On your special day… Happy Birthday Josh

My precious little boy, it feels like just yesterday when Dad and I sat in the bathroom taking the pregnancy test to confirm what we had both known. Within 30 sec up popped the 2 lines.

Our little miracle baby was growing in my belly.

My pregnancy although challenging was amazing, you were amazing and we were thrilled to be welcoming you into our tribe.

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At times this journey of Parenting and Motherhood has been challenging but looking at your precious little face and big bush of curls makes it all worthwhile.

Joshuah Carlisle Thomas, you are one amazing little boy. You are a strong willed, independent, intelligent little boy.

You have a laugh thats (although we only hear 4 times a year) so infectious and warms our hearts. When you speak my heart bursts with pride. I cannot believe that my tiny baby has grown into  this babbling toddler.

You have a love for your big brother that reminds me so much of my brother, your eyes light up when you see or hear Dannys voice.

The day you were born, all the Angels rejoiced as you my darling boy took your first breath. You’re a deep, serious and gentle spirited little boy and we love you.

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This family would not be complete without you in it.

I pray Gods hand of protection upon your life my love.

There is no greater feeling than being your Mama.

Have a happy birthday Joshy!

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Promoting Momtrepreneurs : Meet Lehani, the Mom behind Dandy Lion

Well hello there stranger!

As you may or may not have noticed I’ve taken a bit of a breather with my blogging.

For one thing, I blog for me and sure if theres someone who can relate to the situation / or chapter of my life I’m currently in or can learn from it the thats an added bonus.

As some know, I’ve recently launched into the big wide world of small businesses and its been challenging, fun, stressful and more fun!

I definitely have a passion for small businesses, supporting local and supporting Mom owned businesses.

This week I’d like you guys to show some love to Lehani. Founder and owner of Dandy Lion, boasting a whopping 2400+ Facebook followers and counting.

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So tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, your background?

Sjoe I always get a bit flustered when I have to tell people about myself. But here it goes…

I’m a wife and a mom to a beautiful girl of 5 years old. I love anything DIY and handmade. There is just something so special about something that is handmade. I am a creative by heart and love playing around with new ideas and designs, this consumes my thoughts when I need to go to sleep. I studied Fashion design at Elizabeth Galloway in Stellenbosch and this is where my love for design and sewing just grew, I then did styling  and Visual Merchandising and the decided to take a leap of faith and start a baby brand. And that is how Dandy Lion was born!

2. Do you have any kids? Be biased and tell us how awesome they are.

I have a beautiful daughter called Lila. She is my fitting model and inspiration!
(Super modest Momma Bear)

3. How, when and why did you start Dandy Lion

Having a baby of my own I always swooned over baby items you could get internationally. But I could never find items in South Africa that was not full of cartoons and that was not made in China. Don’t get me wrong my daughter still loves her cartoon items. But I just wanted to bring something different to the market. I’m also a firm believer of buying local and creating jobs in South Africa that is why all our items are manufactured in South Africa.

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Last year the opportunity came along for me to pursue my business on a fulltime basis and as I have mentioned it was a case of prayer and taking that leap of faith.  This was quite daunting, moving away from the corporate world but I just knew it had to happen then or never.

And today I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity to have my own business. How does that quote go:

”If you do what you love you will never have to work a day in your life” Marc Anthony.

I have been blessed with parents, friends and a husband who’s support I had from day one and that makes taking the leap of faith much easier.

And now I’m living my dream!

4. Starting a business has its fair share of challenges but also great rewards. What has been one of the highlightsof venturing out on your own. Care to share a piece of advice with other aspiring small business owners.

My biggest highlight has been to be a part of Kamersvolgeskenke (what a amazing experience it has been every time).

We will be exhibiting for our second year at Kamers after officially launching Dandy Lion at Kamers last year.

Having your own business is never just sunshine and roses. But believe me you reap the biggest joy and that over shadows any bump in the road.

So my advice will be to believe in your dreams but also to have realistic dream and if you are still excited about your dream. Then put your whole heart into it and don’t look back.

5. When doing new designs, what do you look for. Comfortability, affordability, latest trends? Where does the inspiration stem from?

I am Pinterest obsessed and I love following international trends. (YAY I found another one)

When doing new designs I keep my clients in mind and I try and keep comfort, affordability as well as the latest trends in mind.  All our clothing is 100% cotton. I sometimes have a client looking for something and before I know they will be my inspiration and it will become part of my range. So clients input and what they are looking for also play a big role in how I go about designing. Mostly it will be items that they have seen internationally and can’t find in SA.

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6. Can one only order via the catalogue you have available on Facebook or do you do custom orders too?

I am currently looking in to an online store. But I have just been too busy designing our new range. But at the moment I sell from Facebook and via catalogue. And a few other online stores and local Boutiques.

Custom orders are always welcome.

As all our items are handmade, so any item can be custom made to a clients request.

7. Any upcoming markets we can come and support you at?

Yes I have a few VERY exciting markets coming up, Kamersvolgeskenke Hermanus 24-27 September, Lilliput Market on the 3 October, Affair on the Hills 24-25 October, Kamersvolgeskenke Stellenbosch 27 October- 1 November.

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Thanks Lehani!

For more info hop on over to Facebook and show Lehani some LOVE!

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My custom bunny beanie for Josh made by the awesome Dandy Lion Momma!

Getting crafty with Surpriso

There’s nothing that brings more joy to my overly active boys lives than a new arts and craft project.

So when I was approached by Surpriso to test out one of their boxes I jumped at the opportunity.

For once I didn’t have to do the research, all the planning and get the supplies. I love it but life has been somewhat busy in the Thomas home lately and time was not something I’ve had much of.

Enter Surpriso

Surpriso

is a monthly arts and crafts subscription box delivered to your door with all the materials and step by step instructions, for kids to build, make, and develop their confidence.

The crafts are for children aged 5-8 but we guarantee that it will be fun for the whole family to get involved!

The theme for the box we received was “Under The Sea” and the boys had a blast over the long weekend doing all the crafts.

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The great thing is that all you need to complete the activities are included in the box (except a scissor), and you receive user friendly instructions on how to do everything. Perfect for little minds to grasp.

What you’ll find in your box

Do it yourself arts & crafts activities delivered monthly (each month has a new theme)
Each box contains 3-5 age appropriate craft activities
Safe and non-toxic materials

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The box is definitely geared at older kids but Josh did what he could and thoroughly enjoyed himself (once bored he then painted on the couch and floor, thank goodness its washable paint).

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Danny was utterly chuffed with himself and everything he created.

How to get your hands on a Surpriso box

There are 5 options available:

1 Month subscription – R199
1 Month subscription for siblings – R339 (15% discount), enough materials for both kids!
Gift Box – R220 (beautifully wrapped ready to go – the perfect gift for a kid’s birthday)
3 Month subscription – R570 (sign up for 3 months and receive a 5% discount)
3 Month Sibling subscription – R999 (3 months sibling box and receive a 15% discount

All options include FREE delivery to all major centres across South Africa (boxes to outer areas will be sent via the post office).

To order yours click HERE or feel free to send an email to info@surpriso.co.za

Happy Crafting

LT

Having FAITH and starting a small business

Taking a step IN faith!

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Should I wait in Faith or Step out in Faith?”

For the last 2 years I have done just that. I’ve dreamt about starting my own business, something small, something manageable and something that means something to me.

I work well with balance, with structure and being comfortable. This has been fine, until now. Very recently I’ve been questioning myself, questioning where I see myself in the next 5 years, trying to work on my plan and one night before I fell asleep I thought, “Do I really want to live in my comfort zone for the rest of my life?”

Faith is more than just believing, Faith is actually taking the next step. I’m proud to say we have done just that, we’ve stepped out in faith and started our own little business, it may not always be easy but I know it will be worth it. We’re in our “New Season” and I could not ask for a better partner to be sharing this experience with. He is my biggest supporter, my fiercest critic and my absolute tower of strength. He challenges me to be my best, to do more and to go for what I want.

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A while back I read something on Instagram, “The key to success, is to start before you are ready”. I had a good chuckle and got my day started, not knowing that this was the start of our new journey.

The name for our business sort of just happened, welcome to the world “Love Made Me”.

This is our new baby, our creation, and just with a new baby we need your support.

Please feel free to drop me a mail at heygirl@lovemademe.co.za for all your baby printing needs. We do customized sublimation printing on baby Onesies (growers and vest). If there’s something you’ve seen, if you have an idea, we’ll do our best to accommodate you. Alternatively you can have a look at our Facebook page for recent projects. Email me for pricing options. Postage can be arranged at an additional cost, or if you’re Cape Town based you can always collect.

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We all have to start somewhere, and this is our somewhere.

Is there something you’ve been dreaming about? Something you want to do?

Let me know!

#officiallyamomtrepreneur

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Currently

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Feeling and Loving

Can I be a Drama Queen for a moment and moan about my aching lower back, no, well I didn’t think so. Moms can never be sick, we have too many people depending on us. This is something all Moms know and all soon to be Moms and new Moms will learn.

Other than that, I’m feeling grateful. Grateful for my job, grateful for the positive environment I’m in (I loved my previous job but it was a struggle every day, to get up, to be happy and cheerful to give my all when I literally had no more of me left to give) and being able to just focus and get on with my day, the only thing missing is the people. I met and made some amazing connections and those are the faces I miss.

I’m grateful for having healthy kids, apart from the odd cold and little bit of snottyness, they’ve had a good winter. Thank you JC for keeping your hand over them! They’re thriving at school, they’re growing nicely, and their ability to learn just amazes me. They may be a handful and challenge me at every turn and give me wrinkles before my time, but I will wear them proudly. I simply adore being their Momma, in the good times and in the trying times.

I’m grateful for my Husband, I’m no doubt his biggest supporter (also probably his biggest critic) and over the last few months he’s helped me with so much. From taking over the morning routine so I can leave for work at 06:30am to washing the bottles while the boys have breakfast (yes I do notice my Love), it’s the small things that speak the loudest to me. Thank you for being my rock, my sense of balance, my guide and the Head of our Home. Whoop whoop its almost your birthday Old Boy. So happy I get to spend another birthday with you.

Doing

Last weekend we attempted another canvas painting session. It took me longer to put makeshift aprons on the boys, lay down the floor covering, pack out the paint than it took those 2 to tear through their task. I think it was 7min to be exact and the gorgeous Pinterest inspired vision I had ended up being a 1.5m long brown stain, lol. Carl think it looks cool, I feel like a monkey wiped its bum all over the canvas.

So this weekend I’ll be entertaining them with the Surpriso box I recently received. I love that someone else has gone through the effort of creating wonderful activities for my kids to do this weekend. All I need to do is guide them. Cannot wait to see the results, post will follow next week.

Other than that, on Sunday my Princess Bella is having her baby blessing so we’ll be famdamilying with the siblings and Papa. I feel like I have the coolest family in the world! Side note, my baby Sis was by us last night and I got schooled on how to be more cool. Lol (Apparently I’m Instagramming too much and my filters are terrible, this was then followed by a Selfie shoot with my sister and a detailed lecture of VSCO Cam).

Making

Need to get my bake on this weekend, I have not baked anything for my family in forever. So in preparation for the upcoming birthdays (we have 4 in August and 2 in September) I thought I’d make something this weekend. I’m thinking cupcakes should do and for me, date and cranberry muffins. Yum!

Trying

Completely not family related, but trying out the Benefit Porefessional and yes its good and nice and all those great things but it doesn’t do as an amazing job with my pores like I thought it would. I’m a tiny bit of a makeup addict, which was NEVER me. My makeup routine pre kids consisted of, washing my face, applying moisturiser and ending it all off with labello (for years, I kid you not). Post kids, I need to conceal very very dark under eye circles (that have probably been around for 6 years) followed by a whole bunch of other things.

Planning

2 posts for next week, one of which will be our review of the Surpriso box and another is a lovely Momtrepreneur I stumbled upon recently from Dandy Lion.

The months of August and September in our home mean 3 out of the 4 people are celebrating birthdays. I absolutely love hosting birthday parties. Last year Carl had his 30th bash at home with 30 of the most important people in his life. Drinks, food and family were plenty. This year I’m sure he’d prefer a more low key evening, but its on a Friday night which means we will definitely be doing SOMETHING.

Then we jump to September were our baby boy will be celebrating his 2nd birthday which makes my heart burst. I cannot believe its been 2 years since Josh’s birth. I can remember every minute of that day and still picture his perfect little face as the Doctor handed him to us. It was the day my heart grew in so many ways. You never really know how you will handle more than one child and how you will love that second or third one, until you’re there. I just could not stop smiling, he was worth all the tests, scans, blood work, monitoring, medication, miscarriage, tears, heartache, everything.

Last year he had a “Under Construction” and this year I’m thinking “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs”.

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We still not officially sure if we’ll be hosting a party. Side note, I actually think my body grew in order to accommodate this huge heart I now have (justification of being a little chunky accepted).

The next week is our wedding anniversary (whoop whoop) followed by my birthday on the 25th and I don’t want to do anything except go away with my family and our besties. Which is the plan.

Watching

We recently started watching Secrets and Lies, which has us hooked for now. Then Carl is into Suits again and jointly we watch Big Bang Theory. Anything else worth watching?

Reading

I’ve read this book probably more times than most people. And I love it every time. Its literally something you can read cover to cover in one sitting.

I Dared to Call Him Father is the fascinating true story of Bilquis Sheikh, Sheikh was born in 1912 to conservative Muslim parents. As she grew up, she did not reject her Muslim faith, but acquired a disdain for anything spiritual or supernatural. If she could see it and explain it, she would believe it.

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Married to General Khalid Sheikh (for a time Pakistan’s Minister of the Interior), she was active in politics and social work. After her marriage fell apart at the age of 48, she retired to her family’s land in Wah, Pakistan, where she lived the life of a hermit, aloof and alone. It is here that the book begins the story of her search for God and how she found Him. Through a rash of super natural occurrences and strange dreams, she begins to read the Bible for herself. As she continues to read the Quran alongside of it, questions arise in her mind. How can the Quran and the Bible both be true, if they disagree with each other? Why does the Bible insist on pointing to Jesus? Why does the Bible bring her peace, which the Quran never did? Can she really call God Father? Finally, determined to get answers, she goes to the house of some American missionaries.

She shares the heartbreak of being ignored and shunned by her family, but also the goodness of God in providing her with so much more spiritual family—brothers and sisters in Christ—than the natural family she lost.

Ok, so that’s me for July!

Its Friday, so have a wonderful weekend!

Win with Tiny Tribe Kids and What Happened to my body

Good Morning Lovelies,

Following my post yesterday reviewing the Tiny Tribe Kids leggings I purchased last month for Josh, I’m here today with a BIG SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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You could be the lucky winner of a pair of Tiny Tribe Kids leggings for your child or a niece / nephew / grandchild / godchild / futurechild – ANYONE!

Competition will run from Wednesday, 22 July to Sunday, 26 July and the winner will be announced on Monday, 27 July.

So, what are you waiting for???? Go and enter!

Competition only open to SA residents living in this Country, sorry.

Leggings sizes (Age 0 – 4 years only).

Enter via LINK TO THE RIGHT

Rafflecopter – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tiny Tribe Kids

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As I have mentioned before, I am obsessed with all things cute for little people.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had the obsession for little people, not in the politically correct / incorrect sense but in the little human sense.

From pregnancy to when they’re old enough to fight with the powers that be, I love kids. More so my own, but I love them.

Keeping them looking somewhat stylish and yet comfortable has been one of my many parenting goals for both my boys. I say somewhat as I’m definitely not the most “On trend, trend forward” Mom as clothing needs to be practical. They need to work for both boys and they’re busy lives. Skinny jeans may look great on your kiddie but on mine who is not a fan of denim (or ruff fabric as Danny says) due to it being tight, uncomfortable, hard and many other excuses it doesn’t work. Then we have the second challenge, both my boys are narrow waisted. They’re not skinny or underfed, they’re growing and developing beautifully, so when we typically buy Age 5 – 6 for Danny and Age 1 – 2 for Josh, the length is always spot on however the waist requires a belt, or drawstring which is a schlep. Belts more so because I’m the one who has to ensure its tied at all times.

Then I stumbled across Tiny Tribe kids and decided to give their leggings a go for Josh. I’m a BIG fan of leggings for boys, age appropriate of course (I don’t in the future see Danny or Carl wanting to wear leggings), they’re versatile, user friendly, cost effective, comfortable and stylish. After mailing Linda and placing my order which took 2 weeks give or take to arrive as all items are made to order I jumped in my car and went to collect (a road away from my Mom, can you believe how small the world is). I was blown away by the quality of the items and more importantly that they FIT! Happy dance all around for this Mommy.

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She has also since launched new items to their range which are just too adorable and combo deals, and then the bigger plus she’s a MOMTREPRENEUR! Something I would love to be (totally jealous of you right now), but I also love the security of my regular paycheck monthly.

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Never heard of Tiny Tribe Kids clothing before, where have you been. Go and show them some love on Facebook

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A bit about Linda and how this company came about,

“I come from a clothing background, study a BTech in Clothing Management.

Starting this business wasn’t my first as I had a range of ladies clothing which was stocked in a few boutiques across SA. After that I embarked on a new business venture and bought an evening wear hiring boutique in Durbanville, which I ran for 2 years. But after falling pregnant with my son, I wanted to be a bit more flexible. The shop kept me quite busy and with retail, the hours aren’t very flexible. So I sold the shop and focused on my family.

Clothing shopping after my son was born was frustrating, there wasn’t a wide selection in stores. These baggy, character print, brightly colour garments just weren’t working for me.

Coming from the clothing background, the production part was easy. But finding nice printed fabric was a nightmare. I just couldn’t find what I wanted anywhere. So I decided to print my own fabric.

I taught myself how to screen print by watching MANY YouTube video tutorials, speaking to screen printing suppliers and LOTS of practice.

And that’s how Tiny Tribe Kids was born.

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I really love what I do, and I’m really lucky that I have a Husband that supports my dream to do what I love, while still being able to be there for our Son.

I guess you can say I really do have the best of both worlds.”

You can place your orders the following ways:

Email: tinytribekids@gmail.com
Call: +27 073 6444 222

I LOVE MOMTREPRENEURS!

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If you have your own business or know of a great Mom run business please let me know and I’ll check it out.

Till Later
LT

Pampers Unisex pants

A while ago I was asked to review the new and improved Pampers pants for Joshuah and I jumped at the opportunity as we’ve had a constant challenge with finding something suitable for him from birth.

Since I was 13 weeks pregnant and given the all clear by my Doctor following a miscarriage at 10 weeks, Carl and I started in investing in nappies. When this baby was due to arrive we wanted to be sorted and in true Thomas ways we searched all the nappy deals and purchased almost R4000 worth of nappies. Packing space was slim to none-existent and the nappy tower began developing much like our little baby in my belly in the home’s belly, our lounge.

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This was at 20 weeks, see I kid you not, it was a HUGE nappy stash which kept on growing!

Shortly after Josh was born though, we discovered that these wonderful nappies were causing a bit of an irritation to our wee bundles precious bum and thighs. To our utter dismay we loaded the Vito and headed to Dischem who were willing enough to accept all the nappies and in return give us a gift card with the monetary value of the nappy pile, I think it was totalling R43 something something and a few cents. Which actually helped us BIG time when I went on maternity leave for all the meds, toiletries, baby products, cleaning products we needed during those 5 months.

We have long been a Pampers baby fan, these were nappies that worked for us and worked for our petite baby’s frame.

Another constant battle we have with both our kids is that they’re narrow waisted beings, I swear they get this from me. Really, not that you would think that now but really, I promise. Length of clothing works perfectly but the waist is always much to big.

Getting back to Pampers. With Josh we found out match, no saggy nappy bum. Fit was perfect and no leaking / exploding nappy bums in the morning. A definite win from me! NO ONE likes waking up to a gel covered bed, which during our nappy hunt we experienced MANY!

When I was contacted to review the pull up pants I was excited. The thought of pull ups scare me a bit. Since the introduction of disposable nappies, the world has come to know the “open system” was the norm. Tabs / Velcro / Cellotape whatever they were made of is what worked. So the no tabs and easy access through me a bit, I will explain why and because of this I’ve never thought of purchasing them myself. But with potty training lurking in the not too distant future I thought it was time to don my big girl panties and give it a go.

Day 1 – 4 : Pampers pants used from 06:00am – 20:00pm, no problems

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Day 5 – 6 : Pampers pants used 06:00am – 17:00pm, slight nappy rash from school due to not being changed often enough so we swopped for the night routine to normal Pampers.

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Day 7 – 10 : Pampers Pants used 24 hours, night 1 we had a nappy explosion (10 hours of wear during night) but Josh ate poorly and drank for most of the night (the nappy just couldn’t cope), the rest was no problems.

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The challenge, Josh has very very sensitive skin and using Vaseline as a barrier is not even enough. We have trained him so well from young, the minute he drops a bomb he MUST tell us (as parents sometimes you forget, can’t smell, not too sure), Josh now tells us when he’s mid bomb drop. Lol In saying this it means that he uses the Pharmacist concoction daily with every nappy change on his bum. Here’s the challenge. How do you put on bum cream with a pullup pants and not get nappy cream on everything (i.e. bed, changing mat, couch, cot wherever you lay your little one on)?

See my problem? Its a practical and mindset thing which I’ll just have to get over. On the practical side we put on the pull up then through the side do the barrier cream.

Lets see what Pampers says and if it stood the Josh test

·         Unisex and Easy to use

·         Extra Sleep – Layer which absorbs wetness and distributes it evenly across the core for up to 12 hours of dryness

·         All around fit with a stretchy waistband and leg cuffs adapted to baby shapes and movement for a perfect fit in all positions

·         Less bulky design which allows for maximum freedom of movement

·         Breathable : Micropores enable vapour to travel from inside to outside of nappy to help your baby stay dry

My final thoughts? 

Other than my one challenge it stood the test, there were no major leaks or accidents I needed to clean up (apart from 1 overloaded deposit). They’re super easy to use and tear easily (at the seams when taking them off) and Josh is proud to be wearing in his words “Ander pants”. And he has mastered the art of taking them off himself for bathtime (you do not want to see that picture, after taking them off for bathtime he decided to leave me a little surprise on the bedroom floor, like a naughty puppy and it wasn’t a wee wee) and score they’re compact and fit him perfectly!

From my side I do feel they could be a tiny bit softer, I do understand the need for durable absorbing material but these are tiny people’s little bits after all. Thumbs up from me and my gang.

Please note Pampers gave me these products to test and share my experience and I think I’ve done it fairly.

Pampers pants are available both in store and online from sizes 3 – 6

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The great thing is that Pampers also gave me a few extra packs to share with other Moms and get their inputs. Watch this space. I will be asking 3 Moms to give their views on the product.

#paidad #PampersSA

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