Friday, 10 August 2018

Sealife London Aquarium-Review

Last week we had a fun summer holiday day out to the Sealife London Aquarium. I've been there a few times before but not for a good while, there were a lot of changes, from a new entrance to the addition of penguins, there were lots of new things to see!
As you first go in there is a clear walkway over some of the sea life...including sharks enabling you to get a look at them swimming below!
It was obviously busy being the holidays, so it was handy there were toilets while we were queueing to get into the next part. There was large family toilet which we went into complete with a kids toilet as well as a 'normal' toilet and a baby change! It was perfect timing as Nola needed nappy change.

As well as there being an abundance of sea creatures to see, there were also several talks about some of them, repeated several times a day.
One of my favourite things about our visit was being able to get a bit hands on. Eliot touched a starfish for the first time, despite having opportunities to do this in the past he was never quite brave enough. He said he was 'too scared' on this visit but after a member of staff said she would show him how to do it first he was happy to have a go.
 As we were about to go through the tunnel there was another member of staff with different specimens talking about what they were and answering any questions.
Eliot getting hands on


Another favourite part of our visit was seeing the giant turtles, I'm always in a bit of awe when I see wildlife and it was amazing to get so close, minus the glass. Of course one of the main attractions are the sharks and there a plenty of opportunities to see them from different perspectives in the tank.

Nola enjoying looking at the sharks!


 Seahorses are another of my favourites, they're so interesting to watch and move so gracefully. I think the tiny white specks you can see in the clear tube were baby seahorses!

There are plenty of species to see and read about as you walk through the different areas.

We all enjoyed the 'Rainforest Adventure' zone which started off with some creepy crawlies. The giant leaf cutter ants were fascinating to watch, as well as being in a tank there was a tube that ran above the other exhibits meaning you could catch a good sight of them in action. 
There were also hissing cockroaches and a rather large tarantula! The tanks they were in enabled you to get a better view and give the impression you were in there with them, with a dome in the centre you could crawl into.
Moving further through there were plenty more species to look at including piranha fish, poisonous dart frogs and cuban crocodiles.

Of course there were many people surrounding the penguin tank, all hoping to see them in action. Most of the penguins stayed at the back but there were a few that seemed to love having the crowds watching them. They'd dive in, swim around at an incredible speed before launching themselves back on to dry land like absolute pros!

One penguin in particular that wowed the audience was 'Max', he took it upon himself to parade right next to one of the windows, going back and forth before diving back into the water again. What an absolute character, such a joy to watch!


I certainly recommend a visit to the Sealife London Aquarium whether it's a trip with your other half, friends or a family day out, there's plenty to see! It was also interesting to learn about the conservation projects they are involved in.

Have you visited recently?

*I received complimentary entry in exchange for a review, all options are my own

Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Third Trimester-Second Baby

35+4 weeks
A year on from me being in the third trimester of my second pregnancy and I'm finally writing about it...better late than never!

Morning Sickness
I did have a lot of moments when I was nauseous, one in particular was when we'd made a roast chicken in the bag for a Sunday lunch. When it was cooked and I opened the bag I couldn't bear the smell, it made e retch and safe to say I didn't eat any!

Cravings
Still no cravings as such but still avoided 'proper meals' on many occasions and would choose cereal and toast!


Scares

I always felt that when pregnant with Eliot that his movements were never really in a 'pattern' and felt the same with this pregnancy. I also thought the movements this time round were different, certainly bigger like rolls and more uncomfortable at times.
At 29+6 I called the midwife after work to say I was concerned I hadn't felt much movement so she sent me to the antenatal assessment unit at the hospital. Of course baby decided to become active and was moving whilst I was monitored. It happened to be the end of the heatwave in June and I'd had a sore throat so thought me being under the weather could have affected things.
I found myself back in the AAU a few times, I suppose the most worrying being when I fell arse over tit whilst rushing to a midwife appointment. I had to spend a bit of time being monitored and waiting for Anti D as I'd knocked my bump.

First monitoring
Midwives & Doctors 
I had the routine anti d injection due to my blood being rhesus negative. It wasn't the midwife I usually saw and I was asked if I would prefer the injection in my arm or the top of my backside! Having had previous anti d injections in my arm I went for the backside option. I was pre warned it would feel cold which it did.
 I saw a different midwife in my preferred hospital and also went through the process from the beginning, having to have my bloods taken again which I was not happy about! She also booked me to see a Dr as Eliot had weighed 9lb5oz when born and she happened to mention a 'bigger baby' could get its' 'shoulders stuck' which freaked me out and stuck in my mind. 
Most of the last few appointments with my usual midwife were normal, urine samples were ok apart from one time when my blood pressure was also raised so I was sent to AAU for monitoring but when they checked my urine and blood pressure everything was normal so I'm not sure what happened!
I saw the doctor at 39+6 after having a scan a week or two earlier to check babies size. At that point baby was estimated to weigh 7lb6oz. Due to my concern of baby being 'larger' than Eliot was, I was given a sweep which was not pleasant nor did it get baby moving! Then I was booked in for an induction four days later!


Scans

After having a 4D scan with Eliot I didn't think Id have one the second time round but gave in to temptation! I also wanted Eliot to see the baby to hopefully make it more real for him but as it turned out he was 'bored' after the first couple of minutes! The 4D experience is well worth it as you can find deals on packages. We came away with a DVD, images, a magnet and keyrings.
I also had a scan around 37 weeks to check babies size as mentioned above.

Other
I don't think I mentioned in previous pregnancy updates that I had some patches of skin discolouration, one was above my eyebrow. 
I had hideously swollen legs and feet, I think that had to be the worst pregnancy symptom, they were uncomfortable!
One big memory I have from the third trimester was that week long heatwave (nothing compared to this summer!) I didn't have a fan and almost had a breakdown in one of the aisles in Sainsbury's when they told me they didn't have any. I attempted to sleep with an ice pack but still had an uncomfortable few nights of sleep!

How was your final trimester?
Keep an eye out for Nola's birth story coming soon!



Friday, 15 June 2018

The Golden Hinde London


If you're in London or not too far away,The Golden Hinde in Southwark is one of London's many things to do and is part of a perfect trip out for any pirate/history fans. 
 Eliot has always enjoyed being out and about across the capital and loves the varied sights of what the capital has to offer. Lately, he has been particularly fond of London’s historic sights and revels on the background stories and facts behind them. One of his favourite historic subjects at present is pirates and ships.  So when we mentioned paying the Golden Hinde a visit he was very keen! Especially when his dad told him stories and facts about of one of history’s most famous Elizabethan sea captains, Sir Francis Drake and the mighty ship, he couldn't wait to get there!
 
Situated on the historic banks of Southwark, moments from London Bridge Station, and under the shadows of the gothic majestic Southwark Cathedral, The Golden Hinde is an exact replica of the real thing and is moored perfectly to where many boats and ships of the time would have docked.
Below deck is very tight and apart from Eliot, the rest of us had to duck down as we explored the lower decks. It really gives you a feel for how difficult and awful it would have been for the crewman who manned the guns as explosions and chaos rumbled around the ship. The living and sleeping quarters  were extremely cramped which makes you wonder how the crew coped. 
Being a grumpy, bossy captain!

 
We enjoyed our trip to the Golden Hinde and learning about the different parts of the ship and what they would have been used for.
The Golden Hinde is open daily but do check the website as they close for private functions, you can also see what's on as they have special events on certain days. The day we visited there was a pirate training activity!
Jumping with excitement!

 
Have you visited the Golden Hinde?
 
 
*We received free entry in exchange for a blog post
 

Friday, 8 June 2018

Nola's 6, 7, 8 & 9 Month Update!


General/milestones
Nola you are now nine months old, the same amount of time you were growing inside me. I'm sorry I haven't kept up to date with your updates, there wasn't any big changes between five and six months so I thought I'd pick things up again at seven months, then eight months and before I knew it here we are at nine months old!
You have grown a lot, especially your hair it's getting thicker and thicker! You have become more smiley, you 'talk' a lot making an 'aahhh' sound and you have continued to work hard at holding objects and rolling over. You have been rolling all the time these past couple of weeks and you're getting pretty good at it, you did bump your head at the weekend and bruised your head.

Seizure wise they made a come back unfortunately. When you were six months old I noticed when you were sleeping sometimes you eyes would open and then flicker, I was pretty sure they were seizures. So I sent a video over to the epilepsy nurse, I didn't hear back but then received a letter for an appointment at Addenbrookes with the paediatric neurologist, it turned out the epilepsy nurse had forwarded the video to him. He put you on a third medication and told us he would see you again in July.
The next day you began to have infantile spasms again so called I the neuros secretary and explained. The Dr called me that evening and said we'd stick with the plan, which was introducing the third medicine over four weeks and that should hopefully stop the spasms.
 It didn't so our appointment was brought forward and we saw him again a couple of weeks ago and he said the next stop was to put you on steroids. I really didn't want to put you on these as the side effects aren't great. But the with the overall outcome of infantile spasms there really is was no other choice. You have been an absolute trooper on them though Nola, you've just been amazing so so good! Very quiet and dazed at times but you have been smiley at times too. The good news is they stopped the spasms quickly and they have kept away so far! We started to wean you yesterday on your nine month birthday so I'm hoping that will be ok as I know it can be difficult for some little ones.




I don't think your development has gone back, if it has only a little. You wanted to roll for ages and you're doing it consistently now! You also want to sit up by yourself, you're getting there. I know you'll do it, I'm so proud of you! You're still not overly keen to use you hands, although you'll bash things and try to grab them if you're in the mood. A few weekends ago you mastered blowing raspberries and couldn't stop doing it! You haven't done it as much since you started the steroids.
 You cut your first tooth just after you turned six months and the second one followed shortly after!
In April you had your first trip abroad to Disneyland Paris, you were far better behaved than your big brother! It was such a nice getaway, not in anyway relaxing but wonderful to getaway...Disney is magical!
We were chosen to be ambassadors for Turtle Tots which is very exciting! We started our swimming lessons in May but have stopped for now due to your immune system being suppressed whilst on steroids. You love being in the water and did lots of splashing around.
 I moved you up to size 4 nappies at some point but discovered today you still fit in a size 3! 
Wearing purple for world epilepsy awareness day!

Feeding
Nothing has changed about your appetite! You still love milk and of course I started weaning you at six months. I gave you different vegetables first, broccoli, potato, carrot, cauliflower, parsnip, peas, green beans. You liked most of them but broccoli made you heave he first time, you were fine after that though. You definitely prefer sweet though as you can't get enough of fruit and yogurt! You are loving eating solids!
Milk is still very much a favourite, you have three to four bottles a day 5-6oz, I mix a bit with one of your medicines in the morning and at night. I have been putting some of steroid doses in.  

Sleeping
Mostly you sleep through the night but there have been a few times you've woken up very early, to be fair you happily lay there kicking your legs and playing with your feet. Mostly you have been waking around 7am.

 
Weight
I can update your weight this time! You were weighed at the hospital a couple of weeks ago and were 8.16kg = 17lbs9oz which is lighter than I thought you were!

Clothes
You are mainly in 6-9 month clothes but also wearing some 9-12 month bits.
 
More Nicknames
The nicknames keep coming!  Here are what came out last time and below there's more!     

30. Kee Kee
31. Kee-Kai
32. Beauty
33.Beauty Weauty
34. Tutti Fruitti
35. Pumbles
36. Kee-Kai
37.Pooch
38.Poochie
39.Poochie Woochie
40.Poochie Woocha

With big bro at Hampton Court Palace
 
Your Likes
  • You still love snuggly cuddles...I do too!
  • Milk and food
  • Bath time still makes you happy and now swimming does too
  • You love being out and about
  •  Watching trees, they make you very excited for some reason
  • Big brother playing with you (when he's not being too rough!)
Your Dislikes
  • Waiting for milk or food
  • Still not a fan of being dressed or undressed, although you don't grumble as much
  • Still being disturbed
In all honesty there's not a lot you kick up a fuss about right now, you are so chilled!

    That's it my darling girl, until next time!
xxx

 
 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

My Car History*



 

My beloved Mini!
Ever since I was a child I have always wanted to drive so when I started driving lessons just after my seventeenth birthday I couldn't wait to pass my test. Just the thought of being able to get to places by myself whenever I needed or wanted was very exciting. It did take me around nine months to be ready to take the practical test but I passed first time as I had with the theory test. I also already had a second hand car that I'd practiced driving in with my dad, often with some arguing.
But how I loved my first car, a Vauxhall Nova. I remember so well the first journey I drove by myself after passing my test. It was a short drive down to my friends house. It felt amazing being independent albeit a little nerve wracking driving completely alone. My trusty Nova was in my life for the next three years until it was in an accident and sadly written off.
Next I ventured down the new car route, I'd been saving for a while so had a deposit could afford the monthly finance payments. My second car and first 'big purchase' was a Renault Clio. How exciting it was ordering a brand new car, I had to wait a few weeks before it was ready to be picked up, I still clearly remember that day and how I stalled it doing a right hand turn on to the main road as I left the show room! I kept it until 2011 when I decided I wanted a new car, a Mini  to be specific! I bought it before I sold my Clio and again absolutely loved it, even though I had no idea about the 'Stop/Start' function when I first drove it and was confused when the engine cut out when I stopped at traffic lights! I only had it for a year and a half before I sold it due to wanting/needing a five door car when pregnant with Eliot. As my parents were getting a new car they gave me their old one, a Nissan Almera. It saved me from paying out for another car and was ideal for a growing family. When I went back to work full time I decided to go down the new car route again and went for a Renault Captur. My Clio had been reliable and efficient so I was happy to go back to a car brand I'd driven before.  It's still the car I'm driving today.
I feel lucky that with all the cars I've had, I've not had any major issues (touch wood), only problems to do with batteries. The worst case being with the Almera when the battery was cutting out when I was driving which wasn't great and also a little scary on a dual carriageway!
Of course I've replaced a fair few tyres, sometimes with the MOT highlighting the fact they needed changing. I knew worn tyres were pretty dangerous but wasn't aware that tyre blowouts are one of the main causes of car accidents. I've admitted before that I'm not the best at safety checks with my car which is why it's useful to have my dad frequently reminding me. Sometimes it's a bit of a pain to get car jobs done etc which is why it is helpful to book online. If you need new tyres you can reserve tyres online & get free professional tyre fitting from Iverson Tyres Ltd. in London. 
It's really important to do regular car safety checks, such as making sure your tyres are the correct pressure and the tread is not worn beyond the legal limit.
How often do you do car safey checks?

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