Friday, 31 August 2012


Dylan will soon be moving into a cot as he's starting to grow out of his moses basket, this is one of the reason's we picked the Kiddicare Compact Cot when asked to pick some items from Kiddicare to review. The other reasons being the fantastic low price, paying just over £70 (the RRP is £214.97) for something which can be used again and again (well depending on how many children you want) is a good investment in my eyes. As well as the price I was drawn into the fact it came with both a mattress and a bumper set saving me so much more £££. I remember with Oli buying a cot, then needed to buy a mattress and then buying all the extras which came to so much all together and then I had the hassle of buying them all desperately. Why with the Kiddicare Compact Cot you're buying everything at the same time which all gets delivered together.

The size was another reason we picked it, Oli has a Cotbed so I know how big they can be and we're currently keeping Dylan in our room mainly because it's handy what with still feeding him but also because we're not moving into a bigger house until the end of the year. It's fits perfectly into the corner of our room next to him clothes drawers. It was exactly the item I had in mind when pregnant and planning the sleeping arrangements.

Assembling it was easy enough, I even manged to do it on my own using the sofa to lean the sides against as I built it. It was made within 20minutes and it was light enough for me to carry upstairs. It's a sturdy design and that's coming from someone who is rather picky and fussy when it comes to flimsy tings. The design and sturdiness of it will suit Dylan right up until he's ready to move on from it.

We also picked up some Medela accessories for Dylan, I grabbed a Medela Calma Bottle as we were struggling with normal bottles and the Medela Calma is similar to breastfeeding in a way that the milk only flows when baby applies vacuum. This worked the first time we used it but then I went a while without feeding him via bottle and he doesn't want to know. Which is fair enough, I don't mind at all taking bottles of out the equation but I do like the concept of the Medela Calma.

The other Medela product we got were the
Medela Breastmilk Storage Bottles now these have been put to good use, thanks to these bottles we have a storage of my milk in the fridge just incase it's ever needed in emergencies. They are flexible in the way that you can store them in either fridge or freezer and use them in both dishwasher and microwave. The bottles are free of BPA making them safe for use with baby.

The Kiddicare website is a easy to navigate around website which easily allows you to get what you need in the form of drop down menus which helps with suggestions and relevant item pages. This could be of great use to a first time parent who's looking to get everything they need to start life with a baby. Want next day delivery? Then you can when ordering by 7pm with the added bonus of one hour delivery slots. I'm a fan of the 365 day returns policy where if you change your mind, unlike other shops which give you usually around 30 days to change your mind - Kiddicare give you 365 days. Great to know that you buy something during pregnancy and 9 months later and baby comes along you realise you don't need it or say that someone else had bought you a duplicate gift, then you have that extra time to change your mind and grab a refund or another item in its place.

Now would be a great time to head over to Kiddicare where it's Big Summer Sale is happening where you can get up to 70% off some of those must have/need/want essentials.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Yogi Bear

We got sent Yogi Bear from Warner Brothers a few months ago to review. For some reason we've only just got round to watching it this week, I'm rather horrified at myself for this. Yogi Bear was one of my favourite programs as a child, seriously who doesn't like a talking bear as a child?

It was the perfect film for us to watch after we had come back from swimming and was to tired to do anything else. We snuggled together just me & Oli whilst I put Yogi Bear onto the laptop and started to introduce him to another of my childhood favorites.

It's been a firm favourite since we've watched it, you know when your kids watch something once, enjoy it and then want to watch it over and over again? Yeah we've currently got that going on with Oli & Yogi Bear, it's on right now over on the TV in front of for the 4th time this week.

Looking around the reviews are a right mixed bag, the ones that are half hearted about it seem to be coming from those that don't have children and don't want to embrace the fact programs like Yogi Bear have been bought to the big screen to give our kids a new love of our old loves.

For me it was everything I wanted in a family film, it had 3D animation and voices such as Dan Ackroyd (Yogi Bear) and Justin Timberlake (Boo Boo) and even a familiar actress to grown ups in the form of Anna Faris (Film maker Rachel). The storyline was a easy to follow with the 'good guys' trying to stop the 'bad guys' from closing the park. Both me and Oli found chuckles all over the film from laughing at Yogi's mishaps to me cooing over the Ranger Smith and Film maker Rachel's romantic storyline.

If your looking for a film to end the summer holidays with then why not make it Yogi Bear, it's currently available over on with currently being just £4.99!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

When is the right time to wean?

Now that Dylan seems to be coming up to 4months I seem to be hearing the word 'weaning' rather more then I would like to be hearing it. I really don't know what the eagerness is to get food into babies so soon when it's not a necessity? Why go through the hassle and that extra cost when it can be delayed for at least a couple more months. I guess this time around when it comes to putting something into Dylan's mouth, I feel it my department and that something as important as weaning and introducing him to food for the first time will be when both me and him are ready.

It's like anything in parenting, only the parent knows best. In case this case, mummy knows best. The first time around with Oli, we weaned at 4 months. I don't know if the fa
ct he was being formula fed made a difference and that because this time around I'm breastfeeding Dylan to why I'm weaning them both at different times. Oli to me felt ready to start receiving some food, I didn't see any harm with doing it at the time. I remember getting a warning from the health visitor that I had started him too early, I didn't listen. My child's eating habits were none of her business, if we wanted to start our weaning journey then that was up to us.

Dylan doesn't seem ready, he shows no interest in it and all his hunger needs are being satisfied by my milk. All his nutrients are being provided by me thanks to our exclusive breastfeeding. I'm really not going to let myself be bullied or guilted into something I don't see it necessary at the moment. I will stand my ground and if needs be I'll pull out the guidelines from the world health organization on how exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age and then continued alongside food up to the age of 2 or beyond.

The answer to my question is quite simple, the right time is simply when it's the right time for you and baby. See simple.

Mini Micro White Union Jack Scooter

Oli was lucky to be sent a Mini Micro White Union Jack Scooter from the guys at Micro Scooters, what with it being the summer holidays - we've been having lots and lots of fun with with it. Whilst I take my wheels (Dylan in his pram!) to the park he takes his scooter, much more fun for him then having to walk alongside me and his brother. It's also made a great replacement to the pram seeing that we ditched it the moment he turned 3.

I instantly took a love to the micro scooter, I remember as a child having a metal one and I was constantly bumping my legs on it and having bruised shins. Well this scooter is made from a plastic which will not leave any nasty marks like mine did, if my own son was to fall over with it. Though saying that he's not fallen with it yet, the recommended age for this scooter is 3-5 and my own 3 year old shows you just how well it suits him and his age.

He somehow knew how to use it the moment we had got it out of the box and had put it together, which itself was a simple process of just clicking the handle bar into the main body of the scooter. He stood up straight, put one foot on the scooter and the other on the ground and kicked himself off. Then he scootered around like he's been doing it since he started to walk! The handle grips are soft but at the same time firm enough to provide enough grip for the littlest of hands.

Would we say the scooter is good value for money? Yes we would, the design is fantastic and provides enough support for his little body and is sturdy enough to take the toughest of toddlers (he often let's his bigger cousin play on it!) The great thing is, is that when Oli grows out of this on moves on to the Maxi Micro we can pass it on to Dylan or get him the Mini Micro Seat which will allow him to use it from the age of one upwards.

Not only do you get a scooter but it also comes with a Union Jack bag, Oli's often been ditching the scooter and just playing with his bag. The rucksack fits perfectly on his little back and can often be found carrying his cars or dinosaurs, though I think it currently stores his crayons.

Here's a video of Oli having fun around the garden with it, I kept forgetting to get one of him down the park. But then this shows just how versatile the wheels are, he can ride on the grass just as smoothly as he can on concrete.

The Mini Micro Union Jack Scooter is a limited edition model made to celebrate this special year, what with the Jubilee and this summer's sporting events we all feeling rather patriotic. The scooter is available for £64.95 and come with FREE UK mainland delivery. You can find Micro Scooters on , or even the Micro Scooter Blog.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Me & my blog are unique

Do you have those moments where you just think - what makes me stand out from the crowd? What make me unique and different to the person next to me? Sometimes I worry that I'm just one little blur and sometimes I think the same about my blog. But then I think where else will you find a blog which includes the following..

  • Bad grammar but make up for it with cute photos of her children.
  • A Christian mummy who hasn't been to church in 4 year but still tries to apply her Christian like ways to all the things she does.
  • One who's not afraid to flash her boobs, ok it's usually in Breastfeeding posts. If only I could more like that in public.
  • Will be honest about her life experiences, from attacking her husband to her son needing speech therapy.
  • Accepts sponsored posts, what?? Ones gotta pay for the broadband to keep this blog going.
  • Write about poo, I like to think this is the ultimate mummy blogger thing to do.
  • A MADs pregnancy finalist, apparently you guys enjoyed reading about my pregnancy so much that you nominated me for a award.
  • Anything & everything! I tend to try and keep it family oriented, but sometimes my babbling leads me elsewhere.
  • Competitions, I love a good giveaway! If I get offered something which you guys are sure to love them I'll post it.
  • Controversial blog posts like how I think breastfeeding should be taught about at school.
  • Money saving ideas, ok so I don't write about them as much as Frugal Family or Baby Budgeting but I do blog about them from time to time.
  • Guest posts from some of my favourite bloggers, even the odd guest post from the man.
  • Product reviews, you may enjoy my personal blog posts more but when reading a review post - you're guaranteed to get our honest opinions.
  • Blog posts about toddlers and babies, sometimes I'll blog about Oli, sometimes I'll blog about Dylan but then sometimes I'll blog about the both of them.
  • A mother recording all her precious moments, be it Oli's first smile or Dylan's. Most of our family adventures are recorded right here on Me, The Man & The Baby of course.

What makes you and your blog unique?

Carriwell Nursing Bra & Hipsters from BoobieMilk

When it came to buying nursing bras I wasn't really sure where to go other then this big shop in my old hometown which I knew sold bras. I never really thought to look online where of course you can get a much wider choice and can check out different brands. Well BoobieMilk has it all under one roof. BoobieMilk is ran by mummy of 2 Karen, who exclusively breastfed both of her children. Find out more about Karen and why she set up Boobiemilk here.

When I say she has everything you need I really do mean that, she sells sleeping bras which I soon realised I needed after a couple of weeks of attempting to sleep in a normal nursing bra and having the straps dig into me. (I have the Emma Jane Seamless in white!) There's the essential breastfeeding products that you may need like Lansinoh Nipple Cream and Lansinoh Breast Pads. (Two of my favorite breastfeeding products!)

She kindly sent me the Carriwell Nursing Bra & Hipsters to try out from the Carriwell range. It;s actually the most comfiest nursing bra I've worn so far, so for comfort it instantly gets a 5/5. I don't feel anything digging into me and it doesn't give me that overwhelming feeling, by that I mean I barely notice that I'm even wearing anything under my top. One feature which I like which bugs me on my other nursing bras is the position of the strap with the release clasp (which is very simple to unclip one handed) it supports my boob and helps to lift them up which is not only a bonus when it comes to wearing it with tshirts but helps to put the boob in the right position for breastfeeding.

The breathable fabric is great for days where it's rather warm & having a child draped across your body can make you rather sticky, I don't find it uncomfortable or find it sticking to me and leaving me to fiddle around trying to adjust it. I found that it molds to my body shape helping to flatter my figure, it's bras like this that don't make me miss my pre-pregnancy padded bras at all.

Everything I've said applies to the matching hipsters, from the breathable fabric to it flattering my figure. After having a baby you're going to want to wear some comfortable underwear. I love the deep red colour to the bra and hipsters, it's nice to step away from black and white for a change.

I'm going to give the whole set a 5/5 as it ticks all my boxes when it comes to wearing the perfect nursing bra. I feel I'm getting great value for it's price with the fact I can double it up and use as a sleeping bra, ideal when my Emma Jane sleeping bra is in the wash.

As for BoobieMilk they also get top marks from me, I gave Karen my bra size over and received a bra that fitted me perfectly. And if you're lucky enough to live in West Kent then she'll provide a free home fitting which is just fantastic! I mentioned before that the day I left hospital with Dylan I had to head over to the next town over so that I could hunt down a nursing bra and get fitted. I would of much rather of been in the comfort of my own home and not having to drag two children around town after just enduring labour. You can find BoobieMilk over on facebook, and they even have a blog.

A Comfortable Seat

Comfort is important to everyone, not only humans but animals too. A scientific study involving baby monkeys proved this. When offered the choice between food and sustenance without the comfort of the mother’s body, and just comfort and touch from the mother with no food the monkeys chose comfort over food every time. The sense of touch is an extremely important one. When we are born, with a rush of sound and a blinding light, the first thing we experience is touch. This carries on into our adult lives with comfort being paramount to an enjoyable and relaxing time on earth.

What better way to experience luxurious comfort than on a bean bag? Fashion For Home offer a wide variety of excellent bean bags which would be a wonderful addition to any home. Click here to view their range of bean bags. Affordable and stylish, be it a continuation of the 60's home rebellion. In the 60's, with the new found liberalism of the time, people began to decorate their home in more garish designs. Stuffy arm chairs were replaced by bean bags, a statement for the young liberals against the stuffy conservatism of the post-World War II environment.

Designed by the company Relax! Bag these bean bags can be great additions to your living room or bedroom. They are extremely durable, made from fire and water resistant materials which can be easily cleaned. Due to its durability and mobility they can be used indoors to blend in to your design aesthetic without becoming a centre piece, then picked up and taken outside on those beautiful days you spend in the garden. The beauty of bean bags is in their versatility. Trust me, I've spent many a night asleep on a bean bag and have never had reason to complain. They can be used as a bed, an oversized cushion or a casual sofa.

They are available in a variety of colours to suit your own colour scheme at an affordable price. So why delay, visit and order one yourself. I promise, when relaxing on a Sunday afternoon on your bean bag you will not be disappointed.


Morrison's Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Would you believe that the tastiest cake I have ever made only cost 90p thanks to Morrisons Savers? I know!! I found it hard to believe too at first, until I bought all the ingredients from my local Morrisons and laid them out in front of me. Even the recipe for this cake, Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake was supplied by Morrisons. We bought eggs, cake mix, a lemon and a jar of lemon curd.

Ok, so my food photography needs some work but I can happily report that it tasted fantastic and it even had the man who is a baker by trade reporting back how yummy it tasted. Not even he could believe I had made it using products from Morrisons Savers range. Making a cake really can be a cheap activity for you to do with your little ones, I find that Oli appreciates food more if he's had a input into the making of it. Find the recipe for this Lemon Drizzle Loaf below...

2 x packets of M Savers Cake Mix
2 x eggs from store cupboard
4 x tablespoons of M Savers Lemon Curd
Juice and zest of 1 M Savers Lemon

Each serving provides
Energy (kcal) 246 calories 12% GDA*
Fat 6.6g 9% GDA*
Saturates 2.4g 12% GDA*
Sugar 21.4g 24% GDA*
Salt 0.4g 7% GDA*
*Of Guideline Daily Amounts for adults : 2000kcals,
90g Sugar, 70g Fat, 20g Saturated Fat, 6g Salt.

Makes 10 slices of cake

Preparation time: 5 mins Cooking time: 40 mins

Cooking method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Line a one litre loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Mix up the cake mix as instructed on the packet using the eggs and water.
  • Stir two tablespoons of lemon curd into the cake batter.
  • Pour the cake mix into the tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the centre of the sponge springs back when pressed with your fingertips.
  • Remove from the oven and repeatedly pierce the top with a kebab skewer.
  • In a bowl, mix together the leftover lemon curd and lemon juice and zest. Pour over the cake and allow to cool in the tin.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Practicing his Simba roar...

Sunday, 26 August 2012

More laid back the second time around

So with the birth of my second child I became rather more laid back when it came to my parenting. I knew what was to come in the form of the baby days and how to look after a newborn, though reminding myself and getting familiar with it was rather new at first but then it was like getting back into a routine. Those horrid nappies were no biggie and I even felt comfortable trying to bring up wind, I was so nervous about doing that with Oli.

Even night times I've become more laid back, I'm not constantly listening out for his breathing or watching him in his moses. And even the baby m
onitor has continued to stay in it's box as I've left the bedroom door open so I can hear that way if he wakes up. I've even had the odd shower whilst Dylan has been strapped into his bouncer.

You see the second time around you don't
quite treat them like china dolls. Knowing what you're doing is a great feeling, makes you a less nervous parent and maybe even a better parent. I'm tuned in more to his needs and can usually can tell what he wants from the first whimper. Guess I was laid back from the moment I fell pregnant, I had most baby thins already so didn't have the stress of having to buy anything. I knew that I didn't need to get the moses basket set up until just a few weeks before I was due.

I know so much more about being a parent now, I've made mistakes and learnt from them. I know about teething and toddler tantrums, I've picked up tips and learnt for myself how to deal with them. This means I can approach these steps with Dylan with a 'bring it on' attitude. Of course I'm not going to be the perfect parent, who is? But I will take a more laid back approach to it this time.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Swimming for the first time

We took Dylan swimming the other week for the first time, it's been something I've been looking forward to doing with him ever since he was born. I hadn't quite thought about his outerwear until M&M Direct told me they did these Kangaroo Poo Baby Wraps and offered to send me one to try out with Dylan. Outerwear is a good idea as well as a baby swimming nappy because it gives you something to grip on to when you're holding baby in the pool. Anyone who's held a baby in water without one will know what I'm on about.

Putting it on him was quite simple, the whole wrap opens up allowing you to put it on him with ease. The velcro is rather strong so once on wont come off until you take him off him at the end of the swimming session.

It's currently on sale for the bargain price of £4.99 so now would be a great time to snap one up if you're pregnant or have just had a baby. It's available in sizes 0-3 and 6-9 months and there's also a Board Angels Baby Girls Wrap available in pink if you were after a more feminine colour for your little one.

We all thoroughly enjoyed his first swim session, we knew it would be lots of fun as Dylan loves his baths and ever since day one has took to splashing and giggling away whilst we washed him. Oli enjoyed to see him little brother in the water with him and it showed him that babies can do the same things as him, even his own swimming was coming on and with both me and daddy in the water we were able to be one on one with both the kids. I cant wait to take him swimming again this week.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Flashback Friday - Butlins

I was totally meant to write this last Friday for Flashback Friday to join in the theme Real Housewife of Suffolk County & Mummy Mishaps kinda had going on with flashbacks of Butlins holidays, but I think I got distracted by cake twitter the children.

We visited Butlins last March when Oli was nearly 2, we decided to get away last minute so we used the great offers & late deals to grab ourselves a bargain few days away in the Ocean Hotel. I think we paid around £150 which really was a bargain when you consider it was a few nights in a hotel for us 2 and Oli right on the doorstep of a beach, free entertainment and access to splashworld. Everything we needed was all on one complex.

It makes me a little nostalgic looking back through these photos and seeing a younger Oli, he was so small still that he was sleeping in a travel cot. You can tell he's leaving that baby stage and saying hello to his toddler days.

We went at a time where the weather wasn't overly pleasant but it didn't matter too much as apart from the funfair and of course the beach, most of the entertainment on offer was indoors. We spent our days going wild in the softplay and watching characters like Barney & Thomas The Tank Engine.

Thanks to this photo I remember we were provided with a 'What's On' guide so we knew exactly when all the shows were on, what activities were available to kids of all ages and what us grown ups could do to let our hair down. This was great for planning how we were going to spend and make the most of our visit.

I thought Oli's favorite stage moment would of been one of the TV characters but it wasn't, it was the Butlins very own Skyline gang. I'm pretty sure I took videos of Oli dancing to them, will hunt them down and stick them in a blogpost. On the subject of dancing, we very much enjoyed the Disco life in the Ocean Hotel. I remember bumping into Pippa from A Mother's Ramblings the previous year at the first MADs awards, in the Disco lift and somehow ending up in this video of hers.

We took advantage of the on site nursery to have a couple of hours childfree, there was so much we could of done in this time. Like the spa or the play a game of bowling, but we decided to have a childfree meal and a couple games of pool.

Something special is usually on whenever we visit, last time was Lazy Town which I'm pretty sure I enjoyed more then anyone. I may of joined in with every song. We've heard over on the that Katy from I Can Cook will be doing her show live when we're at Butlins in October.

No matter the weather when you have a beach right there in front of you, you just have to take a walk on it. It was a tad windy but that didn't stop Oli from having fun. I remember last October we had a mini heatwave, we were in Dover at the time soaking it up. Hopefully we'll have another one this year in October so we can really take advantage of the beach.

Looking through my Butlins photo album and reminiscing has really got me excited about our role as Butlins Ambassadors. I'm actually looking forward to this holiday more then our one abroad next year, I just know Oli's going to have such a fantastic time and that we're going to enjoy our first proper holiday as a family of 4.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

How to flatter your figure

After giving birth to your baby you may feel like you want to get back into shape but don’t have time to visit the gym, nor spend hours tiring yourself aimlessly in shops looking for clothes which hide your tummy. Well look no further, invest in a corset. It’s simple, sexy and trendy. But I’ve just given birth I hear you scream, a corset has no age limit, in fact every woman should experience wearing one.

Corsets don’t just flatten your tummy they also make your waist smaller so it is a nice way to smooth over those lumps and bumps. The steel boned-corset is the perfect way to do this, to make you look fabulous.

Now you spend more time every morning dressing your kids and forget about yourself. You are a yummy mummy so why not feel like one?

There’s no need to worry about what the latest trends are. Corsets often spell vintage so it’s a win win. This season’s brands include Calvin Klein, Myla, Ultimo and Vintage styles.

When to wear a corset:
  1. Casual for everyday use
  2. Night in
  3. Night out
  4. Evening out
  5. Family trips

Underneath that little black dress for your date:

  • It will make your waist look smaller and complement your figure

Why not wear a black corset with a pencil skirt or a pair of wide leg trousers

  • You can make multiple uses out of your corset.

This is a sponsored post

Monday, 20 August 2012

I have a nail biter!

Or Onychophagia as it is otherwise known. Oli has developed the habit of nail biting and I have no idea where it came from or how to stop it. We don't bite our nails and don't know anyone who does unless he saw a kid at school doing it and decided to copy. Though I suppose it could be just one of those things which he started by himself.

He bites them when we're not around like if he's in his bedroom, as he knows he gets a telling off if he does it in front of us. There's nothing left for me to cut when it comes around to cutting his nails. He bit one so short a couple of weeks ago that he really did draw blood. I know you can get that special nail varnish to discourage it, is that safe to use on toddlers?

I guess I know I have to try and do something about it now, especially after having him try to bite my nails at the weekend.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Get outside and play this summer at the Morrisons M Savers Summer Play Parks

This summer, Morrisons is touring the country with its M Savers Summer Play Parks - a series of fun and free events for the whole family to enjoy. Taking place throughout August and September, kids and grown-ups alike can try out all sorts of fun activities from face painting to whacky games and free workshops where you can get creative with potato stamps, try out butterfly painting or even make a kite! Why not drop by the picnic area to sample the delicious M Savers range and get some great ideas on how to make this summer delicious too?

  • 20th & 21st August
    The Forum, 2 Millennium Plain, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1TF

  • 23rd & 24th August
    Market Square, Preston, PR1 2PP

  • 27th & 28th August
    Briggate, City Centre, Leeds, LS1 6NU

  • 1st & 2nd September
    Centenary Square, Birmingham, B1 2EA

  • 8th & 9th September
    Macaulay Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2JY

I think we as a family will be taking a trip to the Birmingham event to take part in the activities. None of these locations near you? Well why not check out these tips for surviving the summer holidays on a budget from money saving expert Sarah Willingham.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Video of the Next Mummy Blogger Event

So I talked about the Next Mummy Blogger event we went too and I've talked about what we wore to it but here's a video with some snippets of the day. You can spot my toddler at the end.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

I had a mental health midwife

Back when I was pregnant a time which only felt like yesterday but was actually only just over 3 months ago - yes I know it's gone quick! I had a mental health midwife, that was until I became 'normal' and hit the home run without needing one. You see my pregnancy really wasn't a straight forward time for me, anyone that's read my blog over the last year knows this. You think it couldn't of got any worse, but it did. Let me fill you in on something I never felt ready to share with you until now.

You see I could of easily just named this post 'my hormones are crazy'. Like crazy which needs to be said in bold, capital letters like this
CRAZY. They were crazy enough to actually have a midwife dedicated to them, though putting it as crazy seems to be a understatement. Mention the word 'hormones' to my husband and the look on his face will tell you all you need to know, about how that word has been such a strain on our lives. I've been wanting to write about this for so long now but have not been quite sure how to put it into words. How do you explain to people your hormones are a problem, people expect you to be hormonal when you're pregnant but how do you explain to them that yours really are a rather bad case?

I guess a good starting point would of been to say it was bad enough to see a psychiatrist and a midwife each week for them, to help keep a eye on my mental state and to work through these hormones. This on top of my health was something which put the home birth that I wanted into question, I was not only seeing a consultant thanks to my SVT but because of those hormones. What I was going through was real, it was something which they noted as a condition. Only now after I've come out of the other side I wonder if I had something wrong with my hormones which linked everything up? What if the hyperemesis gravidarum had something to do with it as well as my abnormal fast heartbeat? Maybe they should of tried piecing these together to see what they came up with.

Let me tell you how these hormones effected me. At first they made me depressed, really depressed. It came out of nowhere and I didn't know it had started the moment we conceived. This completely changed me and I was going to go and seek professional help as this started to effect me big time. I became very self conscious and the simple reflection of me had me distraught. I didn't want to go into work because of this image issue I suddenly developed with myself. This stuck around for the first half of my pregnancy, the doctor diagnosed me with pre-natal depression.

Of course then the sickness started, the horrendous sickness where I was doing nothing but being sick day and night. I couldn't eat or drink, the moment a glass of water was bought to my lips I would knock it aside to be sick instead. We tried various medication but in the end I just had to keep visiting the hospital to be put on a drip. This would perk me up until it wore off and then it was back to the beginning. The only weight on me at this point was the baby growing inside of me, despite everything though he was always healthy. Even in the last couple of months where they kept scanning me as they were concerned about his size, there was nothing at all wrong with him. And he shoved two fingers up to that tape measure by being born weighing 7lb 13oz.

Once this had finally subsided, it never vanished but did settle. This is where the hormones REALLY came to play. It made me angry, think PMT each month and triple it. But make it the worst kind of PMT where you want to lash out at your husband for the simplest of things. I didn't just want to though, I did. Our relationship was put on the rocks by this, the man didn't know how to be around with me. He didn't even want to be around me half of the time thanks to these hormones. These hormones changed the person I was. They changed my relationship, this man who I loved so much became my human punchbag. When he would say something wrong I would launch myself at him, it was like I had turned the incredible hulk. I would hit out, instead of using my words I would use my hands. When I'm calm I just realise that he's just being a typical man, a typical person and why don't I just walk away? Why do I have to react and why do I have to react in such a way?

I knew part of me was still being sane as I would never lift a finger to him whilst the toddler was around and neither would I ever lay a finger on my toddler. I guess that was why it took me so long to seek help and admit to what was going on, I didn't want anyone to think I could harm my child. The man knew this isn't me, he knew who the real me, the pre-pregnant me. The one without hormones which I guess is why he put up with it. I guess it was on a day where my hormones were starting to settle where I was just horrified at what was going on, I booked a emergency doctors appointment who set the wheels in motion for me to receive help.

Getting that help was the best thing I could of done as well as the right thing. The best part of getting that help was that the midwife who was assigned to come out to me to especially talk about the way I was feeling, reassured me that I wasn't the only one who was like this and experienced this in pregnancy. obviously she didn't give me details of other people but knowing that this wasn't just me helped in a way. Towards the end of the pregnancy the hormones started to die down and we were able to enjoy what little of the pregnancy we had left. I just cant believe my pregnancy was spent in this way. It was like living a horror movie, I just didn't know what was going on. The pregnancy we tried for and succeed with just wasn't going right. I didn't bond with this pregnancy until the end, It was only then that I had started to face up those things you should be doing when pregnant like thinking of baby names and shopping for baby clothes.

So yeah not only did my health suffer in pregnancy but my mental health also suffered too, for these reasons Dylan's pregnancy has left me traumatised in a way that whenever I think about it, I cry. It really was a testing time and something which has left me scarred. We want a third, we really do but I don't know how I can handle another pregnancy if it was to be like my second. I hear about people being traumatised by labour and how that puts them off doing it again, but not pregnancy. I guess my fears about being pregnant is a blog post within itself. As much as I despised being pregnant with him, Dylan has become my world along with his brother. It may not of been smooth sailing but he certainly was worth every minute of that pregnancy. Though it's safe to say I certainly wont be pregnant again anytime soon.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Butlins Ambassador 2012-2013

We as a family have been lucky enough to be chosen as a Butlins Ambassador for 2012/2013. We've been chosen to attend a Butlins venue of our choice to go along for a few days and then report back our honest feedback. Now we're already big fans of Butlins and we've already taken Oli there as a 1 year old and last year when he was 2. Am very excited to be going along this year with Oli being another year older, each year he's been getting more & more out of it. This time around I'm expecting him to take more of a interest in the fairground rides and the character shows on stage.

Our holiday has been booked at the same time as my birthday (I may use this as excuse to visit the spa) and whilst the kids are all back at school. I'm making the most of not having school aged children which would mean no term time holiday if they were. I have been showing Oli previous photos of our last visit to help him understand that we're going back here. He was rather pleased about the beach so that's all we're hearing about at the moment.

Here's a list of all the other Butlins Ambassadors over on writings, ramblings and reviews who's also a Butlins Ambassador. I really do look forward to telling you all about the new Wave hotel down in Bognor Regis. Have you been to Butlins recently? Would love to hear all about it!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Birmingham Breastfeeding Mob

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was taking part in the Big Latch On which was happening in Birmingham. Well we caught a early morning train and we took part in helping to raise awareness of breastfeeding in public as well as trying to set a big latch on record. I'm pleased to read and report that on Friday 3rd August & Saturday 4th August 2012 at 10.30am each day, we came together to breastfeed our children simultaneously. A record number of 8862 children latched on at the same time over those two days to breastfeed. I find it rather cool that we were counted as one of those 8862.

Something like this is great for me and building my confidence with breastfeeding in public, now that Dylan is getting older I'm finding myself leaving our cover at home more often. Right after the event I found myself sitting in Starbucks with Roz feeding minus cover.

Here's some photos of the Birmingham Big Latch On taken by Ian Batterbee.

Monday, 13 August 2012

What we wore to the Next Mummy Blogger Event

So you've heard about the Next Mummy Blogger event now hear about what we wore that day. All 3 of us went kitted out in Next clothes thanks to the £75 voucher they gave us to spend. Seeing as we're already huge shopping fans of next we mixed some of last seasons wardrobe with the new A/W season. Because we like to mix & match in this house as well as the fact summer seems to be popping his head up every now & again, which it did the day of the event.

My outfit mainly consisted of a pair of belted chinos in Blush, which I teamed with a white vest top to make breastfeeding easier and then I chucked over a easy to get to my boobs t-shirt from last season.

Oli's was a t-shirt and a pair of denim shorts which I got him to choose himself. He decided to go old school with this Sonic tee.

Dylan wore a awfully cute set of dungarees. I am head over heels in love with that stripey vest top that came with it to go underneath. He pulls off stripes rather well but then he's so dam cute that he could pull off anything.

We've been having so much fun looking through the look books for the A/W season that we'll be sharing some of our favorite picks with you soon.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The boys first football match

The boys both attended their first football match this evening. Our 2 supermarkets, Tesco & Morrisons play each other every year in a charity football match. We leaped at the chance to check out the new Evesham football club. That and the fact my father in law was referring the game. Oli was how I expected him to be, interested at first and thought it rather cool that this football was flying around the pitch. But after that he just wanted to play with the other kids. Dylan was so well behaved and enjoyed watching from the comfort of his pram. We even had a feed whilst watching, though I did use my cover so I wouldn't distract the players on the pitch. I had fun because I was watching my family have fun, to me that's the best kind of fun. Tesco's won the match.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

The Next Mummy Blogger Event

A couple of weeks ago we attended a event held by Next especially for mummy bloggers, we were there to check out & celebrate the new Next A/W season. We managed to get a sneak glimpse of some of the A/W stock when we attended our local store just days before the event so that we could dress ourselves in Next clothing.

We set up off on the train, just the three of us without daddy for the first time. I would have to admit I was a little nervous about juggling two trains and a changeover with both the boys but they were as good as gold even with delayed trains on the way there and back. They were even well behaved on the coach on the way to the farm where the event was. We shared our coach with the lovely Emma, who's daughter very kindly sat next to Oli and kept a close eye on him for the day. We also met Nicola and the rather adorable Charlie for the first time.

Upon arrival we were shown to a table full of so many baked goodies and handed drinks by the rather lovely Next girls. We had a good nosy around and bumped into lots of other lovely bloggers like Vic, Rebecca, Wendy, Dawn and Gemma.

Oli was so pleased to see a bouncy castle was put on them, I'm pretty sure he spent 99% of our day on the bouncy castle. He didn't even want to eat any of the wonderful lunch they had laid on for us. They had supplied nannies for the event, so I was able to chill out indoors with Dylan catching up with the other bloggers and browse the new range whilst they kept a eye on the children.

Seeing all the clothes like this had me thinking that Next have gone a completely different way with the kids clothes this season, they are very on trend and the colours are fantastic for Autumn/Winter. We're loving the mustard's and the blues when it comes to the boys clothing. The range of shoes for winter are a must check out, they have something suitable for whatever the weather may chuck at us.

The venue they had hired out, Crockwell farm was simply beautiful. The grounds were lovely and the inside has been kitted out to make the perfect backdrop for our mummy blogger event. They has everything we needed with drinks always being on hand as well as nibbles and highchairs at the table for little ones. The fact we were treated to a nice sunny day was a great bonus, was nice to sit by the doors watching Oli play on the bouncy castle whilst I filled my face with a rather yummy cheesecake.

The entertainment put on for the kids was fantastic! They had a magician which the kids just loved, he made them laugh and even made us laugh. I think the balloons and the sweets went down a treat. Oli wasn't too sure what to make of him but then he was way more interested in the bouncy castle.

Not only were there magicians and bouncy castles but there was a corner full of lots of toys and drawing equipment for them to play with. There was also a photographer on hand who was taking photos of all the kids, I managed to get some of Dylan but Oli just wasn't interested in having one with us. I'll share some of these photos in another blog post.

Dylan found it all rather tiring bless him and crashed out for a while, I had left my pram on the coach so Nicola kindly let me put Dylan in her pram. I'm secretly glad he only had a 10 minute snooze, I was rather lost without in my hands. That and the fact I feared Vic was going to sign me up for some beauty treatment.

Oli just didn't stop from the moment he arrived, by the time it was time to leave and get back on the coach he fell asleep before we had even left the farm grounds. Even funnier was the fact he had took a pastry away with him and feel asleep with half of it stuck to his face.

For the mum's, they had arranged for lots of pampering to happen with the nannies to look after the children. I didn't fancy one as I had Dylan in my arms and to be honest, I'm not a big fan of beauty treatments. Though I'm sure this will change as I get older and the kids make me look older then I actually am. Here is Vic & Emma grabbing some treatments...

We had such a fantastic day and I want to say a HUGE thanks to the Next girls for giving us mummy's a fun day, spoiling the kids and for showing us the new Next Autumn/Winter collections.

Disclaimer : We had our travel costs covered as well being provided with a £75 next voucher. This doesn't effect our opinion in anyway - I've been a customer of Next for years! :)

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