- July 12th, 10:07
I’ve had lots of sleep recently which is lovely, especially as it was my birthday at the beginning of the week! I remember when Florence was only 6 months old it was my birthday and the only thing I really wanted as a present was a good night’s sleep; I felt really grumpy knowing that I just wouldn’t get it! A friend of mine who had a baby at the same time had her partner do all the night feeds when it was her birthday and she slept on the sofa! The thought of it seemed like bliss but a million miles away from where I was at, at that point in time! Jimmy being a superb sleeper anyway and taking the bottle (expressed milk only right now) means that it’s been a whole different kettle turning 33!
It’s got me thinking that I probably wasted a whole load of time, effort and money following some of the sleep techniques laid out by so called ‘sleep experts’ when Florence was a baby! They never worked and I really doubt they would have no matter what technique I’d tried! I’m certain now that it must be nature and nothing to do with nurture and it has confirmed to me that these ‘sleep experts’ are just talking a load of rubbish! Sure they can give sensible little pieces of advice (like any Mother can, though some ‘sleep experts’ aren’t even mother’s themselves let it be remembered) but I know, as her Mummy, that Florence wouldn’t have slept any better if I’d let her scream it out for four hours and that the absolute best thing for her (and us) to get sleep was to have her in our bed.
I have done nothing differently with our Jimmy, nothing at all! If he cries in the night I bring him into our bed and nurse him there but once he’s fed he’s happy to just go back into the moses basket and falls asleep on his own. After 3 weeks of trying, trying, trying to put Florence in her moses basket I just gave up and she was in with us full time because she just wouldn’t do it! I remember lowering her down ever so gently trying not to let her feel any movement whatsoever. I would gently peel away my body from hers but as soon as the tip of my last finger left her, her little eyes would ping open. With Jimmy we can put him down quickly, talk as we do it, pick him up and put him somewhere else, pass him from one to the other, whatever… he just likes his sleep! And she, most certainly did not! Florence had colic for the first 12 weeks and Jimmy doesn’t but I still don’t think that has anything to do with it. I just think it’s the way she is and he’s different. Florence still doesn’t like to sleep. If she has the slightest nap in the day time, even really early on now, then she’s up till all hours and she rarely goes through the night eventually waking for the day extremely early. She’s always on the go and I can see, could see from the minute he was born, that Jimmy is much more laid back.
I cuddle them the same, I breast feed him on demand just as I did with her, he has a bath at the same time, the same amount of nappy changes and she got just as much (if not more actually) stimulation as Jimmy gets now; further proof then that a baby who sleeps and feeds well does so because of their nature and not their nurture. I know people will disagree with me and I know some people swear by some of the, aherm, ‘experts’ advice but I just can’t get on board with that I’m afraid! People will do anything and buy anything to get a baby to go to sleep! I know, I’ve been there! If you have a product or book to market which claims to send babies to sleep then you’ll be on to a winner because if there’s one thing to part parents with their money it’s the promise of slumber when they are drastically deprived of it! But in my experience I would say don’t waste your money, listen to other Mum’s advice but your baby is unique and they have had their personality since birth, if that’s the way they are then that’s the way they are! I’m sure they could all be forced into realising their mummies won’t come to them when they cry if left to do so but what Mummy wants to do that? Certainly not me and having tried it and heard Florence keep going for over 4 hours I just think it’s not worth it!
Same moses basket, same shawl knitted by my Great Granny for when I was a baby (I was of the non sleeping variety myself), same coverlet… Florence is on the left, she was hours old and this is one of the only times she EVER went in it! Jimmy on the right spends hours sleeping here!
The Donkey Way is Essex!
After taking Le Donk to Chelsea a couple of weeks ago it seemed only right that we should take him to Essex as well. I’m a big fan of both shows but TOWIE is my fave so it was really fun popping down to where the cast hang out and work and to let Donkey loose in Essex! We even met a few of the stars of the show! Not living too far away from the TOWIE filming areas means it’s easy to get there by bus or train. We decided we would go on the Central Line tube which although doesn’t have lifts at most of the stations, because I was travelling with my Mum, I knew it would be possible to carry the Donkey up the stairs. It’s not particularly heavy so with two people it was relatively easy to do this. We actually had Le Donk as a single for the day as well which means it was even easier; we weren’t going far and I had my Mum as an extra hand holder so I thought I’d let Florence have a walk and give myself the opportunity to push Donkey as a single which I love too (I always carry a sling for when we’re getting on and off trains, I’m not keen on her walking at stations)! I simply adore using the shopping basket on the side which takes loads, just look at my pictures, no wonder they called him Donkey! When travelling I’m always very careful to wear the wristband (which come attached to all Bugaboo buggies as standard), especially when I’m on a tube or train platform. It’s great that Donkey and all his friends come with them already there, they are so important! It doesn’t surprise me that Bugaboo is one of the only brands to include one without a second thought, they’re not an extra, they’re a necessity! I guess some brands just don’t see it that way but Bugaboo always know what’s important!
Us on the platform when we reached TOWIE land!
Once in Loughton (Major TOWIE hot spot) we decided to take a stroll around TOWIE land. Here’s what we got up to!
Outside ‘Nu Bar’! This is where the cast of TOWIE and Mark Wright’s Hollywood Nights hang out of a weekend! Think Donkey is glam enough to get in, not sure about me?!?!
Jessica Wright’s shop is called ‘With Love Jessica xx’ Shame it wasn’t open on a Sunday but we had a picture outside it anyway!
Outside Lydia’s shop, Bella Sorella, my Mum pushes Donkey!
We thought Lydia Bright, her Mum Debbie and boyfriend Tom Kilby, stars of TOWIE should meet our star, Le Donk! I think they look a bit star struck don’t you think? 😉
Where will Donkey be next time??? Come back and see…
For more information on the ‘Donkey’ and all other ‘Bugaboo’ products please see their website www.bugaboo.com. It’s also worth noting that ‘When you choose a ‘Bugaboo’ product to help you on your way, something else good happens as well – as ‘Bugaboo’ contributes 1 % of its total revenue to The Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. This means more women and children living with HIV in Africa will get the medicine they need to lead a more normal, active and hopeful Life’.
I said last week that we were off checking out all the latest gadgets and gizmos for Christmas 2012. Seems odd talking about Christmas in July but the shops are prepared well ahead of time and we had an absolute blast checking out all the new items. One of the places we were invited to preview was the super duper Early Learning Centre (www.elc.co.uk) where Florence played with ALL the new toys and we also got to see the latest collections for Mothercare (www.mothercare.com).
Florence, along with every other child her age, is a massive fan of HappyLand and when she saw the massive wall with all the new additions I knew it was going to be hard to get her to come away! HappyLand has had a makeover and the colours are much brighter than before, on paper this doesn’t sound like it would make much difference but it brings even more charm to the range and I particularly liked the mouse house in a tea pot which reminded me of my own childhood toys. Florence being Jubilimpic mad was instantly drawn to the London bus with a Union Jack flag on it! We were lucky enough to come away with one and on my birthday, so that she didn’t feel left out, I wrapped it up for her and she was thrilled to bits to be able to continue her play at home! The bus comes with a bus stop sign, realistic bus sounds at the push of a button in the drivers cab, a driver and conductor (very London) and FIVE extra passengers! That’s brilliant, so often with other brands (such as a Zoo we reviewed for Fisher price recently) the items just don’t come with enough people or animals, HappyLand never disappoint with this! They understand if a child is playing with a bus then he or she needs people to be passengers! I particularly like the fact that the top deck comes out when necessary making it simple for tiny hands to get in and out of. At £20, this is an absolute bargain, one for any HappyLand collection and totally in keeping with this year’s ‘proud British feeling’!
Florence loving the bus, her present on my birthday! Her birthday’s on New Year’s Eve and everything comes at once so I think it’s a good treat for her to have a gift on my day too!
I obviously couldn’t leave Jimmy out and he had to have a present too so also from Early Learning Centre came this Linky Teether and Mirror set, £6. It comprises eight rings of different colours, textures and patterns that link together and form a chain to be dangled, chewed and looked in (as one has a mirror in the centre). This is suitable from birth and as Jimmy has started the teething dribbles already, the perfect gift for him! As you can see, he’s quite impressed!
Jimmy with his Linky Teether and Mirror set!
I think Florence was in her absolute element when we were at the preview for Early Learning Centre because she got to play with literally everything from their collection and there are so many great toys I’ll have to go into more detail in other posts but this was also one of our favourites. Having a Daddy as a musician it must be in the genes…
I love the way the microphone is attached to the cool glasses!
While Florence played with the toys I got to browse Mothercare’s latest and I came away not just impressed but falling over myself with how wonderful the new collections are! I’m not always wildly into ‘celebrity’ clothing ranges but the new one for Mothercare by Jools Oliver, the Little Bird collection is just so adorable! She was inspired by her own Mothercare clothes from the seventies, the ones she wore as a baby and passed on to her own children. This is something I have also done with my childhood clothes and I have to say that back in the day we had some beautiful items! I’m a big fan of ‘old fashioned’ and Jools has hit the nail on the head with her pretty and classic range, I can’t wait to show you!
Here’s Florence in a couple of my own old Mothercare dresses… Over 30 years old but still looking great! No wonder Jools was inspired!
As well as the new Little Bird collection from Jools there are oodles of new styles to choose from at Mothercare. I found out something brilliant… There is also going to be a range of clothes which will prove super value for money without skimping on quality! I’ve seen a sneaky peak of the range and I fell in love with the gorgeous dresses which start at just £8! You heard me right there by the way, I did say £8! They are still of the excellent quality you expect from the Mothercare brand and they still look absolutely beautiful with gorgeous floral dresses and wonderfully cool little t-shirts (which start at £2.50!!!!) but instead of having more costly appliqué and embroidery they are often use beautiful prints instead. I love the fact that the boys’ things look really interesting and not just your standard blue and green. I think it’s often easy to spend less on attractive girls’ clothes but more affordable boys’ ranges tend to be a bit boring or worse, tacky looking! Not the case here! Affordable boys’ clothing which looks great too… I’ll bring you more news and pictures as and when I have them!
Please see www.mothercare.com and www.elc.co.uk form more information on all the products and ranges I have talked about plus much more!
To kick my birthday weekend off we were lucky enough to be one of the first to get to see the new tour of The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Lyric Theatre in London’s West End. Judith Kerr wrote this amazing story in 1968 and the tale of the tiger who drank all of daddy’s beer and ate everything in the fridge has been captivating children’s imaginations ever since! I remember reading it with my Mummy when I was a little girl and I love the fact that unlike children’s television from my own era, story books have remained timeless. I wondered however, how on earth the story would translate onto stage and how 55 minutes could be made of it? I had been skeptical whether this would be possible while remaining true to the original story but possible it is for the production company sure have done an amazing job! I guess when I was imagining it I just wasn’t extending my imagination because little things from the book which are only touched on, such at the milkman having been and Daddy having his keys are delved more into on stage giving it a rounder story than on the page.
This super, expanded narrative coupled with some totally catchy numbers which the cast invite the audience to join in with pushes The Tiger Who came to Tea into a whole new world! The show is really very clever from the casting of the actors to the way the food disappears as the tiger consumes it! An awful lot of thought has been put into the set design and the minimalistic approach is both striking and effective. It’s lovely to have masses of scenery but in shows as well thought out and performed as this one, scenery is definitely a secondary element; whether it’s bath time, driving in the car, walking in the street or dining at the café, the fact that really we’ve remained in the house is neither here nor there for you simply won’t notice unless you’re specifically looking out for it.
Florence thought the show was simply brilliant. I don’t think she could quite believe the story we’ve read for weeks and weeks was coming to life before her very eyes and not only did Sophie look exactly the same as her illustration but (and more importantly) so did the tiger! She loved the way the tiger moved and was in raptures as we all did tiger dancing along with him when he discovered the radio in Sophie’s Mummy’s kitchen! ‘Shake your tail and pounce’ is a move we have taken home with us and been doing ever since! Florence wants to go back and see it again and frankly I can’t blame her! Take your children to see this classic tale presented in a very modern way indeed! We loved it and we think you will too!
We were lucky enough to meet some of the cast afterwards. Florence was thrilled to meet the Tiger, Sophie and her Mummy!
Jimmy and I couldn’t resist a picture either so we joined Florence for another one!
KW & NB Ltd present The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES. From Wednesday 4 July – Sunday 2 September 2012. For more information and to book tickets please contact the Box Office: 0844 412 4661 and see the website www.thetigerwhocametotealive.com For group bookings call: 0844 412 4650. TICKETS: £12.50*- £15.50* Premium Tickets £20*
SCHOOLS & GROUPS 10+: £9.50 Buy 10 tickets and get the 11th ticket FREE!
*plus 50p restoration levy. For more ticketing information please see www.nimaxtheatres.com.
Countdown to Lollibob!
5 weeks to go!
L is for Lollipalladium where lots of laughter will be had,
O is for Oh those Moshi Monsters are totally mad!
L is for Little Angel Theatre, what a lot of fun!
L is for Laughing at the Mad Hatter’s tea party in the sun!
I is for Itsy Bitsy Strictly dance floor moves,
B is for Bopping to Dick and Dom’s grooves!
O is for ‘Orrible Horrible Histories workshops,
P is for Partying until the day stops!
And what have we got? LOLLIBOP!
For more information and how to book tickets please see www.lollibopfestival.co.uk.
MY LIFE WITH 2! WEEK 10!
Despite it being my birthday (something I always look forward to) it’s not been a brilliant week really. Jonny was poorly, we argued a bit and the weather was rubbish… I’ve had my Mum here to help with the babies which has been a treat but I think turning 33 is going to be one to forget. Jonny started feeling really rough with a cold towards the end of our meal out on Saturday night and then wasn’t really very well over the whole weekend so we just didn’t do too much. It was a lovely meal though and I enjoyed a couple of cocktails! I felt completely confident leaving Jimmy with my Mum baby sitting yet I never would have done with Florence at the same age… Partly I’m more experienced and partly because he’s such a different baby as I said earlier. Either way, it’s good to know I have options this time and I might get to go out again soon… Who knows!
So apart from Jonny being poorly I think we’ve all been struck down with a bit of a cold, Florence has had sticky eyes, I’ve had a sore throat and my Mum’s now taking it back with her to Norwich. Jimmy’s still got his sniffles poor thing but he doesn’t complain. I took him for his first set of inoculations this week and although he cried when the injections went in he recovered ever so quickly and had a really good night. He usually sleeps from around 9pm until 3am and then another 3 hours after a quick feed! What a lovely baby he is my boy!
Me, my Mum, Florence and Jimmy on my birthday!
Me enjoying a cocktail on my birthday night out!
When Florence was a baby we had a rather dull looking play gym which I had bought whilst pregnant thinking it would blend in with our furniture. I hadn’t realised that it would in fact bore her as it was in no way exciting! She was around 12 weeks old when she had her first modelling job and in the Green room was an amazing play gym which I noticed made her just light up with glee. With some of the money I earned that day (it was a job we both worked on together) I immediately went out and bought the exact same one for her because I realised how stimulated and excited she was when she was playing on it. It was brightly coloured, had music and lights and what’s more, it wasn’t garish and it did in fact look just as appealing in our house as the muted one I’d initially bought, the only difference being that it was also, first and foremost, designed with the babies needs in mind and boy did she love it! It was made by a company called Tiny Love and there started my love affair with their products!
Before Christmas I was lucky enough to test out and review some other Tiny Love baby toys but of course I didn’t have a newborn then so I felt it only right to get them all out as soon as Jimmy was born and give the Tiny Love range another review! I’m so glad I have because I am making their Gymini Move and Play play gym my ‘Newborn Product of the Week’! Of course this is the second play gym made by Tiny Love that I have witnessed a child loving as they grow. It’s entirely different to the one we had for Florence but just as with that one (The Gymini Kick and Play) this one does not disappoint when it comes to enjoyment for the little ones!
We got the gym out from day one and Jimmy has been playing on it ever since. Looking at things is the only way a baby can wear himself out so why would he want to look at muted colours and nothing much in particular at all? Well he wouldn’t and thankfully our baby doesn’t have to. This play gym is a kaleidoscope of glorious colours and animal friends hanging and bopping about above him as well as teethers, a big mirror, rattles and a friendly plastic monkey in the middle which when pulled can start the music and giggles depending on which setting you have it on. The central flower has light up discs on each petal, baby view side of course! On top of the flower are the controls which can be set to play music constantly or have giggling, music and other sounds as and when baby touches and pulls the monkey. I especially like the fact that you can control the sound level and have it on very quietly (not that Florence ever really lets me leave it on quiet – she firmly believes her baby brother likes full volume)! The arches are brilliant because when Jimmy was first born and couldn’t see very far we could position the central flower so that the arches were closer to him bringing the characters nearer to his point of vision. As he has grown we have moved the arches up so that everything is a little bit higher for him. As with the gym Florence played with the corners popper up making the gym a little enclosed. This is great because although Jimmy is not yet rolling (although he is ever so nearly) he does move all over the place and the poppers ensure a little wall keeps him inside the mat area. I un-pop them for him to have more to look at when we give him tummy time which he enjoys too! On the floor of the gym are jungle pictures and lots more to feel and do. The giraffe has a fuzzy mane and tail while there is a zebra tab to pull and crinkly material to squish! So much for him to see and do either on his tummy or his back!
One of the best features for me is that it’s easy to wipe clean and just using a wet wipe it is no hassle to wipe away any thing that gets on the mat, dribble etc! It’s also not imposing but is big enough for Jimmy to not just play and enjoy a little bit but it gives him masses to explore. Having used Tiny Love play gyms for both my children I don’t think I could choose a different brand for my own babies. They tick all the boxes and this one, the Gymini Move and Play is perfect! Take a look at Jimmy enjoying playing with and without his sister who has also rekindled her love of the Tiny Love range since having a baby brother – well she doesn’t like to miss out!
Jimmy AND Florence enjoy the gym when he was 10 days old!
At 8 weeks Jimmy’s learning his sister is a bit bossy! Here she is having made them both a bed under the gym, showing him what’s what!
Ten weeks and Jimmy finally gets a go on his own! I love to watch him kick about.
And enjoys some tummy time! Florence did tummy time on her gym from a very early age too and I’m sure it helped her crawl at 5 and a half months!
0m+, £64.99, Find out more about all Tiny Love products please see their website www.tinylove.com.
Now, just before we go I must tell you about The Baby Show (we love it) coming to Manchester! From 31st August – 2nd September. Our favourite place to buy everything baby related with masses of discounts will be heading north to spread a bit of fabulous! Wanna go? Feeling lucky? Why not enter my competition below to bag yourself one of three sets of tickets I’m giving away!
WIN tickets to The Baby Show Manchester
The must go to event for parents and parents to be
The UK’s leading baby and parenting show is coming to Manchester this August and to celebrate, The Baby Show is teaming up with Rocknrollerbaby to offer you the chance to win tickets to this essential event on 31st August – 2nd September at EventCity, Manchester.
The Baby Show in association with Made for Mums and sponsored by Fisher-Price is the perfect place to visit for all parents and parents-to-be who want to find the latest maternity and nursery products on the market – all from the very best UK and international brands! The show will feature 200 must-have brands including Fisher-Price, Babies R Us, Mamas & Papas, and Mothercare, as well as niche and designer products. Visitors will be able to enjoy special offers, great entertainment and hear from baby care experts all in one place. What’s more, EventCity, Manchester offers first class first facilities and has over 3000 FREE car parking spaces.
The Baby Show also boasts expert speakers on hand to give support, guidance and advice to all visitors, including midwives from Channel 4’s award-winning show ‘One Born Every Minute’ and baby food and nutrition expert Annabel Karmel. The Baby Show has become an essential event in all parents’ calendars and has also attracted a celebrity following with stars including Una Healy, Stacey Solomon and Chantelle Houghton spotted searching for the best products at earlier shows this year!
With everything in one place and with the added bonus of exclusive offers and expert advice, you’ll find everything you need without the stress of the high street! For more information, visit www.thebabyshow.co.uk
For the chance to get your hands on FREE tickets for The Baby Show in Manchester, simply enter by emailing me at [email protected] with Manchester Baby Show in the title and your name and address in the email by Wednesday 8th August.
See you back here the week after next. I’m not writing my usual post next week as will be on holiday for a few days but I’ll pop a little something different up until the week after!
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.)