White Cotton Peonies

Stokke Tripp Trapp: Perfect for Independence

Uncategorized / Jul 16, 2018 / 0 Comments

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned since having a toddler, it’s that it’s their way or the highway. Whilst I’m proud to be raising a fiercely independent little girl, it’s definitely not always easy.

Bells is at the age where she wants to do everything for herself, but ability doesn’t yet outweigh determination…  cue dresses put on backwards, shouting matches when I don’t quite understand what she’s asking me and full on meltdowns when she can’t figure out how to release poor Tonto from his cage.

Therefore, we’ve tried to do as much as we can around the house to help her to grow her independence with as little frustration as we can. In other words, we’ve been a bit lazy! We’ve got little steps next to our bed, so that she can crawl in first thing in the morning, steps by the sink for her to wash her hands, a bed that she can get in and out of herself and most importantly our Stokke Tripp Trapp.

We’ve had the Tripp Trapp for quite some time now, originally with the Baby Set and now just as the chair on it’s own, whilst we’ve got another with the newborn chair for Millie. I didn’t realise how invaluable it had become when I’m cooking dinner etc until I popped the cover in the wash the other day and found I had no clue how to get everything done with Millie in my arms, I digress.

Back to Bells.

The Tripp Trapp really comes into it’s own when you’re using it with a toddler. The fact that Bells can climb up to the table and to eat with us as a “big girl” has been a game changer. Whilst my fears that she’d climb down from the table came true to begin with, she soon learned that she was missing out by doing so… now she certainly stays put!

Recently, a number of my friends have had babies and I’m the annoying friend that bombards them with a list of “must haves” that will make their lives easier. The Tripp Trapp heavily features on that list.

M xox

 

NB: Whilst our latest Tripp Trapp was gifted to us (thanks Stokke!), we definitely bought our first one and we wouldn’t have got a second if I didn’t really love it.

 

To anyone going through hell, keep going…

Anorexia / Jul 12, 2018 / 0 Comments

I shared some of this on Instagram stories (if you don’t follow me there, go take a look!) a couple of weeks ago and instantly went on to write this post as I wanted something more permanent to look back on. I then chewed on it for a week, deciding whether to post or not. But I gradually grew some balls… and so here I am, finally posting it…

THE POST

“If you continue down the road that you’re going, you will end up dying within a matter of months”… I remember to this day the warning of the doctors when I was in the grips of Anorexia. The biggest problem was that at that point, I was in such a dark hole that I didn’t care. I didn’t care if I didn’t wake up the next day because I couldn’t see any feasible way that I would ever have a day where I wasn’t suffering the most excruciating pain and angst with every single meal that I ate.

Fast forward three years and as I was preparing for our holiday yesterday, I’d done a panic ASOS shop in the hope that something would be suitable. Of course, I tried every single item on and critiqued it within an inch of its life. Then I came to the last dress and it was hideous. As I looked at myself disgusted in the mirror, I took in my thick thighs, my wobbly tummy and my saggy boobs, this just wouldn’t do I thought. My usual self-hatred had stepped in.

But, just as I let out a huge sigh, Bells turned around. Her jaw hit the floor and she said in a booming voice that only she can get away with along with a Cheshire cat grin “wooooowwwwweeeee”.

In that very moment, I realised that she didn’t see what I saw. She saw her mummy, the centre of her universe, wearing a pretty dress. I was perfect to her, none of my imperfections existed.

For the first time in the whole of my life, I felt truly beautiful. I’m so glad that I fought, that I continue to fight. Without it, she wouldn’t exist, our family wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

To anyone out there going through hell, keep going… it will be worth it in the end.

M xox

Toddler slippers which stay on…

Parenting / Jun 5, 2018 /

Bells wasn’t in a rush when it came to walking, I think she found it much more convenient to tap her fingers and to have stuff brought to her. However, when she got to 15 months, she went from being stationery to running. There was no in-between and to this day, running is her favourite method of getting around.

Fast forward another 6 months and she was introduced to Frozen (god help me) and so a few prances and twirls were thrown into the mix only for us to discover that she’s inherited her father’s rhythm.  It could have been his humour, his peachy bum or gorgeous eyes… but no, it was his rhythm. Needless to say with her tearing around at 100mph, I insist that she wears slippers around the house – mainly because they stop her stacking it as she tears around corners.

However, the result of this is I spend much of my day listening to “uh oh” and being handed stinky slippers to put back on her foot Cinderella style. Enter Mocc Ons. They’re moccasin style slipper socks that come in a whole host of designs. It takes no explaining that I chose the Ballerina style for Bells and naturally she fell in love with them. They’re now the first thing that she asks for in the morning. Brilliant for keeping her toes cosy, their leather sole is great for gripping on to our wooden floors (and cleaning them in the process) before I steal them away from her whilst she’s at nursery to wash them in the machine (yes, they’re machine washable – thank god).

Available to buy for £10.99 from the Sock Ons website, I’m already eyeing up which is going to be her next design.

M xox

The importance of checking for tongue tie…

Parenting / May 29, 2018 /

Bells was a very straight forwards baby, other than a serious case of resting b*tch face, life with her as a newborn was pretty plain sailing. It didn’t even cross my mind that things would be any different with the birth of Millie.

As soon as she was born, she was automatically a very “sicky” baby. She seemed constantly uncomfortable with her legs drawn up and her face screwed tight. The nurses put it down to her having mucus still on her chest as she was a c-section baby and so we were sent on our merry way.

Within a couple of days, I knew that something wasn’t right. Millie couldn’t be put down to lay on her back (she’d go nuts), she’d be sick as soon as she fed or as soon as you lay her down if you held her upright for a decent amount of time afterwards. Before long, the only way that she would sleep was on me, sat upright and was on a cycle of feeding every 30 minutes followed by another 30 minutes of trying to get her wind up. I started expressing and bottle feeding to check she wasn’t over-feeding or latching badly. Both of us were breaking.

After 3 weeks of trying to battle on through, I posted an Instagram story and was inundated with messages from people with reflux babies (you guys are awesome!). The following day, I managed to get her in to see our doctor and after a quick chat and having given her a once over, he prescribed Ranitidine. He told me breastfed babies never over-feed, they’ll only ever take what they need. I was convinced this would be the end of the story and went back to breastfeeding as normal.

Fast forward another month and we were still experiencing some problems, nowhere near as bad as before but Millie was still feeding for 5 hours straight before bed, waking for feeds every hour and was generally unsettled. I’d been to the health visitor and mentioned some of the issues that we were having but was quickly dismissed after being told I was doing a great job and just had to stick with it.

I mentioned tongue tie to Dickie but he told me that he’d seen her poke her tongue out so it couldn’t be that. 5 days later, his friend suggested tongue tie and he came back to me asking whether it could be tongue tie. After much muttering under my breath, I googled the symptoms (good old Dr. Google)…

  • Difficulty latching on or falls off the breast easily
  • Gumming or chewing the nipple while nursing
  • Unable to hold a dummy or bottle
  • Gassy (they swallow more air because they cannot maintain suction properly)
  • Poor weight gain
  • Excessive drooling
  • Not able to fully drain the breast
  • Choking on milk or popping off to gasp for air while nursing
  • Falling asleep during feedings, then waking a short while later to feed again
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Extended nursing periods
  • Clicking noises while sucking

When I read this, my jaw hit the floor.  Millie ticked every single symptom other than the weight gain. The latching issue I’d put down to having boobs that keep my knees warm, Bells never took a dummy (until she was 15mths when it became her favourite accessory) and the choking? Well I put it down to a fast flow. I’d made excuses for everything.

I frantically emailed a few consultants from the www.tongue-tie.org.uk website. The very same day, a lovely lady called Luci got back to me, agreeing to see me a couple of days later. I spent those days worrying; worrying that it was tongue tie and she might need a division, worrying that it wasn’t and we still wouldn’t have any answers. I just worried.

Our appointment with Luci was great. She had two sets of criteria against which she scored Millie’s tongue, appearance and function (Dickie is a fan of a good checklist so got very excited by this approach). Luci told us that 9 out of 10 parents who thought their child has tongue tie often doesn’t and it’s only through going through an extensive examination (not just taking a quick look at how the tongue looks) that you can make the diagnosis. Having tested Millie, the results came back, she had tongue tie.

The following 15 minutes saw Luci talking through the division procedure in depth before we gave our permission. Dickie held Millie (convinced I’d break down in tears) whilst I prepared myself for her to feed immediately afterwards. Of course there were tears, but no worse than jabs and following a feed, the whole thing was a distant memory for her.

I made the mistake of expecting things to get immediately better. Luci had warned us that things could get worse before they got better and that was certainly the case as she wanted comfort feeding more often and had to re-learn what to do with her tongue. For a good few days I wished that we hadn’t had it done. Then by day 10, things clicked. Millie started sleeping through the night, my boobs were uncomfortable after feeds because her latch was now so strong (she was latching correctly, it was just stronger than before) and the continual fussing stopped.

If you saw the little monkey now, she’s so happy with her little tongue – she shows it off at any given opportunity. I’m so pleased that we decided to go ahead with the procedure and I’m so relieved that I trusted my gut. The moral of the story is that if you feel something isn’t right, don’t accept being fobbed off, take it further. Tongue tie is such a simple problem that is easily fixed and yet so often missed, so hopefully for those of you reading this, I might save one person from experiencing the same frustrations that we went through.

Has your baby experienced tongue tie? What was your experience? I’d love to hear from you.

M x

 

Becoming a Johnson’s Ambassador…

Parenting / May 16, 2018 /

You may recently have seen from the ‘gram that I have been chosen to be a Johnson’s Baby Ambassador this year. As a brand that I grew up with, I was delighted when the team at Johnson’s approached me. Of course, it was a no-brainer that I’d accept. I wanted to write a quick post to explain why I’m so excited to be working with them and what you can expect over the coming year.

WHITE COTTON PEONIES

This blog and my social channels are a way of documenting our lives for the girls to look back on in years to come. In the process, it’s introduced me to some awesome people (yes, I’m looking at you) and of course paid collaborations always help towards paying the bills. However, I turn away a lot more paid work than I actually accept.

To become an ambassador for a brand is not something that I take lightly. I have to truly believe in what they’re doing, their products and their vision. I can honestly say that’s the case for Johnson’s.

WHY JOHNSON’S?

When I was preparing for Bells to arrive, I spent months preparing all of the “stuff” that we would need for her (this was consolidated into days for poor Millie). I carefully selected monochrome nursery accessories and toys (which later got replaced with tacky bright toys, but I digress), Scandi baby fashion and the very softest cotton muslins. However, when it came to choosing baby toiletries, I didn’t give it a second thought, I just grabbed Johnson’s Baby Bath and Lotion.

I am amongst millions of people to whom Johnson’s provides familiarity and confidence that they’re soft on little one’s skin. Both my mum and grandma used their products and so I knew that they must be good. Bells and Millie have sensitive skin and I have to be careful what I use on them, but Johnson’s has been part of our daily routine from day dot and I couldn’t be happier.

BAD REP

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Johnson’s have bad rep. They’ve had lots of bad press recently and often posts that I’ve seen from other bloggers promoting their products are met with a slew of criticism from others who have been misinformed and innocently believe a lot of the bad stuff that they’ve been told or have read. However, if I’ve learned anything since the days of dial up (yep, I really am that old), it’s that you shouldn’t believe everything that you read online.

To be 100% honest with you, this did make me nervous about partnering with them, not because I don’t love the brand, but because it’s hard for misinformed people to tell you that you’re not doing the best for your child. However, I’ve talked at lengths with the team at Johnson’s and I like them, I really like them. They actually care. Not in a corporate “care” kinda way, but in a genuine “we want to make a difference” kinda way. Therefore, as an Ambassador, my job is going to be to help dispel some of the myths for you, to speak to their science boffins to let you know more about the research and development that goes into each of their products and to hopefully give you some sneak peaks of things to come.

DISPELLING THE MYTHS

So, here are some of the basics that you need to know. Johnson’s baby products are free from parabens, Formaldehyde, phthalates, alcohol, soap and asbestos. They don’t cause cancer. They aren’t tested on animals. What’s more, some of the products are clinically proven to be as gentle as water and are supported by the Royal College of Midwives. All of these things are proven and over the coming year, I’ll be helping to give you some of the “sciencey” stuff that proves this.

JOIN ME

Along with meeting scientists, baby experts and having tonnes of exposure to Johnson’s smart folk, the Ambassadors are going to have unprecedented access to the brand. You can follow our journey using the hashtag #johnsonsambassadors. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

 

#Ad. In the interest of being open and honest, this is a paid collaboration, but as I said, I wouldn’t choose to partner with them if I didn’t like or believe in their products. Pinky promise.