Saturday, 28 September 2013

Do you know your SPF's from your UV Rays?? My top 10 tips for staying safe in the sun.

Our Aussie summer is making a very early appearance this year with temperatures reaching the 30's over the last few days in Sydney.  I thought it was time have a look at SUN SAFELY and the good old SLIP SLOP SLAP rules.

I'm pretty paranoid when it comes to sun protection anyway as I've already had one Skin Cancer Scare.  I first became aware of just how dangerous the sun can be in my early 20's when I was studying cosmetology (skin care).  I went to a lecture on Sun Damage given by Dr Des Fernandes, who is a plastic Surgeon based in Cape Town, South Africa.  He also created a skin care range called ENVIRON, which he believes prevents premature ageing and skin damage caused directly by the sun. Some of the sun safety tips I learnt from him at that lecture have stuck with me for life.

I won't go into too much scientific skin care jargon (as most of my family will know) I could go on and on and on about it.  Instead I'm just going to stick to what I know about SUN DAMAGE and how we can protect both ourselves and our kids from it.

UVA and UVB - What are they??
Image credit
For those that don't already know, they are the sun's rays.   The UV stands for Ultra Violet and the A and B are just used to describe the length of each ray.  An easy way to remember them is:

B is for Burning
A is for Ageing

B Rays are shorter in length and only penetrate the surface of our skin therefore causing tanning, burning and some premature ageing.  They can't penetrate through cloud which is why we only tend to get burnt when the sun is shining.  B Rays give us a warning by turning our skin red if we are exposed to them without any protection.  A Rays are much longer and can penetrate right though to the very deepest layers of our skin where our DNA sits.  They can also penetrate right through cloud, so A Rays can damage our skin all year round even on a cloudy, overcast day.  A Rays release free radicals into the deeper skin layers, which alter our skins DNA, and over time can cause premature skin ageing (wrinkles, lines and pigmentation marks) as well as SKIN CANCER!! There are several different types of skin cancers (none of which are nice) but it's really important to know that some of them CAN KILL YOU.  It takes around 10 years for damage caused by these free radicals to start appearing on our skin.  So just think, those little lines you may have seen appear on your skin in your early 20's were most probably from sun damage in your pre-teens! Scary??  I thought so!! Imagine the damage we could potentially cause for our kids if we don't educate and protect from the sun.

SPF - What does it really mean??

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a basic measurement of how well your chosen sunscreen protects your skin from UVB (those burning rays).  To calculate it you need to know roughly how long it takes your skin to turn red in the sun.  If it takes 10 minutes, for example, then you would times that by your chosen SPF factor, say 30, to give you the amount of time your skin is protected after application.  So 10 (minutes) x 30 (your SPF) = 300.  That would give you 300 minutes or 5 hours before you would start to burn and would need to reapply your sunscreen.
However, this should only ever be used a rough guide as it does not take into account the following
  • Damage being done by UVA Rays (the invisible damage).
  • The temperature and UV indicator on the day (eg: you are likely to burn much more quickly on a 30 degree clear day with a high UV count,  than on a 21 degree partly cloudy day with a lower UV count). 
  • Your skin type - some people are more sensitive than others and you can also be more sensitive at different times of the year.
SPF sunscreens work by using a chemical barrier to absorb and reflect the UV rays away from the skin.  The higher the SPF the more protection you have, however an SPF of 30 will absorb 98% of the suns rays (if applied properly), so factors higher than this can be costly and pointless.  So as a general rule of thumb - USE AN SPF 30 AND REAPPLY THROUGHOUT THE DAY!

Always wear a hat and sunnies when outside in the sunshine
  1. Alway use a BROAD SPECTRUM sunscreen.  SPF only protects you against UVB rays. A broad spectrum sunscreen will protect you from both UVB and UVA rays.
  2. Always wear sunscreen when outdoors, regardless of the weather.  Some of the suns harmful rays can still penetrate through clouds.
  3. Apply your sunscreen half an hour before going into the sun and to be safe reapply every two hours (if you're staying in the sun) or follow the instruction on the bottle you have bought.
  4. Sunscreens DO EXPIRE!  A good sunscreen should have it's expiry date printed on the bottle.  Don't assume last years leftovers are still good!
  5. If in the sun all day, the average adult should use a quarter to a half of an 8oz bottle of sunscreen.  Sunscreen should always be applied liberally with at least a 'shot' glass amount on each application.  Less than this will not give you the full SPF protection.
  6. If applied correctly the best option to choose is a Broad Spectrum SFP 30 that has been approved by the Australian (or whichever country your live in) Sun Safety Standards.
  7. Don't be fooled - a high SPF will not stop you from tanning, it will just take you longer to get a tan.  A slower tan is always a safer tan.
  8. No sunscreen will give 100% protection.  Stay out of the sun during peak hours (usually 11am to 2pm).
  9. Wear a broad brimmed hat where possible, protective clothing (especially while swimming) and sunnies to protect your eyes when out and about in the sun.
  10. Allergic reactions to sunscreens are generally caused by the perfumes and preservatives found in them, not the chemicals that filter out UV rays.  Always read the labels and check the ingredients if you have sensitive skin. Buying the cheapest option is not always the best option, but you don't need to buy the most expensive either.

image credit
So remember to slip, slop, slap, be SunSmart and enjoy the weather!

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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

First day of Spring Break and a beautiful boardwalk at sunset for Wordless Wednesday

I love Spring break!  The kids are all on school holidays, routine is waaay out the window and it feels like everything around us is just that much more alive with the extra bit of warmth and sunshine!

Linking up as always for WORDLESS WEDNESDAY with the lovely Trish from My Little Drummer Boys and Bree from Twinkle in the Eye

Have a lovely Wednesday everyone - only two more sleeps until FRIDAY :)))

You can also follow Mrs D plus 3 on facebook - twitter - instagram - Pinterest

Monday, 23 September 2013

Mrs D's TOP 10 TIPS for Apple's New IOS 7 operating system

So how many of you have installed the new IOS 7 on to your iphone or ipad??  Do you love it or hate it?
Like it???
I really wasn't sure about upgrading but Mr D insisted that I do it!!  He gets so frustrated with me because I HATE learning anything new when it comes to technology.  If things are working fine for me then I don't see why I should mess with them.  "But it'll make your life SO much easier if you just let me show you this new thing" he says "No!" I reply.  "Seriously you are just creating extra work for yourself" he says (with slight exasperation in his voice). "I like it how it is" I reply - still not budging!!

So like I said, the migration to IOS 7 was not done with any kind of excitement or anticipation on my part.  In fact I was convinced I would hate it before I even got it.  The first thing I googled (while it was still downloading was how to revert it - you know, just in case!!).

Just as I thought, my first impressions of it were not fantastic.  "It's like a disco on my screen! The colours are all techno bright and it's all flat and swishery!!"  "I don't like it" I said.  "I love it" replied Mr D (which makes me want to hate it even more).  Fortunately for Apple I'm going to have to admit that it has actually grown on me.  I love the disco keypad lock at the beginning and I'm got so used to the new (actually quite pretty) Apps that I've almost forgotten what the old ones looked like.

I've spent the last two days trying to figure it all out and I've actually come across some pretty cool features.  So here they are:


  • SMS vs Imessage: Sms or txt messages are charged to your phone phone bill and appear green when sent.  Imessages will either use your allocated data or wifi, so are essentially 'free' - which is much better.  These messages appear blue when sent.  In order to set this up correctly with the new IOS 7 you have to go to 'SETTINGS' and then 'MESSAGES'.  At the top will be 'Imessages', which you will need to swipe off and then on again to activate.  After a few seconds it will activate.  Once it has you will then need to go to 'Send & Receive' and de-select everything except your mobile number - that way your messages will not be sent from your email account (and your friends won't get confused on who is sending them messages).  You can also now swipe to the left of each message to get an exact timestamp of when it was sent.
AirDrop and Control Panel - with cool, pretty colours!!
  • AirDrop:  This is a pretty cool new little feature.  It basically means that you can send anything from your phone to ANY iphone or ipad in your near facility.  If you wanted to send a photo to a friend, while you are both sat in the park lets say, AirDrop will recognise all the phones near you, including your friends, and you can send it straight over without having to go via email or paying for a photo message.  Cool - yes??  HOWEVER, it does open your phone up to receive ANYTHING from ANYONE that is 'near' you and is picked up by the AirDrop radar.  This is not so cool as who knows what might suddenly pop up on your screen????  So to prevent this - which I think is especially important for kids or teenagers with iphones, you will need to go to your 'CONTROL CENTRE' by swiping your fingers upwards on the home screen and you will see half way down it will say 'AirDrop: Everyone' - click on this and change it to 'Airdrop - contacts only'.  That way you phone will only receive AirDrop messages from people in your contacts list.  Much safer I think.
  • Control Panel:  This is a pretty nifty trick too, which I'm sure you've all already worked out.  But by swiping upwards from any screen you can get to your camera, calculator, brightness, volume, airplane mode etc etc!  All those little settings that you use all the time and were such a pain to get to in the old IOS 6 operating system.
  • Safari: Apart from the icon looking a little different, I love the new safari.  There are some great little buttons on the bottom of the screen.  A left and right arrow making it easier to move between pages.  A square with an arrow pointing upwards which takes you straight to sharing (message, email, airdrop, twitter, Facebook and even flickr etc) so it's much easier to share what you're reading.  A little 'book' icon that takes you to 'Shared Links', which I think is SO awesome.  Inside shared links you have your bookmarks to save all your favourite stuff.  The glasses, which saves all those links from twitter that you want to read later directly from your twitter feed - how cool??? and a little @ symbol which gives you your live twitter updates!!  No excuses to not keep up with social media now - well for us bloggers anyway!!  Finally the last button on the far right gives you a library of all your 'open' browsers making it a million times easier to navigate between different pages - and it holds twice as many as the old IOS 6 did.
  • Multi Tasking: This is similar to the old multi tasking feature but better and it looks much prettier too (which helps of course).  All you have to do is double tap the big home button and it will bring up all the screens/apps that you have been using recently or most frequently.  That way if you are switching between twitter, facebook, your calendar and safari, for example, you won't have to keep coming out of each app before you want to go to the next.  You can see them all open at the same time and just swipe between each one to see exactly what you're doing.  You can also close unwanted apps by them swiping upwards rather than clicking on the little x as you had to do before.  Trust me you're going to LOVE this one!!  
Swiping left and right allows you to work on more than one App at a time
  • Calendar:  I have to admit that I don't use my calendar as I hated it.  I've had a look at the new one and I can't see too much difference - apart from the fact that it looks pretty flat and boring.  You can scroll through the months a lot more easily with this one though, so you don't have to click that little triangle a million times to get to next year like you did before. Other than that I'm still not a fan.  Sorry!
  • Camera:  There are a few cool little features that are in the new camera app.  Firstly there is a 'square' option for all those Instagram lovers out there.  It had to be done really didn't it??  There is also a cool list of filters that you can use without having to go to a separate 'camera' app.  I love that you can instantly get black and white now.  If you hold down the camera button when taking a picture it will continue to shoot until you remove your finger.  This is great for capturing movement or kids!  Oh and you can also zoom in on live videoing which is pretty cool.
  • Kids:  It is now MUCH easier to find age appropriate apps and games for kids in the App Store.  They have now been categorised under KIDS and then divided up into age groups 0-5, 6-8 and 9-11.  I think this is fantastic, as I found it so difficult to search for good kids apps previously.  Another great kid feature is that you can now turn off any music tracks with 'bad language' by tapping the 'now playing' screen and then tapping 'turn off explicit tracks'.  This is great to get you out of a tight spot while listening to Jay-Z in the car with the kids!

  • Sounds and Ringtones:  YAY!!!  At last we finally have some more options for ringtones.  To find the new sounds you have to go to 'SETTINGS' by swiping down on your screen to search and typing in 'settings'.  Scroll down to 'SOUNDS' and choose away. I strongly advise you don't do this while sitting on the bus as I'm not sure the person next to you will appreciate listening to every new ringtone on offer.  You can still find all the old iphone ringtones as they are stored under 'CLASSIC'.  I dare you to move off Marimba. I've gone with waves and I quite like it.
  • FaceTime:  At last there is a separate App for FaceTime.  If you're like me and live in a different country to most of your family then FaceTime is the BEST.  Now with the new app it is a million times easier to use.  Thank you Apple.
So what do you think??  Have you had a chance to play around with all the new features??  I'm sure there are loads more that I have missed, so if you know of a cool one I'd LOVE to hear it.

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Looking inwards. Problogger Training 2013

The biggest surprise of all was how much I learnt about myself in two days.  Over the last two years I've had to really re-connect with my family as I went from a full time working mum in England, to a full time stay at home mum in Australia.  It's been amazing to really get to know my kids and to discover what their little personalities are all about.  Don't get me wrong, it's not been an easy ride - some days I think they've almost driven me to drink, but on the whole it's been so worth it for me as 'mummy'.  However, in the process I've somehow lost myself a little and have found myself sitting at a crossroad with almost no clue on the direction I'm heading.  I mentioned this briefly the other day when I wrote how I became Mrs D plus 3.

I didn't realise how lost I had become until I was forced to actually think about.  My ticket to Problogger was booked at the very last minute, and with moving house just a couple of days before I left for the Gold Coast, I didn't really have much time to prepare.  So I found myself sat on an airport transfer bus on my way to this huge conference where there would be over 400 bloggers in once place with absolutely no idea what I wanted to get from it or why I was even going? So I pulled out my notebook (a cute kiki.K. that I bought especially) and wrote in bold letters:


I then scribble down the following list of questions that I was hoping to find the answers for.

* Am I a real blogger?
* Where do I fit into the blogging world
* Who is Mrs D
* Where do I see myself in the next 2-5 years - could this be a career or just a hobby?
* And a couple of other boring techie things like SEO, Migration to Wordpress, Social Media etc that I though I ought to know in A LOT more detail, if I was going to have any chance at being a serious blogger.

So that was the extent of my preparation - done on a 45 minute bus journey (where I spent a lot of time looking out the window).  So to say I felt nervous and under prepared was a bit of an understatement!!  I also thought my questions were very ambiguous and I wasn't really convinced that I'd find the answers (expect for the techie ones maybe - if the lectures didn't go over my head).

Right from the opening talk by Darren Rowse of Problogger all those mediocre expectation were blown out the water, and those nervous butterflies that had taken residence in my tummy suddenly felt like fireworks of pure excitement.  I felt as if he was addressing me personally, which was amazing as it made me realise that all my fears and anxieties were exactly the same as everyone else's!  Maybe I am a real blogger after all??

I could write SO much about what I leant but to keep this post to a reasonable length (I don't want to be putting anyone to sleep), I'm just going to share a few small moments that resonated hugely with me.

CHANGE by Tsh founder of Simple Mom
I've already had such a huge change in my life recently that I wanted take the reins back and hopefully figure out who I am now.
Sitting on that bus made me acutely aware of how I needed to move with the changes around me and listening to Tsh made me realise that it's actually ok to change.  Change in both personality and life can be a good thing.  She told us that in order to change our direction in life we needed to go right back to basics and figure out what we are most passionate about it.   I needed to figure out what my strengths are and what MY personality traits are.  She even suggested taking an online personality test - which I still might do.

I realised that I am Mrs D and that I need to make my online and offline personalities match in order to be honest and real.


I scribbled down my strengths and passions, and suddenly what I used to think was unrealistic was actually turning into direction.  It was like she had given me a tool to answer my own question rather than answering them for me.  It's such a great feeling to suddenly see the light at the end of the tunnel.

THE COMPARISON TRAP by Darren Rowse of Pro blogger

This was a great lesson to learn.  It's something that I've always known but have not been very good at following.  My biggest weakness has been comparing my style of writing to those that I admire.  I so often don't hit that 'publish' button because I'm so sure that there is someone else out there that has written what I have but better!  Problogger has taught me that there is only one Mrs D and that collaboration is far better than competition.  There is enough room in my niche (and yours) for everyone and no one else has your voice.  Why do we compare our whole selves to just a snippet of someone else? Seems pretty silly when you think right??

The comparison trap is also something that I can relate to and work on in almost all aspects of my life.  The simple act of being 'aware of it' has already made me feel so much better about who I am.

FIGHT BACK WITH AWESOME by Trey Ratcliffe of Stuck in Customs
You know the age old trick of making yourself feel better when you've been dumped your girlfriend/boyfriend is to bump into them looking hotter than you ever have before?  Well Trey's theory on how to deal with criticism is pretty much the same, and I have to say I loved it!!  It's such a great way to stay positive.  If someone doesn't like what you do or tries to change you or bring you down, the best way to beat it, is to just be better at what you already do!!  Fight back with awesome!!

Sometimes it's easier said than done but I'm going to really try and stop worrying what other people think of me.  If people want to be a part of my world then they will filter in by their choice and if they don't then that's ok too - we can't please everyone!!

One other thing that I really didn't expect was to make such wonderful friends.  I truly met some awesome and fantastic people there and regardless of what they blog about and where they live in, I can honestly say that I have added to my circle of friends.  How cool is that!!!

So as you can see I am pumped so full of inspiration and excitement I literally have rainbows exploding from my brain!!

Have you thought about where you are heading recently?  I dare you to try it!

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Problogger Training 2013 in pictures for Wordless Wednesday

I had soooo many pictures on my iphone when  I got home from Problogger that I thought I'd share a few (ok, quite few) with you.  Some of these photos have made me literally laugh out loud, so much so that Miss H keeps asking "What's so funny mummy??" 

So here they are ....... a few moments from behind the scenes!

Waiting with the butterflies to catch my flight
This carpet made my eyes goes all funny!!
That bed was ALL MINE
I loved this cocky little night light!
And so it begins.....
A definite fear of mine and it was comforting to know I wasn't the only one!!
How I got past all these lollies without eating any I do not know!!!  My Sugarfree September story will be coming soon
This chick is someone I am now happy to call my friend.  Check her out at Have a laugh on me!
Slightly uncomfortable 'selfie' - I hate taking them!!! The theme of the evening cocktail party was "Tropicana"  - you know bight colours, lights, a pool, beautiful dancers, feathers - Oh and a python!!!  Sorry no photos but there was just no way I was wearing it!!
Another gorgeous new friend - crushing grapes with her bare feet!! And she'd probably be able to make something delicious with them too - check her out at A Cooker and A Looker!

Oh dear!!  Clearly I just needed champagne to get the hang of the 'selfie'
I could not go to Queensland and not see the ocean!  It wonders for my teeney tiny hangover too!
yes there were tears!
Linking up as always with the lovely Trish at My Little Drummer Boys and Bree from Twinkle in the Eye xxxxxxx

Monday, 16 September 2013

How I became Mrs D plus 3

Last weekend I attended a Blogging Conference on the Gold Coast called ProBlogger Training 2013.  I only decided to go at the very last minute when a friend of mine was unfortunately not able to attend and sold me her ticket.  To be honest, the whole reason that I didn't buy a ticket to begin with was because Mrs D plus 3 is a very small and mostly personal blog and I didn't think I was big enough to attend an actual conference.  I also really didn't know the first thing about blogging, as almost everything I've done so far has been self taught (with a little help from Google), so I didn't really feel like a 'proper blogger'.  What prompted me to suddenly grab that last minute ticket I do not know, but right now I am so grateful that I did.

With Miss L getting bigger by the minute (sob) I have started to feel a bit panicked about what I'm going to do with my life.  I can't be a stay at home mum forever - what will I do when the kids are all at school??  My first problem is that I still really want to be around for the kids as much as they need me, and finding a job that will allow me to do just that is not very easy. My second problem is that at this moment in my life I actually have no idea what it is that I want to do. Except write.  I am not a professional writer, but I love to write and I was hoping that Problogger would help me decided if that is off I went with a circus of butterflies in my tummy and a mediocre expectation.

Before I tell you JUST HOW MUCH MORE THAN MEDIOCRE it actually was, I thought I might give you a quick glimpse into how I started blogging.


Ok, I'll start with the obvious!  My surname is de Beer and after I got married some of my friends stated calling me Mrs Diamonds (which I actually quite like, so if you ever feel like calling me that I won't be offended at all!)  Anyway the name kind of stuck and was soon abbreviated to Mrs D.  I'll leave you to guess where the plus 3 came from!!

I'm a qualified beauty therapist specialising in aromatherapy and make-up artistry and I worked for Virgin Atlantic Airways for almost 8 years before signing off to follow Mr D to Australia.  It was a huge move for us (which has without a doubt been the right one) but it was so hard to keep our friends and family up to date on our progress without writing hundreds of repetitive emails.  I started to wrote little updates using facebook notes when someone suggested I write a blog.  I actually had to look up what a blog was in Google as I had no idea!!

So I set one up and called it 'de Beers Down Under'.  I wrote on it about once or twice a month and I loved it.  I found myself almost thinking in 'blog' and every day there would be little event that I would scribble down to add to my next 'update'.

I carried on like that for almost a year until two wonderful 'real bloggers' opened my eyes to the real world of blogging.  The first was the uber cool Che from a blog called Indieberries. She is actually an old friend of my little sister, and one day my sister sent me her link saying "Rob, you must check this blog out, it's right up your street.  I think you'll love her."  And I did!!  Her blog is so much more than awesome and right from the first read, I knew I wanted to write my own.  I didn't actually have the courage or the know how until I accidentally met the lovely Corrie from Retro Mummy.  She gave the me a brief outline on the do's and don't of blogging and told me to just 'GO FO IT'.  So that was how Mrs D plus 3 was born - on the 5th December 2012.

It has now become like my fourth baby and just thinking about all the stories I want to tell is making me want to get off my chair and do a little happy dance!!

So what I actually learnt at Pro Blogger will be coming up soon............

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Monday, 2 September 2013

Sponsored Post: So how overrated is sleep?? Brought to you by Bepanthen and the Mummy Diaries

Did that just make you smile and nod a lot???  Please tell me it did, because that was exactly how I reacted when I first watched this video.  Isn't it great to know that we're not the only ones who are swimming through the day in a bubble of gel -  where everything is slightly blurry and you're constantly hitting resistance!!  Well done Bepanthen for putting together this fabulous series of Mummy Diaries (if you have time, you really should watch them all).
So sleep........ how much do we actually really need to function??  If I had my way I'd be perfectly happy with 12 hours a night - every night (don't laugh)!!  I can't believe I used to kick up such a stink as a child when my mum used to make me take an afternoon nap.  I keep trying to tell my kids how valuable sleep is but they just think I'm nuts!  "Staying up ALL night would be soooo cool" they tell me!!!  Ha, if only they knew!!!!
I have to admit (rather smugly) that all three of my babes are actually pretty good sleepers.  We were talented lucky enough to have them all sleeping right through the night from around 10 weeks old.  However, little did I know that this would still not lead to that beautiful, long, uninterrupted full nights sleep - that I can only assume will come back to me when I'm a granny!
These are just a few of the things that occur between the hours of lets's say......8pm and 7am at least three nights out of every week.
  • I can't sleep, it's too dark, or there's a scary noise or I'm hungry or I need the toilet (which actually means, 'Mum or Dad can you stop watching that TV show you're really enjoying or eating your dinner and come and lie next to me for the next hour where I will suddenly develop the desire to tell you ALL about my day').
  • Teething.  Ah yes, that annoying pain that makes babies (and toddlers) cry between 8pm and 11pm before they fall soundly asleep, wiping out your entire evening.
  • Wetting the bed.  Ok accidents do happen, but it doesn't help our sleep when one of us has to get up, change all the bedlinen and then try to fall back to sleep again without thinking about how much extra washing there will in the morning.
  • Waking up screaming at around 11pm, just when Mr D and I are ready for bed and falling straight to sleep the minute they are in-between us in our bed.  AND then proceeding to roll and and kick us all night long.  This could be any one of them - and sometimes ALL of them!!!
  • Bad dreams.  Poor things, you have to feel sorry for them as no one likes to have bad dreams - but yet again, one of us is up and about int eh middle of the night for half an hour practising our soothing techniques and wishing we were the ones being tucked in.
  • Musical beds.  I can't tell you how many times I have gone to bed with Mr D and woken up with a couple of kids in there instead - or sometimes going to sleep in one bed and waking up in a totally different bed in a totally different room!!
I'm sure you could all add at least two things to this list!  Do let me know how well you sleep at night since the arrival of your little darlings.
So really, sleep is actually totally over rated and COFFEE is your new best friend.  Never try to give it up - EVER!!!

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*Disclaimer:  Although I have been paid to write this post and include this video, all the opinions and stories are my own.  I am always totally honest and true to myself when writing sponsored posts and will only agree to write about things that I know to be genuine and that I personally believe in.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Oh hey, I'm just being 1

I know I'm cute - just look at my curls
Miss L is well and truly into the swing of being one!!  (In fact I think she might be knocking on the door of toddlerdom already).  I have so enjoyed almost all the stages of my kids growing up so far (minus a few tantrums here and there), but after three rounds I think '1' is my favourite!!

She is really starting to develop her full personality now and it's so cute to watch her delightfully discover the world around her.  However it is a bit like living in a war zone for the rest of us.  We have to be on guard at all times as she toddles around completely oblivious to the wake of destruction she leaves behind her.
She has a full language of her own and babbles away non stop all day long!!  Most of the time I know what she is trying to say, but some times she will stop, stare at me and let out this looooooong story of absolute gobbledy-gook with such intent that I really do wish I had a translator.  She has very quickly learnt that shaking her head (until it almost spins off) from left to right means 'NO' and she absolutely knows what "NO" means!  Unfortunately it's still very one sided.  If tell her "NO, don't throw mummy's make-up in the toilet - NO, NO, NO!!" she'll look at me with the cheekiest smile and throw it in anyway (and yes, she has done it several times now!!). Yet, if I try to give her some veggies to eat for dinner.....  her head instantly shakes from left to right and she says "NO!"

The other day she was pushing her pram along the pavement and she got it stuck on a big patch of daisies on the side of the path.  She tried to move the pram, but it was still stuck!  She tried again and again and after the third time, she let go of the pram, walked around to the flowers and gave them a good swipe with her hand, shouting "NO!" and then proceeded (with a final shove) to push the pram past them!  It did make me laugh - but clearing she is winning on the "NO' thing!!

She has know also decided that she is far too grown up for a high chair and at dinner time she INSISTS on sitting up at the big table with her big brother and sister.  Either she just wants to do exactly what they do (for fear of missing out) or it's just much more fun to throw food from a greater height!!
Sadly the high chair has now gone!
There is no doubt at all that she is hard work at the moment, but after three kids I've totally come to realise that at only '1' she is just discovering her world and nothing is done with intent (ok, well most things).  I can't tell her off for doing something naughty as in her little world, she is just figuring stuff out, so the best thing to do is laugh!!  And LAUGH I do - every day!!!
You know mum it doesn't matter how many times you put that hat on my head or how tight you tie it under my chin, I'll still get it off!
How much fun is it to the chase the 'quack quacks'?

Just look at the size of that ice-cream!!  There is no way I would have bought one that size for Master J when he was just 1, but do you think I have any chance of getting away with giving her anything smaller when that's what her brother and sister have???  Not for a second!!!!!

Breakfast with mummy
I have two days a week that used to be my 'days off' when she was a baby (as the bigger two are at school/pre-school) but now I can't get away with doing much for myself anymore as she needs to be active ALL THE TIME!!  I love how she wonders around the house all day just picking things up, moving them, putting them down somewhere else, unpacking cupboards and generally just being 'busy'.  I'm trying my best to soak it all up as I know it won't last forever!

This is the hour that I run around like a mad person trying to squeeze in as much as possible before she wakes up!!
FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out.  She just HAS to be involved in everything
Scruffy little fairy
So really being ONE rocks!!  What is your favourite age??

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