OXO Tot & For Aisha | Review

FeatureOXOAishaSince we started our weaning journey, Elijah has loved everything that I have given him (except for spinach but I don’t blame him!). I usually just give him a bit of whatever we are having, but I also like to keep some pouches in the house for those days I can’t be bothered to cook (I’m sure we all have them) or if we’re out and about and I just don’t have enough time. I find that pouches are also a good way to introduce Elijah to new flavours that I don’t usually cook with. We were recently sent a weaning bundle by OXO Tot and For Aisha to try out and Elijah has been loving it.

IMG_6333IMG_6335

We have been a huge fan of OXO Tot since Elijah started on solids. The sippy cups are the best I have come across because they don’t spill and you don’t need to put a cap on them. Elijah has just recently learnt how to drink out of it properly, but he also likes to shake it throw it around so it’s great not having to worry about him spilling water everywhere! The one we have been sent also has a second lid with small holes around the edges to use for drinking like you would out of a normal cup.

One of Elijah’s favourite things to do it put food anywhere but in his mouth. We haven’t had much success with baby led weaning yet because he just squishes food in his hands and then drops it on the floor or on his lap. The bib with the tray to catch food is definitely one of my favourite things and Elijah likes it too because when he drops food he can pick it up again by himself out of the tray and throw it around some more. It is easy to wipe clean and also rolls up to save space.

There are three bowls, one with a divider that we use to separate his meat and veggies and two others with lids that clip on really securely – these will be great for our trip to Australia in September. The spoons have a rubber coating on them which make them really gentle on his gums while he is teething. The spoons also easily fit into the bib when it is rolled up which is handy for when we are out and about.

IMG_6353IMG_6365

As I said before, Elijah has loved all of the food I have given him since we started weaning and the For Aisha pouches are no exception. For Aisha is a new baby food company based in the UK that makes pouches of food made from halal meats with lots of different herbs and spices. Some of the flavours include tomato and chunky chickpea curry, shepherd’s pie with lamb and aromatic spices and Elijah’s favourite mild curried chicken dhal with lentils which he couldn’t get enough of. He was pulling himself forward in his chair trying to get it in his mouth more quickly! I have shied away from cooking with spices so far because I’m never sure how much spice to put in for a baby and in all honesty cooking with spices scares me a bit. They contain only natural ingredients – so no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours. The For Aisha pouches have been a great way of introducing Elijah to some new flavours that I wouldn’t usually cook with. They cost a very reasonable £1.45 and are available to purchase in ASDA, Tesco, Morrison’s, Boots and Wholefoods as well as some other places. To find out where to buy them and for more information check out their website.

 

 

Message In A Bottle: A Personalised Children’s Adventure Book

For a little while now, I have been working behind the scenes on something very special. I have had the privilege of being part of the launch team for Message in a Bottle – a personalised children’s adventure book.

MIAB_preview_01

When I first heard about Message in a Bottle, I was so excited and knew I just had to apply to be a part of the launch team. When my place was confirmed, I couldn’t have been happier. Elijah is really starting to love books, looking at the pictures and touching the pages with his little hands as I read to him. I have seen personalised books before but this is just something else – I’ve never heard of anything quite as special and unique as Message in a Bottle and I knew it would be perfect for Elijah. Although he doesn’t understand it yet, he has been through something big and scary having had heart surgery to mend his poorly heart. This book will help him to understand what he has been through and will let him know just how much he is loved.

MIAB_preview_01_b

What Is It?

Message in a Bottle book is a unique personalised children’s book created by author Tom Percival and illustrator Tuire Siirainen. The story takes your personalised message to your child and follows the adventures of a little bird called Kiki as she travels around the world to deliver the message to your little one. The story is fun and educational with beautiful illustrations that are vibrant, eye-catching and stimulating for children.

The story involves both you and your child and is the perfect keepsake to be treasured for a lifetime. There is also an interactive online kid’s portal that aims to enhance the experience of the story by providing educational information about the animals in the story, as well as having fun quizzes, printables and activity sheets for your child to enjoy.

MIAB_preview_05_b

MIAB_preview_07

How Does It Work?

You create a personalised message to your child for Kiki to find in the story

MIAB_preview_02

You follow Kiki as she sets off on a trip around the world to deliver the mysterious message to your little one

MIAB_preview_04

MIAB_preview_03

After a long journey filled with excitement and adventure Kiki reaches her final destination and delivers the message to your child

MIAB_preview_06

The Launch Team

Being part of the launch team has been such a privilege. We have seen some incredible illustrations and videos of the drawing process. We have been able to give constructive feedback on the book, even on something as important as the front cover. We have also given feedback on the design and images for the website, helped design the template for the personalised message and made suggestions for the content of the children’s section of the website.

Kickstarter Campaign

Message in a Bottle is raising funds over on Kickstarter so it can be published. Click here to find out more and back the project.

 

Six Month Update | Little Monkey

E6months

I am six months old.

I weigh 12lb 9oz.

I am can roll from my back to my front and my front to my back.

I have learnt how to scream when I am happy.

I also scream when I am sad.

I can say “mama”.

I am still dribbling lots!

I like to watch mummy and daddy eating their food and I open my mouth wide to show them that I want to have some too!

I don’t like it when mummy or daddy leave the room, I miss them and it makes me cry.

I love having my hair washed.

Like this post? Follow me on Bloglovin’

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Pinterest

xx

Five Month Update | Little Monkey

I am five months old.

I weigh 12lb 5oz.

I am very cheeky and love to smile and laugh.

I like to chat to my toys.

I can grab onto my feet.

I can blow raspberries.

I am starting to have fruit & vegetable purées.

I like playing and laughing with mummy and daddy.

I scream loud when I am really upset.

I dribble lots because I am teething!

I like to chew on my hands and Sophie La Girafe.

I don’t like being put down – I just want to be cuddled all the time.

I love going in the bath.

I love my milk.

Like this post? Follow me on Bloglovin’

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Pinterest

xx

Happy 2nd Birthday Little Blog!

Today my blog is celebrating its 2nd birthday. Woo hoo!

Wow, what a busy year it’s been. I haven’t posted as much as I would have liked to with all the stress I have been under but I am so thankful to have this blog to use as a creative outlet.

My son was born at the end of 2015 and since his birth we have had lots of ups and downs.

Elijah was born with a hole in his heart and he had open heart surgery last month to have it closed. He is recovering well but we are still waiting to see a heart specialist. I am in the process of writing Elijah’s heart story so keep an eye out for that. I am currently taking part in a CHD (Congenital Heart Defecr) awareness challenge over on my Instagram.

Just before we found out that Elijah needed surgery we had booked a trip to visit my family & friends in Australia. We had to cancel our trip when we found out and are waiting to see the heart specialist before we book again. I’m hoping to go in June while my sister is on school holidays.

Joel and I also celebrated our 6 year anniversary last month. He is so kind, caring, loving and supportive. I wouldn’t have gotten through the last few months without him and I feel so lucky to have him in my life. He means the world to me and I love him more and more every day <3 (sorry for the soppiness, I’m done now!)

While we were in the hospital for Elijah’s heart operation I was also made redundant. It was awful considering the circumstances and how long it took me to find full time work when I came to the UK. I am now in the process of setting up an Etsy store in the hope that I will be able to start making some money from that to allow me to stay home with my son.

I think those are all the major things that have happened. I have made some lovely new mummy friends and lots of new blogger friends too.

Let’s see what the next year has in store for us.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read and comment on my blog, it really does mean the world to me. If you have any suggestions for post you would like to see on my blog please let me know and I’ll add them to my list.

I hope you’re having a lovely day wherever you are!

Xxx

Kinetik Non-Contact Thermometer | Review

Before my son was born, I bought a Tommee Tippee grooming kit that included a digital thermometer.  It wasn’t long before I discovered that taking his temperature with it was going to be a major struggle. Since Elijah recently had heart surgery, he is more prone to illness and infections. I had been thinking about getting a new thermometer when I was kindly asked to try the Kinetik Non-Contact Thermometer.

IMG_6269

 

I have been trying for just over a week now during which time my little boy has been poorly and this little device has truly been a life saver. It saves so much time and is miles easier than using any other thermometer that I have tried in my life. You simply take off the cap, hold the thermometer 2-5 centimetres above your child’s forehead and press the scan button. Then it gives you a reading within 3 seconds. How easy is that?

The Kinetik Non-Contact Thermometer is suitable from birth and makes it so much easier to get an accurate temperature reading as quickly as possible during the stressful times when your child is ill. It takes your child’s temperature without you having to wake them, upset them or make them uncomfortable by poking and prodding them with a digital thermometer.

IMG_6276

 

If you aren’t sold already, let me tell you a few more things this amazing thermometer can do. It can be switched to two other modes that allow it to read room temperatures as well as surface temperatures. This makes it so quick and easy to check the temperature of your baby’s milk or the temperature of the bath.

IMG_6279

 

I am so pleased with the Kinetik Non-Contact Thermometer and couldn’t recommend it more to other parents. It provides a quick, accurate reading and best of all it is non-invasive. It is available from Argos, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, The Co-op, Morrisons and Asda for £19.99 which is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Four Month Update | Little Monkey

 

I am four months old.

I weigh 11lb 1oz.

I am a heart warrior and have a bravery line to show it.

My hair is growing longer and is starting to curl at the ends.

I have big blue eyes.

I can grab onto my toys.

I can clasp my hands together.

I like to watch my toes wiggling.

I like watching The Hive and Bubble Guppies.

I like seeing my friends at baby play.

I don’t like it when mummy or daddy put me down or I can’t see them.

I don’t  like having wind!

I love chewing on my hands.

I love going in the bath.

I love chatting and cooing.

I love smiling and am starting to laugh too!

I love my grey bunny rabbit and brown puppy dog toys.

Like this post? Follow me on Bloglovin’

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Pinterest

xx

Three Month Update | Little Monkey

Three months

I am three months old.

I weight 10 lb 11 oz.

I can hold my head up.

I can flap my hands against my toys.

I like going out exploring with mummy.

I like looking around at everything.

I like watching cartoons on the TV.

I don’t like going in the bath at the moment – it makes me scream!

I don’t like getting wind in my face.

I love my milk.

I love smiling at mummy and daddy.

Like this post? Follow me on Bloglovin’

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Pinterest

xx

Labour & Birth Story | Little Monkey

It has taken me so long to find the time to write this, partly because I haven’t had time, and partly because those first few weeks of Elijah’s life were traumatic and it is hard to think about it without getting upset. I started writing this post at the beginning of November when my mum came to visit me from Australia and have only just finished it today.

If you don’t like hearing icky details, I suggest you stop reading now.

IMG_5914

On the 30th of September 2015, (the day before my due date) I had my last appointment with the Midwife in the afternoon and she offered me a sweep to try to get things moving. I was hesitant but I agreed to give it a go and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. At that point I was 2cm dilated and the baby was about 2/5ths engaged so I thought labour might be a while off yet. She booked me in for an induction on the 11th of October, just incase he hadn’t made an appearance by then.

On my due date, the 1st of October, I spent the day at home resting as much as I could and by about 3 pm I was convinced nothing was going to happen. An hour later at 4 pm I had a show and started feeling cramp-like pains in my tummy and back almost immediately. I texted Joel at work to tell him I thought something might happen soon. Throughout the evening the pains gradually got stronger and closer together (I didn’t think they were contractions at this point). I had two warm baths and Joel sat in there with me pouring warm water down my back every time I felt a pain. At about 11 pm when they were coming every 2-3 minutes and I was vomiting and bawling my eyes out. We rang the hospital and they said to go in so they could examine me and see where things were at.

When we got to the hospital they checked me and said I was still only 2cm. I had excruciating pains in my back, and we were told the baby was back to back. They sent us home because I wasn’t in “active labour” and told me to rest as much as possible because the baby could still have been days away. They gave me some codeine for the pain which I promptly threw up upon leaving the hospital which made me cry again.

I didn’t get any sleep that night as the pain in my back was unbearable. I was hunched over a humongous pile of pillows with my tens machine on full power and still I could feel everything. I honestly don’t know how I got through the night. I got in the bath again at about 7:45 am the next morning and at around 8 am my waters went in the bath followed by some more blood like when I had a show the day before. We rang the hospital and they told us to go in so they could check me again. When they said I was 8cm dilated I burst into tears. I didn’t know how much longer it would be before the baby arrived but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be too much longer. I don’t remember the contractions getting more frequent after that really, it seemed like they were back to back from when my waters broke. I went in the birthing pool and had some gas and air which helped ease the pain a little bit but I could still feel everything in my back.

When I came out the pool to be examined again about 6 hours later I was 9.5cm. I hoped it wouldn’t be too much longer after that and sure enough before to long I felt the urge to push. It’s true when they say that your body just knows what to do. I was pushing for about 35 minutes before our baby was born and I don’t really remember much from that stage of labour. All I remember was the burning towards the end. I was breathing in a lot of the gas and air, and it made me feel very spaced out. In hindsight it felt a bit like I was in a cartoon – I know it sounds strange! But funnily enough Joel said the same. Afterwards when I asked Joel what I was like during labour he said I didn’t scream or get mad – except when he tried to look at my foof I shouted at him and told him not to look. I had a lot of pain in my back and chest afterwards and thought it may have just been from all the pressure my body had been put under.

Elijah James was born on the 2nd of October at 3:46 pm weighing 8lb 2oz. Those first few moments after his birth are indescribable. It was the most amazing moment of my life and I don’t think I could find the words to do it justice. When my precious little boy was placed in my arms Joel and I both cried. Joel kissed me hard, and we both covered Elijah in lots of smooches. Joel cut the umbilical cord, and even though he struggled with it later on he said he was happy to be able to help his son take his first breaths on his own.

IMG_4602

The first few weeks of Elijah’s life felt like they didn’t really even happen as we got off to a bit of a rough start. We were both readmitted to hospital on day 5. Elijah had lost 10% of his birth weight, he was quite jaundiced and they suspected he needed light treatment. He was also very dehydrated because my milk had only started to come in the day before. I had been having ongoing pains in my chest and back and felt out of breath just from having a conversation. After having x-rays, ultrasounds and blood tests they discovered that I had leftover tissue that had caused an infection to develop in my womb. I had to have a D&C which was terrifying. After the D&C I felt one thousand times worse for a few hours. I felt like I was going to bleed out (I completely soaked about 5 maternity pads in the space of half an hour), I had a temperature and couldn’t stop shaking.

I cried so much those few days we were back in the hospital. Whenever they took Elijah away from me for a few minutes to do blood tests I would cry, I hated being away from him. I was breastfeeding and pumping afterwards to try to increase my milk supply. No one showed me how to use the pump properly so I would pump for half an hour on each side and then Elijah would be ready for another feed. It was exhausting. I cried when I found out I had to have surgery, and afterwards too. I felt like some of the staff in the hospital weren’t very helpful. For the most part we were looked after and if I asked for help they did, but they kept saying they would get me a double pump to make it easier (which never happened) and there were several occasions where I asked for painkillers and was never given any. And after I came out of surgery as they were wheeling my bed back into the room they ran it into the sink on the wall, hard. And it hurt. Joel said he was surprised it didn’t come off.

Every time I cried someone would say to me that they strongly recommended I go back on antidepressants – they thought I had postnatal depression because the baby blues should have passed. I told them I was just exhausted and sore and wanted to be at home where I could be comfortable and rest. I was adamant that I didn’t want to go back on medication. They rang the psychiatrist that I had been seeing throughout my pregnancy to ask for his opinion and to see if the medication I was on would be ok to take while breastfeeding. They told me he had strongly suggested I go back on medication as well, that I couldn’t breastfeed while taking it and they wrote me a prescription. A few weeks later when I saw him he said that wasn’t the case at all. He told them the current advice for the mediation I had been taking was that it was okay to take while breastfeeding. He also told me the hospital staff told him I wanted to go back on medication which is not true at all. He said if I decided to I could go back on what I was on before, and that I could ring him to have a talk about it beforehand. We have been home with our beautiful boy for 9 precious weeks now and I haven’t even got the prescription filled so I think I’m doing just fine.

IMG_4646

I am loving every moment with my precious little monkey, and love watching him grow and develop. I fall a little bit more in love with him every single day. The one thing no one told me about was just how much I would fall in love with his daddy too, all over again. I love watching my two boys bond and fall in love, it is the most precious thing in the world.

 

Like this post? Follow me on Bloglovin’

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Pinterest

xx

Two Month Update | Little Monkey

Two Months

I am two months old.

I weigh 9lb 14oz.

I can sleep for 6-8 hours at night.

I can kick my feet and flap my hands.

I can turn my head to look at things.

I like looking out the window.

I like laying on my tummy on mummy’s lap or in her arms.

I like it when daddy plays with my feet.

I like going in the bath.

I like looking around at everything.

I don’t like having my nappy changed – but I am getting used to it!

I don’t like having my clothes taken off – it makes me feel cold!

I love morning cuddles with mummy.

I love chatting and cooing.

I love smiling at mummy and daddy.

Like this post? Follow me on Bloglovin’

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Pinterest

xx