Is It really Goodnight for Toby the Bear?

A beautiful children’s story which reminds you of the love they have for their comforting companions. But where can I get it from? 

I’m going to start off with an apology. I’m sorry but the book I’m about to talk about isn’t actually available for sale anywhere. Although, maybe if there is enough momentum I may be able to convince the author to publish.

Many moons ago, before I was even married, my sister-in-law showed me a children’s book that she had written and printed. Not only had she had developed a character called Toby who was a little girls teddy bear but she has also beautifully illustrated every page. Paula told me the bear had got his name from a cheeky little Jack Russel dog she remembered lived next door to her when she was younger. 

I remember being really impressed. It was printed and bound so I had presumed at the time that it had been published. I was wrong.

I am now married and have 2 children so some time has passed. Then yesterday I remembered this book. How wonderful would it be to read the adventures of Toby to my own children? I asked Paula if the book was available to purchase anywhere and she told me that it had never been published… oh no!

I couldn’t bear for Toby the bear (no pun intended) not to be shared with the world so I decided to write a post about him.


In the book Toby goes to bed with his beloved pal. Each page shows the little girls routine and how Toby is lovingly dragged or dumped in various places around the house as she perpares for bed. 

Here Toby is being taken carefully upstairs 


Now it’s time to brush your teeth. Careful Toby.


Toby continues on his bedtime journey and eventually end up being lovingly tucked into bed with his adoring companion.


I do hope I haven’t ruined the ending


What I love about the book is that it teaches a good bedtime routine. The book keeps to a simple routine with words but the beautiful illustrations allow you to talk more to your own child about their own routine. It’s nice as you can relate it to your own little one and their soft toy or comforter. My son has a soft toy called lamby. He will not sleep without it and take him everywhere. I’m so scared of losing it he’s not allowed it outside the house. For outdoor adventures he has monkey, who is now becoming an almost equal to lamby… oh dear. 

Paula has made many more illustrations in preparation for a series of books about Toby’s adventures, but alas they are tucked away. I do hope she reconsiders releasing the book and hopefully making some more books for children to enjoy. This surely can’t be the final goodnight for Toby… can it?

If you think you would like to see more of Toby please share or leave a comment.

Thank you for reading

Goodnight 

Getting Support For Breastfeeding

This is just a short post to raise awareness of a new resource that has started up in the UK to map all the breastfeeding support groups.

It had been started by a mother of two beautiful children who champions all mothers and seeks to support mothers who want to breastfeed. She promotes breastfeeding and baby wearing in a supportive and non-judgemental way. 

When my son was born he had a severe tongue tie causing him to have difficulty latching. He swallowed more gas leading to trapped wind and possetting. It also lead to breast and nipple damage with me. Despite being highlighted at birth,  it took 23 days to resolve as “due process” had to be followed. During this time I could have given up breastfeeding but I received support from my local breastfeeding group and friends which helped me to persevere. Their advice also helped me to get the procedure to resolve my sons tongue tie done as quickly as possible… although 23 days seems like a ridiculous amount of time. 
Please share, especially if you think there aren’t many groups in your area. There may be groups that need adding to the list and just haven’t got the word out yet. It may also inspire someone to start up their own group.

Facebook-  @thebreastfeedingmap 

Cuddles With My Cuties

There’s something about having a cuddle with your baby or child that strikes an inner calm. I don’t mean the cuddles you give when your baby has wind or they’ve taken a tumble and need comfort. I’m talking about those “just because” cuddles. 


I’ve been appreciating those cuddles recently. It’s a time when time doesn’t matter, I am in the moment with my baby and they are there with me. It’s a time when they can feel safe and loved and where I feel like my love for them folds out and over them like a warm blanket. 

We listen to each other breathe, give light tickles, rest our heavy heads, and flex our toes as we relax and just enjoy the moment together. 


It’s easier to find a moment to enjoy these cuddles with my 6 week old Olivia than with 2 year old George. He loves to explore the world with his toy car, cook in his kitchen or count to ten and spot shapes over and over. However, this makes the times when he comes in for cuddles extra special. It’s important not to miss those opportunities. More often than not just a touch of physical contact is all George needs… just so he knows I’m there and visa versa.

So if you come to visit one time and my house is a mess, I have a pile of ironing and I’m not even dressed pleased don’t presume I’ve been lazy. I’ve been showing my children how much I love them. 

It is simply bliss. 

I’m often guilty of rushing around so much that I don’t stop long enough to take stock of what is happening. If you’re guilty of that too I hope you find the time to have a minute and enjoy the moment. It really helps me to clear your mind and put my objectives into focus. This stopping helps me to get started again… only happier. Some might even call it meditation.

What has made you happier today?

Thank you for reading

Instructable Crafting a No-Sew Owl Costume

One thing I was looking forward to as a parent was the “crafting” element. I know this makes many people die inside when they child says “I need to go to school as a pirate tomorrow”but when I was asked to send my 20 month old boy in fancy dress for world book day this year I took up the challenge. 

George’s favourite book is little owls night. He reads it himself (babbles) and kisses the owl goodnight every night. I just had to send him as little Owl.


I chose a no see option.

You will need:

  • Coloured felt
  • Scissors
  • Fabric glue
  • Fabric marker
  • An old T-Shirt
  • Headband
  • Coloured paper 

Step 1 create the owl cape

I lay George’s Old T-shirt over a large piece of brown felt and then marked out an owl cape. I added feather detail to the edge along with a tail. Along the top I left flaps to allow me to glue the cape to George’s T-shirt



I left flaps to attach to the collar 


I wanted to give the chest a bit of a pattern so I chose a combination of yellow and orange for the feathers. I cut similar sized rectangles and lay them out to make sure I had the right coverage.


I then trimmed the ends of he rectangles to make feather tips.



I then made some longer and larger brown feathers to cover up the arms of the T-Shirt.


And a flap to cover the front collar


Time to glue and let dry overnight.


I made an owl face using coloured paper and stuck it onto a headband (I forgot to photograph)

George modelled the outfit brilliantly. He wasn’t so keen on the headband though.


The headband didn’t make it all the way through his day but he had a great time running round as little owl all day.


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my instructable. Hopefully this will inspire you to create something as well.

Happy crafting

Every Pebble an Adventure

There’s no doubt about it, the world is an incredible place. Our problem as adults is that we are so habituated to seeing the world around us we often forget it’s wonder. However, a child doesn’t look at the world this way. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have this viewpoint again?!

I was visiting a relative this weekend with my 2 week old baby and 2 year old son. My newborn was receiving lots of cuddles and this gave me a chance to play with my son and watch him explore his surroundings. Although there is repetition to what he liked: hiding behind a door or cabinet; running away when you say “ready, steady…go” or never ceasing to grow tired of walking up and down steps, I loved watching him explore and make periodic stops to take in the world. He would stop every now and then to look at something, jog on the spot and laugh. He would look at me as if he wanted me to share in his excitement. Although I didn’t quite know what tickled him I would smile and be excited as it was so wonderful to see his joy.

We explored the garden and it occurred to me that everything in the garden was new to him: new plants; different paths which were effectively a maze,and an intriguing glass house with the most wonderful sliding door. He pottered around for such a long time re-running the same route and babbling to himself. He absolutely loved it and I was there sharing it with him. It got me thinking how amazing the garden must be for him and what he might be thinking as he re-ran his route… would he be thinking up a story in his head? Would he be looking for objects to associate words to?  Would he be looking for a means of escape from my gaze to go independently exploring? Who will know? 

I’ve rambled on but other than thoroughly enjoying spending time with my family today, I want to start looking at my world with fresh young eyes. I am so accustomed to being busy and this allows stress in. I need to start looking at the world as if it’s the first time I’ve seen the colour green, the sky or just the pavement I walk along. If I can appreciate the world likes child does even for a moment during each day then maybe it will slow me down enough to stop me stressing and keep me topped up with a feeling of contentment and happiness. Be careful you might just spot me stopping when I’m out and about and just laughing… would that be such a bad thing? 

What would ou look at with h fresh eyes today? 

Thanks for reading

5 Top Soft Plays – Near Matlock Derbyshire

Looking for something to do on those rainy days? Soft play can be the answer if you need your children to burn off a little steam. This article from my travelling with children blog looks into 5 great soft plays in the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire area to give you an idea of which might be best suited for your age of children.

5 Soft Plays Near Matlock

Have fun at the weekend peeps!

 

 

 

 

Mothercare XXS Compact Stroller

I just can’t get over how compact this pushchair/stroller is. I have had 2 different cars since having my first child and boot space was always important to me as with children you can never really travel light.

The amount of space a pushchair takes up is enormous and incredibly inconvenient. Whether is a collapsible stroller that needs to be placed on top of shopping bags or a travel system that needs to be built after every car journey, there are definitely drawbacks to any choice of pushchair.

The XXS stroller takes up so little space it is just great for quick trips out and about. Its easy to put up and take down and there is a generous amount of storage for a stroller under the seat. This storage will mostly be taken up with a changing bag as the stroller is so lightweight I wouldn’t trust it to hold my enormous bag on the back. Luckily though I have a little changing pod bag for travelling light with this stroller.

I have a second child on the way now, otherwise this would have been my choice of stroller for going on holiday (flying). I know you don’t really get restrictions on the size and weight of your stroller but I might have tried to get this one though in hand luggage so that I always had it from the gate and some airlines do that but others make you go to oversized baggage.

When the next baby arrives this compact stroller is going to grans. She doesn’t have much space at her house and I know she’ll love taking George out on little trips along the canal to give him some quality time.

The only drawbacks to this stroller are that it can’t lie flat so if little bubba needs a nap it’s not the best stroller. Also although there is a sun shade I never had a rain cover so it’s only a sunny day stroller and I never really had the confidence to have it as my sole pushchair. Maybe when the babies are older and rarely need the pushchair but I’m not in a position to judge that just yet.

Here is a link to the stroller on mothercare (it’s a mothercare exclusive) in case you were interested in having a look.

http://www.mothercare.com/buggies-and-strollers/mothercare-xss-stroller-exclusive-to-mothercare/LD3125.html

 

 

Simple Sunday Stroll to Happiness

Sundays can easily slip away from me. I try to get the house in order for the coming week but if I’m not careful, the time zooms by and I’m left thinking I’ve not really achieved much. 

Today started out slightly differently. Last night my Son spent his first night in his toddler bed. I was half expecting him to be up in the night running around or doing the same at the crack of dawn. He didn’t though. He slept through and woke at his usual time. He sat up in his bed and cried for me. I was hoping he would climb out and explore his room. I guess he hasn’t figured out he can do this yet. 

I did manage to get the house in order in between playing during the morning hours. Outside looked fresh. It wasn’t too cold and with no rain it looked like a good day for a walk. We probably would have gone for a country hike but my pregnancy won’t allow that at the moment. We decided to go to a local park and garden instead in Matlock.

I want expecting so many shops to be open in the town. We had a browse around some shops before unleashing the toddler in the park. 

If there is one thing I have learned today it is: puddles are great fun. Even though George isn’t old enough to jump in them yet, he made a beeline for every puddle in sight and pottered through them. He loves his independence and it was so lovely to just watch him enjoying being free to walk around. 

He doesn’t like to hold hands, he is always suspicious that he will be held back… he’s right. 

There is duck pond near the play park and he chuckled as he shouted “duck”. It was one of his first words as my mum walk take his down to the local canal as a baby to feed the ducks. 

I thought the park would be too big for him but there was a great climbing frame that he was able to decsend on his own to climb up to a large slide. I think we could still be there now if it was up to George: he loved it. That and running in and around the other fixtures. 

The park was really clean and had a soft rubbery floor around most of the fixtures so even when George did stumble he stayed relatively clean. There is also a paddling pool in the park which we didn’t venture into today but I’m certainly looking forward to returning in the warmer months. 

It’s little outings like this that make me so grateful for being a parent. It’s also times like this that make me feel like I’m being a good parent; my husband too. 

It’s the simple things that make us happy. I hope you have had a beautiful day.