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1. You make Dooyoo your homepage. 2. When shopping you buy products you've never bought before just so you can try them and write an opinion on Dooyoo. 3. During converations you start mentally rating friends opinions as Very Useful, Not Useful etc. 4. You dream about Dooyoo. 5. After three hours on the internet Dooyoo is the only page you've looked at. 6. You start using phrases like 'I'll just read/rate one more then I'll go to bed'. 7. When not on Dooyoo you're talking about Dooyoo on one of the many Dooyoo clubs/messageboards. 8. You can no longer write 'do' or 'you' without spelling them 'doo' and 'yoo'. 9. You realise that even if Dooyoo stopped paying and actually started charging you to write opinions you wouldn't stop. 10. You've bought the T-shirt. These are just some of the signs of Dooyoo addiction, there are probably more. If you are displaying one or more of the above symptoms you are probably a Dooyoo addict. I was moved to warn others of the signs of Dooyoo addiction after dreaming that Dooyoo existed as a large building where you could walk in and out of rooms which are separated into catagories and discuss your opinions with real people. My name is Sarah and I am a Dooyoo Addict.
I hate Christmas, it's my second least favourite day of the year after New Year's Eve. There are a million reasons why, the commercialism, the hypocrisy of a non-religious person celebrating a religious holiday, annoying songs, bad christmas comedy specials etc etc... But there are two main reasons why I hate this time of year. Firstly, feeling forced to buy presents for people. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a nice, generous, giving person who loves to take time choosing a personal and meaningful present for the special people in my life. But I like to give presents when I feel like it, not when a random holiday says I have to and christmas pressures me into buying presents when I don't particularly want to and often for people I wouldn't normally buy presents for, eg grandparents. But I do it anyway or people would say I was selfish. So out I go to do my christmas shopping, only to find all the nice, normal things I might want to buy for people have been replaced with special 'christmas gifts', you know those awful gift set things that say 'I had to buy you something as it's christmas and no thought or love went into this choice whatsoever'. I hate those things!! I would rather never receive a present again in my life than get another body shop basket of smellies! Secondly, the pressure to have fun and enjoy yourself, this is also the reason why I hate New Years Eve. 'Smile, have fun, it's christmas!!' I feel under such pressure to enjoy myself in the pub on christmas eve and have a great day with the family on christmas day that I can't relax and enjoy myself! I always have a bad time and end up feeling really disappointed with myself, which is stupid, I wouldn't feel bad about not having a great day or night out any other day of the year, but this time of year I feel I have to!! My perfect Christmas was in 1998 on a tiny island off the coast of Lombok in Ind onesia, called Gili Trawangan. I was there with a group of friends I worked with in Java at the time. It's a muslim island, they don't celebrate christmas and I could completely ignore the fact that it was christmas day and have a good time. I ate pancakes for my 'christmas' dinner, lay on the beach all day, snorkeled in the beautiful, warm, blue sea and had a great night of cold beers, a good film and out to a bar till the early hours. No tree, no tacky decorations, no presents or cards, no bad songs or TV specials. There's only one public phone on the island and it wasn't working so I couldn't phone any family or friends in England which was great as I really didn't want to! I had a completely stress-free christmas because I pretended it wasn't christmas and have done it every year since. If you're like me and you don't like christmas, I highly recommend getting to a non-christian, referably hot and sunny country and just relaxing... This Christmas will be my first in England since then and my first as a mother which changes things slightly as I think it's a nice time for children but my baby will be less than 3 months old so will hardly notice. The shops are already full of all those crap gift sets and I'm already starting to feel stressed....
Ever buy books online? Think you're getting a good deal? STOP! You need to go to Bookbrain.co.uk!! Bookbrain doesn't actually sell books, what it does is searches other bookselling sites and comes up with the cheapest price it can find and provides you with a link to that site. The great thing about it is it includes postage in the price, I've bought books online a few times in the past and always been stung at the end by a huge cost for postage when I thought I was getting a good price for a book. I put in a search for my favourite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo. The first price it gives you is WHSmith Online, but that's because they sponsor bookbrain, so you ignore that price (£8.08)and go to the list below. The cheapest price for that book was £6.64, no shipping fee, from Alphabetstreet who I had never heard of before and probably never would if I hadn't gone to Bookbrain. The most expensive price was Waterstones at £9.74. If you're into books and bargains, you'll love this site. I'll never buy a book online again before checking with bookbrain first.
Dave's ESL Cafe can be found at www.eslcafe.com and is the best site for teachers and students of ESL or EFL on the internet. It is run by Dave Sperling, a well known ESL expert from California. For those who don't know ESL is English as a Second Language and EFL is English as a Foreign Language. The site is well organised and very easy to navigate. It is split into several sections: NEWS and ANNOUNCEMENTS These deal with new events and happenings in the world of ESL and on the site. Details of TESOL conferences, new sections, new books etc. ADDRESS BOOK This is usefully split into seperate sections for students, teachers, schools and publishers. You can put in your own email address and details for other people to contact you or search the address book for specific schools, students in certain areas etc. BOOK STORE In conjunction with Amazon books you can search for all kinds of books to do with teaching and learning English and order them online. CHAT CENTRAL A chat room for teachers and students of English to ask questions, swap ideas or just chat and make friends. DISCUSSION FORUMS There are seperate forums for students and teachers. The student forums are on things like learning English, English schools, hobbies, current affairs, movies etc. The teacher forums are on things like jobs, courses, teaching materials, linguistics and there are specific forums for teaching in Korea. FAQ Answers to questions all about the Cafe, it's origin and about Dave. HINT OF THE DAY A random hint that changes every day to help students improve their English. IDEA COOKBOOK Ideas from teachers all over the world on subjects such as teaching grammar, discipline, using the internet, pronunciation, private teaching etc. JOB CENTRE With pages for jobs offered, jobs wanted, a job informat ion file and everything else you need for finding a job abroad. This particularly useful for people who are teaching in one country and want to move to another, the internet is one of the only ways of finding out about job vacancies on the other side of the world. There are also photo pages, links to other ESL websites, an interactive pronunciation page for students and lots and lots of other stuff. For anyone interested in learning or teaching English this is the only place on the web you need to visit, other sites don't even come close to having as much useful information. I have been visiting this site for about three years and have got many many lesson ideas from here as well as useful information about other countries and teaching courses. I found my first job in Indonesia after it was advertised on this site and always check the job pages just in case I get itchy feet again sometime soon!
I have already written a bit about controlled crying in my opinion on the book ' Solve your child's sleep problem', I hope noone minds me expressing my opinion here too! Controlled crying is a popular method for training your baby to fall asleep alone and stay asleep all night by leaving them to cry. It works like this: 1. Put baby to bed awake. 2. Say goodnight and leave the room. 3. If baby cries, wait five minutes before entering the room. 4. 'Reassure' your baby by talking to her but don't pick her up. 5. Say goodnight and leave the room. 6. I baby cries, wait ten minutes before entering the room.... and so on, increasing the times between going in to your baby until the baby eventually falls asleep. If you have a baby you have probably heard of this method and how successful it is from the many parents who have used it and health visitors who recommend it, and you may be wondering if you should try it with your child. I would never use this method and here are my reasons why... 1. IT'S UNKIND Babies are helpless, dependant and very vulnerable, but they are people. They count on you to be cared for and when a baby cries she is trying to tell you, in the only way she can, that something is wrong and she needs you. I have an 18 year old sister with Downs Syndrome who cannot speak. She often uses crying to express herself during the night if something is wrong. If we were to ignore her and let her cry herself back to sleep instead of giving her the drink, snack or cuddle she wants, we would be accused of being cruel and probably have social services investigating us. I see no difference between that and doing it to a baby. 2. YOU'RE GIVING YOUR BABY A NEGATIVE MESSAGE. Babies can't speak, but they are intelligent people who can communicate through sounds, gestures and crying. When you ignore your baby's attempts to communicate as well as teaching your child to sleep you are teaching her that communication is a waste of time. This method works because your baby thinks 'when I cry, noone listens to me' and gives up trying to communicate. A baby who is picked up and shown affection when she cries learns to trust and feels secure, a baby who is ignored feels abandoned and powerless. 3. IT COULD BE DANGEROUS. During sleep, babies, like adults go through several sleep states, from light REM sleep to deep sleep, back and forth throughout the night. According to some studies, cot death is most likely to occur while babies are in the deepest state of sleep. Babies who are forced to sleep for long periods, therefore spending more time in very deep sleep before they are naturally ready, could be more vulnerable to cot death. Countries such as the UK and USA where contolled crying is widely used have much higher rates of cot death than countries where babies sleep with their parents and controlled crying is rarely practised, such as Japan. 4. IT COULD MAKE YOU LESS RESPONSIVE TO YOUR CHILD. A baby's cry is almost impossible to ignore. When my baby cries I want to make her stop. I believe nature designed it this way, if crying was a pleasant sound it would be easy to ignore, but it isn't because it isn't meant to be ignored. By forcing yourself to ignore your baby's cry you may eventually lose the natural sensitivity to the crying and become less responsive to your baby. It is possible that you might lose the ability to sense when something is really wrong with your baby at night. 5. CRYING IS BAD FOR BABIES. Remember the last time you cried for a long time, out of fear or distress, eventually srying yourself to sleep? How did it feel? Probably horrible, and it is no different for your baby. Babies who cry for long periods suffer physical stress - high blood pressure, tense body, increased temperature. Eventually they fall into a deep sleep, just as you or I might fall into a deep sleep afer experiencing trauma. Of course crying isn't always bad for your baby, sometimes babies need to release emotions or pain by crying, but at those times I would rather be with my baby comforting her than be the cause of the crying in the first place by placing her in a frightening or stressful situation. Having a baby is exhausting and it is very tempting to try controlled crying, especially when everyone is telling me 'it works!'. I would argue that's not the point, cutting someone's hands off to stop them stealing 'works' but is it the right thing to do? Being a parent is a 24 hour job and I'll be there for my baby 24 hours a day for as long as it takes her to naturally start sleeping through the night. My baby will only fall asleep at my breast or in my arms and many people tell me I should let her 'cry it out' and that she should learn to comfort herself with a dummy. Personally I see nothing wrong with her behaviour, sometimes it's inconvenient but I'd rather bring up a child who turns to to people for comfort and love rather than inanimate objects. I want to add that I'm in no way suggesting that anyone who has used controlled crying is a bad parent. There is a lot of pressure from experts and other parents to have a 'good' baby that sleeps through the night. I don't think there's any such thing as 'good' or 'bad' babies. All babies and parents are different and many people are perfectly happy to use this method, afterall it 'works', however, it's not for me.
I started smoking when I was about 12 at school like many kids do. I would spend my dinner money on cigarettes instead of food and by the time I left home at 18 I was regularly smoking 20 a day. Over the next few years I had a couple of half hearted attempts at giving up smoking but they never worked as I didn't actually want to give up, I just felt like I should. I knew smoking was bad for me, I'd read all the statistics, had all the 'you stink', 'its like kissing an ash tray' kind of comments, but I enjoyed smoking and didn't want to give up. In February this year I smoked my last cigarette. I didn't plan to give up, but I found I was pregnant. I didn't plan to get pregnant and when I found out the initial shock made me reach for the cigarettes, but when I stopped and thought about it I couldn't bring myself to smoke that cigarette, knowing that it wasn't just going into my own body but into the body of my tiny unborn baby too. From that day I have never smoked another cigarette. If someone had asked me a couple of weeks before if I could ever give up smoking, I would have said no way, I didn't want to and definitely didn't have the will power. Finding out I was pregnant gave me a reason to stop smoking and once I had a reason giving up was actually easy. After the initial cravings, bad moods and dying for a cigarette which went on for a few weeks it got much easier and now, 9 months later, I rarely even think about smoking and I'm so proud that I gave my baby the best start in life by giving up so early in the pregnancy. Many people ask me if I'll go back to smoking now she's born and my honest answer is I don't know. I'd like to think I won't, I wouldn't smoke in the house or around my baby and as I'm with her 24 hours a day I probably won't. I really believe giving up smoking is something you can only do if you really really want to. Getting pregnant gave me a reason to want to and so it was easy but I would never have been able to do it otherwise. All the patches, gum, hypnotherapy, acupuncture or whatever other methods in the world won't help you if you don't really want to do it or have a good enough reason to force you. I don't suggest anyone get pregnant just so you can give up smoking, but it was what helped me.
Babiesonline is a great way to show off your newborn baby to the world! Having had the pleasure of living abroad for many years in both Europe and Asia, the majority of my friends don't live in the UK. When I returned to the UK to have my baby I needed a convenient but inexpensive way of letting my friends and family around the world know that my daughter had been born. I keep in touch with most of them by email anyway, so after the birth I set up a birth announcement page at www.babiesonline.com and emailed the site address to everyone. You have the option of choosing different backgrounds and themes to your page, a piece of music and you can put whatever messages you want on the page. You can then upload up to 3 pictures to go on the main page and another 25 to go in the picture gallery. There is also a guestbook people who visit the site can sign to let you know they've been there and tell you what they think. You can change the page as often as you like and the people in your friends and family list are automatically emailed to let them know the page has been updated. You can choose whether you want your page to be public so anyone can visit it, accessed by a last name search only, or password protected so only those you give the password to can enter the site. Babiesonline is really easy to use, even people who aren't very good with computers and usually wouldn't have a clue how to set up a home page and upload photos can use this site. It takes you through everything step by step and is very simple to understand. I love this site and would definately recommend any pregnant or new mother to get a page now and start sharing your gorgeous little babies with the rest of the world!
When you get pregnant your boobs get bigger, then you start breastfeeding and they get even bigger still. 'Great', some women say... 'Fantastic', their husbands grin... 'hmmmm', I was thinking... What about those women, who, like me, already have large breasts? Before I got pregnant I was a 32 F and went up to a G cup during my pregnancy. Most high street stores such as M & S, Mothercare and Boots don't make bras in these sizes but luckily larger department stores do, so I went along, got measured and bought myself a couple of enormous, unnattractive but practical and comfortable nursing bras a couple of weeks before my baby was due, like they tell you to. Baby was born, milk came in and my bras no longer fit. The cups are way too small but the bras are much too big around the back thanks to the assisstant who measured me not taking the fact that my bump was going to disappear into account. So yesterday I went down to John Lewis to get measured properly and get myself some more enormous, unnatractive but practical and comfortable nursing bras. The assistant measured me and went to get a bra for me to try on... She came back with the biggest thing you've ever seen in your life, I looked at the label, 34 J, yes that says J! I didn't even know they did bras in that size... I tried it on... Too small!!! My boobs were still popping out the top and sides! I told the assistant and she broke the bad news... that's as big as they get. None of the companies that make nursing bras have started making a K cup yet, there's just no demand for it... Yes there is! I'm demanding it! Surely I can't be the only woman in Britain who has a small frame (hence can't go bigger than 34) but huge boobs!?! There must be many women walking around wearing bras that are too small for them which when you're breastfeeding is neither c omfortable nor good for your milk supply. I bought the 34 J bra anyway, it's better than nothing, but if anyone knows of a place that makes bigger bras than that, let me know please!! Shame on the bra companies for not catering for the women who really need their products the most, the ones with the biggest boobs!
I was given a trial pack of tesco ultra dry nappies and thought I'd give them a go. I'd originally started out on pampers, didn't like them so switched to huggies which I liked. The tesco nappies were better than huggies! They have a really thick elasticated waist band at the back, which is what I really needed, no more leaky poo up the back of the nappy onto my baby's clothes!! They are the only nappy I've tried that have never leaked any poo, fantastic! At only £3.79 thay're much cheaper than other nappies and, for my baby, much better. It's tescos own for me from now on...
As I sit here at my computer, my baby is sleeping soundly snug and secure in her baby bjorn carrier, resting her head on my comfy breast and listening to my heartbeat that must be so familiar to her after nine months in the womb. Go to any part of the world that has not yet been completely taken over by the commercial side of having a baby where prams and bottles rule and you will see baby carriers in their various forms as a normal way of life. From Asia to Africa to South America, Indians to Eskimos, on the front, back or side, women carrying their babies in the safest and most natural way - wearing them. Thankfully they're making a comeback in Europe, whether you are trying to get back to a more instinctive and natural way or parenting or just like the idea of them, baby carriers are great! The baby bjorn carrier is a stylish, comfortable and easy to use carrier. The front pouch detaches so that it is easy to get baby out when she's sleeping, but the safety catches on the buttons mean they can't come undone accidently and baby can't fall out. Her head is well supported by the front section which folds down so that as baby gets older she can be front facing and see where she's going. The straps are thick and wide so don't pull too much on your shoulders. Best of all - not only can you get a variety of different colours, it also comes in denim! I use my carrier all the time, my baby loves to be carried round the house while I'm doing things, she's close to me but I have 2 hands free. And it's so easy when we go out, no heavy pram or push chair to get up and down steps or in and out of the car. At £40, the baby bjorn is one of the most expensive carriers on the market, but you get what you pay for. I looked at many of the cheaper ones and they just weren't the same quality, it's worth paying the extra for a really good carrier.
Ideally I would have liked a homebirth for my first baby, I liked the idea of it and have a close friend who had a water birth at home earlier this year and it was a very positive experience for her. However, having returned from abroad to have the baby and as I was staying with my parents, I didn't even have a home of my own and it's not really the kind of thing you can do at someone elses house so it had to be a hospital birth. I had a long and quite hard labour, the biggest problem being that everytime I had a contraction I was sick which after 12 hours left me so exhausted I was almost passing out. I feel that if I'd been in my own place and been able to have my own things around me I would have coped much better. I would have loved to have been able to have a huge jug of water from my own kitchen to drink after being sick, something soft to blow my nose on and be able to be sick into my own toilet! Instead I had to press a button, call a midwife and be brought a small plastic cup full of water which I exchanged for my paper bowl full of vomit and blew my nose on a hard paper towel! So many different midwives saw me during labour that although they were all doing a great job I felt like the care was quite impersonal. Because I was being sick they insisted on monitoring me every half an hour so everytime I found a comfortable position they had me back on the bed strapped up to a machine. Basically my labour seemed to get more and more out of my control and I ended up having to have a forceps delivery, on my back, legs in stirrups, I felt like the baby was being extracted from me instead of me pushing her out and I'd become a patient instead of a pregnant woman. I really feel that if I'd had a home birth it would have been very different and i would have been able to stay in control of what was happening to me more as I would have been more relaxed and happy in my own environment. Maybe I'm wrong but if I ever have ano ther baby I'll give it a try, no more hospital births for me if I can help it!
I've never tried any other disposable knickers, maybe they're all like it, but tescos disposable maternity knickers must have been designed by a child!! I bought two packs a few weeks before my baby was due, for use while I was in hospital having my baby. Luckily I tried them on before the big day arrived! I'm a size 14 and yes i put on a bit of weight while I was pregnant but not that much and thought size 14 - 16 would be fine. They were a struggle to get over my thighs and when I did, hardly covered my bum!! I presumed I must have put on a lot more weight than I thought I had so reluctantly went out and bought some more, in the biggest size they had, 18 - 20. Got home, tried them on... same problem! It wasn't me, it was the design! The main problem with them is there is almost no difference bewteen the back and the front, so they're baggy around the front and hardly cover your bum at the back. Anyone with half a brain knows a pair of knickers needs more material at the back than the front! I used them anyway and they were useful. I think they're a great idea for the first few days after you have a baby when you're bleeding heavily and don't want to be worrying about doing washing. They were useful but they weren't comfortable and I feel sorry for all those women who may not have realised how small they are and bought their usual size, only to find out in the hospital that they were far too small. If you're buying disposable knickers, buy big!!
The first time you bath your new born baby is always a scary time for a new mum. Baby is wiggling and almost certainly screaming while you try to stop her going under the water with one hand and wash her with the other. You're tense and nervous which makes baby tense and nervous and noone has a good time! Thankfully I only went through that once, my Daphne Thermobaby bath seat arrived the very next day from PHP and has made bath time a happy time in my house. The bath seat attaches to the bottom of a normal bath or baby bath with suction caps so it can't slip. The seat is made of plastic and is shaped so the baby sits in it, tilted back, her body and head supported and her arms and legs free to splash in the water. At first I thought it looked slightly uncomfortable but my baby loved it from the first time she sat in it. It has an adjustable piece where she sits so it 'grows' with the baby and can be used up to about 7 months. The baby is totally safe without needing support from you so both hands are free to wash and play with the baby. It costs about £13 and I've only seen it in catalogues but it appears in many including Jojomamanbebe, blooming marvelous and php. I'm so glad I bought this bath seat, my baby is now 17 days old and has not cried in the bath since that very first time, in fact I think she'd happily sit in it all day!
I usually use terries for my newborn but put her in a disposable at night and when we go out. I tried pampers and didn't like them so I switched to huggies and they're so much better. They're much softer and feel less like paper so they don't leave marks around my baby's bum. The thicker waist band means poo doesn't squirt out the top and all over her clothes which was my main criticism with pampers. Generally I find they fit my baby much better, she seems more comfortable and I'm happier not having to change all her clothes every time she does a poo!
The phrase 'Single Parent' usually throws up images of irresponsible teenagers who don't know who the father of their child is and other negative stereotypes, most single parents I know are nothing like that, me included. I spent the last three years living and working abroad where I had a boyfriend. When I got pregnant I decided to return to England to have the baby, my boyfriend couldn't come with me, so although we're still together, we're not together, so technically right now I'm a single mum. When I was deciding whether or not to come back to England and go through the pregnancy, birth and raising a small baby alone I thought about all the practical kinds of things, could I afford it? Where would I live? What would I need to buy? Could i give the baby all it needed? Could I cope with a baby alone? Those were the easy things, what I didn't realise is how hard it would be emotionally. Going through a pregnancy, birth and having a small baby alone can be a very lonely time. The waiting room at the hospital is full of pregnant couples, antenatal classes are full of couples, all the books talk about the role of the father. It was so hard going through such an emotional time with noone to share the happy or sad moments with, knowing that there was noone else there who could put their hand on my bump and feel the same way I did when the baby kicked. After 18 hours of labour there was no man to hold my hand and tell me he loved me, to share that magical moment and love that baby as much as I do. I can give my baby all that she wants and needs and I have more than enough love for her. Practically, bringing up a baby alone is not that difficult, it gets frustrating when you have no husband to get up for a change during the night or to answer the door while you're bathing the baby but those aren't the hard things, it's how lonely it makes you feel that's hard, surrounded by happy couples, with a be autiful baby but noone to share it with. Appreciate your partner, go now and give him or her a big kiss and a hug and say thankyou, because however much of a pain in the arse he or she may be at times, be grateful you have someone to share your children with and there's someone else who loves tham as much as you do.