Friday, 20 January 2017

Baby product wishlist

Seeing this is our third baby we know what we will need, and we know what most likely will not be used!

Also seeing as this is our third we do have some bits still in the loft as I was never ready to get rid of anything when we moved 2 years ago....a sure sign we both were still thinking another baby was on the cards at some point!

We won't sort through the baby bits until nearer the time and once we have sorted the upstairs bedrooms in terms to painting and re-arranging.

But we do know we definitely need some new products, the main ones being: pushchair/travel system, a cot for our room, and further down the line a highchair.

Pushchair travel system
This will be our first big baby purchase as it's the one thing we will most need.

You can't leave the hospital without a carseat, and as I don't drive a pushchair is a must.

We have had travel systems with each of the boys and haven't had a problem with them at all.

With both of them we had similar Graco travel systems with the baby car seat and simple pushchair design.

As we've had no problems with these and the Graco brand I think we would be silly not to try and find something similar again, both our pushchairs must have clocked quite a few miles with the amount of walking I do!

Graco Mirage Plus Travel system
I quite like the pattern on this one, especially as we don't know the sex of the baby (although we both think it's another boy)!

As much as a like these pushchairs, there is a big part of me that would love a pram attachment, we've never had one and as I am pretty sure this is our last baby I really want one this time-I'm hoping this would help with sleeping on their back as both the boys were a nightmare with sleeping in cots at first!

This Mothercare Xpedior Pram and pushchair would be a cheaper option than many, however the completely plain colour reflects that I think, but it does have some good reviews which is always reassuring! 

I need to have a good look around at the shops and see if we can find something that fits our needs. It might mean we have to stray from Graco if we can't find one with a pram attachment, but then again we may not be able to afford one with a pram attachment anyway. 

A cot for our room

Our room is small, so fitting a full size cot would not be possible. Also if this baby is anything like the other two then they will not be good sleepers at first! Looking back I am horrified to think James used to sleep on the sofa with Alex in the first week or two, and with Sam he stayed in our bed a lot in the early days which worried me greatly and as a result I don't think I slept well at all. 

This is why I think that a crib that attaches to the bed will be a great help.

We've not had any experience with these and haven't really heard much about them from friends etc either, but as I am planning on breast feeding, planning on having baby in the same room for a while and we are limited on space I think that this would be the best option. 

There are plenty on the market and it's a bit overwhelming when you're constantly tired looking on the internet. But these two stood out for me...

This would match with our bed being white, but at just under £200 it doesn't come cheap. I like the fact it's a 3 in 1 so can be used as a stand alone, the bassinet on it's own or attached to the bed, the rocking legs may come in handy too. 

Now although this one doesn't look as nice as the SnuzPod it may be more practical as it fits into a travel bag, not that we go away much but would be better than a normal travel cot if we were to go anywhere in the early months. This can be a stand alone crib or attached to the bed. 

If our budget doesn't allow, then we may have to go for a simple crib like this one from Kiddicare which at £40 is much more affordable, but not as desirable in ease of breastfeeding and hopeful sleep. 

Are there any baby products or companies you couldn't have done without, or would highly recommend. It's been over 4 years since we had to look at baby products so things may have changed in that time! 
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Monday, 16 January 2017

Dizziness in pregnancy


It's wonderful but it also has it's downsides! 

Just before Christmas I had an awful dizzy spell, I was only sat at the desk writing the last of the Christmas cards when all of a sudden I went scorching hot, felt clammy, my vision started going along with the ringing and muffles noises in my ears. I made my way straight up to bed and lay on my side. 

It was really frightening, and I know when it happens there isn't really much I can do to stop it, it's just something that has to run it's course. 

I was thankful for being home, and it also being when James was around too. 

I had my midwife appointment the day after so it was a welcome relief to find out all was fine with baby, as well as my BP etc being all fine too. 

She thought that because everything seemed fine otherwise that it was probably cause by baby laying in an awkward postilion and most likely on an important nerve.

Unfortunately on the school run on Friday morning, in the very thin layer of snow I suddenly felt all the same feelings as before coming on. Luckily I was walking with a friend at the time and we were near a park area so I had somewhere to lean. 

It's always so scary when this happens away from home, I am so thankful that I was away from the main road and also not alone. 

I felt not too bad shortly afterwards and caught up with my friend who had taken Alex along to school for me and then another friend gave me a lift back home. 

It really takes it out of me for the rest of the day, and I tend to feel super tired and look really pale, I am very much hoping it doesn't happen again, especially not on the school run at least, as we have to go along a dual carriageway and aren't always walking along with others. 

I don't want to have to rely on lots of people to help with school runs already as I think I may need some help when bump is much heavier. 

I have another midwife appointment tomorrow so will see what the midwife can suggest! 

These babies like to keep us on our toes before they are even here! 16 weeks to go though, it seems to be flying by! 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A Christmas catch up! (A little late)

OK, OK. It's January and I am posting about Christmas, I apologise, but this is the last post catching up before we get into the new year-promise!

Early December we popped along to a local farm to choose our Christmas tree, we got a slightly smaller tree than previous years and actually I am glad we did. We got a 4-5ft tree, so nice to support a local farm, and the boys loved choosing it and were very excited about decorating it when we got home-I wish I was but in all honestly I was so tired and didn't really want it up the first weekend in December! 

When we got home we let the kids have free rein decorating it, I will admit on the Monday I did re-decorate it (I know terrible!), and got my craft wooden tree out for them to decorate on the landing upstairs. 

The finished tree
I think this is actually the best tree we have decorated, I stuck to golds, whites and reds, and there are a few of my own makes on there too! This actually lasted amazingly well, we had it up until the 5th January and it was still looking very green and hadn't dropped that many needles at all. I fed it with some lemonade and water this year and I think the lemonade definitely helps (for whatever reason I don't know)!
December was crazy busy! We had James's Birthday, Sam's birthday, James went to America for a week, Sam's birthday party, and then the last manic week at school with plays, discos, Christmas parties, fundraising and more (or course this was the week James was away too)! 

Alex's play was born in the barn, unfortunately I have no photos, we were able to take them but as he was at the back and I didn't have the best view it was just impossible, I was really hoping they would take individual photos in their costumes like in previous years, but apparently they didn't this year which is disappointing. He was a bird, so was in black with a big beak, singing his heart out, the kids all did a great job. 

Sam's nativity was on the last day of term, and it was super cute, the 3 and 4 year old's did an amazing job. Sam was a shepherd, handy as Alex was at preschool too so had no worried when sorting the costume. Sam loves singing and kept smiling away at me. They had some stalls afterwards, and we got lucky on the tombola for a change! 

Alex had Christmas jumper day on the Friday too, of course we had none and of course I then felt guilty and had to make one up on the Thursday night, sometimes being crafty has it's upsides! I had loads of people saying I should make these to sell next year...I'm not so sure after how long it took me to do!

As I mentioned above, James was away for a week in December, he went out to Florida with his family, his brother lives out that way and he whole family were heading out there until after Christmas. We all had the opportunity to go but in all honestly flying, especially long haul is one of my nightmares let alone when 4 month pregnant, and as it was for the week the boys were happy to stay home. With Alex being ill that week, and then seemingly developing big anxiety over eating and going out we were all very pleased to see James walk through the door that Saturday, he was so lucky with his journey home so was home about an hour earlier than we expected. 

That week before Christmas James was mostly off, we had our scan, and sorted the last of the Christmas bits, as ever we don't have the money for buying everyone presents so we did a big bake off on the 23rd! Photos can be deceiving though, it looks like we are happy families here, but in all honestly it was a day of the boys arguing and being hard work!

However we made lots, cranberry and orange shortbread, gingerbread with lemon icing, marshmallow, and cheese and rosemary straws. These all went down extremely well, I think my favourite were definitely the shortbread....although the other makes went down nicely too!

 Christmas eve was mainly spent having a quick tidy up, wrapping the last of the gifts, seeing a couple of friends and heading out to a Christmas service at the church we got married. It went by in a flash and it was soon time for pj's, hanging stockings, and leaving mince pies etc for the big man himself, Sam remembered we had reindeer food last year and was worried we hadn't got any this year so the boys quickly stepped out the front and sprinkled some oats out. It wasn't long before he visited!

I woke at 4am, and thought I could hear the kids, they were both up in Sam's bed chatting away like 2 old women, they sort of went to sleep at 5ish, Sam ended up in with us and I didn't get back to sleep, so was a bit tired the rest of the day! James and I didn't do gifts for each other again this year, and we purposely didn't get the kids much either, a. to save money and b. they just didn't need nor want much! The kids were happy with their bits, and actually didn't get a huge amount of time to play them as we went to my parent's for lunch, we were back there the following day as my grandparents were there, the following day we went to Reading to visit my other grandparents and all of my Mum's side of the family, as James' parents were back we also popped into them on the 28th, so it was a lovely but manic few days!! I will be honest even now in January the upstairs still has some of the boy's stocking fillers left on the landing as I haven't had the energy or time to sort much out!! 

So from our home to yours, we hope you had an amazing Christmas, a lovely new year and all the best in finishing those Christmas food gifts to make a start on healthy eating again (please say that isn't just us)!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Our 20 week scan

Just a few days before Christmas we got an early present.

We got to see our precious baby again.

I'd had to ring to re-arrange our appointment as the original one fell when James was away and I had no way of making it there in time as well as not wanting to go without him.

Unlike our 12 week scan we had quite the wait.

As many will know you have to try and drink lots before the scan, but as we were waiting so long I had to use the ladies room as the thought of someone pressing down there for the scan was enough to make my bladder scream. Because of this we didn't get the best scan photos which is a bit of a shame but just one of those things!

I think we went in around 20 weeks + 5, and she measured away, she seemed to take an age measuring the heart and said "I'll come back to that". This made us panic a bit and I'm glad James spoke up to ask if everything was ok!

Thankfully it was, she just couldn't get a couple of measurements she needed to check off as baby was in an awkward position.

Baby really wasn't being overly helpful at all, fast asleep and not willing to move, so I had to roll right onto my side so she could dig right down to get the all important measurements needed...I think this one might be trouble you know!!

Luckily all is going well with baby, growing healthily and everything as it should be, always so reassuring to see them on the screen, no scan photo can ever compare to that.

It definitely made it all feel more real, this pregnancy so far seems to have flown by, I think as I have been so busy the past few months I will admit I haven't had the most amount of time thinking or preparing for it, we still have so much to figure out, I think the next couple of months will make decisions on what to buy and which rooms to decorate before the new arrival!

Friday, 6 January 2017

Ninja turtle party on a budget

Another pre Christmas post to catch up on!

Sam's birthday was in December and it was the day before James was due to head off to America so it was quite a quiet day, he had preschool all day too which I felt bad about but actually I think he loved being with his friends! We had presents opened on the bed before school and my mum popped over in the evening, he requested a picky tea and I'd made him a ninja turtle cake-his favourite character being Mikey!

 He seemed so grown up, he was super excited this year too, so proud to show off his bag with his badge on as he walked through his school gate. 

I felt bad but Sam's party was a little rushed in the planning, with James being away that week and little money it was hard knowing what to do and when to do it, in the end I had to do it when James was away, which wasn't ideal but it meant him having a party and not missing out!

He is mad on Ninja Turtles at the moment, in fact given half the chance I think he would sit there all day watching it! So the theme was easy, and I decided having a few of his friends here with my Mum's help would just about be manageable!

With my 2 included I think we had about 10 people, it was manic, especially the first half hour, but once everyone was there we sat them down at the table. 

I'd bought some green paper plates in Asda and cut some printables out to make some ninja turtle faces. I'd printed off ninja turtle colouring sheets too. I got the idea from this post on Mum's and Munchkins.

I'd also made a 'pin the mask on the ninja turtle' game for the children to play, with some only being 3 I think a few of them were a little scared to wear the blind fold to play!

After that we had all the ingredients prepared and ready to go to make some muffin pizzas, if you know ninja turtles you know pizzas are their favourite food!

These were really easy to do and were a big hit with the kids, the adults thought it was great to get the kids making the bulk of their lunch themselves too!

Simply cut muffins in half, spread with a little of tomato puree (or a mix of tomato puree and ketchup if preferred). 

Sprinkle on some grated cheese, along with any veggies, and hams and pop in the oven for about 10 minutes or so. 

Whilst I sorted food, we played pass the parcel-I always do a few extra layers just in case so it took up a fair amount of time ;)

After lunch and mini Mikey cup cakes we played some dancing games and gradually they left, and I collapsed for the afternoon whilst the boys played with the new toys, all in all the party was actually not too stressful and the kids all seemed to have fun which is the main thing. 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

My Birthday at Bath Christmas market

My birthday was way back at the end of November, but November and December went by in much of a manic blur!

I'd had a Christmas market night at Alex's school the night before, and had been manically making away that week, as well as trying not to fall asleep on the sofa due to pregnancy tiredness.

Our friends had offered to have the boys for us for a couple of hours that evening and meet us at the market after feeding them, which was so, so helpful as I need James for the car to get me and my makes to the stall and also to help me out whilst there too!

As our friend is also a brilliant cake maker, I had a slight suspicion that the boys might be doing something cakey with her as James had been a little shifty and I had dropped quite a few hints in the lead up to my birthday about wanting a homemade chocolate cake for my birthday as I never get made one but always make them for others!

Anyway the first hour of the fair went well, and I sold about £50 of stock, it could have been better, but actually there really wasn't any footfall after the first hour, But still it made for good experience!

We packed up and the boys may have given the cake game away a little ;) we then enjoyed a nice kebab with our friends once the kids were in bed (proper meat not kebab van style)!

I was exhausted the next morning which was my birthday, we had arranged for the boys to go to James' parent's house and we were heading to Bath Christmas market for the main chunk of the day. James and the boys gave me some presents at breakfast which was lovely as I wasn't expecting anything as we don't have much money!

We picked up a cake which our friend had made and iced, but the boys had decorated it, it was such a lovely idea for them to do that and I am so grateful for the effort from our friends and for James arranging it for me.

We dropped the boys of and jumped in my parent's car to head to the train station, Dad decided driving to Cheltenham would be a good idea, but when we got there we heard an announcement that the trains had all been cancelled, a bit of an annoyance at the time but probably a good thing, as had we had got the train from Swindon, we would have been on a replacement coach at some point I am guessing!

As it was Bath Market, and the first Saturday of it, we probably spent over an hour driving around to various park and rides, Dad was fuming, I hated being in the car (as pregnancy was making me feel iffy) but finally as we were heading out of a massive (and full) park and ride a lady was walking back to her car, so James jumped out and walked back with her whilst Dad got the space!

I think it was after 12 we eventually made it into Bath market, and considering we had to leave at 4 it was a little bit of a stressful start to the outing!

The stalls were all lovely again (we went last year) with many different crafts, handmade goods and food and drink, unfortunately a lot a pregnant lady can't sample-but there's always next time!

I'd say a couple of downsides were how busy it actually was, we literally were like sheep in pens in one particular area by the Abbey, no one could move, you couldn't get to the stalls very easily and getting out to wider space was hard work!! The other downside being the stalls were pretty much the same as last year, with many of them pitching in the same place too, Last year everything was new to us so was all very exciting, this year didn't have quite that same affect as many of the makes were similar-don't get me wrong it was still lovely though, just not quite the same feeling for me.

I think going forward they could improve on maybe spreading the market out a bit more, I wonder if they could have some of it along the main stretch of the high street, but maybe this would loose some of it's charm. There didn't seem much in the way of musical entertainment, even just having Christmas carols or music on speakers would make a lovely atmosphere. Also maybe a couple of areas to sit and enjoy the food and drink bought too.

Yes I was as tired as I look!
Despite having money I didn't personally spend much, only buying one sweet Nordic style girl Christmas decoration, I really wish I got the businesses details too though as I'd love to get another, it was tricky to choose the style I wanted in the first place!

Edit: I've just spent 15 minutes and finally found the shop they were from and it's Salcombe trading, much bigger than I thought it would be, i thought it was from a small craft business, but pleased I found it all the same, just wish I had more pennies for the home items!!

After a few hours mooching it was time to head back as James' parents were sorting a birthday tea our for us all. The busses were very regular and apart from my Mum embarrassing us all when pushing to the front of the queue because we were first to miss the last bus it all went smoothly ;) The traffic was heavy getting out but all in all it wasn't too bad!

It was lovely to have a few hours back at James' parents and not having to cook or worry about food, the kids were happy to see us too, as much as I love them it was a well needed few hours away from them and I definitely would NOT recommend going to Bath Christmas market with younger children!

Proud of their hard work!

And to get back to that cake, it was divine, and VERY chocolatey, much to bump's and my approval :) If you are local and need a special cake I would definitely recommend Sarah (and not just because she is a friend)!

All in all it was a fantastic birthday and nice to be treated too :)

Monday, 2 January 2017

Alex's 7th birthday, Thor hammer cake

Firstly, happy new year to you all! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great start tot he new year too. 

Secondly I have a couple of catch up posts to write before getting into the new year posts so here is the first!

Alex turned 7 in November, he still really wanted a party this year, so we managed to scrape some money together for a bowling party, he had a few friends from school as well as James' younger brothers and Sam. They all had a great time, and it's the first party I've ever done where all I have had to do is supply the cake and party bags...apart from the price I can see why so many people do this as there was so much less stress. 

I just didn't think I could face a party at home this year with not long getting over the morning sickness stage, so bowling was perfect, and I think that age group is a great age for it too, anything younger I think it may have been more of a challenge! 

I made a simple Smartie covered chocolate cake for the party and then a 'Thor hammer' cake for back at ours later with our families. 

This wasn't the best cake I have ever made but Alex was happy with it, so that is all that counts really! I made a chocolate sponge, but the hammer was made from rice crispie cakes, really easy if not a little messy. I let the marshmallow/rice crispie mixture cool slightly before moulding into shape. I greased my hands up with butter whilst doing this and loosely wrapped in cling film too. For the hammer handle I moulded it around a kebab skewer leaving enough to stick into the hammer head. I let this cool in the fridge for a while before icing it. 

Alex loved it, but it had a couple of crude comments from my brothers haha.  


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