Tuesday 30 April 2013

The Tommee Tippee Movement and Sound Monitor Review

On the run up to Leo’s arrival I made a list of everything that I was going to need in those first few months and the next few years of his life. I was looking at everything from cots, pushchairs to baby bottles and baby monitors. With so much choice on the market I am glad that I gave myself the time to research and find exactly what I was looking for.

When you start looking for something in particular like a baby monitor, you will see that there is so much choice depending on what your budget will allow. But how do you narrow down your choice? Which one is better the better option and which one is the right one?

I have been sent the Tommee Tippee Movement and Sound Monitor to try out with Leo, and although he is now 22 months old we do still in my eyes need a monitor. We still have wakes in the night now and then and I find it re-assuring to  know that he is safely tucked up in bed, dreaming sweet dreams.

The Tommee Tippee Movement and Sound Monitor does exactly what it says on the tin, it provides crystal clear sound of your child when they decide to awaken your slumber with the wails and screams for ‘Mumma’ and ‘Dada’. Or even the happy giggles when they wake up in that absolutely glowing mood, and it even comes with a movement pad that you can place under your babies cot.

The movement pad is installed under the cot mattress and is designed to detect your baby’s movements within the cot. If there is no movement for 20 seconds an alarm is sounded to alert you to a potential problem, meaning you can get in there pronto.

I have found the sound clarity absolutely brilliant with this monitor, I can put Leo to bed and come back downstairs to hear him chatting away to himself before he succumbs to his sleep. You can alter the sensitivity depending on what you want to hear, if you don’t want to hear absolutely everything in the room you can simply turn down how sensitive the monitor is to sound, or if you are like me and want to hear everything that is going on you can put it on the maximum setting.

I have had absolutely no problems with reception, and throughout the whole house I have full signal thanks to the 300mm range. 

When Leo wakes up from his nap it is lovely to be able to re-assure him before I get up the stairs to him. making use of the two way talk back. My old monitor didn't have this feature and it has done wonders in keeping Leo calm. We have had our up's and down's with Leo's sleep and just being able to settle him without having to physically go into his room has been super.

Admittedly we have had a few false alarms with the movement pad, it has gone off in the middle of the night and woken us all up, Leo included as the alarm sounds in the baby’s room as well as on the parent listening device. 

I can't quite fathom why it has gone off sometimes, granted Leo does move around the cot a lot and for the most part has been completely off the mat before it has sounded. On a couple of occasions though he has been right on the mat and it has gone off for seemingly no reason. I do need to have a proper look at the settings to see what is going wrong here.

That said though, I would much rather have a false alarm than the alternative, and it is safe to say that when the alarm does go off, it WILL wake you up and get you in there. Each time it has gone off I have been up and out of bed before I have even opened my eyes.

Another time you will hear the alarm is if you neglect to turn the monitor off before you pick baby up out of the cot, you do soon learn to switch it off before you take him out, after you have been caught jumping out of your skin once or twice when you have forgotten to do so.

We have actually taken the mat off Leo's cot now he is 22 months old, but I think it is a great idea and something that definetly provided me with the reassurance I needed in those early months. If and when I do have another baby I will certainly be re-using this.

The nursery unit has a night light which omits a calming glow into the room, it doesn't shed much light but is enough for you too see the monitor and not disturb the sleeping child. The nursery unit gauges the temperature in the room and displays it on the parenting device unit. I have found this feature really helpful in keeping Leo the right temperature. I always worry whether he is too hot or too cold, so it is nice to be able to glance at the unit and know for sure.

I have found this bit of kit really easy to work and fit into our lifestyle, besides the false alarms we experienced I think the monitor is great. Crystal clear sound with 120 channels to choose from just in case you do run into some interference.

The Tommee Tippee Movement and Sound Monitor retails at £99.99 at the point of writing this review and you can purchase it from many online stores such as Boots and Mothercare.

You can find a full list of stockists here.

Disclaimer: I was sent the Tommee Tippee Movement and Sound Monitor for the purpose of this review, however all views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

Monday 29 April 2013

Chad Valley Bouncy Castle Review

I have been holding out for warmer weather since the end of last summer!

I love being able to get out and about, and being able to enjoy a good old barbeque in the garden, with a glass of wine or two.

I may have been slightly more excited about getting outside recently as Leo has been sent the most exciting item to review. My very lucky little man has been sent the Chad Valley Bouncy Castle to bounce on until his hearts content, but with the lack of favourable weather we initially took to playing with it in the dining room.

This bouncy castle is a great size, perfect for one or two little people to play with. It has sturdy walls and a complete safety net all the way around so that those bouncing are completely safe.

Now if you could have seen Leo’s little face the very first time he saw this bright, bouncy inflatable, you would have seen just how in awe he was, how eager he was to get on and practice his jumping!

The bouncy castle couldn’t have arrived at a better time, Leo is practicing his jumping at every available moment. Jumping off furniture, jumping on the bed and even jumping directly off the floor. We had been considering investing in a small trampoline for him but in the end decided that bouncy castles are great for toddlers!

We only have a small garden so it is easier to have something that we can inflate as and when we need it and then also store it away nice and compactly. When the bouncy castle is not in use you can actually fold it up and put it in the very handy travel bag. I was very impressed that I even managed to fold it back up myself and fit it back inside the carrier. The only thing that doesn’t fit inside the bag is the air fan, but I have found I can store the entire contents of the castle in the cupboard under the stairs.

I have been really impressed with the entire quality of the bouncy castle, it has strong laminated polyester and PVC material coupled with strong stitching which means you can really feel the quality. It is so much more than I was expecting it to be after seeing other bouncy castles in the past, if looked after properly this is sure to last a long while. 

It couldn't be easier to get set up and ready to play with, folding out the castle on the floor and attaching the fan, making sure the other vent is closed but still open enough to let the air flow out. And viola.... 

A bouncy castle ready to bounce and roll!

I love that Leo is completely enclosed as he jumps so there is no way he can really jump/fall off, and it is lovely to watch him having such a fantastic time. 

Now we have been able to get it out in the garden and it has been initiated properly, I am very much looking forward to getting Leo's little friends over to have a play on it too. 

The Chad Valley Bouncy Castle is currently on special offer at Argos at the amazing price of £99.99 down from £199.99! In my personal opinion it is worth every single penny. 

Disclaimer: I was sent the Chad Valley Bouncy Castle for the purpose of this review. However all views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

Friday 26 April 2013

The Realisation

The realisation that 2 whole years has almost past by.
That this little person has come so far and learnt so much,
 and you have played the biggest part in this.

The realisation that second birthday preparations are already being planned in your mind, for that special boys big day.

The realisation that your little man is no longer that little.
He may need you in certain ways but he really is an independent little being.

The realisation that he can pick himself back up when he takes a tumble,
but still needs you to help him and kiss his 'awch' better again.

The realisation that he can stand on his own two feet and can climb to the next floor of soft play all on his own. He can do it that quick and that fast that he can be gone before you have even taken off your shoes to join him.

The realisation that he is learning new words and begining to talk. It wont be long before we can have the most amazing conversations.

The realisation that I have my best friend in this little person that I helped create.

The realisation that I have faced some hard times with this little man, but also have the most amazing adventures.

The realisation that those hard times seem to be a distant memory, but the laughs stay on the front line of my mind bringing a smile to my face whenever I remember.

The realisation that things are never going to just slow down. All we have is the here and now, past memories and future tomorrows. 

The realisation that we need to make the most of each and everyday, starting a new day with a new adventure.

The realisation that this little man always has and always will be the reason I get out of bed every single day.

Thursday 25 April 2013

The Baby Alarm

Once Leo goes down to bed, I try to be quiet...Very quiet.

Restricting the use of the stairs is the secret to keeping him in his silent slumber.

The stairs creek and moan in a fashion fitting a old haunted house.

There is no quiet way to go up or down quietly.

I know because I have tried a variety of different ways.

Taking two steps at a time...
Jumping the last few steps....
Going down backwards....

You name it, I have tried it.

I more than likely have a bruise or bump from each individual attempt...

Of course there comes a time each and every night where I have to climb the creaky old stairs, because inevitably I do have to get to my bed.

*Creek* *Creeeek* *Creeeek*

I consider my stairway mission a success if I reach either end and still have a sleeping child in his bed. A mission fail means that my little man is wide awake and I am kicking myself for picking that moment to go up.

With a successful ascent I can see sleep on the horizon.

All I have to do now is get along the creeky landing and into bed without tripping over anything...

Easier said than done when you don't want to turn on the landing light through fear of the 'click' and the light being the wake up call that you really, REALLY do not want.

Then of course you just have to set your alarm so you get up in time the next morning... 

Oh wait. No I don't.

My personal alarm clock goes off at many different times. 

He doesn't have a snooze button and often goes off many hours before I actually need or even want to get out of bed.

I actually let out a little chuckle when I set my alarm last night. I knew deep down that it wouldn't be needed.

When the monster rises between 5-7am and starts shouting 'Dada' I know it is only a matter of time before he is in bed with us.

Even though he will go back down at 5...He has been waking every 20 minutes to half an hour right up until it is time to start my day.

I blink away the sleep and determine whether he will go back down, or whether that is it for tonight.

I dose in and out of sleep as he jumps up and down on Daddy and I.

*Beep* Beep* Beep*

Then hide under my pillow and close my eyes tight as my alarm clock confirms that it is time to get up and start my working day.


Tuesday 23 April 2013

Our Little Family is Growing by Four Paws!

I have grown up around animals, we have always had pet cat’s for as long as I can remember, and over the years there has even been a rabbit and a pet hamster or two.
It was always nice having animals in the house and I have been left with fond memories of the animals that have come and gone.

My parent’s are now at an age where they don’t want to be taking any new pet’s in, and after the last cat follows the cat nip trail to the skies that will be their pet days done and dusted. They still have my younger brother and sister at home but I guess with retirement creeping up on them they don’t want to be tied down with animals when they could be off enjoying sunnier shores.

Now Luke and I are set up in our own home, I have been longing to add a furry addition to our little family for some time. When we moved in we were both fully aware that the land lord operates a ‘no pet policy’ so we didn’t even broach the subject with the agency. As time has gone by though and we are now at the point of renewing our contract, I thought now would be the perfect time to ask the agency just how flexible the land lord may be on this policy.

So I called them up and told them that we would be renewing our contract and staying put for the foreseeable future. Then… I casually broached the pet subject and asked whether the land lord may consider a litter trained kitten into his humble abode. I threw in reference to a scratching post here and there and even mentioned there lovely new carpets so that they were aware that I had considered all of these elements when wanting to bring a furry little kitty cat into our home.

The lady on the phone said that she could indeed ask him but did say that these land lords are usually pretty set in there ways, and if they say ‘no pets’ they do usually mean…No pets.

Days past and nothing was heard. I was pretty sure my request would be denied but I still held a torch for the fact that no news was good news. Then just the other day the agency called and told me that the landlord had a few conditions but he was happy for us to bring a kitten into our home.

I am so excited for Leo to have his very own family pet, a kitten that he is going to get to grow up with, play with and love. Leo is so good when it comes to both Granny’s cat, and Nanny’s kitten that I think this experience is going to be really special for him.

We have decided on a Bengal kitten because of their mischievous ways and beautiful markings, and we have been on the hunt for our little Tigger. I have scoured the internet for local breeders who may have the latest addition to our family.

 Over the weekend we found our little Tigger.

He is currently 6 weeks old and will be able to come home to us on the 4th June 2013 – In exactly 1 month, 1 week and 5 days… Not that I am at all excited by this and counting down the minutes…

We took Leo along with us to meet little Tigger, and of course his brother and 2 sisters. It was lovely seeing them all together and playing, part of me was thinking we should have the two kittens! However…One of the conditions was that just one cat could come and live with us.

We got to see all of the Bengal cats that they currently had in the cattery, Tigger’s parents and even Aunts and Uncles! It was really interesting to see the potential size that Tigger could grow to, but seeing him now at just 6 weeks old it is hard to imagine him any bigger.

Now after finding our little leopard cat, I am very excited for our latest adventure and I think this is going to be a fabulous opportunity for Leo.

Keeping up with the clothing demand

Before I became a Mummy, I had so many questions and I wasn't really sure where to direct them. I turned to other parents and craved their personal experiences in the hope that in turn they could answer my questions. 

The funny thing is that since becoming a Mummy, I have had many of those questions reciprocated back to me in a roundabout kind of way. 

As parents with children who are constantly growing, growing at speeds that can only be described as lighting speed, it is really important to find bargains on kid's clothing, after all they are only going to be in it for all of 5 minutes anyway, so we do want to find the best deals we can.

In light of this I have decided to share some of my personal tips:

-  Charity shops - Sometimes you can find a real bargain that is as good as new, so it can really be worth hunting through these treasure troves on the off chance that you will strike gold! They’re usually present on every high street, however, if you’ve yet to spot one you could always try this nifty little resource here and enter your posts code to find a charity shop near you.

Shop in the sales! A great tip I was given was to buy everything you need for your little one a year in advance in the sales. I had everything I needed for Leo for the first 2 years simply by buying it all in advance. It is only now that I am having to start buying Leo clothes for his new wardrobe.

-  Use voucher codes - Head to the baby section on netvouchercodes for instance and see what they have on offer. The site is really easy to navigate as being straightforward, as they don’t group expired discount with active ones – which is a great timesaver. Additionally, by shopping by category rather than brand, you can choose a retailer based on “best discount”, so you might even discover some new retailers that you were not aware of previously. They’ve currently got some lovely discounts available from the leading baby brands such as Mothercare, Boots and the Early Learning Centre – so peruse away ladies. 

eBay is also another great treasure trove and they’ve got a great selection of both new and used baby clothes, so you can often find exactly what you are after at a fraction of the price that it would be on the high street. 

Baby events held by the leading super markets can be a great means to stocking up on everything you will need for your baby, from baby wipes to clothes. 

These are just a few of the ways that I have managed to keep Leo's wardrobe full to bursting throughout the last 21 months, and it is how I will continue to keep my always growing little man dressed for each and every occasion.

Article Collaboration

It's time to pull out the Summer Wardrobe

I have been invited to have a look around Alex and Alexa the kids fashion brand, or as the Independent have nick named it, the 'Net-A-Porter for under 14 year olds'.

They have everything from Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana to Ugg Australia, all for our little monsters. The sizes start from birth allowing the fashion conscious parent to dress their newborns in clothing fresh of the cat walk. 

Or the cat crawl as the case may be!

After having a look through the website with high hopes for the Summer, I have come away a list of things that I think would look super duper on my little guy. Ralph Lauren canvas shoes to compliment the Ralph Lauren shorts and t-shirt I picked out. 

I spotted some very flashy O'neill surfer shorts that would be perfect to add to Leo's suitcase for our impending trip to Cyprus this August.

I discovered that I love the Ralph Lauren kid's range (a range I didn't actually know existed before heading over to the site for a mooch) and decided to add another Ralph Lauren t-shirt to my wish list just for good luck.

Last but not least on my list of items that stood out to me is the very bright Joules shorts and t-shirt set. Perfect for the sunny weather that we WILL be getting!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post

Monday 22 April 2013

Leo's Lump

Today we went back to the doctors.

Not for the first time, nor the second...But the third.

Last Friday I found a lump on Leo's groin, a completely un-explained lump that seemingly just appeard and scared the living day lights out of me. Suffice to say that I got him straight into the out of hours and followed their advice.

The out of hours prompted me to bring him back first thing the next day to our regular surgery. The locum GP told me to come back next Monday to see the pediatrician. 

That is exactly what I did.

Over the week I have noticed the lumps get smaller, the smallest of the two vanished all together. Last night I sat here umming and arhing as to whether or not I should keep today's appointment. I couldn't help thinking that by taking him in I would have been wasting their time. 

At one point I had completely planned to cancel the appointment and go into work, but then the what if's entered my mind and I decided that the worst they could do was insinuate that I was over reacting.

Leo and I arrived at the surgery for the second week in a row, and took a seat waiting for Leo's name to be called out. Leo spyed the vibrant red fire alarm and kept pointing it out in the hope that I may let him have a closer look...Not on my watch!

Leo's name was called out and we went off to the appointment where I explained everything for the third time. I told her how the swelling was not as bad as it was and it was obviously showing signs of reducing but just to be on the safe side I wanted to see what she thought anyway. It was around about now that I apolagised for potentially wasting her time, but she quickly re-assured me and told me that these things do need to be investigated.

Leo was once again as good as gold, he lay there baring all while the doctor did the examination. Hernia was ruled out for the third time and the gland seemed to be the culprit. Despite the lump going down she said it was still much larger than it should be, but the second lump was no longer a problem,

Leo chuckled throughout the exam as the pediatrician was much more child friendly than both doctors prior to this visit. It was actually reassuring to have our regular doctor on this occasion.

It looks as though Leo's lump really isn't anything to worry about, and it is just a case of swollen lymph glands. We have to go back again in two weeks just to make sure everything has returned to normal, but my little man is going to be absolutely fine. It hasn't affected him in the slightest and all of the googling I did in my search for a diagnosis was not worth the scare factor it provided.

Thank you everyone for thinking of Leo and asking about him, I really appreciate it.

Laura and Leo

Friday 19 April 2013

The Potty Olympics

Sometimes when that light bulb suddenly lights up the darkest corners of your mind, everyone else seems to be suddenly talking about your latest realisation.

Like when you are choosing a new car, out of nowhere there a hundreds of that exact car on the roads, driving past you almost deliberately.

I told you all a few weeks ago about my plans to introduce Leo to a potty, and then that very night an email from Bounty lands in my email box telling me all about my 21 month old toddlers development.

Staring out at me were the words ‘No more nappies’. I knew instantly that I was going to be reading some potty training advice, and I have to say that it was very much welcome.

What really stood out to me were the signs to watch out for before you take the plunge into the unknown. 

What are the signs?

- Your little monster will start to realise when they are actually going to the toilet. He may even be able to control it as much to actually leave a puddle on your floor! Deliberately!

- Your little monster may start to find a wet nappy uncomfortable.

Your little monster will start to go longer between pee’s. This demonstrates that his bladder is becoming stronger and he is starting to gain some control over what he is doing and when.

Out of these 3 signs I can pin point Leo on two of them. He knows when he is going, he knows exactly what you mean when you ask him if he needs a wee, and this usually will be the start of Leo looking down, smiling and you know you have to get the new nappy on pronto before he sprinkles everywhere!

Leo’s nappy can be dry for a few hours, his bladder is certainly getting stronger and his awareness is governing when he actually needs to do.

This is exactly why I think introducing a potty could be really beneficial. Even if he just gets used to sitting on it to start with and I give him more nappy free time, it’s a start. Everything we do and when will all be governed by Leo.

He is the boss in this scenario and I am following suit.

I am stepping onto this potty training rollercoaster blind. Although I am following my instincts I know that it may turn out to be full of twists and turns, ups and downs and loop-de-loops. But I am confident that Leo is showing the tell-tale signs that he is getting ready to start training for the potty Olympics.

The Joules Clothes Review

I was recently contacted by Joules and asked whether Leo and I would like to review some of their very lovely clothes. Of course I was very quick to accept, it is not very often that anything comes for review purposes that is not for the little man. So the thought of something for ME was just what I needed.

I had a look around the website at the beautiful new Spring and Summer lines. There was lot’s of choice and so many colours to choose from. It was really hard to narrow it down to just one item, but I eventually set my sights on a stripey White and Navy Jersey top that I thought would be perfect for the office.

It looked the perfect length to be able to pair it with either leggings or tights and of course my boots for work, and when it arrived I soon discovered that I had been right.

The length of this top falls to knee length and so would be perfect to wear as a dress in the summer days that I am hoping lie not too far ahead. The full lenth sleeves have been great in this cooler weather we have been experiencing over the past few weeks, but would still be fine in warmer weather due to the breathable material. (95% Viscose, 5% Elastane).

I have this top in a size 8 and it fits perfectly, there are flattering pleats on the front and it is just really comfortable to wear.

This top has been washed on multiple times now and has still maintained it’s shape and colour. I find how clothes wash an important factor as I am often left frustrated when you have spent a small fortune on an item only to have the design fade in the wash or for it to become miss-shapen.

I love that this top can be dressed up or down and it is an item of clothing that I’ll be keeping in my wardrobe for some time.

The children’s boys clothing features lot’s of choice, and after I had a look at everything I picked out a very smart rugby shirt for Leo. I am just as impressed with the quality as I was with my top.  I knew that Luke was going to like Leo’s new shirt so I dressed Leo in it to see what he had to say.

First Luke was impressed that Leo was sporting a rugby top (Luke is a big rugby fan) and secondly he was admiring all of the authentic details that have gone into the top. There is a player number and a badge donned with the Joules logo.

Over all it is just a lovely little top, one that is set to last Leo for some time to come. I ordered it in a size 2-3 years as I wanted Leo to get lots of wear out of it. Little man turns 2 in June this year, and besides it being a little longer he can very easily get away with wearing it.

The Joules range is such a lovely collection and has some lovely lines, from the quilted jackets that are perfect for Spring time to keep off the chill to the bright Summer dresses. 

Disclaimer: I was sent samples from the Joules range for the purpose of this review, however all views and opinions are completely honest and my own.

Looking at getting away for a family holiday

We are finally seeing signs that suggest Summer is on the way, and those of us that haven't already found our thoughts entertaining the idea of a holiday are seriously beginning to do so.

My little family have a few holidays booked over the summer months and I am very much looking forward to jetting off to Cyprus this August to finally be re-introduced to the sun. I almost cannot remember what the warm rays feel like against my pasty white skin, so this is going to be a welcome break.

For those of us who will not be leaving the UK this year for one reason or another, then there really is lot's to do within sunny England, there are lots of different places to visit and many different attractions to keep you busy.

Even if you can only spare a few days to sneak away to relax, you can always consider weekend holidays for all the family. There is lots of choice when choosing where you go, and sometimes going away in the UK is the perfect chance to see another part of the country you would never have thought to go before. 

Butlins holiday parks are a great way to spend time with your family, and with 3 resorts spread out over the UK coast line, there is a great choice of destination and what you can do when you arrive! I myself have never experienced a Butlins holiday, but with Leo now getting older I know it won't be long before he is ready to go and have fun with the best of them.

I have been having a look at the website and the selection of Butlins holiday parks. The closest resort to me is located in Bognor Regis, while I have been having a look at what is available I have surprised myself. I quite honestly didn't know just how much Butlins had to offer, there is a wide range of different accommodation from the Wave Hotel and Apartments that were opened back in 2012, to simple rooms when all you need is a base to fuel your busy days out!

On site there is plenty to do regardless of the weather outside. Inside and out there is something to entertain every single individual in your family. Family entertainment to walks along the beach, not to mention the on site fair ground!

I know that we will be considering a Butlins holiday in the near future, it seems like a great option for my little family of 3, I can think of one toddler who would love being back by the sea.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Butlins

Thursday 18 April 2013

You are in safe hands with Easywalker

I happen to be a big fan of the Easywalker brand, throughout my entire experience with them I have had nothing but perfect customer service. Any questions that I have had they have been very quick to answer, and even offered to Skype with me so that I could explain and demonstrate any issues face to face.

When the June was released last year it didn’t have a transport lock, but a few weeks after the June’s arrival one turned up in the post. I have constantly felt that there is always someone there to talk to if I need them, and always more than happy to help.

 We have just taken in the Easywalker Duo for my Mum who is going to be having Leo and his little cousin in the next couple of months. There is a 16 month age gap between them both and Granny is going to need a double pushchair to get them both around, and to keep the older one running away! (Leo….of course)

With the arrival of the Duo I set about setting it up, I got the 2 back wheels on and the front wheel with no problem at all, it is here I encountered my problem. One of the front buttons that you need to open in order to pop on the wheel was stuck up inside it’s self. I tried, Granny tried and even Luke gave it a go, but this button did not want to come back out.

So I explained the situation surrounding our lovely new Duo and I received the same high standard of customer service from Easywalker. They were super. They took down the details of the problem and I sent over some images and a video showing exactly what was wrong.

Easywalker are in the process of resolving the issue and I really cannot fault them. They take all the details into account and jump straight into action, you can see that they really want you to enjoy their products.

If you buy into the Easywalker brand then you really are going to be well looked after, I think this is really important when you are buying such an important item for your baby/babies.

Easywalker very quickly resolved the situation by sending a new Duo at lightning speed, so Granny is now on the road with her beautiful new Duo, and I don’t think much will stand in her way! Not with those big chunky wheels that are suited to all types of different terrain!

All I can tell you about the Duo at this moment in time that it is a very good looking pushchair, when it is collapsed it is rather heavy but once it is up right it Is really easy to push and I am looking forward to having a play with it!

I will be sharing our Duo adventures with you and a full review very soon, but for now I will leave you with my love for Easywalker.

Disclaimer: I was not asked to write this post. All views and opinions expressed are my own personal experiences with Easywalker and I just wanted to share how super I think they are!

Monday 15 April 2013


Today Leo and I spent the entire day together. 

A day we wouldn't usually get as my work schedule falls on a Monday. 

Today I had to get little man back into the Doctor's surgery to get him checked out again as per the doctor's orders yesterday.

I had no problem getting him an appointment and with Timmy Sheep, blankie and the kitchen sink in hand, we were ready to head out for the 10:20am appointment slot. 

We didn't have long to wait and my usual fidget bum of a toddler sat so still and contented next to me until his name was called, and off we popped into the Doctor's office.

I lay Leo on the patient bed and showed the Doctor where the lump was. There is actually one big lump and one smaller pea sized lump. He did all the checks and once again confirmed that it is certainly not a hernia, and it most likely isn't anything to worry about.

He praised my little man for being such a good patient, the normal wriggle bum just lay there not moving an inch. My how I wish daily nappy changes were this easy.

The Doctor concluded his examination and told me that it is most likely an infection, what kind of infection he did not say. They say these things can happen if he has scratched himself on something that later causes the infection, which would explain why both Doctor's asked me if he had cut himself recently. 

I couldn't even begin to tell him just how clumsy my little man actually is. Just this morning he was skipping around me as I got ready and somehow managed to trip over himself and land on his bum at the other end of the room.

So yes...He may have cut himself, but I couldn't begin to tell you how, why, when or where. The possibilities are endless.

We don't know when the lumps would have first appeared, but if they have not gone down by Monday morning, we have a appointment booked in with the pediatrician who may wish to run some tests and a scan. 

For now I don't really know anything. I can't help thinking that today really didn't shed any more light on the lumps and I learnt nothing more than I did yesterday. 

But despite not having all of the answers to my questions, I was presented with a day that I wouldn't usually have.

I had the sunshine on my side and I had one happy little chappy to spend it with.

So we got ourselves out into the garden and spent some quality time together.

Life Lessons

I have always loved taking photos, and since having my beautiful little man I have taken even more, just so that I can capture every change and milestone in his growing up journey. 

When I first started blogging I upgraded my camera so that I could take more photos at a better quality, I even began taking a weekly photo of Leo so that I could see the difference a week made.

Once my camera is full of images they get uploaded to my laptop so that I can share them with friends, family and of course with my blog readers. Here they are saved, kept safe and within easy access for me to edit and look back on. 

Or at least I thought they were safe...

Not long after Leo was born my laptop hard drive failed. 

It was around this point I began kicking myself for not backing up and it was soon confirmed that all of my precious photographs had been lost forever. I was so thankful that all of Leo's images from the birth and our first couple of weeks were safely stored away on the memory card.

It is only when you are directly in a situation where you require your home insurance to fall back on that you realise just how important it is.

My laptop and my camera are objects that I use daily and should they ever get lost, stolen or damaged, I rest well knowing that everything is backed up on a external hard drive just to be on the safe side. 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. 

Sunday 14 April 2013

Suspected Swollen Lymph Gland

On Friday while I was changing Leo's nappy I ran the baby wipe over something I had not noticed before. 

What would usually be a smooth wipe was encountered by an alien a bump in the road.

Investigating further I realised that Leo had a lump on the left hand side of his groin just *above his manhood*.

I ran my fingers over it and checked his other side only to find that it was normal. Going back for a closer look I noticed that this lump was actually rather big and when you lay Leo's leg flat you can actually see it protruding slightly. 

I would say that the lump is about the size of a large marble. 

I made a mental note to tell Luke when he got home, but with the general running around of an evening it completely slipped my mind. It was only last night when Leo was in the bath when I suddenly realised my error *Mummy fail* and called Luke in to have a look.

Luke agreed that it was a rather big lump and after consulting with the lovely ladies on Facebook last night I decided I should get him into the out of hours doctor surgery to be checked over.

On the drive into our local out of hours service I couldn't help but feel like a parent who was over reacting, but lumps are scary things, they can be anything. And sometimes I think the not knowing is the scariest thing in the world.

I wasn't even sure that they would see us, but I felt that taking Leo to get this sorted was my responsibility and was something that needed doing sooner rather than later. Being Sunday if I had not gone in with him today I probably wouldn't have been able to get him in myself until Friday, and I wanted to personally be there to take him to the appointment.

The doctor beckoned us into his office and I explained the issue as I was undressing Leo. He had a good feel of the swollen lump and checked out all of Leo's anatomy just to rule out any other problems. 

After a few minutes he said that there was indeed a sizeable lump and that I was right to bring him along to get checked out. He said that he could rule out a hernia and he was pretty sure it was a Lymph Gland that had swollen up. 

However he did say that because the lump was so big that I should get him straight into our own doctors surgery tomorrow, where they may want to refer Leo to hospital for a scan, just to see what is going on. 

Now the lump is not bothering him at all, he has been poked and prodded by both me and the doctor today, but he is still his happy self. But now I guess it is just a case of waiting to see what tomorrow brings.

And I think I will need to be on top form to make sure I don't go getting fobbed off by the doctor!

Saturday 13 April 2013

A Spring Time Haunt

The Cotswold Farm park is a regular haunt for me and Leo, as soon as the weather permits we like to go for a stroll and see the baby animals. I have to admit the areas with all the kids and lambs is my favourite part.

We visited last weekend with daddy, we left the pushchair in the car and set off to the farm with Leo clutching my hand. He was so interested in all the car’s parked up in the car park as we walked along to get our ticket, that I did wonder whether we should have taken him to the bike show like Daddy had originally suggested (not my idea of fun!)

Ticket in hand, a 21 month old toddler and space, lots and lots of space for him to run, explore and have fun.

 He saw all of the play equipment first, then the goats in the pen. Very soon he was no longer holding our hands and was running ahead shouting ‘bye dada’. We soon guided our little stow away into the baby area, little lambs or Baa’s as Leo calls them were jumping up and down hay bales, and the little kid goats were playing with the ball.

Leo was straight up to that pen and pucking his lips together as though he was calling for a cat to come to him. He was so excited by the real life Timmy Sheep that we could not get him away from this one enclosure. He would have absolutely loved to feed them a bottle but we had just missed feeding time, but I am sure there will always be next time!

Leo oinked at the piglets as they nuzzled with their Mummy, he petted a rabbit in the walk in enclousure (another area he really didn’t want to leave!) he bounced high on the bouncy pillows and had many a goes on the slide.

We always have a lovely time at the farm, but now Leo is that bit bigger and he is mobile we can do even more with him. Watching him run everywhere he went (usually away from us) it really did show just how big our baby now was.

Last year when we first visited he was 9 months old, a mere baby in my arms (a crawling baby!) and now he just goes where he wants when he pleases.

I am certainly looking forward to visiting again, because each time it is that little bit more rewarding and as there is so much for us all to do and explore, I think it will continue to be a regular spring haunt.

How did you make the most of the sunny weather? 

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Bath Time

Ever since Leo could stand up he has refused to sit in the bath.

With every bath Leo stands and refuses to take a seat. 

Why he does this I just don’t know.

Looking back I can’t remember the exact time he began to stand instead of sitting, but it must have been around the time he began to walk. 

July 2012.

I cannot pin point any momentous moment that could have scared him around this time. But he has fallen over in the past while sitting in the tub, when he has though I have always picked him back up incredibly quickly. 

He has taken tumbles while standing too, it has been inevitable, but he seems happy as he stands there splishing and splashing away.

But then on Monday night he suddenly sat down. He made such a splash that he stood back up and did it again! 

Leo then spent the rest of bath time standing up and sitting back down into all the bubbles.

It wasn't just a fluke either, as with each bath he has taken since he has sat down and enjoyed bath time ten fold.

What ever it was that stopped him sitting down in the bath... Well it seems to be a thing of the past! Now maybe we can work on laying him down in the bath for the hair wash that he always dreads.

Do your little ones refuse to sit in the tub and have to stand for the duration of bath time?

Or was my little man an exception to the rule?