Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Babymeka Keepsake Box Review.

A few weeks ago the people at Babymeka made a lovely offer to make up one of their keepsake boxes for Tabitha-Lo. Being the perfect type of gift for a newborn i suggested they make one up for one of my oldest friends Helen who was due to give birth anyday.

The box arrived well packaged and totally unscathed by royal mails bumpy service, so could have been sent directly to the mum to be but i was nosey and wanted a good look first!

The box was a gorgeous pearlised pastel colour really classic and sturdy, decorated beautifully and adorned with the babies first name and date of birth. Inside the company had supplied us with their basic package (£25.00) this included:

Various items from the day of the babies birth...
CD single No.1
Card containing a receipt for bread and milk
1st and 2nd class stamps
Scroll bound in ribbon with meaning of names

The site Babymeka lists additional options for more expensive packages as well as Mummy to be packages stocked with goodies.

The contents of our box was padded out with co-ordinated shredded paper. This also left some space for me to add my own gifts inside.

Helen was really pleased with the keepsake box. She felt the product was original and liked the idea of having the items to show Isaac when he was older. The box is attractive enough to be on show in his nursery and could be added to with other memorable items as the years pass by.

Between us the only negative point would have been that the quality of the paper the name scroll was printed on could have been higher to ensure longevity or allow the parents to frame and have on display.

Overall a winner, i would buy this gift for another new baby and like the mum to be box as a maternity leave gift for a colleague perhaps.

A keepsake box starts off a collection of items that will grow throughout a childs life, which means so much more than a babygrow set or teddybear.

When will i learn?

Tabitha keeps hiding behind the curtains and as my childcare training suggests i decided she is looking for private play spaces. So we headed out this weekend to buy a set of pop up tents to give her some  more private play areas, and to stop her pulling the curtains of course.

I picked one up similar to this from Early Learning Center in the sale, apparently its summer stock. No child is allowed tent play in the winter, who am i to argue? We got it cheap.

So i eagerly set it up for her first play session and what happened?

Yep you guessed it. She is still playing with the bloody curtains.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

The Gallery - One day in August.

The theme of The Gallery at Sticky Fingers this week is in honor of the three mummy bloggers who are headed out to Bangladesh with Save the Children to help raise awareness. As the girls actually flew on Sunday (today) Tara asked everyone to mark the day by taking a photo.

Watching Tabitha-Lo eating her dinner i realised i will never have to worry where her next meal comes from. Even when i'm having a low cash flow month, even when the bills have piled up, it will never be that bad. She will always have food and water, we will always have a clean place to prepare and cook that food. 

If she gets an upset tummy i will give her fluids and medicine and she will perk up in a  day or so. When she needs a doctor i will walk ten minutes down the road and see one.

Yet i will hear myself this month moan that i want new jeans, an ipad, an earlier appointment, a bottle of wine and a holiday in the sun.

I will try to remember i have so much already....I have food in my cupboards and a chubby faced child to eat it.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Gallery - A photo I am proud of...

My gallery entry this week for Tara over at Sticky Fingers is to the theme.
'A photo I am most proud of..' 

I am obviously proud of every photo of Tabitha-Lo but these are photos I am proud of because i took them and I love the way they have turned out. My photography skills are non existent, when i buy a camera i ask for one i can point and press. 

Before Tabitha came along my only snaps were of my travels and drunken nights out, hardly artistic or well taken. When we got our Mac i started to fiddle about with the iphoto edit tools and found i could really improve a shot very easily.

Below are three shots of Tabitha when she was about 3 months old.

I adore them.

This next one photo was a random i took of myself using an old phone camera and then messed about and added a cheesy effect or two. It has turned out to be a favourite.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Please don't hate me. I didn't sign up for this.

The older I have got the more I have realised that I suffer from something I can only describe as limited social skills. It is not that I am not good with people, I am. Having worked in some sort of customer/client based job for nearly all my adult life I've had to be.

I also have friends, honestly I do. I love those friends dearly and I love their children. They are people I want to talk to, talk about, ask about. Strangers and new people I just don't deal too well with.

I'm lacking in certain areas. It is mainly because I don't like a lot of people and I'm not very good at covering it up...I'm not a confrontational person don't get me wrong. I'm just not very good at faking interest or appreciation.

This has become more of an issue for me since having Tabitha-Lo. At parenting class Jay and I would sneak in and sneak out. We sat at the back, whispered, giggled and made up stupid stories about the other people in our group. The only thing we got from the class was not to turn up to the next one and hope no one noticed.

I am aware we sound like really bad people, we are not. I can't really prove otherwise right here and now but please take my word for it.

My first morning I went to clinic getting Tabitha weighed I sat with my head down playing about on my iPhone. Other mums were chatting about night feeds, telling birth stories. I was texting Jay telling him ' I am in hell'.

I know I need to address it, I want Tabitha to be a social child with lots of group activities to attend and I will have to take part in the school gate chatter at some point. It is so hard when you just don't care.

''Your sons how old? Does he sleep through? hmmmm reallly? Yes I know......Zzzzzzz. Sorry my head just fell off.''

Random people who approach small children in buggies are another issue for me. I get a lot of comments on Tabitha when we are out. I know its because she is a cutie and she blows raspberries but seriously! This is my shortlist of offenders....

1. Grannies who smell of wee or sherry and grab her face and call her a 'poor thing'.
2. Grandparents who fill you in on their grandchild/child ratio.
3. Teenage girls who say 'Oh My God! How Cute!!' a lot.
4. And worst of all the parents who talk via their slightly older child 'look at the baby, isn't she lovely, say hello'

I'm really sorry but when I had a baby I did not sign up for a lifetime of walking round with a fixed grin and a pocket full of happy chat.

Some people will think I'm harsh or a miserable moody cow.

I'm really not, I'm just out buying bread and milk.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Gallery - Memories.

This week the theme over at Sticky Fingers is Memories. After giving it some thought about which photos from my past really stimulated a strong memory for me, this one sprung to mind. I got my mum to dig it out for me. This is me aged about 7/8.

It was taken by a friend of my parents who was attending some sort of barbecue or party we were having. I was rocking my Andy Pandy suit as i called it and some pink Jelly shoes. Everyone else was on the patio and i was sat in the chair eating food off the plate that i'm holding in my hand. Listening to all the chatter and laughing i was not really feeling like part of the party.

This was my launch out of the chair caught on camera. I was really embarrassed when i saw he'd taken a picture of me and stropped off, probably for more food. When he developed it he gave Mum and Dad the photo and everyone said how lovely it was. From that day on i was secretly convinced i was destined to be a model.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Welcome to the world.

Congratulations to my friends Emma and Harvey Bailey, and big brother Brendan on the arrival of Baby Isla.
 Born 16th August 2010 weighing 8lb 13oz.

Mummy bloggers go to Bangladesh.

Something exciting is happening in Blogland. Save the Children have chosen three blog writers to join them in an aid mission to spread the word about the death rates of children in Bangladesh from illness such as pneumonia and malaria. 

Josie from Sleep is for the weak, Sian from Mummytips and Eva from Nixdmix are off to meet mothers dealing with the grief of losing their children, dealing with the daily struggle which is life in Bangladesh. I have travelled some poverty stricken areas when i was backpacking but i don't think that will touch what these women will encounter. 
They will be feeding back what they see while they are there via all areas of social media. I wish the girls all the best of luck and know they will do an amazing job.  It is our job to absorb this information and act upon it.
Please take the time to visit the site www.savethechildren.org.uk and see what you can do to help and sign the petition.
They are aiming to collect 100,000 signatures. This will all go towards putting pressure on Nick Clegg as he meets with other world leaders at the UN summit in a few months. They are way behind on the target previously set in this area
9 million children a year are dying before their 5th birthday in Bangladesh. 
This needs to change, make change happen.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Maclaren Quest Sport Review.

Over the past two weeks Tabitha has been zooming round town in new wheels. Maclaren have given us a Quest Sport Buggy to review and we have been strolling our towns cobbled streets putting it to the test.

My choice of buggy from day one of finding out i was pregnant was always a Bugaboo. I have had the opportunity to test nearly every buggy due to my childcare work and had found it the best suited to my needs. Oh, and it comes in Dark Indigo Denim, sold.

It has always been the plan however to move Tabitha into something more lightweight once she was big enough. I really jumped at the chance to try this Maclaren as i've always thought they were sturdy lightweight buggies and a make i'd have considered buying.

So the big issue. Have Maclaren managed to sort out the hinge issues that caused the recall of US models in 2009? I was relieved to see that the hinges of the Maclaren Quest Sport were totally concealed in an attractive shell and means there is no chance of myself or Tabithas fingers being caught in the mechanism. Problem solved.

Infact the Maclaren symbol on this circular disc is my favourite design feature on the Quest. It features on the harness lock also and gives the look of a racing car seatbelt. My only gripe is that the straps on the harness once done up to fit Tabitha in securely leave a long piece over and flapping loose. I realize this is needed to extend as she grows but as a teething 8 month old i am struggling to stop her chewing them constantly. I would have liked another slide buckle to keep them tidy and laid against the parallel strap to stop this.

The handles are comfortable to hold being covered in a padded foam. I'm about 5'6 and i have to say i'd have liked a bit more height in the handles. Taller parents may struggle with them being not height adjustable. However Tabithas Daddy did comment on  a positive of the handle for him....'They'd be like rocket launchers if they had buttons on them.' ?!

The buggy comes with a raincover that fits in the basket so can be carried about at all times. One thing the Bugaboo drove me crazy with was the size of the raincover being so impractical. We did have a problem with the first Maclaren cover we got. The darted seam on the front was faulty and split when Tabitha kicked against it. I contacted Maclaren via one of their many contact points (Twitter and Facebook are constantly updated and give great customer service.) A new one was sent out the same day and arrived the following afternoon. I tested the seams by giving them a good pull and she will not be kicking her way through this one!

Overall i'm very happy with the buggy. Umbrella buggies are a vital piece of parenting kit when the baby turns to toddler and beyond. This buggy ticks lots of boxes for me, the colors are bright and modern, the fabrics are strong and easy to wipe clean. It is light as a feather i can hold it above my head, so ideal for holidays and lifting in and out of the boot. 

The biggest selling point though is that Tabitha has now started to climb into the Maclaren for her daytime naps or to watch tv, treating it like her own armchair which for me says it all.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Chichester Grapevine Magazine.

Here's a free magazine thats worth picking up and keeping for reference if your a parent living in and around the Chichester area.  

Crammed full of handy advice and articles The Chichester Grapevine aims to keep parents bang up to date on the things that matter.

From events for the little ones to breast-feeding advice, tackling that return to work to picking up the latest threads, this handy directory has pretty much got it all covered.

Keep an eye out for it on your travels, or read it all online right here, right now.

10 things you never wanted to know about me.

I got tagged in a meme by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps. I have done my duty and answered the questions below.....

1. What is your porn star name? (Name of your first pet .....your Mothers maiden name). 
Misty Otto ( nothing is 'pornstar' with the surname Otto! )

2. Your most delectable piece of lingerie?
I had some gold hotpants once, i won't go into what happened to them.

3. Be a famous person for a day - who and why?
Katie Price - I'd sack her management, dump Alex and apologise to Pete.

4. Your neighbour's dog chews up your prized, and very expensive, Manolos. What do you do?
Shoot it.

5. If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Burgers. Chips. Ketchup.

6. Caught speeding. How do you get out of it?
Charm and chat.

7. Secret crush as an adult?
Robert Lindsey-My Family.

8. Which side of the bed do you sleep on?

9. Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Jake Gyllenhaal, Simon Cowell, Tom Cruise.

10. Rudest word you have in your (child-free) vocabulary?
It is what i call James Corden and it starts with C.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Welcome to the world!

Congratulations to one of my oldest friends Helen and her husband Stephen on the birth of their son. 

Isaac Stanley Walpole born 8th August 2010 at 12:15am weighing 8lb 6oz.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Miss Lo Update!

Thought i'd do a quick update on the lady herself. So much has changed of late and the months are zooming by!

The big news is crawling was mastered and shes like grease lightning around the house now. She is also pulling herself up and standing. We have a low level windowsill in our lounge and she loves to stand and wave out the window. Waving is another new skill. Although the timing and demanding of this, or lack of it makes me think she Is either having a laugh with us or she thinks its some kind of dancing.

As much as i hate the CBeebies Summer Song, Tabs loves it and bounces up and down waving away when it comes on. So of course i have to join in and turn the volume up...Anyone passing by the window, sorry.

Hmmmm what else?
  • If you pretend sneeze she cracks up. A proper belly laugh.
  • She is not scared of the food processor anymore.
  • She can turn a cry into a scream if she feels its not gaining its rightful attention.
  • Marmite or Jam sandwiches, Cherry Tomatoes and Petits Filous are all she needs to survive.

Oh and she still has no hair.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Gallery - Playtime.

Theme of the Gallery at Sticky Fingers this week is Playtime. 
I think Tara was hoping i could not possibly be so depressing this week!

We have just discovered the park.

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. 
George Bernard Shaw 

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Blog of Substance Award.

Mumra has been given an award! Woooooohooooo! Another lovely blog writer (Nudie Princess check her out....here. ) has awarded me a 'Blog of Substance Award' which i am over the moon to receive. I get this groovy badge for my page and a little list of rules i must follow.


1) Give groveling gratitude filled thanks to the blogger who awarded you - Thank you Nudie, your one of the reasons i stuck around on Twitter when i first thought no one in the Mummy Blogging world swore or got drunk.
2) Share your five word blogging philosophy - This was hard, i've settled on.....
 Because i like doing it....
I started Mumra to keep my mind active and share my experiences of being a new mum and i carry on  for the reason given above. When that stops so will i.

3) Nominate further bloggers of substance.
Mummy Mishaps....Jenny is one of the nicest blogging mummies that there is. She writes a blog full of love for her son and partner that just makes you go 'Aaah'.

Mocha Beanie Mummy....Jay has probably had the most effect on my blogging life. She writes from the heart 100%. I love that she is always up for the challenges given by life and takes them on wearing a smile.