31.5.15

Silent(ish) Sunday & Quote #4 - Happiness

'...and she loved that little boy very, very much - even more than she loved herself.'
                                                                                                          The giving tree. 


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30.5.15

Learning to love my Mummy Body.

When I fell pregnant I knew my body would change. I was prepared for my belly to grow to house my little bundle of joy, I expected my boobs to get even bigger in preparation for all the milk I would soon be producing and I even was prepared for the weak bladder that I knew was going to come after giving birth. What I wasn't expecting, however, was the stretch marks that looked angry and deep
whilst I was pregnant, the feet that swelled and never seemed to go back to normal and the boobs that now, after the milk being long gone, look like 2 saggy old sponges when not being supported in an industrial wired and padded bra! I really wasn't prepared for any of this and it has taken me a good long while to become accustomed to my new Mummy body.

Now, don'g get me wrong, I have never been skinny. I wouldn't even class myself as ever being slim. I have always been quite curvy with hips, a bit of a bum and quite a large bust and I can honestly say I was happy. I would happily wear a bikini on the beach and felt confident in the majority of the clothes that I wore. 

When I fell pregnant and started to get a bump I did everything in my power to stop stretch marks. I used every single lotion and potion on the market in an attempt to avoid them but it just did not work. My bump was covered in deep, purple, angry looking stretch marks and I hated them! I hated them to the point that I was going to have a bump photo shoot done but I canceled it as I couldn't stand the look of my bump in it's purple, stripy nakedness. I took solace in the thought that once Bubba was here, things would go back to normal and the marks would fade. I believed that I would look like those glossy, beautiful, glowing women you see in TV adverts and in the celeb magazines. It wouldn't happen straight away but it would happen eventually. Well...almost 9 months later..I am still waiting for things to go back to normal.

I am not moaning here as I appreciate that I am lucky to have gone through pregnancy and the reason all of this has happened is because I have grown my little bambino and I would do it all again in a heartbeat as he was worth it. It is just hard to learn to love a body that seems so alien to me. I have been left with a saggy, stripy looking, bumpy belly which almost hangs down in a flap. I now have boobs which I am scared to let out of bra as they almost fall under my armpits and I have feet that seem to have grown at least half a size so therefore fit none of my pre pregnancy shoes! 

I struggled for a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin. Yes I could do with loosing some weight and yes it's not going to happen if I don't get my butt moving but for the first time in my life I felt unattractive and felt embarrassed about my body in front of hubby. This was totally new ground to me and if I am honest, I found it really hard to deal with. The pictures I had seen in the media were a lie and unrealistic. I felt deflated, ugly, unattractive and in a bit of a hole to be honest.

Luckily, I have a very loving, caring and supportive husband who has helped to me learn to love my new body and feel beautiful again. I also have a great support group of Mummy friends who are all in
the same boat, but what about those women who don't? Is the medias perception of what us Mummys should look life after birth healthy? Is it realistic? Is it fair??

In my opinion, no. Learning to love my brand new Mummy body has been a long and very interesting journey but after a lot of conversations with friends, hubby and even other mummy bloggers, I have come to accept myself. I grew a human in my belly for god sake!! I spend my time playing with Bubba or with Hubby and friends enjoying life rather than counting my calories or stressing about how I look in my jeans and I'm okay with that. I am proud of my stretch marks and saggy boobies! They are my battle scars and I worked bloody hard to get them!


So...Mummy's out there..be proud of your body's..be them petite, tall, short, large, survey, lumpy and bumpy!
I am health, happy and learning to love my Mummy body :)

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27.5.15

Wednesdays WMMH #4

I was such a bad blogger last week and barley blogged at all :( I even forgot to do a Wednesday's Whats made me happy!!
But this week I am back and ready to tell you what has made me happy this week... So here goes...

1. Bubba is finally feeling better!!! He started to not look himself on Monday last week and come Wednesday I took him to the GP as he wasn't looking or doing any better where I was told that he had an ear infection :( He was straight onto antibiotics and after a couple of little hiccups he started to perk up and come bank holiday Monday he was back to his cheeky little self again (see photo!!)

2. It was a bank holiday weekend which meant we had Daddy home for 3 whole days! I love it when Hubby is home and not because I get some 'time off' but because I love spending time with my 2 boys as a family. I also love watching the 2 of them together as they are both so silly and Bubba loves his Daddy so much that it really is a joy to see.

3. We went on a date night (Finally!!!). I know I have said previously that we try to go once a month but the last time me and Hubby went out just the 2 of us with no Bubba and no other people was all the way back in February so it was waaaaay overdue. Thankfully, my Mum & Dad were able to come and baby sit Bubba so we were able to head off for some dinner, some silliness in the arcade and then to the cinema to watch Pitch Perfect 2 (which, by the way, was brilliant!!!). It was so lovely to take some time just to 2 of us and I think it did us both the world of good.

4. On Saturday we managed to get some stuff done in our house, well the garden as such. We have some land at the bottom of our garden which we use as a car parking space for my car and when we brought the house you could only fit one car on there as the rest of the space was taken us by a huge load of weeds and ivy. Over time we have dug out all the the ivy with the help of some friends but it needed hardcore and slate ect to sort it all out and make it usable which is what we have now done! It was bloody hard work but totally worth it as we can now have both cars off the road and it also looks a lot nicer for the neighbors too :)

5. I received some very very exciting news yesterday.. I was contacted by the lovely people over at Your Baby Club who asked me if I would like to become an official Your Baby Club Blogger!! I obviously jumped at the chance and am really excited to be working with them in the future. Keep your eyes peeled for my first post about them soon with lot's of exciting things and maybe a competition or two... :)

So overall, a really happy week!! Have also got lot's to look forward over the next coming week as its Hubby's birthday on Friday so we have lot's of nice things planned. And also, now Bubba is better, I should be able to get back into my blog and get Mummy Spamming again :)

What has made you happy this week? Let me know in the comments
xxx

26.5.15

I'm a bad blogger...

I'm a bad blogger....well at least that is what I have felt like for the past week.

Bubba was really poorly with an ear infection and cold so the past week has flown by in a snot, tear and poop covered blur! All Bubba seemed to want was me...either to cuddle, cry at, use as a snot rag or to thrown food at. It felt like a really stressful week as I was just exhausted and the worst part was that it wasn't even Bubbas fault. He couldn't help being poorly and ratty all week. I felt so awful that I couldn't do more to help him and I just found the whole week really tough.

My Mummy Spam just fell totally to the wayside as if I wasn't being Mummy, I was being wife and sorting dinner, washing, ironing, cleaning ect and if I wasn't doing that then I was either on the sofa feeling too zombified to move or attempting to get some sleep. I felt like such an awful blogger and felt so dishearten when I looked at my stats to see my views falling and my followers stalling. When I was looking at my twitter feed wondering what to write during a rare moment of peace I could see all of my fellow bloggers blogging away and tweeting linky's ect it suddenly dawned on me..

Why am I worried about loosing viewers? 
Why am I bothered that the twitter followers are stalling? 
Why am I feeling bad for not posting anything on my Facebook page all day? 
Why am I so worried that I haven't written a blog post in 2 days???

The answer to all of them is that I shouldn't be! I started this blog for me. A place for me to write my thoughts & to vent, to share my experiences and stories to maybe help others and record my memories so hopefully, one day, I can look back on all of this and remember all of the good and bad parts of motherhood. I shouldn't feel bad about not posting. I was busy being Mummy to my gorgeous little boy who was poorly and needed me. That was all that matter. Without him there would be no blog. He is the reason I do it and he needed me so it was 'Bye Bye' blog for a while and hello to my sons every whim. With that realisation, I stopped panicking and stressing about not blogging and came to the conclusion...
I am not a bad blogger. I am a good (well...okayish) blogger who was taking a quick break to focus 100% on the one thing than matters more than any views, tweet or blog.

My Bubba! :)


23.5.15

New life during loss..

To start I just want to ask that you do bear with me during this post. It is something that I have wanted to write about for a while to offer support to others in a similar position but it is without a doubt the hardest post I have written so far.

When you find out you are expecting a baby the emotions are so all over the place. I felt nervous, excited, hopeful, worried, proud..a huge range of things. I remember the excitement of bringing a new life into the world. A new little person to join our little family and our wider family. Hubby and I are the eldest children in our families so we were excited to be the first to bring a grandchild into our parents lives. For one of my seats of grandparents it was also the first great grandchild and as much as my Grandad (I actually never call him that, he is Brissy...long story!) isn't a man on many words and doesn't normally do babies, I could tell he was surprisingly excited.

My pregnancy progressed and we started to get everything ready for his big arrival. Family continued to get more and more excited with my Mum especially buying little bits and bobs for her eagerly anticipated Grandson. I won't forget the day that she came round with the new though. She seems so different that normal. Not excited but tried, pressured and with the weight of the world on her shoulders. My Mum is the strongest woman I know and seeing her like this that day, I knew that something was wrong. Hubby was also in the room too and it was as if she knew he was coming (which I later found out he did).

It was then that she told me that in among all of the new baby anticipation and happiness, there was a black cloud and storm coming. Brissy had cancer. Terminal cancer and he had between 6 months to 1 year. Writing this now almost a year after that day, I am still struggling to see through the tears. My head raced with so many different things but the biggest was that I wanted, more than anything in the world, for him to meet his first, and what would be only, great grandchild.

I did get my wish and Brissy spent 5 wonderful months being Bubba's favorite. As Brissy fell more and more poorly he started to struggle to speak but I remember just after Christmas, Bubba was in his bouncer and Brissy was just not giving a damn about the fact he couldn't talk much and was using all his energy to keep Bubba laughing and smiling at him! This is one of my favorite memories of the two of them. Whenever Bubba was around him, he would be smiling and giggling and loving the time he was spending with him. Part of me felt like it was almost like he knew he was bringing so much happiness to his Great GrandBrissy and that was why he was so good. Brissy loved my little boy so much and he may have only been little but my God could you see that my little boy loved him back just as much.

When he passed in February, the way I dealt with it surprised me. Yes I grieved. I grieved not only for myself, my Mum, my Nan, my brothers..but I grieved mainly for my little boy. For my tiny little 5 month old who would never get to see first hand the love that his Great GrandBrissy had for him. Who would never get to understand for himself why Brissy filled my childhood with amazing memories and for Bubba to make new ones for himself with him. It broke my hear, yet I found myself taking comfort in Bubba. He was my way of coping and I poured myself into being the best Mummy possible for my little boy. This may have meant that I spoiled him for a month or so with cuddles and letting him sleep on me all the time but in a way I didn't feel strong enough to fight with him and I also found that he was my distraction from the aching in my chest.

This then leads me to the point of writing this post and to what I hope will help others in this kind of horrid situation. I think this all happened for a reason. I have always been a believer in fate and I do honestly believe that Bubba being brought into our lives when he was and Brissy falling so ill when he did was all just the way it had to be. Bubba became everyone's little beacon of light and hope. Even before he was born and in the darkest days, he was my reason to keep on going and I like to think that he was a little bit of sunshine for my family through all of the rain clouds.

It was a strange thing to find myself feeling happy and hopeful about the new life we had created when my family and I were loosing someone we all cared about so much. A few times I found myself wondering why life had to be so cruel as to bring one life into the world but yet take another away but after 3 months I have started to realise that I shouldn't see it like this and the ache does start to ease and life does start to seem a little brighter. I am grateful that they had 5 precious months together and realise now that everything happens for a reason. My Bubba now has someone who loved him oh so very much sitting on his star protecting him and watching over him and I can sleep well knowing this.

What I want to say if you are going through anything similar is that it does get better, Yes it is one the hardest things when you loose someone you love but it does get better. The rain clouds do start to fade away and the sunshine does eventually break through but it will take time. And, those rain clouds may well come back (in my case I unfortunately know they will do) and you will have to do it all over again but it will get better. Focus on your family and being the best Mummy/Daddy you can be for your child. Focus on the here and now, spend time with those you love and treasure the memories you make with your child so even if they can't remember it, you can tell them. Keep those family members memories alive through your children as those Nanny's, Granddads, great grandparents are still there, watching and loving, but you just can't see them.

Dedicated to my Brissy
xxx

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And then the fun began...


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22.5.15

Bubba's Birth Story Part 2...

So, last time I wrote about this, I explained how I had been admitted to hospital and I finished the post on the Saturday...this is where it got interesting..

So, Saturday the 13th September I woke up and was checked over again. Once again, no real change just that my cervix was a little softer and had moved slightly so the midwife gave me the first 'gel' (not a very nice sensation!!) and off I went walking again. I started to get what I thought was contractions as my belly kept going rock hard and it was quite uncomfortable (I later found out that these were just tightenings and the contractions were on a whole different level!) but it all wore off at around lunch time. I was devastated and kept breaking down into tears of frustration and exhaustion! Once again, I was checked was surprised to be told...1 cm dilated!! Now, this may sound like nothing to you but to someone who has been trying to bring on their labour for almost a week, it was amazing!!! I then got given the second gel and that was where the fun really began!!

Once it had been given a chance to settle (gross I know) we then went off walking again. This was at about 6pm and I vividly remember going to the loo in one of the hospital toilets, washing my hands afterwards and whilst I was drying them, feeling like I had just wet myself. Hubby suggested we got back up to the maternity ward and when we got there the midwife confirmed that yes it was my waters!!!!! HORAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!! Something was finally happening. I wasn't cheering for long though as this was when the contractions started. I managed okay just bouncing on a ball and breathing through them whenever they happened to start with. Hubby had to leave at 12.30am as the midwife couldn't stretch him staying anymore (he was meant to leave at 9) and as I wasn't in established labour he had to go home. The ward was totally empty apart from me which was probably a good thing because after trying to sleep intermittently for a while, at 1.45am I had a HUGE lot of water go. The contractions then became very painful and I remember bouncing on the ball and leaning over the bed and suddenly calling to the midwife 'I'm going to be sick' and she managed to drive under me with a bowl just in time! It was at this point that I started asking them for pain relief and begging them to call Hubby. The midwife popped out to see if there was room and then we were off to the delivery suite!

I literally just had enough time to get my stuff together and get into the other room before hubby turned up and I remember the midwives being shocked at how quick he had got there!

Now, from about 3am until 7am it is all a bit of a blur. I remember losing more and more water (it just didn't stop!!), lot's of contractions and LOT'S of gas and air!!! God, I bloody love that stuff :) I also remember at one point, a really lovely midwife coming in and sitting with me for 15 mins so Hubby could go and make all the phone calls ect. God knows what I was speaking to her about!!!

Come 7am, the consultant came in just just my Mum had turned up (she was also with us for Bubbas birth). I was full of hope that he would check me and say 'yep..your doing great...your at 5 cms' or something along those lines. Instead I got told I was at 1cm! They told me they were going to hook me up to the oxytocin drip and that he recommended a epidural as it can make labour more painful. I didn't need very long to think about this and said yes pretty much straight away. So, by 8am, I was hooked up to the drip, epidural in, ready to wait for this baby to come and what a wait it was...They came in to check me every few hours and it went like so:
8am: 2cm
12pm: 2cm
4pm: 2cm
It was awful. There wasn't any pain up until this point as I had the epidural but it was just emotionally draining. Bubba was doing fine and he was being constantly monitored but it was just like waiting for Christmas to come and it never actually coming. By the time it got to about 4.30pm the epidural had started to wear off on one side and the pain was awful. Luckily, the midwife we had stayed with me the whole time and she was able to up the epidural for me so I could try to get some sleep.

At 6pm a lady consultant came in and checked me again. I was still at 2 cm. Now, this part was the worst part for me as I was given a choice. I was told that I could either wait for another 4 more hours to see if I would get to 4cm and if that didn't happen then it would be a C-section OR I could go straight off now and have a C-section. Everyone left Hubby, Mum and I in the room so we could talk about it. I was so upset and just couldn't stop crying. As much as I didn't want to have a ceasarean, I didn't see how I was going to get to 4 cm in 4 hours if I hadn't moved from 2 cm all day. Mum and Hubby said it was my decision but I remember them saying that I had gone this far, what was 4 more hours going to hurt? So I decided to stick at it and in hindsight I am so glad I did! :)

At 10pm, the same consultant that had seen me at 7am was back on shift and he came in to check me. I remember him sitting at the end of the bed doing his 'thing' and I was almost screaming at him 'HOW MANY CMS AM I???' whilst he was just nodding away. It felt like an eternity until he finally said 'Right, your at 8cm'. The whole room erupted in a cheer and I just felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me! I can't even begin to explain to you how happy I was that things were now moving and that our little boy was on his way :)

Come 11pm I was saying to Hubby that I could feel loads of pressure down below..I even remember saying to him 'Have a look...can you see the head?!?!' :) I will add that even thou I had the epidural I was still cuffing away at the gas and air come this point! Finally at about 11.30pm my midwife agreed to check me even though she said that she didn't think it would be time yet so even she was shocked when she said I was at 10cm and that it was time to start pushing. I didn't know at the time but apparently whilst this was happening a consultant who we had seen earlier in the day had called the ward to see how my caeserean had gone as he was so sure that was how it was going to end up. I also found afterwards that at this point my midwife turned round to my Mum and Hubby and said that it would probably be a good couple of hour of pushing because of the epidural and the fact that Bubba still had to move right down. Well....I proved her wrong :)

25 minutes of pushing and a very small episiotomy later (with my Mum almost fainting!!)...Bubba was born!!! He just about got into the 14th September 2015, being born at 11.55pm, weighing 8lbs!!

It was the most surreal, exhausting, emotional and memorable week of my life and as hard as it was, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat as it brought us our family.

So, that's that. Bubba's birth story! Sorry its so long and if you have made it to hear then I am really impressed!!
Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed.
:)

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21.5.15

Bubba's Birth Story Part 1...

Since starting this blog I have been toying with writing this. When I was pregnant and just after I had given birth, I kept a diary. I kept a manual diary about what was going on and how I felt as I just wanted to remember every little detail. So I thought why not share the most important part with the world on here? Also, I was induced and there seems to be a real fear around induction so I am hoping this will help others in my position.

Where to start...so, when I got to 35 weeks pregnant, I started to swell pretty bad. It was during a bloody hot August in 2014 so expected a little swelling but this was really bad. I remember only being able to wear a pair of pink flip flops and my Havanas and Hubby making me a washing up bowl full of ice water every night for me to soak my feet in. My nights would go dinner, sitting on the exercise ball, ice bowl, shower, bed (were I would always be awake from 2am til 5am so would watch Road Wars?!?!). Anyways, the weekly blood pressure checks I was having then turned into twice a week when I got to 37 weeks as BP would creeping up and on the 8th September I went in to be checked and after 3 readings was told I needed to go to the hospital so off I went thinking it would just be a quick visit...How very wrong I was...

So, I get to MatB1, just hooked up to a monitor, have my BP done and have my pee and blood sent away for testing. Hubby had bombed it back from work (which is a good hour and a half away) and turned up a little while later and as always in hospitals things were taking a while and we weren't really being told much. I remember the doctor finally coming round at about 4.30pm and Hubby actually snapping at her and the doctor then telling him off :) She basically told us that they had found a trace of protein in my urine but the bloods would confirm and they wouldn't be back until tomorrow so for tonight I was staying in so they could monitor me. So come 9pm, I was put in a little private side room (which was actually quite nice) and Hubby and my Mum left and that was that.

7am the next day (bit bloody early if you ask me) I was turfed out of my nice private room and sent round to another ward on MatB1 that was totally empty to sit and wait. At around 8am (literally minutes before Hubby turned up) a consultant came round with a midwife and he told me that it was the early stages of pre-eclapsia and that they were going to induce me. Then with that, I experienced my first stretch and sweep! To be fair, it was no where near as bad as I was expecting. It wasn't painful but then again it wasn't particularly nice. After that...the walking began. Me and Hubby must have walked around that hospital at least 50 times before we left!!!

So then the following happened (all whilst I was saying in the hospital on the intensive care ward which was nice as well. They kept me in as I was on a certain tablet to monitor my BP and they had to do 4 hourly obs to keep checking the BP):

Tuesday 9th Sep: Told I was going to be induced the next day, had a sweep and was told cervix closed and really far back and started to do LOT'S and LOT'S of walking!!!
Wednesday 10th Sep: Another sweep (this one more uncomfortable but thing this was because the midwife was a little more 'aggressive' in want of a better word) and then had the first pessary put in (like a weird tampon thing?!). This didn't give me any tightening's or anything. I felt totally normal.
Thursday 11th Sep:  Cervix had moved a little but was still pretty closed. Doctor could even get a finger tip in (maybe tmi) so they did the second pessary. The consultant said they might let me home for the day as I was starting to go a bit stir crazy having not washed my hair in over 4 days but they later changed their mind and said no :(
Friday 12th Sep: Rest day. I say rest day but it was probably, for me, the most emotional day I had. They had to give my body a rest from the hormones for the day so couldn't do anything and they said that nothing had changed since Thursday. It was this day that I ended up in tears begging the consultant to let me go home for just a couple of hours as we live literally 10 mins away from the hospital and I was just desperate to re pack my bags and was my hair! I remember the consultant saying to my Hubby 'Do you have a ferrier?' and hubby saying 'If it gets her home then yes I do' and to that he let us go for 3 hours!!! It was amazing! I had a shower, washed and dried my hair and even had fish and chips!! It was honestly amazing and I felt like a different woman afterwards.
Saturday 13th Sep: That was when it got interesting... :)
I have to add that the whole way through all of this Hubby was right by my side. His work and the hospital staff were brilliant and he was able to be with me at the hospital from 8am until 9pm which was so lovely. To be honest it was probably the most time we had spent together in a long time and it was nice to have that before we became a family of three. We spent the majority of our time when we weren't walking playing Marvel top trumps, doing word searches and Sudoku :) as horrible as it was being away of a night time, it was lovely to spend that time with him.

Now, as this post is ridiculous long, I will go into the rest of it in another post :)
so...until next time...
:)
xxx

19.5.15

Have you ever wondered???

Yesterday, I had a rare morning in the house on my own whilst Bubba was at Nannys (getting ready for the return to work in a couple of weeks) and I took the opportunity to tackle my housework. chucked on some head phone, pressed shuffle on my play list and got down to business. I was half way through 'My House' from the West end show Matilda (if you haven't seen it, you need to go!!! Its amazing!!!) when it suddenly dawned on me...I wondered what would have happened if I went to performing arts college? Where would I be now? This then lead me to ponder a whole list of things:

  • I wonder what would have happened if they said yes that time I went on the X factor? I wonder what would happen if I went to audition again?
  • I wonder what would have happened if I would have gone to work in Disneyland like I was sure I was going to do at the age of 17?
  • I wonder where I would be now if I hadn't changed my job back in 2010?
  • I wonder if I would have more friends if I would have accepted my place and actually gone to Uni rather than going straight to work?
  • I wonder if me and Hubby would be married with a baby if we had stayed together when we were 16 rather than splitting up for 4 years?
  • I wonder where we would be now if we had stayed out in Kenya a couple of years ago when we had the chance?
  • I wonder what my life would be like if I had perused a career in musical theatre rather than taken the safe path?
 I will never know the answer to these and I'm not sure if I would want to. None of these aren't regrets. They are just musings. Life seems to have so many different paths and for that moment I just wondered where they would have all taken me but I can safely say that I don't regret that path I have taken. Yes I have made mistakes, I have been hurt and I have been the one to hurt others but to me this is all learning and it has all lead me to where I am now. My life may not be perfect but I am content and happy in the path I am on :) I am sure there will be many other forks in the road to come but for now, I will just be happy where I am :)


18.5.15

The Baby Show Birmingham 2015 with Aldi Mamia.

This weekend I was lucky enough to get to go to The Baby Show in Birmingham with Aldi's Mamia range. As I posted earlier in the week they also very kindly sent me a hamper of FAB Aldi Mamia goodies (check the post out here) and on Saturday, I actually got to thank them in person for such a great opportunity. Not only that, I also got to check out a load of other brands and products that I had been so excited to see!

My first stop at the show was obviously over to Aldi, who had the most wonderful nappy cakes up for grabs! They had all of their Mamia and baby related products out as well but to be honest, as I am an everyday user of their stuff I didn't really look at it too much. I was, however, really impressed
with their amazing magician how turned my awful picture of a rice cake into one of Aldi actual, very yummy and very real apple rice cakes!!! It was all a bit too much for Bubba though who was snoozing away through all of this!!

We then spent a large chunk of the day just browsing around all of the different stalls and my goodness was there a lot to browse. I think that where Bubba is a little older, we were able to bypass some of the retailers who were selling bottles, prams and nursery furniture as we already have all this stuff. In saying this though, if your pregnant, or have a new baby then this would have been fab as it seemed like there were some brilliant deals to be had. We did stop off a few times and look at different car seats as we are now looking at moving Bubba into the next stage one but my favorite  part of the day was definitely seeing all of the smaller, individual retailers.



We brought items from the following brands as we thought their products were genuinely useful/clever/innovative:

Pourty:
This company was created by Jon Rathbone and his wife Lucy, with their inspiration coming to them when they were potty training their children. They created a range of good quality, useful potty training aids such a a potty with a spout like dip on the side to avoid any yukky drips when pouring away and the Flex-fit toilet trainer, which is the product we brought. I know Bubba has a long way to go until we are potty training him but I loved this product so much that I didn't want to risk not being able to find one in a couple of years times. Its a trainer seat with a little device underneath it which makes the seat with snug to your toilet set. It is also designed as not to be to high and not to have to big of a dip so that children can sit as comfortably as possible to aid the potty training journey.
To see their full range then go to their website here

Tidy Tot:
I had seen a bit about this before we went to the show and I was really excited about meeting them and seeing the product in action. Tidy tot is bib and tray that attach together and sucker onto your highchair tray or table to stop Bubba's from throwing their food all over the place whilst weaning. Hubby loves this product as it as can be used for messy play to protect surfaces and clothes whilst painting, sticking ect. Visit Tidy tot on Twitter @tidy_tot to find out more.

Chillipeeps:
I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!! Before we had even got to the baby show I had said to Hubby that I was going to be purchasing from these guys. Chillipeeps was created by frustrated Mummy Claire when she was out with a hungry baby, a ready made bottle of milk and NO bottle to feed him with! In that moment, Chillipeeps was born. It is basically a reusable, portable teet or spout, depending on what you want, that can fit ready made milk bottles and cartons and also fit some water bottles. I love these because I am such a 'just in case person' and always have to be prepared for everything so this suits my changing bag perfectly! Visit Chillipeeps website here or say hi to them on twitter @chillipeeps

Funky Giraffe Bibs:
I've already gushed about these guys and their bibs over on my review 'Me 1 - Dribble 0' but I will just reiterate that I love these bibs! They are brilliant!!

We also spent some time with Tommee Tippee for the launch of their new cup range, went and saw the Cuddle dry people and of course, we had to check in with our good friend Ewan the dream sheep at his stall!

Overall, it was such a fantastic day and I think all three of us were totally shattered at the end of it! One of us more so as you can see by the picture :)
Once again, a huge massive thank you to Aldi for inviting us to come and I can't wait to get all of our new goodies put to use!! :)

Did you go to the baby show or have you been before?
What did you think of it?
xxx

17.5.15

Silent Sunday photo - LOVE - #3

'Sometimes when I need a miracle, I look into my sons eyes and realise I've already created one'



xxxxxxxxxx

This post is linked with:
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snowingindoors

16.5.15

Tommee Tippee Giveaway!!! #ttbigadventure

WE ARE OFF ON A BIG ADVENTURE!!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
In the words of Tommee Tippee 'being a baby is thirsty work' and that is why they have created their brand new and best ever range of cups designed to keep our little adventurers happy and hydrated from their very first trip to their first big adventures!

At the Baby Show in Birmingham, I was lucky enough to be asked to attend Tommee Tippees Big
Adventure and to see this new range of cups first hand in their special space themed adventure area. Whilst I was speaking to them, Bubba and Hubby got to go off and explore the spaced themed area which included coloring, balloons and tents. Bubba (and Hubby) was in his element!!

So, back to the cups. There are 7 new cups that have been split into three different categories (weaning, training and active), each based on your child's age/weaning stage and each stage includes a sippee cup and a straw cup, with the 12 month + range also including a sports bottle. We were given a cup for Bubba to try which I was super excited about because at present, Bubba will only drink out of an original Tommee Tippee first sips cup which doesn't have a non spill feature. If I can get him to take the new cup I will be very happy as I will have a lot less wet clothes to deal with!! Once we have had a chance to really put this cup to the test I will be back to do a review on it. 
To see the full range of cups on offer click here to visit Tommee Tippee's website (Oooo and check out their Active 12m+ INSULATED cups!! I kind of want one of these for my coffee in the morning!!).


Now to the really exciting bit!!!! Heres your chance to join #ttbigadventure and win 3 cups from Tommee Tippees new range curtsy of ttbigadventure. 
I have up for grabs a #ttbigadventure bundle which includes:



1 Weaning stage Straw Cup - 6m+
1 Training stage Sippee Cup - 7m+
1 Active stage Sports Bottle - 12m+

For your chance to win all you have to do is follow the instructions below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to you all!!!!!!

15.5.15

Me: 1 Dribble: 0 - Funky Giraffe bib review

A couple of weeks ago we were very kindly sent 3 dribble bibs from a company called Funky Giraffe (totally love the name) and I was hoping that they would be the answer to my dribble based prays and I can honestly say that they are!

Just a bit of back ground first..Bubba is a total dribble bag! He is pretty much constantly dribbling and then to make matters worse he loves nothing more than to blow raspberries with all that dribble. When he sits and chews on a toy it's like a tap has been turned on..he was chewing on Sophie the other day and I had to hold it as we were out and I seriously had dribble running down to my elbow!!! And as all you Mummas out there know, dribbley baby = soaking wet tops which then can either mean uncomfortable baby and/or as in Bubba's case, dribble burn!! Bubba has an array of dribble bibs but they all would be soaked through within 20 minutes of him wearing them so anything that could last longer was very welcomed.

Enter the Funky Giraffe... This company was created by "mumpreturner" Yasmin Dury whilst she was on maternity leave from a fashion company. She wanted to create a range that was practical yet funky whilst being safe for the environment and baby (the bibs are certified by OEKO-TEC and use water based dyes instead of any hazardous ones) AND still keeping the price reasonable. This is without a doubt what she has achieved. The range includes bibs, socks, scratch mits, burp cloths and hats and the price (in my opinion) is brilliant for the quality..more below..

We were sent three bibs and I'm first thought when I opened them was how incredibly soft they were! They almost feel like satin on the top and I instantly loved this as it went if it was rubbing on bubbas face or neck whilst he was wearing it, it would cause no irritation (I later clocked on that they are so soft because they are 100% cotton). The second thing that hit me was the beautiful designs! We were sent the beach blue surfing bandana, the blue and red car racing bandana and the blue seahorse bandana and they just look darn cute!!!


Now onto the best bit about these bibs... The dribble protection. The first time Bubba wore one of these was when we went to our play group that we go to ever week. He normally sits and chews everything or blows raspberries for the full 2 hours so you can imagine the level of dribble. I put the bib on him and as time when on I could see a wet patch forming on the bin and thought "oh well..another bites the dust" but I shouldn't have been so pessimistic as the amazing part came when I took the bin of at the end of the session. The back of it was BONE DRY! Seriously, not one bit of dribble had soaked through that bib and Bubbas top was dry too. I couldn't believe it. After that moment, I was converted. I now don't see the point of putting any other kind of dribble bib on him as I know these will protect his clothes and chest. If you have a dribbley baby then I cannot recommend these bibs enough! They are excellent.

 Priced at between £2-£4 depending on style I really don't think you can go wrong. I just wish I had found them sooner rather than wasted my money on dribble bibs that don't actually work. We will be seeing them at the baby show in Birmingham tomorrow and I can assure you that I will be purchasing more!

To make your order (with free postage and packaging I might add!!) or to see their range go to www.funkygiraffebibs.co.uk

Note: these bibs were sent to us free of charge to review but all opinions and views expressed in this post are all honest and my own. 

This post is linked with:



The Giggles Family

We're going on an adventure


14.5.15

To my Bubba (8 months)

Dear Bubba,
You turned 8 months old today. I can't really believe it. I still remember you being this little tiny thing that couldn't hold his head up and now you are my cheeky little happy chappy who is constantly trying to be on the move.

You are always rolling around all over the place, especially in your cot of a night time. We put you down as we are told to, on your back blah blah blah, but garenteed come morning you are on your front right down the end of the bed squished up against the cot bars. Your desperate to walk and stand all the time and get so frustrated when you cant't. You are so strong on your legs but still just too little to start walking so have to stick with sitting down for now. To be honest, I really don't think that you will crawl, I think you will walk first and then learn to crawl.

You still have no teeth, you gummy little boy. You are constantly dribbling and have days where you get all the signs of teething (irritable, chewing everything, bright red cheeks) but there are no actual teeth in there. We think you will be a late teether like your Daddy but I suppose only time will tell.

You recently have become such an affectionate little boy. You hold you arms up for cuddles, you love 'big squeezes' with Daddy and you give the most slobbery but wonderful kisses. Well we call them kisses but they are more like face sucks with the occasional lick thrown in. Either way they are very happily received.

Your doing so well with your weaning. There isn't really much you won't eat and you are starting to
want more food than milk which was worrying me as I wasn't sure you was getting everything that you need, but you are putting on weight well (currently at 21 lbs 6 oz you little chub!) and are sleeping through the night so you must be getting all you need. Your starting to grow out of all of your 6-9 month clothes and have actually started to wear your 9-12 month stuff now!A couple of nights ago I went through all of your clothes and could believe how quick you have been out growing them.

Sleep is still very high on your agenda! You tend to have a nap in the morning for about an hour and then have another one in the afternoon for about 2 hours. You then go to sleep at 7pm (if we try to keep you up any later then hell breaks loose) and you normally sleep until 5/6..have a bottle and then go back to sleep until 7.30-8. I can't complain as it could be SO much worse :) thanks for letting me get some sleep you little babe!!

I love the little personality that is coming out of you now! You can be so cheeky at times and you pull this little face were you make your cheeks go all puffy and you suck your bottom lip in :) its such a cute face!! You also have started to show if you like or dislike people which is funny to watch. Luckily me and Daddy seem to be staying in the good books. You are also starting to show us that you have favorite toys and you love anything that rattles and that you can shake. You also love a bit of baby TV and Henry the Cat (a Spanish cat that always wants to order something off the menu that they chef doesn't have) and Tricky Tracks (a little train that carries some animals around) seem to be your favorite ones at the moment.

I'm going back to work soon. Only three day a week but to get you (and more me) ready I have been leaving you for a little while with your Nannies and it is so nice to see how much you enjoy it there. When you are at Nanny Smiffles you love to play with the children that she childminds and your quite happy to just sit and watch what they are doing and then when your at Nanny Dogs you love to play with Molly dog!! It makes me feel so much better about going back to work as I have seen that you are happy.

You have brought so much light and joy into our lives, little boy, and every day that we spend with you is a blessing. At least once a day I find myself questioning how I became so lucky as to have you as my child. As much as I am excited about you growing up and seeing you blossom, I am cherishing these moments as you won't stay little forever.

Love you always

Mummy
xxxx


Exciting news from me and Aldi Mamia!!!

I'm just going to lay this out there from the start....I'm excited! Like really really excited!!
A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Aldi and they invited me to The Baby Show in Birmingham on the 16th May AND said they would love to send me a hamper of Mamai goodies for Bubba, was that okay? Ermmmmm.....OF COURSE!!!

Anyone who knows me in real life (is this blogging stuff real life? Maybe cover that another day!) knows that I LOVE Aldi's baby range. Bubba wears their nappies everyday and I love their sensitive baby wipes so I jumped at the opportunity to try some more of their products. 

A couple of days ago a MASSIVE box was delivered by a rather annoyed looking postman and me and Bubba could wait to dive in (see pics!). Inside was the following goodies: 
Note: I have included the retail price for reference to show how bloody reasonable their stuff is!! These prices are correct as of the 13/05/2015 on the Aldi website. 
  • A 48 pack of Mamia Ultra Dry Nappies - £4.09 - 8.5p per nappy
  • A 20 pack of the Mamia Easy-Pants - £2.99 - 15p per pant
  • 2 packets of Mamia Baby wipes - one fragrance, one sensitive - 59p per packet - 0.9p per wipe.
  • A bottle of the Mamia Baby Bath and Baby Shampoo - 79p for 500ml bottle
  • A bag of their new Junior Mini Rice Cakes apple flavor - 59p for 40g bag
  • A bottle of Mamia Baby Juice - couldn't find a price
  • 3 pouches of food including Apple & Strawberries, Apples & Bananas and Apples, Carrots & Parsnips - 59p per pouch (120gs)

Aldi's Mamia nappies for me are a total no brainier! They are brilliant and we never have wet leaks out of them. They easily last for 5 hours, but I am yet to test them through the night. The price is fantastic as well!! The amount of nappies that Bubba goes through on a average day would cost me a bomb in other leading brands so to me, this are just perfect. I also love the sensitive wipes. They come with a hard flip top which to me is so useful as I hate having to faff around trying to keep the little wrapper thing open on some wipes whilst trying to tackle a 'poonami!!' and they do not break apart like other wipes we have used. The biggest plus for me with both of these items, aside from the price, is the fact that they are so kind of Bubba's bum, He has quite sensitive skin and other brands of wipes and nappies I have used before have brought him up in awful rashes. I have never had any problem with these causing him a rash at all!

We used the bubble bath last night and to be totally honest I was a little worried as even though the bottle said it was gentle and paediatrician approved, I was worried that it could bring Bubba up in a rash. I was shocked when it didn't! It has a nice powdery baby smell (if thats such a thing) to it and made lots of bubbles with only a little bit used. The only downside with this is that the bubbles didn't last too long in the bath but for 79p I'm not sure I would be too bothered about that!

With the food items, we are yet to try a lot of it as I am saving it for when we go up to the baby show as we may find it difficult to heat up home cooked and then frozen stuff that he normally has. He has had the baby juice before when I was desperately trying to get him to drink something other than milk and he likes it. It's not too strong of a blackcurrant taste and its ready to drink so we are saving the bottle that we were sent to take with us at the weekend. Bubba did have the rice cakes last night though after he had eaten his dinner and my goodness...he couldn't get enough! They melt really well in their months but they are sturdy enough for Bubba to hold them and chop on. I tasted one (as I tend to taste everything Bubba has) and the apple flavor was really nice. It wasn't too sharp but also not hugely sweet. It was just right! I haven't brought these for Bubba before but will defiantly be repurchasing. Only thing that would make them even better is a multi pack with little bags you can take on the go...Aldi..take note :)

Overall, the hamper was brilliant!! I will be doing a post once we have been to the Baby Show about the show and the overnight stay (we are saying away at a Travelodge for the very first time with Bubba!! Send me happy thoughts!!!!) and will let you know how we get on with the food pouches.

Oh...and did I mention... WE ARE GOING TO THE BABY SHOW!! :) As you can tell, I'm a little excited!! I have never actually been to a baby show before and that fact that Aldi have invited us is so so so exciting! I am really looking forward to seeing their stall and visiting Tommee Tippee, Chilli Peeps and Cuddle Dry. I've told Hubby he better bring his wallet :) 

A huge thanks to Aldi for sending us this brilliant hamper and for inviting us to the Baby Show in Birmingham! Look forward to posting at the start of next week tell you all about it!!
Ooooo...and last thing...if your going on the Saturday then tweet me and let me know! Would love to say hi!!!

xxxx

Note: we were sent this items from Aldi (if you couldn't tell already) to review free of charge. They are also sponsoring me to attend the baby show but rest assured that ALL opinions and views expressed on this blog are honest and my own and I would not endorse a product that I did not truly believe in. 

13.5.15

Wednesdays WMMH #3

It's Wednesday again!! Where is the time going? Seriously...I need it to slow down a little bit!
This week has been a bit of a pants one as Hubby has had a lot on with work so things we were planning to do had to be cancelled and he also had to work the weekend as well and its always a bit pants when Daddys not around so I had to really look hard for what made me happy last week to find 5 things. I think I managed it though :)

1. On Sunday, me and my Mum (and two of her friends) completed the Race for Life. For those who don't know what the rice for life is it is a 5km run, jog or walk in aid of Cancer Research UK. I lost my Grandfather in February to Cancer and I have two out of my three Grandparents also currently suffering with this cruel illness and even though I have done Race for Life before this one was very
different! There was such a sense of loss to me and I think that wasn't helped by the fact that it was so so hot so I didn't run it in the 25 mins I wanted to, it took me 42 mins. At the end of the race I found it hard to feel proud and happy as yes I had run 5 KM but it hadn't brought my Brissy back and it hadn't  stopped my other Nan and Grandad from suffering. The only thing I did take solace in and found happiness in is that I smashed my fundraising target of £200 and hit £270! This was my happiness :)

2. We got invited to The Baby Show in Birmingham by Aldi!! I am doing a separate post all about this which you should see in a couple of days. I felt really proud to be contacted by Aldi and am also pretty excited!

3. We received our Ewan and Friend's prize through the post! Bubba won the whole collect of Ewan toys and it was really exciting when we received this and got to have a play with them :)

4. On Tuesday we had another lovely session at sensory play. Bubba loves going to sensory and this week he is desperate to toddle around and watching him play with their interactive mat whilst trying to walk all over it warmed my heart :)

5. Bubba started this week really happy. Things seem to be changing a little bit now as I think he could be coming down with another cold but he was such a joy to be around at the start of the week.
He was smiley and giggling all the time and is loving nothing more that holding your hands and trying to walk around at the moment. As exhausting as it can be because he doesn't want to sit down any more, it does make me laugh when he tries to walk as he looks like a little drunken man!!

So thats it for this week...with a very exciting weekend planned with an overnight stay at the Travelodge and a trip to The Baby Show, I'm hoping that next weeks WMMH will be a lot easier :)

xxx




This post is linked with:
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The Dad Network

12.5.15

Silent Re-flux and Us.

When Bubba was about 2 weeks old we started to see a change in him. He went from being our contented, sleepy little newborn to being agitated, screaming whilst being fed, taking around 30 mins to drink a bottle, grunting A LOT and getting hiccups A LOT! I know that these may just sound like normal newborn things to you but my Mummy instinct was telling me that something wasn't right.

To start with, I was told it was colic and I agreed and thought it was too. I tried infacol, baby massage, colif..basically anything and after 2 weeks, nothing was working. It got to the point where one night Bubba screamed for 2 hours straight. He wouldn't feed (he loves his milk), would sleep and just generally wouldn't be comforted by anything! As a brand new Mummy I was so worried that there was something wrong with my baby. That night we went to the out of hours doctors at the hospital and I remember that appointment like it was yesterday. I remember telling the doctor what was going on and he just looked at me like I was a total idiot and said that it was colic and to basically go home and deal with it. We got in the car and I just burst into tears out of total desperation that I knew there was something more wrong with my baby.

That night, I hit google hard. I came across a website (thesleeplady) that described Bubba perfectly...
  1. Very unsettled feeder, often from birth,bobs on and of breast or bottle. Squirmy and crying out while feeding. May feed for short burst then bob of teat or breast, reluctant to return to feeding.
  2. Feeding constantly, very little gaps between feeds.
  3. Rapid weight gain due to constant feeding.
  4. Lots of comments on how alert they are and what great head control your child has.
  5. Farting more than burping as often very difficult to wind.
  6. Prefers to sleep on you than to lie in crib, changing mat etc, screaming each time you try to lie them down.
  7. Gurgling, rumbling sounds coming from tummy, often just as you start to feed or when you pick up in the middle of the night.
  8. Explosive strong smelling nappies.
  9. You child looks like they are frowning and have a serious little face!
  10. Sneezing or hiccupping a lot!
The more I sat and looked at this list, the more I could relate it to Bubba. He was never sick (and I mean NEVER), had the most explosive nappies I had ever seen, was a proper little chubster (weighed 12lbs at 7 weeks) and had brilliant head control. He had silent reflux. I was sure of it!
Armed with my new found knowledge, off I went to see the HV and explained it all to her. She agreed with me (and I nearly fainted) and suggested that we try an anti reflux milk and if that didn't work to go our GP. Fast forward 45 mins later and I'm at home feeding Bubba a bottle of anti reflux milk and it was amazing! He was like a different baby. No screaming or crying or writhing around in my arms. He was happy, content and enjoying his milk again. Don't get me wrong, it did take a while to totally settle down and we had to get wider teats, tried some medicine at one point as it was really playing him up but once we knew what the problem was, we could tackle it.

Once Bubba had been diagnosed with this I did a little more research (with trusty google) to gain a bit more of an understanding. It seemed like silent reflux was called so because it didn't show any obvious symptoms. With reflux, a baby is normally violent sick a lot of the time so you can see they are suffering. They tend to loose weight as well where as silent reflux is the total opposite. It is where the milk is coming back up the oesophagus but not up enough for them to vomit so therefore no obvious symptoms.

What I am getting to with this is that you really feel that your baby hasn't got colic and that its something more then stick to your gun and keep going back to HV's, GP's whoever!! I was told by 3 different doctors that Bubba had colic (pretty sure Hubby would have knocked the last one out if it wasn't for the fact he was holding Bubba) and I was made to feel like a nurotic mother who just had an anxiety problem but I WAS RIGHT.

Silent Reflux is such an under diagnosed problem and when I have researched more since realising Bubba had it, it seems to be because it is not very widely understood by the medical profession. If you thing your Bubba is suffering with this then please go to your GP or HV armed with this information and rest assured that THERE IS HELP OUT THERE :)

If you think you Baby could be suffering from silent reflux you can find support on the following websites: (you can also tweet me but I am no expert..Just a Mumma who muddled along and found something that helped Bubba)

http://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/what-reflux

http://www.thesleeplady.co.uk/silent-reflux-tips/

http://www.reflux.org.au/how-reflux-presents/

Note:
This post is not associated or supported by any of the above links. I am also not a medical professional and am not giving medical advice, just sharing my experiences, so always seek medical advice before changing your baby's milk onto anti reflux milk or if you believe your baby is unwell. 

This is post is linked with:

Advice From The Heart


Modern Dad Pages
And then the fun began...




11.5.15

Not just your average Balloon... Bubabloon review

When I first saw this product I will admit that I was skeptical. A balloon cover in fabric to me just seemed like a really light ball....well ladies and gentlemen...I swallow my words!
This toy is amazing! I love it, Bubba loves it and even Hubby loves it and here's why...

The Bubabloon is described as a multi-sensory fabric balloon cover that keeps the light, floaty, bouncy effect of a balloon but helps protect children from popping it and the threat of choking. It basically turns a bog standard balloon that would normally last 1 day if your lucky, into a reusable, portable toy that can last for ages! It was created my 'mumpreneurs' Elena Torres and Lorna Edwards so its no surprise that it ticks all of the boxes for what I look for in a toy:

  • It's safe! There is not one bit of this toy that I think could harm Bubba. I can quite happily leave him playing with it whilst I am in another room and feel safe in the knowledge that he can't hurt himself.
  • It's portable! I can't tell you how many times I have had tears because we haven't been able to take a certain toy out with us because its either too big or too noisy or just too difficult to take in the car. The Bubabloon fits into a tiny little drawn string bag (see picture at bottom) and can be inflated when you get to where you are going.
  • It's seriously entertaining! Not only does Bubba love sitting and playing with this (he loves to hold it then wiggle his legs to kick it away!) but me and Hubby loved it to. Remember that game you used to play when you were little when your balloon couldn't touch the floor?? Well, we may have played that for a lot long than we really should have a couple of weekend ago :)
  • It looks cute. Such a silly thing but it looks really cute. I'm not sure if I would say it was multi-sensory but we got the toadstool design and it is such a cute fabric. They do a range of different styles and colours as well which is great as you or your child can pick your own style.  








  • It is machine washable. Not something I ever thought I would look for in a toy but when you have a Bubba that is either constantly dribbling or covered in some kind of food substance you will know what I mean!


Overall, this is such a simple idea but it is executed so well! It has given us hours of fun as a family and for Bubba when he's playing on his own.


The Bubabloon is available exclusively on their website at www.bubabloon.co.uk for £10.99 with worldwide delivery options available.
You can also visit Bubabloon at their facebook page here or say 'Hi' to them on twitter @bubabloon

Note: We were sent this product free of charge to review but all opinions are honest and my own. 
This post is linked with:


The Giggles Family

10.5.15

Silent Sunday#2 - a dedication

This weeks silent Sunday is dedicated to my Brissy.
A truly wonderful Grandfather (although you were never allowed to call him that!!), Dad, husband and an especially amazing Great Brissy to my Bubba.
Today, me and my Mum are running the Race for Life in his memory to raise as much as we can to stop this awful thing taking others loved ones from them.
So today, Brissy, this silent Sunday is for you.
We miss you xxxxxxxxxx


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