Monday 29 December 2014

Christmas 2014

This Christmas has been lovely. It's the first one where C had understood a bit more and also E's first ever one!

On Christmas Eve, I let C open his Christmas Eve box early in the day then we went to Chris's mums. His sister is a hairdresser so she gave C a haircut so he'd look smart for Christmas. When we came home we had dinner then the two kids had their baths and we watched C's Handy Manny Christmas DVD.

After they went to bed, 'Santa' worked his magic. I bought Chris Jon Richardson's Nidiot stand-up DVD so we ended up watching that before heading to bed ourselves at 4am. C and E woke at 6.30am so that maybe wasn't a good idea! 

I came downstairs first with E so I could get the camera ready to take photos of C. Chris was saying "shall we go downstairs? I wonder if Santa has left you any presents?" C's whole body was tensing and Chris said that you could just feel how excited he was. When he came into the living room, his little eyes lit up. He was delighted. He opened his presents first as obviously E didn't know what was going on. He was even painting at 8am! 

After breakfast we were all feeling pretty tired so we had a nap then visited Chris's family again before coming back home for a delicious Christmas dinner. It was a very relaxing day and I loved it. C was so happy.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Saturday 27 December 2014

C at 27 Months

I'm a few days late with this. C was 27 months on the 21st but with all the Christmas prep it completely slipped my mind!

C continues to surprise me with every day that passes and I love watching him change into his own little person. 

Firstly, I need to rave about his speech. He repeats everything and I've lost count of how many words he knows. We bought him the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics a few months ago and it's helped greatly. I've caught him walking around saying "D - duh duh". We are now able to interact and converse with him properly. He is also good with tenses. He knows when to use "broke" and "broken" correctly. 

He's been a bit of a handful lately if I'm honest. Anytime we go out he screams at the top of his lungs because he doesn't want to be out. We've started taking him on evening walks (with his harness) and if he starts to mess around we come straight home and explain why he wasn't allowed to go, otherwise we finish our walk and praise him for being well-behaved. It seems to be working so far but I will keep you updated!

He knows his emotions and tells us when he is feeling sad. 

He also had his first ever eye test which you can read about here

It makes me so emotional to think of my little preemie boy then and now. He's done me proud! 

Tuesday 23 December 2014

What's in Our Christmas Eve Box?

I knew this year that I definitely wanted to do a Christmas Eve box for C after seeing them online last year. As E is only 3 months old, she doesn't need much so if she had her own box it would be pretty empty. Instead, I decided to do one "family" Christmas Eve box.

I think I'll give it to them after we've come home from out post-dinner walk but before bathtime.

Inside, I've included:

In The Night Garden onesie for C - I picked this up months ago in BHS for £16. It's a bit more than I'd usually pay for PJs for him but I know his little face will light up.

Christmas bodysuit & jeggings for E - I won this in a Facebook competition (it came with the bib that is included in this box too). 

Mickey & Minnie Christmas pyjamas for myself - Chris's mum actually bought me these so I thought I'd pop them in.

Pop-up Santa's snowy surprise story book - I picked this up in Home Bargains only today for £1.99. (C has plenty of other Christmas stories in his bookcase so no doubt they will be read too.)

Chilly the Snowman Activity & Sticker Book and Christmas Jumbo Colouring Book - These were £1.99 in The Works. C loves stickers and colouring so they should keep him entertained before bed.

My First Christmas teddy - I won this in Tired Mummy of Two's Christmas Tombola and I was so happy as it's perfect for E!

My 1st Xmas Bib 

Santa wash mitt - I bought this in Primark for £1.50 just to pad out E's items!

MAM Santa soother - I actually won this last Christmas in MAM's advent competitions! I knew keeping it would come in handy.

Handy Manny Christmas DVD - C adores Handy Manny and it's one of the few kids shows that Chris and I can tolerate so we'll all watch this together.

Cadbury Hot Chocolate - This will be C's first ever hot chocolate. I hope he likes it!

Snuggle socks for myself - Chris's mum got me these in addition to the PJs!

Rudolph Chocolate Lolly

Chocolate Gold Coins

Marie (The Aristocats) dressing gown for E - E's first ever dressing gown! She's going to look adorable! This was only £6 in Matalan.

Candy Canes
Santas Magic Key
Plate & mug to leave out for Santa

I know I didn't fill it spectacularly but AT 2 years old and 3 months old, I reckonsed that they didn't need very much at all! I hope C will be chuffed with it and get him very excited for Santa coming! 

Sunday 21 December 2014

The Dinosaur That Pooped... Books - Review

I was absolutely chuffed when we were given the opportunity to review these books. I was a huge McFly fangirl back in the day so just the fact that they were written by two members of the band (Tom Fletcher & Dougie Poynter) made me so sure that I'd love them. 

We were lucky enough to receive all the books in the series; The Dinosaur That Pooped The Past, The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet and The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas, alongside an activity pack. 

Firstly, these books are hilarious! Me, at 22 years of age, found myself giggling out loud. Of course; C thought I was crazy but he'll understand eventually. The books rhyme which was a great way to capture my 2 year olds attention. The illustrations are great and equally funny. 

Boys seem to be really into toilet humour (even at 2 years old) so the fact that you have "POO" in big letters made him laugh and repeat it over and over again.

The stories are in a similar vein. Danny's pet dinosaur eats everything around him then poops in out. Although the storyline is basically the same throughout all books, it doesn't get boring and they are hilarious no matter how many times you read them. 

We also received an activity pack which C loved. It kept him occupied for a good hour and got him even more interested in the books!

There is also a little video about the books which you can see below:

You can find out more on Facebook & Twitter.

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

Saturday 20 December 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas: C & E's Presents

As part of my Christmas feature, I wanted to share with you the Christmas presents that both E (3 months) and C (2 years) will be receiving from Santa. It might give you some ideas.

23. Rattle - This is just a little stocking filler for E from the pound shop!

A lot of the toys will probably end up being played with by both of them! I hope I've given you some ideas.

Have you bought your children anything that I've shown here?

Friday 19 December 2014

C's First Trip to the Optometrist

I've worn glasses since I was around 9 or 10 years old. 2 weeks ago, I had an eye test and found that my right eye had slightly changed but after 2 years with the same frames, I decided to get new ones. My optometrist asked if C would be okay with getting his eyes checked. I was a bit dubious but agreed and took him last week as I picked up my own new specs. 

I mentioned before that he has a bit of an attitude at the moment so I wasn't sure how he'd get on or how the test would even work. When we got there, I sat him on my knee in the chair and the optician gave him a pair of 3D glasses to wear and made him look at a 3D image of a fly. He hovered his hand above the fly and I was told that the glasses would make the wings pop out so it was a good sign that he could see that. 

Next, he refused to wear the empty frames that the lenses slip into so we had to make do with the optician hovering them over his eyes and shining a light in. He sat relatively well so she was able to see everything she needed. 

At this point, I was told that most children at C's age (2) have a bit of a prescription as their eyes are still developing but she would be able to tell whether or not his was normal. 

Next he needed eye drops out in so that she could see more clearly into his eyes. She did say that this would sting going in and that his pupils would be dilated for a few hours after so he may not like the light. I automatically thought "there is no way that he will take this well" but he really surprised me. All I had to do was hold his arms down and his head in place while she put them in. She was able to do it with his eyes closed which helped!

We had to wait outside for 15 minutes for this to take effect then we were called back in to do the lens/light test again. By this point he was getting a bit sick of it and didn't like the light being shone in his eyes so he would only let her look for a second before saying no and turning away.  He got a sticker (which he preferred to carry instead of wear) so he was very happy after that!

All in all, his eyes are absolutely perfect and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. He really did me proud!

Thursday 18 December 2014

The Kids Visiting Santa 2014

I love taking the kids to see Santa. My mum took me every year and I wanted to do the same with my children so they always have the photos to look back on. 

C has developed a bit of an attitude lately. I'm not sure if it's down to the fact that there is a new addition to the house or that he's in the midst of the dreaded Terrible Twos! 

He finally behaved long enough to be allowed to see Santa - hooray! This year he is old enough to understand more. Every time he sees a picture of Santa he recognises him and shouts "ANTA!" so I was hoping he'd be excited to see him. 

Standing in the queue was fine. He was happy and looking forward to it. Sitting on his knee was a whole other story. He began to whinge but I think this was partly because 'Santa' was a stranger and partly because he thought we were leaving him. They took quite a few photos but because he was so upset we had to settle on the best of a bad bunch! 

E fell asleep in the queue - typical! and would not wake for us. She screamed bloody murder every time we tried so she had to have a sleeping photo. 

All in all, the trip wasn't a complete success but at least I have my Christmas 2014 photos! 

Wednesday 17 December 2014

More Crafting with Baker Ross

As a Baker Ross Blogger, I've been lucky enough to try out quite a few items from their toys and crafts range (you can read all my BR posts here). C really loves having something to do and at 2 years old he is already very artistic!

In our most recent box, we received:

The first thing that C spotted was the Penguin Rubber Ducks. He's learning animal sounds at the moment and he knows that ducks go "quack quack" so he has been carrying around with him telling everyone "quack"! 

Next we gave the Gingerbread House Photo Frame Magnets a go. I let C sit with the foam house the I peeled the backs off the foam pieces to stick on and pointed to where to stick them. He did them all by himself and I'm very proud of how well he did for a 2 year old! All the foam shapes came already cut, you just had to pop them out and follow the design on the card - easy! 

Next, we tried the Christmas Tree Felt Bookmarks. The pack includes 8 trees and ribbons to thread through the top. In order for C to decorate them I cut some of the Self-adhesive glitter sheets to look like tinsel and had him stick those one. I think he did a great job! He gifted one to his granny and grandad. 

With the Coloured Bauble Card Blanks, I let him loose to create his Christmas message with some felt tips. He decided however, that he wasn't done using the sparkly 'tinsel' stickers so finished it off using those! 

The Pom Poms, I felt, were a little old for him so I did the majority of it. Well, attempted it. I don't know if I'm just a bit dim, but I could not get my head around them. I tried them dozens of times but each time, something different went wrong! They're such a great idea and I've read other reviews where they have worked out fine but I think they're a bit too fiddly for me! The instructions are pictures only, maybe I would have 'got it' more if they were labelled.

C absolutely loves his Baker Ross boxes and as always, I cannot fault the quality. 

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

Tuesday 16 December 2014

How Far Will You Go to Avoid the Doorknob This Cold & Flu Season?

I am a total germophobe. I hate getting my hands dirty and every time there is a bug, cold or flu doing the rounds I will almost definitely catch it. With C being born prematurely, it was driven into me to constantly clean and use hand sanitiser every time I touched something then went to touch him. 

Germs can be spread so quickly and Dettol, one of the leading, household cleaning brands have released a new video asking 'How far will you go to avoid the doorknob this cold and flu season?'

Go on then, spill. Which ones are you guilty of using?

(Disclaimer: I received some Dettol products as a thank you for sharing this video.)

Monday 15 December 2014

Odds of Conceiving by Age

Women, compared to what men have, are born with a set number of eggs. And during the menstrual period, the body releases one or two eggs. Further, the body knows that it has to release those viable eggs first. Does it really matter? Yes it does, especially for women who are trying to conceive. As the woman gets older, her fertility starts to decline. This is why many women in their early age don’t have much trouble trying to conceive. However, as a woman’s biological clock ticks, so ticks her odds of conceiving. 

If you are getting pregnant, you don’t need to worry. Cited on
, it’s still possible for older women to get pregnant. She just needs to know her body well, especially when she is trying to conceive. Although, older women, specifically, in their 40s are advised to seek help from fertility specialists if they’ve been trying to conceive for more than 6 months in order for their doctor to conduct exams to determine her odds of conceiving. 

12 week ultrasound with C & 16 week ultrasound with E

I am lucky enough to have two lovely children and I fell pregnant quite quickly with both of them. C was conceived almost straight away and it only took us 3 months to get those two little lines with E. I do believe that my age played a huge factor in this. I was 19 when C was conceived and 21 with E. Chris is adamant that two is enough but if he were to change his mind in the future, I do hope that it wouldn't be too hard for us to conceive baby number 3!

Sunday 14 December 2014

TanOrganic & Oil Organic - Review

Next up in my Christmas guides I have TanOrganic, the world's first and only eco-certified self-tanning brand.

I'm not usually a big fake tan fan. I find that most of them are streaky, smelly, leave you looking orange and stain anything you touch. With the festive season starting there will be plenty of Christmas parties and work dos and no one wants to look pale! 

Firstly, how gorgeous does it look!? A glass bottle with a cork-style lid, so much fancier than your fake tans on the high street. It really screams that it is organic. 

One of my favourite things was that you do not need to apply it with a glove - just rub it on with your hands after showering then use a baby wipe to wipe your hands afterwards. The oil doesn't pour on quickly so you don't have to worry about applying too much by accident. It is clear so you need to make sure that you rub it all in evenly for the best coverage. It seemed to dry quickly and over a matter of hours I could see it getting to work. It looks completely natural and my thoughts on false tans have changed! It smells absolutely beautiful - it reminds me of being on holiday. 

Apologies for the dodgy pic - best I could do with it being a selfie! You can really see the difference between my arm and my chest and the line along my shoulder for comparison.

The oil absorbs quite quickly and it nourishes your skin with the hydration needed for both the dry and humid months. It contains a blend of Aloe Vera and plant oils (Borage seed oil, Argan oil and orange peel oil) so it gives off a rather sweet citrus smell, the complete opposite to other tanning brands. The oil protects your skin with antioxidants and the Aloe Vera works to reduce water loss from the outer layer of your skin, leaving it firm.

The blend contains no artificial colours, fragrances, parabens or preservatives. 

In addition to TanOrganic, I've also been trying out Oil Organic. 

Oil Organic is a multipurpose dry oil made from eight essential plant oils. Oil Organic works as a moisturiser and it is great for prepping your body prior to applying TanOrganic. It is also suitable for use on hair and nails, leaving them lustrous and strong but I've been focusing it on my stretch marks.

After having two children, my body is covered in stretch marks and I'm willing to try anything once. The scent of the oil is divine - it smells like a freshly peeled orange. I've repeated this constantly on my blog but I hate hate hate beauty and cosmetic products that just reek of chemicals.

Similarly to the TanOrganic, the opening ensures that you get a small amount onto the palm of your hand so you are not wasting it or covered in it accidentally. It doesn't feel greasy on my skin and dries quite quickly. I can definitely see a slight change in the definition of my stretch marks so I will continue to use it as it seems to be working well! 

Both TanOrganic and Oil Organic retails at £24.99 and you can purchase them at  Holland & Barrett, Ocado,,,,,,, and the TanOrganic website.

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