Tuesday 30 September 2014

Me and Mine - September

This month has been much quieter than the last, but we have just got home from a wonderful week in Rome, and so we had to get a family snap whilst we were there.  Unfortunately due to being a bit disorganised, we didn't manage to get one until the very last day, and we had to rely on an American tourist and my phone, as I had forgotten to take my camera charger away with me! Obviously we aren't all looking and/or smiling, but Archie isn't one for conforming anyway.

Mummy is loving feeling pretzel moving, exploring a new country, having one on one time with Archie and cheesy mash.

Daddy is loving the way Archie says Daddeeeee, spending a whole week with the boys on holiday, his new umbrella and the fact our caravan had a coffee machine.

Dylan is loving eating ice cream every day on holiday, going to preschool (especially if he gets to eat lunch there), the Explora museum in Rome and his new shoes.

Archie is loving bossing people around, babies, splashing in the giant pool on holiday and chasing pigeons (whilst quacking at them).

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Monday 29 September 2014

The Kudu 4 Review

The Kudu 4 is an award winning pushchair from Casualplay, and we have been testing it out over the past few weeks.  Suitable from birth, parent or world facing and with a compact fold, this is a lightweight stroller, suitable from birth to three years and comes in three different coloured fabrics with this black frame.

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A September Summer Holiday - The Beach Day

In case you haven't noticed it has been a bit quiet over here lately, whilst we have been enjoying a family holiday.  The bloke, the boys and I flew to Italy, and landed at Rome airport for a week staying at a Canvas Holidays caravan.  There will be plenty more on that this week, but my first post is more photos than words (after all, we have only just arrived back in the UK and my 3am alarm clock means today has been spent feeling tired and working my way through a mountain of washing).

Our holiday was a bit of everything - Caravan park fun, city break and time on a beautiful beach.  This post is about our day at the beach.  A twenty minute bus ride from the site, on a scorching hot day and we found our own spot of paradise.  The sand was much darker than in the UK, the shores emptier and the sun stronger.  We rented sunbeds and an umbrella, and the boys had buckets and spades.

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Thursday 18 September 2014

A Day out at Dover Castle

We love a family day out, and with Dover Castle so close, it was definitely time that we took the boys for the first time.  We managed to choose a beautifully warm day, and so headed to Tesco first to buy a picnic feast for 6 and to grab some petrol.

The boys love to explore, and there is nowhere better than a castle and its grounds.  From the moment we let them out the car they were off, Dylan in search of Mike the Knight and Archie looking for stones.  

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Monday 15 September 2014

15 Weeks Pregnant

15 weeks pregnant, bump diary, 15 weeks with third baby

After the twelve week marker taking so long to come around, the days and weeks seem to be flying by now, at just the point I want them to slow down.  15 weeks has brought with it few changes from my last update, other than some substantial growth. (These photos are all taken first thing in the morning before breakfast so as to be more accurate but by the end of the day I look huge!)

After a misleading few days of energy, I am feeling exhausted again, which I am not sure if it is down to pregnancy or the hectic life that is being a parent to a one and three year old.  A mixture of the two I suspect.  By the time the littlies are tucked up in bed, I am not up to much more than collapsing on the sofa, and there are days I am still desperate for a snooze by lunchtime.  I have started having more headaches, but I know that a good night's sleep is all it needs to go away.
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Friday 12 September 2014

Trunki Paddlepak Review and Giveaway

Every morning at the moment, Dylan wakes up and repacks his Trunki suitcase, in preperation for a holiday that is still over a week away.  He loves the responsibility of knowing it is his, and that he chooses what comes with us.  We were recently sent a paddlepak, the water resistant bag from Trunki, that is perfect not just for swimming, but for little adventures too.

Trunki paddlepak, lobster paddlpak

Dylan loves deciding what to bring with him - usually something completely unpractical of course, and our Pinch the lobster Paddlepak came perfectly packed with some Ella's Kitchen goodies inside.  We had a lovely family day out, and as well as carrying round his snacks and spare clothes, there was also space for those essentials, like a new cup and a pressed penny.

The Paddlepak is a fantastic bag, available in a variety of fishy designs.  The top is rolled down three times and secured with a buckle, making it airtight.  It is great as a swim bag, and is perfectly sized for a kid's towel, swim suit and of course the all important after swimming snack.  The tale holds a secret zipped pocket perfect for pocket money too.  On its own the bag is incredibly lightweight.

Trunki are giving me one of their paddlepaks to give away, just enter via the rafflecopter form below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday 9 September 2014

Starting Preschool

At three years, one month and six days, my biggest little one started preschool.  For the final year before he starts full time education at school, he will be doing his free 15 hours at a local preschool and to say he is ready is a bit of an understatement.

Dylan has been desperate to go to nursery, he wants to be around other children, be challenged in different ways and get that independence which is only really possible without me there.  I was nervous and excited for him.  I stayed up packing him a nutritious lunch last night, putting in his favourite things - nothing fancy, just food I know he loves.  I got his backpack ready and laid out his clothes and I prepared for seven hours without him.

I barely got a goodbye as he went in, and he couldn't leave until he had finished his game and said goodbye to his friends.  I know we made the right decision when he is so comfortable there from the very beginning.

first day of preschool, three years old, preschool pictures

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Monday 8 September 2014

A Mini Adventure

It is a well known fact that I don't get to do nearly enough puddle splashing on my birthday.  That is one of the biggest problems with August birthdays it seems, my wellies are usually left dry in the cupboard whilst my sandals enjoy pride of place on my feet.  This year we managed to change that, and I believe I am due warm and sunny birthdays for the next few years.

We live quite close to Dover, and when I had an email through earlier in the year telling me about discounted ferry sailings, I thought I would book a day, with the idea that if it was bad weather we just wouldn't go.  They were offering sailings for £1 return, and as infants don't becoming paying children until they turn 4, it meant £2 return for the whole family for a day trip!  We already have our passports and I booked the bank holiday Monday, forgetting about it soon afterwards.

As it happened, we decided not to be put off by a little bit of rain (OK, a lot of it), and just go prepared, so with our wellies and rain coats, we travelled down to Dover for a mini adventure.  

It was the boys' first time on a boat and they loved it.  From exploring the various restaurants, cafes and the (minuscule) play area to standing outside and watching the waves, they were curious and excited and I think even if we had stayed on the ferry and sailed straight home, they would have had a good day out.

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Friday 5 September 2014

Box Upon a Time

There are so many things you can get subsciption boxes for now, and I was excited to be contacted by Box upon a Time to see whether I would like to test out their children's clothing box service.

Filling in our information was easy, and I set up a personal profile for Archie, detailing the things he likes to wear, and things he doesn't.  It gave me the opportunity to not only pick out styles we liked but to also make sure if there was a colour of pattern we really didn't, that it wouldn't be included.  What would actually be inside the box though is a mystery until it arrives.  A stylist handpicks each item based on your profile and the £49 box I was offered should contain 3/4 items with a value between £80 and £120 (For my box it was £93).

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Tuesday 2 September 2014

13 Weeks Pregnant

As the first trimester comes to an end, I am finally coming out of the tired fog that characterised the first few weeks.  Whilst that pregnancy glow is still a distant dream, I have enough energy to get through the day again and things are only getting easier.

Now that my pregnancy is finally in the open, I can wear what I like again without worrying people will think I just ate a bit too much cake.  It feels like I have known for so much longer this time, but in a way I have as I found out a week earlier than with both the boys and my scan was later on too.  
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Monday 1 September 2014

Pregnancy - The Early Weeks

5 weeks Pregnant

If I have learned anything by now, it is that life doesn't always go to plan.  At 18, when I looked at my future it was full of possibility.  I had it all mapped out - married at 25, first baby at 27 and of course a high flying, well paid job at the same time.  At 23 I fell pregnant unexpectedly with a man I had really only just met.  

Looking back now, it feels like it was all meant to be.  It wasn't part of the plans, but the plans changed and accomodated this baby and another little boy joined our family only 18 months after the first.  From single to mother of two in less than three years.

Today my boys are 34 months and 16 months.  They are little balls of energy, racing towards milestones, growing at a ridiculous speed and challenging me every day.  They make me laugh, cry, smile and shout on a daily basis and our family and house are full of love.  

Today I took a pregnancy test.  My period was only two days late - something that has happened so many times, I barely even register it.  I don't really have any symptoms other than tiredness, which I had put down to lighter mornings (thank you sunshine!) and a crazily busy June.  I took a test because of the dreams.  Every night this week I have dreamed of being pregnant.  I woke to find myself with a pillow between my legs and under tummy, just as I slept when I was pregnant before.  I took a test because my head had doubts and I needed to quiet them.  The test was positive.

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Preschool Lunchbox Ideas

Capri sun, healthy lunchbox, lunchbox ideas
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

It is only one week until my biggest little guy starts his Preschool.  For three years he has been at home with me, going to friends or family when I need childcare, but things are changing, and with only one year until he starts school, he is about to set off for Preschool.

For two days per week, he will be there for lunch time, and we have decided to send him in with a healthy lunchbox.  We chose one (a green dinosaur), and gift wrapped it ready for his birthday and since that day he has not stopped talking about it.  He is excited and ready to embark on this new adventure and as much as it is going to be strange without my little sidekick around, I know it is the best thing for him.  

We went shopping for some Capri Sun and other bits at Tesco (they have a back to school offer), and made up a mock lunchbox so that he can practice eating from it - it seemed a good excuse for a living room picnic as well.  I want it to be foods he is familiar with, but also exciting and fun, something to remind him of home.

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