Sunday, 29 March 2015

Joey's 9 month update

My little spud is 9 month's old already...the same amount of time he was in my tummy for.

Pulling his evil face 
So this month hasn't exactly been great withs regards to Joey's health, for the past month he has had red dry patches on his arms and thighs. I took him to the doctors at the beginning of the month and Joey wasn't actually diagnosed with anything he just told us to use Aveeno moisturising cream. So off we went knowing that I wasn't completely satisfied with the doctors opinion but I stuck to using the cream and just as I expected after 2 weeks their was no difference, these patches didn't seem to be clearing up. I managed to get an appointment with our actual doctor and as soon as he'd looked at Joey's patches of dry skin he diagnosed Eczema and prescribed us with steroid cream, bath additive and lotion. After only using the lotions and potions for a few days the inflammation was clearing up, now over a week on his lotions his arms have more or less cleared up.

We went to get Joey weighed on 12th March and we were expecting him to be around the 22/23lb mark but once on the scales the health visitor told me that he has in fact lost weight and now weighs 20lb 5oz  (5oz less than last month). I wasn't immediately worried but the health visitor looked at me as if I'm starving him! Joey loves his food, he always eats his food and is a happy baby all the time. He hasn't been ill so their isn't much of a reason for him to be losing weight. The only thing the hv said was maybe because he's being a bit more active, because he's not been well or the scales he was weighed with last time are completely different. So I'll be taking him back soon to get weighed again.

Not much has changed in the food or milk department recently. I've been trying to introduce pieces of banana and apple but I don't think he's ready yet.

Joey's sleeping pattern has got better. He hasn't been waking up at 3am which is great BUT he's still sleeping in the moses basket. I did try him in his cot one night last week but he woke up in the early hours crying. So I have no idea what to do to get him to stay in his cot all night every night!!!

I can't see or feel any other teeth coming through at the moment but I know he has a lot more to come through yet.

Joey's starting to grow out of most of his 6-9month clothes and has moved onto the 9-12month section. It's soon going to be summer and hopefully it will be nice and warm like it was last year when he was born.

He is trying so hard to crawl! He's started to turn round in different directions and rolls over a lot so hopefully he'll be crawling soon.

So that's Joey's 9 month update, it's getting so scary how fast the months are going.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 27 March 2015

Tips for buying your first pram

It's been about a year now since we picked and ordered Joey's pram for his arrival in June 2014. We waited until we knew the sex of the baby first before we chose anything. I had been looking briefly online but their are so many prams on the market that I did get a little overwhelmed but this is what we were mainly looking for...
- travel system
- 4 wheels
- blue
- Fits in car boot
- good reviews

We chose the Mothercare Xpedior travelsystem, even though its a good pram i'm not excited about it after using it a number of times. You can find my review of our Xpedior here. If this is a pram for your first child then their is a few things that you just won't think about or take into consideration, I know because I now feel disappointed in the choice that we made. You get a general idea of what you're looking for but we don't always take all practicalities into consideration do we? 

Kurbs - One main thing I didn't take into consideration when pram shopping was the different terrain and Kurbs we'd come across when out and about.  When you're in the shop pushing the pram around most of us will think "it feels smooth and light" Ofcourse it's going to feel smooth, you're  pushing it along a carpet! You don't try it out outside where the terrain Is rough and then you come across Kurbs. With the Xpedior when I get to the end of a road and go up a kurb I have to stop, put my foot on the bar at the bottom of the pram and then lift the front up. I can't just put pressure on the handle and expect the front of the pram to easily mount the kurb like I know some prams do.

The look - Take a good look at every angle of the pram and ask yourself "does this look good?". Don't get me wrong, the look of a pram doesn't always mean it's a great pram but you want to be confident that for your budget it looks good aswell. The Xpedior unfortunately isn't a good looking pram, because the main seat converts from carrycot to toddler seat from the back it doesn't look smart.

Budget - Prams are really expensive, I never realised how much until I started looking. Our budget was around £300 and at the time of looking for our pram their wasn't much choice unless you spent more. If you want to invest in a pram that you're going to love using and could potentially save for a second child then it might be worth having a bigger budget of say £600. Even if you couldn't afford to pay the money all up front I believe that a few stores do offer payment plans, we took advantage of a payment plan at Mothercare. 

Recently I have been using the pram with the main seat a lot more and I have come across a few problems; 
Break - when I've applied the break to the pram and then try and take it off it keeps sticking. I try to flick it up with my foot but most of the time I have to use my hand to lift the break which is getting increasingly annoying. 
Handlebars - the adjustable handlebars have recently started to stick, I can pull the handlebar up but not lower it. At just over 5ft I need the handles to be quite short after my hubby has been pushing the pram. 
Seat - I have quite a few niggles with the seat; the harness straps are really fiddly and takes about 5 minutes to strap Joey in, compared the other pram harnesses I've used the Xpediors just gets on my nerves and if you're in a rush becomes increasingly frustrating. The footmuff that comes with the Xpedior zips onto a seat cover where you have to thread the seat straps through. The material that they have used is so light that it just doesn't stay in position so when you pull baby out of the pram the seat cover comes with. 

So, as you can see I haven't exactly had a great relationship with our pram for Joey. If I was picking Joey's pram all over again knowing what I know now I don't think I would have gone for the pram we chose...that's why we have a second hand Silvercross Surf which has been used a lot more than the Xpedior. What my advice would be is to have a sit down and thing about the most important things you need in a pram. Write them down if need be and take them with you when going to look and try out. 

I hope you've found this post helpful. If you have any tips feel free to put them in a comment below. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

My 1st Mothers Day

For the past 18 years I have never felt comfortable with celebrating Mother's Day, Ofcourse I know it is a day to celebrate mother figures in your life whether they are present or not but this particular celebration has always been difficult.

My mum died 18 years ago, I wrote a post about my life here, which goes into more detail. Every year it has always been a day that I find difficult but mothers day 2014 was the year which really changed my issue, I was around 7 months pregnant with Joey and Chris bought me a Mother's day card from the baby. I cried because it suddenly hit me that I was going to be a mum and I could now celebrate this day instead of fearing it. Fast forward a year and this year's Mother's Day I have my 8 month old to celebrate the day with.

Unfortunately, Chris was doing some overtime at work over the Mother's Day weekend so he gave me my card and gifts and had to go to work. Not exactly the lovely first Mother's Day that I had been imagining but it means more pennies for us.  So Joey and I spent most of the day together and then walked over to the mother-in-laws for lunch which was lovely and Chris joined us when he'd finished.

So Joey, Chris's mum, Chris's sister, Chris and I all had a lovely late lunch. Chris's mum is a great cook! Joey even had lunch with us at the table although he did get a bit tired before we'd finished eating. So we had a very low key Mother's day but it was perfect.

I hope all of you lovely new mummy's had a fantastic day.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Mummy's going back to work!

A lot of you will probably know that last year while 3 months into my maternity leave that I was made redundant from work due to the company going into administration. As stressful as the situation was it wasn't too bad because I had another 5 months to decide whether to find a new job or stay at home with Joey.
Last day at New Look | 1st day at P4U 
Those 5 months flew by and my SMP has now come to an what now??? Well I've worked since I left school at 18 and i worked my bum off throughout my pregnancy so there was no doubt that I'd be going back to work. Before I went on maternity leave I arranged to return to work when Joey was a year old, he's only 9 months old at the moment so about a month ago I edited my CV and applied for a few jobs. I wasn't prepared to be contacted so quickly by two companies, the first job I was contacted for is very similar to what I was doing at Phones 4 U. I was then invited to an assessment day and they offered me the job at the end of the day, the only problem was is that I have to do a weeks training which is 9am- 5pm. I haven't even got Joey settled in nursery yet, Chris works full time and my mother-in-law couldn't have him the whole time so because of that I was planning on declining the offer. I then got contacted by Mothercare, which out of the 2 jobs I'd applied for is the one I wanted the most. But they were only prepared to offer me a 12 hour contract which consists of 4 or 6 hour shifts and I'd have to be in store for 7.30am or finishing at 8.30pm. The finishing late doesn't bother me because Chris will have Joey at home but having to be in work so early and chris having to get Joey ready and himself and out the door by 8.30am so he can go to work is just impossible.

So I've been in a bit of a dilemma...but I had to pick the job that most fits in with childcare. Even though having a job and progressing my career is important, my son is a lot more important. It's always been important to me to have a job and be able to provide and have nice things, and i think it's important to show Joey how important it is to have a job when he grows up. So after attending the Mothercare assessment day, they offered me the job but I had to decline the offer, I would have loved to have worked with them especially since becoming a mum but at the moment it just wouldn't fit in well. So at the end of March I will be doing 4 days training for the telecommunications company who are allowing me to be flexible which is great.
Joey and I have had a great time spending time together over the past 9 months but now it's time for both of us to spread our wings. 

I'd love to find out how other parents and babies adapted to work/nursery...Please get in touch :)

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Weekend Baby Style #9

Joey hasn't done a #weekendbabystyle post in quite a few weeks, life has been  hectic at the moment and a lot of his clothes you've already seen before.

Stupidly I didn't get a picture of Joey wearing the following outfit...gutted! But I went shopping last weekand bought him this cute Tigger outfit.

Top & bottom: George at Asda 

This matching set is £10 from asda, I love how light the colours are now we're coming out of winter. When I dressed Joey yesterday I put him in the Tigger top but then chose his jeggings instead of the chinos that cane with the set. The only reason I didn't put the matching trousers on him is just because they're too long for him just yet.

The weather has been lovely today so I wanted Joey to wear something summery and bright.

Top: H&M full length bodysuit
Leggings: Fred & Noah
Socks: George at Asda

Ages ago I bought a few basic bodysuits from H&M for Joey, they are so handy. I think the stripes go quite well with the pattern of the leggings. The leggings you've all seen before, Joey loves his Fred & Noah leggings and i think the yellow kangaroos are a really summery pattern.

Hopefully if we're not too busy we'll do another weekend baby style post. Don't forget to link up

The Knott Bump & Us

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Monday, 16 March 2015

Joey's 8 month update

Joey turned 8 months in February so this update is a little late...oops!

As of the 9th February Joey weighed 20lb 10 oz and his length was 70 cm. We usually get him weighed at our Sure Start Centre towards the end of each month every 4 weeks but at the beginning of February he had an appointment with a specialist at hospital. You may remember reading that Joey has had a few chest problems for months, on new years eve we took him for an x ray so February's appointment was to discuss the results.  Anyway, so his x ray came back clear and the doctor said he just has a case of 'Happy Wheezing'

At Joey's last weigh in with the health visitor I was advised to try and reduce the amount of milk/bottles he's having. Joey loves his milk and could guzzle all day if I let him so trying to reduce his feeds has been hard. At the moment he usually has 3 x 6oz bottles during the day and 1 x 4oz bedtime bottle. His routine goes something like this...
6/7am: Joey wakes up
7/7.30: bottle
8 am: Breakfast: muesli or porridge
10am: nap
11/11.30: bottle
12pm: Lunch
2pm: nap
3pm: bottle
5.30pm: Dinner
7pm: Bedtime bottle
His routine isn't set in concrete and everything really revolves around what time he wakes up in a morning. In terms of food Joey's getting on great with solids, I've been trying to introduce finger food for ages but he just throws it on the floor. But we've had a breakthrough and he's getting the hang of finger food, I've been giving him rice cakes but he's been stuffing the whole thing in his mouth and choking.

His sleep pattern at night has been ok but it hasn't been great and that's because of his teeth coming through. He can wake up a few times during the night crying or sometimes not at all until the morning. He's completely in his own room now but he's still relying on the snugness of his moses basket inside his big cot.

Joey has 2 teeth now and boy they gave him so much pain. The teething pain never really bothers him during the day, it's just at night and that seems to be the only time we give him calpol. I've been giving him teething gel, teething granules and teethers.

  • First 2 teeth
  • rolling over
  • attempts to crawl
  • hair
So thats all really, I'm getting rather annoyed that he isn't crawling yet so hopefully that will be soon. I can't believe he's 8 months old already, time flies!

Thanks for reading 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser

Joey is an absolute nightmare when it comes to his dummy, constantly taking it out and after swinging it about a bit he then drops it onto the floor. When we're at home it's easy to just go and give it a wash under the tap but not so easy when we're out and about. So when the lovely people at Milton asked if I'd be interested in reviewing the new Mini Portable Soother Steriliser, I jumped at the chance.

After I'd agreed to do a review I was asked which colour steriliser I'd like for Joey; they offer 3 colours:
- blue
- purple
- green
I chose the blue steriliser for Joey. The great thing about the steriliser is that it is really handy and so easy to just strap it to the handle of a changing bag or even pram handle.

Key features
- 2 in 1: cleans and sterilises soothers on the go
- Allows you to always have one soother ready whenever you need it
- 100% watertight, no risk of spills inside your bag
- Sterilises in 15 minutes using Milton Mini Sterilising Tablets
- No need to rinse
- Adjustable strap to easily attach it to your buggy, pram or change bag
- BPA free
- Use only with the Milton Mini Sterilising Tablets

I'd heard a lot of good things about the Milton Mini soother steriliser so I was so excited to start using it. The packaging contains the actual steriliser, velcro strap, 2 absorbant sponges, Milton steriliser tablets and instructions. If you aren't familiar with this product then I would strongly suggest reading the instructions and familiarise yourself with the whole kit. I have to admit I did have to read them a few times and do everything step by step the first time I used it. It is very easy to set up and then use after the first time.

My verdict
The Milton Mini Soother Steriliser is a great product to have if you have a baby using a dummy. The instructions say that the steriliser should be compatible for Soothers upto 12months but the dummy Joey uses doesn't easily fit inside the hole of the steriliser sponge. It does fit but its a bit of a squeeze and hopefully doing its job. Joey has only ever liked a dummy with a big teet which in this instance is a bit of a pain. I definitely think this is a great product though for that quick dummy sterilise. I will definitely continue to use it and I would recommend it to any new mums. At £6.99 I think it's a reasonable price and you get enough steriliser tablets to last you, even when you have to stock up on the tablets they aren't expensive.

*I was sent this product in exchange for a review. All opinions are 100% my own. The Milton Mini Soother Steriliser is available from a wide range of stockists.

Have you been using the Milton Mini soother  Steriliser??? I'd love to know what you think?

Thanks for reading

Friday, 6 March 2015

Vidal Sassoon Salonist - Medium Redish Brown

A couple of days ago I dyed my hair using Vidal Sassoon Salonist in Medium Redish Brown (5/5). I'd heard a lot of great things about this new product which defers from usual home hair colours. Salonist is a 2 step hair colour where you first apply colour to the roots and then use the provided serum to mix in with the rest of the colour to apply to the rest of the hair, which is how it's done when you go to the hairdressers.

I've been wanting to go back to red for ages but because I haven't used Vidal Sassoon colour before I was really unsure of what colour to choose. So I was stood in Superdrug for ages going through the swatches and i decided on Medium Redish Brown, on the box their is a very strong hint of red in the colour but not intense. Again because I'm unsure of the colours I wanted something that was subtle but still looked red. The other home hair dye kits I've usually used are L'Oréal Casting creme gloss so I was excited to try Salonist.

In the box:
- 1 tube of Rich Colour Cream
- 1 bottle of Colour Activating Lotion
- 1 Sachet of VS Serum
- 1 Tube of Colour-Preserving Conditioner
- VS Expert Brush, Bowl & Gloves
I was really surprised with what was inside the box, usually you just get your colour cream and conditioner but because you have to apply the colour to your roots Vidal Sassoon supply you with gloves, plastic bowl, an expert brush.

Before you start anything, sit down and read the instructions and familiarise yourself with the contents and what products you need to use in each step.
Step 1 is about applying the colour to your roots. I found this quite easy when I was doing the front and sides but when I got to the back I really struggled because I couldn't see. If you have someone in the house to help you then get them to do the back for you.
Step 2 focuses on the rest of your hair; the mid lengths and ends. You have to empty the sachet of serum with the remainder of the colour in the bowl. This step is a lot like the normal home hair dye procedure where you just work the lotion into the rest of your head. If I had one suggestion it would be to have some scissors handy to open the sachet of serum...because of the gloves it makes it incredibly slippery. Then you have to leave the lotion on for 30mins...
After the 30mins rinse your hair until the water runs clear, use a colour protection shampoo and then use the conditioner provided. The conditioner should last you around 6 washes I think, it smells amazing.
Before & After

My verdict
As soon as I'd rinsed my hair I could see a flash of red at my roots, as I dried my hair you can see a slight bit of red. I think I've chosen the wrong shade but like I've said at the beginning of this post I didn't want it to be really red, this shade only has a very subtle shade of red. So I think I'll have to leave it a while and then go for Medium Intense Red. The whole process though is really good and I didn't find it difficult at all, if anything I think it's easier than other home hair dye processes. When the lotion was on my head it didn't drip at all which is great because I have countless hair dye stains on carpets and bedding from previous products. The conditioner smells amazing and it made my hair feels so soft and unusually shiny. I will definitely be getting this product again, even though it hasn't given me my desired colour I've loved how it's left my hair feeling.

Vidal Sassoon Salonist is available from a wide range of stockists. I purchased mine at Superdrug for £9.99.

Have you used Vidal Sassoon Salonist??? I'd love to know what you thought of it...

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 1 March 2015

My Hair History

As I was watching a segment on This Morning about home hair colouring by Leo Bancroft and it got me thinking about changing my hair colour. I get bored of my hair very quickly but I've been a dark brown colour since July so Im getting really wrestless. It also got me reminiscing about all of the different hair colours/styles I've had over the years....

A lot happened in this year, a lot of changes in my life. I got married, started uni, got my first tattoo and started working at New Look. I wanted a massive change and around about the same time I think Rihanna and Cheryl Cole had died their hair red so I sort of copied them. I absolutely loved the colour so much that I kept it for over a year. Even though I kept the same colour I did have various styles. Long, short, then long with the help of extensions sewn in. I had red hair for well over a year and I loved it but it took too much effort to maintain.

2012: Blonde & Long
By the end of 2011 I died my hair back to a more neutral colour of brown. I needed to give my hair a rest from from the endless colouring. But then I got bored after about 6 months of being brown and decided to have blonde highlights. I loved having highlights, I'll definitely have them again sometime as I think golden highlights are lovely for during the summer. The above picture was taken at the beggining of April, by the end of April I had more highlights put in and was slowly going completely blonde. By June 2012 I was completely blonde and had micro bead extensions and I absolutely loved them! I would have kept them in for ages

By March 2013 I'd got bored of the blonde and it was starting to kill my hair so I went back to brown, I just couldn't keep up with getting it bleached all the time. So I was back to brown again but because the bleach had wrecked my hair I had to have a lot cut off and it was so short. I've always wanted long hair but with my type of hair even though it grows in length it always grows outward aswell. But then when its short its still really thick I can't really win either way.
Not much had changed with my hair in 2014. I found out I was pregnant in October 2013 so I couldn't dye my hair early on. But when I knew everything was safe I decided to get my hair dip dyed blonde, which was fine because it wasn't on the roots. When I had it done I loved it, I got my hairdresser to give me a bouncy blow dry which always looks good with dip dyed hair. But when I do my hair myself, I always style it straight, I can't do bouncy lovely curls so when it was straight I just didn't like the dip dye look on me.
We're now in 2015 and I haven't coloured my hair since September 2014, I just can't find the time to do it myself and the last time I had it done in a salon I didn't have a very good experience. The last time I went to the hairdressers was in February and I had quite a bit cut off but that was it.

Even though I experiment quite a lot with my hair, in truth it is an actual nightmare! As a kid I had tight blonde curls, as I started to grow my hair when I was 8 years old it started to go frizzy. As I didn't have my mum to show me how to take care of my hair it just went frizzy and very coarse. I started straightening my hair with straighteners when I was 15/16 years old and it took me hours to do because I didn't own the very expensive ghds. Anyway, during my teens I'd tried all sorts of hair straightening procedures at the hairdressers, again, costing me lots of money for nothing to work. But then my cousin who was a trained hairdresser came across a Schwartzkopf chemical straightener that was only £5 at the hairdressing supply shop. It's basically the same stuff you use to do a curly perm. It didn't make my hair poker straight but it did take the umph out of it which meant that it was so much easier to style and didn't take me hours to do. Even though it makes my hair look good it's not exactly healthy, it's probably stripping all the essential oils and one time the lotion was left on for a little bit longer that my hair broke at the root of my centre parting leaving me with a massive tuft...whoops! About 2 years ago I read about a straightening service called the 'Brazilian Blowdry' which I had done at a salon I'd only bring using very recently, I paid £100 to have it done and was given after care products and then had to return to have it set a couple of days after but it didn't do anything. The only thing it did do was make my hair extremely knotty and hard to brush. 

Aswell as trying to make my hair straighter, I've also dabbled with extensions to make it longer and more luxurious. I've had your usual clip in extensions, sewn in and micro bead extensions which have each brought their own problems. Sewn in extensions absolutely irritated the hell out of my scalp, they also weren't the same texture as my hair so they did make it hard to style myself. I can't put clip in extensions myself because they fall out or you can see the clips. I loved having micro bead extensions, at £300 they were so expensive and again they were pretty hard to style and even wash. So its safe to say I've had had a lot of different hair styles and colours over the years.

I love experimenting with my hair, Its the only part of me that I can really experiment with. I'm thinking of changing my hair colour again back to red and I'm thinking of using Vidal Sassoon 'Salonist', I've heard some great things about it. I'll probably dye my hair this week and do a post about it or maybe even a vlog!

Thanks for reading

Weekend Baby Style #8

It's the weekend! And that can only mean one thing, it's time for the weekendbabystyle linky hosted by Knott Bump & Us.

We haven't been very fashionable this week, Joey's been having a bad time with teething and he's been waking me up at 3am wanting to get in our bed and then I just don't sleep. So I've had a constant headache all week :( But the weekend usually gives us an excuse to get out and about so here's Joey's weekend style...

We didn't actually go out but I made a bit of an effort getting him dressed...

Top: H&M
Leggings: Fred & Noah
Bib: F&F Tesco

Off we went to the Trafford Centre...because I knew it was going to be manic I wanted Joey to wear something that was casual yet stylish but something that was easy to take off when he needed changing. So this is what he wore...

Top: F&F Tesco
Jeggings: F&F Tesco
Bib: F&F Tesco
Cardigan: Ralph Lauren Polo
The day was so manic so I didn't manage to get any good pictures and I only put his cardigan just before we went out. I was so stressed when we got to the Trafford Centre that we just had lunch with my friend from school and then just went home...I didn't even go shopping :(

So that's Joey's #weekendbabystyle done for this week. I think I need to buy a few more tops for Joey it seems he's lacking in that department. I'd love to know what you think and I can't wait to finally sit down and see everyone else's outfits.You still have time to link up at Knott Bump & Us

The Knott Bump & Us

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