Tuesday 31 May 2016

Me and Mine May

May has ended with a wonderful weekend for us - my Dad turned 60 and we had a family picnic followed by a garden party to celebrate.  We all stayed at my parents' house and these photos were taken yesterday on the way down to brunch in our favourite seaside cafe.  Last minute as ever, but we did it!

May has been a month of tiredness, tidying and time together.  Whilst I am convinced that June's photo will still feature the five of us, I will reach the 37 week 'full term' milestone during June so there may be an extra little person to squish into the shot.  June is about preparing, no longer living in denial that things are coming round quick and of course enjoying the last bit of time just as we are now.

I don't feel like May has been a particularly eventful month for us, but we have enjoyed the sunshine, time together, days out and mornings at the beach.  We have lived at our own pace and enjoyed our family.  

This month mama is loving her new Saltwater sandals (yes, yellow goes with everything), spring cleaning the house, watching the boys play together outside and seeing the extended family for a big picnic this weekend.

Daddy is loving his new car, the excuse to have a sticker book again, playing rounders at the family picnic and Indian take aways (He seems to be having more cravings than I do!)

Dylan is loving wearing his school shorts, sticking stickers in his new football sticker book, ice cream at the beach and our day at Paulton's Park

Archie is loving that it is warm enough to sleep naked, The George pig dinosaur ride at Paulton's park, looking for the letter A everywhere and throwing stones into the sea

Finn is loving climbing - on everything and anything, being sung to, his first ice lolly and eating sand at the beach.

 It feels crazy that this may be the last family photo as we are now, I am enjoying my tribe of boys, watching them grow and bond and play together and whilst I can't wait to welcome this little girl into our lives, I could happily press pause for a while and just be us a little longer.

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Saturday 28 May 2016

What the Boys Wore - Loubilou / Wild Things

Summer is taking its time in arriving and as Finn finally heads towards the next size clothing, I am choosing items that will last him until next winter.  I love finding things that are a bit different and I love the Wild Things dresses, so when Loubilou got in touch, I couldn't resist trying some of their dungarees for Finn.

Loubilou is a shopping platform for everything baby and child and features so many unique independent retailers that I could easily spend all our money on there.  It is a great place to source something a bit different, from craft kits to footmuffs to shoes to interiors - not forgetting shark dungarees.

loubilou, wild things, shark dungarees

I chose these for Finn as they were just too cute not to, and every Finn needs a fin!  I love how the sizing really will last him an entire year as he currently has the straps on the tightest button and the legs rolled up.  In actual fact, Archie at 3 years old can happily wear these as summer dungarees! If I am buying something a little more expensive then I like to know we can get plenty of wear out of it.

wild things dungarees, shark dungarees, 15 months old, Loubilou

They are amazing quality and feel built to last.  They would be perfect for dressing up, but at 15 months I am pretty sure you can get away with these as everyday wear too - Finn looked comfy in them, could move freely and looked adorable asleep in his cot on his tummy with the little fin sticking up!  It is soft cord like the rest of the dungarees and would lie flat against the back for a back sleeper (Finn seemed very happy asleep in his buggy in them too).

wild things, shark dungarees

I love shopping from independent businesses and it isn't easy to know where to look, so finding a site like Loubilou that gathers many in one place makes things much easier.  I have been browsing a lot recently and discovered lots of new brands as well as seeing some of our favourites on the site as well.

Expect to see plenty of Finn with a fin over the coming year as I can imagine him rocking these with a little t-shirt in the summer and thicker jumpers underneath next winter.  I have my eye on some (ok all) of the dresses for our little bump when she arrives too.

Thank you to Loubilou and Wild Things for sending us these amazing dungarees

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Monday 23 May 2016

Little Swimmers at the Beach

The British weather is so unpredictable in May and we have days where we huddle under an umbrella on the school run all wrapped up followed by days of shorts and t-shirts, ice creams and bare feet.  Our weeks aren't easy to plan and we are enjoying the spontaneity, looking out the window each morning and deciding what to do.

As a Huggies® Little Swimmers®  ambassador we always have a couple of swim nappies in the changing bag ready to go and it paid off this week when we popped down to the town and realised how warm it was.  Finn and I decided an ice cream at the beach was the way to go (well Finn fell asleep so I decided to get an ice cream) and when he woke up we had a lovely play on the beach and splash in the sea.  He could happily crawl around in just a t-shirt and his nappy and it didn't swell up when he plonked himself in the sea to play with the wet sand.

I love how easy the nappies are to just pull on and tear off and the great Disney©  Pixar Finding Dory characters meant they looked really cute as he crawled around with his little bum in the air too.  

We made a little video about our mini-adventure and how easy the Huggies® Little Swimmers®  are to get out and about with.

I know the beach is going to feature heavily in our lives over the next few months, we are so lucky to have it practically on our doorstep and I love that my children are building memories so  similar to my own from childhood. Our Little Swimmers are perfect for Finn for these days - the freedom to explore the sand and sea but the protection (for him and for everyone else!).

Pick up a pack of Huggies® Little Swimmers® from Ocado and you could be in with a chance of winning tickets to see Finding Dory on the big screen

In collaboration with Huggies
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Needing More Space

Realistically we are outgrowing our house.  Adding another baby into our three bedroom means things are tight, especially considering both the bloke and I work from home so we need space for a home office.  

I spent many an hour daydreaming about our perfect house, but the reality is a 6 bed with a huge garden and swimming pool isn't looking likely any time soon.  The reality of moving house either heavily pregnant or with 4 under 5s is also incredibly unappealing so we are going to be making the most of the space we do have and trying to declutter over the next few weeks so that the six of us can live comfortably for a few years until we are ready to upgrade.  

We need to find somewhere to store Bump's bits which are currently scattered around the house in boxes.  I love the idea of getting fitted wardrobes in our bedroom to maximise the space and then she could have her own area.  We have recently bought a new bed so that we can store things underneath too which is making a big difference.

We recently when on a giant toy purge and boxed up over half of the boys' toys.  They seemed to be taking over the house and there were too many for them to choose from, so we are rotating them now, making sure they always have a selection but not everything at once.  It has made such a difference not only to the space, but to the effort it takes to tidy up at the end of the day too!

As baby gets bigger and starts to need her own room, it will be the back bedroom that needs a makeover as we attempt to put all three boys in together.  The room is big enough for bunk beds, a cot and some storage, but we are going to be looking at the best way to make the most of the space so they still have somewhere to play away from a crawling baby.  At the moment the boys' bedroom is their haven from Finn where they can play with Playmobil or other games that they don't want him interfering with and I would like them to keep this special space.  

The Boys' bedroom

We are lucky that our living space is quite large and I know we will find a way to make our house work for us until we are ready to tackle moving - until then I may start playing the lottery as the six bed house with a garden and swimming pool that I want isn't going to be cheap!

Disclaimer:  Collaborative Post

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Tuesday 17 May 2016

What the Boys Wore - Little Green Radicals

This baby boy of mine is starting to grow up.  His cheeky personality comes through more each day, he is learning new skills, learning to communicate better and desperate to be big like his brothers.  I still see him as a baby though, there is still so much baby about him, in the way he crawls, when he is cuddled to sleep at night, when he just wants to be held all day.

I am in no rush to start dressing him like a little boy, but I am recognising that his days of wearing sleepsuits as day wear are now over.  I love clothes for him that have personality and colour but are still comfy for him, soft against his skin, easy to crawl in and designed for babies (and toddlers).  Little Green Radicals are a brand that we have bought before and their wonderful childrenswear embodies all of this.

Little green radicals, organic kids clothing, kids fashion blogger
They sent Finn this beautiful outfit and I love how well it goes together, how childish it looks and how well it washes.  Patterned trousers are ideal for a crawling baby as they don't show mess so easily and these have been well crawled in.  The fit means they are ideal for cloth nappies and chunkier thighs and the cuffs mean that they stay in the right place still.

little green radicals, organic kidswear, apple trousers

The t-shirt is simple but the little details make it different, like the coloured buttons on the shoulder (which co-ordinate perfectly with the trousers).  

My crawling, cruising, cuddling baby thoroughly approves of his new comfy clothes and I love that everything is organic, well made, durable and perfect for passing down to his new sibling when he outgrows them. 

These items are both in age 1-2 and Finn is 14 months old.  They both have plenty of growing space but also fit great now - we love it when we find something that really lasts.

I was sent this outfit from Little Green Radicals for the purpose of this review
 but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own,

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Monday 16 May 2016

7 Months Pregnant

32 weeks pregnant, 7 months pregnant, fourth baby, big bump
This update was due a few days ago, but following the theme of this pregnancy, I am pretty laid back and disorganised so it is only just making it on to the blog.  There is now less than two months until my due date which means it is about time I started getting sorted!

I am pretty relaxed and by that I mean not ready in the slightest, but I know if the baby was to come now we wouldn't be bringing her straight home anyway so we still have time.  Even if I stay in this state (denial) until later on, newborns really don't need much, I have boobs, we have nappies and a few tiny clothes and I found for those first days my babies were not going to sleep anywhere but on me so we have time to build the Snuzpod crib.

32 weeks pregnant, 7 months pregnant, fourth baby, big bump

That said, my plan for the next week involves buying a chest of drawers so that I can organise this little girl's clothes rather than having them in random boxes and bags around the house and work out if there is anything we still need.  I need to wash all the material on the Snuzpod as well so that it is ready to be built once we reach full term.  The plan is still to have a homebirth so rather than a hospital bag I am planning a birthing basket - something I will share more about nearer the time.

Symptom wise I feel like my growth has really slowed down now and I don't look quite so different from other people reaching the seven month milestone.  I still get looks of horror when I mention I have 8 weeks left and that I am not due until July but I don't feel as big as I was.  I have the midwife again later this week so we will see how the bump is growing.

The aches and pains seem to be lessening since baby turned head down, although getting up from the sofa in the evening is definitely a challenge and I have to waddle a little while before my pelvis clicks back into place.  This past month has seen lots of outdoor adventures, big days out and long days on my feet which hasn't really been a problem, well until I sit down at the end of the day anyway.

My cravings can generally be summed up as 'food', but if I could live off of Pizza, Coca Cola and chocolate I definitely would.  The bloke isn't always convinced by my choice of toppings but they always taste great to me!

Heartburn is my new symptom and I don't think I have it bad as I haven't had to use medication yet.  I think mine is more down to not eating regularly rather than eating the wrong food as it tends to start up if I go longer than 3-4 hours without food.  Somehow I seem to have more energy at this point in pregnancy than I have all the way through so far but I am not expecting it to last as my due date gets closer. 

Dylan is asking a lot of questions about the baby, Archie is very curious and Finn is still completely oblivious to the fact his days of being the baby of the family are numbered.  In fact, Finn has suddenly become very clingy wanting to be in my arms all the time, I don't know whether he is starting to sense change or it is just a developmental thing.  I have a feeling my lap is going to be as full as my heart once this little one arrives!

32 weeks pregnant, 7 months pregnant, fourth pregnancy
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Saturday 14 May 2016

The Lost Kingdom

For three dinosaur mad boys there is nothing more exciting than being invited to an exclusive launch of a new Dinosaur themed theme park and getting to be among the first to visit the Lost Kindgom at Paulton's Park last weekend  was an amazing experience for us all.  We have never visited the park before and didn't know what to expect, but after a full day there we really wish we had booked a hotel as there was so much we didn't get a chance to do.

lost kingdom, paultons park

The £9 million addition to the park opens on May 17th and adds a new element to the park, extending the appeal for slightly older children and bringing us back into a lost kingdom when T-rexs roamed free and roaring was a common language.  The Lost Kingdom is still very family friendly with plenty for the youngest explorers to enjoy, but some of the new rides are more suited to older adventurous children and at 4 Dylan decided they were still a little scary for him to try.  The great thing is that at 4 years old and 1 metre tall there is nothing in the park that you can't go on (accompanied by an adult) which is quite rare in a theme park.

Lost kingdom, Paulton's park

We found plenty for the whole family in the lost kingdom and at 14 months Finn was able to ride along with us on several rides too.  The boys loved the Dino Chase - a great first rollercoaster and the Dinosaur Tour Company looking out for friendly creatures.  The Little Explorers play area was a big hit too -  a playpark with a dinosaur theme including plenty of things to climb on and a large sandy area too.    Archie loved the huge skeleton with a slide.

lost kingdom, paultons park, dinosaur play area

The staff were fantastic all over the park and they made an effort to engage the children, showing them dinosaur teeth and talking to them about their experience.  As part of our visit the children got the chance to become 'Park rangers' which meant they got special photo card lanyards that they were really proud of.  It made the whole experience more interactive.  

We are looking forward to revisiting one day and getting to ride the Velociraptor rollercoaster and the Flight of the Pterosaur suspended roller coaster, those best suited for older children.

Our day wasn't all about dinosaurs and with temperatures soaring last weekend the splash zone played a huge part in our fun.  Finn isn't walking yet but doesn't want to be in a buggy all day and he loved crawling around and exploring.  The bigger two ran through the sprinklers and water play and loved cooling down.  

splash zone, paulton's park, little bird swim

The splash zone is located right next to the Lost Kingdom and there are several places to eat in the area too as well as buy ice creams and drinks - very needed if you visit on a day as hot as we did!

splash zone, paultons park, little bird mothercare swim shorts

little bird swim shorts, paulton's park, the lost kingdom

Our visit wouldn't have been complete without stopping at Peppa Pig world - a seperate part of the park but all included in the one entrance price.  This area is aimed more at the under 6s and Finn was able to go on almost everything.  At 4 years old and 114 cm tall there were plenty of rides that Dylan could go on alone too.  The magical world had all the characters the boys know and love and everything is themed, even down to the cafes and play areas.  There was an indoor and outdoor playground for the times they just need to run around and that made visiting with a crawling baby much easier - Finn loved exploring the colourful park

peppa pig world with a baby, paulton's park

And if that wasn't enough, there were also penguins and birds to see, Critter Creek - a seperate area full of rides we didn't have time to visit and some old fashioned fairground rides too.  The Lost Kingdom means there really is something for the whole family now from the youngest explorers to the biggest kids.  

Thank you to Paulton's Park for inviting us to this exciting launch.

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Tuesday 10 May 2016

What the Boys Wore - Pappe

My children are explorers, they are curious, adventurous, wild at times and always on the go.  We love to be outdoors, they love to move and they need clothes that can keep up with them.  Some things have passed the test and Finn wears items worn by both his brothers before him, other things are perfect for one but that is as far as they will go.

Having children so close together (with another on the way) has made me appreciate good quality, unisex designs and buying well and the clothes we were recently sent from Pappe Australia embody this perfectly.  The super soft organic cotton is thick and durable, the cut is classic and comfortable and the items are timeless and perfect for a little girl or boy.

I have to admit I was pretty nervous about the idea of white leggings on my crawling baby and I knew they would be really well put to the test.  We spent the day at the beach which meant I brought them home with sand stains, raspberry and strawberry juice on.  Trying to keep a one year old clean is a pretty endless task, but I actually have found that these wash up really well and with a little stain remover they still look wonderful.  The cut is perfect on Finn and the simple grey t-shirt makes this an easy spring outfit.

Archie's t-shirt is a slim cut and I love it under dungarees.  He seemed really happy and comfortable in it and again it has washed brilliantly.  He looks classic and like a child but with a modern edge too. 

Finn was also sent this long sleeved vest which we paired with some grey dungarees.  I love the cut on him, it is slim fitting without being too tight and lovely and generous.  The little details like the poppers all add to the superb quality and the classic stripes go with pretty much everything.  

 I love the simplicity of everything on the Pappe website, how timeless and well cut it is and the fact that it is made of organic cotton is really comforting too.  Pappe have also sent some wonderful bits for baby bump and I can't wait to share her in her stunning sleepsuit and blanket when she arrives.

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Monday 9 May 2016

Mr Men Birthday Party

Dylan has been getting excited about his birthday for ages, all his invitations are hand written, he has chosen the place, what he wants his cake to look like and every detail - the fact that he wasn't born until August didn't stop the party planning beginning as soon as Christmas was over and done with.  We were asked to throw a Mr Men birthday party to celebrate that Roger Hargreaves would have celebrated his birthday today and I knew the boys would love a reason to party!

In honour of his birthday, two new books are now available, Mr Men Birthday Party as well as a Silly Birthday book that can be personalised with your child's details.  

As the weather has been so nice recently, we decided to throw our birthday party outside, and we had a birthday picnic party instead.  Armed with our Mr Men plates, cups, napkins and table cloth we took our tea to the park and the boys loved our own special party.

No birthday party is complete without cake, although most cakes are better when a three year old hasn't sat on them! (this one is available from Tesco).  Being the ultra prepared parent I am, I of course forgot a knife, but we got into the party spirit with our very own cake smash - the boys couldn't believe their luck when I told them they could dig in!

 Our party wouldn't have been complete without a fancy dress competition and there were three entrants (the bloke was never going to get involved and Archie wasn't feeling great and decided not to take part).  We have. . .

Mr Strong

Mr Bump

and Mr Greedy

Who do you think should win?

To help celebrate, I have a copy of the Mr Men Birthday Party to give away - just follow the simple rafflecopter entries below.  If you want to get your hands on a personalised story then the code 'Pblogger20 ' will save you 20%

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mr Men are running their own giveaway on Pinterest, click on the picture below for more information

Disclosure : Advertorial
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Thursday 5 May 2016

What the Boys Wore - Rockin Baby

The forcast for this week tells me that Spring has definitely started and we are beginning to feel pretty summery some days too.  There are days when the sun is so bright that jumpers are discarded and we return from our adventures rosy cheeked.  

I have been having so much fun planning Finn's summer wardrobe and filling it full of bright clothes practical for my crawling baby, visible on a busy beach and light enough for warmer days.  We discovered Rockin' Baby last year and loved their vibrant autumn/winter range and their summer collection is beautiful.

Not only are you supporting a great cause buying from Rockin' Baby  as for every item purchased they donate one to a family in need, but you are buying great quality kidswear too.   Every item we have had has washed really well and kept its bright colour even after everything this little monkey can throw at it.

We chose two outfits from the new collection, the first was perfect for a beach day as the t-shirt has a sandcastle on.  Yellow is my favourite colour and this shade is great, even on my pale skinned baby.  The blue trim matches perfectly with the cuffs on his trousers which remind me so much of Elmer the elephant.  These leggings are designed to stand out with their bold pattern but they are wonderfully childish and they look super comfy.  This outfit is size 12-18 months, a size that Finn is just going into.  The trousers come up a little small - they are the perfect size for him now but I would suggest sizing up if you are torn between two.

The second outfit had more of a jungle theme and the trousers with their beautiful print were a much looser fit with cuffs that can be turned up or down meaning they last much longer.  Even with a cloth nappy these trousers are really generous and they look super comfy.  Finn loved exploring the park in them and they had plenty of stretch for his climbing.  The t-shirt has an envelope neck (unlike the poppers on the sandcastles) and it came up quite big.  Again we went for the 12-18 but I found these items much more roomy.  I love the matching cuffs and collar again and the orange looks wonderful in the sunshine too.

I love how childish both outfits are with baby's comfort clearly at the forefront of the design.  Everything is soft, stretchy, colourful and comfortable and cloth nappy friendly, even with the bulkiest of bums. 

The new collection is about to be released and there are so many wonderful clothes, not all of them as bright as the ones we chose, so if you prefer a more muted look then still check them out.  Rockin' baby kindly sent a gift for our little bump too and I can't wait to dress her in it!  It is so girly without being too pink and I love the little details like the star on the foot.

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