Our Day at CBeebies Land

 
The week before last, my husband and I decided it was time to treat our eldest boy. We’d been given free tickets to visit Alton Towers by friends who’d recently been and we thought it would be nice to treat our big boy to a baby-free day. In terms of value for money, I feel I can’t really comment. I understand the issue of policing people only being allowed in a certain area, but to pay a full price Alton Towers tickets just to visit CBeebies Land feels a little extortionate. 

Now, I have to state that we have been thoroughly spoilt when it comes to theme parks, having been to Walt Disney World in Florida, so there were a couple of times when my husband and I exchanged glances and muttered “that wouldn’t happen in Florida!”

BUT on the whole we had a great day! We chose one of the hottest days of the year which didn’t help but it didn’t hinder too much either. There’s plenty of shade and we never felt like we were forced to be in the sun. 

We began our day with a visit to Mr Tumble’s sensory garden which was followed by a trip on the Treetop Adventure ride (formerly the Squirrel Nutty ride, if you’re an old schoolAlton  Towers fan!) both of these were fun and entertaining for our two year old. We skipped the Octonauts roller coaster as we felt he wasn’t quite ready for something like that. Maybe in a year or so. 

We also rode the Numtums Roundabout, visited Charlie and Lola’s House and travelled on the In the Night Garden Boat Ride. All enjoyable, although I’m sure the Boat Ride could do with a bit of Disney-esque magic – the Ninky Nonk would be better if it moved, Upsy Daisy would be better if she waved, little things like that which would make a massive difference to the feel of the ride. 

 

Lastly we went to eat our lunch and wait for the live ZingZillas show. Our two year old adores the ZingZillas and his second birthday had a whole ZingZillas theme so, naturally, this was to be the highlight of the day. And I have got to say, it didn’t disappoint. Despite being the the hottest day of the year and those poor guys having to wear what must have been sweaty and hot monkey costumes, they danced with full force and all the kids loved it! I think our little guy was in awe. 

They had a quick 10 minute break and then came back out for a meet and greet (we were first in line!) An awesome end to our day out.   

 Ultimately, I would say we explored around two thirds of the area, so there’ll be plenty to do in a year or two’s time when the other baby is big enough to want to visit as well. We went for free, so for us it was totally worth it. I wouldn’t pay full price, and I would struggle to believe that half price tickets are worth the small amount of attractions that you actually get to do with a two year old in tow. BUT, we had a a really fun day, got to spend some quality time with our biggest boy, taking him on new adventures including meeting his favourite TV characters. So maybe I would pay half price to take both boys in a couple of years. There may be more or newer attractions then too. To have something like this so close to home is really great and I’m thrilled we got to visit and enjoy it as a family!

If you’ve been to CBeebies Land, I’d love to hear what you thought of it, and if you can tell me about Thomas Land or the Peppa Pig theme park, even better! I’m always up for hearing about great family days out. Leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read – take a look around to find posts on other parenting issues like the “Mummy Tummy” or being a family of four. You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting. All of your likes, shares, comments and retweets are appreciated – you’re awesome!

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Mummy Wants to Exercise

 
My baby is over three months old now. I can’t get over how fast it’s flown by so far. But as the dust settles and the haze of sleepless nights and constant feeding retreats, I’m left to look more clearly at what’s going on around me. And what I find are a few things I want to change. 

One of my Bucket List goals for 2015 was to be back to my pre-baby weight by the end of the year. Immediately after baby I thought that would be an easy goal to tick off. I seemed to weigh less than I had before I got pregnant. However, a lack of discipline, bad food habits and holidays have led to a sudden gain that I don’t like. 

So Mummys, what to do with a “Mum Tum”? At home exercise DVDs, running in the park, Cave Training… The options are endless, and confusing. 

I’ll be trying a few different things and you can be sure I’ll let you know how it goes. It’s likely to be an intriguing and hilarious pursuit as I am the most unfit and inactive person on the planet. Let me know how your experiences of losing weight have gone as I endeavour to shed those pounds and that unsightly muffin top!!

Thanks for reading! I’m also around on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting and Twitter at @mumwriting. Come find me! Thanks for journeying along with me on this crazy ride of motherhood. Every like, share, retweet and comment means a lot!

The Bednest – One Month In (A Review)

 2am. The little one stirs. I lean over to pop his dummy in, which will soothe him long enough for me to get ready to feed him. Once I’m up in a comfortable and safe position, I reach over to pick him up and begin to feed, praying this night waking will be quick and quiet.

I don’t have to reach far for him, I don’t need to lean over too much. He sleeps in a Bednest which we have rented from the Bednest company for six months. It’s attached to our bed and means he sleeps within 30cm of me at all times, give or take a bit of wriggling. 

Tragically, it came to light a couple of days ago that a seven week old baby has died in a Bednest. I can’t begin to understand what that family are going through and my sincerest condolences go out to them. I hugged my little one a bit tighter the night I first read the story. However, after the news broke, what followed was a period of confusion, worry and, sadly, backlash as the company was bombarded with questions from customers about the safety of the product which had been thought of as so trustworthy until now. Despite reassurances from the company about safe usage of the Bednest and their efforts to answer all questions, doubts are still being raised. Amidst the crowd, I sat quietly and watched as it all unfolded on social media and was then compelled by my own experiences to write this review. Bednest are not paying me to write this and all these words and thoughts are my own.

When we found out we were having a second child I immediately started to look around at what options were out there for issues that we had faced and (perhaps naively) just “put up with” when we had our first child. One of those issues was where the baby slept when he was in our room. Our bedroom isn’t big enough for a cot and we had used a Moses basket with our first. However, he was a big baby and ultimately ended up being moved to his own room and cot at just a few months old. 

Determined not to have to move a three month old baby in with his two year old brother (who sleeps amazingly well and has no issues at night, despite us transitioning to a “big boy bed” just weeks before baby number 2’s arrival) I began researching other options that would allow the baby to sleep in our room for longer, should he follow suit and be another big baby.

It was through an ad on Facebook that I came across the Bednest company. I read reviews, googled and googled until I could approach my husband with what I knew was a viable option. 

The Pro’s:

  • It’s bigger than a Moses basket, without being too big for our bedroom. 
  • It attaches to our bed, making night wakings easier to deal with especially if I’d needed to have an emergency caesarean. 
  • We could rent one for the duration we needed it and they would take it away again after – no storage needed or worry about trying to sell it on. 
  • It had a side which could be used fully up, fully down or halfway. This swung it for me. It seemed such a good idea and so ingenious when I thought of how often a baby needs tending to. Now I even had the option of looking after my baby while still lying down! Think of all those precious zzzzz’s!!

I showed YouTube videos to my husband which explained the Bednest’s features and he too was won over. We ordered one.

I was so excited about the arrival of our hired Bednest. When I was scheduled for an early induction I got in touch with the company to change the delivery date (something they did happily and free of charge) and when it arrived I was able to set it up myself, even at nearly 39 weeks pregnant. It was so simple to put together that once I’d read the instructions I was too excited to wait for my husband to get home. I wanted to see what it looked like in our room and imagine a baby sleeping in it!

Our baby boy is now nearly four weeks old and so, whilst we haven’t yet used the Bednest to it’s full extent, it is already earning it’s money back in usefulness and flexibility. 

Though our boy is yet to sleep three hours in a row, we’ve used every feature of the Bednest whilst we figure out how our baby best likes to sleep. We’ve explored tilting the bed, to see if it helped with the wind he often gets at night. I’ve enjoyed being able to nurse while lying down and then almost seamlessly move him to his own safe sleep space. I’ve loved being able to sleep so close to him, to reach over to put his dummy in when he stirs without really needing to move, and to gaze at him at my own eye level while he sleeps.

Despite the recent news stories, I wouldn’t hesitate to order another Bednest should we need one (though there is no intention that we will!!) I’m sure that as the next few months pass, the Bednest will continue to prove invaluable to us as a family. I fully intend to write another review at the end of our rental period but for now we have only positive things to report. 

Thank you, Bednest, for making the first month of our newborn’s life that little bit easier. The sleepless nights are made better ever so slightly by your product and I look forward to the sleepFULL nights that are to come, knowing that my child sleeps safely in your beautiful, practical product.

As ever, thanks for reading! All shares, likes, comments and retweets are very much appreciated. Come find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting. With any product, I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your own research before purchasing. My opinion is only one of many. Do take the time to go and read others. Again, these are my opinions and I am in no way affiliated with Bednest, I am just a happy customer. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the baby who passed away in this tragic accident. 

Gossip Girl, sleepless nights… Oh, and a baby!

 So… It’s been a while! But for all who we’re waiting and wondering, if you haven’t already heard, we added another little boy to our bundle on the 31st March! A scheduled induction due to medical issues that resulted in a hard and fast labour and a baby boy who shot out like a rocket (though I distinctly remember saying “I don’t think I can push one more time”) resulting in a beautiful miracle who doesn’t sleep. Or at least, doesn’t sleep during the night!

I’m tempted to write my birth story this time, because I didn’t with my first, but I don’t know of people like reading that sort of stuff! And I would never impose that on any still-pregnant lady, although funnily enough they’re often the ones who want to hear those stories the most!!

But in between the marathon sessions of Gossip Girl that cover the marathon middle-of-the-night feeding sessions, I thought I should at least let you all know I’m alive and well! With three amazing boys who I love with all my heart. Outnumbered indeed, in the best possible way. 

So expect posts on how breastfeeding the second time around is completely different to the first, ways to settle a newborn that do (and don’t) work, what it’s like having two under two (for at least a couple of months), and how wonderful my boys are and how life would be so amazing if I could just sleep for more than two hours straight!

Thanks for reading! Come find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting and let me know what else you’d like to hear about! The first few weeks with a new baby at home are full of things people are Googling every day at 2am!! I’d be happy to add my voice to the list of opinions! 

Friday Five 20/03/15 – Five Things I’ll Miss About Being Pregnant

When it gets to this stage in a pregnancy, it’s so easy to start saying “I can’t wait for this to all be over” and “as soon as possible please baby!” I know, because I’ve said them and I’ll probably keep saying them! Because pregnancy can be hard, and by this point, you really want to meet your baby and have your body back, minus the sickness, fatigue, swelling and other symptoms.

So, in this week of spicy food eating, gym ball bouncing and hopeful prayers, I wanted to try and be a little positive and remember the good things about being pregnant. These are the top things I’ll actually miss about this time…

1) Knowing my baby is completely safe at all times.

When he’s inside of me, wriggling away, not only do I know where he is, who’s holding him and that he is safe and sound, I also don’t have to worry about when he was last fed, or last slept. He’s completely taken care of inside me. I don’t have to worry about his big brother driving cars over his face or waking him from an elusive nap. He’s protected in there.

As soon as I had my first baby, I had probably hundreds more things to worry about than I ever did while I was pregnant. That’s only going to double when I have this baby. At least, for now, I can relax knowing he’s safe and sound and completely at peace inside me!

2) The lovely things people say.

In all honesty, I’ve never felt that pregnancy makes me “glow”… but it doesn’t stop people saying it!! Nor does it stop people saying how little weight they think I’ve put on or how lovely my bump looks. People are very forthcoming with compliments when you’re pregnant and even when you don’t feel it, it’s lovely to hear. 

I’ll miss the regular compliments because, let’s face it, once the baby is born it’s time for the dry shampoo, hair in a bun, leggings and vest tops that are so easy to live in post-birth! And that’s ok, you have to feel comfortable for the first few months after baby while you’re settling into this new life. And after that the hard work starts to get back into some kind of shape!!

3) Never being alone. 

I love that being pregnant means I’m never alone. I recently had a nights stay in hospital and, even though I welled up when my husband left and I thought of my little boy going to sleep without a goodnight kiss, it was lovely to feel the baby squirm and know that I was still with my family. You’re never alone when you’re pregnant, you’ve got constant company.

And  it’s company that doesn’t mind watching Gossip Girl with you and going to bed early. It’s company that is happy if you take a nap in the middle of the day or just relax on the sofa for an hour in your pyjamas. And that’s the kind of company I love!

4) Feeling the complete essence of “girl power”. 

No, I don’t mean the Spice Girls version of girl power (although, #vivaforever – I ❤ the Spice Girls). No, I mean that being pregnant, growing a baby inside me and preparing to somehow (!) push it out is what my body is made to do. 

I know there are many women out there who can’t give birth and I could never understand their pain, frustration, anger or sadness over that. It is another of life’s mysteries that I will never understand. Only God knows why these things happen and I’m sure those ladies will have deep conversations with God one day about it. All I can do is be thankful that I have been given this opportunity and make the most of it on behalf of all those women who can’t do this. I admire them.

5) … 

I’m actually struggling to think of a fifth thing! As much as all of the above is true, I really do just want my baby to be here and to see him interacting with his big brother. Pregnancy has not been easy for me, but I must must must try to stay positive in these last weeks! 

What are the things you will/do miss about being pregnant? Maybe your ideas will help me to think of something else!!

Thanks for reading! Please comment, like, share and retweet because every single one of those things makes me smile 🙂 come find me and have a chat on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or Twitter at @mumwriting. Let me know your positives from pregnancy! I can’t wait to hear them…

Mother’s Day – The morning after…

This was my second ever Mother’s Day as a mum. Last year my lie in got invaded by a snuggly, milky baby. This year, I got my lie in (until 8:30am!) but it was only because I had a poorly little boy who needed his sleep!! Unfortunately Mother’s Day didn’t see the best of my little one (too many sniffles and coughs) and being a fingernail away from being classed as “full term” for this pregnancy, I can’t say I was in the best form either!! So we were a pair together really, wallowing in each other’s misery and discomfort. 

Luckily, thanks to my husband and family, we ended up having a really lovely afternoon with a lot of nice food and chat which made all the difference. 

As much as I love the calendar holidays (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentines Day, etc.) they are, after all is said and done, just another day on the calendar. And just another day when my boy doesn’t feel well and we spend more time wiping tears and noses than giving cuddles or dancing. We can’t help what day these things happen on. Sometimes we get I’ll on Christmas Day and there’s nothing you can do about it. It doesn’t matter. There are more days to be grateful or to celebrate. 

I hope your Mother’s Day was good and you got to celebrate. BUT if you didn’t, then don’t worry. There are plenty more days to celebrate with family. 

My little boy has just woken up from his nap and seems much perkier after medicine from the doctor so it looks like we’re on the up at this end! Full term tomorrow for me so panic stations at the ready – baby number two will be here any day… 

Thanks for reading! Come find me for a chat over on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting and let me know how your Mother’s Day went! 

Big Boy Bed

So… On Saturday we finally found the time to build the bed we’d bought for our Big Boy. It also happened to coincide with the delivery of a new book – Pirate Pete and his Big Boy Bed… Or something along those lines. 

So we made a big fuss over reading the book multiple times and when we did something that was mentioned in the book we pointed out what happened next. And weirdly, Pirate Pete has the same cuddly toys as our boy so that was a nice addition. 

In hindsight, I think it probably would have been better if I’d ordered the book a few weeks ago but I just didn’t get around to it. At least it helped to set the stage. Maybe.

We finished building the bed just before lunch and he went a bit nuts climbing on and off and having a fun time bouncing around. He seemed really excited and we kept reiterating to him that he’d be sleeping in the Big Boy Bed that night. Then we went to have lunch.  After lunch we headed up for “nappy and nap”. We then had to wait as he took a bit longer to settle for his nap (still in his cot) as he really wanted to sleep in his new bed… but the bed sheets were in the tumble dryer! 

Eventually he napped as normal and the rest of Saturday happened. When bathtime and bedtime came around we did everything as normal except for reading his new book instead of any other. Unfortunately this also happened to be nail cutting night. So we had a few tears over that and then he happily climbed into his new bed, settled down and we left. 

Two minutes later the crying began. 

At first he settled down straight away as soon as one of us went in but he got more flustered and upset as time went on. He was getting hotter and clearly couldn’t find somewhere to get comfy. Remember this wasn’t just a change of bed, it was a change from sleeping bag to blankets and from one side of the room to the other so I don’t blame him for being a bit upset! 

When my husband went into him at one point, he actually said “that bed” and pointed at his cot. In an ideal world we would have removed the cot completely from the room but considering we’ll be wanting it again in about five or six months we just didn’t see the point in dismantling it. Anyway, after a few crying bouts he eventually settled off and slept soundly until maybe 6:10. Aside from a lot of shuffling, he did really well and I still now think it could have been a whole lot worse!

Night two was even better. We had a little bit of dramatic fake crying while putting on pyjamas – “this bed Daddy” while standing with his arms through the cot bars dressed in just a nappy and vest (quite funny actually) – but after that he settled off easily and slept straight through until 7:30. Wonderful! 

Both mornings, he’s just waited in his bed until I’ve gone in to him so now I’m trying to teach him that it’s ok for him to get out and play if he wants to. It might give me an extra 5 minutes!!

I know it’s early days and I fully expect a regression of some sort after baby is born but it’s one thing I’m glad we did now. For starters, I was really starting to struggle with reaching over his cot! I know the bump was the main issue but I just couldn’t reach. Besides, it’s really helped us to kick the habit of holding him to sing his bedtime song, Twinkle Twinkle, and getting him to settle in bed first before we sing. 

All in all, I’m glad we’ve done it now. I know it’s still early for a lot of kids at his age and most would still be in a cot until after two but it was definitely the right move for us. 

When did your little one move into a Big Bed? And how did it go? 

Thanks for reading! If love it if you could comment and let me know your transition tips, especially as baby number two is imminent! Any and all help is appreciated. Please like, share, retweet and comment. I love it when you do!! 

Come find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting and let’s chat 🙂