Keep In Touch

Follow Mariahalse on Twitter Follow Mariahalse on Pinterest Follow Mariahalse on Instagram

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Tone it up

Sport and me never mixed well - I am not a gym bunny or a jogger, but have always loved dancing (at parties, clubs, at home!) to shake myself out a bit, jump and move! If possible, I like swimming or playing tennis but I don't make enough effort to go. My main problem I think, are my un-toned core muscles - I always feel the need to STREEEEETCH. Yoga is nice and all, but a bit too slow for me.

It's all about Ballet.

Ballet Tone seems to have it all, stretch, tone, grace and elegance! I'm enrolling in one of the "Ballet-Inspired Dance fitness and toning" local class at the adult college so hope it's good! Watch this space...

I'm not sure if the class I'm taking is the same as but these points could inspire you too!
* For beautiful legs... "Tendus" really lengthen and tone up the legs, when done correctly
* For good bums... Ballet-tone will lift your spirits as well as your buttocks
* To walk tall...Take away with you after each class an elegant, confident posture

Top 10 Breastfeeding apps

Breastfeeding is a time for bonding with your baby and providing him with what he needs- and I enjoy our moments of closeness- but sometimes you feel like multitasking- or playing a game...!

My Top apps while breastfeeding:
1. Scrabble- fun, challenging and improves vocabulary
2. Blogpress - blog when it comes to you and laptop is too far away...
3. Hippo mouse- for when laptop is close enough to see screen but you want to type, scroll and control from iPhone
4. Facebook + Twitter(Echofon) - keep informed
5. if only for Look of the Day
6. Flixster- to watch upcoming film trailers
7. Countries quiz game - fun and educational!
8. Impossible - challenging to get all acheivements
9. Rightmove- to look up dream properties
10. Fuzzle- simple but addictive game

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 24 April 2010

App ramble

Facebook home is like Twitter but with the people you care about.
(My Twitter app isn't working)

Just realised I can use the Blogpress app upside down!

Facebook app rather Limited-I can't see groups... Boo- just when I was actually going to follow some relevant facebook groups more...

-- Post From My iPhone

Location:Church St,Richmond,United Kingdom

Friday, 23 April 2010

Beating the baby bulge

Buggyfit is Back on! After signing up, I have to use all 10 classes before July (10 classes = £50 and you need to use them within four months

The weekly meetups in local parks give you an hour long exercise session with running, stretching, and general fitness for postnatal and beyond. It can get tough for someone that was unfit to begin and I think I still go red after running "to the 8th tree" for another lap. But I can take Leonsito with me in the pram so it's perfect for after feeds and nap time. It doesn't matter if you don't go every week but now I think I should go every week! It is energising and helps you focus on something else for a bit giving you a break from little one. It also is a challenge for me as I was never very sporty and it is a good work out!

Initially I thought it was quite straight-forward and that I could do that kind of thing on my own. I was actually a bit disappointed that it didn't include the buggy more, like I saw in the Strollercize Youtube clip of the New York version (mentioned in a previous post). After Thursday's class though, I realised that you need the motivation to get out to the park and run around- I'm not going to do that myself!), and the instructor Jackie, is motivating and still kind to all abilities.

I've been to three so far (the first class is free which is good!), but now am determined to go every week- Until the 10 classes run out, and by then it will be July and it's holiday time!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Dancing and singing along to this album is one of our favourite hobbies! I found it on Spotify and think that it's one of best of the babies albums
The C.R.S. Players – My Very First Album

Favourite tracks include: Remember you're a womble, Dingle Dangle Scarecrow, Hop Little Bunnies, Wiggly Woo, The Grand Old Duke of York, Hokey Cokey, Heads Shoulders Knees & Toes, and the ingenious I Am a Weed

Buy it on Amazon for £4.99!


Pleased to say that I got a few mini pushups today- Yay!!

-- Post From My iPhone

Location:Church St,Richmond,United Kingdom

Monday, 19 April 2010

Developmental milestones blues

I was getting a bit anxious that little one is now 3 and a half months old and doesn't yet do mini push-ups or roll over as suggested by (the website I've been using since pregnancy to follow my baby's development). I know I shouldn't worry as all babies go at their own rhythm and can develop quickly for some things (he started smiling at 2 weeks) but I'm sure it's normal for a mother to feel envious of other babies already 'rolling' and who are slightly younger than him!

I place him on his belly every day but only for a few minutes until he gets annoyed... Anyone have some tips for improving this development? I've tried 'tempting' him forward with toys and today he has improved by slightly lifting his head off the mat a few times! Hooray :)

Sling Meet

I went to a "Sling Meet" at Southbank last week which is a gathering of mums who enjoy babywearing and a gives you a chance to try out other peoples slings. There are so many different types it's an opportunity to discover which works best for you and baby and ogle the pretty Mei Ties and other slings I've never heard of. I was there to get some help in tieing my cotton wrap. The mums there were really nice and down to earth and really helped. The sun was shining and it was a lovely day! Southbank is a great meeting spot for us as it's close to Waterloo with easy access with a lift to the upper levels (Although it was a sling meet, I had to go with my pram as I hadn't quite yet mastered the sling!).

Left there a happy mummy and most importantly now confident to put the little one in the sling more often! We even picked up daddy from the station after work pramless!

Definitely going to the next sling meet which is tomorrow at Southbank again.

For a list of sling meets near you look at

Breastfeeding and Drugs

Breastfeeding is brill and I want to carry on for a couple of months or so - but I still like the odd glass of red with a hearty meal and a good natter over a cappuccino. I liked this website that tells you the facts on social drugs and their effect on breast milk.

For example
CAFFEINE : "Unlike alcohol and nicotine, the effects of caffeine on breast milk are at their highest after 1 hour of drinking the tea, eating the chocolate, and so on. So you may be able to time your caffeine hits so that you have them just before a breastfeed. And it can help to drink lots of water so that you stay hydrated and the effects are diluted."
Great! I now make sure that I have my coffees just before or during feeding

ALCOHOL : "The general rule of thumb is 2 hours for every standard drink [for the alcohol to wear off], but again that will depend on your weight, if you have been drinking on a full or empty stomach, and if you have had any water in between drinks."

The site also lists the facts for Nicotine, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin and Methadone!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Baby Cinema

I can't wait for Buggyfit to be over so I can go and sit in cinema stuffing myself with popcorn!

The geniuses at Odeon cinemas allow you to bring your baby to the cinema on Thursday mornings to catch a film while feeding your baby. The sound is a bit lower and it's not so dark so it's baby-friendly and it doesn't matter if they make a bit of noise!

Visit their website to see what's playing in your area:

Monday, 5 April 2010

The trouble with sleeping...

Initially our baby wouldn't sleep in his Moses basket at night so we co-slept for a few weeks which was convenient for feeding, but not great for husband and me. I wouldn't sleep as deeply knowing that he could be squashed by snoring and wriggling hubby and of course we couldn't be very intimate - but in the first month it was a nice feeling to know that we were all there together keeping each other warm. It felt very primal but right. Which is the opposite of what I think we're meant to feel. This article explains the role of evolution in this and how it's actually a preventative measure of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) as it's all to do with babies 'forgetting' how to breathe as they switch between controlled and automated breathing between 2-4 month of age. Having their parents breathe near them reminds them that they need to breathe! Interesting article in any case.

We were pleased to finally get him to sleep in his own basket however, and this was thanks to swaddling! Worked a dream and I got the technique down thanks to a few YouTube videos such as this one. The next challenge is to see if he will sleep well in his cot when we transfer him...

Bath time

Bath time used to be hell. Admittedly our baby was perhaps a bit larger than expected and thus too large for the bathroom sink (that's how I remembered my mother bathing my little sister!). He'd cry when he got into the water and throughout the whole bathe. Now I realise the water was too cold - none of that elbow in the water nonsense you learn at the hospital, you need it to be slightly warm and definitely not 'neutral'! A new mum friend also helped me out suggesting a bath seat that worked wonders for her babe - Bath Eze is a seat that you put in the bath and baby just lies on it and is happy kicking about! Here's alink. Little Leon loves it and has starting thumping away with his little fat legs.

Working Out

I was lucky to not gain much wait during pregnancy - but I have no muscle tone whatsoever so really need to work out! My bottom is pretty much flat, I have a flabby belly, and I just need to feel energised! Yes yes, I could motivate myself at home and do something - but I lack self-motivation at the moment!

I signed up to a class of Buggyfit which is exercising in a park with a bunch of other mums and your babies are safe asleep in the pram. I must say that I was a bit disappointed as I imagined it to be more stroller oriented ie walk with your baby and do arm rotations like in this YouTube video or lunges and other things to do with pram. Buggyfit is more like- take your pram and mess up the wheels while they're dragged across the muddy park to a suitable spot to make you excercise... Sigh... At least it gets me out of bed. And to the park every week. Though when the classes are over, I need to find an alternative excercise that is more fun and gets me moving more!


I've really enjoyed breastfeeding the past few months. Only now am I starting to feel tired due to the night-time feeds and sometimes feel as though I have the baby permanently attached to me as he's still feeding every 3 hours. The WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months before introducing solids, but our parents' generation introduced them at 4 months... I'll see when he's ready but for now I've started to give him little 'tastes' of other foods as suggested by the Mexican ladies. Up until now he's mainly tried a few drops to the tongue of mexican beans.

French feminist Elisabeth Badinter suggests that breastfeeding is a form of oppression and prevents women from going out and doing what they want to as they need to be constantly with their babe - but has she not heard of expressing? I know what she means though... and I think that the NHS ram it down out throats a bit too much equating Breastfeeding=Good Mother=Good Woman that women go to extreme lengths to do what is deemed best. A local mother is expressing her milk every 2 hours to feed her son as he didn't take to the breast. While I admire her persistence, I believe that she needs to take care of herself as well and not feel bad for not BF. Those that it comes easy to are lucky and I am happy to be one of them. It's just very convenient not to have to wash up bottles and be able to 'whip em out' whenever you need to.

Then there's the bonding :)

For the past few days, Little Leon has started to pause halfway through a feed on one breast then moves his head up and smiles at me! I saw that my mum has written the same thing in my baby album "as if to say Thank You mummy!" and I totally see it now. I thought she may have confused it for a gas smile, but it's a proper huge smile. He's doing it during most feeds now and it's so sweet. I was considering moving on to formula soon as I'm getting a bit tired of BF, but now I've swung right back onto the BF branch. It's lovely!

The only thing I'm not sure about is that I didn't realise how my breast would change to these soft boobs that seem to belong now to my baby... Will they ever become perky again!

Tongue tied

Little Leon was born with a tongue-tie, apart from that he's perfect - he just can't stick his tongue out. No problem with feeding which is why the GP won't refer us to have it snipped - but we WANT to have it snipped! Not because of fears of having a lisp (Jamie Oliver has one and it can be cute!) or to save him problems of kissing later on in life... but mainly because we're raising him to be trilingual and this might make it that bit trickier for him. Also, he wouldn't be able to pronounce his own name easily! Hopefully the GP changes her mind on Monday when we see her next and will refer us due to speech issues.... If not, could anyone recommend a specialist in London area?

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Going Out

Motherhood is ace and I've been finding it all fun and not as tiring as everyone made it out to be - perhaps as I'm younger than the average first time mother in my area: 38 YEARS OLD (according to my health visitor)! Nothing wrong with older mums - it's wonderful to have the gift of children at any time, but it would be nice to have more mums around the same age as me who have similar interests.

Having left the clubbing scene and university partying days behind me only a year or two ago I could cope quite well with the night-time feeds and constant demands from our little angel. The fact that he is so well behaved makes a big difference I suppose. Knowing that he doesn't suffer from colic and having a innate feeding clock of exactly every three hours made it easier to leave him with my parents if we fancied some time off! We were able to leave him with the new and eager grandparents with a bottle or two of expressed milk a month or so after he popped out, and enjoyed a fun afternoon out at a West end musical as well as a slap up meal at the posh Gordon Ramsay restaurant at Claridges. Maybe not an all-night rave, but we are now responsible parents after all ;) It would be good to hear how other people are doing with spending some time on your own away from the baby?

Now, at 3 months old I've learned that he's perfectly happy sleeping in his carrycot in a noisy restaurant and is easily soothed on the trains and buses, so we can take him with us in the evenings much to the delight of our friends. Thankfully, he sticks to his bedtime routine the rest of the time. Tonight, my good friend is having a house party a good hour away by public transport - I want to go, I really do- especially as Mon Amour recently went to Berlin with friends last weekend and properly went out, and I really miss dressing up and dancing. But - it would also be so nice just to chill out with my lovely husband and watch CSI while our little angel is tucked up in bed... We shall see!