Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My timing as always is impeccable... I am on the hunt for the perfect pair of swimmers in a one piece! In fact, I've been on the hunt for them since this time last year but still haven't found them. Being  Winter and all, the search is a little hard given there isn't much out in the shops.

Ideally, I want a reasonably priced (not $250) one piece that is strapless but with optional straps, some ruching to flatter, a print but not floral or plain black and bust support. Apparently this is impossible - or I'm not looking in the right places.

In other news, my Hunters arrived ... and I LOVE THEM! I only ordered on Saturday afternoon from The Outnet and they arrived this morning all the way from the UK. How is that for service! Faster shipping than within Oz. I bought the UK5 based on research that said they run a little large and the 5 is a perfect fir with a little room for thick socks. I can see these being a practical but fun and fashionable addition to my wardrobe, especially as E grows up and I'm out at children's sports carnivals and the like - even my very practical mother in law agrees!



12 months of picks

Things we loved over the first 12 months ...


For sleep
Fisher price Rock n play - I've mentioned it here many times. Without this, we would never have slept. My sister also used this for my niece (didn't have reflux) and she too slept better with the slight incline and rocking. Best part, it's nice and low so you can rock bub while still in bed. Our expensive bassinet ended up a white elephant.
Ergo pouches - swaddling is hardwork and most babes seem to be Houdini type escape artists in them. These make life so much easier and even though they may protest initially, they sleep so much better in them.



For breast feeding 
Nursing pillow - I used it everyday from birth till about 6 months old and will use it again for comfort and the ease with positioning and support it provides.
Medela swing pump - fast, quiet and super easy to use. I went with the cheaper Tommee Tippee option initially but this one wins hands down for results.
Medela calma teats - a great invention for breast fed or windy babies. These are the only bottles E would always take from (and we tried every possible brand).
Swissper bags - economical in price and pack size although unfortunately can be hard to track down.
Hands free pumping bra - a life saver to make expressing just that little bit more bearable. I actually worked as normal while pumping when I returned after maternity leave so it made expressing less disruptive for me.
ABA membership book and class - the best possible start if you are determined to breast feed. It gave me lots of knowledge and empowerment to get through those tricky early days.
Bf basket - if you are going to bf, make sure to prepare on of these. Pack a basket with snacks, pen, journal, water bottle, books/magazines etc and keep it near your nursing chair. As soon as you sit down to feed bub, there is inevitably a million things you need but you're stuck. This prevents you getting stuck.
Lansinoh - to save your cracked nipples in the early days. Apply often and liberally. Also good is straight lanolin.
Loveable feeding tops - these seamless ones were my favorite and I lived in them in the first few months so have lots on rotation.


For skincare and bath time
Desitin - best cream ever for nappy rash as it works to heal as well as protect. We had crash, sudocream, bepanthen etc but this had the fastest results. I also found my nipple cream was a great barrier too.
Huggies pure wipes - E has always had a sensitive bot and will flare up with any and all wipes bar these so I stock up whenever I see them.
Huggies nappies - my favorite in newborn, infant and whatever the next size up is. We had some leaks early on, I contacted huggies, sent them some samples, turns out they were a faulty batch so they replaced them no problem with double what I had. Great customer service!
Johnsons baby oil - use for cradle cap, dry skin... An oldie but a goodie.
Bath seat - this was (and still is at times), a life saver as it prevents E slipping and or standing up when I'm trying to bath him. It also supports him (once he was sitting) so I could use 2 hands for bathtime.
Baby bath - we tried the Fisher Price moulded bath with all the bells and whistles. In short, E hated it and screamed blue murder every bath. We tried at my mum's with her big deep cheapy baby bath and guess what? He loved it ... I think because it was nice and deep with lots of room for him to float in. We started using the normal tub though at about 3 months.


On the go
Bugaboo pram - I love love love my pram. Easy to fold, light, easy to steer, narrow enough to fit in almost any doorway, stylish with lots of colour options and comfortable for bub at any age. I have NEVER regretted having this pram.
Sheepskin for pram - my mum bought me the Big W Dymples pram sheepskin and it turns out it could have been made by Bugaboo. It fits perfectly as though cut for the cameleon and being wool, it's perfect for bub's comfort in summer or winter.
Lamaze pram toys - cute, colorful and with lots of sensory features in many different characters, these are great for newborns to toddlers and clip on to prams, seats etc.
Oroton bag - I love that it doesn't look completely like a baby bag and can be used by me after baby grows up too. Lots of pockets for the many items I need to tote around but reasonably slimline.
Bright Starts trolley cover - I laughed when my mum gave me this but I now love it. E loves sitting up in the trolley and I love that it gives him some padding, some protection against the germy handle (I've seen children sucking them at times) plus it has loops to attach toys and pockets I hide snacks and dummies in.
Baby bjorn - early on, E used to refuse to stay in the pram so this was my lifesaver and lived in the basket of my pram. Also great for days out to the beach etc where a pram can be a bit impractical.
Muslin wraps - I never used them for swaddles but found them invaluable as sun protection, padding, spitup towels, makeshift playmats while out etc.
Hand sanitiser - I kept a tube everywhere ... In my baby bag, in the pram, on the changetable etc and used it constantly.
Bugaboo pram organizer - handy so you don't have to be digging in your baby bag or pram basket for wallet, keys, phone.


Play
Sophie teether - easy to hold, soothes inflamed sore teething gums, squeaky and great to throw in your baby bag while out and about.
Jumperoo - we have the one pictured and E was in it from about 4 months. He loved it from day one till about 10 months and we could get a good length of time to get things done while he was occupied, safe and stimulated.
F&P walker - this particular walker was brilliant as it had a slower roll than others out there so less risk of him building up too much speed and flying out from under him whilst unsteady and getting his balance.
Bright Starts playmat - lights, music... This was used everyday several times a day from birth to 5 months.


Dress

Bonds wondersuits - warm, super cute and very practical. The new 2 way zip ones are especially great - press studs are pretty evil during midnight changes on a cold winter night. You cannot have enough of these!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monthly update: 13 months

Age: 13 Months


Stats: Too heavy to be carried everywhere! I even have him climb our stairs so I don't have to carry him up everytime. I don't have E regularly weighed and never have. I figure if his appetite is healthy and he is meeting milestones, it really doesn't matter what percentile he is in.


Clothes: size 0 pjs - the 1s are a little long in the leg, size 0 or 6/12 months pants for my shortie and size 1 or 12/18 month tops & jackets.

Favorite Foods: cheese - especially the Stringer sticks, blueberries (and back in season thankfully so not costing as much as jewelry), ice cream - dearest Aunty Karly gave him a few bites at State of Origin and he's hooked... goes crazy if he sees it, potato chips - dearest granddad gave him one to nibble and again, hooked. In healthier choices, he sampled and became instantly obsessed with green smoothies on the weekend. 

Favorite Words: granddad swears he heard 'Circus' last week ... I think granddad may need his hearing checked. Definitely making sounds for crocodile (his bath toy) 'doca doca doca dil' and motorbike.  

Favorite Activities: walking everywhere! He doesn't want to be carried, he just wants down and off he races to explore which is so fun for me to watch as the joy on his face makes my heart squeeze at his innocence and wonder in the Word. He also loves 'working' with his tool set, singing and any songs with actions. Chasing/pushing the vacuum is also a big favourite - who needed expensive walkers after all. E is also loving his swimming lessons - we started him at 4 months and we are now seeing the lessons are sinking in evidenced by the way he lays down on his tummy and turns around to climb into my parents' pool 'safely' on the step the way he has been taught.

Least Favorite Activities: sitting in the highchair for meals - he loves food but hates sitting still and being confined. 

His Favorite Things: Books - loving those with lift up flats like My Nose My Toes and Me, Leap Frog barnyard mash up - it sings and makes animal noises so is fascinating for long stretches, cars/trucks - the little Go Go cars from Kmart are the most popular as they light up and make sounds and are great to throw in my baby bag for on the go, Little Tikes truck - E got this for his birthday from my sister and brother and their families and he loves being pushed around in it or climbing in and sitting there honking the horn, F&P Little People airport - he's a fan of sitting in the middle of the track and giggling or zooming the cars and plane around, toy tools - my dad recently decked a part of their yard and E picked up a trick or 2 as he now potters around with his toy hammer banging on the floor ... super cute!


My Favorite Things: Avent grown up cup - it teaches babies to drink out of a real cup without all the mess, Mocka high chair - a cheaper option to the gorgeous Stokke & Leander chairs and I love that it brings E up to the table with us and is practical till he is 6, Summer Tiny Dinner mats are lifesavers when dining out (some restaurant HCs are so grubby or don't have trays) or at home with the Mocka chair, smock bibs - don't laugh these save multiple outfit changes and allow you to let bub go with exploring foods and textures, Bonds spotty onesie - super cute and snug for bed but also I love that E looks younger and more like a baby in these, Huggies pure wipes - E has always had a super sensitive bum and very prone to nappy rash so these are the only wipes we have found that don't give him any rash.


Signature Moves: swaggering and clapping or waving his arms, clicking his tongue, pursing his lips and making sounds, running between Scott and I and throwing his arms out for cuddles.

Mom's Proudest Moment:  grabbing him from under a treehouse before he could rip up the flower display and smacking his poor head into an extended beam... then running into his kindy teacher while he was still teary. Bad mumma :(

Dad's Proudest Moment: stripping E off before bath to have nudie time and let it go a little too long ... poor daddy stepped in poop after not watching where he was going. Yes, I cried with laughter at Scott's total horror.

Other Milestones: surviving daycare ... the first day his carers reported he was a little sad and clingy but day 2 the following week was much better and after tears when I left, he happily played, had a decent nap and ate all his meals. We are lucky that he only goes once a week and only for a 5 hour or so day because Grammy can pick him up mid afternoon. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

A son


Its so taboo to say you would prefer a daughter or a son whilst pregnant ... like you're ungrateful or will love a child less because its not the preferred sex. I think it's sad we're not allowed to talk about it. Ultimately, all any parent wants is a healthy baby but it seems human nature for a mother to desperately want a daughter - all those years of dolls and dress ups - and a father to want a mini-me son to kick a ball with. 

Then there is the 'A son is a son till he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for the rest of your life.'

I won't lie, I hoped for a daughter in those early days of pregnancy... a little baby I could dress up in pink and frills, a little girl I could have high tea with and a young lady who would grow into a woman and a friend. I have lots of friends with little girls, I was a little girl once upon a time so I know what to do with them and how to play. Scott of course hoped for a boy... a little mate, a mini-me to play sports with and do 'boy' things with. But notice my choice of word, HOPED... because no matter what, we were both happy with a boy or a girl and truly, all we wanted was a healthy baby like every other parent.

We found out that we were having a boy at 20 weeks and I was completely unprepared for the excitement that came over me for the totally new adventure ahead. Apart from my not so younger brothers, little little boys were relatively foreign to me in that a few friends have them but we don't spend a lot of time with them so having a son myself was a whole new ball game. I worried then (and still do), how would I play with a little boy ... I don't know how to play cars or trains, I'm not especially athletic and I don't really like getting dirty if I can help it.

Now of course I knew the stereotypes about Daddy's girls (I still am one) and the special mother/son relationship but absolutely nothing could have prepared me for the moment I met my son. When they laid him on my chest and he looked up at me with such a piercing stare, it was like he saw my soul and he became forever imprinted on my heart (I'm just about in tears remembering this). The World literally stopped turning at that moment and I realised he knew me as I knew him and no matter what I did or didn't know about little boys, I would be his mummy and he would teach me as he learnt how to play cars and trains, how to kick a ball and that I would clean him up after he gets us both dirty.

Ethan adores his daddy and Scott in return adores him but that special bond my little guy and I share is something magical I could never have envisaged in any dream.  


"You'll be his first kiss,
his first love,
his first friend.
You are his momma
and he is your whole world.

He is your little boy."


Hunter Wellies ... I want them in every colour!
I especially want the Savoy quilted in black. The good part about these is they are actually practical and there might be an opening in my wardrobe for them... I have been looking for a pair of flat knee high boots for ages to wear in Winter and for park days with E but I haven't found the right pair yet. These may actually meet my requirements more so than a leather pair as I need them to be practical when chasing after an active little boy and durable to dirt, wet grass etc. I think I would be best to buy a black pair to start with and maybe add a colour next Winter if I'm loving them and getting wear. Unfortunately http://www.hunter-boot.com/ doesn't ship to Australia - or believe me, I would have bought some already (the black glitter for starters I suspect). I have found some pairs on ebay though so might chance it and grab a pair there or have them sent to friends in the UK to forward on.




J Crew everything but especially these Tiki shorts, their Blythe silk button down shirts and these pink flared silk shorts for Summer. Now J Crew do ship to Australia and for a low flat rate of $10 BUT... the price of the item itself almost doubles! So unfair living in Australia sometimes but I have my ways and am determined to own the Tiki shorts, pink silk/cotton shorts and a Blythe shirt in time for Spring.

Worst case, I will have some of these in my wardrobe for Summer as my lovely sister has just booked a 3 week US trip for her, her husband and daughter so she will be under strict instructions to shop up at J Crew for me!





Scott has gone to Sydney for the weekend with friends to watch the Man U game and just generally enjoy a boys weekend break so my chances of being able to splurge on a pair of Hunters and some J Crew as payback is looking pretty good.

Do you have a pair of Hunters? How do you find the sizing? Which colour should I get?

Speaking of Sydney, what do I need to tell Scott to buy and bring back for me?

Update... I just bought these white gold Hunters from The Outnet for 45 pounds and free shipping!



Monday, July 15, 2013

Mummy style

Motherhood sure has changed me... from someone who rarely (if ever) wore long pants to now having a cupboard full of them. Last Winter after having E, I became obsessed with coloured jeans (and posted all about that here - see July/August archives I think). They were so comfy and easy to throw on with a black and white tee and a newborn baby to manage.

Fast forward to this Winter and I'm still obsessed with pants, just this time, the draped silky lounge or pajama type pants. I'm finding them perfect for work or casually on the weekend, I just change up the top, shoes and accessories - mostly just a black Kookai tank and blazer or cardi and a coloured scarf. I feel like I've made more of an effort when I wear them and as usual, Country Road is my go to for these. Every new release has a different print or slightly different cut lately and I would happily buy all of them but I have limited myself to these pairs so far:



I also desperately want these but was too slow and they are now an old release:



The best part about these pants is they are wearable for warm and cool weather and are entirely practical for a mummy wardrobe which of course involves bending over constantly (to pick up toys, baby etc) and getting down to play on the ground whilst retaining some modesty. They also usually make it to the sale pile so can be picked up for under $100 - I think around $49.95 is my best buy so far but not bad considering I get lots wear out of them for work and play.

Its not all buying here though, I sold my jelly mousies and recouped all I paid which is always a positive.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bargain of the week!

I'm not kidding, I just found the bargains of the week!

To preface, I've always loved the Leander and Stokke highchairs but have been happy enough with my Ikea antilop to avoid spending hundreds of dollars.

Today I received a newsflash from mocka.com.au - a Queensland company who sell wooden furniture.

Well, I had a little browse and came across their Soho chair - same as the Leander and Stokke chairs but only $69.95 and then with a discount code I was given by a super shopper friend, a further 20% off. 


Of course I kept browsing and ended up snapping this table and chair set for $55


All up, $120 for the table set and high chair delivered - only $9.95 for shipping and I already have a dispatched email ( an hour after I purchased). What's not to love?

Sale is on to the 15 July and if you want the code, let me know. 

You can thank me later for your savings :)

I'm Sooki ... because you win some, lose some

NTI was lucky enough to grab a pair of my new favourite type of shoes in the latest ShopBop sale - Marc Jacobs Mouse flats - PINK JELLY ONES! They were only $70 and I was so excited with huge hopes for these babies to brighten up a Winter outfit and work hard for Summer. Alas, it was not to be. I snapped up a 38 as they are a good fit in the elasticated ones but there is no way I can keep these on my feet. I was devastated I tell you! Also, its a waste of time returning them because of shipping costs so I've popped them on ebay with my fingers crossed.... worst case, they'll be a gift for my sister.

I've also been shopping up a storm for E, my future daughter (no, I'm not pregnant but I plan to be again one day and what's the harm in storing up things for then) and my sister's little girl (who will then 'hand me down' to my future daughter thus a roundabout investment for me without explaining buying girl's clothes to S). Now, let me preface these with ... I'm happy with these purchases but am not happy with the customer service of Tiny Tribe and will be very unlikely to purchase from them again despite loving the Sooki range and often buying it at full price for E and my nieces.


You may know that Sooki had an online flash sale early June and their site crashed under the load as they weren't properly prepared. The sale was rescheduled for last Monday morning and lots of my friends, burnt by the previous told me not to bother. I like the designs though and was understanding (although put out) of the first crash. However, I'm now so disappointed to have received a phone call only Tuesday of this week to advise that part of my flash sale order (placed over a week ago) is out of stock and will not be available to send with my order and that a refund would be made (no refund received).

I ordered and completed in the first 20 or so minutes of the flash sale (I lost at least 4 items out of my cart while the page kept failing) and I still haven't received my order while friends in WA who ordered much later in the day received their total order last week and others in Brisbane and Melbourne received their orders in just 2 days. Add to this that there are huge amounts of product now on Facebook from buyers who purchased for resale only. It would appear that there is no priority process for packing orders and that they don't adequately keep track of stock to ensure orders can be met. It seems typical now of Tiny Tribe promising what they cant deliver and their phone call to this end was pretty non-apologetic and when I expressed my frustration (calmly), I got attitude back.

Anyway, this is what I bought for E and little L ... some for now but most for next Winter:



Frustratingly, they sent me the wrong size in the boys red leggings and the piece missing was the padded Zooper jacket that would have matched that set.

How ridiculously cute is that red cape though! Even better, it's called the Mary Poppins cape ;) And to think it was a steal at $15 (from $70 odd). I should have bought 5! 

I have made a few other purchases for me but will share them and my new obsession with silky draped pants in their own post! I know, pants! Who am I anymore?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monthly Favourites: 12 months

Only 12 months late but I'm starting a Monthly Favourites post so I can track my E updates as he grows... here is the 12 month Monthly Favourites (maybe I will be a little bit more on to it with baby #2):

Age: 12 Months


Stats: 10.22kg and 78cms


Clothes: Wearing size 6-12 months mostly and some 12-18 month stuff thrown in although I still have to roll up the legs on his 6-12m pants as they're all pretty long and I'm noticing some of the smaller make tees are getting a little short covering his belly.

Favorite Foods: Grapes, porridge with mashed banana, pears, fish

Favorite Words: mum mum mum, gog (dog), doca-doca-dil (crocodile for his bath toy), bub bub bub and yay (imitation of us).

Favorite Activities: singing with actions - Heads & Shoulders, Dr Knickbocker, Open Shut Them, chasing - us chase him or vice versa - while he giggles hysterically, seesaws and ride on wagons or being pushed on his trike, helping with handyman activities - walks around with his hammer after my dad, reading stories, swimming lessons - loves to throw himself off the step, random growling... especially at his Skip Hop Lion set.

Least Favorite Activities: Having his nose or face wiped and nappy changes are hit & miss but distraction with a non toy item helps.

His Favorite Things: His Hungry Caterpillar rocker, John Deere rider, Fisher Price shape sorter, F&P roll-arounds and peek-a-blocks, Captain Calamari, Aladdin on his portable dvd player in the car, On the night you were born book, wooden maracas  














My Favorite Things: Clarke's First Shoes - so easy to get on and off plus nice and sturdy for little feet, the Tupperware drawer - provides entertainment so I can prep dinner, Oricom video monitor - a late purchase but I love being able to watch him or check on him so easily, Skip Hop Lion lunchie & backpack - super cute and very practical (he also has the monkey one as Scott liked it best), Tiny me labels - all of E's things need labelling for daycare so I ordered these last week in the British pattern with rush delivery and they were here by Monday (very impressive), my Bugaboo Cameleon - I still love this pram as much as they day I bought it and even better, E is liking it more and more... lightweight, easy & compact to store and shop with, stylish.

Signature Moves: Fake laughing - much to my sister in law's delight, high fives, open shut them song actions, uh uh-ing daddy and the cat across the road, clapping when happy, dancing/swaggering to any and all music.

Mom's Proudest Moment: having him perk up and bop along to Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines like a pro - too much tv in our house clearly. 


Dad's Proudest Moment: tba

Other Milestones: Mastering the shape sorter - a 5 minute demo led to him doing it himself in about 10 minutes although the star still gives him grief and causes a pretty spectacular tanty at times.


He is starting to understand what we tell him like when I say 'let's go downstairs' he heads over to the stairs and waits at the gate . Its just amazing to see his comprehension with his little mind ticking over as he thinks it all through.



He is a brilliant walker - very steady and swaggers around clapping hands or waving. He's got a little bit of a run on him too.


He starts daycare for one day a week this week! At his orientation, he wasn't interested in us at all and wanted to hug all the other babies and play with them. Such a social butterfly.


ADDING ... my husband found the most clever way of ensuring our Tupperware drawer doesn't close on little fingers ... he popped the rolling pin long ways behind the drawer so it cant slide closed! Brilliant isn't he!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The tiny dictator grows up

I've previously mentioned here that I have become a fraudulent sort of 'hippy attachment parent' despite having very defined ideas about what kind of parenting styles I would use but too be honest, I embrace almost all the tags that make me a hippy attachment mummy. I know there are some people that question my choices and I have felt their disapproval but I have only one philosophy now when it comes to parenting and that is to do whatever works best for your family that is in the best interests of your child.

E and I are still on our breastfeeding journey at almost 13 months, he co-sleeps half the night with either S or me or us both, I feed him to sleep, pick him up and cuddle him when he cries and approach everything with a view of what is best for E - writing it down in black and white though, none of this sounds like a hippy approach, just being a responsive mummy I guess. I really couldn't care less what others think of how we parent E but I have other friends who are struggling with feelings of judgement on bf past 12 months, feeding to sleep, co-sleeping etc and I feel for them having to feel they need justify their choices.

I have considered weaning many times over the past 6 months but I really haven't been ready and more importantly, neither has E. E very much relies on bf to calm, settle and comfort and I don't want weaning to be a traumatic experience where he may feel punished that it is being taken away. We discussed going ahead with weaning at around 11 months as I am not getting a lot of sleep from 12am to 6am when E wants to comfort but pulled back as he became unwell. Now that he is a little bit older and understanding us much better than even a month ago, we are now waiting for the right time to start as I do want a bit of a break before trying for baby #2. Once he is settled with a new and big change to his schedule, we will put weaning back on the agenda to act upon.

To this end, in big news, E starts daycare this week and I am both very excited and nervous! We have found a wonderful centre that while not entirely local, is easy enough to get to and close to my sister enough to be convenient. I visited about 4 centres, ruled out 2 (nice enough but not exactly welcoming/as energetic as I would like and to be honest, a little grubby not messy, grubby), one that came highly regarded from friends but with a huge wait list and this one that my mum, sis and I fell in love with. The centre itself its gorgeous with lots of emphasis on holistic and natural outdoor play. The staff were all enthusiastic and friendly, the rooms a great size and well equipped and the outdoor play areas amazing - mounds, forts, trees and rocks, herb & veg gardens, chickens, wooden cubby houses, dirt and grass. The centre also has great security, provides some meals and all nappies - a big help when I will have to be getting E and I ready for the day instead of dropping him to Grammy in his pjs for brekky. I'm a little nervous because I've only ever left him with family but he is such a super social and inquisitive little boy and I know he will love this new experience given a chance. S is taking him for a play tomorrow then I will take him in and stay for an hour or so on the big day and my mum will pick him up early so we will have a period of orientation to get him used to the experience and do this for a few weeks if needed.

The 'Tiny Dictator' is truly growing up! E is known in our house affectionately as  'The Boss' or 'The Tiny Dictator'. Taking after his mummy and daddy, he is strong willed and has a bit of a temper... and not a lot of patience to speak of. He is also affectionate, has a great sense of humour and pretty extroverted. He loves my mum's 2 maltese dogs and other bubbas - especially my niece Hayley whom he plays with twice a week at my mums, and my 6 month old niece Lillee whom he sees a few times a week and is oh so gentle with, patting her head and letting her chew on his fingers.

This past week alone, he has mastered his shape sorter toys much to my amazement (although he does get frustrated and has thrown a few tantys over the star) and is always babbling away about 'gogs' (dogs) 'uh-uh'ing' the naughty cat across the road, bubbas and mum mum mum. He knows a few songs too and can do the actions to 'Heads and Shoulders' touching his head and clapping at the right time and 'Open shut them' with his fists and the clapping. His big favourite though is 'Dr Knickerbocker' and he nods his head from side to side or stamps his feet to get us singing. E loves stories too and will sit patiently in my arms or laying on our bed, both of us on our backs while I raed to him - his favourites are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, On the night you were born (most beautiful book I've ever read) and Love you forever ... they are all stories I have read to him since birth and its like he remembers them, smiling and talking while I read.

He seems like such an independent little boy now as he goes about his playing but at night time when he cuddles me and I cuddle him, nursing before bed or snuggles at 2am, I am reminded that he is still a baby too and needs me as much as I need him. I guess that's why I am in no rush to wean or have him sleeping on his own or miss out on those opportunities for cuddles because before too long, one day very soon, he isn't going to need me so much or want me to cuddle him. In the space of time, I have a very short window to enjoy the unlimited cuddles, nursing and bedtime snuggles so I intend to make the most of them while I can as I know so many other mummies are.

XX


Friday, July 5, 2013

A follow up to my share on infant acid reflux

You may have read my post on our journey with infant acid reflux - http://gcrealestategirl.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/reflux-hell.html  ... One of my most hellish and painful experiences ... watching my tiny baby scream in agony and be helpless to stop it. I still get tears thinking about those days. 

E is now 12 months old and his doctor has recommended weaning him from the Losec medication that removes acid from his gut in the hopes he is now developed enough to no longer require it. The Losec takes 2-4 weeks to wean from his system so for the last two weeks we weren't expecting any real changes however we have noticed that while E has never been a great sleeper, he had improved over the past few months and has now gone back to his old ways of waking every hour or so the past 3 nights as opposed to sleeping from 7pm-12am then a 2-3 wakeup until 7am. I can't be sure this is the result of his reflux and the Losec weaning but he is waking crying and is extremely restless, settling best propped on my pillow beside me rather than flat on his bed or ours.  

I would prefer not to start him on Losec again but obviously, will do whatever helps him. To this end, I have been doing more research and reading on 'silent' acid reflux and have come across several instances where it has been suggested that breastfeeding mothers taking antibiotics in the early weeks of their baby's birth can be a factor in causing infant reflux.

I had tearing during E's delivery and as a result, was administered antibiotics by IV every 4 - 6 hours for the 48 hours post birth. I was then put on 2 lots of strong antibiotic tablets for the 2 weeks following. I was assured they were compatible with breastfeeding and were to prevent any infections. The sad thing is, they may have contributed to either E developing the reflux or the severity of it.

Here is some of the stuff I found:

Probiotics are the good, live bacteria that live in our body. One of the things they do is coat and protect our entire digestive tract (and also the ears and nose). When the stomach produces too much acid then it is forced up the esophagus and down the intestines and will kill probiotics. (Antibiotics also kill probiotics.)  When the probiotics are depleted then the acid is traveling right up next to the esophagus and intestines with no protection. This is often why reflux burns so badly and why the intestines will sometimes bleed. 

and

Whilst in your womb, your baby’s intestinal tract is sterile – and so its free from bacteria. From birth though, your baby begins the process of acquiring the friendly bacteria in the gut that play such a critical role in health and wellness.
How your child is born, strongly influences what kind of bacteria your child will acquire. Infants that are born vaginally begin accumulating beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Escherichia coli (commonly abbreviated to E. coli) and Enterococcus in the birth canal with the very process of birth. These bacteria form the foundations of a healthy digestive flora and originate from healthy maternal vaginal and fecal flora.
Babies born via cesarean on the other hand, receive a different mix of bacteria at birth. This comes from the maternity hospital itself, notably from nursing staff and equipment and includes Clostridium and Streptococcus.
Following birth, the acquisition of digestive flora continues until your baby is around two to three months of age with most of this beneficial bacteria coming from the mother via touch, suckling and kissing.
The way in which you feed your baby also has a strong influence on his or her digestive flora. A breastfed baby tends to have greater numbers and types of beneficial bacteria than a formula fed infant, notably Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus and Enterococcus. These bacteria, specifically those belonging to the Bifidobacteria clan (genera) thrive in the presence of breast milk proteins and constitute up to 90% of a breastfed infant’s micro flora. They help prevent harmful bacteria colonizing the infant’s intestine.
Newborns have an immature digestive system that has never processed food. The gastrointestinal system is literally just learning to function. Muscles that support digestion have not developed the proper rhythm for moving food efficiently through the digestive tract. Furthermore, newborns lack the benevolent bacterial flora (probiotics) that develop over time to aid digestion. This explains why a lot of infants outgrow colic within the first six months.
This is obviously not a conclusive reason as to why E has reflux but interestingly, my sister, sis in law and two other friends who had babies this past year also experienced a same degree or worse tear than me and received none or one round of antibiotics by IV and nothing further ... none of their babies have or developed reflux.

It makes me sad to think E might have developed reflux as a result of my medications and it makes me angry that the doctors prescribed them to me without consideration to this fact. However I also accept that this may not be a fully proven factor in reflux and I haven't researched any studies etc on this apart from one I found at http://www.bellybelly.com.au/forums/f36/study-links-maternal-antibiotic-use-colic-reflux-98850/ ...

FEMS IMMUNOLOGY & MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY
Volume 56 Issue 1, Pages 80 - 87
RESEARCH ARTICLE
Influence of antibiotic exposure in the early postnatal period on the development of intestinal microbiota
ABSTRACT
The influence of antibiotic exposure in the early postnatal period on the development of intestinal microbiota was monitored in 26 infants including five antibiotic-treated (AT) subjects orally administered a broad-spectrum antibiotic for the first 4 days of life and three caesarean-delivered (CD) subjects whose mothers were intravenously injected by the similar type of antibiotics in the same period. The faecal bacterial composition was analysed daily for the first 5 days and monthly for the first 2 months. Terminal restriction fragment length polymor-phisms in the AT subjects showed less diversity with the attenuation of the colonization of some bacterial groups, especially in Bifidobacterium and unusual colonization of Enterococcus in the first week than the control antibiotic-free infants (AF, n=18). Quantitative real-time PCR showed overgrowth of enterococci (day 3, P=0.01; day 5, P=0.003; month 1, P=0.01) and arrested growth of Bifidobacterium (day 3, P=0.03) in the AT group. Furthermore, after 1 month, the Enterobacteriaceae population was markedly higher in the AT group than in the AF group (month 1, P=0.02; month 2, P=0.02). CD infants sustained similar, although relatively weaker, alteration in the developing microbiota. These results indicate that antibiotic exposure at the beginning of life greatly influences the development of neonatal intestinal microbiota.
________________________________________
Received 11 July 2008; revised 17 January 2009; accepted 15 February 2009.
First published online 6 April 2009.

With consideration to this information though, I am going to start E on some children's Inner Health plus (a probiotic) in the hope of promoting good bacteria in his gut thus improving and aiding in his digestion.

Do you have or know a bub with reflux? Have you heard of this or had any success with treatments other than medication for severe cases?

I recommend going to http://www.reflux.org.au/ for some information if you think your baby might have reflux.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Disney on Ice and Baking

I know I mentioned a Teddy Bear's picnic glimpse but all the pics are on the camera and slack mummy that I am, I haven't downloaded them yet so will save that for later in the week.

S has been working late most nights so I've been doing the dinner bed bath routine on my own and let me tell you, hats off to mothers doing this all the time by themselves because its not an easy job as a couple but its exhausting and requires minute organisation on your own. I've been lucky to even eat dinner by 8:30pm most nights.

We've also been busy busy this past week getting out and about for State of Origin, the beach to cheer on my brothers in the IRB racing State titles, a baptism and Disney on Ice.

I was lucky enough to win tickets to Disney on Ice and took some family along with E and I to enjoy the show. We had fantastic tickets, only 5 rows back on the tiered seating and a reserved carpark making life that muck easier. It was a bit of drama getting there as the show was in Brisbane and E had a meltdown on the way there not having napped all day so it was almost an hour's drive of screaming. As soon as we arrived and the show started though, he was all smiles, squealing, clapping and singing along (sounds anyway) to the lights and music. I'm not sure he even knew what was going on, he was just enjoying the sounds and visuals and despite being exhausted, powered through to the very end and slept the whole way home.

The show itself, was themed Princesses and Heroes with all the favourite songs included - 'Be Our Guest' by Lumiere, 'Under the Sea' from Sebastian and 'A Whole New World' by Aladdin and Jasmine to name a few. The routines were amazing and the costumes gorgeous. I will say though that I won't be buying tickets to take E again to anything like this until he is at least 3 - it would have been an expensive day out had I not won the tickets and he honestly didn't have any concept of what he was watching.

Some pics from our weekend...


My mum wanted to know why her grandchildren were in a 'cage' when I sent her this pic 





With E on his feet more often than not now (apart from the odd face plant), I have been looking into shoes for a pre-walker. You may recall E has a huge collection of Nikes and Converse but they are heavy soled and don't meet the requirements for babies learning to walk my research tells me:

The feet are a very complex part of our body. Did you know that babies feet are made up of 26 bones, 107 ligaments and19 muscles?!
Over the last decade pediatricians and parents have learned that hard soles and split hard shoes are not suitable for babies as they find their balance and learn to walk. Babies feet are soft and pliable, and pressure from the wrong type of footwear may delay and hinder their development.  Pediatricians recommend that bare foot is best for tiny feet to grow and strengthen naturally, but as parents we know it is not always practical.  So.... soft soles are the next best thing!  Soft soles are extremely flexible and protective, they have wiggle room to allow freedom of movement to grow, grip and develop foot strength naturally.
The best type of footwear for first walking babies is made of natural fibres and mimics bare feet.  Heavy hard soles or split hard soles install a false sense of security and consequentially result in more stumbles, falls and possibly accidents.  Hard soles or split soles for pre walkers and first walkers can possibly damage the foot arch of a tiny and growing foot; therefore cause problems with proper development, leading to a lifetime of possible chronic foot, knee and back pain. www.cheekylittesoles.com.au  

Its serious business this parenting and its so important to get it right for future development I'm finding. So I put the call out to some knowledgeable mummy friends for their brand recommendations. Skeanie, Bobux and Robeez were all high on their lists and my own mum suggested Clarks as she always invested in a good pair of Clarks sandals & enclosed shoes for us as pre-walkers. Lucky for me, Bobux and Clarks are on sale right now so I snapped up the following, all in different sizes from 3 and up for under $100 (usually around $50 per pair):


I'm told though I need to add a pair of sandals to this... and I also want a pair of boat shoes because they are super cute on little boys in my opinion.

I've also been giving my Kitchenaid a workout - much to S' delight, it hasn't turned out to be an expensive bench ornament. It really does make life and baking one hundred percent easier. This week I made a muesli slice following this recipe - http://www.kidspot.com.au/best-recipes/easy-recipes+15/apricot-muesli-slice-recipe+3241.htm - but varied slightly by halving the sugar, substituting maple syrup for honey and cornflakes/rice bubbles for muesli as I didn't have any on hand. Turned out perfectly, moist and crumbly as described and not too sweet. It was a big it with E.

I have a huge weakness for choc chip cookies and since I was young, my favourite recipe has been the one from the WW Beautiful Biscuits recipe book. I did however read about Highlander cookies/Kiwi Crisps over on The Mummy's blog Homemade Heart - http://homemadeheart.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/highlander-biscuits.html Intrigued by the use of just 2 tablespoons of condensed milk I decided to give it a go. It was touch and go for awhile there and could have been a fail - I subbed bicarb for baking powder and was converting from NZ metrics - but thankfully turned out perfectly and the cookies were delicious, crumbly and almost like a shortbread.

Do you have a tried and true chocolate chip recipe you love?