Activities for :

The Summer Holidays:Trips to the park-This is what my family always spend a lot of time doing-it’s a free activity that all of my children enjoy and the added bonus is that it uses up lots of energy-always a bonus in my busy house.
Den making-The 3 middle children tend to be the ones that do this together,they usually find a sheet or blanket and put it up over a chair in the lounge then spend ages sitting underneath plying role-play games-quite often it seems to be Mum’s and Dad’s or Schools.
Library visit-This is always a great activity for the Summer Holidays even though it’s great all year round,choosing their own books to read gives my children a sense of being independent.They enjoy making decisions for themselves.
Playing in the back garden-We are lucky to have a small Trampoline and a Sand and Water play table which the kids love playing with together.We only have a small garden and we have a raised bed where we grow our own vegetables.We haven’t grown quite so much this year as we did last year but we have had some strawberries,potatoes,onions and we are waiting for the tomatoes to grow at the moment.
Catching up with family and friends-As much as we try to do this as often as possible it is made easier during the Summer holiday’s due to the lack of time restraints.During term time,as you can imagine I am tied to the children’s school times and don’t often venture too far.
Preparation for the Autumn termNew uniforms and shoes,stationary-This year I’m feeling quite chuffed with myself as I’ve already got most of my 4 year old’s new school uniform,just need socks,pants and new shoes then she’s ready for the beginning of her school life.My 8 year old daughter just needs some socks,shoes, a couple new pairs of trousers,a new lunchbox,stationary and polo shirts.My eldest son is off to Secondary school,I need a couple more pairs of trousers for him,another jumper,polo shirts,shoes,stationary and a rugby top.I have been buying bits and pieces over the past few weeks so I won’t have to go and get everything in 1 final last minute rush.This year will be more expensive than usual as I’ve got 2 children starting new schools.I’m both anxious and excited for both of them.

Rainy Days:Art and craft activities – Craft activities such as junk modelling are always popular in our house-we always start a collection of bottles,boxes,toilet roll tubes and yoghurt pots,finger painting.

Younger childrenTrips to a soft play centre-We tend to do this more during term time when the older children are at school.Toy cars-My 2 year old son is mad on vehicles,Car’s in particular he loves nothing more than to sit on the floor with his cars making them move.For his Christmas present we bought him all sorts but I think we should have just bought him lots of cars to play with and a big box.Lots of snuggles-This is a given for all ages but little ones don’t get embarrassed or shrug you off. I’m lucky as all of my children are affectionate and vocal in expressing their thoughts and feelings.Sharing books-This has becomes more difficult as the children have got older as I used to read a lot more to the children,it is something I feel is very important and we really do need to make an effort to do it more.

Older children:Cinema trips-We recently saw Dispicable me at the cinema in 3D and Thanks to the lovely people at Skyrewards we only paid a small booking fee and a small charge for 3D glasses-all in all it cost less than a fiver for me and 3 children to get 4 cinema tickets-what a bargain.It would have been even more of a bargain if I hadn’t spent so much on snacks and drinks but hey the tickets were cheap.Out and about with their friends-tommorow my 11 year old is meeting up with his friend and they are going to the local park.I’m giving him some money for lunch and drinks. It’s the first time he’s done anything like this with his mates before and I hope it will become a regular thing as I feel he spends too much time indoors.
Camping-When kids are little they are happy with playing in the garden in a tent or playhouse during the day,as they get older it can be fun for them to sleep in the tent overnight.

Free Activities:Library visitFor us we are hoping this will be a fun,free, family activity that will encourage all of the children to have respect for and a lifelong love for books and reading.
Picnic in the Park-This is a great fun activity for kids of all ages,all I take is a blanket,sandwiches,plenty of drinks,crisps,fruit and biscuits.It can be fun at the local park,the beach,in the garden and we’ve even been known to have an indoor picnic on our lounge carpet if the weather’s bad.
Paddling poolThis is an activity that all ages can have fun doing in the garden,it encourages confidence in the water but requires constant supervision.
Baking cakes-We are constantly making cakes in my house-Mainly the basic fairy cakes or Victoria Sponge cakes,with Strawberry Jam and Buttercream in the middle.We occasionally make scones or Carrot Cake and we have a Breadmaker,which I use occasionally-I really should use it more.The kids all enjoy decorating the cakes once they have cooled down.
Film nights TV isn’t all bad,sometimes it gives me a chance to get on and do something and all of the children like watching films. My 2 year old is a huge fan of Toy Story and would watch it every day if I let him.My 4 year old loves Peppa Pig,Dora the Explorer and Sponge Bob Square Pants.My 8 year old daughter is getting more grown up and current favourites include any music channel,The House of Anubis and ICarly. My eldest will watch pretty much anything from Action movies,comedies to cartoons. One of the great things about having a large family is seeing how different they all are and how much they look out for each other,they will never be lonely and always have someone to talk to and confide in.

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Hello,Thank-you and my week so far

I have just noticed that there have been rather a lot of reviews on here recently so I thought I’d right a post to say a huge big Thank you to all my readers/subscribers for all the entries in my competitions I am currently holding.  The HotPants Giveaway finishes at midnight tonight so I’ll be adding all entries into random.org tonight and a winner will be anounced along with screenshots of the draw in the morning.  Initially I didn’t have many entries but as the closing date has got closer and people found more out about what the Hotpants are for,I received lots more entries.Thank you to everyone that has entered and also to those of you that read my ramblings.  This blog has become another of my babies and I feel very proud of what I have achieved to date.

I haven’t had as much time as usual for personal blog posts as I’ve had a manic week.  My eldest son had his last ever school trip at his Junior school,he visited a local ski centre and a country park for the day and had a great time.  My 2 eldest children had their sports day this week so I had 2 mornings watching them participate in various races.  My 4 year old had a great week at Pre-school,not long now before big school.I’m going to be a bit sad to be honest.My children are all growing up way too quickly for my liking and I have found girl’s especially don’t want to stay little girls for long.  They,like I was at their age are in such a hurry to grow up.

Last night my 8 year old had a sleepover at school,the aim being to prepare the kids to be away from home ready for school trips.  I packed her off at 5.30pm with a lovely new Pink sleeping bag,a Pillow,some snacks,clothes,toothbrush and toothpaste and away she went.  We now know who creates the chaos in our house.  It was so quiet and calm-too quiet for my liking.  She has been away from home on occasion stayiing at friends or my dad’s for the night and she is very grown up and sensible but I still find it difficult when any of my children aren’t at home.  I am a born worry wort and like knowing where my children are and what they are up to.  That said,she has come home today,quite tired but she had a lovely time with her teachers and friends.

This summer is the end of an era for 2 of m y children and that makes me both sad and excited.Sad for them to be leaving places they have learnt so much but excited that they are progressing up to the next stage of their educational journey’s.  I aim to make the most of this summer and do as much as I can with them.

Teen Bling necklace review

Amy at the funday trying out her Teen Bling

Amy,my 8 year old daughter has recently taken part in a product review for Teen Bling.The product comes from http://www.smartmumuk.com ,the team behind Teething Bling.The necklace she received was called Verry Berry Pink -a very good start and was Berry scented.The first day she wore the necklace we were at a local funday. She received lots of compliments,from family members and her friends.She finds it comfortable to wear,unlike beaded jewellery it doesn’t get caught up in her hair.She has to have a tooth removed tommorow and is going to wear her necklace when she goes to show her dentist.The cord is the same as on the Teething Bling necklace I have previously reviewed.It has a breakaway safety clasp and the pendant is made of the same material.My daughter loves the colour and style of the necklace  and the scent is an added bonus.She’d wear it everywhere given the chance.Teen Bling costs from £12.95 for the necklace we were sent and prices start at £8.95 for Bracelets,or you can choose a gift set of necklace and bracelet,prices for these start at £19.95. I feel this is a good price for a well made product that will definitely last longer than most of my daughters’ other items of fashion jewellery.

Baby show and similar events

I’d love to try to organise and/or work alongside a company to arrange some sort of Baby/family event nearer to where I live.The closest big City is Southampton.I know it’s only an hour or so from London but feel it could be something worth looking into.I have no idea where to start so any information would be greatly received.

2 year old that won’t settle at night

Since moving our 3 boys into the largest room a couple weeks ago we’ve had no end of trouble trying to get our 2 year old to settle at night.It’s almost like he thinks there is too much for him to see and do,so he won’t sleep.We’ve tried putting him up to bed extra early so he can play for a while,reading to him.No matter what we try he wont go to sleep until around 11pm,by which time I’m exhausted.As he is now sharing bunk beds with his older brother our main concern is his safety.He has figured out how to climb up to the top bunk,so now my heart is in my mouth until he finally falls asleep.That and the fact that baby Ethan thinks 6am is now a good time to wake up makes for a very tired mummy.I am just pleased that the insomnia I have suffered with for periods of my adult life is not currently an issue.Mind you I really shouldn’t speak too soon.I might try taking him upstairs to play during the day so his room becomes less of a novelty.It’s worth a try.At this stage I’ll give anything a shot.

Tongue Tied

Does anyone have experience or information about Tongue Tied children that weren’t snipped as babies?I am writing this post after yet another choking experience.My son is now 2 and I feel that he should have had his snipped as a tiny baby.Due to the fact I wasn’t breastfeeding and my lack of information concerning tongue ties,it was not done.I was offered an operation when my son was over 6 months old (After visiting and discussing the choking with my GP)but this would have meant a General Anaesthetic which I personally am not keen on for children under a year unless absolutely necessary.During weaning we had a lot of problems with my son often choking,not gagging on his food.This still happens now and I am convinced my son’s tongue tie is at least partially responsible.I may be wrong but none of my other children have had anything similar happen at any time.The difference is highlighted at the moment as I am currently weaning my 6 month old son and he is managing lumpier food now than that which my 2-year-old could manage at a year old.The main advice from health professionals has been to continue giving lumpy foods and we’ve been told my son is a lazy eater and doesn’t chew well enough.This may well be the case but I feel if I was provided with quality information and an option to have his tongue snipped as a newborn I wouldn’t be so confused.I think that when you are having subsequent children you are left to your own devices by health professionals and problems can be missed.I understand that Health Visitor’s resources are stretched a lot but it would still be good for regular checks to not just be an option,as seem’s to often be the case.

Starting new Schools.

In September my youngest daughter will be starting at the local infant school.She has only recently turned Four so I am slightly anxious.She still often has a nap after pre-school.As confident as she is I am definitely more nervous about her starting than I was with her older brother and sister as they were both almost 5 when they started school.So far she has visited her school 3 times over the past couple weeks. Yesterday I dropped her off for the afternoon and she went last Thursday and today with pre-school.Both of our local primary schools have had new Head teacher’s this year and I have to say from what I have seen so far I am impressed.I think my daughter will be fine,if not a bit tired.I have decide to stagger her start to full time education rather than have her start fulltime by the second week.This mean’s she will go to school part-time until the October half-term.By November she will be full time.I am glad I was given the option and feel I made the right decision for my child.

Another huge change for our family occur’s in September when my eldest son starts Secondary school.He’s a good,sensible boy but I do worry about him.So far he has been bullied during the start of his experience at infant and Junior school.He has become a lot more confident over the past year or so and I am very proud of him.He is quite tall for his age and has bigger feet than me already.I know he will almost be an adult by the time he leaves school and he will go through so many changes over the next few years.He will always be my little pickle though.Last summer I did well with my bargain hunting via my weekly email from http://www.moneysavingexpert.com and managed to book a 5 day summer camp for the amazing price of £79  (including transport,food and all activites) He has been away regularly as he stays with his dad every other weekend so he is used to being away from home,however he did miss us all and phoned a few times which was lovely.The camp was at Osmington Bay near Weymouth at a PGL centre.The main benefit I felt was that my usually reserved son made friends quickly and took part in activities which he wouldn’t have otherwise.

Silent Sunday

Choosing a name for your child

This is a subject every parent has at least some experience of.How do people choose a name for their child? Before I had my eldest son(now 11 ) titanic was a big film,as a result he is called Jack(Would have been Kayla if he’d have been a girl), along with many more boys than I ever expected.Jack was the most popular boys name for a long time,before and after my son was born.When I had my 2nd child,she was originally going to be called Jade but I went off that name so asked my son,who was 2 at the time to think of some names-he chose Amy,I now have a beautiful 8-year-old daughter called Amy(She would have been Thomas if she was a boy).My 3rd child is Faith,a name I will always love and it really suits her,she has dark Red/Auburn hair and has a magnetic personality to match.We decided upon that name after reading it in a baby name book,it was set out alphabetically and was the first name that both my husband and I liked. My 4th child is Dylan(Had he been a girl he would have been called Lexie),the name we chose for Faith had she been a boy and our youngest is Ethan.(He’d have been called Destiny had he been a girl)All except for my eldest have middle names and Faith has 2 middle names.I like names that can’t be shortened as I am Nicola but have always been known as Nick or Nicki.Even Faith gets called Faithy though and Amy gets called Ames.Each of my children have nicknames which I have given them when they were tiny.We have Pickle,Pickalily,Poopsters,Doodle bug and Spud.How have you chosen names and do you have nicknames for your children? I’d love to know.

Smart Trike recliner

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The lovely people at: http://www.babyworld.co.uk/  arranged for me to try out a Smart Trike Recliner with my two youngest children.Needless to say I was very happy by this news.My two-year old loves anything that has wheels and my 5 month old loves anything that enables him to be upright.In my eyes that ticks off two big requirements.Mookie are the Smart Trike distributors for Smart Trike in the UK  and can be found on Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1625016830&sk=info  or via their website-http://www.mookie-toys.co.uk/  The I’m not sure how my darling two-year old will cope having to share but I’m sure he’ll enjoy the trike nonetheless.

I decided I was going to put the trike together myself as it look pretty straightforward and I even found a lovely video on the Smart Trike website that shows exactly what to do.It can be found at : http://www.smart-trike.com The demonstration made it look so easy.I did manage to follow the instructions untill I had to put the handlebars on,this required the use of a Phillips head screwdriver to undo 2 small screws,this proved to be easier said than done.I had after an hour or so  of trying to undo the screws rang the helpline number and was greeted by a very friendly lady who took my details and said she’d get someone to ring me as soon as possible.Eventually after a couple of hours of non-child friendly rants I had completed the trike and typically the phone rang shortly afterwards.It was reassuring to know that this level of support is available and I will be looking for this from now on when buying toys for my children.

From the moment I took the parts out of the box my two-year old kept repeating   “My bike,my bike mummy.” As soon as it was up and ready to go I positioned the seat correctly(it has a recliner function so younger children can also use it) and put my excited two year old on ready for our first expedition.It was raining so was the perfect opportunity to try out the raincover that comes with it.The raincover is better than the one I have with my double buggy and such a good idea.My very excited 2-year-old was massively impressed and every time he see’s the trike he want’s to go on it again.Eventually,my almost 6 month old was allowed a go on the Trike and even  though the Trike was in recline position,my little man wanted to be sat forward holding onto the handlebars.To enable a better fit for a younger child 2 separate supports are added to ensure a more snug fit,they can be added and removed to the seat unit easily.After a few days use of the Trike on various surfaces and settings we give the Smart Trike a big thumbs up and I’d recommend it for any child from 6 months old-aprox 3 years old due to the multiple positions of the foot rests,support units and parent handle.The bonus for me is that my 2 year old is at the point where he doesn’t want to be in a buggy anymore but he’s quite happy to be pushed along in the Smart Trike or walk next to the Smart Trike whilst his brother’s in it using a wrist strap.

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