We’ve all been there.

It’s 3am, the baby is awake for the 5th time that night, and you’re starting to feel like you might be losing it.

You start to feel really quite alone in all this, and worry that all the other babies out there are sleeping brilliantly and that you must be doing something wrong because yours is wide awake.

First, let me tell you that you’re not doing anything wrong.

Honestly.

The parents whose babies sleep don’t know some amazing secret that you don’t, they’re not better parents than you, they just got lucky!

Secondly, when you’re sat in bed in the middle of the night feeding your baby (again), check out these 5 blog posts that might just make you feel a bit better:

5 posts to read when your baby isn't sleeping at night

 

1. How to really and truly get your baby to sleep through the night.  This is a great post from ‘surviving a sleep thief‘, and a fab jumping off point to start exploring the rest of the posts there, it’s a great place to be if you’re living with a sleep thief of your very own!

 

2. Squirmy popple has also written a couple of posts about dealing with a baby who’s resistant to the whole idea of sleep, but this one is my favourite so far – how to get your baby to sleep in one easy step.

 

3. If you’re in need of more light relief then Brummy mummy of 2 is always a good option, I love the sense of humour in her posts.  Her post, 6 ways you know you are a ‘mombie’, had me nodding along all the way through, which is maybe a bit worrying!

 

4. On a more serious note, if you want some science based information on why it’s ok that your baby wakes in the night, then go and check out this post on baby sleeping patterns.  Make sure you check out the video which goes into details about the findings of a recent study carried out here in Swansea about how normal it is for babies to wake up in the night.

 

5. And finally, not wanting to toot my own horn too much, but this post I wrote on why I think we should maybe stop giving false hope to parents of babies who don’t sleep might give you some comfort in knowing that sometimes the best thing to do is stop trying to follow all the advice and just accept the stage you’re in.

Just ride it out.

Hang in there, it will get better.

Until then, go read some posts, know you’re not the only one going through this, and keep on drinking that coffee!

If you read or watch the news at all, you’d be forgiven for believing that this world is a harsh, scary place, full of evil people and dangers around every corner.  It’s easy to worry about what kind of world we’re bringing our children up in, and to think that we need to teach them to be tough and closed-off to keep them safe.  But I believe the opposite is true.  We need to teach our children to be strong, yes, but above all else we need to teach them kindness and love.

There’s a quote by L.R. Knost that I love that says:

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world.  It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless”

and I believe this with all my heart.  My son in particular is a sensitive child, and I don’t want him to have to change that about himself, I want him to use that part of him to reach out and make a difference to those around him.

 

There’s a movement that’s been gaining momentum over the last few years that’s all about carrying out random acts of kindness that I think is wonderful.  The beauty of it is that these acts don’t have to be huge, they don’t have to cost you anything, they don’t have to take up much of your time (although they can if you want to do it that way!), but they can have a big impact on someone else.

And that one random act of kindness, more often that not, leads to more, as that person is inspired to pay it forward and do something nice for someone else.

 

I read a lovely quote from Amelia Earhart that explains it beautifully:

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”

cup of tea acts of kindness

As parents we can really make a difference by modelling kindness for our children.  When they see us chosing love and kindness over indifference and selfishness then they will be much more likely to do the same.

So if you’re out and about with your children, look for opportunities to chose kindness.

It can be as simple as picking up another child’s dropped toy, or holding the door open for the Mum with the buggy struggling to get out of the shop.  It’s all about teaching our children to look at the world around them, and to think about other people.

 

You could then start to think up ideas together for random acts of kindess you can carry out.  You could plan to buy a few extra bags of duck food next time you’re at the park and hand them out to other children.  Or get your kids involved in sorting through their toys and seeing which ones they could donate to someone in need.  If you need inspiration then this list of 101 easy ideas for random acts of kindness should get you going!

Another campaign that’s been started this year is the #BeSelfless campaign, which asked people at the start of the year to abandon their usual new year resolutions in favour of choosing to carry out small acts of kindness throughout the year, which is a great idea because it’s win-win.

 

When we are kind towards others, they get a real happiness boost, and in turn so do we.  Doing nice things for other people gives us a great serotonin hit, which makes us feel happier and gives us an overall sense of general well-being.  Who wouldn’t want more of that in their lives?

And I know that making someone a cup of tea, or surprising them with a bunch of flowers won’t magically make this world perfect; but step by step, person by person, I’m certain we can make it better for our children.

We just need to keep chosing kindness and love.

 “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” – Aesop

pink tulips

This is a collaborative post.

 

 

 

I’m really excited to announce that Nerys and I have been given the opportunity to be brand reps for a lovely children’s clothing company – Ted Wears Organic.

Ted Wears Organic is a practical and funky new independent children’s clothing line, created by a lovely Mum called Vicky and named for her son Ted.  Vicky uses high quality organic cotton in several designs and patterns that you can mix and match to create your own unique outfit.  And I just love this idea!  The range starts from just £6 and includes t-shirts, leggings, harem pants, dresses, shorts, skirts and maxaloones, which grow with your child.

It works like this, you visit the Ted Wears Organic store and choose an item, then comes the really fun part as you get to choose what fabrics you want to use!  Say you’re ordering a t-shirt, well then you chose the fabric you want for the body and then you can get creative and chose a coordinating or contrasting fabric for the arms, such fun!

All of the fabrics have been specifically chosen by Vicky to co-ordinate, but if you’re not sure that what you want will ‘work’, then get in touch with her and she’ll talk you through it and make sure you’re completely happy with your choices.

Ted wears organic

Nerys was so excited when her outfit arrived in the post – she walked round the house hugging it!  Her outfit consists of a long sleeve t-shirt and leggings in a gorgeous ‘over the sea’ design with co-ordinating pink dotty fabric.  It really is lovely, so well made and beautifully soft.  I can see us getting a lot of wear out of this outfit!

Ted wears organic clothing

You can check out the whole range at the Ted Wears Organic Etsy store, and as one of my lovely readers you can get 15% off your first order by using the code ‘GLORIOUS15’ when you check out.

If you want to keep up to date with the latest news from Ted Wears Organic you can also find them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

I am a brand rep and was gifted this outfit, but all opinions are my own.

 

Apparently colouring in pictures at 8 in the morning requires sunglasses.

This little one already knows what she wants (and what she doesn’t want!).  I love how her personality is coming through more and more every day; I’m fascinated seeing the person she’s becoming.

Living arrows

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Living Arrows

In case there’s any confusion caused by the title of this post, I mean to say that my children are curious about life and the world around them, not that they themselves are a bit curious.  Although, they do have their moments!

Both my children are naturally curious, asking “what’s this?” and “why is that?”, and while there are days when the constant questions get a bit draining, I want them to always question the world around them.

I’ve written before about how I want my children to stay curious, and as they get older and start to explore more and more of the world around them I feel this even more.

Blessed are the curious quote

 

How boring would their lives be if they weren’t curious?  If they just accepted the status quo, and blindly followed the crowd without querying anything, would they ever have any adventures, or would they just drift along the safe path created by so many others before them?

Here’s hoping my children always remain curious, and have many, many adventures!

 

Cuddle Fairy

Since Nerys turned 2 she seems to be moving further away from the baby days at great speed.  Which makes me feel like a lot of those wonderful ‘firsts’ that you get to experience with a baby are behind us.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time recently reflecting on this, and wondering, ‘are the baby days behind us?‘.  And it’s made me feel a little sad.  Rhys is looking more grown up by the day, and Nerys seems to be catching him up fast and I do miss the early, new baby days with them both.  But I’ve started to shift my focus and, rather than stay in the past, think about all the amazing ‘firsts’ that we still have to look forward to, the firsts that are yet to come.

The firsts that are yet to come

 

The first day (and night) with no nappies.

This is one of those firsts that feels a bit bittersweet, because it marks the end of another part of the ‘baby stage’.  But I’m quite excited about it really.  Rhys was relatively late at potty training, but I think Nerys is nearly ready to start trying.  And I’m quite happy at the thought of not needing a stockpile of nappies and wipes around the house for the first time in 5 years!

 

The first joint sleepover at Nana and Pop’s house.

Rhys has slept overnight at his Grandparents’ house quite a few times in the last few years, but Nerys has been a bit more of an unreliable sleeper so we’ve not packed her off there yet!  The time is coming though.  She’s sleeping much better these days and has been asking if she can have a bath and go to bed at Nana’s house soon.

The first night that both children spend the night there together will definitely be a strange one, but the thought of waking up of my own free will rather than being woken by a shouting child is a wonderful thought indeed!

 

The first holiday as a family of 4.

We’ve travelled to Kent as a foursome to see my family at Christmas, and before Nerys was born we took Rhys to Morroco and to the Isle of Man, but we’ve not been on a proper holiday as a family of four yet.

This is a first I’m really looking forward to, whether it’s another trip to the Isle of Man, or just a weekend away somewhere here in Wales, I think we’ll have a lot of fun altogether, letting Rhys and Nerys explore somewhere new together.

 

The first ‘big day out’.

We tend to stay quite local at the weekends, and during the school holidays even we mostly spend our days at the park, or the beach.  So we’ve not really done any ‘big days out’ with Rhys and Nerys yet.  But this is something I would love to start doing now that they’re of an age to really enjoy trips out and for it to not be too stressful for us (Rhys was a real ‘runner’ as a toddler so taking him anywhere really was quite stressful!).

I have a list of places I want to go to as a family, including the zoo and an aquarium with one of those tunnels that you walk through that goes under the water!  I know I would have a great time there, and can just picture the children’s faces seeing all the animals and fish for the first time.

 

The first challenges overcome.

I remember the first time Rhys was brave enough to tackle the fireman’s pole at the park all by himself.  I think I have a video of it actually.  I was so proud of him, because he’d be scared of it for so long.

At that same park recently Nerys climbed up the rope ladder all by herself and without hesitation slid down the helter skelter slide.

These little challenges have been huge to the children, and it’s amazing to watch them persevere and work to overcome them.  I’m really looking forward to watching them handle themselves against all the other challenges they’ll face as they grow up.

Parents of older children, what other firsts have I got to look forward to?  And parents with little ones, what firsts are you excited to watch your children experience?

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Both my children love books, and we read a couple every night at bedtime as part of our nightly routine, so we were really excited when we were offered the chance to review a couple of books from Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter – The dinosaur that pooped Daddy and The dinosaur that pooped a rainbow.

I have to admit I hadn’t heard of this series of books until a few months ago, when Rhys was given a copy of The dinosaur that pooped a planet for his birthday and he really enjoyed it.  Well, he is a 5 year old boy after all, anything to do with poo is funny!

So he was very happy to see two new ‘the dinosaur that pooped’ books arrive in the post the other day.

The dinosaur that pooped Daddy is an eye-catching little board book, much shorter than the dinosaur that pooped a planet, and was written with younger children in mind.  Even so, Rhys really enjoyed it and I loved the fact that it had an educational element to it for Nerys.

The book counts down items around the house from 10 to 1, as Danny and Dino search for Daddy which is great for Nerys who is learning to count at the moment (we’re still at the 1, 2, 5, 6, 2, 10! stage at the moment), but the fun rhymes and the poo-related ending kept it entertaining for Rhys too.

The Dinosaur that pooped a rainbow, as you might have guessed, is all about the different colours of the rainbow, with the addition, of course, of the colour brown.  It’s silly, it really is, but that’s a big part of it’s appeal.  It’s just a fun way to help young children learn colours.  And the simple, rhyming text makes it nice to read, as it has a good rhythm to it.  I don’t know about you, but when I’m reading books out loud to my children it’s much nicer when the text has a good rhythm to it!

The dinosaur that pooped daddy

To celebrate the release of the book, The dinosaur that pooped Daddy, there are some really fun printable activites available to download.  We printed out two copies of the Father’s day card so that Rhys and Nerys could each do one, and then they got stuck in to the other activities and had great fun with it.

The sheets are lovely and colourful, and there was a fab mix of things for my 2 year old and my 5 year old to do, so no one got left out which I thought was great!

dinosaur activities sheets

I will say this, if you don’t really find poo funny and are trying to steer your kids away from toilet humour, then these books probably aren’t for you.

But, if you have a young child who finds all that stuff hilarious then these books will be a big hit.  They’re a bright, colourful, fun way to introduce kids to numbers and colours, and to make reading books fun if you’ve got a bit of a reluctant reader on our hands.

If you want a fun Father’s day activity for your children then you can click on these links for the Father’s day card and activity sheets and print them at home.

 

Disclosure – I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review.  All words and opinions are my own.