Does colic exist? I don’t know, but the crying certainly does

Having experienced my second baby’s crying, I’m pretty sure my first born had colic. When he was about three weeks old, he would cry for hours, especially in the early evening and after feeds in the night. Whereas with our first baby, we were bouncing on the exercise ball, using the hairdryer and other white noise, singing, shushing, swaying, swaddling and whatever else we could come up with to get any respite and sleep, our second baby gets very slightly grumbly. Sometimes. I know, they’re all different, but I also wonder if it’s just us parents who are different second-time round?
I read an interesting article about how colic was just the baby saying “get out of my face!” And what a ‘colicky’ baby needs is to be held close by their mother, in a dark, quiet room, and not to be passed between friendly visitor after friendly visitor. I think there’s some truth in that in terms of second babies being more chilled, but I’m also pretty sure we tried the ‘peace and quiet’ approach to no avail.
If you’re in the midst of colic or just want to learn more, there’s a free workshop on next week in Battersea, which you might want to check out:
“Infacol have teamed up with expert midwife Nikki Khan to bring mums some help and advice on colic. The workshops will explain what colic is, how to treat and prevent it, the benefits of baby massage and the chance to ask Nikki any colic related questions on a one-to-one basis. Each mum who attends will receive a goody bag (approx worth is £40), full of products for mum and baby such as baby massage oil, skincare products and an Annabell Karmel cookery book. The workshop is free of charge and will be held on Tuesday 29th October, from 10am – 2pm. The workshop will take place at the Katherine Low Settlement, 108 Battersea High Street, London, SW11 3HP.  Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided.”
Places are limited and it’s first-come-first-served, so to reserve a space email

Burrito lasagne. Somehow wrong, but oh so right.

I came across a recipe for burrito lasagne and being a fan of burritos and lasagne, well, what I was I waiting for? I simply had to give it a go. It’s super easy, very tasty, and can be pretty nutritional and healthy. You can Google ‘healthy burrito lasagne‘ to find one that suits your family’s tastes, but basically, make a Tex-Mex tasting beany, chopped tomato, vegetable, mince (Quorn/TVP/meat/whatever) filling; layer the filling between flour or corn tortillas; top with cheese and bake for 30 minutes – hey presto!

A few hints:

  • to get you Tex-Mex flavour, add a small or large can of refried beans, cumin powder, chilli powder, smoked paprika, garlic etc Just keep adjusting until it suits your tastebuds and heat preferences
  • pack the filling with kidney beans, black beans, refried beans for protein and iron, and if you’ve got vegetable-haters on your hands, it’s also a good candidate for that ol’ hidden vegetable trick. You know, the one where you grate carrots, chop up spinach and whizz it with a blender to make it look like tomato sauce?
  • it makes a great leftover lunch
  • the tortillas make a good alternative to lasagne sheets for coeliacs or other gluten avoiders, so you could use them to make more traditional Italian-style lasagne, too

It takes about 20 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to bake on 200C/Gas mark 6.


Keep calm and call the midwife!

My midwife was amazing, as were her colleagues, and today I finally managed to give them the thank you present I’d made for them. And by amazing, I mean she kept calm when we had flat batteries in the Tens machine; she didn’t throttle my husband when the birth pool ‘liner’ he’d bought (without any micro-management from me) turned out to be a cover to keep the water warm (I won’t be making that mistake again); or when, for the second home birth in a row, he didn’t check the hose fitted our taps. Like I said, won’t be making that mistake again 🙂 . But really because she has that special midwife superpower of making you feel like you’ve known her forever, feel completely reassured by whatever she tells you, and has magic massage hands. And you get no hint that you’re her third night-time birth in a row and she could really use some kip (and a salary that better reflects all this superhuman-ness).


I know the ‘Keep calm’ theme has been done to death, but I was struggling to think up a present that was a bit different, and came up with the idea for doing a custom-made poster*. And the ‘keep calm’ message seemed pretty apt!

Any gift I thought of seemed so insignificant in comparison to what they’d just helped me with. What did you do nice for your midwife to say thanks? We’d love to hear.

*I used Keepcalm-o-matic to make the image and Photobox to print it.

Kew Gardens is IncrEdible!


Last week we made the most of the sunshine and spent the day at Kew. Quite possibly the loveliest botanical gardens in the world (having experienced at least TWO others 😉 ) it is particularly good at the moment because (a) the leaves are changing colour, (b) the IncrEdibles Festival is on, (c) kids under 16 go free, and (d) the cakes are pretty tasty, too!

Discover some of the many weird and wonderful species we can feast on – there’s an exciting programme of activities and artistic installations to start you on your journey, including a giant fungi fairy ring and a spectacular pumpkin parade.

Aside from the special events, Kew has put lots of thought into making it as fun for kids and easy for parents as possible:

Climbers and Creepers – explore our unique indoor play zone, where children can wiggle through tunnels and slide down our giant pitcher plant. Suitable for children aged 3 – 9, children must be accompanied by an adult

School holiday activities – click here to find out what’s happening this October half term

Xstrata Treetop Walkway – climb 18 metres high into the treetops on to this circular walkway, to learn about trees and enjoy an exciting birds-eye view over the Gardens

Stag Beetle Loggery – insect lovers should head here during May to try and spot some of these giant beetles

Aquatic Displays – as well as incredible plants, the Palm House and the Princess of Wales Conservatory also feature aquatic displays where you can see piranha, enormous catfish, freshwater stingrays and water dragons.

Treehouse Towers – Located outside Climbers and Creepers, children (from 3 – 11) can play on giant swings, zip wires, scramble nets and slides.

Glasshouse galleries – climb up high inside the Palm House or the Temperate House to tower above the palms and plants and experience the huge scale of these historic glasshouses

Evolution House – learn about the theory of evolution by travelling through time back 3,500 million years, on the way you pass a fuming volcano with glowing lava and even dinosaur footprints

Arboretum – run off some energy in amongst the trees of Kew’s arboretum; children in particular will enjoy the area around the Lake and the Sackler Crossing, where they can see duck, geese and occasional peacocks or golden pheasant

Trails – look out to see if there are any children’s trails at the time of your visit, details can be found at the gate when you arrive, there are also trails to follow in the kids’ guidebook Kids’ Kew

Guided Tours – older children can learn lots about plants on our FREE daily guided tours, which leave at 11am and 2pm daily See our Guided Tours page for more information

Garden tickets – Adults £14.50, concessions £12.50, kids 16 and under get in FREE (detailed ticket prices)
Opening times – the Gardens open daily at 9.30am (detailed opening times)
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Rd, Richmond, London, Surrey TW9 3AB (how to find them)

Monday 2 September – Sunday 3 November 2013


Hello world!

Only two years late, we’ve finally got round to using our WordPress account – hurray!

We want this to become a useful and inspirational source of information for anything family related south of the river, as well as a way to support local businesses, especially mumpreneurs.

We’ll be developing the website over the next few months, but feel free to send comments, ideas, requests as and when you have them.

We believe mums share more commonalities than differences, so we’re like Switzerland when it comes to the ‘mummy wars’ and trolls can go hide back under the bridge where they belong. Parenthood can be tough enough, so if you’re looking for a fight, take it outside thank-you-very-much.

That said, we know mums are real (smart, funny, practical, *insert any other awesome adjective here*) people, too, with interests and lives beyond our kids, so we’ll try to make sure the website reflects that.

And finally, we’re blog novices, so please be gentle with us until we get the hang of it 🙂