Lighten up! It’s just a bit of fun!

Askamum (They love my blog, ooo-errr how exciting!)

I absolutely love a celebration and a bit of joining in with whatever is going on always goes down well in our house. I’m not a Royalist by any stretch but waving ‘Jubilee’ flags has kept my little one entertained all summer. Florence actually thinks the ‘Union Jack’ is called a ‘Jubilee’ flag and she spots them wherever we go. Of course it was a good summer to be ‘Jubilee’ spotting, especially in East London where Jubilympic excitement was at fever pitch! My Father is one of those staunchly against the Royal Family so much so he wouldn’t even acknowledge any of the Jubilee whatsoever but I just think that way you miss out. Ok so you’re taking a stand for your politics or whatever but I really don’t think you have to ‘believe’ in something whole heartedly to enjoy it. Halloween for example, loads of people won’t let their children join in. I hear people talk about Satan worship and religion and I have to say I just think oh balls to you! For goodness sake, I’m sure that most people are just having a laugh like me and I certainly don’t Satan worship, believe in the devil or have any particular religion at all!

I feel a bit sorry for the children not allowed to dress up. I understand ‘trick or treating’ is a bit of a decision and if you don’t know the houses you’re knocking on then I personally wouldn’t do it but to pop on a witches outfit, do a bit of apple bobbing and have an Easter Egg style spooky chocolate hunt is just getting in the ‘spirit’ (scuse the pun) of things and surely just having a good time? It’s a bit like when I was at school and I remember some of the children not being allowed into assembly because we might be singing ‘Morning Has Broken’ at some point. They really missed out having to sit in the corridor away from all the religious stuff especially when we had something interesting like the Harvest Festival or Christmas play! Like I said, I’m not any particular religion but I always enjoyed learning about all the religions and R.E was one of my favourite subjects, it’s all just so interesting. How insular to not even consider what other people believe in. I think if you live in a country where something is practiced you have a duty to your children to let them join in regardless of your beliefs otherwise people are just segregated and it doesn’t make for a well-rounded society. Choose to live in a predominantly Christian culture then why not let children enjoy the Christmas activities at school and educate them in a religion they don’t know anything about, they don’t have to ‘believe’ in it! Frankly I imagine half the country who celebrate don’t actually believe it! It’s just being a part of things, enjoying it and knowing, if not believing, why!

Ok, so Halloween might be a little bit different to Christmas and might have started out with some quite dark undertones but now it’s just an excuse to be silly, have a bit of fun, a bit of a party and something to look forward to! We’re certainly planning some spooktacular events including a party with some friends and why the ‘hell’ not!

 

Some of my fave pictures from last Halloween and this year will be even more fun as we of course have another little pumpkin now!

Berry Entertaining!

So for Halloween it seemed only fitting that we get an appropriate app for the BlackBerry PlayBook and because we enjoy pumpkin carving so much we chose the FREE app Pumpkin Carver. This is great actually! Choose your pumpkin and tools then carve away! There’s a candle inside the pumpkins and as you carve it lets the light shine through. You can choose tools which create shapes such at triangles for the eyes or you can just carve your own with a knife! Fun and a little bit addictive! The pumpkins you have created can then be saved in your gallery and shared with friends! This is quite a fun one for little ones as they can just go at it like a bulldozer and if they make a mistake your last moves can be un done! Fun and very festive! (The pro version can be bought which gives more pumpkin options).

For more information on the BlackBerry PlayBook and all BlackBerry products please see http://uk.blackberry.com/

This year we have very big plans with friends for a spooktacular Halloween with help for our party from Asda’s Halloween range! To get us in the mood we’ll enjoy playing with the Usborne Halloween range of sticker books! Find out what we’ll be doing to celebrate here!

As early as it may be we’re also really looking forward to, dare I say it, Christmas! I got together with Jonny on a Christmas Eve and then we had Florence on a New Year’s Eve so the whole period is really special for us in lots of ways! Last year Florence had really started to get into it all but I know this year she’s going to love it even more! We’re already using the ‘Father Christmas will know if you’ve been naughty’ line and it seems to be working! I have lots of lovely treats in store for her in the run up to the big day from the small like our local lights being turned on to the big shows, ice skating and of course meeting Father Christmas! There’s loads on offer in London and one of our favourite places to visit is Harrods who at the moment and for Christmas have a Disney Pop-Up Boutique! Until January on the fourth floor (also home to the wonderful Toy Kingdom) there will be in-store entertainment with Disney-themed activities and story telling as well as the opportunity to buy limited edition clothes, toys and accessories featuring the beloved Disney characters! There will also be a Disney Princess Parlour where little girls (and boys of course) will enjoy dressing up and being made over into their favourite Disney Princess before taking home a photograph of themselves against the enchanting Disney backdrop. What little girl wouldn’t enjoy that?! The rest of the Harrods Christmas celebrations will be underway in early November but if you can’t wait until then this is the perfect place to be getting in the mood!

A Little girls Disney delight at Harrods this winter!

Another thing I’m super looking forward to seeing Ben and Holly Live in a couple of weeks and very happy to announce that the winner of my Ben and Holly competition is Angie Fisher from Norfolk! A Norfolk girl just like me, congrats Angie! If you would like to buy tickets for the tour then just click on the Ben and Holly link above to find a show near you! The tour starts on 26th October at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford and with over 44 venues confirmed for next year ,there’s plenty of opportunities to see the show! And now I am offering not one, not two but THREE lucky people the chance to win the new ‘Top Cat‘ movie on DVD! And another three can win ‘Transformers Prime‘ To enter both competitions click on the links!

MY LIFE WITH 2!

This week has been a week with little sleep and if I’m totally honest it’s not been wonderful because of it! Jonny decided that Jimmy has to go in his own room because he’s too big for the moses basket and put him in there when I went out one night. I would much rather have him in with us for a bit longer and because I co-slept with Florence for such a long time that seems the logical way forward for me but Jonny is absolutely against the idea. We’ve kind of been compromising in the sense that he goes in his cot to begin with and then when he wakes at around 1 he comes in with us then if Jonny stays awake he takes him back to the cot again. I’ve told Jonny it was his choice to have him in his own room so he has to do all the getting and putting him back. I’m just not going to be getting up and down in the night which is why I love to co-sleep. This has been making Jonny very tired and consequently irritable and of course I am sleep deprived too so it’s been making me irritable too. Two irritable argumentative people in the middle of the night does not make for a good mix. The thing is it wouldn’t be so bad if the 1 am wake (as he’s taken to doing of late) didn’t disturb Florence but it does and unfortunately this means she too comes in with us at that point and won’t go back! She would usually stay in her own bed until around 5 but with all the to-ing and fro-ing in the room she shares with Jimmy it’s no wonder she doesn’t sleep through it. I’d happily have us all  in the same bed as impractical as that sounds. I enjoy co-sleeping and always have done but Jonny and I are a bit at logger heads with each other over it! I can see it’s better if they both sleep in their own beds if they’re both going through the night but they’re not and we need to get Jimmy to sleep through the 1am feed again. He didn’t used to do it and I think it’s probably a combination of teething pains and because he’s almost ready for solids, perhaps once he starts eating he’ll go back to sleeping through again, Florence will too and then we will have our bed until 5am again! It’d certainly be nice to stop all the middle of the night bickering! One thing I absolutely couldn’t do the ‘baby in his own room’ thing without is my Lindam Clarity Digital Video Monitor but more about that next week!

In other news we’ve found a brilliant cup for Florence by Munchkin and it really does seem to be leak proof! This might sound like not a very big find or something to be excited about but trust me, as the parent of a toddler who also has lightly coloured carpets it’s a brilliant find! The cup is from their new Click Lock range and we reviewed it here in the week! It’s been an exciting week for Jimmy too as he’s really growing up and starting to enjoy much more sophisticated play! He loves his new toy by Sassy Baby which sticks straight onto the high chair tray and has been super cute with it this week, find out how good it is here! He also tried out the swings for the very first time at the weekend and he LOVED it! Florence has never been a fan herself but she does enjoy pushing someone else so they are the perfect ‘swing combination’! We had to wedge Jimmy in with my handbag as he’s too tiny really but he loved it so much and we just couldn’t resist!

Jimmy, being pushed by Florence and wedged in by my handbag, enjoys his very first swing ever!

Do you remember last week I told you we went to my best friend’s wedding! It was such a great day and I’m going to make my friend a coffee book of all the photos I took. Another one of her friends, Alice Aird, has given them a picture she illustrated from a photograph which is pretty amazing! She illustrates pictures like this and raises money for the charity The Willow Foundation which organises special days for seriously ill 16 – 40 year olds! I wrote about it here last week. Alice charges £25 for portraits done in this style and can create them from one or multiple photographs, her aim is to make £2.5k by December and illustrate 100 portraits for the charity! (The fee is 100% donated to the foundation and she does not profit at all!) I think they’re lovely, personal and unique and what better way to donate to charity! To visit her Face Book page click on this link Alice Apple Portraits to find out how you can commission a portrait and donate to her Just Giving page in payment!

From one good cause to another and just before I go I must mention something really interesting and important! When I fist had Florence I thought it was really important that I  learn first aid for children, I’d been on a course with my old work to learn first aid for in the work place but in my new work place, my home and with my little ones, I had not a clue! I went on a little day course run by my local SureStart centre which was good and better than nothing but not really very in-depth! It’s wonderful news then that the British Red Cross have recognised that like me, lots of parents don’t have a clue about first aid for their children and have launched a new nationwide campaign (the First Aid Challenge) to get all parents learning first aid. It begins at the Earls Court Baby Show on 26th October and runs to the end of the year! It comes as a result from a survey showing that 96% of parents feel that all parents should have basic first aid knowledge but two-thirds don’t feel confident or worry they would do something wrong! This is a UK-wide campaign and everyone can get involved; for FREE first aid advice, videos and to sign-up to the First Aid Challenge visit www.redcross.org.uk/firstaidchallenge.

Well, I’ll be back next week to tell you all about the show we’re going to see at the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon called Too Many Penguins but 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.)