Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Gardening with Toddlers

With spring just around the corner I've been thinking about the garden and what needs doing to it, it's the perfect time to get it looking beautiful in time for those summer BBQ's. No I'm no green fingered Charlie Dimmock! Total opposite really, I somehow managed to kill off a bush last year which I'm pretty sure didn't even need watering or much looking after.

I started to introduce the concept of gardening to the toddler last year, we didn't do much other then water the plants together. He got his own toddler size watering can whilst mummy had her bigger watering can. We grew some cucumbers together but he found eating them much more fun then growing them, I guess it was the waiting around which left him frustrated but it did help to teach him some patience.

This year we're already prepared with our gardening supplies, now that the toddler is another year older he's going to have a much better understanding of gardening and be able to be more hands on then have to sit and watch mummy take control. We've already got our first little garden projects planned with planting various seeds into empty drink cartons, we will fill them up with a little soil and then pop in the seeds. We've had much fun drinking our smoothies to create empty cartons for our seeds. Once they start to appear through the soil, we will then move them into bigger plant pots.

We're doing a similar thing with cress seeds and boiled eggs, once we've finished our eggs we've been putting the empty egg shells aside and using our art time to decorate them. We've even decorated the empty egg box ready to be used to stand the egg shells in. The idea is to place some cotton wool into the empty egg sells and then sprinkle the cress seeds on top of the cotton wool. Great idea if you dont have a garden and they can simply be stored on a window sill.

We also plan on planting a sunflower each and setting a challenge to see which member of the family will grow the tallest sunflower. With a new baby due in April, we're also planting one for him which has the toddler all excited. He's going to be looking after the sunflower as he knows his brother's not here yet to do so himself.

When it comes to decorating the garden in pretty flowers and buying that soil, we're heading over to our nearest gardening centre which the toddler usually finds quite fun, guess it's the various plants and colours that gets his attention. Guess this time around, he can help to choose some plants out himself.

Would love to know about your own experience of gardening with the little ones? How have you helped to encourage their little green fingers?

Cutting the Cost of your Next Family Washing Machine

When you’re planning for a new baby, family finances are tight, and the last thing you want is to have to splash out on an expensive electrical item like a washing machine. But this is one household appliance that’s essential to any family home, especially when there’s a baby on the way. If your washing machine needs replacing or upgrading, there are ways that you can cut the cost, while making sure that you get a machine that’s up to the task of frequent family use.

Shopping online is by far the most cost effective way to seek out the best cheap washing machines. It’s the quickest, easiest way to search for and compare various washing machine models. Online retailers also offer cheaper prices than can find on the high street, as they have reduced overheads and can pass these savings on to you. Online retailer Dixons has a useful clearance bargains section, which makes it even easier to find on their site. You can also sign up to online store newsletters, so you’ll be informed as soon as any new washing machine models are discounted.

Modern washing machines now come with all kinds of new high-tech features and functions, from steam washing to direct drive motors. If you’re looking to keep costs down however, then think about the features that you really need and that you are realistically going to use as a family. For example, child locks and extra drum capacity are useful features for families, but LCD touchscreens and washing machine timers are functions that you can easily live without when you’re trying to make savings.

Energy efficiency is another important point to consider. Even cheap washing machines have become more energy efficient in recent years. All electrical goods sold within the EU now have to be labelled on scale of A to G in terms of their energy efficiency, with A being the most energy efficient. Opting for an A rated model or better will save you money in the long term, as your washing machine will use less electricity to run, costing you less in household bills. There’s a useful guide to these new energy efficiency ratings and how much they can help you save at the Which? consumer website.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Well hello sun! Stick around, we have lots of fun planned for you!

The best way to send greeting cards for Mother’s Day

The mom in your life is sure to be pleased with a greeting card and some flowers, but why not go the extra mile this year and make her gift extra special? If you want a Mother’s Day gift that stands out from the rest, take a look at these best ways to send greeting cards for the upcoming holiday.

Stuff your card with something special

Usually, sending Mother’s Day cards is a way to express your appreciation for a mother figure, whether she is your own mom, your wife, your sister, or your aunt. However, the thanks don’t have to end there. To make your Mother’s Day card extra special, you may want to consider including a gift card with it, which is an easy and convenient way to to give her something that she really wants. If you notice that she loves to get manicures, include a gift card for her favourite salon. Or if you want to treat her to an all-day pampering retreat, include appointment details for her favourite spa. And if you don’t get to spend enough time with her, stuff her card with a restaurant gift card and movie tickets for two.

Use it as the exclamation mark to an all-day shopping trip.

Let’s face it: most women love to shop. Treating your mother figure to a special trip where she gets to pick out items just for her (instead of for the kids or for you) could be her dream come true. Later, while you’re bringing in the bags from your retail adventure, tie a ribbon and attach your card to the biggest bag so that she can’t miss it. It will be the perfect way to end your day together.

Hide it inside a handbag.

You can’t go wrong with buying her a durable yet stylish handbag that is versatile enough for her many roles. If you pick the right one, she will fall in love with her gift instantly, and once she peeks inside, she’ll know that you really went over the top this year.

Decorate your breakfast-in-bed tray with it.

When it comes to giving Hallmark greeting cards, pairing them with breakfast in bed is one of the best ways to do it. Be an early bird on Mother’s Day morning so that you can have time to prepare all of her favourite breakfast treats. Arrange a tray with pancakes or waffles, an omelette, fresh fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, and a single flower. As the finishing touch, place your card on the tray as well so that she can read about how much you appreciate her as she sinks her teeth into something sweet and savoury.

Send it electronically.

Even if you can’t be with her during the holiday, you can at least tell her what an amazing nurturer she is. Prove that distance doesn’t lessen gratitude for her by sending a Hallmark E-card that she can open on Mother’s Day and show off to all of her friends. Remember, it’s not the medium that counts; it’s the message.

This is a sponsored post

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Second Hand Buys - Swapping clothes

I missed out on blogging about anything Second Hand last week, had a few days away from the laptop. Though wouldn't of had much to say, the only thing I remember purchasing second hand was the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie which pleased my little SpongeBob fan and I was pleased with the fact it was still in it's wrapping and only cost £1.99.

Never got round to sharing the bargain which was my Marks & Spencer's maternity jeans, most likely because they've only just started to fit me (that picture was taken about 15 weeks ago, just in case you thought it was a recent bump photo!) I got them off eBay for the bargain price of 99p. Big yay at that price, and I would imagine I might get a few quid more when it comes to selling them back on. These gave me my idea for this week's post about second hand clothes.

Of course you have eBay where you can buy clothes but how about swapping clothes? I had a phrase for a while where I promised myself I wouldn't spend any money on any clothes at all, that included sale clothes. But I'm a woman, I enjoy clothes shopping and I found myself a great way around this self imposed rule. It was swapping clothes that I no longer wanted or that no longer fit me for clothes that I did like and that did fit me.

Big Wardrobe was the place I found for this. It's free to sign up and pretty straight forward to use, you upload photos and descriptions of your items and then sit back and wait for people to suggest swaps with you. Or like I did, go on the browse for clothes/accessories that you like yourself and then let the user of that item know that you're interested and see if they fancy swapping it for anything in your 'wardrobe'. I've got some great stuff from this site in the past, my favourite being the dress I wore for Oli's Christening. It was advertised as a bridesmaid dress that had only been worn once and it was from Next, it was a gorgeous cream coloured dress that was perfect for the occasion. So gutted I cant find my photo album to share a picture of it, that's my fault for still having boxes that need to be unpacked from the house move.

The term for it apparently is swishing and you can find lots more websites like it by simply searching this term on google. More similar websites to Big Wardrobe is and Posh Swaps. Though if you're looking for a second hand clothes site like eBay but without the bidding why not check out ASOS new marketplace where you can buy and sell new, pre-owned and vintage fashion.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Breastfeeding IS beautiful

Oh how I wish I could attach a photo of myself breastfeeding to this blog post but I cant as I've never done it, though part of me does want to attach a photos of my boobs to this post with the words THESE ARE WHAT I'LL BE FEEDING MY CHILD WITH. Well that's if it all goes to plan this time, I feel like I cant talk so such much on the topic because I've not yet breastfed, but I am a woman who has the equipment, has many friends who breastfeed and actually plans on having another go at it in just a couple of months time.

It's still a sore spot for me and every time I see someone or hear the words breastfeeding a part of me aches that I wasn't able to do it the first time. Thanks to a mixture of not having my milk turn up and a baby who just didn't want to know my boobs, once he realised nothing was coming after those first tries. I have spent the last 3 years preparing myself for the moment I try to breastfeed again for the first time. This time I know I have a wide support network both online and offline, I'm also joining a local breastfeeding group next month to help prepare me and talk about how last time effected me and how I can go about making it work this time around.

It's not stopped me taking such a interest in it though, especiaially when it seems to be a topic which comes around in the press every few months for various reasons. This time around it's about Facebook's new content moderation and how one of the violations is of breastfeeding photos showing other nudity, or nipple clearly exposed.

Apparently male nipples are allowed, I think I'd rather see a beautiful shot of a women's nipple - much more beautiful. Oh and bodily fluids (except semen) are allowed so I look forward to that photo BillyBob could post of that pile of blood on the floor. Seriously Facebook, some of these breastfeeding photos are much more classier then half these photos students post of them hugging the toilet, trousers at ankles with a mouth covered in sick. Seeing a baby with a mouth covered in milk would much rather have me wanting to log into Facebook.

That daytime show Loose Women jumped in on the breastfeeding/Facebook discussions on Thursday. I would much rather sit through a episode of Jeremy Kyle then listen to those dried up old hags YET AGAIN make breastfeeding sound like such a horrific act that should be hidden away. I don't know how you can compare breastfeeding to a man getting his wangle out, two completely different things. And to answer the question of WHY you would do it, because A) it is PERFECTLY NATURAL and B) I see no difference at all between a photo of a mother feeding her baby a bottle or feeding her baby her boob. I really hope you bitter women have not put off any women who are wanting to breastfeed, the thought of a new mother having to hide herself breastfeeding in the toilets purely because of your negativity towards it really does upset me. As women, especially women who have breastfed themselves and have such a public voice you should be encouraging this. A 3 minute discussion which mainly involved slagging off the act of breastfeeding in my eyes does nothing but potential harm.

Thank you Facebook for making it news worthy, making it something people talk about. Though next time can it be in a positive way where the headlines read 'Facebook helps to make breastfeeding more acceptable'.

These are purely my own opinions, to me the decision on how to feed your child is completely down to the parent. No one should be made to feel that what they are doing is wrong be it bottle feeding or breastfeeding.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Toddlerisms #9

Peek 'a' Boo

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Playmobil 2012

A few weeks ago we were invited by Playmobil to attend the Toy Fair to see the fantastic new ranges from Playmobil for 2012. Playmobil had a rather impressive stand which housed lots of the new sets for us to see (and play with) for ourselves. This year they are launching over 128 new products, more then ever before. We've been fans of Playmobil ever since they got in contact with us last year asking if we would like to review the Playmobil Take Along Noah's Ark from Playmobil's 1.2.3 range. This range is aimed at children around Oli's age and introduces them to the whole concept of playmobil. So of course with another one on the way we were intrigued to see what was new from the Playmobil 1.2.3 range this year.

At first I didn't think much of the Playmobil 1.2.3 range,
that was until I looked closer and actually observed both Oli playing with the range and had a look at it myself. There's so much more to them then meets the eye like this First 1.2.3 Knight's Castle, the castle tower can be stacked on top of one another and it comes with both the knight, princess and horse. Could make a great first castle set for a little one. One of our favourites from the new range is the Airport Shuttle Bus. I love the fact on both sides of the bus it gives you little shapes in the form of luggage that fits into it's own little slot, hence helping little ones to sort shapes at the same time as playing. Its comes with all those little figures and accessories and for such a fantastic price. Both of these products are due to be launched in March.

Launched this month in time for Easter is the Playmobil Easter Eggs. Ideal alternatives to chocolate for your little ones. Though you could always do what I plan on doing and get one of these to go alongside the gift of a Easter Egg, so that when the egg is all gone they still have something to play with. Priced at around the same cost of a chocolate egg, these don't go breaking the bank and you are left with something to show for your money. Our nephew will be getting one of these instead of a egg from us.

Also released this month was the Playmobil Harbour Set, I think this was one of my favourite sets from the tour. This Harbour Police Station with Speedboat is such a cute little set where I've not seen anything like it before. The speedboat floats which means you can double it up as a bath toy, it can even be upgraded with the Underwater Motor.

The Car Ferry With Pier also floats and can be upgraded with the underwater motor. Like most Playmobil sets it's flexible enough to go with all the other sets available, the landing pier can be attached to the harbour dock from the Harbour Police Station that I've just mentioned. It has little wheel blocks on board for the vehicles and even has a bicycle rack.

there's a major event going on this year in the UK and we all know what that is, these special Playmobil high performance athletes are here to compete at them. 15 play sets available from June come with accessories all at pocket money prices. In the picture is Gymnast on Pommel Horse, Judo Competitors, Cyclist and the Javelin Thrower. My favourite is the Gymnast on the Parallel Bars, what's yours?

Lots to do at the Playmobil Farm especially with all the sets available this year. I'm rather fond of this Barn With Silo, particularly the silo which can be filled and emptied. Really can stretch a child's imagination with this set, why not team it with the Large Tractor with Trailer which fits through the gate. It comes with a cow shed, pig sty and so many more accessories including a milking machine.

Something completely different is the Playmobil Pirates set. This set here to the left, the Pirate Adventure Island is rather impressive. A child really could hours of fun with this, It includes a fire code puzzle with 5 difficulty levels. You place the coins in the same order as the fire sequence to open the cave and to acquire the treasure. Has an adjustable bamboo maze, falling rock and secret hiding places making the hunt for coins more difficult. The Large Pirate Ship also floats and has two cannons and a removable upper deck. Comes with a joker coin which can be used in the Pirate Adventure Island. Both sets will be launched in May.

For your footie mad child why not get them this football stadium in a folding suitcase, handy if they wanted to take it to a friends house or away to the grandparents for the weekend. It comes with 4 soccer players and 2 goalies but you have the rather cool option of buying players in your team colours. You can even get Referees and Field Medics with Player. The Take Along Soccer Match will be available in April.

All ranges available from: John Lewis, Toys R Us and the Playmobil Online Shop and other good toy shops.

My travel costs for the event were covered and we continue to be Playmobil ambassadors, but this doesn't effect our personal opinions in anyway.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Are you pinning yet?

I love how is suddenly taking the UK by storm, it's all I've read about the last couple of weeks. It really does fascinates my inner social media geek. It's starting to become another platform for the community of mostly parent bloggers that I belong too, to express themselves in a different way. So many of them have blogged about what Pinterest has become for them << go check out some of the posts.

There's been various talks about how Pinterest can help boost your business/website & blog traffic by pinning away. To find those kind of articles you only have to type in 'Pinterest' in google to find them. I've created a little board for my little part of cyberspace , I'm mainly using it jut to post things that make me smile from my blog and use it out of curiosity to see if Pinterest will actually bring a different kind of traffic to my blog.

Though for me, it's mainly all about the fun, which I'm usually found adding too in the evenings once the boy has gone to bed and the man is usually at work. I started using Pinterest last year to plan my wedding, hence the numerous boards filled with wedding related items. We started to plan , but I'm not sure that will be the plan now that we're no longer living near the sea. We were even thinking about as our wedding cake, though I'm sure Pinterest will help me find a new theme and even a new cake.

I then went and disowned it for a while whilst I was dealing with my awful sickness and I guess I was to busy in life with other things to be sparing time on my Pinterest board. That's the great thing, you can just forget about it for a while, it's always going to be there for you to go back too. I'm enjoying it even more now that it's becoming more popular amongst my UK friends and I'm getting to see all the funky stuff they are pinning.

SO many different ways you can use it, I use it to find , decorate and , browse products that both the and would be forced into by me like, get and maybe even start some , share my love of and plan the toddler's lego themed party, find , , dribble over , find that you just HAVE to try and make, and .

Let me know if you're on Pinterest and I'll add you, I like the fact that with Pinterest you can pick which boards you follow that your friends are pinning too. I'm pretty sure most of my friends have unfollowed , though it may not be around for long now that I've blogged about it and the man just happens to come
across this post.

Friday, 17 February 2012

30 weeks today

Like.. FINALLY! I'm into my last 10 weeks of pregnancy, that last quarter. I've been waiting for this number to crop up for a long time now. It hasn't been easy sailing this pregnancy, though anyone reading my blog/twitter stream already knows that. I wanted my blog to become part pregnancy diary on top of my usual toddler related posts, it hasn't exactly gone that way. Just like each week I had planned on taking a picture of my bump each week, that hasn't really gone to plan either. I'm a little sad that looking back through my pregnancy posts that it seems to be nothing but the negative stuff.

I've made both myself and baby a promise, that the next 10 weeks will be filled with nothing but positive pregnancy posts. I cant promise that I wont stop moaning about the way I'm feeling, but despite the way I've been feeling in this pregnancy, baby has been nothing but healthy. I went to the doctor yesterday like I said and had a lovely little talk with her about what was going on, she could see from her notes that I had been admitted to hospital last week and was now under the obstetric consultant. We talked about the breathlessness and she explained how that it can just happen with pregnant women, I already knew this and I really did feel pathetic that I was experiencing this and struggling to keep it under control. I've been given something to treat anxiety when I feel myself being breathless and struggling. I'm still confused to how I can be feeling like this when I'm taking it so easy and not stressing about anything.

See I'm already gone off track and started moaning, I should talk about hitting this 30 week mark. Last night baby had hiccups for the first time, I was only wondering the other day if I would feel this at all and was trying to remember what it felt like. I'm pretty sure if you would of put a ear to my belly you would of heard his hiccups so very clearly. It was very cute and really put a smile on my face after a rubbish day. My bump really is coming along despite the concerns about it's growth, I'm living in mainly the man's tshirts and old joggers and only really dressing in maternity gear when I need to leave the house. Exercise has been stopped in any form, so am hoping that in the next few weeks I can go swimming again. We've started to talk about names, but don't seem to be getting anywhere with them. Seems that we just cant agree on a name that we both like, so looks like this will be our challenge over the next 10 weeks.

Hope you like the cake the man baked me to celebrate hitting the 30 mark, it really does taste as good as it looks!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

But I am calm?

So I guess this is what the doctor was concerned about when he wanted to send me home with those tablets which I couldn't have because of how low they made my blood pressure. I didn't think anything else would happen after the other week thinking it would just be a one off. Last night I spent most the night feeling rather breathless, I just thought it was because I am slowly getting fat and that this is just one of those things. But then I still felt that way this morning and I still feel like it now. It just feels so different to how I usually feel, I was describing it yesterday to the man as when someone reaches for there inhaler when they need it.

It just still being out of sync this morning, I'm not doing anything at all to agitate it. Like last night all I was doing was trying to go to sleep, I even managed to get some sleep and then woke up breathless and not feeling myself. Decided to phone my midwife just to have a chat this morning about it but couldn't get through, managed to get through to the maternity ward at the hospital who suggested I come in but have agreed to instead see my doctor locally before I take the trip all the way to the hospital. The midwife started to chat on the phone about anxiety and I had to agree with her as I was shaking at the time and it's kind what I imagined it to be like. Though I have no idea what could of caused it, I have no stress at the moment and nothing to cause this. I'm calm, I really am. Yes I'm annoyed that I just don't seem to be 100% all the time but I'm trying not to let it bother me for baby's sake as well my own.

The man is saying I should of mentioned about my fingers swelling but I'm pretty sure that could just be down to using my iphone. Will go my doctors appointment this evening and be honest with him about how I feel when this is happening. When my heart did start to play up earlier I did everything the previous doctor said about pretending to have a poo and drinking cold water. I seriously did drink lots of cold water, the numerous trips to the toilet proved that.

I've totally gone beyond the point of telling myself to man up, I just missing feeling right and hate that I can go from feeling so well to not feeling too good so quickly.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


The lovely guys at Hexbug were rather bugged to see that I was admitted to hospita
l the other week so sent me a lovely little parcel to make me smile. I have a toddler who is crazy about these little buzzing bugs ever since he stayed at Glowstars house and played with TB's collection of Hexbugs. So you can imagine who was smiling when they received a couple of them in the post. Now Hexbug is unsuitable for children under the age of 3. So I cant do a review of them but of course I can tell you as a blogger how much my son loves this particular brand of toy.

When it comes to toy suitability, I think you know your child better then anyone. We actually plan on buying Oli the Nano Habitat Set for his 3rd birthday in April for him to keep all his Hexbugs in and somewhere for him to play with them. Should keep him amused whilst we're dealing with the arrival of his new baby brother.
They were kind enough to send him me a Larva bug, which I think had Daddy more fascinated. It has a little inbuilt sensor which makes it change direction in reaction to physical obstacles in its path. Oli find the moving tail hilarious and has just watched it move around constantly with his other Hexbugs.

Thanks Hexbug for putting a smile on our faces.

Love Emma & Oli x

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Roses are red..

I don't know why but for some reason I'm finding Valentines Day this year such a cheesy event, this is a horrifying statement from someone that's defended it for years and thinks that it should be one major love fest. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, who knows. Walking along the Valentine's aisle in Tesco's this morning I couldn't help but feel slightly nauseous with the pinks and reds that were blinding me. I also couldn't help but to laugh on the way home when we caught sight of several men outside the florist picking up flowers, was just something so funny about it to me. Like I said, blame my hormones.

We did do the whole card thing this morning, I knew we were as they both came the
other day and we just had to laugh at the laziness of us both ordering online. His was a typical rude one which did make me giggle and mine to him was the one to the right, I swear I heard him whisper 'debatable' hehe.. Things have been a little crazy lately what with him working lots and then on his days off, I'm typically having to go into hospital or something and we decided that presents for each other wasn't a necessary, we've been putting money here, there and everywhere for the house, for baby and stuff in general. We're thinking about getting away with Oli before baby is born so have said that will just be our present to one another. I guess at the moment practical stuff just seem the way forward.

He knows my perfect way of celebrating anything is with a good slap up home cooked meal which is what I'm getting tonight, along with a glass of champagne and box of profiteroles. I even have some strawberries for a chocolate fondue.

How are you celebrating this day, if you are celebrating it?

How to Get those Big Purchases Home using uShip

An increasing number of us are turning to eBay and other classified sites like Gumtree to purchase a lot of large items i.e. furniture, baby cribs, children’s playground equipment, electrical goods - even motorbikes and cars. However, the problem of bidding on large items is that they are often only available if you go and pick them up yourself. This makes some sought-after items unattainable to buy, either because they are too far away or because they won’t fit into the family car.

In situations like this you can search for courier services or freight haulers, but the price that is presented is in some cases worth more than the item you have purchased! However, by using websites like uShip to obtain quotes from many courier services, you can benefit from a unique online shipping marketplace; linking people with customer-reviewed transport companies that can move hard-to-ship items, meaning those hard to reach items are now obtainable.

Transporters place competing bids to win a customer’s business, which drives down delivery costs and makes the shipping process more affordable and efficient.

With the help of uShip you will be able to find a courier or transporter who is able to ship any item to your front door at the fraction of the cost of the larger players in the market. If you need something shipped, then making uShip your first stop will in the majority cases save you time and a lot of money!

This is a sponsored post

Monday, 13 February 2012

I'm allowed to not enjoy pregnancy, right?

Low blood pressure, haemorrhoids, pre-natel depression, constipation, cramp, itchy and dry skin, hyperemesis gravidarum, backache, bad sleep, crazy hormones, supraventricular tachycardia, headaches, having a cold and not being able to take anything.. Need I go on? Those are just some of the nightmares I've had to deal with so far during this pregnancy.

Now don't get me wrong, I very much love being pregnant and love my son and adore carrying him. Knowing that I'm giving him those 9 months of much needed incubation is a rather warm feeling, some would say even a privilege. I'm closer to him now then I'm ever going to be in life, we're attached in a way that we can never be attached again. But I just hate HATE pregnancy. It's something the man hears on a daily basis, it's something I moan about myself on a daily basis. When my son is grown up enough to understand, I'm going to explain to him that carrying him wasn't as straight forward as I hoped.

It really hasn't been a easy time and I am spending my days counting down this last trimester. I am angry at myself for feeling this way about my pregnancy, when we were trying to get pregnant I couldn't stop talking how much I was looking forward to being pregnant again and having a huge baby bump (which I don't but is another blog post in itself!) It also shows that each pregnancy is different, with Oli the only issue I had with him was the usual morning sickness which was helped along by toast and biscuits. Of course I developed Gall Stones with him but it
didn't effect me as much as it could of during that pregnancy. When we thought I did possibly have a blood clot with my hospital trip last week, we kept saying how this one was just trying to outdo his brother in the 'things you can develop whilst pregnant' stakes.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Second Hand Buys - Charity Shop Bargains

This week's trawl through the local charity shops had me looking for photo frames, typically I didn't see any where as the last time I visited - I did. Just shows if you want something, you should get it at the time. Especially when you don't really have to pay that much for it. I did the same yesterday though with a Spongebob jacket for Oli, picked it up and thought how cute but then did the whole hesitating thing and put it back. It was only a couple of quid, so of course once I got home I had wished that I had picked it up.

Did however pick up a 'our new baby' book for the bargain price of 50p, I guess it was put at this price because it really did look brand new and still had the stickers with it. I've actually been browsing amazon for books that can help explain to the toddler that he has a new baby brother on the way. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we've been on the look out for some Disney DVDs, in no desperate need of the Disney collection so thought we could save a few pennies by looking for them second hand.

Did find Cars for 58p, but it doesn't work and is rather scratched, am rather confused to if the Charity Shop I bought it from knew it didn't work hence why it was so cheap? Though the Horton Hears A Who that we bought for £1.25 made up for it and definitely does work as the toddler proved by watching it twice in the space of one evening. Deleting it from my TV box now frees up some room for me to record some other films, tough do you find that TV shows the same films again and again?

I let the boy have a rummage through the 5p car box, where he found a little trailer which since getting home he's attempted to attach to every car he owns. He also picked up a plastic aeroplene which he's justified getting by saying it's for baby, yes Oli and that's why you've not put it down since getting it. Bless him.

Did you get any good buys this week from anywhere? Maybe from one of the sites I mentioned last week?

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A walk in the park

Friday, 10 February 2012

Supraventricular Tachycardia

It's been a eventful few days for me, the kind of eventful days that I could just do without right now. Tuesday started off as such a normal day, the man had it off so work so we had a morning of bacon sandwiches, a midwife appointment where we got to hear baby and then we took the boy across to soft play. Now I would understand what happened, if at soft play I was as crazy as what Oli was and was running around like a total loon. I would even understand if I pigged out on McDonalds like the boys did once we had finished at soft play (it really was a morning of treats for the toddler!)

What was crazy was when we got home and decided to spend the afternoon chilling on the sofa together watching a film, Horton Hears A Who in case you were curious. I had spent the morning feeling quite achy and my back was hurting as it does when you're 28 weeks pregnant, so the man had got me the hot water bottle to snuggle up with. What happened next was so unexpected, my heart just suddenly felt like it wanted to jump out of my body. I was having these crazy palpitations that I could really feel, the man caught glimpse of me and I remember I was crying. He felt my heart and could see I was really struggling with both the pain and my breathing. I said I was going to go upstairs and have a lie down, soon changed my mind when I saw I actually had to walk up some stairs.

Bless the man, I think he was in just as much shock as me and we both didn't quite know what to do. First reaction was to try my midwife who he couldn't get through too so then we kinda 999 was the next option. I know it should of probably been the first option but it's always scary having to do that. I was sat at the bottom of the stairs when the paramedics arrived, we knew they had arrived as Oli was jumping up and down excitedly shouting nee-naw. My memory seems rather sketchy about even though it was just a few days ago, guess that's a mixture of baby brain and not really wanting to remember.

They confirmed the whole heart being crazy scenario and put me into the ambulance to take me to the hospital. At the same time as being scared and wanting to panic, I stayed calm and concentrated on my breathing. It's amazing how knowing that you're carry your son makes you not think of anything but him, I was also staying calm for Oli as it was probably scary enough seeing me like that. Though I think he loved the little tour he got around the ambulance before they took me away to actually really notice what was going on with me. I was so sad to be going to the hospital, I had seen enough of them last year to last a lifetime. Plus we no longer lived around the corner from a hospital anymore, it was a few towns away now. We went to the same hospital where I had my gall bladder out so it was already familiar to me, it's also the hospital I'm down for if the home birth doesn't go as planned, which now has a big question mark over it.

I was taken to A&E where the usual stuff happened, nurses, wires, heart monitors, doctors, bloods and the one of the worst things, blood gases. Thankfully the man had arrived for the second blood gas and then was there for the next couple, these are so painful and I was so happy to have his hand to squeeze. I kept mentally trying to tell myself that I'm going to be going though labour so this is nothing but obviously that doesn't help at the time. I knew they had to be done as they were telling the doctors that my oxygen was low so they kept up with giving me the oxygen. By a few hours in I was even more tired, feeling so unwell and very sorry for myself. This wasn't how my afternoon was meant to go.

They thought it could of been a blood clot on the lung because of some of the symptoms so I was injected with a blood thinner into my tummy, which still feels quite tender now. And then I was sent for a chest x ray. Everything which was given to me, everything that was going on my first question was that if it was safe for baby. I knew that there priority was of me so wanted to speak up for my baby, they were actually quite nice at answering all my questions and explaining everything. I was reassured that I would have a lead skirt put around my tummy to protect baby from the x-rays. The x ray came back showing that I had no clot but they wanted to confirm this with a scan of my chest. They also said they wanted me to stay in for the night, by now I just felt like giving up. I really have has enough of hospitals, I knew they were the right place to be when something isn't right with you. But even still I had just had enough. I don't think the man wanted to leave me that night, that may because of the pleads to take me home with him and the amount of tears I was giving him.

I knew they were unsure where to put me that night because of the pregnancy, they decided on the antenatel ward in the end which I was happy about because I knew then that baby would be looked after. Of course I was wishing I was on the medical ward when it came to wanting to go to sleep and those newborn cries just didn't seem quite as cute anymore. You just cant sleep in hospitals, what with having stats checked every hour and the general noise hospitals have.

The next morning I had the medical doctors come round and chatted to me lots about what was going on, I had been given a beta blocker the day before and was given another one to slow my heart down. I was sent for the scan, which turned out to be a CT type scan. I didn't realise this the day before, and now realised why the man was so eager to get to the hospital to see me before they did it. I was terrified, again I was explained that it was ok for baby but I was in hysterics. I guess everything really was getting to me, I had some dye injected into me which made me feel very hot and made it to feel like I was wetting myself. Didn't realise I was going to be in the room by myself, I really was sobbing like a baby. The me that used to have no fear had long disappeared.

Results came back clear for that, I guess they really wanted to rule out a possible clot on my lungs. The doctors then put everything down to SVT which is what they were already treating me for, they explained what it was and how it can quite commonly happen during pregnancy. After a midwife taking my blood pressure and major freaking about how low it was the docs decided to take me off the beta blockers. This is what they wanted to send me home with so instead I was shown how I'm to cope with any attacks I get in future at home, you just cant help but to laugh when you're told to pretend you're having a poo and squeeze down to help it. Bad enough that I'm already walking/waddling like I've already pooed myself. I was also told that drinking cold water or sticking my face into cold water can help. The man has been on top making sure the filta in the fridge is always filled up, bless him. It really did scare him what happened. It scared me too, I don't want to be home alone with Oli when my heart suddenly decides it wants to skip around and play me up.

I'm left now feeling so fed up with myself, wondering what else is going to go wrong in this pregnancy. It's such a bad time when you realise it's better to back a hospital bag for yourself in case you get rushed in again for whatever reason. It's not the way it should be, I should be packing a hospital bag for baby in a few weeks time.

Idea For A Easter Hunt

Easter is a great family holiday, and especially fun for children, as there’s not only the treat of chocolate in lots of different fun shapes like eggs and rabbits, but also the excitement of the Easter Egg hunt. For parents this hunt can be a bit of a dilemma, as finding hiding spots for the Easter treats gets harder and harder each year. If you’ve used all the hiding spots in your home and garden, you can either go on an Easter holiday and use the brand new environment for hiding, or create a maze. I know you’re weighing up the costs of a family holiday and building a maze in your garden, but the maze is the cheaper option, as it’s a simple hay maze that you can build yourself in your own
garden shed or garage.

Along with the venue of shed or garage, you’ll need some hay and a plastic tarp. The tarp which needs to be stapled to the floor if the venue is a shed, or weighed down well if it’s a garage is to protect your floor from bits of hay and dirt. At the end of the day you can roll up the tarp and clean -up is done. Hay can be purchased from local farms or horse stables, or even online. If you don’t know where your local farm is, then research a bit online by simply typing ‘hay squares’ or ‘small hay squares’ and you’ll soon find some very useful results. Hay squares are more suited for the maze creation as opposed to hay balls, as squares are easier to stack and create maze walls with. The walls of the maze needn’t be too high, just be sure that your oldest child can merely peek over the top of it.

Keep the entrance of the maze clear, and have a bunch of everyone’s treats at the end of the maze as the goal of finishing the maze, but also hide some within the maze. Remember to consider your children’s ages when hiding their treats, as a too difficult hunt will spoil the day. Eggs and rabbits can be hidden on top of walls, at dead ends of the maze, at the beginning and end of the maze, as well as inside the walls of the maze. The inside is only recommended for the older children. You can ‘egg’ (sorry, for the pun, couldn’t resist) your children on by giving them hints of ‘Warm’ or ‘Cold’. To avoid unnecessary arguing attach ribbons or post-its in the children’s favourite colours to the treats, and instruct them to leave a treat that isn’t theirs where they found it. If one of the children is struggling with the hunt, you can always suggest that the others help by finding the treats for the child in question or by guiding the child to some possible hiding areas. Once the hunt is over, the maze can still be enjoyed with the children finding their way to the end individually, or it can be reconstructed into a hay fort.

Happy Easter!

This is a sponsored post

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Second Hand Buys - Second Hand Websites

We've not had chance this week to get out and visit any Charity Shops, I do blame a mixture of this weather and the man's crazy work hours. eBay has bought me nothing with my bids, starting to think I'm just to cheap with my bids or that every other person out there wants to bid on the same items as me. Have been mainly concentrating on selling over on the facebook groups, trying not to look at what's for sale but just sell our old items. We said goodbye to our old PS2 this week and said hello to food shopping money. Have you had any success's with selling anything this week?

Seeing as I didn't have anything myself to tell you about, instead I thought I would share some second hand online websites that I know about and have either used to buy or sell on in the past. We all know about eBay but how trying some of these more low key websites.

Preloved is similar to eBay but doesn't involve bidding, is free to sell on so none of these fees that come back to haunt you once you've sold a item and it also has a free section like freecycle. For me it's the no bidding part that sells it to me, as fun as it is to sit around and wait to see if you've won a item sometimes it's just nice to get something straight away.

Getting married and after a wedding dress on a budget and don't mind it already being worn once? Then why not check out Still White. It's somewhere you can sell and buy wedding dresses, some are even brand new. For me with a wedding sometime in the near future, browsing through all the dresses just got me into that dreamy wedding state.

Friday-Ad isn't one I've used before onli
ne but I remember picking up the paper edition as a student in case anything ever caught my eye. I like the handy search by location option as well as the Friday ad blog. They also have a free section.

How about this to fill my Charity Shop fix - Oxfam Online Second Hand Store. It's just like being on a charity shop but being online, so I can continue to buy second hand buys and know that the money I give for them is going to a great cause. I may be eyeing up these flamingo shoes from office.

Gumtree is another website full of listings, easy to search via location and generally a easy website to use. Another one with a freebies section. We actually found our last house via Gumtree, a couple of weeks later we had moved in. I also used it to buy a bumbo seat for the bargain price of £5 back when the toddler was a baby.

If your a parent and after baby/toddler/children's items then parenting sites such as Netmums Nearly New are a great place to go. It's free to use and free to sell, though for £2 you can get your ad straight at the top. Think I might try that when it comes to selling a old pram this week.

Have included the linky so if you've bought a second hand buy this week and have blogged about it, let me know by adding it. Or how about adding a second hand website that I've not mentioned? Would love to know what else is out there.

Cramp! Ouch!

Another bad night last night, starting to think I should just give up on this sleeping lark. Woke up with fricking cramp, was painful enough to wake me up and was painful enough to have me rolling and jerking around in pain.

The poor man was awoken again, pretty sure he thought I was in labour this time. Though he soon realised what was going on when I cursing my cramp and begging him to take the pain away. He was rubbing away at my leg and telling me to drink some water whilst I was rearranging the bedding in my total freak out state. It is such a horrible pain, guess it's just getting me ready for d-day.

So no snow fun for us today, I'm left with a leg feeling bruised and am limping away. Took some of the painkillers I've been using for my back as this pain was making feel quite sick this morning, seriously the joys of pregnancy? I actually cant remember what it's like to be healthy and not have back ache, be sick or have something like cramp or headaches. The penguin sledge we've been waiting to play with will just have to wait, I'm sure the snow isn't going anywhere anytime soon.And hopefully tonight we might actually get a full nights sleep.

Toddlerisms #8

Even more Daddy Cuddles

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Just a tad bit spooky

Last night I had the worst night's sleep I've had in a long time, and it wasn't just down to the pregnancy. Woke up in the early hours and saw a light creeping under the door, I thought it was the toddlers light but it turned out to be the bathroom light, a light which the toddler cant reach. The man said he must of left it on but I remember quite clearly him turning it off the same time as the downstairs light, and that I would of seen the light shining under the door then as I face that way in bed. This shook me up way more then it probably should of, probably a reasonable explanation like the man probably did leave it on and that I was just being blind in not seeing the light sooner.

Seriously, earlier on in the night before I went to bed and before the man was home from work I heard noises outside. I was glued to the sofa in fear, I swore someone was trying to break into either the car or the garage. I had half drafted a message to the man explaining that I was freaking out when I manned up to take a peek thought the curtains. Turned out the neighbours were getting a tesco delivery and it was the sound of his boxes and all his rustling that was making my heart go like crazy.

The poor man kept asking me if I was ok as I was so freaked out by it, he had work early this morning but stayed awake to see if I was ok. He was concerned as well
because obviously my panicking state was having a effect on the baby, I could feel him going erratic in my tummy and his heartbeat going much faster. I really didn't sleep well at all last night, I had me and my maternity pillow squashed up to the man which made me really hot but I felt safe when close to him. When I did sleep I would wake with nightmares which continued right up until this morning when I woke up.

Am I just going loopy or was it that little bit of cheese I had before bed?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Toddlerisms #7

Daddy Cuddles

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