Friday 30 May 2014

A Future Free From Plastic with gNappies

A few weeks ago, I received a little surprise in the post. I wasn't expecting anything and I was a bit baffled when I opened it if I'm honest!

I've written before about my love for cloth nappies (Changing to Cloth Nappies & gNappies gPants) and this little package also came from the form of a message in a bottle!

The aim of the message was to inform me of gNappies new scheme. They have teamed up with environmental group 5 Gyres to help eliminate plastic pollution.

Here are a few statistics for you all (some of which shocked me!):

  • 50% of plastics produced are for single use
  • 60,000 plastic bags are consumed in the world every second
  • 90% of waste entering our oceans is plastic
  • 7 out of 10 items that are picked up on world's beaches are plastic
  • 50 billion plastic drink bottles are used every year
  • Around 37,000 tons of plastic are in our ocean gyres
Polypropylene and polythylene are the two most common plastics that are found in our oceans and most disposable nappies that are on the market contain these plastics. gNappies disposable inserts don't.

gNappies and 5 Gyres are collaborating in order to encourage parents to eliminate unnecessary, single-use plastic from their homes. We, as a family, have gotten rid of our what seems like 50,000 plastic bags in our kitchen cupboard and are now using canvas ones.

gNappies have also launched the Great White Shark gPants and Clean Water T-shirt and with every design sold, 5 Gyres will sponsored to clean up a foot of beach.

So what are you waiting for? Go eliminate some of the unnecessary plastic from your home!

(Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post.)

Wednesday 28 May 2014

25 Week Midwife Appointment

Today, I saw my community midwife for a check up. As always, I was nervous as Hell for my blood pressure and urine sample checks. 

She checked that I was continuing to take my daily aspirin and vitamin D and confirmed that my iron and glucose levels were great. My blood pressure came back at 116 over 75 and no protein was present in my urine. 

From now on, my tummy will be measured. I'm 25 weeks pregnant but measuring 24 so nothing to worry about. Fetal heart rate is 148bpm compared to 158bpm back in April. 

All in all, I'm so pleased with how today went. I am now armed with my own home urine testing strips so I'm sure I'll be obsessively checking but I suppose that's better than worrying over nothing! 

I see my consultant in the hospital on the 26th June and the midwife will see me again 2 weeks after that when I will be 31 weeks. She did originally say that they'd usually do another check at 33 weeks but they want to see me earlier as C was born at 33 weeks. 

I am hopeful that at my consultant appointment, I will be okay to go for a VBAC as my blood pressure seems to be behaving itself! Fingers crossed. 
Tuesday 27 May 2014

Encouraging Fine Motor Skills - Craft Tutorial

Before we start, I can't take any credit for this, my mother in law actually showed me this so thank you, Michelle! 

We all know how important it is for babies and toddlers to develop their fine motor skills so today I've got a lovely craft for you all to help your little ones start using their pointer fingers to push pegs through a hole.

All you need is: 

  • A Pringles tube
  • A pack of dolly pegs
  • Foam sheets
  • Paints
  • Sticky tape

The first thing you need to do is make sure the ends of your dolly pegs are flat and sanded down so they won't leave your child with a splinter. We used a metal file to do ours.

We then cut different colours of foam paper out and stuck them around the Pringles tube. We covered half with sticky tape and left the other half plain so there would be different textures for C to touch. 

We cut a hole in the top of the lid and placed a circle of foam paper over the top (ensuring that we kept a hole in it too!). You need to make sure that the peg will be a tight squeeze through the hole so that your child needs to push down to get it in. 

Finally, we painted each of the pegs a different colour just to make it more fun! 

Here we have our finished product!:

Cheap, easy and it keeps C occupied for hours! Enjoy! 

Monday 26 May 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 25 Week Bump Update

I think my bump looks smaller this week than last week! 

This week I've found it harder to do silly things like roll over in bed. It takes me a couple of minutes! I'm also pretty sure I've started to waddle too. 

I've got a real pressure under my ribs which is worsened after eating. It's so uncomfortable. 

My tummy has been a little bit itchy which I'm putting down to the skin stretching but I haven't developed any new stretchmarks, thankfully! 

Heartburn is getting increasingly worse, especially at bedtime and I've started getting strange pregnancy dreams. I never ever remember any of my dreams but these ones are just too weird! 

One good aspect is that this week I've realised that my hair seems to be less greasy!? I was sure that pregnancy made your hair worse. Before, I would need to wash my hair every other day but now I can go two days without washing it! 

I always said that I hated slogan maternity tops such as "Hands off the Bump" or "Does my Bump Look Big in This?" but I spotted this gorgeous top in Mothercare for £10 and I couldn't resist! 

Thursday 22 May 2014

The Day That C Fed the Ducks

[This post is photo heavy!]

Chris had the day off yesterday and C is always either at home, out in his pram whilst we shop or at the park so we decided to do something a little different. It was a gorgeous, sunny day so we went for a trip to the Lagan Towpath as there are usually lots of ducks around. We packed a little picnic of sandwiches, fruit, cheese etc and set off with some bread for the duckies. 

Lagan Towpath is a bit of a walk for us so C had a snooze on the way there. At 24 weeks pregnant, it really took it's toll on me too! It's an absolutely beautiful place and it was lovely to have a family day outside. 

We got to feed the ducks but C wanted to eat the bread himself instead of throw it to them! They got very close to us and I thought he might be a bit freaked out by it but he just wanted to get into the water with them!

We then had our own little picnic and let C run loose in a massive field. He had so much fun picking flowers and finding sticks. It was great to let him blow off some steam!

We stopped off for a little ice cream on the way home - the perfect end to the perfect day!

Wednesday 21 May 2014

C at 20 Months

This month, it feels like C has learnt so much in comparison to past months. 

He learned that spinning in circles will get him dizzy and he's perfected his shocked face. He loves to play "Where's C?" where when I ask him where he is, he'll put his hands over his eyes then pull them away and I have to say "there he is!!"

When we went to the zoo at Easter, his nanny bought him a monkey soft toy. I told him what noise a monkey made so now when he plays with him, he'll say "ooh ooh ah ah!"  He's also learning more words with "two", "yuck", "kick" and "blue" being added to his vocabulary list.  He has a bath book with the numbers 1-10 in it and he is able to point out where a number is when we ask but he is yet to say them. 

He's getting lots of teeth and we've got tooth nine through but I'm pretty sure there are one or two more coming. 

C really is a proper little boy. He'll put his finger up his nose and when I tell him to take it out, he laughs at me! He also laughs and burps at his farts - he even purposely farted on my hand when I changed his nappy a few days ago! He also loves touching his "bits" when his nappy's off so we've introduced hand sanitizer. He's taken to it well and knows how to rub it in properly. 

When Chris and I pretend to cry, he'll run over to give us a kiss which is lovely. We never even taught him to do it. So affectionate! 

He's used crayons to draw before so we gave him felt tips for a bit of a change. He coloured away for a bit before discovering that he could colour his belly in too!

He had his 2nd ever haircut this month as well - I miss his curls! 

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Project-B Pregnancy Subscription Box (20-24 Weeks)

If you're a regular reader, you'll know that I've been trying out the Project-B Pregnancy Subscription boxes and this month, I received Box 3 which is tailored to weeks 20-24 of pregnancy (you can read 12-15 weeks and 16-19 weeks too).

The theme of this months box is ENERGISE and at this stage of pregnancy combined with running around after a toddler, I really needed to be energised!

My box arrived in its usual Project-B branded box with the items wrapped in pink tissue paper and sealed with a branded sticker.

Inside my box, I received:

1. 3 Teapigs teabags in Super Fruit, Lemon & Ginger and Peppermint Leaves - I do love a good cup of tea and I'd never tried Teapigs before so I was curious to give them a go. They are caffeine free so perfect for pregnancy. I love peppermint and although this was quite strong, it was my favourite. The Super Fruit one was lovely too but I'm not a fan of ginger so Lemon & Ginger just wasn't for me!

2. Apothederm Stretch Mark Cream (2 x 20g) - I'd never heard of Apothederm before and I'm really enjoying trying out all of the different brands of stretch mark creams that Project-B are introducing to me. Apothederm is a lotion which is formulated with SmartPeptide technology which reinforces the skin's support structures by helping to build collagen. It visably repairs and reduces the appearance of both red and silver stretchmarks and smooths skin texture. There is no scent to it either which I love!

3. Divine Fairtrade Chocolate with Sea Salt & Caramel - This was definitely my favourite item in the box and it didn't last very long at all! I love the combination of sea salt and caramel mixed with the milk chocolate and it's even better to know that it's fairtrade too!

4. Urban Veda Daily Purifying Facial Wash & Purifying Exfoliating Facial Polish (2 x 20ml) - I love the smell of tea tree so I could literally sit all day sniffing these. My skin has been awful throughout pregnancy with my forehead being really dry and flaky with the rest of my face being oily. The special ingredient i these Urban Veda products is Neem which is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and detoxifying to spots/acne. It also provides anti-aging properties. It has been making me feel a little refreshed after each usage.

5. Femfresh Daily Intimate Wash - I always worry about what products I can and can't use during pregnancy and I've been shocked that some of the products that I normally use in the shower aren't recommended for use during pregnancy. Femfresh is totally safe during all stages of pregnancy and leaves you feeling fresh and clean!

6. What to Buy for your Baby book - This book is amazing! Even as a second time mum, I get really overwhelmed at all the baby products that there are on the market and find it hard to decide what will be a waste of money or an amazing expense. This book contains the lowdown on all things baby and is fantastic! 

I also received the usual four flash cards and this months topics were:

 What to Buy for your Baby - Part 1, Staying Active - enjoy a burst of energy, eating well - a healthy chickpea veggie burgers, and how your baby is developing throughout month 6.

The book alone is worth £12.99 so with this box being £14 it is definitely worth the money. I'm so excited to see what is in next months box!

(Disclaimer: I received this subscription free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Monday 19 May 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 24 Week Bump Update

I can't believe I'm at 24 weeks already. Now, the baby is viable! 6 months pregnant :O This is definitely the week where I say "I've popped". 

I'm still feeling really heavy at the bottom of my belly and although she's kicking me all over, the majority of kicks are still quite low down. This is the week where I've noticed that I'm going to the toilet a lot more and it's now meaning a toilet trip is needed in the middle of the night. I've also had to enlist Chris's help to get up off the sofa a couple of times and, apologies for the TMI but, I had my first experience of breast milk leakage on my PJ top!

We did a little shop and bought these gorgeous pink baby grows from Matalan which were £12 for the three of them. 

I ordered these cute strawberry booties from Amazon a few weeks ago because they were a bargain at £1.90 with free delivery and they arrived this week. I love them! 

Chris's mum and nan had also gone shopping and bought us some lovely bits too; a Hello Kitty babygrow, a Bambi babygrow and a gorgeous little pink dress and leggings. 

At 24 weeks the baby has put on around 4 ounces since last week making her around 1 1/3 pounds. She is almost a foot long (around the size of an ear of corn). She is filling out proportionally and her brain is growing very quickly now too. 

Thursday 15 May 2014

Why I Feel Guilty for Being Pregnant Again

It's not often I really write about my feelings but I just wanted to share to see if I am truly crazy or how I'm feeling is normal. 

I love being a mummy. C is amazing. Best child ever. Which is why I wanted another baby. That feeling of having a child of your own who loves you unconditionally and relies on you for everything is fantastic but I can't help but feel a little guilty. 

There are ten years between myself and my sister. We've never been close because the age gap is just too much. If anything, I think I parent her a bit now! I knew I didn't want a huge age gap between my kids. C will be just turning 2 when the baby is due so I think that's a great little age difference. 

Now that I'm pregnant, I can't help but think, "C has never had to share us before. Now another little baby is going to come along. What if we leave him out? What if he gets jealous?" Even when I'm buying things in preparation for the baby coming, I feel really guilty if I don't buy him something too. I play with him and think "he's going to be so disappointed when mummy can't play with him all the time because she needs to feed his little sister or change her nappy". 

I will try my best to include him in everything so that he doesn't feel left out. I've read a few tips online. When C comes to see us in the hospital after we've had the baby, she will not be in either mine or Chris's arms so that we are free to cuddle him. We will also buy him a present from his little sister. When changing the babys nappy, I will include him by asking if he could get me the nappy and bring it to me. Just so he feels like he's helping out. 

I find that I'm getting a little annoyed at myself for being so excited about this baby. It's like it's I'm worried that I'll think that C is old news now we've got a new baby coming. Which is crazy!

Is this normal thinking? And do you have any other tips I could use to make the transition from only child to big brother easier? 
Wednesday 14 May 2014

TOMY Winnie the Pooh Balloon Nightshow & Protect n Play iCase - Review

We love TOMY (see our past reviews of the Winnie the Pooh Stack, Pour, Post & Play, Jungle Magic Sounds Aquadoodle & Lamaze) and ever since I was younger, I've loved Winnie the Pooh. I've since introduced C by watching Piglet's Big Movie etc so we were really pleased when TOMY sent us the Winnie the Pooh Balloon Nightshow (RRP £19.99) and Winnie the Pooh Protect n Play iCase (RRP £12.99) to try out.

As soon as I opened the cardboard box, C was straight in trying to see what the nightlight did. He has been a bit of a fussy sleeper and will only sleep if I hold his hand. This gorgeous little nightlight has come in very handy! 

Winnie the Pooh holds a balloon which lights up in different colours and plays music. At first, I did think that maybe the music would keep C awake because he wanted to look at it and listen to it but it did send him off to sleep. It plays 5 different songs and you can even set a timer for it to play for either 10 or 20 minutes. Very handy if your child is in their own room as you won't have to sit in to keep switching it on. 

This Winnie the Pooh Balloon Nightshow is suitable from birth so you will really get the use out of it. I think I'll even use it when Baby Girl is born too!

We also received the Winnie the Pooh Protect n Play iCase. C is forever touching our phones. I think it's because he sees us on them all the time and he wants to see what the big deal is. The idea of this case is to put in on your iPhone like a regular case (it's suitable for iPhone models 4, 4S, 5 and 5s) and your child can play with it. It comes with a free Winnie the Pooh app. Add that to the fact that you can hang it from a car seat or pram and you've got the perfect travel entertainer.  You just put the app on before inserting your phone and your child can interact with Pooh by tickling him, feeding him honey and many other things! It even has a mirrored 'honey pot' on the front with little balls inside so it doubles as a rattle!

C has loved playing with this and I love that it fits both mine and Chris's phones (models 4 and 5) so he can always play even when one of us is out. 

This Winnie the Pooh Protect n Play iCase is suitable from 6 months. 

You can find out more about TOMY and their range of toys and baby items at the TOMY website

(Disclaimer: We received these items free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Poo Pourri

Yep, today on the blog I'm going to talk about something that isn't generally talked about - poo! 

With my morning sickness in the first trimester, I had really bad nausea. We received some Poo Pourri to try out and it couldn't have come at a better time. "What's Poo Pourri?" I hear you ask. Well...

Poo Pourri is a "before-you-go" spray. You literally spray it in your toilet before you go! It is made with essential oils and other natural compounds and it works by forming a film on the surface of the water which then locks the bad smells in.

I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical and part of the reason why I accepted this review is because I was so intrigued as to whether or not it actually worked.

As you can see, Poo Pourri comes in a discreet bottle which is perfect for your purse so you can use it when you're out and about (plus how cute is the little charm!?). It really does work! All you get after using is a lemony fragrance (they do stock other scents too!) so you can't even tell that the bathroom has been used.

I think Poo Pourri is a really great idea especially if you do have a bit of a 'thing' with going in public toilets!

You can find out more and purchase your own Poo Pourri (59ml) here for £7.99.

(Disclaimer: I received this item free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Monday 12 May 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 23 Week Bump Update

How I'm feeling hasn't changed very much this week. I still haven't bought any bump bands to help support my lower back but they're definitely on my list to buy this week. Heartburn is starting to get a bit ridiculous too. 

The baby is still feeling really low down and her kicks are pretty much still around my bladder area - not good! I have had a few kicks higher up though...but then again I think my bump looks a bit higher this week?! We did have an incident where I was lying on my side in bed, the baby mustn't have liked it and kicked me. I jumped and squealed, scaring the life out of Chris. She's getting stronger!

I've been struggling to eat this week. It's not that my appetite is gone or that I feel sick, but I can't find anything I want to eat and when I do find something, it has to be the tiniest portion known to man otherwise I just feel breathless!

This week, we've been deciding on baby purchases (the bigger items). We move house at the start of July so unfortunately, we can't start buying until then. 

At 23 weeks the baby weighs a little over 500g and is measuring around 29cm. Her hearing is now established so she can probably make out distorted voices, my heartbeat and tummy rumbles! Her lungs are now developing to prepare her for breathing. 

Next week I'll have a viable baby!!