Renewed focus on getting my body back


I love food and wine and hate the gym. And I’m lucky to be loved and adored by my awesome husband regardless.

However, before our wedding in February 2009, I watched my diet and made use of my gym membership. For the 6 weeks before the big day, I hit the gym about 5 times a week (and remember, this was in cold, dark, miserable January), cut carbs (as in totally Рdelicious bread, hearty potatoes, the works), ignored sweet treats and even went teetotal. It was worth it. I felt great in my wedding dress and I like (most of) the pictures.

During those hellish six weeks I kept telling my future hubby – jokingly – how I was going to let myself go. I knew I wouldn’t – I’ve worked so hard! Ha. How wrong I was.

In the blissful days of being a newlywed, somehow the gym never saw me. As in, ever again. I didn’t even go in to cancel my membership when I finally decided to do so 6 months later. I loved cooking great meals for my new hubby and just revel in being a wife.

When I realised things had gotten out of control, I was pregnant and advised not to suddenly start exercising and so on. My body was no longer mine.

I loved being pregnant and indulged big time (you know, for the sake of the baby). Then I was breastfeeding and when I started dieting when Little Prince was about 4 months old, my milk dried up from lack of calories. So I let go of my skinny ambitions (gladly, I must admit).

But now I’m only breastfeeding once a day and the time has come to attempt to get back to my former self. This is not just a vanity/health thing. I always envisioned myself one day being a really active mom, playing with her kids and teaching them to love the outdoors and exercise. However, I’m not that person now. Not to mention the fact that my body has actually changed shape. So something’s gotta give.

This morning I’ve downloaded My Fitness Pal and started tracking what I eat and the exercise I do. My general aim is to lose 15kg by next summer. And by putting this goal into words and publishing it on my blog, I’m making quite a commitment (to myself more than anyone else, as I hate failing at stuff).

So here goes… wish me luck.


A blog revival


It’s about time I took up blogging again. I won’t bore you with a massive post about what’s happened since I last blogged, so here are the juicy bits:

  • Little Prince started nursery (he loves it)
  • We had another hospital trip (ear infection, the day before I was due back at work)
  • I’ve been back at work for over 3 months (and it’s not been so bad)
  • He loves his bottles now, but I still breastfeed him once a day (so special)
  • He’s yet to do a 7-7 night
  • After what seemed like months of teething, there are now 6 pearly whites on display (4 of which popped through in the last couple of weeks)
  • He finally started to crawl at 9 months, but we think walking isn’t too far off (and he’s not even 10 months old now)
  • My body is totally not back to what it was before my pregnancy (biggest contributing factors are greed and laziness, not popping out a baby)
I hope to update this blog a bit more regularly and also make it less self-indulgent and hopefully more interesting and informative. Stay tuned!

Formula update


I thought I’d won… but having just been projectile vomited on not once but from three different angles, I don’t feel so much like a winner.

My guess is Little Prince took in too much, or can formula make babies ill? He’s fine otherwise – even smiled after the Biggest Vomit Yet.

Any thoughts? Have any of you fought the battle of formula with your little ones? Readily awaiting your suggestions…

PS – And of course as soon as I wanted to get into the shower, the hot water disappeared, having been fine 30 minutes earlier when I gave Little Prince his bath. So this post comes to you from a sticky Manchester Mama sitting with just a towel waiting for the boiler to reset…

Kimberly Stewart and Benicio del Toro pregnant? I did not see that coming.


Kimberly Stewart, daughter of rocker Rod, is pregnant with Benicio del Toro’s baby. Say what now? I can see the attraction but these two aren’t – and as far as the tabloids are concerned never were – a couple.

Is it just me or do you feel the need to tut when two grown-ups (she’s 31, he’s 44) manage to get themselves in a situation such as this? Surely if you’re sleeping together without a commitment to each other, contraception is of paramount importance? Not just so you don’t conceive a child whose parents don’t care enough for each other they don’t even want to be together but to protect yourself against STDs…

I do wish them and this baby well but a part of me wonders, with so many people remaining in relationships for the sake of the children, is it ever worth getting together and committing for the sake of a child?

PS – once the news has sunk in, I’ll add Kimberly to my list of celebrity baby gender predictions

Bronchiolitis baby’s hospital trip


Little Prince caught the cold his dad picked up on Manchester’s public transport. It was the second cold he’s had in his nearly four months on earth – the first hitting him when he was a mere 10 days old.

He seemed to be weathering this cold pretty well, especially considering how his dad struggled. I tried saline nasal spray and Olbas drops to try to relieve the worst of the symptoms, but on the fourth day I noticed he was wheezing and his chest was making a whistling noise. It was quite late but I tried the GP surgery for an emergency appointment, but they couldn’t help and referred us to Manchester Royal Infirmary. Now Little Prince was born at St Mary’s so you’d imagine we knew our way around the hospital. Not so. We arrived and were unable to find the walk-in clinic, so went into Children’s Emergency. I felt a bit guilty when I was told to take a seat after I was given a pamphlet and a bit of a pep talk insinuating minor illnesses can be dealt with by a pharmacist.

But my guilt soon disappeared after we were seen by a nurse and referred to a doctor. A thorough investigation later, Little Prince was diagnosed with bronchiolitis. He was put on a nebuliser and monitored for a couple of hours before we were told he needed to be kept in hospital overnight.

Long story short, we stayed two nights while Little Prince’s heart rate and blood oxygen levels were being monitored. He didn’t need extra oxygen and was well enough to come home on the Wednesday (having gone in the Monday night). He is now just about over it all.

It’s amazing how easy it is to stay calm even when your baby is ill as long as you know he is in good hands and is being cared for properly. I have nothing but praise for the staff on ward 75. The nurses and paediatricians who tended to Little Prince were simply brilliant – thorough, professional, compassionate and friendly. It probably helped that my little dude is such a cutie – he charmed everyone with super friendly, cheeky grins, and left the grumpy “I’m so very ill and need a cuddle” faces for his mummy. It’s so nice to have my little boy back and healthy.

Is my baby teething?


As I type this post, Little Prince is snoozing next to me on the couch after his third-ever dose of Calpol. He’s only 14 weeks and I’m pretty sure he’s cutting his first tooth.

The drama started last night. He kept waking up after going to bed at 7pm. And not just waking up, but waking up with some high-pitched screams and crying. We fed him again, made sure he was burped properly, checked his clothes for irritations, adjusted his bedding, cuddled, the works. But he was inconsolable for nearly 2 hours (which doesn’t sound that bad for many mums but for Little Prince this is really out of character. We decided to wake him up for his feed as usual at 10pm. In hindsight, this was a terrible idea. He did drink, but not without screams and tears and fussing, and fell asleep at about 11.30. He woke 3 times between then and 6.30am and I hoped the worst was over.

Today I concluded he had a cold or hay fever, as he was so snotty and coughed. But then I looked into the matter and it became clear – these are also symptoms of teething.

So I took a spoon and gently tapped his gums, only to hear a tiny “chink”. I could see a little ridge and feel it with my finger. Now I feel so sorry for my little guy, as he’s not really figured out how to hold the teether and use it to apply counter pressure. So I’ve spent the afternoon holding the teether, rubbing his gums, applying gel and cuddling and soothing. It breaks my heart to see my brave Little Prince suffer like this.

I’ve heard a lot about amber necklaces for the all-natural relief of teething pain and was curious to hear real-life reviews of the necklace. Has it worked for any of you? Or have you got any other advice?

I care about Burnage Sure Start


I went for a number of midwife appointments during my pregnancy at Burnage Sure Start and was always struck by how friendly and efficient the staff were. Once the Little Prince was here, we started going to Baby Massage at the Sure Start centre. I felt lucky to have been able to access such a service for free. It was held in a “sensory room” with full-floor mattresses, lights and toys, which Little Prince loved.

So I’m sad that Burnage Sure Start, like so many other Sure Start centres around the country, risk being closed or privatised as a result of budgetary cuts.

Baby Massage was cancelled and, worse still, I understand a number of members of staff lost their jobs. The lovely sensory room is still available for community use, so parents can book time to take their little ones their at a mere ¬£1 per child. I know I’d be willing to pay more for this service if it meant people kept their jobs and the centre remains open.

However, I appreciate a pound here or there will make little difference. Petitions may help, as it is action that is required from the community.

Manchester council leader Richard Leese will attend the centre this Friday, March 25th, at 2.30pm and parents and other members of the community can attend to voice their concerns about the effect the cuts will have on their children and the community as a whole. I’m not affiliated with the centre in any way other than a user of the available services, but I believe the more people who show up, the better. This may be a chance to make a difference.