Friday, 30 September 2016

Mummy and Me - September 2016


I got quite a few nice photograph of us this month but these I could not resist posting. They are terrible quality as taken at night with jus a lamp lighting us. But the moments captured here was some of the loveliest moments. Lily doesn't fall asleep on me much anymore but we were on a mini holiday last week and as we were in a strange place I let her snuggle up to me and fall asleep on me. It was lovely to have her cuddled up to me again. 







Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Dummy Fairy

As Lily is nearly 2 years old i've decided that its time that she stopped having her dummy so much in the daytime. There was a time when she really wouldn't use it to much during the day but she is suddenly more aware of it being taken away from her and gets upset when I do so and wants it back.

So I decided it was time for the arrival of the Dummy Fairy. 





I firstly bought Lily a little wooden box, which only cost me £1 from The Works. This little box can quite easily fit about 4 dummy's in. Then I bought her a little toy fairy that was going to be in charge of the little box.

I bought a plain box so then Lily could decorate it herself. So we got out some pink sparkly paint, and some cute butterfly stickers to put on it.




Lily really enjoyed painting her box and we did it in a darker sparkly pink and a lighter pink. I helped a little bit to fill in the gaps where she missed but she is getting much better at painting and seemed to understand that we needed to paint all the sides. 






We then left it to dry over night. This morning we got up and Lily stuck down the Butterflies. We did 2 butterflies on each side and popped a few flowers on there to. It looked so pretty when it was all finished. 






We then sat the Fairy on top of the box to look after the dummy's.

We have been using the dummy fairy box for over a week now and it really is working a charm.

In the morning when Lily gets up, we go to the fairy and she flies off and asks for the dummy. Lily quite happily pops it into the box and we give the fairy a kiss. I explained to her that the fairy looks after her dummy's until sleep time.

Lily will sometimes head to the box to take it out but I tell her that she has to leave it with the dummy fairy as it isn't sleep time and that if she wants it she has to go to bed. She quite happily accepts that and then goes back to playing.

When it comes to sleep time, either her nap or bedtime. We go to the fairy and say "please" and the fairy will fly off and open the box for her and Lily then takes her dummy back.


Im really pleased with how much the dummy fairy has helped with getting the dummy away from Lily with out any tantrums or tears. I plan to now keep this up until I feel she is ready to not have one when she sleeps, and then I will figure a plan where the fairy takes the dummy's away for good. Hopefully by this point she will have befriended the fairy so much that she is happy to let her take them away.

Have you ever used a fairy to help with something before?



Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Lalaloopsy Potty Surprise Review and Giveaway


As a big doll fan myself, Lalaloopsy is one doll that i've simply fallen in love with, I collect dolls and so to start collecting Lalaloopsy for myself is something i've had to stop myself doing. BUT that doesn't mean I can't collect them for Lily. Right?

We have a couple of the dolls. Some Lily plays with and some that I have on display in the box until she is a little older. So when I got a email from Lalaloopsy asking if I would like to review a doll for them I was just as excited for myself as well as Lily. Haha


We were sent the new Baby Lalaloopsy Potty Surprise Doll.



When it arrived in its box it looked amazing. I love the fact that Lalaloopsy has so much character and colour. I was so excited to give it a try.



Firstly the Lalaloopsy Baby is so cute. Her name is Jewel Sparkles. I love her button eyes, pink hair and cute dummy that she comes with. Her outfit is also adorable with her kitty bib. She is made of hard plastic and her arms and legs move so she can sit down on the potty. 




So what makes this Lalaloopsy so special and why is it called Potty Surprise? Well this Lalaloopsy eats food and then uses the potty and magically poops out shapes.

Its not actually magic that makes her poop, there is a little technique to it. But children will be amazed and it will definetly seem magical to them.

To start you need to take the dummy out the Lalaloopsy's mouth and there is a hole where you can feed some food into. The food comes in little pots and is a sand like dough. The doll comes with 3 pots and in 3 different colours Purple, Pink and Orange. Lalaloopsy also comes with a dish and spoon.

First you scoop some of the mixture into the spoon and smooth it off. You turn the back of Lalaloopy to decide what shape she will poop out. There is no way in knowing which shape will come out. Which my guess is why she is called Potty Surprise.  Time to take off her nappy and then you can pour the mixture into her mouth. Then you need to turn her bellybutton clockwise and hold for a few seconds. I was counting to 5. You then sit Lalaloopsy on the potty and move her backwards and forwards. This hits a little button that releases the colourful shaped poop into the potty.
The mixture can be used over and over again. 






So what did I think of the doll?

Firstly I think the idea of feeding the doll and it pooping is clever and that children will love to do this. I didn't let Lily do it and instead let her watch because she is a little young to be playing with the mixture. But she thought that it was brilliant. She is really going to enjoy sitting the doll on the potty.

I think the quality of the doll is brilliant. For the price of £29.99 she really does have a lot to offer and is worth the money. I think the fact you get 3 pots of mixture and that it can be re used over and over again is great. You get a decent amount of mixture in each pot so it will last for quite a while.

I do think that all the steps you have to take may be a little confusing for some children. It even took me a few goes before I understood how to do it. The toy is aimed at 4 plus and I think some 4 year olds may need help to make the doll poop.

The little poop shapes that came out were cool. They were a flower, heart and a button shape. I couldn't quite get the shapes to come out perfectly though and sometimes they didn't come out as a shape at all. Who knows.. maybe I was doing it wrong?



Overall the doll is great though and I can see how children are going to love playing with this doll and it may end up on a few christmas and birthday lists this year.

Talking of Christmas and birthday lists. How would you like to get started on yours early by winning one of these dolls? Your in luck because Lalaloopsy is offering one lucky winner the prize of this doll.
For your chance to win. Enter on the Gleam app below.

Win a Lalaloopsy Potty Surprise Doll

Monday, 26 September 2016

Sand Drawing at the Beach





Lily has started to enjoy the beach and sand a lot more than she used to. She used to not even want to touch it with her fingers but now she will quite happy build sandcastles and dig and play with the sand with her fingers.

Last week we went on a mini holiday to Weymouth and we went to the beach each day. This time I took lily down to the wet sand to show her what we could do there and we decided to do some drawing in the sand. Lily generally learns by copying a lot of things that I do. So I started the activity off by drawing her name into the sand and then some hearts.

Lily soon followed by making her own marks in the sand using either her fingers or the spade. 


I love drawing in the sand. It always feels great leaving your mark on the beach and knowing that later it will be washed away so you can go crazy and draw to your hearts content. Lily loves drawing at home and so this was something she really enjoyed doing. 

Here are some photographs of our drawings.






What would your child draw in the sand? 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 23 September 2016

Multitasking Mums and Dads


One thing that you pick up as a parent is the art of multitasking. Apparently women do it better than men and I think the reason for this is because we are the ones who have the children and may need the skills more.
But then again there are loads of stay at home dads now, and dads play a bigger role in taking care of their children than they did in the past and so Ive definetly seen some great multitasking skills come from dads to and I think because of parenting they are definetly getting good at it.

I think I must multitask on a daily basis. Though I never realised it. Only the other day I had Lily in one arm, a carrier bag in the other hand, and the bucket we had just been using at the beach fell out of the pram. Rather than put down Lily or the bag I decided to pick it up with my foot and place it into the pram. For me it seemed easier than the concept of putting Lily down and having to stop her running off, or putting the bag down and break my back trying to bend and pick up the bucket. 





When thinking on the subject of multitasking I decided I would love to share with you some stories from other parents and see what wonderful (and funny) things parents have done when multitasking.

Here are 5 stories from some fellow parents and bloggers.

First up is Mo from Adventures of a Novice Mum who has a hair multitasking story to share with us.

"I remember a period when the only way I knew to successfully plait my toddler's hair was to breastfeed him. It involved breastfeeding whilst parting my toddler's hair into rows with my comb, combing the parted rows with my fingers, then cornrowing each one one, whilst making up the hair style. As you might imagine, it involved lots awkward stretching and aching contouring. I won't even try to list all the skills involved in this multitasking achievement."

Second is Jo from Miracle Max who found it can be other people who spoil all our multitasking hard work. 

"Cooking dinner with a newborn is almost impossible so I popped him in the sling whilst I cooked a full Sunday roast. I was feeling rather smug as he stayed asleep the whole time until the timer went off to say the potatoes were done, the doorbell rang and my phone started ringing all at the same time. Cue a screaming baby, a stressed Mum and some burnt potatoes."

Third is Amy from Mums The Law who found a nice little way to be able to enjoy some Gaming Time and keep her little one entertained. 

Our problem is more tasking than multitasking; but we have one aspect of our lifestyle sorted. We're gamers in this house, but our one year old thinks he can join in and start pressing buttons on our controllers whilst we're in some sort of heated encounter, or try and steal it completely. We've taken drastic action and bought him his own controller to play with to allow us some interruption-free gaming! So far, we have suffered no more toddler induced video game mishaps!

Fourth up is Sarah from Whimsical Mumblings who has mastered the art of multitasking when you have more than one child.

I have a one year old & and a 2 year old. So I'm always multi tasking. They always need nappy changes at the same time, so I've mastered it! Laying them down next to each other and changing them at the same time!

Last up is Sam from A Testing Time who shows you can multitask by making use of parts of your body. 

My toddler went through a clingy period when he was about 6-8 months old. 
He wouldn't part from me unless bedtime and I got nothing done round the house.
I ended up getting a carrier and putting him in it. He would use my boobs as a cup holder, toy holder or snack holder. I'd get my cleaning done whilst he used me as a holding device.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a story. I would like to end this post with my own multitasking story.

My partner works long hours in the week and we had no food in the house at all. By the time he gets home its to late to go out and do a big shop, and so I decided that I would head out one day and see if I could manage this full shop, and get in everything we needed. But having Lily with me I knew it would be tricky. So when I got there I thought that I would give pushing a trolley and a pram around at the same time a go as Lily was to small to put in the trolley seat yet.
It was a lot tricker than I thought it would be and I had to push the pram forward and pull the trolley behind me. I think I nearly trashed the store and I got some really funny looks but wow did I feel great that I had managed to push a pram, pull a trolley, get things from shelfs and not forget anything we needed.
Never done it since though haha 

Have you got a good or funny story about when you had to multitask? Would love to hear them below.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Everything is Blue


Lily has recently started to learn her colours. If I ask her to point to yellow she points to yellow, If I ask her to point to blue she will point to blue. She recognises red, yellow, green, blue, white and pink. She can also say pink and will sometimes point to something and say pink.

One day I asked Lily, what colour is this? Holding up something blue. She said "BLUE". I was super impressed that she knew it and if I point to blue now she always gets it right...

But then.. I pointed to something green... "BLUE"  she says. Then I point to something yellow.. "BLUE" she says..

So we seem to be stuck on the colour Blue and everything is blue.

Ive just started my own youtube account for Lily's Little Learners and so felt this was the perfect time to show you a little video. Nothing special just quickly captured on my phone. Enjoy.



Monday, 19 September 2016

Learning Resources Farm Counting Set - Review and Giveaway




When Learning Resources asked if I would like to select something to review from them, the first thing that came to mind was something that could help Lily learn her colours. Lately she has been really interested in learning her colours and also doing really well with them. So I had a good browse on the website to see what I could find that would help her with that.

I decided that I wanted something that was about sorting and so found this farm counting set that came with little farm animals in different colours.

The set came and arrived in a handy little storage tub that also has a handle on so Lily can carry it around. She did exactly this and was carrying it around until we were ready to take it out and play. I wanted to make playing with the counters a controlled activity so we didn't loose any pieces and also it will help aid her learning a lot more that way. 




One thing I love about this set of counters is that it can be used in so many different ways and you can do quite a few learning activities with them. You can help learn colours, counting, sorting and patterning. 

We are obviously learning colours at the moment and so thats what we concentrated on the most. The set of counters comes in 6 different colours and so the first thing I thought to do was to pour them all out into a big pile. This way I wanted Lily to be able to search through them to find the colours. 

Lily so far is best with blue. She knows how to say the word and can easily spot it from the rest. So we started here by asking her to pick up blue from the pile. Easily done. She actually did really well with most the colours apart from orange which was a little tricky for her. 



(please excuse the Photo Bombing cat in the background haha) 

After this activity we decided to organise the colours into piles. This is something we definetly need work on as although she does know the colours she struggled to understand the concept of putting them into piles. But I know that practice makes perfect and soon enough she will know which pile to put each colour into. One thing I did try later was to get out some coloured bowls we have and she understood the concept more of putting the right colours into the matching coloured bowl. I would love to be able to buy this set with matching coloured bowls and if I had the option between a set with sorting bowls or just a tub of animals I would quite happily pay the extra to have the set with the matching bowls. You can buy bowls from the Learning Resources website separately though if you wanted them.


After this we tried counting. Lily doesn't know her numbers yet but understands the concept of counting and will make a noise each time she counts. We decided to count out the animals into lines into there colours. So a row of blue, a row of red. You get the idea. There was 12 of each colour which is a great number to count to. Though the great thing about this is that you don't have to use all 12 and could start with a lower number and count to 3. 



The last activity we did was sorting them into the groups of animals. There were 6 different farm animals. Ducks, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Horses and Cows. This was a little tricky for Lily yet to understand the concept of grouping them together but i'm sure as she gets older she will pick it up. She did quite easily pick out the ducks though and know that it was a duck. The only thing I found with the animals is that some look very similar in shape. Even I kept putting the goats with the horses when not looking properly and so I think a child would really have to concentrate to get the correct animal. 



One last activity I thought about doing with these is sorting them into a pattern. For example you could do Red, Blue, Red, Blue. We didn't try this activity as its a little advanced for Lily's age but a great way to move on from grouping the colours into one colour.

It really is brilliant that this one tub of colourful animals can really provide so much variety in fun and learning. They can also be used for imaginative play if you wanted to.

The animals are all wipe clean and are 6cm in height. They are recommended for children aged 3 Plus. Lily is under the recommended age and I wouldn't let her play with these without my supervision because of how small they are. Although Lily no longer puts things into her mouth. There is also the factor she would most likely loose them if I let her play with them by herself at the moment.

You can buy a set of 24 or a set of 72. The set of 24 is £7 and the set of 72 is £17. I would really recommend a set of these for your child's early years learning. You can also check out other sorting set thats Learning Resources has to offer on the website here

Your also in luck as Learning Resources is letting me give away one tub of these counters. For your chance to win enter on the Gleam app below

Win a Set of Farm Counters

Friday, 16 September 2016

Sing my Name Review and Giveaway


Lily has always been a huge fan of music and loves to have a little boogie. So when we found out we were getting sent some very special music from Sing my Name we was very excited.

So what makes this music so exciting?

Sing my name is exactly what it says in the title. Music that is personalised with your little ones name. 


Sing my name has CD's available, Alarm Clocks and these very cool bunny shaped music players.

We were sent a CD and Music player to review.

We firstly wanted to listen to the music and so stuck the CD on straight away. Lily instantly loved it. Im not sure if she recognises the fact it has her name in the songs as she is to young to tell me if she does, but she instantly started dancing around the room to it.

The CD has 12 personalised songs on it and your child's name isn't just mentioned once, its repeated throughout the song. In fact on the entire Cd your child's name is mentioned over 90 times. 



Our favourite songs had to be Jump up and Down, At the Zoo and Down by the Deep Blue sea. The tracks are so catchy and have a really good dancing beat to them. Lily loved them.



Then we gave the music player a try.

We got the Pink bunny music player and I just love the look of it. Its such a great character design and I think it could be happily loved by all ages. As soon as I took it out the box Lily instantly wanted to play with it and press the buttons.

The bunny has a really cute face with a happy expression and we just love the little soft ears that it has. You hold down the play button to turn it on, so I had to do this part for Lily but a older child could easily do it by themselves. Then you can choose from Fun, Sleep, Wake up or Story time.




The fun section of the player has all the songs you would find on the CD. The wakeup button plays the wakeup song and the sleep button plays a more softer song for bedtime. In my opinion its not lullaby enough for someone Lily's age and I would of liked to have heard a softer sounding song.

The wakeup song is brilliant though, and I've already learnt the words. I think it will be a lovely way to start the day each day by listening to it. What better way to raise the morning mood by playing some happy music.

Lily really enjoyed playing the music and would jig the bunny up and down to the beat. She would also put it to her ear to listen to it. Not that it doesn't go loud enough with the tail being a volume control on the back. She also liked pressing the pause button and then giving a great big applause as the music stopped. Then would shout "again" and press play. 







The quality of the music coming from the speakers is brilliant. You can tell that the bunny has decent speakers built in.

The features of the bunny don't stop there. The story mode is very impressive. You can record your voice reading a story and play it back. I actually own personalised books so will be lovely to record these stories to stick with the name theme of the Sing My Name. With 2GB of space there is plenty of room for stories and more songs.

Also the bunny acts as a light. The face lights up and so do the ears. Which can be lovely for bedtime or even for turning out the lights to dance along with the music like a little disco. The ears change colours to. 


Then when your done playing with it its very easy to charge up with a USB to plug into your computer.

Overall we are so pleased with this product and I think it would make a great gift for your child. Especially if you are a big fan of getting things that are personalised for them. I know that as Lily learns her name more and more she will also love these songs and this bunny more and more. We are definetly going to get plenty of use out of it.

The bunny is £39.95 and well worth the money. You can also buy the bunny in blue. 


If you would like to find out more about Sing my Name, head to the website here.

Now your in luck. Sing My Name has one Bunny Player to give away. In the colour of your choice. 


Enter on the Gleam app below for your chance to win. 

Win a Sing My Name Bunny

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Are the Terrible Two's Starting? Already?


Lily will be 2 years old in just over 2 months time. She is normally so well behaved and does as she is told a lot of time time. Even to the point of putting a toy back on the shelf when I tell her she cant have it in the shops.

I generally find ways to deal with behaviour problems and make them not much of a problem and find ways around causing tantrums in stores. For example she wanted a teddy in a shop, but I told her she couldn't because the teddy needed to stay with all its teddy friends on the shelf. That worked perfectly and Lily put the toy back. Im also quite lucky that usually if she doesn't want to leave somewhere, I just say okay Bye bye Lily and start to walk away and she follows straight away as she is really clingy and doesn't like to not be by my side.

But yesterday I had my worst challenging behaviour from Lily. Simply over putting on her socks and shoes.

We were heading out, to the park. Which she loves to go to. I thought that would be enough to get her to want to put on her socks and shoes but apparently not. Every time I tried she kicked and wriggled and rolled over and would run away. She thought this was hilarious. She was kicking quite hard as well.

I kept a straight face the entire time and told her to stop and that we needed to put her socks on. But she wasn't having any of it. I firstly kept trying to sit her on the chair, where I would easily put her socks on. I thought if I repeated this then she eventually get bored and sit still but I tried and tried and tried and she still wouldn't. 


I tried walking to my front door saying I would go to the park on my own and she ran after me with a little cry but as soon as she saw I wasn't really leaving she ran away again laughing.

So then I tried placing her on the floor in a certain spot (naughty spot as they call it) and of corse she got up again and again and again. I must of tried it at least 10 times and she just found it SO funny. It was definetly a game to her.

I must admit that on a day where I wasn't so eager to get out I would of just left her and not given her the attention. But my home at the moment is like a sauna and by this point I just wanted to get out.

So my last resort was placing her in her cot and letting her cry for two minutes. After 2 min I went back in and she let me pick her up, sit her on my knee and put her socks and shoes on. She then gave me a cuddle and I got her to say sorry. So that worked. BUT I don't really want to use her bed to discipline her. I always think that she will see the bed as where she goes when she is naughty and I would prefer her to see going to bed as a time to rest and sleep and not a punishment.

I think I need to find a way to make putting her shoes and socks on NOT a game. So I think the days we aren't going anywhere, I will put her shoes and socks on but when she runs away and laughs I'm going to completely ignore her. Showing her that its not a game and hope that in the future she doesn't bother making it into a game.

I would love to know if any other parents have had problems like this? How did you solve it? 


When did your child's terrible two's start? 




Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Music and Lily

Music has always been an important part of growing up for Lily. I started playing music to Lily when she was in the womb. I had a little teddy that played a lullaby and she would always kick more and move more if I played it. I was actually doing a little experiment to see if maybe that when she came out and was upset would the music that she has heard every night comfort her. I would really love to say it did, but after she was born I didn't notice any difference to how she acted to that lullaby to any other tune.

It was when she was only a few weeks old did I find the right music for her that kept her happy, and that was Abba! If I needed to get something done I would lay her on the bed and get a Abba album up on you tube and play it. She would lay so contently just listening to the music and sometimes she would drift of to sleep. It was a instant baby soother and even stopped her crying. 



Lily has always enjoyed listening to music and also making music. She has drums and xylophones and lots of other instruments that she loves to use and has been using them for the last 18 months. When Lily was a baby I made her a sensory basket and so in there was plenty of things she could make noise with.

 As soon as Lily knew how to clap she would always applaud music. I remember one time we was at a family social club and there was a band playing, and after each song she was the only one clapping and applauding the band. 

Ive always found ways to introduce music into Lily's life and although i'm a terrible singer i've always sung to her. My favourite being "you are my sunshine" Singing to her has always calmed her and it was always a special thing to hold her in my arms and have her look up at me while I sang. It was a nice feeling that it was my voice that was calming her. 

I would also often sing nursery rhymes to her that were a little more upbeat and Twinkle Twinkle has now become her favourite. She now knows the actions and you will hear her singing the tune to herself. Its great to know that its again singing to her that has taught her to sing and enjoy music. 

You now really can't stop Lily moving to music. There are tunes on Cbeebies that always get her moving and I've even found her having a bop to the tune of countdown one day. Quite understandable, it is quite a catchy tune. Lily now has a Disney CD and I will often put it on so we can have a dance together. I recently introduced her to MY music. Which is Rock music. I don't listen to it very often anymore as my partner doesn't like it and we generally have the Tv on or Lily's music. But one day I thought I would give it a go and see what she thought. She loved it! I was super proud to watch her move about to it. She has obviously got some taste. But then again, I think anything loud and with a funky beat that she can move to and she would be happy. 



I do plan to carry on the music journey for Lily and I'm really looking forward to her 2nd birthday party as Ive hired a DJ who is going to Disco up some Disney songs and some Cbeebies songs and some of her favourites. Its going to be so good to watch her enjoy the music and have a good dance. 

I think its really important to have music in your child's life and so I was very happy to fill in this 10 min survey all about music in the home. Its research for how much in family life is music actually used in the home and introduced to the children living there.
They are still looking for parents with children under 5 to fill it in so if you could please spare 10 min to do so then that would be great.

There are even links to some free music to download at the end.

Click here to get involved.

I would love to know how you introduce music into the home?

Whats was the first thing your child listened to?