Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Tomy Baby Monitor Review

We made the decision with Archie to start putting him upstairs to bed at only 6 weeks old.  Unlike his big brother who slept on and off all evening for the first few months, Archie was putting himself into such a deep sleep from around 7pm that I was waking him up to take him to bed when I got tired.  It seemed to be that he wanted the routine of a bedtime so reluctantly I gave up my cosy evening cuddles and started taking him upstairs with Dylan at 7.

I won't lie, it was lovely to reclaim our evenings without worrying about disturbing the little guy and he sleeps much better in the dark, quiet room than he did with the TV on in the background and the bloke and I chatting away.  With our room being at the opposite end of the house to the front room though, it meant a baby monitor was necessary.   Our last monitor had such a loud background noise that we happily binned it as soon as we realised we could hear Dylan just as loudly without it, so when I had an email asking if I wanted to try the Tomy TF525 I was looking forward to testing it out.

Tomy baby monitor, baby monitor review, sleeping baby and monitor

The monitor has a portable parent device that not only listens in on the baby but also tells you the temperature of their room too - this means if I notice it getting colder in the bedroom I can pop up and cover Archie with a blanket. 

The monitor also has a built in night light, perfect for those inevitable middle of the night feeds as I make sure not to turn any main lights on in the night so the baby stays nice and sleepy.  The monitor also plays several soothing lullabies that can be controlled by the parent unit and it  can be used as a walkie talkie (not that we have ever done this of course! ;)  )  to reassure the child from downstairs.  I love this feature as occasionally a large shhhh - ing sound can settle Archie back to sleep. 

What I was most impressed with though, is how quiet the monitor is.  There is absolutely no background noise so I  know that when we are ready to move Archie to his own room, I will not be kept awake by the buzzing of a monitor by my bed.  

The monitor has several noise settings as well as lights to indicate sound coming from babies room and comes complete with a rechargeable battery for the parent unit as well as a wire to plug it in to the socket.  The parent unit has a low battery and out of range alarm for reassurance and comes with a two year guarantee.

I am really impressed with the monitor and my baby-free evenings are relaxed knowing I can hear exactly what the little man is up to upstairs.  The monitor retails at £49.99 - a great price for such a functional monitor and can be bought from the Tomy Website



Disclaimer:  I was provided with a baby monitor for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
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Proud

There are days when I look at my boys with an overwhelming sense of pride.  Every day Dylan learns something new and I am amazed and in awe of his new skills. It doesn't matter if every other 20 month old can do it already or not, seeing my son do something for the first time will always be special, from his first smile, to those first wobbly steps to the first time he pronounces the 'm' properly in milk. 


Today Dylan said 'please' and 'thank-you' in all the right places and I was so proud of his beautiful manners.  He knows the words and often uses them (with a little encouragement) but today he needed no prompting.  Manners are very important to me and I want my children to be polite young people as they grow up. 

We went to the park this afternoon and for the first time Dylan played on the equipment independently   His confidence in climbing has come on so much these last few weeks and as well as climbing up and down the stairs, he also climbed up and slid down the slide without any help.  It may sound like a little thing to anyone else but it felt like I was watching my baby boy grow up before my eyes.  

I am so proud of how well Dylan has taken on his role of big brother.  I have never once seen jealousy and Dylan is always giving kisses and cuddles to his little brother.  His eyes light up when Archie looks his way and he comes over straight away to play with him.  I am so proud that he is taking it all in his stride and I love that Dylan found so much space for this new little person in his heart like we did.

brothers, big brother, proud of son, big brother t-shirt
I made them!
I love to see him master a new skill and the look of satisfaction in his face as he realises there is yet another part of life that he can now explore.  I love to see the wonder in his eyes as he realises that he can do it all on his own and I love the intelligent, inquisitive and loving child my son is turning into.

I am so proud of my little boy and so excited to see the man he will turn into - complete with excellent manners I hope!
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Friday, 26 April 2013

Sleep

Sleeping through the night means something different to everyone.  A goal, a reality, a far off dream, something to brag about, something other people's children do and most importantly an eventuality.  Find me a teenager who doesn't sleep through the night and well into the next day!  Some children do it at 6 weeks, some at 6 years but I promise you, they all get there sometime and often when you least expect it.

Our sleeping journey was a lot like a seesaw.  In the hospital Dylan went 5 hours without a feed - presumably the exhaustion of being born was a little too much for him and I was told I needed to wake him at least every three hours to make sure he was feeding enough.  He clearly heard this as by 3 months old the longest he had done was 4 hours in one stint and it was usually hourly from then onwards. I accepted our night time cuddles and to some extent enjoyed them.  He didn't always make it back to his crib afterwards as  it was a little too often that we both fell asleep feeding.

One cold October day, something amazing happened.  My clever little boy found his fifth digit - the almighty thumb.  That night I woke up every hour from 11pm onwards to check he was still breathing, and when he eventually woke up at 7am  I was amazed and confused!  A month later and I was confident that my baby was sleeping through the night,  I had become cocky with my late nights and somehow felt even more exhausted than when up hourly.  

The day he turned four months old I had to drag myself out of bed at 2am for a feed and my body was heavy and tired.  The next night he added in a 4am feed too and two weeks later we were up every two hours for milky cuddles.  My beautiful sleeper was back to being a newborn, feeding at least 12 times in a 24 hour period! What went wrong?!

I was tempted to start weaning in the hope that food would fill him up, but also keen to do baby led weaning and wait until 6 months,  I was tempted to try controlled crying but worried he was hungry and not ready for the reality.  Most of all I wanted to do what was right for my son without having any idea what it was.  We got ourselves back into a night feed routine and I learnt that I could function quite well on these little nuggets of sleep.

At 5.5 months we started our weaning journey and on the first day, Dylan demolished an entire slice of toast.  He was definitely ready and as we had waited, so was his gut.  He took to food well trying everything we gave him and enjoying generous portions.  His sleep did not improve however and he was still having milk throughout the night.

Just after he turned 6 months things changed again.  I dressed him for bed one night, and carried him upstairs to the dark nursery.  We sat on the nursing chair and I gently rocked as I fed him to sleep - the same way I had since that first nervous night at home.  I watched his sleepy eyes close and after he had dropped off I stayed rocking, watching his angelic face relax.  After a few minutes I picked him up, ready to put him back in his cot when I saw those big blue eyes open and look at me.  This was not the plan!  We sat back down again and repeated but again he woke up!  Not knowing what to do, I put him down in the cot and headed downstairs to make myself a drink whilst we came up with a plan B.

I stopped on the stairs and heard. . . silence

I got to the bottom, and still silence.

Deciding to make the most of it I made myself a cup of tea.  Still silence.

I drunk my cup of tea in silence and then quietly sneaked up the stairs.  I poked my head round the door and saw my beautiful boy curled up, thumb in and eyes tight shut.  For the first time, he had put himself to sleep!


Knowing he could do it gave us both the confidence and that night he was only up twice.  I would hear a little wimper every now and again and then the noise of vigorous sucking as the thumb went in and a little sigh as he fell back asleep.  It was so easy!

Over the next two weeks I refused to feed him to sleep as we both knew he could do it.  Every nap time and every night I would place him down awake and he would sleep! By 7 months he was routinely sleeping 7pm to 8am and I am delighted to say at 20 months we have seen no regression.  I can comfortably say that my child is 'sleeping through'.  

It is nothing to do with my parenting, and nothing to do with his milk.  In fact we stopped bedtime milk at 6.5 months and he would have his last feed at 6pm.  His sleeping was down to him.  He learnt to do it and he loved it - he still loves his sleep!

Archie is already sleeping far better than Dylan did at his age, but we are a long way off my idea of 'sleeping through' and as much as I love my sleep (and I really, really do), every time he wakes in the night and cries out for milk and cuddles, I am reminded that he is my baby and that he needs me.  As I hold him close and watch him snuggle into me, we have our own special moments and I will be sad in a way when he eventually stops needing me to help him through the night.  Just like Dylan, Archie is without fail, fed to sleep, and although there are plenty of reasons not to get into this habit, I know that just like Dylan, he will eventually find his own way out of it.

My quest for a full night's sleep continues, but in the meantime, I am enjoying the cuddles.
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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Two Months In

We are now two months into life as a family of four and it feels like Archie has been around forever.  Dylan is still as enthusiastic about his 'bubba' and the name has really caught on with us rarely using the little man's real name.  Dylan loves to give kisses and help with nappy changes and even plays his own little game with Archie, where he tries to grab his hand as Archie waves it around.  It is so sweet watching them together and I love seeing their friendship and bond grow.


Archie is sleeping much better at night than Dylan was at this age and usually goes between five and seven hours before his first feed, with them then getting closer until we wake up for the day.  He sleeps in his crib from 7pm until around 5am, when he often finds his way into our bed as he won't settle again.  If it is after 4am then I really don't mind having him in with us as it is lovely to have the cuddles and I am certainly not prepared to get up for the day at 5!


Archie isn't much of a sleeper in the daytime however and often will only have short power naps unless he is in the sling.  Unlike his big brother who couldn't resist being lulled by movement, Archie can stay awake for a 30 minute car journey, in the sling and in a pram quite easily!  He will not sleep on his back at all so we put him on his tummy even in the pram when we want to settle him.


After a few weeks of being permanantly attached, Archie is gaining confidence and is happy to lay on his mat or sit in his bouncer more now.  As much as I love the cuddles, it is great to be able to put him down every now and again and our house is certainly looking a little tidier for it!


Breastfeeding is going well and the little man is getting chubbier by the day.  At 7 weeks he tipped the scales at 12lb 13oz so there are certainly no concerns there.  He is definitely a bit of a snacker, but it doesn't bother me that he wants feeding so often, so we are continuing with feeding on demand.  Archie is still in his 0-3 and 2-4 month clothing (just about) and seems much smaller than his big brother was at this age.

Two months in to life as a family of four and we are definitely settled in.  I am well practised at getting the three of us up, dressed and fed and we are out every day doing something.  I had my first day with just the littlest one last week and as much as I missed Dylan it was lovely to spend some quality time with Archie and it reminded me just how much easier having one is! I wouldn't change my gorgeous boys for the world though.



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Bugaboo meets Andy Warhol

You may have seen recently that we have been busy reviewing the Bugaboo Donkey.  To say that I love this pushchair is an understatement - it is practical, pushable and perfect.

Bugaboo have recently announced their partnership with the Andy Warhol foundation and we were invited along to the launch of this collaboration and their two new designs.  Andy Warhol's iconic pop art include the Campbell soup, the banana and Marilyn Monroe, but Bugaboo chose two prints for their pushchairs - 'cars' and 'flowers'

bugaboo, Andy Warhol, flowers, flower pushchair, bugaboo donkey

.The new prints are available as hoods and pram aprons for the Bee, Cameleon and Donkey and having two small boys, I love the cars design.  I think they are fun, unique and definitely eye catching and I fell in love with the Donkey a little bit more when I saw the new options.   With a toddler who is already getting fussy about being in a pushchair, I know he would be a lot more excited if it was covered in cars!

Buagboo Chameleon, Bugaboo, Andy Warhol, Bugaboo cars, car print pushchair

Attending the launch was an experience in itself, with celebrities such as Denise Van Outen and Westlife's Kian Egan in attendance and the most delicious frozen sorbet/chocolate pops.  Mingling with bloggers, the media and celebs and surrounded by works of art, it was a fantastic afternoon and everything these gorgeous new designs deserved.


Disclaimer:  I was not paid to write this post, but I was invited to the launch party of the new Warhol -Bugaboo Designs.
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Sunday, 21 April 2013

Baking With A Toddler

A simple recipe for baking Rice Crispie Cakes with a toddler.  

Take one seemingly happy toddler, one rather content baby, some uneaten Easter eggs and a box of rice crispies.  

Strap the toddler in the high chair in the kitchen and pop baby in his bouncer on the kitchen floor.

Bring out the chocolate eggs and watch the excited smile take over toddler's face.  Help him break up the chocolate into small pieces and watch him smuggle as many of the pieces into his mouth as possible.

Suggest that we heat the chocolate in the microwave and watch the confused look take over from the smile.

Try and remove the bowl of chocolate pieces from his tight grip - use force if necessary.

Attempt to stop total meltdown and distressed cries of 'lock lot egggggggg' as you shut microwave door and fish out tissues for the tears pouring down toddler's face.  Put up with sixty seconds of tears and tantrums as the bowl of chocolate is out of his sight and worry that the neighbours will think you are torturing the poor boy.

Remove melted chocolate from the microwave and listen to sighs of relief as the tears instantly dry up.  Remember that you forgot to wash toddler's hands before you began as they are now immersed in melted chocolate.

Check quickly to make sure baby is still alive and content.

Pour rice crispies into the bowl and watch the chocolatey fingers explore.  Half of these will get eaten in the process so make sure you pour in too many.


Grab two wooden spoons and encourage toddler to mix.  Watch as he uses spoon to flick chocolatey crispie mixture all over previously clean kitchen, bash the glass bowl with it, brush his hair with it and generally do everything other than mix in the cereal.

Mix it up yourself trying not to hurt the little hands that are still shovelling chocolatey cereal into mouth at an astonishing rate.

When it is all mixed well, bring out the paper cases and show toddler how to fill the cases with mixture.  Watch as he attempts to do this with the spoon, his fingers and his mouth.

Fill up the paper cases yourself as you really fancy actually eating a cake at the end of the process, and the toddler's are starting to look a little worse for wear.

Bribe toddler with a spoon full of chocolatey rice crispies so that you can remove the finished cakes and place them in the fridge.  Notice that previously clean kitchen now looks like a cereal packet exploded in it's middle, with some chocolate casualties..

Clean up toddler, let him loose and attempt to save the baby from being fed crunched crispies from the floor by loving older brother.

Leave the room, lock the door and hope the bloke will clean up afterwards


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Saturday, 20 April 2013

As Snug as a Bug in a Rug - Review and Giveaway

It is that awkward time of year where it is not quite cold enough for a full on padded snow suit  but I still want to wrap Archie up and a cardigan just doesn't seem as snug.  Babyrug's innovative Bug in a Rug is a cross between clothing and a blanket and is perfect for this weather.  

The bug has a space for little legs and the elastic round the ankles stops the baby kicking them off.  The middle section is a wrap over though, meaning a sleeping baby can be unwrapped with having to fiddle too much or wake them up.  Perfect if you are coming in from the cold outdoors and they are fast asleep.


The separate leg holes mean that the bug in a rug is so versatile.  It can be used in an infant car-seat,  in a carry-cot or pushchair and even in a sling, unlike a blanket, and the micro fleece material means it is lovely and warm.

We have been testing the pale blue version on our newest addition and he seems to like it!  I often wear him in a wrap and a snow suit is not practical so this is the perfect alternative for us.  I love it in the carry-cot too as I find Archie can get too hot in a full on snow suit with the apron on as it tends to trap in the warm air.  The Bug in a Rug is the perfect thickness and allows him to have a kick around as we travel.  The Bug folds up so small, that it easily slots into the nappy bag if we are planning on staying out later and don't trust the Great British weather.

I did find that the crossover body section didn't keep Archie's arms in as much as I would have liked, but I am not sure if this is him getting to the end of the size or not.  I would love to see the velcro coming furthur round the body so I could wrap it slightly tighter and keep his arms wrapped up too.

We are really enjoying using the bug in a rug and it is perfect for our little man as he is often in the pram for part of the day and in the sling for the rest, so it gives us more versatility than a blanket without compromising on his warmth.

Baby Rug not only sell warm winter wraps, but also light cotton wraps, perfect for protecting a little baby's skin from the sunshine, whilst keeping them cool - much easier than rubbing in sunscreen every 30 minutes!  I have one of the gorgeous summer wraps to give away to a reader and entry couldn't be simpler, just follow the instructions on the rafflecopter below!




Disclaimer:  I was provided with a bug in a rug for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

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Friday, 19 April 2013

My Perfect Double Pushchair - Bugaboo Donkey Review

When we found out we were having a second little baby I started thinking about double pushchairs.  I knew that my perfect double would have a lovely spacious carrycot for my newborn with a soft mattress and it would be nice and long so that the baby could stay snug and cosy for longer.  I knew that the toddler seat would be able to face me as Dylan loves to have a chat as we walk.  I knew it would work as a single so that we could use it still once Dylan was walking more and would be easy to attach a buggy board to.  I knew that the basket would be huge so that I didn't need to carry a nappy bag and it would be nice and accessible.  I knew that the buggy would have to fit on a bus as we don't drive and it would have to be light to steer as we walk a lot. It would need an adjustable handlebar as the bloke and I are both tall and this would make life so much easier.

 Turns out I am very demanding as I wanted a lot of things from my double pushchair!

buagboo donkey review, double pushchair
Proudly showing off his ' bubba'

What I didn't expect was to find everything I was looking for in one pushchair.  I was expecting to have to compromise something as double buggies are notoriously difficult but it seems there is one that had everything I was looking for - The Bugaboo Donkey.

It may not be the cheapest on the market, but in my eyes it is more than worth it for such a beautiful pushchair.   Bugaboo have really thought of everything!  The Donkey has three options, Mono, duo and twin depending on how you wish to use it.  In single mode, there is a lovely basket that fits next to the seat or carrycot, which is perfect for shopping. With the help of three single catches, the pushchair transforms into a double and I can have a carrycot and seat, two carrycots or two seats, either parent facing or world facing.  Having Dylan parent facing is very important to me as he loves to talk as we walk and I love our little conversations, pointing out cars, flowers and doors!

bugaboo donkey

The seat unit looks very comfortable and is lovely and spacious.  Dylan is by no means a small 20 month old (15kg)  and he has plenty of growing room left.  It has 3 recline positions, including lie flat which is perfect for nap time and a very upright one which I am really impressed with as Dylan loves to sit up straight and not a lot of pushchairs accommodate for this.  The 5 point harness is easily adjustable and the shoulder height can be changed without any hassle.

The carrycot is lovely and long and Archie looks like he will be in it for quite some time.  The interior is so soft it seems wrong to put a sheet on the mattress!  It has a lovely big hood (as does the seat unit) and an easily removable apron, which is zipped on at the end, making it easy to take off and put on when taking the baby out without having to hold it.  We have found the rain covers tough to get on, and it took a while to get the knack of it but once on they are on they are very secure even with strong winds.

bugaboo donkey, asleep in double buggy, large toddler in bugaboo

We have really put the donkey to the test and as well as using it on all terrains (and always being impressed at how smooth it is), I have used it as a double on the bus, train and in taxis.  I can wheel it into a London cab without folding it down no problem, and it pushes straight onto the bus as well.  The adjustable handle bar can be pushed right down so the Donkey can fit in much smaller spaces than expected.  The handlebar has several positions including a lovely high one which is perfect for tall men like the bloke.

The biggest issue I have had with the pushchair is the amount of time I am stopped in the street! Every single time without fail that we are out, we get asked what it is and where they can get one.  I am constantly met with appreciative stares and everyone wants to get their hands on a Donkey once they have seen it in the flesh.  I have even had someone pull over their car on the side of the road to enquire where she could get such a pushchair!


Bugaboo donkey in mono, large child in donkey
In Mono mode

The donkey comes in several colour options and with Bugaboo recently announcing a partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation, you will be able to customise to your hearts content with the new hood/apron designs they are releasing!

The bloke is currently refusing to use any other pushchair as he too shares my love of the Bugaboo Donkey, and he loves how light it is to push (even with both boys he can push it up a hill with one finger), how high the handlebar goes and that even with a long stride he is not treading on anything. He also loves how huge the underneath basket it - even my pink lining twins bag fits comfortably underneath, so he is not left with a girly nappy bag to carry around.

I cannot think of a single thing I would change with the Bugaboo donkey.  Bugaboo have clearly thought this one through as it has everything you look for in a pushchair, and then some more.  I cannot recommend it highly enough!


Disclaimer:  I was loaned a Bugaboo Donkey for the purpose of this review but I have received no financial compensation for writing this post.  The love is completely my own!


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Thursday, 18 April 2013

One of Each

When I was pregnant with Archie, people often asked me whether I wanted a little girl, so that I had 'one of each' and I answered them quite honestly, that I didn't mind as long as my baby was healthy.  I was secretly hoping for another little boy as I imagined Dylan with a brother to share and play with, and having only eighteen months between them, I hoped there would be less fighting over which TV programs they want to watch!

Turns out that I did end up with 'one of each', but not in the traditional sense.  I have one Dylan and one Archie, and although they are both little boys, they are both completely different and unique children.

Looking at photos of the boys at the same age, you can definitely tell they are brothers.  There are a lot of similarities in the way they look although I can really see the differences too.  Archie is only 8 weeks old though and I can already see that their personalities are miles apart.

brothers at 6 weeks, looks like big brother, brothers look alike
Archie and Dylan at 6 weeks

Dylan hated being on his tummy from day one and I think this is part of the reason why he never really crawled.  As soon as he learnt to roll, he would point blank refuse to lie on his front, and would start rolling over before you even put him down.  He used to sleep like a starfish and often woke himself up with the startle reflex as he bashed his arms on the side of the crib.  This was a big factor in moving him to a big cot at 12 weeks as he was waking himself up as he bashed his hands!

Archie will not sleep on his back.  I have taken to lying him on his tummy even in the pram, as it is the only way he will settle and he loves to feel snug, tucking his arms and legs underneath him.  If he stays this curled up then I see him staying in the crib for quite some time as he takes up very little space.

Dylan would fall asleep as soon as you started pushing the buggy and loved lying in there, studying the label on the inside of his pram.  Archie is not a fan of the pushchair and will cry out to be picked up and put in the sling close to me
.

Dylan screamed and screamed in his first few baths, although luckily he is a huge fan now, whereas Archie hated getting undressed but calmed down the moment his toes touched the water and is at his most relaxed when in the tub.

I may have two gorgeous boys, but I definitely have one of each.  One little Dylan, and one little Archie.
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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Spring

The start of spring brings new life, new colours and the return of my beloved flip flops.  With the weather finally warming up though, I have been remembering all the things I love about this new season:




Washing drying on the line.  There is something really satisfying about a line of clean washing drying in the breeze and it always smells so fresh and feels so soft.


Not wearing a coat! After picking out outfits all winter and then hiding them under a coat it is nice to have a bit more freedom and a lot less bulk finally.

Walks along the Prom.  Living so close to the sea, spring gives us the perfect excuse to stretch our legs as we can go for long strolls along the sea front with an ice cream as a reward when we get to the end.


Messy play in the garden.  I may not be the most house proud, but I am not confident getting messy inside, so with a bit less chill in the air, we can go outdoors for painting and getting dirty and I am much less worried!

Eating Al Fresco.  There is something about eating outdoors that makes me pick healthier options and this can only be a good thing! There is nothing quite like sitting outdoors and enjoying a lovely meal with a beautiful view.

Getting my flip flops back out.  I love being barefoot and the next best thing is simple sandals.  As soon as the risk of frostbite has gone, I am in my flip flops and the boots don't come back out until I really have no choice!


Painting my toenails.  With the return of sandals, comes the nail varnish.  I love painting my toenails in every shade of bright and showing them off.

Fresh flowers. Suddenly gardens and parks are awash with colour and it can't help but brighten my day to see the flowers blossoming.  Dylan is already getting excited when he spots a daffodil so I can't wait for more to bloom.

Not spending a Penny. With the beach within walking distance of my house, we don't need to spend any money to have a lovely day out and Dylan is entertained for hours with a bucket and spade and somewhere to run around!


The light. Earlier mornings and later evenings mean there is so much more natural light and this makes taking a good picture much easier. I rely on my smart phone for a camera and so sunlight is definitely my friend.

Picnics in the park. As a breastfeeding mummy,  there is only so long I can spend in the park when it is chilly but with the spring sunshine we can spend all day outside.



 It may not be as warm as I would like yet, but spring is definitely on the way, and I can't wait!  What do you love about spring?





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Monday, 15 April 2013

Win a Children's Table and Chairs

You may have seen in my post about the boy's playroom that they have a gorgeous little wooden table and chairs. Dylan has loved sitting up to his table to do puzzles and colouring and has even been allowed to eat his dinner at his own special table.  It has been a big hit in our house, and I have one to give away as well!


The table and chairs come in 3 colour options, pink, blue or white and would be the perfect accompaniament to any child's nursery or play room!  Entry couldn't be easier, just complete the rafflecopter below!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Disclaimer:  This prize is provided by K&Co 
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Friday, 12 April 2013

A Simple Smile

Is there anything in life more infectious than a baby's smile?



Thought not!

Archie appears to be a pretty serious little man which makes the smiles even more worthwhile working for. This is the first time I have caught one on camera, and I couldn't resist sharing his gorgeous little face and that gummy grin.
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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Dylan Right Now

Dylan is now 20 months - only four months until he turns 2!

Dylan recognises and can say lots of colours now, including green, red, blue, yellow, pink, orange, grey and white

Dylan would live on oranges given half the chance.


Dylan's favourite words to say are pushchair, kitchen, octopus and door.

Dylan is definitely a bit of a Grandma's boy.

Dylan is loving learning his numbers.


Dylan is enjoying big brotherhood and likes to hold Archie's hand and point out all of his facial features (especially while Archie is trying to enjoy some milk!).

Dylan's favourite books are 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' and 'The Gruffalo'

Dylan wakes up in the morning with the most ridiculous bed hair and always asking for Cheerios and Lego.

Dylan has recently started climbing onto the sofa and chairs, but he still likes help.


Dylan has size 6 feet and is wearing age 2-3 clothes.

Dylan loves to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates (just for the songs), The Snowman and the Skeleton Dance.

Dylan sleeps with Duckie, an owl cushion, a dog and a bear in his cot.

Dylan is completely and utterly gorgeous.


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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Jeanography Review



Having had a baby only seven weeks ago, I am certainly not feeling my best.  The bags under my eyes seem to have settled in for the long run and it is proving rather challenging finding time to get dressed every day let alone style myself a nice outfit!  As for going shopping, you clearly have not met my boys- they work as a tag team and the toddler has far too much energy to be let loose and far too long arms to be confined to the pushchair.  This has meant that since having Archie I have yet to hang up my maternity jeans!

Jeanography offer a service called Fit First Time, where you can shop online for jeans with a little help from their wonderful guides, and pick three pairs to be delivered to your house free of charge.  Once you have them, you can try them on in the peace of your own home once the children are in bed, and with all your own mirrors to see how they look.  Once you have chosen which pair are the right ones, you can return the other two completely free of charge, and then pay for your new jeans!

I have always struggled to find jeans that are a good fit on me and I find many high street brands cater for one particular shape - which I am very often not.  Jeanography has information about the fit and there seemed to be something for everyone.

I tested out the service this week and was so impressed.  I spent a while browsing the different styles, brands and designs before settling on three pairs that I really couldn't choose between, Hudson Jeans Signature Regular Rise Bootcut in GowerJames Jeans Twiggy Mid Rise Legging in Blue Black and Hudson Jeans Collin Signature Skinny in Stockport.  I picked out my size and ordered them for home delivery.  If you order before 4pm they should be with you next day but having a newborn, my hands are tied until the bloke is home and toddler in bed so I did my shopping with my feet up on the sofa and some trashy TV in the background.


I had an email early the next morning from the team, who noticed I had ordered a bigger size in one pair and letting me know they had a shipment just arrived with the smaller size in that pair if I wanted to swap - I was really impressed that they thought to do this and I decided to try the smaller size.  The jeans arrived the day after, nicely packaged and ready for me to try.  Not only did I have peace and quiet, I had the bloke to tell me which looked best and all my shoes and boots to hand to check that they were the right length for how I would want to wear them.

I loved all three pairs and thanks to the advice on the website, I had picked the perfect size in them all.  Making the decision was tough but there was one pair that seemed to fit perfectly and I fell in love.  Sending the other two pairs back was easy, and the courier collected them at a time convenient for me, free of charge.  The box that the jeans arrived in had a handy way of resealing, so there really was no hassle whatsoever!


The jeans I chose are the Hudson Jeans in Gower.  They have a bootcut which I love with my tiny heeled boots and even more with my flip flops in the summer (I am being optomistic, I know!)  Jeans are a staple part of my wardrobe as with two under two, I need something hardwearing and that goes with everything (including baby sick and tomato sauce!) and these are perfect.


I was so impressed with this service and would completely recommend it to any parents out there that just don't get to make time for themselves any more.  Shopping from the luxury of your own home with the easiest free delivery and returns I have ever come across!

Jeanography are running a fantastic competition for you to win your choice of jeans up to £250 so don't forget to enter below!





Disclaimer:  I have kept my chosen pair of jeans free of charge in exchange for writing this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own, and I honestly do love this idea so much!
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Monday, 8 April 2013

Dylan's New Playroom

It has taken four months, but we have finally finished unpacking and Dylan and Archie have their very own space.  Our living room is nice and long so we have decided to have half as an adult end with the sofas and TV, and the other half for the boys.  The idea is that it is their playroom, without being in a separate room and the bloke and I can have nice relaxed evenings without toys covering every surface.


We have a lovely bookcase from Tidy Books in blue wood, so I bought some blue wooden toy storage too to contain the multitude of toys that we have accumulated over the past twenty months.



We have been sent a gorgeous blue wooden table and chairs too and  Dylan loves to sit up at his table and do some drawing or puzzles.






The set was a little tricky to put together, but the bloke managed it by himself and the table and chairs seem nice and sturdy now.  I think they will last Dylan quite some time as he has plenty of growing space but he can climb onto the chair by himself too.  They are the perfect addition to our playroom!




Disclaimer:  We were sent the table and chairs free of charge but all thoughts, opinions and photos are completely my own.

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The Start of Spring

After rain, snow, wind and more snow, we finally appear to be getting some of the spring sunshine we have been waiting for.  Saturday was the first time I wasn't worried about packing extra blankets in the pushchair and we took a short journey on the train to a local town, Whitstable to explore.

spring sun, whitstable

Whitstable is a beautiful town with lots of quirky little stores selling all sorts of beautiful things, from vintage clothing to tea sets and gorgeous baby bits that I really wanted to buy. Luckily as they are all old buildings my double pushchair was a challenge to get inside, so my pennies remained (mostly) safe. 

knitted pram, knitted pram cover, whitstable

whitstable, girly buys, whitstable tea sets

 After a lovely lunch, we took the boys for a stroll and enjoyed our first dose of sunshine this year. Whitstable has a lovely pebble beach which we are not used to as our closest beaches are sand but Dylan loved looking at all the rocks and stones as he explored. He ran around in his new Superman top (complete with cape!) and made friends with every parent, child and dog in sight.

Superman!

toddler exploring, whitstable beach, toddler pebbles

It certainly wasn't warm but with no breeze and bright sunshine it wasn't too cold and we took a stroll along the sea front, admiring the boats and little cafes selling fresh oysters and seafood.  Archie was unusually settled in the Bugaboo, and Dylan was his usual excitable self, running around with squeals of excitement at everything he saw.

oyster bar, whitstable beach
Anyone for Oysters?

A lovely coffee with friends and we got home just in time to put two rather exhausted little boys to bed! I am really hoping this weather sticks around as it is lovely being able to spend more time outside without worrying about frozen fingers and hundreds of layers!

bugaboo donkey, asleep in bugaboo donkey, sleeping buggy

Welcome Spring!



 Whitstable beach, pebble beach, spring sunshine


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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Two Little Boys

One of the great delights of having two little boys is getting to be the cruel mummy who dresses them in matching outfits and takes loads of photos! As Dylan is in 2-3 year clothing, they are generally in different departments now, but we have been sent a jumper for Dylan and matching romper for Archie from Cashmirino and I couldn't resist matching them up this week.










Both items are 100% Cashmere and beautifully soft.  The romper has buttons down the back which is perfect for my tummy sleeper.  Dylan's jumper is in age 4 (he is 20 months), and seems to be a good fit on him, although I think he will be wearing it for quite some time!  Archie's romper is sized 3 months.




I love the boys in their matching outfits and they were even better for cuddling being so soft!


Disclaimer:  We were sent the jumper and romper free of charge, but all thoughts, opinions and photos are completely my own.
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