Monday, 22 July 2013

Lunar Baby?

It's a full moon tonight!

Now I'm not one to usually get excited about a full moon. I might keep an eye out for werewolves whilst taking the dogs on their nighttime walk but other than that the full moon doesn't really do much for me. Except this one.

You see, there are many that believe that a full moon can have an effect on pregnant women. So much so, in fact, that some labour wards even have higher staffing levels during full moons to make sure they can cope with all the babies popping out! Since I'm now 38 weeks pregnant (I know! 38!!) I'm kind of hoping that the old pie in the sky works it's mojo on me tonight too.

We did a little reading up on the theory last night and there seems to be a lot of conflicting studies into whether or not there is any correlation between the full moon and women going into labour. One thing that was noted though was that midwives and paramedics do believe there is correlation so who am I to argue with the experts?

The past couple of days I've had a few little twinges but nothing that really makes it feel like this baby is in any hurry to say hello, so tonight I'm going to switch off the lights, whip the bump out and lie in front of the open window and see if the moon can work it's magic on me. You never know, this time tomorrow I could have a special announcement to make!

In other news (although I'm sure you already know as it's on the tellybox every 5 minutes, on the radio probably every 3 and in all the papers) the Duchess of Cambridge is in the early stages of labour herself! She didn't quite wait for the moon to be at it's fullest tonight but since they say a full moon lasts three days, could the Royal baby be a lunar baby? Let's hope that Kate has an easy delivery of her little Prince/Princess and that her and Prince William get to meet their little heir sooner rather than later.

Friday, 19 July 2013

We're Waiting For You

For almost nine months

We've been waiting for you

I've carried you within me

I've done what I can to make you healthy and strong

Soon the day will be here when we'll hold you in our arms

Look into your eyes

Smile at your beauty

Listen to you laugh

For almost nine months

We've been waiting for you

Soon you'll be here

Our family will begin

With you in our arms

We'll carry you again

We'll be with you always

We'll protect you and love you

We'll clothe you and feed you

Most of all

We'll love you forever

We already do

We're waiting for you

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Product Review: MaterniCare Pre & Post Natal Nourishing Cream

Stretch marks!!

Yet another glamourous side of pregnancy.

During pregnancy your skin has to stretch something silly like two feet to make room for your expanding bump can you believe it? And that's not including any other expansion due to all the ice cream and chocolate you suddenly crave *cough* want *cough*! All that stretching has to give at some point and if you're unlucky you can end up with stretch marks. Luckily, however, there are lots of products out there designed to help either prevent or reduce the appearance of these angry, red tiger stripes.

One such product is MaterniCare Pre & Post Natal Nourishing Cream. I'm rather happy to say that the lovely people over at MaterniCare have sent me a tube of their nourishing cream to try out after noticing I was pregnant over on Twitter. I've now been using it for around two weeks and have to say I really like it!

I'm not the biggest fan of the smell of cocoa butter and many of the other stretch mark solutions out there seem to have this as a base ingredient, this doesn't (point 1 to MaterniCare). The ingredients in this cream include almond, avocado and grapeseed oils as well as vitamin E and calendula oil. They're top ingredient - Pro-Vitamin B5 is packed full of benefits for the prevention and treatment of stretchmarks as well as being excellent for moisturising the rest of your skin and keeping it hydrated and smooth. This pro-vitamin helps to reduce water loss, prevent itching and redness, helps to heal the skin and is excellent at increasing the elasticity of your skin - essential in stretch mark prevention (point 2 to MaterniCare). The scent of the cream is lightweight and refreshing, although I can't put my finger exactly on what the fragrance is I would compare it to after sun lotion - this is a good thing! It's not sickly sweet, not overpowering and feels cool and refreshing on the skin (point 3 to MaterniCare).

Oh and lets not forget it's hypoallergenic (point 4 to MaterniCare!) this stuff is brilliant!

A major factor in the prevention and treatment of stretch marks, as far as I'm concerned, is stimulating the skin to repair itself. As well as using a product that will nourish the skin you need to massage the skin as well. A lot of products out there are either absorbed too quickly or leave the skin feeling sticky and hot after application. This lightweight formula works very well for massage, it melts onto the skin quickly and isn't absorbed so quickly that you can't get a good massage. My advice would be to use it in sections, don't slather it all over your body and start massaging as you could be left with a little bit too much on the skin and get that sticky, oil-cream slick that we don't like. Apply in sections and massage until absorbed and you won't have a problem - even better get your other half to do it for you! It's a great bonding experience for you both and the baby and you get a free massage (point 1 to mummy!)

MaterniCare Pre & Post Natal Nourishing Cream will continue to be useful after the birth of your child(ren). The hydrating and repairing features will continue to aid your skins elasticity as it (hopefully - slightly worried about this!) reduces back after birth. It will continue to treat your stretchmarks and hopefully reduce them from their angry red to sliver and beyond as well as being super gentle on your skin.

Priced at £14.99 for 200ml this product isn't the cheapest out there but I do believe it's worth it. At 36 weeks pregnant I so far (touch wood, spit, cross your fingers, grab a rabbit's foot and spin around 3 times) have no new stretch marks and have just noticed some old ones (from previous weight gain) starting to look a little red. After using the nourishing cream for two weeks these haven't gotten any worse - Final point to MaterniCare!!

I'll be continuing to use this product for the rest of my pregnancy and afterwards - this being a yummy mummy malarky is hard work!

Disclaimer - The lovely people at MaterniCare sent me this product free of charge, this has not influenced my opinion of their product and all words and opinions in this blog post are my own.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Most Dangerous Recipe In The World...

I kid you not, this recipe is dangerous. Dangerous for you, your family and your best friend. This recipe can only be adapted to make it more dangerous. This is a recipe for...

Mug Cake!

This recipe makes cake far too accessible. When you've had a terrible day, when you're feeling hormonal, when you need a quick celebratory cake or on a day that ends in Y you can make a delicious cake in less than 5 minutes! 5 minutes! As long as you have the ingredients, but from now on I'm sure you will always have these ingredients ready.

There will be no pictures in this post because mug cakes are not pretty. They're functional. They do the job and they do it good. I've tried making them in the past and had a couple of disasters but I've since found the winning formula. This formula can be adapted to any fancy or simply to what you have in your treat supply to make your cake even better. Want it?

Well you can't have it!!

I'm joking, of course you can have it :)

The possibilities with this cake are endless. My current favourite is coconut sponge with strawberry jam. Follow the recipe above but add in 1TBSP of desiccated (not desecrated as I used to call it!) to the cake mixture, scoop out a dollop of mixture and add in as much jam as you like, plonk the mixture back on top and cook - jobs a good'un.

I'm so sorry to have burdened you all with this recipe. You'll never be without cake again. I'm so, so sorry.

Mwahahahahahaaaa! Enjoy!

Are you off to try this now? It's not too early for cake you know. Go, eat cake! And then let me know what your favourite flavour combination is.

On a side note... What do we think of that recipe card design? I think the colours need tweaking a little but I'm not sure which way to go?

Friday, 14 June 2013

I'm so excited!

I really cannot wait for our little one to arrive!

Well, I can wait for another 7 weeks to make sure she (and we!) are ready. 7 weeks! Where has it all gone? I cannot believe that in less that two months time me and my fabulous other half are going to be parents! It's crazy. Mad. Unbelievable. Exciting. Terrifying. Amazing. Fantastic. I can't wait!

Now, I know that for the first few weeks my main focus will be making sure she's happy, fed enough, changed at the right times and sleeping enough, but after that...well have I got some plans! And I don't mean plans just for the first months - I've got plans of things I want us to do together for the next couple of years. There will obviously be lots of practical things to think about, but I can't wait to have fun as a family. Going on days out together, teaching our little girl new and exciting things, watching her grow into a little person with her own opinions and dreams; it's all so new and exciting.

Here's a little list of things I'm looking forward to doing (in no particular order - they're all going to be fantastic):

1. Going for walks in the park! - This might not seem like a biggy but how much fun will it be? She'll be able to enjoy the fresh air, see birds, butterflies and squirrels running and flying around all over the place whilst watching her first two best friends run around like mad dogs (which they are!) :) As she gets older she'll be able to throw the ball for them and run around with them herself. I can see messy picnics and lots of laughter in the future for these days.

2. Going to the zoo! - I loved the zoo when I was little and still love it now. I'm planning on getting a family pass to London Zoo so that we can go whenever we want. She'll be able to pick out her most favourite animal (mine has to be the lions - roooaaarrr! hehe) and practise all her animal sounds!

3. Holidays! - Just how much more fun will it be to go on holiday with a little bundle of excitement in tow? It'll be the biggest adventure. Sun, sea, sand and buckets and spades! I'm already looking at those special UV suit things for kids and she will be wearing armbands at all times around the pool, we'll probably have an entire suitcase full of factor 50 but I won't be overprotective...not much!

4. Crafty times! - Of course my little one will spend afternoons with crayons, felt and sticky things! I remember loving to make things when I was little and lets face it, I still do. I can't wait to spend the afternoon getting messy to make something to give to Daddy the moment he gets home from work. I especially can't wait for the look of panic in Daddy's eyes as he tries to figure out exactly what it is he's been given by his little princess.

5. Musical memories! - My amazing fiance is a brilliant guitarist. He loves music and could put together a playlist for almost any occasion (I'm about to enlist his help to muster up a labour playlist - this will be his biggest challenge yet). I can't wait to watch him playing music to and with our little princess. There will be lots of noisy playtimes to come.

6. Sightseeing! - So this one is going to start off as a treat for me and my other half but as the little one gets older it will be for her too. We love history and we love visiting the historic landmarks around London (and the rest of the UK when we get a car!). We're planning a trip to the Tower of London as soon as we feel up to it after birth, we had planned one before but my back isn't going to handle the stairs so we're going to use this as an opportunity to take lots of fun pictures with the baby on our first proper family day out. When she's older we'll go to as many of the themed days as possible to get her excited about history and learning.

7. Ice cream! - It's no secret that I'm partial to a scoop of ice cream (or three) but I can't wait to watch our little one try ice cream for the first time. I remember giving it to our niece in Florida way back in 2009 and laughing hysterically as she screwed up her face and spat it out then grabbed hold of the cone to get herself a giant handful and eat the lot! One thing to remember - make sure we have a camera ready (and tissues)!

8. Bedtime stories! - How lovely is it going to be to read bedtime stories to our daughter? Making up tales about princesses and castles or witches and robots (who knows what she'll want?). Then reading books next to her to help her get started reading? We've already bought two books for her (yes, a bit early but we couldn't resist!) and I know it's going to melt my heart to watch my man reading to our little girl.

9. Toys! - How much fun are toys?! And toy shopping?! Argh!! We haven't already been to the Disney store to work our what cuddly toys we want to buy...nope not at all...haha! I love playing with my nieces and nephews (I even get my own sweets at the tea parties) and I can't wait to give our baby her first toys and watch her play and learn with them. I'll just have to resist playing with them myself! It's going to be amazing watching her imagination develop.

10. Watching her grow! - I still can't quite understand that there is a person with the potential to be anything they want to be growing inside of me right now (you'd think after nearly 33 weeks I would have grasped the concept by now). It really is a miracle. And when she's here I get to see her grow and develop into a real life person. I'll get to help her grow, watch her make friends, see her choose her passions, help her with her homework... watch out for her stealing my make up! Then when she's older I'll be able to watch her start a family of her own - just how amazing is that? (I will not break out into 'Circle of Life' just yet...though I can feel it coming on). This really is the most exciting adventure, this little person that we haven't even met yet is going to change our lives forever.

I can't wait.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Don't mention the S word!

Maybe I'll be brave and mention it...we'll see.

What is it with tastebuds in pregnancy? Seriously! What happens to them?

I mean, I was expecting cravings. I was hoping to be sending my other half off to the supermarket at 4am for hot wings and chocolate sauce just for kicks, but I wasn't expecting the huge list of things that I used to love but wouldn't be able to stomach. Or the things I've always hated and now miraculously can't get enough of!

My most exciting craving to date has involved eating a packet of cheese and onion crisps with a plate full of garlic olives - not very weird and wonderful. I'm a little bit disappointed in myself for it to be honest.

Food aversions are something I have experienced. With one in particular which has meant everyone in the house has to avoid a certain food. I daren't even mention it...Sausages! There, I've said it and now I won't mention it again. Honestly, at the high point of my sickness, someone just mentioning the word would send me off to the toilet gagging all the way. What's that all about? I had to turn the channel over if an advert for them came on and couldn't even be in the house if they were being cooked. As the sickness eased a bit (the drugs I've now been given have made life so much easier) I could handle being in the same house but needed all doors between the kitchen and me closed and all windows open for me.

I must sound like a drama queen right? Well, let me tell you about the bacon sandwich...

The bacon sandwich I'd dreamt about all night, the bacon sandwich that had my mouth watering at the thought of it. THE bacon sandwich.

We'd cooked bakey bread (the part baked rolls - nom!) and my mum went into the kitchen to cook the meat, she wanted the dreaded tubes of meat so I went and hid upstairs. Ten minutes later I was brought up (yep, knock on the door and everything - not a drama Queen at all...)a steaming hot, butter dripping bacon roll. I was so happy! I tucked straight in and then....NO! Ran to the toilet and spent 5 minutes hurling :( No, I haven't suddenly gone off of bacon (the horror!!) - all the meat was cooked in the same pan :( I was so upset that I cried. I cried because I couldn't eat my bacon roll that I'd been dreaming about. I felt so hard done by! Bloody hormones!

Now the dreaded meaty things are not even in the house, it's so strange because I loved them before!

I wonder if I'll be able to stomach them when the baby arrives?

I'll probably be too terrified to try them!

I actually feel a little bit sick after writing this. Bleugh.

What about you other mums? Did you experience any food aversions? Did they go away when baby arrived?

Friday, 7 June 2013

Here Comes The Sun!

Woohoo! Summer is here! Well, it's been warm and sunny for a couple of days so that must be our summer right? In great British tradition, as soon as the sun came out we made the decision - picnic time! We packed up a coolbag with too many sandwiches (with cucumber to make them soggy of course), quiche, pasties and lots of crisps and cakes and off we toddled to the beach :)

Someone forgot to mention that it's cold at the beach!

Rookie mistake! It's windy and blimmin freezing at the coast and numbnuts here didn't even bring a cardigan so it wasn't the most pleasant of strolls along the beach. Plans of taking lots of sunny and glamourous bump pictures by the sea definitely did not pan out - best laid plans and all that jaz.

It was that cold that we probably only lasted about 1hr on the beach and ended up eating our picnic in the car with the windows up! Next time the sun comes out (next year knowing our luck) we're heading in land to a's got to be warm there right?

So, although our day wasn't quite what we wanted, we do know of two furry friends who did enjoy themselves just a little bit...

So whilst the wind and cold may have reduced me to tears with back pain by the time we got home, we did have two satisfied (and smelly) dogs asleep in the car the whole journey home.

A good day out :)