The best places to breastfeed in Manchester

“May you find your own way with confidence and pride, as you experience the womanly art of breastfeeding”

The Womanly Art of breastfeeding 8th Edition

My baby boy is 7 months and a half and I can proudly say I am still breastfeeding him. This “pride” doesn’t come from thinking that whoever decides not to breastfeed has chosen the wrong path, this pride comes from the feeling of achievement that I have because of overcoming the pains from the first month, because of not paying attention to uncomfortable situations where I had to do it in public or to the many times where my t-shirt was stained due to an overflow… I love that I can give my baby what I think will be the best support for him.

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Not everyday you are able to breastfeed within the walls of your own home, on your own rocking chair (I don’t have one by the way) or doing a skin-to-skin contact with your baby. So for any of you that are around the city of Manchester here are our recommendations for the best facilities to breastfeed your baby, from my own experience:

intu Trafford centre

Everyone in Manchester has been to this shopping centre, probably because it’s the biggest one in the city! so if your little one gets hungry and you’re around that place you can go to the Nursing room located right next to the toilets on the food court. There’s another one on the upper floor. Because in peak times it can get really busy and that is just an individual room. You can find there a rocking chair, a normal chair for the partner, and a sink. It’s quiet and clean.  So perfect for a relaxing time with your baby.

Manchester Arndale

Located on the food court, the main toilets have next to it a nice and quiet nursing room as well. Quite convenient if you’re looking to escape from the noise and the crowd from the town center.

Mothercare Store in Stockport

We have been to that one because we were doing some shopping and had to ask around to see if there were some facilities. I was quite surprised to find out about this one, since they have a nice, tidy and comfortable space for feeding your baby. It can be shared with other mums, but I don’t think that’s something, we women, bother that much… We were in Stockport at that time, so this one is the one we know of but if you go to their website you can probably check which ones have this type of facility. We know of this one for sure.

The Creche and Play area at intu Trafford Centre

Almost forgot to mention but if you have any older kids playing at this indoor playground may you know they have a quiet room, with a couple of comfy sofas for you to nurse your baby. The only thing is they ask you to not leave your other child unattended so either you have them with you or your partner can look after them.

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Breastfeeding is a right and a privilege so for most uncomfortable that you may feel remember that most of the times you will be able to do it almost anywhere. So don’t get shy and remember your why. I’ve breastfed at the airport, at the cinema, at a park,  at restaurants…sometimes with a blanket, sometimes without one because little E gets fed up with it… just forget about the people and focus on your baby, he/she will give you the confidence you need.

Any other recommendations of places from your own experience? I’m still planning to breastfeed him for a while, so we will appreciate any other suggestions! 🙂

How to overcome post-vacation syndrome or my 3 glimpses of joy

OK, it’s been a while since we left behind the beautiful beaches, the sunshine and our dear family in Barcelona, besides the first week of school is over now so we should say that it is time to move on and get over the post-vacation syndrome, don’t you think?

First of all, let me just clarify a few things, I’m not a doctor whatsoever so if you truly are suffering from some sort of depression please seek medical advice as it can be treated as any other illness. Looking for help is the right thing to do. This post just intends to share with you how we’ve overcome those feelings of burden, loneliness and stress that come when you’re back to a routine and are no longer surrounded by a warm weather and a cold drink. 😉

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Let me confess to you all that as soon as I landed and got home I was not in the mood at all and I searched for any excuse possible to start an argument, I know…that’s not right, but that’s what happened. The rest of the week didn’t go too much better but I tried not to be so grumpy. I don’t know, I guess I had mixed feelings of facing my routine again, not being surrounded by the people I love, apart from my own family of course. So the days went by and I noticed I had lost some spark, some sense of humour and I was suffering, but above all, my own family were suffering as well. I must say that the little ones had their own way to express it…E for example, being just a baby didn’t laugh as often as he used to, basically because there he had tons of people smiling and playing with him, and J, she was sad as well. She understands that we have work and school here in UK but she, without a shadow of a doubt, would go back to live in Barcelona. I don’t really think she understands that she wouldn’t be able to spend the whole time in a swimming pool and playing with her yayus though… but anyway she was so sweet, she mentioned to Sam her concern about being away from her grandparents. In her own words she said “Who’s gonna be with them? There’s no J there, we need to create another me to go live with them” My heart almost broke when I heard that.

at the beach

So now comes the turning point. No sadness last forever. I knew I was skipping some things that would help me to be more focused and in tune with the Spirit. Remember, as we said before, we are a believer family, so praying and scripture study work for us. For you might be something different, maybe meditation, maybe a good read, whatever makes you feel more in peace with yourself, the important thing is that you’ve got something. So it was the middle of the week and didn’t expect any visits when two people knocked on my door. I was alone with the kids and I get a bit paranoid of opening the door to strangers but this time I went and the two sister missionaries from my church were standing there. They came in, had a drink and we had a nice chat. Then they challenged me to do something: every day I needed to look for my 3 glimpses of joy and write them down somewhere, so by the end of the week I would have a list of the things that made us happy. I agreed to do it and so I started on that same day.

At night, during dinner time, I shared this with Sam and we all thought of what things had made us happy that day. Making that effort helped me to go out of the “darkness side” and see the many reasons I had in my life every day to feel good, to laugh, to cry of joy… Let me share a few things that I recall very quick:

One day, while J and Sam were at the park, only the two of them, she picked up a flower for me and Sam took a picture of her with a beautiful smile on her face.

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Thinking of mummy…

Other of my glimpses of joy was the sunshine we enjoyed one of the days. Another one was to see little man enjoying a lot one of the new solid foods he’s trying.

Then we got to enjoy some really nice ice creams after the park one day.

As you can see, there’s no fanciness or spending lots of money to go back to your true-self, to the one that doesn’t need holidays to feel good, to laugh. Being thankful, acknowledge the bright side of things, the people you love and the ones that you need to work a bit more to do so, help you, at least, helped us, overcome post-vacation syndrome. Hope as you read this it will help you in some way or another too.

Have a great back to school, back to work you all!!

PS What are your 3 glimpses of joy for this week?! 🙂

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Petite Pudding

My baby’s first food session

Our baby boy is 5 months old already and this week we were invited to attend a baby’s first food session. It was a great experience and because before going there I felt quite lost about the whole thing I thought I would share with you bits of the information that they gave to us. Hope it gives you a rough idea of what to expect, but please, if you have the chance to go to one, don’t miss it out!

Our little J was born in Barcelona and things there work a bit different in many aspects of the health system. So there you have a pediatrician assigned to you that you visit regularly and he or she gives you the outlines that you’re recommended to follow. For example, in terms of weaning your baby they will share with you a list with the do’s and don’ts, which usually is very strict and regulated. I can’t remember everything now cause it’s been almost 4 years since then but let’s say you couldn’t give your child cereal with gluten if they hadn’t tried gluten free first. You weren’t allowed to give some fruits until a specific age and things like that.

But hey! we’re in the UK now and we’re excited to try a new method with our baby E! That is part of our experience of living abroad, cause if you stick to the same habits you might lose other things. Here it is quite simple and relax. Basically once your baby turns 6 months and shows the 3 signs that I will tell you in a minute, she will be ready to start trying EVERYTHING. Yep! Of course there are a few guidelines but in summary your baby can try everything that you eat in very small portions. The trick relies on the HOW.

So first, the 3 signs that tell you that your baby is ready to start eating solid food:

baby first solid foods

There are a few foods to avoid:

baby first solid foods to avoid

And here the important bit, the HOW, if you don’t want to go through two transitions, (milk – puree/ puree – solid) and go straight into solid there is a safe way to do it: finger food.

According to the Child Accident Prevention Trust:

  • Round food is not our friend. Cut them in quarters ideally.
  • Think long and thin. Anything smaller than a two pence piece can get stuck.
  • Save the hard stuff for later.
  • Take it easy tiger. Remind them to sit still and chew before putting in more.

baby finger food

These were shared at the session 🙂 [parsnip, carrots, pear, broccoli and banana]

Finally, let me share with you a meal planner that was given to us that might give you a few ideas of what to try. Oh! before I forget, no bottle water or tap water until they grow a bit more (9 months approximately) It is recommended to give them boil water after cooling it down, obviously. And you can extend your breast milk or formula milk for as long as you feel. I breastfed J until she turned 2, and I’m planning to do the same thing with E. She had barely no sicknesses and grew nice and healthy. 🙂

(*The number you see under the day is the amount of salt for the day)

baby first foods meal planner baby first foods meal planner

We think our baby E is not ready yet so we will probably wait a few more weeks to start but you can see here how he’s already enjoying trying a piece of pear for the very first time in his life!

baby first food

That’s our experience about starting our baby with solid foods. We are all really excited for this new stage but we need to remember that the main nutrition source will continue to be the breast milk, in our case, and it’s not a matter of “eating” it’s a matter of exploring new textures and enjoying himself with food and new flavours.

Are you in that stage already? Any fears or concerns? Share it with us. We can all help each other out! 🙂

 

Now what? What do we do after the Brexit – EU referendum?

There was a time when this country was called United Kingdom, that time ended today when we all woke up to a “Divided Kingdom” after the EU referendum held on yesterday. I must admit I had a completely different post scheduled for today but my mind cannot be anywhere else apart from the referendum and what the future holds for my family.  A couple of months ago we shared with your our views on How the Brexit would affect our family. Now, sadly it has become a reality.

I need to confess that I am honestly praying to get rid of any negative feelings towards the “leavers” because everyone has the right to decide, that’s what democracy is about. But I hate the idea that there was nothing I could do apart from expecting the outcome. I support democracy with all my heart, but when is based under fair grounds. When one side, from my point of view, is being misleading through lies then I don’t think that’s called democracy, I think it’s called fraud. Other thing that really upsets me is that the choice to leave was made thinking on one self’s best interest and their families. It wasn’t thought for the common good. Because if they have thought for a second the impact that could have on other citizens maybe the good heart people would have chosen something different. I’m not saying that to be good you needed to vote remain, don’t get me wrong, everyone can have their own opinions on the subject and I respect that but the consequences will be lived by everyone, “remainers” “leavers” and then us, the spectators of all this show.

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For those who said that the ones working and living here won’t be affected, let me tell you how this is going to affect us:

  • In two years will I need to apply for a Visa to be able to work and live here? or maybe sooner than that? Can you imagine the costs and hassle of that?
  • Will I have to apply for British Citizenship if I want to remain in this country? So will I need to start saving for the more than a thousand pounds per person that will cost that to my family of 4? (that if we get to stay here for another 3 years!)
  • Will I need to pay for NHS services?
  • How often will we be able to fly back to Spain to visit my family now that the fly tickets price will increase?

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Two years of negotiation will affect us, if not directly, indirectly. But let me tell you what we’re doing after the Brexit:

  • We will keep calm, taking one day at a time and trying our best to adapt to the new circumstances.
  • We won’t judge others (and please, forgive my imperfection)  on how they rule their country from this date onward.
  • We will prepare our plan B because we know that God helps those who help themselves so when/if the situation here becomes unsustainable we will move to wherever offers the opportunities that once this country offered to us.

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Britain has spoken and we’ve listened. Now it’s our turn to do what we do best. Be honest, work hard and have faith in a better world.

**Please, as this is my family blog I share my views freely on this subject in a respectful way so I expect the same for anyone who wishes to comment on this blogpost or any other of our social networks. I won’t tolerate or approve any comment that I find disrespectful to me or my family.

10 things we miss from Barcelona

A while ago we shared with you 10 things we had learnt after living 3 years in UK. Now, it’s the time to tell you 10 things we miss from Barcelona, our homeland, the city where I grew up, where Sam and I met, got married and where J was born. Definitely compelling reasons to make us write this post. So here we go (by the way, they’re randomly organised so it doesn’t mean number 1 is the one we miss the most) AND obviously this doesn’t take into consideration our family who live there, they are the ones that we miss the most of course!

Having said this, without further ado…

#1 Cacaolat with Croissant

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Oh what a perfect combination for a wonderful breakfast! You can have it in a cafe or at your home, a just made croissant from the bakery, still warm and fluffy accompanied by this chocolate milk made by this Catalonian brand. It’s making my mouth water only thinking about it! haha

#2 An outdoor Swimming Pool

bassa-sabadell

I know it doesn’t get as hot here as it does there but last summer we went to one that is located just outside the city, in Sabadell, and the atmosphere was so cool. Water slides, picnic area, music playing in the background. We had such a really good time there! and it was quite affordable actually for everything that got to offer.

#3 The Beach, but not any beach, Sitges

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Home for the Film Festival, even though it’s a bit far away, it is a great place. You not only have the beach but also the castle ruins to explore and then the streets nearby full of restaurants and shops. One of my favourites from there is a place that makes the most delicious waffles I’ve ever tried!

#4 Montjuic and the Magic Fountain 

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If you’ve been or have heard of Barcelona you know this one had to be listed. An spectacular show of music, lights and the water that it seems to move along all of it. Half an hour presentation, usually ending with the Barcelona Olympics 92 song by Freddy Mercury and Montserrant Caballe, a classic. I can go back in time and picture myself there so many times, so many memories…

#5 A big mall in every corner

Unfortunately, here in Manchester we only have the intu Trafford Centre as the main place for recreation and shopping. Well, in Barcelona there are quite a few, not as big, probably, but sometimes quantity better than quality, it gives you more options of places to go out! 🙂

#6  Japanese restaurants

salmon sushi

It is such a shame but here where we live there are very few restaurants, that we know of, that sell sushi and sashimi. On the other hand, Barcelona is getting quite popular for the Japanese gastronomy so we always like to try a different one every time we go.

#7 Street shows in Las Ramblas

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Yes, people, that’s me a long long time ago.. 😉

Another typical touristic place, but definitely you get some good vibes watching the young people (OMG I’m getting so old! I can’t believe I just said that! LOL) break dancing, the statues, the mimes, you never get bored of it. But, please, always be careful of your belongings, pickpockets are quite frequent in such places. ( we don’t miss that bit! :P)

#8 Patatas bravas

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Our favourite tapas. Sam and I like to try this appetizer at different restaurants and do our own ranking.

#9 Chiringuitos, especially in Summer

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There is nothing like the feeling of just chilling at the beach having a drink while laughing with your friends and if you dare to do so, go into the water at night!

#10 Obviously, the SUN and the BLUE Sky!

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It might seem hard to believe but I was telling Sam as I was writing this post that if I had written it on our first year in UK I would have had more things that I could list. The thing though is that after 3 years in Manchester, I like quite a few things of this city and I’ve got used to many of them so when I go back to Barcelona I kinda miss them too…

Life of an expat can be so tricky sometimes, ending up between two worlds, a continuous feeling of homesickness regardless of where you are!

Have you ever experienced something like that? What is that place that you miss being there?

The best 5 songs that describe our British Adventure

June is a great month for us, summer is getting closer, holidays back home are getting closer and we mark our anniversary of this British Adventure. So this time we’ve thought we will share with you the best 5 songs that have helped us cope with the challenges of immigrating and settling in UK. Those songs that had a positive effect on all of us. Here we go:

#1 Impossible, James Arthur’s version

Ok, we know now this is a love song of a break-up story BUT on our first year, 2013, right before coming it became quite popular in Spain and for us hearing the word IMPOSSIBLE meant that we were turning the tide against all the challenges of leaving our home and adventuring ourselves to a new country. For us, it seemed “impossible” but we made it!

#2 Do you hear the people sing? from Les Miserables

You can see, we are quite dramatic in this family, LOL, but in a time when we were facing my husband’s unemployment in UK due to sorting out his residence status, THIS was the right song for us. Was England playing the role of “France” and we were raising against the injustice? Maybe, we felt like fighters anyway, and at the end, we overcame that rock as well.

#3 Don’t worry from Madcon feat Ray Dalton

Aha! we like to party (party-parents) of course, we don’t go wild anymore! haha but we heard this song on our first Summer holidays in Barcelona, and yep…we definitely felt like we didn’t need to worry about a thing! Beach, sun cream, family, friends…and “party” all day 😀 The pleasures of coming back home.

#4 Hace calor from Estilo Libre (It’s getting hot!)

No worries, nothing dodgy in the video! just another Summer hit we heard in Barcelona. This song though, we like to sing it here in Manchester every time it gets really cold, hailing, snowing or raining… we turn on the car and listen to this song! The irony of it helps us go through the bad weather and have a laugh about it. See, reverse psychology 😉

#5 Wrecking ball from Miley Cyrus

No need to show you Miley half-naked so this video will just work fine. Why do we like this song? Well, you can laugh about it, but I gave birth with this song! haha, seriosly, I was feeling like a “wrecking ball” about to “wreck” so in the hardest time Miley was there LOL

In my family, J and I are music lovers, while Sam doesn’t bother that much, unless for Les Miserables (he can be hours listening to the Soundtrack) but I think and feel that music has the power to bring you back to a place, to a memory, to somebody. It helps you ease the toughest challenges, it can uplift you when you’re feeling down or make you have a great time. These are not the only ones that have marked this adventure but just a few. I know we’re still building our own “soundtrack” so who knows which ones will come in the future…

What about you? What are those songs that had an impact on your life?

 

 

10 things we have learnt after living in UK for 3 years

We are getting very close to our 3rd year anniversary of this British Adventure, so even though we are not experts on the matter, we can still share with you a few things we have learnt so far:

#1 Manchester is London, UK is London, always.

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When you move to UK, it doesn’t matter if you told family and friends you’re going to live in Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh or Manchester, you are always relocating to London. So every time they ask you, they will always say “How’s it going in London? -No, I live in Manchester. -Yes, I heard “London” is a big city”… ALWAYS.

#2 Be polite, even if you don’t really mean it.

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So, you will say “Thank you”, when you get of the bus, even if the bus driver tried to kill you and didn’t even left you close to the bus stop. You will say “sorry” when you’re in the store and you were a “bit” too close when trying to overpass someone on the aisle. You won’t raise the voice if you get really mad at someone, you will just stare at them, thinking what you would do to them if you could, and then after a dramatic pause, turn around and go.

#3 Fish and chips and Beans on toast

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It’s what it is: fish AND chips, beans ON toast. There’s no magic flavours hidden behind these so well-known British cuisine. No surprises, crystal clear, you will get what it is: a piece of fried fish with French fries, or a can of beans pour out over a toast. Is it good? Is it not? we’ll leave it to your palate to decide.

#4 The absence of rain is GOOD weather

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If it’s not raining it’s good enough to do all sorts of outdoor activities, -please, advice to new comers, never wait until it gets sunny or you might end up enjoying yourself just 3-4 days of the year! trust us on this, no rain is good enough.

#5 along with that, you will never wear an umbrella with you

We found out about that on our first year, it seemed like magic, but we would be soaking wet and everyone around would be completely dry, how? we still don’t know! we thought maybe the weather was being a bit racist…haha, jokes apart, you seriously don’t need an umbrella, just a hoodie. It’s all you need in this crazy weather.

#6 There is more than one type of curry

Before, we only had heard about a few Indian restaurants in Barcelona and that was about it, never tried curry or any Indian food. Since we moved here we have learnt to prepare our own Korma curry and we can distinguish many other flavours. Now I know what ginger is for! haha

#7 Every Spanish food must have chorizo

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Apparently, according to Tesco, Asda or even La Tasca, paella must be cooked with chorizo, if you want “Spanish chicken” must have chorizo as well, AND be spicy! It’s one of those misconceptions that I don’t know who initiated here after probably travelling too many times to Majorca or Benidorm.

#8 You will always give a card on Christmas

It doesn’t matter if you personalize it or not. (we’ve been given empty cards, no name on them, at all, that we could actually use ourselves to give them to someone else) haha No, no, we would never do that! but yes, cards are an important part of British culture. You can say anything with a card. Say sorry, say I miss you, congratulations, to the big brother, to the auntie, to grandma, to your boyfriend, seriously…they cover all range of topics, and of course, Christmas is a perfect opportunity.

#9 You will get to know a British layer after layer

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They won’t show you all at once, you will only get to know them little by little, cause what it would seemed a cold person, might be the tenderest one, after delving deep into their hearts. And who you thought you would never get along with might become a true friend and help you in times of need.

#10 Generosity is a frequent attribute in these isles.

There are many ways to fund raise, many causes that you can be involved with, many people willing to help, they might stop you on the street, or you could start your own campaign, and people actually donate. Of course, everyone is different, but as a general thing, we have noticed this in more than one person we have come across.

The list could go on and on. We are still learning so many things. Immigration is one of the best ways to grow in all the sense of the word. Adapting to a new culture, new people, new places is hard, and now I know that unless you have experienced it for yourself, you’re not able to understand what it feels. You can find all sorts of barriers, language can be one, but won’t be the only one, but when you get to overcome them, and laugh at your own mistakes, you are able to see the forest with the right eyes, and you just forget of the tree.

The best 5 places for a low-cost family day-out in Manchester

Hey! You’re not going to believe this but there’s actually a sunbeam coming through my window while I’m typing this post! Yep, that only means one thing…Summer, or the Manchester version of Summer is getting closer! We can’t complain…this weekend, a heatwave is apparently reaching the mancunian valley. For those who are from a warmer country don’t build up your hopes that much, “heatwave” means a bit over 20 degrees, but trust me, you will appreciate it!

So we’ve thought it would be a good idea to share with you our 5 favourite “low-cost” places to visit in Manchester. We are a high-standard family with a low-cost budget so if you want to save some pennies but still have some fun read through our suggestions! 🙂

#1 Wythenshawe Park (Park and Farm)

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Easy access if you don’t have a car. The metrolink will take you there. You have play area, green areas to play some football and an admission free farm. It was one of the first parks we found when we arrived to Manchester. It can be a good place to visit if you want to have a picnic and give some fresh air to your little ones. They usually have an ice-cream van by, but just in case they don’t it’s better if you bring your own drinks and snacks.

Cost: only petrol or public transport tickets. 🙂 See more info here

#2 Manchester Aquatics Centre

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We like this one because of the 2 slides they have on the baby pool, plus facilities are usually well looked-after, you’re close to town if you want to go for a walk later on and price admission is cheaper than other leisure centres. Children go free but must be accompanied by an adult. I recommend checking their website or giving them a call before you go, just in case the baby pool is closed.

Cost: petrol/parking/ public transport + admission fees (adult £3.20 – junior or +60 £2.00) Check their website here.

#3 Children Centre

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You can find them in your neighbourhood. They are community centres that will provide you with a handful of activities throughout the week for your kids and yourself. There’s no charge. You just go and have a good time, and if you’re quite sociable you will make new friends easily or at least enjoy a good chat with another parent. This last week Sam and I went to a Baby Massage session. It was…interesting! haha..I’ll tell you more about it on a different post.

Cost: just the calories you burn to walk there 😉 Go to your local gov.uk website to find the closest one to you.

#4 Going to the Cinema

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What?? Wait a second?! didn’t we say that these were “low-cost” activities? Don’t worry, we’re not going mad and spend 10 pounds per ticket plus the popcorn. BUT, we love watching films, and we do watch a lot at home, however, every once in a while we do go to the big screen, even with E, that’s a whole new adventure, breastfeeding in the middle of the dark while “enjoying” a movie! (but again, that’s a different story!) Going straight to the point: Odeon Kids where prices start from £2.50. The screen times are usually mornings during the weekend and bank holidays. You will need to check first though, and not all that glitters is gold, they won’t show you the latest releases, so don’t expect to see the Jungle Book for 2.50…probably in a few months. 😉

Cost: petrol/public transport + £ 2.50 per ticket

#5 Manchester Natural History Museum (The Manchester Museum)

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Or the place with the “big dinosaur” as J says. We’ve been to MOSI (The museum of Science) and we like it there as well, but J has more fun in this one. All museums in Manchester are free of charge, so the only cost, your time! By the way, they both are quite accessible by public transport, and if you’re driving and need a cheap parking place in town, you can find a few for 3.50 all day. It will depend how long you want to walk for.

Cost: petrol/parking/public transport      Check their latest news here

These are just a few suggestions based on our own experience trying to find affordable places and have fun at the same time. Very close to you, you will probably have green areas or a good park where to play with your kids. Indoor playgrounds are a good option as well, depending on which one you go, it will be more or less expensive. Libraries offer some entertainment for the kids. At the end, it all falls into your creativity and a good attitude to have a good family time regardless of the circumstances!

Which one are your favourite affordable places in Manchester or other areas in UK?

 

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How the Brexit would affect our family

We try not to think too much about the IN our OUT question on 23rd June since there is not much we can do about it because as Europeans we are not eligible to vote, which I suppose it makes sense, since even though it will affect us, all of us would vote IN, don’t you think? who would kick themselves out anyway!

great briitain leaves european union metaphor

But, hey! we can still give our opinion and share with you our thoughts on this, which as an Immigrant family we kind of have the duty to do. I’ve read the propaganda, I’ve read comments on Facebook and other sites for both parts and everything sounds so familiar…

We, ourselves come from different countries. Sam’s family emigrated from Brazil to Barcelona almost 10 years ago, and my family moved from Peru to Spain when I was a baby, over 30 years now! We’ve heard the same topics again and again: immigrants stealing our jobs, taking advantage of our benefits, causing problems, terrorism..all sorts of things!

For me, this is the first time it feels kinda personal because as a child in Barcelona was oblivious to all that, and never felt “attacked” as an immigrant, unless for a few times where closed minded people would say some inappropriate words. It is now, having emigrated as a grown up woman with my own family that these issues cause me some concern.

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Let me tell you to all those who want to vote OUT, I understand your point of view and you just want your country to be a better, safer, more successful place for you and your families. BUT, please, don’t blame it on US. As many of you, you will have people, British citizens who are working hard, who are successful in business, who are raising their children in good values that will contribute to the society. You also have the other side of the coin though, young people refusing jobs because they’d rather be on benefits, unstructured families, teenagers raising kids..So what makes you think that we are any different? We do have both sides of the coin as well. And let me tell you, if you start asking around you will learn many stories like ours: young families leaving their homes looking for better opportunities to be more self-reliant, to provide for their offspring, coping with home sickness, having to adapt to a new culture, making new friendships, finding themselves alone in many occasions.

I heard not too long ago that this country was built upon diversity, and I think that’s what made it strong. So it is not a matter of IN our OUT, it is a matter of HOW. How can we make this country strong again? When trying to point someone, look for a mirror and ask yourself how you can contribute in your neighbourhood to make it a better place. Don’t look to the side searching for that Rumanian or that Spaniard that  apparently is stopping you from achieving all your goals. So, How would affect the Brexit to my family? It would make us grow, as it did when we decided to come here, cause “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”  I am not being naive, don’t get me wrong, but I think if people is unhappy with their government they need to choose better or propose other options. At the end, we are the “guests” here, but we just wanted you to know, that most of us are the polite type of guest and not the scrounge one.

Note: This post has been written more as a reflection than not a debate but we’re still opened to read any comments. 🙂

If you’d like to join us on our family adventures do so by clicking here for Bloglovin or at the end of this post for WordPress.

Maternity Leave Step 1: Our water birth experience

It’s been two months since our little baby boy was born but you can tell by our latest post that pregnancy took most of our time cause we haven’t been able to sit down and write something till now. But, here we are now, back on track, with our enthusiasm and “lack of sleep” ready to keep sharing with you our “ordinary” and sometimes “extraordinary” adventures.

We know how scary can be for parents-to-be and specially for parents-to-be in a new country, having a baby. So many things to consider, so many questions and big decisions, so let us share with you why we chose Water Birth as our option and how we experienced it.

Being completely honest with you we decided water birth not because we are like the pro-natural-drug-haters type of family but basically because we wanted to leave alone our 4 year-old daughter the least time possible. When taking the hospital tour we were told that if you chose to give birth in the water and everything went fine you could go back home as early as just 6 hours after giving birth. For us that seemed the right solution to our problem and for me it became my main motivation when going through the most painful hours.

Birth pool

Wythenshawe Hospital was our choice and even though we had Saint Mary’s as an option we will never regret choosing the South Manchester hospital. We had read all sorts of reviews from both of them but as in everything in life there’s a point where you have to take that step of faith, make up your mind and go for it. So we did and everything from tests to care, from the very beginning till the birth date was absolutely fabulous. The team, specially the midwifery team at the Birth Centre were amazing! The senior midwives along with the student ones, all of them very supportive. They cheered us up in every stage, and on the final one, when it becomes the most painful moments of your life, they were there. They don’t do any magic, they’re just there saying the right words and you and your partner do all the work, but that is exactly what we needed.

Birth Suite

Regards the water birth experience it self, yes… it does help relieve the pain, but it will get unbearable at the end no matter how warm the water is or how much your partner tries to help. You won’t be able to go into the water until you have dilated at least 8cm but the suite is so nice that you don’t mind that. It’s a private suite for you and your partner. You can walk around, listen to some music, watch TV and have some snacks, not that you might feel for all that but for example in our case we spent some time listening to some music videos from YouTube, having some toasts and orange juice that they offered to us and basically enjoying one another’s company; when there was no pain we felt like if we were in a nice room of a hotel but obviously then… contractions started to really take me down and didn’t care at all about music, light, or toasts!

Giving Birth

I will skip the painful part, it’s just a lot of yelling and pushing, and every mum will live it on their own way, but after that you see HIM, they take him out of the water and put him in your arms, and yes, it’s true, all the pain is gone, that pain that felt like someone was trying to break your back has completely disappeared and it’s just you, and HIM, and him, looking at each other and thanking God that everything went perfect. No more explaining on this because I think the picture says it all.

Summing up, would we recommend Water Birth? Yes, Would we choose that over a birth with epidural? now that the pain is gone, I would say yes. The recovery has been so much quicker than with the first child, lost weight faster as well and for me, it just felt better in every sense and the right choice for our family at this time at this place.

#EandJ

Here are a few links that you might find interesting and useful to help you decide:

Water Birth Live Video

What’s a water birth like and other questions

Wythenshawe Hospital – Maternity Unit

Pregnancy and Baby Guide – NHS