Thursday, 31 May 2012

Fisher Price Tracking Lights Gym

Towards the end of my pregnancy I was lucky enough to be sent some baby essentials from Fisher Prices babygear collection to try out and review. They sent us a vibrating bouncer, bathing chair, toy garage for the toddler and this, the Fisher Price Tracking Lights Gym. I don't need to be sent Fisher Price products to tell you just how much I love this brand when it comes to baby essentials and toys. It's the colours and designs which draws me in, the colours are bright and perfect for any baby taking in these colours for the first time and the designs are always something straight out of a child's imagination.

The Fisher Price Tracking Lights Gym is no different, the mat itself has a funky wildlife scene image which is soft to touch and comfortable enough for Dylan to go on both his tummy and his back. The wildlife theme continues across the gym with 3 overhead toys which have a range of different textures and activities for baby to enjoy. Knocking the middle animals sets off music, as Dylan has learnt when kicking his legs around. These overhead toy animals can come off the top bar and be attached to the mat for when baby is having some tummy time. The side of the gym has a elephant and a lion which spins giving baby more to play with and explore. The flexibility of the overhead toys and these toys on the side of the gym allow the mat to be used beyond the newborn stage and when baby is sitting up to explore the world.

Putting the Gym together was simple, didn't take long at all and only involved a few little screws which were put in to keep the gym secure. It's not overly huge so doesn't take up much room, we've left it up in the corner of the living room so it's accessible whenever we want to put Dylan down on it. Thought with the push of a button the back leg swings in allowing it to fold up even more if you wanted it to be. We've already had a baby sick incident where we wiped dry the mat with ease and made it look new again. Anything more and the mat can easily be put into the washing machine.

In the pictures Dylan is just over a week old so it really is perfect from the newborn stage onwards. The lights have been a subject of fascination for him, these were created to help baby's eye tracking ability. It has 4 lights which go to the time of the music and sound effects, they go back and forth and can even be seen in the brightest of lights as we've discovered this week with the sun being out. Our toddler has really enjoyed showing his new baby brother how to use the gym, with setting off the music for him and telling him what the animals are on the mat. Big thumbs up for the Fisher Price Tracking Lights Gym from all of us.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Eskimo Kisses

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The British Coffee Association

It's one of those things you get told when pregnant - either cut out or cut down on caffeine. You're recommended to limit your intake to no more then 200mg per day from all sources which includes tea, coffee, cola and chocolate.

The British Coffee Association
sent me some goodies (
dangerous of them to send me that coffee flavoured candle whilst pregnant, the man often had to confiscate it from me in fear of me eating it!) along with some interesting facts about coffee. Want to hear some?

  • For the average coffee consumer, when it's consumed in moderation (4-5 cups a day) coffee is safe and can form part of a balanced diet.
  • Research has shown that caffeine, the main ingredient of coffee, is a mild stimulant and can therefore improve alertness levels and increase both mental and physical performance.
  • One in five people wrongly believe that coffee increases stress levels, but in fact there is little evidence to suggest that moderate coffee consumption is linked with an increase in stress or anxiety.
  • A mug of black coffee contains only 4 calories and 0.1g fat - great news for those of us trying to fit back into our pre-pregnancy jeans,

You can find The British Coffee Association over on and can chat about all things coffee and there facebook group .

Monday, 28 May 2012

Pickle Pie

I was rather intrigued to what I was going to receive when I got a email asking me for a list of stuff I love. Difficult question, of course I love my family but then what else did I love? I gave a random babbling of things I'm currently loving. Of course I started off the list with the fact I love the man, Oli & the bump which I had at the time - pointing out that it was a boy bump. Then followed my love of social media, of course then along came shoes, tv, snuggling in bed, summer and ending it with my love of being a mother.

A few days later I received this photo frame, the guys at Pickle Pie took the list of things that I said I loved and created a personalised print which was unique to me which was then framed. It's so quirky, I've not seen anything like it before. I'm a huge fan of gifts which are unique and stand out from the rest of the gift crowd. I like the font and colours which are used though if you were to order your own you can choose your own colours as well as your own personal message if you wished one to be added. I was also impressed with how well it came packaged, all of the frame corners came protected which stopped it from getting dented in the post.

They have frames for just about any occasion including births as well as weddings. I have my eye on the personalized iphone case which I could personalize with a list of stuff I love. You can find Pickle Pie over on , and .

Sunday, 27 May 2012

It's not always about the kids

The other day I received a surprise gift from the guys at the PR agency behind LEGO Duplo. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that Oli is a LEGO Duplo expert which means he receives new Duplo to play with and give feedback on it via my blog. They decided to send us parents something instead of the kids for a change, so they had a look around our blogs and the rest of our social media networks to find something we would like. They obviously knew that I was due to pop out a baby and that I myself could do with some pampering so they sent me these gorgeous Burt's Bees gift sets.

Thanks DOCO :)

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Phantom Kicks

I've heard of phantom kicks before but always thought it was just random craziness made up by crazy women. Unless I'm a crazy woman (don't answer that!) then it's not just random craziness. For the couple of weeks after Dylan was born, It still felt like he was inside of me. My bump went straight down after he was born, just like it did with Oli. I guess when I have a bump it is pretty much just a baby and not much else. I know breastfeeding also helped it to go down what with the uterus contracting, and when they say it can feel like contraction pain, they really were right.

It was more when we came out of the hospital and was settling at home that I felt these phantom kicks, it's bad enough I was still waking up at times and thinking I was pregnant still. So feeling like I still had inside of me moving around just confused me. They feel like proper little kicks that make me pause to think about it, it's like someone is washing up inside of me again. Maybe it was because he kicked around so much inside of me, especially on my right side that it just tricked my body into still thinking this was happening. Or maybe my insides are still contracting or maybe I even have some kind of wind?? Who knows! Did you experience phantom kicks?

Friday, 25 May 2012

The MADs - I'm a Best Pregnancy Blog finalist

I am soooooooo late with this blog post, I should of probably made it my priority blog post to write this after coming out of hospital. Apparently some you enjoyed my pregnancy blog posts so much that you nominated me for Best Pregnancy Blog over in The MADs which is celebrating the UK's best Mum and Dad Blogs and I got through to the finals. I guess my job now is to ask you to vote for me (bribes you with cakebut only if you want too!) one more time in the finals. Here's a full list of the finalists here in case you wanted to know who else got through.

If you want to vote for me then clicking on The MADs logo below will take you straight to the voting form.

BIG thank you to anyone who voted me, it really cheered me up hearing that I had got through whilst being in hospital with Dylan. It's only just hit me that I've got through, I guess I better start frock hunting for the award ceremony.

How to make a foam bookmark

It takes some imagination and sometimes nimble fingers to keep the kids amused on a rainy day. Here is a simple craft piece that will not be difficult for you, and will keep them occupied making a fun little foam bookmark. Starting with simple pieces, their creativity will blossom they will learn manual dexterity and how to keep themselves amused with relatively little materials.

Below is a great tutorial provided by cutfoam who offer foam cut to any size.

You will need
Coloured lolly sticks
Different coloured foam

Step 1

Glue two lolly sticks together along the long edges to make wide and allow them to dry.

Step 2

Cut out some foam shapes – hearts in this instance – to decorate your bookmark. Use as many and make the shapes as colourful as you like.

Step 3

When the sticks have dried completely and are firmly stuck together, glue the hearts, or other shapes onto your sticks and allow to dry thoroughly. It’s now ready to use in your child’s favourite bedtime book!

This tutorial was brought to you by Cutfoam, the cushion foam experts

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Wanting to see your children grow up

Having a family and a smoking habit still in situ, public opinion on smoking is very clear – it is wrong, you are harming your children and there is all likelihood that, should you continue, you will suffer from a great many smoking-related health issues later in life.

While there are precautions you, as a smoker, can take to lessen the risk to your children (not smoking around them, change your clothes after a cigarette, wash your hands and brush your teeth before coming into contact with them) the evidence to support the case to stop smoking is overwhelming. Every healthcare professional you meet after having had a baby will ask about your smoking habits and those of the people the newborn will be in contact with. This is because there is a strong a link between cot-death and there being smokers in the house or in contact with the baby. Smoke on a person or lingering in the soft furnishings or even the wallpaper is known as tertiary smoke and is a deadly but invisible presence in the home.

With children and especially during pregnancy it is better to get a handle on the addiction and overcome it by any means. Nicotine patches have proved very successful for some but for others they don’t work due to physical, emotional and mental reasons – they can cause nausea, the hankering for something in the hand or mouth is too great, or the desire not to smoke is not strong enough. There is other prescription medication available but that is sometimes linked to very unpleasant side-effects. Smokeless cigarettes have improved in their tactility but the nicotine habit is still maintained, while the actual motion is taking place. Hypnotherapy is growing as an alternative to conventional medicine and a number of clinics and practitioners have proven track records of helping their clients kick the habit. The Therapy Lounge provide hypnotherapy, based in London, for those who would like to try an alternative approach to quitting smoking. Finding support through friends and family will also help you maintain the abstention – just as being around smokers is likely to encourage you to take up the habit again.

Understanding the behaviour that leads you to smoke is the first step in ‘stop smoking’ hypnotherapy with The Therapy lounge – using the thoughts that are in your own mind, but thinking differently about habits is the key to succeeding in quitting by alternative means. It should be recognised that it is always a risk that you could hanker after a cigarette and recognising the signs of temptation and knowing what steps you need to take to resist is a skill that you will need to learn if your intention is never to smoke again. You will have to undertake significant lifestyle changes and even examine the groups that you spend your time with – those that are not healthy themselves could influence you against your decision to stay off the cigarettes and these people might have to be allowed to fall by the wayside, or fall in with your own new life if they wish to remain friends. It is not so strict as to say you can never be around them at all, but think about where you see them – maybe try playing a sport with them instead of watching sport down at the pub. Whatever you decide to do and whoever you decide to keep beside you, think about your children and the longevity aspect – you will want a longer and healthier life and will want to see your children grow up and have children of their own.

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Holding on to the the good days

It's slowly starting to feel like I'm pregnant again, one minute I'm perfectly healthy and full of life and energy and the next I feel like that's all been snatched from me. This morning I awoke with a banging headache, which I think the weather might be to blame and my wisdom tooth was hurting again after not playing up yesterday when I was going to phone the dentist. I have to admit I'm much better on the days when the man is at home, I'm resenting him having to work at the moment but then I know this is what helps to keep a roof over our head. I still blame our trip the hospital which I'm still trying to blog about, we were in for 6 days from the day Dylan was born - the 6 days the man had off work. So his time which was meant to be spent at home with us, was instead spent making the trip back and forth to the hospital to see us.

It was easier to get things done yesterday when I had that extra pair of hands around, was also a break for my arms. When I had done feeding Dylan, the man was pretty hot on changing nappies/winding him giving me that break from doing it all. Yesterday did seem to be a non-stop feeding day but I think the weather was also to be blamed for this. We did have a good day yesterday where we collected our wedding rings and went and viewed some newborn photos of Dylan taken by the lovely Natalie over at Blink of a eye photography. Cant wait to share some pictures from that photoshoot with you soon, it made me broody just looking at them.

I'm determined to not let any kind of depression come into play, I think it's a matter
of me thinking too much at times and sometimes letting things get to me. Of course these first few weeks were going to be difficult, why would they be easy. I've doubled the amount of children I had and I'm learning new things all over again or something completely from scratch like I am with the breastfeeding. I'm getting used to disturb sleep again which I know is making me rather scatty in the daytime and it feels like breastfeeding can really take up my energy despite only being sat there to feed him.

I have so much to look forward to and so much going for at the moment that I kinda feel guilty for feeling off more often then not. I guess this is where I need to start sorting out my days, getting out of the house (getting used to being out and about with 2!) and doing things with other people and stop using my house as a safety net. I think I'll start this afternoon with a walk to the supermarket, small steps and all that.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

10 art essentials which every kid should own

[Photo by Art Freak]

It’s so easy to encourage your kids to make great art at home; all you need to do is provide them with some raw tools of the artist’s trade and away they go!

But it’s this first stage – the act of going into an art shop to get these materials – which proves a task beyond many of us time-poor parents!

Luckily, the wonders of online shopping mean that you can avoid the hassle of queuing up in an art shop and side-step the embarrassment of asking a shop assistant questions about art products which you are sure you should know the answer to.

You can buy all the craft supplies mentioned in this article online at arts and crafts sites like Yellow Moon and browse their category descriptions to find out vital information about the safety merits of various products. Equally importantly, such sites will give you tips about what you can make with these art essentials.

Here is a list of ten arts and crafts essentials you should put at the disposal of your budding Van Goghs and junior Tracey Emins.

1. Artist smocks

To play the part of an artist, kids should look like an artist. An artist’s smock will often cost you nothing; Dads can just provide an old shirt which youngsters can, having rolled the sleeves up first, wear back-to-front. A smock really sends out the signal that some serious art is about to occur!

2. Paper and card

Paper and card is the blank canvas on which kids can project their imagination. White card – which is generally a little more expensive than paper - is another craft essential and can be used to make home-made greetings cards, hanging decorations and other similar fun items.

3. Tracing paper

If you, or one of your kids, is short of artistic inspiration then why not copy someone else’s picture to get in the mood for art. Tracing paper lets you do this and don’t let anyone say that there’s no skill in tracing – you need a steady hand to trace and the end result can be a great starting point for an original picture.

4. Pencils

If you’re not sure which make of pencil to go for then why not go for a reassuringly well-known brand name like Crayola – they sell pencils which come from re-forested woods. If it’s versatility you’re after then Giotto Watercolour Pencils are a good bet. These can be used as a colouring pencil or, when water is added, utilised to create stunning watercolour effects.

5. Pencil sharpener

There would (quite literally) be little point to a pencil if it wasn’t for the humble pencil sharpener. Yellow Moon’s wooden egg head sharpener encourages creativity on two fronts. Firstly it helps keep young artists’ pencils sharp and secondly kids can paint and decorate them.

6. Crayons

The thicker the crayon the harder it is for young hands to break. This makes them perfect for young hands which are just getting to grips with art. They also excellent for making bold artistic statements and can be used to quickly colour in blank bits of paper.

7. Paints and brushes

Using a watercolour paint set can really hone a child’s sense of colour co-ordination. Poster paints tend to last longer than watercolour paints. Poster paint sticks can cut out the need for brushes and reduce the mess of making art.

8. Brushes and sponges

It’s a good idea to provide a variety of brushes – ones with thick and thin bristles – for kids to experiment with. They can then experiment and find a painting style which suits them. Sponges are an artistic alternative to a sponge for those times when you need a slightly bolder brush stroke.

9. Scissors and glue

Get child-safety scissors and you will eliminate the danger of kids cutting themselves. Handily, many modern pairs of scissors have a ruler on their blade – making them ideal for maths as well as arts tasks.

10. ‘Finishing touches’ art supplies

These are the art supplies which provide the beautiful finishing touches to art displays – beads, feathers, glitter and other tactile and eye-catching materials.

Once you have all these materials there really is no excuse not to start making great art with your kids!

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Discharged from the midwife

I mentioned yesterday (hands full) that we were having our last midwife appointment. I was really pleased to open the door to the midwife that delivered Dylan, she's been the midwife we've seen the regular out of all of our community midwives. It really has been great to of built a relationship with someone who you've done the business of bringing a baby into the world with. My midwife experience this time around has been so much more pleasant, I don't know if it was because I had a home birth which made the difference or that it was just luck that I'm in the right area. This is one area of the NHS I cant fault, to think about all that help and support I've received from them. I count my blessings that I have access to this and for free.

We had a chat about my breastfeeding and my boobs, she doesn't think I have mastitis as my boobs would of had red patches on them. Have to admit they were feeling much better as well as me and I think the expressing that I did as well as the massaging may of helped them. I really am on edge at the moment when it comes to my boobs, It's not a nice feeling being unsure about your body. I discovered stretch marks on them this morning, queue major freak out. This is coming from the woman who got called the ironing board at school because of how flat her chest was. Now boom, here I am with boobs. They've changed so much that I cant even fit into any of my old hoodies despite not having a bump anymore.

She confirmed that Dylan had put on weight and that he was doing perfectly ok, she then took away our paperwork which I wish I had secretly photocopied/took pictures of now as it contained all the little updates from when were into hospital until yesterday. The fact that someone wrote in my notes whilst in hospital 'was told to get out of the room' actually makes me giggle. I'm certain the only person I said this too was the horrid food lady and the photo lady who repeatedly kept coming in and saying 'oh you're still here'.

I was sad to say bye to her, it's not like I'm going to be seeing her anytime soon. Any thoughts of a third have completely disappeared at the moment after that not so pleasant pregnancy and the fact I'm enjoying having a newborn and not so enjoyable night time feeds. It did make it real for me that my pregnancy is over now and that I'm moving on to the next stage. Now that we're discharged from the midwives we're over to the health visitor now for the next couple of weeks, she's the same health visitor I had with Oli so it's another familiar face for us. We have our first appointment with her the end of this week where she'll be doing his hearing test as well as weighing him again.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Hands full

So I'm currently in the midst of juggling a newborn, a toddler, work, housework and some sense of me time. It's been a long/weird week since coming out of hospital, I've finally adjusted to being back home and starting life as a family of 4. I have so much I want to share via blog posts, lots of posts keep coming up in my head especially in the middle of the night come feeding time. My phone has so many post ideas jotted down that I'm wondering if they will ever get written. I also promise lots of adorable newborn photos soon, that phone of mine really has been on overdrive.

We're all doing good, Dylan is perfectly healthy now. Though I wish the same could be said for me, I'm waiting on a doctors appointment to see if I've developed mastitis. I had the worst night the night before last where I couldn't stop shivering and I felt like I had the worst flu ever, on top have burning pain in my boobs. It's all settled down now but I guess it's better just to get checked over. Other then that feeding is going well, though I have so many questions and things to learn still about breastfeeding. I'm also in agony with wisdom tooth pain

Today's our last day with the midwives, they asked me last time they visited if we wanted to be discharged from them but I choose to have one more visit. It's been really nice getting to know and having the community midwives to chat with over the last several weeks, it's thanks to them I had the perfect home birth I wanted and the fact that I was ready for it by hearing what they had to say and having them answer all our questions. Dylan's doing well with his weight, he put on last time which was fab news. Hoping today he will have either returned or gone past his birth weight.

I feel like a first time mother again, trying to remember everything from how to hold him to adjusting to the night time wake ups. My head has been in toddler mode for too long, having to tell it it to adjust to newborn mode - though these newborn nappies are helping to remind me.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Anyone who's read my blog in the past knows that I'm a big fan of anything secondhand, this includes selling secondhand goods. Especially when it comes to using the Internet to either buy and sell stuff you no longer need. I seem to always have a box of stuff gathering dust which could be turned into ££, why should I leave it laying around when it's never going to be used again. I know between me and the man that we have a few boxes of old CDs and old games from consoles that we no longer use that are just sat in the garage.

This is where a website like musicMagpie could be handy, not only can you sell CDs but you can also sell games online with musicMagpie. It's so simple to use, simply just enter the barcodes of your CD's, DVDs or Games or if you have a ipad/ipod/iphone then you just enter the name or model and they will tell you how much they are worth. You can even use your iphone or webcam to scan in barcodes.

I like the fact you can sell unwanted DVDs because I'm planning on having a good sort through ours as it seems that my house is being overtaken by them, it's either those or the toys but I don't think my toddler would be too happy with that choice. I also love the fact that musicMagpie is a free service to use, this even includes sending your items off to them for free.

The website is simple to use and clearly gives you all the vital information you need to know, right there on the homepage. You have three options when it comes to payment, you can either choose to receive to get paid by cheque, e-voucher of even donate the money you make to charity. If you're having a good clear out then why not consider using musicMagpie and turning those unused items items into cash.

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Why you should visit The Baby Show..

...Which is happening this weekend, Friday 18th - Sunday 20th May at the NEC Birmingham.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

My labour in tweets

I did want to try and tweet my way through my labour and document it in this way but the contractions were pretty much there as soon as I woke up and I didn't really get chance to use my phone despite it being next to me all along whilst I was wiggling around the floor. Did make me smile when I saw lovely messages pop up on my screen, but then of course another contraction would just pop along so then it was back to my floor dancing. I half expected to see my twitter stream when looking back full of cursing and rants about labour pain, think I was good and only dropped in a a couple of naughty words - so maybe it was lucky I didn't tweet as much as I had planned.

This tweet I sent just before going to bed, I didn't realise until I looked at the time on this tweet that I went to bed so late. I thought I went to bed at a decent time, no wonder I was so tired. I was up a few hours later, so I was right with saying 'maybe in the early hours'.

Ha, turned out I just needed the toilet (too much info? - well tough it's my blog!) and that, that pushing sensation went after that. This tweet just reminds me that the pain was pretty intense from the moment I woke up. She did arrive quickly after being called.

I realized that all the lovely people I had been exchanging tweets with over this pregnancy/last couple of weeks would be asleep. I guess this is one reason I casted the phone aside, gesh - you guys just had to be asleep when I was starting didn't you.

Love the fact that favourited this, she's due her next baby in just a few weeks time. I love the fact too that I did the typical thing of screaming that I didn't want to do this, bit too difficult to go back and change that. Though of course he was totally worth it.

It's lucky she didn't break my waters anyway as he had pooed in them, and she said said that if they had popped any earlier then I would of been taken into hospital.

Might of helped if I had my TENs on right (see my birth story) then that might of took away the pain much more but I doubt it would of had much difference. Over two hours they just increased in pain and became more unbearable.

So I started on the gas and air about a hour before he was born, see it was handy tweeting because it's helped build a time frame in my head when I did things like start on the entonox.

Again would of probably helped more if I had used it right, though was still a godsend and I see that I was still using it right up until I gave birth.

After Dylan was born at 7.20am, we were taken into hospital. I didn't get chance to share any news until that evening when I shared a photo my sister in law has taken of that gorgeous little foot of his. I guess then onwards my tweets were all about our stay in hospital and I think I'll look back at these to help piece together those 6 days I spent there. Most of it was spent with me being in blurry state so trying to remember my son's first days has been a little difficult.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Dylan - A Birth Story

It's strange reading back through the last blog post I wrote last Saturday - he's teasing me, it talks about how I thought my body was teasing me and I didn't quite know what was going on it. I guess reading it now, it was all starting to kick off that day and I find it quite funny how I signed the post off wondering if things were going to happen that night. Well it did.

I went to bed early-ish like I remember doing with Oli the night before, guess it's my bodies way of telling me that I'm going to need that sleep. The first I know of anything happening was when I woke about 3am to go to the toilet, I remember sitting on the toilet thinking 'ouch'. I really was hit with this sudden pain, going back to the bedroom I realized that this was it - contractions had started. They were pretty intense straight away, no slowly getting into it. We both came downstairs where I grabbed the house phone and rang the ambulance control number I had been given, I've already phoned them twice in the week so already knew what to expect. I told them I was having contractions and gave them my details as planned, they said they would page the midwife who would then phone me.

Until this call happened I spent my time riding around the living floor on all fours, attempting to clear up Oli's toys from the night before in between my contractions. I was so pleased when the phone rang to hear a familiar voice down the phone, the midwife that was coming over was someone who we had already met and had got to know over the last few weeks. She knew this was it as she was chatting the day before with the midwife who did my sweep and they said that I would probably go into labour either the Saturday or the Sunday. So I didn't really need to explain anything to her, she said she'll see me soon. In this time the man got out our home birthing box and the entonox and put it in the living room ready. She was here within like 10 minutes which isn't bad considering she had to get up, get dressed and drive over here. I think the time when she arrived after all the calls and stuff was half 3, by now the contractions were enough for me to have the TENs Machine out.

I really should of had a practice with the TENs, just because I had used it 3 years before didn't mean I would remember how to use it this time around. This was proven during labour when at first I was only upping the one side and not upping the both sides at the same time and then again when I was completely turning it down/off when the contractions were not going on, when I should of instead kept it at a low to feel that numbing effect. I kept with the TENs for a couple of hours until it really got too much and I needed that gas & air. Think it was around this time that my midwife phoned the other midwife to let her know that she'll probably be needed soon that's always a smiley moment when you know that things are getting near. Somewhere around here the man came and rubbed my back, it was like he had read my mind. That and I was forever shouting 'get the tens outta my arse', the wire get sliding into the wrong place thanks to me being on all fours, it was only afterwards that the man told me had considered getting the tape out to tape the wires to the side as me as I was repeatably asking for the wire to be moved.

Obviously one of the first things after my bottom half came off was that the shower curtain was put down, we decided to go with the living room floor in the end as choice of birth. I think this was mainly because Oli was still in bed and I didn't want to be in the room next to him making noise, though judging by the day before when he continued napping on the sofa despite the smoke alarms going off - he would of probably just slept throughout it all. The shower curtain was much comfier then I thought, and I guess the comfort of what was below me was the last thing on my mind. I had originally planned to chuck some old duvet sheets down too but I just stuck with the curtain. Though has the time went on and I continued to be on all fours I had some cushions placed under me to make it more comfortable.

My waters still hadn't broken and I was disappointed when a couple of hours in I was still at 5cm, that bugged me as I remember being 4cm a couple of days before when the midwife came out and did my sweep. Both the midwives kept saying how my waters were bulging, I remember at one point begging them to break them as I remembered quickly jumping up those cm when my waters got broken with Oli. They were laughing as I said this, I guess they knew it was all going to happen naturally and would happen soon. I was cursing everyone in my head, them and the man sat on the sofa as I wiggled around the floor in pain. I think at this point he was really glad on the fact I decided on a home birth, though he did grab his xbox and moved it into the kitchen in fear of my waters breaking all over it. The midwives had both got either side of me and had the shower curtain over there laps, as the man reminded me a couple of days later - I had one of the midwives wiggling away as I kept moving my bottom near her apparently.

My waters breaking is one of the most vivid things I can remember from that morning. They went with just a loud pop and then it was like a waterfall, I was still on all fours so looking down I could see it and I knew what I had seen before anyone even had to say anything. It had meconium in it, he had pooed inside of me. My first thoughts in my head were of oh no, they're going to transfer me to hospital. Thankfully the midwives agreed that as I was very close to the end this wasn't needed and that after checking out baby's stats, he was ok. My main midwife did say though that is my waters had broken at the beginning I would of been shipped into the hospital.

Things were pretty much a blur from here, I was getting tired and it had only been a few hours - really don't know how people cope with anything longer. The midwives and the man cleared up my waters and put the spare shower curtain down. I remember at this point just collapsing to the ground, I didn't want to be on all fours. I just wanted to lie down and curl up into a ball. I did the whole screaming for a epidural (like I did just before Oli was born!) and cursing myself for not being in hospital where I could get one of these. The midwives made me go back on all fours as baby didn't like me being on my back. Think around this point I was just constant on the gas & air and had started to chuck in a couple of screams.

Before the screams and the pain had totally and utterly kicked in and before the waters had broken, Oli had woken. We heard his little footsteps in his room, thankfully Oli doesn't ever come out of his room until he's called or we go into him. Which we've always liked and proved to be handy this very morning. The man already had his mum on stand by and thankfully she's only 5 mins by car around the corner so he gave her a shout to come and collect Oli. The man got him all dressed and ready in his room and then bought him down the stairs when his mum was outside. He really didn't seem phased by the fact mummy was on all fours with two women around her. Was waving goodbyes and almost out the door and I shouted out for a kiss, quick run in for a kiss and then he was back out the door. Apparently Daddy had told him that he was off to spend the day with his cousin so of course he was much more excited about this.

Next memory after all of this is of me just losing energy and having the midwives and the man try and get me sitting with my back against the sofa as the urged to push had come and that I was ready to do this. I do wish I had filmed this as I had wanted to originally but there was just no thinking about doing this, I even said to the man how that if we didn't get round to getting the camera out that I wanted a mirror at the other end so I could see. Again no thinking about this at the time, I guess you just get so caught up with what's going on that anything you planned is put aside. Guess another reason why I didn't have a birth plan, I really did want to go with the flow as you really cant predict what happens.

Both the midwives had me with knees bent,
all ready in the labour position. The man was sat on the sofa behind me but as he told me afterwards he sat in the most perfect place to see everything that was going on. I could also see everything from where I was, I certainly remember seeing that head that just popped out on the first push. Then I remember hearing the one midwife shout at me, which made me listen to pant as to not tear myself. Of course upon hearing this I panted like crazy as to avoid any tearing. Thankfully this worked. They said on the next push he would be out, you just don't want to do it though after already going through it and doing that initial push. The thought of it almost being over does give you that extra oomph though to go ahead and push. Dylan was born at 7.20am weighing 7lb 13oz.

If only the next several days were as straightforward as my labour, a hour after Dylan was born we were taken to hospital. Details of this will be in my next blog post.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Toddlerisms #17

Bonding over a nappy change

Saturday, 5 May 2012

He's teasing me!

I only mentioned in yesterday's blog post that baby was teasing me, he didn't stop for the whole of yesterday and into the night. After the way I had been feeling and because that pressure below was slowly becoming accompanied by pain I thought it would be a good idea just to call on a midwife. The midwives on call for my home birth really are lovely and they usually come straight out to see me. She did the usual checks of blood pressure and listening to baby's heart and then she asked if she could do a internal examination. Of course I had secretly hoped she would suggest this, I know all about sweeps after having two when I went overdue with Oli. I don't know if that's what help contribute to him coming the day before they wanted to induce me.

She had this happy soun
ding in her voice and was pleased to say to me that I was already 4cm dilated, she explained that this does happen quicker the second time around and I was told that I had a soft cervix. She also said how she have me a good sweep whilst down there, I would of never of guessed. She was quite positive about the fact I could be seeing her later on in the evening or today. I was quite positive about that too after spending the rest of the afternoon and the evening feeling some crazy cramps and tightening. I was for sure that this was it, the man came home early from work after telling him what the midwife said. We got to work making sure that we really did have everything ready for our planned home birth.

The midwife did say that baby had turned, whoop. He was no longer back to back so all that bouncing on the ball had obviously helped to change his position. I thought he had changed as the back pain was no longer as painful as what it has been.

The evening came about and I thought this was it, Oli was going off to bed and after going mad with the hoover I sat down to think about food. We really didn't want to cook & being the food addict I am the moment, I really fancied a curry. I was so fretful about ordering a curry in case baby decided to put in a appearance whilst we waited for it. See I really did think last night was going to be the night. We went to bed wondering if we would be awoken.

I woke up at 3am wondering (big shout out to Laura, Jane & Monika for the twitter company!) if something was going to happen, had back ache. Nothing more, spent a few hours playing on my phone and telling the man off for snoring. Was asleep again come 6 and that lazy toddler of ours didn't get us up until half 9. Had nothing and this kinda has continued, I still have cramps and I've been having tightening ever since our walk earlier but I'm refusing to read into anything now. I'm just being teased, I just really don't know what is going on with my body. It's not a nice feeling not knowing what is happening or what is about to happen. Could it happen tonight? Who knows!

Toddlerisms #16

Sofa to himself

Friday, 4 May 2012

Apparently my overdue baby is more likely to suffer ADHD

So last night was a bad night, the frustration had really kicked in. I thought for a hour that something was happening, I had woken from a nap and was cramping and I thought this was the start. Turned out not to be, it was like taking being teased to the extreme. I'm still patient, I'm not spending every minute trying to get baby out. Though have been trying to give him a helping hand. Once I had put Oli to bed I went into extreme tidy mode, was scrubbing everything in sight as well as ironing my bed sheets - something I never do. I even got through a couple loads of washing. Pretty sure I was really starting to freak the man out, he just stayed quiet and made tea for us and went off to bed to get out of my way.

I went to bed after finally giving into the sleepiness and the fact I couldn't move my bottom anymore, I think this was my bodies way of telling me that I had done too much and that I was to go and rest. Of course I was still still restless so turned to my phone for some company, I usually find that reading the news sends me to sleep. I shouldn't of read this one story though, it just filled me with anger. Anyone that knows me/my blog knows that I hate those stupid little studies, you know the ones 'if your child likes blue, he's likely to be obese later in life.' yeah those kind. This new story caught my eye as it was talking about overdue babies, oh and look who just happens to be overdue.

Apparently because my baby skipped over that 42 (mine hasn't yet!) week mark it means that he is going to develop ADHD in early life. Please say I'm not the only one who couldn't help but just to simply just roll my eyes at this?

Trying to help things along...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Using a TENS machine

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was hiring out a TENS machine as I plan on using it as my first form of pain relief, of course I plan on popping some paracetamols first but I'm sure that will shortly be followed by having to put the TENs on. It's not too foreign to me as I used one with Oli in my first pregnancy, though that was what seemed like a lifetime ago so have had to familiarize myself with it again.

When my contractions started in the first pregnancy, I went as long as could without anything. Had the warm bath and by the time they had got closer it was time to go into hospital so I was wearing it in the car on the way to hospital and right up until I tried another bath at the hospital and then traded it in for some good old gas and air. It did work a treat for me helping to take my mind off those contractions so thought it ideal having one again this time around, especially for the homebirth.

What is a TENs Machine?

Well it stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and come in the form of a small box. It has four wires coming out of it which connect to sticky pads, which are stuck to the back. When turned on the TENs gives out little pulses of electrical energy which you can control using the buttons on the machine. As contractions get stronger you can use the boost button to help relieve that pain.

Before someone mentioned one when I was pregnant that first time, I had no idea what a TENs Machine was. Never came across one before and probably would of never used one if this person didn't tell me about it, making me get one in curiosity. It wasn't something I bought either, you can hire them out from various pharmacy's/big supermarkets or as I did online. All you have to do is a quick google search to find someone who hires out TENs Machines. The one which I've got is exactly the same as the one I used with Oli and I hired it from

Hiring out is really simple, just pick which TENs Machine you want and then tell them your due date and then they will send it out 3 weeks before your due date. Postage is free and you get free practice pads with it allowing you to try it out before everything kicks off. Free to return it too and you can reuse the packaging it was sent in. It only cost me £22.94 which isn't much to pay when you think about how it can help with that pain. Of course it isn't for everybody but seeing as it worked for me the first time around, I'm hoping it will do the trick again.

Did you use a TENs Machine?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Baby Show at NEC Birmingham, 18th-20th May 2012

Test, try and buy the UK's best baby products at The Baby Show

The Baby Show is back offering a shopping haven for new parents and parents-to-be at the NEC Birmingham from 18th-20th May 2012. Forget the hassle of the high street, The Baby Show takes out the stress and confusion of shopping for your baby by housing the UK’s biggest baby brands all under one roof, so you can compare and try products before you buy! With over 250 must-have brands including Fisher-Price, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, Marks & Spencer, Britax, tommee tippee and new companies Mammae,Poco Nido, Kinderroom and Curaprox - there will be brilliant buys for all!

The UK’s leading parenting experts will also be on hand to offer advice on sleep, breastfeeding and first aid. Tickets are available in advance for £12.00 or two for £20.00, to book tickets visit

The Baby Show in association with Prima Baby and sponsored by Fisher-Price is an exciting event filled with the latest and greatest products in food & feeding, pushchairs, nappies & wipes, toys, clothing, furniture, car seats and carriers, from major brands. Parents who come to The Baby Show will also find substantial offers and savings that cannot be found elsewhere.

Melanie Hall, Manager states: "The Baby Show is the destination for expectant and new parents. It is a fantastic day out; offering first class information, a chance to talk to like-minded mums and see the UK’s best baby brands all in one place. Our aim is for each parent to come away feeling happy, informed and confident in what they have chosen."

Fisher-Price will have the best available toys on display, ensuring that parents and parents-to-be will find something that’s ideal for little ones at every age.

Prima Baby
Prima at stand N15 are giving visitors a free goody bag when two issues of Prima Baby magazines are purchased for just £2 (RRP £2.80 per magazine).

Face of the the show
The show sees the welcome return of the hugely popular Face of The Baby Show which offers parents the chance to enter their baby in the competition to find the face of The Baby Show and have the chance to be part of the 2013 marketing campaign. Hosted by Bumpkins(formally Sonam studios) each child will be photographed, capturing the very best images to be entered into the competition. What’s more, all parents will be given a free copy of the photograph of their child to take home from the photo experts at Bumpkins.

Me Time
For those looking for a relaxing and tranquil day out knowing your little one is cared for, the Fisher-Price crèche provides the perfect place and the safest hands in which to leave your children, where they can enjoy the latest toys for free and be supervised by fully trained and professional carers. The show is geared to making visitors lives easier and offers a home delivery service as well as the Emma’s Diary FREE shopping drop-off and collect by car service. There’s also the Emma’s Diary Mums meeting point, a fabulous arena to meet other new and expectant mums for a well-earned cuppa! The Pregnacare Juice bar will be serving fresh juices and smoothies across all three days to quench those shopping thirsts and give visitors a chance for a refreshing break. Superdrug are also at The Baby Show, be sure to stop by the Beauty Booth and take advantage of some great discounts.

Free at the café!
Plum’s under 1’s Cafe, will be serving little ones a sample of free baby food from 9.30am -5.00pm every day, as well as offering exclusive show offers on the Plum range.

The main stage
Not only a shopper’s dream, but The Baby Show is an event filled with expert advice from information including talks on breastfeeding by Clare Byam-Cook, sleep with Jo Tantum and first aid talks from The British Red Cross.

New Brands
New brands showcasing at the event this time include:-
Partners Labour of Love – A brand new app to assist pregnant women in the build up to birth
My Beauty Bundle – Perfect gift for pregnant women or new mums
BabyDam – Has changed bath time for good
SnuggleBundl – Innovative approach to lifting your baby
Laboraide by Opro – A product to assist in pain-free birth
Baby Mum-Mum – Food snack for babies, big American brand – new to the UK this year
Waterbaby – New bottled water containing Folic Acid for a healthy pregnancy – new to the market this year

The Baby Show at Birmingham NEC takes place between 18th–20th May 2012. Tickets are available in advance for just £12 each from

Right here I have the chance for you to win a pair of tickets so that you and your partner/mother/father/grandma/whoever you choose to take with you, can attend The Baby Show for free saving a little bit of ££ to spend inside.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to let me know below in the comments what your ultimate essential baby item is? For me doing a pregnancy the second time around I know that I used the muslin cloths more then anything else, so that's my essential must have baby item.

For extra entries (because I'm kind like that!) you can also do the following...

Pop a tweet up saying - I'm in with a chance of winning a pair of @TheBabyShow tickets over at with @MeTheManAndBaby by tweeting this!

Leave a facebook wall message saying - I'm in with a chance of winning a pair of The Baby Show tickets over at

T&Cs - Competition ends 10/05/12 , one entry per household and is open to UK residents only.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May Day

So it looks like I'm having a May baby and not a April baby, see I'm kinda glad of this because what with both the mans and toddlers birthdays in April this means birthday celebrations can be spread out. I take down all the banners and birthday related goods and can put them away for a month, before getting them all back out again. Though the balloons we blew up for Oli's birthday seem to be still floating around, mainly down the back of the sofa but maybe these can also be reused each year. Poor baby number 2, he really will be getting all of his brother's hand me downs.

So I'm overdue now, just like I was a few years ago with Oli. He was due on the 3oth March but decided to not put in a appearance until the 11th April. I am a believer in the fact baby will come when he's ready, though this was easily to believe when overdue with Oli. I think I spent pretty much every evening at the cinema until he finally made his appearance. This time around is different, I'm spending my evenings being half patient but the other half letting the frustration show. I'm not quite sure if I've took to comfort eating or if I am just hungry 24/7. Seriously, I have snack bars by the bed for midnight munchies.

I wouldn't say I'm bored, I've kept on top of all the housework though I swear the man has been sneaking down in the middle of the night to do it to make sure I don't do too much in the day when he's not around. He's had his orders though not to touch two parts of the house where I've especially reserved myself some cleaning and things to do when the contractions start and I need to occupy my mind. Seeing as I'm having a homebirth I wont have that drive to the hospital and that to think about so that's my alternative to that. It's only just hit me now that I'm having a homebirth. Am I really going to give birth at home? Going to get my box out and have a nose, will try and blog about it to give you some idea about what you get in a homebirth box.

LEGO Duplo Creative Sorter

We've blogged before about being LEGO Duplo Experts before and how this means we get sent fun LEGO Duplo products to play with and then blog about what we thought about them. We can be as honest as we like because they want to know and want us to let you know our honest thoughts on the products. We've not found any fault with any of the LEGO Duplo we've received to date and this applies to the latest product we've got sent - the LEGO Duplo Creative Sorter.

When we first learnt this was what we were going to be getting I wondered if it was actually worth it's cost. But obviously I'm not a toddler with a avid imagination, it wasn't just a few bits of LEGO Duplo but a box full of fun. It comes with pieces of Duplo to build up 3 different animals as well as a tree, to help build these animals it includes 3 sorting plates which match the colours of the animals it helps your child to build. I actually think this is a genius idea, all of Oli's other Duplo kits I'm often finding myself building for him whilst he's still learning to understand the instructions and how to follow them.

That's not the case with the creative sorter, this is one
kit which he can all solo with by using the plates to help him build them up himself. I like that this teaches him both self independence and how to use his own skills and hands to build something buy himself without needing to ask for help. Bonus to the Creative Sorter is that it comes in a handy storage box with the building plates doubling up as a lid for it. Ideal first LEGO Duplo kit for your 18month+ old as well being handy for the older children who want something different then the other LEGO Duplo products available.

BIG thumbs up from us for the Creative Sorter, we got lots of play from it and still continue to now a couple of months on from receiving it. Even though the Duplo pieces are mixed in with the rest of his Duplo, Oli still knows what pieces he needs to build the animals thanks to the sorting plates.

Birthday Bonanza

We had double celebrations last month with two birthdays, the toddler decided to grow up on me and turn 3 whilst the next day the man decided to have a birthday too. Thankfully this one decided not to give me 3 in a row by coming the next day. What I remember about these few days celebrating those birthdays was lots of cake, lots and lots of cake. It turns out that having birthdays so close together has it's advantages. We kicked off the birthday celebrations with a birthday buffet at the in laws, this please this pregnant woman lots. If only every day you could eat birthday buffets. Oli and the man had a joint caterpillar cake which was rather sweet, I remember the man joking with his mother just the day before that he wanted a caterpillar cake.

Daddy put all his presents on the sofa for him to come down too and blew up lots of funny looking balloons to place around them. He was so excited about this and see as we had left it to silly o'clock the night before to actually wrap his presents I just left him to it. Was worth it though in the morning when we were greeted with WOW. WOW.WOW. Most of his presents from the family and a couple from us were outdoor toys, we didn't really think that through probably when you consider the fact it's rained pretty much everyday since his birthday.

Though to be fair I think his favorite
present from us was the little hexbug stadium thingy that we got him for his little bugs. He spent pretty much of the day playing with that and it's been played with often ever since, brownie points for us. We went to Frankie & Benny's that evening where we had more cake.

The man's birthday the next day involved even more cake and his presents consisted pretty much of chocolate and clothes. Not like he got to see, let alone eat any of that chocolate with me and Oli around. It was really nice to spend these days not thinking about pregnancy stuff and just celebrate these birthdays as a family of 3 for the last time.
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