I am PetitMew

Mew has been a nickname of mine for a very long time and I still get called Mew even today. I love it, it sounds fitting to my personality and even have it in most of my social media accounts. It’s who I am, have been and always will be.

For about a year now I’ve felt boxed in by my blog name. I felt I was just a mother and nothing more. I wanted to talk about my other hobbies that aren’t just about being a mummy but they felt out of place in a mummy blog. It also felt odd that my blog was called one thing but my social media accounts were called something else. So I took the plunge, got a lovely new design by Helen Braid of Ellie Illustrates and here we are!

I’ll be sorting out domain names and other bits and bobs over time now but this feels so much better. I feel like I have a place again. I love that she got me in a simple blog banner with my pink hair (I was born with it, honest), my love for tea (well I am British), my thing for make up (I will be writing lots about make-up from here on!), my addiction to cloth nappies (love my bum fluff!), my gamer side (even Petit Girl is trying to get the hang of games) and my other love of my life… my iPad.

It’s perfect. It’s my online home. It’s exactly what I wanted and I love it. So stay tuned for loads of cool stuffs and even some videos too!

Trying Not To Worry… But…

I know I have said my concerns before and have done a few times recently on social media but I felt I needed more than 140 characters to let it out and get my feelings and concerns out and maybe even get some opinions or even a few “it's normal to feel this way” anything just to help me out a little.

School has been one heck of a ride. We are in November and already feel conflicted that I did the right thing putting him in to school. With the poor Ofsted report we figured things will get better but so far feels like we are enduring so many problems. It's really not making us feel good.

The plus side is going to our boy's first Parents Evening at school was great. Not only did he sit with us and was excellent during that time but we found out he has mastered far beyond what has been taught in classes already, enjoys going outside and has been getting creative. The creative part is important as he use to cry if he got a tiny bit of paint on him, but he will simply get on with it then wash his hands afterwards now. He even adores reading even though he's still at the early stages of reading books he will demand at least one book at bed time every night.

But 5 weeks ago we handed his book in and expected another book. We waited. We kept waiting. Half term came, it went. Still no book. It turned out school was adamant he had a book but as he doesn't have a bag (he hands his homework book, lunch and reading book to me to put into the pushchair bag) I knew for sure he had not handed one to me at any point. Of course I searched and found nothing and he told me it was in school. I reported this comment and again they said he must still have it. Every Friday kids left school with a new reading book and I was greeted with a boy with tears saying “I didn't get a book”.

Suddenly the parents of reception got a guide. Useful to have when we started school rather than in November but whatever. Turned out there was lots of stuff they hadn't told anyone about (including the “today's special snack” poster actually should have said “this Friday's special snack” so we have paid way in advance now) but also we were now expected to pay a fee for a missing book. A book we never even got. Oh hell no.

I fought harder and demanded something. At the same time I bought a bunch of books to read at home with him in case my pushy words did nothing. Another week of no book but then finally last week he got a book!

Downside now is he's 5 weeks behind everyone else. The other kids are way further with their reading homework then he is now. What do I do now? I have considered asking if we could perhaps work on getting him up to same level as his class mates but don't know how we would do that.

But along with this, the parents fighting on school property with each other, the Year 2 kids teaching Y1 kids swear words, the parents telling their kids to “fucking kick him back” and the constant lack of information from the school… I'm wondering why we are doing this to him.

World Prematurity Day with gNappies

In the UK we have had a lot of stuff going on these past few days. On the 5th of November it was Bonfire Night, the 11th of November was Remembrance Day and then on the 14th November we had BBC’s Children in Need. For the 11th of November Petit Girl wore her red gPant whilst we all wore our poppies, on the 14th November she wore her yellow gPant whilst my son went to school in spots and stripes. Yesterday I realised what day was coming up so put a message up on one of the gNappies Facebook groups asking if people could help by wearing purple to raise awareness of premature births, charities who help families with a premature baby and remember those who sadly aren’t with us after being born too soon. Today is World Prematurity Day.

I didn’t expect much. Maybe a handful of pictures posted in the morning. Instead I found this. I also found a message on my original post from staff of gNappies saying what a lovely idea it was so for them to take my idea and help raise awareness was fantastic to see. I was so proud of all the purple gPants on show, the stories being shared, the candles being lit and of course the awareness being made.

1 in 13 babies in the UK are born premature. The medical science over the years has greatly advanced from when I was a baby and now babies that wouldn’t have had even a chance 20 years ago have far better care, units dedicated to premature babies and trained staff that work specifically with the tiniest of lives. But many still don’t survive.

You can help charities like Bliss and Tommy’s by donating so we can further advance our knowledge and understanding. The more we understand the more we can help reduce the amount of early births but also help those who are born early get a better chance of survival.

lavenderbum

And remember to tweet using the hashtag #WorldPrematurityDay to help bring awareness whether you’ve had a child born early, are an early baby all grown up or just know someone who has… please help in whatever way you can. Thank you.

 

My Trip with Frugi

I love Frugi clothing but the prices always scare me a little as we have a single income that isn’t a huge amount and with me being unfit to do much I’m not really doing any work on my blog to bring any money in either. But Frugi had a flash sale on over the weekend that I could not say no to. I grabbed some tights for Petit Girl and PJs for Petit Boy and that was that.

Now I know their PR, lovely ladies and nothing was stopping me from battering my eyelids at them but I didn’t because firstly they have some amazing Frugi Family Bloggers already and second of all some times we miss out on the customer experience when we turn to the PRs.

My parcel arrived on Friday and I was excited, ripping the packaging open to find… Two 3-6 months baby leggings? I checked my receipt and yes I did order it right but the items weren’t what I ordered. I tweeted as usual and then saw the telephone number on the receipt so gave that a go.

After the call to a very lovely lady I checked my mobile to see how long we spoke for. 3 minutes. She had checked my ordered, dispatched the correct items, given me a reference code to send the incorrect items back and apologised for the error. And guess what? The items she got dispatched for me whilst on the phone arrived right now. I made the phone call yesterday at 11am and they arrived at my doorstep at 10:40am today.

Now that’s is customer care right there. I’ve had so many companies take ages to sort issues out and still waiting for £60 to be refunded to me by H&M after a month of waiting. Frugi got me sorted in less than a day!

Another note I will bring up about Frugi is they are known for cutting clothes to fit cloth nappies so if you have a fluffy bum like we do I recommend their clothes. Also their products are made with organic cotton which is kind to the skin and good for anyone who suffers with skin problems such as eczema.

So do I recommend Frugi after all this? Hell yeah I do! Never have I had such good service to the point I want to tell the whole world how lovely their staff are and how they care about their customers. Go check them out at www.welovefrugi.com

Disclosure: I bought these items with our own money. This is simply a post of my own journey with online shopping with the company.

Gift Ideas for a Fox Fanatic

Foxes are a big thing and there’s a fair few people out there who love foxes and all things fox related so here’s a few gift ideas to get a lady who just can’t get enough of the furry friend.

foxyladygiftideas

 

1. iPhone Case
2. Jumper
3. Bathroom accessories
4. Purse
5. Cushion

Disclosure: These are all hand picked by me, I’m not being paid to advertise these items and I’ve not been gifted any of these items. This is 100% pure unbiased list of gift ideas. Thanks for reading!

Remembering…

Remembrance Day is today and the silence has been done with no issues from the baby but I wanted to write about this day and why every year I turn into a big blubbering mess who requires a box of tissues.

As far as I know I don't have any family who I lost in the war, nor do I have family in the army. But what I do know is were it not for those brave people who went out there into a war zone not knowing if they would return home they made it possible for me to exist, for me to have the children I have, for our country to be the way it is.

We can complain about our government and whine about taxes but I think back to the war and it could be a lot worse. Where would our country be if those service men and women didn't do what they did? Where would you and I be if we had lost the war?

Of course this isn't just about the past but also the present. We have had men and women die in recent war zones who risked their lives to save others from a terrible future. And it isn't just about our country either. Other countries were affected by war. Other countries have lost lives and other countries have been able to live the way they want to because people went out there and made that happen for us.

For me I think of every person who took part in giving us a safe place to live. The men who went out to war, the women who took over the work and running of our country and those who exist today because of what those people did for their country back then. I think of those alive and those long gone. I think of our home, my family, my friends and basic things we take for granted that we probably wouldn't have if we had not won.

On the 11th day of the 11th month on the 11th hour… The Great War ended and our lives were able to exist.

 

Cloth Nappies for Under 7lbs

Recently a couple of fellow bloggers have had babies that were born at a lower than what is considered average birth weight and they have been very interested in using cloth nappies. Trouble is many brands don't fit smaller babies. But as Petit Girl decided to enter the world early and was born at 6lbs 4oz (then of course lost some birth weight we got to see what nappies do work and what to avoid. Here are the nappies we tested and recommend for smaller babies.

The gNappies gTiny - I cannot tell you how much I loved these. The front can be fastened down for the cord (a bit of cord will stay attached for a while then fall off) and thus won't hurt the baby or create a place for leaks to happen. You can buy a newborn pack but often you can buy gTiny second hand very cheaply. I also recommend using the gRefill for the first month to help you get into the idea of cloth nappies but also allowing you to not have to rush around washing inserts and instead enjoy time with your new babies PLUS they biodegrade and wet ones can go in the compost bin.

The Tots Bots Teenyfit – very easy to use, soft and lovely fit too. Only downside I found was it didn't last up until try daughter could move on to the Easyfit so there is a gap between Teenyfit and Easyfit. Again check out second hand groups these sell fairly cheaply.

Bambooty – the smallest sized nappy they do fits fairly small babies. I could use ours at birth, it fit just fine though may be not so great for preemies. Very absorbant too and no fiddling with stuffing.

I did try others but they failed and I never like to recommend nappies that failed. But I will say DO NOT use the Bumgenius newborn nappy. Poorly made, barely hold a newborn wee and after a few washed look like they've been in a war zone. Don't waste pennies on badly made nappies.

And don't worry they will soon grow and fit one size and other cloth nappies after lots of love, sleep and feeds. Hope this has helped you out!

 

In Case Of Emergency

When it comes to money things don’t always go to plan and often you need a back-up, in case of an emergency perhaps. That’s often when using credit cards can help you out. Maybe something sudden has happened like the car has broken down and as they always say “ooooh that’s gonna cost ya!” and you hear your wallet whimper. That’s when we often use our credit card, plus the extra bonus of it being a secure way of payment for something rather expensive and knowing we can pay it off when pay day arrives so we’re all back on our merry way! We also took out a loan to pay the last of the car off a while ago as it was cheaper for us to pay the loan off.

credit-cards_2007247b

It is nearing the C word (by that I mean Christmas – eeep!) and there have been moments where we have spotted a present that we’d like but cannot afford right now. For example we saw a great deal on an Xbox One. So we used out credit card to pay for it. And it means I still have money for our usual weekly food shopping.

We only have the single income in the household and that’s often the case for many families as one parent opts to stay at home due to the rising cost of childcare and that can make buying birthday gifts a little tricky and currently our vacuum cleaner is making a rather odd sound so looks like we’ll have to buy a new one fairly soon which of course isn’t cheap, but we need to keep the house clean.

santander

Check out Santander and their options of credit cards or loans. And with so many branches in the UK and the choice of telephone and online banking you can easily check your limit and be sure to pay everything on time too. Easy and simple, the way I like my banking. When do you use your credit card?

 

Useful Japanese Terms for Bento Users

I picked up some Japanese as a kid when I watched anime. I remember my first Japanese anime, not translated into English. It took days to watch due to being on a dial-up modem and it was Rockman.EXE or as we know him… Megaman. Anyway my love of Japanese anime soon became a love for their culture and I began making my own Bento meals, sometimes bringing a few extra to take to the anime club I ran for my friends. Here are a few useful words for those seeking to give Bento a try.

Baran – Originally Japanese used a type of plant known as “baran” to divide food in their bentos from one another. These days you'll find plastic dividers that look like grass, this is a modern twist of the baran. You can get them in all sorts of styles now but grass is the most common.

Onigiri – Rice ball made using Japanese rice. I say that because this rice is required to make a proper Onigiri as it is stickier than the rice we normally use in the Western side of the world. Often inside is a Umeboshi (a dried fruit in Japan), salmon or something else though these are most common. The rice ball is then wrapped in dry seaweed, most common way is in the style of a napkin for the person to hold as they eat the rice ball.

Nori – dry seaweed used for sushi and onigiri. You can eat it as it's edible and can be bought as a sheet usually square in shape. You can often find it in Asian supermarkets. Some mothers or wives also use it to cut cute shapes, faces, animals or words out and place ontop of rice to give a cute effect.

Kyaraben – Short for “character bento” and means just that. A bento made to look like popular TV characters or cartoon shows, often for young children to enjoy. Can also be video game or comic book (manga) related.

Makisu – a mat made of bamboo and string holding the bamboo sticks together which you use to make sushi on and then roll the sushi with it. Also used to squeeze excess liquid out of food.

I was going to put sushi on the list but realised there's so many varieties of sushi that perhaps that would be best for another blog post. I personally rather like the California roll it's rather tasty and fairly easy to pick up with chopsticks.

Know any other Japanese words that could be useful for Bento users? Love to hear them!

 

Alphabet Lunches – Letter B

This weeks’ Alphabet Lunches is the letter B and again was trickier then I thought it would be but I got my creative hat on and came up with a few ideas and of course used a few B-related food picks. I am however kicking myself as I totally forgot the Bee food picks I have. Doh!

This is the first time we have used the Yumbox Classic and it was rather tricky for me to get use to a box with small compartments, but it was nice to come up with something without sandwiches. I used an old Tortilla Wrap which was due to go off soon and cut out the letter B and cooked them in the oven for a bit to make crisps. You can find where I got the idea from over at Eat’s Amazing where you can also think about using poppy seeds or similar sprinkled on top. I had recently bought some Banana rice cakes for Petit Girl and my son still loves Rice Cakes by Organix so he’s been treated to a few for lunch. Meatballs with Bones look like drumsticks, dried apricots with a Boat and for a little treat we have some mixed chocolate Buttons.  And then we have the usual yoghurt, he would never forgive me if I had forgotten the yoghurt! And in the small container a few raisins.

yumbox-b

 

What else can you think of that could be used in a B themed lunchbox? I considered Banana Loaf instead of the rice cakes at first but I knew the rice cakes would be a winner. Banana chips were on my shopping list but I forgot them, whoops!