Monday, 24 March 2014

Nonabox Delivery and Memory boxes

So I was VERY excited when this finally arrived through the door this week.

Nonabox are a subscription service that provides a box of goodies for pregnant and parents of children up to the age of two years old. Once your signed up, you will receive a box each month full of surprises! The contents of the box always are worth more than the subscription fee and you fill in some details about your child/bump's age and gender first so that it is tailored to you.

I first heard about Nonabox via a sponsored Facebook post advertising a new upcoming subscription box service for mummies. I loved the idea of this, so I went ahead and liked their Facebook page. When they launched, I was so tempted to sign up via their various offers. I would look at the contents of the boxes each month and think, I wish I'd signed up! I was just worried about spending more money (and still fuelling my baby clothes buying addiction) and so I let months go past but still followed their page. Then in February I received a 20% off e-mail and thought, i'm going to go for it! So I signed up for 3 months at a discounted price and waited patiently for my first box! Prices are here

Turns out i'd missed the cut off point for that month, as they ship towards the end of the month, I pretty much waited a whole month for it to arrive!

I love the idea of surprise boxes full stop. This one, however, was also so beautifully presented and wrapped and designed. Simplicity at it's best! 

I was so excited, I opened it up before taking the photos for the blog! I opened it with LJ on my lap and we were both so excited to get stuck in!

These are our goodies! 

* You book by Emma Dodd 
* Jack N' Jill natural toothpaste 
* Pasito a pasito spoon
* Pasito a pasito dummy clip
* Faye and Lou muslin
* Vikingtoys truck
* MAM first toothbrush
* Love token postcards

LJ's favourites were the truck (he's recently really into his cars and trucks!) and the book, which he actually let me sit and read to him and we didn't have to skip any pages! 

I think my favourite is the book and the muslin, as the muslins are on my list of 'things to get if I have another baby' as they do really big ones that you can swaddle with! I just love the bright colours too! 

The dummy clip is really lovely but sadly it doesn't work with our MAM soothers we use. Maybe in the future if he has a different one, then we can use that.

This page is my favourite, your fidgets and your wriggles... oh yes, we've been experiencing those this week for sure! Read yesterday's post about what LJ's been up too! 

So I highly recommend Nonabox! It's so fun and exciting to see what you will get each month! It's also a great gift for a baby shower to that mummy who already has everything! My pregnant friends reading this... I may have just given the game away... sorry! 

Also don't freak out when you see Amazon Spain on your credit card statement and go into 'I'VE BEEN HACKED' mode and frantically change all your passwords and struggle to log into online banking only to realise that the amount is the same amount as you just paid for a Nonabox subscription. I believe they are originally a Spanish company! Panic over. 

My next exciting thing for the week was finally getting round to finding a memory box for LJ's keep sake items. I wrote about where I found the box a couple of weeks back, but I had yet to do the finishing touches. So we took a trip to the Range which is like heaven for a creative wannabe. They have EVERYTHING you could dream up. I went into a little daydream around the craft section and was only vaguely aware that my baby was charging up and down the aisles with his daddy shouting Rararara at the top of his lungs. 

I found my luggage tags that i'd had in mind for this project and I got myself a new black pen (i'm a sucker for a good pen, don't let me borrow one to write with, if it writes good, it may go missing). I also picked up some things to personalise any orders I print out for Logi Bear Prints when I send them. 

I knew I would always keep a box of his things, I was gifted a 'Born in 2013' box when he was born and it's adorable and keeps our hospital bands in currently, but it was too small to keep everything. I had been putting aside things like his first sleep suit and hats, his shoes and when I had a good clear out, I couldn't bring myself to throw away his first dummies either (to remind myself what a LIFESAVER they were). 

So once i'd laid eyes on this beautiful Peter Rabbit box, I knew I needed something extra to put with the things in the box. So I decided on some tags that would have the item on the front and a little story on the back. Surprisingly I don't think I got this idea from Pinterest, although I could be wrong, it's hard to remember what I haven't seen on that site. I properly saw something similar with these tags and thought I can do that with the baby items.

So I got to work on labelling up some of the items. A few aren't labeled because it's obvious what they are and I still have a few things to locate and store in there. For now, here are some of my favourites and a few photos of where they originated from!

His first sleep suit. The one daddy dressed him in and took about half an hour to finish.

This sleep suit was part of a pack of 3 that we got from NEXT after we had our 12 week scan. We wanted to be the first to get something like some sleep suits for our baby, so we headed into town to locate the perfect FIRST sleep suits. 

It was HARD work.

Pretty much everything was boy or girl, blue or pink or just plain white. 

We finally located some in NEXT and they fit the search for neutral and featuring animals. I also loved that this one said 'hello' on it. A fitting first sleep suit for someone with plenty of visitors. 

Daddy's finished attempt at dressing baby! It's crazy to think it's newborn size and he still didn't fit it. 

Next up were his first hats.

His 'gnome' hats as his daddy calls them. He was very sad when they no longer fit! I actually nearly didn't pack these as I kept picking them up and stretching them out and thinking these are way too SMALL. I took a 0-3m hat with me too and it was actually the first one Ali tried on LJ after being born, the same one he picked him up and said to our blue vest, white huge hat baby - 'LOOK YOU HAD A SMURF' ... he's just lucky I was still in Gas and Air dream world, or I might have had a come back. We quickly changed him into one of these hats as the other one kept covering his face. Plus these are way cuter.


This is when I go into broody craziness and took ages to load my photos because I kept looking through them all and showing Ali, look how tiny he was. look how cute he was. I want another baby... 

Of course nothing beats knitted items, especially if your baby's great grandma knitted them. This cardi did him well up until 6 months! He only actually got to wear it once before the heatwave of 2013 last year, then he wore it when he was much older.

Just jamming, in his gnome hat too. I think those sleeves were rolled down about 5 times.

mini-me anyone?

LJ used to do lots of funky hand expressions when he was in that curled up newborn stage. Like I needed excuses to take more photos... anyway, this was day 4, the dummy crack day.

You know when you were pre-baby stage and you'd see a baby with a dummy in and you'd think 'my baby isn't going to have a dummy'. Yep, I was one of those people. 

How stupid of me.

So it's day 4, well night 4, we are at home and LJ decides now is the time to really show us what his lungs are capable of. The terrace walls of our house are vibrating with the rebound of newborn cries, the white noise app has been playing for 4 hours now, it's 3am, it's dark, Ali has sung the same song 20 times, we're tired, my boobs are sore, I say - 'I know where a dummy is.' 

The rest folks, is history. I bloody love dummies.

So i'm thankful for this freebie first dummy that came with a bottle pack we got. It's a keeper for the box, to remember to never judge other parents decisions again! 

A few of my favourite things.

The tigger shoes we purchased before we even knew we were having a boy. I'm a BIG tigger fan. I have loads of the stuffed toys from all over the place and I was pretty set on buying tigger clothing, even though they are always aimed at the boys. I was thankful for these little shoes when I had a toe wriggler that wouldn't keep socks on. 

The ho ho ho sleepsuit was LJ's Christmas eve jammies. When I heard about the idea of a Christmas Eve box I jumped on the bandwagon! What a lovely tradition to have with your children, a box that contains new christmas PJ's, a Christmas movie and other Christmas related items for your child! I've decided i'm going to have to keep every years Christmas PJ's for keepsakes. 

The most adorable John Lewis shirt was gifted from my friends Hannah and Dan before LJ was born and if you ever wondered if a baby could get cuter, put them in a shirt vest and you will die of love.

My heart melts even now. This is LJ at my birthday lunch, stealing the show in Pizza Express for looking so darn cute. I tried to find it in a bigger size but didn't have much luck, the closest I could find for cuteness was his valentines tux.

We couldn't remember 2013 without remember the year of the royal baby (and everything that went with it). I jumped on this too, mainly because our American family were coming over to visit and so everyone was grabbing all things British anyway. LJ's surname is Kings and so I was pretty much stocked up on all King related t-shirts and clothing, these were just essential items (of course). 

You want to know the good thing about having children (as well as all the really important good bits) you get to celebrate ALL the holidays and it's even more fun! I love that the supermarkets are on board with this and provide cute 'First' t-shirts for every occasion. 

Lastly, for now, I had his birth and Christmas cards. 

Now I did see this idea on Pinterest! You hole punch all the cards and thread through some ribbon (I have treasury tags for now, you work with what you've got!) and it keeps them all together and you can browse through them easy at any time!

So I kept his special first Christmas cards from family members and my lovely personalised one from Daddy and LJ. 

I'm glad i've got somewhere to put things in when I find them! (It will soon be time for the big clothes shift around to store 6-9m clothing and get out the 9-12m clothing in the drawers). 

So i'm getting there with my projects! If only I had more time in the day... 

The quarterly review of my new years resolutions is coming up later in the week! I don't even remember what I wrote... could be interesting.

I'll leave you with the next 9 of my #100happydays which i've managed to get to Day 27 and i'm still going! 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

9 months in, 9 months out.

I still find it crazy that not only do I have a baby, but he's closer to a year than newborn and pregnancy seemed like forever but day to day with baby goes whizzing by?!

Happy 9 months LJ. 

When I was pregnant, or rather before I was pregnant, I had lots of thoughts in my head about how I would document it and all different creative ways of doing videos or photos. 

Then in reality, when I was pregnant, they all seemed a bit of hard work.

I did want to do a stop animation video of my pregnancy, this would have meant at least 30 photos each week of slight movements so that we could link it all together. So at 10 weeks pregnant, I thought yes, lets start. 

Do you think we had a plain white wall space in our house? ... no.

Problem one. So we settled on in front of the fire place in our bedroom. Did we have good light? ... no. One window in the room and I was starting this in November. Did my compact flash camera take good photos? ... no. They were over explodes or had shadow issues. Did I get stressed about it all? ... yes.

So we settled on one photo, taken with my iPhone and I settled for using the same filter app on my phone to lighten it and just thought - that will do.

So I scrapped the video idea after the stress of getting one photo. We would take two photos, one of my belly and one of my bump and I would always wear the same dress.

Looking back, I wish I'd worn a more figure hugging top as it would have showed the bump better towards the end, live and learn I guess.

For those who haven't seen it, here are all the photos together in a flipagram video.

As LJ was overdue, we also decided to take a photo of him when he was a week old. Just recently a friend shared a photo with me of a mum showing two photos side by side of 9 months in, 9 months out and holding her baby up to her tummy. As i'd already taken one of LJ when he'd just been out, I thought i'd do the same photo for 9 months old! He was a LOT heavier this time round and awkward to hold like that! We also don't live in the same house, so slightly different location but all the same, it was nice to see a comparison. 

I survived another month photo shoot, just. A sickness bug struck down our household last week (hense the very overdue blog post, so much so that it will have to be broken in to two parts), so I was just getting over that and thought do I really have the patience for this? However I decided to bring the iPad in with me and put on some Yo Gabba! on Netflix and it worked a treat (for 5 minutes) for me to get some photos without LJ trying to tip himself off the chair.

Oh and I remembered the monkey this time.

I'm very much about keeping it real and I often think when people post photos of their children, it looks like everything is always dandy and their baby is always co-operating with being happy at the camera. I know I write about these photo shoots taking their time and patience, but I thought a video would be the best way to show it, yep the older they get, the harder it gets. They MOVE.

Of course I think it's funny (after i've got my required photos) and I just love how he's exploring more and more and learning so fast. This past week i've seen him lay down with his bum in the air and look under something because he saw something roll there. This stuff amazes me. They are only 9 months old and they have learnt so much about this world and how things work. 

I can't wait to see this project at the end of the year. As I had a couple of different cameras through the last 9 months, they are all in different locations and i've yet to see them all together. I'm going to save that until his first birthday. This is one month and nine months though. Amazing! Babies GROW.

Guilty face?

Hehe. I've also noticed how much easier he moves about and goes from sitting to crawling to pulling up to sitting back down and moving in all directions. I think maybe this is my new favourite baby age (excluding the whole more teeth thing). 

He always looks at me after he's done something with such ease, as if like, mummy, did you see what I did? I know your impressed! 

I am always impressed. 

So this popped up on my phone last Sunday. My baby is a great app from Babycentre that allows you to keep up to date with what you should expect at what age. Their pregnancy app is amazing too, I highly recommend it, especially for partners who may be clueless about pregnancy! So yes, separation anxiety is at it's peak. It's been 4 weeks now since i've been back at work and things haven't got much better on the nursery front. Still on sleep strike and still so clingy and overtired the next day that we don't get much done apart from cuddles and trying to sleep. I don't know whose separation anxiety is worse, his or mine! I'm suffering big time from mummy guilt. I just hope that he will get used to it, as everyone keeps telling me. 

#sundaymorningmadness week 39 and 9 months by his birthday photo was for last Sunday. We snuck downstairs to play so that daddy could have a lie in, because i'm nice like that. One day i'll get a lie in without having to get up and feed first. I expect we may be ending our breastfeeding journey soon due to biting. I fear the getting him to nap in the day when he's clingy without BFing. I also may miss my naps with him after he falls asleep feeding. Mostly i'm glad that we have reached as far as we have, i'm also glad that its what properly has prevented him getting sick when we all did last week. Go mummy's antibodies!

Now if only I could get me some Anti-bodies without getting sick first...

This was week 40 #sundaymorningmadness outtake photo. Basically i'd already woken up and been playing with him and taken one on and uploaded it to instagram. Eventually LJ woke his daddy up...

...who then started giving aeroplane rides for some sunday morning madness, only for me to say, totally already done it. 

We have been loving the warmer weather the last week, which was disappointing today when we realised there was a very cold wind outside and we should have worn more layers. This photo was from last week though, LJ getting to play outside in the park with toys! He spent a lot of time in this park as a newborn, mainly lying down half naked under a shade as i'd meet up with friends for a catch up and enjoying the sun. (I got my first ever England sun tan last Summer...) So it was great to see him out playing again and enjoying the grass and the freedom. I did realise how hard it is to get a older baby to keep a sunhat on, no matter how many times we put it back on, he pulled it straight off. Luckily, the sun isn't too strong at this time of the year, in the Summer he will be under shade in the sunshine, so hopefully not too much of a worry! (Anyone who knows some good hat tricks, through them my way!)

I jumped at the chance to get in on a photo with my boy! He's going to look back and think he just hung out with his daddy all the time.

We are all still suffering from bad backs from constant walking around. Fingers crossed it's not long before he's walking it alone! We have had a few solo walks with the walker, which he does lovely, then gets scared of it and won't repeat it until he forgets a few days later.

I've also experienced the first of tantrums when he doesn't get his way! Lots of throwing himself back and rolling away from bum changes. It's been a two man job to do bum changes over the weekend! I'm dreading when I have to go it alone in the week!

So teeth are still hurting this poor wee man. His other bottom middle tooth finally made an appearance last Tuesday and has grown a lot faster than the other one he got a month ago. The top tooth must be close to cutting as I can feel the outline of them in his gum. I tried to soothe his discomfort by making him some fruit lollies! I think he enjoyed them?! 

It must be so strange to feel something that cold when your used to warm food! 

I have another blog post in the process of being written, it features a very exciting product that i've been waiting to arrive for a month now. It also shows my baby keep sake box that I talked about in the last post and the little extras i've done to make it special. Apologies that this post is very 'this is what my baby has done' but they do so much at this age! I'm also planning a quarter review of the new years resolutions that I made at the start of this blog (and my reason for doing the blog in the first place!).  

Oh, the weekly LEGO update.

I guessed mermaid, but realised it could have been any of the lady legos with a skirt. Ali didn't care for her but I said we need lady legos! 

Still no doubles, but the game is getting harder! 

So I hope you all had a good weekend, we managed to tick off some family time again this weekend (my one aim of a weekend) with a baby disco and teddy bear picnic at our local dance centre. LJ loved the disco! He was charging around the dance floor (with mummy or daddy arched over and back aching of course) and giving the lady babies some flirty eyes (and stealing their toys, oops).

Monday tomorrow! Work time (and nursery, oh no.) I got to enjoy seeing my boy at lunchtime last week when my mum brought him in to town! That does make my day better!

of course it means I want to sneak him back to work with me! 

Have a good week everyone! 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

My Thursday is my Friday.

Thursday is my Friday!
Welcome to the weekend!
Hello three days with my baby!

The end of the 3rd week of work and I was really doubting working 3 days a week, earlier this week. Not because of the work itself, but because my baby refuses to sleep longer than 45 mins at nursery on a Monday.

This means that he is so overtired and terrified mummy is going to leave him, that he spends all Tuesday trying to sleep but crying about being tired and wanting his mummy to hold him, but being so tired he doesn't know what to do with himself. This makes me feel horrible and guilty and upset that one of our days together is always so stressful because of lack of sleep the day before. You'd think if someone didn't sleep all day when normally they have 3 hours, that they would sleep all night and lie in? Right? No. Not babies! If they don't get enough sleep in the day, then they don't settle well at night and are likely to wake up disorientated and still tired throughout the night. 

So my working week 3 was actually worse than my working week 1. 

My Mummy heart was breaking and I was trying to think what I can do to solve it. I'm still clueless, I can only hope that next monday, he gets more sleep. 

but lets try and not think of Monday, and lets have fun this weekend first.

#sundaymorningmadness  38 weeks old. 

I can't get over how long he looks! That's a 9-12m sleep suit. I was naughty and bought him some lovely NEXT sleep suits this week as he only had one in this size. I'll take a photo of them soon! He also got some new jeans too, I really wanted some lined ones and the next size up, so I treated him again. (So much for me being 'good' this month... I did avoid the GAP 50% off baby sale event though...) 

On Monday morning I experienced the first time i've had to use my phone alarm in 9 months. It would be even more amazing if I hadn't resettled him at 5am, as he slept until 6:30am and it was a work day and normally we are up and had milk by 6am. I was wondering around half ready with my pj top on waiting to feed LJ and my tights and skirt on ready for work. 

I'm amazed that I now get up everyday at 6am. This is from the girl who used to consider 7:30am early. I am not a morning person at all. I miss when LJ would feed and fall back to sleep and we'd snuggle in bed until 7:30 or 8. Now he's up and chattering and wanting to play! It helps a lot that we are getting brighter mornings and I don't feel like i'm up partying in the middle of the night.

I've decided I really like this age. He's crawling (the zombie crawl, still) and he's climbing and he's pulling himself up. He follows me about and comes crawling up to me in excitement when I come home from work. He's exploring and learning and is interested in everything! It's hard work but I get so much joy from just watching him. 

So I loved when I came back in his room to be greeted with him standing up and smiling and dancing in his cot! He was smiling because I was brushing my teeth and he finds that hilarious. 

Our fun was soon stopped by the over tiredness. I've decided on Tuesday's i'm just going to have to accept that I won't get anything else done and make it as easy as I can for my baby to sleep. Even if that means a daytime feed and cuddles with mummy in bed. Needs must! 

It means I get to lay still and stare at this beautiful boy of mine while my heart feels with sadness that I have to leave him at all, but I'm so lucky to have these moments. 

Thank goodness I get to be greeted with this sort of smile when I come home from work on a Wednesday and he's been with my mum. It makes me feel loads better and he was giggling and laughing and hugging in close to me. I just have to remember that I go to work to earn money to give us a better future, it'll all be worth it. 

So i've been looking for a while for a nice box that is big enough to keep all LJ's keep sakes in. I was gifted a lovely born in 2013 box that has our hospital tags in, but I wanted something that could also keep his cards and first babygros, hats, shoes etc in. 

I was in town at the weekend and I had to go to the Works bookshop, which I love because they have amazing stuff in there and it's so affordable! I got LJ some books before he was born and they are usually 4 for £5. So I was in there looking for some books for a gift for another new baby and I came across these lovely pop up hard storage boxes. There was about 15 different designs and I was trying to think if I wanted the one with moustaches on (much like his shoes) or if I wanted a baby blue colour as it would be his baby box, when I saw a lovely green woodland design (on the bottom of a stack of 20 boxes, oops) and so after asking if I could have it, I was even more overjoyed to discover it was a lovely Peter Rabbit box! I knew I had to have it then. They were £7 each or 2 for £10, so of course I needed to find another. I settled with the Tiger who came to tea box and I've kept it downstairs to store LJ's puzzles and hard books in and other little pieces, he loves to take things out of boxes himself, so I thought it would be perfect.

I'll give you a sneak peak as to the contents soon. I've got an idea to add a touch of special to some of the items inside, but I haven't made it yet (It's on that ever long list of things to do). 

Talking of things to do, i'm still working on my glass jars, but some are finished! 

I love having all my pens and pencils on display! It makes me feel more creative, even if I don't have the time for it most of the time. 

These are my scrapbooks with my photos in. I still have the two boxes of photos ready to sort, i'll get there eventually. 

I have some future plans for more designs for Logi Bear Prints, I can't wait to start designing them but I'm not sure when it will be. I'm really tired in the evenings at the moment, after i've finished preparing for the next day and eaten (luckily Ali cooks!) then i'm not much good for anything else. (Why am I still up writing blog posts?!)

We shopped at Asda this week, like old times, and I forgot how much I missed it! (Yes, totally realise that's sad.) however the only bad thing is they had sold out of LEGO mini figures! So Ali did a Sainsburys trip in the week and came back with this guy. It was one he had wanted, so he was happy. I LOVE that some of you lovely people who read this are tagging me in lego swaps and informing me of sales or giveaways! Keep it coming! We don't have any swaps at the moment, but i'm sure in time we will! 

Who else is excited for EASTER? 
Normally, easter passes me by without a thought (and maybe too much chocolate) but this year i'm really excited about making it fun and starting traditions with LJ. My parents never got us a chocolate egg for easter, they always got us a little gift. I really want to do this with LJ, so when I was in the Works (again) I spotted two musical books, one about a chick and one about a bunny. They were £2.99 each and I love that it's just one big button you can hit and it makes a chick or bunny hop noise, I know he will LOVE them. Ever since i've been checking out the easter themed gifts, I dropped by Paperchase and saw they had the jellycat bunnies (like the two LJ already has, they are so soft and we are currently in the process of trying to encourage him to use one as a comfort instead of mummy) not just any ones but PINK ones! 

I read an article the other day about gender stereotyping and how boys aren't exposed to pink toys and such, and I thought this is totally true. When we go round my friends house, he's straight for the pink toys because HE NEVER SEES THIS COLOUR. It got me thinking I should get something that is pink, so that his curiosity is solved. I'm not sure what your opinions are on pink toys for boys, but I figure i'd let my little girl play with dinosaurs and cars, so why not let my boy play with pink toys and dolls? 

So I may get him the pink bunny.

I hope you all have a great weekend! I may get some design stuff done as LJ and Ali are off to visit a friend on saturday, so i'll be home alone. 

I'll leave you with this gem that my cousin found in the photos at her home. It's me, a lot like LJ? Yes? No?