Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Screamerama Drama

Even this photo makes me tense....
We've all been there: a small baby starts crying somewhere...maybe the mall, maybe a restaurant, maybe (worst of all) a PLANE. And I freely admit, I have been the person that glared. 

It's loud, isn't it, when a baby cries? And annoying, yes? Goes right through you, doesn't it?

Well let me tell you (all parents will know this already) when it's your own baby IT IS TEN TIMES WORSE. 

Apparently your own crying baby makes women secrete a stress hormone, which is why men can remain calm in the face of a mewling infant, but women start sweating and have to comfort them. Pronto.

Added to this, if it's your own baby you are likely to be stuck in a confined space with them when the screaming is in full flow (taxis and elevators are the worst) and then it seems even louder.

AND factor in the stress of (what feels like) the whole world staring at you and judging you, and it is fair to say that I dread screamerama with every fibre of my being.

It's amazing what can set her off; I've learned at some cost never to sneeze or cough loudly in her presence. My poor Dad removed his glasses which for some reason terrified her - he never did that again after the hysterics took an hour to abate.

Now when I see or hear a baby crying I'm torn between wanting to hug the mother and relief that it isn't mine. Their crying barely even registers on my radar now.

Oh, how I regret the glaring of my childless days now.

Monday, July 07, 2014

The Holy Month

It's Ramadan again. My absolute favourite time of the year. Such a special time to be living in the Muslim country and every day I'm thankful for the experience.

As we head into the second week I thought I'd summarise some of my previous posts on the Holy Month.

I hope you enjoy them..

Re-connecting with old friends

Food and friends

Taxi Drivers


Opening Hearts

Patience and Prayer


Palm Trees and Dates

The Fountain of Youth?

If celebs are involved, I want in.
As you know, I'm not one for letting the ravages of time take hold of me. Even in the dark early days of Baby Britney's arrival I often applied a full face of make up, even if I was staying in the house. With no visitors. It made me feel so much better about myself/life in general.

I'm pretty much a marketing man's dream, and although I have dialled down some of my health and beauty obsessions over the years, I'm always eager to try new things...especially if these things promise youth, energy and vitality....

Last year I tried the Collagen Gold product, with limited success.

This year has seen more trials in the Britney House - in the form of Celergen . Billed as "the one and only Swiss Anti-aging Marine Oral Cell Therapy Supplement in the world,' the good people at Celergen asked me to try their product for two months, and report back on how it went. I hadn't heard of the product before, but a quick look online revealed it as "The Anti-Ageing Secret of the Rich and Famous". I was instantly hooked. Shallow, moi?

On closer inspection it has amazing results in clinical trials.(At 28 days, 71% of users showed a significant decrease in the number of deep wrinkles.) Hell, even doctors take it!

By the point of closer inspection I'd already been taking the product for a few days. Hey, I have a new baby, I'm back at work, I need all the help I can get! I didn't want research to slow my anti-ageing down!

How does it work? Here's the lowdown of Celergen's three main ingredients:
  •  BioDNA Marine Cellular Complex has great antioxidant properties that protect our bodies against cell oxidative aggression, and its clinically proven to boost energy and stamina. It helps alleviate pain, improves quality of sleep, enhances memory and sharpens mental focus.
  • Peptide E Collagen works its magic on the skin and joints and cartilages.  It is made up of all-natural collagen and elastin peptides in the same proportions as that of our skin that  improves skin rehydration (moisture balance) and elasticity. The good thing about Peptide E Collagen is that it’s easily absorbed and it actually rebuilds the outer skin layers from the inside out – this is the ingredient proven to reduce lines and wrinkles.
  • Hydro MN Peptide is a mix of hydrolyzed proteins (mainly Collagen) and polysaccharides (35-40% chondroitin sulfate – cartilage-friendly components) that regenerates cartilage and improves skin structure. It provides UV protection and prevents unhealthy body fat accumulation by reducing appetite and promoting satiety.
Sounds good, yes? And I'm sure you don't need to be a mind-reader to know that the words that jumped out at me from the above were....WRINKLES and SLEEP. The holy grail of every mother....

So let's cut to the chase as I know you're wondering. Did it work? Do I look 19 again? Have I slept like a log ever since taking them?

Well, let's be fair. With a 9 month old baby there is only so much a supplement can do, however marvellous it is. 

But here's the good bit: I have been feeling strangely stronger in the mornings. Even on the days when I've only had 5 hours sleep, once I'm up, I do feel more resilient. 

My face definitely looks better too: I had a bizarre rash on my forehad ever since giving birth (delighful) and that's completely gone. This morning everything looked smoother, and (whispers) glowing. And that was a night with 6 hours sleep.

I'm still forgetful (words don't come as easily as they used to) and my joints/back still ache. But that's probably down to aforementioned small baby and the fact that I've recently starting running again after an 18 month hiatus.

So overall, I'd recommend it. The one stumbling block? The price. To be fair, $350 per month will not be flinched at by many Dubai residents and is significantly cheaper than going under the knife. For mere mortals, you might find it a little pricey. You can order online and they'll deliver it to you, wherever you are, for free.

Disclaimer: This product was given to me for free for the purposes of reviewing, however all opinions were independently formed by little old me.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Baby Essentials - Number 3 - The Swaddle Me Wrap

Easy peasy and genius!
If you'd been tucked up in a cosy, warm, very tight bed for 8 months or more, you might protest at being dragged kicking and screaming from it without warning. This is what happens to babies when they're born. And it's even more of a shock to them if they're born prematurely, like Baby Britney (BB).

They also have a very strong 'startle' reflex which means that their little arms twitch without warning, giving them a huge shock. If this happens as they are drfting off to snoozeville it wakes them up and you can forget any type of sleep.

So to make them feel cozy and snuggly, and to stop them startling like crazed ferrets, you swaddle them. Now there are all sorts of rules about the how and why to do this - their little hips can get stuck apparently. Personally I feel that unless The Hulk is swaddling your baby, you are on pretty safe grounds.

We did this from day one, using swaddling blankets. It was the only thing that soothed BB, but there was one major problem - she could fight her way out of any blanket, and did so frequently.

Then we discovered the Swaddle Me pod. It is basically a teeny tiny baby straightjacket - it allows you to wrap the tiny tyrant up AND velcro them up. Get out of THAT Houdini!!

The one caveat is that they have to be a minimum weight - 3.2 kilos- which meant that the tiddler BB couldn't go in it for a few months. Once she could, it was a DREAM. 

They're here in Dubai at Babyshop, or order them online from Amazon. Honestly, it will change your life.