Tuesday, 9 February 2016

What the Boys Wore - Muddy Puddles

At 2 years and 11 months old, the little things are often the biggest and the smallest pleasures are usually the most fun.  Everything is an adventure, anything can be climbed and the world is full of endless possibilities.

No puddle is too deep or too muddy and there is nothing you can't scoot through if you are in the right gear.  My little adventurer has energy that appears from nowhere when he spots water on the floor and we have found the perfect puddle spot in our local park - it is always the first to fill up and drains so slowly that we can almost guarantee some splashy fun most of the year.  Our favourite puddle (because I am sure everyone has a favourite puddle?) is about 5 metres long on a good day, not too deep that the water comes over your boots, but deep enough to make kicking, jumping and splashing pretty fun.

toddler, puddle splashing, muddy puddles waterproofs, waterproof all in one

Muddy puddles sent Archie an amazing splash suit that is in two parts.  The waterproof outer layer that you can see which has an awesome pixie hood, and the fleece inner part that can be unpoppered and removed in spring and autumn (and worn seperately) or worn underneath in winter to make a full body coat.  His boots were also from Muddy Puddles and satisfy my love of all things clouds as well as looking bright and brilliant when covered in mud.

muddy puddles, muddy puddles wellies, yellow welly boots

We popped to the park last week and had fun in our puddle, squelching through the mud and of course flinging our feet high in the swings.  Archie was lovely and warm with only basic clothing underneath and he stayed dry and cosy.  The lined hood doubled as a hat when the wind got going and I love the pointy top!

The suit is waterproof, windproof and machine washable at 30 degrees.  The fleece layer works perfectly as a onesie indoors or out and the versatility means this is something that will last all year round.  The bigger sizes have stirrups under the feet to stop them riding up and the smaller sizes have turnover hands and feet to really bundle the baby up - I will be looking for one next winter as it will be ideal for the new baby in the sling as she watches her brothers running round the park in the winter.

I am really impressed with the quality, durability and flexibility and the print is unisex, weather related and bright.  The 3 in one scamp suit is currently £59.99 and the wellies are £20.  

2 year old swinging, muddy puddles, waterproofs for kids

Are we the only ones with a favourite puddle?  Please tell me this is normal!
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Sunday, 7 February 2016


When we were expecting boy number three I was warned that my cupboards would empty as quickly as I could fill them and now that Finn is well into weaning I can confirm they weren't wrong.  Not only do I have three little boys, I have three very hungry little boys.  Thankfully they eat most things and all three adore fruit which makes snack time easier.  I do seem to have a full fruit bowl at the beginning of the week and an empty one by Wednesday but this was something I was semi-prepared for.

We were sent some gorgeous plates from Sammy at Blue Brontide and they are perfect for dishing out snacktime.  The plates are solid wood, lovingly carved and each a little different.  The three sections make them perfect for lunches or snacks although I couldn't bring myself to cover up the cute faces today!  Dylan had no problem when he added a pair and a banana to his plate though.

Blue Brontide sells a selection of gorgeous wooden kids plates including car and bunny shapes and everything is organic, sustainable and eco-friendly.  Their range also includes tableware, teething necklaces and dummy clips, all beautifully handmade in Yorkshire.  Buying from them means supporting local manufacturers, choosing quality and filling your house with rather cute stuff!

As these plates are made from wood, they do need to be wiped down after use rather than soaked in water or placed in a dishwasher and it is best to avoid highly acidic foods.  They are perfect for picnic lunches and snacks.

Thank you to Blue Brontide for sending us these beautiful plates, the boys adore them and their lunches are going to look a lot more exciting from now on!
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Friday, 5 February 2016

Going on a Ski Holiday when Pregnant

So it may not be the first holiday you plan once you see those two blue lines, but it may be that you booked it before you knew you were pregnant or maybe you want to go on a family ski trip but don't actually fancy skiing yourself.   Either way a ski trip can be a wonderful week even with a bump, as I got to find out last month when the boys and I headed over to the alps with Snowbizz.

I knew a whole week of snow without being able to ski would be hard and I wasn't wrong, after having such an amazing experience two years ago I knew exactly what I was missing out on.  I looked up skiing pregnant, spoke to friends and my midwife, but for a beginner like me it just didn't feel worth the risk.  I hired a ski jacket and salloppetes as my expanding waistline meant nothing fit anymore and prepared for a week of fun.

One of the best things about my week away was the peace.  As a mother to three under fives I don't get a whole lot of time to myself.  I have the children every day and I work most evenings.  Whilst we were away I would drop the three boys at the creche every morning at nine and soon after the bloke would head out for his lesson.  The first day it felt strange, I felt a little lost but it didn't take long to start making the most of my quiet mornings and I took my book down to one of the cafe's on the snow's edge, enjoyed some syrup or a hot chocolate, watched the world go by and managed to read a whole book in the first three days.  After a really tough first trimester it was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries, and despite having three small dependent people and a bump I came away from the holiday feeling rested (not something I have said for a long time!).

When we booked to go back, I was really excited about the outdoor pool and I loved going for a swim again this year.  The pool was open in the afternoons (3-7) and I felt like I needed a swim after all the cheesy French food I was consuming.  The pool is outdoors, but the water is wonderfully warm and you get in and out of the pool inside.  I could float around, swim lengths and feel weightless even when I am getting heavier by the minute on dry land.  There seems something so luxurious about being outside in a bikini when it is -7 degrees outside and you are surrounded by snow and I would defintiely recommend you take a dip!

Puy St Vincent, snowbizz, ski holiday, pregnant skiing

Let's be honest and admit that one of the most enjoyable things you can do when pregnant is eat and the French do food well.  From freshly bakes croissants in the morning that are hands down better than any I have ever tasted in the UK to cheese fondue, raclette, creme brulee and my favourite tartiflette (a mixture of potato, onion, bacon, cheese and cream).  I may have over indulged just a little but you have the excuse of wanting to keep warm and of course, what baby wants . . .   

Getting to watch the children learn to ski was an amazing experience.  I hid behind pillars so that they wouldn't spot me and get distracted but twice during the week I crept up to the nursery slopes during their lesson and watched them skiing.  Archie is not yet three and Dylan is naturally a cautious and not a particularly physical child and I couldn't believe how well they took to the snow, how supportive their instructors and the nannies that accompanied them were and that they were actually skiing.  They loved the lessons and I know that had I been skiing myself I would have had to rely on their reports of the day.  This way I got to see it all and I couldn't have been prouder of my big little guys.

ski lessons for kids, snowbizz
The March of the Totons

Snowbizz is a small and cosy resort and I met so many wonderful families, bonded with other parents and we marvelled together at how well our children were doing on the slopes.  I went for walks, I went up in the chairlift as a 'walker' to take in the views from higher up the mountain and to dine at the restaraunt set in the middle of the snow.  I took the children out of the creche to build snowmen and to go sledging and on occassion so that we could all curl up back in the apartment and have a cuddle and a film (and a snooze) as the week was rather busy and exhausting for them.  I got to experience the wonders of a family holiday alongside rest, relaxation and plenty of cheese.

For a busy mama like me, this holiday was exactly what I needed to recharge, enjoy and indulge, but I am desperate to get back on my skis next time!

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Monday, 1 February 2016

What the Boys Wore - Muddy Puddles Ski Wear

We have recently returned from an amazing week in France with Snowbizz and Dylan learnt to ski for the very first time.  Muddy Puddles kindly sent him some snow gear and it was absolutely perfect for our trip.  Not only did he look great, but he stayed warm, dry and protected even though the temperatures were well below zero even in the middle of the day.

Dylan was sent a jacket, salopettes and snow boots and all three were worn every day.  His jacket had everything you need for a ski coat with it being windproof, waterproof and snowproof.  It had poppers to form a barrier at the bottom, plenty of pockets including one in the arm for a lift pass and a cosy hood.  Dylan wore it every day and now that we are back in a rather snow-less country it has become his winter coat, perfect for the school playground.

The salopettes were simple and blue but protected him from falls and kept him warm and dry even when we were making snow angels.  We did find the waistband was a little tight on these but Dylan didn't find it uncomfortable at all.

The boots were chunky and warm with great grip for the snow and they were easy for him to do himself with one main zip and then velcro panels over the top.  We had taken other shoes for when he wasn't in the snow as much but he was happy to just live in his comfy boots.

I was really impressed with the quality of everything we were sent, especially considering it is all in the sale and the jacket is down to only £23!  I am rather tempted to buy the next size for next year as it is an amazing coat.  I love the brightness of the jacket and the print really suited Dylan, was easy to spot in the snow and goes well with his everyday clothes for when we are at home.  I would say that the clothing is very true to size as are the boots, we chose his normal sizes and it had space for layers underneath and should fit over the whole winter.

I am struggling to fault any of the pieces we were sent and having tried a few ski brands on the children I will definitely be going back to Muddy Puddles for both the quality and price.

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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Me and Mine January

It is our third year taking part in the Me and Mine Project and I am so glad that we started taking our monthly family photos.  Not only have our boys grown, but so has our family and by the end of this year there will be an extra child to squeeze into the shot - we do like to make things difficult!

January has been a busy month for us, we announced our fourth pregnancy as well as sharing a little gender reveal video.  We headed to the alps for a week away skiing with Snowbizz and Dylan and Archie had their very first ski lesson whilst Finn had his first experience of the snow.  Dylan started his second term of school and we have started preparing for two little birthdays next month.

Our photos had to come from France, although leaving it until the afternoon of the last day meant the boys were not feeling particularly co-operative and a mixture of the sun starting to set and me still not feeling particularly comfortable with my camera settings in the snow meant that our skin seems to look particularly grey and the snow a little blue.  This is us though, as we enter an exciting year.

family photo, family in the snow, snowbizz, me and mine project

Mummy is loving the 2 weeks she seemed to have energy amidst all the pregnancy exhaustion, finally being able to show off her bump, quiet mornings reading whilst the boys had their ski lessons and shopping for a baby girl.

Daddy is loving getting his skis back on now that he is more confident on the snow, finding out he is going to have a daughter, catching up with old friends and spending more time with the children.

Dylan is loving learning about space at school, making friends on the ski holiday, seeing Aunty NatNat and having packed lunches at the Snow Creche.

Archie is loving learning to ski, telling me all about what his baby sister is up to, playing Vikings and dragons and finding new hiding places.

Finn is loving learning to crawl,  all the attention that he got in the creche on holiday, eating chips and roaring.

 We are looking forward to a calmer and cake filled Febraury now.

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Travelling with Four

I caught the travel bug as a student, when working part time alongside uni studies I realised I had enough money for the odd European weekend break.  I realised how easy it was to travel, how it didn't need to be expensive and I learnt how to pack for a weekend into a hand luggage sized bag.

After Uni I went travelling around the world and that time is full of amazing memories of those once in a lifetime moments.  I knew by then that travel would always be an important part of my future and when we found out we were pregnant with our first baby I was determined that children would not get in the way of me seeing the world.  A second baby followed and then a third and we still found ways to explore with them.  Finn has been on three foreign holidays and several UK breaks  before his first birthday and we love showing our children the world.  Baby number four is due to arrive in the summer and whilst I am expecting things to only get more difficult, we are still planning on travelling with our young brood.

Whilst there are certain things that are off limits with little people in tow, you also manage to see parts of a country that you otherwise would have missed.  We search out parks and attractions that they will enjoy and often they are the highlight of the holiday for all of us.

We wouldn't plan anything too big for the early months and possibly years of being a family of six, and we may take this opportunity to see more of the UK, a country I am embarrassed to say I know little of.  The bloke and I would love to head north and spend some time in the lake district - Somewhere we can have the comfort and ease of being able to drive there, but with completely new scenery to the seaside that surrounds us down on the Kent coast and with so much open space for the boys to explore.  We wouldn't need to worry about getting a passport for the baby or packing a suitcase with everything we need for a newborn as well as three small boys but it would still feel like a break.

We definitely want to go skiing again next year as I found it really frustrating this year being surrounded by snow and not able to slide down the mountains.  It is going to be interesting taking four children to the snow, but I am sure that we will find a way to make it work.  

Travelling with four small people is going to be challenging I imagine, but I can't wait to show them the world, help feed their curiosity and  desire to explore and see the world through their eyes.  

Where do you like to travel with your children?  Where is next on your list of places to visit?

Disclaimer :  Collaborative post
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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Our Gender Reveal

When we found out that we were expecting baby number 4, two thoughts went through my head,

'What if it is another boy?'
'What if it is a girl???'

I quite honestly didn't mind, we were either going to have the wonder of a fourth baby boy or a new baby girl.  I know boys, I love raising boys and I could see my house full of them.  A daughter would be the unknown but a new challenge.  Either way I felt far more impatient to find out this time and I ended up booking an early private scan to try and determine the gender. 

At our previous scan, the sonographer thought she knew the sex based on the nub theory, but I wanted a better look to know for certain.  Last Saturday we went down to a local place and saw our little Britney bump on screen and we got confirmation.

We are expecting a . . .

We are so excited to be welcoming our sixth and final member of the team in July this year!

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