Tuesday 30 October 2012

Cosatto Little Monster Moova Car Seat Review

I am rather excited to say that I have been chosen as one of Cosatto's new Brand Buddies, meaning I will be bringing you exclusive news and reviews over the next few months.  They are a brand I completely adore as their products are full of colour and personality - much like my family I like to think and they are both gorgeous and practical.  I have already told you about the Yo! Toffee Apple and the Slim Jim Highchair and for the last couple of weeks we have been testing the Little Monster Moova Car seat.

little monster car seat, cosatto moova
The car seat is suitable for children from approximately 9 months until 4 years (Stage 1) so will last a long time.  It comes with a removable and washable cover so you can keep it looking clean and lovely for the three years or so your little monster will be in there and the funky patterns make it much better at hiding a mess than some plainer car seats.  It is easy to install with a 3 point harness and we had no problem getting it in and out of cars.  I did find the instructions were not as clear as some other seats and it took me a while to get it in securely but once you have worked out the trick it is easy to get in and out in future.  

little monster cosatto moova, funky stage 1 car seat
The higher sitting position is great for nosy toddlers who like to see where they are going and the three recline positions mean no lulling head when they start to drop off.  Dylan looked happy and comfortable in his and the design suited him completely!  We already have
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Monday 29 October 2012

My Homemade Halloween Maternity Costume

Finding a Halloween costume suitable for a bump is not easy.  You can spend money buying something lovely or you can improvise.  I went for the second option and for under £5 made my Halloween costume for the year.

Take one cheap vest - (I found primark sells them for £2 and they are lovely and long and very stretchy.)  -Cut a large hole in the tummy area.

Paint the now bare tummy orange.  I tried face paint but with such a large area to cover could not get it to work well.  Next we tried a homemade fingerpaint concoction which again didn't look too good.  Finally I mixed PVA glue with food colouring and painted it on leaving a lovely shiny orange belly poking out from under my top!

maternity halloween, painted baby bump, painting a pumpkin

Wait a couple of minutes for the orange to dry and then draw on your pumpkin face using whatever is at hand.  We used black paint with a little sponge and my newly popped out belly button was the pumpkin nose.
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Sunday 28 October 2012

The Baby Show

I adore my gorgeous little boy but it is lovely to have a bit of time sometimes just me and the bloke.  Ironically we decided to spend a day away together visiting The Baby Show at Earl's Court.  We had a lovely day exploring the stands as expectant parents and making the most of some fantastic offers from some of the companies.

tots bots, fluffy postThe baby show is the place to shop for all your baby needs from pregnancy through to toddlerhood and the exclusive discounts mean you can't help but leave with a bargain.  We caught up with brands we already love and discovered plenty of new ones. We bought some lovely clothes for Dylan and all sorts of gorgeous bits for little Mr Squish.  We also spent time checking out the double pushchair options ready for next year.

The stall we looked for first was the last one we found and that was the lovely
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Friday 26 October 2012

Are you disappointed?

One question I have got used to in this pregnancy is 'Are you hoping for a girl?'. People have assumed that since we already have a gorgeous baby boy, we would need a little pink bundle to make our family complete.  When I announced that Squish will be a little brother for Dylan the question changed and people were asking whether we were disappointed?.

I can honestly say that I am completely and utterly
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Wednesday 24 October 2012

Me and I Kids Clothing Review

One of my favourite places to get gorgeous toddler clothes from is the bright and colourful Me & i.  Their prints are perfect for busy little people and the colours really stand out making winter more fun.  They have sent us one of their new collection T-shirts and Dylan has been rocking the fire engine top for the last couple of weeks.

me and i, fire engine top, funky children's clothingme and i, fire engine kid's top

It is beautiful quality material and a great fit on him although the arms are a little long as he needs a bigger size than his age.  He has loved wearing it and carrying around his rather noisy fire engine toy at the same time and we have had lots of compliments.  I love their new
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Tuesday 23 October 2012

Becoming a Father

The bloke and I were unprepared for pregnancy and I don't think the reality of having a baby hit us until there was a tiny little newborn in our arms.  I like to think we both adapted well and Dylan's birth will always be the best and most life-changing day of my life.  It was the day I became a mother, found a new purpose and realised just how big my capacity to love someone was.  I think being a mother, you find that love and protection is usually instinctual.  We have nine months to bond with this foetus growing inside of us and I loved feeling him kick knowing that nobody else knew what was going on - our own secret communication.  When Dylan was born I felt like I already knew him and that he had always been a part of my life.

father and son asleep together, toddler on a plane

The bloke took to being a father straight away too and right from the beginning would enjoy an hour of time alone with his son every night whilst I got some uninterrupted sleep.  He would pop Dylan on a cushion on his lap and enjoy him being there as he watched TV or played on his computer.  As the little dude grew he would change nappies, bathe him and feed him dinners and he loved pushing him proudly round in the pram. It wasn't until Dylan
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Sunday 21 October 2012

Silent Sunday 21.10

Barcelona aquarium, barcelona, toddler on holiday

Love All Blogs
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Friday 19 October 2012

22 Weeks Pregnant

I am now 22 weeks pregnant, over half way!  The last two weeks have been very busy and somewhere in the middle my bump appears to have 'popped'.  Here it is at 22 weeks;

22 week bump shot, 22 week big belly, 22 week belly button pop, second pregnancy, 22 weeks pregnant

On the Inside

Still feeling great although there were a couple of times last week where my body started telling me to take it easy even though my head wanted to carry on.  We had probably walked ten miles by this point though so it was my own fault for not being a little more careful.  The baby is still breech as I feel his kicks very low in my bump, almost like he is trying to walk inside me and I feel his hands exploring higher up.  I love feeling him move still and the kicks are getting more pronounced.  Luckily it is not strong enough to be waking me up although I can't sleep for longer than two hours without needing to turn over as my hips start to hurt in the night.  I now have my 6ft pillow in bed with me now which is very comfy although the bloke is not so keen!

I have spent the last two weeks eating an awful lot of omelette and kitkats (not together. . . yet) and am wondering if these are my first ever cravings as even writing about them is getting me desperate for a late night snack!  

On the outside

As you can see my tummy now enters the room several seconds before I do.  I am even more restricted on what clothes I can wear and am in all maternity or extremely stretchy things.  At 21 weeks I had to take my belly ring out as my belly button popped out (- about 15 weeks earlier than it did in my last pregnancy!)  We spent last week in Barcelona and I got offered a seat on every train we went on which makes me think I am very noticeably pregnant now!  I love having a big round bump and am looking forward to seeing quite how big I will get this time!  I am looking forward to my midwife appointment soon to check on my growth and to hear how Squish is doing.

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Isabella Oliver Maternity Wear Review

I discovered Isabella Oliver Maternity wear when I was pregnant with Dylan and in need of a dress to wear to a wedding.  I bought a gorgeous blue one shoulder dress which fitted perfectly and was so comfortable over my huge bump.  It was five days before he was born and the dress perfectly hugged my curves and made me feel elegant (no easy feat with a beach ball shape on your front!)

I wore the same dress this year to a wedding at 16 weeks pregnant and it still fitted beautifully.  The way it hugs your body means even a little bump is defined and I did not need to worry about the 'fat or pregnant' question coming up! I felt comfortable in it and love how versatile it is, adapting to each stage of pregnancy.

Isabella Oliver have sent me one of their new collection and I love it for all the same reasons.  The dress is ruched all the way down meaning it fits your expanding waistline and grows with your body.  The material is soft and stretchy and emphasises all the right features.  

I think this dress would be perfect office wear or for a lovely meal out, but can also be dressed down with black tights and boots and a long cardigan.  I love showing off my bump so I find their styles are perfect for me.  There is nothing to stop you wearing Isabella Oliver maternity after baby has arrived either as the dresses are designed to fit every shape.

The dress is priced at £119 which is not cheap but I see it as an investment.  My original dress is on it's second pregnancy and going strong and there is nothing worse than going to a big event pregnant and feeling frumpy.  The dresses also have a great resale value on ebay and this is a great place to pick up some second hand maternity bargains too.  If you are looking for a great piece that will last all through pregnancy and beyond then Isabella Oliver is the place to look.

Disclaimer:  I was sent a dress for the purpose of this review but all thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own and the original dress was bought my me.
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Thursday 18 October 2012

Barcelona with a Toddler

We have recently returned from a lovely family holiday to Spain with our toddler son and Barcelona was an amazing place to visit with a small child.  We are already missing the warmth as we snuggle under blankets back home! 

family in Barcelona, toddler Barcelona

We had a fantastic time although I was initially worried about taking a 14 month old who has just learnt to walk on holiday.  Luckily it all went rather smoothly and we managed to keep him awake for long enough that he slept through most of both plane journeys - result!  We found that Barcelona was the perfect choice for a holiday with a toddler as the country is very family friendly and Dylan absolutely adored all the attention.

baby asleep on plane, baby on airplane

We stayed in an apartment a few stops away from the main attractions so as to have a bit of a quiet place to wind down in the evenings.  It did mean having to get the Metro complete with baby and buggy, but luckily it was much easier than using the London Underground with a child.  Most of the stations had clearly marked lifts that meant getting around was easy.  There were a few that didn't and luckily we had bought our lightest stroller (Cosatto Super-Lite) as the bloke ended up carrying both buggy and baby up and down the stairs in an effort to be chivalric and not make me do any lifting whilst pregnant. ( I think he secretly enjoyed the exercise as there were usually offers to help.)

metro with a baby, carrying pushchair up steps

On the tube Dylan never had to sit in silence.  Everyone wanted to wave and blow kisses with him and they all marvelled over his chubby cheeks and blonde hair.  Even the most unlikely candidates were cooing over him and he never tired of this, playing up to it all every time!  I found that without fail I was offered a seat on every train so I think my bump must really be protruding now!

21 weeks pregnant, 21 weeks pregnant on holiday, pregnant in Barcelona

Out and about we found that every restaurant had a high chair and although none did children's menus, it is not really necessary with tapas and Dylan loved each and every thing we gave him to try!  Some places were amazing with him and bought over colouring, bubbles, toy cars and took him for walks around the place too which made eating out very easy!

Barcelona aquarium, pregnant mother and child

Attraction wise we did things for each of us.  There was plenty of time for shopping and looking at the architecture but we also visited the aquarium and the gorgeous Park Guell where we let Dylan explore and his fascination with going up and down the steps began!  

learning to climb stairs, Park guell, barcelona with a toddler

After a lovely day in the gardens and parks of Montjuic we saw the amazing light, music and sound show at the magic fountain as the sun set and although the little dude was getting tired he loved to watch it.  It was a complete highlight for me as it was in a beautiful place at the end of a long day walking and exploring and it made for some beautiful photos!

magic fountain, montjuicfountain show at montjuic, magic fountain show Barcelona, barcelona with a toddler

Having an apartment was the best choice we could have made as when we got back of an evening, Dylan went straight to bed and we could have a lovely sofa and kitchen space to wind down ourselves and make snacks.  He loved being able to walk around and explore and luckily there were no proper accidents considering it had a very hard floor and he had been walking all of a week unaided before we got there! 

The three of us had a fantastic holiday made easier by the fact that Barcelona is a great place to take a toddler, and his naturally flirty personality was very welcome! We enjoyed our last week away as a family of 3 and are already pining for the sun!

family photo in lift

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Monday 15 October 2012

THX Hair Styling - Review

              I have never been particularly imaginative with how I style my hair.  I tend to experiment with colour but opt for down and straightened for both everyday and big events.  Part of this is through laziness and part through not having the know-how to do anything else.  I was invited along to the launch party for a new brand of electronic hair styling products - THX and they offered to help me get ready with hair and make up beforehand.

I had my make up done first and the lovely make up artist gave me plenty of tips on how to make the most of my features and what colours suited me.  It felt very glam and I was excited to go and see hairdresser to the stars- Desmond Grundy for some help to make my hair more exciting.  I told him what I was after and he showed me how to get the look using the new THX range.  He then coached me through it making sure I was confident doing it myself.   For my hair he suggested a flick at the front to give it some shape using the new hair straighteners   I loved the look as it was simple and easy and took no more time than my usual routine - perfect when you have a 14 month old to entertain as you get ready! 

make up artist, THX launch

Once hair and make up were done it was time to party and the champagne flowed as bloggers, press and celebrities enjoyed Keisha from Sugababes DJ-ing.  My hair kept it's look all night and I have been busy  replicating it at home.  Desmond had helped us all achieve our chosen hair styles with the fab new products and it was great seeing the range that can be achieved!

parent bloggers, THX launch party, THX styling
Parent bloggers Ruth, Lauren, myself and Danielle

I was given a pair of the curling tongs to take away and am looking for an excuse to get dressed up so I can practice the gorgeous curls some of the other bloggers were sporting.  The products are really reasonably priced and reach higher temperatures than some of the leading brands.  They are available to buy exclusively from Tesco and I completely recommend them.

The range includes hair straighteners, hair dryers, and several types of curlers meaning there is a product for every style and hair type.  Waves, tousled and straight are all achievable and I am really excited about trying some new things now.  

Disclaimer:  I was invited to this event and my expenses were paid.  I was also given a pair of curling tongs to take home.  All views and opinions are my own.
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Sunday 14 October 2012

Guest Post - My Boys

I have a second guest post this week from the lovely Kat at Kat Sighs

 I am a Mum of three boys. The Big One is 12 yrs and firmly rooted in tweenager-dom. He is a lovely lad and I am sure he will emerge the other side of his teens equally as lovely. Who knows what will fill the gap!? (He is from my previous relationship) Next up is Chaos who is 2 on Sunday. He is a regular whirlwind and entertaining to boot. He fills a room and steals your attention, however much you try to ignore him. Then there is Squish Pot. He is 10 months and completely adorable! He is the angelic, cute, quiet one - at the moment! 

Having kids is a total lottery, you never know what you're going to get. Even with a box of chocolates the options are limited! I was 22 when I had Big. I was naive enough to think having a baby wouldn't be that big a change - PAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! Stupid girl, I know. I didn't really consider what this lump I was sporting, would turn into. I just didn't want to get too big as I was struggling to ride my horse every day. Once again, Stupid girl, I know! 

When I was pregnant with Chaos, all those years later, it was a totally different story. I knew what was coming this time. Another bundle of grinning, puking, cuddly, poopiness that I would fight to the death for. I knew that number 2 would be different to number 1. They were two different people so of course they would have different personalities. They would like different toys, foods, colours and clothes. I realised that. What I didn't realise (and nobody told me) was that EVERYTHING would be different!! 
Big was a healthy breastfed baby - Chaos dropped weight like a hot potato and was readmitted to hospital at 7 days with Jaundice.
Big was a great sleeper - Chaos had undiagnosed reflux and would scream for ages if we led him down but slept instantly on us. He also used to gag in his sleep (terrifying!)
Big would eat anything - Chaos was still eating puree at a year due to his reflux (any lumps made him gag and vomit)

I suppose I thought the fundamental things would be the same. I thought they would sleep and eat the same. It was a total shock and I remember saying "Big never did that" a LOT in the early days.
Now we have Squish as well and he (curiously) looks and acts like Big. They are both blond haired and blue eyed, quiet, easy going and happy. Squish slept through the night from a few weeks old, eats everything within reach and has had no problems at all. He is the most infectiously happy baby you could ever meet. He is always smiling and has a collection of hearts he stole from every health visitor he ever met! 

It is interesting watching how they get on together. Big always wanted a little brother so I thought he would be made up when he got one and he was. He soon realised his little playmate had a lot of growing to do before they could play football together! He was worried about breaking him initially but watching them now you wouldn't believe that was ever a concern! They wrestle and muck about to the point I have to remind Big he is playing with a little boy not a rag doll!! Chaos never seems to mind and laughs his head off. Stupidly, I thought Big would be more tolerant of the time the little boys require as he is old enough to understand. He may well understand but it doesn't stop him feeling left out. This is something we are working on at the moment. 

Chaos and Squish are very cute together. Chaos loves his little brother and gives him kisses but he also gets a bit rough with him, usually when he takes his tractors! They are starting to play together more now as Squish becomes more mobile. It is lovely to watch the three of them playing together. Squishs little face lights up when he sees his brothers, he follows them about as fast as he can crawl, bless him. I am glad when he was born that I tried really hard to involve Chaos so he didnt feel jealous or left out. He was quite heavy handed so I got him involved in other ways. He used to fetch nappies or wipes for me. He would pick up a dropped toy or dummy. Carry things to another room or just sit next to Squish if I had to pop to the kitchen. If Squish cries, Chaos still comes running to see if hes ok from where ever he is. He tells me if hes hurt or what happened if I wasnt looking. Squish doesnt like being on his own so I taught Chaos to just sit with him so I could make his bottle. I suppose that has stayed with him and he still sits with him if I pop out of the room for a minute. 

Boys will be boys but I love my boys, they are great!

I may be a little scared now as big one sounds a lot like Dylan but I have my fingers crossed for another hungry little sleeper (can you really be that lucky twice?)
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Friday 12 October 2012

Guest Post - Trouble times Two

I have a wonderful guest post today from the lovely Rachel at Three Years and Home.  Rachel will have two little boys from early next year as well and much like me is wondering what she is letting herself in for! 

           Like Bex, I already have one troublesome toddler on my hands who will turn two at the end of this month. Just as things started to calm down at the end of last year and we settled him in to a routine that both my husband and I could cope with, those pesky hormones took over and persuaded us that yes, now we get time to eat meals while they are still hot and enough sleep to not render us exhausted come 3pm, let’s go through it all again! So come January, our family of three will become a more complete four. We’ll have two little boys on our hands; trouble times two!

Looking back to when CK was born, I can’t believe how overwhelming everything was. Was I feeding him enough? Was I changing him enough? How often should we bath him? Should I entertain him every waking moment? Could I take a shower while he sat in his bouncy chair? Was it okay to leave him in the playpen while I popped to the kitchen to make a cup of tea? Not to mention the horror of him refusing to be weaned before 7 months and not sleeping through the night until 14 months. And everywhere I turned, I received conflicting information. It was hard not to panic.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and now I can say that essentially, I worried for no reason. This has made me determined to take a more relaxed approach with trouble number two. I have more of a sense of what to expect and now know to just let things happen. Baby’s take their own time to develop and while books are great for general ideas, they’re not to be relied upon religiously. 

I am a little concerned that my husband and I are going to lose our tag team approach during the tough times. Two versus one is great to see you through the nights of teething and illness where you can work in shifts. With two wanting and needing our attention, I imagine there’s going to be very little rest in our small apartment. I picture myself snatching a mere moment to take a shower with trouble number two settled in the bathroom in his cradle and trouble number one pulling back the curtain every second to play peekaboo. It might not be glamorous, it might not always be fun but right now, I can’t wish for anything more. 

I am definitely going to be more relaxed second time around as Dylan has taught me that they all do things in their own time and worrying doesn't do anybody any good! You can find Rachel on twitter as farfromhomemama 
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Wednesday 10 October 2012

Learning to Draw

I may not have many skills but I love to try my hand at arts and crafts.  I have attempted knitting, sewing, painting, drawing and anything else given the chance.  I have decided that at 14 months Dylan now has the understanding and co-ordination to start discovered his creative side so this week, armed with chunky crayons and plenty of paper I decided we would learn to draw.

learning to drw, baby first drawing, 14 month old artist

My first suprise was that the
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Monday 8 October 2012

Baby Wearing and Pregnancy

With this week being International Babywearing Week, I thought I would write about my recent struggle.  Although never a full-time baby wearer, I have always loved to take Dylan out in a carrier or sling and sometimes the convenience is unbeatable.  When I found out I was pregnant I made the most of those first few 'bump-less' weeks and found the Ergo got more use than the pushchair as I enjoyed our cosy cuddles.  It wasn't long until little Mr Squish started to get in the way though and I believed my baby wearing days were over until baby decided to make an appearance.

After 10 weeks without a sling, I decided to give it another go. I researched how best to carry without tying round your waist  ( As I have no idea where my waist is hiding nowadays! ) and discovered a double hammock carry which is tied all above the bump ( I used this video as a guide ) .  Although my body was not used to his weight,  I decided we would give it a go and I managed to get Dylan comfortably on my back quite easily.  We set out on a little stroll to test it and after 45 minutes, I was still finding him comfortable, with no strains on my back or tummy.

babywearing whilst pregnant, international babywearing week, pregnant carrying toddler
He may have been a little distracted by the shower curtain
It is wonderful to discover that I can still share that closeness with him even though there is another little person determined to get in the way and as we walk we have a little chat, pointing at and naming everything we see.  Wearing him on my back means his head is next to mine so I don't need to shout to be heard and we can have our own little private conversation and singsong.  

I know that it is only going to get more difficult as both of us are growing and I need to be careful of my back as my front gets bigger, but all the time it feels comfortable and is safe, Dylan and I will enjoy our little walks without the pushchair.  My favourite thing about it at the moment, is that I can manage to hold an umbrella and keep us both dry - something I struggle with when pushing a buggy!

babywearing pregnant, double hammock pregnant

I love having the option to carry Dylan or take him out in the pushchair and it is lovely to know that pregnancy does not have to get in the way.  Have you worn your baby whilst pregnant, or do you intend to? Do you have any tips for me?
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Sunday 7 October 2012

Officially Autumn : John Lewis Dressing Gown Review

It is officially autumn.

The leaves are falling, knitwear is back on the rails and my gas bill is taking a beating as the heating is getting put on far too often under the pretence of   'keeping the baby warm'.  Pjs are making an appearance earlier and earlier and some days I am only dressed for a couple of hours!  John Lewis were kind enough to offer me a new dressing gown and suddenly my evenings are a whole lot more snuggly.

They have a great variety,  but my criteria was big, soft and cosy and I quickly chose the perfect one for me.  

John Lewis Winter Warmth Bathrobe, Duck Egg

My absolute favourite thing about it is that it has a hood.  I have never had a dressing gown with a hood before and I feel twice as snug sat right in my little den on our corner sofa with my hood up.  The duck egg blue colour makes me think of winter as I tend to dress a lot in creams and greys and softer colours and it is lovely and soft and warm.  Luckily, it also has plenty of growing space as I don't imagine I will be getting any smaller over the coming months!  In fact I can tell you for certain it will be added to my hospital bags come February as being comfortable is definitely a priority with a newborn baby.

The main problem I am having with it is deciding which pair of slippers to team it with every evening! (I *may* have a slight slipper addiction)

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a bathrobe from John Lewis for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.  
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Friday 5 October 2012

We are having a . . .

There was a lot riding on it - £20 in fact! I had my hunches, not as strong as last time but they were there and the bloke had his too.  We agreed to disagree on our predictions and a £20 bet was placed on the gender of the baby.  So who won. . . ?

big brother, announcing second baby, announcing baby gender

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Thursday 4 October 2012

20 weeks Pregnant

20 weeks signifies that major milestone - half way there!  These first 20 weeks have been exciting, tiring and busy and I am looking forward to the new 20.  Here is my bump photo:

On the Inside

I am having some really tiring days and they are very unpredictable but all in all still feeling good.  I am getting really out of breath walking home from the local town - although it is all uphill and I have a little chunk to push up it I never struggled before.  Still no cravings, heartburn or sickness so generally enjoying this middle stage.

Baby is a proper wriggler and I feel proper kicks now low down in my tummy.  The bloke has been feeling them too as we have a strong little baby.  I love feeling all the movement and Squish starts kicking as soon as I sit down!

On the Outside 

Bump has really slowed down growing now but it is getting harder and feeling more pregnant.  My skin is feeling great and my hair is thicker so I know I am in the lovely second trimester. (not that you can tell from this terrible photo!)  I am living in my Crave maternity jeans at the moment and have been busy buying winter maternity tops. Wearing normal clothes is becoming risky as I don't want to stretch them so I am pretty much  always in maternity or bought-to-be-stretched stuff.

The Scan

We had our twenty week scan and everything is good with the little one.  Squish would not stop wriggling but was very co-operative showing all the body parts to the camera when required!  The sonographer confirmed that baby is currently breech with legs extended which is why I am feeling low kicks and higher bubbly movements.  Baby is not measuring nearly as big as Dylan was at this stage and is only just above the average lines - there is hope for me yet!  We do know the gender and all will be revealed very soon.  In the meantime you have only a few hours left to make a guess.  You can also check out my other pregnancy posts here

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Vanchi Review

Since becoming a parent I have noticed a huge change in what any disposable income is spent on.  No longer are shopping sprees all about me and my ebay watch list is full of toys and clothes suitable only for little boys.  Sometimes it is lovely to have a nice treat, something for me to enjoy and changing bags have been my guilty pleasure recently.

They may not be just for me, but I tend to use a changing bag as a handbag as well so I think of it as mine.  I have recently been testing a gorgeous Vanchi bag and I really feel like I want to show it off.   

It may not look much like a changing bag but it is full of pockets to keep everything handy and comes complete with an insulated bottle holder, a snack pot holder, wet bag and changing mat.  The bag is gorgeous black leather, waterproof and so much roomier than it looks.  I can easily fit in everything I need for Dylan and myself and still have plenty of space.

In fact, when I went to the MAD blog awards recently, I took everything I needed for the evening in there! Shoes, dress, make up, book and hoody for the train home, evening bag and of course all my normal handbag items.

Vanchi bag, changing bag, pretty nappy bag, nappy bag that looks like handbag
This is my bag today, with all Dylan's bits, all my handbag bits and my hospital notes folder ready for  our scan in - plenty of space and it still doesn't look big!

I love having a beautiful bag on my arm rather than a bag that looks like it is designed for nappies and it makes it easier to use for other things. The bag comes with carry handles perfect for wearing on your shoulder and which also fit across the handles on my Cosatto Super lite.  It also has a long strap so it can be worn across body or across a wider pushchair - great for when I haam pushing a double next year! 

The only negative I have about the bag are that it is quite heavy, even without anything in although this is of course down to the quality and sturdy materials it is made with.  It doesn't fit underneath the pushchair as well as some smaller bags too but this isn't a problem as I am quite happy wearing it and showing off my gorgeous changing bag.

All in all I am very impressed and loving having my but of luxury.  I would recommend Vanchi bags as us mothers need to treat ourselves, and there is no reason to stop using when nappies are no longer needed!

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a Vanchi bag for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 
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Wednesday 3 October 2012

Life as we know it

Life as we know it is going to change.  I don't mean all of us, I mean my little family.  Right now our days revolve around the three of us.  Our alarm clock is Dylan waking up and having a little chat with his teddies.  My breakfast time is his breakfast time.  We go to baby groups designed for his age group - designed for parents looking after one child.

When he goes down for his nap I get myself dressed and ready for the day, do housework catch up on blogging and twitter and get our lunches ready.  His 7pm bedtime means the bloke and I get time as a couple  to watch films, do housework catch up on blogging and twitter.  We have a lovely little routine. 

We can go out the house, grabbing the ready packed changing bag, the buggy and the baby and it isn't the hour long mission it once was.  We plan our holidays for 3, our days out for 3 and there is the perfect space on our sofa for 3 people to snuggle.

Soon there will be 4.

Life as we know it will change.  My nights of sleeping through will come to an end.  Our late mornings look unlikely to stay as a permanant feature and suddenly there is an extra little person to get ready every morning.  I am excited about the impending arrival of squish but also sentimental that our little routine will be broken.  

I remember all too well the tiredness.  I know that as soon as you have the nappy bag packed and the pram by the door, the newborn will have a pooplosion that involves an entire change of clothes, and he will then decide he cannot go anywhere until he has had a feed.

I cannot wait to proudly push both my gorgeous children in a double pushchair and show them off to everyone.  I cannot wait to see Dylan change from my little baby into the fantastic big brother I know he will be.  I know I have enough space in my heart to love both my babies, but there is no doubt that life as we know it will change.

I have been told by many people that the second child has to fit in with the first.  That the baby will learn the existing routine and (hopefully) follow it too.  I can't wait to welcome our second baby into the family but for now I am enjoying life with one and the life we know.

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Monday 1 October 2012

My Little Reader

When I was younger I always had my nose in a book.  I would ignore the TV, choosing the written word instead and it would take me twice as long to do anything as I couldn't put down that day's book whilst I was doing it. The love of literature never left me and I ended up doing my degree in English Literature.  Unfortunately at the moment I find very little time to indulge this pleasure as having a toddler, working part time and blogging takes up pretty much all of my day!

It is nice to see that this is something I have passed down to my son, and he is happiest sat on the floor surrounded by his books.  He likes to be read to but he loves to read to himself.  He picks up a book, opens it, points to the words and babbles his own version of what is going on in the picture.  He reads a whole book this way, turning every page and when finished he puts it back down before choosing another and starting again.

baby reading, learning to read, baby loves books, toddler, 13 months old, babay imagination

TV is ignored and toys seem invisible.  He is most content around his books and he is growing quite a collection.  He will read anything from board books, to paper paged ones, to a random catalogue that falls through the door.  He has his favourites but won't ignore any.  I love watching him delve into a new story and I wonder what he is thinking about, whether his imagination is taking him to beautiful places already.  

At the moment we have story time in the mornings as he gets far too excited when the books come out that he cannot really have a bedtime story yet.  Every morning we cuddle up and read a book and we point to the pictures and turn the pages together.  I find it very difficult not to read all the words before we turn over but he goes at his own speed, favouring some pages more than others.  I love watching him learn and cannot wait to teach him to read!

Since his birth I have been told constantly that Dylan is the spitting image of his daddy and it is nice to see that he got something from me.  I hope his love for books continues, maybe I might get to read more too that way!  Until then, I love the peace that I get when he is sat on the floor looking at his books and I love watching his imagination grow.

Do your children love reading?  Did it start when they were little or did they grow into it?
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