9, 10 & 11 month update

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These three months have been tough, we’ve had a lot of exciting new things happen, and we have had some wonderful family time. However, the first new year we saw in together very quickly became a sad one, as we lost a close and beloved family member from Ron’s side. There was some improvement when Ron got a new job which could give us hope for the future. However, we are still adapting and learning to breathe and keep moving, I am so proud of how well we’re all doing, and I know G is the reason for this, she is the sunshine of my life, I have never been as organised, motivated or inspired as I am now I have her, it’s something I am now able to reflect upon as she has gone to visit Nanna and Grumps and for the first time in almost a year she is not with me or Ron, and we have just realised how much more ‘together’ we are with her in our life, and if possible I’m even more proud and grateful to call her our daughter.

She isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, she’s stubborn, incredibly strong willed and down right defiant, she screams to the point of giving us a headache a lot recently, she doesn’t really sleep through, she still can’t crawl and makes us worry to no end about her. But she’s developing such a great sense of humour and fun, she’s the cheekiest little muffin that is clever enough to figure out how to get what she wants, which tests us as parents at times, trying give her activities to stimulate her. For example, we’ve really had to be creative to help her to get crawling, and she’s made big strides but still not particularly close to full on crawling yet, but here she’s taught me something, patience, I thought I was already quite patient, but having to wait for her to be born, waiting for her to finally cut teeth, now waiting to see when she learns to crawl – or if she’ll skip it and start walking. I’ve stopped making assumptions now, as I’ve gotten a little annoyed at myself when I was wrong, I thought as she liked standing so much she would be closer to walking by now, but she’s not particularly close to walking or crawling, and I was really quite worried as she has a very clicky right hip, but an X-Ray came back ok and the consultant wasn’t worried, He just said to come back if she’s not walking by 2 years old. So although she’s not there yet, I’ve had to learn that is OK, because we’re doing all I can for her right now and she’s wonderfully happy and healthy otherwise.

Another thing I have stupid guilt over is G not having a mother, but when mother’s day came round and we were able to celebrate it on a very small scale by sending my own mum a card and voucher it kind of lessened, instead of worrying she will be the odd one out, not being able to make a card at school like everyone else. I decided to think of it in a more positive way, That she can just make it for one of her many wonderful Nanna’s or aunties. She’s blessed with a horde of strong loving and wonderful women in her life, and she’s not missing out on a thing, because she has two parents who love her.

So what else have we been up to, well not only has Ron started a new job, I’ve also gone back to my retail work, but only for 4 hours on a Sunday so it would fit around Ron’s shift work. It’s nice to get out and do something I’m used to, something I don’t have to worry about, but I’m glad it’s only 4 hours a week for now.

Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been up to:

Activities:

  • Seeing in the her first new year
  • growing 3 more teeth!
  • Learning to really use her voice
  • Dr’s appointments galore for hips and her string of viruses.
  • having a holiday away from dad’s at Nanna’s and Grumps
  • wishing aunties Boo and Warley happy birthday
  • Wishing Grumps happy birthday by having a weekend away at the races
  • visiting family
  • Enjoying her friend’s first birthday party
  • Dada getting a new job
  • her first pancake day
  • Papi starting back a work
  • Her first mother’s day (we sent Nanna a card and a voucher)
  • Her first St Patrick’s Day (she’s 1/4 Irish)
  • day trip to London

Skills:

  • Sitting, can hold herself upright completely by herself and can sometimes sits herself up when laying on her back, but now has a tendency to throw herself forward to get to things, then shouts because she gets frustrated.
  • Head Control is mastered, she loves throwing her head back to look at me when I’m behind her.
  • crawling, she gets very upset that she can’t do this yet still, but she is able to turn around and move a small amount by wiggling her bum in the air, but mostly this just pushes her backwards, we have worried about this to no end, but we now accept that she’ll just have to get there when she gets there.
  • Standing, she loves standing and will attempt it at any given opportunity, she weight bares very well and is so excited by the fact her feet and legs moving makes her go forward, but tends to look at them rather than straight ahead, but does either take steps or jump (whilst supported obviously)
  • She can roll over! both ways but usually front to back to escape tummy time, often she doesn’t bother as she tends to shout till we turn her instead… < still true
  • grabbing, she is grabbing everything, passing tricky things from hand to hand and learning to get even the most slippery food to her mouth, she now understands to push the yummy things back in when they’re slipping out and to spit the not so yummy things out, but she has a good appetite and gives anything a go, thankfully her teeth have sped up the process to no end, that and us learning to just let her at it as she eats much better when she has a hand in it (literally).
  • ‘talking’ she’s a right chatterbox, she can do all kinds of noises but mist importantly she can do Dada and daddy. Everthing is dad dad dad dad daddy da da da, or she might slip in a hiya, yeah, hello or oh yeah. Our favourite is her attempt at whee!, comes out as eeee! or Eevee (the dog) as E E. Occasionally she comes out with Nanna.
  • She understands and gives us fist bumps when we ask and offer our fist, which totally blew my mind and melted my heart when Ron started it with her, and it still does.

Likes:

  • food, she’s still loving her food, all kinds of textures and tastes now, she goes mad for avocado, yogurt, cheese and chicken.
  • Eevee (our dog) and George (parents dog) She will sit and watch them fascinated, she loves trying to stroke them (we just have to watch the grip, as Eevee is only little) But George loves it, he’s so in love with his baby and now tries to bring her his toys to play with.
  • Music, anything to do with it mesmerises her, and she’ll start to smile and boogie. Or just stop and just listen if she’s upset/grumpy.
  • stamping.
  • Screaming.
  • giggling.
  • Chatting
  • Daddies! (I’m pretty happy about this, we seem to amuse her to no end).
  • Grumps, no matter what she will have a laugh and smile for just him.
  • Sleep, we’re working on cutting night bottles and a few times recently she’s gone from 8pm till about 6/7am without anything, so onwards and upwards.
  • her bunny comforter, she’s getting scarily attached and will just shout until she’s snuggled on the sofa with her bunny with a bit of tv on a bad day. So we’reworking on getting a few spares, unfortunately they’re not cheap
  • unfortunately she loves Peppa Bloody Pig, much to my dismay.

Dislikes:

  • waiting for things, particularly food.
  • not being able to accomplish something RIGHT NOW.
  • too much noise or too many people, as she can get overwhelmed with having too much to look at and take in.
  • Not standing or sitting up doing things at all times.
  • not getting her own way.
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8 month update 

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This month has been a big one, not only have we celebrated G’s first Christmas, which was utterly wonderful, and she’s been Tottally spoilt, nana and Grumps even got her an aeroplane!  and today I’m celebrating my first birthday as a dad, and I am feeling a lot less festive about it being my birthday, perhaps with my focus on G, it’s harder for me to enjoy getting older as I just want it to all to slow down so I can savour every moment. 
A lot of firsts have flown by this year, many in the last month!  And I feel my birthday is just another first that will fly by, but I hope to spend it with family, and playing cards against humanity (once little one is in bed), so I’m sure it’ll be a great day as I’m in good company.

Other firsts that have come and gone this month are her first TWO teeth coming through, they’re a bit like busses I found, wait ages for one and two come along at once, just in time for all the goodness of festive food and treats. She really did suffer for quite a while beforehand though, hopefully next time it will be easier as her first teeth can help cut the second lot through, here’s hoping anyway! 

She also had her first proper taste of chocolate, it is Christmas afterall! And it’s a time of joy and eating so I thought a little bit of milky way wouldn’t hurt, then we went to nana’s and discovered chocolate biscotti.. Woops.. 

She is starting to struggle with strangers now though, with not being able to see some members of family as often as I’d like she’s starting to cry if they hold her or get too close, something that breaks my heart to see her struggling with, but we try to power through and avoid taking her back straight away, but rather just make her laugh, smile, or simply console her from a bit further away to get her to feel safer around them when we are able to visit. It’s also because we’re starting to think about back to work plans, and thinking which ever we decide it will be easier for all of us if she was more accustomed to being left with more people, especially other care givers, such as a nanny or childminder or nursery worker.

We’ve both been working hard on CV’s, and I’ve really worked on updating my portfolio for my work and both been applying for jobs, so we’ve definitely been busy, especially with the washing machine not currently working (it’s being fixed but have to wait till new year for the part now) so wish us luck, (with jobs and washing machine alike) 

Also, we’ve been working a bit further with fixers on something this month, so keep your eyes open for more details about that!

Activities:

  • Enjoying her first Christmas 🎄 
  • Celebrating my 24th birthday with me today (or 21 with 3 years experience as I prefer to say)
  • Getting 2 teeth (bottom ones)
  • Having her first Giovanna and Dada weekend
  • visiting family

Skills:

  • Sitting, can hold herself upright completely by herself and can sometimes sits herself up when laying on her back.
  • Head Control is pretty well mastered now, and can even crane her head back to see whats above/behind her.
  • crawling, she gets very upset that she can’t do this yet still, but she does bum shuffle herself a little now.
  • Standing, she loves standing and will attempt it at any given opportunity, she weight bares very well and is so excited by the fact her feet and legs moving makes her go forward, but tends to look at them rather than straight ahead, but does either take steps or jump (whilst supported obviously)
  • She can roll over! both ways but usually front to back to escape tummy time, often she doesn’t bother as she tends to shout till we turn her instead… < still true she lasts longer if we lay with her and play her music though
  • grabbing, she is grabbing everything, passing tricky things from hand to hand and learning to get even the most slippery food to her mouth.
  • ‘talking’ she’s a right chatterbox, she can do all kinds of noises but mist importantly she can do Dada and daddy. Especially in the morning she starts whispering da da da da to the camera to get us up 😅 Her favorite right now is ‘uh oh’, everything is ‘uh oh’

Likes:

  • food, she’s still loving her food, all kinds of textures and tastes now, she goes mad for cauliflower cheese, banana and sneaky bits of chocolate.
  • Eevee (our dog) and George (parents dog) She will sit and watch them fascinated, she loves trying to stroke them (we just have to watch the grip, as Eevee is only little) But George loves it, he’s so in love with his baby and even lays down outside the door when she’s sleeping 😍
  • Music, anything to do with it mesmerises her.
  • Her wonderful Christmas presents she received, she was very spoilt.
  • stamping.
  • Screaming.
  • giggling.
  • Chatting
  • Daddies! (I’m pretty happy about this, we seem to amuse her to no end).
  • her own space, she can get irritable very quickly and will only be happy once she’s in her cot, chilling or usually sleeping.
  • Sleep, although she’s still having one or two bottles at night, but she does like to go back to sleep until at least 7am. (she takes after me like that thank God)
  • Mirrors or cameras, she loves either and will come out of a meltdown if she’s in front of a mirror or will instantly smile when she sees Ron taking a photo.

Dislikes:

  • waiting for things, particularly food now.
  • not being able to accomplish something RIGHT NOW.
  • too much noise or too many people, as she can get overwhelmed with having too much to look at and take in.
  • Not standing or sitting up doing things at all times.

6 & 7 month update 

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The last couple of months have been crazy, hence combining them. Last post I mentioned we should be moving, however, that has fallen through now, so Brighton you get to keep us, at least until new year.
Obviously that was disappointing and frustrating for everyone, although, it did make it easier to just focus on Ron and G, especially after Ron had his top surgery, which is essentially a double mastectomy with skin graft elements to re-create nips, so quite a big one, and he’s still healing now and he’s not a good patient as he hates resting and struggles with knowing his limits, so it’s felt a bit like balancing two babies at times, so in a way I’m glad I didn’t have the stress of moving on top of this.

However we were given a new washing machine and tumble dryer by my parents as they moved to a place with inbuilt white goods, which has made life immeasurably easier, and now our flat doesn’t look like a launderette 24/7 with all the washing! And thanks to my dad and uncle J for bringing them to us, I hope the coffee made up for the trip and the chuckle brothers act to get them upstairs (to you to me!)

We also celebrated Halloween with G’s first bit of cake which she had great fun squishing. Then it was Ron’s 24th birthday, it wasn’t much as he was still recovering from surgery.

For transgender day of remembrance (November 20th is the day to remember all trans persons lost that year) We went to Kent to see our wonderful deacon friend’s service, a touching and humbling as always, well needed to remain grounded, humble and grateful for all we have. We of course made a trip of it, (going to stay at my parents new house), which my parents of course loved as they got lots of G time, which G loves too, it’s wonderful to see them interact, especially as she is really getting into her own little spirit, she’s glasses stealing, dog loving little fireball this one.

However now the dishwasher has silently died and something is causing leaks for our downstairs neighbors, through the lights in their ceilings! but G has been an utter delight, her sounds and words are coming thick and fast, her current favorite is ‘uh oh’, everything is an ‘uh oh’ right now, it’s far too cute, but what’s better is that it all started with Dada, sitting on Ron and then throwing herself forward all at once, and shouted ‘Dada!’ right into his face, and she hasn’t stopped, since then she’s come out with: yeah, hi and then uh oh, I can’t wait to hear what she comes up with next! she really does make all the ‘uh oh’s’ in the last few months better.

Another one of the highlights of the last couple months was the babyshow at London olympia, we met so many lovely people, with beautiful products. (will do a post about some of my favourites later). We also got so much freebie food we’re still working through it weeks later!

So all in all this month was a busy one with lots of moving pieces, (and people)
here’s a summary of what little one has been up to for the last month:

Activities:

  • Completing her first term of swimming lessons with the wonderful Water Babies. (she even got her own little badge 😍)
  • Seeing Dada through top surgery
  • Celebrating Halloween
  • Dada’s birthday
  • visiting family
  • Going on adventures, like the baby show in London where we got lots of wonderful treats.
  • having her Halloween and Christmas photos taken.

Skills:

  • Sitting, can hold herself upright completely by herself and tries to sit herself up when laying on her back.
  • Head Control is pretty well mastered now, and can even crane her head back to see whats above/behind her.
  • crawling, she gets very upset that she can’t do this yet still, but she does bum shuffle herself a little now.
  • Standing, she loves standing and will attempt it at any given opportunity, she weight bares very well and is so excited by the fact her feet and legs moving makes her go forward, but tends to look at them rather than straight ahead, but does either take steps or jump (whilst supported obviously)
  • She can roll over! both ways but usually front to back to escape tummy time, often she doesn’t bother as she tends to shout till we turn her instead… < still true she lasts longer if I lay with her though
  • grabbing, she is grabbing everything, passing tricky things from hand to hand and learning to get even the most slippery food to her mouth.
  • ‘talking’ she’s a right chatterbox, she can do all kinds of noises but mist importantly she can do Dada and daddy. Especially in the morning she starts whispering da da da da to the camera to get us up 😅 Her favorite right now is ‘uh oh’, everything is ‘uh oh’

Likes:

  • food, she’s loving trying foods, now we have her milk sorted its back to the food, which we’re all excited about, she’s been exploring all sorts of new tastes thanks to the freebies we got from the babyshow.
  • Eevee (our dog) and George (parents dog) She will sit and watch them fascinated, she loves trying to stroke them (we just have to watch the grip, as Eevee is only little) But George loves it, he’s so in love with his baby and even lays down outside the door when she’s sleeping 😍
  • Her car walker that Nana and Grumps got her as she can move it around now backwards and sideways only so far but she loves it.
  • Her Vtech penguin toy and pop up surprise ball.
  • stamping.
  • Screaming.
  • giggling.
  • Chatting
  • Daddies! (I’m pretty happy about this, we seem to amuse her to no end).
  • her own space, she can get irritable very quickly and will only be happy once she’s in her cot, chilling or usually sleeping.
  • Sleep, although she’s been a bit more awake lately but I think that’s just her growing up 😭
  • Mirrors or cameras, she loves either and will come out of a meltdown if she’s in front of a mirror or will instantly smile when she sees Ron taking a photo.
  • Attention and chatting, almost no matter who comes up to her and starts talking about how beautiful she is she will give them a massive smile in return.

Dislikes:

  • waiting for things, particularly food now.
  • not being able to accomplish something RIGHT NOW.
  • too much noise or too many people, as she can get overwhelmed with having too much to look at and take in.
  • Not standing or sitting up doing things at all times.

Were we Wowed? our Review of the Cosatto Wow

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Deciding on a pram is a bit of ordeal, at least in our case, the pram we chose had to be something incredibly special to buy new. Ultimately we had a Bugaboo bee (09) that was on it’s way out, and we needed a replacement.

Why choose Cosatto? Well the deciding factors for the Wow for us was the one handed control of almost everything: handle height control, sitting the seat up or laying it down, even the carrycot you can lift with one hand! Plus the fact it was a travel system, and can be parent facing or world facing, it would grow with her until 15kg, we loved the pattern and it had 4 year warranty, and even if that ran out it would probably be pretty easy to get it fixed or replacement parts, Something that was an issue with our first pram. Also, in comparison to our bee: it was still compact but taller, with bigger back wheels, which we love. The only reasons we could only fault the bee was how small the wheels are; as it makes it harder to mount curbs or even get onto a bus with; and the fact it was so low down. We found the extra height really brings her closer to us, and makes it feel safer. Also she is at a better height for looking around at the world now, which she loves, we sat her up on the bus and she could see peoples faces and look us in the eye for a change, she was so excited by this.

Another big deciding factor was the excellent deal we got on a Wow package with matching car-seat from Pram Centre, it worked out even less than the Bee, but included an attachable car-seat. Unfortunately due to the popularity of the wow (especially in fox tale apparently) they were all out of stock and we had to wait about a month just for the pram to come in stock and be shipped and a while longer for the car seat, but the customer service people I discussed this with on Pram Centre were really friendly and quick (I’ve never been answered so quickly on an online chat service). I even received a further discount for the delay in the delivery, which I thought was very generous of them. Plus I quite like the design of their website, it actually works! (sorry, designer brain taking over here). 

Once we got the pram we were able to find other little things we love about it: like the peepo hole in the hood, the movable foot rest, and the extendable hood. We also love how easy the wheels come off to clean and the ginormous basket. Mostly we love how it’s molded to us and our lifestyle after a little while of using it, it just fits like a glove now.

However, there are some things we miss about the bee, the fact it was so small it only took one of us to lift it and the baby upstairs in one fell swoop, how small it folds up and how it took up no space at all on a bus or train, so if we came across a bus with only a tiny space for a pram. for example, the other day we had to fold down the pram, as the pram space was pretty full and we were just a bit too big. However, it was easy enough to fold down and put in the storage area, then put back up again when the area cleared. Much more simple than I’d feared it’d be. I had a vision of all the passengers on the bus watching and tutting, whilst I made a mess and fumbled with this pram and a suitcase, taking ages and getting in the way. On the contrary, It was far smoother, and quicker than I thought, and no one was harmed! I even got a compliment from an older gentleman saying how I handled it well. Although, I feel it was more down to the pram being so well designed, even if it’s not more compact than the bee, I’d say it’s easier to fold down if you don’t take the seat unit off. and it’s probably more flat if you’re just folding the frame and using the car-seat.

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The attachable car seat wasn’t really in our list of specifications as we don’t drive, however, it is supposed to fit up to a year and does make it easier get the pram and baby up stairs without bumping it up, as we don’t want to damage the pram, especially with the telescopic handle. We don’t want to tug on that too much as I feel it wouldn’t last as long as it should. I like that it matches the pram perfectly and does well for short trips out and about, and she seems to mostly be quite happy with it. Especially now we’ve realized she’s too big to have the extra padded wedge, and removed it. So she’s sitting up a bit straighter and her chin isn’t on her chest (something we were worried about with car seats), it still has a bit of padding and a really nice comfy looking head rest. It would probably we wonderful for someone who drove around a lot with little one, only to get them out put them in a pram and wander round. However the main use for us right now is to make it easier to transfer her and the pram upstairs, if we’re alone we still have to make two trips (the second with her in the cot with the video monitor on), but if there’s both of us its nice and simple.

Overall we love it, it fits most of our long list of specifications, looks great feels just as good and seems safe and sturdy enough for quite a few more years yet. The basket is a life saver and really holds a crazy amount of stuff, the one handed controls work really well and pretty seamlessly. For example, I can raise the handle bar with one hand whilst moving, it’s fantastic. However the foot rest button is a little stiff at first but once you’re used to using it, it’s just as easy. It’s probably not quite as smooth at moving or turning as a Bugaboo, but it’s barely noticeable, however the size difference is definitely noticeable, the bee is more compact, but I really haven’t found an issue yet, even when folding it down to fit into a boot. It does take a bit more time and strategic thinking if you have a few things to fit in, but I’d say I could fit just a much into my mums boot, especially if you just pop the back wheels off, which is the bulkiest part, but necessary for handling buses, curbs, stairs – everything the bee really struggled with honestly.

With all this considered I really Recommend this pram, I would probably give it about an 7 out of 10.

We love almost everything, but the car seat adapters could be better, they don’t seem as solid and well designed as the rest of the pram and car seat, and for a combined cost of £775 from Cosatto, I’d really expect more for the price. However, I paid £550, well £495 after the generous 10% discount from the lovely people at Pram Centre, so I am really not too disappointed, if I had paid full price I’d be far more upset. Another down point is that I don’t think there’s a simple way of removing the fabrics to wash them easily, but they could definitely withstand a good scrub whilst on the frame if it came to it. Also Like I said, it’s not as smooth as the Bugaboo, or as compact and lightweight, so it can take 2 trips to get up the stairs if we are at home, we will be looking into getting a stick pram when she is bigger, probably the Supa Go (in Space Racer) from Cosatto, as we are now Cosatto converts, as we love their quality and style. Overall I found a total bargain and we are in love with this pram, I think it is adaptable to pretty much any family, country or city living, fitting in a small boot or hopping on a bus, it will take on anything you throw at it.

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The Travel system and matching accessories

*please note this review doesn’t include any use of the carry cot unit (as G was too big for it once we had bought it), the foot muff or changing bag. The changing bag will be discussed separately, and we don’t own the footmuff. 

 

Specs:
Suitable from birth up to 15kg (4 years approx.)
Seat unit suitable from 6 months to 4 years approx.
0-6 months carrycot.
Compatible with Port 0+ car seat. (Sold separately).
From-birth carrycot with comfy mattress, carry handle and removable washable liner.
‘In or out’ facing pushchair seat lets them bond with you or enjoy the view. 
Deep comfy pushchair seat for a supportive snuggle.
Seat structured and upholstered for ultra comfort.
Headhugger, chest pads and tummy pad. This is comfort.
The original Cosatto raincover.
Rubber skin all-terrain wheels.
Super sized basket with handy compartments for all your bits, bobs and big stuff. Thank us later.
Compact, easy-fold lightweight aluminium chassis – because you don’t need heave-ho when you’re on the go. 
Removable bumper bar with padded cover. Hinged for easy cuddle access.  
Telescopic leatherette handle lets you adjust the handle height for comfort. Tall or small, just walk happy.
Handy one-handed top recline button and one hand adjustable seat unit calf support. Handy when you’ve got a handful.
One-hand release carrycot. Gotta hand it to Wow.
Exquisite tailoring. This is Cosatto craftsmanship.
Fresh air panel for a breeze when you please.
Seat unit has hood with extendable sun visor and toy loops. Entertaining and protective.
Quick-release easy-clean removable wheels. Pop ‘em off. Whizz ‘em under the tap. Faff-free.
UPF50+ protection sunshade hood. Vital, splendid and highly adjustable.
All-round suspension for a smoother ride.
Lockable front swivel wheels for tight spots.
Conforms to EN1888:2012 & BS 1466:2004 + A1:2007 (carrycot only).

Weight and size:

Weight of chassis – 4.9kg.
Weight of carrycot – 4.8kg.
Weight of pushchair unit – 2.26kg.

Size – Lx89cm, Wx58cm, Hx96cm.
Folded size – Lx82cm, W-58cm, Hx31cm.

Information credited to:
https://www.cosatto.com/shop/travel-systems/wow/fox-tale

SkipHop Activity Centre Review

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This was something I stumbled upon whilst searching on the internet for a Jumperoo type toy, as she was trying to stand and do things at any given opportunity, and she loved her taster of the Jungle style Jumperoo at FizzyPeaches’ house. So went into my bargain hunting mode to look for something similar, and lo and behold The SkipHop 3 in 1 Activity Centre popped up on the google shopping page.

Long story short I fell in love with it, the colours, theme and style, everything about it was beautifully clean, modern and fun looking. It suited us down to a T, so much so in fact, we recently noticed it matches pretty much everything we have for her, especially her toys. Something completely unplanned, but it does give us a weird sense of satisfaction. Another thing that interested us was the quality of of this brands products, we already had a fox toy for her from SkipHop which we loved for the quality and cuteness of the toy, so well made and she loves it too!

The only thing we weren’t so in love with was the price-tag, no matter how hard I bargain hunted I couldn’t find this much cheaper than the original UK price of £135, so when we decided this was an investment, we started saving up, as it would be used for years to come (hopefully). Luckily we found a money off voucher for Jojomamanbebe, and ordered it from there just in time for her 4th month birthday.

When it arrived we were so excited, it was like Christmas in August. At first she loved exploring the toys, but we were worried/disheartened when she lost interest/got tired out very quickly, she seemed to like it but would shout to come out after 5-10 minutes. We think it was just so much hard work for her to just hold herself up, let alone play with the toys. Now she’s nearing  6 months and we’ve had it less than 2 months, and I can safely say she uses it pretty much everyday, it entertains her for ages as she’s learned to turn herself to get to the different toys, and I’ve learnt to put other toys on the table, like her truck of stacking blocks, so she can reach and grab and bash them easily. Also her Vtech ball fits nicely on the viewing window so she can roll it back and forth and press buttons until her heart is content. She also loves to throw things off it and play stamping on the platform bit. It was an absolute godsend when we had to stay in for about 3 weeks straight, avoiding any baby groups for fear of her having a tummy bug that she could pass to other babies, (turned out to be milk intolerance) I think without it we would have struggled with our sanity.

Now for the downsides, the keyboard seems like a great idea, as she loves her Vtech keyboard play mat, however, she doesn’t seem to be able to reach it with her feet much yet and doesn’t seem that interested when it’s on the table, it’s also really quiet so she doesn’t even really notice if she presses it, so I’m thinking it’s something she’ll have to grow into. Another downside is that it attracts dog hair, fluff and dust like a magnet, and the whiteness of it shows no mercy, but it is super quick and easy to remove and wipe over any of the components, even the seat fabric, which has stood the test against a poonami and won. Although if you’re looking at it for the keyboard, it just plays techno versions of nic nak paddy wack give a dog a bone and remix noises when on the song modes, which is cool, and fun for me to play with for a minute, but it’s going to be a little while before she appreciates it more than her all singing all dancing ball, if at all. The rest of the toys are great though, she’s just annoyed she can’t pull the cloud into her mouth yet, so I put things she can pick up and do that with on the table to keep her happy, for example, Sophie Giraffe.

Overall, we still love it, we think perhaps 4 months might have been too early to expect full use of it, but getting used to that type of sitting and upright play takes time, so it’s still worth getting and building little ones tolerance to it slowly I’d say. If you’re thinking the toys on the table will be enough, you might have to think again. This isn’t all bad however, as her co-ordination of picking things up and negotiating them to her mouth has come on leaps and bounds. She even re-stacked two boxes inside each other the other day! unfortunately not in the right size order, or when I was watching, but I’ll cut her slack for now.

I’d give this product a 8/10 – as the keyboard, the something the table is mainly designed around, is so quiet and uninteresting right now, and also the price is incredibly high for a kids table/walker, you are essentially paying for the brand name, and the unique combination of style, Jumperoo and table here, but for us the combination works well, and also we live in a flat, and it saves our neighbors from having their ceiling jumped on constantly, and it can fold away nice an compact if we ever need to put it away, so far we haven’t needed too as it looks so nice in our living-room, we can leave it out when we have our nightly toy clear up, and even with extra toys on and it still looks tidy, and not at all like her toys are invading our grown-up chill out time.

Overview

Designed in collaboration with a pediatrician, our baby activity center supports a “whole body” approach to play and learning. Easy to assemble, with toys that can be positioned anywhere for baby, it features a 360-degree rotating seat that turns and stretches for bouncing. Our unique Discovery Window lets baby see their feet while they play to learn cause and effect. As baby grows, our activity center converts for easy cruising-ultimately becoming a clean, sturdy table for coloring, playing and more.

  • Ages 4m+
  • Three stages of use: Sit, swivel, bounce & play; Cruise & interact; Play table
  • 25+ developmental activities
  • Discovery Window lets baby see piano and their feet while playing
  • Clip-on toys can be positioned based on baby’s abilities
  • Converts to a play table with a smooth, seamless surface
  • 360-degree rotating seat that stretches for bouncing and includes toy loops to attach toys
  • Musical, light-up piano with three ways to play: piano mode, song mode and motion sensor mode
  • Peek-a-boo owl pops out and hoots
  • Spring cloud with colorful beads
  • Swaying trees move back and forth
  • Hedgehog bead chaser with spinner
  • Includes suction bee snack bowl; dishwasher-safe
  • Foot support platform adjusts to the perfect height
  • Legs detach for easy storage

Details

  • Phthalate free

  • Size (inches): 31l x 31w x 18.5h; (cm): 79l x 79w x 47h
  • 3 AAA Batteries required (not included)

  • Suction snack bowl is dishwasher safe

  • Batteries required

  • Dishwasher safe

Development Values

25+ Developmental activities

3 stages for use: sit-in swivel seat; cruising table & toys; play table

6 detachable items: suction snack bowl, hooting owl, cloud & beads, hedgehog bead chaser, swaying trees

Musical light up piano with play modes

 

Information credited to:
https://www.kidly.co.uk/products/skip-hop/3-stage-activity-centre/4545?gclid=CjwKCAjwyIHPBRAIEiwAHPS-GJbUciTnWOwGKK-nF1YMBIYR10yMRmg5MBoxJyW4-Ao-X6E8WhromBoCZlcQAvD_BwE
https://youtu.be/S4cMoM2nzp8
http://www.skiphop.com/skiphop-diaper-bags-20-off-promotion/V_303325.html

4 & 5 month update!

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Opps, we’ve been a bit snowed under by life the last couple of months so I’ve decided to combine G’s 4 & 5 month update.

Well we’ve had lots of ups and downs in the last couple of months, I went to a family wedding in August, which was wonderful to see family I haven’t seen in a while and let my hair down, while Ron took G. It was my first time away from G for a whole day, and I missed her lots but I got to have some great one on one time with family and he got to have a lovely Dada and G day, she even got to meet her great great aunt from Australia! It gave me a bizarre feeling of missing a part of me though, Ron did send me lots of updates and pictures of her being totally spoilt, which made me chuckle and helped me to feel less guilty at leaving her. It was well needed though as I’d found my anxiety had been mounting, and I was able to discuss how I had been feeling with my mum and sisters, which really helped and gave me confidence, and helped me feel supported and less alone going into a round of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) that I’d referred myself to as I felt myself struggling with anxiety after G was born, constantly imagining and worrying about tripping and falling whilst holding her etc. It was really getting me down, so I decided to get some help with coping mechanisms, I’m still doing sessions but it’s going really well.

Soon after the wedding we got some very sad news about a family member and we’ve gone through a very emotional patch, but we’ve the best team mate in each other and the most beautiful and happy little girl, we are incredibly lucky. Shortly after we decided the best thing for us all was to move back to Kent, to be closer to family. We’re a bit heartbroken to be leaving East Sussex, as we’ve made wonderful friends, we love our cosy flat and it’s so lovely to be in such an LGBT friendly area, we’re definitely going to miss it here, but this seems to be the best move for our family right now.

However, how our family might be treated in different areas is something we discussed in our fixers project. Fixers is a national lottery funded charity that provides people to raise awareness and try to fix issues that they face. Mine is about same sex and trans parents, and how we’re just like any other family. (This should air on ITV Thursday the 12th of October) Which I am excited but nervous about, fingers crossed it all goes well!

 

We’ve also invested in a new pram, the Cosatto Wow in Fox Tale, which we love, and obviously we’ve been taking it out here and there, especially on our trip to London, which had some really positive moments, like both of our GIC (Gender Identity Clinic) appointments going well and me being given the go ahead for Testosterone, as soon as my bloods are okay-ed and prescription has been sent to my GP, so I’m hoping within a month as it can be a bit slow, but i’m still excited, although I haven’t much time to think about it much as Ron’s top surgery was brought forward due to a cancellation, and therefore he will have it on the 23rd of October! So yeah, very crazy month this month, lots to look forward to not only Testosterone, Ron’s surgery and packing to move (hopefully around December 12th) we’re going to see one of our favorite bands Reel Big Fish, as an anniversary gift to ourselves, which means the first night away from G (I might be a bit of a mess, but I’ll let you know). We’re also going to the Baby Show, on Sunday the 22nd of October. We went last year when I was 12 weeks pregnant, and it was a lot of fun so we decided to go again.

Whew… just writing all of this out makes me wonder if we’re a little mad, but as Ron and I say “it’ll be alright, we’re team B and we can take on anything.”

here’s a summary of what little one has been up to for the last couple of months:

Activities:

  • having swimming lessons with the wonderful Water Babies
  • meeting her aunties Boo Boo and Warley (they were living abroad)
  • learning to pet the dog (she tries to grab eyes etc. poor Eevee is wonderful with her though)
  • visiting family
  • Going on adventures in her new pram, including one to London where she got to visit the Disney store.
  • lots of home play time with Papi as we thought she might have a bug, turns out it was milk intolerance.
  • lots of trips to the Dr to figure out a plan to deal with a milk intolerance that came to a head.

Skills:

  • Sitting, getting stronger but still likes to fold herself forward.
  • Head Control is almost perfect, a few headbutts here and there, but can lift her head whilst lying on her back!
  • crawling, gives it a good go, legs and bum are starting to get into motion but her head and arms need to catch up.
  • Standing, she loves standing and will attempt it at any given opportunity, she weigh bares pretty well and has attempted steps. fully supported of course.
  • She can roll over! both ways but usually front to back to escape tummy time, often she doesn’t bother as she tends to shout till we turn her instead…
  • grabbing, thanks to her 4th leap (if you don’t know what this means check out the wonder weeks) she has been mastering smooth transitions, meaning she can get things in her mouth better now and she can play with toys easier, especially her rattle and ball. She now also grabs our faces in the sweetest most loving way, even if it can get a little rough. I’ve never been so pleased to have my nose grabbed!
  • ‘Talking’, she has learnt lots of new noises and uses them anytime, whether it’s chatting to us over breakfast, or chatting to herself and/or toys, or best yet chatting with Nana over video chat <3. Her favorite new noise is a wonderful strangled screech that she can produce at a shocking volume for a surprisingly long time. Lovely.

Likes:

  • food, she’s loving trying foods, particularly Ella’s kitchen fruit pouches turned into ice lollies, and watermelon. (although breaks are on with food as we’re introducing a new formula to deal with the dairy intolerance).
  • Eevee (our dog) She will sit and watch her fascinated, the dog has become a great distraction when little G is a bit distressed, she loves trying to stroke her (we just have to watch the grip, as Eevee is only little).
  • Her car walker that Nana and Grumps got her.
  • Her Vtech penguin toy and pop up surprise ball.
  • Her SkipHop activity center as it matches and holds her penguin, and gives her somewhere to easily roll her ball.
  • stamping.
  • Screaming.
  • giggling.
  • Daddies! (I’m pretty happy about this, we seem to amuse her to no end).
  • her own space, she can get irritable very quickly and will only be happy once she’s in her cot, chilling or usually sleeping.
  • Sleep, we’re so lucky that she definitely takes after me, she hates mornings and if she could, she would probably send herself back to bed after breakfast till lunch. (instead she grumbles until I do it for her, usually around 9-10am, depending on if she woke up at 7 or 8am, we are incredibly blessed I know)
  • Mirrors or cameras, she loves either and will come out of a meltdown if she’s in front of a mirror or will instantly smile when she sees Ron taking a photo.
  • Paw Patrol, My Little pony and Peppa Pig seem to really catch her interest right now.
  • Attention and chatting, almost no matter who comes up to her and starts talking about how beautiful she is she will give them a massive smile in return.

Dislikes:

  • waiting for things, particularly milk.
  • Her new milk 😦
  • not being able to accomplish something RIGHT NOW.
  • too much noise or too many people, as she can get overwhelmed with having too much to look at and take in.

 

Taf Toys Sun Shade Review

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We found this by chance whilst browsing in our local Jojomamanbebe, we were in need of something to block the sun, at the time we had our Bugaboo Cameleon (original not 3) and we were getting a lot of sun in the carry cot. We were planning to look in Mothercare for the standard parasol, but as soon as we saw this adorable little cloud we had to have it. we knew there was issues with parasols attaching to the pram, and once attached there’s issues providing adequate coverage of the pram, so that you have to fiddle with it every time you change direction. No wonder most parents resort to the age old method of clipping a blanket to your pram or car seat, but personally I was too worried about the heat being trapped, as I’d read an article on it just recently.

So when we spotted this adorable little cloud, we were definitely curious. so we opened the zip and pulled out the beautifully neutral sun shade, decorated with calming clouds with a simple mesh viewing hole, that has a cover that can be pulled down for complete coverage or easily left open for a constant view of your little one. We found it to be a light breathable material, with perfectly designed clips to hold on to any pram, car seat, or or even to be put over the car window if you’re lacking a window shade. it was a great rounded rectangular shape that covers any pram, but allows a breeze rather than completely blocking the air as well as the light, whilst holding fast, no matter the breeze. But what really sold it was how great it looked, the rainbow pin wheels with the adorable cloud matched her favorite pram toy almost exactly and we just knew she’d love it.

We paid £25 I believe, but we use it pretty much daily with the pram, or car seat, it’s more versatile and less faff than a parasol, and it’s safer than any muslin or blanket. Plus she loves the pin wheels, she still watches them, fascinated, months later. It has also helped us in situations where she wants to shut off the world because she’s over stimulated, she’d be really stressed and fussy and unable to sleep, we had her white noise on, but it wasn’t until we pulled the sun shade out that she was able to fall asleep. But on the flip side, as soon as she wants to look around and enjoy the world it goes back into the cloud so easily! you can literally just shove it in, zip it up and keep moving. It’s so simple, but it’s been a total life saver, especially as we really like to see her at all times, the mesh hole is excellent for peering in without disturbing her, and you can easily pull the shade to the side a bit to replace a dummy, or whatever.

Overall I’d give it 9/10 it’s pretty much perfect, we really do struggle to find faults with this product. However, it loses a point as sometimes tiny slivers of light can peer in from the top or side, it may just be our pram but the clips are a bit large – creating a gap between pram hood and shade. But this is because the clips need to be universal, and the gaps make me feel as though it is safer, as air can still circulate easily. So this is definitely us being picky. We love it, more importantly she loves it and it works, well worth the price tag as its really high quality and looks as though it will last, we haven’t had to wash it yet, but it seems like it will stand up to it.

If you want to know more about the product  here is some information from Taf Toys about it:

Overview

  • stroller shade with a cloud pouch and hanging shapes for baby’s shading, fun and entertainment when strolling along
  • for Easier Outdoors and Easier Parenting!

Details

  • 50+ UPF UVA/UVB
  • easy to fix on pram, stroller or car seat
  • cloud pouch for storing the shade when not in use

Development Values

colorful hanging shapes for baby’s senses development and entertainment when strolling along
Photograph and information credited to:
http://www.taftoys.com/tafproduct/playful-sun-shade-11965/