Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Gummee Glove Review


A few weeks ago, Leo and I attended the Birmingham Baby Show. There was such a good turn out and many friendly faces greeting us as we took a walk around. It was here at the Baby Show, that I came accross The Gummee Glove.

Walking around the show, I soon began to see babies in their strollers with a Mitt on their hands. They were all chewing away at this mystery item and looked very pleased with themselves. It was not long before I found out all about the the Gummee Glove and just how unique it is.

The Gummee Glove is a brand new innovative teething toy with a twist that has been invented by Jodine Boothby. The twist of the Gummee Glove being that it is actually a Mitt that attaches to your babies hand, eliminating any chance of baby dropping the toy on the floor when you turn your back for that single moment in time.

The moment that they usually decide to hurtle anything any everything in their little grasp to the floor.

It is a well known fact that babies up to the age of around 6 months old can not hold a teething toy independently. This results in parents holding teething toys to the mouths of their babies to minimise the chance of the toy falling to the floor. We all know the mission that un-folds when a toy is dropped in those early days....Cleaning the toy back up and popping it in the steriliser, all the while baby is becoming more agitated at not having the toy back as quickly as they would like...

The design of the Gummee Glove eliminates this from happening full stop, and once the glove has been slipped onto babies hand, they are ready to gum and roll!

Jodine had just launched the Gummee Glove at the Baby Show. Jodine shared her hard work and brand new product with all the Mummy's and Daddy's contending with their teething babies. Giving them a refreshing option to the age old problem...

How did the Gummee Glove come to be?

Jodine was changing her sons nappy in the nursery while musing over possible solutions to combat her baby boy's teething. Jimmy (Jodine's son) was wearing anti-scratch mitts and at that moment in time was about 9 weeks old. Jodine noticed that Jimmy was sucking and chewing one of his scratch mittens.

That was the eureka moment!

It was such a simple solution, a teething Mitt... it didn't occur to Jodine that it didn't already exist. After a shopping trip turned up no teething Mitt's, Jodine's thoughts were put into action and the Teething Mitt was born, AKA; The Gummee Glove!

The Gummee Glove is: 'Soothing Control for baby, Hands free for parents'

The Gummee Glove Features

The glove has been designed with a detachable water filled teether, which you can easily remove for sterilising or refrigerating. To remove the teether all you need to do is pop open the popper securing it and take it out. The fun does not end there though, on either side of the glove are taggies and labels for baby to nibble on and play with.

The glove is manufactured to EU regulations & EN71 guidelines and only safe plastics are used.

On the palm of the glove there is a Black and White crinkle square, which for young babies is visually stimulating as Black & White are the two most attractive colours to babies. The noise of the crinkle square sounds when touched or baby moves their hand, it helps to teach baby all about 'cause & effect'.

The Gummee Glove also comes with its own unique, mini laundry bag. Simply detach the water filled teething ring & pop Gummee Glove into the laundry bag. Close the bag tightly with the draw string closure and pop into the washing machine on a gentle cycle. The laundry bag is also a great way to transport the Gummee Glove while out and about.

What does Leo think?

Leo has just turned 11 months old, and when his Gummee Glove arrived this morning, I was really looking forward to seeing his reaction to wearing it on his hand. Once I had opened up the package and saw the bright, colours I was really pleased. I had been impressed at the Baby Show but seeing it again reminded me why I had been so blown away with the idea initially.

The glove is very light and soft so it will not weigh down on little hands. I slipped it onto Leo's hand and closed the Velcro fastening to secure the glove. Leo looked a little unsure about the idea of having it on his hand and to test the water he gave it a good wave, a shake, and then a little tug. He soon tuck it off his hand and preffered to hold it independently, it was then that he began to really enjoy it, chomping away on the teether, and having a great time.

The glove has had constant use all day. Leo would put it down and soon come back for another chew, so although Leo wont physically wear the glove yet, he is still benefiting from it and enjoying it.

We have to bare in mind that Leo is 11 months old and using the glove the very first time. I am sure that if I had introduced the Gummee Glove to Leo a little earlier down the line he would have had no problem taking to it.

At this moment in time Leo only has 3 teeth, so we have a long journey ahead of us yet, to get the rest of his pearly whites. I can see the Gummee Glove getting much more use over the coming months!

It really would have been a god send to me in those early days when I could not physically hold the toys to his mouth as often as he would like. Even now Leo is renown for throwing his toys out of the stroller, so I am going to keep trying the glove on his hand and see what happens. Failing that, he can just continue to hold it himself.

Jodine's son Jimmy was still wearing his Gummee Glove and enjoying it at 11 months old!


I absolutely love the concept of the Gummee Glove, and after seeing all the happy babies at the Baby Show I think Jodine has found a real gap in the market, filled it and resolved a problem that every parent faces.

How can your baby get their hands on a Gummee Glove?

The finished Gummee Glove is now on sale at a very reasonable £9.99.

If you happen to purchase a Gummee Glove, it would be greatly appreciated if you would share the photos of your little one using the innovative Glove on The Gummee Glove's Facebook Page, along with your views and comments.

If you currently have a baby who is teething and at a age where they cannot yet hold the teething toy for themselves, I highly reccomend the Gummee Glove. 

If you were interested in finding out more information about the Gummee Glove then you can:

- Follow Jodine on Twitter @GummeeGlove
- Like Gummee Glove on Facebook

Laura
xx





Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Quinny Buzz Review

Since I got my Quinny Zapp Xtra, I seem to have developed a love for all things Quinny. After the realisation hit that the Zapp Xtra was not really a 'all terrain' kind of stroller, I soon got to thinking about how I could justify yet another pushchair to my lovely other half.

I decided that I needed a Buzz after reading multiple reviews. It fit the bill in looks and specification. What I really needed was a pushchair that I could take for a spin around a field, something strong and sturdy that I could take on the train, but I could not justify spending too much money. OK what I mean is...I could not justify spending Luke's money...

I took up refuge on eBay and watched many Buzz's go before my eyes, I eventually purchased a Quinny Buzz 3 in Rebel Red.


In The Box

The Quinny Buzz Rebel Red retails on Kiddicare at £345.00

The Buzz comes complete with a sun canopy, rain cover, shopping basket, buzz bag which is great for storage, and adaptors for attaching the Maxi-Cosi infant car seats.

The Footmuff has to be purchased separately at a cost of up to £60.00. I like the option to have the Footmuff in the matching colour. 

If you decide to invest in the Footmuff, you will eventually find that it is the same one used with the Zapp Xtra. I feel this could have been communicated a little better, as when ordering the footmuff for my Zapp Xtra it took me one wrong order and more re-search to find this out!


So what do Leo and I think?

I went over to pick up my Buzz in record time, I was so excited to take it out for a test drive and see how the wheels handled off roading. As usual I struggled putting it together but a few You Tube videos later we had it up and ready to go.

In comparison to the Zapp Xtra, the Buzz is pretty heavy but with this weight comes the sturdiness that allows you to climb on and off trains and stroll around the fields. I love the wheels on the Buzz as they really do give you the freedom to go where ever you want. I tend to use the Buzz more if I am going out for the day and need to get on and off trains or go on family walks. I feel more confident using the bigger of my Two buggies to accomplish these things.

I do find the Buzz a heavy pushchair to operate and it is not something I can push with One hand. I do feel that you get used to the weight of it though and it soon becomes second nature. Having said that, I do enjoy taking the Buzz out and I genuinely find it easier to travel with this due to it being so solid and sturdy.

Luke much prefers the Buzz over the Zapp as you can adjust the handle bar to his height, when Luke is out with the Zapp he does not like that the handles are at one level (my level).

Putting the Buzz up is done with the flick of one flap with just one hand and it is then that the unique hydraulic system takes over and the frame pops up automatically.

Once put together you can attach the seat unit to either face the parent, or out into the world to see the wonders of the people and sights passing by. We are currently using the parent facing option as I do enjoy a good old chit chat with Leo while out and about and he seems to enjoy this at present. I do think that the time is fastly approaching him wanting to be facing the other way, so he can see all that is going on around him...We may have to do this in the next few weeks.

The seat fully reclines and has 3 positions when in forward-facing mode, and 2 recline positions in rearward facing mode. I am very impressed with the seat unit and Leo is very comfortable while we are out on our adventures, even if I do happen to be finding each and every bump along the way, just to see how the Buzz handles it.

To fold the Buzz back down their are Two Silver buttons on either side of the seat, by pushing and sliding these buttons the frame will collapse flat. Of course I even struggled with this, but my general knowledge with putting pushchairs up and down is not great. When putting the Buzz down you can fold the seat down too, if the seat is facing outward, but if you have the seat in parent facing mode then you do need to take the seat off to collapse it.

Even when the frame is folded down it is quite chunky, and also pretty heavy but I can get it in the boot of my 206 by taking the wheels off.

The Buzz is suitable from birth to 15kg approx. 4 years old.

Quinny Buzz Features as per The Kiddicare Website
- Unique automatically unfolding system

- New for 2012 - All black wheels, matt finish frame and new safety harness

- Forward and rearward facing reclinable seat unit 

- The backrest fully reclines; 3 recline positions in forward-facing mode, and 2 recline positions in rearward facing mode.

-  Highly manoeuvrable front swivel wheel, that can be locked

- Height adjustable handlebar

- Adjustable footrest

- Ideal travel system in combination with matching Maxi-Cosi infant car seats or Bébé Confort Pebble car seat and Quinny Foldable carrycot or Quinny Safety carrycot (all available extra)

-  Including sun canopy, shopping basket, rain cover, adaptors and parasol clip

Approved confirming EN 1888 and BS7409

Pushchair seat: until 15 kg 

My Views:
Buzz Pros:

- Attractive Design
- Comfortable Seat Unit
- Great Wheels for Off Roading
- Hydraulic unfold
- The Buzz bag is great to keep the rain cover in, and is great storage.

Buzz Cons:

- A bulky pushchair, even when folded
- The wheels at the back are wide set and can be mis-leading. This comes from running over one to many feet...
- Heavy to push
- Small shopping basket

If you are looking for a off road style pushchair that has the capability to use as a travel system then the Buzz could be for you. The Buzz comes in 4 different colours for 2012:

    Rocking Black
    Rebel Red
    Blue Scratch
    Pink Blush

Over all the Quinny Buzz meets all of my needs, and as a second pushchair is all I could ask for. I will continue to use the Buzz for any train journeys I happen to take and for any off road experiences that I decide to frequent.

I hope this review has helped some potential Quinny Buzz buyers with a full and honest review!

Laura
xx


Please note that this review is based on a second hand Quinny Buzz and not that of a new model.





Monday, 28 May 2012

Leo Visits The Office...


Today was a day all about preparation, and I finally wrote my letter of intent to return to the office. It is something I have been meaning to do for a while but have pushed back and back, as though writing the letter and handing it in...Made my return to work more real and something that was really happening.

My official date to return to work is Wednesday 25th July 2012.

I took my little man into the office with me to hand deliver the already late letter to HR. Of course Leo was centre of attention, and suddenly decided he was going to play shy. Which we all know he is not.

I was very excited to show off his new words but after shouting 'Bear' all the way there in the car, he was suddenly silent and refusing to say a word. I am sure everyone thought I was telling little porkies or that the maternity leave was slowly making my mind boggle.

I have now booked my holiday allocation that will take me through until July 24th 2012, and will leave my bank account looking fresh and full - ready to be spent of course and boy do I have some big plans!

Filling out the holiday form took me longer than it usually would, Leo managed to turn a 2 minute job into a 15 minute job....I guess that is why you don't take babies to work with you!

Sitting at my desk sorting it all out with a little monster crawling around and opening all my desk draws up before crawling off to marvel at the printer. Along the way he found his reflection in the rather big plant potts scattered around the room, so of course he stopped and gave himself a little kiss. My boss even commented on how having Leo around was similar to having a office pet, Leo even had the stripes to match as he was donning his Tigger outfit.

With all the room completely side tracked with Leo's presence, I made a point of telling them that when I did make my return in July...They need not worry as I would not hide Leo away in my hand bag and it would just be I - Laura returning full time.

They all seemed a little in awe of my little guy, and sat intently watching him eye up his next target. Once Leo had settled into his new surroundings he was very happy and any shyness that he had brought into the building with him was not leaving with him. He never did show off his new words in the office, he waited until we were just getting back into the car to leave and growled right into my ear. Little monster....

So that is it, I am officially returning to work full time and the date is in the diary. This Mummy is not going to know what has hit her when that date eventually gets here...

Maybe they would not notice if Leo does come along? Although after seeing him run wild in there today... I think they would probably suspect something was not quite right...

Laura
xx







Leo's First Words


When a baby starts to say his first words it is a ever growing reminder that they are not the little baby that they used to be. They are growing up and like a sponge, they are absorbing every little bit of detail that you expose them too, and it is only a matter of time before they action the information that they have been taking in.

Of course Leo has said 'Mum, Mum' and 'Dad, Dad' which has put great big smiles on both of our faces but Leo can also say 'Bear', where this word has come from...I have no idea, but it is as clear as day. To make it even more exciting, Leo will even growl when he say's 'Bear'!

'Bear seems to be his favourite word, and if he hears you say bear then he feels he must join in. He first said 'Bear' a couple of weeks ago and at first I thought it was just him putting the sounds together, which of course he probably was. As the weeks have passed we have all been showing him what a bear actually is and saying the word over and over again, sure enough Leo has picked it up and run away with it.

Leo seems to be picking so much up now, if he hears me make a certain noise he tries to copy it. Just last night we were having a lovely game of 'Nappy Head' - if you have not heard me talk about this before...Well you are in for a treat. I must stress we are not as crazy as we may sound....

'Nappy Head' came about during one nappy change, we both took turns to wear the nappy as a hat. Leo loves to pull the Nappy off his own head and also mine, although he usually takes a handful of my hair at the same time...However... Last night we were playing the usual game and I was met with the same excited giggles as always. When Leo pulled the nappy off my head, I pointed my finger and playfully shouted 'No, No, No'. You can imagine my surprise when Leo pointed his finger and shouted it back to me!

I could not believe my ears. my beautiful baby boy was copying words right there on the spot. The game continued and he repeated his new sounds again and again! Daddy, Granny, his Aunt and Uncle were all there to witness my little clever clogs, and they all looked just as taken a back as me, but everyone was just so tickled by Leo shouting at waving his finger, that the room was taken over with giggles.

It was just this morning that I dropped something on the floor, being the clumsy Mummy that I am...and of course I said 'Ught Oh' only to have the sound repeated back to me by my little man. He has been doing it all day now and mimics the words back to me when I say them.

If little man is eating his dinner and he hears you say 'Mmmm' you can rest assured that he will repeat the noise to you, confirming just how much he is enjoying his food.

I can safely say Leo's first word 'Bear' was at 10 months and his second words came along at 11 months. I am so proud of everything Leo is achieving and how quickly he seems to be progressing.

One thing is for sure though....I am now going to have to really watch what I say....Just to be on the safe side!

When did your little ones say their first words and what did they say?

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Green People Review


Have you ever heard of Green People?

 I would like to start this post by introducing you. I have only become aware of this lovely company in the last week or so and they are the leading company in certified organic body care products, meaning there are no nasties such as manufactured chemicals. They have a very extensive range of natural products – shampoos, face creams, sun lotions and body washes, the list goes on and is always growing!

Green People is now one of the biggest names in organic beauty in the UK.

Leo and I have been sent some Green People products to try out. Leo has been sent some Organic Babies Rescue Balm and I have been treated to some Limited Edition Gold Shimmer Bronzer.

Since receiving these lovely products at the start of the week, Leo and I have been putting them to the test. What I particularly love about them is that they are natural. When it comes to Leo's skin I have noticed that it can be extremely sensitive, and we have now cut out products that contain anything less than natural ingredients after associating his eczema with his previous bath products.


The balm is not just for baby, it is for Mummy too. If you have dry skin or are currently breastfeeding, the organic Calendula and Vitamin E will help to soothe sore cracked nipples before and after breastfeeding.

The balm can be used all over due to the natural ingredients. It rescues the dry skin, soothes sore nipples and the perineum. The product is completely scent free and is made without Parabens, Lanolin, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals and colourants.

This makes the product just as nature intended it.

I have been applying this to Leo's arms at regular intervals throughout the day and I am already seeing a improvement in his dry skin. The balm is so easy to apply and gets absorbed into the skin leaving no sticky residue as you get with some products.

Having a look over the Green People's website, I was really impressed with the information provided. They have products for people from all walks of life and even have products suitable for Vegetarian's and Vegan's. They have made it very easy to find out which products are suitable and which are not. For instance, Organic Babies - Rescue Balm is suitable for Vegetarian's but not for Vegan's due to the Beeswax content.

I really like the Rescue Balm and I love that it is so natural. I have no worry or little niggles about using this on Leo in the slightest. You can purchase this for £9.70 and can even earn points at the same time, and when you have enough points you can then buy more products! Now that is an incentive to buy!


Now we all know I love my make up... It put a big smile on my face when I received this beautiful bronzer, and just in time for the sunny weather too!

This bronzer has been launched especially for Summer 2012 and is brand new on the Green People's website. It arrives in a sophisticated Black box and is safely stored in a small plastic container, so you can take it with you on your travels and re-apply if and when you feel the need.

Compared to some other bronzer's I have used in the past, this bronzer is great. Instead of one block colour you have 3 gorgeous marbled colours to work with, and unlike anything else I have used, you can do more than just make your cheek bones look good. This multi-purpose bronzer can be used on your eye lids or even as a lip colour!

The bronzer leaves your skin glowing with a sun kissed sparkle. It really catches the sunlight on a warm sunny day!

The positives for the product and the company keep growing for me. Their products are not tested on animals, which I must admit is a important factor to me. I hate the thought of purchasing something that has been detrimental to a animal somewhere along the way.

This certified organic bronzer is made without Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Bismuth Oxychloride, Petrochemicals, Phthalates and Synthetic Colourants to bring you the purest bronzer possible.

The compact case is made out of 100% natural plastic and coloured with earth friendly natural colour and all the packaging used is recycable.

You can buy your own Limited Edition Bronzer for £22.00, 10% of this price is donated to charity.

It is very reassuring knowing that all the ingredients in Green People's products are just as nature intended. It is important to know exactly what you are using on your baby or even on your face. Obviously when it comes to Leo I am very vigilant with what I use, and as I adapt further to being a Mummy, I become more picky with each passing day when it comes to Leo's products. 

I really should adapt this same technique to the products I personally use. I need to take more of a interest in what I am actually putting on my face, and I know that I would much rather use the natural options where possible.

I highly recomend Green People and I look forward to trying out some more of their natural alternatives in the not so distant future.

Laura
xx








Fun In The Sun...



The past few day's have just been what Summer is all about. Sunshine, BBQ's, good company and of course...Fun in the sun. With the warm rays beating down on us, I took the oppurtunity to take Leo outside to play.

He loves being in the garden, crawling like a little army man through the blades of grass, touching the buttercups in complete curiosity. Yesterday we even found Dandelion Clock's and as I blew away the little seeds, Leo sat and watched them float off on the light summer's breeze.

Leo has even experienced his own taster of an ice lolly, and by the end of him licking, dribbling and shaking the lolly... he was one very sticky mess. Being the Einstein that I am...I had already bathed him once, and of course the ice lolly resulted in a second bath before bed....Not so clever Mummy.

 However he loved being given the lolly to hold himself and pure excitement swept over him, which may account for me also having lolly thrown all over me...

Of course where ever we go, the camera is never far behind. I was so pleased to get some action shots of Leo enjoying his adventure in the garden. It was then I had a great idea, I want to see all your 'Fun In The Sun...' photos!

I am sure over the past few day's you have been just as snap happy as I have, and have some great shots to show for it. I would love you all to share your favourite shots of the fun you have been having in the Sun!

Grab the badge below and feel free to link up your great Summer shots. I look forward to having a look at them all.


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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Groupon Voucher Giveaway!

I have been approached by Groupon who want to gift one of my very lucky readers with a £10.00 voucher to go towards a Groupon deal of your choice!

 Groupon is a website that features daily offers on some of the best local businesses in the UK, giving you the customer more buying power, and also a great choice of exciting things to do!

You could perhaps use the £10.00 voucher and pay a little extra to get that bargain experience you have been wanting to participate in for a while.

I have been having a little peek into the current deals that Groupon are currently holding and here are some of the exciting oppurtunities awaiting you, once you have entered!

- Tapas for Two
- Three Hour Make-Up Master Class For One
- Delux Gel Manicure
- Family Photo Shoot With 9” x 6” Desk Print
This is just to name a few, there are hundreds of amazing oppurtunites that you could experience by entering this competition.

So how do you enter, I hear you ask...?

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. If you have not yet signed in to the new Rafflecopter forms, use either your Facebook account or your name/email address to sign in (you don’t need a Rafflecopter account, and you don’t HAVE to log in using Facebook–you can simply use your name/email address). Then click “Do It” and complete the mandatory entry. Then, if you want to, submit any or all of the extra entries. The more entries you submit, the better odds you have of winning!



- Follow @Groupon on Twitter

- Like Groupon on Facebook

-Follow my blog Via Google Friend Connect (Right hand Tab)

- Leave a blog post comment below, detailing your name and what you would like to do with the voucher if you won.

- Follow Lovelyleosmummy on Twitter

-Like The Life and Times of The Working Mum on Facebook

-Tweet about the giveaway "I want to win a £10.00 @groupon voucher with @lovelyleosmummy at www.thelifeandtimesoftheworkingmum.com'

For each entry, please make sure to leave a seperate comment below, letting me know how you have entered, and also a way of being able to contact you.

You can enter each day while the competition is running to boost your chance of winning!

The competition closes on Friday 8th June 2012.

Good luck all!

Laura
xx
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Simple Things...

I don't know if you have noticed?

But then again...How could you not?

Have you noticed just how smiley and happy my little man is? He has a smile for everyone and is the most happiest little soul. It was just yesterday on the train a lady told me just how gorgeous he is, and although I am incredibly biased...As let's face it, I did have a hand in cooking him up. I am inclined to agree with her.

Leo lives to cause trouble and getting up to complete mischief. He knows how to have a good time and make the most of the most simple experience, which demonstrates his complete and utter innocence. A pure baby boy looking but nowhere except on the bright side of life. Just as he should be.

Leo has recently discovered the trampoline and I managed to capture a great shot of him enjoying the bouncy waves as he rode them with a big smile on his face. Capturing the complete essence of fun in that one perfect moment where he is nothing but happy.






Philips Avent - The Natural Range


When you are pregnant you are told breast is best, but if for some reason breastfeeding is not a possibility or a option that works for you, then you will be looking into the best kind of bottles for your little one.

You may even want to express your Milk as an alternative to formula, which means you will be in the market for the perfect breast pump, if you are like me as a first time Mummy, all of this equipment can take you by complete surprise.

Since having Leo and realising that breastfeeding was unfortunately not going the way I had hoped in my heart of hearts, I made the switch to bottle after a fortnight. I carefully thought about which bottles I wanted to use and decided to go down the Philips Avent route. I have found the bottles great and Leo seems to have thrived on them...You just have to look at him to see...

So when I was invited to London to hear all about the new Philips Avent's product launch, I was very excited to go and see what changes they had implemented. Leo and I arrived at the event and were immediately greeted by a friendly face, letting us know that we were in the right place.

Looking around the room were all kinds of Avent goodies. We were offered drinks, which were very welcome in the suddenly scorching temperatures, and were soon shown through to a screening room to hear all about the new range that is launching this June.

Philips Avent are launching their brand new range - The Natural Collection. This appealing new line up has been developed on over 25 years of experience in the baby feeding market, and of course customer feed back. We told Philips Avent that we wanted a more natural looking bottle, so they have brought us a wide breast shaped teat, which has been cleverly designed to help baby latch on as naturally as possible.

In order to bring us such a high quality bottle Avent have been avidly product testing these little beauty's, so they can give us the facts. In independent home studies that were carried out back in June 2011 they found that 77% of babies accept the Philips Avent teat immediately. This makes combining breast and bottle feeding a realistic transition. 

Leo is always a little piggy on the bottle and quite often gets so enthusiastic that he caves the whole teat in on it's self. The comfort teat has comfort 'petals' which increase the teats softness and flexibility. This means that the teat wont collapse, even if your baby is as much as a greedy guts as Leo. 

Avent have advanced their anti-colic system on this lovely new model, and now it is all in the teat with a innovative twin valve system, which reduces colic and discomfort by venting any air into the bottle, rather than baby's tummy. I really like this new development as on the current Avent bottles we use, we have the traditional blue ring, and my justification is...One less item to wash up!

So after seeing the new Natural bottle, I have to say that I love the new curvy shape. This new shape seems like it will be easier to handle with those little hands and even slides in at just the right place for them to grasp it.

The bottles will be available to buy in Two sizes: 4oz (125ml) and 9oz (260ml).

Philips Avent have not just over hauled their bottle range, oh no! The new Philips Avent Comfort breast pump has been developed with a leading lactation consultant, and not to mention the helping hand that breastfeeding Mum's have played in it.

If you have ever breastfed and expressed your Milk, you will know that comfort is key. Sitting comfortably is a big deal. I know that when I was expressing back in July, I was always trying to lean forward in order to catch the Milk and make sure that I did not have any un-wanted spillages. More often than not, there were spillages and while I was expressing I was incredibly uncomfortable.

This new pump has been put through the ringer and has been said to be Avent's most comfortable pump yet! Unlike other pumps that force you to sit forward to capture every drop of Milk, this one let's you sit back, and relax in comfort while you are expressing, while still boasting no spills!

Avent have conducted research in the form of independent home studies back in June 2011 and their research shows that 82% of breastfeeding Mother's agreed that this was the most comfortable, even over their own pumps. Maybe this is down to the soft massage cushion that is featured inside the cup that helps to stimulate your Milk flow?

A great feature of the Comfort pump is that it is compatible with all of Avents current feeding products, such as the Milk storage containers, cups and even the classic range of bottles.

 I was really impressed with the new designs and I have been lucky enough to be given some samples to review. Sadly the breast pump will have to wait until a time I can convince Luke to let me have another little bundle, but that review will one day be listed. (I predict about 4 years time...My ideal age gap!)

Philips Avent had one other little surprise in store for us, and I have to say now what a great idea it is. When I was pregnant I joined every forum possible so I could follow each stage of my pregnancy and even chat with other people due around the same time as me. None of those people were incredibly local to me and I was not overly impressed with the range of apps available at the time...

Philips Avent have designed the perfect app that is going to allow you to meet other Mum's or Mum's to be at the same stage of pregnancy. The app 'Due Date Club' can be completely personalised with your name, where you live (if you wish to share the information) and photos. Regular news updates will be provided and expert advice will be linked in with exclusive offers.

It will give parent's the opportunity to gain advice as well as share their own personal knowledge, and this great app will be available a little later this summer.

I would like to thank Phillips Avent for inviting me along and sharing all of their exciting news with me. I have been so impressed with the new products and I am very much looking forward to trying them out.

The day was finished off with a preview of the new film 'What to expect when you're expecting' and this film is a gem by all rights. There are some scenes that I think every Mummy can relate to at some point in their pregnancy. I must applure you to make sure you see this film.

The new Comfort range will be on sale in June 2012, so keep your eyes pealed!

Laura
xx








Monday, 21 May 2012

The Fear


When you are a young child, you think that all adults are fearless and nothing in the world can make them crumble inside. You think that once you hit a certain age, all your nightmares and scary thoughts are banished away forever and you become a grown up just like them, and of course in my perception I believed that when you grow up, you became fearless.

When I was a child that was my take of the adult world, it was my perception of my parents. They both seemed so strong and even if they did ever feel any fear, they would never let me know about it.

 As the years rolled by and I left my childhood day's behind me, I always wondered when the fear of bumps in the night would fade away and out of my existence. I wondered when I would stop taking a running jump into bed to stop ghostly hands reaching out and pulling me under, and I never gave up hope that when I was all grown up, I would never fear these things ever again.

It is only in the last year or so that I have realised that I do still jump into bed to stop those ghostly hands from grabbing my ankles, and I do still picture the most un-believable things when there is a bump in the night. Despite growing up and having a baby of my own, I still dwell on childhood fears even now I am a Mummy. I realise that all adults and children alike have their own fears, and just because you grow up and become a parent...Those fears will never all disappear completely.

I remember as a young girl, lying in bed with one leg strategically placed on top of the duvet on a hot summer's night, suddenly I became over whelmed with the fear that if I did not quickly pull my leg back inside the safe confinement of the duvet...I would be grabbed and pulled down into the dark caverns of the bed, never to be seen again. There were some nights in my childhood that I pictured the most peculiar things, that back then seemed incredibly real. I could lie there all night, frozen and too scared to move...Just in case the monsters from the wardrobe would come and hunt me down.

Sometimes you have to question where your childhood fears come from, even though in your sensible adult mind you know that it is completely impossible for these things to ever happen. My childhood fear that first sprung my jumping into bed came from the 'Sixth Sense' and ever since watching that little boy have his foot grabbed in broad daylight...Well that is what my first running jump was in aid of.

Now I have Leo to think of and I have to keep him safe from the potential dangers in this crazy world we live in. I have to make sure that he grows up knowing that he is safe and that I will always be there to protect him.

Now I am a Mummy and all grown up...There seems to be more fear in this world than ever before. More fear about all the bad things that could happen if I don't sleep with one eye open and protect Leo from some of the darker things in life.

It is interesting to see how your fears change as you grow up, the childlike fears of monsters and trolls all get swept under the carpet, but it is not long before a whole new set of fears enter your mind. More realistic fears such as a family member passing away, or crashing your car, or even having someone breaking into your house. Everyday fears that carry a real weight into how you live your day to day life.

I guess growing up does not rid you of all your fears, and I don't think that I ever will be... fearless...but despite that, I will always have my beautiful boy's best interests at heart and I will share with him the fairytales that captivated me in my childhood, and instill in him from a very early age, that the good always prevails out of the dark, and evil will be overcome.

What were your childhood fears? and what are your little one's most fearful of?






The Birmingham Baby Show 2012


The Birmingham Baby Show has been taking place all over the weekend, and on Friday that is just where Leo and I went. This time last year I was 8 months pregnant and I attended the baby show with my baby bump, this year I took my bump along in the pushchair!

Arriving at the baby show, I was actually mourning my bump. I suddenly remembered what an exciting time I had the previous year, making all the preparations for my impending arrival and checking out all of the deals that were to be had.

As you all know, Leo has been suffering with Roseola which has resulted in lack of sleep on both of our sides. However we still attended with all guns blazing and ready to see what was on offer at the highly anticipated show.

Walking through into the show is always exciting, you can feel the energy and excitement that is buzzing all around the room. From first time Mum's expecting their baby's to Mum's with 2 or more, everyone is out in force to see what is on offer to them. If their visits were anything like mine, then I am sure they were not disappointed.

The best bit of the baby show for me, is meeting the people behind the brands, being able to talk face to face with someone who holds all the answers to your questions. It is great that they will offer you all the advice in the world and still not expect to make a sale. I visited Avent Phillip's stand and I found all of their advice extremely helpful. It is just great to know that they take the time to point you in the right direction.

After all that is what visiting the baby show is all about right!?

I find the baby show opens your mind up to all kinds of new things, some things that you may have never even considered before. During my visit at the Friends of Glass stand, I was very intrigued to hear all about the alternatives to plastic bottles. Have you ever considered using Glass to Plastic? I had never even considered this as an option, but people do use Glass as their main choice. They make this decision because Glass is inert and 100% recyclable. Of course if you are like me, you will be questioning just how safe it is to use Glass bottles with babies....They have eased the minds of parents with special rubber bands that have been designed to go around the bottle. This design would contain any glass if the bottle was by chance smashed.

Food for thought!

Walking around the Baby Show, I was hit with Pushchair envy. Everywhere I looked I could see brand new designs and beautiful prams. The whole day just re-confirmed my love and appreciation for everything Pushchair related.

After reading up on so many of the reviews it was great to see some of the Pushchairs in the flesh. There was everything from the new Quinny Mood to the Joolz Earth. I spent my time walking around just falling at their wheels in complete and utter amazement.

If you want to see all of the differnt brands and designs under one roof, then I highly recomend a visit to the Baby Show. You can test the one's you want and have a real insight into the diverse market that buying a Pushchair brings to your front door. However if you are like me and just have a little bit of a pram addiction, I do advise you to keep your distance from all the beautiful Strollers...

 I went armed with plenty of cash, and I was very surprised to come away with plenty of cash at the end of the day. There are of course so many bargains to be found but I was realistically thinking about how I would cart boxes of goodies home on the train, with 2 changes and a poorly baby.

So what did I purchase at this years Baby Show? A Tomee Tipee Digital Ear Thermometer. It was the perfect purchase at a bargain £25.00 and it has already had so much use, what with Leo being poorly and running a temperature.

So who else has visited the Baby Show this weekend and what were your best bargains?

Laura
xx







Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Garden Games Croquet Set Review


Looking outside at the Grey clouds and the people walking by in winter coats, it is hard to believe that we are now in the glorious month of May. Normally at this time of year we are in our Summer dresses and enjoying the BBQ's at every available opportunity. In fact by this time last year, we had more BBQ's than I can ever remember having so early on in the Spring...This year leaves a lot to be desired...

However Leo and I have been sent a lovely Croquet Set from Garden Games that we could not wait to try out. Looking out of the window we were met with the same dismal Grey cloud, that we have now become accustomed to....Then we looked down at this family Croquet game that we just had to try out. By we I of course mean my younger Brother and Sister, and Luke. Leo is just a little bit too small for such a game at this moment in time, but it wont be long before he is playing with the best of us.


What is in the box?

- 4 x Croquet Mallets

- 4 x 180g/6.5oz Croquet Balls 

- Winning Post

- 6 x Croquet Hoops

- Carry Bag

- Instructions

The set we have been using is a great introductory Lawn Croquet set, it comes with 4 brightly coloured wooden mallets and balls, each sized perfectly for children of around 6 years plus. The set includes 6 metal hoops to layout the course, which means you can make the game different each time. Maybe a little more challenging or a little easier for the younger children. You also receive a wooden winning post and the rules of how to play, which was great for us as believe it or not...We have never played Croquet before! All of the equipment I have just described comes packed in a zip fastening bag, which makes it very handy to take with you on your travels, you could take it to a family picnic by the river or even on holiday.

Our family will be visiting Brittany later this month and I am going to be bringing the Croquet set along with us to provide us with a fun activity, for everyone to participate in. 

The Garden Games Lawn Croquet set is perfectly designed to get young children into the game and learn on a set designed for their height and age, my younger brother and sister really benefited from this as the mallets were not to heavy for them to use.

I had a quick read of the instructions and proceeded outside to set up our first ever game of Croquet. I was soon followed by everyone, as they were keen to get a game going, and moments later the game was in full swing.

I found the set a great way to get the family enjoying a activity together and very easy to get set up and play. It would be a great addition to a family BBQ to get everyone up on their feet and having a good time. 

The Croquet Set retails at a very reasonable £49.99 and even comes with a 1 year warranty, just for added piece of mind.

Garden Games offer great customer communication and let you know where your parcel is every step of the way, from ordering to dispatch. I find this added reassurance brilliant, and they are always very quick in getting your parcel to you.

If you are looking for a family game to keep everyone entertained when Summer really does decide to make an appearance, then why not give Croquet a try?

Laura
xx






Saturday, 19 May 2012

A Daddy's Touch


This last week, Luke has been away with work. In Luke's absence, Leo has developed Roseola, a viral infection very common in babies and young children. Over Two nights, I have faced some of the hardest times since becoming a Mummy.

I have had my patience tested and gone through the night without even closing my eyes. I have been there to comfort my beautiful boy as he battles through the nasty virus that has him tightly in his clutches. I even began to wonder how much more sleep deprivation I could endure.

Then Friday evening arrived and...Luke came home!

 I suddenly realised I had all the support I needed. I had someone to take Leo so I could go to bed and finally have some quality sleep. I had everything I needed, and Leo had his Daddy home.

I warned Luke that he may not go down to sleep, and filled him in on just how Leo had been suffering over the last couple of days. I showed Luke the rash that had erupted all over Leo's beautiful skin. By now the rash on Leo's little cheeks had become so angry that it was no longer little individual dots, but one really angry looking red splodge.

Luke was great, he took Leo straight off me and told me to go to bed. I really did not need telling twice and handed Leo over to his Daddy, and just like that Luke took control. Leo went out of his way to prove me wrong, and seemed to be a completely different baby to the one who had kept me awake for so many hours. Yes he did whinge and yes he had a little cry, but those special cuddles with Daddy seemed to do the trick. Luke even came up to bed at midnight after putting Leo down in his cot...Something I had been trying to do for the last two nights, and had completely failed on all accounts.

Luke had taken Leo for walks up and down the drive in his pushchair and sat and cuddled him in the dark. All things I had tried but not been successful in. Leo then proceeded to fall asleep in Daddy's safe arms. Something Leo always refuses to do for me.

Last night seemed to be a turning point, Leo only awoke once and went back down in his cot without any issues at all, and I even managed to catch up on my much needed beauty sleep.

Today has been a mixture of a grumpy and also a very sleepy baby boy, and the rash seems to be at it's very worse. The individual dots have merged and the rash has been so bad today that I called the out of hours surgery again, in the hopes of being able to take him along to get checked.

They asked me a number of questions about how Leo was feeling, Does he have a headache? Does his neck hurt? questions I can only begin to guess the answers too...How do you ask an 11 month old how he is feeling? In the end they did not wish to see him, and told me to call back if his fontanel sunk, his temperature sky rocketed or his rash did not fade when pressure was applied.

I do think that Leo has missed his Daddy on his week away, and maybe it is not just a coincidence that Leo started to sleep better when Luke arrived home last night? Maybe Leo has missed his Daddy and being poorly has just added to his monster baby state? Whatever the reason this does seem to be the start of Leo's very anticipated recovery, and I welcome it whole heartedly with open arms.

I was so thankful to Luke last night for taking control of Leo, sorting him out, looking after him and letting me go to bed for 8pm, and then even letting me sleep in until 11am. Saying that though, Leo didn't rise much before 10am this morning, which as you all know has not been known over the last few days!

When I came downstairs this morning, I was greeted with Leo fast asleep in his Daddy's arms. Snuggled up in his favourite blanket. This blanket was Luke's magical trick for helping him get Leo to sleep last night and seems to have done the trick for nap time too. They both looked ever so contented in each others embrace, and it was lovely to just watch them. So naturally...I grabbed the camera.

My Two beautiful boys...

Tonight has been a really good night and since putting Leo down at 7pm, I have not heard a peep! So here is hoping for another good nights sleep, and that my beautiful boy is on the road to recovery!

Get well soon Baby Boy x

Laura
xx









Roseola...


The past few day's have been some of the hardest since becoming a Mummy. I have never been subjected to complete sleep deprivation before this, and to be thrown into two very sleepless nights, is the things nightmares are made of.

On Thursday I took Leo to the doctors to have his rash looked at, and to see if I could get a magical remedy to help take away any discomfort my poor little baby may be feeling. The doctor checked Leo out and eventually diagnosed Roseola.

Roseola is a viral infection that commonly affects infants and young children. It involves a pinkish-red skin rash and high fever. The virus is common in children aged 3 months to 4 years, and most common in those aged 6 months to 1 year. So poor little Leo is very susceptible to picking up this nasty viral infection.

I had been expecting a viral infection to be at the centre of it all, after talking to many helpful Mummy's on Twitter (Thank you all for your advice!)

Roseola seems to sum up everything that Leo had and may be feeling, and it is no wonder he has not been his smiley happy self over the past couple of days. Roseola presents it's self in the following symptoms:

- Eye redness
- Irritability
- Runny nose
- Sore throat

- High fever- Pink or rose-coloured rash, that starts on the middle of the body and spreads to the arms, legs, neck, and face. The rash usually has small sores that are slightly raised - Just like Leo's.

It is really good to now know what is making Leo feel so under the weather, and it makes it less frustrating knowing that there is a real reason for us being up all night.

You all know about my first night of no sleep, but I am yet to talk about the second...

Expecting the worst out of the night ahead was all I could do, the doctor had also mentioned that she could not promise me a better night which of course re-confirmed my worst fear. I dosed Leo up with Calpol and got him ready for bed, and I even managed to get him down by 6pm. However when 9pm struck, I was greeted with my screaming nocturnal baby boy once again.

It seems that as soon as the moon comes out, Leo makes the transition from angel baby to monster baby...

I was determined to not have such a bad night, I wanted us both to get some sleep. At 11pm I was out driving around the countryside trying to get my beautiful boy to close his eyes once again. I was secretly hoping that I would get him to sleep and then be able to transfer him into his cot. Of course as soon as the car stopped...Leo was awake once again, dashing any hope of going to bed myself.

Leo reminded me of the Terminator by this point, he needed no sleep and he could go all day and night without even closing his eyes...Despite what I did, he just kept on coming back...Back from the land of nodd.

Leo wound himself up until he got hysterical, and by this point I felt like crying too. All the hours were merging into one and I was aware that this would be my second sleepless night. Through my teary haze I called the out of hours surgery. I told them all about my dilemma and how I could not settle my baby boy, how he was screaming and would not relent. By this time I could not control the tears falling down my cheeks.

Luckily my Dad was holding Leo while I made the call. I was told I could take him into the surgery for a appointment at 2am if I felt the need. It was around 12:30 by this point, and I did not feel strong enough, or confident enough to drive the half hour drive with my baby boy in my current tired zombie state. I was far to tired to even consider doing it safely and I knew they wouldn't be able to do anything. All they wanted to do was take his temperature, which I could do at home.

Leo would not settle in his cot, not even for a second. As soon as I put him down he worked himself into a hysterical state. I decided as a last straw to put Leo into his pushchair and walk him around the house. Yes in my hour of madness I was walking in circles around the living room and out into the hall. Anything to just try and get him to rest, and therefor pave the way for me getting some shut eye.

Eventually he did give in and he shut his eyes, so I brought down my duvet and attempted some sleep on the sofa. Sleep that never came. Leo then began to cry again and I was presented with the fact that I had the chance to sleep, and that chance was now passing me by. Luckily Leo was soon settled with a gentle rocking of the pushchair, and I made the decision to bring down the baby monitors and get into my bed for as long as I could.

I managed about an hours sleep, and by about 5:30am Leo was back up and awake again....My day was now starting and I was now more tired than before I went to bed.

With Luke being away all of last week, I have been trying to cope alone. I am not ashamed to say that I have found it hard. When Luke arrived back last night I don't think I have ever been so pleased to see him. I was thankful that we could both work together, and I could even take a little break.

To be continued....

Laura
xx





Thursday, 17 May 2012

Eyes Wide Open

Last night was the worst night in the history of bad nights. I had made myself a hot chocolate with the full intention of getting into bed and closing my tired eyes. This plan all changed at midnight when Leo awoke and greeted me with a chuckle and a very happy smile.

If only that smile had stayed, and if only he went back to sleep...Maybe I would have got some shut eye too...

Leo's smile soon slipped off his little face completely and was replaced with crying, crying and oh yes... Screaming! We must not forget that...as that is a big part of my nightmare night, and I can only imagine this headache I am currently fighting off, is a result of the screaming...

My beautiful boy had turned into some little monster baby, who was determined to keep me awake at all costs. Nothing worked after he had drank all of his milk, expect watching 'In The Night Garden...' and oh my...If I ever see Iggle Piggle again I will not be held responsible for my actions. 13 episodes later brings us up to the crack of dawn, and Leo is still fighting off cuddles and still refusing to sleep.

When I did manage to tuck him back into bed and sneak out of his prison cell of a room. He bided his time, he would wait until I had tucked myself back into bed, and just started to warm up the sheets, close my eyes and start to fall asleep...Que the screams starting back up again and me quickly running back into his room.

I have to admit by about 3:00am the frustration really hit me, I just wanted to scream and shout and I have to admit I even shed a few tears at 5:00am this morning. When all else failed I sat on the stairs with my head in my hands and I let him cry. I thought he may tire himself out eventually but I soon realised that he was just getting more hysterical and suddenly regretted my actions. I felt guilty, immensely guilty and I ran back into him. Instantly sorry for leaving him to his own devices.

That frustration is unlike anything I have ever felt before, and I just wanted my bed and some well deserved sleep, but sleep was an impossible option that was just not going to come easily.

I stayed up with Leo all night long, and the only shut eye I achieved was about half an hour when he closed his eyes, but then when he opened them again, Leo was back with a vengeance. I resigned myself to the living room and accepted the fact that we were not going to bed.

7:00am came around and everyone else in the house started getting up for the day, the great thing about living at home is that once everyone else was up, Granny took Leo off my hands so I could get a little shut eye. Now I am thinking about tonight and how I cannot take another demon night like last night.

Leo is currently teething and I am sure this is partly to blame for his unsociable waking hours. He has also come out in a red dotty rash, all over his face and body, which I have been informed could be a viral infection. Just to rule everything out, Leo is booked in at the doctors for just after 5pm this evening. I am truly hoping that the doctor can provide a magic remedy to help Leo sleep and make any pain he may be feeling, go away. Of course I know this probably wont be the case...

I am now gearing up for another bad night. Another night of eyes wide open and no chance of snuggling up in bed. I am also gearing up for a very early morning, as tomorrow Leo and I will be attending the Birmingham baby show, so if you see us and we look like the living dead, please don't be afraid, we are just very tired!

I just wanted to thank Nicola over at Life through my eyes for keeping me company last night and wish her all the luck in the world for the very immanent birth of her baby girl. You are going to do fantastic and I look forward to hearing all about your amazing experience!

Laura
xx