Please Look After This Pudding – Off to the Childminder

It’s Puddings first day settling in with her new childminder today. I spent a long time looking at childcare for her. As a parent it’s so difficult to hand over your precious little baby to some one else. To trust that they will provide the same standard of care that you do. In truth my new childminder will probably give Pud more time and attention than I do. She won’t be flying all over the place, trying to sort the house out and get the food shop done!

The lady that will be caring for Pud seems to share my child-raising values. I think that’s what really clinched the deal for me. Not just the hundreds of qualifications or the beautiful set up in her home. She’s a sensible, practical person like myself. Not overly mumsy or fussy. I know she will care for Pud in a way that is similar to my own mothering style. She won’t wrap her in cotton wool or make her into a pampered princess. Most of all she doesn’t make me feel like I am a ‘bad’ mum for going back to work.

Making the decision to go back to work full-time will have a huge impact on all of us. For me personally it is giving me back my drive and passion. I believe it will make me a better mother. Having an outlet for my myself will enable me to enjoy the children more. Rather than feeling, as I often do, that I am a slave to their every need, with no time for myself. Is that selfish? Possibly. But as much as I love them, my children do not define who I am as a woman.

Don’t get me wrong, handing Pud to the childminder this morning was tough. Not for Pudding, but for me. As I drove away I couldn’t help but feel that this was the end of a chapter in my life and Puddings’. No longer will we be girls together all week while Pie is at school. She will be out on her own adventures, learning new things from another person who isn’t me. Undoubtedly I will miss those first steps that I have been waiting for these last few weeks. I probably won’t hear her first proper word. It makes me sad. But I also know that in the long term this will be good for her. She will get to socialise with other kids and learn to trust other people.

I know I have picked the right person to look after my little Pudding. When I go back to collect her in a couple of hours she will I am sure have had a lovely time. In the meantime I am going to try to swallow that mummy guilt. Drink a hot coffee and enjoy a deep bath (without the addition of plastic toys…) We will enjoy our last full week together and then get ready to embark on a new big adventure. We might not be hand in hand all the time but at least we will be walking in the same direction.

Never Underestimate The Baby Cold

‘Ah poor Pudding’ I chuckled at some point two weeks ago. My little lady was full of cold and kept sneezing all over the place. I felt sorry for her, poor girl was not happy Pud at all. Of course we were all suffering the dramatics of Puddings first real baby cold. She whinged all day, wiped snot in every conceivable place and had us up at all hours. But calpol was dispensed and cuddles were given.

dagon_ / Pixabay

I hadn’t anticipated for one moment that soon all of us would be suffering. Pie got it first and battled through with minimal fuss. Mr Pud came next – a day on the sofa saw him right as rain. Then is was my turn. Armed with my flu jab and an extra boost of vitamin C from my recent orange obsession. I was quietly confident…

Alas! My yet again less than capable immune system let me down. Badly. Now the baby cold is what I like to think of as a bunch of juvenile bugs. Think over excited puppy, as they go whizzing round your body. Bit of a runny nose, half-hearted cough and a few sneezes. Then they fizzle out, unable to take a proper hold. Well at least that is how they operate in most people. However, once they meet my immune system they manage to morph. Suddenly juvenile bugs are grade A assassins. Their only intention is to capture and hold my sinuses. Once they have a strong hold they can camp in there for weeks.

Archbob / Pixabay

What was previously a ‘baby cold’ has now become a sinister sinusitis. The assassins are in and have been holding me hostage for well over a week now. No more hilarity at Mummy sneezing. Oh no, now everyone is running for cover. My patience has been replaced with a constant headache and the inability to bend down. Just to add a little extra to this already less than fun party are some feverish chills and achey joints. (Yeh good work flu jab you have done me a solid here).

Having to admit defeat and take time off work was a low point. But I told myself a few days rest and I would be on it. Well that was 6 days ago. I am by no means ‘on it’. Unless of course ‘on it’ means curled up on the sofa under a blanket surrounded by tissues. In which case I am very much ‘on it’. It is a sign of how bad things have got when the dog has given up stealing the used tissues.

Yet again I underestimated the ‘baby cold’. I should have been wearing a mask last week! It is too late for me, but I warn you save yourself. Those puppy-like viruses and bacteria are coming for you.

6 Ways to Support Your Premature Baby in The NICU

No publisher ID given

For most people the birth of a premature baby is a shock. It is a whole new world you are stepping into and it can be pretty daunting. Your tiny fragile baby, in a large plastic incubator, surrounded by wires and tubes. Sometimes it can feel as though your baby is unreachable. You can feel helpless and unable to be the parent you had anticipated. It is ok, these feelings are natural. Being separated from your baby is one of the hardest things any parent can go through. But there are things you can do that can really help to support your preemie.

To your baby the outside world is a loud scary place. The only sound that will be truly familiar is your voice. Talk to your premature baby, hold him and soothe him. He is just as frightened as you are, you need each other to complete this journey. Have a look at the infographic below for some ideas of what you as parents can do to help your premature baby through this difficult time.

These are simple ideas to help you bond as a family and look after each other. If you need more support or want to talk to people who know how you feel have a look at the BLISS website. This fantastic charity has been supporting parents of premature babies for many years and they really understand the emotional ups and downs of having a preemie.

Want to know a bit about what the nurses in the Neonatal Unit do? Check out our post on the Day in The Life of a NICU Nurse.

No publisher ID given

To My Baby Now You Are One

Dearest Pudding,

Today you turned one. It has been a year since a nurse laid you on me and I met you for that first time. My squashed, slightly potato shaped Pudding. I knew I loved you before I saw you. But once I could feel you on my skin, see your face and feel your hand clasp round mine, I knew I would love you forever. My troll haired Pud. You have completed our family. We are now the awesome, foursome.Mummy Tag

It hasn’t been easy. I can’t deny there were times when I thought the PND would beat me. Would drag me down, tear our family apart. You wouldn’t let it – your smile got me through those darkest of days. Knowing you needed me kept me fighting. You will never know how low I felt in those early days of your life. You saved me Pud, saved me from myself.

I don’t know how a year has passed this fast. What a crazy year it has been. My little squashed potato you have blossomed into an independent little diva. The troll hair remains but that helpless newborn has gone. I remember those early cuddles, you curled into my neck. Fast asleep on my chest. Long gone are those days. Now I am lucky to get more than a passing wave as you crawl off on your next mischief-making adventure!

You are the cutest little thing right now. You always wake with a smile and a giggle. I love walking into your room and finding you babbling to your bears. You are an adventurous, plucky little lady. Forever climbing the stairs and diving off the sofa head first. The sausage dog loves you. She totally dotes on your every move, rolling over to allow you to stroke her tummy. Suffering you sitting on her and pulling her ears. You two are thick as thieves as she sits under your highchair scoffing scraps!

I know your brother has loved you from the beginning. But today watching you together as he helped with your presents I felt so proud. I knew then how much you loved each other. How important you are to each other. I know you two will fight, I know it won’t always be a rose garden. That’s ok, it’s what you do with your siblings – but just try not wind him up too much. I can already see he is going to be the sensitive one out of the two of you.

So now you are one my gorgeous Pudding. What excitement will the next 12 months bring? I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that this year has gone so fast. I can almost feel the time running through my fingers like sand. I want to catch it. To stop it, to have one more sleepy cuddle with you. One more moment listening to you babble. I know you have to grow-up, that you will continue to amaze me every day as you do so. But I will treasure this year in my memory. Remind myself of how you felt curled against my skin in the delivery room. For now though my Pud, you are one and to you my darling Happy Birthday.

Love Mummy x

Crikey Child! What is wrong with your face?! – An Allergic Reaction

So this weekend both Mr Pud and I had to work so Pudding and Pie were left in the care of the grandparents. Now I don’t know who was most excited about this! Suffice to say the grandparents had lots planned and the kids looked like they were plotting a pretty amazing rampage of their own.


Off we went then 7am Sunday morning feeling more than a little miffed to be missing out on the fun. They all had a great day – and some lovely food at a local bistro. Mr Pud noticed when he rang at tea time that Pud had a red face. We put it down to teething and thought no more about it.
When we got back the kids were in bed. My mother in law mentioned that Pudding’s face was very red but that she was happy. I had a quick look at her in the cot but was initially unconcerned. After waving off the grandparents and assuring them all was fine we ordered a pizza ready to settle on the couch together. Mr Pud was a bit concerned about Pud so we decided to get her up and just check her for a rash anywhere else. We are meningitis neurotics any sight of a rash and I am getting glass out!
Well we woke her. She was chuffed to see us. I can only say I didn’t share her joy! My poor child looked like she had gone 5 rounds with Tyson!! Her face was bright red and her eyes were so swollen she could barely open her eyelids. Despite looking like something out of a horror movie she still smiled…

Even as nurses we were pretty shocked at how bad she looked. It was clear that she was having an allergic reaction to something. We got some input from one of our doctor friends and called the 111 NHS service. We were advised to take her into A&E. Inwardly I groaned, having already been at the hospital 13 hours this was the last thing I wanted to do. But dutifully I packed a bag and picked up my puffy Pud, I crossed the threshold as the pizza arrived!

A&E was manic as I knew it would be. Poor Pud had no idea what was going on. But despite being dragged out in the middle of the night she took it really well. She was smiling and waving at people. This was met with a mixture of horror and compassion. Poor little girl did look awful! Finally after a few hours we were seen, a quick dose of Piriton and we headed home. Tired but no worse for our little adventure.

This morning Pudding looks ok, apart from being angry about lack of sleep. A bit red-cheeked still but most of the swelling has gone down. It was scary was even with our backgrounds, we didn’t know if she would get any worse or what was causing her to have an allergic reaction. The cupboard is now stocked with Piriton and I am trying not to monitor every thing she eats or touches.

Ant one else experienced anything similar? How do you deal with allergic reactions?

The Poonami: A Total Shit Storm

Let me set the scene! It was tough but you put your face on threw your hair into some kind of style. Picked out your best boots and chose an adorable outfit for your cute side kick. Operation meet the Yummy Mummy’s has begun!


It’s all going well. Conversation flowing, coffee ordering went smoothly ‘yes I will have a slim, vendi  latte, not to much foam, hazelnut twist’ brilliant, nailed it! I am a sophisticated yummy mummy, I can pull this off. Or so I thought! 

Striking up empathetic conversation with the mum next to me, bouncing Pudding on on my knee. Casually sipping at perfectly ordered, tasteless coffee. Inside I am doing cartwheels. I have this mothering shit down, nothing can stop me now. Nothing except that ominous tummy rumble from Pudding. Followed by the long juicy sound of a deposit being made in her clean nappy. Balls! Then comes the obnoxious aroma – why did I let that baby eat some of my curry last night?!!! Oh no is that a slight damp patch on my leg…

Of course the small one is grinning, waving her arms and bouncing. Don’t bounce like that, something bad will happen. Too late one huge bounce and I can feel moisture on my hands. Horrified I look down… Yep it’s a level 5 disaster. Action stations we have a Poonami!! 


Don’t panic, I tell myself, we can handle this. Scoop up Pudding, grab nappy bag and walk confidently to the changing room. 

OH my fucking Christ. That smells awful. I Start to peel off layers. There is shit everywhere, literally everywhere. It’s all over my hands and right up to the Puddings arm pits. Peel off all clothes, contemplate saving them, then just chuck them in the bin. Wet wipes are not going to cut it. You child are going in the sink! 

Thank god for huge muslins. Wrap a now screeching Pudding up and sit her on the floor on top of a freshly cleaned changing mat. Of course whilst my back is turned she quickly removes herself from the Muslim and proceeds to parade stark naked round the questionably hygienic baby change. Frantically scrabble in the changing bag to find a replacement out fit… Meanwhile misses has pulled herself up on the sanitary towel bin and is attempting to force open the lid. 

Hooray baby gro and nappy found. Wrestle on the floor with her majesty whilst she screams blue murder about not getting into the sanitary bin. Tuck her under my arm as I attempt to wipe poo off of every surface. Except I didn’t realise that she has some on her hands… Gross and made even worse as she waves at me in the mirror and proceeds to wipe it all through my freshly washed hair. Before taking that exact moment to vomit down my top. I mean seriously this kid never vomits… Probably the bugs she has just picked up from the floor/sanitary bin! 

Slink out of bathroom smelling of cheesey milk and poo… Contemplate going back to the table and finishing my coffee. Nope not now, I can’t face it. Red faced and smelling like a bin lorry I  head back to the car. This is one Poonami I want to put behind me!

Beware the WerePudding

Now I know that in ghost stories they say the witching hour is midnight. Some people think the spirits arise around 3am to camp out in creepy town. That this is when blood curdling screams rip through the air… Not so at Pudding HQ. Our witching hour(s) are 3-6pm. This is when the ear splitting shriek of the WerePudding can be heard.

It’s a terrifying sound that rises to a crescendo quite quickly. Once the fever has set in there is no turning back until the magical bath of bubbles is found once more; followed by the creamy elixir of Hipp. There are no silver bullets to slay the beast. The only cure should have been administered earlier on in the day in the form of a long uninterrupted sleep. But while the WerePudding’s fangs are still coming in, sleep is a rare commodity that is not often afforded during daylight hours…

WerePudding
geralt / Pixabay
Unfortunately the WerePudding is not restricted to the lunar cycle and she doesn’t give a monkey’s which phase the moon is in. Her primal desire is to find something suitable to gnaw on. Ideally human flesh (necks and fingers appear to be a staple). She is also partial to a giraffe… A WerePudding can be temporarily distracted by a parsnip or some such pureed substance. This is a short-term fix and will not halt the eventual appearance of a fully fledged monster.

There are no real warning signs before the turn. One minute there can be delightful giggles and then in a blink of an eye the beast is there. Fangs bared, frothing at the mouth and howling to the sky. You can attempt to ward off the creature with Bonjela or teething powders.  On occasion a well-timed dose of calpol has proved a useful weapon. But none are fool-proof, and it would be a mistake to rely on any one should you be trapped in a confined space with the WerePudding.

The WerePudding does respond to the call of her own. Should you place similarly afflicted babies in her presence she can usually ensure that they can all howl in unison. This means that any social activity is completely abandoned. Leaving the WerePudding’s mother home alone to deal with this tricky creature…

WerePudding


Papa Pudding

So Mum left me again this week, apparently she had to go work and look after someone else’s baby for 12 hours. To be honest I wasn’t that impressed – I mean why would she choose to do that?! Anyway I was left with the boys, it was a Papa Pudding day…

Dad and Pudding
I have to say I was quite impressed with how the day began, Daddy was up and ready with milk as soon as I made a murmur. This is a huge improvement, Mum usually leaves me to coo and gurgle for 10 minutes! Even better with no Mummy in bed I got to snuggle into her pillow and once I had finished my bottle, I was so comfy I fell fast asleep. Next thing I knew Pie was curled up next to me watching Kung Fu Panda whilst Dad dived in the shower.

Next up was getting dressed, for some reason Dad thought letting Pie choose my clothes was a good idea… Hmm well we started off with just a tshirt and one red sock, glad to see Dad suggest we might need some more items! However; I couldn’t believe it when they finally agreed on a pair of tights and a tshirt. How is that an outfit?! What would my adoring public say? Let alone my own mother?? Still with me apparently dressed they moved on to tackling my slightly mad hair – it really is out of control at the moment. Dad managed to find a video on YouTube so he attempted to tame my mop with a hair clip, I have to say he did an ok job, even though it kind of cemented the trollesk thing I have going on!

Finally we got out of the house – Dad even managed to get my bag packed with all my stuff. We headed into town me bouncing along in my pram, I did try to explain its a pram not a racing car but it fell on deaf ears as he and Pie were harping on about Star Wars again. I was pretty chuffed when we stopped for lunch, apparently Daddy days mean those big yellow arches. Pie was super excited, and I couldn’t wait to chomp on a fry and slurp some milkshake – but what’s this? No way, all I am getting is some slightly cold formula, you have to be joking….

After lunch we popped into see Mummy, she was pretty busy but I got a quick cuddle, she said she missed me but I was too busy being mad at her to smile. Besides I was tired it had been a busy day, when we got home I just couldn’t drift off so I spent the majority of the afternoon screaming at Daddy! I perked up at bath time and I enjoyed tea in the garden, all in all a successful day with Dad, I guess Mum going back to work will be ok…

Love Pudding xx

Mum’s I Meet

In my four short years of motherhood I have spent a lot of time attending groups, coffee mornings and soft plays, I have seen all sorts of Mums, each one navigating there own way through the parenting jungle. It would appear that a Mum can fall into 6 categories – which one are you?!

Frazzled Mum

Ah this is the Mum with a slightly harrassed look on her face, usually juggling a small baby on her knee, whilst attempting to stop her threenager from lobbing his lunch all over the floor. She looks down right tired and is clearly in need of a pamper day, a hair brush and some new clothes. This poor lady has probably not looked in the mirror for two days and has no idea that she currently has baby sick down her back. Don’t judge her, we all have days like this, especially when we up the ante from one baby to two!

FreeStyling Natural Mum

 

Now this Mum is the one that you see in all the baby magazines, she has her hair loose and flowing over her shoulders, wearing a beautiful maxi dress. Her ability to calmly control all of her 7 children leaves you staring in wonderment, which turns to amazement when she informs you that she grows all her own vegetables and raises chickens. A firm believer in co-sleeping and breastfeeding she  really is the epitany of the Earth Mother, you kind of want to hate her and her perfectness but then she offers you some homemade pie!

Geek Mum

 

Everyone kind of needs a geeky-mum, you know the ones that have read every article about every baby related thing on the planet. They are a font of knowledge for baby buys, baby wearing, weaning, colic and postnatal blues. These are the mum’s that run groups and know how to get you into the best play group, nursery or school. Sometimes their know-it-allness can really get your back up but you realise that they don’t mean to be so annoying they just want to help!

Fashionista Mum

 

You will never know how these Mum’s do it – they rock up to soft play or playgroup looking like something off of Mum vogue. They are the only Mums’ who can pull off the top knot and joggers without looking like something out of Little Britain, don’t be fooled into emulating them. It’s like trying to copy the flawless model in a magazine. Their kids are always clean and impeccably dressed too, and they don’t carry a mammoth sized changing bag, they have a stylish Michael Kors draped over their arm and Prada sunglasses on their head. You could easily be fooled into thinking that this Mum is the embodiment of the ‘cool’ girls in your secondary school – but actually when you start chatting you realise like the rest of us she is just a Mum (all be it a slightly more refined model).

SuperMum

 

We would all love to be this Mum, she gets to school on time every morning with her child in the correct uniform, home made super healthy lunch and the required art project tucked under her arm. Her children have slept through the night since they were 8 weeks old and eat broccoli willingly. Some how this Mum finds the energy to attend every baby class, hold coffee mornings and help out in the playground at lunchtime – seriously SuperMum we applaud you!

MumBiz

 

You will see this Mum whizzing down the road in her beautiful suit and high heels with her face fully made up, dropping her little darling at nursery before dashing off to the office. She expresses milk in her lunch hour and is always home for bedtime. When she finally gets some time off she is the one crawling through the soft play area or chasing her kids round the farm. Don’t be fooled into thinking this Mum isn’t in need of a friend just because she looks busy, we all need a buddy to help us through!

Mothering is a tough job and we all need a little support from other Mum’s to help us through the highs and lows, a good network of friends can see you through the most difficult times. It’s tough, but get yourself out there and meet your own Mummy Tribe, we recommend one from each category 🙂

Published previously on meetothermums.com

Rhyming with Wine
Pink Pear Bear

 

 

Massuese Mousse

Hey! Baby massage rocked my world this week, it was amazing. Just me and mummy in a room full of other babies (I was the oldest for a change!) getting up close and personal. I had a little trial of this when we went to the fabulous Bluestone and cos I enjoyed it so much Mummy kindly booked me in for a few sessions when we got home. I think Mum was a bit nervous when we first got their as she didn’t know anyone but I helped her out by smiling and talking to everyone. Of course they all commented about my amazing hairdo – I call this weeks style troll-esk ( mum is threatening hair clips🙈).

Blue haired troll - looks like Pudding We did leg massage this week, which took Mum ages because as she said their is a sizeable amount of thigh there. I think she was insinuating that I am slightly rotund, I quickly reminded her that I have the body of a goddess (So what if Buddha was a guy). My Nana says I am cute and look like a cabbage patch baby, not entirely sure what this is but Nana would never be mean about me. Apparently it’s arms next week, this could be tricky as I can’t seem to take my fist out of my mouth for more than 10 seconds, unless Mum is spooning in some parsnip…

Pie and I have been taking it in turns to scream this week, we figured Mum would rather we did that than scream simultaneously. However; this just seems to make her less sympathetic to both of us so we have gone back to the original plan that Pie screams in the morning constantly and I get to scream from tea time until bedtime. Mum doesn’t particularly like this either but at least she gets a break at lunchtime….

Due to continuing issues Pudding HQ has had  to take to its feet this week, great news for me as Mum usually pops me in the ergo. It really is the best place for a Pudding to be! All those extra snuggles and getting to talk to Mum all the time has meant I am turning into a right Mummy’s girl, especially as she treated me to a new Sophie this week. Sophie 2 and extra Mummy love have been needed this as these teeth are really starting to bother me – luckily Mum has finally agreed that they are a problem. Well done mother it’s only taken you 4 weeks 😡, some people just never listen!

I will let you know how we get on with the arms. I have to go now because it’s my turn to scream like a banshee…