Thursday, 31 January 2013

Zingo Bingo - Review

"Oooo! It's Zingo, Bingo with a zing!" said Wee Z when he saw the new game we received from Top Toy Box Educational Games to review.

Zingo Bingo is a game suitable for 2 to 6 players and for ages 4 and over. Inside the box you get 6 double-sided game cards, 72 picture tiles and, what makes it Zingo and not just Bingo, you get a Zinger.

The idea of the game is to be the first player to match all the tiles on your game board from the tiles that come out of the Zinger. There are different variations on the game to mix it up a bit which are included and explained in the parent guide leaflet.

The game cards are double-sided; a green side which is easier and more suited to younger players and a red side which is more competitive so it becomes harder for you to complete your game card.

The tiles are loaded up into the two columns inside the Zinger. You then place the lid on top, pull it toward you and then pull it back and 2 tiles will be revealed. If someone has one or two of the tiles, they can take them and place them on their board. If neither of the tiles are required, you place them through the slot and back into the Zinger.

The Zinger was a bit stiff to get working and sometimes it got stuck or 2 tiles would come out of one column but when it worked properly, Miss C and Wee Z were able to pull it forward and push it back easily. The picture on the box gave me impression that the tiles would shoot out of the Zinger, but I never managed to get them to do that. Mind you, I preferred them staying within the tray and not flying across the room to end up under the dishwasher or washing machine. 

Zingo was really fun to play. Miss C wanted to play it over and over again. She loved watching out for the pictures of the animals such as the cat and the dog. I liked that the tiles had the words for the picture underneath so we could practise our spellings. Wee Z enjoyed playing too and helping his sister find the cards she needed. 

Zingo Bingo is a great game for young children and a great family game too. I'd definitely recommend it to a friend.

We give this a big 9.5/10 

We received Zingo Bingo for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Bond #TheGallery

As much as I'd like to have a picture of Daniel Craig in "those" swimming trunks for us all to drool over, Tara said she wasn't talking about James Bond when she chose The Gallery theme this week.

The strongest bond I have is with my Husband. My children and I, of course, share the most special, amazing, unconditional bond and at first I thought that bond was stronger than the one I have with Husband but then I realised it is just different.

The bond I have with Husband is that of love, trust and friendship. We bring out the best in each other and I'm sure there are times when we bring out the worst in each other but we still love each other no matter what.

He can make me laugh (usually at him!), he makes me smile, I feel safe and loved and wanted. I still get butterflies when I see him or know I'm going to see him soon.

We've been together for 10 years this year. Sometimes it feels like we've been together forever, but in a good way.

I can't imagine not having our bond.

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Bond. Now that you've thrown up a little bit, go check out the other entries.

Monday, 28 January 2013

We Have A New Addition

Please say hello to our newest family member; Jazz.

Jazz is 7 weeks old and we brought him/her home on Sunday. Well, Husband and 2 very excited small people brought it home. I was not involved in the decision-making process.

I'm VERY indecisive so best that I stayed clear.

It is a terrified little thing so I'm not sure if it will settle into our house with 3 other cats and 2 children, one of which is obsessed with animals and will probably try to put Jazz in one of her baby outfits or in my knickers. Jazz was moved from his/her mum on the Sunday so it had that trauma and then the trauma of coming to our house.

On Sunday night, I told Husband to bring Jazz into the kitchen so it would learn where the toilet was and where the food was. The poor thing stayed under the table, shaking. We kept the kitchen door shut and as Husband went outside for a smoke, I saw Jazz run. I wasn't really paying attention to where it ran, I just saw it scarper.

We spent 2 and a half hours looking for the kitten. When we couldn't find it in the house, Husband thought it might have gone outside. If it was outside, it was gone. The award for "shortest kept pet" was going to us.

He searched everywhere he could think with no luck. I knew the kitten wasn't in the house as the other cats were in and they weren't going mad with the new smell. Friends came out to help look with their dogs. It was a full-on kitty search.

Husband felt terrible. I told him to look behind the fridge as this was the only place we hadn't checked. Husband said there was no way he could fit behind the fridge. I told him to pull it out anyway and when he did and I looked down on the floor, there was Jazz looking up at me as if to say, "took you long enough didn't it?" 

Jazz has been much better today but still timid. It won't eat or drink but it has used the litter tray and it did play with a toy mouse. It also put up with Miss C fussing over him/her all day.

I think it will be OK.

And yes, I'm not sure what flavour of kitten we have as he/she is a huge ball of fluff. What I can tell you is it either has very small boy bits or a big hairy girl bit.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

What We Did Last Week #WeekFour

Last Sunday, we went our for dinner for Husband's birthday. We went to our favourite Italian restaurant. I had mussels and Husband had scallops to start. I had carbonara and Husband had calzone for mains and for pudding I had apple crumble and Husband had cheesecake. Wee Z had pizza and Miss C had her favourite - Spaghetti Bolognaise. It was a lovely meal and we went home full to the brim.

On Monday, it was back to school for Wee Z. It had snowed a bit overnight but not much and by the time we were walking to school, it had pretty much gone. Miss C and I stayed in as it was too cold to go outside. I attempted to put up our new roller blind whilst Miss C played with her toys and dressed up as a Princess.

On Tuesday, it had snowed even more overnight. It wasn't much more than Monday but it was enough for us to make footprints in the snow which the kids loved. Miss C and I made a snowman and a snow dog in the afternoon. They weren't very big as the snow had pretty much melted.

On Wednesday, it was my cleaning day. Miss C helped me with the hoovering! We walked together to pick up Wee Z and then rushed home as it was so cold.

On Thursday, Miss C went to nursery. I went for a run, came home and had a hot shower. You can't beat a hot shower after a cold run. In the afternoon, Miss C and I walked into town to get some birthday presents. We also bought some chocolate muffins from Greggs as a treat.

On Friday, it was Burns Day in Scotland. Miss C wore her tartan hairband and ate some haggis in nursery. In the afternoon, Miss C went to ballet and in the evening Wee Z went to his Friday club. He got a ticket for the Valentines' Day disco which he is very excited about!

On Saturday, after work, I walked down to the local soft play and met Husband and the kids there. The kids were going to a birthday party. The soft play was really busy and really loud. The kids had a great time and Miss C enjoyed getting her face painted as Hello Kitty. I was ready for bed after 2 hours in the noise!


Friday, 25 January 2013

Chicken and Rice Soup - Recipe

You really can't beat a good bowl of soup on a cold Winter's day. I'll eat pretty much any kind of soup except minestrone, as I have nightmares of the tinned stuff we were forced to eat at my Grandma and Grandpa's house. It got poured down the sink whenever they went out the room.

My Gran used to make the best potato and veg soup and my friend, Cupcake Neighbour, makes the yummiest chicken and rice soup. Miss C LOVES it!

I made some myself last weekend. I'm not the best soup maker but Cupcake Neighbour told me how to make it and it turned out fantastic. It is really easy to make too.


For the stock:

The bones from chicken legs, thighs and wings off a cooked chicken

For the soup:

2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 onion, sliced
A cup of long grain rice
Some chicken from a cooked chicken
4 chicken stock cubes (I used liquid ones)

Let's cook it!

Place the chicken bones in a large pot and fill it about 3/4 full. Boil the chicken bones for one hour. Remove them from the liquid after this time.

Add the carrots, leek, onion and stock cubes to the pot. Boil for 1 and a half hours. Add the cup of rice and boil for a further 30 minutes.

You can add some left over chicken to the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with some crusty bread!

You can keep this in a container for a few days. Always boil the soup before serving and add a little boiled water if you feel it needs it.

Flashback Friday - The Labour

For Flashback Friday this week, I'm continuing my pregnancy story. Last week I was being taken down to the labour ward to have my waters broken.

The labour room was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. Of course, we had seen one room during our antenatal classes, but this room seemed much bigger. There was a bed, a space hopper birthing ball, lots of machines and a cot for the baby to go into once he or she arrived.

I changed into a hospital gown and I was told to lie on the bed to have my waters broken. The midwife managed to get them first time so I wasn't exposed for too long. This was the part I was dreading; having my bits on show to every Tom, Dick or Harry that wanted a peek...maybe I wouldn't be in this predicament had I not let one of those aforementioned names see my womanhood in the first place.

I was hooked up to an IV so I could have the hormone drip to start my contractions. I  needed the loo and I had to take a bedpan in with me. Were they worried I was going to give birth on the toilet? I really only needed a pee, not a baby. I did feel something strange happen when I went to the loo though and when I checked the bedpan, I had passed the mucus plug or, more pleasantly named, the show. Husband almost puked in another bedpan.

I wanted to try and not use any sort of pain relief if I could, other than gas and air. I sat on the space hopper, resisting the urge to go bouncing out the room and down the corridor. The contractions were really strong but I guessed they would be with the hormone drip. It was all so artificial but it was still painful.

Only 2 hours after having my drip put in, I was crying for drugs. I tried the gas and air and it made me feel sick. I couldn't go on. I was in agony. The midwife checked me and I wasn't even a full centimetre dilated. She called for the anaesthetist.

I had my epidural and within 10 minutes, I couldn't feel a thing. I went to sleep. I slept for most of the day. Husband was watered with plenty of cups of tea and fed sandwiches. I was allowed small sips of water. I felt hot and groggy and not with it.

My midwife had to leave. Her shift was up. It was 8pm. Still I had no baby. They checked how dilated I was. I was only 4 centimetres. I had moved 3 cms in 8 hours.

I had a temperature. A really high temperature. The Doctor came in and told us if the baby hadn't moved within the hour, I would have to have a C-section. My cervix was starting to swell around the baby's head and the Doctor was worried I was going to become very ill. I had a top up on my epidural. I was given paracetamol for my temperature.

At 10pm, the Doctor came back to check me. We were about to find out if I was going to have my baby myself or whether I would have to have an emergency C-section...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

No Privacy in the Loo

Privacy. There's a word that I lost a long time ago. I can pinpoint the moment I lost it. It was the moment my womanhood was put on display to a room full of medical professionals and a child emerged from it. There was nothing private about that moment.

Sadly, as the years go on, I don't seem to have reclaimed my privacy fully. This is most evident when I try to go to the toilet alone.

Miss C likes to show her concern when I go to the toilet. This can be in the house or when we go out somewhere. Miss C is there, making sure I'm OK.

The other day I went to the toilet and she followed me up to the door. She looked at me and closed the door over for me.

"Are you OK in there Mummy?" Yes I said. A few seconds passed.

"Are you sure you are OK in there Mummy? Do you need me to help you?" No thank you I said.

"Do you need me to wipe your bum Mummy?" No...give it about 60 years though.

"I'll leave you alone now Mummy!" It's OK, I said, I'm finished now.

Then, on Saturday, we went out for lunch. Miss C asked me to take her to the toilet. She went in one cubicle and as I was bursting, I went in the one beside her.

"Are you OK Mummy?" Yes I said.

"OK, I'm just doing a wee Mummy!" OK then.

"Are you doing a wee or a poo Mummy?" Erm...just a wee...just hurry up and finish please I said.

Thankfully no one else was in the toilet with us. I couldn't face a repeat of the Wee Z toilet chat.

On to this morning. I went to the toilet before we had to leave for school and nursery. Miss C was heading down the stairs to get her shoes on.

"Will you be OK in there yourself Mummy?" Yes I said.

"You won't be lonely Mummy?" No I said.

And off she went.

I'm loving the concern but really, will there ever be a day when this Mummy can do her toilet business in private?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Adventure #TheGallery

Wake up everybody,
Look outside!
The snow has finally come,
Let's go out to play!

Into the snow we go,
We're wrapped up all warm.
What can we see? 
What can we do?

Look, footprints in the snow!
Who do these belong too?
Where do they go?

Ah it's Casper the cat,
Why didn't you know?
He's having an adventure,
He's playing in the snow!

Off we go along the path...

Look, footprints in the snow!
Who do these belong too?
Where do they go?

Ah it's Miss C and Wee Z,
Why didn't you know?
They are walking to school,
What an adventure in the snow!

Lots of snow on the ground,
Great for writing our name.
We'll enjoy our snow adventure,
Because soon it's to rain! 

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

Sunday, 20 January 2013

What We Did Last Week #WeekThree

Last Sunday, it was a miserable day. It tried to snow a bit but it didn't come to much. The day was brightened up by going to visit a friend and her new baby. Miss C asked for a cuddle with the baby and as soon as I placed the baby in her arms, the baby did a poo. Miss C was horrified and quickly handed the baby back. I think she'll be sticking to BABY Born for the time-being.

On Monday, it was back to school for Wee Z and tidying up for me. Miss C played in her room whilst I tackled the dust and debris in our room from Husband attacking the walls with a sander. In the afternoon, we went for a bike ride.

Walking to school

On Tuesday, Miss C and I made bolognaise for lunch/dinner. I love spaghetti bolognaise and it is about the only meal I have to have a huge portion of. In the afternoon, as it was lovely and sunny, we went for another bike ride.

On Wednesday, it was really cold. We stayed indoors until we had to pick Wee Z up from school and snuggled under my duvet on the air bed in the living room, where Husband and I are sleeping just now. We played with Miss C's Playmobil toys.

On Thursday, Miss C went to nursery so I had the morning to myself. I went for a short run as it was so cold. When I picked her up, we went home and had lunch. After lunch we took a bike ride to the shops to get some milk and then cycled through the graveyard.

On Friday, it was Husband's birthday. Miss C and I made a cake and we had pizza for dinner. The cake was really yummy! Wee Z went to his Friday club and I delivered some cake to friends. Everybody loves a cake fairy!

On Saturday, I took Wee Z to karate and Miss C and I went to the park. We fed the ducks, who must have been really hungry as they were snatching bread right out of our hands. Husband took us for lunch to a Chinese restaurant. In the evening, Wee Z had a party to go to. Miss C had her friend over to have a PJ party. They watched Tangled together, cuddled up on the couch.


Friday, 18 January 2013

Flashback Friday - Being Induced

For Flashback Friday this week, I'm continuing with my pregnancy story. We'd been told I was going to be taken in to be induced in less than 24 hours. It was starting to sink in that I was about to have a baby.

On May 29th at 2pm, I arrived with Husband at the maternity unit to be induced. I had a suitcase with me with my stuff and tiny babygros for my new baby to wear. We had been to the Bear Factory to make a bear for the baby so I brought it with me too. I kept it beside me the whole time I was in hospital as I wanted the bear to smell like me so the baby would be comforted by it.

I was taken to the ward and in to a room with 3 other ladies. One of the ladies was also being induced whilst another was having a section and one was in as she was unwell and had to be monitored. I met other ladies from other rooms who had just given birth or were about to give birth. One lady had just given birth to triplets!

I was given my first dose of the gel to help ripen my cervix (lovely!) at 5pm that day. I had to stay in bed for 30 minutes but then I was allowed to get up and go for a big long walk. We walked around the hospital grounds, occasionally I would jump up and down in a hope of getting things going and then we came back to my room to have dinner. I remember the pudding was quite yummy!

The next morning, the Doctor came to see if the gel had worked. It hadn't. My stubborn cervix had done nothing. I was given some more gel and then left the rest of the day. I never felt any twinges or any pain. I was fed up. I thought the gel would have worked first time, my waters would have broke and I'd have had a baby within a few hours. How naive was I?!

In the evening, the DR came back to check me and still the gel hadn't done much. They gave me one last dose of the gel and decided they'd check me again in the morning. I didn't sleep much that night, wishing to feel just a slight twinge. Eventually my tummy started getting sore so I asked for some paracetamol. Finally, I managed to sleep.

It was the morning of the 31st of May. I was one day passed by actual due date. Maybe today would be the day. The day we met our baby. The midwife came and woke me up at 6am and told me to get my stuff ready. I was being taken to the labour ward to have my waters broken.

Finally, I thought! In a few hours, I'd be having a cuddle with my brand new baby. Wee Z, however, had other ideas...

Thursday, 17 January 2013

My Bedroom Style

The decorating has begun. Husband has been sticking, plastering, sanding, nailing and painting all weekend and our bedroom is starting to take shape.

I can't wait until it is finished!

Our colour theme is red and a soft coffee colour (read cream with a posh name) and we are painting 2 walls in the red and 2 walls in the soft coffee. I can't wait to see how it looks!

As we are on a budget, we can't completely finish the room. We can't afford a carpet yet however, the walls will be done and the ceiling will be done and to finish off the room, we will get new curtains and new bedsheets. Hopefully we can get the carpet later in the year and add some skirtings and we'll be done!

I've been browsing online to get some inspiration. As always, I browsed though Next as it is one of my favourite shops and even the kids enjoy browsing their homeware section at our local shop. Next always have really pretty fabrics and beautiful colours schemes.

Another online shop I had a nosy at was Littlewoods. I found the most gorgeous bed linen. I love the flower patterns! Our room faces East so we need a blackout blind to keep the room dark in those early summer sun rise, so I ordered a red one from them.

On Argos, I found some beautiful bed linen and lovely poppy curtains. As our window wall will be the soft coffee colour, I thought a red curtain with a pattern would really stand out against the light colour on the wall. 

I can't wait to finish our room. Decorating has been long overdue so I'm really excited to add little touches and sleep soundly in the end result.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

New #TheGallery

A few days after Christmas, something or rather someone NEW arrived. My friend had a baby. I was so excited to meet this new little person and we were lucky enough to see the baby at hospital for a little while.

Being back in the hospital where I had given birth to my 2 babies was strange. It brought back scary memories but mostly it brought back lovely memories. Memories of meeting my new babies.

We went to visit my friend again at the weekend and got to see her beautiful baby. The baby is perfect in every way but then, which baby isn't just perfect? So new, so innocent and so amazing.

Our visit reminded me of giving birth to Wee Z. Not only was a new baby, he made me something new.

A Mummy.

A brand new Wee Z
Being a New Mummy is terrifying. It's scary. It's difficult. It's tiring. It's stressful. It's exciting. It's amazing. It's special. It's life-changing.

Above all, being a New Mummy is the ability to love someone unconditionally and know that you would do anything for your new little baby.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Having Fun At The Park

The weather has improved a lot since Christmas and we've been able to get out and about in the great outdoors, which we love. I hate the rain and the snow; I'm a fair-weather Mummy. I don't mind wrapping up in lovely coats, hats, scarves and gloves and going out in the cold though.

We had a great day at the park last week. Miss C and I went before I had to pick Wee Z up from school. We're really lucky to have not one but two parks on our doorstep so when the weather isn't any of the above that I don't like, we're out at them.

Miss C loves to feed the ducks and go on the slide. She hadn't been on the swings for ages as she decided she didn't like them. Last week was the first time she'd been on a swing in ages. She didn't like going too high but was feeling brave at a gentle to and you can see by the cheeky face!

I'm linking this post up to...

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sunday, 13 January 2013

What We Did This Week #WeekTwo

Last Sunday, we met up with a friend and her daughter and we went to the park. The kids had a great time jumping in muddy puddles, playing in the park, looking at the animals and running through the forest.

On Monday, it was the first day back to school for Wee Z. Miss C and I spent the day in the house, stripping the walls in my bedroom and playing with Miss C's doll house.

On Tuesday, Miss C and I went to the park after giving up on the wall stripping and declaring a hatred for all things DIY. Miss C played on the swings, went down the slide and fed the ducks.

On Wednesday, it was another lovely day but it was freezing. Miss C wanted to go for a bike ride but the stabilisers on her bike are broken so we went for a scooter ride instead.

On Thursday, it was back to nursery for Miss C. She had been asking all week to go and was very excited to see her teacher. In the afternoon, we went for another scooter ride, this time to school to pick up Wee Z. Miss C scooted down a hill and almost went right over the handlebars. Luckily, my Mummy psychic abilities were at a high level and I managed to catch her scooter so she just fell on her bum.

On Friday, Miss C and I went for a bike ride. Husband started the re-decorating of our bedroom by putting up new walls. In the evening, Wee Z went to his Friday club and Miss C and I went shopping for a birthday present for a certain Daddy who gets older next week.

On Saturday, Wee Z went back to karate after the holidays. I was working until after lunch and when I finished, we went to B&Q to look at paint. We chose a deep red colour and a soft cream colour. The kids and I went to Next to buy some clothes and then we came home and made cupcakes. Husband carried on with the decorating. After dinner, the kids and I snuggled up on the couch to watch Wall-E.


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