(A)typical gadgets, which help you to be a happy mummy (or daddy)

Today I’m going to write 100% baby note. I want to share with you opinion about some baby products, which helped me stay alive ;) Some of them are more popular and used more often than others, some of them are new for me, some of them I knew before. Well. let’s start!

First of all I want to mark, that it’s not sponsored post, I decided to write about it, because maybe one day you’ll need them. I just want to share some good ideas with you ;)

Shawl for breast-feeding
This is only for breast-feeding women. But I decided for breast-feeding, so it was a must to have it in my bag. I didn’t go outside without my shawl, which I used to cover myself when my daughter was eating.
I met a lot of people - some of them were supporters of natural feeding, some of them were furious about it. Black or white - nothing between.
I see no problem to feed baby in public places, I don’t care about it. If someone doesn’t want to cover herself - it’s not my business. But for me it was intimate sphere between me and my daughter so I tried to sit somewhere in the corner to be invisible and I covered myself.
Unfortunately lots of public places are still missing rooms to feed babies. Even in shopping malls there sometimes wasn’t any special room.
I chose this shawl made by Mama Bear. It’s made of high quality cotton fabric, it has regulated stripe and additionally it has filament on the top, so I could arrange it any way - Maja liked to see me when she was eating, so I made a small “window” on the top for her. It also provides airflow under the shawl.
There is a large selection of these products, my shawl costed 59 PLN, but if you want to save money you can sew similar one or even use tetra diaper or airy wrap :)

Baby swing
It was a great idea to buy a baby swing. It was the only way to have some silence :) Maja used it for 4-5 months. She could sit there even for 2-3 hours, sometimes she had a nap in it. That time we rented a small flat, so we decided to buy a 2 in 1 product - high chair + baby swing Lionelo Milan (it costs around 370 PLN).
It’s stable, so you don’t have to be afraid, that it’ll fall over. There are 2 inserts - cotton to swing and waterproof and easy to clean to eating. There are 2 exchangeable trays (smaller and bigger). The only one disadvantage was uncomfortable and hard to open 3-point fastening belt. I changed it with a different one which I bought in haberdashery :)

I get it in the neck few times because of this idea, a lot of people think about a playpen like about a little jail. Anyway I decided to buy it and I don’t regret it. Maja isn’t playing inside whole day, I use it when I have to go to the toilet, make a dinner etc. Therefore I don’t need to worry about her, I know that she won’t hurt herself.
We bought (secondhand playpen which costed us 150 PLN) made by Baby Design. We like the dimensions (it’s square) and unzippable side. So in future Maja will use it as a cubby to play in. Actually - our cats also love a playpen, it seems to be a big box for them ;)

Teething toy with the ice
It was our hit! Actually Maja passes gently teething (for now), but there were some moments, when she needed something what bring relief. During this time we used silicone teething toy with a space for ice cubes or frozen juice cubes. This one which we bought was a Fisher Price strawberry shape, but there is a lot of teething toy in each color and shape to put ice inside (in different prices). We paid something around 30 PLN for ours.

White noise
We used white noise until 7-8 months. Now we use it very rarely, because Maja doesn’t need it every night (only when is thunder storm outside or someone makes a loud party). We use iPad to turn on the sound, we recorded our sound of rain, but you can use something in Google.
We were thinking about buying white noise teddy bear, but we resigned, because I realised, that it’s not worth to spend so much money for a toy, which she’ll use for a very short time. But it is only my decision, a lot of parents praise this product, so don’t suggest only in my opinion. We didn’t like these teddy bears, but maybe you’ll like them.

Plastic circles to hang the toys
One day we found a genius product - plastic circles (which Maja could use as a toy in itself - she put one to another), but they function as well as a hanger for toys. You can use it everywhere - in the baby bed, stroller, playpen etc. And again - there is a huge selection of this kind of product; we bought Playgro zebra - it costs less than 20 PLN.

Bicycle trailer
Return to pre-pregnancy form isn’t neither fast nor easy, but it can be a little bit pleasure ;) I’m quite active person, I love biking; I can’t imagine to give up this. We bought bicycle trailer at spring (when the bike season just started) and we used it until the September/October.

You’ll probably ask me why I didn’t buy just a bike child seat. These are advantages of trailer:

  • it’s more comfortable for kid to seat in the trailer - there is more space to seat, 
  • better protection for rain/sun/wind, 
  • it has mosquito net, which is invaluable during mosquito-tick season. 

It’s very easy to ride a bike with a trailer, although it weighs around 10kg (plus a kid). We decided to buy Thule Chariot Cougar which was used before (the new one was too expensive for us - around 4000 PLN). But I have to admit, that it’s high quality product and we can use it until Maja will be 34kg. When you count how long it’ll be useful the price isn’t so scary like at the first glance.
There is a lot of bicycle trailers which you can buy, a lot of them are really cheap. What can I recommend you? Just try it before you buy. You should look at this product, check if the quality is good for you, because not always a cheap product has to be bad. If you choose a bicycle occasionally, you can try to rent a trailer - there are a companies, which offer this service :)

Cup holder
It’s great for parents! Many times I have to go somewhere very quickly, very often I don’t have enough time to drink a coffee at home, so I have to buy it somewhere in a coffee shop. Can you imagine how uncomfortable is to push the stroller with one hand and hold a coffee in the other? There is also a large selection of those holders. I bought Inovi holder (cost around 50 PLN), because it was the only one which I could buy in stationary shop (I needed it ‘for right now’). Quality is ok :)

Sling/ergonomic carrier
I tested both of them. Sling (costs between 100 - 300 PLN) is great for baby to 4-5 month, after this time it was almost unable to put her into a sling. She didn’t like tieing, because it took a long time. But I know some parents, who use a sling longer - it's just my daughter who stopped liking it so soon. Then we read about baby carrier and thought, that’s a good idea. It’s important to pick ergonomic one (kid is sitting there in “frog position” - it’s the only way to protect a spine and hip joints). Good rating encourage us to choose Tula carrier (new one costs around 450 PLN), but you can buy different one - there is a lot of cheaper, sometimes handmade also good quality carriers.

Sling or a baby carrier is the best when:

  • have to go somewhere very quickly and I don’t want to take a stroller, 
  • place where I go has no facilities for the disabled and parents, 
  • I’m going to walk somewhere for long time (shopping, long trip, visiting some interesting places etc) and I’m sure that my daughter won’t be able to sit for all this time in stroller. 

Kids usually like to be carried, but if you’re going to buy carrier or sling you should (in my opinion) try it before you buy ;) By the way - Misio also likes to be carried in Tula ;)

Blouse with a hole
It’s the item closely related to this one which I wrote about above. It’s a blouse, which protect mum and a baby carried in sling or baby carrier. Our cloth (Greyse, cost around 200 PLN) is soft but quite thin. When there are cool days it’s great, but when the temperature is low, we both need to wear additionally some cardigan.
This blouse is really comfortable for baby, it’s warmer when we’re hugging than we’re separate. And you know - the closer of mum, the better for kid ;) It’s worth to search a bit, but I think the best bet is to choose handmade products - they’re usually better quality than others.

The pillow which corrects head shape
When I born Maja she had flat head. We were visiting a lot of doctors - neurologists, orthopaedists and even surgeons… They threatened us with the orthopedic helmet and surgeons.
Little baby has soft bones, so it’s possible to correct these defects, but Maja didn’t want to cooperate ;)
Our last resort was a HeadCare pillow (cost around 190 PLN). It works very simply - it uses basic laws of physics - it transfers the center of pressure and after few weeks head is returning to appropriate shape. The pillow is safe and you can use it also as a prevention. When I’ll have second baby I’ll definitely use it again.
When I bought a pillow I got one extra pillowcase. There are more pillowcases available in the shop, but I decided to sew it myself, cause it was cheaper for me ;)

I’m curious your opinions about these products (if you used it). Or maybe you had yours “must have” maternal products? ;)


Creative and meowy

I should start with my stressful situation this time - Amaya started to pee everywhere. We made a urine test and showed, that she has crystals (magnesium ammonium triphosphate) in the urine. It was quite strange, because these crystals appear in alkaline pH, and she had acid pH. We’re not sure know what it means.
Of course Amaya got an antibiotic and referral for examination. I was very stressed when we were going on ultrasound examination, but fortunately the result turned out to be quite good. Maybe not by the book results, but we don’t have to worry about it.
Amaya’s pancreas surprised me positively - it looks better than on the last tests. Now she doesn’t pee everywhere, she uses a toilet box again. She feels good I think, because she’s causing mischief like always ;)
So now we don’t have to make no more tests (that’s good, because each one examination is stressful for her), we also don’t have to add more medicines. We have to only make a urine test after 3 weeks, but we’re making it at home, so it’s ok for her.

Few days ago I was able to spend more time with Wally and Mimi than usual.
Mimi doesn’t like to make her a picture, so I don’t have a lot of them; Wally is too fast, so also I couldn’t capture him :) They’re so positive! The grow up since I saw them last time. They are so different, but they make a good couple together.
Sometimes I feel, that animals can make close-knit team - even better than people. I don’t know how it works, it may be a matter of lack of prejudice, pet’s doesn’t know what the bias is. Or maybe it’s only fact, that they are honest and kind.

There is nothing new about my job. Sometimes recruiters call me… and say nothing. I have no idea, what’s wrong with me. I’m trying to change my trade. I joined to the course, which probably will help me with it. It’s going to last until January, I hope that I’ll be working somewhere by this time. I could even start with internship… I really don’t know what to think about it all.
I’m not sure if it’s good, that I’m requalifying, I’m not sure if I’ll be good in it and even if I want to do it for long time. I feel lost and confused, I need some advice, because I don’t know what am I doing now.
Lately I have low opinion about myself, I always criticize myself and my skills. Some time ago I red somewhere, that no one will make you feel bad as much as you can make it yourself. And I think there is a hint of truth.
The worst thing is that I know, that my life doesn’t look like as I want to, but I can’t change it. I feel a huge fear when I think about some of them.
I still convince myself, that we didn’t move to London, because I got pregnant. Now I realise, that we should have make it even faster than we planned at the beginning. I should born my baby there. But I don’t know english reality - I don’t know how easier would be get a job there (if it would be easier at all).

I’m trying to reduce stress, so I’m resorting to my creativity. I’m making a lot of nice things now. I don’t have enough time to finish all my ideas, but I’m trying to make most of them.
The last thing I made was a skirt for Maja - I made it for a costume party. They’re organising little Halloween for kids in daycare; Maja is going to be a pumpkin. She’ll wear a pumpkin body and this skirt :)

I also decided to make all ornaments for Maja’s first birthday. I bought only a balloons and garland. Everything else is handmade with crepe paper, cardboard and washi tape.

We also decided to homemade a birthday cake (mainly because of the cakes prices and also because we have strong allergy person among the guests which were invited for a party). So we made colorful and healthy cake (pigments which we used are 100% natural made of plants).

Maja didn’t want to blow out the candle, but she liked the cake :)
What was sad for me? That some people didn’t come - my father-in-law told, that he won’t come, because he needs to record some TV show (which has no repetition) and Maja’s godmother couldn’t come, cause she didn’t want to leave her cat alone for one day. Well… they all didn’t even invent some reasonable excuse…
Anyway the party was really nice :)

Weekend is going to end, next week I’m going to have a few appointments i.a. my cardiologist and Maja’s vaccinations.
And next weekend we’re going to the costume party - I have to make sth in Halloween theme for me and Adam.
Celebrating this holiday in Poland is indiscretion for me, but making a costume and have a party in a closed circle is ok for me. I don’t like this USA tradition - walking from flat to flat, asking for sweets and playing in “trick or treat”. It’s ok in USA, but not in Poland.
Americans have a joyful time, we have time of reflection… I would like All Saints' Day to stay traditional.

I’ll try to write something soon. I’m going to also create typical ‘baby note’, but I’m leaving it for different day, when I’ll have better mood.

And again for the end I’m sharing with you Purka and Amaya-babysitter - she was helping my daughter to play with crayons first time :)


My birthday

To be more precise - my 4th birthday. Exactly 4 years ago (5th of October 2012) I got a second life. Actually from this date I divide my life as before and after implantation of a pacemaker.

I was thinking many times if I should really write this note, cause I don’t like to write about politics and church. But this subject, on which the whole country lives, concerns me directly. And believe me - I feel a huge fear mixed with anger.

I dreamt about a baby and I have a wonderful daughter. I dream about another one, but I’m not sure if’ll ever decide to take this step.

Do you know anything about to be sick when you’re pregnant? You can’t heal, because this threatens the developing fetus. You can’t use most of medicines...
And do you know anything about illnesses, which you had before you got pregnant? Well - in most cases they’re getting stronger and more troubling.

So if you have dry skin, it can turn out, that it’ll be more dry and none body lotion will help. Ok, so maybe opposite situation - you have oily skin? When you’re pregnant it’s possible, that you’ll have acne like a teeneger. Do you have gingivitis often? Well, it’s possible, that you’ll have it whole 9 months. Diabetes? Maybe blood sugar will spike like a crazy pixie on the trampoline. 
Or maybe my case - ventricular and supraventricular tachycardia with the pulse more than 250 bpm? Or maybe atrioventricular block (which results with pulse 20-30 bpm)? 
Both are life-threatening situations. 
My pacemaker regulates low heart rhythm (so it’s quite safe for me) but it can’t regulate high puls problems. And as I told before - every medicine is dangerous for growing baby.

And those “pro life people” are screaming, that we have to protect every life! Well… Ok, but why my life is less important than fetus life? Why am I worse?

You know what? I know the feeling when the heart stops for a dozen seconds and believe me - I don’t wish this even the worst enemy. This it that moment, when you realise, that tomorrow might never come; moment when you see your whole life. You don’t feel any fear, you just feel sorry, because you couldn’t accomplish your plans and dreams.

Those who won’t learn the hard way will never know how it is to die. It’s not anything, what you can imagine.
On what basis do someone decide about me and my life? Someone, who knows nothing and didn’t experienced cardioversion; who never lied on the operating table and never saw the end.

Everything is different now. I can appreciate each ray of sunlight, each raindrop, the wind which moves the leaves, every snowflake… Because I know everything is fragile...
And you know what? I really want to live!
If the pregnancy can kill me I want to have a choice. I don’t want to leave my daughter, my husband and the rest of my family.

Of course I respect women, who sacrifice themselves to give birth. Those who know, that they can die, because they are pregnant. I respect Agata Mróz, which chose her baby’s life. She had a choice and she followed your conscience.

But ok, let's leave a the issue of conscience. What if there is ectopic pregnancy? Because our new law says clearly: no abortion, no matter what the circumstances. Fetus grows in the fallopian tube (and it’s already known at this stage that it won’t survive). And it’ll grow up unlit tear off the fallopian tube. Woman will die in pain with her max 5 weeks baby… In the name of what? 
So what does it mean ‘to protect the life’? What life? For sure not a woman life...

And what about babies, which will born deadly sick? What if they’re going to live a couple of hours, days, maybe weeks…? What if they will suffer? Nobody thinks about how the mother will feel, when she’ll hold her dying and suffering baby…

Also nobody thinks what about the kids, which will live, but they’ll never be independent. It’s difficult choice; I don’t know how would I behave. You have to know, that the ‘life protection’ ends with birth. What’s going to be next? Nobody cares. No one will give a financial help to mother who has to spend a lot of money for rehabilitation and maintenance this baby. No one will support her mentally. And after her death nobody will take care this baby. This kid will be probably adult person and will be taken to the closer unspecified nursing home, where maybe will be washed and feed (if the nurses will have a mood for this)... Yes, that’s the polish reality! That’s how it works!

I’m skipping the subject ‘pregnancy from rape’, cause fortunately neither me nor my friends have no experience with that.

Our ‘brilliant government’ supports this new law, which break human rights and Hippocratic Oath. Doctors will be afraid to save life, because they won’t want to go to the jail. 
These ‘high ranked’ people, who can decide for us won’t feel it. They have so much money, that they can easily make abortion abroad; they’ll hire good lawyers and no one will prove anything to them.

And all these ‘pro lives’? These are only populace, who blindly trust our government… I’m really curious if these small citizens still going to give them solid support, when they will be watching the life fade from sisters, wives, daughters or granddaughters eyes...
I didn’t take part in the black protest on the Castle square, I didn’t want to go there with my little baby, cause she’s still weakened after the illness. But I wore black clothes and I hardly support this protest.

And I still hope, that this is everything for the show… That the government is making confusion, to push away people of interesting in other acts; because now when everybody are focusing on the black protest something else is getting invisible...