Tuesday, 13 August 2019

PSA! GET ABUJA RESTAURANT MENUS

If you've been following me for a bit, you'll know i love and enjoy food. I do reviews occassionally on TripAdvisor (as jemimahnaa) and on Foursquare/Swarm. I created this account to capture this love and share my bits from Abuja & the rest of the world with you all. 
This IG page is about me sharing Food, Menus, restaurants, hidden gems & more around the world.
I share Menus and other places in my Stories & Highlights.
I share only places i COMPLETELY enjoy in posts.
Follow @MimahtheFoodie on Instagram and enjoy having restaurant menus, pics and more at your fingertips! 
Toodles!XooX

Friday, 26 July 2019

Tips for Flying with a Toddler (12mos+)

I waited till my daughter turned 1 year old before we travelled by air. I just knew i'd feel more comfortable and confident managing her at that age. Our first trip was to Lagos in 2018 for the December holidays. It was pretty easy and straightforward as it was a 1 hour flight and i was still breastfeeding her at the time. She got to meet her great-grand-parents from my side of the family and extended family members of her father and myself that reside in Lagos. It was a lot of fun and we also got to celebrate our birthday together before returning back to Abuja.
Since that trip, we have flown to Lagos two more times (after i weaned her), i went to the London alone with her for my close friend's wedding and we also went to South Africa for a family vacation.
I have gotten some experience on how best to manage her effectively on flights and have a somewhat hassle-free (or minimised) trip. As always, its good to remember that all children are unique and you may have to customise some of the tips by figuring out what works best for your child.
Here are my tips:
  1. Flight Regulations: Know your baggage weight limit and stick to it. Liquids and Creams you carry should be in the allowed size and put them in a clear Ziploc bag to avoid spilling and to avoid hassles at security checks. Know the contraband and avoid carrying them, check-in anything you are not sure about. You don't want to be re-arranging bags and boxes with a toddler in hand.
  2. Be Time Conscious: Take note of your flight time, layover time, etc. Get to the airport, & checked-in in good time and sit by your boarding gate if published already, otherwise keep an eye on the board to see when its published and listen for announcements. If you are not sure of something regarding your flight, find an official and ask. If you have a connecting flight that is 1 or 2 hours, proceed directly to the boarding gate once you pass through security. You'll be surprised that the time is already up between when the plane taxied and you got through security. This was how i ended up missing my connecting flight from Frankfurt to London, the security check was intense and by the time i used the restroom and changed my toddler before heading to the boarding gate, i was told the flight had left. I had to pay a subsidised price to get on another flight. Luckily i did not have to wait for too long but it was still extremely upsetting.
  3. Take Advantage: If you have a baby or toddler, you have PRIORITY. This means you get to skip the queues for check-in and boarding. Go right up to the front and ignore the stares. Don't stay on queues and get exhausted carrying your baby, you will end up tired and with a fussy baby. Allow the staff use their Lift access and help you with your stroller and any other perks offered.
  4. Stock up on patience: Especially on your first flight ever, its your toddler's first time having this experience so they are bound to be excited and want to explore or they me be anxious and overwhelmed. Basically, things may not go as you plan and that's ok. Just go with the flow and try not to get stressed
  5. Get a light-weight stroller (Depending on the country you are travelling, it may be best to have a stroller to move around with your toddler, it is wayyyy easier than carrying them and bags) It helped me a lot in London (There's a lot of  ramps, lifts, escalators, helpful people,etc.) and i moved around way quicker than expected and whenever she wanted to be out of it, i just put our shopping bags in it and allowed her walk around or i carried her briefly and it was also  an on-the-go seat, snack area or 'bed' instead of me carrying a cranky or sleepy baby.                                                            
  6. Take a Sippy cup for water: Most airport security will not allow you pass with your plastic bottle of water). You can buy after passing through security, especially if you have a long layover. Some airports have water fountains or dispensers so look out for those as well.
  7. Food, Fruits & Snacks: Depending on how long the flight duration & airport layover will be, you will have to decide on taking some food, fruit, snacks (preferably your child's faves-crisps, yogurt, cakes, biscuit, juice, etc.) and water. Try not to pack excess, you have a fair idea of how much your child eats in a certain amount of time so pack just enough till you land or get on your flight in case you are in a foreign country and there's no familiar food or they don't eat any of the food you buy them. You do not want to have a hungry toddler on your hands, trust me.                                                                                                                                                               
  8. Diaper Bag: It doesn't have to be in the style of a typical diaper bag but it should contain all the essentials- Diapers, Wipes, Changing mat, Change of clothes for baby and you, Medication (especially pain relief), Blanket, Socks, Bibs, Washcloths, Body Cream, Hair brush, Toys, Disinfecting Wipes, Wetbag or Nylon for Soiled Diapers/clothes, etc.
  9. Vomit bag: If the plane does not have a paper bag, its good to have one or a nylon bag on standby. There may be turbulence and your toddler cannot necessarily signal you that they feel queasy and i doubt they can hold back vomit as well. My daughter had a projectile vomit episode on our flight and i was quite flustered and took me some time to compose myself and figure out what to do. I had to clean her and myself up in the tiny airport bathroom with a washcloth, i changed her clothes n gave her a wipe down and put the soiled clothes and blanket in a nylon bag. Luckily the passenger beside us was asleep & most of the people on the flight were asleep at the time so i did not have to endure stares and all.  I cleaned up the parts of the seat n floor the vomit got on with wipes and tissue and put them all in a plastic bag. She had some water and slept not long after. I was alone with her for this flight and did not have a change of clothes (luckily i wore all black and was able to wipe myself clean with a washcloth) so it was almost overwhelming.
  10. Travel Pillow:  I use this to cushion my back or my neck or my toddler's head when she's sleeping on me. I just strap it to my hand luggage or her diaper bag n i'm good.                                                                    
  11. Weather-Appropriate Clothing n Shoes: Research on the weather of the place you will be flying to especially if its an international flight. you can dress your toddler according to the weather condition of where you are departing from but if you are going to a colder country, you may want to pack a Jacket, Boots, etc in the diaper bag so you can put them on your toddler once you land. I found it's best to layer their clothing so i can add-on or take off depending on weather changes.
  12. Have Entertainment: It can be videos, games, toys, books, etc. Things you know engages your toddler and keeps them occupied. This will distract them from the change in environment and the wait time for the flight or flight duration. I usually download her favorite rhymes and shows on YouTube so i don't have to be connected for her to watch it and i can be on airplane mode. I also have a toy or 2 in her diaper bag and use them in rotation and a picture book. I use any of these to entertain her as needed. Sometimes she just plays with herself or a piece of plastic.lol. Some airports have a play area for kids so you can use that if its not too far from your boarding gate and if you have time. Some planes also have screens with games, cartoons or activities for kids so definitely take advantage of that. If all else fails you can make up games and play with them. Let your toddler play and runaround as much as possible before the fight so they will most likely sleep on the flight.                                                                                                          
  13. Long Flight: If its a long flight, allow them walk down the aisles of the plane under your supervision and with the seat-belt sign off in order to promote blood circulation. It can be when most passengers are asleep and you can walk with them.                                                                                                    
Extra Tips  
  • If you can, pay for extra leg room
  • Try to get a place that can provide a toddler bed or pack n play if your child sleeps in one. 
  • Try to get a place with a fridge and microwave for emergency food for the lil one.
  • If you can get a place with a Washing machine/Dryer, do so, its easier than piling up laundry or hand washing.
  • Try to stick to their regular bedtime
  • Try to pick up cues on when they are sleepy or getting overwhelmed, hungry, need a diaper change, etc. This will help avoid meltdowns and tantrums. While on vacation we tend to get carried away and its too late before we realise they are exhausted and they end up overtired and crying inconsolably. This happened to me on a City Sightseeing bus tour and as you can imagine, i could not get up to rock her and we could not change location. She cry-yelled the whole way back to our stop until she dozed off.
  • Plan well and don't lose your cool when things go crazy-breathe and talk calmly. You can vent when they are out of sight or asleep.
Note: Depending on the change in temperature between the places you are travelling from and to, your toddler may have sun spots, mouth blisters n dry patches on their skin. Be sure to watch out for that and keep their adequately protected.
I have barely used other means of transportation for travel with her as a toddler so i can't advice on that, although some of these tips may be applicable. I hope you find this post useful if you are planning to travel with your toddler and if you have more tips on travelling with toddlers, feel free to share them in the comment section.  
Toodles!XooX

Saturday, 9 March 2019

How to plan a Naming Ceremony

We had our baby's Naming Ceremony in our parlour/living room, hubby & i handled the planning. I knew i wanted us to do something small because i wasn't up for the stress of throwing a big party (it's also not my style). The Naming Ceremony is typically done Seven (7) days after delivery but this can vary depending on your culture and church denomination. You may want to discuss with your spouse and parents while pregnant to know what applies in order for you to make the necessary preparations.
We had only 5 days to put things together for ours due to the time baby spent in the NICU (read my TMI Labor & Delivery Story) before we were discharged. My advice is to plan the basics ahead and decide on any vendors then finalize all arrangements after baby is delivered.
We planned for 30 guests (including friends) and used this number to make all our prep. We spoke with our pastor and agreed on having the ceremony by 10:00am. We informed her grandparents, aunties and uncles that were in town and a few friends (we told our friends to come in the evening though).
Things to do:
  • Inform your pastor and agree on a time for the naming ceremony
  • Invite guests
  • Make arrangement for Refreshments (Small chops, food, water and drinks) based on your estimated no. of guests (have extras for people that bring +1s) 
  • Get an outfit for baby (i had gotten a white gown and white shawl before having baby)
  • Get an outfit for yourself (the parents)- i had my tailor make me an outfit when i got back from the hospital and hubby wore a white traditional attire he had. I did my makeup myself.
  • Type out Baby's names and cut out several strips of the names (this will be distributed to guests). You can have someone design and print this for you, i did this myself and i printed it at home.
  • Type Baby's names and the meaning for the pastor to use during the naming of the baby.
  • If you having the ceremony in your Parlour/Living room like we did, it's good to have supplementary power supply (Generator, Inverter, etc.). You can have someone design and print this for you, i did this myself and i printed it at home.
  • Get a photographer or designate someone to take pictures and make videos during the event. 
  • Have your Parlour/Living room cleaned and dusted and you may want to rearrange your furniture to have more space or get extra chairs depending on your no. of guests.
We bought water and drinks and refrigerated them, i got a caterer to make Jollof rice and peppered chicken, she put them into 30 packs with spoons and serviettes and gave us the rest in a big cooler. We also ordered small chops which we served to friends who came in the evening with drinks.
The naming ceremony started around 10:00am and we were done by 12:00pm. 
The programme went as follows:
  • Opening Prayer
  • Praise and Worship
  • Sermon
  • Naming of the Baby
  • Praying for the Baby
  • Praise & Collection of Offering (the money was given to us to keep for baby)
  • Closing Prayer
We took pictures afterwards, food and drinks were distributed to guests and we exchanged pleasantries before guests took their leave. Only the grandparents and family stayed till evening before leaving.
Baby slept throughout the naming ceremony, i got some sleep afterwards as well. We tidied the house and took out the trash before our friends arrived in the evening. Some of them got packs of rice while others had small chops and drinks for refreshment.
The house was rearranged and tidied when everyone had left in the evening, we refrigerated leftover refreshments, took out the trash and went back to our regular routine.
Some cultures and churches do baby's naming & dedication and baptism after 3 months so find out what applies to you so you are not caught unawares. You can always tweak my recommendations in this post to plan your specific 'baby event' regardless of the date it will be held.
I'll do a post on how we collated all baby's names, if you are yoruba you know the deal, everyone wants to give baby a name. lol
Toodles!XooX

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

How to get a Nigerian Birth Certificate for your Baby

Congratulations!! I'm guessing you probably just had your bundle of joy.
The Nigerian Birth Certificate is issued by the National Population Commission.
You will be given a Birth Certificate at the hospital you give birth once you have completed all the necessary documentation.
You the proceed to the National Population Commission and it's pretty straightforward if you are Nigerian and gave birth in Nigeria. I cannot speak for other scenarios.
Birth Certificate Process (For Abuja)

  • Go to National Population Commission (NPC), Masaka close, Zone 7
  • The Birth Certificate is Free for the first 60 days after the baby is born
  • You pay a #4000 if your baby is older than 60 days
  • Documents Required: Birth Certificate/Notification from hospital & Valid ID
  • You will be given a form to fill and submit
  • It takes 2-3 days for the certificate to be ready and you'll get a call or an sms to come for collection
  • Go for Collection of the Birth Certificate
It's best to process and collect your baby's birth certificate as soon as you can. It is the accepted proof that you are the parents of your baby and you will need it for any visa processing for international travel. You can scan it so you have a soft copy, laminate the hard copy and keep it in a safe place as your child will need it in the future.
Toodles!XooX


Happy New Year 2019!!

Happy New Year!! 
I know the 1st week of March 2019 is practically done and this is my 1st post of the year. I'm appalled at myself!!! lol. On a serious note though you guys already know the drill, Toddler mom life/work/business owner/event planner/living in Nigeria (NEPA,Internet, etc.) amongst other things,
time is like gold. Kindly bear with me, I have sooo much to share to new moms and moms-to-be but if i don't get this new year post out of the way, there will be no posts! I like things to be in order so much it gets in my way. 
This post is to get this post outta the way! and reflect a bit on 2018.

2018! What a year, it just might be my best year so far. It has been quite an experience being a mom throughout the year, working my job and business (@mimahcrafts on Instagram) and trying to master the lifestyle of a young new parent. There were also quite a number of birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, weddings and other events/milestones where i got to celebrate with friends and family. It definitely had its downs but lets focus on the positives.
The highlight for me was our trip to Lagos for the Christmas holidays, i had not been on a plane since i had Kiara and i missed my Lagos people. We had sooo much fun and Kiki got to meet the Lagos friends, family and her Great grandparents. I got to visit some of the fun and food spots i had been eyeing as well as some events. We celebrated our birthdays (Hubby, Kiki & I-Birthday Post loading...) and chilled (which was exactly what i needed after such an active and busy year). 
2018 was a pretty dope year, i got some much needed rest at the very end of the year (I did not cook for 2weeks!!) and i'm thankful.

More posts are coming i assure you, i have sooo many notes i've made in the 1 year of me being a mom. I'm sure you guys will find very useful. Can you believe i'm a mom to a 1year old (actually 14 month old but who's counting right?!)! It seems like yesterday i was blogging about my Introduction Ceremony and now i'm a mom & we are approaching our 5year Anniversary. God is good and i count my blessings daily. 
How many times have i said mom in this post abeg. lol.

2019 did not start on the best note, we came back from holiday fun  in Lagos to my lil sister being very ill and hospitalised. Thank God for his mercies, she responded to treatment and is back on her feet. The year has been going really well otherwise and i'm grateful. May the odds continue to be in our favor. Amen.
Motto for the year- Do it Afraid (a.k.a Take Risks)
Toodles!XooX   

Friday, 30 November 2018

My TMI Labour & Delivery Story (in Abuja, Nigeria)

I had always tried to imagine what my labour and delivery experience would be like, having watched and read the experiences of others on Blogs, BabyCenter and YouTube, to no avail.
When anyone i know personally gives birth, that's what i'm most curious about 'how was the experience of bringing a child into the world?' Most times the response is pretty vague.
This is my labour and delivery story, i can't say Baby Kiara came the way i had imagined, i mean she came on my birthday, a whole week before her due date. I still cherish every moment of it though and thank God for blessing me with her.
My Labor started on Thursday night  (Dec 21st), i could barely get any sleep because i was in pain and could not find a comfortable position, it eventually subsided in the early hours of Friday Morning and i was able to get some sleep. It started again around midday on Friday (Dec 22nd)  and continued randomly but i was extremely active setting up the house & baby things so i thought it was Braxton Hicks. It got more intense towards the evening that i had to take breaks, squat and walk around to relieve the pain (i was contracting already unknown to me).
I decided to go the hospital to get checked around 8:00pm, i had missed my 38week appointment anyway so this checkup would serve as that. I saw the Doctor, he checked me then told me the baby's head was down, heart rate was fine, my BP was OK and i WAS having Contractions though they were currently irregular. I honestly could not believe it!! My due date wasn't for another week and almost everyone had told me she my come even later than her due date 'cos it was my first baby. I was not ready for this news walahi, anyways i digress. I went for an ultrasound scan,they said baby was measuring small for how far gone i was and asked if i was sure i was 39weeks (My info was clearly on the screen by the way)πŸ˜’ I just ignored them, abi how will i not know how long i have been pregnant lugging my protruding belly around and all the symptoms and what was i supposed to do with this info at 39weeks??!! (I will expatiate on this jist in my Pregnancy Diaries).
I took the ultrasound scan results to the Doctor, he told me to ignore them & not worry that baby's size was fine and the main thing was that the vitals were all good. He told me i could be admitted immediately or come back if my contraction got regular or more painful. I decided to go home to tidy up things for baby's arrival, pack baby & I's  hospital bag πŸ™ˆ (i had procrastinated on this 'cos i thought baby would come on her due date or in 2018, as she & I had discussed o) and wait till my contractions were Regular.
INTERLUDE (Small Jist)- While the doctor was checking me with the sonogram, i had a contraction and he was able to time it and determine my contractions were irregular, na so the matron enter the Doctor's office o and overheard what he was telling me. She said i had to be admitted immediately and she would escort me to the Labour & Delivery ward. See me see something o! πŸ˜’Eskiss ma, i'm not going anywhere, i know you are doing your job o, but my doctor said i can go home and that's where i'm headed. She said ok o, she has advised me as its my first time 'cos i may not make it back in time to the hospital for the delivery. Hian! when no be curse, abeg madam u cannot scare me, i dey go my house. I picked my bag and left. as i was leaving i had another contraction but kept a straight face 'cos i was scared they'd force me to be admitted.πŸ˜…
Honestly i just wanted to be in my comfort zone (Home) while in labor and i did not want any unnecessary 'finger/hand in vagina' dilation checks as i have heard they are really painful.
BACK TO THE MAIN STORY
I got home and informed my fam that baby may get here sooner than expected, packed our hospital bags with my sis and last minute house tidying. I finally agreed to rest when the House was clean & rearranged to my satisfaction. I ate and watched TV.  I went into ACTIVE LABOR (it was a totally different level of pain!!) around 11:45pm just as hubby was giving me my birthday gift. It went on till around 5:00am. I stayed in the room alone with the AC on & lights off and was writhing in pain, hubby was in the room initially but started snoring and after i woke him up a couple of times he gladly excused himself to the parlour (The snore was as if something was sparking in my brain and not in a good way) I honestly felt 0 remorse, i swiftly moved all the pillows and throw-pillows to the centre of the bed and tried to find a comfortable position that i'd feel the pain less. I almost started panicking 'cos i had not finished reading up on coping techniques for labor pain and signs to know how i was progressing, i was literally clueless on this side of things. I tried turning on my laptop to watch the videos i had saved but i could barely look at the screen even on the dimmest screen brightness level (that something sparking in my brain and not in a good way sensation was all i felt) i had to shutdown.
I went on the Baby Center App on my phone with the screen brightness at the dimmest and was able to learn a couple of useful things on stages of labor, how to know i was progressing, what to look out for, how to time my contractions, etc. I used different coping techniques to manage the pain- from practising breathing and praying to mentally psyching myself with positive words 'It is well with me','i can do this', 'my body was made for this', 'God that has brought me this far, will see me true to a beautiful end', 'this is not pain, its discomfort', 'It'll soon pass', etc. I also twerked and vibrated my bum with my arms stretched out &grabbing at thin air (i know it sounds absurd and i stumbled on it by accident while writhing in pain, i must have looked ludicrous), also kneeling or laying in a particular position and putting pressure/massaging my back helped (I may do a detailed post on coping techniques for labor pain). The crazy thing i didn't know about labour was that the pain builds up-it starts at 10 then climbs to like 5000, stays there for a bit, subsides and then comes back again-if that makes any sense. I have a high pain tolerance and i'm really not a shouter (i also wanted to conserve as much energy as possible for 'pushing') so i was quiet throughout my labor and instead ground my teeth or bit my lip or cheek.
I kept going to pee and check myself  (i had read it helps labor progress faster) and managed to take naps in between contractions until i saw my mucus plug then my water broke not long after-it was not a big sploosh as i had anticipated (i had even spread a nightingale waterproof pad on the bed in preparation), it was a trickling as though i couldn't hold my pee. I had my 'bloody show' after my water broke, i quickly cleaned up, wore a pad and changed. I woke hubby and my sis up, told them to get the hospital bags and we went to the hospital. It was the longest ride of my life even though we got to the hospital in less than 10 mins. Baby Kiara was so ready to enter the world, the pressure i felt was so extremely intense that i really thought i'd have her in the car.
I told hubby where to park when we got to the hospital and waddled as fast as i could to the Labour & Delivery ward (we had been told what to do in our prenatal class) with my sis, i told them how i was feeling, my water had broken and i had seen my mucus plug. They asked if it was my first baby and i said yes, they said i should sit down 'cos the doctor was attending to someone else. Y'all should have seen my face contort. lol. i literally said 'I want to Poo really bad!' that was when they took me seriously, begging me not to poo o, that the pressure i was feeling was the baby (like sey i no know πŸ˜«πŸ˜’). They informed the Doctor, hurriedly set up the Delivery Area and gave me a hospital gown to change into, i did not even care if there was any man there, i changed so fast and laid down on the bed. My people my legs had never been spread as wide as it was that day, the doctor said i was crowning, told me to grab my ankles and push (i had read on how to push so i did) i could feel the pain from baby's head pushing down, he said sustain the push and PLOP! Baby Kiara was out-Saturday December 23, 2017 5:20am at 39Weeks. 
My Birthday. I could not believe it! Relief was all i felt and 0 pain.πŸ˜‚
My 1st thoughts were 'That's It?!, She's here?! Just like that?!'😲😲. I had expected to be crushing hubby's hand while pushing, pull his beard, cry and all the other things i had been told women in labor do. Alas i was destined to have an easy, 2min noodle fast delivery. lol. I doubt it took 5mins from when i laid down on the hospital bed till she was born. Hubby and my sis even missed her birth 'cos had gone to the car to get our hospital bags. We all had not expected her to come out that fast, both of them were supposed to be with me to see her delivered but came in to meet her on my chest.
Baby Kiara came out with eyes wide open and hungry, they put her on my chest and cut the umbilical cord. I birth the placenta not long after, it was tied into a nylon bag we gave them and handed over to us for disposal. Kiara was taken to a baby bed in the corner where they cleaned her, checked her vitals,weighed her and did the necessary tests and measurements before bringing her to me wrapped up to be breastfed. The nurse cleaned up my thighs and legs with Comfit pads and disinfectant, then the Doctor informed me i was still bleeding a bit more than i should and he'd have to clean me out to know the cause and know if i'd need stitches, he shoved Comfit pads up my vagina to clean out the blood clots (This was painful!😭)then put a pill up my butt and said he'd observe me and the for an hour. The nurse finished cleaning me and the delivery area up, wore me my disposable pant with a Comfit pad, laid a clean nightingale pad on the bed and covered me. I breastfed baby, jisted with my hubby and sis and they took turns carrying her.I filled a form the nurse brought for baby and she was issued an hospital card.
The paediatrician came to see baby not long after and told us she would have to be taken to the NICU to monitor her vitals and keep her under observation due to her birth weight. She weight 2kg which was below the minimum normal baby weight. Hubby followed the paediatrician with baby's hospital bag to oversee things. Once she was settled in, he and my sis had to go buy baby food and other things on the hospital list we had not gotten.

The Doctor came back to check on me, he told me to go ease myself, i went to pee and used a bowl of water to dilute the pee from stinging (i had read about this while preggers). He checked me and said i was still losing more blood than i should.
Y'all, this is where i felt PAIN!!! forget Labor and pushing out a baby, that was a piece of cake.
He had to shove his hand with a Comfit pad up my vagina to clean out blood clots and properly see the tears he had to suture, meanwhile my legs were in stirrups. I breathed n exclaimed FUCK a couple of times, they encouraged me n told me i had been and was still doing very well and it'd soon be over, I kept nodding, thanked them, i was sweating and asked that the AC be turned on which they did. I was very surprised i didn't cry, in my head i was just thinking how can this short doctor have such a long hand, he's practically elbow deep in me!! Is he trying to go to my throat ni?! How can this be more painful than the labor and delivery combined??!! This is the definition of Violation!πŸ˜²πŸ˜±πŸ˜¬πŸ˜“πŸ˜­πŸ˜·
He injected me in 3 different areas down there to numb me,  I closed my eyes and practiced my breathing techniques throughout the suturing process. It was a tad painful when the stitch caught my lil hairs (imagine if i had not shaved!*smh*). It honestly seemed to take forever and i could feel my legs going numb in the stirrups, apparently i had many tiny internal tears and the doctor was meticulous in getting it all stitched up. He massaged my tummy afterwards to be sure there were no more clots or excess bleeding (also painful). My tummy looked lopsided afterwards. lol.
The Doctor advised i do a regular sitz bath twice a day to prevent infection and emphasized i use lukewarm water. with lots of salt I thanked him and the nurse(who was pregnant by the way) and told them well done.
The nurse cleaned me up and helped me change into clean pads n disposable undies, i sat on a nightingale pad in a chair (surprisingly i sat comfortably and did not feel any pain) and waited to be transferred to my ward. I thanked the nurse again, told her job well done and asked how her baby was kicking.
Hubby went to see Baby in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) then stayed in the waiting room till i was moved to my ward. I was on my phone afterwards replying birthday chats/msgs.The nurses congratulated me and were really nice. I browsed Browsed, Chilled & ate. They checked my vitals much later and the doctor came to see me. The Nurses did their rounds and gave me my medication. I went to the NICU to breastfeed baby every 3 hours (they showed me how to get a good latch)and observe how she was being cared for. We kept the news of baby's birth to ourselves and enjoyed the peace and quiet.😁😊
I was discharged the next day but opted to stay in the hospital till baby was discharged on the 25th and we took her home. We shared the news of her birth  with family and friends after we had settled in at home.
TMI-I had my 1st poop postpartum easily (i had been dreading this after getting stitched  due to stuff i had read online) good thing i'd been eating veggies and the likes i guess.  Comfit pad is supersoft and disposable undies are bae!
Baby Kiara's birth was the most surreal and beautiful experience i have ever had. I did not feel an instant attachment to her, moreso with her being whisked away to the NICU but the bond grew over time as i carried her, breastfed her, cared for her, watched her and more. The love i feel for her as my daughter is indescribable. It's been 11 months of being a mom and i wouldn't trade it for anything.
I have the best Birthday Mate now although i was reluctant to share my day initially (if you are a late December baby or you've read some of my old birthday posts, you understand why) i don't mind anymore and think its actually kind of special.πŸ’–πŸ‘ΆπŸ˜
I presume if you are reading this you are probably pregnant, i pray God grants you a smooth delivery with baby and mother in the best health. 😘
Check out my other pregnancy & baby related posts.
Toodles!XooX

Sunday, 18 November 2018

UPCOMING EVENTS IN ABUJA (NOV&DEC)

Mark your Calendars once again ma peoples! Here are the events i'm excited about for November and December.
1. Art  IN MY CITY {NOV 23-30}
2. NACK SHOPPING PARTY {DEC 1-2}
3. AFRICAN GEMS & JEWELLERY EXHIBITION AND SEMINAR {DEC 6-7}
4. OPEN WITH TITILOPEN{DEC 7}
4. TEDxASOKORO WOMEN{DEC 8}
5. THE JAZZ EXPEDITION {DEC 8}
6. DAVIDO LIVE IN CONCERT {DEC 13}
7.  WIZKID LIVE IN CONCERT {DEC 16} 
Check out my post on interesting things to do in Abuja.
If i find out about events early enough i will add them here, otherwise Check out INSTAGRAM (and other Social Media) and the links below for other upcoming events, trainings and conferences in Abuja:
Knowledge is Power.
Toodles!XooX

Sunday, 30 September 2018

List of Baby Things to Buy as a First-Time-Mom in Nigeria

I had no clue where to start creating a list of baby things to buy as a first time mom-to-be. I knew i wanted to have the basic and essential items and add on extra stuff i decided baby needs as time went by. I had put our finances and accommodation setup into consideration, i also know i have the tendency to be a hoarder therefore i prefer to not buy anything i don't need. If i care to admit, i am also quite frugal.
I did extensive research online (Pregnancy and Baby Groups, Baby Center, YouTube, Amazon Baby Registries, Google,etc.), asked other moms (both first time and experienced) and got a list from my hospital which helped me come up with this list. 
The list is segmented into Hospital, Mommy, Baby and  Home Needs.
Hospital List (Please ask your hospital for this list and go through the list in the image- you do not have to bring all the items listed to the hospital however it serves as a guide on what you'll need long term)
please forgive its tattered state
  • Nightingale Pads (This is laid under you in the hospital during and after delivery)
  • COMFIT Pad (This is used to clean you up after delivery and you wear it afterwards to absorb Lochia a.k.a postpartum bleeding)
  • Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Milton Sterilizing  Tablets 
  • Cotton Wool
  • MOKO Methylated Spirit
  • Soft Tissue paper
  • Bathroom Slippers
  • Baby formula 
  • Empty Nylons for disposables
  • Detergent
  • Hot Water flask
  • Baby Record Book
Baby 
  • Naming Ceremony Outfit
  • Sleeping area {Moses Basket, Baby Box, Zip-up Bed, Co-sleeper, Bassinet, Cot, Crib and/or Pack n Play Playard (I opted for the "Graco Pack n Play Playard Bassinet Changer Snuggle Suite LX Baby Bouncer, Abbington" and it came with a bouncer and changing mat)}
  • Baby Beddings (Mattress, Fitted sheets,etc.)
  • Mosquito Net
  • Breastfeeding pillow
  • Breast Pump & Parts (i recommend Spectra S1)
  • Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Wipes
  • Breastmilk Storage bags
  • Feeding Bottles, Nipples & Sterilizing Kit (or Bucket with lid)
  • Bottle Washing, Drying & Storage Kit-Sponge, Brush, Drying Rack, Storage Bowl with lid
  • Soothie or Pacifier
  • Wardrobe (i opted for the plastic collapsible/stackable kind)
  • Bath Tub (i opted for a collapsible one to conserve space), Buckets, Soapcase, Bowls & Potty set
  • Savlon Antiseptic (it is supposedly milder than Dettol)
  • Body & Bath Products (Soap, Lotion, Oil, Shampoo,etc.)
  • Grooming Products (Set of Baby Combs & Brush, Cotton bud, Nail cutter/file/emery board, etc.)
  • Health & Medical related products (Nose Aspirator, Nasal saline drops, Baby Thermometer, Antifungal creams-Cacatin or Baby Tribotan-, Baby Paracetamol, Silverbird Eucalyptus oil-for steaming if baby is congested)
  • Baby Towels (Hooded and Regular)& Washcloths 
  • Baby Wraps (Receiving Blankets, Swaddles, Soft Blankets, Shawls, etc.)
  • Diapers & Baby Wipes (Research brands)
  • Diaper Barrier Cream (This is optional, most people go for Blue Seal Vaseline, Shea Butter or oils)
  • Diaper Changing Caddy
  • Baby Cup & Spoon
  • Baby Carrier or Backing Wrapper
  • Car Seat (i opted for the Graco Snugride Classic Connect – Little Hoot(0-2years)
  • Diaper Bags 
  • Playmat for Tummy time(i opted for the Fisher-Price Kick 'n Play Piano Gym)
  • Baby Toys (Baby played with the toys that came with her Gym, i also bought a soft cloth books set & luckily she was gifted a lot of toys so i haven't had to buy more)
  • Baby Month & Milestone Stickers
Baby Clothes
We have been very blessed in this area because i bought just the basics for Kiara but she has been gifted with so so so many clothes in different sizes. I'm super thankful for all the gifts, i would have had a hard time shopping for her 'cos there are soooooo many super-cute outfits for baby girls.
This list is just the Basics, you can add stuff that you like to it. Kiara was mostly in onesies and sleepsuits for the first 3months, we hardly went out except to get her immunization and once in a while i'd make a custom dress for her to match with me to attend a wedding.
You can start with buying 12 each of these basics till you figure out what you'll need. Also put sizing into consideration; 0-3months are typically bigger than newborn sizes but i think its better to go for them or 3months 'cos ur baby may be on the big side and if baby happens to be on the small side, u can then get a few newborn sizes (they outgrow clothes really fast) and wear the bigger clothes for them (i love doing this for progress pics, its a delight watching them grow into the clothes).
  • Onesies/Bodysuits (Long-sleeved and sleeveless-plain an patterned)
  • Long-sleeved Sleepsuits (Buy more of the ones with Zips, thank me later)
  • Singlets
  • Bibs
  • Burp Cloths
  • Socks (you can get the ones that look like shoes-supercute in my opinion)
  • Hats
  • Mittens
  • Jacket
  • Sweater
  • Shirts or Tops
  • Trousers and Skirts
  • Gowns
  • Pants
  • Headbands
Mommy
  • Comfy Nursing PJs
  • Comfit Pad 
  • Disposable Panties
  • Bath & Body kit (Soap, disinfectant, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, mirror, face & body products shower cap)
  • Nursing Bras & Breast Pads (Disposable & Washable + Reusable)
  • Nursing Tops (you can opt for Button-downs)
  • Nipple Cream 
  • Sitz Bath Bowl
  • Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads (lifesaver if you have haemorrhoids or got stitched)
  • Postpartum Belt (Higly Recommended)
  • Naming Ceremony Outfit (if you are Christian and live in Nigeria, you know the Naming happens 7 days after you give birth)
Home & Others
  • Hand Sanitizer ( I got a Big Bottle 'cos we had a lottt of guests who visited baby)
  • Portable clothes dryer with wheels & cloth pegs
  • Rechargeable fan
  • Generator
  • Washing Machine (Baby laundry is no fun, moreso for a working mum)
  • Car Sun Protector
ADD-ONs
These are items i got as my baby got older.
  • Height Track sticker
  • Stroller (I opted for the Maxi Cosi Loola Stroller)
  • Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo
  • Baby Proofing Items
My Preferred Brands (Proven Quality in my opinion):
  1. Clothing- Carters, George, Luvable Friends and Gerber
  2. Bibs- Neat Solutions & Bumkins
  3. Nursing Bra-HoFish
  4. Breast Pads- Lansinoh and Bamboobies
  5. Pack n Play- Graco and Baby Trend
  6. Activity Gym & Toys- Fisher-Price
  7. Car Seat-Graco
  8. Stroller- Maxi Cosi Loola
  9. Breast Pump, Parts, Storage bags & Wipes- Spectra, Medela and Lansinoh
  10. Bottles- Dr. Brown's, Philips Avent and Tommy Tippee
  11. Pacifier & Soother- Philips Avent
  12. Nipple Cream- Lansinoh & Avent
  13. Diapers- Huggies (Little Movers from the carton), Pampers (Premium Care) & Molfix
  14. Wipes- Huggies Pure & Pampers
  15. Body Products- Natural Nigerian, Coconut oil, Palm Kernel oil & Sheabutter
  16. Hair Products-Natural Nigerian and  Johnson & Johnson
  17. Antiseptic-Savlon Antiseptic
  18. Cereal- Nutriben
This list was compiled and personalized to suit my family, i know some of the items on it may be considered a luxury by some but honestly everything here helped make my transition to motherhood smoother than it might have been in their absence. I believe it's a comprehensive list that can be customized and serve as a guide for moms-to-be on how to get started buying baby things. 
Check out my post on Where to Buy Baby Things in Abuja and watch out for my post on my Labour & Delivery Story.
P. S. It's a great idea to create a Baby Registry on Amazon (even if you live in Nigeria), it can be tiring to complete the registry but it honestly covers all the aspects of items you will need for you and baby postpartum and you see suggestions that might be beneficial to you that you never thought of you might have omitted. The cool part is you get a FREE Welcome Box with different items, free gifts and discounts even without buying all the items on the registry.
Toodles!XooX


Friday, 31 August 2018

Where to buy Baby Things in Abuja

Where to buy Baby Things was never an issue for me until i had a baby, obviouslyπŸ˜‚. Here's a list to help other new mommies find what they need for their lil ones:
  1. Sahad Stores (Area 11)
  2. New Sahad Stores (Central Area)
  3. PEP (Jabi Mall)
  4. Garki Market
  5. Garki Ultramodern Market
  6. One Stop Baby Shop (Garki 2 near Tantalizers)
  7. Mothercare (Area 11 near SFC)
  8. Children Affairs (Kolda Link str,wuse 2)
Other places you may find useful although not in Abuja:
  1. Online- Amazon (Create a Baby Registry to get discounts on items, gifts and an Amazon Baby Gift Box) and Carters (they have loads of sales)
  2. Online-BabyblissJumiaKonga, Instagram
  3. Lagos Markets
  4. Discounted online sites and pages- CuddleCircle, Playcircle9ja, Abuja Decluttering Hub, MiniSelect
My Preferred Brands (Proven Quality in my opinion):
  1. Clothing- Carters, George, Luvable Friends and Gerber
  2. Bibs- Neat Solutions & Bumkins
  3. Nursing Bra-HoFish
  4. Breast Pads- Lansinoh and Bamboobies
  5. Pack n Play- Graco and Baby Trend
  6. Activity Gym & Toys- Fisher-Price
  7. Car Seat-Graco
  8. Stroller- Maxi Cosi Loola
  9. Breast Pump, Parts, Storage bags & Wipes- Spectra, Medela and Lansinoh
  10. Bottles- Dr. Brown's, Philips Avent and Tommy Tippee
  11. Nipple Cream- Lansinoh & Avent
  12. Diapers- Huggies (Little Movers from the carton), Pampers (Premium Care) & Molfix
  13. Wipes- Huggies Pure & Pampers
  14. Body Products- Natural Nigerian, Coconut oil, Palm Kernel oil & Sheabutter
  15. Hair Products-Natural Nigerian and  Johnson & Johnson
  16. Cereal- Nutriben
P.S. I highly recommend buying things during SALES periods which is typically any holiday-New Year, Labour Day, Bank Holiday, Easter, Independence Day, Eids, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. It will save you a lot of money.
If you know of more places, kindly comment them below.
Toodles!XooX

Monday, 30 July 2018

How to Start Making Paper Flowers in Nigeria

I have been making Paper flowers for almost a year now and i know how daunting and seemingly impossible it can seem for a newbie with interest to get started. I hope this post will come in handy for such a person and help you find your way in the beautiful and colorful world of paper flowers, moreso in Nigeria where getting crafting supplies can be quite a task. 
I will be sharing what i have learnt in the past few months and will update this post accordingly as i learn more things. Some may wonder why i am so willing to share what may be considered 'trade secrets' by some and the answer is simple-because there is love in sharing
Others shared freely their knowledge online to whomever happens to find it so why should i hoard this information? It may change someone's life so that's enough motivation for me to share. 
Ok, enough of me babbling and let's get into it. 

What you need (Tools, Resources & Supplies)

  • PC or Laptop (optional initially)
  • Internet (optional initially)
  • Printer (optional initially)
  • Cutting Mat (or any surface that's flat enough for you to trace on and you don't mind getting glue on)
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Paper
  • Pencil and Eraser
  • Glue (UHU or whatever you prefer)
  • Mounting Tape
  • Bone folder (Butter knife or wooden dowel/spoon will suffice)
  • Flower Templates (Pinterest, YouTube, etc.)
  • Video Tutorials (Pinterest, YouTube, etc.)
Different types of Paper and Sizes
There are different types and weights of paper, i'm not an expert at this so kindly do your own research before purchasing paper. You can ask the person you are buying paper from about the weight (grams) of the paper. The weightier or thicker the paper, the tougher it is to curl or shape but they tend to be sturdier and hold shape longer while the embossed or designed ones can bring some dimension to your craft.
  • Tissue Paper
  • Crepe Paper
  • Printing Paper
  • Cardboard Paper {160 grams per square meter (gsm)}
  • Cardstock Paper (Embossed , Metallic, Glittery, Glossy, Patterned & Plain)
I mostly use Cardstock Paper for my paper flowers to make them study and occasionally mix them with Cardboard Paper for two-toned flower designs or smaller flowers. 


Where to find Free Templates and Video Tutorials

(Petals and Centers)
There are soooo many free templates and tutorials online, you just have to be willing to search for them and also not limit your search to English. I found quite a number of free templates through Russian and Spanish Channels. I suggest using Pinterest to find these channels and Websites or Google Translate the word 'Paper Flowers' and search. 
Always check that whatever freebies you find are not copyrighted and restricted to only personal use. Its also decent to credit the person you get a design or template from if you can find them on the platform you use to promote your craft.
Here is a list of  some YouTube Channels you can get Free Templates and Video Tutorials from:
Stages  of Making Paper Flowers
These are the various stages of making your typical paper flower and depending on the design and style of your flower, you may not have to follow all the stages.
  • Tracing template
  • Cutting
  • Slitting
  • Curling & Shaping
  • Assembly
  • Add a center
Finding Inspiration and designs for Paper Flowers
Pinterest,YouTube and Instagram have been the best places for me to find inspiration and designs to try. They link you to other creators and suggest similar videos to the ones you watch. I suggest checking out related channels or similar posts across these platforms

How to put up Paper Flowers on Different Surfaces
There are different ways to display your paper flowers depending on the surface you are working with. I have listed below a few of the things i use and others i found online,you just have to research a bit on what will work best for the result you want to achieve. Check out this post as well.
  • Glue
  • Mounting Tape
  • Double-sided Tape
  • Commando Strips
  • Masking Tape or Cellotape (rolled)
  • Rope (attached to the back of the paper flower)
  • Wire (attached to the back of the paper flower)
  • Brooch pins
Uses of Paper Flowers
They have such a varied range of uses but here are a few:
  • Events Decoration (Weddings, Parties, Birthdays, Baby Shower, Bridal Shower,etc.)
  • House Decoration (especially Baby Nurseries/Rooms)
  • Backdrops
  • Photoshoots
  • Crowns, Bouquets & Corsages
  • Props Decoration, etc.
Storing your Paper Flowers
It is important to keep your flowers away from humidity, dust and water in order for them to last long, retain their shape and look good. I mainly focus on displaying them in a dry place and dusting them regularly. you can stoore them as follows:

  • In a box (with a cover and wide enough to not deform them)
  • In a basket (with a cover and wide enough to not deform them)
  • In a bag (with a cover and wide enough to not deform them)
  • In a clear polythene bag with a neck sealer (typically used for packing clothes)
Tools that can speed up your creation process
  • Cricut Machine 
  • Silhouette Machine 
  • Fringe Scissors
  • Bone Folder
  • Scoring Tool
  • Quilling Tool (for rolled centers and roses)
  • Compass Cutter
  • Curved Scissors
  • Punches (There are so many different shapes and patterns to choose from especially when making small flowers)
Sizing and Pricing your Paper flowers
I can only tell you what works for me in this regard. I price my flowers based on their sizes and the amount of labour i put into their creation. I size my flowers by using a measuring tape or ruler to measure their diameter in Inches. 
I make all my flowers myself and handcut them while juggling my job and 7month old so it involves more labour and sleepless nights for me and i price them accordingly. However, i give discounts when i get orders for a Set. Some people also prefer to Rent and return. I also charge differently for express/short notice orders.
You can create your own Templates or make complete packages for a particular style of flower(Templates, Center, Mounting Tape, etc) ad sell them for people to make the flowers themselves.
Your pricing is up to you. I would advice you calculate what the different sizes of your paper flowers consume (cardstock, glue, paint, glitter, beads, rhinestone, mounting tape, rope, wire, etc.) and then you can add the cost of your labour which is essentially your profit. If you are doing the delivery and setup, you may want to also charge separately for these services.

How to Market yourself
Social Media is free and you have a wide audience. Use it to your advantage. Take good pictures and Post your work frequently.
  • Facebook
  • Instagram (Follow me @Mimahcrafts)
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
You can display your work at family or friend's events (Weddings, Parties, Birthdays,etc.) for people to see and get interested in ordering them.
You can also use them in styling photoshoots and get free professional pictures to advertise your work.

Tips and Tricks
  • Use Sharp Scissors
  • PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE (with different papers and different designs)
  • Use empty cereal boxes to make Templates for easy tracing
  • Trace out the number of templates you need then you can chill and cut them out while watching a movie or series
  • Inform your customers of the deadline to order and charges for express orders
  • Attend to your orders at least 3-5 days before they are due in order to avoid rushing especially if you do not have a machine 
  • Spray-paint to desired color if the color you want is unavailable
If you find this post useful, kindly share and follow me on Instagram @MimahCrafts. I will update it as i learn.
Toodles!XooX