Monday, 28 December 2015

Lexie's 11 month update

This is nearly 3wks late! It's Lexie's 1st birthday in 10 days!! Nearly birthday time!!! Noooooo my baby is growing up too fast.

Weight - last weigh-in was a few weeks back and she tipped the scales at 22lb 5

Clothes - 12-18 months, bagged up her 9-12 months clothes this week.

Feeding - she'll eat anything and now she has a few more teeth I'm not too worried about what I give her as she can chew better now. She eats what we eat most of the time. She loves blueberries

Teeth - 6!! 4 at the top and 2 at the bottom


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Lexie 10 month update

Sorry for the delay!! Update time again! The birthday countdown is definitely on now!!!!


Teeth - We have 4 more teeth this month .So that's 6 teeth now, 2 at the bottom and 4 at the top.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Handmade Christmas cards

Last week I did a craft session with the local children's centre and Lexie went in a crèche they had put on. It was lovely to have a hot cup of tea and chat with other adults without any children interrupting! 

We made Christmas cards and I honestly can say I loved every minute of the hour and a half it was on! I did 5 cards and they were quite easy to do really and pretty self explanatory.

Here are my masterpieces!!

For Father Christmas I used red card and ripped some white paper and stuck it on the card, I then used red fingerprints for the cheeks and draw the face on using a black pen.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Remembering loved ones at Christmas time

I lost my mum in 2014 and this will be our second Christmas without her, last year I thought I'd buy a little something to put on the tree in her memory and so I searched for something I liked and chose a beautiful bauble with a white feather inside with Mum printed on it and the date we lost her, from Feather in a Bauble.

Campaign to end loneliness

I was recently asked to help Sunrise Senior Living with their campaign to raise awareness of loneliness in old age. 

Sunrise Senior Living provide all types of care for the elderly in their care homes across the UK. They are Dementia Care specialists
As you are probably already aware many elderly people are often lonely and feel isolated where they live and this is why Sunrise decided to run a campaign to help combat loneliness and increase awareness.
Recent research from the group Campaign to End Loneliness has shown how detrimental loneliness can be to a person’s health, especially for older people. In order to combat this the issue needs highlighting and awareness needs to be raised so I was more than happy to help in any way I could. 

The campaign immediately made me think about this years John Lewis Christmas advert with the little girl and the man on the moon, it brings a tear to my eye every time.

It was suggested that I host a meal for someone who may be feeling lonely. If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that we lost my mum very quickly to cancer just under 2 years ago and in addition to myself and my older sister, my mum also left behind my dad who she had been married to for 36 years. The effect this has had on my dad has been heartbreaking to witness but he has coped amazingly well although I do worry about him. He has a great support network of friends both at the local golf club and his local pub but this is obviously no comparison to a loving marriage and his life companion so like I said I do worry about him, especially his eating and him getting lonely at night.

The Festive Gift Fair 2015



Thursday, 12 November 2015

Little Passports

 A few weeks back I came across this fantastic product for children, 'Little Passports' whilst having my daily dose of Facebook! My first thought was that it was such an amazing idea to help teach the children about our world and the other countries.



 Let me give you a bit of background information on this amazing product taken from their website!



Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Our 3rd wedding anniversary

This week we have celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary and I have to say that the last 3 years have just flown by! I can't quite believe it's been that long!! I can still remember the whole day like it was yesterday. We had such an amazing day and I can't wait to do it again for a renewal on our 10th anniversary!

We went for an amazing anniversary lunch at a gorgeous local restaurant which isn't the cheapest but the food is out of this world! We took Lexie along too and she behaved so well, lots of excited squeals but no crying thankfully as there were lots of 'posh' people in there!!

Here's a quick video clip of some of my favourite pictures....

Countdown to Christmas!

Now Halloween and Bonfire night are over the shops are putting all their Christmas stuff out! I love it! Sky now have their Christmas channel on too, it's really beginning to feel so xmassy! 

Last year I was dreading Christmas as it was the first one after we lost Mum but this year I determined to make some happy memories with the kids and go all out, not present wise but in every other way possible! May even get some ceiling decorations up this year like Mum used to!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Halloween 2015

We had an awesome Halloween!

Lexie celebrated her 1st one as a very adorable pumpkin, Riley was a scary vampire, Keira was a purrrrfectly cute cat and Ellie was a super zombie bride! 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Ellie's gruesome graveyard cake

Ellie loves cooking, she is definitely the baker in our house! So far this half term (it's Tuesday) she has made peppermint creams, cupcakes, pancakes and her gruesome graveyard cake! She said she had seen a pumpkin design on YouTube and decided to change the pumpkins to people just to be different! 

Over to Ellie to share her recipe....

Lexie's 9 month update

So sorry I haven't blogged much in the last few weeks, things are hectic at home with the building work and the kids being off school on half term!

Can't believe its update time again! She'll be a year before I know it!

What size clothes is she in? 9-12 months and a few 12-18 bits

How much does she weigh? Haven't had her weighed this month but will update next week when we go to baby group

How many bottles/ounces does she drink? Still only taking 5oz each feed. She has 3 bottles during the day and 1 in the night

How is weaning going? She has 3 meals a day and some finger food, like broccoli, runner beans, peas and carrots. I did try bread but she just stores it at the top of her mouth!

How does she sleep day and night? She has 2 sometimes 3 naps a day depending on the length. Her teeth are really giving her jip at the moment so she is waking on average 3 times a night too. She goes to bed between 6-6.30pm and has been waking between 5-6am

Any new milestones? She has learnt to pull herself up to standing and can move a little along the sofa. She has also started babbling and also waving this month so it sounds like she says bye!


 Teeth Within days of turning 8 months Lexie got her first tooth swiftly followed by number 2!


Crawling  She is super fast with her crawling now!

What's our daily routine like? 5-6 wake and bottle, school run then breakfast just after 9am then nap. 12pm lunch then another nap, bottle between 2-3pm then dinner at 4pm then bath and bottle at 6 then bed

What's she's loving this month? She loves her new baby walker and also activity table. She prefers to face outwards on her pushchair now rather than facing me! 

Any big changes this month? Pulling herself up to standing and definitely more vocal! She loves waving and has mastered clapping and has recently discovered the muscles in her forehead so has some cracking facial expressions and frowns a lot!



Hair  It's growing lots and definitely getting darker and when its wet she gets little curls! So cute! 

Eyes Still a beautiful navy coloured blue



Saturday, 17 October 2015

#THROWBACK - My hen weekend

This week saw the 3rd anniversary of my hen weekend, lots of pictures have popped up on my timehop over the last few days and I have to say it was the best weekend ever!

Me and 9 friends went to an 80's big weekend at Butlins, Bognor Regis!!

We did a fancy dress theme each night and we looked fab if I do say so myself!! Friday we did a Where's Wally theme, Saturday we did 80's fancy dress and wore neon leg warmers and tutu's, fingerless gloves and crimped our hair!! Sunday night we did farmers and introduced shagger the sheep as our mascot! I don't think I've drunk so much in one weekend before!! We all came home feeling rather fragile to say the least!

The atmosphere is just amazing at Butlins on an adult only weekend. My highlights were definitely the swimming pool party and the silent discos!! Whoever thought up the idea of a silent disco is a legend!! Fantastic, I can only imagine how hilarious they are to a sober person with no headphones!!!!

Have you ever been to an adults weekend at Butlins or experienced a silent disco?! I can feel a reunion on the cards!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

School Pictures 2015/16

Last week the kids had their individual and family school photographs done (the class ones are done around May time I think) and today we received the proofs back! It's the first one of all the kids together and I love it! Can't believe my babies are growing up so fast!


Riley is in Year 1, Keira in Year 6 and Ellie in Year 8. When Lexie starts school Ellie will be in 6th form or college!! That's a scary thought!!

I had 4 pictures to choose from and have ordered the 2 individual ones and the group one of all of them as they aren't the cheapest so can't afford all of them! I paid £10.75 for a 7x5 so even just one print of 3 photos cost me over £30 and that's the cheapest option! I didn't really see the point in buying the one of just Keira and Riley. 

They do packs but I when I've brought them in previous years I've always be left with loads of photos I didn't need! The packs are great value if you have people to give them to plus you can kill 2 birds with one stone and use them as Christmas presents too!!

The school have used the same company for the last 3 or 4 years and it's good because you can order online and get delivery to school or direct to your home plus if you do order online they throw in some free mini prints, though I am wondering if its just this company that is expensive or whether this is an average price nationally in schools.

Everything is so expensive nowadays and it seems the school always want money for something, days trips or residential's, its never ending! How much are your school photographs cost? I'm just wondering how our school prices compare to others 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Fast and Fun Ghoulish Halloween Treats eBook

I was kindly sent the 'Fast and Fun Ghoulish Halloween Treats' ebook which is written by Jo Ebisujima to review and I have to say I just love it! 

It has 17 Spooky delights to give the kids a fright!


All the treats are
"r
elatively healthy, not just sweet treats but ‘proper’ food" and "can be made using kitchen pantry basics" and "Fast and fun and could be made with the kids"

Be warned, the treats include eyeballs and severed fingers  but there are some cute treats too. Many of the treats can be mixed and matched to suit your needs and using your own recipes if you prefer.

We made a few of the treats and it was such fun as you can see...




We made severed fingers (can you spot the real one?!) mini pumpkins plus some ghostly hot cocoa (our ghosts drowned hence the before cocoa picture!) and all the family got involved, we had a fun family evening.

You purchase the ebook by visiting this link http://www.my-organized-chaos.com/fast-fun-ghoulish-halloween-treats/ 

Anyone who purchases the Fast & Fun Ghoulish Halloween Treats ebook before October 21st (11.59pm JST) will be entered into a random draw to win a box of Halloween treats! Open worldwide.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

NCT Newly New Sale clothes haul

We went to our local NCT Nearly new sale today as I love a good bargain and after 4 children I've learnt there is certainly nothing wrong with second hand clothes! Here's what we got..
Christmas Pudding hat and gloves set 6-12 months £1.00

Set of 3 Next 18-24 months long sleeves tops £1.50

12-18 months Joules leggings £2.00

Set of 3 TU Sainsbury's Leggings 9-12 months £1.50

John Lewis trousers aged 6 years £1.00

9-12 months dress George Asda £1.00

Hand knitted hooded cardigan £1.50

9-12 moths George Asda hooded jacket £1.00

Grobag 18-36 months £3.00

Total spend £13.50

How much do you think I've saved myself? After a quick nosey at the shop websites RRP's I've come to the conclusion that I've saved....over £70.00!!!!! 

Rough RRP's
Christmas Pudding hat and glove set £10.00
Set of 3 Next tips £14.00
Joules leggings £9.00
Set of 3 Sainsbury's leggings £6.00
John Lewis trousers £12.00
Asda dress £8.00
Asda jacket £7.00
Handmade jacket £0 as nothing to compare!
Grobag £22.99
Have you been to your local nearly new sale before? What was your biggest bargain?

Monday, 5 October 2015

The Green Cross Code

With Keira doing her cycling proficiency course at school and learning about Bike Safety it got me thinking about The Green Cross Code and it occurred to me that I have never actually taught the children the code and just assumed they had learnt it by watching me, I know bad mum moment eek but it is definitely one of those things we (I) take for granted and forget that it has to be taught and isn't one of those things you just know!

 
So do you know the green cross code? Yes we all 'know' how to cross a road but do you know the actual green cross code?! I'll admit that I didn't so if like me you need a quick refresher here is The Green Cross Code taken from the Think! Education website..
 

The Green Cross Code

1. First find the safest place to cross
  • If possible, cross the road at: subways, footbridges, islands, zebra, puffin, pelican or toucan crossings, or where there is a crossing point controlled by a police officer, a school crossing patrol or a traffic warden.
  • Otherwise, choose a place where you can see clearly in all directions, and where drivers can see you.
  • Try to avoid crossing between parked cars and on sharp bends or close to the top of a hill. Move to a space where drivers and riders can see you clearly.
  • There should be space to reach the pavement on the other side. 
2. Stop just before you get to the kerb
  • Do not get too close to the traffic. If there is no pavement, keep back from the edge of the road but make sure you can still see approaching traffic.
  • Give yourself lots of time to have a good look all around.
3. Look all around for traffic and listen
  • Look all around for traffic and listen.
  • Look in every direction.
  • Listen carefully because you can sometimes hear traffic before you can see it.
4. If traffic is coming, let it pass
  • Look all around again and listen.
  • Do not cross until there is a safe gap in the traffic and you are certain that there is plenty of time.
  • Remember, even if traffic is a long way off, it may be approaching very quickly.
5. When it is safe, go straight across the road – do not run
  • Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross, in case there is any traffic you did not see, or in case other traffic appears suddenly. 
  • Look out for cyclists and motorcyclists traveling between lanes of traffic. 
  • Do not cross diagonally.
How you can help your child and other children
  • Set a good example. Use the Green Cross Code yourself.
  • Show your child how to use the Code to cross the road when you’re out and about.
  • Let your child show you that they know how to cross the road safely – start practising on quiet roads first.
  • Point out dangerous places to cross on local roads. Point out safer places as well. Some places may be safer at some times of the day than at others.
  • Use pedestrian crossings even if it involves a small detour.
  • Talk about the importance of not using a mobile phone or texting while crossing the road.
  • Remind your child that they cannot hear traffic if listening to music through earphones or see it properly if wearing a large hood.
But let’s get one thing clear: it’s still important for children to be outside.
Walking is good for children's health and fitness and we support parents who encourage their children to walk as much as possible. Taking your child in the car for short journeys puts more traffic on the road and adds to the problem.
Children can be safer on the streets if we show them how.
 
Crossing between parked cars
Try not to cross between parked vehicles, but if there is nowhere else to cross:
  • Choose a place where there is a space between two cars and make sure that it is easy to get to the pavement on the other side of the road.
  • Make sure neither car is about to move off - look for drivers in the cars, lights and listen for engines.
  • Don't cross near large vehicles. You could be standing in a blind spot, where the driver cannot see you.
  • Walk to the outside edge of the cars and stop. Here you can be seen by drivers and you can look all around for traffic.
  • Use the Green Cross Code. When the road is clear, cross, still looking and listening as you go.
 
 
An easier way to remember it and teach it to children..

Stop

  • Find the safest place to cross then stop.
  • Stand on the pavement near the kerb or the edge if there is no kerb.

Look

  • Give yourself lots of time to have a good look all around.
  • Make sure you can see if anything is coming and drivers can see you.

Listen

  • Listen carefully because you can sometimes hear traffic before you can see it.
  • Never cross the road whilst chatting to people, listening to your iPod or talking on your mobile phone.

When it is safe to cross, walk straight across the road. Do not walk diagonally. Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross.
 

Info taken from http://talesoftheroad.direct.gov.uk/stop-look-listen.php which also has some great games for children about road safety

Halloween Crafts for children

We love doing arts and crafts and I really want to get Lexie involved in our Halloween crafts this year as its her first one so I decided to see what craft stuff we could do with her. I came across some amazing ideas so thought I'd share my favourite ones with you that we may try ourselves. I will do a separate post showing you our creations when we do them!

How great are these?!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Friday, 2 October 2015

Chocolate Tart Recipe

I saw an amazing salt caramel chocolate tart recipe on A Mummy Too so decided we would try our own chocolate tarts! I can't really bake but these looked so easy to do! We made 4 mini and 1 big chocolate tarts and they were just divine if I do say so myself! Ok we cheated on the pastry using a short crust pastry mixture but made the ganache ourselves.
 
Here is our recipe... 

Ingredients

  • 450g shortcrust pastry mixture
  • 8-9 tbsp water
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. coffee
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • a little oil or butter
  • 1 egg
 

My tips for reading with baby

Lexie has recently started taking a real interest in books (rather than just eating them!) so we have started reading with her more.

We have started with touchy feely and lift the flap books and also books with lots of bold pictures and colours. She just loves them, her face lights up when she see's the bright pictures!

We also have some nursery rhyme books that she already recognises from Musical Minis, the music class we attend.
 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

My bucket list before 40

As I approach 40 (yes I know I'm only 32!!) I've decided to do a bucket list of things I want to do before i hit my naughty forties!! 

There are obviously LOADS of things I would love to do but I've been sensible and kept it realistic and achievable so here goes....

My Bucket List as of September 2015

  • See Ellie Goulding in concert - booked for March 2016
  • Attend a book signing
  • Fly a plane/glider 
  • Go and see a comedy show
  • Have cooking lessons (I love the look of this one
  • Go on a safari
  • Adopt an elephant
  • Visit Scotland
  • Go skiing

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Wonder Weeks

Since Lexie was born I've used The Wonder Weeks App and found it scarily accurate with her development leaps.
 
 
According to their website, "The Wonder Weeks app is based on 35 years of research and the international best-seller The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt Ph.D. and Frans Plooij Ph.D. This app is only a short summary of the leaps. In the book, you can read how to deal with the wonder weeks in the best way, how to help your baby be less fussy, and how to get the most out of all leaps. The book is advised and endorsed by the best GP’s and experts in child development all around the globe". 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Musical Mini's Music Class

We had a free taster session at a local music group called Musical Mini's last week.
Here is a bit about Musical Mini's taken from their website....
Musical Minis are a pre-school fun time music group that offer your child the chance to be involved in developmental activities.
Each structured session encourages cognitive, physical and emotional development through the use of music, instruments and stories.
The classes for toddlers and babies were developed by child professionals. Its founders have a background in child psychology and nursery education.
The classes are designed with your child’s development in mind. The music is professionally recorded at a pace suitable for young children.
The groups can help your child be a skilful communicator by developing language and co-ordination, be emotionally developed through sharing stories and songs whilst meeting new friends and be confident by joining in the activities in a relaxed group atmosphere and be creative by letting the children explore the instruments, sounds, rhythm and movement.


I chose a smaller class for us to go to, with Lexie being so little still I didn't want it too busy and overbearing for her. There were 4 other families at the class in addition to my friend and her little girl who came with us to the taster session. The lady running it did mention there were a few families away on holiday this week. Lexie and my friends little girl were the youngest there, there was also a crawler and 3 older toddlers so quite a variety! I think the group was for up to 2yr olds so a nice age range.
As expected for a music class there was lots of musical instruments and singing and dancing done which Lexie loved. Music seems to make her so happy, she doesn't stop smiling! The lady running the session was lovely and absolutely fantastic with the children, Lexie was totally fixated on her! They also did stories with puppets and really got the children involved in the story and interacting.
I think Lexie will benefit so much from the class so we have signed up for the term! The sessions work out at £4.75 for a 45 minute class and you sign up termly.
I wasn't aware of anything like this local to us when I had the older 2 girls and Riley hated loud noises so I couldn't take him to groups like this, I'm definitely going to make the most of this with Lexie! Music is so beneficial, just listening to a song can change and uplift my mood. Lexie loves me singing to her too which surprises me as I really cannot sing!!!

You never know I may have the next Beethoven or Whitney Houston on my hands if I'm lucky!!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Bike Safety Check

Keira has recently started her cycling proficiency course at school. This is probably the only reason she was looking forward to going back to school and starting Year 6 after the summer holidays!!

On the first week she came home and said that they stayed on the school playground and did checks on their bikes to make sure they were safe to ride. She mentioned checking brakes worked OK and helmets fitting correctly obviously but also mentioned things like saddle at correct height and tyres not damaged and fully pumped. This got me thinking about all the little things we forget about! I say little but really they are quite important checks that we should check as standard when you consider the position cycling puts in you and all the dangers and hazards that can be involved!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Experimenting with dough

 
I am doing a sensory course with Lexie and decided to experiment with play dough so the other kids can get involved too.
 
How do you make play dough?
 
You can cook in a saucepan or a microwave......
 
You will need...
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups of water and colouring
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar

Baby Sensory

Lexie and I are attending to a baby group course which is called Love, Learn and Explore. It is run by the local children's centre and is aimed at supporting parents in making the most of their children's learning in a relaxed fun way, inspiring early language and communication as well as looking at the importance of tummy time and sensory play 
 
 
What is baby sensory?
Baby sensory is a range of activities that promote baby learning and development through the 6 senses we have which are touch, hearing, movement, sight, taste and smell.
 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Ellie's 13th birthday Pop Story party

Ellie has a pop story party for her birthday this year where she and 10 of her friends recorded a song of her choice in a proper recording studio! 
 

Monday, 14 September 2015

We have a teenager!

At exactly 10.11am 13 years ago I became a mother for the very first time. It has been an amazing 13yrs and I can now say I'm a proud owner of a teenager!

Thankfully over night we had no miraculous change into Kevin (and Perry) moment!!

Ellie had her 'Pop Party' on Saturday with her friends and it was so much fun. They recorded a version of Flashlight by Jessie J and did fantastic, Ellie did some solo parts as she was birthday girl!