How to quickly child proof your surfaces – without spending a fortune!

Babies are clumsy, careless and fearless when it comes to trying out their new found mobility. They’ll happily balance on the edge of the sofa, crawl straight off the bed or walk right into the coffee table! If you go through the toddler stage without an injuries, bruises or bumps then you deserve some sort of parenting medal, but let’s face it, it’s going to happen…however, there are ways we can help prevent these misfortunes!

There are plenty of devices out there to help you keep your child safe, corner cushions and the like but, to be honest, they are expensive, still quite hard if fallen against, and, if your child is anything like mine, they’ll be picked off in no time! Fireplace guards are also good, unless you have a very small living room like mine, and again, they can be quite costly. So armed with a few pounds, we headed to B&Q to make our own, here’s what we bought…

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Yes folks, pipe insulation. 82p for a roll and you’ll need around 2-3 for an average fireplace. You’ll find it outside in the builders section of B&Q. Great to play sword fights also.

And,

wide-heavy-duty-double-sided-tape-50mm-x-50mtr-14316-p[ekm]309x320[ekm][1] Some double sided sticky tape. It’s best to get the heavy duty stuff. Usually in the painting area with brushes and the likes. Costs £5 in B&Q but is much cheaper online (£2)

And,

ice-cream-with-flake[1] Ice-cream. Not essential. But it was a nice day and strangely there’s always a van outside B&Q! (Sadly, it didn’t look like this one.)

 Here’s the very easy, four step method…

ONE – Prep the surface, this works really well on any hard surface that kiddies can walk/crawl into or fall against – so fireplaces (we have 3 in our old Victorian house…nightmare), coffee tables, dining room tables, drawers etc. Give them a good wipe and allow to air dry.

TWO – Wrap your insulation roll around the desired area and cut to size, a pen knife is great for this is just goes straight through the foam. Cut it both lengthwise and also don’t forget the opening slit allows you to trim that area too in order to get a snug fit.

THREE – Snip your double sided tape and space evenly around the area to be covered so that its positioned where the foam will hook on. Leave the upper part of the tape attached until you’re done with this. You could apply it along the whole surface but really isn’t necessary.

FOUR – Remove upper part of tape, hook insulation pipe over and stick to tape, hold firmly for a little while until the adhesive takes affect. This might sound fiddly but actually isn’t really as the insulation pipe is very bendy and malleable.

And that’s literally it. I’ve found it does the job better than anything else, our son hasn’t really bothered it and it doesn’t look so bad either as it just blends in. Plus it’ll be very easily removed when he can be trusted! Here’s some pics of one I did earlier.

Mummy Power

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Sometimes a family member will spend an hour or so with me and my son. I’ll recall a terrible tantrum filled day to my friend over coffee. Or tell a colleague how I’m now at work having had only had a few hours sleep last night. And they all say the same thing… “I don’t know how you do it!” Sometimes neither do I, I can only put it down to one thing…

 

Mummy Power!

 

A friend of mine first introduced me to concept of Mummy power (the trademark is all hers), it was many years ago now and me and my other 20 something, then childless, friends where having an evening at her house whilst her little girl was asleep upstairs. Like my child free colleagues now we were saying we simply couldn’t function on less than a full nights sleep, and she explained, as soon as you become a Mum you get the Mummy power package. I didn’t really get it and just thought it was funny – how naïve I was!

Through pregnancy I sort of had this in the back of mind, usual first time mother questions – will I be upto the job? Will I love my child? Will I suddenly have the Mummy power download? Do I need to apply somewhere for it?? What if its not in installed in my hard drive?

But now I am a mother – I totally get it. I’ve got the power (in the tune of that song!)

-Mummy power is surviving on a few hours sleep. – Its making multiple meals to try to find something your child will eat. – Its doing so many loads of washing in one day. – It’s spending money on them. – It’s not spending money on you! – It’s running up and down the stairs catching them every two minutes. – It’s changing disgustingly smelly nappies – It’s being hit, nipped, and bitten – It’s having your meals interrupted – It’s never drinking a hot cup of tea – It’s staying up all night when they’re ill. – It’s never having an evening out – It’s being wee’d on, or worse. – It’s giving them the cake that you really want to eat…the list goes on. But ultimately it’s doing all the above completely by choice, and not grudgingly.

Our Mummy power morphs as we get older, when we swallow down that big lump in our throats when dropping them for their first day at school, or at a university miles away, or on their wedding day. We grow and nurture are children, then everyday let them go a little more as they mature and become independent. It’s difficult, but somehow we do it.

So, if you’re having one of those days, which we all do, you think you can’t do it, you feel your child hates you – perhaps they’ve told you they do (they’re kind like that). Just think this won’t last forever, you have the Mummy Power, throw back that imaginary cape, let it flap in the wind, and know – you’ve got this!

 

 

 

 

My five favourite five minute relaxation techniques (includes coffee and chocolate!)

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Us Mums never get 5 minutes to ourselves. Only yesterday I was sitting on the loo with child on lap to stop his whinging and prevent him from cracking his head of the bath, pulling all the toilet paper off the roll, or terrorising the cats. Even during naps time there’s always something else to be taking care of, whether that be our own personal hygiene grabbing a quick shower, or preparing for the next step – meal time, packing a bag to leave the house or throwing some washing in the machine.

So, when we do, very occasionally, get a spare five minutes what can we do to truly relax – and not waste the opportunity wondering what we should do until the moment has gone!

To help you out here’s my top five, five minute relaxation tips; Read more

The day the Disney Cruise came!

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There’s no denying I am a big Disney fan, I just love it – and I’m sure my little boy will too when he’s a bit older. So I was very excited this week to get to see the Disney Cruise in action as it sailed past my hometown to stop for the day at the Port of Tyne.

It’s the first time a Disney Cruise liner has ever toured the British Isles, so it was a pretty big deal, that plus the sunny weather and high press coverage meant, unsurprisingly, people came out in their hordes to see it. As we drove down to the viewing area of the port cars where backed up in the nearby streets having been abandoned by families, we managed to get parked in the car park but driving down it was quite a sight as it emerged before our eyes. Close up it was even more impressive, at 294 metres long with 11 desks which can load upto 2,700 passengers and 945 crew members – it is a huge vessel. Painted to perfection it was absolutely immaculate, sophisticated but with tell tale Disney signs – Mickey ears on the funnels, Goofy hanging off the back and a horn that sounds to tune of  ‘When you wish upon a Star’!  We could just about see the rooftop swimming pool with its ‘Aquaduck’ flume and huge screen showing films (Disney, of course!). A Disney lovers absolute dream. Read more

Review: My Pregnancy & Baby Today by BabyCentre Phone App

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I downloaded this phone app when I first found out I was pregnant and have to say I found it absolutely brilliant. Made by the parent resource BabyCentre, which I still consult on a very regular basis, it tracks your pregnancy day by day through using your estimated due date to give you daily updates, tips and information on your growing baby.

Everyday has a new piece of information, whether that be what to expect next, recipes to try, videos to watch – I particularly enjoyed the weekly fruit or vegetable baby comparison size, and still remember when my son was a mere poppy seed!

But as a first time Mum, one of my favourite and most useful part was the in app forums, you’re automatically joined to a birth club forum based on your due date. After this you can join as many others as you like whether that be a first time Mum forum, pregnant after miscarriage, single parent. They even take into account ladies pre-conception and post delivery with their actively trying groups, post natal depression and breast feeding support. Managed by their team of volunteer overseers these really are incredibly useful as a way to ask, compare, and just get support from other ladies across the country in the exact same position as you.

You will also receive a weekly e-mail with even more information, links to the Babycentre website, and facts on what’s happening inside your body. There’s usually a section for Dads to be in here too, which I found to be a really nice touch and would forward to my husband. These emails continue after birth and I still enjoy receiving them to see where my son is on the monthly milestones, and reading new games I could be playing with him each month to aid his development.

They seem to constantly strive to make the app better and often have updates, for instance now you can take photos of your growing belly to compare with others and keep as a memento of your pregnancy, they remind to do it each week – which is a really nice addition. I took some tummy photos through pregnancy but my baby brain often forgot to do it on a regular basis!

The best thing about this app is that everything is together, and at the touch of a screen – you don’t have to Google something you need reassurance on and scroll through to find something credible. The chances are someone else has asked it on the app already and got a number of good responses.
The worst was the birth announcements! When it gets to the start of your due month and the month before they come in thick and fast, stories of unexpected labour and gorgeous pics of cute babies. To only add insult to the fact – in my case – that I was still pregnant, huge, uncomfortable and wanted to be next!!

A definite must have for pregnant Mums out there. And, it’s completely free!

My Watch Wishlist

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I feel I should mention, this is a very self indulgent post – it has nothing to do with being a mother, or my child. In fact, the only tenuous link I can find is pre-baby, working 37 hours a week, I could afford these lovely things. And now, going to work for 11 – I can’t – my son is  my timekeeper 😊

Anyway, anyone who knows me knows I love watches! It’s a bit of an obsession, I find myself wasting hours online looking at watches, trawl eBay for watch bargains, and even get watch envy when I catch a glimpse of someone with an amazing watch passing by. I’d like to say I’ve a huge collection of weird and wonderful watches but, sadly, I don’t! In fact I only have a few – mainly because I keep selling them to fund new ones…

With this in mind, it only seemed fitting to have a ‘Watch Wishlist’, there are so many new designs that I want/nay need at the minute!

Here’s my top 5… Read more

My favourite blog post of the week – Week One

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This is something I hope to do on a weekly basis. I really enjoy reading other people’s blogs, relating to their stories and perhaps because I’m just quite nosy!

My favourite this week is ‘In Search of lost me Time’ by Reif Larsen.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/06/05/travel/family-holidays-parenting-fatherhood.html

It’s funny, and for a change is from a Daddy’s perspective. Us Mums often think they have it pretty easy escaping off to work everyday, enjoying a hot coffee at their whim and a whole hour lunch break. But, in fact, there’s a little more to it than that – as Reif explains.

Enjoy.

Thoughts from a parent about the very sad Cincinnati zoo incident

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Last week I was laughing rather manically at the ‘Chewbacca Mom’. She rose to internet fame through, perfectly innocently, uploading a video of herself on social media wearing a Chewbacca mask and very endearingly giggling at how she looked. Little did she know the clip would go viral propelling her to worldwide stardom. She’s now enjoying free gifts, meets with celebrities and a trip to Disneyworld – and good for her I say!  That’s the power of social media and the Internet these days, stories can go viral, worldwide, totally at random at the touch of the button.

This week, like so many others, I’m devastated by the news of endangered gorilla, Harambe, who was shot dead by zoo officials after a small child fell into his enclosure. Again, a short clip taken and uploaded from a visitors mobile phone has made it possible for absolutely anyone to judge and pass comment on the difficult decision of what to do in this situation. The story has gone colossal, the hashtags #Harambe #RIPHarambe are trending like crazy. A change.org petition is wracking up signatures from people who criticise the zoo and want the little boys parents to be accountable for the silverbacks death, and endangering their child. Animal protection charities are mourning the loss of Harambe and it gives them further ammunition for their argument against wild animals in captivity.  Read more

Bella Italia – how it stands up as a family friendly restaurant

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We decided to treat ourselves to a meal out this bank holiday weekend along with my Mum and brothers and visited Bella Italia the Silverlink restaurant. I’ve always been a big fan of Bella Italia restaurants, the food is always delicious but a little on the pricey side so it would usually be reserved for special occasions, but as I had received a third off voucher via email, and husband had a gift voucher left over from his birthday – this was the restaurant of choice!

Since there were 6 of us, and it was a bank holiday weekend, I booked in advance and needn’t have had as the place was surprisingly very quiet when we arrived at 2:30. The staff were very friendly, were waiting for our arrival and we got sat down straight away in a booth with fully adequate high chair for the little guy. We were handed our menus and I for one was starving having come straight from work so was more than ready to get stuck in! Read more