RSS

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mother Knows Breast #1

Newsweek.  The Syrians are slaughtering each other, Berlusconi was let off for bribing a British lawyer and Facebook is slammed by the Guardian for not allowing women to get their tits out.

I plan to have a not so little rant about this over two posts.  This is #1.

When Facebook policies were leaked this week, it was revealed that they had taken down someone’s breastfeeding photo due to an escaping nipple.  Apparently this complied with said policy as any “breastfeeding photos showing other nudity, or nipple clearly exposed” will be removed.  The Guardian were quick to request any breastfeeding mummies to quickly upload their boobies to Facebook in a quest to see how many pics would be removed.

The Facebook group, “Hey! Breastfeeding is not Obscene” was created in the quake of the policy leak resulting in Facebook this week removing 257, 000 supporters from its site, permanently.  Scandalous!

Photos of women breastfeeding, with or without nipple, are not allowed.  Photos of women dressed in scantily clad blouses showing a humongous cleavage, are allowed.  Photos of women showing their surgically enhanced knockers in tiny bikinis are allowed.  Photos of people snogging the faces off each other, tongue sandwich stylie, are allowed. Photos of mens nipples are allowed.  There is nothing sexually provocative about a lactating boob.  We breastfeeding women are not sitting in public places gently and lovingly caressing ourselves for the world to see, we are simply feeding our young.

In August 2008: One hundred women packed an H&M store in Vancouver in support of a local mother who had been asked to breastfeed inside a changing room.  Degrading!

In December 2011: Local women in Brighton protested in support of a breastfeeding mother being asked to cover up with a towel whilst breastfeeding her child in a high street cafe,  “sure, I’ll just get my towel out of my handbag because I always carry one with me just in case this happens!”

In February 2012: I was asked if I wanted somewhere more discreet to breastfeed my daughter whilst at an appointment in a local private hospital.  I was sat in the corridor outside my Doctors office at the time.  I say I was “asked”, what I mean is gently persuaded by beady eyes perched over spectacles nodding toward a room at the end of the corridor. I refused and told the old interfering biddy “thanks, but I’m fine where I am, I’m used to this”.  My husband pointed out that it was odd of her to have considered asking given we were in a pediatric ward where mothers must get their milk machines out all the time.

It’s a sensitive debate, the whole breastfeeding thing.  Some mothers want to, some mothers don’t and some mothers can’t.  Yet, from that very first midwife meeting, expectant mothers are provided with every pamphlet on offer to push forward reasons why breast is best.  It’s not surprising given that according to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report 2011, 136.7 million babies are born worldwide and only 32.6 % of them are breastfed exclusively in the first six months.  I understand the cause. I appreciate the cause.  However, I think the choice is extremely personal and women should not be judged whatever way they sway.

The first time I met my Italian sister-in-law, I was introduced to her mammary glands via several photos of her breastfeeding her daughter.  I had never been exposed to such boob friendly openness before.  She flicked the page and their it was, a massive brown nipple – I didn’t know where to put my face.  Italian women embrace the boob, they thrive on the goodness for the child.  Every time my daughter breathed louder than a normal breath, my mother-in-law would nudge me and say “ehhh, she’s hungry, feed her” – Noooo, she’s just breathing!

The theory of breastfeeding and weight loss is a myth – I’ve piled it on.  The theory of Breastfeeding preventing allergies is a myth – my cherub has an allergy to cows milk protein.  Yes, she could have lactose free formula but it stinks!! It tastes like gone off eggs. I wouldn’t drink it so I won’t give it to her.  I give her breast milk so would I drink that, you may ask? Of course I would, as did my husband at Stansted airport when asked to “verify” the breast milk by a female customs officer.  He thought it was hysterical that the lady chose him instead of me to test it (she had obviously been through a bitter divorce and was now seeking to humiliate anyone with a penis, was my husbands opinion).  He didn’t want to satisfy her mean streak so duly had a teeny weeny suck on the teat, stuck his tongue out to show the milk and swallowed.

If it wasn’t for the allergy situation, I would have stopped breastfeeding months ago.  I know its good for my child and I have enjoyed every emotionally connecting moment of it; the way she looks up at me, the way she headbutts me in the chest as if to say ‘ma, I’m ready now’.

I have not been ashamed of my bresticles at all.  I get them out freely.  However, getting them out isn’t really “getting them out” – the majority of mothers don’t go around swinging their hooters or squirting milk at the nearest passer-by and although tempting, I have never, ever, seen a fellow milk maid inflicting one of these hats on their child. Most women want to blend in and get the job done.

Most mothers are so discreet you wouldn’t even notice the boob if it wasnt for the necessary positioning of the baby.  Most mothers use garments to cover up too – that which I now call the Michael Jackson effect.  I started with a well-known branded apron affair but I spent so much time faffing with it that my daughter wasn’t feeding properly. I then tucked a muslin cloth into my bra strap and dangled that over her the offending area (pun intended).  Eventually, as she got older and more fidgety, this didn’t work.  I gave up trying.  I just couldn’t bear to cover my little one’s face whilst she was having her milk – I don’t think I’d find it too amusing if I was tucking into a steak with a sheet over my head!

So, yes, breastfeeding is a wonderful thing – for me.  Its emotional, its personal, its me&her time, its lovely.  Its my choice.  It is also my choice not to upload photos of my daughter breastfeeding to Facebook or any other social media forum. I’m not against mothers who do and I applaud their willingness to support the cause.

I do agree however that this week, Facebook have made a right tit of themselves!

Baby nearly asleep at the breast

 
11 Comments

Posted by on February 28, 2012 in London

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

My Week That Was #8

Most of the time I can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone at the start of the week.  So when I read a blog post by MummyDaddyandMeMakesThree inviting other bloggers to link in to My Week That Was, I saw it as a massive grey matter challenge 1) because 9 months in my baby brain still hasn’t diminished and 2) I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish this ditty as I’m currently receiving evil eye glances from The Almighty (my loud typing is interrupting his date with Jeremy Clarkson. All hail for Top Gear!).

Seriously, If I can’t remember my week, that means it wasn’t too eventful, right? Therefore, do I think that blog readers and bloggers alike want to know about my nondescript activities? Lord knows, I’m new to this…apparently they do. Here goes:

Monday 20th: Clean up house day.  After returning from a weekend in Northampton, I made like a good wife and sorted out the bag unpacking/ washing/ cleaning/ food shopping/ general dogs bodying. My new niece, Arianna, was born in Italy 🙂  My baby has lost her crown 😦

Tuesday 21st: Took principessa to Baby Bounce at the library which was a total waste of time – the guy singing was useless! Not enigmatic at all, sung like a mouse, the mums got bored (some left mid Twinkle Star) and the babies cried.  Principessa just sat there, on my knee, good as gold, taking it all in.  Then, one of the mums (actually, I think she was a nanny?) took the initiative to belt out a rendition of five little ducks! Everyone happy.

Wednesday 22nd: Day from HELL – the first time I left my little gem with the childminder.  I dreaded it all week.  I met the lady all confident and “I can do this!” but as soon as she asked how I was, I crumbled.  The tears fell as I pushed my most precious belonging into the arms of a stranger (I’m such a bad mother!). I cried all the way home paranoid that the drivers of the on-coming traffic would be thinking I was a total nut job for walking down the street with a snotty nose and frog eyes!

Then I got to home to one nice thing and one not so nice thing: Nice – delivery of a gift from Italialicious, not so nice thing – husband’s aunt had had a haemorage so we had to rush to the hospital, where we spent most of the day trying to be quiet (he’s Italian, she’s Italian, it was a tough task!), sweating (why are hospitals always so sticky hot?) and basically preying that aforementioned stranger hadn’t run off to Uzbekistan with my child!

Thursday 23rd: More hospital visits. Another baby bounce, same songs, different library (the one where I fell off a sponge chair a few weeks ago in front of about 30 people, probably because my post-baby backside was 4 times wider than the chair, not embarrassing at all!) and then music and lights toy shopping for little lady.

Friday 24th: Swimming lesson – I LOVED it. She LOVED it. Afternoon baby group (why do they call it baby group when it’s actually an excuse for mothers to drink copious amounts of tea and stuff themselves silly with various varieties of home-made cake – I don’t do this at all of course!) and then to the park to enjoy the weather.  Little Miss went on a swing for the first time and rightly so, LOVED it, squealed in delight, kicked her legs and shouted ‘Mammamamamamamama’ at the top of her voice, my heart melts!

Saturday 25th: Me, him and her went for lunch at the South Bank, fed the ducks in Hyde Park and had more funon the swings and ended the day talking to a man about a very doable business idea.  Excited.Cautious.

Sunday 26th: Knocked out a loaf, got to supermarket at 9.05am to discover that it didn’t open until 11am.  How shocking is that, don’t supermarkets realise that stay-at-home mothers are up with the lark on Sunday – there is no day of rest for us! Later, a lovely lunch at a friend’s house talking all things weddings > more tea, more cake!

Every evening, I have been researching other people’s blogs trying to get a flavour of what my own should be.  I thought I knew my groove but really I don’t.  I think I’m veering towards mummy blogger? I set up a Tea&Biscotti Facebook page which hasn’t proved that successful because only five out of the loads of people I reached out to have ‘liked’ it.  My blog stats however, have more than doubled overnight – that’s got to be a good sign?!

My memory serves me much better than I first thought.

And that was my week that was.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 26, 2012 in London

 

To Shower or Not to Shower?

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about the direction this blog will take, what with me being a newby and all.  Am I a mummy blogger? life blogger? food blogger? (that’s a definite no).  I just started writing one day and hoped that the route would unveil itself.  Today I’m settling for stinky mummy blogger.

My husband had a job interview today and rather than preparing his stuff last night, he scrambled about this morning, ranting at me from room to room for… wait for it…. not helping him out! There are lots of lost in translation moments in our house but I understood this to mean not ironing his shirt (which he was actually doing struggling with at the time), preparing his bag (he’s not five!), putting petrol in the car and generally wiping his behind.  Meanwhile, I was thankful to be wiping little madam’s behind before her swimming lesson instead of during it.  So he was sorted and she was sorted. That left me.

The house was like it had been ransacked by squatters. I hate going out for the day and coming home to a pigsty but when you live in a stamp sized apartment that has been overtaken by dancing monkey’s and baby regalia, it’s hard to stay spic and span. I gave up and turned my blind eye.

The clock was ticking and I had a bus to catch.  I didn’t have time for a shower.  Am I turning Italian already? My in-laws only get one shower a week so surely in our duel nationality household, not showering is the norm.  What did it matter anyway, I was going to the swimming baths! They have water, it cleans.. that would suffice. I didn’t even pack a travel shower gel for the swimming pool shower and you know why? I’m a mother, I don’t do travel shower gel anymore, what would I do with the baby? So, no shower at home, no shower at the pool.

And despite all this, whilst whizzing little madam around in wavy circles and upping and downing her to the Grand Old Duke of York, I thought…‘oh i must look fine.. I’ve got blusher on!’ .  I looked fine, but did I smell fine? My face wasnt too shabby but thank God my legs were under water because they had starting growing stubble from yesterday’s shave! (I hope nobody noticed my unpainted hairy toes!! note to self: take more pride).

There just aren’t enough hours in the day for it all. I havent had a manicure for nine months. I have developed dark circles under my eyes.  I’m still wearing “big knickers” and I haven’t had a shower for probably about thirty-six hours.  I was thrilled to learn this evening that I’m not alone.  I let out a good old belly laugh when reading Circus Queen’s post on reasons to mingle with other mums – point 2: they give you a reason to have a shower.

And there lies the solution to the shower debate: take a friend with you to the swimming baths, it forces you to pretend you’ve had a shower make an effort!

Shower Time?

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 24, 2012 in London

 

Tags: ,

The C Word

I never thought there would be a reason to link my grandmother, my aunty and my mother-in-law and to Beyonce but alas I have found one. Any takers? All survivors!

Ok, so whilst Beyonce sang about being a survivor, the other strong ladies in my life didn’t give up, didn’t stop and did, every bloody day, work harder to beat this MoFo of a disease called Cancer.

Unfortunately my Grandma passed away, my aunty has an AWOL boob but is otherwise fine and my mother-in-law, well…she’s got a dodgy colon and although both present, one malfunctioning boob – yep, she has kept going, TWICE!

All three superwomen had/have lived full lives before being faced with this monster.  I can’t begin to comprehend and hope I never will have to, how it must be for a mummy to find out her baby has been taken over by the Cancer alien *shudder*.  Two years ago, my cousin discovered that her little angel was fighting the demon, aged only two!  It fills me with joy to say that although she lost her curls and her rosy cheeks, she didn’t lose her strength – she’s on the mend, she’s good and she’s a survivor!

This post was written to promote and raise awareness of the CLIC Sargent Yummy Mummy Week – 10th to 18th March 2012.  As part of Nickie’s campaign to raise awareness for this cause. Please show your support by writing a post using this weeks prompts found here and share these posts on your social media streams.

*This is not a sponsored post but is written because no one should have to face cancer without support, especially not children*.

Clic Sargent

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2012 in London

 

Tags: , , , ,

Italialicious: Pimp My Gift

Yesterday I had what started as a really rubbish day.

I took my daughter to the childminder for the first time and left her for a whole two hours. My goodness, what is that feeling called? I have never experienced such an emotion like it; heart wrenching emptiness. There she was all tucked up in her pram with that ‘you’re up to something mummy!’ look on her face. I tried not to make eye contact with her as I practically launched the pram into the hands of the childminder before hot footing it home whilst trying to look like I wasnt crying! Cry? in the street? in front of everyone? Oh yes I did, full on tears and snot, no tissue, no handkerchief, only a hand to wipe it all away. It was awful.

When I got home a blubbering wreck, I was greeted at the door by a UPS man.  No way!! It wasn’t a prank after all. I couldn’t believe it. I had half believed it might be true but the sceptic in me thought otherwise.  In my first few days as a blogger I was trying in vain to get to grips with Twitter and came across Italialicious,

“Top quality Italian food and wines delivered in luxury handcrafted boxes. A unique selection of the best Pasta, Desserts, Sauces, Olive Oils and Luxury Wines linked to an express delivery service able to cover the globe within 72 hours from the moment you place your order”

The Deluxe Dessert Gift Box

Lo and behold after a few back and forths, I had been promised a promo box. I couldn’t believe my luck as my blog was only about three days old!!  I had heard about bloggers getting free stuff but to be honest, that’s not why I started blogging.  I do it to explore my creative outlet (cue laughing fit!).

Italialicious just seemed like a cool thing to review.  I love Italy, I think it’s delicious…let’s crack on!  My UPS man handed over a rather large box which my husband, after almost rugby tackling me to the floor, grabbed to open.  I managed to leave the box in the kitchen,untouched, until after dinner.  Until after I had collected my daughter from the childminder, all happy and sleepy-eyed, after not having shed a single tear for the whole two hours!  Until I had cleaned the house. Until I had been to the shops to buy my principessa a pink bath seat.  Until I had a spare moment to sit down with a nice cup of Earl Grey and really enjoy my tea & biscotti!

Review:-

The delivery – I was intrigued to see whether Italialicious delivered within 72hours from despatch date, even though it was a promo gift.  They did. Tick.

The gift box – I was immediately impressed by the box.  My husband, being the Italian, hadn’t even noticed that the box is created in the colours of Italy: a green box, lined in red with a red sleeve stating the Italialicious Think-click-Enjoy logo in white.  Clever I thought.  Tick.

Italialicious gift box & logo

The goods

Italialicious deluxe dessert gift box

One luxury bag of pear and chocolate biscotti – Although tasty, I think I made a slight error in tasting these biscuits.  I ate a few with a cup of tea.  I think they are much better suited to be eaten alongside an espresso because they are soft in texture – it has to be said, I do prefer a crunch to my biscotti.

Italialicious hazelnut balls & biscotti

One box of hazelnut chocolate fondants – I absolutely love any nut covered in chocolate so this was a total winner for me.  Small hazelnuts covered in a chocolate praline and covered again in a chocolate shell… YUM!!  Having made a school boy error with the biscotti I thought carefully on what to indulge in with the chocolate hazelnut balls.  I had the perfect thing hiding away in my drinks cabinet, a nice cold shot of Molinari Sambuca Café.  Rich and indulgent…double Yum! These would also go down well with a nice red grape grappa or a full-bodied red wine from the Italialicious deluxe wine range.  Tick.

One jar of blackberry jam – sounds simple eh? blackberry jam.  I tell you now, when I tasted this, I was transported to my in-laws terrace having an espresso and eating this jam on toast…crunch! This one really is delicious.  Winner. Tick.

A floral peg – I thought this was random until my husband pointed out it was probably to peg the bag of biscuits shut once you’d had a few. These guys really have thought of everything. BUT…as my will power forbids me to leave anything unfinished, I found a new use for the peg.  It’s now a fridge magnet holding in place a beautiful pic of my daughter when she was a week old.

Who for? – My honest opinion about Italialicious is that it is a service best aimed at the corporate market purely because the packaging is outstanding and extremely well thought through.  I mean, even the bid red tomato with the aeroplane logo – genius!  The gift boxes are beautifully presented and the products are great depending on your taste. If bought as a personal gift, the good things is that you can customise the contents.  For example, although nice, I wasn’t overly keen on the biscotti if I’m honest, but perhaps I might have preferred the chestnut jam or maybe even a rice instead?  The choices are endless and this is the advantage, you select what you want, everything else is done for you.

If you want to know more about Italialicious or would like to order or customise your own gift box, please pop along and visit them here.

I was sent an Italialicious gift box to review, all opinions are entirely my own (with a few cheeky interruptions from my husband!)

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , ,

Social Media Melancholy

As most of my loved ones know, I’m not a mobile phone fashion follower.  My mobile phone is so old, its a joke. This weekend, we spent a few days away visiting family and I nearly had a full on, heavy breath, panic attack when my husband’s iPhone had no signal! AND my aunty doesn’t have broadband, she doesn’t even have dial-up! Who doesn’t have broadband nowadays? I assumed it’s built-in to every house, like a gas meter or something.  I couldnt believe it, I was social media melancholic for three days.

I have to get a new phone.

I’m at my wit’s end! I never stick to anything. I don’t have a hobby because I’ve got the attention span of an ant. It’s so frustrating.  I loved the idea of this blog. I loved the idea of capturing my little life and my little family.  I loved setting it up and getting in on Twitter (about three years too late). I loved being promised a promo box of Italian goodies to review from a web-based gift company… here we go, I thought, im on my way…

I need a new phone.

But now…what is it? A week later… I’m discovering Pinterest, Instagram, StuckUp (or whatever it’s called) and all these things I’m supposed to be following people following me following them following you..  I’m following so many people, following me that I’m meeting myself coming backwards! Now I understand why blogging is a full-time job.

My grandma used to tell me to sit back away from the TV or I would get square eyes.  She was right, God rest her soul! My eyeballs are constantly stuck to this laptop, I’ve got a Quasimodo-esq hump on my back from being slouched over, pins and needles in my legs from not having moved for the last week and I still haven’t worked out if Instagram is on Android?!!  Aaarrggh…  this social media malarkey is a nightmare! DO NOT get me started on editing this website – how do I add the Pin It button anyway?? No idea – there’s another week of square eyed evenings in the not so distant future (probably starting tomorrow!).

Do I give up? has my new hobby just become an old habit? will I ever get any sleep? If I’m not tweeting or reading tweets, I’m pinning and gramming and if I’m not doing any of the above, I’m collecting my thoughts for this blog.  The blog I love and want for it to good.  I’ll carry on.

I’m getting a new phone.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 20, 2012 in London

 

Amore Mio

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”

 –Truman Capote

Just one Cornetto..

Whilst Venice is the most romantic city in the world, I have a tiny bit of it at home: my husband.  However, I don’t think he got the message, let alone was in the queue, when the Italian Stallion romance cards were handed out.  He’s not the best at gift buying if previous Valentine gifts are anything to go by:

  • A pair of eyebrow tweezers with a light on – he thought they were practical so I could see the tiny hairs I always miss.  He was either telling me that I was useless at plucking my monobrow or trying to blind me with the light!
  • A pair of skiing salopettes – we’ve never been skiing!
  • A cuticle oil – that he had bought at Christmas on a 3 for 2 special offer.  He had given the other two to his nonna and sister and saved the last one for me!

I never hold out much hope for Valentines where my romantic Italian husband is concerned and I’ve stopped hoping that he will eventually get it right.  I don’t need tweezers or ski pants or cuticle oil.  He’s my best friend and the best daddy, that’s gift enough for me!  (but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the odd box of Ferrero Roche!).

Ps, I secretly hope he reads this and realises the error of his ways – who am I kidding??! 🙂

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 14, 2012 in London

 

Tags: , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: