30 January 2015

Cardboard box fun

When you are a child there is nothing like a good sized cardboard box to play in, over the years we have had many a cardboard box and hours of play from them. Generally the Little ones like to turn them into boats and beds and play in them together and with their teddies and dolls. We have also been more creative and have, in the past, decorated them, made a castle and a car. 

The Little ones have also, in the past, taken the time to chill out in their box and take to reading and sitting watch the television in their own personal space!

The only problem in our house is most of the time they only last a day or two before they burst at the sides through the girls play, cardboard boxes just weren't designed for two small children and their long legs squeezed inside!

This week we have had a few boxes around as I had been doing some sale shopping for the baby and it all arrived this week. Little 2 has been at home (Little 1 was at school) and commandeered the boxes playing at being Mummy and a teacher to all her children in the box classroom.

One afternoon she spent the best part of 4 hours sat in a box (on and off), talking to her children, playing with the dolls and making them do rollie pollies, dressing them and moving them in and out of the box and around the room to their different activities. It was lovely to watch her play and be so happy with something so simple and it also gave me time to get lots of chores done and put my feet up for half an hour to actually read a magazine!!

I love the fact that children have the ability to make fun out of anything and stay entertained for so long with something so basic. I wonder what the next box will become....... 

26 January 2015

Ballerina, Jesus or Jack? - naming our baby

Well we've done it, eventually, with less than 6 weeks (ish) to go. Daddy and I have finally agreed on a name for Little 3. We know whether we are having a little girl or a little boy but we have still come up with a name for each just incase, girls names are easy, there was a whole list of those and we had decided by the time of the first scan but coming up with a boy name was much harder. We had a boy name for each of the girls if they happened not to be a girl but Little 1's boy name was used by another family member so that's out and we are not quite as keen on the one we chose for Little 2 now so it has been back to the baby name books and a whole lot of them too.

Naming your child is so important as they are going to have to live with it for the rest of their life (unless they decide to change it of course) and there is so much to think about. 

  • Blossom is a lovely name for a baby but will it suit her when she is 6, 16 or even 60? How well will your chosen name suit your child as they grow into an adult? Will their name hinder them from becoming a top barrister for example?
  • Children can be cruel- can you think of all the possible ways a name can be changed, turned into a taunt, or a nickname once your child reaches school age, if they can they will and it could cause all manner of heartache- Bertie may well be the cleanest kid in class but that will not stop him being dirty Bertie to his peers!
  • Do you like the shortened version of a name? Your child may always be Richard to you buy it will inevitably be shortened as they grow- do you like Rick, Ricky or Rich too?
  • How well does your chosen name go with your surname, any middle names and other family members names? Write it down, say it out loud- you don't need me to tell you about Ben Dover or Sam and Ella from next door.
  • Think carefully about initials, with and without middle names, what do they spell?
  • It may seem a good idea to give all your children a name with the same letter but when the post comes addressed to H Smith, which of your children does it belong too? It can become quite inconvenient.
  • How popular is the name you like?  If it is in the top 20 or even 50 at the time it is quite likely your child will not be the only Ben or Amelia in their class, growing up as Ben C or Amelia W can be quite annoying (this is the biggest one for us, which I will explain below).
  • Following on from above think carefully about choosing an unusual name for your child, can family spell and pronounce it, you don't want to have to correct everyone forever and it can become an issue for the child (speaking from experience again!).

When choosing names for our children we have considered the points above, popularity is one of the biggest for me. I am a Sarah and while I love my name and always have done, it was one of the most popular girls names in the 80's and every class I was in at school there were always 2 or 3 of us, which I didn't like as you never knew which one the teacher wanted or you answered for someone else on the register, we were known by our name and surname initial which I hated. More recently this has transferred to work places, in my last work place of 20 odd staff there were 4 Sarahs and 2 of us had the same initial for our surname and worked in the same section, we usually worked out what message was for whom but it could get quite tiresome. Now it is the playground, stood chatting to other mums waiting for Little 1 outside her class, I found out that at least 3 of us mums were called Sarah! Grrr

So when it came to choosing a name for Little 1 it was very important to me that her name was not one of the more common ones and she would hopefully be the only one in her class. At the time I worked in a children's nursery and had done for years until I left work to become a stay at home mum so it was even more tricky as I had looked after so many children and really didn't want to give my child the same name as any of the troublesome ones or the clingy one!! I had a name I loved from when I was about 12 years old that I had heard in a film and I knew one day if I had a daughter I would name her that, Daddy wasn't quite so keen and his favourite choice was one of the most popular names going which I didn't really like. When it came down to it on the day of her birth, I looked at my tiny baby and said 'I still want to call her (name)' and Daddy said 'Yeah ok I was always going to let you!' The health visitor once said to me that out of 7000 children on their books she was the only one with that name. I haven't come across another yet but I know a couple of people that know someone with the same name.

The only downside to Little 1's unusual name (it is more common in America but is actually German in origin) is that people do get it wrong, her name is uncommon but not wacky or crazy and easy to pronounce (as you read it) but she often gets called other things when people don't read it right. If you change a couple of letters round it can be a wacky spelling for a popular 80's name so she gets called that a lot, it has taken me 3 months to get her school to stop spelling it that way on all her paperwork and books which caused a lot of upset in the beginning.

When it came to naming Little 2 I let Daddy have more say! (I thought I ought to) but he likes all the old fashioned common ones and the 3 letter ones that seemed to be oh so popular when she was born. I took to the baby books and came up with one along the same lines that was not quite so common, but it is definitely making a comeback now 3 years on, that was similar to what he liked and he agreed. We use her full first name and ensure others do too, it has never been shortened (as the shortened version is really popular). It might change as she gets older and wants a shorter version but that will then be her decision for now we are all happy.

With Little 3, Daddy has let me do all the work, I have been mentioning names for months and throwing odd suggestions at him, mostly they are met with a flat 'No' but as time has gone on he has listened to me saying the same one or two a few hundred times and finally, while sat in the hospital having our baby monitored for 3 hours last week, I had him pinned down long enough to make a decision. 

We did ask the girls what they wanted to name the baby, Little 2 wanted Ballerina for a boy or a girl and Little 1 has loved the name Jesus for well over a year now which was NEVER going to be an option but now likes Jack and Sophie both of which while lovely are not for us. Needless to say I hope they like our name choice when we tell them, we won't be letting the cat out of the bag until the birth as I'm sure you will agree a 5 year old will not be able to keep it to herself and I don't really want the whole school knowing just in case we change our mind.

Unfortunately as I don't use the names of my family on my blog for anonymity reasons unless you know us personally you will not find out the names of my children but you are welcome to have a good guess!!

Disclamer: Please forgive me if I have slated your childs name in the writing of this blog post, it was not intended and just happened to be pure luck, it is a lovely name really!

22 January 2015

Helping mummy-getting ready for baby

With 6 weeks until Little 3 is due to make an appearance, we have spent the past week or so starting to get ready, really ready just incase, as both the girls were early and with Little 3 having a heart issue we are not entirely sure when the birth is going to happen.

At the end of the Christmas break Daddy removed all the office furniture out of our office and I had a thorough blitz of our stuff that had accumulated in there over the past few years. We have set up the cot, put up wall stickers and built a chest of drawers. We have done a bit of measuring and decided on a storage unit and how best to arrange the furniture to fit in the rocking chair and still have a bit of floor space (the babies room is our smallest bedroom and an awkward L shape too) so the room is nearly ready bar re-hanging the washed curtains and popping some bedding on the cot as well as buying the new unit! 

Now that I had a chest of drawers to fill, we got the boxes of the girls old baby clothes out of the loft, 2 and a half years worth of clothes, cot bedding and some baby bits, bottles etc as we kept a lot of it knowing we were going to have a third child.

Little 2 and I set to work sorting through the old clothes deciding what we could use for Little 3 and what had seen better days, we sorted some things out for a friend who is also having a baby just after me and worked out what we needed to buy too. While we were sorting out the clothes Little 2 tried on a large number of the items, tiny hats and socks, her old tops and pjs etc, it was quite funny to see her in clothes she couldn't get past her knees and amazing to see how much she has grown just since the summer.

My washing machine is currently working to capacity washing all the cot bedding I have purchased and there is a pile of teeny tiny clean babygros in my ironing pile, I am looking forward to putting it all away, with help from the Little ones of course.

We have had to buy a few new bits too, our infant car seat and bouncy chair had spent the past 2 years being stored in black bags in the loft and must have got damp up there as when we got them down to wash the covers they were a little mouldy so that meant I got to buy a new bouncer in the sales and we were able to find a new set of car seat covers for the infant carrier courtesy of good old ebay and thus avoided the cost of a new car seat, which was pretty lucky as this seat forms part of our travel system. I would have loved a new travel system with all the mod cons but ours is still going strong after 2 children and sadly we didn't need one!!

Things are coming together nicely now, as well as the nursery moving along, there are baby bits popping up in the kitchen, some bibs in the drawers and a cupboard has been cleared for all the cups, bottles, pump and bits too. We have had a play around with car seats to see how best to fit 3 child seats in our car without having to buy a bigger car (yet!) and we are going nursery furniture shopping at the weekend. Exciting times ahead...

19 January 2015

The party season is in full swing!

When you are 5 years old, like Little 1, your whole social life seems to evolve around school and the antics of the classroom and playground and all your peers birthday parties. It seems to be quite important to them at this age to have a birthday party and to invite lots of their friends. Now don't get me wrong I like a good children's party like everyone else but there are soooo many at the moment it is hard to keep track. 

It may just be down to the logistics of the birth dates of the children in Little 1's school year or perhaps she is just a nice friend to have and is therefore on many a party list (!), as despite my fears over the summer she has made some really good friends at school, now I hope it is not just me but does it seem like there is one party after another at the moment? We have had 8 parties in the last 7 weeks and two were on the same day in the same place! I suppose there are 30 children in Little 1's class (and 3 reception classes in Little 1's school) add to that a couple of parties for Little 2 who having started playgroup recently has been invited to one or two herself, as well as the odd family birthday do, and that is my diary filled on weekend afternoons for the best part of the remainder of the school year.

Little 2 after her latest party complete with a face painter.
I know we don't actually have to go to all these parties but why would I not let her go and anyway how do you tell a 5 year old who has just excitedly opened another pink princess invitation that you won't be taking her to that one. It just seems a little bit mean to me, unless there is a reason for her not to go or we were busy that day. I would feel terribly mean saying 'no, you can't go to that one' (although I wouldn't actually say that to her) just because I didn't fancy another two hours of sitting chatting to other parents I didn't know all that well. 

We have been to some great parties recently, Anna and Elsa have attended quite a few which the girls loved, there have been bouncy castles and slides, soft play parties, a space themed party and a pony party too (which Little 1 really enjoyed). I suppose it won't be long before they grow up and parties are replaced by just taking a few friends to the cinema or bowling instead of having an actual party, or heaven forbid Little 1 wanted a sleepover!

Last year was the first year we have ourselves had a party for Little 1. For her 5th birthday (last October) she was desperate to have a proper birthday party. In the past we have gone out for the day as a family or gone to a soft play centre with a friend or cousin and had chips for lunch! She had to go to school on her birthday so we invited 10 friends from school at the weekend and had a Frozen themed party at home with some homemade decorations and games/activities, some borrowed disco lights and played the frozen soundtrack at full blast, they all loved it and Little 1 was so happy it made all the preparation (and cost) worthwhile.

I love to see the children having fun, letting their hair down and enjoying their time with friends away from the pressures of school, it is nice sometimes to chat to other mums and find out more about Little 1's friends but at the same time a party free weekend would be good, my bank balance would appreciate it too after all these little gifts, cards and wrapping paper are starting to mount up!

Disclamer: I just wrote this post as there seem to be so many parties at the moment and I needed a blog post to write, if you are a parent of Little 1's classmate reading this, please note this is just the ramblings of a hormonal pregnant woman and please do not NOT invite her to your party (should you have been planning to do so) on account of my actions, she really would love to share your child's happy event, I might just make Daddy attend the next one instead of me!! 

15 January 2015

Glorious gloop and a cup of tea

Recently we have had a large drop in our creative play since the weather turned cold and we stopped attending messy play group as it clashed with having to have an early lunch before playgroup. With me feeling tired and getting bigger as my pregnancy progresses I haven't put as much effort into daytime activities with Little 2 while her big sister was at school as I used to. So this week I have tried harder to be creative with her as she really does love it.

This week we have had fun making pretend biscuits with playdough, drawing on a chalk and whiteboard easel she had for Christmas where she loved rubbing her picture off and drawing again, printing pictures off the internet of her favourite characters and colouring them, getting creative making her lunch (faces from the food etc) and today we had a gloop tea party. 

I set it all up for her while she was playing and she was trying to guess what we were going to do, putting the little table into the kitchen usually means painting and then she guessed cooking. As soon as we had added some water into the cornflour she got stuck in. The look of glee on her face was all I needed to know she was going to have some fun.

I made it a bit too runny but had used all the cornflour so I couldn't correct it but she didn't mind as she wanted to fill the cups and teapot and pour it out having a pretend tea party. She spent ages carefully filling cups with the spoons and tipping them into the teapot, she was really engrossed in what she was doing.

I asked her to tell me what it felt like and she said 'cold' and 'soft'. She loved feeling it run through her fingers and wasn't bothered getting messy.

She played for a good 40 minutes and offered me copious cups of tea until I suggested that we clean up as there was rather a lot dripping onto the floor and her skirt! Now for Little 2 cleaning up means washing up, she loves washing up at the moment and always asks to help me wash up the plastic beakers and bits that can't go in the dishwasher each day so after rinsing out the bowl of gloop I let her loose with a bowl of washing up water.

There was plenty more tipping, filling, pouring and generally getting wet but everything including her was spotless and all traces of flour were gone. That is the thing I love most about gloop, being just cornflour and water it is so easy to clean. It washes/wipes off everything easily with a bit of water and a cloth and it brushes off clothes as it dries and doesn't clog up the washing machine either like normal flour play can when clothes are particularly covered.

I am glad I made the effort to do all these creative things with her this week, they were all so simple and didn't cost hardly anything, it was obvious that she had fun and I did too. I think after all the glitter and creations from Christmas we had just got used to playing and a bit of colouring each day rather than actually doing something messy and fun. I am already thinking what we can do next week, some sticking and painting perhaps....

12 January 2015

7 months pregnant- bumps in the road

So in my last pregnancy update at just turned 6 months pregnant, everything was going pretty well despite Little 3 being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat a few weeks previously (you can read the post about that here), and I was just feeling pretty uncomfortable as Little 3 had undergone a growth spurt and was lying sideways as well as myself and Little 2 being ill for the best part of a month.

This month had been sooo much better until last week! I am now 32 weeks pregnant so technically 7 and a half months and with not all that long to go we have begun to get the house ready for Little 3's arrival. Over the Christmas break Daddy cleared out the office and found new homes for the computer and the furniture (most of the stuff has been deposited up in the loft!) and I had a big clearout then we build the cot and a chest of drawers so I could get started preparing the nursery.

We have brought down some things from the loft and got started on sorting and washing tiny clothes, and cleaning and replacing a few baby things as well as prewashing our brand new stash of reuseable nappies as this baby is going to wear cloth. I was getting quite excited about ironing tiny things and seeing a stash of brightly coloured nappies in the drawer until we were hit with a little unsettling news last week, but let me tell you about the weeks before that first.

My 28 week midwife appointment went smoothly, my blood pressure is continuing to stay perfect (it is this point in my last two pregnancies that it began to shoot up and cause problems so we were pleased about this) and Little 3 was head down (which explained why I was feeling a lot more comfortable and less like I was going to burst) and growing normally.

We went for a 28 week scan with the cardiologist following up from our one three weeks previously and were told that Little 3's ectopic (irregular) heartbeat had vastly improved and instead of a pattern of several minutes of regular rhythm followed by a few minutes of irregular rhythm that was there last time it was a normal rhythm with an odd early beat then missed beat every thirty seconds or so and therefore the cardiologist fully expected Little 3 to outgrow the condition before birth and said she didn't want to see us again. Whoop.

Then I went to my 31 week midwife appointment last Thursday! As with my previous appointment she said everything I was hoping to hear, my blood pressure was still fabulous, Little 3 was still head down and my bump was measuring as it should, then she listened to the heartbeat. It took her a few minutes to find a regular fast rhythm as she kept picking up what she thought was my heartbeat and then it would go again, baby was moving around so I thought it was just that, then she had me sit up and try again. She then said she wanted me to go to the hospital and have a trace done on the babies heart as she was not happy with the figures showing on her machine (according to my notes it had varied from 108-158 beats per minute and was really irregular) so off I went feeling a bit uneasy but baby was moving around lots and had been all morning so I wasn't too scared.

Once at the hospital it didn't get much better, I had to wait 45 minutes in the assessment unit as there was only one midwife there. Once I was hooked up to the monitor it could only find a heartbeat of around 75 beats per minute which she checked and it wasn't mine, and much too slow for baby. After a few minutes she decided to send me upstair to the triage unit for someone else to have a go! 

It was the same thing on the monitor up there so the midwife went to find a doctor, which took an hour, all the while Little 3 was moving like mad from all the poking a prodding so I knew baby was okay but I was really worried by this point. The doctor and a different midwife tried again, one counting my pulse and the other looking for a heartbeat, she did manage to find one this time but the monitor was saying 75 bpm although we could hear that it was faster than that, we could also hear the beat being faster at times than others and I began to feel quite scared.

The doctor said that she was going to find a consultant, then worried me further by asking how far along I was and if I had had monitoring problems before (up until this point in my pregnancy this baby had been fine with doppler monitoring at midwife appointments) or early babies due to heart issues. When she came back she said that they thought the irregular rhythm of Little 3's heart was confusing the machine and the skipped beats were making the machine think it was lower than it actually was. They had decided to do a quick ultrasound to look at baby's heart beating and try to work out what the heart rate was. I ended up in a room with a midwife trying to count the beats she could see on the screen, another scanning and another timing and counting my pulse. I could see on the screen that the irregular heartbeat from a couple of months ago was definitely still very much present and there were dips in the heart rate showing up on the trace too which haven't happened before so I was immediately disheartened.

There was then another wait while they talked with the consultant, when she returned she said that all rates were within normal levels and babies heart was returning to a safe normal level after the brief dips so they were not concerned about distress but that the irregular heartbeat was very much there again and they were not sure about the small dips. I was to be allowed to go home as long as I was very vigilant about keeping an eye on the number and pattern of baby's movements from now on and to go straight in if they lessened.

So we are now feeling rather worried and low again about the health of baby's heart after everything seemed okay 3 weeks earlier, there was mention of having to have this baby early if further issues like this arise a little further down the line or if movements change as they can not monitor baby properly and it might be safer to deliver me. I have to admit that I have lost the excitement of last week and now just feel uneasy.

8 January 2015

A review of the Gro-egg digital room thermometer

If you are anything like me you can't sleep if you are too hot or too cold, my children are just the same, they always sleep better when they are warm and cosy and the room is not too hot. When the Little ones were babies I would often worry about the temperature of the nursery and if they were in the right clothing or correct tog Grobag and go in to check them. On more than one occasion I accidentally woke them in the process feeling the back of their neck or if their face was cold. I did have one of those paper thermometer things but it never gave an accurate reading and wasn't reliable plus I could never see it in the dark.

Recently I was given the opportunity to review the Gro-egg from the Gro company and I can safely say we love it and it will be a must have nursery item for our when Little 3 makes an appearance in a few weeks time. 

The Gro-egg is a digital colour changing room thermometer and just one look is all you need to see the temperature of your childs room and adjust the heating, window or bedding accordingly, no more feeling their neck and risking waking them up!

The correct room temperature is important for your child as Health professionals say a room temperature of 16-20 degrees (61-67 fahrenheit is safest for your sleeping child to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The Gro-egg glows yellow when the room temperature is within these guidelines and changes colour when the temperature falls above or below this so you can see at a glance the temperature of your child's room.

The Gro-egg is a lovely size just 70mm by 110mm and sits discreetly anywhere thanks to the long power cable provided, it has an on/off switch underneath and so can be easily turned off if necessary and registers the temperature immediately as soon as it is turned back on which is easy to see on the clear display. The instructions come with a handy guide as to what clothing and bedding/Grobag tog your child needs depending on the temperature so it is handy too.

Initially our Gro-egg was going to be tested by Little 2 who's bedroom is definitely the coolest being at the back of the house and then passed to Little 3 for use in the nursery when the time comes but I think we will be having to invest on another one as Little 2 loves her egg nightlight so much!

Little 2 is afraid of the dark and has been since she was around 19 months old (you can read about that here) and having gone through several different nightlights in the past year I have to say I really like the Gro-egg as a nightlight too. It doesn't light up the room like a Christmas tree as some we have tried and it has a reassuring glow that she can see easily rather than being a little thing plugged into a socket where she can't see it. I can see it is going to be a handy light in the nursery to peep in on the baby too. 

The Gro Company also sell 'egg-shells' for your Gro-egg to turn it into a friendly nightlight, a soft flexible plastic cover shaped like an animal. We invested in the Percy penguin one after trying our Gro-egg for a few days and realising how much Little 2 liked it and now it is definitely not going to be allowed to move to the baby's room!

For more information about the Gro-egg and other Gro Company products please visit www.gro.co.uk and for further information on SIDS and safe baby sleeping head over to www.lullabytrust.org.uk.

N.B I was sent a Gro-egg free of charge in return for this review. We purchased our 'egg-shell' ourselves.

6 January 2015

A castle fit for a princess

Little 1's new topic at school is 'Dungeons and Dragons' which sounds like a whole lot of fun, the school newsletter said they will be dressing up as knights and princesses and having a medieval banquet during the term as well as going on a school trip the week after next to a real castle for the day. Little 1 loved her trip to Dunster castle back in the summer and was fascinated as we looked around and asked lots of questions so I know she will love this school trip. I can see them making dragons and decorating shields this term already, her school is really creative and has some great creative ideas and lots of fun with the children's learning, Little 1 loves her school, she has so much fun there.

Over the Christmas holidays Little 1 was set a small bit of homework, the task was to make a small shoe box sized castle to take in on the first day of term, they could be as imaginative as they liked. I do quite a bit of creative things with the Little ones at home as I am the one who is here all the time and Daddy misses out a lot as he has to work, so armed with a pile of post Christmas cardboard I suggested the two of them set to work and build her castle.

Daddy obviously isn't used to working with a 5 year old and his elaborate idea of how the castle should look and the way he wanted to build it was swiftly undermined by Little 1 who declared that it would be pink and purple with no less than 5 turrets (as she was 5 of course). I did have a bit of a giggle as they worked because Daddy really wanted it to look good and do it himself so that it all lined up and was perfectly cut out while Little 1 was insistent that she do the cutting out, wiggly lines and all! It was her homework wasn't it!!

Soon they had constructed a rough castle, a box with a drawbridge and 5 loo roll turrets poking out the corners and one in the middle. We had some pink spotty card from something that I suggested would make good roofs for the turrets and some coloured foam that she could use for battlements and windows etc so they then set to work cutting that out ready to stick on after Little 1 had painted the box. Little 1 did well cutting up the foam but I had to tell Daddy off for straightening up the lines when she wasn't looking afterwards!

True to her word Little 1 wanted to use pink, purple and silver paint to decorate her castle which luckily I had and mixed with pva glue to help it stick. It didn't really stick all that well to the box, we probably should have covered it in paper first or turned the box inside out and it didn't help that she insisted on washing the brush between every stroke so the paint ended up in some thinned down runny mess but oh well she was happy with the result and enjoyed using up the paint on some paper too.

Little 2 did some painting too, she had started making her own box castle as well but it had mostly consisted of cutting up whatever she could get her hands on so there wasn't anything for her to paint, she didn't mind and got creative painting circles and rainbows on paper instead.

Once the main castle was dry Little 1 and Daddy taped on the turret roofs and glued on the battlements and windows as well as ensuring the drawbridge worked using some ribbon and some carefully placed holes. They also used a bit of Little 1's painted rainbow paper to decorate the turrets and cover up all the tape.

...... and voila, a castle fit for a princess. 

4 January 2015

A year of blog memories with The Mumdrum #52memories campaign

Looking back at 2014 I can think of several things that have become favourite memories of the past year that have made me smile, Little 1's first day at school, the Little ones cleaning the car with Daddy followed by fish and chips in our pyjamas, the amazement and awe of Little 1's first trip to a castle and giggling like a school girl on a sleepover with a friend the night of Britmums.

On the 10th January 2015 I will have been writing my blog a whole year and in that time I have recorded so much more of what we have done as a family and the things the Little ones have done, said or created than I have ever done before. There are almost 2500 pictures of the past 12 months on my computer. Some were family events and holidays etc and others were normal things like baking cakes and trips to the park where I would not normally have taken a camera but with my blog in mind I did. Some of those things made it on here as blog posts and some didn't (I didn't have time to write about everything we did). 

As well as having the pictures, writing my blog has allowed me to record a lot of the things I have thought and we have done in the past year. I had a look back at some of my first posts and can't believe how young the girls look, I am so glad I started this journey and will have this online diary to look back on in years to come. 

So the question is do you record your memories? Do you take pictures, write a diary, a blog even. What do you do with your pictures? Are they sat on your phone or computer like most of mine (I don't actually very often print my pictures out just put them on my blog or email them to family) or do you use them? 

With this in mind I want to tell you of a campaign I am going to be involved with in 2015. It is run by The Mumdrum, a new online community for mums and mums-to-be. In 2014 they worked with Bump PR on a campaign called '52 Memories'. The idea is really simple, they'd like to encourage parents up and down the country to capture just one memory a week, to create a lasting record of their child's adventures and record it on twitter on a Wednesday using the hashtag #52memories and it starts this week on the 7th January. Myself and 4 other bloggers have been invited to take part and share our memories with you in the form of blog posts, photos and tweets etc throughout the year. 

Last year over 20,000 memories were recorded this way as The Mumdrum learned that 60% of parents use their phone for taking pictures that rarely get printed. In this age of technology the traditional family photo album where we could look at and 'remember' events is significantly declining and we are turning to technology to store our memories. The Mumdrum provides a safe and private online space where families can save photos and special moments to return and look at and share with family and friends. They have recently expanded too and launched a service where you can turn your memories into cards, posters and calendars to share with your family.

So don't forget the #52memories campaign- Wednesday is the dedicated day for sharing memories via twitter with the hashtag #52memories.  This can be a caption, photo, blog post... whatever captures the memory.  The first memory of the year will be shared on Wednesday 7 January, I will be there, will you?

N.B I have written this post to inform of my involvement in the 52 memories campaign, I have not been paid to write this post.

1 January 2015

A tea party for Humphrey

The Little ones have comforters (there will be a post on comforters soon), Little 1 has a Humphreys Corner one called Humphrey! and at the age of 5 she is still firmly attached to her friend at bedtime and plays with him in the day sometimes still too. 

Yesterday Daddy had gone on a rare day out fishing with his friends and the Little ones and I were home alone. Little 1 declared that today was Humphreys' birthday and so I decided to have some fun with it.

I suggested we have a little tea party for him in the afternoon and we make some cakes, the girls loved the idea, they wanted to get started straight away so I gave them some utensils to play with and they had a great game going pretending to bake with first playfood and then Lego!

When it was time to make the cakes the girls were keen to help with the weighing and mixing and spooning out and soon they were in the oven, once they were cooled we got decorating with melted chocolate and chocolate buttons, yum.

Little 1 set up a picnic while the chocolate was hardening, she did a great job wrapping pretend presents in blankets and setting out play food as well as setting up a little music on a mini music player.

We sang, danced, ate cake and the girls played musical statues until Daddy arrived home  just in time for the blowing out of the candle!

A little bit of make believe family fun on a cold winters day. Happy Birthday Humphrey.