Friday, 13 September 2019

Am I getting SPD again?


As you may know, my second pregnancy I suffered severely with symphis pubis dysfunction, otherwise known as SPD or pelvic girdle pain. In short, it’s a condition that up to 1/5 of pregnant women get and suffer with to varying degrees. Your pelvis itself becomes hyper mobile, and can misalign which is extremely painful and reduces your movement.

If you haven’t read about my past experience and why I was induced as a result, be sure to check it out here

It was around this stage of pregnancy I began to feel the pain last time. At 28 weeks I was on crutches and I was in a wheelchair by 32 weeks. Of course, because of this, I’ve been ridiculously worried and over cautious about doing everything I can to not get it again.  

It’s unavoidable really, if it happens it happens and nothing I do can stop it essentially, but I can stave it off and ensure I don’t just “soldier through” so I don’t cause myself more pain and reduction of mobility than necessary. 

Simple things like not hoovering, or pushing the pram often or standing at the sink for too long have helped so much. Jack has been an absolute star as of course, he’s very worried about it all happening again- it was very hard for him to work and come home to a toddler, and immobile wife, and messy house. 

I’ve chatted to the midwife and she’s given me these tips to try reduce my risk of getting too bad again, I thought I’d share them in case anyone who reads this is going through similar:

1. Knees Together 
Whenever I need to move, I try do it with my knees together. If I’m rolling over in bed- knees together. If I’m getting out of the car, I swivel around with my knees together instead of climbing out one leg at a time. You get the idea!

2. Short Walks
One of the biggest mistakes I made last time was trying to just push through the pain. It meant double the pain the next day- I just hated admitting I couldn’t do what I did before. Now I make sure I rest often and keep my distances short wherever possible. It’s a shame but it’ll help in the long run. 

3. Epsom Salts
If I feel the pain creeping in after a busy day, and begin dreading moving or climbing the stairs to bed, a warm bath filled with a cup of Epsom salts genuinely works magic. I don’t know how or why the salts work but they do! Plus free floating in the warm water helps get everything aligned again. The midwife said similar can happen just floating in a swimming pool. 

4. Maternity Support Belt
I have been using one of these for all three pregnancies. I had it with Isla initially as I couldn’t walk home after a long shift without crying in pain (in hindsight I probably had SPD with her too) and I relied on it with Archer by the third trimester! You can get them on Amazon or free from an NHS physio (your midwife or GP can arrange this appointment) and they’re easy to stick on under your clothes. They hold everything “up” a bit whic relieves the weight on your pelvis, and holding the bump in place stops it misaligning. 

I do think I have SPD again. It’s been clear it’s affected me for all three pregnancies at varying degrees.... I just hope with all my heart that it doesn’t get as bad as last time. 

Have you been affected by SPD/PGP in subsequent pregnancies? I’d love to hear your experiences. 
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Monday, 9 September 2019

I’m not ready for her to start school.


I’ve just sat down, and had a little cry. Maybe it’s just my hormones, I told Jack. He said I’m being silly.

How can I explain how excited I am, but also very very sad? 

Tomorrow is the last day before Isla starts school. Yes, she’s done a whole school year at preschool already, five days a week- but that was only three hours a day. In reception, she will be in someone else’s hands from 8:45am till 3:30pm. 

Most mornings, by 8:30, she’s still parading around in her dressing gown, trying to swindle me out of more coco pops in exchange for cuddles under the blanket while we watch CBeebies with her little brother. Now, she will be running up the hill to school, stifling yawns as she spots her friends and disappears for the day. 

Lunchtime, I’d let her come into the kitchen to pick what she has. Archer wants a banana, she wants an apple. Sometimes if she was lucky I’d make noodles or pasta, and she could help me cook. 

She would go to preschool for a couple of hours. I’d relish in the quiet as it meant just chasing after one child for a while and getting some housework done. If she was tired, or had a sad day, at least it was only a couple of hours and she’d get to come home. 

We’ve had four years of long days together. Some days we made the most of every minute. Some days I swore I couldn’t wait for her to start school as we argued like we were both children- we are both strong willed and stubborn. Some days, I’d tell her I was too tired or too busy to play as I tried to keep up with the housework. 

It breaks my heart with regret to remember how often I said no to things. It’s impossible not to compare my parenting over the last years with those Pinterest perfect mums online who seem to have time for a trip, healthy lunch, educational craft activity and housework every day. I did my best for her, I have to keep telling myself we didn’t waste a moment. 

I feel so excited for her. School will help her grow and teach her things I never could. She will be permanently surrounded by all her little friends. She will flourish. 

I feel sad because the time with her felt so long, but now it’s done I feel like I really didn’t make the most of it. She will be in someone else’s hands most of her days now. 

I’m so so proud of our Isla, she’s grown so much and so fast- but it feels like it all went too fast. Isla is completely ready for school- more than ready. I think it’s just going to take me a little longer to stop seeing her as my baby. 
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Sunday, 8 September 2019

28 Weeks- Pregnancy Update


I did it, I’ve made it to the third trimester with only some moaning. Okay- that’s a lie, I’ve moaned an awful lot. Of course I’m grateful to be having a healthy baby and after two miscarriages I know how special each successful pregnancy is... but it’s bloody exhausting.

The great thing about hitting the third trimester is, despite there being anywhere between 9-12 weeks till I should give birth, I feel like the end is in sight. It’s the home stretch, and of course I’ll be getting much fatter and much more sore but there isn’t another stage after this where it’ll happen again!

I have been getting sore. I don’t know if it’s just inevitable after having SPD so severe I was induced (read about that here) last time. I’ve been trying to take it easy but the wincing pain is creeping back every time I roll over or walk further than normal- if I do push myself I find I’m useless for a day or so after. Epsom salt baths and general rest are helping, I just hope I can carry on staving it off till I’m full term and avoid induction. 

Other than that, I do feel really well in myself. I’ve started having a lot of dreams about when he’s here and what he may look like- and a whole lot of crazy dreams with enough drama and details as a blockbuster movie! 

My cravings are also moving on from vinegar and sweeties- I’ve been obsessed with green grapes! The only issue is, some strains of green grapes taste sort of leafy and grassy and I want the specific strain with that crunch and tart/sour taste. I’ve bought the “wrong” grapes home from Tesco twice and promptly left them in the fridge to be neglected or eaten by someone else. Nothing has felt more disappointing in my life. 

We’re going for a 4D scan this week and I am so excited to see baby boy again. He’s gaining baby fat and should look nice and squashy and like a real baby! I think it will be a lovely experience as we get to bring Isla and Archer to see him!

He does have a name by the way, we just aren’t sharing it with the whole world till he’s here. I shared Archer’s name with a lot of people before he was born, and even though it was definite, people took it as an invitation to offer alternatives. 

Overall, nothing has really changed this week. Baby is as big as a coconut apparently and I don’t want to think about pushing a coconut out of my foof right now so I’m avoiding the fruit comparisons from now on!

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Friday, 6 September 2019

The Ultimate Softplay Survival Guide


On a rainy day, with an empty schedule, you may find yourself wondering- should we take the little ones to the soft play? Even the name is suggestive of a warm, padded area in which a parent can set their little mite free to burn off energy in a lovely safe environment perfectly suited to them, while they enjoy a coffee and some peace.

It’s all a bloody lie. 

The truth about softplay is that it is a sticky, noisy battlefield that the inexperienced parent will leave in a hurry with the changing bag and child being dragged unceremoniously to the car, undoubtedly covered in someone else’s snot and tears. 

Want to survive? Keep reading. 

1. SOCKS
Socks are required for hygiene. Never assume this is an unnecessary rule, I guarantee the day you forget socks is the day someone steps in something disgusting underneath the ballpit balls. 

Of course, if you’re heading into softplay without prior planning, I can guarantee the only pair (or “close enough” pair) you can find will have a hole in, perfectly placed for a toe to pop out. Embrace it. Don’t let the tutty mums judge you and attempt to hide your feet under an infant- act like you MEANT to give that toe some air. Own it, and you’ll feel like you can do anything. 

2. THE BABY SECTION
If you’re interested in sitting around and watching your baby “try” to play by rolling near something vaguely resembling a padded slide, head to the baby section. Usually reserved for under 4’s, you can rest assured that they’re out of harms way for a while and finally have that hot cup of tea you’ve wanted for months. 

Until the “I don’t care” mums who are far too distracted by their phones and having a chat arrive along with a rambunctious and rather large child. Of course, no matter how close to adulthood that child is, they’re going to be clambering all over the baby section. If you glare and mumble loud enough, the child is usually embarrassed enough to leave and go to the (apparently) less appealing section for children their age. 

3. LIE
Of course, the best thing to do is lie. Don’t want to go? The soft play is closed. 

Don’t want to buy a snack or drink and you’ve been caught sneaking in 10p cartons of juice too many times to risk it again? The cafe section is closed. 

Don’t want to pay full child price for your newly turned one year old who hasn’t magically gained the ability to play like a big kid? Lie about their age for as long as possible!

As much as softplay does suck, and as hard as it is to survive at times, my children love it. They’ve just got to the magical stage where they bugger off and play alone for at least 15 minutes at a time and I trust they’re okay on quiet days. 

Even after the worst experience, something about being a parent makes you forget and you’ll be back- and now you’ll be ready.

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Wednesday, 4 September 2019

The Second Trimester was NOT easier


Today, I come to the end of the second trimester. Tomorrow I am in the third! The final stage, the one where I’ll be allowed to moan again because as everyone knows, the second trimester is a “breeze”. It’s the easy middle part where you are glowing and full of a strange magical energy and you can achieve anything!

That’s what all the books say, and it’s a lie. 

Sure my first trimester wasn’t hard- I wasn’t sick at all this time and I wasn’t actually that tired a lot of the time... so maybe the second didn’t seem magically better because I didn’t have anything bad to improve from? There were some little improvements- I didn’t want to remove my boobs because they hurt so much and the cramps and ligament pains stopped. But mostly, it’s been worse, and here’s why. 

1. Sleep
What sleep? I’ve been absolutely exhausted the entire second trimester and I fully call it on the rumour that you get your energy back. I have not had my energy back and I’ve got so big this trimester I’ve been far too uncomfortable to sleep through the night. Add in how often I get up to pee...

2. Peeing
The urge to go to the toilet every hour or more was supposed to lessen during the second trimester, as baby moves up in your body and takes the pressure off your pelvis and bladder. Well... tell that to my uncontrollable need to go two times every night for the last 10 weeks nearly!

3. Glowing
While a pregnancy is barely there in the first trimester, and by the third you are large and swollen and exhausted, the second trimester is meant to be a time of glowing and clear skin for most. Not me. The only glowing I have is the heat coming off my skin because I’ve been non stop sweating and too hot for the last few months! I feel like a radiator. If this is my peak I dread to think what state I’ll be in over the next two months. 

4. Sex drive 
Hello? Sex drive? You were supposed to reappear and I think my husband has been expecting you any time now? Honestly it is the last thing I want or can comfortably manage by the time I collapse grunting into bed and spend ten minutes huffing and trying to arrange the pillow fort that has become the only thing I cuddle at night. Sorry Jack, this one was a big fat lie and I probably smell anyway even though I showered ten minutes ago - all that sweating. 

Honestly, it hasn’t been all bad but it definitely wasn’t the massive improvement that I was promised. I can’t imagine how I’ll moan for my third trimester. 

Looking at my post history it may seem like I’m complaining about being pregnant a lot, but it’s not all serious. I’m so grateful and I’m trying to take in every moment and every annoyance and just remember it all. But the second trimester DID suck..!

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Monday, 2 September 2019

Top Tips & Tricks for Meeting Characters at Disneyland Paris


When you’ve spent all your money booking, and spent hours planning for a trip to Disneyland Paris, there’s nothing more disappointing than missing your favourite characters!

When we went, we managed to meet just about everyone that was available as well as some surprise meet and greets, so I’m sharing my top tips for meeting characters at Disneyland Paris. 

1. Check the programme
You will either receive this at your Disney hotel if staying in one, or you can pick it up at the park entrance. It has a list and location for daily regular meet ups- arrive early if you don’t want to queue and plan a route from each meet to the next. We managed to be first in line a lot of time by keeping an eye on the times!


2. Green/Cream Umbrellas
Dotted around the park, you’ll notice large green or cream parasols/umbrellas. They seem insignificant but these are where either surprise or organised meet and greets take place! Take note of them and if you see a character on a “walk” towards or near one, head over just in case! You’ll likely catch an unscheduled surprise photo opportunity! We managed to catch some princesses by heading towards them, as you can see below.



3. Extra Magic Hours
If you’re staying in one of the Disney hotels that offer extra magic, when you enter the park you can queue to meet Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and others on Main Street before their advertised slot, saving hours. They often come out early for the extra magic guests! It’s also worth checking who is at the princess pavilion every morning to either wait and save on queue time, or skip and come back later if you have already met that princess. 


4. Lineberty App
We didn’t realise the first time we wanted to meet Buzz in his advertised slot, but you need to book a place via this free app! There are other characters on it too. The places go fast so we missed out but we stood and waited anyway and because not all the booked people showed up and buzz had some time left, they fit us in at the end anyway. If you’re nearby it’s always worth a shot.


5. Closed the meet line?
Sometimes you’re late to a popular meet, or the line fills up too fast. If it isn’t too crowded, and you hover at the end, the character will still say a quick hello to your little ones waiting as they pass. It isn’t as good or long as a proper meet but if they get a high five and you’re quick with the camera it’s still worth it. Just remember to let the character leave for their break and not hassle them too much! 

6. Pick a clever lunch spot 
We realised from eating our lunch at Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost in adventure land, that the tables on the left of the outside area are next to the bridge the characters walk along when taking a quick break. In just one hour of sitting eating our lunch (and it was very tasty and reasonably priced!) we managed to say hi to and meet every character working that park section! Some multiple times per meal, so they began to remember us and say hi if they saw us out and about.

Aladdin & Jasmine were regular passer-by's at this restaurant spot!

The bridge where characters passed us by as we ate!

7. Get a good parade spot
We were exceptionally lucky that our children didn’t mind waiting up to an hour to guarantee a front row place for the parade every day. We were also very lucky that because we took the time to attend meet ups, the characters that took place in the parade remembered our children and ran to say hi to them when they had a chance. We did lots of very happy, loud shouting to our favourite characters on our children’s behalf which often drew them in when they picked who to come and see in the parade!


8. Don’t want to queue for Mickey?
Mickey is the most popular and most famous character and he does have a building specifically for his meet and greets, but understandably it gets very busy. If you head towards the phantom manor instead, you can often see him with a 10-15 minute line maximum in a slightly different outfit under the gazebo! It isn’t in the programme so it’s definitely worth remembering. 


Do you have any more tips for meeting characters? Let me know and I can add them with credit! I hope you have the best holiday!
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Sunday, 1 September 2019

Baby Born Surprise [Review]


Surprise packs, eggs and blind bags are all the rage with children at the moment. Isla is especially keen on any type of toy you buy with absolutely no idea what is inside- it’s a bit like a present you have to unwrap and she loves the concept of collecting.

Baby Born Surprise is exactly the type of surprise toy she loves- there are twelve to collect, and ten individual surprises to discover when you open and interact with the doll!


When you first open the plastic casing, the baby surprise is wrapped inside a beautiful pink branded blanket, keeping the contents hidden. Once this is open, you discover your first surprise- which collectible swaddle is your baby wrapped in? Each swaddle is assigned a birth month, so you can find out your baby’s birthday with this and your children’s favourite numbers. They can also find out their baby’s star sign with this information!


Isla now has the butterfly and duck- for some reason she thought the duck was hilarious. I must admit, they look adorable sleeping in these little swaddles. The fabric is exceptionally soft and really well put together as well- the attention to detail for such a small product really makes it feel worth it.


The next surprise is baby’s hair- as I said before, there are 12 dolls to collect and each one has its own hair style. Isla loved this doll as she had the cutest pink hair band and brown hair.


The most exciting part for Isla was the eye surprise. Each baby arrives “sleeping” and with a little water and some gentle wiping, your child wakes the baby up to discover their eye colour.


Combining the eye and hair colour will reveal the first letter of your baby’s name- Isla had “F” for this doll!
/

Next up, we found out our little baby was a bouncing girl by opening the surprise containing either a pink or blue bottle. We filled it with a little water and Isla gave her her first feed, ready to discover the next surprise in her nappy (the concept of which, Isla found absolutely hilarious- what child doesn’t find pee and poo hilarious at times?).


The inside of the nappy will fill with water and a pattern will be revealed- each pattern lets you know what your baby’s favourite food is. 


We did find it a little bit difficult to get the baby to do the "wee" but I figured that an extra bottle of water was enough to get it working- just the one didn't do the trick fast enough for Isla!


It was actually really exciting to join in and help Isla with this surprise toy- it took a lot longer than the usual ones she comes home with and we did a lot of talking and chatting about what each of the things she discovered meant for her baby. Having so many different characteristics also fascinated her, and she’s been telling Daddy and Archer all about her new babies and what they’re like!


I’d really recommend these little dolls for a stocking filler or a small birthday present- they’re the perfect size and definitely something I believe she’s going to play with consistently even though the surprise aspect is over. Being an egg shape, they could even be used as an alternative to chocolate at Easter! It’s nice to know she hasn’t just unwrapped a surprise containing more plastic that she will look at once just for the sake of opening something- a baby is a wonderful interactive imaginative toy. 



I was gifted two Baby Born Surprise dolls in exchange for this honest review. All words and opinions are my own. All photos are my own. 

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I Had Gender Disappointment.


Let me preface this post by saying, I am more grateful than I could ever put into words that our baby is healthy, growing and developing exactly as he should be. In essence, the gender is not what is important and it isn’t a case of me preferring one sex over the other because in the grand scheme of things it’s such a small thing.....

But yes, for the smallest time, I was sad about the result of our gender scan. 

I already have one son and one daughter, so when I fell pregnant for the third time people were intrigued to know my preference. It was the first thing anyone asked me and it began swirling around in my head- what would I prefer? When I was pregnant with my second, people would say “you already have a girl, I hope you have a boy!” so that became the focus and hope- but with one of each already people want to discuss how the family dynamic would change with the “tie breaker”. 

It wouldn’t have occurred to me to have a preference. Both my son and daughter are so different and wonderful and it has nothing to do with their sex, just their personalities. But as I said, with people seemingly only interested in what I would prefer, I did begin imagining either a son or daughter and names and bedroom sharing ideas... I decided I’d quite like another girl. 

I didn’t believe this baby was a girl even once. I’ve been right twice before, and I had a strong lean towards this baby definitely being a boy. If you’ve been following me, you’ll know I was bang on the money and we’re super excited to be having a second boy!

As I discussed in my post “Am I excited for baby number three?” we’ve kept everything from newborn up from Archer, so my bank account is extremely pleased it won’t need to pay for a single wardrobe item besides a few token/seasonal items. Score right?

I was disappointed. I felt horrifically guilty for being disappointed. The sad thing was, I wasn’t even upset about the gender of my child itself, I was upset about all the materialistic elements which made me feel even worse! I wouldn’t get to buy a new wardrobe. I liked a million girls names, and not one boy name. I like silly gender stereotypical items like hair bows and frilly knickers. I liked having a sister more than a brother growing up and thought Isla would too. 

Notice how all my reasoning was not related to the child itself? That’s how I’ve got through this. It was purely my own imagination and fantasy of what life may be like when baby came. Yes I imagined a girl and it was a little painful to suddenly lose this but after a little shake and a few days to “mourn” I managed to pick myself up and I’m thrilled. 

I think mums are often ashamed to admit they have had gender disappointment. We’re made to believe we should always say “baby is healthy, the gender does not matter” and no it doesn’t matter but that doesn’t mean our overly hormonal and emotional selves can’t be sad for a little while if it is different to what we fantasised about. 

Don’t be ashamed if you’ve felt the same, and don’t feel as though it makes you a horrible person. I felt that for a while, I felt guilty. Why should I though? Of course I love my son already and I will love him more when he is here. Now I know his name, and I’m getting things ready for him, I couldn’t imagine him being anything other than who he is and I wouldn’t change him for the world.


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Friday, 30 August 2019

Looking for a GRUFFALO at Wendover Woods [Vlog]


We’ve been trying to get the kids outside as much as possible this summer. While I’m still mostly mobile in pregnancy and the weather is good, we’ve looked for as many free/cheap days out as possible. Why blow the bank before school uniform has to be bought right?

When looking up things in our area, I stumbled across Wendover Woods. Living in Bedfordshire they’re around 90 minutes in the car from us- it’s a bit of a drive but we spent all day there so definitely worth it! 

Wendover Woods are absolutely enormous, Id have called them a forest. Among the wood there are loads of trails to take- running, orienteering of different levels and for children they have a “play trail”, Gruffalo orienteering trail and even a Zog trail!


We took on the play trail first, which has wooden structures dotted along it for children to explore and play on- a very easy course with two length options it was perfect for our two and four year old.


After a picnic we took on the Gruffalo trail. We paid £1.50 for a pack which had a map and stickers and questions for the kids to answer at each stop. This course was very bumpy and steep at times so difficult with a pram but we managed and they loved the big statue at the end!

Check out our video of the day, and definitely check out Wendover Woods if you want a good excuse to get outdoors!


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27 Weeks- Pregnancy Update


Do you want to know a secret? The “second trimester energy boost” is a big fat lie! Or at least it has been in my case..

I’ve been absolutely blessed this pregnancy. I’ve made it to 7 months without throwing up even once and if I compare to my pregnancy with Archer where I suffered heavily with hypermesis I can’t complain at all. It’s a hugely different experience and I was genuinely terrified I’d get that sick again. It just goes to show how different it all is every time.

Another difference is in my general aches and pains. I had bad SPD with Archer (can you tell I had a hard pregnancy with him?) and by this stage I was barely moving and about to rely on crutches and then a wheelchair... yes I’m aching but knowing it’s a risk in advance has meant I’ve taken it a whole lot easier. Jack does the strenuous tasks around the house and I’ve been implementing the movements recommended by my physio last time before it’s too late and it’s really helping.

Other than exhaustion that’s had me in bed or wanting to be in bed before it’s dark a lot of nights, I suppose the second trimester has been good to me, but the summer hasn’t.

I’ve never been pregnant this far into summer and the heat has me suffering unbelievable amounts. It’s made me feel drained and swollen and sweaty and I feel like I can’t breathe at night. I’ve been taking a damp towel to bed and sleeping with it on top of me! Pro tip right there my friends.

Baby boy kicks up a storm every day and has done for weeks. He’s definitely more mobile than the other two ever were which does mean one minute he’s kicking my bladder and I have to run to pee, and by the time I get there he’s kicking my stomach and I’ve got heartburn like you wouldn’t believe.

It’s all going very fast and I’d forget I was pregnant if I wasn’t getting so uncomfortable and worn out easily.

I genuinely have no idea how much I weigh. I focused so much on it the last two pregnancies that gaining or losing had me so anxious.... I don’t need that stress and I know I’m eating healthy and how my clothes are fitting (maternity only now!). The midwife will start measuring my bump from my next appointment onwards and though I’m showing big (third baby’s do that) I’m currently not worried about being too big or too small.

At 27 weeks, I can’t tell you the last time I saw my feet when standing without leaning forward and I haven’t seen my “downstairs” without a mirror in months now... I’m not sure I want to!

Craving wise I’ve moved beyond vinegar after months of obsession and I’m firmly into cold crunchy things. It isn’t as intense as my ice obsession with Isla but I can happily munch an entire punnet of grapes in one sitting (I do not recommend this though, as it swapped me from constipated to the other extreme).

I’m definitely shaken up about how simple this pregnancy is compared to my other two but I won’t complain in case I tempt fate! I’m enjoying it, although the hormonal tears may have you fooled. I can’t believe I’ll be full term in 10 weeks... anywhere between 10 and 15 weeks and he will be here!
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Thursday, 29 August 2019

My Heartbeat Bear [Review and GIVEAWAY!]





I’m a ridiculously sentimental person, especially when it comes to my children and pregnancies. I may not go as far as to keep the tests (the pee sort of put me off!) but I’ve got everything from from paperwork to the straps I wore when monitored during each labour!

Being sentimental I was obviously thrilled when I was contacted by My Heartbeat Bear- during my last two pregnancies I had no idea this sort of product existed at all and I’d have jumped at it if I had!

I still have grainy recordings on my phone from my home Doppler (purely for fun and bonding of course) from both Isla and Archer but for this baby I had the opportunity to do something special.

I was sent a beautiful bear to put baby’s heartbeat inside, this one being the 16'' (which is one of their most popular, no surprise there as it’s gorgeous!). It took me so long to pick- there’s a bear for every taste. Each bear comes with a small sound box that you can record up to twenty seconds into, and save, to then be put inside the bear and sealed for playback with a simple squeeze. This stage was surprisingly easy and only took me one attempt at practice before doing it for real!



I just took the box to my midwife appointment as she has a brilliant Doppler and as it was only twenty seconds she didn’t mind me holding the little box up to record at all! It came out perfect and clear and I’ve been quite obsessed with playing it back. When I had a practice I used it to record a sound off my phone which also worked perfectly- it couldn’t be easier.

It’s been fantastic for Isla and Archer, Isla especially. She’s older so understands a lot more and likes to give the bear a cuddle and “listen to her new brother” which I’m sure is helping with future sibling bonding. Archer likes to dance when it plays the heartbeat- I suppose it does sound like a little dance beat!

I’m ridiculously happy with this bear and the hormonal emotional side of me could gush about it for hours. The team at My Heartbeat Bear we’re even kind enough to send a little “boy” ultrasound T-shirt which is a part of their new accessory range, which adds an even more personal touch.

If you’d like to check them out for yourself (as a pregnant woman I definitely recommend one for yourself or as a gift for someone you know!) you can find them at https://www.myheartbeatbear.com

Thank you again to My Heartbeat Bear, I’m thrilled with it!

GIVEAWAY!

The team at My Heartbeat Bear have been kind enough to offer my readers the chance to win their very own bear! If you're pregnant, or know someone who is, be sure to enter! If you win, you can choose between the Pink 8" Little Princess Heartbeat Bear, or the Blue 8" Little Prince Heartbeat Bear!




AD! I was gifted one heartbeat bear in exchange for this review. All words and opinions are my own.
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Am I excited for baby number three?


Baby number three! It still blows my mind to write that or say it out loud. At the beginning of the year we weren’t even sure if we definitely wanted to go for another pregnancy, and now I’m 27 weeks pregnant! It’s all going exceptionally fast.

We found out via a private scan at 16 weeks that we are having our second boy and that means there’s not much preparation needed. The hoarder in me made sure I kept ahold of all Archer’s clothes from preemie to present, as well as his old crib, play mat, swing.... you name it I kept it all just in case! It’s going to save us a whole lot of money and shopping over the coming months but part of me is strangely disheartened by this fact. 

I wondered in the beginning if it was a little bit of gender disappointment- I’ll likely get into this in another post- but my preference initially had been for a second girl and I was super excited about another healthy baby boy but yes, part of me was a little sad about no more girls. Looking back I do realise in hindsight that this was a purely materialistic reaction. Having another girl would mean I could shop, as I had nothing of Islas left over and I feel shopping (even second hand as I often have for the children) is a big step in getting prepared and excited for a new arrival. I’m getting over this ridiculous concept by throwing myself into sorting and cleaning what we have, picking up token items here and there and hand making a lot of things for him. 

Another strange part of being pregnant with my third is the reaction of those around me. While I understand nothing will quite compare to how family and friends react to your first ever pregnancy and first little arrival (we noticed the second pregnancy was met with excitement yes, but definitely more muted as is natural) your third is an entirely new ball park. Instead of congratulations, the initial reaction from people is “you’re brave!” and comments about how “I’d never do it!” in regards to a third child. 

It doesn’t mean the third child is any less loved or anticipated but strangely it has had a little effect on how I feel. I feel a little sad for this baby- everyone wants him, we love him already... I am ridiculously excited to bring the final member of our family into the world- but I can’t help but feel guilty over the lack of fanfare. The midwife has me reassured that this guilt is mostly hormonal and that it’s normal for subsequent pregnancies to feel as though I’m “going through the motions” but it’s still there. 

Of course I am excited for baby number three. I’m excited for a loud house, being more squashed in bed in the morning than I already am and for Jack being wrapped around another little finger. I can’t shop or do much to prepare, and other people may not care as much as we’ve done it twice before already, and it may even feel a bit boring as it’s been such an easy pregnancy... but yes of course I’m excited. 

I know this post has been mostly rambling and a clearing of my thoughts but I’d love to know if anyone who reads here has felt even a little similar in their subsequent pregnancies?

All the best x
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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Helping a child with nightmares- Dream Pillow Review & Giveaway


It's heartbreaking, to hear my daughter crying out in the night. For around a year now, around 3-4 times a month, Isla has nightmares. Sometimes her nightmares are mild and she tells us about them in a hazy half asleep way, before dropping back down onto her pillow- but there are some nightmares where she runs around her room and doesn't understand she isn't asleep anymore until we come in and turn on the light.

It's not a huge issue thankfully, and we put it down to her having a very big imagination, but it does disturb her sleep and she worries about going to bed sometimes in case a bad dream hits.

That's why I was so thrilled to be contacted by Dream Pillow. They have created three beautiful soft pillows designed especially for children aged 2-12, to help them combat bad dreams and get a good night sleep.

Isla was sent the "Lamby" pillow, which came with a pad of cloud shaped paper for her to write down her wishes for good dreams. For her first night trying it, she drew a rainbow and said she hoped she would get to go "over the rainbow" like Dorothy, just without the witches! After drawing or writing what she wants to dream about, she just has to slide the dream into the pillow and get to sleep.


I hoped that her having the positive images in mind in such a prominent and happy format would stop her imagination running away into scarier thoughts, and it seemed to ease her mind as well as she was actually excited to go to sleep!

She didn't dream about rainbows, but she didn't have any nightmares and said she will just have to try harder in her dreams the next night!

Dream Pillow is such a fantastic idea, and the creators have also produced a revolutionary sleep mask that reduces all light and up to 40 decibels of sound- so once the kids are settled with their pillows you can rest easy (or use it to ignore a snoring husband like me!).

If you'd like the chance to win both an original Dream Pillow and Sleep Mask, please do enter in the widget below! Thank you so much Dream Pillow for the good nights sleep!

Dream Pillow & Sleep Mask Giveaway

I was sent one Lamby Dream Pillow and sleep mask in exchange for this review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.
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Exciting News! 12 Weeks Pregnant


I'm so happy to finally be able to write about this- it's been a long 8 weeks of waiting and I've found my mind going blank when it comes to blogging ever since we found out. How could I bring myself to write when I couldn't yet talk about the most exciting thing we have going on!

I'm extremely pleased to announce that myself and Jack are expecting our third bundle of joy. Three children! Are we crazy? Many probably think so- we already have one of each and as I addressed in my previous post about feeling broody, we weren't sure that it was really the norm to venture past two children anymore.

But yes, little one is definitely on the way and the whole family is thrilled.

I'm 12+5 writing this today, and yesterday we had our 12 week scan to make sure everything is developing well with the baby- I feel very blessed to say it is.

Pregnancy so far has been surprisingly easy. With my first pregnancy, I didn't have morning sickness but I did faint all the time, even from the beginning. With my second, I had severe Hyperemesis almost from day one and ended up with acute SPD which started to ache almost from the beginning as well. We were of course nervous for what this pregnancy would bring, but the hormone gods have blessed me and I haven't thrown up or fainted or ached once!

At most, I'm tired. Wrangling two small children when all I want to do is nap lately has been hard and for some reason they've both decided that bedtime and wake up time are on a brand new schedule. Add in that I do have to get up to pee most nights and I'm definitely getting desparate for the second trimester energy.

The hormones are however, causing me to have more spots than I ever had combined for all my teenage years. My hair is annoyingly oily and I'm yet to crack the code for how often to wash it without it being too often. Breast ache has subsided but was a huge niggle for the first two months.

I'm definitely already in maternity jeans. I showed fairly quickly with my prior pregnancies and this one is no exception- they do say subsequent pregnancies can show earlier and at nearly 13 weeks there is definitely no hiding it. My uterus is way above my pubic bone already and I can feel it like a hard ball when I lay on my stomach (something I miss at night already, boo).

I'm so excited for this journey and to share it with you all!
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Friday, 12 April 2019

Kinder's Easter Range 2019- Review


Easter is definitely a highlight in my children's year- who doesn't love chocolate and an excuse to eat their body weight in it? We were absolutely thrilled to be contacted by Kinder and sent a whole bunch of goodies from their huge Easter range for 2019.

From the well known and well loved Kinder Eggs, to the absolutely huge full sized Powerpuff girls egg (and I'm being honest, it was about as big as Isla's head) there's something for everyone's taste and budget this year.


It's a lot more than chocolate, the eggs all have wonderful quality toys inside, meaning that even when the chocolate is gone, the fun can carry on. They're also offering an Easter egg hunt kit jammed full of treats and fun, easy to put together signs and pointers which keeps the tradition and excitement of the Easter egg hunt alive.


Getting into taste, my two loved having the job of taste tester (so did Jack who told me through a mouth full of chocolate that this was the best review I've ever had to do) and it's safe to say that they gave two sticky thumbs up each. Isla loved how different the Kinder Joy was- it still had a toy but had the novelty of scooping out soft kinder chocolate with a little spoon, and Archer has eaten more Kinder Chocolate Mini's than I can count.


The toys are amazing too- they've had loads of fun putting their things together, and the giant toys inside the larger eggs definitely surpassed our expectations. I won't show you what we got in the giant ones, as I don't want to spoil the surprise for any little eyes that may be peeking over your shoulder at this post... I can definitely see why there is such a hype for all those unwrapping videos now though!


So yes, Kinder's 2019 Easter range also has two very chocolatey thumbs up from me and I've definitely had to cave on my healthier diet at least 10 times in the last week.

As I said, there's options for all tastes and budgets. Ranging from just 99p to £15, as well as multiple options for toys (Powerpuff Girls, Minions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...) and even soft toys for the younger babies who can't have chocolate but can't miss the fun. The giant eggs are available in Tesco and Ocado only, so be sure to grab them while you can!

Thank you so much Kinder for all the wonderful treats, I'm going to have to go to the shops and grab some more for Easter now!


I received a hamper of Kinder's 2019 Easter range in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own honest words, and all photography is my own.
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Monday, 1 April 2019

Best Rides for Under 3's at Disneyland Paris


We were a little apprehensive about taking Archer and Isla to Disneyland initially. Isla is nearly four, but she is not the tallest in her class and she barely tops a meter. Archer is another ball game, as he is under two years old and much smaller than a meter.

There was little to no information online about what actual height limits were on all the rides, so is there much point taking such small children if they can't go on much?

Yes there is! There are so many things they can go on, so I'm listing the best rides for under 3's at Disneyland Paris right here for you.

1. It's a Small World

It's a strange one, and it's got that song that everyone loves to hate, but there is so much to look at that we were dragged on it 5 times by our little ones and didn't get bored.

2. Peter Pan's Flight

Try to get fast passes as this one is hugely popular, or get there as soon as the park opens... but it's so good! Fly in a ship over London and Neverland, no scary bits and plenty to keep children fascinated (a huge favourite for me as an adult as well).

3. Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin

They do ask your childs age for this one- it isn't to do with their height, they just want to know that they're old enough to hold their heads up as this one goes around and around pretty fast! Not too fast for little ones, but enough to be one of their first thrills.

4. Casey Jr's Circus Train

Remember that little train from Dumbo? They have it hidden in a corner of the main park, and it's great for kids and adults. Mine loved how fast it went around the track, and they get to pick which animal cage they sit in!

5. Dumbo's Flying Elephants

An absolute classic, and no doubt it's the one you've seen on all the adverts. Your little ones will love the views of Fantasyland with the maze and castle. If the queue's are too big and you want something similar, head over to the Studios and get on Aladdin's flying carpets- just as good!

6. Ratatouille: The Adventure

A 4D trackless ride that takes you running through the kitchens, the size of a rat! Archer kept his glasses on for the whole thing, and while a couple of bits may make your children jump (the chef is trying to catch you) it had Isla in hysterics. A fun ride if you have braver children.

7. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast

If you've got a Toy Story fan (both of mine are!) and have already run through all of the Toy Story section in the Studio park, head over to the main park for this ride! Though the little ones are rubbish shots, they loved the rotatable cars and getting to try get Zurg, as well as all the other cameos from Buzz throughout!


There are plenty of walk through areas if you aren't sure if your child will like rides- such as Alice's Labyrinth and Aladdin's Enchanted Passage, and there are so many rides I haven't even listed that your children might like. 

Some are a bit scarier despite small children being big enough to ride (Snow White and Pirates of the Caribbean for example) but they let the parents judge that one, and surprisingly mine did pretty well on both even so young!

I hope this helps with your planning! Let me know if there are any rides you'd add to this list.

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