Travelling with a Baby

Its the Summer holidays and we’ve just booked a holiday abroad! I am so excited Ive been wanting to go away all year, but then it suddenly occurred to me – we will have a three month old when we travel! Flying with a baby is whole new experience for us. Although we have been away with Monkey even flying transatlantic last year, we never flew with him when he was a baby. Eek!

Travellingwith ababy!

The first time we flew with Monkey it was just before he turned two and we went to Turkey. We picked our flight times carefully and since he was still napping he spent most of the flight sleeping. Unfortunately on the way back we were delayed so entertained Monkey in the soft play. Big mistake, he did something to his foot and came out crying, but we assumed all okay when he went back in after a cuddle. Needless to say he wore himself out but when he woke on the plane he howled! Panicked as a little out of character we quickly realised his foot had swollen up. Poor thing – ever tried changing a toddler on a plane when he can’t stand up? I wouldn’t recommend it. We headed straight to A&E once we had landed, thankfully after x-rays and a long wait the verdict was that it wasn’t broken just sprained. Not really the ideal end to a holiday. For the record that (touch wood) has been his first and last injury resulting from soft play – typical.

Our flight to Canada with Monkey when he was three actually turned out to be a real breeze. I wrote a post here about my top tips for flying transatlantic with a three year old and to sum it up in one word – Play Dough! Honestly the best inflight entertainment you can buy.

But what about flying with a baby? Hopefully we have made our lives a little easier by choosing a destination that is only two hours away, our flight times are sensible none of this flying late into the night and we’ve gone with a well known company to an all-inclusive resort.

The only thing we can’t control is the weather, although warm it shouldn’t be too hot as we are staying in Northern Europe. We have also upgraded our and Monkey’s luggage to give us plenty of packing space for Kipper. As a baby he doesn’t get any of his own so I am hoping our extra weight will be enough.

Naturally my thoughts have now turned to what I need to stock up on, this is by no means an extensive list, its just some thoughts around products that will make my life easier while we are away.

Baby Essentials

  • As Kipper will be three months old and is a large baby I am going to get him a Floatseat. I can’t wait to see Kippers face when he goes in the pool for the first time.
  • Outfits, we don’t have any Summer clothing in age 3-6 months as Monkey was born two months later in the year. Kipper will be out off the Summer clothing we do have so I intend on stocking up on these lovely little romper suits.
  • Koo-di Sun and Sleep Pop-Up Travel Basinette is so on my list for a mere £25. Not only will be a great place for Kipper to sleep and save me having to worry about the cleanliness of the travel cot. It will also provide a safe space for nap time by the pool and at the beach.
  • Our baby carrier, being a second child Kipper spends a lot of time in his sling. I can not imagine it being any different while on holiday. Its an easy way to transport him around the airports and means we can check the buggy in with the suitcases, rather than juggling it to the gate.
  • Muslin Blankets, the item I buy all my first time mummy friends. I could not live without these. Although hot outside the hotel room will have air conditioning so these will provide warmth when needed. Along with all the other uses I wrote about in my Giant Muslin post.
  • SnoozeShade Original – Stroller Blind I can’t live without this in the Summ
    er, we had one for Monkey which went everywhere with us. Being universal it will fit pretty much all strollers as long as you can thread the velcro through. With all the publicity on social media surrounding using blankets for this purpose its defiantly worth investing in and it provides UPF50+ sun protection.

You can find other essentials here on the Asda website. Of course I will also be packing other essentials such as mosquito nets, repellant (a natural one suitable for babies and Monkey’s skin), swim nappies and the highest factor sun cream I can find! Asda are running a campaign #TravelwithGeorge this Summer and have some great content on their blog aiming to reduce the stress of flying with children which you can read here.

Do you have any products you couldn’t live without while away? I would love to hear your essentials in the comments below.Signature

This post was written in collaboration with Asda, I received products in return, all words are my own.

Linking up with MarvMondays and TheBigPinkLink 

#RememberingTheseDays Week 2

Welcome to the second weekly round up of the #RememberingTheseDays Instagram community. The place to share your precious family memories. I host this community with the lovely Laura over at Life with Baby Kicks.

#rememberingthesedays-3

Whatever the memory, or life event you want to record, joining in is simple, just tag your favourite photos #RememberingTheseDays over on Instagram. Each Sunday Laura and I will choose our four favourites. Please follow Mudpie Fridays here and Life with Baby Kicks here on Instagram to see if you have been featured.

So onto this weeks favourites, thank you to everyone that is using the tag, I have high hopes for this community and I hope everyone is sharing the Instagram love!

rememberingthesedays week 2

It was a difficult decision as ever!

  • A gorgeous cupcake photo celebrating the end of an era by MyMummysPennies
  • What a lovely photo ‘Mischief Makers’ and you can definitely see that in his little face. Such a cuddly pooch too by TobyandRoo
  • Paddling pool fun by Currokoe,I don’t know a little one who doesn’t love splashing around
  • Keeping on the paddling pool these, such a happy photo by Munchkinhart

Please pop over and visit their feeds by clicking on their names above

I struggled this week with a favourite from my feed but I have opted for Monkey with his face painted like Spiderman. He’s just turned four and this is the first time he has had his face painted! The first time his skin is up to it. He was so excited and the perfect end to his graduation from nursery. An end of an era. A bittersweet memory of how much he has accomplished and what an amazing little boy he has grown into.

My favourite photo from Laura’s feed is another sibling one, I can’t wait to be able to get more photos of my boys together as they get older. This one of The Big One and Baby walking up the little road together is adorable.

 

Come and join in by using the hashtag #RememberingTheseDays. I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to the first week of the Summer holidays.

Which one is your favourite I would love to hear in the comments below.

Signature

‘Me Time’ Post Baby

Kipper is now two months old and I have no idea where the time has gone! This time round not only did I recover a lot quicker after the birth but everything got back to normal quickly as well. Probably to do with the fact that I have a four year old running around who hasn’t become any less demanding just because he has a baby brother. Throughout I have had one eye on how I’m feeling and coping with having the responsibility of another tiny human to looks after and protect. And how I feel about being on maternity leave – which don’t get me wrong I do love, however when you are use to juggling a career and child(ren) it can come as a bit of a shock to the system.

'Me Time' Post Baby

We all know we need to try to look after ourselves and have some ‘me time’ and also ‘couple time’ to keep our wellbeing in check . All very well said and done after the birth of a second child. However Hubby and I are very lucky and have ever supportive parents, which means that a couple of weeks ago we have managed to have a night out for ourselves for my Birthday! The only problem with planning a night out about 7 weeks after giving birth was a) what I am I going to do about feeding and b) what am I going to wear.

Well the feeding was easy thank you Medela for making such a wonderful efficient breast pump. We invited some close friends so I had company when I had to visit the loo to pump and dump! It broke my heart throwing it away especially after a couple of glasses of wine but Kipper was happily drinking milk at home that I had expressed earlier. So that only left  – what am I going to wear? We all know that body confidence after a baby can take a bit of a hit. Lets face it really its not top on the list of priorities but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to look and feel good when we went out. Nothing makes me feel better than new shoes! So when I was approached by Lovethesales.com, I naturally said yes! After all being on maternity leave means they only way I can justify little luxuries for me is to buy them in the sales. Secondly it would mean I didn’t need to spend hours trawling the shops or retailer websites as they have multiple sales all in one place. Time is at a premium right now.

I do particularly like the website as you can filter by brand, item of clothing and discount. I always love a real bargain so opt for 50% +. There are a huge range of brands and you can set up your favourites to get alerts when certain brands go on sale. Lovethesales.com acts as a shop front so when you click on the item you go to the retailers website to make your purchase. As I was looking for glamour I opted to go for designer brands which I wouldn’t normally spend money on. However you can also search for your high street retailers which is what makes this website such a good find.

So the question is what did I buy? These gorgeous shoes from Ralph Lauren Sale – they were a complete bargain with 50% off. Completely impractical for pushing round a pram or running after a four year which made them all the better as this purchase was all about ‘me’. I would never be able to justify them full price. It was a great feeling when they arrived and I knew they hadn’t cost the earth. I will definitely be using the website again as I am hoping to reach my target weight by the time we go on holiday so will hopefully be after a new swimsuit..

IMG_5743 (1)

IMG_5746 (1)So not only did I get to spend some quality time with Hubby, enjoy a lovely meal with some close friends, buy some drop dead gorgeous shoes (thank you lovethesales.com) I had great fun doing it. It was nice not to be mum for a few hours, to talk about things other than poo and behaviour -emotional wellbeing box ticked for the month. I can’t wait to wear them out again…

What did you do last time you got some ‘me’ time? Sometimes just grabbing half an hour reading a magazine, or soaking in the tub can give you some head space to be yourself. I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Signature

Linking up with SharingTheBlogLovePickNMix and MarvMondays 

 

4th Birthday Questionnaire

Each year I ask Monkey a series of questions as part of my obsession with recording memories and keepsakes – a Kids Birthday Questionnaire. It is an obsession believe me! But four years in its lovely to look back at the answers to see how things have changed. As I am now doing monthly updates on Kipper it only seemed fair to include Monkey’s answers this year and so here they are.

Kids Birthday Questionnaire

  1. What is your favourite colour? – Blue
  2. What is your favourite toy? – Paw Patrol toys specifically my Paw Patroller and mini characters
  3. What is your favourite fruit? – Cherries
  4. What is your favourite TV show? – Paw Patrol
  5. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch? – Pizza
  6. What is your favourite outfit? – My Darth Vader fancy dress outfit, and my skeleton outfit
  7. What is your favourite game? – My Paw Patrol game (sensing a theme here)
  8. Where is your favourite food? – Crackers with blue cheese
  9. What is your favourite animal? – Alfie the cat
  10. What is your favourite song? – Twinkle Twinkle little star and the Lion song
  11. What is your favourite book? – Leo the Lion
  12. Who is your best friend? – Teddy, Holly & George
  13. What is your favourite sport? – Gymnastics
  14. What is your favourite thing to do outside? – Play water balloons and water fighting with my water pistol
  15. What is your favourite drink? – Fruit shoots
  16. What was your favourite holiday? – Canada holiday because I got to see bears
  17. What do you like to take to bed with you? – My black bear from Canada
  18. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast? – Lolly pops (which are actually frozen fromage frais)
  19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? – Candy Floss
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up? – A grown up gymnast

IMG_2352

Do you think I am missing any questions? If so let me know in the comments below.

Signature

Linked up to TheList 

Blogger Club #27

Welcome back to #BloggerClubUK

I hope everyone is enjoying the last week before schools break up for the Summer holidays. I am looking forward to hearing all about your plans and what you want to get up to over the Summer. I’ve written our Days Out Bucket List, although there are so many I can’t see us getting to them all!!

#BloggerClubUK feature image copy

My Photo this week comes from when we took the boys up to East Ham to go to West Ham’s football ground before it moves over to the Olympic Park. It holds a lot of memories for Hubby and his Father, so we thought it would be nice to get a picture of all of them together. Kipper even had a little West Ham t-shirt to commemorate. Regardless of the team you or your nearest and dearest support I am sure you can all relate to the emotion which the day generated. In time both Monkey and Kipper will go to watch football with Hubby (heaven forbid they may even support a different team!) but it will not be in the same ground. A ground that Hubby saw his first professional game at with his dad, one where friends bonded over a rubbish defence and where I met my father-in-law for the first time. Although I am completely neutral when it comes to supporting a football team (other than England in the Euros) I will never forget the gentleman that muttered… ‘cheers love least you got the vote’ when I asked the barmaid to serve him first in the fans local establishment. It was the end of an era.

IMG_2195

Anyway back to the linky…

The linky runs from 6am Wednesday – 12pm Friday GMT where all bloggers are welcome to add any type of post they like. The Blogger Club UK community & linky are not limited to the UK – we’d love to have bloggers from all over the world join us.

As we are on a break in July so there are not featured posts this week, normal service will resume in August.

Changes for #BloggerClubUK this July:

Debbie, Becky & I have a lot going on this July. We want to keep the Blogger Club UK linky & community going strong so we don’t want any interruptions for the linky. But, at the same time, we need some extra time to spend with our families & attend events & other going on’s. As such, we won’t be able to comment on your linked posts. For the month of July we won’t be choosing favorites or giving a Twitter shout out. So, with this in mind, we decided to amend the rules in July to make things fair. Please read the rules below carefully as there have been a lot of changes.

These rules are for the month of July only. The regular set of rules will come back into action from the August 3rd edition of #BloggerClubUK. We hope you will keep joining us this July

July Rules – Please Read There are Many Changes:

  • Add our badge to the HTML / Text portion of your post. Or, add a back link to one of our blogs using #bloggerclubuk. If you need any help linking up, read Becky’s Linky Guide or tweet us, we are happy to help!
  • Comment Change: Please comment on the post directly before yours & as many others as you have time for. Please do 4 as a minimum, as always. You don’t have to comment on the host posts but of course, we’d still love to hear from you!
  • Tweet any post you enjoy to share the #BloggerClubUK love.
  • Link a maximum of 2 posts per week.
  • The linky will close at midnight Friday GMT. We have removed the 150 post limit for July.
  • Tag myself, Becky & Debbie on Twitter for a RT @CuddleFairy @MudpieFridays @randommusings29 with #BloggerClubUK – let’s get trending again! We will do our best to RT, but may be certain weeks you don’t hear from one of us.

Join by clicking the link below:

Have a great week everyone, maybe I will actually get my elusive poppy photo of the boys!

Signature

Playtime with your 2 month old

I can not believe where the time is going, you can read all about Kipper’s two month update here! Since his sleeping schedule is becoming more predictable during the day, I have started to introduce play sessions. I do mean play in the very looses sense of the word but he seems to enjoy it. I was starting to struggle with him grizzling a bit and being unsettled after feeding and I think it could be because he was bored. Mad I know!! Generally he tends to want to eat, play, sleep. Don’t get me wrong he is still sleeping a lot during the day which I encourage after all we all know how important it is but generally there is an hour or so after he has fed where he wants to interact. So here are the things we have been getting up to.

9 play ideas for your 2 month old

IMG_5858-2

Smiling:

Kipper has started smiling and it melts my heart, he’s not particularly free with his smiles so I have been encouraging them whenever possible. As he’s started to mirror what I do, I often throw the odd tongue poke and screwing up of nose as well. He seems to find the whole process enthralling!

Getting out and about:

Regular readers will know that I love to spend time outside often at National Trust properties and have a ton of visits planned for the Summer. If we aren’t on a day out I try to get Kipper out in his pram everyday with even just a short walk down the road. Unless its raining of course as you don’t get to see much with the rain cover on!

FullSizeRender-29Kicking around outside:

Following on from getting out and about when we stop for lunch I will often let Kipper have a kick around on the grass. I have noticed that he really likes to watch the leaves in the trees and seems to finds it very soothing. He’s at the age when them movement of his arms and legs is new and exciting so its important to give him lots of chance to practice.

Tummy time:

The dreaded tummy time! I know a lot of friends whose’s babies aren’t keen. Kipper isn’t too bad, as he gets stronger I will be looking for ways to enhance the experience for him. However at the moment we just use a little mat which comes with a specific cushion. Although a rolled up hand towel would do the job. If you place baby’s arms over it so it under their armpits it will help to support their chest in the early months.

IMG_2295Sensory play: 

I chose four things out of Monkey’s Textile Treasure Basket – a sequin scarf, silk scarf, wool pom pom and some cellophane. I then gave them to Kipper in turn letting him feel and touch them. He seemed to like the silk scarf the best. Although he was interested in the sound the cellophane made. Over time I will introduce other materials to him as well – its never too early to start sensory play!

Talking, singing and reading:

I often have conversations with Kipper about all sorts of things! (But I avoid baby language and goo goo garrr garr speak.) He has started to try and talk back making gurgling noises and smiling. As I read to Monkey I am now including both of the boys.

Encouraging batting:

As you can see from the photos above Kipper loves his play mat, in the last week or so he has started to bat the toys hanging down. The little gurgles of delight are lovely and any encouragement will go towards helping his hand eye coordination.

Introducing the mirror:

I have an A3 acrylic mirror which I have started to use to show Kipper his reflection. At the moment he sort of stares blankly!! But I am sure over time he will start to take more interest. I like the size as it means I can also be in the reflection too, making silly faces!

Black and white images: 

Somewhere up in the loft I have some black and white books from when Monkey was tiny. However since I need to wait for Hubby to get them I decided to google black and white images. There are lots available on the internet for free. To date I have just shown them to him while he’s been on his play mat or during tummy time. The black and white images will help his brain development. You can read more about how here.

What have you been doing to entertain your little ones? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.

Signature

Linking up with DreamTeam 

 

Summer Holiday Fun – Disney Craft with Epson

The Summer holidays are almost upon us and for some have already started. The children are looking forward to six long weeks of endless entertainment, fun and laughter. Parents? Well many of my friends are wondering if they have enough activities and days out lined up and are a little daunted by the prospect. Monkey starts school this September so I am sure I will be feeling exactly the same in twelve months time. Each year Disney try to launch a film over the  Summer period to help with the holiday blues. True to form Finding Dory comes to cinemas on July 29th, but this year they have gone one step further and teamed up with Epson to create some exciting crafts which can be made at home. Last week I was invited to the Disney Store in Oxford Street to hear all about it.

Summer Holiday Fun Disney Craft with Epson

Did you know its been 16 yrs since Finding Nemo first made an appearance on our screens? I was very surprised by this fact and suddenly felt very old! It is one of the most watched Disney films, on average a DVD of Finding Nemo is watched 70 times during its lifetime. Finding Dory is expected to be just as popular, the audience will be introduced to some new characters along with the little blue fish with yellow fins that suffers from memory loss. Including Hank the seven legged octopus and Destiny the whale shark.

IMG_2262

Teaming up with a company that wants to revolutionalise the way families use printers seemed the natural choice, after all they needed a way to deliver these crafts into homes across the country. Epson want to change the way we look at printing and bring back the freedom to print at home. Many families don’t either have a printer at home or if they do don’t actually use it. When asked the reason why it came down to two things – printing is irritating i.e. getting it to connect to your device and the cost of ink is prohibitive. Sometimes if all the colours go at once ink costs can be as much as the printer cost in the first place!!

 

On average with a traditional printer you go through 72 cartridges over its lifetime. However with the new EcoTank range, now on its second generation, you get two years worth of ink in the box. The refillable tank means that there means there is no need to costly ink cartridges. If you need more ink then you can buy additional bottles for under £8 per colour and under £12 for the black. Each bottle has 70ml of ink in it, so its no wonder that the price per page is ultra low when you think a traditional ink cartridge has just 3.5ml! 70ml is enough for 6500 sheets of colour printing and 4000 of black and white. Despite the focus on low cost printing the EcoTank models use Epson’s Micro Piezo technology for clear, sharp and precise printing. I will be reviewing one soon, so watch this space, I am especially looking forward to trying out the wireless printing from my phone.

FullSizeRender

But for now back the conundrum of keeping the kids busy. Research which Epson conducted indicated that the average spend on activities and days out over the Summer holidays is £1500 per household. With many parents running out of ideas by the end of the third week. With this is mind you may want to try your hand at the free crafts available on the Disney website. These include cards, origami, photo props and window aquarium. Of course we couldn’t wait to get started. Disney and Epson had kindly provided pre printed versions of all the crafts available, the range from the simple to the more complex. Here is Hank – from flat card to 3D play prop!

The crafts will be suitable for a wide age range as although Hank is quite simple some of them are more complex – try Squirt for example! The good news is that they all come with full instructions!

IMG_6008

Which is just as well, if like me you don’t know the first thing about origami!

The photo props and aquarium are an ideal craft for children who love to cut things out. I intend on helping Monkey practice his scissor skills before he starts school so I can see an aquarium in our conservatory once our EcoTank arrives.  If you would like to try your hand at Dorygarmi please see below, this and all the other crafts I have mentioned are available on the Disney Inspired website. Ive had a nose round the website and its well worth a visit.  There are simply tons of ideas centred around crafts, cooking and play with all your favourite disney characters. It could easily keep the children occupied all Summer!

finding-dory-origami-dory_Page_1

I must just mention that there were some wonderful creations at the event, including a fabulous hair piece from Dear Mummy Blog and photo prop from Three Little Buttons.

Finally as part of their collaboration you can win 1 of 200 £50 Disney Store gift cards when you buy an EcoTank Printer. Plus all purchases receive a 10% discount voucher for the Disney store for use online. Full terms and conditions apply and can be found here. I am really looking forward to trying out these crafts with Monkey check back soon to find out how we got on.

Signature

Linking up with MarvMondays, BigPinkLink