Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Millie's first swim!

Talking to a few Mummy friends recently I realised that Millie at 5months has not been swimming! I am sure Chester went swimming at around 4months so was feeling a bit guilty! Anyway me and a couple of other Mummys arranged to take our babies to Faversham swimming pool. It is fairly local and none of us had been there before. The other 2 babies had been swimming lots before as they both have swimming lessons. Whilst I have nothing against them having swimming lessons, I never did it with Chester so didnt want to do it with Millie.

I was a little nervous on how she would be in the pool so on Sunday I went to a local bootfair and managed to get her one of those baby swim rings for the bargain price of £1! Although this later proved to be a pointless purchase as I didnt use it at all! I mean it will prob come in handy when we go to Center Parcs but thats about it I think!

This is Millie before getting in the pool............

Yes I know she is a chunky!!!

and this is her after 40mins in the pool.........

She was so exhausted that she fell asleep before I even got to dry her!!! She is such a chilled out baby.

So clearly she loved the swim, and it was a very nice pool (even if the changing area was a bit dated). It was lovely weather and they have 3 outdoor pools which we a nice temperature so we took the babies in one of those first, Millie laughed on the way round the lazy river! We then went inside and the toddler pool was lovely, it was warm and perfect depth for us Mummies to sit and bob our babies in the water! I dunked Millie under 3 times and she came up smiling, so no doubt she will be a water baby just like her big brother.

All in all I am very pleased I took her and cant wait to go again!! But for now she will have to sit and watch Chester tomorrow in his swim lesson.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Totally awesome day!

Today has been one of those fab days where everything has gone right and everyone behaved! The only thing I am sad about is the fact I was so busy having fun that I forgot to take any pictures (very unlike me!).

Chester will be 4 in September and he has been on the waiting list for swimming lessons at our local pool for ages, so when the swimming teacher rang last week to say she had a space for him I was over the moon!

Today was the day he had his first lesson! I was so excited for him but nervous at the same time. He can be a little monkey when he wants to be, so I had visions of him just doing his own thing and generally being a monkey.

But, to my surprise he was so well behaved! There were 5 other children and one of them he knows from Nursery School so I think that helped. It was Chester's first time without armbands so I was a little worried about that, but I needn't of worried as he was very confident (apart from when he was on his back). Yes a couple of times he was told off by the teacher (what a surprise!) but for the majority of the half hour he was great, listening to the teacher and doing as he was told. Such a proud Mummy moment!

Because it was his first week I had decided to let Craig's Nan and Aunt look after Millie as I wanted to give Chester my full attention. Even though I have missed her loads, I am so glad I decided to do this. Me and Chester have had some much needed mother and son time.

So after Swimming we grabbed some lunch from Sainsburys and had a picnic in a nearby park. They have a big car in there so me and Chester had lots of fun pretending we were driving to Peter Pans house! Peter Pan is Chesters new hero, I am sure it will change again by next week!

The because the weather was still so nice (I know, unbelievable in this country right?!) we would take a trip to the Seaside. We are lucky that we only live 15mins away from the nearest seaside, although I am annoyed that I only worked this out last year even though we have lived where we do for 6years. Even more annoying was that today was the first time we have ever visited it!

Its a pebble beach but does also have some sand, so we did manage to make a sand castle or two! Then we wandered further down and I noticed there was a big sand based play area, Chester loved it and made me go on everything with him including a 'pirate ship'! Then on the way back to the car I noticed a small water park area so we popped in to look. Now I had no intention of letting Chester go in it because I didnt have any spares or his swim stuff with me. But before I knew it he had taken his shoes and socks off and was in the water fully clothed! ARGH!!!!!!!!! Anyone who knows Chester would not be surprised by this at all. We then had to take the walk back to the car with Chester just wearing his pants, I was so embarrassed, much to Chester's amusement. He didnt stop laughing all the way back! Luckily when we got back I had some spare shorts and t shirt in the car so that made it slightly better.

We then headed home and made some Thomas Tank cupcakes. Perfect end to a (almost) perfect day.

I love it when we have days like this, I didnt even need to use Chester's monkey reins he was so good and we had such a laugh. We will both sleep very well tonight I think!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Cereal Toys!

Ok, I cant be the only person that misses the toys out of the Cereal boxes?! I know I am a big kid at heart and probably get more excited than my kids at most things, but has anyone else wondered what has happened to the cereal toys?!

This thought all started the other day whilst I was food shopping, I was browsing the cereals and in typical Sammie style was looking for the best offer. Then I came across the Coco Pops, they weren't on offer BUT they had a free toy so into the trolley they went! I am deffo the sort of person who the cereal companies aim this sort of thing at! I am normally a really good moneysaver but when it comes to childhood memories that all goes out of the window!

To be honest the free 'toy' is not really something that would excite my children, its more aimed at adults as it is a clip to keep the cereal fresh! Never the less I am happy with it!

So all the way home I was thinking back to my Childhood and all the super cool toys my and my sister used to argue over in the cereal boxes! We must of cost our parents a fortune, but I guess that is the manufacturers aim?! Things that stick out most in my mind are the bike reflectors and wheel spokes they were awesome to a 7 and 4 year old! I also remember the circle toys (I think from Shreddies) you threw them at the window/wall and they stuck. I cant remember what they were called but I remember being the envy of the playground because I had a gold one haha! How about colour changing spoons?! Does anyone remember them?! I remember having a Frankenstein one I think?

It got me thinking so much I rummaged through my childhood box and came across these:

The tweety is from early 90's I don't remember it so I think it is possibly my sisters. I have got a couple of the meteor particle cards, I remember getting them and thinking it was super cool to have a piece of a meteor! The footballer is from Euro2000 and the Randle from Monsters Inc I am not sure on a date but again I think it must be my sisters?!

Saving the best until last I also found this from 1991: 

Tony the tiger on a skateboard!!!! 

Why is it so rare to see toys in cereal packs nowadays? Surely if it was to discourage kids from eating sugary cereal they could put them in non sugary cereals? But at the end of the day I let my son have a variety of cereal some sugary some not, balance is what is key here. 

I cant help but think that my kiddies are going to miss out on a staple childhood memory!! I mean Chester is 3 and he would love some spokes and reflectors for his bike, in fact I think it would encourage him to use it more often and that cant be a bad thing can it?

So come on then what cereal toys to you remember as a child, I would love to know!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

First struggle with one blue one pink!

This week has been a pretty bad one, on Sunday I started to feel a bit 'weird' and then on Monday I managed to have a full blown sickness bug. Infact it was the worst sickness bug I have EVER had! I think what partly made it worse was that I was trying to look after my 2 children at the same time! Luckily when I first got the bug Chester was at nursery School and Millie was asleep, but I then had to think about how I was going to pick Chester up. I mean how was I going to leave the house?!!

We live about 45mins/1hour away from any family so its not like I can just call my Mum and say can you just nip out of work to pick Chester up! Craig was at work (45mins away) and unfortunately he cant just down tools and come home. So I resorted to shameless begging on facebook, to ask if anyone locally could pick him up!! One of our friends kindly said he could but his son needed to be picked up just after and I didn't think it was fair to be late for his son. So in the end I agreed with the Nursery to pick Chester up an hour early so I could just sneak into the car park, park as close to the door as possible and get him! (the story of the parking at Chester's Nursery School is a rant for another day!)

I felt so so bad, Chester was sobbing all the way home because he wanted to still be with his friends! He was even more upset when we got home and he realised I had set up camp upstairs!! Luckily Millie was not phased, I mean I felt guilty for putting her in her crib when it was not nap time but she was happy 'talking' to herself and her bunny!

My Sister then rang to see how I was, I think she could tell from my voice how ill I felt so said that she (and her boyfriend) would come over straight away to have Chester for us. I felt so guilty that they were driving all the way over here, but at the same time I was so relieved! I told Chester who was over the moon! My Sister is excellent with both of my children, she adores them (they adore her back) and it shows. Chester was by this point already packing his own bag (thanks Chester!) he was so excited to be having a sleep over with them, so that was a big relief that he was happy! In fact he got in their car without even saying bye! The little monkey!

By now it was only a couple of hours until hubbie was home so I slept as much as Millie would let me. Credit to Craig he was fab when he got home and just let me rest.

The next morning I was aching so much I couldn't even pick Millie up! I was so upset about this. Luckily Craigs Nan said she would look after Millie for the day so I had a day of complete rest and then Craig picked up the children on the way home.

Although I felt better I still did not feel 100 percent, I mean its Thursday now and I am still not feeling myself! But it was my first real struggle with 2 children! I feel sad that I could not cope and they had to be shipped to other relatives but at the same time very thankful that I have those other relatives who are happy to help!

Anyway.... onwards and upwards, I have Chester's 1st swimming lesson to look forward too next week!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Growing up to fast

*Sad face * Yesterday was a very sad day for me...... Millie, at the age of 17weeks has outgrown the carry cot mode of her pushchair.

Some mums might think why is she upset about this? Crazy lady!! But here are my reasons to be sad:

When Chester was a baby I was always looking for the next thing, so was thrilled when he was out of carrycot mode, thrilled when he rolled over and thrilled when he crawled. But I feel that because of this I rushed the baby stage of his life and now it is all a bit of a blur to me. Thank goodness for me obsessive picture taking!!

So with Millie I really want to step back and enjoy the baby stage much more. Already I feel she is growing up to fast. So yesterday when I squished her in the carrycot mode for the last time I realised I had taken it too far! I mean her shoulders we touching the sides and her feet at the end!!

So last night I converted the pushchair into 'grown up baby' mode (I got very stroppy with it I have to say! My back was really hurting by the end of it, but that is my own fault for mislaying the instructions!)

Yes she does look cute in 'grown up baby' mode and I am lucky that my pushchair enables me to still face her (I couldn't with Chester's one) but even so I am still sad. Thank goodness she still fits in the crib, I will be distraught the day she has to move into her own room!!!!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Review of the Coocoose by Coochi

Wow! We have just had a really stress free, non back breaking bath time!! I was recently sent the Coocoose by Coochi to review (for Mummy News), I had heard about this product before and was very eager to try it out. For those of you that have not heard of it, the Coocoose is basically a towel that is worn like an apron. The idea is that you can wear it like an apron whilst bathing your child and then wrap it around the child when you lift them out of the bath, making it easier and safer to be hands free at bath time! 

The Coocoose comes in a drawstring bag, perfect for taking with you on trips away. I tested how easy it is to fold to fit back into the bag several times and it is easy and it does all fit back in! The Coocoose is made of 100% cotton and is very soft! I put it through the wash on a normal 40 degrees before using it and it was still very soft and fluffy.

The Coocoose fastens around you using poppers, so its great for everyone to use. One size fits all. I did however encounter a problem with the poppers, I put the Coocoose around my neck (fastened that with the correct popper) then fastened with the poppers around my waist. But on doing this the popper detached itself from the Coocoose, on closer inspection I could see it was obviously not very well attached compared to the other poppers. I then pulled at all of the other poppers and did them up/undone them and I believe it was a one off fault.

Once I had popperd myself up we were ready to go! So Millie was happy splashing about laying on her bath seat and I was happy because I was protected from the splashes with the Coocoose! 

Normally when it comes to bath time the routine is bath Millie lay a towel out on the floor, get her out, lay her on the towel, wrap her up and lift her up. Now my back is not good at the best of times so doing this normal bath time routine certainly makes it worse! So today I unpopped the back of the apron and lifted her straight onto me, wrapped the towel around her and then went and sat on my bed with her still wrapped up on me! It was so so much easier and put a lot less strain on my back. The Coocoose has got a hood in one of the corners and it is easy to pull that corner up first and place onto her head. When I wanted to lay her on the bed to get her dressed I simply unpopped the popper that was on the top part of the apron around my neck, layed her on the bed still wrapped in her towel! I found that the water on Millie was absorbed really quickly but at the same time the towel was not soaking wet!

I also have a 3 year old son, Chester. So when he had his bath a little later on I put the Coocoose around me and again stayed dry. When he got out of the bath I wrapped the Coocoose around him (obviously kneeling down, picking him up really would break my back haha) and he really loved having this Mummy cuddle after bath time! There was plenty of towel to cover him and again he dried off really quickly. All I did differently with the Coocoose for him was have the top part of the apron on a looser fastening.

On the Coocoose website it lists the following as perfect features, I will put my thoughts on each of these points next to them: 

100% pure soft cotton - Yes, I agree very very soft even after washing.
Extra large, 140x140 cm, about 80 cm more than the usual sizes found in the market  - Again I agree, my son is a tall 3 year old and he was very cosy wrapped up in it!
Perfect for moms and dads - Yes, there are a few poppers to choose from when doing up the Coocoose 
Pre-warmed by your body - Yes, the Coocoose was lovely and warm ready for both of my children, nether appeared to be cold when wrapped up in it.
Easy to fit and use - Yes very easy, does not need any instructions.
Comforts your baby quickly and pleasantly - Yes, perfect cuddle opportunity's, reassuring baby that you are close and everything is ok!
Keeps both your hands free for safe and calm bathing - Yes, it allows you to pick up baby with both hands and then wrap baby when they are safely close to you.
Protects you from splashes - Most definitely! My two certainly know how to splash and I was kept dry!  
Adjustable - Yes easy to adjust
Ultra-absorbent - Yes, very and the towel was not really wet afterwards.
Quick drying - Very.

The Coocoose retails at £24.99 and I would say that was a reasonable price, when you consider all of the points above and that it lasts from birth to toddler (and beyond in my opinion!), it also allows bath time to be a lot less stressful! 

So in conclusion, would I buy one YES!! My hubbie works long hours so I often have to do bath time by myself, the Coocoose has made this less daunting, it is much less strain on my back and it is fab for my cuddly children! Would I recommend it? YES! It is a must have product! It will last a long time, and you can take it with you on holiday! 

Friday, 4 May 2012

Shrek The Musical!

A little while ago I was lucky enough to win a family ticket to Shrek the Musical. If im honest it would of never entered my head to take Chester to the theatre before winning this as he is a very 'full on' little boy! So him sitting still for longer than 5mins is very rare!

As Millie is far to little for the theatre (yet again) she had to miss out! So we decided to take Chester and our friends son who is 12. Chester was very excited about going, I had shown him the trailer on the shrek website and he was glued to it!

We made it into a treat trip and once we got to Charring Cross we stopped in Burger King so that Chester and my friends son could have some dinner. Another thing for Chester to be excited about! We then walked round to the theatre, picked up the tickets and brought Chester some Shrek ears that he asked for (but wouldn't wear grrrr). As is always the case with these places the souvenirs were very over priced, the shrek ears were £7! Luckily Chester already has Gingey and donkey soft toys so we did not have any tantrums about those!

We were very lucky that the seats that had been booked for us were in a great spot, perfect for seeing the stage. Our seats were M16-19 Stalls and I would totally recommend that row, we were very central and have a really clear view of the stage.

I will not go into details about the show as I would not want to spoil it, what I will say though is that it is absolutely fantastic and if you get the chance to see it, go! Kimberly Walsh was playing Princess Fiona and she did a fab job, Lord Farquaad was also brilliant to watch, fantastic acting and singing. In fact the whole cast were superb! I have seen lots of west end theatre shows and this one really is one of the best I have seen, the props etc were really well thought out.

Chester was glued to it almost all of the way through, I was so proud of him! Yes there were a couple of moments when he was getting tired and fidgety but he didnt cause us (or the rest of the audience!) any problems. He finally fell asleep on the train after walking back to Charring Cross. We finally got home (after dropping off our friends son and picking up Millie) just after 1am! So needless to say we are all shattered today! Chester still insisted on going to Nursery School this morning though and has been talking away about the show all day!