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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Feeding beyond the first month

With the little man, i really did have an open mind about how i should feed him. If i am honest i thought i would try breastfeeding but it probably wouldn't be for me. After those first few weeks of a new baby when i really didn't know what had hit me, i started to get the hang of it. Especially with the colic and reflux i decided that it really was the best thing for the little one.

I can't say that i had a target in mind of how long i should feed him until. I had seen and read lots of information but decided that i would know when it was the right time to stop. At just over 5 and half months old the little man started to give me signs that it wasn't working for him and although we tried to carry on for a while it was clear that i needed to do something. I spoke to my local clinic for guidance on what to do and with support i slowly started to introduce formula.

It wasn't an easy decision to make and i was a little upset, but i new the little man wasn't getting what he needed anymore. In hindsight i am proud of what i achieved, and that i stuck at it, knowing that it was the best for my baby, and the bonding was unbelievable. I think that feeding comes down to personal choice and circumstances and that we should not feel guility or pressured by the decisions we make.
 
This post was written as part of the Keep Britain breastfeeding scavenger hunt Check out some of the other blog posts:


Radical Ramblings
Mummy Constant
The Secret life of Kate
Smiling like Sunshine
Twinkle Mummy

This week i am running an additional competition to win a Baby's First Calendar for recording all those special milestones.


There is also a fabulous competition to win £500 worth of goodies just follow the guidance on rafflecopter  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Humf and the balloons e-book

Humf and the balloons is a clever interactive e-book with lots more fun additional features built in. The story itself is packed full of all the favourite Humf characters in high defintion quality, and colour really bringing the story to life.

Humf and the balloon story
The book is really simple to download and easy to play. It has a great picture guide to all the additional features.
Screen guide
The book can be read, or played but there is far more than that in the application.We loved pressing the characters on the screen to see the gentle animations, items changing colour and moving. One of the fanastic things about this book is the feature that allows you to record yourself reading the book, then playing it back. This provides lots of fun. As a mummy i loved having the ability to record the story in my own silly voices we had lots of entertainment from this!

There is also a quiz that can be done at the end based on the events in the story.

Quiz time

The download was provided for purpose of this review.

Publisher: Igloo Books

Available to download from iTunes

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Naively expecting!

I have always wanted children and naively presumed that it would be one of those things that just happened when the time was right. I mean that's what we are told from an early age isn't it? Things weren't that easy for me, i had been on the pill injection for several years something that i have since been told should have been discussed or evaluated by my doctor. Anyway, having the injection stopped everything, and when i came off it things did not just return to normal. I was told that it could take up to twelve months for a normal cycle to be resumed.

So i waited and waited and nothing happened, i mean normally it wouldn't be something that i looked forward to but when after 11 months my cycle started to return i was in fact quite chuffed. Cycles did still however fluctuate from 27 to anything up to 42 days. But at least we could start trying for a little baba.

Sparing the details, but we tried and every month there was hope, but hopes would be dashed by either the dreaded tummyache and headaches or by a negative test. I must have spent an absolute fortune, i could have had shares in every pregnancy test brand going!

After fifteen months of trying, i finally plucked up the courage to go and see the doctor. Hoping that it wouldn't be too embarassing i answered his questions(trying not to giggle) and this verdict was to refer me to a specialist for 'infertility investigations'.

I left the doctors feeling a bit numb, What did this mean? What would happen next? I shed a few tears...no quite a bit more than that, i sulked . Looking around i saw for some people getting pregnant was so easy, i would hear stories of people just getting caught. So whilst i waited for that specialists letter to arrive i told no one.

Monday, 25 June 2012

London socks

My obssesion with socks for the little man continues. A boy can never have too many socks! So when i spotted these neat little numbers in next it was a no- brainer

London theme socks
We love the detail on the toes and heels

They were just three English pound in Next winner.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Feeding Support

Establishing a good support network was essential for me when i was breast feeding the first time round. I had read books and seen magazine articles on how it should be done, but i don't think that prepared me for what it was actually going to be like. After the Little man was born, he fed straight away, the midwives were an excellent support in getting things going.

In the post natal ward i was luckily enough to have a midwife who spent a lot of time showing me techniques and different positions to try until i found one that worked for me.

When we were discharged from hospital i was visited by the community midwives, again in the main i was lucky enough to be visited by the same one most of the time. She was lovely and so willing to help and support. What i also found was a good support was the praise she gave. I was told about the local breast feeding support groups, i did try but it simply wasn't my bag, other mummy's i know loved them. I think a big thing is finding the support that works for you (after all we are different) and developing your own little network.

My husband and my family were the biggest support to me, helping as much as they could.Getting the hang of things in the first place is were i needed the most help, those first few weeeks were a culture shock! I began expressing milk at quite and early stage so that i could allow others to feed the Little man my milk from a bottle when i needed some rest, this really worked for me.

There is lots of support out there, but its not always well promoted. I personally found it reassuring to have a support groups available if i needed them, it was not something that i wanted all the time but at times where guidance was needed they were a big help!

Another thing for me was having the right support,(see what i did there) getting measured and fitted for new underwear, and being aware of all the products that are availble to support you through the experience.

This post was written as part of the Keep Britain breastfeeding scavenger hunt
Check out some of the other blog posts

My Mummy's Pennies
Edspire
Diary of a First Child
Smiling like Sunshine
Twinkle Mummy

As part of this there is a fabulous competition to win £500 worth of goodies including lingerie from Boobie Milk



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

More Animal Socks

The lovely Dolly Bakes got the Little man a gorgeous set of animal socks when Tiny was born. We are loving the bright  stripey colours and super cute animal faces.


Our favourites are the monkey and the giraffe.

Chocolate Cupcakes

I love chocolate, but i very rarely make chocolate cakes, so i decided that i would try out a chocolate cupcake number. Adapting one of my vanilla cupcake receipes i added cocoa powder to the mix,  and when i filled the cupcake cases i also hid mini Oreo biscuits inside.

Chocolate buttercream was a necessity for the topping so again i added rich cocoa powder to buttercream mix.

To decorate i piped (i just tried a few techniques with the 1b nozzle) the topping on to the cupcakes and decorated with more mini Oreo biscuits and cute pink and white pearls.

Yummy chocolate cupcakes

Union Jack cupcake box

My stepdad snaffled some to take home in this Union Jack cupcake box that i got from Cake Craft World

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

My first England kit

Being a bit of a football crazy household, we have the got the flag flying outside for the Euro 2012. So when i spotted this dinky little England babygro for the tiny man i couldn't resist. I love the polo style collar and of course the three lions badge, he will now be able to don his kit and show his support (and being a sleepsuit he will be nice and toasty too!)

Three Lions

Detail on the back

I purchased this from Next £8. Love it...lets hope its lucky!

Monday, 18 June 2012

I Love You Mummy/ Daddy E-books

Igloo books have just launched the most adorable set of e-books, based around a mummy's/ daddy's relationship with their child. We had a little peek and think they are stunning!

Available for the iPad and iPhone, the books can easily be downloaded via iTunes and are simple to navigate.

I found both these titles so heart warming

I love You Mummy: 


This title cleverly captures the essence of love between a mother and child. Focusing on how a mummy looks after their child with lots of lovely pictures and storylines.

The book is beautifully illustrated with the softly drawn characters and lovely warm scenes. The animations scattered throughout the book are truely magical.

Front Cover

Beautiful Illustrations
Magical animations
I found this book so touching and i simply adored snuggling up with my little man to read this, sharing all the precious cuddles.


I love You Daddy:

Similarly this book focuses on the loving relationship between daddy and child. Packed full of delightful images and scenes this is all about how daddy looks out for his little one. The impressive use of art work simply adds depth and beauty to the story

Front Cover
I Love You Daddy

These complimentary titles are perfect at describing that precious love and affection between parent and child.



Publisher: Igloo Books

Available to download from iTunes

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Tips i found helpful for feeding

With my first baby i found that people were falling over themselves to give you advice and it became a little daunting. Breast feeding is difficult enough to start and i found all the information mind blowing. Luckily i had a lovely midwife looking after me in the post natal ward, and she was willing to spend time with me helping me master the right techniques. I found that having a dedicated midwife really helped. Initially i found it rather strange that people just grab hold of you and get you in position, being quite a private person i struggled a little with this it took time for me to overcome this.

My Little man had trouble feeding with his colic and reflux, and sometimes seeing him bringing all his milk back was hard. I was advised that breast milk would be better for him, i am glad i continued to feed him. Other people suggested it wasn't right for him but i new that this was the best start he could have.

Sometimes i expressed milk if i was going out, i personally was daunted by the thought of feeding in public. I would often get comments such as 'ooh look at that baby having formula' but i knew that it wasn't and that was good enough for me.

So in a nut shell (and i know everybody is different) but these are some tips that worked for me.

  1. Use the support of the hospital midwife, ask questions and get comfortable feeding before you come home
  2. There is lots of information out there sometimes conflicting, but stick to your guns (you soon start to know what is best for your baby- this surprised me)
  3. Be prepared you could be handled overcoming that was a big obstacle for me - i found it very strange but remember they have seen it before.
  4. Realise that people will offer advice, comment and make asumptions (often people you don't know) i used what was useful and ignored what wasn't!
  5. If you are struggling get support. Do what feels right for you and your baby
  6. Enjoy the experience
The Mamascarf is a stylish way of covering upwhen breast feeding in public.

This post was written as part of the Keep Britain breastfeeding scavenger hunt
Check out some of the other blog posts:

Attachment Mummy
Tea with Felicity
Life, Love and Living with boys
 Life Happens so smile
 Fi Peacock

 As part of this there is a fabulous competition to win £500 worth of goodies including a Mamascarf:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mushroom & Co bath toys and teethers

Mushroom & Co specialise in selling funky bath toys and teethers made from 100% rubber.  All their products are aimed at early development of the five senses. We were lucky enough to be sent some of the product to test.

As a mummy what first caught my eye when the products arrived was the novel product information flyer detailing how the brand aims to aid sensory development through the design of the products.

Product flyer

All the products were lovely and soft to hold, the range is also ECO friendly, non-toxic and Biodegradeable.

                                                           
Ocean Bath collection


Peepo, Jay and Blue


The Ocean bath toy collection consists of a  blue the dolphin, Peepo the crab and  Jay the red octopus. All brightly painted with non toxic dyes, they are super cute, and are perfect for little hands. These are great for floating and splashing around in the bath and really easy to wipe clean. They smell lovely too. The crab is a particular favourite he now lives in the toy box and gets played with and chewed at during the day.

Nelson the Duck

Nelson the Duck is an adorable addition to our evening bath, soft and squeaky he is even safe to use from birth. The little man loves to watch him bobbing up and down focusing on his big eyes.

The products come in lovely packaging that give lots of information about the products. There is a wide selection of bath toys available from ducks to submarines.


In addition to the bath toys Mushroom &Co also have a range of teethers which are also made from 100% natural rubber and painted with organic food dyes.

Sami the Pelican teether
Sami the pelican's big beak is great to grab hold of and squeeze and he is boldly decorated. Great for the tiny man to grasp and easy on his gums.

We really love these little products and am sure we will be adding to the collection, The full range can be purchased from the website

These products were provided for the purpose of review.








Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Little winners tops

With the Olympics now just over six weeks away i have got my little men these funky little medal design t-shirts in preparation.

Little Winner- So cute!
The Little man will love this as he has a thing for necklaces (mainly because he gets a tickle round the neck, when the word necklace is said)

The dinky tops were purchased from Next for £5 each

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Baking Book

When i was younger i always loved baking with my mum and my grandma but i never had a receipe book of my own.  I would of loved one of these fab baking books



 The Baking Book by Jane Bull is a great book for children who want to create their own little treats and have fun whilst doing it.

Each of the receipes has a step by step guide with illustrations, simple instructions, and there are some lovely little characters  dotting around from the little monkey and his muffin receipe to the smiley clock faces to indicate baking times.

What i really like is that at the start of each receipe there is a diagram detailing  all the ingredients and equipment required to complete the the task, we had great fun getting everything together, weighing out and preparing

The steps were very easy to follow and the pictures helped guide us through each step. I also found that the steps allowed independance as children can complete steps by themselves which adds to their baking experience.

Step by Step instructions


We  made  these individual celebration cakes and enjoyed decorating them in red, white and blue.



The receipes are very versatile allowing you to create lots of different treats by adding and substituting a few ingredients.

We will definately have lots of fun with baking with this book.

This book was provided for the purpose of review.

Publisher: DK Books

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Russian Sandwich- Calendar Cake Challenge

My mum has a beautiful receipe book that my great grandma had at cookery school, each of the receipes is written in elegant ink, and the cover is bound in brown paper. Both my grandma and mum tell me what a good cook she was so i was eager to try out some of the receipes. My mum used to make the ' Russian Sandwich' and i loved  it because the top was decorated in pretty pink icing, so i though i would give it a whirl.

Liking the idea of killing two birds with one stone, i thought why not link to DollyBakes and Laura lovecakes  new Calendar cake challenge

Calendar Cakes
Ingredients:

Cake:

4oz marg
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs
5oz Plain Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon warm water.
Pink Icing to decorate:

Beat the marg and sugar together, add one egg at at a time and beat. Add warm water, sifted flour and baking powder and fold together. Bake for 20mins at 175C. Allow cake to cool


Vanilla Filling:

3/4oz cornflour
1 beaten egg
1/2 pint milk
2oz sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Add a litttle cold milk to cornflour, egg and sugar, beat to a smooth cream. Place remaining milk and essence in a pan and bring to the boil. Pour boiling milk onto mix and return to pan and cook over a low light. Allow to cool.

When cool sandwich cake together with vanilla filling.
Great Grandma's Russian Sandwich


The cake was definately how i remember it, next time i make i will be a vanilla pod to the filling mix


Silent Sunday


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Feeding the Tiny Man

With the Little Man i was a little unsure on whether i want to breastfeed or not, i knew i wanted to try and she how i got on. Don't get me wrong it wasn't easy, and it didn't just happen it took a while for us both to get the hang of it, reflux and colic did not help and i sometimes wondered if it was the right thing, and if i changed to formula would the sickness stop? I was assured by various people that he would be worse if i changed to formula so we continued, and i loved being able to feed my man, and build a bond with him.

So with Tiny man, i knew i wanted to give him the same start. When he put in an apperance over five weeks early, i didn't know if i would be able to do it, especially when he was taken to the Neo natal unit and me to the post natal recovery ward. The doctors advised that he would be tube fed initially, and that i could try and express milk that could be passed to him via the tube. I was given some advice and guidance, syringes to collect the milk, i had a little picture of my baby and off i went eager to give him the 'gold' of milk colostrum.  I found it rather funny capturing little droplets of milk and collecting then in a tiny pot, i was quite upset i only managed 2ml, but was advised that this was a really good start. So armed with my little supply and as soon as they would allow be after my C-Section i went to see the tiny man.

It was so hard to continue to express when everyone else on the ward had their babies with them, and nurses providing different equipment. But i was determined to help my boy as much as i could. My emotions were everywhere and i admit i cried when after expressing into a syringe i sprayed it all over the ceiling losing every little drop.

The hospital was fantastic and had lots of pumps available for expressing, so i soon got into the swing of things, building up a supply in the hospital fridge. After a couple of days i was discharged from hospital and was lucky enough to be able to bring a pump home, which allowed me to express at feed times and to help with my supply. Its heart breaking to leave your baby in hospital but being able to provide the milk for his feeds helped me bond even more with my little miracle. Each night i would wake and express and every day visit the hospital with some more milk. I built up a supply (some of which was frozen) as the tiny man was taking very small quanities but knowing that my milk was helping prevent infections, and helping him grow stronger was a big boost for me.

After two weeks on doctor's advice i begun trying to feed the tiny man myself , and he started to take quite quickly. I am sure that my milk helped my baby grow and give him the nutrients that he needed. I have become i big fan of expressing, and the electric pumps are fantastic. I just want my tiny man to have the best start.

xx

This post was written as part of the Keep Britain breastfeeding scavenger hunt
Check out some of the other blog posts:

My mummy's pennies
Mummy is a Gadget Geek
Life, Love and Lollipops
Mixed Bag of Allsorts 
Mama Geek

For more posts check out this site Keep Britain Breastfeeding

 As part of this there is a fabulous competition to win £500 worth of goodies including an Ardo breast pump a Rafflecopter giveaway
 


Bill Cooks for Kids

Being a busy mummy i like to find meals that are simple and easy to cook. Bill Cooks for Kids does just that.  Bill Granger is a chef with several restaurants and a straightforward approach to cooking. This latest cookbook features great meals for the family.

The collection is displayed in lovely little mealtime sections from breakfasts to dinners and the fabulous desserts and party time treats, all featuring mouthwatering receipes and pictures.

What i really like about Bill's receipes are that they are based on everyday ingredients and things that i usually buy, and are not too fussy which is great for the kids.

Eager to try out some of the delights i started with the  fishfingers. I used gluten free breadcrumbs so that we could all have a taste. These went down and absolute treat...the little man was asking for more.

Fish Fingers

Having a sweet tooth i could not resist the Vanilla rice pudding with rhubarb. Really simple to cook and very tasty.
Vanilla rice pudding with rhubarb
I will be definately trying out lots of meals from this book, next up will be the Ham lasagne, closely followed by some of the delicious looking Chocolate cake and jam buttons from the party food section.


Disclaimer: The book was provided for purpose of review

Publisher: Murdoch Books






Baby Announcement cards

When the Little man was born, i sent out personalised birth annoucement cards and i wanted to do the same for the tiny man but i was keen to find something a bit different. Baby announcement cards specialised in just that, the cards are made from 100% recycled card, and you can upload your own photos too. The site is really easy to use, and there is a large selection of templates to choose from set out in boys and girls categories.


Lulaby Girl card
Once you have selected a design the templates can then be personalised by adding the required text. What i really like is that you can preview your cards as you go along or as you update and the uploading of photo's is simple. Cards can be made even more unique by changing font types and colours.

Sunshine Boy card
The minimum quantity for order is ten cards and envelopes are supplied. My cards arrived within three days of order and came packaged in a box to prevent from any damage. I was very impressed with the quality of the cards and  for me the real winner was how easy it was to create such lovely cards.

To receive a 10% discount on your order enter the code PEEPS10 at the checkout stage.

 I received a selection of cards for the purpose of this review



Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Personalised Cupcake toppers.

I will shortly be starting the plans for the tiny man's Naming day, and have already started looking out for little bits and bobs. These personalised cupcake toppers are perfect for the party and jazzing up the essential cupcakes.

Cupcake toppers - baby blue


They are available from Not on the High Street , a pack of six contains two personalised name toppers, 2 personalised date and 2 bear designs toppers are a bargainous £1.90.

These will be a definate addition to the shopping list.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Summer garden cupcakes

With the sun shining and the garden starting to bloom, i wanted to create some pretty 'summer' cupcakes for a little treat. As yet i have not got round to trying my hand at making sugarpaste flowers although it is on my to do list. So i visited one of my favourite cakey shops Cake craft world for inspiration, and as always i was spoilt for choice. I spotted the dainty wafer flower collection and was on to a winner.

As always i used my fail safe cupcake mix, using Gluten free flour and made a batch of buttercream (thanks to the cake decorating course at Hey little Cupcake i now have a perfect receipe for a buttercream addict)

The buttercream was piped onto the cakes using my open star nozzle and a topped with the beautiful flower and butterfly decorations

Daisy and Primula wafer decorations

Flowers and Beutiful butterfly wafer decorations

The wafer flowers are available in a range of colours and sit nicely onto a cupcake. With decorations as pretty as these it may be a while before i get round to trying out sugarpaste.

A selection of flowers were provided for this review.




Friday, 1 June 2012

2 Months Old

You are two months old already tiny man, where did that go?  You have grown so much since the day that i met you and those first few weeks in hospital. I am starting to really get to know you now and understand what you want, what you like and what you don't.A bit of a greedy guzzler you love your milk and you definately let me know when you are hungry.Nappy changes you don't do well, being naked is not your thing, but you love splashing in the bath. Cuddles are your favourite, i love that i can  instantly soothe you by holding you and giving you a big hug.

Tiny man you have the most beautiful big blue eyes, you are so alert taking in everything around you and reaching out for things, you like playing with your hands. The little smiles have just started  and you make the most curious raptor like noises. I adore it when you grasp my finger, your grip is so tight

Your brother is starting to become more interested in you too, he tries to help with nappy changes, and passing you your dodie, sometimes he can be a little heavy handed but he is just trying to love you.

As i watch you sleeping i realise how lucky i am,and i am going to cherish every moment.

My baby boy i love you xx
 








Olympic Torch

With the Olympic Torch passing through Horwich this morning i wanted the Little man to be able to catch a glimpse of history. So after a pretty bad nights sleep, and the man still sporting his pj's and Union Jack socks (and wondering what we were doing so early in the morning)we set off in the pram into town.I have never seen so many people in Horwich, but we were lucky enough to get a good spot.  The little man was very excited with all the police bikes, and the police were playing the part in the celebrations waving back to all the crowd.

Shortly after we arrived and the passing of several floats and buses we could see the Torch coming, welcomed with cheers and lots of flag flying.  It looked fantastic. As the Torch passed we decided to follow, jogging along with the pram. We also got to see a handover of the Torch before it left heading for Chorley.

As we set off through the crowds for home and breakfast you shouted for more. I think you enjoyed seeing all the exicitment and your crazy mummy pointing things out to you.

I don't know how much you will remember Little Man apart from a few pictures but we were there, i just hope there is no video footage of a make up free not so yummy mummy jogging along the street with a pram.

xx
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