Sunday, 29 December 2013

Rhythm & Rhyme classes cancelled at the Children's Centre in Witney

I was really gutted to hear that my favourite session at the children's centre "rhythm & rhyme" would be cancelled in 2014. When Baby J was little Mummy N encouraged me to come along to the regular sessions on a Monday & throughout my maternity leave I attended every week, & even now when I'm on holiday I've been taking Baby J along. When I was part of the parent advisory group at the centre I fed back comments to the staff asking for the sessions to be swapped to suit little ones better, the staff gladly obliged & everyone was happy. 
The sessions consist of a member of staff leading parents & little ones through a series of well known nursery rhymes encouraging parents to interact with their children through movement & song. From my previous posts you'll read it took me a while to adjust to the sessions, but I did & Baby J got a lot from the sessions. As did I, myself & the other Slummy Mummies had great fun, singing like an out of tune choir, & having a work out with the movements! Mummy Quiggles & I used to attempt to our fly each other during the spaceman song. The sessions gave me confidence & I have carried on the singing with Baby J, the songs have come in handy as a distraction, nothing works better in calming Baby J  mid tantrum than singing a song with him! I also noticed the benefits it gave others whose first language isn't English & how it helped them learn the rhymes to sing to their children. For others it has become part of their getting out routine, supporting them to meet other parents & have support from the staff in a safe environment for the children.
The sessions have always been busy & during the summer I would have to arrive early in order to get in.
So with all this in mind, I was totally shocked to hear the sessions were going, I checked with the other Slummy Mummies who assured me the sessions were still really busy & they too were upset by the closure. One of our mummies have wrote to the children's centre asking if there is anything that could be done to save it, she even volunteered to help run the sessions.
If it was a funding issue I'm sure parents would be happy to pay a small fee to cover costs. The session is so valued that to cancel it seems madness. It saddens me to think other new parents would no longer benefit from the great sessions. 
GUTTED.COM

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Lessons learnt this Christmas....

1. Assemble toys ready for the big unveil, children will not wait around for items to be built
2. Buy batteries, lots of them, as everything takes them!
3. De-clutter before the big day, otherwise toys will take over.
5. No matter what, packaging will be more exciting than the content!
6. Try to get breakfast out of the way before present opening. 
7. Keep advent calendars out of reach, children learn quick & have the speed if light in opening them paper doors!
8. Avoid edible decorations on the christmas tree - common sense!
9. Charge cameras before hand flat batteries = moments lost
10. Keep the annoying toys till last. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

It's ok not to be ok - a family's story of postnatal depression

My Story – Post Natal Depression

Mummy Li

It was a dream come true to fall pregnant after five years of trying. We were fortunate to have a straight-forward pregnancy and I joked with friends that the labour might follow in the same way. Sadly, this was not to be and at 41 weeks I was induced due to signs of pre-eclampsia . Hard as it was, we got through the labour with the safe delivery of our baby girl E. With the first embrace I had expected to be in floods of tears, but instead I just felt numb. She was a stranger to me and I felt totally unqualified to look after her. Our first few days were spent at the John Radcliffe recovering from anaemia and for Baby E a bit of jaundice. There we had all the support we needed for breast feeding from the team of midwives and care assistants.

It was such a relief to get home and settle into our new understanding of normal. The first few weeks were a blur but the Health Visitor reassured me that this was quite normal. Four weeks on, I was still struggling, feeling very anxious and doubting my abilities to be a Mum. One of the main issues was breast feeding, it took so long and Baby E never seemed satisfied. I sought advice from the professionals but was left feeling more confused by their conflicting information.

Feeling rock bottom I called IPPS (Infant-Parent Perinatal Service) for help. Their team came along side me at that time to listen and encourage me as a new Mum. Plenty of tears were shed in our fortnightly meet ups but it was good to know that someone was there. Despite the talking therapy and anti depressants my mood was still very low. Panic attacks would strike whilst I was out at a baby group or shopping in town. But my lowest point came when I thought taking my own life was the best option for everyone.

After a frustrating and unhelpful visit to the GP I set about looking for other avenues of support. I found my answer by taking part in the OPT Study (Oxford Postnatal Treatment). Not only was I receiving treatment myself but the results would in turn help other Mum’s suffering just like me. My journey became easier once I started a course of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). This treatment helped curb my negative thinking and focus on changing what I could. Another important part of my recovery was learning how to take better care of myself. Sounds pretty straight forward but can so easily be forgotten with the time constraints as a new parent.

As well as the counsellors, friends and family have been a constant support and without them today I’m not sure where I would be. Depression can be so isolating and it’s so important to know that you are not on your own. My husband (who deserves a medal) recognised that having an opportunity to chat with other Mums in the same situation would also act as an encouragement. This led us to start the PANDAS Support Group (PANDAS Foundation), a place where families affected by pre and post natal depression (Mums and Dads) can meet to talk through their problems and get some moral support.

My life has been transformed in this past year. When I thought that all hope was gone I finally found the light at the end of the tunnel.


 

Being a dad whose wife gets PND
Daddy M
Amazingly, many people still seem to believe depression only happens to the weak or at least to a certain type of person. Not true.
 My lovely wife Li is one of the most resilient and generous individuals I've ever known. And yet, after the difficult birth of our daughter she developed Post-Natal depression which nearly robbed us of those precious early months and years of joy as a family.
 Depression is an illness which affects our emotions and our thinking. It can happen to literally anyone and you don't have to do anything in particular to get it. And like a physical illness, it reduces (sometimes eliminates entirely) our capacity to do the things which should come naturally. Like being a mum.
After labour and emergency surgery, Li was exhausted and emotionally drained. She felt guilty for not feeling the warmth and love for our daughter she'd expected and criticised herself mercilessly. Even after her physical recovery Li's sense of not coping - in spite of the amazing job she was actually doing - continued to grow.
It quickly became clear there was no way I could make things right for Li. That was probably the toughest thing for me; that sense of powerlessness. All I could do was try to help more in practical ways (preparing bottles etc) and encourage her to be kinder to herself. The other effect of the depression was that Li found it hard to talk about her feelings. Instead she would lose control and angrily vent her frustration at the nearest person: me.
We were fortunate to find help for Li from a number of sources*. But one thing she said she still missed was the chance to talk to other mums who shared similar experiences. Having looked into groups in our area and found none, I decided to start one for her. Witney PANDAS Support Group exists for anyone who finds themselves with a reduced capacity to cope with the enormous demands of parenthood and in need of reassurance that they're not alone.
* e.g. IPPS, OPT study

 
 
 

 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Driblet Bibs - Product review

Baby J as most people know is a bit of a dribble monster, as he's got older I've noticed he goes through phases of dribbling, and rather than just a little dribble when he dribbles now its like a river of it, so when I was approached by Driblet Bibs to roadtest their bibs I gladly accepted.

As an expert on dribble bibs I enjoy discovering new ones that differ from others on the market, and Driblets offer just that. They have 3 layers [poplin cotton, middle layer of fleece and backed with cotton] The poplin cotton is excellent at soaking up the dribble, and dries quickly so can be worn for longer, the Driblet bibs also have a round neck, which fit better round little ones necks but don't rub their delicate skin. The bibs also aren't really long in length, so don't cover up your child's outfit. The offer a great range of different coloured bibs for boys and girls

I was sent 2 bright and colourful bibs that were easy to match to Baby J's outfits, as always he was happy to wear them, so off I packed him to nursery - as a precaution I'd packed a spare one in his bag expecting him to return home wearing the spare one. I was pleasantly surprised to pick him up still wearing the Driblet bib, which had done a fab job of absorbing the river of dribble that had been flowing that day. Great stuff!
 Jungle Friends Driblet Dribble Bib


But how would it stand being washed? As with most things I failed to reading the washing instructions and bunged it straight in the wash after with everything else,  it survived and came out looking fab, no colour change and no shrinkage [I of course would recommend following the usual washing instructions]

The bibs have since been used several times, and still look at great as they did the day I got them, not rolling up of the edges, not colour change and they still do a great job of absorbing the river of dribble.
Big thumbs up

Check out their site for their full range - www.driblet.co.uk
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval = GRANTED

 

 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Family Photo Shoot - a moment captured

I love snaps of our family,  & I'm a self confessed photo fiend displaying photos everywhere! When I saw a groupon offer of a family photo shoot with prints for under £20 I jumped at the chance & after convincing hubby we booked in with Scott's Photography for a session with Baby J, I was interested in seeing how they'd keep him still or smile for a photo....

The photographer was professional & experienced in capturing beautiful shots, she coaxed Baby J to perform & moulded our family to pose for natural shots. Before hand she had asked what we wanted and we'd said natural fun family photos & that is clearly what she delivered. 

A week later we returned to view the photos, before I went in I was determined I would only walk away with the prints that were part of the groupon voucher.... When I saw the stunning shots my heart melted & my credit card came out. The photographer had captured some wonderful shots, all natural and all amazing. I wanted them all! In the end we settled on a family shot, then an individual one of Baby J, one of Baby J & Daddy & one of Baby J & me. 
After picking our pics we were told they would be ready in 6 weeks, unfortunately they did take a tad longer, but seeing the photos again made the wait worthwhile! I would definitely recommend Scott's Photography to anyone! 
Now I'm not one for sharing personal pics but I couldn't help but want to share this photo of Baby J & me
 
To find a groupon bargin sign up to groupon on -
 
Or to book direct with Scotts go to -http://www.scotts-photography.co.uk/
 

Carterton Swimming Pool - you'll love it!

I'm always on the look out for a swimming pool local to me that will fit my needs. Over the summer I spent lots of time travelling over to Temple Cowley pool as the lessons for little ones are great, but on a practical point of view it wasn't so great, the route is a traffic jam hot spot, parking tricky & the changing rooms are in dire need of an upgrade ( or knocking the whole thing down as the council seemed to of planned !)
Anyhow I decided to try Carterton Pool as I'd had some positive feedback from friends....
Why o why had I not come here sooner? It's great, to start with easy to find with lots of free parking, as it's on the outskirts of Carterton I've not encountered any traffic jams either. The price is low with an adult swim session under £5. 

The changing rooms - it's village style with cubicles, all kept very clean & tidy. There are several family changing rooms, that are roomy with changing facilities  nappy bins, & fold down chairs with straps! I did clock separate changing rooms too but haven't used them yet. The showers are at different heights so ideal for little ones too.


 
The pool- they offer 2 pools the big pool & learner pool. I always take Baby J in the big pool first & the descending steps are ideal as they have a small area at the bottom where I can stand with him without getting in anyone's way. But the real gem is the learner pool, it's clean, warm, safe for children & the right depth for Baby J to stand up in & bob around in his float suit. He loves it, he walks around splashing away, it does get deeper at one end, so Baby J has learnt to kick more. & tread water with mummy's support. I still reinforce the importance of returning to the side, & we still enjoy singing & splashing with encouragement from me to use his legs & arms. The pool depth for me allows me to kneel as I'm tall, this is ok, seeing Baby J loving it makes it worth it. Baby J had become more confident & with the help of his float suit he's more independent too.
The pool offers poolside seating which is great for Granny to sit on & enjoy Baby J splashing around (one day we'll coax her in!)
Any bad points? Baby J has found the floor a tad slippy (Fancy that a wet floor slippy!) I think it'd be great if they had the plastic square drain mats in the main area as it can get very water logged, but with some common sense & care this isn't a problem.  When I first visited I found the straps broken on the chafing units, I mentioned this to the manager & they have since been mended. 

I also understand they offer a crèche service too, which would be ideal to use for some mummy me time. 

Since discovering the leisure centre I've been several times, Baby J loves it, I love it & only a ten minute drive away means we are all WINNING!

To find out the pool times go to - http://www.better.org.uk/leisure/carterton-leisure-centre
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval - GRANTED

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Baby's winter snuffles - how to help

With the cold nights drawing in come the new influx of bugs & lergy. As a mother I find it distressing seeing Baby J ill with a cold & try to help as much as possible my top 3 tips would be -
1. Snuffle balm - this magic pot of soothing gel is a baby version of  vix, I spread it on Baby J's chest & the sole of his feet. I'm not sure how or why it works but it does.
2. Raising his head at night, I used a wedge & now a basic baby pillow.
3. Medicine - I'm always reluctant to give him medicine but when he's stuffed up ,  & not himself I offer his ibrubrofean. When I took him to the doctors once with cold symptoms the doctor said "he's feeling pretty rubbish, if you felt this way you'd want something to help." 

Hope these help 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Dave the Diver - book review

Having grown up in a seaside town I understand the dangers of the sea, learning about sea safety was something that my school did, but not all schools offer this luxury, so what better way to teach children sea safety than by following Diver Daves adventures?! 

When I was asked to review the book, I wasn't sure what to expect, trying to get the balance right between story & message can by hard but Clive Wormald has managed to do it perfectly! When my  nephews visited I took the opportunity to road test the book with children of different ages & they loved it. The comic book style is appealing to children, & my little road testers enjoyed following the story which educated then about playing safely on the beach and in the sea. My nephew H was fascinated by Dave & asked lots if questions about him, nephew D who's that little bit older liked being tested by the quiz in the back, whilst Baby J liked the bright pictures, and over time will understand it more.

The book definitely gets the thumbs up from us, & I look forward to seeing more adventures in the future. A percentage of each sale goes to the RNLI - such a great cause. To fine out more go to www.davethediver.co.uk

Monday, 14 October 2013

The working mummy's woes

For a long time I always put my career first in life, jumping on training courses, completing more qualifications & clawing my way up the career ladder. Being higher on the ladder wasn't as much fun as I'd hoped, more stress, longer hours, & being the bad guy making tough decisions which others didn't like. When I got made redundant in 2010 it hit me hard, I had ploughed so much into my career, given everything to the company I cared for only to be handed my P45. It made me reevaluate things, what were my priorities? What mattered? Like a Phoenix from the flames I rose again, I was a changed person my family life came first. Having recently got married at the time we tried for a baby & was blessed, our lovely son Baby J joined us in March 2012. 

Before he arrived I didn't realise what an impact one little person could have, Baby J became and still is the centre of my world , I love being a mummy, yes it's tough, but it's all the sleepless nights, constant running around is worth it to see Baby J develop & grow. My plan had always been to return to work, financially that was the only option; but after spending 6 wonderful months with Baby J on my maternity leave I found it so very hard leaving him, & now a year on of him going to nursery it's still very hard. I know he's well cared for at nursery & is in a stimulating environment where is learning every day, I'm lucky that he has been allocated amazing key workers, who keep me updated on his progress, the manager of the nursery is uber professional with a big soft caring side, but given all of that each day as I walk him out to the car I feel sad, I want to be going with him on his learning adventures, I want to be watching him enjoying glop play, & discovering new things. Instead the internal timer starts & I count down to home time. My current job isn't as high on the career ladder, I'm kept busy with a never ending list of things to do, & on the whole I enjoy it.

 It's a tough call when Baby J has a snuffle or a cough, he's not yet able to tell me how he feels, & guilt sets in when we send him off to nursery, should we of kept him at home? Will he be ok? & he has been, but as a mummy you want to protect you child & keep them safe & look after them. At work on a daily basis I find myself taking a mini break & scrolling through my phone looking at the latest video taking of Baby J, my desk is surrounded by photos of him, & one look at his cute face & any stress eases away. I also check the clock, only a few hours to go...

I cringe when I read articles criticising women for going back to work, for some of us there isn't an option & I would given the chance I'd give it all up to be a stay at home mummy. Who wouldn't? Being a mummy is the best job in the world! 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Baby Safety - companies need to take this seriously!

I recently discovered a lovely swimming pool near by which has a learner pool that is shallow enough for Baby J to be independent & bob up and down on his home, the parking is good, the pool area light & airy..... Then I discover that the straps on the changing units are broken & knotted. The duty manager wasn't bothered at all. It really concerns me how the health & safety if children isn't taken seriously at all. What will it take for those in charge to realise how important it is

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Thomas Day at Didcot Railway Centre a magical day

About a year ago we discovered a tv series that Baby J loved - Thomas The Tank Engine, & now a year on it still has the same captivating effect on him  & his face lights up when he hears the theme tune & he excitedly points to the tv when it's on. So when my sister in law B mentioned a cousins outing to see Thomas at Didcot railway centre when we in like a flash.

The day was great, from endless rides on Thomas to seeing the Fat Controller. & the other engines it was amazing. Baby J & Cousin S had loads of fun! There was lots for children to do & the day was well planned with a schedule of shows. & activities. All the staff at the centre got into the spirit of things & were dressed as characters. With do much to do it made for a great family day.

I'd recommend taking a picnic as there is a lovely picnic area where you can watch the trains going by, & if you are looking for gifts I'd suggest going in the gift shop first as by 2pm the queue was long out the door. 
The site is buggy accessible after a shirt flight of stairs, with small buggy parks dotted around so you can park up & enjoy things. I'd also suggest not dressing your children in their best clothes, as with trains come grease & oil! 

We loved the day, seeing Baby J. & Cousin S faces in totally awe seeing Thomas was priceless!

Friday, 13 September 2013

The Little Play Box - product review

On a dreary glum rainy day my friendly Postman delivered a little ray of sunshine in the form of The Little Play Box..... perfect timing! When Baby J and I opened our dinosaur themed box, we were greeted with a vast array of dinosaur shaped things and activities for us to do, as some of them were for children older than Baby J, & as my nephews  D&H were in town I gave my brother a buzz & soon I had a house full!



 
The Little Play Box had lots of things to do in it including -
  • Dinosaur fossil - where you use modelling clay and dinosaur figures to create fossils - H loved this, and used other object to make more fossils.
  • Dinosaur Sticker Scene - where the boys decorated there own dinosaur scene with stickers - I loved this... no mess & loads of stickers to go round so everyone could get involved, Baby J even managed to stick some down.
  • Stencils - D had a go at this and made some fab prints, and even got creative making cards
  • Dinosaur Sponges - Baby J loved this as he's now got the hang of sploging the sponges down on the paper to make a mess.... I mean print.
  • Dinosaur to paint -Where you have a small 3D dinosaur to paint. Baby J & I did this together and managed to create a wonderful yellow and pink dinosaur that now lives in his room.
The Little Play Box was full of fun, and was perfect for the boys to enjoy on the rainy day. It'd be ideal for holidays as everything you could possibly need is included. The instructions that come with it are clear and inspiring.We had a fun filled creative day of dinosaur roars!
 
I love the concept of The Little Play Box, with its fun selection of fun activities. There are a few different themes to choose from with a variety to appeal to anyone. I also think they'd make a great gift. Baby J was a little young to make the most of all the items,  so it'd be great if there was a choice of age ranges on the boxes.
 
So if you are looking for a gift  for the child that has everything, or looking for ideas to keep them entertained during the holidays buy a box! Check our their full range via their facebook page, search for The Little Play Box
 
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval = GRANTED
 

Music / Singing groups for Babies & Toddlers in Witney


Baby J and I adore attending singing sessions at the Children’s Centre [Monday Mornings] but sometimes the sessions have been really busy, and I wondered more about other music sessions around the area. So I have compiled the list below. All of them you have to pay per session, & most ask you to book in advance.

Monkey Music

THURSDAY - Madley Park Hall, Northfield Farm Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire OX28 1UE

10.05am Heigh-Ho Toddlers from 12 mths

10.40am Jiggety-Jig 2 and 3 year olds

11.15am Rock'n'Roll Babies from 3 months

 
Tatty Bumpkin -

Warbling Tots –  

Jacob Room in the Methodist church Thursdays 10.00 til 10.45

Music and More -
www.musicandmoretots.co.uk

Monday - Willow Tree Children's Centre in Bampton 1.50pm  term time only


Friday  Stonesfield 9.15 - 10.00am Witney 1.45 - 2.30pm

Saturday  Eynsham 9.30-10.15am

Saltbox Music -

Fleece Hotel, Church Green, Witney
Mixed Age Class, 0 - 4 years
Monday
09.30am
NEW! Fleece Hotel, Church Green, Witney
Baby Class, 0 - 18 months
Monday
10.30am
Madley Park Hall, Witney
Mixed Age Class, 0 - 4 years
Has own car park
Tuesday
9.45am
Madley Park Hall, Witney
Mixed Age Class, 0 - 4 years
Has own car park
Tuesday
10.45am
Madley Park Hall, Witney
Baby Class, 0 - 18 months
Has own car park
Tuesday
11.45am
Madley Park Hall , Witney
Toddler Class, 15 months - 3 years
Has own car park
Tuesday
12.30pm
Seacourt Hall, Botley, Oxford
Mixed Age Class, 0 - 4 years
Some parking at the Hall, or at the Co-op opposite
Wednesday
9.45am
Seacourt Hall, Botley, Oxford
Mixed Age Class, 0 - 4 years
Some parking at the Hall, or at the Co-op opposite
Wednesday
10.45am
Carterton Community Centre, Trefoil Way, Carterton
Mixed Age Class, 0 - 4 years
Has own car park
Thursday
9.45am
Carterton Community Centre, Trefoil Way, Carterton
Toddler Class, 15 months - 3 years
Has own car park
Thursday
10.45am
Carterton Community Centre, Trefoil Way, Carterton
Baby Class, 0 - 18 months
Has own car park
Thursday
11.30am
NEW! Madley Park Hall, Witney
3 & 4 year old class
Thursday
1.30pm
New 3 & 4 Year Old class starting 21st Feb 2013 - book your place now!
Fleece Hotel, Church Green, Witney
15 months - 3 years
Friday
9.30am

 

Baby College -

Tuesday Witney, Madley Park Hall
11.30 am
10.30 am
9.30 am

 Sing and Sign - 

Monday
AM
Stage 1 & 2
Kidlington Baptist Church, Kidlington
Tuesday
AM
Stage 1 & 2
Christ Church, Abingdon
Wednesday
AM
Stage 1 & 2
High Street Methodist Church, Witney
Friday
AM
Stage 1 & 2
High Street Methodist Church, Witney
 
 

 

Mysewcalleddesigns - changing mat review

After leaving my first changing mat from mysewcalleddesigns in a baby changer I knew I had to buy another one!  I first saw them at our very own bump to baby fair back in June and even though the price of £20 was more than I would usually pay for such an item, I could see that a lot of time had been invested in making it so decided to give it a go.  It has been well road tested and in the last week came with us on our travels to Spain. 
My favourite feature of the changing mat is the size of it.  Not only does it fold neatly so it fits happily in E’s small rucksack, when it is unfolded t is larger than others I have come across, which is great as Baby E is not so much of a baby now and is Toddler size.  She fits comfortably on the whole mat which for me is great as it means I can pretty much change her anywhere.  So far we have used in it the middle of a field, Blenheim car park, the back of the car, the beach and on a park bench.   It also covers all of the baby change units that are found in public places. 
I was impressed by the quality of the fabric used, the wipe clean cover on the changing side and the level of craftsmanship.  You would not know it was handmade with the neatness of the stitching.  There are two small pockets on the inside which I have not found them to be useful as they need to be empty to insure that it folds neatly.
There are only two small cons to the mat and they are as is as it is fabric you need to ensure the surface it is being put on is dry and folding one handed can be a bit tricky as it needs to be tied up to keep it folded, a Velcro fastening would be better.  Overall I think this is a good product and even though it is on the expensive side compared to other changing mats the fact it is handmade and different from what other people have it is worth the extra cost.  - By Mummy Ge
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval = GRANTED

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Beauty To You - Service Review

In my opinion every Mum needs a bit of me time and what better way to do this than having a pamper evening in your own home. This is where I would like to introduce you to Kate from Beauty To You, from Long Hanbrough. One night in August Kate came round my house, I have to say this was a much anticipated appointment, I was in need of a bit of me time!! All I can say is I was not disappointed at all, I had a Shellac Pedicure and Head, Shoulder and Back massage. I have never felt so relaxed, the best part was I didn’t have to travel anywhere; this was all in the comfort of my own home. So if you would like to treat yourself, a friend or a new mum then contact Kate. All of the treatments and price cab be found on her website and face book page.
Mummy G x
 
Tel: 07769317131
E-mail: beauty.to.you@live.co.uk
Website http://www.beautytoyou.org.uk/
Facebook- Beauty To You
 
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval = GRANTED

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Meet the Slummy Mummies - Oxford Mail Article

A few weeks back I was contacted via our website by a lovely lady from the Oxford Mail, asking if we'd be willing to be featured in the supplement magazine of the Oxford Mail, after consulting with the other slummies we agreed. 4 of the Slummy Mummies answered a few questions about our group and what we've gained from it, and we shared some of our  photo's of most of us and our little ones together....& last Saturday it was featured in the paper....
 

 
 
As someone who is shy and has kept away in the past from photo's & being centre of attention etc, I cannot explain how very proud I am of the Slummy Mummies being featured in the magazine, I really hope our story inspires other mums to keep in contact after attending groups, and that the recommendations we make help others in choosing where to go, or what products to buy.
 
The Slummy Mummies have become a big part of my life, most days I'm contact with one or the other of them, either via text, e-mail, or on our private FaceBook page. They have helped me in so many ways on this journey of parenthood & I will always be thankful for that! I love our group pics [one day we will get us all together for a photo....somehow] I'm also chuffed that the little pic of Baby J & I made the front cover.
 
Mummy C x
 

Help for teething toddlers - Brush-baby chewable toothbrush & teether product review

During Baby J's most recent bout of teething I took to twitter and ask for suggestions on what I could give him to help, one of the suggestions was a brush-baby 'chewable toothbrush & teether'. I'm always happy to try anything to help, and the lovely people at brush-baby kindly offered to send me one....a few days later......
 

 
The chewable toothbrush and teether arrived, the best way to describe it, is that it looks like a gum shield with nodules and a handle, I wasn't too sure how it'd help with teething, so cleaned it and left in on one side ready to be used.... the next teething episode soon appeared and after various teethers were rejected I offered Baby J the toothbrush...expecting it to be handed back or thrown away... but no Baby J liked the soft jelly like texture and happily chewed away on....the handle but if it helped I was happy! Since then the toothbrush teether has been used regularly, Baby J has worked out the gum shield bit fits in his mouth and he can gnaw away on it, & on particularly bad days I've put it in the fridge to help soothe his sore gums further. The chewable tooth brush is easy to clean and for £4.99 is a great investment. I'd recommend using it as a first toothbrush too, as its softer on little teeth and gums. I showed the toothbrush to my nursery expert and he commented that it was a great design ideal for little hands to master holding! The Brush-baby website is full of great information and recommendations from professionals http://www.brushbaby.co.uk/  They also have a fab range of other dental products for children of all ages.
 
Thank you brush-baby! With the slow rate that Baby J's teeth are coming through, the toothbrush will be used regularly in our house for a long time to come!
 
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval = GRANTED
 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Jousting at Blenheim - fun for all the family

On one of the Slummy Mummies usual outings to Blenheim we discovered that there was jousting on, Mummy G & Mummy Li were most excited ... me well I was running in the opposite direction, however as I was out voted and reminded that the children would love it so I reluctantly gave it a go....
 
We found the area via the disabled garden gate [ask at reception for the code] and unpacked our blankets and settled down to watch the fun... to start with we were given a spectacular falconry display were the big birds flew over our heads, bigger children were given the chance to take part in the arena and loved it. The Slummy babies knew something was happening and pointed with enthusiasm to the birds flying over our heads. The best bit was still to come....
 
The jousting, hosted by King Henry the 8th, we were given an amazing show where we cheered with gusto for our teams [in our case the blues] their was fighting, joking, cheeky chaps and a wonderful display of horse riding. The children soon got into the spirit and were cheering with us, and learning to 'boo' the bad guys too.


 
 
I loved it, and that comes from someone who hates any kind of audience participation, seeing Baby J's face light up where the horses came in and clapping when our team got a win was memory making. I would definitely recommend going when it's next on, take a blanket, and a picnic and make the most of it.


 
 
Blenheim planned it really well, and had a selection of tents and vans with food, drinks and gifts available. I'm really pleased I was outvoted on the day and we had such a fun time, I even dragged hubby back the next day too.
 

Fab Park Alert! Milton-under-Wychwood has the most spectacular park locally.

During a Sunday drive a few weeks ago, where we just head of in a vague direction and meander through the countryside, I happened to spot out the corner of my eye a play park which looks toddler friendly, hubby by then had already passed it, but we discovered there was a car park  at the other end of the green where the park was... HOORAY!
 
From a distance as we walked across the green the park looked good, there were a few swings, a tunnel etc, but the closer we got to it the more we saw.... their was a fence off area just for little ones, with swings, tunnel, see-saws, round-a-bouts, adventure climbing things, slide, the list goes on. Baby J had a great time, running from swings, to the play train, then on to the slide and see-saws. Both hubby and I had fun too, all of the equipment was in good condition, and their was grass to cushion any falls. I felt that Baby J was really safe as the whole section was fence in, so there was no chance of him running off and getting too far.  There was so much to do the only problem was deciding what to do first.

 
 
 
Next to the toddler play park was a section of park for bigger children, so there wasn't the worry or the awkward stand off of bigger children / teenagers misusing or hogging the equipment..... and even better next to that was a fence in courtyard for ball games!  All of this sits at the bottom of a green, which would be an ideal spot for a picnic and a kick around with a ball.
 
So how do you find it? Well on the side of the green is a co-operative supermarket whose postcode I'm hoping - OX7 6JH so please try entering that into your sat nav's, this should take you to the side of the green, the park is at one end, the parking at the other, with on street parking down the side.
 
I hope if you can find it you enjoy it as much as we did!

Aston Pottery - A fab find!

With the weather constantly changing I've been on the look out for all weather places where I take Baby J. Aston Pottery popped up on our twitter feed on Friday, and with a follower recommending them I thought I'd give them a go, I checked that they are  children friendly and grabbed their postcode and set off.
 
When I arrived I was really taken back, I was expecting a little place with a tiny cafe, what I got was a huge place, with a large cafe and stunning grounds. Their was ample room in the car park, and entrance was well sign posted. Baby J [in his buggy] and I wound our way through the beautiful gardens to the shop, and after a quick nose round found the cafe. It was a cake lovers heaven! There was so many to choose from, I wish I'd asked a fellow slummy to come with me so I could of sampled a few of the cakes.... the cafe is well spaced with lots of room for buggies, there are also quite a few high chairs. Baby J & I really enjoyed our drinks and cake whilst over looking the beautiful gardens. After we checked out the changing facilities which were nice and clean we then went back round the vast shop. Baby J has discovered he can reach out of his buggy and grab things so I was a tad concerned he'd cause mayhem, but he was really good, and enjoyed passing all of the colourful pretty things. In the children's corner I let him choose a mini soft tiger for me to buy for him to play with.
 
On the way back to the car  the sun made an appearance so we walked through their gardens, Baby J loved looking at the plants and butterflies, I enjoyed the calming atmosphere.
 
Aston Pottery scores a big thumbs up from me, parking, cake, gardens all add up well. It'd be great if they add some play equipment for children to play on too. The entrance & parking are free, there is a great range of  gifts to suit everyone too.
 
For more information check out their site - http://astonpottery.co.uk/
 
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval - granted