To A First Time Mum Me…

This post is an entry for BritMums #VicksBabyRub Challenge, sponsored by Vicks BabyRub. Specially designed for babies aged 6 months and over, Vicks BabyRub is available at Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and all good pharmacy chains. RRP £3.99

Dear First Time Mum Rebecca,

I know you are struggling right now. You don’t think you are cut out for this and I can understand your foreboding – Jack was late and your meltdown the week before his birth is completely okay – all mums get like that sometimes.

I know that you have felt like a failure because of the first few days of being a mum – it isn’t your fault that you got an infection during labour and that things had to change. I know that you planned to exclusively breastfeed and unfortunately this hasn’t been able to happen but Jack is thriving being combination fed – and you have a great support network around you with Steve, your parents, in-laws and your fantastic health visitor, Philippa. You really lucked out with that health visitor – she’s great.

 

I know you’ve been looking around at the items you’ve got or been given for Jack and that you’ve realised some of them are utterly useless. Unfortunately that is just a rite of passage as a first time mum – you buy or get given absolutely every baby product on the market and realise eventually that you don’t even need half of them.

You’ll be the one to carry on your Dad’s story – remember when he swung you up in the air and you threw up into his open mouth? Steve will swing Jack and he will decide to try to do the same to you – but luckily you move out the way just in time. Oh, how you’ll laugh about it. You’ll also be able to take great pleasure at not being the parent who has to experience the first time Jack discovers the contents of his nappy and tries to eat them, be thankful about that!

 

Your first aid kit and medicine cupboard will be stocked up to the brim with all you think you could need, whether cosmetic or medicinal- thermometer, Calpol and Vicks BabyRub which helps your baby to be more relaxed, mostly because of the lovely mild fragrances of rosemary, lavender and aloe vera. Believe me, Vicks will prove invaluable when your baby isn’t feeling well or is suffering with their teething – and boy will Jack suffer with his teeth. I don’t mean to worry you but your second child will suffer even more..

You’ll soon find yourself in a routine and it will really work with you – plus Vicks BabyRub will help with that routine. It is gentle enough and helps baby to feel calm and relaxed before they go to sleep, calming and relaxing you as a parent too.

You may not think you are doing a great job but believe me, you really are. You are still young and the world may seem against you at times but remember, people are there to help you and with families as big as yours and Steve’s, there are always plenty of people to help you out.

Enjoy these first few weeks and months of being a mum, they’re amazing!

Love Rebecca x

Updating My Wardrobe To Fit My Figure

Over the past few years I’ve gone up and down in dress size. Before I had Jack, I was a size 10/12 then I went up to a size 16 before losing some weight back down to a size 12 again. I then got pregnant with Olivia and am now hovering between a size 16 and a size 18.

As you can imagine, this means the clothes in my wardrobe wildly vary in size. I have decluttered as much as possible of the items that no longer fit but sometimes it is so hard to get rid of some pieces – you want to keep the smaller pieces in case you slim down or the bigger pieces in case you don’t. This means my wardrobe has so many different clothes but barely anything of one particular size. I’ve got skirts in one size, trousers in another and I desperately need to update my clothing.

I’ve been looking at some plus size items like the ones you can see here. I will admit that I am not totally comfortable with my figure so I tend to dress quite drab – baggy clothes, often black in colour. But I don’t want this to always be the case – especially with summer fast approaching. I want to be wearing colour, be colourful no matter what size I am rather than dressed all boring in black.

It can be so hard to get out of a rut when it comes to the way you dress. Back about ten years ago, I did love black clothing but I would always love a pop of colour. An outfit wouldn’t be an outfit with some spark of colour to set the outfit off – where did I lose that love of dressing for my figure? It is something I desperately need to learn again, I want to love dressing for myself again – that’s not too much to ask is it?

I’m going to be adding bits and pieces to my wardrobe every couple of weeks until I finally have a clothing collection that both fits my figure and makes me happy. It may take a while to collate it all together but it will definitely be worth it in the end – and I can sell on the items that no longer fit or make me unhappy to recoup the cash I spend on new items.  

Do you update your wardrobe often? Do you have any tips for me on how I can really get the most out of my clothing collection?

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Caidr© – The Healthcare App Offering Advice At Your Fingertips

Common medical ailments are a day to day occurrence. From colds to ear infections to a bout of flu, we all have an inkling when we are coming down with something but are reluctant to visit the doctors in case it isn’t as serious as we think. But how can we distinguish between something small and something that we should be visiting a medical professional for? It seems we have been waiting for something to help us for a long while.

Well, the wait is over. Clinova recently launched their app Caidr© which is designed to help you assess those common ailments we all suffer from. They help you to distinguish between those minor ailments where you don’t need a doctor to the more serious illnesses where referral to a healthcare practitioner or doctor is required.

I think that an app such as this is a great thing. Steve and I are often left wondering what we are suffering from – and we don’t want to take up the doctor’s time if we don’t need to. The only time we call the doctors regardless is when it involves Jack and Olivia – you really can’t be too careful with children, especially at Olivia’s age.

There are so many people out there visiting the GP unnecessarily so if an app like this can help reduce the amount of people visiting for silly things, it can only be a good thing. This past winter, the Royal College of GP’s urged the public to follow the ‘three before GP’ mantra – check if the problem can be sorted through self care, seek help from a reputable online resource and get assistance from a pharmacist. There are estimates of 57 million GP appointments and 3.7 million A&E visits each year for self treatable conditions which is crazy – this is quite clearly a lack of information and this is incredibly shocking.

Caidr© aims to prevent these unnecessary visits. The app provides information about ailments in a user friendly way, asking a series of questions and then providing information and suggestions based on the answers provided. With its cutting edge algorithms, the app hopes to provide minor ailment information, self care suggestions and advice regarding referrals to medical practitioners.

I’m definitely going to be using this on a regular basis – we seem to come down with all manners of illnesses in this house so it will be handy to have a resource such as this to help us as parents to distinguish what could potentially be wrong with us or our children. The apps key benefits are easy to access information and user convenience – and the app certainly is convenient.

Available from the App Store or Google Play absolutely free of charge, this app is definitely worth downloading as a handy resource.

I’ve also mentioned self care is super important – and hydrating after an illness can be difficult. When our bodies are working hard to combat illness, we can lose fluids and electrolytes and these poor hydration levels often upset the fluid-salt balance that we need to maintain healthy cells and tissues. This will show in a drop in energy levels and a drop in concentration.

A way to hydrate the body which is very effective is to take some hydration salts such as O.R.S® Hydration Tablets, dissolved in water. Suitable for both adults and childrens alike, they contain a balanced combination of electrolytes, glucose and minerals to replace the fluids and salts lost and help maintain a healthy balance. Oral rehydration solutions are on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system and should be a hero product in every family’s first aid kit. I know that we have often used oral rehydration solutions when the kids have been ill, they really are effective.  

Coming in handy tubes in three tasty flavours (lemon, blackcurrant and strawberry), O.R.S® Hydration Tablets are available in 12 and 24 tablet tubes retailing at £3.50 and £4.99 respectively from Amazon, Morrisons Pharmacy, Holland and Barretts, Tesco, Boots, www.boots.com, and chemists and supermarkets nationwide. I’m definitely going to be picking up some for my medical kit, they are an essential item to have when you have a family.

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My Favourite Holiday Moment

Do you have a favourite holiday moment? Why is it your favourite? I have been on many holidays now, both in the UK and abroad, and whilst I have plenty of amazing memories, I definitely have a favourite memory overall.

Back in September 2012 when Jack was 9 months old, we headed to Rome, Italy for the holiday of a lifetime – and little did I know my life would change from that holiday forward too. It was about three days into the holiday – we went away for four days – and Steve kept looking for little restaurants that were tiny, personal and romantic but shockingly (in Rome!), we could not find one that suited us– or rather, he could not find the perfect one.

The main restaurant in our hotel was situated in a courtyard with some parasols over the table. We’d had lunch there when we first arrived and had some evening meals there once or twice – it was so nice being able to sit in the cool night air by candlelight without having to leave the hotel. It was certainly something special.

I decided I wanted to start packing before going for our meal as it was our final night despite the fact we didn’t leave until 6pm local time the next day. Steve seemed to be getting very frustrated with me and kept telling me to get ready.

He finally managed to get me and Jack downstairs and ordered our meals – Steve had a boring tomato and cheese pasta whilst I opted for something a little different, a gnocchi with sea bass. Steve asked the waiter for suggestions for a bottle of wine and bought a bottle that he suggested. Jack was whinging and tired but wouldn’t go to sleep despite everything we tried! My meal was amazing – and I was stuffed. Steve asked if I wanted a dessert and I wasn’t going to but I saw that the dessert I’d chosen on the first night and decided I’d have that.

Nicola, our waiter, brought our desserts out with some silver lids on them. I was sorting Jack out so found it odd that he didn’t remove them and leave. I sat back down, he removed them then kept asking strange questions. I didn’t realise he was trying to get me to turn the plate around – Steve literally had to tell me to turn the plate around which is when I saw a pouch sitting there. Me being me, I asked what it was and got my answer by Steve getting down on one knee… I said yes of course. The rest of the night was a blur and I don’t remember too much but have some lovely photo memories of the day.

Whilst I don’t think I’ll ever make as such a special memory as this again, I want to make more memories so I’ve been checking out the Holiday Gems site to find some good deals. Visit the website here to find a cheap holiday you will enjoy.

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TOMY Phil The Fridge | Review

Sent for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

As a family, we love games and puzzles – especially those that we can do together. When asked if we would like to review anything from the TOMY range, Jack opted for Phil The Fridge. He had seen it advertised on the TV and had been desperately wanting it – and ruing the fact that he had only just had his birthday and Christmas.

Suitable for ages 4+, the game is suitable for 2-4 players making it perfect for playing with your family or playing with your friends. The concept of the game is simple – Phil will spin and when he stops you have just a few seconds to add your food to the corresponding hole before he spins again. Sometimes you will have the door facing you or a side where your food won’t fit – so you won’t be able to take your turn but other players will. As soon as he starts spinning again, then you need to stop trying to fit your pieces in. The first player to get rid of all of their coloured food pieces is the winner.

As you can see above, there are four different colours – each one has six different types of food. Once you’ve got rid of all your pieces, you win -as long as no one else has beat you. However, sometimes Phil decides he doesn’t want all that food in his tummy and will open his door and spit some of it out. If your food gets spat out, then you need to take it back and put it through the holes once again.

The game is great fun and made for lots of fun as we tried to outdo each other. We did have a little bit of sore loser from Jack as he lost a couple of times in a row but he soon cheered up when he actually won! This has proved to be a very popular game in our house and he is always getting it out to play with friends and family. I can see this being one of his favourites for a long time to come.

We love TOMY products and this game more than lived up to our expectations. What TOMY games do you like best?