When Cot Becomes Bed

 A few months back we decided to take the plunge and took Penelopes cot and turned it into a cot bed. The decision for this wasn't because we wanted her to grow up quickly and to become a 'big girl'. Instead it was us trying to ease her from bed sharing in our bedroom and creating a familiar open environment in her own bedroom.

She has always slept in a Super King size bed with me since she was around 7 months old, she has not had bars surrounding her for well over a year. If we wanted her to transition into her own space we knew we had to make it a familiar surrounding to what she was used to already. This meant the cot side was to come off. Did it work?...

Yes, and no. The first night she was proud as punch going to bed infact there were a couple of nights where she went straight to bed and off to sleep no trouble at all. Although she did fall out a few times when I'd walk in to check on her and she'd be conked out on the other side of her bedroom, so we tried the pillow under the edge mattress trick which worked great. No falling out.

It wasn't long before the fun dried out and she wanted back in mummy and daddys bed which we have never denied her as we didn't want to frighten her off from her bedroom. We have taken the approach now of encouraging bedtimes in her bedroom, if she falls asleep which in most cases she will that's great. but if she wakes and doesn't settle in her room then shes welcome to come with us. She stays relax and goes straight off to sleep in the room swap and the next day shes happy to try out her room again and isn't upset or scared to do so.

Her bedroom is her special place, we don't want to force anything on her as we feel this will only make it a scary unwanted space and me nor Reese want that for her. We just have to have patience now to see if slowly she'll become more settled in her room. I sit with her until she goes to sleep, we read books, sing songs, and have quiet play. Its exhausting sometimes as it can take up to two hours some days to settle her down enough to go to sleep, with my back pain troubles this can be a real struggle for me. But, we are slowly but surely making progress which is all I can ask for.

Have you got any tips or tricks to help your toddlers settle into their cot beds/bedrooms? We'd so love your help and guidance here. Let me know in the comments.
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Summer Activity - Outdoor Painting

You may know from looks at the Activities & Crafts section on my blog that I love coming up with fun ways to engage with Penny. That being messy play, educational activities, and just sometimes silly made up games. I've slowly stopped blogging about what I plan for her in a day, I don't know why... Okay I do know why. She just keeps me on my toes so much that blogging about it just skips my mind. Shes a busy little bee, and sometimes I struggle to keep up. I'm going to make more of an effort to start changing that though so hopefully your'll see some fun posts going up here and there.

We have had some really great sunny gardens days recently. I'll be out there first thing in the morning pruning bushes or cutting grass (yes, I am that neighbour). I love being outdoors, and I try to encourage Penny where possible too. I decided it would be great fun to set up a painting stuido outside for Penelope to let loose and go wild with her own artistic creations.

You Will Need:
Shower Curtain
Various Sheets of Coloured Card
Various Shaped & Sized Paint Brushes
Coloured Paints - Washable Preferabley 
Optional: Paint Palette
A Sun Hat
Sun Lotion
Old Dress
- One very soapy bath at the end of all the fun.

We had tons of fun on this afternoon, we practiced familiarizing her colours. She learnt black, and blue on this occasion. She knows Purple very well already at the moment that's her favourite, everything she sees that is purple is always called out. She was so proud of herself when she picked the correct paint pot according to the colour I asked her to find.

The ONLY downside to this activity although I cant really call it that as it was a moment I'll always remember, a great memory. Penny has been really into water fights lately. Splashing us and saying who shes going to get. For example she'll say...'MAMA!? and jumped forward with a tub full of water getting me soaked. This day however she had a pot of red paint. It didn't end well for my clothes, so do wear some old clothes yourself to be prepared for paint fighting toddlers.

I vlogged the whole activity which you can watch right now! Just click above. For more videos by me check out my channel. Lorraine Mulrooney

I cant wait for all the rain and storms to stop because there's so much more I want to get out and do with Penelope this summer, so many plans so little sun. Keep an eye out for lots more summery fun from us, hope you enjoyed this post. What are your favourite outdoor activities to do with your kids? It would be so nice to get some ideas.
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Happyology Clothing Review

I've never reviewed a clothing range before, I haven't been asked to do this review either by the way  but I completely feel this brand deserves my praise. Happyology contacted me through Twitter I believe and said they would love to send me some clothing items as a gift for Penelope. Of course I accepted their gesture and awaited our parcel. We felt totally spoilt at the idea a brand wanted to send US a gift.

Thankyou Happyology for spoiling us, now we want to give you something back. So here is a review of what we thought about the items you selected us out. 

If you haven't heard of Happyology before your'll know alot more about them after this post. They are a British baby and children clothing brand. They cater for a wide range of ages from newborn all the way to seven years old. but they are going even broader with those age groups and are expanding their brand to accommodate ages 7-12 in the Autumn/Winter of 2016. Amazing right?

The main focus for Happyology is that their clothing be beautiful, timeless, and to last a long time. They pride themselves on the fact that their quality of clothing is so good the clothing can be kept to pass down in generations. This is something I appreciate as I am keeping Penelope clothes for any future children we decide to have.

We were sent a beautifully styled collar-less Lined Denim Jacket, with a gorgeous flared hem at the bottom which makes it look so girly and pretty. I really like the fact that the jacket didn't have the original button up front on the jacket, instead they have made it completely easy for parents by making it a popper fasting front. We've had this jacket a few months now and with denim, its always a worry what it will be like after washing, but after many a wash and much muckiness on it. The jacket is still as soft as when we received it and doesn't crease much at all. 

Jacket: Was: £35.00 Now: £17.50

The next item was a blouse, now this was exactly the type of top I would have selected for Penny myself. A Floral Collar Blouse which meant its collar sat perfectly over the top of the collar-less denim jacket. The blouse collar was so delicate each flare on the collar had a small floral print on it. It just made it look like a real statement, nothing I've seen before infact. The sleeves have been kept white and plan but the main torso part of the top is covered in a gorgeous floral print. The jacket looked perfect with the blouse. 

Blouse: £11.00

With the main features of this outfit going to the top half of the body. The trousers they selected us out then were the Jersey Grey Leggings. This worked really well as we want to keep the attention on the main features of the outfit as you'd expect. They are incredibly soft and have washed so well. They were a little big on Penelope at the time, but they have served us well all this time and now fit her perfectly. I like that they have a really well structured elasticated waist, Pennys little tum does tend to bloat up and down during the day and I'd only want her to be comfortable in what she wears, so these trousers work well for that.

Jersey Leggings: Was: £19.00 Now: £9.50

We realise we have had nothing bad to say about Happyology but that is in all honesty how our experience has been. Its refreshing to a brand in which I adore every item of clothing, and that doesn't turn to pot after 1-2 washes. It's quite rare for us to find usually. Our family 100% recommends this brand to you.

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OXO Tots 2-1 Go Potty Review

We have worked with OXO for a fair while now, it feels like they have grown with our family just as much as Penny has. They've helped us through weaning, learning to use different types of beakers, supplied us with goodies for me and my daughter to bake together, you name it they have been there for us.

Today, OXO Tots are helping us out with another huge milestone. The big one, can you guess it? Yep, Potty Training. Penelope first started using the potty when she was around 16 months old. She has been for 5 wee's and around 3 number twos on a potty in the past, its not something we ever pushed on her. All I did was leave the potty out, give her some nappy free time, read stories to her on the potty and encourage her to sit on it while she watched some TV. She's now 23 months old. She isn't right now in a mind set to start potty training exclusively but we like to encourage her where possible, to create a less stressful experience when the time does come. Having a relaxed approached seems to be a pattern with the way me and Reese choose to parent Penny.

OXO have sent us this amazing 2-1 Go Potty in Raspberry, it retails for just £20.00, like always their products are completely affordable and are so sleek and modern in design. The main focus of this potty is that its totally perfect for travel use. It is a stand alone potty with disposable bags to make it even easier to empty the waste when on the go. If you camping for example, and your toddler is in the mist of potty training, what are you going to do, poor the waste into a near by bush and have it stinking out the camp site, no of course not. Use your disposable bags and pop it in a bin respectfully with no stink and no mess.

The potty comes with 3 disposable bags lined with absorbent pads to soak up any excess wee. You can buy the OXO refills, but also want to know another alternative? This potty accommodates regular plastic bags so it is really convenient too.

It also comes with a draw string light weight travel bag which fits everything in perfectly, it keeps the potty clean and dust free when not in use. The legs of the potty fold down so easy at the push of a grey button on either side of the potty, making it super fast to set up in emergency training situations.

Setting up the potty for use is so easy. All you do it push each corner or the bag into the rubber grips and it securely keeps it in place until end of use.

Another two great points i want to mention aswell is that the height of the potty is just right for toddlers, not too low and not too high so as they grow and get to an age in which they are ready to potty train it can still accommodate the ages as they grow. My second point to make is that the size in which the potty sits little bottoms is perfect, I seen some which look far to small to last for older toddlers, and I've seen some in which earlier potty trainers would simply fall through. This potty is shaped perfectly for those little bottoms so that they can sit comfortably.

If you press those grey buttons but pull the legs to lay flat it can also be used as a potty seat to go on top of regular toilet seats. Which is so great when moving onto the next step, the toilet.

The potty once folded and compacted into the draw string bag fits suitably in a suitcase, travel bag, car, bottom of your stroller, or even your changing bag.

I love this potty it is so functional, easy to use and it is going to make potty training easier for everyone involved and thats whats important when it comes to potty training. I feel more than ready for it, when Penny is good and ready of course, we will take it head on. OR should I say bottoms on?!
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*I was sent this products for review purposes, but all thoughts and opinions written in this post are completely my own.