Archive for February, 2010

Spoke too soon

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Or should that be blogged too soon?

So I though we’d got the hang of breastfeeding at last.  Turns out he was sucking rather than latching (and yes there is a difference, who’d have thought?).  He is fine and still well fed but I am now in lots of pain.  I kept thinking it was just due to the change from using breast shields but it has got to such a level that I now admit – we can’t breastfeed “properly”.  Ah well, back to breast shields.

So now I’m quite disappointed in myself, all over again.  I just want to be as perfect a Mum to him, as he is a son to me.  I guess I just have to be satisfied that I am managing to breastfeed at all, some ladies can’t.  Tomorrow he turns 17 weeks and we are into the zone of “you can start weaning now if you like but its best to wait until he’s 6 months”.  Goodness knows I am looking forward to this whole fiasco being over, will be so much easier when he’s on Sugar Puffs and burgers!!

In the meantime I must share this video that is just adorable.  It was what I was woken up by this morning but is still cute, I’m sure you’ll agree…

If it doesn’t work here just go to my flickr page to see it.

By George, we’ve got it! I think we’ve got it…

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

…to paraphrase Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady.

To what do I refer?  Well I’m afraid this is where I started talking about my boobs again!  If you were brave enough to read my blog entry about breastfeeding you will know that Owen and I were not managing to proceed in the traditional manner.  We have been using breast shields, which works fine but you do get some leakage and you need to sterilise them in between every feed. 

Well, at the weekend, during one of his feeds, I glanced down at one point and there was Owen feeding, and there beside him was the shield!  I did a double take, then checked that I could feel milk leaving me, and sure enough he really was feeding without a shield!

Trying not to get too excited prematurely I squealed at Bryan.  Anyway the next couple of feeds he would knock off the shield now and then, until now I don’t even get the shield out, I just sit down with Owen and away he goes!

I’m still trying not to get excited and think we’ll never need a shield again but I had such lovely supportive comments from various people after my main blog on the topic that I just had to share my glee – and here’s hoping it lasts!  Of course this Sunday he will be 17 weeks old, which is the minimum age for weaning, so not much longer that he’ll be feeding!  I will try to hold out for the recommended 6 months exclusively on milk, but it depends if he gets super hungry before that and needs more.  At least when I’m weaning him off brest milk onto formula it won’t be a new thing as he had formula for the first four weeks or so until we got established feeding.

I am saddened

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

As I posted on Twitter and Facebook about 3am this morning when I found out:

  • Genuinely gutted. Just heard that Nizlopi have split up. Sad, sad day but at least I had one awesome night with them on 20th April 2008

For those that don’t know what or who this is, they are were a band.  Luke and John, two lovely guys – and yes I did meet them.  I was their “street team” at the gig in April 2008 and helped spread the word about the concert; for which they thanked me personally, bless them.  And they came and offered me a blanket when I was standing outside in just one of their t-shirts getting folk’s email addresses for their mailing list and telling them to buy t-shirts when they got inside – of course I declined the blanket as otherwise folk wouldn’t see the t-shirt! 

Nizlopi did folk music, with a twist, but became best known for The JCB Song which was an internet hit and thrilled people like me who like all the fab stuff they mention in it – like JCBs, Dads, Transformers and BA Baracus! 

The guys are awesome musicians and I wish them all the best in their solo futures.  But in the meantime I will be sad.

Luke sings and dances like a god

This is a photo I took at their concert in Aberdeen, I was sat on the front of the stage at one point but was enjoying myself too much to take many photos, and I seem to remember I had the camera on weird settings and couldn’t clear them.  I do have a very special video clip where Luke sings straight into my camera during the set – but I ain’t sharing it!

Funnily enough we had started discussing names for the baby we intended to try for at the time.  Bryan had said we should have twins of each sex and call them Luke and Leia, like in Star Wars.  Possibly a joke to start with but we actually liked the names so they were both on the table.  After meeting Nizlopi Luke I realised this was an even better name as, not only did it have a geeky connection to the much loved Star Wars, but it had a connection to the world of music as do ours.  (Bryan after Bryan Ferry and Maria after West Side Story).  So that was a decision made in my book, Luke Robertson it would be if we were blessed with a boy.  Until 9 months later when Nicole and Ray had Lucas Robertson.  The boys will hopefully grow up as best buddies so couldn’t have such similar names.  Ah well, c’est la vie – looking back I’m quite happy we ended up with Owen, I love the name – and wee guy!

In the email to their mailing list Luke included a lovely poem which I shall share here in the hope of increasing his adoring fans.

  • Oh what a time what a world in crisis
    Being made out of volcanic speed
    A time of greed and need
    Of deep fissures between us all
    And these flowers of hope amid the rubbish heap
    The deep strange story in our troubled chests that seems to shine a light on a possible future
    I know we can make it to the world we envisage
    And to not do so is weak and leaves us all desolate
    So lets go there together forever singing
    That laughter is in us all for the giving
    We’ve gotta keep going to where we know we’re bound
    Straight on brothers straight on sisters!

Generous government

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Bryan and I made the decision to have a baby, you may have noticed I’ve mentioned wee Owen just occasionally recently.  Anyway I have been really quite shocked, in a good way obviously, at how much financial support the government has given us in our endeavour.  Especially as I talk to non UK people on Twitter who don’t get nearly as much!  The official details are available here, or read my unofficial run down as follows.

Firstly a pregnant lady can have up to a year off work as Maternity Leave and Daddy gets 2 weeks Paternity Leave.  The government pays Statutory Maternity Pay of £123.06 per week for up to 9 months so we can give birth and look after the wee one.  Actually the first 6 weeks were 90% of normal salary (that seems a bit long ago now though!).  To help Mummy eat well and so protect the baby she is given a Health in Pregnancy Grant of £190 – not means tested or anything, anyone more than 25 weeks pregnant has been getting that since April 2009.  Then there’s Child Benefit of £20 a week from when his/her birth is registered until they turn 16, or leave full time education if that’s later.  Then there’s Tax Credits, that varies depending on your income but we’re getting a nice wee bit each month and will get more once Owen’s in full time nursery I believe.  Lastly, I think, there’s the Child Trust Fund payment.  Each child gets £250 when born and then the same again when they turn 7 years old.  Its up to the parents where they invest it and if they go low or high risk, but its only the child that can access it – once he/she turns 18.  Then they can spend it on anything they like.  Parents are encouraged to set up a direct debit to add to it so there’s a nice lump sum for the child to pay for university, put down a deposit on a flat, buy a car or go blow it in Vegas.  Who can tell what your adorable baby will be like by the time they are 18..?!  Obviously there is all the health care as well, I had a midwife’s support throughout pregnancy, birth and the first couple of weeks, I now have a health visitor.  Owen and I had drugs, tests, scans and whatever else during the whole process – all through our National Health Service.  Round of applause for them too, I keep thinking I should blog my “birth story” and acknowledge their part in the wonder that is Owen…

Anyway, that’s why I’m calling the government generous.  Obviously we’ve both paid our taxes for years already so feel quite justified in getting something back, I’m just surprised at how much people get for something they chose to do.  But please don’t think I’m ungrateful or don’t want the money – I’m happily and gratefully gathering it all in!

Of course I’m not a financial wizard so I’ve had to research it all and check out the options.  I used Martin Lewis’ website and Which? for advice and asked my Twitter friends.  I won’t bother boring you with all the thinking behind my decisions (ask if interested and I will bore you!) but I have now set up a Child Trust Fund with Family Investments through Skipton Building Society.  The £250 the government gave Owen is safely in there and anyone can add to it whenever they want – up to £1200 per year (just go to and use account number C01230911G and birth date 18th October 2009 if you have pennies burning a hole in your pocket!).  Owen will then get access to anything in the account on his 18th birthday.

Just in case he turns into a mad money wasting beastie, we have decided that any gifts and other money he gets will go into a separate savings account.  Again I have done research and am going to open an account for him next time I get into town as the building society I chose won’t let you set up online.  If you are one of the kind people that gave us money when Owen was born you can be safe in the knowledge it will go into his savings account once I’ve set it up.  This will be controlled by us and we can access it anytime we need money for him – although we have to justify any withdrawals as something decent that is for Owen.  So it won’t go on camera equipment for Daddy or pretty shoes for Mummy!  Hee hee!  Hopefully we can build it up over the years and it will help him through university or something.

Anyway I’ve digressed from the point of my story, which is to say – I’m grateful that living in the UK means we get such good help in ensuring a good start to our son’s life.