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August 22, 2014
by admin
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Wake up mummy.

How Tia has woken me has changed massively over the last few months. We’ve recently installed a new system upstairs so she has a free run of the upstairs now. She still has a gate on her bedroom and it’s closed until she falls asleep, then when we go up we shut the new large one to stop her getting downstairs and open her bedroom one.
So now instead of her screaming for me in the mornings, she comes and gets into bed with us. Super cute.
How she wakes me often depends on her mood. Here’s a few examples from this week.

“Mummy, I hun-a-grey”
“Mum, mum, mum, mum clean bum”
“Awwwwww love you darling”
“Want a snowman” <<<<-------- this one made me smile soooo much. What a total cutie!
She always either cuddles me or strokes my head whilst talking and it's impossible to wake up grumpy.

I honestly love this kid so much, sure she has horrid tantrums now she's very nearly two. But the cuteness (and funniness) is far outweighing them so far, I'm truly loving this age.

How does/do your children wake you up?

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August 20, 2014
by admin
2 Comments

Lucy’s cloth nappy diary.

Week two of the cloth nappy diaries and I have the amazing Lucy with you today. I’ve been talking to Lucy online for a couple of years now, she’s honestly so very lovely. Find her on twitter here.

Hello and welcome to cloth nappy diaries, can you introduce yourself please and tell us who you use cloth nappies on?

Hello, I’m Lucy. The wife of an exiled Scot and mother of two girls, Lily and Iris. I try to keep myself amused while being a full-time stay-home mum with some part-time proofreading and a lot of blogging. At The pie patch I blog about all the things I love and want to share with the world – food, crochet, and cloth sanitary pads. Here are a few thoughts about my experience of cloth nappies.
We’re very nearly at the end of our cloth nappy journey. My youngest and last baby, Iris, is two-and-a-half years old. She’s been potty trained since January but still wears cloth training pants with a booster at night.

When did you first hear about cloth nappies and how?
I’ve always known that old-fashioned cloth terry nappies exist. When I was pregnant with my first baby in 2006 I very briefly considered modern cloth nappies. I liked the way they looked but the initial outlay seemed vast and I couldn’t fathom how I’d cope with all the washing. It didn’t take me long to dismiss the idea.

Skip ahead to 2011, pregnant with my second and final baby. I was now a full-time stay-home parent and the idea of cloth nappies was much more appealing. During one of many hospital appointments, there was a lady in the antenatal waiting room promoting them. She was lovely and helpful but made the mistake of telling me that initial outlay would be £400. FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS!!! So that was that. We were wondering how we were going to afford a cot and pram, no way could we add on the cost of cloth too.

Finally in December 2012, I made the change. A friend told me that the real cost was nowhere near £400. There were cheapy “workhorse” nappies you could buy on eBay. A full set would cost around £80 or £90. That was all I needed to know. So after she’d just turned a year old, Iris was finally in cloth.

Why do you choose to use cloth nappies
At the time it was probably for financial reasons. Forever running out of disposables and having to buy more. I only ever bought own brand nappies but it still adds up. I was also becoming ever more concerned about how much waste we were sending to landfill as a family of four.

Do you have a favourite nappy/brand, which one?
I never really had a favourite brand. My entire nappy stash consisted of two dozen eBay pocket nappies, one lonely Totsbots, and half a dozen “pretties”. The one pretty nappy that I really truly loved and have kept as a momento of our cloth bum days is a Little Red Riding Hood Chubba Chops that I won in a giveaway. But as much as I adore cloth nappies, they were still very much a functional item.

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What do you find hardest about using cloth nappies?
At the moment, the hardest thing is finding adequate night protection. Iris has always been a mahoosive night wetter. I cannot convey to you just how much she wees at night. I swear there’s GALLONS of it. As a baby, she wore disposables at night. It was the only realistic option. As a toddler, she even started out-peeing those. How is that even possible?! Despite already being potty trained, we forked out for half a dozen XL Bambooty night nappies. Success! They were great.

But Iris is a very tall toddler and she was soon outgrowing them. And we really wanted her to be in a pull-up so that she can easily use her potty at night with mininal fuss. We are trying to get her dry at night … and failing spectacularly. She has some second hand Bright Bots cloth training pants that I bought on eBay, which we add a cloth booster insert to (from her old pocket nappies). But every single morning she is waking up soaking wet. The waterproof mattress cover is working overtime! Disposable pull-ups work best but I really don’t like them. So we’re at a bit of a stalemate. There doesn’t seem to be a solution, other than carrying on and trying to keep up with washing a lot of wet bedsheets and pyjamas, or putting up with disposables.

What is the best part about using cloth nappies for you?
There are so many advantages. Better for the environment, better for baby’s skin, better for your wallet. And they look super cute too. Bonus!

Can you give our readers your top three cloth nappy tips?
i) Build your stash gradually, buying a few from different brands in different styles to find out what works for you.
ii) Sell them on! If a particular nappy isn’t working for you, recoup some of the cost by selling it on a “pre-loved” site.
iii) Sunshine. A few hours on the line in bright sunshine does wonders for stains. It’s astonishing how well it works. Must be voodoo.

And finally, would you recommend cloth nappies?
I would highly recommend at least giving cloth nappies a go, particularly if your baby suffers with eczema or nappy rash in disposables. It’s really not as much work as you think it’ll be and it could turn out to be the best decision for you both. But if I could, I’d also send out a free cloth sanitary pad to every single new mum. Feel the difference yourself – itchy, sweaty, smelly, plasticky disposables pads … or … clean, pretty, soft, chemical-free, odour-free, reusable pads. You’ll never look back and you’ll want your baby to share the same luxury on their delicate parts as you have on yours!

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Thank you Lucy, do pop back next week for another cloth nappy diary.

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August 18, 2014
by admin
7 Comments

Britax King II LS stage 2 car seat.

We’ve been testing out the new Britax King II LS car seat* the last few weeks and mainly I’ve been massively impressed. There are both good and bad points with this seat as I’m sure there is with all seats. For me though the good has massively outweighed the bad, so here goes…

The King II LS car seat came in a huge box as to be expected. Tia was very excited and wanted to open it immediately! I had watched the installation video twice before, but wanted to watch it again before fitting it myself just to make sure. You can find the installation video here. Armed with the knowledge and smug satisfaction that installing the seat would be a doddle, I went out to the car with Tia to swap her seat. Only after following the video exactly the seat wasn’t fitted correctly. I may as well have just sat it on the backseat for how safe it was. I Immediately thought that the seat wasn’t suitable for my car. I waited until my husband got home, after explaining to him the problem, he came out to look at it with me.
Turns out it’s actually a lot harder to instal than the video makes out. It actually needed the two of us to get it in properly, this just means I cannot quickly change cars and I’ve kept her old one in case we ever need to go in another car. So I would say if you will be switching the seat from one car to another to bear this in mind, if you will be purchasing the seat and it will stay in one car please read on as the seat itself is actually pretty awesome.
The fitting of the seat was totally different to any other seat I’ve seen, the whole front of the seat lifts up, I’ll never be able to explain it as it’s pretty cool. Do have a watch of the video link I posted for full fitting instructions.

Once fixed into place we tried Tia in the seat, I had adjusted the head cushion indoors before taking the seat out to my car. So she just needed strapping in and off we could go. The king ll LS has a very clever tension indicator system. Once the straps have the correct tension a light flashes and you hear a clicking noise. This means you won’t ever have to worry about the straps being too tight/loose anymore! A few other handy features include little pockets to keep the straps In so you don’t lose them and a hidden pocket on the back on the seat to store the manual.
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The king II LS has four seat positions, upright and then three reclining settings. I’ve found this to be really helpful for Tia who often falls asleep in the car and has always looked uncomfortable before. The seat it’s self is deeply padded and the cover is fully removable to make washing it easy.

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The king II LS is suitable from 9 months or 9kg up to 18kg which is around four years. The headrest is fully adjustable and it has a five point harness. The chest pads are performance ones made to reduce your child’s movements in the event of a crash. Speaking of crashes, the king II LS passed the roll over test which means,
In case of a roll-over, side impact or an offset impact where combined vertical, lateral and or oblique loading lateral forces can lead into ejection or submarining, the shoulder contact points and the crotch strap (of a fivepoint harness) stop those risks and keep the child safely in the protecting seat shell.

The battery for the light is built in and has a lifespan of around seven years, so no need to worry about changing that. It only comes in black and is exclusive to buy at kiddicare here.

August 16, 2014
by admin
0 comments

Sunday photos.

I haven’t done a Sunday photo post in ages, I had a flick through and found a few that made me smile, take a peak at a rainbow of colours.

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This is some of my many beautiful cloth nappies, I sort them into prints and blocks and they make me smile everyday.

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And this super rare photo of Tia napping on daddy who then napped. Tia hasn’t fallen asleep on her dad since she was teeny tiny so this was a very warming sight.

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August 13, 2014
by admin
9 Comments

Francesca’s cloth nappy diary.

Hi guys, welcome to the first ever instalment of the cloth nappy diaries. I’m planning on running this weekly and I hope you find it helpful, if you want to take part then please do contact me using my contact me page or commenting below.

Hello welcome to cloth nappy diaries, can you introduce yourself please and tell us who you use cloth nappies on?

Hi, I’m Francesca, mum of 17 month old Farrah. I work full time for a tv commercial production company and live in Norwich.

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When did you first hear about cloth nappies and how?

I came across them online when I was pregnant and loved the idea. I soon discovered numerous forums and nappy company websites and realised it was something I really wanted to do.

Why do you choose to use cloth nappies?

A few reasons, initially landfill as was horrified at the amount of disposables we’d get through, plus we have fortnightly bin collections here. Then it was the chemical smell of disposables and a terrible poonami at 4 days old that just made me bin the disposables altogether. The fact you can save money, they are better for babies bum and are very pretty just seal the deal.

Do you have a favourite nappy/brand which one?

Yes. A Mama Knows bamboo velour nappies. So brilliant at containment plus being a hybrid they offer more options and work as a night nappy.

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What do you find hardest about using cloth nappies?

Drying them in winter.

What is the best part about using cloth nappies for you?

Containment and reliability.

Can you give our readers your top three cloth nappy tips?

Don’t put them on like a disposable, the fit is totally different. There are some great video links online that help.

Always use fleece liners, they keep baby’s bum dry, allow you to use ‘banned’ creams like metanium and prevent stains on nappies.

Always use fast absorbing materials like microfiber closest to baby’s bum and the slow absorbers like bamboo and hemp furthest away. This combination gives us a good 4 hours.

And finally, would you recommend cloth nappies?

Most definitely!

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Thank you Francesca, don’t forget to pop back next Wednesday to meet another cloth nappy user.

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August 11, 2014
by admin
3 Comments

One of those days.

Warning,
Do not read this post if you’re looking to be cheered up. Unless of course other Peoples bad days makes you feel better!

It all started so well, Tia let me have a lie in, I even got to drink a hot cup of tea before she finished her breakfast and needed more attention. I got two loads of washing done and on the line in the beautiful sunshine, one of those loads were nappies which take 2.5 hours to wash. I was in to accept a parcel, this months Birchbox before we left to go and take my poor car for its VIC test. Some of you may remember I was hit by another car in May, the first bank holiday Monday in May and its taken all of this time to get an appointment. The test centre I had to go to is in Chelmsford, I’ve never driven there before and my sat-nav informed me it would take 24 minutes. I always double what it says in case of traffic, better to be early than late right? One hour fifteen minutes before my appointment I was ready so we left. Five minutes up the road we came to a complete standstill. The heavens opened up and stayed, my poor washing. A lorry have overturned just before the turning I needed meaning huge tail backs and a diversion. One hour later and I finally got onto the main road, I’m feeling really stressed now as its taken me months to get this appointment, so the last thing I want to do is rock up late!
My sat-nav was informing me we would reach my destination at the exact time I needed to be there, IF I didn’t hit any more traffic. After getting stuck at a set of temporary traffic lights and nearly getting wiped out by a white van who veered into my lane (on his phone) I finally got to the test centre on time. Just.
Turns out that your appointment time doesn’t really matter. You’re seen in turn of turning up. After a ten minute wait it was my turn, then disaster! They couldn’t see me because I had Tia in the car. It didn’t say anything in my appointment email about children not being allowed, but it apparently did in the original booking form. The one I had filled in FOUR times and I can honestly say I had never seen that warning. So I had two choices, go home and re-book and lose my booking fee of 40 odd quid, or run back home and get someone to have Tia and get back. Everyone is at work, and my fuel light has just come on. I’ve no idea about the area im in or where the nearest petrol station is. I also have no idea who is going to have Tia, all I know is I cannot afford to lose £40 and have to wait ages for another appointment. So I ring my MIL in desperation, after getting permission from her boss im given the go ahead to take her there. My fuel light had started flashing before I found a station and my phone cable decided to become an unsupported accessory *Shakes fist at Apple*
Eventually I made it to where my MIL works, just as it flashed up *battery low* my phone is my sat-nav so im getting really stressed now. I also have two parcels in my changing bag that ive promised to post today but they’re the least of my worries now. I drop her off, and shoot straight back, it’s another 30 mile drive back and traffic is getting heavier by the minute. On the way there, my sat nav decided it was going to take me a totally different way to what it did the first time, I cried. I actually cried as I was so sure I had tapped in the wrong postcode. It was about this time that I had realised I was now desperate for the toilet. I’ve been in my car just shy of three hours now and im on my period, my bits and pieces that I need to clean up are in the changing bag that ive dropped of with Tia. I cried harder.
I finally got back to the test station and I notice that three of the four shutters are down and not a single car is parked up. There was easily 20 when I was there earlier, so now im thinking its shut. I parked up anyway and waited and waited for what seemed like ages. After fives minutes a guy knocked on the window making me jump out of my skin. It had started raining again and I was thinking about how soaked my washing was going to be, and how I wished I had brought a coat out with me. He asked me to wait in the waiting room which thankfully had a toilet! After less than ten minutes he returned with my car, it is all ok and he apologised for sending me away earlier, I told him not to be silly it was his job. He then went on to tell me that him and his co-worker had actually stayed on late to wait for me, I cannot tell you how thankful I was I could have hugged him!

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July 26, 2014
by admin
10 Comments

Goodbye tiasmum12

Hi guys,
Thank you all for reading and continuing to read my little blog. When I signed up just over a year ago, I had no real idea just how much I would love this little space. A place I can write about whatever’s going on in my head.
I also didn’t really think my name through and it’s with a real sadness, that I’m going to leave if behind. Start afresh with a brand new shiny name!
I’ll still be me and I’ll still write tons about Tia. But I also want to write about beauty and fashion and books.
I am more than just a mummy.
I’ll set it up so anyone who searches for my old URL will be directed straight to my new one.

I hope to see you all soon!

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July 16, 2014
by admin
5 Comments

Toms one for one.

I love shoes, I always have done. I remember a pair I had when I was only three years old, bright red patient leather shoes that I wore everywhere. These days I have many pairs, some that I wear regular and others that might get worn once a year if they’re lucky! Tia has the same obsession as me, she’s also dam cute so I find it hard to say no when she wants a new pair. I’ve recently been getting us matching shoes where I can, we have several sets now and I love it. Tomsare a brand of shoes that I wore regularly before I fell pregnant. I had black ones for work and several other colours for non work, when I fell pregnant I suffered horribly with swollen everything feet and ankle and I outgrew my toms and never did re purchase any.
But then I found out that not only do toms sell toddler shoes, but you can order them in matching colours to the adults! Me and Tia ordered the burlap style for both me* and her*. 20140714-160328-57808746.jpg

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So what are toms.
Toms are fashionable shoes that give back, the idea was thought of in 2006 when the founder Blake mycoskie made friends with children in a village in Argentina and found they had no shoes. Wanting to help he created Toms, a company who would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need, it’s known as one for one and is the companies slogan.
Upon realising that the movement could serve other basic needs, toms launched eyewear and with every pair of glasses purchased toms will help give sight to a person in need.

But not only are toms fashionable and helping disadvantaged children, they really are comfortable and easy to wear. The sizing is American, so I’m a uk4 and need a size six. You’ll find them a bit of a squeeze to get on at first. This is down to the material but it slackens quickly giving you the perfect snug fit.
As I’ve mentioned. Enforce, I used to wear them to work. My job involved standing on my feet for eight hours a day and they were still comfortable.
Tia’s ones I’ve found come up on the larger size. She’s currently in-between sizes, some of her size fours still fit yet others are too small. So I ordered her a five and they are quite big on her, they’re ok with thick socks but I think it will be a while before she can wear them without them slipping off. They’re possibly one of her cutest sets of shoes to date though! We’ll be getting more matchy matchy sets in different colours for sure!

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I have and still do highly recommend toms, they’re the perfect summer shoe for women, men and toddlers.

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July 15, 2014
by admin
20 Comments

Stuck on you review and competition

A few weeks back, Tia received her very own lunch box set* from stuck on you.

Stuck on you specialise in personalised children’s labels and goods including lunch boxes, puzzles and clothing. The name labels and stickers look fantastic, and we’ll defiantly be ordering some when Tia starts school.

So we ordered Tia the personalised lunchbox and drink bottle from stuck on you. They were both really easy to order, with several colour choices and designs to choose from. It’s easy to make the lunchbox really personal, you can even choose the font for the name. They were delivered in about a week, which I found fast for personalised items and were packaged well. 20140714-100647-36407267.jpg

The lunchbox has a small handle perfect for small hands, a small pocket on the outside (Perfect for notes etc) and is fully insulated inside. It’s made from a wipe clean material and is a good size.

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The water bottle was again really easy to personalise, I had mine made to match Tia’s lunchbox. The bottle is made from stainless steel which I love, it has a very easy to use sports cap top. Tia has really enjoyed using this bottle, she feels very much like a grown up, and I love how much water it holds.

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This set from stuck on you has made lunch time much more fun in the garden. It’s been used on picnics to the park and it even went to the zoo last week! It holds plenty of food and keeps it cooler on warm day, the bottle is easy to keep clean but it’s not dishwasher safe. The stuck on you lunchbox is cleaned easily with a wipe down, I’m looking forward to Tia using these at nursery one day, they really are adorable.

I’m also going to be offering you two chances to win a £20 voucher to spend with stuck on you, all you have to do is fill in the form below and good luck.

Stuck on you.

July 14, 2014
by admin
5 Comments

No dummy update.

So last Sunday evening we gave Tia’s dummies to the dummy fairy and haven’t looked back since. I wrote about how and why here and this is going to be a short update of how she’s doing.

It’s been hard, I’m sure some children find it easier and some harder. For Tia, her dummy was her only comfort so it’s not been easy for her. My and her dad have felt pretty bad for the most part of last week, at it’s worst it was taking her four hours to settle down at night. FOUR HOURS! She would settle herself in 5-10 minutes herself with her dummy, without it she just doesn’t know what to do.
A typical night would go like this.
7pm, go up to bed and have a story as normal. Lay her down and leave the room.
7:15 Tia opens both sets of wardrobes and rummages around, pulling out what every she can reach.
7:20 Tia stands at her bedroom gate and had a moan.
7:30 Tia completely empties her drawers, every single sock/cloth nappy is now on the floor.
7:40 Tia comes back to the gate to moan.
7:50 Tia completely empties her bookshelf and settles herself on her bed to had a read.
8:15 Tia is back at the gate to have a moan.
8:30 Tia’s now crying so I go up and give her a cuddle and try to re settle her. She’s having none of it and want to go in my bed. I open her gate and take her to my bed for a cuddle.
8:40 Tia tells me “back a minit” and goes back to her room and returns with a book, a toy, her water bottle and a random sticker.
8:50 Tia decides she wants to go to her bed.
9:00 Tia decides she wants to be in my bed.
9:05 Tia decides it’s her bed now.
9:10 And back again.
This can go on for about an hour.
10:00 Tia asks for the TV on, I tell her no.
10:05 Tia asks for a dummy, I remind her the fairy has it and has given it to a baby. She replies, “find fairy, I want it” and my heart breaks a little bit.
10:10 after a cry Tia is giving me cuddles and demanding I tickle her back.
10:40 Tia wants to go in her bed, she goes and she stays. I dare move/fart/breath in fear of disturbing her.
11:00 I decide it’s safe to get up and go downstairs, I collect my things and then go to bed myself. I’m exhausted and it’s late.

Nap times have been pretty hard too, she’s mainly gone in the car and has skipped it a few times altogether some days.

But I am so happy to report that on Saturday night, six days after starting she went to bed at 7 and was asleep by ten past. The same thing happened Sunday night and has just happened again Monday nap time, so I think we can now safely say that we’ve cracked it! I’m so happy, and relieved and just need to remember to avoid the dummy aisle of the supermarket like the plague!!