Monday 31 August 2015

Me and Mine August

August hasn't quite gone to plan.  We have spent most of the month avoiding civilisation as all three boys caught chicken pox and not at the same time.  We spent the best part of one week in hospital and we have certainly got our moneys worth from our Netflix subscription.  That said, we have had a lovely month too.  It is our last month of freedom before school so we have been very relaxed with bedtimes and therefore had more lay ins than usual.  We celebrated a 4th birthday and then a 28th, we have enjoyed playdates with friends, days on the beach and lots of picnics. These photos are from a picnic dinner at a local park, we stayed out until past their bed times exploring and enjoying the last of the sun.

Next month is looking very busy, so having a quieter August was probably for the best.  We are preparing for the first of the small people to start school and I am desperate for August to never end, as I don't feel ready (even if he clearly does!).

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Teatime Picnics

Summer is all about picnics, and we use any excuse.  We often take our lunch down to the park at the end of our road and day trips are usually accompanied by scotch eggs and strawberries.  Whilst the evenings are still light, we have been having a few teatime picnics too, grabbing our blanket and sandwiches and heading to the beach or a park.

This weekend the boys had a late nap, so it seemed the perfect excuse to head out late.  It wasn't sunny, but it wasn't too cold either and so the park was deserted.  I am loving our new Huggies style on the go pouch,  it is perfect to pop on the buggy or hang from a bag and makes the wipes easy to access - something very important with messy eaters like mine! I even hung it from the sling when we went exploring afterwards as I knew that the mud and sand would end up everywhere!

The refill packs for these reusable pouches are made with natural absorbent fibres, and are free from nasties like parabens, phenoxyethanol, alcohol and perfume.  I can use them on the big two as well as the baby and I don't have to go rooting through my bag any more to find them.

I took home four worn out boys, empty packing and crumbs.  Hopefully we can fit in a few more teatime picnics before school begins and the night starts earlier.

Huggies wipes, style on the go, picnic

Strawberries, picnic
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Sunday 23 August 2015

Top picks for Starting School

Somehow the time has come to start getting everything ready for school.  There are only a few weeks left until we have to get out the navy sweatshirt and smart black shoes and send Dylan off to school and I am not feeling ready in the slightest emotionally.  I am trying to make sure that I am physically prepared though, so that all I have to worry about as it gets even closer is the supply of tissues I will need as I leave him in his classroom.


Whilst Dylan will be enjoying school dinners, many children will be taking packed lunches, and Archie will be carrying his lunchbox into nursery.   Here are some of our top picks for lunchtime buys

We know Little Life for their toddler backpacks, but they also make brilliant lunchboxes and bottles. Their animal characters work across the ranges and the lunchbags are easy to carry and insulated.  Archie will be taking his new crocodile lunchbag (£9.99) to nursery packed with all his favourite snacks, and his crocodile bottle (£6.99) will be on hand all day to keep him hydrated.  The straw flips out and it is easy for a toddler to open and close the lid independantly.

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Saturday 22 August 2015

A Chicken Pox Update

Things have been rather quiet on here, and if you have checked my social media recently, you may have noticed that the boys seem to be sporting a new look - it seems this is the summer of chicken pox!

Archie caught it first, probably from nursery where it was doing the rounds at the end of term, and I didn't realise at the time how mildly he got it.  He was more irritable than usual (although two year olds aren't known for being rational), but he never scratched, and his spots have all healed now, leaving no signs that he caught the virus.

Finn followed second, coming out with a few spots, but on day four he was still coming out with fresh spots and had a temperature.  I took him to the pharmacy, who booked us a GP appointment, who sent us to hospital.  Finn wasn't able to keep his temperature or heart rate down and some of his spots were starting to get infected.  We were admitted to the children's ward on Monday so that they could keep an eye on him.

We were well looked after and after 48 hours his temperature was back below thirty eight degrees and his heart rate within normal range.  New spots had stopped appearing, but unfortunately the ones in his eyelids had made them swell.  Poor Finn couldn't catch a break! Luckily he is now on the mend and on Thursday night we made it home armed with medications.  Finn is immeasurably happier at home - I think he thrives on the chaos and noise of his two big brothers.

As chicken pox is so contagious, it was only a matter of time before Dylan caught it, and as we brought Finn home, I noticed a few spots.  The next day he woke up pretty covered and rather unhappy about it too.  

We are pretty much quarantined until the last spots have crusted over, which means nowhere too public.  Our summer is being ruled by chicken pox, but at least we can still go outside, choosing the parks that are always empty, and plenty of playdates with friends that either have already had the virus, or who wan't it out the way before school.

We have got through more calpol this summer than in the four years I have been a parent and I finally worked out what bicarbonate of soda is for! Expect the boys to look rather on the spotty side in photos for the next couple of weeks!

chicken pox baby, 5 month old chicken pox, 5 month old in hospital

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Saturday 15 August 2015

What the Boys Wore - Fat Face

I love having boys (which is pretty useful as I have three of them now), and one of my favourite things is that they seem to take a lot longer to start having an input in what they wear.  Dylan will still happily get dressed into which ever clothes I lay out for him each morning, and whilst we get the odd request for a spiderman T-shirt, he is pretty happy in anything as long as it is comfortable.

He was allowed to choose his own clothes recently, and I think my style may be rubbing off on him as he picked all the things I would have chosen for him.  Fat Face have a new children's range that starts at 4 years old, and he chose two T-shirts and two pairs of shorts from there.

I have to say that the sizing is pretty generous.  They do intermittent sizes of 4-5, 6-7, 8-9 and as he is usually at the top end of 5-6, I wasn't sure which to chose, but I am happy that we went for the smaller size as he fits with growing space.

The ice cream van top was his favourite - this kid just loves ice cream! The T-shirts are really well made and quite a thick strong cotton.

fat face, fat face kids, fat face boys wear, kids fashion

The shorts are long, and have the button elastic on the inside to adjust them.  I think these will definitely still fit Dylan next year and they are really great quality - anyone still reading my blog in 5 years may well see pictures of 5 year old Finn in them.

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Tuesday 11 August 2015

Folk Week Festivities Part 1

As a family, one of our favourite weeks of the year comes in August.  A local town holds a folk week festival and the bloke always books the week off work so that we can enjoy the sun, music and time together as a family.  The boys love the atmosphere, they love sitting in a pub garden with a glass of juice listening to music, they love running around at the bandstand pulling some pretty impressive moves and they love jingling their bells and escaping to the beach when the day gets too hot.

We eat ice cream every day and mini donuts if we can fit them in too.  We stay out late (well late for them), and take them home when they are ready to drop and we have picnics every day in one of the little parks.  

We are so thankful to live so close to the sea and to have such wonderful events on locally.  I took some photos over the first couple of days - Archie being the wild child he is, Dylan recovering slowly from a week of illness and Finn - pretty much always smiling

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Monday 10 August 2015

Dylan Turns 4!

One of the phrases most recited to parents of young children is 'The days are long, but the years are short' and it couldn't be more true.  I have counted down to bedtime I don't know how many times, but I really can't understand how I needed four candles on Dylan's cake last weekend - How is he that big already?

His last night as a three year old was spent in a state of excitement, and reading a new Topsy and Tim book about their Birthday party contributed to the 6am wake up -  making sure we weren't going to be late to his party.  

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Huggies and Fearne Cotton

You may have noticed that I am working with Huggies wipes as a brand ambassador this year, but the exciting news is that they have recently appointed one extra member of the team - Fearne Cotton!

She is helping to launch the new 'on the go' pouches that we have been finding so useful (and will be sharing all about them in a seperate post) and just like us, Fearne has those SOS moments (which seem to occur far too often when you have a baby with reflux) where you need a wet wipe within reach.
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Monday 3 August 2015

What the Boys Wore - Tootsa MacGinty

Somehow the bloke and I have made it to 31 and 27 without ever gaining a driving license between us, but that all changed last week when he passed his practical test and promptly went out and bought a car (I think Finn will still be safe behind the wheel before I am).  

The newly acquired license has given us a taste of freedom and last weekend we drove up to Scadbury nature reserve near Sidcup to meet with one of my favourite bloggers, Amber from the Goblin Child.  I love her style of photography, and these gorgeous clothes we were sent from Tootsa Macginty deserved their own photoshoot.

I apologise now for the magnitude of photos, it was too hard narrowing down so I have included all of my favourites.

This safari print is perfect for my little explorers, although we didn't spot any of the animals roaming loose in London.  Armed with a torch, some binoculars and two walkie talkies, they set out on their expedition.
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Saturday 1 August 2015

Nun Night Three Year Old

Four years ago to this day I was playing Bingo.  I was having what I now know are contractions every few minutes, but at the time I was convinced that they were just Braxton Hicks.  Four years ago I was on the verge of becoming a mama and I had no idea what I was in for.  I couldn't foresee this little boy that stands before me now, so very nearly four, so ready for something big, yet so young still in so many ways.

This last year has been busy, we have had so many adventures, you have welcomed another little brother into your life and you have done it beautifully, despite the fact nothing really went to plan. Every day we have played, explored, socialised, learned and loved.  This has been the year that you learned to read, to add, to subtract, to ask such intricate questions, to climb, to run with a football, to open a ringpull, to dress yourself, to play memory and to work a tablet.  

You are about to turn four which means school is on the horizon and in so many ways you are oh so ready.  You cannot wait to dress in your smart blue uniform and head off into your purple classroom.  You want to make new friends, play with their toys and discover more about yourself and the world.  You are starting to ask questions that I struggle to answer, and I hope school will encourage your curiosity even further.  We have been discussing electricity a lot recently, you are so fascinated by it all and how things are made is another great topic.  My to do list for the week includes things like googling the inside of a telegraph pole, finding out the temperature that fossil fuels are burned at and coming up with the best answer for how rocks got onto the earth.  You challenge me every day, and I love being on this journey of learning with you.

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