Monthly Archives: July 2012

Loving this… Dexter’s new sock monkey, Charlie


I don’t usually get very excited about stuffed animals – Dex has very few as, quite frankly, they creep me out. However, when stumbling through the internet reading some other mummy blogs, I came across a competition to win a sock monkey. Nothing to get too excited about there then. Since having Dexter I have been known to enter the odd holiday competition but wouldn’t have ordinarily entered this one – the e-forms are fiddly and I don’t have the time to be typing away entering details when Dex is still such a handful. But a  few clicks later and I was hooked on these gorgeous homemade sock monkeys and had to have one.

Karen’s Crafty Sock Monkeys is a little known Facebook business. Karen doesn’t have a fancy website, does the whole operation on her own, and is the sewing / craft goddess none of us have the time to be. I love the imperfection of all things homemade and shabby chic and Dex’s room is a bit of a homage to this; toys and decorations have been carefully sourced from charity shops, baby boutiques, antique shops and (inevitably) eBay… therefore Karen’s little Facebook page called out to me instantly.

I love championing mums who have that little bit of entrepreneurial spirit; its tough being a mum but you ‘make do’ and make your money honestly. I would rather spend my money here, buying something truly unique, than spend the equivalent in The Disney Store on something pathetic and garish. I don’t know Karen’s situation but I have this little vision of her patiently sewing in front of Eastenders with a glass of wine in hand. She could be me if I had any bloody talent to speak of.

Needless to say I didn’t win the competition but was so taken with the novelty, I have since adopted Charlie. He was a miniscule £8.95 all in (p&p included) and just how he is that cheap, I’ll never know.

Smiles with Charlie!

The premise behind Karen’s sock monkeys is simple:

  • You browse all the sock choices from her photo album and pick your own colour scheme and material – you can stake your claim on these socks by commenting on the photo you have chosen
  • You browse all the different animals Karen has in her repertoire (again there is a Facebook album to flick through
  • You send her a message and let her know your choices, she’ll price it up for you
  • When your little buddy is ready, she’ll post a picture on her wall for you to check him / her over
  • You can either pick your new friend up from her in Kent, or pay by PayPal and she’ll send to your home address – Charlie arrived in a matter of days.

Dex is smitten with Charlie and the two are in separable. He’s perfectly safe for babies as he’s lightweight and has no scratchy labels or ‘hard bits’; he’s just sock, cotton and stuffing. He can’t fall on Dex’s face as Charlie is so skinny, he’ll just roll off. He’s a perfect car seat / moses basket companion as he sits snugly in next to Dexter and can squeeze in the tiniest of places. Not only this, but he fits in with Dexter’s other toys beautifully – as I picked Charlie’s colours I could match him to the paint in his room, the colour of his duvet and the colour of Dex’s favourite outfit – simply put, he looks the part!

Cuddling Charlie in his sleep xx

We get so many comments on Charlie, I’d recommend him in a heartbeat and will most probably build a collection of other monkeys for Dex to enjoy.

You can get yours here…


Imperfect perfectness!



Celebrate good times… Come on!!!


Should have actually posted this on your 10 week birthday (25th July 2012) but today is just as fitting as you repeated a momentous feat last night. Clearly the first time was not a fluke and mummy and daddy can get majorly excited.


Yes, you are seriously growing up and are officially awesome Dexter. So ridiculously proud of you right now.


One very sleepy baby…


… One very refreshed mummy!


Who are you at 10 weeks?


Yes. You are now a whole 10 weeks old! You are growing by the day and turning into a lovely little boy before my eyes. Mummy and daddy are now well versed in your ‘little ways’ and you are getting much better at chatting to us and signing what you want. It’s certainly exhausting (and expensive) work keeping you occupied, but every little smile you give makes us all the more determined to fill up your life with wonderful experiences.

So what have you been up to so far, and who is Dexter Thomas Mills? Well…

You are prone to the odd diva fit

I’m sure every mummy in the world has dealt with mild hysteria from their babies. You however, take this to a whole new level. When you’re hungry, the whole world knows about it. I’m seriously surprised the neighbours haven’t called social services about the blood curdling screams emanating from our flat when we’re preparing your milk in the bottle-warmer. Nothing will distract you; no amount of cuddles and singing will calm you, and you’ve cottoned on to the fact that no amount of sucking on a dummy will ever produce the magical elixir that is your milk.

“Umm… Bottle please mummy… Mummy, bottle?… Bottle NOW please mummy… Maybe you didn’t hear me – Bottle NOW.”

Similarly, you’ll whinge at the slightest indication that you need a change of clothes. You’ll happily coo whilst mummy or daddy perform Operation Nappy Change, but lift a t-shirt over your head and your bottom lip wobbles. If there is even a fraction of a second where the fabric obstructs your view then we’re in for at least one full minute of unadulterated strop.

Surprisingly, nothing else will give you the hump in the same way. You can fall asleep anywhere, in any position, regardless of the noise around you. If you are bored, the simplest of things will nip a tantrum in the bud. You are in fact, so chilled that even your first set of immunisations only produced a 2 second whinge.

I’m convinced that your behaviour now is likely to be representative of your behaviour when you’re older. This means you are most definitely your daddy’s son. Daddy is the most patient, loving and funny man that mummy has ever known. Daddy, however goes into a Dexter-like meltdown if he’s tired, can’t find his mobile phone, is forced to watch Jeremy Kyle, or gets stuck in traffic. Any one of these world-ending events will result in daddy throwing his toys out of the pram in a momentous fashion.

You love water

Yep. You’re a water baby! It didn’t take you long to work out that washing is a daily necessity you can most definitely live with. Strip you naked and dunk you in the bath and you transform into a right old exhibitionist. You love showing off your newly acquired skills in your plastic tub in the hallway (we have to wash your here as mummy doesn’t like sitting on the tiles in your bathroom). Next to singing-with-daddy, bath time is the only time we’re guaranteed a smile.

Bath time with daddy!!!!

We are most definitely on Dexter-time

Many babies at 10 weeks will have settled into the semblance of a  routine. It’s pretty rare they will get a full 12 hours sleep at night, but many will reach a certain point in the evening and know that it’s bedtime. Most babies at this stage will also be feeding at regular intervals throughout the day (usually every 3-4 hours) and be steadily increasing the amount of milk they’re taking onboard. Unfortunately your obstinacy has led mummy and daddy to believe that you, Dexter Thomas Mills, are clearly either a trend-setter or set to be a very unpredictable teen.

We’ve tried everything, read every book, scoured every website and parenting forum… looking for answers as to why your sleeping pattern is so inconsistent. Although you are pretty consistent with the whole feeding thing, there is simply no dictating to you when you’ll sleep. You wake between 2 and 3 times a night for a feed and like to surprise mummy and daddy by changing the times of said feed every night.  You also enjoy the odd nap in the day and like to take said nap at different times everyday. There is simply no telling you otherwise. If I try and rouse you throughout the day when a nap is in progress, you play dead and refuse to open your eyes. If I try to set you down when you aren’t ready, you cry uncontrollably and thrash until I pick you up.

However unpredictable you are, there are some times we can guarantee, without fail, you will be awake; when mummy and daddy are watching a programme that requires concentration, eating their dinner, or bidding on eBay. But these few occasions of irritating regularity don’t end there! There are also guaranteed sleep times! Every time we step a foot outside the front door your eyelids come down and you enter a sleep coma. Many mothers might be jealous of mummy about this, and it does have its benefits, but it would be nice to show you a little more of the world than our two bedroom flat.

I’ll decide when I sleep

Butter wouldn’t melt hey Dex?

So there you are youngest Mills! Lots coming up for you over the next few months with a weekend away in Leicestershire (going to a theme park / zoo), a holiday in Portugal, a house move, and mummy going back to work! More on these as and when you allow mummy an hour on the laptop…


Love you baby!



Development Toys – The ELC Bugs Mirror


Even at a tiny 8 weeks – mummy is super impressed with how quickly you are exploring the world around you. Let’s face it – you don’t do too much right now (other than pooping, sleeping, drinking – and crying!) but when we do get a moment to play, mummy tries to make it as educational and fun as possible.

Already you are largely supporting your own head when mummy carries you around, pulling her hair, smiling lots and lots, and chattering away to your toys. We’re still waiting for you to giggle, lift up your head when you have ‘tummy time’ with your toys, and have some ‘sit up’ play-time. So mummy has done some research on the best toys out there and will be reviewing them when you’ve had a chance to road test them.

Bugs Mirror - Mothercare / ELC

Bugs Mirror – Mothercare / ELC

Daddy bought this for you at the weekend ( The mirror suggestion was made by a play specialist at the Royal Berks Hospital. When you were poorly, mummy tried to stay by your side for every waking moment as you were very frightened. Unfortunately mummy still had to eat and stretch her legs occasionally though! One day mummy was in the cafe getting some lunch and you had a major strop. You woke up in your hospital cot and screamed the ward down. When mummy got back she found you staring at yourself in a mirror encased in foam. It seems the play specialist had popped by and left this in your cot to keep you quiet. It worked! Mummy and daddy were so impressed we shopped around and found you this one.


This vibrant mirror from the Early Learning Centre ( was a bargain at £15. As baby mirrors are not made from real glass (for safety reasons), many of them are encased in soft toys and become warped as they are sewed into the toy. As this mirror is in a flat canvas, the reflection is much clearer and longer allowing Dexter to see his whole body when lying on his side. The mirror can be used in three ways; it can be free-standing (as pictured), hung up on the wall (the mirror has a handy fabric loop on its narrowest side for this purpose), or indeed wrapped into a cylindrical toy using velcro for when baby is a little more confident.

It’s a winner here at Chez Mills as it’s easily transportable and colourful. I can lie beside Dexter and he can see the two of us in the reflection so he feels safe whilst he studies himself. I love watching the look of consternation on his face as he punches the mirror to play with his twin! The ‘mirror experience’ allows babies to focus, track images, and explore the wonderful things a face can do. It also promotes social and emotional development as they can interact with you.

My only criticism is that, when it’s in free-standing mode, Dexter has to be up very close to the mirror in order to see himself. This to due to the angle created when propped up against the rear panel.

When you were poorly…


So far – in your short little life (just 48 days) you’ve spent 13 days in the Royal Berkshire Hospital. After mummy’s Cesarian and a nasty blood infection, mummy and daddy have spent lots of time worrying about you. You caught a blood infection called Strep B within your first few weeks and unfortunately it lingered around unexpectedly and we rushed you back in on your 5th week. Mummy and daddy took it in turns to stay with you and get you through it. We have our fingers crossed you won’t need further antibiotics but, if you do, next time it’ll be Oxford as they have better equipment for tiny people.

Showing off your little cannula on an outpatient visit

You can read more about Strep B here: