Funky Giraffe Bibs Review

About 400 years ago (okay, it was about six months, but you know how time flies when you’re trying to go for a wee without a baby climbing up your leg having fun) , we were asked if we’d like to review Funky Giraffe Bibs, a brand which creates bandanna bibs in super funky prints. I’ve been absolutely rubbish at getting blog posts written lately, but I thought it was about time that I shared our opinions of the bibs we chose.

The real difficulty was narrowing down which bibs we wanted to try from the enormous selection of designs – there are just SO many choices, each more appealing than the next and I genuinely laboured for hours to make my mind up! In the end, we opted for a ‘Little Sister’ design in pink, a lovely yellow bib with a large cherry print and a lively cartoon bird print, as well as a pretty pear motif on a bright blue background. Funky Giraffe Bandana Bibs

The great thing about Funky Giraffe bibs is that behind the vibrant designs is a very soft, fleecy material; BB has really sensitive skin, just like her big sister and even the slightest bit of friction can leave her skin red and irritated, but she’s able to wear the bandana bibs without any bother. They also come with two sets of poppers which mean that the bibs grow with your baby and will last for pretty much the entire time they need a bib.

BB is a terrible dribbler when she’s teething and ordinary bibs just aren’t sufficient to soak up her spit AND keep her skin dry at the same time, but the Funky Giraffe bibs did an admirable job of wicking away the moisture while keeping it well away from her skin, which I guess is the beauty of the double thickness of the bandanas.

Obviously, if you’re anything like me then the real million-dollar question is ‘How do they wash up?’. There’s little more frustrating than buying a gorgeous baby item made from highly patterned material, only for it to go dull and discoloured, or stained, after being washed. Never fear though; the Funky Giraffe bibs actually seem to get better after a few washes because they soften and become even more comfortable for baby. They also seem to repel stains (possibly due to the printed fabric), which means that they wash up brilliantly, even if you use them during messy mealtimes.

There are some excellent deals to be had on the Funky Giraffe site. Bibs actually get cheaper, the greater quantity that you buy and there are special offers available which mean that you can get your hands on a bundle of bibs which work out at just £1.50 each – bargain! Amazingly enough, Funky Giraffe bibs are also available in Australia, so if you’re one of our lovely antipodean readers, head over to the Funky Giraffe Australia site for some beautiful prints and excellent bargains.

Are you a fan of Funky Giraffe bibs? Are you tempted to try them after reading this? Leave me a comment below.

And Onto Moo-Milk We Go…

Photo Credit: momjunction.comPhoto Credit: momjunction.com

You may have read posts in the past detailing Burrito Baby’s issues with milk and how her doctors came to the conclusion that she had a Cows Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) because of digestive discomfort and behavioral issues. We’ve dutifully fed her on the vile, raw-potato smelling formula milk, made mostly of gluscose syrup, that she was prescribed and tackled the minefield that is dairy-free weaning, but there’s been a spanner in the works. You see, BB isn’t gaining weight.

Length-wise, she’s in between the 75th and 91st percentile, making her quite long for her age, especially as she’s still being corrected for those 4 weeks that she was early by. However, for weight, she’s hovering somewhere around the 25th percentile, which means that she’s very definitely underweight. I mean, you’ve only got to look at her to see that she’s tiny and when you hold her, you can feel her spine sticking out. I’m not used to skinny babies; Sausage was very well covered, always in the 91st percentile for length and weight and the worry with her was that she was too big, so this is all a new thing for us.

We were all so terribly ill over Christmas and when BB’s 12 month check with the Health Visitor came around just one day after her birthday, we were shocked to learn that she’d actually lost weight in the period since her last weigh-in during December. We put it down to her having been so poorly and off of her food, but a couple of weeks later when I took her to clinic to be weighed, she’d barely gained a few ounces. I took her along to see our GP, who didn’t seem overly worried about her, but when I mention the fact that she urinated frequently, gets very cross at times and eats like a horse, despite gaining no weight, it was decided that a few tests were in order.

After a couple of disastrous attempts to catch her wee in one of those bags that you stick on under their nappy, the GP ordered bloods to be taken instead, to test mainly for diabetes, an over active thyroid or anaemia. The test isn’t until 8th April and the waiting is horrid, but in the meantime, our GP advised us to tentatively try BB on some full-on dairy produce to see if her tummy was still intolerant to it all.

The first thing we attempted was cereal with milk – BB is absolutely crazy about crunchy nut cornflakes and up until this point, I’d had to give them to her dry, making me feel not entirely unlike Ebeneezer Scrooge but knowing that it was for her own good. Watching her wolf down a whole bowl, milk and all, was both beautiful and terrifying; seeing her enjoy milk so much after being deprived for all these months brought a tear to my eye, but I also spent the next few hours searching her face for any signs of tummy ache or other pain. Fortunately, the milk seemed to have no effect on her, so next gold-top milk and a chocolate cookie, then cheese on toast the following lunchtime – good grief, this girl LOVES cheese!

Over the last week, she’s had full fat milk, cheese, yogurt, ice-cream, butter and milkshake and not once has so shown any adverse effects. She’s been happier in herself and sleeping really well (she’s always slept well at night, but has never been much of a napper; this week she’s been napped twice a day for a total of about 3 hours!), and although we’re not having her weighed until tomorrow, Husband and I are convinced she’s gained – our little Skinny Minnie looks plumper in the face already!

It’s quite a bittersweet time for Husband and I, with worrying about the potential for her having a life-changing condition such as diabetes, as well as the transition to dairy. Was she really CMPA all this time or could she have been having dairy all along, and avoided the horrible replacement milk? Could the lack of dairy be the cause of her weight issues? I guess we’ll probably never know, but we’re both staying positive and hoping that the numbers on the scales will make us happy tomorrow. Watch this space for an update!

Karcher Steam Stick Review #KarcherSuperBloggers

Here at Mum’s the Word, we’re delighted to have been asked to be Karcher Super Bloggers, part of a team of people who are being sent Karcher goodies over the next 12 months to review and test. We’re massive fans of Karcher in our house and have great faith in the brand, so the opportunity to test things out and get hands-on is a real treat!

Anyway, for my first attempt at using the Karcher Steam Stick I thought I’d give vlogging a go and I must make a couple of excuses before we start – we’re still not properly unpacked and I still cannot find my make-up bag, so the slight rough-around-the-edges look is thanks to the lack of mascara and foundation! Also, dismantling a steam cleaner with one hand whilst still trying to record with the other is tricky. I promise that, in my next video, I’ll wear some make-up and perhaps employ a trusty camera man!

So, without further ado, here’s the Karcher Steam Stick giving my new laminate flooring a once-over:

Monday’s Parenting Pin It Party #97

So, in a monumental case of crossed wires and confusion on my part, my first ever week of hosting Monday’s Parenting Pin It Party managed to go by completely unnoticed by me, and I’m posting today instead of yesterday. Shhh…I’m a newbie so you have to let me off! Last week’s linky, hosted by Carolin at Mummy Alarm, had some amazing posts added and I really struggled to choose just two that I loved.

The first one to catch my eye was this recipe for banana and peanut butter flapjacks by Mummy Mishaps. Anything banana and peanut flavour goes down a treat in our house and Husband is famous for making a banana and peanut butter milkshake, so this one had to be chosen.

My next fave was this post by Rainy Day Mum about empowering our daughters and teaching them key life skills. I’ve always been the sort of person to do things for myself, choosing to test my own skills rather than deferring to someone else and we try to teach our girls to be equally as resourceful, so this post really made my heart sing.

If you want to join in and share your favourite posts, check out the linky rules and grab the badge below before linking up your must-reads from last week or longer ago.

So, here’s the badge code if you want to link up and add it to your posts:

Mum's The Word
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.mumstheword.me"
title="Mum's The Word" target="_blank"><img src="http://jbmumofone.com/
wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Parenting-Pin-It-Party-Badge.jpg" alt="Mum's The Word" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

]
And here’s the linky:

What Five Things Could You Not Live Without? #NotWithout5Things

British Gas has been asking bloggers what five things they couldn’t live without, to promote The Source, their website which is packed full of information about energy and sustainability. I’ve decided that it goes without saying that my family is the number one thing that I couldn’t live without, so here are the other five things!

Music

Music is one of those things that is super important to me, and the other members of the family too. We’re always listening to music together, dancing and singing, and love nothing more than a good old singalong in the car when we’re going on long journeys. SingStar is Sausage and my favourite game (although our PS3 broke recently, leaving us both devastated) and I literally cannot drive unless I have the radio or music playing in the background!

Books

Books are so vital to all of us, as a family of avid readers. Sausage always has her nose in a book and Husband can be glued to his Kindle when he’s seriously into a good book. Burrito Baby is already starting to take notice of picture books and loves to turn pages, and while I don’t make as much time to read as I used to, I’d feel seriously adrift without books around me.

The NHS

This one might seem slightly contentious, but for me, the NHS is an absolute necessity. I suffer with several chronic conditions which have to be managed with various different medications and without the free care of my GP and consultants, I’d be in serious trouble.

The Internet

Okay, so this may seem like a fairly shallow answer, but without the internet both Husband and I wouldn’t be able to work from home, allowing us to spend more time with our daughters. The internet is vital for SO many things now and I feel genuinely lost without the world wide web at my fingertips.

Laughter

Humour is absolutely VITAL to getting me through the day, and I’ve always been a bit of a clown. There’s nothing more rewarding than making someone else laugh, especially when it’s your own kids and seeing someone’s face go from sad to happy because you’ve done something silly or told a joke is absolutely priceless. Humour is also a bit of a coping mechanism for me, as I use it to lift my spirits during tough times, so I’d seriously struggle without laughter in my life in one form or another.

So, what five things could you not live without? Leave me a comment below, or tweet using the #NotWithout5Things hashtag. Also, don’t forget to watch the video below to see what other people told British Gas they couldn’t live without.

:

Take Your Theory Test and Win an iPad!

Husband and I often talk about road theory when we’re in the car; I’ve been driving for 13 years and although he doesn’t have a car licence, he’s ridden bikes for many years which means his road sense is exemplary. We’ve wondered, on more than one occasion whether people on the road would pass their tests, were they to take them now and as it turns out, road safety charity Brake, along with We Buy Any Car wondered the same thing!

They conducted a survey which showed that that 2 out of 3 drivers on the road today would actually fail their driving theory test if they were to take it today, which is quite shocking when you think about it. The thought of that many drivers lacking basic knowledge needed to navigate the roads in a safe and competent fashion scares me! Here’s a quiz for you to take to see if your road theory is up to scratch:

This quiz was created byWeBuyAnyCar.com

I’m very pleased to say that I passed the test first time, with a mark of 80%, but it has also alerted me to the fact that there are definite holes in my knowledge, even after all these years on the road, so I’ll definitely be buying a copy of the Highway Code and brushing up!theory test pass

I’d love it if you took the test too and left me a comment, letting me know your score and whether you’re still up to scratch – and BE HONEST! If you enter your email address when you try the test, there’s a chance to win an iPad, so it’s definitely worth a go!

Monday Parenting Pin It Party #95

I’m highly honored to tell you all that I’ve been accepted as one of the new hosts of the Monday Parenting Pin It Party with several of my favourite bloggers who are all absolute geniuses when it comes to Pinterest! I, on the other hand, am a bit of a novice and need to make a lot more effort when it comes to using Pinterest to its fullest potential, so I thought I’d throw myself in at the deep end and start here.

This week’s host is Aly from Bug, Bird and Be, someone whose recipes I salivate over on a regular basis and never fail to be in awe for for her dedication to foraging and nature. In case you’re new to the Parenting Pin It Party, the rules are simple:

1. Link up one, or more, of your own parenting posts. You can link either the post itself or a pinterest pin, whichever you prefer.

Each entry will be pinned to the Monday Parenting Pin-It Party board on Pinterest.

2. Follow the Monday Parenting Pin-It Party board on pinterest, featured below.  It would also be great if you followed the hosts, this is me: Mum’s the Word
3.  Try and visit at least two other entries and pin them.  Let them know you have been and hopefully they will return and pin yours too.



<!– end LinkyTools script —>

Bug, Bird and Bee
<div align="center"><a href="http://bugbirdbee.co.uk" title="Bug, Bird
and Bee" target="_blank"><img src="http://jbmumofone.com/wp-content/
uploads/2013/05/Parenting-Pin-It-Party-Badge.jpg" alt="Bug, Bird and Bee"
style="border:none;" /></a></div>

The Expectant Mum: How to Treat Yourself

You might have that glorious pregnant glow on the outside but now and again that pregnancy feeling can leave you feeling a little icky on the inside.

woman-356141_1280Whilst you’re coping with the morning sickness in the first trimester and heartburn in the second, the delights of the third leaves you with shoes that are too tight and a far too stretched tummy.

So, it’s safe to say you are in need – and truly deserve a bit of pampering every now and again and here is exactly how you should be treating yourself during your nine months of pregnancy.

Show your feet some lovin’

Remember, you are carrying another person around so your feet are taking a bit of a battering these days. Your feet may also be swollen from an increase in fluid around your body, so be sure to get yourself a pedicure every now and then, whilst also placing them in some nice warm water with lavender. This will leave you feeling relaxed with super soft tootsies.

Eat something truly yummy

Yes, whilst we know it’s important to be eating a balanced diet yada yada yada – it’s also important to treat yourself now and again, so head down to your local bakery and pick up the ultimate cupcake.  As long as you’re maintaining a nice, healthy diet most of the time, this will have no impact on your unborn baby.

Treat yourself to some flowers

If no one is going to buy you flowers – buy them for yourself! I mean, you are carrying another human around all the time, you deserve some flowers! So, check out Serenata and take advantage of their deals and discounts and brighten up your home with a lovely bunch of brightly coloured flowers; they’re guaranteed to give your mood a boost.

Wear something pretty

Living in your partners jogging pants and baggy t-shirts is no way to treat yourself during your pregnancy. So, put on a nice dress and go for a walk; if you look great, more often than not you’ll feel great. Remember – just because you’re pregnant that doesn’t mean you should feel fat and frumpy; you’re still a gorgeous woman!

Have a movie night

Arrange a night for you and your partner to sit on the couch and relax in front of a funny film – this is guaranteed to give your mood the boost it needs.

With these small treats, your nine months of pregnancy will fly past!

My Weight Loss Journey

belly-2354_640I’ve written on this blog SO many times about how I need to lose weight, need to get fit, need to improve my lifestyle. In fact, I’ve written it so many bloody times that I’m bored of the same old self-motivating stuff that never really works and I’m not going to even link to any of the old posts here as they’re all bobbins.

Here’s the thing; over Christmas, I was really ill. The whole family was, in fact, BB and I spent about 70% of Christmas Day asleep on Husband’s Aunt’s sofa, so it was a pretty rubbish day for us, despite our family doing their best to cheer us up and make us feel better. I dragged us all back to the doctors on Boxing Day and the GP decided to send me for some tests as the illness had been lingering for a few weeks by this point and he thought I might have Glandular Fever (Mono, for anyone reading in the States). By the times the tests came back though, it became clear that GF wasn’t the issue. In fact, the reason I wasn’t getting better was that my other conditions (type 2 diabetes and an underactive thyroid) were being so poorly controlled that my immune system just wasn’t strong enough to fight off the germs.

I was sent away with an additional diabetes medication (alogliptin) to take alongside my metformin, my thyroxine dose was upped and I was also put on cholesterol medication (atorvastatin) as my cholesterol had crept up too. I was also advised that losing weight was something I needed to seriously consider. My GP drew a graph to show me what my current state of health was doing for me (which I’ve skillfully recreated in MS Paint…):
Diabetes
The straight line represents what my blood sugar control should have been like, in an ideal world, for the last 7 years. The squiggly line is an approximation of what my control has actually been like over that time period. The red striped area in between represents actual damage that has been done to my body in the time that my condition has been poorly controlled. For a diabetic, that translates to damage to the retinas, heart, kidneys and other organs, as well as reduced healing times and potential shortening of life in the long run.
That little graph scared the crap out of me. 
So, while in the past I’ve written posts containing platitudes about how I MUST lose weight and I WILL take control, this post is being written from a slightly different angle. You see, that was all about 8 weeks ago now and in that time, I’ve actually managed to lose 18lb already. There are two things which have been a great help, so far; My Fitness Pal, where I log every single thing I eat and keep track of how many calories I’ve consumed (I’m allowed 1610cal at the moment) and the Pedometer app on iPhone which I’ve been using to try to up my daily step total to 10,000. I’ve walked the school run instead of using the car and at least 2 days a week, I’ll walk a super long way home instead of coming straight back. A couple of small changes to my lifestyle and I’ve already made a huge difference.
Something about seeing the potential damage done to my organs, drawn crudely in a free biro from a drugs rep, on the back of a blank prescription has given me the kick up the butt that I so badly needed. I still have a long way to go; I need to lose another 40lbs to get anywhere near a healthy weight, but losing the first 18lb with such small effort has made me realise that it’s not as hard as it seems. My willpower has slipped once or twice, but instead of throwing the towel in like I have in the past, I’m moving past each minor blip and seeing it as reinforcement to my will to complete the journey.
Also, I need to up my exercise game – if anyone has any recommendations for home workouts which won’t make me keel over or run away screaming, I’d be super grateful for them!

Clarks Shoes for Babies

Up until recently, Burrito Baby only ever wore socks on her feet when we left the house; more often than not she was in her snowsuit, which covers her feet and doesn’t allow for shoes, but now that the weather is warming up slightly, she’s happier in a coat which meant that the time was here to buy her first shoes. We didn’t want to just go for soft pram shoes, as they wouldn’t be useful if she wanted to be on her feet, so when Clarks asked is we’d take a look at their cruising range, we were happy to oblige.

At first, I wanted to go for something like the Halcy Pop, which would be pretty and comfortable for BB.

26108028_A_llt

However, Husband being the wise fellow that he is suggested that we go for something with a little more ankle support for our new little walker, so we considered these cute pink desert boots:

o26101363_A_p

In the end we opted for the Alana Erin, which we felt would give the best combination of comfort and support for BB, along with style and practicality. These boots go with pretty much every outfit BB owns and look like they’ll stand up to a good bashing from our toddler!

20355119_A_p

We were really impressed with how extensive the Clarks range is for babies and toddlers and will definitely be going back for BB’s next pair of shoes. She’s still finding her feet in her new boots, unable to decide whether they’re the best thing ever or the weirdest thing ever, and she does look a little bit like Bambi on ice when she first puts them on, but it’s all a learning process!

We can’t wait to see BB’s proper first steps, where she’s not holding onto anything for balance and we feel confident that Clarks shoes will be a great help to her as she starts her new walking adventure.