An Update on The Status of my Breastfeeding Antics.

You may or may not be interested to know that I have finally given up breastfeeding Izzy. In total, I fed her for 34 months. My first ever midwife once told me that breastfed children are very clever, if this is true then Izzy’s going to be a genius.

I pretended to give up in August this year but really gave up mid September. This came about after Fergus, my very pro-breastfeeding and tolerant husband, began to hint that it might be time to consider life without a baby/almost fully grown child stuck to my boobs. I knew that when Ferg began to think enough was enough that maybe enough really was enough.

By this stage we were down to just one marathon feed at bedtime. I would love to say that I was reluctant to give it up because my breasts were heavily laden with milk and the desire to nurture my last child just overwhelmed me, but there was barely any milk left in the old dears by then. No, the fact is that an hour long breast-feeding session gave me the chance to have a ruddy good read.

Oh the joy! The other two kids were downstairs silently watching telly, (they knew better than to invoke my wrath by interrupting “Izzy’s bedtime routine.”) and I was lying in bed, snuggling my very snugly Izzy and reading a good book. Does life get any better?? Any Mum knows, that a bit of quiet time where you get to do something you love, is a very precious thing. So precious in fact that I was extremely reluctant to give it up. The idea of losing my little oasis of peace and calm in an otherwise hectic and full day was quite frightening.

Anyway, one day, when Izzy said she wanted, “dudu”, as we called it, (Bit embarrassing, but at least not as bad as “bitty”) I just said no. I told her she was a big girl now and didn’t need it any more. It was awful! She looked up at me with her big, mournful baby-blues and seemed so confused and sad. My resolve obviously wavered but I stood firm. She kept asking for a few days or so and then stopped. Just like that, done. I was gutted, I’d secretly hoped she’d put up more of a fight and give me an excuse to start again. But of course she didn’t because she didn’t need it any more.

It’s usually such a joyful occasion when our kids reach their milestones, but sometimes it’s quite sad and signifies the end of an era. At least I can say with certainty that I gave this particular era all I had. Bye bye milky boobs, you’ve been super.

My little Izzy. So totally OVAH breastfeeding. Yeh, she is quite big and yeh it did look a bit weird.IMG_3061.JPG

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Kids Eggy Peggy Chicky Fried Rice

This recipe was born out of desperation and turned out pretty well. I had some left over roast chicken and some slightly moldy red pepper (Mmmm, yummy…) and just chucked it in with some other stuff I had lurking around. With all of my recipes, the veg and meat are pretty much interchangeable. If your child doesn’t like peppers then put something else in they’ll actually eat.

Ingredients

Chicken breast and leg diced (enough for however many kids you have)
One red pepper
A handful of peas
A handful of chopped mushrooms
One onion chopped
One garlic clove crushed
1 desert spoon of Thai fish sauce or reduced salt soy sauce
A good ol glub of Toasted sesame oil if you have it, sunflower or vegetable oil if you don’t
One egg.
Wok

Firstly, put your rice on to boil, then gently fry the mushrooms, onions and crushed garlic together in the oil until soft then put aside in a little bowl. Fry the chicken in the remnants of the oil and add the peas and peppers when the chicken is heated through or browned if fresh.

If your kids are anything like mine, then they hate anything remotely slimey like cooked onions or mushrooms, so what I do is use my hand blender to mush the garlic, mushrooms and onion together with a splash of water and the Thai fish sauce, then they don’t know they’re eating it. He he he…

Once you’ve made the sauce, put it aside and beat your egg, when it’s all mixed together, move the food in the wok to one side and tilt the wok so the food is on higher ground (if you know what I mean…?) pour the egg mixture into the lower part of the wok and make sure it’s over the heat, then stir the egg until it’s no longer liquid and mix in with the other ingredients. If the rice is ready then add it now. At this point you need to turn up the heat and add the sauce, making sure you stir constantly so the food doesn’t burn. Add the punch of salt, taste and if to your liking serve.

I have to say, I was very surprised to find the fish sauce in my food cupboard, it must have been left over from a Jamie Oliver recipe, but thank goodness it was, I usually use soy sauce for these types of meals but had run out!

Hope you like it!

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When we went down to the woods today…

We’ve had a lovely Sunday. Despite the fact that Isabelle decided it was only right and proper that I should sleep for 2 & 3/4 hours last night, we all managed to enjoy the sunshine and go to the park. We played football, practised balance biking for Maisie for the 2nd time and took Izzy out for her first ride on the push trike. Maisie got her balance bike for Christmas and I’m very pleased with it, thankfully Maisie rather likes it too. It’s a bikestar balance bike that I got from Amazon, (I’ll do a piece on balance bikes soon!) image What frustrates me about balance bikes is that people who review balance bikes always say, “They’re AMAZING! My child simply looked at the balance bike and could COMPLETELY ride a real bike without stabilisers straight away!” This has not happened for my children so far. Sam didn’t just simply get it straight away, it took him about 4 or 5 practices (still not much), Maisie today sort of limped on it all the way to the park and back again which was pretty painful to watch, but nevertheless she had a lovely time. I’m sure she’ll get it soon, but she didn’t get it today which left me feelng like she’ll never get it. At moments I found myself acting like a drill sergeant, clapping my hands and commanding her to go faster, to look straight ahead and stop mucking about. Poor kid. Sometimes I just completely miss the point. But it would be nice if I didn’t feel like everyone else’s children got it STRAIGHT away! So, for all of you mothers out there who are out with their child who’s having their first few gos on the balance bike, don’t worry if they don’t get it in the first minute, it just takes a bit of practice and they will eventually get it and probably love it. They may not love it, but that’s ok, they’re not freaks, they just don’t like it right now. Ok, deep breath, rant over.

So, to football, we all played, well Izzy sort of played, she mainly just stumbled around on the grass with arms outstretched asking for the ball and then falling over – brilliant. I was in goal quite a lot, which was fine, but perhaps a waste of my skills, anyway, it was funny and sunny and we all enjoyed being out of the house.

After football we played in the park and the woods and generally just got beautifully tired out. Sam and Maisie are playing so nicely together at the moment. It’s as though someone flicked a switch that made them both realise that playing together is completely awesome and much better than Mickey Mouse Club House. Having said that, when we got home, Fergus and I were very quick to seperate the eldest two and give them some down time, (secret code for avoiding potential conflict due to extreme tiredness), you know what I’m talking about parents. All in all, a lovely day with minimal shreeking. Hoorah!
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The best bits about having children

The best bits about having children.

Now, I’m very wary about sounding twee, but as I always honk on about the bad bits about parenting, I thought it may be refreshing to focus on the good bits. It’s taken months of consideration (JOKE) but here are my conclusions…

1. Random acts of affection. When your kid suddenly decides to give you a hug or have a snuggle without an ulterior motive or demand in sight, you feel like melting, like this is what it’s all about. It’s as though you get a glimpse of heaven, where it really is all about love and then it’s over, but you bank that moment and store it up and draw on it when you need to.

2. Funny stuff. There is nothing funnier than your own child doing something cute or hilarious. Maisie’s club-mix of twinkle twinkle little star for example, or Izzy’s attempts at jumping or Sam’s break dancing are AMAZING. Well… At least to me and Ferg and Nana and Pops.

3. Play time. When they play nicely, either alone or with other kids, you feel like you’ve done a good job. There’s something wonderful about thinking that this little person is going to be ok, they’re not to going to grow up to be a psychopath, they may even turn out to be…nice.

4. Chats. When you have a chat with your child and they tell you stuff, it’s just very rewarding. It feels like quite an honour, when this little person tells you the minutia of their day, it’s like you’ve had a glimpse into a fresh and very complicated world full of wonder and newness. This sounds a bit odd, but if your child can communicate sensibly with you and you get a flash of the person they’re going to become, it’s just mind-blowing and terrifying and exciting and really, really sweet.

5. When you see them smile. I’m sorry, I know this is super cheesy, but SERIOUSLY, when you see your kids smiling so much that there’s not really enough room on their face, you find YOURSELF almost overwhelmed with the beauty and joy of it. Grinning like an idiot, just delighted and relieved and and happy that they’re experiencing joy, because that’s what we want for our children, we want them to feel full of wonderful joy.

6. Giggling. Giggling is very different to smiling, because giggling is often related to mischief or tickling or something that they find FUNNY. Watching your child find something FUNNY is fascinating. They have a sence of humor! Who’d have thunk it?

7. That first night when they sleep through. This is the holy grail for me at the moment, but one day it just comes and you notice it and you appreciate it because it’s a milestone that really makes a difference to your life.

8. Tough bits. When the kids are ill or afraid or unhappy and they need you and you help them because you are Mum or Dad, that’s just amazing. To be the person that a child wants when their little world feels shaky, is an honour above all else. But those times, which are often difficult times are the building blocks of your relationship with them. It’s these bits that make you a parent and show your children that you love them unconditionally and although that makes them hard it also makes them good.

9. When your hard work pays off. All kids go through phases of being wonderful or hideous, so when you come out of the other side of a difficult phase and you’ve stuck to your guns and managed to be fairly consistent and you see a difference at the end, it’s incredibly rewarding. It’s also a relief, as occasionally in the midst of a phase, you worry that your child may simply be horrible. When they’re not and you then know it was a just a phase, you can enjoy their actual niceness. Well, until the next phase starts at least…

10. They’re fun there’s no getting away from it, children are fun. They make you do silly things, they stop you taking yourself too seriously and actually they just make life much more interesting. Sometimes we just need to let go, to stop getting our knickers in a twist and go with the flow.

11. When they tell you that they love you. What else matters? Thats it, the pinnacle, the goal.

the end.

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Advice needed about Karvol Diffuser!

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A friend of mine has found out recently that Karvol have stopped making their diffusers and the only ones she can find on the market have night lights on them which keep her tiddlers wide awake.

Does anyone know of an alternative product that doesn’t have a night light attached?! Please let me know if you do, many thanks!
Emma

Things no one ever tells you about breastfeeding..

To say I’m a big fan of breastfeeding would be a massive understatement. I LOVE IT. I find it convenient, snugly and a wonderful source of comfort for me and my little one. I also know lots of women who just didn’t get on with it. I support all women in whatever way they choose to feed their baby, breastfeeding suits some women and not others and that is just fine with me.

The reality is that most mums will give it a go but are not always supported if things get tough. Here’s a list of good and bad things about breastfeeding that I didn’t know until I started doing it. This wont be the same for everybody and although some of these sound quite bad they are fleeting. Please add your own experiences in the comments box!

1. For the first two to three weeks, it is sometimes excruciatingly painful. This is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, our nipples aren’t used to such vigorous sucking. We assume that they’ll just get on with doing what they were made to do, but they do not. They put up an almighty fight and scream to be left alone. Secondly, when our milk actually comes in, the breasts can get so engorged that the nipples flatten, so hungry little baby can’t latch on without some serious and agonizing pinching.

The best bit though, is that this awful pain does pass and when it does, the elation of overcoming it is fabulous. So, if you’re reading this within the first two weeks of your baby being born and breastfeeding is painful, then hang on in there. If your nipples are cracked and bleeding though, go and see your doctor! This may be mastitis, which is something different and will need treatment.

2. If you get this pain it doesn’t just happen with the first baby you breastfeed, but all the others too. Bummer.

3. It’s quite common for bits of skin on the nipple to come off during those first few weeks. It’s a bit like when you get a blister on your toe, when the blister heals that bit of your foot gets hardened and can stand the pressure. This isn’t cracking or mastitis, it’s just a bit grim.

4. Breastfeeding seems to make nipples very stretchy. You’ll be amazed at the lengths they can go to when little one decides to have a look around whilst latched on. You’ll be pleased to know this doesn’t hurt, it just looks rather alarming.

5. It is a great way to lose weight initially and it certainly helps getting your tummy back in shape, but beware, breastfeeding also makes you HUNGRY! I don’t mean a bit peckish, I mean, Mama bear just came out of hibernation, ravenous.

6. It’s harder to lose weight when you’re breastfeeding as your body just goes in to storage mode. It wants to make sure you have enough energy to make tasty milk for your baby, so hangs on to extra fat ferociously. Marvelous.

7. When breasts produce a lot of milk, they get a bit leaky, which is why breast-pads were invented. What happens with breast-pads though is that you always forget to put them in on the day your boobs decide to leak. I’ve lost count of the times my boobs have leaked in public, but it has been often and it has obvious. However on the bright side, breast milk doesn’t seem to stain, woo hoo! If it did then all my tops would look like they had headlights.

8. Boobs are VERY clever. They adjust the amount of milk they produce according to how much milk your baby needs. Say you went away from your baby for a few days and your milk levels went down during that time, it would only take just over a day for your boobs to get the message that they need to start producing milk again. Breasts don’t stop producing milk overnight, you’d probably find that you could have 3 months off and still have some milk!

9. Breastfeeding is great for lazy people. I know this because I am one. The idea of sterilizing bottles and making up formula seems like a lot of hard work to me, but then I didn’t sweep the kitchen floor for over a month once so I’m hardly an expert on hard-work in the home.

10. It’s possible to be very discrete when breastfeeding in public. You don’t have to wap out your entire boob if you’re out and about, you can use a scarf or just utilize the fact that you now have super stretchy nipples and feed the baby under the table.

11. Some babies can feed for ages and they’re not necessarily feeding for food, it may just be for comfort. Sam did this, and it was fabulous. We spent hours cuddling on the sofa watching rubbish telly. They were such lovely snug times and I’ll always remember them.

12. Although people may tell you that breastfeeding is a wonderful way to bond with your baby, nobody can prepare you for the wonder of looking down on your suckling babe, catching their eye and giggling with them whilst they ping your nipple in great hilarity. Now, that is precious. πŸ˜‰

Please note, this is neither my boob, nor my baby. It is however a very cute picture.
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