- May 1st, 16:09
I’M ON THE ‘FAMILY LIFE’, ‘BEST FAMILY TRAVEL’, ‘BEST PREGNANCY’, ‘MOST HELPFUL’, MOST INSPIRING’, ‘BLOGGER OF THE YEAR’ AND ‘BLOG OF THE YEAR’ NOMINEE LISTS!
I was wanting to do lots of things with Florence this week, not that this is a change from normal to be honest but I’ve been really wanting to do lots of activities with her before the baby arrived so that we would have extra one on one time, just us and also just in case we can’t do anything for a couple of weeks afterwards! I really hope we will be services resumed as normal but just in case I’d planned a week of business. Yesterday I took her swimming, to soft play and then play group and generally just tried to spoil her a bit and I had planned obviously to do likewise every day this week. However, Mother Nature had a different idea because when we got home my waters broke and I’m now, as I type in labour… (I’ll go into proper detail in my pregnancy diary at the bottom of this post)! I had so hoped to have this week for Florence but also had lots of other reasons really and catching up on sleep was one of them! I’m not sure if it’s because the baby is coming and perhaps she’s feeling a little insecure or if she’s just going through a phase but Florence is being a real monkey when it comes to bed times at the moment and don’t even get me started on the breast feeding! It’s like we’ve regressed a few months and I was trying to nip it all in the bud this week before my due date! Usually Jonny reads her to sleep at a reasonable time which has been the way ever since we got the toddler bed but she’s insisting I come in the room too, then she monkeys about a bit and eventually just wants to sit on the chair on my lap and feed… Or she won’t go to sleep at all and we end up with her up being cranky all evening which isn’t any good either! She knows now that the baby is coming imminently and is a little worried, understandably. I’m just doing my best to reassure her and although she went off to sleep in her own bed at a decent time last night when she came into us at 10.30 I just couldn’t send her back and let her stay in with us all night… I’m such a soft touch I know!
A rare picture of Florence asleep this week! (In my bed of course)!
Just over a week ago Florence and I were invited to a function at London Zoo and as a perk we got to spend the rest of the day afterwards wandering round and having fun looking at all the animals. We had a phenomenal time there despite the extremely bad weather! It literally chucked it down all day but wet deluges aside we still had a brilliant time and that’s got to be testament to how good the zoo actually is! We spent a bit of time in their inside exhibits keeping close eyes on the aquarium, lizards and gorillas (who had gone into their indoor home – who could blame them) but we, being the Brits that we are still ventured outside and made sure we saw everything there was to see! We even picnicked outside in one of the many suitable areas – well we’re built of strong stuff obviously! I loved the fact that all the animals looked totally happy and they all seemed to have plenty of space to roam around. I’ve been to another major zoo in the past few years which I certainly couldn’t say the same for and it left me feeling sad and wishing I’d not been. London Zoo couldn’t be further removed from that. They gave all their really big animals away some years ago and I assume this is because they realised that there may be better places for them elsewhere, you can tell they really care and this doesn’t mean they don’t have great things to see because they certainly do; from monkeys, giraffes and pigmy hippos to a petting farm just perfect for Florence’s age, there’s simply loads to keep a family entertained all day long! If you really want to see elephants and the like their sister zoo, Whipsnade, is all geared up but I thought London had lots to offer and can’t wait to go back on a sunny day to enjoy it even more! It’s in Regent’s Park and just like when in Manhatten you can’t quite believe Central Park is right in the middle of the City, it’s hard to fathom that this big, bold zoo is in the middle of a park in the heart of London but there it stands doing a wonderful job! It’s set on two different sides of the road with a tunnel taking you from one half to the other and everything about the lay out is fun and entertaining to walk around. Florence’s favourite part of the day was the butterfly tunnel which I have to agree was pretty amazing. She was wearing a bright pink coat and thought it was great that the butterflies were attracted to it! We both loved the penguins which live in a lovely enclosure complete with beach, viewing windows and plat forms and we especially enjoyed their feeding time! I liked everything about the zoo apart from the fun fair rides which were extortionately priced (£2.50 for a go on the carousel per adult and per child) and placed where there was no way you could distract a child but then such is life I guess!
For more information on London Zoo please see their website www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo.
Florence loved the post boxes and thought the penguins were amazing!
Typically trying to touch the butterfly just in front of that sign! And reading up about her fave Meerkats!
Keeping on our zoo theme I thought I’d tell you about the latest ‘Fisher-Price’ toy I’ve been reviewing. I love the Little People range because they’re all so vibrantly coloured, built to last (as ‘Fisher-Price’ toys have always been – Florence plays with some of my old ones and they’re over 30 years old) and they’re also really fun and educational! We loved the zoo for all these reasons but also because it’s just so quirky being set in a tree and with realistic animal sounds. It was incredibly easy to assemble and in addition is simple to keep all the bits together while storing; there are lots of interesting touches like the slide for the polar bear and the monkey’s swing. We think this is a great buy, the only down side is that it doesn’t come with many animals so you have to buy more separately if you want a proper zoo full! That’s a shame when it’s fairly pricey to begin with nevertheless, it’s still a really lovely addition to the toy box and one I can see being used for years to come. ‘Fisher-Price’ is known for making classics and this has got to be yet another one! It is from the Little People range which means you can team it in with other toys from the range and the figures all go together nicely. All in all a lovely toy!
The ‘Fisher-Price World of Little People Animal Sounds Zoo’(18 months +) is currently priced at £44.99 online at www.toysrus.co.uk. For more information on this and all ‘Fisher-Price’ products please see their website www.fisher-price.com.
Now I know it might sound of late like I work for ‘Asda’ but I honestly can assure you I don’t, I just think they’re absolutely brilliant value for families and I for one can’t afford to pass up such good prices so I suspect neither can you! The Baby Event is still going strong which I’m sure you all know about by now but did you also know they’ve got loads of garden and DIY equipment for under a fiver! We’ve been testing out some of them and love, love, love the items not just the price! How about this quirky flower pot in the shape of a shoe for a gift or make like us and grow something on the window sill! Florence is gonna think this is brilliant when we do some indoor planting! There’s simply loads to choose from and all at rock bottom prices but with the standards you’d expect from ‘Asda’! We’ve also really enjoyed using their DIY range and found it to be top quality! They really do save families money every day!
‘Asda’ Pink Shoe Plant Pot £5
A TRIO OF COMPETITIONS!
Lucky old my readers eh for I have not one, not two but THREE competitions with fantastic prizes up for grabs this week! Win tickets to a special screening in Leicester Square of Top Cat the Movie, a family ticket to see In The Night Garden Live and a month FREE membership with uniformdating.com! Read on to find out how!
WIN tickets to a multimedia screening of TOP CAT THE MOVIE! 3D! If you fancy your chances of winning a ticket to take your little ones to see Top Cat at the Vue West End in London’s Leicester Square on Sunday 13th May then here’s your chance now! The fun will begin in the foyer at 10am before it’s curtain up and time to watch one of Hanna-Barbera’s most loved character’s in his all new film! For your chance to be in attendance all you have to do is email me at [email protected] stating your name, address and including the words ‘Top Cat’ in the subject line by midnight on Wednesday 9th May!
‘TOP CAT THE MOVIE’ is released on June 1st. TOP CAT and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.
Secondly I’m also running a wonderful competition for all my single friends where you can win a months membership FREE to uniformdating.com. I love the idea of matchmaking and I know loads of great couples who met on line so thought why not offer this competition to my lovely readers who haven’t found that special someone just yet… They might be just round the corner and this could be the key…
WIN a free month subscription for Uniformdating.com!
As seen on TV!
We have an exciting competition for all you singletons that might be looking for love Summer…courtesy of UniformDating.com!
Looking for that summer romance you’ve always dreamed of? Why rely on the British sun to bring some heat into your life when you can enter our competition to win a month’s free trial on popular online dating website Uniformdating.com! Uniformdating.com has hundreds of thousands of single people, all looking for love. The website is designed especially for people who work in uniform and perhaps aren’t always able to socialise in the evenings, or for people who fancy those that work in uniform – perhaps you’ve always dreamt of dating a sexy fireman or policeman?! This could be your chance!
10 lucky winners will get the chance to use the website and experience all benefits for a whole month for FREE! Who knows what will happen and who you might meet? Life may suddenly become a lot more exciting at just a click of a button.
Complete the well-known phrase:
‘Love is in the…’
Send your answer along with your contact details to [email protected] by midnight on Wednesday 23rd May and include the words Uniform Dating in the subject line for your chance to WIN!
And last but by no means least the third competition is to win a family ticket to the 2012 In the Night Garden Tour! If you would like to be the lucky family receiving a complimentary ticket then just read on to find out how:
IN THE NIGHT GARDEN LIVE – TOUR 2012
Top-selling children’s show, In the Night Garden Live, is back by popular demand with a new 2012 tour and we have tickets to give away! The smash-hit show brings the world of In the Night Garden to the stage with children able to see their favourite CBeebies’ stars Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends up close.
In the Night Garden Live takes place in its own all-weather, purpose-built inflatable showdome with many family-friendly facilities. This site-specific structure proved to be a huge hit with children and parents on its previous tours and this summer will be travelling to 3 London venues: the Live Quarter at The O2 (24 May to 9 June); Old Deer Park, Richmond (16 – 30 June); and Brent Cross (7 – 22 July).
To be in a chance with winning a family ticket (for 4 people, minimum 1 adult), please answer the following question:
Q: What does Makka Pakka like collecting?
Email your answers plus the info stated below to [email protected] by midnight on Wednesday 9th May
Please provide your name, email address and contact number, as well as stating which venue and performance you would like to see. No cash alternatives, accommodation or travel are provided in this competition. The tickets are non-transferable and subject to availability. For further show information www.nightgardenlive.com or 0333 300 0023.
We’re going to go and see In The Night Garden Live at the O2 with one of our lovely friends and my Mum is going to come down and look after the baby so that it’ll be something just for me and Florence to do together. It’s funny because she’s such a little grown up now, I can take her out for hot chocolate and have a conversation with her and I don’t have to worry about some of the things that used to send me into a state of panic. Like she has real money in her purse and she knows not to put it in her mouth and we’ve taken all the stair gates down apart from the one on the kitchen which makes our flat feel so much bigger. It’ll be strange having to watch for tiny objects and putting the gates back up again when the time comes… It really has felt good not to have the stair gates everywhere and it’s a bit of a shame that we have to have one guarding the kitchen but our oven gets so hot and the space is very small so it really is a must. Which is why then, it’s a real treat to have something special and not just your bog standard white stair gate which, while functional and doing a great job, does not look the best! We’ve put up, for our only stair gate left in the house, a new super duper one from ‘Lindam’ and I have to say, I’m very impressed! If you’ve got to have a stair gate and let’s face it, they are a must have item with little ones, then this really is the crème de la crème of gates and it not only does its job well but this one looks stylish and complements our décor too! It’s called the ‘Numi Extending Aluminium Safety Gate’ and is part of a range of two from ‘Lindam’ (The other one is in dark wood) and like I’ve mentioned it looks absolutely fabulous. So it is a bit more expensive than your everyday gate but when you’ve got to look at these things 24/7 and have them compromising the aesthetics of your house, I’m thinking it’s definitely worth it. I may very well get rid of all my white stair gates and when the time comes just get these new ‘Numi’ ones because it’s such a vast improvement! I mentioned that it works just the same as a normal gate but by that, what I actually mean is that it does the same job however, it actually works a lot better and for ease is just perfect! It slides easily on and off its wall mounting which was super easy to fit and is barely noticeable; it doesn’t knock out of place and you can remove it easily! The actual opening mechanism is easy from either side and does not require a degree in engineering to figure out how to work it, a big plus, I think you’ll agree; some of these things are so complicated they keep everyone out, not just the toddlers! It also has locks at the top and bottom to ensure maximum security and because of it’s adjustable width, which was very simple to work when fitting, it means you don’t have to have a standard door width to use the gate. Something we definitely do not have! It’s also designed so that it will fits within the stated widths exactly (66cm – 101cm) meaning you won’t be compromising anywhere and there won’t be the danger it might come away or not work precisely. They call it their ‘indexed sizing system (ISS), I call it genius! I love the way it slides and there’s no clunking, if there’s a perfect safety gate then this is it. Is it worth the money? Well I think so yes! Its looks and effectiveness make it a smart choice for me, we haven’t got pots of money, far from it but some things are worth splashing out on and for something that’s up, in your house, every day… well, why not have the best?!
The stylish aluminium ‘Numi’ Gate!
The ‘Numi Extending Aluminium Safety Gate’ has an RRP of £60, adjusts to fit openings of 66cm to 101cm, 76cm in height and 3.5cm in width. It can currently be purchased on line through kiddicare, Amazon and Jojo Maman Bebe. For more information on the ‘Numi’ safety gates and all ‘Lindam’ products please see the website www.lindam.com.
MY PREGNANCY DIARY WEEK 40
This week has been mainly about trying to hold on until my due date… I really wanted to make it to 40 weeks for loads of reasons; I wanted to finish off my pregnancy diary properly, and it would have worked out really well for Jonny’s work schedule but as I said, Mother Nature has a way of doing what she wants and babies come in their own time so as I sit here typing up this post I am, in the early stages of labour. We got home from our day out yesterday and I was exhausted; I must admit I’d had a few aching pains in my hips the last couple of days too. I also had felt tired all weekend and not really done much which isn’t like me and I had a little nose bleed in the morning so all things which could have indicated labour was about to start. I was still shocked however, when I was just on the phone to my Step Mum telling her how I was convinced that the baby would come when I wanted it to and I suddenly felt like I’d wet myself! I wasn’t honestly sure if I had actually wet myself to be honest and had to put the phone down and go and check! I still wasn’t entirely sure but the fact it kept coming was indicative that it wasn’t really just loose bladder control! It was completely clear and odourless with lots of white bits in it so it didn’t really look like wee and I called the midwife… It wasn’t my lovely one but when she arrived she told me my other midwife was still going to come and second the birth even though she was on her days off. They had spoken and she had stated she definitely wanted to do that for me! I realised also that the other midwife is really great too and how lucky I am to have two expert midwives at my birth! I think before I’d just been worrying I wouldn’t get my old midwife and hadn’t been open to having anyone else, no matter how good they were. Just me being typically stubborn and demanding I guess! So she told me I had a bit of protein in my urine and my BP was ever so slightly high. Probably down to me not eating yesterday until the end of the day and I took her advice and ate a whole bag of Malteasers for energy. I was feeling no contractions and she told me to just wait. So that’s what I’m doing. I’ve started to feel a few mild period pain like cramps this morning but suspect I may very well be in for the long haul! I might have to go in for induction at 7pm as it will be 24 hours after my waters broke so am doing lots today to get it started and will be walking to soft play, doing some cleaning and I might break open the raspberry leaf tea! Just playing everything by ear and keeping as calm as possible! I’ll be back to tell you all about it next week so watch this space!
Florence giving my tummy a hug!
My ‘Pregnancy Product of the Week’ was going to be the ‘Emma Jane Maternity Support Band O’ and although I’m not going to be pregnant for very much longer I’ve just got to let you know about it cause it’s a great way of extending the time you can wear your normal clothes and I have found, at the end, a way of staving off buying any new ones that won’t be functional for very long! I’ve been reluctant to buy new things but some old things these past couple of weeks have started to ride up and tops I’ve managed to get away with all pregnancy due to a small bump are looking ridiculous now but still go well under other things and I’ve been glad to keep wearing them with the aid of the support band. Not only does it cover up your tummy ensuring that it’s not on show when regular clothes are no longer able to fit over it but it also does provide a level of support which is both comforting and comfortable. It kind of holds you up a bit, perfect when the bump has dropped low like mine has done over the past week. I’ve been wearing it under clothes that don’t even have the remotest chance of riding up cause it just feels good! You can buy bands in most places now, high street retailers who make maternity clothes often have them in their ranges and they’re very cheap. You might think they’re all the same but really they’re not. I believe the Emma-Jane one is rather superior and provides just that little bit of extra support and comfort. Well, as with everything, you get what you pay for don’t you! I’ve enjoyed my band and truth be told, I’m sure I’ll be wearing it over my jelly belly afterwards too!
To find out more about the ‘Emma-Jane Maternity Support band O’ and all the super products from ‘Emma-Jane’ please see their website www.emma-jane.com. The band comes in black or white, is made from 90% Cotton and 10% Elastane (for the white) and 90% Polyamide and 10% Elastane for the black and comes in UK sizes 10/12 and 14/16. It is currently priced at £8.99 on Amazon.
So, I’ll be back next week to let you all know about my birth story!
In the meantime follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby
(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.)