Tuesday 28 February 2012

Baby Sing and Sign

You may of all heard of Baby Sing and Sign. I had. This was never something I had really thought about before, and never really considered as an option for Leo and I. I don't know what changed? But the whole idea of baby signing now seems like a very attractive idea.

I know that it will take some work, and it may be months before Leo shows any understanding with the signs. The thought of being able to understand each other on a whole new level and maybe even take away some of the frustration when he can't make me understand what he wants, is worth it's weight in Gold.

In the long run I believe that baby signing will be immensely helpful to both Leo and I. It will open a window that would otherwise stay closed until he could talk. I think that it may even enhance his early vocabulary, and give him a greater understanding. Leo is only 8 months old so there is plenty of time for words and talking, but I think the whole sing and sign will give us some real bonding time.

I am willing to give it all a try!

Last night I decided to research local classes that I could possibly attend with Leo. I found the Baby Sing and Sign class that is local to us, and as luck would have it it's only about 25 minutes away. The cost for a term is also very reasonable at only £55.00. I signed us up straight away and we start on April 24th 2012.

I have now downloaded the official Sing and Sign baby app, and intend to start using it to teach Leo and I a few simple signs, to see if we can learn a couple together before we start our classes.

I would love to hear from Mum's and Dad's who have used signing with their baby and been successful? Advice would be greatly welcome.

I would love to know how you implemented the signs and gained a mutual understanding with your little one?

Wish us luck. We will start signing tomorrow!

I will leave you with some benefits to signing with your baby, chalked up by the lovely people over at Sing and Sign:

What are the benefits of Sing and Sign?
  • Helping to understand your baby's needs, thoughts and ideas
  • Reducing frustration (for baby and parent!)
  • Enhancing early vocabulary and understanding
  • Encouraging the development of speech
  • Enriching your baby's relationships
  • Building confidence and self-esteem
  • Stimulating your baby's intellectual and emotional development
The benefits of signing with your baby are potentially significant. Interesting research is ongoing into the effect of baby signing on the development of a baby's brain. In the earliest years of life, babies brains are 'wiring' themselves through their experiences. While using signs, parents say accompanying words and tend to give greater language input. Signing babies can communicate complex things earlier, many experts suggest this stimulates brain development and enhances the building of brain circuitry

Laura x

Leo and his trip to A&E

Just yesterday I posted about Leo's new found love for the window. This morning upon one of Leo's routine crawls over to said window, my little Lion must of lost his balance and his head met the wall, an introduction that was obviously a little painfull for Leo judging by his sudden cry.

Those views from the lounge window can really be a headache.

Granny was watching Leo while I got changed and ready for the day ahead, but with Leo's new found speed...he quickly got over to the window and gave the wall a welcoming head butt. I quickly got downstairs to find out what had happened and gave Leo all the huggles and love that I could muster. It didn't take long to calm him down with my magic Mummy cuddles, but then a big red lump sprung up on his head.

The lump looked angry and sore so Granny and I decided that it was best to go and get him checked out at our local A&E. Leo was fine in himself and up to his usual mayhem minutes after his little bump, but for my own piece of mind I wanted to get him checked.

So all 3 of us piled into the car and off we went. Upon arrival I explained what had happend and answered all of the routine questions. There was about a 20 minute wait, which gave Leo plenty of time to find people sat around the waiting area to have a little flirt with.

I could see he was fine in himself but I just wanted the lump to be checked out and just to be told that it was nothing to worry about, upon Leo's check up that is exactly what I was told. The nurse felt the lump, checked Leo's eyes and ears...All of course were in good working order!

Leo made the nurse work hard in these checks, he was more interested in playing than having things shone in his eyes and poked into his ears. He was a brave little Lion and did not even flinch when his lump was poked and prodded. The actual check up was under 10 minutes long and then we were on our merry way again.

I think just being told that everything is ok, relaxes you and put's you instantly at ease. We do have to keep an eye on him but other than that Leo is his normal monstourus little self, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I am hoping that this A&E visit is our first and last for a very long time!

When did you first have to take your little one to A&E and what for?

I have heard some horror stories about trips to casualty for the removal of lego from the nose....I only hope I don't ever have to deal with a situation like this!

Laura x

Monday 27 February 2012

View From The Lounge Window

Now I have found my all four's, the living room is truly my oyster. I can crawl where I like, (If I am not to sleepy or hungry) when I like (When Mummy lets me).

Recently those big cut outs in the wall have really caught my attention...That's it... The windows.
When I am quick enough I can outsmart Mummy and make a bee line for the windows. I am getting rather fast now (If I do say so myself). If I am feeling strong enough I can now even begin to pull myself up on the little chair by the window....That really makes Mummy run...hehehe....

Through the window I can see my Aunt and Uncle playing in the garden. They kick around balls, chase each other and sometimes if they see me looking, they come right over to the window and pull some very funny faces. I have to admit that it always makes me giggle, but how I wish I could be outside playing too...

Mummy tells me how it won't be long before I can join in on all their fun and games...I am already biding my time. I am going to learn to walk and I am going to play! Hard! Summer time will not know what has hit it.

 I sit and stare until Mummy moves me away, but I always attempt to get back to the window...I would hate to think I was missing out on anything.

One day...I will be outside playing too....

Leo is now well and truly on the path to growing up. He is quickly putting his baby days behind him and I know it wont be long before I have a full fledged toddler on my hands. When did this happen!?

He loves to just sit and stare outside, willing his Aunt and Uncle to know that he is there staring hard at them with his big blue puppy dog eyes, that no-one can say no too.

I can't help feeling a little bad for Leo, but until the weather improves and the grass is dries for him to crawl around on, or he learns to walk, he will have to be content in Mummy's arms or...taking in the view from the lounge window.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Leo & His New Found Wave

Just tonight, completely out of the blue and so very un-unexpectedly, Leo waved his very first wave!

Leo and I were playing around on the living room floor, and as usual I had a very active 8 month old crawling circles around me. I often wave at Leo to encourage him to do it back, I even take his hand and gently wave it for him. This encouragement seems to have worked...as tonight when I waved at Leo, he un-mistakenly began to wave back!

From other post's in regards to Leo's First's and Milestones, you will realise that with each new step forward, I always think that my imagination is seeing things that aren't really happening. However Leo is now most certainly waving!

His Great Grandfather witnessed his very first wave and not long after his Uncle paid us a visit. As soon as Leo's uncle entered the room...Leo put on a mass waving extravaganza!

This is such a proud Mummy moment for me. I have taken a little footage of his wave. You can't see but Leo's Aunt, Uncles, Grandad and Great Grandad are all sat on the sofa waving like there is no tomorrow at him. This is Leo's response...

Well done Leo, you make me so proud!

Happy 8 months birthday for tomorrow! (27th February 2012)

Mummy and Daddy xx

Leo & The Butterfly Farm

I hope you have all enjoyed your weekends in the lovely sunshine. Did you make the most of the beautiful weather by going out and about?

We did!

Just yesterday we decided to head over to Stratford Upon Avon. Yes we are lucky enough to live not far from this picturesque town and all that is around the local area. Which is brilliant on a Summer's day, even if you just intend to take a stroll by the river...Or if you are feeling adventurous - Renting a boat!

Luke and I decided that Leo was around the right age to appreciate a trip to the Butterfly Farm. Leo takes in all the detail in his surroundings and loves our trips to feed the ducks, so I was very excited at showing him the hundreds of Butterfly's that inhabited the farm.

I have to admit, I am not a bug person. At All! So the thought of hundreds of Butterfly's (Beautiful as they are) that could potentially land on me, did not appeal to me at all.

Who can be scared of Butterfly's I hear you ask!? Yes I admit it. I am a rare being... but anything creepy crawly just gives me the jitters, I put the fear to one side and stepped into the very busy Butterfly Flight Area.

As soon as the 3 of us walked through the doors I was awe struck. They were everywhere, all different colours and sizes, to say the least there were some very BIG Butterfly's but they were all just stunning and so very gracefull. You could even compare them to Fairies.

Leo was looking all around, his head darting here and there trying to see where these winged creatures were heading. There were just so many to capture Leo's attention, that he just did not know where to look next.

The surroundings for the Butterfly's is lush greenary and bright colourful flowers. Plenty of hiding places for the Butterfly's, but as suspected they did not think twice about landing on passers by.

Luckily I was not one of the chosen few...Luke on the other hand attracted quite a bit of attention from the Butterfly's. Part of me was hoping Leo would have one land on his head...(Typical me....thinking of the potential photo oppurtunity) this however did not come about...and if the chance had arrisen I think Leo may have tried to give the Butterfly a loving touch, which of course...wouldn't have been in said Butterfly's best interests!

There are 4 areas to visit within the Butterfly Farm:
- The Flight Area
- The Caterpillar Room
- Insect City
- Arachnoland
Luke was very taken with Insect City where Cutting Ants are hard at work serving their Queen. The exhibit has been set up so the Ants come out of the very busy nest, up the rope and right over your heads!
It is rather spectacular. The Ants travel across the rope that expands to high rise platforms at each end of the room. They travel a rather long way to get what they need, and then all the way back again. In the end I did have to prise Luke away so we could carry on through...

Arachnoland of course has some rather big Tarrantula's (That can actually eat a Bird!) which of course I really dislike..I was just happy that they were locked securely away in their enclosures....It was all very interesting while also making my skin crawl. This section for Leo was not very benefitial...So we quickly made our way back to the Flight Area so he could see some more Butterfly's.

After a lovely stroll around the Butterfly Farm, we had all worked up an appetite. We took the oppurtinty to go and find some lunch before heading home.
It is safe to say we all enjoyed the lovely weather this weekend, and I am very much looking forward to the warmer weather that will soon be upon us for Summer. I forsee many a picnic by the river and many more family days out....But where will we go next?
Laura xx

Thursday 23 February 2012

Shhh...Who Knows About You're Blog?

Since starting my Blog a year ago, I have joined Twitter and also created a Facebook account for 'The Life and Times of The Working Mum'. I never used to use Twitter...Believe it or not this Twitter addict never used to understand it! My oh my, that has all changed now! I actually very much enjoy Twitter and I have loved getting to know other Mummy Blogger's along the way.

On the Twitter front however, I do not have any personal acquaintances. These people I have come to know online and some of them have offered a great deal of support and advice. I don't however know anyone really, in the walks of day to day life.

Scratching your head? Wondering why? Keep reading...

I have always used Facebook. Until recently it was just my personal account, but the need to create a separate account for my Blog came about to have a separate space, away from any prying eyes. Yes there are some people I don't want to read my Blog.

Why? I think some things should just remain unknown. I wouldn't want friends and family to read as I feel this is MY hobby, my space and as much as I want to make my Blog a success....I really don't want to put it out there for general gossip.

I know that may sound silly, as I promote my Blog on Twitter and Facebook...but I am careful to not bring it all too close to home. That is just me though and they are my feelings.

I write about my personal opinions and there are some thing's that could maybe offend or maybe even shock them, and despite it being live on the web, I like to know that there is a little bit of control on my part. I know there is a small chance that they may by chance find it someday by inputting the right 'key words' into Google...But I will cross that bridge if and when it arises.

Until recently, I had not even told Luke about my Blog.....

I have been blogging for a year, and it was only on Valentines Day over a lovely meal with Luke, that I told him all about the Blog. To be honest I was not sure how he would re-act knowing that his face was the first thing my readers saw as they visited the site. Luke didn't seem too surprised and was actually quite impressed, especially when he realised that people actually read my ramblings!

As far as I am aware he has not had a proper look yet, he said he didn't actually want to read it as he felt it was personal to me and it would be as though he was reading my diary. I am more than happy for Luke to read my ramblings now he knows and think it may give him a little in-sight into what goes on while he is at work and out at the gym.

I think the biggest shock for Luke was that I - Laura....The little Blondie that I am... had managed to buy a domain name and actually link it to go directly here to 'The Life and Times of The Working Mum' - I am not going to lie...It took me all morning to do. But I did it!

I thought Luke may be angry that I had shared so much detail into our day to day life without consulting him first, that I had posted photos of Leo and even video footage. Luke just seemed to get why I was doing it, how my Blog gives me not only a time line of Leo's development but also how it has become a hobby of mine.

I like that even though I am currently not at work I have something to work towards, and watching my Blog grow from nothing has been amazing. I find the whole experiance of writing a Blog rather theraputic and maybe even like a cheap therapy session! So for me, that is why I don't want certain people to read.

I have to ask, as I am dying to know!

Who knows about your Blog? Friends? Family? Work Colleges?

If not, then why not?

Do you share my reasoning behind writing and keeping a Blog secret from all those people?

If you are open with everyone about your Blog, what were their reactions like when you told them?

Are they now faithful readers? Or do people know, but not have the the direct link to have a little read?

I would LOVE to hear all your stories about the In's and Out's about who knows and who doesn't.

Shhhh....Who Knows about you're Blog?????

Saving as a family

Today we have a Guest Post all about how to save money as a family. I am alway's looking for new and innovative ideas to do fun and exciting things with Leo, but trying not to break the bank at the same time... sometimes this is easier said than done.

Our Guest Poster is Danny Ambrose and in his article he has some great ideas on how to save money and still have fun as a family unit!

Saving as a family

1. Use a Price Comparison Website 
In an effort to save money, do what you can to check out price comparison websites. These sites exist to help consumers find the lowest price for something that they want. Whether they wish to 
find the best life insurance quote or the cheapest price for a DVD, a price comparison website can help them. If you take a few moments to look at one of these websites, you will save a lot of money in the long run. You can find the cheapest quotes without paying too much, among other things. 

2. Use Local Playgrounds, Parks and Nature Trails 
Although some people may not believe that walking through the woods or feeding the ducks is a fun activity, it should still be considered. A family of any size can find something that works for them; getting rid of stress at the end of a long day is always possible when a playground or park is involved. Children can learn more about nature and have a lot of room to run and play. Parents or other adults can sit and talk or simply take in the activity around them. This can be done for free or at a very low cost. 

3. Eat Most Meals At Home 
Although one meal enjoyed at a restaurant may not set a family on a tight budget back too much, if it is done often it could start to cause problems. If you want to save your funds for something else, consider eating your meals at home. You can make it fun by giving every day of the week a certain theme. For example, one day could be devoted to Mexican food, while another could focus on Chinese food. In the end, it is up to you. 

4. Make saving Money a Game 
Turn the idea of saving money into some kind of competition. If you have children, ask them to come up with creative ways to save money. The first child that comes up with a suitable and good idea can get some kind of prize, such as extra dessert. Create a chart and place it in a room with a lot of traffic. This chart will showcase how much money has been saved, and how much more can be saved. When you keep everybody happy and motivated, saving money can become less of a chore and more of an adventure. 

5. Look for Local Events 
If you are willing, make sure that you look at your local newspaper on a frequent basis. When you do this you will be able to find out about upcoming events. If there will be an ice sculpture festival or a cooking contest, you can learn about it before it is too late to take part. Many community events are free to attend or take part in; you can have fun and learn more about the area that you live in at the same time. You may also make new friends and discover new places of interest. 

I will most certainly be taking some of these ideas away and applying them to our day to day adventures. We have already today been out to feed the ducks...but then we also ate out for lunch....(Bad Mummy). I hope you can all find some of these tips useful.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Little Fingers, Little Toes

Just last week I posted about those special moments in time and how to capture them before they pass you by. I have taken Leo's hand and foot prints at any chance I get, but getting a newborn baby to relinquish their tight grip and count on their support is actually much harder than I ever thought possible.

I didn't succeed in getting Leo to co-operate in the hand print department until he was 18 weeks old, which I think is ashame as it would have been so lovely to have those newborn prints from those very early days at home.

These days though Leo is cheekier and more determined than ever, (I have no idea where he gets that from!?) I attempted to get some up to date prints in Salt Dough. Getting the dough ready was by far the easy bit! I even rolled it all out and cut a perfect circle into it. Then the hard bit....Getting Leo to firmly and neatly place his hand into the dough (with my help of course) to get the prints I so desired.

I ended up rolling the dough out again and again, as with each attempt at getting Leo's hand print he managed to scrunch up his fingers, and put them straight through the bottom of the dough. So on the fifth attempt I finally got the desired print! Then it was just a case of getting his foot print along side.

Surprisingly this bit went very smoothly. So that should of been it right. Done. No...I had vowed to make prints for some of the grandparents! Sometimes there is no better gift. So I rolled the dough out again and repeated the process all over again. Twice.

With my finished pieces in the oven, I had no idea it was going to take all day to cook my 3 creations.

Salt Dough has to be cooked on a low heat for a LONG time. Failing that you can just leave it to dry naturally. My advice if you plan to bake your finished goodies, is to poke some holes with a pin through the dough. This will stop it ballooning where there are air pockets...If only I had this advice. Two of my creations ballooned up, but it made the prints look great!

I have to say though that my finished prints do look pretty good. They were definitely worth all the effort and time it took to make them. Now Leo's prints can be packed away into his memory box.

Why not have a go at creating your own Salt Dough Prints with this easy recipe?

2 cups of Plain Flour
1 cup of table salt
1 cup of water

Another way at getting your little one's prints is on a canvas with paints. This can get quite messy (trust me...) but the finished result is great! We have Leo's pride of place on Leo's bedroom wall.

Do you have any further ideas on how to capture your little one's prints? Or any other ways of capturing those special moments?

Laura xx

Tuesday 21 February 2012

The Becofeeding Set Review

The lovely people over at Becothings have been kind enough to send Leo, the little Rugrat that he is, A Becofeeding Set. As you all know, Leo is coming up to 8 months old and is well and truly on the weaning boat!

Becothings are a Eco friendly company,  so you can rest assured that every item that they manufacture has been very carefully thought through. All the materials used are sustainable and environmentally friendly.

When the company first came about they brought us the Becohanger which is made entirely from recycled cardboard! Now the range is expanding and more great products are on their way. Why not visit their website and take a look through their exciting range for yourselves.

Becothings Say:
Here at Becothings we are passionate about fun products that are good for the environment. We are constantly looking at new materials and fresh ideas for Eco alternatives to everyday products. Let´s face it, we all need to do our bit.
Over the past year we have expanded our range rapidly and are still growing. Becothings might have just started with little hangers but there are many more ideas to come...
All Becothings have been designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. This means we don’t just look at functionality, we also study product life cycles. Things like hangers and potties often end up in landfill sites, so it’s important that we plan ahead. With the right materials and the right design we hope our Becothings will have as little environmental impact as possible.

The Becofeeding Set is made from the natural plant fibres found in bamboo and rice husks, this means that once finished with, the whole product can biodegrade unlike other feeding sets you can buy in the supermarkets. With a little extra thought, your thoughts will go a long way in protecting the environment for the future generations! (Our children!)

The set comes in 3 vibrant colours: Baby Blue, Hot Pink and Lime Green. Leo and I opted for the very appealing Baby Blue Set. Each set comes with a Becobeaker, Becoplate and a Becobowl.
The Becobeaker features a easy grip design for those little hands and also a high curved rim to prevent those spills that happen all to often. Leo is a little young to use this at the moment, but when the time comes for him to use his first 'Big Boy' Cup, I know that this is going to be just perfect and I doubt Leo will have any arguments over the lovely Blue colour.

The Becoplate has a very appealing feature that in my eyes I think all you Mummy's and Daddy's will welcome! High sides! Yes...This very clever plate prevents all those pieces of food that always seem to jump like Lemmings, one after the other to their deaths...Yes you know all about the food I am talking about...The food you always have to pick up off the floor after your little one has finished their little destruction darby during..Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner! Leo still managed to tip his toast all over the floor but the prevention did give us a little extra time prior to the Lemming toast jumping ship!

The Becobowl comes in a attractive white and again features a fun and practical design! A perfect design for little ones who want to eat like grown ups! I think Leo may have competition from the Other Half on the Becofeeding set front....

You will also be pleased to know that all of the Becofeeding set is dishwasher safe (On the top shelf).

Leo and I highly approve of the Becofeeding Set and Becothings in general! My personal opionion and beliefs are that if it is better for the environment then it must be better for us and most certainly Leo, this speaks out to me in the way the products are made. Natural materials over man made plastics are an easy descion for me, and where there is a choice I am inclinced to choose the eco friendly Becofeeding Set.
The Becofeeding Set retails at £11.99 and can be ordered online at www.becothings.com
So in the words of Becothings 'whilst your little ones might be making a mess of the kitchen they won't be messing up the environment!'

So Happy Eating everyone...and why not save the planet at the same time!

Friday 17 February 2012

Moments In Time

I like to capture special moments in time, especially those that come and go so quickly as they do with my little person...Leo. To capture those special moments I have been keeping a scrapbook from before he was born, it has everything in it..scans and even a picture of my positive pregnancy test. It is something that is personal to Leo and myself. We can both look at it and appreciate just how unique and special it actually is. I think scrap booking is the perfect way to present and store things that you wouldn't ordinarily keep on display.

I also take the time to get those all important photos printed and put them into the correct albums, in order of when the events occurred, for me this makes it all unfold as it happened. There is nothing better than building up a collection of albums and then having a loving flick through every now and then. I personally think it will be nice for Leo to see his Mummy and Daddy before he was even a twinkle in our eyes!

Obviously I also blog, but what other ways are there to preserve and freeze those special moments for the whole of eternity? Birth, First Smiles, A Baby's First Roll, Crawling...Walking! How do you keep such memories? Well you could capture them like this:
  • Baby hands and footprints in clay (You could also whip up some Salt Dough and make the casts in this!)
  • Pregnancy Cast (Where you can have your baby bump casted and set in clay, who wouldn't want to remember there bump!?)
  • Framing Baby's First Shoes.
  • Professional Photo Shoots.
  • Blogging.
  • Scrapbookery.
  • Photo Albums.
  • Home Videos.
  • Emails (maybe set up a email account for your little one?)
  • Fingerprint Charms and Jewellery.
These are just a few ideas to capture those moments that put a little smile on your face, so you can
relive those special moments in time. Catch it, freeze it and keep it.

My little family are good friends with a fantastic local lady who makes jewellery, and as a gift she was kind enough to take Leo's finger prints and set them on a Silver Heart Pendant for myself and on a Dog Tag for Luke.

We went to her shop on Friday 3rd February 2012 when Leo was just 7 moths old, and his finger prints were taken on clay, this was done while Leo was fast asleep and dreaming in his pushchair. He was none the wiser...even when the prints had been completed!

I am not sure how the whole process works but from my understanding, the fingerprint is taken on some special clay that when put with the Silver and baked eventually burns away and leaves just the print on the Silver!

I have just today picked up the finished items and they are just fantastic, Leo's 7 month old finger print is now frozen in time forever. Leo is going to continue to grow and grow, but that tiny little print that was taken on Friday the 3rd of February 2012 is now set in Silver for all of time.

Even as Leo grows and changes, I still have my Heart Pendant with a finger print from his baby days.

This is just the most amazing gift, it is so very personal and really captures that one moment in time, that otherwise would have passed by without being noticed.

Both mine and Luke's pieces have Leo's finger print, name and the date the print was taken on them. If I hadn't of been such a lucky girly and been given this as such an amazing gift. I would most certainly of got this done off my own back. I cannot recommend a better gift to a new Mummy than this.

Unfortunately I cannot wear my special necklace just yet, Leo happens to be going through a pulling stage. So until Leo outgrows this, my one of a kind necklace will be kept safe and sound in my jewellery box to avoid any un-wanted and un-forgiving tugs that could cause disaster!

So do any of you have such an item of jewellery? or any other ideas on how to capture such moments in time? If you have any further thoughts I would love to hear from you.

Laura & Leo xx

Thursday 16 February 2012

Leo & The Cotswold Wildlife Park

Hey! Leo here!

My oh my! Yesterday I went on one very exciting adventure. I really want to tell you all about it but I just don't know where to begin!

Right...So I was hustled into the car with no idea at all where I was going. When we finally pulled to a stop I was very ready to get out and see the new surroundings, normally all I can see is my Mummy while in my Pushchair, but today I was facing out into the world! I could see all different kinds of strange creatures...they didn't look like anyone or anything I had ever seen before... What were they and where was I?

Mummy explained that we were at a place called the Cotswold Wildlife Park and that all the strange creatures I was seeing were Animals. Silly Mummy made it sound like all my questions had now been answered with this one word 'Animals', but really didn't answer any of my questions at all!

Anyway I must have forgotten that I cared what they were...eventually I just found them very interesting to watch, I realised that if I started crying in the Pushchair, Mummy would pick me out so I could see everything in much more detail! It is so nice to finally have Mummy trained the way I like. Turning the 'Cry' on and having her know exactly what to do is such a brilliant feature!

I saw so many Animal's that I have never seen before, Animal's that exceeded my wildest imagination...and I have read some books such as the Gruffulo! There was the Rhino...Golly gosh, that thing stinks more than I do after a special nappy! I would not want to clean up after him!
There was the Lion, who looked like a big pussy cat, I don't understand why Mummy wouldn't let me bring one home! He could sleep at the end of my cot...I mean there is Lion everything in my room anyway...so why not complete the set??

There was a REALLY tall group of Sophie Giraffe's...I don't know how my Sophie got to be so small? Not that I mind as...I am glad my Sophie can ride along in my Pushchair with me. I think even Sophie looked a little surprised to see her giant relations!

Moving along through our adventures in the wild wilderness....We finally came to what I am told are Penguins! They are kind of like Duck's....but they don't fly and over bread they would rather eat fish!? I was so very intrigued by them, I tried my hardest to wriggle free to lunge forward...you know! Maybe catch one!? Mummy had a very tight grip on me...She is such a spoil sport! I mean...I only wanted one to bring home!

I experienced some real firsts yesterday and I had no idea such a diverse world existed out there....I do hope that I get to go and see many more sights in the next few months. Mummy keeps talking about going back to this place called work...I think going on more adventures with me would be so much more fun! I will have to show my disapproval to this work Malachi!

Here is a small clip of our day at the Cotswold Wildlife Park!

Leo :-)))

Monday 13 February 2012

Stand by...We have a crawler!

At 7 and a half months, Leo... up until last week has shown no real sign of moving. In typical Boy style, Leo would like everything to come to him. He would roll over and that was it. He would reach...He would grab...and when he couldn't get what or where he wanted to go...He would scream to the high heavens.

Last Monday (6th Feb) all of a sudden...Leo could pull himself up on to his haunches. He has been strong enough to be PUT on his haunches for weeks, where he would rock. Monday...he could do it all himself. As the days have gone by, Leo has become stronger and stronger.

This is footage from throughout last week, I just find it hard to believe how quickly he has developed on the crawling front!

Right this minute, he is rolling and crawling around on the living room floor and I am trying to get some updated footage!

I know now he can move, he is going to be causing a whole new lot of trouble. I am already saying 'No' and having to jump up to go and stop him pulling books of the case....going near the fireplace (looks as though the fire guard is going up this week!)

His momentum and strength is gaining every day. It wont be long before I have a little shadow following me around the house! I guess he now just needs to get a better sense of direction and maybe a sat nav!

Well done little Leo and enjoy your new found sense of mobility! Just pretty please...don't start climbing just yet!

When did your little ones find their all fours and start to move?

Laura xx

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Dear Leo, My Little Monster..

Dear Leo, or should I say 'Little Monster',

These days you're cheeky personality is shining through and that little halo that once shone so brightly above you is starting to fall, in fact Leo I can see two little monster horns starting to come into their own and I know that I am in for big trouble.

Last week Leo, you decided that you would pee all over me...not just once...but once each day, for 3 consecutive days! You decided to start the 'water fight' whilst at Nanny's house after your bath, and no I did not notice as you did it so slyly, and yes thank you for shooting it so accurately that it did look like I myself had a little accident.

As if that wasn't humiliation enough...Upon getting you dressed for the day you decided to take that opportunity to get me again! This time I did notice...very much so! Although it was either duck and dive and spend the morning scrubbing the carpet or sit and take it as a Mummy should. So I sat there and got another un-provoked soaking! The funny thing is Leo, you seem to know exactly what you are doing! Granny laughed at the situation un-folding and you stopped to soak in the atmosphere, and then proceeded to pee all over me, beaming me a big toothy grin.

Finally...touch wood the third and final soaking came (thus far!) while getting you ready for bed. I am not ashamed to admit that I did let out a little shriek when the first trickle of warmth brushed on my lap! I think my surprised reaction startled you. I have to admit I have no intention of apologising for this I am afraid little man.

The lesson to this tale is....Don't pee on Mummy! Save it for Daddy!

Now Leo...my next complaint is your constant need to strategically place baby sick in hard to reach places all over my clothes. I go around all day wondering why I can smell baby sick but I cannot find it! People I meet must be horrified, and be glad when I...the offending odour walks away! As for your Daddy, god only knows what he must think!

These days I often compare myself to Lynette Scarvo off Desperate Housewives (Lord only knows why I am telling you this Leo...How will you know who Lynette Scarvo is!?)

Lynette has learnt how to rock the Mum look, she can pull off the sick smell...she can probably even locate the most hidden kinds that I can only dream of finding! Ahhh I can dream...

Now you can bounce forwards and are starting to get where you want to go...I dread to think what your new tricks will be...When you can crawl with confidence...oh my...
  • Toast in the DVD player?
  • My makeup down the loo?
  • Arhh Remotes down the loo?
I have to stop thinking Leo, I get the feeling I am not going to have to wait long to find out...

So Leo...Pleaseeeee bare these rules in mind next time you plan your next monstrous deed:

  • No pee peeing on Mummy - Just Daddy!
  • No hiding vomit on Mummy - Just Daddy!
  • Upon you finding your mobility I have to ask you not to throw yourself out of the pool pitt. Yes you can throw the balls out...but your not a retriever! Please don't fetch!
  • No typing on Mummy's laptop, Yes it's cute but I don't know how many of those 'Blue Screen Error Messages' it can take.

Good night little monster...
P.S - When it comes down to it...I don't really mind any of the above, and your no monster. Your my little lion and you can do no wrong. I am not afraid to admit that I am a Mummy and occosionally yes my darling baby boy will deposit a little treat from lunch all down my back. Or he will supersoak my favourite outfit....

Sweet dreams baby..
Love Mummy xx

Tuesday 7 February 2012

The Quinny Zapp Xtra Review

I recently became the proud owner of the Quinny Zapp Xtra (Rebel Red - The colour was very close to my heart).

So why did I choose to purchase the Quinny Zapp Xtra over other choices out there?

Well....it fit in with my 3 main necessities:
  • I wanted a parent facing stroller - I did have the Mothercare Spin up until this point, and I like to have the option of whether Leo is facing me or not. He is 7 months old and for the moment I would rather he faced me - When the time comes for him to face out to the world, this is possible with the Zapp!
  • I wanted RED! With the Spin it was in Silver...I wanted to have a vibrant exciting colour, and Red was the perfect one for me! It was not too out there but it shouts 'Here comes Leo'!
  • I wanted 3 Wheeler - When I was in the market for my original Pushchair back in April 2011, all the above were on my list of 'Needs' and I got none of them! So when it came to returning to the market for my stroller, I wanted to make sure I got EVERYTHING I neglected the first time round!
So that is what drew my attention to the Quinny Zapp, and it all kind of went very fast from there...10pm at night and I am getting the jitters from my Pushchair Addiction. Maybe I didn't need a new stroller just yet, but I managed to justify it to myself and then TOLD Luke in no un-certain terms what I was doing. Then my card details were inserted and Kiddicare were instructed to deliver that week. I was like a child at Christmas!

In The Box
The Quinny Zapp Xtra Rebel Red retails on Kiddicare at £229.99

The Zapp Xtra Comes complete with a sun canopy, raincover, shopping basket and adaptors for attaching the maxi-cosi infant car seats.

The Footmuff has to be purchased separately at a cost of up to £60.00. I like the option to have the Footmuff, especially as it is so cold out at the moment, It would be a nice touch to include this in the price, but this may just be my wishful thinking.

If you decide to invest in the Footmuff, you will eventually find that it is the same one used with the Buzz. I feel this could have been communicated to a better level, as it took me one wrong order and more re-search to find this out!

The Zapp comes with some impressive features and my first impressions were glowing recommendation to anyone and everyone that would ask...or didn't ask for that matter!

I en-listed help in putting the Pushchair together as my ability to attempt this task alone on first 'Go' is always time consuming and frustrating. Apparently though the instructions (if you call them that...they are just diagrams!)  make this task first attempt a trial for anyone. It is actually very simple once you realise what you have to do. 

The frame folds tightly and compact and will fit in pretty much any car (even those small ones!), the only thing that takes up the majority of the space is the 'seat' as this has to be stowed away separately and cannot be folded up with the frame, as you can with other strollers.

Once put together you can attach the seat either to face the parent, or out into the world to see the wonders of the people and sights passing by. We are currently using the parent facing option as I do enjoy a good old chit chat with Leo while out and about and he seems to enjoy this at present. I know the time will come in the next few months where Leo is not wanting to speak to his Mummy any longer and it will be high time to let him see the wonders of the world on his own!

The seat has 2 recline positions in the parent facing option and 3 recline positions in rearward facing.

It has to be said that Leo is incredibly comfortable in the seat which cups him nicely, he sits in it just lovely.

One of the main reasons for the change was in his old Pushchair he did seem to 'dangle' somewhat, he was not seated as I would have liked, so this did prompt us to change sooner than we may have otherwise, I am very happy that we did choose the Quinny Zapp.

The Zapp Xtra is suitable from birth to approx. 4 years old, one of my thoughts on up-grading earlier was that if I was intending to spend this kind of money on a Stroller, then I wanted to make sure I got my moneys worth out of it.

Quinny Zapp Xtra Features as per The Kiddicare Website

  • Eye-catching sleek and attractive design.

  • Highly manoeuvrable front wheel on the Zapp Xtra can rotate 360° and is lockable.

  • The Zapp Xtra is the most compact buggy in the world when folded (70 x 25 x 29 cm - frame only).

  • 3D compact fold.

  • The Zapp Xtra is the ideal travel system when combined with the Maxi-Cosi Pebble or CabrioFix infant car seat (both sold separately).

  • Comes complete with a sun canopy, raincover, shopping basket and adaptors for attaching the maxi-cosi infant car seats.

  • 3 recline positions when facing forward.

  • 2 recline positions when rearward facing

  • My Views:
    Zapp Xtra Pros:
    • Light weight.
    • Portable.
    • Compact.
    • Convenient for my every day needs.
    Zapp Xtra Cons:
    • The entire Pushchair doesn't feel extremely sturdy (flimsy), this is in comparison to the Mothercare Spin that I used previously which was very 'solid'. It has been absolutely fine and I have taken it up and down some steep slopes, it just has a plastic feel to it on a whole.
    • It Folds in two parts - It would be nice if it folded all in one piece.
    • A small shopping trolley.
    Over all I feel that the Quinny Zapp Xtra is a brilliant Stroller and it caters for all my personal needs, and suits Leo down to the ground. All being well (with my Pushchair addiction) this will cater for Leo and I until we no longer need a Stroller.

    I am very happy with my choice and read numerous reviews on many different Strollers before purchasing my Zapp, but none of them seemed to come as close in Specification or looks! (I swear I don't always judge a book by it's cover!)

    If you are looking for a compact, easy to navigate and good looking Stroller that you can pick in 7 unique colours:
    • Rocking Black
    • Rebel Red
    • Natural Mavis
    • Blue Scratch
    • Pink Blush
    • Fading Green
    • Graphic Purple
    Then it sounds like you may have met your match (as I did...) with the Quinny Zapp Xtra.

    I hope this review has helped some potential Quinny Zapp Xtra buyers with a full and honest review! I think if you join me in the Quinny boat, you will have a very, VERY happy baby!

    Laura xx


    007 Mission - Search & Rescue: Sophie The Giraffe

    Mission Notes
    Sophie The Giraffe was last seen safe and well in Leo's clutches on a brisk walk home from town. Sophie was nestled securely inside Leo's cosytoes. Upon release from the cosytoes for Leo's entertainment and play....Leo dropped Sophie without Mummy's knowledge.

    Upon a check point it became apparent that Sophie The Giraffe had jumped ship....Your mission is to send out a search and rescue team....Find Sophie and bring her home safe and well, for Leo's future enjoyment and companionship....

    Now GO!

    The Mission Unfolds...
    It is un-clear just how long Sophie has been missing, and whether or not she had been left by the river whilst feeding the ducks, or was lying helpless on the side of the road wondering if she would ever be found. All that is known... was she is missing.

    I 007 agent Mummy took an oath to serve and protect Leo and all his beloved toys, and now one of them is missing. I will not sleep...or eat until Sophie is found and returned back to her rightful owner!

    Our story unfolds on a sunny winters day on Saturday 28th January at about 3pm...Leo was happily playing with Sophie before her disappearance on a walk home...or so I thought...

    The cosytoes was un-zipped to enable further play and Leo must have taken that small opportunity to throw Sophie over-board...but where? There was no squeak from Sophie to alert to any problems...just silence.

    I looked around the push chair and immanent area...No sign. To save ourselves a walk back to town I continued the short walk home to enlist a team of help. We jumped into the 007 agents car and doubled back on ourselves!

    Upon our initial sweep of the area...There was no sign of Sophie at all. We drove around the whole area...we finally reached the realisation that Sophie may have been Giraffe napped and as the minutes rolled by, the chances of finding Leo's beloved Sophie became slimmer, and slimmer.

    We turned the car back around and decided to call the mission in: Sophie was gone. I couldn't help thinking that we had given up too soon, but if Sophie had been Giraffe napped - We had nothing to go on. What an expensive toy to loose...

    Then on the drive home...we saw the silhouette of what looked to be SOPHIE!! There she was, lay on the pavement next to the church. It had to be her...How many Sophie Giraffes do you found lay around on the streets!? It HAD to be Leo's Sophie!

    I slammed the car in to a halt on a junction and put the hazards on, I enlisted my other agent to quickly jump out of the car and retrieve Sophie before she came to any harm!

    Sophie The Giraffe had been found safe and well! Nothing a wash wouldn't solve. She looked a little shaken but relieved that 007 Agent Mummy and her search and rescue team had found her!

    The Aftermath
    Sophie the Giraffe was given a thorough clean up. She was returned to Leo who beamed when he saw her. Mummy Agent made Leo promise that he would never throw Sophie over board again. She told Leo the story of Lotso in Toy Story... How Lotso was never the same after being left and forgotten.

    Leo cooed in acceptance, pleased that Sophie was back where she belonged.

    Sophie says
    'It was a scary day...I know Leo meant me no harm and I count my lucky Giraffe spots that Agent Mummy found me. I now intend to put the events of that day behind me and focus on making my Leo smile'

    Sophie and Leo are still the best of friends....

    Mission Lessons
    Keep a close eye on all Toys... Just in case 007 Agent Mummy needs to perform such actions at a future date.

    Well done 007 Agent Mummy! Look after Sophie now little Leo xx