Friday, 30 November 2012

#FlashbackFriday - Christmas Traditions

The theme for Flashback Friday this week is Christmas traditions. I was trying to keep away from Christmas posts until December 1st but I guess one day won't do any harm.

Our Christmas traditions at the moment are waking up and looking in our stockings. The kids hang their stockings on their bedroom doors. Usually their stockings have a few small things and one chocolate each. After stockings, we go down for breakfast.

Once the kids have finished breakfast, (fuel for present opening), we go into the living room and unleash them on to their presents. It can take awhile to open all their presents since we have such a massive family and very generous friends.

We have our Christmas dinner and then cuddle up on the couch to watch some films. We have family visit with any presents that didn't make it under the tree too. When they come over, I usually have some nibbles ready for them, like pigs in blankets.

We usually fall into bed quite early as we are all so exhausted. Christmas day really takes it out of you.

The Christmas tradition that I loved from my childhood was from when we lived in Mexico. My Mum and Stepdad used to wake us just after midnight to open presents. It was exciting to be awake so late in the night! I think they did it because they wanted to tire us out so they could have a lie in on Christmas morning!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Guess How Much I Love You - Review and Giveaway

One of the first packs of books Wee Z ever got was the seasonal set of "Guess How Much I Love You". A friend had bought them for him and they came highly recommended.

"Guess How Much I Love You" is the story of Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare and about how much they love each other. The books are really lovely to read and the illustrations are beautiful. At bedtime, Wee Z and Miss C both say, "I love you all the way to the moon...and back!" 

A DVD of "Guess How Much I Love You" has recently been released and we were sent a copy to review. There are eight episodes starring Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends, which last about 10 minutes each.

Miss C and Wee Z were captivated with the DVD. It is bright and easy to watch and beautifully animated. Miss C loved the episode with the night sky and the stars shining brightly over Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare. It was exciting to see the characters from some of the books we love come to life on screen.

I have a 2 "Guess How Much I Love You" DVDs to giveaway. This DVD would make a lovely stocking filler Christmas present for all the family to enjoy. Simply fill in the rafflecopter form below and I will pick a winner from all the valid entries. Any invalid entries will be removed prior to the draw.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will be open from 29.11.2012 and will end on Wednesday 5th December based on the countdown times of the rafflecopter form. UK residents only. No cash alternative. By entering you agree to have your details passed to the PR providing the prize however your details will not be used for anything else and will be deleted once the competition is over.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Eyes #TheGallery

Through my childrens' eyes 
The world is black and white
We teach them about the world
We teach them wrong from right

Through my childrens' eyes
They learn to see the what I see
They learn to do what I do
They learn by watching me

Through my childrens' eyes
The colours start to appear
Some of them are happy colours
And some of them are fear

Through my childrens' eyes
The colours can be confusing
Sometimes the colours can be different
Sometimes they can be amusing

Through my childrens' eyes 
The colours can be exciting
The colours can be beautiful
The colours can be enticing

Through my childrens' eyes
The colours can be sad
The colours can be angry
And the colours make them bad

Through my childrens' eyes
The colours represent life
But I often wish the colours
Could just be black and white

I'll guide my children through life
The best that I can
I'll teach them to see the world
Through their own eyes and not just mine

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Eyes.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekFortySeven

Last Sunday, I went for a run in the morning. I hadn't been for awhile due to a combination of bad weather and feeling under the weather. It was good to get out though and I ran as fast as I could over a 10 minute period. I was sweating! In the afternoon, I went shopping for Christmas presents with a friend whilst the kids went to a birthday party.

On Monday, Miss C and I spent the day having a good old tidy. I put all the toys away so my living room looked less like a toy shop and more like a room for everyone to relax in. I put some stuff away for Miss Baby K to have as Miss C has outgrown some toys and clothes. The rest is either away to the children's shelter or to be sold to fund our Christmas shopping.

Helping Mummy tidy up...not

On Tuesday, Miss C and I walked over to Mama N's house to visit her and her baby girl. We got soaked! Thankfully we warmed up with a cup of tea and some biscuits. Miss C was very taken with Mama N's baby and even said she wanted one for her house. It was dry for walking home to get Wee Z from school. We met another baby in the form of Mummy N's new puppy. He is absolutely gorgeous; a little King Charles Spaniel. Miss C was ready to take him home with her too!

On Wednesday, Miss C played with her toys whilst I had a clear out. I was looking for some stuff to donate to the school Christmas tombola. Through competition wins and extra bits I've been sent, I managed to get a few bits together to donate. We went for a bike ride but had to cut it short when I realised that Miss C's stabiliser was falling off and her front tyre was flat!

Bike ride on a flat tyre - woops!

On Thursday, we had Miss C's first parents' evening at nursery. She got a very good report and it was lovely to hear she is making friends at nursery. She likes to play with the zoo animals which didn't surprise me as she loves animals.

On Friday, Miss C and I went for some Christmas shopping to Tesco. Husband picked Wee Z up from school and I took Miss C to ballet. We had pizza for dinner and then cuddled up on the couch before bedtime. It was a horrible, wet day!

Waiting for GG to arrive
On Saturday, we had a lazy morning before my Grandma aka GG came to visit. Husband picked her up from the bus station and we had chicken, potatoes and cauliflower cheese for lunch followed by apple crumble and ice cream for dessert. Usually GG takes us for lunch but I thought I would treat her to a nice lunch. After playing with the kids, we all walked her to her bus. It was dark on the walk home which the kids thought was very exciting and we counted the passing cars to help Wee Z forget about his sore legs. We had a movie night after dinner which warmed us up.

Silent Sunday

Friday, 23 November 2012

Flashback Friday - A Picture of a Growing Belly

For Flashback Friday this week I give you a photo of me at 27 weeks pregnant with Wee Z.

I felt huge at the time but looking back at this photo, I still have a tiny bump and huge boobs.

Shame it's more the other way around now.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I Love Recipe Books

So I decided to clean my corner kitchen cupboard today. It's the cupboard that, because it is the biggest, houses all kinds of things. There are snacks, tinned goods, breads, wraps, juice and pasta.

It is also home to my beautiful recipe books.

I LOVE my baking books. There are a few cook books and I do like them but I LOVE my baking books.

Husband says I have far too many.

What rubbish!

I realise this may be a small collection in comparison to some but I'm quite impressed with my little collection.

I'm hoping for some new books for Christmas. I really want Nigella's new book. I love her. And Lorraine Pascale. And Jamie's 15 minute meals cause 15 minutes to make a meal...that's impressive.

I think I may need a bigger cupboard soon.

What are your favourite cook books? What can you recommend for my collection?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

DaisychainBaby Clothes - Review

Miss C was sent some gorgeous dresses from online boutique DaisychainBaby, who specialise in organic clothing for ages 0-5 years. They sell brands such as Little Shrimp, Little Green Radicals and Piccalilly to name but a few.

Having purchased from DaisychainBaby before, I was delighted to see their call-out for reviewers and even more delighted when they took me up on my offer to review for them.

I let Miss C choose what she liked from the list we were sent; I have mentioned before that Miss C knows what she likes to wear. She chose a beautiful Little Shrimp Kate dress and a very cute Pink Bluebell Pinafore by Pili Pala.

Here is how our package arrived. It had been wrapped in a purple plastic envelope to keep it from getting wet! DaisychainBaby use only recycled packaging in keeping with their passion to be eco-friendly. I thought it looked beautiful and you can see Miss C's hand in the corner, itching to open her parcel!

Pili Pala are a Welsh brand. The pinafore is made from organic cotton and it feels really soft and well made. The bluebell detail is so cute and really breaks the pinafore up a bit instead of being a solid pink. It has the bluebell detail on the front pocket and on the inside of the straps at the back. There are 2 popper buttons on the straps so you can adjust the length depending on the height of your child. This means when it starts to get a little bit too short, you don't have to get rid of it, you can just adjust it to be that little bit longer.

Miss C loved her pinafore and I thought it would go well with a long sleeve top and tights in Winter and with a t-shirt and leggings in summer. It is a bit big for Miss C right now however it is an age 3-4 so it just shows how generous the sizes are.

The tunic-style Little Shrimp Kate dress is made from organic cotton and, again, felt really soft and well made. I love the colours; a pink and blue combo which look really lovely together. The dress has a cute little pocket on the front. This dress just slips on over the head which makes it really easy to get on and off - no fussing with buttons or zips. The Kate dress is made in the UK.

This dress fit Miss C perfectly and looked gorgeous with tights on. You also team it with leggings or wear it on its own in the summer.

I was really impressed with the quality of the clothes we were sent and Miss C had plenty of compliments when she wore her Little Shrimp Kate Dress. Price wise, you really do get your monies worth for quality. Both dresses washed great at 30 and the material doesn't seem like it will wear or dull quickly. There are lots of quirky, fun designs to choose from across all the brands DaisychainBaby stock. My favourite is the Little Shrimp Beatrice top with the beautiful flower detail.

We received two dresses from DaisychainBaby for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, 19 November 2012

LEGO Friends Olivia's House - Review

We reviewed the LEGO Friends Olivia's House for playfest hosted by Izziwizzi Kids. I was slightly apprehensive about building this LEGO house (no Ed Sherran puns here) because my last encouter with LEGO building left me somewhat frazzled.

Miss C was super excited to play with Olivia's house and her face was a picture when she realised we had to build it first. Wee Z couldn't wait to build it though so we left the building to him and Daddy.

Here is our video review we put together for playfest and Izziwizzi Kids.

The kids enjoyed playing with the house once it was built. Wee Z had Peter up to all sorts of mischeif whilst Miss C loved playing with the little white cat.

It didn't last long built as it was though and the kids had the house has an apartment within 10 minutes. Then it all fell apart. That was one of the other drawbacks I found to building LEGO playsets; they don't do so well for actual play time. Bits kept coming off or falling off and I felt like I was constantly picking up and fixing pieces for them.

Personally, I'm happy with LEGO as a huge box of multi-coloured bricks and some imagination.

Dream Toys are the theme this week on playfest. We've been reviewing the toys selected as the 2012 Dream Toys for Christmas. Anyone can join in with playfest so if you can make it then please do join in!

We received the LEGO Friends Olivia's House for the purposes of a review through Izziwizzi Kids and playfest. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekFortySix

Last Sunday, Wee Z's God Mummy came to visit. We had a cup of tea and a good catch up. The kids prodded and poked at her tummy as her own little baby is due very soon. It was cute to see Miss C being interested in a baby bump as that's something I never had with her only with Wee Z. In the afternoon, Husband took the kids swimming and I got on with my housework.

On Monday, it was back to school for Wee Z. Miss C and I had a house day as it was wet and miserable. We played some games together and then Miss C played with her toys whilst I tidied up. Yes, I only did my housework on Sunday but it's amazing how you can go from clean to messy in 24 hours with kids.

On Tuesday, Miss C and I spent the morning making meatballs for dinner. We went for a scooter ride before we had to collect Wee Z from school. It was a bit windy so I ended up having to sit Miss C on the scooter and pull her along. We got home just before the heavens opened!

On Wednesday, we had to stay in and await the delivery of our final Toys R Us Toyologist box. Miss C was super excited to get this box as it was coming with a car for her BABY Born doll. We also got a Furby. I'm not too enthusiastic about the Furby as my Sister had one and it never stopped talking. Miss C couldn't wait to play with him though so out he came, batteries in and off we went. He was cute at first until I played Cheryl Cole to him and he "changed". He got himself an attitude...His first words in English were, "OMG!"

On Thursday, Miss C went to nursery so I had the morning to myself to do my kettlebell workout. In the afternoon, we watched some TV together and then picked Wee Z up to go to soft play with some friends. Miss C had lots of fun going down the slides herself. We were going to go for McDonalds after soft play as a treat until Miss C decided to have a temper tantrum!

On Friday, Miss C and I played with Play-doh which isn't something we play with often. Miss C had spent over an hour making lots of Play-doh shapes and giving them to me. Husband took her to ballet so Wee Z and I cuddled up on the couch and played the Leappad2.

On Saturday, I went to work. Husband took Wee Z to karate and he left with his form to complete his next grading. This means he will move on to an orange belt. He is really, really enjoying karate now and because he enjoys it, he is doing really well. This is something I've come to learn of Wee Z. If he enjoys doing something then he picks it up really quickly and does really well at it. In the afternoon, Miss C and I made some brownies. They were really tasty and gooey.

Friends With Kids - Review and Giveaway

Friday night is film night in our house. Once the kids are in bed, Husband and I get our snacks ready and sit down to watch a film. Usually it will be a new film I haven't seen that Husband says I "just have to watch", however we do watch the odd new film that neither of us have seen.

That's what we did last Friday night. I was sent the film "Friends with kids" to review. It's available to buy on DVD and Blu-Ray now.

This film sounded like my kind of film. I like films that are easy to watch, make me laugh and are a bit soppy too. Chick-flicks!

"Friends with kids" is about a group of 6 friend, made up of 2 couples and 2 best friends. The couples in the group start to have families which leave the 2 best friends wondering where they fit in with their friends. They decided to have a baby together but to carry on dating other people until they find their "person". This way they can have all the good bits of having a baby without the difficult relationship parts their friends seem to have.

I enjoyed the film. It made me laugh at parts and made me sad at others. It was kind of predictable how the story would unfold but that's what makes a chick-flick a chick-flick. It isn't the best movie I've seen but definitely worth a watch. Husband wasn't so keen but did enjoy the eye-candy in the film in the form of Megan Fox.

The film stars Jennifer Westfield, (24, Grey's Anatomy) who also wrote and directed the film and Adam Scott (Leap Year).

I have a copy of "Friends with kids" and also a copy of "Magic Mike" to giveaway to one lucky reader. "Magic Mike" is the film with Channing Tatum playing a stripper and it is, well, HOT! If you haven't seen it...WATCH IT! Or enter the giveaway to win it!

Fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Entries will be checked and any invalid entries will be removed before the random draw takes place. Remember to leave me a way to contact you so I can let you know if you have won.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Good luck!

This giveaway is open to UK residents only. No cash alternative. The prize is a DVD copy of "Friends with kids" and "Magic Mike" both from Lionsgate. This giveaway will close as indicated on the Rafflecopter form on Sunday 25th November. The PR providing this prize will be responsible for sending the prize to the winner. By entering you agree to provide your contact details so the prize can be sent. These will not be used for any other reason and deleted once the giveaway is over. 

I received a copy of Friends with kids for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Silent Sunday

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Toddler's Guide to Throwing the Perfect Tantrum

Good old toddler tantrums. I'd thought I'd seen the back of those a long time ago but apparently Miss C has other ideas. Miss C, the girl who wouldn't say boo to a goose, was as quiet as a mouse and seemed angelic in comparison to her brother, has done a complete 180 on us.

It is quite scary.

And BOY does she know how to throw a tantrum. If she could share her knowledge amongst other children, I'm sure her guide to throwing the perfect toddler tantrum would read like this:

  • When your adult tells you to do something you don't want to do, start whining to show your objection 
  • When your adult doesn't budge on their point, whine a little harder...maybe throw in a foot stomp...they don't like that
  • When your adult tells you to do as your told please, raise your voice to draw attention to the situation...they don't like that can tell because their face starts to change colour
  • Your adult will now try to get you to do whatever it is you don't want to do, like putting your shoes on, so your job is to go rigid. That's right; don't move at all and draw on your incredible super human child strength. It freaks your adult out
  • When your adult threatens you with the naughty step, time out or other promises that they don't always intend to keep, throw yourself to the ground and scream, kick, cry, roll about and scream some more. If your adult hadn't changed colour before, they will do by the time you've done this. Especially effective in a very public place. Like the supermarket.

Miss C threw her latest tantrum at soft play yesterday. It was over the most silliest of things but then, it always is isn't it? I was going to take them to McDonalds as a treat for tea. Miss C wanted to go to Burger King instead as it has a soft play...

I gave her her countdown from 5 to calm down, which she didn't and after watching her throw herself to the ground, I picked up her things and walked away. She quickly followed but she wasn't happy. Nor was I.

There was no McDonalds for her.

I did treat myself to a beef satay from the Chinese to make myself feel better though.

Flashback Friday - The 20 Week Scan

For Flashback Friday this week I've chosen my 20 week scan photo of Wee Z.

The difference between the 12 week scan and the 20 week scan is amazing. We couldn't get over how big the baby had gotten  in just 8 weeks...and that doesn't change once they come out!

We didn't want to know what we were having. Thankfully the sonographer didn't ask us as I was definitely curious, so had she asked, I might have said, "tell me NOW!" Just so I couldn't peek, Husband covered my eyes. I wouldn't have know what I was looking for anyway...well I would have know what to look for but I'd have had no idea what I was looking know what I mean.

Everything was as it should be with Wee Z which left us feeling relieved and excited for the next 20 weeks.

This post is for Flashback Friday which is hosted by the lovely ladies...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The 80s #TheGallery

I don't remember much about the 1980s as I was just a little baby back then. Looking back at family photos though, it seems the 80s were the era of Michael Jackson and the Rod Stewart haircut. I have a family video and every single female member of my family had a Rod Stewart hair-do. Thankfully the kids were spared!

So I was born in the 80s (no Calvin pun intended). I have a few baby pictures of me but I suppose, apart from my birth, the most memorable event for my little baby self would be my Christening. I was the first Grandchild to both sets of Grandparents.

I chose this picture because it is one of the only photos I have of my Grandad and my Gran together. My Gran is wearing the lovely blue dress. I seem to remember she didn't really like having her photo taken...maybe I'm remembering wrong but it seems fitting that she is the only one not looking at the camera and instead at my Mum and I. My Grandad is the man standing behind my Mum.

I like how the photographer has chosen to position everyone. My Dad's Mum is on my Mum's side whilst my Dad's Dad is beside my Gran. It really shows the family coming together to celebrate a new baby. 

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is the 80s.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Christmas Day Looks Inspired by Next

It's no secret that I do love Next. I could spend a small fortune in their shop and thankfully, Jane from Northern Mum has a fantastic competition on her blog right now to win a £500 gift voucher to spend in Next. If you want to join in then you need to come up with a Christmas Day inspired look for you and your family using items from Next.

I love Christmas Day, especially since Wee Z and Miss C came along. In the morning, we go downstairs, still in our jammies and exchange presents. Then we get all dressed up because it is a day to be fancy, (and probably one of the few days we get the chance to wear something special!) and enjoy our Christmas dinner together.

Here's a photo of us all dressed up last year on Christmas Day. I think we scrub up OK!

Anyway, here are the looks I've gone for:

My Christmas Day Look
Lace Dress Berry and White Underwear Black Patent Shoes Black Tights Earrings Necklace Floral PJs Slipper Boots

I've chosen some new jammies for us all as that's what we wear for the first part of Christmas Day. I love these pink flowery trousers and long sleeve top. I'm a huge fan of boot-style slippers and these embellished ones are just like Miss C's slippers so we can match!

For the afternoon I've chosen this beautiful lace dress in this very wintry berry colour. Matching underwear is a must so it doesn't show through the dress quite as much and I've gone for some black (shaping) tights to hold the "Winter Plumage" in. Some very gorgeous patent peep-toe shoes and sparkly jewellery finishes off the look. You can't beat a bit of Christmas sparkle.

Husband's Christmas Day Look
Y-Neck Jumper Dark Wash Jeans Festive boxers 5 Pack Socks Tan Hiker Boots Red Check Jammies Super Soft Robe

For Husband, his morning look would be this beautiful fleecy burgundy robe and these lovely tartan-looking jammies and short sleeve t-shirt set. Sadly the man modelling them isn't Husband...

For the afternoon, Husband likes to keep smart but comfortable. I love him in just a jumper and jeans combo. The Y-neck jumper is in my favourite colour and Husband prefers a dark wash jean so we're both happy with this look. And because Husband couldn't go the day without wearing something festive, I've chosen the snowflake boxers. Not that he'd be showing them off...well maybe after a few mulled wines!

Wee Z's Christmas Day Look
Chambray Shirt Vintage Skinny Jean Suede Desert Boot 3 Pack Trunks 7 Pack Socks Green Star Onesie Slipper Booties

For Wee Z, I've chosen a onesie in navy with green stars and some boot-style slippers in navy. He's been asking for a onesie for ages and green is his favourite colour. He'll be nice and cosy when he opens his presents from Santa.

For the afternoon, Wee Z loves to wear jeans and a t-shirt but I've chosen a navy shirt to smarten him up. This is a look that can be used again for any Christmas parties or New Year parties we have. I love the suede desert boots in navy as they match the shirt perfectly. The jeans come with a studded belt which I know Wee Z would love as he likes to be a bit of "rocker!"

Miss C's Christmas Day Look
Sequin Tunic Cardigan Corsage Shoes Cat Briefs Coral Heart Onesie Sequin Slipper Boots

The last look I've chosen is for Miss C however, she had already picked out her Christmas dress from Next last week! Miss C chose this beautiful sequined tunic dress herself. I love the colour and the sparkles really give it that special touch. I've added a pink cardigan to keep her warm and some gorgeous pink glittery shoes to complete her look. She'll be overboard on pink, but it is her favourite colour.

For her Christmas morning look, I've chosen this fluffy, snug looking onesie with love heart detail. She already has the embellished fluffy pink boot-style slippers which are as soft and pretty as they look. You can see why I wanted a pair for myself.

And that's our Christmas Day inspired looks. I've had lots of fun putting them together and if you want to join in the competition then head over to Northern Mum and check the T&Cs. I'm off to nosey at the other entries!

Thanks for hosting a fab competition Jane :)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekFortyFive

Last Sunday, we managed a bit of a lie in until 8:30am. Husband gave the kids their breakfast whilst I went for a run...even though I really didn't feel like it. I felt better after it though and it helped wake me up. In the afternoon, Husband took the kids on another adventure. It's nice for him to spend some daddy-kid time with them as for a long time he worked night shift and didn't see them over the weekend. In the evening, Husband and I went to see Michael McIntyre. The show was hilarious, I was crying with tears and we really enjoyed spending some time together.

On Monday, Miss C and I spent the morning playing games including Monster Catcher from Orchard Toys and a lovely wooden whale alphabet puzzle. After lunch, we did our nails or rather I did the nails, Miss C just got hers painted. Miss C wanted to ride her bike to pick Wee Z up from school so we did that and then I went to work whilst the kids went to the firework display with their Daddy and friends.

On Tuesday, it was a rather horrid wet day. We managed to walk to school but Miss C and I decided to spend the day indoors. We played with some Sylvanian Families and had a game of Where's My Cupcake? from Orchard Toys. We picked Wee Z up from school and then dropped him off at his friend's house as he was going to play and have tea there. He was in bed by the time I got home from work but I heard he had a great time.

On Wednesday, it was miserable again. Miss C and I spent the day painting my nails again, cleaning and playing games. We played Pop Up Pirate and I got the fright of my life when the pirate popped up and then we played Red Rover. The rain held off for us picking Wee Z up from school thankfully!

On Thursday, Miss C went to nursery again after being off with chicken pox. She was excited to go and see her Gran and her new friend she has made. I picked her up from nursery and she was full of beans. So much so, she ran all the way home. In the afternoon, we watched some TV and played with her Peppa Pig toys.

On Friday, Miss C and I spent the afternoon watching Peppa Pig as she was tired from nursery in the morning. I do secretly enjoy watching Peppa Pig as I think there are lots of bits added to make the grown-ups laugh. Miss C went back to ballet and did really well by going straight in and not crying. I think she enjoyed having all the other girls make a fuss of her. Wee Z went to his Friday club with his friends and was treated to a bag of chips on the way home.

On Saturday, Husband took Wee Z to karate whilst Miss C and I attempted to build the Olivia LEGO Friends house we were sent to review for Izziwizzi Kids. It took me ages, which is usually the case when it comes to me and LEGO playsets. Miss C couldn't wait to play with it. When Husband and Wee Z came home, they spent the rest of the afternoon working together to build this fabulous LEGO house. When it was finished, Miss C finally got her wish to play.

It didn't stay like this for long though!

Silent Sunday

Friday, 9 November 2012

Flashback Friday - The First Movements

For this week's Flashback Friday I decided to continue with my pregnancy with Wee Z. As I didn't start blogging until after Miss C was born, I've never really spoken about my pregnancy with Wee Z and I thought I should document it whilst I still remember most of it.

Finding out I was pregnant was a bit strange. It doesn't seem real even though you have sore boobs, you feel sick and you constantly need to pee. Even when I had my first scan, it still didn't seem real that I was growing an actual person inside my tummy.

Until the first time I felt Wee Z move...

We were sitting in our living room on New Years Eve at which point I would have been about 18 weeks pregnant. We were playing poker with Best Friend and her newly announced Fiance, as they had just gotten engaged that night. I felt this little flutter in my tummy but thought nothing of it until it happened again and again.

At first I thought the flutter was just wind, but when I didn't pump, I figured it must be the baby. I wanted Husband to be able to feel it, but of course, it was too light for him to feel.

It wasn't until I was about 21 weeks and we were lying in bed. I'd been feeling movement for a few weeks now but Husband still hadn't managed to feel the baby move. Wee Z was being particularly active that morning so I told Husband to put his hand on my tummy. At first he couldn't feel anything and as you can't make the baby move yourself, we had to wait for him to do something.

It seemed to take ages and I think we were giving up on the baby moving again...

...And then he kicked. And Husband felt it. It was amazing and it made it real for both of us.

I do still laugh and wait for the day to tell Wee Z that when I first felt him move I thought I needed to pump.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

A Future Fashionista?

Last week, Miss C and I went shopping for her Christmas party dress. I had some vouchers for Next from my Step-dad so I decided we'd go there. They also have gorgeous party dresses in right now so it was kind of a given we'd go there anyways.

I wanted Miss C to choose her own dress as, even at the tender age of 3, she is very particular about what she wants to wear. I bought her some beautiful tan boots from Next recently and when I suggested she wear them with her yellow duffel coat, she turned to me and said, "NO..they do not go!"

Let's just say she knows what she likes.

So after I did my food shopping, Miss C and I went over to Next. She walked around the shop looking at all the dresses. She'd pick one up and then put it back and choose another. When I suggested a dress she'd look at it and pick something else. We must have spent a good 30 minutes looking at dresses - I was starting to worry about my freezer food!

Eventually she decided on this very pretty party dress. I think she made a good choice! I think she will look just gorgeous on Christmas Day in it. My little fashion diva.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Autumn #TheGallery

You know Autumn has arrived when the park goes from looking like this...

To looking like this...

Autumn has well and truly arrived and I love it.

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Autumn.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Children's Picture Books - Review

We were sent some new books to review recently, all published by Maverick Arts Publishing. Wee Z and Miss C love getting new books to read and when they come in the post, they fight over who gets to look at them first. Quite often Wee Z will read the book to Miss C before I get a chance to look at the book.

The first book we read was The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips. This book is about a scary beast who eats small children for his dinner. The children hide behind their curtains and under the stairs but when the beastie tricks them by crying and being upset, they go outside to help and he gobbles them up. Luckily, one little boy escapes and he runs to find help from his Gran.

What I loved about this book is it goes back to the way stories were told in the books I grew up reading. For example, in Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs, the woodsman kills the wolf with an axe and two of the three little pigs get eaten by a wolf. Nowadays, books don't go "there" with children's stories. I also like that it gives a good topic of conversation around strangers and how some bad strangers can trick children. Maybe that's a bit deep for some children but for Wee Z it was a great talking point and I find he responds to things from books more than just talking generally.

The Fearsome Beastie is the first book from Giles Paley-Phillips and it won The People's Book Prize. It is illustrated by Gabriele Antonini. 

The second book we received was Tamara Small and the Monsters' Ball, again written by Giles Paley-Phillips. This book is about a little girl called Tamara Small who is taken by a monster to the annual monsters' ball. At first she is afraid but she soon has lots of fun with all the monsters and can't wait to go back again.

This book reminded me a little of Roald Dahl's The B.F.G because the monster comes to Tamara's house and takes her through her window to the ball. The book is written in rhyme which I enjoy reading as I get to use my "sing-song" voice and it encourages Miss C to look for words that sound the same. This is a really fun, colourful book and I thought it would be an excellent book to read at Halloween. I also like that the book has the character's name in it; it suggests that there could be a series of books featuring Tamara Small.

Tamara Small and the Monsters' Ball is the second book from Giles Paley-Phillips and was published in October 2012. It is illustrated by Gabriele Antonini.

The last book we read was The Jelly That Wouldn't Wobble written by Angela Mitchell. This is a really fun book about a Princess who is celebrating her birthday but gets very angry when her birthday jelly won't wobble like a jelly should wobble. The kingdom has to come up with a way to make the jelly wobbly before the Princess' birthday party is ruined.

We loved this story as it is really fun and easy to read. The pictures are bright and quirky and I loved the grumpy jelly!

The Jelly That Wouldn't Wobble is written by Angela Mitchell, who works as a Librarian. This book was published in May 2012. The book is illustrated by Sarah Horne.

We received these books for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekFortyFour

Last Sunday, I woke up feeling so ill and groggy, it was horrible. Coupled with the fact that I had very little sleep the night before, I wasn't feeling my best. The kids did some colouring in and built a den with Daddy whilst I did the ironing. In the afternoon, we lazed about and played Harry Potter on the Kinect.

On Monday, Miss C awoke with lots of chicken pox. I had noticed a few suspect spots on her back at bath time on Sunday, so I added some bicarbonate of soda to her bath. My suspicions were confirmed on Monday morning though. Her hairline was a mess! We stayed in all day, except for when we had to watch out for a cooker being delivered and pick up Wee Z from school. We read books, played with megabloks and watched a bit of TV.

On Tuesday, Miss C's chicken pox had gotten worse, so it was another house day for us. In the morning we did some colouring in and made meatballs for dinner. In the afternoon, we cuddled up on the couch to watch The Gruffalo together.

On Wednesday, after a restless night and a meningtis scare, Husband took the day off work and we stayed in with Miss C, taking it in turns to nap and keep Miss C company. Not that she needed much company since she fell asleep at 10am and didn't wake til 2:30! When she awoke, she seemed much better and we watched Bambi together before I had to go to work.

On Thursday, Miss C and I went for a bike ride. She was enjoying being out in the fresh air after being stuck indoors all day on Wednesday. It was my day off work so after we picked Wee Z up, we came home and made some firework pictures.

On Friday, Miss C and I went food shopping and party dress shopping. In the afternoon, Miss C played with her dolls whilst I started writing my Christmas cards. Early I know, but I have so much on between now and Christmas that I really need to get things done. I had the house to myself once the kids were in bed as Husband was off to a 21st birthday party. I caught up on my blog reading and Christmas shopping!

What about this one Mummy?
On Saturday, Wee Z went to karate and got his third tab on his yellow belt. After a few moans about not wanting to go to karate and a break during the summer holidays, Wee Z has really gotten into karate and he is improving every week. When I got home from work, I decided to start some of my Christmas present wrapping. After dinner, we had a movie night with a Disney film and some snacks. 

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Our Crafty Firework Pictures

I'm not big on crafts, as you may know if you have read my craft-related posts before. I don't do well with mess or creativity. So I don't know what came over me when I decided we'd make some firework pictures using glue, glitter and black card.

Perhaps because it is quite easy to do.

All you need for this craft activity is:

The kids went crazy with their glue sticks. Miss C opted for some lovely circles whilst Wee Z went for some swirls with shooting bits out the end. He also added some roof-tops and some stars.

Once the glue was on the page, it was time to sprinkle the glitter. I have glitter in little shakers so it doesn't go absolutely everywhere. Wee Z was quite vigorous with his glitter shaker and went for a multi-coloured firework whilst Miss C was much more gentle.

After the glitter application, it was time to shake the pictures off to get any excess glitter off the paper. This is where that newspaper or magazine comes in handy as you can shake it all on to there and then wrap the paper up and throw it in the bin.

And the end result looked like this:

Bright, sparkly and not nearly as noisy as the real thing!

Toyologist Box 2 - A Round Up

At the beginning of October, we received our second box as part of the Toys R Us toyologist programme. We receive an email before hand to let us know what will be in the box and let me tell you, I was totally overwhelmed. In a good way of course.

We had been wondering what to get Miss C for Christmas and Geoffrey surprised us by filling our box with all the things we were thinking of getting. A new pram, a new baby, a puppy and something Miss C had been asking for since she saw it in Toys R Us one day: a scooter for her BABY Born. So thank you very much Geoffrey for sending us all these lovely new toys for Miss C.

Anyway, here is a round up of the reviews we did this month which are all on the Toys R Us Box blog, along with the reviews of all the other toys my fellow toyologists have been testing.

Miss C was delighted with her new BABY Born doll. BABY Born can be fed, clothed, put to bed and she can pee! Even after a month with her new doll, she still plays with her BABY Born every day. Her favourite place for her? Her new pram; a Mamas and Papas Urbo Sugar Spot Pram. And when BABY Born isn't sleeping, she's crusing around the living room on her BABY Born Scooter.

Miss C also loved her new puppy, a Bouncy Happy to See me Pup from FurReal. This is a really cute little puppy and it comes with all the perks of a real dog except I don't have to walk it or clean up after it! Miss C really loves her new puppy and likes to sit her in the basket of the Mamas and Papas pram and take her for a walk with her baby.

Wee Z enjoyed his new Ben 10 omnitrix touch. He is a huge Ben 10 fan and the interactive omnitrix was a welcomed addition to his Ben 10 collection. We also had lots of fun playing with Star Wars Fighter Pods and a Nano Speed car set.

Also in our box this month we reviewed a game called Pumpazing, Transformers Botshot Battlesets and Lego Duplo Creative Cake. 

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