Monthly Archives: April 2013

A trip to Bluewater

Standard

I’m not a big fan of trips to shopping centres/malls. I find them a bit claustrophobic, I feel like I’m a prisoner and all you can see around is a mass of people and shops. So it’s a rare thing to find me in one.

We went yesterday, because hubby was curious to visit Bluewater, a mall not too far from us (35 minutes by car, without traffic). I’ve been there twice before, one for work and one when I was on maternity leave, Laura being around 3 months old, I think. I wanted to spend my gift vouchers from John Lewis and wanted to stop at Mothercare, so I thought “why not?”. Bluewater is not a very traditional shopping centre – there is a lot to do outdoors, especially for kids, like play areas, gold courses, lakes, etc. Shame that the weather here is not the best for these type of places.

I can’t remember what time we got there, probably close to midday as we were very hungry, and we left around 15:30. It was enough to let Laura exhausted, grumpy, annoyed and annoying and I have to say that I had more than enough too. We had lunch at Giraffe (ok, but no big deal) – a kids friendly chain, but it was my first there, ice cream at a italian ice cream kiosk, I spent my vouchers and got what I had to get from Mothercare, Laura played in the outdoor kids area (free), went twice to the bouncy castle (£2/5 min) and we had a 15 minute boat ride in one of the lakes (£6/15 min). It was fun but, as I said, exhausting.

In terms of shopping malls, from the ones I visited in the UK (Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, Westfield Stratford, Trafford in Manchester, Bullring in Birmingham, Lakeside in Essex and Bluewater in Kent), this might be the best one when it comes to location x kids’ area x outdoor space x shops (that are relevant to me). But if I can chose, I rather shop on the high street.

20130429-101439.jpg

20130429-101512.jpg

20130429-101541.jpg

20130429-101559.jpg

20130429-101623.jpg

20130429-101703.jpg

52 Objects: week 37

Standard

Sometimes I struggle to find an object for this project, but I can’t believe that this one hasn’t been included yet!

What is it? My wedding ring

Where does it come from? We got it online, after we had our fingers measured at a shop.

Why was it chosen? because despite not making a big deal out of the actual wedding, I really like wearing this ring. There is absolutely nothing “special” about it – we didn’t even engrave our names yet – but it represents a new phase in our lives.

What else? nothing, just that. 🙂

20130424-175516.jpg

Please excuse my dried and wrinkled hands – they weren’t like that a year ago…

20130424-175525.jpg

Photo of my bouquet and our wedding rings, on our wedding day

Umbilical cord: when to cut it (literally)

Standard

Another article to confuse help mums when they give birth: this one is about the importance of not cutting the umbilical cord straight after birth. Apparently now doctors say it is best to wait from anything between 30 seconds until it stops pulsing naturally, which can be between 2 and 5 minutes. This will prevent kids to have anaemia and iron deficiency at later age. Now… the question is: will all midwives in the country accept this request from the parents? I hope we remember to tell this at the hospital when I’m in labour.

Baby bump: 37 weeks & a poll

Standard

My midwife love saying that from now on the baby is ready to come and she might come tomorrow on my way to work. All I can say is that she is welcomed whenever she wants to come, but I have a feeling that she doesn’t want to come anytime soon.

She is now in a “good position” to come – meaning that she is upside down. I still want to her be in here for a couple of weeks or more, so she can put on weight and grow, as she should. I asked about birth induction, as this time I don’t want even to think about it (with Laura, they booked for a Tuesday, she was born the Saturday before). The midwife explained that after 42 weeks, the baby is fully formed and the bowels can start working – and one thing that they are scared here is if the baby poos while in the tummy. Another thing I need to read about, as nobody explained this to me the first time round.

Here I am wondering when little Bea / Bia will come to this world when I decided to create this poll – I’ve never did one. When do you think she will be born? No prizes involved (not for now at least), just for a bit of fun. 🙂

52 objects: week 36

Standard

This week’s object might seem like a joke, but I promise it’s not. It represents my passion for the sun and the heat.

What is it? Our gazeebo.

Where did come from? We bought it at Argos for Laura’s 1st birthday, as it was sunny and very hot and we want some shade for the kids.

Why was it chosen? I love anything to do with summer, sun, (natural) heat and I would love to have an amazing garden, with beautiful furniture, etc, but unfortunately in the UK this is a bit of a waste of money.

What else? I’m hoping to use this gazebo more often this year, since I’ll be on maternity leave, but the weather needs to help.

20130422-204812.jpg
In the photo: Laura and daddy emptying the swimming pool (another joke), after a last minute barbecue at our place.

Paranoid mother

Standard

There is no right or wrong when it comes to raising kids. We could even argue that there is very little “right or wrong” anywhere, except for “best practice guidelines” when it comes to living in a community.

As a mother, I am pretty relaxed for certain things. For example: I never sterelised Laura’s dummies or bath tub or food bowl. As far as I know, she never got any real bad infection because of that. In the UK, nobody has the habit of washing hands before holding your baby. My mum was shocked to see parents putting their newborn (days old) in direct touch with their clothes, dirty from a day out.

I was always stressed when Laura didn’t want to eat or ate very little. I’m still worried when she doesn’t want to eat but only if it comes with fever or something like that. I managed to stop worrying about her eating habits too much as, with everyone, she has good days and bad days. Sometimes the food is better than other days, sometimes she is not in the mood for chicken. But she looks healthy and in shape – neither fat not skinny – and full of energy; what else can I ask for?

On the other hand, I was always very stressed to give Laura a bath every single day (although doctors here don’t really recommend), even more stressed to make sure she had her naps during the day and in bed by 7pm. In my head, sleep is sacred and babies/kids need 12 hours of continuous sleep. I don’t know where I got this from, but when I read that people that sleep well and continuously for several hours, learn more and assimilate things better, I got even worse. (But honestly, I read all sort of studies when it comes to sleep and they normal say different things).

So when I saw this lady with a small baby at the platform, almost 8pm, I got this pain in my stomach and first thing I thought was that that baby should be nice and warm and fed and bathed and in bed sleeping! Geez, is this crazy? Am I projecting my personal desire of being nice and warm and fed and bathed and in bed sleeping into all babies in the world?

I remember how Laura was wild when we went out with her or had visitors at home after 5pm. It was like the devil was in the house. And I hated to see her stressed like that and how stressed I was. Best days were always when she was at home by 5 and we started relaxing her and put her in bed by 7pm. But every baby has its own way and parents as well. As I said, there is no right or wrong, but what works or not for each one of us.

I have the feeling I will be exactly the same with baby 2.