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Showing posts from March, 2014

What I'd like for mothers day or 10 luxuries you hand over at the door of motherhood

I'll admit it before I had froggy I was pretty darn smug about this whole child rearing thing. After all as the oldest of six kids I knew what it would be like. I knew I was giving up fancy clothes, meals out and a social life.  What I didn't account for was how my understanding of the word luxury would change, when the unrealised life luxuries were handed over at the door of motherhood.  Nor did I realise just how much I'd miss them. So what I'd really like for mothers day is any of the following: 1. To finish a chapter of a book. I've come to terms with the fact that I will never finish a library book in the allotted four week lending period. However I don't want the librarians to know this and every month return half read books. 2. To use any of the following for their intended purpose Hairdryer Hair straightener Tweesers Nail polish Eye liner (Note use for removing splinters,  ironing/drying clothes,  covering scuffs in shoes, and drawing cat face

10 things that make coping with mastitis easier

This week I have mainly spent hobbling around lop boobed thanks to mastitis.  Its not been fun or pretty but I'm surving thanks to these 10 factors. 1.  My husband.  This week Mr frog you are my super hero today he did the washing including stuffing our reusable pocket nappies and making up a fresh batch of cheeky wipes 2. Hot baths Ahh the relief I've been having two a day. I'd feel guilty but its still cheaper than formula and I can pretend to be still rocking this parenting thing by calling it sensory play. 3. Lanolin Theres a reason it costs £10.49 (update on offer here for 7.19 )a tube. However I would like to have a whinge (on the off chance George Osborne reads blog posts by SAHMs on mastitis) its pretty crap that lanolin is subject to VAT but formula isn't. 4. Antibiotics I thought I was going to collapse a gibbering mess, before I got my mits on some flucloxacillon.  Have to say my experience at the walk in clinic was far preferable to 111 or d doc. 5.

The Benefits of my large Family

Me and my Mum, Our Babies When it comes to raising children some  people say it takes a village, some say it comes with experience.  I'm pretty fortunate as thanks to my large extended family,  when my son was born I had both. The last year has been pretty incredible for our family- there's four women in my family who have had babies in the space of the year.  Being a new mum is hard, you suddenly feel like your friends without kids don't understand you. But after the birth of my son I automatically had a tribe who understood me. I'm pretty sure having our children together has bound us closer together and for me personally has been a huge buffer against PND. Here's 5 (of the many reasons) I love being part of a big family 1. I have back up- All the time.   My  Sister, My Mum, Our babies When my milk came in on day 3 and froggy (who was tongue tied) wouldn't latch, it was my mum I turned to for help. As her baby ( my younger sister) w

Little Bloom- Cloth Nappy reviews

If you are a newbie in cloth its hard to know what to buy. I've been using  Cloth Nappies  for 16 months with my first born, and am preparing to have two in cloth when my daughter arrives in May. You could say I'm somewhat of cloth nappy pro. I've moved on from my start up stash, and invest in nappies that will see us through til froggy potty trains, and ideally ones his baby sister can use afterwards too! Pocket nappies are great for this purpose and this week I'm reviewing the little bloom nappies You can grab little bloom nappies on  amazon  from as little as £2.89 delivered. So they are a cheap option but are they cheerful enough to do the job?

Breastfeeding past six months

Hi! This Blog post is now Two and half years old (Yikes!). It's one of my most visited posts, so I thought I would update it for all you lovely new visitors. I actually ended up breastfeeding froggy past a year, where I found myself pregnant with number 2 and decided to continue through my pregnancy and try to tandem nurse. We have just ended our breastfeeding journey- somewhat shy of 400 days. It was a lot longer than I had ever anticipated. But great. It helped keep a bond strong through becoming a family of four, then me returning to work. Nursing an older child is very different from nursing a six month old. From about 18 months he would nurse once a day (bedtime) and maybe through the occasional grazed knee and long haul flight. I'm not sure I will nurse his sister as long, and I know I definitely wouldn't have nursed him to this point if I hadn't had become pregnant so quickly after (weird logic huh?). So please don't read this as necessarily a post urging

Easy play ideas for kids multiple ages

Have you got plans with friends or family for the upcoming Easter break and are looking for a cheap but engaging way to keep kids of different ages entertained? Froggy recently played host to his family - two toddlers, a seven year old and eleven year old. We tried out lots of fun ideas here are some of my favourites. Outdoor ice/water play This sensory play was a big hit. I just filled different tubs with water and unusual objects and some others with water and water based paint (makes washable coloured Ice) and froze overnight.  We then poured warm water into the washing up bowl-added the sensory ice cubes and let the kids go nuts.  Homemade candles  A truly fantastic (and mess free craft) makes great presents or momentos. Baking Give each age child a set responsibility. We got the little ones to mix the dry ingredients,  whilst the 11 year old was in charge of mixing in the eggs and fat, and the 7 year old did the icing.  Set up a percussion box Dont worry if you don

Knitted dribble bibs and cloth baby wipes

Crafting for your little one can be a rewarding experience.  However I'm known to be a tad  over ambitious.  I started an all in one peice cot blanket a while ago.  It's unfinished presence in my knitting bag stresses me to a point where I'm afraid to go in there. The key is to make small things, that are quick to make and the kind of thing you will use on a regular basis.  We've found these knitted bibs and homemade kitchen wet wipes a lifesaver for all the mess that having a small  baby in tow can bring,  whilst giving me a momentary creative outlet. Knitted dribble bib This dribble bib pattern can be made up in an hour by a beginner knitter. You need Off cuts of wool Any size needles you have (6mm are good for beginners) 1.Cast on two 2. Knit one row 3. Cast on two new stitches at the beginning of each new row. Working in sticking stitch 4. Continue in this way till the peice measures 10" 5. For the final two rows cast on 15 stitches at

Making beeswax candles

This craft is gorgeously uncomplicated.  My mum is visiting for a short break.  I'm eldest of six kids and the youngest three (11, 7 and 16 months) are staying too. So we've been trying to find craft/activity ideas that suit all four kids. We've been really lucky with the weather this week- we've done ice play and gardening.  Today we're trying out another steiner craft- bees wax candles.  It's a really nice sensory craft with no mess which makes it awinner in my books as I'm a bit  ocd.  We used a craft kit purchased from the local steiner school.  We used three a4 sheets of beeswax and 2 metres of Wick.  Froggy thought it smelt (and tasted) good. First we snapped the beeswax to the required length.  Froggy made a full sheet sized one as we thought this might be best for smaller fingers. Then, with the help of our pub cat Margot, we measured the wick to length so we had a nice long taper.  Then (with

Sensory play with ice

Back in the freak hot weather in March,  we had a day dedicated to ice play.  We created a bunch of icy experiments for a group of kids aged 5 months to 11. It's been one of my most popular blog posts so I hope you enjoy it! I love the UK, this time last year there was snow on the ground, this year I'm sunbathing in the garden. To reminisce of last year's big chill, I set up some icy experiments for froggy and his aunt (16months), uncles (7 and 11) and cousin (17 months) to play with in the garden. Experiment one- bananas and stars This is a tasty activity.  I froze Apple juice in a star ice cube tray, and   sliced banana chunks. Once both are frozen (I left overnight) I popped on a tray for the kids to eat.

Starting our kitchen garden

Growing our own food has been an ambition of my husband and I. We both really value locally sourced produce,  and enjoy spending time outdoors.  In our first home together (a basement flat in the city centre) we planted anything and everything we could in planters on the windowsill.   I had green beans trailing up the bars of our windows. They bolted and twirled up the bars but never got enough light  to produce anything edible. Then we moved into our first pub which had masses of outdoor space, unfortunately,  all car park and no dirt. We managed to sustain some hanging baskets with strawberries and a few herb planters, but that was about it.  Now we are in our new home.  A lovely country pub in the new forest, whiich offers a private garden just for our little family.  We moved here when I was 8 months pregnants and ever since, I've been desperate to make the most of it.  Since the new year we've been planning what to do with this neglected space.  I found this

Creative Challenge Seasons table

I live in a pretty blessed in location. As a stay at home mum it really couldn't be any better. I can walk into a small market town and do my shopping, trundle to the library, get to baby groups and (this is the best bit) walk down an amazing old railway line into the forest. Along the way are country parks, pubs and all sorts of interesting places- including a Steiner School. This school has a lovely bakery, bookshop, craft shop, play area and cafe open to the public. Yesterday, empowered by the mild spring weather, me and the frog took a stroll to the school to kill some time. We had a great time, we picked up some more stock to fill our heuristic treasure basket , played in the table top water feature and browsed the bookshop. I've been itching to buy a new book for ages and found this fabulous Floris book on embracing the seasons with young children.  It offers great advice on living in a earth friendly way as well as ideas of craft and seasonal activities to share with

Celebrating World Book Day with Babies

Today is world book day. If your child (like my son) is not yet in preschool or school, it might not even have factored onto your radar. But just because your baby hasn't been issued with a book token, doesn't mean you can't find some fun ways to celebrate the day. Here's what I'll be doing to celebrate the day with my 6 month old son froggy. 1. Set up a book corner. Grab a coffee table or a foot stall and pop a selection of books out. Let your baby explore the books and guide you towards what catches their eye. Their choices may be purely colour of texture motivated if they are tiny. Show interest in their choices. For older babies- putting books in a place accessible to toddlers is a great way to allow them to get into books. Alternate the choices every so often to keep it interesting. 2. Join the library If your not a library card holder yet mark today by signing up at yours. Most libraries are really child friendly places. Mine has a giant he

Toys on Tuesday- Heuristic Play

If you read my blog regularly you may have noticed I'm a big fan of Heuristic play for babies and toddlers. In fact  few weeks ago I destashed my sons toy collection For my first #ToysonTuesday post I thought I'd share what's appealing to my son from his treasure basket this week. -  Starbright baby teething rhino- its nice to chomp on- and hand made. Which is pretty awesome. Froggy's Grandma got it for him for Christmas. It's been my back up whilst he's been experimenting with biting. - an exhibitor pass from my past life as a fashion marketing manager- its a fascinating array of textures and the lanyard encourages fine motor skills - He loves Hot drink tubs. Not just like but LOVE. They're so appealing they caused an all out fight between frogs cousin and aunty ( both toddlers) this week. I think its because they have a load of uses - funny mirror, drum, storage vessel and teething object. - A homemade baby teething ring- How to make th

Cutting down on plastic and electronic toys

Before frog was born I had some pretty strong ideas about what kind of parent I would be. I wasn't going to allow my son to watch television or play on baby apps, and he definitely wasn't going to be allow electronic toys. As a new born he was mainly interested in mirrors and contrasting colours.  I indulged my need to splurge on books and yarn. But then Christmas happened. Want ,  need, wear ,  read . . This Christmas we started  want, need, wear, read gifting. Our Son got  set of hand percussion instruments, a bundle of second hand ladybird books I won cheap on ebay, a winter coat and a small wooden bath time boat. I have to admit I was feeling pretty darn smug on Christmas morning.Unfortunately our success was short lived. Our little boy has lots of loving family. We're not talking average size family either. My Mum is one of 11 and my husbands mother is one of 6. I too am the oldest of six, and little frog has eight sets of Grandma's (Yep we're freaky).