Wednesday, 30 September 2015
Another month has flown by, so it's Mummy and Me time again! I love this linky as it means I get to look back on all the photos I've taken during the month (there were hundreds haha), and watch my babies grow! I managed to get some photos this month that aren't iPhone selfies! I did thrown a couple of those in too though, as they are still pretty special, even if the quality is a bit naff.
Saturday, 26 September 2015
Sometimes I think about stopping these updates as not much changes now she's bigger. Then I think how much I'll love looking back of these when she's older, so I'm determined to carry on until she's 2! Indie turned 22 months today (26th September), and she's now around 26lb - not 100% accurate as she didn't want to stand on the scales at the health clinic haha. She's just starting to wear a few 18-24 month items of clothing, but she's still very petite (some 9-12 month clothes still fit!).
Eating wise she's still going through a fussy phase. She adores breakfast and will without fail eat everything she's given, sometimes having more. Her favourite at the moment is cheerios, always with a side of fruit - preferably a 'narna'. Lunch is hit and miss; she eats everything apart from the sandwich/wrap/roll which is a bit annoying. Dinner is the hardest meal.
We've had a lot end up on the floor recently, including things she used to love! We've had slight improvement these last few weeks (she's actually eaten peas and sweetcorn, and pasta willingly!), but it's still pretty frustrating, especially considering she used to eat absolutely anything.
Sleep has been SO much better since the nights/mornings have got darker. Now instead of waking at 5am for milk she's sleeping in until gone 6/7, and we've even had a couple of 8am lie-ins! She's still having a morning nap between 10 and 12 which is an absolute god-send; especially with having Parker. She definitely needs this nap still, so until she wants to drop it, it's staying.
She's been looking and acting even more grown up recently. She chats away to you constantly and is interested in everything. She's started noticing planes the past few weeks and now every time one flies over we have to watch it and say goodbye haha. She still loves to colour and paint, build towers, read books, role play with her stuffed toys and baby, and most importantly keep an eye on her baby brother!
She's now been a big sister for 2 months, and she still absolutely loves it - she's not bored of him yet haha. She is still obsessed with Parker and constantly gives him kisses and cuddles. She's still loving nursery too and has just started Jo Jingles during her Friday mornings; it's In The Night Garden themed at the moment, so you can imagine she LOVES it!
Friday, 25 September 2015
I collect my dress next Thursday, we collect the suits on Wednesday, and we're seeing our venue this Sunday to finalise plans and menu choices. Our home is filled with favours, decorations, DIY wedding bits and the rest of the outfits. We've also been wearing in our wedding shoes in the evenings which is pretty funny haha.
Yet despite all this it STILL doesn't seem real. I've had my hair trial, dress fittings, menu tastings, given notice with the registrar and still it seems like a far away plan! I think having a newborn has given me something to keep my mind on, so I haven't been focused on wedding plans as much. I bet I'll wake up Friday morning and it'll hit me, and I'll turn into Bridezilla!
I cannot wait to share with you all about our big day properly. There will definitely be pictures and posts up on the blog, and fingers crossed I'll manage to get some of it filmed too! Fingers crossed it doesn't rain for our special day too.
Any last minute tips you have for us before the day?
I honestly cannot wait to be a Mrs, and finally share a surname with the rest of my family!
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Back in May I was contacted by the lovely people at Cosatto and asked if I wanted to review their brand new pushchair, the To & Fro. I practically jumped at the chance and was so excited when it arrived. We began using is with our toddler Indiana, but now our baby boy Parker has arrived we've been able to use it to the full. The To & Fro is a streamline pushchair that also doubles up as a travel system too - oh and it's also forward AND parent facing... amazing!
The To & Fro is suitable from birth by using either the seat in parent facing mode, or by using it as a travel system with the Cosatto Hold carseat (you do have to buy this separately). In parent facing mode the seat lays flat and with the head hugger and included foot muff, it creates a cosy and comfortable ride for any newborn. Then once you feel baby is ready to face the world you just flip the seat and hood over, and hey presto, it's back to a regular stroller! At first I did feel like I was going to break the hood when pulling it through, but it really was so simple, and doesn't take long at all. I will say though that without the footmuff there was a slight gap in the fabric when in parent facing mode.
Each way has it's own design too which I think is a brilliant touch. Cosatto's bright, vibrant and fun designs really are eye-catching and definitely make the pram stand out from the crowd. I chose the 'Pitter Patter' design as thought it was the most suitable for both genders, however there are others to choose from.
The pushchair also comes with a cup holder - essential for when out and about - and a raincover which is very easy to pop on and off. The foot muff is reversible so it matches the two designs and is fully lined and padded to create a comfortable ride for baby. The pushchair is easy to put up and down and when folded stands by itself too. Finally the hood has a panel to view your child through while on the go, a pocket for storing your essentials, and an extra flap so your child is completely shaded from the sun!
I must add a few negatives as it isn't 100% perfect, but these really haven't put us off using it at all. The pushchair is heavy. I love how sturdy and well-made the pushchair is, but this does mean that it it weightier than your cheaper umbrella-style pushchair. This doesn't affect how easy it is to push, but for people like us that have to carry it up and down stairs it is a bit annoying! The pushchair is also long when folded. This means it doesn't fit in the back of our Seat Ibiza unless the parcel shelf is off, or we have to put it on the back seats (something we now cannot do with two car seats in there)!
Overall we absolutely love the Cosatto To & Fro. We love that we can use it for both our toddler Indiana and our newborn baby boy Parker without having to make many changes. It's design means you only ever need to buy one pushchair; it really would last you from birth until they no longer need a pram. Also how can you not love that design and the fact it comes with a 4 year guarantee as standard!
Disclaimer - We were sent the Cosatto To & Fro Pushchair, Hold carseat and carseat base for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are honest, my own and we have not been paid for this review
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
White noise was always effective at soothing and calming Indiana. We've used a white noise machine (firstly a seahorse and now a giraffe) since she was a tiny newborn, and she still uses it at naptime and bedtime now at over 21 months! We therefore knew straight away we wanted to use white noise with Parker as well. So when I was contacted by The Gro Company and asked if I wanted to try their new and unique product, The Gro Hush, I jumped at the chance!
The Gro Hush is unique as it's the first portable white noise baby calmer. The small hand held device plays white noise that goes directly to your baby, so that it doesn't disturb you or anyone else around you. This also means the baby can hear the soothing sounds close to them - they can't be distracted by other noises around them.
The volume on the device is set to 75 decibels (and cannot be changed), which is perfect for allowing only the baby to hear. This has been chosen as it is also the best volume for safety too. The device can be put directly to the ear; much safer than using an app on a mobile phone, which shouldn't be put close to a baby at all. The sound also switches itself off after 10 minutes as an additional safety feature (and to save battery life), although it can be used for as long as you like. There are 3 different sounds to choose from: heartbeat, rain on a tin roof and ocean waves. All are soothing and this means you can see which sound works best for your baby.
When we first used the Gro Hush with Parker he was screaming and pretty worked up. We dismissed it within a few minutes and assumed it didn't work! However we didn't give up and tried it a number of times, with the different options (he likes the waves best) and found we were definitely too quick to judge. If Parker is a bit fussy and unsettled it definitely works. Within 5 minutes he calms right down and 9 times out of 10 falls asleep!
I will say it doesn't work every single time though. For example if he's really screaming (a common occurrence in the evenings with his colic). I have found if we try and use it then it can feel fiddly and just gets in the way. The device although portable fills up your entire hand so if you're holding baby in one arm, and have the device in the other hand you're a bit stuck! The strap is secure so if you want to get it off quickly on these occasions it's quite tough. You do have to hold the buttons for a little while too to get it to turn on - not a problem if baby isn't too upset, but can seem irritating if you want to use it as quick as possible.
Overall though I do really like the product! I think the idea that it's handheld, so you can get it as close to baby as possible, is brilliant. Parker was settled by the soothing sounds, and pretty quickly too usually. I wouldn't say this was a miracle maker, it doesn't work every time (and don't buy expecting it to), but for when your baby is being a bit fussy it's fab!
The Gro Hush currently retails at £24.99 and is available here. Make sure to check out some of their other brilliant products while you're there too!
Sunday, 13 September 2015
Last Sunday we decided to spend the day with my sisters, nephews and Jack's brother. We all get on so well and I'm really thankful to have such an amazing, close family. The weather was great and it meant we could enjoy a picnic in the park - surprising with the weather we've been having lately!
We brought along a football and had loads of fun running around and letting the kids be free! Jack and I always say we wish we did these kind of things more, as it's lovely to see the pure joy in the kid's faces. Parker slept nearly the whole time we were out; I think he only woke once for some milk, and was straight back to the land of nod haha.
Obviously Jack brought along his camera so we managed to get some amazing shots. These are actually the first non iPhone selfie shots we have of the four of us, and I love them! I think these are definitely canvas worthy and ones to treasure (thanks Laura and Gem for being the photographers haha).
This is a pretty photo heavy post but it was hard to pick a few! Can you believe how grow up Indie and her cousin Oliver are now?! They look more and more like twins everyday.
Wednesday, 9 September 2015
I had him weighed on the 8th at exactly 5 weeks (slightly late but I lost track of when the weighing clinic was haha), and he now weighs 9lb 7oz. He was 8lb 9oz born - dropped to 8lb 3oz at 2 days old - and was back up to his exact birth weight at 2 weeks so he's gaining well.
Now he's uncurcled you can see he's a long baby compared to Indiana, and he has the biggest fingers and feet I've ever seen haha. He's still fitting into first size although these are getting tight around his legs, so we need to move out of these already. Most of his clothes are currently up to 1 month or newborn.
I still can't get over the amount of dark hair Parker was born with, especially when Indie was such a baldy haha! It's rubbing off slightly at the back now but still going strong. It's lightening up though and it's definitely turning blonde/ginger. His eyes are turning blue just like everyone else in my family. He now coos and gurgles instead of always crying, and he gave us his first smiles at 4 weeks 6 days old! He adores bath time and will be instantly calm once he's in the water.
Parker was breastfed for the first few days and then I slowly switched to bottles (I expressed to begin with so he didn't go straight to formula). We were using Tommee Tippee bottles but quickly switched to Dr Browns. He has a lot of trouble with wind and really struggles to get it up. We were using Infacol which did help a bit, but now we're using Gripe Water which seems to be doing a better job. He takes between 2-4 ounces every 3/4 hours - I remember Indiana taking a lot more this early on, but clearly he's not as greedy as her haha.
Sleep-wise we're getting into some sort of routine. During the day he mostly cat-naps as Indiana doesn't really let him have a long sleep. He can then go to 'bed' anytime between 8-11 and then this is when he has his long period of sleep. He usually wakes up around 3ish and then 5ish which we're really happy with at the moment. He has slept through twice now (10-5) so fingers crossed he carries on! He sleeps happily in his moses basket and generally settles well after a night feed; thank you Ewan the Dreamsheep!
Parker has fitted into the family perfectly. Indiana is still very much besotted with him and actually asks for her 'bubba' before Jack and I now haha. I just wish they didn't grow up so fast!
Monday, 7 September 2015
When I was looking into moving from breastfeeding to bottle feeding, I knew I wanted to give Parker my milk for as long as possible. I also wanted to make sure we used a bottle that was as 'breast like' as possible to make the transition much smoother. I was contacted by the team at Mimijumi before Parker was born and I knew this was going to be the bottle for the job!
The Mimijumi bottle is designed to be the most natural bottle; with a breast-like nipple to 'promote successful latch and reduce confusion'. The soft nipple is also in a skin-like tone in order to replicate a mother's breast, again to create a more 'natural' feeding experience for baby.
At first I did find the look of the bottle strange. It's definitely not the average bottle you see out and about. However after using it myself I can see why they've had such positive reviews. Parker took to the teat on the first try and didn't pull off during the whole bottle!
He did take longer to drink but that's because the bottle is designed to imitate feeding from the breast; Parker was the one in charge of how quickly the milk came out and how much he took. The nipple is also patent pending for it's venting mechanism. This has been designed to reduce air pressure which in turn prevents (or at least reduces the likelihood) of colic.
The shape of the bottle with it's wide neck made making the bottle easy and mess-free - the wide neck meant that the scoops of powder had no chance of not making it in. It was bigger to hold in your hand while feeding, however the curve of the bottle made it fit comfortably in my hand. There is also a non-slip base so it didn't slide about (it does promote that you can put it together with one hand, however I didn't find this possible with my small hands haha).
The only other downside is the price. We tested out the 4oz 'Not So Hungry' version which for just one bottle it £14.99. I do understand that these are very good bottles, however I don't think I could justify buying lots of them for that price! The 8oz 'Very Hungry' version is £17.99 which again is pretty pricey for just one bottle.
Overall I was really impressed with the Mimijumi bottle. I love how much more breast like the bottles are in comparison to other brands. They don't feel cheap and plasticy like others I've seen and Parker really did take to them well!
Disclaimer - I was sent this bottle for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are honest and my own
Thursday, 3 September 2015
We were very lucky that Jack had 3 weeks off when Parker was born, so we could both learn to cope with the change together. When either of us was sorting out Parker, the other was giving Indiana the attention she needs so she never felt left out. We have continued to do a night shift each too. However now whoever isn't up with baby is on Indiana duty. This works really well as it means whoever was up with Parker in the night usually gets a little lie in in the morning (although this doesn't quite work when Jack does the early shift!).
Going out does take a little longer than it used to. I forgot how much stuff a newborn needs, and how many pit-stops you have to make haha. Luckily Indie only needs a small bag now, so we usually just throw a couple of her nappies in the changing bag. She can now walk down the stairs too, so there's no need to carry her which makes things a whole lot easier! We've got a double pram (which I'm absolutely in love with) which only takes slightly longer as you need to attach double the bits.
On the whole though Indiana has taken to it so well. She is happy to play by herself or sit and watch a bit of Cbeebies while I feed/change/soothe Parker. She also understands a lot, and her speech is coming on so well she can tell us what she wants most of the time now.
So from the first month as a mum of 2 under 2, here's the main things I've learnt:
- Keep your routine the same! We have kept Indiana's routine exactly the same and made sure to slot Parker around her. This helps them to know not everything has changed. Indie still goes to nursery twice a week - she loves it and it gives me some time to either catch up on jobs, or snuggle Parker without feeling guilty.
- Get them involved! We get Indie to help out as much as she can. She brings me nappies and wipes, gives Parker his dummy, and we make sure to let her do things (even if they aren't always that helpful haha).
- Make time for your other child/children! When Parker is asleep I make sure to ignore the housework and give Indie all of my attention. I usually try and get him to sleep in his moses basket in the bedroom so we can be as loud as possible. Even if it's just dancing around her room and being silly, as long as she knows she's just as important and I've got time for her, that's all that matters.
- Be Prepared! If we know we're going out we'll get everything ready either the night before or early in the morning. The changing bag is always repacked when we get home so there's no chance of being caught out. With 2 under 2 you don't want to be leaving things until the last minute if you want to get out the door by 10am!
- Embrace kid's TV! I know it's not the best, but sometimes it is your best friend! On the days Parker just wants cuddling and feeding Cbeebies or Despicable Me has been my saviour. It keeps Indie entertained for a bit while I can't - obviously not all the time (I don't think I could deal with kids TV 24/7 haha).
I know it's going to get tougher once Parker is awake more, and don't even get me started on the terrible twos alongside a teething baby (please send help when this one comes along haha). But for now I'm loving it... well when Indie's not having a breakdown and Parker's not screaming the house down haha! The love Indie has for her brother already is amazing, and I cannot wait to watch their love and bond grow.