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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Introducing "Baby" - Choosing baby names

So, we have entered in to Royal Fever in our household, checking the news regularly to see if there are any more updates on the Cambridge family.

I find it fascinating when parents don't have a name chosen ready for the birth of their child, or at least a shortlist that can bring a quick decision upon seeing their little ones face. I have never been in the camp of thought that I needed to see my children before I named them. To me, all babies look very similar when born and it's only when you get to know their characters that you know who they are, and by that point you can't have called them "the baby" for 6 months!

I like to think of myself as being organised by nature, and I like to plan ahead as far as I can (which isn't always possible!) so when it came to choosing the girls' names we were pretty sorted at least 6 weeks before I was due. We had found out they were girls at the 20 week scan, so it did give us more focus on choosing names. We couldn't really settle on a boys name, and both would have been Joel James had the sonographers got it wrong! These were the only two names we could agree on so I don't know what we would have done if both were boys!!

Girls name choices are abundant in lovely pretty names, unusual names and we found a number that we really liked. We have always looked at the meanings of the names and if not favourable or what we had in mind it was crossed off the list. Our girls are Erin Allegra and Lara Isabelle. Erin meaning "Peace" and Allegra meaning "Joyful"; Lara meaning "Cheerful" and Isabelle meaning "God's promise".

We believe that just as in the Bible, names bring about characters, that we wanted to name our children with intent. It was important to give their names purpose. Each of our daughters' names were chosen for various reasons at the time and we had a number which although we liked, just weren't quite right.

So when we found out we were pregnant again I was not looking forward to having to choose yet another name, especially if it was a girl - we were running out of options!! Never did I think we were actually having a boy, and nearly fell off the bed when the sonographer told us so!

Joel James has been thrown out the window, as we have come to the conclusion that reusing the name isn't very fitting and doesn't reflect the purpose we want to set right from the start. We have just about settled on a first name, with a reserve which I think we have realistically discounted, but the middle name is still a work in progress. However, by the time we get to 39 weeks (when I am due to have a planned section) we WILL have it figured out.

There is a lady I know at one of the Tots groups I go to who 5 days after having her second little boy, still wasn't sure on what his name was. Her partner was calling him what they thought would end up being his name but she wasn't 100% sure. Each to their own but for me I find it mind boggling having a child with no identity because they are nameless.

I feel for William and Kate, because there is such a huge responsibility to choose the right name, and it will be read into through history and in as many ways as people can, rather than them having the freedom to choose a name they "fancy". I hadn't realised until I read something online that there was a weeks wait for William's name and a months wait for Charles' name (I think I've remembered that right). Hopefully, given a few days to adjust to the enormous change having your first child brings, and with William being on paternity leave, they will have the peace and freedom to finalise their decision - ready for the waiting media!

I love the fact that we have such history in our country, and that we have a royal family adding to the heritage that our country brings. What I also love is how patriotic people are and how the royal family bring people together. We might have to put up with lots of memorabilia being produced, but when it's a cute as Tommee Tippee's new Limited Edition range, I think I might be indulging this time!!!

For more information on Tommee Tippee's new Royal Baby range, and to see the adorable "Princess" version, click here!

As a long time customer of Tommee Tippee I will definitely be going out to buy my Prince one of these!

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own, and are from a genuine Tommee Tippee customer.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Travel Potty Liners - Bargain home made!

Now, I cannot claim credit for this, someone I know recommended this way of saving money and I think its genius!
We are now only the second week of Erin being potty trained, and all is going well. Still the occasional accident but as we are starting to venture out more and more, it's really her learning to remember to go!
We bought a Potette Plus Travel Potty, as I decided with soon to be 3 children under 3 years old it will get well used, especially if we take longer journeys on holiday or days at the beach.
The liners are quite expensive, which didn't phase me to begin with as I knew having it would be worth it. However, on our first outing to the park, we went through 3 liners and were out for less than an hour. Erin hadn't even managed to get more than a drop in the potty at the time!! So it quickly dawned on me that this could be an expensive hobby!
I trawled the Internet to see what the best deal was, and then by chance a lady I know asked if she'd ever told me her trick! It flooded back that she had but the specifics were lost somewhere in my brain.
As we are trying to save money where we can, and it being near the end of the month, pennies are tight. I decided it sounded like such a good money saving idea I'd try it. So tonight I have just sat and made my first batch.
You will need:
10L Pedal Bin Liners (Value ones)
Size 5 Value Nappies
A pair of scissors!
  1. Cut the sides of the nappies off so you are left with the just the nappy pad.
  2. Cut this pad into 4 pieces (roughly squares).
  3. Place one square in the bottom of a bin liner - I have fully opened 3 liners to "load" onto the potty.
  4. Remaining liners - I have opened only one layer so there's a bit of a tube to push a square pad to the bottom, then folded it up and put them into a sandwich bag to store with our travel potty.
  5. That's it!!
I have yet to try one out, but already in comparison they look like they'll absorb more and they are a FRACTION of the price of the proper ones.
To be fair, if we were comfortable financially I wouldn't have even considered this as I am generally someone who believes it's better to get the proper products than try and "mackle together" your own. I am very glad I tried this out.
Give it a go - the worse that could happen is you don't get on with them and revert back to the expensive method!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Hot, pregnant and entertaining two toddlers!

So, as a true Brit, I have been complaining about the cold weather and wishing summer would finally arrive! And also as a true Brit, I have then complained now the warm weather is here because it's so flipping hot!lol!

Now, if I had a beach gorgeous body, time to read a book in the sun, perhaps perfect some lovely Nigella summer recipes, or even make my own summery cocktails then I wouldn't be complaining. I would have time to visit the beach and enjoy our life near the sea. Instead, I have the following to contend with:

  1. I am 6 months pregnant.
  2. I am therefore hot, and feel like a hermit trying to stay out of the warm weather in the cool of the house.
  3. I have swelling feet... and that's just not pretty!
  4. I have two toddlers who are equally hot and fed up of being inside.
  5. I have just potty trained my eldest toddler (YAY!) but I am too paranoid to make trips too far, let alone go out in the car for more than 10 minutes.
  6. My eldest toddler has also now found a new independence from ditching the nappies and therefore won't follow any request or guidelines I set.
  7. My youngest toddler is in the copying phase, mostly copying all of the non-compliance as above, and will just cry if she's not getting what she wants.
  8. Oh, did I add I'm 6 months pregnant and hot...!lol!
  9. My housework list is unbelievable and I haven't got the motivation or energy to do it at the moment.
  10. My toddlers are bored and don't know what to do with themselves because the best thing at the moment for all of us is to stay out of the heat.
In less than 3 months time we will have 3 children under 3 years old! And I am truely looking forward to that point. I am looking forward to us being able to enjoy our family and get on with family life. Having 3 children so close together means our life has been on hold to some extent for a while now. This will be our last child and I am thrilled that we are expecting a boy this time!

I have a number of sewing projects I want to complete before the baby arrives ready for Christmas, and have successfully written most of our Christmas cards with a blank area for the new baby's name!

This weekend myself and Mr Strong will be tackling the bedrooms - Erin will be moving into Lara's room, so we have time to de-pink Erin's old room and get the girls used to sharing before the baby arrives. Plus this will also solve the problem of the girls bouncing on the bed!! They will be moving to the downstairs bedroom - which is the best we can do with the house room layout. The lounge is upstairs so in the daytime I won't be, for the millionth time, shouting "STOP BOUNCING ON THE BED!". I dread to think what passers by think with me raising my voice so often! We may have to introduce a different method of discipline fairly soon!!

Erin starts nursery in January with her free 15 hours a week, which I am thoroughly looking forward to! She is bored being at home, we don't have a garden which is proving an issue at the moment, and I can't stimulate her enough with activities at home with a younger toddler and limited energy reserves.

I keep reading in the media about all these celebrities glowing with pregnancy, with their "tea dresses" and seemingly perfect complexions. I however, am red-faced and puffy, have swollen ankles by the end of the day, and I am trying to manage with a limited maternity wardrobe - none of which fits perfectly and I have one maxi dress which I could happily live in. I can't afford to go and buy nice new things perfect for any weather when the reality is this is my last pregnancy, and there are other more important things to buy at the moment like shoes for the girls etc.

We have been really busy with a number of things recently, and I don't feel like we've really stopped for months. However, we are now at a breathing point - although we have jobs to do, we only have a few things booked in for weekends in the next month or so and I am consciously trying to wind down. I would love to "nest" but as any of you with young children know, it's not always possible!

One day, somehow, I will get around to having some "me" time, and Mr Strong and I might actually have some spare cash to go out to the cinema or for a meal. But for now, I have to be content with what I have.

I am thoroughly looking forward to having three children, a bustling household, and when they are older, a house that is never empty. I love the idea of having our children's friends in and out of our house, it being open for people to pop in whenever they want, for cake to always be at the ready and the kettle always on! Of a childhood for my children that is plentiful - ok, it isn't always going to be plain sailing, and it isn't always going to be financially comfortable - but life would be boring if it wasn't challenging at times! I just have to keep reminding myself that the challenges are a good thing! Haha!

Enjoy the rest of your summers day!