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

From crawling to walking! A survival guide

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My son is just starting to walk. To be honest, I didn’t really actively encourage this, as crawling is a nightmare enough, let alone having to actually run after him! But a few days before his first birthday he did it! His first, very shaky, step. He’s 12 and a bit months now and still isn’t walking confidently, but he definitely has it in his head now, every now and then he’ll warn us he’s ‘going for it’ by making a Chewbacca type noise, a huge toothy grin and stagger like a drunken zombie in our general direction! And then everyone in the room must stop what they’re doing to clap and marvel at his achievement. Read more

Preparing for a Centre Parcs holiday with a 1 year old! Tips and how I am preparing for the trip.

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So, in 3 weeks time we’re off for our first threesome family holiday…and to say I’m excited is an understatement! We’re playing it safe and not venturing abroad just yet, I literally can’t imagine anything worse than attempting a flight with Jacob who literally can’t stop still, ever, instead we’re heading to our local Centre Parcs! What could possible go wrong….

We’ve visited Centre Parcs before and we’re big fans, the past few times we’ve been to the Sherwood Forest location and really loved it, but this time we’re staying closer to home and visiting Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, a short but sweet Friday – Monday break. A few friends have said that this one is probably the better for smaller kids as it doesn’t get as manic in the pool etc. Let’s hope the little one agrees!

Heres my tips and how I’m preparing… Read more

Our rainy day soft play!

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Today was a hideous day. Grey, cold, teaming rain – that horrid fine rain that wisps in all directions so no matter what you’re going to get wet. With that, plus half term next week (when all the big ones take over), plus the fact my son has been waking up at 6am each morning. I decided to do, admittedly not my favourite activity with the rugrat, give the cats a break, and try to tire him out with a trip to the soft play.

We eventually arrived around midday after nap time and the place was fairly quiet which was nice. In my rush to get off I didn’t think my sock choice through and realised when I got there I was sporting very unseasonal, bright red Rudolph socks… Read more

Birthday Boys’ Celebrations!

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So, my son, my firstborn baby, is one year old. One whole year old! There’s a bittersweet poignancy to this – on one hand I can’t believe it, the time has gone so fast, he has grown so quick and I literally can’t remember him being a tiny baby. But on the other hand, I’m so incredibly proud of all he’s achieved, I just can’t imagine my life before he existed and can’t wait for him to grow more and learn more and all the other ‘firsts’. Sentimentality behind, this momentous occasion needed big celebrations – and celebrate we did!

We decided early on that we were going to have a joint first birthday and christening party, being born in May surely the weather would be nice and as my other half is from Lincolnshire is meant his family only had one journey to make. I’m not particularly religious but I still wanted felt I wanted him to be christened and whatever he believes religion wise when he’s older is entirely up to him. We bought little man a very smart trouser, shirt and waistcoat combo with little bow tie from Next and he looked very dapper indeed! Unlike me who 20 minutes before we had to leave pulled my only pair of tights on and low and behold my nail-less fingers managed to rip a huge ladder in them! Great – scabby legs on show then! The service was lovely and he was extremely well behaved, it was a double christening and when the first baby (a teeny little girl) got pretty soaked my heart sank, there’s no way he’s going to be having this I thought, but actually he wasn’t bothered at all and just extremely perplexed by the whole situation!

Read more