Blanket Fort Building Challenge

We received a Blanket fort building challenge from Time4Sleep who are aiming to build the world’s biggest blanket fort! We received an essential fort building kit to join in the fun and build our own forts at home.

Blanket Fort

A better world starts with a blanket fort.

Blanket Fort Building

We love building blanket forts, it’s one of our go-to ideas when the weather is miserable so we couldn’t wait to get started! In the end, we actually made several forts, each slightly different from the last.

Fort Building Challenge Kit

With the summer being so up and down we have spent a good week building different forts with our kit from Time4Sleep. We received Fairy lights, bunting, wooden pegs, a torch, popcorn boxes, popcorn, bed sheets, a chalk board sign, an iPad stand and blanket fort book.

Popcorn and blanket forts

The girls absolutely love snuggling up with the lights on, watching a DVD or their tablets cosily in their forts. I filled their popcorn boxes up with a mix of popcorn and sweets and they have spent hours together enjoying films or books and redecorating their forts, making sure their ‘Girls only’ sign is on display at the entrance!

Benefits Of Blanket Forts

Building blanket forts is so much more than just fun for kids. Blanket fort building enhances children’s cognitive skills such as problem-solving and planning. Social skills such as cooperating and negotiating are needed and the building itself builds practical skills too.

Building Forts for fun

Children are free to let their imaginations run wild as they decide on their building plans and how to decorate inside. Once built, blanket forts create a cosy safe space to relax or play in. With lots of miserable days this summer, blanket forts have kept the girls amused quite a lot.

Another benefit is silence! The girls love their blanket forts so much they often disappear for an hour or so at a time. Izzy especially loves being able to snuggle up in a blanket fort for hours on end and is silent the entire time.

Do your kids love building forts too?

The Baby Detective Blog Tour

I received The Baby Detective by Sarah Norris to review, a parenting book unlike many others I’ve read. This book doesn’t dictate what is the right or wrong way to care for your baby. Neither does it tell you which parenting style to go with, instead, it gently guides you through caring for your newborn.

The Baby Detective

The Baby Detective

Sarah Norris gently guides you through investigating what the problem is and why it is happening. With 25 years experience as a maternity nurse caring for hundreds of new mothers and families Sarah developed a new method. The unique AIM (Assess, Investigate, Modify) method to help parents solve the challenges any new parent may face.

Sarah Norris

A Unique Parenting Book

New parents can often feel confused and overwhelmed with unasked for advice, tips and tricks to care for their newborn. This book encourages parents to use their own tuition rather than telling them what to do. This book will give you the confidence to care for your new baby with confidence. Solving each challenge you face from sleeping, feeding, routines and winding.

Different Case Studies

Each case study is unique and as a parent of 2 daughters myself, I’ve faced most of these problems. Looking back at my own experience these problems sometimes took month to solve due to conflicting advice, especially with Eva. Sarah’s explanations of looking for clues as to what affects your baby is fantastic for new parents. I honestly wish I had a book like this to hand as a new parent. Everything a new parent will face with their newborn is covered. From environmental factors, biological states,temperamant and emotional response.

Record Keeping

Sarah explains how record keeping can help new parents keep track and solve problems. From feeds taken, winding times and issues, sleep patterns and issues, nappy changes, Sarah makes record keeping seem a breeze . She also goes on to explain whilethis can be reassuring it can also increase anxiety at times. If this happens she explains what to do in that situation. This kind of book would have been helpful when I had Eva. I became obsessed with weighing Eva weekly until she was over a year old. Because she was born at 4lb 14oz, then dropped to 4lb 4oz due to jaundice, I was constantly worrying. Record keeping can be useful, but it needs to be kept simple and not become obsessive as Sarah explains.

How To Be Your Own Baby Detective

Rather than tell you which problems may arise with a newborn Sarah explains situations she has faced with new families. With each challenge the parents face The Baby Detective explains how to assess the situation, investigate the problem and make modifications. This method can be applied to big and small problems even those minor day-to-day issues.

Planning

The Baby Detective covers planning ahead using AIM. This can be applied to family gatherings at home, medical appointments or treatments. It can also be applied to Social events away from home, foreign holidays and as baby develops. This in depth look at planning helps you plan aheadwith ease to suit you and your babies needs.

Winding Your Baby

An in depth look at winding, why your baby gets wind, anatomy of babies stomach will help you understand what is going on with your little one. This will fill a new parent with confidence instead of leaving them feeling clueless. With an extensive look at winding techniques that will help your baby you will quickly become a winding expert!

Useful Tools And Equipment

As a new parent all the baby products everywhere can be really overwhelming. You can feel really unsure what will actually be useful day to day and how to use them. Sarah looks at each tool and why you may need it, reasons it can be useful. She also explains how not to overuse items like pacifiers and tips for sensible use. Each item is fully broken down again, filling a new parent with confidence that they are doing the right thing to comfort and care for their newborn.

What Is Normal

As a new parent knowing what is normal for your baby can be very confusing and scary. Again Sarah gives an in-depth look at every part of a newborn. From skin colour, umbilical cord, eyes, arms, feet, noises and crying. The Baby Detective also looks at head shape, appetite, wind, hiccups, breathing and temperature, febrile convulsions and sleep. A look at birthmarks, urine, feaces and constipation, menstrual blood in baby girls and skin rashes will leave you confident in caring for your newborn.

Where and How To Get Help

As you face new challenges you may require support and have no idea where or how to get help. Sarah makes this easier for new parents by point5ing out exactly where to get the help you need and how. From other peoples opinions, hospital, community midwives, health visitors, GP’s, consultants, maternity nurses and support groups. Whatever help you need, Sarah Norris has compiled an extensive list to make finding help easy.

Emergency Action

We have all faced a newborn screaming, having a total meltdown whilst feeling overwhelmed and exhausted ourselves. Sarah offers some fantastically useful advice and suggestions for this situation. Sarah provides comforting ideas for your baby, an emergency routine to reset and calm a baby. These aren’t long term solutions but will help you get back on track and continue with the AIM method in desperate times.

Genuinely Helpful Parenting Book

Having read The baby Detective, I love Sarah Norris’ way of looking at caring for a newborn. I remember too well how stressful those first few months with Eva were. I never felt confident that what I was doing was right and everyone felt I should try their way. It’s very overwhelming and stressful but The Baby Detective would make that time much easier for any new parent. I genuinely couldn’t recommend this book more, it’s unlike any other parenting book I have read.

First Parents Evening This School Year – Feeling Proud

The girls first parents evening for this school year came round quickly. I’ve missed several of Eva’s due to the school’s lack of organisation, cancelling then rebooking for the same time. It can be rather frustrating before you even get to the actual appointment. Luckily things have really improved this year and we attended last Tuesday.

First Parents Evening This School Year - Feeling Proud

Previous Parents Evenings

I love hearing how well Eva is doing and finding out any concerns we can resolve. My main worry is that the teachers miss far too much. I don’t feel the last few teachers have spent enough time around Eva to get to know her and how she is actually getting on. Her first teacher was amazing, she had Eva figured out instantly, worked out issues we could work on together and I couldn’t have been happier. Ever since then it hasn’t felt the same at all.

Frustrating

Eva’s last school report mentioned she needed to find an author she loves which infuriated me as at the time she had re-read ALL of the Harry Potter series 4/5 times and loves any J.K.Rowlings book she has discovered so far. For her teacher to have missed this huge obsession of hers was a shock to me.

The report also said she needed to read a variety of books, anyone who has read our blog for some time will have seen several of Eva’s book reviews. She literally reads anything and everything! She’s even bugged her dad to help her find more material and ended up reading a few of his old Commando comics. We visit the library almost every week and the girls quite often reach their 14 books limit. She is known as a bookworm yet somehow her teacher missed that for an entire year!?

Improvements

I’m glad the school has finally organised a better booking system for parents evening as it meant I can book both appointments closer together. As I don’t do the school runs, I try to make a point of attending parents evening myself.

Big girls off to school!

Eva’s Parents Evening 

Eva’s appointment was first, we met with her teacher in her classroom and we looked at Eva’s report so far. I have to say I felt immensely proud to see Eva is working above expectations. Her teacher had such lovely things to say about Eva, how clever, happy and kind she is. I had to breathe deep not to cry in all honesty!

Her teacher admitted at first they missed how well Eva was doing but moving her seat helped and she’s doing fantastic. To hear she writes amazing stories at school too was lovely. I left that classroom beaming with pride! Eva’s teacher seems perfect for her this year and I am so pleased she is getting the praise and encouragement she deserves in school as well as at home. 

First Parents Evening For Izzy

I have to admit I was nervous about Izzy’s parents evening. Having not been to nursery, I was unsure how she had adapted to school life. Whilst she was a little emotional in class to start, Izzy has grown much more confident and really enjoying school. We told her teacher about My Mood Stars and sent them in the next day for the class to use. I explained I hadn’t sent Izzy to a nursery which her teacher hadn’t realised. We discussed how instead we learnt through play at home. Her teacher seemed quite pleased with her progresss far although her full observation wasn’t due until this week.

Izzy showing Happy Stars

Due to being born with tongue tie we discussed her speech issues and the school feel she will improve with some sessions which is great! To hear she has a best friend already was lovely but to hear her friend has cerebral palsy and Izzy is extremely caring and helpful with her is absolutely beautiful! Izzy has such a caring, motherly nature that it doesn’t surprise me but makes me so proud of her.

Feeling Proud

I can’t really explain just how proud I feel of my girls, they are beautiful inside and out. Their teachers this year are both fantastic and I love that they have got to know the girls well already. The fact a teacher has finally realised Eva’s abilities is brilliant and I can see why Eva’s confidence has been boosted these last few months. Even if it has come with a little attitude at home, haha! 

Have you had your first parents evening yet this year? How did you child/ren get on?

Izzy’s First Term At School

Izzy’s first term at school went surprisingly well. I was a little nervous for her to be honest but after running straight off to the paint table on the first day, I knew she’d settle ok. She goes into class happily each day and comes running out at home time happy. Starting reception has gone fairly well!

First Term

Izzy’s First Term – Toilet Training

As some of my regular readers may remember, Izzy started toilet training a few weeks before starting school. I am extremely thankful she’s managed a whole term with only one small accident at school. I expected a fair few more accidents! Izzy is confident using toilets anywhere, she can change herself if she does have an accident too which I am really pleased about. 

Pranking Teachers

Anyone that has met Izzy will know she is a joker! She loves to make people laugh and has a fantastic sense of humour. Izzy made this clear to her teachers from day one. For the first week or so children wear name badges to help teachers learn their names. Izzy is of course Isobella, so we reminded her this is what was on her name badge. Obviously Izzy’s mischievous brain decided that was a great way to prank her teachers. 

Several teachers spent a while calling Isobella, she acted oblivious. A learning support aid sat with her for a while and asked if her hearing was ok. She told Izzy teachers kept calling her but she wasn’t responding. Her reply? ‘I can hear them fine but I prefer Izzy!’. So of course the LSA suggested changing her name label to Izzy but she refused, leaving teachers confused all day! 

When the Mr collected her at the end of the first day he asked for Isobella, the teacher laughed and asked if he meant Izzy and explained what had happened. Izzy came bouncing out laughing her head off as she had pranked her teachers on the first day of school!!!

Making Friends

As anyone with a 4/5 year old in reception will know, you never hear the full story! Izzy says she has no friends yet according to the Mr comes out chatting to other children daily.

Eva was meeting Izzy at the dividing fence between upper and lower school for the first few weeks. Unfortunately, this led to Izzy getting upset each time Eva went back to class. I was also worried this may make it harder for Izzy to make friends at break time. The girls weren’t too happy about it but I encouraged them to play with their friends and catch up on the way home from school instead. 

Lunch Times

Izzy has a mix of packed lunches and school dinners across the week. She gets on well with her school dinners but I’m finding packed lunches can be tricky for her. She struggles to open her drink and some packets so occasionally she has come home with half her lunch & drink untouched. We have been using half term to teach her to do these things properly so hopefully next term there won’t be any issue.

Getting Ready

The idea of getting both girls ready each morning filled me with dread to be honest. Eva isn’t one for just getting on and doing what’s needed, she needs constant reminders which can be stressful! Thankfully Izzy is ready in under 5 minutes and can mostly dress herself, put on her shoes etc. This makes mornings easier than I had imagined, now I’m only left chasing one child around.

A Great Start

Overall, Izzy has had a great start in reception. She likes her teacher, loves the sandpit, paint table & play dough (nothing new there!) and seems to be getting on ok. She has moments where she say she doesn’t like school, but that’s more because she’d rather snuggle up with a film and mummy! 

How did your little ones get on in their first term?

Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 & Multivitamins

Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles for 3-6 years come in a juicy orange flavour. We were kindly sent some samples to see what we thought about the multivitamins.


Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles
These Bassetts Vitamins are tasty, soft and chewy multivitamins. With no added sugar, natural flavours & colours, Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles contain some of the necessary nutrients to help support the health of three to six year olds.


Giving Your Child A Smart Start


With children starting nursery or school around these ages it gives you peace of mind knowing your child is getting some of the essential vitamins each day. Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles contain Vitamin B6 to support normal psychological function and Vitamin B5 which contributes to mental performance to support a smart way to start the day.

Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 %  Multivitamins

Izzy’s Thoughts

Izzy thought the chewy multivitamin was juicy and delicious! She said it reminded her of trying the juiciest orange she ever had. She thought it was so juicy she could just squeeze all the juice out of it to make orange juice and drew this picture of the ‘juiciest orange ever!’. It’s definitely a thumbs up from Izzy.

*Sponsored Post

*Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet

Back To School With Spearmark

It’s back to school time again and Spearmark kindly sent us some back to school goodies to help us out. Spearmark has a fantastic range of lunch bags, water bottles, snack pots & more. Whatever your needs, Spearmark products are just perfect for back to school!

When we buy back to school supplies, Eva loves anything pink! She is easily spotted in her bright pink coat and bag at school already. Why not have a matching lunch bag and water bottle too!? Spearmark sent us the perfect products!

Back to School With Spearmark

Back To School

Pink Glitter Backpack Lunch Bag

This very glittery pink backpack lunch bag had Eva squealing with excitement! We love the backpack style with its main compartment and front pocket. Eva loves the cute heart zips and can’t wait to show it off at school! She knows her friends will love it too! The handy front pocket is great for storing her break time snack. Available exclusively from Sainsbury’s along with some other great Spearmark lunch bags and products.

Cool Gear Water Bottle 828ml/28floz

Of course, you need the perfect water bottle to match a pink glittery backpack lunch bag & we love the Cool Gear Water bottles. Simply fill the freezer stick and freeze overnight to keep drinks cool all day. It’s so important kids stay hydrated at school & a warm drink is a little discouraging. Knowing you have a nice cold drink waiting for you across the day will ensure your children stay hydrated. These water bottles come in a range of sizes and colours including Eva’s favourite, pink! 

Locksy Ultra Clip Snack Pack 440ML

The Locksy Ultraclip snack pack is perfect for all kinds of snacks and is guaranteed not to leak! Perfect for fruit, pasta, rice and so much more, these handy little pots will take the stress out of emptying lunch bags. Discovering a leaky pot in a lunch bag is such a pain, these pots put an end to that!

Which Spearmark back to school product do you love?

Toilet Training Izzy For School

We’re toilet training Izzy for school at the moment. Like Eva, Izzy has shown interest in the toilet but only on her terms since about a year old. Just like Eva she also made sure it really was only on her terms.

At home with her 2 in 1 toilet seat and steps, she will happily have a wee 60% of the time on the toilet. Anywhere else has been an absolute no! Until this week!

With Izzy starting reception in a few weeks we needed to push a little harder. I know talking things through with Izzy tends to work best so I sat her down for a chat.

Talking It Through

We talked about how good she is at using the toilet by herself at home now. Then I reminded her at school there are no steps so we really need to work out using the toilet without.

Reassurance

I reassured her I’d hold her until she felt comfortable and we’d practice for a few days at home. Once she felt comfortable we would try using one elsewhere, then try going out close to home without pull-ups.

Izzy had other ideas. Suddenly she folded her steps up and said to put them in the bin! We decided to put them in the cupboard for now and she has spent all day showing we she doesn’t need steps. She’s a big girl now she’s 4!

Using A Toilet Somewhere New

We headed out to the library for an hour and Izzy surprised me by using the toilet there too! We’ve discussed speeding up our original plan since and I’m really pleased she suddenly feels ready at last! I got stressed with Eva toilet training, feeling pressured by others. This time around I’ve done things my way and so far it seems to be going smoothly!

Toilet Training At Last!

We’re now on day 3 since ditching the steps and Izzy is doing really well. She’s using the toilet all day until bedtime and I think we are almost ready to start going out to nearby places with toilets without pull-ups.. hopefully, haha! Toilet training is in full swing at last and I think Izzy is finally ready to ditch the pull-ups during the day and hopefully, it won’t be long until she is dry at night too. She has started to wake up for the toilet in the night and we are cutting down evening drinks to help.

Feeling Positive

With just a few weeks to go until she starts reception, we feel Izzy will definitely be ready to use the toilet alone. I’m relieved I haven’t got as stressed this time around, I knew she’d be ready in her own time!

Are you toilet training at the moment? How is it going?

Strange words from the 5 Year Olds mouth

Kids always come out with weird stuff dont they? Or is that just my daughter? Over the last few months she has been coming out with some rather odd stuff..

Admittedly having the parents she has its hardly surprising as we aren’t exactly ‘normal’ but even I’m a little shocked by the following things she has come out with recently…

  • Can I get a my little pony? Then cut its eyes out and chop its hair off, pull out the stuffing and colour it in and make a zombie pony?
  • Mum can I have some dead squirrels? So I can draw with them and make things out of them?
  • I’m going to buy vanish gold for my birthday. So I can throw it in your face and video it and put it on youtube. That would be so funny!
  • (Latest one! April) Mummy so & so has a willy, he told me! Daddy doesn’t though…