bottle feeding

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Baby Classes

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Baby Classes

 

So, it seems that once you’ve got the baby out of you then you have to then suddenly fill your calendar with sensory classes, baby massage and bounce and rhyme classes.

During my pregnancy with my eldest I can’t really remember on finding local baby classes, or planning to attend them. It was more than likely the fact others were doing it and me feeling like I should too!

I was quite fortunate to live a few minutes from a local children’s centre where they held most of the baby classes ion my town.

Even looking back now I remember baby classes with conflicting emotions.

Elijah had colic so someone had suggested baby massage and I did put our names down to see if it would help.

By this point we had endured a NICU stay, and were waiting for a surgery date. I began to decline mentally and certainly remember feeling panicky about attending the class.

Luckily my friend also attended with me, but I still feeling some afraid that people would pick out me as the NICU Mum, and I didn’t want their pity. I was going through a really bad time of accepting what we had been through, and also what we would have to go through and meeting other mums with their healthy babies was hard.

I briefly mentioned it to the teacher in case there was any sort of medical restriction and I saw the pity in her eyes.

I did what I do best, and deflected it, providing some distraction was also Elijah who had projectile vomited all over one of those brightly coloured matts.

As much as baby classes are great for getting you out of the house, for meeting other mums I think there is also a slightly darker side to them, well that’s my experience anyway.

I found I was always comparing myself to others, and my baby too, who was bigger, was was sleeping better, who was doing what.

There is also a fear of judgement when I whipped my Tommee Tippee out of the changing bag, I felt like I was failing.

This is likely just a representation of my mental state at the time, and I am even now, very socially awkward.

I did find it quite hard to go into a room full of parents I didn’t know and to me felt as though I was being put on trial.

I tended to feel comfortable with certain mum friends and would prefer just a house play date rather than sitting in a circle singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Over the first 18 months with Elijah we attended them sporadically, but I just don’t think we found the right fit for us. We also had a lot going on with NICU surgery, recovery etc they were just not on my top list of priorities.

I think there is a stigma surrounding baby classes too, I know of some wonderful ladies whom I have met who run their own classes and I am sure they would have certainly been better suited to us.

There are some great baby classes now on offer that are now offering something different from the norm that also help the parents out too (links below).

Greg always felt the odd one out as he tended to be the only dad and I just didn’t feel comfortable enough to keep going back.

I haven’t actually taken Harlow to a baby class and I do beat myself up he is missing out but truth is with two kids, and a trillion schedules to manage we just don’t have time. He is quite happy to play with Elijah and friends.

It has sadden me that many Children’s Centres are closing and this is where many baby classes are held, and despite me not using them much I know how important they are to others and having the access of them.

It is funny how we as parents put so much pressure on ourselves to sensor the hell out of our little ones believing it is what we should be doing at a detriment to ourselves.

I worry about this un necessary pressure on vulnerable new mums, and wish I could go back and tell that panicked mum it was all okay and it doesn’t matter because you are just doing your best.

Happy mum/dad, happy baby whether you go to baby class or not.

Yoga Babies

Baby Fit

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Get Me Out the Four Walls

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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If you love Vicki honest blog please read her other blogs here.

 

 


baby photographer Norfolk

Norfolk Parent Event Businesses

Norfolk Parent Event Businesses

When you are a parent, days and nights out aren’t quite the same as pre children are they? Where you would crave a long pub lunch by the river, you now want to know where the baby changing facilities are.

Nights out come with the inevitable hangover and somehow cramming into the pre baby night out mini skirt and going to a club doesn’t have the same appeal.

But, how and most importantly where do you go to get the much needed me time, playdates and night out that are parent friendly (accompanied by a few gins of course!)

Below you will find some amazing parent focused companies who arrange amazing meet ups with or without children, day and night so everyone will find something for them. Best bit of all?

They are all based in Norfolk! if you know of anymore please comment we'd love to discover more!

 

@NorwichMumbler

Your one stop shop for all things parenting. Family fun days at Norwich Castle? An active Facebook community? Reviews and information of all the best days out and family friendly facilities in the area? Norwich Mumbler really does have it all in a non-judgemental and welcoming environment, both on and offline.

@KnackeredandNorwich

Okay, I may be slightly biased with this one as I co-founded the social club but it is a monthly meet up in and around Norwich’s amazing coffee shops for parents, small businesses, freelancers and anyone else who wants to come along! It is a great platform to connect and network with other likeminded people and meet those people you’ve been following on Instagram for ages! There is normally a talk of sorts or skill share and highlighting causes close to our hearts like Harper’s Little Helpers and period poverty, most of all it’s a great chance to get pout the house, enjoy some great coffee and company!

@Wegotthissometimes

Emma has put together an amazing event company specifically targeted at giving parents the night of and bringing them some of the glitterati of Instagram right to their doorstep in Norwich. From Mother Pukka, The Unmumsy Mum and who can forget The Scummy Mummies? Unforgettable nights out for parents is the name of the game and Emma has certainly delivered again and again. Don’t forget to sign up for priority notice of new ticket releases!

 

@Mummaandmore

A local events company run by the lovely Sarah to showcase local small businesses and support working parents. With some brilliant events like Mumma Jumble and Mumma Market and not to mention the frankly amazing Women Supporting Women Facebook group this is one mumma on a mission to empower the working parents of Norfolk.

 

@TheParentandBabyShow

Baby shows seem a slightly out dated concept. The Parent and Baby Show have turned that on its head by bringing a regular, fun, and interactive show. With on hand advice, baby changing and feeding facilities, and some amazing local and national brands normally with a brilliant festival theme. There is also a PABS Business Hub over on FB and upcoming awards supporting local businesses!

With so many events, days out, and communities on offer in the local area you really are spoilt for choice and will find it hard to fit it all in!

Do you run or host a parent event businesses or organise regular meet ups?

We want to hear from you so we can add it and share it with our readers too!

 

Vicki and Jess


PYO Norfolk

Things to do with Kids: Top 5 places to fruit pick in Norfolk

Top 5 places to PYO -  fruit pick in Norfolk

 

Picking your own fruit and veg is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. As well as giving you the chance to enjoy some of Norfolk’s best produce, it’s a great opportunity to teach your kids a little more about where their food comes from. To help you plan your fun day out, with the help of friends I’ve picked the top five favourite PYO spots for you to explore this summer.

 

  1. Blofield

 

At Blofield, you can pick your own strawberries and sweet pea flowers in early June and gorge on raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, tayberries, currants and sweet peas later in the summer. Located just to the south east of Norwich, the farm is open for PYO Tuesday to Sunday throughout the picking season.

 

  1. Whitehouse Farm

 

My backdrop for family shoots this year ,  Whitehouse Farm has been owned by the same family for generations. The tools that decorate the walls were once used to work the land, and although machines have long since replaced manpower, they still add a nice decorative touch to the farm’s café. The cake is epic , and they have lovely shops to browse as well as fruit pick!

 

The strawberry season is due to start in mid-June. You can also pick up fresh cut meat in the award winning butchers and stop for a tasty cake in the onsite café.

 

  1. Hillfield Nursery and Farm shop

 

Hillfield Nursery offers a huge range of PYO fruit. As a result, the picking season at the farm is long, with PYO available from May until September. Among the delicious delights on offer you’ll find rhubarb, gooseberries, strawberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, blackberries and over 200 types of apple among much more. There’s also a farm shop where you can pick up other local specialities.

 

  1. Fairgreen Farms

 

When asking around I found out about Fairgreen Farms & that they specialise in blueberries, so if this is your favourite summer fruit, you know where to go. The season begins in mid-July and should run until September. During this time the farm is open six days a week for PYO.

 

  1. The Tacons Farm Shop

 

The Tacons farm shop offers a fantastic choice of PYO fruit and veg. As well as classics like strawberries, you can also pick a range of other seasonal produce including onions and pumpkins. The farm is open daily for PYO throughout the season, giving you plenty of opportunities to get out and get active with the family. While you’re at the Tacons, visit the farm shop where you’ll find an excellent selection of other freshly picked fruit and veg from the surrounding fields as well as a choice of high quality local produce.

PYO Norfolk

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more ideas on things to do in Norfolk, take a look around my blogs.

 

Jess


toddler

Top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich, Norfolk

Top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich.

 

Sometimes going to public pool with a young baby, or energetic toddler (or both!) doesn’t quite have the same appeal as booking a private pool. Being able to wrangle the children in and out of their swimming stuff on your own and then enjoying the pool all to yourselves does sound like the better option to us!

So, we have looked around and here are our top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich.

Rackheath Pool Norwich

This tropical pool is heated all year round, perfect for little ones which is why it features in our top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich. It comes with baby changing facilities and even travel cots. You can purchase Splash Happy Nappies from here as well.

You can book here.

Woodrising Pool Hire

Private, and a very relaxed atmosphere makes this pool great for families which is why it is one of our top 5 private pools around Norwich. It is a great place to learn to swim and very family orientated. Lessons are also available. The pool is located just outside of Shipdham, Norfolk.

You can book here.

Pears Pools

Found 5 miles south east of Norwich, Pearls Pools has numerous facilities which is why we find it in our top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich. It has a wet room, baby changing facilities, pre-sim rooms, and even a lounge area. It has everything you could possibly need for a relaxed family swim.

You can book here.

Bacton Private Pool Hire

Next on our top 5 private pool to hire around Norwich is Bacton private pool. Pack the inflatables as this 33-degree heated pool is perfect for all members of the family, why not bring along Gran too! With a play area located on the side of the side of the pool and a baby changing station it really is as family friendly as they come.

You can book here.

Anchorage Pool

The final entry on our top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich is located just outside of the city centre in Stoke Holy Cross. Maintained at a constant warm temperature it makes it suitable for babies first time in the pool. Changing areas, showers and even tennis and gym activities it has something for every member of the family.

You can book here.

Do you know of any family friendly private pools that you recommend? We would love to hear from you, so we can add them to our list!

Vicki Cockerill is a NICU/ CHD Mum of two boys, a freelance blogger and social media adviser, Co Founder of #KnackeredandNorwich social club and maternal mental health advocate.

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More blogs can be found here, and i also would love more guest bloggers baby/ family related , get in touch as i'd love to hear from you!

 

 


guest blogger Norfolk

Top 5 Baby Friendly Cafés in Norwich

Top 5 Baby Friendly Cafés in Norwich, we all want to be able to get out of the house and survive the day with the kids. Whether it is to escape the four walls, socialise with an actual adult. All we want strong coffee and a baby friendly place that we feel comfortable in. One that caters to the poo-nami explosion that is bound to occur and contain the smalls with high chairs whilst we inhale cake. - oh how i miss those days!

To help you on your way i’ve have put together the top 5 baby friendly cafés in Norwich.

The Soft Play Café

Soft play and parenting go together like Mel and Sue. This baby friendly café in Norwich is one with a slight difference. Twinkle Toes Soft Play Baby Café has been designed with a small soft play area within in the café. Baby classes are help upstairs and there is a menu on offer to keep even the fussiest of eaters happy. Parents get to socialise with one another, so you could come away with a new mum bestie or two!

The ‘Wonderful Baby and Child’ Café

There is no better review for a baby friendly café in Norwich than from that of a parent. Cactus Café is cosy, breastfeeding friendly and has a small play area, that’s on top of the numerous glowing reviews from those who took their children there.

The Park Café

Eaton Park Café is a baby friendly in Norwich found in Eaton Park complete with baby changing facilities, highchairs and a breastfeeding friendly environment what more is there to want? Cake? Got that too, lots of coffee to warm up with? Of course! No more leafing through the bag for half eaten Organix!

The Famous Café

When asking about Norwich Cafés, there is one sure to be mentioned by everyone you ask. Café Britannia is a baby friendly in Norwich is famed for its family friendly write-ups and award-winning breakfast and afternoon teas. There is indoor and outdoor seating, so no problems with parking a pram or two and getting in the way. They have an early open and late close compared to most cafés which means when you have been up since 5 and ready for lunch at 7.30am after a long night you can pack up the baby and head straight there!

 

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The Technically not a Café

I had to sneak this one in, as it is not a café per se, but it is very baby friendly. Giraffe Restaurant offers a kid’s menu, outdoor seating, colourful surroundings, activity packs for the kids as well as our favourite feature; kids eat free on Saturdays and Sundays. It really is a winner in our books!

From new born to toddlers I hope you enjoy trying out our recommendations for the top 5 baby friendly cafés in Norwich and if you have one to add i'd love your suggestions to share wit new mums and dads!

Also the AWESOME Norwich Mumbler has started Family-Friendly stickers . They are being awarded to businesses throughout Norwich and Norfolk  read more about it here.

Please check out my other blogs, if you have a blog or run a baby/ family relaet business i'd love you to guest blog , pleaseeeee get in touch!

 


Pregnancy guest blogger - 34 weeks could this be my last blog before baby is born?

Pregnancy guest blogger  34 weeks could this be my last blog before baby is born? I can’t believe it’s been 4 weeks since my last blog – I feel like I have a whole heap of stuff to share with you!

 

My last blog was at 30 weeks and we were off to Centre Parcs  . It so happened to be the week that it snowed so it was awesome timing and I didn’t have bored kiddies (even bigger hurray!)….although I learned a few things whilst we were there this time:

  1. In a place where you have to walk everywhere AND it’s snowing AND you can’t get your coat done up around your gargantuan belly it gets pretty damn nippy!
  2. Putting puddle suits, coats, hats, gloves, scarves and wellies on 2 children 10 times per day gets REALLY ANNOYING!
  3. They are right – you have no balance when pregnant…not so much Bambi on ice, more like the Gruffalo on ice!
  4. The rapids are really not that much fun when you have to sit up to go down them – boooo!

 

Since we got back from holiday we have been in ‘get organised’ mode.  Now given that we have not got rid of anything from our last two children, this is itself is a mega task. To the point where our house is basically a complete mess , as everything baby related has been pulled out to either wash and sort or to sold/given away. I’m actually writing this surrounded by 10 bags (and 2 boxes) FULL of girls clothes!

 

I ‘may’ have given in to one purchase for this little one (not that we need anything!), but I have treated me/him to a Joie Serina 2 in 1 Swing .It’s one of those that for the price it really should rock the baby, feed the baby, make the tea, clean the house and iron the shirts for you. It might not do all of that, but if it means that I can manage 3 children then I’m all for the investment!

 

It seems when you get to this stage of pregnancy people believe they have some sudden permission to comment on the size of your belly – now I should point out that I’m not actually hugely offended by these comments (I’m pretty thick skinned), but my absolute favourite so far has to be RIPE! Yes, someone said I looked RIPE…I mean WHAT AM I, AN AVOCADO?

born

 

 

 

 

 

 

Either way the comments about having a big belly are right, yet again I have a big bump (but then I have in every pregnancy) although this one is in fact the smallest of them all so far. Even so he has got the midwives hopping at me about having my GTT {https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1483/glucose-tolerance-test-gtt} test done (which up until now I have refused). I have chosen instead to buy a blood glucose monitor for use at home and measure my own blood sugar levels so we will see what transpires there.

born

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who wants to put bets on whether baby is born before my next blog post at 38 weeks?

 

Please view Rachael and my other guest blogs here. Or to book a bump or newborn shoot click for the contact form and we can chat.

 

 

 


Baby event Norwich

Guest blogger Alex from The Parent and Baby Show tell us 'How to prepare for an event '

How to prepare for an event - Hi I’m Alex and I run The Parent and Baby Show. I live with my hubby, Tom, little 13 month old daughter, Elkie, and doggy, Frankel, in North Norfolk! I set up The Parent and Baby Show in 2017 whilst on maternity leave. The show was in response to a real need for top quality, aesthetically led and hugely interactive events in the area. Norfolk and East Anglia have some super pregnancy, baby and child businesses, and it was about time there was an event to truly showcase them in the best light.

 

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My experience is wholly in events and marketing. I love creating everything from a social gathering to large festivals and BABY SHOWS!  The biggest misconception in the event World is that events are easy to run. Even small events take a lot of time to create, and if the organiser knows what they are doing they will end up spending far more time marketing than they do on the actual event!

 

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photo credit: Pennycress Photograpy 

 

Booking into events can be daunting, So here are my top tips on how to design your stand, engage with customers and choose the right event for you:

 

  • Research the event and ask the organiser the following: How do they market the event, how many businesses will be attending, if they’ve run the show in the past what was their footfall, do they have any business testimonials *Notes: Some organisers will do anything to sell a stand so if you’re a little unsure perhaps find other businesses who have attended and ask them to verify the footfall and marketing.

 

  • So you’re booked into an event and you’re wondering if there’s anything you can do to help yourself … YES! You can promote the show to your followers and customers – send out a database email, create a facebook event for the day on your page, share the posts from the organiser!

 

  • Stand design. It obviously depends on what you’re selling, however a rule of thumb is to not create a barrier between you and your customer. Keep your stand OPEN and inviting! Create height, as customers naturally will look at anything in their eye-line first. If you’re selling services rather than products then why not do away with a trestle table, and instead create a comfy seating area with a few tub chairs and a coffee table, surrounded by a few pull up banners so customers can see what you do instantly!

 

  • Create a ‘floor’ … people enjoy feeling homely and comfortable. Think about your lounge – you have a nice fluffy rug which makes the room feel more inviting and cosy … apply that same theory to your stand! Lay down a small rug (something a bit more industrial than a fluffy rug so you aren’t constantly cleaning it) or even some fake grass which you can buy from B&Q.

 

  • Don’t hide! PLEASE don’t hide! By sitting behind your stand you are instantly making it hard for potential customers who want to invest in your creations. People buy into people, if you’re standing at the front of your stand and welcoming everyone into your little ‘shop’, encouraging customers to look at certain pieces or letting them know about your ‘show deal’ then you are instantly going to stand out and encourage them to ask questions and engage with you!
  • Lets talk show offers … these are a great way to entice on the day bookings or purchases! Lets not forget, a new customer can be turned into a loyal customer if you give great customer service and sell great products/services. So although you may be reducing your profit margins slightly on the day, the long-term benefits will significantly outweigh this (providing you can create a loyal customer!)

 

  • Competitions! These are a brilliant way to get data from potential clients. You may be looking for feedback on a certain product, so you could do a competition based on asking for feedback, or it may be that you simply want to increase your potential customer database. Make sure it is very clear to customers that their details will be used by yourself to contact them about future deals and events. They must be fully aware. Also inform them that their details wont be shared! Then keep each signup sheet in a folder so if you were ever questioned you can show proof of signup.
  • This leads me onto follow ups. If you have spoken to potential clients and said you would be in touch, then make this a priority. Customers like to know they are valued and prompt emails/phone calls tick this box! You never know, your potential customers may have also found another business they liked at the event. Getting in touch first will help make you stand out above your competition!

 

  • NETWORK! It’s always a great idea to chat and get to know other businesses at the event. They may know other popular events or have contacts and ideas for you. Just make sure you offer what you can back – networking is all about creating mutual respect and being able to offer others tips and tricks, just like they offer ideas to you!

 

  • Lastly…say thank you! Now I know you’ve paid to be at the event and the organisers have simply done their job. However, the very few people who do say thank you after events always stick in my mind. Organisers are only human and if there are particular businesses who actively appreciate your hard work you are naturally going to create a loyalty to these businesses. Be that businesses who creates loyalty with organisers you enjoy working with – you never know how it may help you in the future!

 

 

baby show Norfolk

 

 

 

 

 

Photocredit:  Pennycress Photography

Quite a few golden nuggets of advice and ideas in there! Most of which can be applied to any type of event and business! I really hope that helps you! Events are my passion and I truly believe face-to-face marketing and showcasing the person behind the business are great ways to build your business and customer database! I wish you all the luck at your upcoming events!

 

Alex’s next baby show – The Parent and Baby Show is on Saturday 14th April at the UEA Sportspark 10:30-3pm. The show is unlike any other baby show, with a focus on aesthetics and activities!

Think indoor tipis, rustic zones, vintage tearooms with hay bales and bean bags, amongst lots of fab features such as a photo-studio, baby sensory, massages galore, 16 talks and workshops – all complimentary, soft play, women’s health checks … the list goes on!

With tickets just £5 you’ve got yourself a real bargain! Suitable for bump – 5yrs old! For more info click here.

 

Alex :)

 

I have regular guest blogs so why not scroll back and find lots of useful blogs here, or if you wish to chat to me about booking a shoot then get in touch!

 

Jess


play areas

The best indoor play areas in Norfolk for babies and toddlers  

The best indoor play areas in Norfolk for babies and toddlers.  The winter can be a difficult time for families with young children. Rain, winds and icy weather can make it difficult to get out and play, giving kids few outlets for their energy. Luckily for parents living in the local area, Norfolk is home to a great choice of indoor play areas. Colourful, safe and exciting, indoor play areas are the perfect place for a bit of good old family fun. I do miss the days of soft play and a cuppa mid week (weekends were always too crazy for me)

 

Jump for Joy, Rackheath

 play areas

 

 

One of our favourite indoor play areas in Norfolk was Jump for Joy Rackheath. Children aged four to ten can have fun in the sports arena, enjoy the twin lane wavy slide, squeeze through rollers and take a spin on the dizzy discs. Little ones under four also have plenty to do with wobblers, mouse holes, bash bags and rollers to explore. They are great at hosting parties too!

 

Tots Town, Norwich

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Located close to Norwich, Tots Town is a unique play centre that encourages fun, imaginative and interactive play. The centre is home to a miniature town complete with a supermarket, town square, hair dressers, shoe shop and more. Actors play various roles around the tiny town, helping kids to get into the spirit of the interactive play sessions. Designed to promote self-confidence, communication skills and social awareness, these games are educational as well as entertaining. I wish it was around when my two were small!

 

Hyper Centre, Horsford

 

 

Previously known as Baseline, the Hyper Centre is a soft play facility for children of all ages. There’s a great choice of play equipment for kids to enjoy while parents can relax and socialise in the onsite café.  Lots of people have been saying how great it is so let me know, I need to go.

 

Twinkle Toes Soft Play Baby Café, Norwich

 

The ideal choice for parents with young babies, Twinkle Toes Soft Play Baby Café runs various groups and activities throughout the week. From restful activities like story time to messy play and meet and greet groups, this café is a fantastic destination for parents and babies who want to make friends, relax and have fun.

 

Stompers, North Walsham

 

A fantastic indoor play area for kids of all ages, Stompers has a three-tier climbing frame, a large slide and separate baby areas to explore. Visit this centre on a rainy day and let your kids work off all their excess energy in a fun and safe environment.

 

Playbarn, Norwich

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A farmyard based adventure centre specifically designed for children under seven, Playbarn offers a choice of indoor and outdoor activities. As the centre has separate sections for children of different ages, it’s perfect for parents with toddlers and babies. Visit in the winter months to have a go on the giant climbing frame and explore the soft play area or head over in the summer to try pony riding and meet the friendly animals that live on the farm.

 

If you liked reading this blog please check out my others covering lots of pregnancy and baby related topics. Jess x


bump

Pregnancy diary part 4 : baby names?

Pregnancy diary part 4 : baby names?

Week 24

In the words of Will Smith 'Summer, summer, summer time' or should it be Nellie 'It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes!' Don't worry I've not felt that hot yet despite the temperatures soaring these past couple of weeks. Even though us pregnant ones have more blood pumping round our bodies, something like 50% more than pre-pregnancy, I'm lucky I've not been affected by the heat. In fact I love it! Ask me again in another 10 weeks and it maybe a different story!

pregnancy blog baby names

Pelvic girdle pain on the other hand is becoming an annoyance. Nothing major and I remember having it very briefly when I carried Jasmine as I joked with my husband saying I had a cracked pelvis. Luckily it only lasted a couple of weeks. This time round I don't have severe pain just more of a bruised sensation to the left of my pelvis. Self massage has helped, along with thinking I'm a mermaid and keeping my legs as close together as possible!

I've contended with half term which before Jasmine I really didn't have a clue about as I had no reason to. That said we've had a great time. A trip to the zoo, continuous play, some paddling pool fun oh and role play to the point of feeling that I'm living in a Disney princess world with friends called Belle, Aurora, Tiana and Moana, I think you've got the picture.

baby namesbaby names

At the beginning of last week I had a 'birth' moment. Yeah I've done it once already but I still think you should treat it as your first. I don't want to be complacent and want to do all I can to have a comfortable birthing experience like the first. I'm not kidding myself though that all births are the same. If my pregnancy is anything to go by I definitely need to be prepared. Being a massive advocate of hypnobirthing I've booked onto a refresher course in July with Jackie Heffer-Cooke of The Orange Grove. Having already done the full course I cannot recommend it enough. At the end of the day we're made to give birth. Our bodies instinctively know what to do and it's our mind that needs to work with our body rather than against it. My husband also found it gave him a purpose and how as a couple we could work together during the birth. He also loved the breathing techniques as they helped his sleep no end! I'm sure I'll talk more about birthing again so will move on to the important matter of names.

Baby names: Do we go traditional, alternative or unusual? Decisions decisions. If you've got any suggestions let me know. Jasmine has come up with baby names Emily, Poppy, Gracie, Maui and Izzy but I don't think we're quite on board with all her suggestions. 'Maui' the demigod of Hawaii in Moana, doesn't feel right for a baby girl! That's as far as we've got with names but I'm sure we'll toy with more ideas as the pregnancy progresses.

Only 16 weeks left to go! Here's to another fun packed couple of weeks.

You can read Ali's other guest blogs here - happy reading.


Legoland Windsor

Legoland is it worth the money?

Legoland is it worth the money?

Oh yes!

We booked a great deal back in January for a June visit to Legoland Windsor. We wanted to go for 2 days as we heard you need 2 days to get round and do it all. We treated our family to a 1 night stay at the hotel there. It cost us just over  £300 for 2 days visit, 1 night hotel stay and tea/ breakfast. I know lots of people who have brought day passes and stayed in hotels near by.

We arrived Wednesday morning and checked into the hotel. It was amazing outside and in - for our little ones it must have just been WOW ! I really was like a big kid , this was the entrance - the dragon puffed smoke out ! The staff were super helpful and took our luggage which they hold onto for the day and then take to your room when its ready.

We parked in the hotel carpark which is a very short walk to the hotel, once you have checked in you can go out and enter the park though the hotel entrance , the next day we were allowed in the park 30 minutes early which was handy as we could get on the boat ride we had missed the day before with no queuing.

The foyer is brilliant,  lots for the children to look a while you check in, and an area full of Lego for them to build whatever they choose. There is also a small shop too.

Legoland Windsor

Here are some snaps of the hotel family room - the kids were amazed by it when we walked in and so excited they had 2 bunk beds and tv all pirate themed  . The hotel also left a birthday card , balloon and big badge for Lucas too.Legoland Windso Legoland Windso Legoland Windso

In our room we found a treasure chest and we had to find the answers to the clues in order to open it - i wont tell you what was inside in case you stay - to look a prices look here.

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The park itself is awesome !! Hubby and I loved miniature land it is very clever how they have built replica cities. Lila is 3 and could go on pretty much every ride we wanted. She was just over 90cm , I think had she been shorter , Lila would have been upset to miss out.

There are still lots of rides for little ones but for our kids aged 3 and 5 it was perfect.

We got so much done on the Wednesday it being term time , we hardly queued at all ! I have heard during the holidays its madness and the queues take hours! We did all the water rides last as we knew we could go straight to the hotel have a shower and change for the yummy buffet dinner.

 

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We brought a digi pass for the 2 days for £40 this meant we got all photos from the rides instead of individual prices. I knew i'd want them all. I try and restrain myself from taking lots of photos when on family days and just enjoy the moments . Having some images of the 4 of us is really important to me and worth it.

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The kids loved the water splash park , there is no where for parents to sit which is a bit annoying  as we couldnt get them off it for ages.

The second day at Legoland we walked past , and it was very busy this was later on in the day. We choose this area first thing on the second day it was so warm we knew they would dry out! There are lockers at this section too but it takes £1 every time you use it so just remember this if you plan on popping back to it lots to have lots of pound coins.

My kids favourite rides were :

Fairy Tale Brook - a little boat ride for all the family

Atlantis Submarine voyage

The Dragon - it starts off inside the castle and then goes outside

Laser Raiders -  we got quite competitive shooting lasers

L- Drivers - the kiddies drove electric cars , at the end they get their own  LEGOLAND Driving Licence - this costs £10 if you want a lanyard or £5 each with a digi-pass

see the rides listed here

The staff were very friendly and helpful throughout our 2 day visit to Legoland , they let us bring a cake and looked after it for us until the evening meal. They sang to Lucas too! If you are stayin in their hotel and give them 2 weeks notice they will make a cake for you.

There are plenty of shops to buy sun hats & water proofs if the weather suddenly changes and of course lots of Lego & toys . We especially loved the Stars war exhibition and star wars shop!

There are cafes and restaurants about which were manic at key times. We saw plenty of organised people eating picnics! It is amazing we loved it, and had a blast.

 

We will be going back for sure! Lucas and Lila's teddy bears enjoying the hotel view over the park.

 

Legoland Windsor

 

 

Jess