Thursday, 22 February 2018

Cuddledry Towel REVIEW

Back in January we were kindly sent an original cuddledry towel in oatmeal and white. Little Miss Nola has loved bath time pretty much since her first one, she would scream getting undressed for her bath and then stop as soon as she was placed in the water!
Nola in one of her early baths
However, when it was time to come out she would again scream the place down, whilst I was in a frantic rush to get her on to the towel, all wrapped up and cosy. It would usually take her a little while to calm down too.

This is where the cuddledry towel has been a total game changer at bath times. Its' genius, hands free, multi award winning design enables me to place Nola directly on my chest and wrap her in the towel quickly. This means she's kept cosy and warm which is something I particularly worried about in the early days. It also means I don't get wet!

First bath with big bro!
Apart from the first time we used it, I can honestly say there have been no tears at all after bath time. Nola loves cuddles and now I'm able to cuddle her straight after a bath without getting soaked! I'm certain she feels secure being cuddled as soon as she comes out which has made bath time a much more relaxing experience for everyone.
The towel is made from 'natural bamboo fibre' and 'unbleached cotton' which is super soft and very absorbent, meaning I can 'cuddle-dry' her.
The original cuddledry is available in a range of different colours and there is also a range of other fantastic products on the website including toddler towels and the new 'Baby & Me Wash Bag'.
I highly recommend the cuddledry for stress free bath times with your new baby or if your looking to buy a baby gift this is a great one! You can buy it from the cuddledry website as well as other retailers such as Boots and John Lewis.
I'm linking this post up with Jenny's Bumps & Babies linky!
*I was sent the item to review but all opinions are my own

Thursday, 15 February 2018

5 Month Update

I said it with your big brother, and I'm sure I'll continue to say it but I just don't know where the time goes, I can't believe you are 5 months already!!!
At present your seizures are under control (high five!!!), since the last update you've had one ambulance ride to hospital, your third lot of immunisations and an eye clinic appointment!
I'm convinced your seizure activity changed each time you had a round of immunisations, a week or so after the first set you experienced seizures for just over a week and then they stopped. A couple of days after the second set you began to have the infantile spasms, followed a few days later with another type of seizure. Then the day after your third set you stopped having any spasms. Coincidence I'd just increased the dose again? I'm not certain nor am I convinced but fantastic news  that the spasms are currently at bay! But before that last set you were a bit poorly.
 After the first and third set of jabs parents are currently advised to give their babies three doses of paracetamol to help prevent a temperature. Having the combined jabs, including the one for meningitis means you were more likely to get a temperature. I gave you two doses but because you'd been sick in the evening and I was already loading you with your anti epileptic medicine I didn't want to go over board you and give you paracetamol whilst your temperature was normal. That was a mistake!! I woke up about 4am to hear you chomping on your hand, which was unusual for you as after going several hours through the night without a bottle, you'd normally be screaming! I felt your head and you seemed to be on the warm side but still took a bottle and drank it all. I then checked you with the thermometer and your temperature was on the high side. So I gave you  some paracetamol which you vomited back straight away so I didn't finish the dose. You then had a long, nasty set of spasms so I rang 111 for some advice as I was worried. They dispatched an ambulance based on the information I gave them.
This pramsuit makes me laugh because it makes you look huge!!!
When they arrived the paramedics checked you over, as your temperature was still high and your heart rate was out of the normal range they took us to hospital. By the time you were checked in A&E and again on the children's ward everything was back to normal, thankfully. After a couple of hours we were sent home, with the overall medical consensus that you had a reaction to the immunisations.
  Apart from that little drama you had your eyes checked and we found out you have growths behind your left eye. At the moment they don't seem to be causing you any problems, time will tell but fingers crossed they won't affect your vision.
Development wise, you can see that having the seizures under control is making a change to your progression. You are more awake, I guess because there are no seizures to make you tired and your body has got used to the medicine. Being awake for longer means more time to interact, you are smiling more and you have giggled a couple of times which is the best sound, it melts my heart! You babble a lot and over the last couple of weeks you began a high pitched shriek/cry/shout and use it when you're both happy and upset. You still only give eye contact on your terms, when you're being held you usually avoid eye contact but will look at people when you are lying down.
This month you had your first bath with your big brother, you thoroughly enjoyed it but I didn't as I was worried you were going to slip out of my grip! You are still in size 3 nappies. Overall you seem to be on the whole just a lot more chilled out, you really like your oball and have started to grip hold of it. You absolutely love chomping on your hands and fingers and will stare at them for ages!
Enjoying your oball
You appetite still hasn't changed, you would drink milk continuously if you could!. You were still having 5oz bottles, five times a day, sometimes alternated with a 6oz bottle but now you are on five 6oz bottles. If you do wake during the night I will give you less to help you go back to sleep.
Absolutely love looking/chomping/sucking your hands and fingers
You are continuing to sleep through most nights from anything between 9pm-11pm usually through until 7:30am-8.30am. You have slept through more this month but there are still times you have woken up.
I haven't had you weighed since the last update.

Clothes wise you are mostly wearing 3-6 month clothes with some exception here and there. Such as a newborn size cardigan!

More Nicknames
I'm still coming out with random nicknames.  Here are last months and below there's a few more!     
26. Baboo
27. Baboose
28. Baboosey
29. RoRo Beans
Your Likes
  • You still love cuddles especially if you're tired
  • You still  love your bottles
  • Bath time continues to be a favourite
  • You still enjoy getting out
  •  You still like watching and listening to Eliot
  • The dummy is still soothing, mainly when you're tired.
Your Dislikes
  • Eliot being 'too cuddly' or on the rough side
  • Still having clothes put on/taken off if you are not in the mood
  • Still...Being disturbed when you are comfy
It's been a more positive update Nola,  I hope next month there are more positives to write about!
I've linked this post up with Jenny's 'Bumps & Babies' linky!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

The Red Lion, A Sizzling Pub & Grill-REVIEW

 A few weeks ago I received an email asking me if I'd like to review the recently refurbished Red Lion, part of  'The Sizzling Pubs' group, in Bedford. As one of my favourite things to do is to eat out, I of course said yes!
We were booked in for 5pm one Friday evening and in the meantime I browsed the online menus. I was impressed at the selection of foods and the amount of offers that were available, such as kids eat for £1 and skillet and a drink for £5.99.
Eliot had already chosen exactly what he was going to eat when I looked at the menus online and I had an idea of what I might order but wanted to have another good look at the menu when we were there.

On arrival we were shown to our table, which had a nice view of the sparkly lights in the garden. With the 'Sizzling Pubs' you usually order at the bar once you have decided what you are eating, don't forget your table number!
We went for an offer of  mix and matching three starters to share,  choosing cheese and bacon crispy potato skins, the new chicken madras pakora bites and new garlic prawns.
I said 'to share' but Eliot and I don't eat prawns so the other half had them to himself and we shared the rest. I really enjoyed both the other starters and was pleasantly surprised with the chicken madras pakora bites. I love Indian food but usually find if I buy an Indian dish from the supermarket or order one in a non Indian restaurant, they just don't taste authentic and have a certain flavour. But I didn't find that with these pakora bites and loved the mint sour cream they were served with. It was a generous serving too, if you weren't too hungry and after something light this would be a good option!
The potato skins were nice, crispy and full of flavour. The other half enjoyed his garlic prawns too.
 For his main Eliot chose the 'Mini Mixed Grill' from the over 5's section of the menu. They also have dishes recommended for under 5's. Eliot chose this because he's a bit of an egg lover but it also came with half a chicken breast, sausage and a burger. He then chose garlic bread from the 'side' options and corn on the cob from the 'veg' section. There is a good selection of kids meals, sides and veg which should meet the needs of most fussy eaters. The kids menu is great value too with the main, dessert an drink for £4.99. Even better, if you visit between 3-7pm Monday-Friday, kids eat for £1 when an adult has a main meal!
 The other half went for the rump steak platter which was two steaks served with onions, mushrooms, onion rings, mushroom and chips were chosen as a side. This was a big portion of steak but the other half enjoyed it. The steak was served as requested, medium rare.
 I opted for one of the newer options from the menu, 'The Tennessee' loaded steak which consisted of a 8oz sirloin steak covered in a bourbon glaze, streaky bacon and melted cheese. It was served with onions, a grilled mushroom and tomato, onion rings and chips. I'm one of those people that asks for my steak 'well done' which it mostly was, there were a few pinky parts but not enough for me to ask for it to be cooked a bit more. I'm not a fan of bourbon as a tipple but I really like it as a glaze it's so tasty! I would definitely have this dish again!
Dessert was something Eliot didn't stop mentioning throughout our dinner! Again as we'd looked at the dessert menu prior to coming, Eliot had decided he was having the 'Build Your Own Sundae'. I think it is a super choice for a kids menu, it makes pudding even more fun and has one of their five a day included. Eliot certainly enjoyed building his sundae with the strawberries, chocolate buttons (and they were Cadbury buttons, hurrah!) chocolate pieces and chocolate sauce.
 I am probably more of a 'dessert' person than a 'starter person' so found it difficult to make a choice! I was torn between the treacle sponge and the new black forest sundae. In the end went for the sundae, which included vanilla ice cream, black cherry compote, brownie pieces and cream. It was so good!
 The OH went with the Mint Aero Sundae, which came with vanilla ice cream, brownie pieces, mint aero bubbles and cream. As you can see this looked pretty good too!
Our thoughts overall...
The food
There is good range of food options available that cater for different tastes and needs, including one or two vegan options which I know is growing. Prices are reasonable and extremely good if you take advantage of one of the offers which are super value! You can even get a fiver off your bill if you sign up.
I was impressed with the options on the kids menu, plenty to choose from and as most of us parents know, children can be fussy! What I liked most was you choose your main then get to choose your two sides which again is helpful to those of with fussy eaters! I also liked the fact there were options for under and over 5's. 
All of the food ordered was a good standard and we enjoyed everything we ordered.
The service
As mentioned above, you decide what your eating then order at the bar with your table number. We were served our meal by a very friendly and pleasant waiter who was also good with Eliot. I'm sure you know what I mean if you're a parent out dining with the family and there's that waiter/waitress that make your outing more relaxed and enjoyable. They take time, even if it's only a few seconds to interact with children and make the experience even better. That's what we had with out waiter!
The Atmosphere
The Red Lion has recently been refurbished but I can't compare its current look to what it was like before as this was my first visit. However you could see lots of things were new. I loved the different colours of paint on our table which had a quirky effect!
As it was a Friday evening, there was lots of hubbub in the bar with people having after work drinks. Where we were seated there was lots of other families too which made me feel more comfortable and at ease. There was a warm, cozy feel to the environment which was welcoming
In the bar area I noticed sign which said children were welcome to eat in the bar area until 5pm and elsewhere there was a sign stating children were welcome in the restaurant area until 9pm. I'm 50/50 on this one as there have been times we've needed to eat late, perhaps if  we've travelled away on a break. If it was the only option around that could be a bit of a problem!
 On the other hand 9pm is late for little ones and I know there are many people who do not want children around them when they're out for dinner, regardless of the time. I've never been one of those people even before having children so if it is an establishment offering a kids menu I'm not sure there should be a limit on what time they can be in the restaurant until.
Would we go back?
Yes I would certainly go back to The Red Lion and would try other 'Sizzling Pub' branches too. The food is good value for what you get and there are plenty of offers to help you ensure you don't break your budget!
*We received a complimentary meal in exchange for a review, all thoughts & opinions are my own

Monday, 22 January 2018

Asda Little Angels Video Tips

If you follow me on Instagram you may remember towards the end of last year Little Miss Nola took part in some filming for Asda Little Angels which was rather exciting! We travelled down to Dulwich for filming with some of the lovely Myraid PR team, some other mummy's and their beautiful bubbas. Nola and I were filmed for a 'nappy changing tips' video and I must say she was very well behaved for a seven week old!
A couple of weeks later I was invited along to the launch of the new videos at London's Ivy restaurant with some other fellow mummy bloggers, Dr Hilary Jones and Vanessa and Kayley from Myriad PR. What a treat to have an afternoon off 'mum duties' with great company and amazing food!

 Asda Little Angels created the videos with Dr Hilary Jones to give advice and tips on four particular areas of baby care, clickable links below!

 I was super excited to see the finished videos, naturally extra excited to see the one Nola and I filmed! I really recommend giving them a watch for some great tips! If you're wondering why your baby's nappy is leaking, why they might have nappy rash,  how often you should bath your newborn or when your baby is ready for weaning, these videos will give you a heads up with plenty of other advice!

For more info and advice from Asda Little Angels check out their Baby & Toddler club.

* I was invited along to the launch of the videos at The Ivy, I received no payment for this post

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!
I've linked this post up with Jenny's 'Bumps & Babies' linky!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate comments and read all of them!