21 August 2017

BACK TO SCHOOL // MY NAMETAGS GIVEAWAY!



I have teamed up with My Nametags to give you beautiful people a chance to win a sheet of name tags worth over £11!

These Hello Kitty themed labels* are so pretty, you also have the choice of Mr Men and their regular custom designs where you can choose the a background, font and design from cats to flowers and cars to pirates. The design page is super easy to use and kid friendly. Eloise helped me design these after pondering over the red and black design because black is her new favourite colour apparently.



They stick on anything, from shoes to drink bottles, jumpers, lunch boxes. Basically anything school or nursery related that you need them to stick to, they will. No more black smudges on socks from sharpies in school shoes or re writing names on drink bottles every week!

I remember buying those terrible sew on labels when Eloise first started school, I stitched on one which took me what felt like an hour (and probably wasn't that far off) and gave up. A friend recommended My Nametags and those labels are still intact after being in a washing machine and/or dishwasher, 2 years later!

They are by far the best name tags I have ever tried so for your chance to win some head on over to twitter for the instructions on how to enter! But hurry! You only have until 12pm on Monday 28th August to enter! Go go go!



Terms & Conditions 

This giveaway is open to UK residents only 

The prize cannot be exchanged for any cash alternative 

The deadline for entering is 12pm on Monday 28th August 2017, any entries after this time will not be counted

The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator

The winner will be announced on Twitter at 6pm on Monday 28th August 2017




*I was sent these name tags but all opinions are my own, as always.

BACK TO SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE


Being a parent is stressful, I think we can all agree on that and one thing riiiiight up there near the top of stressful things is that back to school shop. Have you remembered everything? How is your baby now a fully fledged school pupil? Where is the best place to go for uniform? What's the best drinks bottle? Where can I get name tags that don't fall off within seconds? Well, I'm here to help! This is my 3rd year of shopping hell and I think I have finally nailed it!



For polo shirts, the cheapest I've found are Aldi, they are about a quid and lets face it, there is no point buying expensive white things because there is a 100% chance most of it will be trashed by Christmas.

For regular shirts I like Asda, they're reasonably priced and the girls shirts are just nicer. Eloise has a Hello Kitty one from there which she was super pleased with.

Plain jumpers and cardigans, any supermarket will have them. We have one from Asda which is over a year old and still kicking.

Pinafores, skirts, trousers and shorts are tricky. I found finding these that fitted Eloise when she started school in year 1 so hard because she is so tiny! BHS came up smallest, followed by Next. Asda tend to run quite big, as do Matalan. The nicest quality I've found are M&S and Next.

Summer dresses I really rate M&S again, they're prettier and fit nicer and I've found they last a hell of a lot longer too. Next come in second followed by Asda.

**For summer dresses and pinafores etc, basically the things that don't stain as easily or aren't worn for as long check out eBay, charity shops and local selling pages on Facebook. I bought Eloise's summer dresses for next year second hand and they cost me 99p for three. Shirts and polo shirts probably aren't worth getting second hand because they get mucky so quickly but children grow so fast that clothes are more often than not, in perfect condition. All of Eloise's pinafores and summer dresses are in a box waiting for Lily to start school because they were worn for all of 5 second before Eloise grew out of them, most will be third hand by the time Lily gets them and they're perfect still.

Shoes I recommend Startrite. Clarks never had shoes that fit Eloise as she is a H in width and it's 2 years running now that they're had literally nothing. Not only that but we bought Startrite shoes last time and they lasted the entire school year (minus 1 week). Eloise has hypermobile joints and femoral anti version so she literally takes the front out of shoes in a matter of minutes but these lasted for a year and came up beautifully with a bit of polish. They probably could have lasted the last week too but there was a hole just starting to appear in the sole so we opted for trainers for the last 4 days.

For trainers I always go with Sketchers, they're the lightest trainers I've found and with Eloise's joints they're the most comfortable for her. And some of them flash which is what every kid wants.

I've written wellies down because most schools these days take part in Forest School so wellies are a must for the wetter months (which in the UK, is basically every month).


Drinks bottles are a trial and error thing. I don't buy sports caps after reading those stories about them going mouldy and making kids ill so I always go for the bottle top or open flow ones like Sistema which are sold in most supermarkets. We have tried many, many bottles before but this is the brand I have repurchased from many times now. The one in the photo cost £3 from Asda, we also have a couple of their Trio bottles which are fantastic and easy to clean. The top screws off just like a bottle and then it screws off further down to create a cup. This one might be a little tricky for Reception age littles so you might be better sticking to the other one but for older children this one is great.

The open tops mean that there are no hidden parts that can harbour mould and other nasties. I cold water sterilise them every couple of weeks too or after an illness to make sure they're extra clean and get rid of that old squash smell plastic seems to get.

Name Tags you're going to want to go with mynametags. They are by far the best labels I've used and are still firmly stuck nearly 2 years later. These Hello Kitty Name Tags* above are this years name tags! How cute are they?!

  • Cereal and toast are your friends, dig out the Coco Pops, Frosties and Nutella if you have to because they will have their sugar rush in the playground with any luck.
  • If you're in a rush, cereal in a sandwich bag in the car still counts as breakfast.
  • Do a test run before if this is your first year, that way you won't be late or ridiculously early on the actual day. Take into account that there will be slightly more traffic on an actual school day though but timing how long it takes to get you all ready and out before 9am will help you judge accurately what time you need to drag yourself out of bed.
  • Check everything fits, this way you will figure out what you have forgotten and what needs replacing.
  • Also check your child can get their uniforms on and off because most schools will require then to get changed in and out of their PE kits themselves. This is where polo shirts and skirts or trousers come in handy.
  • Buy more tights and socks than you think you need. Kids fall over a lot and the tights will be full of holes pretty quickly. Having back ups saves last minute uniform dashes. Socks also get eaten by the sock monster. You will never see him, but he is definitely there.
  • Talk to your child and work through any worries they may have about starting school, role playing is a great way to do this.
  • Don't forget to stick name tags on everything if you don't want it going missing in 0.5 seconds. Enter my giveaway to win some awesome stick on labels which survive anything! Head on over to twitter for the instructions on how to enter! But hurry! You only have until 12pm on Monday 28th August to enter!
  • Talk to the school about your child's anxieties, they won't be the only nervous one but making the school aware of the details will help them to make your child feel more at ease
  • Role play schools, explore their worries and show them all of the fun things they will love about going to school
  • Go and visit the school a few times during the holidays, you won't be able to get in obviously but seeing 
  • Draw a heart on your child's hand and one on yours, when my daughter was going through a rough patch at school I did this and told her that every time she felt worried or scared to look at her hand and know that I was always thinking of her and giving her my strength if she needed it and we may be apart for now but we are connected by our hearts. 
  • Write a little note in their lunch or if they can't read quite yet a little heart will do just as well. 
  • Get them a worry doll. I was an incredibly anxious child and I remember having these. You take a doll and tell it your worry, pop it under your pillow as you sleep and the worry will go away.
  • Set your alarm!!!! Don't forget this one unless you have nocturnal small children. Although even they will probably decide to have a lie in if you actually need to be up early. 
  • Iron the uniform that has probably gotten creased by now.
  • Pack the PE kits and lay out the uniform ready for the next morning. I have a little peg next to Eloise's bed which I hang her uniform on every evening (I ask her to but her version of hanging including screwing her shirt up and balancing it behind the hanger)
  • If you're little one is having a packed lunch then make and pack it all up the night before and popping it in the fridge will save you so much time in the morning. Once you've got the hang of everything and functioning throughout your new routine on no sleep becomes almost robotic then leaving it until the morning will be less of a disaster whilst constantly asking your kid to put their bloody shoes on for the 56,000,000th time. Ice pops act as ice blocks if you've forgotten to buy them.
  • Pack anything they will need into the book bag or backpack. There probably won't be a lot on the first day but taking it is a must because they will more than likely come back with about 10 tonne of forms and other super fun paperwork.
  • Take a photo. Your future self will thank you. They grow up so quickly and adopting this tradition will give you and your child something incredibly special to look back on. 
  • Book bag, PE Kit, Lunch Box? Don't forget the kid. 
  • Don't forget your other kids.
  • Take tissues with your because lets face it, you know you're going to cry. 

I am currently holding a giveaway over on Twitter with My Nametags giving you a chance to win a set of name tags worth over £11! 






*I was sent these name tags but all opinions are my own, as always. 

18 August 2017

10 BABY NAMES I LOVE BUT WON'T BE USING...MAYBE


Now I'm not completely crossing these baby names off forever and ever because I actually really loved the name Lily but said I wouldn't use it because it was so popular but then after watching an episode of Doctor Who I fell in love with it and that was that. Her middle name is Rose but that's after her Great Nan though, not Rose Tyler! Haha.

I chose Eloise because it was pretty unique but then it seemed like about 453 people called their girls Eloise. Haha! A lot of names I love are ridiculously popular but I feel like I can't use them because there would be about 5 other kids in the same class with that name and it'd get so confusing! Eloise is the only Eloise in her school and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that no one else with kids starting there in a few years called their daughter Lily. It's a super tiny school so there is hope I reckon. Maybe.

Anyway, narrowing this down to just 10 was bloody impossible because I am probably the most indecisive person on the planet so there are a few bonus ones in there.

Emilia

Basically Amelia with an E. I like Amelia too but I preferred how Emilia looked and it was the less popular choice which is a silly reason really because Lily is the second most popular name I think? I bloody loved this name for years and it was my favourite when I was pregnant with my angel and I just sort of associated it with that pregnancy if that makes sense? I don't know if that's weird...? We were going to call Lily, Emilia but it just didn't feel right. I still very much love it though.

Clara

Another Doctor Who derived name but Ben hates it so this one is definitely crossed off the list. I do really like it though, I don't know many people named Clara and I like quite unique names (says someone who called her daughter Lily).

Delilah

I really liked this but I can't get the song out of my head and I fear I would have it involuntarily playing in my mind every single time I told her to put her shoes on (and we all know that's a hell of a lot of times). I also love names to have lots of nick name possibilities and I just couldn't think of one for Delilah.

Flora

I love this and it's a name I've considered for both Eloise and Lily and it's still on my list but I think another flower name would be weird? I don't know if I'm reading too far into it but I feel like if I used another flower name then Eloise would be on the side lines kind of thing. That's probably just me reading into it far too much.

Grace

I love this name so much and I actually considered it for Lily but my Grandparents had a dog called Gracie so I thought it'd be a bit weird? Would that be weird?

Primrose

Another name I've always loved but Ben didn't like it and I think having a Lily Rose and a Primrose would be too many roses.

Amber Rain

We had pretty much decided on this for Lily but then we were told she was a porn star and that made it several shades of weird. We still really like Amber though.

James

I love this name for a boy but my sister went and named her cat James and after that I think it'd just be weird. Is it weird?

Tobias/Toby

This is my all time favourite boys name, stolen from The Labyrinth. I imagined my little boy wearing a stripy red sleep suit and everything. I still think I want to use this one to be honest.

Grayson

I love the idea of this being shortened to Gray and I just feel like it accommodates for all ages. I find with some names I think they sound really lovely when they're little but aren't so lovely when they're older which has put me off quite a few boys names.

Castiel

Stolen from Supernatural and we both actually love this name so much but I feel like this sounds really odd with Bayliss - too many s's. We both really love this name though.

Nemo

We both liked this, not after the fish but after Mr Nobody (it has Jared Leto in it and Jared Leto is basically the epitome of awesome) but we figured everyone would associate Nemo with the fish so we decided against it.

I filmed a Youtube video for this post too, so if you fancy watching me ramble about names head on over. I had a good hair day thanks to this bloody amazing hair mask from last months Pink Parcel, so didn't want to waste it haha!






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17 August 2017

STEROID INJECTIONS IN PREGNANCY



Being told you need steroid injections during pregnancy is bound to terrify you ever so slightly, it certainly scared me. After being diagnosed with IUGR in my pregnancy with Lily I had weekly scans and bi weekly CTGs. I remember sitting in the consultants room at 31 weeks pregnant after having a particularly rubbish growth scan that found my fluid levels to be low and my baby so small she was off the charts. It was decided that the risk of my baby being born prematurely was high enough for me to need steroid injections to mature my baby's lungs and I was booked in to have them as soon as possible.

I was absolutely petrified. More so of the injections themselves at the time, I had read so many horror stories about how painful and absolutely awful they were which sent my anxiety even higher through the roof. To top it off, Ben had broken his hand and was unable to drive and Eloise had managed to pick up a stomach bug which made me even more anxious but hopefully after reading this, you won't be so anxious.


So, what happens?

Steroid injections are given over the course of two days. This is very important because in order for the injections to give your baby the best chance the full dosage needs to be administered 24 hours apart between the weeks 25-33 and are most effective two-seven days after administration. Depending on your circumstances this can be done while you are an inpatient or an outpatient. I was lucky enough to be able to have mine done as an outpatient.

If you are an outpatient then your injections are likely be administered in the antenatal assessment unit which you will more than likely already be familiar with. It will be injected in your thigh/bum area so the needle will look pretty big although not the size of your forearm like I read somewhere. I was bricking it and bracing myself for literal agony but I hardly felt it. It stung a little obviously but comprehend to what I was expecting a stinging nettle is more hardcore. I was asked to stay for 10 minutes which is pretty standard after any injection.

The next day I had the injection in the other leg and stood up this time, bent over the bed. Honestly, this made it hurt even less than the first time so I totally recommend standing up if you can. I didn't have to wait the 10 minutes this time because I was fine the day before apart from panicking.

I always worry a lot about side effects, my anxiety sky rockets at the thought of them and I always freak out about the worst case scenarios which for me is normally anaphylaxis or another serious allergic reaction but Betamethasone (which is the steroid they use to mature babies lungs) is actually sometimes used to treat severe allergic reactions which put my mind at ease a lot.


What side effects did I have?

BLOOD SUGAR CHANGES - I suffer with hypoglycemia so I was quite worried about my blood sugar levels because corticosteroids can make them harder to control. I did notice an increase in my blood sugar both fasting and after meals for a good few days; I normally sit at 4mmol fasting but I was sitting in the 5s for a bit after. So if high blood sugar is more your problem they you may have a week where your levels are harder to keep down. I also worried a bit about how my body would cope with the drop after the injection ha worn off and I did have a hypo so definitely keep a close eye on your levels for at least a week.


SLEEP DISTURBANCES - Could I sleep? Could I f*ck! I found myself awake at all hours for a good few days and I found it really difficult to drop off.

NIGHT SWEATS - I also experienced night sweats which kept me up too, I would wake up absolutely boiling hot, dripping with sweat. Bearing in mind I had them December time so it was freezing outside.

FACIAL FLUSHING - This one is a pretty common side effect, I had more hot flushes than someone going through the menopause. I looked like a bloody tomato.

INCREASED FOETAL MOVEMENT - This was another one I was told to expect, Lily did move rather a bit more for a few days which worried me a bit. If you notice a change that you're worrying about, even if they warned you about it, just go and get checked.

FEELING OVERLY HYPED UP - I actually felt bloody amazing after had the injections, I felt awake for the first time in ages and I was near enough buzzing. Kinda like I had drank a load of energy drinks on top of the entire contents of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory without the sugar crash. I felt fantastic in a slightly weird, not sure if I was totally in control of myself kind of way.

These side effects went by the time a week was up and Lily managed to stay put until she was full term and despite being the size of a doll, she was perfect. You can read her birth story and watch our birth vlog here.

My view in the AAU. I spent most of my pregnancy here in those bloody God awful chairs!




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