Thursday, 20 November 2014

Goodbye Heart Murmur?


On Wednesday we had a follow up appointment for Elsie to see how she has improved since her stay on the Children's ward. The main things they wanted to check were her weight gain and general health since her milk change as well as her heart murmur which was still quite noticeable the last time it was checked last month.

The appointment went really well. She is now 11lb 11oz at 12 weeks which is still diddy to us but is a massive improvement considering how she started off and how poorly she was when she was last admitted to hospital. They are really happy with the improvement of her rash which was quite obviously caused by her allergy to cows milk as it is almost non existent now. For me the biggest thing was her heart murmur. I mean there could be much worse problems with babies so we are so lucky that these are the worst of our problems and heart murmurs are very common even if they do usually heal quicker than Elsie's has. Anyway the consultant had a listen to her heart and is pretty sure that she couldn't hear anything (meaning it would have healed). The only thing they want to keep checking is that her bowels are ok. I'll spare you the details but you won't envy the nasty nappies we deal with a few times daily! 

So she has to go back in around three months where they will check her progress again and the Doctor that she was suppose to see Wednesday (who had been called away and so we were given a consultant as cover) will double check her heart again and hopefully she will be discharged! 

I am so happy that she is doing so well after causing such chaos and worry in her first few weeks! Babies are really sent to test us aren't they?!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Review: Frozen Anna Coronation Dress


Well Frozen has taken the world by storm. Every little girl wants to either be Anna or Elsa and the merchandise is selling out as quick as it hits the shelves. I got to make Gracie's dream of being Anna true when we were sent the Anna Coronation dress to review from Otley Run Fancy Dress. On first impressions, the dress looks lovely, it is rich and colourful. It feels just as nice, the material feels like it is great quality. The glitter detail on the dress is great and not that irritating type that comes off everywhere! Nothing annoys me more than my whole house (and everybody in it) being covered in glitter


So What does Gracie think of the dress? She loves it! As you can see she was more than happy to wear it outside for her own personal photo shoot. In fact it's been quite a battle to remove it at times. She asks so nicely to wear it that we can't resist and so Princess Anna has been accompanying us almost everywhere. You can see from the photos that the dress is the perfect length. Not so long that she's tripping over it but long enough to flow perfectly. We chose age 4-5 as that is the size Gracie wears in ordinary clothes and I'd say that it is pretty spot on size wise. The picture below shows the fit of the dress really well.


The Anna Coronation dress is available in a range of sizes from 2-10 years. The dress costs £18.99 which is great for the fantastic quality. There is also a Elsa dress for the same price available here. I can't fault the dress or the service we received. I would definitely recommend this dress for any little Frozen fans.


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Review: Cupcake Babies Inflatable Bath


You may remember me briefly mentioning Cupcake Babies in my post following The Baby Show. The smallest baby bath in the world, revolutionising bath time. The Cupcake Babies bath is inflatable and so takes up next to no storage space. It can be placed in most sinks and surfaces allowing you to bath your baby however feels comfortable for you. Each bath folds up small and is stored in a small plastic bag it also comes with a cute little rubber duck. Perfect for those who travel regularly or have storage issues. Designed to look like a cupcake it would even make a perfect photography prop!
  

Aimed at babies 0-12 months, the Cupcake Babies bath is a great alternative to your usual baby bath. As well as being handy and innovative, it is also economical. The size means that it doesn't use up a large amount of water to fill it. I use a washing up bowl 3/4 full and as you can see that is more than enough water. It is much sturdier than it looks. Elsie is obviously not sitting unaided yet so in these pictures we supported her by holding the bath at the back to prevent it tipping over with her weight against it but the material itself is pretty thick and not flimsy. The only negative I can think of is I wish it was slightly wider. Elsie fits perfectly and will do for a long while but I think if it was a bit larger it would definitely get a few more months (more than 12 months) use out of it. 


Elsie is definitely a water baby, She loves her baths and is instantly relaxed the moment she hits the water. I can't say there is a bath I've found that she hasn't been comfortable and happy in. She loves the Cupcake Babies bath just as much. I guess it totally depends what you are looking for in a baby bath. If you are content with a cheap baby bath that is fine. If you are worried or overwhelmed with the amount of space all your baby items/essentials take up then this could well be the perfect solution for you. At £39 it isn't cheap but it could be a fantastic investment.

The Cupcake Babies bath comes in White, Fuschia or Turquoise. You can also get towels to match or you can purchase a gift set containing both the bath and the towel. You can order all of these on the website www.cupcakebabies.co.uk

For more information you can keep up to date with Cupcake Babies on their Facebook Page

Sunday, 9 November 2014

My Breastfeeding Battle



I really wanted Breastfeeding to be easy. I wanted it to be natural for me and my baby. In reality it has been far from easy. For the first two days of Elsie's life I exclusively breastfed. In that time she screamed constantly unless she was latched onto me. I was told that was normal and so I believed it, my milk obviously hadn't come in yet and the constant feeding would mean when it did there would be plenty for her right? Well at three days out Elsie had lost 11% of her birth weight. So I started formula top ups with the aim of stopping once my milk had come in. We went home when she was three days old but when weighed just two days later she had lost more weight. What was I doing wrong? Elsie was readmitted to hospital for her first stay on the Children's ward at just 5 days old. We started a proper feeding routine that meant she was fed every 3 hours first on the breast followed straight after by the formula top up. She was in two days, her feeding seemed fine and she put on a small amount of weight and we were sent home.

In the following days she continued to put on weight very slowly but nowhere near as much as she should have been. Her nappies were awful and she came out in a bad facial rash. Exactly the same rash I remember Zach having as a baby. The same rash that made my Health Visitor confirm he had a dairy intolerance when he was just weeks old. I recognised all of the similarities and was sure that it wasn't just coincidence. After days of listening to her screaming in pain and struggling I had had enough and took her to the out of hours Doctor. This is where I was advised that it definitely wasn't an allergy but that the formula top ups were upsetting her and that I should just breast feed. So I did just that. It meant she was constantly glued to me but I didn't mind if it was what was best for her. Except she didn't seem fine, after exclusively breastfeeding for the next 48 hours I realised that once again she was screaming a lot more but I also noticed that she was sleeping a lot more and I was struggling to wake her. So we went back to A&E.

At the hospital I told them all my concerns and when they checked her bloods her blood sugar levels had dropped down to just 1 which is horribly low. So she was admitted again. I felt like such a failure. How can my milk, or lack of, make my baby so poorly. All I wanted was to give her the best start and instead she had gone from a healthy 8lb 5oz down to 6lb 12oz. She was diagnosed with a milk allergy and so I switched to a dairy free diet and switched her to a dairy free formula for top ups. It worked she started putting on weight and returned home. The next few weeks were up and down. for a few days it seemed like she was taking more milk from me which was great and I thought we had cracked it. However it didn't last long but I kept at it no matter how much she took as she was getting healthier and putting on weight. I started taking Pregnacare breastfeeding tablets every day then found Neuners Nursing Tea and so had three cups of that a day to try and build my supply. I fed her every three hours and expressed my milk three to four times a day. Still no joy I couldn't express more than 5ml and she started getting impatient crying when I tried to feed. She would get a couple of drops and nothing else came.

I started to hate going out. I was embarrassed to feed her whilst out in public and not for the same reasons as many women but because I didn't want people to see how short a time I was feeding before getting out a bottle. I didn't want people to see my failure to feed my baby. Elsie is now 10 weeks old and I have stopped breastfeeding this weekend. It hasn't been an easy decision but one I've been putting off for so long, I was causing myself so much stress and getting nowhere and I want to enjoy being around her. I don't want to be stressed and upset every time she wants a feed. I will never know why I couldn't produce the milk she needs. I am glad that I tried and gutted that it didn't work but I have a happy healthy baby and I guess that is all that matters.

Of course anyone reading this I don't want to put you off trying to breastfeed. It has been great for bonding and for the few days that I thought it was getting better it was a great experience and I'll never forget it. I will always treasure the photo in this post, her first ever feed and the first photo I ever took of her.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Competition: Christmas Hampers From Smith & Kinghorn


Smith & Kinghorn carefully craft luxury Christmas hampers with high quality products sourced here in Great Britain. All Smith & Kinghorn hampers contain specially selected premium food and drink from award winning suppliers. With two extra special Christmas hampers available; The Festive Hamper and The Yuletide Hamper make an excellent gift for foodies.


Christmas is a time for giving and to celebrate their launch Smith & Kinghorn want to treat all their customers by giving them a FREE luxury hamper. For every customer that buys the Festive Hamper online they will be rewarded with the Yuletide Hamper completely free. Each hamper costs £49.99 each (plus delivery) but for £49.99 you can get both of the hampers below. Smith & Kinghorn will even send the free hamper to any UK (excluding Highlands and Islands) completely free of charge. So keep one for yourself and send another to a friend maybe or gift them both it's completely up to you!


The Festive Hamper




Contents

  • Fox's Christmas Pudding (454g)
  • Thorntons Truffles (115g)
  • Mercer Apple Sage & Cider Jelly (140g)
  • Rose Farm Harvest Chutney (117g)
  • Walkers Shortbread Fingers wrapped (160g)
  • Mrs Darlington’s Cranberry Sauce with Port (200g)
  • Brewhoho - Christmas Tea 25's (50g)
  • Thorncroft Cordial (330ml)
  • Epicure Pate (180g)
  • Cottage Delight Strawberry Extra Jam (227g)
  • Atkins & Potts Brandy Sauce (240g)
  • Walkers Glenfiddich Mincemeat Tarts x 6 (372g)



The Yuletide Hamper

Contents
  •  Walkers White Choc & Raspberry Biscuits (150g)
  • Thorntons Chocolates (115g)
  • Mrs Darlington’s Orange Curd with Cointreau (200g)
  • Dundee Cake (350g)
  • Walker's Traditional Oatcakes (300g)
  • Thorncroft Cordials (330ml)
  • Dormen Dry Roast Nuts (100g)
  • Divine (100g) bar – selection
  • Mrs Bridges Christmas Marmalade (113g)
  • Mrs Bridges Christmas Chutney (113g)
  • Epicure Cheese Straws (100g)
  • Mercers Beer & Black Pepper Mustard (140g)


Smith & Kinghorn have been kind enough to let me giveaway one of these fantastic hampers to one of you lucky readers. The winner will receive their choice of one of the hampers. To enter follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below. All entrants must complete the mandatory entry (and if commenting anonymously please leave your name in the comment so I know who you are!)

If you would like to order one for yourself visit www.smithandkinghornhampers.co.uk


Open to UK only. The competition will end 29/11/2014 at 12am. All entrants must complete the mandatory entry on the rafflecopter form. Those who don't will have all entries removed. The blog owner will choose the winner through the rafflecopter form (which uses random.org) The winner will be notified by email and displayed on the widget. One winner will receive a Smith & Kinghorn Christmas Hamper of their choice. No alternative prize will be offered.  Allow up to 28 days for delivery.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Our First Family Bonfire Night


On Wednesday we took the kids to their first ever Bonfire Night event. We've always watched Bonfire Night pass by without a thought. Gracie never liked loud noises and they didn't really know what it was. Now that she is at Nursery she has been learning all about Bonfire Night and other events and why they are celebrated and so kept asking us about it so we decided this year we would show her. We all wrapped up in our coats and woollies (and took our first family of five selfie!), we popped Zach in the pushchair as it was past his bedtime so he could nap on the way home and I popped Elsie in the baby carrier so she would be close to me with all the loud noises around. 



Gracie was so excited and didn't care about the loud noises. She had stolen my ear muffs so I think they muffled the sound and she watched the fireworks in amazement in her Daddy's arms. All we could hear was her wowing in excitement at them. I love these pictures I managed to capture. Zach slept through most of it but woke in the middle of the display but could see them perfectly from the pushchair and loved it too! Elsie was wide awake looking around and didn't get upset until the very last firework which was a bit loud for her so I'd say our first Bonfire Night was a great success!

It was a truly magical night!

Did you do anything special?


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Review: Mooshka Tots Doll



One day a group of paper doll friends joined hands and through the power of friendship they sprung into sweet huggable girls 

You may have seen my review of the 'Sing Around The Rosie'  Mooshka doll last week. I also received a Mooshka Tot doll. The Mooshka Tots are the little sisters of the Mooshka dolls. The dolls are smaller than the originals at just 24cm. Mooshka dolls are cute and colourfull dolls and the story behind them is that they were once individual paper dolls that through the power of friendship sprung to life and became little girls. They aim to teach children aboout the importance of friendship.

We received Misha. Her birthday is June 1st. Misha loves baby animals, especially feeding and petting them. She is the younger sister of Ina. Misha has beautifully blonde hair and blue eyes. Misha comes with a finger puppet doll, paper doll chain and a giftable box. 


As Gracie has the Sing Around The Rosie doll she decided that the baby sister doll just had to belong to Elsie. Although that hasn't stopped Gracie playing with her. She loves to pretend that the two dolls are her and Elsie. I love this doll it is a lovely size, not too big, not too small. She is perfect for taking out and about as she packs away nicely in the change bag. The finger puppet doll is a lovely added extra and can be great fun for them to play with. 

What I love most about the Mooshka Tots doll is that as well as teaching children about the importance of friendship but they can also teach children about the bond between siblings (well definitely when you have one of the larger dolls too). Gracie has said the dolls are best friends just like her and Elsie which I think is adorable! Mooshka dolls would make the perfect Christmas gift for any little girl.

The dolls retail at around £15 which is very reasonable for a doll like this. They are currently available on Amazon.

You can find out more about Mooshka dolls and keep up to date on the latest news on their social media channels.