Instructor like my mum. I also briefly wanted to be a magazine editor... for 'Pony' magazine.

Never gave a second thought to my fathers profession so it is quite hilarious that I've ended up doing the same job as him for the past 7 years. Ho hum.

Time for a change methinks.
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Saturday, 13 November 2010


Songs. Music. If anything is guaranteed to propel me back in time to a place or person... its music.

Gabrielle, 'Dreams' was the anthem of my early teens when I had a mad crush on a boy in the year above me at school. He seemed so sophisticated and worldly, popular with everyone but did I detect a note of wistfullness about him that made him different from the other spotty obnoxious oiks his age? Of course I did, I was 13 years old, romantic to the core and sure that he was different. And naturally that we'd live happily ever after surviving on nothing but love and the fat of the land presumably.

Bless her cotton socks, Gabrielle was there at the very birth of my idealism.

Of course by the time I got into Pulp and the album 'freaks' I was a tortured little soul. I was 15 and had just grasped that Jarvis was being ironic when he said 'anorexic beauty, featherweight perfection' and I just knew that Jarvis would 'get me' if we were ever to meet.

We did though, incidentally.. meet that is. We were both standing at the back of the Carling tent at Reading Festival eating chips in trays. I didn't realise shoot was and he asked if I had a spare ketchup and I handed over my spare then looked up.

Had I still been 15, I might have passed out at this point but thankfully for my dignity at the very least, I was now into Blink 182 'All the small things'. I was now 18 and much too cool to pass out.

By 21 I was more about Rancid (Timebomb) and I'd met and married my nearest and dearest.

These days you're more likely to hear The XX on in my car at the grand old age of 30. But put any of those songs on and I am transported back in time.
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Where'd the time go

My middle is 3 today. This time 3 years ago I was watching in astonishment as my husband was given tea and toast 'to keep his energy up' and thinking 'never mind me what about meeeeee?' LOL

Roo was born at 11.21am, a successful VBAC and I was beyond proud.

He is a delight to me despite his communication 'issues' and one smile from him and people are at his mercy. Having said that he's talking so much more now and I think signing has loads to do with that. It's given him confidence to realise that people can understand him and not just stare at hum blankly when he 'talks'. A few times I've seen him give up when he was trying to tell us something and simply couldn't make himself understood. It was heartbreaking and I could have cried there and then.

And then his health stuff. We want the very best for our kids. We have to believe as parents that they will be healthy. Can't go through life falling over the what ifs of childhood accidents and ailments.

But then that day when I was expecting him to be discharged for a year for his digestive problems, the consultant looks at him and says 'he looks a bit peaky, let's give him a check over'.

Half an hour later we're in chest xray and ECG land. Then the phone call. Your son has an enlarged heart. We have referred him to a Cardiologist, try not to worry.

As a Christian I strongly believe that its in His hands and I get enormous comfort from that. But God birthed him to me, and worry is what us mothers do best. So we watch, wait and pray.

Today is going to be a good day.
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Wednesday, 10 November 2010


A blog a day keeps the stalemate away. That's what I'm hoping anyway. Suspect that while I'm trying to capture inspiration, the best thing to do is keep writing.

So what today? Saw a friends newly decorated lounge: very stylish. Took the kids to the park: freezing. Currently cooking pizza for them: unimaginative.

So my accumulated adjectives for the day are stylish, freezing and unimaginative. Now use them in a sentence. Lordy.
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Tuesday, 9 November 2010


A problem with learning to listen is the realisation that not everyone listens. They often make the right noises but they see just waiting for the opportunity to speak.

Learning to listen means meeting up with people who really do listen. It's a privilege.

Lately I've had something significant to worry about. The non-listeners dismiss my worries and say it'll be ok because they care about me and don't like to see me in pain. But I feel dismissed.

A listener hears that I am worried, 'allows' me to be worried and stays with me while I find my way to a place of peace. I feel cared for.
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Monday, 8 November 2010

An Idiot Abroad

Just an observation really but I've watched a couple of these programs with my husband and Ive been thinking.

Is it acceptable that Ricky Gervaise and his irritating sidekick get to reproduce their judgements and preconceptions through this 'idiot' legitimately? He (the idiot) seems to have no check on the words that come out of his mouth. Some might say that's refreshing in this politicallly correct mad world, but that political correctness has been born out of some necessity.

A conversation I had with my relatives neighbour recently is an example of this. She daughter that she always pick up her milk from the 'paki' shop. As you'd imagine, I fairly recoiled in horror and mildly corrected her saying something like 'you mean the corner shop' (which it is) and she got irritated with me, saying that in 'her day' that's what they were called, they didn't mind and everybody called them that.

Of course there was little point in attacking a little old lady on her language. She didn't mean it in a derogatory way but that doesn't make it right.

I'm thinking out loud really. But is it the language or the intent that is important or is that not the point at all?

Is it ok for that elderly lady to say it because she's old, is stuck in her ways and doesn't mean it that way? Do we let it slide as this particular discriminatory comment will die out along with that generation?

I don't have an answer. I'm just thinking, but I do wonder about the idiot and that old lady.
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Saturday, 6 November 2010

Confluence and Integration

When I started as a student breast feeding counsellor, I got the distinct impression that my faith was a hurdle to be gotten over, not imagining for a moment that the two could be compatible even.

The point being that you can't distinguish either as separate. The core conditions, the centre of the counselor need to be present to me and to the observer all the time. A part of me. The same can be said about my Christian walk.

Unconditional positive regard.... congruence.... These are the core conditions, and I believe that Jesus demonstrated them and they were him and He was them.

Turns out it wasn't such a leap afterall.
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