Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Escape to the 'Spathroom' this Winter

My snapchat to my hubby
I admit it, I love Winter. 
I love the long dark nights, the howling wind and the bitter cold because it means layers of clothes, socks, cosy fires and baths.

Baths really come into their own during the Winter (forget about Autumn in Ireland we have two seasons Winter and Spring!), slipping into a hot bath of bubbles and scents, surrounded by flickering candles and a basket of pampering goodies is hard to justify in the bright Summer evenings.

But after battling, wind, rain, hail, sleet and snow to get home, a hot bath is not only justified, it is deserved. You deserve a little pampering.

Turn your drab bathroom into a 'Spathroom', escape and experience beauty rituals from around the globe.

A bath can be a lot of effort and many I know just don't feel it is worth the time and preparation. But take my advice it is, you need this time, the effort the relaxation.

Fill the bath with lots of bubbles!

Tips for the perfect Spa home experience:
1. Hand over the baby monitor and any other responsibilities to your other half. You need to lock that bathroom door for at least 40 mins UNINTERRUPTED.
2. Set the scene - Have your robe and towel warming on the radiator, light some scented candles, get some relaxing music on your phone/ music player.
3. Have a basket/ box armful of goodies to use for your bath - bubble bath, salts, essential oils, facial mask, hail oils etc find those Christmas gift sets from last year!
4. If you don't like a hot bath use a water temperature - those with babies should have one to hand - so useful. Don't forget a glass of water (or wine) - a warm bath can make you thirsty!
5. Submerge, breathe, clear your mind, relax. (I like to add some classical music too)

My Favourite Bath products:

Body Shop Japanese Camellia Cream
The Body Shop - no longer the cheap and cheerful option, their new  Spa of the World range really is exquisite. The Dead Sea Salt Scrub (€34) gently exfoliates my skin without being too coarse or harsh, this big tub should last you a lifetime of baths. Likewise the large Japanese Camellia Cream (€39) smells divine and feels velvet smooth on my skin. It is pure luxury - just buy it.

Yankee Candles - I know there are a million different candle products, but for me the price, quality and scent of Yankee Candles are hard bet. My current love is for: A Child's Wish
Spa Sanctuary 5 minute Thermal Detox Mask - it warms and then cools on the skin (thanks how I know it is working) before you rinse it off.

Kerastase Age Recharge Mask (€36)
Kerastase Age Recharge Hair Mask - smells good, easy to use and leaves my hair smooth and silky. For a red head with course hair this is no easy feat - so this comes highly recommended.

Johnsons Bedtime Baby Bath - yes the lavender smelling bath lotion to help babies (and adults) go sleepy sleepy. You are probably not going to rave or tackle any chores after your bath so why not slip under the duvet and into a deep slumber.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Not due yet, but one month old!

Abbey spent half of her first month in hospital, the other half at home - but she really should have spent it in the womb as she wasn’t due out yet!
One month old, Abbey has her brace on under her padded dress

She had a hectic first month and although looking back it seems to have gone in a flash, I know that to be untrue, the nights were long, very long.

Smiles already or polite wind?!
At three weeks old, she shed her still small  premature clothes and became a much larger baby with a whole body harness for her dislocated hips. Just when we thought we knew how to change her nappy, the game changed, she now had to wear two nappies, interwoven around a large square brace. Despite the chore, she seemed comfy and content in the brace.
Now not only was she tiny, but she was also awkward. We couldn't hold her like a newborn cuddled into the crook of our arms, she was either flat down or up on our shoulder. She seemed to like the height, so she spent most of her time perched on our shoulders.

We tried to not hold her all the time, but she developed a hatred for her cosy and warm Moses basket. A calm sleepy baby became erratic one we laid her down in it. After trying tilting the basket, moving it into a dark room, a bright room , swaddling, not swaddling we found the solution.

Our solution is not recommended - by anyone, especially health officials. But the only way we could get her to sleep was to put her lying on her tummy. We have learned since that babies are spoiled in SCBU as they are allowed to sleep on their tummies as nurses are constantly checking them. A SCBU nurse did tell me while we were there that lying a baby on his/her tummy aids digestion.

Sleeping on mummy ... on her tummy
I was scared when we first tried it, but also relieved. After nervously telling our family, both my mother and my husband’s mum revealed we had slept on our tummies as babies (I still do) and that it was the recommended advice in the 80s.
So we checked on her more often than a sane person should, but she slept soundly, maybe it was the brace, maybe it was genetics - or maybe it was Abbey’s way.

There was no routine at one month, she fed from my breast about 2.5 hours during the day and every 90mins or so at night. Some days were better than others, but it was a sea of exhaustion and newborn cries.

Thankfully we did limit visitors as she had not had any of her vaccinations, so despite the difficulties it did give us a chance to get to know our new family member and she seemed to warm to us!
She is opening her eyes for longer and longer each day, loves being talked to and loves sleeping on her daddy!