Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Buttonbag Dinosaur First Sewing Kit Review

Finding new fun crafts and activities for Dylan can be a challenge. We've done so many things over the years now and I am always weary of what might be too old for him. With his ever improving fine motor skills and a love for making things with his hands. I was actually really excited when Buttonbag got in touch as their products all sounded perfect for us.

Buttonbag was founded back in 2007 by Sara Duchers and Sarah Marks who started the company from their kitchen table and sold their craft kits from a little market stall. By 2008 they upgraded to a design studio and are now stocked in hundreds of stores across the UK. Each of the Buttonbag products is designed in the UK with children at the forefront of their minds. Their kits will all contain every item you need to complete a whole project right down to the sewing needle!

 I was really excited to see their Dinosaur First Sewing Kit. I already sew myself and Dylan has always found it interesting, he'll ask questions and enjoys watching me sew. I thought the kit would be the perfect introduction to sewing for him since it is made for children aged 4+. 

Inside our Buttonbag kit we found two green felt dinosaur shapes, two large plastic safety sewing needles that are perfect for children, 5 red felt hexagon shapes with sticky backs, 1 red and 1 yellow bundles of string, a bag of padding for inside, 2 googly eyes and the instruction leaflet.


Getting started is so easy, Dylan was really excited and ready to jump straight in! First thing to do is to thread the needle. Dylan found it easy to do with the large eye on the needle and I tied a little knot to keep the thread from slipping back off.



Once we had a threaded needle it was all down to sewing around the dinosaur shape. We tied a big knot in the end of the tread to stop it slipping through the pre-made holes in the dinosaur. Dylan got to work sewing his way around the dinosaur and he really enjoyed watching as the thread made it's way around the shape. He did concentrate a fair bit with ensuring he didn't miss a hole. 



We stopped with a space still left to sew between the last two spikes on the dinosaurs back. We used this space to pack in all the padding and pushing it down into all the little corners. We did find that our little knot slipped through one of the holes at the start but stayed put after that. 


Once we had all the padding inside Dylan set to work closing up the hole to meet up with the first hole we put the string through at the beginning. I used this to tie the string together and create a continuous loop of string. It prevents the need to have more than one knot and also means they won't slip through any holes.


Now it was time to get sticking! Dylan struggled a little with getting the backing off the Dinosaur spike shapes and I had to help a little using my nails. He took great pride in choosing where each needed placed on the dinosaur and sticking them in place.


Finally he added an eye onto each side of the dinosaur's head and his little Buttonbag Dinosaur was complete! All in all it took around half an hour from start to finish so it is perfect as a nice activity for one on one time without being too long to take the whole day. 

We both really enjoyed the activity together. There was a whole lot of fun and talk about dinosaurs while he worked and he was engrossed the entire time. With so little preparation needed and such a wonderful outcome of something that Dylan has made himself I am so happy with the Buttonbag kit. I cannot recommend them enough. They have everything you need to create something special and you don't need to be crafty in any way to be able to enjoy them. The Dinosaur First Sewing Kit is perfect for children to experience sewing for the first time and includes so much fun.

You can purchase a Dinosaur First Sewing Kit from Buttonbag  for £9.99.



Disclaimer: *we received this product in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

What's in my hospital bag

This may be my third pregnancy and also my third hospital bag however I've never actually taken the time to share what I like to take with me into hospital when I go into labour. With Dylan the bag was huge and literally held every single thing I could possibly imagine needing for me or for him. Things really downgraded with Scarlet since I really didn't need to bring the entire house with us. A weekend hold all and her changing bag was plenty to keep us going for the initial first days, especially since I didn't actually have it during my labour with Scarlet.

I thought I would do a quick and relatively short post on the things I plan to bring with me for labour and the day or two after I give birth.


First up is what I have packed in my bag. I'll start with the obvious, PJ's I have three pairs going in, two will be the usual cotton kind which I find comfortable but they also minimise my itching which will still be around after I give birth. The other pair is more a very comfortable casual pair of wide leg trousers which I love and find extra comfortable along with a vest top which will be good for breast feeding. There is a lightweight housecoat in the bag too. I have put in an old night dress which I can also wear during labour although I've mostly worn what I had on when we arrived with Dylan and Scarlet.


I have also included this pair of soft slippers which I picked up from LIDL and three pairs of trainer socks. I find I prefer to wear socks all the time at the hospital and have my slippers should I need to use the bathroom etc. Bending down to get my slippers on in the first day or two is hard and having socks means I don't have to do it all the time. I have also packed away 5 pairs of 'granny' type knickers which are ultra comfy for after giving birth. Along with 4 nursing bras to wear. I have brought more than I probably need but I'd like to have spares too. I haven't pictured my actual underwear as you probably don't need to see it.


Another fairly obvious item is towels, I am bringing two with me for the first bath after I give birth and I've made sure they are comfortable ones which I like. It's all about the comfort in those first few hours!


Now onto my toiletries bag. Inside I have included small travel bottles which I picked up from Poundland in a set. Each contains shampoo, conditioner or shower gel (missing in the photo) and I have also included the little pump bottle which has antibacterial hand soap. Each is labelled on the bottom with marker but it means that I can bring the brands I use which don't react with my skin and the soap at the hospital won't make my hands hurt from eczema.

I've put in some unscented deodorant to use as I know baby needs to be able to smell my scent to have a good start and chance with breastfeeding. There is also a new toothbrush and a travel sized toothpaste (not pictured as I totally forgot that until now. Whoops!). I've included two lip balms as well for during labour and after. One is tinted but has a different texture when it is applied which I sometimes prefer to the Dr PawPaw. Finally there is a set of headbands (this is literally the only thing I really wanted from my hospital bag when I was in labour with Scarlet!), hair baubles and a hairbrush which I've put inside my hospital bag itself for easy access in labour.


I have popped in a packet of maternity pads from ASDA, the hospital do prefer you to use their pads which will be in each bedside locker however I like to bring a few as a back up in case I really need one and don't have to wait for some should those run out. I've also got a box of breast pads in there which will likely get me through the initial first few days. I plan to use reusable pads at home but I don't want to add to the washing load that will be waiting for us at home.

Finally I have my going home outfit which I completely forgot to get a photo of before packing it away. It is just a nice comfortable top which is loose fitting and my softest pair of jegging type jeans. I can always change this depending on how I feel as Simon can bring up something else should I want it.

There will a few last minute items which I'll need to pack when the time comes which include my phone, purse, hospital notes, camera and chargers.


Inside the bag for baby is a few muslin squares, I have only taken a photo of two but I have got 3 or 4 in there. I find them really handy for nappy changes on the bed, cleaning up baby sick and various other jobs so I always have a few with me.


I have included what should be his first hat (crocheted as I remember they need to wear a warm hat for a few hours after birth.), two cotton hats, two pairs of mittens and two pairs socks.


I went with a general number of 5-6 vests and sleepsuits in sizes newborn and 0-3 months. I do think those will be enough for a day or two at hospital after he is born.


We will be taking one pack of newborn nappies from ASDA, a pack of WaterWipes, a pack of cotton wool pads (not pictured) and some Green People nipple cream which I know I will need in the days after giving birth and starting to breastfeed.


Finally in the bag for baby is his going home outfit, a little cardigan type jacket, a light blanket and our little 'Hello World' milestone circle.

This isn't all that I have packed ready for delivery day as I will have a small bag of items packed for Dylan and Scarlet to go to our friends house while I am in labour. I will also have a small bag full of extra essentials like baby vests, sleepsuits, muslin squares and nappies along with PJ's, underwear, maternity pads, breast pads ready for Simon to bring up to the hospital should we need to stay for longer than a day or two. I have ended up staying in hospital for 5 days after both Dylan and Scarlet's births so I want to be prepared for that should it be needed.


Friday, 19 April 2019

Bump Update Baby #3 - 35 Weeks



Baby - This week baby is measuring up to be about the size of a pineapple (46.2 cm)and should weigh around 5.2 pounds or more. 

Inside he'll still be developing those lungs ready for breathing in air when he is born. Along with the final developmental changes going on he's preparing to latch on and feed by practicing his sucking movements. 

We are now in the stage when he'll be getting into position for birth and he is already head down but this week I have noticed he is getting much further down into my pelvis now. His movements are definately getting stronger and every now or then he'll give me a good swift knee to the ribs which can be rather painful. With that being said I'm really conscious that these will be the last baby movements I ever feel inside and so even those painful ones are precious.


Me - Most of this week has involved me feeling pretty tired. In the last few weeks I have managed to get a short nap in the day but Scarlet isn't taking her naps at the minute and Dylan is off school for Easter break so we are generally doing a lot more. 

I'm feeling the need to really get the house into order now that we have a deadline on when baby will be here. I'm not sure it's all to do with nesting as such but it is certainly giving me a good kick up the bum to get the whole house sorted and ready. 

My liver tests are going back up again although they are still below 40. Hopefully they'll comeback down however the itching is getting worse as the weather improves which I remember was a big factor when I was pregnant with Scarlet too. It's looking like I may be taking more cool baths in the last few weeks now.


Tuesday, 16 April 2019

What We're Reading - Night Monkey, Day Monkey by Julia Donaldson


It's no secret that we all love Julia Donaldson's books, We've amassed quite a collection from the author and even Dylan loves the fun rhyming nature the books and he'll gravitate towards ones he knows if they are in the book case that month.


We recently added to our collection with another from Julia Donaldson and I have to say I wasn't expecting Dylan to love the book right away. We'd picked up Night Monkey, Day Monkey which is illustrated by Lucy Richards.

The story follows to little monkey's who live very different lives alongside each other. One is awake through the night and is accustomed to all things that live during the night. While the other lives in the day and is surprised by all the nocturnal animals who come out in the darkness.


The two little monkey's are fun to read about as they find out and discover how the other monkey lives. Dylan really enjoys how each monkey just can't believe how silly the other is in their fear of the unknown creatures and all the strange sights they have never seen before. The message from the book about how finding out new things doesn't always need to be scary. A chorus of frogs doesn't mean they are chopping down the trees as day monkey thinks in the night. It can simply mean that sometimes our imaginations are much more frightening.


I really enjoy the illustrations by Lucy Richards in the book. They clearly define the difference in when the two little monkeys are playing around in the night (pictured above) and when they change over into the day. The bold, bright colours of the day vastly contrast the deep, dark colours of the night. Each page is filled with beautiful forest scenery as well as the animals. There is plenty for children to see and discover in each page.

We've all really enjoyed reading Night Monkey, Day Monkey and I know it will be one that is loved for a long time yet in our collection.


Sunday, 14 April 2019

Bump Update Baby #3 - 34 Weeks

The count down is on. There will be less than a month before this baby comes and I am feeling excited but slightly terrified! 

Baby- At 34 weeks baby should be measuring up to be around the size of a cabbage (45cm) in length and will be weighing in at around 4.7 pounds according to my pregnancy app. We have had a growth scan this week and baby is actually estimated to be 5.2 lbs now so he's doing well and still has time to gain more weight.

Although the lungs are still developing they are almost there now and will soon be developed enough to breathe air after they are born. 

Now baby can also hear much better. His hearing is developed enough that he can hear. He will respond particularly to high pitched noises. Something I can confirm thanks to Scarlet's high pitched screech always getting a reaction.  

Another interesting fact this week is that baby will have fully grown finger and toe nails now. It's a little strange to think there is baby nails inside my stomach!



Me- I'm really feeling the effects of being heavily pregnant now. I'm tired and most days I find I do need to take a nap, usually I lay down at the same time as Scarlet and have a nap while she does. I still wake every night needing to use the bathroom or simply because I am uncomfortable. I'm now finding it hard to get comfortable anywhere, walking, sitting or laying down all have me needing to change after a short time.

Towards the end of this week I woke up feeling awful. I'd had a long night of waking up with a sick taste in my mouth and I felt pretty sick. Thankfully it passed through the day and was almost gone the next day. I'm hoping it doesn't come back.

As I mentioned above we had my 34 week appointment this week. I have to say I've never had an antenatal appointment like it. It went awfully and I am sure it was due to my over stretched hormones, feeling sick and the poor staff who already have a whole room full of  pregnant women to deal with. However I was made to feel like I was unreasonable for questioning why I hadn't been seen at all in close to an hour. So when I did make into the doctor at an hour and a half after our appointment time to be told I didn't have Obstetric Cholestasis, that I was taking more medication than the maximum dose and have been for almost 10 weeks on a daily basis. I lost it! I wasn't being listened to and I was being told to go look it up on google and find out more. Which of course I did do well before this appointment, in fact having been through it all before I had researched a whole lot during my last pregnancy. I cried and after a few minutes I made my way to explain everything that has happened. In the end we spent over 45 minutes talking to the doctor who I probably made feel awful and burdened with all the things that had happened at our previous and current appointment. 

However she was fantastic and she did sort it all out, in the end we worked out what I need to be doing, what needs to happen over the coming weeks and we went through all my previous pregnancies and labours. I asked her all the questions I needed answers for and she booked my induction date. Although she does think I may well go into labour on my own before then. She explained the induction process, told me all of my options and all the facts I need to know about Group B strep which I had during my last labour but went undetected until after I had given birth. We then booked in for another growth scan in two weeks time and I honestly left the hospital feeling so much better. I do feel a little guilty that I just burst and all my frustration with the information constantly changing came out on this one doctor who was really just trying to help and do her job. She did reassure me and we left on good terms. I apologised for my outburst and I thanked her for helping me with everything. 


Hopefully next week won't be as eventful with Easter break about to start and a to do list as long as my arm needing done before it's time for this baby to join us.




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