- September 24th, 2011
I’m eight weeks pregnant now and not at all relaxing and putting my feet up as I’d like! I had a few days at my Mum’s which was amazing cause it meant I was totally able to indulge myself and sleep during the day, whereas now we’re back home I’m back to having to do the daily chores whenever there’s a spare minute! My tiredness I guess has not been helped by the fact that Florence had a tummy bug and was up in the night for three nights in a row being sick. This left me with multiple wash loads of bedding, clothe changes (for me – I’m always the sick target of choice it would seem) and middle of the night comforting duties… Poor little thing but at least she’s on the mend now and we’re back at groups after the summer at last! I love going to groups but I don’t like some of the people I have to encounter, some Mummies are just so rude… You’d think by the time women grow up, get married and have children that there would no longer be any bitchiness but it would appear that where there are women there is always going to be some of that! I’m not innocent, I can bitch with the best of them but I don’t like to make people feel bad and sometimes that is exactly what the ‘Mummy Mafia’ can do!
We’ve all heard of ‘The Mummy Mafia’ and I have to say the stories in popular chick lit couldn’t be truer… Just like when we were school girls us Mummies get into our gangs! At school there was The In Crew, The Geeks, The Sporty lot etc. As Mummies the groups tend to be ‘The Yummy Mummies’, ‘The Slummy Mummies’ and ‘The Militant Earth Mummies’ amongst others… I suspect I have a bit of all of them in me? These divided groups just don’t seem to happen with men… For example; when at school my husband was one of the stars of his school football team. This propelled him to the very top of the status pile and everyone, no matter what group they were in knew his name. Of course he never knew this fact or had even thought about it until I informed him years later. I’m sure the girls in his select little group had no misgivings about their place in school society however, doing their level best to make anyone not ‘like them’ feel rubbish! I think when growing up you kind of expect not to have to encounter such divide but unfortunately now I am a grown woman I still notice these groups forming and know exactly who I am in with and who I am not. Just like at school the men wouldn’t have a clue, would talk to anyone (as all the husbands do despite their wives giving them the evil eye if they say hello to the wrong Mummy) and would only know of differences by their wives informing them. Does it bother me that I don’t seem to be in with the In Crew? Well, not really?! These days the ‘In Crew’ of my social scene seems to be some particularly high and mighty mothers who I know talk about me but wouldn’t dare say anything to my face and I think if you haven’t got the guts to say something to someone yourself and can only whisper behind their backs then you’re not worth knowing… Thankfully this isn’t school and I don’t want to be ‘In’ so much that I would compromise the way I do things but it does make me feel a bit sad. I think I confuse these high and mighty Mummies because on the one hand I breast feed, carry my baby in a sling and dish out organic snacks but on the other I have been known to pop into McDonalds, drink more than 2 glasses of vino (when not pregnant of course!) and shock horror voice my opinion loudly when I don’t agree… Well, whatever, I’m gonna keep smiling when I see them in a silent two finger salute, it’s their loss! I’m a great person to be friends with and I suspect they know that too really otherwise why talk about me so much?! I’m sure they would never admit it even to themselves but they do seem to enjoy getting off on making other people feel bad and while I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t do that I’m just not going to let it get to me so much that I withdraw and don’t go to those groups! If they don’t like me they can leave! Stuff em! I’ll just have to talk to their husbands! instead!!
To get back onto a springier vibe I should tell you about my time in Norfolk because in between having afternoon snoozes we did have some lovely day trips. Two of these were to two different Sea Life Centre’s in Norfolk. The first one we visited with Jonny’s cousin and her son was in Hunstanton and is actually a seal sanctuary as well… Hunstanton is a beautiful setting and although a long trip out of Norwich taking about an hour and twenty minutes in the car, it was well worth the drive because as well as having a fabulous beach the actual Sea Life Centre was a real treat. As soon as we arrived the receptionist made us feel welcome and was chatting away to us about the centre. When she found out I was there to review the sanctuary she didn’t even bat an eye lid and carried on talking to us like we were old friends which showed this was just her disposition and in fact as we met more staff throughout our trip it seemed to us that everyone was personable and friendly and really enjoying their job. Everyone was really knowledgeable and more than willing to answer questions and help. The actual sanctuary was interesting and fun with lots of interactive things to look at such as star fish and crabs which we were allowed to touch. We went to the Shark tank to listen to a talk about them and although our children were a little young for that particular activity it was done in a really child friendly, informative way. Outside they have a hospital where you can visit recently rescued sick animals and it’s lovely to see them getting better; also there are seal, otter and penguin enclosures. Florence still thinks penguins are ducks which is odd? We loved seeing them get fed and we enjoyed spending time at the sanctuary. We thought the food area was really nice and we had some chips which were delicious and very reasonably priced, in fact, quite cheap! We had taken a picnic and there was absolutely no problem with us eating inside the restaurant even though we had not purchased the food on the premises which was a nice touch I thought. Also, before leaving its worth noting that there is a terrific play area with a pirate ship which our little ones enjoyed immensely. All in all Hunstanton got the thumbs up from us and at £13.20 for an adult, £10.20 for a child or £42 for a family of four we thought it was worth the money. Especially worth it if you download the voucher for £3 off per ticket on their website www.sealsanctuary.co.uk.
Later on in the week we visited the Sea Life Centre in Great Yarmouth and while it was pleasant and we had a fairly nice time, I have to say it wasn’t a patch on the one in Hunstanton which was a shame considering they are both part of the same group. The staff, whilst polite and nice just weren’t anywhere near as good at customer service at those in Hunstanton and when they found out we’d been to that one earlier on in the week were quite scathing about what I would consider their sister sanctuary? It was all a bit odd… True the shark tank was more impressive and the Penguin enclosure was bigger and more expensive looking but the atmosphere just wasn’t as nice. Florence and I went with my sister in law and my 6 month old baby nephew who I was convinced after Hunstanton would have loads to look at and be really interested in but the fish in the tanks in Great Yarmouth were mainly grey… It was ok, that’s all I can say about it I’m afraid but when it comes to the extras aside from the actual sanctuary there wasn’t a lot good to say at all… There was a big sign stating that only food bought on the premises could be eaten at the tables which didn’t really leave many options? The food in Great Yarmouth didn’t look or smell anywhere near as appealing as it had done in Hunstanton and yet we had no where to eat our picnic. We would have had to come out of the sanctuary and gone to the beach, fine in the summer but what about if it’s raining? We eventually ate our packed lunch sitting in the outside bit of the café, still not allowed but we kept it under wraps and luckily no one noticed. There is no outdoor play area here but there is an indoor soft play centre. It was smelly and tired looking but I suppose is better than nothing. Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre, like Great Yarmouth seemed full off brass and bright lights, lots of little £1.00 slot rides to tempt the children and trinkets such as build your own artistic sand jar. There were far too many add ons for money as far as I’m concerned and by contrast at Hunstanton there were few. The price here is £14.40 for an adult, £10.80 for a child and £43 or a family of four ticket. More expensive but not nearly as nice, what a shame… www.visitsealife.com/Great-Yarmouth
I have actually been to the ‘London Aquarium Sea Life Centre’ www.visitsealife.com/london and it was really nice here too. Much the same vibe as in Hunstanton so I am presuming that Great Yarmouth is the exception not the rule and I can recommend going to Sea Life Centres in general, just not the one in Great Yarmouth… There are lots of them all over the country and I have spoken to people who have been to them in Brighton and at the one in Chessington World of Adventures and they both said they had a similar time to us in Hunstanton so I think I can say it’s worth a visit and very little ones should enjoy the colourful fish too… It’s not cheap but like I said there are lots of offers on their various different websites and if you happen to buy a Merlin Annual Pass, a must for the day trip lover then you can go to as many ‘Sea Life Centres’ as you like as often as you like as well as a whole host of other attractions for as little as £96.12 p/p (terms and conditions apply). We’re actually off to another ‘Merlin’ attraction this week when we descend upon Legoland in Windsor… Come back next week and we’ll let you know how we got on…
In other news firstly I have to tell you about this latest amazing deal from www.savvymummies.co.uk, the daily deal site especially for mums! Shhhhh, cause it’s a bit of a secret but to give you a heads up it’s worth knowing that on the 26th September they are having an exclusive sale of Carly Daly Children’s Wall Art! Savvy Mummys is offering its members a £20 voucher to spend at www.carladaly.co.uk for just £9 – that’s 55% off! Carla Daly produces high quality art at affordable prices with a gorgeous collection including wall growth charts, door signs, children’s wall stickers, personalised nursery art and nursery pictures for your children’s bedrooms. Simply log onto the Savvy Mummys website to register and then you can purchase your voucher for this must-have children’s wall art! You can redeem it on line at Carla Daly’s website and what’s more, delivery is FREE to anywhere in the UK!
While we’re on the shopping topic I’d better let you in on another little gem I’ve found this week! I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party of some new applications designed by Mindshapes. The companies core philosophy is that learning should be made fun and I have to agree! If you’ve ever been stuck on a long car journey with your children then you will know how important it is to keep them occupied in the back and since technology has moved on as far as it has there really is no need for long laborious games of ‘I Spy’ anymore! Even your toddlers will be entertained and like I said, it’s not just entertainment for each app also has an educational quality! A bit like disguising the fruit with chocolate! Mindshapes have created a whole host of applications that have been designed The one in particular that we liked (although they were all pretty fab) is called Hickory Dickory Dock and is cleverly designed to help teach your child to tell the time with the help of a friendly little mouse. Hickory Dickory Dock will stimulate and engage young minds as they explore the clock and play the mini-games made to develop specific skills. Combining a lovable character, memorable sound effects and detailed animations, this app is an exciting adventure that will improve cognitive development and give early exposure to the concept of telling the time.
James Peak, Mindshapes education manager, states: ‘Learning to tell the time is a challenging concept for some young children. We’ve brought the familiarity of a favourite nursery rhyme plus an adorable mouse to help make learning to tell the time for some young children more approachable and fun’.
Well we loved it. Florence is probably a bit too young at 21 months to be telling the time yet but we think it’s an excellent opener to it and she loved just playing around with it! It would certainly keep her occupied in the car and if the concept of telling the time and subsequently the art of it is absorbed then that would just be a bonus surely! Now to the small matter of acquiring an ipad! The new Hickory Dickory Dock app is available from iTunes and priced at the staggeringly good value of just £1.99. For more details log onto www.mindshapes.com.
And so to my competition news and I have an exciting new one for you but first the news we’ve all been waiting for… The winner of the ‘Trunkisaurus Chums’ prize. I asked you to send me your best children’s joke and here in the Rocknrollerbaby household we have agreed that the winner hands down is Su Reid from Glasgow with her joke: ‘What did one wall say to the other wall?’ ‘I’ll meet you at the corner’! Certainly made us chuckle! Congrats Su, Trunkisaurus chums winging their way to you! If you still don’t know what the word Trunkisaurus means you really need to watch this!
And for the next exciting competition read on! If you’re in charge of a Peppa Pig fan then this will be a treat not to be missed!
Win Family Fun at Peppa Pig’s new theatre tour
Peppa Pig fans will not want to miss this! Rocknrollerbaby and the producers of Peppa Pig’s brand new theatre tour, Peppa Pig’s Treasure Hunt, are delighted to offer 1 lucky winner a family ticket to see the show at the theatre of their choice. For a full tour list please go to www.peppapiglive.com A family ticket is for 4 people, minimum 1 adult.
In this new theatre production Peppa Pig and her friends set off on a treasure hunt. Peppa, her brother George and friend Danny Dog get up to fun and games on a day out on Grandad Dog’s boat. There are clues aplenty as Pedro Pony, Polly Parrot and Zoe Zebra help them find their treasure as they all enjoy a day of adventure. Peppa Pig’s Treasure Hunt features true-to-life puppets, perfect sing-along songs and a new story that will charm and delight all her fans. Full sail! Ahoy!
Entrants should state their venue and performance time choice but should note that tickets are subject to availability. No cash alternatives, accommodation or travel are provided in this competition. The tickets are non-transferable.
Peppa Pig’s Treasure Hunt is produced by Fiery Angel and Limelight Productions.
Peppa Pig © Astley Baker Davies Ltd / E1 Entertainment Ltd 2003.
Q: What’s the name of Peppa Pig’s young brother?
Send your answer to the question above, venue and time choice and contact details to [email protected] by midnight on 12th October 2011 to be in with a chance of bagging this great prize!
MY PREGNANCY DIARY WEEK 8
I have been really lucky and assigned the same midwife I had when I was pregnant with Florence and I couldn’t be happier because she’s totally and utterly fabulous. I know so many people who don’t get to see the same midwife twice and I really think it makes one hell of a difference. Especially when they’re as good as this one… I had been sent a form stating that my dating scan was set for this Friday 23rd September which just didn’t make sense because I’m only 8 weeks. I knew if I was to call them I’d never get through to the right person but my midwife, who came to see me at my house for my first booking appointment sorted it all out for me and I’m now booked to go in for the scan on the 25th October, how exciting! I can’t wait to see the little heart beat and outline of our next baby. It was so wonderful, that moment when we first saw Florence and this time we’ll have her with us to see her new baby brother or sister for herself and I can’t wait! To be honest apart from the tiredness I don’t feel much different, I have the odd wave of nausea but that is getting less and less and my tummy, rather alarmingly is ALREADY starting to show a small swelling but apart from that I’m feeling fine… I’ll be happy to get the first trimester over and done with and the tiredness out of the way but I know so many people that have it far worse than I do! I have been thinking about exercising and not over indulging too much this time… I put on nearly 4 stone with Florence and when I got pregnant this time was still nearly a stone over what I was before I had her so I really don’t want to end up 2 stone heavier than I was originally… I’m going to do the pregnancy yoga DVD that Jonny bought me last time and I never took out of the cellophane – whoops! And I’m going to try and eat really healthily despite my cravings for inappropriate food like McDonald’s and crisps… Last time I had a need for chocolate which engulfed me and I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that doesn’t happen again because it was my total undoing! So this is going to be my uber healthy pregnancy! I’m not finding it hard to give up alcohol, I just don’t feel like it and I certainly wont be smoking whilst pregnant (not that I do it often enough to miss it anyway) but I just want to try and have a real Zen pregnancy with nothing bad hitting my system at all… Saying that I still want to look nice and make sure I do things like paint my nails, something I can control about my appearance. It’s worrying though when there are so many question marks over using things like nail polish because of the chemicals. Last time I stopped highlighting my hair because of the doubts that raises. I’ve never started again actually and am beginning to get used to my darker strawberry blonde tresses as opposed to my slick salon honeyed shine… (I wouldn’t be able to afford the up keep now anyway!) So, with chemicals in mind it was great to have found ‘Andrea Fulerton’s Peel Off Nail Polish’ in my local branch of ‘Superdrug’. I tried the colour called Assunta but there are a few to choose from and they’re all really funky! The best bit is they are solvent free meaning for pregnant women there’s no worry and because when you’re done with the colour you just have to peel it off there’s no need to use nail varnish remover which removes the need for more chemicals! The polish is advertised as a rich intense nail colour that dries quickly with a high shine and we tend to agree. It goes on pretty easily too! The best bit about it for me though is the fact I can put it on Florence; she’s been itching to have nail polish like Mummy for ages! We can have an afternoon of dress up in the house and if I make sure she has a bath within 2 – 3 hours of application (as the bottle suggests not to if you want it to stay on) then it all just washes off in her bath and she doesn’t even notice saving the tears when it would be time to take it off! It’s my pregnancy product of the week and I love it! It’s priced at a really great £4.99 and can be found on the high street in Superdrug stores nationwide and some stockists on the internet.