Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Literary Inspired Baby Names.

** This is a guest post from the lovely Jane over at Is That You Darling, the link to her blog is at the end of this post so if you have enjoyed reading please do pop over and check out more posts on her blog**

I don’t have babies, and I don’t know if I ever will. But that doesn’t stop me playing the ‘What would I name my babies game?’ from time to time.

People have lots of different reasons for choosing the names that they do for their children; sometimes it’s a family tradition, sometimes it’s after a loved one that is no longer with them. And sometimes it’s just because they love a name.

I’m a big reader, and so when I’m thinking about names that I love, I often think back on the books I have read, and the characters I have loved. With that in mind, here’s a few names that I love that are inspired by literature.

Darcy Somewhat obvious, maybe, but is there a more iconic character than Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice? I think Darcy is a lovely name for a girl, but I think it could work for a boy as well.

This is a fairly popular name, with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, and Frank Lampard having daughters called Luna. As a Harry Potter fan, and a Luna Lovegood fan, I think it’s a beautiful name!

Inspired not by a character in a book, but by a poet – W.H. Auden, who is perhaps most famous for his poem Funeral Blues. A perfect name for a little girl or a little boy.

Bronte Another name inspired by a writer rather than a character, a baby girl called Bronte would honour the three sisters: Emily, Charlotte and Anne, famous for such novels as Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

This one would be a little awkward for me, as my oldest sister’s married surname is Sawyer! But I love it as a name for a girl or a boy. It is inspired, of course, by one of American literature’s most famous characters, Tom Sawyer.

Another Bronte-inspired name; Nelly is the narrator of Wuthering Heights, and is a lovely old fashioned name for a little girl.

Ada is a character in Cold Mountain, portrayed by Nicole Kidman in the Oscar-winning movie adaptation. It’s another old-fashioned name, the likes of which seem to be very popular right now!

Pip Would you be setting your son up for a childhood of teasing if you named him Pip? Possibly, but I think it’s ever so cute! Pip is a character from Great Expectations, though you could also go for Pippin from The Lord of the Rings!

OK, so as someone called Jane, it might be going a little far to call my baby girl Janie. But it’s a lovely version of Jane, don’t you think? It comes from a book called Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, a book I studied at university.

This is my all-time favourite name for a little boy; I can’t imagine anything cuter than a baby boy called Huck! It’s obviously inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but it also doesn’t hurt that there’s a West Wing connection (my favourite show of all time!).

Thanks to Jess for letting me guest post here at Tantrums to Smiles! I blog at Is That You Darling, and it’s mostly about books and general life stuff if you’d like to stop by!


Monday, 19 June 2017

Keeping kids cool in a heatwave

Since last week the temperatures have been rising with summer well and truly on its way! This weekend temperatures hit 30 degrees here in Bristol! It seems all across the country temperatures have been soaring and it can be unbearable when it gets too hot, especially for kids!

With that in mind I have joined up with some great bloggers to share some of our top tips for keeping kids cool in a heat wave -

Bedtime can be a real pain at the best of times but in the heat and bedtime becomes impossible. I really can't blame the kids for struggling to sleep in the heat as I do too but I have found that using ice packs can help a little. I use the ice packs you can buy for picnic bags etc (the thin blue ones) and freeze as many as I can during the day. I then place each one inside a sandwich bag and place them inside the bed about 45-60 minutes before the kids are going up to bed. The sandwich bags stop them from getting the sheets wet but it leaves the pillows and sheets lovely and cold when they get into bed, making it a little easier to settle.

Sophie from Sophie and Lily and Elizabeth from Where roots and wings entwine are both big fans of making ice lollies to keep their little ones cool. Sophie suggested using fruit to keep the ice lollies healthy which is a fab idea. Elizabeth also had a great idea of freezing breast milk and making them into little lollies if you are breastfeeding which is such a sweet idea.

Lianne from Anklebiters Adventures suggested using the water spray bottles filled with cold water and letting the kids spray themselves to keep cool. Which sounds like a great idea to me, James also likes the handheld fans you can buy which are handy especially in a hot car. I found these funky fans which combine the water spray bottle and a handheld fan in one in Argos, they look like they would do a great job at keeping you cool!


Vikki from Family Travel with Ellie suggested hanging a damp cloth a safe distance from the fan if you have one in the room, this ensures all the air circulated is nice and cool which definitely would help keep the room nice and cool.

Emma from Me and B make tea has a super fun suggestion of freezing toys into blocks ice, not only keeping them cool when handling the ice but keeping them entertained trying to break their toys out too. I love this idea and will definitely be giving it a try with James and Evelyn.

During the summer months my fridge is usually packed with more non edibles that food! Keeping things such as baby wipes, after sun, moisturisers, even t-shirts and shorts can make them really refreshing to use especially when its boiling outside. The kids love finding their cold pjs in the fridge to slip on before they for to bed!

I also love Donna from Bobsy's Mum suggestion of frozen Frubes! I best these taste delicious, would cool you down and very little mess as they are in the tubes! Will definitely be giving these a try.

Finally... you can't go wrong with a paddling pool! My son loves it when he comes home from a hot day at school and finds the paddling pool up in the garden ready for him to dive in to! It instantly cools him off and is lots of fun too, just don't forget the sun cream.

Do you have any top tips for keeping the kids (or even us grown ups) cool during these hot summer months and unbearable heat waves? I would love to hear them in the comments below!


Friday, 9 June 2017

Happy 3rd Birthday Evelyn!

Well this has come round quickly and hit me hard, how on earth can my baby girl be turning 3 today!?

I'm not going to say where has the time gone, I've felt every moment of it... heck we haven't even mastered bed time yet! But I have adored being able to spend every minute of my day with you Evelyn.

Seeing you smile for the first time, take your first steps and talk for the very first time. Now I'm about to watch you grow up (way to quickly for my liking) and head off to nursery, and I know your super excited because you want to be just like your brother. But I'm going to miss you just like I did James too.

I don't know whether its because you have your big brother to look up to but my gosh Evelyn you are determined. You know what you want, how your going to get and hell hath no fury on those who get in your way! Your head strong and beautiful and I love that you aren't afraid to show the world your bubbly diva like personality and always with a smile on your face.

When you came along you completed our family and we couldn't have been happier, you make us smile every single day even on the days I didn't think it was possible. Your cheeky and loud and a real mummy's girl but you have such a sensitive side too
You love cuddles and especially love it when we stroke your neck or back when you roll your eyes back and totally relax. You have your very special "blabley" (blanket for you and I) who you wouldn't be without, he's your comfort when your sad, sleepy or happy.

Evelyn I want to say Thank You. You have shown me what confidence looks like and allowed me to become stronger by learning from you. You have no fear just an amazing imagination, a want to learn and the desire to smile. I never want you to lose those things and I will do everything in my power to tell you every day to never change who you are, be strong, be determined, be you... even if you are a diva at times!

Happy Birthday baby girl, I love you to the moon and the stars!


Sunday, 4 June 2017

I don't need a break from my kids!

"You just need a break"

It seems to be one of those common phrases we all say whenever anyone has a problem, sleep deprived... you need a break. feeling down... you need a break. But that isn't always the right solution for us all, what if my kids are my break? My break from the stress of the world we live in, my break from the mundane routine and being a grown up.

For me, I don't need nor want a break from my kids!

I will take a house full of laughter, jokes and make believe over a house of silence and tidy. Now don't get me wrong there are tantrums and tears and sometimes I take a few minutes longer in the bathroom just to gain my composure for the next round of "but mum I'm bored". But in reality I wouldn't have it any other way and time away from them fills me with dread.

My children are my life, they are the reason I know what true love is and the reason why I have so many happy memories. I don't need an escape or a break, but I'm certainly not bashing parents who do! We are all different, parent differently and needing a break doesn't make any difference to your parenting and its ok to admit you need one, just like its ok to admit you don't.

James recently went on a camp trip with his Beaver Scouts group, it was Friday-Sunday meaning 2 whole nights away! It was the longest he has ever been away from us and whilst I let him go I was so apprehensive about it and deep down just wanted to screw up the form and pretend it never happened.
He was so excited to go but as he walked up the steps to the coach and disappeared towards the back I felt the tears well up in my eyes. I missed him more than I ever felt imaginable and the first night found myself hugging his pillow, wiping away my tears counting down the moments until he was back.

I of course didn't let James see my tears but did ensure as he stepped off the coach on his return I scooped him up, span him around and gave him the biggest hug and kiss I could manage. It made me realise that I don't need a break or want to be apart from my kids. Yes I may moan that they drive me mad and that the bickering is draining but without them I'm lost!

Yes life with kids is crazy and chaotic, they keep me on my toes and might be the reason my hair is going grey at 27 but that's parenting isn't it? That manic, crazy, bursting with pride kind of love that I don't think I ever want a break from.

Please don't think I'm judging you as a parent, we are all different and need different things and that's ok! Life would be boring if we all felt the same, did the same and acted the same! If you need a break, take it and don't feel guilty. Just remember a happy parent means a happy child so we have do what we need to so that can happen!