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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Book Review: Jo Frost's Confident Toddler Care

Cameron is by no means a naughty child, but since about sixteen months old he has had a rebellious streak to his nature and it reached the point where I had the health visitor over to check there was nothing up with his behaviour. She told me that he was likely just reaching the 'terrible twos' early and not to worry.

Since I have been pregnant and my bump has gotten bigger I do worry sometimes when he has a tantrum that he might hurt the baby so I decided to look for a book on how to care for toddlers. I had a look in Waterstones and came across Jo Frost aka Supernanny's book on Confident Toddler Care. Flicking through it I knew it was the perfect book for me and Cameron and ordered it off of Amazon for £5 cheaper on my phone (cheeky I know).

When the book came a couple of days later I couldn't wait to start reading it and it is fast becoming my bible. I love Jo's straight talking manner and the way she covers somewhat sensitive issues in a lighthearted but still serious manner is amazing. The book has really put my fears to rest as it shows how normal Cameron's behaviour is for his age whilst also giving me suggestions as to how to act when he shows this behaviour. I particuarly loved the section on introducing a new baby to your toddler and will be coming back to that in November when the baby comes.

I was pretty sure that Cameron was ready to potty train as he has started noticing when he needs the toilet and leaving the room to go etc as well as taking his pull up nappy off when he is wet. However, the book is so thorough with reading the signs and I have noticed he isn't quite ready yet but soon he will be. When he is I will be following the steps in the book as they make total sense and promise results in just a week!

The main issue I still have with Cameron is his sleeping patterns as he often still won't sleep through the night at almost 21 months (not ideal with another baby on the way!). I am in the process of reading Jo's section on bedtimes and getting toddlers to sleep and will definitely be making some changes to try and get him sleeping through once and for all!

I cannot fault this book. It has everything I need for Cameron and is set out in such easy to read and follow sections with handy tips and tricks along the way. I would recommend this book to anyone I know with a toddler. Amazing! Jo also has a book on Confident Baby Care which I will be getting for when the baby comes.

Think you Might be Pregnant?

As this pregnancy was planned I assumed I would be able to tell that I was pregnant as soon as it happened. However it was actually my mum, who knew I was trying, who first said she thought I could be pregnant as I had been having some pretty strong mood swings and getting more tired than usual. I didn't quite believe it though so was still shocked when I took the pregnancy test and found out I was indeed carrying baby number two. With Cameron as he wasn't a planned pregnancy, I had no idea I was pregnant to start with and the first thing that made me think I could be was my missed period.

There are all kinds of different early pregnancy symptoms to look out for and Liz Moore, a midwife from HiPP Organic has given some advice and answered some common questions about early pregnancy:

"Your pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your last period and lasts around 40 weeks. Fertilisation of the egg is generally considered to be around 2 weeks after the first day of your last period, so you are likely to actually fall pregnant around the beginning of the official ‘week 3’.
Missing your period is the first sign of being pregnant. However, there are other reasons for a missed period such as stress, illness, extreme weight loss or gain, coming off of oral contraceptives.
The best way to confirm your pregnancy is by taking a pregnancy test. Human Chorionic Gonadatrophin is a hormone produced by the developing placenta and can be detected in home pregnancy tests from around the time of a missed period.
Other signs of early pregnancy include:
  • Morning sickness nausea with or without vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Breast swelling, tenderness, tingling
  • Frequent urination
  • Mood swings
  • Constipation/diarrhoea
  • Increased sensitivity to smell
  • Strange cravings
  • Persistent metallic taste in mouth
  • Changes in libido
Is bleeding at the start of pregnancy common?
Some women believe they have had an early, light period which is in in fact an implantation bleed. Implantation bleeding is vaginal discharge which contains a small amount of pinky or brownish blood caused by the fertilised egg and sperm embedding in the uterine wall. It can occur 6-12 days after ovulation. Only 1/3 women experience this.
When should I start taking folic acid?
If you are hoping to become pregnant, or suspect you may be pregnant, remember to take a daily 400mcg folic acid supplement (and continue it until you are 12 weeks pregnant). Folic acid helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
When should I see a doctor?
If you have taken a positive pregnancy test, book an appointment to see your doctor to confirm the pregnancy and find out about antenatal care. You will have your first antenatal appointment with the midwife between weeks 8 and 12. If you haven't already checked to see if any medications that you are taking are safe to continue with during pregnancy, now is the time to do this".

Thanks to HiPP Organic for providing the information for this Blog post.

Active Antenatal

As you may remember, prior to finding out I was pregnant for the second time, I had been reguarly attending an exercise class for mums which I absolutely loved. My early pregnancy was pretty stressful as I had bad cramps and even went to A&E because they got so painful. After the cramps came extreme exhaustion and nausea which only left recently. I do feel like I could exercise again now but sadly don't feel I would keep up with the intense workout I was used to with the class anymore so am now having to find other ways to keep fit before the birth.


Getting some practise in for when this will be me!

I am planning on doing a lot of this, especially now the weather has improved. During the day I often get extremely bored so me and Cameron will be doing lots of walks by the seaside and around our local parks.

Prenatal Pilates DVD

As soon as I reached my second trimester I ordered this DVD off of Amazon. It does say you can use it throughout all three trimesters but I was a bit wary of exercising at all before twelve weeks due to my symptoms so waited. I have since used this DVD a couple of times and will definitely be using it more often as my pregnancy progresses. I have always loved the Ten Minute solution range and have about six of them from pre pregnancy. This DVD is great as it is targeted specifically to pregnant women so you know that the exercises are completely safe for you (although of course as with all exercise DVDs you should still consult with your doctor prior to using to ensure it is safe for you personally).

Antenatal Exercise Classes

I actually haven't started these yet but I have been looking in to them and told myself that 16 weeks was the perfect time to start getting back out there at a class tailored for pregnant women. I have found a few in my area and think I will be trying out the aerobics class first as it is the most similar to the class I was going to before.

Are you pregnant? Do you have any other exercise you find good for pregnancy?

Monday, 28 May 2012

My Pregnancy Summer Staples

So in a recent post I was moaning about a lack of nice clothes for pregnant women. I decided to go on the hunt with my remaining birthday money and stock up on some staple pieces for my summer wardrobe (hoping and praying the weather now stays nice!). The main things I seem to be wearing are floaty summer dresses and maxi dresses.

Summer Dresses

Although I do have some summer dresses from previous years which are suitable to be worn during pregnancy, these are my newest additions. The blue one is a maternity dress whilst the white it not. Both are from H&M.

Maxi Dresses

I loved maxi dresses in my last pregnancy and the great thing with these is that you don't even necessarily need maternity versions as most styles can accomodate a growing bump. Again, I have some maxi dresses from the last couple of years but these are my latest two. The floaty style is from a small high street shop in my local area whilst the block print dress is from Sainsbury's.

My Evening Maxi

On Friday I went out for my mum's leaving meal for work. It had been a hot day and I didn't feel like wearing my usual black maternity trousers for the meal so when I spotted this gorgeous leaopard print maxi in New Look I knew it would be perfect. Although it isn't from their maternity range, my growing bump fitted in fine and I felt confident I was less of a whale and more of a yummy mummy wearing it.

My new 'Heels'

The only problem with maxi dresses is how long they make them. I am by no means short at 5'6 but a few of my dresses do skim the ground if I wear my flats. Being pregnant I don't like to wear my heels even for an evening out as I feel off balance and uncomfortable so I decided to try and find a shoe in between. I saw these black wedges in Dorothy Perkins and was really pleased when I discovered they were in the sale for £20. They give me that extra lift I wanted whilst not being high. They are also casual enough to wear during the day if I wanted to. Love them!

I also took to the internet shops and am waiting on a couple of orders from ASOS and New Look Maternity. Here's what I ordered:


I don't always want to be wearing dresses so when I went on a hunt for some maternity denim shorts that weren't knee length (surprisingly hard!). I fell in love with these ones and can't wait to pair them with vest tops and flip flops on the beach!

New Look Maternity

I wanted a couple of basic vest tops to wear with my new shorts or my maternity jeans if the weather turns colder but in my local New Look store they only ever had big sizes left. Online I found these bright blue and white ones in my size so had to get them. The Special Delivery slogan t-shirt is gorgeous and I love wearing slogan tops during pregnancy so it's great for me.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Maternity Mayhem

One of the most annoying parts of pregnancy for me is how hard it is to stay looking good. Pregnancy and fashion aren't really things that go hand in hand. It seems that most shops are under some misconception that all pregnant women are a) over 30 and b) have no fashion sense from the minute that second line appears. It is so frustrating to go clothes shopping, something I have always enjoyed doing in the past, and finding nothing even remotely flattering to wear.

Just because I'm pregnant, doesn't mean I want to dress like this....

As this is my second pregnancy, I started showing very early. By nine weeks I was unable to wear normal jeans as the button hurt my stomach. I reluctantly pulled out my leggings from my last pregnancy and sighed. Why should I have to live in leggings and baggy tops for nine months just because I am having a baby. It doesn't make me any less of a woman. Why can't I be fashionable too? Last time I was pregnant I didn't start needing to change what I wore until around five months. At that point I tended to opt for maxi dresses, leggings, long tops and my trusty Mothercare maternity jeans.

Heavily pregnant with Cameron in 2009

This time round, my bump is much more spread out than with Cameron and I don't feel attractive in maxi dresses. I have been getting by with wearing my maternity jeans, this time from New Look, along with my tops from before I was pregnant. The weather hasn't been helping as I have been unable to wear any of my more flattering summer dresses which I would have been by this time two years ago.

Pregant this time round, in my trusty New Look maternity jeans

Yes, there seem to be more flattering selections online (ASOS for example, who don't share the common assumption that pregnant women never go anywhere that requires more than a pair of leggings), but as I don't have that much money, I can't afford the risk of not liking the clothes once they've been delivered. It seems that I shall either have to get creative with my clothing, or resign myself to another summer of being frumpy....

Are you pregnant this summer? What do you plan on being your pregnancy wardrobe staples?

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

It's the book that everyone has been talking about. An erotic trilogy apparently based loosely on the characters from popular book and film series Twilight. It was this that put me off reading the books as I can't stand Twilight, however, I don't feel this book reminds me of the Twilight premise at all.

I decided to get the free sample on iBooks to begin with, after reading yet more reviews online. I didn't know what to expect really as there are such mixed reviews out there. Some people say that the writing is awful and cringey and the storyline is pointless, where some people say the books are erotic and addicitive. I found myself finishing the sample within minutes and wanting more, bought the iBook for £2.99.

Having now finished the first book I would say I am a little in the middle of the spectrum. The book is a page turner and I have already bought the second and third books in paperback because I have really gotten into the story. However, I do agree to some extent that the author is really not very good at writing. She has poor grammar and tends to repeat phrases so often that it gets annoying (not to mention how many times the main characters say Mr Grey/Miss Steele).

On top of that there is the annoying 'subconscious' and 'inner goddess' she insists on going on about every other page which can get incredibly cringey to the point where I started to try blocking it out whenever the inner goddess would be mentioned. I would still recommend anyone who has yet to read it to give it a go despite these negatives as, like I say, I couldn't stop reading it so she must be doing something right. What I would say is that if you are easily shocked by sexual references then this might not be the book for you as there is sex in every chapter without fail and some of it is pretty explicit even for me, and I am not against experimentation.

Overall a good book and I will be starting the second one this afternoon.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Cameron: An Update

I feel like I haven't posted about Cameron in months, bad mummy...

He has grown up so much in the last couple of months, he is no longer my little baby but a proper little boy! He's now 20 months, not much longer until he turns two!! He has been talking for almost a year but he only recently started saying lots more words, chatting to people and himself all the time and stringing words together to start making sentences. His favourite words at the minute are: mum, nan, dad-dad, car, milk, juice, please, ta, night night, bye and my favourite and his most recent: love you! I seriously could not be happier with his progress and I am so proud of him.

He is such an affectionate litlle boy and he will happily come and give me cuddles especially when I've had a tough time with pregnancy hormones and am in tears. He is great at taking his afternoon naps now as well and will voluntarily go and get into bed and go to sleep for a couple of hours which gives me a lovely rest as well.

I want to start looking into him going to nursery for a couple of days a week once he turns two, not because I need him to but because I feel it would be good for him as he still doesn't socialise with other children very often and I want him to be confident when he starts going to preschool etc. He loves his second cousin Spencer who has just turned three and follows him round and plays with him whenever my aunt is down to visit.

Cameron is on the verge of potty training now. He is in pull up nappies which he takes off when he has done a wee and he has even managed his first wee on the grown up toilet (it would seem he has skipped the potty in favour of using what the grown ups use). I would love for him to be out of nappies by the time the baby comes so it is great that he is showing signs that he is almost ready now.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Pregnancy, the 2nd Time Round

When my boyfriend and I decided to start trying for this baby, I assumed I knew what I was letting myself in for, having already done the whole 'pregnancy thing' before. However, just 6 weeks later I was stood staring at the positive pregnancy test not believing it had all happened so fast. In fact, I was so shocked that I had to take a second test just to make sure the first was telling the truth.

Since then I have found it really weird trying to get back into the frame of mind I adopted when I was pregnant with Cameron. Things have felt completely different, though my mum assures me that I was actually very similar last time round, I obviously just can't remember. The main thing I can remember from last time was the first half of my pregnancy seeming to fly by whilst the second half dragged. This time I have felt like each week takes a month so am definitely feeling that come 20 weeks things are going to reach snail pace.

This time round I have been feeling so much more tired. I think this could be to do with the fact that I now have Cameron to amuse daily on top of the pregnancy nausea, exhaustion and mood swings. I have also started showing so much faster than last time, with a bump which made wearing normal jeans impossible by just 9 weeks. I am now 14 weeks and in full maternity clothing (more on my annoyance at this in a future post). Luckily the 'morning' sickness has now gone but I still find it a struggle getting my energy levels up each day, and find myself in my pjs by eight each night.

my bump at 14 weeks 2 days

The other thing that is much more apparent this time round is my stretch marks. As they never went away from when I lost the baby weight, the old ones are still there and now the new bump is pushing them back out again making me feel very unattractive. I didn't get any in my first pregnancy until I went overdue, so having them from this stage is weird. I will be attempting to at least stop them from getting worse with various lotions and potions (watch out for future posts on how this goes), any suggestions for creams that actually work would be great!

Enough of the moaning though. I know that pregnancy is a blessing and I would take all of the annoying symptoms and side effects for this baby. I'm currently counting down the weeks until my 20 week scan where we will hopefully be finding out the sex of the baby (yes, I know apparently there's no greater surprise than the surprise of finding out the sex at the birth but I like to be prepared and I want to go shopping!).

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Power of Ex

I was reading an article in the latest issue of Glamour magazine on thinking about what you have learnt from your past relationships, and I found this really interesting. I am the first person to slag off my ex boyfriends but, as the article suggests, I looked past the bad things and how the relationships ended and instead focused on what I have taken from these relationships which have shaped me as the person I am today.

My first boyfriend I started going out with when I was fifteen years old and I was with him on and off for the following two and a half years, finally splitting up with him just after my eighteenth birthday. The relationship was filled with cheating, arguments and making up and breaking up. What I came away with from it was the knowledge that I didn't need a man to survive as I had thought at the start of the relationship. It showed me that it was better to end things with someone who wasn't right for you than to stay with them for fear of being alone (something my mum had figured out just ahead of me when she finally ended her second marriage to my brother's dad). I also learnt more about myself. I learnt more about what I liked and didn't like and what I didn't want from a man (most notably that I didn't want to be cheated on and treated badly again).

I had around a six month gap before going out with my second boyfriend, a guy I had met on my Uni course in October and had started speaking to a lot over the Christmas break. We went out for eighteen months, but the cracks had started appearing after the first year together and things were awful between us by the time we finally split in June 2009. I learnt from that relationship that I should never settle for someone because they were a safe choice, someone who would calm my slightly wild ways and make me a better person as ultimately all it did was make me treat someone badly, which I am not proud of. I also learnt that I shouldn't change who I am to please someone. I had spent the relationship pretending I had a secret love for heavy metal when really I couldn't stand it!

After that relationship ended I ended up starting a long distance relationship with a guy I met through my work placement. He lived in London and we both worked long hours but managed to see each other once a week most weeks. We were together for six months before I ended it for fear of getting hurt. We were most probably about to get back together when I discovered I was pregnant with Cameron (we presumed at the time it was his baby but in fact he was the result of a short rebound relationship). As he never wanted kids, things went from bad to worse and we never recovered from it. Although most of my friends and family would say this was my worst relationship, I disagree as it taught me the most and was right at the time. I had been with someone who I couldn't be myself with for a year and a half before him and this guy allowed me to be totally myself. When I was pregnant and hormonal I ended up opening up to him more than I have ever opened up to anyone and so I also feel that he knows me the best. Most importantly I learnt what I wanted from a relationship and from life itself. He never wants kids or marriage and they are both things I definitely want. I view having children as the biggest achievement you can have and am very proud of where I have got in life so far. I also learnt that sometimes being with someone who isn't Mr Right but is Mr Right Now, isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it is the break from serious relationships you need to reassess what it is you want and to have some fun.

Ultimately all three of my previous relationships have taught me important life lessons and made me more aware of who I am myself, and the person I want to be with. I feel all three of them have helped me on the path to find my current boyfriend who I couldn't be happier with. I know some people are bound to be critical of the fact that I have been with him for seven months and am three months pregnant but I don't care. We both want children, I didn't want a big age gap between Cameron and a sibling, and we both knew early on how serious we were about each other. This is right for us so I don't care what anyone else thinks.

Have you learnt anything from your past relationships? Do you agree with me that your past shapes your future and helps make you the person you are today?

An Update: My Birthday Week and Very Exciting News!

This last week has been an exciting one. Last weekend I had my highlights done and then on Monday and Tuesday I had Minx toenails and acrylics done in time for my birthday on Wednesday.

I must admit that I wasn't looking forward to it much this year as I don't like the idea of being 23. That just sounds really old to me. Cameron was with his dad in the day so I took advantage of the peace and quiet and went to have my eyebrows threaded before an afternoon of shopping. In the evening I went out for a meal with my family, Cameron and my boyfriend which was nice.

My presents :D

With the boyfriend

My gorgeous little man

On Thursday I had a hospital appointment. There's nothing wrong with me though. The reason for my appointment was that I am expecting my second baby and I had my twelve week scan! I have suffered with bad nausea and exhaustion with this pregnancy, which is one of the main reasons I have not been feeling like blogging as much lately. The scan went really well and it was so nice seeing the baby with my boyfriend and Cameron there with me. The baby was very active and we saw them wave and kick their legs in the air.

Baby number 2 due in November

12 weeks 4 days baby bump

On Friday my boyfriend took me to stay at a posh local hotel and we went out for a lovely Italian meal before a walk along the pier and back to the hotel room to relax in front of the TV in peace. I had a really nice time. Last night I had some of my friends from school round for pizza and we had a great time catching up and exchanging birth stories.

Overall this week has been a hectic one but I have enjoyed celebrating my birthday and happy news with friends and family.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Birthday celebrations

Hi everyone! Just a quick post to say that's it's my birthday :D having a great day relaxing before a family meal tonight and going to a posh hotel with the boyfriend on Friday night.

Hope everyone has a brilliant week!
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