Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Jack at six months old

This post is a little bit late, but this month Jack hit his six month milestone and he is livelier than ever even after his little blip and the meningitis scare he gave us, he has started to grab - well try and swipe things out of your hands if your not quick enough to move them and like most babies seems to have a love for the television remote or my mobile phone.

He is not only roiling over from to back he is managing to get half way across the living room by rolling and shuffling - I think this month I am going to be investing in a play pen as the boys seem to leave all there lego and cars all over the floor, Jack thinks its great - i am constantly picking things up and moving them so he doesn't eat anything he isn't suppose to!

Jack is now well on the weaning path as you can see by my previous weaning posts and so far not a complaint about anything, he seems to like everything he is given in fact he is screaming and reaching out when I am having my dinner.

He is also not sleeping so much in the day time now I think he thinks he is going to miss out o the action of what the boys are doing - he sleeps now from 19.00 till around 7am the next day and even then he doesn't moan he waits for his breakfast patiently. I think Jack is going to be a really inquisitive little boy all the while he is watching to see what everyone else is doing and if I am holding him he wants to get down and play along side the boys.

He has grown another size in clothes and has now gone into 12-18 months he is a bit chubby but he is so tall I cant keep up with his sizes, also he hair is starting to change colour and the bits he has rubbed off has gone blonde well white blonde, I think at the rate his hair is growing he isn't going to make it to his first birthday without a haircut!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Babies first toys from VTech

I love VTech, toys my boys had a lot of toys by VTech whilst they were little and still have a few bits now In my experience V-tech toys as a whole have been educational, reliable, well played with durable and as a whole all round great toys.
Now Jack is coming to six months old and is starting to play, it seems only natural to go with brands we know we trust and what is more that he as a baby is going to learn the most from and V-tech fits just that.

All three of my boys have had as one of these as there first toys the VTech Moosical Cow, I must admit its one of my favourites priced at between £10-14 dependent where you purchase one from you cant go wrong with this singing little wonder.

This is a fantastic interactive toy. The cow is around seven inches tall a great size for little hands Jack loves it. It has 2 flashing buttons which can be pressed - a red circle which displays the first letters of the alphabet A,B,C and a Green triangle which displays numbers 1,2,3. There is also a spinning blue square in the centre. The on/off button is located on the cows chest in the shape of a heart. The toy plays 7 melodies;

  • The Alphabet Song
  • Hickory Dickory Dock
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
  • Pop goes the weasel
  • The farmer and the dell
  • Old MacDonald had a farm
  • Row, Row, Row you boat

The Moosical cow has has 4 phrases,

  • I am a cow, come play with me
  • Learning colours and shapes, Yippee
  • ABC and 123
  • We'll have so much fun, you'll see

The toy is designed to develop motor skills. The cow is soft, very squeezy and loves hugs, it can be carried easily by the plastic ring which holds 2 textured stars. The only down side to the moosical cow is that there is a automatic shut off if the toy is not touched or played with after forty five seconds. I think this is a little too short and find myself  having to turn it back on for Jack, Otherwise this is a great little starter toy for babies.

Other toys available from VTech for children 6+ months are,

Tiny touch tablet – This cute little tablet is perfect for those aged 6-36 months and features nine light up activity buttons for lots of fun learning. Children can learn their a-b-c’s and 1-2-3’s through sing-along songs and take virtual pictures. RRP £14.

Musical rhymes book – With six interactive pages featuring classic nursery rhymes and two fun modes of play this musical rhymes book will keep little ones engaged for hours on end. RRP £14.99.

My 1st Car key Rattle - An adorable car shaped rattle which also comes in pink for baby Charlotte's everywhere, it plays eleven melodies and three sing-along songs. With a flashing light-up window and realistic horn button babies are introduced to car concepts, colours, music and sensory and tactile stimulation. RRP £10.99

You can find out more information about VTech and there products at www.vtech.co.uk you can also chat with them if you have any questions online on there Twitter page or over on there Facebook page

What is your little ones favourite VTech toy I would love to know!?

C-Section - My Epidural went wrong

I am going to take you back in time a bit to Jacks birth I haven't felt ready to talk about it on here but there is such a lot going on with the press about C-Sections/caesarean sections I wanted to share with you my story.

I knew right from the very beginning of my pregnancy with Jack that I would be having a C-section for medical reasons you see with Liam I had a terrible time and ended up having an emergency C-Section then with Adam he was laying the same and was stuck so I had an elective C-section with him so you see it was no surprise when the consultants told me it would be better and safer for me to have another.

They told me they didn't want me to go to term as it would be dangerous so they gave me my C-section date at 38 weeks plus 2 days which would be the safest option all round.

The 27th of January came and I have to say I was very nervous probably because I knew what to expect and its not the nicest thing in the world but I focused on baby being born safely.

I arrived at the hospital at 7.30am in the morning I had my bloods taken and signed up to the Antony Nolan cord donation service they took all my other observations and I was told I would be the second one to go down for a section the hospital carries out three elective C-sections a day.

I was walked down to theatre at around 11.00 Am, they took me straight in and started preparing my back for the epidural, with both Adam and Liam this procedure was really straight forward I had no problems, but this time the sharp scratch turned to a scrape and then another sharp scratch - I don't know if you have ever had to try and bring your knees up and bend into a ball when you are pregnant but its near on impossible and that's what you have to do while they are putting in the epidural - needless to say around 30 minutes later they had got it in correctly and in the right place as lots of tears flowed from me, I am not usually really scared or a wimp with procedures but they had really hurt me.

Jack was born safely at around 12.30 and I gave a sigh of relief that it was all over and I had my beautiful baby boy - the  anaesthetist came to see me after and told me they had, had some problems with the epidural and that they would keep a closer eye on me - to be honest I didn't really think much of it at the time I was just glad it was over and Jack was alright. Later on that evening I started to get a terrible headache, sometimes with the epidural this can be a common side effect. This head ache just was not shifting, none of the pain killers I was taking were helping it at all.

By the time the anaesthetist came back to see me the following day my headache wasn't any better and my ears had popped as if I had been on an aeroplane flying. The Anaesthetist explained to me what he thought had happened, the headache was caused by them inserting the epidural in badly and into the wrong space meaning I had leaked spinal fluid which usually sits around the brain so instead of my brain floating in fluid it had dropped down in my head causing a post dural puncture headache.

The anaesthetist told me the way to fix the headache would be to take me back to theatre give me another epidural and to patch the hole with blood from my arm. Even though I felt so poorly I refused to go back to theatre as I was so frightened because of the bad experience I had, had the first time around he did also say the hole could heal itself or it could take a few weeks. I was willing to wait at this point there was no way I was going down to theatre again.

Another day had passed and by now the headache was getting worse, I couldn't hear and my nose had become bunged up it was horrible, I felt awful I couldn't even get out of bed without being in pain it was like everything was bouncing with me when I walked and the pain in my head was excruciating. A different anaesthetist came to see me she explained that I needed to have the procedure as I was at high risk of having a stroke because of how poorly I was, this time I agreed I couldn't take any more of the awful headache and not being able to do anything.

They took me back to theatre that afternoon - in fact I insisted one of the health care assistants came with me because I was so scared, I didn't want to be on my own I had a lot more tears on the way back up to theatres I was so scared they were going to hurt me or do more damage.

The anaesthetist inserted a needle into the same space as the epidural or if they couldn't get it exact it would be next to the old place  The anaesthetist  then took a fair amount of blood from my arm and injected it back into the epidural space. The blood clots and seals the hole that caused the leak. in the hope this will then eventually after a few weeks heal itself.

After the procedure I was told I had to lay flat for about four hours whilst the blood clotted - I was warned that the blood patch might not work the first time and I might have to have it done again.

Around an hour after the procedure my ears had come back to normal and my nose wasn't blocked, I still had a headache but it was no where near as painful and the headache had completely disappeared by the next day. I cant describe how painful the headache was all I can say is it was excruciating, it was actually worse than the pain from the C-section itself so I was amazed it went as quickly as it came on.

You see not all births are straight forward even if you have a C-section, nothing comes with out risks, but until this happened to me I didn't even realise this was something that could happen, and the reason why I had never heard of it, is that this procedure or side effect isn't very common, but it does happen. 

Even now just over six months later I still have a lot of lower back pain which is down to where the epidural was situated, the only good thing of course is that I have beautiful Jack and I wouldn't change that for all the back pain in the world.

Have you had a C-section? have you ever been through something similar I would love to hear your thoughts and stories? 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

How to pick the right holiday destination for a trip with the little ones

When you're planning a family holiday, there can be bigger fish to fry before you can even get round to wondering how many buckets and spades to bring or how many pairs of pants will be enough. First things firsts, you have to get the destination right.
Picking the location for a holiday with the kids may seem like an easy task, but there are multiple things you need to consider to ensure that the trip goes smoothly. Here are a few tips surrounding how to pick the right destination for your family holiday:

1.       Weather Check  - Whilst you and your partner may have always dreamt of holidaying in the Caribbean or Dubai, they might not be the most child-friendly destinations just in terms of the weather at certain times of year. Be sure to check average temperatures of the destinations on your shortlist, so you can see what the weather might be like at the time of year that you'd be visiting. If the mercury is going to be topping 30 degrees, you may want to reconsider. Heat of that kind is no fun for kids and you'll have to be ultra careful with sun protection which could mean you'll never be able to properly relax.

2.       Travel Time - Consider how long it's going to take you to get to your destination. If it's a long-haul flight then you may want to change you plans and go somewhere closer to home. Look at resorts in the canary islands, which offer good weather all year round but are only about 4 hours away by flight. Also, ensure that the transfer time is fairly short once you've landed, as there's nothing worse than one long journey after another with the kids in tow. Consider spending the extra on a private transfer, as it saves a lot of hassle at the airport, shortens the travel time and you'll be sipping cocktails at the pool by the time your fellow holidaymakers arrive in a shuttle bus.

3.       Things To Do -  Although mum and dad's idea of a holiday might involve doing as little as possible to get the most from the relaxation, family holidays aren't like that. You need to ensure that wherever you are going has plenty for the youngsters to do, whether it's a kid's club (which will give you a certain amount of time off), or some fun beach activities and excursions. Bored children can lead to tantrums and a ruined holiday.

4.        Budget Every family wants to hop on the next plane to Disney World with their kids, but you need to be realistic about what you have to spend when booking a holiday. Don't get carried away and go over the top. Create a budget and stick to it.

5.       Suitability - It's no good looking at a resort that's going to be full of hens, stags and revellers for your family holiday. That won't be the kind of environment you want your children to be around, as a 24/7 drinking culture and constant loud music can make for an ugly family holiday setting. Avoid party resorts in the likes of Ibiza, Majorca and Cyprus and look further down the road at more family-friendly hotels if you do want to visit these islands, as they have plenty!

Just remember that careful planning is the key to ensuring that your family holiday goes without a glitch. You can never do too much research, but make sure that enough is carried out before you actually book rather than afterwards when you've already committed. It can be tricky to amend a booking if you've had a change of heart or realised that the destination you've picked isn't suitable for a family break after all.

Chris Clarkson, Managing Director of online holiday firm www.sunshine.co.uk

*this is a guest post

Take and play Thomas and friends, roaring Dino run #competition

Following on from last weeks birthday give away I have another fantastic gift to give away its the Thomas and friends Take and play Roaring Dino run play set, My boys absolutely love Thomas and I am currently trying to make way in my house for the mass of track master sets we are collecting!

This would make a great gift for a little one for Christmas or for a birthday present so just enter via the rafflecopter below good luck and watch out for next weeks competition!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

The first entry on the rafflecopter form to leave a comment on the post is mandatory

All other steps on the rafflecopter form are optional.

Only one entry form per person is allowed (however, you can tweet with the bonus click entry daily or use the free entry to increase your chances).

This giveaway is for UK residents only.

Once the Rafflecopter picks a winner, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within 28 days, the prize will be allocated to another person.

The giveaway will begin on the 12/08/15 and will close on 02/09/15 at midnight.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

#Weaning week, Wow baby cup #Review

Baby cups can be a pain not so much when your baby starts weaning as they don't drink too much juice, but once they get a bit older and they are having more fluid carrying a juice cup in your bag can become a pain, a lot of cups leak or drip you find the bottom of your bag damp with sticky juice.

We were sent the Wow cup to review the cup has 306 degree drinking edge meaning your child can drink from all the way round the edge and it is completely spill free. The cup offers a water free spill guarantee - which for mums like us means no more sticky bags or damp clothes in fact in the past I have thrown some clothes away because juice has leaked on them in the changing bag and I just couldn't lift the stain.

The cup is exactly what it says "Wow", I thought it was amazing, when I first got it out its packaging I did wonder how it worked, the Wow cup is aimed at children nine plus months and Jack is only just getting used to his sipping cup, I did try to get him to have a go but he is just too little so I got Adam to trial it he is three and seemed really excited when I gave it too him - the Cup has no spouts levers or buttons, I gave it to him as it was, I wanted to see if he could work it out for himself. He did straight the way I asked him if he liked it and he said yes - he also asked if he could keep it! so it was a thumbs up from him and from myself you can hold it and shake it upside down and it doesn't leak at all!.

Wow Cups are BPA free, Phthalate free, PVC free, and dishwasher safe. The valves are made of a soft food grade silicone and easily are removed from the lid by gently pressing on them from the inside of the cup. There is a convenient lid on every cup to keep the drinking surface clean when storing. 

The Wow Baby Wow Cups are clear and hold up to 7 ounces. There are measurements along one side of the cup to easily track how much your child has drank. There are two types of cup available there are the Wow kids Cups which hold nine ounces of juice and the Wow Baby Wow Cup this is slightly different because not only does it have handles, but the rim of the cup is wider, giving baby a more natural edge so they don't need to apply much pressure while drinking.

I think that a baby would take some time to get used to the cup as you have to make a straw type shape with your mouth on the edge and also I noticed that Adam held the cup up slightly higher than a normal cup, but really these are no problem! I actually really loved this product and so did Adam I am so glad we have found the Wow cup and I will be investing in two of the bigger cups for the older boys! 

To find out more about the Wow cup or any of there other fantastic products you can visit there website www.wowcup.co.uk


We were sent the fantastic Wow cup for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own

Monday, 10 August 2015

#Weaning Week, Drinks and your baby

Whilst weaning its a good idea to always offer your baby a drink with a meal start off with a few sips of water from a sipping cup make sure the cup you give them is one that is within the right age group for you baby for example if your baby is six months give them a cup that states on it six months plus and so on.

Once they have got used to having water you can try giving them sugar free diluted juice or fruit juice one part juice and ten parts water, things like orange juice are a good source of vitamin C for your baby.

When you first start weaning baby milk will still be your babies main source of nutrition they should still be having around a pint of milk a day.

If you are breast feeding, babies may still have around five - six feeds a day but you may find they will gradually reduce this themselves, as once they start having more food they will need less milk.

Babies should not have cows milk until they are over 12 months old but cows milk is fine to cook with until then.

Some drinks are bad for your baby and should be avoided as they will cause tooth decay and can cause dihorrea not only that they can leave your baby feeling full so that they don't want to eat there meal meaning they are not getting the nutrition they require.

Avoid fizzy drinks, flavoured milk, tea and coffee, undiluted fruit juice.

This takes me to the end of my weaning week I hope it has helped you along with your little one if you missed anything you can find the stages below and let me know how you get on!

#Weaning week Ella's Kitchen The first food book #Review

If you want to have a go at cooking your own baby meals there is no better place to start than with Ella's Kitchen, The first food book "The Purple One" not only is it a recipe book, but all the way through there are top tips on how to start weaning your baby what foods to give them and when to start introducing lumpy food.

The book is actually fantastic - I am not really a book kind of person, but this recipe book is really easy to use, the book starts with purees and works all the way through to toddler meals and finger foods for older children.

At the beginning of the book there is an introduction page it tells you all about weaning and some great advice and tips, this follows through the book and there is an introduction at the start of each stage of weaning which tells you things like which foods the baby can start to try, how much on average they should be eating and other useful hints and tips for that stage. The book also has a really helpful weaning chart that you can stick up on your fridge or wall as a quick weaning reference when your cooking. The chart includes a really nice section where you can record all of you babies weaning milestones and food preferences.

The Recipes 

There are no weird recipes in the book or ingredients that you will have trouble finding, the recipes are mainly things that you would always have in the cupboard so no need to go out spending copious amounts of money on things haven't heard of which is often the case in a lot of recipe books.

The Recipes are really simple to follow I love that they have a little clock next to them so you know how long they will take to prepare and cook, it also tells you how many portions that the recipe will make or how many ice cube trays it will take up so you could make your little one meals in batches to last the whole week.

There are a variety of recipes too choose from in each of the weaning sections something to suit everyone, there are your basic fruit and veg purees to pies curries and pastas a lot of the recipes that are further on through the book could be used for the whole family, I love that the book is so adaptable and has so much helpful information.

I had a go at cooking the oats, banana + mixed spice the preparation time states in the book five minutes and the cook time ten minutes the recipe took me just a little over five minutes and the cook time was as stated, I wasn't sure about the mixed spices as it smelt quite strong, But Jack really enjoyed the meal and I really enjoyed that I had made the recipe myself I felt a sense of fulfilment.

I have to say this has got to be my favourite cook book, just because of how busy life can be and this book makes cooking really simple its a great way of knowing your little one is getting something healthy to eat, I can honestly say I am looking forward to Jack growing with this book and cooking more of the lovely recipes found within it.

The First Foods Book from Ella's Kitchen retails for £14.99 which, in my opinion, is great value for money as this book will last us way into the toddler years.

Visit Ella's Kitchen on their website here to see their full range of Cook Books.

I was sent a copy of this fantastic recipe book from Ella's Kitchen for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own.