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.

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!

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.

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.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

REAL tips for flying with toddlers!

Flying with toddlers. Flying with a lap toddler.... it doesn't sound fun.

Thankfully, our first flight was only an hour and a half long, but that doesn't even begin to cover any of the time dragging them through check in, security, milling around the departure lounge, heading to the gate, boarding the plane, sitting on the plane before and after take off, waiting to collect luggage... you catch my drift.

Airports are bloody boring if you're under 5 and have no money or patience. They're even more dreadful for the parents who have to endure those bored little people for half a day, even when the flight is "only" an hour and a half.

I've read so many posts with top tips for flying with small children and toddlers, but none of them truly touched on all that travelling by plane encompasses, so let's delve in and I hope that by the end of this post, if you're planning on flying with children you either change your mind (retreat!) or have a little more faith that you'll manage it.

When you first arrive at the airport:

Check in and luggage, security and of course...lines. Quite a lot of airlines these days allow you to check in early, so if you aren't checking luggage, chances are you're far more savvy than I am and you get to head right over to security. We did have luggage to check, because I am an over packer (plus we were getting tags to check our prams in at the gate, thank you for this huge convenience easyjet!).

The most important thing at this point, is to keep your little ones from going mad while they wait, because chances are there's a queue. I found with my oldest (she's nearly 4) the best thing to keep her mind occupied, was to invent jobs for her. She had her own little suitcase, and it was her job to wheel that along for example. Throw as many snacks as you can at them while they wait, promise them there is a McDonalds in the fabled departure lounge, and tell them they can watch as much Peppa Pig as they want on your phone. 

Also, make sure they wee before you start to line up because I promise you, they will decide they need one. Right away. Right before your turn with the X-Ray machine (especially if they've had to chug their drinks so they don't get binned!)

Departure Lounge:

If you manage to wrangle them through the X-Ray machines in security without a meltdown as they bin their water bottle, you've made it to the departure lounge. If you are lucky, unlike me, the promised McDonalds will buy you another 45 minutes of entertainment and a new toy. There was not a Maccas in the lounge when we flew, we had to sadly persuade the kiddies that Pret was just as good. It wasn't.

We watched planes, we gave Isla the job of watching when the board had new things appear, and we watched as much Peppa Pig on mummy's phone as we liked. Honestly, I keep repeating it. I'm not a fan of screens- my two don't get to use my phone or tablets, and they don't have their own and won't for a while. In the car, I tell them to look out the window... but at the airport, you gotta do what you gotta do to get by and just give in. Your sanity will thank you.

When it's finally time to get down to the gate, don't assume you don't need to move instantly. Yes, you have around 40 minutes before it leaves and before I had children, that was enough time to buy a magazine and a Toblerone before I wondered lazily away from the shops.... move move move- do it. We got to around 3 gates away before Archer decided it was prime pooping time and ended up at the back of the line to get on that silly little bus, Isla was wandering along with her little suitcase as slowly as she could and we just made it before they started boarding children.

On the plane:

I had a lap toddler. Archer is under two, so he had to be strapped to me. I used Netflix to "wifi free" download as many cartoons as I could onto my phone, and stuck it inches from his face in an attempt to keep him happy. He was lucky enough to get a go in the pilots seat in the cockpit before we took off, which meant while Jack was upfront with him I could get the bags and belts and older child all ready and settled.

Stickers, snacks, colouring (don't get round pencils, get the ridged edge ones so they don't roll off!) and cartoons were our saviours. If you bring things for them to do, take into account that they only stay focused for around 5-10 minutes before getting fidgety again.

Let them watch as much Peppa Pig as they want.

Being honest, nothing will prepare you for flying with children for the first time. I am no expert, but we did survive and we didn't piss off the people sitting around us too much and we all landed fairly happy but exhausted. Children get bored, it just happens, and no matter how you prepare, you never know how they'll handle a trip.

The real tip is don't beat yourself up or worry about the people around you, just focus on yourselves and try to enjoy it without letting the stress take over. They are people you will never see again and it'll be over before you know it.

Taking the #BepanthenProtects Challenge

As a parent, from the moment your little one is born, you want to do everything you can to make them happy. Whether it be ensuring they are fed before they start to cry with hunger, or that they get that cuddle before they need to ask for it, it's always been an aim of mine to ensure I try to cover my children's needs before it turns into full melt down mode!

This aim of course, means I've always got to keep their bottoms in check, and ensure I do what I can to prevent nappy rash and irritated skin before it can appear and bother them. For a long while, we actually used cloth nappies with Archer (we managed 7 months before the laundry became too much!) and as they aren't as absorbent, making him more prone to irritation, I actually started using Bepanthen nappy ointment before being asked to take part in this challenge and was thrilled to be able to tell you all about it.

The important thing to remember with Bepanthen is that it not intended for treating or preventing or curing nappy rash, but using it regularly and making it a part of your normal routine when changing a nappy can help to protect your babies skin when the rashes do threaten. A baby's skin is 40% thinner than an adults, which means it's far easier for them to get irritated.

I can't count how many times teething or new foods have given my little ones the type of filled nappy that could cause a rash... but keeping on top of it with cream before it hits really does help keep their skin protected. Apply a thin layer after changing them and letting their bottom dry, and their skin will be protected with a breathable layer that stops irritation from rubbing and moisture.

Bepanthen is kind to skin, and gentle, something I'm sure you will agree is very important when finding a product for your little one:

- No Fragrances
- No colours
- No Preservatives
- No Parabens
- No Antiseptics

There's even a handy travel sized bottle, perfect for throwing in a changing bag. It's definitely something I would recommend.

This post is an entry for the #BepanthenProtects challenge, sponsored by Bepanthen. Learn more about how to protect baby’s sensitive skin on https://www.bepanthen.co.uk

Monday, 4 March 2019

Mothers Day Gifts: Statement Made Jewellery [Giveaway]

Whether you're a mother hoping for something special this Mothers day, or looking for something to purchase for your own, or even a partner looking to get something from the children, it's safe to say it's a battleground.

From teddies, to mugs, flowers, photo frames... the market is inundated with possibility and it's often hard to find a gift that will really surprise and thrill a mum.

I've always been a huge lover of giving and receiving gifts with meaning. A personal gift, something that you know will really make someones day- it's all worth it to see the recipients face when they open it.

That's why I was so excited to be given the chance to work alongside Statement Made Jewellery this Mothers day. Their company stands for exactly what I do- creating something personal that reflects the wearer and everything they are, combining memories with self expression and using this combination to produce beautiful jewellery which makes the perfect gift.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love taking a leap, and making decisions without hesitation and seeing where life takes me.  I don't know which path I'm going to take next, it's a wonderful feeling wondering where I am going and where I'll be in a few years from now. If you had seen my face when I opened this gift from them... a beautiful necklace engraved with a compass pendant- it suited me perfectly.

They have a wonderful range especially for mothers day- if you want to take a look at the site and find the perfect gift, you can do here.

Giveaway: Win a stunning personalised 3D Rose Necklace

I'm offering all my readers the chance to win a stunning gold 3D Rose necklace, with their initial included to really keep it personal. All entrants must be 18 years or over and UK residents. Please enter using the widget below. The winner will be contacted by email after being randomly selected and will have 48 hours to respond- failure to do so will lead to drawing of a new winner.

Win a stunning gold personalised 3D Rose Necklace

I was kindly gifted a necklace in exchange for my honest thoughts, all words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

8 Toddler & Child friendly activities for Spring

The sun has been shining, and the daffodils are really making themselves known. This can only mean one thing (unless we are super unlucky and hit with another late snow)- Spring is right around the corner!

Spring really is a wonderful time for children, especially since it means after a long cold winter, they finally get to go outdoors more and take it all in. Newborn animals, flowers, seeds, baby birds, Easter... I've compiled a little bucket list of all the things we are going to do this season to both have fun and teach them about the changes in the world around them.

Toddler & Child Friendly Activities for Spring

1. Flower Planting

I've been explaining to Isla, that after everything has died or "gone to sleep" in nature during Winter, Spring is the time when everything gets it's colour back! Blossom, new leaves on trees, and new flowers! I want to get some seeds and bulbs and teach her how to plant them so she can see this for herself.

2. Making birds nests

Spring- the birds are tweeting as the sun rises earlier, and the trees are absolutely stuffed with nests ready to hatch the first chicks of the year. A simple craft activity that can be done with twigs, yarn, straw (or anything else you have to hand really!) and some glue. Get it all moulded around something round and non-stick like an inflated balloon, and once it's dry you pop it off and your little ones can display their nest with pride! Throw in some of those cute plastic eggs from the poundshop and they'll be so pleased.

3. Go on a nature walk

It sounds simple, but Spring really is a great opportunity to get outside as the weather warms up. Head outdoors and point out all the changes you can see happening, smell the flowers and take it all in together.

4. Jump in puddles

Spring isn't all sunshine and picnics- in England especially, it's often wet and rainy! Let your little ones throw on their wellies and jump in as many puddles as they can. At least it will be warmer so other than laundry, you don't really need to worry too much about anyone catching a cold and it's a great way for them to use up some energy.

5. Flower Printing

If you have any flowers around that are looking a little sad and limp, why not give them a final purpose? Let your little ones dab paint on the petals and stalk, and use them to print shapes on paper to make a Spring picture or collage! Let them glue petals on or even dip them in paint and just splat with them. Just make sure they know not to pick wild flowers or they'll be hoping to paint with whatever they see outdoors!

6. Pack a Picnic

Isla is obsessed with picnics, she loves eating outdoors and taking a football and all sitting together with sandwiches. It's such a simple thing but something kids of all ages enjoy, and a great way to get away from screens and distractions and get some good fresh air and a bit of vitamin D.

7. Visit a local farm

If you're lucky like us, there'll be plenty of farms around you with baby animals coming any time soon... We were lucky enough to catch some lambs being born last Spring and the children absolutely loved seeing all the baby animals and learning about it all. Most are pretty cheap and it makes a great day out!

8. Go on a bug hunt

With all the flowers and warm (often moist) air, it's the time when all the bugs come out to play. Take your kids out in the garden with some spades and help them look for worms. Or take a magnifying glass and see what you can find in the flowers. It's fun, dirty, and potentially educational- perfect for this time of year.

What do you plan on doing with your little ones this Spring?


Saturday, 23 February 2019

Should I feel guilty for being broody?

I'm extremely blessed. I have two beautiful children, who are both healthy and happy, and who I love with all of my heart. It was relatively easy to get pregnant, and despite suffering two miscarriages in my life, my fertility is normal. I can't complain really, right?

Despite all this, I do feel an almost painful urge to have more children. Just one more. I'm one of four myself, and felt it was a little too much.. but two has never felt enough. Often times, I wonder if I my desire for just one more is selfish. Shouldn't I just be happy with what I have? What would I do if I had one more and the feeling didn't pass like I believe it would?

It isn't anything to do with not feeling my children are enough- they are more than enough, they really do make my life worth living. I just can't help but feel like there's someone missing. I haven't met them, and there's a chance they'll never exist, but I really do sense them and pine for them.

Sometimes the feeling is overwhelming. I imagine Christmas in years to come, and I imagine it with a big family, outnumbered, loud and overwhelming but perfect. I imagine my youngest as a big brother. I imagine so much, that it would be easy to get caught up in "what ifs".

It may be hormones- I'm not 30 yet, so it isn't a factor of my biological clock ticking. The experts may say it is simply my natural urges, wanting me to be pregnant and to create life. My husband will say it is the fact I've forgotten how hard pregnancy and labour and the year after are (baby amnesia!). Maybe I feel as though time has slipped through my fingers.

I'm doing what I can to help the feelings level out, though I know they wont fully. I've spoken to Jack about it a lot, and got it all off my chest which has been an outstanding help. I'm being as proactive as I can to spend all my time and love with the children I do have. That said, there are times when I drive myself silly looking at their newborn photos and my old pregnancy photos... it's counterproductive of me I know, but as much as it makes the broodiness worse, it also reminds me that I have what I have.

I feel like I am constantly trying to justify myself. I feel I need to justify why I want another child, and that is it okay to want more children, and to reassure an imaginary person that I do love my life as it is but it just would be nice... it's so hard to not feel guilty for feeling like this.

It's on the table, and I suppose with life we just have to see what happens. I think the best thing I did in all this, was to talk to Jack about it as he never really understood that I wasn't joking when I'd mention number three.

So my question is really, should I be feeling guilty for how I feel? Or am I just over thinking what is a perfectly unselfish and normal way of feeling?

Let me know.

Mix It Up Linky

Monday, 18 February 2019

Our Rustic DIY Wedding

I can't believe I'm married!

When I met Jack, he wasn't overly sold on the concept of marriage, and it wasn't until we'd already had two children that he decided to pop the question and ask me to be his wife. It meant a lot to me- to fully declare how we felt to everyone else, as well as joining our families together officially. I'd legally get to take his name and share the name of my children.

We decided we wouldn't wait too long between getting engaged and actually getting hitched, and after viewing just two venues, we booked it for just over a year later! We chose one of the more beautiful sites local to us- The Danish Camp in Willington.. the site is by a river, surrounded by trees and fields and everything a nature lover could ask for. All solid wood and greenery and a huge lodge/marquee. Perfect for the theme we were going for.

We wanted our wedding to reflect us and who we are- we didn't want it to be too fancy, and we didn't want it to seem like we were trying hard to impress. We like the simple things, and we also wanted to keep it budget friendly so we could continue saving for a mortgage.

Much to any pinterest lovers delight, we went for a rustic wood and "forest" feel with all our decor, and re purposed and recycled most of it to fit the theme! Think lots of old jars, hessian, pallets and other wood features... I designed and created everything from invites to favour boxes and other than the clothes, pretty much everything was DIY!

For our flowers, we went to the local Sainsburys and walked out with £50 worth of bouquets- I just picked up colours and combinations I liked, as well as a whole ton of gyposphila. It took hours of trimming but we managed to create two larger bunches, two smaller posies and we had enough leftover to fill the jars and decorate around the room.

Our cake wasn't a hugely important part to us, as it was just the the cutting and I'd read so much can be wasted... I spent £30 on nice cupcakes and a larger "Cupcake" for the top from Tesco, and I think it was perfect! None went to waste as people could just grab them and have them througout the night.

I re purposed four pallets for the occasion. I sanded and stained them (with help from Jack and my Sister) and I used two for photo boards, with old baby and childhood photos of both me and Jack. The third, I used to hold the table plan I designed on photoshop (to match our invites and all the other wedding stationary I created at home!) and the final one I carefully painted to welcome our guests. Other than paint, all of this was free as the frames were donated by everyone we knew as well!

We even managed to find a beaten up old suitcase, which worked perfectly as a free card box once I'd given it a bit of a clean and thrown some flowers at it. We used a polaroid camera for our guest book, and I managed to find bulk sweets online to make a sweetie area for the guests!

It was the most beautiful day. Doing a DIY wedding is definitely straining as it takes so much time, and the end result feels so far away... but now it's over I'd definitely do it again in a heartbeat.


Saturday, 16 February 2019

My Copper Coil FELL OUT!

This is a warning folks- this post is going to contain a lot of "tmi" and be a little graphic because yes, I am going to be talking about periods and fannies and birth control.... back away while you still can.

After the disaster of using nearly all of the hormonal birth control options over the last 8 years (think angry murderous cow at all times) I opted to get the copper coil following Archer's birth around 18 months ago.

Hormone free, up to ten years of retirement for the old baby box, and supposedly unnoticeable once it was in? Sign me up. I skipped off to the doctors and got it as soon as healthily possible. I was told there might be some discomfort ranging from a few hours to a few weeks tops, and that as long as I could feel the strings, I would be fine.

Now every month since then, I have to say, it has been like that scene from The Shining. For those who haven't seen this movie, basically they open the lift doors and there is a literal tsunami of blood that fills the corridor. This is not a metaphor, this has happened for 18 months straight. The doctor tutted a little and reassured me that yes heavier periods can be a side affect... but I am talking 13 days straight of not even being able to use a tampon or walk. I hold my hands up to women who go through this naturally without it being caused by birth control. You are true troopers.

The heaviness would leave me weak, depressed, unable to go out without the fear I'd be leaving a little breadcrumb trail of blood. It was horrific. But I could feel my strings, so nothing was wrong right?

Adding into this, was the fact that for 18 months I was absolutely certain I could feel it when getting intimate with Jack. It hurt so much, and it just felt like the thing was hitting me in the cervix from the inside and pinching- occasionally I'd move slightly and it would feel sharp.

In hindsight, I really should have seen the GP, but everything I'd been told and read about just said if I could find my strings, it was fine, and after yet another call we had arranged me an appointment in a fortnight to check it and remove it if I wanted.

But then the cramps started. We were walking around London, and honest to god it felt like early labour. My stomach was contracting, worsened by walking or sudden movements. I kept thinking I was constipated- I had an urge to push and nothing was moving. It was horrific, and pain killers wouldn't touch it. This went on for two whole days before I finally sat on the toilet again and tried to go to the bathroom and then it happened.

The thing actually fell down into the toilet.

The entire coil. Strings and all. All the copper. It looked massive!

I couldn't believe it- had my cervix and fanny literally opened 2 inches wide and it just fell out? Was I dying? Was it broken? Was I broken?

I phoned the doctor in a panic, who summarised that due to how it'd felt the last 18 months, it was probably in the wrong place the entire time and the contractions were my body literally rejecting it. Apparently, the chances of rejection again are heightened now. It's rare, but she wasn't even surprised and jokingly commented on the fact I could cancel my removal appointment now. I wasn't bloody laughing....

I actually gave birth to my birth control.

It's a relief that it's gone though, if I'm being honest. My stomach already feels better, as well as my downstairs. Everything changed as soon as it came out and clearly it was just something my body just didn't agree with. I'm hoping my monthly cycles settle down a little too now (though I'll have to cancel my stocks in Tampax now that I don't buy 4 boxes a month).

Has anyone else experienced this with the copper coil? Let me know!

Where has life taken us?

Well, time flies when you're having fun right? I'm ashamed to say this little blog of mine has been on the back burner for far too long. Only one post last year- how awful of me! But I mean it, we've really been having the most wonderful time and life has changed for us all in so many ways.

Last year, I spent 11 straight months planning our wedding essentially on my own (huge shout out to my little sister who had to put up with the brunt of me delegating tasks and complaining) and it was an experience I am so thankful for. There'll be a post shortly with all the gory and beautiful details.

We've had holidays, and many spontaneous weekends away and trips here and there. Anyone who knows me and Jack will know that we love a last minute decision- they're definitely the most fun.

Isla turned three last May, and in September she started preschool five days a week (only 3 hours mind you, but that just means two school runs in such a short period of time...usually in the rain) and also started performing and learning with a local professional ballet school- so that has been taking up a lot of our time as well!

Archer has changed so much, and looking back at my old blog posts about his development as a baby has left me secretly pining for the time to stop, or for another baby, or a puppy, or anything small as squishy to love and cherish...boo. He's walking, chattering away, cuddling, sleeping through the night when he feels like it (which is not often) and generally an all around big boy now. He turns two in June- how??

I think it's healthy to step back sometimes when it comes to blogging. I've been known to flit through hobbies as often as I change my sheets. This last year alone I've started teaching myself photography, tried to learn to knit, tried to crochet, tried to sew a memory quilt out of all the old baby clothes, tried to organise my house... the list is endless. I'm glad to finally have the time to come back and write again though. I find spilling my thoughts for a handful of people to skim through is such a good thing for the mind, and on top of that it saves me chewing Jack's ear off when he gets home because really I ramble about the most random things and he's actually taken to phoning me on the way home so I can get as much out as possible before he walks into the mad house craving silence.

I'm glad to be back.

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