Thursday, 31 March 2011

Bump Watch...Week 26

Bump Watch...Week 26 - Already feeling huge!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Liebster Blog Award

Lovely Liska at New Mum Online very kindly awarded I Heart Motherhood with this award - it's my first and only one, so I'm very proud!

The idea behind it is: It’s for people with ‘little’ blogs (less than 300 subscribers) to share blog love and spread the word.

The rules are:

1. Post displaying the award (tick!), linking back to the person who awarded you (tick!)
2. Give your own blog picks (see below) and let them know they’re awarded (tweet them/ comment on their blog about it)

3. Let the word spread and everyone will meet some new peeps

I choose to award the following wonderful mummy bloggers:

Super Amazing Mum - long lost friend of my husband who I met randomly through blogging!
The Wonderful World of Tillie - Just discovered this week and think will make a good read!
The McCaskie Clan - the similarities are uncanny - daughter called Isla and baby boy on the way this summer! Does fab reviews.
Real Housewife of Suffolk - another mummy blogger due a baby in July!

Labouring At Home – Part 1 of My Birth Story

I’m a week away from the 3rd Trimester and I’m really starting to think about labour and birth second time around. What with 'One Born Every Minute' being on TV at the moment and also a lot of my friends having had or on their way to having second babies it’s making me re-live the first experience in my head in a big way.

I’ve spoken about my first labour and birth experience before but never actually written about it. It’s really hard to make sense of it so long after the event and as is meant to happen my brain has chosen to make things seem easier than they actually were! So here goes....

It’s the early hours of Tuesday 14th July, and I start to get period style cramps, obviously I can’t keep this information to myself, I have to tell the OH who’s snoring next to me. I try to go back to sleep and do this on and off till about 6.30am when I get up as I cannot see how you can sleep being continually squeezed on the inside. They’re only about every 45 minutes or so but it can take me that long to relax and nod back off again, so I’m up and about. By late morning we’re on our way to the Maternal Assessment Unit (MAU) at the hospital because I think I’ve had a show (mucus plug has left the building!) and as its the first time I’m one of these women who needs to know what’s going on rather than staying at home, baking, relaxing and bouncing up and down on my birth ball.

We get to MAU and they hook me up to the monitor, big belt round my belly and yes I’m having contractions and scarily I can see the machine and every time the numbers on the display go up I think ‘uh, oh’. The midwife very hopefully says to us, ooh won’t be long now and sends us home as contractions are too far apart. Tuesday goes by with me and the other half at home watching films, me contracting intermittently and bouncing on my birthing ball, TENS machine hooked up to my back. The only relief I can say that the TENS gave was the distraction of playing around with the buttons/ turning the dial and swearing at it that it didn’t do more for the discomfort! I tried to sleep Tuesday night but it wasn’t happening, contractions about every half hour, needless to say I wasn’t very good at keeping my sleeplessness to myself....

Wednesday we had another day of films and box sets, think I managed to walk around the block but I was just so tired. We called the hospital but because contractions were not regular enough – sometimes every ten minutes, sometimes every 25 minutes, advice was to take some paracetamol or a nice warm bath. This only slowed them right down to about 40 minutes again at which point I’d get all upset and be in tears. We were regimentally writing down every contraction and timing them as well and it felt like it was going on forever! Wednesday night passed by and again I had little or no sleep, just couldn’t achieve it when I was doubled up in agony at least every 20 minutes!

Thursday, a new day. Contractions all day, another phone call to the hospital, more advice to have a warm bath and paracetamol – absolutely exhausted, as was OH. We were verging on delirium and I was starting to feel like I was under house arrest!! By the evening there was now some blood appearing and I decided that was enough to warrant me needing to get to the delivery suite, contractions were nearly always between 7 and 10 minutes and I made another tearful call to the hospital to say I just could not cope at home anymore with just the TENS machine, breathing and all the other things we were doing to alleviate the pain (it was more than discomfort by then!) and that I was now bleeding. So thankfully they finally said come in.

The drive to hospital while writhing around in the passenger seat wasn’t great and we weren’t exactly alert after having little sleep since Tuesday. On arrival at the hospital I was put in my own room and examined and joy of all joys I was told that I was 3 centimetres and I could stay. Just being there made me feel better and getting started on the Gas and Air felt like a step in the right direction! Unfortunately due to the blood loss I’d mentioned it meant that I had to be hooked up to the monitors and was immobile on the bed. This wasn’t how I’d wanted to give birth but I think on reflection considering how tired I was by then, not having slept for at least 48 hours at that point I don’t think I could have done the whole natural birth without drugs route.

And so I’ll leave part one there, part two is here

I ♥ Jellycat

I've loved Jellycat ever since my sister introduced me to their gorgeous soft toys - Isla has a Jellycat Bunny, so I felt that we needed to get something for baby boy and when I saw Bobbie the Dog in The White Company I had to get him. He's so soft and if I could keep him for myself I would. He's waiting in the wardrobe at the moment for his new playfriend to be born!

Just have to say that this isn't a sponsored post - I just had to share how lovely these soft toys are!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Swim Baby Swim Toddler Swimming App - Review

'Wouldn't it be nice to have a swimming teacher in your pocket?'

When we were invited to trial Swim Baby Swim swimming lessons we were also given the chance to try the new swimming app that Anne Hawley has devised. We are trialing the toddler swimming app and we're using it alongside the lessons that Isla is taking.

The app has 6 detailed tutorials, that guide you step by step from bath time to babies first swim. There are lots of hints and tips and some lovely images of babies swimming and children having fun in the water. The 6 tutorials cover bath time, breath holding, holding on and letting go of the pool edge, rotating in/ under the water, jumping in and finally the first swim.

The bath is the first focus of the app as of course this is the place that babies really experience water on a regular basis. Hair washing is a great time to get baby used to the water and having water over their faces. Isla loves the water and so naturally loves bath time, she has to be really grumpy to not want to get in the bath. She has never complied when we've asked her to tip her head back when we've washed her hair but this turns to out to have worked in our favour now as it means that she is so used to having the water flooding down her face and it doesn't faze her. Since we have been having the lessons and started using the app she has also taken to trying to chuck a beaker of water over her own head, so her confidence is already increasing after only a couple of weeks!

Anne discourages the use of buoyancy aids in the pool and so there is another section on these and if you're already using them tips on how to get rid of them from your pool routine. As we've never used them, this isn't a problem for us, but most parents use them at some point or other so this is a very interesting topic.

Breath holding is at the very centre of Anne's teaching and so the 2nd tutorial explains how important this is and the techniques that can be used to get kids to do it. Includes showing your toddler how to blow bubbles in the water, that they should keep their eyes open under the water and getting them to imitate you putting your face in the water. So far Isla has had fun watching us blow bubbles in the water and has tried to imitate. We still have to try pop ups whereby you put your face in the water and then encourage your little one to do the same.

We're still working our way through the app and we're using it to supplement the lessons that Isla is still taking with Swim Baby Swim. She's at an age whereby she will sometimes do what we ask but mostly will try to do what she wants to do, so when we're in the pool and we're teaching her to hold on to the side or letting her work out how to climb out of the pool on her own it can result in her doing her own thing like climbing out and trying to run off! I think as she gets older and her understanding improves we'll be able to be a lot more disciplined when using this app.

All in all I think that this app helps to give parents confidence around their little ones in the pool and gives the little one a confidence in their own ability - especially if mummy and daddy are ready with a big round of applause for every achievement!

The Swim Baby Swim iPhone app costs £2.99 and can be downloaded from iTunes.
In order to trial this iPhone app we were given it to download of free of charge.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Galt Toys Review - Peepo Puppet!

We were recently sent a Lion Peepo Puppet by Galt Toys to try out. It's a really cute push-up puppet that you can play peepo with by pushing the soft pole up and down to reveal and hide the lion inside. He's really bright and colourful and the puppet contains a jingle bell and crinkle.

The day we got it in the post I waited until Isla had woken up from her afternoon nap to get it out and surprise her with something new. Sometimes she takes a little while to warm up from waking from a nap and so I thought this would help to get some smiles and it did. She was giggling away as we made the lion disappear and appear. She had a go at doing it herself as well and it was really good fun.

There were also puppets at Gymboree when we used to go to her weekly class there too. As we have another baby on the way I'm keen to keep up the tradition and I think that the Peepo Puppet will be brilliant as well for young babies and this time around Big Sister can also do some of the puppeteering for her baby brother! This puppet will really appeal to young babies as it's lovely and bright, jingles and makes crinkley noises. These toys help to encourage little ones to touch, explore, build and play.

The Galt Toys website is excellent because as well as having the entire range of their brilliant toys on there, it also has a great Activity Zone Page, giving ideas of creative and crafty things to do with the kids and it has games kids can play on the computer.

The Peepo Puppets come either as a Lion, Dog or Cow and they retail at £7.99

In order to review this toy we were sent a Peepo Puppet by Galt Toys.

I ♥ Cathy Thorne Cartoons!

Yummy mummy cartoon

I discovered these cartoons through the BabyCentre Pregnancy iPhone app. I love them, they are so funny and I'm finding I can identify with most of the mummy/ pregnancy ones! Check out all her cartoons at:

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Pregnancy Ailments....

This week I'm mostly suffering from the following pregnancy related ailments:

SPD (Symphasis Pubis Dysfunction) - definition from BabyCentre:
The two halves of your pelvis are connected at the front by a stiff joint called the symphasis pubis. This joint is strengthened by a dense network of tough, flexible tissues, called ligaments. To help your baby pass through your pelvis as easily as possible, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which softens the ligaments.

As a result, these joints move more during and just after pregnancy causing inflammation and pain, known as symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD.

I had this with my last pregnancy too but it's started much earlier this time. At the moment, it's not too bad in the daytime but by the time I get to the end of the day everything feels really heavy where my pubic bone sits. And getting up in the night, I'm like an old granny. Towards the end last time, I couldn't actually go to the loo without the OH heaving me off the bed and helping me along the hallway - I walked like John Wayne! 

Advice is to avoid having your legs apart too wide at any time, getting in and out of cars/ out of bed/ climbing stairs are all instances where you need to be aware of your body. I also had a belt last time that I wore but I found it to be of no help as I got bigger. It's also important to avoid heavy lifting, so no carrying heavy shopping - but this one is difficult when you have a 20 month old who no matter how much she likes walking will want the occasional carry and that's 2 stone I'm lifting!

It's also important to mention the condition in your birth plan, to avoid positions that aggravate it, but this isn't always possible.

All I can hope is that it disappears straight after having the baby like it did last time...

Acid Indigestion:
This is a daily occurrence now and happens regardless of what I eat - a burning sensation from low down in my throat, it's horrible and it's making mealtimes unpleasant. At the moment I'm trying to cope with it by drinking milk, but I think I'll be downing the Gaviscon very soon!

Leg Cramps:
Another nice pregnancy by product! And another one that I have to rope the other half into helping me with. Last night, I was fast asleep, dead as a dodo. Then suddenly, AAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH, my left leg is cramped, it's rigid and massively painful. I'm trying not to scream out because if I woke Isla that would make the situation 10 times worse, so I'm whacking the OH to wake up and help me. In his sleep, he's reaching over and patting me - not what I need, so through gritted teeth I'm saying, "MY LEG IS CRAMPED! HELP ME!!". I can't even move to get the duvet off me. Eventually he wakes up and massages my calf muscle and it eases off.

Again I can only refer to BabyCentre to explain this one, but in short the growing uterus is putting pressure on the main veins in the legs and that combined with increased progesterone in the body means muscle tone is affected. The baby is also stripping a mothers body of essential nutrients, calcium and magnesium and salts and this shortage can cause the cramps.

All I can say is if you have your partner on hand to help you deal with it all the better, because it's pretty hard to shake on your own.

So there you have it - the joys of pregnancy!

Bump Watch...Week 25

Week 25 - We missed Week 24 - feeling quite big and definitely think I'm bigger this time round with baby boy than I was with Isla - I'm sure we'll break the 9lb barrier this time....

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Spectacular Puke!

Following on from the poo post last week, a bodily episode happened this week that far surpassed that one and again involved me catching something nasty in my hands....

Most Sundays we go to my parents and sometimes we're joined by my sister and Isla's cousin Little M who is 3 months younger. It generally involves them running back and forth, a bit of screeching, lots of tussles over toys, general noise and the adults taking it in turns to shepherd them around.

A favourite thing to do over at Nanny and Granddad's house is to play on the slide, most people would think this takes place out in the garden but no, not here. Basically my mum got a slide given to her by a friend at work and her intention was for it to go in the garden. My Dad however was horrified about this, 'not on my grass' etc etc. I mean, where else would it go? His response 'on your grass, at your house...' He can be a tad grumpy (he admits this - his Ebay moniker is GrumpyOldeFart!). So the slide has been in the conservatory ever since - a kind of stalemate position where it's not in the garden but can still be played with. However the floor is really cold in there in the winter, so on occasion it has been brought into the living room on the rug (much to Dad's chagrin). So, it's Sunday, we've finished our dinner and Isla starts banging on the conservatory door 'Schlide, schlide'. The slide is duly brought into the living room and Isla and Little M have fun running round and going up and down it. They do this for ages and they're really loving it.

Then things take a turn for the worse. Little M has gone off with my sister and my mum, and I don't know where OH is but I'm left with Isla going up the steps of 'schlide' and my Dad is watching TV and the next thing...BAAARF....all down the slide. Puke travels down the slide like lava from a volcano and I'm left to stick my hand in it's path to stop it from reaching the bottom of the slide and onto the rug! I'm shouting HELP and at this point I've never seen my Dad move so fast to save the rug....launches himself like a rocket out of the chair and shouts 'LIFT UP THE END OF THE SLIDE!!!' to which I shout back 'I CAN'T! ISLA IS ON THE STEPS FOR GOODNESS SAKE!'

At this point I think Dad catches himself and realises that the poor girl is at the top of the slide and has just watched her guts fly down it, 'Er, oh yes, ummm'. Puke is still pooling at the bottom of the slide and hasn't hit the rug yet, but then while I'm trying to get Isla off the steps so that the slide can be tipped up, she goes again and there we have it, the end of sliding on the rug in the living room, puke hits the rug, the death knell has finally rung. Perhaps now Dad will let the slide sit in its rightful place on the grass in the garden.....I suspect it will more likely be that the slide will turn up at our house in the back of his car sometime soon, so that no sliding can take place at all. Oh well it was great while it lasted!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Gallery - Trees

For this weeks Gallery theme of 'Trees', I've picked two photo's from mine and Mr D's wedding. Obviously I love all our wedding photo's but these two have really majestic trees in the background that really do take centre stage over me and the other half:

The shape of the first tree is awesome and the colour of the second tree was an amazing deep red/ maroon. Such beautiful backdrops to a wonderful day!

If you want to take part in the Gallery or want to look at all the other Gallery entries then you can do so here at Sticky Fingers

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Bump Watch...Week 23

Lots of movement and wriggling from this week, ribs already starting to feel uncomfortable!

Aaaaargh - POO!

I was going to put a picture of a poo at the start of this post but when I looked at the pictures they were way too gross, and actually made me feel a lot sicker than dealing with poo in the flesh. Being a mummy means that you deal with poo on a daily basis but my most recent brush with poo was a bit too 'hands on'....

So, last week we were doing the old bedtime routine and at this time of the day Isla is a handful to say the least, a mixture of tired and hyperactive. Lots of shrieking, running about and general madness. We've done the bath and she's running naked around her bedroom doing this new thing of singing snippets of various nursery rhymes. We get 'Twinkle twinkle' mixed up with 'Three Blind Mice' and it's actually all really cute and she's laughing her head off. She's also started saying 'Poo Poo' quite a bit and generally it doesn't mean she's about to do one, it could be she's done one already, or she's doing a wee or it could be nothing at all. So the next thing we know, she's behind the chair in her room and all singing has stopped and things go quiet and she says 'poo poo' and me and the OH fly in her direction, both thinking the same thing, 'Nooooooooo!!! M U S T  N O T  L E T  T H E  P O O  H I T  T H E  C A R P E T!!!!'

I get there first (lucky me!) and there she is, knees bent with the poo emerging and I catch it in my hands...Isla is looking very confused and on the verge of being upset now because of our hullabaloo to get to the poo. In all her 19 months I've not had a poo in my hand. As it landed it was like playing a game of hot potato, I had to get rid of it quick, so OH has opened a nappy and I lob it at the nappy. It lands on the carpet! Great, so I've got to pick it up again. Meanwhile OH is giving Isla a round of applause in order to stop the tears from coming and to prevent her getting some weird poo complex and she's now very pleased with her efforts.

10 minutes later, poo has been cleaned up, nappy has been put back on and pyjamas are on and all is back to normal, except I now can't get the image of holding a poo in my hands out of my head and I'm wondering if this will happen again, particularly when we decide to start potty training............

The next night, Isla remembers the scene of 'Poo-gate' - she goes behind the chair again and points and says 'Poo' and I reassure her that there is no poo tonight....and I hope no other night for the foreseeable!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

New Maclaren Nursery Range - Family Day Out in London!

On Sunday Hubbie, Isla and I wrapped up warm and left the house by 9am to catch the train to London. We were on a family day out and I was really looking forward to it!

First there was the train, Isla loves the train ever since we came up to London to visit Tommee Tippee. She was a bit of handful but it's to be expected, kids love trains!! We got to Victoria and then took the bus, where Isla charmed other passengers with smiles and giggles. We were headed for the Sealife centre on the Southbank. We had a lovely time, although Isla wasn't as impressed with the sharks as I thought she'd be. Then we moved on to Pizza Express, because Italian is her favourite cuisine (well pasta is her staple diet!) and she loves Italian coffee culture.....

Isla was clearly unimpressed with the sights of London....

The main purpose of my visit to London was a trip to Harrods, taking up an invite from Maclaren to check out their new nursery range designed by their 'designer-in-chief' David Netto. So we headed over there and while Isla slept in her buggy (Maclaren of course!) I spoke to David and checked out the new designs which are currently exclusive to Harrods. The focus in store was on the Moderne and Cabine collections, and they are both beautiful in their own way.

David is a world renowned interior designer and has lent his love of modern minimalism to the range. He first became interested in nursery furniture when his first child arrived and he realised that there was nothing modern and stylish on offer. He set about designing modern nursery furniture that stood out from the mainly traditional offerings on the market. The Moderne and Cabine collections are both luxurious and but also practical.

Moderne: This was my personal favourite, pieces are made from ebonized ash and white lacquer, it just screams sophistication! The cot bed has a useful sliding shelf underneath and once use as a cot/ cotbed is over it can be converted into a daybed, which really stops this item of furniture becoming throw away that has no use after a couple of years like most cotbeds. It also has a useful sliding out shelf below the mattress.

The matching changer unit also transforms itself from a changing table into a dresser for adult use as the changer on the top can be flipped over when you have no use for that part any longer. 

Cabine: This is made from natural oak and white lacquer. It has a hidden draw for storage of bedding underneath and can also be converted into a daybed. Again there is a changer to go with it that the top can also be flipped over so as to convert it to a dresser leaving no inkling that it had a use to change baby!

Finally, one of my personal favourite pieces in the David Netto for Maclaren range is Rufus the Polar Bear Rocker!

Isn't he gorgeous! You could win Rufus by entering the competition that Maclaren are currently running on Facebook - click here 

Overall I was very impressed with the nursery furniture and although it's high end prices it's also high in practicality and style, and it fits in with with the trusted Maclaren brand.

On finishing my chat with David I went off to meet Hubbie and a still dozing Isla and we set off on our way back home. All in all a really wonderful Sunday!

We were given travel expenses to attend this event at Harrods, no other payment was made to write this post.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Listography - Books and Babies

Ever since Isla was very little I have always read to her, reading is one of my favourite past times and I very much hope that she follows in my foot steps. I've blogged about the importance of reading on my Library  post recently. Reading really does fire up the imagination and I loved becoming immersed in a book especially on winter days. I grew up in the 80's, in the days when TVs in kids bedrooms started becoming popular, but I just didn't want one! I was happy listening to tapes (!) and reading books - does that make me a geek?!

The following 3 books are regularly thumbed in our house, and we never tire of them!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

We love this book, Isla has had it read to her millions of times practically since birth! The colours are beautiful and when she was really little she just loved putting her fingers in all the holes that the caterpillar made in the food. I like to get her to point out all the things that she recognises - the cakes on the last day of the caterpillars gorge-fest are her current favourite!

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

A really nice lift the flap book that helps babies to recognise animals and it gives me the chance to ad-lib and do all the animal noises. Isla's favourite of my animal impressions is when I pretend to spit like a camel! OK, not very ladylike but it gets a laugh every time!!

Spot's Noisy Night by Eric Hill

Spot goes camping with his friends and they have a very disturbed night what with owl's 'twowittwowooing' and frogs leaping around the tent! This one is so fun and brilliant because throughout the story there are sounds to play and for each of the sounds is a puzzle piece that your child can fit into the pages. This is such a great interactive book and is the latest in a line of Spot books that we own.

The next two books are obviously a bit too advanced for Isla right now, but they are two favourites of mine from when I was a child and I really hope she takes to them like I did. When I was at primary school I had to write book reviews of all the books I read and I've still got the folder up in Mum and Dad's loft! I read so much, I was a book worm, so choosing just these two was a struggle because I could have gone for Ramona and Beezus or Pippi Longstocking and actually all Roald Dahl books hold a special place in my book loving heart, so it was hard to pick one of his.

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

This series of books by Enid Blyton are just pure fantasy. I loved Moonface and Silky the fairy. Through the Faraway Tree they showed us magical lands and all manner of creatures. My favourite of all the lands is 'The Land of Take What You Want'
where, as the name suggests, you can take whatever you want for free!

Thinking about this book has made me feel all nostalgic about the Enid Blyton books I used to own, they all had hard covers and the pages felt so good (does that sound weird!?).

I'd love for Isla to get lost in these books imagining that she is visiting all these wonderful places. They are so escapist and can really help you forget about the real world...

The Twits by Roald Dahl

This is one of my favourite Roald Dahl books (along with The Witches, Georges Marvellous Medicine...). The descriptions of Mr and Mrs Twit are fantastic and I always loved how Mr Twit was just so extra disgusting with food in his beard and you could almost smell how unclean they were from the descriptions. They hate children and they torment animals but as is the case in all Roald Dahl's books the mean characters always get their come uppance!

Roald Dahl's books also have the extra benefit that they have gorgeous illustrations by Quentin Blake - something I have blogged about previously here.

One of my things I want to do at some time in the future is go to the Roald Dahl museum, something to save for when Isla is older.

This post is part of the Listography Linky that Kate Takes 5 runs every week. Pop over to her blog to see her book suggestions and also a whole host of others!

Peppa Pig iPhone App - Review

In the last few weeks Isla's fixation with Balamory has transferred to Peppa Pig - I breathed a sigh of relief - there was only so much of Miss Hooley I could take! Because the episodes are so short when the credits go up she gets all disappointed and then suddenly happy again when she sees Peppa has come back on. I enjoy Peppa Pig too, mostly laughing at Daddy Pig. When the opportunity came up to review a new Peppa Pig iPhone app I jumped at the chance as I could see that it would be a good distraction for Isla.

There are 3 Polly Parrot games where you can win stickers depicting the characters and then for the last part of the app there are lots of different backgrounds where you can use your stickers to make up pictures.

The games are:'Feed Parrot', which is Isla's favourite, where Polly Parrot is hungry and you have to feed  the amount of crackers she asks for - it really helps with counting, which at 19 months I thought Isla would be too young for but she is already saying some numbers in order which I find amazing!

There is also 'Find Polly', where Polly Parrot flies around the house and you have to find her behind furniture, in the trees etc and then 'Talking Parrot', where you can make Polly say silly things. The more you play the games the more stickers you can build up to use in the sticker part of the app and this is also a favourite of Isla's, she likes dragging the characters all around the screen.

I've found this app particularly useful when Peppa Pig isn't on the TV as Isla hasn't yet grasped the concept that it's not always on and I can't magic up Peppa at anytime, at least with this app she can get a Peppa fix at the drop of a hat! I'm also hoping it will prove useful on an upcoming flight to France at Easter, I shall keep you posted....

Peppa Pig Polly Parrot is available to download for £1.79 on iTunes or through the iPhone app store.

This is a sponsored post, we received the Polly Parrot app at no cost in order to review it.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Robe-Around by Sporty Bump - Review

I was given the great opportunity to try out a 'Sporty Bump Robe-Around' -  a wrap-around pleated towelling robe aimed at pregnant ladies and new mums to be. Created to give complete privacy during pregnancy. Ideal in public places such as the swimming baths, gym, tanning rooms or health club. The trial of Robe-Around couldn't have been timed better as Isla has started swimming lessons and we now head to the pool on a weekly basis. As my bump has grown, the more I've come to appreciate the roominess of the design!

The central theme of Sporty Bump products is that they recognise that us pregnant women have needs and we want to look and feel good even as our body shape changes. This particular product is excellent in that it has pleats built in so that as your bump grows it still covers your modesty! There is also no chance of the towel falling down on you in the changing rooms due to the nifty velcro fastening at the top!

This is also not a product thats use ends when pregnancy is over. We all take varying amounts of time to get our bodies back in to shape after having a baby so the towel still works to keep our body under wraps!

Personally I have found it to be my towel of choice now for swimming. The fact that it stays secure and grows with my body is brilliant. I'm not shy about my pregnant body at all but I think that the concept is great for women of all shapes and sizes who may not feel so confident in a changing room environment.

Getting changed with a toddler can take time, they wander off all over the place and so without the velcro fastening I'd be forever tucking in a towel as it would inevitably fall down all the time. The length of the fastening is also quite long meaning that the towel is one size and will fit even the biggest of bumps!

It would also be perfect as a holiday cover-up for the pool or beach. One size fits all and it comes in black.

It can be purchased from and it retails at £20 plus p&p. You can keep in touch with Sporty Bump on twitter and Facebook.

I was sent a sample 'Robe-Around' for the purposes of this review and did not receive any other financial reward for the post.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Swim Baby Swim...Summary review

Sunday was Isla's last lesson with Anne and we had high hopes for it to be brilliant, as you usually do when you've been looking forward to something all week. I can say that this lesson was a 'good' lesson - if anything these lessons have taught me that Isla will dictate how the lesson goes and this week she did well, but because I was on a high about how good she was last week I thought it was going to be the same again. In her defence she has a cough and about 8 BIG teeth cutting through, so I'm not going to quibble if she's a bit clingy in the pool one week. Anne as usual was her calm, patient self which helps a lot when Isla's not playing ball!

We did some practicing at jumping in the pool and that went fairly well as she could see the older children doing it and she likes the splashing! We used the float again and also some wind up toys that we put in the water just out of reach to encourage her to reach out with her arms. We reinforced on her the need to kick her legs, regularly uttering 'Kick, kick, kick, kick!'. She did a couple of bits with her face under the water but she was quite clingy in the pool and had a cough, so think that she wasn't quite sure this week. Anne was so pleased with her though and says that she will be a great little swimmer - and that's good enough for me!

And so I come to the end of my review posts for Isla's lessons with Swim Baby Swim UK, it may be my last review but it's not the end of the road for Isla and her lessons with Anne, we've decided that she has really achieved over the past 6 weeks and we've booked up for a further 6! All in all we've had some brilliant family time, we've immersed Isla in a hobby that we hope she will learn and improve at. I feel it is so important to learn to swim. It is a life saving skill and in time we hope to have plenty of holidays to my parents house abroad where a large communal pool won't pose a hazard for our family, it will be place of fun. I myself was taken to regular swimming lessons when I was child by my dad and I remember it fondly. I want Isla to experience the same. Also from talking to Anne I've realised that it really is the earlier the better when it comes to starting babies swimming lessons, as babies are born with the ability to swim. So when baby boy comes along we will definitely be getting him used to the water just like his big sister.

I'd like to say thank you to Anne for the opportunity and we look forward to continuing with Isla's lessons for the foreseeable future.

This is a sponsored post, we received a course of 6 swimming lessons. Opinions expressed are my own and are completely honest.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Bump Watch...Week 22

I think I've really 'popped' this week! Still on a high from finding out it's a Boy!