Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Making a set of Boots and Bar.

The other day the lovely Bex posted on Twitter how she was looking for some Boots and Bar for a teddy in an effort to make getting her son to wear his Boots more fun. Now I love a good challenge so I offered to make a set.

Here is how I made mine. First I went to look for a pattern for baby shoes, thinking that would be the best route. That didn't work, mainly because it looked nothing like the boots but also teddies have different shaped feet. All teddies are different in the foot department. 

Some of the teddies we have here

So I thought I make one for the middle sized 'normal' teddy foot. If you want to make one yourself draw around the teddies foot and then cut around half a cm away from your drawn line. This is your pattern. 

Pinned boots checking out the sizing
Then based on your teddy you will need to make the back of your boots for my teddy I cut out a rectangle 3cm high by roughly 5cm and sewed this to the back of the foot shape. Then have 1cm in width straps. I pinned them first to work out how much I would need for them to fit my bear. 

Finished Boot

On the top strap I used a buckle to allow the boots to be put on and off with ease and to make it slightly more realistic. I found these in my local haberdashery. 

For the bar, I attached two poppers for the boots to attach to the bar. 

How the Boots attach to the Bar
The bar size I based on my teddies leg length as if it is too long they won't stay on. I used felt to make these Boots and Bar as it is a very versatile fabric although it doesn't get on well with velcro which is why I have used poppers and a buckle. 

Finished Boots and Bar

What's causing the hives?

Recently we've noticed that Nate has been coming out in hives soon after eating. We have begun to try and work out what is causing these hives. Nate already avoids dairy and largely soya due to intolerances to them I'm not looking forward to adding anything else to that list.

Last years hives

We have on our list of potential suspects tomato, mayonnaise or brown bread. We're not 100% sure that he has had the same food each time the hives have come out. He loves tomatoes but noticed this time last year every time he had them he came out in hives so we avoided them until early this year when there was no reaction. 

This mornings hives

We are thinking it may be brown bread as we recently have changed to brown bread due to the recommendation of the nutritionalist and this morning while having his toast we noticed his legs were covered in hives. However, he hadn't eaten any brown bread when he came out in hives yesterday so we may be looking for something else as well.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Bag Of Books Summer Party

Sunday was the day of Bag of Books Summer Party, we bought tickets for the Troll Swap event. Troll Swap was authored and illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson. Leigh did a brilliant job keeping the children entertained while waiting for everyone to turn up for her reading of Troll Swap. After Troll swap had been read there were Troll glove puppets to be made. Leigh had sewn together the basic glove puppet shape with 'tentacles' and had all manner of lovely things to be stuck to them to finish their Trolls.

Nate's view of the reading

Leigh's Troll

Nate really got stuck in and we had to force him to stop sticking things to his Troll.

Outside at the party there were lots of things to look at and to do:

Button Tree

Creating Face masks

Making surpriders, based on surprider a book all about spiders.

Face painting

Entertainment from Fairies and Pixies

Colouring in a fish and writing a wish on it

and Bubbles.

Special bubble homemade bubble wands
Bubble painting

Nate having a go at blowing bubbles

I'm not sure who enjoyed the bubbles more me or Nate. There was a bubble wand for making huge bubbles and even bubble painting. I think we will attempt the bubble painting again once Nate is a little older as he didn't quite get not to suck on the straw.

All in all it was a lovely day and hopefully this will be an annual event.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Just So Festival

This time last week, we were getting ready for the drive up to the Just So Festival  and looking at the rain hoping that it didn't last and that it wasn't happening up in Cheshire.

We arrived late in the day (7pm) after rushing off to buy a new tent and some food for the journey. Quickly found a pitch for our tents and then got ourselves into the festival. I have a couple of Time Lapse videos on YouTube from the festival. Entering the festival. I loved the umbrellas leading the way to the festival.

Things I loved:
It was for children, there were things for Nate to do which is why we went.
There was a nappy changing tent and a breastfeeding tent. I loved this things although the changing tent wasn't as sheltered as it could be and the breastfeeding tent the sides blew in the wind. Little niggles there.
There was so much to do - we didn't see everything which is a shame but at the same time shows how much there was to do for little people
Eat Your Words- this was one of the activities that took place, a table was laid out and on the table there was edible rice paper and edible pens. You used to pen to write something and then ate the paper.

Our version of Eat Your Words

Nate enjoyed Clay babies where he was playing with clay and there was even the chance to have a go with the pottery wheel. As it was a little cold we didn't let Nate get too messy as we didn't want to have to strip him off. 

Clay Babies

In the Spellbound forest there was clay animal building 

Building a fairy house
Painting early in the morning

Huge building blocks

Things we didn't love so much
The changing tent being open to the elements
Toilets (festival toilets are always going to be a bit off)
The slope where we pitched our tent (Our fault, don't try to camp on a slope you end up sliding down the tent)

We have pencilled in the Just So Festival into next years diary.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Nate has croup. I'd heard of croup as one of the babies we went swimming with had it but had never heard the cough (bark). So when Nate woke up yesterday barking with a wheeze we took him to the GP as we didn't know what was wrong. Croup.

The GP's advice:
Keep him cool
Keep him calm 
Get some fresh air especially when coughing at night. 

We were prescribed Steroids as well however, the pharmacy didn't have them in stock and wouldn't have then until the morning. 

Fine, we keep him dosed up with calpol to keep the temperature at bay and he spent most of the day in between sleep and awake. 

Not a very happy bunny

Then at 9pm he woke up suddenly really confused and screamed when he saw me. I can't explain how upsetting it is for your son to not recognise you. To look at you directly and scream in terror. He had a high temperature but it was too soon for another dose of calpol. We spoke to NHS Direct who sent an ambulance round, they were here within five minutes and it was decided that Nate needed to go to A&E. 

At A&E his breathing started to get noisy and he was coughing more. As soon as we had seen the triage nurse another nurse came out with a cocktail of drugs: steroids, paracetamol  & ibuprofen. It took the full 4 hours they allocated for him to calm down and his breathing to be less laboured. 

Cuddled up in hospital
He is now back at home and has a very croaky voice but is happily playing with his Dalek's and Cybermen. I have never been so happy to hear endless chatter about Dr Who. 

Checking his temperature

I would love to hear about others experiences with Croup. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

App review- Endless Alphabet

Their is one app that Nate loves and he constantly asks for it. It's called Endless Alphabet, or as Nate calls it: letters (it used to be numbers).

The app is designed for slightly older children than Nate (who's just turned two) it displays a word, says it out loud and then the letters scatter around leaving the letter outline there. When you touch the letter it makes it's phonetic sound and when placed in the right place it says the letter. Once you place all the letters in the right place it says the word again and what it means along with a little sketch.

The menu

Letters getting knocked out of place

It's got an American slant so some of the words are spelt in the American way (ie odor). However, Nate loves this app and he has learnt the phonetical sounds of most of the letters. He sat on the train identifying the letters we were making with play dough quicker than we could make them.

Matching the letters

The little sketch giving the definition

The app is £2.99 on the App Store and has had about 6 words added to it since Nate started using it in June. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Sea Life Brighton

We were at a lose end over the weekend and we have previously visited Sea Life while visiting a friend in Bonn back in December we thought it'd be a good time to visit another Sea Life. I've been looking at the Sea Life in Brighton for some time due to the glass bottom boat and they've recently added the octopus garden.

We visited just as the Pride parade we passing, so it was pretty deserted inside no queue to get in either. We booked in for the glass bottom boat and started to wander round, with our dive books. (a book designed for children to collect the stamps around the various tanks) 

Nate loved looking at the fish, he got very excited. The only thing he didn't really like was when the rays show their underside to the tank glass. It looks a bit like an odd face and he got a bit scared of that. 

It was soon time to go on our boat ride, so we went to where the glass bottom boat lives and the first thing I saw was this:

You probably can't tell from the picture but this turtle is pretty big, it is probably about a metre and a half in length. We got on the glass bottom boat and it was only us, it meant Nate got to wander around and see everything that was pointed out to us.

Nate on top of the turtle

There is one thing Nate keeps talking about from this trip and it is the Jellyfish and them changing colour. He was absolutely taken with it. 

Blue Jellyfish

Red Jellyfish

We must have arrived at the Octopus garden at nap time because all of the Octopuses were asleep/hiding. That means we will have to visit again soon. We spent two hours here and Nate could happily have spent a lot longer.