Thursday 31 January 2013

Now is Good - DVD Review

I feel like this review should come with a rather large warning - TISSUES NEEDED.

Do not, under any circumstances decide to watch this film without a large bar of chocolate and a full pack of tissues at your side.  

Now is Good is well written and acted and features a great story line about a young girl's battle with cancer and her coping methods.  Dakota Fanning plays the teenage Tessa who is faced with a terminal disease, and rather then curling up crying like her family seem to think she should, she decides to fulfil her bucket list as soon as she can, making the most of every experience.

I love Tessa's positivity and strength and finished the film with a great desire to make the most of every single day as things can change in a heartbeat.  I also finished the film with long lines of mascara running down my face!

Tessa's parents are really fascinating characters and both deal with the cancer in very different ways, as her mother distances herself from the whole idea whilst her father becomes almost too involved in the illness.  I don't even want to think about the prospect of losing a child and I think I found the film even more emotional as a mother than I would have done a couple of years ago.

Tessa's main aim in the film is to find real love and Adam, played by Jeremy Irvine is a great character, giving her support, experiences and the love she craves, however it is the story of her best friend and the impending baby that really tore at my heart strings.  I won't give too much away but as I may have mentioned earlier -tissues are definitely needed!

I really enjoyed the film and was impressed with the cast and story.  I will be waiting until after any pregnancy hormones have completely disappeared to risk watching it again though! 

The film was released on DVD on 21st January and you can find it here on Amazon

Disclaimer:  I was sent this DVD to review from Warner Bros.  but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Read more ⇨

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Blogaversary Giveaways - Baba and Boo and Oriflame

To celebrate The Mummy Adventure turning a whole year old I have three giveaways for you!  The first two are below and you will just have to wait and see what the third one is later this week!

First up, the lovely Baba and Boo are offering a T-shirt and Nappy combination of your choice!  We have the gorgeous froggy print and Dylan absolutely loves it although his Ribbit is not quite recognisable yet to anyone other than me!  There are some gorgeous designs and you can check them all out on the Baba and Boo website, so don't forget to tell me which one you would like to win!  Entry is via rafflecopter form below.

Secondly the lovely Julie at Oriflame is offering an essentials eye contour cream and an essentials nourishing night cream - perfect for those like me who are not getting as much as sleep as they would like! I know things are going to get incredibly tiring once I have two little terrors to tend to and so keeping up a good skin routine and covering those huge bags under my eyes is definitely a priority!  Entry is via the rafflecopter form below and I am looking forward to reading your suggestions!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Disclaimer:  I have received no financial rewards for hosting these competitions but the prizes are supplied by the brands as stated.

Read more ⇨

Monday 28 January 2013

12 months of Blogging - 12 things I have Learnt

I have now been officially blogging for an entire year!  I have recorded Dylan's and my life for twelve whole months and looking back at where I started, I feel I have come a long way!  I have learnt a lot, had some wonderful experiences and made some great friends.

I thought I would sum it up with twelve things I have learnt about blogging in the last twelve months:

1)  The community is huge and I mean HUGE! There are 5,000 parent blogs listed on the Tots 100 and there must be so many more out there that are not.  Turns out there are lots of parents who also think their children are adorable and worth shouting about.  Luckily there are so many different stories and different styles of writing that I feel I still have my place amongst them all.

2)  Bloggers can form amazing friendships without ever meeting.  They can come together to support each other and really make a difference when they want to.  

3) There are a million ways to promote your blog and if you did all of them it really would be a full time job!  From Twitter and Facebook to stumble upon and reddit everyone has a favourite.  My theory is to stick to the ones I enjoy using - after all blogging should be fun.

4) It is impossible to go an entire day without taking a photo.  When Dylan was a newborn I took hundreds every day to capture each and every moment.  Once I started blogging I had this passion back again and my phone memory card is bulging with pictures of my gorgeous boy.  I love the fact that I am not missing a thing about him growing up.

5)  The parenting world is a lucrative market and there are some amazing opportunities to work with both big and small brands.  I have been lucky enough to discover some amazing companies and products and love being able to share my finds.

6)  When bloggers do get together there is usually copious amounts of alcohol drunk and some level of devastation left behind.  I met up with 20 other blogggers at the wonderful Choccywoccydoodahs this week, and would be very impressed if they let us back in ;)

7) Blogging can encourage you to make the most of your time as a parent.  Sometimes it seems like a great idea to get out and do something new as I know it would make a great post, but it also means that my son gets some amazing experiences that I may not have gotten round to if I hadn't started blogging.

Our first attempt at puddle splashing

8) That you will never be satisfied.  There will ALWAYS be a bigger blog, one with higher rankings, better traffic and more followers and that can be a driving force as well as a deterrent   I am happy with my blog and where I have come in the last twelve months but I certainly have goals for the next twelve!

9)TV is such a small part of my life since discovering the online community.  It is often on in the background but I very rarely just sit and watch something, and I don't miss it at all! I used to watch programmes for the sake of it rather than because I really enjoyed them and it is nice to focus on something else every now and again.

10) How to get across London with a baby - We love attending events and they are very often in London so I have quickly learnt which underground stations are pushchair friendly and how to hail a black cab in a hurry!

11) I have learnt that in some situations there is a lot of respect for parent bloggers, and our influence and importance is known, whereas in others we are belittled.  We can be misunderstood, tarred with a bad brush and mocked, but the community continues to grow, and parents continue to find their voice online.  The fact that more and more people are reading blogs seems to be evidence enough for me that there is a bright future for the online blogger.

12) Blogging is fun.  I love sharing photos and stories from our lives.  I love sitting down at the end of a long day and remembering every magical thing that has happened - little and big.  I love recording our lives so in a few years Dylan and I can look back and remember how things were and the fun we got up to.  I love the communication with the rest of the world and the interactions that occur through blogging.  I love meeting other bloggers and learning about other ways of life and other people's stories.

Never too young to start!

So there we have it, 12 months of blogging summed up in 12 lessons.  My second year of blogging will see a second child join our adventure and I can't wait to look back on another year in January 2014!
Read more ⇨

Sunday 27 January 2013

36 Weeks Pregnant

Only another week until I am deemed 'full term' and that is when the panic will begin.  For now it still feels like I have plenty of time before the little guys arrival so I am still putting off as much as I can!  Here I am at 36 weeks;

36 weeks pregnant, 36 weeks second baby, bump photos

On the Inside

I had a routine midwife appointment on Wednesday and he has confirmed that baby Squish is now fully engaged - something I had guessed from all the groin pain I have been having and the lack of any kicks in the rib area.  Everything is going well though and I had to have bloods taken this week too as I am hoping to give birth in the midwife led unit and I need to prove my iron levels are high enough and that I am healthy and fighting fit.  

I am getting quite a few pains low down now and have found that baths before bed really help to relax my body.  Somehow I have made it to 36 weeks without needing any extra toilet trips and I am very thankful as falling asleep at night isn't as easy as it once was - at least I can stay asleep until the little guy wakes me up!

Tiredness is certainly kicking in during the daytimes and although I haven't been taking many naps yet, the TV is playing a much bigger role in childcare as I don't always have the energy to do the same puzzle for the 76th time.  I am still working though and can get through an 8 hour shift on my feet no problems - it is amazing how a toddler can tire you out!

On the Outside

Bump has definitely dropped now that the little guy has discovered his escape route and It looks like he may fall out at any moment! Not too many new stretchmarks though however I have outgrown several of my maternity tops now.  Dresses seem to be the way forward if I don't want to flash too much skin and they are also the most comfortable thing to wear.

Bump is still measuring larger than average but not as big as with Dylan so I am intending to pack newborn still for the hospital bag, even if I have to squish the little one into it!  

I am still nowhere near organised, but I have a gorgeous new Pink Lining bag ready to pack baby's bits into and we have everything ordered ready for Squish's room - just need to unpack all the boxes that are clogging it up first!

Next update will be at 38 weeks - the point where Dylan was born so I am hoping I make it that far! 
Read more ⇨

Snoodie Dribble Bib Review

Dylan may not be the dribble monster he once was, but we still have days where the teething is out of control and he is soaking through his clothes.  Mamascarf sent us one of their lovely dribble snoodies for Dylan to try out and when the day started with teething powder,  I knew it was the perfect day to test it!

I am very fussy about what my son wears and I love picking out funky outfits for him so I chose the green Snoodie for him.  It looked great on him and the fit was perfect on the looser popper.  He is a large 17 month old and seemed comfortable on him.  I also found that it kept his neck warm and acted like a little scarf - it went perfectly with his green hat as well!

The Snoodie is not the cheapest dribble bib and is priced at £6.95 but they do look fab and I feel like it is more than just a bib, it is a scarf and fashion accessory as well.  It was good at catching dribble, providing Dylan was not leaning too far forward and I think it will get lots of use when the squishy one comes along as we can use it  from an early age with the smaller setting of poppers.

Disclaimer:  We were sent a Snoodie for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are as always my own.

Read more ⇨

Thursday 24 January 2013

Preparing to be a Brother

Dylan has spent nearly 18 months as an only child and has been spoilt in the process. I spend my days doing activities specifically designed around him.  He has kisses and cuddles whenever he wants them, we went to baby groups when he was little and now go to toddler groups designed speciically for his age group.  We see friends with children his age and at the weekends he has both mummy and daddy wrapped around his fingers.  There has been no doubt since the moment he entered this world who was in charge!

He is going to be in for a shock when the new baby arrives and he has to share my attention all day long.  There will be times when I am busy feeding a newborn and cannot help him with his puzzles.  There will be days that I am too tired for early morning groups and he has to make do with an extra dose of cbeebies.

How on earth do I prepare him for this change?

preparing a toddler for change, preparing for a brother,

Still my baby!
He will only be 18 month when Squish arrives and although I have tried to talk about the baby as much as possible, he doesn't really seem to get it.  No matter how much I tell him there is a baby in mummy's tummy - when I ask him where the baby is, he looks around confused that he can't see a real baby.  

I think he knows things are going to change as his behaviour certainly has these last couple of weeks.  He has developed a very clingy side and doesn't want to be out of my reach.  Suddenly I cannot leave the room for a second without a full blown tantrum!  We have the moses basket in the living room already and when I mention that it is for the baby,  he brings his football over and puts it in.  He has a bit of a thing for pushing the football round in his pushchair though so maybe it is his baby?

I am trying to make the most of these last few weeks when we have whole days together, just the two of us by going for walks without the pushchair, knowing I can carry him when he gets tired, and doing lots more drawing and crafty bits that involve giving him my full attention - unfortunately it won't be so easy next month!

I would love to hear how you helped prepare your children for the arrival of  brother or sister and any tips for these last few weeks to make things easier on the little dude?!
Read more ⇨

Sunday 20 January 2013

First Walk in the Snow

Last year Dylan was too little to really understand anything about snow and seemed to spend the whole time outside fast asleep snug in his snowsuits.  This year he is very aware and after spending the morning watching it from the window, we took him out for his first walk in the white stuff.

father and son love, daddy and dylan in the snow, first snow
My Boys

Our little corner of the country always seems to be the last to get any snow so it was lovely to wake up to a white road after watching my facebook timeline and twitter feed fill up with pictures of snowmen and wet wellies.  After getting all dressed up in our warmest gear, and
Read more ⇨

Thursday 17 January 2013

Super Parenting or Super Cot? - Cosatto Moon Unit Review

Either this product is amazing, or I am a super babysitter!

Today I agreed to look after my friends son whilst she had a few tests at the hospital.  This meant over 4 hours alone with two toddlers and my 35 week bump.  To say I was scared is an understatement and after a busy few days, I was lacking in energy as well.  

The morning started smoothly and I realised that sometimes two is no more difficult that one.  The boys pushed play pushchairs, brick trolleys and walkers around the house, giggling away and making me dizzy with their energy.  The hours were flying by and soon there were some little tummies rumbling.  Luckily they kept each other entertained long enough for me to put together some lunch for the three of us, but the yawns and eye rubbing had already begun.

I am blessed to have a toddler that loves his sleep, and I took him upstairs as soon as the last bite of sandwich was gone and watched his thumb pop in his mouth and eyes close.  The other tired toddler is not known for his love of sleep however, and is taken for a walk every day as he will eventually give in when in the pushchair.  As this was not an option, I thought I would put the Cosatto Little Monster travel cot to the test.  I simply put him in, covered him with a blanket and told him he needed a nap.  I walked out the room and plonked myself on the floor just outside the room waiting for tears and tantrums.

I heard nothing.

cosatto travel cot, little monster cosatto, cosatto review

I waited five minutes before poking my head round the door to see closed eyes and a little bum sticking up in the air.  Two children asleep within five minutes of each other meant a cup of tea, a sneaky bar of chocolate and a chance to sit in peace for an hour whilst they both stayed asleep and I waited for my friend's return..  Question is - my amazing ability at childcare or one comfy cot?  As I am not about to climb in the cot to test it out, I am going to use this as a testament.

The travel cot folds up into a handy bundle, but contains everything you could possibly want inside.  The cot and mattress are perfect for a toddler and it will be a long long time before Dylan could ever climb out.  If I was to use the cot for Squish however, I could add in the bassinet feature and have him at a height I can easily reach, whilst still safely and securely inside and with just as much wriggle room.

cosatto moon unit review

The cot comes with a detatchable changer meaning no bending over on the floor and no need to worry about somewhere sanitary in an unfamiliar place.  There is also a detatchable bar with funky dangling monsters to keep little hands and minds entertained. 

We are huge fans of the little monster range and have reviewed the Moova car seat as part of my role as brand buddy as well as having bought the stroller ourselves so it is great to have the familiar character in the house again.  Dylan loves having a play in there when he gets over excited and I am thinking of making it a permanent feature of the living room for when I need to leave Dylan and Squish unattended to make a much needed cup of tea.  I am really impressed with the design,  the thought that has gone into making it perfect for  all ages and the ability it had to send a non-sleeper to the land of nod.  I have found the cot quite heavy and the whole package does weigh 13.8kg but this adds to its sturdiness and it feels like it can cope with a real toddler no problem.

cosatto travel cot review, travel cot, toddler not included

It was really simple to put up and take down and the additions are tough to put on but therefore feel incredibly secure when they are, and I wouldn't worry about leaving a small baby in the bassinet.  Both toddlers give it a great thumbs up as do the bloke and I.  At £160 it is certainly not the cheapest travel cot on the market but it is one that really will last as it is strong and sturdy and suitable from small baby to active toddler so for me it is well worth the money..

Disclaimer:  I was provided with this travel cot as part of my role as a Cosatto brand buddy.  I cannot guarantee any super sleeping powers and I cannot guarantee any super babysitting skills but the story is 100% true!
Read more ⇨

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Sensory for Toddlers

My local children's centre is a fantastic place and Dylan and I are familiar faces as we have been attending various groups there since he was only a few weeks old.  I have recently signed up for a free course there which explores sensory learning in children.  I won't lie - the initial draw was the free creche for 2.5 hours twice a week and a chance to sit down with some adults, have a chat and a cup of tea in peace.  Dylan is a sociable child and loves the creche room which is full of toys, messy play and snacks and he is more than happy to be left with the other children to do his own thing.

Meanwhile, I am really enjoying learning about his sensory journey, and how best to encourage him to learn. Humans are a unique species in that our young are born utterly helpless but with so much potential.  Some animal babies can walk within hours of being born and have to learn to defend themselves from the start.  Human babies however have millions of neurons and although not all the connections are there, with a little help they can grow into amazing young people.

Before a child is three, they develop most of these connections and it is up to us as parents to stimulate all their senses to ensure their brains develop as healthily as possible and to their maximum capabilities. We help them develop through touch, taste, smell, sound and sight and the course is designed to teach you more about why this is important and ways to do it.

I like to think that I encourage Dylan already.  We read books together do a lot of puzzles,  attempt messy play and go for walks to explore.  We expose him to all sorts of music and try to let him develop as much as we can.  Having some guidance though has been great and being able to drink a hot cup of tea as I learn has been even better!

For the first session we discussed some of the neuroscience behind their development and then set about with our own arts and crafts session.  I cannot wait for Dylan to be that bit older that we can do these things together and for some of the other parents, the idea is that they go home and try the ideas with their own children.  For those of us with small toddlers however, the finger puppets we made are a tool for stories, songs and exploring textures.  My monkey and lion (It is probably safer to tell you than let you guess- I may need a bit of practice still) have glitter, pipe cleaners, pom poms and felt on and Dylan loved turning them over and touching all the bits.  He also liked rawwr-ing at the lion and saying ooh ooh aah aah to the monkey.  I feel creative making up my highly out of tune and un-rhyming songs and he sways, dances and giggles as I sing them.

Today's session focused on auditory learning and how early a baby learns the art of conversation.  We made drums out of carpet rolls and balloons and got to decorate them with paper and stickers - It felt like a toddler group for adults but as Dylan is not really old enough to get involved with the making he just gets to enjoy playing with it! He has been busy bashing it and shaking it (I popped a few sewing machine bobbins in there which give it a great noise when you shake it)  and trying to pull off the fish and boat stickers.  I learnt a lot as we crafted and have always been fascinated by the fact babies prefer their native tongue from only 6 weeks old and wish I spoke another language as children seem to adjust to being bi-lingual so easily if they are brought up that way.

I am loving learning more about Dylan and Squish's sensory journey and feel more equipped to nurture Squish to grow up into the genius he could be.  I still have two more weeks left of the course and can't wait to build up my craft collection whilst also learning (and drinking tea in peace!)
Read more ⇨

Friday 11 January 2013

34 Weeks Pregnant

With only 6 weeks to go bump is feeling rather large although I am sure I was bigger first time around! I am hoping this means a slightly smaller baby, but I am preparing for another chunky monkey anyway.  Here is the 34 week bump -

34 weeks pregnant, bump diary, second pregnancy, huge bump

On the Outside

I think my bump is rather low but I have felt like this throughout the entire pregnancy so I don't think it has dropped yet.  With Dylan I could feel his bum up by my ribs but this baby is either smaller or lower down - I am blaming weaker stomach and pelvic floor muscles!
I do feel big, but not too big and I appear to be measuring about right or only slightly over for dates now so I remain optimistic that the little one will fit into newborn clothes when he arrives.  The midwife is happy with his size and growth and I have another appointment in two weeks - much more frequent than in my first pregnancy!

Movements have definitely changed and I don't get so many kicks now.  What seems to happen is he does twists and turns which completely distort my belly and you see it moving around like there is a party going on in there! He is definitely running out of space though and I can always feel the outline of his body where my tummy is hardest.

On the Inside

I think the tiredness may be beginning to kick in this week as I have been practically falling asleep as I play with Dylan some days.  I do find that if I am out all day or have people over that I seem to have more energy but sitting on the living room floor all I want to do is lie down and have a snooze!
My back is not suffering like it did in the first pregnancy but I do get some groin aches, especially on the odd occasion I sit down for more than ten minutes and then try and get up again.

Still no cravings, nausea or heartburn and I am hoping I have been lucky enough to get away without any of the awkward symptoms yet again! I am still managing to sleep through the night with no insomnia or toilet trips and hoping this continues!  I don't really feel like pregnancy is restricting me yet and am still crawling around on the floor playing trains and dinosaurs like I did before I got so big. 

I have lots of plans for the last few weeks of pregnancy including numerous trips to London so taking it easy is certainly not an option. I am not on maternity leave until 2 days before my due date as well so really pushing my luck!
 Although we still are nowhere near ready for the little guy to arrive, I do now have all the essentials for the first few days and I am happier knowing that they are sorted.  I have bought some newborn nappies and the dreadful but all too necessary maternity pads.  We have some tiny newborn clothes and today my gorgeous new Moses basket from Shnuggle arrived.  It is so white and beautiful and has really got me excited about the impending arrival! I already know exactly where it is going to go and I will write a full review once the little man is here and sleeping peacefully in it, but until then you can admire how prepared I am and forget about the fact Squish's room is still full of boxes that have to be unpacked before we can carpet and paint his nursery!

Read more ⇨

Wednesday 9 January 2013

The Difference a Midwife Makes

Pregnancy can be a confusing time and we rely on midwives to look after both us as mothers-to-be and our unborn children.  I have realised through my two pregnancies just how different midwife care can be though and how much difference it makes to me as a mother.

During my first pregnancy, I saw my midwife a few times.  I had appointments at 16, 25, 33 and 38 weeks, none of which lasted much longer than 3 minutes.  I entered the room where the midwife proceeded to silently take my blood pressure, check my urine and listen to the heartbeat of baby before giving me a new date and sending me on my way just as confused as to what was going on as when I went in.  I never once got asked how I was feeling, whether I had any questions or whether I was comfortable with the care I was getting.  Being my first experience of pregnancy though, I knew no better.

For my 38 week appointment, I had a cover midwife as my usual man was off sick.  As soon as I entered the room it felt different and I was met with a smile and asked how I was feeling.  This change in approach took me back but I immediately felt relaxed and like I would be able to talk to her.  She asked how old my first child was and was met with a very odd expression on my face - other child?  The reason for my scarce appointments was the mistakes on my notes which the initial midwife had never checked or verified but taken as fact.  She then measured me, read my notes and asked how my growth scans were going - again the shocked face as I confided that my midwife had never mentioned a problem or need for them despite me mentioning to him after my 20 week scan that baby was off the scale on all measurements and I was worried.    She was a lovely woman, put my mind at ease and organised emergency growth scan and GTT for the next day.  It was my first appointment to break the four minute mark!

I realised what midwife care should be.

My hospital experience was fantastic and I could not fault the team there.  I had a student midwife and her supervisor and they were calm and friendly leading to me having what I can almost describe as an enjoyable birth experience.

first photo, newborn baby, first photo of mother and baby, labour photo

This pregnancy I am unfortunate enough to have the first midwife again, and as I felt like I know what I am doing with this actually being my second child, I have not asked to swap.  I have been much more forceful with any questions although he is still incredibly evasive with his answers.  I am lucky that the pregnancy is progressing smoothly and that at my appointment today I had a cover midwife.  I realised again how different the different care can make you feel.  Rather than coming away wondering what the point was when I am in and out within 3 minutes, I left feeling positive that I was being looked after, that they would keep an eye on my worries and that everything was going well again.  This midwife wants to see me every two weeks until my due date as she thinks it is an important time and I am more than happy to oblige!

This time round I am hoping to give birth in a newly opened midwife led unit in my local hospital.  Out of all the midwives I have met, there is only one that I have found unhelpful and unfriendly and I am just crossing my fingers that he is not on duty at the MLU when Squish decides to make an appearance!

How was your midwife care?  Did they put you at ease or make you more nervous?  I am hoping that my experience is the minority!
Read more ⇨

Sunday 6 January 2013

My Gorgeous Family

I have been lucky enough to grow up with a wonderful family around me.  My mum and dad both come from big familys so I have a lot of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and other relatives, many of them still living locally.  I remember how big our Christmases were as a child, with as many of us as could fit under one roof.  We played games until the early hours and devoured tins and tins of Quality Street and Roses.  

I hope Dylan grows up surrounded by people that love him and although he only has a couple of cousins at the moment he has lots of aunts and uncles  and some grandparents who adore him.  I hope family is as important to him as it is to me and that he always has people around him who care so much.

cousins, masquerade ball

This weekend to celebrate my cousin's 40th and her son's 21st we attended a Masquerade Ball up in Northampton and it was lovely to have so many of us together.  I left the bloke and Dylan at home and set off for some girly time with my gorgeous sister.  My sister and I are very close even though she lives in London now and spend most of our time giggling when we are together.  Not only did I get to enjoy a much needed night out at the ball, I got to wear my gorgeous Tiffany Rose dress again, this time with much bigger bump!

33 weeks pregnant, tiffany rose dress, maternity wear, huge pregnant bump
33 weeks and growing!
I lasted about half the night in my high heels before swapping to some gorgeous Butterfly Twists that I had stashed in my handbag once I gave in to the dance floor.  They are a brilliant handbag essential and were so comfortable it felt like I was wearing slippers!  They also went perfectly with my bag and mask meaning nobody knew they were not part of the original outfit!

This made it much easier to stay out until midnight, and I was not about to go home early after coming all this way.  As the alcohol flowed for everyone else, I enjoyed a nice glass of Coca Cola content with the fact I would be feeling great the next morning!

sisters, gorgeous sisters, tiffany rose,
My gorgeous sister and I

It was lovely to have a night away from the little dude and a double bed to myself in the hotel.   Being pregnant, I also made the most of the breakfast buffet, sat around a huge table with the twelve of us that had stayed in the hotel.  I made it home just in time for some cuddles with my gorgeous boy before bed time.  I know it will be quite some time before I get another night like this as with a dependant newborn getting out is not as easy.

Family will always be such an important part of my life, both my imediate family and my extended family and I can't wait for Squish to meet them all very soon.

Read more ⇨

Kiddicare Lakeside

Imagine one shop, with all you need for a child's first few years.  Literally everything.  The bedroom furniture,  the car seat, the pushchairs, the clothes, the bedding, the food, the nappies and the toys. All in one place, and all on display so you can play before you pay.  Welcome to Kiddicare Lakeside.

kiddicare lakeside

I was amazed at the size of the shop and how they literally had everything there to be touched.  My own mini heaven with 350 different pushchairs, and a mini track to test them out.  All the beautiful colours and styles that I look at online and all the accessories.

hundreds of pushchairs, pushchairs to test, kiddicare lakeside

In the car seat section, not only can you have your purchase fitted free of charge in your car, the trained staff can also come out to the car  park and check your existing seat - no matter where you bought it from!  Their genius system means you take a number and can leave your mobile number and peruse the store until your text comes through letting you know they are ready for you.  No more waiting around, small person in tow unnecessarily.

The most important part of the shop for us, was the cafe.  My little man is not so nice to be around when he gets hungry, and they had a huge selection of toddler snacks as well as meals and Starbucks coffee.  They even had a play area, easily watchable from the seats yet secure enough to keep the little ones where they are supposed to be.  The cafe was spacious and calm and a great place to go for a coffee and weigh up the important decisions, like which snowsuit you want to take your new baby home from hospital in (I went for a gorgeous white penguin one).  There is a private breastfeeding area as well for if you need some peace.

cafe at kiddicare, kiddicare lakeside

The toilets are so well thought out, that every cubicle in both male and female has a child sized toilet and enough space for a pram.  There is also a seperate baby changing room, which Dylan loved as he could practice his new words as he was changed - yellow, purple and the big favourite at the moment - circle, thanks to the lovely colourful walls.

The event room at the back is perfect for classes and we were entertained with a Jo Jingles music class whilst we visited the store.  Dylan was getting rather hungry and tired by this point, but he had a proper boogie!

One thing I was really impressed with was the prices.  Kiddicare has the same prices online and offline and all their shelf labels are electronic meaning they can be changed without wasting paper or making mistakes.  The labels also tell you how many of each product are left so you know whether to snap it up right away!  I thought their prices were incredibly reasonable and much cheaper than a lot of other baby shops.

electronic labels, electronic price tage, kiddicare lakeside

Kiddicare Lakeside is the perfect place for a first time pregnant mum, as she can get advice, test everything out and make all her purchases in one place.  They can even deliver anywhere in the UK free of charge if you spend more than £30 instore so it doesn't matter if your car is not big enough for all the goodies you want.  It is also a great meeting place for friends with children, as there is enough to keep the kiddies entertained whilst the adults enjoy a cappuccino  and you can pick up all the bits you need whilst you are there! I was really impressed with the shop, and finished off my Christmas shopping whilst I was there as well as buying a few bits for the new baby.  I can't wait to go back and test out some double buggies on the race track!

frugi in shop, kiddicare lakeside, organic kids clothes

Disclaimer:  I was invited to a blogger day out at Kiddicare Lakeside and provided with a goody bag as well.  All thoughts and opinions are my own of course.
Read more ⇨

Friday 4 January 2013

Looking Back, Looking Forward.

New year seems to be a time for reflection.  We sum up our year as good or bad, eventful or uneventful and those big moments shape our memories.  Whilst there may not have been too many big moments in my 2012, it is the little ones that made it special,  and that is one thing I try and capture on my blog.  It was nearly a year ago that I decided to start recording our lives on The Mummy Adventure and I have many plans for its future..

At the end of January 2012, I wrote my first post - introducing you to our lives.  January saw us take our first holiday as a family of three, and we took in the sights of the Czech republic and Austria.  

February saw Dylan turn 6 months old - a half birthday worth celebrating!  To ease me into blogging I set myself the challenge of doing something new with him every day and I blogged our mini-adventures, from enjoying his first snow, to introducing crafts.  

March was reasonably uneventful, however I did blog a crafty post about making breastfeeding clothes.  We also celebrated the bloke's birthday.

April saw a huge change as I returned to work from maternity leave.  Even though I only went back two days a week, it was odd leaving my baby boy with someone else! I also stopped breastfeeding this month after managing 9 months and we happily made the transition together.

In May I recorded a day in the life of a nine month old.  It may not be anything exciting, but it is our reality and I can't resist taking photos of my beautiful boy!  I had to deal with ignorant comments about the fact that Dylan was still not crawling, and shared one of my favourite photos of the little guy down the beach.

June was an exciting month as I attended a big blogging conference and a few days later discovered I was pregnant with Squish.  It stayed a secret until after the scan, but the bloke and I finished June on an excited high!

July was hot and we made the most of the lovely weather with lots of outdoor play and time at the beach.  Dylan got to celebrate the Jubilee and watch some olympics although at 11 months he may not have appreciated it as much as the rest of us.

August meant one thing - My baby boy turned one! I wrote him a letter the night before, as I kissed my nought year old goodnight.  His birthday was perfect and we had a wonderful rainbow party with homemade rainbow cake - something I am still incredibly proud of!  August also meant our first scan and the announcement than another little person was on the way!  

September saw Dylan turn into a toddler as he was finally on the move, taking his first steps.  I also started to feel little Squish kicking and the pregnancy became very real!

In October we found out that Squish is a little boy, and took these photos to show the world.  I started to wonder about how much life would really change when there are two tiny terrors around and it is now a matter of weeks until we find out for sure!  We went on our last holiday as a family of three to Barcelona.  I also painted my bump to celebrate Halloween - it seemed a good idea at the time!

In November we moved into our new house ready for the little one's arrival and enjoyed the fact that Autumn was well and truly here. This doesn't have to mean the end of playing outdoors though and we used any excuse to get out in the garden.

After all suffering the Norovirus,we managed to have a wonderful Christmas  and after another illness for the little man, we were all home to see in the New Year.  I made a resolution and am looking forward to filling my 2013 memory jar  with all the great things that 2013 has to bring.

2013 is already looking to be a great year.  Next month we should welcome a fourth member of the family and a lovely little brother for Dylan.  2013 will also see Dylan turn into a terrible two year old.  His language and communication improves every day and I am sure by the end of the year we will be able to have quite a chat!  We have all the milestones of the first year to look forward to with Squish from first smiles, first tooth, first meal and first Christmas and I am looking forward to each and every one. I am sure 2013 will have its ups and downs and plenty of surprises  but I know we will come out the other side and look back on another great year.

Looking back at 2012, my memories are good ones.  I entered the new year with a baby and left it with a toddler and a rather large bump. We had sun,rain and snow, days out and days in and we shared so many happy memories.  I have thousands of photos and a record of all our adventures - big and small.

Now I raise a glass (a non-alcoholic one of course) to 2013 and I look forward to more memories and adventures with my favourite boys.

Read more ⇨

Wednesday 2 January 2013

32 Weeks Pregnant

I have been in no hurry to write this post, as I am in no hurry for this pregnancy to hurry up.  I may have a few aches and miss some of my normal clothes, but I still remember how much I missed my bump once Dylan was here, and I am making the most of these last few weeks.  Christmas did make me rather thankful for the maternity clothes however, and as everyone else sat around unbuttoning their jeans, I was comfortable and no more bloated than usual! 

Here I am at 32 weeks (Not a clear picture but the only one I have!)

On the Inside

Baby is a proper wriggler and although he is now head down, his body moves all over the place.  I am also noticing if I try and sit forward he will often give me a sharp kick to the ribs reminding me that he needs his wiggle room!  I have also noticed how connected Squish seems to be to Dylan.  If Dylan gets upset and cries, I notice Squish wake up straight away and start squirming, even if I am the opposite end of the house and can barely hear him myself.  I am hoping it is a sign that they will have a great connection when he is here as well.  Dylan is starting to become a bit more aware of my expanding tummy, but he still seems quite far off really knowing what is going on.

I am starting to get a few more aches, especially after a long day on my feet at work, or after carrying Dylan a lot, but nothing too bad yet and mostly in my back.  I also have what I believe to be Braxton Hicks for the first time last week, although having never had them in my first pregnancy I am still not entirely sure.  It was an interesting evening and made me oddly excited about the prospect of going into labour again!

Still no heartburn, nausea or cravings so the pregnancy is going as smoothly as it did first time round I think. I am still not getting tired, and I am really hoping it stays that way as Dylan is only getting more active!  Having the Norovirus last week did take it out of me a bit, but luckily everyone here is recovered now and was healthy for Christmas.

On the Outside

According to my midwife bump is measuring just above the 90th centile, but as Dylan was born on the 95th, he is not concerned -  It looks like I just make big babies!  I am feeling quite big now though and a few of my maternity tops don't quite reach my jeans any more!  As baby seems to have got into a better position, my bump appears to have become a little more neat and I am hoping that he stays head down now in preparation for the big day.  I am starting to get a few more stretch marks, and at this point last pregnancy I had none, so I am dreading the end result - I have quite a few from Dylan but they all appeared in the last two weeks.

I have officially nominated January as my month to prepare for baby (not that I have much choice being due in February) and we have a LOT to do! Hopefully by the time I write my 34 week bump diary I will have made a start!
Read more ⇨
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...