Monday, 21 July 2014

Solo Parenting is...

Yes! So much fun! I've just completed my first solo parenting weekend and I've loved it! We've crafted, we've had a wonderful time in Mutti's garden in and out of the paddling pool, we've survived insane storms... and we've even been for a lunch date.

This weekend I came to the conclusion that solo parenting is perhaps easier than co-parenting! Well, for a weekend! As a solo parent you ultimately have the power; there is no umming and ahhing about what to do for the day, there are no second opinions on whether it's time for bed, and no tense whispering when your Little One doesn't fall asleep straight away.

However, a weekend of solo parenting is definitely not beneficial to your health... For example, if you want to eat pizza both evenings, slump on the sofa watching reruns of One Born Every Minute and playing online bingo at ButlersBingo then you can - no one is there to judge you... unless your toddler wakes up. I totally ate pizza both nights, and I don't regret it (well, I might do a little bit at my next personal training session).

What I really enjoyed about my weekend was the peace and quiet! I could spend all evening working on the laptop without feeling bad that I was ignoring Nick. I also really enjoyed having the whole bed to myself, and late night Kindle reading... and 4am reading when I couldn't sleep after the storms. Thankfully I didn't find myself on eBay at 3am bidding on wedding dresses again...

Solo parenting is definitely hard work. At times. And I can imagine it's a little bit insane with more than one child!

This weekend has been about crazy storms and incredibly sweltering, muggy weather, which means quality of sleep is pretty bad. Luckily Busby slept through both the nights (well, there was grumbling at 5am but she went back to sleep) so I didn't have to solo parent as a zombie. However, this weather makes everything twice as hard to do, so at times I found myself wishing for a small break, just so I could stand under cold water to escape the heat.

This weekend has helped me appreciate how hands on Nick is with Busby... Even the small things like letting me have a little bit longer in bed, and giving me a break from changing dirty nappies!

Although we had lots of fun together, and I'd be confident to solo parent again, Busby and I missed Nick lots this weekend!
How do you find solo parenting when your partner goes away for the week/weekend?

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Car Seats: Beyond Group 1... What next? // Britax

Mark Bennett, Car Seat Safety Expert from BRITAX explains that as children move to a Group 2/3 stage car seat, safety whilst travelling should remain a key priority.
With many families setting off on journeys in the car this summer, it’s important to run a health check on your car seat to make sure it’s still the perfect fit for your child. This will ensure they are comfy and happy on their journey and you can rest assured that they are safe and secure whilst travelling.

It may feel that only yesterday you were buying your first car seat for your newborn and then just when you were getting to grips with Group 1, the next stage car seat will sneak up on you. Whilst your little one may appear to be a strong big boy or girl as they reach the age of four, keeping them safe whilst travelling is still top priority.

Mark Bennett explains, ‘Many parents are still unaware that it is required by law for children to travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or 12 years old - whichever comes first - so the final Group 2-3 stage car seats will see your child from the age of four all the way until they are 12 years of age.

At the age of four or 15 kg, children are old enough to move to a Group 2-3 seat with adult seat belt but this doesn't mean they don't need the same level of protection. Many parents believe children will be safe on a booster cushion, a small platform that lifts them up on the seat, however these are not safe as they do not have the all important side impact protection of deep side wings and a protective headrest.

*   *   *

Mark Bennett has compiled some FAQ's to help parents understand the final Group 2-3 car seat stage and how to choose the seat that’s just right for you and your family.

Q. What is a booster cushion? If they are sold why are they not safe? 
At BRITAX, we're always striving to ensure that we offer the maximum protection for your children as they develop. With recent research showing that side collisions are one of the most frequent and fatal types of crashes on the roads*, BRITAX decided to stop selling booster cushions. Booster cushions are still sold because it is not required by current EU safety standards to conduct tests for side collisions, however if the regulations change, our experts do not believe that any new booster cushions would pass.

Booster cushions are better than no car seat, however they offer no side impact protection. BRITAX recommend a BRITAX 'highback' booster, which offers deep protective side wings and head support. These work to absorb crash forces in the event of a collision whilst protecting the child's head.

Q. How do I know when my little one is ready to move to Group 2-3? 
You should move your little one from a Group 1 to a Group 2-3 seat when they reach the weight limit of 18kg, or if their eye-line is higher than the seat's highest point - whichever comes first. This is usually at the age of four years.

Q. Can I buy an XP-PAD to add to my old Group 2-3 seat? 
No. The XP-PAD is integrated into the KIDFIX XP SICT.

Q. What actually is the current law when it comes to car seat safety for 4 + year olds? 
It is required by law for children to travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or approximately 12 years old whichever comes first.

Q. How do you fit a Group 2-3 car seat? 
A Group 2-3 car seat can be fitted by ISOFIT, where the child safety seat is attached to the vehicle body with connectors in the same way as ISOFIX. It is classified as ISOFIT rather than ISOFIX as the child is secured by means of the adult 3-point seatbelt. ISOFIX is a term used in Group 0+/1 where the child is secured by means of a five point harness, and the car seat is fitted to the ISOFIX connections points.

Q. How do I know which is the best Group 2-3 seat for my family? 
Every family is unique and has different considerations and practicalities to consider when choosing a seat. To help simplify the process, BRITAX has created a unique online tool that assists a parent to identify the right seat for their child and their car. For each seat, Fit FinderTM will also inform the users what seat positions are approved in the vehicle and the appropriate fitting method. You can view the latest Fit FinderTM here

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Busby: 19 months

So here we are! Busby is 19 months old!
This month has been fun! Busby is still testing but I'm definitely finding it easier to deal with.

Busby had her first visit into Central London. She loved everything about our adventure up there - you can read about that here.

This month has seen more words added to her vocabulary: we now have a proper Daddy, Nursery, Basil (Mutti's dog - pronounced Baa-baall), yes and no. The most important word from this month has been ropsy for her bunny Flopsy. Busby is also starting to recognise her friends and say their names when she sees them.

Flopsy Bunny has become an even greater part of our lives, and barely leaves Busby's side. We made the mistake of leaving Flopsy at home a few weeks ago and regretted it for the whole day...

She's become very interested in mini beasts...which all seem to be "bees" in her mind. She ran towards me on Friday with her hands cupped around something exclaiming "Mummy! Mummy! Bee! Bee!" and opened her hands to reveal a spider. It made a leap for freedom; I shrieked like a girl, and then we laughed a lot (I'm not sure the spider was laughing!). I told her we had to catch it and put it outside so, as I was in the dresser finding a glass, I saw her pick it up again! Luckily she dropped it and I managed to catch it in a glass without hurting it.

As well as mini beasts, Bubsy has taken a huge interest in trains or choo choos! And is crazily good at pointing them out when we're driving along (as she is with buses).

This month she has really loved slides, water play and completing puzzles, which she's remarkably good at! She really likes to challenge herself, and is learning so quickly.

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Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Week That Was: Captured #55

Hullo there! How are you? Welcome to The Week That Was: Captured!

Have you all had a wonderful week? We're a bit early this week as Busby turns 19 months tomorrow, and I always like to publish her month updates on the day, so here we are on Saturday 19th July!

The rules are simple; link up one post about your week! It can be photographed, Instagrammed, written, videoed... basically in any format you wish! This linky is about capturing memories and I treat it a bit like an online diary. Please only link up relevant posts. Also, if you fancy commenting on other people's posts that would be super too - everyone loves a comment!

Last week
How awesome does Lori (Lori and the Caravan) look dressed as a clown? I think this photo made my day! I loved reading that Sprog is now walking by himself (Mama vs Teacher), and I think it must be the summer holidays now? Hurrah! Of course I had to mention this beautiful post from Jack's Paper Moon! Massive congratulations on the birth of beautiful Noah!

Our week
The wedding is seriously stressing me out at the moment, so this week has been one of tears. I have had some fun though - don't worry, I'm not a permanent misery guts (I hope!).

On Saturday we headed to my Aunt's house to celebrate her (rather belated) 50th birthday. The weather was gorgeous and we sat in her garden sipping prosecco and eating cheese. Bliss!

I gave our downstairs a complete change around and clean on Sunday. Not very exciting but I've created lots more space and it made me feel better about the house!

I headed up to London on Monday to attend Bubble London for future Little Geekery inspiration and stockists. I met up with my buddy Jenny from KyNa Boutique and her husband for lunch, and we caught up in the blazing sun while eating burgers! I also had my first personal training session with my Bridesmaid Zoe in the evening, which went really well, other than the rude teenager... Sigh.

Monday evening's insult left me feeling really awful, and I spent most of Tuesday sulking and feeling rubbish. I'm very insecure about how I look, even more so at the moment, so it really hurt. I was very thankful to pick Busby up from Nursery on Tuesday evening - she cheered me up considerably!

Mutti had fun plans with Busby on Wednesday so I got some more work done and then we had a look at my wedding dress options when they got back. I feel a bit lost in it all - Superdress is too much fabric so we're scaling back to the 1920s dress and seeing how I feel about it once it's back together.

Busby and I had a lovely morning together on Thursday. Nick's parents came to look after her in the afternoon so I could pop into Brighton to return something and grab some wedding bits for our younger guests.

The crazy storm hit at 2am on Friday so I didn't sleep very well at all! Nick and Busby slept through, other than Nick saying "oh, is that lightening?" in his sleep!!! It's just too hot to sleep. We had our usual Monkey Music class in the morning, and then I waved Nick off on his Stag Do after lunch. This is my first weekend of solo parenting - so wish me luck! I've got to admit, I'm looking forward to having the bed to myself!
1. Slightly tipsy parental selfie! (Saturday) // 2. Wearing them in... (Sunday) // 3. At Bubble London (Monday) // 4. Toddler Chaos within 5 minutes (Thursday) // 5. On the bus to Brighton sans toddler (Thursday) // 6. Prosecco in Baxter's Field (Thursday) // 7. The best way through the heat is ice cream! (Friday) // 8. A wonderful crafty package from Britax (Friday) // 9. Bargain fire engine from Tiger (Friday) 

What have you been up to this week?

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Friday, 18 July 2014

Make, Do and List // Week Two

I'm joining in with Mums' List again this week!

I've been avidly making my way through the Divergent Trilogy on my new Kindle. They're incredibly easy to read, having been written for teenagers, but I do enjoy a good dystopian drama.
I headed up to Bubble London on Monday and managed to get lots of reading done on the train! It feels so good to be reading again - I've really missed it.

My personal training for the wedding (and baby growing) began this week with my amazing Bridesmaid Zoe! I didn't ache much the two days afterwards, which makes me happy as I'm obviously fitter than I thought I was!

Sadly there was a nasty incident with a teenage boy, where he was very rude while we were training, which made me wish that this was still the mentality of our society:
Via Pinterest
I have incredibly low self-esteem and I'm very insecure at the moment with the wedding approaching, so it resulted in a bit of a breakdown on Zoe's shoulder and panda eyes... It's all a bit silly and unnecessary really, as my medium H&M tracksuit bottoms were falling off me! It still hurt nonetheless. I wish people were kinder.

The new season of Utopia started this week! It's so so so good! We also watched the last ever episode of How I Met Your Mother last night... It was very disappointing.

I realised on my way to London on Monday that I'm visiting the capital every single week this month!!! For someone who dislikes the place so much, I sure seem to be spending an awful lot of time there... It's all fun though.
Bubble London was really inspiring on Monday, and I've come away with lots of ideas for future Little Geekery stockists and where I want to take the company after the wedding.

This should be more "nightmaring"! I've been having some horrific wedding nightmares; everything from empty halls with no decorations and no guests, to serious dress fretting. I'm reaching the point where I just want the whole thing to be over and done with... and I can't wait for the honeymoon!

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