- January 29th, 17:44
I’ve also been busy having my picture taken about a million times until I got a suitable one to send off for an exciting new acting role and I’m keeping absolutely everything crossed that I get it cause frankly I need the money! It’d be great on every level, not only would I be able to earn some much needed funds but Florence would have to go and stay with her Grandparents and I wouldn’t be able to chicken out of leaving her overnight meaning she will surely get weaned?!?! Florence hasn’t had any castings yet this year but the latest Argos catalogue has come out and she’s in it again so that’s rather nice. Last time she was the face of the nursery section and I wasn’t expecting her to be in it at all this time round so it was a lovely surprise that she was on the next page along, much smaller but I couldn’t be more proud! I think I’m turning into a real ‘Showbiz Mummy’! Well, it was bound to happen…
We also went out for Chinese New Year with some wonderful friends and I just had to show you this picture of Florence using her chop stick to spear her noodles! Happy year of the Dragon every one or as the Chinese say, ‘Gong Hei Fat Choi’!
Not sleeping very much aside I really can’t imagine wanting a life without children. I can’t even remember what I must have done with my time before Florence was born and I think my whole life I knew I was just leading up to having babies. Even though I had no idea if I’d be any good at it or enjoy it like I do, I always knew I wanted them and wanted at least 3 of them if possible. I’m my Mum’s only child, I have siblings from my Father but I never lived with any of them, so although I wanted for nothing really I do remember feeling quite lonely at times with no one to play with. My best friend had three brothers and I used to look at her family and think that it was the obvious way forward! Not everyone can have everything and I wouldn’t say not having any siblings ruined my life in any way but it certainly made me sure I wanted more children myself. I wouldn’t however, go as far as some of the families on ’15 Kids and Counting’ a programme I’ve been watching avidly recently. I think you can probably go too far but I understand their desire for more children far more than I understand people who don’t want them at all! Obviously it’s everyone’s choice but I assumed it’s a chemical thing, the desire to procreate and I simply can’t imagine going against that. I suppose I can more understand a man making the decision but I find it hard to fathom that women don’t have the inclination. I have a friend who has never ever wanted children. She said the same about marriage and finally caved in and I always thought she would do the same with babies too but so far it’s not happened and she’s nearly forty with the same staunch view that children would be the worst thing to ever happen to her so it’s not likely I’d say! Upon telling her I was pregnant with my second baby her response was a text saying ‘You must be a glutton for punishment’. I was actually very hurt but I know she just doesn’t understand and she knows I simply don’t get her either. The way I see it was summed up rather well in the book ‘About a Boy’ by Nick Hornby. The child character’s reaction about his life as a single child with his single Mum was that ‘two people aren’t enough, you need three at least, you need back up’. I have to agree, two people isn’t ideal, three is better but surely the more there are of you, the more back up you have, the more people to love and be loved by and isn’t that what life’s all about?
I’m not saying that two or three people is utter rubbish but just that out of choice I’d choose more people to be on my team. When my darling Grandma died whilst I was pregnant the first time the McMillan nurse said to me and my Mum ‘You are a small family but there’s so much love between you’. It made us feel better because yes, there doesn’t need to be many of you for there to be the biggest love but it’s true, we were a small family and for the longest time ever it was just me, my Mum and my Grandma and then of course Jonny. I was pregnant and thought I was adding numbers to our brood and sadly that wasn’t to be but I can’t help thinking the more of you there are the easier everything is. My Mum being an only child had to deal with everything herself, looking after Grandma, nursing her, arranging the funeral and administering the estate afterwards. Had she had brothers and sisters that would have been shared. I don’t know perhaps I’m odd feeling the way I do but I can’t help wondering what will happen to my friend when she’s old and grey. Will she wish she’d had children or will she be happy with her choices? I’m sure she knows what’s right for her and obviously we can’t all have the same views but it still baffles me why you’d choose less when you could have more?
So as you know I absolutely love family life and all that it entails. I love taking Florence on family days out and even though we do get to do some expensive things we do also do fairly cheap and free things too. You can always entertain a tiny tot by taking them on a bear hunt in the woods or just to feed the ducks and all that really takes is a bit of imagination and time; not too much to ask really! We love feeding the ducks and luckily have a gorgeous pond fairly near our house and the only problem with going at this time of the year is the fact that it’s so muddy! Florence isn’t yet of an age where she can walk all the way there and all the way back so we have to take the buggy and I simply hate bringing it back in the house for fear of mud going on my new cream carpets! I have however discovered a solution which is brilliant and I wanted to tell you all about it! It also works a treat when you have to put a muddy wheeled buggy back into the boot of a clean car (Not that ours often is unless we’ve been to see my Mum and she’s attacked it with her vacuum cleaner and cleaning box)! Let me introduce you to the buggy Slip-a, a genius invention by Slip-a designs. Not yet on the market I have been lucky enough to be a road tester for them and I have to say it’s an utterly brilliant product and saves lots of mess, I really don’t think I could live without. Gone are the days of scrabbling round for a carrier bag that’s almost certainly not big enough to go over all the wheels meaning more scrabbling around for more carrier bags and here are the days of ease and no worries when it comes to muddy wheels. So it works like this, very simple you would think…
Its actually a lot more complex than it looks for not only does it wrap round the wheels as you would expect but it allows you to still push your buggy, through the house, WITH the Slip-a on… Can’t ask for more than that now can you. Simply lay it flat, place muddy buggy in centre, brake on, pull strings then push to desired location. Such a simple idea but it works so well! It’s also made in a universal size of 145cm x 135cm meaning it will fit all buggies. Well, I’ve tried it on my small buggy and my umbrella fold plus my friend’s humungous beast of a Quinny Buzz and it works perfectly with all both standing and folded so I can definitely vouch for that statement! I love the way you can slide your buggy along with the Slip-a on, I’m not sure if its because of the material used, PU coated nylon with a rip stop nylon hem and a polypropylene cord or if it’s in the design that makes it work so superbly but frankly I don’t care cause it an absolute treat to use! It really is very practical, clever and worth an investment – it’s definitely something all Mums would use! I’ll be back to let you know how you can purchase one just as soon as they’re available but for now why don’t you have a look at their website www.slip-adesigns.co.uk where you can check out some of their other products cause they didn’t stop at just the buggy! Slip-as are going to come in sizes for scooters, bikes and golf trolleys too!
Somewhere we’ve been this week where a buggy is most certainly NOT required is the Tower of London. I was invited to come and check it out with my family so that I could let you all know what a fabby day out it is and we had an absolute blast. I wasn’t really sure how it would work out because I knew that it was not buggy friendly and not particularly geared up for little ones but actually Florence had a really good time and Jonny carried her in our Ergo baby sling for most of the day meaning she still got to have a nap and missed out all the bits she wouldn’t have been interested in anyway but giving us time to enjoy the things that we wanted. Upon entering we were given a really comprehensive map which clearly stated what was on offer and where it was and also alerted us to the fact that we could have joined a free tour run by the Yeoman Warders also known as the famous Beefeaters! The role of the Beefeater traditionally is to look after any prisoners at the Tower of London and to safeguard the crown jewels but in reality these days they act as your comprehensive tour guides and are a tourist attraction in their own right. We showed Florence and told her about them but chose not to join the tour as for that part of the day she was awake and we thought 60 minutes might be a bit too much for a two year old. Perhaps next time we go we’ll take advantage because listening in on other people’s tours it sounded very interesting indeed. We particularly enjoyed the re-enactments of history with actors dressed as characters from past times. They told stories from the Tower and we also loved the ‘Royal Beasts’ which are everywhere you look; there are some stunning sculptures of monkeys, tigers, even an elephant! The main exhibition for the ‘Royal Beasts’ is very hands on and interactive making it the perfect distraction from walking and touring for little hands. Everything is quite obviously steeped in history from carvings on the walls made by prisoner’s from times and eras past to present day information about our current monarchy. I thought it might be a little boring, I was wrong. It was incredibly fascinating and fun! The things I thought were going to be highlights like viewing the crown jewels were naturally as interesting as I’d imagined they would be but it was little things such as the displays of armours that I found to be most compelling. There’s so much to see and so much to do from the ‘Bloody Tower’ and it’s gruesome tales of torture to just viewing the ravens (which were enormous and Florence LOVED) in the grounds. As someone living in London I’d not really considered taking a trip to the Tower before. I used to work on Fenchurch Street just round the corner and would very often take my lunch in the park opposite, it almost became a common place building in the landscape with me giving it little or no thought at all. That’s ridiculous I can see now because it’s immense and the history surrounding and inside it is phenomenal; I feel embarrassed that I could have overlooked it in such a way. Just because I am now a Londoner doesn’t mean things like this should be left to tourists, why should they get all the fun, this is my City after all! I’m going to Hampton Court Palace next and I can’t wait. Brilliant day out for all the family and you’ll come away having learnt loads!
The Tower of London is a five minute walk from Tower Hill station (Zone 1) on the District Line and ticket prices start at (individual rates) of £19.80 for adults, £10.45 for children between 5 and 16 (under 5’s are free) and £17.05 for concessions. Packages are available, please see their website for more information www.hrp.org.uk where you will also find information about all of the Historic Royal Palaces.
We’re so lucky here in the Rocknrollerbaby household and we do get to do some brilliant things from time to time. We really enjoy our days out and writing about them afterwards and we’ve got some terribly exciting things coming up one of which is CBeebies Live! and Florence is going to be over the moon when Easter comes round and we can go and see some of her favourite characters live on stage! The CBeebies Live! ‘Reach for the Stars’ Tour 2012 looks like it’s shaping up to be absolutely superb, one of the absolute must sees for all pre schooler’s (and I’m sure us Mums and Dads are gonna enjoy it just as much too)! The cast was already pretty heady but it’s brilliant that CBeebies new boy ‘Mike the Knight’ is joining the cast too! It’s just been announced, how exciting! Roll on Easter is all I can say and if you want to join the gang then read on for all the details below!
CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ Tour 2012
MIKE THE KNIGHT JOINS THE STAR LINE-UP
CBeebies’ favourite young knight-in-training, Mike the Knight, is donning his armour in preparation to join the channel’s biggest stars in the brand new arena spectacular CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’. Energetic, cheeky and driven by his ambition to help others, Mike the Knight has just been confirmed as part of the stellar line-up for this 9-city UK Easter arena tour from 31 March to 14 April 2012.
A new addition to CBeebies, Mike the Knight galloped onto the channel on 31 October last year and the CG animated series very quickly became a hit with its young audience. Co-produced by HIT Entertainment (also responsible for Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam), the series brings the excitement and enchantment of medieval times into thelife of the modern pre-schooler. In each action-packed episode, Mike is driven by his passion to help others and, along the way, be the best knight he can be.
Joining Mike the Knight will be Justin Fletcher MBE, Mister Maker, Postman Pat with Jess the Cat and the ZingZillas, together with CBeebies presenters Andy Day, Katy Ashworth and Andrew Agnew in this all-action show. Combining big screen video footage and live performance, a host of CBeebiesfavourites including Squiglet and Robbie Rotten, Stephanie and Sportacus from LazyTown will join in the fun, interacting with the audience for an incredible live experience.
Robbie Rotten is determined to show that he is the biggest star on CBeebies! His dastardly plan involves the capture of the other CBeebies characters and it’s up to the audience to work with PC Plum and the rest of the stars of CBeebies to find out what has happened and set them free. Action-packed and full of surprises, the whole family will enjoy singing along and dancing in the aisles!
With strong advance tickets sales and extra performances already added to the London and Glasgow runs to keep up with demand, CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ promises to be one of the hot children’s theatre tickets in 2012. This Easter show will begin its UK-wide tour at Wembley Arena on the 31st March 2012 before travelling to a further eight cities. It marks the first CBeebies Live! arena tour since 2008. More than 550, 000people have attended a CBeebies Live! show to date and CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ is set to be an even bigger spectacular with an all-new show, massive video screen and more audience interaction than ever before!
Tickets now on sale. Children’s tickets from £12.50 and family tickets (for 4 people) from £50 (subject to booking fee).
For tickets or more information about the show visit: www.CBeebiesLive.com
I am continuing to get more excited about attending The Baby Show, particularly as this year I am invited as a guest blogger – how exciting! It really is a very special place and as I’ve said before, not just for first time Mums. If you’ve not been before and you have or are about to have children under five then it’s the place to be, I love it and can’t wait! Now just to make my list of things I need to buy… (This could take a while). I really want a toddler bed and am drawn to the little one in Mothercare but I’m holding out for the show cause I know there’ll be everything under one roof and I can really make an informed decision. Make sure you read all the details for the next show at London’s ExCel from 24th – 26th February at the bottom of this post!
One thing that from experience, I know should be on the top of everyone’s shopping list, is a stair gate! Whether you live somewhere with stairs like us or even in a bungalow you will find the need for a stair gate. Safety is a must and we’ve found them to be useful not only at the top of the stairs but also in our doorway to the kitchen. We don’t actually have a door there but even if we did I think Florence would object to me completely shutting her out but it’s not always appropriate to have her in there with me; our oven gets very hot and I’d worry terribly so a stair gate has been fantastic news for us. We’ve always used Lindam gates, we have three in various different places and have always found them to be excellent both in quality and safety and the price is pretty good too! They’re really easy to move around and they don’t look too daunting in the house either. Sometimes friends have come over and been a bit stumped as to how to get out but we’ve always found that incredibly funny and once you know how to use them you’ll certainly find it very easy indeed! I reviewed one for Bizziebaby when I first started reviewing products and was so impressed we bought two more! I’m delighted to be able to tell you that Lindam have just brought out a new one to add to their collection and all the details are below! Think you’ll agree it sounds fab!
Lindam, the UK’s number one home safety brand* is launching the new Easy Fit Push to Shut safety gate to its multiple award-winning collection of safety gates. The Lindam Sure Shut PushLoc™ is an innovative and stylish safety gate that features a Push to Shut closing system that securely locks the gate into place. Simply squeeze the buttons and push the handle down for easy one-handed opening – making life that little bit easier for busy parents. Also available is the Easy Fit Push to Shut Tall safety gate providing a height from the floor of 90cm. Available exclusively from Argos the Easy Fit Push to Shut safety gate has a recommended retail price of £29.99 with a very special introductory offer of £24.99. For more information and to explore the Lindam range, visit www.lindam.com
The Easy Fit Push to Shut range has unrivalled safety features for busy and on-the-go families, reassuring you that your child’s safety is paramount, especially within the home. The four-point Pressure Fit safety gate uses a U shaped power frame to provide a solid pressure fitting and ultimate strength. The gates have a modern and contemporary feel, with their slim and sleek design.
The Easy Fit Push to Shut features:
« an extra wide walkthrough;
« triple opening action;
« double locking option;
« one or two way opening;
« strong steel construction;
« assembled and ready to use.
Lindam understands the importance a parent places on finding a brand that they can trust and rely on which is why each individual item in the range is rigorously tested to meet strict standards of safety. All Lindam items are designed for parents by parents with ease of use and practicality at the forefront of the design. For more details log on to www.lindam.com or like the Facebook page: Lindam UK
MY PREGNANCY DIARY WEEK 26
Am beginning to realise that at 26 weeks pregnant I have to slow down. It’s strange because I think I can do all the things I usually do then when it comes to it I feel utterly exhausted. After the masses of steps at the Tower of London my legs even started to shake and I felt a bit like Bambi… It probably was a bit excessive to climb hundreds of winding stairs but in my mind before I do these things I feel like I’m perfectly capable; I’m going to try and let that be a lesson learnt. It was about this stage with Florence that I started to realise exactly the same thing. We were on holiday in Portugal and were going out for a run on the beach every morning. Towards the end of the second week I wasn’t able to run as far and ended up putting my back out which wasn’t great. I definitely don’t want that to happen again, it’s the only time I’ve ever had back pain but it was excruciating! I’ve also reached the stage of pregnancy where you think you want a wee absolutely desperately but after running for the loo, only the merest of trickles ensues! The most unsatisfactory ending to a desperate wee feeling ever and it’s happening ALL the time, day and night. At least I haven’t started wetting myself… Yet! Two of my friends have given birth to their second babies this week and it’s all becoming very clear that I’m not going to be pregnant forever… I could really do with a few more months to prepare because we have almost nothing sorted out at all. I can’t make up my mind as to whether to buy a toddler bed or a bunk bed with a cot at the top and toddler bed at the bottom and I’ve no idea where all this furniture is going to go once I have made my mind up. I want a bigger house but obviously for the moment that’s not going to happen so I’m going to have to figure something out fast! (Although why I’m worrying is beyond me really because the only bed Florence has ever slept in is mine and we’ll probably all end up in our bed anyway)!
I’m also getting bigger and bigger and finding nice things to wear is more and more challenging. It’s not that I’ve put on too much weight but this bump is huge and whereas I was able to wear normal clothes last time just in bigger sizes it’s not really working out that way now. Thank goodness for ‘Crave Maternity’, one of my absolute favourites. They have the most fantastic clothes which are made really well and look lovely too. I’ve been particularly struggling with jumpers and cardigans which fit over the bump but still look nice and don’t rise up at the front and my ‘Crave Maternity Blue Cable Knit Cardigan’ is simply perfect! So perfect in fact it just has to be my ‘Pregnancy Product of the Week’! It’s been so cold recently and is due to get even colder worst luck but this cardigan is really cosy and just the sort of thing you need on a cold wintry day! It not only looks good but is extremely practical too, going in the washing machine is a big plus and it always comes out looking like new again. It’s made up of 10% Wool, 75% Acrylic, 10% Viscose and 5% Alpaca which makes it really soft and cozy and although it’s really chunky it still fits under my coat (which isn’t maternity and just my normal winter coat)’; it also doesn’t feel too bulky when wearing at all. It’s quite long which is just what you need with a big old bump and I really think that it’s going to look just as good when I’m not pregnant which makes it a laster and worth spending money on. I simply can’t bear parting with money when you know the life span of the item is not going to be long lived! This cardy looks great, feels lovely, goes with almost everything in my winter wardrobe and keeps me warm, can’t say better than that really can I! And it appears I’m in good company because Amanda Holden is also a fan being pictured wearing hers just before she gave birth recently.
Crave Maternity, Blue Cable Knit Cardigan is priced at £79 and comes in UK sizes 8 – 16. For this and the entire collection see the website www.cravematernity.co.uk where if you spend over £50 you will receive free P&P and if you get in quick before the end of January you can use the code JAN20P at the checkout to receive 20% off! It’s also worth noting that Crave have a collection for rental meaning if you need something for a special occasion but will never wear it again you can still have something fabulous without purchasing for keeps! You don’t even have to clean it before you hand it back as they do the dry cleaning for you! Brilliant!
So from now until next week have lots of fun as I’m sure we will! We’re trying out kid’s cinema for our next post so we’ll tell you all about it next week! (And don’t forget to read all about the baby show at the bottom of the page)!
(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.)
The Baby Show celebrates ten years
with a brand new look
London ExCeL, 24th-26th February 2012
– 250 baby and parenting brands
– Midwives from Bafta winning One Born Every Minute
– Improved facilities for parents
The UK’s most popular shopping event for parents and parents-to-be The Baby Show is back! To celebrate its tenth year the highly anticipated London ExCeL show, running from the 24-26th February, promises to offer the perfect day out for parents to-be. This unique shopping event takes the hassle, stress and confusion out of pregnancy with first class speakers, facilities on hand and all the products you could possibly need. The show will have over 250 must-have brands including Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, Emma’s Diary, Bonusprint, Britax, tommee tippee and Pregnacare as well as an exclusive baby boutique that offers products unavailable on the high street. The show promises some fantastic money saving opportunities as well as the convenience of it all being in one place. Tickets are available in advance for £12.00 or two for £20.00 and for more information visit www.thebabyshow.co.uk.
The Baby Show in association with Prima Baby and Fisher-Price is a mecca for all parents and parents-to be looking to experience the latest, greatest and exclusive products in food & feeding, pushchairs, nappies & wipes, toys, clothing, furniture, car seats and carriers, from major UK and international brands often with substantial discounts and never before seen show offers that you can’t get anywhere else! This year hosts a huge selection of wheeled goods from brands such as Mothercare, Mamas and Papas, UPPA BABY, Babystyle, Britax, Stokke, Mima and O’Baby and parents are invited to speak directly to the brands themselves whilst getting an unrivalled opportunity to test, compare and buy.
Melanie Hall, Show Manager states: “The Baby Show ExCeL is going to be an amazing shopping experience for expectant parents. They can come and enjoy the day with their partners, friends or family and see the fantastic brands, get advice from some great experts and talk to like-minded people. It really is a fantastic shopping opportunity for parents to-be.”
This year’s show celebrates a welcome return to Mamas and Papas who are going to be wowing visitors with a fantastic giveaway of a Mylo pushchair every two hours of every day as well as giving away a book with vouchers off high street brands of up to £400! Bonusprint are also offering a £10 off voucher to each and every visitor to capture those digital memories that often lay hidden on a memory card in print or on canvas. Two lucky visitors also have the chance to win £1000 of goodies to keep their children entertained with Fisher Price and get a FREE bottle with MAM. Visit the Prima Baby stand where they will be giving away a free goody bag when you purchase an issue of the magazine or you can subscribe for 12 months and get a free 5 pack tommee tippee gift set, all for just £20, saving a whopping £43.60. As if that isn’t enough, Mothercare are also offering a massive 10% off all their stock over the weekend so it is well worth stocking up on all those essentials for both mum and baby as well as a few treats along the way!
Visitors will also get the chance to see some fantastic new brands at the show that are new to the UK and currently aren’t available on the high street such as folic acid enriched thirst quencher Water Baby, beautiful footwear brand Jack and Lilly and some fantastic new products from Cheeky Rascals.
The Baby Show has once again surpassed itself with the introduction of fantastic new and international brands such as stunning baby and children’s clothing direct from Spain – Maisel Bebe and Selenita as well as showcasing those hard to find designer brands Me & I, Koochu Bags and Lin & Leo.
Face of the Show
The highly popular Face of The Baby Show will be returning for 2012 and offering parents the chance for their child to be crowned as a winner and seen on The Baby Show website. Proving ever more popular each year, Bumpkins (formally Sonam studios) hosts a photography stand where each child who has their photo taken by these baby and child photography experts will automatically get an entry to also win three photo shoots with the studios to capture those key milestones and family moments as well as being able to take their photo away for free.
The show aims to make visitors lives easier including being able to enjoy a relaxing shop without baby by leaving your little one with the trained supervisors and all the latest toys in the free Fisher-Price crèche and not having to worry about the heavy bags with the Emma’s Diary shopping drop-off, collect by car and home delivery services as well as the Mums meeting point which is an ideal place to meet other like-minded mums and share experiences. The Pregnacare Juice bar will be serving fresh juices and smoothies across all three days to quench those shopping thirsts and give visitors a chance to take the weight off their feet. The tommee tippee feeding area also provides a private breastfeeding area, bibs, spoons and warming facilities to help make your day straight-forward and enjoyable. For an extra treat head to the Superdrug beauty bar with an exclusive show offer of 25% off all own brand products and the chance to pamper yourself at the Andrea Fullerton Nail Bar or have your eye brows threaded by the expert team.
The main stage
It’s not just shopping that attracts people to The Baby Show as it is also full of expert advice from information on health, nutrition and breastfeeding with Clare Byam-Cook, baby first aid with The Red Cross, and advice on the best car seat and pushchairs. The fantastic Mothercare fashion show showcases the latest ranges, shows how to put a great look together and ensures that all mums and mums-to-be can keep themselves at the forefront of fashion right throughout their pregnancy and child’s early years. We are also extremely privileged to introduce two of the midwifes from Bafta Award winning Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute to calm those labour fears and let everyone know what it’s really like working on a busy ward.
For parents who are looking for something a little different and to keep their children as fashionable as them, Boutique Baby is an exclusive section of the show with designer brands and products not normally found on the high street. Perfect for a little treat or an unusual gift for someone.
The Baby Show at ExCel London takes place between 24th – 26th February 2012. Tickets are available in advance for just £12 each from www.thebabyshow.co.uk