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The pregnancy diaries via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Baby is the size of a spaghetti squash this week. I recently learnt in the news that there was a baby born at 22 weeks who is now doing incredibly well – the youngest surviving prem!

What’s happening to baby this week?

Can you believe baby is (on average) around 1lb in weight and the size of a spaghetti squash! Baby is even starting to look like a miniature newborn with lips, eyelids, and eyebrows becoming more distinct. Babies eyes have formed, but the irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment.

The reality: How have I been feeling this week?

This week has been a fall out from the last few weeks spent on holiday, which were a mixture of relaxing and hectic. A part of me feels super tired after being after and in the warm, not having to put up with the daily humdrum, and another part of me feels better rested and less stressed.

I have to report that the dreaded morning sickness has reared it’s ugly head (in fact it started at 20 weeks) and I have had a few mornings where I have had violent sickness and a one rather unpleasant evening on holiday too. Surprisingly I never had this with either pregnancy before after around 14-16 weeks. Fortuitously once I have been ill it seems to pass, and is confined to the mornings and that one exclusive evening! One thing that I am really suffering with, and it springs up at any time of day, sometimes all day, is indigestion. It’s appalling and will burn right from the stomach up the throat… this baby best arrive with hair long enough to plait!

Cravings.

I think thanks to the stomach acid all cravings seem to have disappeared, really I still love my chilli and noodles but I can’t stomach the thought of eating much when I have such discomfort.

The bad, adorable and downright funny.

Funny:

My ever lovely husband watching me trying to pull my maternity jeans up and playing Jason Derulo ‘Wiggle wiggle’ on his phone. The lyrics ‘How’d you fit all that in them jeans’ did not amuse me, but seemed to amuse him!

Adorable:

Reuben is really talking to everyone about baby now, friends and family, random strangers and teachers are all given a full explanation as to the fact that Mummy has a baby in her tummy. Thank God he cleared that up for them, I would hate them to think I was just tubby.

Bad:

The indigestion. It’s truly a killer and will not seem to disappear, despite the gaviscon and everything else I’ve tried.

Harriet x

 

Little Animals Knitwear via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

How about an adorable little elephant set to keep the kiddos toasty this winter?

Little Animals Knitwear via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love the ears on this little giraffe set, isn’t it sweet?

Little Animals Knitwear via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The only bees you will see during the colder weather, might as well be your children!

There is something really cute about being able to dress children in adorable animal costumes, the odd Halloween and Christmas outfit too, after all it is your right as parent’s to enjoy creating those photo opportunities that your kids will hate when they get to their teen years.

That being said, it is rare that you find something that is adorable, practical and made with care and attention… that fit’s into the bill of future 18th birthday baby slideshow. Well, Little Animals Knitwear for kids is a beautiful brand that specialises in hand made and truly scrumptious woollen goodies for your little ones to use every day during the cool weather.

The wool is a super soft cashmere blend that is ethically sourced and dyed. What more could you want?

Check out all their hats and scarves here.

Harriet x

A different perspective on children's behaviour via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The boys behaviour on the flight home, not mention my own, left me wondering if we expect too much from children.

This is something I have been thinking about a lot over the last few weeks. After two weeks on holiday with the boys, I feel like I could use a holiday myself! I’m absolutely shattered, there wasn’t a day when we stopped and we just kept going and going, with so much to do and so much to see. We had a blast, but it has definitely not been the relaxing holiday of yesterday year where the tan is topped up and the cocktails flow.

I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t have it any other way, I have loved every minute of being with the boys and playing in pools, exploring bazaars and enjoying swimming in the warm sea. The journey home I did not enjoy, at all though and neither did they. They were tired, grumpy and just generally badly behaved. Reuben started the day by being rude and obnoxious towards me, deliberately defiant to his Dad and just, on the whole, a little rat bag. Toby was over tired and grumpy for most of the day, the child has an aversion to sitting still and displayed that aversion with a style that is rarely seen outside of zoos. I’m talking gymnastic style temper tantrums. By the time we got to the airport and got stuck in a huge border control que, I was about ready to cry and so were they. It didn’t even bare thinking about the 4 1/2 hour drive home.

I went from being the mother I like to think I am (the one I feel proud of and like to pretend I am all of the time) to being a raging, shouting, swearing (oh yes, swearing – and at the children too) monster that I absolutely abhor. I’m pretty sure I uttered the words, ‘ If you don’t stop doing that to people Reuben I am going to literally KILL YOU!’ Model your parenting from me people, just go ahead and consider me a guru.

Then something happened. A lady came up to me and asked how old the boys were. She had been watching them on the flight and had seen us all go from relatively cool and in control to frazzled as their behaviour deteriorated. I answered that they were 1, nearly 2 and 3 1/2 years old. She told me she was surprised by how well they had coped with a flight and how well behaved they had been, what lovely children. Was she seeing the same kids as me (at this point Toby was hanging upside down in a suspended crab because he didn’t want tot be held anymore and Reuben was casually trying to take the legs out of every person waiting for a passport check on his trunki)? I looked and at them and then back at her and she told me that for 1 and 3 you could hardly tell they were there, they had been quiet and well behaved for the most part, far better than most kids she knew who spent from take off the landing screaming or throwing things.

I couldn’t believe it, and then I looked at the boys again and really thought about their behaviour. Had it been so bad? Or was it more mine that had been questionable as the supposed adult? Had I lost my temper so many times with them because they were, in fact, behaving like normal children and I was the one ‘acting out’ because I was tired and frustrated? The simple fact is, children aren’t meant to sit still and behave themselves on travel days that take 14 hours, they aren’t meant be seen but not heard. They act out because they are bored and tired and fed up, just in the same way that we do.

My expectations of that trip home were just way too high. Why had my children’s behaviour been so much better on the way out? Had I asked Reuben why he had been so rude and uncharacteristically awkward/defiant towards me and his Dad since he woke up? Nope. So I decided I would. Do you know the reply? ‘Mummy, I don’t want to go home, I don’t want to go back to preschool and I’m sad that I can’t go to the pool. You said I couldn’t go after breakfast and that makes me angry and smashy.’ That is quite simply the same way I felt. I didn’t want to come home, go back to normality and the humdrum of daily life. The difference between me and a 3 year old is that I have years and years of understanding the way the world works and that holidays eventually end, life goes back to ‘normal’ and we look forward to the next one. If I could have a temper tantrum about it all without being locked up for ABH and criminal damage then I’d probably whack someone and kick a few chairs too!

Toby isn’t quite 2 years old and feeds from his surroundings, if his brother is behaving badly then he follows suit.

On the drive home, after our little chat about the holiday being over now but that didn’t mean we had to stop having fun, and how he would see all his friends at preschool and his Grandparents the week after, Roo was a dream child. He slept for the majority of the way, woke up to ask for drinks, food or a toilet break and then drifted again. Toby followed his big brother’s footsteps and calmed right down, though he didn’t sleep quite so well because he was hungry and over tired. I spent the rest of the journey really thinking about how the whole day had played out and how I should try to adjust my parenting style from now on, to really avoid those times when you just lose your cool. I’m not saying I’ve had an epiphany and will never lose it again, of course I will, but maybe an unnecessary meltdown can be avoided by asked more questions, stopping for a second and thinking about why the boys are acting out. Validating the way they are feeling and possibly expecting, not less, but different outcomes to situations.

So, a little challenge for you. If you are prone to losing your cool, or you just find that you are doing it more often of late, then I challenge you to sit down and really think about how your child is behaving and what it is that they are doing that drives you so crazy. Is there a reason? Have you asked? Is there a time or a place that the behaviour worsens, and if so, could something be on their mind that they can’t express because they haven’t learnt how?

Give it a go, or if you already are a pro at this, let me know and tell me how you make it work for you… unless it’s with wine. Then go away and come back after January ok?

Harriet x

 

Baby wearing by Mariann Hornyák via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Baby wearing keeps your new baby close and feeling safe and secure. When do you feel at your most protected? In the arms of a loved one?

Recently I asked a wonderful Facebook group that I am part of if anyone would be interested in writing a piece about baby wearing, how to, why to or anything related to it. It’s something I’ve done with both boys, though not constantly, and more so with Toby out of ease than anything else. I can hardly count myself as an expert, but some people are genuinely experts in baby carrying or baby wearing and can help new parents understand how and why carrying is such a positive thing to do for baby and for you. I am so delighted to share this piece by Mariann Hornyák, from Baby In Sling, who is a baby wearing consultant and puts into words perfectly how important carrying can be for helping to maintain the bond built over pregnancy with baby. 

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Finally you can be sure. You can exhale, relax. The second line is there: you are pregnant. This is the start of your journey with your baby. Yes, I called your fetus a baby. This baby will grow, develop, and get stronger. You carry him. You carry your baby in every second, close to your heart.

Your baby has free access to food, he can sleep anytime he feels tired and he is comforted, cuddled and loved in every moment. This is his real world. Your heartbeat is the music he listens to before falling asleep, your heartbeat is there when he awakes. He is secured, he is warm, he is fed and he is free to move and straighten his legs, turn his body. This is the perfect place for him. You can tell how happy he is. 

You can feel his moves and kicks; soon he will listen to your voice and will react. He will fall asleep if his daddy tells stories to him. You already communicate in every minute. You are connected.

Your baby is there, part of your body, growing from there like the most beautiful flower from the ground. 

And then something happens that your baby does not understand. He feels that something terrible is going to happen and he cannot hear your heartbeat anymore. He can only hear loud voices, see blinding lights, strange people. He has to fight with breathing, smells, cold and being separated from his heartbeat. That heartbeat meant the warmth, the safety, the food and the love; that was everything he had.

He is scared now. He is scared to death. 

The only relief is if he can get that heartbeat back. Not as loud as before but the same rhythm. He can feel the warmth of your skin. He knows that he is part of your body. He does not understand what happened but does not want accept the change. His biological need is to stay close to you, close to the heartbeat that he already knows well. This is the only way he can survive, he believes. 

He does not know anything else, only how life was in the womb. Every day will bring something new to learn. But he feels safe only close to you. You carried him for months, keep going now. Carry him close to your heart. 

There is only one thing that can be even scarier than the noisy, crowded world: the silence in the darkness, when he is left alone without the heartbeat.

Mariann

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You can find Mariann here:

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We’re home!

After a wonderful break away we are finally home, and how lovely it is to arrive home, despite missing spending time with the boys at the pool in the blistering heat!

I wanted to share my holiday with you in pictures, as it really is too long to write all in one post (especially with all of the laundry to do!) Hopefully over the next few weeks I will be able to get together a travel guide about Lara Beach and the best things to do over there with your kids. If anyone has any suggestions then please don’t hesitate to send them in to me at harriet@tobyandroo.com and hopefully for all of the holiday makers next year we can have a good guide.

Anyway, back to our holiday in pictures!

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

At the airport ready to go! The boys flew out in their pjs because we had an early morning flight, which worked really well for them!

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Ready for the beach in his Sunuva swimwear. I honestly can say we were so lucky to have the Sunuva kits, the boys were protected from the sun completely and despite having a nice healthy glow on their cheeks and lower legs, the rest of their sensitive skins are burn free.

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

We had a blast for the first day or two playing at the beach. The hotel we stayed at, The Royal Holiday Palace in Lara Beach, Turkey, had a lovely pier that you could walk along or, as the boys preferred, swim out to! The hours we spent swimming out to the pier, climbing up the ladder to get a drink of apple juice and do it all over again!

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Reuben loved playing with his wonderful Quut toys from Toyella. We had so much fun. Toby’s favourite game was Ringo (which really surprised me as I assumed he would be too young, but he loved throwing the ball into the hoops… or trying to anyway!) and Reuben was in his element pretending to be a digger and panning for gold. In fact, our Quut toys were so popular with the boys and the other holiday makers that someone decided to ‘permanently borrow’ Reuben’s shovel style spade called the Scoppi and left him with just the yellow shifter. Unfortunately this was a little bit upsetting for him as it was only day three of his holiday, but he soon came to terms with it and used the Triplet to dig instead!

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

If we weren’t at the beach, we were at the pool. The boys amazed people with their water skills, which I can only attribute to the fabulous Water Babies. I honestly couldn’t be a bigger advocate of Water Babies and the way it builds water confidence in children. Reuben was in fact a touch over confident and terrified the other holiday makers by running from the kids shallow pool and jumping into the adult pool, which was far too deep for him to touch the bottom. While many a parent dived in to save him, it was rather embarrassing when my husband and I finally ambled over to the pool, only to explain that he can actually swim without armbands, and competently. Toby was also a true water baby and spent the majority of pool time diving for his Zogg seal rings, much to the amusement of the other holidaymakers!

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This isn’t a great picture and isn’t even really a defining moment of our holiday, but it is something that I am so proud of! Reuben asking for his first ice cream, all by himself. He remembered to say please and thank you (something that I was shocked to find seemed to escape the majority of children and adults) and became such a firm favourite with the lady who served the ice cream that he was always given an ‘extra’ scoop! Cheeky monkey!

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love the picture. We took a day trip into the local town of Kalçei, the old part of Antalya and we had a great time. There was so much to discover, but in the heat it was difficult to find a bit of respite, so the locals cleverly created this path street of umbrellas to shade their stores and cafe’s.

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This was easily one of my favourite buys for the boys from Kalçei. We found a little stall that made traditional pashminas, hats and shoes. The ladies were weaving in front of you and the shoes were being made in the back. I was so tempted to bring home a few pairs of shoes, but opted out after buying this wonderful hat for the boys dress up box.

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

There is a multitude of sights in this region of Turkey, and looking out over the old town of Kalçei you could see the magnificent water falls and stunning views. It was truly beautiful.

Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.Our holiday in pictures via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Finally the journey home. Exhaustion set in after a time and Mr Grumpy dozed off, albeit for 20 minutes!

Harriet x

vacation-sign-resized

So, if you are a regular to the blog you will know that I post at least once a day with new things and stylish information for the coolest parents and the kids that think they aren’t.

Well, this week I will be having a bit of an absence from the blog as I am on holiday in Lara Beach, which I will sharing with you all when I arrive home on 16th!

In the meantime, you will still be able to find me on Facebook, twitter and especially instagram, where I will be documenting our holiday and all of the things we have been up to!

Harriet x

Eka ethical accessories via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I think these would be the perfect addition to a pretty (or manly!) Autumn/Winter wardrobe.

Eka ethical accessories via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The crochet on these mittens is beautifully done.

Eka ethical accessories via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Snowflakes anyone? What a winter feel!

I really like Eka and I was so excited when I came across her fantastic big cartel shop just in time for Autumn/Winter. Not only are the accessories ethically made, but they are also some of the snuggliest, cosiest looking accessories I have seen for a while!

Mittens for kids are always sweet, but I love the idea of having ‘hidden message’ mittens, which I know children just love! You put your hands together and the message is revealed, be it a snowflake, heart or even smiley faces on your thumbs.

Such a sweet idea. At the moment, the only place to get hold of Eka accessories for kids is on notonthehighstreet.co.uk but do check out the big cartel shop too for even more luscious accessories for grown ups!

Harriet x

Ohyo water bottle via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love the colour selection of these fab bottles too. Bright, funky with a super cool design.

Ohyo water bottle via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Look how small it squashes down, perfect for picnics, beach trips, holidays and more!

This is such a great idea, and such a space saver in your bag too after the drinks are finished, the ultimate water bottles for kids!

The Ohyo water bottle is a unique, environmentally friendly, space saving, collapsible water bottle that can hold up to 500ml of drinks, but when it’s empty it concertinas down to a third of its height. The bottle is made from environmentally friendly and BPA, PET free plastic… it’s even dishwasher safe!

The other thing I really like about these bottles is the child friendly sports spout that can be used by little ones as well as older kids, and having this about is bound to keep them all hydrated while they play!

You can find them at one of my favourite online shops Toyella.

Harriet x

Baby Star fleece wrap by Tuppence & Crumble via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is part of the ‘brights’ collection from Tuppence & Crumble, so if you have a plain pushchair or you have a brightly coloured one then this could match!

Baby Star fleece wrap by Tuppence & Crumble via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I just can’t even get over how sweet this is, and with fold back mittens as well, this is perfect for winter!

This baby wrap is so adorable. You know when you see babies all warm and cosy in a pushchair or their mother’s arms and your ovaries start to twitch? Yeah, that kind of cute.

Made by the brilliant Tuppence & Crumble, these wraps (which have coined their own name of star snug) are the perfect solution for this cooler weather we are now getting, especially as they fit into everything from the pushchair to the car seat and even a sling.

Made from machine washable, super soft fleece, these are an absolute must have for your bambino for the cooler months.

You can find them on the Tuppence & Crumble site here.

Harriet x

Did you know that it is organic beauty week this week? Well, it’s also organic month, a time to celebrate all that is organic, and I wanted to post about one of my favourite brands (especially now I’m pregnant and have to stay away from chemical products) Green People and Organic Children.

You might remember my post not so long ago about the fantastic Self Tan that I had been sent by Green People to use and trial for that summer glow that I wasn’t getting during this pregnancy, if not you can read about it here. Or what about my post about the suncream we used for the boys over the summer? You can catch that one here too but that is just the tip of the iceberg for the fab products that Green People have to offer.

So why go organic?

OBW 26 Seconds

OBW 70K ingredients

OBW 2000 Fragrance

OBW No Law

Pretty thought provoking stuff right? With Green People you know what you are getting is certified organic, they even tell you by what percentage on every product. The products smell great and make you feel fantastic!

I challenge all of my readers to look at their products (not just for yourself, but for your children too) and put them aside for this one organic month and try Green People replacements. Feel the difference and you will be converted!

You can get hold of all of the products here.

Harriet x

The Pregnancy Diaries via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Baby is about the size of a large mango this week! What a growth spurt!

What’s happening to baby this week?

Baby’s sensory development is exploding! The brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch, there is even research to suggest that baby can hear now, so it’s important to talk to him/her, play music, read aloud and all other things you might want to do!

This week baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches! Isn’t it amazing how fast they grow?! The arms and legs are now in proportion to the rest of the body and the kidneys are making urine (ew!).

The reality: How have I been feeling this week?

This week has been similar to the last, filled with highs and lows and ups and downs. Unfortunately I do feel quite hormonal this week, we had an upset earlier on with the cancellation of our holiday (which we managed to save in the end) but that really left me feeling much lower than I think it would if I didn’t have all of these hormones ping ponging around!

Baby is really kicking this week, which I love. It is a reminder that I am pregnant and have something to be so delighted about! Unfortunately I am the only one to feel these kicks at the moment, despite being able to feel them from the outside on my hand, this little monkey will not kick for Daddy or anyone else! Cheeky already!

As far as tiredness goes, I haven’t felt quite so tired, but I also haven’t been sleeping very well. Maybe it is just a case of getting used to not sleeping again! I have also been suffering with a lot of back ache this week, something that I haven’t enjoyed at all. It’s very frustrating, but it would appear that this little one has found a nerve that is comfortable and insists on lying on it!

Cravings.

Chilli and noodles this week, plus I seem to have developed a taste for Wispa gold… healthy for the pregnancy, I know.

The bad, adorable and downright funny.

Funny:

There hasn’t really been any comical moments this week. Unless you count me trying to fit the boys car seats into my husband’s low roofed car as funny. I did get stuck. I don’t count it as funny at all -_-

Adorable:

Toby has started to really come on with his speech this week, after always being so lazy and pointing! He has started to pat my tummy and say bababababa. Very sweet.

Bad:

This week has been filled with arguments and temper tantrums over our holiday breakdown and other things, however the support from friends has shone through and been uplifting. The lack of sleep, slumps of hormonal lows and back ache haven’t been fun either.

Harriet x

 

 

When I came across up and coming fashion for girls star Lucy Peach Slice I fell in love! Who wouldn’t?

My favourite pieces from the Autumn/Winter collection have to be the tilly trousers, with their hareem style and gorgeous patterned fabric, a must have for any child’s wardrobe. In addition to the trousers I can’t think of anything that would be sweeter to team with them than the loving handwritten logo Liza Tshirts. Each tshirt has a totally handwritten logo that adds shimmer and a bit of flare – and they are made from the softest cotton! Perfect for heading into the party season.

The best thing, for me anyway, about this brand is that it is feminine and pretty without pandering to that irritating ‘girly girl’ where girls get pastels, bland patterns in pink and the odd posy. This is bold, beautiful and strong – something that little girls should know is cool!

This brand is one that you are going to be seeing a lot of over the next few years, I have no doubt of that, a well earned popularity for something that is so unique and special.

To find out more visit the site here.

Harriet x

Tinti bath time fun via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

So much fun, the fact that they have developed something that all children can enjoy, including those with sensitive skin, is really impressive!

Tinti bath time fun via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Everything from bath colours to fizz bombs and accessories to make the most out of them, Tinti have bath time covered!

Do your kids get really excited when they see adverts about bath time or is it just mine? My boys love bath time and we have recently been inundated with requests for ‘bath time colours’ after Roo found some bath tints in a local store.

The problem is with most bath tints, they either stain the tub or the skin, aren’t well made and dry out the skin or are just downright bad for the skin and a problem if they get near eyes or  mouths. Well try telling two little toddlers who want to splash that they can’t in case the get the water near their eyes!

That’s why I am really impressed with Tinti natural bath tints.  The products have been designed using colours that are developed from renewable sources such as blossoms, leaves, fruits and roots as well as the traditional, natural ingredients that are used to make dyes. The best things is there are no preservatives or SLS, they are bio-degradable, and free from all known allergenic fragrances!!

As if that wasn’t enough the products have been dermatologically tested and are soap free, leave no residue, and will not stain your kid’s skin, hair or bathroom!

The other thing that I think makes Tinti a real bath time favourite is the fact that they have gone above and beyond the usual ‘bath time colour’ and developed products like their magic wand, which disperses the colour into the bath as your child shakes the wand in the water. It just makes the whole thing even more fun!

You can find the whole Tinti collection here if you are in the UK and here if you are anywhere else.

Harriet x

Being a bridesmaid with a newborn via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is my absolutely lovely card from to ask me to be a bridesmaid. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s from CardsByJan who you can contact here.

Being a bridesmaid is something that I always wanted to be as a child, but alas all of my parent’s friends were already married couples as were family members so I never got to fulfil my goal of being a bridesmaid. Until now!

My very dearest friend, Kate, is set to marry her partner in July of next year and has asked me to be one of her bridesmaid! I am so beyond honoured that she would think of me in this way, and in my hormonal state I did burst into tears immediately upon receiving my request card (which you can see pictured above). The thing is when the wedding comes around (and particularly in the months running up to it) I am going to have a new baby who will feeding and probably be pretty much strapped to me twenty four seven. On top of that, as Kate is the boys godmother she would like them to be at the wedding too.

So two toddlers, one new/young baby and bridesmaid duties to perform.

How the hell am I going to manage!?

Well, I have been giving this a lot of thought and although it sounds pretty daunting, I don’t think it is as bad as people make you think. I have already had the “Rather you than me” comments and one friend told me that she would be devastated but would be too worried about causing a scene and would respectfully decline. Isn’t that sad? If you google ‘Being a bridesmaid with a newborn’ the top results are about women’s fears and potentially declining!

So, I have put together a little check list of what I think you can do when you find yourself with a breastfed baby and children to look after when you have been asked to fulfil a special role at an event. It doesn’t have to be a bridesmaid either, it could be a christening, a big birthday bash etc… or it could be your partner who has been asked and you are worried about doing it alone in front of all of those people!

Oh, and yep, this is me using the blog again to make my own checklist that I won’t loose so I can come back to it in times of panic after baby is born… hopefully it will help others too!

  •  Talk to the bride (or whoever’s the party planner). This person loves you enough to understand your concern. For Kate’s hen do she was thinking along the lines of a weekend spa break or something, and for the evening before the wedding she would love to have all of her bridesmaids stay over at the house she is renting to get ready in before she goes on the to the venue. It’s important to realise that if this person didn’t think the world of you, they wouldn’t ask you to fulfil that special role, so if you have concerns talk about them. Kate actually raised the issue of the baby and me being separated before I got the chance and suggested I take baby along, the other alternative was for us to have a special mini hen party for the two of us and me meet them at the church instead of spending the night with her. At the event if I need to sort out the baby that won’t be an issue, baby can even stay in a sling at the front of the church with me (though I’m sure he/she will sit with Daddy or someone else if Daddy isn’t available). The same goes for the toddlers.
  • Ask for help at the event from other friends. If you have a role to play, ask for help from other people. The chances are at a big bash of any kind you will know other people there and well, ask them if they would mind holding baby while you do something, or if they could have your toddlers sit next to them. Ask. I know that my son’s god father won’t have a specific role to play at the service so I’m sure he won’t mind offering a helping hand.
  • Take something for the toddlers and older kids to do and to eat. Something so that little hands can be occupied is always a good idea. I usually take a banana each, plus a box of fruit cut up to nibble. As for things to do, something like a sticker book is great. No one wants toddlers to be left with pens while there are expensive suits and dresses around, so avoid the felt tips, but pencil crayons are fine.
  • Have a talk with the toddlers and older kids before hand. This is something that I will be doing with Reuben, though Toby may still be a bit young. I will explain to him that he will be able to see me, I’m right in front of him but I will need him to sit and watch what is happening with Aunty Kate. That’s pretty simple and he should get it no problem. Daddy and whoever else can reiterate it to him. Repeatedly. I would also suggest avoiding toys that cause noise… I won’t be taking any cars for the boys to play with as I doubt Kate will appreciate “beep beep” and “vroom” being shouted out while she says her ‘I dos’.
  • If you are breastfeeding, talk to the bride about the dress being suitable, or may adjusted. Though a high neck silk number would be stunning, it isn’t going to do any good if you need to feed your baby during the day and they won’t take a bottle. We are hoping to have this baby taking breastmilk from a bottle, but without my time machine, I don’t know if that will happen. If not, it’s booby all the way. Which means considering the dress. It’s pretty amazing what seamstresses can do with a dress so if the bride has a style in mind then why not ask her if she minds you having it adjusted to make it compatible with your needs.
  • Have a Plan B. Life doesn’t always go to plan. I could get to the wedding and find that the boys are in a terrible mood and the baby has decided to have a bout of wind. Having a plan B is always helpful, and organising that with whoever is going to be helping you with the kids on the day is important. My husband and I have discussed and if the boys are causing a commotion, he will take them outside. You have to realise that when you have children it isn’t always so easy as making a plan and expecting it to go ok, so whoever is looking after your children at the event needs to be prepared to take them outside or to the back of the venue to have some time to cool off. They are only children when it’s all said and done, and sitting for 45 minutes is a big ask at under 6.
  • Booking a room at the venue is a really good plan. It gives you somewhere to escape if you need to, if the kids are misbehaving or have had an accident, the baby needs changing and there is nowhere to do it, you need to express… so many things could be necessary at any one. It also gives you a place to store extra changes of clothes for the kids, especially if they are still in those accident prone years. If there is no way you can book a room at the venue, ask the bride if they have a bridal suit that she is staying in that she would mind you borrowing to put your necessities and to feed/pump in. If you do though, make sure you don’t leave a trace! Alternatively ask the venue before the day if they have a room you can bit private in.

Does anyone else have anything to add to that from past experience? I would love to know.

I honestly can’t wait to be a part of Kate’s special day and I wouldn’t dream of missing it for a fear of how things will work. I do think it’s worth mentioning that if the wedding has a strict ‘No Babies/Children’ policy then you may have to think more carefully. My best suggestion if you still want to participate would be to ask friends or family if they can come and babysit for you (preferably in a room at the venue for ease or nearby), and ask the bride if she would be happy to have you disappear every 2/3 hours to express or feed baby.

Harriet x

Sew Heart Felt Slippers via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The sweetest, cosiest slippers you will come across this Autumn!

Sew Heart Felt Slippers via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Mr. Fox would be a huge winner for Reuben, I know he would be delighted!

Sew Heart Felt Slippers via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Toby would love the piggies as he puts it. I love the detailing and how those sweet tails curl!

Sew Heart Felt Slippers via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Guinea Pigs are the pet for toddlers and young children apparently, but if the kids are heavy handed like mine, stick to the slippers instead!

Haven’t you noticed the change in weather lately?! It’s getting so cold here in the North of England, and I for one think the slippers are being broken out for good reason.

I can’t help but think that slippers for kids are essential in a house like mine where we have wooden floors and refuse to keep socks on for any length of time! So when I came across these beyond adorable felt slippers from Sew Heart Felt (see how clever that name is?) I couldn’t help but add them to my Autumn must have list for the boys. The sizes range right from birth up to 5 years, and they come in the sweetest styles, all animals that the boys would love.

Reuben would love a pair of fox slippers I’m sure, and I think Toby would probably jump at the chance to get his toes into some piggies or sheep!

You can check out the wonderful selection of gifts and things from Sew Heart Felt here.

Harriet x

Parenthood Listography via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

For the person that simply doesn’t have time to write a baby or pregnancy journal. This is for you.

Parenthood Listography via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Judging by our very sweet Christmas Pudding and Halloween Pumpkin outfits this would be a perfect page for a teenage Toby or Reuben!

Parenthood Listography via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Toby would own this page. No, really. He would. This is the child that has more bumps and bruises than an MMA fighter.

Parenthood Listography via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Things you broke. Yeah. This would be full pretty quickly in our house!

I am a religious baby book keeper… or should I say I was. With Reuben I NEVER missed an entry, every week I would document my pregnancy, then after he was born every minute detail was recorded, probably including the first time he burped properly, at what time and how everyone laughed… until he threw up. I even kept the thing they used to break my waters in the hospital AND my original pregnancy test. I know.

Then came Toby and I was still pretty good, all of my friend’s told me I just wouldn’t have the time to document a pregnancy journal, and certainly not afterwards (‘You want to do another 1 to 5 years book? Are you kidding? That will never happen!!’) but I was pretty good. Ok, I didn’t get his first fart or the minute and nanosecond of the day that he had his first pre-birth kick, but the usual stuff I got. I definitely got it.

Then came pregnancy number 3. You may have noticed that my Pregnancy Diaries start at week 16… there is a reason for this. It’s because I haven’t had the time! I have a pregnancy journal, it’s empty. And to make matter’s worse, this is a little girl, so chances are she is going to be reading her baby book in years to come as opposed to using it to support a pool table! So after a long hard talk with myself I decided to set up a weekly blog post so when I have a moment or two I can fill in her baby book by being sneaky and going back through the blog!

But seriously, what about people who don’t have children’s blogs, who are just strapped for time and really don’t have it in them to commit to baby books?

Lists. Lists are what happen. You have them on your phone, in your diary, on scrappy pieces of paper and on the fridge. Everywhere. All with the intention of writing them in a safe place. I know you do, don’t be shy!

Well now you have Parenthood Listography: My Kid in Lists. Yes, it’s here, a place to put your lists! From the day to day to the hilarious and cute, there is a list page for EVERYTHING. And you can keep the book in your bag and jot down in one word or two a memory that will no doubt create an hour or two of stories in your child’s future.

So, I challenge you, parent who has no time to record and regrets it later, to buy listography and get recording in a word or two all of your child’s special (and insane, hilarious, not so hilarious, frustrating and magical) moments. Do it. Now.

Harriet x

P.s – Parenthood Listography is available in most places, but it is here (UK) and here (US) on amazon.

 

The Pregnancy Diaries via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

So here is baby! 18 weeks, this is our 4D scan picture. Can you believe how defined baby is? Isn’t it magical!

What’s happening to baby this week?

Baby is now about the size of a bell pepper and is busy making lots of movements with his/her arms and legs that you might feel already! The blood vessels are visible through the thin skin, and the ears are now in their final position. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around baby’s nerves, and surprisingly this will continue for a year after baby’s born. Whether you are having a boy or girl all of the reproductive organs are present and in place – amazing right?

The reality: How have I been feeling this week?

This week has been a real jumble. Obviously, there are the hormones which have given me a mixture of extreme excitement and happiness all the way to genuine exhaustion and quite formidable lows. I still haven’t got the ability to sleep the night through (something that I haven’t done for a time with these boys, but it seems worse at the moment) so that level of tiredness seems to give me bouts of real lows. I have to use the word depression because I don’t feel it is anywhere near that bad, but the week has been up and down. As a family we have had some shocking news and that seems to have rocked the boat for everyone. On a positive, I have had no signs of dizziness, sickness or anything else! Hooray!

II’ve still got my slightly more nutritious food bug, though baby does still seem to appreciate fatty rubbish! I think because it is coming to much colder weather now, and I love having things like warming stews and hearty home cooked meals, that has made a huge difference in my taste buds.

We had our official 20 week scan this week too, and it was awesome, despite the fact that my husband had to work yet again! That is every scan now he has missed, I feel so sorry for him that he has missed the opportunity to see our amazing little one grow! The pictures are fab though, we have some lovely ones of little ones foot and a great 4D version!

Cravings.

None really this week. I’m trying to encourage myself to eat more with the boys, I enjoy the food I’ve cooked for them and I get the same nutritional boost that they do. I’m also trying to eat more yoghurt, we make our own using Easi-yo, which you can read about here.

The bad, adorable and downright funny.

Funny:

Reuben and Toby have both been so funny this week, especially as I had to take them along to the scan with me. Toby wasn’t too interested but Reuben kept trying to show him the baby. The next day he asked me if he could have a baby in his tummy and when I explained no, he said ‘Can we make one then Mama?’ No baby, Daddy and Mummy have already done that!

Adorable:

Reuben has been asking me a lot of questions this week, especially after he scan and he has decided that he has to say bye to mummy and baby every time he goes anywhere. He climbed into the bath with me earlier in the week and asked me if he could give the baby a big cuddle! So sweet!

Bad:

The sleep, the moments of hormonal lows, the fact that my maternity jeans are feeling snug of late. All trivial, but coupled with hormones, extremely frustrating from this pregnancy!!

Harriet x

 

 

Floor cushions from Cheeky Monkey Home via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

It doesn’t matter what your needs are, or the age of your child, a floor cushion is just so versatile!

Floor cushions from Cheeky Monkey Home via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love the floor cushions from Cheeky Monkey Home, they are hand made and designed to the upmost standard.

Floor cushions from Cheeky Monkey Home via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

With a variety of colours and patterns there is something to match everyone’s tastes.

Sometimes there just isn’t enough space on the sofas for all the kids in the house, am I right? You ill no doubt have noticed this over the summer holidays if your children have had an influx of little friends over to play, maybe sleepovers too.

One thing that I think is a great solution to this, and a fab accessory for a child’s playroom or bedroom is a floor pillow! What can’t you do with a floor pillow like these from Cheeky Monkey Home?

They are a table for your dolls tea parties, a cliff for trucks to do stunts from, a place to do your homework and a spot for your friends to sit when they come over and there is no more room on the bed or sofa.

You can find these fab handmade floor cushions from Cheeky Monkey Home here.

Harriet x

 

Cinema trips for kids  via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The cinema is such a magical place when you are a child, it’s a bit like the theatre. There is wonder and amazement at the big screen and I highly recommend taking your little ones asap!

Last weekend Reuben had his first trip to the cinema!! He had so much fun! We went to see Disney Planes 2, while Toby enjoyed a quiet afternoon with my mum at home.

Do you remember going to the cinema as a child? Wasn’t it magical? There is something so exciting about the big screen, the smell of popcorn and the happy, smiley faces.

To start our special trip out we headed for a quick bite to eat before going off to the cinema, where we indulged in a treat of ice cream (Reuben wasn’t sold on the popcorn) and some sweeties. Reuben loved the promo posters that are always featured in the cinema lobbies, he thought they were so cool and was captivated by the extra large Thomas the Tank Engine ones!

Initially, getting sat in the seats and seeing such a big screen was a touch daunting for him but he snuggled into me and my husband, until the film started and then he was in a world of his own! The delight in his eyes and the excitement in his little voice when he saw the ‘Moose Tractors’ and Dusty Crophopper as a fire plane was far more entertaining for us than the film itself, though that isn’t to say the film wasn’t great in typical Disney style! The cinema was pretty empty with it being a mid day showing, but he was so well behaved, kept his voice down and sat (for the most part) on his own seat! Towards the end he came onto my lap and we had a lovely cuddle while we watched the planes save the day. He’s still talking about it, and he is already adding the various characters to his Christmas list!

Afterwards we treated him to a trip to the toy store, where he picked out a Planes character to take home to Toby and one for himself. We finished off back at the cinema for some hotdogs to eat on the way home!

I don’t know about you but with Reuben only being 3 years old and being a typical young boy, I was concerned that he wouldn’t sit still, would ask to leave, might be scared of the big screen and lights, but he LOVED the whole thing. I really do recommend you taking your little ones to the cinema, especially when they are young enough to be absorbed by the magic and wonder! If I could offer a tip, take some nibbles like fruit or sweets if you allow it in your bag, take water and be prepared to be asked for a toilet trip! We actually forgot to take Reuben’s favourite teddy and a blanket, I think that he would probably have preferred to have his ‘Harold’ teddy there, and maybe a blanket to combat the air con, although it depends on what your child is like!

Either way, I challenge you to give the cinema a go!

Harriet x

P.s – Most cinemas have a kids club early on a saturday or sunday morning. It’s for children of any age and they are usually movies that are older but presented at much lower rates, so if you want to give it a go then this is perfect!

Bobo Choses fashion for AW14 via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love the unisex jumpers, they make buying for a family so much easier because they can be passed down through generations.

 

If you are anything like me then you will probably be cringing at how fast your children have dared to grow since last Autumn and look at their rather sparse collection of warmer attire, if you aren’t then please impart how you stopped them growing so fast!

I really became aware of Reuben’s growth spurt when his preschool informed me that his summer shorts were getting too tight and I ought to think about something elasticated because he didn’t get his shorts down in time for nature’s call… I had only bought them 6 weeks previously! Needless to say I headed out and bought him a few simple elasticated shorts for preschool and all was well, until the weather started to turn a few weeks ago and I pulled out all of his trousers for cooler weather. They were all, without fail, too short or too tight around his waist (predominantly the latter!). Forutnately, Toby has his brother’s clothes so we don’t have two chunky monkey’s to buy for, but I do like for him to have a few items that are just new for him.

Bobo Choses fashion for AW14 via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Both of my boys have worn tights in the past, though I think Reuben has probably out grown them now. These would be perfect with any of the lovely Bobo Choses dresses.

Bobo Choses fashion for AW14 via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love onesies, and as toby hasn’t started to potty train I can still put him in them! Hooray!

Que a trip to get some loose tracksuit bottoms until I could sort out a new wardrobe of awesomeness for him to enjoy and wear. Fashion for kids is out there and it is wonderful!

When I finally go the chance to sit down and order some new clothes I hopped over to one of my faves Shak-Shuka, and oh wow they didn’t disappoint at all! The new Bobo Choses range can be found over there and I am swooning over it. From funky onesies for Toby to keep him warm under a really nice thick cardigan to awesome unisex jumpers, leggings and tights for Reuben.

You can check out the full range here, I have shared a few of my favourite pieces on the blog, but there was so much more!

Harriet x