Monday, 30 April 2012

The Gruffalo LIVE

On Friday we went to see the Gruffalo live at our local theater. I had ummed and aaahed about wether to get tickets after looking at the website but then my mum brought us some as a treat so it was decided! My reservations had been that I had an idea from seeing photos it wasn't going to be what you may expect, with no cute cuddly costumes, I thought it was probably going to be a bit of a dramatic representation, and perhaps not what a 2 year old might expect from her beloved book.

I was pleasantly surprised though, it was a really entertaining and good fun production. There was audience interaction, plenty of singing and a bit if good old slapstick. Squiggle took her Gruffalo toy with her and he was happily dancing along to his song at the end. She was glued to the show until about the last 15 minutes when she started to get restless but she said she really enjoyed it. 

Of the character she was most taken in by the mouse (perhaps the most realistic animal) and her liked songs the best. Some of the jokes we felt were aimed more at adults, which, while entertaining, seemed a bit wasted... the best result for the adult is always seeing a smile on your child's face!

A good portion of the audience was school trips, including my 6 year old neice who loved it. Her review was: 

It was really funny... there were only three people on it... the Gruffalo looked like he was made of leaves... and the snake had a funny moustache.

Six year olds should review everything!

The school children behind us were finding it really funny too and I think it is really aimed at their age group. The book is loved by children of such a range of ages though I think it would have been nice to have made the animal costumes a little more recognisable, I don't think it would have detracted from what they were trying to do, and would have draw in all the toddlers in the audience too.

Whilst watching fox, owl and snake sing their songs I was honestly imagining it was Noel Fielding up there, and they were the Mighty Boosch's latest characters... Was that just me?

We had a great morning out and it was A lovely chance to take Squiggle to the theater which was an adventure and great experience in itself!

Has anyone else been to see it? I'd love to hear what you thought!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Taking the potty plunge

We haven't had a lot of potty luck in the past and I decided not to push things and wait and see if she showed more signs of being ready. At 2 half I started to feel it just can't be very nice to be in a nappy so we have decided to really take the plunge.

The wet weather has helped as while my mum has had her this week she's been inside with her and able to let her run nappy free with the potty on standby! When different people aee looking after her I think we all need to go for it together or it will never work.

While she's wearing pullups she just shows no interest in using the potty or toilet so the last few days I've been brave and gone all out for knickers!! It's actually very nerve wracking when you leave the house, she won't try and go before you leave like a grown up would, or when you happen to be passing the family toilets, so it's a risky business! I have heard about fold out portable potties so I think I may need to invest in one. I felt like a terrible mother yesterday in the garden centre as I tried to get her to sit on the toilet after lunch and she was screaming she didn't want to. I shouldn't have pushed her, she didn't actually need to go, she was right! We made it safely round the shops to our relief...

When we went to Granny's house I was slightly concerned about my mother in laws lovely rug she brought back all the way from China, so I asked Squiggle if she wanted to wear a nappy while she was playing there. She said nappies were for babies and little girls wore pants. This was a massive breakthrough for us! All along she has insisted she loves nappies and she's only little, so this change of heart was a good omen I thought.

The biggest result was when I put her to bed she told me she needed her potty and we had a poo! I was delighted that she actually asked instead of me asking her all the time. Maybe I just need to have more confidence in her.

Saying that my husband has just taken her to Tesco and I am sat here worried about a major mid trolley disaster...

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Coming home

So that's us, we are back from our little family holiday to Italy. It's such a nice feeling when you realise your house isn't just a house, it's your home. I got that real warm feeling when we walked in last night. The hubby and I both said it wasn't coming home we were sad of, just that it meant back to the old routine and back to less time together. But...

It also means back to my blog which is of course a big positive!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Gallery – Our Easter

Our Easter was so much fun this year. On Sunday morning when I wished her happy Easter she straight away asked if the Easter bunny had been. So cute! He left her a note in the lounge to say due to the rain he had hidden 5 eggs in the lounge. I wish the age of believing could last forever!!

This is my entry to The Gallery for the theme Easter... make sure you go and have a look at all the other wonderful entries.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

My week in tweets

Slummy single mummy is running a link up 'A week in tweets' – love this idea! I've been meaning to join in but when I went to write my post last week I found I had a goldfish brain and couldn't remember a single thing I had done. Clearly I need to get out more! This week riding high on too much sugar after Easter I'm hoping I can do better, so here we go...

Monday – Talked into KFC for dinner by bad influence husband, why am I giving up choc for lent again?

Tuesday – Bump into old friend as I pop out the office. Have lovely chat. Forget what I went out for. Go back into office.

Wednesday – LO completely hyper & not at all sleepy when I pick her up. Cop out & cuddle up watching entire Pingu DVD #guiltyconscience

Thursday – Plan all day how I will tidy the house that night so we can relax on Good Friday. Fail.

Friday – Lovely lunch with the neighbours & their kids, Squiggle tells their boys that girls are best. #fastlearner

Saturday – Manically buy the last available Easter eggs in Sainsburys. Forget to tidy the house again.

Sunday – Find letter from Easter bunny saying due to the rain he has used his magic carrot key & hidden the eggs in the lounge #nicesave

Monday, 9 April 2012

Money saving alphabet

a,b,c,d,e,f,g... I'm as thrifty as can be! I feel like since having my little one my mind is constantly on money saving mode – it doesn't always work and it's hard to stick to the rules I set myself but it still helps to have them. I'm more thrifty now than I've ever been and I know it doesn't have to mean misery! Here is my money saving alphabet – it's my entry for the Britmums piggy bank tales competition which is sponsored by Virgin Money.

Admit your financial limits and accept what you have got;
even a little, can then feel like such a lot.

Be never bashful... barter for bargains; 
and be sure your purse is cash full.

Click cashback sites before you buy online; 
clock up cash for another time. 
Chi ching!

Don't ignore them... 
dig deep, divulge, and do consolidate them.

eat together
Everyone eating the same family dinner; 
saves on expensive different portions – an easy saving winner.

Friends are free!!

Get green and turn of lights & sockets; 
get saving polar bears and gain savings in your pockets.

Hundreds of dishes can be home-made yummy... 
with a small hoard of key ingredients – hurrah for happy tummies!

ice ice baby
Invest in itsy bistsy freezer pots and store portions as you cook; 
mine is full of ice surprises and always worth a look.

Just before you buy it; 
stop and justify it.

kiddie kino
We know with kids you're always up and awake; 
so kick start your day at the cinema – at weekend morning showings, £1 tickets are at stake.

Lots of books and lovely activities for little one and me; 
look shhhhhhhhhh listen, it's all for free.

Make gifts and cards with your mini makers; 
mine even decorates plain wrapping paper.

natter natter
Now if you natter unlimited on your mobile do you need a landline too? 
when at home skype is a great option and at no cost for me or you!

Over estimating and realism with your budget can only leave you with spare;
otherwise you'll only end up spending extra pounds elsewhere.

Planning meals and making shopping lists help food budgets stretch longer;
less waste, less haste, still lots of taste... and a bank account that's stronger.

quick fix
For a quick cash fix rummage baby clothes and old CD's;
there's money to be made at car boot sales, to buy things you really need. 

Reap rewards with free points cards, when you're out and ready to shop; 
reward cards can bring days out and shopping discounts at a pop.

Super savers surely see... 
you can do all the same baby activities for free!

travel thrifty
Take note of group discounts and advance travel fares; 
always ask for the cheapest tickets and ring direct to compare.

Understanding your personal money traps is a great first step to helping savings grow,
write down every little thing you buy one month and underlying problems will show.

The web is full of vouchers to spend online and in store;
always search before you spend to leave yourself with more.

However much you want something, if you can't afford it wait;
the stress of debt or monthly payments will far outweigh the treat.

X marks the spot
Give your savings account a name that reflects it's end goal;
it makes adding to it so satisfying and will get you on a roll.

zippity doo dah

Celebrate you luck with some lovely family treats and fun;
be in it to win it and enter great fun comps on blogs for mums!

Share your savings story for a chance to win £500 towards a Stocks & Shares ISA

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Toddler teeth

I had forgotten all about teething, it was something I always watched out for when Squiggle was a baby. But we've had a few restless nights recently. Age two, my little one does sometimes wake in the night but she normally goes back to sleep without too much trouble. This was different, she was so restless and couldn't settle, I started to think she was having nightmares. On the third night of this she woke for the third time in one night... she suddenly screamed to me, "my teeth hurt, they hurt, it's in my mouth mummy!!" I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of this, if only she had told me before. I felt her gums and poor thing, it was the very back bottom two coming up... all easily helped with a bit of calpol.

Come on evolution can't you sort this one out?!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

At Peace

This is my favourite thing to do. To lie on a rug with my little girl in the garden and spot shapes in the cloud. I love getting a cuddle in and listening to her imagination taking flight (although the same shapes do seem to appear a lot!)

This is me feeling at peace and is my entry to this weeks The Gallery for the Sticky Fingers blog.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Mums 101

What would you do if you were asked on room 101 for the night? Have you ever tried to narrow down what you'd like to throw in there? I have!

I would love them to host a 'mums' episode one night, the perfect chance for us all to vent what really bugs us (in a nice light-hearted fashion)!

Although I do like to think I'm a pretty easy going person, I somehow had a long list to work through. Here are my top 3 mummy related issues that I would love to see thrown into 'Mums 101' forever!

The phrase "slept like a baby"
Clearly to anyone who has had a baby this statement is factually incorrect in every way. If by this phrase you mean you were up 3 times in the night, constantly hungry/needing the toilet, like to start your day at 5am and only drift off to the comforting sound of the hoover, then perfect. Can we please all start using "slept like a teenager" instead?

I really am actually very pro sharing and I am doing my best to insure my little girl grows up being thoughtful and kind to others (promise). I was just always so stressed out by the funny unspoken sharing rules at baby groups. If another child came over to play with the toy mine was playing with, they would often get told not to do that, because my little girl was already playing with it. Surely that is the opposite of sharing, I'd think? And when mine would go and play with a toy another child had I'd feel that "aren't you going to say anything?" look. I'd find it a minefield, like a world of funny etiquette I didn't quite understand! 

People who tut
I think we all know that even the sweetest of babies and toddlers are going to have a melt down every now and then, and it's usually going to be in the middle of the shopping centre. I'd like people to say "oh I remember that feeling" or "we've all been there dear" anything really, but not a tut. A tut is just so disapproving and aggravating. The tutter is gone in a second and you're just left there thinking, what? Really? Come back here and I'll tell you I'm a good mum, actually, and this time yesterday another complete stranger was telling me how absolutely delightful my little girl is... so there!

Do you agree with my choices? Would you let them all into Mums 101? I think I may be alone on number 2!

I would really really love to hear what is bugging everyone else, do you fancy sharing? It really is quite good therapy! 

Anyone can join in – it's the more the merrier. So If you do want to, just post your top 3 motherhood related gripes in your own 'mums 101' post, tag some friends if you can and link back to here so people can come and read the other posts. Then come back and add your link below in my linky

My first ever linky (please work!)
If the linky has run out and you'd still like to join in just leave me a link to your post in the comments and I'll add a list.

To get the ball rolling I tag the lovely:

Mummy's Cheeky Monkey

The joy of Spring

My little one playing under the same blossom tree I used to love as a child. What could make a mummy happier than that? x

Cbeebies Live!

On Saturday Squiggle and I were wembley bound with a friend and her little girl to watch Cbeebies live! The girls (2 and a half and 3 and a half) were so excited on the train journey there... squealing with delight when we said they might see Justin and Mike the Knight.

After the train and tube we emerged from the tube to find the walk to the arena full of buzz and probably more people than they had ever seen before! When we got inside they had a little picnic and chose a sparkly fluffy wand each. They were £5 a pop which I didn't think was too bad for merchandise (in comparison to other events we've been to).

There was a buggy park but we'd been taking our time and left checking our pushchairs in a bit last minute, there was quite a queue and in the end we were just in in the nick if time for the start of the show!

It opened with their favourite presenters and lots of singing and dancing. The first characters out were from Lazy Town which included Robbie Rotten announcing he was going to steal all the stars of cbeebies so he could be the biggest star of all. My little one wasn't too sure about this! She kept cuddling into me whenever he came out throughout the performance and I think she was quite worried about the fact Postman Pat had been put in a box. I wouldn't be put off by that though, I think she was in the minority on that one! 

There were loads of songs to join in with (10 fat sausages, old macdonald..) and my friend's three year old was up dancing the whole time doing all the moves. My little girl sat, concentrated intently, and soaked it all up as she always does – I think she'll be a good pupil when she hits school age! When I asked her afterwards her favourite bit, she excitedly told me, without hesitation, "Mr Tumble and his farm!!" Her face did really light up when he came out and he got a few giggles. The other highlight for her was Mr Maker and the under the sea creatures. The costumes were really pretty and she loved the sea horse.

I think the girls would have really liked to have seen Mr Maker actually make something, they really wanted him to do a minute make. And perhaps Squiggle would have enjoyed it even more without the worry that her favourite characters might be stuck in boxes forever by Robbie Rotten! 

All in all it was a great show – seamless, fun and just the right length. I don't think there was a bored child in the house! We had wonderful, exciting day out and the little ones were full of beans and stories about it all when they got home!

I also have to say a big thank you to Tremendously Two as it was thanks to her twitter competition we were able to go!! x