The Adventure of Parenthood

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Early Reader's Christmas Books List

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #CollectiveBias

Waterstones, Christmas Books, Early Readers

We are at the beginning of what I consider to be one of the most exciting journeys my child is going to travel - he is learning to read.  I have always been an avid reader, and my mum tells me as young as 18 months I would sit in the corner looking at picture books whilst my friends played.  Once the written words started making sense, I would take a torch to bed to read under the covers, and take an hour getting ready for school as I had a book permanently in my hands.  My love continued through an English literature degree and even now, whilst I don't find nearly as much time as I would like, I love to curl up with a good book.

I am so excited that Dylan is already showing such enthusiasm.  Whilst we have tried never to push him, we have made sure he has the resources and time should it be what interests him, and he has proven that he does want to learn.  As we progressed from letters and sounds to small words, we have wondered about the next step, whether we continue as we are until the school give us a direction, or whether we continue providing the resources for him to learn at his own pace, whatever he decides that to be.  

I went to Waterstones to look at the different options for young readers and to choose a Christmas present, and liked that there was so much variety, especially once they start progressing.  I saw the familiar books of my childhood, although with a slightly updated cover (definitely the same pictures), alongside new books from new authors with colour and fun.  Here are my picks for the first stage:

Friday, 14 November 2014

Three Boys

Three boys, this is my future.  My one tiny tot became the troublesome two and soon I will have a trio of terrors.  I announced that we were expecting another baby when we were 13 weeks pregnant, which meant seven weeks of being told 'you must be hoping for a girl this time then'.  

I would have been over the moon had the sonographer seen the telltale signs that told us to buy pink, but I was equally as excited when she told us that the boys would be welcoming a little brother in the new year.  Our baby is growing well, it looks healthy and he even gave us a hi5 from the womb.

In many ways we are geared up for another boy.  I have boxes upon boxes of boys clothes, and with this little dude due shortly after Archie's birthday, it should all be the right season too.  Our house seems to be full of blue and my experience of nappy changing revolves completely around boy bits.  Dylan had already let me know he would like another brother as 'boys are the best' and I have to agree (with absolutely no experience to compare to of course).  I love having boys, I love being a mama to boys.  Whilst growing up I had always pictured myself with one of each, my vision soon changed after the birth of Dylan and I saw myself surrounded by boys - a vision soon to come true.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Lilly and Sid Children's Wear

My boys are active, they are explorers, they make mess, they play outside, they grow (at rather an astonishing rate), they eat with their fingers and they cuddle.  Their clothes need to cope with their busy lives and as they get bigger, we are definitely working out which companies withstand a toddler and which don't quite last the stretch.  With two already (and a third on the way), we have also learnt the value in investing in decent clothes that can be passed down, as ultimately it is not only cheaper than buying new each time, but much better for the environment too.

We were sent some pieces from Lilly and Sid, a boutique childrenswear company that pride themselves on gorgeous designs and exceptional customer service.  Their clothes celebrate childhood in all its colour and style and we love the unique characters.

As always, I took too many photos, but here are the boys modelling the  George Lion Pocket Set (Top and joggers - £30) and the Super Strong Monkey Man top (£20)

lilly and sid, organic childrenswear, kids fashion

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Stokke Xplory V4

stokke review, stokke xplory v4, stokke deep blue

When it comes to Pushchairs, Stokke are top of the range, and we have been finding out why.  We were sent a Stokke Xplory V4 in Deep Blue and I have to admit I am a bit of a convert.   Unfortunately Archie was not a fan of sitting in the pushchair for photos, but if you follow me on instagram then you will have seen him looking happy in it.

My favourite feature is the height of the child.  I still love having Archie parent facing, and when it is just the two of us, we have a little chat as we walk.  Having him more in eye range makes such a difference, and the height means he can see so much more as well.  With both the bloke and I being tall, it is also much easier to lift him in and out without bending as much (although the downside to this is that he can't climb in himself as he does with lower seats).

Thursday, 6 November 2014

23 Weeks Pregnant

I never wrote my 21 week bump update, (although I did post at 20 weeks about our scan), so there is a bit more to catch up on this time.  I am now 23 weeks into my third pregnancy, which means I am past the halfway mark, meaning I have more of an excuse to do a little shopping.

My bump growth appears to have slowed right down, although it depends on the day as some days I wake up feeling particularly small, and others I look ready to pop before I have even eaten breakfast! The picture in black was taken at 23 weeks, and the lovely one in my pyjamas was at 21, showing quite the difference! I think pretzel keeps changing position as I am feeling movement in different areas on different days still.

I had a check up at 21 weeks with the midwife, and all is progressing well.  I don't see her until December now, but from then on they will start measuring me.  I have a personalised growth chart this time, taking into account factors like my previous babies and their birth weights, and they are expecting little pretzel to be another chunky one.  Anything from 8 to 10.5 pounds on his due date and they are not concerned - eek!

I am feeling much more movement now, although this little guy seems to be following the same pattern his big brother did - something that sends me into panic every single week! He wriggles and kicks lots for around 4 days, and then has one or two where he pretty much doesn't move.  The kicks are getting stronger, and whilst he often seems to be in the breach position, tying to find an escape route with his feet, there are days he is kicking straight out by my belly button, and his little legs are now powerful enough to be felt from the outside, despite my placenta still being on the front wall of my uterus.

Whilst at 23 weeks with both the other boys, I felt on top of the world and positively glowing, having two small children is taking its toll and I find I nap given any opportunity as I feel constantly tired.  I find working at home is quite tough as I tend to get comfy on the sofa with my laptop and fall asleep whereas when I was waitressing, I was too active to even get the opportunity.  I am also finding my skin is terrible, with dry, blotchy patches on my face, again something totally new and rather unwanted.

Cravings come and go, but include orange juice, crusty bread and hula hoops at the moment.  There hasn't been an instance where I am desperate yet but I do eat and drink far too much of these things! I am still sleeping well, although I might turn over a couple of times in the night.  I need to sleep with a pillow between my knees and under my bump but I never need to get up in the night at the moment which I am thankful for.

Generally this pregnancy is going well, and I am enjoying my growing bump, the wriggles and kicks and getting to buy teeny tiny clothes again (although not that teeny, we anticipate skipping the newborn stuff altogether.)

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Our Weekend in a Travelodge

I love visiting London with my family, and we find it much easier to stay up there as travelling up and down with small children can be very stressful!  Our trips are usually action packed and this weekend was no different.  Because of this, we need somewhere quite basic to stay,  a space to lay our heads after a day exploring the city and somewhere quite central to limit the amount of time we spend carrying a buggy down the underground stairs.

We recently stayed at the Travelodge London Central on City Road in one of their family rooms, and it fulfilled our needs completely. We caught the bus once we arrived in London and the stop was right outside the hotel.

Check in was easy and our room was set up ready for us, a comfy double bed for myself, a small single for Dylan and a travel cot for Archie that looked pretty new.  The room was basic and spotless, but had everything we needed - space to hang our clothes, a Tv (with cbeebies), a kettle with teabags and a bathroom with an actual bath.  Having a bath is so much easier when you have children that are terrified of a shower!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Maternity Skincare

Without a doubt, our bodies change shape during pregnancy, some earlier than others, some in more places than others, but as our skin stretches and our tummies grow, it is important to look after ourselves on the inside and out.

I have been testing a variety of maternity skincare products over the last few weeks, and wanted to put it all together in an easy post, so if you are looking for a little treat for your growing bump then look no further.

Love Boo

I was sent a lovely Marvellous Mummy Kit from Love Boo which has perfectly sized miniatures for travel.  I took this away for our week in Rome and it was great to fit in the suitcase.  The body wash smells sweet and the body smoother is a very thick cream that dries in surprisingly fast.  With shea butter the smell is not overpowering but still soft and feminine.  The miracle oil takes much longer to dry as is common with oils but is a lovely bedtime treat and left my skin feeling lovely and soft.

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