The Liebster Award

Liebster-Award-Large

Raising my mini me was recently nominated for the Liebster award, by Frank from I’m not Grandpa – thank you very much, Frank! Please do take a few minutes to check out his blog. I’m delighted to accept, and pass on the award to my well deserved, fellow bloggers.

The Liebster Award is an award passed from blogger to blogger, in order to support, promote and encourage other bloggers on the interweb.

Raising my mini me started just 5 months ago, and follows my son and I, as I get to grips with parenthood as a first time mum. The support I’ve received from other bloggers, friends and readers has been immense. So thank you, to you all!


Now, there are a few rules that accompany this award. See below:

1 – Thank the person/blog who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2 – Display the award on your blog. This can be done by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a widget (note: the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer)

3 – Answer the 10 questions about yourself that your nominating blogger chooses for you.

4 – Nominate 10 blogs that you feel deserve the award. These must be new bloggers (less than two years blogging) who have fewer than 1000 followers.

5 – Create a list of questions for your nominated bloggers to answer.

6 – List these rules in your post (feel free to cut & paste!)

7 – Inform the blogs that you nominated that they have been awarded the award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.


Here are my questions, and answers:

1.) What inspired you to start your blog?

I used to blog when I was at uni – I really enjoyed it but kept it private, I wasn’t brave enough to let anyone see. So, nobody ever knew about it! But when I got to the end of my pregnancy I thought it would be a lovely way to document my son and I’s journey, which again was private to start with, until I got the guts to go and share my posts! Hopefully he’ll enjoy reading it when he’s older …

2.) What blogging goal are you currently striving for?

To be honest, I don’t really have any blogging goals. I just enjoy writing, and it gives me a bit of ‘me time’.

3.) What activities to you enjoy outside of blogging?

I’m a bit of a nerd, and love a bit of crafting. Not that I’ve had time since having baby D. I love a good movie and a book (I know, how boring?!), I’m very much a girl of simple pleasures.

4.) What tactics do you employ on those days when blogging is hard & frustrating?

I only really write when I really feel like writing. If I have a case of writers block, then I generally tend to not write. I love reading other blogs though, which almost always give me inspiration to start writing something new.

5.) If you could have lunch with any famous person, who would you choose?

Leonardo Dicaprio, the love of my life since 1997 (Titanic, of course).

6.) What are your three favorite blogs to follow?

Surviving Motherhood

My Least Favourite Child Today

Hannah Gale

7.) What piece of blogging advice have you found to be most helpful?

Write for yourself, and don’t worry about what others think. There have been numerous times where I’ve been worried about what others would think of my post before I hit the  dreaded publish button. But then I remember that this blog is for myself – it’s a bonus if other people enjoy it.

8.) Are you a full-time blogger or do you also hold down a day job?

I do have a day job, I just haven’t been there for a few months (maternity leave), but when I go back I will remain a part-time blogger.

9.) What is your favorite post on your blog thus far?

Oh god… ummm… I’m torn. Can I have 2?

I would say my Birth Story post. Purely because I love reminiscing about when my little boy arrived.

I also like my post about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. It’s quite a sad post, but it’s really meaningful to me, and I had a number of people contact me to tell me that reading the post had helped them – nothing beats that.

I usually prefer funnier posts, but the above are much closer to my heart.

10.) What social media platforms do you use and which one is most effective for you?

I mainly use Facebook and Twitter, but I sometimes (rarely) Pinterest and Instagram when I really like the photo’s on the post. Facebook is most definitely my most effective platform though.


 

I have chosen the below 10 bloggers to nominate for the Liebster Award:

The Contented Family

Soul Shape Fitness

The Flex Routine

Parenting in Pyjamas

Coffee and a Cardigan

Mummy Boo Boo

SarahFace – The Bittersweet Breakfast Blog

Away on Vacay

Mum is the Word Blog

Travel Fairytale


 

Now, the questions for the nominated bloggers above :)

1.) What inspired you to start your blog?

2.) What blogging goal are you currently striving for?

3.) What activities to you enjoy outside of blogging?

4.) What tactics do you employ on those days when blogging is hard & frustrating?

5.) If you could have lunch with any famous person, who would you choose?

6.) What are your three favorite blogs to follow?

7.) What piece of blogging advice have you found to be most helpful?

8.) Are you a full-time blogger or do you also hold down a day job?

9.) What is your favorite post on your blog thus far?

10.) What social media platforms do you use and which one is most effective for you?


 

So there you have it, the Liebster Award has been passed forward :)

p.s. Please do visit the nominees pages – they’re all really good!

5 month update

5monthupdateAlmost half a year. That means only 7 months until I go back to work, and leave Dominic. 7 months is a long time, but when I’ve already been off for about 6 months, it seems like nothing. At the moment I’m really dreading it. Not because work is awful, but because I’ve become so accustomed to being with my son at home.

As always, Dominic is changing so much. Much more than when he was younger (I say that as if he’s actually old…). Right now I feel like if I blink, I’ll miss something huge.

Here we go.

Baby

Last month I mentioned that I was trying to wean him off the boob, and onto breast milk in bottles. The aim of this was to allow me to leave the house for longer than 2 hours without worrying that he was screaming the house down, trying to avoid the bottle. Anyway, a month later and we’ve improved significantly. He’ll now finish a bottle with no tears. Well, last week he did. We haven’t had a chance to try since as I’ve been too tired (ahem, lazy) to pump any milk.

Now that we’ve reached this goal, I’m happy just occasionally feeding him with the bottle. I figured that there’s only a month left until we start weaning him onto solids, so he’ll need milk less and less as time goes on. And I love feeding him myself – it’s just a bonus if he’ll take the bottle while I’m out!

Growth wise, Dom seems to have had another growth spurt. Months ago this would have upset me, I was desperately holding onto his tiny baby self. But now I feel so differently, him growing excites me. And, it means I have a whole new wardrobe of baby clothes, now that he fits into the larger sizes we got when he was born. I just need to figure out what to do with his mountain of newborn and 0-3 month clothes. I’d quite like to have a quilt or teddy bear made out from them!

We’ve been trying to encourage him to hold himself up with his arms during tummy time this month. But so far, it’s not going so well. The poor thing swings his arms back in a swan like position – he looks like a banana. No matter how many times I bring them forward, they instantly swing back again. Bless him, he’s obviously a swan at heart.

We are still in the same position as we were a month ago (possibly even worse) with sleeping. Our little man just doesn’t want to sleep. We’ve been trying all sorts, and will continue to do so. But that’s for another post. We’ll get there :)

Me

Kind of running out of updates for me… nothing new to say! How boring.

I think 5 months on, it’s time to remove this section from the monthly post ;)

That’s all for this month!  
 

 

The Sleep Diaries: A New Resident

As most of you will know, we’ve been having a few problems with getting our little one to sleep during the night (I want to punch my smug, 6 week old parent self in the face).

I’m not gonna pretend like I’m the only one who’s experiencing problems. Hell, many will have it a lot worse than us. But it is getting pretty wearing, so woe is me, I’m gonna moan about it. We’ve tried a number of things, but so far, nothing has helped.

Throw in a nasty cold for baby, and it’s a nightmare!

The poor little mite will no longer settle after waking up, whereas before, I’d give him a quick feed for a few minutes, and he’d be soundo. We had a pretty sweet set up.

But very rapidly, my sleepy little baby decided he prefers to be awake, and held (while standing… always standing) all night.

So I thought I’d make a series of posts under ‘The Sleep Diaries’ so I can document our journey from nocturnal (can it still be nocturnal if you don’t sleep in the day?), to a well rested household. Hopefully this will also make other parents see that they’re not alone in this sleep deprived, fuzzy world.

Here’s what we’ve tried so far to get him sleeping better:

  • Getting him to sleep less in the day – apparently, that’s a big no no.
  • Getting him to sleep more in the day – for some bizarre reason, a well rested baby sleeps more at night? Not for us.
  • Hungry baby formula – Dom point blank refused to drink formula. I’d hoped it’d keep his tummy satisfied for the night, but we didn’t get to test that theory!
  • Having him sleep in his own room – we thought reducing the noise in the room would keep him asleep. But nope.
  • Putting more layers on incase he was cold.
  • Taking layers off incase he was hot.
  • Giving him a dummy – he’s never used a dummy before, but he’s taken to it quite well. I know I’ve made a rod for my own back with this one, as in a few months I bet he won’t want to get rid of it.
  • An amber anklet – read about that one here.
  • Dream feeding – but he’ll no longer do that, it used to work when he was ickle.
  • Played soothing music – this just made me sleepier.
  • Once he falls asleep, waiting with him in my arms for about 30 minutes, before putting him back in his crib – he wakes up the second I put him down.  I do give pretty good cuddles though, I suppose I can’t blame him ;)

None of the above will work.

So, the last few nights I’ve started a habit that I will HATE myself for in the future. And I know it. But I’ve felt so desperate, I’ve allowed it to happen.

Dom now resides in our bed in the night. I swore blind I wouldn’t co sleep (there’s nothing wrong with it at all, it’s just something that makes me nervous). It isn’t all night in all fairness, but for when I can’t keep myself awake any longer, and give up. I now slumber at the foot of the bed. Low enough that Dom won’t kick me in the eye – something that’s really funny, apparently.

Beds

A little preview of our new bed situation

But tonight, we have tried teething gel. I’ve never really used it before, as I’d heard that teething gel wasn’t safe. But I read a bit more into it and it seems perfectly fine. We’ve also started using Calpol’s Plug In – which I quite enjoy too, actually.

I’ll keep you posted! Fingers crossed this is the first, and only Sleep Diaries post ;)

 

Little Pickles Market

Today Dominic and I took a little trip to Little Pickles Market. I’m not usually one for markets as they’re so busy. And I hate busy. I’m the same with sales, with clothes in piles everywhere, it’s unorganised and people bump into me left, right and centre. I can’t stand ’em. And if I hated them before, I hate them 10 times more now that I’m pushing a buggy around.

Despite my feelings for unorganised, busy places, today I wanted to give it a go.

As I’d expected, it was manic. A fairly small hall, filled with parents upon parents, most of whom where pushing around prams. I had to do a few circuits before I actually managed to get close enough to a stall. But when I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

There was a huge selection of boys clothes to choose from, and it wasn’t a huge jumble, it was all actually very organised. There were a lot of toys too, but Dominic has far too many, I didn’t want to clutter up our house even more. The people running the stalls were lovely too – for some reason I had it in my head that they’d be grumpy and disinterested, but having said that, the market only ran for an hour and a half, so they didn’t have much time to get bored!

IMG_5804-1

The front one is my favourite. DINO-SIR!

I ended up purchasing 3 t-shirts from a lovely lady, and some dungarees from another. All in all, it cost me £3! I was so pleased. No wonder people go mad for markets. I think today I’ve been converted.

 

Next time I’ll be smart though, and bring Dominic in his carrier for optimum weaving ability, and to spare my sanity a little.

 

p.s. There is another Little Pickles market going on tomorrow in Eastleigh, for anyone interested. They also run Bigger Pickle events for the older ones.

Review: Amber anklets

 

Teething. Ohhhhh teething. The bane of my life. Why is my poor baby being made sad by all these teeth invading his mouth?

Until my boy was about 2 months old, I’d never even heard of Amber or it’s supposed pain relieving qualities. I was at a First Time Parents group, when some of the mums brought it up. Admittedly, at the time I thought nothing of it. If I’m honest, I thought it was a bit silly – how on earth could a bracelet/anklet/necklace stop the pain of teething? And if it really did work, why on earth had I not heard of it yet?!

Anyway, I quickly dismissed the idea of ever using one, and put it to the back of my mind. Who believes that kind of stuff anyway?

Enter, teething.

Once Dom had starting teething, I was very quick to eat my words and jump onto the amber bandwagon. Before I purchased anything, I did a lot of research online. I quickly saw a big divide in people’s opinions. The ‘specialists’, if you like, dismissed the idea that they work, suggesting that there wasn’t enough proof. However looking at actual reviews, other people were suggesting otherwise. The products on Amazon are jam packed with reviews of people advocating these anklets, saying how they stopped the teething pains and dribbling of their babies very soon after using them.

At that point I was pretty desperate. My son had become a regular waker in the night, and was a lot grumpier than usual. And a grumpy baby, means a grumpy mummy. Based on the fact I can actually see the white marks in his gums, I can only assume that this, along with the extra dribbling, and the ear pulling (something I’ve read is linked to teething pain), was confirmation of him teething.

So, off I went to the interweb to order me an anklet. I chose an anklet as I really don’t like the idea of something around Dom’s neck. I feel it would be far too easy for him to strangle himself, and with bracelets I thought that if he broke it, he could easily get hold of one of the beads and choke on it. So, I opted for an anklet that I could secure it underneath his socks and baby grows.

Amber

When it arrived, I was quite pleased with it. I got mine from Amazon from a company called ‘I like Amber’. It was cute, I really liked the design and it was elasticated so it ‘grew’ with the baby.  It was tiny. I couldn’t figure out how such a tiny anklet could cost £12.00. Don’t get me wrong, £12.00 isn’t extortionate by any means, but for that tiny little thing?! Keep in mind when looking at the below picture, I have the hands of a school girl.

Amber2

Anyway, I quickly put it on my sons ankle in anticipation that soon, he would be symptom free, and I would finally get some rest at night.

My husband and a number of other people I’d told about it thought it was ridiculous. They kept calling it ‘voodoo’, and made fun of me for thinking that it could possibly make a difference.

From my research, I understood that the warmth of the baby heats the amber a little, which makes the oils from the amber absorb into the skin, and in turn becomes a natural form of pain relief for the child. I felt pretty well researched, and reviews don’t lie, so I confidently stood my ground and insisted that soon, Dom would no longer be in discomfort and would stop dribbling too.

A few days passed, and there was no improvement in my sons mood, and so, no improvement in my sleep. I figured it could take a while, so kept it on him for a while longer. After all, I had heard of cases where it had taken a couple of weeks.

4 weeks on, and my sons teething symptoms still haven’t improved at all.

I’ve decided to remove the anklet, as to be honest, it was a pain in the bum anyway. Despite thinking I could keep it on with socks, it would still manage to escape. Now that he grabs his feet, he’d also try and pull it off when changing him. And, most importantly, there was no improvement in his symptoms.

This is not to say that they don’t work for other babies, as if you read the reviews, other parents swear by then. But unfortunately, in our case, it didn’t work at all.

Whether or not I’ll admit this to my husband, is a different story.