Monday, 30 January 2012

What my toddler is obsessed with..

What my toddler is obsessed with.. 6 months on.. SpongeBob SquarePants. Trains. Chilli Con Carne. Shoes. Steak flavoured mccoys crisp. iphones. Lego. Chocolate spread on toast. The hoover. Elefun. Balls. Bubbles. Daddy. Shapes, especially circles. The moon. Stars. Disney films. Cars. Scooby Doo. His blanket. The Xbox. Jumping. Baths. Local wacky warehouse. Colouring. His torch. Nee Naws. Reading Books. Mummy's bump. Barking like a dog. Chasing cats. Chocolate. Horton hears a who. Cuddles. Kisses. Tomato Ketchup. Playmobil. Chips. Mummy. Pink Panther. Ice Cream. Farm animals. Planes. Potato waffles. Darts. Naps on the sofa. Smiling. Hexbug. Making a mess. Growing his hair. Smelling things. Pizza. The Simpsons. Trees. Geoffrey the giraffe. Sweets. Socks. Balloons. Toys. Ribena. Dancing. Farting. Yogurts. Casper the ghost. Swimming. Running. Hide and seek. Chatting on the phone. Biscuits. Sleeping. Trains.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Urban Surfer

Being a woman, you're just not going to turn down the chance to review a pair of shoes. Especially when they come from a shop you would usually shop in yourself. So when Urban Surfer got in contact I was quick to say yes. I choose a new pair of funky red trainers, from the brand Osiris.

I'm kinda making it my aim in life to have a pair of trainers in every colour. Websites like this provide me with those alternative trainers which can be difficult to find elsewhere.

The shoes have been put to the test over the last couple of months with me wearing them almost everywhere park/work/town/the pub. What can you say about a pair of shoes? Comfy is certainly one word, you wear shoes everyday so why not make them something worth wearing. I've had no problem chasing after a toddler with them, and the soles still look as good as new after all these months. Quite flexible with what you can wear them with too, all I'm wanting to wear at the moment in this pregnancy is leggings and they both go pretty well together.

Urban Surfer started as a physical surf and skate store back in 1995, so they know all about good customer service. They've grown into one of the UK's largest online retailers of skate, surf, ski and urban clothing who have won many awards over the years.

They offer free UK delivery on all products other the obvious heavier items and if you're not in the UK then they can ship internationally for a small additional charge. Want your item faster? If you order before 4pm Monday to Friday then they dispatch them the very same day.

These red/white Osiris 1904 shoes are currently available for £29.99 with free delivery, but if these are not your type of shoes why not check some of the other brands such as Converse, Etnies and Animal. You can also find Urban Surfer over on and on .

Second Hand Buys - Browsing Charity Shops

Random week for my buys this week, I seem to of done more selling this week then buying which I guess is a good thing. Not as fun as buying of course but needs must. All my buys this week came from browsing charity shops.

Bought the boy a Vertbaudet jumper for 50p, not taken a picture as he's currently wearing it and is half naked, yeah the whole pants thing still isn't going very well. More toys for the boy, I know - more toys! Though have shifted some more of his old toys on facebook and put some into storage.

Am considering anything I buy for Oli these days a
good investment seeing as we're having another boy. Got this little school bus and ambulance for 10p each from a little car box, teaches me for parking his pram next to it whilst browsing the clothes rails. When paying the lovely man at the till gave Oli a magazine which kept him entertained the rest of our time in town. I find the people in the charity always much friendly then other shops, I guess that's because they volunteer and actually want to be there.

Treated myself to a book for 20p, my sisters keeper. I keep seeing the film on my bt vision box so am going to see if I can read the book before I get round to watching the film. That's 90p we spent on second hand buys this week. Me & the man have both set ourselves a mission to hunt out Disney DVDs, not proving to successful in any charity shops so may use the second hand dvd shops that both and offer (have linked to where you go on the sites to sell in case you've not come across it before, I assume that buying the second hand items is found amongst buying them new.)

I feel my buys are rather pathetic at the moment! Though am rather jealous of Carolines Car Booty stash each week. It seems that every car boot in my area has gone into hibernation! Roll on the summer when we can hit the local car boot fields. Did you get any fab second hand buys?

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

We seem to be having bedtime success

I've not wanted to post about this just yet in fear of horribly jinxing it and having to write the total opposite, but we seem to be having success with bedtime. We always did anyway but that was before we decided to turn the cot into a bed, nighttime was a breeze and often got a 7/8pm to 8/9am out of him. Yes, feel free to hate me but just think this one will be the total opposite to make up for it. Can feel it in my bloody already, I'm going to be seeing 5/6am with this one. If you see tumbleweed blowing across this blog in a couple of year's time then you know I was right.

Sunday we took the plunge and took the sides off and replaced it with a bed rail, we've been putting it off for so long now. It's like the last step in our toddler journey to helping him become a little boy, we've got the potty training going on and we're slowly saying goodbye to the pram. Guess one reason I put it off for so long was the thought of losing those lovely hours sleep that both him and us got. I feared that he would be so excited about being able to get himself in and out of bed that he wouldn't be interested in sleep. It was tweets from both and who've both got twins each and have introduced them to beds which kicked me into getting my one toddler into his own bed.

I thought we would have another delay when we realised the stair gate wouldn't fit across his door but fitted it to the tops of the stairs instead, so much for having a stair gate-free house until the next one came along. When Sunday evening came we took out his storage unit full of toys and put it in the hallway so that he wouldn't be tempted by his toys, though we did keep his bookshelf in the room with all his books on and some of his toys. Did you take toys out of the room as well?

We took him upstairs where he climbed into bed, snuggled up with his duvet. We stood outside expecting little feet to go wandering, but heard nothing so came downstairs and got on with our evening. This has been repeated the last two nights with no issues other then a sea of books on the floor in the mornings which we don't mind at all. I really did think we would have issues with this, what was I so afraid of? Though maybe leaving it this point helped us, him still being in a cot was causing no harm at all though it was getting a struggle for me getting him in and out with this bump sticking out. It will be nice when we go away and not have to worry about a travel cot, but can just put him in a normal bed.

I know some people don't have it easy when it comes to introducing children to a bed, if you have any advice then please go and share it with Laura who sounds like she's having a nightmare of a time with her toddler and introducing him to a bed.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Toddlerisms #6

Meeting Mike The Knight at The Toy Fair

Monday, 23 January 2012

Win a £75 Amazon voucher with Appliances Online

We've teamed up with to offer you a fantastic competition to win £75 worth of Amazon vouchers which you can choose to spend on whatever you like. We want you to share photo's of your kids at their messiest in a blog post and then come back to this post and add it to the linky below. Just make sure you put a tagline under the photo saying 'This is my entry to the messiest kids competition, check out all the other entries over on Me, The Man & The Baby'.

It's as simple as that!

I've been searching through my photo albums to see what photos I have of Oli at his messiest, I found some of him getting messy with both paint and food. I actually think the mess we've created in the past has been quite tame compared to the mess he could create given half the chance!

The competition ends on the 5th February 2012 which gives you 2 weeks to catch your kids at their messiest. Good Luck and have fun getting messy!

Learn how to manage your stress

Everyday stress and strain can take its toll on our overall happiness and, more importantly affect your child’s happiness, for this reason, it is important to look after ourselves and manage our stress levels to ensure that it doesn't snowball into a bigger problem that is harder to deal with.

The unstable British economy has made times difficult for a number of individuals, especially given higher cost of living and job losses. However, if you feel like burying your head in the sand to escape a financial burden - or any burden for that matter - it is important to seek help.

There are a number of methods you can turn to in a bid to reduce your blood pressure, improve your health and relieve stress, such as those available from an online pharmacy service. For example, some parents find traditional herbal medicines like Passion Flower extract useful to help them regulate their stress levels.

Some of the best stress management tactics are affordable - or don't cost a single penny. These include exercise, laughter, or spending some time in the fresh air. Exposure to natural light and the great outdoors can help the body generate positive energy and remind you of some of life's simple pleasures. The current recommendations for a healthy mind and body include at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day, so why not spend some quality time with your family and take a walk together in the countryside?

Listening to music, slipping into a warm bath and aromatherapy are also great to keep high stress levels at bay, and they are even better when you combine them! Run yourself a warm bath, light some candles, pop on your favourite CD and add a few drops of lavender to the water. Kick back and relax and feel your troubles drift away.

This is a guest post

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Second Hand Buys - Buying & Selling on Facebook

I really didnt think I would be able to post anything this week following on from my first second hand buy post I put up last Sunday. Thanks to falling down the stairs at the beginning of the week and making one backache even more of a backache, I hadnt really left the the house. This meant no trawling through charity shops or carboots for me. Didnt even leave me wanting to browse ebay, though I was hoping that I could post about 2 bargain bedside tables which I thought I was going to get for £20 which stayed the price for the last couple of days of bidding until it jumped straight up to £60 in those last few seconds! Always the way with ebay, have to be quick.

I guess that's why I much prefer the other means now a days where you see a item in front of you and its pretty much yours as soon as you pay for it. Have found a nifty 21st century way of buying and selling things which I didn't get round to sharing last week and that's using facebook.

It's like having a local freecycle but its somewhere you can advertise items you have for sale as if you were inserting it as newspaper ad, the advantage is that it happens in real time. The moment you click send your item is there being advertised for sale to locals around you. I've become a huge fan of my local group after shifting half a garage and attic on to it in exchange for some ££. I know it's became a really popular option around my area as the newspaper ads have certainly lessened. I wanted to see how popular it really was so picked random towns from the top of my head and search 'for sale' followed by that town name and I got a result each time. So good news if you're in , or . If there isn't a site local to you why not set one up, invite a few local friends and go from there.

Friday evening I struck gold on one of my local sites
with this Tomy Universal Bed Rail, the ad read that it was a bed rail for sale which had only been used for a short time and that the going price was £10. It was only just a couple hours after browsing one on the argos website that I saw this, so knew if I was to grab this that I would also be grabbing myself a baragin. The lady even dropped it off for us, so guess what went up in place of a cot bed rail this morning. The bed rail is like she said perfect condition and we saved ourselves £15.99 by going second hand.

Did you get any great second hand buys this week?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Vax Ultra Rapide 2 Carpet Washer

You cant review a more appropriate item when you about to move house then a carpet cleaner, we had a few carpeted rooms that needed doing and a rug. We were asked to review the Vax Ultra Rapide 2 Carpet Washer which we put to the test on the rug one evening before bed so that it could dry over night. Now this rug has been proper abused by our toddler, it did off the year as a cream coloured rug and it ended up looking more like a brown rug.

Was impressed at how easy it was to assemble following the step by step instructions in the instruction booklet. The washer handle, tool caddy and hose was simple to put on and took barely any time at all to do.

We started off with the pre - treatment kit which we applied to a more obvious mark on the rug. We simply brushed the wand against the mark and left for 15 minutes. Then we (I say we, I actually mean the man) took to using the Carpet Washer on the rug. The washer glided along the rug without a problem even with the powered water jets spraying out the bottom with the rotating brushbar. We were seeing results as we were going along, and you could really see how much dirt it was picking up by looking at the dirty water tank.

Dryness had started to kick in straight away which shows how good the powerful dual v suction was, means that we can use it on the carpet without waiting until the summer where we would need to leave the doors and windows open to help dry it.

See the below pictures for before and after shots of the rug, the before photos
were taken with the light on as it was in the evening but you can quite clearly see the lack of creaminess in the rug. Overall we're so pleased with the results, you can see for yourself in the after pictures how fantastically it has worked. The cleaner has really bought life back into the rug and has made look as good as the day it was bought.

The next thing we plan on using is the wash tool on our sofa, it's easy enough to put the cushion covers in the wash but we cant exactly put the rest of the sofa in the wash so will be a refreshing change to use this instead of scrubbing the sofa with some kind of mousse or hot water. Expect another youtube video with how that goes.

Now that we've moved from a house with laminated flooring to a house which is
totally carpeted we expect the cleaner to be put to use on pretty much a weekly basis, what with a toddler who is potty training and another baby on the way and we all know what babies mean, baby sick! We've already had one drink spillage this morning (may not of been the toddler) where the cleaner was needed to make sure it didn't leave a red stain on our cream carpet - yep we just don't learn our lesson!

Video of the Vax Rapide Carpet Washer 2 in action



The Vax Rapide Ultra 2 is available directly from the online Vax shop for £279.99 which includes a free 2 years guarantee and free delivery. Plenty of support available online as well buying those extra products, refills and access to user guides just in case you've mislaid yours.

Friday, 20 January 2012

How to talk so toddlers will listen

I've been lucky enough to of been given a sneak extract from Joanne Mallon's new book - . The book brings together tips and advice from parents who have survived the toddler years and are now passing on essential information on to parents of toddlers like me and you. The book is helping to raise money for the charity homestart and is available in both and in .

How to talk so toddlers will listen

To a little kid, you the adult can be pretty imposing (whether you mean to be or not) simply because you’re so much bigger than they are. Therefore if you want to ensure that your toddler takes in what you’re saying, it can help to get down on their level and look them in the eye when you’re speaking to them. It’s a simple thing but it really does make a difference - it makes a welcome change for the child who may be more used to hearing your instructions boomed from on high. Obviously it’s not always practical to do this, and you might get arrested if you tried it whilst driving down the fast lane of the M4, but give it a go when you can.

The other advantage of speaking to your child on their level is that you won’t have to shout (nor should you, unless your intention is to frighten the child). If you can feel yourself veering into shouty parent mode too much, getting on to your child’s level is a good, calmer alternative.

It can also help to hold your toddler’s hand as you speak to them – the aim is to slightly still their naturally physical nature and help them concentrate on what you’re saying. Also it may prevent them from running off if they don’t like what they hear.

Use simple, straightforward language that your child will understand. This doesn’t mean you have to boom in one syllables like a children’s TV presenter. But think about the language you use and the concepts you take for granted and ask yourself – will my toddler really know what I’m on about?

Keep it direct and don’t over-explain. They don’t have to know every why when and wherefore of the fact that it’s time for bed.

Be aware of your own tone of voice. Do you sound hesitant, like you don’t really believe what you’re saying? Do you phrase commands as if they’re a question (“Why don’t we start getting ready for bed now?”). Toddlers will pick up on this hesitancy and crush you like the mini-tyrant they are. So practice a firm and clear tone of voice. You’re going to need it.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Potty training - introducing him to pants

So still continuing our potty training journey, which has been going really well. Whenever we're at home and he needs the potty he'll go on it. Though this is through him spending most days half naked and heating cranked up. We decided to take it to the next step of introducing him to big boy pants. He's been using the pull up pant nappies which aren't the small packs which are suggested for potty training but just ones without tabs (any other parent who buys nappies on a regular basis knows what I'm babbling on about!) for over a year now. They were needed when he just stays still for the tabs to be put on and plus we found these much easier when out and about.

It was a couple of days ago that we tried him with some pants, he was really against putting them on. We did everything we could to explain to him that these were ok, we explained that we wear underwear and that his cousin wears it too. They were even Peppa Pig pants! We got them on him but he really wasn't pleased about it. I feared this wouldn't help with the potty training, and whenever I suggested having a wee he would take the pants off completely and not sit on the potty with them around his ankles. We then have a fight putting them back on him again.

Is this just another obstacle like the pooing on the potty? Which is going ok, its been happening though I think he would still rather do it in his nappy. Am trying to take this to the next stage of getting him to do this on the toilet instead of on the potty. Though I much rather him do in the potty then anywhere else, I doubt my delicate tummy could handle cleaning poop of the carpet. Bet you wish you didn't read this paragraph now.

Any tips on what I can do to help him come to terms with pants?

Cash Loans

Looking for a quick cash loan until payday comes around? Why not visit It's easy to apply with 3 simple steps, where you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home. Simply apply online where your application then gets sent instantly to over 25 lenders, then check your email where once approved you'll have email confirmation and then the money will be transferred to your bank account in minutes.

Cash loans can offer you same day cash loans which can help give you that financial aid if you needed it that very same day. Say you got offered a last minute holiday, needed something in the house repaired or had a urgent vets bill that needed paying then get help with a same day cash loan.

Many reasons why you should get a cash loan from some being that you can borrow from £100 - £1000, get a instant decision on it and you don't have the hassle of paperwork, complicated forms or phone calls.

This is a sponsored post

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Win £100 Tesco Vouchers to spend at the Tesco Baby Event

To celebrate the launch of Tesco's Baby Event which launched yesterday and continues until 5th February, we've been given £100 of Tesco Vouchers to give away to one lucky reader.

Just look at some of the great offers available..

● Pampers Baby Dry Carry Pack: was £6.49 each, now £4.30 each
● Pampers Simply Dry Carry Packs was £4.50 each, now £3.00
● Johnson’s Baby Wipes 64-Pack:was £2.44 each, now 95p each
● Huggies Super Dry Economy Pack: was £9.98 each, now half price £4.99
● Aptamil Growing Up Milk 12m+ 900g: was £8.49 each, now £6.50 each

Products on BOGOF:

● Johnson’s Baby Bubble Bath & Wash, 500ml: £2.99
● Johnson’s Baby Gold Shampoo, 500ml: £2.60
● Johnson’s Baby Pink Soft Wash, 400ml: £2.98
● Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bath, 500ml: £2.50

Half Price Buys:

● Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Electronic Steam Steriliser: was £47.99, now half price £23.99
● Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Microwave Steriliser: was £26.99, now half price £13.49
● Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Electric Breast Pump: was £99.99, now half price £49.99
● Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Freedom Breast Pump: was £29.99, now half price £14.99

We'll be stopping by the Tesco Baby Event, what with one on the way and a toddler who consumes baby wipes at the count of 1 per second, we'll be stocking up!

To be in with a chance of winning this £100 Tesco voucher leave me a comment letting me know what you would spend it on, I know I would use it to grab as many packs of nappies which are on offer as possible. Competition ends 22nd January 2012 and is open to UK residents only.

For a extra entry tweet - By tweeting this I'm in with a chance of winning £100 Tesco Vouchers with @MeTheManAndBaby & the #TescoBabyEvent

Make sure you're following them at for your chance to win more great prizes every day whilst the baby event is going on.

Good luck!

Monday, 16 January 2012

The WellWoman and CancerCare Plan

With the news that 1 in 8 UK women have a lifetime risk of breast cancer (information from Cancer Research from February 2011), Chartis Direct has experienced increased interest in its cancer insurance products WellWoman and CancerCare.

WellWoman is a unique insurance policy designed to give vital financial and emotional help when it is needed most, by delivering a cash payout on diagnosis of one of the seven female cancers, which together account for 40% of cancers affecting women in the UK. There is a choice of Standard or Premier Cover levels, which provide a £25,000 or £50,000 cash payout upon diagnosis of a malignant cancer. For early stage cancers which have not spread the payment is £1,000.

There are no rules on how the cash payout can be used; it could cover cost of extra childcare or home help, to cover travel or parking costs during treatment, or for a holiday to recuperate at the end of treatment. Like Sam below in the video I know that my money would have to be put towards childcare, with one toddler already, another on the way and a partner who works all the hours going to provide for us that money could go far. We wouldn't be able to afford for him to take time off from work and with limited people around us who could help, our only option would be childcare and we all know how costly this can be.

There is no medical examination and no family medical history information is required. Woman living in the UK aged between 18 and 69 years old are guaranteed to be accepted on the plan.

Swimming Instructor Sam, 38, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk benefited from WellWoman when she was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago:

Sam’s Story

Commenting on Sam’s story, Amanda Evans, Spokesperson for WellWoman, says, “We think about the emotional impact of cancer, but quite often it is the financial impact that we need extra help with, while undergoing treatment. Our cancer insurance products empower women like Sam by giving them extra money and choice at a time when they may feel most out of control. For a woman in her late 30’s, monthly premiums are a similar price to a couple of magazines, but the policy gives huge reassurance.”

About the WellWoman Plan: Provides a cash payout upon first diagnosis of one of seven female cancers including breast and cervical. Partners can be added to the policy at a discounted rate and men receive cover for 4 male specific cancer’s including prostate and testicular. Children of the policyholder can be covered free. Standard premiums for a woman in her late 30’s are £6.25 a month.

About the CancerCare Plan: Provides a cash payout upon first diagnosis of any malignant cancer. Children of the policyholder can be covered free. For a non-smoking family of four in their late 30’s Standard premiums cost £15.30 a month.

A Sympathetic Ear

Four in 10 patients say it’s more difficult coping with the emotional aspects of the disease than the physical (Macmillan Cancer Support April 2006). In addition to helping with the financial burdens associated with a cancer diagnosis and treatment, WellWoman provides emotional help too, through its Care Advisory Service:
  • A personal nurse available by phone for dedicated help and advice on specialist equipment, appliances or equipment, details of Support Groups details, or for advice on nutritional supplements
  • Either five free telephone calls to a specialist counsellor, or a residential course of complementary therapy at the Penny Brohn Centre in Bristol, or a therapy or counselling programme. Information can also be provided about benefits, grants and work related issues.

This is a sponsored post

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Second Hand Buys - Introducing my new weekly post

I've decided to start myself a weekly post challenge, all I seem to find myself blogging about lately is pregnancy and toddlers. Shocking huh? Thought I would throw something else in the mix for you to read about and for me to blog about. I failed the whole new years resolution I set myself of blogging everyday, maybe every other day would of been more achievable.

I have no shame what so ever in saying that I am a HUGE fan of charity shops, ebay and anywhere else where you grab bargains. I actually kinda enjoying shopping in these places more then your average high street shops.

Cleaning out some of Oli's toys this week and actually selling some of them on for ££ left some money so I treated him to some bargains. Trying to keep up with his toddler trends these seems to be what his new goodies are based around. We got this TY Spongebob, one of his new favourite TV programs. Bargain price of £2.

Next bargain was this fantastic Scooby Doo set for £5, I'm thinking I could of knocked them down a little more but thought it a steal as it was. He's already lost one of the figures, sure I'll find her down the side of the sofa/in the washing machine/in one of my shoes.

He's into games and puzzles now so have been trying to find toddler friendly games that we can sit down
together and play. Just had to have this crocodile especially when I got it for only £2. I had one as a child and had many laughs with my brothers, you press down on the teeth hoping that your not the one who gets the mouth snapped down on them. Oli thinks this is hilarious. Good buy mummy.

Am including a linky in case you got any great second hand buys this that you want to
share. I'm sure I'll be back next week in week 3 with a whole post full of things.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

TK Maxx for Nursery Essentials

I really can not tell you how much we adore TK Maxx in our house, from homeware to the toddlers toys it's where we shop for most things. It's where we bought most of our Christmas presents from. Being pregnant and not doing too well with crowds/warm places it was idea to get them from here where they sell everything under one roof (not quite everything but enough to get gifts for every member of the family!)

We were asked if we would love to check out what nursery essentials TK Maxx sell and were given a £50 voucher to see what we would get with it. They didn't really sell nursery items when the toddler was born so this was a new section for me to check out. We were invited to check out the TK Maxx store in Birmingham at the Bullring, where they have up to 80% off nursery essentials. I was quite pleased to find out it's the first store your greeted by when you walk out of Birmingham new street station. Very handy when your baby bump tends to make you waddle at times., though I was still nearly late for our train thanks to getting carried away with our browsing and shopping.

Being a second time mum I now know what we need when it comes to buying for a newborn, what those nursery essentials really are and I'm pleased to report we found everything you need from pregnancy to when they hit toddler age all in one section. Everything from bottles, sterilisers, blankets to moses baskets were on sale. They even had a clearance section which I grabbed some bargains from. They catered for both sexes and all ages, so no complaints from us with the selection they had to offer. The great thing about TK Maxx is that each time you visit there is usually something new on sale, well this is what we've found whenever we go in each time.

I know I'm not alone when I say that I really struggled to find somewhere which sold a decent selection of baby boy's clothes, well here at TK Maxx they had a fantastic selection of baby gro's, tshirts, trousers and jackets. From ages newborn to toddler (and then you can hit the next rack along when you can no longer find the right size!) I'm a fan of bright colours and I don't know about you but I'm slightly put off by those racks with the same outfit over and over again, in TK Maxx we find some uniqueness which helps brings personality to babies clothes.

Curious to what I bought? Well here's a picture below of our purchases. I'm really happy with what we got and took great pleasure in showing the man our bargains when we got home. I got a sleeping bag from a leading brand which was the third of a price I've elsewhere which sell it, major saving right there. A memory book which I've started using already to record pregnancy details, this would make a great gift for a expectant parent. A blanket which took me a while to choose as they had quite a wide selection, all with very different patterns. I know this was a important buy as if he's anything like his brother, he'll still be carrying it around 3 years later. A couple of baby grow's, both with funky slogans and one even had a matching hat. From the clearance section I grabbed a dribble bib for £2 and for the same price a little cuddly toy which makes noises which the toddler picked out for his new baby brother.

That's several items we got for just under £50. I'm very pleased with that and if we could of got these items at full price elsewhere, pretty sure we would of been looking at much more then £50 as the total sum.

Thanks TK Maxx! I had a really tough time at the start of this pregnancy and I've been in a kind of denial which has not made me really want to buy items for baby. Shopping and browsing all the baby stuff you had on offer really has helped to make it feel real for me, I plan on using the one outfit we bought as his first outfit once he's born! We very much look forward to returning in the next couple of weeks and spending the £4.05 we have left on the voucher, as well as kitting out the toddler for Spring.

To find your nearest TK Maxx use this handy little store locator from the TK Maxx website, they can also be found on and .

We were provided with a £50 voucher to spend on Nursery Essentials, this doesn't effect our blog post in anyway as we're such big fans already.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Haircut Dilemma

Having a nightmare with trying to get the toddler to have his haircut, we have one of those breeds of toddlers that just don't stay still longer then 20 seconds. Though he has got much better at this and will stay still when told in a very stern way or when bribed with sweets or chocolate (we all do it at some point!) it wasn't more of a case of him not staying still this morning when we tried to take him, but more of a case of him being terrified.

He really does need it doing, you can see in the photo yourself that it is getting rather on the long side. Not a problem but it does get knotty quite easy (he's a big fan of jam!) It's getting in his eyes and I was told AGAIN on the train the other day how cute my little girl was.

What methods have you tried? I think I'm going to have to get a mobile hairdresser around the house again. Either that or attempt it myself.. Eek.

Keep a eye out for a post appearing soon over on the Baby Born Free Mum & Dad blog from me about his first haircut, though it wasn't as difficult back then as it is now.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

It's not just labour pain you suffer

So the theme for One Born Every Minute over on Netmums this week is pain, now the moment you hear pain you instantly think about the pain bought on from going into labour. I don't want to write about that kind of pain in this blog post. Of course I experienced pain, how can you not when you're squeezing out a baby through your pelvis? Or as I remember it and how I described it in yesterdays blog post - squeezing a rugby ball out of your bottom sideways.

I experienced other pains right from pregnancy until after baby had been born. With my first pregnancy especially towards the last few months I repeatedly kept having excruciating pain in my tummy. Of course it was the kind of pain that saw me going into hospital, I was always thoroughly checked and baby was always ok. Heart monitors were put on and I myself could feel him kicking away. I was scanned as well and we could see him kicking away and looking perfectly healthy. We never did find out what that pain was until after I had a normal labour and a baby of a couple of months old. It turned out I had developed gallstones during pregnancy, so every time I munched on a burger or fulfilled my craving of curry and cookies it set the pain off. Have had my gallbladder removed now so no chance of them coming back this time!

Next lot of pain came after Oli had been born, he was born in the afternoon and I wanted to go home, I couldn't until someone had seen to Oli and he had his check up. I became quite hysterical, especially once I found out that the man had to go home. I didn't want to be alone in a hospital with my new baby, I know I had midwives on hand and we did get that check up but I was guilted into staying that night. All I can remember about my first night with my son was crying because I didn't want the man to leave, I wanted to spend our first night as a family. It was painful to me. Guess this is one huge reason why I want a home birth this time around.

The next really isn't a pain but any parent will understand what I'm talking about when you have this unconditional love for your new child and you instantly want to protect them from the horrors in the world. I guess I'll call this a 'parental pain'. Wrapping them in cotton wool just wouldn't be enough, especially after keeping them so safe inside of you for the last 9 months. Right from the moment he was born I've been feeling parental pain, from watching him suffer teething pain himself to the first time he fell over and cut himself. I guess this is what labour pain is preparing us for.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Curiosity got the better of me

So you know the other night I blogged about One Born Every Minute and how I really wasn't sure if I wanted to watch it? Well my curiosity got the better of me and I watched it. It was only after I was half way through and saw no way of going back that I actually realised why I didn't want to watch.

First there was the reminder of what is to come, both good and bad! You get all that pain and gosh how I cringed in pain when I saw how big that first baby was. 10lb!! Then you have the whole screaming out aloud happening, which as I said to the man is just simply unavoidable when it feels like you're trying to squeeze a rugby ball out of your bottom sideways. But then look what you get at the end, this tiny little person which you've made and have been carrying for the last 9 months. As I pointed out to the man, look at how calm the women are after once they have baby in arms, they just look so mellow.

Secondly was the tears, not the tears they were sharing but the tears I was spilling! Of course being pregnant and being extremely hormonal (seriously, I'm currently writing a blog post about how tv adverts make me cry!) I just couldn't help but to cry. I cried at the fact the first bloke was too busy caring about his stomach & the footie scores when to the second bloke who only got to spend one day with his baby girl because he was flying out to Afghanistan the next day to serve for his country. I cried at the memories it bought back for me, the second birth was exactly the same as Oli's and this made me really emotional. Serious sobbing tears was coming from this sofa!

Lastly was what the mans reaction would be to seeing all of this, he was so much more eager then me to watch this series. I knew from the moment the first labour wasn't going too well that he would be frightened, you see I'm wanting a home birth (yet another separate blog post on it's way!) but he would much rather me be in a hospital. See for him it's all about having the emergency equipment all at hand, being in a hospital environment is what he would prefer. I'm not wanting that at all, I'm wanting this baby in a home environment. He was much more on board just before we moved and lived just minutes away from the hospital, now we've moved back to a town where we don't have a hospital in town so it would be a longer ambulance ride away. Seeing the girl get rushed into another room and then seeing baby needing some help freaked him out.

But you know what? After all my hesitating, I'm glad I watched! Even though all the critics are saying they pick the TV you want to watch, well duh. We wouldn't be tuning in if we were going to see someone fart and out pops baby. We want to see all these different labours because at the end of the day that is pregnancy and labour, each single one is different. Some go smoothly and some don't, it's just what happens. I've gone into this pregnancy much more open minded then I did with Oli's, I know things can go wrong from the moment you conceive until the moment that baby is out of you. My first labour was a 5 hour, no problems with gas & air. This time could be completely different though I'm hoping not with the planned home birth. I do have huge faith in my my fantastic midwifes and the NHS, maybe that's a separate blog post alone but I do know I'm in the safest of hands.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Being ill when pregnant...


Am sat on the sofa feeling rather sorry for one's self. Full of cold, am starting to regret maybe not looking more into getting the flu jab. If I wake up even worse tomorrow morning, remind me that I only have myself to blame. The toddler is sat in the corner under his mountain of toys playing with his puzzles, he's also got my iphone - no doubt rearranging my folders and messaging my contacts gobbly goop.The man is attempting a online food shop, something I'm sure I'll have to correct later on. Baby is kicking the living daylights out of me, he did it all of last night so why not continue throughout today.
Great fun.

I have the laptop switched on as we have the joys of car insurance to deal with, have every compare website known to me up on the screen along with a google results page of
'what can you take when pregnant with a cold?' It's not fair that the man is consuming all the cold drugs going whilst I have to stick to my two little white squares of paracetamol. So feel free to send this hormonal, knocked up woman some home remedies to try. Always have the olbas oil tissues to hand. Though I'm not sure if they're being used more for the cold or for the price of some of these insurance quotes. Do have lunch to look forward too, it's a toss up between a can of tommy soup or a pot noodle and one of these will only be consumed because Mr wiggles inside of me needs feeding.

Did have a lovely weekend though, the best friend came to stay with her boys. Oli very much enjoyed the company and I took great joy in spending Saturday night consuming boxes of chocolate with her whilst watching a film. Spent Sunday in softplay hell, though it wasn't that busy and all 3 boys pretty much left us to consume coffee and read the Sunday papers in peace. Blissful weekend, so I guess that's why I'm suffering now. Guess you cant have it all.

Hope you had a lovely weekend and are not suffering too much with Monday madness?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

One born every minute

So the new series of One Born Every Minute stars tonight on channel 4 at 9pm, the program shows intimate footage of parents-to-be leading up and about to give birth. Series 3 shows births happening at the Leeds General Infirmary which is one of the largest in the country supporting around 10,000 births every year. The OBEM website has a fantastic little part to its site which shows you all the rooms you may come across when giving birth in a hospital. Ideal for you to check out if you're about to give birth to your first baby!

If you've been reading this blog you know I'm pregnant with my second, I'll be 24 weeks this week and feeling more pregnant by the day. Now I'm having mixed feelings about wanting to watch One Born Every Minute this series, the first I watched without any doubt. I had not long had Oli and really enjoyed watching other birth experiences and reliving the experience. I couldn't wait to do it all again, of course I was thinking that whilst I had this cute tiny little quiet baby in my arms. I didn't get round to watching the second series, I think I had rediscovered a life in the evenings and spent it away from the TV. Though it was probably more likely spent blogging or watching people chat about on twitter.

I've decided to record it in case I change my mind about watching it, I really don't know why I'm freaking a little about watching it this time around. Is it because I'm pregnant and in just a few months time I'll be experiencing it all for myself again? For those that don't me in a personal way, this baby is the mans first, he's doing this for the first time. He wants to watch the program, I fear him watching. For the same reasons as me? I don't want him thinking I'm going to have a bad labour, maybe watching it will help me drum into him that every labour is different? He wants to watch it, guess he wants to know what he's letting himself in for.

Will you be watching?

Toddlerisms #5

Chilling on Mummy

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Christmas & New Year

It's been a crazy time in our house, but then it's been a crazy year for our household. New baby/engagement rings/moving twice..yeah hopefully next year wont be as eventful. She says. Christmas was fantastic, Oli got well and truly spoilt and we now have a house which resembles a toy factory. We had dinner with the in laws which was quite nice, followed by endless games of pictionary and chocolate. Last night, seeing in new year didn't quite go to plan. Sleep happened by 11.25pm and we were woken just after 12pm by fireworks, quick sleepy new year kiss and we were back to the land of zzzz. Getting to 23 weeks pregnant has started to take it's toll and staying up late just doesn't happen no more, can barely keep my eyes open once tea has been eaten. Hope you had a lovely Christmas & New Year?

The baby who is no longer a baby and is a fully fledged toddler has had his first hair cut, celebrated him turning 2, had his first trip to A&E, dropped naps, started potty training and said goodbye to the bottle. This blog is still very much about him as well as his life with me and the man, though this year will see the introduction of a new baby. Something which I know will be a big adventure and life change for him as well as us. I look forward to blogging more about how life has changed now that we're about to go from a 3 person family to a 4 person family.

I've adored blogging and the opportunities, friendships and chances it has given me over the last few years. Last year saw me on several blogging events includong Young's Seafood, Glee Live, taking part in Dettol's Mission For Health campaign and attending LolliBop & CyberMummy (both which I've still not blogged about!) Of course it wouldn't be possible without any of you lovely people who read my blog waves to the crazy lady who stalks my blog . I've even had a fantastic year over on the TOTS 100 UK parenting blogging charts, I've been in the top 50 for the last year and have been in the top 10 a couple of times, something which makes me smile LOTS and in the top parenting blogs of 2011 I've been named number 12. Major smiles right here.

One of my new year's resolutions is to try and blog much more often, I did originally say everyday of 2012 but with another baby coming along I think that might of been hoping for too much. Talking about baby, I'm getting fatter and much more pregnant - yeah shock, horror! We found out the sex just before Christmas (that's one of those future blog posts down) and are actually getting to grips we're going to be having a baby/another child in the house come a few months time. Another resolution of mine is to keep on top of the housework, which I'm already failing because as I type I have a mountain of washing staring back at me, can see that mountain getting bigger when baby comes along.

If you're still reading, you're doing better then me. Am already nodding and thinking maybe I shouldn't of waited until 9pm to start sticking to New Years resolution number 1. Am already nodding into the keyboard and I'm pretty sure this post is riddled with spelling/grammar mistakes but then if you've been around this blog for long you know that I'm no expert at either of those things. But enough rambling.. Tell me about your New Year's resolutions (or lack of!)
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