Friday, 31 May 2013

Dear baby, I am sorry

Dear Little Man

I've loved every minute of the six and a half months that we've been breastfeeding. There is nothing so special as looking down into your beautiful blue eyes while you're nourished from my body. Watching you stretch out your hand to take my thumb and hold it close to you. Sharing the dark hours where it's all the comfort you need to return to your dreamland. I instinctively know the little coughing noise that you make when you want to feed, so different from wanting to sleep or play. I fully expected, no, looked forward to feeding you for the whole of your first year as I did with your Sister.

But fate had another hand for me in her deck.

And so two o'clock this afternoon was your last breastfeed for two weeks.

The medicine that Mummy has to take to make her well again is not safe for you.

I know that the bottle and formula that Daddy and I tried to give you this evening was scary. I know it was different and not warm and soft like Mummy. But it is safe.

Please try to drink it when you wake up tonight.

I'm so so sorry that we can't have that precious, special time for a little while as Mummy takes the medicine that will hopefully make her well again. Know that I'm doing all I can to keep my milk supply up for you if you still want it when I'm better.

So be brave. And know that there is still an endless supply of cuddles right here.

I love you my darling baby boy.
Mummy x

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Donde esta Bod for tea hoy?

Where am I today? 
Today I'm guest posting over at my new second home - the Rosetta Stone blog #milestones - where I'll be recording my journey learning Spanish using the TOTALe online learning programme. Why not come visit and leave me a comment? Muchas gracias!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Exciting things are happening over here *points*

Sally was so excited she had to... errr... cut her hair
It's no good, I can't hold it in any longer - there are some VERY exciting things happening over here at Bod for tea towers over the next few months *squeeeaaal*.

First of all I'm proud to have been asked to be one of the Rosetta Stone blogger team, learning Spanish for six months using their TOTALe online programme (si claro!). I've just finished lesson one and I'm already speaking using the fab voice recognition software. More posts to follow on my progress - learn some Spanish with me!

I'm also going to be working very closely with a very special children's brand - details are still being worked out hence cloak and dagger approach at the moment *taps nose mysteriously* and on top of that we will be reviewing some fab products over the Summer from Sunsense, Lenovo and Kiddi.

Exciting much??!!

Ok, as you were *runs off to do happy dance in the corner*

Image courtesy of stock images /

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Silent Sunday

Friday, 17 May 2013

Mummiticus Grumpious

Saturdays and I don't get on.

A week of 'I wish I had time to do x' and 'if only I had five minutes to do y' gather themselves up into a ball of anticipation just longing to be met with a helping hand. Unfortunately my helping hand, aka OH, has usually been similarly wishing and if-onlying and takes himself off to satisfy those needs leaving me holding the baby. Literally.

So the little ball of anticipation bubbles and boils for a while before hatching into a fully-fledged grumpious. Ever seen one?

This particular grumpy mama limps through the day pulling faces, grumbling and generally seeping negativity through ever pore. Turning an amateur psychologists eye inward I think the sudden and immediate lack of routine at the weekend leaves such a void in my morning that the whole day starts slipping away from me before I've even stumbled downstairs for breakfast. Without my usual 6am wake-up, stealth shower and the few precious moments to myself before the children start calling for me, I'm all at sea in an ocean of freedom. There's no deadline to spur me on, no school bell to beat, no swimming lesson to get to, no playgroup to open up. I am taskless, pointless and adrift.

By Saturday night I am ragged from being cross all day, wound up and disappointed by my own behaviour. But then a nice meal, a bottle glass or two of good wine and an evening of trashy US enlightening and educational tv soothes my troubled brow and by Sunday morning I'm all about the chillaxing. much so that Monday morning hits me like a brick. Big time. I gird my loins (not a pretty sight I can assure you) and pep talk myself through the week, reaching a peak of organisation by Friday afternoon.

And thus the cycle starts over.

It's getting boring. And quite frankly it's ridiculous. I should LOVE the weekend.

Perhaps Saturdays and I should get relationship counselling. Like the film said; something's gotta give or one weekend I'm likely to explode and litter the kitchen with little pieces of frazzled mama.

And clearing up that mess would require some serious elbow grease.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Messy Play for Matilda - moon sand

Messy Play.

There, I said it without screaming. It's not that I'm a neat freak or anything, well ok, I am a teensy bit, but here I am sitting at the laptop when I could be hoovering the crumbs off the floor or emptying the dishwasher, so I'm not totally obsessed or anything *looks around kitchen guiltily*.

The thing is messy play troubles me. I know it's one of the most brilliant things you can do with your kids, it helps their fine and gross motor skills, relieves stress and sparks their imagination and creativity, but it stresses me out a bit. Am I the only one?

Well, anyway after reading lots of posts over at Edspire , Waterbirthplease and Ghostwritermummy about their 'Tuff Spots' (I thought perhaps they needed an extra strong cleaning product at first - true story) I decided to put my concerns aside and leap in with both feet. Well, not my feet exactly, but the toddler's. So I ordered a Tuff-Spot-ulike (it's a builder's mixing tray) and made a batch of moon-sand using this recipe. Then on a sunny day I put the sunshade up in the garden for the baby and let Curly Girl loose in her sand tray. Here's what happened.

And I didn't have to sit on my hands once.

I'm linking up with Jennie's linky Messy Play for Matilda in memory of her beautiful daughter.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Guest post: Babies face the music and reap the benefits

Last month saw the announcement of some ground-breaking research carried out across eleven different hospitals (as covered in the Daily Mail) – which revealed that playing live music to premature babies helps them to sleep and improves their breathing. As the Mummy of a premature baby myself - Curly Girl was born at 36 weeks weighing only four pounds - I really noticed the impact that music had on our daughter. So today I'm happy to publish this guest post from Jo Jingles on the power of music in early years development. Enjoy!

Exposure to music right from birth can really aid a child’s development according to Caroline Crabbe at Jo Jingles. Earlier this year, the Duchess of Cambridge revealed that she had been playing CDs by her favourite artists: ‘Adele’ and Ellie Goulding to her baby bump – so what’s good enough for the royal baby is certainly good enough for us one might think? But the truth is playing music to your unborn baby can have significant benefits in the early years…

Were you aware that around 20 weeks from conception your unborn baby can actually hear? This is because five weeks prior to birth, the cochlea, the spiral-shaped part of the inner ear responsible for hearing, is usually mature suggesting that prenatal hearing can help infants perceive the sounds of speech. Past studies from experts have also discovered that babies can recall melodies they have heard in the womb even a month after they are born.

But the benefits of music aren’t just for those who are pregnant, even after birth your child can rapidly develop a number of skills via the aid of song and movement. Exposing a baby or young child to music and nursery rhymes at an early age will help to:
  • develop language, numeracy, concentration & listening skills
  • develop self-confidence & independence
  • develop physical co-ordination
  • develop social skills
  • develop intellectual & emotional intelligence
Of course, when it comes to music we now live in a very ‘digital age’ – but for this exercise, forget CDs and iPods - the best way to expose your unborn baby or child to music is to actually sing to them or with them yourself. Using the power of your own vocals to comfort and stimulate your child’s hearing will do wonders. There is nothing Babies love more than the sound of their mother’s voice and it doesn’t matter if you sing out of tune, or you mess up the words – it’s not important, your child won’t mind! Just keep smiling and encouraging them to join in and you’re onto a winner.

The beauty of enjoying music with your child is there is no right or wrong. No one will judge you and it should be fun (not a chore). Traditional nursery rhymes are really important when singing with a young child as they use repetition and actions to inspire coordination, balance and speech development; but if you fancy a change (particularly when pregnant), try choosing songs that make you feel on top of the world, songs that inspire happy memories, make you smile or simply those you love to bop along to. If you are feeling good, your baby will benefit from these feelings too.

Probably the greatest tip for pregnant mums-to-be is to record yourself singing your favourite tunes – then when you are shattered at the end of the day or you simply don’t feel like singing you can play the recording instead (this is great to use when baby comes along too – the perfect soothing remedy for your little one).

About Jo Jingles
Jo Jingles provides music, singing and movement experience classes for babies and pre-school children from three months to five years of age. With nationwide sessions in more than 700 centres across the UK and Ireland and with over 90 franchisees, Jo Jingles offers well-established, structured classes that are fun, interactive and educational for little ones.

Launched in 1991, Jo Jingles continues to promote learning through music across many of the UK’s nurseries, Sure Start Children’s Centres, playgroups and mother & toddler groups. Jo Jingles Birthday parties and celebrations are also available to book and a range of musical-themed merchandise including toys, CDs and musical instruments can be purchased online at

Monday, 13 May 2013

This is me - I'm out and I'm proud

Following last week's Brit Mums Meet Up in Cambridge (thanks !) and with Brit Mums Live! only weeks away my thoughts are turning yet again to coming out from behind my laptop and stepping into the stark light of the real world. Since starting Bod for tea two and a half years ago I've been blogging more or less anonymously, keen to protect my privacy and that of my family. 

Buy why? What am I scared of?

Then this post by the wonderful  really stopped me in my tracks a while back and made me take a long hard look at myself and this little corner of the webosphere I call home. It's not like I have a controversial blog or post defamatory comments about all and sundry five times a week. (Heck I'm lucky if I manage to post anything in a week these days *sigh*). Ok, I have the odd rant but that's no different to the offline me - I regularly throw my toys out of the pram to the extent that Curly Girl has taken to saying "it will be ok Mummy" and patting me on the arm to soothe my furrowed brow. I'm sure it's supposed to work the other way around...

Am I afraid to fail?

Am I worried what people will think if my real world and virtual worlds collide in one big bang? Do I think my friends will ridicule me, pointing and sniggering?
"See her over there? She has a blog you know *snigger* and do you know I read that she....(insert all manner of stupid/embarressing/personal things I've blogged about)..."
And in all seriousness there is the real likelihood that not one single person I know will even notice. Yep, I need to get over myself; I am not the Huffington Post.

Why the f*** should I care?

And even if anyone did notice, surely I should know by now that my REAL friends, my true comrades in arms, both offline and in my cosy little virtual world will think nothing less of me. And heck if they do they'll damn well keep it to themselves and pass the wine.

So in the spirit of the Brit Mums Live! linky that's floating about at the moment, this is ME *points*, warts and all, out and proud. Deal with it.

*Waves with fire in her eyes*

Name: Michelle

Blog: Bod for tea

Twitter ID:

Facebook: b


Height: 5ft 5ish

Hair: Long curly blondey-brownish, usually tangled and in clutches of Little Man, hence tied back

Eyes: green/grey

Is this your first blogging conference? Nope, it will be my 2nd but this time I'm travelling with a handsome young man

Are you attending both days? Just Saturday I'm afraid

What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2013? Dispensing hugs to old friends and probably new ones too (I blame the hormones)

What are you wearing? Something comfortable that I can wop my boobs out of at short notice. Errr... to feed the baby, I hasten to add *blush*

What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2013? To be honest this year I'm all about the social aspects as I don't expect the Little Man will let me sit still in any of the sessions for very long!

Tell us one thing about you that not everyone knows. I can wiggle my ears. Just ask me.

Friday, 10 May 2013

And the winner of the Baby Lit book giveaway is...

Mwah ha ha ha ha!!! 
*sinister Dracula voice* 



Eurgh, I'm clearly not cut out to be a vampire, but there was lots of interest in the toothy one featuring in my latest giveaway with Baby Lit board books.  Sadly there can only be one winner this time, so without further ado *drumroll* congratulations go to...

Kim N


Didn't win this time? Fear not (geddit?) you can find out more about the Baby Lit board book series including Dracula, Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice at the Gibbs Smith Publishing website.

Friday, 3 May 2013

The one where I read Dracula to the toddler

Dracula is one of my favourite novels. I'm a bit partial to a spot of vampiredom, truth be told, and there's nothing like Bram Stoker's 1897 introduction of the famous fangster as he moves to England from Transylvania. It's like 'Relocation, Relocation' with stakes.

But as much as I love the novel in all it's gothic horror magnificence I never expected to be reading it to a toddler. At almost four Curly Girl loves a good story, but I suspect the Count would scare the living daylights out of her and disrupt her zzzzzz's (and mine) for a good few nights.

There IS someone brave enough to do it though - The Baby Lit series of board books from Gibbs Smith Publishing. Retailing at a RRP of £5.99 the range helps introduce counting and colours to little ones based on great works of literature. Nice idea. We were sent and for Curly Girl to review.

On first inspection the books are sturdy hardbacks and look like they'll easily stand up to the robust hands and teeth of babies and toddlers. The images are beautiful and cleverly weave counting around elements of both stories. When you open Romeo and Juliet the first picture is Juliet at a balcony and the words ‘1 balcony’ on the opposite page. The next page has two intertwined love hearts for ‘2 loves’ and so on through the book up to number 9 (‘streets and bridges’). Apparently for the books that introduce colours a similar design applies – page one of Alice in Wonderland shows ‘white rabbit’, page two ‘back shoes’ as Alice goes down the rabbit hole head-first, page three ‘purple bottle’ (the ‘Drink Me’ bottle, as it happens), and so on. The titles include Pride & Prejudice, Wuthering Heights and Moby Dick too.

I was very much on the fence about Dracula as I think the images are just a little bit too scary for a toddler - '6 tombstones', '8 rats', '9 coffins' *gasp* -  but Romeo and Juliet is lovely and an interesting way to introduce counting with the background of your favourite classic books. The books aren't aimed at me though, so I read them to Curly Girl this morning while she was on the loo (aka the time she'll be sitting still for a while). She was immediately taken with both books and wanted to know the story behind the pictures. Thankfully these were two stories that I knew well so I could retell them, albeit it in a very watered down form. Think: Prince Romeo and Princess Juliet love each other (although their parents argue a bit), go to a masked ball, write each other letters, get married and live happily ever after and a Prince called Dracula moves to London with his pet wolves and rats and lots of boxes, meets two girls and their friends and they all live happily ever after. Yep, that watered down.

I asked her which book she liked best and in no uncertain terms it was Dracula. I guess because the first picture is a scary looking castle on the top of a hill and she already associates that with another of her favourite books 'Sir Charley Stinky Socks and the Terrible Secret'. She wasn't bothered by the rats of wolves and liked the pictures. Just goes to show that I know nothing. Ok, so I guess I should have realised that already based on past experience, but hey, like the crocodiles I live in denial (sorry, over-fuelled with coffee today!).

To summarise I think these books are an interesting if somewhat challenging concept. You need to be switched-on to share them with your child and parents will really need to know the stories themselves in order to tell a watered down version that won't scare or concern the toddler but that's no bad thing - these are classic novels and so worthwhile for adults to explore if you're not familiar with them. The books are beautifully produced and look like they'll last long enough for Little Man to enjoy reading them with me too.

Wondering how your little ones would react to these adapted classics? Well wonder no more! I've got four Baby Lit books to giveaway to one lucky reader - to enter just answer the questions in the Rafflecopter widgety thing below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer, terms and conditions and the all-important small print:
We were sent Dracula and Romeo and Juliet Baby Lit books to review and offered four books to give away. We received no other compensation and all opinions are mine and Curly Girl's. This giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18 or over, one entry per household. There is no cash alternative. The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen, again at random using Rafflecopter. You DO NOT have to subscribe to Bod for tea or like my or follow me on as part of your entry.

Image courtesy of Africa /

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Thursday, 2 May 2013

2nd May - Matilda Day

Matilda Mae Memorial Auction
Today is not just Thursday.

It's not even just 2nd May.

It's Matilda Day.

The day that little Matilda Mae, daughter of blogger Jenni from and her husband David, should have been celebrating her first birthday. A day that should have been lit up with candles, presents and laughter. But instead today her family will be releasing her spirit in the most beautiful way because you see, and I almost can't bring myself to type this, on the day she turned nine months old Matilda Mae was found sleeping.

I don't personally know Jenni and David and I never had the pleasure of meeting beautiful Matilda Mae. But reading through the posts Jenni has written, moving through her grief in her own personal way, I can't help looking at my beautiful Little Man and counting my blessings. In the early hours of the morning, when he is in his cot in the room across the hall and I can't hear him breathing or see him moving, my heart skips a beat. More than once I have crept in just to check that he is ok.

There is still so little known about what causes cot death. It can make us feel totally helpless.

But we're not helpless. There is something we can do and that is raise money to fund more research into the causes of these tragedies and to support the families affected by them. And so, in memory of Matilda Mae, there will be an online auction running from May 11th to May 20th, run by Tots 100 on a separate auction site with all proceeds going to The Lullaby Trust. You can read more about it here at Ghostwriter Mummy's blog and also on the Edspire blog or just click the button at the top of this page.

Please do what you can to support this important cause.

And hug your little ones just that bit closer tonight.

Sleep well and shine bright little Matilda, happy birthday x

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


About two months ago I was at my mother in laws and sneaked a toffee out of her always available bowl of sweets. Ten minutes or so after I'd eaten it I had the most gut-renching pain imaginable and thought I was going to have to run to the loo. I managed to make it home and sat in the bathroom expecting the flood gates to open (so to speak) but nothing happened. The pain didn't get any better even after paracetamol or Gaviscon and the only thing that made the pain ease was a hot water bottle on my stomach. Eventually after a week I went to the docs and told her the symptoms I'd been having.

'What's wrong with me? Have I got a virus? Gastroenteritis? Food poisoning?'

She didn't think it was any of those things as I didn't have diarrhoea, vomiting or a fever. But then she asked me a suprising question...

'Have you ever been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?'

Errr..... nope. IBS? Definitely not. I don't have time for a mystery illness with no apparent medical reason or solution. I only have REAL illnesses that you cure with drugs and that go away.

She smiled and nodded and prescribed me an anti-spasmodic drug - Mebeverine - and ibuprofen for the pain. I took the drugs and within a few days the symptoms had lessoned and I was feeling better. A week later it had gone completely. I breathed a sigh of relief, stored the drugs in our medicine box and thought nothing more about it.

Until the next weekend.

We had a lovely Chinese meal on the Friday night - our first date night since Little Man was born *wheeee!* - and all was peachy. On Saturday we had an Indian takeaway with friends at home. And that was not so peachy. Pretty much as soon as our guests had left my stomach grumbled into life and the pain hit me in rolling waves. Griping, cramping pain that made me wince and groan. I took some Ibuprofen, boiled water for another hot water bottle and went to bed. On Sunday I started the Mebeverine again and kept my fingers crossed it would start to work.

At first I didn't see much improvement. I was in some discomfort most of the time and the pain still cames in waves whenever I ate something. In fact I added bloating, burping and very loose 'motions' to the list of symptoms too. (Sorry, TMI I know, but it's relevant and heck we all do it right?)

So I did what you're never supposed to do when you feel ill and consulted the quack that is t'internet. A quick run through of the symptoms of *gulp* IBS matched very closely to how I was feeling.

Thankfully after a week all was right again with the world, pain gone, symptoms disappeared. But apparently that's common too.

So now I'm wondering, is there a chance that I could have IBS? *shivers at thought*

Do you suffer from IBS? How do you control it - diet or drugs, or both? Do the symptoms come and go? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Image courtesy of aquido
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