During the week I try to get out at least once with Flixster in the pram whilst the boy is in nursery for a nice long walk. It’s find it hard when I have the boy as he’s at the age where he just wants to walk everywhere but doesn’t get very far without getting tired legs but also refusing to sit in the buggy without a bribe! So whilst he’s at nursery I charge the iPod get all our essentials bundled onto the pram and get off on our way. I usually time it so that Flixster is due his morning nap so that he can gently drift off to sleep while we are out and I can get some exercise. We’ve not been for a few weeks due to being busy so it was nice to be out and about again today together. I’m lucky enough to have a few choices of prams as I’m a bit of a pram lover, today I decided to take the phil & teds navigator out. It’s a version 2 so with the sibling seat I can position Flixster so that he’s facing me. I loved having the children facing me so I can interact with them and keep a close eye on them, especially while he’s so little. The weather this morning was looking a lot colder and greyer than it has been recently so I made sure we had the rain cover. I popped the cosytoes from the baby jogger on the pram as I don’t own any phil and teds ones. It was a little big but just about fit ok. I didn’t want to let Flixster get cold which I thought he might have with just a blanket. I also put a hat on him which I should have done for me, lesson learned! My ears were freezing in the wind! No more going out without hats from now on!
I pulled my boots on set up my walking app on the phone and off we set. I’ve recently started using the ‘Map my Walk’ app on my iPhone to keep a track of how far we are walking. I’m a sucker for fitness gadgets and apps, I enjoy using nike+ when I go out running (ha ha yes when, what I mean is when I used to! Those days will come again I hope!) and love looking at my fitbit status regularly on my phone so when I looked for a walking tracker the ‘Map my Walk’ app seemed to fit the bill perfectly. When I head out for walks with Flixster without a mission or any jobs to do I never really set a route we just go out and see where we end up. Since having the boys I have definitely got very friendly with pounding the pavements.
Flixster stayed awake for a little while happily looking at me but soon drifted off to the land of nod. This is the point I usually pop my headphones in and start listening to some music. I don’t do it when he’s awake so that we can have a baby babble chat, but once he’s asleep I like to have something to walk along and sing too. Today’s tunes were inspired by something I’d watched on television the day before with Wayne Sleep in, his appearance reminded me of the musical he has stated in, Cats. I love most musicals and own a lot of the sound tracks so I searched for it on my iPod and sure enough there the album was ready and waiting. I’ve not listened to it in ages so it made a refreshing change. The area I live in has a varied landscape, within a few minutes walk form my house I can be walking past fields full of horses and cows which is lovely to see. The clouds looked moody this morning so I was glad I’d popped the rain cover under the pram just in case of a downpour. The views across the fields though were stunning for such a beautiful autumn day.
I then walked past a farm building that I walk past all the time and noticed the date on the side of one of the buildings.
1863 – that building is 151 years old and still standing strong. Imagine all the people that have passed by this point in their lives, imagine all the stories it could tell. Its lived through the two world wars, its seen all sorts of changes in its life. I wonder how many mums have pushed prams past there over the years, trying to get their babies to sleep. I’d love to see the styles of prams that have gone past over the years. I bet there have been some beautiful old coach style prams walking past there in their time. If only buildings could talk. As I carried on walking I walk through a small street that I keep meaning to look up the history of, it is lined with terrace cottages set back form the road up high. The railings have some beautiful flower boxes on and I took time to have a look at them today, considering its early October they still look absolutely stunning! Quite a few of them contain fuchsias which I love, they are such an ornate flower and they come in such varied colours. thought they looked fab in the flower boxes.
Thankfully the rain was still holding off and so I carried on walking whilst Flixster slept.
He’s been getting up for the day at around 5am most mornings and rather than getting annoyed and upset about it I just go with it he’s then been having a small nap around 7am and then by 10 to 10:30am he’s tired again which is why he had a good rest in his buggy whilst I walked. I headed towards home but he was still asleep and I didn’t really want him to wake up too soon (and he always wakes when I stop walking) as we had a baby class to go to in the afternoon and I wanted him to be well rested for it. So instead of going home I walked once again past the end of our road and decided to do another loop locally to keep him asleep. Not long afterwards he started to stir so we headed home so that I could feed him and myself! Good timing on his part as the Cats album had just finished and I didn’t fancy perching on a wall to feed him in the cold. As we got back to the house I checked the walking app we’d done 10.4km in 2hrs 2 minutes with an average pace of 11 minutes 47 seconds per km. I have no idea if this is good or not but it said I had burnt 867 calories so by the time we got to Starbucks after the baby class I treated myself to this little beauty…..
I am in love with the chocolate chunk shortbread from Starbucks, always have done and pretty sure I always will do but they are an occasional treat!
Not sure I’ll be able to better this weeks walk next week but at least I’ll be able to keep an eye on the changing seasons. I love autumn and all it brings with it. Its a truly beautiful season and makes for a lovely walk, but next week I will remember a hat or at least something to protect my ears!
This week I attended a new baby class with Flixster called Happy Babies and it’s being run by a lovely lady called Angela who runs a series of sessions and classes under her umbrella company Alltogether Kids she also offers one to one sessions for parents. The Happy baby course is a follow on from her Tranquil Baby class and runs for 8 weeks and is a mix of lots of different baby activities including yoga, sensory as well as making memory books. I first met Angela at the antenatal relaxation sessions she runs locally to me when I was pregnant with Flixster. Those sessions are a mixture of antenatal education, covering many topics followed by a period of guided relaxation. I really enjoyed attending them as Angela’s voice is so calming and her relaxation sessions set to music almost always made me sleepy and I always left feeling far less stressed than when I arrived, my only regret is not being able to attend more of them throughout my pregnancy. Unfortunately the day they were on each week I was working and although I would have been allowed to attend as part of my antenatal time off I didn’t feel that I could have done this due to working in a small team, I would have been making more work for others within my team and that wouldn’t have been fair. I was however able to attend during the last few weeks of my pregnancy after my maternity leave had started. Angela’s voice is very soothing and just being around her makes me feel calm.
The first session of happy baby that I attended this week was so popular that future sessions are being held in a bigger venue so consequently there was no room for baby yoga this week, instead we did some sensory which included songs, movement and interaction with objects. Angela had laid out some mats for the babies to lie or sit on depending on what stage there were at.
Flixster is not sitting unaided yet but I don’t think it’ll be long before he is. He’s 6 calendar months next week and I’d like to start some baby-led weaning but we won’t be starting any finger foods until he can sit unaided. He really enjoys the singing and songs that contain actions and signing, he also really enjoys watching other babies. I am blessed to have such a happy smiley baby. After signing for a while Angela got out the bubbles. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but two of my favourite things are bubbles and rainbows becuase they are such magical things, they are around for such a short time and when they are gone they leave no trace behind that they ever exisisted. I’m especially fond of bubbles when there are loads and loads of them at the same time, I love nothing more than putting the boys bubble machine on in the back garden on a sunny day and watching thousands of tiny bubbles dancing in the air. It seems Flixster too is a fan of bubbles, he watched them fall to the ground with unfailing concentration.
After bubbles we did some sensory with various types of material including a piece of voile and some silver foil blanket. Flixster loved the crunchy foil but I didn’t manage to get any pictures as he was flapping it up and down so quickly and facing away from me. I think we will have to buy our own piece to play with at home.
As well as the materials to play with Angela put out some light up objects which seemed well timed as they had a halloween themes, skulls and ghosts. Flixster was once again fascinated by the new things I was showing him.
The class finished with a little relaxed time under a large piece of shimmery material that was held above the babies, and Flixster was ready for a nap on the way home in the car. I love going to classes like this because as a busy mum of two its hard to find the time at home away from the distractions of housework to sit down and actually have sensory play with your child. I do try to take time out each day to play with Flixster one on one, and he gets a lot of time with me around the house watching everyday tasks as he spends a lot of his day in a sling on my front. I particularly like going to classes run by Angela as she is such a calming influence and I think this is also reflected by how popular her classes are. I can’t wait to see what we get up to next week and I hope that Flixster continues to enjoy it as much as he did last week.
Angela can be contacted through her website at www.alltogehterkids.co.uk
I can’t believe Monday has rolled around again already, the weeks are simply flying by at the moment! This week it was my mums turn to travel down to us. When we woke this morning the wind was howling and the rain was pouring from the sky, a total contrast to last Monday when we were bathed in glorious sunshine. There would be no trips to the local park today thats for sure, we needed something indoors to do. I had recently heard about an exhibition at the Lowry Gallery at Salford Quays called ‘Here’s One I Made Earlier – The Story of BBC Childrens Broadcasting’. I was clearly very late in finding out about it as it ends next Sunday, so I was grateful to find out about it before it finished. The boys and I waited for Grandma to arrive safely. She didn’t leave her house to early as the weather was pretty rough and most of the journey is motorway so she waited for things to clear up a bit. Once mum arrived we had coffee and a snack (as is tradition on Mummy Mondays!) then got ready to leave the house. This part for those without young children or experience of them sounds like a two minute task. With a baby and toddler though you’re talking about anything up to half an hour usually in our house. Once we’ve decided which buggy we’re taking and packed the relevant bag with nappies, wipes, drinks, snacks, my things and all the other paraphernalia I need to carry around, theres toilet time for the boy, final nappy change, putting buggy in the car, putting children in the car etc etc the list goes on! So by the time we actually arrived it was time for lunch. We wanted something quick and relatively healthy so we chose subway. I’m lucky that the boy will eat pretty much anything so he was very happy with his ham sandwich.
After lunch we headed over to The Lowry and went up to the exhibition. The boy spent most of the time wanting to rush to the next room, he’s a toddler full of beautiful energy for life and running around everywhere. I spent most of the time listening to him say or shout ‘Mummy lets go in here!’ while trying to gently encourage him to stay in the same room we were in so that I could at least look at the items they had on display.
There was lots to read too but I got to read none of it and had to piece together the history of children’s television form the pictures while keeping an eye on the boy, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m hoping that we may be able to go back again at the weekend before it closes so that I can try and learn a little more.
There was a good mix of old and new exhibits that kept the boys attention just long enough that I could look at the things form my childhood and likewise my mums era. Some of the items were legendary like Humpty from Playschool or Blue Peters home made Tracy Island!
The boy was excited to see the Teletubbies amongst other things. He’s like an elephant for remembering things (}he never forgets) so he’ll probably be talking about them and Mr.Blooms veggies for quite a while now!
I loved seeing Bagpuss and the legend that was Gordon the Gopher!
I used to love the broom cupboard, and loved watching Philip Schofield in-between the programmes with Gordon. I’m sure if we hadn’t had a toddler with us we would have spent a lot more time there reading but the boy was done and so we headed out and back over to the shopping mall for coffee and cake, before heading home as it was already getting late in the day. Time really does fly when you’re having fun together.
The exhibition was fab and I really hope we can make it back next weekend so that Daddy can come too, hopefully having been already the boy won’t want to hurry through so much, but whatever happens I’m sure we’ll have a lovely day out again. I highly recommend it for all ages as there is something for everyone although there aren’t many days left to enjoy it now so get there soon if you can!
This last couple of weeks hasn’t been quite as hectic as previous ones thankfully. We’ve settled back into our weekly routine but the time has just flown by again. Boy each day your language is getting better and better, you’re such a mimic though so we really need to watch what we say! You’ve been saying “That’s a funny angle” this week a lot which apparently grandad says, he also says “Watch out the witch is coming” (meaning grandma) that you have picked up on, I’m not sure grandma finds it as funny as I do though! This morning whilst eating your breakfast which had to be a perfect copy of mummy and daddies, which meant you had to have both cereal and toast. You also spent quite a while telling me about not wanting to wear your jumper because it didn’t have any pictures on like your T-shirt does. I remember when you first started putting sentences together you would tell me that “Girls love a batman T-shirt!” It made us laugh so much. You’re always dictating which t-shirt you want to wear each day. Perhaps you’re going to be a fashionesta! We had Flixster Christened last Sunday and you were a little star (apart from when I was asking you to sit down!) You were enjoying the hymns and trying to follow along in the hymn book like everyone else. When it came to the hymn with clapping in you stood in front of everyone at the front of the church and tried to make them all clap by shouting each persons name…..Grandad CLAP!
We had an indoors day as well this week on Friday as neither of us were feeling great, I think you picked up a bug from nursery and passed it on, you stayed in pyjamas all day which you loved! You were so well behaved as I really wasn’t feeling great and I had both of you to look after but we survived the day and made it through to daddy coming home.
Flixster you have been a little star as always this week, you’re such a chilled out baby and will go with the flow on most things, the complete opposite to how your brother was at this age or maybe it’s my memory, but I’m sure the boy wasn’t as settled as you are. He did however only get up once a night by 6 months (I didn’t realise how lucky I was!) you are still up 4 or 5 times a night, but I know it’s normal and won’t last forever. I know it’s protecting you from SIDS and that you just need the comfort of my my being there, you’re still so small. I do wish though that you wouldn’t treat 3am as playtime each night! I really could do with some gentle ideas of how I can persuade you not to do that every night. I do love the closeness and snuggles we have and will miss them once you are in your own bed. I am looking forward though to being able to clatter around the bedroom at night with the lights on rather than tiptoeing around in the dark looking for pj’s and avoiding stubbing my toe, and being able to chat to daddy without him saying “what?” In his loudest whisper voice over the top of the white noise. You almost rolled over last weekend from back to front and have been trying hard all week to do it again. We’ve had a busy week together while the boy has been in nursery with lots of groups and classes to get to, you really enjoyed the ‘Tranquil Baby’ class which started this week, especially when the bubbles started to fall.
For the next couple of weeks we’re doing baby yoga in that class which sounds like fun although I am so inflexible we will have to see how we get on, it will be funny if nothing else! There was one night this week you slept form 7pm until 2am when you woke yourself up after a coughing fit, I’d love to know how long you would have gone on sleeping if the coughing hadn’t started. Its the first time in your whole life you’ve slept that long, I could have jumped for joy….if it hadn’t been 2am. Please please please can we have more of those nights?…..Just as I typed that you started crying in bed, you’ve only been there an hour, I’ve managed to resettle you with some patting and gentle singing. I guess when evenings are hard work I just need to remember the calories I’m burning, running up and down two sets of stairs. Its hard work now but I wouldn’t have it any other way, I’m sure in time your sleep will improve. (Fingers tightly crossed!)
Please always remember that I love you unconditionally….forever.
This past weekend I made a trip to the Baby and Toddler Show at Eventcity Manchester with my good friend Jenny from Lets Talk Mommy. I had won tickets in a giveaway on another parenting blog and was looking forward to having a nosey around the various stalls of companies large and small. I have been previously and knew what to expect of the day. I arranged to meet Jenny in Starbucks for breakfast before the show, as usual I was running late so text her as I was leaving to say I’d be there soon. Unfortunately her son had been poorly during the night so she too was running late, we ended up arriving at roughly the same time. I had a pumpkin spiced latte and pumpkin loaf. I love pumpkin spiced lattes but they are an occasional treat for me as I know they are quite calorific so try not to have them all the time. I love autumn and winter time so I know once Starbucks start promoting the PSL its time for the seasons to change!
We had breakfast and chatted about the children then headed over to the show. The line to get in was long but moved quickly, once inside we headed straight to the changing area as Flixster was getting grouchy. I didn’t bring the boy with me as he’d have been bored and would have a much better time at home with daddy. The changing area was well equipped with complimentary disposable nappies, wipes and Vital Acquaint Sanitising spray. I haven’t seen or used this product before so thought I’d give it a go, I used it to wipe down the surface after changing. It certainly seemed to act like water with no sticky residue, I’d definitely be looking out for it in the shops so that I can give it a try around the house. I’m a sucker for cleaning products, especially baby friendly ones! After a quick change we swapped sides and went into the feeding area, as a breastfeeding mummy I love it when comfortable seating is provided for me to feed baby in, I certainly wasn’t disappointed at the show, I managed to bag myself a nice rocking chair to feed in. As I was first into the area this was great, I think later on in the day then it may have been harder as there were only two rocking chairs as far as I could see and some other softer seating, so I hope for future shows that they provide a few more comfortable chairs to feed in. After Flixster had finished we headed back into the main show area to begin exploring all the stalls. There were major brands showing there alongside some much smaller companies which was great. I love to see new products and find that getting hands on at show and seeing demonstrations live really helps me to remember them. The show seemed busy but I was able to move around freely which was great. I had Flixster in a baby sling but even the mummies and daddies with prams and pushchairs had room to move which was great. I tried to avoid the large area of prams and buggies on display as I already own three myself and I don’t think the hubby would be happy if I told him I wanted another one, I do really enjoy trying new prams though so best to steer clear!
One of the highlights of the show for me personally was seeing the OnetoOne Midwife stand. When I was pregnant with Flixster I referred myself to the fabulous service of OnetoOne midwives as I am very lucky to live in an area that they currently provide services to, free of charge to pregnant ladies. My main midwife wasn’t at the show on the day I attended but my secondary midwife was so it was lovely to see her again there. I was on the look out for some new dribble bibs for Flixster at the show and I wasn’t disappointed, there were at least two stands selling them but I chose to buy from a company I’d never heard of before called Zippy Bibs as they had a large selection of Christmas bibs and I am absolutely mad for Christmas, it’s my absolute favourite time of year, I have fond memories of Christmas as a child and find its even more magical now I have children of my own. So I bought at least 3 Christmas themed bibs in my selection.
Jenny didn’t really have much on her shopping list but did buy a new changing bag or as she would say in her lovely american accent ‘Diaper bag’ from Mia Tui. Last year I bought a lovely change bag from them at the show so I wasted no time in recommending them to Jenny who does a lot of travelling with her children. Their bags are great for everyday use as a handbag as well as a change bag and are ideal for travelling. I will do a review of mine soon, but as it’s in everyday use I’d need to find time to empty it out properly, its like a Tardis! As there’s so many lovely colour choices Jenny took her time to decide on a beautiful autumnal coloured one that will go with anything.
Jenny and I spent quite a lot of time at various stalls and by the time we had finished looking around and shopping our tummies were rumbling so we headed oer to the Trafford centre for some lunch before heading our separate ways to go home.
The baby and toddler show was a fun day out but I’m not sure it would have been worth the £15 price per ticket, in the run up to the show there were lots of ticket offers flying about so if you can get a discount on future shows then I’d highly recommend it to expectant parents and parents of young children. I didn’t notice many products for toddlers but I’m sure this may change in future years as it certainly seemed busy this year so I’d hope that in future this would attract even more brands and products to the show. I’m looking forward to visit again in future as Flixster gets older!
Monday, as a day, is my least favourite of the week, everyone is back to work the lovely weekend with hubby/daddy is over and I’m facing a day with two little ones to look after by myself. I love my children with all my heart but with Flixster being 5 months and the boy just turning 3 it’s hard to keep them both happy all day long…alone! So over the last few months on Mondays I’ve either been visiting my mum or she has been to visit us. My mum and dad live near Lytham which is about a 50 minute drive from my house on a good day with no traffic. Where they live is lovely and only a few minutes from the seaside which is ideal for the boy, there are lots of lovely parks nearby too which have been fully explored by us all over the summer this year.
I’ve definitely become closer to my mum since having my babies, I was always close to her but much more so after realising how much she has dedicated her life to bringing up myself and my brother. I now realise how much hard work having young children really is! So seeing her regularly has really strengthened our bond as mother and daughter. I now call Mondays ‘Mummy Mondays’ not only do I get to spend time with my mummy but the boys get to spend quality time with their mummy too….me. Having an extra pair of hands with the boys is fantastic, I get to spend lovely one on one time with the boy whilst my mum gets to spend time with Flixster. When I’m on my own with the boys Flixster takes up a lot of my time as he’s so young still and needs a lot of attention. He’ll only nap on me in the sling so even when he’s asleep during the day I find it difficult to play properly with the boy and I certainly couldn’t spend time on the trampoline or run around with him.
Today it was our turn to travel up to my mums house. I try to time the journey to coincide with Flixster’s nap, if I can get it right he’ll have a little moan in the car then fall asleep for most of the journey. If I don’t get it right he’ll scream in the car which I can’t bare so I have to keep stopping to cuddle him. The boy doesn’t like it when he cries either, he covers his ears, so when I know we are going to be travelling for a while I let him have the iPad and headphones to play with in the back of the car, it saves him from getting upset at his brothers distress. This morning after another bad night sleep wise Flixster was getting ready for a nap around 8:45am, the signs were begining to show, the moaning had begun and I needed to leave quickly to get in the car before the screaming started! I left the house in a hurry forgetting coats for both the boy and I and also forgetting my glasses. Thankfully the weather turned out to be nice and warm, so we didn’t need coats in the park and I was able to wear my prescriptions sunglasses to drive in. We arrived at mum and dads by 10am and soon settled into some coffee, toast and playing with the toys (this is almost always the first thing we do, raid the cupboards, isn’t it what all children do when visiting parents?)
As the weather had turned out to be so nice we made plans to go to a local park called Lowther Gardens, one the boys and I hadn’t been to before. It is only 10 minutes up the road by car so we all travelled together in one car. At the gardens we parked up and I asked mum if she fancied wearing Flixster in the sling as he was due another nap, something she’s not done before. I wear Flixster all the time in a sling so he’s very used to being all wrapped up and close to people. I never thought I’d prefer baby wearing to pushchairs being a big pushchair fan (I have had many and currently have 3 on the go!) but I do prefer him being close and me having my hands free to deal with the boy. Mum couldn’t wait to get him snuggled up and he was asleep within minutes, giving me chance to play with the boy on the play area.
The boy adores being with his grandparents and particularly enjoys time with Grandad, true on both sides of the family. After time spent running around the playground, climbing, swinging and crawling we went for a walk around the gardens, I tried to take in their sheer beauty, even in late September the flowers are blooming and the gardens looks beautiful.
We decided to have lunch in the cafe within the park and as it was so sunny we sat outside enjoying the weather. The boy was desperate for ice-cream and had to be persuaded to eat his lunch before we treated him to one.The cafe had a wonderful old cash register, the kind where the number go round, it as fantastic and made a fab noise.
Before heading home we had another play in the playground and I fed Flixster sitting on the park bench, something I would never have done with confidence when the boy was small. Breastfeeding Flixster has been a totally different journey than the one I took with the boy.
We headed back to mums before heading home ourselves, thankfully Flixster slept most of the way home, I thought the boy would have fallen asleep as well but he was so engrossed in his Cbeebies game on the iPad that he stayed awake. I don’t know why Flixster doesn’t like the car, but if he’s awake in there he’s usually screaming, if anyone has an ideas how I could stop this I’d be very grateful!