We’re on the clock trying to get Eleanor’s room decorated before baby number 2 arrives. They will be sharing the room eventually but I want to make it all hers for the time being. She’s going to have a new bed (so baby can have her cot bed) and we’re definitely going to be getting rid of the magnolia-like paint on the walls.
Eleanor has been in her cot bed as a toddler bed for months now but does sometimes still fall out. I really liked the idea of a floor bed but wanted something a bit more interesting. I saw this Tipi bed on Katie Ellison’s boy room makeover video and thought it would be a perfect fit for Eleanor. The bed is the Kids Junior Tipi Bed from Cuckooland. I’m going to attach them ice lolly garland along the tip which is from Etsy.
You can kind of see a theme going on here! The wooden ice lollies are by Le Toy Van and something for her to play with as well as decor.
The Grimms Pastel Rainbow and Grimms Natural House I found on Babipur, which has the best selection of toys. My wish list on their is HUGE! I’ve wanted to get Eleanor a rainbow for ages that she can play with and this one will go nicely with the colours in the room. Rainbows are so versatile and can be used in so many ways.
The rainbow mobile is to go above the baby’s cotbed. We didn’t have a mobile for Eleanor when she was young but I think this one will go so well with the room that I can’t resist. And lastly is the ice cream wall hooks. I want two so that Eleanor and the baby both have somewhere to hang up their dressing gowns in the room. I can’t decide on which designs to go for yet though, they’re all fab!
My 2 year old’s favourite toy is probably whatever she can find that isn’t a toy. This is more of a list of her favourite things to do. She isn’t that bothered by her toys. Here are some of the things my toddler likes to play with at the moment.
In the Kitchen
Filling her mini shopping baskets with food
Rolling and stacking the tins from the cupboard
Baking with me
In the Garden
Using a spray bottle to clean the doors and her playhouse
I have a very good reason for being so quiet on these parts recently: I’m pregnant. Pregnancy hasn’t taken my power of speech but it has zapped all my energy and made me feel downright awful for the past few months.
I’m hoping that’s all ended as I leave the first trimester and head into trimester two. It’s not been easy recently. I don’t know if it was worse this time around or if it was just easier last pregnancy without a toddler to contend with. A toddler that doesn’t stop and is full of emotions.
We are super excited for a little brother or sister to arrive for Eleanor. I think she’ll be really helpful as she’s so practical at the moment. She’d much rather help me with real life tasks than play with toys. She’s also fascinated with babies at the moment. She’ll often go and watch them at a toddler group I go to.
Ideas to entertain a toddler when morning sickness kicks in
So where have I been hiding for the last 3 months? Mostly I’ve been stuck under my duvet or curled up with a blanket on the sofa. I’ve relied a little too heavily on CBeebies for my liking and it made me go stir crazy and cabin feverish. Goodness knows what it did to Eleanor, who just wants to be outside exploring all the time.
I did find a few ways to keep her entertained when I wasn’t capable of parenting: crafts and playdough. But! For one time only. One day she’ll stick tissue paper to a drawing for nearly an hour, the next day she’s bored after 5 minutes. I have to come up with something new each time, I can’t repeat it.
Homemade playdough with her IKEA baking set
Sticking tissue paper and sequins to colouring in book pages
Drawing with pens, crayons, chalk
Painting wooden Christmas trees
Making Christmas cards
Baking banana loaf (I need to be more hands-on)
Chocolate Krispie cakes
First Trimester Symptoms
Oh my goodness the nausea! I wasn’t actually sick but for weeks the nausea was constant and I felt like every time I moved I’d be sick. As I said, I have a fear of being sick, so I tried to move as little as possible. I had two weeks annual leave and I spent most of it in bed when my daughter wasn’t around.
I’ve had round ligament pain on and off this trimester which I don’t remember having last time round. It’s like a sharp shooting pain in my lower belly when I move, especially from lying down to getting up quickly, like out of bed. It kind of takes my breath away for a minute and then it’s gone.
My anxiety really peaked during the first trimester. I wanted an early scan, then I didn’t, then I did again. I couldn’t stop worrying that something was wrong for the first few weeks. I didn’t pay for an early scan in the end as I thought it would just be a temporary relief. I’ve also felt really low and that’s because of the nausea. For weeks it was constant and I was missing out on Eleanor and just feeling rubbish. I found it really hard for awhile but I feel like I’m through that now.
Self care in the first trimester
Support – I asked for support from my mum when I was 7 weeks, so she could look after the little one a bit more while I rested when the nausea was really bad.
Water – It’s such a simple thing and one that I always forget, especially with a toddler running around.
Snacks – I always have food on me. Something simple like a cracker, chewing gum or I made toast.
Naps – Let yourself rest. The first trimester can be absolutely knackering so I often took myself off for an afternoon nap. Not so easy on the days I work but I always gave myself time to rest. On work days that’s usually a bath when my husband gets in.
What are you top self care tips for getting through the first trimester?
My goal for 2018 was to read 24 books and I surpassed it! I read 30! I was really surprised as the previous year I read about 5. So I thought I’d share a few of my favourite books that I read in 2018 and my plans for this year. My favourites this year are ones I’ve given 5 stars to on goodreads. Where I’ve given mini reviews on the blog I’ve linked the title if you want to find out more.
I think I’m going to go with 20 books this year as my reading challenge. But I’ve encountered a problem. Last year I really branched out of my reading comfort zone and tried different genres and I loved them! So much so that now when I try and read chicklit I just get a bit bored. I seem to be really into crime at the moment, which aren’t always quick easy reads. So I hope I can still get through as many books this year.
Do you have a reading goal for 2019? Or are there any must read books on your to be read list?
This week we ventured to Fort Nelson in Hampshire. It’s somewhere my husband has wanted to go for awhile, so for his birthday we decided to go.
I was sceptical as I didn’t think it was very suitable for a now 2 year old.
When we arrived it costs £3 to park for the day and the fort is free to enter. We headed straight in and explored the galleries. There was room for Eleanor to run around but it didn’t make it easy for us to stop and read all the information. There were so many guns on display.
I think for older children it will be great as there’s so much to learn about how guns were used in various wars. There wasn’t much on display that was interactive for the younger ones.
Once outside we headed down into the tunnels. Oh my goodness I freaked out a little. We were the only ones there and it was so dark and eerie! I had to keep myself together for Eleanor’s sake but I don’t want to ever go down there again! I’m not sure where this fear has come from. It was interesting to see where the ammunition was stored and how they lit the rooms. Eleanor was absolutely fine down there so I’m glad she didn’t pick up on my vibes.
Near the other end of the tunnel was a spiral staircase (another fear!) up to the top. Feeling calmer up above ground we wandered about and saw yet more guns!
I think my favourite part were the rooms setup to show you what life in the fort was like back in the day. It’s good to have some context.
We had a good lunch there from a varied menu and then went outside for the daily live gun firing. They had ear defenders for everyone which was perfect for my daughter. She said “wow” when the gun fired.
Although we had a good day I don’t think it’s great with very little ones. I wouldn’t have taken her to something with guns but Simon has wanted to go for ages and we very rarely have a child free day.
I’ve really got into reading lately. This year I set myself the challenge to read 24 books in 2018. In 2017 I probably read about 3. So far this year I’ve read 23 and we still have months to go.
Here are a few of my favourite recent reads.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Help isn’t a new book but it’s been on my to be read shelf for a long time. I haven’t seen the film version yet and I definitely want to see it. I absolutely adored this book. It’s about 3 women who are completely different who come together for a project that will put them all at risk. It’s set in 1960’s Mississippi and I found myself reading in a southern accent which made me laugh.
The Midnight Line by Lee Child
I have a confession. I’m really quite partial to a Jack Reacher book. This is the twenty-second book in the series and I really enjoyed it. I’ve missed reading about Jack and this is definitely better than some of the more recent ones. In this book Reacher finds a petite West Point ring in a pawn shop in Wisconsin and goes on a journey to find out its owner.
Origin by Dan Brown
Now I’ve waited even longer for Origin than I have for Reacher. Dan Brown’s latest book of Robert Langdon has finally hit my library. Robert Langdon arrives at the Guggenheim Museum in Spain for a major announcement from futurist Edmond Kirsch. The discovery “will change the face of science forever.” This book reminded me of why I would stay up til the early hours as a teenager reading Angels & Demons. I’ve read that Dan Brown is a mediocre writer, but I don’t care. I loved this book. It was a gripping and easy read and a fascinating subject.
Lets get straight in with 5 happy things that have made me happy this week.
Switching the office and Eleanor’s room over. Eleanor now has the bigger room and space to play in. She’s not sleeping well since the move but I’m sure she’ll get used to it and it will be a lovely room for her to grow into.
TOMM. Have you heard of The Organised Mum Method? I have got on top of my cleaning using Gem’s 1 week bootcamp. And from now on I’ll be sticking to her weekly cleaning plan where I only have to do 30 minutes of cleaning a day during the week with weekends off. I feel so much happier when the house is clean and tidy.
I hate dark nights but this cooler weather has made me want to get candles and blankets out. I love the smell of my Fireside Treats Yankee candle. It’s the only one I like and I want to fill my house with that smell.
Family. We spent the day last weekend with my husbands family. Eleanor saw her great grandma and auntie and uncle too and she had a wonderful time. It was lovely to see her feel confident and play with everyone. We went to Scotney Castle for a wander around and some lunch.
I am so please with this project making crochet rainbow baskets and balls. Look how cute they are. They’re a bit floppy and have a few flaws but I love them. And Eleanor does too.
We use these baskets and balls for colour sorting and counting. My daughter also uses them to wear as slippers, to put other toys in and to throw the balls across the room. I really think they will evolve with her as she grows.
Every morning since I made them she’s come into the living room after breakfast and head straight for these. She takes all the baskets out and then arranges all the balls inside them.
And then she throws the balls all around the room and puts other toys in her baskets. Hey, it means it’s more open-ended right?!
I recently made a small basket for her to keep some toys in and I think I’ll be making more!
How to crochet your own
I used a pattern from ravelry for the the rainbow baskets and coloured balls and they were really easy instructions to follow. They’re in US terminology but that’s easy to switch over. I also did a double crochet (US SC) border along the top of the baskets rather than what the pattern stated.
Baskets. I love a good basket. I picked up two recently from a charity shop for 95p each. I’ve used them for some of Eleanor’s toys so she can just grab a basket off the sideboard. But I want more.
So I made one.
I reached for my crochet hook and found an easy pattern to work with. I had some pale brown aran yarn which I’d bought for a lion blanket (it’s a beautiful pattern but I don’t have the time anymore).
I’m not the best at following patterns so I deviated from the instructions. I did the base as it said but then I switched to half trebles for the sides and I did double crochet on the last row so it had a neater edge. I also didn’t use another colour because I was lazy – I’ve recently put all my yarn in the garage and didn’t want to go out and get it.
I’m now trying to make a rainbow stack of baskets. I really want the Grimm’s Rainbow so this is the alternative while I’m saving up for it. It also will use up some of the huge amounts of DK yarn I have from when I did loads of granny squares to make a rainbow blanket. That blanket is still in squares. I couldn’t work out how to attach them together so I haven’t. I really need to do it but there’s about 50 squares and I feel overwhelmed by it. I’d pay someone to do it for me!
I’ve really enjoyed crocheting in the evening and at nap times while listening to a podcast. It ensures I put my phone down and disconnect.
Eleanor turns two very soon so I’ve been looking at ideas for 2 year old birthday presents. I only want to get her one present so I need to narrow down my list!
Grimm’s Rainbow 6 piece
The Grimm’s Rainbow is absolutely beautiful and can be used in so many different ways. I’d love the 12 piece set but the 6 piece is more on budget for me. I can see us using it to build towers, tunnels for the railway track and so much more.
Grapat Summer Nins
The Grapat Summer are one of 4 seasonal sets. I adore the little Nins and I think this set gives a bit of variety as you get Nins, mates, rings and coins. Eleanor is an end of summer baby and I love the colours of this season. The range is also handmade and hand painted which is so lovely.
Lanka Kade Animals
The wooden animals from Lanka Kade are so beautiful and affordable. I like the idea of buying all the animals from the Dear Zoo book for her to play with. I think she’d quite like the world animals bag too. The colourful natural ones are my favourites as then you get a bit of colour with the natural wood too. I saw the natural ones in Down to the Wood, a wooden shop in Lyndhurst, they look beautiful! You could take your child’s favourite animal book and find the matching toys.
Goki Wooden Blocks
The 50 piece wooden blocks from Goki are a mix of colour blocks and natural ones. They’re a variety of shapes and I think they’ll be great to make anything she wants. There are endless possibilities with this toy.
Tegu 14-piece Magnetic Wooden Blocks
These little blocks are magnetic and come in a variety of colours. I don’t know whether I love the natural or the sunset the most. I think these would be perfect for when travelling or to take a few to a restaurant to keep her entertained.
I LOVE the look of the Triclimb! I need to convince my husband that it’s a good purchase. As well as something that can be climbed on, it can also be used as a den, with a blanket thrown over or a reading nook; it’s so open ended. I think it could be a great addition to Eleanor’s new bedroom (when we move her). It says “coming soon” on the website so maybe for Christmas….?
I have a huge list of books that I’ve taken note of whenever someone recommends one. I can’t get them all so I’m looking out in the library for them. Here are a few of the ones I really want to read with Eleanor:
How are you feeling today – Molly Potter
Goldilocks and the tree potties – Leigh Hodgkinson
Toddle waddle – Julia Donaldson
In my heart – Jo Witek
The Usborne outdoor book
I have to try and decide what to get her for her 2nd birthday. I’m leaning towards the Grapat Summer Nins but I think some Tegu blocks would be great too. I want everything but I’m trying to not buy her (or me) as much anymore.
What do you think would make a good present for a 2nd birthday?