My Sunday Photo

This was my view this morning; my little girl eyeing our hot tub with glee: 

 
We are now heading away from the forest, ready to start a new week of work, school and nursery.

Sigh. 

You Know You’re a 00’s Kid When…

For Miss J and the boy to look back on smile…

You know you’re a 00’s kid when….

Iggle Piggle was your first love, and you knew all the words to his song (as did your parents)

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Image source: http://www.meandmykiddywinks.co.uk/

You slept in a sleeping bag from the age of three months…

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Image source: http://www.firstchoice.co.uk/

Before graduating to a onesie, which is nothing like a babygrow, and totally ok for adults to wear…

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You perfected the selfie pout before your 5th birthday

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When hanging precariously from a swing/slide/tree, your Mum always took a photo before rescuing you

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You owned a Micro Scooter

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You did baby ballet

You could operate an iPhone better than your Dad

Your image was used alongside an inspirational quote

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You understand the concept of the naughty step

You went to school/nursery with someone called Princess, Lace, Iszak, or Demelza (all real)

Every time you said something vaguely humorous, your Dad made you repeat it so he could write it as his new Facebook status

 You owned a tablet

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Are there any more?  What do you think defines your little one’s childhood?

#travelwithkids – London SeaLife Aquarium

Hello and welcome to #travelwithkids, a brand new linky brought to you by the lovely Ickle Pickle and myself.  This linky is for anyone who enjoys family-friendly travelling from days out to road trips to city breaks.  We are very excited to find out about new places to visit all over the UK and beyond and aim to create a rich archive full of interesting finds.  To join in, simply link up a post using the Inlinkz tool at the foot of this post; it doesn’t have to be a new post, it just has to fit the #travelwithkids theme.  It would be lovely if you used our #travelwithkids badge, which can be found below, but this is not essential.  The linky will go live every Wednesday at midnight and run until 8pm on Sundays.  We will leave comments on all posts as well as sharing on Twitter. Enjoy!
Last weekend, following our visit to The Shard, we took the tube to Embankment, crossed the Thames, and made our way to the London SeaLife Aquarium.  We were very fortunate not to have to queue for tickets, however once we made it inside, the place was heaving.  It was so busy that we wondered if it may have been better to allocate time slots on entry tickets, or perhaps suggest that some people do the SeaLife tour in reverse order.  Certainly, had we paid for our tickets, we would have been disappointed by how much we missed due to being swept along in a crowd.  However, had we had more time, we would have been able to go back and see more.  As it was, we were pushed and just had to make the best of the couple of hours we had left before heading back to Victoria.
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The Aquarium’s features were great, it had most of what Brighton’s SeaLife Centre has to offer, including the opportunity to touch starfish, and plenty more.  Our visit began with a walk across the top of the shark tank, which was an experience!  My boys both love sharks and had great fun watching them throughout our trip.  The shark tank runs from top to bottom of the building, which gives opportunities to see the amazing creatures from a variety of different perspectives (thanks to hubby for the photography):
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The children enjoyed watching the jellyfish and spotting as many “Nemos” as they could.  Hubby liked the rays.
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The boy really liked getting up close to the tanks, watching the fish swim by:
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I think my favourite part of our visit was seeing the creatures that aren’t in our local Aquarium, such as the penguins and the crocodile.  It was definitely an interesting experience and the walls were full of facts and knowledge.
Where is your favourite aquarium?

We received complimentary family entry for the purposes of this review; all thoughts are our own.

The Little Life of Ickle Pickle

Comfort and Style – BubbleBum Review

We have used a BubbleBum for a while now.  We started off with a purple number won on eBay and used it in a hire car on holiday.  What appealed to us most was that the seat could be deflated, popped in its carry bag and easily transported when not in use, meaning it didn’t feel like one more thing to carry on the ferry!  Once home, not having a car ourselves, it didn’t get as much use but came in handy for days out with family and friends in their cars, taxi trips, and coach journeys.  We got so much use of it that the £15 we paid for it seemed excellent value for money. Brand new from the official site, they are available for just £29.99, making them a very cost-effective booster seat. After all, it is possible to spend a lot more on a seat that is not easily transportable at all, and the BubbleBum is just as safe.

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Last week, we bought a car, our first in 3 years.  It all happened rather quickly, so we’ve not yet kitted it out with permanent booster seats and have instead been using a BubbleBum for the boy.  It is proving a success so far – we have already travelled over 100 miles and not had a single complaint from him.  The seatbelt sits nicely across his lap, which pleases me, and it is a doddle to take the seat out and pop it in the boot when Daddy uses the car for work.

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We are heading off to Gloucestershire at the weekend and I am confident that the boy will be more than happy to make the journey on his bright little seat.  We will make the move to a more solid seat soon, but for now, we love our BubbleBum!  To find out more about Bubblebum, please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bubblebumukltd.

 

We were sent one BubbleBum seat for the purposes of this review; all thoughts are our own.

The One With the Absent Grandparents

When my children were born, they had more grandparents than most.

They had my Mum, my step-Dad.

They had their father’s parents, no longer together.

They had their paternal grandfather’s wife, Nanny Spain.

They were also fortunate enough to have four living great-grandparents;

My maternal grandparents, and both of Daddy’s grandmothers.

Nowadays, at the grand old ages of four and six.

They only regularly see four of the above.

More than half have fallen away.

All are still alive.

As far as we know.

But not all are still in touch.

Miss J met her paternal grandfather and his wife just the once.

At the age of three months.

Of course she does not remember.

But there were Skype calls and birthday cards and promises of more visits.

Until one day.

When she was barely three.

When everything stopped.

On the basis of an eventuality.

That was not even our fault.

Though the blame was placed at our door.

The consequences suffered by our children.

And so the boy has never met them.

Not once.

Not seen their faces either.

On a screen or in a photograph.

I am not even certain he knows that they exist.

Sometimes he will ask Daddy where his Daddy is.

But not really understand the answer.

How can a boy of four understand the concept of a country he has not been to?

Of a man he has never met?

One who has no desire to meet him at all?

Now their relationship with their paternal grandmother is threatened, too.

Their beloved Nanny Bee.

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Threatened by far too many miles.

By an absence of physical, memorable contact.

By a reluctant aunt.

And I am sad for them.

For my children.

I am cross, too.

That decisions were made by both of my husband’s parents.

With no communication.

To us.

But I am sad, mostly.

That they will not remember their grandparents.

That they will miss out.

On sports days.

On parent’s evenings.

On birthdays, for goodness sake.

When teeth fall out and their hair is cut.

When inches are grown and new friendships formed.

For all of these incredible milestone moments.

All of which are intensely important to small people.

To my small people.

There will be too few people to share them with.

I know how much my daughter misses her grandmother.

I see it so clearly on her face.

And I do not know what to do about it.

Yes, they still have my Mum, my step-Dad.

My grandparents.

And, best of all, us.

But that does not make it better.

That does not mean that they are not hoping and wishing.

For grandparents too far away.

Too far to be a part of the every day.

And too distant to ever be close.

In the ways that my children would like.

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It is all too sad.