Monday, 30 April 2012

Cheerful Sunday

This little guy makes me so happy!


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Word of the Week

Granolamuesli


Definition:  A breakfast or snack item made with baked oats, nuts, honey and sometimes dried fruit or other fancy add-ins
Used in a sentence:  I haven't had granolamuesli for breakfast in ages, but it tastes quit nice either cold or warm.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Breast feeding gear

I've already talked a little bit about our breastfeeding journey so far.  Things are still going well. (Though, just FYI, if you've got a bad latch and you know it you should pop the baby off and start over.  Don't just let him keep going because you're really tired and it doesn't hurt too badly.  Cause you'll wind up with a blister.  That will bleed.  Which means that the baby will spit up your blood.  Which is creepy and gross.  And his poo will turn black from all the extra iron.  Which is creepy and gross.  Just FYI.)

This post is to talk about the various accoutrements needed for breastfeeding.  Technically, you don't need anything.  I started out with 2 nursing tank tops that my mom sent over from Target.  But I've discovered there are a couple of things that do make nursing a LOT more pleasant.

The Boppy


I put a Boppy on our wish list, but no one got it for us.  (Well, actually, someone bought us the extra slipcover I'd put on the list thinking it was the whole pillow...)  I didn't purchase it right away because I'd heard mixed reviews as to it's usefulness.  We've made a concerted effort not to buy into the consumerism surrounding babies.  We don't want to waste money on items that are used a few times and then discarded as so many "must have" items inevitably are.  So for the first few weeks I was using a couple of throw pillows to help position Linus.  I quickly found that this wasn't working.  My back was sore from hunching over.  My wrists were inflamed from holding him up and supporting his head so often.  So when a friend gave us an Amazon gift card, I decided to put it to use for a Boppy.  I got the "naked" one since we already had a slip cover.  

The first time I used the Boppy it was a whole new world.  I didn't have to hold my body- or Linus'- in an awkward position.  I could even nurse hands free!  Hallelujah!  I've nursed out in public without the aid of the Boppy since then, but every time we've been home I've used my new best friend.  This was one purchase that I'd gladly make again.  I've heard from friends who prefer the My Breast Friend pillow (citing it's superiority for the well-endowed), but I'm super happy with my choice.

The Glamourmom Nursing Bra Full Bust Long Top


I mentioned that my mom had sent me a pair of nursing tanks from Target.  They work fine.  They have a little shelf bra and the front flips down for easy access, but they are definitely more around-the-house/sleepwear appropriate.  I knew they'd be fine for the early days and could tide me over until my milk came in and I'd settled to a more long-term size.  I didn't want to guess the size on something as important as a nursing bra, given that proper fit it key for avoiding plugged ducts and mastitis.

As I started researching options for nursing bras and tanks, I was shocked at the lack of options available in the UK!  There were shockingly few nursing bras available at brick and mortar stores and no nursing tanks.  Imagine my surprise when I went into Mamas & Papas (a leading baby/maternity store) and was told that only some of their stores carry nursing bras and that even they are being phased out- nursing bras would only be available online soon.  No wonder UK health workers lament the small number of women who breastfeed!  The stores certainly don't make it easy.  (Ok, I get that it's probably the other way around.  I'm sure stores don't stock because there is low demand... )  I expected that I would have a hard time finding a nursing bra given my large cup size, but I was certainly surprised at the dearth of availability even for smaller cups sizes.  In general the UK is much more friendly to the well-endowed with many brick and mortar stores carrying a wider range of sizes than their US counterparts, but when it comes to nursing bras that isn't the case.  

I went to my local specialty bra store (Love Your Fit in Bury) about a month after giving birth.  I wanted to get fitted for a nursing bra and figured that my breast size was pretty settled by that point.  They have great service and an awesome selection of bras in all sizes- though they do have to order things in sometimes.  One of the nice ladies measured me up (by eye, they don't use tape measures) and told me that I was a 34J.  Wha-what?  That sounds obscene.  I knew my boobs were big, but holy-ma-loly!  Sadly they only had one style of nursing bra available in that size and when I tried it on I knew it was a no-go.  It was cut so high I don't think I would have been able to wear it with anything but turtlenecks!  They were super nice and understanding about my not wanting to purchase and suggested that I try the internet.  

I took to Facebook to lament the lack of options for nursing bras/tanks available in the UK- especially for larger breasted women.  A few American friends chimed in with suggestions, but most of the options were not available in the UK.  One friend suggested the GlamourMom Full Bust Nursing Top, saying it was amazing.  I checked out the website and was thrilled to see that they had a link to a site for European customers.  I ordered one top in black to try and see if it was a good fit for me.  I corresponded with John from the company about the products.  I was wondering if it was sold in stores in my area so I could try it on first.  It wasn't, but John was so nice, friendly, and helpful!  He even offered to get me rush shipping the next day.  

Me in my GlamourMom tank top

This tank top is so awesome.  It is like an industrial strength tank top.  The built-in bra is a truly supportive, well-constructed bra- not just a flimsy shelf one.  It's got a good amount of length that is flattering and comfortable to a post-partum body and nice ruching near the cleavage that makes it look like "real" clothing instead of glorified underwear.  My favorite feature, however, is the way the cups are constructed.  It has the standard drop down flaps in the front, but there is a secondary layer inside that features a cut out for your nipple.  In the shelf-bra versions from Target that I have, when I flap down the front it's full exposure!  It's basically just a whole boob out in the open.  I'm not overly modest, but when your boob to baby's head ratio is like mine, the added coverage is a big help.  

I only have one of these tops so far, but I'm itching for more.  I find myself excited on days when I wear my GlamourMom top and saving it for days when I want to look nicer.  I cannot recommend this top highly enough.  They have other styles if you aren't so well endowed, but I can guarantee that this is one of the best solutions available for the well-endowed mama.*

*GlamourMom did not compensate me for singing their praises.  I just REALLY dig them.

And that's pretty much it for me and breastfeeding gear.  I'm low maintenance.  

What about you?  
Did you have lots of gear or keep is simple?
What were your favorite items?



Sunday, 22 April 2012

Cheerful Sunday

Friendship makes me feel cheerful!

This was a very good week for me and friends.

On Wednesday I ran into a neighbour at the grocery store.  She has a son 10 weeks older than Linus and we sat and had coffee and a chat in the store's cafe.  We made plans to go to a Rhythm Time baby group on Tuesday and she brought me homemade chicken schnitzel that evening!

On Thursday I got word that my best friend Micah had gotten her flight to come visit us.  She'll be here in a little less than 3 weeks!

On Friday I met up with 3 ladies (and their babies) from my antenatal classes.  The babies (2 boys- Gram and Eric; 1 girl- Beatrice) were all born within about a week of each other and it was so fun to see them all together and have a nice chat.  We also ate yummy cupcakes.  I'm going to Baby Zumba (I'm not sure what it is, but I'm excited!) with at least one of the girls on Wednesday.

And now, a baby picture:


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Word of the Week

BakedJacket Potato 


Definition:  a potato that has been baked in the oven; often filled with various other food items like butter, cheese, tuna, beans, bacon, etc.
Used in a sentence:  On a cold day, a bakedjacket potato makes a lovely lunch.

What's your favourite bakedjacket potato filling?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Cheerful Sunday

The word "faff" is awesome.  It's much classier than many alternatives.
It simply means "waste of time or needless delay".  It can be used as a noun ("The service is terrible in that restaurant. It's such a faff.") or a verb ("We're running late! Stop faffing and let's go.")  This one of the few Britishisms that I've adopted and it makes me cheerful!


What words make you happy?
What Britishisms do you use?

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Word of the Week

Bicbiro


Definition: the generecized trademark name of choice for a ballpoint pen
Used in a sentence:  Ross has magic pants that seem to spawn bicbiros as he always ends up with at least 2 in his pockets by the end of the day.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Birth Story Part 1

Monday February 27, 2012

I was a week from my due date and feeling great!  I'd read so many accounts of women feeling "done" with pregnancy by this point, but I just wasn't.  Sure I was big and sort of uncomfortable, but I hadn't crossed over to feeling HUGE and awful.  I told several people that I'd even be happy to go slightly overdue!  That said, I'd been experiencing a serious resurgence in my fatigue.  For a few days I'd been feeling exhausted.  I think even more so than in my first trimester.  I was a champion napper!

Ross' Uncle Jeff was in town for business so we went out for lunch and dinner with him.  I felt so uncomfortable all throughout both meals.  I thought Linus' feet were pressing up into the top of my belly and ribs, which was strange considering I was under the impression that he'd dropped.  I spent most of the day gently rubbing the upper sides of my bump and lightly pressing down, trying to get him to move a little.

Tuesday February 28, 2012


My fatigue and discomfort continued, but nothing was raising any red flags to me at this point.  I figured I was just feeling the way you do at the end of a pregnancy.  I'd been sitting on the couch, surfing the net, and chatting with a friend on gchat.  At about 4:00pm, I felt something very strange.  I'd read online about women who weren't sure if they'd peed themselves or if their water had broken.  I'd always thought, "How can you NOT know?!?"  But when I felt a slow bursting feeling, followed by a gush of liquid, I just wasn't sure what to think!  The best way I can describe it was like a soft balloon bursting, as opposed to a pop.  More like you'd overfilled a water balloon and the balloon just gently gave way.  I went to the bathroom to check things out.  Still not entirely convinced, I walked back into the living room, looked at Ross and said "So, um... I think my waters just broke..."  Ross looked at me in confusion and asked what I meant.  We debated how to proceed.  Since I was already chatting with my friend Elizabeth, who is a pregnancy expert (you know, cause she's had babies...), I decided to get a consultation.



It suddenly hit me that we would, in all likelihood, be having a Leap Day baby!  The thought had occurred to me back when we'd first found out my due date, but I'd dismissed it because everyone knows a first baby is always overdue, right?  (Turns out my older brother was 10 days early... oh well).  How exciting and cool!  I continued to chat with Elizabeth and finally heard back from Mandy with word that I should go into the Birth Centre to get checked.

From the moment I'd made my announcement, Ross had been running around the flat like a mad man.  If only I'd known that telling him my waters had broken was an excellent motivator to tidy things up, I might have tried it earlier!  He had things cleared away at lightning speed and even gave his hair a trim in the bathroom.

We loaded up the car with my birth bag, a bag of stuff for the baby (diapers and clothes mostly), my birth ball, and the car seat and headed to Tesco.  We wanted to pick up some provisions as they recommend that you bring food and ice with you.

Ice, water, fruit, cheese, cucumber, shampoo and conditioner, 
and a donut for my sweet tooth

We were nervous and excited!  It was almost time to meet our dear baby boy.  I was convinced that we had a Leap Day Baby on our hands.  Little did I know, our journey had just begun...

In the checkout line

Tesco self-portrait

to be continued...


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Word of the Week

MCcompere


Definition: a master of ceremonies or host of an even such as a comedy evening or review show*
Used in a sentence:  The MCcompere for the talent show obviously had no talent of his own.

*Ross tells me that, at least in the UK, the two words (MC and compere) have different meanings- though he struggled to explain to me what they were.  Apparently, at one point, the MC was a more formal position that remained off stage and organized events whilst the compere was more participatory.  He does concede that the two are pretty much interchangeable now.  I'm allowing it because I'd never heard the term compere before meeting Ross... so there!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Dennis the Menace

What does Dennis the Menace look like?

Well, obviously like this...


Not so fast!  
Imagine my surprise when I noticed that Ross has a pair of Dennis the Menace socks featuring a boy who looks like this...


I did a little research and found something really interesting...
It turns out that the two characters have nothing to do with each other, aside from having the same name and both having doggie sidekicks!  Even more interestingly, the two characters premiered independently of each other within mere days-  the UK version on March 17, 1951 and the US version on March 12, 1951.  Both characters are still published.  To avoid confusion, the US version is known as simply "Dennis" in the UK and the UK version is often known as "Dennis and Gnasher" (Gnasher is his dog.) outside of the UK.  

From what I've read, the UK version seems less sweet and mischievous and more, well... menacing.  He wreaks havoc with a variety of weaponry and pranks.  He seems to focus on going after a gang of "softies"- effeminate, well-behaved schoolboys.   The US version is a more innocently rambunctious fella.  He tends to stumble into situations due to curiosity and naive mistakes, rather than malicious intent.  

So there you go, you learn something new every day.
Or, if you already knew that, then you didn't...


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Cheerful Sunday

A Month of Linus is a wonderful reason to be cheerful.


I started an album on Facebook called "Daily Linus" where I post a new picture everyday.  (His grandma loves it!)  In celebration of Linus being a month old (How is that possible?!!) I asked Ross to set all the pictures to one of our favorite songs.  

Hope you're having a wonderful day!