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Cloth nappies for beginners!

This is our second time round for cloth bums and I feel so much more confident, I want to expand our stash and try different brands and we always wear them out. With Jenson we used Bambino Mio Miosolo and Tots Bots Easy Fit. The two part Bambino Mio nappies didn’t suit Jenson nor did Tots Bots, it’s so important you find the right nappies for your baby. This time round, anything seems to fit Emie and suit her, I think it’s because she has chubby thighs. So far we haven’t had any leaks with Emeline but we had a few leg leaks with Jenson.  

Enjoying our cloth nappies in the garden

 

  

Here are a few basics to get yourself started: 

  1. The first rule to cloth nappies is to increase their absorbency, rinse and rinse and rinse to get them up to a good level. 
  2. Never use fabric softener! This clogs up the nappies and reduces their absorbency. 
  3. Hang them outside to dry when possible – the neighbours will love the brightly coloured pants but the sun is natural stain remover. 
  4. Always use a liner, most brands do their own liners. My favourite liner is Tots Bots as they fit nicely inside. Others hang out and can leak slightly if they’re not tucked in properly. 

    Tots Bots Liner

     
  5. Fold over Velcro – if your nappies have got Velcro tabs. There are sides to fold the Velcro back on itself so it doesn’t catch in the machine.  

    Tots Bots velcro tabs

     
  6. Strip wash the nappies once a month. I do this by rinsing a few times, washing with fairy liquid. Then a hot wash with nappy detergent, then rinse, rinse, rinse!  There are lots of different methods available online though. 
  7. Store nappies in the appropriate container, some nappies should be stored in water and others should be in a dry bin. Tots Bots have an elastic bin liner which means the nappies can go straight in the washing machine in the bin mesh.  

There are three types of nappies that are our personal favourite and they are easiest but are also easy for our family to use, the best one though is the Bambino Mio Miosolo. It is also really easy to put ‘back together’ with a slide in pocket, you put your hand in and slide the nappy back inside. This is one of my favourite features as it is quick and easy. Essential when babies start rolling and moving.

  

 

I love Tots Bots for their slim fit. Their Easyfit has poppers on their inside pocket for attaching boosters which is brilliant when you need it. I put the nappy back together and shake it back to shape. Tots Bots have recently released their new nappy ‘Peenut‘. This nappy is genius and I want more of these. They are essentially a two part nappy with poppets for the inserts rather than folds. The wrap can also be used for their Bamboozles too. This means that there is also more room in your changing bag as you only need to take the pop ins for the Peenut.  

Peenut Nappy

Peenut Wrap and Bamboozle Cloth

  

Peenut popper insert

  

Bamboozle Nappy

  

You can literally get any nappy you want too, even personalised ones! Jenson had his own one made by Weenotions and he looked bloody lovely!   

Looking the part for birthday cake smash

   
We have always had nappies that are birth to Potty too except the Bamboozles. They have poppers on the front to adjust the sizes and you can loosen the Velcro across the tummy too.

Birth to Potty

  
Finally, since swim nappies are ridiculously expensive, I have also used both Bambino Mio and Tots Bots swim nappies, I like them both equally. Bambino Mio are like training pants that you pull up and down which can be a pain if there is a poo whereas Tots Bots work as a normal nappy. 

Tots Bots Swim Nappy

 I am a massive cloth nappy fan for their appearance mostly as well as their easiness! And I would recommend to anyone! 

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Easy eating out

I love eating out, we are such foodies. Normal restaurants though, we don’t go too posh as the portions are too small, general chain restaurants and a few smaller family run restaurants in our local area are our favourite. We definitely have our favourites. 

Jenson has also developed our love for eating out, he often requests breakfast, lunch or dinner out. His grandparents have a lot to blame too! Jenson is recognised in our local Costa and has his ‘favourite’ drink from his favourite Barista, now that is embarrassing. He has such confidence now that he will order his own food and drink by himself.  

 

We have always found eating out with Jenson really easy, someone told me when I was pregnant with him to eat out early so he gets use to it and we did. We took him with us and let him share our meals when he was weaning, eventually he started to have his own small dishes and now he almost always has a full three course meal! Jenson has had one horrendous meal incident, on his first birthday at Prezzo in Epping when he decided to wear the spaghetti bolognaise on his head and then threw the remaining around his high chair!!! Now, thankfully, we don’t have a problem with him. He is impeccably behaved and he uses all of his manners. I feel so proud of him. 

Jenson has earnt his weekly stars, he gets to choose a treat and he chose a Chinese this week! My four year old wanted to go out for dinner as his treat, we have created a monster! As usual, he sat beautifully eating his starter and mains, he will always eat a selection of foods too, he is well cultured and has good taste buds. 

Now we have to do the same with Emeline to ensure that she is as well behaved at the table! Tonight, she was as good as gold, laying on her mat chatting and gurgling at the lights and her Daddy! We will take her with us, and when she is weaning she can eat our food to try different things. We will have a ‘pub bag’ full of tricks and entertainment just in case of delays or boredom and get her in a high chair, sitting with us as early as possible! Fingers crossed!

 

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“Can I have a cuddle please Mummy?”

Today, my gorgeous little four year old has been so affectionate. He has enjoyed his first day of the holidays with me and Emeline. Numerous times, he has clambered up on to my lap to ask for a cuddle today, it’s like music to my ears. Jenson rarely stops for 5 minutes, he never sits and watches TV so for him to want to cuddle me is just amazing. He has been quite calm today, maybe he is flagging after the ridiculous about of sugar he has consumed! We even started the day with a sticker book! 

 

Jenson knew I wasn’t feeling that great today and as the day went  on, I have felt worse. He has been a cross between my doctor and my own personal assistant! As soon as I’ve finished a drink he has jumped up to take the glass to the kitchen for me, obviously to earn extra stars on his chart! I feel so proud of the caring and helpful little person I am raising. Whilst Emeline was on her mat, the slightest whimper and he was there, telling me she was fine   

    
 
Jenson felt like he earnt an extra special treat by being so lovely today, he came to Baby Sensory with me and Emeline, my sister, Charlotte, also joined us. He played ‘baby’ for some of it, other parts he watched and then he took it in turns to sing to Emeline and join in. The activity week at Baby Sensory was Baby Pirate and I remember doing it with Jenson when he was so little. Without fail, everyday I question how he is four, I am amazed with everything he has learnt and what he knows and can do but he needs me, he won’t always need me but for now, snuggling up on my lap with his warm arms wrapped around my throat to the point I am almost choking is everything I want. 

I am so shocked sometimes at how little people can be so thoughtful, I collected Scott a Fitbit today from Argos, Jenson felt that in order for Scott to have his new watch, he would have to find it on a treasure hunt as Daddy enjoyed the egg hunt on Sunday! Knowing full well that he had this ‘new toy’ when he got home and he would then have to search for it would no doubt drive him mad, so naturally I agreed! Jenson came up with some questionable clues and drew a treasure map. I drew some drawings to help! 

I am savouring this moment and today’s memories, knowing full well tornado Jenson will return tomorrow and there will be carnage, noise and tantrums. It was lovely whilst it lasted! 

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Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

We went to Wyevale Garden Center this morning for Breakfast with the Easter Bunny in Colchester. It was a brilliant event that was calm and fantastically organised. 

You have to book this in advance, like their breakfast with Father Christmas events. You are provided with a choice of breakfasts and unlimited drinks. We all chose hot breakfasts and they did not disappoint.  It was perfect for my Mum who suffers numerous food allergies, they took it seriously and even cooked her own sausage for her. 

   
Wyevale was quiet considering it was Bank Holiday Monday. We started with breakfast which didn’t last long. The Easter bunny then appeared and the children were incredibly excited. The indoor play area was reserved for the children at the event which meant Jenson was in an out all day. There was a table set up for biscuit decorating and an Easter egg hunt around the garden Center with clues. It was so well managed and the children were hooked. 

  

    
 

After the children had all taken part they were able to go back in to the soft play, one family at a time they were called to have their photo taken with the bunny and receive their Easter gifts. Luckily, it was not your traditional Easter eggs! The children were given a choice of tree teddies, a pencil, some sweets and a balloon. 

   
    
    
   
It was a fantastic event and definitely one we will do again, perfect for Emeline’s first Easter and so reasonable too. Thank you to Lois and Carol from Colchester Wyevale for a brilliant morning. 

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What does showing off achieve?! 

Showing off probably makes me the angriest, he has now reason to show off. My family and friends love him exactly as he is when they see him alone, however, a larger group of people and Jenson feels the need to show off, be silly and be loud. He really lets himself down. 

We have had a lovely Easter, he has been as good as gold all weekend and we had the loveliest egg hunt and played with his new Playmobil hospital. 

 Then we went to my parents and within seconds of walking through the door, he was running around and shouting. It annoys me and I start moaning at him, then Scott does too. We end up pissed off and Jenson just ignores us as more family arrive. With focused attention and someone saying ‘let’s do this..’ He is so much better, but being left to his own devices or to make a decision, he is a nightmare. Today was no exception and was made worse by the chocolate feast he had for pudding!    

   
As expected, his auntie and uncle wind him up by exciting him. I will get my revenge. He gets carried away and doesn’t know when to stop, Scott and I get more annoyed at Jenson who is still running around, squeaking and squealing and generally having fun! Jenson ignores everything I say and everyone eggs him on by laughing, encouraging him or making excuses I.e ‘he is hungry’, ‘he is tired’ etc! 

 

We eventually decide to leave when we are borderline divorce and all of a sudden when we arrive home, Jenson is back to the wonderful little petal he is. He played in his room on his own, he often does this during the day for 10 minutes, I think he needs some space away from Emeline. He came back down and I had set him up a Playmobil city, we played so nicely and he was calm and giggly. Then he asked to watch the ‘Brain Film’ – yesterday we discovered Inside Out and he is obsessed with it and he sat and ate his boiled eggs nicely. He has had a lovely bath and we are attempting a relatively normal bedtime routine even though the clocks have changed and it is so light.  

 

I feel bloody exhausted, I slept rubbish but he has worn me out behaving how he has for no reason. Everyone makes excuses for him which makes it even worse and I am so excited to put him to bed. Dreading tomorrow with the inlaws which is always 50,000 times worse!  

 

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Screw you British Summer Time!

The clocks changing, in my opinion, has no purpose. It doesn’t make it any sunnier or warmer. We just have darker mornings and lighter evening. This doesn’t bother me at all and I’d happily sacrifice this for just the same time all year around.  

 

Before I had children, I changed the clocks the night before. One year, my Dad also did the same. This meant that I was an hour early, at 5am, to collect my best friend from the airport as she was on her way back from travelling… I was excited but turning up at her parents at that time was ridiculous. 

I now hate the clocks changing along with every other parent. It’s a new routine that we have to adjust our children to unnecessarily. Especially during term time! Thank god this year has fallen in the holidays, a child without that hours sleep is hideous. 

The changing affects feeding routines and bedtime routines and everything. Emeline is fed on demand so that’s okay but having to change that bottle feeding, 4 hour routine to when it suits you is hideous. Trying to adjust Jenson’s bedtimes is going to be painful, gradually moving it to 7pm over the next week. It’s a fine art! 

However, looking at the time on my phone, I feel liberated based on the fact both my children have had a lay in today. Not by yesterday’s time, but by today’s time! This is life changing and for the day, I’ll be like a spring chicken! We are off to do our egg hunt as soon as they wake!  

 

Happy Easter! 

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Hypnobirthing

In the lead up to my labor, Scott and I attended hypnobirthing. I had a wonderful labor with Jenson which was very calm so I wanted to makes sure Emeline’s was the same.

One to one midwives offered the class, Free of charge, which in my opinion is amazing considering other people charge a fortune for it. We used a lot of Katherine Graves scripts and music in the classes (Katherine Graves Hypnobirthing) and I found her voice calming, it’s really important that you can relate and calm to the voice I feel. I could listen to her before bed and within moments, I was fast asleep.

 I found the class brilliant, I really invested myself in it and it made me even more excited for labor. We discussed lots of our worries and fears and these were addressed so positively. I am such a positive person that this is what worked best. 

I enjoyed having the music on in labor, and Scott used the techniques that he picked up but I didn’t fully engaged in the absolute silence and the ‘zone’. I was definitely focused but I didn’t mind the midwives talking to me and I found it peculiar with Scott being so positive that he just pissed me off! 

  Katherine Graves sells a selection of different CDs that can be purchased or downloaded as MP3. My favourite tracks were ‘confidence and power’. These tracks focused a lot on removing negativity and I still think of this even after birth. It was totally my favourite. I felt I could push away those negative people and comments! 

I really loved birth affirmations, I didn’t plaster them around my house but I had faith in myself and I believed that everything was going to be okay. I trusted my body and I felt so relaxed, even when I was overdue, I was worried about being induced and decided against it but I felt calm and that my baby would arrive when she was ready and actually, her timing was perfect.     

I would definitely recommend Hypnobirthing, it’s harmless to try and even better that you can access the class for free: 

http://www.onetoonemidwives.org/Hypnobirthing

The best bit being it gave me faith in myself and every woman should be able to trust herself and have faith in herself. It helped me remain calm and having been through labor before, I knew I would survive although I know that it is incredibly nerve wrecking first time round. 

But look at the magic I produced…