Last week Archie turned 3! I can’t quite believe it and just don’t know where the time has gone. Being the second and last child I have definitely noticed more anxiety this time around watching him growing up and I just don’t want to let him go. He is so ready to start nursery and was meant to start next week but I have delayed it a term, as the time got nearer my anxiety went through the roof. He is around children a lot during the week as we go to two toddler groups, a Playball class and his swimming lesson so I know he’s not particularly missing out on anything by staying at home with me. He also needs to be potty trained to start at the nursery as we haven’t quite mastered that yet. I’m not going to lie there is a part of me that just wants him to start next September and just do one full year in nursery before reception.
Looking back Oscar didn’t go to nursery until he was three either, he started nursery on the September after his third birthday going a few mornings a week and did a year in nursery before going into reception. Again we went to lots of classes so he had lots of child interaction. Even now as Oscar’s school holidays draw to a close and he goes back to school next week I start to dread it, as I love having him at home with us and really enjoy the school holidays. During the week he has such a long school day (8.20-4.15) and then after school clubs, reading, piano practice and homework so we don’t have a lot of time during the week to do anything fun. So we make the most of the weekends and holidays.
I think in my crazy mind I think that once Archie starts nursery and he does a couple of mornings which will then lead into days and then suddenly he will be at full time school that I just want to keep him at home for as long as possible as once he starts that’s it. He’s my sidekick and goes everywhere with me so suddenly having free time to myself will be lovely but very strange. My Mother In Law said to me years ago that your children are only lent to you and then they grow up and fly the nest, I get that but it scares my how quick the time goes, Oscar is almost 8 and I wish life would just slow down.
I 100% have an issue with leaving the boys, Oscar was only left once overnight when he was 2 weeks old as it was our best friend’s wedding (he was 3 weeks early) and since then I’ve never had a night apart from either of them. This year my brother is getting married and I was invited on the hen do to Marbella. Now instantly I wanted to go, sit in the sun and have fun with the girls and then my anxiety kicked in. Leaving the boys behind even though I know they would have a fun weekend with Greg and be totally fine, the thought of being in a different country to them made me say no. Even now there is a part of my brain that says don’t be so stupid, go and enjoy yourself! Greg’s been away with his friends loads since we had children and its great to have time just being you!
I know a lot of the problems go back to when Oscar was born and he was poorly and then when he was a few weeks old he couldn’t breathe and I had to clear his airways. It scared me how quickly things can go wrong and since then have always felt safer when they are with us. Which is crazy I know.
Even me reading this post back now and I think ‘crazy lady’ and can see how I am missing out on doing certain things/trips which would be fun. But for now I just want to enjoy our boys whilst they are still young. After all when they are all grown up I will have plenty of time to do other things.
As a parent your children are always your main priority and when they fall ill or hurt themselves you always want the best care for them. I know from previous experience I have sometimes had to wait a day or two for a GP appointment and getting a dentist appointment is like gold dust, our last NHS appointment was delayed two times because of funding. Luckily for us there is a pioneering new healthcare clinic ‘The One Stop Doctor’ that has recently launched in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire that is putting the needs of families at the heart of their quick and friendly services. The clinic is stunning, more like a five star hotel and the staff are all so welcoming and friendly.
One Stop Doctors in Hemel Hempstead is open 365 days a year from early morning to late evening with a full complement of paediatric services all under one roof. This includes same-day appointments with GPs and dentists who will be able to offer immediate relief for worrying mums and dads whose children are unwell, perhaps with persistent fevers, colds, chesty coughs or toothache. There’s also a private pharmacy that can provide commonly needed drugs straight away.
Only a couple of weeks ago Archie had a high temperature and his little heart was beating quite fast, which is a common symptom of a fever. Greg thought we should take him to A & E but I called the One Stop Doctor for a late night appointment which was available with no problem at all.
The team of multi-disciplinary health professionals at the clinic are highly experienced in treating common childhood conditions from feeding difficulties in babies and toddlers through to providing allergy testing and advice, alongside treatment for asthma and access to the full range of childhood vaccinations and immunisations. This is fantastic as in our area we were not offered the BCG and I paid privately for both Oscar and Archie to be immunised but had to travel into London. Now having a clinic so local to us is a god send!
One Stop Doctors is one of a number of outlets nationwide that offers the Mummy MOT, a one-hour assessment which gives a thorough examination of mum’s pelvic floor strength and tummy gap – to assess any physical problems that have arisen from pregnancy and birth. The Mummy MOT can also help mums years after childbirth with their pelvic floor strength. The clinic is also putting together special Mother and Baby packages for both expectant mothers and mothers of young children. No more travelling all the way into London for Mother and Baby services!
The specialist dental team are also experts in orthodontics and oral health with a variety of teeth-straightening options for young ones and appointments at convenient times for parents.
The clinic has invested heavily in the latest diagnostic imaging machinery including advanced MRI scanning equipment, CT, ultrasound and digital X-ray, which means that One Stop Doctors is able to offer an on-site urgent care and fracture clinic. We were at a birthday party about six weeks ago and Oscar’s friend fell off a swing and her parents on a Friday night at 7pm got an X-Ray appointment straight away instead of waiting for hours in a busy Friday night A & E department. She was then plastered straight away.
One Stop Doctors is fully accredited by all major regulators and private medical insurance companies, such as Bupa, Aviva and Cigna so it’s easy to pay, and is approved by the Care Quality Commission. However, what makes this pioneering clinic truly unique is its one-of-a-kind membership plan. This allows families to join for only £65 a month and gives them the ability to spread the cost of treatment in a payment plan, with no interest or credit agreement and provides guaranteed same-day GP appointments for any number of children aged 21 and under. This means that parents can spread the cost of healthcare for their children, making the very best private healthcare accessible and affordable.
Keep Your Family Happy & Healthy!
With the ability for parents to book appointments directly, and the large amount of free parking available to patients right outside the clinic, many of the usual stresses of visiting a medical establishment with children are taken away.
For more information and to book an appointment visit www.onestopdoctors.co.uk or call 0800 852 1234.
In my opinion the Stokke Xplory is the most unique looking Pushchair on the market and stands out from the crowd. I often get comments about how modern it looks from other Mum’s and it’s defiantly a much more trendier and fashionable pushchair. So when we were sent the Stokke Xplory Onyx Black Winter Kit I was very excited!
You will have seen in the Summer I jazzed up my sleek black Xplory with the blue Stokke summer kit and now with Winter well and truly here my Stokke is now wearing its Winter kit in Onyx Black. To be honest I hate the cold and Winter is just not for me but with the gorgeous sheepskin fur, the Stokke Onyx Black Winter Kit has certainly given me something to smile about.
As well as looking great it keeps little Archie lovely and warm and the pop on front storm cover keeps him shielded from the cold weather. His little cheeks go so red and sore in the Winter and having the storm cover protecting him from the wind when we are out and about makes it so much better!
Doesn’t Archie Look Cosy?!
Inside the Winter Kit box which as an RRP of £255.00 and comes in three lovely different colours; the Onyx Black, Bronze Brown and Pearl White is the sheepskin fur insulated hood which is just gorgeous, the seat rear textile cover, the sheepskin care brush, the storm cover and a pair of sheepskin lined mittens that attach easily to the handlebar and keeps my hands lovely and warm!
Being able to switch up the look and style of my Stokke Xplory is great fun and with so many kits and colours to choose from there is a style for everyone. I’m always excited to see Stokke’s new style when the new season comes around.
I absolutely love our Stokke Winter kit and the material is so durable and easy to wipe down which means keeping my Xplory clean and looking great is super easy! Especially in the Winter when it’s in my car boot sometimes mud gets on the fabric but as it’s wipeable I use a baby wipe and it looks as good as new!
Having a gorgeous pushchair to look at everyday has certainly made this cold Winter a bit more bearable! Take a look at the Stokke website to see for yourself!
Disclaimer: We were sent the Winter Kit for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are honest and my own and I absolutely love my Xplory and the Stokke Xplory Onyx Black Winter Kit.
Since Oscar was a baby and now with Archie we have had a fair few car seats. Some in my car and duplicates in Greg’s. Car seats cost a fortune and changing them when your child reaches different age or weight limit can be expensive. When we went to the Graco ambassador event a few months ago I saw their Milestone All-In-One Car Seat for the very first time. I was shocked when I learnt that the car seat is the only car seat you will ever need to own! This car seat will grow with your child from birth up to 36kg (12 years!) making it one of the only car seats you will ever need which is great.
I love the name of the seat ‘Milestone’ as as a parent you count so many milestones with you children and with these milestones often comes expense… bigger sized clothes and shoes, new toys and of course new car seats, now with the Milestone car seat you can take that off of your ever growing shopping list.
Archie is 23 months old now and was 21 months when we started using our new Milestone car seat. The car seat is easy to fit, it took me about three minutes to fit securely into the car. The convertible car seat has three different modes: transitioning from rear-facing infant car seat (birth to 13kg) to forward-facing 5-point harness seat (9-18kg) to high-back booster (15-36kg). For the best and most comfortable fit for your child, the no re-thread harness system and 10-position headrest allows you to adjust harness and headrest together with just one hand.
Side impact protection provides the best head protection at every stage and features a steel reinforced frame giving you peace of mind that your little one is always safe. The safety features on this car seat are outstanding, we were talked through all the key points and Graco don’t mess around, they have done so much research into making the safest car seat for your precious little bundle.
Another fantastic feature is you don’t have to fiddle around and re-thread the straps as your little one grows, the car seat really does grow with your child in one pull of a button. The headrest has 10 positions for optimum comfort and also has 2 reclining positions so when Archie is tired I can recline it back so he is more comfortable. The seat is so plush and comfortable and has a durable, steel reinforced frame built into the seat provides peace of mind and added safety for your child. It also has side impact protection in the headrest as well. The seat cover comes off easily and can be machine washed and you don’t have to take out the harness to get the cover off it just simply slips over the top. The cup holder is great too, at the moment Archie puts his comforter and dummy in there but as he gets older he can keep his drink bottle in it.
To sum up I think this is a great car seat and great value too and you can’t beat a product that will grow with your child, save your money and keep your little one nice and safe in the car! It has an RRP of £179.99 but amazon currently has it at an then amazing price of £114.99!
Disclaimer: I was sent the Milestone car seat for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own and this is truly a great car seat!
Two weeks ago we went away for the week to Wales. We stayed in a lovely lodge and I took our new Nimble Nook travel cot for Archie to sleep in. I always use my own travel cot whenever we go away even if there is one available to use, I always prefer to use my own. I saw the Nimble Nook in the flesh when we were at the Generation Graco event last month at London Zoo and couldn’t believe how many features it had.
The Nimble Nook is a compact travel cot that grows with your baby. When you travel with your newborn you can use the cot in bassinet mode which is higher up so is easy for you not to have to bend right into the travel cot to get your little baby out to feed during the night and also if your in bed you can keep the cot right next to you and lean over and get your baby out. The bassinet also has a two speed vibration unit to help your baby relax and drift off to sleep. You simply plug the unit in and pick the speed. There is also a mobile bar that goes across the bassinet with two detachable grey stars on it. I also love the pattern on the outside of the cot, it makes it look very smart.
Obviously as you can see we used the travel cot in ‘cot’ mode as Archie is 21 months old. The cot was really easy to pop up and literally took about 30 seconds to put up and put the padded cot base in. I then added some sheets and Archie’s bed looked comfy and warm. When bedtime came I put him into the cot and went off to sleep quite quickly. The cot dimensions are slightly smaller than a normal travel cot (69cm x 68cm) which was great as it fits through door frames which we needed to do in the middle of the night as Archie kept waking Oscar up. Archie is an awful sleeper! I also noticed the height of the cot is really good. The sides weren’t to high that it was hard for me to bend into and high enough that Archie couldn’t climb out.
After five days we were off home and I folded up the Nimble Nook easily using the Signature Graco® push-button fold that makes closing the travel cot quick and hassle-free. Also the instructions are so easy to follow. The cot slips easily into the carry bag and when folded takes up minimal space in the car boot, (69cm x 20cm). Obviously being so compact and light weight it would make it easy to take on holiday abroad too.
I absolutely love the Nimble Nook it ticks all the boxes.
- You can use it from newborn.
- It is easy to use and light weight.
- The dimensions make it easy to move through doorways.
- Converts into a bassinet for newborn and smaller babies.
- The quality like all Graco products is fantastic.
- The price is great too!
It gets 10 out of 10 from us!
The Nimble Nook travel cot has an RRP of £109.99 but I have found it online at Mothercare for £89.99 and £83.59 on Amazon.
Disclaimer: We were sent the Graco Nimble Nook Travel Cot for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own and I really love the Nimble Nook.
Natural Baby Shower recently conducted a study into new and expecting first-time UK dads and what their biggest thoughts and fears are. Being a new parent is extremely daunting but I was always aware from the first day we had Oscar and Archie that as I was feeding the baby I didn’t want to alienate Greg in anyway.
They surveyed 1,000 expecting and new dads from around the UK asking 4 questions:
· How they feel before the birth
· What they worry about the most
· What they expect to miss the most, and
· How they prepare for their baby’s arrival
A couple of key findings were that baby books are still the most popular resource for expecting dads, even amongst young dads aged 18-14. We also found that the biggest overall concern for expecting dads is in regards to the delivery going smoothly – but when we segmented the data further we found that dads living in London between the ages of 25 and 34 found work obligations and being able to be home enough their biggest worry. You can read some more about the findings here: