Our Toddler’s Bedtime Routine

It really shocks me when I hear so many parents saying that they don’t read their children stories before bed, or any other time of day for that matter. I wouldn’t have it any other way, my little one loves books & I’m pretty sure that it has something to do with the fact we’ve read to him since, well, before he was born…

When I was pregnant with Theo, myself & the Mr would read to him every night when we went to bed, even though he was in my tummy, we were firm believers that he could hear us & responded well to our voices. Reading books out loud was just an easier way to talk to him, without being stumped with what to say.

Call it chance or coincidence, but the one book we would repeatedly read him, is & has been for a long while, one of his favorites. I like to think it’s because he learnt the rhythm of the words through us reading it to him & he picked up on it when he was out & about in the world.

Theo’s bedtime routine, has been & will remain the same for the forseeable future because it works so well, for him & for us.

He starts his bedtime routine at about 6.50pm / 7.00pm.

We take him upstairs, brush his teeth, wash his face, get him dressed into his pjs & read him 3 – 4 stories (depending on the length). Then he helps his Daddy (or me if he’s at work) switch off his light & see if his dinosaurs & stars have come out (glow in the dark stickers). He gives us both (or again, just me if the Mr’s in work) a cuddle & we ask him if he’s had a nice day & various other questions that only really need a yes or no answer & we give him a kiss, lay him in bed, tuck him in & sing him 2 or 3 songs before saying goodnight & leaving the room, blowing a kiss on the way out. He normally blows a kiss just as we’re closing the door & that’s him down to bed. He’s normally asleep within 5-10 minutes of us leaving the room with maybe the odd chatter after we’ve gone, but normally it’s just silence.

When he’s in a big boy bed, it might go slightly differently – we will probably read him books in bed rather than on our laps, or at least one in his bed so he’s settled, but it’s far too difficult to lean over the cot at the moment, so it works really well with him snuggled on one of our laps. We take it in turns every night to read stories so if & when we have another one, he’s used to only one of us reading & hopefully wont get too picky with who he wants to read to him.

I can’t help but feel without the winding down of a quiet story time, he might not sleep as well, but he’s always out like a light by 7.10pm & he doesn’t wake until between 8.30am – 9.30am & he’s been the same since he was around 5 / 6 weeks old.

So there you have it, our simple yet effective bed time routine.

I’d love to hear your bedtime routines for your little ones & what other things you do compared to me, so drop a comment below. 🙂

Sweet Dreams, xo

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Home Decor, Toddler Style.

Hello!!

A few days back the hubby-to-be & I were talking about home decor & I was rambling on about how I can’t wait to move & finally decorate somewhere! The house we’ve been living in for the past nearly two years is rented & magnolia, everywhere. Classic rental property. I actually like having light walls, I love to give rooms a pop of colour with accessories & colour them that way…I find it much more fun. Plus I know if I change my mind in 6 months time, it’s easy to just swap out some wall art or cushion covers for new ones.

Anyway, I decided that even though we only probably have 6 months left here, I’d take the time to start adding a bit of colour, now the Christmas decorations have been put away, so that for the remaining time we’re here it won’t just feel like we’re still living out of boxes. Silly I know, because what’s the point, but I’m a woman & I’m weird, so that’s how it is. 😉

IMG_0956Back to the subject matter….I was looking at different print sizes / canvas’ online because I want to get some of my photos printed out & displayed, (I have so many backed up on the laptop not being used or looked at & it gets me down sometimes) & I saw a canvas that looked like someone had just taken a canvas, put a load of sellotape over the top of it in a random fashion & splatted paint on it. I looked at it & thought, you know what….I’ve got some small canvas’ laying around in a bag that I’ve had for about a year & not done anything with, so I thought I’d have a go, but toddler style!!

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So, I set to work, cutting out shapes from sellotape to make a train, because our little man Theo loves trains. I finished the train with a bit of a gap at the bottom of the canvas & thought I’d put his name across the bottom to fill the space. We covered the floor like we normally do & put him in some old clothes & essentially let him go wild with paints. He had a great time, finger painting & painting with a brush, mixing all his colours & doing what he wanted. As soon as the first colours went onto the canvas it started to look really awesome & the more that went on & got smushed around the more excited I got to see the outcome.

And here it is: *don’t mind his girly ‘craft time’ cover all*

IMG_0986I really love it, I think it’s a great little way to get your toddler involved in decorating, it’s a win win situation really, because he loved it, I love the outcome & it’s something he can look at & know he did. I want to do one for the living room too, not a train I might add, but it’s a great, cheap way of adding a pop of colour to your walls & involving the little one as well. I’ll no doubt post pictures of any others I do, so keep an eye out for that.

So there we go, home decor, toddler style! – I hope you enjoyed it.

Please like & subscribe to my blog & why not check out my other social media too! *links at the top of the page*

Have a lovely day, Kate, xo

Welcome to the house of fun…

On Saturday we took a trip to the Caernarfon Fun Centre for the afternoon, it’s a brilliant little place with loads to do. There’s an area for young children (under 3’s) & a much larger area for older kids (3+). There’s mazes, ball pits, slides, foam rockers, playsets, a wendy house, coin operated childrens toys, blocks, rope swings, bridges & much more…there’s also a cafe for when the little ones get thirsty / hungry & when the parents need a rest. 😉

I spent most of my time in the under 3’s section with Theo & Laurie checked out the ‘big kids’ area with his nieces for a little while too, we all had a great time. Theo absolutely loved being able to run around the little padded areas throwing balls about & going in & out of the little tunnels. He really enjoyed being able to climb up & go on the slide by himself & I really loved seeing his little face light up, so excited, at this new soft play world that we’d brought him to.

It’s a lovely place to take the kids for the day & it’s not that expensive either. If you have kids of any age (even big kids, like my fiance!!) they’ll love it. You can also hire the whole place out for parties (not just childrens ones, there’s a licenced bar too) though I’m not too sure how much for, it would be well worth looking into if you’re stuck for ideas & are in the Gwynedd area.

As the evening crept closer, we all went back to Laurie’s Mum & Dad’s house, where we had a chinese take away (YUM) & put the over excited, but extremely tired little ones to bed. After that, we (the grown ups) sat & had a drink & watched The Raid 2, which is awesome by the way, if you enjoy action films that is!! – Click the link to read a brilliant review of it!

Kate, x

Hesketh Park

I’m back in my hometown (Formby) visiting family for a few days, so we’ve been out & about spending time together which has been really lovely. We decided to go to Hesketh Park yesterday because I’ve not been since I was a kid & I remember it being really awesome.

It’s such a beautiful place with the big lake, rose garden & woods surrounding the park, we had a great time, Theo loved being let loose to play & run around. Especially since he’s walking completely by himself now, he’s practically self sufficient. 😉 (Or so he’d have you believe)

But that’s where the trouble came…He was running along all excited trying to catch up to my Mum (Grandma) & Abi (his cousin / my niece) when he tripped on an uneven paving flag & smashed his face on the floor.

My worst nightmare!!!

There’s nothing more panic inducing than seeing your little one fall, especially when they fall hard.

Obviously, there were lots of tears & the feeling of dread washed over me as he buried his little face into my shoulder, I just wanted to cuddle him for ever, but I desperately wanted to see the damage too. As it was, he must have just banged & scraped his nose (it looked & sounded worse than it was) because it was bleeding, but there’s only a tiny scratch to show for it & 10 minutes later, you’d never have known it had happened. – He’s a tough little nut.

The day ended with a long nap in the car on the way home & then my auntie & cousin visited before bed. It was an all round lovely day, with the family. ❤

Here’s some pictures of the day!

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Kate, x

Pili Palas, Nature World

Pili Palas – Gwynedd, North Wales

Pili Palas is such a lovely place to visit with your family.

And that’s why it’s my first Family Friendly post.

(That’s a lot of F’s!)

It’s such a brilliant place for all ages. Last time we went, my son was only about 9 months old, we wen’t with my partner’s parents, grandmother, sister & her young children (aged between 3 & 8). We all had a lovely time, there’s a few seating areas for those who want to take a little break from walking round & get a cup of coffee / tea & a little cake. There’s also loads of activities for the children to do, including a soft play area (which our little one loved!!!)

The cafe is reasonably priced as far as ‘a day out cafe’ goes & the food wasn’t that bad either, the worst thing about the cafe was the staff, but this particular time they all seemed very young & got muddled up quite a lot the day we went. That shouldn’t put you off though, as other times we’ve been, it’s always been good service.

There’s a little petting area outside for anyone who wants to have a hold of the bunnies / guinea pigs, which the kids always love. There’s also random animal showings at different times in the day, where the staff will bring out a snake or a lizard or something for you to look at & hold if you want & they’ll tell you a little bit of info about it. It’s always quite interesting to hear little facts that you might not have known.

Quite rightly, the main attraction are the butterflies. They’re so amazingly beautful, so many colours & sizes fluttering around you, it’s an experience like no other. Especially if you get lucky enough for one to land on you. It definitely makes for a great photo & of course a fantastic memory if it happens to you. I could try & describe the different colours but I think I’ll let my photos do the talking….

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Overall, I think it’s a lovely day out. There’s lots on offer to do (much more than I’ve mentioned). I’ve linked the website at the top of the post, so it’s probably best to go there to get more information & directions, should you choose to take an interest. Either way, it’s a lovely place & I’d highly reccomend it for a family day out if you’re in the area.

Kate, x

P.S. Keep your eye out for more Family Friendly Friday’s!! 🙂

BABY BLOG!

22.07.13

I’ve had a couple of blogs all saved in my ‘drafts‘ folder for ages, but I decided to scrap them all since they were all stupidly long & tedious to read. Instead, I decided to make a new, short ‘what’s been happening in brief‘ blog.

Here goes;

On May 30th (2013) my gorgeous baby boy (Theoden) was born.
After spending a horribly long week in hospital with him (he was admitted to SCBU – special care baby unit) we were able to bring him home. ❤

He’s the most special little man in the world & I love him more than words could ever say. I’m so proud of his progress now, he’s doing extremely well after the bad start he had. He’s a little chunk to say the least.

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About a week after we came home from hospital & got settled, I started to get lots of clients getting in touch asking if I was available to photograph their weddings – there must have been some kind of Kateography boom because ever since, the requests have been flying in. I can see myself having a very busy year indeed! – But of course, that’s a good thing!

When I fell pregnant I stopped doing any photography jobs because I had bad morning sickness / was moving house / was ill with the pregnancy etc, so time just slipped away. Since having my baby though, I feel refreshed & ready to go – ready to step back out into the photography business that I’ve made for myself & do what I love best (It’s now more second in line to spending time with my gorgeous son – but it’s still right up there!)

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Living in a first floor flat has been quite hard. Trying to get Theo & his pram up & down a flight & a half of stairs is no joke, especially on days when I’m alone because Laurie is working – which is most days. In this stupidly hot weather it’s not been very fun either. We’ve had all the windows open but there’s still been no through draft & the flat is boiling which makes sleeping hard for all of us, especially our poor little baby boy. Which brings me to my next bit of news; –

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After giving up on the local housing people, we decided to go on the hunt for a new place & I’m extremely happy to tell you all that we found what is pretty much our dream home. It’s a gorgeous little cottage with two massive gardens, which I’m sure Theo will love to run around in when he’s older. It will also mean that we can re-plant all of our plants that we’ve had growing on the windowsills of our flat for the past few months. Great timing really since they have just about started to take over & create a bit of a jungle. If they were left for much longer I’m sure we’d have a PC Plod or two wondering what the massive dodgy looking plants hanging out of our windows are!

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So, all in all, it’s been a very busy few months, moving into a flat, having a baby, gaining lots of photography jobs & another move on the way…
It’s all very exciting & I’ve never been happier. After that huge blog / ramble, I promise once again to keep up to date with my blogs / happenings & this time I intend to stick to it.

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For anyone reading this who has booked a wedding with me recently, I’m very excited to photograph your beautiful day – I’ll see you soon!

For everyone else;
Ciao for now!

Kate, x

Here’s a photograph of my gorgeous little man the night he was born! ❤

My Gorgeous Boy

The waiting game…

21.05.13

So, here I am, 2 days overdue with my first baby & I’ve got to admit I’m pretty fed up.I’ve tried nearly all the old wives tales to get the little man out but nothing seems to work so I’m faced with the fact that I’ll be in this fed up / miserable state for another 8 days until I go into hospital for some assistance.

To be honest, it’s been quite a good pregnancy, I’ve not had too much to worry about or complain about, just the general niggles that everyone seems to get. I’ve definitely enjoyed the start of my maternity leave from work, but I’ve been getting a little bored of late since I have nothing to do until the baby comes / my weddings in August / September. Keeping busy when I’m always tired / aching is a real struggle & I’ve ended up watching rubbish TV & wasting time by going on random websites reading useless articles that I’m sure are making me less intelligent by the day.

To make things worse, friends & celebrities are popping out their sproglets like it’s going out of fashion. While I sit here & coo over their photos, I can’t help but feel a little hard done by. I’m trying to slowly convince myself that my little man must just be super comfy in the little home I’ve given him for the past 9 months & that’s why he’s refusing to come out, but who knows.

Anyway, I decided it was about time I wrote a new blog post before people think I’ve dropped off the face of the planet, even if it is just a little ramble about my current state. Hopefully my next post will feature a lovely photograph of my beautiful little newborn baby & a happy story of how relived I am to no longer be pregnant, but we shall see…

Any hints or tips on how to get this baby out would be appreciated, so if you have any ideas / things you tried that worked, please don’t hesitate to let me know about them!

Kate, x