Monday, 30 April 2012

Expecting the unexpected

Even though it is expected at the same time it is unexpected. If that makes sense? You just do not know when things will kick off, I swear the man at Pizza Hut today thought I was going to pop any moment during lunch and I'm pretty sure that's why he was freaking out when we got stuck in traffic. I'm still staying patient, I'm not fretting and moaning (much) about the lack of baby though it would be nice to be posting cute newborn photos instead of bump photos.

This post could of easily of been titled calm before the storm/back labour but funnily enough I've already used those as tittles this week for blog posts. After my night before last when my back was just in total agony, I phoned up one of the on duty midwives just to chat to her about what I was feeling. She decided that she wanted to pop out and see me and just do a quick check over. She wasn't too happy when I said that babies movements have not been as regular as usual but then she also thought I had a UTI (wee infection) as she found a small trace of blood and some protein. Mine and the man's reaction was both the same, just typical that yet again something else would crop up. She sent me packing to the hospital to just get double checked over.

Queue dropping the boy off at the in laws and grabbing some food quickly as we know what waiting at the hospital is like. I really didn't think I would be seeing the place again after I had to go and have the heart pack. They repeated a wee sample and found nothing, they said that the pain was most likely down to the start of labour thanks to babies position. I wish they could make there mind up, though yay to not having another UTI. I was put on monitors for baby's movements, by the time I had got to the hospital I had felt a few movements. I still wasn't overly impressed with them but I can feel that he's dropped even more (which I didn't think would be possible!) which probably explains why they've slowed down. I had to click down on a button every time I felt him move which I did, helped along with some cold water. So all normal, was given permission by them to take stronger pain killers for the back ache and told not to be afraid to stick the tens machine on to the lowest position if I feel like I need it.

With regards to the calm before the storm, today really has been a calm day. I woke up not really feeling anything, back pain had settled to a numb ache and I wasn't walking quite like a penguin anymore. Been able to spend a lovely day with my boys, stuffing my face with a all you can eat - they seriously got edgy every time I got up to refill my plate (I consider this a achievement) and as I pointed out to the man, I am eating for both me and a 6/7lb baby! This evening me and Oli went out on his scooter for a trek to the park, came home and I still have this wild burst of energy. I could quite easily go for a run if any of running clothes actually fit and if I had the right balance to be able to run. Think instead I'll waste this energy on the birthing ball and try and give baby a helping hand.

Toddlerisms #15

Toddler + Pizza = Pizza Face!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Back Labour

is it a bitch isn't it? No other way of really putting it other then that. I cant believe it's the middle of the night and I'm drafting this up. The man has not long gone to work, he really didn't want to leave me bless him. My back had been getting worse throughout the day and coming to bed things were still no better, though lying on my left side helped to take the edge off. We were wondering if this was going to be it, I was to distinguish if it was contractions but it was really difficult to tell. The pain was coming and going in my pain, getting worse but trying to establish if it was going round to the front was difficult. Didn't help that baby insisted on moving constantly so I couldn't tell if it was his movements or something else. Was also getting pain down below but I've been having this for a while now thanks to that pressure that's never left.

I assume I'm in labour in my back? Slowly but still in labour? I guess this is what the midwife meant when she said baby was back to back and that I was going to feel this in my back. I have been trying to do all the positions suggested to help move him but at the same time I find comfort in just sitting very still with pillows propping up my back like I'm doing this morning. I only managed to grab a couple of hours sleep and the man is due to get back in from work soon so I'll be on toddler duty until he wakes up.

Would be lying if I didn't admit that I'm freaking to how this is going to effect my home birth. I don't have a birthing plan other then to go with the flow. I want it to be natural as possible though at the same time, if I'm in pain I will take whatever I need. With Oli, I managed it with using the TENS at first and then moving on to gas & air. But that labour was 5 hours, I only felt the pain that morning. What if this back ache just gets worse over the next week? What if I have one of those 36 hour labours which I've always heard about?

When I was pregnant with Oli, I really wasn't that clued up on pregnancy I really did not know as much as I did now. That pregnancy was pretty straight forward if you didn't count the bleeding scare at the beginning and the fact I developed gall stones. I always thought labours were long, I didn't know they could be short. I really didn't know there were people that have actually cough and sneezed their baby out. This was why I was in so much shock when Oli was born and why I didn't want to know him at first, I just couldn't believe it could be over that quickly.

I'm not due to have a midwife come out and see me until over a weeks time for one of those glamorous sweeps, I'm thinking I may need to get a appointment sooner then that. I really don't want to make a fuss, I really don't but then I don't know how much of this pain I can take. Maybe she can let me know if anything was actually happening, this could perk me up and help me to cope with it.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Calm before the storm

I'm trying to stay calm, I really am. Though it is kinda difficult when you already know what's coming, that pain from the contractions and actually pushing out baby (
eek!) it's at the back of your mind. You cant help but to have moments where you just sit and think about it. I have got the whole 'bring it on' attitude going on though part of this is from wanting it to all be over. The back just seems to be getting increasingly painful but at least I know this is because of baby's position. Trying to keep myself distracted by doing various things but it is difficult when with the pain, all you want to do is curl up in bed with a hot water bottle.

Yesterday I woke up and I just knew it was going to be one of those days, the emotions just kicked straight in and I was feeling very fed up and down. I know it's just those bloody hormones but I really just didn't feel like me. Thankfully I had the lovely Roz come over to see me with her boys so that we could hit soft play together, I secretly think it's because she thought newborn cuddles would send me into labour.

Sadly our afternoon was cut short as Oli very quickly came down with something. You know your child is not very well when his turns his nose up at chips and grabs you his shoes/coat and wants to leave soft play out of his own freewill. This really wasn't what I needed and I felt pathetic for not really knowing what to do with him, I didn't really know what to do with myself at the time. Thankfully Nanny came over and fed him medicine whilst his Aunt fed him ice cream for his temperature. He perked up before bed and after a lovely lie in this morning and today he seems to be back to his usual self.

The man seems to be having more little freak outs then me, bless him. We discussed colostrum the day before yesterday and what this involved. He must of spent the whole of that evening thinking about breastfeeding as it was bought up as a topic of conversation when we went to bed. He admitted how he was going to be jealous of that bonding I would gain with baby via breastfeeding and how he couldn't wait to feed baby. I reassured him that skin to skin contact will be just as good for him and that his son will love hearing his heart beating and he may like being on his chest just as much as mine. Though I'll be the one with the good stuff.

Friday, 27 April 2012

My pregnancy food craving

I didn't really crave anything in this pregnancy other then apples. It's the only food I can remember in the last 9 months wanting more then anything else. With Oli I craved curry mixed with a serious amount of cookies, like I couldn't have them separately. When I cooked the curry, I would break up the cookie crumbs to add to it. Weird, huh? But at least it wasn't a lump of coal or a sponge. Did you have any cravings?

But this time around I've not noticed a serious urge for anything other then the times I needed apples, the good ones too not the cheap children ones that I usually chuck the child. Do you know how much a trolley full of apples can add too? Would of been cheaper to of had the curry/cookie craving again.

I have wanted stuff at times which is like a MUST EAT, you know each time I filled my gut with a mcdonalds it was secretly baby wanting it not me. Cakes have been a major urge, especially towards this end. I've gone off sweets completely and have replaced any snacking with cakes,biscuits and chocolate. I really am hoping this is just a pregnancy thing and that once I've popped, I can easily step away from the biscuit tin.

Suppose eating has been strange for me the last 9 months, of course at the beginning with that hyperemesis I wasn't eating at all and then baby
had his way of easing me back into eating gently by wanting me to eat nothing but salads. The other week saw me have a really funny moment with food and by funny I mean I just couldn't stop eating. I would finish my tea but then want to continue eating, it would get to the point where I was sat on the sofa with a picnic suitable for a family of 7. That was just strange but then I guess it was all just another sign that baby was on his way. Either that or along with his daddy, he finds it funny that I have now have 3 chins.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

How to decorate a cardboard mask

Decorating a cardboard mask: a great task for artistic young children

Dick Turpin, Zorro and French nobility all used to love wearing masks and so will your kids. Masks can be scary or decorative – it’s a choice which is entirely up to children’s imagination.

You will find a list of all the materials needed to make a mask below. These arty essentials can be ordered from Baker Ross arts and crafts website. The catalogue numbers are included to save you some time!

  • Design-a-Mask Pack of 12 white cardboard masks, EK322
  • A pack of acrylic Deco Pens, EK318
  • Large Self Adhesive Acrylic Gems, EM632 – a pack contains 120 jewels

You can buy all the mask-making products for under £18 and have enough materials to make 12 masks and keep a dozen children happily occupied during a lesson or after-school activity.

Why not try making a mask yourself before letting children loose on this task?

Firstly, take the red Deco pen and give it a good shake. Test it by pressing the nib to a piece of scrap paper so that the paint starts to flow. Then start to draw in some detail around each eye with two swift curves. Once this is done you can colour in the areas within the curves.

Now you can colour in the mask’s background with a green pen – take particular care around the eye detail.

Does your mask now look like the one Kate has prepared below? Let’s hope so!

Next it’s time for the white Deco pen to show its value. Pick one up and add lashes around the top of the eye – you can add green lines in between the white lines if you like. Kate has also thrown in some blue spots for a bit of variety.

She’s also added a ‘trail’ of black spots leading from the eye to the corner of the mask.

The mask is now really starting to take shape; especially after you add a row of spots down the centre of the mask just above where your nose will be.

Admire your handiwork and then pick four self-adhesive gems. Peel off the backing and fix some in place along the left- and right-hand sides of the mask. Make sure one side’s gems match the other side’s!

You should have some leftover star-shaped gems which look ideal positioned just above the mask’s eyelashes.

Your arty work is now completed and it’s time for the practical matter of threading the metal ends of the elastic which comes with the mask kit through the holes at the side of the mask.

Once this is done you are ready to teach your kids how to do it and ready to organise a fancy dress party so that you can show off their artistic skills!

This is what Kate looks like in her mask.

And you’ll find some other great examples of mask designs below.

Don’t worry if you’re struggling to make a mask – a video tutorial on the topic is available!

James Christie writes for Baker Ross. Check out Baker Ross’s website to see a great range of
Diamond Jubilee craft essentials

This is a sponsored post

This Weekend The SECC Will Deliver A Bundle Of Fun At The Scottish Baby & Toddler Show

I sometimes get sent press releases, some of them make me wonder why.. Why would you send that to me? Sometimes they're actually interesting, like this one from the Scottish Baby & Toddler Show. I'm not sure how many of my readers are in Scotland but as I'm currently drafting up a blog post about the Baby Show that's happening in Birmingham next month I thought I would let you guys know about one closer to home. If you're expecting/a new mother I highly recommend attending a baby show, you can get lots of handy help/advice from brands themselves as well as picking up some baby bargains.

Expectant parents are counting down the days until this weekend’s Scottish Baby & Toddler Show at the SECC. Join us on the 27-29th April where the SECC will be transformed into a parents’ playground where an array of exhibitors will showcase the latest products and developments in the sector covering every necessity on an expectant parent’s shopping list. Parents have the chance to win the most costly baby item on their shopping list – the pram

Parents know only too well how expensive it can be raising children and arguably, the pram is still the most costly. That is why The Scottish Baby & Toddler Show has teamed up with their exhibitors to offer a fantastic pram giveaway competition for parents over the course of the weekend.

Exhibitors have lined up to give away thousands of pounds worth of prams over the three day event. Glasgow Pram Centre will be offering visitors the opportunity to win a state-of-the-art Mamas & Papas Sola pushchair. Stirling Pram Centre is also on board to help mums and dads get their baby from A to B, giving parents the chance to win a Mamas & Papas Mylo pushchair. Award-winning children’s food nutritionist, Annabel Karmel will welcome visitors to the event where parents can pick up essential advice and crucial hints and tips to guide them through those special first few years. Academic Dr Suzanne Zeedyk will be sharing her research on children’s cognitive development and advising parents on how best to engage and interact with their children.

Pram experts Stokke will be exhibiting the state-of-the-art ‘Xplory’ pram range over the weekend. For every one purchased, parents will receive a handy travel bag for free. - We're big fans of Stokke in our house and highly recommend this being one of the brands you check out.

Tickets on the door will be £10/£38 Group of four. For more details visit or call 0844 395 4000. All tickets include brochure RRP £2.

Follow The Scottish Baby & Toddler Show on Facebook: and Twitter: for all the latest news.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Back to back

So just had the midwife around for my 39 week appointment, I was kinda hoping by now that the only midwife appointments I would be having would be the ones you have once baby has popped out. Sadly not the case for me, though what she said has made me realise why baby has not put in a appearance yet and why he might not be seen just yet.

I kinda already knew what she said after various
googlings of mine, that crazy back ache I've been experiencing and the crazy amount of pressure means baby is back to back. So this apparently will make the first stages of labour slow and I've been given lots of positions and movements to help. I'm currently taking on the sitting up straight position on the sofa, this will be my position until this evening where I'll be making friends with my birthing ball.

When you look into why baby has turned into this posterior it does make sense, apparently us western women are much more likely to have posterior babies then those in the developing world, who work manually in the fields or who squat to cook/eat. Because I tend to a rather lot of 'relaxing' and work at a computer, this tips my pelvis backwards encouraging the heaviest part of baby, the back of his head and his spine to swing round to the back and in this position he's ended up lying against my spine.

Last night the pressure in my bottom really was driving me crazy, I was getting rather worked up over it and made a phone call to the maternity unit at the hospital where I had a midwife gave me one of those motherly talks, a warm bath which I already had in attempt to ease it, told to take some paracetamol and go and have a early night. It was stuff that I already knew but being told it by someone with a gentle voice helped in a way.

So I'm spending my evening on the ball and maybe even scrubbing the kitchen floor. Though that second part may of been taking it too far.

Toddlerisms #14

Bonding over the Leapfrog LeapPad

No longer Mummy & Daddy

It's like I've been so blinded by the pregnancy recently that I've not quite noticed the changes in Oli. Now I could cry more tears over this then I already have but I think I've spent quite enough time crying over things already. Seriously if someone could turn this emotional tap off, it would be much appreciated. Sitting and staring at my child, I don't see the original boy anymore. I see this child, this child which has changed. It didn't happen overnight, it's happened overtime and I'm only just noticing now.

His face resembles that of wisdom, he's learning the ways of the world and it's starting to show through those gorgeous blue eyes of his. He's become so self reliant that we're not needed as much as we used to be. He's hit the age where we can leave him alone to do things, I know I'm safe to go anywhere in the house and leave him to it. I know I can leave him stood in the shower whilst I go into one of the other rooms upstairs, though this is helped by the fact he copies his dad with singing in the shower so I always know he's ok.

He's stopped calling us mummy and daddy, I noticed this the other day when he refereed to us as mum and dad. I had to kinda do one of those double takes to make sure I had heard right, but he's since used it again and again. I've been so used to being referred to as mummy that to hear him suddenly call me mum has been a shock to the system, it's just so grown up of him. Him going from 'choo choo' to 'trains' I could just about deal with but to be called mum is plain freaky. Ok, I know it's a good thing - it just shows how much he's growing up. He's turned 3 in the time I've been pregnant, that seemed to of come out of nowhere.

I know when baby comes along this is only going to change things more, he will no longer be the only child, the youngest child or the baby in my eyes. Though can they ever stop being our babies in our eyes?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The search is on to find Britain's Greatest Baby Smile!

A baby’s smile is infectious. Their wide gummy grin has the ability to melt any frown and soften even the hardest of hearts. However, when it comes to the baby who has the country’s greatest smile every mother would say their child wins that title hands down.

In an effort to settle the argument once and for all, Bonjela, Britain’s number one teething gel has launched the Britain’s Greatest Baby Smile competition.

The contest comes as part of the 12-month Britain’s Greatest campaign – from the makers of Bonjela, Reckitt Benckiser – which celebrates everything that is great about Britain in 2012.
Bonjela Teething Gel provides effective, soothing relief from teething pain. Its local anaesthetic action relieves pain and soothes sore gums, while its antiseptic action can help prevent minor mouth infections – for turning those teething pain-frowns upside down!

The nationwide competition kicked off on the 10th April, and the winning baby will be launched into the spotlight as the face of the new advertising for leading baby brand – Bonjela.

The competition is being held in partnership with supermarket giant Tesco and Bounty website, with brands Nurofen for Children and Karvol participating with in-store promotions.

For a chance to show off your baby’s winning smile, pick up your camera and get snapping. Entry couldn’t be simpler, just head to Bounty and upload your picture. The entry phase closes on May 8, so make sure you don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Once all the photos are collated, they will be short-listed to 10 baby finalists by our expert panel that includes:

  • Helen Wynne, who was recently awarded Tesco Achieving mum of the year, will be sharing her expert opinion. As the mum of a child with special needs, Helen used her experience to set up her own inclusive child-minding centre, Blythswood in Wrexham.
  • Lisa English, Brand Manager at Reckitt Benckiser
  • Blogger Emma Sheppard, who writes the popular baby blog “Me. The Man and the Baby.” - does this blogger sound kinda familiar to you?
  • Lisa Penny, Head of Stakeholder relations from Bounty
  • Vanessa Tilley, Marketing manager for healthcare and pharmacy at Tesco
  • Lucy Butler, Editor from the Tesco baby and toddler club
  • Debbie Bird, Editor at Babyworld
  • Katya Crichton, Art Director from creative agency Euro RSCG

Once the top 10 have been agreed by our panel of experts, the final decision is in your hands! The photos will be posted on the Bounty website on the 16th May 2012, for people to vote for their favourite cheeky smiles.

Make sure you share the link with as many people as possible on your social network pages to get as many votes as you can. Don’t forget to encourage your family and friends to nominate your photo too!

The new face of Bonjela Teething Gel will be announced on the June 20th 2012 with advertising to launch in 2012.

Lisa English of the Britain’s Greatest Campaign, said: “We’re really excited to launch this competition to find Britain’s Greatest Baby Smile. We expect there to be a lot of competition and look forward to finding the winner for our new advertising campaign.”

Full terms and conditions are available on

Visit for more information

Monday, 23 April 2012

39 weeks and kicking away

So I'm really not shy with flashing the belly around, I'm actually one of those people that don't mind having her bump touched. I even force it upon people as Cass from Frugal Family discovered when I grabbed her hand last Saturday at Blogcamp, so that she could feel the foot that was digging into my ribs.

Oli adores my bump and finds it hilarious when his brother kicks around and pokes me with his elbows, me not so much though I'll probably moan once he's out that I miss being kicked around. I guess that's why it's nice to try and capture these moments on film, though typically he does usually stop once I click record.

Spicy Beef and Chocolate Casserole

Yes, beef and chocolate cooked together! If you have never tried this crazy combination then get your kitchen utensils out because it works, as it has done for centuries in Mexico, where chicken or turkey are also cooked with chocolate, to produce “Mole” a traditional dish. Only a little chocolate is used in this recipe, it thickens the juices as it cooks, resulting in a sauce that is dark and velvety smooth. Combined with the hotness of the chillies and the aroma of cumin, cinnamon and parsley this is a recipe to surprise your loved ones. The puff pastry heart croutons are not a must, but could add that touch of romance if you are cooking a surprise dinner for your partner.

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, sliced thinly
½ kg good quality braising beef cut into 2.5 cm cubes
1 medium size red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
400g can Italian plum tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
40g plain chocolate
freshly ground black pepper

Pastry Croutons
200g readymade puff pastry
a little beaten egg
1 tablespoon pine nuts

  1. Heat the oil in the heart casserole over a medium setting. Fry the onion until beginning to soften, but not brown.
  2. Add the cubed meat and brown evenly, stirring occasionally. Stir in all the remaining ingredients with one full (tomato) can of water. Season.
  3. Cover and cook in the oven for 2-2½ hours on 120ºC. Stir once during cooking. When the meat is tender, remove the casserole from the oven and raise the temperature for the pastry croutons.
  4. Whilst the casserole is cooking roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use a large heart shaped cutter (approx 9cm long) to cut out 4 hearts. Brush with a little beaten egg and press a few pine nuts into the centre of each. Chill the hearts on a baking sheet for at least 1 hour before cooking
  5. Bake the hearts for 10-15 minutes on 200ºC until well-risen and golden brown.

Serve a portion of the beef and chocolate casserole and top it with the pastry heart.

This is a sponsored post

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Toddlerisms #13


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Obviously Domino's don't care about saving the planet...

I know it's not just pregnancy hormones that has made me really angry about this as the Man is even angrier then me. On a daily basis we've been getting swamped with Domino's menus and offer leaflets. It's actually gotten to the point now where I'm wondering if there's some kind of higher authority I can complain too? Of course ALL these leaflets have gone straight into the recycling bin to be recycled but shouldn't Domino's be giving the planet a little thought before printing out a CRAZY amount of leaflets and littering my house with them?

Here's today's collection - yes 3 in ONE DAY. Though it is only half 2 in the afternoon so I wouldn't be surprised if we were to see another one by the end of the day. We got one in the mail this morning, where they obviously got our address from being PAST customers of Domino's (seriously, you don't care about the planet - why should I put money in your pockets?) One from the local newspaper, we get two newspapers a week - every newspaper see's a new menu coming with it. And another one which just came through our door from someone who works at Domino's and is obviously delivering leaflet, he needed have - we get the fricking point.

Major annoyed.

He's at the ready

This is what I last heard on both my consultant appointment and my last two midwife appointments, he's in position to come at anytime. They say it so calmly like hearing that isn't going to be putting me on edge. Though they didn't really need to tell me as I can quite obviously feel a head 'down below' and the pressure it is putting on my body is crazy. He's so low down and has completely changed position that all my maternity clothes don't quite fit as they used to anymore, would you believe those jeans I'm wearing in that photo used to be normal jeans and now they're super skinny jeans. Baby really wasn't thinking about my wardrobe when he decided to drop.

Woke up this morning with sore hips, woke the man up tell him who's reaction was 'OOoo' in excitement. That's not I wanted to hear, I wanted sympathy. For him every time I make some kind of noise or odd movement, he then thinks some thing's happening. Guess he's getting himself more into position and at the ready. I have just over a week until my due date, I really don't want to go into that 'overdue' stage but then at the same time I know it's nice to have that extra time without seeing to the demands of a baby. I'm wanting baby to make a appearance early as much as I'm wanting him to stay cooking for a while longer. This being pregnant and achy, has been a fabulous excuse to not do much other then become best friends with my sofa.

So all we're waiting on is those contractions to start to kick things off, though my plug or my waters are welcome to go at anytime too. Though I feel like my body is going to give me a similar labor to Oli's where I was just hit by the contractions one morning. It's only now years later that I realise I really did have the dream labour with Oli. Waking up with contractions, hospital by half 10, waters getting broke at midday and baby born at half 3. Gesh, I even hate myself for how smooth that went. So if this one could give me a similar experience, it would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Innocent Giveaway Winner

Do you remember a few weeks ago I hosted a giveaway for Innocent? I also blogged about how we got on with sowing our very own Innocent seeds. I enlisted the help of my nephew along with Oli to plant our seeds into some empty Innocent smoothie cartons. They've been sat on my windowsill for the last couple of weeks, sadly though thanks to Daddy getting a little too carried away with the watering whilst me & Oli were away for a few days - some of them didn't quite make it. We did have success with the Sunflower and the Cress though which didn't mind the drowning they received. Sadly the Sunflower didn't survive me, all I tried to do was plant it into a new pot and I accidentally snapped it. Oops!

Thankfully we have a drawer full of seeds thanks to all the Innocent fruit tubes we've been buying since the offer started. So we have plenty of opportunities to try again and this time, not let Daddy near them with his watering can. Here's a picture of the Cress though before it was added to some Egg sandwiches.

We picked out a winner at random who's little one will receive their very own little watering can set and some Innocent vouchers...

Drum Roll...

Kara Guppy from Tales Of A Family Of 7

...Well done Kara!

It's not too late to get your hands on some Innocent Seeds, we bought a couple more boxes of fruit tubes this morning (got 2 boxes for £3 at Morrisons!) which now means we have 2 more lots of seeds to plant. If you do plant your seeds or already have why not let Innocent know over on twitter using the hashtag #innocentseeds

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

This very moment in time...

Personalised Gift Ideas for Newborns

A birth of a baby is an important event that needs to be celebrated, whether it’s the birth of a baby in your own family or that of a friend, most people want to acknowledge it in a special way. One way in which to do this best is to select a special gift and most newborns receive a wide range of gifts. Most gift givers want their gift to stand out but aren’t sure what kind to purchase, so a good idea is to select a gift that is personalised just for the newborn.

When selecting a personalised gift for a newborn the gift really is for the parents because, although you might like to think it, newborns really are not going to notice what you gave them. Personalised gifts however are very popular with parents and can become lasting heirlooms through the life of the newborn and their family and not just another gimmicky gift.

Most gifts today can be personalised in some manner, often the store in which you purchase the item will do the engraving for you. If not, there are often businesses that perform this service and can do it for a small fee. Today, personalised gifts are often best shopped for online on websites like as the selection is quite extensive and the sites also do the engraving before they ship the item to you or the recipient. This also saves you a lot of time compared to going out shopping for gifts which is particularly handy if you've got kids yourself!

Some traditional gift items for newborns would include silver cups, silver spoons and forks as well as baby jewelry. Silver or gold pictures frames are another popular item, and all of these items can be personalised. The specific inscription can vary; some choose to simply put the name or initials of the newborn, other people may want to provide more information if there is room. This could include birth date, weight, parent names and more. Perhaps the inscription will even also include a special sentiment... Either way the possibilities are endless when choosing a personalised gift for a newborn.

This is a sponsored post

Monday, 16 April 2012

Beautiful Blogger Bumps

What has been a big support to me during this pregnancy is following the journey of other blogger's who have been and are currently pregnant be it via their blogs or via twitter. I'm fascinated by bumps, I love how they can come in so many different shapes and sizes. I thought what better where to celebrate bumps by rounding up some photos of beautiful blogger's bumps.

This is the rather beautiful Alice and her daughter Elfie. Alice blogs over at More Than Toast and has one of those blogs that I could read all day. As well as being about her pregnancy to her second child - a baby boy, her blog contains lots of yummy recipes. This bump photo is taken from 33 weeks pregnant. I remember first getting to know Alice and her blog back when she was pregnant with Elfie, so it's been fun to follow another pregnancy journey of Alice's.

This bump belongs to a blogger I recently discovered on twitter. Her names Lisa, not Holly as I thought it was for a while. Hollybobbs as well as being the name of her blog is the name of her one year old daughter. Photo is taken from her 30 Weeks Pregnant With Baby Boy post, where she compares this shot with a 31 weeks bump shot pf her carrying Holly. I love the fact that in this post she reminds herself that this will be the last as she doesn't take to pregnancy very well - exactly what I've been saying myself about mine.

I've been a huge fan of this blogger for a long time, I think I can class 3 years as a long time in blogger years. This is Make Do Mum's baby bump, this bump shot is from her Turning A Breech Baby post. Her bump is 36 weeks in this photo and she's booked in for a ECV at 37 weeks so please pop over if you've had a ECV yourself or have any advice about trying to turn around a breech baby. She already lists some ways which have been suggested to get baby moving around.

This bump belongs to a blogger who I've been following for over a year now, she's not your usual parent blogger but a photography blogger. (as I best know her) shares photos taken by either her, professionals or complete amateurs over on her blog It's All About The Photos. This 'Bump' by me shot is a special one as she doesn't usually share photos of herself on her blog. She's 33 weeks in this shot and I find it quite special because at the same time I would of been 33 weeks as we're due at exactly the same time. It's been so lovely to share the countdown with someone else and to compare and chat about all those pregnancy issues, niggles and jubilation's.

Another blogger who I recently started following and exchanging tweets with is Nicola. Nicola blogs over at Nicola.. Life Through My Eyes. I took a hour the other day to go back through all her posts (tries not to sound like a stalker!) as she had began blogging about her pregnancy to her first child (a baby girl!) from the very start. It really is fascinating to read a pregnancy diary which someone else is writing and you find yourself relating to parts of it and nodding along. Couldn't help but to smile at all her posts and piccy's of her first born Millie.

I couldn't not mention this blogger even though I don't have a bump shot to share. Emma was one of the first bloggers I got to know outside of the virtual world and at blogging events. She blogs over at Mellow Mummy, one of my favourite blogs to read as it contains blog posts on anything and everything, though mainly about her toddler Lara - when you have a toddler yourself, it's nice to relate to other toddler mothers. She's kept the perfect pregnancy blog in my eyes, pretty much every week she's kept us up to date with her pregnancy diary.
Here's another blogger and her bump who is due around the same time as me. I actually think most of the above bloggers are due to pop at the end of this month or beginning of next month. Jennie blogs over at Edspire where before also blogging about pregnancy she was blogging about twins Esther and William. I really did relate to her Bump Watch: Emotional at 37+2 blog post, 37 weeks was when I had my meltdown too and couldn't stop crying. I know via twitter that a couple of the others mentioned above felt the same, apparently it is a sign that baby is getting ready to greet us. SO glad she mentioned that she felt like she was organised but not organised, again I can relate to that!

It's weird when I think about this blogger's pregnancy as out of all the pregnant bloggers I know including mine, Monika's pregnancy seems to of just gone so fast. She's probably saying the complete opposite, but I still remember it as if it was yesterday her announcement over on that she was pregnant with her third. Monika blogs over at Mum On The Brink and like I remember her announcing her pregnancy, I remember reading her blog when she first started over a year ago. Her recent pregnancy blog post is so sweet - Pregnancy Week 30 - A 4D Ultrasound Scan. Those little 4D scan photos of baby sleeping and feet being crossed are so cute and I love the fact she used this as a way of helping her other little ones bond with their new sibling.

Bloggers who have recently given birth...


Seriously, how adorable is this blogger's bump shot? It
totally reminds me that I should get some more of my toddler and bump together. Heather over at Stay At Home Mum Loving It (Most Of The Time) gave birth just a few weeks ago to a adorable baby boy who you can see in her Post-Pregnancy Platter.. He's Here blog post. This bump shot is taken from one of Heather's Silent Sunday post. Mini Chedder (the gorgeous girlie in the photo!) was born a month before Oli, if I go into birth this month then again Heather would of gave birth the month before me - amazing what you find out when you read someones about me section!

This blogger almost ended up in the pregnant bloggers part until I checked and realized that she gave birth - 2 days ago!! Missy.B & Family welcome a 7th member to their family. If I would of been paying closer attention to her blog, Marissa did say that she was going in for a induction. Strange to think that someone who was due the day before me is already holding her baby.

This blogger really does not know how much of a help she has been for me. Back at the beginning of my own pregnancy I started to get fell ill with the sickness, it wasn't just a ordinary morning sickness which Luschka from Diary Of A First Birth helped me to realise. She too was suffering from this horrible form of sickness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Along with some other tweeters/bloggers she kicked my bottom into going to hospital when I needed drips and medication to help control it. She's now had two home births, so all those home birth posts she wrote have been incredibly handy for me planning my own home birth.

Now all of the above bumps/bloggers mentioned would make great nominees for The MADs Best Pregnancy Blog. Apart from Photo Puddle who I think would make a fantastic nominee for The MADs Best Photography Blog. It took me a long time to decide which one to put forward myself as all these blogs/bloggers have been great reads of mine for a while now, especially the ones where we're all close in due dates.
All these photos were kindly sent to me by the bloggers themselves so that I could share with you their gorgeous bumps, please go and check out their blogs.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Popping Sensation

What I'm going to say may either sound strange to you or you may turn around and say that you've experienced this yourself. See for the last couple weeks I've been feeling this funny sensation in my tummy, it feels like baby has opened up a bag of corn and has decided to stick it on the hob and make himself some popcorn.

Googling this has given me various parent forums with conversations about other mums to be experiencing this. So at least I know I'm not going crazy, I'm not even worried about it. I know it's probably all part of pregnancy and just another one of those weird things it chucks at you. Just a strange sensation from going from all these limb movements which I still get (currently have a foot sticking out below my right ribcage as I type!) to having these weird feelings where he's doing strange things like popping in my tummy.

Of course the one popping I would very much like right now, is the popping of my waters. C'mon baby, you're fully cooked and we're not busy for the next couple of days so now would be a good time.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Bigjigs Wooden Rail - Countryside Wooden Train Set

We were asked if we wanted to review som
ething from a rather funky looking online toyshop called Play Merrily. They sell pretty much everything a child's imagination could possibly need in these precious younger years.

For us it was the Bigjigs Wooden Rail - Countryside Wooden Train Set that we wanted to play with, by we of course I mean for Oli to play with. The moment the wooden train set arrived and after Daddy unopening it, we had shrieks of excitement. We didn't really have to explain to Oli what it was as it was quite clear from the box. He then had Daddy straight from the sofa to the floor to build it with him, of course a rather excited Daddy happily obliged.

I guess that's one of the reason we've put off not getting him a train set until now, I really do think a child's first train set should be one which can be treasured by them for a long time to come. When it comes to a material like wood, it can be something which you'll struggle to find a fault with it. It can withstand the toughest of toddlers, seriously my child doesn't like to look where he's going and ends up walking over anything & everything. It's sturdy and well made providing great value for money.

Cant believe how much came with it, in fact it comes with 72 pieces. This includes some wooden people, houses and animals as well as some trees. We're currently teaching Oli his farm animals so it's turn this into educational play without him actually realizing. He's also being taught self independence, there's only so many times we can build tracks up for him so we've encouraged him to build them himself, the pieces are a great size for his little hands and they easily slot in together.

It really can create hours of play when you think about all the different tracks you can create and the fact you have track positions on both sides of the wood helps to create different shapes. It's also universal, as I type Oli's already added some of his Thomas trains on to the tracks to join in with the trains he received with the set. Bigjigs have created something which you can add to for few years to come with all the wooden train set accessories they sell, add crossings and bridges and make it even bigger and better. We already plan on using occasions such as Birthdays and Christmas's to add to his wooden train set.

We're BIG fans of BigJigs in our house, not only do they sell trains and road sets but they also have a huge collection of other wooden toys.

Play Merrily Toys is a family run business, which is my favorite kind of place to buy a child's toy from. Who better can understand the needs of your child then another family? They also sell
arts & crafts, dolls, soft toys and much, much more. The website is easy to navigate around and you can easily find what you're after or easily browse thanks to the easy to use menus and simple but fun layout. You can find mum Merry blogging away over at Patch Of Puddles.

You can find Play Merrily Toys over on and where you should keep your eye out for any competitions that may be going on.

Friday, 13 April 2012

How to help protect your outbuildings from break-ins – and cover your possessions with the right contents insurance

There’s no doubt about it – contents insurance helps to give you peace of mind. It can cover the possessions in your home – and any that are kept outside in outbuildings, garages and sheds from break-ins. But to avoid having to make a claim on your contents insurance, there are some other steps you can take to help make your possessions more secure

When people think about securing their home they often overlook the outbuildings – and these can be easy targets for thieves. Items kept in sheds and garages, such as garden mowers, tools and bicycles, can add up to hundreds of pounds. And some of these tools could even help burglars break-in.

The first step is always to make sure you have the right insurance in place. You can get contents insurance quotes to find the best deal for you. But always check the cover you have for your outbuildings before taking the plunge.

There are also a few simple precautions you could take to help make your outbuildings more secure:

Tip 1: Fit heavy duty locks

You should secure your shed or outbuilding door with at least one heavy duty hasp and closed-shackle padlock, or padbolt.

Tip 2: Check hinges

Even the best locks in the world won’t stop a break-in if the hinges on your doors are weak. If they’re old and rusty, replace them.

Tip 3: Fit window locks

If there are any opening windows, make sure they have secure window locks.

Tip 4: Get an alarm

There are lots of alarm systems on the market that are specifically designed for garages and sheds – these can either run off a battery or your mains power supply.

Tip 5: Lock away tools

There are plenty of items like crowbars and hammers that could help a burglar enter other parts of your home – so lock them away in a sturdy lockable box or cage. Also make sure you don’t leave tools or ladders lying around outside as they could give burglars the leg-up they need to break-in.

Tip 6: Consider installing a camera

If you like your gadgets, look at how much it would cost to install a CCTV camera overlooking your garden and/or the front of your house.

Tip 7: Fit security lights

You can buy clever security lights that come on when they detect movement, or even turn themselves on when it gets dark. Consider installing them around the outside of your house and near outbuildings – the bright lights will be very off-putting for burglars.

These measures could really help to make the possessions in your outbuildings safer. But with the best will in the world, thieves do strike, so make sure your possessions are covered with the right contents insurance.

Halifax offers a great deal on contents and home insurance. Take a look at their website – and sort it out today.

This is a sponsored post

Dear Morrisons/Tescos

I'm pregnant, like almost very pregnant. . I am eating like a horse. Our current food shopping bills are sky high because I'm shopping as if I'm feeding a family of 7 not a family of 3. This means lots of money going into both of your tills.

Being this pregnant and being tired 24/7 means I really have not got the energy to sit and think of a complaint email. Maybe I should just send you this instead but I cant be bothered, after all I'm a blogger so if I'm likely to be be found blogging about my son's poop. Then I'm more then likely to be found blogging about mouldy tomatoes in my sandwich and bones in my chicken tikka slices.

This is what I found in a sandwich I bought from my local Morrisons garage, I did take some more photos but didn't really want to show half regurgitated food on my blog. The same with the bone from the slice. This photo of a mouldy tomato is more then enough for me, the other tomato in the other sandwich was much worse then this, and yeah that was the one half eaten by me.

Thanks Morrisons/Tescos for those yummy treats. That's me totally off buying sandwiches from garages and slices in future.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Fun things to do with the kids

As the days get warmer and the kids want to play and be entertained for longer and it is hard to know how to keep them entertained. But there are plenty of family friendly activities that will provide great fun filled days for everyone.

Bike riding

Bike riding is a great idea when the weather is nice and will burn loads of the kid’s seemingly endless energy. Find out where your local cycle paths are as riding on busy roads can be dangerous and frightening for young children. If you have a bike rack a really fun idea is to go biking in woodland on designated bike trails. There are usually different levels of difficulty so you can tailor the path you take to the age of your children. The most important thing to remember is always to wear a protective helmet as even when cycling off road falling off can cause a serious head injury.

Make a picnic

Making a picnic doesn’t have to be a giant chore. A few sandwiches, snacks, fruit and drinks are plenty enough for a warm day and the novelty value of eating outside will ensure that a great time will be had even if you just go to the local park. This is also a great way of getting the family together for a game of football, cricket or tennis.

Visit free attractions

There are plenty of museums, galleries and other attractions that have free entry, and they will entertain the kids all day. The sound of museums can sound boring to some children but most are very hands on and have lots of interactive activities to do. They also teach children in a way that they don’t even realise they are learning, meaning they are a brilliant idea if learning in a classroom doesn’t keep your child’s attention for very long!

Make the most of the garden

Sometimes staying at home can be just as exciting as going out and gardens can be great places for young minds to explore. Create a list of things for kids to find in the garden such as plants, insects and birds and help them seek them out. By doing this you will be teaching the kids new things and improving their knowledge.


Spring and summer are always brilliant times to get the children interested in swimming when outdoor heated pools are open and make learning to swim more fun. Fun pools with diving boards and slides are a great way of convincing a child who is reluctant to learn how great swimming can be. If you are going on holiday this is also an equally good opportunity to remove the armbands and let them start to swim on their own.

This is a sponsored post

Easter Fun

We had a quiet bank holiday, our plans of doing a Easter Egg hunt around the garden was thrown out of the window thanks to the bad weather. We instead stayed inside and chilled out with some colouring and making cakes. Asda sent some Easter craft stuff for us to have a look at and have a go at making (Thank you Asda!) but we didn't get it until the day before hence only blogging about it now. Here's Oli and the man colouring in a rather large cardboard Easter Egg which is currently taking proud display on Oli's bookshelf.

As for chocolate eggs, he got plenty of those. He's being taught the art of rationing which just a little bit of chocolate every couple of days. Though he was more interested in the rest of the Playmobil eggs we gave him which we reviewed a couple of weeks ago. He actually took the eggs to bed that night to cuddle.

Hope you had a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend/Easter?
Newer Posts Older Posts Home