Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Baby Essentials - Number 2 - The White Noise App

Your life pre-baby may involve peace, quiet, and music. Ah, music. 

Babies, however, are not much interested in music. What they like are monotonous sounds...the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, the hairdryer. As it isn't massively practical to carry any of these things round with you, I heartily recommend you invest in a white noise app. 

This amazing thing CHANGED OUR LIFE. It was 69p from the App Store - I am not exaggerating when I say I would have spent thousands on it. It has a good selection of sounds to choose from - we compromised on the 'Conch Shell' - a lovely sound of breaking waves, as I couldn't stand the hairdryer - it also has a timer that you can switch on for the first hour of baby going down in their cot. Once they are asleep it switches off. 

And get this: it then 'listens' to your baby. If they rouse, IT SWITCHES BACK ON.

There are no words to describe the genius of this. 

We only discovered this when Baby Britney (BB) was about 6 weeks old. I so wish we'd known sooner. It has helped to crack the non-napping in the daytime and she is so used to the routine of it after bath time that her eyes literally close as soon as it is switched on. 

Of course, this idea is not new - my mum's friend said she had a cassette tape of white noise that she used to play to her boys - but at least now we have the amazing technology to make it so much easier and portable.

I now watch the ipad like a hawk - our worst nightmare would be if the battery died!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Good Morning Dubai!

The view from our terrace at 7 am. Beautiful, non?
When I first arrived in Dubai I gleefully blogged about my daily routine. I was so giddy to be here, waking up to blue sky and sunshine every day. Many people told me that this novelty would wear off, that I would take it for granted. 

I'd just like to set this record straight: after six years in the UAE, this joy has not abated. If anything, I'm even more grateful and thankful for my life here than I was back then.

So how has my routine changed? 

Well, some things are different: In the morning there's a beautiful peachy-headed baby to snuggle before getting dressed. There's a garden and a terrace to sit on with the morning coffee. There's palm trees wafting and birds singing and butterflies fluttering by (a by-product of the garden). There's a smiley, friendly little Indian man at our front gate sweeping the street with a palm tree leaf (I just love this).

And some things are the same: the wall of warmth and sunshine that envelops me as I walk out onto the street. The taxi that I hail, the numerous 'Hello's' to the army of people cleaning, polishing and generally making sure that our lives run like clockwork. 

It's always a beautiful start to the day and I am eternally grateful to the Universe for these blessings. 

We have about 3 weeks before the mercury climbs to 40 degrees at 8 am - remind me of this positivity then, yes?!

Things I Missed When Up the Duff

If you enjoy it, you probably can't do it...sigh.
My pregnancy was classed as very high-risk. Not because of my age,although I was practically dead by Middle Eastern child-bearing standards, but due to a few health issues. 

Anyway, as a result, I missed some of the usual things that up the duff ladies miss, plus some that they don't: 

  • Booze
  • A night without getting up to wee every 30 seconds
  • Running
  • Walking or standing for longer than 20 mins (doctor's orders: I COULD physically walk for longer,but paid the price afterwards)
  • Exercise of any sort (even pregnancy yoga was banned)
  • Swimming (see above)
  • Plane travel
  • Lying on my front when sunbathing
  • Lying on my front when attempting to sleep
  • My Whistles skinny jeans (although was still in them at 20 weeks, mofos!)
  • The spa (for the first 12 weeks)
  • My sanity (to be fair whether this was in place before is up for debate)
It's not forever, although it feels like it. Repeat: it's not forever.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Baby Essentials - Number 1 - The Bouncy Chair - Baby Bjorn

Handsome man not included - thankfully I have my own!
So many people have asked me what my 'must-have' items for a baby are. Truthfully, we didn't over indulge too much on frippery...ultimately what a tiny baby needs is somewhere to sleep, food (whether formula or bosom) and nappies. Oh and snuggles. Soooooooo many snuggles!

BUT there are undoubtedly some things that made our lives much, much easier. So I'll share them with you.

The first: a bouncy chair. Now there are hundreds of these on the market, and 99.9% of them are utterly hideous. I have never filled my house with neon/primary coloured plastic before, and I fail to see why I should now that I have a child.

So the only choice for us was a Baby Bjorn. These are beautiful, carefully designed chairs that also LOOK GOOD. Call me shallow, call me old-fashioned, but this was music to my ears.

On the practical front,it also folds completely flat, so you can store it out of the way. 
Putting away the Baby Bjorn has actually became a ritual in the evenings. After bath and bedtime, the chair is put away, signifying the end of all things baby and the start of grown-up chat and wine time. Bliss.

Baby Britney was so small that she couldn't actualy sit in it for the first few months (they need to be a certain weight so that they don't crumple up in it/slide off, bless) but the average newborn will be fine from day one.

Theya re brutally expensive in Dubai - double the price of Amazon in the UK, but they are worth every single dirham.