I’ve moved!!

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You can now find me at http://www.raisingtherings.com

I hope to see you there! x

Project 365 – Week 1

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I’ve come to this a bit late, but I think it’s a good way to stick my goal of being more consistent with my blogging. There’s been a lot of ‘Project 365’ coming up on my Twitter and Instagram feeds and I really enjoy seeing them, and I think this is the best way for me to keep you all updated too. So, instead of doing a daily blog post – I think I’m going to sum up weekly instead! The first full week seems like a better way to start, that way I won’t get confused, because I don’t think my baby brain can handle any more. It can be my Sunday evening reflection if you like..

Firstly, HAPPY (very belated) NEW YEAR! Did we all stay up until midnight and see lots of fireworks…? Sounds like a resounding ‘no’ to me. This year we did because we had guests and cooked, but last year we were in bed at 10pm and missed all of the fun! It seems as you get older, these things become completely overrated, and while everyone else is going to feel rubbish after a night out on the tiles, you’re fresh as a daisy on New Year’s Day and get to enjoy your roast dinner!

So.. what happened for us this week? Toby’s picked up a few new things over night.

  • He’s worked out how to play his harmonica, rather than just putting it in his mouth and make a noise himself. It’s actually not that annoying.. yet.
  • The teddies are finally feeling the love. They get a cuddle and a stroke before getting launched across the room.
  • He’s working out, pretty quickly, that he can go down stairs unaided and has been practicing lots at Nanny and Pops house. Of course he is supervised at all times!
  • My nursing chair is his new throne when we’re upstairs, and he loves that he can make it rock!
  • Someone(!) thought it funny to teach Toby to blow raspberries on my tummy too.

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In other news, we’ve finally got a date set for our kitchen to be ripped out from ceiling to floor! Work was due to start tomorrow, but as we’ve had to get some paperwork sorted, it’s been delayed. Roll on 19th January!

Secondly, we had a huge Spring clean of our clothes and shoes. I’ve been trying to sell lots of the more decent things, but we’ve also binned a lot too. I genuinely feel like there aren’t enough weeks in this pregnancy for us to complete everything I want doing before he makes his appearance. I’m very conscious that I need to make a list for a list for a list!

My plan this week is to make a list of things to get done while we’re moved out for 2 weeks while the kitchen is being done!
I’ll probably be having a breakdown by next Sunday, so best to keep checking on me!

J x

Toby reveals all..

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Hi everyone, I’m Toby and I’m 16 months old. My Mummy thought it was best if I took care of this blog post, especially since I’m the one that’s going to be a big brother.


My Mummy and Daddy have been telling me all about a new baby coming, but I’m still not really sure what they’re on about. I just look at them and give them a big clap and a smile at the end of what they’re saying, and that seems to please them.

I’ve heard Mummy and Daddy talking about whether they’d need to sort and wash all of my old things, or whether they’d have to take advantage of the last of the sales. They’ve been talking about a nursery and names. Well, let me tell you.. the new baby is not having my cot, or my milkies.


So am I to have a little brother? Or a little sister? Well..


T x

‘Sophie La Girafe’ protection cream

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During my last pregnancy I was really suffering with dryness at the sides of my mouth and no matter what I tried, I simply could not get it to shift. Everything from Vaseline to Chapstick to Carmex – nothing worked. Eventually I took myself to the doctors and after having my blood tested and the results sent through she immediately diagnosed me with something called ‘Angular Cheilitis’. It can be due to a number of things, however mine was due to my poor iron levels and, of course, the immunosuppression that happens during pregnancy.

When I got it again this time round, I knew exactly what it was. I skipped the doctor appointment and booked myself in for a blood test straight away. It came back negative, and so I assumed I was either getting a coldsore, or that the weather was playing havoc with my skin. Again, nothing worked – it maybe helped for a day or two, but then it’d come back with a vengeance.IMG_7272

Last week it had gotten so bad, that I just sat there and cried. You don’t always feel your best during pregnancy as it is, so to be lumbered with this as well, I just felt totally miserable. I was waking up 4 or 5 times a night to moisturise it, applying this and that just to try and get some relief. I didn’t want to kiss my other half, or my little boy because my lips were so wet with some sort of balm. I had 7 cracks on one side of my mouth and it had started spreading across my face. It even looked as though it was weeping where it was so swollen and red, like an angry red. I decided it was probably time to visit the doctor again.

After I came out of the appointment she had prescribed some creams, and had ordered a second blood test, but the said cream I could only apply twice a day at most and had to use a barrier on top, such a Vaseline, which I didn’t want to use.

So, after being very lucky to be sent some ‘Sophie La Girafe’ protection cream (and having been reminded so), which I had accidentally put in the recycling bin, I decided if it was good enough for babies, it was good enough for me. Let me tell you – miracle stuff! I hadn’t even known they did a cosmetic range, I had only known about their Sophie teether, which Toby was very much a fan of!IMG_7326

This little tube of loveliness has been everywhere with me for the best part of 48 hours and I’ve been applying it when I feel I need it to the side of my mouth. Here’s what I love about it:

  • Completely non sticky. You don’t even remember you’re wearing it!
  • Unlike Vaseline, it doesn’t make the affected area look shiny, so it doesn’t draw attention to the side of my mouth (which was a big thing for me; I was completely paranoid everyone was staring – quite like when you’ve got a huge spot)
  • You don’t need a lot – a little really does go a long way
  • It smells so good. I really like skin products that are organic and have a purity about them, which this does, and it’s not overpowering at all.
  • Not only does it soothe the skin, it allows it to breathe as well. This won’t clog your skin up, or make you feel like you’re wearing a thick layer of it unlike some other lotions and potions.
  • This is obviously a baby product, so I’ve been trying it out on Toby too. He has a bit of dry skin at the tops of his arms and this, even in the lastday, has made a huge improvement.

IMG_7330There’s so many things this product does, and this is just one of the ways it helped me. I will definitely be making sure we don’t runout of this stuff!

If you want to try it out yourself, Sophie La Giraffe products are widely available in Boots stores. You can also visit their websites at www.sophielagirafecosmetics.com or http://www.sophielagirafe.co.uk!

J x

What my 15 month old REALLY wants..

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With Christmas no sooner than 6 days, or 5 sleeps, away, I am still thinking of things I could possibly get our 15 month old son for Christmas. We haven’t got him much purely on the basis that everyone else is going to be getting him lots of toys, clothes, books and probably money! I don’t really want to get lots of things because I don’t want anything to be duplicated and he already had so many lovely presents for his birthday at the end of August!

But, what does my 15 month old want? Behind those beautiful blue eyes, what does he really want?

The rocks in our fireplace. They appear to be good enough to suck on and have a gnaw at – delicious. They’re rather chalky, so maybe he likes that sort of thing. There’s been more than one occasion where I’ve left the room for a minute or two, to come back and find him with one of these nuggets of yumminess between his teeth and the white chalky stuff around his mouth. Thankfully for us, the whole fireplace is going.. going.. gone! early next year.

Our iPhones, iPads or the remote control. Firstly they’re our phones, secondly they’re a bashing device and thirdly a teether. This is probably our own fault. I often, still, give him my phone, or the remote control, to keep him from wriggling away during a nappy change. We literally can not leave any device any where in this house, not even behind a cushion, because he knows. How does he know it’s behind there? How does he manage to get his favourite program on the TV? Kids just know.

My kitchen cupboards and their contents. BANG. BANG. BANG. The sweet sound of our cupboards being opened and shut normally gives him away, though there have been times when he’s walked in to the living room with something or other. Since we don’t have locks on any of cupboards, it’s pretty easy for him. I’m pretty sure his favourite drawer is the one with the saucepans. Specifically the glass saucepan lids seem to be a hit! His second favourite would have to be the drink cupboard. It wasn’t that long ago he went and helped himself to a bottle of, unopened, wine and managed to drop it. And there it was. All over my kitchen floor. A bottle of red wine.

What is the fascination with plug sockets and the switches? We’ve got socket protectors in all the ones he can reach, and even though he’s stopped poking around in the holes, he still likes to flick them on and off. Especially when I’m hoovering. It’s not annoying at all when you’ve got a hoover half way up the stairs and you have to tell him to turn it back on, or risk going up and down the stairs with the hoover about 50 times to do 12 stairs!!

Nanny and Pop’s bucket of kindling and basket of logs. He loves bashing two of the smaller kindling sticks together to make music, something he does at his Tuesday toddler group with more ‘toddler friendly’ instruments. Creative indeed. It doesn’t matter that these logs are pretty heavy either, he seems to have this unknown strength (don’t they all?) and can pick one up anyway. All he wants for Christmas is a splinter.

But the ultimate, ULTIMATE, Toby must have is the recycling bin. Bits of cardboard, ripped up junk mail, a toilet roll insert and the empty milk bottle! He loves to shake it, try and fit it in his mouth, kick it around and bash it on any surface possible. He’s happy to chew a hole in the empty cardboard egg box, or throw all of my junk mail over the floor. Even when he was in his walker he used to lean over and grab anything within reach. He’s even been known to dip his hand into our regular bin! Boys!

What do your children really want for Christmas?


Mummy-to-be must haves – Trimester #1

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Everyone knows that the first trimester in pregnancy can be one of the trickiest. If you’re not talking to the porcelain Gods, you’re sleeping and hoping you won’t feel so exhausted. If you’re not sleeping, you’re debating whether you want something to eat. You tend to feel awfully rotten and parent your other kids from the sofa! So what can you do to make yourself feel better? Quite honestly, zilch. I tried everything to help with my nausea, but it hardly ever caved.

This time round it was quite different to my first pregnancy. During the last one, if I felt sick, I normally ended up being sick and would get a bit of relief from it, and it lasted between weeks 8-14. This time, I had it almost a week after I first found out, around 4 weeks, right up until 13 weeks or so. It literally got to point where I thought I’d be better off feeling as though I was dying because it was beginning to get unbearable. Now I’m fine and dandy and in week 16.

Here are some of my top must haves to keep you going!

  • Plenty to drink. I am absolutely terrible for my water intake, but found that drinking little and often really helped. I usually kept something a bit more sugary around too. When I don’t feel well, I find the fizz of a nice cold cherry Coke felt lovely against the back of my throat!
  • Sleep. Wherever and whenever you can! Catch a cat nap, zonk out in your lunch hour at the desk or get an early night because the first trimester can drain you down to the last of your stores. Not only will you be the mother of all bitches when you’re tired and you’ll have a zero tolerance approach to everyone. Send out a warning to all partners early so they know not to take it personally!
  • Take folic acid and vitamin D (or an all round pregnancy supplement that contains them). They’re not absolutely mandatory, but both come highly recommended by most healthcare professionals. Folic acid to protect against the chances of a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida and vitamin D to regulate the calcium and phosphate in your body, for healthy bones and teeth! In turn, your baby will have those super duper pearly whites when they finally pop through. Can’t be bad, right?
  • Food. Whatever, whenever, within reason! Don’t go completely stuffing your face, but if you can ever pull your head out of the loo and face it, then have something to eat. Don’t worry too much about dieting right now, just get it in. I had to have whatever I fancied, but whatever I fancied had to be quick, otherwise I’d already feel sick again. This time round, my body has led me to the eating little and often route. As soon as I’d eaten, I’d feel better almost instantly.
  • Lip balm and Lansinoh. My absolute God send. In both pregnancies I’ve suffered with ‘angular cheilitis’ – an inflammation of one or more sides of the mouth. Mine tend to go very dry, and this is mostly due to an iron deficiency, although my iron levels this time round are pretty balanced. I’ve tried everything from Vaseline to Chapstick, none of which has worked. It only stops them from getting too dry and cracking. Needless to say I’ll be visiting the loft on Thursday to find out that tube of Lansinoh. Nothing wrong with a bit of nipple cream round your mouth.
  • Apps. I had so many pregnancy apps last time round, but have managed to only have two this time. My favourite one has to be ‘Pregnancy+’. Admittedly I started out with the free version, but soon upgraded to the full version. Not only do you get a daily and weekly update on what your baby can now do, you get partner’s info too which is something you don’t find a lot of. Men are often left to kind of ‘deal’ with stuff, so it’s a great way for us to connect. I usually read it out to him in bed every night.
  • The number to your midwife. Just because anything can happen in the first twelve weeks. Lots of which could just be you panicking, but also something which could be equally serious. Even if you just need some reassurance, there’s nothing like being able to phone up the midwife for her to tell you it’s normal!

What are your must haves in the first trimester of pregnancy? Did you really suffer with morning sickness, or were you a lucky one who sailed easily?



My Babydino guest posts

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I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to do a couple of guest posts for Babydino, the online baby and nursery retailer.
I gave my views about babies watching television, which I was a little apprehensive about doing as I know these can sometimes be very biased. Like most things in life, moderation is key and I think I kept a very balanced view and open mind.
I also wrote a relatively personal post about what I wish I’d known before giving birth. It certainly isn’t an extensive list, but I think it’s worth a read nonetheless.
They also started selling a product called the Taga stroller-bike, a 2 in 1 pushchair and bicycle, which appeared to have caused quite a stir. You can check it out here..
Do you think it’s another parent must have? Or another passing craze?