Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Our neglected Poinsettia is flowering!

We have a Poinsettia plant in our dining room that we acquired either two or 3 Christmasses ago - we can't quite remember but it means we've had it at least 18 months now. Although the red flowers disappeared after the first Christmas we had it, we kept the leafy plant anyway as a house plant. Apart from the occasional water to keep it alive it's had no TLC from us. But lo and behold, this week the leaves are turning their signature red colour!

It's notoriously difficult to get poinsettia leaves to turn from their green to red for a second season. The experts advice that you keep the plant in the dark for 14-16 hours per day, ideally from 5pm to 8am. They need to be brought into the sunlight for 6 hours everyday. The temperature also has to be optimum. It requires these specific conditions for a couple of months before flowering occurs, so it's advised that you should start on 1st October to produce the red flowers in December in time for Christmas.  

Why our plant has suddenly decided it would like to flower now remains a mystery!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bumgenius Freetime Review

If you're a regular reader you're probably aware that we love our cloth nappies! We started cloth nappy-ing our now 28 month old daughter when she was a week old and haven't looked back.  There are so many benefits to using cloth nappies, and the modern cloth nappy has come a long way since the days of nappy pins, soaking in pails and boiling. The Bumgenius Freetime nappy is one of the newest cloth nappies on the market, and we were lucky enough to be sent one to review. We also have Bumgenius v4s and Bumgenius Flips in our current nappy stash so I was interested to see how the new Freetime compares.

Sizing and Fit:
Like the v4 and Flip, the Freetime is a birth to potty nappy - meaning it grows with your baby, so in theory it should fit both my 4 week old son and my 28 month old daughter - I was keen to test it out on both!

Asher's 10lb and I can get a really snug fit around the leg with the Freetime, just like I can with the v4 and Flip - this is essential for containing newborn runny poo. The Freetime has elasticated legs which definitely makes a big difference in getting a close fit. We have other brand nappies in our stash that I just can't use on him, as I can't get a close fit around his skinny legs.

Eden is 30lb, and I can get a lovely snug fit on her too - this is particularly important as she only wears nappies for her naps and overnight now - so a close fit ensures we have no leaks onto the bed.

Having a boy, this is a big issue for me, as I want to be able to comfortably get cloth nappies under his trousers and this is why I love Flips - they're the slimmest nappy I've come across that remains reliable despite being slim. In comparison, I was pleasantly surprised that the Freetime is a slimmer fit on Asher than the Flip, which tends to be bulkier at the front on my small baby. However, I think as Asher gets bigger this is likely to change, as when comparing the Flip and Freetime on Eden - the Flip is slimmer, as the Freetime requires more boosting for her being older.

Ease of Use:
If you're looking for a nappy that's good for Dad/Grandparents/Carers to use then the Freetime is perfect as it goes on just like a disposable in one easy step. My husband ended up using the Freetime at nappy changes for Asher with no explanation of how to put it on, before I'd even tried it on Asher myself - granted he's fairly confident with cloth nappies, but I was nevertheless impressed and it shows how easy the Freetime is to put on. It's an all-in-one nappy, which means no fiddley stuffing of pockets is required. It has 2 microfibre pads that are attached to the outer shell, but open out to allow the nappy to dry quicker than other all-in-one type nappies do. Having used this nappy for a few weeks now, I can say because of it's design it's one of the quickest to dry of all our nappies - inside it'll dry on an airer overnight, outside if the sun's shining it's dry within just a few hours.

Another of the things I like about the Freetime is that the pads can be arranged easily in different ways to adjust the absorbancy for if you have a girl or boy. For Asher, being a boy I double up one of the pads at the front for extra absorbancy, and for Eden I lie the 2 pads flat for absorbancy all the way through. As she wears it for naps and so needs extra boosting, there's room for me to place an extra booster underneath the pads.

Overall verdict:
The Freetime has lots of positives going for it in comparison to other cloth nappies. For me, I love how reliable it is - we haven't had a single leak, and I love that it's so easy to use being an all-in-one but with the additional bonus that it's quick drying. As it's a birth to potty nappy it offers excellent value for money.

Bumgenius Freetime is available to buy for £15.99 from Baba Me 

Oh and one last thing......

Here's my little man modelling the Freetime, weighing 9lb.


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Footprints on Canvas

Our little man, Asher is 4 weeks old today! I marked the occasion by printing his footprints, as well as Eden's, onto canvas.

Once we'd finished the canvas, Eden did some 'footprints' herself:

And here's a photo of Asher today, on his 4-week birthday

The last 4 weeks we've been settling down as a family of 4. Eden has done brilliantly adjusting to have Asher here; she's so kind and gentle with him, and so inclusive of him in activities and when we go out. An unexpected surprise is what an easy baby Asher is - he settles by himself well and is a very peaceful and contented little baby. I don't think we particularly had a hard time with Eden, but she was colicky and on reflection a more demanding baby. As we didn't know any different we were expecting Asher to be the same. 

Looking forward to the months ahead!