I can’t believe how quickly the month is disappearing, and next weekend sees the second bank holiday of the month, for us this can only mean one thing. Geronimo Festival! For more details visit the official Geronimo website here.
It’s our first time visiting Geronimo and we couldn’t be more excited. Geronimo is on at Tatton Park on 29th and 30th May (Sunday 29th now sold out) It’s going to be a spectacular, jam packed, family fun day aimed at families with children up to the age of 12. My two boys are 4 and 2, they are massive CBeebies fans so we’ll be getting to the main stage in plenty of time to see all their favourite characters including Cook & Line from Swashbuckle and Andy Day and Mr Bloom. This week I’m excited to announce that for fans visiting on Monday you will be able to see the Bafta award nominated Dick & Dom too! As well as the main stage shows there are lots and lots of other activities going on throughout the day including a circus skills workshop, jousting, live theatre shows and a zip wire! Each area of Geronimo will be packed with things to do and see.
Tickets for Geronimo are still onside and are priced £25 each with under 2’s going free and can be bought direct from the website.
Like all outdoor events the organisers can’t arrange the weather and although there are some indoor shelters with activities don’t forget your waterproofs and welly’s if the weather is forecast for rain or showers! And don’t forget to allow plenty of travel time to Tatton Park, you don’t want to miss part of the event because you were running a little bit late and got caught up in any traffic.
When hubby and I first started dating around 11 years ago, our first date was spent in the Printworks Manchester, back then if I remember correctly the Printworks to me seemed to be full of bars and clubs, with a couple of restaurants thrown in as well as the Odeon cinema. I wouldn’t have thought of it then as a family destination. Todays trip has changed my perspective. Having spent most of our day there today has defiantly changed my mind and I’m grateful we got the chance to go and have a family day together.
Family Time at the Printworks
We started the morning with a trip to the Odeon cinema to watch the new Angry Birds Movie which was just released the day before we visited. It was Flixsters first time at the cinema so it was exciting for him to be having a ‘first’ too. Although he had been before when he as only a few weeks old, he was fast asleep in a sling on my chest so that doesn’t count! This time he had his very own seat and his very own childrens snack box. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a film based on an app but the film was pretty funny in parts, even for adults!
I really like going to the cinema on a weekend morning as it’s usually full of other children so you know you that even if your little one talks it won’t be disturbing other peoples film experiences which is great as most people there will be understanding and have children themselves. The boy has been going to the cinema on weekends with one of us since he was about two and a half so he’s very used to sitting and enjoying a film, he takes after his dad who’s film mad!
The family snack deal went down very well with everyone and at £9.99 for two childrens packs (with popcorn, snack and drink), a medium popcorn and two adult drinks I thought that was pretty good considering what you would expect to pay normally for each individual item.
Towards the end of the film I did take Flixster out for a little walk and then we watched the very end of the film from the exit corridor so that he wouldn’t be disturbing people, but it was only the last few minutes of a 90 minute film for someone who’s just turned two I don’t think thats bad. For the rest of the film he mostly sat watching and enjoying the big screen, it went far better than I had expected!
After the film i could tell he was tired as it was hitting nap time so we popped him into the buggy and off he went to sleep as we had a little walk before lunch.
Lunch at Frankie and Bennys
Lunch was booked for Frankie and Benny’s which in the Printworks is almost opposite the cinema entrance. All the restaurants in the printworks look nice but I picked Frankie and Bennys as its somewhere I’ve not been for about 10 years. When I was dating hubby we went a few times but it never seemed to change much so I guess it sort of fell out of our radar. The boys had never been to Frankie and Bennys either so it was a nice treat for them.
We were seated in a booth which was great for the children as hubby and I could block the exits and easily stop them from running around, sometimes when you sit at a table I seem to spend the entire meal repeating the words “please sit down”. The staff were very accommodating with the buggy too which was lovely of them, so we were able to have Flixster asleep next to us at the table whilst we had some food. He did wake later on in the meal and helped finish the chips and the dessert.
The boy was super chuffed at his childrens menu, he loves being able to make his own choice of food and I love that he can feel grown up by reading and making his choices.
Our waiter who if I remember correctly was called Janis was great with the boy, he really made him feel welcome which is lovely when you have children, you feel more relaxed about the meal and get to enjoy the family time together.
As we were there at lunch time we choose our food from the lunchtime menu, I went for the fish with salad as I’m following a health eating plan at the moment and hubby went for burger. The boy also went for the build your own burger choice and decided to have it with cheese , bacon, ketchup and some fries and beans as side orders. We also ordered a starter of dough balls to share.
I’m glad we did share them as there were lots to go round. Sometimes with dough balls at other restaurants you’d don’t get very many but I think the portion at Frankie and Bennys was just right.
My food was lovely and the salad was nice and fresh which to me is always a good sign, hubby said his burger was yummy and the boys plate was gobbled up pretty quickly and finished off by Flixster when he awoke from his nap! thankfully the soft drinks were unlimited refill which I prefer as you don’t have to worry about the cost or how thirsty you get, you know what you’re paying up front and theres no hidden extras when you get the bill!
The childrens’ meals came with a choice of drinks and as milk was on the menu thats what the boys ordered, milk lovers the both of them as they don’t like fizzy drinks.
I skipped dessert but there seemed only one obvious choice for the boys to share and my boy had already spotted it on the menu! It was the Ice Cream Candy Shop, you do pay a little extra for it as its not part of the kids included desserts but having seen the enjoyment my two had with it, I’d would treat them to it again next time. It does say great to share and I would say it was two much for just one of them so I’m glad they did share it between them. It came in a little wooden crate with a bowl of ice cream and various sweets to sprinkle on as well as a little jug of chocolate sauce. Upon seeing it for the first time the boy exclaimed “This is the best day ever!” which made me laugh quite a lot!
It even came with a little paper bag to take any remaining sweets home which was a nice touch!
Hubby choose the waffle and ice cream on recommendation from our waiter, he was not disappointed, I could smell how nice it was from across the table and sadly he had already tucked in before I got a photo!
By the end of the meal we were all perfectly satisfied and came out having had a lovely family day together, the trip has proven to me that the Printworks is much more a family destination now, and I look forward to more days out there together in the future to try out some of the other restaurants although the boy is already requesting to go back to Frankie and Bennys!
Thanks from us to the Printworks for inviting us to come and enjoy some family time together!
This past weekend we were invited to an event run by TheHut.com in Manchester at Artisan kitchen and bar in Spinningfields which is one of my favourite areas of Manchester. This is a link to the hut’s website.
TheHut.com Summer Fun
As we are so fond of Spinningfields and the weather was so nice, we arrived early so we could have a nice walk around and enjoy the sunshine. Theres always something to look at in that area of Manchester and even the boys love exploring to see whats changed and whats new.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d not shopped with thehut.com before. I had heard of the company but I am not familiar with what they sell. The invitation was extended to family’s so I was hoping the boys would be kept entertained while I got a chance to look at the products.
On arrival we were greeted by this site, which was very welcome on such a hot day.
The boys enjoyed some soft drinks whilst I indulged in a glass of prosecco, it’s not often I get to drink whilst we are out as I’m usually driving so I jumped at the chance to have a small glass since I wouldn’t be driving home!
The juices looked so refreshing!
The boy made a beeline for the games and spotted a Disney version of Monopoly. He loves monopoly although his attention span isn’t very long so he plays his own made up version most of the time.
Being a Disney mad family this is perfect for us and is on our ‘wish list’ now. I loved the details of the game, the playing pieces were just so lovely and intricate. Daddy tried to explain the rules again to him but often it’s just best to go with the flow and try to follow his own made up rules!
While he was busy with the game Flixster spotted the Ninky Nonk (if you haven’t got young children this is a vehicle from a television show called In the Night Garden) and was very happy to spend a long time just pushing it around and playing with it.
Perfect conditions for Mummy to indulge in a little browsing. The tables were set out with various different items and my first call had to be to the shoes, a little passion of mine although I haven’t been able to indulge in a while.
I love the Vivenne Westwood ladies shoes, shame they weren’t my size but a fellow blogger did try them on and exclaim how comfortable they were (jealous!) We are already converse fans in our house so I was interested in the Superga shoes as I think they’d be much easier than laces for the boys whilst we are on holiday. If only I had a girl for the pink converse too!
Homeware from thehut.com
The other things I spotted were some lovely housewares (yes I know I should like an old person when in my head I’m still an 18 year old running wild!) These Calvin Klein towels would defiantly be kept for best and not rolled out with the regular pile the kids are ill! (yes everyone has those don’t they!) They are just so soft, if only I could have an adult only (no make that women only) bathroom.
The clothes too looked lovely, in particular I had my eye on this Boss top, so floaty and summery it has to be on the wish list from thehut.com, I can see it being worn with some lovely skinny jeans and heels and a statement necklace.
I was genuinely surprised at the range that thehut.com stock, I’ve since had a look at the website and there’s loads more choice on there too. They currently have a voucher on the website for 15% off for new customers so I’ll be making use of that myself. If you spend over £20 p&p is free and if the total is over £50 then next day delivery is included at no additional cost (I’m an impatient person so this is a nice bonus for me!)
I was genuinely surprised at the diverse amount of products that thehut.com sell and have enjoyed browsing through the website, there’s definitely a fair few things added to our family wish list.
My favourite thing though about thehut.com event apart from the chance to get my hands on some fabulous products was the chance to have a little family time together in a lovely surrounding on a sunny day and being able to chat to other lovely blog writers and hopefully make some new friends!
This week we were excited to be asked to take the Bunny Jump game from University Games for a test hop!
My boys love simple games and especially the eldest. As any mum of a 4 year old knows they often get enthusiastic about the thought of playing a game but by the time it’s set up and you’ve explained the rules they have lost interest and gone to do something else. This is a big pro for Bunny Jump, the set up time is seconds. Even the first time you open the box, theres no complicated instructions, nothing to put together, just straight out of the box and off you go.
The other great thing about Bunny Jump is that you don’t need batteries! Hurray no batteries to replace, no sifting around in the bottom of ‘that’ kitchen draw (everyone has one, full of random stuff) for a tiny little screwdriver to open the battery compartment! It seems so rare these days to have a toy that doesn’t need batteries or charging frequently so that for me is a great big thumbs up!
The boy was very excited to be playing a new game, and its’ just so simple to play. The recommended age is 5 years old and upwards but I let both my boys play supervised by one of us and they are 4 and 2. There can be up to 4 players for each round.
The aim of the game be the person with the most carrots in their basket. The game starts with all 12 carrots buried in the ground and bunny sat on the top of the hill. Each player takes it in turns to spin the spinner and remove the number of carrots shown, unless its a miss a turn! Everyone takes it in turns to spin and do what the spinner says until the bunny jumps in the air! When bunny jumps everyone need to try and catch it, if anyone does catch it then that person gets two bonus carrots, those two carrots can make the difference between being the winner or not!
Now so far in all our games none of us have managed to catch the bunny, even my camera can’t capture it in action as proved here when I tried to catch the bunny jumping!
So in order to try and show you I’ve had to mock up the next photograph!
But that is about how high the bunny jumps, however when your not expecting it and you don’t know which way its going the reality of actually catching it is very different, especially for a 4 year old!
Overall we have loved playing Bunny Jump as it’s easy to set up quickly, requires no batteries and games are short which engages little minds, it’s something that can easily be put away to so a game or two before the school run is very do able! Thumbs up to Bunny Jump form us!
Bunny Jump is available to buy from lots of toys shops including Argos and Amazon.
This week I have chosen a photo which makes my heart sing. I love sunny days and this is the first properly warm day we’ve had this year, warm enough to have water toys out.
Aquaplay is something that the boy got for his 2nd birthday, it’s something that I remember from my mums classroom when she was a primary school teacher (she’s retired now). It’s a a bit like half a drain pipe in pieces that you clip together with waterproof seal. He loves it and so does his now 2 year old brother. I can see many happy days and years playing with it, watching the boats float around, using the pumps and gates to raise and lower the boats round the locks.
My child has a migraine is not something I ever wanted to say but unfortunately I’ve had to say it a few times in the boy’s life which makes me so sad for him.
It didn’t come out of the blue for us as a family, my husband has suffered from migraines all his life. Throughout his childhood I’m told he suffered from migraines on many important occasions including birthdays and family celebrations. Those migraines seem to have been triggered by excitement of an event. He also suffers from migraines when he consumes artificial sweeteners and some other random ingredients. So he has to be really careful when eating out and about or new things to make sure there’s no hidden nastys in them. He can’t have diet drinks as most of them contain aspartame which is a no no. As an adult he has grown to recognise the symptoms quite swiftly and is able to take a preventative tablet most of the time to stop the migraine in its tracks, he still tends to feel wiped out afterwards but thankfully the head splitting pain and vomiting are usually avoided. I thankfully have only ever had two migraines that I can remember, both were whilst I was pregnant (one for each child) I certainly can’t imagine how hard it must be if you are a migraine sufferer. Migraines are a disability you can’t see yet they can wipe you out for hours or even days, I’ve seen it in my hubby. It’s not like having a broken leg or a missing limb, that you can see. How can you prove you have a migraine, you can’t.
Childs first Migraine
During the summer last year hubby and I were due a day off together, a day when the boys were in nursery, we were going to go and look at bicycles and chose ones to buy, something we couldn’t easily do whilst the boys were around. In the morning the boy mentioned that he had woken with a headache, I didn’t really think too much of it as he had mentioned headaches before, not a lot as they’d always seem to disappear quite quickly. So that morning I gave him a dose of paracetamol and sent him off to nursery. About 4 hours later after we’d just started looking at bikes we had a call from nursery saying that he was once again complaining of a headache, that he’d gone pretty quiet too and asking if they should give some paracetamol. I authorised the dose and said that we were some way away but would head back to collect him really soon. Just 10 minutes later we had another call to say he’d got worse and had also vomitted after the paracetamol. We were already heading back to collect him so there was not much more I could do except worry. Hubby went into nursery to pick up a very lethargic, half dressed little boy who had been sick all down himself poor thing. We put him in the car and took him home. We set up the little inflatable bed in the lounge, drew the curtains to make it nice and dark and tried to persuade him to rest with a cool flannel on his head. He didn’t take much persuading so I knew he was genuinely poorly. He looked very pale, and weak and was just drifting in and out of sleep. He was quite warm too so we got out the fan to try and cool him down. I felt so helpless. It’s so hard to see your babies poorly. He was sick a couple more times but thankfully he’s pretty good at telling you when he feels ill so the bucket was ready. He spent the rest of the day just sleeping on and off and by mid evening he was able to tell us that his head although hurting wasn’t as bad as it had been.
Migraine – The warning signs for us
He has suffered from a migraine recently where we were given more warning signs, but at the time I didn’t realise that this was what they were. Thankfully (or not for him) the recent one was during a school holiday so he didn’t have to miss any time away from school. He woke up one morning, complaining of a sore head so I gave him some paracetamol. As I have mentioned before he can have short headaches occasionally which respond well to a dose of paracetamol so I didn’t think too much of it. It was a nice day outside and so on this occasion I gave him some paracetamol and as he was eager to play outside I encouraged him to get dresses. He kept complaining that it he was cold, again I didn’t really think much of it as he was only wearing pj bottoms as he was midway through getting dressed. He also kept yawning away, I put this down to a later night the night before. He’s usually in bed for 7pm but the evening before had stayed up later to watch a film with us as it was a school holiday treat. Later in the day as lunch was being served and he’d already played outside he lay down on the sofa and seemed very pale. He kept putting his head down on his hands and saying that his I head was coming and going. I instantly knew that he was experiencing the start of a migraine. Hubby can sympathise with what he was going through, he knows what it’s like, so knew that the best thing would be better to go upstairs and lie down in a cool dark room. For the next few hours he drifted in and out of sleep until he woke in the evening, still complaining of a pain coming and going in his head. At 6pm hubby and I swapped over and I lay with him in our bed until he drifted off to sleep in a ball. He slept quite well for most of the night, although I did get booted a fair few times and he does talk in his sleep! But that’s the norm with children isn’t it! Thankfully by the morning although he was pretty groggy and tired he said his head was better. Having read more about migraines since I now understand that the yawning and the coldness were his warning signs and I’ll be on alert for these in the future. I still haven’t worked out what triggers the migraines but I will be looking for a common cause. I hope that it’s something that he can grow out of but given my hubbys history of them I doubt that he will. I’ve not taken him to the GP yet as thankfully they are not frequent but when they do happen they really floor him. I feel helpless but I’m thankful for a hubby who has been through it so can help him find coping strategies. He’s such a sweet little guy and I feel so bad for him when he has a migraine.
This is only how I have experienced my child having a migraine, and I have read about lots of other signs and symptoms so I’d be very interested to get in touch with other mum and dads who have been through this with their child. What has helped or hindered, how do you cope when it’s happening and are there any techniques to help with the pain?
I’ve been busy reading a lot about childhood migraine on the internet recently and two really websites I have linked below in case you are interested in reading more of the facts.
This week I’ve chosen a photograph for our trip yesterday to Delamere Forest and the stick man trail. The boy has just learnt that if you rub two sticks together fast they can make fire. (I know it’s more complicated than that!) So yesterday he spent a large part of the trail trying to start his own fire. I’m not sure what he thought he was going to do with it should he have started one! Everyone knows that fire in forests is dangerous on dry days!
We had a fabulous day, walking the trail and then going on a bike ride around the forest as a family. I love family days out.
We can not wait to attend Geronimo this year, having never been before every time I read a new announcement it makes me more excited!
This week Geronimo have announced that as well as all the children’s favourite already announced you will also be able to look out for Luke & Emma, Clangers and My Little Pony who will be joining in the fun at the festival. This is alongside children favourites Mr Bloom, Andy Day, Alex Winters and Cook & Line from Swashbuckle! Geronimo is shaping up to be a fabulous family even aimed at children aged under 12 and tickets are on sale now priced £25. Children under the age of two go free!
To find out further information and buy tickets visit the Geronimo website by clicking here but if you want to enter to win a family ticket for Tatton Park on 30th May enter below. Good luck!
T&C’s: The competition closes on 29/04/16. We have one family pass to giveaway. Each pass admits 4 people, one person in the group must be aged over 18 (NB children under the age of 2 years do not require a ticket). The winning family can attend May 30th (Tatton Park). Travel and accommodation are not included. The prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered. The prize is non transferable and ID will be required at time of collecting the ticket wristband upon arrival. The prize includes all events and activities at Geronimo but not food and drink from any stalls or bar. Winner chosen at random.
Traditional boys toys consist of cars, construction and weapons. Walk down the aisles of the toy store and there will always be a sea of blue and a sea of pink. Where did these colours come from? Originally who decided that these will be boy and girl colours?
I’ve always been an advocate of gentle parenting, I try my best to use positive language around my boys, trying very hard to give them boundaries by talking them through things they can do rather than things they can’t. My boys are chalk and cheese with their personalities, the eldest is very emotional, gentle, a worrier. The youngest so far has seemed much more confident, nowhere near as risk averse, I’d go as far as to say he’s a bit of a risk taker. He’s never seemed to attach to anything toy wise until very recently when he’s started understanding the concept of ‘mine’. A new word in his vocabulary has meant that he’s been going to bed with a whole host of random house items that he considers to be his. Last night we had a bed full of items which we later (once he was asleep) sneak into remove, things that included a kitchen spatula, a book, a metal car and his toothbrush which was not leaving his tight little hand no matter what! And as I fancied an easy bedtime I thought the best course of action was to just go back later and retrieve them.
So when we were asked if we’d like to take part in ‘National Baby Day’ on May 2nd and give some more traditional girls toys a try I thought it might be something my youngest would love and I wasn’t wrong. I have never censored the toys they have to play with I’m not at all bothered if they don’t want to play with boys toys, two of the most played with items in our house is a pink tea set and the wooden kitchen. The tea set was the choice of my eldest when he was two years old, since then they have both enjoyed playing with it. This tea set was clearly aimed at the girl market with its vivid pink and purple cups, tea-pot, spoons and sugar bowl.
The other day we were excited to receive a ‘My Little Baby Born’ (Supersoft) and stroller by Zapf to test out which aren’t traditionally thought to be boys toys.
Along with ‘mine’ he also knows the word ‘open’. I hardly had chance to open the wrapping before he was pulling at the packaging to get the baby out. We set the stroller up very quickly in just one click and he was away!
The doll itself is 32cm tall and is aimed at ages 1+
It comes with a dummy attached to a ribbon which is then attached to it’s outfit so that it can’t come off, and given the amount of tugging and pulling both the boys have done with it I can safely say it’s stuck on there! From the moment he wrapped his arms around the baby to give it a cuddle he hasn’t let it go. Baby has gone everywhere, in or out of the stroller.
He’s not bothered that it’s pink, or that it’s aimed at girls, all he’s bothered about is that baby is with him all the time! Baby has even gone to bed tonight!
Now I know the stroller is only meant for dolls but when you walk out of the room and walk back in a few moments later to find the 2 year old sat in the stroller giving loving cuddles to the baby I couldn’t bear to tell him it was wrong!
I want my boys to grow into caring adults, if they chose to have children are gentle parents, who are loving and kind, with patience and understanding. I don’t believe in the gender stereotypes and I hope I can teach them that they are free to choose anything in life that interests them and that they enjoy. The dude absolutely loves the doll and stroller from Zapf and I’m grateful for now that he’s enjoying something that he can call his own……..’mine!’
We are fast heading towards the UK’s EU referendum and unless you never read the news or go on the internet you’ll prob be aware that it’s a straight forward leave or remain vote. There are two choices stay as part of the European Union (EU) or leave the EU. The question on the ballot paper will apparently be worded as “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”
So you’d think having just a 50/50 choice I’d be some way to making a decision. I am not.
I am struggling with finding unbiased answers to my questions. The information that I have been given has been provided (and funded) by one camp or the other and feels very much to me like worst case scenario situations.
This morning we were watching Good Morning Britain before school and there was a short story relating to the referendum. This brought about questions from my 4 year old. He’s a pretty smart 4 year old too. Now it’s harder than you think to explain the concept of the EU to a 4 year old, who is still struggling with the enormity of the UK, world and universe! The best way I could think of to explain it was to tell him the EU is like a gang and our government, of the UK (he knows we live in a place called the United Kingdom) are asking all the grown up’s if we want to stay in the gang or leave the gang. He thought about it for a moment and then returned with the question
“So Mummy, what will happen to us if we leave the gang……and what will happen if we stay?”.
He’s hit the nail on the head! That’s it! I need to know what is really likely to happen if we stay in the EU and what will happen if we leave, I want to know from every angle. How will it affect me as a women, as an NHS employee, as a family, how will it affect our children? I’m struggling to find unbiased clear information so how can I make an informed choice. I need to know cold hard clear facts not opinion to make my choice in the EU referendum and in this case it really makes a difference. All too often facts and opinions get muddled up and easily believed.
If I can’t explain the pros and cons to a 4 year old I definitely can’t make my own informed choice.