Monday, 31 December 2012

A New Year

2012 has been an amazing year.  Like everyone, I have had my ups and downs, but I entered the year with a gorgeous, dependant and smiley little baby, and am leaving it with an inquisitive, giggly, energetic and happy toddler.  2012 has seen me start a blog and work very hard at it,  return to work part time and fall pregnant with Squish.  2012 has seen me turn 25, bake my first cake and move into our new house.  

Every new year, I make resolutions - promises to myself to be a better person.  By the end of January I have usually completely forgotten what they are, but come December, it seems like a great idea again to come up with a new set.  This year will be no different I am sure, but the main promise I want to make is to give my son more distraction free time.

My number 1 priority

My mobile phone is never out of reach, and I rarely turn the laptop off.  There is always a little icon popping up on the top left hand screen on my phone to let me know that I have a new email, or a tweet or that someone has liked a post on Instagram and I am guilty of giving in to the temptation to check the notifications almost as soon as they pop up.  My new years resolution this year is to spend a little time every day with my phone either switched off or in another room.  I want to take away the temptation to check on the outside world and just sit and play a bit more.

I am not going to set myself a time goal or anything more structured, just a promise to make more of an effort to ignore technology and show my gorgeous little boy that he is my priority.

I have also found a fabulous idea which I intend to try this year- 

 A '2013 Jar'

I will fill the jar with happy memories from the year, big and small.  Special days, moments, feelings and objects that make us smile, written down on pieces of paper and popped in the jar.  At the end of 2013, I can look back and remember how I felt, what we have been up to and leave 2013 behind on a positive note.

Do you make new years resolutions or have a great idea of how to keep 2013 on track?  

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Thursday, 27 December 2012

My Beautiful Boy

You may have noticed that I love to take photos of my gorgeous little man.  Not only is he utterly scrummy, he is my life right now and I love recording our adventures.  All my photos are courtesy of my smartphone though, and although I am never without it, there is something special about those perfectly posed pictures with a quality camera.

When Dylan was only a few weeks old, we got his photos done, and his gorgeous Cat in the Hat picture still hangs pride of place in the living room.  We went back to the same photographer when he was six months and twelve months to have some more pictures done.  

It is with great pride in my beautiful boy that I share some of my favourite photos of Dylan

6 Months Old

Daddy's little penguin

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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Christmas has suddenly crept up on us and according to Disney Junior (which has been acting as a babysitter today whilst I am too ill to leave the sofa) it is only two sleeps to go!  This week has been eventful and tiring and blogging has taken a back seat.  This week we have met Santa and attended a whole host of Christmas parties. I have made lists for, bought and wrapped all my Christmas presents, I have looked after a poorly toddler who caught the dreaded tummy bug going around and the bloke and I have spent the weekend coping with it ourselves just as the toddler recovers and starts demanding more attention.  

ill toddler, christmas eve
My Poorly Boy

I am hoping that the sickness will all be over by Tuesday and we can enjoy the nice family Christmas we have planned.  A day in pyjamas filled with naps and litres of water and I am starting to get my energy back and Christmas eve is one of my favourite days of the year so an early night tonight is on the cards.  I remember well the anticipation, the magic and the colours as we counted down until the big man in red paid a visit.  The bloke is off work tomorrow so we have a lovely family day planned with our own traditions.

homemade Christmas decoration, toddler artwork
Dylan's homemade Decorations

Tomorrow day we have a couple of last minute things to do and buy so we will take a stroll down to the town and enjoy a nice lunch while we are there.  It is when the sun starts to go down that the magic really begins though and although I am not overly religious, I will never forget the wonders of the Christingle service.  The children, the lights, the sweets and the songs.  Last year I took a baby boy with me, who sat peacefully on my lap.  This year he will be joining in with 'Away in a Manger', he will wonder at the hundreds of candles lighting up the church and I am pretty sure he will demolish the orange and raisins as soon as he is allowed!  

31 weeks pregnant, pregnant santa costumer, maternity Christmas wear
Me - Pregnant and dressed up!
After the Christingle we will come back home and watch the most Christmas Eve-ish film I can think of - The Snowman.  Dylan has a lovely little snowman toy and although he is not too interested in the TV yet, teamed with mummy and daddy cuddles on the sofa, how can he resist? We can then all eat dinner together, and set out a plate with Santa's mince pie and milk and Rudolph's carrot and the boys will go up and have bath time together to make sure the little guy is lovely and clean for the big day.  More cuddles and we will tuck him up tight, and lay his stocking down near his cot in the hope that Father Christmas pays a visit in the night.

Christmas morning will be spent at our home as a family of 3 but for the rest of the day and night we will be at my Mum and Dad's with Dylan's Aunt and Uncle enjoying our roast turkey, Celebrations and games.  I can't wait to enjoy the day with him and help him open his exciting new toys.  I can't wait to have him sat at the dinner table with us on Christmas day enjoying his share of the yorkshire puddings and roasties, as last year he hadn't started weaning yet.  I can't wait to dress him in his lovely new outfit that I am pretty sure Santa is bringing him and hopefully get some lovely pictures of the three of us, as by next year there will be two tiny terrors around.

Christmas is so much more magical with children around and I cannot wait to share it with my gorgeous boy.  

So to all my readers, I hope you have the perfect Christmas.  I hope that you spend it with the people you love, that there is laughter, giggles, smiles and chocolate.  I hope that whether there are little or lots of presents under your tree, that they each bring happiness and that you have a well deserved day of festivities.  

meeting Santa Claus, toddler and father Christmas
A little sceptical of the big guy

Merry Christmas!
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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Second Baby

With a second baby due in only two months, I have been thinking a lot about what I will do differently.  I feel like I was thrown head first into motherhood the first time, with no clue what I was doing or how to look after this tiny helpless little newborn.  The love was instinctual and I knew I would do anything to protect this baby of mine, but I didn't always know how.

Breastfeeding seemed to come naturally, and I made decisions based on what I thought was right, what I read and what I felt my son wanted.  I am far from knowing what I am doing even now but I do have a gorgeous, clever, friendly and generally well behaved toddler so I would like to think at least some of that is due to me getting something right as he has grown up. 

With Squish, I have been wondering what I will do differently,

Whether I will feed him for longer, or not so long?

Will I will be stricter about him being in bed with me in the early days, or will I will be more relaxed?

Will I dress this baby differently?  Treat him differently as he is my second child?  Wean him earlier?  Spend less money on him?

Will I be the same parent to both my children?

two day old baby boy, newborn baby, first child

In all honesty, only time will tell how things go once I have my two little boys around, but I do know that I want to bring Squish up in as similar a way as possible to Dylan.  I know that I want to breastfeed for around 9 months, just like I did his brother.  I know that should he want to sleep on me in the early days then so be it.  I will need my sleep more than ever and babies need the security.  There will come a point, much like with Dylan where Squish wants his own space and he will go into his own bed.  I will worry less about it because I know now that it was the right thing for us the first time around.

I know that this baby will have a lot of hand me downs, but also his own clothes and his own personality.  No two children are the same, and I am not expecting another little Dylan.  I want to look after this individual and do what is right for him, at the right times and in the right way, ignoring what I did with Dylan.  Obviously previous experience plays a huge role, but so does following the signs and I hope I can do this with little Squish.

I know that things will not be the same.  I will not have the time to stop and stare at this beautiful little life as much as I did the first time around.  I will not be able to tailor my days around this second baby as the first has his needs still, but hopefully having a brother, a playmate and another person to love will make up for this for both of my boys.

I know I will love this child just as much as I love Dylan, and I know I will do whatever I can to make sure he is happy and healthy.  I can only hope that I make the right decisions along the way.

Did you do things differently with a second child or do you think you will?  

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Liforma Bump Band Review

I thought I had tried every trick in the book to try and prevent the dreaded stretch marks so when I heard about Liforma I was curious.  Liforma is not just a cream, it is a bump band, innovatively made with raised spots on the inside that are designed to stop stretchmarks in their tracks.  

The pack comes with a day gel, which you put on and allow it to dry for a few seconds, before pulling on the bump band.  The band comes in several sizes so you can pick the right one for your shape and stage of pregnancy, and are much like the bump bands I have to hide my tummy when my tops are too short or jeans don't do up.  The idea is that you wear the bump band under your clothes all day and then apply the seperate moisturising night cream before going to bed and taking the band off.

Liforma stretch mark support, stretch mark prevention

One of the first things I noticed was that the band was nice and snug, even in a large and I felt like my back was getting some protection.  I work as a waitress which can put stress on my body during pregnancy, and I have found that wearing the band gives me less back pain at the end of the day.  I found that the day gel needed to be reapplied midway through the day as if your skin dries it can become itchy, but reapplying once was enough to keep my bump feeling moisturised and soft and only took a few seconds.  The night cream is lovely and rich and the same texture as many other pregnancy body lotions.

I did find that occasionally the band did get uncomfortable, and the lower elastic band could become too tight, even though I was wearing a size large and am only a size 8 pre-pregnancy.  I also found that wearing thinner tops meant you could see the spots on  the bump through it.  As this pregnancy is mostly through winter, this isn't an issue as I am usually quite covered up however should it be a summer pregnancy it would be difficult to wear the band under a white vest or T-shirt without it being quite noticeable.

I can't say for sure how effective the band is, as I have numerous stretch marks from my first pregnancy and have not worn it every day so far but reading the science behind it has reassured me that Liforma may really be onto something.  I think that worn properly this would be quite an effective treatment and worn occasionally I find it helps support my back and keep my bump moisturised and looked after.  It is not the cheapest method but it is your body and you only get one so I don't think there is a price you can put on having a scar free tummy should it be one of your priorities.  I would love to hear some testimonies from people that wore this religiously throughout pregnancy so should you have the Liforma kit, please let me know!

You can purchase this Liforma pack through an approved stockist for £84.99

Disclaimer:  I was sent a day gel, night cream and bump band for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Family Day out at London Zoo

We have only a few short weeks left as a family of three and I am trying hard to make the most of it.  As the bloke works during the week and I work one day every weekend, we only have the one day a week to spend as our little three and this weekend we decided a Christmas treat was in order.

Our adventure started early (well early enough anyway) with a train journey up to London, and Dylan loved walking around the carriage making friends with everyone that smiled back at him.  He is happiest when he has lots of attention and was in his element!  We decided as there was two of us, we would take him on the underground and he sat happily in his pushchair watching the commuters, tourists and Christmas shoppers as we made our way to the zoo.  Dylan seems to have developed a little obsession with animals and our days are spent practising our animal noises, doing animal puzzles and pointing out every monkey, dog and lion in the books we read. I knew he would love the Zoo and so London Zoo was our destination!

Just a little excited!

Whilst the little man napped, the bloke and I took in the smaller animals and bugs and once he woke up the fun really began.  We went to see the monkeys and gorillas, and he was fascinated as they swung around and climbed the ropes.  I could hear a constant ooh ooh, aah ahh and it wasn't coming from inside the cages!  I am so used to visiting zoos in the summer, but in the winter the animals are all so much more active and it is lovely to watch.

london zoo, toddler and daddy watching the monkeys

Next he was captivated by daddy's favourites - the penguins.  We went along for an informative talk, and sat and ate our picnic lunch as we watched them devouring their fish.  I amused myself and Dylan by making the penguin follow my finger around and I wonder whether he was interested in the penguins on my mittens!

penguins at london zoo, penguin following fingers

The lions and tigers were a big hit and Dylan seemed very fascinated in watching the tiger eating his dinner - rabbits! It must be a boy thing, as Daddy was captivated too!

tiger eating rabbit, tiger dinner time, london zoo tiger

We saw the otters, giraffes, reindeer, zebras and butterflies as we walked around (all three of us as someone decided the pushchair was unnecessary when there is so much to look at) and Dylan marvelled at them all, suddenly realising that the creatures exist in the real world as well as in his books and toys.  

london zoo giraffe at london zoo

By the time the sun was setting and we decided a quick visit to the gift shop was necessary, the little dude was utterly exhausted and I was feeling the same way! There may have been a couple of stragglers in the bag when we left as well.

london zoo soft toys
Mr Gorilla and Rawr the Lion
 Dylan had his first go on the Merry-go-round and he loved riding on a giraffe as we went round twice, waving at Daddy every time we passed him and dancing to the music.  He had been so interested in how tall the giraffes were, I think it was an easy decision when it came to which animal he should ride on!

merry go round, london zoo attractionfirst time on merry go round, london zoo, one year old on merry go round

We all had a wonderful day at London Zoo and my favourite part was spending my time with my two favourite people, doing something that was fun for all of us.  Watching Dylan's face as he took it all in was magical and it was the perfect family day out for us.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with tickets for London Zoo by Money Supermarket
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Friday, 14 December 2012

30 Weeks Pregnant

I am now 30 weeks, which means I am three quarters of the way through this journey and I am starting to get asked very often if I am getting fed up with being pregnant.  I am quite honestly one of those people that enjoys pregnancy though, and as much as I cannot wait to meet my little baby, I am in no rush to do so!  Every morning I wake up and admire my bump and I love feeling the little wriggler kicking away.

Here is the 30 week bump:

30 weeks pregnant, 30 week bump, second pregnancy, low boy bump

On the Inside

Things may be getting more cramped and sometimes Squish's movements are getting quite strong now.  It can feel like he is trying to break out at times but luckily this is mostly in the evenings when I can just lie down and give him the space to wriggle.  During the day the movements are much more muted, but getting harder to mistake.  I still have no cravings or heartburn but after a long day on my feet and a little rest, I do struggle to get back up again and sometimes have tummy pains.  I think this may be a sign of overdoing it but I am so used to my active lifestyle I am struggling to slow down at all.

I am starting to feel much more connected to the baby and spending more time with my hands on my tummy just feeling him kick away.  I have also started planning his room and looking for the perfect material to make his crib bumper.  I am still nowhere near ready for his arrival, but entering the thirties means I am thinking about it more.  Once Christmas is out the way, hopefully I will be a bit more organised!

On the Outside

I feel like bump has not really grown much recently, and it is slightly smaller than when I was pregnant the first time around.  I have the midwife next week, so I can find out just how the little one is measuring.  The bump is definitely a different shape to last time as Squish is still lying across and so pushing out at the sides.  This means that my bump is not as neat as last time, but I still think it looks like a typical 'boy bump'.  I do think it looks very low already though so let's hope baby is not getting ready for an early appearance!

I still don't think Dylan understands much but he is starting to show an interest in my bump, and has been giving it a few cuddles recently too.  I know it is going to be a complete shock to him when the little one arrives, so if I can help him understand any part of it then I will keep trying.

Next update will be after Christmas now and I can only imagine bump will be twice the size with all the Christmas dinner and yule log I plan on munching! 
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Petite Star Njoy Bubble Review

The Petite Star Bubble is the first of it's kind as an umbrella fold stroller that can be both world or parent facing!

That's right, you can have the simplicity and size of a stroller, yet still be able to see baby and communicate as you walk.  Whether you have a squishy new born or walking talking toddler, you can choose where they look and even lie them completely flat for a snooze.

njoy bubble review, parent facing stroller

I can wear Squish in a sling, whilst my big boy faces out and explores the world.  Should he decide it is time to stretch his little legs though, or get out for a play, I can flip the seat the other way - one handed - and have my newborn lying comfortably flat and facing me.  For the times when a double is unnecessary, I think this pushchair will be perfect.

The seat is controlled by a handle at the top and really is the easiest thing to change around.  There is no removing the seat, like in a travel system to turn it, and the same mechanism decides the recline position too. The hood is made of a thin and soft yet strong material and moves with the chair so there is no need to fiddle with it.  This does mean the hood does not feel as sturdy as with some pushchairs and I often find that as I extend it one side comes further than the other but this is easy to rectify.  The hood is huge though, and even with a flat sleeping baby it provides them plenty or shade as it comes out further than any other I have tried.  Dylan has slept very well in the stroller, and he prefers to face me as he falls asleep.

The seat unit is spacious and comes with a headhugger for newborns and strap protectors too.  Dylan looked and felt comfortable in there.  One thing that I was totally shocked with though is quite how light the pushchair felt.  I went to push it up the first curb and completely overcompensated.  Considering my child weighs over 30lb, it felt like I was pushing a baby again as it effortlessly went up and down curbs and corners and was easy to steer.  This is a massive plus point for me as the walk back from town is all uphill and with an ever growing baby in my tummy I get out of breath enough as it is!  Having that extra strain taken away means this is my go to buggy when I know there are hills involved!

njoy bubble review, petit star stroller
More fun pushing the stroller than sitting in it apparently!

The pushchair is as easy to fold as any other stroller, no matter which way the seat is facing and folds just as small as your average stroller (long and thin).

As the seat has the benefit of facing either way, it has the downside that the basket is not as easily accessible as with other pushchairs.  Petite Star have added zips to both sides of the basket so you can get things in and out without too much fiddling so it can be used, but a raincover takes up most of it.  If the child is parent facing, then there is nowhere to hang a nappy bag either, but I don't find this an issue as I usually use only one bag for everything now and quite often wear that myself anyway.  Both of these negatives are not even close to putting me off this pushchair though as I am finding it very practical.

The Bubble comes with a rain-cover which works whichever way the child is facing and feels secure.  It gives the child lots of space still inside which Dylan prefers to the rain-covers that are closer to his face.  It still folds up small and fits well into the basket and is incredibly easy to put on (I never read the instructions and had no issues when it started raining).  Please note that Dylan was not strapped in when this photo was taken which is why he is sitting so far forward and playing with the cover.

njoy bubble raincover, parent facing umbrella fold stroller

The bloke loves this pushchair too - he likes the look of it and loves being able to chat to Dylan as they go for walks.  He likes the handle positioning (something he is very fussy about) and the brakes but would prefer a bigger basket.

This stroller is brilliant and if you were on a tight budget or short on space then this is a great option to consider.  It could never replace a traditional pushchair with a carrycot for me - especially when I am due a winter baby) but it looks secure and comfortable from newborn until a child is out of a buggy.  For me, it is my go-to stroller replacing the more common world facing stroller.

Dylan's pushchair, njoy bubble

Disclaimer:  We were sent the Petite Star Njoy Bubble for the purpose of this review
 but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas with Warner Bros

The people at Warner Bros.  must have known I needed a break as a couple of weeks before Christmas a lovely parcel arrived from them with some yummy chocolates (which unfortunately did not survive the walk home from the post office - nom nom) and some DVDs.

There was one for each occasion and I got to enjoy a cuddle on the sofa with the bloke and the newest Batman film, a girly night in with New Year's Eve and some precious family time with The Polar Express.  Christmas is the most stressful time of the year, but also the time we put most emphasis on time away from work and time spent as a family so the Dvds were a great excuse to enforce this.

Batman: The Dark Knight Rises was my favourite of the three and as I hadn't got round to seeing this one at the cinema it was great to finally catch up! Following on from the fantastic Dark Knight, this film sees Christian Bale complete the trilogy of Batman films with a bang.  I won't give too much away but there is plenty of action and lots of moments where popcorn is an absolute necessity!

New Year's Eve was a typical girly film in the same style as Love Actually.  It has so many big names in it from Sarah Jessica Parker to Ashton Kuchter but I didn't find it lived up to the British classic unfortunately.  That said, I did have a lovely night with a big bar of dairy milk and I may have welled up a little at times - blaming the pregnancy hormones here!

The Polar Express is a lovely Christmas film and although Dylan certainly doesn't have the attention span for a feature length movie yet, he seemed to enjoy the bits he sat still enough to watch!  Mummy and Daddy both loved it too which I think is important in family films and it will definitely be on our pre-Christmas play list ever year to help get us in the mood!

Nothing beats a nice snuggly night in with a film and with snow forecast across the country this weekend I would definitely recommend these films.  Obviously chocolate is non-optional.

Disclaimer:  I was sent this lovely package from the people at Warner Bros. but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Maternity Wear in the Third Trimester

The first trimester was about loose tops and hiding the slowly expanding tummy.  The second Trimester was about adapting normal clothes to fit your new figure, but the third trimester is well and truly about maternity wear and comfort for me.  I am running out of things to stretch and other than my trusty leggings and cardigans I am mostly in maternity to accomodate my growing bump.  I thought I would share with you a few of the things I have been wearing.

Nothing is more important than comfort at the moment and I am not one to wear tops with leggings so I am loving oversized jumpers that keep me covered up.  I team them with leggings and boots and feel snug and warm and still comfortable enough to crawl around on the floor brumming cars with the toddler.  I love this oversized maternity jumper from Mamas and Papas and it brightens up my winter wardrobe.

I love to show off my bump in fitted tops and I love this one from Yummy Mummy Maternity as it is just about long enough to wear with leggings and also goes great with jeans.  I wear it with a big knitted cardigan to keep me warm and covered

It is not long until baby Squish will make an appearance so anything that will take me through the nursing stage is a great buy now too.  I love this breastfeeding top as it is suitable for maternity and afterwards as there are openings for discreet feeding.  The top is nice and stretchy and a great investment at any point in pregnancy and is from More4Mums

On the rare occasion I leave the house without child, I like to dress up a bit more and I love wearing a plain black vest with my skinny jeans and jazzing it up with some fun jewellery.  I have a few maternity vests now as they are so much more flattering and comfortable and don't rise up as I move around.  I think I may save them for after baby too as they have plenty of growing room for when I eat a huge sunday roast!

I put off getting a winter coat for as long as I could but there is no escaping the fact it is getting pretty damn cold out there!  I am so happy with my lovely black maternity coat as it is flattering, comfortable and most importantly warm and will last until the little guy arrives.  I usually avoid black coats and have quite a selection of colourful ones but as I cannot justify more than one maternity coat, black is the best option as it really does match everything!

There are a few of my maternity outfits that I am wearing in the third trimester.  I am trying my hardest not to buy anything else now as there is only 10 weeks until baby arrives but there are some lovely bits out there!

Disclaimer:  Some of the clothes mentioned were sent to me free of charge, but some were also paid for.  All views and opinions are my own and I only endorse products that I am happy with and honestly wear.

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Monday, 10 December 2012

Win a Lollipop Lane Stroller

You may have seen my review of the gorgeous Lollipop Lane Acti-Cruise, and admired the gorgeous colours and designs of their four brand new strollers.  I have one to give away now in the design of your choice!  It is very simple to enter, just answer the following Question and complete the rafflecopter form below!

Which of the following is NOT one of their new strollers?
a)      Mariposa
b)      Target
c)       Domino
d)      Harbour

The winner will get to choose which design they would like,  so make sure you check out the different options on the Lollipop Lane website - If you aren't lucky enough to win this time, remember they are available to buy from the website for only £95 each!

lollipop lane acti-cruise, colourful strollers,

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Christmas Magic

Whether we choose to embrace it or not, Christmas is a magical time.

The darker afternoons mean you can't fail to spot towns and cities lit up and the giant Christmas trees which adorn every high street and shopping centre are bright and glowing.  There are carol singers all over the place and our TV screens are full of those heartwarming adverts which remind us of family times and excited children.

I have grown up with my own family traditions and we are making new ones for Dylan.  This year he is excited every morning to open a new door on his advent calender and although he may be clueless as to what it symbolises, it won't be long until he is counting down the days in excited anticipation.

This week I took the little dude to a lovely local church which hosted a Christmas tree competition.  31 local organisations and groups each decorated their own tree, and the public are invited to come in and admire their work, vote for their favourite and leave a donation to charity whilst they are there.

charity christmas trees, charity christmas ideas, decorated trees, toddler christmas

We loved the church cleaner's effort as they had handmade all of their decorations.  The crackers were rolled up dusters and their shiny baubles were made from scouring pads.  The guides and play groups had drawings and crafty bits on theirs and Dylan and his friends loved racing from tree to tree admiring the lights and colours with lots of ooohs and aaahs.

Christmas tree competition, charity tree

On Friday, I took Dylan to Canterbury and we waited until the sun went down before exploring the Christmas market.  The smells and sounds were amazing but it was the lights that captivated us and we crouched down and pointed at the shapes and colours that lit up the sky.  He got to practice his new favourite word 'circle' and we spent some time just watching the world go by. 

Canterbury Christmas, Christmas market, sensory Christmas toddler

 He may only be 16 months old but Christmas is already becoming a magical time of year for him, and with our tree going up this week, he will be able to enjoy the lights and colours from home as well.  We are attending a Christmas party at the Children's Centre where he gets to meet Father Christmas again and we have the perfect family day planned for the 25th, where we already know he will be the centre of attention.  I am looking forward to Christmas crafts and letters to Santa in the coming years but for now he are admiring the simple and free things that December has to offer.

Canterbury, Christmas, christmas lights and shopping

How are your little ones enjoying this magical month?
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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Bath Time Fun with Lush

Bath time is the bloke's job and one that he loves.  After a long day at work, he gets to come home and splash around with the little dude as they indulge in their own games and play with the ducks and penguin toys that our bathroom seems full of.  For me, there is nothing better than finally sitting down and listening to splashing and giggles from my boys.

I can't tell you exactly what they get up to in there, but I do know that it is not quiet and somehow the bathroom floor is always drenched.  They both emerge after some time dripping wet with big smiles on their faces, and I know that Dylan loves the time with his Daddy.

toddler bath fun

 After a visit to Lush in Covent Gardens, Dylan's baths have turned blue with their new product 'fun'.  Fun is a bubble bath, shower gel, shampoo, hand wash and also a mouldable bathtime playdough.  At the event in London I made a rather impressive (in my opinion) dinosaur,  and at home we have been testing it for every purpose.  Although Dylan is still a little young to be moulding animals he loves his blue baths, and I think it is great that the product is suitable even for newborn's sensitive skin.  It really is 'fun' for all ages.

lush fun, Bath playdough
playdough dinosaur, lush fun

We have also been testing the magic wand which has been a big hit all round.  At the event Dylan loved swirling it round and splashing it everywhere and at home he has been filling his bath with pink bubbles as he stirs the water with his wand.  The wand lasts for ages as once dry it can be stored until next bathtime.

Lush magic wand, toddler bubbles baths

Dylan has always been a water baby and getting him out of the bath is a lot more hassle than getting him into it.  Bathtimes seem to have got even more exciting for my boys now and the longer they are in there - the longer I get to sit down in peace and enjoy my cup of tea!

Disclaimer:  We were invited to an event in London to learn more about these products and received samples in a goody bag for use at home. All thoughts,opinions and pictures are my own.

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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Someone Special

Dylan was born into a loving family.  He has a Mummy and Daddy who would do anything for him, but on top of that he has grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.   He has my cousins (and there are a lot of them!), my aunties and uncles and even one great great aunty.  There is a lot of love and being the youngest member of the family he is spoilt with attention.  

One person he is very lucky to have in his life is my mum.  In fact, we are all lucky to have her - she is a wonderfully caring friend, and more importantly, the best mum and Grandma there is.  Dylan loves his Grandma and she loves him back.  Every Thursday when I go to work they have the afternoon together and he loves nothing more than exploring her house and playing with the toys I once played with all those years ago.  His eyes light up when she comes to pick him up and he is quick to wriggle out of my arms and into hers.  His language is progressing so fast at the moment it won't be long until he has 'Grandma' mastered and I am looking forward to the first time he clearly says it to her.

grandma, grandma and grandson reading

Being my mum's first grandchild, she is keen to
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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Ready for Two???

I may have mentioned in my 28 Weeks Pregnant  post that I am not feeling ready for two little people to be dependent on me but the reality is that there is less than 12 weeks to go before I meet the little Squish and it becomes a reality. My days revolve around Dylan - I get up when he does, we eat our breakfast together, go to toddler groups and see other children his age.  We read books together, play games, go for walks and have lots of cuddles. These are all things that will be much more difficult with a second child around.

thumb sucking toddler, mummy cuddles, toddler
Still my baby boy

I think what scares me even more is the
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Monday, 3 December 2012

28 Weeks Pregnant

I am now well and truly in the final trimester but it still feels like I have ages before baby Squish makes an appearance.  I am desperately hoping that time starts slowing down as I am not ready for two physically or mentally yet! I am thinking that once Christmas is out the way I will start getting ready for the little man so he is under strict orders to stay put until at least the first of February!

Here is my 28 week bump:

On the Outside

I am getting lots of comments about my round bump, and just like in my first pregnancy, it looks like someone has stuck a football up my top.  I think it looks quite low but it is definitely very round now.  I weighed myself for the first time since 12 weeks and I have
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Saturday, 1 December 2012

Tidy Books Review and Competition

Our new house has a huge living room - big enough that we are splitting it in two with an invisible line, and having an adult end and a play room end.  Planning the play room has been really exciting and a full post will follow, but for now I am sharing the gorgeous bookcase we have.  I have mentioned before that Dylan is a mini-bookworm and nothing has changed.  He will most often pick books over toys and his collection is growing at quite a rate!  This is something I definitely encourage as a lover of books myself and I cannot wait to introduce him to some of my old favourites when he is a bit older.

Tidy Books have sent us one of their stunning bookcases in light blue and it is the perfect way for Dylan to show off his books in the new room whilst still keeping them tidy.  The bookcase
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Friday, 30 November 2012

Baba and Boo - New Collection Review

We are still a proud household of real nappy users, and with another little person on the way, any extra money we can save is very important.  It won't be long until I have two little bums to change and I am using this as an excuse to increase my collection of beautiful fluff.

baba and boo, frog cloth nappy

Baba and Boo are releasing a new collection of nappies as we speak and I was lucky enough to be one of the first to try them out!  Dylan was sent this gorgeous frog nappy in blue and green and he has been wearing it with pride these last few days.  The nappy has everything you would expect from Baba and Boo - great quality, simple pocket design and enough poppers to make the nappy truly birth to potty.  The design however is even more funky than their originals and we have taken this opportunity to teach the little dude a new word - Frog

frog nappy, baba and boo, new cloth nappies

We are really impressed with the nappy, as is Dylan, and it won't be long now until we can popper it down and put it on Squish!  I am adding the lovely yellow Fox nappy to my wishlist for now as I think it would be great to show off in the summer months.  Check out the gorgeous new Baba and Boo Nappies on their website now.

baba and boo, cloth nappies, animal cloth nappies

Disclaimer:  We were sent this nappy for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Dylan's New Nursery

Moving house has taken a lot longer than it did last time and I am inclined to blame the 15 month old who has a rather different idea of unpacking boxes!  I am proud to say that one room in the house is now 'done' though and hopefully the rest of it is not far behind.  

Dylan's new nursery is bigger than his last one and was painted a dark shade of brown when we moved in.  Although the colour was lovely, all of his furniture is white, grey and light blue and so we decided to paint the walls before settling him in there.  At our last house, I spent a long time dreaming up my perfect nursery and lovingly cut out wallpaper shapes for a feature wall, matching the carpet and paint and designing the whole room around this wallpaper.
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Christmas with John Lewis (SP)

One of the first signs that the festive season is on it's way, is the iconic adverts that take over our TV screens.  From the traditional Coca Cola, to the mum-friendly supermarket chains, they can't help but put you in a Christmas-y mood.  John Lewis stole the show with their moving Christmas advert last year and have not disappointed this year either.
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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Kiddy City'N'Move Review

When the Kiddy City'n' Move Stroller arrived, I had high hopes for it.  We have already reviewed the Kiddy Phoenix Pro car seat and were so impressed with it, and I was hoping that the stroller would be similarly functional, innovative and unique.

I was not disappointed and I have to admit that this may just be my new favourite pushchair.  The City'n' Move is easy to put together, lightweight and comes with all the advantages of your average stroller - umbrella fold, easy to manoeuvre, quick to put up and down.  The difference is though, that it also comes with the benefits a travel system might have. 

kiddy city'n'move. kiddy stroller, pushchair review

 The basket is large and spacious, and although the cross bar seems to cut through it, I found this great for storing a blanket and the raincover underneath, and the bags on top.  The stroller has a bumper bar, which does not need to be removed for folding, and Dylan loves
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Friday, 23 November 2012

Pregnancy the Second Time Around

Being pregnant for the first time is an exciting and nervous experience.  I remember reading blogs and watching pregnancy vlogs on a daily basis and I could always tell you exactly how big baby was, what stage in development he was at and anything else you may possibly want to know.  I became a pregnancy geek, with a bookcase full of information and always looking for an excuse to discuss the amazing feats my body was capable of.

During my first pregnancy, I spent every day admiring my growing bump.  I sat there with my hands on my bare belly feeling the little dude kick and spent hours in the bath chatting and bonding with my unborn child.  I planned colour schemes for the nursery, researched the meanings of names I liked and made list upon list of things we would need, things we might want, luxuries, essentials and brands I had heard good things about.  Every purchase was well thought out and every decision very conscious.

With my first pregnancy, I was incredibly cautious, never lifting anything above the recommended 5kg limit, never eating blue cheese or pate, never doing anything that may be on a 'forbidden' list.  I was adamant that I would do pregnancy perfectly and follow the text book.

38 weeks pregnant, pregnant bridesmaid, pregnant couple

My first pregnancy has given me a gorgeous little boy and I loved every single second of it.  The second time around though, I haven the very same little boy along on the journey, and things are going rather differently!

This time, I
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