1 September 2017

Baby Favourites

These are some of my favourite things I've been using since having Jack. There are lots more that I missed off - like the gorgeous Aden + Anais towel and flannel set I was given which is so lovely - let me know what yours are in the comments below. Probably a bit too much information in here for some - also if I seem to get shorter during filming that's because it's hard with a baby on your knee!

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets
Aden + Anais Towel
Lil Cubs Swaddle Muslin
Ana Wiz Washable Natural Bamboo Breast Pads ( Mixed, Pack of 12)
Kit + Kin nappies
Natracare Maternity Pads
Multi-Mam Balm
PPOGOO Waterproof Burp Cloths
Marks & Spencer Baby Grows
Breastvest Breast Vest Top

5 August 2017

The Breastfeeding Box

Anyone who knows me or how follows me on Instagram will no that, although I do it as much as I can bear too, I hate breastfeeding. It does not make me feel bonded to the baby, it makes me feel a strange combination of resentful, trapped, inadequate and like a cow. I do it because I can and there are lots of women out there who would love to be able to and can't and because it is good for them. I am a crap milk maker though so the boys have all had top up bottles when either they, or I, need it. Why they don't recommend combination feeding more often I have no idea. I'm sure if they did more women would breastfeed but to feed a baby when you aren't making enough milk or hate it and feel that it's an either/or option is ridiculous.

Anyway, part of my problem with it is that having been a mountainous pregnant person you are suddenly not pregnant anymore and (eventually) much more able and mobile and yet there you sit, pinned under a feeding baby staring at the mess/washing up/DIY/gardening/whatever and unable to do anything about it. So, pretty quickly with Ned I made myself a breastfeeding box.

On one of the many errands I sent my mother on when he was a newborn I asked her to pick me up a box from the Spend & Save and in it I put a load of things that I was always wanting when trapped under a feeding baby. It didn't make breastfeeding great but it made it so much better. I was prepared when visitors came round, if I was bored, hungry or thirsty and if the baby did a massive puke I had a muslin to hand. When I was getting ready to feed Ned I'd get my box and plonk it down next to me and I knew I'd have everything to hand. If I forgot to do this it would mean I could ask someone to bring it to me instead of saying 'can you get my nipple cream it's in the bedrooms' then 'oo sorry can you find me some water' followed by 'can you find a muslin?'.

I also hate that visitors expect you to whap your baps out in front of them, or turn up while you are feeding and looking like a hag. So I have make-up that I can slap on while someone else answers the door.  I often try to take myself to another room and I'd say at least half the time the visitor would come and find me.

I recommend this to every new mum (second and third time round I used it less as I was basically feeding Jim and Jack on the move) and it's especially good if you've had a C-section because they you really shouldn't be moving about while feeding. You are fairly mobile when you are feeding but if you have a fussy or colicy baby you don't want to move an inch if they've settled. I've listed below what I put it in but you can add your own stuff obvs. You get the idea.

  • When I get back from the hospital I edit and transfer my washbag to the breastfeeding box (you can see in the pictures... it has watermelons on it). In the washbag I have breastpads, nipple cream, tic tacs, lip balm, blusher, deodorant, Clinique Moisturse Surge spray, hand cream, hand sanitiser, hand mirror, black eye liner and mascara (I cannot be viewed without mascara as a minimum requirement).
  • Flapjacks or other similar snacks but I like flapjacks. Oats are good for making milk so basically, while you are breastfeeding, they are a health food. 
  • Something to read - I have a backlog of London Review of Books though a kindle is ideal if you are feeding as there are no pages... which can be problematic.
  • Baby wipes
  • Muslin
  • Remote controls if you are as scatty as me
  • Notebook and pen - transferred from hospital bag. With Ned I kept having to write down timings because he wanted to eat again and I couldn't persuade the midwives that I wasn't making enough milk. Thank god for friends who convince you that top-up bottles won't kill the baby. Also useful for doodling, writing shopping lists and thoughts on the new baby if you are so inclined. 
  • Bottle of water - I don't usually approve of bottles of water but if you've breastfed you know that horrible immediate and desperate thirst that can appear as soon as you've got them on. 

3 August 2017

The War on Plastic

This may sound odd but for a while, in fact almost since I had Jim in 2015, I've felt a bit like my life was on hold. You are very much at the beck and call of a newborn baby and so therefore having a social life or any time to yourself is rare. I also sort of knew that we would have another baby and therefore there were lots of things there was no point in doing until after that had happened. Well, it's happened and finally there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Yes I have a newborn, a 2 year old and a 4 year old so it's not like I'm going all night raving in Ibiza (I've done that and hated it so I won't be doing that anyway but you see what I mean) but apart from my boobs, I've got my body back, I'm not going to be pregnant again, I'm not going to have another newborn. My life from no on is post-baby.

This has manifested itself in many ways but one of them is I have started my own war on plastic. I realise that, although I recycle and use a Brita FillandGo Water Filter Bottle, I've basically been ignoring the massive plastic problem. And it's not just plastic, I've looked into reusable nappies but have been too scared to try them. So I'm slowly but surely eradicating plastic from the house and have started using biodegradable nappies and though i'm still concerned about the amount of plastic in my bathroom that's all my stuff I feel like I'm making progress.

All the things I've found and am using I'll be reviewing on here and will be using the label 'War on Plastic', so you can see all the posts there. You can also see what's going on on my Instagram where I'm @corinnaharrod

Please let me know what you are using to wage your own war on plastic and any suggestions you have and good brands to know about - I'd love to hear from you. 

13 June 2017

Father's Day Gift Ideas 2017

Father's day is a tricky one. Men are so different. We used to take my father out for lunch as he was away working a lot, we lived in London and it was really nice to spend some time together. Also I find with men if they want something they usually get it themselves. My husband has a horror of more stuff being bought into the house having spent the last couple of years sorting through his late father's horded belongings and acquiring two children and the plastic tat that inevitably comes with them. For our anniversary I tend to take him out for supper.
Skull Cufflinks from The Great Frog

Father's Day though is different. Taking a hugely pregnant wife and two small children anywhere to eat isn't that relaxing and though I'm pretty sure he'd love it if I sent him to the pub for the afternoon I'm not sure that really counts. Of course I'm hoping Ned will create something at pre-school for his dad (I had a beautiful earring dish made) but in case that doesn't happen I have a few back-ups.

Accessories  - I love these skull cufflinks from The Great Frog (all their cufflinks are pretty awesome). I'm also always on the hunt for a vintage silver belt buckle for him but I think I need to go to America to track one of these down. These Gaucho belts look great and go with everything - Joe has the Neopolitan which has lasted for years and he wears it most days.

18 February 2017

An Easy Kids 4th Birthday Party

I don't want to sound like a mean mom but I am going to put off spending money on my kids birthday party until I absolutely have to. It will come sooner for my eldest who has his birthday in November. Jim, a June baby, will be having his parties in the garden at home until he's old enough to go to the pub, and then no doubt he will return with his friends, inebriated, to the garden.

4th Birthday Party
Ned and his giraffe cake
It is sort of more effort on your part, they will need entertaining a bit but from my experience there will be a certain amount of over-excited running around and getting every single toy out and onto the floor. This will take up quite a lot of the time as will feeding them anything so really one activity and one or two party games will do for 3/4 year olds. Indeed for Ned's 3rd birthday we just did pass the parcel and let them dash around with a load of balloons and that seemed to do the trick. You don't have to pay a huge amount to a venue and then worry about people turning up and although you do have to do some food prep and the clearing up it has, so far, not been too arduous.

I think either 11-12.30am or 3-4.30pm is a good time for a party. Half my friends prefer the morning as it leaves you the rest of the day to get on with stuff. Half of them prefer the afternoon as it means you can have a lazy morning at home knowing there is an 'activity' in the afternoon. This year we went for the morning as we had it on 5th November and I thought it would give people time to head off to fireworks things in the afternoon. Ned's birthday is actually on 1st November so quite often an afternoon party is better for us if we've been to a Halloween party the day before. 
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