Monday, 31 March 2014

Getting out and about - Exploring and Beach side strolls

As the weather this weekend has been lovely we decided to get out with Baby M as much as we could.

On Saturday it was quite windy but sunny so we explored our local area.  As with many people we walk the same way into town all the time and don't really explore what else is around.  We thought now we have Baby M we should find what is on our doorstep, plus it would get us out of the house and enjoying the nice weather.  We found 2 grassy areas that will be great for Baby M and Mr M to play football on and a small play park near a local school that we can take Baby M to once he is a little bigger.  He loves sliding down Mr M's legs, I can't wait to see his reaction on a proper slide!!

Baby M was engrossed throughout our walk - by sleeping!

On Sunday the wind was much calmer so we went for a beach side stroll.  The beach is about 10 minutes walk from our house.  Not only can you go on the beach but there is a lovely walkway along the side (perfect for the pushchair).  I can see us spending many sunny days on the beach with Baby M!!  The great thing about where we live is that it is away from the main tourist areas so it's mostly local people that use the area, meaning its quieter and cleaner!  The tide does come in really quickly though, we have seen people just getting off the beach in time on many occasions! 

There is a shipwreck and rock pools for us to explore.  When the tide is out there is miles of beautiful beach and the local council are also looking at putting interesting structures on and around the beach - great for exploring kids. 

I have added this link to this week's Coombe Mill Country Kids - have a look at the other great posts too!!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Baby M's Favourite Toys

Baby M is getting more and more interested in his toys.  Now he can grab them (and generally put them in his mouth) he seems more interested than when we just held them in front of him. 

He has a few favourites at the moment

Mamas & Papas Chewy Chick
This is one of Baby M's most played with toys.  He has always loved it when we shake the bird as it chirps but now he can hold toys he can (kind of) do it himself.  Plus he can hold it with both hands as the wings are hoops he can easily grasp.  He wants to put the teether on the top in his mouth but it usually ends up in his eye.  It has different textures too, he likes holding the legs

Lamaze Pupsqueak
Baby M has had this since birth and loves the barking noise made when you press the dogs nose (so does my mum's dog when she visits!).  We've just discovered his bottom squeaks too - Baby M loves squeaky noises.  Now he can touch toys he loves the dogs crinkly ears.  When he knocks the dogs bone a bell sounds which he likes too.  The toy comes with a clip which means you can attach it to the buggy too, which is great when we are out and about and Baby M gets a little grumpy.  Again he tries to put any part in his mouth!

Sophie la Girafe
Who doesn't love Sophie?!?! She squeaks which Baby loves but he can also hold on her legs.  He tries to put her head in his mouth but its still a little big, he obviously hasn't worked out that he could put her on her side to make this a little easier.  Sophie is a great way to get his attention and I think she will become more and more prominent in his favourite toy selection as he gets a little older

Mamas and Papas Snug
Now I know the Snug isn't technically a toy but we have the play tray.  It is encouraging Baby M to reach out and explore what is in front of him.  He loves the spinning ball and he can easily spin this himself.  There is a pad in the middle which squeaks and you can turn it over to have either and elephant or an apple.  He can't quite reach the items at the back of the tray yet but he loves watching us spin and rattle them.  I think this will interest him more and more as he develops

We are always looking for new ways to entertain and develop Baby M so if you have any suggestions please let me know!!


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Our little chatterbox

Baby M has been a chatterbox for a good few weeks now

His chat started as just cooing but has gradually developed.  Once he starts he doesn't stop :)

A few weeks ago he was appearing to say "th" a lot.  He loves to chat all the time but his favorite place to chat was his changing mat.  When chatting he has big smiles on his face.  He loves when you repeat the noises he makes - like you're having a conversation with him

The past couple of days his chat has changed.  He appears to think he's a phone or possibly the crazy frog!!  Everything is "bring bring" or "dring dring".  This seems to increase when he is tired.  He now chats anywhere. 

We love having conversations with him and watching him grow and develop

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Swimming class - week 5

This week we have decided our swimming future, we are moving pools and days but keeping the same instructor.  The pool we are moving to is a hydrotherapy pool and therefore much warmer than the pool we are currently using.  The 3 other mums are going to a new pool opening in June and staying on the same day but starting the class we are doing again.  I would have to change class anyway to a weekend (when our new class is) anyway when I go back to work so I thought it was silly going to the same class as everyone else then having to change again.

Our class this week was BRILLIANT!!!

Baby M enjoyed it for a start :).  Our instructor asked me to try wetting his head in preparation for going underwater as he appears to get a shock.  We tried this before our first underwater swim and it seemed to work - he still cried but quickly stopped after a hug.

Our first underwater swim I had to let go - I was petrified (as were the other mums!).  We have to do a normal underwater swim but let go, touch the wall then pick up baby.  Baby M was fine (of course) and even did a little kicking.

We then did the usual splish splash, humpty dumpty and space ships.

We then did our next underwater swim where we swam in a circle then baby did a moving underwater swim.  Again we wet Baby M's head prior to this, again he cried but was easily reassured with a hug when he surfaced.

More splish splash, lying on our back, etc.

The for our final underwater swim.  This time the instructor held baby and we had to let them swim a little then pick them up.  Baby M did so well, he had great kicking action and did his first proper unassisted underwater swim!! Even our instructor commented on his kicking.  **PROUD PARENT**

Again a cry but cuddles and he was fine.

We ended with twinkle twinkle again - I don't know why but Baby M doesn't like this.  As soon as I turned him on his front the crying stopped.  He was fine when we did the lying on our backs though.  Every week he cries at twinkle twinkle!!

I'm really looking forward to next week!!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Baby M, poorly boy

Poor Baby M hasn't been well. 

At first we thought he was teething as he was displaying all the symptoms.  He had runny poos, hands constantly in his mouth, rosey cheeks (but no temperature) and a red bum.  I gave him some teething gel and the incidents of hands in mouth significantly decreased.  He has seemed his normal chatty smiley self throughout the whole time he hasn't been well. 

However the next day he had 3 runny poos in the space of 1.5hrs - this wasn't right.  We contacted the GP who phoned us back and said he thought Baby M had a viral infection.  As he was having his bottle the GP wasn't concerned about him becoming dehydrated.  He just told us that it will pass and it's better out than in.

We just need to keep monitoring Baby M and if there's any change contact the GP again.  Hopefully he will be on the mend very soon!

We need to keep away from other children until he is better as to not spread the infection.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Mother's Day - to gift or not to gift

This weekend is Mother's Day, it will be my first! 

Growing up we never celebrated Mother's Day.  My mum's birthday is in March and she didn't want us buying her anything - as she said it's a 'Hallmark Day'.  I've often been surprised how upset some people have got when they haven't got anything and also how much some people spend.

I don't expect Baby M to get me things for Mother's Day when he is older, if he makes things as nursery or school that's different.  I think I'd much rather handmade things rather than bought anyway - means so much more!!

I started writing a Mother's Day gift guide but actually it doesn't just have to be Mother's Day - it can be birthday, Christmas or that looks nice lets buy it!

As a first time mum there have been lots of things I have seen that I would like to get to celebrate the fact we are now mummy and daddy to our gorgeous little boy.

How do you find these items?!  Gift apps are one great way of finding unique and different gifts that you maybe wouldn't find in high street stores.  I love the Gift Club App.  You can create a wishlist which is searchable so you don't have to send it to friends and family and feel like you are demanding certain gifts.  The wishlist can be actual items you've seen which you can add photos or URLs for or requests for a lie in or someone else to do the hoovering. 

I love photo gifts - we just got some photos from a photographer and they are great!! I got Mr M a photo mug for his Christmas which he is going to take to work and I love the idea of canvas'.  We also have an iPad cover with photos.  There are so many things you can get photos on now I would love a gift like this!

I love jewellery!  There are so many different mummy necklaces and bracelets that I have seen that I really want.  I have treated myself to 2 already, one from Silvercraft Design with our names on and another from Mama Jewels with a heart and our birthstones.  I love the idea of fingerprint charms for my Pandora bracelet and also love the bracelets with discs you can put baby's name and DOB on.

I love flowers, you can get so many gorgeous bouquets! I suppose flowers are the more traditional Mother's Day gift alongside chocolate.  The only downside is the fact they don't last that long.

All mums love pamper time and don't really get much of it.  I love spa days and massages but if that's a bit out of your price range you can get lovely sets for mum to have a soak in a bubble bath, a facial and do her nails.

Maybe you can cook mum her favorite meal or buy her a bottle of Eisberg Alcohol free wine.  I might appear a little neurotic here but I don't really like drinking much at the moment as I don't want to be under the influence when looking after Baby M.  Eisberg is great as it tastes like wine but doesn't have the alcohol.  It's great for pregnant mums and breastfeeding mums too.  You have a choice of red, white (chardonnay) and rose.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day whatever you do!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Getting measured for the right bra post baby

I thought I knew my bra size but as my body has changed quite a bit from having Baby M I thought I would get myself measured just to make sure.  I was so wrong!!  I had been wearing a 36D but was measured as 32E - er slightly different!!

Once I tried on new bras in the correct size I felt the difference immediately, I felt much more supported.  The lovely lady who measured me said I needed a moulded bra, which I agree with as they felt much more secure.

Around the back area there was no longer any over hang or rolls like I had been experiencing.  I could wear some of my tops that I'd been avoiding due to the fat rolls.

I would definitely recommend every mum get measured post baby, you might be surprised by the results, as I was!

Now I get to treat myself to some new underwear - shopping trip!!!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Useful travelling items - what we found useful going on holiday

We found a few items helpful whilst we were away.  Now I know these items won't be helpful to everyone as we were lucky that the caravan is my folks but I would take these items for visiting family too.


We got our travel cot from kiddicare, I was a little worried that Baby M wouldn't like it as he's only slept in his moses basket but he slept fine the first night and the rest of the time we were away.  We got a mattress as well to make sure his sleep was super comfortable and slept him in sleeping bags rather than sheets.  We will also do this when he moves to his cot as he kicks his sheets off at times in the moses basket and I would be worried he will smother himself.  Sleeping bags are a great idea as they keep baby cosy but safe.  We also put him in his sleeping bag before bed so we didn't have to faff about and wake him up.  I don't mind changing his nappy with the sleeping bag on but Mr M isn't so keen.


We bought a travel steriliser from Morrison's, it's a kiddicare one.  It was rubbish!! It says you can fit 2 bottles in it, I don't know how!! We had to put one bottle and put it on it's side.  The top didn't fit that great either.  In the end (after lots of stressing on my part) we bought an Avent Classic from Argos and left that at the caravan.  My mum will take it to her house for when we go and visit.  For feeding Baby M on the go we were probably a little lazy and got the pre made Aptamil bottles.  We thought this was a much easier way to feed him as we would be out and about and wouldn't know when we would be feeding him.  I know you can fill bottles with hot water and have the formula in container as we do that at home but we thought for ease the pre made bottles would be easier.  It was a quick way of ensuring Baby M was fed.


My mum bought us a travel mobile from Babies r us.  I wasn't sure whether Baby M would be interested as he sleeps a lot in the car at home but it was a great way to keep him entertained!! He loved the dangling parts and looking at himself in the mirror.  We have kept it in the car since we came home as he loved it so much.  We also have a Lindam mirror so I can see him in my rear view mirror.  Mr M can also see him if he turns round.  It is more for our reassurance as we can see him and check he is ok even when he's sleeping.


When my mum said she had found a travel bath I wasn't that convinced but when we used the Tippitoes folding bath we were pleasantly surprised.  The bath is a really good size, it is supposed to last baby until they are 2.  The plug is blue and turns white when the water is too hot.  It also folds completely flat meaning it is great for travelling.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Swimming Class - week 4

This weeks swimming lesson started with a bit of bad news - our classes are no longer going to continue at the pool we currently use.  To be honest after the lesson myself and the other mums discussed this and we all felt the same - let down.  We are a beginners class and it started 5 weeks ago (we started a week after everyone else) surely it was known when we booked the classes that the pool wasn't going to be used for much longer.  The other options aren't that great for me (or from discussion with the other mums for them either) we all felt a little let down that this hadn't been explained to us earlier.  We have some thinking to do!  And we have to think quick as the rebooking period has already started. 

The class was really good as always, our instructor is great!

We did our usual splish splash, underwater swims and humpty dumpty among other things.  We did start "hold on" this week.  We sat the babies on our knees and put their hands flat on the side of the pool and said in their ear "hold on" continually.  One of the babies even held on - great for his first time!

Baby M and another baby who are the youngest in the group didn't quite grasp it but there's lots of time for that. 

Baby M laughed again throughout the lesson.  The only times he cried was due to going underwater but a hug from mummy and he was fine - the instructor doesn't think there's anything wrong with his breathing as he cries as soon as he surfaces, she thinks he doesn't like the cold as he makes a shocked cry.  He is like his mum in that respect, I don't like cold either!

We are looking forward to next week's lesson but also having a think about our options for our swimming future

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

12 week vaccinations & weighing of Baby M

Baby M had his 12 week vaccinations last week.  He had them at 13 weeks due to the slightly silly system at our GP. 

At this appointment Baby M was given his second dose of the 5-in-1 vaccination which is for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b.  He also had his second dose of the rotavirus vaccine which is given orally.  He had his Meningitis C vaccine for the first time, the health visitor had warned us that this vaccine may cause him to develop a temperature.

There was a sharp cry when he was given his vaccinations (one in each leg at the same time) but after cuddles from daddy he was fine.  He was then given the rotavirus vaccine which he guzzled so much he started coughing, obviously likes sweet things!!

Again I think Mr M and I were more traumatised than he was, when he got home he slept for about 3 hours, he fell asleep even before we had left the GP building. 

We montiored his temperature but it was fine.  The next morning he was a little grumpy but he was back to his happy self by the afternoon. 

We thought that he would get weighed at this appointment like he did for his 8 week one but that wasn't the case.  We haven't heard from our health visitor since the week before his 8 week appointment.  After speaking to the nurses who gave him his vaccinations we got a list of baby clinics and took him to a local clinic to get weighed.  He now weighs 13lb 15oz, getting such a big boy!!!

Next vaccination appointment is in 4 weeks then that will be him until he is 1 year old

Monday, 17 March 2014

Our first visit to Stanley Park

We've lived in this area now for nearly 5 years but have never been to the park, probably because we haven't had Baby M to take.

I don't know how many times we have driven past but I was really surprised how big the park is.  Stanley Park is in Blackpool, across the road from the zoo.  It is a 15-20 minute drive from our house.

The park has a lovely big pond where you can feed the ducks and in the summer they have boat rides and even fishing.

We went to the park on a glorious sunny day, it was quite busy!

We walked all around the pond, unfortunately Baby M slept the whole way round.

We then walked by the skate park, BMX ramps and the many tennis courts, football and basketball pitches.  There is also an athletics track within the park.  Lots to do with Baby M when he gets a little bigger!

There is also a play park, it's separated into a small park for young children and then a bigger play area for older children.  I'm sure Baby M will love it!

We decided to walk through the lovely garden areas and took a seat on a bench by the fountain.  I can imagine this part of the park looks lovely in the summer.

Luckily I am on mat leave until end of August so I can see we will be visiting the park lots once the weather improves.

I was pleasantly surprised by the park, I am really looking forward to many more days spent here with Baby M throughout the year.  The Friends of Stanley Park website list events taking place at the park so we will be keeping on eye on that as well.

I've linked this post with Coombe Mill #CountryKids, check out the website for other blogs stories of outdoor fun this week!

Friday, 14 March 2014

3 months old

I can't believe Baby M is 3 months old!!!  Time is flying!!

My dad did ask us the other day though if we are thinking of having any more children - a little too soon dad!!

Baby M is changing day by day, I can see him developing into a little person. 

He loves to laugh and giggle and is such a chatterbox

When he does tummy time he pushes himself up really high, he hasn't rolled over yet.  He is also trying to pull himself up to sit - hes a clever boy.

Baby M would always have his fists clenched, I was starting to worry about this, however lately he is opening his hands much more and grasping toys.  He has started putting his hands in his mouth - a lot!

I love our little boy so much

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Natures Purest - hat & mitts review

The lovely people at Natures Purest sent me a Plain Hat and Mitts to review.  This was great timing as we were going away on our first family holiday to Northumberland, I knew the hat and mitts would get a good testing.

Natures Purest have a number of different ranges all made with natural products to ensure your baby won't be irritated in any way.  All their manufacturing takes place in Sri Lanka and they use only naturally coloured cotton.

The set arrived beautifully presented.  This would be a lovely gift for a new baby.  Both the hat and mitts felt so soft.  I loved them - but what would Baby M think?

We took Baby M on the beach, this would be a perfect opportunity to try the hat and mitts.  It was windy and therefore quite chilly but Baby M fell asleep.  We did lose his mitts at first (I'm sure Mr M loved watching me running after them on the sand!).  However I think this might have been our error as we put them on after his all in one suit.

Next we went for a number of walks with Baby M wearing the hat and mitts.  The mitts stayed on this time  - we put them on before his coat!  He seemed to really enjoy wearing the hat and the mitts still allowed him to grab onto his pushchair bar, which he enjoys doing.

We were sent 0-6 months, Baby M is 3 months old I'm not sure whether the hat will last him until he is 6 months though as it fits well now.  I feel it might be a little tight by the time he's 6 months old.  The mitts on the other hand I think might last longer and they seemed to have more room in them.  The set is £15, which for organic cotton I feel is good value. 

I would recommend the hat and mitts and they have made me want to try more products.

Disclaimer: Whilst I was sent this product to review the views are my own.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Swimming class - number 2 and 3

Baby M is loving his swimming classes.

Last week he attended his 2nd class.  He did his first underwater swim! There was no crying!! He did so well, we had proper proud parent moments!!

As baby was swimming we put a space ship between our arms and blew bubbles into the water.  Baby M thought this was hilarious, there were lots of smiles.    

We are practicing our Name, Ready Go's in the bath still every time, he now closes his eyes as he knows the water is coming - such a clever boy!!

This week was his 3rd class - again we did 2 underwater swims.  Baby M had his vaccinations the day before and was a little grumpy.  After the 2nd underwater swim he had a cry so we didn't do a 3rd with everyone else.

He really enjoyed the spaceship again, there were lots of giggles.  He also enjoyed sitting on the side of the pool for humpty dumpty and Name, Ready, Splash.  He's so nosey!!

I feel our swimming classes are going really well.  Although Baby M was a little grumpy today he had a reason - plus we all have bad days.

We're looking forward to next week already!!!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Our first family holiday

We are really lucky that my folks have a caravan in Northumberland - great for our first family holiday away.

We went for 5 days - long enough to enjoy being away but not too long that we had to pack the whole house.  Wow one thing about going away with a baby, you need half the house!! 

The caravan is very modern - it has gas central heating, shower, oven - everything you need for a comfortable trip.  Thank god for the central heating, we took our GroEgg with us and the first night we had the central heating on for 30 mins or so every hour and a bit but the egg went blue.  After that we had the heating on constantly through the night.  

We had decided on our first full day that we wanted to go to Alnwick Castle, however it was shut (I later discovered there is walk you can do without having to go into the castle but I didn't know that at the time).  The next time we go to the caravan I will be doing my research before hand. 

Both Mr M & I want Baby M to grow up enjoying the outdoors.  When I was younger we used to walk a lot and both my brother and I were (and still are) really interested in wildlife.  I'd love that for Baby M too. 

We went for walks in Morpeth's Carlisle park.  We walked along the river in Rothbury.  We went to Etal and a lovely walk along the river.  We went to Alnmouth beach. 

We had a lovely time!

Baby M seemed to enjoy everywhere we went.  I know he can't appreciate it really yet but it's a start.  He didn't mind being in either his carrier or pushchair. 

We had such a lovely time we are already planning our next trip next week.  The break is also doing Mr M the world of good.

Monday, 10 March 2014

23snaps - useful app & website

As I have mentioned before we don't live near any of our family.

When I was pregnant we were looking for a way to share photos of my bump with family so they could see how much I was growing.  We also wanted a way to share photos of Baby M once he was born. 

I am not a huge fan of putting photos of Baby M on Facebook, yes we have put a few photos on but I could count them on one hand.  Plus not all of our family are on Facebook.

We discovered 23snaps.  We use it as an app on our phones but you can also log into the website.

You invite who you want to be able to view you photos, so you know who can see them.  They can either download the app or sign into the website.  They will get a notification email every time you add a photo.  you can add family members so I have Baby M as a member, this allows me to add information like his weight and height so our family have access to that information too.

When you add a photo you can put a description if you like.  Your friends and family can then add comments or like/love/smile at the photo.

We love using the app as it's a great way for us to share Baby M growing with everyone.  Plus when he does funny things we can share them instantly with everyone.

I'd definitely recommend 23snaps.

Disclaimer: Views are my own, this post is not sponsored by 23snaps