Love The Little Things #35

So that’s it, summer holidays virtually over. This is my last day off and I’m feeling a bit apprehensive about the return to work. It has been so wonderful to have spend the past few weeks with O and I’m gutted that it’s over.

On the up side hubby has been off again this week so we have been making the most of the time together and been out and about lots as a family and managed a sneaky night away just the two of us. The highlights have been.

Read On Tuesday I was this fortnights host for the Britmums Carnival and this meant I have spent the first part of this week reading all the fab posts that fellow bloggers had emailed in. Every post was wonderful and I’m so glad I offered to do it as I have found myself a couple of new blogs to read and also had some of my current favourites send my their posts too. If you’ve got a spare minute check it out as there are some great posts.

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10 Reasons Your Toddler Is Your Best Friend

Lets face it, toddlers are hard work. When you’ve been up since half 5, have played cars for 2 hours straight and then the grumpy little sods throw their “I’m not tired” strop because they are, in fact, bloody knackered they can start to wear you down.

But then they will do or say something that reminds you your toddler is your bestest little bud:

1. They tell you look beautiful, when you know damn well you don’t. Unwashed hair, no make-up and those trackies that really should have been binned a year ago is certainly not a good look, but your two year old doesn’t see any of that, they still think you look fab.

2. Whilst their favourite food is chicken nuggets and beans they will think you are the most awesome cook ever. Just don’t ever burn the pizza, they’ll never let you forget it and will give them a fear of black food for the next 10 years!

3. They may be waking you up at 5:15am but they are waking you up with a kiss.

4. You have a coffee shop buddy to chat to over a slice of cake (provided you can get them to sit still in the chair long enough!)

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5. And they ALWAYS want to chat to you. Fair enough, 90% of what they say might be madness but they will tell you everything! Cue lots of conversations about wee wee & poo poo!

6. They’re the perfect excuse to spend a lazy afternoon on the couch watching Frozen.

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7. Remember when you used to go out to pubs & clubs (I know it’s been a while, but try to think back) and you went to the toilet as a pair with your bestie. Those days are back!

8. They’re always around to lend a hand when you need it.

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9. Toddlers may not enjoy shopping but they will be brutally honest with their opinions of your latest purchase. “Pretty, pretty” is a keeper, “No, Mummy, not like it!” Back to the shop it is!

10. You may have had a shit day at work, your other half is driving you potty but when it comes to down to it your toddler will always be on hand to tell you they love you, give you a big (generally sloppy) kiss and put a smile on your face.

So when you’ve just got in the shower and they run in to tell you they need a poo, or the Playdoh has been mashed into your new rug try to remember a couple of these points, and give your mini mate a cuddle!

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Welcome to the Britmums Carnival

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Hi, I hope you’ve all been enjoying the bank holiday weekend, despite the not so summery weather.  Way back in January when I offered to host one of the Britmums Carnivals August seemed such a long way off but this year has flown and I can’t quite believe that it will be Autumn next week.

Thank you so much to the lovely bloggers who have sent me their links, so without further ado, let’s get cracking.

Kicking us off is a post that as an (almost) mid-30′s mummy I could completely identify with.  Tas from Not My Year Off lets us know about the Things She Has Learnt In Her Thirties.  If only we could go back and have a word with our younger selves to stop worrying what everyone else thinks!  Although, that’s all part of growing up isn’t it?

Next up is one of my absolute fave bloggers, the lovely Sian at Potty Mouthed Mummy.  Her post is a lovely letter to the man who lives across the road from her, someone who I think we’d all love as a neighbour and is a stunning example of a fab Dad.

Another of my regular blog reads is the gorgeous Kerri-Ann from Life As Our Little Family.  I love this post How Young Is Too Young For Technology?  As a teacher I’m very aware of the effects technology can have on our kids and worry about it constantly with O.  In the day we live in it’s impossible to keep our kids from technology but it is so important that they learn how to use it responsibly.

O does love time on Mummy’s pad but he also loves reading books and I love watching him as he fetched book after book for us to read.  Books can be so useful in helping kids start to identify with what is happening in their lives (seriously I will be forever grateful to Pirate Pete and his Potty) so when Catherine from Story Snug sent over their review round up of starting school picture books it seemed the perfect post to include as the summer holidays are rapidly coming to a close.  Good luck to those new starters (and their parents) next week.

One of the loveliest things about hosting the Britmums Carnival is coming across new blogs and one of those was Goblin Child.  I rarely write about our two little pooches but they are a very big part of our lives although it was a huge adjustment for them when we brought O home from the hospital.  I love these top tips from a fellow dog owner about how to handle the new arrival for the benefit of all members of the family.

Sticking with a doggy theme Colette from We’re Going On An Adventure has been celebrating her dogs birthday.  As mentioned above we have two Lhasa Apso’s and we always try to celebrate their birthdays.  Mo’s is easy, she shares the same birthday as me, but we do tend to forget Roxy’s.  Oops! No such worries for Thomas, he looks like he has been completely spoilt!

One of my regrets is not finding this post from The Train Drivers Wife earlier about how to keep little people amused.  As we are approaching the end of the summer hols I could have used some of these hints a few weeks ago.  Some great ideas to keep little people amused to stop them climbing the couch and crayoning on your walls!

If you want to get out and about instead check out this post from Mummy Melton about her day out to Dunstaurgh Castle. Gorgeous castle, fab views and a beautiful beach, I only wished we lived a bit closer as it looks a great place to visit.

One blogger I’ve admired since I started a year ago is Amanda at City Girl Gone Coastal.  I love the beautiful photos in her blog so I was delighted when she emailed me a post to include.  This is such a sweet post and one us mums of little boys will be having a smile to.

After spending the first half of this week sorting out some of O’s tiny baby clothes, and at 5lbs 12oz he was a tiny baby, it was lovely to read this poem from My Life My Love to her 6 month old daughter.  Those days seems such a long time behind us now but they were so special and like Ali and Lola we loved mummy and baby cuddles too!

I remember reading Nell’s post from Pigeon Pair and Me a few weeks ago and meant to go back and comment but you know how it is, life gets in the way and you forget.  So I was pretty chuffed when she tweeted me the link to include in the carnival.  Swinging through summer is a lovely post about not forcing our children to grow up too quickly, I couldn’t agree more!

At BlogOnMosi this year I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Lorraine from The Uncheshire Mum.  The post she sent over to include in the Carnival, despite being a sad one, was so touching in the way the exes can still find a way to put the important stuff first, and be a part of each others lives in a positive way.

Another blog that is new to me is Laura Evelyn Bee but I’m a bit gutted I haven’t come across this before.  Her post on the The Six Sisters of Motherhood is fab and I’m sure every mum will be nodding along with all 6 points.  At the moment I’m completely with her in the pride phase when your toddler tells you “I need a poo!”  In fact, I was a bit teary this evening when my little man plonked himself on the potty by himself to do a big poop.  Not quite so proud when I had to dispose of the stinky mess!

One of my fave posts was the one sent by Betty and the Bumps.  I know I’m so guilty of giving my hubby a hard time and most of my focus goes on the little guy in our lives, but he is a star and I don’t give him enough credit.  So, let’s take a bit of inspiration from Betty and Let’s Hear It For The Boy.

I was totally jealous when I read this post from The Life Of Spicers about swimming with dolphins. It has been on my to-do list forever and is one of those things I would just love to do.  Dolphins are beautiful animals and I loved reading this post and seeing the fab photos.

Taking a minute before we finish to take a more serious turn.  Another of my fave bloggers, Lauren from The Real Housewife of Suffolk County tweeted me a link to a post she wrote in the wake of Robin Williams death.  I had previously read it and it is so beautifully written and honest and talks about her own struggle with depression.  I’ll let you read it because she puts it a lot better than I ever could but it is so true that you never know what is going on behind the cheery face some people put on.

Lisa from Hollybobb’s was also prompted by Robin’s death to talk about her depression and ME.  Lisa gives us a small insight into how these invisible illnesses can take hold, and asks for a little more acceptance from those around us.  I had very little experience of ME until a member of my department developed chronic fatigue syndrome two years ago.  Watching such a bubbly, full of life lady change to a shell of her former self was shocking and now, 2 years on, she can only manage to work a couple of hours a day, 2 or 3 days a week.  Anything more than that and she is wiped out for days!

I’m going to finish with this post from Life, Ninja Killer Cat and Everything Else…because whilst as bloggers we spend a lot of time online it is so lovely to take a step back from it all and appreciate what we have going on in our “real lives” too.

Have a wonderful last few days of summer (I’m hoping there’s still a few days left at least) and thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoyed reading these posts as much as I did.

 

Chatterbox Walls Review

We moved into our house five years ago and this summer one thing we’ve been trying to focus on is to give the place a little bit of a spruce up.  With mostly magnolia walls I’ve desperately wanted to add some colour to them and now that we’re a family I’ve wanted to create a homely feel.

I’m a bit of a sucker for anything that can be personalised as I think it adds a lovely touch to the home so when I was given the opportunity to review a personalised print for Chatterbox Walls I was a little bit excited.  Chatterbox Walls allow you to quickly and easily create your own print or poster for your home.

They offer a huge choice of templates, in a wide variety of colours.  The hardest part of the process was trying to choose which design to go for.  I loved The House Rules poster, but after much deliberation decided to go for the Mummy Loves design.  It was very tempting to order it for myself to go in the designated girlie room of the house, but in the end I couldn’t resist ordering an what O Loves poster.  Apart from looking great in his room, I loved that we have a permanent record of what he loves now, aged 2 and three quarters.

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This design took minutes to create.  Space is provided to enter your details and one of the things I loved was that your changes are immediately updated at the side so you can see what it will look like, plus you can change the background colour too.  I made the above poster with one hand whilst my toddler was sitting on my knee have a good nosy at what I was doing.

The above design came in A4 size and costs £14.99 with free delivery and it arrived within a couple of days.  Very speedy service for a personalised item.

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I bought my own frame to put it in but you can buy frames from Chatterbox Walls for a small extra fee.

I’m delighted with our poster and even my fussy hubby was impressed.  I think I may have to get another one for my girlie room after all!

Disclaimer:  I was sent the poster free of charge for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Let’s Go Fly A Kite

It’s funny as you grow up, you sometimes forget the joy you can get from doing something from you childhood.  Last Sunday we headed off for a few days in my parents caravan in Wales and just before we left my in laws gave O a kite to take with him.

Of course, flying the kite was all he could talk about, so we promised him a trip to the beach on Monday to take it on it’s maiden flight.

There were a few tears first thing because we were going swimming before hitting the beach. A hint of the teenage tantrums to come, “YOU SAID we were going to fly my kite!” Although he soon cheered up when he remembered he quite likes the swimming pool too!

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The only tiny problem was that neither of us could exactly remember how to start off flying a kite. I have memories of my dad running up and down the field near where we lived throwing the kite in the air, only for it to crash to the floor. Luckily it was a very windy day so as soon as we let go it flew high into the sky.

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O was eventually trusted with holding the kite, with strict instructions to keep a very tight hold and never let go. Of course, he let it go and what followed was a ridiculous scramble from me and his Dad across the beach to catch it before it went too high. I daren’t think about the tears that would have resulted if we’d lost it.

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After a busy morning of swimming, running on the beach and kite flying O was getting tired so we packed up and headed back for the caravan for cuddles, naps and a cup of tea!

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Love The Little Things #34

The holidays are going far too quickly and we are about to head into the final week.  On the plus side hubby has been off work this week so we have been on a little jolly to Wales (where I may have misplaced his iPod, he’s taking it surprisingly well) and spent a few days having a big clear out and eventually moving all the baby stuff we no longer use up into the attic.  Not exactly a fun activity but it desperately needed doing.  We couldn’t get into the garage for the amount of stuff in there.

I’m linking up with the lovely Jenny over at Let’s Talk Mommy as Morgana is off on her jollies this week.  Only a teeny bit jealous!

Read I took my holiday book to Wales with the intention of trying to finish it and it still didn’t happen.  I’ve been trying to catch up on my blog reading and loved Not My Year Off’s post Things I’ve Learnt In My Thirties.  As some one who is also about to hit their mid-30′s I could identify with all her points.  Still not sure I’m ready to move into that next age bracket though!

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My Sunshine

One of the best things about my job is the summer holidays. Having 6 weeks off work is bliss, and since becoming a mum they have become even more precious. I think back now and wonder what on earth I did with the time off before having O.

This is now our 3rd summer together and every year it gets a bit more special. This year he is my little companion who comes with me everywhere. Apart from when I’ve been hitting the gym or for the girly lunch I had with friends last week (thanks Mum and Dad for babysitting) we have been inseparable.

I love that we can have lazy mornings where we’re not rushing to get out. Days are often unplanned and we can do or go wherever the mood takes us. A potter round the shops, a trip to the park or tea and airplane watching at Nana’s.

My little man has an amazing imagination and quite often we find ourselves making up our own silly games at home that he finds hilarious. And of course, nothing in the world can beat snoozy afternoon cuddles on the couch. Those precious moments that one day will be just a memory are the highlights of my day.

I know how lucky I am to be able to have this time with my little man. His little face at the start of the summer when I tell him that him that’s mummy’s staying home is just priceless.

That’s not to say he doesn’t have his moments when he’s hard work. When he’s running around the house refusing to wear pants, usually when we’re already running 5 minutes late to be somewhere! He’s unbelievably stubborn, and unless he’s sleeping he’s rarely still.

When he was a baby it was hard to imagine him older, but now I’m starting to see flashes of the little boy he is rapidly becoming and I’m so proud of him. He’s sweet, thoughtful, affectionate, funny and his manners are impeccable (if anything he’s over polite) and he’s got me wrapped round his little finger!

My little sunshine!

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