Monday, 11 June 2012

Another post about poo

I probably talk about baby poop way too much, but I challenge any parent to claim that they don't find their own child's bowel movements a source of endless fascination. Hell, I've heard educated and well-dressed couples discussing it matter-of-factly over dinner at a nice restaurant.

When you have children, poo becomes such a routine part of your day that it ceases to be disgusting (although there are always extreme cases). In fact, for most parents, the load in their child's diaper acts as a daily print out of their overall health and wellbeing. The fascination stems from the reassurance that at a glance you can mostly tell if that they're feeling well, eating at least a few vegetables, and staying hydrated. Reports are relayed to your spouse with all the detail an accuracy of a medical exam. If the child is unwell, one of the first questions is "how is her poo?"
For a while it made me wonder how parents of older children keep track of this stuff, but then I remembered that older children can generally string sentences together to more or less accurately relay how they feel. And the fact that their parents don't try to substantiate those statements by poking around in the toilet (ewwww), reassures me that this fascination with the contents of my children' diapers will one day wane, and I will be able to return to polite society. Maybe.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

A case of the blah blah blogger

It's really been a case of radio silence on this blog lately. I really have just felt so blah about it, and I'm pretty sure it was just a reflection of other life pressures, and not  a lack of desire to write. I still found myself composing posts in my head, but then shrugging my shoulders when the time came to fire up the computer and get to work.

But now I feel ready again. I feel like we've turned a corner and things are just easier. I don't mean that they're easier because the kids are getting older (Elle will be one in 4 weeks!!), but because I feel that I've started to hit my stride as a mother. I've gained confidence in myself and the decisions I make for my children, and that feels good. Also, Iwan has started going to preschool 3 mornings a week, and aside from giving Elle and I some time together, I've found it provides a nice foundation upon which we can build our week. And it's so lovely to see Iwan thriving and learning in his new environment.
Finally, we're counting down the days until we head to America to see my family- it's going to be a great summer!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Mio bambino in Bambino Mio

This week I'm taking part in a cloth nappy challenge in partnership with Emma's Diary and Bambino Mio. Although we're no strangers to cloth in this house, we have become a bit more reliant on disposables for bedtime and naptime. So my challenge for the week is to keep Elle in cloth all of the time- and try to get my "cloth mojo" back. Because with two in diapers, I haven't been feeling quite as enthusiastic about cloth nappies. But Bambino Mio sent us 3 of their hot-off-the-presses new MioSolo nappy to try. I'll give a full-on review once we get through the week, but so far we're quite happy with them. You can see how much Elle enjoys her Mio Solo in Parma Violet!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Review- Vicks Coolmist Humidifier

I don't know about you, but we had a really rough winter. Our little family was brought down by illnesses ranging from tonsilitis to food poisoning, not to mention the standard sniffles and expected bouts of teething. Anything that helped ease our suffering was seized and put into action immediately!

This is why I so enthusiastically accepted an offer from Emma's Diary to review the Vicks CoolMist Humidifier. I had heard great things about it, and had seen it around the shops, but I had hemmed and hawed over whether or not to buy one. After trying it, I not only wish I had gotten my hands on one earlier, I'm actually considering buying one for each bedroom in the house.

When the CoolMist Humidifier arrived, we had actually just returned from a trip to the doctor's office (we should get some kind of frequent flier miles for the amount of time we spend there), and Iwan had just been diagnosed with a chest infection. So, pretty much perfect timing. Once we had followed the preparations directions provided, we set the humidifier up in Iwan's room. It actually looked quite smart and sleek, not at all obtrusive. Not that style really matters too much to the comfort of a sick child, but I definitely noticed and appreciated it.

The CoolMist Humidifier was simple to set up, and intuitive to operate. My husband was in charge of keeping the water tank topped up, and he definitely appreciated how easy this was to do without splashing or dripping water everywhere. The humidifier can be used with or without the Vicks VapoPads, which release the signature menthol scent to provide a comforting night's sleep. I'm certain this helped Iwan sleep more easily while he was getting over his illness, and so allowed us to sleep better as well.

Also, both of my children suffer from mild eczema, and I found that running the CoolMist Humidifier in their rooms at night really helped us to combat this problem. I'm sure it also helped a bit with my husband's snoring when we tried it in our room- so you can see our need to have one in every room of the house!

All in all, this is a great product. Initially, I thought the price tag was a little steep, but I've come to see that it's definitely worth it. We have been using ours every night for over a month now and have not encountered a single problem. Definitely a worthwhile investment for any family.

Emma's Diary is GIVING AWAY TEN COOLMIST HUMIDIFIERS! To be in with a chance to win, just click on this link!

The Vicks CoolMist Humidifier was provided to me free of charge. My opionion as expressed in this review is my own and based on my experiences using the humidifier with my family for several weeks.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

My Little Revolutionary

Elle's hair is suddenly much longer on the sides than on top. It makes her look a bit like Benjamin Franklin. It's hard to get a good pic that shows this, because her hair is so fine and light, but really, it's kind of uncanny. I'm super tempted to pose her with a pair of bifocals and a kite. Or maybe set up a printing press in her nursery.  I ran this by her, and this was her reaction:

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Essential One- Giveaway Winner!

The lucky winner is comment 8- Micaela!
Micaela, you have 72 hours to contact me to claim your fabulous prize!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Morning People

Could it be that we're turning into morning people in this house? While admittedly I never spring out of bed, it is one of my favorite times of day.

We're not get-up-and-goers. We're jammies, and bed head, coffee on the sofa, and Winnie the Pooh on TV watchers. Cuddles and toast and waving bye-bye to Daddy from the front window. That's how we do it.

Mornings are for coziness. Afternoons are for adventures.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Well that was fun...

Iwan just started sobbing in the middle of of "3rd and Bird." He was sad because Muffin was stuck on a lilypad. Either he's pregnant or it's naptime.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Essential One- Review and Giveaway!!

A little while back I was approached by a great company about the possibility of reviewing some baby clothes for Elle.  As you can imagine, as the first little girl on both sides of the family, Miss E is not lacking in attire.  What then, would tempt me into adding to our laundry load?  Very simple.  Nothing but the best.  The Essential One baby clothing is that good, folks.

"Okay," I can hear you saying, "but it's baby clothes. What's the big deal?  Make a tiny something, slap a bunny on it, and call it a day."  But the thing about this company, is that it is more than just clothes.  It's an idea.  I like ideas.  The whole premise of the The Essential One is simply to provide the essentials your baby will need in his first year (think bodysuits, sleepers, hats, snowsuits- the essentials, get it?), but to provide them at an outstanding quality you'd be hard pressed to find on the high street.  Furthermore, The Essential One, although operating via web and catalogue sales, seeks to provide a truly boutique experience for their customers.

When the products for Elle arrived, they came in a branded cardboard box and carefully wrapped in tissue paper.  What's more, everything had been spritzed with a subtle, gentle, hypoallergenic scent.  There was also a personalized note tucked into the box.  Lovely.  Just lovely.  It certainly made me smile.

I was sent loads of great things to review, and had a great time playing dress up with Elle.  The Essential One sent us sets of their bestselling bodysuits and sleepsuits, an adorable all in one, two hats, and (my favourite) a furbaby snowsuit.  The quality was really apparent as soon as I started handling the products.  The fabric is all super soft, and I later learned that it only became more so upon washing.  The backings on any appliques are soft and not scratchy.  Everywhere I looked I noticed little details revealing how this company goes the extra mile:  How the little ribbon zip pulls on the snowsuit are stitched so they stay in place and look neat, how decorative details are all embroidered or applique- not printed, how the sets come packaged in matching fabric bags- there was no plastic in sight!

In size 3-6 months, these clothes fit Elle really well (she was nearly 4 months when we started using them).  They even fit well over her bulkier cloth nappies, which is something we often struggle with- especially with bodysuits.  The hats especially work really for her- most hats tend to shift and end up over her eyes, but these stay in place and look so darn cute! These clothes wash beautifully- after many many washes, the colours are still sumptuous, the fabric silky-soft and free from pilling.

Everywhere we go, we  get comments on these clothes, people always want to know where they're from, and are constantly exclaiming over how adorable they are.  But no single item has caused such an uproar as the snowsuit.  Taking Elle anywhere in that thing is like the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.  People just can't get enough!  "She's like a little bear!" "Oh, how sweet!" "I wish they made that in my size!" are just some of the comments we've heard.  And let me tell you, we love this thing.  I think we have basically used it every day since the beginning of November.  Elle is so cosy in it, and it has kept her warm on many a family outing.  I really really think that £28 is quite reasonable for something of such great quality that you would get so much use out of.  Also, we have washed the snowsuit a number of times and it is still as soft and fluffy as the day it arrived, which has really astonished me.
Cosy and warm in her Furbaby Snowsuit during a recent trip to London

So while my impressions of The Essential One baby clothing is overwhelmingly positive, there are a few things I would wish for:  Number one, I wish they had an "Essential Kids" range- I want to be able to continue buying these gorgeous products for Elle once she's older, and I'd love to be able to buy clothes for Iwan at this quality and price point, and in those gorgeous stripes and patterns.  I wish that they had more colourful choices in the unisex range.  But really?  That's about it.  Elle's about to move up to the next size, and you better believe that I've been stalking the website!

Now for a bit of fun ****GIVEWAY**** Open until January 25th, 2012

The Essential One has generously offered a great giveaway for a lucky reader of The Rare Bit!  

One reader has the chance to win the following prize package:

A pack of sleepsuits in your choice of either rose pink, blue. or unisex.
£5 e-voucher to spend at and free shipping of your order.

What's more- The Essential One has generously offered to ship this prize anywhere in the world, so this giveaway is open to everyone!

Here's how you can win!  Mandatory entries (you must follow these steps in order to win, winning entries will be checked):
Leave a comment saying that you follow The Rare Bit publicly (if you don't already, click on the link to the right to make sure that you do!).

Cruise on over to The Essential One and take a look around- come back here and leave a separate comment telling us which product you'd love to try.

Extra Entry:
Like The Essential One of Facebook and leave a separate comment saying that you do.

Entries will be closed on January 25th, 2012, at 9:00 pm GMT.  A winner will be selected at random using

**Full Disclosure**:  These products were provided to me for review by The Essential One free of charge.  My opinion is my own and based on my own experiences of using the clothing on my daughter for several weeks.