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. πŸ™‚

Sweet Dreams, xo

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On the first blog of Christmas…

…my true love gave to me, some help with the Christmas tree. πŸ˜‰

So here it is, Merry Blogmas, I’m definitely having fun…are you?!

Over these past few days of December, we’ve been doing the same as most families, putting up our Christmas decorations to get (even more) into the Christmas cheer.

Merry Christmas

On December 1st (Monday) Laurie (myΒ fiancΓ©) works until 10pm, so we had a late night decoration party, putting up what we could whilst trying to be quiet & not wake Theo (our toddler). We managed to get the Christmas tree up & all the decorations on ready for the next morning, as well as the few decorations shown below. Over the past few days, we’ve managed to get up all of the other odd decorations, apart from our fairy lights that we put on our ceiling.

We hoped that in the morning, we would bring Theo downstairs & he’d get really excited at the new sparkly tree in the corner of the room….however, he didn’t even notice until I pretty much took him over to it. Then, I realised that maybe it would have been better to leave it un-noticed, because as you can imagine, baubles to a toddler are like forbidden fruit. Luckily we’d already thought about that the night before, which is why you might notice that the metal bells are within toddler reach & all of our lovely glass ornimental things are too high to get his sticky little mits on.

Below: Our Christmas Tree & Star – We made this last year – we bought the twiggy star & wrapped some tiny wire lights around it to make sure it twinkled.

These are our gorgeous glass tree decorations – we got the beautiful glass bells last year off Laurie’s brother, who bought them for us at a Christmas market in Cologne, Germany. There are three of the little nativity ones, also from Cologne, bought for us by Laurie’s Mum & Dad.

Here are our more ‘standard’ tree fillers – a few red hearts, red *peek-a-boo* & green baubles, candy canes (glass ones) & some toddler xmas crackers.

Finally, we have our little red & white metal bells (toddler proof staples!) & our ‘work in progress’ bauble – this one is Theo’s, obviously, but we do have another one incase we want to make a matching one when we have our next child. I thought it was a really lovely idea to make a personalised bauble for Theo for when he grows up. As you can see, it’s just a little thumb print (he was only 7 months old last xmas) & made it into a reindeer. We’ll do the same this year & hopefully fit about 5 (years) around the whole bauble before we make different ones when he’s a little older. Last but not least, we have a little train track around the bottom of the tree, we got this a few weeks ago after wanting one for years. Last year was our first ‘proper’ Christmas as a family in our own home with our little baby Theo (we got engaged on xmas eve too!!). Before that we had a little tiny tree in a bedroom at Laurie’s parents house & it might have looked a little extreme with a train around that! πŸ˜‰

I really enjoy looking through other people’s blogs at their decorations & how they’ve used the space in their homes to showcase them – so doing a post like this one was a real no-brainer for me & something I’m really excited to share with you all.

So, this is pretty much a picture based blog showing the few things we’ve done in our home this year to make it as close to Santa’s grotto as I can get it, without spending too much money. We have a few trips planned before Christmas where we intend to buy a few more decorations for the house, but as for now, we don’t really have that many. So keep your eye out over the next few weeks for a possible mini decoration haul blog & video (I’m getting into YouTube – so please check out & subscribe to my channel).

Below: Our living room is the room with the most decorations, as I’d imagine most homes are. Here we’ve got some really nice sparkly wall stickers that we got last year, we’ve got these hung around the clock that’s above the mantle, I think they’re so nice & simple, yet effective! Then we’ve got the actual mantle piece, here, as you can see, we have our matching stockings hung above the fireplace & our advent calendars (Theo has two – he got one off the old lady who lives next door as well as us). We also have our new Christmas countdown owl that my mother-in-law *to be* bought me a few weeks ago. Beside that are two of the three little white owl candles that my Mum bought me for Christmas last year – they’re far too nice to burn!!

After I took the first photographs, I added this lovely little owl that my Mum won me from a Facebook competition to the mix, I love it, it’s so cute!! (You may start to notice that I like owls…) The next picture is of a beautiful hand carved wooden candle holder, which was also a gift to us last year, brought from Cologne by Laurie’s Mum & Dad. We bought our ‘Let It Snow’ frame last year, I love it & the photos in it. These were all taken last year! – Around that, we’ve got some more wall stickers to liven up the plain wall. Lastly, we’ve got our snowman door! We made this using Theo’s craft paper & felt tips *shh – don’t tell him!* but it just adds a little more xmas spirit to the room & it’s really easy to do.

The last few things are dotted around the house. We’ve put tinsel up the tiny stair handle & another few wall stickers up the stairway. I have my ‘carol singing’ owls on the windowsill at the top of the stairs, also a gift off Laurie’s Mum & Dad. I have our ‘Merry Christmas’ sign at the top of the stairs too *shown at the top of the post*.

Down the hall, you get to our bathroom – now, you may think that there’s not much you can do with a bathroom to make it look Christmas-y…you’d be wrong. When Christmas comes, so does my childlike excitement & need to fill any space I can with decorations, sparkle & Christmas cheer. So, naturally, when I saw the Santa toilet seat cover last year – I HAD to buy it. Apparently you can get one of those little toilet mat things with little snow stamps on them saying ‘Santa was here’ too, so if anyone sees them anywhere, please let me know where, because it’s missing from my life!! (Sad I know!) Then of course, I have the standard ‘turn anything white into a snowman’ fetish & loo roll has never looked so inviting. You can’t deny it. πŸ˜‰

Back down into the kitchen & surprise surprise – ther’s another snowman sitting on our fridge! Doors & appliances are fun people!! On the windowsill in the kitchen, there’s a muddle of everything that I couldn’t find that ‘special’ place for, so it’s all ended up sitting together in a little cluster of bird-ness. I plan to make it into a snow scene, but I don’t have the props yet, so hopefully I can get some more bits for that soon! We don’t have a wreath at the minute, so we decided to use our wall stickers to put our little tree on the door again like last Christmas. It just adds a little extra to a boring front door. And there you have it, our decorations so far….

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed making it…thank you all for taking the time to read it. πŸ™‚

If you’d like to see more, please subscribe & like the post & follow me on Facebook & Instagram for more updates & pictures.

Love, KLB, 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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰ (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!! πŸ™‚

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

 

Last Day / Amazing Boyfriend

05.04.13

Yesterday was my last day in work before I go on my maternity leave

It seems strange that in just 6 weeks I’ll have a little baby in my arms. Sometimes I can’t quite believe that there’s a baby in my tummy, but the constant wriggles make it real, I don’t know if I’m more excited or nervous to meet my little man.

Anyway, after what seemed like an extra long shift, I returned home to this… (picture below). I was completely shocked (in a good way) & it makes me feel so lucky to have the most amazing supportive boyfriend ever. It might not look like much to you, but it meant the world to me. I couldn’t ask for anything more from him, he’s kind & sweet & romantic & he is always there whenever I need him, be it to get me a brew because I can’t be bothered or to lend me an ear when there’s something bothering me. I truly have the most perfect boyfriend & he will make the most amazing Dad too.

So, to Laurie, I adore you, I thank you & I love you, from the bottom of my heart, always. xXx ❀ xXx

(I also got a card explaining what each represent, but I’ll keep those lovely words to myself)

Last Day Blog