Little Sunflowers – Review. 

With T growing up and chunking out before our eyes, it’s important that the clothes we get him are of good quality not to mention value for money.

We know babies grow out of things quickly, so it’s not good value for money if you’re buying 0-3 month jeans at £20! They’re bound to grow out of them quickly – T did! That doesn’t, however, mean that we buy cheap. It still has to last them the 3 months after all and not fall apart after the first wash!

So when we were invited to shop at Little Sunflowers, we were over the moon. Little Sunflowers sell high quality clothing by brands such as Fred’s World, Hatley, Toby Tiger, Molo Kids, Maxomorra, and Lilly & Sid! Run by the lovely Bev, who has been working in the childrenswear business for over ten years (as well as being a mother of two) with her husband, it’s clear she really enjoys what she does.

The website itself is easy to navigate – we liked the fact we could search just by brand; this gave us the opportunity to view brands we hadn’t heard of before not to mention see how much choice was available! We were also impressed by the delayed shipping option (something we haven’t seen before) at checkout.

After much deliberation we finally decided what to get. We decided on a piece by Fred’s World, a piece by JNY, and a piece by Agatha Ruiz De La Prada. We decided to get pieces a little larger than T so that we had something to look forward to and because we were nervous about T growing out of it before he had a chance to wear it!

The items came surprisingly quick, considering we ordered them on a Sunday, and arrived via courier (included in the order). We had also been receiving texts to update us about our order throughout the weekend.

We were really impressed with the service from Little Sunflowers and would recommend shopping there. Their vast collection of brands at reasonable prices, and excellent customer service made the whole experience a pleasure.

K

We were given a voucher to shop at Little Sunflowers for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

Our House – Then and Now

“They’re just a baby”, I said. “They won’t take up much room”, she said. “We won’t need to change a thing for at least a few months until they’re crawling”, we said.

How wrong were we.

It goes without saying that the second bedroom of our house would of course be their room. Their nursery. But what we didn’t imagine was for it to bleed downstairs into the lounge or into the bathroom, or even our bedroom for that matter! T isn’t even moving yet and already our house can look like a bomb has hit it on some days.

At the start, we had every intention of making sure that whilst T was a baby, a lot of the every day items would return to his room at the end of the day. 

How. Wrong. Were. We.

Let’s begin…

The Lounge

‘scuse the mess (a common phrase)

Not only a feeding room, but now a play zone and general baby room. We lost this room around week two when the travel cot came downstairs when I gave up taking the Moses basket up and down stairs.

The coffee table got pushed to the wall, the play mat stopped being dismantled around week 4 and now gets put into the travel cot at night to stop the cats from sleeping on either items.

His Nuna seat is part of the seating arrangement somewhat and his car seat remains in the hallway. Don’t get me started on the amount of muslins or dribble bibs we find draped across chairs! I’m surprised I’m still taking him upstairs to change him!

The bathroom.

 



What was once our haven for all things  pampering is now a haven for bath seats, baby shampoo, and bath toys.

Hooded towels sit on the edge of the radiator whilst the dentinox sits next to our radox. The top and tail bowl has taken the place where our flannels once sat, and there are more wash cloths here than the shelf in IKEA where we bought them.

Our bedroom. 

The Moses basket is a given, but in addition to this I’ve accumulated a breast pump on my bedside cabinet, (“it’ll go back in the box after every use”, I said), a Gro Egg, a never ending basket of washing, and several pairs of T’s socks where they’ve been emptied from my pockets. The wife also has a nasal aspirator and more toys than Hamleys on her bedside cabinet. 

I don’t really know when these changes happened, although to be honest I’m impressed with myself for allowing it. But looking round the house today made me realise that a baby has now well and truly moved in and made themselves right at home!

K

How My Days Have Changed. 

Having a baby has certainly changed the way my day looks, not to mention my priorities. Before, my biggest worry in the working week was whether there would be traffic on the roads on my way home. Now, it’s whether I’m going to have regular toilet breaks or a shower.

I watch more day time telly (it really is awful) and I can’t remember the last time I woke up after 6am. 

As a shift worker no day was the same, but there was always a routine. Now, there isn’t. Here’s what my day now looks like (based on a typical 8am-5pm shift).

Before Baby – 6am – Wake up, shower.
After Baby – 6am – Was already awake at 5am feeding T, the ride to 6am was a cat nap. No time for a shower. S is getting ready for work and I’m expressing some milk before T wakes up.

Before Baby – 6:30am – Prepare lunch. Have breakfast. Walk dog.
After Baby – 6:30am – Coffee. Twitter. Get dressed. Housework (that doesn’t require noise).

Before Baby – 7.30am – Off to work.
After Baby – 7.30am – T is awake and chatting away. After a chat, I get him dressed.

Before Baby – 8am – At work.
After Baby – 8am – Place T on his playmat and depending on his mood I’m allowed a proper breakfast of toast or cereal, with a smoothie. On a bad day, I’m allowed breakfast biscuits and a coffee.

Before Baby – 8:30am – Coffee at work.
After Baby – 8:30am – Third feed of the morning (second if you don’t count the 5am feed).

Before Baby – 9am-12am – Work.
After Baby – 9am-12am – Play, Change, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. If I’m lucky, I may be able to do some washing and have a cuppa during naps. If T is having a clingy day I have to wear him but this makes certain household tasks, not to mention toilet breaks, harder. On Mondays I meet with the mums from my post-natal group, Wednesdays I have swimming, and Fridays I have playgroup – making the mornings a military operation.

Before Baby – 12pm – Lunch consisting of a salad or a sandwich; with a yogurt and some fruit. Lunch is usually an hour.
After Baby – 12pm – Lunch consisting of quick and easy food I can eat with one hand. Healthy is not always an option. Ten minutes is all I need. Indigestion? I laugh at the pain of indigestion.

Before Baby – 1pm-3pm – Work.
After Baby – 1pm-3pm – see 9am-12pm

Before Baby – 3pm-5pm – Work, including a coffee break.
After Baby – 3pm-5pm – T’s longest nap period. Now is the time for longer pieces of housework like hoovering, as well as preparing bits for dinner. I may even fit in some blog stuff that I haven’t been able to do on the phone… shit, my phone’s battery is about to die.

Before Baby – 5pm – Finish work.
After Baby – 5pm – To make up for sleeping so long, T now cluster feeds. I’ve tried dream feeding halfway during the nap to stop this but T still cluster feeds although with long gaps between feeds.

Before Baby – 6:30pm – Been home 90 minutes already. I’ve put a wash on and prepared some dinner (at a relaxed pace) which is now in the oven or simmering on the hob.
After Baby – 6:30pm – S is going to be home at 7pm. Time to prepare dinner – quickly! (S has never ever stipulated for dinner to be “on the table” it’s just my personal preference to have it ready – I don’t want our evening to spent eating a late dinner). On a good day, I can prepare dinner quite calmly, on a bad day I have to wear T throughout cooking; limiting what I can actually cook.

Before Baby – 7pm – S is home. I serve dinner. We chat about our day.
After Baby – 7pm – S is home. Takes on nappy duty. I finish and serve dinner. We chat about our day if T is happy with that. If not, it’s cold dinner for me and onto another feed.

Before Baby – 8pm – Wash up. Settle down to watch an episode (or two) of recorded telly.
After Baby – 8pm – I wash up, S goes to get T ready for bed.

Before Baby – 8:30pm – Still watching TV. Off to bed between 9:30pm and 10pm.
After Baby – 8:30pm – Give T his final feed and it’s bed for us. We may watch a bit of telly in bed but we’re generally ready for bed as well!

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change one bit of this, I love being a family, but it’s interesting to see how our lives have changed.

How do your days differ with kids?

K

Lifesavers

Several blogging award ceremonies are now upon us. Every year, we nominate and then vote for our favourite bloggers – sometimes spending hours on one category because the category has three of your favourite blogs in it.

But where would we be without the little parenting lifesavers that have got us through the day so we could carry on blogging?

So without further ado, I present my Top 10 parenting lifesavers.

Breakfast biscuits – For when a proper breakfast is not going to happen. Without them, I would likely go hungry thanks to a mis-timed feed.

Bottle of water – ‘Nuff said.

Coffee creamer / whitener – For when a hot, milky coffee is not going to happen as soon as you’d like it. This stuff keeps hot drinks warmer for longer.

Nipple cream – In the early days, this stuff was liquid gold, especially the ones that didn’t need to be washed off before a feed.

Twitter – I’ve kept my sanity chatting to the lovely ladies and gents of Twitter. There’s either someone having the same day as you, or someone who just fancies a chat. I’ve spent many feeds stuck in the sofa with just the company of Twitter. It’s great.

Frozen meals – During the first few weeks we saved up left over portions of dinners so that if I was having a hectic day, I could just whack a meal in the oven. This has been a huge help with zero effort as all it took was cooking a larger lasagne, for example. This also saved our wallets (and waistlines) from buying takeaways!

Vanish – For those white to yellow vest days. I need to take out shares in this stuff.

Nursing Pillow – Apart from it’s obvious use, it’s also good for being a neck pillow for a last minute nap after a feed and T is on my chest. No more cricks in your neck.

Baby TV – Not my proudest life-saver, and when I caught myself letting him watch the TV I cried a little bit, but within the ten minutes I let him watch the telly during a challenging day I got to go the toilet and prepare some (decent) food. Although it is only ten minutes I still feel guilty about doing it, trust me.

My stretchy wrap – Probably my biggest life-saver. For when T doesn’t want to be put down, and I want to cook dinner. It also means I can nip to the shops without packing up the pram.

What are your parenting life savers?

K

Reminiscing With Toys

I was in T’s room the other day, putting his clothes away, and I noticed that his toy drawer was open. After realising that the wife had probably had her own play session and forgotten to shut the draw, I looked inside.

Soft toys, hard toys, toys that play music, toys that react to movement. Bath toys, pram toys, garden toys. We’ve got quite a few already.

My favourite toys, however, aren’t the fancy toys that can tell you your blood type by the way you call it’s name – it’s the toys that I used to play with as a child. Not the actual toys – they’re probably in my mums loft, still covered in spit and god-knows what, but the toys that have never stopped being good.

Here are a few of my favourites.

IMG_8269-0

The Fisher Price Phone. Not exactly the same as the one I had but it’s still there in spirit.

IMG_8270-0
The Tomy Egg Family. Remember these?

IMG_8271-0

Stickle Bricks. Technically not stickle bricks, and these are apparently S’s set but they’ll definitely be in T’s collection when he’s old enough.

IMG_8272
Play-Doh. It still smells the same. It still feels the same. It’ll probably still get stuck in the carpet if you dropped and walked on it. I. Love. Play-doh.

Lego / Duplo. Apart from my collection, T will have so much Lego it’ll be coming out his ears and likely under my feet to cause Lego related injuries.

These toys were so simple, some not even needing a battery. So where did these toys go? I can’t wait to introduce T to some of these toys, I really hope he enjoys playing with them as much as I did.

What were your favourite toys as a child? What are your favourite toys now?

K

3 Month Update

T is now 3 months old. 3 MONTHS!!

IMG_8305

Time is going way too quickly for my liking, although I’m still very guilty of saying to myself “ooo I can’t wait until T is doing this…”. I’m forever looking for the next milestone that I’m forgetting that I can’t then rewind once the milestone has been reached! I can’t wait until T is sitting up or grabbing toys – we have so many of them – but I’m also enjoying how he’s still small enough to lay on my chest after a feed, or how he doesn’t protest when we lay him down.

Milestones-wise we are in full smile mode, and not a day goes by that we haven’t had genuine smiling and sometimes something that looks like a lead onto a laugh.

T is also self-soothing with his fingers or a whole fist, and often sticks a few digits in his mouth after a feed but before going to sleep.
It’s very cute hearing him suck and slurp away on his porky fingers, but it’s not so cute when said finger is wiped across your face accidentally or after a 30 minute feed when someone doesn’t know how to remove said finger from the back of their throat and throws up the whole feed. Yeah. That.

Speaking of feeding, or certainly thanks to feeding, T is now comfortably fitting 3-6 month clothing. No more newborn or even 0-3 month clothing. Although T is obviously still a baby, he doesn’t feel like a baby-baby. You know?


He’s a big, fudgey baby now and no longer a teeny, tiny baby that can be scooped up and cradled. He has to sit over my shoulder so he can have a look around like the nosey Parker he is. With this, he’s now also awake for longer periods during the day, which is great as it means I get to play with him more.

Because of the longer awake periods, we’re now in a really nice bedtime routine and T is sleeping through from 8:30pm to 6:30am. He’s put himself in that routine and often starts demand feeding from 7:30pm until he falls asleep at 8:30. When he wakes at 6:30am he then has a 30-40 minute feed and is off to sleep until 9:00. Not bad! This gives me a good excuse to sit in bed with a coffee and express/tweet/blog/nap/all of the above.

And finally, and probably my favourite milestone, T has found his voice and is often heard cooing and chatting on the changing mat, in his Moses basket, in the pram, in the car, or when he’s just being carried around the house. It’s adorable and I find myself copying the noises or pretending we’re having an intellectual conversation about the economy. I’ve also been known to tell family members off if they haven’t heard the fact that T is talking to them. Cue incessant babbling from nanas, aunties, and uncles.

I’m loving this stage at the moment, and not just because T is only pooping once a week, but because he’s really interacting. He smiles and chats to most people and is quite happy being left looking at the fish tank or by the window. He’s a genuinely lovely little boy and I am so proud of his developments and achievements. I couldn’t be happier right now.

K