31 July 2017

REVIEW // LITTLE DISH CLASSIC TOMATO PASTA SAUCE


Lily loves pasta but I don't like giving her regular sauces too often because of the salt content in them so this Classic Tomato Pasta Sauce from Little Dish is perfect. I have bought sauces aimed at young children before but always find that I waste so much because it's only Lily eating it. The thought of not having to make sauce from scratch for her was so appealing, when I saw this on offer in Tesco for just 50p I pretty much ripped it off the shelf. I have no shame.

Here, all I did was cook some wholemeal pasta shapes and frozen mixed veg in a pan, drained the water out and whacked in the sauce and topped with some grated cheddar cheese. The whole meal took me about 10 minutes!

The little 80g pot is the perfect size for one toddler sized portion of pasta and it has hidden veg too which is a bonus as getting 5 a day into kids can be pretty bloody hard sometimes so this whole bowl of pasta contained about 3 of Lily's 5 a day. Not bad!

The sauce is a bit wetter than I'm used to so I did have to drain it a bit after mixing it with the pasta although the frozen vegetables could well have contributed to the wateriness there. The sauce has got quite a strong red pepper taste to it rather than tomato which took Lily by surprise at first but after a few curious licks she piled it in!

It's normally £1 which isn't too bad I reckon! They also do a Mild Korma Sauce which is next on our list to try!




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29 July 2017

REVIEW // HIPP SENSITIVE BABY WIPES


Hipp Organic is a brand I always thought only did formula and baby food but recently they're released a whole range of free from range of baby care products including these sensitive baby wipes.

The wipes themselves are quite strange feeling compared to the wipes I normally use, they're quite thin and flimsy. The best way I can describe them is that they're quite like disposable cloth nappy liners in terms of thickness and they do the annoying stretchy thing although they do come out of the packet intact and separately unlike certain other wipes (looking at you Huggies).

They claim to have new microfibre technology to make they softer and more efficient but I didn't really notice much of a difference. They are gentle and didn't irritate Lily's skin at all and contain a mild cleansing lotion and organic almond extract which makes them super gentles for even eczema prone bums but they're quite dry compared to other brands so take a bit more effort to get toddler poo (and make up) off.

They cost £1.29 from Ocado so not too pocket denting, especially taking into consideration that they're organic.




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28 July 2017

BABY BREAKFAST FRUITY CRUMBLE


My first ever baby/toddler recipe (this totally counts as a recipe right?)! I had some squished raspberries (being the clever person I am I dumped a bunch of heavy crap on top of them in a shopping bag) that had also semi frozen in the bottom of our fridge because our fridge likes to think certain areas of it are a freezer (I'm so good at adulting). I had originally planned to microwave them and mix into a porridge but some how I came up with an idea so good that both of my kids ate most of it. It took me a total of 5 minutes and that included faffing of a high degree and tripping over various animals and kids.

You'll need a small, microwave safe ramekin, this was once a Pots and Co Salted Caramel and Chocolate pot. Either that or a small microwavable bowl like the Nuby SureGrip (which sucks at sticking to what I want it to but its microwave AND oven safe which is so bloody handy!)











  • Porridge oats
  • Raspberries (or any fruit really, berries or apples and pears work best though)
  • Milk
  • Demerara Sugar (optional)










  1. Put a small handful of porridge oats in a microwave proof bowl with a splash of milk (I don't measure but enough to cover the oats, more if you want it sloppier for younger babies) and microwave until it starts to bubble (about 20 seconds depending on how much you make).
  2. Leave to cool whilst you do the next step.
  3. Pop the raspberries in the ramekin and add a very small splash of water, a tea spoon will be more than enough.
  4. Microwave for about 15-20 seconds or until the fruit has softened and the juices are flowing
  5. Spoon the porridge on top of the fruit and top with some oats and a sprinkling of demerara sugar. 
  6. Leave to cool a bit and check the temperature before feeding etc etc. You know the drill. 

That's it! Takes minutes and will make you feel like you have your shit together all before 9am (probably way earlier...)



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26 July 2017

LILY'S 18 MONTH UPDATE


How on earth is my tiny little Lily Bean a year and a half already?! I've been massively slacking with the updates, in fact, I think the last one was her 8 month update...Quite a lot has happened since then and she's progressed a lot! We are having concerns about her hearing again though, at 4 months when she went for a hearing test we were told she had some fluid behind her ears but as she had not long had a cold they said not to worry as that could likely have been the cause but her speech hasn't progressed since 10 months and it just rang the Mummy alarm bells so I mentioned it to our wonderful health visitor who has referred her for a hearing screen and a speech and language therapist.

Her little personality is shining through now, she is one hell of a strong willed, feisty little ball of cuteness. She also throws amazing strops, full on screaming then throwing herself arse first to the floor complete with leg kicking and tears. She gives kisses and hugs and it's the cutest thing ever and my heart does the melting thing whenever she does it. She also dishes out kisses when she's told to get down off the coffee table for the millionth time so she's got wrapping me round her teeny tiny little finger down pretty damn well.







Weight 

She was 20lbs a little while ago. She is generally weighed every 3 months now if not longer but my guess would be that she's much heavier now!
Clothes size 

6-9/9-12 generally but random bigger and smaller bits fit. She's wearing a 2-4 month old cardigan in the photo above so yeh. Sizes are pretty random. 
Milk 

She's still breastfed and still feeding all the time. She will feed up to every hour at night, every time she stirs she wakes and 9/10 she needs feeding back to sleep. I'm finding it ridiculously difficult now and the aversion really isn't helping matters. I have spoken to my health visitor about introducing a bottle of formula to replace a breastfeed to give my tits a well deserved break. 
Food

She is pretty good with food and will give anything a go. Her favourites are pasta bake, bananas, Macaroni Cheese, Spicy things (she's partial to some hot salsa here and there), yogurts (still), strawberries, Kiddylicious Veggie Straws and Smoothie Melts, dried fruit and wotists. She is definitely more picky and isn't impressed if her lunch doesn't have baby crisps of some description. She has the occasional fruit pouch as a pudding but other than that she has been eating just finger foods since 11.5 months. I still cut everything because I'm a worrier but she's starting to not shove everything in and realising her mouth isn't as big as her eyes.

Teeth 

We now have 10 teeth in total. She decided to cut various teeth at the same time, 4 of which have actually cut through now but there are still a good 4 on the way.  
Sleep 

 I've been quite strict with the breastfeeds at night and have only been offering milk at bed time and not letting her self serve throughout the evening and this has improved actually getting her to sleep, it takes on average about 10-20 minutes to settle her to sleep with a feed these days which is a massive improvement from a couple of months ago where it would take anything up to 2.5 hours which was HELL. Still not going to bed before 10 though but still a step up from 2am.
Milestones 

She started walking at 9 months and now she's running and jumping which is crazy to think about. She hasn't progressed with her speech since about 10 months and can say hiya, milk, cat and duck in context which she learnt at about 10 months so I'm worrying a lot about that. I kind of think she is learning to say Daddy in context but it may just have been a coincidence that she ran to Ben whilst saying dadada but she won't copy new sounds we make.

She does understand speech, for example

Milk - she will come and pull at my top or point and say "ulk"
Snack - she will run to the baby gate or the kitchen drawer if that's open
Pingu - she will run to Ben's computer to watch some good old Pingu
Kitty - she will run to the door to go and call Garfield in for his dinner
Bed - she will run into the bedroom.

I'm finding it hard not to worry about it, whether it be her hearing or something else but the fact she's not progressed makes me all kinds of anxious. She has been referred to have an assessment with a Speech and Language Therapist coming up so hopefully they will be able to shed some light on things.

Likes 

Chu Chu TV, Little Baby Bum and Pingu, basically a YouTube addict already. She loves flopping herself down on the arse which she thinks is the most hilarious thing ever and she's right for the first 10 or so times. She loves lining her little toys up on the side of the coffee table and putting various objects in and out of bags and boxes.
How am I feeling?

The past month or two have been fucking testing. I'm really struggling with breastfeeding and sleep deprivation and high horse dwellers making me feel inadequate as a parent in general for various stupid reasons like, Lily not sleeping through, Sharing my kids photos online, breastfeeding, wanting to give combi feeding a go, etc (I'm fucking fab FYI) didn't really do wonders for my self esteem. Just what I needed as I had been discharged from MH care for the first time in years due to not attending the appointment because I couldn't face leaving the house after my anxiety progress went all kinds of backwards. I wrote a bit about how I dealt with that here and my struggles with Lily sleeping here. I have now been re referred to a different service so hopefully that will help get me back on my feet. I'm also worrying about her speech and doing the stupid thing where I compare my children. I looked back on what Eloise was saying at Lily's age and it was a big old list and there is Lily with a total of 4 words. 

I feel kind of bad for Lily and all the appointments she has, it seems never ending. She's got an appointment with an eye specialist to check her optic nerve at the end of August, a physio appointment in September and a hearing test and speech and language therapist appointment at some point too. She gives approximately zero fucks about them though so I guess there is that. I just want to know everything is okay! 





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25 July 2017

GUEST POST // HOW DEAFNESS AFFECTS ME


In this guest post I have my better half, Ben who is going bare all and talk about his struggles with accepting his deafness and the worries he has for our kids.


Hi,

I'm Ben, Georgina's husband to be, Eloise and Lily's Dad, a deaf human and official guest poster.

I have Bilateral Sensorineural Deafness (you're probably wondering what the hell that is, right? Even the spell checker doesn't have a clue. I explain it better in the video below). So, with being a deaf person myself, and Georgina being a hearing person, that gives our children a 50/50 chance of being deaf. Wonderful odds. My Mother is hearing, my Father is deaf, and his Father deaf also. So that means that there’s a good chance that my kids are going to be deaf. Right?


Lily appears to be hearing, I say appears because sometimes we’ll tell her to stop doing something and she’ll just look at us with a cheeky smile then carry on, so I’m unsure if she’s just a dick or if she just can’t hear much. The morning after the birth, she had her hearing testing with a little device, all was good apparently.


We then had to get Lily’s hearing checked out properly a few weeks after the birth, but I don’t remember much about it because I was too busy worrying that she could be deaf. All I’m thinking is crap like, “Shit, she’s going to get bullied in school, she’ll struggle to hear things and she’ll feel like her social life will be crumbling around her just because she can’t hear her friends” Then I started worrying about her pulling her hearing aids out if they gave them to her at such a young age, then I started worrying about the batteries, then then trips to the hospital to keep getting checked. All stuff I had to go through.


I recall being told by some Doctors during Georgina's pregnancy that deafness can have patterns, and as it happens there seems to be a pattern regarding the men on my Dad’s side. As already stated, my Father is deaf, my Grandad was deaf, my Uncle is...well I believe he struggles to hear sometimes but he just plays it off. Either way, my Grandad and myself are the ones with the worst deafness in that we’re “Severely” deaf, whereas my Father is just “Moderately”.


Lily isn’t talking much, she says, duck, cat, hiya in context, but she isn’t really developing much in that aspect, but she does understand certain things we say and seems to respond fine. So why am I still worried?

I wasn’t diagnosed with deafness until I was 4. I don’t know how that happened, but I feel like maybe my parents went through the same thing Georgina and I are going through now. Maybe I acted fine and seemed okay, but maybe I was in fact responding to actions, facial cues, and what little pitches (Without hearing aids in I can hear some dull or high pitches) I could hear. Maybe this is what Lily is doing?


Maybe Lily is lucky and doesn't suffer with deafness, and I say “lucky” because, it sucks. Constantly having to think about if your batteries are running low, then wondering if you have any stored away. Struggling to hear new people's speech because your brain isn’t accustomed to their voice and then worrying that you’re coming across as really ignorant. Worrying that your hearing aids are going to get wet, dropped, or hit by something and then damaged, then having to get new ones, while struggling to function without hearing until you do get new ones, because the NHS only allow you to have the aids you’re using, then they take the old ones, and send them off to be scrapped or refurbished.


I mishear things, I struggle to follow lengthy conversations, I hang up on phone calls when the person on the other end sounds like they’re getting annoyed with having to repeat something, I groan when the heat makes me sweat and that sweat goes into the microphone and makes everything sound muffled. I hate panicking that I’m not going to understand anything my kids say to me and they’ll just decide to stop talking to me because it would involve them repeating themselves an annoying amount of times.


As a kid it’s quite restricting, imagine being invited to a friends house to go and play in the garden on a hot day, the sun’s out, sweat drips onto the aids and renders you completely deaf until you fix it, then they start to play with those super cool water guns and then your mates Dad brings out a fucking amazing 7ft inflatable pool and you can’t join in with because you don’t feel comfortable taking your hearing aids out being unable to hear everyone, so you just sit and watch. While I could do most things other kids were doing, there were also moments of uncomfortableness where certain activities could have led to damage or awkward moments where I’d not understand instructions given so I’d do everything wrong. But then if I chose to sit out of things I’d be teased for not taking part, then eventually everyone just forgets about you and doesn’t involve you at all.



My Mum told me that when I first got hearing aids, the first things I was surprised about hearing was the sound of the toilet upstairs flushing, the sound of the freezer humming, and the birds when we went on a walk. I apparently had a huge strop about wearing them, but then, most kids don’t like having random things being stuck into their ears, so that was understandable, but apparently after hearing those sounds I started to enjoy them more. Throughout school I struggled to follow lessons, and was even given a type of device where I wear tiny speakers that attach to my hearing aids, and the teacher wears a clip on microphone. It was handy, but I felt uncomfortable to the point that when I started high school I requested that I stopped using it because I “didn’t need it” but really I felt like a freak amongst all the other students.


To this day I still force myself to struggle because I don’t feel comfortable enough to acknowledge my deafness. If sounds are really loud, I won’t turn the device down, if my mould gets clogged with wax sometimes, I won’t take it out and clear it, I’ll either suffer until I get home or find a bathroom and sit in a cubicle. I won’t change my batteries in public. I feel like I have to act normal to feel normal, and then I’ll be there thinking, “ahh fuck what people think.” and carry on hiding my disability anyway. I'm worried that might happen with our kids, and it’s disheartening.


I don’t want Lily, or any of our future kids to have to go through everything I have had to over the years, but if they do end up being deaf I’ll support them just as much as I’ll support our hearing kids. If they struggle, I’ll help, if they’re bullied, I’ll bring hell upon the bullies, I’ll mould them all to stand up against the dicks of the world, and I’ll teach them to be who they are and be brave and do what they want. Yes, I’m scared that our children could end up deaf, but not because of the deafness itself, but because of other people, they might be bullied, they might be treated different they might get scared, they might struggle. That's what worries me.

I recently filmed an updated version of my "What is Deafness?" video on YouTube, check it out!





Ben, Georgina's husband to be, Eloise and Lily's Dad, a deaf human and official guest poster



Find Ben here:

Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram


For more information and support surrounding childhood deafness please visit the National Deaf Children's Society.




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23 July 2017

THE SUNDAY POST // END OF TERM & MENTAL HEALTH RAMBLINGS


Beginning of Y1        |        Beginning of Y2        |         End of Y2

This week marks the end of the school year and the end of year 2 for Eloise. She is officially no longer an infant and will be returning as a junior. I've always been one of those Mums who is a complete and total annoying wreck who goes on and on about how they "can't believe how grown up *insert kids name here* looks" but - I can't believe how grown up she looks! I'm feeling very old and a little bit sad that she's growing up in some sort of fast forward world but I'm also sooooo thankful that there are NO FUCKING SCHOOL RUNS FOR 6 WEEKS!!! I've been looking forward to that for a year. No alarms, no non stop loops of "have you brushed your teeth?" "get your uniform on please" "get your uniform on NOW" "please don't spit tooth paste on the mirror" "have you got your drink in your bag?" "go and put your drink in your bag" and "HURRY UP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD" ... you get the idea. I may just record my voice saying all that shit and play it 600 times in the morning next term. Would save me a lot of effort.

For teacher gifts I went all out Pinterest Mum and actually, this seemed like less effort than going shopping and trying to figure out what kind of wine and chocolates Eloise's teacher likes. If I was a teacher I'd love something like this although I do have very strange taste when it comes to preferred gifts but hopefully she didn't hate it! Pretty proud of this actually, I did the lettering and got Eloise to draw her teacher in pencil which I then went over in pen and painted with watercolours. I also made Eloise a cute little packed lunch for the last day of term so I felt like I actually had my shit together for the most part of that day.


Other stuff wise I've been struggling with my mental health which has been very up and down the past couple of months, everything kind of happened at the wrong time (not that there is a right time for people to be assholes). I had just been discharged from MH care because I missed an appointment so was feeling pretty fragile anyway because I've been in some sort of MH care since CAMHS and I don't know, maybe I just stunk of vulnerability, but yeh, it's really set me back again.

Saying that, the last couple of days I've been really productive and felt so much better than I have in weeks, I've cooked from scratch 2 days running, I've filmed 2 videos, 4 if you count Ben's vlog and the colab we did together. I've edited and added subtitles to one and nearly finished a rough cut of the second along with a few blog posts but today I feel like I've crashed again and just feel low.

My wrist is also fucked and typing with a splint on is hard as balls. Hypermobility Syndrome, for those who haven't got it or have no idea what it is, is a chronic illness which comes with a nice slice of chronic pain. My body is always in some degree of pain. Always. It feels like walking on Lego on a loop. Everyday. Except your foot is your entire body and the Lego doesn't exist. I guess I'm just feeling shit that I can't do anything without my body deciding to dish out a hearty portion of pain whenever I do anything and if it's not that it's people trying to screw me emotionally/mentally/whatever.

I'm really struggling with breastfeeding at the moment, the aversion is always worse when I'm feeling shit and I'm just generally feeling like I'm failing Lily because I managed it better with Eloise. I realise that is totally fucking ridiculous to think that but when you've had someone pick at every little thing you do parenting wise and everywhere you look people are being judgemental about fucking something it generally makes you question everything and feel all levels of shit. Maybe I need thicker skin, I don't know. Maybe people should just stop being dicks to everyone. Why is it so hard to just be nice? Jesus...

I just hope I can look back on this soon and feel like I'm finally above the water. I've been re referred to a different mental health service so I feel like I have my safety net back and we are currently trying to introduce a bottle of formula to cut down the breastfeeds so there's that. And without jinxing it, Lily has slept two 7 hour stretches this last week and although I feel more tired today, it's been nice. She still hasn't fallen asleep before 11pm but eh, swings and roundabouts.


Me and my beautiful Eloise

On another note, my sister has started a blog about being a Dog Mum. Think baby blog but instead of babies she has dogs. She also has a YouTube with cute videos of the said dogs, Maddy and Winston. She is also Mum to various tarantulas (yeh you read that right), a cat (who is called James who quite possibly possessed) and probably other creatures I've forgotten about because there have been so many. It's like a fucking zoo at her house. Check her stuff out to see cute dog faces.

Other awesome bloggers you should check out are Zoe @ Mummy & Liss and Becca @ My Girls And Me. These two are complete babes and you should totally check them out.




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22 July 2017

REVIEW // KIDDYLICIOUS MINI COCONUT ROLLS


These Mini Coconut Rolls are one of the latest offerings from Kiddylicious. Lily is a huge fan of their snacks already -Her favourites being the Veggie Straws, Cheesy Straws, and Wafers (which she was lucky enough to win a HUGE box of!).

These are little rolls of light, crispy wafer, about 2cm long so perfect for practising pincer gripping. I do actually crush them a bit for Lily because she has a tendency to shove massive handfuls in her mouth and terrify me to death. They're made with real coconut milk and are also dairy free, gluten free and come individually packed with 4 rolls in each packet, perfect to chuck into the changing bag as an emergency tantrum distracter and/or bribery.

They're also bloody nice dipped in Nutella. You're welcome.


They're suitable form 12 months and cost £2.50 for a pack of 8.




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21 July 2017

PREGNANCY // MY EXPERIENCE WITH INTRAUTERINE GROWTH RESTRICTION


IUGR stands for Intrauterine Growth Restriction which basically means that the unborn baby is not growing at a normal rate and is considerably smaller than average for a particular gestational age. Not all small babies have IUGR though. The difference between low birth weight and IUGR is that the latter puts the baby at risk of various health issues during pregnancy, labour and also after birth.

It can be caused by a number of different things, the placenta not working the way it should, birth defects, smoking and drinking in pregnancy or if you are like me, for no apparent reason whatsoever. My placenta was fine, I didn't smoke or drink, my blood pressure was fine, my weight was within the normal range, I guess I just drew the shitty straw.

Both my two were born via induction at 38 weeks and weighed under 6lbs. My first, Eloise, weighed 5lbs 13oz at 38 weeks exactly and my second, Lily, weighed 5lbs 7.5oz at 38+2 weeks both dropping down to 5lbs 1oz within the first few days.


My first pregnancy was pretty normal, I measured small at about 34 weeks and was sent for a scan but everything showed Eloise was the right weight for her gestation and was currently sitting at about 6lbs. She ended up being born via induction 4 weeks later at 5lbs 13oz so either she hadn't grown at all the last few weeks or the scan was wrong. She was born with a heart murmur, whether this was due to her size I don't know but she was healthy in every other way.

My second pregnancy was very, very different. I was considered high risk and was consultant led anyway because I had retained placenta after my first birth and my initial thoughts were it would be a quick appointment with them explaining some measures to help avoid that happening again and that would be that. I was wrong, obviously.

I was about 26 weeks I think when I had my first consultant appointment, it was a ridiculous amount of weeks late because I kept having to cancel for various reasons but I eventually got there. Everything was okay, they discussed how the risk of having retained placenta again wasn't significant and to try not to worry. The consultant also mentioned about previous low birth weight, I had been told at the time that there were not really any concerns about Eloise's weight but apparently not. Anyway, they decided to measure my bump which had not long been measure by my community midwife who found it to be slightly on the small side but I was small anyway so she wasn't concerned. Turns out I was measuring nearly 6 weeks behind. After a scan referral it was discovered that my baby had IUGR.


From that appointment on my pregnancy consisted of bi weekly CTGs, fortnightly growth scans, weekly fluid level and cord flow scans, steroid injections and various emergency CTGs and scans dotted in between. I was told to prepare for my baby needing to be delivered at any point from now. During this time is when I really began to appreciate the doctors and midwives who were absolutely fantastic, every single one of them. I cannot fault any of them and they were forever reassuring me and making me feel so at ease. It was decided that I would be induced at around the 36 week mark if baby stayed in that long and everything was going well.


Carrying an IUGR baby is incredibly nerve wracking and exhausting. I found myself envying other Mums to be who could enjoy their pregnancy and spend more than 2 days without going to the hospital or those who can go into labour naturally. It was worrying about how premature your baby is going to be and whether you will be able to hold them after they've been born or if they are going to need to be taken to the NICU. It's a whole truck tonne of unknowns with another truck tonne of worry added on. It's buying every sized premature sleep suit because you just don't know how small they're going to be and packing your hospital bag in the second trimester because you just don't know when they're going to be born. It's googling every possible outcome and panicking about their movements. It's so many CTGs that you lose count and being injected with steroids to mature your babies lungs to give them the best chance at living. It's about wondering if they're going to survive.

Luckily, with today's science and second to none medical care the success rate for IUGR babies is incredibly high and many of these babies are born with no lasting consequences whatsoever.

Every scan I went to, which ended up being close to 20, there was always the thought at the back of your mind that this could be the last scan and they could be sending you to be induced later that day if baby hadn't grown or the fluid levels or cord flow were off.


Lily Rose was born on the 21st January 2016 at 17:29 at 38+2 weighing 5lbs 7.5oz with an Apgar of 9. She had her blood sugar checked as standard for low birth weight babies and despite her first outfit including a dolls cardigan, she needed no neonatal care and we were home 12 hours later. She did end up suffering with prolonged jaundice but other than that she was perfect and STRONG. She was holding her head up at 2 weeks and was walking by 9 months despite being the size of a 6 month old and is so far considered advanced with her fine and gross motor skills. Other things she hasn't progressed much with especially her speech so we are waiting on another hearing test and an appointment with a speech and language therapist but aside from that she is meeting all of her milestones and doing everything she should be.

 Read my birth story here and watch my labour/birth vlog here.


Though she be little, she is fierce 
-William Shakespeare



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20 July 2017

LUSH // MASK OF MAGNAMINTY FRESH FACE MASK


Mask Of Magnaminty from Lush is something I had kind of put off buying for a ridiculous amount of years because I tend to really hate the smell of mint but my god did I appreciate this and it's refreshing mintiness while in the throes of hay fever! The scent isn't super overpowering but the peppermint oil made me feel like I could actually breathe for the first time in weeks. Still not a fan of the scent though but I will let it off this time.

It contains marigold oil, honey, for its antiseptic properties and crushed aduki beans and primrose seeds to gently exfoliate the skin too. The bits are big enough for it to not end up being too harsh on sensitive skin whilst still being enough to give it a good clean. It left my face feeling refreshed and smoother than my jokes. It's basically everything you want in a face mask.

It costs £6.50 and lasts ages because it doesn't need to be kept in the fridge like the others which is a huge bonus as I tend to not have enough time to use the fresh face masks up before they expire. The only downside for me is the smell, I'd love it more if it didn't smell of peppermint but everything else is spot on!



18 July 2017

WHAT HAPPENS AT AN AUTOMATED AUDITORY BRAINSTEM RESPONSE TEST


As soon as we got pregnant we knew our baby had a 50/50 chance of being born deaf and at 4 months Lily was referred for an AABR test. My partner, Ben, has sensorineural hearing loss which was caused by the hairs in his cochlea not developing properly (read his post about his struggle
 with accepting his deafness here). He was born severely deaf and requires hearing aids to hear anything basically so we always knew our children would need more hearing tests than average. 

Lily passed her newborn screening after a bit of a struggle, they were unable to get a result on her left ear to begin with but eventually we got the all clear. As the weeks went on we grew more and more concerned over her hearing, she wouldn't react to sound or turn her head and didn't so much as flinch when we were cutting wooden floor boards with a jigsaw, so at around 4 months, after speaking to our wonderful health visitor, she was referred for a hearing screening early.


The first test we got sent for was an Visual Reinforcement Audiometry. This is generally aimed at babies who are 8 months+, this was the test she would have been referred at 8 months regardless of any concerns due to her family history of deafness. There were speakers that play words repetitively and random clapping monkeys placed around the room and the audiologist sets them to go off at certain volumes and the idea is, that if baby can hear it, baby will look towards it and be rewarded with a flashing screen or a cute toy.  Once they have began to associate the sound with a visual reward the test will start. Lily sort of managed it, although she only turned for the very loud noises which we worked out were at the levels her Dad can hear so obviously this test left us feeling quite concerned rather than reassured as we had initially hoped for.


They looked inside her ears although they only managed to see one properly as she objected pretty strongly to having things shoved in her ear. It was then discovered that she had fluid behind her ear drum, which would explain why she wasn't reacting to noises. Because of this and the fact the test hadn't been completely successful they referred her for an AABR test which stands for Automated Auditory Brainstem Response which is were clocking sounds are played directly into your baby's ear canal along with sensors on your baby's head and behind their ears. These sensors pick up the brainstem reaction to the sounds and throw the results onto the connected computer screen.


You will need to keep your baby awake and not feed them for 2 hours prior to the test. I felt like the worlds shittest parent doing that because she was so tired and hungry but they need baby to feed and go into a deep sleep in order to carry out the test. The test itself will take place in a special sound proof room, any phones, wifi signals, etc will need to be turned off or they will interfere with the equipment. The audiologist performing Lily's tests had to go into the waiting room and ask people to turn their phones off because they were causing so much interference.


After briefly explaining the process, the audiologist used some very fine filing paper which looks pretty much exactly like sand paper, and will gently rubbed it on Lily's skin around her forehead and behind her ears. Next they attached the electrodes, normally three to four of them, Lily had three - one behind each ear and then one of her forehead. The lines on the screen should start going crazy, this is normal and means the contact between the skin and the electrodes is where it should be. The spiking is caused by the immense amount of brain activity which will settle down once baby is asleep.


This is where the fun part starts, now you must get the baby into a deep sleep. They will lower the lights in the room and luckily it's perfectly fine for you to hold your baby during the test which makes it so much easier! I held Lily the entire time and switched boobs half way when she woke up. They test one ear at a time so it is relatively easy to cradle hold them. I read google posts about how they will need the baby lay flat on a bed and I immediately panicked because no way would Lily sleep like that.


Once baby is asleep and the brain activity lessens, the lines on the screen will settle down and stop spiking. The audiologist will insert the probe a little way into the ear canal and the test will begin. A click or a pip will be played into your baby's ear and the brainstem response will appear on the computer screen. I tried to watch intently and try and figure it out but it's incredibly confusing and it's best not to try and drive yourself insane with worry and wait until it's over.


The time it takes to complete depends on your baby but they allow 3 hours for the entire appointment. The test itself took about 40 minutes for us not including getting her to sleep but in total we were there for a couple of hours.


Here is a vlog we did of the day she had her test!




If you are wanting more information about childhood deafness or are looking for further advice then please visit the National Deaf Children's Society where you will find an abundance of help an support. 




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16 July 2017

THE SUNDAY POST // RECYCLING OLD BABY CLOTHES


If, like me, your kids a messy little shits and cover anything white in an array of stains that just won't budge (some of which you do not wish to know the origin of), before you chuck them out - recycle them and tie dye the shit out of them (possibly literally). Me and Eloise spent the other weekend making these and it was a huge hit minus the pink dye EVERYWHERE.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

Elastic bands
Fabric dye
Stained clothes
Salt
Empty water bottles (ones with sports caps work best)
Protective sheet (we used a bin bag)


  • First, tie the elastic bands tightly around random parts of the fabric or twist them into a ball and cover it in bands, the tighter they are the better the effect.

  • Mix the dye with warm water and salt, we didn't use any particular quantities with the dye I just went with what looked alright. To give you an idea of how much I used, I have at least half of each colour left and I filled 7 bottles worth up.

  • Go crazy! But not too crazy because I ended up having to bleach the grouting between the tiles in my kitchen from pink dye splash back.

  • Leave the dye to settle for about 45 minutes. The longer you leave it the stronger it'll be.




  • Google told me to run the bits under the tap but it is so much easier to dump them in the bathroom and use the shower attachment. Use cold water because warm will wash the dye out more than necessary and we don't want that. Keep doing this until the water runs clear.





  • Take the bands off and chuck them in the washing machine on a regular wash. I put mine in at 40 degrees and bunged a colour catcher in and they were fine. It's probably best to wash them a few times with dark colours or make sure you put a colour catcher with them just in case. I don't want to be the cause of any laundry disasters!




And voila! Awesome clothes that were once destined for the bin. Winner.



Check out my other DIY posts here.




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14 July 2017

BEAUTY // EVERYDAY MAKEUP - THE MUM EDITION



When I started this blog in 2011 it was primarily beauty based. I would post videos and blog posts about make up and other stuff I don't have time to do anymore. I used to be one of those people who would not, under any circumstance, leave the house without make up on. Now I have 2 kids I'm lucky if I actually manage to leave the bloody house at all. I tend to be so run ragged that I just prioritise everything else and most of the time I feel like anything I put on my face just isn't enough to cover up 7 years of interrupted sleep.

Anyway, after much umming and ahhing I decided fuck it, I'm going to film a video like the good old days. I still have my old videos on my channel, only they're private because even I can no longer watch due to cringing so hard I lose my head.  Maybe I will share a few in the future for shits and giggles, or maybe I will send them to the YouTube graveyard for good.

Here is my Everyday Make Up:



Products mentioned:

No7 Airbrush Away (which I forgot to put on in the video...)
NARS Luminous Weightless Foundation
Urban Decay Naked Palette
MAC Mineralize Skin Finish
Technic Get Gorgeous Highlighter
Chanel Le Volume Mascara
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Barry M Cor Balmy
Shu Uemera Eyelash Curlers
Real Techniques Brushes
Cheap Ass Beauty Blender




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13 July 2017

REVIEW // MS FLOW TRIAL BOX - SANITARY TOWELS


A few weeks ago I posted about the Ms Flow Trial Box I received, I spoke about how perfect it would be if you wanted to test various brands out before you buy or for a newbie to shark week. Here are my thoughts on the pads I received in the box, I did also received some tampons but I'm definitely more of a pad girl so in this review I'm sticking to what I know!

Bit of background information so you get an idea of what level of tantrum my uterus normally has -

When I first started my periods they were horrific, the kind where every time you move it's like a tsunami of the red sea down there. Post kids they're about 5-7 days long with most of the bleeding on days 1-3 days before starting to trail off, so pretty average really. My flow is pretty medium I'd say. Some months are worse than others and it'll revert back to my pre kid, uterus with severe anger problems and I won't be able to even sniff without opening the flood gates and others it'll be as short as a few days although that is rare but it has happened before. This month was very angry uterus month.


TOWELS


ALWAYS ULTRA SANITARY TOWELS

These were what I used growing up, they're pretty good at containing everything. In the box I got both with and without wings. I much prefer pads with wings as I find without them they tend to go walk about much easier and that is super not what you want when you first get up in the morning on day 2 of your period. Near the end wingless are okay, they're more comfortable but I wouldn't trust them before about day 4.

Comfort: 6/10
Noise Factor: 5/10
Flow holding capacity: 7.5/10
Prettiness: 4/10


BODYFORM ULTRA NORMAL WING

These I've used quite a lot before. They're the cheapest branded pads I've found and they're pretty good. The little heart shape on the pad is a nice addition even though it inevitably ends up looking similar to the blood covered room in that episode of Dexter.

Comfort: 7/10
Noise Factor: 5/10
Flow holding capacity: 6.5/10
Prettiness: 8/10


NATRACARE ORGANIC 

I wanted to love this and for the most part I did but if you want something that will work for the whole of your period these ain't it. Unless you have a crazy light flow these just wont be able to hold it I'm afraid. After the initial uterus lining purge these will be alright and I found them much nicer against the skin than regular pads, they had a lovely cotton feel topping which did bunch up and go a bit weird but it didn't have that plastic, sweat inducing coating so these so these do get points in that department because no one likes a sweaty vagina.

Comfort: 6.5/10
Noise Factor: 5/10
Flow holding capacity: 4/10
Prettiness: 2/10


LINERS 


NATRACARE ORGANIC LINER

This was super hard to get into, I don't know if I was just being stupid but it took me ages to find the opening. It's quite thick which makes it feel more bulky but would mean it holds just that little bit more. Shape wise it's pretty nice, quite slim in the middle which stops bits of it sticking to your skin although the stick went a bit pear shaped quite quickly and it went all bunchy in the middle which isn't what you want at all. 

Comfort: 4/10
Noise Factor: 6/10
Flow holding capacity: 2.5/10
Prettiness: 1/10

BODYFORM LIGHT LINERS SO SLIM

These were great actually! I normally buy Carefree or Always Dailies but the shape of these ones is fantastic, I find they fit my underwear so much better. They are much softer too which was nice. I did find the stick wasn't quite as good as my usual ones but the shape and softness makes up for that. I've actually bought a box of these this month because this box has converted me!

Comfort: 9/10
Noise Factor: 4/10
Flow holding capacity: 1/10
Prettiness: 4/10

ALWAYS DAILIES

These are what I normally get, they're the thinnest ones I've found and do the job. The stick is great, I've never had one of these shift about. 

Comfort: 9/10
Noise Factor: 6/10
Flow holding capacity: 2/10
Prettiness: 6/10




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*I received the Ms Flow Trial Box for review purposes, all opinions are as always, my own. 
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