It’s a Farmer’s Life For Us!

It’s a Farmer’s Life for us!

rocknrollerbaby
January 18th, 19:57
http://adserver.adtech.de/?adlink|3.0|311|1072359|1|16|AdId%3D6699352;BnId%3D1;link%3Dhttp://www.askamum.co.uk (They love my blog, ooo-errr how exciting!)

We’re finally all back home in London after the longest Christmas break ever! I was in Norwich for exactly three weeks and I think Florence had actually started to pine for her friends. While she was certainly having a ball with her Grandparents I know she’s glad to be back in her own home and seeing her little pals again; she threw her arms around one of her best gal pals when she saw her and the pair of them hugged as if they’d not seen each other in years, it was super sweet! I love being home too, don’t get me wrong, it was amazing being with my Mum and having that much help for such a long time but I was missing our routine and seeing my friends too so it feels good to be back (and I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re Norfolk bound again)! The thing about being in Norwich is that there really isn’t a tremendous amount to do with children, not in the City anyway. For most things worth doing a car is really required and because Jonny had gone home a bit before us we were a bit stuck. Us Londoners are not only spoilt with the choices we have and the ease of our public transport system but also with the fact that lots of things are either free or heavily subsidised by the local authority making them extremely cheap. Things that are available within a walk or a bus ride from my Mum are usually quite expensive which doesn’t always make it viable for us to be busily out and about and Florence, conditioned by me I’m sure, is not a child who is happy to just be at home. As soon as she has her clothes on she’s searching for her shoes and coat, telling me she’s ready and asking to go out somewhere!

The summer is a much better time to be on a long break to Norfolk as my Mum has the garden and then Florence can run round and play to her heart’s content which she loves and simply can’t do here at our house because we don’t have a garden… I love both places but both places have their pros and cons. My Mum had better brace herself and her garden for another long visit once the weather heats up, that’s if she’s got over the amount of time we were there this time, I know we absolutely wore her out… She’s so good to me and had Florence in her bed every night to give me a break but it meant she was a bit sleep deprived by the time we left and while I’m sure she wasn’t exactly glad to see the back of us, I don’t think she minded so much (and she’s still got our wayward cat staying with her keeping her busy so she hasn’t yet got rid of the whole clan)! While we were there we started growing some cress with Florence which has been an almighty success and Florence absolutely loved it. Today is the last day as its now finished growing and we are going to make cream cheese and cress sandwiches which I think Florence will be very proud of. It’s such a brilliant thing to grow with a little one because the seeds are cheap, about £1.50, you don’t need any soil or proper pots and the best bit is they grow really quickly. Today is day ten for us and they are just perfect! We made some cakes then used the empty egg shell halves stuffed with kitchen paper that we had soaked in water then sprinkled the seeds over the top. Next we put them back in the egg box to grow. By the next day the shoots had started and Florence was beside herself with excitement, it’s been a definite winner in our household! They’ve withstood many toddler handlings, a train journey back from Norwich to London and now we’re going to eat them but they’ve kept us very entertained and we thoroughly recommend growing your own at home! 


Planting…

Growing…

Grown…

Making into sandwiches…

Made…

Eating…

Eaten!

So, cress farming aside, being in the countryside we thought we’d better check out an actual farm with animals and all before we came back to the smoke. We have lovely City farms here in London which are brilliant and often free as they run on charity statuses. There’s Brooks Farm near us in Leyton and it’s fabby, we visit often, but it’s not the same as being in the middle of the countryside. So off we trotted on Jonny’s birthday, just before he came back to work and we visited ‘Melsop Farm Park’ in Scoulton near Watton. It’s about a half hour drive from Norwich City Centre so not a big hassle if you have a car but the buses, as often the case in Norfolk, are infrequent and it’s quite tricky to make the journey on public transport. Maybe I’m spoilt in London with our 24 hour transport system but I do really think the Norfolk buses could be better, most services don’t run at all on a Sunday! The journey was worth the wait as we thought ‘Melsop’ was fantastic! It was a crisp and cold day but it certainly didn’t detract from the fun that can be had here at the farm and believe me, it’s so much more than just a farm. They have all the requisite animals: chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs (who live in an adorable model village),cows, sheep, goats and pigs including the tiniest piglet I’ve ever seen and on top of that they have some truly exciting animals to boot! Being just after Christmas Florence was fascinated by their herd of reindeer and the peacocks were strutting around as if they owned the place looking beautiful and capturing her attention brilliantly! We enjoyed the beautiful walk around the farm which takes you through the main yard and to a bridge over a large pond to a field where they have horses, miniature horses and llama’s amongst other things. We then looped around the field and back to the main farm where we got very muddy, Florence fell over for the second time in a big pond of mud of course, and we visited the goats, sheep, pigs and cows. We’d bought some feed for the animals as we entered the farm and Jonny having it in his pocket possibly wasn’t the best person to have done this as he’s not terribly keen on coming up close and personal with the goats but Florence and I had a real giggle watching him get accosted! Florence enjoyed it so much, even the muddy falls, and just had a wail of a time! There’s simply loads to see and the fun doesn’t end on the farm. ‘Melsop’ have an extensive outdoor play area complete with giant trampoline and sand pit which in the summer months must be a barrel of fun and you could literally spend hours just sitting watching the animals from the park area while the children play and have a picnic. It was too cold for us to play that day but I’m sure when we go back we’ll be taking full advantage and of course it’s definitely worth a mention that their indoor play area, which we spent about an hour in, is super worth a visit! You don’t actually have to go into the farm and can come just for this if you like which might be just the ticket on a wet wintery day; it’s cheaper than buying a ticket for the whole caboodle and we had so much fun in there before we left. Situated just by the café so the Mums and Dads can have a nice cuppa while the little ones play, it’s a safe and fun environment filled with loads of mini tractors to drive, ball pools and soft play climbing equipment. What a perfect day out in Norfolk! We’ll definitely be back!

 

Adults £7, Children over 3 £6,  children over 2 £4, children under 2 free, private parties £8.50 per child, Autumn special play only prices £4 per child, £1 per adult, closed Mondays, Melsop Farm Park, Ellingham Road, Scoulton NrWatton. Tel: (01953) 851943 www.melsopfarmpark.co.uk.




While we’ve been out and about over the Christmas period I’ve been using a new changing bag which I’ve been absolutely loving and had to tell you about. I’ve been testing the ‘Babymel Amanda’ in black Jungle Floral and I have to say that as baby bags go, it’s pretty damn decent! I’ve been through a few bags in my time as a Mummy, one good, two bad, and one just completely unusable but this one has to be one of the best! In fact, apart from my other current bag, it’s the only one that I have found that’s any good at all. The first one I had matched my buggy and was next to useless, I purely went for asthetics and really, that’s all it had going for it! This one is the complete antithesis of that first bag of mine and is not only like a tardis in the sense that it looks small but actually has loads of space inside but it also has brilliantly placed pockets which mean you don’t lose anything in its density! The fact that it looks great is an added bonus really! So, aside from being really practical in the pocket sense with room for nappies, wipes, creams and all your personal stuff it also has a handy strap which can be used over the shoulder and of course over the handlebars of the buggy but the best bit for me is the fact that you can un Velcro the bottom of the straps and make little loops to hook your bag onto the handlebar rather than using the big strap. The advantage of this is that the bag doesn’t hang down and trail near the wheels or the floor. I’ve had a bag with similar loops in the past but they were non adjustable and so big that they made my bag slip right down the bars and end up near the floor anyway, this bag, having Velcro loops means you can adjust how tight they are to suit your own buggy and ensure it stays where you want it to. It has a zipped pocket, which is insulated, for bottles but is also perfect for valuables. Being black it keeps looking really clean very easily but is also handily wipe clean! Not only does the bag come with the much needed changing mat (the ones in public places are just dire and you definitely need your own) but this particular style and colour comes with a free bottle warmer which easily fits inside the bag, takes two bottles and also has it’s own strap so can be removed from the bag to make more room and strapped onto the handlebars independently! So, there are the facts and here’s the result: This bag is usable, practical, stylish and clean. It has everything you’d want from it and more plus it doesn’t look outwardly like a baby bag as some others so obviously do and I’m all for that! It’s not girly nor specifically for a baby boy so will be handy for all your babies and I wholeheartedly recommend it! Really and truly for the price, some bags are extortionate now, it’s very reasonable and we give it the big thumbs up!

 

If you’re looking for a baby bag and fancy the ‘Babymel’ then do check out their website where you can find the one I tried plus their entire range. My particular bag, the ‘Amanda’ in Black Jungle Floral retails at £49.95 (dimensions are: H 33cm, W 44cm and D 15cm). www.babymel.co.uk.

 

If you haven’t got your baby bag yet and you’re due soon you’ll have to get shopping for the perfect one for you. A baby bag is an essential part of the baby kit and I think I know just the place to browse! ‘The Baby Show’ is back in London next month and I simply can’t wait! You might have guessed that I’m an absolute baby product geek and my favourite sort of shopping has gone from clothes shopping for myself to baby shopping for all things children orientated. I don’t know what happened when I turned 20 weeks pregnant with Florence but I suddenly was over taken by the desire to shop, both window and actual, for things for my child. Things to make my life easier, things to help my child to sleep, things for me to wear when pregnant, things for when my baby was born, you name it, I wanted to shop for it! I used to spend hours going round baby shops deciding what I’d like and what I was going to buy and that hasn’t really left me I have to say! There’s simply no better place to feed my addiction than at ‘The Baby Show’ and I go every time that I can cause not only is it a superb place to pick up a bargain (everything is discounted and you can often do deals) but it’s a really pleasant day out, especially if you already have children in tow. Usually I would say shopping with a toddler is an absolute nightmare but at ‘The Baby Show’ it’s all geared up for you with your brood and simply everywhere is buggy friendly! You literally don’t need to take anything with you either as there is a nappy changing area with everything provided, a feeding station with free baby food and some really peaceful areas to breast or bottle feed complete with comfy nursing chairs. On top of this there is a creche where your little one can visit for 2 hours (FREE) giving you the chance to have some free time to browse without sticky hands pulling at your skirt. This February the show is coming to London’s ExCel from 24th – 26th and is not to be missed! With tickets starting at just £12 and children under 12 attending FREE it’s an absolute bargain of a day! Check out their new look website which is easy to navigate and gives you all the information you could possibly want www.thebabyshow.co.uk and follow them on Twitter for day to day advice and help as well as information about the show @TheBabyShow. We’ll be there and we look forward to seeing you there too!

MY PREGNANCY DIARY WEEKS 24 & 25

I’ve finally had my 22 week check (2 weeks late- whoops) with the midwife and am happy to report that everything is great as far as she’s concerned. My midwife is totally wonderful and as I’ve said before, I can’t rate her enough. I’m very lucky to live where I live and have the sort of care I have because I know it’s not the same everywhere, although it most definitely should be! I’m even luckier because my particular midwife has just started up a new venture for my borough. She is no longer a community midwife but is now heading the ‘Home Birth Team’ in my area and will continue to be the person I see for all my appointments as well as likely being my actual delivery midwife. The team is just her and one other midwife so I have a 50% chance of having her with me which makes me feel very relaxed about labour. She was with me almost until the end last time when I got sent in to hospital at the last minute and I couldn’t have been in better hands! I don’t really like the thought of being in hospital and although the actual care I received at ‘Whipps Cross’ was fantastic, the hospital was very definitely not! I didn’t like the experience of staying there at all and want, as I wanted last time, to avoid being in hospital if I can possibly help it. I’m not a hippy dippy Mummy, I’m not really into ‘natural labour’ for any other reason than I felt incredibly proud of myself for having done it before and want to feel that way again and my reasons for wanting to be at home are nothing to do with zen or crystals or whatever but just because I like being at home and do not like being in hospitals! Jonny’s a bit worried about it, as he was last time but I feel calmer thinking about having this baby in my own home so hopefully, this time, it’ll work out!

This week (or fortnight rather), my ‘Pregnancy Product of the Week’ is my ‘Emma-Jane’ 60 Denier, super soft maternity tights. Now, everyone knows I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of tights and while these aren’t exactly perfect, they’re pretty good! Firstly I have to say that I didn’t like the sizing and their advice for that didn’t work for me! I’m 5ft 3” so the packaging states that I should be wearing size medium (5ft 2” – 5ft 7”) but as I suspected, they were far too big for me. I’m always a small in tights and would never buy a medium usually even under advice but as I was sent this pair I went with it. As with all medium tights they fell down and I had to pin them to my bra at the front or wear control pants over the top to keep them from falling down. It’s not a bump thing, it’s a tights thing. I’m a small in tights and that’s just the way I am but having tried these tights out in a medium I feel certain that the small size would be just perfect! Now I love my Emma-Jane nursing bras to the point that they are so worn out they have rips in them; I have worn them constantly for two years now, have invested in some new ones for when the baby is born and would recommend them to anyone who is about to breast feed so I had high hopes for the tights and apart from sizing I wasn’t disappointed. I love the way they have a bump section (as you would expect) which comes up really high (and enable me to pin it to my bra) but as with other maternity tights they do not come all the way up your back and rest just above your bottom. When I first put them on I kind of thought that fact would make them really uncomfortable but in reality it was a great feature. It’s not nice to have masses of material you don’t need up your back and ruining the look of your clothes from behind so I actually thought this was pretty genius and this is why I am making them my ‘Pregnancy Product of the Week! I wore these tights all over Christmas, had my little girl pulling at me and pushing at me and they didn’t ladder or bobble under my boots so I was very impressed with their strength and they also looked really nice too. Not too shiny and not too matt, you know how sometimes cheap tights look… Well these didn’t and so despite the sizing problem they are the best tights I have found while pregnant. My only advice would be to ignore the packaging sizing guide and go for the size you would usually be when not pregnant, I knew I should be wearing small and know that when I do eventually try the smaller size out I will be much happier. I will of course report back when I’ve done this!

For more information on the tights which come in a variety of colours and are handwash only plus all products by Emma-Jane, please see the website: www.emma-jane.com

So, until next week (when I will be back – I’ve not moved to fortnightly posts now, it’s just I’ve not really been in the swing of things having been away from home for so long) I’ll leave you to go out and have loads of fun where you are! We’re going to the Tower of London for our outing this week and I can’t wait!


Me at 24 weeks pregnant! HUGE bump I think!

 (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.)