Project 365 - Week 17/52

23rd April - 29th April

23rd April 2017

24th April 2017

25th April 2017

26th April 2017

27th April 2017

28th April 2017

29th April 2017

I still can't believe how fast this year is passing us all by! We are almost in May already?! This week has been a strange one really, I'm not going to lie. I've been shattered on next to no sleep and we had quite a lot of bad news this week too. We always try to look on the bright and towards the end of the week everything started looking up. The bad news aside it's been quite a regular week really with Noah going to nursery in the afternoons, us enjoying the garden when the weather permitted, play dates, visiting family, trip to the park, shopping etc. Nothing really out of the ordinary, it's been lovely none the less!

What have you been up to this week?

Mummy & Me - April

We've now been taking part in the Mummy & Me link up for two years, ever since it began and we've never missed a month! It's lovely to look back at how Noah has grown over the years and of course now we've added another baby to the mix, our beautiful Ava Jean.

April has been a good month. I'm still getting used to having two children as it really is a big adjustment, especially considering both their ages as they both still require a lot of attention from me. That being said I wouldn't ask for my life to be any other way and I struggle to imagine what life was like before we had Ava.

Our pictures this month seem to have a theme, hello big sunglasses! We've had quite a bit of sun for April which is the perfect excuse to wear my sunnies as I can shove them on to cover up my dark circles! My favourite photo's from this month is the top one of Noah smiling, he looks so handsome and happy and the bottom photo of me feeding Ava in public for the very first time. I adore them all but I really need to stop taking selfie's and actually ask someone to take the photo instead! 

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Introducing The Pampers Preemie Protection Range

I've no first-hand experience when it comes to premature babies but my best friend when I was growing up had been a premature baby. Christopher was just 1lb when he was born and his mother would often tell our friends and our parents just how small he was and what an emotional time it was for her. We were told his story a good twenty years ago now and it doesn't really compute back when you are a child, you can't really comprehend what you are being told and you can't understand the severity of it. Now that I'm a parent myself I can totally sympathise and can only imagine how difficult the experience must be for parents of premature babies.

There’s approximately 60,000 babies born prematurely here in the UK every single year which works out at roughly 1 in 11 babies, higher stats than I initially imagined. Medical science is improving year upon year which means these little fighters have a better chance of survival than ever before. It goes without saying how delicate these babies are, they all have their own health requirements, but one thing they all have in common is their small frame and delicate skin. As part of the Pampers Baby Board I was told how Neonatal teams spoke to the Pampers team directly and let them know that the nappies which were available didn’t fit the smallest of babies, and that they needed to cut and fold them to try to make them fit as best as possible. This isn’t ideal as it can cause discomfort for the babies and even get in the way of their legs and hips developing properly. With all that they are dealing with, they should be able to benefit from having a nappy which fits correctly and is comfortable for them!

This is where Pampers come in, introducing the new Pampers Preemie Protection range. They are their smallest ever nappy and to put the size into perspective it's so small that it can fit inside the palm of your hand. The P3 nappies are designed for babies which weigh less than 1.8lb/800g.

Not only have Pampers created these wonderful nappies which will help so many babies, families, and nurses, they are also donating 3 million of them to UK hospitals and Neonatal Units.

Pampers is also working closely with Bliss, the UK's leading charity for babies which are born prematurely or sick, to support them and their families. They are asking parents like you and I, to share photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram of our babies with a raised fist to celebrate and support the incredible and inspiring fighting spirit that premature babies show every single day. When sharing your photo use the hashtag #powerofbabies and Pampers will donate £1 to Bliss for every photo shared.

Are you going to show your support?

- This post was brought to you in collaboration with Pampers. 

Six Ways To Choose The Right Jewellery For Your Children

Finding it difficult to find the right jewellery for your child’s outfit? Then here are a few tips for you to consider when buying jewellery for your child.

Safety comes first and foremost when buying jewellery for your child, so look out for the relevant safety standards on the pieces that you’re considering buying. All pieces should meet the standards assessed by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. If you’re not sure what to look out for, there is advice available about the relevant safety standards items should meet on the government website.

Classic material
Look out for jewellery made from classic materials such as gold or sterling silver, this way your child will have quality pieces that will endure and be versatile enough to be worn with a range of different outfits. Though it is true to say that different people react differently to the same materials, by buying jewellery made out of quality materials, like precious metals, your child is less likely to suffer from irritated skin or an allergic reaction. Also, by looking out for jewellery made from quality materials, you’re less likely to make an impulse purchase of poor quality, that child may well only wear once.

If you’re choosing jewellery that’s not only for an outfit but for a special occasion too, like a landmark birthday or christening, consider something a little more unusual and offbeat that is less likely to be duplicated.

Jewellery that will last
Choose jewellery that will last as your child grows, like the expandable silver anklets. Made from solid sterling silver, they can later be worn as a stylish bracelet - meaning your child will have a gift they can enjoy for years to come. Worn as a bracelet, your child will be able to enjoy this jewellery right through until their teenage years.

In addition, if you were to buy a pendant or locket for your child, you could simply add an extender chain at a later date or change the length of the chain on which it sits. Hand-in-hand with buying jewellery that will last from a sizing point of view; look out for well-crafted items too.

Reflects their interests
When choosing jewellery for your child, you might want to find a piece that reflects their interests like a charm in the shape of a ballet shoe, ice skate, horse or book. Moreover, buy jewellery that incorporates charms, and your child will have a piece they can add to and enjoy over their lifetime, as their interests evolve.

Also, you might want to choose a piece of jewellery for your child that reflects a particular sentiment or spiritual message, like a St Christopher medallion, that would wish them well on their life’s journey or an ‘Om’ symbol representing good luck. On the other hand, you might want to consider a locket or silver orb that can contain photographs of special moments or those you hold most dear.

So there you have a few factors to consider when choosing jewellery for your child’s outfit, we hope it will make your choice easier in future.

- This is a PR Collaboration. 

The Fisher Price Jonathan Adler Range Review & Competition

Fisher Price is a brand that I've been a fan for years and years, ever since I was a child myself. I remember when I bought Noah his very Fisher Price toy, he was only a couple of months old but I was so excited for him to discover the world of toys. I'm now even more excited because Noah can now introduce Ava to the same toys and as she gets older they can play with them together.

Fisher Price have always moved with the times and perhaps that is why they've been a household name for so long. They recently hired Jonathan Adler to become the creative director on a new range of exciting baby toys, introducing the Jonathan Adler range! In case you didn't know, Jonathan Adler is an iconic potter and designer, famous for his high contrast patters and designs and he’s brought his signature style and infused it into the new range or sensory baby toys. The range features cute animals, bold colours, geometric prints, contrasting colours and much more. 

I was recently asked if we would like to review the new Jonathan Adler range of Fisher Price toys and with Ava now being seven weeks old I happily obliged. We were sent four toys for the purpose of this review: the Monkey Mirror, Activity Elephant, Activity Alligator and Alligator Teething Ring.

Monkey Mirror - £19.99
One side of the toy features colourful animal friends and the other side features a mirror. Sensory-stimulating fun, including a panel within baby’s reach that crinkles, a monkey that squeaks parrot that jingles, bananas that clack, fleece grass that’s soft to touch, and that great-big mirror for self-discovery. It opens and closes easily, ideal for babies and toddlers to watch the bright colours and patterns unfold. It's fold feature makes it great for storage and ideal for travelling too.

Activity Alligator and Activity Elephant - £12.99 each
These are sensory dangling toys with fun clacking and rattle sounds. They hav bright colours, eye-catching patterns and textures like crinkle, corduroy and plush to help boost baby’s senses. They can be attached to a change bag or pushchair when you and baby are on the move. A perfect first toy!

The Fisher Price Jonathan Adler range is simply wonderful and ticks every box when it comes to first toys for babies. The bright colours and contrasting patterns not only captured my seven week old babies eye but my three year old toddlers too! I often find Noah sitting and playing with them as Ava watches and takes it all in. In particular Ava seems quite taken by the Monkey Mirror as she likes to look at her own reflection and I like it because it gives her something to focus on when she's having a little bit of tummy time! I can see her enjoying them even more and more so as she gets older.

How would you like to win a Fisher Price Activity Elephant? To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

Fisher Price Activity Elephant

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by myself. 
3. Competition ends 28/05/17
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

Project 365 - Week 16/52

16th April - 22nd April

16th April 2017

17th April 2017

18th April 2017

19th April 2017

20th April 2017

21st April 2017

22nd April 2017

We started out week with Easter Sunday! We visited family and ate lots of chocolate eggs! It was quite a relaxed Easter Sunday! On Monday we met up with family and went on an Easter Egg hunt around Gawthorpe Hall which we tend to do every year, it's become quite a tradition. Noah really enjoyed walking around and finding all the Easter gnome's with his cousin, finding their names and then filling out the questionnaire. Once he'd finished we then took our sheet to the ladies who had organised it and Noah won an Easter egg in return! On Tuesday I thought Noah was back at nursery so ended up walking up there to only find it closed, which he found hilarious! Silly Mummy! Instead we spent the afternoon in the garden with our next door neighbours, enjoying the sun and a natter! It was then back to nursery on the Wednesday and Noah was actually looking forward to going back and seeing his friends. My Mum also came over in the afternoon to spend some time with Ava and I, then we did the nursery run together. Thursday was nursery again, Friday was the usual shopping and visiting family. Today, on Saturday we had an afternoon out at a local park and met up with family again. It was warm when it wanted to be so we had to make the most of it.

What have you been up to this week?

Siblings - April 2017

Last month I took part in a blog series that I'd been admiring from afar for years. I wrote and shared photo's of our first ever Siblings project and I explained how I was so excited to start documenting my children as they get older and their bond in this way. You can read that post here.

Ava is now six weeks old and ever since the day she was born Noah has been the doting big brother I always thought he would be, honestly I couldn't ask for anything more from him. As soon as he wakes up in the morning he asks to see her and will jump into my be, curl right up to her and smother her in kisses and cuddles. He's so gentle with her and is very patient when he knows that I need to tend to her, he really is a superstar. Ava is fascinated with him and actually gave Noah one of her very first smiles which made Noah's day! 

I cannot wait to watch these two grow up beside one another, it really is true that your heart doubles in size the minute you have another child.

The Me and Mine Project

Ava - 1 Month Old

It only feels like two seconds ago when I was writing Ava's 1 week update but here we are a whole month later, my baby is now 1 month old! You think that time flies by fast when you have one child but my gosh it goes even faster the second time around. I can only imagine how fast it goes when you have a whole football team of children! 1 month in and I cant imagine life without our little Ava Jean and we are now totally used to being a family of four and as tiring as it is I wouldn't have it any other way.

She is one very happy and content baby the majority of the time. She's the happiest in my arms, a proper Mummy's girl and will often cry in other peoples arms but as soon as she's back with me she's happy again. As well as being held she loves being spoken to and although she's been smiling since she turned three weeks old she's only just starting to coo, so she really likes to try to communicate with us. I think she might develop quite a feisty side just like me because one minute she can be quite content to absolutely freaking out with the click of a finger, usually because she wants me! 

She's has just started to fit into some 0-3 months clothes but some newborn and up to 1 month still fit. They all vary so much in their sizing so she's just in that middle ground at the moment. She was weighed last week and now weighs 10lb 14oz and is following the 91st percentile line perfectly. The health visitor said it was absolutely spot on and she couldn't have asked for anything better. She also told me well done and it was just really rewarding to see Ava's gain knowing that all her sustenance comes from me. She's just moved into size 2 nappies too.

Ava had a few ailments when she was a week or so old. She had an infected umbilical cord and needed antibiotics, had dry skin and has since had slight cradle cap and a tiny bit of oral thrush (which is common for babies to get after having antibiotics.) Thankfully after all that she's been brilliant and nothing to complain about at the moment. 

We are now 5 weeks into our breastfeeding journey and I couldn't be happier with how everything is going. I had cracked nipples on our first couple of days as her latch wasn't correct but ever since everything has been great. She's had a few cluster feeding sessions here and there but I've gotten so used to them now and it already feels second nature just to have her at my chest. I'd intended to express and freeze some supply as soon as I could, around six weeks as recommended but as time goes on I feel no rush to do so as I'm really enjoying how everything is going at the moment.

I've got no complaints when it comes to Ava and her sleep. In fact I think three year old Noah is harder work at bedtime! During the day she sleeps when she feels like it and is usually only awake half an hour at a time but is more awake in the evening. She usually has a big feed in bed with me when I go up for the night around midnight and will sleep through till 4am, feed and then go back to sleep. The wake ups and feeds are quite a blur really as I feed her in a sleepy haze and then we both just go back to sleep. She's still sleeping in bed with me, in the nook of my arm but we are making progress in her crib, slowly but surely! 

* Ava had her first bath at 9 days old as we had to wait until her cord fell off and her infection was clear. She cried as soon as we put her in the bath but then she realised she liked it.
* She was registered and we sent off for her first passport at just 12 days old.
* She started smiling socially at just three weeks old and she hasn't stopped since. As soon as she wakes up in the morning I only have to look at her and she starts beaming from ear to ear. 
* She not only follows you with her eyes but moves her head too. She really enjoys watching her brother in particular. 
* She has just started to be vocal by cooing and she really tries to respond to our voice. Sometimes she gets quite frustrated when no noise comes out her mouth. 

Favourite things
Cuddles of Mummy. Staring right into Mummy's eyes, all the time! Nursing in bed at night. Watching her brother. Being in the car or pram but only when it's moving. Her Forever Friends musical bear. Being held, cuddled and kissed.

DC Super Friends Power Punch Batman - Review

Golden Bear are always coming out with new and exciting ranges for children and babies a like, continuously pushing the bought out when it comes to their wonderful toys. Ava was recently sent a couple of soft toys from their brand new In The Night Garden Baby range which I reviewed here. Noah wasn't left out when it comes to partnering with Golden Bear as another new range of toys has just been released and it's superhero themed! If you know Noah at all you will know that his obsession for everything and anything superhero related is immeasurable and quite frankly insane for a three year old, so I was excited to receive this toy for him.

Introducing DC Super Friends Power Punch Batman, Noah's new best friend! I can see this toy becoming a huge hit with DC fans of all ages and would make a great gift for any superhero lover out there. DC Super Friends Interactive Power Punch Batman retails at £24.99 which I think is good value for money because considering it is a soft toy there's quite a few things that it can do.

First of all it has full pose-able arms and the fists make punching noises on impact. You can also press his chest to hear Batman talk and declare many of his famous sayings and phrases. The fun doesn't stop there though as Batman's eyes also light up when he speaks! All these interactive elements makes it so much more than just a soft toy and really keep young children interested and entertained.

As you can see by the photo's Noah was so excited when he spotted DC Super Friends Power Punch Batman so I had to get it out of the box at the speed of light! He first commented on how "cool" Batman's mask, boots, gloves and utility belt was, then when he saw it's eyes light up he was blown away! Considering Noah has a very short attention span for certain toys, soft toys in particular I think he got on great with it and it now sits at the end of the bed and watches over him when he sleeps! 

Do you have a superhero fan in the family? Would they like this toy too?

- I was sent this product for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.