Wednesday, 30 November 2011

21 weeks and anomaly scan

Well the long awaited day of my anomaly scan arrived. You may remember in my post 18 weeks and scan I told you that I had been called too early for my anomaly scan and had to go back to get the measurements needed.   Well last Friday was that day!  That morning when I woke I knew the baby had changed position, I was feeling baby kicking inwards and had felt a big movement the night before so when the sonographer said baby's in an awkward position I wasn't surprised.  

We had arrived ten minutes early but were seen straight away.  The sonographer introduced us to a midwife and asked permission for her to sit in with us and asked if I would mind her scanning me too as was undertaking a course.  I agreed to this.  Dad of three and I had already agreed not to mention finding out the sex of the baby until the end or until we were asked if we wanted to know.  It was fantastic to see how much baby had grown in three weeks and the sonographer spent ages showing us the different anatomy and explaining what she was doing.  As baby was in a awkward position I was asked to turn on my left side several times to try and encourage baby to change positions.  It worked slightly but not completely, even emptying my bladder didn't get baby to move.  At one point it looked like baby was kneeling.  All the measurements were fine and no problems found.  Before the midwife scanned me, we asked if it was possible to find out the sex.  The sonographer tried to find a good angle but could only get one of baby's bottom.  However she could see three lines which she called 'Hambuger' sign.  The sonographer explained that these three lines in majority of babies at the stage I was (21 weeks plus 2 days) indicated a girl.   She continued to say that there had been no obvious sign's on male genitals throughout the scan but that I would have a growth scan at 32 weeks and that should confirm I was having a little girl.  

I can't describe how over the moon I was, of course I would have been over the moon no matter what sex the baby was but after three boys, a little girl is the icing on the cake for me.  I rang both my mum and my mother in law to let them know everything was well with baby and that it looked like we were having a little girl.  I had to tell my mum the exact words the sanographer had used but she still was not convinced and told me not to go buying pink items until we were sure!  I tried explaining that they will never give an 100 % guarantee with baby's gender but it looked very likely baby was a girl.  So I guess we now have to wait for my growth scan at 32 weeks to have the baby's gender confirmed.  Although dad of three and myself were pretty much convinced from what we saw at the scan that it is a girl as we had both kept a close eye on baby throughout the scan and could see no baby boy's bits at any time!.


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The A - Z of me

A big thank you to the lovely Mummy Bird from Mummy Birdwho tagged me into this meme.  Lauren from The Real Housewife of Suffolk County  started this meme.  

Anorak . . . Do you have a sad side?
 I love musicals but are they really considered sad?

Body . . . What physical attribute would you most like to change?
 It would have to be my tummy as having three children and a fourth on the way hasn't been kind to me but I wouldn't change having my beautiful children :)

Celebrity . . . Which one would you most like to date and why?
To be honest I don't really fancy a celebrity, I think I'm too much of a realist!

Debut . . . Tell us about your first ever blog post. What made you start blogging?
I had written a few reviews on products for a parenting forum and it was suggested by a PR that I did more reviews but on my own blog.  I had a look at various other blogs and Iiked the idea of having my own, not just for reviews but also as an interactive diary of my family life.  I'm really enjoying writing my blog at present and the boys love being part of it.  My first post was called New Blogger back in May this year. 

Error . . . What’s been your biggest regret?
I can quite honestly say I don't have any regrets as such, there is nothing I would change.

Funny . . . Who’s making you laugh?
Michael Mcintyre is funny and Billy Connelly never fail to make me laugh :)

Grand . . . if we gave you one right now what would you spend it on?
It would have to be spent on the family, maybe a big family holiday with everyone together.  Then if there was any money left I would put it in saving accounts for the children.  

Holiday . . . What’s your favourite destination?
 Before I met my husband I worked as a holiday rep for a season and was based in Rhodes, it was the first time I'd flown and I absolutely loved Rhodes.  I would love to take the children and husband there when they are old enough.

Irritate . . . What’s your most annoying habit?
I think my husband would say it is thinking I've said something to him when I haven't (well that's his take on it!)
Joker . . . What’s your favourite joke (the one that makes you laugh every time you hear it)?
I don't have a favourite joke to be honest.  The older boys are going through a phase of reading the jokes on the backs of penguin bars and trying out different ways of saying them at the moment.  

Kennel . . . Do you have any pets?  
We have three cats and two rabbits

Love . . . Are you single, married, engaged, living with a long term partner?

Meal . . . What’s your ultimate starter, main and dessert?  
It would have to be:
Starter: melon
Main: Roast Chicken
Dessert: Trifle or Apple Strudel and cream

Now . . . If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and who with?
oh I don't know a spa with my friends all relaxing and having a giggle would be nice or out of a meal with my husband. 

Off Duty . . . What do you do in your spare time? Spare time whats that?! I spend alot of my spare time posting on my blog or watching tv or a dvd.

Proud Moments . . . What are you most proud of?
Apart from having my children one of the things  I'm really proud of is getting myself through university. 
Queasy . . . What turns your stomach?
I hate the smell of kippers, my mum used to eat them when I was younger and I can still remember the smell of them, it turns my stomach every time.

Relax . . . How do you relax? 
I like to read or just spend some quality time with the children playing a game. 

Song . . . What is your favourite song of all time?
This is a difficult one but I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables is one of my favourite songs.

Time . . . If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose?
There isn't one particular time but if I could turn back time it would be to enable me to spend more time with my gran who died three years ago.  We were very close and I would love to have had more time as an adult to get to know more about her life than I do.  

Unknown . . . Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows?
I used to play the flute in school but the teacher told me to take up knitting instead!  I ignored him and carried on teaching myself as much as I could. 

Vocal . . . Who is your favourite artist?
I don't have one favourite artist but a few!  I'm currently listening to a lot of Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel (must be my dad's influence as he always had them on when I was younger) but also cold play and the cast of Glee.

Work . . . What is your dream job and are you doing it now?
Ive always wanted to work with children and so far have done so in one capacity or another.  Currently I work as a childminder.and have the best of both worlds, being able to be there for my own children and also work with children. 

X-Ray . . . Any broken bones? 
No I've never had any broken bones thankfully

Yikes . . . What’s been your most embarrassing moment?
We were passing some wind turbines and I made the comment to my husband that there couldn't be much wind because the turbines weren't turning! he won't let me forget it and every time we pass some and their still he'll say "I wonder if its not windy enough" doh
Zoo . . . If you were an animal which one would you be?
It would have to be a penguin, there so cute but comical and you can't help but love them.

Now I'm tagging some more lovely bloggers to reveal their A-Z's 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Pink Lining Sample Sale

If you are a fan of Pink Lining like me then you will not want to miss this fantastic opportunity to grab yourself a bargain at the Pink Lining Sample Sale.

On Friday 2nd December and Saturday 3rd December Pink Lining will be holding a Sample Sale at their Pink Lining Headquarters in London.    There will be the chance to purchase hundreds of bags with some never before seen samples.  As well as some fantastic Christmas gifts and stocking fillers. 

On Friday the sale will take place between 10am and 8pm with nibbles and drinks available between 6pm and 8pm and on Saturday 3rd December between 10am and 4pm.  

The Pink Lining Headquarters are located at:13 Bramley Road, The Phoenix Brewery, London, W10 6SP.  The closest tube station is Latimer Road on the Hammersmith and City Line

So what are you waiting for?   pop along and grab yourself a bargain.  

Saturday, 26 November 2011

20 Weeks

Blimey I can't believe I'm at the end of week 20, this pregnancy is flying so far!  Well last week I told you all about my lack of sleep, after almost a week of sleepless nights I decided to visit the doctor and discovered I had a chest infection.  Thankfully the antibiotics I was given kicked in fairly quickly and I managed to get my sleep pattern back to normal.  

My bump seems to have increased yet again over night and when I got ready for my Christmas meal with other childminders from my local network last night I was suddenly looking fairly big!  Some of the other childminders I hadn't seen for several weeks and they couldn't get over the size of my bump last night!  We had a lovely meal at a new local restaurant which sources all its ingredients from 25 miles of the town.  It was delicious and nice to meet up outside work before the madness of Christmas activities begin.    

I'm looking forward to having my next scan in a few days time and hopefully finding out the sex of the baby.   The older two are excited too but Trystan keeps telling me to 'face facts I make boys!' will he be proved right I wonder :)

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Raising Hope for the Hales

Back in late 2008 early 2009 when I was pregnant with Rowan I started using Bounty and joined the Due in July 2009 forum.  In my previous tow pregnancies I like many expectant mums had received the Bounty Packs, I had popped on to the website to have a look but never joined in before but during this pregnancy I decided to join in the discussions.  I am so glad I made that decision, the friendships and support that I gained through Bounty during my third pregnancy proved to be invaluable to me at a time when I was experiencing a difficult pregnancy and problems at work.  I still cherish the friendships I made on the due in July 2009 forum.  I know that no matter how small my worry or problem there was always people at the other end of the computer who would provide support no matter what.  Several of the mums to be experienced difficulties during their pregnancies and some delivered their babies prematurely.  But we formed a bond that has made us quite a formidable bunch of mums (there are around 96 of us) and there is still nothing that we can not overcome.  These days we all gather on facebook and it is lovely to still have that bond over two years later.  For one of us life has dealt another terrible blow but the Due in July 2009 mums are pulling out all the stops to help in whatever way we can.  Here is Maxine's Story:

Maxine Hales is our friend. A friend through a forum from We met because we were all due to give birth in July 2009. Maxine went into premature labour and after much effort to prolong her pregnancy, she finally gave birth to Ollie in June, 6 weeks early.

Ollie developed GBS infection and things were touch and go - a difficult time for the family.

This affected many of us and we became very close as a group.

The family have been catapulted into turmoil once more, as Maxine's hubby has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her life-long partner, she describes Simon as her soul mate.

Anyone who has been affected by the "BIG C" knows how stressful this time can be - how draining it is on your health, emotions and money!

The girls from PDIJuly09 want to try and relieve some of this burden - so here we are! xxx

This is Maxine's heartbreaking story in her own words:

Simon and myself met in 1987 when I was 17. Shortly before we met I had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, cancer of the lymph glands. I had to undergo intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy but I have now been in remission for 23 years.
Simon and I went our separate ways for one reason and another however we always kept in touch.
I was married at 19 and although I was told that I was unlikely to be able to have children due to the chemo, I had 2 children but the marriage did not last
I was 27 when Simon and I finally got back together and I realised that I should never have married another man, this man was my soul mate, so caring and polite a perfect gentleman! He always said that he had 'waited for me' he is such a romantic!
Simon proposed to me on holiday in Cyprus! I sat high up on the seating of the Roman amphitheatre in Paphos, he stood at the bottom and said 'to all the ghosts of all the Romans who have been here before us...this is the woman I am going to marry' that was the happiest day of my life x I adore him x
We decided to try for a baby and were so happy when I first found out I was pregnant, but we suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks, we were so upset but we soon concieved again. It was a difficult pregnancy (I don’t do straight forward pregnancies as all my Bounty friends know well!) I was in and out of hospital with problems and I went into labour at 23 weeks. Baby Alexander was born asleep, and even though we had him blessed and held him, this was still counted as a miscarriage. We never refer to this as a miscarriage, we always say he was born asleep. We were devastated. Soon after the birth I was rushed to theatre for life saving surgery as the placenta had not detached completely and I was haemorrhaging. Simon was allowed to sleep in a side room with me at the hospital. We had lost our son, and I almost lost my life. We said to each other in the days after, that if we could come through this then we could face anything together, nothing can be worse than the loss of a child. We were so wrong.
We had a fabulous wedding in December 2002!
Amelia was born on Christmas Day 2003 after another difficult pregnancy which I spent mostly in hospital, we nearly lost her several times as the amniotic fluid kept draining away, but she was strong and she made it, making our lives complete x we love her so much and her daddy dotes on her! She was and still is a daddy's girl!
I had several cancer scares in the meantime and my health deteriorated badly. i had lots of tests as it was thought I had MS, the results proved inconclusive and it was decided that the treatment I had had for the Hodgkins had damaged the nerve endings in my body
Oliver was not planned! but we were over the moon when we found out I was pregnant again! Another majorly difficult pregnancy, with many weeks in hospital. Labour stopped and started and eventually Oliver came along in June 09 six weeks early. Poor little man did not have a good start as he had to go into neonatal care as he was having problems breathing. He had been infected with the Group B Strep and had to have antibiotics and had to suffer a lumber puncture at only two days old. He pulled through and is now a very cheeky 2 year old!
Throughout all of this my amazing husband looked after us all so well he never once complained even though he had to balance hospital visits with work and child care. he has always been really healthy we never imagined this would all change so quickly
June this year I was finally diagnosed with adenomyosis, a disease of the womb which is a bit like endometriosis but inside the womb rather than without. The lining of the womb grows into the muscle wall causing unbearable pain very much like contractions, it also affected my legs and gave me headaches, I was constantly in pain until I had a full hysterectomy in September
Two days after my operation Simon suddenly fell ill. He felt sick all of the time and complained of excruciating pain in his stomach. Even so soon after my op i felt better, the pain was gone, and we were looking forward to moving on with our lives and doing all of the things I couldn’t do before the surgery, we were just about to book a holiday in Turkey. But Simon didn’t get better, this was on and off for a month, after a few visits to the GP where we were told he probably had a virus, I had to rush him into A&E. He was deteriorating so badly, he couldn’t keep down any fluids and was de-hydrating badly. It was only a short time before he was given a CT scan where a blockage on his bowel was found as well as a 'shadow' on his liver. He had to have major surgery to remove the blockage and take a biopsy of his liver. He did not recover very well from surgery and he is still recovering now.
This is where it gets difficult for me too write....
We knew it was cancer, we knew it was bad, but on 28th October our lives were torn apart. The oncologist told us that Simon cannot be cured. The cancer had spread from his bowel to his liver, vertebrae and possibly appendix. My fabulous wonderful and amazing husband will receive chemotherapy to keep him alive and free of pain for as long as possible. It hurts so much to think the love of my life and the lovely daddy to our children will not be with me for very much longer. We do not know how long he has left, that depends on his body's reaction to the chemo. All I know that is if I did not have our beautiful children i could never get through this, but I have to for them. It is so frightening to think that if my cancer returns, what will happen to our babies? How cruel is life to take away a lovely daddy from his children? It is a nightmare, and we cannot wake up.
I would just like the time we have left together to be worry free. We were in the middle of renovating our home, Simon was doing most of the work himself, obviously he cannot continue to do this. I have had to close down my business to look after him and the children. it is so important that this is finished as building work is left incomplete the house is cold and the bathroom is apalling, he has his first chemotherapy session on November 22nd.
x Love Max x

Here is the link to the facebook page the Due in July 2009 have set up for the family 
We would be very grateful if you could come and support the page.  On December 2nd 2011from 11am until Sunday 4th December at 8.30pm,  we will be holding an auction to raise money for the family on facebook.  Many very generous individuals and businesses have already donated items to the auction.  We aim to raise some money for the family that will help them have some cherish memories and also provide them with much needed support during this difficult time.  If you would like to donate an item for the auction please contact either via the facebook page or you can email myself at and I will pass the information on.  There are some really fantastic items up for grabs in the auction so please tell your friends and family and join in the auction.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

19 weeks and the search for sleep!

I can't quite believe I have reached the end of week 19 already, it seems to be flying by at present which isn't a bad thing. `

I have finally had to admit defeat and have started wearing maternity clothes all together.  From about 16 weeks I have been wearing maternity jeans and trousers but have held off for as long as possible before hunting everything else out.  Although to be honest I haven't got many maternity clothes left as I sold most of them after having Rowan and haven't wanted to spend that much at the moment.  I am also faced with another problem and that is where to buy maternity clothes, my local Peacocks has a small section but every time I have been in they have not had my size available and that I'm afraid is the limit to my choice locally.  The next nearest towns are approximately an hour away in either direction and again although there are a few more shops that have maternity clothes, the selection is again very limited.  So that leaves me with shopping on line for maternity clothes.   Two fantastic Maternity company's have recently sent me an item each from there ranges to review so watch this space and I am so gratefully to them for giving me this opportunity.  

This week I have also started with insomnia which when you have three other children to look after and get to school is not the best of things to have!. Last night I woke at 3.30am to use the toilet and then spent a further hour and a half trying to get back to sleep.  During this time I started running through all the tasks I had to do the following day and endless other things.  I know this was not best thing to do but I couldn't help it.  I must have fallen into such a deep sleep that when my alarm went off at 7.25am I pressed snooze, something I never do!  the extra 15 mintutes was very welcome.  I didn't feel too bad all morning but the tiredness hit me at lunch time when Rowan would not go down for his sleep as had fallen asleep in his pushchair at 10.30am for 40 minutes.  I look forward to having an hour to an hour and a half rest while he's sleeping so after a restless night and now 'down time' in the afternoon, bed time seems a very welcome if not long way off!  This has been happening for a week now so I hope it's not a sign of things to come.  If any one has any ideas for helping me drift back off to sleep I would welcome them :)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Mum on the Run Bag from Pink Lining

I love change bags especially ones that can hold all the essentials as well as looking stylish as well.   But as Rowan is getting a bit older I am finding that I don't need to be carrying the amount that I used to.  So sometimes a change bag seems a bit pointless.  In the last six months I have come across Pink Lining and their gorgeous range of changing bags.  I only wish I  could justify to dad of 3 the need for one of their fantastic change bags.  So I was delighted when I got the opportunity to try out one of their Mum on the Run Bag.  Would this provide the answer to my dilemma of needing to take less items out with me for Rowan but not wanting to take a changing bag?

I was kindly sent a Mum on the Run pouch in their At The Bottom Of The Garden - Peppermint style which retails for £25.00.  This gorgeous bag comes with a handy change mat in the same design which fits perfectly in the pouch.  The bag also has a separate compartment at the front which closes with a zip and is perfect for some change, a set of keys and ,mobile phone.  Inside the main pouch there is enough room for the change mat, a couple of nappies, baby wipes and nappy sacks.  The bag then fits neatly under your pushchair or clipped onto your pushchair handle.  Being so slim and compact it doesn't take up much room at all.  It is ideal for when you just want to grab a few bits and dash out the door.  

I've used this gorgeous bag non stop since it arrived a few weeks ago and has been ideal for if I am popping over to my parents for half an hour or going to meet friends for a coffee and catch up.  I love the design, it is stylish and eye catching as well as being very practical for mums with a toddler.  It has become my bag of choice whenever I am going out for brief periods of time and don't need to take too much with me.  And it's certainly grabbed some attention from other mums asking where it is from.  I only wish I had discovered Pink Lining sooner.

If you would like more information on Pink Lining's Mum on the Run Bags or to buy your own one please visit Pink Lining Mum on the Run  The Mum on the Run Bags are also available in other designs so you are sure to find one that you like.

Linicin Prevent Spray

Unfortunately over the last month we've experienced the dreaded head lice, yuk!  We've never had a problem before and the boys have managed to avoid them.  But this changed a few weeks ago.  I check the boys hair as part of our routine every week and when ever we get the dreaded letter from school informing us there is Head Lice in the school.  

A couple of weeks ago I was going through my usual routine of checking the boys hair before bath time and I was shocked to find Luc had several head lice and seemed to be plastered in eggs.  Yuk is not the word for it!  I had only checked him a few days earlier and he'd been clear so where had they come from?!  I hadn't noticed him itching at all and when I asked if his head itched he said no.  Luckily I had some treatment here which I always keep as a "just in case" so was able to treat him and his brother's straight away.  I couldn't believe how many eggs there were but after what seemed like ages I managed to get rid of all of them and the other two boys had no sign of eggs or head lice.  

The following morning when I returned from the school run I found a package had been delivered by the postman.  Inside was a bottle of Linicin Prevent Spray for Head lice.  What perfect timing.  So over a cup of hot chocolate I sat and read the information that had come with the Linicin prevent spray.According to the information Linicin Prevent Spray is "a new product which is clinically proven t o prevent a head lice infestation (or re-infestation) for at least 7 hours, in high risk environments.  Great for kids and teachers alike"

So the next morning before heading off to school I decided to use the spray on both Luc and Trystan, fingers crossed it would stop the head lice coming back and Trystan from getting them.  The Prevent Spray can be used on children and adults from 2 years of age, is non-toxic and does not contain insecticides and also has a neutral scent.  I checked both boys hair at the end of the school day and no sign of any head lice so I continued to use the spray for the rest of the week.  A week after I had discovered the head lice I retreated all three boys just to make sure they were clear and as suggested by the treatment I had used.  I then decided to continue using the Linicin Prevent Spray for a further week to see if anything reoccurred.

I am pleased to say that today after almost three weeks the boys have remained clear of Head Lice.  We have continued to use the Linicin Prevent Spray as there have been a few letters sent home in the last week about head lice in the school and as they say "prevention is better than cure".  I personally have been impressed with the Linicin Prevent Spray and will use it again.  Although I think it will be when I know there are headlice in the school.  

The Linicin Prevent Spray retails at around £7.49 and is available both online at   and also from independent pharmacies. Linicin Prevent Spray is part of the Linicin range which also includes Linicin shampoo 10 mins and Linicin Lotion 15 mins.  For further information on the Linicin range and to buy on line please visit

Moshi Monster Clay Buddies

The older two boys over the last few months have become Moshi Monster fans and have certainly become very caught up with everything Moshi!  So when we were sent two packs of Moshi Monster Clay Buddies they were so excited and could not wait to make their own Moshi Monster's. 

Each pack contains:
  • 3 coloured pieces of clay
  • 2 Moshi features cards
  • some Velcro for attaching Moshi features to your model
  • 1 adoption book with information about your Moshi and instructions on how to make your very own Moshi Monster and an adoption certificate
This morning after breakfast we settled down to make the Moshi Monsters.  Both Luc and Trystan spent a while reading through the adoption book and asking questions about the Moshi Monster they had to make from their pack.  

Both boys set about following the instructions for making their Moshi Monsters but both needed a little help to divide the clay up into the right portions and then to make sure the pieces were attached firmly.  But they were able to add the Moshi's features themselves.  

Both boys spent about half an hour making their Moshi Monsters and making sure they were just right.   They have then put them up high in their bedrooms so little fingers can not break them.  Then they immediately asked when I would buy them another pack to make!  So I think the Moshi Monster Clay buddies have been a big hit with the boys.  

To add another element to making your Moshi Monster, there is a website where you can upload pictures of your clay buddies for everyone to see.  

Moshi Monster Clay Buddies are available to buy now from Toys R Us, The Entertainer and Hobbycraft to name but a few.  The packs retail at £2.99 each but there is also a special Moshi Monster Clay Buddies Box Set available at £5.99 which contains 4 Moshi feature's cards, 6 clay colours along with the adoption book and cardboard scene.
I personally like the fact that the Moshi Monster Clay Buddies as well as being collectible (48 characters to collect) involves children being creative and hands on.  These are bound to be a hit with all Moshi Monster fans and at £2.99 a pack will not only make a great pocket money toy but also a great stocking filler for Christmas. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

18 weeks and scan

At the beginning of last week I received my appointment for my second scan,  I had anticipated it being a couple of weeks away as I would only be 18 weeks on the Wednesday.  However the appointment was in fact for the Friday 4th November.  I decided to contact the hospital in case it was a mistake.  I explained my dates to the receptionist for the x-ray department but she simply said if I had been sent an appointment it must be right and asked if I could attend.  I said I could and then rang dad of 3 to let him know the time of the appointment so he could take time off work.  

So Friday morning we set off an hour before the appointment for the hospital which is just under an hours drive away.  We had to find the general office when we arrived so that we could get a receipt for scan pictures and then we made our way to the x-ray department. 

When we got there there was a sign apologising for delays but some of the equipment in one of the rooms had broken down.  I looked at dad of 3 and said "we could be here a while".  However when I checked in with reception I was asked to take a seat and two minutes later we were being called and taken round to a room.  I felt a bit guilty having more or less just walked in and being seen straight away as the waiting room was full and getting fuller by the minute.  

We were asked to take a seat again and the lady went into the scanning room.  I could hear three voices saying "she's only 18 plus 2, why have we sent for her its too early"!  I looked at dad of three and asked if he had heard what I had, he nodded but said "Just wait and see".  We were then called into the scanning room where the sonographer and assistants asked me to confirm my dates, name, address etc.  They asked when I had seen the consultant and had my first scan and I explained it had only been the Wednesday before and that I had thought it was too early for the anomaly scan when the appointment had arrived but that when I rang the department I was told to attend as it couldn't have been a mistake.  The sonographer explained that the guidelines they follow for anomaly  scans was 18 weeks plus 5 days so I was a few days short of that.  I was asked to take a seat again.  I couldn't believe it, I had known it was too early when the appointment had come but because the hospital had assured me it was right and to attend we had, I had even cancelled Rowan's speech therapy session that day so we could attend.  Dad of 3 could see I was upset and told me not to panic and to wait to see what happened next.  After five minutes we were called back into the room and told that the mistake had been theirs and as we had travelled so far to attend they would go ahead with the scan and see what measurements they could do but I was to be prepared to have to come back as some of the checks on baby's heart would not be able to be carried out.  I thanked the sonographer and we got ready to start the scan.  

The sonographer was really helpful explaining everything that could be seen on the screen and the parts of the baby.  It was amazing to see how much baby had developed in just over the week since our first scan.  When the sanographer took measurements from baby's leg and thigh bone the measurements were consistently coming out at 17 weeks plus 6, so two days less than my dates.  The sonographer explained that dates were correct within 5 days either way and not to worry as my due date would not be changed.  Baby's head was right in my pelvis and it proved very difficult to get baby to move so that she could get the measurements that were needed.  Baby was kicking and moving around a lot and I could feel the kicks.  Rowan was fascinated with seeing baby again and kept saying "baby" every time he recognised the baby.  The sonographer explained it was pointless trying to look for the sex as baby was not co-operating and moving around far to much.  The sonographer decided it was pointless trying to complete the scan now as I was below the guidelines they worked too but she managed to get four fantastic pictures of baby which were so clear.  The assistant very kindly said we could have the pictures for free due to the mistake with the scan and told me to keep the receipt for when I was called back in a few weeks time.  Again we were asked to take a seat and told they would sort out an appointment for me.  We were asked if we could attend on the 25th November for the scan to take place, we said that was great and thanked the staff for being so nice.  

So at least we got to see baby again even if we weren't able to find out baby's sex, fingers crossed we can at the next appointment,  I will be 21 weeks plus 2 then so baby will also be bigger and almost at the cut off point for the guidelines the hospital work to for anomaly scans.  Baby obviously is enjoying keeping us guessing for now.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Cooking with Cadbury - Caramel Nibbles Cupcakes

The boys love baking and they love chocolate (well okay, I love chocolate too!) So when we were asked if we would like to have a go at making so Cadbury's Caramel Nibbles Cupcakes it was an easy decision to make.


We were kindly sent two packs of Cadbury's Caramel Nibbles which are required for the recipe and away we went.   

To make Caramel Nibbles Cupcakes you will need:

·         1 x 175g pkt Caramel Nibbles
·         180g caster sugar
·         100g butter
·         100ml milk
·         220g plain flour, sifted
·         1 ½ tsp baking powder
·         3 large eggs, beaten
·         2 tsps vanilla extract

Icing ingredients
·         1 x 175g pkt Caramel Nibbles
·         180ml double cream
·         200g icing sugar, sifted
·                     Edible gold glitter (optional)

1.       Preheat the oven to 160c Fan/180c/Gas Mark 4. Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, add the vanilla extract and mix well. Then add the eggs, flour, baking powder, milk and mix until thoroughly combined.

2.       Take the first packet of Caramel Nibbles and melt to a paste in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Add the paste to the cupcake mix and mix well with an electric mixer to distribute the caramel loveliness thoroughly. Place cupcake wrappers into your cupcake pan and fill each wrapper with cupcake mixture 2/3rds full.

3.       Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until golden on top then allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the tray before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

4.       For the frosting take the second packet of Caramel Nibbles, take out 12 Caramel Nibbles and set aside. From the remaining Nibbles measure out 120g and chop into small rough pieces to make the frosting.

5.       Place the double cream into a pan over a low heat. Add in the chopped Caramel Nibbles and continue to heat gently, stirring to melt the chocolate pieces. Keep the mixture moving with a spatula to encourage the pieces to melt. This will take about 4 minutes over a low heat. When all the pieces are melted down, remove from the heat and place in a bowl to cool. Cover with food wrap, pressing it down onto the surface of the Caramel mixture to stop a skin forming.

6.       When your icing mix has cooled, completely transfer to a large bowl and add 200g of sifted icing sugar. Mix well with an electric mixer. If the mixture is slightly too runny, add a little more icing sugar to stiffen.

7.       Now we're ready to go! Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes or pipe for a professional finish. Add one Caramel Nibble to the top from those you set aside earlier. Finally a sprinkling of edible gold glitter!

This recipe was created by Ruth Clemens 

The boys and  I found the recipe easy to follow and they loved helping to sieve and mix the ingredients.  Here is our finished result what do you think? 
 I think I need to invest in a good piping bag so I can make my cakes look more professional.  But these are certainly very delicious cakes and did not last more than a day.  We made 24 cakes from the ingredients.  Why not have a go and see what you think.