Little Pink Teacup

Little Pink Teacup: August 2013

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Saturday Savings - Pebble and Frugi at BabiPur

Happy Saturday!

I've recently discovered the site 'Babi Pur', a really cute shop dedicated to ethical products for young children and babies. They have some fantastic pricing, their reusable nappies are some of the best deals around and they sell some lovely, lovely products.


Currently, they've got some cracking deals on including...

50% off Pebble Baby knitted rattles using the code PEBBLE.
15% off Frugi clothing using the code FRUGI2.
15% off Frugi for Tots Bots Easyfits reusable nappies (discount already applied).

Here's my sneaky purchase, a bargain at £14.44


Have a great weekend!

Clare

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Friday, 30 August 2013

Cord Blood Donation

During pregnancy a lot of crazy things happen in your body; you grow a whole person, that's pretty amazing! With growing that person, you also grow a few extra bits that allow baby to live inside of you; your placenta and umbilical cord. Once baby is out and their own individual, separate from you, those 'extras' pretty much become waste. Midwives do say that you can keep and eat your placenta should you wish; it's not something that has ever appealed to me personally, but it is personal choice.

As these bits come out of your body, they contain blood and are highly rich in it too! This blood has a high content of stem cells which can help cure a variety of life-threatening illnesses by helping to restore a patients immune and blood-producing systems. Stem cells from 'cord blood' are very similar to those found in bone marrow and so are crucial in the battle against diseases like leukaemia.

The NHS run a cord-blood bank but only in a limited amount of areas. This is a public cord-blood bank, which means that should you 'donate' your blood, it becomes public domain and can be used on any patient, there are also private cord-blood banks which charge a fee (one-off and annual) which makes your blood available to you only. A lot of people opt to use a private bank by way of security incase someone in their family is taken ill with a stem-cell-taxable illness which is perfectly fine.

That said, when I found out about this, I really wanted to donate my cord blood to the NHS. I give blood, I'm an organ donor and as a parent, I would like to hope that if one of my children was taken ill, someone would've donated something that could save them. I can't afford to store my cord blood privately, and I personally feel that it being available to everyone is better than it only being available to me. My Grandmother died from Leukaemia and so this is something important to me.

Unfortunately, I am not within the catchment area (though if I still lived in Hertfordshire, I would be), so as it stands, this is sadly not an option for me but it might be for you! Please take a look at the website if you're interested!

Clare

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Thursday, 29 August 2013

My Big Animal Book

I think pretty much all children like animals, Moo certainly does...well...she likes to look at pictures of animals and can identify them well, she's not so keen on them in real life (excluding NanNan's cat Fluffy and our friend's Lizard, Branston, of course...) her knowledge of some of the more obscure animals fascinates me at times. Currently, she's obsessed with crocodiles because she loves Captain Hook.



'My Big Animal Book' from Tick Tock is a glorious and coloured book filled with wonderful photographs of animals ranging from the exotic to the everyday. There are four 'sections' which are marked by a collection of animal pictures and facts for that topic:
- In the jungle, rainforest and plains.
- Under the sea.
- On the farm.
- At home.
Following each double-page of animal facts, the book goes into further detail on one or two of the animals covered. For example, 'Under the Sea' then goes on to talk about Whales.

Did you know that Humpback Whales are pregnant for eleven-twelve months (and I thought I had it bad)?!! Their offspring is called a calf (I did know that fact). Also, a group of whales is called a 'pod'.

The book is packed with interesting (some well-known, some not) facts about the animals it covers and talks of some that children wouldn't always necessarily know (like the tucan). The facts are given in short, easy-to-read sentences dotted about the page which is good as it goes along with a child's eagerness to look at everything and isn't just one block of text.



The book itself is large, slightly bigger than A4, and made up of thick, difficult to tear pages. This is great for younger children who can be a bit enthusiastic when it comes to reading. The only negative I found was because the book is new, the spine is very stiff and so the pages don't have too much give when turning. This will rectify over time and use, but I feel like I need to be observant of the children when reading it in case they get frustrated and yank the page!

The book is a lovely fun and educational addition to our library which both Moo (nearly three) and my niecelet (eighteen-months) enjoy looking at together. Niecelet points to animals, Moo tells her what they are and then I read the fact to them which then often gets relayed to my husband. Repeatedly.

My Big Animal Book is currently on Amazon for £5.95.

Clare

My Big Animal Book was provided to us for the purpose of review by Tick Tock, however all opinions and thoughts are my own.

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

'5 Things...' Learning From My Mistakes

Like everyone, I've made some mistakes in my life and now that I'm twenty-seven I can look back on them and think 'hmmm...I could've done that better'. You can't change the things you have/haven't done, but you can encourage your children to learn from your mistakes without being a controlling, super-freak. Today's post is all about the five things I would fall over myself to encourage Moo not to do...

1. Give up easily.
I didn't do well in GCSEs, I only did one year of A-levels and I dropped out of university. Twice. I have had job, after job in low-paid retail despite management experience, why? Because I give up easily. I get bored, I get stressed, I freak out, lose control and mess it up. I never pushed myself, when things got hard or boring, I cut and run.

2. Stay silent.
If someone is hurting her/upsetting her. I want her to speak up and tell someone, anyone, it doesn't have to be me. I will raise her to know that no matter what, she can tell me anything and everything.

3. Not be true to herself to avoid confrontation.
Growing up I would often stay quiet to make life easy on myself, I would take hurtful comments and opinions and just wait until I was alone to feel sorry for myself. Not only did this do me some serious damage later on in regards to depression, it did my strength of character no favours being a push-over.

4. Forget her dream.
I once had a talent that I practised every day. The last time I picked up a pencil and drew something was...about a year ago. Between work, parenthood, my social life, my husband's business and blogging, I don't have time for much and I'm ashamed o say it's been even longer since I set foot in a gallery, which was once my greatest passion.

5. Rush.
I am notoriously impatient and by rushing through or into things, I've made a lot of mistakes...and missed a lot of opportunities. Nothing to be proud of.

And three things that I did that I would openly encourage her to do...

1. Get out and away.
I didn't discover who I really was until I got away from everything. Because I left university early, I never really found that out, even moving out and in with a boyfriend taught me little (except how to survive being very poor)...it wasn't until a friend and I packed our bags, said goodbye to the places that we grew up in and the bad memories and went and explored. There were tears, there were arguments and there were some rough times but I made some fantastic, life-long and best friends, found out who I really was and met my husband. I worked seasonal jobs for two years and they were the best two years of my life. Whatever Moo chooses to do with her life, I would encourage her to get out of the place she grew up in and see something other than her doorstep. It may literally be the making of her.

2. Take risks.
Sure, they won't always pay off but she will learn from them and discover wonderful things.

3. Break a heart and have it done right back.
It's a humbling and unpleasant experience, but it needs to be done. Doesn't need to be a lover, could be a friend or family member...until someone has handed you your heart in pieces, you've not lived. In the same respect, you need to break a heart to learn strength, I think.



Clare

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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Driving Playlist

Soooo I was tagged to do my ultimate driving playlist, yknow...songs that I love to play in the car...

...except the thing is...I don't drive.

We have a car, my husband drives...but I don't hold a license, in fact...I've never had a full lesson!

Coming from London/Hertfordshire where the cost of living is exceptionally high, and spending the majority of that time as a child or a student, I simply didn't have the budget for lessons, let alone a car when I reached seventeen plus! I moved to Sussex in 2009 and realised that it was a complete different way of life down here. It is SO hard to get around without a vehicle...and the buses are rubbish! Since moving here, every time I have planned to learn to drive, something has come up;
- 2010 pregnant with Moo.
- 2011 money too tight as half of it on maternity leave.
- 2012 we got married so was paying for a wedding.
- 2013 pregnant with Bear.
Will 2014 be 'my year'...?

Still would only have the one car (beast known as a Meriva) as couldn't justify the pollution and cost of running two cars!!

So although I like to listen to music in the car...music is a very big deal in our house, it's rarely my choice. My husband runs *his* car along the theory which is actually a quote from one of my favourite television shows, Supernatural:

'Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake hole'.

It is a very valid point; a driver needs to be focused and calm and let's face it, they're doing all the work so it's only fair that they pick the tunes and he mostly has good taste. So yes, whilst I like to listen in the car, I don't pick the playlist, so instead I've written my ultimate pedestrian playlist aka I wish I could drive...

These five songs say a lot, it's a mixed bag but I hope that at least one will make you say 'yep, that's a tune'!


1. Say You'll Haunt Me - StoneSour
What can I say? I love, love, love this song! I love StoneSour and this is my favourite track of theirs. The video is insanely odd and I find some of the lyrics deeply romantic, when nothing but the very rawness of your love for someone will do.

Actually, anything by Papa Roach really...as my all-time favourite band, there's yet to be an album that I can't identify in some way and this is a proper angry, quit manipulating me kind of song with a great beat and probably encourages speeding...

Rumours. What an album and this is definitely the highlight of it. I don't really have a specific reason for loving this song, I just do and I don't hint over ever met anyone who doesn't!

A real summer song, it has so much more of an impact when it's warm and sunny outside! Many a good night dancing to this...

This and a thousand others will always remind me of 2008/09, the two years I spent learning who I really was, what I was capable of and what I could be. After dropping out of university twice, I went to work in seasonal jobs and it was the best decision I ever made! This song will forever remind me of the friendships I formed and the good times we had.

So those are my five top travelling tunes. Like I said, music is a big deal to us and I probably could've picked twenty, there's no Johnny Cash on that list for example, and let's not forget 'Holiday' by Scouting for Girls which is the song that will always remind me of my best friend, the room we shared and how close we are!

I'm not going to tag anyone in this post, but if you think it's something you'd like to give a whirl, please do and link me up!

Clare



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Monday, 26 August 2013

My Story Monday - Claire

Hello! Happy Monday! IT'S MY DUE DATE!!

And STILL no baby. Heavy. Sigh.

Anyways, today's My Story Monday features Claire (great name) from What Elsa Wears and is all about the birth of her daughter, Elsa.

Having been off work for almost four weeks I had kept myself busy with overseeing the building of our new conservatory. With a due date of 30th September (5th October according to my dates!) and fully expecting to go two weeks over due I thought I would have plenty of time to get all the jobs done. 

Fortunately I did, but only in the nick of time. On the morning of Thurs 27th Sept our new conservatory sofas were delivered and I headed out to do a bit of shopping. A trip to M&S for some food and off to buy a nest of tables for the conservatory. 

A 2.30pm-ish I was back home, assembling my new tables. I shifted slightly to put in another screw and felt a strange popping sensation and a huge gush of water all over me and the sofa. Fortunately not the new sofa, it was, happily, the leather (wipe clean!) sofa. 

My first thought was 'have I just wee'd myself?', but I was pretty sure that despite my enormous state I was still in full control of my bladder. There was also a very distinctive smell!

This threw me a bit, in the classes we'd been to and the stories I'd heard I couldn't recall anyone mentioning their waters going before any twinges or contractions. I made a phone call to S at work telling him that he probably wouldn't be in work the next day and a phone call to the LGI asking for advice. They told me that there was no rush but to come down as and when so they could have a look at me. 

So at 5.30pm, shortly after S got home, we headed on down to the LGI. I was seen in the Maternity Assessment Centre where they hooked me up to a monitor to do a trace and suggested an internal to check that my waters had actually gone. Fortunately one of the things I did remember from the Antenatal class was to keep any pads if your waters have gone. As I whipped the pads out of my bag the midwife took one sniff (gross, I know) and confirmed that it was definitely my waters and no need to do an internal. Phew, the less poking about up there the better!

I was packed off home and told to come back the following day by 2.30pm if nothing had happened but hopefully sooner. 

Back at home I started to have mild pains around 7.30pm but the quickly progressed to being uncomfortable. I was mindful of the advice of not to leave it too long before using the TENS machine so I popped that on. If you have never used a TENS machine it can only be described as WEIRD. I don't think it did anything to take the pain away, but it was merely a distraction and something else to think about. 

I decided to get an early night as I wasn't sure if I would be having to get up very early in the morning!

Friday 28th September

I didn't have to get up very early. Absolutely nothing happened overnight, I did manage to sleep but not that brilliantly. The contractions had picked up however and were coming every 6 minutes. I spent most of the morning bouncing on my birthing ball and cranking the TENS machine up to the highest level. 

Around midday I mentioned to S that I was a bit concerned not to have felt the baby move all morning. He phone the LGI and they advised us to come down. At this point the contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes. But strangely the 15 minute drive to the LGI seemed to put a stop to the contractions. 

We arrived at the LGI at around 12.30pm and I was put on a monitor to trace the baby's heartbeat. The contractions did start up again but were every 10-15 minutes apart. 

I was told that the delivery ward was full but as soon as a bed became free I would be taken down and they would look at putting me on a drip to get the contractions going again. 

For 5 hours I was on the maternity assessment ward waiting for a delivery room. They were 5 long hours, separated from the other women in labour by a mere curtain. 

At 5.30pm I was told that there was a space for me on delivery so I walked on down. Much to my horror I wasn't put in a delivery room, but what can only be described as the medical stock room. There were three beds, me and two other women in this room where staff kept coming in an out to collect medical supplies from the cupboards. To say I was not happy is the understatement of the year. 

Whilst in this room I started to feel the need for some pain relief. The midwife looking after me suggested co-codamol and went off to get some. 10 minutes later she returned with two paracetamol in hand and advised that I couldn't have co-codamol as there was no doctor available to sign it off! I refused the paracetamol. 

Shortly after this, at around 7pm I was moved to the room in which I would give birth. Room 3. Every time I see the room on One Born Every Minute I have to point out that it is 'our' room!

There was a change of shift at 7.30pm and our lovely midwife Rachel joined us. By this point I was 4cm dilated so I was told that they wouldn't bother with the drip, they would just let things happen naturally. The midwife got the Gas and Air going. This was good for a while but has given me very hazy memories of what happened. 

The Gas and Air made me feel like I was the most drunk I have ever been in my life. S says that I was coherent and having full conversations between contractions but I felt dizzy, sick and didn't know what planet I was on. 

I requested diamorphine. This was not going to plan. The diamorphine brought temporary relief, it let me ease up on the Gas and Air for a while. But I think I had it too late. It didn't do enough. I was exhausted and in absolute agony. 

I did what I said I absolutely would not do. I asked for an epidural. 

I had told S many times that I did not want an epidural and if I asked for one he was to talk me out of it. He did his best, but there is only so much you can say to a mad, screaming pregnant lady. 

An hour after I requested the epidural the anesthetist arrived. This was around 10pm. She put all the tubes in my back and was about to administer the epidural when all the sirens went off. She had to go to an emergency. I think I remained quite calm when she told me she would have to go but would be back as soon as possible to administer the epidural. Inside I wanted to kill someone. 

Two hours later the anesthetist returned. Midnight. The epidural was put in and I could feel nothing. Absolute bliss. 

Saturday 29th September

Once the anesthetist left the midwife examined me. I was 10cm dilated. 

I was told that there was no point pushing as the epidural meant I wouldn't be able to feel it and I should get a couple of hours sleep. There was nothing I could do about it at the time, but with hindsight I am absolutely furious. Had I been examined before the epidural finally went in I probably wouldn't have had it. I had waited those two longs hours for it to be put in and during that time my body had got where it needed to be. 

So I went to sleep. 

At 3am I was woken by the midwife and told it was time to start pushing. 

I pushed and pushed and pushed. I remember the midwife saying that I was doing brilliantly and getting really annoyed with her because I knew I wasn't. Baby wasn't moving anywhere, I was pushing as hard as I could and getting no where. 

At 4am a lady who was probably a doctor came in and said that I had another 30 minutes to get baby out. I think she gave me a bit longer. About 45 minutes later she returned and I was still no closer. 

She told me that they were going to help me. There were three scenarios. The first; forceps delivery where we were, the second; a forceps delivery in surgery if they were struggling, the third; if worst came to worst a c-section. As this point I did not care what happened as long as they got the baby out of me. 

The instruments were wheeled in. Several more people appeared in the room. S saw the instruments lined up and says it's a good job I didn't see them. He couldn't believe the size of the forceps. 

The doctor told me she would give me three contractions to get the baby out before we went to surgery. I felt the scissors cut me and the forceps put in position. On the first contraction, with a big yank on the forceps, her head was born. 

I then had the most bizarre couple of minutes of my life, where everyone was stood around chatting and I was laid with a baby's head between my legs. I could feel her head there, it was a surreal time. 

Her body was born with the next contraction. 

Elsa Florence, born at 5.30am on Saturday 29th September 2012 weighing 8lbs. 

She was put strait on my chest and S cut the cord.

The rest is a bit of a blur. I delivered the placenta and I remember them talking about what a good cord it was, very thick, and holding it up to show me. I have no idea what a good cord looks like, I have nothing to compare it to!

Not long after Elsa was born I started throwing up. I had managed to make it through the whole pregnancy without being sick only to throw up afterwards. 

I was stitched up and taken up to the maternity ward. I was resolutely determined that I would not be spending the night in hospital and we finally managed to get home at 8.30pm that evening. 

My birth didn't go to the plan I had in my head. I had not done a birth plan as I thought I would go with the flow, but as it turns out giving birth is much more difficult than I had ever imagined. My ideas of a water birth went out of the window due to the risk of infection from my waters being broken over 24 hours. My determination not to have an epidural was quickly shot. But it doesn't matter. Elsa got here safely, that is all that matters. 

Although I hope it is a bit easier if I go through it again!



I'd like to thank Claire for sharing her experience here with us today!

If you'd like to share your true birth story then please check out the intro post here.

Clare

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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Just a quickie...

...to wish my wonderful husband happy first anniversary!

Nothing Else Matters.

Love,

Clare

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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Saturday Savings - Super Supermarkets

Happy Saturday everyone! Today I have a couple of things to tell you about, firstly...

Sainsbury's have had their 25% off all clothing this week, a great time to stock up on some basics, school uniform bits or a little treat. The offer ends on Monday so you'll have to bust a move to take advantage. Annoyingly, they don't sell online (sort it out, Sainsbury's...some of us are housebound at the moment)!



I love this little denim jacket, £9 normally, £6.75 with the 25%. Bargain!

As that ends on Monday, however, starting up as that finishes, over at ASDA is their regular baby and toddler event! A great time to fill up on those regular, niggling and boring purchases like baby shampoo and dummies whilst they're on offer! They sometimes have some good offers on more expensive items such as Moses baskets, sterilisers and high chairs. Take a look at the site before hand and price compare as quite often, other retailers price match or even beat as these events are becoming so regular!

The George clothing is looking lovely for younger girls...the boys, sadly not so much...though there is a lot of Muppets things. I love The Muppets. To ASDA!



The Muppets t-shirt and bodysuit £5

Clare

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Friday, 23 August 2013

You're All My Favourites

Christmas 2011 my daughter received a collection of Walker books from a relative, all 'bear' themed (actual bears, not my son). There were some good ones and some not-so-good ones, but undoubtedly my personal love from the collection was always 'You're All My Favourites'.



'Youre All My Favourites' is a beautiful picture book written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram (the people behind 'Guess How Much I Love You') and is a story of three little bears, curious and concerned about who out of them is their parent's favourite.

I have always thought this an adorable book, well written and with stunning illustrations but it's not until recently where I've become to appreciate its deeper meaning. Yes, it is relevant to all children as it reinforces the love a parent has for their child but I also found it to be reassuring to Moo given that she has a sibling on the way, and the feelings that may well be mixed up with that new experience. For a tiny mind, it must be terribly difficult to understand how their parents can equally love both themselves and a sibling, and I feel that this story puts into words exactly that sentiment.



I would recommend it to anyone with children under the age of five, but especially those welcoming into the family a new brother or sister. It has all the things a pre-school book should have; nice imagery, simple sentences and likeable characters as well as a clear message that no matter if there's one or five of you, you are all favourites.

Clare

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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Castor Oil

Before I start, I just want to say I'm not a medical professional and I'm simply sharing my own opinions/findings.

I've had enough of this pregnancy malarkey now. He's been imminently coming for the last three weeks now and it's getting a bit daft, I was even told by a midwife four days ago that he'd be here 'within the next couple of days'. I'm still here.

So, I started thinking about ways to help things along. With Moo I tried lots of curries and raspberry tea, she was a day early so the results were inconclusive...so this time around I've tried it all...including Castor Oil. 


There's a lot of contradicting reports on the Internet, however the NHS website reports that it was a successful method for 58% of women in their experiment. 58% not fantastic odds, admittedly but enough to make me think 'alright...let's do this...'.

Castor Oil is incredibly tricky to track down, I eventually picked it up in my local Holland and Barrett for around £9 (yes, I wanted to cry over that price but no more than Bear's head bouncing on my cervix if I'm honest). It is thick, slimy and smells very unpleasant.

The main side-effect is diarrhoea, a lot of people reporting that it gave them violent diarrhoea, nausea and even vomiting, before it did anything to move baby along. How it works, apparently, is that because it is a laxative, it causes your bowel to contract to 'flush you out', this in turn, sets off your uterus with contractions.

I drank 60ml of Castor Oil in approximately 3/4pint of orange juice. I couldn't taste the oil at all, but I could feel it on my tongue. It turned my juice very thick, greasy and 'lumpy'. To make it drinkable I had to stir it vigorously with a spoon before drinking...taking three attempts to drink the lot. It made my lips really greasy (which made me feel sicker than the actual oil itself) and I accidentally dribbled it a little and now cannot get the ghoul stain out of my top!

I suffered from very mild tummy upset, it took three hours to strike, lasted about an hour and then was over.

And then the contractions started, they became regular and strong but not really painful...and after a few hours of regular but not very painful contractions, they fizzled out. I had been waiting for them to go 'somewhere' a bit more concrete before heading to the hospital as I'd already had one false alarm the week previous and with Moo I had I think three in total so I really was reluctant to go until the last minute.

A week has passed and still no baby.

So to summarise...yes, Castor Oil can apparently work for some people, it didn't for me (boo), perhaps you have to have a certain set of circumstances which I did not meet the criteria. Who knows?

Just remember that if you're thinking of giving it a try it might not work and you might be quite poorly for twenty-four hours...if you do decide to try, drink loads so you don't dehydrate (I drank about two letres of water, I didn't need to but I just kept drinking out of paranoia).

Clare

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Bernard Bee Trunki

I bet you've read a thousand reviews on Trunkis.

I know, they're 'old news', everyone and their dog has/wants one and there's a lot of different designs to choose from. I picked Moo's Bumble Bee Trunki up from Boots when they had a third off of them a couple of months ago. I bought it with our holiday in mind and also for over-nighting with relatives (the imminent arrival of her brother included). It sat in her bedroom for a couple of months before it saw any use...but by gum when it saw use, it saw use.


I chose the bumble bee because Moo is obsessed with the colour yellow. I had only three to choose from (pink, blue and yellow) when I went in to the shop to buy and while she loves pink equally, I was thinking ahead to the second child and a few more years use that I could get out of it. The thought did cross my mind, what if it didn't last that long but that wasn't an immediate concern, despite I remember when they featured on Dragons Den and one of the dragons (Theo?) managed to pull the strap off easily.

The Trunki survived a stop over in Dover and it's trip in the car from Eastbourne to Paris without a single hitch and it did its job beautifully. On our first night I packed it with overnight essentials for the three of us as we were staying in a hotel closer to Disneyland. It weighed a tonne but as it was spending all of the first day in the car, I wasn't too concerned and besides, it had wheels! It would be fine...

When we arrived at the hotel, the lift was out of order. We had to climb up a couple of flights of stairs, the Trunki had to be carried by the shoulder strap. I wish I had taken a photo of it, packed as it was; 3x pyjamas, 3x outfits and one very full wash bag stuffed with three people's worth of toiletries, it was fit to burst but the claps at the side held fantastically (even if my cardigan was making a desperate bid for freedom out of the top). The shoulder strap held really well, I remember worrying when my husband swung it onto his shoulder, that it might snap (Dragons Den...) but no...

The next afternoon we had to make our way back to our campsite on the train after having stored our Trunki in a locker at the park. It received much of the same over-stuffed, swinging and shoulder carrying as it had the day before, this time on French public transport and the walk from the station to our caravan. All in all, I think my husband carried it on his shoulder for well over an hour, weighing more than our two-year-old. I have had adult suitcases that have survived less traumatising adventures and cost me more pennies. 

I was so, so impressed with how the Trunki faired against a bit of a battering and the weight of it's contents. As a suitcase designed for small children, you wouldn't think that it would be able to cope with the demands of luggage that even full-size cases would strain under. Here are my pros and cons...

Pros.
- Quite roomy for pint-sized people things, plenty of room for clothes, shoes, a toy and a couple of books.
- Brightly coloured so difficult to lose and attractive.
- Locking mechanism surprisingly strong.
- Shoulder strap incredibly strong.
- Has the ride-on feature it's well known for that works well with small children.
- Lightweight when empty and compact for easy storage at our destination.

Cons.
- The wheels aren't fantastic on corners so if you have an overly enthusiastic child, older child or you're just plain daft like me, it's likely to tip if you're wheeling it quickly around a corner if there's no child sat on top.
- The locks on the sides of the case sometimes turned too far with the key provided and were then not secure or not unlocked fully. It was also difficult at times to tell whether they were locked or unlocked.



So yes, I'm most definitely a Trunki fan now and would certainly recommend the, if you're holidaying with a toddler.

You can buy Trunki cases and other products from a variety of shops like Amazon, John Lewis and Boots as well as the Trunki store. The Trunki we have is Bernard Bee and currently costs £31.08 from Amazon.

Clare

Please note that I purchased our Trunki with my own money and was not compensated for this post in any way.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Save the Children - Build it for Babies



Imagine you're nine months pregnant and your contractions have just started. You pick up your bag and head out the door and onto the road. It's getting dark and you're facing a walk of up to eight hours, alone and through an environment that is considerably less than safe. You have a one in twenty-four chance of not surviving this experience.

What if you weren't pregnant, but instead facing this journey with your seriously ill baby? Would that be any better?

This is the situation that women in Liberia face every day with only a third of the female population living within reach of a health clinic. Of that lucky minority, 60% are over an hour's walk away with some living as far as eight! 

Can you imagine living eight hours from help? I don't even live eight minutes from my local hospital...

Because of this, only 34% of women give birth at a medical facility with only 64 healthcare workers covering a population of 120,000 people (that's about one person with medical training per 10,000 people)!

It's this that, along with Save the Children, three midwives from the popular Channel 4 show 'One Born Every Minute' witnessed on a recent trip to Liberia to learn about what the charity is doing to help this situation. Louise Holt, Maude Hardy and Gemma Raby visited Save the Children-supported maternity clinics and hospitals where they met midwives, pregnant women and new mothers and learned of their plight. You can read all about their trip here.



There is still lots more to be done and Save the Children want to raise enough money to open a further six clinics in Liberia which they anticipate will annually achieve...
- 13,730 more babies receiving vital care within the first few weeks of life.
- 750 more women being assisted by skilled professionals to give birth in a clean and safe environment.
- 1,950 under-fives having access to medical help when ill.
- 7,300 adolescents and 10,600 women of child-bearing age will be able to access family planning and sexual health services.
- 40,300 getting vital information on staying healthy.


The goal is £500,000 to build and equip the six new clinics, so far, they're slightly over halfway there which is fantastic news though there's still some way to go! Save the Children are looking for your support to reach their goal and so I'd like to invite you to take a look at the Build it for Babies site, read Zinnah's story and help in any way if you can. There's also a nifty little application on the page where you input your postcode and it shows you where you'd be walking to if life in the UK was like this...mine took me halfway into Kent!

This week Mothercare have also launched a fantastically cute range called 'Born To' in support of Save the Children where £1 from every item is donated to the charity. Fashionable and philanthropic, I don't think there's anything better!

I'll finish here by saying that as the mother of a toddler and expecting my second any day now, I can't honestly think of much else that would terrify me, to be so far from help should my children need it. To face giving birth to my son by the side of the road and risk losing him to infection or the cold; the road is no place to give birth.




Clare

Please note this is not a sponsored post but a voluntary piece written in support of the #Builditforbabies campaign.

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Monday, 19 August 2013

My Story Monday - Kelly

Happy Monday everyone!! Today's My Story Monday features Kelly for, Tia's Mum 12 and is the real birth story of her beautiful daughter, Tia.
3am Sunday 26th August my waters broke on yet another trip to the toilet.
Of course I had no idea that’s what had actually happened, I thought I had just maybe not made it in time! I had only been in bed a few hours so was tired and not thinking straight. Then the stomach ache started, I went and woke my husband after confirming on google that I was most likely in labour (yes honestly) I told him that I thought I was in labour, he looked at the time and wanted to know if I was sure. Men!
I called the labour ward to ask what to do while he called his mum to pre-warn her; she was to be my second birth partner. The contractions seemed to get worse while I was in the phone.
We were asked to go in for a check up as I said I was pretty sure my waters had gone and was getting regular contractions. The hospital is a 30 minute drive away during daylight hours, we did it in 15! I can’t remember much about the drive there, I remember being really scared but also really excited about finally meeting baby Finn. Were we getting a son or a daughter? I could not wait to find out!
When we arrived I handed over my notes and was asked to provide a water sample, I then was shown to a room and given an internal examination *crosses legs*. She said that I wasn’t dilated at all, not what I wanted to hear. She went off to find me a tens machine to take back home with me and gave me some co-codamol to help with the pains. When she returned empty handed as she could not find a spare one, I was having a particularly bad contraction and she said I might as well stay. She said they had enough room and I would only be driving back in an hour or so anyway. I was so grateful, I could not bear to go back home.
Let me tell you I am RUBBISH at labour, I had planned a lovely peaceful water birth with minimal pain relief. That all went out of the window, I could not even bounce on the birthing ball as baby was back to back and every movement I made was pure agony.
My mother-in-law arrived around 7am if I remember rightly and put me straight at ease, my husband tells me I wasn’t really interested in anything he or the poor midwife had to say but I was well behaved for his mum! She helped me through the contractions with the gas and air, reminding me to keep calm and breath.
At some point later on I was told that I really needed to try and eat something, I managed to eat a small banana and drink some sugery Ribena but neither stayed down very long. Labour is not at all glamorous! I persisted with the Ribena, I was so thirsty. Most likely brought on by the gas and air which I had not put down since I arrived in my little room!
A few hours later I was offered stronger pain relief, I asked for diamorphine which involved an injection which was a big deal for me, I have always been terrified of needles! It worked and I was able to get some much needed sleep
17 hours into my labour after another internal I was told I was only 4cm dilated and I was going to need some help. This involved another needle, a big one in my hand attached to a drip. It was going to help move things along. I had another dose of diamorphine and went back to sleep.
I don’t remember much of the later stages of my labour as I spent most of it drugged up and asleep, which makes me sad as its not what I had wanted or imagined. The next thing I remember was being woken up at 3am Monday 27th August, the midwife told me it was time to start pushing!
Now I was really awake, and very alert and I knew from reading books that it was very important that I did exactly what my midwife told me to now. She told me to push with every contraction, down in my bum and for as long as I could. At 3.14am I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl I had ever seen. She was perfect, and it really was true love at first sight. My husband cut her cord, I could see tears streaming from his face, he was so proud! When she was put on my chest I checked her all over, her eyes were wide open looking all around. I had to hand her over to my husband for her to have her checks and be weighed while I was given yet another injection so I would pass the placenta. When she was passed back she latched on to my breast and it was the most amazing feeling ever, she made us three, a family.

I'd like to thank Kelly for sharing her story with us all today, I think this has to be one of my favourites as it's just lovely.
If you'd like to share your true birthing story, then check out the intro post here.
Clare

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Saturday, 17 August 2013

Saturday Savings - Baba+Boo

Happy Saturday everyone! What's everyone up to today then? It's Airbourne here in Eastbourne, the free air show and I can see it from my living room so come five o'clock I'll be watching the red arrows drawing pretty pictures in the sky over the seafront! I hope your day will be as pleasant as mine!

Today's Saturday Savings is all about reusable/cloth nappies. I have been obsessed with putting Bear in reusables for a couple of months now, really since I started 'mummy blogging' and I was made aware of just how exciting and good they are now! When I had Moo, I thought they were still all terry squares and safety pins! To be fair, I have been researching terry squares which are by far the cheapest method of reusable nappy and it is definitely something that I would be happy with, however, I'm not a single parent and I have to take my husband into consideration. It has taken me a long time to convince him that reusable is the way forward environmentally and financially, so I've got to make it easy on him.

Enter Baba+Boo, a fantastic brand that I stumbled across through Twitter. They offer good quality birth to potty pocket nappies at a fantastic price and with beautiful, exclusive designs. Individually the nappies are a super competitive £9.25 (plus p+p) which includes two large, micro-fibre inserts and there's multi-buy options available; the more you buy, the more you save.


I have been really nervous about dipping my toe in the reusable nappy waters for awhile now and that is because of the expense; it's a lot to pay out for in one go, especially, if like myself you have no experience what-so-ever and your partner isn't 100% behind you on it. Baba+Boo have a very generous 'Try a Baba+Boo Nappy' scheme whereby you purchase one nappy at full price and you then have a two month trial period, if during which time you can return the nappy (clean, obviously) and will have 70% of the price refunded back to you. I think this is a fantastic idea, it is pretty much as low risk financially as you will get when it comes to trying reusable nappies and that is why it's made Saturday Savings this week! 

I've placed a cheeky order and am ridiculously excited for it to arrive, I didn't think it's as possible to feel this way about wee!

Clare

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