Boys CAN wear pink!!!!!

I know I’ve mentioned this before but boys can wear pink in fact pink looks great on boys!

In victorian times pink was for boys and sometimes between then and now it became a girl colour and totally taboo to put it near boys.

So here’s my little selection of boys can wear pink

Raglan top from H&M. I bought this online and this is fresh out the packet. It is duskier than I expected but I love it and matched with jeans will look great. You could get a nice vinyl very cheaper to make it more gender specific if you like. I’m toying with getting boys can wear pink to iron on .

image

You could make your own clothing and add a flash of pink without it being all about the pink. Team with plain gender neutral trousers and let the shirt speak for itself.

image

You could also get around the whole pink thing by buying dark pink trousers. This dark pink is more of a purple pink than a in your face girly pink. Teamed with a ‘boy’ top and no one will be looking at you weird just in awe of your epic styling. These are from Debenhams.

image

You could incorporate it in a subtle way in other things like blankets. I planned to do the odd flower because you can’t have Totoro without nature and flowers are nature. But then it struck me how ace the soot sprite would look against a dark pink (2nd row, 2nd from left) without it taking over or being odd. Click the picture to access a free bobble alphabet to crochet and the link to this blanket pattern.

15107313_1636055600024908_8778141758359055782_n15068990_1636057623358039_3527978208339212870_o

You could also buy items that have pink added in nicely like stripey fabric or socks like this set that is aimed at either gender and this set.

Even just a line of pink topstitching could be enough for you.

If you still can’t face pink on boys why not make stuff you will be using and make it girly because technically it’s yours. Click the pictures or the tutorials.

image image

tracy

Vegetarian Children

This week a subject came up about vegetarian children and the choice being forced upon them by parents. Some suggested it was unfair and the child needs a good meal in them suggesting meat!

I admit I got offended by this not only because it’s no-one else’s business but largely due to fact both my children were veggie till age 2. With my first I was vegetarian myself and despite craving ham I stayed away and when he got to weaning age he was fed veggie options.

In general he was a fussy eater so by age 2 I started giving him meat. My own mum would feed him mince and I would make him fish. His diet improved as did his eating habits.

Along came child number 2 and he isn’t meat eater at all. He enjoys a ham sandwich but otherwise prefers non meat meals including substitutes he’s just not that into it.

For our children it was partly our choice partly theirs. My eldest eats meat at school and gets the occasional bit of chicken at home. Youngest eats only ham sandwiches. Both are very healthy children with no health issues.

The second thing to consider is the enforcement of this diet by parents. What is so wrong with educating our children? At some point all children ask where does my sausage come from? Most don’t comprehend what that means but you get a veggie child who instead asks why are we/others vegetarian and you open a whole different subject.

Alina from We Made This Life agrees stating many told her she was forcing this onto her children but she asks aren’t meat eaters technically doing the same? Where the rule in the ‘How to be a human handbook’ that states we MUST eat meat?

Without going into detail you can explain and give them a much more informed decision about  others choices. Many parents I know give the child a choice about eating meat and many of these children chose to not eat it. Nicholas (from Global Mouse Travels) children are offered meat but say no

Kate’s Daughter from Living life our Way chose to go vegetarian herself! Kate herself wasn’t veggie and her daughters choice actually taught her and changed her eating habits. If a child chooses this step is it better somehow?

Milla from Live Oxfordshire is meat eater but offers her children a large amount of vegetarian foods compared to other meat-eating households may and as a result her child just like mine is showing preference to veggie food.

The other thing to consider when questioning our motives is surely our children wouldn’t eat it is they didn’t like it?

Not to get graphic but  a few years ago a child I looked after ate meat but was constipated basically all the time when her family swapped to more veggie meals this sorted itself. This is yet another factor no doctor will advise large meat intake for a child struggling in that way just as no doctor will say you MUST feed your child any meat at all!

Emma at Canny Food has written an article about a similar subject but she brings up her child Vegan which is includes no dairy products. (click her blog name to write the post). She also states she is in full contact with her doctor and a dietician and they have no issue with her choices due to her baby being healthy!

Jennifer over at My Mummies Pennies is the child who chose to go veggie at age 11. It’s just a phase, she’ll stop soon well she’s now 21 years later and I’m pretty sure the definition of a phase doesn’t cover 2 decades. She however decided her children could eat meat due to her husband being a meat eater yet they incorporate 3-4 meals a week that have no meat , because lets face it who wants to make 2 lots of meals 7 days a week!

Jenny at The Brick Castle is one the people I spoke to whose children are now adults. She says all 3 were brought up veggie and 2 have chosen to stay veggie! Children who were brought up this way, healthily, spoken to carefully about this choice and it’s resulted in adults who have stuck by that choice!!

One of my own decisions to not cook much meat at home is partly down to fact I’m not very good at it. I can’t add it to every meal and was never taught how. Fee at One of Each agrees if her veggie children chose to eat meat she wouldn’t be sure about cooking it. You could argue we aren’t teaching them to cook responsibly and it’s an important skill but how many of the meat-eating readers can say they could make a vegetarian meal they haven’t seen before and not include pastry and cheese in it ! Fee also states it made sense for her to raise her children to be veggie than to feed them meat and the children regret that choice later on if they decide to stay veggie.

Another family with children given meat and veggie option where one chooses meat and one choose veggie is Mummy’s Little Stars. They eat regular Quorn based meals as well as the odd ham sarnie and pepperoni pizza.

Katie at Mummy in a Tutu has the situation were her and the child’s father spilt. She states that the dad allows their child to be vegetarian but she is adamant it must be her daughters decisions and not the parents.

I agree some parents are irresponsible and many just don’t have the education to feed a child a decent diet nevermind meat free.

Did you know the Food Standards for schools states that every school HAS to have at least one veggie option every day available? Does your local/child’s school offer vegetarian because they should be. This food standards is a government requirement.

None of us are saying meat eating is wrong everyone has openly said it is their choice and they don’t feel we as a race need meat to survive but we also don’t want to say you are wrong offer a chicken leg or a beef steak so why should we have to put up with opinionated comments.

It’s important to not confuse the news stories about vegan children dying due to their diet, or the local preschool kid who looks so skinny and pale purely because she needs a good meaty meal in her. I’m not denying it’s not diet related but simply feeding a child a sausage doesn’t solve health problems related to diet.

According to the NHS Eatwell Guide Protein is needed less than vegetables and carbohydrates. The guide states vegetables and carbohydrates should make up 33% each of your daily diet milk and other dairy being 15% and meat being only 12%.

Foods containing protein are:

Eggs, nuts, pulses, beans, tofu as well as meat. It is recommended to eat less red meat as too much can lead to bowel cancer and to eat lean meats that are lower in fat.

Other advantages to vegetarian diet are you have a naturally lower fat diet and often the protein alternatives are higher in protein that meat.

Whatever your choice we are all getting it right as long as our children are healthy and happy.

tracy

Making a Bump Band

When you’re pregnant and nothing fits because your tops are too short a belly bump band is perfect! But at minimum of £10 especially when you sew it’s much cheaper to make your own.

First up measure around your widest part, usually hips whilst wearing your usual trousers. Jeans are best as tend to be bulkier. Next up measure your waist. If you don’t want your band to go up this high cut your top band about 80-90% of main band.

You also need to determine how high up you want it mine’s about 35cm, add 1.5 inch for a hem and 1/2 inch up top for adding top band. Make your top band about 3 inches thick.

Make sure you add enough so it can fit with growth and not just for right now. Although these are cheap enough to make for every month.

image

Mine is single layer but if you don’t want to hem it then cut it double house and fold to sew top band on.

Sew up short sides of top band and main band. Fold over top band to create a folded band. Match top band seam and main band seam, right sides together and pin.

image

Stretch top band to fit main band and sew into place. Turn up your bottom hem 1/2 inch then further 1 inch. Alternatively you can finish edge and just fold up 1 inch.

image

Voila your band is done. I used cotton lycra for mine. Cotton jersey, rayon, spandex are all good choices or you could buy a cheap vest for couple pounds and use that with a tiny bit extra for your top band.

image image

Best part they only take about half a metre so you have the option to make lots of designs much cheaper than shop bought bands.

tracy

Gender Stereotyping

Yes I’m off again about this but bear with me .

I have a few questions why are the following deemed girly: cupcakes, cats, bows, polka or any uniform dots, Peppa pig

My boys love cake. Sure they’d not want one on a top or socks but why do girls want them on clothes either? Cats can be either gender but tend to only feature on girls clothing usually pink, pink and with a bow or two.

Polka dots are generally a girl pattern. You don’t find boys polka dot anything but if you were to search for spotty dinosaur clothes it suddenly turns into a disorganised spotty boy fest. Well once you’ve rifled through a few girl bits because dinosaurs aren’t just for boys but cupcakes are definitely just for girls (unless you’re talking about real cake then its pretty even. Anyone see the logic here? please explain if you do…

Bows are another thing. Add some tails to a boy and its for girls and girl cats only. Take the tails off make it in black or blue and bingo it’s a boy’s bow tie which again girls can wear too! Tailed bows girls only, tailless bow ties both genders.

Lets move on to Peppa Pig. Now I’m not sad I can only find mostly girl Peppa pig clothing and it’s a relief in all honesty however she is a prime example of gender stereotyping. Girl pig on girl clothes, boy pig (George) on boy clothes. Why? What if a boy likes Peppa but not George is it tough cookies wear George or nothing?

Another thing that irritates me why is it automatic boys are into cars, trucks, bikes, pirates etc etc. Don’t get me wrong my boys loved car tops but more so the youngest than oldest. He was more into kitchen roleplay and glitter, but god forbid I would try to buy a food theme top (think cupcakes). Glitter is severely lacking in boy departments too!

Animals. I know we mentioned cats but animals in gender are subject to heavy stereotyping. Girls as we said get vats but they also get cute pale puppies, sweet fluffy penguins, butterflies, ladybirds, bunnies, leopard print, owls.. you need me to go on? Boys get lions (which I adore btw), tough looking dogs with grumpy faces or pirate outfits on, tigers, occasional panda, elephants, dinosaurs, snappy crocodiles and dark looking penguins and not so fluffy bears. Why are girls the only ones allowed pale fluffy animals and boys get bright or dark very clean-cut animals.

Ladybirds are another bug bear (you have got all day to read my rant right? good!) lady doesn’t mean only girls can have these spotty insects on their belongings. We don’t need to weed out the non-existent, unpink, inoffensive items. By offensive I mean ‘Little Lady’ or Pretty Little Ladybird. Now some of you are thinking jeez she’s touchy but I’ve always hated phrases which define kids in a certain way which adds to my current rant.

For boys: Little man, handsome like daddy, mummy’s little star. For girls: Pretty little thing, beautiful flower, daddy’s angel, cute like mummy. My son is NOT a little man I know this isn’t the worse thing in the world but it makes me cringe so so much and I refuse to call my child a mini/small/little man! He is handsome but my sons are also beautiful with gorgeous curls and pretty eyes. MY daughter is pretty and beautiful but she isn’t a thing (yes I did buy a top with this on purely for the colour despite the wording), she is no more a beautiful flower than her brothers and in fact her brothers were and still are regularly mistaken for girls because of the curly hair and sparkly eyes.

Cute like mummy for girls but boys can’t be cute and look like mummy? Try it on google images put cute like mummy in and 99% is pink clothing that pops up. Whereas Mummy’s little star is mostly gender neutral or boys clothing. Odd.

So at what point were dinosaurs and trucks for boys, rainbows, toadstools and cats for girls. There is so much emphasis on allowing girls to have dinosaur clothing, trucks on their pjs but it still conforms and ends up pink and purple. There however is nothing to allow boys to have flowers on their tops, rainbows adorning their trucks and a splash of pink glitter without it being pointed out .

Colours I have spoken about but they are another issue ok I understand and I think we all get pink is mostly a girl colour but why is purple? It’s near impossible to find purple boy clothing, at least without spending a fortune on alternative clothing or the odd Little bird item. Trust me I’ve tried! Its made up of blue and red which are classed as boy colours just as much as girls so why is the mix of the two suddenly girly.  Similarly green is often in the boy section and not so much the girls unless it’s very pale or teal then you can guarantee a puff sleeve and a bow renders it useless to boys.

I’m tired out now and still could go on! If I had the money and the energy I would love to create a boys clothing range that challenges gender stereotyping. I fear though that I too would succumb to the usually downfalls of clothing and would use minimum pink, minimum flowers and no butterflies.

tracy

Baby Wish List

I may be having my 4th child and I may need nothing but it doesnt stop me wanting stuff! So here’s my I have everything wish list.

Chicco Next to me Crib

My first baby slept well but didn’t ever seem to love the moses basket, regardless we used it a second time and this baby positively hated the thing!! So this time I’m not risking it I’m going bedside crib. My bedroom is fairly small so this over a cot is perfect plus I hope to breastfeed and both my sons liked a cuddle in bed but I never felt comfortable doing that.

Im tricking myself into believing nights will be a doddle with this bed.

Carseat Raincover

I had a car for 6 months with my first child and not since till now. I took him out maybe once or twice in the carseat so never  needed a raincover. However now I have 2 kids im dropping into school and no desire to wake a sleeping baby. He is due during spring rainy season so I’m getting one.

Tektake Changing Table

I had on with my youngest son. It was a set of drawers just wide enough to pop a mat on so this time I’m getting a proper table because as much as seasoned mums say oh i just do it anywhere I’m not sure my back, hips and knees could take it now.

I read reviews too and if you plan to buy this same unit buy a separate change mat.

Mummy Hook & Stroll

I’ve had these each baby and yes the velcro does wear out which I have replaced but they still last a god 3-5 years from m experience. However I’m treating myself to more. They are perfect for one bar prams and if you pop one either side you can spread the weight of the bag by popping one handle on each. I’ve tried a few versions and apart from the velcro wearing thing they are only pram hooks that haven’t eventually snapped on me or are just generally awkward to use by falling off all the time.

Little Lifestyles Pram bag

This bag is fab fab fab and although it’s on my wish list I already own one. I own a Graco symbio and although I love it and I’m excited to use it again the basket is rubbish and small. Once your raincover is in that’s it gone. So I make a bag to pop that under the foot rest (more on that again) and use this pram bag on the frame. I place it near the back so it gets muddy from use but its waterproof  never worn out and is fairly roomy. I can fit change mat, wipes and up to 3 cloth nappies.

Another thing I hate change bags so for me this is a must have but it’s also good for spare stuff. Use it as a backup bag with spare clothes, bibs and toys in. I used to pop a bib or two and a spoon or two in when we were weaning as I always forgot something!

Pram Caddy

Great for everything especially when you already have kids. Drink for mum, bottle, dummies, small toys, sweet wrappers, sticks you name it it’ll go in your caddy. It’s also great for those quick trips out when you can just throw in an emergency nappy and your purse.

That’s it….. for now.

tracy

 

Baby shopping……

…. minus the blue.

image

Dark pink cord leggings from Debenhams.

These are from the girls department and are more of a purple which is easier to see in the second picture. I personally love purple on boys but not to everyone’s tastes.

image

image

Halloween gros from George at Asda.

Baby isn’t due till March but pumpkins are still relevant then right….. plus we’re allotmenteers so it’s relevant to us.

image

image

Walrus Romper from En.fant, found in TK MAXX.

This is kinda a dull colour and a bit non baby but it’s funky and unique and not blue. I personally love the Japanese style waves on there and the gold undertones.

image

image

Harem romper from H&M complete with little hat.

It’s a cute kimono style which will make dressing easier and makes it look a little different to the other clothes we will use. I love the little welcome home writing on there as this is our rainbow baby.

image

s-l500

Gold Moccasins from ebay …..

because well gold?! Why not and they’ll go with anything, add some glamour and not a single hint of girliness about them. They come in LOADS of colours aswell.

image

Vegetable romper from Marks & Spencers.

As mentioned before we grow veg so this may be the typical beige but it’s too fun and too relevant to our life to miss out on.

 

image

Bunny babygros from Marks & Spencers.

I love yellow at the moment and the stripey babygros made me need this set! It’s nice and bright and innocent. Plus bunnies.. baby is due near Easter after all. My only grumble I accidentally ordered 3-6 months.

image

image

Bear clothes from Tescos Florence and Fred.

These are ‘boy’ clothes but I love the bears and the green is so fresh and sweet. My only bug bear (see what I did there!) is the tiny patch on the top saying man cub!!! Bear cubs can be female too where do Tesco think baby bears come from.

image

Sock ons

These are great little things not only do they (for me anyway) keep baby socks on perfectly without worry and aren’t too tight they are great accessory to an outfit and provide a bit of colour if you’re not into using pram shoes. They come in a rainbow of colours and I spotted new colours in recent years. I get mine from eBay but many retailers sell them.

download

tracy

Boys don’t have to wear blue!

image

I warn you now this is going to be a rant!

We are expecting shroomy boy number 3 so I am out shopping because yes although I have many many clothes they all look so boring. Plus when people are wanting to visit I don’t want baby to look like a classic hand me down kid. So a few new clothes is essential!!! (yes they are!)

I have one issue. A BIG issue with this…………… everything is blue! I know before you say it but blue is for boys but so is green, red, white, yellow, purple, orange and dare I suggest *whispers* boys can wear pink.

As a result baby has 4 new outfits. FOUR if we didn’t already have stuff this baby would be mostly naked and another reason to not buy blue we will get a mountain of blue after he is born.

Shops are so unimaginative when it comes to children’s clothing but more so with baby clothing. Everything is set colours and most boy clothes are light blue, dark blue, greeny blue, or beige and grey. Why? Thats what I want to know.

Look at girls clothing. Pink is made using red and white both are unisex colours so why is pink only for girls?  Pink is a colour of life and in the victorian times pink was seen as a strong colour and therefore only worn by boys. Blue was seen as a delicate colour and only worn by girls.

What happened?! Why did our boys get lumbered with blue blue blue and beige.

I want ladybird clothes that don’t claim the child to be a little lady.

I want clothes with toadstools on that aren’t automatically accompanied with flowers or a hefty price tag.

I want to see boy clothes that don’t have to have a vehicle of some sort on, or even worse that say little man.

I want to see girl clothes without the words pretty, beautiful and gorgeous on. My boys would disagree and as their mum I’m biased but my boys were beautiful and still are and my daughter was beautiful also but not more so because of her gender!

We associate boys with masculine things and girls with delicate things when in reality some boys are delicate and some girls prefer to be strong instead of pretty.

Why is my boy a little man? he can’t even walk yet and when he’s an adult he won’t be defining himself based on being a man he will define himself as my other sons will as being them. What makes them? Well my eldest is imaginative, he has great sense of humour and mildly awful fashion sense. He draws great things and invents all sorts of crazy things. He asks questions I never thought to ask and is defined as being bright and imaginative, not as a growing little man.

My youngest boy is funny, playful, energetic and bright in some ways compared the children a year older than him. He however can’t write his name because it ends up wrong everytime. However I don’t define him by this nor do I blame it on his gender. Instead he a cutey with gorgeous curls, beautiful eyes and an amazing smile. Where in that definition does he need to be a boy.

The other factor which makes the whole blue/pink divide more crazy many many people cal my youngest son a girl because of his amazing curly curls. He wears blue because he likes blue and I admit (begrudgingly) looks great in it but he’s still called a girl at times. Many years ago 2 girls I looked after I dresses in flowery dresses and because of a lack of hair one was called a boy despite having the pink dress on and her sister had green on and was identified as girl.

If so many in society don’t define a boy or a girl by what they are wearing why are shops only providing mums with outfits that follow the boys wear blue girls wear pink thoughts.

My task which I hope you will follow will be to create and buy as many non blue clothes as I can. I have one last problem many fabrics I buy are customs and I would use for either gender but even in the custom world of creating uniqueness blue is followed hugely for unisex stuff and is impossible to get away from. But shush don’t mention the blue……

image

tracy