Friday, 30 May 2014

Half Marathon training - weeks 3, 4 and 5

To be honest there was no training weeks 3 and 4.  My excuses were we had visitors - lame I know!

I decided at the end of week 4 though that I needed to give myself a firm kick up the bum and get my ass in gear.

I got myself a FitBit Flex.  I walk quite a bit with Baby M, I try to walk every day if it is dry.  I thought the FitBit would enable me to monitor my walking as well as my running.  It has been a great motivator!!

I have also started doing my Nike Training App Ab Blaster workout as well as I need to tone up my belly.   It's 15 minutes of ab intense workouts including plank, Russian twists and toe touches.  My abs feel sore but as they say - no pain no gain!!

I have managed 3 runs this week.

My first was 1.8 miles with my next 2.1 miles.  My plan for my run over the weekend is to build up to about 3 miles then slowly increase the distance.  I plan to run Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday with a possible run on Monday depending on Mr M's work.  We are going to the inlaws next weekend and there are family events planned, plus I don't know the area well so wouldn't know where to go for a good run.  We will be doing lots of walking so I will be doing some exercise. 

The days I don't run I will do the ab blaster on my Nike Training app as I have done this week.

I have enjoyed running and am glad I've actually started properly.  Let's see what next week brings

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Managing the hot weather

I love the sunshine!!! I'm sure in a past life I was one of those lizards that just sit on a rock all day and soak up the sun.

When we had the spell of warm weather I thought great, I can get out and enjoy the sunshine and go places with Baby M.

Baby M really didn't like getting too hot.  He ended up spending most of his time during the warm weather in either his vest or just his nappy. 

We piled on lots of factor 50+ suncream.

My mum bought him a World's Apart sun tent which was great for when we were in the garden.

When we went anywhere with the pushchair Baby M was wearing his sun hat and we ended up putting our Snoozeshade on.  This was a godsend!! It kept him cool and protected from the sun as it has factor 50+ SPF built into the fibres.  I would recommend everyone get one for the summer!!

Night time was a struggle.  We tried everything to try and settle Baby M but he didn't sleep great during the week.  We had the windows open, him sleeping in a vest, no vest and a 1 tog sleeping bag.  I think we will just sleep him in his nappy in future.  It was great we had the GroEgg so we knew how warm his room was.

I'm now torn, I want a lovely summer but I also don't want it too hot for Baby M.  Apparently babies can regulate their temperature from a year old so next summer should be better, although I will be back at work so won't be able to enjoy it with Baby M so much

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Swimming classes - Intermediate 1 - weeks 1 and 2

We have now moved up to the Intermediate 1 class with Baby M and Water Babies

We've moved pools to a hydrotherapy pool.  Wow what a difference!!  As soon as we got into the pool Baby M was splashing - that's right splashing!! He's never done that before!

Week 1

In week 1 we learned a new way of swimming, rather than using the old method of having baby's chin resting on your hands they will now swim forward next to you with your hands under their armpits on the torso.  Baby M seemed to love this and was splashing his hands in the water.  We chased a spaceship around the pool too.  However he did a face plant into the water and got a little upset. 

We then did the first underwater swim, our lovely instructor held baby in front of us and we both went under water at the same time.  Baby M cried after this but was reassured, however remained grizzly.  We did the armchair swim which Baby M didn't like and also there was crying during his lying on his back swim.  I felt deflated.  I thought the new pool would be an improvement and he wouldn't get too upset.  We did the second underwater swim but he was too upset to do the third. 

Week 2

I went into week 2 a little worried we would have a repeat performance.  Lots of splashing when we got into the pool again.  We did our newly learned swim and again happy baby.  First underwater swim went really well, he had a cry when he surfaced but instantly reassured.  He held on for the first time each time we did it and loved the swimming on his back and kicking, he was laughing!  Great!!

We then tried a new song "ring a ring of roses", Baby M was fine until I went under the water, the bottom lip came out and then when he saw the other babies going under the water he started to cry.  We didn't do another underwater swim that lesson.  The armchair swim went well and every other part of the lesson he seemed to enjoy. 

He is making improvements and the new warmer pool is helping.  Hopefully his issues with underwater swims will resolve themselves - we've agreed to only do the last underwater swim for the next few classesso he can enjoy the rest of his class.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Family visits

Last week my brother was visiting for the whole week, it was brilliant to see him and spend some quality time with him and Baby M.

Prior to that Mr M's sister came to visit for a few days.  She hasn't seen Baby M so it was great she could visit for a few days.

We had our first experience of stranger anxiety.  Baby M became quite upset when given to his aunt to hold, which was quite upsetting for her and us as well as Baby M.  We encouraged lots of smiles, cuddles and she gave him his bottle and he changed, by the second day she was here there were smiles and giggles.

 By the time she was ready to leave they were best friends and I know Baby M will want to see his aunt again very soon.

Next we had the visit from my brother.  We didn't have any stranger anxiety this time, even though Baby M hasn't seen him physically since he was a month old we regularly Facetime so he sees his uncle every week.  The weather was brilliant throughout the week and we spent lots of time outside.  Baby M was given his bottle, fed his food and even had his nappy changed by his uncle.  All great things to build on their already strong bond. 

We live a distance from all our family members and that is something that is always at the back of our minds, we want Baby M to have a good relationship with all his family.

We have visits to Mr M's family, visits from my family and a family holiday to Ireland to look forward to - as well as many more visits we hope.

We look forward building many more happy memories with family, having lots of visits and giving Baby M lots of love

Monday, 26 May 2014

Sunny visit to Brockholes Nature Reserve

My brother & I love wildlife so whilst he was visiting we decided to take a trip to Brockholes Nature Reserve. The reserve is run by the Wildlife Trust

Brockholes can be found near Preston off Junction 31 of the M6.  I felt like we were going on a magical mystery tour to get to the entrance, the signs seem to be leading you in a circle once you leave the motorway then the entrance to the reserve could be easily missed.  Thankfully there were 2 of us to look out.

We had a look at the map on our arrival and decided on the route we would take.

We decided to walk from the car park and turn right, walking all the way round the reserve.

The views were great

We continued to follow the path round, through some lovely shrubs, trees and gates

We walked through a wooded area where there appeared to be a few bird watchers gathered, we couldn't tell what they were looking at though.

We then came to Nook Pool.  Here we saw a Heron and lots and lots of dragonflies.  We also saw what we thought was a Glebe but later we weren't actually sure that's what it was.

We continued round and saw more dragonflies and a Kestral hunting.  We stopped and watched this for a while.  We then walked round to the main water area, there are 2 hides, one is a family hide so you can sit and watch the birds.  We saw swans, Canadian geese, Greylag geese and coots.  We even saw a family with 3 baby coots - too cute!!

We finished our walk with a quick visit to the floating visitors village

They have a shop, conference centre (where you can get married if you so wish) and a restaurant.  We had a quick walk around then returned to the car and it was getting really hot and Baby M was getting a little grumpy.

The reserve is free to walk around, you just have to pay for parking.  A camera registers your car registration as you enter so as you leave you go to one of the parking machines, enter your registration then pay the required fee.  We were there for just under 2 hours and paid £2.70.  The machines accept cash or card which is great.

No dogs are allowed due to ground nesting birds.

We had a lovely time and will definitely be returning again in the near future with Mr M.  I think as Baby M gets older he will be able to take part in the different events that take part too.

I've added this post to Coombe Mill's #CountryKids, go check all the other great posts for ideas for days out

Friday, 16 May 2014

No blogging next week

I won't be blogging next week as my brother is coming to visit

He lives in Edinburgh and we don't get to see each other nearly as often as either of us would like. 

We are planning to be out and about a lot whilst he is here and he is looking forward to spending lots of time with his nephew

Due to his visit and wanting to spend quality time together I won't be blogging whilst he is here

I will be back 26th May

Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

I can't have caffeine!!!

Has any other mum out there had this experience??

Before I got pregnant I wouldn't drink caffeine in the evening as I would struggle to sleep at night but I could have it during the day without it effecting me

Once I found out I was pregnant I stopped drinking caffeine

We have a Dolce Gusto coffee machine and I love having a latte.  I also love a caramel macchiato from Starbucks - heaven!!  When I drink tea I have decaf anyway and I don't drink fizzy drinks so the only caffeine I have is coffee.

Even if I have a coffee in the morning I can't sleep that night!!

It took me a few nights to realise why I wasn't sleeping.  Mr M thought I was worrying about something and that was keeping me awake - I have been known to worry a lot!

It took a few days of no coffee for me to realise that it was the caffeine.  I still don't understand how having one in the morning can still effect me at night but it does!! 

I now have decaf pods for the coffee machine and ask or a decaf coffee when we go out so it's not a huge deal I just don't know why I'm so effected.

Am I now super sensitive to caffeine??

Has anyone else gone through this experience?  Did it change?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Gummee Glove - Review

Baby M is teething at the moment.  It is causing him quite a lot of discomfort.  I have tried teething gels, granules and calpol and whilst these do work he also wants to chew on things.

I have heard great things about Gummee Glove and thought I would see if it helped relive some of Baby M's discomfort

I love the bright yellow colour.  It comes with a bag which you place the glove in to wash in the machine.  I also keep the glove in this bag when it's not being used.

You can chose a blue or pink teething ring, I went for blue for obvious reasons.  There are 3 other teething areas in different colours - 2 on the side and one on the top.  The teething ring is held in place by a popper so you don't have to worry that it might come out of the glove.  The are 2 tags, one on either side that baby can play with his other hand and the print area is crinkly, which Baby M loves.

The glove is attached with a velcro fasten which means as baby grows the glove can still fit.  Baby M had the glove on for less than 5 minutes before it was in his mouth.  He likes holding onto the tag on the opposite side with his other hand and really enjoys crinkling the printed area.

Baby M definitely loves his Gummee glove and everytime he has it on he puts it straight into his mouth.  There has been one occasion where he has become a little fed up and tried to shake the glove off but he was in a really foul mood and nothing I was trying with him was working.

I would definitely recommend Gummee Glove - for £11.99 I think it is good value for money as you will get lots of use out of it.  As it's a glove baby doesn't need to concentrate on holding a teether and chewing they can just put the teething parts in their mouth and chew chew chew

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, I purchased this product as I thought it might be useful.  My views are my own


Monday, 12 May 2014

5 months old - where has the time gone??

Baby M is 5 months old!!!

I can't believe how fast those 5 months have gone.  I still feel like I don't have a clue what I'm doing too!!

Baby M is developing more and more into a little person, his personality is coming out more and more.

We have started our weaning journey.  He loves porridge and has had his first taste of sweet potato, which he also loved!

He sits in his highchair with us at mealtimes and loves watching us eat

His hand/eye coordination seems to be improving and he can pass things between his hands.  He hasn't quite mastered rolling over yet, he can get so far then he gets stuck.  Once I help him he's so pleased with himself.  When he has tummy time he kind of flounders around as if he wants to crawl but doesn't know how to so it.

He still loves standing and can pull himself up from sitting by holding our hands.  He can also sit on his own for short spells

He is getting more interested in the cat, he has stroked her a few times and the smile on his face is huge!! He slightly pulled her fur once and I was worried she might lash out at him but she didn't flinch.  The cat is slightly wary of him still but will go up to him and sniff.  Hopefully their friendship with continue to develop

A friend gave us a walker, we have put him in it twice but his feet just miss the floor.  I'm a bit wary of putting him in it too often for too long as I have read that it can cause problems with hips and walking.

He is also sleeping longer, no longer waking at 5, now can sleep until 7 - those extra 2 hours are amazing & make such a difference to how shattered I feel!!

I really hope that his teeth come through soon.  They have been causing him so much discomfort and he has been such a grumpy and frustrated little boy at times.  I wish there was something I could do to make him feel better!!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bank Holiday Shopping with Morrisons

I was one of the lucky mums & dads who was selected to take part in Britmums and Morrisons #Morrisonsmum

Morrisons have launched their I'm cheaper campaign.

We used to shop at Morrisons as it is at the back of our house but we started shopping at Asda due to it being cheaper.  We would still go to Morrisons for items if we ran out as we could just walk round.

I was interested to see whether this new campaign would make our weekly shop cheaper.

When we arrived at the store it was decorated with big posters and balloons promoting the campaign

There were lots of signs around the store to let you know which items were cheaper

We managed to find most things we needed, there were a few items they didn't have.  As we went on a Friday afternoon before school finished the store wasn't too busy and our whole shopping experience took about 40 minutes.

Our total spend was £139.47 however we bought some offers which took the total to £134.75.  As I said before we didn't get everything we needed.  Was this cheaper than our usual weekly shop???  No I have to say it wasn't.

We love risotto.  It's a great meal to make when you have visitors too as it makes a lot and it isn't that difficult to make.

The price per serving (for 4 people) at Morrisons worked out at £2.36 each.

Every time I make risotto I make it slightly different.  There is a basic recipe that I stick to but one of the things I love about risotto is you can put anything in it, depending on what you have in the cupboard.  No one risotto is ever the same!

We always have king prawns and chorizo in our risotto.  This might be one of the reasons the price per serving is a little higher than you might expect.

Fry onions in a little oil

Add peppers and your sliced chorizo

Add king prawns and vegetables

Add the risotto or paella rice

Add 1000ml of boiled water with 2 stock cubes (I used 1 chicken and 1 vegetable).  Add spinach

Continue to stir until 80% of the water has been absorbed.  Add 2 handfuls of grated cheese.  Mature cheese is the best as it as a good taste.  Adding cheese adds a lovely gloss and creamy texture to your risotto


Including preparation it takes about 30minutes to make your risotto.  It is such a hearty meal.  You can add a lovely crusty bread on the side if you so wish.

I really enjoyed being a #MorrisonsMum.

Has this experience made me change where I carry out my weekly shop??  No it hasn't.

Whilst there were some good deals the total wasn't as cheap as my usual weekly shop.  As I am still on maternity leave money is tight and we have to consider how much we spend on everything.  Also I am lactose intolerant and the dairy free selection at my local Morrisons isn't as good as other supermarkets.

I will continue to go to Morrisons for items we need during the week such as bread if we run out.  

Disclaimer: I was given £80 of Morrisons vouchers to carry out a family food shop.  Views are my own. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Half Marathon Training - week 2

Week 2 didn't really start off any better than week 1 as my cold got progressively worse and ended up on my chest.  Even walking up and down the stairs left me breathless!!

I have been feeling like someone is sitting on my chest until yesterday so haven't been out for a run.

I'm hoping that things continue to improve & I will be able to get out for a run at some point over the weekend.  Even if I don't manage a run I am planning on doing my ab blaster part of my Nike app

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Finding things to keep us busy

With Mr M going back to work I found last week a little different from what we had become used to

Baby M was lucky that he had both of us around from him being born and we could do lots of family things together.  I am so pleased that Mr M is feeling better and is now back at work but it's different.

Last week I took Baby M to swimming but all the other mornings Mr M was at work during his phased return Baby M just had his bottles, we played a little then he napped.  Then Mr M was home.  By the end of the week I was feeling a little lonely and lost.

I decided to be proactive and do something about this.

I regularly try to meet up with friends but with everyone I know at work I don't see them as often as I wold like.  One of my friends has a little girl who is 2, we went to a play barn last week and whilst Baby M is too little to really enjoy anything it looked like somewhere I will definitely take him once he's older.

I have also looked into more groups I can go to.  I have discovered 3 new groups, on top of swimming, that aren't far from the house and we can go to.  That will leave us 3 days where we don't have anything on, 1 of them will be a Sunday so that will be family time, the other 2 will be during the week so Baby M & I can catch up with friends and have bonding time.  I have also looked up games we can play that will encourage his development.  As a first time mum I sometimes worry I'm not doing things right and I'm missing things that can help Baby M develop.  (Crazy I know!! It's the "wanting to do the best" part of me)

I want to enjoy the time I have left on maternity leave - everyone keeps asking me when I am going back to work- really this is the last thing I want to think about!!

I will let you know how our new plans go!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Swimming - class 9 - our last beginners class

I have mixed emotions about our beginners class coming to an end.

I am sad because the other mums in the class are starting beginners again at a new pool on the same day as the beginners class whereas we are moving onto the next class at a different pool on a different day.  The reason we decided to do that is after this next batch of lessons I will be going back to work so won't be able to go on a Tuesday anymore.  When we were told the current pool was no longer going to be used and we had options it made sense to pick a Saturday class now so we didn't have to change days again.

I won't be sad to see the back of the pool we have been using though, it's been so cold!!  Baby M is temperature sensitive and on days it's been very cold he just hasn't enjoyed his class.

Sadly the pool was very cold for our last lesson and Baby M just wouldn't settle.  He enjoyed his splish splash and some swimming but he was whimpering through most of the lesson

I am hoping when we go to the new pool he will enjoy it more as it is a thermal hydrotherapy pool and much warmer.

We start our new class next Saturday, I'm a little anxious but I'm sure he will be fine.  I just want him to enjoy his classes

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Black & Decker 18V Lithium-Ion Dustbuster® Flexi Hand Vac - Review

I was thrilled to be chosen to test the Black & Decker 18V Lithium-Ion Dustbuster® Flexi Hand Vac
When the product arrived I was quite surprised how compact it was, I was expecting it to be bigger.

The Black & Decker 18V Lithium-Ion Dustbuster® Flexi Hand Vac is very light.  It comes with a docking station for charging which also has an area to store the accessories.

The Black & Decker 18V Lithium-Ion Dustbuster® Flexi Hand Vac can be used as a compact dustbuster with the hose attached or you can use the extending hose to reach places such as between the fridge and cupboards or in the car foot well. 

There are 3 attachments – a flip out upholstery brush for areas such as lampshades & curtains, a pet tool to remove pet hair or the crevice tool for difficult to reach areas. 

Before you use the product you need to charge it on the docking station, when you first put it on charge a blue light flashes, once it’s charge the blue light is solid.  This took about 4 hours the first time. 

I loved the idea of the pet attachment, we have the hairiest cat & I feel like I am forever getting our big hoover out to hoover our rug.  She likes to lie on the rug but with our 4 month old lying on his mat on the rug I like to make sure it isn’t covered in fur.  With this product I could just put the pet attachment on and in a matter in minutes the rug was fur free! The first time I used the Black & Decker 18V Lithium-Ion Dustbuster® Flexi Hand Vac I was surprised how much fur it pulled off the rug.  The rubber teeth are great for making sure not a piece of fur is missed.  I now use the Black & Decker 18V Lithium-Ion Dustbuster® Flexi Hand Vac daily to hoover the rug to make sure it’s fur free.

I haven’t hovered my car in the year that I’ve had it – shocking I know!!  The main reason I haven’t is because of where I park my car there isn’t an electrical socket nearby and I have to dig out our extendable extension cable.  I know this sounds really lazy!!

I made sure I had fully charged the Black & Decker 18V Lithium-Ion Dustbuster® Flexi Hand Vac before I used it to clean my car, I knew it might take a while.  

I started in the boot and made the mistake of using the upholstery attachment to start with.  My thinking was the it is quite wide and would pick up more dirt.  It didn’t really work though.  I then put on the crevice tool and it worked much better. 

Due to my faffing the battery ran out before I had cleaned my car – I had been hovering for 15 minutes though and as the battery life is 10 minutes that really isn’t bad.  I place it on charge for about 30 minutes and was able to finish my car.

There was a lot of dirt and sand in my car from our many walks, whilst the foot wells weren’t immaculate there were pretty close and I was happy with the results.  My car seats were left spotless

The see through window allows you to see when you have to empty and is easy to open and put the dust straight into the bin. 

Prices vary online for the Black & Decker 18V Lithium-Ion Dustbuster® Flexi Hand Vac from £114.99 to £136.99.

If you are looking for a great compact hoover that ticks all the boxes I would definitely recommend this product.  It has great suction and the different attachments are brilliant and do what they say this will.  The docking station doesn’t take up much room either and could be stored in a corner or even in a cupboard. 

I would give this product 5/5 – it is easy to use, great suction and cleans to a high standard

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review.  I was sent this product to review and in return was able to keep the product.  My views are my own

I have added this review to Family Fever and We're going on an Adventure's #TriedTested, go check out other great reviews 

Monday, 5 May 2014

We have started our weaning journey

We have been considering weaning Baby M for a number of weeks now but have been trying to hold off for as long as we could. 

When he started to cry after finishing every bottle we thought maybe it was time to try and introduce baby rice

We used Aptamil baby rice as this is the formula we use, we thought it would be best to stick with the same brand.  Baby M was not impressed!! At first he held it in his mouth looking at me as if to say "mum what's this you've stuck in my mouth".  Then he would pull funny faces like he didn't like the taste.  We tried a few times with the same reaction so we thought maybe we were wrong and he wasn't ready.

I spoke to some of the mums at swimming class and one said that her little girl hadn't liked baby rice and that she had tried baby porridge.  We thought it was worth a try.  If he didn't like that we decided we would wait a few weeks and try again

The first time we tried the porridge Baby M appeared to like it straight away.  He even opened his mouth for more - he had never done this with baby rice

The second time we tried porridge Baby M did his excited wiggling and arm waving and had his mouth wide open.  He had more of the porridge than the first time too

Baby M is 5 months old next week, I think we will continue with the porridge for another week or 2 if we can manage that then look at introducing fruits and veg

How did you find weaning?

Friday, 2 May 2014

Half Marathon training - Week 1

My first week hasn't gone as planned.

I thought I would manage 4-5 runs & I managed 2.  I haven't done any of my Nike app

Firstly I was ill then Mr M has been teething & I've had hardly any sleep, I'm not sure how I've managed my day to day tasks never mind a run. I feel like I'm making excuses though.  Mr M reminded me that I haven't been sitting on my bum not bothered & that I'm my harshest critic.  He's right there, I am.

The runs I have completed have been 1.8 miles completed in 20 minutes, not too bad.  I've been using MapmyRun app to record my runs.  My plan is to build this distance up then introduce interval training.

I'm hoping that week 2 will be better than week 1. The feeling you get after a run is great & I know once I get into a routine there will be no stopping me.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Teething - it's not fun for anyone

Poor Baby M is teething really badly this week

Since Saturday night his sleep has been disturbed at night and he has been really grumpy

I wish I could take the pain away!

I can see a tooth under his gum on the bottom, there is another one which I can just see next to it but it isn't quite as noticeable.

His hands have been constantly in his mouth.

His cheeks have been rosey and his poor little nose has been running and stuffy.

We have tried teething gel, teething granules and as a very last resort Calpol.  They help for a little while

Anything that he finds bring him comfort by chewing on I have let him (as long as it's clean, safe and his)

I've got a Gummee Glove and I have ordered a Cheeky Chompers neckerchew.  Does anyone have any suggestions of what else I can try?!?