a transatlantic mommy / mummy blog – my kids say "tomato" & "to-mah-to"

Enter the Dragon – our baby girl arrives with drama

Whilst originally due around Feb 19th, our babygirl aka “Tinkerbell” was scheduled to be delivered by c-section, originally Feb 13th, then moved up to Feb 8th.

With Chinese New Year falling Feb 10th 2013, we managed to just squeak in to the Year of the Dragon. Specifically the Water Dragon. For those of you who follow the Chinese lunar calendar, the Year of the Dragon is considered the luckiest of the Chinese lunar years.

But our little girl wasn’t just satisfied to be born a bit early, into the year of the Dragon (who wants to be a 2013 Rabbit anyways?) she arrived with as much drama as possible. Clearly we have a Diva-in-training.

So here follows her birth story:

Early on the morning of the AM of the 5th of February I began feeling strong contractions as I lay in bed. From 3am -4am they were a bit erratic, but strong and 8-10 mins apart. When my husband went to the restroom a little after 4 I told him I’d been up for the last hr tracking contractions. Within moments I coughed, (having caught a bit of cough from the boys) and felt a pain in my lower left abdomen and wetness suddenly down below. I got up to check it out and sat on the toilet where I bled quite profusely. Infused with panic and calm at the same time – I rang the hospital to tell them of the development and determine whether it was faster to come in by taxi or ambulance.

Luckily my Mom had arrived from the US earlier than she had originally planned as she and I both had a suspicion I wouldn’t last to my scheduled delivery date. We woke her up and left her in charge with the boys as we went to the hospital by taxi. As the taxi drove us the mile to the hospital, through empty streets, I almost screamed at the driver as he stopped at red lights – but figured me screeching and explaining would probably have the opposite effect than desired.

We pulled up to Chelsea & Westminster hospital’s front doors, of course which were locked as it was about 4:30 am so hubs and I waddled over the A&E where we explained the situation and were walked by a porter through the dark and silent hospital to the Kensington Wing – where I was scheduled to be seen. As we got to the doors a Midwife was just coming out with a wheelchair for me. Guess I beat here there! They hustled me to an exam room where they quickly realised I was in pain, still bleeding and both baby and I were in distress. I had a placental abruption. Basically this is where the placenta tears away from the uterus, causing bleeding and endangering Mom and baby. I was told I’d have to have an immediate c-section and by general anaesthetic (totally knocked-out).

I had been concerned about this 3rd delivery – even spoken to the anaesthesioligists in advance, you see each delivery has gone spectacularly wrong in a different way. Each uniquely traumatizing. Each time I’ve been told that it almost never happens, that it’s 1% of 1%, that it wouldn’t happen again. They are right – it didn’t happen again but something different an awful does each time.

Baby 1, “Captain Hook” –  2 weeks early my water broke. I went to the hospital, contractions stopped so they put me on pitocin etc and had strong contractions for almost 2 days before I pushed for 4 hrs, then had emergency c-section and the anesthesia only worked on half my body and they hadn’t tested the non-working side so I screamed through the surgery as they cut through me with no anesthesia on 1 side…

Baby 2. “Peter Pan” – while aiming for a VBAC I was told 3 wks before delivery that wouldn’t be possible as he was suddenly over 10lbs and I’d have to have c-section. This was scheduled for a Mon, the Thurs before I went into labor. By the time I got in to the hospital (they kept telling me to stay home when I called) I was dialated to 6, at 3am. I was told I’d have to wait until 6am for the Dr as he was busy with other c-sections, and no although I was in labor I couldn’t have any pain meds as they didn’t want to mess with the meds I’d have for surgery. So I sat through 3 hrs of labor and contractions in the hospital without meds which is so unfair! (especially as having been through it for hrs already at home) and was finally walked to the operating theatre where

Back to baby 3, “Tinkerbell.” I did end up having the c-section by general, and it was done quickly. I was woken up and told that baby was fine, my hubs had already seen her and her oxygen levels at birth to the brain were good so they weren’t concerned about that. I was brought to the recovery room where I got to meet her, count her fingers and toes – and of course realize how much pain I was in. Thank heavens for morphine drips.

As crazy as each of my deliveries have been – I feel I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had complicated situations that in another time, or even now in another place in the world my babies and I wouldn’t necessarily faired as well as we had.

4 years ago 5 Comments Short URL

MIA and back again..

exhausted womanSo I was MIA for a bit. As you may already know I’m a full time working Mom, with a demanding job and even more demanding children and hubs :0)

On a normal week I do about 65 hours of work in my office and some in the evenings from home – and then shuttle the kids around, do the cooking etc and try and squeeze in some time for blogging and perhaps a moment for myself.

Once I reached the 3rd trimester – it was all I could do to just stay awake and make it through my workday before returning home. Crazily enough – my work got even busier then and I was doing 70+hr weeks. Something had to give and in this case it was my weekly Monday Twitter Party “MumsNight” and my blog posting. It didn’t happen, the guilt mounted – but all I could do was work, eat and sleep as baby girl got bigger in my belly, preparing for her arrival.

So I’m back – and on Maternity Leave. I thought having the baby would slow me down a bit. Get into her rythm, get some sleep, but nope, somehow even without a full day in the office I seem to be just as busy, but I feel that I’ll be able to squeeze in my blogging. So bear with me as I get back in the swing of things.

 

4 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Winter warm-ups with Polarn O. Pyret

There’s a nip in the air and we’ve begun putting away the short sleeve shirts and breaking out the winter gear. I made the rookie parent mistake (yes I still do these) a couple weeks back of bringing my son “Peter Pan” (age 4) into the UGG store to sit with me whilst I tried on some boots. I left the store without boots – but he left his heart behind with a pair of black toddler UGGs. He then proceeded to ask me each time I opened my computer if I was ordering his boots, and every time we went past the post to ask if his boots had arrived yet. *Sigh*

Luckily while in the US recently I visited Costco and found a pair of black shearling boots that look remarkably like UGGs but costing about only 25% of UGGs which seeing as how he’ll have outgrown them in a few weeks or months is certainly a better value proposition. He calls them his “sunshine boots” as we only let him wear them when it’s not raining as they’ll stain, being made of suede.

As I’ve begun packing the summer gear away and bringing out the winter – I’ve also begun doing some shopping to stock up on layering items that always seem to magically disappear like hats, gloves, scarves – and also to look for colorful stylish clothes for the boys to wear that will keep them nice and toasty. (Hello jumpers and jackets!) We’re a fan of layers and bright colors so it’s no wonder that Polarn O. Pyret caught my eye. I love the fun colors and I’ve found their size/fit to be pretty spot on. If you haven’t heard about Polarn O.Pyret, they are a Swedish kids clothing company where the focus has been “children need clothes they can play in.” They have designed clothes that let children be children- good-looking clothes that make life easier. Clothes that can withstand wear and tear and are handed down from brother to sister. (Yes! finally a brand that understands that clothes should be rugged, long-lasting and timeless in design so they can be handed down!)

I also agree with their thoughts that children feel the cold differently. Some are constantly moving while others sit still. Finding clothes that work in both rain and freezing weather is not easy. Dressing in layers lets you add or remove clothes as the weather changes. No matter what type of child. Seeing as how I’ve got one who’s always too hot and the other that feels a little chilled. Layers are a firm favorite around our house.

Polarn O. Pyret advises the following:

  • Layer 1 / Base layer
    In really cold temperatures, a base layer in wool or polyester keeps children warm. Cotton underwear does not wick away moisture, and the wearer will feel cold. A polyester base layer is soft as silk and ideal for active children. A wool base layer is best for very cold temperatures.
  • Layer 2 / Mid layer
    A good mid layer wicks away moisture and retains body heat. If the garment does not “breathe”, body temperature will fall. Fleece and wool blends are comfortable to wear and ideal for outdoor play. Both fabrics transfer moisture and trap a layer of warm air.
  • Layer 3 / Outerwear
    Good outerwear protects against wind and rain. Children’s outerwear should also be tough enough to cope with play and adventure. This layer should be easy to open, and easy to close in wind and snow. Our outerwear has a coating that wicks away moisture and prevents water from seeping in.

“Captain Hook”s” favorite thing about his Puffa Coat – besides it being comfy and warm are the thumb-holes. I like that it has an inner sleeve that extends past the outer sleeve so it will fit under his gloves and keep the wind out of his sleeves. I also like that it has multiple reflector patches.

“Peter Pan” loves his new trousers and cardi (green denims and fairisle cardigan) – and has of course paired them with his shearling “sunshine boots.” He asked to wear this outfit for photo day at school – and has put it on for each of his new babysitters when they’ve come to visit. I like how the trousers are a nice fit without being too long, and the quality and color has held up through multiple washings.

On Monday Nov 26th – I’ll be hosting a #MumsNight about Winter Warm-ups – sharing tips on layering, ideas for keeping warm at home and on the go, money saving ideas for keeping warm, and other tips.

Polarn O. Pyret will be sponsoring that #MumsNight with a £50 Gift Card for which you can enter now! (Giveaway closes Nov 26th, 9pm)

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Disclosure: Polarn O. Pyret provided the clothes for this review – and will be providing the gift card to the giveaway winner. All opinions are those of myself and my family – no other compensation was received. Please visit my Disclosure Policy if you have further questions.

 

 

 

 

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5 years ago 18 Comments Short URL

Keeping Green Kids – Tips for raising eco-aware kids

My children have been bringing home all kinds of recycling tips from school – but I’m not always convinced they’ve got the info 100% correctly. Last week I found a pile of trash on the side table, a used juice pouch, some cardboard and other items. When I went to throw them in the bin my son “Captain Hook” said “No, I’m recycling those.” I told him he wasn’t that they were trash and couldn’t be collected with the recycling. He said that he personally was going to recycle them into something useful, like a boat…. Hmm… OK not exactly sure that’s possible but the spirit is there.

Join me this week on #MumsNight to learn and share green and eco tips for raising babies and toddlers. From keeping your carbon footprint small, to effectively re-using and recycling. We’ll also be discussing some of the best eco products.

To help us learn even more about green baby products and eco raising eco children, gNappies has generously donated 2 tickets to The Baby Show this weekend at Earl’s Court in London. The 2 tickets will go to 1 winner. You can attend any one day of the three days of the show. (Giveaway now closed – thanks again if you entered)

The Baby Show, website :  http://www.thebabyshow.co.uk/earls-court/

gNappies website: http://www.gnappies.co.uk/

The gNappy (gnappies.co.uk) is the brainchild of Kim Graham-Nye – listed as one of Forbes magazine’s 10 most powerful women entrepreneurs – and is now available in Britain. Most of the environmental attributes of the gNappy are “upstream” – it is made from microfibres and hemp fleece, which removes the three-quarters of a cup of oil it takes to make a conventional disposable. But wet inserts can also be home composted. Graham-Nye says the average time they take to break down is 55 days (less than a banana skin). Many products claim to be biodegradable; with gNappy this has been independently certified. via the Guardian

gnappies logo

 

Disclosure: I have not been compensated by gNappies and the tickets will be provided from gNappies to the winner

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5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

My boys are Set4Sport

We were fortunate enough to be invited to participate in some fun and games with Set4Sport by Judy Murray. It was one of those days where the boys didn’t want to go/do/be anything but contrary. But as soon as we got the boys to the event and playing games – it was tough to tear them away! Before attending the event, I didn’t really know much about Set4Sport, other than that they had an iphone App.

I was intrigued to learn that Set4Sport is inspired by games that Judy Murray played with sons Jamie & Andy when they were young which help develop the skills needed for playing sport. It didn’t really make sense until we got the boys playing the different games in rotation.
With hubs accompanying us we entered the venue and saw lots of different stations set up, and the boys were given some free time to play while we waited to join some of the rotation areas. When hubs saw kids batting balls with biscuit tin lids, and running from pillows to cardboard boxes – he whispered to me, “this is a really nice venue, I guess they spent all the money on that instead of equipment.” Oh hubs… Set4Sport,  is all about playing games and having fun in a family environment, using everyday household objects as equipment. Once that was explained – he was pleasantly surprised and a bit relieved.

On one of the first rotations we played “Tidy Your Room” in which the children were timed with a stopwatch and had to put items back in the box from where they rested atop pillows that were arranged in a spoke -like pattern around the box. The boys loved it and I swear it’s the fastest I think I’ve ever seen them tidy anything. (Note to self – must invest in a stopwatch for home tidying by the boys!). We were told by the coach of that game that it’s similar to drills that athletes practice.
After some one-on-one coaching with Judy, who was warm and lovely I began to see the boys skills develop and their confidence in their abilities grow. While it was a very short amount of time I could really see how practicing at home could lead to a significant impact in sporty skills and dexterity.

One of the most interesting games they played involved jumping over the sharks (2 jumpropes on the floor with stuffed animal sharks laying about) and once they completed their jump, we’d throw a ball at them they’d have to catch and throw back. The throw back evolved – first to us, then to a specific target, then returning it by way of a racket. The coach shared that when you have to return or aim a ball you’re often in movement – not just standing still so this helps develop those move – catch- aim- throw/respond skills.
We’ve begun incorporating some of the games from the event and accompanying book and app into our home play time – and let’s see – maybe we’re raising some future sports stars!
Set4Sport is a programme inspired by Judy’s years of experience as a tennis coach and parent. The programme, brought to life in a book,( and an App) showcases easy and accessible ways for parents to play with their children that helps develop the skills required for playing sport in later life.All the exercises are available in a free book or to download from www.set4sport.com, please visit the site, or their Facebook Page  for more details.
Also – see what The Good Life Bloggers have to say about Set4Sport
Getting Active, doesn’t necessarily take a lot of space. And it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of equipment. Simple things from around the home will help you.
If you’d like to win a free copy of the book – I have 3 copies to share. (Yes the books are also free on the website, http://www.set4sport.com/ however you’d still have to pay the 1.46 shipping so you might as well enter to win and see if you get lucky here and I’ll ship them to you at my cost :0) )

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Disclosure – I along with my husband and 2 sons were invited to participate at this event, which included lunch and entry to the London Zoo, where the event took place. While I was provided with this event/experience my views and review are those of mine and my family.
Find out more about Set4Sport on their Facebook page and join in on the Wall of Play!

5 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

#MumsNight – Slow-Cooker Back to School Weeknight Meals

The kids are back in school – and sure they are gone during the day but you’re just as busy – if not more so – than ever! Come join us for #MumsNight Monday Oct 8th as we discuss “Slow-Cooker, Back to School Weeknight Meals.” We’ll be sharing Slow Cooker tips, recipes and more! Plus, you can enter now to win a Crock-Pot!

We’ll be sharing tips, personal stories and tools to help you spend less time in the kitchen – and be less stressed by the weeknight! Please join us on Twitter from 8:30pm -9:30 pm BST – Monday Oct 8th Follow @TransatlantiMom and the hashtag #MumsNight to view the discussion – and be sure to add the hashtag #MumsNight to each of your tweets to join the conversation. This event will be hosted by myself  @TransatlantiMom and @MediocreMum who is an absolute whiz in the kitchen and SuperWoman with a slow-cooker! MediocreMum hosts a weekly linky #scsunday where she shares our slow cooking recipes on a Sunday.

We hope to see you on Twitter on Monday and can’t wait to learn your tips & tricks and share a few of our own. Also – you can register to win a free Crock-Pot slow cooker, courtesy of Crock-Pot UK

Enter to win a New Designs Crock-Pot (colour may vary from the one pictured)

The perfect size Crock-Pot® slow cooker for 2 to 3. Accommodates varied cooking needs and time constraints with high, low and keep warm settings. Clean up is a snap with dishwasher safe removable stoneware that doubles as a convenient serving dish complete with a dish-washer-safe glass lid.

More Crock-Pot New Designs product info is available here from their website.

For more information about Crock-Pot or for slow cooker recipes visit their Facebook Page  *I have not been paid or compensated by any brand for this post or giveaway. Any questions please ask – or feel free to visit my disclosure statement.

 

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Full Giveaway Rules

Prize Eligibility
Only persons residing in United Kingdom who are at least 18 years of age can enter.
Sweepstakes Starts
Oct 2, 2012 @ 06:30 am (BST)
Sweepstakes Ends
Oct 8, 2012 @ 09:00 pm (BST)

- Only those over 18, who reside in the UK may enter.
- Entrants must be over the age of 18
- Entrants must be based within the UK
- 1 winner will be selected at random to win the prize
- Entrants must follow @TransatlantiMom on Twitter to qualify for entry
- Entrants must comment on this blog post to qualify for entry
- Entrants may earn additional entries daily by sending out tweets or liking the Crock-Pot UK Facebook Page
- Entrants need not attend the #MumsNight Twitter Party on Twitter  Oct 8 2012, 8:30-9:30 BST to qualify (but it would be really nice if you did!!)
- TransatlantiMom will not share your data with 3rd Party companies with the exception of the winner to Crock-Pot who will use the information you provide for the purposes of communicating with the winner.
- This competition is run separately from Twitter and is by no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter.
Entrants can enter the Sweepstakes for free by emailing transatlanticmom @ gmail (dot) com and requesting details about alternate registration.

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5 years ago 22 Comments Short URL

Half a year of #MumsNight

Can you believe we’ve had almost half a year of #MumsNight ?  It’s been great having all of the participation – people sharing their tips and advice on how to make a Mum’s life easier – and better.

So far we’ve covered:

  • Eating for Energy
  • Free Makeover Tips
  • Chocolate Indulgence
  • Following your dreams
  • Slow cook – no cook (lazy cooking ideas)
  • Spring  cleaning hacks – giving you more time for you!
  • UK Breaks & Staycation Ideas
  • Tips for Travelling with Kids
  • Declutter My Life & Get Organized
  • Money Saving Mums
  • Stock your Pantry
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Fitting in more me time
  • Baking secrets
  • Party Ideas
  • Parenting Secrets
  • Beach Tips for Mums
  • Back to School Tips for Mums
  • Family Health
  • Laundry Secrets
What’s been your favorite one so far???

On average – our weekly #MumsNight chats on Twitter have about 75 guests who generate 600 tweets during our 1 hour Twitter party that reach 25,000+ accounts and get over 1 million impressions.

We’ve even managed to be a trending topic one Monday evening!

So here we are now – about to embark on the next 6 months of #MumsNight and I hope you’ll continue to join us! We’re looking for new ideas to feature.

What are your questions that you’d like the advice, tips and support of other Mums on?

So far we’ve heard suggestions including:

  • How to inspire men to do housework
  • Back to work
  • Work life balance
  • Welcoming second baby
  • Fitting in fitness
  • Quick easy healthy dinners
  • Fitting in more hours to the day
  • Helping work at home Mums manage their day
  • Mom rivalry! why you can’t share good news with other moms without them having to top it
  • Potty Training boys
  • Manners
  • Sibling Rivalry
  • Getting kids to sleep
  • Relationships
  • Make time as a couple when you can’t get a babysitter
  • keeping the spark as a couple with kids

What else should we cover? Please share your suggestions in the comments and we’ll get right on it!

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

#MumsNight – Fitting in More “Me Time”

We all struggle to make time for ourselves – learn from others how they manage it and together come up with a plan to make it happen for you!

Join us as we discuss how to Fit in More “Me Time” on Monday Night 8:30-9:30 pm UK on Twitter, follow hashtag #MumsNight

As an activity – create a Pinterest Board sharing what you’d do if you had more time for yourself and then come back here and share it on this linky below!

Pinterest boards of “Me-Time”


 

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

#MumsNight – June 18 – Dealing with Difficult People

This week on #MumsNight we’ll be tackling the tough stuff! We’ll be discussing “Dealing with Difficult People.”

So  I’ve received lots of recommendations as to whom you belief should be on the list “Difficult People”

  • Mothers in Law (MIL)
  • Toddlers
  • Teenagers
  • Customer Service Reps
  • Sales Staff
  • Eccentric “characters”
  • …………..

So join us as we discuss how to deal with Difficult People and share tips, swap stories and more for #MumsNight, Monday June 18th 8:30-9:30 pm on Twitter.

 
Join the linky – share you blog post about “Dealing with Difficult People”

 

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Next #MumsNight – Declutter My Life & Get Organized

I don’t know if you have noticed – but babies and kids not only come along with a bunch of stuff, they also frequently make messes. Dealing with children’s stuff on type of my own shifting piles of stuff isn’t always easy when there are so many things on my to-do list.

When we moved from a large apartment in the city, to a much larger house in the suburbs with attic and basement you end up filling up as much room as you have. Over the last few years – we’ve been working on downsizing and decluttering as we’ve moved back to the city and then overseas to an even larger city with smaller places to live.

So we aren’t candidates for the TV show Hoarders, but we do always seem to move a box that we haven’t unpacked from our last move…

Come join us for our next #MumsNight, Monday May 14th to share your tips, tricks, ideas and learn from other UK Mums. Come for the advice, chat or just for fun!

Declutter My Life & Get Organized

We’ll be discussing how to

  • Get yourself organized (including mental prep!)
  • Decluttering your home, car & office
  • Help the schoolweek run more smoothly
  • Sharing your tips & tricks!

We’ll be sharing tips, personal stories and tools to help you declutter, get organized and have more fun!

Please join us on Twitter from 8:30pm -9:30 pm BST Monday May 14th

Follow @TransatlantiMom and the hashtag #MumsNight to view the discussion – and be sure to add the hashtag #MumsNight to each of your tweets to join the conversation. To go along with the conversation I’ve also created a Pinterest board you can visit here:http://pinterest.com/transatlantimom/mumsnight-staycation/

Please share in the comments some of the topics/ideas you’d like covered in this #MumsNight Twitter Party.

Also – I’d like to announce the #MumsNight  Before & After – Declutter & Get Organized Project/Blog Hop!

1. On Monday, at #MumsNight  we’ll discuss some Declutter & Organization pain points and tips – and at the end of #MumsNight I will share with you, the top 3 areas of the home/life etc seemed to be the most cluttered or disorganized – and some of the tips we shared on how to improve it.

2. These 3 super decluttered/disorganized areas will be separated into groups and include the tips of how to improve them.We will choose one/all/some of these that resonate with our own situations and implement some of the tips and take before and after photos , with no pre-cleaning or touch-ups!

3. #MumsNight guests and Transatlantic Mom blog readers can  post their photos and wrote about their experience on their own blogs, then link it to TransatlanticMom.com blog on the linky below and I’ll then upload it to our Pinterest Board for #MumsNight – Declutter My Life & Get Organized Before & After Photos.

 

 

Also, be sure to grab a badge and add it to your blog to let your readers know what you’re up to!

I’ve been inspired by #MumsNight
Many of the #MumsNight guests have been inspired by some of the ideas and recommendations shared at the #MumsNight Twitter Parties and this has led to action. If you’ve blogged about something you learned or did following #MumsNight please let us now about it! We’d love to see what you’ve been up to. Inspired by #MumsNight
 

 

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5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL
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