Lets go to the playground

playground

Nothing would please the little tyke this morning, “Right, thats it!” I declared “Lets go to the playground!”. We needed some good old British country air in our lungs to boost our energy levels and more importantly, we needed to lift the little chaps mood. I suspect he is teething again as he is dribbling like crazy at the moment and he has been a little Mister grumpy pants. He couldn’t put his wellys on fast enough!

In the past few weeks he has been building up his confidence with his walking, ever since taking his very first steps. I didn’t think he would take to shoes but he absolutely loves them and always hands them over for me to put them on his feet. This now means that I can put him down for short periods of time to have a slow, nervous toddle. He felt a little bit nervous with all the children running around, so preferred to hold on to Mummys or Daddys hand whilst we explored the playground.

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Wobbling duck rocker
We are really quite lucky in our village as we have a super selection of facilities at our recreational ground that caters for all ages. There is a skatepark and climbing wall for the older kids, picnic benches for the parents and play equipment for children of all ages. The swings were being used when we first turned up so we took the little tyke on to one of the wobbling rides on springs. He is a little bit small for it at the moment, so we had to keep a close eye, but he had great time rocking away!

Next up was his old favourite, the swings! His mood soon lifted as he was thrown back and forth in the air as he giggled away. I don’t think you can ever get bored of the swings, if nobody was around I would have had a cheeky go.

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Trying to go up the slide!
Next up, it was a turn on the slides. They have 3 or 4 different sizes of slide and he wanted to go on every one. Mummy and Daddy had to pretend to slide him down (whilst firmly holding on) and he insisted on trying to walk back up them once he had got to the bottom!

I felt his little hands and they were starting to get a little cold, so we decided that it was time to call it a day and go home. Not before Daddy and the little tyke trudged through all the Autumn leaves and kicked them up into the air. What fun! I will miss Autumn!

autumnwalk
Kicking up Autumn leaves
So thats it for another evening all, time to snuggle on the sofa and find a good film.

Ta ta for now xx

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Mummy rage and the kindness of strangers

mummy-rage

After a morning of being cooped up inside the house, we decided to go out to a well-known department store for a spot of shopping for some hallway lights. Unfortunately, the store was completely and utterly rammed to the rafters with stressed out shoppers. This was turning into a bit of a bad idea. The little tyke, after a long while of being cooped up in the car seat, couldn’t bear to be cooped up in the pushchair and insisted on us carrying him everywhere. So we proceeded to swap him from Mummy to Daddy, Daddy to Mummy and so on. The store had the heaters blasting and we had our coats on as it was cold outside, which didn’t really help the situation.

We tried to weave in and out of the crowds to get to our destination and were largely successful in our mission until we got stuck behind a lady and her two daughters who were fannying about with scooters in the middle of the aisle. We waited patiently and eventually got past. After looking at the lighting section, we realised that it was getting close to the little tykes dinnertime and attempted to get across the store in order to get the lift to the cafe. We had to weave in and out of the crowds again, but were stopped in our tracks by the very same women with the scooter girls. They just would not budge and she didn’t say a bloody word to her children. I’m not proud of this, but I was annoyed and exclaimed “Oh come on!” as I finally managed to squeeze through whilst carrying the little tyke “They’re only children” she huffed. Was I being unreasonable?

It’s always after the event that the clever responses come to your mind. If I could go back I would like to say to this lady “Have you already forgotten what it is like and how hard it can be?” I am sure that when her two girls were babies, she must have experienced kindness from strangers. An opened door. A gentle smile whilst one of them has a tantrum. A lost toy picked up off the floor and handed back. I can understand somebody not having the patience to help when they have not had children, but this lady had.

We left the store not long after and retreated to a supermarket cafe. The little tyke still wanted to be carried by Mummy and whilst I carried him up the stairs on one arm and the changing bag on the other, we experienced kindness from a stranger. Another Mummy with two small children told them to stand to the side and said to me ” Please, you go up first”, my heart could have burst with joy. What a lovely, lovely thing to do. She knows and she cares and I want to be like her in years to come. Don’t ever forget the kindness of strangers!

Moving house with a toddler

moving-house

When the little tyke was exactly one year and one week old we moved to our new house, and still to this day I cannot believe we did it! We moved to our old house ten years ago and over time decorated each and every room, until there wasn’t a space we hadn’t touched. We loved our house, it looked just how we wanted it and it worked for us. Then the little tyke came along and the space got a whole lot tighter. We didn’t want to move just yet, especially with a baby in tow but after six months of maternity leave in those four walls, we decided that the best thing would be to find somewhere more suitable for our new family and put our house on the market.

Moving house is incredibly stressful at the best of times without the added pressures of looking after a young child and I really didn’t know if we would cope very well, but we managed. When we had viewings on our house the little tyke wasn’t particularly mobile at that point, so it wasn’t too hard to keep everything looking clean and presentable.

Over the weeks I sorted through all of our belongings and put them into throwing, charity and keeping piles. We had numerous trips to the tip at the weekends. I emptied the whole attic and put it into storage, and on the weeks leading up to the move, we packed box after box after box. On the very last day but one,  I made a box up with all of our essentials –

Moving House Essentials Box

  • Kettle
  • Mini hoover
  • Tea, coffee & sugar
  • Washing up liquid and sponge
  • Tea towels
  • Biscuits
  • Mugs
  • Hand towel
  • Soap
  • Toilet roll
  • Takeaway menus
  • Cleaning products
  • Bin bags
  • Mobile phone chargers
  • Baby bottles
  • Steriliser
  • Baby food bowls
  • Baby food
  • Glasses
  • Selection of toys
  • Little tykes pyjamas
  • Little tykes sleeping bag
  • Little tykes comforter
  • Our nightclothes
  • Scissors (for opening boxes)

On moving day we dropped off the little tyke at nursery and got cracking! We had people from both sides of our family come and help us load up the van with boxes and furniture. It was absolutely exhausting and it felt like a race against time to get the new house in some sort of order before we picked up our little man. The first room we prepared in the new house was his bedroom in order for him to be nice and settled at bedtime, luckily he was absolutely fine.

Five months have passed and we still do not have all of our boxes from storage and we still haven’t put everything in its place, but we are ok. It takes time to make a house a home. We are just glad it is all over now!

Ta ta for now! xx

Review – Busy B Christmas Planner

xmas-planner

Did you know that there are only 66 days until Christmas? No? Well neither did I until I just checked the Christmas Countdown website! So in order to get organised I recently purchased a Christmas Planner from BusyB. I have bought other products from BusyB, such as their Birthday Card Book and found them to be very very helpful in terms of keeping myself organised.

The Christmas Planner has a hardback cover and is designed to last for five years of festive organising. On the inside front cover it is fitted with a handy little tearaway notepad, which you could easily take out of the book and pop it into your handbag when you go out Christmas shopping. The rest of the book is then divided into four sections – Cards, Gifts, Foods and Planning. Throughout the book you can also find handy little paper pockets and a couple of plastic pockets for keeping receipts or clippings.

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Christmas Card organisation

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Notes section with useful paper pocket

Cards

In the cards section there are pages with spaces to write the names and addresses of the people who you send cards to, with tick boxes on the same row to identify whether you have sent cards or received cards for the next five years. At the back of this section there are some notes pages and a paper storage pocket.

Gifts 

This section is split into Gift Ideas and Gifts Received. On the Gift Ideas pages you have spaces for the persons name, a couple of gift ideas, the budget and the actual spend. At the very bottom of the page it has space for the total spend, which is very useful if you are trying to stick to a budget. On the Gifts Received pages it has spaces for who the gift was for, who it was from, the gift and a tick box to indicate whether you thanked the sender. How sweet!

Food 

I am hoping not to have to use this section this year as I don’t really want to cook, but it will probably end up happening. No, its not because I can’t be bothered, its because I would rather spend my time with the little tyke rather than spending half of Christmas day sweating in the kitchen as per previous years. Watch this space. I bet I will end up cooking. Anyway, back to the book! This section is split up into Menu Planning and Recipes. On the Menu Planning pages it has spaces for nibbles, starter, main, dessert and drinks. On the Recipe pages it has spaces for temperature, cooking times, ingredients and method. At the very end of the section there are some plastic pockets for receipts or magazine clippings.

Planning 

A section with lots of pages to make all your ‘To Do’ lists. I always have lists on the go, inside and outside of work. My memories really not what it used to be so I have to write everything down!

Verdict

I haven’t started using the planner as yet as I feel its just a little bit early, but as we get into November its definitely going to help me with planning ahead for the holiday season. I love the look and feel of the products from Busy B, there is a little bit of a vintage look to their style which looks attractive. If Christmas can be a bit of a logistical nightmare, this lovely little planner comes in very handy!

15 month update

15-month-updateThis post is a little late as the little tyke will be 16 months old by the end of this month. Doesn’t time fly! So, this month we have seen some big changes in the little man and his character is growing and evolving all the time. He has taken his first steps but is still very cautious without his walker, which he still falls back on to whizz around! He will get there when he is good and ready.

He had his first haircut at the hairdressers and he was as good as gold! I had to go for a haircut anyway and whilst my hair was being washed, the stylist snipped his little locks whilst he sat on Daddy’s lap. I think it helped that so much was going on in the salon to distract him, the little tyke loves people watching.

We are currently on four teeth at the top and four teeth at the bottom; all the better for munching with! He loves his food now and likes to try and feed himself with his spoon when he is at home (but doesn’t do this at nursery?). His favourite foods seem to be bananas, weetabix, raisins…. well, anything he can pick up with his hands basically.

He babbles a lot, and he loves to play with the sounds of his voice. Words are not quite there yet, but we have a few. “Mama”, “Dada”, “Cat (sounds like that)”, “There” and “Ta”. I think he said “Bye, bye” the other day when he was waving. Bless him. I tried introducing him to some picture cards, but he keeps putting them in and out of the box that they came in like its a game. Groan! I will work on it! I think I need to hide all the cards and just bring out one a day to show him. I will keep you posted on this.

His favourite toys at the moment are: his walker, mega blocks, shape sorter, Ikea tunnel and the iPad. I would rather he didn’t bother with an iPad at this age, so will only let him watch tellytubbies with me for a short while as a treat sometimes. He also loves his books. I mean LOVES his books! He has a book shelf in his room and can spend ages flicking through the pictures in his story books. I think his favourite must be Postman Bear by Julia Donaldson.

Looking forward to the developments in the next few months. He will definitely be walking well before Christmas, so looks like I am going to be run ragged! Wish me luck!

Is that the time? Ta ta for now xxx

 

Big day out to Ikea

ikea

I love Ikea. In fact, I think I love Ikea even more since I had the little tyke! It was a pretty miserable Sunday morning, it didn’t look like it would stop raining and the little fella was grumbly. Action needed to be taken and I decided to take the bull by the horns and piped up “I know, lets go to Ikea!” to which my husband asked “Do you need anything in particular from there?”. Do you have to need something? So off we went with the little one in tow, who proceeded to nod off 15 minutes into the drive, cue a detour to B&Q to take advantage of the situation and then we were back on track.

We arrived at lunchtime and I had to wake snoozy head up, this would usually get a tearful reaction but he seemed positively excited. Bless him. It was time for his lunch so we zoomed over to the cafe and with it being lunchtime, it was absolutely rammed. We just had to grin and bear it. He ate really well actually and I was very pleased. He had a children’s butternut squash korma with rice, a peach yoghurt and a bit of banana. They really do cater well for families with small children, down to providing plastic cutlery and bowls to special feeding areas.

Now lunchtime was over he was itching for a bit of playtime. Unfortunately he is a bit young and little for the soft play areas, but Dad had an idea! In the childrens section of the showroom, they often have toys on display for parents to see and children to try. Perfect! The little tyke got to crawl through a tunnel, throw soft toy balls, hide in a play tent and scribble with chalk on a blackboard (as seen above). Trouble is, you couldn’t prise him away! Its given me some ideas for Christmas presents!

In the end, we just bought a few little bits and pieces whilst we were there. I have some recommendations for childrens products that I have bought from there previously –

Antilop highchair – Why pay a ridiculous amount of money when you can get this economical option? Its really easy to wipe down too.

Antilop supporting cushion and cover – To give baby extra support when they are small and starting with weaning.

Smaska bowl set – Its cheap. Simple.

Stjarnbild bibs – They last ages and ages.

Basket with lid – I bought a slight different version and use it for the little tykes laundry

Lekplats play rug – Vroom vroom, beep beep!

Solight  and Fjadermoln cushions – my absolute favourite purchase for his nursery. They are so joyful looking! Mummy will never let them go, never never!

Right, now its time to chill out on the sofa before bed. Night night and ta ta for now xxx

 

Stay at home Fridays

playtimeI meant to write this post on Friday night but I was absolutely pooped by the end of it, so I ended up vegetating on the sofa instead! I am not joking when I say that I go to work for a rest sometimes!

I returned back to work after six months of maternity leave and now squeeze a full working week into four days (Monday-Thursday). It was important to me that I managed to get the right balance of working/Mummy life and by having the long weekend with the little tyke it allows us to have some quality bonding time. But being the Manager of a team of staff, there are still emails to attend to and questions to answer, so I try to squeeze this in whenever I can without compromising the time with my son. Nap times are not for resting, believe me!

I am not sure how long my work will be happy for me to carry on with this arrangement, so I cherish it while I can. He’s such a lovely little fella and I love our time together, it helps build my confidence as a Mother and he loves having the one on one time with his Mummy. Win win! He has always been very good at nursery and the staff adore him, which is so so reassuring when you are a working Mother. The guilt of not being there with him can eat you up if you let it, but I think positively about the confident and caring little boy he is growing up to be. I need my work too. There, I admit it. I struggled with maternity leave and I felt very lost at times. Being at work exercises my mind and allows me to be creative, which makes me a happier person. Little tyke needs a happier person to be his Mummy.

This blog is another creative outlet for me and it pleases me to also read posts from other like-minded people, its great to know that I am not alone and that a lot of other people have similar struggles. They always say that it does get easier and it does because we grow stronger and more ready for the challenges ahead. Mummy power!

Ta ta for now!

xxx