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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Big quiz of 2016


So I've been tagged by the lovely Alex from Lamb & Bear to answer some questions about 2016 so here goes!

What was your highlight of 2016?

My biggest highlight has been James starting primary school. He's the youngest in his class by about six weeks. 

Name one thing you are likely to remember about 2016 if asked in 5 years time.

Extreme tiredness! Freddie used to be a brilliant sleeper till he got a stomach bug at just over nine months old and since then he's been petrified of his cot and bedroom. 

Sum up 2016 in one word.

Exhausting! When James was at nursery we would drop him off at nine then had to be back at the gate for 1145 for a 12pm pick up. So we literally only had a couple of hours. Now he's at school it's a bit more settled as we drop off at 0855 and pick up at 1515!

Name one pearl of wisdom that you will carry through 2017.

They are only small once so enjoy it!

Do you have any New Year resolutions?

Defined to try and be more organised! I'm terrible for leaving things to the last minute! 

How are you seeing in the new year?

I'm on the sofa in my pjs, have a can of fruit cider and a film on with Andy, while my none sleeping 13 month old Freddie sings as we rock his pushchair 

What would you most like to do in 2017?

Would love to take my blog self hosted and hopefully a holiday with Andy and the boys!

What are your main goals for 2017?

To try and build the blog more, go self hosted and hopefully attend some blogging conferences!

I tag anyone who wants to give this a go!

Goodbye 2016

 So it's the last day of 2016 and what a year it's been!

We started the year with James at nursery and Freddie a tiny newborn and we've watched James turn four and then a couple of weeks later start reception at school! We've watched Freddie grow, turn one and turn into the most loving little boy.

James has really matured since he started school. He loves learning his phonics and trying to read his school books and key words!

The boys are developing the most lovely relationship. Freddie absolutely adores James and everything James does seems to make Freddie laugh hysterically! This time last year I was worried that the boys would never have any relationship as James seemed to hate Freddie and stay away from him!

We had great plans to start doing up our house and we have kind of started. We bough roller blinds for the bedroom windows, had the boiler replaced and started boarding out the loft! 

2017 is the year we finally start putting our stamp on the place decorating and making it a proper family home for us and our boys!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Freddie at 13 Months

Well Freddie you are now thirteen months old! How did that happen! It's also your second Christmas Day so Happy Christmas gorgeous boy!

So since you turned one we have had to finish our baby social group at sure start. We had a lovely last session with your little pals who sang happy birthday to you or well their mummies did! We still have our fun, play and learn on a Thursday morning so we get to see lots of your pals there!

You are still in 5+ nappies and now well into 12-18 clothes! You are such a speedy crawler and a demon climber! We cannot take our eyes of you for a second! You have seven teeth and are a bit of a biter! You love nothing more than climbing onto mummy and biting my shoulder! You also love FaceTime! You have been known to hit the iPad screen and end up calling people! Normally it's your nana and gaga!

You can say mama, dada, mum mum, brubre, gaga. Nana is still a bit upset you won't say nana but you have said it once!

You are still very much a mummy's boy and you go mental if I leave the room. You love being chased then picked up going gotcha! You are very ticklish and have the adorable giggle! You love it when James tickles you! 

Your favourite foods are pasta, melon and apple! You just love your food!

Love you so much 
Mummy 
xxx


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Santa's Odd List!

So it's the time of year when parents everywhere are taking their children to see Santa. 

This got me thinking about Christmases past and visits we have made to see Santa and the odd things my darling oldest son has asked for! Christmas 2014 when James was just over two, we took him to see Santa in a local shopping centre and he asked for milk and yoghurt! Then last year 2015 when he was just over three and Freddie was newborn, James asked for a white fire engine!

I decided to ask some of my fellow bloggers if their children had ever asked for anything odd or if I was the only one to have a crazy child! 

Amy from www.thesmallestofthings.com said Scarlett asked for chocolate because I wouldn't let her have any. So she said she'll put it on her kissmass list!

Jade from  www.lateforreality.co.uk said Ted's list has some odd things on. Marshmallows are one and 'so many books' is another. Today he asked for Sausage and Mash from Santa!

Kate from www.countingtoten.co.uk said M has just written her letter to Santa and all it has on it is a slap band. So her stocking can contain just one of those right? I can provide a pic?

Amy from www.2boys1mum.com said My eldest wants a real bell from Santa's sleigh so he knows that Santa is real. (He likes the book Polar Express!) 

Kate from http://myfamilyfever.co.uk said Max (3) has asked for spaghetti, a yellow pencil and a real Stegosaurus. 

Lucy from Http://mrshsfavouritethings.com said Last year Little Miss H asked for a block of cheese. We asked her if she wanted any special cheese. And she said no, just cheese. "I like cheese". We bought her a scooter instead. Bad mummy!!! 

Sarah from http://www.runjumpscrap.com said hmm possibly odd for a 3 year old...a chocolate fountain... what??  She knows she is not getting it as Mummy told Santa!

So it's not just me that's child asks for odd things! So relieved this year he actually asked for a game!










Friday, 25 November 2016

Freddie One Year Old

Our darling Freddie Bear Happy birthday! Today you are a whole year old and what a year it's been!

You slotted into our family and completed us. Mummy daddy and James love you so much!

You have such a cheeky personality and a gorgeous smile! You love nothing more than getting attention from your big brother! You have blue eyes and light brown hair, nothing like James who has the blonde hair and blue eyes! 

So you are in a mixture of 9-12 and 12-18 clothes and size 5+ nappies! You are a speedy crawler and we definitely need eyes in the back of our heads with your! We take our eyes of you for a second and you are off! Either under daddy's desk, out an open door or climbing something!

You sleep has been pretty bad since u had the sickness bug. You simply refuse to sleep in your cot! The only places you will sleep are your pushchair, mummy and daddy's bed or mummy's arms! Poor mummy has spent many nights curled up on the sofa with you in my arms!

You absolutely love watching milkshake on a morning with James! You love Thomas and friends just like your brother! Sadly you also like Peppa Pig and have been known to say Peppa!

You can say a few words mama, dada, mum mum, gaga. Nana is most upset you haven't said nana yet! 

You love your food! Three meals a day plus deserts and snacks, but you are still having four bottles most days. Mummy is not worried about that as your brother was the same. He didn't drop down his milk intake till he was 14 months. Although now at four James is still a milk monster! 

It really does not seem five minutes since you were the tiny newborn lying on my chest, the last year has gone so fast! You are very much a mummy's boy and love nothing more than being snuggled up on my lap. You love cuddles of anyone who will give them! You quite often crawl off to your friends mums and give them cuddles at baby group. 

We love you so much Freddie Bear and I cannot wait to watch you grow into a wonderful little boy.

All my love 
Mummy
xxx






Friday, 28 October 2016

First birthday gifts!

So our little Freddie Bear turn one four weeks today, so I thought I would do a little post on what we have bought him!

With his birthday being so close to Christmas it's been really difficult to decide what to buy him for his birthday and what to give him for Christmas! Plus with him being the second child and second boy things we would have got him we already have from James!

So for his birthday, this is what we have actually got him:

Vtech Singing Alfie. 



We purchased this from Argos, Their website says "The VTech Little Singing Alfie is an adorable cuddly bear with fun and educational interactive features. This soft polyester toy features 3 chunky, coloured light-up buttons for your child to discover. It promotes recognition and accelerates learning through fun phrases, sound effects and sing-a-long songs"

Fisher price Chatter Telephone 



Again we purchased this from Argos, as both items were in the two for £15 offer. Their website says "This classic baby toy has been dialing up fun since 1961. The Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone is a pull along toy with a friendly face, spinning dial and fun ringing-phone sounds. It introduces role play when baby chats on the phone and dials numbers. 

A new look to this classic pull toy 2 ways for baby to play: sit & play and stand & pull.

Fun ringing sounds & eyes that move up & down when phone is pulled along. 

Dial introduces numbers 0-9. Receiver and dial encourage early role play. 

Pulling the phone along helps strengthen gross motor skills. 

Helps stimulate baby's visual & auditory senses."

I especially like the telephone as I had one when I was a child, and it's been relaunched since James was born so sadly we were not able to get him one, so I have a feeling he may be stealing this from Freddie.

Beatbo 


I have heard a lot of fantastic things about it, so Im really happy we managed to get this! We had been shopping around on the Internet and had found it for £30, days before we ordered it we popped to our local Tesco and they had it for  £28.49! Needless to say we bought it there and then!   

The Tesco website says "Get baby moving with Fisher-Price Dance & Move BeatBo! Colourful and cute with a friendly face and rainbow-coloured light-up tummy, this futuristic dancing buddy will have your little one jigging along to cheerful tunes as they learn the alphabet, colours and much more. 

Press Beatbo's tummy or the buttons on his feet to activate 3 fun modes - Dance & Move, Learning & Games and Record & Remix. Also a customizable function lets parents or children record a phrase or song for Beatbo to remix into an original melody. This mode is particularly useful for growing children who are learning to be more independent and interactive, making Beatbo an entertaining companion for years to come.

Designed to be fun and educational, Fisher-Price Dance & Move Beatbo helps to develop gross motor skills as well as increasing curiosity and discovery."

If you can suggest anything else please do as I'm totally stumped!




Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Freddie at 11 Months Old

Freddie Bear how can you be eleven months old! Only four weeks and we will be celebrating your first birthday! How can my beautiful little baby be turning one soon! The last eleven months have flown by!

You have learned so much this month! You weighed 20lbs 14oz at your 9-12 month check and are in size 5 nappies. You are also starting to go into 12-18 clothes! Much earlier than James did!  We have lowered your cot mattress as you learned to pull yourself up on the bars and we kept finding you standing up!

Your biggest development has been your progress from army crawling to actual crawling! Mummy needs eyes in the back of her head now as you follow me when ever I leave the lounge! I went to make you a bottle and found you sitting at the front door! You were so pleased with yourself! Within a week though you were following me to the kitchen and escaping the lounge when ever the door was left open! You are also cruising the furniture! You like to spend a lot of time on your feet! 

You and mummy had a lovely day out at the baby and toddler show in Manchester. It was a very long day as we left home at six am and got home just before eight pm! Mummy got you some new dribble bibs by Funky Giraffe, some new mam goodies and some of the new flavours from Piccolo! 

All your little friends have left our baby social group now. You were the youngest of our little group. Lucky we still see some of them at our Thursday group!

We are starting to buy things in for your birthday now, nanny and pappy are coming up from Surrey and we will see nana and gaga. Poor James will be at school on your actual birthday so it will probably be a tea party on the Saturday and a family meal on the day. 

You have been really poorly with a nasty virus, you hardly slept for five nights and when you did sleep it was only on mummy or daddy's chests. You've started napping more in your pushchair during the day, which is a big help to mummy, especially if we need to go out and pick your brother up!

We love you so much our little bear
Love
Mummy 
xxx





Monday, 24 October 2016

Pizza Express Autumn Menu Review

When Pizza Express asked us to come in and try out their Autumn Menu we were thrilled. As busy parents of two young boys we don't get much time to go out and have a meal just us. So we arranged for Nana and Gaga to take James and Freddie for a couple of hours and off we went to our local Pizza Express, which is located on Gosforth High Street, about ten minutes on the bus from our house. 

When we got there the restaurant was very quiet. We were booked in for twelve on a Saturday and when we arrived we were actually the only people there. But by the time we had ordered the restaurant was starting to get busier. I have been past the restaurant late on in the day and it's been packed! 

We had a choice of starter from the main menu, Andy went for garlic bread with cheese and I went for dough balls. Our starters were lovely. Dough balls are definitely my favourite Pizza express starter. 
For our main course we had a choice of Basilicata Romana, Rustichella and Cannelloni. Andy decided to go for the Basilicata Romana, which he said was really good although he didn't realise it was actually a pizza till it arrived! I went for the Cannelloni which was beautiful. It was well cooked and tasted amazing!

For desert we had the chocolate fondant, which was literally amazing. You put your spoon in and the chocolate oozed out! 
Over all we had a fantastic time. The food was amazing and the company was lovely. It was so nice spending time as a couple. Thank you Pizza Express for a lovely time and absolutely gorgeous food.

Disclosure: We were gifted this meal free of charge in exchange for this review, all words and pictures are our own. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

The Aldi #MamiaDaysOut Challenge

When we were offered the chance to take part in the #MamiaDaysOut campaign we jumped at the chance!

To put it simply Freddie is a Mamia baby! It's all we have used with him since the day he was born! The nappies are fantastic and the wipes are brilliant! Now he's weaning and on food if we are going out we will take a Mamia food pouch as they are organic and to be honest yummy! Freddie adores them! The fruit pouches are ideal for mixing into yoghurts and porridge! 

We were challenged to go out with Mamia products for a day! Mummy and Freddie had a day out planned to the baby and toddler show at event city in Manchester, so this meant three meals out the house for Freddie, two being on trains, so the Mamia pouches were ideal! We had our Mamia rice cakes in our snack pot and our nappies and wipes packed in our Babymule changing bag!

We were sent a hamper of products and a voucher to get nappies and wipes with. Freddie's favourite product from the hamper had to be the rice cakes! These are something we actually do buy pretty often as both boys love them! The fruit pots are ideal as a snack or a dessert after his lunch or tea! 

On our day out we had a breakfast pouch on the train down to Manchester, then we had meals at lunchtime and tea on the train home! The pouches are ideal to slip into the changing bag, but for this trip we had a lunch bag under the pram complete with bibs and spoons to keep the food at a decent temperature as I knew that Event City, where the Baby and Toddler show was, would get rather hot! 

Overall we were thrilled with the products we were sent and its proved to us that we have made the right choice for Freddie in using Mamia products for the last ten months!  I'm looking forward to using them for the rest of the baby and toddler days! 

This post is an entry for BritMums #MamiaDaysOut Linky Challenge, sponsored by Aldi Mamia

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Blogtober day Eight!


So favourite TV programs!
I'm such a boring person and don't really change the channel much! We either have Netflix on for James so it's Paw Patrol, Dinotrux or Bubble Guppies on! 

If it's not Netflix then it's either Sky News I have on. During the week it's normally channel five so James can watch milkshake before school then I will watch the Wright Stuff and then turn over for Sky News.

So yep it's official I'm a boring news junkie! 

Blogtober Day Seven!


So what made me start blogging? 
Well we had not long moved house and I was spending more time at our house with James. He was 21 months old and I thought it would be a good way of recording our memories of him growing up.

He is now four and we have obviously added Freddie to the family and I recorded my pregnancy and his birth and so far his first ten months of life.

I think it will be lovely to look back on when the boys are older and they can see photographs of things we did and places we went to.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Blogtober Day Six


So favourite birthday/Christmas present well that would have to be my eternity ring that Andy got me for my 30th birthday last year.

When I turned 30 we were in the middle of buying our first house together and I was also pregnant with Freddie. We were basically living out of suitcases at my mum and dads house.

My ring is absolutely gorgeous and I never take it off.

Blogtober Day Five


So when I was really little I wanted to be a footballer! Yep odd career choice for a girl but when I was a kid I was football daft! I was the only girl in my junior school who chose to do the football coaching in pe.

As I got older though I wanted to be a photographer and I actually have photography qualifications to my name and also own a part share in a photography business (www.ivtography.com) with my dad.

So it was to be a photographer that was my main career choice and it did come true! I absolutely love getting behind a camera and taking photographs of my family. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Blogtober Day Four

So it's day four and it's a secret about me! 

Oh now this is a tough one but not many people know I have a brown strip in one of my blue eyes! 

I can't remember how old I was when I first noticed it, but I think I must have always had it as I get my blue eyes from my dad and my mum has brown eyes so I think the stripe comes from my mum.

Ok that's not a very good one, I'm going to admit my love for Westlife! There's I've said it I absolutely loved and still do the Irish boyband!

I first got into them when I was about 14 and I never looked back! I met some of my best friends through Westlife too!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Blogtober Day Three


So day #3 is 'Ifyou won the lottery you would'

Oh this is a tough one, but if I won the lottery I would probably do boring things like pay off the mortgage on our house and learn to drive and buy a car!

But the big one would definitely have to be go on a holiday to Disney world Orlando!

We went there five years past September on our honeymoon and it was actually the last time we went abroad! The kids have never been away and now that James has started school it's going to take a lot of saving for us to actually get away during school holidays!

We always said we would love to go back to Orlando,but obviously now we have the kids it will be a lot more expensive and we would probably have to take my mum and dad with is to help with the kids. 

When we were there the last time, we went to Discovery Cove and did dolphin swimming. The minimum age for that is six years old. So we basically have six years to save to take the kids!

But yes would definitely be the boring stuff first of the mortgage and driving and a car!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Blogtober Day Two

So today's Blogtober prompt is An Old Photo Of You!

So this is a very old photo of me! I think I was about three when it was taken! 
I remember my mum and dad had it on the wall in our house! I have shown this photo to friends and a lot of people have said it's like James just with long hair!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Blogtober Day One!

When Mandi over at Hex Mum Plus 1 suggested blogtober - a blog post every day in October I thought I would try and give it a go!

Admittedly I'm not very good at these type of challenges but I am determined to succeed in this one!


So day one is 'Who Are You'

I'm Vicki, I'm 31 and live just outside Newcastle upon Tyne city centre.
I have been with my husband Andy for just over eight years and married for five!
We have two gorgeous little boys James who is four and Freddie who is ten months! 
I'm a stay at home mum to our boys mixed in with a bit of web designing!
I have a BSc Hons degree in Professional Broadcast Techniques from Salford University.
I've lived in the north east my whole life bar three years in Salford and two years in Surrey.

I think that is as much information about me as you need 

My boys!


Thursday, 29 September 2016

Deliveroo with Pizza Express

Pizza Express has to be my all time favourite pizza restaurant, so I'm thrilled that they are on Deliveroo and that we live in a Deliveroo area! 

Deliveroo have partnered with Pizza Express to bring you the exclusive 'Enta' pizza. The 'Etna' was dropped from the restaurant menu last year, but it's back via popular demand but via Deliveroo only! Andy loves a fiery pizza so he was thrilled to get to try this!

We decided to give this a test out on Tuesday night as we had both forgotten to get food out the freezer for tea and fancied treating ourselves once the boys were in bed! Although Freddie decided he wanted in on the pizza party and woke up just before the pizzas arrived!


Ordering was so easy! Once your account is set up you click the restaurant, then add the items you want to your basket and then pay! The app also gives you a countdown as to how long your order will be! You can also follow your order once it's been picked up via a map to see how far away from you it is! You can also leave delivery instructions. This was very handy for us as our street has no road so to be able to leave instructions saying how to access our street was brilliant and not many delivery companies offer this! 


When I placed our order at half past six the wait time was twenty five minutes and at ten to seven the Deliveroo driver rang our doorbell! The pizzas were hot! The 'Etna' was yummy, and certainly lived up to its name as I had to drink a glass of juice! 


This was the first time we had tried the Deliveroo service and I found it so easy to order from via the iPad app! There are two other local restaurants on the Deliveroo service so I am sure we will use the service again! 


To order your 'Etna' pizza either log onto Deliveroo by either the mobile app or visit www.deliveroo.co.uk. You can also order via www.pizzaexpress.com

Disclaimer: We were credited on our Deliveroo account to try this service and compensated for our time writing this post. All words and images are our own!
www.pizzaexpress.com

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Freddie at Ten Months

My darling little Freddie how can you be ten months old already! Your first birthday is only eight weeks away! 

This month has been a good one. You have learned how to army crawl and are so quick at pulling yourself around our lounge! You can also move your infant to toddler rocker around the lounge! 

You are in size 4+ nappies, taking 6oz bottles four times a day but depending on what time you wake up some days you will have five bottles, plus three meals! You eat the same as the rest of us on an evening, but I always mush up and freeze extra so there is always something for your lunch or a night we are eating something brown together! 

You were an absolutely dream on our first big trip away as a family of four! We took the coach to London then a train out to Surrey to see your grandparents on your daddy's side. You were absolutely brilliant on the coach eating and drinking and of course sleeping! You were a little bit unsettled the first night we were away and poor mummy ended up sleeping on the sofa with you on my chest. 

You have said your first word this month too! And it was mum mum! If daddy or anyone says to you where's mummy you look straight to me and grin! I tried to go to the shop without you one day and you started crying and shouting mum mum! Mum mum! So I had to take you me! You have also started trying to walk when you are held up on your feet! It's so strange you doing this at turning ten months as James was doing this at seven months and then started walking days after he turned ten months! 

You have really been missing your big brother since he has started school! The first day he was back you woke up at quarter to seven and then didn't go back to sleep till we finished baby social at half past 11 and we were picking James up! You then slept for two hours! The second week of term we had to pick him up at half past one and you were normally napping then so daddy who was on holiday that week was doing the pick ups while I stayed at home with you sleeping! James has been interacting with you a lot more, which has been so lovely to watch. 

We had a massive thunderstorm which first woke up mummy and daddy, then it woke up you and finally it woke up your brother. We were all huddled in one bed for a while till daddy took you downstairs so me and James could get some sleep before I took him to school. It was so lovely to hear James comforting you. 

We need to find a new normal now James is in school from nine am till quarter past three. We have our two groups on a Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Sadly once you turn one we will have to find a new group for a Tuesday as you will be too old for baby social. You have made a lot of lovely little friends who you love playing with, but I think your big brother is still your favourite person to play with!  

James has already started looking at toys in Tesco for your birthday and Christmas! He wants to get you a dumper truck so you and him can play trucks together! 

Till next month my little bear, I love you so much

Mummy 
xxx







Friday, 16 September 2016

School Week Two

So week two at school is over! The first day of the half one pick up was so odd and I did find myself clock watching a little bit to see what time it was for pick up as I was so used to the 1200 pick up from nursery last year! I have had to remind myself after my groups to go home as I would normally have just waited around till pick up time. 

The full class of thirty have been in this week and James has made a lot of new friends! I was worried about how he would cope with the noise and his ears. He seems to be doing ok, but both his teacher and the TAs know the signs to look for if they causing him problems. He has started leaving me in either at classroom door or even one day left me in cloakroom! I'm hoping this will progress to him leaving me in the yard as the school are wanting reception to do independent entry from after October half term holiday. 

We are still struggling to get an interest in his reading book or his key words. I know he is the youngest, but it's such a struggle to even get him to look at his school stuff.

I think it's been a pretty successful week on a school meals point. He has not been coming home at half one wanting food. I think because Newcastle City Council have the rolling menu online I can tell him what there is so he knows what to expect. 

He has been absolutely exhausted with the half one finish so I am fully expecting lots of tears from tiredness on the full days pick ups. I will be attaching the buggy board back onto the pram to get him home quicker. Poor boy has been asleep by half seven at the latest and slept till at least half six every morning although Thursday it was after seven when he woke up! It was after half seven again on Friday morning, but I think that was more due to the disturbed night he had had with a massive thunderstorm waking us all up and keeping us up for a good couple of hours.

We have had a lot of tears after school due to pure exhaustion! Its been an extra two hours from the first week. Next week will be a full day with a three fifteen finish. So I am fully prepared for an exhausted little boy!

I am really stumped for ideas for an after school snack though for next week as we normally don't have our tea till about five o'clock and reception are taken to have their school lunch at twelve. James does like apples, but not the skin! So any ideas please let me know! 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Great North Snow Dogs




In 2015 London and Bristol held a Shaun the Sheep Trail with brightly decorated models of the Aardman Animations character dotted all over the cities, which were then auctioned off to raise money for sick children in the United Kingdom. These trails were both organised by the Wallace and Grommet Foundation.


Birmingham also did a tail in 2015 , there's was called the "Big Hoot", which saw brightly coloured owls dotted all over the city which were again auctioned off this time to benefit Birmingham Children's Hospital.


Now in 2016 the Great North Snow Dog trail has been launched! 

This sees 97 brightly decorated models of the Snow Dog from the Snowman and the Snow Dog story being dotted across the North East!

Funds raised from the project will go to support the work of St Oswald's Children's Hospice, who care for children and young people with life limiting conditions.

There are two trails running: The Big Dog Trail runs from 19th September 2016 till 29th November 2016 and the Little Dog Trail runs from 19th September 2016 till 20th January 2017.

I am hoping to attempt to do at least the Little Dog Trail with my boys on weekends as now James has started full time school weekends are the only time we will have together as a family. 

The Little Dog trail has been designed with public transport in mind, so they are easily accessible. 

Below is the Little Trail Map via Public transport. I'm sorry about the quality as I had to scan it!


The locations I have for the Little Trail are as follows with the nearest transport in brackets!:
1 Blue Reef Aquarium (Cullercoats)
2 Eldon Garden (Monument)
3. Fenwick (Monument)
4 Jesmond Dene Visitors Centre (Jesmond)
5 Newcastle City Library (Monument)
6 Seven Stories (Manors)
7 The Biscuit Factory (Manors)
8 Gateshead Leisure Centre (Gateshead)
9 Gateshead Central Library (Gateshead)
10 Sage Gateshead (Gateshead)
11 Trinity Square (Gatehead)
12 Galleries Shopping Centre (Bus from Heworth)
13 National Glass Centre (St Peter's)
14 The Bridges (Sunderland)
15 Sunderland Winter Gardens (Sunderland)
16 Sunderland Minister (Sunderland)
17 Empire Cinema, Sunderland (Sunderland)
18 Washington Arts Centre (Bus from Heworth)

Please let me know if you do either the Big or Little Trail as I would love to feature some photographs here on the Blog!

I know I will have my first Snow Dog sport next week as I will be at Sage Gateshead for a concert!

Shaun in the city logo from www.shauninthecity.org.uk
Big Hoot Logo from www.thebighoot.co.uk
Great Snow Dog Logo from www.greatsnowdogs.co.uk


Sunday, 11 September 2016

The first week of school

So the first week of reception class is over, James has been in half days this week 9-1130 and he's really surprised me, we have had no tears on drop off, he's been going in happy and smiling! He was a little clingy on the first day but as soon as he got into his classroom and saw his friends he soon cheered up and went and sat down!


Day two he came home with his first reading book, his reading record and his first set of words to learn. I was pretty shocked at these coming home on day two! I thought they would maybe give them a couple of weeks to settle down, but I can see they want to get the kids started on their learning straight away.

Day three and we got our first accident form! Yep James and one of his little friends managed to run into each other outside and bang heads! They had also baked some biscuits which they then decorated and brought home on Friday! 


There has only been half a class in each morning, with the other half in on the afternoons. Week two however all the children will be in each morning till half past one, meaning James will get his first experience of school meals. Last year in nursery, they stayed and had a Christmas lunch at school, which James seemed to like, so I'm hoping seeing his friends having school meals might help his fussy eating.


James has been coming home shattered every afternoon and he's been in bed and asleep by half seven most nights. I know this week he will be exhausted due to the extra time hey are in.

He has not been very interested in his reading book or looking at his words, I'm putting this down to him being so young compared to rest of the class. Some of his friends were the age he is now when they started nursery last year. So if anyone has any tips on helping him learn to read please share them! I have already picked up some fab advice from fellow bloggers! 

Monday, 5 September 2016

The night before school

As I'm writing this, both my boys are tucked up in their beds, but it's a different feeling tonight, the clothes are all laid out for tomorrow and the alarm is set!

It's been six weeks since I needed to set an alarm, but tomorrow we will do the familiar walk to the local school and go through the same door but instead of entering nursery we will go next door to reception.

Four years ago you were a tiny baby sleeping in your carrycot, now you are four a bright and intelligent, friendly little boy. And you do know your own mind. If your not happy you let everyone know about it.

This is the start of your full time education James. We are so lucky you are in a school system where you will only change once. So two schools between now and you leaving at eighteen! 
Work hard my little dude, but remember mummy, daddy and Freddie are proud of you know matter what xxx

This mummy is feeling very emotional tonight. It's hard to believe my first born starts school tomorrow not even two weeks after he turned four! 

Friday, 26 August 2016

James at Four!

James, how can you be four years old! I feel like I have blinked and you have gone from this tiny baby to this big handsome boy who is about to start full time school!

You have experienced so much since you turned three with starting nursery and of course becoming a super duper big brother to Freddie. 

You are stubborn and very opinionated. You definitely know your own mind about what you want and when you want it. You are still very much a daddy's boy, but you do love a mummy cuddle but only on your terms! 

You are wearing a mixture of 3-4 & 4-5 clothes. You hate wearing shorts which is going to make pe at school interesting!

You love watching the most random videos on you tube. Normally of people unboxing toys or opening kinder eggs.

You still love watching Thomas and Friends, but have got into Paw Patrol, Team Umizoomi, Bubble guppies & Dino Trux. Daddy invested in Netflix which means you can sit and watch your shows to wind down.

You have absolutely loved this last year in nursery, so I'm hoping you are going to love your time in reception class. It is so strange to think this time last year we were getting you ready for nursery and now we are getting you ready to start school full time!

It's going to be really odd for mummy and Freddie not having to pick you up at lunch time. I really hope you are going to be OK staying at school and having your lunch with your little friends. 

You had your birthday party last Sunday and you had a brilliant time. We had hired the soft play room at the local sports centre for you and your friends. You were worn out after and slept for eleven hours that night!

Love you so much my little man
Mummy
xxx




Thursday, 25 August 2016

Freddie at Nine Months

Nine months Freddie! How can you have been here nine months! I swear you were only born yesterday! 

You are wearing a mix of 6-9 and 9-12 clothes and in size 4+ nappies. You have been a dream to wean and everything you eat is homemade. You have three meals a day and normally three or four bottles depending on your mood. You love bananas and melon but your favourite fruit has to be oranges! You love mummy's pasta bake, and you definitely love a roast dinner! You love crackers and tried melba toast at nana's house. You love yoghurts and have them after lunch and tea.

You've been to another birthday party for mummy's friends little girl and you loved the soft play and even more so the families pet cat! You have also been to your big brothers fourth birthday party! 

You have been a little poorly this months with a nasty cold, but the biggest news is you have your first two teeth! They look so cute and mummy cannot wait for you to start giving toothy smiles!You have been having trouble sleeping due to your cold so mummy has saw a lot of the Olympics! 

You adore your big brother and you laugh at everything he does! You hate being dressed just like your big brother at the same age. James has got into his superheroes lately so you are often referred to as batboy by you big brother!

We are gearing up for your first trip down to Surrey to meet daddy's family, I hope you do good as we are traveling by coach and train! James was a lot younger when he first went down so he slept most of the traveling! 

Only 12 weeks now till you turn a year old! I can't believe how quick it's coming around! 

Love you always my little bear
Mummy 
xxx




Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Hoppy Bunny from Babybundle

Freddie is now eight months old and starting to take a real interest in his toys, but he didn't have a special toy like James, who has his CB. So when Baby Bundle sent us the fantastic Hoppy Bunny from Safe Dreams we were thrilled. 

We were instantly impressed with Hoppy as he's  made from specially designed 3D Airmesh which has an outer surface of 100% cotton, he's stuffed with Hollowfibre, a hypoallergenic filling which has air pumped into each fibre during the spinning process, he's suitable from birth, machine washable and safe for tumble drying. He is also allergy tested, so ideal for babies who are at risk of allergies. 


Being tumble dryer safe is a big plus for mummy as it means if hoppy needs a wash he can be dried for bed time! There have been times when CB has had to have a wash due to James being sick on him and I have been seen drying him with a hair dryer to get him dry.

Freddie has really taken to Hoppy and he has started to go out and about with us attached to the pram so he's not lost. 


The fact Hoppy is made from Airmesh, means he is safe to be cuddled close to the face of asleep. Freddie is one of those babies who likes to go to sleep with something close to his face and I used to panic a bit when he would pull a muslin into his face, but now he pulls Hoppy and I can relax knowing he is safe and breathable.


Overall we are thrilled with Hoppy bunny and can see him being a long term attachment to Freddie!

**Disclaimer: We were sent Hoppy bunny free of charge in exchange for this review. All words and images are my own.**