Friday, 14 November 2014

The Vest Epiphany

Using this image without linking to here isn't sharing it's just theft.  

You've heard the old adage 'you learn something new everyday' or even 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks'? Well this old dog recently learned a very new trick.

Ten years I've been a Mum, ten years.  Not once in these ten years did I question why baby vests have envelope shoulders.  I just blithely accepted that this is how the world is.  Sure, it makes them a bit easier to get them over baby's head but that's about it.  Then somebody on a FaceBook parenting group enlightened me with the news that the shoulder design serves a purpose.  We've all been there, your baby has created a poonami.  Shit (or vomit) has quite literally hit the fan (and everywhere else).  You need to strip baby and hose them down. You fear things couldn't possibly get any worse until you try to get the vest over their head (something many babies object to even when the vest isn't dripping with shit) cue poo being moved up over their chest, shoulders and in their hair.

So what if I told you that you can roll the vests down and take them off that way?  Crisis averted.

If you already knew this, why didn't you tell me?! If this is news to you, like it was to me, welcome to enlightenment!

Ever the cynic I decided to try this strange witchery out.  It works.  Better still, it works one handed! How do I know this? why, I filmed it of course!  Actually I filmed it twice.  The first time was a genuine poonami situation yet I feared the site of explosive breastfed poo splattered baby may traumatise you so I did it again with a clean Moomin then tossed a coin as to which one I blogged.  Excuse the crap video, I'm not a V-Blogger, it was midnight with shit lighting and it's filmed one handed with my phone. Oh and yes, Moomin did infact poo mid video.  She's her Father's child.

***Disclaimer: this entry is a bit of fun, a parenting hack. Obviously I don't know if this is officially the reason they were designed this way but it's certainly made my life a whole lot easier!   I should imagine they're intended to make it easier to go over their disproportionately large heads ;)

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Review: Step2 Little Bakers Kitchen from Activity Toys Direct

If there is one toy very child should have access to at some point, it's a kitchen.  Children love to role-play, to emulate grownups they see around them.  What we see as chores they see as fun.  I still remember my yellow small plastic kitchen from my childhood in the 80's.

I'll admit my personal taste leans more towards the wooden style toy kitchens yet there's no denying the look of glee the Step2 Little Bakers Kitchen  brought to Thing Two's and The Dude's face.

It's rare to get a toy the'll both play with yet Thing Two at the grand old age of 8 and The Dude (4.5 yrs) both happily flocked to it and were utterly ensconced in play for quite some time.  We have had two kitchens in the past, the first a small plastic one which valiantly survived Things One & Two yet fell at the brutal reign of The Dude.  Thing Two briefly had wooden separates which looked darling yet lasted mere months before hinges broke doors hung off and parts chipped.


* The design is robust, chunky and very child-friendly which feels and looks incredibly durable.

* At 104.5cm tall, it's tall enough for smaller children to be able to play standing up making it much more realistic than smaller ones where they have to sit/kneel.

* Perfect for small hands, everything is easy to grip with no metal hinges to trap wee fingers.

* As well as coming with accessories there's plenty of space to store your own too.

* Although compact it manages to incorporate most things a child would expect to find in a kitchen such as oven, hob, sink, fridge and microwave which is pretty impressive.

* The 'buns' come apart so children can pretend to decorate them.

* The dolls high chair seat is a unique addition to the usual play kitchen design which Thing Two really likes.

* There's enough accessories to be able to play straight away.

* It was relatively quick and easy to put together meaning The Husband didn't tantrum whilst putting it together.

* The recycling tub makes great storage for play food.

* All kids love a toy phone so it's always good to see one included


* Although some young girls will be attracted to the 'girliness' of it, I am somewhat opposed to the unnecessary feminising of toys.  Thankfully The Dude couldn't give a hoot about colour but I know some little boys may be unwilling to engage with it.  I also think it gender stereotypes; that kitchens are for girls. Colour shouldn't matter, yet this seems purposefully aimed at girls.

* The Spawn love the two sounds the hob makes yet for the RRP I think a 'pink' from the microwave, a timer sound on the oven and a tap sound would turn this great toy into an amazing one.

* One of the most popular kitchen related play items for children is a kettle, something not included with the accessories.

All in all we're impressed with the Step2 Little Bakers Kitchen.  It's compact yet not small, robust and comes with some nice accessories.  The proof of the pudding is that a week later it's still being played with and due to the design and build I have no doubt it will still be in tip top condition for when Moomin is old enough to play.

Weight: 13.2kg
Dimensions: H 105.4 x W 71.1 x L 35.6 cm

Extra Information

Step2 Little Baker's Kitchen

  • Kitchen has a realistic electronic stove top “burner”
  • Oven, microwave and refrigerator enhance children’s play and provide valuable storage of playtime accessories
  • Upscale, granite-look counter top
  • Pull-out fruit or vegetable “basket”
  • Decorative plate rack and storage shelf
  • Sink with faucet
  • Attached doll seat for added play (doll not included)
  • Includes 30-piece accessory set

***The lovely people at Activity Toys Direct provided us with this item for reviewing purposes.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Softly Softly time sneaks past us

The apron strings are flapping manically like cage birds and there's a dull thud in my heart.   I'm clock watching again.  Trying to imagine that what I cannot see.   I hope you're okay.  I hope you're having fun.   I hope you're happy. Yet in that pocket of my heart that has your name upon it.... I hope you're missing me too. Not  overwhelmingly,  just a little bit. In the background.

The Preschooler is no longer a preschooler.  Last week was his first week in reception yet it was just mornings.  Today it starts for real.  Today The Dude is there all day.

I knew it was coming.  It even makes a little sense now that Moomin is here. It alleviates some of the guilt born of having a demanding newborn to attend to, knowing that you're occupied rather than sat wanting.  Wanting me. I'm not ready though.

You'd think with him being my third it would be easier yet with each child your youngest stays younger longer.

It only seems like yesterday when I'd cuddle you to sleep in my bed and you'd cuddle me awake in the morning.  Even when debilitated with this last pregnancy my little cuddle monster.... You were here. Cuddling me.

One day you won't ask for cuddles anymore.  One day you won't want them anymore.

Nothing reminds you of how powerless you are against the passing of time than having a child enter full time education.  It becomes even more obvious when you bring a new baby into your family.  You realise how far we've all come.  You realise how fast the time passed.

So I'm sat here missing you whilst cradling your newborn sister to the breast knowing that one day she'll be starting school too.  I'm determined to cherish every minute.  I don't care for houswork it can wait.   I have one last baby.  Time is ticking.  I'm filling the time with cuddles.

Thing One has started his last year of primary,  Thing Two has started her first year of primary and you my darling your first year of infants.   Where has the time gone? With Moomins birth so recent I still vividly remember you all being born.  Being newborns then toddlers then preschoolers.



As soon as you're born it's like someone presses fast forward.  You end up battling between the futile task of trying to freeze it or  at least slow it whilst at the same time trying to cherish it.

Under four hours now and you'll be home.

Squishy nappies have reappeared in my laundry, I can remember all three of you wearing nappies and they're now all replaced with uniforms.

You're still as much my baby as Moomin is though.  So are Things One & Two. You'll always be my babies.

Fairy are currently running an #OhSoSoft campaign encouraging us to make the most of the precious preschool years and the oh-so-soft cuddles they bring.

You're never really too old for cuddles though.  Not really.  They'll always be a time when words are unnecessary and not enough.  When only an oh-so-soft cuddle from mum will do.  Yet whilst your babies are babies and cuddles are in abundance, embrace the moments, the chaos, the mess, the noise but most of all the oh so soft cuddles.

You'd better believe it that as soon as you get home from school today, there's no escape.  This cuddle will tell you I love you,  I missed you,  I'm proud of you and that you're home.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post yet all words and opinions expressed are my own