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Today is Kai’s eighth birthday, its another one of those days that I sit down and think about a lot of things that have gone on in these past years of life, How quickly time has gone and how unfair it wont slow down for a little bit just so I can enjoy the little things in life.

I remember the day we brought Kai home from the hospital, it was a chilly March day and it was a mixture of weather too, I remember it being misty and it rained but the one thing that I remember the most is the rainbow that greeted us as we took Kai out into the car to begin our journey home and into the scary world of parenthood, it turns out that it was a lot harder than I expected, you are told just how hard its going to be and scoff at it thinking that its easier than what others say.

BUT despite the tough times, he grew into such a little character, always smiling and giggling, he became such a little independent soul and has he got older developed into this amazing boy who is smart, annoyingly funny and so loving to his two little sisters.

How is this tiny little man eight all of a sudden, these years are going so fast!

Today we are off out as a family, the plan was to head to a lazer tag type place but we asked Kai what he wanted to do and he said swimming, they have just started to learn to swim in school and I think he caught the bug, so we are going there and then have a nice meal somewhere in the town, which is also his choice (it will be McDonald’s you watch). His gifts from us this year are Mr S’s old iPad which I wasn’t to keen on letting him have because I worry he will become to attached to it and we will never see him and his own collection of the Harry Potter books which are the new illustrated editions and I am mildly envious of him.

Happy Birthday little man! may all your dreams and wishes come true.

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Dummies are little life savers, When I had my son back in 2010 I was adamant that I wouldn’t allow one to pass my sons lips, I always also sure as hell going to breastfeed but we all know how that turned out.. but around week two Mr S and I both realized a dummy was needed, not all children have one but Kai liked sucking things and around that time I had stopped attempting to fail at breastfeeding (he didn’t really get much from me anyway and used me more for comfort).. but the second that little boy got hold of a dummy, or a gee (Pronounced G-ii) he was happy and content.

But when the time comes, when they get a little older and they become to old for one how do you help them get used to the idea of not having one, Kai and Amelia both lost theirs when they were 3 almost 4 and I am not ashamed at how late we left it, Kai we simply told him that the rash he developed on his upper lip was caused by his dummy and with Amelia she put hers into the bin herself and while she did cry for it during the first bedtime without it, it wasn’t long before they no longer asked.

However Robin is a different matter, she is almost 2 and while she sort of understands what we are saying, she fully doesn’t get that she doesn’t need it when shes had it for most of her life so far, She had started to bite her dummies, we use and adore the mam night time ones, they glow in the dark and I think are the best invention that has been made by any baby product company, but the teats themselves seemed to be a lot weaker than any others so while she was biting away at this dummy, it was slowly wearing down and began to break apart.. and me being me, the paranoid mother who reads to much on the internet and has read stories of dummies breaking and getting stuck in babies throats, decided that this was it, no more dummies.. which is all well and good but she is still very little and doesn’t fully get that she can sleep perfectly fine without them.

So we switched to the Avent brand of dummies (we use their bottles anyway) and have found they are a lot tougher against the jaws of Robin but I still want to say goodbye to the dummy, perhaps maybe not at night time as she simply doesn’t sleep without it at this point in her life and have decided to remove her dummy during the day time and sort of ease her into not having it.

But all of this got me wondering how others help their children transition from using a dummy to not having one at all and I asked a collection of mums who could share their top tips of waving goodbye to the D word.

  1. Bribe– chocolate or a cute new teddy bear, Kelly and Sarah both bribed the dummy of their children and it seemed to have worked for them
  2. “Bribery!! Let them swap their dummies for a present. We told our daughter that the dummy fairy needed more dummies for the babies and she’d bring a present to say thank you. Then when they want the dummies back you can say they’d have to return their present!” – Sarah

  3. “We unashamedly used bribery in the form of chocolate. We’d encourage her to put the dummy in the dummy pot for 5 minutes, with a chocolate button as a reward after. Then gradually increase the time and frequency ” – Kelly

  4. Dummies are for Babies – This one actually worked on Amelia, it was got her to pop it into the bin and I think it worked well for us, allowing them to make the choice while giving them a much needed nudge, Erin, Kate, Irina and Charlotte all did this with a cute little spin on baby birds and hedgehogs to convince them.
  5. “We made up a story of mummy hedgehog having babies that cried and needed dummies to sleep. So our daughter very generously decided to donate hers to them. She got a little cuddly toy in return. Wrote a post about it too!” – Irina

  6. “My three year old really didn’t want to give hers up so we went to the store, bought a cuddly toy of her choice, and immediately after drove to a friends hose to ‘give’ her dummys to a friend’s baby. She became really attached to the toy & seems to like the idea that ‘baby Maddie’ had her dummies now.” – Erin

  7. “We did it by saying the birds needed it for there babies. She found a dummy this weekend 8 months later and demanded we put it outside for the birds to take” – Charlotte

  8. “I subtly started dropping hints about dummies being for babies for a good few weeks in the run up to asking my toddler to give hers up – I framed it as a sign that she was a big girl – and that only she will know when she’s ready to be a big girl. I didn’t pressure her or try to persuade her. Then one day she handed her dummy over to me and told me she didn’t need it anymore as she wasn’t a baby now she was a big girl. Result!” – Kate

  9. The Dummy Fairy (or Santa)– This one I have seen mentioned all the time whenever I bring up the dummy, Louise, Vicki and Georgina all recommend this option.
  10. “My daughter gave up her dummies in the run-up to Christmas one year. We hung them on the tree when we put it up and I told her that they were going to the baby reindeer so the elves could look after them while the mummy reindeer were busy helping fly Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. They left a little present the next day to say thank you” – Louise

  11. “My daughter had just turned 3. We had laid ground work for a few weeks how only babies had dummies. When she was ready to swap them for something special, we put them all in a pot and left them out to be collected by the dummy fairy. Somehow it turned into dumbo collecting them for other little babies. Which he did and left her behind a thank you letter and a ticket to go get a build a bear. It worked a treat” – Vicki

  12. “What worked a treat for us was the dummy fairy, We talked about it a lot before announcing her arrival. Then that evening a little while before bed, we got a special bag and he rounded up all his dummies (inc ones from the car). He hung the bag on his door handle, and in the night the fairy cane to take the dummies to babies that need them, and left him with a thank you present (a Disney teddy and a toy) and a thank you card. He’s literally never asked for a dummy since, and that was about 8 months ago” -Georgina

  13. Going Cold Turkey – Saying goodbye completely, which I personally have found the hardest route because behind this apparent heartless shield I put on, I am a sucker to a crying baby asking for their comfort in the early hours of the morning and through the haze of sleep (Okay I just like my sleep!! sorry) Both Frances and Lucinda bravely tackled cold turkey head on.
  14. “I packed mine off to Nanny and Granddad’s and put the dummies in the front pocket of the bag… They didn’t find them. Job done. The older one got croup and couldn’t breathe so we thought we’d kick her while she was down and take them away and that worked too. So essentially, cold turkey works great. Both were about 22 months I think” – Frances

  15. “Just went completely cold turkey before his second birthday. Got rid of any so I wouldn’t be tempted to give him any if he had major meltdowns! Just stopped one day and he wasn’t too bothered” – Lucinda

As for us, we are still undecided, I feel shes to little to understand dummy fairies and I worry going cold turkey will interrupt everyone’s sleep in the house but like everything with babies no one thing will work for another but I am hoping my little journey into de-geeing Robin might be a long and tired one.

Until next time

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I am going to hold my hands up and say it, I am a terrible blogger, When i first started back in 2016 I wanted to blog every day, documenting my daily life and shopping hauls that I did… then along came writers block and I stopped finding motivation to blog and I felt that I didn’t have enough to talk about..

Then roughly around July time I got the bug, I wanted to write more and more, I made myself have weeks scheduled in advance and I felt proud of myself but then sometime around November shortly after I completed Blogtober I crashed, I stopped finding inspiration and I felt like the bottom fell out of my life.. and while I tried as much as I could to keep going I found myself more and more interested in taking those important days off more and not really caring as much and today I am behind on a lot of things, Photograph Sunday took a two week break and I am extremely behind on review posts and even my Glossybox Roundup, its stressing me out and I hate myself for it but after taking some time out and to sit on it I thought about that the best thing to do would be to talk about it.

I honestly don’t know where I want my blog to go, I don’t know what my ‘niche’ is because I guess I do not have one, I write about things that I like and it sometimes bothers me that we need to have a single thing to write about over and over again.. at what point did blogging become a job that required one subject.

So I guess this is my ‘I am not going to be that kind of blogger’ blog post, as much as I would love this to be a paying thing I have to think about what might happen to the tax credits me and my husband rely on to get the children clothes or stuff for school if I decide to earn a sum of money.. I guess the hope is that.. while some months are going to be good others wont and I dont want to rely on something that could one day not be there for a month..

I dont have a niche as a blogger and I am proud of that.

You don’t need to have one set rule as a blogger, its your little space in the internet and while I feel like I cant even get over a writers block on some days, I hope to own those days when I can.

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Its a dangerous thing, waking up around midnight to go make a bottle for a baby who cannot feed themselves they all care about the bottle.. or the boob and all you want to do is go back to sleep but the one thing I end up doing is getting my phone out and opening up ebay…

Mine was always Next, Shortly after Robin was born, expecting a bigger baby I had no newborn clothes.. or that was my excuse anyway, she was born tiny and needed a LOT of newborn clothes rather than what I got which was 0-3 month sizes, so the week after we got home from the hospital, around 1 am during a nighttime bottle I sat on Next and used up all my old gift cards from Christmas getting her a lovely little selection of clothes..

But the midnight shopping didn’t stop at clothes, I got some fake flowers, countless blankets, Pink Lining bags, mug… you name it, I was on ebay at silly o’clock while feeding a newborn and ended up buying things in the haze of those first few mad weeks of new baby

And it got me wondering, is this a thing? or am I the only one who would sit up with a phone next to a feeding baby (Dont judge!) and it turns out im not..

Siobhan from The Baby Boat Diaries saysMy most recent buys have been a memory stick (because my phone is full of photos and the memory keeps getting full meaning my apps can’t update) and The Boss Baby on DVD for my 2 year old as it is her new favourite film and makes a welcome change to Despicable Me 1,2 &3 

Zoe from Lycra Widow saysI have a collection of about 20 dresses. All Reiss, Hobbs, LK Bennet, etc. Pretty much all of them were purchased on eBay when half asleep with a maximum bid limit. I would only remember them when my phone would ping to say I’d won an item! I do love and wear them all though! 

Danielle from Tiny Tripping says –  Omg. So much nonsense. I’ve basically spent a lot of money on questionable ASOS clothing in the wee hours. My face is my “Saved by the Bell” swimming costume which looks like the 80s was sick on it. I’m feeding now and tabbing between Facebook and ASOS as I type.

Lianne from Ankle Biters Adventures says – I love mugs and during the night feeds I would go on ebay and search for vintage ones I now have 3 crates of mugs in the loft ! Yes I didn’t sleep for 2 years.

Emma from Emma Reed says –  I did this week but it was actually quite sensible. I bought the pram clips because I keep seeing everyone with them and thought they would be handy but I did have to add a cup holder because these sleepless nights are killing me and I need tea with me all the time!! 

Veronica from My Parenting Journey says – I did! I used to day dream about achieving my before-having-a-baby-figure and got obsessed with workout stuff. So far, I haven’t used any of them.

Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me says – Thinking way back to the baby feeding days and I made some crazy purchases in the late night feeds. One of the most bizarre ones was a “must have” net to cover our daughter Moses basket with, something that I never actually used. A dream book (like I was going to get sleep), Charlotte Crosby DVD – did it once and it nearly killed me!

So as you can see, its not just me who sits and buys when they probably shouldn’t, but lets face it, having a package turn up at the door a few days later is always a joy when you are sleep deprived and in need of some self care.

Until next time

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There is something wonderful about personalized items, we are always so proud of our name that adding them to things is always a must, more so with children and when Giftpup asked me if I wanted to review one of their products I asked Amelia what she wanted..

Her response was ‘Pencils with my name on them’  so we went for the 20 Personalized Gold Embossed Pencils.

What I think I love about them the most is they are hand engraved, not made by a machine so of course they do take a little while to get made and shipped out within 5 to 6 working days, but that’s to be expected considering that they are made to order and are fantastic quality.

They come pre sharpened so there’s no need to worry about delaying any drawing that’s needed to done which because it was just the half term there was a lot of being done.

Giftpup does have a wonderful collection of beautiful personalized items ranging from adorable bears to stunning  jewelry which is fantastic for mothers day or perhaps for some personalized bridesmaid gifts and a wide range of general gifts for any occasion, the website includes a very handy gift searcher that you can input exactly who you are buying for and saves lots of time from endlessly searching the website and on the main page includes products that are included in the latest occasion that’s coming up.

Would I recommend them? – Yes! Personalized gifts are loved by everyone and these are fantastic, Amelia really loved the pencils and I am glad it made her day knowing she had her own set that her brother Kai wasn’t aloud to use.

Price – Price for everything on the website is fantastic, the pencils themselves cost £5.99 and are actually cheaper than the ones you can find in the stores which is a plus for us as we tend to go on ‘brand’ over anything and I love these.

Anything Else – Nothing else, the website is easy to use and ordering is pretty straight forward, I am excited to use Giftpup again for future events and birthdays and I honestly wish I had found them sooner.

Have you ever used giftpup before?

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