Mellow Mummy: February 2011 : Taking life as it comes...

Monday, 28 February 2011

Bedtime Carnival - A Call For Posts

After last week's successful blog carinval all about teething, I've decided to run another one! Once again, the theme will be inspired by my Cybermummy sponsor, Boots Parenting Club, who currently have offers on bedtime and bathtime products in store.

So, now I am looking for your blog posts about how you ensure a good night's sleep. What bedtime routine do you follow? Do you enforce a routine? Does your little one struggle to settle? How do you cope with the sleepless nights from which parents inevitably suffer? How do you help your children relax and calm down ready for bed time? What time is bedtime?

The carnival will be held on the 9th of March. Email me a link to your post by the 7th March jumblyMummy AT gmail DOT com, or else leave the link in the comments section below.

As a little bit of inspiration, why not take a peek at the Pampers 'Land of Golden Sleep' where you can find tips from their resident 'Soothology' expert on how to relax your baby or toddler in preparation for a good night's sleep.

Perhaps, like many of the mummys that Pampers interviewed, you pushed your baby upto 639 miles per year in the buggy, just to get them to sleep? Or maybe you resort to taking them for a drive in the car, as do 34% of the parents they surveyed (a topic I've covered before on ParentWheels)? What lengths do you go to in order to ensure a good night's sleep for your little one?

Looking forward to reading all of your posts.

PLEASE NOTE: this is NOT a sponsored post and neither is the carnival. It's my own idea, it just so happens that the idea came after I received PR material from the brands above. Please don't let my mentions affect your decision to enter the carnival. :-)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Sunday Review – Trunki Boostapak Car Seat / Rucksack

When I started ParentWheels, I received lots of requests for more reviews of car seats for older children such as group 3 seats or booster seats. We received the Trunki Boostapak from Jojo Maman Bebe to review and guess what? It's not just a car booster seat but also a fun backpack for your little ones to enjoy.

The Boostapak is made by Trunki who seem to totally understand travel with children. The Boostapak is ideal for taking on holiday because it allows your child to take their own hand luggage and feel very grown up doing so. The contents of their backpack will be protected by the hard shell of the seat into which you place your precious cargo! The backpack has been approved as a size suitable for taking as aeroplane hand luggage. And, as a bonus, when you get to your destination, you can use the booster seat to ensure that your child can travel safely in hire cars, taxis or relative's vehicles.

The Boostapak is made with the same care and quality as Trunki's suitcases. It is bright and bold and appealing to parents and children alike.

As a car seat I found it very easy to fit as the instructions are printed onto the seat itself. The booster seat is a little more advanced than many other booster seats as it has a fold-out fabric flap which you sit up against the main seat of the car (note, the flap has ears which make it look a bit like a little monster sitting in the back of your car!). The flap has a red seat-belt guide that helps you place and locate the car's seat belt correctly to ensure maximum safety.

The cover of the bag/seat is removable so that you can give it a good clean as and when needed.

As a back-pack the Trunki Boostapak is quite heavy because of the firm seat shell inside it. As such, it may not be suitable for some small 4 year olds, even though they are officially old enough to travel in a booster seat.

Despite this, I think the product is a really great idea and I'm surprised I haven't seen or heard more about it before.

I can't wait to take Lara on holiday or to her grandparents in the future with this car seat come backpack from Jojo Maman Bebe.

Images courtesy of Jojo Maman Bebe

The Sunday Review – Acorelle Hair Growth Inhibitor

At the start of February, the day after my last waxing appointment, I started using Acorelle Skin Glorifier and Hair Growth Inhibitor. Acorelle claim that after 56 days I'll be able to notice a significant reduction in hair density on my body. OK.

The body lotion comes in a very easy to use pump and is actually quite a pleasant body lotion to use. It has a very savoury scent which doesn't put me at ease or relax me after my shower but I put the savouriness down to the fact that one of the headline ingredients of the body lotion is black truffle extract which has proven hair growth inhibiting properties.

It wasn't clear to me from the packaging whether I should be using the Acorelle Hair Growth Inhibitor alongside my normal moisturising body lotion, or instead of it on my legs and underarms. I have tended to opt for instead of. As a skin glorifier, I'd hope this was the right decision. I feel that skin glorification is quite a bold claim for any body lotion but my impression is that Acorelle believe that once hair regrowth is reduced and the hairs which DO regrow become finer and fewer, that you feel like your skin is healthier, brighter, and generally glorified!

The results: After about a fortnight I began to doubt whether the cream was having an effect so I decided to stop for a few days. After about 48 hours I noticed thicker hairs coming through... eek! So I started using the body lotion again and now, as I approach my monthly waxing appointment, I can confidently say that the hair regrowth has been reduced, but not by as massive a level as I had hoped. Using this lotion I could probably move my regular appointment out by a week for the time being, and hope that the effect would become greater over time. This would save me a small amount of money in salon appointments. At £23.99 for a 75ml bottle, I'm not sure whether to continue using it and find out whether it could really save me money on waxing and shaving in the long term.

Acorelle hair growth inhibitor is paraben, sulfate and pthalate free and is sold by mypure, a natural cosmetics retailer who, month after month impress me with their professionalism and speed of service. Thank-you mypure.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Pregnant Cross-Country Skiing – Safe or Not? (and other questions)

When I was asked if I wanted to review a new book, The Pregnancy Test, I nearly fell of my chair with laughter. My mellow approach to motherhood is not one that sees me consult parenting handbooks, or scour the internet looking for answers to my daily mummy worries. I do my own thing, make my own decisions and worry little. But, as I've mentioned before, I wasn't always this mellow. During my pregnancy, I DID worry, I did scour books, magazines and the internet for answers for questions about how I was feeling, and what I could expect.

So, is Cross-Country skiing safe during pregnancy? What, you mean you'd never stopped to ask yourself this?

The Pregnancy Test is a pocket-sized handbook for pregnant mums. It is packed full of questions that real mums have asked. They're not all as entertaining as this one (although I am sure that there are people out there who do worry about this). The book is a fascinating mix of
(a) the glaringly obvious things that I'd hope most pregnant mums already know
(b) the day-to-day questions that mums-to-be really do ask of others
(c) embarrassing questions people are too embarrassed to ask anyone else (even Google)
(d) silly questions to make you giggle

Reading the book actually made me realise how many of the questions I had asked myself during pregnancy. I really wasn't very mellow back then at all! There are lots of things I had to look up, or ask my midwife during pregnancy which are covered in this book. I did learn quite a few things, particularly in the section towards the end, all about twins (about which, I knew nothing). Also, did you know that it has been proven that men can also suffer from morning sickness??? Question #125 says it is so!

As I read through the questions and answers in The Pregnancy Test I really began to think how useful the book would have been for Dads-to-be. I don't think I would have bought the book for myself, but I would consider buying it as a gift for an expectant friend and even more so for a male friend or colleague. I think there would be great value in an expectant couple talking through each of the questions together as part of their pregnancy learning curve. I think Dads-to-be would be less likely to approach others for answers to questions and more likely to hide away in a corner of the house with this book and read up on what their partner is going through. Questions such as “Why am I snoring more now that I'm pregnant?” and “Does my baby feel anything in utero when I have sex?” may help dads to provide support to their partners, or at least make them feel knowledgeable.

The Pregnancy Test features 130 questions and answers plus a quick-fire quiz. It also features an index which is pretty useful if you want to go back and find out more about a question you remembered, later in your pregnancy. About 5% of the questions are a little too USA-oriented (US maternity law and some health guidelines differ to those in the UK). I enjoyed the fact that the book wasn't too serious – the bonkers things that pregnancy puts us through can be taken light-heartedly and often it helps to laugh at the horrors such as unpleasant odours, discomfort and some big changes to our diets and lifestyles.

If you were wondering, the answer to the cross-country skiing question is... d, all of the above. It's fine as long as you know what you're doing. Which I don't. The Pregnancy Test by Melissa Hecksher and Emily Sikking is released in paperback in March.

I shall leave you now with the page of the book which I felt was the most entertaining, most revealing and which will hit home to most mums, and terrify all the mums to be!

Images and excerpts courtesy of Quirk Books

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Teething Pain - Tips and Experience from REAL Mums

My Cybermummy sponsor, Boots are currently running some great promotions on teething products in store, and by way of support, I thought I would run a blogger's carnival to share the worries, tips and experiences of real mums who have dealt with the horrors of teething pain.

I myself have been through the troubles of teething with little Lara. In March last year I blogged about teething pain breaking my heart. And then, After trying a number of different approaches to pain relief, I blogged about the results of our attempts to relieve teething pain. Yesterday I blogged about how severe the teething pain is for Lara now that she is a toddler and the back teeth are coming through.

Carly of Mummys's Shoes has a very mellow blog about her 1-year-old not yet having teeth and then, about arrival of the first tooth.

Hannah at Muddling Along Mummy has surprised herself by sticking with breastfeeding through the discomfort of teething.

At Diary of a First child there are some accurate observations of teething at around 2 months. And, in a separate blog post there are some details of a range of different natural teething remedies.

Emma from Me, the Man and Baby records some of the main signs of teething, and several different types of pain relief at the Born Free blog and reminds us that there IS light at the end of the tunnel.

There are also some really useful diagrams and guides to teething at TwoBecomeFour and some feedback on bickiepegs as a solution to the problem of teething.

At Little Green Blog you can find details of 4 natural remedies for teething.

Jenny at Gingerbread House wrote a post that really struck a chord with me - nobody prepares you for the horrors of teething, until you're a parent, you really can't comprehend how much of a struggle it is.

Emma at Mission to Motherhood has a great blog about her reluctance to use Calpol for the first time to combat teething pain.

Thanks for joining in everyone

Emma x

Monday, 21 February 2011

Toddler Teething : A Whole New World of Pain

Lara is teething again. Lara got her first 16 teeth between around 5 months and 13 months. Since late summer, the teething pain has gone and Lara has been (generally) a very mellow little girl. A few weeks ago, the signs of teething returned.

Lara suddenly went off her food. This is always something to worry about with Lara who normally has an insatiable appetite. When she is teething, Lara tends to be more fussy at mealtimes. She had lots of very unpleasant nappies and constantly has her fist in her mouth (or anything else within reaching distance).

I blogged before about how teething pain breaks my heart. Lara changes from a smiling, bouncy little girl into a miserable, whiney clingy little lady. Teething during toddler-hood is so much more draining on her, and on me. Where Lara is now able to entertain herself with books and toys on a normal day, she will instead require constant attention on a teething day. Without 24/7 cuddles and play she starts whining and moaning and generally being grumpy. Even when we sit and play with her, the whining simply subsides rather than goes away.

The nights are restless. Teething seems to bring with it a level of night-terror. Lara will regularly stir with whimpers during the night. Sometimes as often as once every half hour. She is never awake, just crying. Occasionally, the pain or fear is so great that Lara screams. Loudly. I rush to her room and try to wake her from whatever it is she is experiencing, but I simply can't wake her, despite all my best efforts. I simply have to hold her and comfort her through the pain until she settles.

As part of my partnership with Boots Parenting Club for Cybermummy, I'm planning a carnival of teething blog posts tomorrow. If you have a post you would like to share, add it to the comments below or email me jumblyMummy AT gmail DOT com

Boots Parenting Club pharmacist, Angela Chalmers (who has very recently become a mum herself) spoke to me earlier this year about the ways you can help your baby or toddler through the pain of teething. Angela recommended a three-step approach:-

  • Firstly, try a teething ring or toy as the gnawing action often gives relief to the gums and can help the teeth to break through. A teething ring that you can put in the fridge offers a cooling relief to tiny teeth.

  • Next, try a teething gel which offers topical relief when applied directly to the gums. Teething gels contain small quantities of local anaesthetic. Teething powders such as Ashtons & Parsons (which contain tincture of chamomile) also offer relief to some children.

  • If your baby is in real distress, you can offer an Ibuprofen suspension but check that it is suitable for the age of your child and always ensure you give the correct dosage. If you are in any doubt about what medication to offer your child, you can always talk to your local pharmacist for advice.

Angela admits that coping with teething is very much trial and error. What works for one child, may not work for others, even within the same family! In my experience, you need to try a wide range of products and brands to find what is right for your child and give them all the support they need to get through the pain. Stay mellow - it will get easier (I'm told)!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Sunday Review - Vertbaudet Girlswear

Lara was asked to try out some of the current range of girls clothing from Vertbaudet and she quite happily obliged! If you've been following Mellow Mummy for some time, you will know that both myself and Mr. B. struggle to get inspired to go shopping for ourselves and our same fashion laziness tends to rub off on Lara (most mornings I currently plump for a pair of jogging bottoms and a long-sleeved top for Lara).

I love receiving the Vertbaudet catalogue through my door and their emails in my inbox. Their girls clothes ranges often make me want to buy the entire catalogue full of clothes and, unlike most children's catalogues, they prompt Mr. B. to poke his nose over my shoulder and show genuine interest in buying clothes for Lara.

In this picture, Lara is posing (yes, actually posing for the camera) in a Vertbaudet Tunic Dress (£23) .The dress is a bright orangey pink paisely pattern with a light grey lining. The dress comes as part of a set with a pair of leggings but we paired it with some tights and a cardi to make Lara look really feminine.

I did try and make her look even more girly with the addition of some hair clips, but this is what she thought of that idea!

I found this tunic dress to be the perfect length for Lara to wear with leggings or tights and the great thing is that during the summer, she will be able to wear it on its own. Matched with a pair of brightly coloured sandals, this dress will make Lara look really summery.

Our current favourite dress for wearing to swimming lessons is this knitted jacquard dress (£21). It is so easy to pull over a toddler's head so it makes the perfect outfit for when we are in a rush. The dress is warm for the winter, but given the short sleeves, I expect to get usage out of it right into the summer.

And finally, we were asked to try this Faux Fur Gillet. It's not really my cup of tea but Lara seems to really like it and actively rushes to put it on in the mornings. I admit, she does look very fashionable in it, I just wouldn't have thought of buying it myself. It is astonishingly soft, pretty damn realistic (it reminds me of wild rabbit) and looks very grown up with a pair of jeans and a plain white top. This gillet has a small button at the top and is fully machine washable. It is currently reduced and costs £18.75 on the Vertbaudet website.

The Sunday Review – My Carry Potty

Lara has been trialling the new pink My Carry Potty. At 20 months old, Lara is still on the beginning of her potty-training journey but even in the last few days I have noticed a big change in her behaviour that tells me she is learning to control her own bodily functions. We've had a potty available for her to use for many months now and in the past 6 weeks she has actively sought out the potty

We agreed to review the My Carry Potty because I thought it would encourage Lara to learn. The My Carry Potty has a handle and is a good size and shape for a toddler to carry on their own – this gives them a sense of control and gown-up-ness. It also works extremely well as a travel potty because of it's in-built seal which ensures that when you close the folding potty with liquid contents in it, that there are no leaks.

My angel... she's soooooo ladylike!

The first one of these features certainly did its bit for Lara. She loves having it with her and when she knows that she needs to use the potty, she rushes over and grabs it by the handle and offers me a big smile. I can picture Lara carrying it around with her to nursery, or to friends and family's houses.

The second feature – the portable leak-free travel potty.. well, I remain to be convinced. Yes, I certainly found it to be leak-free and that gives me great confidence bringing the potty and its contents home with us in the car. My only concern really is that the seal is so good that in fact it is incredibly hard to open the potty. Even after ten days of use, the seal is so firm that I need to lever it open with both arms and brace myself against something at the same time. The label does warn you about the strength of the seal, but even so, it did take me by surprise. I certainly wouldn't want to have to open the potty with it full to the brim of urine because of the risk of the potty flying open with the force I had to apply and causing the entire bathroom to get covered in... well, let's just try not to think about it.

Errm.... I know what that face means!

The seal is also too firm for Lara to open the potty herself if she needs to use it.

You can find out more about My Carry Potty on their facebook page or twitter stream.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Sunday Review – Tommee Tippee Digital Movement & Sound Baby Monitor

In the second of two baby monitor reviews today, we're offering our feedback on the brand new Tommee Tippee Digital Movement & Sound Monitor which is not only a fully-digital baby monitor, but also features Tommee Tippee's popular Sensor Pad Technology which allows you to monitor your child's movement.

Image courtesy of Red Consultancy

The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature digital monitor is an audio monitor with crystal-clear sound that comes from DECT technology. Compared to our existing baby monitor, the sound quality was awesome. Our one criticism of the Digital Movement & Sound monitor would be that it does not monitor background noise well which is great for reducing the sound in your own bedroom if you sleep with the monitor on all night, but causes a problem when our daughter actually does start crying because it takes a couple of seconds for the sound on the parent unit to kick in. In most cases when this happened during the night, we were woken by the real sounds of Lara's crying, just before we heard the louder sounds coming from the monitor.

The parent unit and baby unit are both very easy to use and intuitive enough that we barely needed to open the instruction manual. We loved the fact that the temperature of Lara's nursery was accurate (see this morning's blog post) and displayed very clearly on both units. I particularly liked the fact that I could control the gentle night-light in Lara's room remotely from the parent unit and set it to three different levels of brightness. One thing I felt the monitor lacked was the ability to play lullabies. I really missed this from my old unit.

The Digital Movement & Sound Baby Monitor has black leds (which illuminate with a subtle orange back-light when active) instead of bright green LEDs or similar, this reduces brightness in both the nursery and your own room. When your child stirs, there is a small series of blue lights along the top of the parent unit, more of which illuminate as the cries get louder.

Lara is a little old for the movement sensor pad on the Movement & Sound monitor but we did try it out. I was expecting it to be a faff to install but actually we just had to slip it under her mattress and ensure it lay flat. The pad, when installed, allows you to monitor for a movement of your child during a set time period (which you can increase, the more mellow you become as a parent!), if no movement was sensed during that time, the parent unit alerts you as a prompt to go and check on your baby. Mr. B would have found this functionality really useful when Lara was newborn as he often used to worry if he hadn't heard Lara stir or snort for a while and would wake himself to check that she was still OK.

You can buy the Tommee Tippee Digital Movement & Sound Monitor with the sensor pad for a RRP of £99.99 or without for £69.99 which I feel is great value for such a good quality digital, wireless monitor. I really rate this monitor but if it played lullabies, I'd love it!

The Sunday Review – Samsung SEW-3030 Wireless Video Baby Monitor

In the first of two baby monitor reviews today, we have been trying out the extremely stylish Samsung SEW-3030 which is a wireless video baby monitor. It looks great. The parent unit is black, sleek and ever so ipod-esque. The camera is discreet and just as groovy-looking.

The parent unit hosts a 3.5 inch LCD colour screen that displays a bright, high-resolution image. Complete with infra-red technology, this video baby monitor has night-vision to enable you to monitor your baby's movements throughout the night. We found the image quality to be really impressive – the colour on the daylight image was a bit washed out, but the clarity of the black and white infra-red image was crisp enough for us to see Lara wriggling and squirming in her bed, from a camera placed about 2 metres away.

The wireless video signal is secured so that only the parent unit can access the signal. This prevents interference and stops other people with wireless devices being able to view the baby monitor images. The wireless signal is good for up to 100m and we had no problems using it in and around the house.

Some of the features that the Samsung SEW-3030 provides are high on our wishlist when choosing a baby monitor. We find the ability to play lullabies from our existing baby monitor to be invaluable in helping Lara to settle – the parent unit on the Samsung wireless monitor allows you to switch on music remotely but we found the music to be a bit tinkly and grating (and not awfully calming).

The other feature we like is the 'talkback' capability so that you can whisper calming words to your little one if they stir (or, like me, you can laugh abuse at your partner if you are watching them on the monitor and can see that they are failing miserably to get your child to fall asleep). One feature we were disappointed with was the room temperature monitor – it always told us that the room was dangerously hot so we had to switch the alert off. Only for one or two flickering seconds did the temperature correspond to that indicated by our normal nursery thermometer(s).

In general, we found the sound quality of the monitor to be poor. It is definitely more focussed on imagery, than sound. We found it fast and easy to set up and charge, but difficult to use over night. We like to run our baby monitor all night so that it wakes us if Lara starts grizzling – we just couldn't find a combination of settings on the SEW-3030 that worked for us, either we had to sleep with the
light of the screen glaring out into our bedroom, or else we used the standby setting which we really struggled to configure such that it would reactivate the unit if it heard Lara stir. For this reason, we haven't replaced our existing monitor with the Samsung video monitor, but instead use the two alongside one another.

You can integrate the Samsung wireless baby monitor with your PC or TV easily using plug and play technology. For the more technically-minded users, you can use the supplied software to integrate with video chat applications so that if you are away from home (for instance, if you or your partner has to work away from home), you can remotely monitor your child. Get this, you can even configure Skype so that it will automatically answer an incoming call from a given number with the Samsung monitoring system!

The Samsung SEW-3030 wireless baby monitoring system retails for around £149.99

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Buggy Wars - Travel System vs Umbrella Pushchair

I'm beginning to think that there are few UK parents who get through life with a single pushchair. Is there really such a thing these days as a pushchair that will last from birth all the way through childhood? Of my friends and colleagues, I can't think of one person who owns less than two pushchairs, in fact, I know of some who have four or five different brands and types for different occasions.

As one of the most expensive items of baby kit that you have to invest in, most parents spend a lot of time evaluating which brand or model of buggy to buy.; the intention being to only ever buy one. I know we spent hours pouring over catalogues and trying out buggies on the high street before opting for a four-wheel travel system with big chunky wheels. Our decision was partly driven by the convenience of being able to attach the car seat and bassinet to it, partly due to the percieved sturdiness and partly to do with style. We noticed that there are few umbrella pushchairs on the market that are suitable from birth upwards (especially for mums as tall as me).

I loved the travel system to start with but as Lara grew out of the car seat, and out of the pram and we needed to use the main pushchair seat more often, I began to resent it. It was heavy to get in and out of the car and the house and trying to remove the seat from the wheels would often reduce me to tears. When Lara was three months old, we went abroad and couldn't face taking the bulky travel system with us so we bought a second buggy – a lightweight, foldable, umbrella pushchair. Originally it was intended for the odd occasion where we needed more space in our boot, or had to reduce our luggage. Over the months, it has slowly become our primary pushchair (because it just seems easier) until this weekend when we noticed our poor folorn-looking travel system in the garage and decided to give it another shot.

Is it a luxury to be able to have one pushchair for some scenarios, and a different pushchair for other scenarios? Do you wish you had made a different decision when choosing your buggy? What tips would you offer to parents-to-be to help them decide whether they should buy a travel system or a lightweight buggy?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Call For Posts – Teething Carnival

This is a call for entries to a carnival I will be hosting on Tuesday 22nd of February. I'm looking for your posts about the troubles of teething.

Maybe you have a story to share about the emotional and physical drain on you or your children during bouts of teething. Perhaps you have some tips on how to ease the pain for your little ones, or some guidance to offer on how to spot the signs of teething.

If you would like to share your teething blog post, either leave me a comment below with the link to your post or email me the link to jumblyMummy[@]gmail[.]com (by the end of Friday 18th February).

Looking forward to reading all your great offerings.


Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Sunday Review – Humf IPod / IPhone App

It may perhaps be a bit early in Lara's life to be introducing her to children's Ipod apps? At 19 months old, Lara doesn't really understand the concepts behind even the simplest game and doesn't yet possess the dexterity required to accurately use the touch-screen of my Ipod touch or the self-control or attention span required to really follow a game. That said, she is more than happy to watch Mummy and Daddy play on her behalf and smiles a big beaming grin from one cheek to the other each time she sees me open the new Humf Ipod game.

Humf, if you don't already know, is a top pre-school children's television programme currently shown on Nick Jr. Lara discovered it just before Christmas. We like it because of the bright colours, the funny creatures and the uncanny use of family names such as Wallace (our cat) and Uncle Hairy (Mr B.'s nickname from his cheeky nieces and nephews).

The Ipod game was released last month. It costs just £1.79 and has so-far offered us an awful lot of those beaming grins! Lara smiles the minute she hears the music playing from the Ipod.

The Humf game includes a series of short activities that are suitable for pre-schoolers to play on their own. There is a colouring game which Lara is pretty good at – you select your colour, and then select which part of the picture to fill. The furry thing game is my favourite – you can create monsters with different faces, eyes and bodies! There are also matching games, dot-to-dot, car racing, bathtime shoot-em-up (with a water pistol) and counting. One of Lara's favourites is the balloon game where you have to test your wits by 'blowing up' balloons and letting them go before they pop. Lara likes to use her finger tips to pop the balloons anyway!

You can find our more about the Humf IPhone game at P2 Games and you can buy it from the ITunes Store

Images courtesy of P2 games.

The Sunday Review - mohdoh

mohdoh – It's like bedtime Play-doh! We have been using moh doh as a sleep aid in the Mellow household for the past couple of months. Has it helped to send us all off to sleep?

mohdoh is a soft, mouldable dough which combines colour therapy, aromatherapy and play therapy. They make several different kinds of doh to solve all sorts of different problems, but we have been using the Sleep mohdoh – partly to try and chill out mellow mummy and mellow daddy at bed time and partly to try and help Lara relax and settle when she goes to bed.

Lara hates the stuff! I can't even get her to touch it. I think she finds the smell a bit strong for her (it isn't an overpowering scent but for a tiny nose, it is probably pretty strong). She also gets funny about the texture. You can tell that she is fascinated by it, and wants to try squashing and squeezing it but every time she tries, you can see the 'eeewww' expression sweep over her face, she goes a bit wide-eyed and then drops the doh. I can safely say that experiment was not a success! And so, I have no idea whether Sleep mohdoh can help your little one relax and drift off into a great night's sleep.

For us, it has been a lot more successful. Mr. Mellow and I each kept a tub on our bedside table. The dough is bright purple and is a light doh, much lighter than Play-doh. Just before bed, perhaps while reading a book, or watching TV, I mould the dough in my hands. As you mould it, it releases a blend of essential oils designed to help relax you and ensure a sound night's sleep. Now, I'm not convinced that the parents of a teething toddler could ever have a sound night's sleep, but I can vouch for the fact that the scent is very mellow and that the act of squidging and squashing the dough is therapeutic and relaxing. Just the kind of thing you need to help you zone out in the evenings, especially if you are someone who has trouble winding down, or who suffers from restless sleep and needs help turning it into something deeper.

Over the past couple of weeks our use of the mohdoh has dwindled off. I guess that means that the effect wasn't as great as we had thought – I certainly don't depend on it to ensure a full night's sleep. It still sits on my bedside table but most evenings, I'm quite happy to fall asleep without squidging my mohdoh.

mohdoh is available from some Boots stores. They sell colours to help you quit smoking, calm down, slim, breathe more easily, unwind, think and travel.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Lara's World - Week 3

Here is Lara's photo for the week, aged 19 months.

Week Two: Cheese

Mummy is always taking photos of me, perhaps it is time I started giving her a taste of her own medicine.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Be My Valentine?

This year, I want Lara to be my valentine! She has recently learned to say "thank you mummy" and "night night mummy" - it melts my heart. I want lots of snuggly kisses and cuddles from my little monkey. I've been experimenting with my new Craft Artist Gold software. Perhaps I'll buy her a valentines gift too?

  • Love Heart and Queen of Hearts soft leather shoes from £17.00 at Inch Blue
  • Little girl's Valentines gift tubs from £38.00 at a little square
  • Limited edition Valentines dress available to newsletter subscribers at I love Bread and Jam

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

A Bite At Nursery - How Would You React?

A fortnight ago, shortly after Lara started at nursery, I witnessed a heated exchange between a member of nursery staff and a distraught mother whose child had been bitten by another toddler. After exclaiming "Oh.... My... gawd", the woman burst into tears before then launching a tirrade of abuse at the staff. "Tell me who did this" (they can't), "I demand to speak to the parents" (err, you can't), "I demand that the child be disciplined" (err, they're one year old).

As I left the nursery that night, I chatted to Mr. B. about how we would have reacted if it had been us. Was this woman overreacting? Is there anything you can do to prevent toddlers biting one another? surely we all learned that biting is a bad thing to do ourselves through biting (and being told off) or being bitten (and it hurting)? Should I be worrying more about this?

Yesterday, I found out how I would react. I received a call at work and it went something like this:-

Nursery: "Mrs Button, Lara was bitten by another child. They
was a disagreement over a toy."

Me: "OK"

Nursery: "We put a cold compress on it but we think it
will bruise."

Me: "OK"

Nursery: "The staff have spoken to the other child and
have explained to them their behaviour was bad. We'll speak to the parents

Me: "OK"

I'll admit that there was a little butterfly in my stomach when I received the call, that I wanted to rush to Lara and give her a cuddle and give the other child a big scowl and some grumpy vibes. So I asked,

Me: "How about Lara, how's she doing?"

Nursery: "Oh, she's fine. She's no idea what we're
making all this fuss about!"

That's my girl.
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