Thursday, 30 August 2012

The First Telling Off



I always wondered what Leo's first telling off would be about. I pondered how old he would be when I had to seriously tell him 'No' and mean it. 

I cannot remember the exact moment I first told him 'No' and that his actions were just not acceptable, but it was since he turned 12 months back in June. 

I can't remember because it has happened rather frequently recently...

Leo has suddenly out of nowhere began lashing out. He does it when he is excited and he does it when he is angry. I cannot begin to tell you where it has come from, because he has not witnessed it and we have never demonstrated it. 

Leo will raise his hand high up in the air and bring it down quickly to assert your attention, more so if he is frustrated or angry. At the first sign of that hand being lifted into the beyond, I straighten out my index finger and get down to Leo's level, with my finger pointing at him. I look him in the eyes and I tell him 'No, No Leo. You must not hit' and then I sit him down on the ground. If he does it again I repeat the process.

I know he understands the word 'No' but I also know he has selective hearing. I just don't understand as he is so gentle for the most part, especially with other children and the cat we have, but I do worry that he may un-knowingly lash out at another child. 

I want to instill in him that hitting is a negative action right now. I simply don't want him to do it and I don't want him to be branded a bully, and me a young Mum who let's her baby run wild while bullying other children.

Of course I know that Leo is not a bully, he is a baby trying to fathom the ways of the world, and gain a understanding to right and wrong. He is expressing his excitement and then also his anger and frustration when he is not understood.

Somehow I need to help him in those moments of frustration and she him that there are other ways that he can get my attention. I think until he starts talking more then this may be an underlying problem.

For now though, how can I stop Leo from hitting? How can I make him see that it is not a nice thing to do?

Have any of your little one's been like this? How did you change their behaviour?


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Special Gift...



When Leo was born we were gifted with a very special present. A present that would allow us to capture those special moments of Leo's ever changing face and development. 

A baby photo package that consisted of 3 separate photo shoots. 

One photo session for those very early days, where Leo was nothing but a little bundle in my arms. A little baby who lived for his next bottle of milk with his big Blue eyes and tiny little hands. He didn't wriggle, he just lay there and slept for the most part.

The next shoot was for a bit further along the line, when the changes in him were so apparent. We waited until February 2012 when Leo had just started crawling, he was 7 months old. Leo was sitting un-aided and his personality was there for the world to see, smiling at everyone around him. He was just discovering that he could pull himself up to standing but not very balanced quite yet.

I waited to book our final session as I wanted the final pictures to be just after Leo started walking. Then we really would have captured each and every stage. So when Leo began walking in July I got the shoot booked in for the beginning of August. Leo toddled about everywhere and put on his stubborn head, he was tired and he wasn't in the mood. However despite this we got some lovely shots.



We have just received the photos back from our third and final photo shoot. Now we have to pick a photo from each session to have framed, the choice is hard as there are so many photos from each session that I love. 

These photos below show so much change in my little man. Change that has come around so very quickly. He is no longer the little baby that sits still and contented in my arms, and he is no longer crawling around on all fours. Leo now walks and attempts a run, and he does not like to be sat still any longer than he has to be. 

Did you have any family portraits done when your little ones were younger?




Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Little Dish Zoo Crew


Leo is at an age now where he eats what we eat, but if for some reason that is not possible it is always handy to have in a ready meal that caters for Leo's sophisticated taste buds. Something quick and easy, while also being taste tantalising, healthy and nutritious.

Little Dish make healthy, natural food for toddlers and kid's using 100% natural ingredients. They never ever add any salt or sugar and the dishes they create are tasty and desired by my little man.

Over the past few months Little Dish have been cooking up a storm in their kitchen, dreaming up new recipes that are even tastier and delicious than before. 

To make dinner times fun and entertaining for the kid's Little Dish have introduced their Zoo Crew. Each recipe features it's own exciting character and fun activity on the inside of the packaging. 

Cool eh!

Leo has been sent a selection of Little Dish meal's to sink his little teeth into, and that is exactly what he did. 

In our selection of meal's we had:

- Chicken Risotto with Daphne the Giraffe
- Pasta, Cheese, Peas and Broccoli Trees with Tommy Tortoise
- Chicken Korma with Max the Monkey
- Spaghetti and Meatballs with Kyle the Kangaroo 



When it comes to dinner time in our house, you best find a seat far away from Leo, and even then you may want to don a poncho waterproof as you never know how extravagantly he will devour his dinner. 

It can get pretty messy...


Leo thoroughly enjoyed each meal, he demonstrated this by eagerly fisting the food into his open mouth. As soon as the first load had been deposited his hands were off again to find the next mouthful. The portions are very generous and Leo ate exceptionally well on each occasion. We will defiantly be getting some more in so that Leo can enjoy them again. 

 Leo's favourites were the Spaghetti and Meatballs and Chicken Korma. Leo likes flavoursome food and has done from a young age, there is no skirting around the edges, he wants exciting foods that he can feed himself. 

You can find Little Dish in the chilled section in Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose and Ocodo 

If you shop at Sainsburys, Little Dish have a special treat for you

'If you buy 2 Little Dish meals, we'll give you a 3rd one (for free). Similarly, if you buy 4 meals, we'll send you 2, buy 6 meals and we'll send you 3, and so on…


Just send us your receipt or receipts for at least 2 meals that have been bought in Sainsbury's. You can either post them to us at the below address, or email a photo of them through to receipttoeat@littledish.co.uk. Include your name, address and email, along with if you're happy to be added to our Little Dish family. We'll then send you a free meal coupon (or several) in return.'


Send your reciepts here:
Receipt to Eat

Little Dish
33 Astley House
Notting Hill Gate
London
W11 3JQ 


Disclaimer: We were sent the Little Dish meals for the purpose of this post, but all views and opinions are completely honest and my own.



Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Mookie QuickSmart Scramble Bug Review



Have you noticed recently how grown up my little man is looking these days? 

Those baby days seem so long ago now, and the toddler days...Well they are really now upon us. Leo looks for adventure at every turn so we were really excited to receive the Mookie Scramble Bug in the bright Yellow and Green colouring, to help keep him out of trouble.

What is the Mookie Scramble Bug?
The Mookie Scramble Bug is a unique ride on that can move in all directions due to the incorporated castor wheels. It features a fixed handlebar that your toddler can hold on to as they go along, the castor wheels mean that the Scramble Bug can turn 360 degrees with ease and is suitable for the use of children from 1 years old, right up to 3 years old. 

The Mookie Scramble Bug arrives...

By now it is safe to say that I am the biggest kid in the toy shop. 

I embrace this fact. 

When I received this rather exciting parcel I was so eager to get it all un-wrapped and set up for Leo to have a go on. So like a child at Christmas I quickly opened the box up to reveal the very attractive little bug that had been hiding away inside.

In the box you receive the Scramble Bug and the instruction booklet should you need any guidance in getting it up and running. The Scramble Bug does not need any assembly, which is always great for me... As otherwise I may have had to wait for Leo's Daddy to arrive home from work!

Nope. All that is needed in this case is to release the legs on either side, front and back in order to unfold the Scramble Bug. 


That is it. 
Simple! Just as we like it!

You now only have to await your little monster to awake from their afternoon slumber, so that they can really give the Scramble Bug a spin!

While I was waiting for Leo to awake I even had a little play with the Scuttle Bug, short of sitting on it myself of course! I really liked the height as it is perfect for Leo to climb on and off on his own, and if he should have a little fall, it is not too far for him to go. The Scramble Bug is very sturdy and looks fantastic in the insect inspired designs. 

They even have little buggy eyes on the front which is sure to capture your little one's attention.

Leo didn't keep me waiting too long, as he was soon awake and ready to play with his shiny new toy.
Leo was smitten straight away as I lifted him onto the seat, and straight away he was off around the room. He has been really nifty on ride on's for a while now and can go both backwards and forwards, so I was not surprised when he jetted off on his travels aided by his new set of castor wheels.

The fact he can easily manoeuvre wherever he wants to go is great, as with other ride on's we have been using he always get's very frustrated when he cannot go in the direction he wishes to go. My cheeky little man has been going from one end of the room to the other and then turning around and doing it all over again. Then he will head to the bookshelf and happily pull all the books down as he rides past, giving him the ability to perfect a drive by assassination. 

As suspected there have been occasions where Leo has taken a tumble off either side and even managed to slip off the back due to his enthusiastic driving, but this has just added to Leo's experience and he picks himself back up, and then hops back on for round Two. The height of the Scramble Bug really is great as it does not matter if they do take a few experiential tumbles.

The insect design incorporated with the bright colours and the over all character that comes with the Scramble Bug are lovely touches. Leo has been fascinated by the eyes on the front and has persistently poked them as they have drawn in his interest. It is a well known fact that Babies and Toddlers love faces, so if your little one's are anything like Leo then they will get plenty of joy out of the buggy eyes.

Leo has been regularly playing with the Scramble Bug in the house, and we are yet to take it outside to play. Now that Leo is getting the hang of getting around on it, I don't think it will be long before we are  venturing out into the garden so that he can put his new skills to the test in the wilderness. We can even take the Scramble Bug further afield should we wish to due to the compact fold that makes it extremely portable. 

I think the Scramble Bug is fantastic as it helps develop the pushing and steering skills that they will need as they progress onto trikes and future ride on's. It allows children to gain the confidence to move around freely, and venture into the unknown. 

Leo was 13 months old when he received the Scramble Bug and he has been really enjoying it, it is safe to say that there is plenty more play value to be had out of it.  I highly recommend the Scramble Bug and would recommend it to parent's looking for first birthday presents. 

The Mookie Scramble Bug retails at £39.99 and you can purchase it from Amazon

I will leave you with Leo enjoying his Scramble Bug experience!



Disclaimer: We were sent the Mookie Scramble Bug for the purpose of this review, however all views and opinions expressed are my own.



Saturday, 25 August 2012

Silent Sunday


Toddler See, Toddler Do Week 3 and 4

http://www.thelifeandtimesoftheworkingmum.com/2012/08/toddler-see-toddler-do-week-one.html

With our recent week away I have been behind on my weekly posts. In fact I have consecutively missed two weeks. And boy...In those two weeks, Leo has certainly been living up to the word toddler.


We have had more bumps, falls and clumsy moments in the last fortnight than I have ever known. It all started with a topple off the sofa, that even brought tears to the eyes of my little solider. Who never ever really makes a fuss when he falls. Leo was standing up on the sofa and deliberately falling against me. He laughed when I caught him and then he would repeat the entire process again. Only this time he lost his balance and plummeted to the floor, even though my reflexes went to prevent him doing so. They were just not quick enough. I dusted him off and cuddled him close and within a few minutes, the fall was not even a distant memory in his mind.

While we have been away there have been 2 falls out of bed, due to the fact that Leo point blank refused to go back in his cot when he awoke in the night. I always knew Leo was a little fidget bum, but watching him rival around and move all over the bed. Up and down. I could see why he was falling out, and resigned myself to staying awake while he was in my bed. Once he was sound asleep I transferred him back and he was non the wiser. 


For good measure there is one more bump to report. His Great Aunt and Great Granny took him out for a walk. I know it sounds awful but as soon as they left I knew that he would come back with a bump or graze, and sure enough while they were out Leo fell over and gave himself a lovely bump on the head. 

The clumsiness could be because he is dancing up a storm, when Leo hears a tune he likes he begins to dip his legs and boogie. We must look a right sight doing our special little dance moves! This little party trick is becoming more and more regular and everyone is thoroughly enjoying his special dance routine.

Leo is copying facial expressions, and recently mimicked me clenching my teeth together and pulling a funny face. I was so tickled when Leo greeted me with the same facial expression back. Just the other night he was rolling around on the bed watching X-Factor and giving me the face over and over again. Especially when Daddy told him he had to go to bed. Cheeky monkey.

I have mentioned in recent weeks that Leo's temper is becoming more apparent. This is still progressing and over this week he has started clenching both his fists together in a display of frustration. He will then growl while shaking his clenched fists up and down. I don't know how, or even why he has suddenly began to do this. I couldn't even say where he has pickled it up, but it is something that I truly hope he outgrows. Soon! 

I have had to start telling Leo off for hitting out at me, as soon as he does it I put him down and I explain why I have done so. I will not tolerate hitting. This often makes him do it again, like it is some kind of game, but I am determined that he will not do this. This often results in the clenched fists scenario...

With this temper though, he has more of a soft side. He gives me loving cuddles and when he is un-sure, shy or tired I get so many beautiful huggles. It is so great having such an affectionate little man. All be it on his terms...

When Leo isn't running around like the little monster that he is, he can be so very gentle. He demonstrated just how gentle he can be by giving our Cat soft strokes. He was great with her and she sat there lapping up all the attention that he was showering her with. Each time the Cat nuzzled in he would giggle, and then when she missed her footing and fell on his lap, he was in fit's of giggles. 

In the past fortnight Leo has had 4 new teeth come through. Giving us a total of 8 teeth. Or round abouts as I cannot get my finger in to have a proper feel, but from what I can see he is now inundated with lots of pearly whites. They have come from no where and I have not even noticed any distress from Leo. One of the new teeth is one of the back ones that I have heard many babies really struggle with.  

Leo is coming out with new words and making up his own little language. He has lot's to say even if we don't have a clue what he is talking about. 

'Down'
'Star'
'No'
'Mum'
'Dad'
'Bear'
'Granddad'

These are some of the words he is now coming out with, as and when he feels like it. It won't be long before he is a little chatter box!

Leo has finally discovered the magic that comes from flushing the toilet, much to my horror of course. He has been flushing the toilet over and over again. He has even discovered the joy of being a Andrex puppy...Let's just say that the house keepers who attended our room on our week away...Will wonder what on earth happend to all of our toilet roll...



What have your toddlers been up to? 

Have they reached any new milestones?


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Friday, 24 August 2012

A week at the beach...


Last Friday we packed up the car with buckets, spades and plenty of goodies, all ready to head to sunny Bournemouth for a week away. We sat expectantly awaiting the sound of the roaring engine that meant we would be on our way, although the sound we were greeted with meant that we weren't going anywhere in a hurry.

The car was not going to start. The battery was completely flat. So Granddad whipped out the jump leads and we were soon on our merry way down the motorway. 

The hotel we were staying in was no palace, but it was a huge improvement on my last stay in a hotel. It was basic but most importantly it was clean. It backed onto the beautiful Bournemouth gardens that went straight down to the beach. 

I was set for a blissful week with my beautiful little man.

The moments spent with Leo were perfect. He was on top form and entertained not only I, but the entire hotel residency.

We took breath taking walks down to the beach and dipped our feet in the sea together for the very first time. That very first wave was a shock for Leo and for a moment I thought that he was going to hate the experience, except that was not the case. The next wave proceeded to make Leo chuckle and smile. In fact he loved it so much that he didn't want to leave...When Daddy tried to walk him back out of the water he dug his feet into the sand, before sitting down and not relenting a single inch.



Leo toddled all over the sand and even managed to keep his balance. This was his first real experience of the beach in all it's glory, as this is the first time he has visited and been on his two feet. He really did make the most of it, putting his face down onto the sand to get a closer look and lifting his head back up again covered in gritty sand. I wiped his face on countless occasions before I realised that it was useless. Leo was going to do it despite my reservations.


By the beach are a few small rides, one being the Carousel. We watched it go round and round as the horses went elegantly up and down. Before I knew it, I had given the ride attendant some money and I was climbing on with Leo. We made ourselves comfortable in a carriage as I did not trust Leo to sit still enough on a horse, and did not fancy keeping him still while the ride was in motion. 


Leo's first Carousel experience was such a hit, he was amazed by all the lights and the music. I had not been on the Carousel in years, but sharing that moment with Leo brought back all the magic from when I was a child. 

Unfortunately there were down sides to the week. My aunt infuriated me and did not consider Leo in her dinner arrangements, opting into eating later and not compromising in terms of timing. This combined with the aggravating comments spiralled me into a rage, that resulted in me leaving dinner early. If I had stayed I would have blown my lid and that would have been awkward for everyone. My leaving early however did not prevent a argument, and as soon as I departed both of my aunt's were bickering like five year old's.

After this I decided it best to eat earlier, which meant Leo and I were getting lot's of quality time together. I didn't mind at all, and it made the rest of my evening more enjoyable.

I guess when you go on a extended family break...There are always going to be split hairs and different agendas, but is it really that hard to compromise on a suitable dinner time that suits all? Is there any real need for rude comments that made me feel a few inch's tall?

The time with Leo has been great and we have had a great time in each other's company. This time with Leo takes the sting out of the negative part's of the week, and although I have not forgotten what was said, I have not risen to it.

How have your week's been? 








Thursday, 16 August 2012

How To Make a Rainbow Cake



Today is my better half's birthday. He is turning the ripe old age of 23. 

There is just over a week between our birthday's but in between my big day and his...he always likes to remind me that I am actually a whole year older than him. 

Despite the fact it is just for 8 days.

As each birthday comes and goes, and Luke get's more gadgets year after year. It get's harder and harder to find that perfect birthday gift for him.

I have had to think outside the box and find something new and unique for him to do. Take last year for instance when Luke took part in a Monster Truck Driving Experience, and even got to drive the big Red truck out of the recent Mcdonald's advert.


I have booked him nights away luxurious hotels and even disguised gifts. One year he even thought I had bought him a Playstation 3...Only to discover it was a weighted Playstation 3 box....with no Playstation 3. Of course after seeing that sad puppy dog face, he did indeed get one later that year. 

This year though I am all out of ideas. My present finding fountain has run dry.

So I gave him some money to do as he will, invested in that new Sat Nav that he needs and then I sat looking at Bex's 'How to make a rainbow cake' post. I thought how great the finished cake looked and how unusual it was, most of all just how bright and colourful it was.

 I was inspired. 

So before that inspiration disappeared I began to get the ingredients together to make the monstrous recipe that this cake demanded. Let's just say that when Bex said you need a big mixing bowl...You really do need a big mixing bowl. 

You need to put the mixture into a number of individual bowls before adding your food colouring, and then transferring them into the cake tin to bake. The food colouring is where things go from messy...to messier. Unfortunately I am no cooking goddess and I do make a mess. A big mess.

I began baking at 7pm last night, just after Leo had gone down to bed. At 1:00am last night I was still waiting for my final cake to come out of the oven. I guess if you are using one cake tin to cook a number of different cake layers...You can expect the drawn out cooking duration!

I found by the end that I had food colouring everywhere. All over my hands, all over the table and all up the wall around the kitchen sink. It was like a big bag of rainbow drops had casually exploded all over the kitchen. 

Despite the grueling haul in the kitchen, and the very late night. The cake was completed this morning and topped off with Marzipan. The decorations were applied and the cake was ready. Ready to shine rainbows out upon the moment of impact. The impact of the knife slowly but surely cutting through all those layers that took me so long to bake. 

Luke arrived home from work tonight and there it was sitting on the table. After we had lit Luke's candles and Leo looked on in awe, we took the knife and allowed those rainbows to shine. I actually found myself looking around the room for the leprechaun and the pot of gold. 

So Happy Birthday Luke!

Rainbow Cake Recipe


16oz/450g butter
28oz/800g
sugar
1lb/900g flour
8 eggs
4 tsps vanilla essence
6 tsps baking powder
500ml milk
food colouring paste


Here is our Rainbow Cake!





The Plum Baby School & Weaning Video


Back in June, organic baby food brand, Plum, ran a competition to win a sought after place at the first ever Plum Cookery School. Leo and I were invited along to trial the day before the Cookery School opened it's doors to the lucky winner's.

Five lucky mums were invited down to Buckinghamshire where the Cookery School opened its doors to reveal some of the tasty secrets behind Plum’s recipes and offered expert advice to support parents through the weaning process. The cookery school was made extra exciting with two special guests, celebrity chef Rachel Allen and child nutrition expert, Beverley Glock, who were both absolutely fabulous as you will see in the new weaning videos.

Plum’s new weaning videos are designed to ensure that other mums can take advantage of Rachel and Beverley’s advice whilst learning lots of cooking tips, eating fabulous food and having many of their weaning worries resolved.

Click here to see the Plum Cookery School action in the third of Plum’s weaning videos. This video covers stage three of weaning, where Beverley Glock cooks up two tasty dishes, including a Beef Stroganoff that the whole family can enjoy.




And, if this video has got tummies rumbling and you can’t wait to learn more, all you need to do is head on over to Plum’s You Tube channel (www.youtube.com/plumbaby) where you can watch all four episodes!

If you haven’t yet tried Plum products I’d urge you to do it, they taste amazing. Plus, with a free coupon available to download on Plum’s Facebook Page, now is your perfect time to introduce baby to Plum! They are going thick and fast though and they only have 10,000 to give away, so do hurry! www.facebook.com/plumbaby





This is a sponsored post

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Flexible Working Decision



After returning back to work on July 25th 2012, I was greeted with the fact that my priorities had changed. I was a Mummy who needed more time with her baby, and this was not not the only change to have come around in my 13 months absence.

The company had moved on, I was not relied upon any more. My passion for the work I was doing ceased to exist. With all of these different emotions and feelings of resentment to missing out on my little man, I applied for flexible working. 

I made my application after my first 3 days back at work, and it has taken this long to hear their response. As the weeks have rolled by it has given me ample opportunity to think about what I want to do. What I would love to do. The same thoughts keep coming up in my head, and those bright sparkly ideas are telling me that I don't belong where I am anymore and I long to re-train in public relations.

I am putting my all into finding the best route into going about this and work experience seems to be a good road to take. I am lining my options up and trying not to put all my eggs in one basket. 

Today however I received really good news, that will hopefully aid my stride in chasing my dream. My application for flexible working has been granted. The date this will all start is October 1st 2012. 

I was called up for a meeting with the Operations Director. I suddenly felt really nervous, and I felt my heartbeat skip a beat, and until that meeting was over it beat so fast I thought it may jump right out of my chest. I don't know whether I was scared, or just worried that they may not approve it, or the fact that they might? 

The director told me with a smile that it had been approved and handed me a letter sealing my fate. 

This will give me more time with Leo, and more time for me to really get into what I want to do. I feel so different about being back at work, with all the changes that I cannot get my head around, and no longer feeling like part of the furniture, but more of an outsider looking in. 

I still need to get Luke on board with my flexible working. I just need him to understand that I need to do this for Leo, and I need to do this for myself. It is not about me not wanting to work because I do. I still also want to achieve all of the same goals that he does, but I also need a little bit of compromise in this. 

I think long term it is best that I chase my dreams now, to put us in better stead for the future. This dream is never going to go away and this precious time with Leo is still rolling by, without me. 

Do you have any advice in how I can make Luke understand? Make him see where I am coming from?

Thank you to everyone who has wished me all the luck in the world with my mission to seek flexible working and for all of your advice. I greatly appreciate it.

Laura 
xx

Monday, 13 August 2012

Easywalker June - Accenture Innovation Awards

Photobucket

I recently introduced you to the Easywalker June. I told you all about the highly anticipated stroller and it's impressive features. 

Now I am asking you to spare a couple of moments to place your vote for the Easywalker June in the prestigious Accenture Innovation Awards.  

You can place your vote by clicking on the above image and using the social media icons below to place your vote. 

- Like the article via Facebook
- Tweet the link so your followers can do the same
- Share on LinkedIn

On this occasion Easywalker are one of the only companies in the awards representing the baby industry! So let's give them a helping hand in receiving the coveted Public Prize.

Good Luck Easywalker!


Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Cosatto Noodle High Chair Review



Cosatto have very kindly sent Leo and I there Noodle Highchair in the popular Dippi Egg design. We have been putting it through it's paces from the word go, and I am pleased to report that we are very happy with the quirky design and the over all function.

The Cosatto Noodle is suitable for babies from 6 months old, and as with all of Cosatto's products, comes with a standard 4 year guarantee. Just in case you happen to run into any un-foreseen problems. 

Below is a list of all the features that the Noodle includes: 

- Suitable from six months
- 6 position height adjustable seat
- 2 removable, washable trays with cup holder
- Remove tray so baby can join you at the table
- 3-position seat recline for snoozing
- Easy-to-use compact fold
- Free-standing folded position
- Fully removable seat pad for easy cleaning
- 5-point safety harness
- FREE 4 Year Guarantee 

So without further adieu, Here is our review...

Leo and I opened up the Cosatto box, looking forward to seeing what the cardboard casing was keeping just out of sight. Then I saw it. Our shiny new Noodle highchair. With the usual Cosatto quirkiness shining through in the pleasant dippi egg design. I quickly got all of the parts out and located the instructions and began to piece them together like a jigsaw.

It is common knowledge around here that assembling any sort of equipment, I will more than likely need help in the from of my partner Luke. I did give it my best shot, but with Leo running circles around me like the little monster that he is, and trying to keep him away from my camera that was set up to film our every move (even the bit where Leo pulls the camera off the shelf!). Then there was the moment I realised that I had not quite followed the instructions... leading to me calling for Luke to show me the error of my ways. Of course...He had no problem telling me where I had gone wrong.

Luke swooped in, and together we had the Noodle up in no time at all, and the Cosatto glory shone out. 

Note: I have to say here that the assembly is so simple, just try and keep all toddlers at bay when piecing together your Noddle masterpiece. They will run off with the bits that you need and they will make the process a more difficult affair.
With our Noodle all set up and ready to be put through it's paces, I wanted to get to grips with how to use all of the great features. The Noodle has a adjustable seat with 5 point safety harness and 6 adjustable heights for the unit to sit at. I think this is great as it gives you the flexibly to sit on the floor with the baby when you feed him, or even to bring them right up close to the table. 

The tray can even be completely removed off the unit to really allow them to join in with the rest of the family. There is a clip at the back of the Noodle for you to be able to clip the tray away, so that it is completely out of the way until you next need it. 

Leo has always liked to join in at dinner time, so this feature is a godsend for us. It gave Leo ample opportunity to steal dinner off all of our plates once he had finished with his own, and he even took the chance to try and steal our cutlery! I really cannot take my eyes off him for a second.

The tray has a added insert where you can put all of babies food, and there is even space to put babies drink and cutlery. This is great if your little one is anything like my little man, as there are many occasions where Leo will take his plate and just throw it to the floor. The insert gives you the opportunity to forget a plate and just serve everything up on the tray. 

Thank you Cosatto!

The Noodle features a great recline feature which is great for when baby decides to suddenly fall asleep in their Spaghetti Bolognese. You can operate the 3 position recline at the back of the seat unit by squeezing the button upwards, and gently pulling the seat back. This gives your little monkey chance to have a little after dinner snooze. Leo has never actually fallen asleep over his dinner, so I have never had the opportunity to recline Leo and let him count some sheep...Maybe one day he will relent and present me this serene moment!

Now to the nitty gritty...Cleaning your highchair. This is one of my pet hates, as the highchair we used in the early days with Leo was actually a real mission to clean. The Noodle however is a doddle. It is so simple and easy to clean, with no secret hiding places for any food to escape the sponge coming to give it a real shine.

The covers are made out of soft PVC, which allows you to just wipe it clean. With the easy removal of the tray it really does give you access to the whole seat which can be fully removed, with Leo this is essential. Food goes everywhere, Leo seems to find new spaces for food to fall at each meal, so having such a easy to clean unit is a real must for us.

Once dinner time is complete, you will most likely want to store the highchair away. This is easily done with the Noodle which happens to fold freestanding, to allow you to tuck it behind a door so that it is ready to grab for the next sitting.

What I really love about the Noodle is just how simple it is to use and maintain. The operational buttons are chunky and easy to use. This is all you can really ask from a highchair right!?

Now I am pleased to share with you our personal experience with the Noodle in the form of a video. I will start off by running through the features with you and move on to show you our set up process! 



Enjoy!
Laura
xx

Disclaimer: I was sent a Cosatto Noodle Highchair for the purpose of this review. Please note that all views and opinions are my own.

Silent Sunday


Friday, 10 August 2012

Toddler See, Toddler Do - Week 2


http://www.thelifeandtimesoftheworkingmum.com/2012/08/toddler-see-toddler-do-week-one.html

This week has been such a busy week, Leo has been on form and been his usual cheeky self. He has learnt new words 'Pop' and 'Bang' and been putting them to use. We have been popping bubbles in the bath, and shouting 'Pop, Pop, Pop!' Leo thinks this is the best game! Leo has also been slamming lots of doors. Cupboard doors, living room doors, kitchen doors and even the front door. Each and every time he is squealing 'bang'.

He is completely right though, bubbles do go pop and doors certainly go bang!

Leo has been dancing more recently, he has been dipping his knees and rocking for a little while now, but this week his little dance routine is being performed more and more! It is the greatest little sight!

I have come home from work at lunch times to see Leo toddling out to meet me from the car, all of a sudden he just looks so grown up. Like a proper little boy. Of course I think I notice this more because I am here less, and the changes are more obvious when I return.

Another development in Leo is his temper. He is becoming such a little monkey. If he does not get his own way he will throw things across the room, after purposely picking them up just for that reason. Leo will make as much noise as he physically can, and when that is not enough he will enlist the help of an object. His latest trick is standing up in his cot and reaching out for his rocking chair. He will then slam it as hard as he can into the wall, which in turn shakes my wall and knocks many items off my shelf. This gives you and idea of just how forceful he can be...

Leo is really perfecting the art of temper tantrums, and I know that it is going to get worse before it get's better.

Just today Leo cried his little eyes out when I had to leave to return to work, not because he was throwing a tantrum but because he wanted me. Granted he was tired and needed a nap, but he just wanted Mummy cuddles. I really wanted to stay and just spend the day with him.

I am certain he knows that I am not here as much as I used to be.

I wish I could be...

What has your toddler been up to this week? Feel free to link up and tell us all about their antics!






Thursday, 9 August 2012

The VTech Winnie The Pooh Walker Review



Leo recently discovered his little feet were made for walking, and one day back in July he suddenly took off. There was no real warning, he just did it. Daddy and I had been encouraging Leo for months, we stood him up and offered him his favourite toy's that were just that little bit out of his reach. 

There was of course another aid in Leo's first steps...


Around Christmas I came across the VTech Winnie The Pooh Walker on the Toys R Us website, retailing at £31.99 and it looked great. I knew that Leo would love it to aid him in achieving his New Year's resolution: Learning to walk. Without a second thought I added it to Leo's already bulging Christmas list. 

As luck would have it, Santa brought Leo his shiny new walker. I was so surprised to see it there underneath the Christmas Tree! Leo really must have been a good boy!

Christmas day had arrived and Leo finally had all his gifts delivered to him, One of the first one's Leo tentatively opened was his new Winnie The Pooh Walker. Daddy set it up for him in no time at all. The assembly was very simple, and if you are in any doubt at all there are easy to follow instructions enclosed in the box. I wont lie...Daddy did have to read them. He will tell you otherwise however.

When the walker was set up and ready, I was instantly impressed with the sturdiness. I pushed down on the handle bar to see if the walker would give out and tip backwards, but this was not the case. It was perfect for Leo to learn to pull himself up to standing against, without the added fear that it could tip back at any point. 

The VTech walker is suitable from 6 months old. I am not saying that Leo was anywhere near walking at this age, but it is great to have for when they do show an interest in pulling themselves up to standing, and then of course when they want to walk along with an aid. 

Even before Leo was interested in standing against it, the activity centre on the front can be detached so that baby can play with it on the floor. Leo was sitting up at 6 months and thoroughly enjoyed sitting there playing. 

The learning centre features many different activities, from Shapes and light-up musical keys that introduce baby to letters, words, numbers, animals and colours. There are some really lovely songs and melodies sung by Winnie The Pooh himself as he goes about his day to day business of finding some Honey!

There are Two different settings to the activity centre and many different aspects for baby to activate to make a special sound. The moving butterfly, discs and rollers kept Leo entertained and as he succeeded in moving the objects, he was rewarded with special sounds, songs and lights. 

By 8 months old Leo was besotted with his walker, and it was around this age that he began to really use it for it's intended purpose. Walking. Daddy and I always stood Leo up against the walker as he found it a little hard to reach the handle for a short while, despite him being able to pull himself up along the furniture. Then one day, Leo pulled himself up against the walker and looked so proud of himself. In the next breath, Leo was slowly taking his first aided steps with the walker.

Leo could not steer the walker and soon found solid objects that got in his way, he decided that by shouting at them they would just magically move out of his way. Or Mummy would move them for him so he could continue cruising around the room.

I felt so proud seeing Leo putting one foot in front of the other and using his walker. Leo also felt the same level of achievement, judging by the victory crawl he completed after he let go of the walker. I cheered Leo on and within a few seconds he was back up against his walker going for round Two!

The walker aided Leo's strength and gave him the confidence to walk. I have been so impressed with the VTech Winnie The Pooh Walker and highly recommend it for parent's of little one's who want to find their confidence and build up their little legs, ready for those first steps.

The only point I will make is that in those very early days when a baby is learning to use the walker, the wheels can roll a little to quickly, and make baby run before they can walk. Leo soon mastered the speed and could quite happily run along with it. 

What I really love about this walker is the bright colours and Winnie The Pooh design. I have found myself singing along with Pooh Bear on many occasions. It has defiantly served it's purpose in our house and Leo is now walking independently like a little super star! 

video



Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Another Year Older...



Today is my birthday and I find it hard to believe that another year has come to a end, and yet another one is beginning. Time seems to fly these days, and it is apparent in many ways, shapes and forms. 

I booked the day out of work and decided the spend it with my little Leo. Leo's Granny invited us to the Cotswold Farm Park for a day out in the countryside, and we happily obliged. 

The initial part of my birthday morning was spent opening cards and checking my emails on my shiny new iPad (Thanks Luke!). Then it was time to take the short drive out into the countryside to see all sorts of animals. 

We have been to the farm park on two occasions prior to today's visit and it is safe to say that today, Leo has had the most out of his experience. He has toddled everywhere and touched everything he could possibly touch and taken in everything as he has made his way around.

For the first part of our day out we didn't even get the pushchair out of the car, we let Leo make his own way around and it was only after lunch when I thought he may be getting tired, that we got the pushchair out of the boot. He was not impressed by this and kept trying to get out.

We met baby Rabbits, Chicks, Ducklings, Lambs, Kids, Piglets and even Donkey's. Some of them we even managed to get up close and personal with. At certain times throughout the day they have staff members get the babies out of their enclosures and allow the general public to come and have a cuddle. I have never stroked a piglet before but it was amazing. The highlight of this experience for me was the member of staff gently patting the piglet up and down, after we have always told Leo to be gentle. He looked completely awe struck when the women patted the little piggy like a drum. After this he kept giving her the most cheeky smiles. I half expected Leo to have a go at patting the pig on the back...Luckily he did not catch on.



Leo and I even gave a lamb a bottle of milk. Leo thought it was great helping me hold the bottle and laughed when the lamb looked all around to find more milk. 

Leo played among the hay bales despite the 'Please do not play on the hay bale' sign. He had a great time, although he did flinch the first time he felt the rough straw against his soft skin. For a moment I thought this may put him off, but of course this did not happen.

We even had a little play on the play equipment, Leo having the time of his life going up and down on the see saw.

Now however, after a great day. Leo will not go to bed. You would have thought he would be completely tired and ready for bed. In my opinion he is now over tired and fighting sleep at every corner. Daddy and I just sat down to a yummy takeaway that we believed would be between just us two, Leo had other plans and sat with us scoffing prawn crackers. Leo is now back in bed and again.... Not sleeping.

Leo has just discovered that if he stands up in his cot and reaches out, he can hold the rocking chair, and then push it into his bedroom wall as hard as he possibly can. So hard that I have had all sorts flying off my shelf. Please join me in saying...

GO TO SLEEP LEO!