Things we’ve been loving lately… #1

This year I want to share more of the things I love on my blog. Whether it be the products that make parenting that little bit easier, something I’ve treated myself to, or even just what I’m lovin’ on the telly box! And of course, my blog is as much about my girls as it is me so I’ll be sharing the things they love too. (Although it might be a while yet before Little E loves anything more than milk and sleep!)

Here’s some of mine and Jasmine’s recent faves…

Things that Jasmine (aged 2) has been loving lately…

1. Tickly Octopus by Ruth Galloway (Book)

Jasmine often goes through phases of being obsessed with a particular book. She’ll ask us to read the same book every night for several weeks at a time. Lately, her favourite book is Tickly Octopus by Ruth Galloway. I bought this at a book sale at our local library for about 50p ages ago but she’s only recently gotten into it. It’s about an Octopus who enjoys tickling his fellow sea creatures, however, they aren’t quite so keen on it! This leads Octopus to find out what other things he’s good at besides tickling.

2. Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike from Kiddies Kingdom

Jasmine received this balance bike for Christmas and initially wasn’t bothered by it at all. “It’s too wobbly!” she’d say as she tried to ride it, she’d get frustrated and give up. With plenty of gentle encouragement she’s now starting to gain confidence in herself when riding it and is really starting to get the hang of it now. She’ll ride it around the house and announce “I like my bike!” I’m now on the hunt for a helmet for Jasmine so we can venture outdoors with it.

3. Hallmark Itty Bittys

I’ve mentioned a few times on the blog and social media that Jasmine is obsessed with superheroes. She spends a good 90% of her waking hours pretending to be Spiderman. On the run up to Christmas I was looking around for superhero toys but annoyingly I found that many were a bit too old for her. They were made up of lots of small plastic parts or they had toy weapons. They didn’t really seem suitable for a two-year-old in my eyes. But then I discovered Itty Bittys – small plush collectible toys and immediately knew Jasmine would adore them. She now has Spiderman (obvs), Bat Girl, Batman and Super Girl! I can’t wait to add some more to our collection as they are so blummin’ cute. There is a HUGE range of itty bittys available – not just superheroes either. From Star Wars to Snoopy, there’s an Itty Bitty collection for everyone!

4. PJ Masks (TV show)

Staying with the Superhero theme – we have both been loving PJ Masks. A children’s animated series about 3 six-year-olds who become superheros (Owlette, Gekko and Catboy!) at night. It’s available to watch on the Disney Jnr channel. Check out the trailer here to see what all the fuss is about!

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And now on to Mama’s recent faves…

 

Things that I’ve been loving lately…

1. Tangle Angel

I have such incredibly knotty hair. So much so, that brushing it with a ‘normal’ hairbrush makes my eyes water. Not only that, I can hear my hair snapping with each stroke – NOT good! Enter stage left: The Tangle Angel. This brush has been my absolute saviour – it glides through my wet or dry hair easily and doesn’t yank on my locks! Appaz, even Kim Kardashian uses these brushes!

2. Tesco Stawberry Flavour Mineral Water

OK, I know this is random but bear with me a minute! I’ve been trying desperately to cut down on my sugar intake lately. I’ve been looking for an alternative to juices, squash and fizzy drinks (because let’s face it, plain ol’ water is dull after a while!) It’s then that I came across these sugar free flavoured mineral waters in my local Tesco. And well, I’m hooked!

3. The Rightmove mobile app (available on iPhone and Android)

We’ve recently accepted an offer on our house (yay!) which means we are now desperately looking for a new one (eek!) This means my go-to mobile app has been Rightmove – it’s been a great tool for searching for new properties on the market in our chosen location and shortlisting ones we want to view. Exciting times!

4. Fortitude – Series 2 (TV Show)

Fortitude is a British psychological thriller television series which is available to watch on Sky Atlantic. It’s creepy, intriguing, well written and well acted. I was a huge fan of the first series which aired in 2015 and I’ve been looking forward to the second series ever since. The basic premise of the show is that a quiet and ‘safe’ town, Fortitude, which is located on the edge of the Arctic Circle becomes plagued by a prehistoric parasite. I’m 3 episodes into the second series and it, so far, has been well worth the wait.

What have you been loving lately?

Jenna xxx

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An interview with my 2-year-old

One of the best things about having a 2-year-old is the conversations. My little girl has become so incredibly chatty over the last few months or so. In fact, if she’s awake, she’s probably talking. I thought it would be fun to interview her. Although it wasn’t the easiest of conversations (like most toddlers, she has the attention span of a gnat) I loved listening to her answers.

On with the interview…

1) How old are you, Jasmine?

*She counts on her fingers… “One… two… three…”

“I’m not three. I’m just one.”

Me: I think you’re two.

“Nooo, I just one.”

 

2) What’s your favourite bedtime story?

“Ticky Octonaut”

{She’s a referring to a book called ‘Tickly Octopus’. She requests that we read it to her every night before bed, followed by We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.}

 

3) What does Daddy do for work?

“Ummm, Dadsy goes shopping.”

{Daddy works in Web Development!}

 

4) And what does mummy do?

“Mummy does baby.”

{Arrrghh! #mumguilt – Jasmine has definitely been feeling a little pushed out lately as Elowen is very clingy.}

 

5) What’s your favourite colour?

“I like Orange.”

 

6) What’s Your favourite animal?

“I like pink.”

Me: No, your favourite animal?

“I like turtle. Lots of turtles are grumpy.”

{OK then.}

 

7) What makes you happy?

“Tortoise makes me happy.”

{She’s really diggin’ on reptiles today.}

“And baby makes me happy.”

{She’s talking about Elowen. ❤}

 

7) What makes you sad?

“Dinosaurs make me sad. I like dinosaurs!”

Me: But they make you sad?

“Yeah, they scare me!”

 

8) What’s your favourite song?

She completely ignores me. She’s taken the belt from my dressing gown and is spinning it around in the air like a lasso.

“Yeeeehaaaa!!”

{Moving on…}

 

9) Who is your favourite superhero?

I like Spiderman. He is super strong.”

 

10) Who is your best friend?

“Ryan!”

{This is the first I’ve heard of ‘Ryan’ – I’m assuming it’s a boy from her nursery class.}

 

11) Where do you live?

“In our house. It keeps us warm.”

 

12) Where is your favourite place?

“I like my home!”

Me: Not the park?

“No, too wet park.”

{We walked passed the park earlier today and I told her the park was too wet for us to go in.}

 

13) What is your favourite food?

“I like pineapple.”

 

14) What are you good at?

“I got 4 wheels that spin around. It’s very bumpy. I fall off. I hurt my knee.”

*She points to the muddy stain on her knee.*

{She fell off her scooter earlier.}

 

15) What’s your favourite toy?

“I like all toys.”

Me: But which toy is your favourite?

*She runs over to her box of sticklebricks.*

“Let’s build an aeroplane!”

And so we build aeroplanes with sticklebricks and that concludes our interview! :)

Has your toddler said anything funny lately?
Share it with me in the comments!

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I’m linking this post up to Real Mum Review’s #LittleLeaps Linky. :)

My Petit Canard

Life Lately: The Calm Before the Storm

With less than one month to go until Baby Button-Nose’s due date, I thought it would be nice to sit down and just write. Not about anything in particular but whatever springs to my mind in a period that I’m currently calling the ‘calm before the storm’. Before our lives change again. Before we become a family of four.

Yesterday we had our house deep cleaned in preparation for a homebirth and regardless of whether or not that’s the kind of birth I end up having, I’m glad we’ve had it done. It’s just another one of those things that make me feel a little more ‘ready’. I’m a bit of a clean freak at the best of times so you can only imagine what I’m like when I get into nesting mode. However, I’ve realised that I need to start taking it easy – this pregnancy has been so much harder on my body. Some days, walking up the stairs is a real struggle due to hip and back pain so scrubbing walls and floors myself isn’t an option. I have been going crazy with my label maker though – now that’s my kinda nesting!

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As the cleaners were working in our house for 6 hours, I decided it would be best for me and Jasmine to go out somewhere, to get out of their way. I thought it would be fun to take Jasmine to the cinema for the first time (if you don’t count the Big Scream showings I took her to when she was a baby). I was a little nervous as although I know she is able to sit and watch a whole film at home, I’m wasn’t sure how she’d behave at the cinema. Especially as she seems to have developed a fear of the dark. I booked tickets to a Junior showing of Ice Age: Collision Course which only cost £3.60 for the both of us (bargain!) so I figured if she played up or wasn’t keen on being there – we’d just go to the park instead and there was no real loss.

I needn’t have been so worried because she was as good as gold – sat through the entire film perfectly. She’d occasionally get excited and shout something like “Look mummy, a hotcano! Look everybody, a hotcano!” (That’s a volcano to you and me.) She munched her way through a big bag of popcorn whilst I spent most of the film watching her watch the film. I couldn’t stop from smiling. I also felt a little sad that our days alone together are numbered. Having another baby is so bittersweet. On the one hand, I cannot wait for Jasmine to meet her sibling and become a big sister but on the other, I will miss our time together, just the two of us.

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We had our annual visit to Undley Pumpkin Patch at the weekend (we’ve gone there every year for the last 3 years). It’s only when I look back at our photos of our visits that I realise just how much Jasmine has grown and changed. This will probably be our last ever visit to this particular pumpkin patch as we are relocating back to the South West early next year. I’m sure we’ll be able to find somewhere just as awesome to pick our pumpkins!

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I’m not sure how much Jasmine understands about the ‘baby in mummy’s tummy’. We try to talk to her about the baby but it’s a lot to take in for a 2.5 year-old. Hell, sometimes I can barely get my head around it. To think that I’m growing a brand new human inside of me – it boggles the mind. I do think Jasmine understands more than I give her credit for though – the other night she pointed at my tummy and said “baby”, completely unprompted. When asked “Do you want a brother or a sister?” which tends to be something that family, neighbours and strangers ask her a lot. She’ll either reply “no” (oh.), or more often than not, “a baby brother”. No pressure then.

She’s also become quite protective over me, shouting “my mummy” at strangers in the supermarket. As if she suspects the lady buying milk and baked beans is going to pick me up and carry me away. To be fair, she reacts the same way with the toy cars at playgroup. (“My cars!”) But at least there, the threat is real. You’re gonna have to learn to share real soon, baby girl!

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I should probably touch upon my mental health, seeing as I’ve written about it a fair amount on blog over the last few months. I’m still taking my anti-depressants and I feel like I’m currently in a good place. Yes, I feel quite anxious at times but at 36 weeks pregnant, I think that’s perfectly normal. On the whole, I am excited about meeting our newest addition and whilst I know it’s going to be a big adjustment. I feel I will be able to cope – and if I can’t, I won’t be afraid to ask for help.

I ordered our last few baby essentials last night. I’ve packed our ‘just in case’ hospital bags. Put a box together for my homebirth. Bought biscuits for the midwives! Written a birth plan.  And so I’m feeling as ready as I’ll ever be.

There are a few things I’d like to do before baby arrives such as have a dental check-up (joy!), get my bump Henna’d and treat myself to a haircut and some reflexology. Time is of the essence so I need to get a move on!

Any advice for a soon-to-be mummy of two?!

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Jasmine at two and a half years old

I’ve been meaning to write an update for Jasmine for a few months but every time I sit down to write it, I feel a bit overwhelmed by how much she has changed and developed. She’s a little sponge and is learning new things everyday, especially when it comes to her speech and language. She seemed to get off to quite a slow start in terms of learning to talk but the words and phrases are coming thick and fast now. She cracks me up with her little retorts and she’s getting a little too smart for her own good!

Jasmine wears age 2-3 sized clothes, although I think some people would be shocked to know that. Almost every time we’re out, at the park for example, somebody will comment on Jasmine’s size.

“How old is she?”
“Two and half.”
“Oh… she’s tall for her age, isn’t she?”

Clearly she gets her height from her daddy… not her 5ft1 mummy!

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One of the main things that has evolved over the last few months is Jasmine’s imagination. She loves pretend play and will often be running around the garden shouting “Ruuuuuuuuun, Dinosaur Rex coming!!” I also spend a lot of time pretending to eat ice creams she’s made for me. It’s a good job that imaginary ice creams contain no colories!

Coinciding with this wonderful imagination is a fear of the dark. Jasmine’s recently been requesting to keep the lights on and have the door pulled ajar at bedtime – not every night, but fairly often. Once she’s asleep I will go and shut the door and turn off the main light (she had a nightlight in her room) so we don’t disturb her when we go to bed.

We did attempt potty training in the summer and although Jasmine was really keen at first (went and did a wee in the potty, completely unprompted) the novelty wore off after a few days and she refused to wee or poo unless she had a nappy on. I decided to leave it a little while and try again at a later stage. I’d love to have her out of nappies before baby number two arrives (due November) but I’m not going to force her to be potty-trained for my own benefit. We’ll see how it goes but for now, she’s still in nappies full time.

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Jasmine can recognise many shapes including ‘heart’ and ‘star’ as well as colours. For a while everything was “pink” but now she’ll walk along the street and name the colours of cars as she walks past them. She likes counting things but still doesn’t say numbers in order. Her counting goes a bit like this: “2…4…4…5”.

She’s always interested in looking at clocks and asking the time, she even pinches Daddy’s iphone so she can ask Siri what the time is! (Of course, Siri doesn’t recognise her voice but that doesn’t stop Jasmine from trying!)

About 3-4 weeks ago I decided do away with Jasmine’s afternoon nap. She had become less and less interested in going to sleep after lunch and it would often take her over an hour to settle. And whilst she did eventually fall asleep, and usually nap fro up to two hours, she would then take ages falling to sleep at night. The evening bedtime routine started getting longer and longer. It’s been difficult for both of us to adjust – I miss the break and she does get tired and grouchy in the afternoon but to be honest, it was no where near as bad as I thought it was going to be. The days are longer and tiring for us both (especially with me being pregnant) but pretty much as soon as her head hits the pillow at 7pm she’s fast asleep and, more often than not, doesn’t wake up for 12.5 hours!

Instead of having that nap after lunch, we tend to snuggle on the sofa and watch a DVD – it means we both get a bit of quiet time and a chance to recuperate from the morning’s activities before round two!

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Being a typical two year old Jasmine has plenty of tantrums. Tonight she was in an angry fit of rage for about 10 minutes because I put her PJ top on. She was yanking at it, biting it and shouting “I don’t like it t-shirt”. Once she calmed down she walked over to me and said “Sorry, mummy – I tired”. Those kind of tantrums I can deal with but it’s the ones where she bites/kicks/scratches at me or her dad because she hasn’t got her own way – I find them mega hard work.

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She is still obsessed with playing hide and seek and makes me hide with her from ‘Dadsy Poopy Pants’.

She often gets mistaken for a boy because she wears clothes with dinosaurs on (grrr!) and she’s very particular about what she will wear. I tend to shop for her clothes in the ‘boys section’. She’s very rough and tumble – not remotely interested in princesses and such like. She likes cars and dinosaurs!

In July, I decided to do a little video portrait of Jasmine. I take a lot of photos of her but there’s nothing quite like video to capture her little expressions and quirks…

The way she ‘helps’ hang the washing out to dry, kissing my knickers before hanging them up(?!)

How she loved to (over)feed our guinea pig, Dexter. (Who is now in guinea pig heaven… due to old age… not being overfed!)

When she’s having a quiet, contemplative moment whilst hugging her giant teddy bear.

The way she blows dandelions… without actually blowing the dandelions.

Anyway, I thought where better to share this video than in her latest update post so here it is:

 

Likes: Bunny (still her most prized possession), Peter Rabbit, tractors, pirates, ride-on toys, playdoh, water play, being outdoors, going to the park, trike rides, animals, ‘huggles’, having showers, drawing/painting, Go Jetters,

Dislikes: being in her carseat, nappy changes, getting dressed, bedtimes, brushing her teeth.

I will finish up this post with a Jasmine quote that really made me smile…

*Jasmine is searching for something in the front room*

Me: “What are you looking for, Jasmine?”
Jasmine: “I looking for trouble, Mummy.”

I guess the next time I write an update on Jasmine, she will be a big sister. Something I’m excited and nervous about in equal measure. Wish us luck!

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Want to read more of Jasmine’s monthly updates? Click here.

A Toddler Wish List: <br> Our favourite play shops & accessories <br/>

Jasmine’s current obsession at the moment is playing ‘shopkeeper’. It’s so lovely to watch her develop a love for imaginative and role play games . This has meant that I’ve found myself googling ‘toy shops’ as I think it would make the perfect Christmas gift for her (yes, I’m thinking about Christmas already). I’ve come across quite a few lovely play shops for sale in range of prices to suit every pocket. I thought I’d show you some of the ones I really love the look of… plus some the play shop accessories that caught my eye too!

I found myself steering clear of plastic toy shops as I personally prefer classic-style wooden toys. Don’t get me wrong – some of Jasmine’s favourite toys are plastic and we have lots of them (believe me!) but when it comes to bigger items that are going to be on permanent display in my living room – I want them to look nice! ;)

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Play shop and theatre – GLTC // £112

I’m a huge fan of The Great Little Trading Co so it’s no suprise that their 2-in-1 play shop and theatre is a top contender! I’ve been told by Jasmine’s keyworker at nursery that she really enjoys doing puppet shows with her friends so the fact it can also be turned around and used as a theatre would definitely go down a treat. This item (also available in pink) is currently in the GLTC sale so there’s no better time to buy it.

Oh and you know what else? GLTC’s Play Shop & Theatre has just won PLATINUM for Best Interactive Toy 1-3 yrs in the LovedByParents awards. Pretty impressive!

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Wooden Cherry Shop & Cafe – George Home // £35

At only £35 this play shop is an absolute steal and it would be particularly ideal if you’re tight on space. I did wonder about the quality of the item, given that it’s such a low price. Although, after reading lots of the reviews, it would seem that many people who have bought this play shop are raving about it!

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Playshop and theatre – Tidlo // £66.99

One of my favourite wooden toy brands is Tidlo – we had one of their baby walkers for Jasmine and I’m still holding on to it for baby number two! They have also created a 2-in-1 play shop and theatre which is smaller than the GLTC one. I love the little basket shelves and strips of chalkboard to write prices etc.

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SKYLTA – Ikea // £10

Fancy something a bit different? Then check out this awesome cardboard market stall from Ikea. At just £10 it certainly won’t break the bank. I love the the little fold-down shelves and I think little ones could really go to town on making this play shop their own. Draw on it, paint it, use stickers – not only can you use it for imaginative and role play games – it’s a good item to get creative with.

And not forgetting some of my favourite play shop accessory finds…

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1. Wooden Checkout Register – Hape // £18.99

2. Play shopping baskets (set of two) – GLTC // £12.00

3. Wooden shopping trolley – Plan Toys // £49.95

4. Wooden lollies – GLTC // £12.00

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5. Cake stand with 10 cakes – BigJigs // £14.50

6. Food groups play food set – Melissa & Doug // £12.80

7. x2 Wooden milk cartons // £3.45

8. Shop scales // £13.50

All prices are correct at the time of publishing this post.

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Do your little ones enjoy playing shop? 

Which toy shop and accessories do you most like the look of?

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