- May 29th, 21:12
I honestly don’t know what I was making such a fuss about when it came to having just one tiny baby in the house! I made a real meal of it I think and thought it was just oh so much hard work – it wasn’t! New born babies are easy and I should have been out enjoying coffee with friends, reading books and on days like the ones we’ve had recently, with masses of sunshine, in the park resting and relaxing! Was I doing that? Was I buggery! I was out at baby groups singing the wheels on the bus to a five week old baby, trying to teach her sign language and (I can’t believe I bothered with this one) taking her on educational trips to the zoo/farm/park! Surely she would have just been sleeping in her buggy if I’d walked round the shops looking at things for me instead of sleeping round the zoo! I was also moaning about how much life had changed, and explaining to my husband the reasons why I hadn’t managed to do the washing up! What were they again? Oh because I had this terribly stressful job of looking after a new born baby! Bloody hell, how did I make it feel so hard?! I’m sure new Mums of one would have something to say about that and I sympathise, I really do but I take your new born baby and raise you a new born baby AND a toddler!
Sorry new Mums but if you think it’s hard now then just you wait and see… First they learn to move and that’s great, I spent ages encouraging and feeling ever so proud that she turned over at 12 weeks and crawled at 5 and a half months but once they do it, that’s it! Life really is never the same again! Up go all objects at floor and baby height never to be seen again, out comes the protective gear (stair gates and corner and glass shields) which make your house feel smaller and look like nothing on earth and suddenly you can never sit nonchalantly watching television again! Next they learn to run and when that happens you really do need eyes in the back of your head, when in the park do not ever expect to sit chatting with pals again for mid sentence you will surely have to fly over to your little one who will be threatening to run out of the park and into the road or climb into the fountain that was all the way over the other side from where you were sitting and not even on your radar! And finally they gain an opinion.
OpinionS actually! What they should wear, what you should wear, when and what they want to eat, which shops they want to go in, when they want to leave the park, what they’d like Father Christmas to bring them, how they would like to brush their teeth, what time they would like to go to bed, whose bed they want to sleep in, which friends they want to play with, who they will share with and who they won’t and why… Oh goodness, they have opinions on everything and boy do they want to have them heard! Since my little boy was born three weeks ago I have realised how easy life could be if you just had one tiny baby! Admittedly he seems much more easy going than she ever was (Florence came out with her arms flailing and a red screaming face. Jimmy’s heart beat didn’t change all the way through and he looked up at me with calmness as soon as I saw him) and he sleeps far better than she often does even now but at the end of the day she was that small once, she would remain where I left her and wouldn’t shout at me that she DIDN’T WANT FISH FINGERS SHE WANTED PIZZA! I could have so milked that time and spent days sleeping when she was (that’s the advice right? I never took it, why?) and just, I don’t know, enjoyed reading a book, an actual book from cover to cover. Not just the same part of the same book over and over because you’ve forgotten what you already read as it’s been so many months it’s been since you last picked it up! I wouldn’t change things for the world and anyone who reads my blog will know how much I love my girl but she’s hard work and a new born baby, well that’s just a picnic by comparison… People say going from none to one is harder than one to two but I’m not sure you know… I mean, maybe I’m remembering it all wrong but seriously, it can’t have been as hard as I made out! I do hope what people say about more than two is true! I’ve heard if you have two you may as well have twelve – it’s no extra work! I’ll let you know my thoughts on that one once I’ve done it (If Jonny allows me) in a few years! Must make sure I do the washing up before Jonny gets home… God knows when I’ll find the time!
My sleeping beauties in a rare moment of seep unity!
Now anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been a ‘Bugaboo’ fan for as long as they’ve been around and waaaay before I had anyone of my own to put in one! I’m always happy to try other buggies but I’ve never found a brand I like as much and that’s the absolute truth! I love the fact that for my Bee which I had for Florence as soon as she was born, I now have the buggy board meaning I can easily travel about with both of them. For tube travel where there is no lift it’s an excellent choice but unfortunately, after Florence fell asleep standing up on our very first outing it became apparent that she would need a seat and perhaps she’s not quite big enough to rely solely on buggy boarding! I didn’t however want to compromise manoeverabiity by using any other buggy than a Bugaboo… Well, as my sister in law once said ‘Once you go Bugaboo you don’t go back’! There’s just something very different about the way they push, so easy to use in every way, comfort, folding… You name a great feature and a Bugaboo will almost certainly have it! I don’t work for Bugaboo, I’m not being paid by anyone to sing their praises, I genuinely believe them to be the best and now… I have a new Bugaboo in my family!
With the birth of Jimmy we also welcomed into our family the ‘Bugaboo Donkey’! He’s just arrived my Donkey and we’ve only been on a few outings so far but we are all totally in love with him! Jonny initially thought him to be far too big for us and our lifestyle but he’s quickly seen that actually, big as he is when up, he still fits in our car boot (a THREE door Corsa), goes through all doorways including our front door on our Victorian Terrace house and goes through the barrier at the tube and easily onto London buses! So he may appear big (and he has gotta be big enough for two don’t forget) but he folds up super small and in actual fact, fits in quite nicely with our lifestyle thank you very much! I love the wheels, they’re big and go over grass easily and the fact that Jimmy is in a bassinet is fantastic and I feel like he’s super looked after! Florence is thrilled to bits that she’s high up and when she falls asleep it’s so easy to recline her chair and make her comfortable! So ok, he might struggle with an escalator but with the Olympics just round the corner there are plenty of tube stations with step free access now and on the occasion when I do have to go to one which doesn’t I’ll just use my trusty old Bee! I have to say though, I’m far more inclined to go to Green Park (step free station) in town and walk to my destination with my Donkey than any other option! I mean he’s the absolute Rolls Royce, Toppest of Top Trumps and the icing on the cake of the buggy world, why would I choose to do anything else?!
I’m going to be taking the Donkey all over and bringing you Donkey news every week in this my new Donkey section! Whenever we’re off somewhere exciting you’ll be sure to see the Donkey first and us just behind! I’m going to tell you how he’s coped with his journeys and bring you the best reviews of the best buggy you’ll ever find!
This week, as we are just starting off, he’s been spotted in Leytonstone out and about as we become fully acquainted with him and also in Birmingham at The Baby Show where around every corner I was accosted by people buggy shopping wanting to know where I’d got him, what he was and how well he handled things! The most common comment was ‘Wow, that buggy is fantastic, what amazing storage, can I have a push?’ And this was in the place where EVERY buggy you can think of was up for sale! Says something don’t you think? I suspect there may have been a few shoppers going home with ‘Donkey’ firmly on their baby shopping list!
Next time: ‘Donkey Does the Jubilee’!
The ‘Donkey’ in action around Leytonstone as we get used to him! Notice that in four out of six pictures BOTH my children are sleeping! Believe me, this is one comfy Donkey!
For more information on the ‘Donkey’ and all other ‘Bugaboo’ products please see their website www.bugaboo.com. It’s also worth noting that ‘When you choose a ‘Bugaboo’ product to help you on your way, something else good happens as well – as ‘Bugaboo’ contributes 1 % of its total revenue to The Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. This means more women and children living with HIV in Africa will get the medicine they need to lead a more normal, active and hopeful life.’
Speaking of the Jubilee, I personally can’t wait! What’s not to like? Jonny gets an extra day off and we’re all trooping up to Norwich to spend more time with our family! As you know I like any excuse for a party and with a party you have to give a gift! Well, I do anyway! Look at these two brilliant ones for little ones!
First up is this fab sticker book from ‘Usborne’. ‘Sticker Dressing Kings and Queens’ is the title and £5.99 is the price. My little one loves stickers and although she’s perhaps a little young for doing this properly she will have a briliant time anyway in her own creative manner! If you have a child of around 5 to 10 however, they will not only have loads of fun but will also learn what Kings and Queens through the ages have worn as they choose head dresses, gowns and crowns for monarchy through the ages be it Queen Nefertiti from ancient Egypt or our very own Queen Elizabeth the 2nd! Each double page comes with interesting facts about the King and or Queen on the page as well as with the stickers to dress them! I’d have loved this as a little girl and can’t wait to do it with Florence! For more info see www.usborne.com.
And if your little one is a bit too young for stickers how about this lovely ‘The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Set’ as part of the ‘HappyLand’ family at the Early Learning Centre? Priced at just £5, we think they’re lovely! Florence has been playing with hers already and her only complaint is that there’s no Prince Philip to go with them! www.elc.co.uk.
And for Jonny, my coffee loving beau, I think this ‘Queens Diamond Jubilee Travel Mug’ from ‘Asda’ is just the ticket! At £5 it really won’t break the bank and is a really funky way to mark the day! If Jonny had been working (and there was a high possibility that he would) it would have been really fun to send him off on the tube to work on Jubilee day with a mug of coffee in this! Instead we’ll wake him up in bed with it! It’s also quite a clever little mug because it has a double wall of insulation made from porcelain with a silicon lid meaning it keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold! How good is that?!
‘Asda’ also has a really great variety of other Jubilee memorabilia and products from paper plates and bunting to union jack cakes! As always, being devoted to saving families money, nothing is very highly priced but there’s no scrimping on quality! We’re having a Jubilee party and we’ll definitely be buying up a load of the ‘Asda’ things for it, why spend more when you don’t have to?!
Before we started thinking about the Jubilee we were lucky enough to be invited to see a screening of the new movie ‘Top Cat’ in 3D prior to its release on 1st June! It’s the first time Jimmy has ever been to the cinema and our first outing as a family of four so it was quite an exciting event for us! Florence to begin with couldn’t understand the idea of wearing glasses to watch a film but she soon got the hang of it and we had a fabulous time watching this classic cartoon which luckily hasn’t been changed too much for the big screen and is just as I remember! With the unmistakable graphics from Hanna-Barbera and a typical ‘Top Cat’ tale this is one not to be missed with the kids this summer! They’ll love to meet one of our old favourite characters and for us Mums and Dads it’s a taste of nostalgia and a blast into our youth! Brill film and we even got to meet ‘Top Cat’ at the end! I’m giving away a ‘Top Cat’ goodie bag and for your chance to win do read on!
Florence and I aren’t actually part of the film but we had good fun pretending!
WIN a TOP CAT Goody Bag!
If you fancy your chances of winning some Top Cat goodies to celebrate the launch of the movie, then all you have to do is read on! Hanna-Barbera’s most loved character will be starring in his all new film ‘TOP CAT THE MOVIE! 3D’ to be released on 1st June and here you have the chance to win some super Top Cat goodies! All you have to do is email me at email@example.com stating your name and address (including the words ‘Top Cat’ in the subject line) by midnight on Wednesday 7th June!
‘TOP CAT THE MOVIE’ is released on June 1st. TOP CAT and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.
Now that we’re getting back in the swing of our days out there are two things we can’t wait for! Firsty:
This is our favourite outing of last year and we loved it so much we’ve talked about it non stop so we’re thrilled to be going again this year and have to urge anyone with little ones to do the same! It’s a full festival atmosphere but with everything geared up for children! That’s not to say the adults won’t have fun too because last year my friends and I all had a blast dancing with our little ones and watching them beam with pleasure! As with all festivals, waiting for the line up is always part of the excitement and for this festival it’s no exception! The latest news tells me that the ‘Lollibop Live’ stage will play host to acts such as ZingZilla’s, Jassa Aluwahlia (Art Attack) and The Mr Men & Little Miss Party Roadshow. TV favourites Dick and Dom will also take to the stage to entertain crowds with their unique blend of music and games. The Gruffalo and Shrek The Musical will also be a big part of the day and the news just in is that The UK’s first Moshi Monsters Mash Up Tournament, brought to the festival by Topps, will take place each day at LolliBop, with children being challenged to put their Mash Up skills to the test. All players will also receive a free pack of Mash Up cards so everyone can join in. Fans are also encouraged to bring their Moshi Monsters Cards with them as there has never been a better chance to trade with other Moshi Card collectors. FABULOUS!
For more info on the festival which takes place in Regent’s Park, London on 17th, 18th and 19th August 2012 and tickets which start at just £22pp (Early Bird Tickets now sold out) please see the website www.lollibopfestival.co.uk.
ANDY and MIKE’S … BIG BOX OF BANANAS
UK TOUR: 2 – 30 JUNE
Andy and Mike’s … Big Box of Bananas is back on the road this June! And you are invited to their ‘fun pad’ – there is room for everyone and once there you can expect music, laughs, wigs, eye-patches, boats, planes, suspense and a BIG BOX OF BANANAS!
BAFTA-nominated CBeebies’ presenter Andy Day brings his much-loved humour to this high-energy, children’s comedy. He and Mike James, childhood friends and comedy partners, have created a fast-paced show full of slapstick, songs and stories. With imaginative writing and great gags, Andy and Mike’s… Big Box of Bananas is a treat for the whole family.
When a magical and mysterious box appears in Andy and Mike’s ‘fun pad’, try as they might they can’t open it. The boys must journey the skies and seas to try to find the password to the box but they need help – they’ll never manage it without an audience of house sitters to give them a hand!
Join them on a colourful journey taking in some very glamorous, all-singing, all-dancing air stewards, some confused pirates and some amazing musical sea life! You’ll also get to meet Poppy the Pet Porpoise, Andy’s Mum and the mysterious man in the TV and to help reveal the mystery of the Big Magical Box.
Andy and Mike’s … Big Box of Bananas was a sell-out success and critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival 2009 and has enjoyed several sell-out tours since then. The show is suitable for adventurers of any generation, but the show is most suitable for house-sitters aged four to eleven and their grown-ups.
Andy Day is well known to pre-schoolers and primary school children, as well as their carers. He has been a presenter on CBeebies since 2009 and was recently one of the star line-up on the hugely successful CBeebies Live! arena tour (April 2012). His CBeebies’ show Andy’s Wild Adventures has just won Best Children’s TV Programme at the recent Freesat Awards. Mike James and Andy Day have been friends since they were 11 years old, and have worked on a diverse range of projects from playing ugly sisters together in panto through to hotel work as glass collectors! Their new show Tick Tock Time Machine starts its 2012 tour at the Pleasance as part of the Edinburgh Festival.
The show’s co-creator and director is Iain Lauchlan who has a towering pedigree in creating quality children’s entertainment both on stage and TV, including The Tweenies and The Fun Song Factory.
ANDY & MIKE’S … BIG BOX OF BANANAS
For more information on tour dates and prices please see the website: www.andyandmike.com.
MY LIFE WITH 2! WEEKS 3 & 4!
As I said, I’m finding it a little tough at the moment with two of them and mainly because Florence is quite hard work at the best of times. Brilliant but quite hard work! She’s struggling a little with the adjustment to her world and who can blame her. Her whole life it’s been just me and my gal during the week days and now we have someone else in our unit. Someone wonderful who we adore and are very grateful to have in our lives but there’s no denying things have changed and for a two year old that’s going to take a bit of a toll. We’ve gone a bit backwards with potty training and bed time and melt downs over nothing very big are not uncommon it seems but things will get better, I know that! I think everyone in my family has been a bit worried about me because I kept bursting into tears and I think they might have been concerned about post natal depression! They had no need because I’m absolutely fine but I have been super tired and with the pain from my infection STILL running rife it’s not been the easiest of days recently even if they have been happy because we are, without doubt delighted with Jimmy! Can’t believe I worried that I might not have enough love for another child, it’s true what they say, you just do, the capacity in your heart grows and the love is there all over again without taking any away from anyone else! My highlight this past fortnight has been watching Florence kiss and cuddle Jimmy (spreading her cold but we’ll gloss over that) and telling him she loves him… The low light has been encountering a man in Tesco who called me fat! He and his wife ran back from the till three times to get things they’d forgotten and the third time, me being behind them and in a hurry, I raised my eyes slightly. He then took exception to this, looked in my trolley and told me I shouldn’t buy pizza as I was too fat! Beautiful man that he was must have been at least 20 stone himself so I shouldn’t take any notice but being tired and fragile as I was that day I just burst into tears… What a rude man, can’t believe there are people like him out there!
Flobo and Jim-Bob snugged up on the sofa this week!
As I said earlier when talking about my new buggy, we were off to The Baby Show again recently, it’s a day out I always love! Going to see new baby gear and test all the best products out all under one roof! We had another fab day and came home with far more than we intended (as always) and we hopefully have found some perfect solutions to things like Florence sleeping through the night! I went with just Jimmy as Florence was staying with my Dad for a couple of nights, which she loved, so it was my first day out with just the Jimster! It was probably easier with just the baby but boy did I miss my gal! The Baby Show is something we always do together and she loves the creche and the day out herself so I felt a bit strange without her, next time she’s coming for sure! From my day in Birmingham here are my absolute top ten product recommendations and people to visit next time:
Gro Company, from the company who also make adorable sleeping bags amongst many other products comes the ‘Gro Clock’! The idea is the stars are out at bed time and then the sun pops out when it’s time to get up in the morning. Simple concept but so far Florence seems really into the idea and it’s worked all the way through the night one out of three which believe me, is quite an achievement so far – I’ll keep you posted! www.gro.co.uk.
Snoozeshade, another firm favourite of ours and one we’re rarely without! They have launched some exciting new products like their Snoozeshades for cots! I know the Snoozeshade is actually to help promote sleep but my favourite feature of our Snoozeshade plus is the fact that it shades from the sun too and the fabric is SPF 50+! Perfect for delicate little skin in this climate at the moment. The material is also fully breathable which means that unlike sticking a muslin over the pram, the babies won’t get too hot behind there! www.snoozeshade.com.
Mamas and Papas, simply have everything you could possibly want when starting out! I love the brand because it’s goods are A) superbly made and excellent quality, B) luxurious while still within the realms of possibility money wise and C) as far as I’m concerned you could pick anything up in there and give it as a gift and anyone would be happy to receive whatever you’ve chosen! The clothes are absolutely beautiful for both pregnant women and new born babies! Both my children had their first outfits from Mamas and Papas and I’ve continued to use the brand ever since! Look at this gorgeous blanket from there that Jimmy is wrapped up in!
Water Baby, a great way for pregnant women to take their folic acid while hydrating! This bottled water with a hint of flavour has the recommended daily does of folic acid and tastes pretty great too! With some excellent deals this is a brilliant product for when you’re in the baby way! www.mywaterbaby.com.
Mammae, the most beautiful nursing bras you will ever see! Fact! I mean, we have to wear nursing bras but usually they just look so ghastly and let’s face it, they don’t scream ‘I’m a beautiful woman’ more ‘I’m doing what I have to do’. Not so with these bras I can tell you! I’ve just started wearing mine and so far so brilliant but I’ll bring you a full review next week! Frankly though, my initial impressions after one wear are that they’re worth the money, every penny! And I’m not one to part with cash easily! www.mammae.co.uk.
Milton, Recently launched is the Milton ‘Mini Portable Soother Steriliser’. Florence never had a dummy and so I had no need to think about sterilising them but now that Jimmy does have one I’m beginning to realise it’s not always easy to make sure he has one that’s completely sterile, especially when out! In steps this new product which sterilises it for you while you are out and about! It also has a handy handle which can be tied to your bag or buggy! Review to come but looks great to me so far! www.milton-tm.com
Snugglebundl, Am really looking forward to using my Snugglebundl, a blanket that you can lift your own bundle up in without disturbing them from their sleep! Totally awesome and review to come shortly! www.snuggebundl.co.uk
Morrck, Now we’re still loving our ‘Baby Hoodie’ from Morrck but with the hot weather we are also super pleased with the ‘Splasha’ Florence has been using in the park after running in and out of the water feature! It’s a lovely towel with a hood that pops up around them like an item of clothing and we think it’s fab! It wasn’t until I was at the Baby Show that I realised quite how extensive the range is at Morrck and they’re certainly a brand I’ll be coming back to again and again! www.morrck.co.uk
Brush-Baby, I simply have to give a nod to this company and their chewable toothbrush! I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, what a great idea for toddlers who inevitably do not like to have their teeth brushed! Has gone down a storm in our house where we have ‘funny toothbrush’ as she calls it in the morning and a normal brush at night! www.brishbaby.co.uk.
Philips Avent, I’ve used Avent products loads in the past but at the Baby Show I realised they are launching a whole new range and it looks brilliant! Even better than before! I was lucky enough to be invited to their head quarters a few days after the show and see in more detail their new breast pumps and bottles which have changed for the first time in 25 years and I can’t wait to see them properly on sale! By the time the next Baby Show is on they will be in full swing and you can see for yourself but I can tell you now you won’t be disappointed! More to come in future posts about these so keep an eye out! I also was reminded at the show of how brilliantly innovative some of their products are such as their room and bath thermometer, absolutely invaluable product that I’d always buy as a gift for a first time Mum! With Avent you know you are buying quality after all…(Take a look at my 3in 1 electric steam steriliser review below). www.avent.com
They don’t cal it a ‘Donkey’ for nothing! Look at my shopping from The Baby Show!
So, talking of ‘Philips Avent’ products and ones I like, I feel certain I won’t find a steriliser I like more than this one! The 3 in 1 Electric Steam Steriliser is great because not only does it do the job it needs to do in a very efficient and quick way but it also doesn’t take up loads of room on the kitchen counter. Space is an absolute premium in my kitchen as it’s so tiny so it’s fab that this steriliser can be made bigger or smaller dependent on your needs! Saying that, even at it’s biggest it only expands upwards and not outwards so should I ever need to start sterilising more than I do it would still totally fit! Simply pour 100ml of cold water into the base, load up the steriliser and press the button! Minutes later everything is sterilised and will remain so for 24 hours, perfect if you want to be organised in advance and perfect if you need to be quick as you’ve left everything till the last minute. (Have to admit I’m far more likely to be the latter)! It doesn’t just fit Avent products either, I’ve happily been popping all different brands in and they all fit, this simply couldn’t be easier and with an RRP of £60 (although there are many deals on the market at the moment) I certainly don’t think it’s too high a price to pay! We’ve used it every day and are more than satisfied with it having 100% no complaints whatsoever! This is my ‘Newborn Must Have of the Week’ and I’m super glad to have found it myself!
The ‘Philips Avent 3 in 1 Electric Steam Steriliser’ can be purchased throughout the High Street and on line. For more information on the product please see www.avent.com.
In the meantime follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby
And just before I go, don’t forget this is your last chance to enter my competition to win a months FREE membership to uniformdating.com! So, to all my lovely single pals, do read on… Perhaps meeting ‘The One’ starts right now…
WIN a free month subscription for Uniformdating.com!
As seen on TV!
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(All opinions and words, apart from those in green, are my own. I have not been paid for this article although I did receive some products to keep after I had reviewed them.)