30 May 2016

#MaternityMondays 30th May

Welcome to #MaternityMondays 30th May

We are on our half term holiday and having a lovely time together as a family on the Isle of Wight so without further ado...

Emma hosted last week and her favourites were,

'Life By Naomi shared Samuel's six month update. Where does time go?

Then Happy Mummy shared her birth story. Who doesn't love reading one of them?

Finally, the #MaternityMondays gold star sticker (I made that one up but still.) goes to Laura Honeybee who is still on her one-woman-campaign to avoid consultant-led care. I am really annoyed at what she is going through but really interested in keeping up with her story.'

As usual #MaternityMondays is for all your pregnancy, baby, toddler and maternity themed posts, please grab our badge from my sidebar and comment on the hosts post and as many of the others as you can as linkys can only work if we support each other. If you tweet about the link up please tag me in @lifelittleones and use the hashtag #MaternityMondays and I'll retweet as many as I can.

See you next week x

26 May 2016

Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The peanuts Movie - Review

Did you used to read and watch Snoopy and Charlie Brown as a child, I did. I remember that I liked Linus best with his little blanket and how Charlie Brown always used to talk to Snoopy and he never spoke back. I even had a Snoopy moneybox where Snoopy was lying on his back on his little red kennel and you put the money in his tummy.

Well now they are back in a new film and if you missed it at the cinema, Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie is being released on Bluray and DVD from May 30th, just in time for half term. We were lucky enough to be sent a copy to review this week and we all watched it (some of us more than once!).

In the movie, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang appear as you have never seen them before. Directed by Steve Martino (Horton hears a Who), The film follows Charlie Brown on his heroic quest to win the heart of 'the red haired girl' and watch Snoopy take to the skies to battle his arch nemesis, the Red Baron, will they win? You will have to watch it to see.

I was a little worried about what they would do to bring Charlie Brown onto the movie screen but I needn't have worried. The animation is great, bright colours and fun scenes captured our attention whilst keeping the characters as I remember them. The film had us all laughing and was enjoyed by Little 1 and 2 throughout.

My favourite character has to be Snoopy, he is so funny pulling faces and making weird and wonderful noises, he really made me giggle a few times. Little 2 loved Linus as he reminded her of herself in the way he carries his blanket around with him like she does with her bunny comforter.

My favourite part of the film is where Charlie Brown is trying to get somewhere in a hurry and runs through the stalls of a funfair where he gets squirted with water and battered with balls before hopping on to the most slowest moving train ever.

We checked out the extras on our dvd and watched the 'Learn to draw Snoopy' clip. Little 2 demanded I had a go and although it isn't brilliant and I am definitely no artist, for my first attempt I was quite pleased. We all had a little jig to the music videos too.

Why don't you check out the movie over half term, it'll keep the children quiet for an hour or two!

N.B I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product above. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

23 May 2016

The Little ones are growing like weeds!

This past week I have realised just how much the Little Ones have grown since the winter. I had been doing the usual wardrobe sort out fishing out all the girls summer dresses and summer outfits that they have started wearing again after a winter in long sleeves and I was shocked to see how much Little 2 in particular had sprouted and how much she had changed too. 

Everything she tried on was not just a little small but markedly so, surely she hadn't grown that much but she had..

The picture below was taken in September 2015 the day she started preschool, she was wearing shoes and so without shoes would have been about as tall as halfway up the border.

This picture below was taken this week in the same place, look how much she has grown, she is actually over 4 and a half inches taller in 8 months, now thats over half an inch a month, incredible. Little 1 has had growth spurts but never shot up that fast. I am amazed too at how much her face has changed, her head is much longer too.

The top she is wearing in the picture was one of a set (age 4-5) I had bought her intending to give her last Christmas but they was so huge I kept them and we gave them to her for her 4th birthday in February instead, there was lots of growing room in them when she tried them on then but now just 3 months on they are way too small on the arms, all the clothes she has had recently are suddenly too small.

When we were sorting out the girls clothes most of Little 1's bits that we were keeping and handing down went straight into Little 2's drawers rather than in the loft for 12 months as we had done in the past, I don't think it will be that long before they are sharing clothes! I am very glad right now that I decided to order her school uniform in the bigger size of the two, the girls will actually be wearing the same size jumpers come September as Little 1 still has room to grow in hers (unless she has a super growth spurt over the summer)!! 

Both the girls are slim and have long bodies and limbs, so I find we have to size up in clothes for them. Little 2 is now comfortably fitting age 5-6 clothes and her elder sister at 6 and a half has been wearing age 7-8 for a while. We do however find this can be a problem sometimes, both girls are slim and as well as getting longer clothes get wider too. I have to be careful where we get our girls clothes from as sometimes they can be too wide for them and end up looking a bit tent like. Anything without an adjustable waist is a definate no no in our house too as they would fall straight down. Lately we have been loving some new summer dresses and having sized up I am hoping they will fit next summer too!!

Little 3 is growing as fast as his sisters, some of his trousers are looking a bit short and we have had to buy him some 18-24 month ones even though he is only 14 months. He is tall and on the 90th line for height but he also wears cloth nappies which are a bit bulkier than disposables so take up some of the room too. It is the size of his feet that is changing the most right now, he has gone up a whole size in 4 weeks. 

Bye bye baby shoes

We made the mistake of taking all 3 little ones to get their feet measured this weekend, cue one pair of new trainers and sandals for Little 1 (thankfully her school shoes were only bought in February and still fit her), sandals and trainers for Little 2 and new shoes for Little 3. I must admit I winced when I handed my card over for that one!!

I really can't believe how much the Little ones are growing right now and I do hope they slow down a bit soon, whilst it is lovely to see them happy healthy and growing, it costs a fortune to clothe and shoe them all. 

Have your children grown as much as mine lately?

#MaternityMondays 23rd May

Welcome to #MaternityMondays 23rd May

It has been a quiet one this week, the girls are tired and ready for half term and Little 3 has been tiring himself out toddling everywhere.

I hosted last week and my favourite posts from the link up were..

A post from The Queen of Collage discussing 10 things to think about when creating your perfect birth plan. Some good things to consider and remember to share them with your birth partner too.

I also liked reading The Trainee Mum's post on How reflexology has helped me with my pregnancy. Reflexology isn't something I ever thought of to help with the aches and pains of my pregnancies but it seems to be helping her feel better.

As usual #MaternityMondays is for all your pregnancy, baby, toddler and maternity themed posts, please grab our new badge from my sidebar and comment on the hosts post and as many of the others as you can as linkys can only work if we support each other. If you tweet about the link up please tag me in @lifelittleones and use the hashtag #MaternityMondays and I'll retweet as many as I can.

See you next week x

19 May 2016

The Little ones visit Westbury court gardens

With summer on its way and the trees in full blossom we have been trying to get out and about a bit more lately with the Little Ones. Now that Little 3 has found his feet he wants to explore and with two big sisters around to help him what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon then exploring the National Trust Westbury Court Gardens near us.

Rain was forecast and a chill in the air reminded us that summer was not here yet so we donned coats and headed in...

The gardens are quite small but we managed to spend a couple of hours there running around the planted patches, through the wildflowers in the tall grass, playing pooh sticks while watching the stream and spotting fish in the ornamental ponds.

On arrival Little 1 who had fallen over and hurt herself getting into the car, was not best pleased about going to 'some gardens' but having been asked by the man on the gate if she could do him a favour and feed the fish for him she began to brighten. Within moments the magic of the outdoors had taken effect and she was dashing around with a pot of fish food in hand smiling, giggling and demanding I took pictures of her as she posed in archways and on benches. 

We took in the vegetable patch and spring flowers blooming as we explored the linear gardens, we looked for and fed the fish in the ponds taking care not to get too close to the edge and popped upstairs in the pavilion to see the views. 

Little 2 was in a thoughtful frame of mind and while her sister ran around making lots of noise she was taking in the flowers and wandering around quietly deep in thought. She would not put down her feather or fish food the whole way around, this little girl loves nature and is quite at home pottering around in her own quiet way, I often wonder just what she is thinking. 

A bit of family photography was called for when Little 3 was let loose from the confines of his buggy, we hadn't taken a picture of the three of them together since his birthday. We managed to get some lovely snaps of them all together sitting on a bench. 

Little 3 had been walking just a couple of weeks when we went, it was his first proper outdoor expedition in shoes, with Little 1 to guide him he toddled around on the grass taking everything in and with a big grin, you could tell that he was loving the outdoors and being free. As a tiny baby last summer he hasn't yet had much experience of grass and so every step he stopped and felt it between his fingers, touching it and pulling his hand away at the texture and he tried to eat it too. It is wonderful to be able to see things like this as a parent, a first experience, learning, discovering and the joys on your childs face.

The sun was going down and the wind began to get up, the children started to get hungry and chilly. I always come prepared and we headed back to the pavilion and found some seats near the fish, a nice cup of warm hot chocolate and a mini doughnut went down very well all round which a group of chinese visitors found quite amusing as they filed out of the gardens!
On the way home the children were in good spirits as loud voices sung to the soundtrack of 'Mamma Mia', what a lovely afternoon.

Where shall we visit next?

16 May 2016

Little 3 tries out new toTs by smarTrike bedding

Have you heard that toy brand smarTrike has branched out, they have launched a new range of changing bags, muslins, bedding, towels and more called toTs. The toTs range is a fun and colourful luxurious range specially designed with parents in mind offering practical truly gorgeous products.

The new toTs range would make a lovely addition to any nursery. There is a full bedding collection in either a fresh white design with handmade embroidered flowers or playful animal prints, brilliant for your nursery. Alongside this you can shop for matching comforters, muslins, hooded towels and swaddle wraps, all made from 100% cotton ensuring they are gentle on baby's skin, perfect for a gift too.

As well as nursery bits the new toTs range has a variety of multipurpose changing bags made to last with lightweight, waterproof fabrics. Ready for daily use they are practical with interior and exterior pockets, insulated pockets for bottles and food on the go and a matching padded change mat. With plenty to choose from you can wear as a backpack, a shoulder bag or attach to the buggy.

Little 3 was invited to test out some of the toTs range, seeing as his nursery is pale green and blue with a rabbit and tree frieze, we asked to try the Joy Sateen Green Rabbits bedding set (£69.99) thinking it would look lovely in his bedroom and toTs kindly sent us a matching hooded towel (£14.99) too.

The first thing that struck me when the items arrived was the bright colourful design and simple packaging, I loved the fact that the rabbit on the towel was out of the front of the package and not just a picture on the front. Little 3 couldn't wait to get his hands on the bedding and so we opened it up then and there and it was beautiful.

A bright modern design with bold colours and an embroidered detail, soft bunnies to stroke and fluffy tails too, it went straight up on his cot. The bedding set contained a fitted cot bed sheet, a large thick cot bumper (176cm x 32cm) and a lovely thick soft snuggly quilt (120cm x 100cm) made from 100% cotton sateen and filled with 100% polyester. This set is designed to fit a cot bed and more matching fitted sheets, blankets, swaddles and comforters are available to complement the design too. 

Little 3 is currently too old for a cot bumper to be safe as he likes to attempt climbing so it was removed after I had taken the photos, however he does roll around a lot in the night and bangs around against the bars, if he was younger this would have been great as it is a generous size as well as really thick and soft. I have plans to put it back on the head of his bed (wrapped around the back) when it is converted to a toddler bed so that he doesn't bang his head so much when he is sleeping, it really does look lovely with the matching bedding, it would be a shame not to use it.

The quilt is perfect for Little 3 at the moment, it tucks in at the sides of the cot so he doesn't get uncovered and is lovely and warm without being too hot in this spring weather. Little 3 uses the quilt for naps in the day and has a sleeping bag at night. Both the sheet and quilt have washed well and retained their colour and softness which gives them a thumbs up from me. Both Little 1 and 2 are jealous of their brother's bedding and would love something like this on their beds too, they love the soft bunnies!

The Joy Bunny hooded towel we were sent is a stunning bright green and made with 100% soft natural velour cotton, it is warm and cosy for Little 3. Sized at 80cm x 80cm it is a good size for a toddler and although he wouldn't sit with the hood on his head for a photo he did enjoy being snuggled up in it at bathtime, thanks smarTots.

toTs by smarTrike is exclusively available from Smyths Toys superstores.

N.B We were sent the products mentioned above for the purpose of this review, however all view and opinions are our own honest thoughts.

#MaternityMondays 16th May

Welcome to #MaternityMondays 16th May

We have been enjoying the sun this week getting grubby playing in the garden and we had a picnic at Little 1's school in aid for the Queen's birthday which was lovely with hundreds of people sat in red, white and blue on the grass. This weekend the girls loved washing Daddy's car in their swim suits while Little 3 looked on from the pushchair. 

Emma hosted last week and says..
'The Trainee Mum linked up her 5 top tips for staying cool  when pregnant in the summer, which I think will be a great help.

Then the Queen of Collage stuck with the bump dressing topic and linked How to dress your bump.'

As usual #MaternityMondays is for all your pregnancy, baby, toddler and maternity themed posts, please grab our new badge from my sidebar and comment on the hosts post and as many of the others as you can as linkys can only work if we support each other. If you tweet about the link up please tag me in @lifelittleones and use the hashtag #MaternityMondays and I'll retweet as many as I can.

See you next week x

9 May 2016

And he is off... Little 3 is walking

Little 3 has been walking for a couple of weeks now, it started with the odd step between furniture just after he turned 13 months old and he has been improving daily. He is now able to stop and turn, stoop and he even has a little run. Each time he sees me watching him he breaks into the biggest grin, he is so happy to be on his feet and proud of himself too.

It is funny to turn around and see him standing there and toddling towards me, he seems so grown up and like a fully fledged toddler now. His walking is still a novelty for Little 2 who, each time she sees him, shouts 'Mummy look, yeah, well done' and makes him smile even more.

He has been walking lots indoors and has done a little bit outside too. On a recent day out he loved wandering around on the grass holding Little 1's hand. When he is walking holding your hand he will only hold one hand, never two, and does a sort of funny sideways walk to get to where he is going, it is a bit funny.

Nanny bought him his first pair of wellies recently and I just can not wait to take him jumping in puddles, one of the girls favourite things. It is onwards and upwards now... the school run is going to get interesting, I think we will have to leave rather early if Little 3 is going to walk!!

Check out this little video of him today....

#MaternityMondays 9th May

Welcome to #MaternityMondays 9th May

We have been enjoying the sun this weekend in the garden, the girls have been on the trampoline for hours and Little 3 has been exploring the garden. I had some me time and went for a spa day with Nanny, it was wonderful.

My favourite posts this week were written by Life, Love and Dirty Dishes who actually brought a lump to my throat reading her post 'Why I don't have a 5 year plan’. It was something I could have written myself. Little 3 has hit toddlerhood, he is walking, chatting and wanting to be independant and with Little 2 starting school in September, I feel very much the same as her right now. The children are growing and changing so fast and although some days I can not wait for bedtime, I wish time would slow down too. 

I also agree with Whimsical Mumblings on her post 'Don't say this to a pregnant woman', sometimes some people really do not think before they speak and to a hormonal pregnant woman, who is sensitive about her changing body, some things can be quite upsetting.

As usual #MaternityMondays is for all your pregnancy, baby, toddler and maternity themed posts, please grab our badge from my sidebar and comment on the hosts post and as many of the others as you can as linkys can only work if we support each other. If you tweet about the link up please tag me in @lifelittleones and use the hashtag #MaternityMondays and I'll retweet as many as I can.

See you next week x

6 May 2016

Fun in the Forest with Family

A couple of weeks ago my Auntie, Uncle and cousins came to the Forest of Dean for a few days, seeing as they were nearby, we went to meet up with them for a walk. We ventured over to a well worn spot for us, The Sculpture trail at Beechenhurst Lodge. I remember walking this particular walk when I was a small child and it is lovely to take the children to places where I have memories of my own and where we can make memories as a family.

These days several of the sculptures have seen better days, mainly the wooden ones, some have been removed and a few replaced (I think they are still in the process of replacing others), and so it was not quite as good as it used to be but we still had a great time walking and catching up with family. 

There was the threat of rain and the sky was overcast but apart from a brief shower it was dry and warm enough not to wear coats which Daddy ended up carrying. Little 1 wanted to walk hand in hand with one of my cousins (her second cousin) who she loves to go and see when we visit Devon and misses her dearly even though we only get to see them a handful of times each year. 

Little 2 was happy just to run about, finding dens to hide in and walking with Daddy. Both girls wore their wellies and walked along the muddy ditches either side of the track most of the way around, with Little 1 trying to get her older cousin in too without much luck!

As the girls walked they looked out for the sculptures and spotted a few little dens near the footpath, they had to have a little peek in each one. They love being in the woods and are usually off exploring but this time they stayed quite close to us as we walked and chatted with family preferring to stomp and squelch through the muddy gullies instead.

Little 3 is too little right now to walk and having only had a few first teetering steps then we opted for the backpack for him which I carried. Having not really been to the forest since he was really little last year and generally being down in the pushchair on walks closer to home, he was really enjoying being closer to nature. From my back he was reaching out to touch the leaves and totally absorbed in looking at the trees pointing and shouting 'that there' and 'wassat?', before nodding of for an afternoon snooze.

We had made it about two thirds of the way around the trail and had been walking almost 2 hours without a murmur of tiredness from the girls but when we spotted a shortcut back to the lodge we all decided to take it as the afternoon was wearing on. 

Back at the lodge we produced flasks of tea, coffee and warm milk as well as some tasty biscuits to refuel and while we chatted the girls even had energy for the play area! Shortly after we said our goodbyes to our family and headed home. 

Miraculously all the Little Ones managed to stay awake (just about) for the 45 minute drive home, the girls were bundled into the shower to wash muddy legs and freshen up then as it was almost bedtime a quick trip up the road to the chip shop for sausage and chips all round for tea delighted the girls as that is a treat in our house and even more so they were thrilled that they got to eat them in their pyjamas!! I am sure we will go back to the Forest of Dean several times before the summer is out.