Saturday, 31 December 2016

Me and Mine - December

I can't quite believe that another year is over. We started 2016 as a four and we've ended as a five. It was always our hope and dream to add to our family this year but you never quite know if things will work out the way you hope. I feel so grateful and blessed to be a five.
 
 
We've had an ok year. My pregnancy was rough with my HG but we got through it. Parker started nursery and Paige started school. Then of course Harleigh joined us, we've had a pretty big year.

I have certain hopes and dreams for 2017 and I'm excited to see what happens. 2017 will see Paige turning 5, Parker turning 3 and starting pre-school, Harleigh turning 1 and me and Mark celebrating our 10 year anniversary. I wonder what else it will bring!

 
This months pictures are such bad quality (taken on my front camera while almost dark outside) but they are some of my favourite. We are just snuggled on the sofa after a lovely festive time together. We didn't do anything special for Christmas, we never usually do. We just love spending it together as a family.
 
See you next year!
 
Nicola Xx

The Me and Mine Project

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Mummy and Me - December

The second month as a mum of three. It's starting to sink in that I actually have three children. I love it. 

This month is a strange one. The excitement of Christmas, the tiredness from having a newborn plus two older children. I'm looking forward to the new year so we can get back to normal after the holidays. It is so nice to be lazy with the kids instead of rushing around in a morning to get ready for the nursery and school runs. 
 
This months pictures are from the beginning and the end of December. Two special times. The first is from our first morning without daddy. We even had time for a selfie before the school run. 
 
 
 
The second is from our first Christmas as a five. We didn't do much over Christmas and spent it together at home. We always spend Christmas Day just us and that's how we like it. We love to have the kids to ourselves. Boxing Day is usually when we see family but this year we spent that just us too. We had such a lovely day filled with too much food and loads of family and games. We all loved it. 
Just like that the year is over. I hope you like linking up Mummy and Me and I hope to see you next year for more. 

 
Nicola Xx

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes


Friday, 23 December 2016

Harleigh - 2 Weeks Old

This week Harleigh got her first cold. It is so sad to watch. It was pretty much a given what with all the nursery and school germs from the older two. Plus I'm full of cold and have a cough. I haven't really gotten any better from just before giving birth when I had that sickness bug. She has a stuffy nose and that has resulted in not a lot of sleep for us at all.
 
 
She had a growth spurt this week and was really wanting feeding more often, another effect on sleep. She is now eating 3oz every 1-3 hours. On day 13 she weighed 7lb 6oz so she is really starting to gain weight now.

She has more noticeable awake periods during the day now, usually morning and evening times. She is also tracking our movements with her eyes and will follow us when we move. Her head control is getting better and she loves tummy time.


She is such a happy baby and rarely cries, normally only if she has a dirty nappy or is hungry. She still loves to be held and we love it just as much.

 
I wish time would slow down.

Nicola Xx





 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

2 Weeks Postpartum - Baby #3

At 2 weeks postpartum I'm doing well. I feel more or less back to myself. I'm not in any pain anymore and things seem to be calming down. 
 
At 10 days I was checked to make sure my stitches  are healing well and they are. They really don't hurt anymore, not even when I'm busy. I do bleed more when I'm more active though. 
 
I've got about 1 stone to go now until my pre pregnancy weight so I've lost another 2lb. I'm still using the belly Bandit (full review soon) and my belly now measures 33inch which is 1.5inch smaller than last week, we are slowly getting there.
 
Almost 2 weeks postpartum belly shot
I've noticed that my hair seems to be falling out a lot more already. I don't remember it happening so soon last time. My skin is also starting to play up a little, I'm guessing it's all the hormones calming down and getting back to normal. 
 
Our first morning with daddy back at work
Mark went back to work at exactly 2 weeks after. That meant me getting all three children up, ready and out the door by 8:25 at the latest. I'm happy to say we managed! Some mornings I even get time to put the washer on before we leave.
 
I'm really loving having three, so much so that I cried at the thought of not having anymore children, we will have to see what the future holds.
 
My next update will be at one month. I'm already excited to start working out and to fit into my pre pregnancy jeans. I'm still currently wearing regular jeans just a size bigger than usual.
 
Nicola Xx



Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Speech Therapy

Paige said her first word at around 6 months old. After that she was always a little slow to talk in proper sentences and words were never super clear. At her two year check up we mentioned it and everyone just kept telling us that when she started nursery it would come on leaps and bounds and to not worry. She started nursery a few months after and her speech did improve a little but not loads.

She then started pre school at three years old and we mentioned her speech to teachers but they didn't seem worried so we kind of plodded along and forgot all about it.

Then September 2016 came around and Paige started school. At her first parents evening her teacher mentioned her speech and how Paige was a bright girl but sometimes her speech lets her down. We knew that she wasn't on the same level as some of her peers and really didn't want it to effect her school work. We had also noticed that she was getting really shy about her speech and it was starting to effect her confidence. The teacher suggested speech therapy and so I got the ball rolling.


A couple of weeks ago we had our first meeting with the speech therapist. It was a meeting to see if Paige really did need speech therapy, it turns out she does. During the appointment the lady asked me questions about Paige's speech and why we were concerned. She then had a little activity for Paige to do. It involved a lot of flash cards and she wrote down phonetically what Paige said in reply to her questions.

Afterwards Paige went to play and the lady explained to me that most children who need speech therapy have 1-2 speech issues that need correcting. It turns out that Paige has 5-6! This can make it really hard to understand her if you aren't used to her speech, but even me and Mark sometimes struggle to understand her.

The lady explained that some sounds come around three years so Paige was behind with those but others they don't expect to fully become clear until closer to five. Paige is currently four and a half so the plan is to work on the earlier sounds and by the time they have done that she will be closer to 5 so they will then be able to see if she still needs help with the other sounds.

We are currently waiting for another appointment which will see Paige start some group sessions and then some one to one sessions. I'm a little nervous and I know Paige is too but it will be nice to finally get her the help she needs. My only wish is that we'd pushed harder when she was younger.

Have you had any experience with speech therapy?

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Hipp Organic Baby Care Range

Babies skin can be the most amazing skin ever. With my children we've had a real mix. As a baby Paige had really sensitive skin and developed baby eczema at around 3 months old. Parkers skin was really good and we've luckily never had a problem. 

When Harleigh was born she was covered in vernix. The midwife told us it was the best moisturiser so we left it on her and rubbed it in. I'm always very hesitant to use any products on my babies skin because of how Paige's skin was. We don't usually use anything for a good few weeks and now with Harleigh still don't use wipes on her. She is now almost 5 weeks old. 
 
 
Hipp Organic have recently launched a new baby care range and asked us if we wanted to try it. It was specially developed to be free from ingredients like PEG and parabens. This makes it perfect for babies sensitive skin. 
 
Harleigh was sent some items from the range plus an adorable personalised towel. The wash range includes...Baby foaming hand wash, head to toe baby wash, baby shampoo and the good night baby bath. 
 
 
I love the packaging of the foaming hand wash. It's a sweet little duck shaped bottle. Perfect for kids!! It smells quite strong but it isn't a bad smell, it smells very clean.
 
The head to toe wash is a great all rounder, perfect from head to toe as the name suggests. It comes in a handy pump which makes it super easy to use when bathing little ones.
 
The baby shampoo is another lovely product in the line. It foams up nicely and has a nice smell.


My favourite product we were sent has to be the good night baby bath. It makes lovely bubbles when added into the bath and smells of lovely sandalwood which helps settle and soothe baby in the bath.  
 
All the products left Harleighs skin feeling lovely and soft. They didn't feel harsh and I felt confident using them knowing they were free from all the nasty ingredients.
 
Nicola Xx
 
*Disclaimer - We were sent the above items to review for the purpose of this post but all views and opinions are my own*

Monday, 19 December 2016

Why Poor People Always Pay More

I wouldn't say that we are a well off family but I wouldn't say we are poor either. We manage on one income and have a nice house, although rented, a car and manage to treat the kids every now and again.
 
Cashfloat have looked into some reasons why the poor pay more. Do you agree?
 
3 Reasons why the Poor Pay More
3 Reasons why the Poor Pay More by Cashfloat.co.uk.


I agree with the housing statements 100%. We currently rent and I hate the thought of how expensive it is but right now we just cant afford to save for a mortgage. It's so hard to get onto the housing market but we luckily have an amazing landlord.

Do you rent?

Nicola Xx

*Sponsored Post*

Review - Tommee Tippee Steam Steriliser

When bottle feeding you need a good way of sterilising the bottles so they are safe for baby to use. We've tried a few in the past and personally prefer the electric steam sterilisers, they are super easy to use and do a good job.
We were recently sent the new Tommee Tippee Electric Steam Steriliser  to try out. The steriliser can hold up to five Closer To Nature bottles or four Ultra bottles. The cycle takes 5 minutes and once finished the bottles stay sterile inside the steriliser for 24 hours if the lid is kept closed. This makes it really convenient to wash and sterilise the bottles before bed and have them ready for you and baby in the morning. The steriliser just uses water to steam the bottles so there is no worry of additional chemicals and its kills 99.9% of germs.
 
So how do you use the steriliser?
 
Once you've washed your bottles in hot, soapy water and rinsed, you then need to take the lid off the steriliser and fill a bottle with 80ml of cold water and pour that into the bottom. Theres a handy little guide on the bottle which makes it super easy to measure out.
 
 
After you've done that simply add your bottles upside down to the bottom rack. You then add your teats and lids to the top rack.



Then simply press the on button and wait five minutes for the cycle to complete. I told you it was super simple!


Once finished the bottles are then sterile and ready to use.

The steriliser is super easy to use, works really well and looks nice on the kitchen counter. It isn't huge so doesn't take up a lot of space either. You do need to let the steriliser cool down a little after the cycle has finished but that's the same with any steam steriliser. The steriliser is also BPA and phthalate free.

Have you used the Tommee Tippee Steam Steriliser? We love ours!

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - I was sent the above item for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are my own*

Friday, 16 December 2016

Harleigh - 1 Week Old

This first week has flown by. It is by far one of my favourite weeks. I love this newborn bubble and I never want it to end. The first week is always so lovely, you're getting to know your baby, the tiredness from the night feeds hasn't sunk in yet and your still on that birth high.

 
During Harleighs first week she was drinking 1-2oz of milk every 1-2 hours. She pretty much slept all the time but would sleep for longer stretches during the day rather than at night. We are all soaking up the newborn cuddles and she is pretty much constantly held.  

She had a little bit of jaundice but no one was that concerned as she was eating well and happy in herself.

 
We had a visit from the midwife on day 3 and Harleigh weighed 6lb 13oz so she had only lost 1oz since birth which is great. We later found out that they shouldn't really of weighed her on day three as it then messed up later weights. She is in newborn clothes although most are big and in size one nappies.


On day 4 her cord fell off, I can't believe that it happened so quickly. She is already growing up so quickly.

Both children absolutely adore her and constantly fuss over her and want to hold her and share their toys, it's so sweet.

Read my one week postpartum update and Harleighs birth story.

Nicola Xx

Finding The Perfect Baby Gift

Having a baby just before Christmas is a new experience for us. Paige was born in May and Parker in June. When it came to buying them gifts they were at the perfect age for starting to play and really enjoy toys so that made things really easy.


This Christmas Harleigh will be 5 weeks old. I'll be honest, it's made gift buying a little tricky. We want to get her a few little items that we can cherish and remember her first Christmas but also want to get her some more practical things like clothes and toys. Babies grow that quickly so I think that getting her a few toys she can grow into is a good idea.

Family have also started to ask me what to buy her. Its such a funny age as no one really knows what to get and they don't want to buy the same thing. It can be hard to buy the perfect gift when they are so young.

Mamas & Papas has launched a handy little online tool to help. The Mamas & Papas gift finder helps you find the perfect baby gift by answering 5 very simple questions. Once you've answered them all it suggests some gifts. It's really that easy! Plus one of the questions is about price so you can find the perfect gift in your budget. What I love about the gift finder is that it might suggest items which you hadn't previously thought of.

How do you find the perfect baby gift?

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Siblings - December

Harleigh arrived two days after I posted my last sibling post. I still can't quite believe that she is here and that she is almost one month old. Time really does go so, so quickly.
 
This month I have loved taking pictures of them all together. I really want to try capture them all at this stage but getting three to look at a camera is already hard work! I'm really hoping that in the next few days I can try get some Christmas pictures of them all together. I also have pictures from when they all first met.

 
 
I love seeing them all together. It makes my heart melt. Its still kind of crazy that they out number me and mark but I love it! I adore these pictures.
 
Yes there are times when all three need me and I wish I could split myself into three but I love juggling them all and wouldn't change it for the word. I just wish time would slow down a little so I could soak up these early days more.
 
Paige and Parker both adore Harleigh and are the best big brother and sister. We really couldn't ask for more.
 
Nicola Xx
The Me and Mine Project

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas with Trends UK

Christmas is under two weeks away. Are you ready? We are almost done with just a few last minute things to buy for the kids and family.

If you're still struggling for ideas why not check out Trends UK. Trends UK sell STEM toys. These are science, technology, engineering and mathematical toys to you and me. All of these help children learn and develop.

I love getting Paige and Parker toys that help them learn and develop. Their minds are like sponges and anything that can help them learn is a huge plus. They just see the toys as fun which is great as they have no idea that their actually learning things. I much prefer these sort of toys over teddies.

For Parker we've got him the Peppa Pig Laugh and Learn Laptop and Peppa's Alphaphonics Campervan. Both are great learning toys and also help with shapes and colours. Paige started school in September and is currently learning phonics and learning to write. Parker has picked up on this and loves to join in so I think these toys will be great for him and her, if she wants to join in. The toys are super colourful and really fun! Plus he loves Peppa!

For Paige I went with the Shopkins Kinstructions. She loves Shopkins and can also use her other Shopkins items along with these. These are great sets to get children involved in pretend play and building with their hands. They are for 6 years+ and Paige is only 4 but it will be something we play with together and help her with. This means they will also last a long time.

Trends UK have a great range to pick from and have something for all ages.

Have you tried out any of the above toys? I'd love to know what you think.

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Help Save Newborns With Pampers and UNICEF

Whether you're a parent or not you've most likely heard of Pampers. They are a huge brand in the nappy world and very popular. Did you know that they've worked very closely with UNICEF since 2006 to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus from the world? They are officially half way towards their goal and have eliminated the disease in 19 countries! How amazing is that?!

Your baby can help!


For every pack of Pampers nappies and wipes sold through the "1 Pack = 1 Vaccine" Pampers-UNICEF campaign Pampers will donate 1 vaccine against maternal and newborn tetanus. This is running from October through December so there's still time to help, just look out for the UNICEF logo on special packs of Pampers. Since the campaign started a vaccine has reached a mother and her baby every single second and saved an estimated 500,000 babies!


There are lots of other ways to get involved and support the campaign. Just by sharing a picture of your baby with #1photo1vaccine or #PampersUNICEF on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) Pampers will donate the equivalent cost of 1 vaccine. You can also donate to UNICEF directly and become a monthly sponsor to help improve the lives of so many vulnerable children.


Kimberley Walsh is supporting the Pampers-UNICEF campaign this year. Kimberley says: “I feel hugely honoured to be supporting the Pampers-UNICEF campaign in its 11th year. As a mum to Bobby, and expecting my second child later this year, I feel great empathy with other mothers around the world who, just as I do, want nothing more than to deliver a happy, healthy baby. The reason I’m so passionate about this campaign is that mums and dads here in the UK can make a very real difference by doing nothing more than buying the Pampers that they need for their little ones. It’s phenomenal and makes me feel very proud of what we can achieve together."

All babies need nappies and it makes it so simple to help out. Just buy a pack of nappies with the UNICEF logo and Pampers will do the rest!

To find out more why not visit http://www.pampers.co.uk/why-pampers/pampers-unicef-partnership 

Nicola Xx

*Sponsored post*

Monday, 12 December 2016

Belly Bandit Competition

To celebrate the festive season I have teamed up with Belly Bandit to bring you a fantastic competition. Simply enter using the raffle copter form below for a chance to win your choice of item from the Belly Bandit website.

Perfect for expecting mums, new mums or even as a lovely gift to someone you know.

Since having Harleigh I have tested out the original Belly Bandit and have to say that so far I love it! I will be doing a full review soon so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Good luck!

Nicola Xx


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Friday, 9 December 2016

One Week Postpartum after baby #3

The weeks are already flying by at a crazy speed. I'm not ready for Harleigh to grow up and yet each day I can see her getting that little bit bigger and that little bit stronger. 


1 week postpartum
At one week postpartum I'm a little achy from delivery but generally I'm doing ok. I did have stitches so I am a little sore and swollen but not half as much as I was after having Paige. That was awful. Randomly my left leg and my upper back hurts. I'm putting it down to the labour and just my body getting back to normal but it is pretty strange. My milk came in on day 3 so that isn't helping my back pain. 

Straight out of hospital I weighed myself and I'd lost 8lb. The exact same amount after having Parker which is so funny because they weighed the exact same at birth! Over the course of the week I lost an additional 4lb so overall I've lost 12lbs so far. I put on 2 stone all together during my pregnancy. I always seem to gain the same each time, like my body just knows exactly what to do and how much to gain.
 
2 days postpartum
5 days postpartum
At the end of my pregnancy my belly measured 39inch, I'm now measuring 34.5inch. I am using the Belly Bandit but not religiously.
 
I am loving having a newborn again and she has fitted in perfectly. I'm not feeling too tired yet as I think I'm still on that birth high plus Mark is at home so he is helping out with the school runs although I did pick Paige up the day I gave birth and shocked a few people, haha!
 
I feel like my body knows how to recover quickly as does so a little better after each baby, maybe because I can't take it as easy as I could after having Paige.

How did you feel at 1 week postpartum?

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 8 December 2016

When Two Became Three

While pregnant one of the most exciting things I was looking forward too was Paige and Parker meeting Harleigh. Of course I couldn't wait to meet her but I was so excited to see all three of my babies together. It was a moment that I'd imagined in my head and one that I wish I could relive over and over again.
 
The first to meet Harleigh was Paige. Mainly because Parker had to be at nursery for half 8 and Paige started school later. Mark stopped off by the hospital before dropping her off to school. We always knew that Paige would be an amazing big sister as she already is but she loves Harleigh so much. She said from the very start of my pregnancy that she wanted a baby sister and that is what she got.
 
 
Paige beamed from ear to ear when she met Harleigh. It brought tears to my eyes. You could clearly see how much she loved her already. She fully understood that she wasn't in my belly anymore and that she was here to stay. She walked over to Harleigh and immediately started stroking her hand and face. Next she wanted to hold her. She sat in that blue chair and looked so proud to be holding her baby sister. I will never forget that moment.
 
 
Parker came to visit after nursery and just before they let us go home. Harleigh was already in her car seat, we were ready to go. He walked into the room and shouted for me. We said hello and had a cuddle and then I pointed down to the car seat. He walked straight over to Harleigh, said her name and then stroked her head and feet. He was so gentle. We then headed home and he very proudly wanted to help daddy carry the car seat out to the car.
 



We weren't sure how Parker would react but he is the best big brother. They are both adjusting to the new addition so well, we couldn't be prouder. How did your little ones adjust to new siblings?

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The Bump Company

If you follow me on Instagram you may remember seeing that we were chosen to be brand reps for The Bump Company. We recently received our first parcel from them and I wanted to share what we received.

The Bump Company are a small team who put together gorgeous baby gifts and keepsakes. They have everything from baby shower items, nappy cakes and new mum gifts. The clothing bouquets are all handmade to order.


Everything was packaged so gorgeously. I really is nice when a company takes care when packaging an item especially if the item would usually be bought as a gift. New mum/baby gifts are always so special to buy so you want to know that when your gift arrives it will look just as gorgeous as it does on the website, with The Bump Company it will!


We received some gorgeous things from the new items. First up was the very sweet Baby Sock Bud. This is a gorgeous pair of socks wrapped up to look like a flower.


 
Next up are these equally as cute Fairy Cakes. These are a set of four pairs of socks. These are again packaged in a way to make them look like something else, this time some lovely fairy cakes. I love the idea of having them look like something else. It makes them such a lovely gift and so lovely to send and receive.
 
 
 
Next up are the Macaron Delights box set which are again socks that are packaged to look like macarons. In this set you get five pairs of socks ad each is wrapped to look like a macaron.
 
 
Last up is the Lickety Split Lollipop. This is a gorgeous 70cm x 70cm 100% cotton muslin
square wrapped to look like a lollipop. The muslin is soft and thick, it feels lovely and washes really well.
 

All the items we received are really lovely quality and so soft. I love that they are all really practical gifts but that they look really lovely too.
 
The items we were sent were more girly for baby girl but they do boy versions and gender neutral ones too.

We were also sent two little teddies for Paige and Parker, such a lovely thoughtful gift. Thank you!

I have a great competition for you to win a £50 voucher to spoil yourself or someone special. To enter simply use the rafflecopter form below and good luck!

Nicola Xx

•Competition will close on the 21st December 2016.
•Winners will be chosen at random.
•The prize cannot be transferred and no cash alternative is available.
•Voucher will be provided by The Bump Company.


UK ONLY

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