Baby Ear Piercing

We moved to Manhattan from London and after the birth of our baby girl we didn’t know where and when to have her ear pierced. How do they do it in America I wondered.

During her six months pediatricians appointment I talked about my worries and concerns with the doctor and she advised me that after their two months shots, they can have their ears pierced. Wow I’m I already falling her I thought, she’s nearly seven months old already. I was only worried because I didn’t want her to feel the pain, but this pain is vary different from male circumcision for example. The baby boys have to have it done as babies because it is a very painful procedure(even as babies) and especially worse when they are older.

But with ear piercings you don’t necessarily have to have it done by two months. It is not that painful nowadays. I know this for a fact because I had my second piercing done when I was at uni.

The doctor also informed me that there was a lady that comes to the clinic to do it. She emphasized that the lady is not affiliated with the clinic. But that she’s a nurse and very clean and sterilized.

Another places some mom friends pointed me to was some children hair salons in Manhattan.

Then one day as I was driving past broadway on the upper west Side of Manhattan, I saw Claire’s. I used them for my older daughters ear piercing in England so I was really glad to know that they are also in the US. I went in and asked about it. It was basically the same process.

We decided to do it at Claire’s, So that they could both have that little thing in common. I love little things like that that have a continuity from our lives in London to our new life in New York City. My oldest two were born in England and with the baby being the only one born in America, I didn’t want her to grow up feeling like she doesn’t have connections with her older siblings.

I went with the small diamond for her. Although more pricey than I had anticipated but I was glad I did. It is very very small and she basically didn’t feel anything when we got home. She slept on the side without a flinch.

Now I hope to finally stop being asked if my daughter is a girl or a boy 🙂

5 Tips for Sunny Hot Days In NYC

Are you visiting New York City this summer? if so you are in for a good time – you just have to learn to cope with the hot weather first especially if you are coming from a much more cooler region. Temperatures can go as far as 83 F and even more. Having originally come from a warm climate but later acclimatised to colder weather when we moved to Europe, I find the New York weather very hot, too hot in fact. perspiration is high and I am constantly looking for shades or indoors with cooling system. Hear are few tips on how we have being coping with the heat.

  1. Keep your cool. Quite literally you should try and stay cool. Fan, air condition, cold shower, pool. Open windows for fresh air to come in, go to public places with cooling systems. The shopping mall, go see a movie in the cinema (theatre) or read a book at the library. Drink lots of water. In extreme case put wet flannel/towels on forehead to cool temperature down.

playing in water fountains and sprinkles to stay cool

  1. Wear lighter clothing. This may look like a no brainer but some of us who love to stay modest and cover up (even in summer) may find it hard to wear lighter clothes. Bear in mind that there is difference between wearing lighter clothes and wearing revealing outfits. Sometimes the heat will supersede modesty! Linen material tends to be summer friendly. even if you want to cover up, try using net like material of soft silk like kimonos for example. For work suits, try blazers with little or no under lining.

  1. Use sun protections, including suncream – when you are going out. Top it up after few hours, sunglasses to protect your eyes and an umbrella for shade. Finally add a little style with a sun hat!

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Breastfeeding Tips and Essentials

There is a common misconception that breastfeeding is very easy, while it is quite a natural thing to do it can also be tricky. For ultimate result, using a variety of techniques and having perseverance will help you along your breastfeeding journey.

  1. Make sure you are latching the baby on correctly. Incorrect latching can cause you pains and affect how much milk the baby gets. Although pains in the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding is quite common but it should ease down after a while. Good latching is when the whole areola (the dark area surrounding the nipples) is all inside the baby’s mouth. you want to see the jaw of the baby moving up and down.
  2. Try different positions. find which way works best for you and your baby. Find a positing that is most comfortable. Football hold, cradle hold, cross cradle hold and side lying hold are some of the positions to choose from. You can use all four or choose a few that is best for you at a given time, say for example the side lying position may be good for you when you are co-sleeping or you want to give your back a rest, that position will not be useful if you are out and about and needs to feed your baby.24952F54-C5B2-47E6-8457-BF8CBE62CB38
  3. Do not be afraid to ask for help from professionals or people who have experienced breastfeeding before. You might feel ashamed to ask for help but asking for help doesn’t mean you have failed as a mother. You might think if you can’t do something so natural and simple (after all you need to do is stick the boobs in the baby’s mouth right? wrong). Breastfeeding is more than that, it can be complex especially when there are other factors involved like tongue tie, if you had a c-section. Also even if you have had successful previous experience of breastfeeding but are now finding it hard, do not worry, every child is different. Some moms who have had five children struggle with the sixth. Get help from a lactation consultant or speak to your midwife.
  4. Keep water, fluids and snacks handy everywhere at all times. you need to keep your fluid intake up and breastfeeding burns lots of energy. you may be tempted to avoid the snacks because you want to quickly lose the baby weight but you need the energy as a mom with a newborn baby. The weight will come off naturally and just make sure you snack on healthy food and drink plenty of water
  5. Don’t compare yourself with other moms. How long their baby feeds for, what position they use, how big is their baby, these are some of the pit falls we can find ourselves. every one is on their own journey and each ones baby and body is different. to know if you are doing it right, your baby should have 5 – 6 wet nappies a day, be gaining weight steadily and your doctor will discourse any concerns with you if there is any.
  6. Make sure to burp the baby to get rid of trapped winds. Even breastfed babies have winds to. Especially in the early weeks when they are still learning to suck without sucking up air.
  7. Have these following essentials handy at all times. Comfortable chair and pillows, good supportive bra, breast pads, nipple cream, water bottle, something to entertain you – maybe a book, your tablet to watch something on. Cover-ups are optional or you can wear layers like a camisole under your regular blouse so when one is raised up, the other is still covering you.

Finally remember that regardless of how you choose to feed your baby, and although breast is best, fed is much more better. Formula, bottle, getting breastmilk from others, so far your baby is eating, growing healthily and kept safe, you are alright.

How to cope with having a new baby after a long time in-between kids

I remember when we found out that we were expecting a baby boy just 9 months after our daughter was born. we were excited, we felt contented, grateful and a sense that our family was now complete. No need for another child we thought. I’m done I said. How was I wrong!

Fast forward four years later, our last born started primary school and I felt like ‘now I can focus on my career’. spend quality doing what I always wanted to do, then the yarning for a another child began. I suddenly became all broody again. I was getting older and I felt it was either now or never. I guess it was easier to say never initially because, firstly it wasn’t happening anyway, I mean I was able to get pregnant straight away after the first time but not this time. Secondly, my husband got reassign to a different country – continent, so we hardly saw one another and I am not Mary so no hope of an immaculate conception there! Lastly and most importantly, because the older two kids were so close in age, I struggled in those first two year. I had two under two, working full time, schooling full time. Saying it was difficult would be an understatement. So I was not going to give much thought to adding another baby. But as soon as they were both in full time education, I felt free and could think rationally. I’ve always loved and wanted a big family and if judging from my mom and grandma who gets to menopause early , it was now or never.

Its always nice to plan and do things with logic and analyse every decision however what we failed to realise is that while we were debating weather to have more children or not, time was going. our last born was nearly six years old. meaning it was six years ago since I last had a baby. I had gotten ride of all our baby things, I have forgotten what it was like to be pregnant or have a little baby. I am now at a different stage of parenting.

Some people told me that it would comes back to me, that it was just like riding a bicycle, although that is somewhat true. maybe it isn’t so much as coming back to you but your mama instinct does immediately kick in. you begin to know and remember what to do. what you don’t know however is that each pregnancy is different, each baby is different so what you already know or read may not be applicable anymore.

The age gap has its disadvantages and its advantages. having a big gap between kids isn’t all bad. I have come to appreciate it and thought it was a situation that turned out to be favourable to us. the kids are older and wiser. I could explain things to them and they would understand it. like why mommy was always so tired when I was pregnant. why mommy keeps forgetting things and sending the wrong things to school or signing the wrong school trip letter. they know about mommy having baby brain. We could involve them in the family decisions like what would we hope the new baby would be, a girl or boy? how about names? and so on.

Being older also meant I didn’t have to buy and wrap gifts from baby which they would have figured out because they know a new born baby can’t go to the shops and buy them gifts. one major worry I had was coping with the demands of the older kids versus the demand of the newborn. with the older kids, I have to take them to school, attend PTA meetings, help them with school projects and homework unlike when I was last pregnant, where I didn’t have to do any of those, they were a year apart. after the birth of my second child, three of us stayed at home together, went out together, they are just one academic year apart which means most of everything relating to school was done at the same time.

My favourite part about having an age gap is that the older kids are now very helpful. I have told them time and again that I do not know how I would have coped this few months with a new baby, new apartment, new city and new continent without their help. from helping to change the baby’s diaper to holding her while I take a quick shower. they sing to her, talk to her, read to her. they can see when I’m over whelmed and either give me a back rob or offer to hold her while I close my eyes for 5 minutes – quite literarily.

Its not just the benefits to you, its what it does to them too. my first born daughter was not as excited about having another sibling as she did with this new baby. it was simply because she is older and more mature. not only that, it has led to wonderful conversations like exploring other means of having a family such as adoption and fostering a child because they saw all the pains I went through and instead of it to discourage them from having kids, we looked at other means of having a family. they are more caring, gentle, kinder, compassionate and considerate. they have learnt and matured so much over the last few months.

Personally, the benefit of spacing kids out weighs the negatives. Yes it would be nice to have them all at the same time and get it done with but that maybe too much for some of us. Spacing them out gives you a few moment to catch your breath while you dive in again. If you already have kids and you are thinking about having more kids but are worried about the age gap, don’t worry. so far your doctor has cleared you, go for it. it won’t be easy but having and raising humans isn’t easy anyway, but it would be fun! I always say ” don’t let fear stops you from your dreams”. Go for it!

How to cope with the age gap

  1. Make the most of the situation, see it as a blessing. Having the age gap means you have had a breather, you are wiser, more confident. the things that gave you anxiety as a new mom does not bother you anymore. who needs a changing stating?
  2. Your older kids are your helper. They do love helping and it is a good character building to allow them to help with the new baby. I try not to take advantages though, I watch them to see if they are tired, not in the mood to hold a baby, or if they simply rather play at that moment. They do not help much during week days because of homework and wind down time.
  3. Although you may have to start buying the baby thing all over again, I see it as a positive. I love shopping, both in person or online. New baby things come into the market all the time so it would be fun to see whats currently trending. You don’t actually need much things, except if you are going to have even more kids.
  4. Remember that your life does not stop once you have a new baby, especially for the older kids. do what you normally do with them, go out for family meals, do home work together. when the baby is crying and the older kids needs you, attend to the older kid first, that will show him that he is as important. that the baby has not come to take over or take their parents away.
  5. give yourself time to heal. regardless of how you had your baby, you are not as you were when you had your first baby, it may take longer to heal or for things to fall back to where they were. don’t rush it. give it time. do what you can, when you can and how you can.
  6. it maybe harder to make new ‘new mom friends’ but then you realise you don’t need one as much as you thought you did when you first had a baby several years ago. keep the old friends you have and be open to new friendship but remember you are not the expert, don’t tell them what to do simply because you have been there already. if you have an opinion, write a blog : )
  7. unless it is literarily a matter of life and death, nothing else is as important as your kids and family. put everything else aside for now. focus your energy and resources on them.
  8. have an outlet. blog, instagram, take photos of nature, write a book, something that is yours and it is for you.
  9. know that you will feel guilty. the older kids will tell you that you don’t love them, that all you care about is the baby. they don’t mean it, you may know that, they may come around and say sorry they didn’t mean it but you will still feel guilty. Communicate, explain to them why you need to attend to the baby more. babies are fragile and helpless. you did exactly the same for them when they were younger.
  10. Stock the house of everything you use and need. not just food, stock the house with light bulbs, memory cards, batteries, etc.
  11. Keep some money aside. you will find Uber eats and deliveroo to be your best friend. the age gap means different routine and schedule for kids so there will be very little time to be cooking from scratch. Eating out/takeaway/delivery cost a lot more than making your own food.

The London Mom In Fire Island New York.

Memorial Day weekend could not have be better spent than with family and friends away from the city in an idyllic island called fire island.

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the holiday beach house we stayed in with friends, had no tv, there were music, books, newspaper, magazine, toys, board games and although there was internet, you would find yourself switching off and relaxing. Being one with nature.

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The Island is like a community were everyone almost knew one another, they visited each other, and there was a certain chilled out atmosphere around. so relaxing that people walked and rode their bikes barefooted. We were overdressed for it!

There are no cars on the island. The only mode of transportation was cycling or walking. There are bicycles everywhere, different colours and designs.

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A lot of the people are friendly, saying hello as you passed by, some even going as far as stopping to have a chat, we found this man and he picked from the kids ascent that they were from the UK, it turned out that he was from Ireland himself but migrated to the states about 20 years ago. He was explaining the history of the island to the kids.fullsizeoutput_1670IMG_7814IMG_7810IMG_7789

The little island is nestled between the Long Island bay and the Atlantic Ocean, making it an ideal location for the whole family. If you wanted to surf the big waves or skinny dipping in the bay, there is something for everyone.

The island has one fire station, doctor, chapel, post office, a town hall where people meet or socialise and a shop that sells both fresh and cooked meals.

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A yacht club

There is a large playground for kids, basketball court, tennis court.

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two lifeguards on duty watching the bay. It is safe fun and all round a beautiful island.