To see or not to see?

When pregnant with Carson, I actively sought to discover his sex prior to birth. I was a new mum, excited, impatient... whatevs... It was my prerogative!

This time round though, I feel so, so, different. Maybe it's because I'm more mature in that I can wait, I don't simply have to know. I'm struggling at the moment, against both Carson and Daddy, in that the majority rules in my family - usually (muahaha!)

My way of thinking isn't a particularly normal way of thinking, or so it feels. I have the boy - I would like a girl for my second, naturally. However, if I have the sexing scan and find out that it is a boy - will I be as disappointed as I fear I might? What kind of a mother would I be if I could possibly be 'disappointed' by the sex of my child? That's what I'm worried about. However, If this birth is anything like Carson's and after 23 hours of hard labour I have a bouncing baby boy in my arms... it is pretty safe to say that 'disappointment' will be the last thing anyone would utter or think.

So for the avoidance of doubt, I'm best not knowing... right?

What did you decide on? Please share your stories, or your blog links, in the comments box xx

Heartbeats and onions...

Had my first midwife appointment at my local GP surgery today. Felt new. Everything made me feel like a lost child, clutching the campus map, on the first day of high school. Weird, hey? I've been here before... what was different?
I was worrying being different for nothing! The midwife was so lovely even when I told her I missed the pot for my urine sample. I blame nerves lol. Actually, she advised that the best way to collect pee was in a margarine tub before then pouring it into those stupidly skinny sample pots!  After taking my blood pressure she warned that, at 16 weeks, it's not uncommon to fail at 'listening in' for the heartbeat so most mums choose to wait until the 20 week scan. The decision was mine and, as I've been feeling more than just flutters recently, I decided to give it a go - on a promise I wouldn't go into a hormonal rage/tantrum/cryfest!

Anyway... Today, I got to hear baby's heartbeat for the first time (wooo!!)

We recorded it for Carson to listen to when we got home and he was in awe. So much so that he wanted to talk to me when I was in the bath tonight, and was pouring water over bump, nattering away, "Hiya baby, can you hear me? I'm your brother Carson!" I felt a great bond with him all over again tonight and have taken the decision to bring him to my 20wk scan given that the most risky period is over. I told him and he's unbelievably excited... but want's me to find out what we're having. NO!! (This is for another post!)

In other news... ONIONS!!

I swear I'm going crazy... I can smell onions on my hands ALL THE TIME! Even when I was in the bath tonight, I scratched my nose and caught the whiff again. I've asked others, they can't smell it on me (lets hope they're not lying to me - oh my gosh the shame!)

Pregnancy really plays tricks on you, eh?

Did you experience this? I good old Googled and found others in the same predicament but not really much of an answer other than our senses of smell are more heightened, or that I must have prepared onions recently - which isn't the case.

I'd love to hear of any quirky stories you might have xx

My tips for entering competitions

Do not be secretive!! There are a lot of people who enter comps who don't like you knowing where they're entering their comps from. I guess, the fewer that know the greater the chance of winning. However, when you comp pretty seriously, it's always great to have the support of fellow compers and they're more likely to tell you about comps that exist that you would never know about normally. So it definitely pays to share!

Use Google Chrome to enter comps, then you can use the auto-fill to save time when comping en mass!

Dedicate one email address to comping - it helps you spot the WEM'S (Winning Emails!) and you'll start the lost track of what's spam and what is not. If you don't fancy manning more than one email account, always opt out of marketing emails/calls/sms etc. There's normally a box to tick/untick near the T&C's. 

Twitter competitions.
Follow & RT SimplyBeUK - NOT ME!!
These can really rile some compers so take note. Seriously! 

Firstly, RT means retweet. You can click the retweet button or you can copy and paste the tweet adding RT at the beginning of the tweet. I tend to do both for the avoidance of doubt as some competition hosts accept one but not the other (weird I know, but it's confusing to everyone!!) If the T&C's clearly state that only one RT per person counts, I click the RT button. Don't do both you'll void yourself.

Secondly, Make sure you DO NOT retweet (RT) a compers entry. To avoid this, every time you see a competition tweeted by anyone at all - click on the comp host. So, for example, you see a tweet like the one to the right and you don't copy & paste my tweet, nor do you click the RT button on this. You click on @SimplyBeUK, follow them and find their version of this tweet to RT.

Thirdly. Always follow the comp host. You/they can't DM (Direct Message) you if you're not and you are always checked that you abide by the rules, if not by the host then by us compers!! There are a lot of cheats about, including spammers that use scheduling software to whizz their entries in. Tut Tut!!

Facebook Competitions.
Rules are a'changing on Facey these days. Like & Share comps are being clamped down on, which is a shame for us mobile compers as the app comps are not usually accessible from a mobile device. If you see them though, they're worth a bash! The FB app entries are just as reliable. Afterall, I won a corner suite couch via on there - whoop!!

WEM's tend to be sent via inbox and are likely to land in your 'other' inbox i.e. totes seperate to your friends messages. It can be difficult to check these all the time so I use Compers Corner on to help me with identifying any wins that I never noticed on my FB timeline. Click here for the link and get yourself familiar with it. 

Remember, if you've followed my first rule you will have the comping community keeping an eye out for you so if you're on hols or simply miss your post, your crew can give you a nudge via other channels e.g. shouting you out on twitter. For example, a Joanna Smith won an awesome prize on the Debenhams page once and I had a friend message me to say 'hey have you had a WEM for this?' ... it was some other lucky Jo Smith in the end, but it's nice to know that people are willing to help you claim a prize. Treat others as you'd treat yourself!

Rafflecopter Competitions
Here's where it can get a bit overwhelming but trust me, once you've done one - you've done them all!! Log in using facebook or email and literally do what each point tells you - but again, DO NOT CHEAT!! Having held these comps myself on this here blog, I can categorically tell you that it is blindingly obvious if someone doesn't do what they've ticked and falsely claimed an entry. You will not win!! 

This isn't a must, but it's a personal rule I follow. I enter competitions where I will make use of the prize either myself or by gifting to close friends or family.

Don't be known as 'That One Who Enters Anything For The Sake Of It' .... or even worse....  'That One Who Enters Anything For The Sake Of It -Then Sells It Off On Ebay'

Read the T&C's
Yeah OK... we all miss t&c's every now and then but try your best to look out for them. If the comp is for something awesome but needs picking up from say, Scotland, in the next 24 hours when you live in Dorset, is just not practical nor fair. Think of your 'crew' again. You're taking up someone's real chance of winning.

Well... good luck!! 

I'd love for any comments below please regarding my post. Anything you'd like to add, ask, or even challenge, please feel free. Comments seem to be few and far between these days, shame really!!

Can you successfully comp part time?

 *To those who don't 'comp' and are wondering what I'm bambling on about, it's simply entering competitions.*

Firstly, I only enter comps to win for myself or my friends/family for example; I won a corner suite couch in April with the intention of gifting it my parents and I only went and won!! They were absolutely thrilled with it and I felt bloody good too!!

Secondly, I never sell winnings either, a) it's too much hassle but b) it's quite rude, I find. Why enter a comp for something that you don't give a monkeys about if someone else would really appreciate winning it instead?

Thirdly, it's a numbers game - you have to put the work in.

When I fell pregnant, I was hardly functioning as a human being for the first 3 months. Not only did Candy bloody Crush finally seem easy to drop, but so did comping, and much to my surprise too because it really can be addictive.
I entered probably 10 or 20 on twitter in the whole time and on one occasion I entered approx 40 via Prizefinder website. I didn't win a bean. When I started to feel better, I entered a couple every now and then but on Sunday just gone I thought right... back to it and spent about 2 hours finding and entering competitions. Lo and Behold.. I won my first comp in months on Monday, courtesy of Very_Photo on Twitter, it was a Crayola pack. How cool!! Was it luck or was it the effort I put in to it?

I see the same people on twitter entering comps every day. It's kinda nice to know you're part of a crew!! But the people I see putting the effort in, are the people I see winning.

So, I just wanted to know if anyone wins a lot of things without really entering many comps? Or is it a second job for most?

I couldn't answer this question! Could you have?

So I'm lying in the bath trying to relax after a long day, and Carson comes in (as he does - scared of missing out on anything he is!).

CARSON: "Mum, How do I love you?"

Ummm... I wasn't too sure what that meant so pulled a funny face and made him laugh.

CARSON: "I'm serious mum! Please. How do I love you?"

Again... silence from me, pondering on what exactly he was getting at. I didn't get the context of his query!

CARSON: "You know, when you had me and I was a baby, you loved me - how did I love you?""

I kind of asked in a round about way if he meant how did he come to love me and I seemed to have nailed his quandary. My answer...??

ME: "I guess you just appreciate what I do for you and know the bond we share as mum and son"

CARSON: "Everyone loves their mum, mum. But HOW??"

I was stumped for an answer and before I had the chance, he looked at me in a pitiful way and quipped "Anyway, I do love you mum. Night" and off he toddled to bed.

So profound for a 5yr old!

What's the toughest question you've had landed on you by a little dude, and how did the situation end?, pub-8301510335931825, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0