Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. I love the summer holidays, I love the sunshine, the lazy days, the light nights and no school run! If you have children of school age then you doubtless have a Monday to Friday routine that is the same every day - well, at least it's supposed to be! School clothes on, brush hair, clean teeth, grab school bag, coat and shoes on, and off we go... or not.

    Anyone who doesn't have children would think it quite simple to keep to a routine that happens five days out of seven. After all, getting a routine going from an early age based around feeding is one of the first things parents learn. Routines for older children help to instil personal responsibility and prepare them for higher education and work. Yet so many parents find that, somehow, each and every morning there is some new drama that seems specifically designed to slow you down and make everyone late. (insert : I haven't finished my breakfast, can't find my shoes, where is the hairbrush, have you brushed your teeth, etc.....) 


    So, if you're having problems getting the morning routine to run smoothly and without complaints, yelling and screaming on all sides, then you might want to try a simple reward-based system where good behaviour and sticking to the routine earns privileges in the form of time allowed for entertainments in the evening. Perhaps the most obvious one is TV time, but it could be computer game time, tablet time, mobile phone time - and, as all of these are things that you may well want to limit the use of anyway, it's a good way to kill two birds with one stone.

    I know that there are some that might consider this blackmail or bribery, but this depends whether or not you consider something like TV time a right that should be allowed no matter how your kids behave. And you could always make the reward things that you approve of and want to encourage - story time, reading together time, games together time, and so on. The time earned by good behaviour could also be saved up for use at the weekend.

    The system is very simple. Just make a check list of all those little tasks that have to be done each morning: getting dressed; combing/brushing hair; getting down to breakfast on time; cleaning teeth and washing face; and so on. Each is to be completed without complaint or drama, and the reward for completing each task is a few minutes of whatever leisure activity you decide. You can even add bonus time for completing all tasks without the need for being told, or told more than once.

    If time after school is also stressful, with homework not getting done and bags not getting packed for school in the morning, dinner not getting eaten, bedrooms not getting tidied and so on, then you can use the same system.

    There may well be resistance at first, with kids bound to see less time for entertainment as something that's being taken away from them. However, if you make it clear that everyone starts with NO time, then not earning any time is not really a punishment.

    So, if your school run is hell on earth and you're fed up of barking orders morning and night, then why not try out a reward-based system for those little things that need to get done every day at the right time?


     For more help and advice, there are some great resources here :

  2. I recently did a post about 10 things to do before you are 10, so it only seemed right that I do the same kind of post for the toddler. Turning 4 is a big milestone, it is the age that most children start school so what things should a preschooler have done before they start school? I don't mean things like being able to write their own name, counting to 10 or knowing their ABC's because things like the alphabet are retaught as phonics (letter sounds) in reception classes, but I do mean the  life experiences that you can get away with when you are little!

    1. Painting with your hands and feet (if you can stand the mess)

    This actually makes me shudder. I still can't believe this happened in my kitchen but the toddler LOVED it! We got a huge piece of paper roll and pretty much covered the entire kitchen floor and she ran across it, smudged paint with her fingers and generally had a whale of a time. Paint is a great sensory experience.  The cool, squishy, smooth feeling of the paint on their hands, feet, or on their skin is something toddlers really enjoy doing.  

    Toddler Painting

     2. Start to ride independently (with or without stablisers of course)

    Having a big sister means that the toddler has always been keen to follow in her footsteps, she has had a Strider Bike to help with her balance, she has had fun on a scooter but has recently gone on (and on and on) about having a bike. There is no right or wrong age for a child to learn to ride a bike and really there’s an easy way to learn how to cycle, and it involves no special tricks, and no teaching whatsoever. Not from anxious adults anyway. Children teach themselves. In fact, the younger they are, the more fearless they are and ultimately children learn best by trial and error rather than formal instruction.

    Toddler Bike

    3. Roll down a big hill (unless you are allergic to grass pollen of course)

    I made the mistake of showing the toddler how much fun rolling down a hill was. The next ten minutes of my head spinning was not so much fun. She however did it over and over again.  (disclaimer - unfortunately this also means that walking past any hills in future *may* result in the insistence of rolling down it)

    Toddler Rolling

    4. Be a Princess (or a super hero) for the day

    Have you had "that" debate with your toddler? You know the one where they want to wear their Princess dress up outfit to go to the supermarket, or the park or even Nanny's birthday party at a posh restaurant. Do it and if you are feeling really brave, why don't you wear a princess crown too .... it might just make your toddlers day!

    Would you add anything to this list?


    West Midland's Bloggers

    Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

  3. One of my closest friends is pregnant, so I am busy planning baby showers and looking at cute outfits but these are not the things that are on her mind. She has fretted about blood tests and prenatal scans ever since that pregnancy test showed up as positive, so I am delighted to host this guest post which will hopefully alleviate some of her concerns.

    The moment many women find out they are expecting, pregnancy hormones have already laid the groundwork for full-time mama mode. An inherent desire to protect and care for your baby may leave you feeling extra cautious, especially about anything that involves your pregnancy. Along with a slew of appointments with your OB/GYN doctor, you will also get a chance to have prenatal ultrasound appointments. If you have never experienced an ultrasound, you may have some questions and concerns about your first appointment and if it poses any risks to you or your baby. 

    As a new mom, everything you do will center on ensuring your baby is developing safely and healthily. One way that you are able to safely monitor your baby’s growth is through a prenatal ultrasound. An ultrasound is a painless and external diagnostic test that relies on sound waves, not radiation, to produce an image of the body’s interior surfaces. Most women will have at least one prenatal ultrasound during a pregnancy, and they can be performed as early as the first trimester to confirm pregnancy. Although they are appropriate for any stage of your pregnancy, ultrasounds will be able to show you different things about your baby, depending on when they are scheduled. Earlier ultrasounds are generally performed to check the size and position of the fetus to help confirm the due date, while later ultrasounds can result in a take-home image of your baby and can confirm the baby’s sex – if that is something you want to know.


    Ultrasounds are perfectly safe, no matter what trimester of the pregnancy you are in. A non-invasive exam, ultrasounds are also very routine procedures that don’t pose any risks to the baby. Although the safety of prenatal ultrasounds is well documented, you may hear or read about some uninformed opinions concerning ultrasound exams. One major misconception is that ultrasounds transmit radiation. This is completely false as ultrasounds only transmit sound waves. Further, some people falsely believe that sonic energy used by the ultrasound transforms into heat, which could impact a fetus’s health. However, the Federal Food and Drug Administration carefully regulates the use of ultrasounds and has very strict rules regarding the energy levels emitted by ultrasound machines, so there is no need to worry about the sound waves harming your baby in any way.

    Additionally, some women report that their doctors caution against having multiple ultrasounds. It is completely safe to have multiple ultrasounds, although many women choose to just have one for cost purposes. Doctors warn against multiple ultrasounds simply because they are time consuming and expensive, and there is no medical reason for multiple ultrasounds in most cases. Additionally, doctors are wary of expectant parents using non-medical facilities that offer ultrasounds for keepsake photos and videos of baby. Although the ultrasound itself is perfectly safe, your doctor may recommend against these unnecessary exams because a technician with no medical training might perform the ultrasound and miss an important change in your pregnancy. 

    Fully engaged with a motherly mind, baby’s well-being will be your priority as you proceed with life together. There are plenty of things to busy your mind during pregnancy – choosing a name for baby, preparing a nursery, routine health checks – but prenatal ultrasounds should not be an additional worry. Ultrasounds are the safest tool to help you and your doctor plan the best options for your prenatal care. If you are pregnant, be sure to discuss with your doctor when you should schedule your first ultrasound appointment, so that you can continue to learn about the growing baby that you will soon be welcoming into your world. 

    This post was written for Little Lily Pad by Glenn Josephik.  Glenn is an account representative and the marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC the industry leader and premier business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn Josephik on Google+

  4. I am the proud owner of a 10 year old. How is that possible? Where has the last decade gone? It is certainly a milestone for any child to reach double digits (as my daughter calls it) as when you are very little, being 10 seems extremely grown up. It is that age where you are “almost” at senior school and people expect you to behave your age.

    However before you reach those double figures, there are certain things that you should absolutely have on your “To-Do” List, so my daughter and I put together a list of things we agreed that were essential to do before you are 10!

    Hamster in ball

    1. Purchase a small, furry, cute yet hopelessly fragile pet and try and keep it alive for longer than 1 month. (Word of advice; if you buy a ball for a hamster, don’t put it on a table …. Because they will roll off ...... trust me on this one) 
    2. Locate and climb the largest most awkwardly constructed tree known to man….and get stuck. 
    3. Learn to swim wearing your pyjamas, (I’m assuming this is in case a tsunami sweeps you from your bed). 
    4. Master the rope swing that the older kids constructed across the river at the park. (You know the one you were told never to attempt) 
    5. Learn how to effectively scrape dog poo out of your trainer tread with your dad’s screwdriver, wearing carrier bags on your hands …. (That is if all the local dog owners haven’t been good citizens and picked up the doggy poo!) 
    6. Try and make a daisy chain that is at least 15ft long (slight exaggeration but you get the picture) 
    7. Catch a snowflake, make a snow angel or go sledging down a big hill (depending on your level of desire for adrenalin) 
    8. Have a sleepover with a midnight feast! (As a parent I am totally not advocating this but the children LOVE them. Try not to arrange anything that needs any focus for the following day). 
    9. Hunt for buried treasure, whether it is on the beach or in your back garden, get a bucket and spade and a whole heap of curiosity. 
    10. Last but by no means least, learn to ride a bike with no stabilisers (be prepared for endless hours of an adult desperately clinging to the underneath of your saddle whilst repeatedly telling you they haven’t let go - when they have!)

     Daisy Chain

    What would you add to the list?

    West Midland's Bloggers