Saturday, 31 March 2012

Playmobil's alternative to Easter Eggs

Who doesn't love receiving and giving gifts? I love any occasion where you can make a fuss and buy a loved one a present, of course you never need a reason to buy someone a gift but I like special times like Easter where everyone is exchanging eggs with one another.

Playmobil have a different kind of egg for sale, one which lasts beyond Easter day and doesn't make as much of a mess as what chocolate can. They've come up with the great idea of putting some of their colourful Playmobil characters complete with accessories into 4 differently brightly coloured eggs. Take a look at the pics below to see exactly what they look like and what you get in each one. There's 4 to collect - Fairy Child With Unicorn Carriage, Eagle Knight With Cannon, Zookeeper With Baby Animals and Race Driver With Go-Kart.

They sent us some samples over so that we could see for ourselves how the Playmobil Gift Eggs would make great gifts for children this Easter. Now I'm a meany mummy, I quickly hid the box and had a look for myself but I was nice enough to let Oli have one of the eggs.

Ok it may of been the pinkish/purple egg but the toy inside of it was so much fun, seriously these days pink is the new blue for boys and as to playing with a unicorn, he loved his little horsie as he called it. Really was quite surprised at how many parts came with the character, we enjoyed building the carriage and accessorizing the figure with his little hat and umbrella. As to the egg the toy came in this itself can be used a play object, it has a little slot so children can use it as a money bank or simply as a little storage container to keep their own little treasures safe. I actually think I cant find our egg as Oli was last using it to put money into so I think he's hidden it from us so that he can keep the pennies. Maybe he's secretly saving up for another egg? Wouldn't take many of his pennies as they're only £5.99 each which I think is a fantastic price for a Easter present when you consider that you're getting a Playmobil toy which comes in a egg, I know I'm not alone in thinking that's such a quirky idea.

Am quite excited about opening the rest of them with Oli and building them with him on Easter day, it's great knowing that these will last a long time compared to his chocolate egg which I know will be consumed about 5 seconds after receiving it.

You can find Playmobil Gift Eggs over at John Lewis, , and directly from Playmobil's website. You may even find them in some shops which sell Playmobil products.

Friday, 30 March 2012

I'm filming my labour

Does that sound strange? It did to the man when I first suggested it and I guess when it first popped into my head, I had to wonder if I had lost it. But then it's not like it's a crazy new thing, people have been doing this kind of thing for yonks. You only have to type in birth videos in google to see that people actually do record the moment they go into labour and give birth.

Ever since I gave birth to Oli, I announced that I wanted a mirror at the other end if I was to ever do it again so that I could see for myself what actually happens. Fast forward a few years and I've watched enough episodes of One Born Every Minute to actually see what's going on down below when you're giving birth. I've moved on from the mirror idea to wanting to have my little video camera set up to record my last stage of labour as well as the birth. Having a home birth should make this much easier to achieve, I'm hoping to be on the floor so have already chosen my camera spot. Though I know this can all change as labour plans don't always go as planned.

Blue Bear Wood shared some of her birthing photos in a first portrait gallery blogpost which to me were just simply stunning, you look past everything to see these amazing breathtaking birthing shots. Recording a moment like this to me is just so unique and personal. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea looking at photos like this or recording/capturing the moment you give birth but for me it is one of the most beautiful natural events you can come across in life and I cant wait to capture my very own beautiful natural event on film.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Dolphin Tale

I remember seeing the trailer on the TV for Dolphin Tale and adding it to that forever growing list of films I must see. I have to admit it was the fact it had Morgan Freeman in that swayed it for me, he's a fantastic actor and I was curious to see what he would bring to a family film.

Warner Brothers, the guys behind most of our favourite family films got in contact to ask if we would like to review Dolphin Tale - see it was fate that I watch this film. With Oli not quite being old enough still for the cinema, most of our films are DVDs and I kinda like this because it means we're building up a fantastic collection of family films for us to watch now and in the years to come.

Based on true events "Dolphin Tale" is a family film about Winter, a young dolphin who loses her tail in a crab trap and Sawyer, the introverted, 11-year old boy who befriends her. Sawyer meets the rescued dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a marine rehabilitation center where she lives. Sawyer rallies friends and family alike to save Winter by convincing a pioneering doctor to create a unique prosthetic attachment to restore the dolphin’s ability to swim. Winter the dolphin plays herself in the movie.

Oli adores the film, he's rather into sea animals at the moment so from the moment the film begins you see Dolphins - new word for Oli. Rather excitedly he shouts about turtles (possibly his favourite sea animal at the moment) and about the bubbles the Dolphins are making. I guess for him it's all about the animals and he does get to see plenty of dolphin action from Winter. So with regrads to recommending to toddler children, we rate it highly. Great learning about sea animals together in such a visual way.

So no worries about him enjoying it, but what about us? When I became a mother I was worried that my screen life in future would be dominated by silly cartoons and ridiculous films which make me want to fall asleep in the corner. I actually didn't think we would be enjoying family films like Dolphin Tale together until he was at least 10 years in age, I was so wrong. It was a really sweet film which had both me and the man hooked from beginning to end, it's such a warming tale (get it?) which will have you smiling too.

Dolphin Tale is available to buy from , , and It's also available to buy on Blu-ray.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

How do you decide how many children you have?

Today I have Emily who used to blog over at Baby Rambles guest posting. Emily thought this post appropriate for me as it's about deciding how big you want your family to be to which sort of ties in with the fact I'm about to have my second. Strange that she asks at the end of the post if we're have any more or stop at two, this has been a recent topic of conversation between me and the man. Three sounds like a nice round number but I think we'll have to see how we deal with two first.

I remember the urge to have a baby. It lasted for years and became stronger and more unbearable as time went by. Once we decided to try for a baby, it took three years until I successfully fell pregnant. I can’t really describe how much I wanted a baby during that time, other than the feeling was so intense that it physically hurt.

A little while after my first was born, I wanted a second. That familiar ache returned and luckily my second son arrived without too much of a wait. But when he was a young baby I realised I really wanted a third. This worried me slightly as most people seem to stop at two. Would I be one of those who would forever want a baby? Would the feeling ever go away?

After my third, our little girl, arrived I felt complete. Suddenly I no longer wanted any more babies and it was a refreshing feeling. Now I’m looking forward to watching the children grow up and I’m happy we won’t have a baby in the house any more. I feel we’ve gone through that stage now.

I wonder what makes us decide how many children we want. Some people want large families and others just want to stick with one or two children. Sometimes the choice is taken out of our hands if a relationship ends or our partner doesn’t want any more. Sometimes we can’t have children at all.

For some reason I always wanted three children and I consider myself lucky I have them (although it’s good to have a moan about them on bad days, who doesn’t?). I put my foot in it the other day with someone who told me they were expecting a fourth, “you’re brave” was my reply without thinking. Whatever happened to ‘congratulations’? I’d thought about how I’d feel about having a fourth instead of them.

So as Emma gets ready for her second baby, I wonder if she too, will want to have more. Or whether she (perhaps sensibly for space and money reasons) will stop at two.

Sometimes I think it’s just age and tiredness which stops me from wanting more children. If I’d had my first in my early twenties, maybe I would have had a fourth. Then again, maybe not. We’re already driving a people carrier as it is, many more and it would be a minibus. Not a good look.

Toddlerisms #12

Bad Hair Day

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Help, my baby stole my brain!

I'm currently on my way to Ireland for a few days so am going to be leaving you in the capable hands of some parent bloggers that I have known for a few years now. These bloggers have blogs which I started reading when I first started out blogging so I very honoured to have them guest post for me whilst I'm away.

The first blogger I have guest posting for me today is the lovely Tasha from WAHM-BAM! Tasha is a work at home mum of two girls who's blog is a little similar to mine, it's full of a variety of posts which to me makes a fantastic read. Though unlike me Tasha can actually cook so has a great section on cooking posts and food recipes.

There has been lots of research done into why women feel they lose their memories or brainpower after giving birth. If my baby hadn’t stolen my brain, I’d go and find you some links to this research, but I can’t. Sorry. Suffice it to say that some studies suggest giving birth does cause memory loss (the hormones, you know), while others say it doesn’t. Some studies suggest that it’s the breastfeeding that causes the memory loss and others that it’s the sleep deprivation. Some people suggest that maternity leave can prevent us from exercising our brains (I wouldn’t know about that, as I didn’t get any – it’s a bit more complicated when you run your own business and there’s no law that makes me pay myself maternity leave and get someone in to cover for me).

My theory (and I have no recollection of any studies supporting or tearing apart this theory) is that, when we become mums, we suddenly have so much other stuff to keep in our brains and to remember, that it pushes some of the old important stuff out. We have to remember to buy nappies, or to wash them. We have to remember to feed them (OK, they usually remind us of that one). We have to find out about what medication to give them, when to call the doctor and when to call the ambulance. We have to find out about all the baby groups. We have to make decisions about the best way to feed them, to wean them, to teach them. We have to listen out. Constantly.

And it doesn’t stop when they start crawling. No, then we have to investigate the house at floor level to remove dangerous choking hazards. We have to remember to close stair gates and fairly soon, when they start walking and climbing and jumping, we have to look at our house and the world on a whole other level, removing hazards.

And then they go off to pre-school or nursery. And we have to remember to take spare clothes and nappies and packed lunches (and remember to buy the ingredients for the packed lunches). We have to remember to fill in forms and take them in, to pay for trips and photos and special events.

Then along comes school and there’s a whole other bunch of things to remember. They need clean school uniform, school shoes, book bags, books. They need more forms filled, parents evenings remembered and attended. Cakes baked or bought – in time for the bake sale, not the day after. They need their glasses and to have a puff on their inhalers (I forget these, which is particularly dreadful). They need you to make sure they’ve done their homework. You have to remember which after-school club or activity they’re at – and to collect them at the right the time. You have to remember who their friends are and who you need ask round for playdates. And then you need to remember you asked them round for a play date and to buy the chicken nuggets or yoghurts that they really like, so they won’t go home early.

Well, really, it's a wonder we remember anything else at all, isn't it?

The only way I remember what I need to do for work these days is to set up elaborate tasks in Outlook and lists of steps for less common procedures. And I must go to the Co-op at least twice a day, often more, because I’ve forgotten something essential. I forget to ask about my sister’s or mother’s medical appointments or interviews or holidays. And now (see glasses and inhaler above), I’m even forgetting things to do with the girls.

Chris suggested that I should do the brain training on the DS again or something similar. But, you know what? I forget to do it!

So, no, babies don’t actually steal our brains, but they take them over. They move in and squat for 18 years (oh, who am I kidding, probably for life), making it very difficult for you to get around without thinking about them. If anyone has an easy, magic, get-your-brain-and-memory-back thing, do let us know. As long as it doesn’t involve having to remember to do something regularly, of course!

Tasha from WAHM-BAM!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Dalani Home & Living - Twin Competition

Dalani Home & Living is the UK's leading shopping club. They have new sales everyday with great prices like 70% off the manufacturers recommended retail price. All products are carefully curated by their style team and buyers who strive to source the best homeware brands for members. Membership to Dalani is free, and members receive a daily newsletter telling them what brands are on sale each day.

Dalani have given me the chance to offer you readers a Competition to win an exclusive £50 voucher. To take part, simply sign up to Dalani for free and answer the following question below. Using my exclusive invite link anyone who signs up can claim a free £15 voucher.

What is the name of the brand in the sale at the top of the Dalani homepage?

You have until 9am on the 2nd April 2012 to email me at with your answer. Once the closing date has been reached and all entries received, I will select a winner at random from the correct entries.

And if that wasn't enough they are offering another competition, giving two lucky readers the chance to win a £250 voucher . To be in with a chance of winning this competition you simply need to visit the Dalani website and select a number of items of your choice up to the value of £250 that you would like to use to revamp a room in your house. Once you have selected your items, you then simply need to comment on this post with what the items are and why you have chosen them.

Dalani will select 2 winners from all the comments received across the 36 participating blogs taking part in these competitions and they will win a £250 voucher. The end date for this competition is also at 9am on the 2nd April 2012.

If I was given £250 I would be looking at the Laura Ashley kids stuff seeing as I have a nursery to decorate, especially the bedspreads and quilts. The ASA collection would just look fantastic in my kitchen and those salad bowls and jars which have space to add a memo are just so quirky and would be great for someone with a terrible baby brain like me. Then I think I would go crazy with the Rivadossi cutlery sets for children, they look like they would survive little toddler hands.

Sponsored Post

Innocent Seed Sowing & Competition

The other week we blogged about growing with Innocent this spring and how at the moment until the end of April they are giving away free seeds in
every box of Innocent kids' smoothies or fruit tubes. There are six to collect - carrots, tomatoes, cress, basil, violets & sunflowers and Innocents aim is to get millions of children outside planting and harvesting their own little gardens this spring/summer.

We had our nephew around for tea so I seized my chance on getting the help of two little toddlers to plant some seeds with me. The blog post I wrote a
bout saving up our innocent cartons showed a little piccy of the seeds which are inside of the boxes, they're little pop out seed packets which degrade in the soil. Means no getting seeds all over the place as the toddlers were able to just pop the little seed packets into their cartons full of soil. Of course we got the soil all over the place, but I believe the more mess you create the more the fun has been had.

Once we had planted our seeds and covered them in soil and gave them a little water, we labelled what seeds we had planted with the little description labels we cut from the boxes. We didn't have enough for all of them, so we re-used the part of the seed packets which we didn't need which had the name of the seed on them to mark what our seeds were. We also re-used our empty boxes to use as holders for our plants whilst we wait for our little seeds to turn into seedlings, we had just as much fun making and decorating these boxes as we did planting our seeds.

We've teamed up with the guys at Innocent for a competition where you can win your very own watering can kit for your little one. They're even chucking in some Innocent vouchers so you can stock up on some cartons ready to plan your seeds. To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is answer the following question:

If one box of Innocent Kids' Smoothies contains 4 cartons, then how many boxes did I buy to give me the amount of cartons in the photo below?

The competition is open to UK residents and ends a week today on the 2nd April 2012. Winner will be drawn at random. If you're already growing some Innocent sends then why not using the hashtag #innocentseeds
or share one over on

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Second Hand Buys - Second Hand Baby Websites

This week I managed to sell second hand instead of buy second, I guess selling provides ££ in case I wanted to buy anything. I often forget that money doesn't grow on trees, despite the constant reminders from the man. I shifted one of my old prams over on , the people that wanted it traveled for a couple of hours just to get this pram and despite it having a part missing that they would have to purchase for it. Have been trying to sell it on local facebook pages but hadn't been getting anywhere, just 40 minutes after putting in on Gumtree I had sold it and for the price I wanted.

The pram didn't have a chance over on Pushchair Trader which is a website especially to buy, sell and win used pushchairs, prams, buggies, spares and accessories. Have listed the other pram I want to sell and have already received a inbox full enquiries. Great place to pop over too if you're a pram fan like me. I enjoy reading the news section just to keep up with the pram gossip about what's new on the pram scene.

Most of the other sites I mentioned before in my second hand website post are places where you can sell and buy second baby stuff, just means hunting out the right section to get to the baby stuff. Here's some more websites that are dedicated to just selling and buying baby items.

The Nursery Exchange is an online market place born to enable parents to buy and sell second hand baby, maternity & children's items. It's quick, easy and free to list. I like the easy layout to this website, not used it myself but may give it a try to try and shift some of my old baby stuff, doesn't hurt to upload whatever your trying to sell to each website you come across - reaches more buyers that way.

If like us you're thinking about using real nappies when you're next comes along, wanting to try them with your current baby or wanting to get rid of your old ones then check out Used Nappies. They are a family run business providing a auction service which allows us to both buy new and sell real nappies. Now we paid a small fortune for our nappies so it's handy to know we have the option of clawing some of that money back once we've finished with them, though to be honest with how much we're saving on the price of disposable nappies we wont really need to try and be quids in on them come the day we say goodbye to them.

The founder of babyitsyours was a fashion expert interested in the swishing trend and a project manager keen for a green website for parents. You can use the site to sell, wrap and buy. Handy menu which lets you you search by both location and condition. Free to list for the first 6 months so sign up when you're ready to sell.

Baby Swap or Shop is a community-based website of local areas that covers the UK, each page offering items for sale, swap or wanted. They facilitate mums and dads to upload their unwanted items for sale/swap or 'wanted' posts free of charge and they also have the ability to search by category as well as postcode radius. You can post a unlimited amount of adverts which stay on the website for 30 days unless you mark them as sold, you'll have the option to re-list unsold items.

A local selling site is Nappy Valley which you buy and sell on but it sounds like you might have to pay a small fee to list items for sale. When trying to find out more details about this website I came across these really handy tips which you should bare in mind when selling and buying.

Using parenting forums is also a great way of shifting and browsing old baby stuff, sites I know of which you can do this on are Netmums, UK Parents Lounge, Bounty, Mums Like You and if you know anymore please add them to the linky below.

Don't forget if you're not a fab of buying/selling second hand online then there's always your local car boot sales, supermarket ad boards, Charity shops, NCT sales and local events such as your child's school fetes which gives you the opportunity to do it in person instead of online.

Really starting to feel it

So I've reached my 35th week, am slightly leaning towards that freaking out stage especially as it only felt like yesterday I was tucking into that cake the man made me to celebrate turning 30 weeks. I'm as prepared as much as I'm not - if that makes any sense? Mentally I'm prepared that we're going to have another baby, mentally not prepared that I'm going to become a mother of two. Physically we're at the ready with the boob milk and the real nappies, physically not prepared with knowing what to do with these things.

The last week I've really started to get to grips with the fact I'm going into that heavily pregnant stage, I cant really deny it anymore. Really feeling the strain on both my body and the way I'm feeling. When pregnant with Oli I was often having afternoon naps, especially towards the end. This time around I'm having to be with Oli so nap times cant happen when I want them like I did before. Though even still with the opportunity to have naps I've not really wanted to take them. When he falls asleep after playschool or a good run around the park, I find myself sticking the kettle on and filling my face full of cake - I would still say this was a good use of time. Though yesterday I just HAD to have a nap come late afternoon, thankfully the man was home so I was able to do this. After waking up this morning feeling like I've not slept at all, I do think naps will be squeezed into these last weeks.

The jabs are becoming increasing violent, seriously does he need to stick a limb into
my ribcage at 3am? It's getting quite uncomfortable and I cant remember feeling it like this with the first pregnancy. I feel yucky and horrible all the time, I keep having stages where I miss my per-pregnant state which is a strange way to feel when you want to be and are pregnant. Could be the fact I have all my per-pregnancy clothes stored away in boxes in the garage and that my wardrobe looks tiny with its leggings and maternity tops. I'm having to correct people who think I've been able to get away with wearing my old clothes, because I've not. My hips seem to have expanded along with thighs, much different to Oli's pregnancy as I did only own one item of maternity clothing.

I'm still waiting for the go ahead from my consultant for my home birth, she wants to me to have this heart monitoring but there seems to be no hurry with getting that sorted. My one midwife who's been visiting me home has been quite reassuring with my plans for the home birth, the consultant did say as long as my midwives were happy then she's happy. Baby is in perfect health, he's even started to grow more! I know this because it's got to the point where I can no longer see what underwear I'm wearing. The man thinks this is hilarious, even more so that I've been begging him to shave my legs for me and paint my toe nails as I cant bend over to do them. I blame this nice weather that's suddenly started to appear, I was all prepared to spend the last 5 weeks in trousers and long leggings which would of kept my fuzz well hidden.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Phineas and Ferb Movie - Across The 2nd Dimension

The guys over at Disney sent us a copy of Phineas and Ferbs latest movie - Phineas and Ferb across the 2nd dimension. I've left it to Daddy (who's already watched it with Oli more times then Doofenshmirtz has tried to take over the Tri state area!) to write a review about the film.

Phineas and Ferb the movie is about two child geniuses inventors and their pet platypus Perry, trying to save the Tri State area from an army of robots from another dimension. Unknown to Phineas and Ferb, Perry is really a secret agent who battles against the evil but incompetent Dr Heinz Doofenshmirtz. After Phineas and Ferb help Dr Doofenshmirtz build an 'Other dimensionator'. They travel to another dimension were they meet up with their doubles. In the other dimension, it is a dark, glum place ruled by the other dimension Dr Heinz Doofenshmirtz who has conquered and rules over the people of the Dry State area.

After they are captured and sent to their doom they manage to escape and return to their original dimension, with the help of the other dimension doubles. When they return they have to battle against the evil robot invasion. After a hard fought fight they prevail and win the day.

My son already enjoys the TV programme so it was no surprise that he enjoyed the movie. Its packed full of fun and colour and has a good aray of catchy songs, although I'm not a fan of the sing along with Perry sub-title option. But each to there own I guess.

There is a strong message about trust and friendship and this is shown through the friendship between Phineas and Ferb and their pet platypus. Although they were hurt and disappointed Perry never told them about his secret double agent life. They love him so much to forgive and trust each other and work together to defeat the evil Dr Doofenshmirtz.

All in all a fantastic movie for children and adults to enjoy. Will have you laughing and tapping your feet along to the songs.

It's available to buy now from and pretty much anywhere else that sells DVDs.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

'The man' on coping with Emma, Hormones, Sickness & SVT

The day we found out Emma was pregnant was ever so special and I remember it like it was yesterday, I was stood in the kitchen putting some shopping away and I heard Emma coming down the stairs, as she walked into the room her smile revealed all. We had no real words for each other so just hugged for what seemed like a eternity as the realisation as to what was happening, and how our lives were to change again.

We are now just weeks away from the new addition to our family and we both cant wait but it hasn't been an easy ride. I guess I want to share my experience and give the view from the other side. If I can offer some help or advice to other dads to be then fantastic but I’m no preacher and every birth is different.

It all started in Portsmouth way life was pretty good, being country people being by the sea was literally a breath of fresh air. We had our first scare early on in the pregnancy around 6 weeks. Emma wasn't feeling to good so we decided to get checked out. Turned out Emma had really low blood pressure and was rushed to the Queen Alexandra hospital via ambulance with the fear of an ectopic pregnancy.
It was a horrible experience seeing your loved one rushed away but I couldn't go with her as we had Oli with us and having no family around was hard. Thankfully we had amazing friends in Kerry and partner Kevin who jumped in the car and came to look after Oli as I went off to be with Emma. (Also thanks to Vic and my Family for being such great support via phone and txt!)

Jumping in the car and travelling to the hospital was a horrid feeling although it was only a 10 minute drive it felt a lot longer. I guess you always prepare for the worse but thinking you must stay positive.

I eventually got to the room to see a distressed Emma. They explained they needed to do a scan but with a probe. I remember walking into the room not knowing what to do were to sit, does Emma want comforting, what are they talking about, is everything ok? Watching other people touch and not seeming to do anything to help with her pain is quite distressing and the feeling of being useless isn't nice.Thankfully the scan saw the baby in the correct place and good size, although at the time baby was like a jelly bean.

The weeks went on and Emma's sickness got worse. It got to the point were she would spend days in bed or sat in pyjamas. She didn't eat or drink and her health deteriorated. It was a hard time for me, as I worked nights 8pm until finish which could have been 8am, plus there was a 40 minute drive home on top. I struggled to cope and I've no shame in admitting to it. To try and work, maintain the household, look after Oli, look after Emma and all the other things that came in life was hard.I couldn't understand what pregnancy was doing to her and how much she had changed. It seemed like I had to do everything, I had no support. As the weeks went on I became cold towards Emma and day to day life was uphill. We argued so much and at times we wondered if we made the right choice. Emma became so ill she had to go back to hospital and go onto a drip. I remember even then I was cold thinking 'you've brought it on yourself', 'I do everything around here'. Sounds bad but I was at breaking point,exhausted. Looking back on it I wish I was there more and showed more love and affection.

I think Emma would agree with me that she should of got help and treatment faster. So my bit of advice is to get the help when the symptoms start because its not nice. Try and cut down the amount of pressure exerted. There are people waiting to help. Nobody wants to be sick at the end of the day. Once Emma was back on her feet, eating and drinking it was amazing. I had my Emma back, yes it took a few hospital trips and a couple of drips but was all worth it. Emma is no domestic goddess but it was nice to feel the support coming back into the relationship and last but not least the love.

It's funny how one problem goes another one comes along. One word, Hormones! It became more and more apparent in her second trimester. The littlest things would set her off. A lot of harsh words were said and Emma won't be afraid to admit that she did go for me on a few occasions. Looking back on it and some of the arguments we had were pointless and petty. I'm glad we can look back and have a laugh and a joke about it. I guess its to do with your maturity. But as I say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

What kept us going was the thought of bringing a child into the world and how much we do love each other. We were offered help through doctors/consultants but we declined. We felt it was something we can get through together and touch wood we got there. I think once you find out what you both want in life its makes things easier. Its a good thing me and Emma both wanted the same things.

Once the sickness went, her hormones calmed along came another scare. SVT. Its a heart condition that can affect pregnant women. It not life threatening as there are ways of managing it and hopefully the doctor said she will grow out of it after pregnancy. Thankfully this time round my family are on the doorstep as we moved back to my home town. Again off she went in the ambulance and I caught up with her as soon as I dropped off the toddler.

Doctors were talking about a possible blood clot on the lungs. Again my heart sank for Emma. Every hour it seemed she was being poked with a needle. I think she had 13 in a day. When they tried for the fourth blood gas and seeing the tears roll down her face it hit me how tough this pregnancy has been on Emma and how I could have been a better person, maybe I put myself first too much. Emma couldn't eat and drink what ever she wanted...I could. Emma couldn't go out when ever she wanted...I could. I got nights of undisturbed sleep..Emma didn't.

I've learnt that pregnancy comes with a lot of restrictions. I don't think woman understand what the men go through as much as what men think women go through. So I believe the golden rule of pregnancy is communication, something that I’m not good at but strive to improve, and for us men don't be afraid to talk about your feelings. Bottling things up just don't work.

Its been a real roller-coaster ride of a pregnancy and we haven't even got to the birth yet. Fingers crossed all goes well as we agreed on a home birth. Took me some time to agree on as to all we've been through. Can't wait to meet my little man.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Mother's Day gift from Virgin Media

How was your Mother's Day? Hope you had a lovely day! Mine was spent as a normal weekend as the man was at work, so me and the boy spent some time together. I was sent a surprise Fortnum & Mason gift hamper from the lovely guys at Virgin Media which bought extra smile to my weekend

*Whispers* I'm not with Virgin Media TV but I hear they have lots of on demand films and TV series's for you to watch. I want to change over just so I can watch season 8 of Bones!

Thanks Virgin for my Mother's Day gift :)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Sweetcorn Bites

When a PR emails you asking if you want to review food how can you say no? Especially when you're 30 odd weeks pregnant and consuming enough food by yourself to feed a family of 5. I got asked if I would like to try out some Sweetcorn Bites, of course I said yes and was quite pleased to receive a box full a couple of days later.

I wasn't quite sure what I was expecting really, when I usually buy sweetcorn from the supermarket in the bags which you store in the freezer. That I just dip into when I want some sweetcorn, and then watch it cook on the hob. The packaging to the sweetcorn bites made the sweetcorn look and read user friendly by this I mean could easily see that I could store some in both the fridge and freezer.

We were impressed by the microwave option which
allowed us to have a yummy warm healthy snack within minutes. All I had to do was cut open the top and put it into the microwave for the recommended minutes for my microwave. I spent so much time the other day putting some into a pan to cook and add to the side of our plates, I also like this easy option of shoving it into the microwave in it's packet and not creating more washing up for myself by getting out pans to boil water.

A Mummy Too reviewed some too and has created a yummy recipe for roasted vegetables with which you can use a bag of Sweetcorn Bites. Do let me know if you try either the recipes or Sweetcorn Bites for yourself.

Friday, 16 March 2012

ASDA Mother's Day Gifts

Are you struggling to find the mother in your life a gift this year for Mother's Day? Especially with not long left until the big day - 18th March. How about popping along to your local supermarket? Yeah, avoid the business of town and pop along to your nearest ASDA. At least you're guaranteed long opening hours and the fact you'll be able to get both cards and gifts at the same time.

I've been along to browse for myself and I also get sent some examples so I can actually get a feel for the gifts. First thing - great value for money. It's stuff the kid could pick up for pocket money prices. I got sent these 4 items - Ceramic Cake Stand, Cookie Jar, Cream Pot with Freesias & a Gift Planter with Bulbs. And want to know much all of that comes too? £20 as gift is £5 each. Personally for me as a mother herself on a budget this is great value, means picking up both the mother in law and the great grandma gifts each.*

Secondly there seems to be something for whatever the mother in your life is into be it baking, gardening or pretty things in general. For me it all tickles my fancy, we like baking cakes so the cake stand will see lots of yummy cake. The treat jar will come handy for hiding my treats from the children and the gardening stuff looks quite simple to use, great for a gardening novice like me.

If you're already sorted for Mother's Day why not treat yourself? After all, at these prices you can afford too.

*I may of added a bottle of fizzy pop each from that shiny alcohol aisle.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Get growing with Innocent this Spring

How exciting does the above look? Like show it to your toddler/child and I bet you'll have them screaming too in excitement. (or it may just of just been me & Oli!) To us it sounds like so much fun, getting seeds in my yummy pack of smoothies in which I can plant in my empty smoothie carton once we've finished drinking it. We're already big fans of Innocent and I cant escape the supermarket without coming away with a box of the kids smoothies and fruit tubes.
I blame the fact they are put right next to our reduced section so whilst I'm browsing for food bargains, Oli's stocking the trolley with Innocent goods.

The guys at Innocent sent us a little kit to help us to get started with our very own planting mission. I hinted at what we were doing a couple of weeks ago in my gardening with toddlers blog post. We were sent a little watering can with some seeds so that we could see for ourselves what we'll be getting when we purchase the new boxes of Innocent goods which have seeds inside of them.

Innocents aim is to get millions of children outside planting and harvesting their own little gardens now that the nice weather is on it's way to us. From March until April, every box of Innocent kids' smoothies or fruit tubes will come with it's very own pack of easy to grow seeds. There are six to collect - carrots, tomatoes, cress, basil, violets & sunflowers. Sowing thee seeds and growing them will help to show children where fruit and veg come from and how it can be grown.

We're waiting for that nice weather to return,
hopefully this weekend so that we can plant all our seeds in the smoothie cartons we've been collecting the last couple of weeks. Our obsessive buying has also led to now owning lots of seeds, the exciting thing being that we have a pack of sunflowers each to plant for our sunflower growing competition. (seeing who can grow the biggest sunflower between me, the man & the toddler!)

Whilst writing this post up and thinking about what I'm going to get the mother in law for Mother's day, I thought what a great little gift this could make for mother's this
Mother's Day. Like giving mother some cartons flat packed with a little ribbon around them or a box you've bought from the supermarket all wrapped up. Or stick the box into a pretty ceramic pot? So many ideas! But great ideas you can do which help you out if your on a budget. I'm so excited about doing this with Oli that I'm getting the nephew around so he can plant some seeds for himself, of course we have to drink some more smoothies first. ;)

Keep a eye out for our next Innocent seeds post where I blog about how we got on with planting our seeds and which will include a competition for your little one to win his/her very own watering can kit including some innocent vouchers to help you get started with your smoothie/seed buying!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I'm going to BlogCamp UK

Next month I'm attending a blogging event called BlogCamp. Here's my meet & greet so that other attendees going to BlogCamp get to know a little about me before the day. It also gives you the lowdown on me in case you're new to reading my blog. I may be slightly crazy attending next month as it's around the same time I'm due to pop out this baby. I'm hoping baby will come either the week before so that he can come along with me or that he comes anytime after, just not during as it may disturb my cake eating slightly.

Name: Emma

Blog: The one you're reading right now - Me, The Man & The Baby


My Blog’s About: Me! Sometimes about the man, though I try not to usually write about him as it makes him big headed. It's about my toddler who was once the baby but then developed a attitude and a love of anything with wheels where we then declared him a toddler. And in the last several months its became a diary of my pregnancy, though when I say diary I mean a place where I've done nothing but moan about my problems. In general my blog is about my family life and how I'm surviving it all.

Likes: Blogging and anything social media related, Spending time with my boys, Mexican food, Watching CSI & Law Order, Pretty shoes, Pastel colours and BBQs.

Dislikes: Toad in the hole, TV soaps, Ticking clocks, Standing on small toys, Yo Gabba Gabba, Clothes shopping and Potty training.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Toddlerisms #11

Playing Xbox with Daddy

Driving lessons? But you're pregnant!

Yeah this is what the man came out with a few weeks ago when I announced that I was going to have driving lessons. Seriously, the stuff these men can come out with really does make you giggle at times. I think my reply was something that was snarky, about how I still had perfect use of my hands, feet & eyes and that my brain was still functioning perfectly fine and that the only thing different about me is that I'm carrying his son around.

I've been feeling ok lately, nothing has gone wrong and I've not seen the inside of a hospital in a few weeks (well apart from Oli's A&E visit) so no worries on that front. I guess it was just such a strange thought for him having me behind the wheel knowing that we're popping out a baby sometime next month. I'm not huge so no worries about trying to fit bump behind the wheel
and as I told the man, there's women that even drive themselves to the hospital when in labour.

I have had lessons before and can in theory kinda drive, just not legally. When I was 18 I was learning to drive but then moved to a island with no cars which put a end to my lessons. Guess since then and popping out babies, I've just come to rely on the man. That's kinda getting boring now, so when I saw a great offer on lessons I thought I would go ahead and finish what I started. And yes darling man of mine, whilst pregnant.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

I knew I shouldn't of done it but I guess it's just one of those bad mummy moments that you just have to commit at least once in your life with one of your children. Sadly Oli was at the other side of this mistake, well I say Oli I mean his poor blonde locks. I've blogged before about how he wasn't comfortable about going to the hairdressers and we didn't want to push him so have just left him to it. It's been growing ok, getting longer but on days that long blonde hair can look so gorgeous on him but other days it was getting unmanageable.
Am to be honest I was getting annoyed with strangers thinking that he was a girl at times.

Sunday morning I was walking past him with the scissors and joked that I was going to snip, snip his hair. He actually found this quite funny and sat down for me to snip his hair. I just couldn't resist, I got the scissors and I took away the long hair at the front. As soon as I did it I was horrified with myself, he looked more like a girl then he did before!! He had this blonde fringe surrounded by blonde hair. I couldn't leave him like that, especially with pre-school the next day.
In desperation I turned to facebook in the hint of a mobile hairdresser to come and sort out his hair. Thankfully I found someone who was free to come and do it later that evening.

This is when shock kicked in again, when my usually fidgety toddler happily sat on his Tripp Trapp to let the hairdresser sort out his hair and give him a much needed haircut at the same time. He actually just sat and watched TV and happily chatted to the
hairdresser, she was lovey and I'm definitely going to make her Oli's regular hairdressers. She made him feel so confident, teaching him to blow his hair from his/her hands and explaining & showing him the equipment that she was using. He even let her put a gown on him.

Guess it just shows again how much he's growing up, he's bordering that older child stage and I know it wont be long before we're saying
goodbye to the toddler years. Have to admit there was tears from me when it came to clearing up his hair, it was all blonde and we already spied that his roots had started to go dark so now we're left with a boy with dark blonde hair. He does look grown up and so very different. It will be much better now that the weather is warming up to keep him cool and for it to dry off quickly when it comes to getting the pool out. Just remind me with the next boy to get him used to the hairdressers as soon as possible and not to leave it so long in between snips. This was Oli's third haircut, guess it's a haircut for each year that he's been around.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Second Hand Buys - Second Hand Books

I'm pretty sure that the man has become more obsessed with hunting out second hand DVDs then me. It's like a game of who can get through the door quickest to find the DVD section and hunt out the perfect DVD for the boy. The man was so excited when he discovered Budgie the Little Helicopter on DVD, this is something we both watched as a child ourselves so he couldn't resist buying it for our boy to watch. We almost came away with the Power Rangers movie too but we hesitated and put it back. Though we did come away with a few cook books to add to our cook book collection.

This made me think about second hand books and how this is usually how I get my hands on them. I actually cant remember the last time I bought a book from brand new, so many people donate them to book/charity shops once they've read them once that I'm usually quite lucky to get my hands on the latest release for like a tenth of the price. I guess going to the library can be classed as getting your hands on a second hand book, though the downside is having to return it. I'm one of those people that like to keep a book if I enjoy it to read again when I want. Same with books for the toddler, love seeing his bookshelf fill up with books he can read over the next few years.

How about looking for second hand books online or even swapping online your old books for new ones?

I've mentioned Oxfam online before but how about searching the Oxfam second hand online book store? Love the easy to use menu options which allows me to search via price, condition, author and subject. But what I love even more is that I know by buying a book from them, I'm giving straight to charity.

AbeBooks is a online marketplace where you can buy new, secondhand, rare and
out-of-print books, as well as cheap textbooks. They connect you with booksellers all around the world and allow you to purchase the book through the secure checkout procedure and then the bookseller ships it straight out to you.

Another shop which you're most likely already familair with is Waterstones, well have you checked out Waterstone's Marketplace? Works in exactly the same way, I may of already tested it out myself with a purchase of some secondhand Dr Seuss books. Oops. They partner up with Alibris, another website which sells used and collectible books, music and movies.

A website which you can swap books instead of paying for them is Read It Swap It. List a old book and then sit back and wait for a email requesting a swap. It tells it you exactly how it works right here. They have a fab list of subjects at the side of the website which allows you to browse what you're after much easier. It's been a while since I've used it so may see if I could trade some of my old books and textbooks for some children's books.

I know a few of you who read my blog have blogs
yourselves where you review products. How about receiving a book in exchange of a reiew? BookSneeze allows you to do exactly that. You simply sign up for a free account, choose a book from from the available books and then they send you a copy for free. You then post a review of 200 or more words on your blog and then you can do exactly the same all over again.

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