Father's Day 2015

This was Perry's 1st Father's Day having 2 children so it was extra special having them both spoiling their Daddy, this year I didn't really do much in terms of presents as well its not about them really, its about the children spending time with Perry and enjoying the day. We had no plans to go anywhere and just enjoyed a relaxed morning at home, I got Isla out of bed and gave her the canvas that we had done a super cute craft on, she ran into our bedroom and gave Perry her proud art work and gave him a kiss. I then got her to give him his cards and other little bits and bobs that we got him, also the canvas that Archie had done for him, it was his foot prints in blue paint and it was meant to look like a heart but he was wiggling too much for me to do it properly. 

We spent the morning playing with Lego Duplo, its one of our favourite things to do all together, Isla loves it when Perry and I sit with her and build things too, it was raining a little bit so it was nice to just be inside enjoying the special time together. We ended up making a big boat and Isla loved playing it with when we was finished, we then all got dressed and pottered about for a bit. 

We went over to my parents house so Isla could give my dad her art work she done for him too and also so I could see him too, we spent the afternoon playing ball in the garden and having a good time, I felt sad that I didn't take Perry out anywhere or to dinner but it shows you don't have to do anything fancy at all to have a good day. We had a Chinese for dinner and come home shortly afterwards, me and Perry decided to get a early night, well I say early we went to bed and ended up watching programmes but hey at least we was in bed early for once instead of midnight. 

What did you get up to on Father's Day? 

Nattou Doudou Review & Giveaway

Archie was kindly sent a Nattou Arthur the zebra Doudou comforter to try out from the lovely people at Your Little Chipmunks and we have kindly been given the opportunity to give one away! Please follow all the steps below to be entered into the competition and the winner will be announced via Twitter. 

The doudou is super soft and cuddly which is perfect from birth onwards, although Archie is still a little to small to even acknowledge it I have been laying it with him when we go out in the pushchair and in his cot to help him feel a little more safe and secure, he is starting to grab on to things now and this is so soft he seems to like it. The colours are really neutral with a subtle touch of baby blue round the trim. It has a aeroplane stitched into it which is lovely, and it has a tag stitched on one of the edges, as he gets older I know he will love playing with the tag as my daughter was the same at around 7 months. On the other edge is 2 knot ties which is nice for him to touch and feel different textures. You can find Arthur the zebra on the website here.

Its such a lovely toy and at £12.50 it would be great to give as a present for a new baby, or at a baby shower, or even to buy yourself for your little boy. I am now a little bit in love with the other items in the Nattou range so may have to treat Archie, especially if he gets really attached to it and uses it as his comfort item. 

You can just make out Arthur the Zebra on the right in Archie's cot, thats his place that he stays when we are not using him as I'd hate to loose him. 

Giveaway is for UK residents only..

*I was sent this product for the purpose of this review. I was not paid for this, all opinions are my own.

Milton Mini Soother Steriliser Review

Have you ever had the sheer panic when your baby has dropped its dummy on the floor, and it was the last one you had while out? I have many times with my daughter Isla when she was younger and yes I hold my hands up now she is over 2 I am a lot more relaxed and wipe it off and give it back to her, but now we have Archie I'm back to that ‘everything must be clean’ stage so thankfully…

I was kindly sent a Milton Mini Portable Steriliser to try out, now that Archie is here I have finally been able to use it. It is something I always thought was a bit unnecessary but since having it I have definitely changed my mind. I have the blue one which came with 10 tablets, and then I bought a box of 50 tablets from Tesco for £1.85.

To set it up it is really easy to do, you simply wash the base and lid, and then rinse the white sponges under water. Once all washed and dried you can set it up for your first use, you fill the base with water to the line (if your out you can use bottled water) then you put a mini tablet in and wait for it to dissolve which only takes a minute or so. Once dissolved you place the rinsed base sponge in and then the top sponge and press down firmly 3 times to ensure the sponges absorb the fluid, any excess you just tip out.

When a dummy falls on the floor or gets dirty you simply wipe it with a wipe if your out and then pop it in the soother holder for 15 minutes and boom you have a sterilised dummy. Now the thing I never knew was that the solution can be used for 24 hours so in that time you can use it to sterilise as many dummy's as you need to. I always thought you had to make a new solution up every time which is what put me off buying it. 

But now I make up a solution before I go out, using the handy strap I attach the steriliser to my nappy bag or pushchair and then while out and about I can sterilise dummy's when I need to, and I always have a clean one in the holder. I take 2 out with me so while one is being sterilised I can offer Archie the other dummy to avoid being screamed at by the little monkey. The steriliser is suitable for dummies up to 6 months old, we use the Mam brand and you have to put it in at a angle but it does sit in nicely once under the opening. Its also nice to always have a dummy to hand and not have to go rummaging down your nappy bag, and if its anything like mine you could easily be looking for hours.

I think this is going to be a lifesaver when we go to Egypt in September, there is no way we could carry enough dummy's for the day of travelling without running out, so at least now we can sterilise them all day and will only need to carry 2. Also at the hotel round by the pool or on trips out of the resort where your baby drops it's dummy, it will be so handy to always have a sterilised dummy in the holder and then swap it when you need to. Overall we love it and I'm looking forward to putting it to good use this year.

*I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, I was not paid to write this. All opinions are honest and my own

Archie's Nautical Nursery

Now that we have moved I could finally set up Archie's nursery, it is not finished yet, I still want to add a cube unit from Ikea, wall stickers and a light shade. I was limited to what I could do as we rent our home but I think I did well with what I could. This is the view as you open the door to his nursery, as you can see it really is a small room but he doesn't have much at the moment so its not a problem, the picture actually makes it look smaller than it is

His bedding is from the Mothercare 'Adventure Ahead' range and it was perfect, I wanted a nautical theme nursery but also to incorporate other things like cars and planes etc. As his room is small I loved that the bedding was mostly white with small pops of colour all over it, they did have another nautical bedding set but the main colour was navy so I thought it would make the room seem smaller with such a dark colour. 

His mobile is by vTech and it was such a good buy, it fitted the nautical theme great as it is a whale, and it also has a mood light on its stomach, on the mobile is a fish, octopus, starfish and crab. At the top is a projector which shines stars and a moon on the ceiling while spinning around the toys. It makes me want to jump in the cot with him and listen to the calming sea noises. His cot spiral toy is also from the Adventure Ahead range, and I have put it on his cot for now and when he gets a bit bigger I will put it on his car seat. 

Hanging on his wardrobe is a anchor that I picked up from B&M Bargains, it adds a nice touch to the nautical theme. Also in his room is his personalised chair, Isla has one as well and they were gifts from when they were born from my Grandparents. 

This is the most special thing in his bedroom, its a rainbow that I got from Sainsbury's and I have put it on his windowsill and it stands out so much which I love. Archie is our Rainbow baby and I wanted to put something in his room to mark this. Now every time I walk in his room and I see it I am reminded how special he is and about the baby we lost. 

His rug is from Dunelm Mill, and its a great size for his bedroom. When I put it down it really helped bring the nautical theme together and added a bit of colour to his nursery. 

To the right when you open the nursery door is his dresser/ changing unit, on the end we have the Munchkin organiser that holds all his nappy's and has a space at the top for wipes and cream which is handy for when I'm changing him. His changing mat was from Mothercare and is from the Baby K range. Then we have the back corner that has his wardrobe, washing bin and his little chair on display. I'm going to put the cube unit next to his wardrobe when I get it. 

And lastly this is the inside of his wardrobe, it holds all of his winter suits, jumpers, shirts, dungarees and his shoes. At the bottom of the wardrobe is a drawer and in there I keep his blankets and spare bedding sheets. 

Archie's 6 Week Update

You're 11lb 6oz

6 weeks already I cant believe it, it feels like you have been here with us forever. You are doing so much more now, staying awake a lot longer, taking in the world and everything and everyone around you. I am learning so much more about you and your personality, you are already really cheeky and stop smiling as soon as you see the camera! You have been smiling at Mummy and your Big Sister, and talking of her, you are so fascinated by her and stare at her all the time, you love it when she gives you attention and you wiggle your legs around so much and snort a little, its the cutest thing ever, when Mummy snorted back at you, you looked a little worried and gave me a awkward smile, I know, I'm embarrassing you already aren't I. 

You are a hungry boy and you drink 7oz every 5 hours, sometimes its not enough and we have to make you more! We had to put you on to comfort milk as you started to really suffer with colic all day and was struggling to go to the toilet. You are fitting into your 0-3 month sleep suits perfectly with not much room and its making Mummy sad as she loves your sleep suits and thought you would be in them until you was 3 months. Clothes wise you are doing fine, you seem to have long legs though and I have no idea where you have got this from? Mummy and Daddy have to buy short length jeans so it definitely didn't come from us. A exciting milestone is that you are now 99% of the time sleeping through the night which is amazing, Mummy and Daddy are very grateful for this.

You love the bath, you enjoy splashing your legs around and I'm so excited to take you swimming, I think you will love it. You love looking at your toys and have started to coo at them at times which is so nice to see and hear. Of course you love when your Big Sister plays with you, although sometimes she can be a little rough. Your not a fan of tummy time and can only last a minute before having a complete melt down and then Mummy has to turn you over. You smiled at Mummy for the first time on Saturday and it was the cutest, Mummy was talking to you in her silly voice and you obviously must find it amusing as you give the biggest cheekiest smiles, well sometimes when I do it and no one or the camera is not around. So I'm pretty sure everyone thinks Mummy is making it up as they haven't seen it yet, Daddy has caught you smiling a few times though so he must believe me. 

Your hair is growing so much on the top, but its in the middle near the back so I really don't know what to do with it as sometimes it can look like a comb over! Its got a little lighter from when you was born but I am now unsure on if you will actually go light like your Sister. Your eyes are a beautiful blue in colour, and seem to get lighter every day, your eyelashes look so long already and your eyebrows are a light colour and you can see them in some light. You have had milk spots on your face for the past 2 weeks now, hopefully they will go soon, and then you scratched your face with your tiny but sharp nails. 

You are generally a very content happy baby and we are all so in love with you.

Siblings | June

We are now into our second month of having two children, and I cant believe how much has changed since last month, now we are in our new home, in a better routine life just seems to be falling into place, as so does the bond between these two. It has been amazing to watch them together, I find myself falling into a daze just watching them together, it really is the most heart warming thing. Isla is such a good big sister to Archie, she adores him and it really shows, she always looks after him and puts him first, she had a fall (turns out she broke her wrist) and when she was crying after it happened, as soon as she heard Archie crying she immediately became concerned for him and wanted to offer him his dummy back. She really is the sweetest little girl towards her brother and has never shown any bad behavior towards him, its mostly to us the parents when we hold him sometimes.

Archie is so in love with his big sister and you can already tell, he follows her with his eyes all around the room, and recently smiles when she is making a fuss of him, I don't know about you but seeing him smile at his big sister is just the most amazing feeling ever. He gets so excited when she is making noise (99% of the day) singing, laughing, shouting etc he wiggles his legs in excitement, I love watching him gaze at her in amazement, I cant wait to watch their bond grow over the next few months, the two are going to have the closest bond ever, I can just feel it.

dear beautiful

New Wonky Playhouse

I have always wanted to get Isla a play house and now we have a garden it was the perfect time to get one, I decided to go for a wonky playhouse, it looked quirky and funky, and as our family is pretty hectic and life is always crazy it just seemed to fit in with our home ha ha. We had it delivered and then had to wait until we had moved to set it up, when the day finally came to put it up I was so excited, we put Isla down for her nap and aimed to get it built while she was asleep.

We opened up all the boxes and then realised we didn’t have any instructions, so it took us a while to work out what parts were for what, but the hardest bit was working out what screws we had to use for what parts. It was a nightmare but I was determined to get it up for Isla, especially with the weather being so good. We done pretty well really, well I say we I mean Perry did, I just sort of watched and helped hold bits when I needed to, it wasn’t long before we got the base up and then it was simple, just do the floor and the sides, then the roof went on. Just as Perry put the last screw in Isla woke up, thinking back I wished I had waited a while before bringing her down to see it as she was still half asleep and a bit like what is going on? 

Once she had woken up a bit she ran over to the house and walked up the steps, she went down the slide and then ran back round to the steps again, she loved the house but we didn't manage to get the door handles on in time so we had to help her open the door which is held shut with magnets, the same for the windows. The house is a good size, I'm glad that its not too big as our garden is not exactly huge so it doesn't take up the whole garden which I love. Its going to be perfect for Isla and Archie to play in together and when Isla has her friends over they can play together in it too. 

I am so happy she has a little house to play in the garden, hopefully this summer we will be mostly in the garden, we just need the good weather now. We are going to decorate the house with fairy lights and do some bits inside to make it more cosy for her, I also love that the slide is part of it so now we don't have to have a separate slide taking up more room in the garden. 

What is your little ones favorite garden toy? 
Tara x

Life Lately...

Life has been pretty hectic lately, we have moved into our new home, which is amazing I love it so much, it's the perfect house for our little family to grow in. Unpacking has taken a little longer then expected, as you can imagine having a 5 week old and a toddler isn't easy without the stress of moving. Our rabbit Ruby had 6 babies a week after Archie was born, and on Sunday exactly a month later she has given birth to another 7 babies! She must of got pregnant straight away poor girl. So as you can see I have been pretty busy hence the lack of posts, plus we currently have no wifi. But don't worry I've got lots of posts planned and they will be coming up soon. 

Sunday was a eventful day as not only did the rabbit have another 7 babies but Isla had a fall and broke her wrist! I honestly don't know how I've got through the last few days, my mum is on holiday so I haven't had her around to help. I am so tired and can't wait for life to become a bit less stressful and more settled... Will it ever happen? 

Labour & Delivery With Archie

Saturday 2nd May 2015 – 40weeks 1day pregnant

5:30am – I woke up with a really bad period pain, I didn’t think anything of it but I just laid there with my eyes shut as the sun was starting to come up and so I couldn’t get back to sleep straight away, around 10 minutes later it came back but it was more intense and it came up my stomach. I woke Perry up and told him what was happening. Using a app on his iPhone we started to time them, they were coming 10 minutes apart lasting 40 seconds average. By 6:30am they were coming every 5 minutes lasting for 1 minute.

7:00am – They were now 4 minutes apart and sometimes 6 minutes, and I was starting to think I was going to be in labour for ages because they were not coming at exactly the same time apart. I heard that Kate Middleton had gone into labour and I just couldn’t believe it, we always joked about Archie coming the same day as the Royal baby, but I never thought it would actually happen, and then I was starting to think that it was false labour and the baby was playing tricks on me. With Isla my contractions from the start were every 3 minutes lasting for 1 minute so I kept thinking because mine were varying that I was in super early labor… how wrong I was.

The pain in my back was the worst; it felt like my back was going to snap in half. I got Perry to make me a cup of tea and some toast as I was feeling hungry. I also kept going to the toilet for little wee’s as I heard you should try and keep your bladder empty for labour to progress quicker. It felt so odd sitting on the toilet and trying to have a wee, I hated going especially having a contraction while sat down it was awful.

8:00am – The pain in my back was so much stronger, I just kept taking deep breaths to get through the contractions, I also found keeping active helped a lot, I liked standing up and rocking through them, being on the bed made the pain harder to control and I would start to panic saying I can’t do this! I asked for a bath to be run as I knew the warm water would help my back loads, I then needed to have a poo, I was so nervous to go because that is how Islas labour started and from there it went very quickly, but I needed to go so I asked Perry to wait outside the door in case I needed him. After I had been the contractions were so much more intense and also now coming every 3 minutes on the dot lasting 1 minute, I was standing in the bathroom and felt a slight urge to push, I didn’t tell Perry as I knew he would go into panic mode so I just asked him to call the delivery suite and tell them that I would be coming in, I also wanted to make sure they could save a birthing pool for me as I wasn’t sure how busy they would be. Because of my previous quick labour and delivery and the fact I now lived 30 minutes from the hospital they asked me to come straight in.

8:30am – We started to leave for the hospital, I did cry a little as we was leaving because I was scared and I also didn’t want to leave Isla, when she saw me crying she was all concerned and rubbed my back saying whats wrong. In the car the contractions were still coming every 3 minutes and I had about 2 that were 1 ½ minutes apart, it was awful being sat in the car when all I wanted to do was stand up and rock, especially with the back pain. The pain was becoming unbearable and I was starting to realise how quickly things were going.

When we got to the hospital I could hardly walk along, I also felt the urge to push a lot more while we was walking to the delivery suite, we was greeted by the midwife and it was surprisingly not busy at all, we went straight into the birthing pool room and I was telling the midwife what had been happening and about my previous birth experience. She asked me to do a urine sample and once again exactly like it did with Isla, as soon as I sat on the toilet I had my bloody show and then shouted out saying I need to push! I walked out and Perry ran to get her, I laid down on the bed and she checked me at 9:10am and I was 9cm dilated, I asked her to start running the pool as I really wanted to get in it because of my back pain. While lying on the bed I was having contractions and I had to go with my body and start to push, the pool seemed like it was taking forever to fill up, but she said it had to be at a certain depth before I was allowed to get in.

9:30am – I got into the pool, it was still filling up but it was deep enough for the baby to be born into if he came straight away, instantly the heat of the water helped my back and also I felt so light in the water which helped a lot. She asked if I wanted the radio on so I had a bit of background noise so we had it on but turned down to a nice volume. I remember looking down at my toes and thinking damn one of my toenails has lost its nail polish haha! I asked Perry to wet my flannel under some cold water and put it on my forehead as I was feeling quite hot. As I was pushing the back pain got even worse, especially when he was almost out, I was laid long ways in the pool with my arms holding me up on the step, it was how I felt comfortable with my back. As his head got closer the midwife turned on some battery tea lights around the pool, it was so relaxing and calm.

I felt a slight ripping feeling and thought I was tearing, but it must have been my waters breaking. It was quite odd though as the Midwife herself was baffled as the water stayed clear, she was expecting to see a slight discolouration in the water but there was none. She told me she could see lots of hair and I was just gobsmacked that I was so close to meeting my rainbow baby boy. When his head was crowning it obviously still hurt and stung, but I think the water did help a little.

When his head and shoulders were out she said that at the next contraction I could hold him and when he was born I can pull him up to me. At 9:50am Archie was born, I pulled him up but the cord was wrapped around his neck so the midwife had to pull it back over his head while I stood up a little as the cord was so short. Once it was all ok I sat on the step and kept Archie half in the water to keep warm, even then there was no blood or anything in the pool. I was really surprised as I had warned Perry that the water would turn red and because he passes out at blood he should be made aware. But the water was still super clear. After 15 minutes or so I handed Archie to Perry and the midwife helped me out of the pool, as soon as I stood up a huge blood clot fell down, my first thought was that my placenta had just fallen out, that’s how big it was.

I laid on the bed and the midwife gave me the injection to help the placenta come away, with Isla I didn’t have the injection and struggled for an hour to get it out. The midwife then had to go and mark me down as being on the ward as she didn’t even get time to do it as it all happened so fast. After 20 minutes I was getting cramps again so I had to deliver the placenta, I was so happy to be finally having my body back to myself. Afterwards the midwife was concerned that I was losing too much blood, she wasn’t sure if I had another blood clot that was bleeding, she got a second opinion as she said they would have to call a doctor down and put me on a drip, but I seemed to be ok after a little while.
She checked me to see if I had torn and if I needed stitches but I didn’t! I got Perry to lay Archie down with me as he was screaming and obviously hungry, I had to lie on my side as I wasn’t allowed to get up and then I started breastfeeding him. After a while the midwife helped me to move onto a bean bag so I could sit up for a while before having a shower, I had a cup of tea and some pain killers for the awful after pains.

After 20 minutes or so sitting on the bean bag while the midwife checked Archie again and then weighed him at 8lb 4oz, Perry got him dressed and then I decided to get up and have a shower, when I was about to get out I lost another huge blood clot, and then the bleeding calmed down loads thankfully. I got into my comfy clothes and then the press wanted to come and see me, I agreed for them to come in but was so annoyed as I looked a right mess, but they took photos of me and Archie and we actually ended up in our local paper! We didn’t even go up to the post-delivery ward as it was so quiet and they was short staffed we got to stay in our room which was so nice, we then got discharged and was home by the afternoon to watch Kate Middleton leave the hospital with Princess Charlotte.

I can’t believe I had another quick natural and 100% no pain relief birth, I am the biggest wimp normally and I honestly don’t know how I did it. So if you’re like me and cry when you stub your toe and are worried about labour, you might just surprise yourself like I have. 

TfL 'Baby On Board' Range | NotOnTheHighstreet

The Baby On Board range by Transport for London has been expanded with some lovely new products! If you have ever used the tube you may have noticed some women wearing 'Baby On Board' badges which you can get when you find out you're pregnant for free. notonthehighstreet.com have teamed up with the brand to celebrate its 3 year partnership by bringing Mums-to-be a variety of products, from announcement cards to baby shower invitations and also some products have the option of being personalised for the added touch.

The range currently consists of 12 unique items, but more will be released over the coming months to add to the collection. There is something to suit everyone with prices ranging from £3.25 to £40.00 - the Baby On Board badges are free and now come with a TfL catalogue that is full of ideas and tips for travelling on the network, places to visit in London with young children and babies, and also a 10% discount to use on notonthehighstreet.com website. Dads-to-be and other family members can apply for a badge to give to a expectant mum, it is available from all LU stations and also through the TfL website.

Personalised 'Baby On Board' Mummy To Be Keepsake Box (£23.00)

This box is a really good size, it feels sturdy and strong which is good, the box is secured with a magnetic closure and ribbon. Its a great box that can be personalised to whom is receiving the box and they can store all of their pregnancy keepsakes in it, like scan photos, cards, photographs and any other bits and pieces. I will be using mine as a keepsake box for Archie with all of my pregnancy and his new born special mementoes in.

'Baby On Board' Card (£3.25)

This eco-friendly card is perfect to celebrate a new arrival, especially if mum and bump used the tube. The card is really good quality and it is also blank inside so you can add your own message, and comes with a envelope.

'Baby On Board' Shopper Bag (£14.00)

This canvas tote bag is a great size for when you are travelling or out and about to put bits in, it clearly lets others know that you're expecting and to take extra care or even offer a seat to you. The Baby On Board logo is also on the bag in case you didn't have your badge on. I have put our bag in the boot of the car for when we go food shopping or to carry bits when we go for a picnic.

Personalised 'Baby On Board' Leather Key Ring (12.50)

This key ring is hand stamped so each one is unique in its own way on good quality leather. It also features the Baby On Board logo on a metal key ring disc, its great to put on your keys for the duration of your pregnancy. It can be personalised (up to 3 lines) you can choose between a circle or rectangular shape and pick between tan and chestnut brown for the colour, you can really make it personal to the recipient.

Check out the range on the website and remember to keep checking back for new products too!

* I was sent these products for the purpose of this review, I was not paid and all opinions are my own as always