26 July 2015

Posie Pixie and the pancakes- book review

Have you heard of the Whimsy Wood series by Sarah Hill and illustrated by Sarah Mauchline? We hadn't heard of them until recently when we were asked if we would like to review the 7th and last book in the Whimsy Wood series- Posie Pixie and the Pancakes. 

Seeing as Little 1 is getting pretty darn good with her reading now that she has reached the end of her Reception year at school, we said 'yes' as I knew it would be a book she could have a go at reading with us and judging by the cover it looked like a lovely book.

The Whimsy Wood series is a multi-award-winning children's book series by Sarah Hill based in the South West of England. The stories follow loveable characters such as Bromley Badger, Wibble the Woodlouse and of course Posie Pixie and their adventures and mishaps in Whimsy Woods.

This story follows Posie Pixie as she prepares for pancake day with Wibble Woodlouse and the pair get a little too carried away eating their creations and end up with tummy ache. I love the language in this book, it is enchanting and descriptive and makes a lovely read, a little difficult for Little 1 to read fluently at five and a half but she had a good go and read a paragraph here and there while we read the rest of the book to her over a few bedtimes.

The story carries a few good morals and messages hidden within the tale, such as helping friends, not dropping litter and eating too many nice things, which I liked.

The illustrations throughout the book are colourful and lovely, great for keeping Little 2's attention and providing a talking point during the story. 

We enjoyed reading this book, if you would like to read it, it can be purchased for £5.99 from Amazon or direct from the publisher Abela publishing with 10% of the profits from the book going to The Wildlife Trust.

N.B We received this book for review. The opinions in this post are our honest thoughts of the product.

15 July 2015

Little 3 - A hearty update

If you have been following my blog for a while then you will know that Little 3 caused us much worry while he was growing when I was pregnant due to him having an ectopic (irregular) heartbeat. I had to have several scans of his heart and and lots of afternoons sent to hospital by my midwife sitting by a monitoring machine while it attempted to record his heart rate so the midwives and doctors could monitor his wellbeing.

The doctors didn't seem too worried and said it was common although not many people we told knew about it. A friend's children had had it but it sorted itself out at birth with her first and by her six week check with her second so we were hopeful that this would be the case with Little 3. The doctors told us that Little 3's heart would more than likely rectify itself at birth when all the changes in the heart take place as your baby breathes for the first time so it was a waiting game.

As my pregnancy progressed and I got sent to hospital for monitoring more and more as Little 3's heart raced and dipped with noticeable pauses on the midwives doppler we began to feel more uneasy. There was talk of having to have him early and c-sections if he wasn't happy and many an evening worrying about my baby after the girls had gone to bed.

In the end he hung on in there as I went a week overdue and decided to arrive in less than 2 hours so no time for heart monitoring while I was in labour, he was born healthy but still with an ectopic heart rate.

After a week in hospital following heart tests and treatment for a chest infection we went home, his 8 week check showed he still had his problem but an appointment with the hospital at 10 weeks showed much improvement and an ecg indicated that it was no longer occurring regularly and even might have gone.

At 13 weeks old we attended an appointment for Little 3 to have a 24 hour ecg fitted to record what was happening with his heart over this time. We had a few concerns as his face tended to turn very pale and his lips a bit grey when he fell asleep and the pediatrician wanted to check this out.

monitoring underway
We had a little fun with the monitor, it was a hot day and the pads kept unsticking so I ended up taping them on fast with vast amounts of elastoplast to make sure they stayed on overnight! Little 3 also thought it was great to grab and pull on the wires thus pulling off the clips, I ended up putting them in through the side of his nappy and down his shorts to try and stop him doing it, it seemed to work.

A day short of a month later at 17 weeks old we received his results and are super pleased and relieved to say that nothing out of the ordinary was recorded meaning he seems to have outgrown the problem and his heart as sorted itself out. We were very happy to hear this and it has been a big weight off my shoulders.

Check back soon for Little 3's 4 month update.. 4 months already!!

8 July 2015

Evie Bees dress- review

What little girl doesn't love a pretty dress to twirl in? 

Recently Little 2 was sent a pretty little red dress to try from the lovely Chantel at Evie Bee's boutique (www.eviebeesboutique.co.uk). Chantel started Evie Bee's in February this year offering monthly Facebook event sales of Highstreet and Designer Brand childrens clothes, she is currently in the process of building her new website to co-exist with the Monthly Sales selling ex chainstore stock and overseas clothing.

Little 2 was sent this lovely red dress which has red petal/flower decal over the shoulders, it is such a simple design but looks great on Little 2 who fell in love with the dress as soon as she saw it.

It is made of a soft t-shirt cotton fabric which is fab for an item of clothing Little 2 wants to wear again and again as it is really soft and comfy to wear and easy to care for too, just throw it in the washing machine and having been washed several times now it has kept its shape and the petals still look good too, they just spring back with a little shake once out of the machine. 

The colour has lasted pretty well too and it is just as vibrant red as when it arrived, I washed it on a low temperature by itself the first few times which is advisable as the colour did run but now it is fine in with the girls other red and pink things. 

Little 2 loves her 'Red Floral Dress' which will retail at just £7, a real bargain for this simple but pretty summer essential, it looks great on its own or teemed with white leggings for cooler days, I can see this dress being one of this summers staple clothing wears for Little 2.

If you like the look of this dress why not check out Evie Bee's Facebook page here.

N.B We were sent this dress in return for a review, all words and opinions are my own honest thoughts. 

2 July 2015

A sunny afternoon

The weather has been lovely and sunny, perfect for getting out and enjoying our local area. Last week, while Little 1 was at school, Nanny took Little's 2 and 3 and myself out for lunch and to feed the ducks. 

We had a lovely little lunch in a posh cafe, Little 2 sat as good a gold on her stool with her hands in her lap the whole time and was an angel (she is usually no trouble anyway but today she just looked super sweet and like a proper little lady behaving beautifully), Little 3 sat happily on my knee watching the goings on and chewing his fists and not complaining at all that he was due a feed while I ate my lunch.

Just a short stroll along the canal was a little park and a whole load of ducks to feed so we headed there.

Little 2 burnt off some energy running around and fed the ducks with Nanny, she really wasn't sure about the tall ones with long necks as they were nearly as tall as her!

We just about had time for a quick play in the park before it was time to go home to collect Little 1. Little 3 had a full tummy so settled for a snooze in the sunshine instead.

This is one of our favourite short trips out, where do you go to while away a couple of hours?

28 June 2015

Sun, sand and smiles

On our recent holiday to Somerset, one of the things that was on the girls to do lists was to go to the beach, they really love the beach, building sandcastles and flying their kite, they would spent all day pottering in the sand if they could.

This particular visit was to Brean Sands, we did visit Weston Super Mare too another day but it was cloudy, overcast and there was a very cold wind so we opted for the aquarium that day rather than the beach.

On arrival at Brean we headed to the 'beach car park' and paid our fee not realising it was actual parking on the beach itself, we could park anywhere against the rocks on a 2 mile stretch so there was plenty of space between us and the next car.

It was a bright sunny day and really warm in the sun but the wind coming off the downs was quite chilly and rather bracing to say the least so the girls opted for warm jumpers and to keep covered up to stay warm. They played in the sand behind the cars out of the wind a little.

Nanny and Uncle M who were holidaying with us also had their car, we were not as brave as Daddy and the girls and so Little 3 and I hopped into the back of their car (as there were no car seats) and chatted, listened to the radio, had a feed and Little 3 had an afternoon nap too while I actually read a bit of my book. I think it was a better option to keep him in the warm rather than in the wind, the sand was blowing everywhere so I couldn't have put him down anyway.

We had a picnic out of the boot of the car as we didn't fancy chasing our lunch as it blew down the beach or sandy sandwiches either! It was quite good fun. After lunch the girls and Daddy went for a walk/climb along the rocks while Nanny and I took a stroll along the sand. 

A little later Daddy got out the kite and the girls took it in turns running around the beach getting it to fly, they really had to hold on tight as it pulled them along! We had a good time at Brean even though it was windy and the sand has managed to get absolutely everywhere.

Fish and chips for tea anyone?

24 June 2015

Little 3 is 3 months old.

Okay I might be a bit bias, okay a lot, but look at him isn't he blooming gorgeous!! Little 3 has reached the ripe ol' age of three months. I have to be honest and say these past 3 months haven't been easy but there has been a massive leap in his development lately which has made life much easier for everyone, he is now much more settled and crying a lot less as well as smiling, chatting and beginning to giggle. 

Little 3 seems to have outgrown much of his reflux issues that plagued the early days, he is not on any medication now and is not nearly as sick as he was after feeds, he is much more content and the crying fits are a thing of the past. This has also meant a lot less washing for me which is always a bonus as having 3 children the laundry basket is rarely empty. It is lovely to see him happy and not in pain enjoying that sleepy full tummy feeling.

His development has come on leaps and bounds in the last month, he can reach and bat things and has begun to grab toys and attempt to pull them into his mouth. He has found his hands and feet and I like to watch him as he turns his hands over and wiggles his toes looking in awe at his new found playthings. We have had his first giggles this month as well as lots of new sounds too, 'buh buh' is the latest, he loves trying to communicate with his big sisters, smiling and cooing along at them it really is like he is trying to have a conversation with us.

Little 3 likes spending time on the floor under the play gym as well as just having a good kick about. He has been trying very hard at learning to roll, he can now go from his front to back and almost go back the other way but he hasn't quite learnt to move his arm out the way so that he can roll over it and gets stuck on his side with his legs hanging over, but once he is on his tummy he manages to scoot a little way along the floor using his legs and does a very good frog impression lifting his bottom well off the floor, looks like he will be crawling in no time!

Weighing in at 13lb exactly last week. Little 3 has recently undergone a check up and more tests on his irregular heartbeat so I will post further on that when we get the results, fingers crossed it is what we want to hear.

My gorgeous little boy is changing every day and growing up far to fast, I wonder what he will be up to next month-how time flies.

20 June 2015

Jolly holidays

We recently had our first holiday as a family of 5, it was great a sunny week in Somerset chilling out having fun and spending time as a family with Nanny and Uncle M too. Lots of hands to hold Little 3 gave me a much needed break between feeds, the girls got some time with Mummy and Daddy and plenty of extra attention which did them good and we all got plenty of fresh air and exercise too.

We visited Weston Super Mare and the aquarium there, Cheddar Gorge, Wookey Hole caves, the Mendip Hills and Brean beach, there was swimming at a nearby hotel too and lots of playing in the garden at our cottage which was on a beef farm so the girls also enjoyed going to see the cows lots too.

One of the things we do when we are on holiday, seeing as it is Little 1's favourite food, is eat ice cream. It started when she was small, we generally holiday in seaside locations as the girls really love the beach and building sandcastles. We have a holiday rule that nearly every day that we are away the girls are allowed an ice cream if they have been good. This year we found a few places selling whoppers, needless to say Little 2 couldn't always finish hers but Daddy was always willing not to let it go to waste!

Little 3 was very good while we were away, he slept a lot in the pushchair and spent some time in the baby carrier too, he was even fantastic and dropped a night feed mid way through the week which was brilliant (it only lasted a week though, maybe it was all the fresh air!).

We all came back feeling very refreshed and refueled, just what we had needed. Here's to more fun filled holidays as a family of 5.

15 June 2015

Defining life with a newborn

When a new baby arrives in your house, whether it is your first or third or more, there are a number of things that suddenly change. That tiny person can take up so much time and energy, add to that the sleep deprivation and when you have other children to take care of sheer exhaustion too. There really did not seem a moment where I was not either looking after the needs of someone small or trying to keep on top of the mess and laundry that 3 children create in those very early days.

So in the early weeks when life is pretty manic, there is a small person permanently attached to your frontage, you are madly trying to brush toothpaste out of a 3 year olds hair while insisting to your 5 year old that she is capable of putting her school shoes on herself five minutes after you should have left for school, there are a few things that take on a whole new meaning (just for a little while, until everything settles into place).

A balanced diet-  Forget the five main food groups, my diet as a mum of a new baby plus two consisted of toast, lots and lots of cold buttered toast and bananas. Toast can be made in minutes with one hand (you'll be surprised what you can do while jiggling a hungry baby when you realise you haven't eaten since yesterday). It might not be gourmet but it is better for you than cake and the toddler seems happy to have toast for lunch as well as breakfast. The bananas are there just to balance everything out, you'd really love to raid the biscuit tin but there is baby weight to shift and bananas tick the box for getting some sort of nutrients too.
As for an evening meal- I think we all got rather fed up of pasta bake! I promise we are eating much better now. 

Me Time- Ha ha this is now almost an impossible concept, having three children and breastfeeding too means currently I am very rarely alone. The closest I get to me time is going to the loo! But it is only a matter of seconds before someone is banging on the door or I begin to hear crying or bickering, so much for a minute to myself. 

Feeling Pampered- These days the luxury of a leisurely bath or time to stand in the shower and relax is practically non-existent. A shower is an in and out job while Daddy holds the apparently starving baby despite him being fed 5 minutes before I jumped in. Pampered these days means not having to rush, having time to shave my legs and maybe even use that lovely leave in conditioner I had for christmas!

Staying Up- This currently has a whole new meaning, evenings are currently spent tied to the sofa cluster feeding waiting for Little 3 to decide he has had enough milk to see him flake out in some sort of milk fueled coma so that I can put him up to bed. Then be it 8pm or midnight when this is achieved I have to make the decision- do I go to bed with him or do I stay up a bit and spent time with Daddy or do some blogging that is seriously being neglected right now! Mostly I opt to go to bed, generally the nights I have stayed up (just until a normal 10pm or so) are the ones where Little 3 decides to feed all night or wake 10 minutes after I have fallen asleep leaving me wishing I had gone to bed earlier! oh the joys.

Good Nights Sleep- In the newborn days a good night was being able to get in 4-5 hours of broken sleep, one where Little 3 would feed and not throw it all back up the moment I laid him down despite having winded him half an hour resulting in a soggy baby and moses basket. These days with the reflux under control I am getting more sleep, a good night is one where he sleeps for a decent chunk of time (we have had 6 or 7 hours a few times now), only wakes twice or sometimes once, a night where the night feeds are short and his eyes do not ping open again as soon as I lay him down. 

Lie In- This is where Daddy is fab. Since Little 3 was born I am the one doing all the night feeds as Daddy sleeps soundly beside me (how he does not wake with the light and snuffling is beyond me), he gets up at the weekend with the girls, is handed a baby with a full tummy and I go back to bed. He then returns an hour or so later with a cup of coffee and a hungry baby- allowing me this extra sleep has definitely helped me catch up and maintained my sanity, although the house does look like a bomb site when I get downstairs!

I started writing this post a month ago whilst in the midst of the blur that is life with a newborn and other children, it has taken me that long to find the time to finish it! However I am pleased to say that things are settling down and getting better slowly, the crazy newborn days are behind us and each day it does get a tiny bit easier. The next bit is the fun bit- teething!!