I am so sorry for the lack of activity on my blog recently. To be fair, I don’t really know what happened. I have so many ideas for new blog posts, but have somehow not been able to put them into action. Whenever I started to write a blog post, I came as far as a few sentences and then deleted everything again. Somehow my heart just wasn’t in it. I have just dropped our oldest girl at school (where did the 6 weeks school holidays go???) and whilst our little one is having a nap, I thought I’ll try again.

August has been such a wonderful month for us. I absolutely loved the school holidays. Having both girls home with me was amazing (yes, I did have a little tear in my eye, dropping Morgan off at school this morning).

Meeting my new nephew

We spent the first two weeks of August in Germany (my parents and my sister live over there). Spending time with my family was fantastic and Morgan very much improved her German (I should really raise her bilingual, but I really struggle with this – I am planning a blog post on this in the near future). We explored quite a bit whilst we were over there and had brilliant days out, but the highlight was definitely the birth of my first nephew. Our timing couldn’t have been any better as he was born just a few days after we arrived in Germany which meant, we had plenty of time for those lovely newborn cuddles. Isabelle is only 8 months old, but already I had forgotten how small and fragile newborns really are.

Splashing in the tub

Another August highlight was (and still is) bath time. We started bathing our girls together a few weeks ago, but only during the last few days Isabelle discovered that she is able to splash about and get her sister and herself completely wet. The squeals and delights that are coming out of our two are so heart-warming and make me look with absolute admiration and pride.

Baby wearing

I used to do quite a bit of baby wearing when Morgan was little, but this time around I didn’t really get into it. We used a Baby Bjorn with our oldest daughter and I tried the exact same with our baby girl too. But somehow it didn’t feel right. I was always uncomfortable and too hot and Isabelle didn’t seem to be too keen either. And then, I discovered a wrap. I can honestly say that the wrap changed my whole approach to baby wearing. I LOVE it! And most importantly, our baby girl does to. After a bit of practise, it is super easy to tie the wrap. My back no longer aches and having my baby girl so close to me is such a lovely feeling. I don’t get all hot and sweaty either as the wrap has such a lightweight texture. The other day, we went to Sissinghurst Castle (a gorgeous National Trust property). We only found out when we arrived there, that prams were not allowed in the garden. Luckily I had my trusted wrap with me :-). The one I am using is from Fornessi and I can honestly highly recommend this product (this post is in no way sponsored by Fornessi – we bought the wrap ourselves, but I wanted to give them a little shout-out on here as I am so very happy with this purchase).

So this is basically it, our August highlights. What have you been up to during the school holidays?

*Cough*, *Splutter*, *Sneeze* – yes, cold and flu season is in full swing. Don’t you just hate it when your child is poorly and you feel completely helpless? I always wish it was me instead of them. Our oldest one has been sniffing on and off for the last few weeks. No surprise really as there are so many colds making their rounds in school. We always try and distract her as much as possible when she is poorly. Here are a few things we normally do:

As a special treat, we let her sleep in our bed during the night. We find that being able to cuddle up to us, is definitely helping in making her feel better. I also love the fact that by her being close to us, I can keep an eye on her through the night (especially as she fevers quite quickly and quite high).

We let her choose the foods she’d like to eat for dinner. Yes, we do usually end up eating rather unhealthy choices and might eat pizza three times in a row, but I am certainly not complaining :-).

Or there is always the option of cuddling up on the sofa watching a film. Whatever we do, I make sure she gets plenty of attention and cuddles.

Vicks consumer reserarch showed that over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better. This was followed by medicine, which 40% of parents rely on and more than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC. According to Family Psychologist Corinne Sweet “one of the most powerful antidotes to sickness developing further, is parental care and concern.” 

We are huge fans of Vicks products. We are always well stocked up on Vicks VapoRub. This already goes back to my childhood. I still so vividly remember my mum going to her medicine cabinet to get a tub of Vicks VapoRub to relieve my cold symptoms such as congestion, sore throats and coughs. Just typing this, I can smell its distinctive scent. I loved it then and still do now. 

Vicks have created a range of magic trick videos to give parents some ideas of how to entertain their children when they are poorly. I love the sliced banana trick – so far, we have never used magic tricks to get our daughter to laugh when she was ill, but I’ll definitely be trying some of Vicks magic trick suggestions in the future.

How do you make your children feel better when they are ill?

This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.

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Truth be told, I have never particularity given too much thought to “green issues”, especially not before we had our daughter. My husband and I lived busy lives (poor excuse, I know) and were generally out and about a lot. Yes, we did our bit by recycling, but that was pretty much it. However, when our daughter was born, I started to consider the future a lot more. All of a sudden there was just not my generation to think about, but also our daughter’s one.

Unilever recently created the #brightFuture initiative which focuses on small changes that can make  big differences and how we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene, including thorough hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene. As part of the initiative, BritMums and Unilever wanted to know what steps parents take to help in creating a #brightFuture for their children. We accepted the challenge. Here are our thoughts on this matter.

  • Recycling: I believe that this is one of the simplest steps to take – our district council offers a brilliant recycling programme and we are provided with all sorts of bins that are emptied regularly – all there is for us to do is separate our rubbish and sort it into these different bins
  • Walking: We are trying to walk wherever possible and try to avoid using the car too much (this is definitely a new development after we had our daughter – a few years ago, I would take the car even for a short, walkable distance), Not only do we see a drop in our petrol costs, but we are getting a lot more fresh air and doing our bit for the environment at the same time. Our daughter just started primary school a few weeks back. We try and walk to and from school frequently and only sometimes resort to taking the car (usually if we are running late or it is absolutely pouring it down with rain).
  • Saving paper: Our daughter loves to draw and is very much into her arts and crafts. From an early age though, we made sure that she knows not to waste paper. We do let her draw as much as she wants to, but she knows to not just draw one line on a piece of paper and then take a new one. I also keep certain scraps of paper such as bits of wrapping paper (that would have normally gone straight into the bin) for her craft box. Quite often, I will also keep hold of junk mail letters. I find that a lot of the time these include an empty page (usually on the back) and make for brilliant paper for a quick drawing.
  • Saving electricity: We try and make sure that all lights are switched off in rooms that we are not using at the time
  • Hybrid car: my husband recently returned to driving to work, so we needed to get another car. He chose a Honda Insight, as it gives excellent fuel economy and low emissions and encourages you to drive in an environmentally friendly manner.
  • Support brands that focus on improving environmental issues such as Unilever. Not only do I like using Unilever products as they do a brilliant job (Persil has always been my preferred detergent), but they are constantly coming up with fantastic supporting campaigns  For example: Domestos is committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Persil has backed a global initiative “Learning for Tomorrow” partnering with UNICEF to help give children in some of the word’s toughest areas the opportunity of a quality education and Dove has developed The Dove Self-Esteem Project which worked closely with leading psychologists, academics and experts to create materials, making a postive impact on 19 million young lives.

Which steps are you taking to create a #brightFuture for your children?

This post is our entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever.

Although we do not watch an awful lot of TV, all three of us still have our favourite TV programmes. I usually let our little girl watch Cbeebies in the mornings whilst I rush upstairs to get ready for work. Ever since she was little, Bing is one of the programmes she enjoys the most. A few weeks ago she met Bing and Flop at Drusillas Park. She was completely in awe. As soon as we got back home, she found her Bing DVD’s and pretty much watched them back to back.

Bing

I have to admit, that I enjoy Bing too and it is one of the few programmes I will sit down and watch together with her. We compiled a list of reasons why our whole family loves Bing:

  • Bing behaves like a “real child” (let’s omit the fact, that he is a bunny) – yes, he has tantrums – so much closer to reality (unlike Topsy and Tim…)
  • Lovable animated characters (so cute!)
  • Bing books are perfect for bedtime reading and also easy enough for children who just start out learning to read by themselves

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  • Educational storylines (this is such an important factor for me)
  • We love the innocence about this programme
  • About the right length (our little one often gets bored if programmes/films are on too long)
  • Bing has a beautifully engaging website with so many ideas and activities for little Bingsters

Over the years, we have collected quite a few Bing related toys/items. Mind you, this really only is a small choice, there are other ones scattered around the entire house.

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Our little girl especially loves her knitted Flop. A lady my husband works with kindly knitted this for us, using the knitting pattern provided on Bing’s website.

Which TV programmes are your little one’s favourite?

Disclosure: Some the above shown merchandise was kindly sent to us by Team Bing, but we were under no obligation to write this post.

 

 

You are such a happy little person!

You make us proud every single day!

You are kind, gorgeous and generous!

We love the way you constantly try and make us laugh!

We love your unique sense of fashion :-)!

We love the pictures and cards you draw for us!

You are such a little explorer and thrill-seeker – no mountain is too high for you to climb!

We love seeing you flourish and develop – you are such a clever girl!

We couldn’t have wished for a better daughter!

We love you so very much!! Happy Birthday, honey!

Mummy and Daddy xxx

MM2

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