Breast Cancer Awareness – No Make Up Selfie

I think this picture is more useful than a ‘no make up selfie’….

Breast Cancer Awareness no make up selfie

But for those that would say I’m a chicken…….

Breast Cancer Awareness no make up selfie

And if this is all a little mystifying then read this newspaper article…

Mamasimx About Me

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No. Only Love Today

Mad Men Moment – My Hunt for a Housecoat

Housecoat patterns circa 1955 and 1968

Housecoat patterns circa 1955 and 1968


This week my post is a little different……

As a Mum with a young baby I am used to going out with clothes that have little sticky finger marks, nose wipe marks and general food splatterings.  Usually I don’t even know they are there until it is pointed out to me by a friend.  It’s annoying and kind of embarrassing.

Hence my search for a Housecoat.  An old fashioned thing I admit, but so practical and useful.  And I well may add – very stylish and quite the thing.  Think Mad Men and 50’s housewives with perfect homes, hair and children.  That is the sort of look I am aiming for.

The Mad Men Housecoat Moment

The search begins.  On to the internet to search, search , search.  Nothing.  De Nadda, Zip.  Lots and lots of lovely frilly cupcake aprons but not a single housecoat. Mmmmmmm.

Make My Own Mad Men Housecoat?

Quel Horror!  I haven’t sewn since my teenage years.  Could I?  Would I?  Should I?  A friend suggests that I look on eBay for a pattern.  So I do.  What a plethora of original housecoat patterns from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  I am quite spoilt for choice and some of the patterns look like evening gowns.  Wow.  This is fun.  I will, I will!  Oh, but it is difficult to choose!

The Mad Men Housecoat Pattern Arrives

I bought two patterns in the end as I could not choose between the two.  A lovely full skirted 1950’s number and a cute coat style from the 1960’s.  The patterns are so cool.  I can’t wait to be wearing them.

Housecoat patterns circa 1955 and 1968

Housecoat patterns circa 1955 and 1968

I was bought down to earth when I went fabric shopping.  Look as I might, I couldn’t find anything that really grabbed my attention that was 100% cotton and a reasonable price.  I didn’t want this coat to end up costing more than my new winter coat!  In the end I settled for something very 60’s.  What do you think?  I know – but heh – it will only be worn in the house!!!


Housecoat material.  Woah!

Housecoat material. Woah!

Making the Mad Men Housecoat

I had to wait until a weekend when Daddy could take the children out of the house so I had space and time to devote to my sewing.  Opening up the pattern I could see that the coat I had decided to make had been made before.  There were even some ancient pins, a little rusted, left in the pattern.  How lovely.  A connection to a Mum of 40 years ago, trying to keep her clothes clean, just like me!

It was easy to place the pattern pieces, pin them and cut out.  The directions were easy to follow.

Making up the housecoat was not difficult either.  I only struggled a little with the sleeves – different from how we make them up today.  And the collar.  Had to ask fiances help on that one which amused him no end.  (We are all accepting of his superior intellect.  He regularly asks our five year old “What is Daddy?” to which my son’s well tutored reply is “Daddy is a genius!”)

Anyway…  I am quite pleased with the finished result.  It is not perfect.  The collar is a little squiffy, the hem is a little wobbly and the buttons aren’t evenly spaced.  But hey ho.  I think I did well.

One Housecoat!

One Housecoat!

Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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© Simone L Woods 2012

Circuitous Conversations With My Son…

7 year old:  “Mummy, what is that?”
Me:  “It’s a wrist rest for my keyboard.”
7 year old:  “Mummy, what is a wrist rest?”
Me:  “One of those.”
7 year old:  “What is one of those Mummy?”

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.


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Babies for Dummies! Soothers & Pacifiers – To Do or Not To Do…

Dummy, Pacifier, Soother

My oldest boy had his first suck on a dummy at two days old.  Just arrived home from hospital, Daddy thought nothing of soothing our crying newborn by giving him a pacifier.  I have to admit, I wasn’t pleased when I saw, and would rather he woke me so I could feed our little one.  But Daddy thought he was doing the right thing by letting me sleep after I had endured a gruelling 42 hour labour.

Afterwards, I did have some difficulty getting baby to feed on the breast, and quickly decided to give the dummy a rest until he was used to breastfeeding.  I felt it was right at about 2 weeks.  Apart from the usual problems of soreness for me, baby then had little difficulty switching between the two.

To be honest though, it wasn’t until I stopped breastfeeding at nine months that my firstborns love affair with the dummy really gained momentum.  I have found the same thing with baby number two.  We introduced the dummy sparingly at two weeks. He too, could take it or leave it (except when going to sleep) until I stopped breastfeeding at 12 months.  Then it was a battle to keep it out of his mouth.  Babies do like to be soothed by a sucking action.  And if your breast is not providing it – then the dummy, or a thumb or fingers will be substituted.  It’s a rare baby that does not need to be soothed in this way.

To give baby a dummy or not is a decision we make usually before baby comes along.  The reasons against are valid and logical.  It is stated by health professionals that:

  1. If introduced too early, dummies can interfere with breastfeeding – as different sucking actions are required for each.  (From experience, I would agree with this point.)
  2. You may let your baby suck on the dummy when he or she really wants a feed.
  3. This can cause your breasts to be under stimulated and produce less milk.
  4. Sucking for long periods can result in middle-ear infections.  Something to do with bacteria getting from babies mouth into his/her ear tubes.
  5. Unclean or damaged dummies can cause problems such as tummy upsets, diarrhoea and chest infections.
  6. If used for older toddlers, can cause problems with the way teeth grow or the mouth develops.
  7. If used constantly soothers can interfere with the way speech develops.

Faced with this list it is understandable that many parents would be fierce anti-dummy proponents.  But I can tell you, it is very difficult to resist giving in when faced, again, with a screaming baby at 3 o’clock in the morning.  All you desperately want is for him or her (and you) to have some sleep.

I would prefer it if my babies didn’t use a dummy.  But I believe, as with most aspects of parenting, that common sense must prevail.  Babies need to suck on something, and if you don’t provide a dummy, then a thumb, fingers, cloth, toy or blanket will be substituted.  I agree that the arguments listed above can be equally applied to any of these items.  But the advantage at least of dummies is that they are easily cleaned and easily interchangeable.

A dummy calms and soothes a distressed baby.  In my experience, if you follow a few simple steps then using a pacifier need not be a terrible process.  (And it’s nearly always non-parents that look down their noses and infer lazy parenting!)

  1. Keep dummies as clean as possible.  Sterilise regularly.  Fluff and hair always gets trapped between the teat and the mouth guard!
  2. Inspect regularly, and discard at the first sign of cracks etc.
  3. It is recommended that you use a ‘flat’ dummy to help  baby use a sucking action that is closer to the feeding action.
  4. There is some evidence that using an orthopaedic dummy will better help babies developing mouth.
  5. Don’t coat the teat in sweet foods.  BAD for babies teeth and gums.
  6. And lastly, don’t let baby have the soother constantly.  Remember to take it out!  I try to only use one when my little one is falling to sleep, or when I know he might be unsettled, such as going to unfamiliar places or visiting unfamiliar people.  That way I hope it becomes less of a habit for him.
Lastly.  How to wean your baby/toddler off a dummy.  Here is my advice.
We went ‘cold turkey’ with my eldest when he was two.  I felt he was too old now to need a dummy.  His second birthday was ‘D’ for Dummy day!
  • Firstly we primed him for about a week before.  Letting him know that on his birthday he would be old enough not to need his ‘Dum Dum’ anymore.
  • His favourite thing in the whole world was the ritual of the bin men emptying our bins.  We decided to use this as the official dummy ridding ceremony.  And as luck would have it, his birthday fell on bin day!
  • The morning of, he helped us gather up all his dummies (every last one) and we put them into a container.
  • We waited outside next to our bin with the container which he held and watched the bin men approach.
  • As they came to collect our bin, I asked if our son could empty his ‘rubbish’ into our bin.  Which he then did.
  • Our son watched as the bin men whisked our bin, containing his dummies, to the bin truck.  He was wide eyed as he saw the contents emptied into the truck.
  • We waved goodbye to his dummies as the bin truck took them away.
Daddy was apprehensive and unbeknownst to me me, had secreted a dummy away in his sock draw.  We never needed it though.  Our son asked several times over the next few days if the bin men had his dummies.  He often explained to others that the bin men had taken his dummies.  But after a week or two he stopped mentioning it.  And he never asked for his dummy.  I have to admit, that I was surprised at how well it went.  But I think success lay in the preparation and the style in which the dummies went.
If you decide to stop using a dummy and your child is younger, I would probably recommend a gradual weaning process. Being younger, they may not comprehend a cold turkey approach.
Whether you decide ‘To Do or Not To Do, remember it is your child’s wellbeing that is the most important, not any grandiose principles that you may hold.


Don’t forget to enjoy your day.


© 2012 Simone L Woods





Mastitis Symptoms and Mastitis Treatment

My sister’s dutch Kraamzorg (postnatal nurse) explained “If you have a baby sucking at your breast for most of the day and night, of course it’s going to hurt!”

Mastitis and Breastfeeding

After breastfeeding my 3 babies my experience is that it is almost always uncomfortable and your nipples can become even more sore and painful if baby is not opening their mouth wide enough and taking in a good mouthful of nipple and breast!  Also I find for the first 6 weeks my nipples are very sore until they become used to the constant sucking.  Things always got easier after that.  They toughened up a bit!

Mastitis is something else however.  It is an very painful inflammation of the breast.  I was surprised to learn that non-breastfeeding women can also suffer.  Read on for some very useful information of symptoms and treatment, provided by the NHS.

Mastitis Symptoms

Mastitis usually only affects one breast and symptoms often develop quickly.
These symptoms include:

  • a red, swollen area on your breast that may feel hot and painful to touch
  • an area of hardness on your breast
  • a burning pain in your breast that may be continuous or may only occur when you are breastfeeding
  • nipple discharge – which may be white or may contain streaks of blood

Over half of women with mastitis may also experience flu-like symptoms such as:

  • aches
  • high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • shivering and chills
  • tiredness
  • feeling generally unwell

Visit your GP immediately if you experience these symptoms, and you also have a red, tender area on your breast.
Mastitis is not usually a serious condition, but advice and prompt treatment may be needed to stop the condition getting worse.
Speaking to your GP or midwife will also help to reassure you.

Mastitis Treatment

Mastitis can usually be easily treated and most women will make a full recovery very quickly.

Non-infectious mastitis

Most cases of non-infectious mastitis can be treated using a number of self care techniques such as:

  • making sure you get plenty of rest
  • drinking plenty of fluids
  • using over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to reduce pain and fever; a small amount of paracetamol can enter the breast milk but it is not enough to harm your baby (aspirin is not safe to take while breastfeeding)
  • not wearing tight-fitting clothing or a bra until your symptoms improve
  • placing a warm compress (a cloth soaked with warm water) over your breast to help relieve the pain; a warm shower or bath may also help

Breastfeeding advice

You should try to continue breastfeeding if you have mastitis. Following the advice outlined below should improve your symptoms.

  1. Keep breastfeeding or expressing milk by hand or using a pump (a device to help you express milk). If necessary, express milk between feeds.
  2. Feed from the affected breast regularly (at least 8-12 times a day) if you are only breastfeeding your baby (that is, if you are not bottle feeding as well).
  3. Make sure that your breast is empty after feeds by expressing any remaining milk.
  4. Massage your breast to release any blockages. Stroke from the lumpy area towards your nipple to help the milk flow.
  5. Make sure that your baby is properly positioned and attached to your breasts. Your midwife or health visitor will advise you about how to do this.
  6. Experiment by feeding your baby in different positions to see whether it makes feeding more effective.
  7. Warming your breast with warm water can soften it, making it easier for your baby to feed.
  8. Visit your GP for additional advice or treatment if your symptoms do not improve or they get worse despite trying these techniques.

Infectious mastitis

Infectious mastitis will need to be treated using a combination of the above techniques and antibiotics (medication to treat infections caused by bacteria).
If you are breastfeeding, your GP will prescribe an antibiotic that is safe to use. This will usually be a tablet or capsule that you take orally (by mouth) four times a day.
A very small amount of the antibiotic may enter your breast milk and may make your baby irritable and restless or your baby’s stools looser (runnier) and more frequent.
These effects are usually temporary and will resolve once you have finished the course of antibiotics. They do not pose a risk to your baby.

Sore nipples

Your nipples may become sore if your baby is not properly attached during feeding. Your GP, midwife or health visitor will be able to advise about how to improve your breastfeeding technique. You can also call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 for advice.
If your nipples do not heal, you should return to your GP because you may have an infection. If you still have mastitis or pain in your breast, your GP may prescribe an oral antibiotic (see above).
Sore nipples can also be a sign of thrush, a fungal infection caused by the yeast fungus, Candida albicans. If you have thrush, you may also have:

  • a burning pain in your breast
  • very itchy breasts
  • pain that is worse at night or after feeding

Your GP may prescribe a cream that you will need to apply to your breasts after every feed, for two weeks. Your baby may also need to be treated if they develop thrush in their mouth.

This information is from the NHS site here.

Have you experienced Mastitis?  How did you cope with it?

Mamasimx   About Me
Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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The 3 Most Damaging Words You Can Tell Your Son

There’s a lot of focus on how society has treated minorities and women, but what about the flip side? What expectations do we have for the males in our society and how has that shaped their development? Within 30 seconds, find out the 3 most destructive words you can say to them.

I personally do not think we need to stop telling our son’s to ‘Be A Man’. I will teach my son’s to be a man in the best sense of the word. Let’s teach our children, both male and female, to be the best people they can be. The best human.

What are your thoughts?

Mamasimx   About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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A Reminder to Mummy and Daddy

Toddler Behaviour

Mummy it’s Mine!


A little humour.  We all recognise this behaviour, don’t we?

  1. If I like it, it’s mine.
  2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
  3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
  4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
  5. If it’s mine, it must NEVER appear to be yours in anyway.
  6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
  7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
  8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
  9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
  10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.

       Author Unknown.

Review – Read With Me Scout By Leapfrog

Do your kids want a dog but you don’t want to spend your life cleaning up doggie do do?  I think Leapfrog have the answer……

Read With Me Scout by Leapfrog

In the house of Mamasim we have had a guest to stay.  A little green dog by the name of Scout.  Now Scout is very well behaved and would never dream of doing anything to inconvenience his hosts.  He really is the perfect house guest….

Scout is in fact a lovely interactive reading toy developed by Leapfrog’s learning experts.  It includes 5 board books and Scout will read aloud from them and ask a question at the end of a page to reinforce listening skills and comprehension. He also reacts when his paw is squeezed or his cheek is kissed.

Scout has been a hit with both my 3 year old and my 7 year old boys – for different reasons.  My 3 year old is less interested in reading along with the stories and more interested in having Scout as his new BF (best friend!)  In fact he hasn’t been anywhere without him for the past 2 weeks.  He even sleeps with him.  3 year old also loves the fact that Scout talks to him, especially when he says “I like you” and gives him a big kiss.  Lots of cuddles for Scout then!  We have regular bed time stories read by Scout and 3 year old prefers me to be there with them to help read along.  But that’s fine by me because I prefer it too!

7 year old showed more initial interest in the stories and happily read along with Scout a few times and enjoys hanging out with his new pal every now and then.  I’m not sure if his interest will go the distance however, as he really is passed the simple stories, that afterall, are aimed at those just learning to read.

I have found the need to find Scouts off button a few times, as any adult usually does with children’s toys that talk or play music etc.  But 3 year old never tires of listening and talking to Scout.

The only real negative is the fact that I can’t bung Scout in the washing machine.  He is getting quite grubby being carted everywhere by 3 year old.  But he is sponge clean only…..  Still.

Scout really has been a hit.  I would recommend him as a great toy that will become your youngsters best loved buddy. The fact they can also curl up with you and lead story time is a great bonus.

LeapFrog_RWMScout_img1._V356814660_ LeapFrog_RWMScout_img2._V356814662_

Features 5 interactive touch points, 70+ comprehension questions and 5 illustrated board books:

  • The Pattern Book, “Let’s Go Camping!”, includes rhymes, refrains, and repetition to encourage children to predict what comes next
  • The Narrative Book, “Let’s Find Scout’s Toy!”, takes children through a story put together with characters, settings, and a sequence of events
  • The Concept Book, “Let’s Have a Party!”, explores concepts like colours to label and classify new information
  • In the Rhyming Book, “Let’s Cheer Up Eli!”, children learn about the sounds of language while building phonological awareness
  • The Learn-About Book, “Let’s Learn About the Weather!”, helps reveal our world through reading, and reinforces the concept that print carries meaning
  • Box Contains

    1 x Read with Me Scout
    5 x Interactive board books

 Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where  I will be giving away a Read With Me Scout to a lucky reader!