29 Nov 2013

Drivin Miss Bubba

Ever since Bubba went round to one of her little friends houses and played with a Minnie Mouse remote controlled car and wouldn't leave it alone, I knew it was something she'd love playing with at home.

I wasn't wrong!

This was the excited face of Bubba when I opened the parcel and she realised what it was. The packaging is great but unfortunately it was very secure and it took me ages to get at the actual car (which dampened Bubba's enthusiasm slightly). We played with the background package as well for a while which was good and for a few days we even parked Minnie's car back in the garage of the box.

Once it was up and ready to go she couldn't wait to take it away from me and have a play without even being told what to do. The car is designed for children aged three and upwards (we are nearly there so I thought it wouldn't be a problem for her) and Bubba got the hang of it straight away. Thanks to the remote control car, she now gets the concept of forward and backwards and if all else failed to start with I would shout 'blue button' or 'green button' so she would get it going back in the right direction. But now she gets it when I tell her to go backwards with the remote control.

The car is well made and considering Bubba's sense of direction isn't that great and keeps crashing it into skirting boards, so far it's unscathed. The control is simple enough for toddlers to use but robust enough that it won't break after five seconds. The car turns in a big circle and travels forwards and backwards, you do need to have a bit of space, the car itself is fairly speedy and has caught Bubba out a few times when she managed to drive over her own feet. We've played with the car morning, noon and night (and I had to convince her that she couldn't take it into bed with her to sleep!).

My only negative comment (and it's so small and insignificant) is that Minnie's steering wheel keeps falling out. Bubba loves nothing more than getting Minnie to get out and play once she reaches her destination, so its a little frustrating that I have to keep fitting it back in constantly. Checked with my friend and her car's steering wheel has never come off so perhaps it was an over exuberant toddler that got at ours!

Bubba's only frustration is that she couldn't understand why the doors wouldn't open but again this isn't really a big thing and the fact the seat belts do open and she can fit all her other animals in, more than makes up for any confusion over non door openings.

If you are looking for toys for Christmas I would thoroughly recommend the Minnie Mouse remote control car from Argos and they have a large range of Disney Toys available so do go check them out.

It's also great fun (& slightly addictive) to play with as an adult as well but shhh! don't tell Bubba as she is rather attached to it now!

*Collaborative post*

27 Nov 2013

Feels like progress...

This is my 20 week bump (although I'm now moving on towards 22 weeks now), I've been obsessed with taking photographs of it. It suddenly seems real and I have a good bump to show off. Up until now I've just felt fat and a fraud, I'd have to tell people I was pregnant but this bump today needs no explanation. I'm also (it seems from my pictures) now wearing nearly the same outfit on most days. I'm loving my stretchy and soft New Look Jeans and this jumper that hugs the bump but doesn't give me massive back fat or lumps and bumps elsewhere.

I feel my baby (& it does feel like my baby now) move a lot. It feels like little backflips in my belly and has been progressing onto noticeable kicks. I'm told baby is the size of a mango which is a good size. I'm already getting obsessed with my belly button (as I did last pregnancy) and can't have anyone, myself included, touching it. Really weird.

This week I've drank tea with milk and three cappuccinos and this feels like real progress as the thought of it up until now sent me to the dark place of nausea.

I've had another migraine and one leg keeps swelling up! So I have an attractive stocking to wear during the day (which I'm not taking a photo of as I don't need to be reminded in the future!). I am still getting every cold or sore throat going and Bubba and I seem to be passing some sort of germs to each other regularly.

I'm not as tired as before but it gets to around 9pm and I'm really tired, also I notice if I've had a busy day because that also induces a sort of tiredness that knocks me out. Every now and again I'll have a little sofa nap during the day at the weekend.

I rest my hands on the bump and whilst out I can be found rubbing the bump, I'm sure its only a 'look at me, I'm pregnant' gesture but I can't help it. I'm loud and proud about it.

Bubba is getting used to the idea of having a baby around but still would prefer me to have a puppy and has already sorted some toys she wants to give to the baby. However, once he arrives I bet she won't be as eager to share toys or her time so we will see how that goes!

I'm loving mint sauce at the moment and can eat it on its own (much to Hubby's disgust) and on any type of roast dinner which I seem to be making twice a week (much to Hubby's delight). I can cook again regularly and only get the odd day of sicknes.

All in all my due date seems to be flying towards us and I'm going to start my Hypnobirthing CD's soon!


25 Nov 2013

DIY Present Ideas

I love buying presents but more than that, I love making presents. The only downside is that I'm not really a craft master at all. So my homemade things end up being slightly car crash and I pity the poor unsuspecting recipient.

With that in mind, I'd like to share a few semi DIY presents. Things I've half made but really just put together...

First up my cookie in a jar

Last Christmas I made up some jars of ingredients and gave to my love ones with little people so they could make cookies. They went down well (I hope).

Next my homemade material pictures

I traced my pattern onto material and then added my buttons in the position I wanted them. Next I simply sewed them on and put it in a frame.

Lastly my homemade (sort of) anniversary present.

I found the print I wanted on Etsy for a few pounds. You could even create your own design on your computer. This image was for us. Next I got a cheap frame (sorry hub) and voila it sort of looks like I made more effort!

21 Nov 2013

A day to remember

The 20th November is a good day for us, to start with I married a great man three years ago on that date. I had a good day and was looking forward to a brilliant party.

Unfortunately the wedding didn't go perfectly, in fact it ended rather abruptly and dramaticly with the generator failing at the hotel (a Marriott Hotel at that) and us being plunged into darkness - thus ending my reception at an early 9.30pm. My calm, fuss free wedding turned into a nightmare and at 6 months pregnant I became rather emotional to say the least.

I thought we were cursed and although up until that point it had been everything I'd hoped for, whenever I think of our wedding it's been emotional and tinged with sadness (lots). Something changed this year and rather than looking back on our wedding anniversary thinking 'what if' I started thinking 'so what!' and to top it off we had our 20 week scan on our anniversary.

I was worried beforehand and wondered if we should change it in case it was bad news and then this date would be forever marked in my mind. But I'm glad I didn't change it. 

Everything was as it should be and we found out the sex of our baby. We are both delighted and now are going to start seriously discussing names. There are a few we like but I just want to make sure we get it right for us.


19 Nov 2013

A simple morning...

With my girl...

Tomorrow we have our 20 week scan and hopefully find out what colour we will be blessed with. I feel the baby kick now but hubby can't feel it on the outside yet. It's all very lovely and special but my thoughts keeps getting drawn back to my first girl, my special girl.

So this morning, with nothing planned and nowhere to be, my girl and I had a stay home morning. I'm so conscious that our time as a two is evaporating fast, not least because of our new arrival but also because bubba will start school soon and become less dependant on me.

So far we have done puzzles, played with a remote control minnie car and watched Monsters University, eaten banana and cuddled. Bubba is a bit under the weather so it's nice to just 'be'.

My baby is growing up fast now.

16 Nov 2013

Things I can't believe I wasn't told...

I know parenting is an evolving process but there are a few developments that I'm not as keen on...

Gawd! They can whine
Like really, kids have a never ending ability to keep on whining. When Bubba wants something, she will not give up and the whine gets louder, longer and it bounces around every corner of my brain!

They are so cunning
I'm not sure what or where she learnt to be so sneaky but she is. She picks her victims, so if she thinks I won't get her something, she'll turn on the charm with daddy or nanny. The other day she told me she 'only likes daddy, not mummy' because I wasn't letting her get away with anything.

They never ever sit still
Like never, even when Bubba sits still (ish) she cannot help moving some part of her body. A leg twitch, kicking me absent mindley, putting her arms in the air or twiddling a label she has found. It's usually seconds before she is on the move again.

I've become a human climbing frame
I realised that when baby's are small they climb and I was ready for this. She is now 2.5yrs old and if I'm sat down, you can bet she'll be on me in some way. Laying across me, standing on my foot, sitting almost on top of me.

Every second of every day she asks me 'why?' For awhile it was 'why not?' But now we are back to why..."put your shoes on, please" "why?", "don't stand on that!", "why not?". "Let's wash your face", "why do clean face mummy?". It's endless and I've now started saying "because mummy said so!" It's exhausting.


13 Nov 2013

Easy Meals - Cheeky Chorizo Gnocchi

We love a bit of Chorizo in our house, my favourite is Chorizo stew on a cold, wintry night. So when I had some left over from a recent stew I wondered what to do with it. I threw a bit of gnocchi into the mix and came up with a chorizo and gnocchi bake.
Sorry about the steamy picture but I really couldn't wait to eat it, so this is as good as it gets.

1 onion (chopped)
1 yellow pepper (chopped)
Chorizo chunks
3 mushrooms (chopped)
1 garlic clove
1tbs tomato paste
400g passata
500g Gnocchi
Basil leaves (if you like it use loads...)


Fry the onion, pepper, garlic and mushrooms lightly in a tablespoon of oil. Add your chorizo chunks and fry with other vegetables, letting the chorizo juice coat all in the pan. 

Once softened add the passata, handful of basil leaves and tomato paste and leave to simmer. I also added some chipotle chilli paste but again this is optional...we are just chilli lovers in our house.

Now I cheated this time and used shop bought gnocchi but it's easy enough to make if you want to.

Boil some water and add your gnocchi and wait until it all bobs to the surface (roughly around 3 mins). Once cooked, add to your pasta sauce, mix it all in and then put into a dish.

Tear up your Mozerella and add to dish, throw on some basil leaves (and I added breadcrumbs). Put under the grill until the moz has melted and the dish is bubbling.


12 Nov 2013

Book Buddy Review - Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear

Our October Parragon book buddy mail arrived recently and again excitedly we opened the parcel. We were greeted by a lovely looking autumnal read:

Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear by Tracey Corderoy

This book is about a bear who doesn't want to miss a thing. It's a very cute tale and bears friends try everything to wake him up to show him the changes that happen in Autumn to no avail. 

Bubba is loving a bit of kicking around in leaves so she eagerly listened and asked lots of "why" questions. Asking why the bear had to go to sleep, so it was a nice introduction to hibernation and how animals are different to us.

The illustrations kept her interested and there was a lot of different things to look at. It's a very nice autumnal read that leaves you feeling cosy and warm reading about the friendship between the animals. A definite yes in our house and added to the reading pile.


11 Nov 2013

What's in a name...

At the moment hubby and I throw names at each other mid conversation, trying to feel out if we both like it. At this stage we have no idea whether it's going to be a girl or boy but will hopefully find out this month. So for now it's all fair game although hubby has trashed a few of my favourites but I'm hoping to win him around.

It's also difficult sharing with other people because as I found out a few weeks ago...the majority of my family weren't keen on a name I liked. So if we called our little one that (don't worry I'm not sharing it here yet!) then are they all going to think 'oh what a weird name?' everytime they look at the little darling!

Bubba too has started her naming things journey. I've mentioned before that she loves animals and will carry bundles of them around. I always used to name them on her behalf (not very original 'woof' for a dog and 'fluffy' for a particularity fluffy stuffed dog.)

Her first foray into names was when she called this dog 'I woof you'. That's because when you push his belly he woofs and says 'I woof you'. See she already has her mothers knack for unusual and imaginative names. On this note I must mention that hubby is a bit more aventguard and has chosen named such as 'bingo' for a dog and 'bounce' for a bunny she has!

So when this little horse arrived (via a kinder egg...oh I love how they keep her quiet and I can use it as a good bribery option).

I was surprised that she instantly named it Cinderella (said 'Cinda-Ella'). I'm not sure why she decided on this name, she has shunned all Disney exports so far and as for dolls and anything girly...well you can count her out. But it was an instant naming ceremony and she was so certain it had to be!

Let's hope I can up my game by the time the bump arrives and also I don't let bubba name it. It could end up being Snow White or woof!!


8 Nov 2013

Learning a new skill

I always remember my mum knitting or doing cross stitch. Over the years I've dabbled in both, a few years ago I made Doug our dog and although I'm not fast, I can knit. It's a skill my mum taught me (although I can't remember when or how).

For a while now I've been conscious that I'd like to pass on a craft skill to Bubba if she wants to learn. If she doesn't then I can make things for her or her children like my mum does. This was my latest want...a cat hat for my girl which my mum took on and finished within days.

It's unique and looks fab on my girl. I've already lined up my mums next project, my mum can whip up lots of things without seemingly even looking at the needles, her hands just take over.

So seeing as my mum has knitting and cross stitch, I decided to have a go at crochet. Last year I tried and tried to no avail on my own with just you tube videos  and patterns. I did ok until I went wrong and had no one to ask. So a month ago I booked myself (& mum) on a day course at Craft Bee in Beckenham.

Having had practice, I picked it up quite easily but my mum found it harder as her hands just wanted to treat it as knitting.

Since then I've been beavering away making granny squares and if/when I get better I'd like to try making blankets for my babies. I really hope I keep it up and can show bubba a skill when she grows up. She is already a bit too interested in balls of wool, as soon as she sees it she starts meowing like a cat and lunges for the ball and runs of with it giggling and tearing it apart. I already spend too much time trying to untangle knots!


6 Nov 2013

Food loves and hates at 30 months (or 2 and a half)

I just looked back at a post from when Bubba was 18 months old and an eating machine. I just read about the variety of foods she would willingly eat and it's odd to see how that has narrowed. For this post I had to really think hard about the foods she will eat, she still has a healthy appetite but is picky (before even trying food) and I know if I can get at least one mouthful in her she usually then will eat the rest of it. It's a bit of toddler mistrust. I now try to feed her the same food we have eaten but usually a day later than us and this seems to be working well.

Now she is more likely to cruise past the table and peer at the plate of food I've lovingly prepared before turning on her heal and declaring a defiant 'No me nots eat that mummy' and stalking off. I seem to use more bribery at the moment which is working well for us - so my usual would be 'please eat some of this and then you can have...' usually a pudding that I was already going to give her but still, it's getting food inside her. She will then eat the food she just minutes before turned her nose up at with gusto, usually finishing every mouthful and giving me a big cheesy grin. So I know it's not that she has gone off the food but rather she is asserting her authority.

I also now have reverted back to feeding her the foods she is less passionate about, so she will sit and watch TV (I know, bad mother alert) whilst letting me shovel in the bits of the meal she doesn't feel suits her needs at that time. Another tactic is putting all of the meal (main and dessert) on the same plate - hubby calls this her prison slop plate but its a pretty Cath Kidston meal plate. I find she likes to eat a bit of spagetti bolognaise chased up with a few bits of pear, a bite of her babybel and then back to the spag again!

Last week I sat and watched as she first dunked her crusty bread into her orange squash and then ate the sopping mess. This was then followed by smothering (and it was properly smothered!) strawberry yoghurt onto the remaining bread and cheese and eating that. It got a bit messy but thank goodness she didn't cover her tuna as that would have been a step to far for my fragile pregnancy nausea.

Vegetables seem to be her nemesis and all I can get inside her is broccoli - or carrot if its hidden in the food, same for mushroom and onion. She used to devour peas but will now avoid them at all costs, unless it's to walk round the living room with a packet of frozen peas and feeding her horse bullseye.

She also now eats more processed meals - much to my husbands dismay. But with the onslaught of sickness (all about me again!) I've found it difficult to prepare her meals or even think about them without loosing my stomach. So I've relied on a few things such as children's spaghetti bolognaise and fish fingers with shaped pasta (I promised myself I'd never be that mother but I am, hey ho).

Bubba is great at the moment when we eat out, she gets through a kids meal lunch box of sandwiches or carefully chosen hot meal - I usually stick to fish fingers or grilled chicken.

Her Fave foods: Spaghetti hoops, babybel, croissant, crisps, Spaghetti Bolognaise, garlic bread, chocolate

Snacks: rice cakes, grapes, a whole banana, raisins

Hates: Sweetcorn (she can detect it in anything!), tomatoes, won't touch pate, fresh salmon or anything she thinks looks a bit iffy.

Usual day:

Breakfast: Weetabix, coisant, toast or shreddies
She still eats at least two breakfasts a day

Lunch: Bread and cheese, Tuna sandwich, ham, chicken pieces
Fromage Frais and fruit

Snack: raisins, rice cakes, fruit, or chocolate if she can twist my arm, satsuma

Dinner: Omelette, children's meal, home made spag bol (only if I hand feed her), sausages, toad in the hole, jacket potatoes, beans, chicken (most ways),homemade cottage pie (fed to her), wedges, brocolli

Always followed by fruit, a yoghurt or both.

4 Nov 2013

My girl

My girl is very much like me, from birth everyone has said she looks like her daddy. I used to wish she looked like me more as I wanted a mini me (let's face it, no one wants to think their little girl looks like a boy!)

But she is more like me than I'd care to admit, she's quirky like me, doesn't take to strangers too well and when she's tired...she's tired! and doesn't handle being awake and starts to power down (usually goes and lays in a corner/middle of the room/on me or whichever presents itself first). This can be a challenge if you are out and about or with family and friends in the evening. 

She is fast becoming her own person who challenges everything I say. Although frustrating, it's exhilarating to know she's a girl who knows her own mind, will look outside what she is told is right/wrong and will make her own choices.

I still hate taking her to day nursery twice a week and she seems to dislike the process just as much. In the car she tries every excuse she can think of...

"Mummy me sick so can't go"
"Me tired, take me home for sleeps in my bed"
"Mummy me hungry, let's go shop food"
"Me nots want to see my friends today"

She moves on to the heartbreakers

"Mummy me's sad, me nots want to go"
"Please mummy, please me no go today"
"Me stays with mummy and cuddles"

From January I'm changing my work days and hours so I can send her to a preschool 5 mornings a week (for three hours) hoping she will get used to it. Hubby isn't convinced and thinks I'll face the same over five days instead of two. I feel cruel but it's necessary so that September next year she can go into a school nursery and start her education. I don't want my baby hating school but I feel rubbish in the process of making her go whilst she doesn't have to and seeing as she hates it now. 

Sometimes I wish she were a little less like me and could settle or run off as one of those confident carefree kids. Sorry Bubba, you've got your mother to blame for your wanting to stay close (I'm still at 30++ at my happiest when my mummy is there!)
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