Monday 29 February 2016

Me and Mine February

It was 5pm yesterday when I realised that we hadn't taken our monthly photo yet.  The sun was disappearing, the sky darkening, the children tired and there was no time to go anywhere.  I take plenty of pictures outside our house, but I must have looked stranger than usual setting up the tripod right outside our gate and grabbing the children for a quick photo.  They weren't in the mood (especially Archie who had just woken up) and we only managed two shots before they ran back inside so there wasn't much to choose from!

I blame February for being shorter than the other months, but really this photo sums up our month.  Everything was a little last minute, from planning Archie's birthday adventure once we were already in the car to icing Finn's birthday cake as the guests were arriving at his party.  Sometimes life with three is hectic, well most of the time really but we always get there in the end.

February means birthdays for the youngest two, Archie celebrated reaching three and a week later Finn turned one with a big party for them both in the middle.  We had our twenty week scan, a gestational diabetes test and a referral to a consultant because of baby's large size and we also had half term, the busyness of day to day life and everything in between.  Here is our family as February comes to an end 

Mummy is loving seeing her baby girl on the sonographer's screen again, watching Finn learn so many new things all of a sudden, looking at Timehop every morning and getting caught up in the memories of life with a newborn and the rather large baby related spending spree she has been on.

Daddy is loving having a new car on loan for a week, a birthday day out for Archie's big day, playing roaring games with Finn and having naps whilst he is working from home.

Dylan is loving learning about Dinosaurs this half term at school, sharing grapes with Finn (eating half of each one and then passing it to his brother to finish), going to the cinema and birthday cake.

Archie loved having his birthday and opening each present to tell us what he had 'won'.  He is loving zooming everywhere on his scooter, playing with his new Blaze monster truck toys and having Dylan at home over half term.

Finn is loving roaring like a dinosaur, turning the xbox on and off (mostly whilst it is in use), waving at everyone and eating his dairy and egg free robot cake.

Read more ⇨

Saturday 27 February 2016

Our Family Ski holiday with Snowbizz

I have written about the boys learning to ski and I have written about not being able to ski due to pregnancy, but I haven't written about our week away with Snowbizz properly yet.  It was our second time travelling to the alps with them and it was every bit as fantastic as before.  Please excuse the photo overdose, there are too many that I still want to share.

The little details have the biggest impact as a parent and being met at the airport by the smiling ladies in pink made any flight-stress disappear.  They went above and beyond during every part of our stay and the boys seemed to prefer their company to ours!

It was the first time I have really left Finn and he just loved the creche.  As well as having the nannies cooing over him, he managed to find a couple of girls who loved babies and were happy to read him stories and show him toys all day long.  It was definitely a case of clingy parent rather than clingy child as I felt so strange walking away, but he barely turned his head as I left!  He was always smiling or sleeping when I came to collect him and he won an award on the final day for being such a smiley baby.

Dylan and Archie were given the choice somedays whether they wanted to spend the afternoon with the bloke and I or in the creche and they would mostly choose staying in the creche.  As well as going sledging and for walks in the snow, they dressed up, coloured in, baked cakes and played with the great variety of toys.   They made friends easily and they enjoyed every moment.  Dylan loved the kids club in the evening which had a different theme each night from pizza party to disco and he felt very grown up being able to go to something his brothers were too little for.  

As for the bloke, he picked up where he left off with his ski lessons and loved getting back on the slopes.  His class for ski school was small with only three other students and he felt happy being able to find where he fit best between the classes.

I loved the freedom that comes with childcare, reading my book, going for a swim, wasting time on facebook and of course all the French food.  Everything is right on your doorstep which makes life so much easier with a young family and it took me about two minutes to get from our apartment to the creche or cafe.  

Our apartment had everything we needed, with two bedrooms (bunk beds for the big two) and a great living area.  The balcony was perfect for watching the early risers on the slopes and the kitchen had a hob and microwave so we could cook for ourselves when we wanted too (pretty necessary when you have a child with allergies).  

Our week with Snowbizz gave us a great balance between time together and time apart.  We all loved doing our own thing for the morning and then enjoying family time in the afternoon.  We took the bigger two boys up on the chairlift as walkers to enjoy the views from up high and a different place to eat.  It was easy to have one on one time with them each, or to do things only suitable for the older boys and know that Finn was well looked after and happy.  

We loved that right outside our front door there was a little area for sledging and we even managed to borrow a baby sledge for Finn, although as they don't do helmets that little he had to stay on the flat ground - Archie was more than happy to brum him along!

My little sister is working at the resort as the head nanny, so not only did the boys get to see their much loved Aunty NatNat, I also knew how great the creche staff were and felt happy handing my babies over.  I was so impressed with the quality of the childcare on our last visit that we were already confident that the boys would love it.

Don't forget to check out my post on 5 things not to miss on a Snowbizz holiday.

We had an amazing family holiday with Snowbizz and can't wait to return.  Everything about it went smoothly, the boys learned so much, I got to rest and Finn smiled all week,  Thank you to Snowbizz for inviting us back.
Read more ⇨

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Tomorrow You are One

I always knew this was going to be an emotional post to write, and as I sat in tears shortly after you were born not knowing whether we would see this day and whether everything I hoped for you would come true, this day was just a distant wish.  Your birth was speedy and empowering, you were so tiny and so perfect and I felt complete as I held you in my arms as the sun rose on your first day.  I never expected our world to come crumbling down so soon after and as they wheeled you away from me a few hours later, I felt lost, helpless and terrified.

We were told you were born with a virus that would affect you for the rest of your life.  We were warned you would not grow up like your brothers, that the possibilities of your outcome were so wide that it was hard to speculate, but that there were things you may never do and milestones you may never reach.  We left hospital when you were three weeks old with a tiny baby who had his whole life ahead of him, whatever that may mean.

You didn't grow, you didn't try and when we got readmitted to hospital you were still as tiny and weak as a newborn.  Everything was going wrong, every certainty I had about the way I would parent you was being cruelly taken away from us and I struggled to remain positive when we had no idea what was going on.  

We reached a turning point though, about 4 months in when you rolled for the very first time.  I wasn't expecting it, I had learnt by then not to expect anything, but to take each day for what it was, to enjoy you exactly as you are and to find any progress so much more amazing than with the others.  Suddenly you were growing and developing and thriving in ways we hadn't even hoped for and you were smiley and sweet and still perfect.

This time last year I had no idea you would be making an appearance in just a few short hours and today I feel like a different person and a different parent to the one I was then.  Tomorrow you will wake up as a one year old, a beautiful, chunky, happy one year old.  You are exceeding every expectation we ever had and whilst we know things could change, I am continuing to appreciate every day and every milestone for what it is - a wonder.

Today you are crawling, pulling yourself up to standing and even taking a few tentative steps as you grip on tight to furniture or fingers.  You are babbling away, telling us all about your day, even if we don't understand quite what you have to say yet.  Once you finally got the hang of food, you started eating well and now you love feeding yourself, especially if you can find food on the floor.  You can clap and give us a hi 5, you can play and smile and laugh, you can blow kisses and you can entertain us all.  Your brothers adore you and Dylan proclaims you his best friend every day.  You love them right back, suddenly desperate to join in their games, to sit with them to watch tv, to share their snacks.  

We had a big party at the weekend for you and Archie and tomorrow we are not up to much.  Both the bloke and I have to work and Dylan is at school but it will be a special day regardless as it marks a year since you entered our world. 

This year has taught me patience, how to accept that some things are beyond my control, how to make a bottle, that sometimes we have to practice baby led parenting, even if it goes against what we know.  I have learned to juggle three under fours who all have such different and complex needs, I have met pretty much every pediatric member of staff at our local hospital and I have become an expert in a virus I had never heard of this time last year.  I have learned that no matter how many babies you have, every moment is precious, every milestone is an amazing achievement and that with the right friends and family around you, nothing is too big to get through. 

Tomorrow you are one and I owe most of this to you.  Your beautiful smile with those two little bottom teeth will be what wakes me up in the morning and your cuddles will inevitably be the start of my day.  You are perfect to us, you are thriving and you are a ray of sunshine in our everyday.

This has been a tough year and you are our miracle.  Happy Birthday baby boy, Happy Birthday Finn.  You are loved more than I ever knew you could be

Read more ⇨

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Playmobil Eggs

Easter isn't far off and we were sent these chocolate alternatives from Playmobil for the big two boys.  The yellow egg contained a zookeeper with an alpaca and the red egg had a footballer with a goal in.  The boys loved the surprise of seeing what was inside, although the back of the box does have a picture of the inside toy.

The zookeeper was ready to play and the footballer took just seconds to put together.  They loved practicing scoring goals with the footballer and the zookeeper got taken straight off to join some of their other Playmobil toys.  They are a lovely gift but they are much better if you have a good set that they can go into as each egg contains a simple toy.

The eggs currently cost £6.99 each and make a great alternative to chocolate - something we need to think about with Finn, although he is far too small for these.  We would love to see a junior version with the 1,2,3 range as well, currently they are 4 choices all aimed at 3-10 year olds

playmobil egg, playmobil eggs review, alternative easter egg

playmobil easter egg, playmobil review

playmobil egg, playmobil footballer

playmobil zookeeper, playmobil alpaca, playmobil egg review

Read more ⇨

Saturday 20 February 2016

Chewy's Adventure

Archie's birthday fell slap bang in the middle of half term and we used it as an excuse to get out as a family and have an adventure.  There is a local wildlife park that seemed the perfect venue as the sun was shining and we had such a good day we ended our day by upgrading our tickets to annual passes.  Finn was sent 'Chewy', a teething toy from the people behind Cheeky Chompers bibs and it was the perfect toy to keep him entertained as he isn't as delighted by the animals as his brothers.

cheeky chompers, chewy toy

The park has a great variety of animals and is big enough to make a great day out but small enough that it isn't too much for little legs.  Finn spent most of the walk round in his buggy and he alternated between watching the animals and playing with his toy and he loved the fact it had handles as well as apparently tasting good!  It had a handy strap for attaching it to the buggy which was rather useful as the park was pretty muddy!

I love the fact that there are animals roaming the park or in areas that we can walk through, partly as they seem more free and partly as it is much easier to take photos without glass or bars in the way!  Dylan wasn't nearly as keen and much preferred the big cats and reptiles that were safely seperated from us.  Archie loved pretty much everything, especially the penguins (which made the bloke very happy!).  Finn seemed transfixed by the glorious peacock that was proudly showing us his feathers.

flamingos, wingham wildlife park

peacock, wingham wildlife park

I think one of the highlights for the boys was the ride on trucks, although Archie's little legs couldn't always keep the pedal down so Daddy had to join him.  Finn fell asleep clasping his chewy at this point, adventures are exhausting for little people!

wingham wildlife park, monster go carts

I think we must have picked the busiest day of the week but even so there was plenty of space and the day was cold but without the wind that makes you uncomfortable.  All boots and outer layers had to be removed before the boys got in their car seats as the park at the end of the day made everything a little brown and all three boys fell asleep on the twenty minute journey home! 

peugeot 308sw

We loved bringing Chewy on our adventure and I am sure he will be coming along for many more.  Finn only has two teeth at the moment so I think he will be teething for many months to come! 

Disclaimer : In collaboration with Cheeky Chompers

Read more ⇨

Friday 19 February 2016

My Maternity Style - BonPrix

This is my fourth baby and I think I have definitely worked out my maternity style.  I know I grow big quickly and that many maternity tops won't last me past thirty weeks.  I know I feel more body confident when pregnant than at any other time and I know that with three little ones already, comfort and practicality is key.

My staples are skinny fit maternity jeans, long vests and bodycon dresses for anything special.  I love showing off my new curves (once I get past the  'too much cake or baby bump' phase) and that is a good thing as by about 15 weeks it is pretty hard to hide!

BonPrix asked me to take part in a style challenge and I couldn't resist trying some of their over bump jeans.  I tend to go for under bump as I have had problems before when my belly got a bit too big for the band but I find the lower band means I am constantly pulling them up.  These jeans seem to have plenty of stretch in the band and are really comfortable at the moment.  I went for my usual size, despite reading that they come up small and I am glad I did as they fit well.

I paired them with a plain vest and an off the shoulder non-maternity top that is a couple of sizes bigger than I normally wear.  The top is super stretchy so it lasts for ages too. The brown bracelet is also from BonPrix and the necklace is a teething necklace from Blue Brontide.  Comfy shoes are a must and I live in these Blackfox boots - they are actually as waterproof as wellies although you would never know it to look at them and have a faux sheepskin inner.  They are perfect for impromptu trips to the park, puddle jumping and the school run

This is pretty much my everyday look at the moment, slight shade variations on the jeans and tops but always casual and comfy.

Read more ⇨

Thursday 18 February 2016

What Makes Our Perfect Holiday

In most ways we work really well together as a family.  We are not morning people, we all have a bit of a sweet tooth and we are as messy as each other.  When it comes to discussing the perfect holiday though, there is a big divide.  We all have our own agenda when it comes to travel and our preferences are quite different.

Mama loves the sun.  My dream holiday would involve swimming every day, cocktails on the beach, watching the sunset as we eat and thin summer maxi dresses.  I find it hard to go back to somewhere I have already been when there is always somewhere new to explore and my perfect holiday would have a mixture of relaxation and exploration.  I need novelty, whether it is trying a new food, a new sport or a new culture or going completely off the beaten track.  

The bloke loves the snow.  His dream trip would involve getting away from the driveling rain in the English winter and experiencing a 'real winter', where the temperatures go below zero and hot chocolate is always on the menu.  He wants childcare on tap, the opportunity to have a beer and a very comfy bed to flop on to after a long day of being active.  He loves his red ski jacket and he wants an excuse to wear it! 

Dylan's main priority is a kid club (and secondly bunk beds).  He is the most sociable child I know and he wants the chance to make new friends.  He wants to find children his age who he can do things with and he doesn't really care which country we are in as long as he can make some buddies.  He thrives in new situations and has picked up the phrase 'always have a go, even if you think it is hard' from school and seems to be applying it to life with a passion.

Archie wants a holiday where he doesn't have to wear too many clothes.  At nearly 3 he just wants to walk around in shorts and isn't convinced they aren't suitable for the English winter.  He was born to be wild and he wants space to run and jump and splash and explore with his whole body.  He wants a pool to jump into, sand to bury himself in and ice cream every afternoon.  He wants to be close to us, but with the opportunity to do his own thing too.

Finn hasn't really expressed a preference yet.  He is the happiest baby with a smile on his face all day.  He wants attention from us and from everyone.  He wants people to stop and talk to him so that he can show off his beaming smile and his curly hair.  Finn loves the sun and the snow, the city breaks and the fresh country air.  His perfect holiday would have to involve water as he loves to splash and they would need to be able to cater for his allergies (the French didn't seem to understand the concept of no dairy or egg!).  His wardrobe is better than any of ours and he needs an excuse for more themed clothing.

If you can suggest a holiday that combines winter sports with sunbathing, kids clubs, semi-nudity and accomodating chefs then we would love to hear more, but until then we are attempting to enjoy the warmth of a cosy fire on a wet windy day wearing our summer gear, or the delights of sandcastle building on a beautiful beach in our snow clothes.  We just can't work out what is right for us!

This is my entry to be a Mark Warner Ambassador in the Style Guru category.  Along with travel, my big passion is kids fashion and the idea of planning them not one but two holiday wardrobes is ridiculously exciting!  Finn had a completely snow themed wardrobe on our last ski holiday, with penguins, eskimos and polar bears across his clothes each day - I need an excuse to buy it all in next winter's sizes!! (Plus the boys now have 'custom made' vests)

Read more ⇨
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...