Lost My Name Personalised Story Book Review*

I first heard about Lost My Name on one of my Facebook baby groups. They were talking about  the company appearing on dragon’s den the night before. I immediately searched the internet to find out what book they were raving about.  I absolutely love the idea of this book. “It tells the story of a child who has lost his or her name, and bravely sets off to track down the missing letters”

The website is very simple to navigate and you simply write your child’s name in the box provided, choose the gender, then off you go with the preview.  I like the fact the preview is actually the whole book so you know exactly what the story is. There is a minimum length – so if your child has a very short name, they’ll get some extra story pages.

I really want to start building up a little library for J so I’m really into searching for books to make reading special for him.  Again as I was one of those children that never got anything with my name on , I love that now there is so much more things you can personalise with your name.

I must admit I was very excited when the books were delivered . I had ordered one for J and one as a present.

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I ordered the books on the 14th and they arrived on the 20th , considering that the books are made to order I am impressed at how quick they turned up.

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I’m not one for your typical gender stereotyping, I am pleased to say that the only difference with the books are the main cover and the character’s gender. There are no boy or girl letters, I also like the fact that the characters could be seen as a variety of races depending how you interpretate them.

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The quality of the books are amazing and definetly worth the money.

At £18.99 per book, with free postage, and with discounts for multiple purchases, these books make wonderful gifts (first birthday, first Christmas, new baby, Christening, ) and are worth every penny. I will definitely be recommending them , and purchasing more, to everyone I know.

*I received a discount code for purchasing these books in exchange for a review*

The trials and tribulations of toddler mealtimes

When you are pregnant you get told you have to eat healthy , not a lot of sugar etc. It doesn’t change once baby is here . It turns into how much milk is baby having, how often  . Throw into the mix weaning and allergies and you become a nervous wreck. You get told that you should feed baby fresh food, You imagine being a domestic goddess , whereas the reality is completely the opposite.

I can’t cook , I wish I could but I can’t. I probably could give it a try if I didn’t have a toddler that shouts at me constantly when I try to do anything let alone cook. He will quiet happily watch his grandma or dad cook though. When I do make him something from scratch you can guarantee he wont even try it . This then just proves the point of why do i even try.

We  fed J jars when we started weaning, This wasn’t the best of ideas as when he reacted to foods we had to figure out what it was.  We did try other foods but because of his reflux he wouldn’t eat anything lumpy . It had to be either smooth or whole pieces. This then made me paranoid for a bit that he had Dyspraxia like his dad. #PNDPARANOIA . As he has got older he is a lot better with textures but still wont eat mince or rice. This does drive me made in all honesty because the amount of food he wont try is unreal.

I still feed J jars as they are handy to take out with us as back up food, just in case we cannot find anything suitable for him. At home though he has started having tinned soups and spaghetti hoops and such like. He also loves chicken dippers and parsnips and roast potatoes.  I did feel bad not cooking him fresh food all the time, but considering how hard it is to get him to eat sometimes, I have got over that fact . I would rather him eat something than nothing at all. Don’t get me wrong i don’t give him lots of sugary food all the time but I believe everything in moderation is ok . Unless its dairy/soya/coconut/banana or scrambled eggs . That is our list of food to avoid , as you can see it’s a lot but its quiet simple now we have got use to it.

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Serious eating face

Then comes into the mix of what is a toddler portion? …. its a minefield

Our experience with cloth nappies

Our experience with cloth nappies has been hit and miss.

When I was pregnant I knew I wanted to use cloth nappies , mainly because it was cheaper in the long run and also because they are cute. Surprisingly D was on board with the idea as well so i started to collect my stash. I started with some Little lamb OSFA and slowly expanded. Its safe to say I have far too many cloth nappies but they were cheap ,on offer or preloved. I was adamant that that was all we would use, but in all honesty in the early days I found it hard enough to function (see here) let alone trying to keep on top of newborn Sicky reflux clothes that throwing nappies into the mix just pushed me further along the edge.
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When I did fell up to using cloth I found that J leaked loads. This was a mixture of excessive milk drinking through reflux thus epic amounts of peeing. Also it was because the nappies were to large. I stopped and waited till J had grown more. Being 6lb.3oz when he was born he was only diddy to start with. Don’t get me wrong I do love cloth nappies as they really do feel soft and are extremely easy to use. I just think we got off to a bad start.
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I did venture into using them again as they were only shoved away in a cupboard. You do have to size up the child’s clothes to accommodate a cloth bum but that isn’t a problem. I find that the cloth nappies came into their own in summer, It was great when J could just wander around in a nappy . Of course the sun helped dry the nappies a lot quicker as well . Who doesn’t like nappies on the line. The problem I have is keeping on top of the washing , not because of the nappies but because I don’t have a dryer.  I can’t seem to dry clothes quick enough so it drives me mad with wet washing hanging everywhere. Again I think this is why I stop using cloth as adding nappies into the mix just takes over the house. I think if we were to have a dryer it would have helped.

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I haven’t given up trying to use cloth nappies as I do love them but its definitely not as straight forward as I thought. I do know several people who use cloth successfully so don’t let me put you off . the plus is that I can use the cloth nappies for future children so its still not money wasted. Hey I even mastered cloth nappies overnight which some people struggle with.

Choosing a baby name.

How hard is it to choose a baby name?

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Some people have known forever what they want to call their first child. Others name their child after family members or keep a tradition going. Those of us that chose to stay team yellow, not only have to choose one name but two. I remember saying I didn’t want a common name . Hello number 4 in the most popular baby names list. Oops, never mind.
After having grown up with an unusual name that nobody can ever say let alone spell, I didn’t want my baby to have a really ‘out there’ name . However I also wasn’t planning on meeting several Js more or less all the time . Never mind it suits him and that’s the name we chose. I remember the night he was born just looking at him saying random names. Of course we were one of those people who had 9 months and still couldn’t decide. J was 16 hours old when he got his name. His middle name is a family name.
We did have a list of names when I was pregnant ,we both loved Florence for a girl but couldn’t decided on a boy’s name. Sods law he was a boy. It wasn’t that we couldn’t agree , just that we couldn’t choose.
A name is such an important thing to a person , it can define who you are. People associate names to people. That horrible boy you went to school with, that annoying neighbour, that really sweet girl down the road. You get the point. It doesn’t help when people put you off a name or they say ‘ o that’s interesting’.
I do believe you should choose a name you love and to ignore anyone else as ultimately it is your decision.

Anyway if they hate it they can change it when they are older.

Newborn days

Recently I have been thinking about the newborn days. It makes me sad as most of it was a blur hidden in sleep deprivation and postnatal depression. I lived ,well survived off around 3 hours broken sleep a night , thanks to reflux and unknown allergies. I hardly knew my name let alone what day or month it was.

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We ,like most new parents, took looking after J in shifts . When D was on paternity leave it wasn’t so bad, as you kept each other going.  However I remember when he went back to work and how down I got and how I struggled to adjust again. He had some time off using holidays when J was around a month old, which again was great but then I went low went he went back to work again.  We felt like we hardly saw each other as when he got home from work I would go to bed so I could take over in the night. I remember eating tea at 2am as that was the only chance, eating sausage rolls out of the fridge just as it was handy.
I think those first few weeks ,we mainly camped out downstairs just so one of us could get a little bit of sleep. I remember nearly ripping a cold callers head off for knocking on the door just as I had got J to sleep , and then they came back later!!. I think the nights were sponsor by the channel DAVE and every time I hear the theme tune to ‘two and half men’ it takes me back to those newborn days ,lay on the sofa rocking J in his pram with my foot trying to stay awake .
I do feel sad though, as I feel we missed out on so much . I don’t know if it was the PND or the reflux but I don’t remember enjoying much about those newborn days. You couldn’t put J down as he cried because of the reflux ,or he cried for milk to comfort the reflux which in turn made him worse because of the CMPA.

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I can remember him learning to roll over ,but I can’t tell you how old he was . Its the same with him crawling. I do remember him learning to walk, cruising furniture at 6 1/2 months and independently walking 2 days off 9 months. I did have one of those memory books but I couldn’t fill it in and I really do regret it now. I also feel guilty I didn’t.

At first those days traumatised us that much ,that its only recently we have discussed having another child as we both didn’t want to go through it again. 

Hopefully next time round those early newborn days will be different.

Retro toddler toys

When we moved house recently we managed to go through my mother in law’s loft. We found lots of my husbands old toys such as Lego, k’nex, cars and wooden trains. J was just a bump then and we didn’t know whether he would be a boy or a girl, however we would have let him play with these things either way. Needless to say they got packed away when we moved into our house as J was far too young. However a few weeks ago I got the toy cars out of the loft, as J seemed to like playing with cars with H. I posted pictures on my Instagram account which can be found here

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Today I decided to get the wooden train set out .  The last time I tried the track just got launched across the room. J has spent most of the morning playing nicely with the wooden train set and telling me to play with him as well. The wooden train set has magnets on each end so that he can connect the trains together. He still hasn’t figured out that sometimes you have to turn the magnets round the other way as they won’t work. J definitely has learnt to play better on his own recently, before hand he was very demanding. He is extremely cute at the minute and I would say that this age, 16 months is definitely the best so far.  Not only can he tell me what he wants, in his own way , but he listens to what you tell him.  He definitely understands a lot more than you realise.

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Teaching responsibilities with pets

Recently J has started paying more interest in our pet degus.  If you don’t know what they are ,they are similar to chinchillas but look more like a gerbil. This is a good website for more information .. here

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We have had our degus, Diego and Gonzo AKA the girl’s ,  for about 7 years now . We adopted them when they were one.  We have since bought them a bigger cage and they have become a lot more social.  I have started leaving the cage door open so that J can stroke them. He has also started helping me to feed them. He likes giving them cucumber as they pinch it off him and run off. He did however give them one of his toy cars to play with,  he has also taken to trying to give them his drink .  When J is older I will definitely be getting him to help me clean the cage and feed them hay.

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I like the fact that J is paying interest in animals , he obviously takes after his dad and I . I think it is important to teach children how to be nice to animals as children can get giddy and scare them sometimes. I do this when he strokes them by saying gentle ,so he learns that is what you are meant to do. He is also very good with my mums cat and loves watching her. I do think that he would really like a cat, however we need to work on convincing his dad. For now he can visit his uncle’s house and play with their cat and dog.

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Knowsley Safari Park day out

Today for daddy’s birthday we decided to go to Knowsley Safari Park.  Neither of us have been in years, so we thought it would be a good trip out. They day started well as J had a nap on the way there, this meant that he would be in a better mood once we arrived. On the way there I decided to go on my phone on the Internet,  I found that we could get 20% off tickets ordering online. This is really simple and easy to do and saved us some money. We were really lucky with the weather as Bertha has been around causing havoc, however we had a lovely sunny day in Knowsley safari park.

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We were given this , just incase you didn’t realise not to get out of the car .

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J woke up just as we arrived , we pulled over in the car park and D took the windscreen wipers off the car in preparation for the baboon area as they have a habit of breaking them. Initially I think J was more excited about being sat in the front of the car on my knee , than  he was about the animals but that soon changed. although he did spend a lot of the time swapping between my knee and ‘driving’

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It seems that J takes after his uncle M as he pays attention to the diggers rather than the actual attraction.

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When you enter it does feel a bit like Jurassic park, you go into a separate section before you enter the actual enclosure ,enclosed by massive gates.

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The highlight of the day was definitely the baboon enclosure. You do have the option not to drive through , as the baboons climb all over your car and can, *read will*, cause damage. This chap greeted us as we drove it and promptly climbed onto the window screen. DSC_0295
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J loved this area and kept smiling and laughing at the baboons. As soon as the car stopped the baboons climbed on , you had to keep checking there was no baboons sat in front of the car. DSC_0296
As you can see J was memorised. I was proud of him as he wasnt scared in the slightest, however there was several children in other cars looking terrorised or crying.

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I absolutely adore this photo , J kept pointing at the baboon in excitement .

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Aswell as animals Knowlsey Safari park has a mini fun fayre  , you do have to pay separate to go on the rides but as J was too small for most of the rides we didn’t bother. He did play on the play park for a short while though.

 

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DSC_0323Although you mainly visit Knowsley Safari Park for the lions and Baboons there are also some other animals. There are sea lions , a bug house and giraffes as well as others.DSC_0319

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J decided that all the running around he was doing required a raisin snack break , he has a habit of picking out the raisins amongst the cranberries and other dried fruit.

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We finished the day at The airport pub in Manchester as J loves watching the planes, and posing as you can see in this picture. We also went out for a oriental buffet and J was so well-behaved we were really proud of him DSC_0348

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Win a personalised holiday book from love2read

Win a personalised holiday book from love2read!! !  My review can be found  here

To celebrate our sizzling Summer I have teamed up with love2read to offer one lucky
reader the chance to win a “My holiday…” personalised book in our fabulous competition.! !

love2read my holiday book low res

Whether you’re going away or just spending time chilling by the paddling pool and enjoying
days out, you can hand pick your most precious digital photographs and have them
transformed into a personalised reading book which your child will love to share with family
and friends.! !

love2read child reading holiday book low res

love2read’s website is full of templates, all you have to do is pick the one that you want,
upload your ten digital photos and then add some simple text. eg I went to Cornwall, I
splashed in the pool, I made sandcastles on the beach. There is a wide selection of
holiday templates to choose from including My holiday…, Our holiday…, My first holiday…,
My trip to the zoo… or use the Your own book… template to create your own book title.! !

Children like nothing more than looking at familiar photographs, so your child will love to
read their personalised book and it’s sure to become a keepsake to treasure forever of the
special time you spent together.! !

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*in collabaration with love2read*

The end of co-sleeping?

We have never been opposed to co-sleeping ,even from the early newborn days , this was mainly because J would not sleep. We later realised that this was because he had reflux and allergies ,he was uncomfortable.
We obviously practised safe co-sleeping ,starting with the cot bed attached to our bed with the side off. Even when J was a newborn he managed to wriggle more over to our side, than the cot-bed. In all honesty we had planned to co-sleep if needed when J was just a bump. Not everyone agrees with doing this but for us it was no problem, I quiet liked the idea of sleepy baby cuddles.

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Fast forward to J being 15 months old.
Js general bedtime/nighttime routine ;Tea then a bath ,mainly because he’s covered in food, J loves a bath and climbs upstairs shouting bath. After the bath we go downstairs to get changed into pyjamas and wait for daddy to get home . Then its cuddles with daddy ,watch ‘In the night garden’ then upstairs for a story/bottle and bed. J went into his own room around 7 months old. This was because of the recommended 6 months plus the fact we were in the middle of movin g. Since J was one we took the side off the cot bed , this was because he screamed blue murder anytime he went in it. Now the side is off you can lie in the cot next to him until he falls asleep. This is normally about 10 minutes. J then normally sleeps in his cot bed until his first wake around 11 then came in our bed with us. This worked well as we still got the evening to ourselves but with having him in our bed we. Managed to settle him quicker in the night thus catching as much sleep as possible.

However the past week J has decided that he wants to sleep in his cot overnight. He still wakes up in the night how ever he will settle back to sleep in the cot rather bringing him into our bed. Previously he had started fussing in the night and waiting several times. We think he was running out of room in our bed, He often pushed Dave out of the bed. Now he wakes around 12 and 3 has a 3 oz bottle and goes back to sleep. He either wakes up for the day around 5 or 6 a.m. However this morning he brought his teddy into our bedroom and got in a bed until 7.

I am glad that he has decided to sleep in his cot ,but I am missing sleepy baby cuddles in the night. I won’t mind if he wants to come in bed for the occasional hour in the morning