Monthly Archives: June 2013

Baby Yoga with Pure Bliss

I was looking for a way to bond more with Elizabeth so was delighted when I discovered there were baby yoga classes in Buxton. Katherine from Pure Bliss Yoga is a yoga practitioner with over 12 years experience who specialises in yoga for families. You can tell she’s pretty cool – just look at her socks!

Stripy socks
Funky socks

The other week was our third session and baby E and I were starting to get the hang of some of the poses and songs! My mum even came along to and joined in, it’s a real family activity. The sessions are held in the United Reformed Church in Hardwick Square, which is an easy walk from my house.

Each session starts with a chat about how the previous week has been, it’s lovely to be able to share with other parents the highs and lows of parenting and ask for advice on topics such as weaning (which we’re just starting).

Then, after asking baby E’s permission to carry out some yoga with her, it’s onto the session. During the hour there’s a lovely mix of stretches and loosening up poses for the parents (such a relief from being hunched over when breast feeding), close contact and movement with the babies and of course some songs!

I’ve really enjoyed the sessions because of the gentle pace, and that it’s aimed at me and baby E. We both benefit and baby E is definitely chilled at the end of a yoga session.

Snoozing baby E
Snoozing baby E

Also, due to an accident a few years ago, I have a slightly wonky leg which doesn’t do everything I want it to. When I was pregnant, living somewhere else, no class would let me join pregnancy yoga. In comparison Katherine has been completely welcoming and helped me adapt movements where necessary. It’s made me feel much better as I get fed up being told I can’t do things and don’t want to think of myself as a cripple!

After all the relieving stretches and songs that make E giggle, it’s time to wind down and chill. I’m not the best person in the world at relaxing (understatement) so it’s really important to me that I’m learning how to consciously relax. Either I do so with E, or if she’s particularly wiggly Katherine entertains the babes.

The social aspect at the end of a session is as much of a benefit, particularly as I don’t know many other local mums. I enjoy the cuppa, fruit and nuts and if she’s hungry E gets a feed in a lovely relaxed atmosphere.

Tasty snacks beside a yoga mat
Tasty snacks

We’ve both thoroughly enjoyed the yoga sessions and I’m really going to miss them when I start work.

In summary we loved:

* How the activity is for families all together, not just the babies
* Relaxing location, plenty of pushchair space and baby changing facilities
* Adaptability – Katherine adapted the session for me and my nervous mum
* Professionalism – a yoga practitioner who knows her stuff!
* Social side – a rounded holistic approach to parenting

Would be even better if:
* Hubby had been free to some along as well, I think he’d have really enjoyed bonding with E
* Weekend classes – just because I won’t be able to attend once at work!
* Prompt sheets with stretches / movements – because I forget what to do. I’ll have to ask Katherine for some book titles…

I thoroughly recommend baby yoga and hope to be able to attend sessions in the future.

Thanks for reading and here’s to our next adventure!

Advertisements

The Bowling Green (review)

The Bowling Green
The Bowling Green

On Saturday we popped to Derby to pick up my mum from the station and on the way back needed to stop off so we could feed baby E. We’d previously visited The Bowling Green in Ashbourne when I was pregnant and had really enjoyed the dishes on offer. I was keen to once again try the food and see if the visit was different with a baby.

We rocked up late afternoon and picked one of the comfy seats in the main bar as the other section was closed in preparation for the evening meals. After perusing the main menu my mum spotted they did a lighter menu and asked for that (she has her uses). We ordered minute steak and chips and also gammon and chips.

In the meantime I fed E, though did feel a little exposed in the pub, particularly as another punter kept staring.

The food arrived and, as before, it was delicious. I’m glad we ordered from the lighter menu as in the past I’ve struggled to finish a main course.

Half eaten plate of steak and chips
Nom steak!

With us all fed and watered, E needed a bum change. Unfortunately, even though they do cater for kids with a children’s menu, there were no baby changing facilities. The ladies were too small to change her on the floor so we decided to head back to the car and do a quick nappy change on the back seat.

Baby friendliness overview:

We liked:

  • Some comfy seats for breast feeding
  • At table service
  • Main meal and lighter meal menu (though had to ask for it)

Would be even better if:

  • Baby changing facilities were available
  • More room for pushchairs (it would have been a squeeze if we had taken ours in the pub)
  • No corners for discreet boobing

In summary – lovely grub, but with no changing facilities or space for a pushchair we’ll be waiting till she’s potty trained and walking before coming back.

Thanks for reading, here’s to our next adventure!

Getting to know people: NCT High Peak

This is the third county in which we’ve lived since we’ve been parents and I have to admit it’s the first time I’ve ventured into the world of NCT. I heard a lot about the National Childbirth Trust before baby E was born but as we weren’t staying in the area where I was pregnant there didn’t seem much point in getting involved.

When I knew we were moving to Buxton I searched online for info. about local parenting groups and NCT High Peak came up time and time again. They’ve got a brilliant Facebook group which tells you about upcoming events, a detailed regular newsletter and loads of activities for parents to be, mums, babies, toddlers and even dads!

Before moving to Buxton I was able to sign up and join events so I knew we had a few things to look forward to. Also, by stalking reading conversations online I started to learn some other mums’ names and faces.

The first time I met the NCT branch co-ordinators (Lauren and Kate) face to face was at a charity event at the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. Embarrassingly they recognised my photo from Facebook (my excuse is that boobing leaves you with one free hand for social networking), but they were very welcoming and I was even more encouraged to attend some get togethers.

So, last week, pram primed and with my best ‘I’ve actually brushed my hair this morning’ look we rocked up to the monthly Baby Express at Pizza Express in Buxton… and then halted. Pizza Express looked very closed, the meet up was from 10.30 but its opening hours showed from 11.30. A bit confused, I walked around for 5 minutes and then knocked on the door as E needed a feed. Phew, apparently people were likely to come but it was often late starting! Here’s an amusing pic of my first meet up with other mums 😉

An empty restaurant
Billy no mates!

We didn’t have to wait too long, just gone 11 other mums and a mum to be arrived and I had a lovely time feeding E and drinking the free coffee. I used the time to ask loads of questions about the area, the most useful information being that some garages store your summer or winter tyres when the other ones are on your car. When in my new job, I’ll have a daily commute to Derby to deal with so will probably need winter tyres.

Group of pushchairs
We were in the right place!

This week we ventured to the bi-monthly Bumps, Babes and Beyond coffee morning hosted by the Alison Park Hotel. We ended up being quite late, but were made to feel incredibly welcome. After a free caffeine hit to give me strength (and there was cake too), I plumped myself down to some mums and got chatting.

The half hour wizzed by and I was really pleased we made it, even if it was just towards the end and I didn’t win the raffle!

I’ve enjoyed both the NCT meet ups, it’s just a shame we can’t go to anymore before I start work. But I do hope to drop into some on days off and I might even be able to persuade hubby to go to some. They also run social events so I’m looking forward to leaving E at home and meeting other local mums. And hubby will be getting out and meeting dads at the dad social events.

In summary: the High Peak NCT group are a lovely lot, I’ve only scratched the surface of the activities on offer and feel confident about meeting other mums through them. The Facebook group means I can keep in touch even when I’m not attending. How I wish we’d moved up here earlier!

Beltane (review)

Beltane is a small bar / cafe in Buxton I’d wandered past a few times and had always wanted to pop in. Last week we had our chance – we’d been out for an afternoon meeting and E needed a feed.

Beltane bar sign
Beltane bar sign

Beltane had always intrigued me because through the window I could spot comfy seats and (you know the way to my heart) there was free wifi.

The most annoying part was getting our bloody awkward really useful 3 wheeler pushchair through an angled step, negotiating the steep hill. Once in it was all good, I settled E next to a comfy sofa and ordered a decaf black coffee and some nuts to nibble on.

You know those decaf coffees that taste sooooo good you forget there’s no caffeine? Yep, it was one of those 🙂 It was a really chilled atmosphere, partly due to it being mid afternoon so after the lunchtime rush and before the evening drinkers arrived.

Hubby came to meet us and had a beer while I topped up on fruit juice liquids (boobing mama mantra DRINK <<< said in Father Jack style). It was then a quick change for baby E before heading off on more adventures.

Beltane interior
Beltane interior

Baby friendliness overview:

Pros

  • Chilled atmosphere, relaxed setting
  • Comfortable boobing sitting in the squishy sofa and didn’t feel too exposed
  • Felt baby friendly with baby changing facilities
  • Decaf drinks – goooooood coffee
  • Lunch time menu looked good
  • Plenty of space for pushchairs
  • Free wifi

Cons

  • Bit of a bugger getting a pushchair up the step into the bar!
  • Bar rather than cafe so limited snack options (i.e. no cake)

In summary – lovely relaxed setting, will be back to check out the lunch menu.

Five Ways Cafe and Laundrette (review)

What you really don’t need when you move with a refluxy little one is the washing machine not to work! One of our ‘Buxton resolutions’ is to not end up with mounds of dirty washing to wash or piles of clean washing to put away – the parents’ NeverEnding Story. The new plan was to set off a load overnight and then in the morning it could go straight in the dryer.

Keep calm and drink tea sign
Keep calm

The start of the plan worked… until at 3 in the morning I heard a constant beeping so sent hubby off the investigate where he declared the washing machine wasn’t working 😦

It meant the next day I had to find a laundrette to wash the slightly wet washing, not a chore I was looking forward to. After stuffing it all into the most popular laundry bag in the world, baby E and I trudged off to Five Ways Cafe and Laundrette.

Exterior picture of Five Ways Cafe and Laudrette
Five Ways Cafe and Laundrette

I was delighted to find that the laundrette also had a cafe attached – genius idea! Whilst I was waiting for the washing, it would have been rude not to have a fry up, surely?

Plate of cooked breakfast
Nom

The lovely lady behind the counter (‘chelle) let me look at the ingredients on all the packets so I could check for dairy and with the promise of no butter in the cooking a fry up was on order.

Happily baby E slept through mummy’s unhealthy brunch, so I enjoyed the bacon, sausage, egg, mushrooms and tomato in peace and quiet. There’s nothing quite like a good fry up!

I finished, E woke up and then it was time to dry the washing alongside trying to entertain the little lass. We ALMOST had the washing dry before she decided enough was enough so we went quickly home for a feed.

The good news is that the washing machine is now fixed, the bad news is that I don’t have an excuse to go back to the cafe!

Baby friendly summary:

Pros:

  • Helpful staff
  • Traditional British cafe – range of food including dairy free fry up
  • Plenty of space for pushchairs
  • Also a laundrette!!!

Cons:

  • Would have felt a bit exposed boobing, but female staff were supportive when I chatted about dairy free feeding
  • No toilet / changing area I could see (but didn’t ask)
  • Wifi advertised but couldn’t get it to work

In summary, a good cafe if you have cravings for a fry up – though need to check for toilet facilities.

Thanks for reading. Here’s to our next adventure!

Simply Thai

Simply Thai (review)

After our photo session Saturday morning we were looking for somewhere to get some grub. Baby E was due a sleep (having your photo taken is far too much work for a little girl!) and after all the posing we were starving.

We headed into Buxton town and with it being a lovely day, everywhere seemed heaving. Also, with having a dairy free diet at the moment I wasn’t sure where would be a good place to eat. Luckily hubby knows his restaurants and suggested Simply Thai as Thai cooking doesn’t use a lot of dairy.

Simply Thai
Simply Thai

I was a bit nervous about going to a restaurant, compared to a cafe, with baby E, as I was worried about boobing in public and what to do if she cried. But I needn’t have worried as they were very welcoming.

We had to leave the pushchair in reception which stressed me out a little as E needed a sleep and I had planned to rock her, so when we sat down I used plan B and the good old boob to get her to doze off. It helped that the restaurant, though busy, had a lovely relaxed atmosphere; subdued lighting, relaxing music and quiet chitter chatter of the clientele. The environment meant I relaxed and so did E, she totally zonked out on my boob and slept on my lap for the rest of the meal.

Moo Pad Khing
Moo Pad Khing

We perused the menu and chose the lunchtime deal of two courses for less than a tenner. I don’t know if other couples do this, but we like to order dishes we’d both like to try and then swap half way through. Two dishes for the price of one! Even better, they were easy to eat with one hand and there was plenty of no dairy choice on the menu. Oh and I shouldn’t forget the delicious pots of Jasmine tea.

The food was scrummy; quickly served, fresh and full of flavours. For the main course we chose a pork and a chicken dish. I can see why they are endorsed by the Thailand Ministry of Commerce – a guarantee that you are dining on authentic Thai ingredients, professionally prepared and cooked using authentic methods.

Pad Thai Gai
Pad Thai Gai

Baby E woke rather grumpy just as we finished our meal so we quickly paid and left, not wanting to disturb other dinners. Though some would have definitely understood the situation as there were two other families with babies there whilst we were eating.

Baby friendly summary:

Pros:

  • Relaxing, chilled environment.
  • Felt comfortable boobing – sat at the back so not too exposed.
  • Yummy restaurant food, not much more expensive than cafe prices!
  • Popular with other parents and young families.
  • Great range of dairy free choices.

Cons:

  • Can’t have pushchair at the table.
  • As a restaurant, I wouldn’t feel comfortable just hanging out there for a few hours like you would in a cafe.

Note: we didn’t hang around to change E so don’t know about baby changing facilities. An excuse to go back and find out!

In summary, a relaxing first restaurant trip with Baby E. As a family, we’ll be back.

Thanks for reading. Here’s to our next adventure!

Family photo shoot

Saturday was one of those picture perfect kind of days; the sun was shining, Buxton looked beautiful and there were smiles all around.

20130603-171413.jpg
Action shot!

It seemed fitting that we had booked a photo session with White Box Photography to capture this new stage in our family’s life adventure – the move to Buxton. A few of my more organised friends have proudly shown off their new baby family pics on Facebook (yes that’s you Emily Macdonald!) and I wanted to try it out.

We don’t have many newborn family pics of baby E as she was in hospital for quite a while after she was born and once out I had the constant wild woman look about me of someone getting about 3 hours sleep a night – not particularly photogenic. I really wanted to try a family photo shoot and the criteria for me was a) not too expensive (incase I didn’t like the pics of me, more of a behind the camera kind of gal), b) gave us digital copies with copyright so we could do as we pleased with them and c) in a local, informal situation so I didn’t get too stressed about the whole thing!

After trawling the web I came across a discussion on a Facebook parenting group where they recommended White Box Photography. I had a quick peek at their website and was excited to see that the next session in Buxton was just after we had moved up. With only a £15 booking fee (of a total cost £45 per session) it meant that if we had to cancel due to E being unwell it wouldn’t be too costly.

Ahead of the session I messaged Liam at White Box Photography asking for advice on how to prepare. He helpfully suggested:

  • The sessions are informal and taken mostly sitting on a white background so wear clothes for comfort and modesty.
  • White clothes often lose detail and can make the subject a bit bland so pastel or strong colours which suit the individual work well.
  • Look other photos to see if there are any particular poses you’d like.

And I’d add to the list:

  • Take at least two changes of clothes in case the baby is sick and be careful holding them as they may be sick on you!
  • Pick outfits for the family that you think will compliment each other.
  • Plan the day’s timings, I worked out when I’d need to boob E so that she’d be a full happy baby for the shoot, not hungry or tired.

The session was booked, we sorted out our clothes to wear (first time for me not wearing jeans since E was born!) and looked forward to the shoot.

When we arrived we were warmly greeted by Liam and Carolyn who instantly put us at ease. First for photos was Elizabeth; we changed her into a dress, then repositioned the dress where she was a bit sick and with much squeeking of her Sophie giraffe Liam captured some smiley pics.

Then it was a family turn, three of us sitting together – was lovely and quick!

We then changed E into her awesome stripy outfit and tried just ones of her. She started crying so I went in to cheer her up and Liam took some pics of me and a giggling little girl before it was finally daddy’s turn.

The shoot wizzed by and Liam took loads of photos. After the session finished I picked E up and she promptly threw up over both of us – timing 🙂

Carolyn let us look at all the pictures whilst she burnt them onto disc and we were done. Here’s one of the gorgeous pictures of me and my little pickle!

Photo of Michelle and baby E
Cute baby!

A brilliant photo session, it was just what we wanted and for such a reasonable price we’re going to book to go back again.

Now I’m an ‘expert’ at this, here’s what I recommend you should think about before booking a family photographer:

  • Do you get copyright of the photos so you can print them how you like, e.g. a mug for gran, framed photo etc.?
  • How long a session do you want? We were happy with 15 mins but you might want a longer session with more clothes / prop changes.
  • Are they run at a time and location suitable for you?
  • Does the photographer seem friendly – you need someone who will put you at ease to get good photos out of you and your family.
  • Does the price fit your budget?
  • Can you look at previous photos the photographer has taken? You need to be happy with their style.

Here’s a summary of baby friendliness of the whole experience:

Pros:

  • Nice and quick! Babies have short attention spans.
  • Time for an outfit change.
  • Baby friendly photographer and colleague who made E smile.
  • Easy to get to location (space for pushchair).
  • Well priced.
  • Photos on CD and copyright free so we can easily share with family around the world.
  • If your baby is under 3 months the first shoot is free!

Cons:

  • No baby changing facilities we could see at the location, but plenty of floor space.
  • Short photo session – some people might prefer a longer shoot.
  • Nowhere to sit and feed a baby, if required, but High Street, with cafes, was 5 minutes away.

Thanks for reading, here’s to our next adventure!