Sunday, 27 May 2012

Review: Green People Organic Children Mandarin and Aloe Vera Toothpaste

I recently discovered the Organic Babies and Organic Children range by Green People at my local health food store and was lucky enough to be sent the mandarin and aloe vera toothpaste for my daughter to try (and taste!).

Certified organic with EcoCert, the mandarin and aloe vera toothpaste is free from nasty chemicals and irritants.  As it is made with 100% natural ingredients it contains no Fluoride, SLS, Triclosan, Sorbitol, Parabens, phthalates, artificial sweeteners, petrochemicals and colourants.

So what do they use to combat the most common teeth and gum related problems?

  • Calcium carbonate to gently clean and remove plaque.
  • Organic essential oils Vitamin C and Myrrh to combat gum disease.
  • Aloe Vera to soothe tender gums and reduce swelling.  It also has very strong antiseptic properties.

On first taste the mandarin and aloe vera toothpaste is quite sweet and is clearly less sharp tasting than the usual variations of mint that are available on the market.  After my daughter's initial taste and consideration of what she had just tried, she asked for three more blobs of toothpaste on her brush while merrily brushing her teeth with contented vigour between each request.  I took that as a sign that she liked it as I've never seen her brush her pearly whites quite like that before!

The other joy is that it is completely non-toxic if swallowed and there is no need to rinse after brushing.  It is also vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Spearmint and Mandarin are the two flavours that The Green People Organic Children toothpaste range is currently available in.  Both retail for £3.50 for a 50ml tube.

You can find more The Green People baby and children products here.

Happy brushing!


Note: We were sent this product completely free of charge by The Green People to test and review.  All views are our own, completely honest and unbiased.

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 25 May 2012

Sun, fabulous British sun!

I honestly never thought that I would see the day when I would find a 25 degree Celsius day 'hot'. 

Yesterday my fingers and hands were clammy with the extreme warmth of my office and I was struggling to type at my computer later on in the day.  I couldn't handle the sudden onset of this rather intense heat.  I fear that I have become weak.  Am I now becoming truly British?  How ever shall I survive when I visit my homeland of South Africa in December (that sounds like British and posh, innit?).

I do get sad sometimes when I think about the endless hot days of summer I remember from my childhood growing up in South Africa.  I know we had winter but I seem to have erased that from my memory.  Long, hot gorgeous days that never seemed to end, where we had the beach and outdoors at our disposal.  The beaches that had gorgeous and frighteningly hot white sand that you had to either sprint across, wear flip flops (sandals) or channel your inner hot coal walker in order to get access to the icy cold Cape Town sea water.  I dream about it.  I long for it.  I can almost smell the air just thinking about it.

In my early 20's we would go for sun downers on the beach and go to La Med or other Camps Bay cocktail bars to savour the amazing weather.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good beer garden/gastro pub/drink alongside the river as much as the next person but it just doesn't have the same feel as it does back in SA.  Sitting on the beach whilst sipping an icy cold glass of Sauvignon Blank while crunching and curling your toes in the warm upper layers and cool sub layers of sand is a magical feeling.  All your worries seem to fade away in an instant.  Well, the wine does help but the cool ocean breezes, early evening warmth and general feeling of well being amongst the general population doesn't hurt.

This brief stint of summer (long may it last!) has cost me a pretty penny in buying summer clothes, swimming costumes and summer weight PJ's for my little one.  None for mummy of course.  Boo hoo!  Seeing my daughter running around outside without 3 layers on and enjoying the beautiful hot weather is of course completely priceless.  My wish is that it would last for longer and be more consistent.  Luckily for my daughter she won't know any different and will simply accept that summer could potentially last for a total of 2 months per year (that could be total days combined).

The only option is to have as many summer holidays abroad as humanly and financially possible and, of course, enjoy every sun shiny British summer day to its absolute fullest!

Anyway, enjoy the sun everyone and remember to put on your suncream and drink enough water!


Monday, 21 May 2012

My Toddler's Tantrum Triggers

People always referred to 'the terrible 2's' and I now honestly understand what they meant by that and partially empathise with parents who had gone through the toddler stage.

My daughter is (of course!) actually the most pleasant, amazing, fun loving, wonderful child you will ever meet.  It's all a part of growing up and everyone goes through this but if we as adults know how to deal with it and help little one get to grips with their feelings, the journey will be a great deal happier and smoother for all.

All that said, and as sure as death and taxes, when your toddler hits 2 they will inevitably have a tantrum of sorts. Some may only have one, some...well, just a few more than that.  They will also inevitably learn the word 'no' and repeat this like a broken record.  My daughter has learnt to think about what I've just said to her and then answer with a drawn out but clearly annunciated 'n-ooooooo'.  I do sometimes get a 'yes' or 'okay' which is rather nice!

I slowly (and eventually) identified a few of the things that triggered her frustration and am now trying my best to avoid them.  Either that or I'll need to make sure I re-subscribed to the Sunday Times Wine of the Month Club!!!  

These are the top 3 things that can potentially lead to a situation of tantrum size proportions.

1. Ramblings of a Raving Toddler
My daughter's speech and language development has come along in leaps and bounds over the past few months.  However, it wasn't always as easy to understand her baby language of unknown and extremely creative made up words.  Interrupting her before she had finished or not correctly interpreting her ramblings would often lead to a very distressing situation.

I learnt to listen intently to her while sitting at her level, talking back to her in a reasonable tone after she has finished speaking.  I did my best to try to understand exactly what she was after and soon picked up a pattern or familiar words or sounds that related to specific tasks or items.  My daughter was then, in most cases, happy to gently take my hand instead of screaming at me and yanking me by the finger in the general direction of what she is trying to tell me about or show me.

I can't begin to imagine the frustration of trying to ask for something and just not having the necessary vocabulary to get across what I need or want.  I’m also surprised that she didn't dislocate one of my fingers when she tried to pull me across the room!

It never ceases to amaze me that over the past few weeks and months the ramblings are now being perfected into actual known words that she knows the meaning to and understands which context to use them in.   More to the point, words that I can understand!  Just one example is of 'all dum' has developed into 'all done!'  Long sentences are also being formed.  It is truly amazing and beautiful to watch.

2. Toddler Hunger
I suspect that having a toddler could potentially be compared to having a teenage boy in the house.  I obviously don't know this as fact as I don't have a teenage son but from what I've heard, this is pretty darn close.

Toddlers can experience extreme mood swings if hungry and if not fed at an exact time they can become rather upset and sometimes volatile.  With a desire to devour any food in the house, they may potentially grab the food you were about to bite into right from under you without even batting an eyelid, just like a mini ninja!  

I also can’t imagine what the frustration must be like when all you want to say is ‘no, I don’t want to eat that baked potato with cheese and beans.  I’d prefer chicken strips with chips on the side, dash of tomato sauce and some sweet corn, please’.  I would go nuts!

I do my best to make sure that breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the same time each day with regular snacks in between.  If I'm out and about I will always take a packed lunch as well as snacks, especially if we are out over lunch time and am not near a shop or restaurant.

Without the ability to make food for herself you honestly can't blame little one for getting a bit grumpy with me if I don't serve her her meals on time!  Bad mommy!!!

3. Toddler Tiredness 
Adamant that they are not tired some can last for hours without a wink of sleep whilst others will simply sit down and fall asleep on the spot when they just can’t go on anymore.  Some will ask to go to sleep while others have to be bribed.  Some will only sleep on you and some will only sleep in their cot or bed.  It’s the continual development of their little characters and it is extremely interesting to see the differences in each child.

If my daughter has gone to bed too late/not had enough sleep/is woken up mid sleep cycle, the mood that she is in or wakes up in can be a bit of pot luck.  I understand and appreciate this.  I like my sleep and if I am tired or am woken up abruptly I can be like a bear with a sore head for a good while.  My husband knows this all too well.  I’m getting better in my old age but unfortunately toddler’s don’t have the joy of years of experience on their side (honestly, I'm not that old).

I try my best to stick to a strict nap time routine for my daughter of 1pm to 3pm and then bed time of 7.30pm.  Slight variations do occur but it is in everyone's best interest to stick to these times.  Things simply ‘are’ when you are a toddler and being woken up rudely just isn’t top on their list, and neither is being over tired.  

I think that as parents all we can do is try our best to be the best parents that we can be possibly be to our children.

Savour and enjoy every minute with your toddler!


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Listography - Top 5 Things I Love About Kids

One of the posts I really missed doing over the past few weeks was Kate's Listography (Kate Takes 5).  It has changed slightly from a weekly event to a monthly occurrence which means that I have 3 or 4 weeks between posts to get ridiculously excited for the next topic!

The theme for May is "Top 5 Things I Love About Kids" and I've listed mine below.

1.  Utter Inappropriateness
Have you have thought that someone was a complete and utter dumb dumb and never had the guts to say anything about it?  Just tell a child your secret and they will do the dirty work for you.  Easy peasy!  Also, any toilet humour that happens behind closed doors will no doubt be made very public knowledge within a matter of hours of it happening.  You don't really have much choice in the matter.  Only a child can get away with doing things like this.  You, however, end up looking like the dumb dumb in the end.

2.  Seeing the Joy in Extremely Random Things
Children can make you see the world from a completely different point of view and possibly make you remember things that you had completely forgotten.  Who thought that a cardboard box could bring so much joy or that dirt could be so interesting?  It makes me smile just to think of how excited my daughter gets as she discovers the world around her, making me look at things differently, even changing the way I interact with others and approach situations.

3.  "I did it!".  Learning About the World
Watching my child learn and seeing her accomplish tasks on her own for the first time is one of the most wonderful things about being a parent.  Seeing the pride in her face as she exclaims 'I did it!'.  Yes you did my baby, and you will never really understand how proud I am of you until you have children of your own.

4.  Random Acts of Love and Kindness
My daughter will gaze deeply into my eyes or simply grab me by the face (or ears!) and plant a big fat smacker of a kiss on my eyes or nose or cheek.  Whatever she can find really.  Then she walks off.   Completely unprompted acts of love and kindness are something that children love to do without even realise the true effect that they leave on their recipients.  I treasure these moments and realise how unconditionally my daughter loves me.

5.  Creative Kiddie Language
A 'cat' is a 'khak' and 'I love you' is 'uv you'.  'Bubble' refers to bathtime and 'bet' is 'bed'.  I know what my daughter means and she tries extremely hard to get the words out correctly.  She says them with such conviction that it's hard not to smile and just accept what is given to you without having to try and correct her.

All I want to do now is sneak upstairs and watch my daughter as she sleeps.  I can't wait for her to wake up in the morning so that we can share these precious moments again.


Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Saturday is Caption Day

You know the drill...

1. Look at picture.  
2. Have a think.  
3. Leave a creative caption!


The (joys of) sleep training

A few of you my have noticed my absence and lack of blog posts over the past few weeks.  I sincerely hope that you have.  It would make my day!  If you haven't missed me it's probably because you've only just stumbled across my blog!

A few weeks ago (29 April to be exact, so that is nearly 19 days ago!!!) I wrote a post on the (joys of) cot to bed transition.  Well, what a joy and learning experience those 19 days have been.  As I said, the bedtime sleep time went completely out the window.  In fact, I think it left the county, possibly country.

By the time my husband and I got to bed we would be lucky if we had 6 hours sleep a night before getting up for work.  Time to relax and wind down before bed wasn't happening and my mind began to slowly turn to mush.  In the middle of a phone conversation I went completely blank and tried to compensate with the fact that I'd been working since 8am and it was about 6pm when I was speaking to them and still at work.  In the middle of an important client first meeting last week the same thing happened.  I was merrily speaking away and giving my pitch when all of a sudden I just stopped.  No idea of what I was talking about.  No idea of what I wanted to say.  Just no idea.  It was worse than 'preggie brain'.  I tried my best to recover from what I was saying which took the best part of 5 minutes and by which time they had probably begun to worry about my sanity.

It was right there and then that I decided that I needed to sort out this bedtime sleep time and fast.  No more bringing my daughter downstairs and giving in at the first sign of a whimper or tear.  It was time to channel my inner Super Nanny and use the stay in bed routine.  My daughter is 2.  She was going to bed at....(wait for it)....10.30pm!  Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnn!  Crazy!  By that time I'm shattered so heaven knows what rocket fuel she was drinking in the day to keep her awake?

Anyway, as per usual, I digress.  So night 1 of the 'pick up, put down' routine started off as usual.  Dinner, CBebbies or Peppa Pig, bath time, massage (I should be so lucky!), 2 books (usually about bears) accompanied by a bottle of warm milk.  I said goodnight to little one and then told her that I was going downstairs to read my book and I would come and check on her just now.  We had cuddles and kisses goodnight and I calmly walked out of the room and part closed her bedroom door.  Not even 30 seconds later I heard a gentle drop from the bed and pitter patter of toddler footsteps across the carpet.  I opened the door before she could come out, gently picked her up, calmly put her in the bed and tucked her in and said good night.

By the 4th time of doing this she was starting to bring little toys and bits with her and each time I put her back, I would put the toys and other bits back exactly where they were in the first place and then she would repeat the same scenario.  I tried to count how many times I picked her up and put her back into her bed but after about the 10th or possibly 15th time I stopped counting.  I was actually happy to do this because there were no tears.  There was no kicking or shouting or arching of her back in frustration and sheer anger at not being taken downstairs.  She was tired and the gaps between me coming to put her back into bed were getting further apart.  The perseverance and calm approach was working.

Long story short...

Night 1 bed time: 9 p.m.  Result!
Night 2 bed time: 8:50pm.  10 minutes off of the current P.B.!  Whoop whoop!
Night 3 bed time: 7.50p.m.  Completely unbelievable!
Night 4 bed time: 7.30 p.m.  Honestly.  No jokes here my friends.  We put her to bed and that was that.

This is the first time I a writing a blog post in nearly 19 days.  I'm not clinging to nap times for dear life as the only time that I can have 'me time'.  I happily did the house work the other day and may even happily bake for my husband.  Wait.  If I write it down, does it mean that I have to do it?!?!

I've list a few things that over the 19 days we discovered our daughter can now do:

  • She is now tall enough to open doors.
  • She is now co-ordinated enough to take off her PJ bottoms and nappy and sit on the potty by herself.  She did this around day 3 or 4 of the 19 day stint.  Crazy to think of this little person toddling around upstairs being capable of doing things completely on her own.
  • She can tear off a single sheet of toilet paper, blow her nose, lift the toilet seat and chuck the paper away.  So independent!
  • She can have extremely in-depth conversations with her stuffed animals.  Possibly plotting her vengeance against mommy and daddy??
  • She could possibly be an opera singer one day.  She has an amazing lung capacity!
  • She can multi task by carrying Peppa Pig in her mouth (by biting onto her leg), carry her ducky pillow under one arm and bottle of milk in the other, and still open the door.
  • She can drop her head and lift her big brown eyes like an adorable puppy and make me give in to her every need.  Well, we always knew this but never realised how much she used it to her advantage.
  • The wheels on the bus go round and round, "all day long".   Song of the moment. Just like she could stay awake all day long.
  • She can stack her stacking cups faster than I can do them and possibly any adult.  It's insane how quickly she can put them back into each other.
Off to clean the house now! Yippee!!


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