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Archive: December 2016


I can't believe we are on the last day of 2016. This year has been by far one of the best years for us as a family. Our family has felt complete since welcoming our very first little boy and since then it has just been amazing. Of course, we have had our downs as parenting is a huge rollercoaster ride full of challenges but it's something I wouldn't change. I'm gutted I haven't stuck to the Me and Mine posts each month but I am determined to be more organised for 2017, but I do say that every year. So we will see. I am wanting to up my photography and photo editing during the new year, so hopefully we will have better photos.

2016 has been one of the best years for me because of two main reasons; I gave birth to my baby boy and I have achieved what I wanted with my blog. Never did I think I would have a son and now I know how amazing it is to have one. I always thought I'd be a mum of girls but since having Freddie, our family feels complete. On the 30th of December 2015 I announced the pregnancy and it feels sad to think that it was my last pregnancy ever, but I feel lucky to have three beautiful children. 

I love Instagram and if you follow me (lifeasmum_blog) then you will know that I post at least one or two photos a day. I think it's a great way to interact with others and I love having a nosy on other people's Instagrams. I love watching Insta Stories and I even do them myself and the kids join in sometimes too. If you are wanting to get yourself and your photos 'out there' then these Instagram hashtags are great to use;

I started my blog back in May 2013 and never did I think it would get to where it is now. Life as Mum began as an online journal for my children. I enjoyed writing our adventures and sharing our photos, but I also loved sharing my parenting tips to hoping one day someone would read it. Looking back at my old posts now is quite embarrassing, and I am glad that my writing has improved throughout the years.

One thing I love to do, is dressing up the girls in pretty dresses. Elliw is more of a tomboy styled girl than what Mia is but Elliw still loves her dresses. Freddie is getting christened in February and I am looking for some matching dresses for both girls to wear on the day.


First of all, I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I wasn't that excited for this year's Christmas, which I should have been because it was Freddie's first Christmas and both girls were super excited. However, I just couldn't get myself into the 'Christmas spirit.' Freddie was unwell for a week which meant I had no chance to wrap any presents up; I was very disorganized, and was stressing out every single day because I just didn't get have time to sort anything out ready for the big day. Luckily, as the week went by Freddie was slowly getting to his normal self, and we managed to wrap everything on Christmas Eve night. We wrapped until 1.45am - exhausting! Freddie had a terrible night and hardly slept. He was up screaming most of the night until around 5 am.


The new years is coming up, and it's an exciting time for most of us. A time where most people make new years resolutions, a time some people are glad the previous year has finished and a time for a fresh start for most. Many people celebrate entering the new year in different ways such as going out partying, hosting a party at home, going to watch big Ben or even setting off their own firework display. Fireworks are quite dangerous - especially if you don't know how to set them off properly. NCC Home Learning have created a Firework Safety Quiz to see how much you know about setting off a firework display.

Buying a house for the first time is exciting. We moved into our home just over two years ago, after private renting for over 3 years. I much prefer living in our own home. However, it is a lot more expensive than private renting. If anything goes wrong in a house you are renting then it's usually the landlord that needs to take responsibility for replacing or fixing it. In your own home you are the homeowner, and so you are the one responsible for paying and fixing anything that goes wrong.


My girls love playing on their iPad and although many parents are against young children using iPad's, there are many educational apps out there. We have downloaded a mix of apps including games, sing-alongs and educational apps. HeyKids is an iOS nursery rhymes app you can download. You may have seen HeyKids on YouTube or your child may have come across their channel if they play on the iPad, my girls have many times. HeyKid is an app that has 40 popular nursery rhyme videos for children to sing along too and enjoy, such as the classic Old MacDonald Had A Farm

You get 6 songs free of charge when you download the app onto your iPhone or iPad. The songs you get free are;
• If You're Happy And You Know it
• Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
• Old MacDonald Had a Farm
• Incy Wincy Spider
• Are you sleeping? Brother John?

One great feature about this app is you don't need an internet connection to watch their videos. The app is designed for children, and so it is very easy and simple for them to use, with an instant full-screen video there is no need to mess around with buttons. There are no ads included with the app which makes the app safe for children and it also means they won't click on things they're not supposed too. 

Other features included:
- No ads
- No internet required to play music videos
- Settings available for parents
- New animated songs added each month
- Over 40 popular nursery rhymes
- Designed for kids

HeyKids is a subscription which you can either pay $0.99 monthly or $9.99 yearly. The subscription gives you access to their videos and new content each week. Please read here for more information on subscribing to HeyKids.

What's your child's best nursery rhyme?


* In collaboration with HeyKids

On the 12th of December early morning, we got ourselves ready and the car packed ready for our stay at Bluestone, Wales with a friend, Seri and her two kids, Ish and Aish. My partner had a busy week at work, so he was unable to come with us. We all fitted in a 7 seater car, squished with all of our bags under our feet and on our knees. It took us 3 and a half hours to arrive, with one stop at Aberystwyth, we didn't find the journey too bad - all kids were well behaved and super excited by asking the same question many times; "Are we there yet?". We finally arrived, and they couldn't wait to see what Bluestone was and where we were staying.

We did notice there weren't many signs around, but we used the sat nav on my iPhone which made it easier. The closer we got, we started seeing some signs and from then on it was pretty easy to find. When we arrived, we were behind a Que of cars waiting to check-in. It was our turn to check-in, and I was welcomed by a friendly woman who took my name and explained everything to me about our stay and showed a map and where about our lodge was.

I was lucky that I was able to breastfeed from the day I gave birth to Freddie and I work from home, so I haven't needed to pump milk. I have used a hand pump twice which I only managed to pump around 3oz each time because my hand was hurting me too much and I was only testing certain bottles. However, I know that in a few months time, if I am ready to leave him overnight with a family member, I will need to breast pump some milk for him. There are many breast pumps out there to choose from. Diapers offer a fair range of breast pumps, you can see them here.

Choosing the right breast pump can be quite confusing when there are so many to choose from. I have always had my eye on the Medela Swing Breast Pump which is also available to buy on the Diapers site. Having a breast pump is great if you are going back to work/starting work or wanting a day/night 'break'. If you don't fancy using a breast pump, you can always try hand expressing

There is a choice of buying a breast pump or loaning one. If you are thinking on going back to work then you are best of buying a pump as you can keep it for however long you want. If you are wanting to try a pump out or only wanting to use it a couple of times for certain days or nights then you could save money by loaning a pump.

Expressing milk by using a breast pump isn't always a choice mother's want to do but there are many reasons for expressing milk, such as;
- Premature babies who are unwell
- Baby not able to latch
- May help milk supply
and many other reasons.

So, how do we choose the right breast pump?

Manual or Electric?
A manual breast pump is cheaper but can be hard work as you use your hands to pump (which can be painful for your wrists after a while). You should get into some kind of rhythm when expressing using a hand-pump, it may take some time to get used to. Electric pumps are more expensive but easier to use as you don't need to use your hands to put. If you are looking to only express occasionally then the manual pump may be better but if you are looking to express on a regular basis, an electric pump may suit you best. Manual breast pumps are great for taking out and about, if needed. There are two types of electric breast pumps; battery operated or mains electrical supply, which could also help your decision on choosing the right pump. 

Single or Double Electric Breast Pumps?
It can take up to 30 minutes or so to express milk by using a single electric breast pump, which is a lot of time when you have many other things to do, such as housework, seeing to baby (or other children), work and anything else that needs doing. A double electric pump will get you done within 10 or so minutes which is less than half the time as you would when pumping with a single. 

It all comes down to, how much do you need to express and how much do you want to spend?

GIVEAWAY

Nakturnal is giving away one (1) $50 gift card to spend at Diapers.com for one lucky reader. All you need to do is read the terms and conditions, then enter by using the Rafflecopter below.  

*Terms and Conditions*
The prize is one (1) $50 USD gift card to spend at Diapers.com. The prize is from Nakturnal not Diapers.com. Giveaway ends midnight 1st January 2016 (UK time). The winner will be chosen at random, however, to be entered you MUST comment this blog post - otherwise your entry will not count. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The new year is almost here. You may want to fix up your home to enjoy the upcoming summer and fall seasons during 2017. These home improvement ideas are not difficult or time-consuming.

I can't believe we are in December already, the last month of the year. This time last year I hadn't even announced my pregnancy, I was still in shock, but I was all in worries that something was wrong in my pregnancy. All was ok when I had my first scan on the 30th of December, the day I announced our third pregnancy. For the whole 9 months (nearly) I kept thinking how was life going to be having 3 children and now that I have nearly 5 months experience of my being a Mum of 3, I can say that it is blooming difficult but also a blessing.


Christmas is an exciting time of the year for children and most adults. Although it's an exciting time, kids can get bored pretty quickly, especially being off school for nearly two weeks. Trying to think of things to keep the kids entertained over the Christmas holiday can be tough but here are a few tips on keeping your kids entertained;

-Watch Films
There are many funny Christmas films for families to watch together over the Christmas season. A few of my favourite films are; The Polar Express and Jack Frost. 

-Have a Christmas Family Party
Get the family together for a Christmas party. Have a buffet and you could even stick a Christmas film on for you all to enjoy. 

-Christmas Crafts
There are many easy (but fun) Christmas crafts you can do over the Christmas period. You can find many ideas over at Pinterest.  

-Christmas Walk
One thing I love to do during the Christmas period is going for a walk with my family. I love wrapping up warm to go for a walk and then coming back home to cosy up in front of the fire watching some films. 

What do you like to do over the Christmas holidays? 

*This is a collaborative post witg Warner Bros*

If you know me, then you will know that I love taking photos of everything, especially the kids. I think it's important to try and capture as many memories as you can because kids grow up too quickly. I'm glad that I have thousands and thousands of photos of the kids on my phone, laptop and two other laptops (that need fixing!). However, one thing I am bad at is getting the time to print them out to either stick up on the wall or in photo albums.


When I found out I was pregnant with my third, Freddie, I knew it was going to be my last pregnancy ever. I remember promising myself that I would try and enjoy the pregnancy as much as I could but it was difficult to enjoy it with twice weekly hospital appointments because of Obstetric Cholestasis (a liver disorder during pregnancy), in pain constantly and still having to care and run around for two other children. I'm not going to lie, I struggled.


Mia and Elliw are at the age where they love to sit down and look through magazines. They love stories and puzzles. I was looking forward to receiving some Bayard magazines for the girls to review. Bayard magazines are children's magazines that are sold throughout Europe and North and South America, Africa and Asia. Their magazines are unique and are praised by teachers. Bayard children's magazines aren't your usual magazines you buy from the shop. There are three types, Adventure Box, Storybox and Discovery box. They all have stories and puzzles throughout the books.



"Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy"

Freddie has changed a lot since the last 4 months update I wrote a couple of weeks back. Watching him grow each day is a blessing, but I do wish time would slow down, just a little. Watching him reaching new milestones is just amazing but also showing that he is growing too quick. Time just flies by, doesn't it? Freddie is our last baby and knowing I won't be seeing any of these 'new' milestones again, I am taking it day by day.

We decided to start weaning Freddie a couple of days before he turned 4 months old. It seemed like the right thing to do, and it was recommended by the health visitor. I started weaning Mia around the same age, and I did the same with Elliw, but she didn't take to it that well, so we waited out until 5-6 months with Elliw. Every single baby is different, and I have learnt that with having three children who are so different. I said from day one I didn't want to rush anything and it took me a long time to decide when to start the weaning stage. After a lot of thought and looking at Freddie's weight gain and growth, we decided it was the right thing to do. You can read more about his weaning progress here.


I had a visit from the Health Visitor on the 6th of December, and she was overly happy with his progress. He weighed 18lbs 13 and a half oz, he was 17lbs 1oz just under a month ago, so we were both pleased with the weight gain. We had a chat about some problems I had with feeding a few days ago, but things seem a lot better now. We now don't have to see her again for another 6 weeks.

Freddie has reached two amazing milestones recently. He can already roll from his tummy to his back, but now he can also roll from his back to his tummy. He has been trying his best to do this for a couple of weeks, and he finally did it when I put him down on the floor in my friend's house on the 5th of December. He seems to be able to move around by moving his legs so much.

Another milestone he has reached is by sitting up unaided for a few seconds. He's still quite unsteady but he is getting there. I didn't think about trying to sit him up on his own until the health visitor asked me how is he sitting un aided. That evening, I sat him on the floor, and he sat up on his own! The girls got so excited. He's growing so fast recently. He's trying to his best to reach out for items and grabbing them.

At 4 and a half months, 20 weeks old, Freddie;
- Is able to sit un-aided for a few seconds
- has two bottom teeth
- Trying to reach out for things
- Grasp
- Roll from tummy to back
- Roll from back to tummy
- Smile
- Laugh/Giggle
- Babble





As a Mum of 3, I'm always on my feet and one of the things I hate doing, is housework but it needs to be done. When I was asked if I wanted to review the Vileda Easy Wring & Clean Turbo, I had to say yes. I had heard about the item before and I was interested to see how it worked. When it arrived, I couldn't wait to start using it. We have wooden flooring in every room downstairs, except we have tiles in the dining room and kitchen.


We were given the Chubby Puppy playset in return for an honest review, and once the girls saw the boxes, they couldn't wait to open them up and start playing. We received the Chubby Puppies & Friends Pet Fun Centre Playset. The girls have loved Chubby Puppies the minute they started seeing the adverts on tv.

There's a 4 year gap between Elliw and Freddie, so there were many new baby items I hadn't seen or tried when I had Elliw. I must admit, Freddie has too many things, but these items listed below are items I have found great for him and myself. Freddie is learning new milestones recently such as learning to reach out for toys and trying his best to concentrate playing with them. This new milestone means that he can keep himself busy for a bit longer, especially during the day when he is more alert and not cluster feeding.

You may have realised my blog has been pretty quiet recently. The past couple of weeks I have been preparing myself for Mia's birthday party. For a couple of months, I've been trying to think what to do for her and a few ideas came to my head such as taking her and a friend to the cinema, taking her and two friends to a play centre like we did for her 6th birthday last year or a pamper, as she had for her 5th birthday. We both eventually decided on a pamper party. I booked someone local and someone who had done her pamper party for her 5th birthday.


7 years ago today I was preparing myself to be induced the following morning. I was a scared and nervous 17 year old pregnant girl. I was full of nerves, knowing I was giving birth to a baby girl and raising her on my own. I had no idea what to expect, I hadn't a clue what labour was going to be like or what kind of pain I was going to go through. All I knew was, I was going to have my baby girl at the end of it and the next time I was in my bed, I'd have my baby girl in the Moses basket next to me.

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