Category Archives: Family Life

Daisy’s 12 Month (One Year!) update

I’ve finally managed to find some time to sit down and write Daisy’s 12 month update. We’ve finally made it to the 1 year milestone and we’ve survived a whole year as parents to 3 children!

On the 29th of December little Daisy duck turned one, I can’t believe how fast her 1st year went, we have so many lovely memories of our first year together as a family of three and can’t wait for all the adventures that are yet to come.

Since hitting the 1 year milestone Daisy is definitely starting to show her independence, we do have the odd temper tantrum here and there and obstinacy to do things her way or not at all. At one time Daisy would let you feed her a banana but now if she can’t hold it herself then she doesn’t want it! Goodbye baby, hello toddler!

Daisy’s new game at the moment is standing up in her cot and emptying out all the nappies from the cot pockets. Daisy takes great delight in watching you stoop to pick them up, time and time again. Daisy also loves clapping along to pat-a-cake and loves rowing with you to row,row, row your boat and can say “row, row, row” which is just so cute.

cot

Daisy loves to give you a toy as well as take one and likes games where she can put things, such as blocks in containers and then tip them out. We love stacking cups up so she can then knock them down. I think she’s definitely developed a love for trains, she sits lovely with her big brother Charlie playing with trains and Thomas Minis and she loves to follow him around the kitchen.

At 12 months of age Daisy can pull herself up on furniture into a standing position and can cruise around the furniture. She loves to walk with you holding her hands and loves her new ride on toys that she received for her birthday, she’s already learnt how to push herself along on them. Daisy’s favorite word to say at the moment is “That” and then points at an object, I think she’s heard us say “what’s that” quite a bit and is now copying, she even uses it in the right context.

Daisy’s daily routine hasn’t changed much from last month except for the fact that she is now pretty much down to one nap a day, she only tends to sleep for an hour tops and then gets quite grizzly in the late afternoon. Her bedtime is still around 6pm and she still doesn’t sleep through the night, I can only live in hope!

This week I’ve decided to try and cut down on breastfeeds, I really want to sleep train Daisy so she’s not waking me up 3-4 times through the night, at the moment I have to comfort feed her back to sleep but need for her to try and settle herself back to sleep. I have my sister’s hen weekend in March and want to be able to go away for the weekend and have some quality me time. I’ve started with dropping Daisy’s morning feed and we are just left with the 6pm bedtime feed and the feeds through the night. We are still trying to get Daisy to take cows milk and we are still persisting with her beaker but she just seems to play with it, we’ve tried it warm and cold with no success. Stopping the feeds are proving difficult, I’ve had many screaming fits through the night when I say no to breastfeeding but then end up feeding Daisy just so I can get her back to sleep and get some sleep for myself, we are certainly up against a challenge! It’s so hard when you have very little sleep and have to go to work the next day. It doesn’t help that Daisy is now refusing her dummy, she’s not had her dummy for about 4 weeks now, sometimes I wish she would have one for comfort but on the other hand I should take this as a blessing that she’s no longer dependant on one, just dependent on me though!

I am SO proud of myself that I completed my goal of a year because I remember how hard it was in the beginning and how badly I wanted to give up. We started out with a few obstacles from cracked nipples, mistitis and a case of painful thrush but have come out the other side and made it through despite people telling me that I should stop and switch to bottles, but I’m so glad I didn’t and I can tell you right now that it was absolutely worth it. Research has shown that breastfed babies have the natural ability to tell when they are satisfied/full and I have definitely seen this with Daisy in how she eats regular food – it’s amazing!

We have recently had a phase of fussy eating where Daisy’s not wanted to eat her usual daily foods that we feed her and she won’t even entertain shop brought baby food, thankfully it seemed to be a phase and she’s back to eating normally again but she’s becoming quite fussy with food, she never used to be and would eat everything but sadly those days seem to be gone and we now have a stubborn little lady!

Daisy’s got quite a few teeth now, 12 in total to be exact, we have all eight front teeth and 4 back teeth (two top back and two bottom back). We’ve had a rough couple of weeks over the last couple of weeks with teething, I think the back ones coming have really caused some discomfort. We’ve started good habits early and we clean Daisy’s teeth daily with a special toothbrush and toothpaste, she is starting to become quite stubborn now though, she used to let us brush them but now it’s a battle to get her to open her mouth and throws a tantrum when you refuse to give her the toothbrush.

Weight wise Daisy now weighs 7.6 kg which is 16.75lbs and now sits on the 50th percentile line instead of the 25th percentile line in her little red health record book, the health visitor checked Daisy’s weight at her 1 year review and she doesn’t have any concerns, she said that Daisy’s quite petite, so different to how her chunky brothers were at this age! She measures 73cm in length and remains on the 25th percentile line and her head circumference is 47cm which puts her on the 91st percentile line and as been consistent since birth.

Daisy is still in clothes aged 9-12 months and was really spoilt at Christmas with lots of lovely new clothes in the next size up because being the only girl we only have boys clothes put away so have had to start from scratch with clothes for Daisy. We have now moved into size 4 nappies and we still love Aldi’s Mamia nappies and wipes and occassionally use Asda’s Little Angels nappies if we can’t get to Aldi.

We have no walking yet but I don’t think it will be long, I can’t wait to go out and buy Daisy her first pair of shoes, it’s such a special milestone buying first shoes.

For Daisy’s birthday we spent most of the day at home opening presents and playing with new toys, I can’t believe my little girl now owns 4 dolls, I have to pinch myself everyday that we have been blessed with a little girl, it’s so lovely having a bit of pink in the house after having 2 boys. We had a bit of lunch out at our local pub and popped in to my dad’s for a cup of tea and a catch up. We saved the big birthday celebrations for Daisy’s party which was on the 30th December, I’m going to do a separate blog post on Daisy’s 1st birthday party and can’t wait to share it with you.

Thanks for reading

Corina x

Home a mess? Don’t stress. Post-Holiday Decluttering Tips for the New Year.

Happy New Year to you all.

I made a resolution to myself at the start of 2018 that this year I will do my best to declutter our home and have a really big sort out. I really like the idea of  being a minimalist and just having the basics and every day items that I need instead of all the clutter that we’ve accumulated over the years but I’m not sure how well that will work out with 3 children!

We’ve started the new year a little bit upside down in our house which is why I want to get on top of things and turn this house around. I’m sure it’s not just me that feels like this but now Christmas is out of the way and our double birthday celebrations are over our house is looking pretty cluttered. We’ve accumulated Christmas gifts and birthday gifts on top of our normal everyday stuff so it’s a little crazy at the moment and hard to find everything a new home. Our cat Felix is living proof that the toys really are taking over!

felix

I’m only 10 days into January and have already made a start on bagging up any unwanted items ready to either sell or to give away. I’ve got clothes bagged up for the charity shop and have already donated a big bag of baby girls clothes to a friend. I’m working my way through each room bit by bit and it’s going to take time but I am determined to achieve my goal.

I was contacted a few days ago by a lady named Sophia who runs her own cleaning business in London and wanted to share an article she’s written on how to minimise cleaning when you’re a busy parent with children, Sophia offers some great tips and comes with many years of experience when it comes to cleaning and decluttering. I use a lot of these tips myself which are great for when you’re juggling work, kids and home life. Have a read and I hope you can take away a few of her tips and useful advice.

Time-saving ways to minimise the cleaning process when you have multiple kids

Parents of multiple kids often struggle with keeping their homes clean. Inevitably children make all types of messes and cleaning after them is a full-time job. These small bandits can’t be blamed and it is parents’ responsibility to ensure a healthy living environment for them. If you have had it with dealing with huge amounts of housework during the weekend, maybe the following tips will help you turn the situation around and decrease the time you spend cleaning. Every child is able to perform some simple domestic chores, so you can also involve yours into the home maintenance.
Declutter regularly
When it comes to a tidy home, this is imperative. Very often having kids means having numerous gadgets and useless items. If you haven’t done it recently, take a big plastic bag and inspect all rooms of your home for clutter. Get rid of all broken toys, empty packings or expired cosmetic products. Give away any old clothes or stuffed toys and make sure that you keep at home only things that you and your family actually use. Make sure to declutter once per week, this will significantly improve the condition of your house.
Organise
Decluttering means more free space, which gives a pleasant feeling. If there are any objects or items in your home that don’t have their own place, take your time and reorganise the cuboards and wardrobes. Keep the surfaces, shelves and worktops empty. This way, your kids won’t be able to scatter any kitchen or other items around the house. Plus, you will always know where to find what you need.
Avoid buying unnecessary things
Only parents with multiple kids know that shopping with the family can give you a headache. Children constantly want new toys, even if they will enjoy them for not more than 3 days. Instead of buying all types of interactive gadgets and toys, teach your kids that they need to appreciate what they have. Buying less means less clutter. Purchase only necessary for your family items and products. If there are too many things on the shelves and other surfaces, your home will look messy even if you clean it regularly.
Clean as you go
This is imperative if you want to decrease the amount of time you spend cleaning during the weekend. Always leave the kitchen area clean after cooking. When your family finishes with the dinner, wash the dishes and wipe the table. Tidy up a little bit of the common areas when necessary and regularly empty the rubbish bin. Don’t postpone for tomorrow what you can do today. In this way, next time when you need to clean the house it won’t be necessary to declutter or do some small preparations first.
30-minute clean up
Choose one day of the week and make a quick clean up. For example, when your children are sleeping, declutter a bit, hoover, fold the washed clothes, prepare the dirty ones for washing, hoover the floors, clean the kitchen cupboards and appliances, etc. No one likes dealing with huge amounts of housework at once. For 30 minutes you can accomplish a lot of domestic duties.
Teach your kids to help you
The sooner your kids understand that they also need to contribute to house maintenance the better. Moreover, if you clean together, the housework won’t be such a tedious and time-consuming task. By assigning small domestic chores to kids, you are helping not only yourself but the whole family. Cleaning is an educational activity and can help your kids acquire important skills.
I’d love to hear your cleaning tips and how you juggle keeping on top of the clutter.
Thanks for reading
Corina x

Farewell Timmy & Donkey Who

To my darling Alfie, I know how upset you were when our two little Elf friends Timmy & Donkey Who had to leave us to return back to the North Pole. I wanted to share with you all the good times we’ve shared and all the fun and mischief your little elves got up to. You’ll be able to cherish these happy memories until Christmas comes around again and we can all be re-united.

 

Christmas Eve Boxes

boxes.jpg

I’ve never done anything like this before but was so excited at the idea, I absolutely love Christmas Eve and love the fact that it falls on a weekend so no working Christmas eve for me this year!

I thought it would a lovely surprise to present my boys with their boxes on Christmas Eve. I really wish this sort of stuff had been around when I was younger, I would have loved my parents doing this for me. Christmas is a magical time and receiving a gift on Christmas Eve is exciting for any child.

Christmas Eve can be a long day for a child that’s excited for Christmas day, they just want the day to over with so they can go to bed and wait for Santa to arrive with all the presents they’re wishing for.

To help speed the day along and to make the day extra special I’ve tried to find suitable items to pop into their Christmas Eve boxes. My boys like the same kind of things so I’ve brought them the same items just so there are no arguments! Alfie is 7 years old and Charlie is 4, I’ve found bits that are age appropriate for them both.

I picked up 2 large gift boxes with lids from the Card Factory priced at £3.99 each. I’m going to wrap all the individual items inside to make it more exciting and then wrap the boxes up too.

My favorite shops for little bits and bobs are Wilko, Poundland and The Works, these shops are great for cheap stocking fillers.

The first item going into their boxes are their Christmas Pyjamas from Next, I brought these back in November, I thought it would be lovely for them to have them on Christmas Eve so they can all be matching. Who doesn’t love new Pyjamas for Christmas? Even Daisy’s got a matching pair!

I’ve not done Daisy a box, she’s not really old enough to understand but it’ll be something we do next Christmas for her. I can’t wait to fill it will all pink girly stuff.

I picked up the following bits below in The Works – Christmas books (3 for £5), Christmas colouring activity packs (£1.50 each), a light up novelty Christmas teddy (£1 each) and a festive Christmas tree each filled with festive erasers (£1). My boys love little novelty gifts like these.

Next up are a couple of items from Wilko. Chocolate coins (£0.50) and a Smarties chocolate penguin (£0.50). Everybody needs a chocolate fix at Christmas!

Locally we have a news agents that’s called McColl’s, I hardly ever go into this shop but one day last week I needed to pop into the post office and our post office is at the back of the news agents. I spotted these Santa hats and Christmas rubix cubes which I thought were great for the boy’s boxes. Both items were £1 each.

The last few items I purchased were from the Pound Shop, we’ve got some Gingerbread shaped bath bombs (£1 each), I can’t wait to try these out in the boy’s bath and some glow sticks. I thought we could have a bit of fun with these at bed time in the dark. Hopefully they won’t be over excited when it comes to sleep time!

Pound Shop

I really hope the boys love their Christmas Eve boxes.

 

Thanks for reading

Corina xx

Introducing Pure Freeze Dried Cat Food

This week we have had the pleasure of working with Pure Pet food, Felix is our pet cat and this week he gets to make a guest appearance on our family blog. Felix is 10 years old and right from him being a kitten he’s always been fussy with his cat food and will only eat Whiskers tinned cat food in gravy, he will not eat any other brand, he also loves his fresh cooked chicken and goes mad for tuna, so quite a fussy cat!

We were asked if we would like to try out and review a new brand of cat food which is made by Pure Pet Food. Pure Pet Food make it their mission to make healthy  choices easy for pet owners and make a range of air-dried, dehydrated and freeze-dried pet foods.

We were sent 2 boxes of freeze dried cat food for Felix to try out, we were sent a box of Surf & Turf and a box of Whisker Lickin’ Chicken. Felix was very inquisitive when I started opening the box and he was very happy to sit and pose for a photo!

We decided to try the Whisker Lickin’ Chicken first, I wasn’t sure if Felix would be interested but he just wouldn’t leave me alone whilst opening the box and was meowing his little head off, he was even trying to eat the food before I’d mixed in the water, it must have smelt good to him. The instructions are really easy to follow and give you guidelines on how much to measure out depending on the size of your cat and also instruct on how much water to add.

The food was really easy to make, I just needed to measure out the exact amount using the plastic scoop provided and then measure out warm water using the same scoop. This is the first time that we’ve tried a new brand of cat food that Felix has thoroughly enjoyed and eaten. I could tell he was really enjoying it because he licked his bowl clean without a trace left so a big thumbs up from Felix.

 

Pet’s are provided with the natural goodness and nutrients found in raw and homemade food. Freeze drying removes the moisture from natural and human grade ingredients, locking in the nutrients and goodness whilst preserving them. You simply add water and serve, creating a meal similar to a fresh or home prepared diet. I would say these are great for fussy cats and cats with sensitivities.

All of Pure’s meals are made with 100% fresh human grade ingredients and are lovingly made at Pure’s very own human grade food facility in Yorkshire. Pure’s freeze dry technology allows for the preservation of meat with zero exposure to high temperature and pressure, retaining a real meat texture with zero preservatives and with no need to store in a freezer

The standards in making Pure are so high that they are regulated by both the human and the animal food authorities. Pure foods contain no grains or gluten and are high in protein, ensuring a healthy balanced diet. With Pure’s pet food you just add water, this unique process gives Pure all of the advantages of both wet & dry food. Adding water allows the food to expand in the bowl rather than the stomach making it easier to chew and helping to prevent bloating, whilst reducing the risk of dehydration. At the same time like a good quality dry food Pure is super easy to store and has a great shelf life.

Felix is definitely converted and loves his new cat food, we’ve introduced 1 meal of Pure a day along side his normal cat food to get him used to his new food and will gradually convert him over fully over the next few weeks. Our local Pets at Home stock the Pure pet food and it can also be purchased direct from the Pure website.

www.purepetfood.co.uk

Cat5

Felix says “It’s lip smacking good” so go give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Thanks for reading

The Mann Clan x

 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Christmas is well and truly here in the Mann household, we’re a little early this year, we normally buy our real Christmas tree on the last weekend of November but sadly this year we’re not having one. We paid a visit to our local garden centre which made us feel all festive and really put us in the Christmas mood.

This year we have baby Daisy and because she’s just started crawling we thought it would be safer to go with an artificial tree this year, so no needle dropping this year. Daisy’s at the stage where everything goes in the mouth and I really don’t want her putting tree needles in her mouth and I don’t think a real tree would make it to the 25th of December with the way she’s bashing about in her baby walker!

Our advent calendars are hanging up ready and the boys are super excited to start opening those doors! We’re super excited for the 1st of December.

Today is the 26th November and today marks the 4 week countdown to Christmas, so 4 weeks today it will be Christmas eve! Yikes, I’m so excited! I’ve brought quite a few Christmassy bits over the last couple of weeks, I probably go a little over the top but I always strive to make the perfect Christmas and to make it extra special and magical for the little ones, my excuse is that it only happens once a year.

We popped to our local B&Q store to look at Christmas trees, I can’t believe how expensive they can be, there was a really beautiful one that was really realistic looking but was around £120 and we didn’t want to spend that much on a tree when it’s only going to be for this Christmas, next year I think we’ll return back to our normal tradition of buying a real tree. James picked the tree and settled on a tree for a bargain of £30 (he’s a bit tight when it comes to parting with his money!). I have this love/hate relationship with the tree but it will do. James really wanted a white tree but I had to reign him in a bit! White is really not my cup of tea, give me a traditional green one any day.

I’ve finally picked out a frame for my completed snowman cross stitch and I’m so proud of how it looks now it’s finished and framed, it was certainly worth the effort stitching it. The white wooden square frame was a bargain £4 from Wilko.

Xmas 2

Debenhams had a sale on recently so I treated myself to a Christmas throw which is the Red Fair Isle print fleece throw and was £19.60 in their sale. I liked the idea of jazzing up my old boring sofa in the kitchen and turning into a cozy Christmas sofa, we now have a lovely cozy corner right by the Christmas tree. I’ve also brought some Christmas cushion covers off Ebay and Amazon for the sofa, I can’t believe how cheap they are to buy. I decided to just buy just the covers and I’ll put them over some old cushions to jazz them up for Christmas. (I’ll post pictures when my cushions have arrived).

A few days ago something magical happened over night! The boys woke to find 2 little elves sitting in the Christmas tree sent from The North Pole. A week ago we finalized the boys letters to Santa and Alfie asked Santa in his letter if we could adopt an elf for Christmas (I think this tradition started last year in his class at school). We’ve still got to fill out the adoption details online but we’ve adopted Timmy and Donkey Who (Don’t ask!) this was Charlie’s choice. The elves sit and watch everything that’s going on and report back to Santa every night when the boys have gone to bed and return back each morning. There’s certainly been a bit of mischief with this pair of elves!

 

These arrived yesterday, I’ve brought matching tops for the boys and also one for James, these were from Next and they have a lovely Christmas family range where you can all be matching. I’ve not told James yet, I’m going to surprise him on Christmas day when I present this to him, I just thought it would add to the fun to have all the boys matching. Thank you Next for thinking outside the box and creating this fantastic range.

elf3

This year I’m going to make up some Christmas Eve boxes, I know it’s an American tradition but I love the idea of presenting the kids with a box of treats on Christmas eve, I’m going to do a separate blog post when I’ve done them and I’ll share with you what’s going inside each one. I’m thinking along the lines of new Christmas Jammies, some Christmas chocolate bits like chocolate coins, some Christmas books and maybe some hot chocolate and marshmallows for a Christmas eve treat. I’d love to know if anyone else does this and what you put in your boxes.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive Costa cup! I got really excited when I saw these, hot chocolate and marshmallows at this time of year are just the best. Me and my sis had a cheeky Costa and it was bliss, this has become our guilty secret.

elf2

 

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back soon with some more festive fun xxxxx

 

My Baby Girl is 10 Month’s Old!

Little Daisy is 10 months old. Can you believe it? It feels like just yesterday when I was pushing her into the world and to our shock and surprise she entered the world feet first!

birth

In less than two months, I will have a one year old girl. Can I still call Daisy a baby when she turns one? Please tell me yes! I’m not ready to stop calling her my baby girl and kind of wonder if I will ever truly be ready?

Daisy’s strength has improved so much this past month, she can bomb around the kitchen in her baby walker, she can open cupboard doors and she just loves practicing walking with you, she’s learnt how to put one foot in front of the other and just looks so proud. I can’t wait to take her shoe shopping soon and get her measured for her 1st pair of shoes.

Movement wise Daisy still isn’t crawling properly but does this funny kind of army crawl and certainly knows how to get to her target. We also have a little bum shuffler, I’m amazed how fast this lady can move just on her little bottom! Who needs crawling hey? This little bunny has rejected crawling and has found her own technique to be independent, some days I think about attaching cloths to her bum so she can clean the floor at the same time! We’ve also had lots of pulling up on furniture, Daisy’s trying to stand up at every given opportunity.

We learned how to clap a few months ago and Daisy loves clapping so much still!! Pat-a-cake is her absolute favorite game and she just sits there clapping forever and gets the biggest, cheesiest smile. It just melts my heart when I see her interacting with Mr Tumble on the TV or Teletubbies, she sits there clapping and waving and it’s just lovely. Daisy just loves the TV (as do I), she loves any kind of fun theme songs and the Go Jetters are becoming one of her favorite theme songs, she’s so funny to watch sitting there bopping along to the music doing her little dance.

Daisy now weighs 18 pounds and is still in the 30th percentile but she’s growing slowly. She’s just a tiny little thing. Daisy is mainly in 6-9 month clothes. The 9-12 month clothes are still pretty big on her but I’m sure she’ll grow into them soon. Daisy is on 3 meals a day with snacks in between, Daisy loves yogurts, she gets all excited when she sees her little yogurt pot come out of the fridge and will pretty much eat anything that you give her, she’s not shy at trying new foods, I just hope this continues when she’s a little bit older. Daisy still takes one milk feed from me first thing in the morning, drinks juice or water throughout the day (mainly with me being back at work), and has a milk feed just before bed and still wakes 2-3 times throughout the night for comfort feeds. I really need to start dropping these but it’s easier said than done, sometimes you just do these things because they work, controlled crying and sleep training will be hard in our house especially with 2 sleeping boys in the next room.

Daisy now has 7 teeth in total, they just keep on coming! she does look funny now that she’s got little teeth, they just make her even cuter. Her big brothers are always on hand to help brush her little teeth.

Daisy is having just the one nap now which is around 10am and has decided to drop her afternoon naps, by 6pm when I get home from work she’s just absolutely knackered. I got home today and she was flat out and asleep so I never got to spend any time with her, we’ll make up for that tomorrow with me not working Tuesdays and Wednesdays, me and Daisy Doo are going to hit the shops and try and finish our Christmas shopping, I want to be done and dusted by mid November so we can then relax and enjoy the festivities. It also gives me more time to concentrate on planning Daisy’s first birthday party. I’ll share more with you at a later date.

Daisy’s also started saying a few more words, the usual – ‘hi’,’mama’, ‘bye bye’ and I think at one point I heard her say cat. She absolutely loves Felix our cat, she gets so excited when she sees him, she just makes a beeline for him when ever he enters the room.

Life is challenging with 3 children and exhausting, even more so now I’m back at work, there’s just endless washing and cleaning and the house constantly looks like Toys R Us but I wouldn’t have it any other way, there’s never a dull day in our house.  I’m looking forward to a crazy family Christmas but in a way I’m worried about where all the new toys are going to go, I think we definitely need to have a sort out to make way for new stuff.

The Jumperoo is going to have to be put away soon, I’m holding out until the end of November if I can, it’s been a great purchase and was well worth the money but Daisy just doesn’t seem interested anymore, she doesn’t want to be stuck in one place, she wants to be on the move and exploring which makes me sad about the Jumperoo but needs must and the Christmas tree’s got to go somewhere.

I think that’s everything for this month, we’ve got a couple of exciting months to come and I still can’t believe Daisy is going to be one. OMG!

Thanks for reading