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    Almost to the day of baby Banks turning 5 weeks, he started waking up from 4 or 5am in mega discomfort, upset, tense, fist-clenching-back-arching-stiff and colicky. 


    It was always at the same time and always for a minimum of an hour till I massage, rub, tap, bounce, sing, feed, cuddle, skin-to-skin, rock, ride and sway all the techniques Google had to offer.


    Then throughout the day, I’d busy myself searching and eliminating food groups to see what makes a difference the following night.


    Four weeks later (the boy is now 9 weeks), we seem to have the worst of this painful stage behind us, but only if I stick to the below protocol. The day I sneak in a little ‘no no’ food will follow by the night we both pay for it. 


    Here’s everything I learned over this time…


    Lake and Banks Maher




    1. It’s not uncommon for babies to be uncomfortable in the early hours of the morning. Their digestive system does not always develop at the same rate as their appetite and gets “overloaded”. -Gina Ford
    2. The reason for fussing and fretting is that the stools of a very young baby are so soft, they do not put enough pressure on the anus, making them more difficult to eliminate. It is something he will grow out of as his systems mature. Once he’s taking solid foods, things may well improve. -Dr Spock
    3. Gripe is caused by muscle spasms and excess acid created when air bubbles form in baby's tummy. When the air bubbles get trapped in baby's stomach, the stomach thinks it is full of food, so acids are produced which would normally break down the food particles. These acids are not needed and can cause irritation. At the same time, because the stomach is full of air bubbles its muscles are unable to relax causing cramps and spasms. -Woodward’s
    4. No one completely understands colic. What we do know is that the pain is in the gut and that the whole baby is upset as a result. (The term ‘colic’ comes from the Greek ‘kolikos’, meaning ‘suffering in the colon’). - Dr Bill via AskDrSears
    5. Colic will eventually run its course and most infants grow out of it between six and 12 weeks of age. Meanwhile everything you eat is transmitted through breastmilk and “maternal intake of food allergens is an important factor in the [development] of infantile colic among breastfed infants”. - Study in Nov 2005 issue of Pediatrics
    6. The “Rule of Threes” is used to define colic: A colicky baby has incessant, inconsolable crying for at least 3 hours per day on at least 3 days per week, for more than 3 weeks. Crying is usually the worst in the evening hours. A baby with colic vs just gas doesn't always mean the same thing, however what works for colicky babies may also help babies with milder types of GI discomfort. -Alice Callahan, PhD
    7. It takes 12-16 hours after you have eaten something to cause a bout of windy crying in a baby if they are being affected by it. 
    8. Young babies only cry for 5 reasons: hungry, full of wind, overtired, nappy needs changing, too cold/hot. If you have covered all of the above, then your baby may have a different problem, maybe a pain brought on by food intolerance. See a doctor then. - Tizzie Hall


    foods to eliminate for breastfeeding mother if colic or wind




    Keep a food diary of what you eat and drink in a day and take note if the nightly episodes are worse after some days. I personally don’t usually consume everything on the below list, but I now know for a fact that when I avoid everything entirely, that’s the night he doesn’t suffer.

    1. Dairy. Usually the worst offender so eliminate this immediately for at least 6 days and see what happens.
    2. Other allergy causing foods including eggs, gluten (even oats!), soy and peanuts.
    3. Mushrooms.
    4. Corn and beans. Read backs of labels- corn and corn syrup are in SO many foods!
    5. Cruciferous veggies including brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale (nooooo!) and cabbage (unless fermented as in raw sauerkraut)
    6. Other “gassy” veggies including onion, garlic, peppers and tomatoes.
    7. Citrus fruits and drinks. Stay away from OJ!
    8. Other super ‘juicy and tangy’ fruits including pineapple, strawberries and green kiwi fruits.
    9. Caffeine including black tea, coffee and chocolate. I could never give up chocolate (sorry Banks!), but I noticed that the darker it is (75%+), the worse it is for him.
    10. Alcohol. Some studies say that beer won’t cause problems but ALL studies say that any alcohol consumption during breastfeeding must be limited to one glass per day. And if you must drink, begin sipping during a feed and sip slowly. It takes 2 hours for the drink to reach your milk and then starts to ‘wear out’ quickly after, so you should be ok by next feed.


    Tanya's raw vegan london deli


    Focus on the abundance of foods you CAN eat and both you and your baby will feel so much more relaxed. It’s also important to note that if your baby is NOT showing any signs of tummy troubles, you’re better off eating all the food groups in moderation. The reason for this is that maternal diet restriction during lactation may increase baby’s chances of developing allergies later in life. -American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

    1. Probiotics. I'm usually pretty good with my intake of 'friendly bacteria', but it was when I switched to the kind specifically targeted at infants, children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, when everything changed! I decided to double the dose and literally within 24 hours, Banks was so much more relaxed and my own bowel movements were so much more satisfying :)))
    2. Avocados.
    3. Root vegetables especially sweet potatoes, carrots and beetroot.
    4. Fermented veggies including sauerkraut and gherkins.
    5. Fruits, but limit those to bananas, pears, papaya, mango and peaches. As a rule of thumb- I like to think of them as ‘creamy’ fruits, meaning that they can be blended into a creamy puree in a blender, but unlike apples they won't be able to go through a juicer to extract liquid.
    6. Grains and seeds including rice (stick to wild or brown), buckwheat, millet, amaranth and quinoa. Apart from rice, all the rest are actually seeds, which makes them a safe and nutritious base to any meal. Think tabouli, stuffed veggies, porridge, soups, curry and crock pot meals.
    7. Nuts and seeds. All varieties in moderation are great here unless you suspect an allergy. (Peanut is not a nut and most definitely on the list to avoid!)
    8. Leafy greens including spinach, rocket, lamb’s lettuce, mustard greens, bok choy and snow pea shoots (but kale fits the cruciferous veg category to avoid for now). Try to eat a variation.
    9. Sea veggies and kelp noodles.
    10. Sauces including cashew cream, homemade vegan pesto, nut and seed butters, broths or boullions (always read labels to avoid allergens), hummus, coconut cream/milk, Thai curry, Indian Curry, satay sesame dressing, guacamole, etc.


    how to soothe crying colic colicky baby with wind




    Your baby will be way too upset and too tense from pain, so you’ve gotta be patient and strong here. Remain calm, our little humans feel everything and the last thing they need is the additional nerves from their dearest person. No single remedy will likely work on its own (and what worked yesterday may not work today), so try out as many of the below tips as possible, in any order, as many times as needed.

    1. Place a warm water bottle on his belly. Make sure it’s not hot.
    2. Stroke his belly in a clockwise direction. It will be tight, so be extra gentle.
    3. Stroke his back in a clockwise direction. Lay your baby over your lap or seat him bent forward with one of your hands supporting him around the belly, while rubbing.
    4. Pedal his legs. Lay him on his back and if he lets you, pedal his legs by bending them at the knees and gently pressing them into his belly to help release gas.
    5. Try skin-to-skin. Put him on your chest with his ear against your heartbeat and cuddle him until he settles. This reminds him of the sounds and feel of the womb, which may relax him enough for the wind to release more freely.
    6. Swaddle him. This never worked for mine, as he doesn’t like to feel restricted, but I hear it’s comforting to many babies, so definitely try it.
    7. Play ‘white noise’. Ask Siri to ‘Play white noise for babies’, download an app or turn on the actual hair dryer or vacuum cleaner. This trick worked wonders on both of mine.
    8. Back to the breast. Breastmilk contains some natural elements which act as a pain relief for baby and the sucking is soothing too.
    9. Use a dummy. Don’t know what we would’ve done without! Definitely helps to soothe when they refuse to go back on the breast.
    10. Create soothing vibrations. Take him out in the car or his pram over cobble stone roads or place his car seat over a clothes dryer (make sure he and the car seat are secure, so neither can fall).
    11. Walk your baby kangaroo-style. This has always worked for us but requires some patient commitment, so pop him in an ergonomic baby carrier and keep going. 
    12. Rock, roll, bounce, sway or rhythmically and gently move your baby in your arms or a bouncer if you get tired.
    13. Open windows for fresh air or take the baby outside for a walk - either in a sling or a wedged up pram.
    14. Try a winding valve. Seems weird but makes a lot of sense if it’s really the gas being trapped in their bellies that’s causing so much agony. The relief will be immediate.
    15. Try gripe water. It contains Dill Oil, which warms and relaxes the tummy, breaking down trapped air bubbles. Also Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate, which neutralises acid in the baby's tummy. The results are usually a resounding burp.
    16. Failing that, try Infacol. It contains Simeticone, which is an anti-foaming agent that works locally within the gut and not absorbed into bloodstream. It breaks down the smaller bubbles in the gut, creating larger ones that are easier for baby to pass.
    17. Failing that, try Colief. It contains the naturally occuring enzyme, lactase, which helps to break down lactose in milk, that some babies have trouble digesting.



    prevent wind and colic



    Since no-one actually knows what colic is, the root cause of it is even harder to establish. However, all of the below methods have worked for both of my children, minimising the fussiness at the very least.

    1. Eliminate the foods from your diet which I list above under heading 'Foods to avoid for breastfeeding mums'.
    2. Keep a food and crying diary. Use my guide above to note the worst offenders when it comes to what foods a breastfeeding mama can eat. Observe the bouts of crying intensity within 24 hours of consuming something and consider eliminating it from your diet for a minimum of 6 days, then (only if you must) introduce it back slowly and again observe whether the crying worsens. If your baby is formula-fed, ask the paediatrician about switching to a soy-based (I hope not!), goat milk, pre-digested, or other hypoallergenic formula.
    3. Keep your baby semi upright. Use wedges (here’s what I bought on Amazon for his hammock bed and pram) so he’s slightly elevated when lying down. If your baby’s already in a cot, place a pile of books under each leg at his head end to elevate the cot. Being in a slightly sloping position as opposed to lying flat, can help a baby eliminate wind and bowel movements slightly easier.
    4. If breastfeeding, make sure baby is getting lots of “hindmilk” (the creamy harder to extract ending) at each feeding and not just “foremilk” (the watery thirst clinching start). This can happen by making sure one breast is finished before offering the other or only offering one at a feeding and emptying it completely.
    5. Baby massage. Daily! There are 5 week courses in the UK which are free, so make sure you go, otherwise YouTube videos or follow the below screen shot with instructions.
    6. Burb your baby after every feed, between feeds and even throughout. Bottle fed babies may take in more air when eating, but in cases like mine, where my milk let-down is too fast, the baby will gulp so quickly, he will take in too much air.
    7. Probiotics Probiotics Probiotics. These ‘friendly bacteria’ are not just for breastfeeding mothers, as they help restore healthy gut flora in even the newly born babies. It’s hard to imagine that a breastfed child may need his gut flora ‘restored’ and he probably doesn't but my theory is that consuming probiotics (smother over nipples or add to bottle) will leave an alkaline ash in the gut (in other words create a calm environment without acids) and help avoid burning sensation when eliminating acidic poo. 



     baby massage colic technique instructions



    This time is so fricken hard. No parent wants to hear their baby crying inconsolably, but a baby screaming in pure agony can be too much to handle. 

    1. Take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone going through this. Other parents all over the world are trying to comfort their crying child at exactly the same time right now too.
    2. Always remember- this stage WILL pass.
    3. Try and remain calm. Babies are super intuitive and can feel your stress, which will only add to theirs.
    4. What ever you do, do not blame yourself. The crying is not a reflection of your parenting or a test of your character. You are doing the best you can and you’re doing a wonderful job.
    5. If the crying gets too much and you feel your fuse burning out, put the baby down in a safe place, take a moment for yourself taking deep long breaths in and long sighs out.
    6. Try to sleep when the baby sleeps, so you are in your right mind and have the energy to deal with the fussiest times of day.
    7. Cook in advance and freeze a bunch of meals so that you’re not distracted during the difficult evening hours.
    8. Ask for help. A spouse, a friend, your health visitor or if in the UK, call a helpline from this list. This is not the time to be shy, a parent needs relief from colic as much as the baby.
    9. Know that you are the best person to comfort your baby. If you can’t do it, nobody can.


    Baby Boy Banks Maher


    Do you have a tip of your own or heard of a method that worked? Please share in the comments below, I'd love love love to hear it and I'm sure that parents going through this painful time would too!

    Welcome to the world, my son

    Welcome to the world, my son

    And then there were 4.

    Our son (aka 'Lake's baby') has been earthside now for 3 weeks. If you haven't yet seen the announcement all over social media, then I'll post his weekly pictures so far for you below...


    Day 1  #BanksWeekly

    Banks Maher _ Banks Weekly _ Baby Boy Banksy


    Our little man is here at last!
    Introducing Banks Vasiliy Maher.
    ‘Banks’ because another nature name and we thought it sounded pretty cool for both baby and a grown up dude .  ‘Vasiliy’, because his sister has a Russian middle name too and this is the name of both my grandfathers whom I dearly miss.
    Born 18:18 on 17.01.19
    55cm, 8.4 lbs
    This is officially the Day 1 pic of #BanksWeekly so he will get a nice little collection just like #LakeWeekly after a year. We are crazy crazy in love.



    Week 1  #BanksWeekly

    Banks Maher _ Banks Weekly _ Baby Boy Banksy


    Baby Banks is 7 days old today. The best 7 days of my life. Not even kidding. I just can’t get enough of you baby boy. Can’t put you down. Can’t stop kissing you. Can’t stop cuddling you. Can’t believe my luck. Can’t get over how amazing your big sister is. Can’t get enough of seeing the two of you together- you listening to her, her gently kissing your whole face. I want these moments to last forever.
    P.S. the gorgeous knitting is by Gran who is here with us, the blankey is from Auntie Alissa and the toy doggie is a gift from big sister Lake.
    #BanksMaher #BanksWeekly



    Week 2  #BanksWeekly

    Baby Boy Banksy _ Banks Maher _ BanksWeekly


    ‘I like naps & I like you’...Auntie BB’s gift that keeps on giving, because Banksy’s big sister wore this onesie 3 years ago. Though she was more like 8 weeks old, not 2 weeks! This boy is going to be tall no doubt. And just check out those booties 😍 literally obsessed with Gran’s knitting. #mustlearntoknit. For those familiar with ‘My Breastfeeding Nightmare’ blog post, I’m pumped to report that BF this time around is a veeeerrry different experience and the little munchkin was already back to his birth weight by day 5, then by day 10 he already gained 200g. He truly is a dream. THE dream. Doesn’t really cry, just feeds, then folds into a froggie for cuddles on my chest, sleeps for 3-4 hour stretches and only wakes up once in the night. I just love love love being a mama of 2! #BanksWeekly#BanksMaher


    Week 3  #BanksWeekly

    Baby Boy Banks Maher


    This tiny bundle of love is 3 weeks old today. Two big events for the past week- we parted with our beloved Gran who’s been here Banks’s whole life 😜 as she flew back to NZ and then just yesterday, on his Babushka’s birthday, baby boy gave us his first full on awake smile! In other news, we seem to have established a routine without even knowing it. At first I was just ‘feeding on demand’, then started to add regular fresh air walks to the equation, then daily chamomile tea baths. Also, we spent the first week co-sleeping and once he transitioned to his baby hammock (still right next to me), I tried to stick to this bed situ only for night sleeping so in turn he rewarded us with staying asleep in it for upto 5 hours at a time which meant only getting up once in the night to feed. I’m sure the feeding times will change again soon but here’s what they’ve been for the past 2 weeks:
    #notetoself #babyacne #handknitting#banksmaher #banksweekly


    My breastfeeding nightmare

    My breastfeeding nightmare

    I had no idea what was coming my way. 


    Whilst every bone in my body has felt ready for motherhood for as long as I can remember, nothing was going to prepare me for the breastfeeding hell.


    No book or instructions handout, no NCT class, no hospital workshop, no breastfeeding expert, no video, no hypnobirthing app, nothing and no one was going to prevent the two years of trauma that were to follow my child’s birth.


    For two full years, whenever anyone would ask me when we’re planning to make another adorable little human, I would literally cease up in discomfort and go into panic mode, my stomach burning with pain and my throat drying up. 


    For two full years, I thought it was the trauma of birth that did this to me. 


    [Without going into too much detail- every contraction made me re-live the car accident from 16 years earlier. It was as if my spinal fusion was being smashed from the inside and I felt my back breaking over and over for eight longest hours of my life.]


    It wasn’t until Lake turned two and I felt that she needed a sibling, that I was ready to address the wound and deal with the pain. I knew I wouldn’t want to bring another child into the world with so much fear occupying my cells. So I had my mum put together a cell memory clearing meditation for me to follow and I enrolled in The Journey course to help me through this.


    What I uncovered through this intense healing process was that it wasn’t the birth at all which I was most afraid of, it was the first three months that followed birth.


    And so in order to deal with the trauma and to completely let go, I went on to re-live the nightmare. My breastfeeding hell.


    I remembered the piercing screams of a hungry baby that simply wasn’t getting enough milk.


    I remembered the dozen or so midwives that came through our doors to ‘assist with the issue’ over time. 


    I remembered each one of them attempting to get the crying child to latch by forcing her over my breasts while I bit my fist in agony and cried with her.


    breastfeeding awareness week


    I remembered telling Elliot not to allow any visitors because it was too painful to put a top over the raw and bleeding scabs of my nipples.


    I remembered the heartache of not being able to comfort and to hold my baby too close for that very same reason. 


    I remembered Lake sucking only to peel the scabs off till blood ran down her cheeks.


    I remembered the midwives panic because my baby wasn’t only not regaining her birth weight at 10 days old, she continued to lose weight. She slept for 5 hours at a time because she had no energy and cried when she was awake because she was so hungry.


    Still they insisted that I persevere with breastfeeding and not give in to formula no matter what. 


    I remembered sobbing in the shower from physical pain of my exploding breasts, the scabs, the blood, the blocked milk ducts; and the emotional pain of feeling like a complete failure in my first task as a mother that provides for her newborn in the most basic way.


    I remembered how surreal and dehumanising it felt to literally be milked not only by strangers that came through our doors but even my own husband.


    I remembered never being able to sleep, not because I was over-exhausted, but because I needed every minute to mentally prepare myself for the immense agony of feeding a child as soon as she was ready to wake up.


    I remembered taking this innocent child into my arms and seeing only a mouse trap that was about to jam itself over my raw skin and send me into more silent screams.


    I remembered wanting to slice off my breasts because I thought anything will be less painful than them blowing up till I saw skin tearing with my own eyes.


    I remembered Elliot sprinting to Superdrug in freezing January to buy out shelves of any product relating to breastfeeding or soothing a baby.


    I remembered how much I wept from the depth of my core when I tried using a hand pump to relieve me of the milk build up, only to feel the scabs of my nipples crack open and see nothing but blood drip into the bottle.



    I remembered how exhausted I was to care when someone finally picked up on the fact that Lake was tongue tied to latch properly and had a severe case of asymmetry. (Her neck was jammed in one position and her head was always turned to the right, which meant that feeding equally on both breasts was not only difficult and painful for her, it was pretty much impossible, till we called in a cranial osteopath to release the muscles. This apparently happened as she was developing inside me- she was growing into a long baby inside a short mother so there wasn’t much room to move and she kinda found a comfy position to keep growing with her head turned to one side).


    Meanwhile a fellow NCT mum offered to lend me her electric pump and I refused because of what happened with the hand pump. She insisted that I give it a try and had it brought to my house. I stared at it with deep fear for at least a week.


    By the time we had Lake’s tongue tie fixed, by the time the osteopath’s magic work began to take effect and by the time I discovered how a miracle electric pump was going to give my nipples a break for a chance to heal.... my milk pretty much dried up.


    The next round of painful experience began.

    My baby was literally screaming from starvation and I felt like I failed her yet again by not having enough milk and by giving in to formula.


    For the first time in weeks, I could see the child was satisfied. Thank you Lord for baby goats!



    The midwives still went on about how important it is that I don’t give up and continue to breastfeed. 


    So I persisted and committed to trying any tip going that might help to increase breast milk production.


    Again, there was no chance for me to sleep. I was a mum on a mission...


    It felt like I had warm compresses on my breasts around the clock. If I wasn’t nursing Lake, I was expressing. If I wasn’t expressing, I was in a hot shower massaging my breasts to stimulate the milk production.


    I upped my calorie intake and started loading on complex carbs like brown rice, beans and whole grain pasta. I was steeping fenugreek, raspberry leaf, stinging nettle and fennel seeds all the time to take as a tea. I started drinking dairy for the first time in years, because I heard that a glass of warm milk before nursing will increase my own milk. It did work for a short time and when it didn’t, I started to drink formula myself. (That was one of the low points of the whole mission). 


    The next round of painful experience began. My baby got the taste for formula milk and was no longer interested in mine. 


    It was also a big effort for her to breastfeed, while the bottled milk just flowed. 


    It was difficult enough witnessing just how much she no longer wanted my milk, but when a stranger dining at my cafe made a remark like ‘I do hope that’s breastmilk in that bottle’, it left me in tears for weeks.


    I knew how it looked to an outsider: A raw food expert with her own organic cafe, promoting natural living, that's free from animal foods - wasn’t even breastfeeding her own newborn. Instead she was feeding her dairy milk formula! 


    I hated feeling like I had to explain myself to friends before I pulled out bottle feed, but the last thing I thought I’d be doing is avoiding my own beloved haven of a restaurant at the risk of the judging eyes.



    It’s Breastfeeding Awareness Week and every year starting August 1st, I see hundreds of posts on the importance of breastmilk, as well promotion to stop the shaming of mothers nursing in public.


    Although I am 100 percent in full support of this incredibly important initiative, I felt like I needed to write this post for a number of reasons-


    1. I needed to do this for my own healing to be complete. I have a brand new life growing inside of me now and I am determined to bring this child into the world without fear. (Surprise!) 
    2. I now know what to look for (ie. tongue tie, asymmetry, electric pump) the second time around. Hopefully someone else reading this will benefit from knowing these signs and won't need to suffer for as long as I did.
    3. If you’re also struggling with so much pressure to breastfeed, while crying from unbearable agony, just know that all this pain and fear is being passed on to your child via the hormones in your milk. Yes, the goodness in your milk may outweigh the fear hormones and Yes, we don’t know what the animal that was being milked went through and what fear hormones it might be passing on via formula, but I do know this... As soon as I relaxed and the pressure (mainly in my own head) to breastfeed went away, the love and the bond between me and my child blossomed. Love is the ultimate fuel. Babies need our love just as much as they need food to survive (if not more).
    4. Please whatever you do, DO NOT judge a mother feeding her child in any which way she possibly can. You have no idea how many tears she cried till the point that she could comfortably breastfeed in public. You have zero clue as to how often she was losing the will to live until she could soothe her baby with a bottle. Believe me when I say ‘she is doing her very very best’.


    So much love going out to all the new mamas, the newborns and the judging eyes. We are, after all, the ones that need it the most.





    Lake's 1st Year - in weekly pictures

    Lake Tatiana Maher - first 52 weeks

    When Lake was just 1 day old, we lay her down on a super cute blankie that was a present from Stella McCartney.

    Elliot loves foxes so we fished the internet for the cutest fox toy when I was still pregnant and found this handmade cutie by the Ragtales.

    We placed the toy next to our little miracle of a newborn and I took pictures with my phone. 

    When she was 1 week old, I sort of did the same thing without thinking. Never planned on it becoming 'a thing' but it did and I'm so happy about that because it inspired lots of you guys to do the same and now we all have a collection of beautiful snaps and notes about our little ones' development to treasure forever and ever.

    It took a while, I know (Lake turned 2 on 13th Jan), but I just had a collage printed of her first 52 weeks and decided to post it here along with the weekly updates.


    Microphone in one hand, phone in another, this one is a multi-tasker from Day 1.

    Our baby girl Lake Tatiana Maher was born on 13/01/16 weighing in at 8.9lbs, 53cm in length.

    Shakespeare won't know where he is when he awakes from hibernation!


    Baby girl is 1 week old today. I thought I may as well teach her the peace sign early.


    Lady Lake turns 2 weeks today. Precisely how long mummy hasn't slept...


    Our Lady Lake turns 3 weeks today and already I have no idea how I ever lived without her. I know parents say this all the time, but she really is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Feeling so blessed, there's no words for it


    Our little monkey is 4 weeks old today! Already just in this last week alone, she's been on a tube and bus adventure around London, participated in a 2 day business development workshop, worked a shift at @Tanya's Cafe, did a baby massage course and met lots of her fans. Wow my boss sure knows how to keep me busy 😝


    5 weeks of the most indescribable love. 5 weeks of daily dream smiles (5 days of awake ones). 5 weeks of identical outfit for mummy and 35 for baby. 5 weeks of discovering new muscles I didn't know I had. 5 weeks of washing line looking like a baby pyjama shop. 5 weeks of pukey bath robes, zombie night time walking, no routine, being late to every meeting, not understanding how hours disappear, daily discussions about poop burps and nipples, and just being totally and utterly lost in pure bliss that is Lady Lake.



    6 weeks old and already a personality like no one we've ever met before. Mostly utter cheekiness. She has us completely figured out now and knows how to use that amazing smile to get anything. Every. Single. Time. Doh!


    Just when I thought that at 7 weeks we may not get a photo, because Miss Personality wasn't 'into' any of her outfits today... I pop her back into her daily attire of a comfy onesie and a bib and not only do we have a smiley baby again, we have a fist-pumping-happy-flying-life-is-super-awesome supergirl! I'm pretty sure she wanted to have it on record how mummy sees her every day, not just once a week.


    Today my baby is 8 weeks old and it's one of those days when I'm basking in gratitude for my work. I don't know if anything else I've done in the past would've let me ease back into work mode just 3 weeks after giving birth and I don't know if I could have Lake with me wherever I go. We are together at the cafe, in meetings, in workshops, in the kitchen, outdoors, everywhere. Every day I fall in love with this pure blessing more and more and don't even like to leave her side while she naps. Call me crazy but I miss her even when she is sleeping and I never thought I'd be saying this a few weeks ago but I now get excited waking up in the middle of the night to feed my baby because I get to cuddle that sweet little squashy cuteness. I get to do what I love and I get to do it with the love of my life in my arms. Wow. So so grateful🙏


    Baby girl is 9 weeks already. Wowsers!
    This past week she's really discovered her hands and is grabbing everything (!!!!) including my hair, earrings, necklaces, her bib, nose, cloths, blankie, even this foxy toy. It's super adorable and funny until she grabs, pinches and scratches my face and my chest while feeding. Haha. Ouch.
    On another note, does anyone know where I can possibly find a yellow dress her size? I've looked and looked everywhere (business opportunity?) but this dress with teeny yellow bows on her shoulders is the closest I managed. Even red or green are more popular that yellow It's the happiest colour and the one I feel represents Lake's personality the most... no doubt more mummies out there feel the same about their babies so if you know someone in baby ware biz, pass on the request pretty please and they already have their first customer in the queue 🐱


    Celebrating 10 weeks of this sweet little bunny being earth side with us. It's as though she knew that Easter outfit was coming up, because this is the first week she started staying on her tummy without crying, even fell asleep for the photo (she never sleeps during the day)! #shesgettingrolls#sodelicious #lakemaher


    Yussss first yellow outfit of many!
    Thanks so much everyone for your comments, links and suggestions... this little ray of sunshine will not be short of happy colours to match her personality.
    Baby Lake is 11 weeks old today and had the smiliest week ever meeting her auntie from NYC for the very first time. You always know my sis has been to visit when Elliot and I are kitted out in Ralph Lauren gear, now she has her niecey pie to spoil too. I mean seriously, a RL polo onesie? This kid is so lucky. And fun. Man I love her.


    That awkward moment you realise your daughter's wardrobe is already better than yours and she's only 12 weeks old 👶
    This last week has been all about the growth spurt babies go through around this time, I didn't know about it so I wasn't prepared for what was coming my way. Just as we got the most amazing routine going and she started sleeping through the night from 9pm till 6am for a couple of weeks in a row (a wee secret I kept to myself 😝), she'd suddenly wake up at 4am not only to feed but to play and to smile and chat and cuddle and giggle and maybe vom a little too. And despite all my efforts to tire the little monkey out, there's no going back to bed till evening time. My goodness that giggle is everything though!!!


    If I could summarise Lake's cuteness into one signature move- it's this! Whether she feeds or bathes or watches Baby Einstein or sometimes sleeps even, she has her hands clasped together like the Lady Lake that she is. It's something we've noticed her doing daily from around the 3rd week, today she is 13 weeks or 3 months exactly. She was born on the 13th and today is the 13th. My grandma whom I was named after, whom my cafe was named after and where Lake's middle name came from, was also born on 13th January. It's an auspicious day as 13 also happens to be one of my favourite numbers and feels whole and sacred. Number 13 also carries a message from your angels that you are being guided and assisted with your soul mission. Today I'm soaking up the gift that is this delicious little human, who happens to be in her happy swimmers because this was the week of her first swimming lesson!


    Baby girl is 14 weeks old today and it's the first week we've witnessed the most growth over the shortest period of time. Literally feels like we've just blinked and she went from being our little baby to our big baby.
    She not only feeds way more and has already outgrown all of her first onesies, but she's talking in the most hilarious Lake Language and is very close to turning over on her own (she can already roll over on her back from being on the tummy and can lay on her side from being on the back).
    It's also been the most event filled week during which all of her waking hours were spent on adventures like London School of Diving (she goes all the way under the water now!), lectures at London Business School, picnics with antenatal class mamas and babies, meeting other newborns, extended park walks, lots of blending and raw cake making at the cafe with mummy and even booking flights to Ecuador to meet her grandparents!
    I now totally get what everyone's been telling me all along: "treasure this time, it goes by so fast"


    15 weeks of this sunshine today. This week, Lady Lake's Godmama came back to London from her sunny state California with a wardrobe of sunny yellow outfits for the sunniest little girl. Britney felt so connected to Lake from way before she was born, she even saw her in a meditation when I was 8 months pregnant and Lake showed up with a head of black hair (just the way she was born) and told Britney that she'll arrive on the 13th (just like she did, although due on the 7th). Yellow also happens to be Britney's favourite colour and the stories I keep hearing about Britney as a strong, happy, clever, independent, sweet baby, I'm seeing in Lake every day. If my little ray of sunshine grows up to be like her Godmama, then she's on this earth to spread only love and happiness. And so it is.


    16 weeks old today and out of the 88 pictures I just took- this is the *only* frontal one... our Lady Lake figured out how to roll!
    The moment she rolled over for the first time on Saturday was the moment those days of leaving her unsupervised, even for 30 seconds, were over. She was so pleased with her newly discovered talent, that it's all she ever does now- the funniest thing to witness ever- as Lakey grabs her own feet and arches her whole back to flip over like a spring.
    As for her outfit this week- it's borrowed from her newborn friend Willow. So far everything you've seen her wear has been either a gift or something I bought from a charity store, but this little number is borrowed. When Willow was born, her parents and us did a temporary exchange of everything Lake has grown out of for the things still too big on baby Willow. It's such a shame otherwise to have your little one wear something twice and then have to fold it away because it no longer fits. Plus it feels pretty good to share and that's what I'd like for our little girl to know as the norm


    To my sweet darling girl,
    17 weeks (almost 4 months) ago today, you entered our crazy beautiful world.
    Already in just this short while you've made me and your daddy smile more than we have during our 8 happy years together. (And that's coming from the 2 positive joy-filled people that made a promise to each other to never go to bed angry and to make each other laugh every day.)
    The very first description of you I've ever heard came from a sonographer, who was wowing all through your scan calling you "the most cooperative baby" she's ever seen. Then at our routine check ups with nurses and midwives, I kept hearing how advanced you were, how early you started kicking and moving. Before we knew your gender, my hairdresser would say you're either a boy or a Tom-boy, because you did NOT like me being there in the slightest. Your daddy would say you're going to have your mummy's energy because you were happiest when I moved and would go wild kicking away if I sat down, carrying on till I moved again (this went on through all of my pregnancy). Your Godmama would need to see me to "feel" you because she said you make everything better when she needed to feel better. I always thought you were a "child of light", because the only time you were super chilled inside me was when I was in a bikini with my bump facing the sun, while at ALL other times you would kick and kick and kick till I found a well lit bathroom and pulled my top up to let in some light... that's when you'd relax.
    Amazing. Just like you.
    You are all of those things and so so much more.
    Your head popped out of me screaming in tune with me, shocking the delivery widwife and then continuing to shock all other midwives when they saw how well you were holding up your own neck from the moment you were born.
    That "child of light" and "energy like your mummy" went a little too far when we discovered you had major FOMO and did not want to sleep during daylight no matter what. Turns out we actually got pretty lucky because you slept through the night after just 2 months.
    Today you are rolling over multiple times in one go and making yourself giggle as you do it, cracking us up even more. You stare at serious people on the tube with your big smile till they notice you and start to melt, you make so many people happy.
    Thank you my sweet child. Thank you for choosing us to be your parents, we'll continue doing everything possible to prove that you made the right choice.❤️ #LakeMaher #LakeWeekly


    Our mini little human is 18 weeks old today. Eighteen weeks!! Lots of exciting changes this week including real progress in her swimming classes, tasting her first green juice and spirulina, hugely improved digestion after adding probiotics and warm water sipping to her diet, first (and all) early signs of teething, non stop attempting to lift her head while on her back and finally pooping on cue via Elimination Communication (almost no dirty nappies for 2 whole weeks)! One thing's been pretty consistent though... that smile!


    Our mini little roommate is now officially a British Citizen! And she has a passport to prove it. It just arrived yesterday, right in time for our first family holiday. In fact I'm posting this from the airport as we're off to Sicily in a few minutes. Weeeeeeee! Lake was so excited to become a citizen before her parents, that she asked her friend Willow to borrow a Burberry outfit to represent her pride in the British culture.


    Today this Lady Lake is 20 weeks old. She is dressed in her big girl swim suit to represent her very first visit to the beach! Not that she wore anything at all in the ocean but she might not forgive me when she's older if I posted a Nakey Lakey picture. But man if you have a little one- no doubt you'd agree your baby, all nakey, is just the most lovable thing in the world! How silky is their back?? Also in one 24 hour period this past week, she's been on pretty much all transport there is- bus, train, car, ferry and plane! First time on a plane and she was a dream. I used to talk to her in my belly at 6 months of pregnancy on flights to and from Sri Lanka and would tell her to remember the sounds of an aeroplane which actually represent everything pleasant, like holidays, family visits and summer. I would tell her that she will love travelling just like her mummy and that being on a plane is safe, relaxing and enjoyable. Sure enough she slept every minute of the 2.5 hour flight to Sicily and back. She also tasted a bit of watermelon and banana on holiday and is now grabbing and gnawing everything in sight like the tiny little teething monster that she suddenly turned into overnight.


    Just when we thought this little charmer couldn't get any smilier, her grandparents arrive from NZ to meet her for the first time! With a house so full of love, presents and attention, she exhausted her jaw muscles so much, she fell asleep immediately when put into bed at 8pm and didn't stir till 6:30am. Today, Lake is 21 weeks old and this little finger-in-the-mouth is pretty much how you're guaranteed to find her at any given moment of the day. No matter what teething toy she gets, it's the finger that satisfies. You can't tell in the pic, but she is also wearing an amber necklace for teething (it's meant to release healing oils with anti inflammatory properties and sure enough- within half an hour of putting it around her neck, she calmed down completely and stayed chilled for all these days while wearing it).


    Sweetie pie is 22 weeks today (5 months and 2 days). For the first time in her life she's had someone other than her mum and dad stay in the house for an entire week with her. Her Kiwi Gran and Granddad are loving this time with their first granddaughter aka the giggliest funniest Miss Personality. They've only been visiting for just over a week and have already noticed a big change in her growth and development. So fun to compare notes! Gran picks up on her 'toilet face' too now, so I take her to the loo in time and we avoid a dirty nappy. Oh and in swimming she's discovered how to splash water so it's her new thing non stop now, plus she's finally opening her eyes under water (apparently it's very natural for babies to have their eyes open when they are under but for some reason as soon as you say 'Ready, Go' and dunk Lake in, she seals them shut. Not any more!)


    Daddy kept asking why his little lady never wears his favourite colour so she surprised him in this blue outfit for Fathers Day this week. Upon reaching 23 weeks of age, this has also been the week Lake transitioned out of her hammock into a big girl cot (thank you Kiwi Grandparents)! The first two nights weren't so dreamy for anyone, but she's back to her impressive sleeping habits now. She's also been trying different fruits and veggies and goes absolutely crazy for bananas or avocado mashed with fruit salad. It's so fun watching her discovering new flavours and textures and instantly letting me know what she will or won't tolerate. And my absolute highlight of this past week is how this tiny person is now giving us proper hugs by wrapping her arms around our neck and resting her head on our chest. (Well...half the time it looks more like a little teething vampire with her mouth and claws attached to our neck, but still- she relaxes into a proper loving cuddle pretty quickly. And it's literally the best feeling in the world. The best!)


    Lady Lake. 24 weeks of this most hilarious, silliest, cheekiest, delicious sweetie pie. I was so happy to capture her looking like this because that's how she looks now every time she realises a million kisses are heading her way- she squeezes her eyes shut, presses her whole chin into the chest to hide that ticklish neck and opens her mouth to make the longest going giggling gurgling sound. Her hair is getting fluffier and lighter too. Totally utterly besotted. This girl is everything!


    Our mini ballerina is 25 weeks old. She's had a big week of firsts... She parted with her kiwi grandparents, got her first sniffles, went from 2 to 3 solid meals a day, met Novak Djokovic and moved into her very own room!!! I never witnessed anything cuter ever... she usually needs a dummy to settle and then the moment she falls asleep, she'd spit it out. Well, there was so much new stuff to look at in her new bedroom, she lay there quietly for 45 minutes playing with her toes and gently tapping the railings of her cot until she drifted to sleep without the need for a pacifier for the first time ever. Needless to say, I got all teary peeking in on my baby acting all independent and then couldn't sleep half the night, trying to listen out for her to cry or snore or laugh or something! Turns out she's a good sleeper like her daddy.


    Where? Where did 6 months go?
    26 weeks ago, exactly to the day TODAY, I gave birth in St Mary's Paddington, the same hospital where the Royal children are born.
    We arrived home less than 10 hours later. I was very naive to think that breastfeeding would be the most natural and therefore easiest thing in the world. We had a rough start to say the least (and if anyone is interested to know about my experience, do let me know... one day I'll get over it and may write about it on the blog).
    One thing is for certain though- I had no idea of the love capacity in my heart until this Miss Lake Tatiana Maher came into my world. Every single day my heart expands that little bit more. Sometimes I look at her, she is smiling so wide and I wonder if my heart could burst right there and then, but instead I just tell her I love her. I love her. So so so much.
    So today, Elliot and I are celebrating SIX months of Lake. #soinlove #lakemaher #lakeweekly


    27 weeks of Lady Lake and this is the week that got me questioning my mothering skills. This sweet happy girl is still just as sweet and happy but ONLY whilst being held 😬 The moment I put her down -be it into the cot, her pram, playing gym, anywhere- even if I'm right there next to her, she'll let the whole neighbourhood know just how unimpressed she is about that. Could I have really spoilt my own baby at just six months by giving her all the love, attention and cuddles she wanted? Am I being too soft for not being able to leave her crying? Oh dear. I do hope this is just a stage, as I don't think I have it in me to leave her to 'cry it out' nor do I believe it to be necessary. Any suggestions?
    As for some fun progress... Lake is making all sorts of sounds and sometimes it 'feels' like she's actually talking and telling stories. The other day as she was eating avocado with spirulina, a little got stuck to the roof of her mouth and to get it off, she stuck out her tongue and uttered her first syllables: nya nya nya nya nya nya. The funniest thing is that in Russian 'nyanya' means 'nanny' and since she has a Russian nanny for a few hours a week, we thought it was hilarious and typical that as much as Elliot and I competed for dada/mama, our little angel didn't want mummy and daddy competing so she went ahead and made 'nanny' her first word😂
    The amazing dress is from her beloved Auntie Alla in New York, who just announced that she's coming to Ecuador when her niecey-pie is there this Thanksgiving!!!! Weeeee


    28 weeks of Lady Lake! This week she went away for her second overseas holiday (France/Spain) and not only with her mummy and daddy, but Auntie Kiki (Saskia) too! Elliot had a couple extra leave days to use up afterwards as well so I took this opportunity to sign her up to #DaddyDayCare and got on with masses of work...
    When I got home after 10pm on Wednesday night, I nearly cried because it was too dark to take her #LakeWeekly picture and she's been sound asleep for hours anyway. Well there's a first time for everything plus eventually I'm gonna need to stop taking these pictures anyway, hahaha, she is already nearly impossible to photograph as she immediately goes for the fox toy and rolls over... and over... and over.
    As for her progress- where to even begin? This week has been massive for progress! Firstly, thank you guys so so much for all the supportive and encouraging comments last week... the very upsetting clingy stage was very much a stage and thank goodness it already seems to be over.
    Secondly, the little lady is becoming very chatty and lots of 'nya nya nya, ya ya ya, dya dya dya, ga ga ga' sounds are on repeat mode. It's the cutest thing!
    Thirdly, she is out of her bassinet and now just sits up strapped in a pram. This change immediately transformed a crying frustrated (from laying down) baby into the happiest, quietest, most curious little monkey, that just loves to see what we are seeing.
    Also, she had a good splash around in a lake for the first time (yes, Lake in a lake!) and loved it! Oh and speaking of swimming, she had an underwater shoot at her Little Dippers school and the photos turned out just as amazing as the Nirvana album cover!
    Still no teeth.
    Still poops on cue (when mummy's around).
    Still amazing to fly with.
    Still loves her avocado/mango/spirulina mix most of all and today for the first time she had her biggest meal yet and discovered a new favourite (whole peeled cored apple blended with soaked sprouted oats and cinnamon, all raw).


    Literally the one and only photo I took of Lake today before my phone ran out of memory and I figured it's perfect anyway. Elliot got me this phone in time for Lake's arrival and now there are 5,580 photos and 356 videos 😬 This was 29 weeks ago! For everyone asking if she ever doesn't smile, the answer is of course- yes. She's a baby and she's not afraid to let the world know! But we are so very blessed with the sweetest little girl that will smile immediately upon hearing mummy's or daddy's voice, seeing herself in the mirror, seeing Ulrike (my EA, who doesn't have to do much to make Lake happy), hearing water splashing, looking out the window at green tree tops, seeing my phone camera appear in front of her (they learn so fast!), going for a walk strapped to me facing forward and the most recent one being- seeing other babies on the bus. This week she finally began to notice other little people and it's so fascinating to witness how long she is willing to smile at them till they smile back. #lovemygirl#whoruletheworld #myworld #thatlittlepinkythough#lakeweekly #lakemaher


    Lady Lake is 30 weeks young today! The best thing about this week has got to be her brand new eating sounds. She must've listened to me long enough going 'look amaranth mmmmm, look avocado mmmm, blackberry mmmm' and interpreted it as her own version of 'mmmm' with a rather loud mix of moaning, growling and grunting in the most serious manner. I keep trying to video this peculiar expression of enjoyment, but as much as she loves smiling for the camera, there's no way anyone can interrupt the important meal time! My girl. Speaking of eating... she is onto 3 solids meals a day (and down to 3 milk feeds) and her sleeping is the best ever! Goes down immediately by 8pm and doesn't make a sound till at least 6am. All this time on her tummy, which is also a super new thing (and a super surprising thing because of how long she hated tummy time). Lake's mega adorable jumpsuit is from NZ's Pumpkin Patch but more importantly, from her NZ auntie and my bestest friend, Ginku/Genovata/Genda/GinaSan/Genola. We've been waiting and waiting to fit into Gina Provic's pressie and suddenly POP 🌱- my tiny 7 months old sprout is fitting into 12 months old stuff


    Just when we thought that maybe this little one might never grow teeth, 7 months (31 weeks) and boom... we have a tooth! I'd eagerly run my finger over those sweet gums every morning for months now, but never did I foresee my own excitement levels over a little sprout! Skipped around till I got thirsty. Lakey Lake has also fully mastered the army crawl (more like a floor/head butting slug action) and she can get herself from one corner of the room to another pretty quickly. And today for the first time ever, she got up on all fours over and over again, each time staying there longer than before. She's so nearly crawling and might just skip learning to sit all together 😂 The weekly photos are getting soooo much harder now that she's super active, alert and determined, I always need a second pair of hands now to assist in everything from getting Lake's attention to pinning her down to replacing the fox to pulling down her dress to turning her back over (or around or upside down) to straightening out the blanket, etc etc. It's quite the mission for one picture. I do secretly enjoy the challenge, especially for an opportunity to show off all her outfit gifts like this summer number from her beloved Auntie Kiki (thank you Saskia!)


    Not only is this image the most representative of our busy energised little lady, that's now always on the move, it also happens to be one of the only couple of pics (errr out of 100+ images) where she was looking at the camera. We officially have a crawler! She is determined and on a mission! The crawling isn't as graceful as it is wobbly, but looks adorable especially because she is so pleased with herself. The funniest thing is that she decided to skip sitting altogether, just not interested in being still, plus there's so much to explore when you can crawl around the lounge and the park outside in this insanely gorgeous weather! Also as soon as I announced her first tooth, immediately there were two the next day. I've been taking videos of Lake tasting foods for the very first time to capture her reaction and I thought that when time comes to her first taste of a lime or a lemon, it's going to be one video to treasure for ever! How wrong I was... so I'm doing a colon cleanse and it's so awful, I decide to get a bowl of lemons and limes to coat my tongue in before swallowing this fibre sludge... Lake watches me (enjoying only the limes no doubt) and starts reaching for a taster... I get all amped up for a video opportunity, set up the camera, bring the lime to her mouth, aaaaand... Nothing! She licks it, swallows and opens her mouth for more. Who is this child? Haha. Elliot had to tell me to stop feeding her limes, she was that into them! Celebrating 32 weeks of #LakeMaher #LakeWeekly


    Our little sweetie pie is 33 weeks young today and THE day has finally come... Lady Lake is officially too long for her rainbow blanket! (I don't mind so much because the personalised blankey from Britney is fully revealed!) This child just keeps growing and growing, but only upwards it seems, as she can still fit into all of her 0-3 months leggings, they've just turned into three-quarter pants, that's all. How timely for summer👌 And how lucky are we that her friend Willow has such great taste in fashion and lets Lake borrow her outfits for these weekly shoots, like today's! (Thanks Jodie and Neville , I think tutu skirts are my favourite ever on Lakey Lake). The crawling is in full swing this week and we now spend all of our time between the cafe or a near by park... I put her on the grass and she bolts off towards anyone she sees, making lots of new friends and spreading smiles and happiness. Feeling overwhelmed with love and gratitude today. Simply and completely in love with my gentle-feisty-funny-cheeky-kind-delicious-lovable-ticklish-darling baby girl.


    Our little dancing queen turns 34 weeks today. The best 34 weeks of our lives! She decided to give sitting a go this week and really liked it! After 2 whole weeks of crawling and rolling everywhere, suddenly it's all about being still and taking it all in. Even her ball pit which used to always frighten her to tears is now the most enjoyable place for her to hang in. This week, she went to Brighton for mummy's bday weekend, helped me with 'weight training' while I packed a hundred cleanses at Tanya's Cafe and she was strapped to me all day long and she was the only baby to get a one-off special access into this year's #specialityandfinefoodfair as I was doing a cookery demo (tens of thousands attend this prestigious show, so a big deal for Lake!).


    What a week for Lady Lake. What a weeeek!!! She is officially 35 weeks old/young today and to celebrate she accompanied her Kiwi/RussianKiwi parents at a Citizenship Ceremony when we all became British as a family. She also pulled herself up once in her cot, and now all she wants to do is stand! She pulls on the couch, coffee table, ottoman, my legs, anything that looks semi-climbable WILL be climbed. Super adorable to witness but nothing is ever safe anymore! Also this week, she's petted a duckling and a cat, and was super happy and equally gentle with both. As it's been majorly hot in London during the last couple of days, this outfit from her Babushka and Dedushka in Ecuador has been the greatest thing ever! She reminds me of a little monk, especially when she sits, it's like she spreads an immediate zen effect through the room looking like a meditating Buddha.


    Today is the first time I had to go through previous #LakeWeekly posts to check how old my baby is! 36 weeks today, no wonder I've lost count! She is growing up so so fast. She's spending more time standing than sitting, but that's no shocker as she crawled before she sat and even when I was pregnant with her, she never liked me sitting down either. The teething is getting rather intense and it doesn't help that Lakey doesn't want any teething toys in her mouth, just her fingers, my fingers and cold apple slices. The weather over this last week dropped from a high of 32C to a low of 16C but it's all pretty exciting because of all the outfit possibilities which were way too large for a winter-newborn 8 months ago. These white trousers are denims!!! (Just really needed to point that out, coz I'm obsessed! Thanks Auntie Alla @universechorus ). And I actually planned to put her in a super cute hat today but she woke up with a curl (her top knot that we haven't seen in weeks- it's too long now to stay up) so a must to show it off 😜👶🏻 #lakemaher#raplhlauren #stellamccartney#betterdressedthanmummy


    Our sweet angel pie is 37 weeks young today. She is wearing daddy's favourite colour especially for him because this was Elliot's bday week. We went back to Biarritz, France (second time in her life!) but now that she is sitting and crawling, she experienced sand in her hands for the first time ever. It was seriously a sight to behold and I will forever treasure the entire world stopping while I watched my baby discovering something as fascinating as that. The flights are getting trickier now that she is standing and is way too curious to sleep. Luckily for us, she smiles way more than she cries and therefore made lots of friends on the plane. She's so gentle, even when she gets super excited about seeing a 3 year old child on the next seat, she just reaches over to touch their face and explore their hands, never grabbing, just giggling.


    Brrrr the heaters went on this week and we're back to wearing hats. What's exciting though is that Lady Lake is a whole new size since the last time she wore such warm clothes and I can finally put her into this sweet kitty beanie and dress from @frankieandava. This week has been the busiest for mummy's work ever but I am soooo grateful Lake has the sweetest Russian nanny. Now with all the Russian she hears from me and our nanny, it's starting to be pretty funny for mummy when I see just how much better Lake at her 38 weeks of age understands Russian, than Elliot. Can't wait for cheeky giggles with my girl about the weird things daddy does when she starts talking 😂


    This delicious little book worm turned 39 weeks today. She got 2 new teeth this week, both being top teeth, but neither the middle ones... baby's got fangs 😬! She had a dinner date with her godmama Britney Brix while I ran an event on Monday, started to really love her bath time now that she can sit and splash and sing and giggle and throw her toys around all at the same time, and whilst she's never been a great sleeper during the day (she sleeps at night), her day napping is almost non existent now... and there was a day this week that she stayed awake from 7am to 7pm. Oh dear. She's got so much to learn, do and explore, I can't blame her I guess. Lady Lake's #grateful onesie is from the talented @seasoulandsnow and I swear it's like she knows exactly what it reads on it... as soon as I put it on her, she reached her arms towards me, wrapped them around my shoulders and dropped her head on my chest for a good 30 seconds as if to say 'mummy, that's what I've been trying to say all along'. Yep I totes welled up.


    Happy 40 weeks our Little Lady Lake! Happy 9 months (earlier this week)! Happy everything! And thank you for all the happiness you shower us with every single day. This week the big progress is her first word and iiiiiiit's..... 'mama'!!!! Yay! She's been doing lots of 'mamamama, nyanyanyanya, dyadyadyadya' for months now but now we're pretty sure she is consciously calling out for her mummy as she crawls around looking for me in each room going 'mama... mama'. It's pretty damn special alright. What else is pretty spesh is how quickly she moves on her feet (she can get from one end of the couch to the other in a heart beat and only slightly supporting herself with her hands). Plus she's been attempting the whole 'no hands' business by letting go of the couch and at last this week she managed an entire second of standing on her own! More Yay! The not so 'yay' of the week has been what we could only identify as a tantrum but we were sure that doesn't happen at this age so I turned to forums and uuuum it is totally common for babies at 9-12 months!? Luckily, that even though she can get pretty bored and frustrated quickly, she looooves her books and we can always rely on Lakey's favourite 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' to get her smiling again. (I love this explanation re baby tantrums: http://www.parenting.com/article/ask-dr-sears-tantrums-already)


    Today little miss sunshine has officially been out for longer than she's been in! Celebrating 41 weeks of Lady Lake, earth-side. As soon as I posted about just how much 'mama' she's been saying at 40 weeks, she's literally never said it again (hahaha) and it's all 'dada' now, non stop all day every day! Still always smiling but it's mega hard to get her to smile for the camera nowadays since she figured out that the camera is my phone and my phone has cartoons on it and things you can touch and if you're not allowed to touch, then the whole neighbourhood hears about it! This photo sesh was heading south till I gave her a snack and boom!... happy baby again! My whole life revolves around baby snacks now and how to be stocked on all sorts of chewy bars, dehydrated fruit leathers and crunchy corn puffs, everywhere we are. We are now majorly counting down till Ecuador to see Lake's grandparents, which is exactly TWO weeks from todaaaaaaaayyyy!!!!!! Yaaaaay!!! As this will be a rather long flight with a very active baby and I'll be on my own, any tips for successful flying with little ones are very welcome


    42 weeks of Lady Lake, 10 weeks till she's ONE, 1 week till Grandparents in Ecuador, 4 days till Tanya's Chelsea closes for a revamp. Whoa. So much excitement ahead! Ze Bebe's been such a joy all week, I mean she usually is but this week even more so, through teething and all. She now crawls up to us, climbs along our legs to stand herself up, looks towards our face, points and stretches up her arms to be picked up. Then when she's being held, she plops her head on our shoulders and makes us melt immediately. So can you imagine how shaken up I was all day when one of my worst nightmares came true and she fell out of bed, right onto the super tough woven carpet, straight on her head, and now even 35 hours later the entire right side of her face is covered with a designer imprint of bruise and carpet. Awesome. Luckily for a good combo of reiki, arnica cream, frozen peas and cuddles, the sweetie pie was back to her usual chirpy self despite the unfortunate face tattoo. Something funny I have to mention is how much she loves it when I brush my teeth! I also sing the 'this is the way we brush our teeth' song when I do it and she giggles so much, I had to go and buy a mini tooth brush for my mini-me. And she loves using her own toothbrush too! And having her hair brushed. OMG how she loves it!


    An unusually early #LakeWeekly post for a Wednesday but that's precisely how excited and impatient I feel right now... On Lady Lake's 43rd week birthday, we are boarding a flight to Ecuador!!!!! It's a long one and by the time we land in Guayaquil, it will no longer be Wednesday in London. Literally so excited to see my daughter in her grandparents' arms, I can't even recall what's happened in this past week for an update. Two things though- 1. Mama closed Tanya's Restaurant to remodel it into Tanya's Retail and 2. Lake started waving and doesn't stop, whether it's saying hello or bye or looking at strangers, she is so pleased with her newly acquired skill and everyone involved is even more so. #lakemaher#homeiswherethegrandparentsare


    44th week birthday and we have officially been in Ecuador for a full week of Lady Lake's life. I have no idea where the time has gone especially since this has been the most relaxing week for me not only since she came along but for many years (I'm usually either holding a retreat or presenting when in Vilcabamba). This little love bug is in baby paradise over here! The minute we arrived, her grandparents got hold of their most precious gift and have not let go... Granddad Vlad feeds her seed milks, walks all around the garden with her and takes her for river walks every morning while strapped to him. Nana Elena prepares her the most nutritious organic meals straight from the garden, rocks her to sleep 3-4 times/ day and bathes her in herbal homemade remedies. They both play all sorts of instruments with her, nappy change as a team, sing and dance for her and with her...basically the fun never stops! Something Elliot and I figured out early on is how happy it makes Lake to see her parents kiss, so to get this photo (she's sooo over these weekly shoots!), Grandparents also used this magic technique and gave each other loud funny kisses for me to get the shot. There's been sooooo many firsts here in baby paradise, FB won't allow for all the characters just to list everything, but we discovered how much she loves dogs (not only Kiwi but every dog she sees), how much she loves pointing and even falls asleep with her index finger aimed up, how much she loves the 'if you're happy and you know it' song plus clapping her hands and let's not forget baby's first pony tail that also happened this week!


    Lady Lake is 45 weeks young today! And this will be our last Wednesday here in Vilcabamba at the grandparent's paradise. Booooo! This week has been mega eventful, as she didn't only reunite with her beloved daddy, but also her Auntie Alissa and even met her Uncle Dave- they all arrived together from London and New York at the same time. Aside from that there were almost 3 whole days that she spent without both mummy and daddy as I flew back to Guayaquil to meet those guys. Needless to say she was overcome with emotion when she saw us all at the same time and had the best and longest sleep of her life that night. New favourite food: mulberries. She picks the dark ones straight from the tree here! She's learned how chocolate grows too and cut 3 big cacao pods off the tree with her grandparent, ate mandarins that have fallen straight from the tree in front of her, picked homegrown cucumbers, touched her favourite avocado on its tree, as well as pomegranates, tomatoes, kale and turmeric, that all grow here. #neverleaving#vilcabamba2016


    We are 46 weeks old today and I just realised that there are now only 6 more of these rainbow blankie posts left! I took a couple of pictures next to a foxy toy to see how Lakey grows over her first few weeks and for no particular reason, I kinda didn't stop. Then it became our weekly tradition and I said I'd do it 52 times till she turns 1. What I didn't realise is that it would be more like 5200 times because there have been days I'd need 100+ snaps of our teeny active, turning, crawling, giggling, crying, dancing, moving and shaking little person. And today this little person has been without her grandparents for 48 hours already! We got home late last night, she was so excited to reunite with her toys, she literally threw herself at every book and teddy that she saw, then threw her arms up in excitement when she saw Babushka on Skype, giggled all the way through her shower and right into bed. She slept in for so long I was starting to get seriously worried and decided to wake her up. When she opened her eyes, she sat up in her cot, looked around to see where she was and as soon as she realised who's room it is, she smiled so wide, I gasped for air and giggled with my girl. My God, I love her so fricken insanely stupidly much.


    47 weeks today but now it's more of a countdown till this wee monkey is 1.
    So, FiiiiVE weeks! 😬
    This has been a long long week of jet lag joys. As lovely as it's been to sleep in as a whole family on the weekend for the first time in all our 47 weeks together, singing and rocking a baby to sleep for hours till it's already 11pm and we are all exhausted... not so lovely. Something I also don't like doing is waking up a sleeping child but it had to be done the last few days. It's working as she is going to bed earlier and earlier, day by day. A 5th tooth sprouted today, Lake is now standing up without support for a full 30 seconds and the highlight of the week is that she learned to lean in for a kiss (read: bang her head into ours with her mouth wide open when we say 'kiss mama/dada'). Oh and since I had to be on my own taking these pictures again and it's kisses that make her smile, I was resorted to kissing one of her toys to get this reaction haha. #lovemygirl #sososomuch


    Lady Lake is now officially 11 months young. The countdown to 52 weeks just struck FOUR weeks!! My lordy, I'm strangely emotional about that. Speaking of emotional, we've had one clingy little slug all week long. There's been absolutely no chance of even standing up to stretch without her freaking out that I might move out of her sight, she'd jump up by grabbing onto my legs and keep crying and reaching her arms skyward till I pick her up. Fun fun. Heavy heavy! Something interesting is that right from birth, we've been getting comments of how alert she is and then the comments evolved to 'observant'. This week, Lakey's been wowing me non stop with those observational skills... if there's a new Xmas card on the fireplace, she'd point it out, if an umbrella is hung on the wrong hook, she'd let us know about it, if I refill a vase with new flowers, she'd clap looking at them, if she spots another baby on the opposite end of the bus or Xmas lights flickering around the corner, she'd do all she can so no one will obstruct her vision with that little finger pointing in their direction and the 'mmmm' sound to accompany. This week she reunited with almost all the NCT babies and their parents at our house, it was hilarious to watch how excited she was to show off all her toys to the other babies. Four teeth on the top now, still two on the bottom.


    THREE weeks till the big important 52. I can't believe that this time last year, I couldn't find a comfortable position to sit in with an oversized belly, as well as speed-waddling in and out the bathroom for having my bladder constantly prodded and getting high from sniffing red wine which I only dared to dream of on a daily basis. A year later and we have a dream-boat of a love-bug with seven teeth, one pony-tail, a great appetite and giggles for days. The main thing to report this week is that now instead of spotting every teeny tiny bit of crumb or fluff on the floor and putting it straight into her mouth, she carefully picks it up, inspects it closely and brings it to me! Such a thoughtful little sharing cleaning lady. #mamasgirl


    A very happy karate heel click to represent us taking our first steps this week! On Christmas Eve, Lake made 5 steps, then 3, then 4 more, so we called it the Christmas miracle. Though it was already four days ago and I've seen her take more and more steps each day, I still can't get over the sight of my little human walking. It's the most special feeling within her progress I've experienced to date (apart from maybe her giving me kisses- I'll never ever get over that!). Baby's first Christmas has been and gone; and it's so crazy to think that the next time I'll post the #LakeWeekly update would be the second to last plus it will no longer be THIS year! Happy 2017 everyone


    We are 51 weeks young today and I figured it's about time #LakeWeekly featured the star in her daily getup. This outfit is quite literally what she's worn every single day since London cooled down! It consists of layers of warm woolly jumpers mostly from Nana Elena in Ecuador or hand knitted by Gran Adele in NZ, an overcoat from her Auntie Alissa, jeans over stockings from Auntie Saskia, cutie cute sneakers from my fellow IIN graduate Dani and a hat suitable for the day's temperature. She always loves seeing her pink coat and knows exactly what it means when I get it out. Lots of teeth on the verge of coming through (that 'finger chewing' has been the signature look of the week), more and more steps on her own, but the highlight of the week has been finally figuring out how to suck through a straw and not only hold her very own bottle, but drink a whole 200ml of water through it each day! It might seem like a small feat, though definitely not for us! Getting Lake to drink water has been a daily struggle, I tried every bottle, cup, mug, glass, you name it! Even glass straws, which I'd cover with my thumb to trap water in, bring to her mouth and release. Unless the trapped liquid was coconut water or green juice, she would literally scream and squirm her way out of my arms before any water got into her mouth. So weird. Well, weird no more! It seems that now she knows how to help herself to all the water she needs, when she needs it, she is drinking enough to make up for all the months and months of going without. And it's the most adorable sight watching your baby standing up, sipping on a bottle of water which she is holding herself with both hands, looking at you and going 'nnnyum' (her word for everything delicious).


    Fun quiz: did the fox shrink or did this bebe double in size since DAY 1?
    Oh my, the day is almost over but I'm still processing the fact that this little girl has been in our lives for 52 weeks. I've been feeling a tad emotional about this final rainbow blankie photo rolling round and I think it rubbed off on Lake, as she simply wasn't interested in laying down or smiling but especially not both at the same time! It took us 2 days, 3 people, 80+ shots (mostly of her side or back) and a whole lot of fun breaks to keep the model enthusiastically content.
    Amazingly this angel's 52 week bday falls on a very special day: 11/1/1! It is the 11th day of the 1st month of 1 Universal Year (in numerology when you add up 2017, you get 1). It's a day of manifesting, making big wishes and important decisions. It's also the day I finished my final Clear Out and cleanup of my cafe baby, ready for demolition tomorrow. It's been a VERY important day indeed. Oh and to top off all the numerical excitement, Lake turns 1 on a lucky Friday 13th! Lucky Lake.
    We adjusted the cot base to its deepest setting this week and got her a scooter with seat which she loves to use for walking (perhaps this being the reason she decided to take a week off walking on her own).
    #LakeWeekly #LuckyLake #LakeMaher Next up: #LakeMonthly
    Fun quiz: did the fox shrink or did this bebe double in size since DAY 1?
    Oh my, the day is almost over but I'm still processing the fact that this little girl has been in our lives for 52 weeks. I've been feeling a tad emotional about this final rainbow blankie photo rolling round and I think it rubbed off on Lake, as she simply wasn't interested in laying down or smiling but especially not both at the same time! It took us 2 days, 3 people, 80+ shots (mostly of her side or back) and a whole lot of fun breaks to keep the model enthusiastically content.
    Amazingly this angel's 52 week bday falls on a very special day: 11/1/1! It is the 11th day of the 1st month of 1 Universal Year (in numerology when you add up 2017, you get 1). It's a day of manifesting, making big wishes and important decisions. It's also the day I finished my final Clear Out and cleanup of my cafe baby, ready for demolition tomorrow. It's been a VERY important day indeed. Oh and to top off all the numerical excitement, Lake turns 1 on a lucky Friday 13th! Lucky Lake.
    We adjusted the cot base to its deepest setting this week and got her a scooter with seat which she loves to use for walking (perhaps this being the reason she decided to take a week off walking on her own).
    #LakeWeekly #LuckyLake #LakeMaher Next up: #LakeMonthly


    Day 1 vs Week 52




    Healthy toddler diaries - the travel edition - 17 months

    Healthy toddler diaries - the travel edition - 17 months

    I was so nervous posting the last video of what I feed Lake in a day, because as you would've seen here, it revealed why I'm not bringing her up fully vegan.

    Although I'm the biggest advocate for plant-based living that I know, I never actually stated in all of my years of blogging that I am 100% vegan or 100% raw for that matter myself.

    But, since my blog was called 'Better Raw', the general perception was that there is no way my diet can be anything but...

    I knew that when posting the video, a few people might react negatively to the news and I mentally prepared to say goodbye to a lot of subscribers.

    Knowing that the most important thing to me is the health of my family and being authentic, I felt comfortable showing the world how I prepare my child her eggs 3-4 times per week, because not only have I done a mad amount of research around this topic, I also didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea and to keep following my posts believing they were following a strictly vegan mother.

    As anticipated, some words no one wants to hear came my way.
    As anticipated, some people unsubscribed and unfollowed.

    To my shock however, the support and words of encouragement flooded in overwhelming volumes.  

    The amount of emails, comments and love that came our way brought me to tears.

    For the millionth time in my life, the gratitude I felt towards this community was too much to bear.

    Thank you for sticking around and for letting me speak my truth. I literally feel like it is YOU that I write to every time I blog. So, thank you for that.

    I made a new video (almost 5 months ago now, but only just found time to edit it) and it's now up on YouTube!

    It's the TRAVEL EDITION of "Healthy Toddler Diaries- What I feed my 17 months old in a day".

    Check it out below or keep scrolling for the menu and a whole lot of handy links that take you directly to products and articles I mention in the vid...



    Here's what's on the menu...

    Millet milk & Probiotics

    Fruit salad, or 
    Free range egg omelette


    Hummus plus Rice & Veg stuffed peppers, or 
    Baked aubergine

    Water & Green smoothie, or
    Homemade raw seed & fruit bars, or
    Dates & prunes, or
    Plain avocado, or
    Toasted nori crisps

    Handy links in order of appearance on video…


    Millet milk: http://amzn.to/2z7pdBI

    OptiBac probiotics: http://amzn.to/2A5mM0T

    Previous video on why egg yolks not egg whites: https://tanyasliving.com/blogs/tanyas-blog/why-my-child-isnt-vegan-what-i-feed-my-16-months-old-in-a-day-video

    What is dowsing: https://tanyasliving.com/blogs/tanyas-blog/what-is-dowsing-and-what-do-i-use-it-for

    Ella’s Kitchen: http://amzn.to/2xHzQHX

    Corfu Imperial Resort: http://www.corfuimperial.com

    Muesli bars from seeds and strawberry powder recipe: https://tanyasliving.com/blogs/tanyas-blog/why-my-child-isnt-vegan-what-i-feed-my-16-months-old-in-a-day-video

    Tribest’s Personal Blender: http://amzn.to/2A30TyV

    Udo’s Choice Beyond Greens: http://amzn.to/2zUxCps

    Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen article: https://tanyasliving.com/blogs/tanyas-blog/dirty-dozen-clean-15-clean-and-mean-18-when-to-buy-organic

    Clearspring’s Seaveg Crispies: http://amzn.to/2A4UX8M

    Neal’s Yard Remedies Sunlotion: http://amzn.to/2iR89Kp

    Raw Cheezecakes to order: https://tanyasliving.com/collections/all


    Thank you.
    I love you.
    You are the best.

    P.S. Don't worry, I'm not going all carnivorous on you, it's only plants and eggs that we're talking here. Mostly plants though.