The End

This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.

Thank you for reading.

Message On a Stick

26th May 2010 - It had been a regular day in every way. An uneventful work day, moderate weather, nothing to write home about. After work I met a friend for a few glasses of wine. And when I got home, for some entirely absurd reason (possibly because I was a little bit drunk), I decided to try a pregnancy test. My period was not due for another 5 days and it was the evening. All advice went against my doing that test. So when that faint second line showed up, I wasn't quite expecting it. I stared at it for a while and tried to catch my breath, disbelieving. Could it be?!

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It had been a regular day in every way. But that evening, my life took a seat on a rollercoaster, tied itself in tight and got comfortable. Things would never be the same again :-)

Note: Yes I am fully aware that I have essentially posted a picture of an object I've peed on, and for that I do apologise. It wouldn't quite work any other way, you understand...

Baby Equipment Reviews - Part 2

Mamas & Papas Apollo Bouncer - Rainbow
This was something I bought before Emily was born. I remember my younger brother and sisters always being sat in a bouncer so it was one of those things I assumed had to be bought. Unfortunately, not all babies take to them, Emily being one of them.

The bouncer itself is very pretty to look at. It's a neutral design which is why I chose this one. It has a "music book" with different tunes depending on what "page" you choose (they all sounded pretty much the same to me), and a heart-beat simulator and a vibrate function which, as Sex and the City fans will know, is a good thing to have with a baby. Again, Emily wasn't quite a fan so it was only a matter of weeks before we moved on to the swing in desperation (see below) and sold the bouncer.

My one qualm about the design of this bouncer is that the vibrate and heartbeat functions don't have an "off" button. You need to keep the main button held down to turn it off. Now, when you've picked up a screaming baby and are trying to calm her, the last thing you want to be doing is still be bent over (be careful not to tip baby over!) to hold the button pressed, because let it be known this bouncer eats batteries for breakfast and you do NOT want to have it on for any amount of time longer than is really necessary. Other than that, if your baby likes this sort of thing, it's a very pretty chair.


Fisher Price Rainforest Open Top Take-Along Swing
I've said so over and over on twitter: I owe a good portion of my life to this swing. It was the best money ever spent and I LOVE it. It has kept Emily quiet for longer than I thought possible. She loves swinging and has a soft spot for the hanging toucan and salamander, spends ages gazing at them in awe.

The swing has 5 speeds and 7 tunes which play in succession, on two volume settings. It's small and compact, can be folded away or moved around the house and out into the garden. HUGELY recommended.

That's all I need to say really. I have nothing negative to say about this swing. Even it's battery usage is darn good.


Ewan the Dream Sheep
I'd never seen a Ewan until my own arrived from Amazon. I'd read the twittermums talk about their Ewan and how great he is time and again, until the curiosity built and built and I couldn't resist any longer - I had to know what they were talking about. Within 10 minutes, there was a Ewan in my shopping basket.

Ewan's feet each make a different combination of sounds: womb, rain, vacuum cleaner & harp music. The best thing about it is that the womb sounds are actual recordings, not computer generated ones. So for very young babies especially, this is going to be so comforting to them.

My first impressions were that he is a really nice size and soooo soft. When I introduced Ewan to Emily, I wasn't expecting that much, so I was quite surprised when she visibly calmed down and just listened to the sound. That night, she self-settled faster than she ever had. It couldn't be just a coincidence. (I've since heard that Ewan works on older children too, not just babies)

Battery life also seems to be good. The batteries Ewan comes with won't last long as they are demo batteries, but once you've put in a fresh set, they'll last a good amount of time.

We've had Ewan for about a month now and he accompanies Emily to bed every night, and every night we see a change in her as soon as Ewan starts doing his thing. I only wish I had bought him earlier - much earlier! If you're expecting, this is one gadget I hugely advise having ready beforehand, you'll thank yourself later.


[Read Part 1]
[Read Part 3]

The Language of Pink and Frills

It never fails to amaze me how unobservant (or plain ignorant) some people are. I agree that it's usually difficult to tell whether a baby is a boy or a girl outright, and I agree that as many parents don't do "genderised" colours, it in turn makes people want to keep an open mind when asking the question. So let's pretend that a pink muslin cloth, a pink dummy, pink socks and floral patterns don't in any way indicate that the baby is probably a girl. But wouldn't a dress be a relatively clear sign, perhaps, that the baby is not a boy?

There is a definite gap in the market (as far as I can see because believe me, I've looked) for an "I'm a Girl" badge (or "I'm a Boy" for blue bundles) that can be fixed to a pram or pushchair to avoid the question being asked, mums being irked, and fuel added to this already raging fire. Maybe one of these days we'll see them popping up at Mothercare or the like. Meanwhile I suppose the craftier of us can always get busy crafting.

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And you ask me... is my baby a boy?

Seriously?!

Make Do, Make New

We don't always change Emily's nappy in the nursery. When we're downstairs, it's easier to just do it there. We have a second changing mat and a shoebox with a small stock of nappies and small versions of everything we might possibly need (Sudocrem, wipes, handgel, etc).

The shoebox is the one my snowboots came in. It is green and red and has Trespass & the logo all over it and is, in short, not pretty. It is, however, the most practical box I've found so far, very easy to open with one hand, and for this reason I am hesitant to change it.

Cue a mini online shopping spree for fancy adhesive vinyl. And I ended up with Blackwood vinyl and Cow Print vinyl.

Then one day when Emily was on particularly good behaviour and happy to just sit and watch me, I got cracking. And this is what the "downstairs nappy box" now looks like:

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(*cough* I may even have done up the inside...)

Emily and the NCT Boys

Emily and the NCT Boys - it's a name a country music band would be proud of, but in truth it's meaning is quite literal. Our NCT group produced nine beautiful bouncing babies. Eight of them were boys - Krishan, Felix, Joseph, Joshua, Max, James, JD and Robin, and amidst them all, there was Emily.

Many of us still meet up on a weekly basis. It's such a great support system, not to mention so much fun watching a group of babies change from week to week, and to have a group of mums to share stories with.

Our first official reunion was back in February, here's the line-up! (Emily was just 3 weeks old here... still struggling to believe she's over 3 months old now!)

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(Missing Max and JD)

Love it!

Lullaby

Sometimes, as I hum or sing Emily to sleep, I find that tunes I thought I'd long forgotten just come back to mind. Today it was one my grandfather used to sing to us. I remember singing it to my brother to get him to sleep, and then to my youngest sister (only it always made her cry!)


This is the lullaby:

Daisy, Daisy
Give me your answer, do.
I'm so crazy
All for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford the carriage,
But you look sweet
Upon a seat
Of a bicycle made for two.

(And I've just found out about a second verse I never knew about!)



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