Category: Family Life

Our DIY Gender Reveal Photo Shoot: The Outtakes

Our DIY Gender Reveal Photo Shoot: The Outtakes

So if you didn’t already see, I published our gender reveal at the weekend. I did a lot of planning and put a lot of thought into how we were going to announce our news but as things go, it all went a bit pear […]

Pregnancy #2: The 20 week scan and our gender reveal

Pregnancy #2: The 20 week scan and our gender reveal

On Tuesday we had a rather an exciting day! After reaching the all important 20 week milestone on Monday it was time for our anomaly scan which meant we got to see baby again. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of anticipation before a pregnancy […]

We’re finally getting some sleep | Our New Bedtime Routine

We’re finally getting some sleep | Our New Bedtime Routine

We moved house just over two months ago and while the first week of night times with Florence went surprisingly well, straightforward bedtimes and restful nights swiftly went out of the window after that. We quickly fell into the trap of her waking after a couple of hours and crying until she came in with us. Often she’d just lay there awake for the rest of the night and on the occasion that she’d fall back to sleep she’d wake as soon as we tried to transfer her back to her cot or stir every time we moved. I’m all for extra cuddles, if she needs comfort from her Mama then that’s what she’ll get but after a while it became more of a habit then a need and left both Sean & I running on empty. Being in the second trimester of this pregnancy, nights are becoming uncomfortable too, without a wriggly star-fishing toddler adding to the mix and there were times when I’d get up in the morning and feel like my body was going to break.

Last week we made the decision to change something. Something had to give. And so we decided to remove a side from Florence’s cot and transform it into a toddler bed rather than a cot. That way, we’d be able to stilllay with her until she fell asleep at bedtime, without having to move her once she did. It also would mean that when she wakes in the night, we’d be able to slip in next to her and then slip back out once she was asleep.

This weekend just so happened to coincide with Florence being poorly and us taking an unexpected trip to A&E with what presented as bronchiolitis. Thankfully, she was treated quickly and it turned out to be a bad case of croup but it did mean that we hesitated about making such a change when things were already a bit up in the air for her. However, we bit the bullet and on Sunday, Sean took the side off of her cot and replaced it with a fold-able bed guard and our new bedtime routine began.

Previously, we’d bring her up to our bed after a bath, have a bottle and cuddle her to sleep before moving her into her room. We’ve cut out our room entirely, and after a bathtime with Daddy she comes up to her bedroom, we get her in her pyjama’s and grobag and read a story before Sean goes back downstairs leaving me to do lights out & give her her bedtime bottle. I then lay with her in her bed until she falls asleep (which so far takes half the time it used to in our bed!). She woke up a few times the first couple of nights and I just quickly got up and snuggled in next to her to get her back off, but last night and the night before she’s gone straight through from around 8pm to just after 4am – a huge improvement! She goes back to sleep until Sean goes to work & then comes in with  me for morning cuddles.

I try to follow a similar pattern for nap time and while it’s still taking a little while to get her down for her nap we are getting there. She napped for four hours the other day!

It’s safe to say we are all feeling  a lot more human and I’m much less worried about what it’ll be like at nighttime when the new baby arrives. It just goes to show that a small change can make such a huge difference and that a change in routine at any stage needn’t be such a daunting thing.

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Gender Predictions – What do the Old Wives Tales Say?

Gender Predictions – What do the Old Wives Tales Say?

With our 20 week scan in just a matter of hours we hope to finally find out whether this baby in my belly is a girl or a boy. My money is on a boy, however you just never know until there’s proof do you, […]

Pregnancy #2: 20 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnancy #2: 20 Weeks Pregnant

We made it then, 20 weeks pregnant! Wowsers. I am a little bit speechless at the speed at which this pregnancy is passing by and reaching the half way mark is such a huge milestone. We have our 20 week scan tomorrow which I hope […]

Our Autumn Book Box

Our Autumn Book Box

I always love this time of year. The change of season always seems to inspire me to get organised and plan new ways to play and this Fall I’ve got a whole bunch of activities planned to keep Florence busy. I thought I would start by sharing the contents of our Autumn book box as much of our play will be inspired by the stories and characters we’ll be reading about. Just a quick heads up, the links in this post contain affiliate links, so if you click and buy any of them, I get a percentage from Amazon.

Hedgehugs Autumn Hide & Squeak

The adorable little duo, Hattie & Horace are two of my favourite children’s characters and we see them play in the woodland as the seasons change from Summer to Autumn in this little tale, hiding and seeking each other and the other creatures among the pine cones & toadstools as they try to work out why the leaves are falling from the trees. It’s great for playing spot the hedgehog with little one’s and also identifying all of the new changes outside that Autumn brings. You can buy it here.

That’s not my hedgehog

We are big fans of the That’s Not My series, and the Hedgehog version is our latest addition to our collection. Florence loves the touch & feel elements on each page and I’m a big fan of the way each of the books encourage learning about the animal subject as well as different textures too. You can buy it here.

Fox’s Socks

This charming little board book is one of four in the Tales from the Acorn Wood series by Julia Donaldson. The story follows the tale of poor Mr Fox who has lost his socks and his efforts to find them around his home, with the help from Mouse. Each page has a little lift the flap which hides a different item of Fox’s clothes. Florence says ‘there it is’ every time we find another piece! You can buy it here.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Ah the old classic! This was one of my favourite books growing up and I have fond memories of acting out the story. Obviously Florence is a bit young to do that however, we’ve been reading this book and using it to inspire our outdoor adventures and play as the seasons change. We’ve walked through the swishy swashy grass, we’ve splashed & sploshed in puddles and we’ve squelched in the mud in the garden. Not to mention how much she loves the bear! It makes a lovely little bedtime story and the potential for inspiring imaginative play is huge! You can buy it here.

Owl Babies

Anyone else remember this story from when they were young? It’s absolutely beautifully illustrated and follows the three baby owls as they wait for their Mother Owl to return home after a night of hunting. The owl sound is one of Florence’s most recent sounds and so she ‘Twoo’s’ as you turn each page. Very cute! I love how this book explores the roles of each of the siblings and their reactions to their mother not being there when they wake up. I think it’s a really gentle story to tell children whose Mum’s are maybe going back to work or are going away for a period of time — Mum always comes back! You can buy it here.

It was a cold dark Night

This short and sweet tale tells the story of a Hedgehog called Ned who is searching for his home on a cold and dark night. He visits the homes of the other woodland animals before finally finding a home for himself. Florence loves looking at the different animals throughout the book and making their animal sounds. It’s also a lovely way to start teaching little one’s about where different animals live.You can buy it here.

Apples & Pumpkins

Another super simple story following a family as they head apple & pumpkin picking. We will be doing both of these as a family this Autumn so it ties in nicely with our own play & activities for the season. You can buy it here.

Herbie’s Big Adventure

Probably aimed at children slightly older than Florence – Preschool age maybe? – Herbie’s big Adventure is all about a little Hedgehog whose Mummy tells him it’s time to go and adventure by himself and so as he does, he finds there is a whole world full of fun and friendship as he explores the big wide world before making his way back to his Mum. Along the way the story does subtly discuss the differnt seasons and the things that change as they do too. Florence loves looking at the pictures and pointing out the trees and the leaves and flowers. You can buy it here.

Who’s been eating my porridge?

A slightly different take on the traditional tale of Goldilocks & the Three Bears, this lovely little story make me feel all warm inside! Florence loves pointing out the bears and pulling a very cute shocked face every time the porridge disappears.

Gruffalo Growl & The Gruffalo

Gruffalo Growl has been one of of Florence’s favourite since she was very little – I used to read it to her every morning! It’s a shortened, simpler version of the classing The Gruffalo and is complete with a noisy growly button. She likes to look through this one herself, again making the animal noises as she turns each page and will happily ‘read’ it for ages! I hope to introduce the full version at bedtimes as we change our evening routine again as I think it’s the perfect story to wind down with in the evenings. You can buy Gruffalo Growl here.


 

What are you reading with your toddlers this Autumn? I’d love to know any of your recommendations.

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Pregnancy #2: 16 – 18 Week Pregnancy Update

Pregnancy #2: 16 – 18 Week Pregnancy Update

I really do feel like this pregnancy, since the first trimester ended, is absolutely flying by. How am I 18 weeks pregnant already? Just two weeks off of the half way point. Craziness. SYMPTOMS Thankfully, aside from a few episodes here and there, the morning […]

What Florence wore: A week in my toddlers wardrobe

What Florence wore: A week in my toddlers wardrobe

We spent last week away on holiday in the Isle of Wight and as I packed Florence’s suitcase it became clear that I have serious wardrobe envy! I thought I would share the outfits she wore each day for any of you looking for some […]