Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dear Dexter

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Dear Dexter,

Well you’re now 5 months old which simply doesn’t seem possible! Although it seems only yesterday I was rocking you to sleep in the hospital, you’ve transformed our lives so much we just can’t remember what life was like before you were in it. Despite this, mummy and daddy stll joke that it feels like we’re on borrowed-time and are just looking after you until someone comes to take you back! We’re just so overwhelmed with pride and love for you that we struggle to put our feelings into words.

This has definitely been an exciting month for mummy and daddy as you’re so much more active! We’ve now regulated Lottie (your activity mat) to your toy chest as you seemed to be signing that you’re ready for something new. So this month you’ve road-tested some ‘big boy’ toys and have begun spending time in Ermintrude (your sit-me-up cosy as renamed by daddy), and have much more tummy-time.

You continue to love gazing at yourself in the mirror and you’re responding more to squeaks and music from your toys. Our favourite thing to do is place a favourite toy slightly out of your reach, flip you on your tummy, and encourage you to stretch out and reach it. We’re not convinced you’ll be crawling by the end of the month but we’re getting there!

Image courtesy of Tegan Suzanne Photography

You continue to be the most beautiful baby mummy and daddy have ever seen. You are beginning to recognise us more now and we know you are always pleased to see us as you reserve your bestest smiles just for us. The funniest ones are when you first wake and we scoop you up for a cuddle, and when you’ve achieved something new and mummy and daddy clap to reward you. Those smiles are so wonderful as they’re almost half excitement / half bewilderment – as though you can’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Image courtesy of Tegan Suzanne Photography

As you rarely cry, people are always commenting how well-behaved you are, and mummy can not help but feel proud. You’re a wonderfully social baby and are happy to be fussed over by complete strangers. You seem to take every new experience in your stride and it’s comforting to know you trust mummy so implicitly.

We’ve had the odd night where you’ll wake in the night. This is pretty out of character for you so you’ve caught us unprepared. In our bleary-eyed state we initially made the mistake of bringing out the “big guns” at 2am; bottles, cuddles and popping you in the bed next to us. Although these tricks are undoubtably successful, they seem to take much longer in the middle of the night! It’s pretty clear however that mummy and daddy are too fidgety to embrace co-sleeping. I’ve often woken in the night with pins and needles only find you’ve fallen asleep in my arms. I’ll also worry continually about daddy rolling onto you as he isn’t aware you are next to him. In any case, the very act of picking you up, rocking, or feeding you also just serves to wake you up even more, which isn’t the desired goal in the dead of the night!

Image courtesy of Tegan Suzanne Photography

Finally, mummy has been deep in conversation with Father Christmas this week and he’s sent some amazing things through the post. It’s been very tough resisting the urge to give you your new toys straight away. I simply can’t wait to see your little face on Christmas morning when you rip open the paper and see what you’ve got xx

All in all it’s very exciting and we can’t wait to see what next month has in store.

Love Mummy and Daddy xx
NOTE: These stunning shots of Dexter were taken by Tegan of Tegan Suzanne Photography. If you’d like to know more about her packages, you can like her on FB here

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WIN a Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 Group 1, 2, 3 Car Seat with Mellow Mummy

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Wading my way through the zillions of emails in my inbox, I stumbled on a great little post by fellow mummy blogger Mellow Mummy.

She is offering her readers a chance to win a snazzy Kiddy Guardian  Group 1, 2, 3 Pro 2 Car Seat.  Now I’ve read many a review of this all-singing car seat and I’ve decided I can’t possibly live without one. Its won an overwhelming number of awards and is packed with safety features to protect Dexter on his way to Tescos, Nanny and Grandad’s, and beyond! Okay, poor Dexie isn’t the world’s most far-travelled child, but with a trip to London planned, and Christmas shopping trips needed, we’re aware our faithful and battered Maxi-Cosi which has provided years of service to our wider family, and might be considered by some to be an heirloom of sorts, has probably reached the end of its life.

So what is so good about this Kiddy Seat? Well… let me tell you!

For one, it really looks the part for a kid-about-town. It’s available in a choice of colours and looks ridiculously comfy for baby with its snooze position, a 3-stage leg extension and breathable fabric. Dexter has a habit of changing his mind on a daily occurrence – we’re beginning to feel like the downstairs of Downton Abbey and I’ve nicknamed him Lord Grantham – yet we’re satisfied that this bad-boy would provide him with the luxury standard to which he believes he should be accustomed to.

From a safety perspective, the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 reads like a car itself! With a number of recent improvements and patented features such as the Kiddy Shock Absorbers (KSA), the seat has been tested by industry experts to within an inch of its life. Given Craig (the only driver in our house) drives for a living, he’s already the safest driver I know (sorry Dad!) I can relax knowing that if we were to ever find ourselves in an accident, our Lord and Master would be in the perfect cocoon to prevent serious injury.

It certainly seems to be the car seat of choice for my peers in the mummy blogging community and I’ve read posts full of praise for this product. It’s very unusual for mummy bloggers to reach a consensus on anything, but I’m yet to read any negatives about the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2. Check out these glowing reviews from some of my buddies:

The Mummy Life

Mum on the Brink

Mummy Matters

Conclusion: we simply have to have it! Problem: we can’t afford it 😦

We’re not poor but we’ve got a real fondness for pre-loved things and all Dexter’s BIG purchases (cotbed, pushchairs x 3, development toys) have come from eBay or our very generous friends and family. I’m quite proud of how frugal we’ve been with baby no 1. When the time is right to extend our little family, we can sleep at night without having panic attacks about the cost. We simply believe there are more important things in life than having the latest travel system or nursery range. We’d rather spend on lavish holidays, weekends away and “experiences” for Dexter. But should we really apply this logic to a car seat when it could safe his life??? Definitely not.

So I’m keeping fingers, toes and legs (???) crossed that my little limerick will result in our biggest win yet; the peace of mind of owning a Kiddy Guardian Pro 2!

Here is Dexter’s entry!

If I won a Guardian Pro

“Sir” Lord Grantham would be safe on-the-go

I could go a little further afield

(Looking every bit well-heeled)

With my downtrodden parents in tow

 

If you’d like to enter, here is Mellow Mummy’s original post. You’ll have to be quick as the competiton closes on October the 31st!

In the meantime – why not follow Kiddy UK on Facebook , Twitter , and Youtube to stay informed about the latest product news and competitions!

Good luck everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dexter’s “Big Taste Face” (An Ella’s Kitchen Competition)

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Dexter enjoying his first ever taste of Ella’s Kitchen Broccoli, Pears and Peas!

It’s a messy business this weaning!

We’ve had some big successes, and some major fails. Dex loves all the purees and is a massive fan of all the strange Ella’s Kitchen concoctions. I never give him something I haven’t tried myself and some of them are pretty ‘out there’ – but he LOVES them. I love this picture as it shows just how much he’s enjoying trying new things.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of Baby Rice and Baby Porridge. We can’t believe this as I think it’s absolutely yummy. In fact, when we’re feeding him, we’re often sneaking a quick mouthful ourselves.

We’re also having problems introducing sippy cups. Dex is simply not ready to move on from teats and is having a right paddy at the suggestion of having to old his own bottle. Right now we have to use a cushion to prop it up and place his hands around it. Those little eyes pop open as soon as our hands get 30cms away from the scene!

One thing I can’t fault him for, is his personal hygiene. My son has complete OCD and hates having food around his mouth. The photograph above is a rare occurrence as usually he wipes his own face with his bib / sleeve / muslin after every mouthful. His bibs and clothes are now stained beyond redemption and serve as little reminders of all the different flavours he’s consumed that week. Laundry nights are now a two-man job with mummy and daddy having to forensically analyse every item of clothing for traces of food. We’re getting through Vanish like no one’s business, and it feels as though one or both us are constantly tossing bits and pieces in the clothes bin.

His nappies have also been interesting. He’s had every shade of poo you can think of, and every consistency too. We can now hear his tummy rumble from the room next door!

It’s all good fun though and we really enjoy watching him experiment with food. He’s growing up so fast!

If you have any pictures of your baby or toddler getting their fill – you could win a year’s free supply of Ella’s Kitchen by uploading it here and entering Ella’s Kitchen Big Taste Face. I really hope we win as Dexter is such a huge fan.

 

DISCLAIMER – I have not been instructed to write this post and have had no contact with Ella’s Kitchen. We’ve simply entered and thought it was such a great competition we thought we’d share it!

 

 

We’re in! The British Red Cross First Aid Challenge

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It goes without saying how important our little angel’s are. But would we really know what to do if they choked, sustained a burn, fainted…? This is pretty close to my heart (and Craig’s) given Dexter has already been hospitalised twice in his short little life. We were lucky and got to A&E in plenty of time before a Strep B blood infection caused him any major suffering, but I remember all too well how scary the experience was.

On both occasions, one of us had been alone with Dex when the symptoms started. It’s awful being alone with a child when something goes wrong. I remember frantically trying to call Craig when he was out wetting Dexter’s head – I guess I just wanted validation that something was wrong and I wasn’t overreacting. As ridiculous as it seems, you start to blame yourself (and each other) and it can put enormous strain on even the closest of relationships.

Dexter at the Royal Berkshire Hospital aged 6 weeks - He was so ill

Dexter at the Royal Berkshire Hospital aged 6 weeks – He was so ill

 

Since learning that The British Red Cross are commencing a new nationwide campaign to get all parents learning first aid, we just had to get involved.

The campaign was launched in response to a survey showing that most parents don’t feel confident about what to do if their child were injured. In a survey of over 2,000 parents (undertaken by Bounty’s Word of Mum™ panel) 96% of respondents agreed that all parents should have some first aid knowledge. The study identified the main fears of parents as choking, treating an unconscious baby or child and meningitis – however despite this, many parents struggle to find the time to learn how to treat these cases.

Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid education, commented:

We know that the majority of parents want to learn first aid, but may not get round to it for all sorts of reasons. We’re asking parents to set themselves this challenge – learn something, no matter how much time you have. Even 15 minutes is enough to learn something that could make all the difference in an emergency

With over 24,000 parents expected to attend the Baby Show Earls Court over three days, the British Red Cross First Aid Challenge will be launching at the popular event this October 26th. Parents will be able to kick-off the challenge with training sessions taking place every hour. But the good news is that you don’t have to be an attendee to get involved. The website (www.redcross.org.uk/firstaidchallenge) will also launch the same day, featuring free videos, emergency advice and information on first aid courses around the UK – the campaign will also encourage parents to download a letter to send to head teachers to ask local schools to teach first aid in the classroom.

Signing up to the First Aid Challenge is completely free and each participant will receive information on how to deal with day-to-day mishaps confidently and updates about free first aid demonstrations across the UK. Alternatively, if parents prefer to keep a how-to hard-copy in the house, a brand new First Aid manual focussing on treatment for babies and children is available now, priced £10.99.

Tracey Turner from the British Red Cross said:

We hope this challenge will make all parents stop, think and decide to learn some first aid. We all know that as children grow and explore, inevitably they will have some kind of accident, be it big or small. We are passionate about giving everyone the skills and the confidence to know what to do.

Both Craig and I are signed up and we’ll be taking a quick crash course at the Baby Show Earl’s Court on Saturday. I urge all my readers to sign up to the course and get involved too.

You can follow the British Red Cross on Twitter (@BritishRedCross)- they need our help to spread the message so get RT’ing any campaign tweets you see!

WINNER ANNOUNCED! – GIVEAWAY – WIN a Daisy Days Designs Personalised Toy Box! (C/D 9/11/2012)

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*** CONGRATULATIONS to STUART BOND! I have emailed you with all the details. I’m even paying p&p so nothing to do at all other than choose how you’d like your box customised ***

How excited am I to have teamed up with the ever-fabulous Chloe from Daisy Days Designs?! Her personalised gifts are simply amazing and are perfect statement pieces for little people and adults alike.

I first came across Daisy Days Designs when Chloe was running a competition for a personalised gift box. I actually won it and was so delighted with my box for Dexter, I just had to showcase it on my blog. Dexter’s is a memory box but she’s now offering one lucky reader the chance to win a roomy toy box to house all their child’s christmas presents. These usually retail for £70 + P&P so it’s an awesome prize and I’m slightly miffed I have to give it away!

DAISY DAYS DESIGNS – An Extra Large Fairy Toy Box

Chloe’s creations begin their life as boring old MDF then are transformed into really stunning pieces. Every layer of decoration is lovingly handcrafted; from intricate little textured animals, to fairies, to butterflies, to flowers, even pirates if your little cherub so desires. Chloe can add anything you’d like to see to your toy box and can include your little one’s name to make it extra special. I’ve featured her fairy box here which will obviously best suit a little lady (I can already see the anti-pink brigade shaking their heads!), but this box can be any colour and style you’d like (Note the dimensions of this prize are slightly smaller than the one above at 600mm long, 300mm wide and 300mm deep (think long and narrow shape – perfect for under a window)).

DAISY DAYS DESIGNS - Memory Box

DAISY DAYS DESIGNS – Memory Box

Whatever your occasion, Daisy Days Designs has a unique gift to make it extra special. Her wedding memory boxes are to die for, her room decorations for your babies are the best I’ve come across, and she even has some suggestions for often-forgotten grandparents, aunties and other extended family members. Just think that you could have a memory box made for your teenager returning from their travels, or give one as a 40th / 50th / 60th birthday gift to someone who deserves it. Let us not forget that Christmas is on our doorstep!

If space doesn’t permit these lovely boxes, she also has a number of other gorgeous items to buy. Check out these gorgeous hanging letters – once again they can be completely personalised with any theme of your choosing!

DAISY DAYS DESIGNS - Hanging Animal Letters

DAISY DAYS DESIGNS – Hanging Animal Letters

This is essentially small business housed on Facebook. Just browse her photo albums and comment on the item/s you like the look of. She’ll price it up and come back to you via Facebook. All of the items you see are available to buy. Every piece is custom-made so if you see something you like, please don’t think that because it’s been made and created for someone else you can’t have one for yourself. Nothing is pre-made, it’s all made-from-stratch.

This is my first-ever giveaway and is only possible as a result of my loyal and devoted following. It’s hoped that I’ll run more of the these in the future if you all continue to support my little family and watch our Dexter grow into a happy and sweet little boy. As I’m so new at this, please contact me if you have any teething problems entering and I’ll sort them out asap.

TO ENTER:

MANDATORY

  1. Simply leave a comment on this post with a link to your favourite item from the Daisy Days Design photo album – and the best way to contact you
  2. Like Daisy Days Design on Facebook – I will double check! – please leave an extra comment to say you have done so (and your name on FB)

EXTRA ENTRY POINTS

(You can do any or all of the following for bonus entries – just make sure you leave me one comment per entry so that they’re all counted!)

  1. Subscribe to this blog via email – please leave an extra comment to say you have done so
  2. Follow me on Twitterplease leave an extra comment to say you have done so (with your Twitter handle)
  3. If you’d like an extra chance to win, you can tweet the following: (please leave an extra comment to say you have done so)

I’ve just entered to #win a toy box with @mymillsbaby courtesy of #DaisyDayDesigns – you can enter too now! Pls RT http://wp.me/p1SoBa-iF

T&C’s

Open to UK residents only – sorry!

CLOSING DATE is 10pm GMT on the 9th November 2012

Each entry method above counts for 1 entry with a maximum of 5 for any one entrant (Please note: 2 are mandatory)

A winner will be chosen at random by me. I will make contact with the winner through the best contact method given (as per the first mandatory entry criteria listed above)

*** CONGRATULATIONS to STUART BOND! I have emailed you with all the details. I’m even paying p&p so nothing to do at all other than choose how you’d like your box customised ***

Loving my little family

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What did I ever do to deserve such an amazing family?

We’ve had a rough time of it in the Mills household. I’ve taken the tough decision to go back on maternity leave. Despite a promising showdown with my mother in hospital, she’s now rediscovered her demons and is ill again. As I’m fearing the worst, I’ve chosen to spend a bit more time with her. Craig has therefore had to forsake his daddy-time and go back to work full-time. It’s taken a lot of late-night chats and tears to get to this point but it’s now decided and I’m with Dexie until February.

Craig allergies also took hold this week and he came down with a full-blown chest infection. He’s a Man so doesn’t complain but I forced him to go to the out-of-hours surgery on Saturday after listening to him struggle to breathe throughout the night. The problem: Billy. I’ve tried to ignore it since Craig and I started living together but it clearly couldn’t go on any longer. Billy the cat is my best friend. I’ve had him for 6 years and he’s been through various house-moves and failed relationships with me. We’ve been inseparable since I got him and I’m gutted that he and Craig can’t live together. But Craig is desperately allergic to Billy and I simply can’t jeopardise his health any longer.

Missing my hairy son Billy

So Billy was re-homed yesterday. He’s gone to live with his Nan and Granddad about 10 minutes down the road. I’m gutted but pleased I’ll still get to see him regularly. He’s well used to staying around Nanny’s house as she’s had him over when Craig and I have taken weekends away. I know he’ll be more than happy there but I still miss tripping over him on the stairs, him meowing at me for a second breakfast because he thinks I’m oblivious to the fact that Craig has already fed him, him chasing dust around the lounge… He’s such a little legend there were no shortage of ‘takers’.

So Craig can finally get some respite. The doctor says he has a chest infection. His chest is really quite weak from years of smoking in his childhood. He gave up years ago but the damage was irreparable and the slightest cold sends him wheezing and brings on his asthma. inevitably, with all the sneezing, I’ve now got it. Luckily, I’m still covered by a flu jab during my pregnancy and tend to fight off illnesses easily. But poor Dexie is, as yet, untested.

He started displaying signs of a cold last night. He sounded a little bit like Darth Vader and was coughing a fair bit. Then the sneezing set in and we began to worry. Dosed with Calpol, and saline drops we put him to bed with a Karvol tissue buried in his teddies. He didn’t complain once and went to sleep. I was up with him again at 3am as he started crying and wrestling with his blanket. As the heating wasn’t on and this house gets chilly downstairs in the night, I changed him in his room then told him I’d be back with things ‘to make him feel better’. I’m not naive and know he doesn’t understand me, but he patiently waited for me to return with a warm bottle and more Calpol. He was so quiet I thought perhaps he had gone back to sleep, but no, he was watching the door waiting for me to return and smiled when I approached his cot.

I administered his meds and he was quiet and seemingly grateful. He snatched his bottle from my hands and fed himself as if to say “I’m okay mum, stop fussing”. I went back to bed when he’d finished and left him coo’ing at his toys. The plan was to let him tire himself out so he would fall asleep naturally. Unfortunately he cried again within 15 mins. I gave him a big cuddle and popped him in bed with us and fell asleep within seconds. The whole night-time saga lasted 3 hours which seems like a lifetime at that time in the morning. It’s also completely out of character given he usually sleeps right through. Having said that, it was an absolute pleasure looking after him as he was such a brave little man. We’re very in-tune with each other now and I feel really confident that I can trust my mummy instincts to help him through the difficult times.

I’m definitely feeling very grateful this week. My employers were very sympathetic and understanding, Craig continues to surprise me with his undying support, love, and resilience, and Dexter is the most perfect baby I could ever have wished for. Given I have thrown more than my fair share of tantrums this week, I’m really in awe of my little family and dedicate this post to them.

One to watch: Koot Kidz

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This is a bit of a personal one for me. Everyone knows what a massive supporter of UK businesses I am. I also have massive respect (and a small bit of envy!) for any parent who sets up their own business in a bid to give their children a better quality of life. This is exactly what Pam & Craig have done over at Koot Kidz.

I can completely empathise with their reasons for setting up the online shop. Upon finding out they were expecting their first child (a boy) they did what any expectant parent does and went shopping. So underwhelmed with the choice of clothes for baby boys – they decided to source and sell some funky items for our little men and women.

I stumbled upon their site as via Twitter. I was doing my ‘usual’ and begging for tip off’s about online shops for toys, nursery items and clothing. Craig sent me a link and the rest is history. I now consider myself to be a personal friend to this lovely couple, and I’m a self-proclaimed ambassador of their business. I waited patiently for news of their long-overdue little one and I’m pleased to announce baby Cayden’s safe and well and absolutely gorgeous.

Dex has a dribble bib from Koot Kidz and it’s majorly cute (how highschool did that just sound?). This was his first big-boy bib and he looks adorable in it. It’s all in-the-design with Koot Kidz; what sets them apart is their hand-chosen fabrics. Right now there’s a selection of bibs and shoes but there are new items imminent with an Autumn / Winter selection available to buy any second now. Given Craig and Pam have their hands full with baby, perhaps the best way to stay informed is to follow them on Twitter to check for announcements.

It’s this friendly and sweet personal touch that underpins everything they do. I placed a small order and received regular tracking tweets about my item. This is what the high street simply can’t offer you. As Koot Kidz is ultimately Craig’s baby – here’s what he had to say about the project:

 

Koot Kidz is a family run business specialising in individual baby items such as Funky Bandana Style Dribble Bibs. The bibs are one size fits all and feature different designs from Football/Sporty theme to Doggy Paw Prints. The baby shoes come in 2 different pirate designs and are available in sizes 6-9, 9-12 & 12-15 months.

A further 33 lines of stock are being added to the website this week (week commencing 8/10/12) and feature a wide variety of funky baby items, from duffle coats to growbags, and will also feature an extensive range of Christmas themed products.

The main aim of the business is to offer the customer the best possible customer service from the initial order through to delivery.

All items are available through the Koot Kidz website on http://www.kootkidz.co.uk or Contact Craig Molloy on 07522423332 or email kootkidz@gmail.com

 

I, for one, will be a regular visitor to their site and can’t wait to snap Dexie in some of their new offerings in the foreseeable future.

 

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