Go Spring Green!
Checks are big this year
Play it safe with Neutrals
And finally, neutrals are still going to be the more subtle theme for this year and are the perfect spring tone to bring you out of a dark themed winter wardrobe. Where are previous years they were used to compliment brighter tones, this year it’s all about neutrals in varying shades. Think lighter browns, beiges greys and creams.
I’m always intrigued as to how people choose their children’s names, I put a huge amount of thought in my choice of baby boy names (which I always found harder than girls. Not great when you’ve had to do it 3 times!) Having such a traditional name myself, I always fancied something a little different, something which had a meaning and one they wouldn’t share with other children.
When pregnant with my first son, Jordi, I envisioned a surfy, cool dude. A kind of laid back, carefree sort of boy. So chose a name inspired by an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and cemented by a football player. (It was nearly 17 years ago, age really did define my choices) . Coupled with a middle name poached from my dad, he had the choice of a more conventional one should he so wish. It couldn’t have been more fitting as the hair grew longer and skateboarding and surfing became his love. Almost as if I’d glanced into the future.
Then second time round I kept coming back to one of my all time favourites. A family name already belonging to an American relative. Completely unusual to the unknowing ear but utterly apparent to anyone who knew my grandmother’s maiden name. It was going to be Kynan and nothing else, a tribute to my mum’s family and following a tradition to share names with our relies across the pond. Again, I gave him a slightly more known middle name, this time with a nod to my dad’s middle name. I’d lost my maiden name so I felt I needed to keep a little of my dad somewhere.
So I guess the million dollar question is “do my boys like their unusual names?” after all, they’re stuck with them. And the answer is yes and no. Fact of the matter is, no matter how hard you think things through you can never guarantee to getting it right. Years of having to answer to various names as teachers struggled to remember them, then loving the fact that they were the only ones in the school with those names.
Which takes me right up to where I was some 2 or so years ago, right back to choosing baby names. Do I go traditional this time being older and wiser? Or should I stick with the unconventional? I’ve started something I shouldn’t really stop. But that’s the most difficult thing when you’re choosing names 2nd, 3rd or what ever time around. Really you’ve got to keep going, siblings will find any reason to throw a ‘why did you do this to me’ stick about. I did it once or twice as I yearned to be called something more way-out, forever envious of the Psyche who sat mysteriously with her mysterious and unspellable name at the end the table in my media studies lessons. While I, Alison, sat within poking distance of Nicola, Marie and Brian.
But then I thought, it just as name, and as long as he can spell it, I can say it and my family don’t scoff at it. I’ll just go with something I like. Something which makes me smile when I say it out loud, a name which doesn’t define him and leaves the book open to follow what ever route into the world he should take.
My bonkers, happy little Ronnie.
So tell me, how did you choose your children’s names? Was it a joint decision, names in a hat or did you name them after someone famous? I was named after Ali McGraw, apparently.
Not too bad a namesake I guess.
This is a collaborative post
I recently completed a journey which I was secretly dreading. It was one of those trips which had to be done just to prove to yourself it could be done. And once the initial maiden voyage was over, it would be plain sailing from forth with.
What made my nerves even more nonsense was that I’d done this journey many times before, the exception being I had children, older children but never a toddler. An adventurous, lively toddler who loves to explore and investigate everything, a toddler who I knew would be beyond excited at doing something new, a toddler who hated to be confined and rarely sat still for more than 5 minutes .
That was the cause of my concerns.
So the very fact that we completed our little journey, Toddler, Tween and yours truly, in a spectacular and stress free manner has compelled me to share how we managed 6 trains over 7 hours on our return trip from Devon to Oxford. And share some tips we picked up along the way for anyone else considering travelling with toddlers.
The key to my success was in the planning. I knew that to guarantee that Toddler slept for some of our journey, I booked a train that should in theory give me an hour until his nap. This meant that he could get all excitement out of his system not long after boarding and then after a little snack, would settle down to sleep. failing that, the iPad is genius for quiet time. I’m careful never to overuse it as it looses it’s appeal and is only ever brought out at as a last resort.
As we were only staying away for a few days, we made do with a wheeled rucksack. This was our saviour when navigating the platforms or walking down train aisles and was soft enough to pack into the luggage holds. And packing was a crucial part in the planning. My BabyMule changing bag is an absolute game changer for travelling. slung over my shoulders, leaving my hands free and having everything stored in the different compartments makes grabbing snacks and nappy changes simples.
I also made sure I had plenty of snacks, dinners and drinks for distracting any efforts to continually want to toddle around, as toddlers do. I chose snacks which would take a while to eat and hopefully not make too much of mess of clothes or the train floor, thus eliminating any further stress. Think raisins, Little Dish GoGo’s
To make getting on and off the train safe, I carried my toddler in a baby sling. This meant I had my hands free to carry my baby bag and suitcase. And reins are a must for more mobile toddlers. I take mine even when I’ve got the buggy as it keeps him close by while I’m collapsing it.
Any experienced parent, who’s learnt from experience, will know that you can’t really travel anywhere without a few extra items in your parenting ammo, one of these being a few first aid items and while my mini break was hardly crossing that Amazon, the basics still applied. Along with an emergency packet of stickers, a small pot of distraction bubbles and a favourite teddy.
Mothercare parenting expert, Liz Day, recommends that when travelling, keep your child’s teddy bear safely in your hand luggage or an easily accessible bag so they are within reach to soothe and calm your tot if there are any upsets during the journey.
So now I’ve got my plan for successful travelling with toddlers I’m hoping to be a little more adventurous with our days out and short breaks. Watch this space!
This is a collaborative post
None, I repeat, none of my boys ever learnt to self soothe as a baby or toddler for that. Each night I’d sit with then and often hold them to sleep. And with no.1 & no. 2 it was an issue. A huge, gut wrenching, I’m failing at this parenting lark issue.
It was all me, I’d done it all wrong. That rod that people talk about. Well, I’d only gone and bought the blady t-shirt, cemented it in iron and left it there for good.
I’d tried the ‘put your baby down drowsy thing,’ yeah, that didn’t work. Lies, all lies, or at least to me. For my babies, putting them down was the absolute worst thing which I could do, so their ear-piercing cries told me. Like I’d laid them on a bed of nails.
How very dare you mother!
They’d say in thief Stewie from Family Guy voices
So guiltily, I picked them up. Guilt from knowing “the books” would scorn at my weakness, guilt that I’d not been strong enough to sit it out, to wait to see if it was just a momentary protest cry, and guilt that by picking them up I was causing deeper, long-term problems. They’d have sleep issues as adults and it would be all my fault.
I blame my parents
They’d tell their psychologists trying to repair the damage I’d caused.
Only it didn’t cause any damage. My cuddles and bedtime love caused no damage at all.
I can tell you that now. As hindsight, that wonderful, beautiful thing called hindsight. Tells me that what I did was just what my babies needed.
As those babies, those little, cot resisting, Velcro babies are now teenagers who can quite easily sleep through the protest cries of their little, cot protesting Velcro baby brother.
Who each night curls up, in the safe, comforting arms of his cocksure (I know what I’m doing this time) mother and I hold him while he drifts to sleep. Sometimes in my arms, sometimes holding me. But never out of touch or out of reach.
And he let’s me know, my beautiful little boy, that there’s no way on this earth that tonight, or any other for that matter, will he be drifting off on that 16-year-old bed of nails!