Saturday 30 March 2013

Happy Easter

My favourite chocolate has to be a cadbury's chocolate egg.  Nothing beats what is wrapped in that shiny purple paper, and the fact it usually comes alongside a couple of yummy creme eggs is certainly a bonus!  This year Dylan is old enough to have a little bit of chocolate, although we are still limiting it as he has never had more than a bite or so before and Archie is definitely too little (although as I am breastfeeding, I could always eat his share?!)

I have been getting crafty in the evenings in preperation for the big day and made some egg shaped rattles for the littlest one so that he can join in this Easter.  I found the idea on the lovely Red Ted Art blog and thought it was within my capabilities, and would be perfect for the boys.

It involves all things we had in the house, and as I prepared an omlette, instead of cracking it, I made a small hole in each end and blew the egg out into the bowl.  I rinsed the egg shells and left them to dry, before filling them with some rice and covering them in paper mache.  Voila . . . home made egg rattles!  I used coloured tissue paper to make things easier, but if I make them next year I would do it with newspaper so that Dylan can enjoy painting them.

I was very impressed with my effort and my plan is to hide them around the garden on sunday so Dylan can have a mini egg hunt as well. 

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and that the Easter bunny is very generous!

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Thursday 28 March 2013

Vertbaudet Baby Clothes Review

We were sent some clothes from the online store Vertbaudet and Archie has been doing a great job modelling them.  

The sleepsuits feel lovely and soft and I love the designs.  The blue in the sleepsuits is not a shade I have seen much of and I thought it really suited my little man.  The sleepsuits do up in an old fashioned way with poppers on the back and I love the smooth look on the front and found them very easy to change a nappy in.  We were sent these sleepsuits in 'up to one month' and they were a little small on Archie, however he was a particularly long baby.  I would advise to go a size bigger if you want the clothes to last a little longer.

We have been able to show off this gorgeous outfit now that spring has arrived and the trousers and T-shirt look adorable!  I found that the outfit was soft and comfortable and is a great middle ground between sleepsuits and proper outfits. 

Disclaimer:  We were sent a selection of items for Archie for the purpose of a review, however all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
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Wednesday 27 March 2013

Cosatto Supa Dupa Review

Having two children under twenty months, a double buggy is inevitable and as part of my role as Cosatto Brand Buddy, we have been reviewing their new Supa Dupa double stroller.

Cosatto Supa Dupa, cosatto double, big bro little bro, double stroller

The Supa Dupa was super easy to put together and comes complete with two newborn headhuggers, two foot muffs, two insulated bottle holders, a cup holder and a raincover.

We chose the Big Bro, Little Bro design and it was love at first sight.  The pushchair is colourful and bold without being too bright and I loved the colour scheme.  I think the design is great for slightly older children as they really take on the role as 'big bro' and the fact that both sides are clearly marked means no readjusting the straps each time!
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Monday 25 March 2013

It Goes So Fast

When you are pregnant for the first time, everyone warns you how fast they grow up, yet you still find yourself wishing away the days and longing for the next milestone.  I loved the first few days, but I was in an adrenaline haze and they flew by.  Before I knew it, my little baby was sitting up, eating solids and showing off his cheeky personality at every opportunity.

This time I am determined to enjoy every single precious moment, because I know how fleeting the newborn days are.  I still find it hard to believe that a whole month has gone by since that wonderful day when I met my beautiful little boy for the first time but I have been trying to enjoy and capture every single day.  

Despite knowing the advice, I have let Archie nap on me when he wants to (which is pretty much all the time!).  He may form bad habits but in my opinion there is nothing more precious than curling up with a sleeping newborn snoring away on your chest.  He is my little hot water bottle and we are both happiest snuggled up together.  Our cuddles are limited due to an energetic toddler and his busy social life so I really make the most of the ones we do get. 

Our baby bath is sat on the bathroom floor unused, as Archie has shared all of his baths with me.  I love the excuse for skin to skin which we don't get many chances for with the cold weather and he is so relaxed lying in my arms in the warm water.  It won't be long before he is sharing his baths with his big brother, splashing away and singing the penguin songs, so I am enjoying the extra quiet time together whilst he is so small.

It won't be long until Archie is in jeans and T-shirts looking like a real little boy, but for his first month we have chosen to keep him in comfy sleepsuits (apart from his red nose day outfit).  I love him looking like a baby and whilst he sleeps all day (or is meant to), pajamas seem like the best choice!  We are introducing some little outfits now too, but staying with soft and cosy as I know I will have plenty of chances to dress him in trendy togs when he is bigger.

I may be over enthusiastic with my camera phone, but not a day of Archie's life has gone by so far without a photo being taken,  Every day he amazes me with his beauty and I want to remember the moment.  The first time Dylan held his hand, the first time he wore a hand knitted cardigan from Nanny, the first time he fell asleep snoring with his mouth wide open - each moment precious and perfect and eternally recorded to terrorise him as a teenager.  

These newborn days go so fast and as I watched my 4 week old baby boy roll over this week I remembered exactly why I am trying so hard to slow down the time.  Every milestone is precious, but every ordinary day is equally so.
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Thursday 21 March 2013

One Month In

I'm not sure if it is the fact that February is so short, but this first month of Archie's life has flown by.  According to my information a baby is considered a newborn for three months, which means I am a third of the way through those squishy, cuddly new baby days and I would love for time to slow down!

one month old baby, creative monthly baby photos, one month

Archie has been an alert and curious baby since the moment he entered the world and that certainly has not changed.  Whoever said that
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Wednesday 20 March 2013

The Essential Ones Review

I may be bias but it is pretty clear to me that my baby boy is completely and utterly scrummy.  I wondered whether I would take as many photos as I did when Dylan was little and it is safe to say my camera phone may as well be glued to my hand.  A lovely bundle of clothes from the Essential Ones gave me just another excuse to snap away, so I will let the photos do the talking here!

essential ones, bright baby grow, gorgeous newborn clothing, blue and white star baby
Cute baby, cute clothes! 
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Monday 18 March 2013

Never too cold!

I am a strong believer that children should play outside as much as possible.  I am as guilty as the next person of putting on the TV more than I ever thought I would, but I like to balance it with some good old fashioned outdoor play.  If we come home with muddy knees and scuffed up shoes then I consider it a successful day out.  I think there are so many benefits to outdoor play; the fresh air, the exercise and the mobility skills that my toddler is constantly learning are just a few.  As well as trips to feed the ducks, walks on the beach and trips to the zoo we all love an afternoon at the park.

winter park, outdoor play, country kids

Recently the weather hasn't been too great, but we haven't let that stand in the way and Dylan is not put off at all when I have to scrape ice off the slide before he can go down it.  Obviously we make sure we are wrapped up nice and warm and Archie has been having well timed naps all snug in his snowsuit in the pram whilst we play.  Between the snow and rain, we have been playing football, climbing and swinging at the park and having a great time as we do it.

country kids, playing outside in winter, outdoor play, ramsgate

No matter how cold and windy it is, or how rosy red the little guy's cheeks get,I still have to drag him away from the park (or more often than not bribe him into the buggy with a well deserved banana!)  I have a beautiful sleeper in Dylan and I don't know whether all the fresh air he gets is a contributing factor to this.

fun in the park, park in winter, ellington park

Does anyone else have a crazy toddler so obsessed with the park they will brave any weather?
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Sunday 17 March 2013

Easywalker Duo Review

We have now been using the Easywalker Duo for one month and it has taken on the nickname 'monster truck'.  The Duo is a well built and sturdy buggy and the air filled tires give the pushchair height.  It may not fit through my front door (no side by side doubles do) but it is perfect for our active lifestyle as I feel like the monster truck can cope with anything.  I chose the duo is red as I am not a fan of black buggies and the colour is gorgeous and really stands out.

Easywalker Duo, red double buggy, monster truck pushchair,

 The pushchair has the option of a forward facing seat unit or carrycot on both sides meaning it is suitable from newborn onwards.  The carrycot is sturdy, spacious and comes with a mosquito net and a mattress cover which is very well thought out.  It is easy to put on and takeoff the pushchair, so I get Archie all ready in there before we go out and simply clip it in when the buggy is set up.  

easywalker duo, double pushchair with carrycot, double buggy, easywalker

The seat unit has several recline positions and is lovely and spacious even with my chunky nineteen month old.  This is very important for me as we are out a lot and I see Dylan needing a buggy for quite some time so I require one that accommodates him comfortably and that he can nap in.  The seats are only forward facing, but they have a large panel in the top that can be pulled back to reveal a clear plastic peep hole and Dylan and I love playing peekaboo through it.  It can be clipped back too if you want to keep an eye on them.  The hood is a good size, and has an extra sun shield that can be pulled down at the front as well (which Dylan loves to play with) .  Although it doesn't have clips to hold it in place at the side, I almost got blown over by the wind today, and the hoods held out fine so it really isn't necessary!

easywalker duo, peep hole on pushchair

The buggy is easy to fold without any tricky foot movements, there is simply a red button to push forward at the side and then two clips to push as the buggy folds in half.  Even folded the pushchair is bulky but the seat units stay attached ( carrycots must be removed ) so it is not fiddly   The Duo is a heavy pushchair to carry, but you really can't tell when you push it and it is very easy to get up curbs and steer even with a heavy toddler weighing it down!  I was suprised at how smooth and light it felt to push with two children and a rather large nappy bag on board!  I managed to hold one child and push with the other hand without any problems which is rather handy as there is always one that wants a cuddle!

I did have a few problems with the front wheels at the beginning as they kept locking but it didn't take long to work it out.  It is much harder to push when the front wheels don't swivel, so make sure you have them in right!

There are two baskets - both nice and large and they have two sips at the front to extend them.  I have the pink lining twins bag and it comfortable fits under one side with the zips down and was nice and easy to get in and out.  The rain cover is quite rigid and does take up a lot of space underneath but is very sturdy and spacious when in use and we have been using it quite a lot with the current weather!  There is a different raincover for when using two seats or one seat and one carrycot/carseat.  There is also a lovely handy pocket on the carrycot which I have been keeping a spare muslin in (you never know when you are going to need one!) and this is one of my favourite features of the pushchair.

Overall I am very impressed with the Easywalker Duo.  It did take me a few trips to get used to it's size and steer but I feel like my boys are safe and secure in there and they seem incredibly comfortable!  In an ideal world I would be able to have the boys facing me, but to have a pushchair that does this you would lose it's ability to fold in one piece.  I think the Easywalker Duo is worth the money as it feels like a pushchair built to last and the tyres make it suitable for all terrains.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the Easywalker Duo for the purpose of this review but all thoughts, opinions and photos are completely my own.
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Friday 15 March 2013

Suddenly So Big

For 18 months,  Dylan has been my baby boy, and in all honesty I will probably always think of him as my baby, after all I am still my mum's baby.  Since Archie has arrived though, I have realised quite how big Dylan has got.  Not only does he seem twice the size he was before the little one arrived, he seems to have turned into a proper little boy as well.

It is watching my two boys together that makes me realise quite how much they change in 19 months.  As Dylan wanders round repeating the last word of everything you say, Archie watches on, taking it all in.  

Archie sees the world in black and white, whilst Dylan is busy learning his colours, (although we still get red and green mixed up a lot).

As Archie struggles to hold his head in one place, Dylan is practising standing on one leg and learning to run.

Whilst Archie spends his days constantly being fed, Dylan . . . well . . .some things don't change!

Dylan has become a proper little chatterbox with an answer for everything.  He is curious, mischievous and constantly learning.  He has come such a long way from that tiny little baby he once was, and seeing him next to his little brother only serves to remind me of the wonderful first 19 months we have had.

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Thursday 14 March 2013

My Pregnancy Adventure

I started blogging just over a year ago as a mother of one gorgeous baby boy.  I recorded my life with Dylan, our milestones, our days and our moments.  I love making memories with him and I love having a permanent reminder of our little adventures.

In the middle of last year I found out that Dylan was going to be a big brother and so this blog became a way of recording my pregnancy with Squish whilst all the while keeping an energetic toddler entertained.  I announced our news just after Dylan's first birthday and kept a bump diary from 12 weeks until the little man arrived, just days before his due date.

I absolutely love pregnancy and I am so happy to have a reminder of my growing bump, the way I felt and the excitement.  I also love the fact that other people have followed my pregnancy adventure and enjoyed it enough to nominate me in the MAD blog awards.

I am excited to say I am now a finalist in Best Pregnancy Blog alongside 4 brilliant bloggers whose journeys I have enjoyed reading about over the last few months.  I have no expectations of winning the award but I am over the moon to have got this far and am looking forward to the big awards ceremony and party in September!  

If you have read my pregnancy posts and enjoyed them, then please do feel free to send a vote my way.  Virtual cakes will be winging their way to you!  You can vote for The Mummy Adventure by clicking on the badge below : 

The MAD Blog Awards

There are some amazing blogs in this year's finals including some of my favourites and I am not looking forward to having to choose between them! 

Good Luck to all the finalists. 
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Wednesday 13 March 2013

Shnuggle Review

The Shnuggle moses basket is a fantastic product, and one that we have been lucky enough to test with our new addition.  The actual basket is made of plastic so unlike it's wicker counterparts, it can be cleaned and sterilised completely.  It maintains the traditional moses basket look and feel though, and we have had nothing but compliments as it proudly stands in our living room.

The basket is a good size and I am hoping that Archie will fit comfortably in there for quite some time.  The hood stays up on it's own and the classic cream waffle colour means it would be perfect for a little boy or girl.  We have the moses basket on a stand, and it is the perfect height as Dylan can peek at his brother and reach him for a stroke but not reach in far enough to do much else - Archie sleeps safely!

I have found the basket brilliant to carry round the house as the plastic base means it doesn't squeak or make a noise and wake the little man up.  As Dylan is still young enough to not quite understand Archie's limits, I do tend to take Archie with me as I move rooms and the Shnuggle is easy to carry with the handles and silent meaning sleep is not disturbed.  The basket has a carry handle either side.

Archie is a very snuggly baby and is not a fan of being put down at all, but he seems to happy in his Shnuggle  and we have been encouraging him into napping in there more often.  He is taking to it well and we have some teddies in there to keep him company

I am so impressed with the Shnuggle and think it is definitely worth investing in.  We have a family crib that has been passed down through generations and been a bed to many, many babies, but it is now not at it's best and the wicker sides need to be completely covered on the inside to make it safe for a precious little person.  I am hoping that the Shnuggle will take over as being so easily cleaned it would be perfect to use again.

Not only is it functional it is beautiful and I love watching my gorgeous baby sleep so peacefully in there.

Shnuggle are also launching a new baby bath later on this year, which is crowd funded.  This means that you can help contribute to getting the product to market by purchasing one of the baths now ready for the July launch or making a donation in exchange for a limited edition Shnuggle bath mitt.  The product looks fab and I can't wait to see more once it is officially launched!  If you want to find out more and help Shnuggle get their product to market then check out the Shnuggle Blog

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a Shnuggle moses basket for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Sunday 10 March 2013

Mother's Day

I will never forget the life changing moments when I first held my babies.  My heart seemed to double in size and I couldn't bring myself to believe that the gorgeous, helpless little baby in my arms was really mine.  I will also always remember the first time my mum held my two beautiful boys.  I have never been prouder than sharing my biggest achievements with the woman who once held me with the same awe and amazement.

My mum's first cuddle with Dylan at the hospital.
 I come from a close family (despite some pretty horrible teenage years) and my mum is the one person I can always go to for advice and reassurance.  I have learnt to be a parent from her and I am still learning. She has always been there for me and not a day goes past that Dylan doesn't excitedly ask for his 'Manma'.  She is the perfect grandma to my boys - spoiling them rotten, teaching them and loving them.

My Mum meeting newborn Archie in the MLU
This Mother's Day will be my first as a mother of two and I will be spending it with my two beautiful children, but it will be my mum's 26th Mother's day as my mum and I hope I have told her every single one just how important she is to me.  

Happy Mother's Day
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Wednesday 6 March 2013

Big Brother

I can't imagine a bigger change for an 18 month old than suddenly having to share all the attention with a new little person.  After a year and a half of being an only child, Dylan now has a baby brother to share with, and as parents we have two children to look after, to cuddle and to spoil.

becoming a big brother, baby brothers, toddler and baby

I know that every child reacts differently but my little man has taken it all in his stride.  He has accepted the new little member of our family and so far we haven't seen any jealousy.  In fact, after two weeks of life as a foursome, when I took Archie out in the pram it was not the usual 'Muuummmmmy' cries at the door as we left, but 'Buuubbbba' instead! 

Dylan has been generous with his kisses and although he hasn't been bothered about cuddles with the little guy yet, he is happy to snuggle up to Archie and I during feed times.  He hasn't questioned Archie's sudden permanant attachment to me although we did have a confused face and an insistence that the milk came from the kitchen rather than from Mummy.

child and baby brother, becoming a brother, childhood brothers

Dylan wakes up in the morning calling out for his Bubba and spends the day checking on him and stroking him.  When we are out in the buggy, he likes to keep checking that he is still in his carrycot and proudly telling me that Bubba Archie is there next to him.  It has made getting him into a pushchair much easier too! 

proud brother, bugaboo donkey, brothers in double pushchair

With the bloke back at work now I am really hoping that his behaviour stays this way as I am so proud of my 'big' baby boy.  I am trying to make Dylan feel as special as possible and am enjoying the fact that Archie still sleeps for the majority of the day but I know things will get harder as Archie gets more demanding.  I am hoping that the wonders of a brother and playmate will make up for the fact that the boys now have to share my attention.

Dylan is such a fantastic big brother and I am so proud of him.
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Monday 4 March 2013

Guest Post - Pregnant And Apart: Things That I Wish Were Different


Firstly, a huge congratulations to Bex on the arrival of little Squish – what a cutie! 

It’s a hectic time for any parent in those first few weeks and months, so I’m here today with a guest post to take away some of the stress and worry of keeping the site updated during such a busy time. 

And, in-keeping with the flavour of the month, I’d like to talk to you about what pregnancy can be like from a man’s perspective and what I could have personally done differently in an ideal world. 

I was relatively young when our first-born came along – still only 20 years old and in the final year of university. 
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Friday 1 March 2013

Paternity Leave

The first two weeks after the birth of a baby are a lovely time.  Granted, you may not feel up to making the most of them but that time as a new family is so precious and I have loved the bloke being off work as we learn a new life as a family of four.

Today is the last day of his paternity leave and he will be back to work as normal on Monday morning leaving me to work out a new routine with my two little boys.  

These first two weeks have been magical and having the bloke around has meant I can enjoy those newborn baby snuggles, and let Archie sleep curled up on my chest.  I can lay in bed and watch the little guy sleep and I can feed him as soon as he wants milk, however often that may be.  It has also meant I can sit on the floor and do puzzles with Dylan, kick a football with him in the park and curl up on the sofa with him reading stories.

Archie's favourite nap spot - on Mummy.

The ratio of two parents to two children is wonderful and has meant both boys have had lots of attention and help in adjusting to our new little family.  We have been out for lunches and for walks, we have spent time all cuddled up on the sofa and we have welcomed our newest member as a family.

The boys have cuddles

With the bloke returning to work though, it is all change and I am hoping that we cope with it well.  I haven't quite worked out the logistics of getting the three of us up, dressed, fed and out the house at a reasonable time yet and I haven't worked out how my little milk monster and my energetic toddler will share my time but I know we will cope and that we will find our own ways and routine.  It will never be as simple and easy as these last two weeks though and I can only imagine that cbeebies will play a much bigger role!

My Little Family

Today is the official end of our little honeymoon period although we have the weekend still to enjoy.  I am both dreading the bloke going back to work and am also really excited to jump into my new role as mother to two!  We have had a lovely day out today, fighting over who gets to push the double buggy and enjoying both boys napping at the same time with a lovely mocha and chocolate cake.  We have kept both boys happy even when they were needing attention at the same time and been a family of four.

Wish me luck for Monday morning!
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