Monday, 15 January 2018

Nola You're 4 Months Old


Little Nola your turned four months old just over a week ago. This is the second update I have written about you and boy have things changed since I wrote the last one.
Right now I'm not sure if you will ever be able to read these.
In hospital
I think the biggest change is finding out you are very likely to have a rare genetic condition. You began having seizures just before you turned 12 weeks, although when they started I did not realise that's what they were. I will explain in more detail in a separate post but you were admitted to hospital for three days at the beginning of December where lots of tests began to try and find out what was causing you to have seizures. You had an attempted MRI scan which couldn't be done because you were awake, an EEG test and different bloods taken. There were some abnormal results from the EEG tests so an urgent request for an MRI was made to try and get a good look at your brain. You didn't have any seizures whilst we were in hospital which is typical and didn't experience any more for a couple of weeks. You then had a MRI under general anaesthetic where some growths on your brain were discovered. The discharge letter I received said the findings were 'highly suspicious' of  a specific rare condition, something until that day (19/12/17) I was oblivious to. It's a condition that affects people differently with symptoms ranging from mild to severe, so right now we don't know how affected you will be. 
The day before you had the MRI you began having these odd spasm type movements which I know now are another type of seizure. On Christmas Eve night I ended up taking you to the children's ward because you were having these spasms following a different type of seizure. We were admitted so you spent your very first Christmas morning in hospital which was so sad. You did get discharged as you hadn't had anymore seizure episodes but within a couple of hours you went back via an ambulance as we were advised to call 999 if you had a seizure that got to three minutes long. So we spent the next two nights there until we saw the paediatric consultant who specialises in epilepsy. You were prescribed medicine to control the seizures but the spasms went on and you were put on another medication aiming to stop them after the results of a second EEG were worse than the first. Last week you had a heart scan which also revealed you have two growths on your heart, you then had an ECG which fortunately revealed your heart is working as normal at present. We also saw a specialist at Addenbrookes hospital who agrees it's highly likely you have the rare genetic condition but no one will confirm it until we have the genetic blood tests back. You have an appointment at the end of the month to have your eyes checked for any growths. It's all been hard to take in as it would be for any mummy, I still don't think I've fully got my head round it but I will be with you every step of the way, I'm so sorry this has happened to you, you are so brave!
Apart from all of the drama that you've had, what else has gone on since my last update?
You had your first holiday at Bluestone in Wales, unfortunately this was when the seizures really kicked in so we didn't make the best memories.
In December you were chosen as one of the new brand reps for Petal & Grace, a beautiful hairband company on Instagram. Their bows make you look even cuter than you already do!
You still enjoy cuddles and can be very snuggly, sometimes you won't calm down if you're upset until you are being cuddled, sucking your dummy and having your face stroked!
One of the most upsetting aspects of the seizures is that they can affect development unless they're under control. This has happened with you, before this all started you began to giggle, even though we only heard it once or twice, it was starting to happen. Since around Christmas day you barely smile, if we're lucky we see maybe one smile a day. I'm told once the seizures are under control you are more likely to reach the general baby milestones.
I've had to move you up to size 3 nappies, as you are growing into a right little chunk!
You've had your second round of routine immunisations and due the next batch soon. 

One positive is that your appetite hasn't changed, you still love your milk and guzzle it down. You are still having 5oz bottles, usually five a day, sometimes more as there have been several nights you have woken during the night and needed a bottle to settle you. If you've had a very long stretch sleeping overnight I give you a 6oz bottle and have tried 6oz bottles before bed to see if that helped with sleeping few but it hasn't always worked!

Most nights you have slept through but there have been several where you have woken up once and at worse, twice. You're actually sleeping more than you're awake at the moment. I've been told it's probably down to a combination of medicine and seizure activity.
Your second EEG test
You were weighed last week when we saw the specialist and you're now a whopping 14.7lbs thanks to all the milk you've been knocking back!

Clothes wise you still fit in some 0-3 month clothes but some are too small. You are also wearing lots of 3-6 month clothes too and most need some growing in to.

More Nicknames
I wrote a post about your name and the nicknames I had come with so far. I still can't help the random names that pop into my head. Roly is still the one I'm using the most! Here are the ones I added last month and below there's a few more!                    
23. Rooka Took
24. Rooky
25. Angel cake

Cuddles with big brother at Bluestone!
Your Likes
  • You still love cuddles
  • You still  love your bottles
  • You still love having a bath, if you're crying beforehand you immediately stop
  • You really enjoy being out and about
  •  You like watching and listening to Eliot
  • You still enjoy being sung to
  • You like your dummy a lot now! It's very soothing for you when you want it!
Your Dislikes
  • Still...Sudden loud noises
  • Still...Being taken out of the bath
  • Having clothes put on/taken off
  • Still...Being disturbed when you are comfy
  • Occasionally still...Being put in the car seat
I'm sorry it's not been a more positive update Nola  I hope next month there is more good news to write!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Your First 10 Weeks Nola - Update

 I've linked this post up over at 

My darling Nola, this is your very first update. It's sooner than I did your big brothers' first update but later than I wanted or planned. I'd been meaning to write an update ever since your turned two weeks old but life flies by and all sorts of things get in the way. But thanks to Maisie from who shared that she had written about her sons' first 10 ten weeks I thought I would do the same too (except you're actually 11 weeks today) before you get any older!
Just a few hours old

You have changed so much in just a small amount of time, when you arrived I couldn't believe you were a girl (I really thought I was having a boy!). You were so different from your big brother in size, you had the tiniest features, hands and feet whereas Eliot had huge hands and feet! You weighed between 7lb11oz and 7lb12oz, so again smaller than your big bro thankfully...I really thought I'd be birthing a ten pound + baby. Even though you were much daintier than your brother I could see him in you and there are some photos where you look so alike.
You made a  lot of grunting and adorable squeaking sounds as well as snorting, in fact you are still doing all three, just not as much.
To begin with you slept a lot during the day and not as much at night. You were feeding roughly every three hours, except when you slept for longer periods. Now, apart from the odd occasion you sleep through from anything between 8:30-10pm to 6:30-8:45am-ish which is pretty darn good, keep it up please!
From the very beginning you have loved your cuddles, as you got older and more alert during the day it became harder to put you down...making it difficult to get things done so we began to use a carrier which you loved. You still like it now but can take a minute or two to settle in it if you are cranky. You also enjoy studying faces and spend a long time looking/gazing at them when you are in the mood.
You began to smile in secret at me around 4-5 weeks, I wasn't certain until I caught you grinning at me whilst in your car seat. Not long after you began to coo as well when being spoken to
When you were seven weeks old you took part in something rather exciting! Asda filmed some short films for their website about baby care and you and I feature in their nappy one. You were extremely well behaved and didn't make a sound during the filming.
When you were around eight weeks you began to start whacking the toy hanging over your bouncer and have really started to take notice of it over the past couple of weeks.
You have strong control of your head/neck and seemed determined from birth to have a go at holding it up as much as you possibly could, very much like Eliot!
At eight and a half weeks I reluctantly moved you up to size 2 nappies, I just want you stay 'little' for as long as possible.
You had a BCG immunisation at two weeks old and your first round of combined jabs just before you turned ten weeks old. Needless to say you were not happy, you screamed like I'd never heard you do before, it was awful! Luckily you were ok afterwards but did spend a lot of the next day sleeping. 
Wearing a sleepsuit Eliot also wore in hospital

I was determined to try and breastfeed you but unfortunately it didn't work out. You did try to latch on but even with help whilst we were in hospital it just didn't happen. During the first few days you had some expressed breast milk and of course formula, you have Aptamil like Eliot did.
At the start you were having between 2oz and 4oz, although there were a couple of occasions you were sick so it was obviously too much for your tiny tummy. Now you are having five bottles a day, four 5oz bottles and a 6oz bottle when you wake up. Again like your big bro, you adore your bottles... you literally down them! However you cry/scream for a few seconds when it's finished, you are really not happy when that happens! 95% of the time you bring your wind up very quickly, sometimes all that has to be done is to lift you up and you'll burp. I think you may get some colicky pains as you can be unsettled and upset at times. I haven't tried gripe water or infacol to see if they help yet.  
As mentioned above, you are currently sleeping through the night which is amazing! You tend to 'cat nap' in the day unless you are in the car or pram where you will sleep for longer. It seems as though you are going to have a good sleep but it can be just after ten minutes when your eyes pop open wide awake! You have slept in your crib (which used to be Eliot's) next to me at night since you came back from the hospital.
My dinky girl

You have continued to put on weight since your arrival, which is great to know you are thriving. To be honest you don't need to be put on the scales, it's easy to see you're putting on weight when you finish every bottle! You really started to fill out a few weeks ago. Last week you were put on the scales and weighed 11.46lbs.

As I was convinced I was going to have another nine pound + baby I only bought a couple of things in 'up to 1 month' size but as you surprised me being so dainty, you were able to fit into 'first size' and 'up to 1 month'. Even now some of them still fit you, not for long (sob, sob)! Mostly though you are wearing 0-3 months.

More Nicknames
I wrote a post about your name and the nicknames I had come with so far. I just can't help it, random words fall out of my mouth and they stick so here are some to add to the list...
17. Little old man
18. Noly
19. Noly Poly
20. Noly Poly Roly Roo
21 Roly Roo
22. Roly (at the moment this is the one I'm using the most)

Your Likes
  • You love cuddles
  • You love your bottles
  • You love having a bath, if you're crying beforehand you soon stop
  •  You enjoy studying peoples faces
  • You really enjoy being out and about and taking in different environments
  •  You like watching and listening to Eliot
  • You like giving your toys above the bouncer a whack
  • You show an interest in baby books
  • You enjoy being sung to and seem to like the song 'Wonderwall' by Oasis and 'Incy Wincy Spider'
  • You like your dummy, more so over the past week or so
Your Dislikes
  • Sudden loud noises
  • Being taken out of the bath
  • To begin with you were very selective about your dummy, spitting it out at times
  • Being put down for too long
  • Being disturbed when you are comfy
  • Being put in the car seat
So I think that's about it for now, you are growing and changing to quickly! Until next time,

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Christmas Gifts with Sports Direct #sdfiverchallenge

This post is an entry for Britmums #sdfiver challenge Christmas Challenge sponsored by We were challenged to find Christmas gifts for different people with at least two gifts costing five pound or less.
Whenever I've thought of Sports Direct, trainers or sports clothes immediately come to mind, I'll be honest and say it's not somewhere where I'd think to buy Christmas presents (unless they were 'sport' related), so I was pleasantly surprised by the range of products that were available. From toys to gift sets to Christmas jumpers, there really is a lot to choose from with many items priced at five pounds or less. I must say I was impressed with what was available and the prices.
To begin with a spent a good hour or so browsing the website taking mental note of things I thought would be good presents for certain people before choosing some and adding them to my basket, this is what I selected.
For the teacher

As a teacher myself I don't look forward to the overload of thoughtful chocolate gifts at the end of term. I don't mean to sound ungrateful but I'd honestly rather just have a card or verbal words from parents/carers if they wish to give something because...
A) 15+ chocolate gifts is too much chocolate!
B) 15+ chocolate gifts are not going to be helpful to my postpartum tum that I want to reduce in size!
So when I stumbled across Yankee Candles on the Sports Direct Website I was pleasantly surprised, especially as a small jar was priced at £3.99! So that's what I ordered, a small 'Sparkling Snow' candle as an alternate gift for Eliot's teacher. However as you can see on the box above there are three candles priced at £7.99, so I'm not sure if I didn't read the description properly and it was always a pack of three or they had sold out of single candles. Whichever way it was, they went through at £3.99 on my order which is blimmin' good value for a great quality product! Unfortunately these particular candles no longer seem to be available on the website which doesn't surprise me because they were such good value! There are other Yankee products available and who knows, they could get more in stock.
For The Teaching Assistant

Eliot has four adults working in his Reception class, so that's four gifts that I needed to get! As I said above I'm not overly keen on chocolate gifts so thought this Moisty mug cake was another great alternative gift, with one particular TA in mind. Yes it's food related but who doesn't love a cake and one that can be ready a minute?! For £3.49 I thought this was super value and would be a great small gift or stocking filler for all cake lovers, ones that don't have a nut allergy though as this is Hazelnut flavour!

For The Child With TOO Many Toys

Sometimes I find buying presents for kids really difficult because you wonder if it's something they already have or if it could be adding to a toy collection that's already too large and driving the parents too distraction! So I try to avoid toys and opt for things like games. They (hopefully) won't add to the toy mess and they're something that all the family can get involved in. I chose this 3D Snakes and Ladders game for Eliot as he has a rather tired  2D version of it and I'm sure we'll have some festive family fun playing it together. It's priced at £5 but unfortunately I couldn't find it on the website so I'm guessing it's gone out of stock.
For The Sweet Lovers

I chose this Mini jelly bean machine for Eliot because he does like a sweet treat but mainly because he's been pointing out all the bubble gum machine gifts and bubble gum is something I won't give to him just yet. So when I came across this  Jelly Bean version I knew I had to get it for him as he'll love dispensing his own sweets! It's priced at £7.99.


I picked this Chewits selection box as a little present for my other half, he isn't fussed about chocolate but does love chewy sweets. He often buys Chewits but there only seem to be a limited selection of flavours available so I thought this would be ideal as there are a few different ones in this box. Priced at £2.99 I  thought it was good value for a selection box.

For The Presents

I don't know about you but I find wrapping Christmas presents after the first few a little laborious so I cheat with some and put them into Gift bags. This pack of five variety sized bags cost £2.99 which again I thought was a good price. There is also a more traditional Santa and Snowman pack of bags at the same price.

All of the items I picked came to under £25 which was I think was excellent value for what I selected and the quality. Delivery costs £4.99.
I certainly recommend browsing the website for presents whether their stocking fillers or main gifts there is plenty to choose from!

* I received the products above in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions

Thursday, 16 November 2017

REVIEW - Vionic Shoes

Back in the summer when I was expecting baby numero two (Nola Belle), I was invited to review a pair of shoes from Vionic. This was a brand I had never heard of before, whose 'biomechanical footbeds support you from the ground up'. I was intrigued to try them, especially when I found out their FMT technology with built in arch support aims to alleviate foot problems such as plantar faciitis. Having suffered with plantar faciitis a few months after having Eliot I was keen to avoid the problem developing again as it was very painful indeed! I was also desperate to try Vionic shoes to offer optimum support and comfort to my pregnant and very swollen feet!
I opted for a casual pair of trainer style shoes named 'Syra' which come in a choice of colours.  I am undoubtedly a 'flats' over 'heels' kinda gal and am most comfortable wearing a pair of trainers, so couldn't wait to try them out! At the time the white pair were my first choice but they didn't have my size in stock. However I'm really pleased I chose the black, especially now it's Winter.
When they arrived and I unboxed them I was really pleased with the style, they would be something I would buy myself as they go with perfectly with the casual, comfortable style I like to rock as a mum.

With my second pregnancy I suffered with severely swollen feet and legs so was really looking forward to getting the Vionic shoes on so I could give my ever expanding tootsies some better support.
I have wide feet anyway, but unfortunately my feet were so badly swollen I really had to battle get the shoes on and the fit was extremely tight. Therefore I didn't feel it would be fair to review them with my feet more swollen than the norm in pregnancy, here's how bad they actually were (sorry for the naff phone/gross feet photo).

Fast forward a few weeks after Nola's arrival, the swelling had gone and my feet/legs were pretty much back to their usual size. This meant I could finally give the shoes an honest review.
Vionic say,
'Feet were designed to walk on soft, natural elements like soil and sand,
not the hard, flat man-made surfaces that make up so much of our modern world.
Our shoes and sandals hug your arches like a natural footprint, giving you all day support.'
The leaflet that came in the box advised that to begin with only wear the shoes for a few hours at a time to let your body get used to Vionic's 'biomechanical orthotic technology'. So that is exactly what I did, wore them on short trips such as the school run with Eliot or when nipping to the shops. I usually find with a new pair of shoes that they often rub the back of my heel which can obviously be very sore and uncomfortable. With my Vionic shoes I haven't had this problem once as the back of the shoe is soft and supportive.
They have even kept my feet in ultra comfort during long days out walking all over London and hopping on and off public transport (you know how that is when you have a pram and fournager in tow').
If you're looking to be kinder to your feet whether your pregnant or not, I definitely recommend checking out Vionic!
* I received the product in exchange for a review. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Giveaway- "Milkshake! Brand New Besties" DVD **ENDED**

I don't know about you but I'm definitely not looking forward to another 'toy influx' this Christmas, so I'm looking at alternate gifts for the 'fournager'! A tablet, games, books and DVD's are on my current list.
I personally think DVD's are great stocking fillers or presents even if parents aren't dreading the toy overload! They're always handy for those dreary wet days or cold winter evenings and I love the look of the new Milkshake DVD featuring those toddler and pre-school favourites...

PAW Patrol
Digby Dragon
Bob The Builder
Peppa Pig
Shimmer and Shine.
 Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom
Fireman Sam
Poppy Cat
Olly the Little White Van
Puffin Rock
Noddy, Toyland Detective
Thomas & FriendsTM


Fancy winning a copy of Milkshake's Brand New Besties DVD?! I have two to giveaway, enter via rafflecopter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate comments and read all of them!