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5 Ways to get stuff done with a Toddler in tow

5 Ways to get stuff done with a Toddler in tow

A Mama’s work is never done is it? I seem to have this never ending to do list filled with all of the things I *should* be doing, need to get done, but frankly some days I barely even make a start. Since Florence started […]

DIY Christmas Wrapping Paper

DIY Christmas Wrapping Paper

With all eyes on the impact we have on the planet I’m making a conscious effort to make this Christmas as Eco Friendly as possible. I’ve tried to opt for wooden toys over plastic for Florence, I’ve made a lot of gifts rather than bought […]

Preparing Florence for Big Sisterhood

Preparing Florence for Big Sisterhood

Now that we are past that half way mark, I have been thinking a lot more about how we are going to prepare Florence for becoming a big sister. With time speeding by and the next few months being busy with all sorts of events and festivities his arrival is going to come around quicker than we think and so over the next few months my focus really has to be on preparing her for that.

Making routine changes now rather than later

Florence has always been pretty routine led. She is a bit of a creature of habit and doesn’t really cope well when things go out of sync. Obviously certain elements of our day to day will have to change once baby arrives and to avoid it being such a huge shock to the system we have started to tweak a few things here and there already. We made some significant changes to bedtime a little while ago which have since gone awry due to it being quite a busy time here, but as of next week everything should go back to normal. With any luck we will have cracked bedtime again soon and our evenings will be newborn ready!

Things like setting aside times each day for independent and one to one play are also on our routine agenda. I’m going to try and match these up with standard feed & nap times for baby so that Florence gets a feel for our soon to be daily rhythm.

Enlisting her help

She’s starting to understand and carry out simple instructions now for example she will go and get a nappy out of the box when asked which once baby is here she’ll be able to do for him when it comes to nappy change time and will not only help her feel more involved but it’ll help me no end when I have my hands full.

Reading lots of books about babies

I’ve ordered a bunch of books for Florence all about being a big sister and babies. She loves stories and sitting down to read together and I think this is a great way to help her build a bit more of an understanding of her new role as a big sister as well as reassuring her that Mummy & Daddy still love her just as much.

Making babies just a regular thing

So, obviously Florence isn’t exactly used to babies – she’s only just grown from baby to toddler herself! – so the whole concept is a bit alien to her I would imagine. Making sure she had the opportunity to be around babies and is invited to interact with them is really going to help her build a bit of an understanding of how to behave around them. She has a baby cousin and her godparents have just recently had a little boy so we are just encouraging her to interact with them as much as we can. So far, shes been so good and doesn’t even blink when I have them on my lap and she’s definitely intrigued by them… so long as they don’t touch her she’s fine!

Including her when choosing things for baby

When we get nearer to the time, we are going to go out for a bit of a treat day when we have cake for breakfast in our favourite café and then hit the shops. I plan to get her to choose a couple of things to buy for the baby and then also choose a few things for herself. Involving her in the whole buying process, I hope will help her take a little pride in the things she chooses for her brother.

Talking openly about baby

So she might not completely understand what we’re going on about but I make a conscious effort to at least mention the baby to her a couple of times a day. Simple things like “I think the baby will like doing this when he comes.” and “ooo the baby is wriggling around in Mama’s tummy” are just gently ways of introducing him to her world. With any luck, she’ll be able to make a loose connection to my rambling when he actually arrives.

Putting together a Big Sister Basket

I’ll be putting a little big sister basket together for when baby actually arrives filled with some of Florence’s favourite treats & activities. This will also double up as a bit of a busy box for her to turn to when I’m feeding or settling the new baby.

Baby play

Florence has suddenly taken a real liking to dollies and teddy bears and tries to dress them, feed them and wanders around the house with them in her toy pram making sure they’re all tucked in to their blankets. It’s very cute! I love how loving she is to her dolly and it gives me some confidence that actually she’s going to cope just fine! We’ve put a request in to Santa Claus to bring her a new baby and some bits for him and I think she’s going to love it!

Those are the steps we are taking to prepare our toddler for her new sibling. Fingers crossed by the time February comes she’ll be as prepared as she can be for her new role as big sister.

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Twenty Five

Twenty Five

Twenty five. It sounds so grown up when you say it out loud. I’m caught between feeling way too young to be in my mid twenties and being already older than my years and it’s a really strange one! Today I’m as close to thirty […]

Pregnancy #2: 26 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnancy #2: 26 Weeks Pregnant

This last fortnight has been a super busy one. As well as the usual day to day madness raising a toddler brings I have been busy work wise too – a wedding I’ve been working on for the last few months came around so I […]

The Weekend Blog #1 | Park Trips & Parties

The Weekend Blog #1 | Park Trips & Parties

I’ve been meaning to start writing these little weekly weekend posts for a while. I had thought about doing weekend vlogs but I’m rubbish at filming out and about so I thought maybe a blog alternative might be a nice little to way to record some of the things we get up to each weekend and capture some memories.

We’ve had an unusually busy weekend actually, probably what’s given me the push to write everything down and make sure I remember it!

Friday

Our weekend started on Friday with a little fashionably late Halloween party that me and my Sister-in-law threw for Florence and her little cousins & friends at Sean’s parents house. Never one to do things by halves, I spent the day making a spooky feast and setting up games and such for the children to play. We had a glow in the dark treasure hunt, a witches brew messy play tuff spot (which the kids LOVED!), some sensory play bits for the babies as well as fireworks and all sorts. Florence wore the cutest little ghost outfit and it was so lovely to see her get to play and interact with the other littles – even if she might need a bit of sharing practice still! She absolutely loves playing to a crowd and thrives around people so despite being exhausted she just carried on partying until the very last person left, helping herself to food and cakes and crisps whenever the moment took her. Every time we saw her she had something else to eat in her hand! I also got some baby squidges in with our friend’s 11 week old who is just scrumptious.

Despite it feeling like it was at least midnight by the time we’d cleared up and left, we were all back home and in our pj’s by 8.30. I’ve decided we should throw a party for Florence every afternoon as it only took 20 minutes to get her to sleep. I took advantage and had myself an early night.

Saturday

There was no lay-in on the agenda for Saturday morning. Florence and the dogs were awake and ready to play at 7am. We left Sean in bed and came down to make breakfast and snuggle under blankets in front of Peter Rabbit. The mornings are so cold now, winter is definitely on its way.

After breakfast, I let Florence play with some of the toys we’ve been sent to review ahead of Christmas. I’m actually going to wrap them back up and give them to her as gifts, but it was lovely to watch her play and work out how each of the things worked. How is it that toddlers just instinctively know how to do certain things? She spent an age banging her other toys with her hammer & twisting the screwdriver pretending to screw the bits together.

Sean had to go out and look at a job mid morning, so we carried on playing with the company of my sister until Florence was ready for her nap. Determined not to waste the child free hour, I’d planned to get a bunch of housework and blogging done while she was asleep but as happens so often at nap time these day, I fell asleep with her! I woke in a panic an hour and a half later realising that I’d agreed to meet my friend Helena who was home from London for the weekend in around 40 minutes and I still had to get Florence up and ready! We met her at a park we used to mill about in as teenagers and let Florence loose in the play area while Sean did laps of the park with Alfie. Anyone else love how simple things entertain toddlers for ages? She spent the majority of the time going back and forth on the little bridge meeting us at either end. She’d created quite the little game.

It was so nice to properly catch up and chat with Hele as we made our way through the treetop walk & the rest of the park. I’m not sure we’ve seen each other properly since Christmas last year and so to be able to just pick up where we left off as though no time had passed goes to show that true friendship never really fades.

We came back home to warm up and have tea before getting ready to go back out to another friend’s birthday gathering. I’m the first and only one of our friendship group to have any children so I don’t always make it to these things but it was fairly low key and child friendly so Florence donned her pretty party skirt and off we went – armed with a million glow sticks and cars which are the new ‘toys’ of choice. It felt so good to have everyone back together and hear everyone’s news. Florence had the best time too and made some little friends who she seemed to play with for most of the night. She even managed to share her cars and glow sticks! HUGE steps for someone who usually avoids other children at all costs! I sat absolutely full of pride watching her run around. Sadly (I think!) we had to leave before the karaoke started as she had emptied the bag of nappies at home without us knowing & had pooped! Oh the glam life of a Mama.

Sunday

I think all of the partying of the last couple of days wore Florence out and while she woke up at 7.30am she wasn’t much up to doing anything other than snuggling up under a blanket and watching a movie. She did manage to nab a chocolate biscuit from Nanny though. We watched Babe in our pyjamas until she dozed back off for about half an hour.

Florence went out to the shops with my mum on a cake run and Sean went for a run so I managed to get a few bits done around the house that I’ve been meaning to get done all week this afternoon. Just things like finding a place for all of the wedding bits from last weekend and giving Florence’s bedroom a once over. I’ve reorganised the toys in her room and finally cleared some space so she can actually play in there too. You know the stuff that just builds up but ends up at the bottom of the list?

Having had nowhere near enough sleep, Florence was flagging by 3pm and so her and Sean sat and did some colouring before a quick trip out to the park for some fresh air was in order.

Sean and I cooked a roast for everyone and then we all sat and now with full bellies we are all about to sit down and watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II. Sunday evenings are always a bit different and we usually let Florence cuddle up and fall asleep on us while we watch a movie or catch up on some tv as a family. Fingers crossed the same happens tonight as I am pooped! AND I have to wait ’til she’s asleep before I can open the Snickers Ice cream…

Happy Sunday lovelies, I hope you’ve had as good and as busy weekend as we have!

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How to make a Pumpkin Table Centrepiece

How to make a Pumpkin Table Centrepiece

With Hallowe’en all over and done with for most of us, I’ll bet there are a whole bunch of redundant pumpkins hanging around your homes right now. Well, think twice before you completely write them off and take them out with the rubbish… I’ve got […]

What Mama Wore: Keeping Cosy in Pink Blush Maternity

What Mama Wore: Keeping Cosy in Pink Blush Maternity

We have finally arrived in chunky knit season – officially my favourite time of year! I mentioned in my post last week that I have been on the hunt for some new maternity clothes to see me through Autumn & Winter and I’ve recently teamed […]