Saturday, 23 August 2014

21 Weeks Pregnant

I am currently 21 weeks pregnant and can't believe how much bigger I am than I was when I was at this stage in my pregnancy with Oscar. My midwife reassured me it was fine especially as I have been pregnant 4 times in the last two years my body has never had the chance to recover properly between losing the babies and me falling pregnant as soon as possible again afterwards. I feel so reassured now that I can feel the baby move and can't believe how quick my pregnancy is going! We found out I was pregnant at 3 and a half weeks so we have known for ages but didn't share the news with our family and friends until we had had our 20 week scan. God knows how I managed to hide it!




Oscar is being really helpful and keeps kissing and cuddling my little bump and is so excited to be a big brother. He keeps telling me how he is going to be the best big brother in the world! We have been reading 'There's a house inside my Mummy' at bedtime and its a really great book to read and prepare your little ones. We have asked Oscar what names he likes for the baby and he likes Monty and Robbie for a boy and Daisy for a girl. I am finding it really hard to think of a name that I really like, we have plenty of time to decide though.


Oscar starts in reception on the 3rd of September and I am being really organised and have written a list of all the bits I need to get done before Christmas and the baby comes. I want to have all my presents and be ready for Christmas by the middle of November in case the baby comes early like Oscar did. In fact I have already started buying bits for Oscar and have them hidden away. I know it will come around so fast! I can't believe September is already upon us, this is the month I always book our Harrod's Christmas Grotto slot and my Waitrose Christmas eve turkey delivery slot! 

For now I am making the most of the last week and a bit with Oscar before he starts school full time.... I'm dreading it! :(

Friday, 22 August 2014

Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf, Hertfordshire

On Wednesday we went to Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf with Becca and Chay. It is somewhere we hadn't visited before and with two Dinosaur crazy little boys we knew they would love it! It was only £3.25 each which is a great price and it took us about an hour to go around the 18 holes. We were given score cards and a putter and headed off on our dinosaur safari.



Around the course there are large dinosaur statues, some of which move and make noises. The boys absolutely loved it and had great fun! There is also a cafe there and a dinosaur gift shop. After an hour of fun we sat down and had an ice cream and they both couldn't stop talking about the dinosaurs they had seen and what ones were their favourites. It was a fun, cheap afternoon out!


The Dinosaur Safari adventure golf prices are:
  • Mini Explorers (under 4's), £3.25
  • Junior Explorers (under 12's), £6.25
  • Explorers (age 12 & over), £8.75
  • Explorer Group (family of 4, max of 2 adults), £26.00
Here is the address:

Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf 
A1 Golf Driving Range 
Rowley Lane 
Arkley 
Hertfordshire 
EN5 3HW 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Review: Trunki Shark Paddle Pak

You can see from previous posts on my blog we love a Trunki product so when we were asked to choose a Trunki PaddlePak design and then review the bag, Oscar was very excited! There are currently thirteen designs to choose from and a PaddlePak crab purse. Oscar choose the Paddle Pak shark and ever since it has arrived has taken it out and about with us and keeps pretending he is a shark himself! Inside our PaddlePak was some Ella's Kitchen goodies. To be honest I haven't brought any bits from Ella's Kitchen for a long time as always thought they were for younger children but Oscar absolutely loved them, especially the raspberry and banana nibbles and have had to add them to our weekly grocery shop. 


          


The Trunki PaddlePak is a water resistant backpack that you can close tightly at the top to prevent water leaking in or out. Making it the perfect bag for swimming lessons or on holiday by the pool to keep bits secure. We took it with us to Cliveden House last week and it poured down but Oscar's bits inside his bag stayed perfectly dry. The age range is 2+ but you can make the straps smaller or bigger which make the bag easily fit any age comfortably. One thing you can always be reassured by when buying a Trunki product is that you are always getting a high quality, durable product perfect for your little people! The PaddlePak's are only £24.99 with free delivery and will really last a long time. These bags would also be perfect for a school bag as they are light weight and durable and keep you children's bits dry and secure. It also has on one of the straps the unique Trunki trip which Oscar put his comforter through to keep it safe. We are going to Norfolk at the weekend and Oscar's shark PaddlePak will be perfect for the beach! We really love this bag and it defiantly gets 10 out of 10 from us!



Oscar has swimming lessons twice a week and his bag is perfect to carry his trunks and towel in. One extra thing I love about it is even when we get home and I empty his wet trunks and towel out the material dries really quickly which means no damp smelly swimming bags! This really is the perfect all round children's backpack at a great price!


          


Disclaimer: We were sent this product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are completely my own.



Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Review: Rockabilly Kids Toothbrush

Brushing Oscar's teeth has never been a problem as he really enjoys it and luckily has always loved going to the dentist to get a sticker as I have always wanted him to grow up with healthy teeth. In the last year Oscar has gone from the usual toddler toothbrush to a small electric character toothbrush which are really expensive and I end up getting him a new one every 6-8 weeks as I am always worried about germs they carry and his dental hygiene. With the new Rockabilly kids toothbrush by Hamish Khayat I don't have this problem at all any more! This toothbrush is inspired by the 'weebles' and with its weighted bottom the tooth brush is always standing upright keeping away from all those pesky germs lurking around on your bathroom surfaces. Oscar really liked this as I told him the toothbrush is magic and how ever hard he tried to make it lay flat it just kept popping back up again. The toothbrush itself is really well made and the brushes are really soft for a thorough comfortable clean.



The Rockabilly toothbrush comes in six colourful designs so your child can choose their favourite character. There is Astronaut Andy, Cowboy Clint, Footballer Freddie, Vet Valerie, Chef Cheryl and Superstar Stella. The toothbrushes are suitable from 3-7 years of age and each cost £6.99 which I think is a real bargain as they come with three extra heads which will make your little ones toothbrush at least a year. 




Oscar absolutely loves his new toothbrush with his Cowboy Clint design. You can get yours from Boots.com and have great fun at teeth brushing time too.



Disclaimer: We were sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All pictures and content are of my own.

What you can do now to help prepare your child for the future?


What you can do now to help prepare your child for the future?

Whether you’re thinking about the next five years or the next twenty, preparing your child for the future is one of the most important jobs you have as a parent.

From teaching them basic life skills like cooking and cleaning to helping them become rounded individuals and think for themselves, equipping children with the tools that they’ll need to thrive is every parent’s responsibility. I want to make sure Oscar can clean and cook and fend for himself so one day he makes a great husband and father!



Ensure they have a great education

One of the best things any parent can do for their child is to get them the best education possible. We spent a long time researching our local prep schools and wanted Oscar to be happy and thrive wherever we chose for him. Not only will this stand them in great stead when it comes to higher education and career development but it will also help to give them a good work ethic and provide access to the most rewarding and challenging sports and activities.

Look for a school like St Faiths Prep School Cambridge which offers a challenging curriculum as well as a range of activities designed to provide an all-round education.

Boost their self-esteem

Being confident in yourself is an important part of growing up and is something that will help your children to succeed in education and in the work place. One of the best ways to do this is to enrol your child in a range of extra curricula activities. When Oscar starts school in a couple of weeks we have signed him up to a gymnastics class and I would love him to learn different languages from an early age.

By encouraging them get involved in various sports, clubs and organisations, you can help your kids meet new people, make new friends and learn new skillsall things that can really boost self-esteem and confidence.
Teach them good communication skills

Being able to communicate articulately and effectively is an important part of growing up and will help your child throughout their life. In order to teach good communication, you have to be able to communicate well yourself so if your skills are a little rusty it may be worth doing a little research to brush up on various techniques.

As well as helping your children to thrive as they grow up, these skills should also make it easier for you and your children to communicate through difficult teenage years and other awkward periods.

Though there are no hard and fast rules for preparing your children for the future, getting them a great education, boosting their confidence and encouraging them to think for themselves will all play a large part in providing them with the tools they need to thrive.

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with St Faiths Prep School, Cambridge


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Putting A Shopping List Of Baby Bits Together!

Since I was pregnant with Oscar five years ago the world of baby and nursery products has changed dramatically! When I had Oscar I brought so many bits and pieces (most you don't really need) and as we have now passed the twenty weeks stage I have been putting a list together of things we need to get as I am trying to be really organised especially being due around Christmas.

We have our nursery furniture that was from Mama's and Papa's and has lasted really well and Oscar is now in a cabin bed so I only need to get him a chest of draws then I can use the changing unit/draws for the baby. Some of the things I have come across have shocked me, like the Fisher Price bouncer with Ipad holder. I was pleased to read this had been discontinued! There are some products available that I really love the look of and can make life a little easier for you. The Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine looks fab and I have had friends that have used it and they absolutely rave about it. Also I will defiantly be getting a video baby monitor this time as these weren't around five years ago and look really great.

Another major difference when browsing the baby clothes is there are so many cuter boys clothes available now. As we don't know what we are having I have brought a few neutral bits. I am loving star patterns and also brought some adorable giraffe printed baby grows from Mothercare plus I like the idea of rainbow prints for our little rainbow baby. I won't be buying to much as I did this last time then when Oscar was born had loads of neutral clothes still on hangers as family and friends brought him so many lovely boy outfits. I was surprised in Next they have a tiny range of unisex new baby clothes which made me think maybe lots of people find out the sex of their baby now? To be honest I would love to find out but Greg doesn't want to so I will just have to wait for the surprise!

There are also so many great looking pushchair/travel systems available now from fun and quirky designs from Cosatto, really modern designs from Quinny and I am still drawn back to Bugaboo has I had one with Oscar and it was great. To many to choose from makes the decision even harder. I am going to wait until the Baby Show in October to have a thorough look at them all. We have a Stokke mini sleepi cot from before too which I found making going from a moses basket to a big cot much easier. I have brought new white bedding and bumpers already, let's see how long I can keep them clean this time. 

I had a Silver Cross car seat with Oscar but don't have it any more so have been looking at the Maxi-Cosi pebble and with my car now I can have an isofix base which makes getting the car seat in and out of the car so much easier, especially after a C-section. 

Decisions, decisions all very exciting though!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: Unborn Heart Fetal Doppler

When I was just over six weeks pregnant I was sent the Unborn Fetal Heart Monitor to review and was recommended to wait until twelve weeks to use it. I was impatient and opened the box at ten and a half weeks and downloaded the free Unbornheart application onto my smartphone, plugged in the headphones and monitor and I was away! I had watched a video on YouTube showing me how to accurately pick up baby's heartbeat and not my own and after a few minutes managed to find it. I was so relieved when I found it and using the doppler every few days made the next week and a half wait until my scan a bit more bearable. After losing a baby at 6 weeks, having a missed miscarriage and finding out at my twelve week scan having the monitor gave me the extra reassurance that I needed. Obviously in my last pregnancy I managed to get to twelve weeks but our baby had a rare chromosome problem so I was never completely relaxed this time even after hearing the heartbeat.





I found the heart monitor even more useful when we went to Turkey when I was fourteen weeks pregnant I used it once a week whilst we were there. Having such a small monitor and using it through my phone made it really easy and convenient to travel with.




Having the monitor has really given me the extra reassurance that I needed in this pregnancy and I continue to use it on a weekly basis even though I can feel baby moving and have let Oscar have a listen and he got really excited and keeps asking to do it again! This is a great product and I would recommend it to every pregnant woman as as well as being really reassuring it's nice to listen to your baby's heartbeat now and again. 

You can get the Unborn Heart Fetal Monitor for only £49.99 and comes with everything you need to use it, even batteries! When using the app you can also record your baby's heartbeat to listen to at a later date or share with family and friends. 

Disclaimer: I was sent this monitor in exchange for a review, all opinions are completely honest and my own.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Cliveden House and Grounds

On Thursday we met friends at Cliveden house and park which is part of the National Trust. It is an absolutely beautiful place with a Beatrix potter playground and two tea shops, a cafe and a gift/garden shop. I paid £9.90 to get into the grounds and we had great fun playing in the woods building dens, playing in the play area, looking around the beautiful gardens and there is also a maze to attempt if your brave enough! You can pick up a family trail from the information centre and go on a walk through the huge grounds. One thing that really impressed me that there is all terrain buggys to hire for children too. Here is the vast list of bits to do for families and children:

Family and children

  • Storybook Play Den - imaginative play area for the under 10s
  • The Cliveden Maze is great fun for children and adults alike (please accompany children under 11)
  • Pick up a free family trail sheet to explore the gardens. Available from the information centre
  • The goal posts on the north paddock are ideal for a game of football
  • Baby-changing facilities in Gas Yard (off main car park), Orangery and Doll's House toilets
  • All-terrain baby buggies available to borrow from the information centre
  • Buggy friendly route map available from the information centre
  • Orangery Café offers a children's menu, high chairs and a baby bottle and food warming station
  • Doll's House café and shop overlooking the play area and designed especially for families.
We had lunch in the Orangery cafe and the kids portions were huge and really tasty and if you want a cold lunch you can pick 5 items to put into a snack box. Cliveden is well worth a visit and is in Taplow in Buckinghamshire. 







Friday, 15 August 2014

Review: The HP Are We There Yet Challenge

Last month I was asked by HP if we wanted to take part in the Are We There Yet? challenge. As we were about to go off for the weekend to the New Forest the timing of this challenge couldn't have been more perfect as the main idea is to make long car journeys easier with children and would of been perfect for last month with our three and a half plane journey to Turkey! Travelling with younger children in the car can sometimes be a struggle especially if you get stuck in traffic or have a long way to travel. Oscar is generally really good but with the boiling weather and a two hour journey to the New Forest having our snazy new HP Pavillion x360 made the journey seem like no time at all! When it arrived I played around on it all evening but since then Oscar seems to think it is his, haha!




Loaded with the latest version of Windows and also the lovely team at HP preloaded it with free apps for Oscar to use in the car, his favourite is the Fresh Paint app where he painted pictures and Asphalt 8 which is a racing car game, admittedly he isn't very good at it but enjoyed tipping the PC to steer the car and he thinks he wins every time! 

The HP Pavillion x360 itself is really sturdy and perfect for little hands. Oscar has used our Ipad before for learning apps so having the touch screen and fold over lid to make it into a tablet made it really easy for him to learn how to use. You can choose whether to use the computer in old fashioned windows mode or as an app display which Oscar used most of the time as he found it easier to understand. It is also great for playing films on, we didn't watch any on our journey but at home Oscar watches films on it and bends it over into 'tent mode' so he can lay on his front and watch it.




We were also sent the HP ENVY 4500 e-AiO printer and to be honest I don't know how I ever managed without one! To start with it was so quick and easy to set up it only took about 15 minutes from start to finish and once I had connected it to our wifi I couldn't believe how quick and easy it is to print photos and documents straight from your tablet or smartphone to the printer. I am totally guilty of having loads of photos on my phone that I never print off now I have no excuse. 




You can also print off fun printable colouring sheets and this kept Oscar entertained in the car as well and I have printed off a bunch to take out and about with us. We also printed off road trip bingo which we ticked off as Oscar spotted them. The printer also has a scanning function which has come in useful and I have scanned and printed Oscar's school photo for his grandparents and the quality is fantastic.




Our challenge was to see how many times the usual "I'm bored, Are We There Yet, I'm tired" came out of Oscar and amazingly we didn't have one. Again since we have been back from the New Forest especially with the rainy weather over the last week being able to print off different colouring sheets in seconds has been a god send!

The HP Pavillion x360 and printable colouring sheets will be coming with us on every long car journey from now on! The Are We There Yet challenge has been a total success. Thank you HP!

Disclaimer: We were sent these products in return for a review and to complete the HP are we there yet challenge. All opinions are completely my own.