Sunday, 29 March 2015

Tyne's 2nd Birthday




They're heeee-reeeee!!!

The "Terrible Two"'s...that is!
Yes...my little tiny baby boy turned 2 on Thursday, and I can't believe how quickly the time has gone...I don't know if its just mind over matter but he already seems so much more grown up to me since his birthday! 

Because of being so heavily pregnant at the time of his birthday, I've been spending the last couple of months planning ways for him to have a really lovely birthday without too much stress or work involved for me....partially because I knew I wouldn't be up to it and partially because I was worried incase I went into labour early and ended up missing the party altogether!

For gifts, we'd decided to get him some outdoor toys for the back yard - he absolutely adores going to the beach to make sandcastles so we knew that a sandpit would be a huge hit, and we also decided to get him a playhouse.


We also had a ride on car that we'd put away last year, and he got some smaller gifts such as a Thomas The Tank Engine Tidmouth Sheds playset, a talking Henry train, a Playdoh Dumper Truck, and a Ben & Holly personalised birthday book.


When we got up in the morning, Tyne was already excited - he saw his "Birthday banners" dotted around the house and knew something exciting was happening!

First we headed out to the garden to play with his house and sandpit, which he adored!

Then we came back inside and he opened the rest of his presents and had a play with them all.


We had decorated the living room using helium balloons in Thomas The Tank Engine colours to add to the magic a bit....we used a Balloon Time kit which we picked up in our local Asda for £22.00 - the kit was so easy to use!



You get the helium canister and 30 multi coloured balloons and ribbon....it was so easy and quick, and there was a great mix of colours in the balloon packet too!



The helium in them lasted really well and I actually ended up attaching a balloon to each child's party bag later in the day which made a nice little party favour.

I'd highly recommend these kits for party decor for any special occasion, we'll certainly be using them again in the future! So much less hassle than having balloons blown up at card shops and having to transport them to the party venue!

Later in the day, my parents and sister visited with gifts for Tyne....he was very spoiled indeed and he absolutely loved his main gift from my parents which was this HUGE train table set from Early Learning Centre!



We had a little party lunch, and then we had a special surprise visitor....


Yep...Peppa Pig arrived to bring a balloon for the birthday boy!

Tyne was DELIGHTED when he saw Peppa knock at the door, and so excited to have a chat with her!

After Peppa had left it was time to get ready for the main event....we held Tyne's birthday party at a local soft play centre which is especially for under 4's...it's just the right size for a small party and younger children, and there's lots for them to do....I also loved that the party is held after closing time so the whole venue is exclusively for the party guests!

The soft play centre did all of the food and clearing away, so there was nothing for me to do at all....I got to just watch the children have fun and chat to the adults...ideal!

We had ordered Tyne's cake from a cakemaker in Liverpool and I was really happy with it....Tyne loved it and wanted to eat the fondant Thomas off the top right away!



After the party we came home and opened the rest of his presents, and then it was bed time for an exhausted 2 year old boy who didn't have a single nap all day!

He had such a lovely time, and woke up the next morning asking if it was his birthday again!






I'm working with Britmums and Balloon Time as part of the "Celebration Club", highlighting inventive and fun ways of using balloons. I was provided with a Balloon Time helium kit and have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. Visit www.balloontime.com for more information and party inspiration.


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Saturday, 28 March 2015

38 Week Bump Watch PLUS baby name, date & weight competition!


Welcome to yet another edition of Bump Watch for Baby Number 2!

Please excuse the slightly deranged look on my face in the above photo but the end goal is now FINALLY in sight and I am getting pretty excited at the prospect of not being pregnant anymore!

This last week has been one of the most tough physically, and I am SO READY to get this baby born already and get some kind of normality back!

My 38 week bump update with Tyne was my last one as he was born at 38+5...it remains to be seen exactly how long is left with this one yet so who knows if we'll see a 39 week and 40 week Bump Watch update or not....but even if we do, it's still getting close to the end and that's exciting enough for me!


How I'm Feeling

TIRED AND SORE!

The past week has been AGONY as far as my hips and back are concerned...I am never comfortable anymore. I can't find a comfortable position to sleep in. My hips ache all day long, I can barely walk, and now my back has started to really play up too....YAY!

I've been getting rolling waves of pain from my neck down to the base of my spine on and off all week...the pain is really overwhelming when it hits and I find it hard to talk or even breathe when it's there...the only thing that seems to help ease it is applying heat.

I've also been getting quite intense period pains low down in my bump which did have me a bit concerned a few nights ago...obviously I've never been in labour as Tyne was born by elective c-section so I don't know what it feels like, but I downloaded a contraction timer app and they were not regular at all so I didn't worry too much...they are still coming every now and then but I had a midwife appointment today and she is satisfied that baby isn't engaged or anything, so it's probably just braxton hicks.

The heartburn is still making its presence felt, and I've been suffering much more this week with gluten intolerance reactions which haven't been happening for ages as I've been avoiding gluten completely...I made a couple of mistakes this week though by drinking Dandelion & Burdock and eating an Easter Egg which I didn't realise had gluten in it and both times I was really hit by the reaction...more so than in the past so I'm wondering if it's related to the pregnancy as the reactions seem more intense the further on I get.


I know you're all jealous of my socks....don't hate ;)


Things To Do

The nesting instinct has well & truly kicked in....we've spent today organising cupboards, de-cluttering the fridge, sorting through Tyne's baby toys and getting loads of boxes ready of things to donate to charity to make room...it's a slow process but I feel that we're getting there!

Tomorrow I plan on doing yet more cupboard de-cluttering, organising Tyne's new birthday toys, and deep cleaning the entire house...Jon will also have the job of assembling the pram and fitting the car seat tomorrow and I also have my hair appointment to go to.

That is then pretty much everything done and dusted!! At last!

I haven't done anything at all in the way of batch cooking, but to be fair we've all survived on Jon's cooking for the last few months anyway because I've been far too happy to use the pregnancy excuse to avoid the kitchen most of the time...so really there's no need for anything to change once the baby is here!!

This weekend I plan on buying the last of what I need for Easter gifts, and having some chill out time...hopefully going out for a nice meal with Jon, spending a day relaxing and beautifying, and just trying to get myself nice and calm and prepared for what the coming couple of weeks may hold.

Wish me luck! 

This week I filmed another bump update, and I also added a "Whats In My Hospital Bag" video onto it...please excuse how miserable I look and sound though, I was really unwell when I filmed it and it REALLY shows....but I absolutely cannot be bothered to film it again so it'll have to do!

My FINAL name reveal is also included at the end!



Be sure to watch that if you want to take part in this next little thing....

NAME, WEIGHT & DATE COMPETITION!

Yep...we're playing it again!

When I had Tyne, I held a competition asking you all to guess the babies name, weight and date of bith...and the first person to get the closest answers won!

So I thought it'd be fun to do it again this time!

You already have a big clue toward the name if you watch the below video....the date will be some point between now and 10th April (hopefully!), and the weight could be anything although the last scan two weeks ago estimated the babies current weight at 6lbs 10 oz and predicted his birth weight to be between 7lbs 7oz and 8lbs.

So...if you'd like to take part, just complete all mandatory entries on the Rafflecopter form below to be eligible and then comment below and tell me:

a)What date do you think baby will be born?
b) What do you think he'll weigh?
and c)What do you think we'll name him?
Bonus Point: If you can guess what time he'll be born!

The person who gets the closest answers right FIRST will win!

And what's the prize?! A personalised Wall Sticker worth £40 from Vinyl Impression!


Terms & Conditions

*My decision on the winner is final and based on the first person to answer closest
*All mandatory entry requirements must be completed on the Rafflecopter form or your entry will be null & void
*Prize to be sent directly from company
*UK entrants only


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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Toddler Easter Crafting!


We've been getting ourselves ready for Easter by doing a bit of crafting over the last few weeks!

I have to admit, I'm not the most crafty of mummies...my problem is that I worked for years as a nursery nurse and nanny before having kids and I would always pride myself on coming up with loads of elaborate crafting and sensory activities for the children...I loved it! The problem is...I think I overdid it and now that I have my own child, I am COMPLETELY over it!!! I've been there and done it all before and I just don't have the energy when it's all happening in my own house and I'm the one left with the mess to clear away and the clothes to wash....bad Mummy, I know!! (He'll live).

I have forced myself to partake in a bit of the crafty stuff lately though and although it's not my favourite thing to do, I've survived it!

I like to set everything that we need out before I bring Tyne in to the room...otherwise it's all going to descend into chaos!


For this particular activity we were making some Easter cards using paint pens, sticking felt and PVA glue....Some cotton wool sheep, and some Easter Glasses.

I laid out the card ready cut and folded along with a pile of sticky felts and some PVA glue and paintbrushes in a container, the paint pens ready, and the glasses off to one side until we were ready for them.




Tyne really enjoyed all of the activites, but his favourite part was definitely spreading the glue onto the card with the paintbrush - he had far more glue on there than stickers or paint!

The paint pens were fantastic, I would definitely use them again and highly recommend them for toddlers...they look like Prit sticks and work in the same way except that they're dry paint rather than glue... they twist up and down so you only have out what you need and it leaves minimal mess but lots of colour on the page and they're the perfect size for little hands to grip too!

We made our funny glasses, our little sheep and our Easter Cards in about 45 minutes...after then Tyne started to get fidgety and I knew we were done.

Here are our finished products!





We both had fun and we would definitely do something like this again....we filmed a little video of our crafting session too if you'd like to have a watch.



All of the craft products were sent to us by Baker Ross who have a wide range of fantastic craft products for all ages at fantastic prices!

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Happy 2nd Birthday Tyne!



Today my beautiful boy turns 2 whole years old!
I cannot believe how quickly that time has flown by.

I remember bringing home from the hospital like it was yesterday but it also doesn't feel like he's ever not been around.

He's such a gorgeous little guy, and such a character...a chatterbox, hilariously funny, crazy and sweet...Happy Birthday to my beautiful little Prince!


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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Our Pregnancy Buys Second Time Around!

The countdown is now well and truly ON for baby number 2 arriving and so before he does, I thought I'd have a little chat about the items we've got ready & waiting for him!

Jon keeps commenting on how much baby products have evolved just since Tyne was born and that was only 2 years ago...I'm not sure if that's true or if we're just looking at different sorts of things this time around, but I have been really impressed with the choices on offer this time and the value for money too.



One of my best discoveries during this pregnancy has been Online4Baby - which is where we bought the one item that we were both determined we wanted as soon as we found out about having baby number 2! - a co-sleeper!

I remember when Tyne was newborn and how much we struggled to get him to sleep for more than an hour at a time in his moses basket...the only place he seemed to settle was when he co-slept with us and both of us were so worried about the associated risks but were also so desperate for some sleep!

This time around we knew we wanted a co-sleeper crib so that, if this baby is also difficult to settle in his own bed at first, we have a safe co-sleeping option!

I had researched a few different co-sleeper styles online, and the one that most appealed to me was the Chicco Next 2 Me....I loved the padded sides which looked so much more comfortable to me than some of the cotton alternatives on the market, I loved the ventilated mesh window and I loved that it has a removable side so that you can use it as a stand alone and progress it away from the bed as the baby gets older to encourage solo-sleeping.

I also loved that it's available in Dove Grey which matches our bedroom decor perfectly!

Online4Baby were so great to deal with and kept us informed of our order progress throughout - the cot arrived the very next day after ordering, and we were given a delivery time slot which was kept to...a very welcome change from the experiences I often have with couriers!

We are really excited to start using this, and will be featuring an in depth review once the baby has been using it for a while.

Online4Baby are well worth a look when you're expecting as they really do have some absolutely amazing bargains available - including Cosatto double strollers for under £140 and Claire De Lune moses baskets for under £30!

Check out their sale section here!


We're also really excited to be reviewing the Nuna Leaf once the new baby arrives.

This was something I spotted a blogger friend of mine using about 6 months after I'd had Tyne, and I remember thinking how beautiful it was and how much I wished I'd known about it before as by that point we had already bought various bouncy chairs and swings for Tyne and didn't have the room for any more.

So this time around, I knew it was something I wanted to try...I asked a few friends about it and the feedback was very positive!

The leaf is basically a chair that holds children from newborn up to 60kg, so will last for quite a while!

It needs no batteries or chords...you simply give it a gentle push and the side-to-side rocking motion lasts for over 2 minutes, it's super soft and comfortable for baby, and you can lock it to a standstill too to enable it to be used for feeding etc.

I love how stylish and elegant the leaf design is, and it's available in a choice of very tasteful colour combinations...we chose the Bisque as this fits perfectly with our cream and tan living room decor...unlike a lot of baby items, this offers both practicality and functionality for baby while also managing to look stylish in the home - perfect!

Tyne has already tested this out on behalf of his little brother and approves very much, he seems to love chilling out in it so fingers crossed the new baby will feel the same way!

To find out more please take a look at the Nuna website or go to John Lewis to purchase - full review coming soon once baby has tried it out for himself!






I've hunted high and low for a playmat I really loved this time around...when we had Tyne I bought a Brightstarts one which did the job just fine but wasn't the most attractive thing to look at!

I knew that I wanted something a bit prettier to look at this time but still fun for baby, and my main issue with playmats is that they are always made from quite thin material and so seem like they might not be that comfortable for baby to lay on...I remember my Mum always drove me mad saying that Tyne seemed uncomfortable on his Bright Starts mat and always putting cushions under him! (Sorry Mum!)

I saw April from Lilly & Me mention the Mothercare Loved So Much playmat on her blog a while ago, and I thought it looked perfect! So squishy and comfortable, fun for baby and a perfect match for his nursery too...so I had to have it!!

I can't wait to see if he likes it!

Available from Mothercare for £45.00



Another item we didn't have for Tyne which we wanted to get for this baby was a bath support.

I guess we never really needed one with Tyne because we bathed in a baby bath until he was a few months old, and then once he was ready for the big bath we only had him to worry about so we were able to support him while washing him....this time it will be much easier to bathe both children together after a few months, and so a bath support for baby will be a real plus to help us manage two at once at bath time.

We've chosen the Minene Bath Support because it looks cute and functional, and comfortable for baby - we got this from House Of Fraser where it was reduced to a bargain £14.00!

We also picked up a couple of shirts for the boys too in their fab sale - how cute are these?!




A Pumpkin Patch shirt & tie set for Tyne reduced from £22 to £10 and a Bennetton Baby Shirt for the new baby reduced to £8!




Sticking with the bath time theme, I've bought a few normal towels for the new baby as we still use hooded baby towels with Tyne and obviously I want the baby to have his own nice soft new towels...but one thing we didn't have for Tyne was a Cuddledry towel and ever since seeing them on Dragons Den I have thought they seemed like such an excellent idea and something that would definitely make bathtime a lot easier this time around!

Basically the Cuddledry is an extra long towel that allows you to wear it around your neck, clipped into place with a secure fastener...so that it becomes an apron-style and allows you to cover yourself and your clothing ready to receive baby from the bath water but leaving your hands completely free! Genius!

I can't tell you how many times I have retrieved a wriggling, wet baby from the bath water while having no choice but to try to hold the towel between my teeth or under my chin! Such a simple invention but once that make life just so much easier!

Available from www.cuddledry.com

What items did you find most useful with your newborn?

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