Monday 30 June 2014

Me and Mine - June

June has been a busy month, that saw the end of our breastfeeding journey, and me spending not only my first night away from Archie, but my second, third and fourth as well.  The time away meant our family time was even more precious and after two nights away at Britmums Live ( a blogging conference for any non-bloggy readers), I couldn't wait to get back to my boys.

We spent an afternoon cuddling, playing and telling our stories, and then strolled down to the beach for an evening picnic.  Dinner at the beach can mean only one thing and that of course, is fish and chips.  The boys played in the sand with their new bucket and spade and then we laid out our blanket to eat together.

Unfortunately most of the photos came out terribly, but as I wasn't particularly organised (and it was an incredibly busy month), we had to make do with this one.  We managed to capture our family together in June.

family photo, family photo project, me and mine,

Mummy is loving going to Glasgow for the night, drying nappies on the line, drinking ice cold cans of Coca Cola and lots of meals out.

Daddy is loving his new BBQ, the world cup, wispa golds and having a dishwasher

Dylan is loving days out at the beach, going to the cinema with friends, playing with his cousin Katie and telling everyone and anyone about the pre-school he is going to when he is 3.

Archie is loving his shape sorter toy, playing with the potty, drinking gallons of water and grabbing you round the neck for the biggest cuddles.
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Friday 27 June 2014

Our Little Garden

We are lucky to have an outdoor space and whilst it isn't ideal for a young family, we are making it our own.  It is on three levels and mostly paved or concrete but there is a border that was full of overgrown weeds when we moved in.   This summer is the first that both boys will be walking and playing and we are looking forward to spending as much as possible of it outdoors.

With a little a lot of help from my lovely Dad, we cleared all the weeds leaving two trees and lots of soil and the lovely folks over at Plant Me Now offered us something to brighten it up as part of their project to #GetKidsGardening.  I sat down with the boys to take a look at their summer bedding collection and allowed Dylan full control of plant ordering.  He went for a theme of blue, white and yellow and seemed very insistent that all the flowers should be in these colours!

ordering our plants, plant me now

I have no admit to having never really done any gardening before, but I managed (with a little help), to plant our collection of flowers in the garden.  The boys loved getting involved, and whilst Archie mostly wanted to pull the plants back out of the ground, Dylan loved pulling them out of the plant pots and helping dig the holes.  We had treated him to a new watering can so he was on hand to make sure all the plants were well fed.

get kids gardening, toddler gardening, baby gardening
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Wednesday 25 June 2014

Dylan at 34 Months

34 months, toddler development, toddler diaries
Whilst I still write monthly about Archie, I have never documented Dylan in the same way.  I never managed weekly, monthly or even quarterly posts, but sporadically write about where he is at.  At 34 months, he is racing towards 3 and from September he will be considered a pre-schooler (which is a pretty scary fact!).  For now though, he is my baby boy, and at 2 years and 10 months he is leaving behind the toddler traits.

34 months old, toddler development, Ramsgate beach, the mummy adventure

You would never guess to meet him that my baby boy is only two.  He has a confidence which doesn't come from me, and appears to not have a shy bone in his body.  He is inquisistive, curious and constantly wanting to know what is happenening (and what is for his next meal).  He stands tall at one metre and we have started buying clothes in age 4-5 to account for his size.  His feet have shot up to a nine and his shoes are discarded with little wear as he grows so fast.
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Monday 23 June 2014

16 Months Old

16 months, toddler development, end of breastfeeding
Archie is no longer 'just turned one', and he seems to be racing towards the next chapter with speed.  There is no denying he has entered the toddler stage and he is challenging, cuddly, always up to mischief and has the cheekiest grin I have ever seen.

He is learning more words although the most over used is still water which he seems to ask for every twenty minutes.  He certainly knows how to communicate and if you don't want half his dinner all over the carpet then you grab his bowl as soon as you hear him saying 'all done'.  Unfortunately one of the only words he doesn't seem to really grasp is 'no' - in fact he may start thinking it is part of his name as we are often heard shouting 'Archie, NO!' as he prods his brother/turns the TV off/tries to climb into the oven/ throws books down the stairs.  After a calm first child, Archie is making up for it.

16 months old, 16 month old boy, baby boy, toddler development, end of breastfeeding

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Friday 20 June 2014

Time Away

It isn't very often I have time away from my boys, and this month we left the children overnight for the first time with my parents when we went to a gig in London.  This week, I seem to be spending more time away than I am with my family and after being a stay at home mum for so long, there for every moment, every early morning and every kiss goodnight, it seems a bit strange.

For the first time I have missed two bedtimes in a row, two bedtime stories, four sleepy cuddles.  A meeting up in Glasgow meant flying up the night before and not seeing my babies for nearly 48 hours.  This weekend I will be joining the blogger crowds at Britmums Live for another two nights without my favourite people.

It isn't all bad, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to some time away.  Being something else than 'Mummy', having a bed to myself with an alarm that isn't quite so unpredictable (and that sounds a lot less like a child) and having the chance to miss them and appreciate them all the more on my return.

My two days away during the week made me value our day together so much more and I know the cuddles on Sunday when I return will be priceless.  I know I will miss my beautiful boys and that they will miss me, but sometimes time away is needed.

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Tuesday 17 June 2014

Sleeping Like a Baby

Bambino merino, sleeping bag, merino wool sleeping bag, sleeping bag review, baby sleep
Whoever coined the phrase 'sleeping like a baby' clearly never had one.  Archie turns 16 months today and there are still nights I find myself wandering into his room in a daze thanks to his insistence that he needs a little 4am cuddle.  More often than not he now manages a good 12 or 13 hours uninterrupted but not enough for me to consider him 'sleeping through' just yet.

Bambino Merino make gorgeously soft baby and toddler sleeping bags and they sent us one of their baby ones (which goes from 2 to 24 months) for Archie.  It arrived beautifully packaged and I love the Ruby colour we had chosen.  The blue and red stripes looked great and went well with Archie's colourful sleepsuits.

merino wool, merino sleeping bag, bambino merino

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Sunday 15 June 2014

Joe Browns Review and Giveaway

I don't very often get to shop for myself, and I have a tendency to head straight to the childrenswear department in any store, so I was happy to say yes when Joe Browns offered me the chance to choose something for myself.  I initially went for a lovely summer dress but unfortunately I found the sizing quite big and couldn't get a dress that fitted.  I had no problems choosing something else and went for a lovely blue tunic top and some sandals.

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Friday 13 June 2014

The Beach Life

We are lucky enough to have a beach within walking distance from our house and this year we plan on making the most of it.  It will be our first proper summer as a family of four (as we spent most of last summer in hospital) and it has started well with sunshine, the sand to ourselves and a sneaky ice cream or two. These are a few photos from our week.

baby on the beach, ramsgate, toddler

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Thursday 12 June 2014

Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Fathers day is very nearly upon us and if you haven't started shopping for the man in your life then you are not alone.  The bloke has very kindly offered to test a few fathers day gift ideas (it is really hard work living with a blogger sometimes), so check out his reviews below.

The Braun 380s-4 Electric Razor

What they say:
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Tuesday 10 June 2014

The End of Something

It has been over three and a half years since my body felt truly my own, and it is strange to have it back.  After two pregnancies and two stints of breastfeeding, it doesn't come naturally to put on a pretty bra and a fitted dress.  Last week I breastfed Archie for the last time, without having a clue that it was to be the end and I suddenly find myself not 'needed' in the same way I have been for so long.

I knew I was going to miss one feed as I wouldn't be around at bedtime, but Archie chose the night before and after to sleep through the night, meaning I missed three feeds in a row and when he didn't seem bothered on the second night it felt right to bring things to an end.  It had been on the cards for a few weeks but I had no idea on that warm spring evening as we curled up together in the rocking chair that it would be our last breastfeed.

Our journey was relatively smooth and enjoyable.  I wanted to breastfeed for at least eight months but was sure I would finish by a year.  By eleven months we were only feeding at home but neither of us was ready to stop so we continued with no plan or goal in mind.  Archie is now fifteen months and an active, energetic toddler.  He is walking, talking, causing mischief wherever he goes and operating any machinery he can get close to.  He has had the best start in life that I could give him and I feel happy that we had what we had.

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Thursday 5 June 2014

Personalised Newborn Gifts

I love buying gifts for newborns and always have.  Before I had given motherhood a second thought, I would browse the aisles in Mothercare looking for the perfect little outfit for a new baby.  Now as a mother to two beautiful boys, I still get  excited when friends and family welcome new babies and I have an excuse to shop for a newborn.  I love personalised presents, and thought I would round up my top 5 personalised gifts for new babies.

personalised newborn gifts

My 1st Years

My 1st Years sell a range of personalised gifts suitable for newborns, but it is the summer romper that I love as a Newborn gift.  The romper comes beautifully packaged in their signature green box with white bow.  The material is light and strong and you can have any name embroidered on the front, with a choice of threads.  I love this as a gift for a new baby as it looks incredibly comfortable, easy to put on and good quality.  Most new parents end up with a huge amount of newborn clothes and not much in the bigger sizes, so this is a great gift all year round as you can plan ahead.

personalised newborn gifts

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Tuesday 3 June 2014

Just the Three of Us

Our lives seem busy, without me really being able to explain why.  Playdates, play groups, picnics in the park, people to see and places to be.  For two days a week the boys are in childcare whilst I work and for at least one day every week we have an extra toddler whilst I look after a friend's little boy.  At the weekends we enjoy time as a family of four and it is lovely having two of us around to do the parenting.

That doesn't leave a whole lot of time with just the boys and I, and after an extended maternity leave where we spent nearly a year just the three of us, we are still adjusting to the changes.  The time I do spend with my children is all the more special because of this.

We don't do anything particularly exciting, and that is what I most enjoy.  No day trips, long journeys or big days out.  We stay close to home so that we can enjoy each other's company.  We play at the park, we walk into town to pick up some groceries and have a cake at our favourite tea rooms, we play with playdough on the dining room table or we have a picnic in the garden.  

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Sunday 1 June 2014

Playing Outdoors with Megablocks

I have noticed a direct correlation between how much of the day my children spend outdoors, and how well they sleep.  They are boys who love to be outside, who thrive on freedom, space and fresh air.  From the moment they wake up in the morning, Dylan is asking me where we are going, and Archie is making a pile of shoes at my feet in, letting me know in his not-so-subtle way that he is ready to get out.

Megabloks sent us some of their outdoor toys to help us get out to play and they were a huge hit with the boys.  I hadn't realised that the Megabloks range went further than the blocks we know and love, but their ride ons and trucks helped us take the toys outdoors and we have been having lots of fun in the garden.

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