Birth Announcement: Welcome to the World Henry!

I’m sure if you follow me across any social media, you will be fully aware that last weekend our little family grew by one more little boy.

Henry Andrew Miller arrived at 16:57 on Sunday 13th May 2018, his due date.  Weighing in at a good 8lb 10oz, he was a lot bigger than I’d expected!  My labour was a lot shorter than last time, but I will try and share my whole birth story with you all soon!  We are so completely in love and Oliver is loving his new ‘baby’ (he says no every time we tell him his name’s Henry, not baby!). We are slowly adjusting to life as a family of four and we are just enjoying getting to know our new addition.

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What’s in my hospital bag?

At 39 weeks pregnant, I think I have finally managed to get everything together for my hospital bag!  You would have thought it would have been easier to pack it second time around, but I’ve really struggled to remember what I did an didn’t need.  I always like to be prepared, so I have made sure I have packed enough for us to have for at least an overnight stay because you never know how long you’ll need to stay in.  Hopefully if all goes well I won’t have to stay in too long, but you never know if you’ll end up having complications or a c-section.

I split my bags in two, one for me (and some bits for my husband) and one for the baby.  I just found it worked really well last time, as when we went to get the bits out for the baby it was all in one place.

My hospital bag

Snacks – I have put in a few packs of biscuits, a cereal bar and some Mini Eggs.  The mini eggs are an afterbirth treat for me, but the biscuits are for my husband and I to share.  I thought they were something quick and easy for me to snack on between contractions if I’m hungry.  And they’ll keep my biscuit loving husband happy too!

Washbag – I have my standard toiliteries in there, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner.  I am taking some nice Molton Brown shower gel with me, because after hours of childbirth I think it’s nice to treat yourself to something a bit nicer than your bog standard shower gel!  There are also a pack of maternity towels, breast pads and Lasinoh lanolin breast balm in there.  I’ve also bought the My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bitz for afterwards.  I’ve only seen good reviews of it, and after having an episiotomy last time I know how sore it can be down there!

Underwear – there’s no point putting teeny tiny knickers in your bag, because quite frankly they’ll never house the enormous maternity pads you will need!  Especially the first few days when you may end up doubling up those pads!  I have packed a pack of full briefs (you know the ones your granny wears) in a size up (because I don’t want anything tight down there).  They are exactly what you will need, even more so if you have a c-section.  I’m also making sure I take two nursing bras with me just in case I leak.  A soft bra is recommended until your supply has settled and then you can wear underwired bras again.  If you aren’t planning on breastfeeding you should still use a soft bra until your supply has gone.

Pyjamas – I’ve put a short sleeved top and trouser pyjama set in as well as two nursing nighties.  This should get me through the first day or two.  If I don’t have the water birth then I have a night dress for the birth, and if I do then I have a spare!  If you’re planning on breastfeeding then just make sure you bring something with easy access!

TENS machine – I didn’t use one the first time around, but I have had a few people tell me that they’ve found them really useful.  I coped okay at home before I went into hospital but I feel that a TENS could have helped me even more.  I picked my TENS machine up second hand from eBay as it worked out a heck of a lot cheaper than buying or hiring one!

Clothes – I’m bringing a JoJo Maman Bebe nursing dress and a t shirt and either my maternity jeans or leggings (just think comfort). I’ve packed two options basically because the weather is so sporadic at the moment I have no idea how warm it’ll actually be!

Pillow –  I’m also going to take my pillow with me.  I did this last time because it was a bit of a home comfort when you’re in labour.  I also hate the thought of using a pillow thousands of other have used too and the hospital ones are plastic coated so really aren’t that comfortable!

Flip Flops – I’ve just got a 90p pair from Primark and they will do for wandering around the ward and an easy shoe to get on to go home in.  If you aren’t planning on having a private room then they’re also great for wearing in the shower.

The Babies Bag

Sleepsuits – Obviously your baby is going to need clothes.  I’m bringing 4 sleep suits with me.  Because you never know with a newborn how quickly they will go through them!  They could be sick on them, pee or poo on them so it’s better to have too many than not enough.

Vests – Like sleepsuits, I’m bringing 4 and all for the same reasons!

Cardigan – Because you never know what time of day or how the weather will be it’s best to be prepared with a cardigan for when you leave hospital.

Hats – I have packed two, one is a matching one to a sleep suit I have.  The other was the hat that Oliver wore as a newborn so I want to get at least a photo with it!!  Other than this I have packed a newborn baby bonnet.  Mostly for photo purposes!!

Nappies – A babies got to pee and poop, so they’re an essential!  I’ve packed one of the small packs of Pampers size 1 nappies, just because I thought it’s easier to have them in a. pack rather than scattered around my bag.

WaterWipes – I tried the whole cotton wool and water with Oliver and it was such a pain that I’m not bothering this time at all!  WaterWipes has no nasty chemicals in so are perfect for delicate newborn bottoms.

Muslin Swaddle Blankets – these are great for swaddling as well as mopping up any milk.  I’m taking two muslin swaddling blankets, one for use as a swaddle, one as a general mop up blanket! I’m also taking one normal sized muslin as a spare.

A Blanket – Again, not knowing what time of day we’ll be going home and what the weather will be like a blanket may be needed for the journey home!

So I think that is everything!  I would love to know your essential item for your hospital bags, and if there’s anything you think I’ve missed!

 

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Me and Mine: April 2018

We’re at the end of April, and we’ve had such a lovely month.  Although my husband has been working a lot, the time we have spent together as a family have been great.  We’ve spent most of the month trying to prepare for our new arrival, and try to prepare Oliver for his new sibling.  It’s funny to think that this is our final month of being a family of three.  This is why I thought I would mark it by joining Dear Beautiful on her Me & Mine project.

The month started with a weekend away in Padstow visiting our extended family.  We went with my mum, sister and her fiancé to visit my great aunt and uncle and their family.  The weather was beautiful, the sun shone and we had a great time as a family.  We had such a lovely afternoon down on the beach, collecting stones (Oliver’s favourite activity) and splashing in the sea (in our wellies, we weren’t quite ready to break out the swimwear!).

Easter was a chocolate fuelled occasion, Oliver loves his ‘choc’ and he loved that there was an abundance available to snack on!  We’ve had a trip to Wisley gardens and Oliver had a great time running around with friends.  We haven’t got out much due to the weather and the fact that I’m so slow now I’m heavily pregnant.  It’s hard work running after an energetic 2 year old!  But it’s been nice to just have some quiet time just as a family whilst we wait for baby number two to arrive.  There was one beautiful week of sunshine this month, Oliver spent most of the week running around the garden.  He loved watching daddy mowing the lawn and trying to help out!

Our month finished with a trip for the night to Somerset for a big family birthday celebration.  It was in a big house and my husband spent the whole party running around after Oliver.  Oliver had a great time and it was lovely to introduce him to a lot of the extended family.  Many who we haven’t seen in years.

So that was our April, now we can’t wait for May.  Fingers crossed for more of these blue skies!

 

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful
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Getting outdoors with Little Tikes: Cozy Coupe Review

We love getting outdoors as much as we can.  Especially once the sun is out, we are always out in the garden! Oliver loves getting out and playing in the sunshine, whether it be running round the garden, playing on his slide or playing in his new Cozy Coupe.

Getting outside is so important, but it seems nowadays many children are reluctant to get out and play.  Little Tikes recently surveyed 2000 parents with children between the ages of 2 and 16.  Their research found that 42% of children used the excuse that it’s too cold outside.  Apparently 1 in 10 of us admit to frequently bribing our children to convince them to leave their devices behind and play outside!

Emma Kenny, psychologist and spokesperson for Little Tikes has some great ideas to get your children outside.  Her first tip would be to just have fun with them. “Kids absolutely love to spend time with their parents. Whether you create an obstacle course in the garden up and over the slide and around the sandpit, or a simple game of hide and seek, playing together is fantastic for bonding and ensures lots of healthy activity.”  Sometimes I think we are so busy as parents trying to keep on top of the housework, we leave our children to play with each other or with their toys.  But we forget how much more fun it is to have us engaging in their play.  It doesn’t take much or long to join them for a short while.

Another tip of hers, and one of my favourite things to do when I was little “Get them den building! You’re never too old or too young for den building. Aside from building imagination, dexterity and divergent play skills, there is nothing more exciting than having a secret den to play in”.  Den building was something my sister and I loved doing.  Armed with a pile of old sheets, bamboo canes and some pegs we used to make some great dens!  You could supply them with the tools and see how creative they can get with their dens.

Oliver was recently sent a Cozy Coupe to try out.  This was always going to be a big hit with him, that boy loves anything with a wheel! The Cozy Coupe is a signature toy from the Little Tikes range.  I remember owning one as a child.  They were always the one toy that all the children want to play with!

The Cozy Coupe comes in need of assembly.  Although it is very easy to assemble and only takes about half an hour.  It’s important to note that one part of the assembly does require two people. You will also need a screwdriver and a hammer.

Oliver absolutely loves his Cozy Coupe, now the sun is shining he can cruise around the garden in it all day long!  He loves sitting in it steering the wheel and beeping the horn.  The ‘ignition’ has a key which clicks as you turn it.  I love that the ‘boot’ space is in fact a double cup holder, so Oliver can put his cup in there without it flying about! There’s also a lock on the door.  Meaning when your child is in it you can flick the lock across and the door won’t swing open.  This is especially handy if they’re being pushed around by an adult.  When fitting the lock you can choose to have it permanently locked,  permanently unlocked or able to lock and unlock.

There’s also a handle on the back of it meaning as a parent you can easily push your little ones around.  As well as a removable floor, so no little feet get caught up if you are pushing them around!  I’m sure this function will be well used in years to come once Oliver’s baby brother arrives and they’re out there playing in it together!

I know that this is going to be one of our most loved outdoor toys. The Cozy Coupe retails at £59.99 (RRP) which is well worth the cost for the hours of enjoyment it provides.  There isn’t just your classic red and yellow car anymore either, but a whole heap of different designs to choose from too.  Police cars, pick up trucks, taxis, fire engines, a fairy or a dinosaur!  Head over to the Little Tikes website for more information.

 

We were kindly sent the Cozy Coupe in return for a review.  All words and opinions are my own.

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Dear Oliver – you’re going to be a big brother

I can’t quite believe you’ve been on this earth long enough for there to be a sibling on the way for you.  But here we are, at 2 years old, you are going to be a big brother.  In just a few short weeks your life will change completely, going from being our sole focus to having to share that attention with another.  Will you adapt to this? I really hope so.

You have always been such a loving little boy.  You’re always ready for a snuggle and the past few months you have become such a mummy’s boy.  I have a feeling this is mostly because you know something is changing.  I have no idea if you understand when we tell you there’s a baby in mummy’s tummy that will be with us soon.  That you’re going to be a big brother.  Because you’re still so little and can’t tell us.  But I just know you will love him as much as we will when he arrives.

I can just tell now that the two of you will be as thick as thieves.  Your little brother will look up to you, and undoubtedly be a little pickle like you are!  You will teach him all those cheeky ways of yours and you will both have me wrapped around your little fingers.  We will have such fun all together in the years to come and I can’t wait to see how your relationship grows.

To begin with I know it will be a struggle for you.  It will be a struggle for all of us.  We are all going to have to get used to being a family of four, and to dividing our attention equally between you both.  To start with your baby brother is going to take up a lot of all of our time.  But I just know you will be the best big brother and help us look after him.  You have such a caring nature and you are so good at following directions (most of the time anyway!).

So soon the next chapter of our journey begins and I just know it’s going to be just as good, maybe even better than the last 2 years.  I will see you grow, our family grow, and my heart grow. And I can’t wait!

 

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