Thursday, 18 July 2013

Teeth too soon

We have had a couple if grumpy days lately with my baby boy, he is normally so placid and happy but he is suffering with his little teeth. At just under 4 months he started getting really fussy, trying to chew everything and shouting and drooling a lot! I couldn't see anything on his gums but the signs were all there so in the end I got some teething gel for him. It was only when rubbing it on his guns I felt the tooth, right round the back at the bottom. 

Babies normally get the bottom front teeth first so it was really strange and explained him being out of character. I got granny to check and she confirmed it's a molar! A few people have said they think I should take him to the doctors as they have never heard if such a thing.

Does anybody have similar experiences? Does it mean anything? And what can I do to help him? The pain seems to last a couple of days, then ease off for a few days before coming back again. I have tried cooled teethers, calpol, baby neurogenic, teething gel... nothing seems to make much difference. He has had tears streaming down his face it's terrible, he seems to young for it all. A friend has suggested an amber anklet, any other tips?

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Warning: this video made me blub (and smile)!

Well I thought since having my baby my emotions had evened out a bit. I was all over the place during those 9 months, crying for any old reason – whilst watching wildlife programs, if I couldn't find something around the house, and most embarrassingly reading the newspaper whilst traveling the tube.

But now it's over I'm feeling completely level headed, completely calm, and completely back to normal right? Maybe not... maybe being a Mum changes you in a way that you just can't undo? I think it has, because when I watched this advert I have to admit I completely welled up!

Looking after my babies has made me sentimental and the fantastic sentiment of this video got me right there. It isn't a sad video at all, it's actually really up beat, great fun and I loved it. I was, in fact, laughing away watching it before I got all soppy – well worth a watch and a smile.

p.s. please let me know if it left you (just a teeny tad) emotional at the end too...

Please note I have received a small incentive to feature this video, but I did it because I liked it and all thoughts are my own!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Little green fingers sent us an amazing children's gardening set to give us a new burst of enthusiasm for the garden and help us join in the Britmums challenge. The minute my daughter opened the parcel she was sooo excited about getting out in the garden and planting her new seeds! This post is an entry for BritMums’ #KidsGrowWild Challenge. 

So here it is – our gardening story.
This was pretty much the case when we moved into our new build – we lovingly called it "our blank canvas"! One month later our first baby was born and together, little by little, on a small budget, we made it our own. At about 40m2 our garden is compact but we have tried to make the most of it and it works. I love it, my daughter loves it and Daddy is quite proud as he did most of the work!

So let us show you around... little ones have put their stamp on things wherever you look!

My little ones love the garden. Baby boy loves to sit under the bamboo with Mummy and watch the leaves blow in the wind, and to watch the windmills spin. My little girl loves chasing bubbles, building tunnels for Wiggly Woo in the stones, making fairy gardens, hiding dinosaurs in the flowers beds and making stone animals. This one is a crocodile!

And of course my daughter loves helping with the gardening and she couldn't wait any longer to plant her new seeds. We don't have much flower bed space so we decided to use pots and luckily found some round the side of the house looking sorry for themselves.

She got on her gloves and forked the soil and pulled out the old weeds that had been growing in the pots.

Then we explored the seeds we had been sent. There was a mixed packet (she has named everything flowers), sunflowers and some pansies.

She was fascinated by the seeds and their different shapes. We spent a long time looking at them and deciding what they looked like!

Squiggle then sprinkled the pansy and the 'everything' seeds in their pots and covered them over with soil. Then she carefully planted a couple of the sun flower seeds in the last pot.

Last year we planted sunflowers but we started them off on the windowsill in the kitchen. They are a great thing for children to grow as they shoot up really quickly, so they can almost watch them grow in front of them. We had 3 sunflowers last year, so Squiggle, Daddy and I chose one each and had a sunflower race. It was great fun, and of course, she won! I hope these do as well after starting them outside.

Once the seeds were planted I cut out the pictures from the packets for her and sticking them to some lollipop sticks she stuck them in as labels.

A sure way to get any child interested in the garden is to get them a watering can. Once she had planted the seeds my daughter just couldn't wait to get watering. She loves being allowed to fill it up herself in the sink and carry it through the house (with mummy following behind with the mop). She watered all her pots well and instantly asked when they would start growing. Gardening is a great life lesson in patience for a 3 year old.
One of the reasons my little girl was so keen to get planting is that I promised she could decorate the boring old pots. We took a trip to the DIY shop and I let her choose 3 sample pots of emulsion paint. At about £1.50 each it is good value and you even get a brush in the lid so it's pretty hassle free.

Mess and paint in the sunshine, what's not to love? She got to work planning and painting and soon our garden was full of smiles and laughter... and her legs were caked in blue paint! We have had a pit of rain since painting them and I'm pleased to say they haven't run. She took so much care and pride in painting them that I was terrified we would come down one morning to find pink puddles on the grass.

She has placed her pots with pride in front of her Wendy house, so that it now has it's own, special, vibrant garden. Every morning she is straight in the garden in her pyjamas to check their progress, so please don't let us down flowers! x


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A Special Father's Day Gift

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What did you do this Father's Day? We had a lovely day and I think Daddy was really pleased with his present this year – we made him a story book! My daughter absolutely loves stories, both reading and making them up, so it seemed the perfect idea!

She made the whole story up herself, I wrote the words she thought of, and she drew all the pictures. It was so cute and very funny, one to keep forever. Perhaps one day when she is the next Julia Donaldson I can sell it on eBay...?!

Weetabix on the Go!

We were kindly sent some new Weetabix on the go biscuits to try out and they have been going down a treat! Weetabix is a big favourite in our house with both adults and children, it's a name I trust and so I am always more than willing to give their new products a go.

The biscuits are really yummy – like Weetabix they have a savoury, wholesome feel to them but are delicious flavours with a hint of sweetness... just sweet enough I would say. I hate to be bombarded with sugar at breakfast time! The flavours we tried were 'fruit & fibre' and 'apple with a hint of cinnamon', both were lovely and I would be hard pushed to choose a favourite. Also available are 'milk & cereals' which, having tasted these, I would love to try.

Before baby number 2 appeared a few months back and I was a working mum, I was out the door at 6.45 four days a week. Breakfast on the go was a concept I was very familiar with and I would have happily have popped these in my bag for the journey or kept a packet on my desk for emergencies! 

They come in packs of four and a serving of four biscuits provides all the fibre, vitamins and minerals of two Weetabix. They are quite filling though, which is a really great thing, but you may struggle to eat four all in one sitting! If you are on the go you don't really have anywhere to store the leftovers, perfect however if you have people to share them with!

My three year old is a massive fan of them... after she has her bowl of Weetabix and toast in the morning she has started asking for a "weetabiscuit" now! Since she is not officially "on the go" I have said no but I have started giving her one as an 11 o'clock snack or for when she gets home from nursery. They are a great, wholesome, tasty treat to have on hand and she really loves them! Well worth a try!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Bargain boasters!!

I have come to realise I am what I can only label as a 'bargain boaster' - are you? I'm sure you are supposed to be proud of having expensive items and money to splash about but I am all about the bargains. I shop around, I compare home insurance, car insurance, internet deals, look for cash back at every opportunity and have a wallet full of points cards.

If somebody tells me they like my dress I proudly tell them the bargain price I purchased it for. Then I kick myself inside, why did I do that?? I just can't help myself. In fact, if I have payed full price for something I always round down the price when telling people about it.

Am I the only one that does this? If I told you I loved your new table and chairs would you automatically tell me the fantastic deal you had got for or would you simply say "thank you"?!

I think I get it from my Nana, she will call me up to let me know my cousin brought a packet of socks for £2 somewhere and I should do the same.

I love people to share there best money saving tips with me, you have to make your money stretch these days, so I'm always glad of suggestions. If you want to chat about bargains... comment me, tweet me, facebook me... I'm your girl!

I have received a small incentive to write this post but it is all my own thoughts and words!

Gadget Ga Ga Post 3 – Tommee Tippee Electric Breast Pump

Tommee Tippee very kindly sent me an electric breast pump to try out. Again, after using it, I have found this is something I wish I had invested in with my daughter. I purchased a hand pump when I was pregnant with her and to be honest it was such hard work I soon abandoned it and substituted her with formula when I had too. Breast feeding was not plain sailing with her and the first few weeks was all about expressing and formula and just trying to get her to eat! We got there in the end but this time I wanted to be ready. As it happened my little man was a whole different story and took to breast feeding really well, perhaps this is more the case with second babies? He was wide awake, alert and ready to go so after trying the pump out once I decided not to jinx the easy feeds and leave it for a couple of months which is why it has taken me so long to review!

Once we were more in the swing of things I gave expressing more of a go and have found the pump fantastic as it opens your options and gives you some freedom! Evenings are when everything starts to go a bit manic in our house – my 3 year old is tired and both kiddies need baths... 3 year old wants a story and baby cries through it as he's getting tired. It is the one point of the day I have one of those silent cream moments! My little girl has been such a superstar though and not complained about the new baby at all and so it is really important to me that she still gets tucked in by mummy and has her lullaby, just like she used to. The pump means I can have a bottle ready for Daddy to take over with baby and for a few minutes she gets me all to herself again!

The pump is really easy to use... you simply start off on the low setting to encourage the milk to release and then I tend to gradually increase the speed. I haven't really got into storing or freezing the milk, I just have 2 Tommee Tippee bottles and express straight into them. It can seem like a slow process but it takes about the same time as a feed and if I do it at the same time everyday it helps. The pump comes with everything you need and is actually very good value (especially if you consider the price of formula). A first bottle and teat is included and you also get a microwaveable steriliser which fits everything you need in. After I first sterilised the parts it looked like an impossible puzzle but it was actually very easy to put back together.

One of the complaints I have heard about this product is that it is quite noisy but it is not something that bothers me. Yes it makes a noise but it is not overly loud and I have used it while the family is watching television together and not disturbed anybody. I think for the price you pay you are getting good value for money. I have found it very comfortable to use – the closer to nature claim seems to stand true – it is a funny sensation at first and you do feel a bit silly but it doesn't hurt and you can even do it whilst multitasking at reading your toddler a story!

My little baby boy blue is completely fussy (typical man) and refuses to take anyd formula milk so I can see myself breastfeeding for a lot longer this time around. As I need to get out more and even get back to work I can see this pump being a godsend and great to have in the house!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Gadget Ga Ga post 2 - Tommee Tippee Nappy Disposal System

Once again with my first baby I had decided a nappy bin was an unnecessary expense - surely it's just an ordinary bin and you just put the nappies straight out anyway?

Well no! I did try but when you have a hundred things to think about and a crying baby you don't get round to it. My sister brought one of these bins for her baby and I found myself coming round to the idea.

So this time around my mother in law very kindly surprised us with the Tommee Tippee Sangenic Nappy Disposal System and it is fantastic!

You buy special nappy sack cartridges which fit within the bin, they are easy to fit, you just tie a knot in one end of the sack and hook it under. Then every time you have a dirty nappy, you pop it in, twist the handle round do the nappy is tied up, then push the lid down (which pushes the nappy in to the bin). The fragranced bags mean there is no build up of smell and there nappies are instantly tucked out of sight. I have found I have to empty it just over once a week. It is quite a funny sight when you pull out the string of nappies! I tend to tip them straight into a bin bag and take that straight out.

It is such a neat solution I wish I had had one before! The only downside is that you have to buy the cartridges. I haven't actually brought one yet though - our bin came in a value back with a stash of them and after 3 months I still have 1 roll left. I probably use about 2 rolls a month so they seem to last quite well and I have been really pleased!

please note I have received no incentive to write this review, I just wanted to share my thoughts!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Gadget ga ga post 1: Gro-swaddle blanket

The Gro-swaddle blanket from the gro company was one of my favourite things I had for my newborn this time around. We just had blankets for my daughter which was fine but I struggled with the swaddling when we brought her home. A friend told me you have to think of it like you're wrapping a fajita which made me laugh... I did used to work in a Mexican restaurant but even those credentials didn't help me!

The swaddling blanket is the easiest thing in the world, you lie your baby down in the middle of the blanket and then there a bottom section you simply fold up over them. You then fold over the sides – first the shorter side, and then wrap over the long side. It is so simple and my baby boy had many a snug sleep in his. I know a lot of people struggle with swaddling, it is great for the baby to feel secure but I could just never manage it. The Gro blanket gave me personally some peace of mind putting my little one down for a sleep and I was always gutted when it had to go in the wash! I had read reviews before I got one and a common complaint had been that the fabric was too stretchy, personally I couldn't see how this was a problem and absolutely loved mine.

It came in a really cute pattern too! It was great for the first couple of months and we have now moved on to sleeping bags. It would be a fantastic baby shower gift for somebody to have ready for their newborn.

NB I have not been payed or sent this item to review, I just love it and wanted to share!

Monday, 13 May 2013

First swim

Today I took my baby boy blue to his first swimming lesson. I was so so lucky to win a years supply of water babies classes, such a fantastic prize! With the second child I don't really have time or money to take him to as many groups so this is fantastic as it is going to be our thing we do the two of us!

I was nervous because he is only 9 weeks but he was allowed to start as he is over 12lb in weight. I was worried he was too young to start but if I didn't take this class I would have been waiting until September and my maternity leave would be slipping away! So off we went and I'm glad we did. It was a really enjoyable bonding experience, after a slight yelp after getting in the water we made it through the class without tears. We bobbed up and down, spun around, splashed and he even had a quick underwater dip. He smiled and relaxed and looked at me as if to say "what on earth is going on here mummy?"

I'm sure we will have our share of less smooth lessons as we go along but I am really looking forward to the next lesson now.

I didn't take my daughter for lessons as they were so expensive but did take her to the pool regularly. She is really confident in water and has so much fun but doesn't really know how to swim or take interest in listening to instructions. I'm hoping these lessons will be a good starting block to getting him swimming and showing me how to help and teach him!

LolliBop Is Coming

I was very excited to receive a press release about LolliBop 2013. We have been for the last 2 years (in rain and shine) and had an absolute ball!

Check out our post after our fabulous day last year:

This year sound set to be bigger and better than ever, and is moving venue to the Olympic Park. The 'Big Bash for Little People' is taking place on August 16-18. Here's a glimpse into what you might find at this years festival (as taken from their press release):

LolliBop Live – playing host to some of the biggest names in kids entertainment, with live music and performances from stars of stage and screen.  Headliners coming soon…

Lollipalladiam - is a live theatre tent showcasing performances from pioneering and internationally renowned companies and artists.

The LolliBop Kitchen where creative little cooks will have the chance to learn new skills from live demonstrations and interactive workshops.

Tween Town will host a number of activities including street dance, hula-hoop, and beat-box workshops.

Imagination Stations - A hub of creativity with lots of mess and mayhem thrown in! From clay modeling, puppet making, customised fashion workshops, balloon modeling, graffiti painting, face painting and much more

Science Zone - Make a rocket, hold a dry ice cube, or get messy with gooey slime in the LolliBop lab - brimming with exploding experiments for pint sized guests to try!

Run wild and have fun in the LolliSports area.  With activities including retro favorites like swingball, hula-hoop and frisbee to football tournaments and sports day style races.

The pre-school 3ft & Under area is also returning, along with theEnchanted Forest and The Village Green with live music, craft stalls and street theatre, making it an ideal spot for a picnic.

Extensive covered buggy parks, baby changing and breast-feeding areas will be available.

For more tickets and more information:


Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

2 months today

Never could a baby be so loveable.

He's a chatterbox mimicking sounds and even joining in conversations when you are talking to somebody else.

Almost always has a welcoming smile for you, except when very hungry.

Will sit in his chair patiently waiting while his sister and I have breakfast, hang washing out, get dressed!

Hates his jungle play mat as he seems to feel trapped under all the leaves.

Loves his sisters old pink play mat.

Is already in 3-6 month clothes.

Tries to crawl over my shoulder to get back in the bath - he loves his bath!

Laughs at stripes and his sister spinning round and round.

Loves her reading him one story and then shouts for help (she would happily read him 20).

Loves his nappy mat and staring at the spot lights, which is lucky as we spend a lot of time there.

Spent his 2 month birthday getting immunised (didn't like that so much).

He is so handsome and adorable and I can just tell he has the nicest of nature.

(written by a gushing mum x)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Pizza movie night! Chicago Town Deep Dish Hot Dog Pizzas

At the end of a busy week my daughter and I often reach Friday and decide to snuggle up and have a movie night while we wait for Daddy get home to start the weekend.

We had some Chicago Town Deep Dish Pizzas to try out with our movie this Friday, and boy they were good! I have to admit I am usually more of a thin crust girl but these are delicious. They are not too stodgy and packed to the edges with topping. This is great for kids as they tend to leave the crusts (and that can sometimes mean half the pizza). They are a nice size and you can really have one each. We tried the limited addition hot dog flavour which was scrummy and full of flavour. We also had to try the ham and pineapple as its my daughters favourite!

Mmmmm American style yumminess!
They were delicious baked in the oven but can also be done in the microwave... which was very handy for my other half when he got in late and had to fend for himself!

A great family treat to keep stocked in the freezer, thanks Chicago town was a good start to our bank holiday weekend!!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Gadget Ga Ga

I have done things backwards, with my first child I was all about the basics as I was determined not to waste my or anyone else's money on baby gadgetry that you just don't need.

This time I have felt a bit differently, I already had the basics and have let people buy things that, actually, I realised could come in a little bit handy.

So over the next week I am going gadget ga ga and am going to blog about the contraptions and products that have actually made life a bit easier. If you have reviewed any of the products I mention feel free to leave links as I'm sure people like more than one opinion!

My first post will be the gro swaddling blanket. Coming up I have nappy bags, bins, breast pumps, chairs and slings so please check back and have a read!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Super speedy craft, bottle top bug!

Well this morning we managed to squeeze in a super speedy craft, as well as wash the dishes and hang out the washing during babies quick nap! I like to try and do something with my 3 year old while he's having a sleep so this is what we did...

She has since been playing hide and seek with him in the garden - 15 minutes well spent! X

Monday, 22 April 2013

Newborns... Vertbaudet style!

With the arrival of our baby boy we were so lucky again with gorgeous gifts from friends and family. Our little boy is well kitted out for a couple of months and I have picked up some great gift ideas for a few expectant mums I know!

One of my favourites was a newborn set sent to us from Vertbaudet. I found that actually we had hardly any newborn clothes ready for him as people tend to buy a size or two up, so this outfit was a life saver!

The set came in a cute little bag and contained a long sleeved vest, hat and baby grow. We were sent the set in yellow which was lovely as everything else he owns is blue blue blue! It's great if you want to buy before you know what your having as it could suit boy or girl. I often think unisex clothes are pretty boring but this is gorgeous and I would happily buy it in advance.

The clothes are lovely quality and the grow is nice and thick, so it has been my outfit of choice to keep baby snug when out and aboute. One of my favourite things about it is the design of the vest, it crosses over and buttons at the side (as well as the bottom) so is really easy to get on and off. Newborn babies are so delicate and I loved not having to try and get it over his head and struggle getting his arms in, especially when it's long sleeved - so much easier!

So what do you think of my little model? I think my handsome man looks cute as anything! According to mum "J'aime rever" means "I love to dream" which is lovely don't you think?! I wonder what he does dream about?


We were also sent this fantastic canvas toy box. It is easy to assemble and looks great in any room, a great gift idea or addition to your nursery! I was so so pleased to receive this as we didn't have anything like this ready for his room. As people gave our baby boy gifts of toys and books it was lovely to have somewhere to store them straight away.

dog courtesy of baby's uncle ;)

The design and colours look great and being neutral would fit in with any room design. I love the fact it's on wheels so you can move it easily once it is packed full of toys. It would be a great gift for somebody who you think already has everything, it can be hard to think of something to buy for a second baby if they are fully stocked with hand-me-downs, this is ideal. A great storage solution for your new baby!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Help! How do you do it?!

Well we are approaching our baby blue turning 1 month old. My 3 year old has been really good with everything and we are doing well! I have had no time to write any blog posts though, I have to seize every moment when baby is in his cot to clean, make Squiggles dinner, get those baby grows in the wash, and read some of those stories I have been promising all day!

I'm not the first person with a blog to have more than one child so it clearly can be done! How do you do it? Tips please!

I am writing this while feeding baby so maybe it's a case of utilising my iPhone and multitasking. Watch this space I'm hoping to write a few posts next week and get back in the swing of things...

Wish me luck and excuse any spelling mistakes, posts may be written at 3am! X x

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Daddy's back to work

So yesterday was our first day without Daddy around to help as his paternity leave came to an end. We have got used to having him around and hanging out as a family so it was a sad day. I was all ready for chaos to commence but yesterday went shockingly smoothly!

I got showered and dressed, made breakfast and actually ate it together. I was pretty chuffed with this, I even managed to get some mascara on me! We cheated in the middle and went to Nana's house for lunch but I managed to get her to nursery on time. Baby was just such a good boy and slept and chilled at all the right moments. I even got them both bathed with Squiggle in bed and dinner on (even if it was a pizza) before Daddy got home. Small things maybe but I was pretty darn pleased with myself.

I think it may have been a fluke though, I have got NOTHING done today, every time I pop baby in his cot his wakes up after 5 minutes. Yes this is more how I remember things... I just managed to squeeze in a sandwich...

Right I am about to try and get him back in his cot, quiet please!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Tommee Tippee launches the Perfect Prep Machine at the Excel Baby Show

A few weeks back I was invited to the Baby Show to find out more about Tommee Tippee's launch of an exciting new product. Unfortunately I was feeling very heavily pregnant and just at the end of my last week commuting I just couldn't face travelling anywhere and so I wasn't able to attend. They very kindly sent me through the information though and as a mum with a new baby the product is very much in my interest!

The big reveal was 'The Perfect Prep Machine' and apparently received a great response at the show. It is a clever machine designed to prepare the 'perfect bottle in under 2 minutes'. Breast feeding is going well with my son but it wasn't the case with my daughter. She had to be given bottles in hospital and although she got the hang of feeding eventually it was never easy and I continued to supplement her with bottles throughout. My husband and I were just looking back and saying how much hassle it all was, especially at night, so perhaps this really would make life easier?

If you are interested, take a look at the press release below:


Specially designed to make preparing bottles* easier, quicker and more accurate, this clever device makes a fresh bottle at just the right temperature in less than 2 minutes - so you have the extra peace of mind knowing your baby’s bottle will be perfect every time. The perfect prep™ machine:

(1) filters your tap water
(2) delivers a small “hot shot” to kill any bacteria in the feed and ensures the formula dissolves quickly and easily
(3) dispenses the correct amount of water to make up your feed

…which means the bottle is ready to serve at body temperature - in under 2 minutes!

tommee tippee® Global Marketing Manager, Katy Pigg comments,

“If you make the move from breast milk to formula milk, it can be a challenge. It isn’t always easy to know if you have the bottle at the right temperature or dilution, but the perfect prep™ machine gives you the peace of mind that the water has been filtered, the bottle isn’t too hot and that the dilution is consistent - and what’s more, it does all of this in under 2 minutes, which is great when your baby needs feeding quickly– such as in the middle of the night!”

The perfect prep™ machine is part of the closer to nature® range from tommee tippee® and is designed to fit most bottle shapes and sizes. It is available from the first week of May in Babies R Us and online at Amazon, and costs £99.99.


Alphablocks Phonics First Steps DVD review

We were sent an Alphablocks DVD to review from Abbey Kids and I couldn't wait to receive it as I am a big fan of the show. We are a bit late with this review due to the distraction of the arrival of baby brother but my 3 year old has been enjoying this a lot over the last few weeks! It's provided a great distraction for my daughter for those inevitable moments when mummy has been a little bit busier than usual... and as she's learning while she's watching I am not left with the guilt factor!

If you haven't seen Alphablocks before, it is a fantastic learning cartoon which helps children learn phonics. The Alphablocks really make learning letter sounds fun and show children how to put sounds together to form words. It is all done in an entertaining way so kiddies don't even realise they are learning, which is the best way I think!

Each Alphablock character is a different letter and makes it own sound in clever ways, for example letter 'm' is a chef who likes to say "mmmmmmmmm" and 'd' loves to "d d d d d drum". The characters use a lot of aliteration when they talk to really hammer in their individual letter sounds. When the letters come together and hold hands they each make their sounds and the join them up to form the new word. My daughter will really happily sit and watch it and it really helped her pick up her letter sounds at a young age. She's 3 and a half now and is starting to put her sounds together (to mummy's amazement) to read simple words like dog, cat... and activities like this really help.

Phonics didn't exist when I was learning to read, so a lot of parents won't really know how to get their children started on it. I have an ex-primary school teacher mum who pointed out to me early on I was doing the sounds all wrong when teaching my daughter the alphabet! The DVD includes a Parents Guide which gives some helpful tips.

The DVD is fantastic and has episodes a plenty, you get a really long run time so you really won't feel short changed. The episodes are great fun and Squiggle would happily watch the whole thing in one go but I have been breaking it down into a few episodes at a time to help her take it all in. A couple of the episodes even had her laughing out loud, and she'll happily watch her favourites over and over.

The DVD also comes with a great poster which she has put up in her bedroom and is a great way to introduce little games and practice sounds away from the programme.

We will be getting a lot more use out of this DVD for a while but I will eventually be buying the next volume in the series to keep up the good work!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Welcome to the world

After everyone telling me there was no way my baby was coming out anytime soon, he decided he did want to meet us after all and was born the day before my due date! I am completely in love, he is such a lovely baby and totally gorgeous and totally scrummy!

The birth just felt completely surreal. On Friday morning I headed to my midwife check up, the head wasn't engaged yet and we chatted about inductions and she booked in a sweep for a weeks time. I left feeling reassured things were fine but with the sense she didn't expect a baby to appear any time soon. We spent the rest of the day visiting Granny and replying to texts to say no, no twinges or any sign of action yet!

After dinner that night about 10pm I got a real pressing down pain, I thought I'd eaten to much and the baby was pressing on my bowls. It kept happening and I had to keep standing up to shake off the pains. It slowly started to dawn on me that the cramps were coming every five minutes or so and then going away. I thought probably nothing but I started to note them down. An hour later I phoned the hospital and they said to have an hour long bath, if they didn't go away then they were contractions. The bath really helped and made them feel weaker but they were still there.

We laid down in bed and tried to sleep, every 7 minutes or so I was woken up and started my stopwatch! Nana came round to babysit and at 5 am we headed to hospital. I have no idea how I got from midnight to 5 just lying in my bed, was a bit of a haze. The contractions were still a bit far apart but lasting over a minute so I wanted to get checked out!

In the car they seemed to become more constant and the walk from the car to the ward was a struggle. I was embarrassed to be crying by the time I got up there. I started to stress that like my last birth they would say "2cm so off home with you" and my husband and I were totally shocked to find I was 7cm dilated! We struggled over to our room and I decided to get in the pool, hadn't really planned what I wanted but had that in the back of my mind. I intended to get in and see how I felt but no sooner was I in than the pushing started. I was so shocked I was shouting, "he's trying to come out!! What do I do??!" I thought something was wrong as it was happening so quickly. Go with it was the answer so I did my best and there he was born. It was completely amazing and my husband and I were completely she'll shocked. Just like that our perfect baby boy was with us.

I'd recommend the pool, the pain felt more manageable and the birth felt really natural. I had been scared about my second labour but just like that it was over and so so worth it. For anyone else still waiting and worrying, don't! You really can do it. I was so lucky I didn't need stitches and was allowed home that morning.

Now comes the really scary bit - taking care of our gorgeous baby boy who is completely relying on us. You'll be hearing more about this little heartbreaker along the way. Probably at 4 in the morning as he doesn't seem to be a huge fan of sleeping at night!! X

Monday, 4 March 2013

Competition time – Happy Mum-To-Be Day from Cussons Mum & Me

I'm really exited to be running another competition and the chance to win a lovely Mum to be prize from Cussons. My baby is actually due on Mother's Day so it could be a big one this year, and I am feeling in need of some pampering! This set looks very appealing to me. The competition ends Friday 8th of March so get those entries in and best of luck! 

Entry is via the rafflecopter, check out the gorgeous prize details below...

There’s nothing better than becoming a mum, and Mother’s Day is the perfect chance to celebrate what a good job mums do.  But what about Mums-to-be?
If you’re pregnant, Mother’s Day may be a day to think about the journey ahead, and take some time to relax while you still can! The Cussons Mum & Me Gift Pack is the perfect present for mums-to-be to pamper themselves before their little bundle of joy arrives.
Gift Bag_ with products_cussons 6592 fin

The Bump Gift Pack includes:
Smooth & Glow Pregnancy Shampoo
  • Containing Almond Oil and Pro Vitamin B5 to keep hair nourished and easy to manage. The perfect item to keep mum-to-be looking her very best for Mother's Day.
Soothe & Nourish Body Lotion
  • With a blend of Avocado, Almond & Grapeseed oils, this product will leave mum-to-be feeling hydrated and moisturised. A great choice during the cold chilly months when your skin can be extra prone to damage. Plus it contains Allantoin that can help to relieve itchy skin, especially over mum’s bump.
Relax & Unwind Bath Soak
  • This product contains Camomile which is known for its relaxing properties. The ideal gift for mum-to-be to get some “me time” this Mother's Day.
Relax & Unwind Sleep Mist
  • With Lavender and Camomile this sleep mist will have mum-to-be unwinding in no time at all. Its relaxing aromas will let her gently drift off to sleep so she can dream about all Mother's Days to come.
With an RRP of £15.99 the Bump Gift Pack includes every essential mums-to-be will need to enjoy a little me time on their day.

Cussons Mum & Me is a new range of products designed to help with the amazing realities of becoming a mum. The range addresses three keys needs of mum and baby – sleep, skin and hair and has been designed to help with every stage of the journey – from bump to new mum to baby.
All Cussons Mum & Me products are available from major retailers including Tescos, Boots and Sainsbury’s. For more information see:

Go go go – enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 1 March 2013

Find me a gift of relaxation this Mother's Day

It is finally March which also means that Mother's Day is fast approaching. I have been on the lookout for little trinkets (on my little budget) that just show mum I care and this Bomb Cosmetics candle sent to me from Find Me A Gift is a great find.

I just love the name of it – any mums out there in need of Blissful Rest? Yep, thought so and although us mums might not completely achieve full rest and relaxation this Mother's Day this candle will certainly help!

It comes in a really pretty pot which is nice to have sat out in your home and is even prettier when you open it. Beneath the lid the actual candle is very sweet, decorated with pretty little white hearts.

The candle is handcrafted and a blend of essential oils – handmade with lavender and clary sage. It gives off a really nice light and subtle, almost citrus smell which really lifts the room and relaxes you instantly. It will last a good while too with a 30-35 hours of burn time.

Every night this week, once Squiggle is tucked in bed, my feet are up and bump is in a comfy position, I've had mine lit and indeed it has been........ BLISS!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The ups & downs of 38 week bump

So here I am, only a few days away from 39 weeks and a strange thing has happened... I feel like I am going backwards! My daughter would already have been born by this point and I thought I might find it depressing going over that point but I don't at all, it would have felt too soon really. Last week was my final week at work and I felt really tired and emotional and like I might pop at any moment. I was so relieved to finish and know that I would be closer to home in case anything did happen.

I am now half way through my first week of leave and bump seems to have chilled out and moved up (yes up) again. It looks and feels much higher than it did last week, I am in reverse! Not sure what is going on? Maybe it's the calm of being at home and me enjoying a bit of time with my little girl that has relaxed it. I am comfortable enough at the moment so not too worried but ask me the same question in a week or 3 and we'll see what I say! It's only nights that are the problem with about 4 toilet stops and it takes a lot of effort to get out of my bed... I usually find myself awake from 5am to about 6.30 thinking about baby names. So annoying when you are so tired and trying to stock up that sleep!

At my last midwife appointment they said the head isn't engaged yet but the midwife did say that can happen a lot more suddenly with the second and that you won't notice such a drop. Did anyone else find this with the second child?

I'm off to buy some pineapple juice just for a bit of encouragement anyway. :D x

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Review – MaterniCare Pre and Post Natal Nourishing Cream Review

For the last week I have been lucky enough to be testing out MaterniCare, a new pre & post natal nourishing cream.

With a unique blend of rich plant oils and essential vitamins it is designed to nourish and care for your skin as your bump grows and then to support your body as it recovers.

I am now at 37 weeks and I honestly wish I had discovered this cream earlier! It's brand new on our shelves though and I believe being launched in Boots this month.

Aside from the worry of stretch marks, my skin on my ever expanding tummy had been starting to get quite dry – the cold weather probably hasn't helped! As it stretches tighter I've been finding it getting itchy, irritated and generally in need of some loving care!

The MaterniCare cream is a lovely thick smooth cream which really feels like it is nourishing every inch of your skin. It doesn't leave any greasiness - just smoothness and softness. I found it a really relaxing experience applying the cream and have been using it before bed to help me feel calm and replenished. My skin hasn't been dry since using it and so I gave been much more comfortable during the day. I imagine it would go some way to help prevent stretch marks although it's too late in the day for me to probably tell!

They say for best results to apply after soaking the skin. I've not had much time for baths this time around but I know during my first pregnancy (when I wasn't always busy bathing a toddler) it was a frequent routine!

I have tried other creams in the past, one quite expensive which I found light and a bit greasy and other than that I have had cocoa butter. That seems to be what people recommend but for me, after a while, the smell became just too much, you don't want a strong smell when you are using something day to day!! MaterniCare is fragrance free which was a huge plus for me. I want to smell like me, not somebody covered in maternity products!

Here's a bit about what they say about the cream:

Its gentle, hypoallergenic formula is packed full of pro-vitamin B5 – a powerful natural skin healer and protector – as well as almond, avocado and grape seed oils, vitamin E and soothing calendula. Massaging MaterniCare into your breasts, tummy, thighs, hips and bottom twice daily will help keep your skin strong, smooth and supple throughout.

Sounds good? I was lucky enough to be sent this to try for free but I would honestly recommend it, it's has been a big hit with me and with big bump!

Maternity inspiration at Vertbaudet

I have spent many an evening browsing the Vertbaudet website. Usually for clothes for my little girl and often at their gorgeous ranges for children's bedrooms. More recently (due to my current state) my attentions turned to their maternity clothes. Dressing your bump can be a tricky time, not wanting to spend too much on clothes you may never wear again, but at the same time wanting to feel good and feel comfortable. I found the best idea was to invest in a few key pieces, always keeping my eye on the sales sections!

Vertbaudet maternity clothes offer really reasonable value, with the simple effortless style I have come to expect from their ranges. As with their kids clothes, they are practical but also look really good.

Here are a few of my personal top picks!

Jersey Maternity Dress:

Maternity Blouse:

Maternity Tunic:

Maternity Jeans:

Maternity Trousers:

Before & After Sleepwear:

Vertbaudet also do a swimwear range, being in the water feels great when you're feeling so heavy so a good maternity swimsuit is an essential item! Here's my favourite:

Maternity Swimsuit:

Not too much longer on the maternity clothes for me... I'll be back browsing their baby clothes soon. Have fun dressing your bumps!

Please note this is a featured post but all the ideas and opinions are my own.