Desperate Housekeeping for busy mums and dads

From one mother to another

Archive for the category “Motherhood”

New blog! Hope to see you there!

Hi all!
As some of you know, I recently launched a new blog: Expat Mum in Luxembourg.

At the begining, I thought it would make sense to maintain both blogs, with separate themes, but quickly I figured it out that my themes are always around Family Life and Kids.

So, I decided that the new blog will be my new online ‘home’, with new and fresh ideas. As for the Desperate Housekeeping for Busy Mums and Dads, I’ll start to gradually migrate the best contents into the new blog as well.

Hope to ‘see’ you at the ‘Expat Mum in Luxembourg‘ blog and, please, don’t forget to “Follow It”.

Cheers!
Rute

Munchkin Snack Products Review

Spring is out there and as the weather gets warmer, it’s really nice to go with the kids to the park. Even the most picky ones enjoy to eat some snacks, especially when it’s a surprise for them.

On my quest to find the best way to keep all sort of snacks fresh and well conditioned, I’ve found very good reviews about the Munchkin products, so I decided to give it a try.

1. Munchkin Tower Snack
These 5 containers can easily be used as 1 single tower or converted into 2 snack towers, so it can actually hold a variety of snacks and treats. It’s ideal for the picky ones, so they can try a pinch of so many different things. It has a slim design, so it fits easily in any kind or crowded bag.

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2. Munchkin Baby Snack Catcher
This bowl is simply fantastic, not only because it prevents messy on-the-go, but also because it’s cute and funny to be used by the little ones.

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Footmuff Review

Today I woke up and the snow continues out there as well as the freezing temperatures. Even though there are many other countries where the cold is quite strong than here in Luxembourg, for me this is cold as ever! I just wasn’t used to it! 😉 But I’m loving the snow, believe me! (Except when driving!)

So than I remeber to write this review on one of my favourite new items: The Footmuff!

20130116-174406.jpg Photo: Amazon.co.uk

I’ve bought this one from BabyTravel. I’ve found it great as it suits almost every carseats, it’s waterproof of course and warm enough to freezing temperatures. Also, it adjusts to the baby’s head and neck so than the baby is quite protected.

A must have to every mom and dad, unless you live in a warm country! 🙂

Grocery Shopping with Kids

20121226-152818.jpgGoing to the supermarket with kids can be quite a challenge! However, if you have no alternative, you can take some advantage of it and even get some fun. Let me tell you my little secrets! 😉

1. Set date and time
-The earlier you go, the easiest it gets… Go as early as you can as it won’t be too crowded.
-Avoid meal times, not only because of your kids routine, but also because it will make you buy more than you need…

2. Master your supermarket
-Design (even if mentally) a map of your usual supermarket and aisles. This step is crucial to avoid last minute going backs…
-Prepare in detail your grocery list by aisles (don’t forget to attach a list of best prices for each item of your list).

3. Teach & Learn
-Make a kids-friendly grocery list by adding some photos to each item. Allow your kid to find each item. Ask some questions about it as you go through the aisles.

4. Bribe, why not?
-Is there anything in your list that actually is your kids favourite sweet? Put this item by the end of the list and let them think they will only get it if they behave… 🙂
-Have some sweets in your bag, just in case!

5. Have fun
Is there an empty aisle? Make a little cart run with your kids, they will love it, and so do you! 😉

What about you? Any other ideas about making the most of you grocery shopping with kids?

C-Section – A hard recovery

A c-section recovery is way too longer than it is from a natural one. A cesarian is an abdominal surgery so, as any other surgery there is a recovery period that includes healing. In fact, our body needs about six months to fully recover from this type of surgery.

There are some tips to help you reducing the natural discomfort from the first days after a c-section:
– Use a pillow by your belly to help you laugh or caugh, so then you won’t fell so much pressure during these moments.
– Use an appropriate post-partum waistband under your clothes.
– Avoid drastic movements or hold heavy things.
– Walk a little inside your home and frequently change your body position to reduce wind
pains.
– Find your best position to breastfeeding your baby. Usually, it’s more comfortable to doing it when lying in bed.
– You may feel some discomfort when you go to the bathroom, especially after the second week. It will disappear during the healing process.
– If you’re feeling down or any strong sadness, please go and speak immediatly to your doctor. The earlier you avoid a post-partum depression, the less impact it will have in you and in your relationship with the baby.
– Ask your doctor about the usage of a specific skin regeneration cream to apply on your scar. In spite of being for life, there are good specialty products which help to minimize how t looks like.
– Whenever you feel itchiness in your scar, don’t scratch!! Please take a warm bath and apply a fat cream.
– You should also apply every single day a good moisturizing cream all around your belly to help your body to recover elasticity] and shape.

It’s really important that you remember that a c-section recovery is not only to heal the exterior of the skin, but also the uterus, several muscle layers, blood vessels, the fat and finally the skin.

During the first post-partum appointment your doctor will assess your body’s good recovery. He would also [aconselhar] about the right moment to initiate some exercises to help your body and, of course, your mind! 😉

Breastfeeding – Tips for Success

Being able to breastfeeding a baby is one the most rewarding things in life a woman can face (besides being a mother, of course!). I really don’t understand how is it possible some mothers simply decide not even try it. It is not only the best nutrition for the baby’s development, but also the best solution for the mother when recovering from the pregnancy. And it is so delicious seeing those little things becoming so relaxing after a good ‘meal’… 😉 Amazing!!

However, I understand that breastfeeding is not always easy and there are some crucial moments when you could face some strong doubts whether to continue or not:

Crucial Moment Number 1: The first moments with my baby. Am I going to be successfull doing it?

> At this point, you should accept all the precious help from the nurses at the hospital. They will be more than happy to help you and your little one at this first steps knowing each other.

> It is perfectly ok if your baby is sleepy. You’ll have to use your imagination to find the best way to awake him in order to breastfeeding every couple of hours.

Crucial Moment Number 2: How can I possibly know the best position to breastfeeding my baby?

> You won’t be able to answer this question from the first moment. Instead, you will learn it, gradually, with your baby. You should simply relax and use a trial-basis approach to each position until you feel you are quite confident doing it.

> Most important of all, you need to be comfortable! As well as your baby, of course!

20121113-144214.jpg Find out more in ABC Parenting

Crucial Moment Number 3. What should I expect from the first days of breastfeeding?

> I think those moments would really depends on each woman’s own experience. And even more between a first and a second baby. However, there are some common ‘stages’:

> Nipple sensitivity is one of those challenging moments. You could use some appropriate cream to moist the area (e.g. Bepanthene Ointment or Uriage Bariéderm). This would minimize cracked nipples or even bleeding.

> By day 3 or 4 after the birth, the milk ‘comes in’. By this time you should feel a heaviness in your breasts (this is quite a phenomenon, it always surprises me!!). Feeding as frequently as possible would be the best solution to avoid more discomfort. Also, a warm shower or hot gel pads would be very helpful.

What about the other moms in the block? Any other good ideas to share?

Homemade Glue for Babies and Toddlers

Following the line of Homemade Paint for Babies and Toddles, today I’m sharing other quite interesting recipe for you to make with your little ones: Homemade Glue!20121113-024346.jpg

One very funny activity is to pick one theme, like Disney characters for example, then cut several character photos from old magazines and allow toddlers to paste it into a cardboard. You can also suggest them to paint the cardboard.

Ingredients:
– 1 cup of flour
– 1/3 cup of sugar
– 1 tbsp vinegar
– water

Preparation:
Put the flour and the sugar in a saucepan. Add 3/4 cup of water and stir together until there are no more lumps. Add another 3/4 cup of water and stir until smooth. Add the vinegar. Cook on medium heat and stir it constantly. Allow it to thicken. Let it cool.
Keep it in an empty jam jar, for example and store it in the regrigerator.

Have a nice cut & paste activity!

Toddlers – Is it yealling really a solution?

Yesterday I found myself thinking about the diference it makes when you talk patiently with a toddler rather than yelling at him/her.

My 3 year old son is very sensitive to the way adults talk to him. Whenever someone call him down strongly, he gets really sad, once he is always trying to get things done correctly. On the other hand, when he accomplishes something new, he expect the adults to say how clever he is.

However, by the end of the day, he’s still a toddler. And, as Dr Peter Karp says, toddlers are like cave man. They are like cave man in the sense they all have moments when they just want something, just like that, just like now! And, of course, that would somehow turn into those tantrums… How would cave man react if you yell at them during these moments? They would yell you back, of course. On the other hand, if you relax and talk to them in a way they feel you understand their frustrations, you’ll probably be more successful.

Sometimes it is really necessary to breath deeply before dealing with toddlers actions. Explaining them the relation between action and consequence, the diference between right and wrong, the good and bad… Oh, I believe it is really, really hard to manage. No baby is born with an instruction’s book, and no parent is perfect.

In my opinion, by then end of the day, you should always folow your instinct, no matter what. Always explain everything to your kids and, most important of all, show them how strongly you love them!

Homemade Paint for Babies and Toddles

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When it comes to let babies and toddlers use their imagination, painting activities are really the best! However, it’s true not all kinds of stuff are cheap and safe for the little ones.

So, I’m really a fan of homemade great and edible solutions like homemade paints. You can simple googling it and you’ll find lots of recipes you can use. I found this one a good tip.

Ingredients:
– 2 cups of plain flour or corn flour
– 1 cup of cold water
– 4 cups of boiling water
– Liquid food colouring of your choice

Preparation:
Mix the flour with the cold water and stir together. Pour in the boiling water, cup by cup, and stir between each cup. You can add more water or flour to achieve the desired consistency. Separate it into small containers like iogurt cups or jam jars. Add colouring.

And all you need now is to have a nice and fun family activity!

Mommy again!

After several days away, I’m very happy to come here and tell all of you guys that I’m a proud mommy for the 2nd time! Yes, my little girl was born last 23th October, so cute, so perfect! 🙂

So, I have several thoughts to share with you about the motherhood theme. And one is the breastfeeding miracle.

I was amazed the first time I became a mom, and this time I became amazed again. It’s so wonderfull, and yet so frightening, how a little human being is so dependent on you (and yourself on him/her).

It’s true when the doctors tell us that every woman should breastfeeding his baby as long as possible, unless in very particular exceptions involving health restrictions. It is not only the best food for your baby natural growth, but also for your post-partum recovery.

However, not all is good, especially the first days or even weeks, when the mom’s breasts can be very hurt with this new experience. Even if it’s not the first time like myself. It’s very easy to give up… I’ll write more about some tips to overpass these obstacles.

If you (the reader) are a father-to-be, please note that you are a very important piece of this puzzle, as you should motivate your partner every single minute, showing her the positive side of breastfeeding and explaining that this not-so-good phase is just for a few days. If you feel like you’re not successfull, please find some help within your friends, doctor or breastfeeding support groups. Regarding this theme, family isn’t always the best solution since until recently there was a belief that not all women were capable of breastfeeding… Fortunately this thought is no longer credible by most of new moms! 😉

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