Category Archives: Family

Kidtropolis kids event – October half term – London ExCel

** I have been provided with Kidtropolis tickets in return for this blog post. All opinions are my own. Tickets can be purchased via www.kidtropolis.co.uk**

Kidtropolis is coming this October half term to London’s ExCel centre. Between 23rd and the 26th October 2017, Kidtropolis will be running a variety of activities and live shows to entertain your children age 12 and under, although older children are welcome.

I am always on the lookout for great events to attend with George. It was by chance that I stumbled across the Kidtropolis event on Twitter. Those of you that may of heard or seen negative reviews after last years event will be pleased to know I asked the organisers if improvements have been made for this years event and they have taken the feedback on board. To quote;

I just wanted to reassure you that Kidtropolis 2017 offers a new format, bigger and better than last year, with lots more brands and entertainment on the stages. Plus, with all tickets bought, families are guaranteed two shows each – these are selected upon booking.

George will be just under two weeks shy of turning three years old when Kidtropolis runs next week. They have a range of toddler friendly activities on during the week, including live shows from;

  • Peppa Pig
  • Postman Pat
  • PJ Masks
  • Sooty
  • Basil Brush
  • Fireman Sam
  • Naomi’s Wild and Scary
  • Octonauts
  • Captain Calamity Pie and Bubble Spectacular
  • And many more, including many dance acts from Britain’s Got Talent

There’s also a huge range of free activities all included in the price of your entry ticket. Some of these won’t be relevant to your child’s interests or age so I’ll leave you to checkout their website to see exactly what’s on offer. www.kidtropolis.co.uk .  Being mum of a toddler, the activities that stand out to me are;

  • WOW – where learning begins. Mini Professors (aged 2-5), Reading Fairy (Aged 1-5), or Toddler sense session (aged 13 months – 4 years). On Tuesday
  • Kids Out – featuring the famous galleon from Peter Pan, meeting a real life pirate and the chance to get a pic with a 7metre crocodile!
  • Balloon Besties – where you have the chance to purchase a walking balloon.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show Meet and Greet. On Thursday
  • The creation station featuring making things with Playdoh or allowing your 1-11 year old to make their mark on canvas. Protective clothing provided
  • Meet the Paw Patrol pups, with different characters appearing at varying intervals each day. Checkout the website for which characters are appearing which days.
  • Auntie JoJo and Magic Martin performing magic shows for all the family and balloon modelling.
  • Geomag and Smartmax magnetic discovery as these are on George’s birthday wish list and we have played with these at playgroups and nursery and they are fab.
  • Biker tots (18 months – 4 years). Teaching balance bike skills using a 12” balance bike in a strider zone.

There really is so much more to do there. These are just some of the activities we like the look of. The ticket allows us a 4.5 hour entry slot so I don’t want to be too ambitious and add too much to our to do list. That said, I have a personal agenda, that is to make sure we see the cast of my own childhood favourite, Rainbow. Zippy, George and Bungle will be there celebrating the shows 45 years anniversary! I’m not that old!

You can access London’s ExCel centre via the super cool Emirates airline cable car so we are hoping to catch a ride. I hope George will be massively impressed. It’s so hard to predict this child’s behaviour. Which in one way I love but it can planning days out tricky.

If you haven’t already, head to the website www.kidtropolis.co.uk and book your tickets now. Your ticket entitles you to entry on a day of your choosing, during either the 4.5 hour morning or afternoon session.

Checkout our social media next week to see what we get up to at the event.

Twitter ,Facebook ,Instagram

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Tips to encourage your child to wash and brush their teeth

We are all looking for ways to maintain our sanity  make parenting easier. Three years into parenting, myself and Gorgeous George’s Daddy are still devising ways to encourage George to wash and brush his teeth.

George was two weeks old before hubs and I plucked up the courage to give him his first full bath. Scared of him being a slippery bugger and flying out of hands, thus causing himself  us to have hurt him, we waited until it was really necessary. We quickly realised this was going to be something George needed convincing was a fun and relaxing habit.

“wash”

We have since devised many ways to encourage our child that the essential act of getting washed and brushing your teeth can be fun. I’d like to add that George has pretty much always loved bathtimes and teeth brushing. His main issue is either that he is too tired or the desire to want to play with his toys is too strong.

Here’s are my top tips to encourage your child to wash and brush their teeth twice a day;

  1. Explain what’s expected. I’ve always explained what is ahead of us. I think it helps to make tasks or trips seem less daunting.
  2. Get them involved. Yes it might take longer but let them have some control. George is almost three and can
  • Fill the sink
  • Wash his hands and face with soap and a flannel
  • Dry them on a towel
  • Load his toothbrush with the right amount of toothpaste
  • Clean his own teeth
  • Spit (Rinsing is not actually recommended by dentists)

I don’t know if this is typical for a child his age and although I still supervise him to help him remain focused, he is more than independently able to complete these tasks. I do assist him when I feel he’s missed a bit. I also try to clean his teeth myself a few times a week to ensure they are getting properly cleaned. I have taught him the proper brushing technique

3. Get a chart. Ask your dentist for a teeth brushing chart or download one like the one here Teeth brushing chart . A fun toothbrush with a character on also helps. Getting your child to choose their own toothbrush in the shop is good encouragement. Just make sure they are age appropriate.

4. Make up songs. Back in the day where I was forever wet wiping George’s face clean of food from weaning etc, we made up a song. To the tune of E I Adio;

We’re cleaning George’s face/arms/bum

We’re cleaning George’s face

We’re making George all gorgeous

We’re cleaning George’s face

This also worked for brushing teeth, brushing hair, putting on socks, coat and so on.

5. Challenge your child to a “teeth race”.

Teeth brushing is important and needs to be done properly for it to be sufficient.

The teeth race in short is you cleaning your teeth at the same time your child cleans theirs. If your child doesn’t clean their own teeth yet you can do this in conjunction with your partner. They clean their own teeth whilst you clean your child’s.

This should also help to get your child from anywhere in the house to the bathroom in a matter of minutes. You can also use this for handwashing etc.

6. Get the toys involved. George’s favourite toy changes almost weekly. Over the years we have tried to suggest that “rabbit” or his “Lightning McQueen” would love to watch him getting washed and cleaning his teeth.

Show them Mr Monkey how you wash your hands

If the toy is waterproof it goes in, or even simpler, use a favourite bath toy, or the toy can sit on a ledge from a safe distance to the water and “watch”.

This method can often mean that wash time takes up to 10 minutes or more but I often leave him to get on with having fun whilst I sneakily get a face wash in. I am then free to do my makeup or get dressed, empty the litter tray, or even have a quick clean up.

7. Following on from the “bring a toy” idea, suggest that mr car is all dirty and needs a wash. Before you know it your child will be elbow deep in bubbles and foam and getting clean without even realising it. Let’s face it, if they are that grubby then the bath is an easier option.

8. Songs, songs, songs. I had a tiny turtle, row row row the boat, I jumped aboard a pirate ship, any songs or nursery rhymes, preferably water related to distract your little one whilst you wash them.

9. Bribery! I insist that we cannot go downstairs in the morning until we have washed and cleaned our teeth. The bathroom in our house is upstairs, playing with toys happens downstairs. If like mine, your little one is eager to get up and play with the toys, then insist that they can’t until they have had their wash and cleaned their teeth. Works for me.

10. Buy fun soap. Here are a few of our favs. George enjoys mixing different colours and textures so we often have several different soaps on the sink edge at a time.

So what do you think of our top tips? Do you have any to add? Obviously I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and means of encouragement.

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Hair care review Frezyderm UK – finding a child friendly styling gel

So our dude is nearly three in a couple of months. He’s always had floppy long hair. Not ponytail long, but long enough to run your fingers through. I’m reluctant to shave it as  it retains his baby quality. Although I’m not the type to go on about how I wish they would stop growing up so fast.

So dudes latest hair cut was actually at the barbers and he had a little shave at the sides. They kept the top long and floppy and styled it with a slick of gel. This looked cool. He felt like a big grown up boy which is all important now he has started preschool.

I wasn’t sure though. I loved the look but it felt too harsh using such products. He’s still only two. Plus as soon as he got a bit sweaty the gel just made him look like a greasy mess.

I made it my mission to find a child friendly hair gel. Well I didn’t get very far if I’m completely honest. I found a few detangling sprays but that’s not what I wanted. Then my sister in law pointed out Frezyderm to me.

Frezyderm UK  is a family owned and trusted dermocosmetic brand. Their motto being;

Inspired by you

Established in 1986 in Greece, they offer premium skincare and hair care solutions for all ages and skin types. Their products strive to meet strict pharmaceutical standards and they are fast becoming the go to brand for dermatologists across the globe. Living in the society that we do where by allergies and sensitivities are more prevalent than ever, Frezyderm will no doubt be a such a life changer for so many. You can find more on their products here https://www.frezyderm.co.uk/

Although George doesn’t suffer with any allergies or sensitive skin, Frezyderm fitted perfectly with my desire for a gentle hair styling range. I contacted them and asked to kindly try some of their kids haircare range in return for a review post on my blog. (There’s the disclosure right there, wink). As always I promise my review is completely my own honest opinion and my integrity has remained.

Although none of our family suffer with allergies or sensitive skin so I cannot comment on that aspect of whether the products caused any less irritation than others.

The price of these products is a little higher than a lot of brands, however they are very specialised and I know that the free from allergens ranges very often tend to cost more than brands which contain “nasties”.

I have always assumed you are paying for the research and dedication that has gone into ensuring the product won’t cause you or your child unnecessary irritation or harm. Obviously everyone’s skin is different so there’s no guarantee of anything but I’d recommend you try them yourself if you or a member of your household does suffer. Frezyderm could be your saviour.

Something I felt was worth highlighting is the branding. Frezyderm subtlety brand their kids haircare range boys with a star and girls with a flower. I know that gender stereotyping and branding is a hot topic right now. I feel, as I said, that their branding is very subtle but I did feel the need to ask Frezyderm what the difference is. This was their response;

“The two sensitive kids shampoo boys and girls have an equivalent structure of composition having as a first priority the safety and the effectiveness. But, the shampoo for girls offers an enhanced detangling effect because of the girls’ long hair.”

This seems completely logical and I think it mirrors other brands that produce different haircare products for men and women.

Hair

So that’s my take on the shampoo and styling gel we tried from Frezyderm. In true Gorgeous George’s Mama fashion I felt it apt to write a poem about this fab find. I know mama’s of children with sensitive skin and I really hope this leads them to finding some fab and friendly products for their daily routine.

Our children’s skin is delicate

Some more than the rest

When it comes to keeping them clean

We only want the best

No nasties to make them scratch or wince

Frezyderm is their friend

To make your child all clean and fresh 

You’ll love this stuff no end

They may not have a perfumed smell

No soap or silicones

No allergens as well

If gluten doesn’t like you too

Then these products are definitely for you 

So why Frezyderm I hear you think

Look no further than your child at the sink

Next time they need to get themselves clean

Frezyderm will work a dream

The shampoo creates a wonderful lather

It won’t sting their eyes if some slips in after

The hair gel really does the trick

On mama’s hair too and it doesn’t stick. 

It holds just how you’d like it to

Without making your fingers feel like glue. 

I’ll stop the gushing and just say

In return for some products I’ll send people Frezyderm’s way

But only because I truly like

The way their gel helps dudes hair to spike

My search for child friendly hair gel ends right here. 

And I’ve also found a way for you to bathe your child without fear. 

Fear of flare ups and discomfort may now come to an end

If you give Frezyderm a try and maybe recommend a friend. 

Until next time………………

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Mummy’s first day at preschool. 

Ah it’s here. September. Back to school. It feels like when you are starting a new job. Excited but nervous. The kid? Well he’s oblivious. I have a two (nearly three) year old. He doesn’t NEED to go to preschool. So why am I putting us through this?
 

Well he’s always gone to nursery as I DID return to work for a few months. After I left I kept it on just to give myself some child free time if I’m honest. 
My health hasn’t been fab in recent months leaving me unable to drive to where George attended nursery. We had to make the difficult choice to remove him from the wonderful privately owned nursery that he attended from ten months old. 

We opted to get him a place in the government preschool adjoined to where will hopefully be his school in the future. 
This was always going to be somewhere he had to end up eventually. 

So why the anxiety Mummy? Well in his private nursery he was in the presence of two carers and roughly six children per room. I was reassured he would get the love and attention he would at home. He would be in view all the time so no one could hurt or bully him. 

His new preschool is linked to the primary school. When he starts tomorrow he will be in the regular presence of 27 children and 6 carers. I attended the settle in day. It’s a large space both indoors and outdoors. The carers physically could not be everywhere and see everything. 

There were what can only be described as several sadistic shitbags that I wouldn’t want to be left alone with George. I know the apron strings have got to be cut loose at some point and he’s got to learn to find his own way of dealing with things in the world. But he’s two. You can’t even explain to him. 

When George has been upset by other children I often respond by removing him from the situation and giving him a cuddle. I know some parents may argue that he should “man up and hit back”. I’ve asked George if he would hit another child back that hurt him and his response was “why?”.
This left me realising this little boy is being kind, thoughtful and considering just like his mummy and daddy. We are raising him to be as such so why would we suddenly tell him to hit people!
That said, hubs is teaching him to box. Although he currently only uses that on hubs. 

So I turned to my gentle parenting train of thought and suggested that if another child hurts him anytime I’m not around he should say 

“stop! That’s not nice, I’m going to tell a grown up”. 

Again I asked him if he would do this instead of his current method of simply standing and crying until someone rescues him and he said “no, I’ll just stand and cry”. 

So here I am. So excited for my little boys first day of preschool. All the wonderful new toys and children to play and interact with. New staff to meet and learn the schools ways. We have attended several seasonal open days there and he has never wanted to leave due to the sheer expanse of the place and how many activities there are to do. 

Yet my protective, worrying side is scared. I know children, as fickle as they are, can be put off by things after only one traumatic incident. That said he still absolutely loves any child that hits him so perhaps he is also going to be a forgiving soul too. 
As I wave goodbye tomorrow and give him a big kiss and a squeeze, I’ll run home and immerse myself in some wall knocking down (yes seriously, it’s on my to do list). And when I return I know my fears will be banished. I know he will have had a fab time. I know he will excel and flourish even more there. But I know this worry is here to stay. 
As he grows, so will my worry. I’m losing the grip. He will no longer have me to protect his every move. He’s two for crying out loud. It’s ok I tell myself. There is always home schooling. 
And then there are the other mums. What if none of them want to be friendly. What if they all know each other and aren’t very welcoming. Perhaps you can tell but I was bullied at school. If I was the person I am now I don’t think they would have been so successful but then perhaps if I wasn’t bullied I wouldn’t be as strong as I am now. 
We all just want our children to be happy, safe and protected. Don’t we? 

So for all the anxious mummies in the playground tomorrow, I feel you. A few words of wisdom for each other and a bit of support and I’m sure we will all get through this. And for the mums of the sadistic little shits, (although you probably don’t call them that) I feel for you, really I do. It must be tough looking after a kid like that, you have my empathy. 

Good luck to everyone starting or returning to school tomorrow, Daddy’s too. I’m sure this probably applies to you. Although I can’t help feeling Daddy’s just get on with things without all the worrying us women do. Would love to hear from some Daddy’s with little ones starting or returning to school. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Has becoming a mum made me lazy? 

There are days I feel I’ve definitely fulfilled my potential as both a mama and a human being. And then there are days where I feel outrageously lazy. 

Lazy
These lazy feelings rarely happened when I worked a 9-5. I worked like a maniac as often my workload was more than the hours I could fit them into. Always working against a deadline. Patients needing their meds, doctors wanting the drug charts, the pharmacy closing for dispensing and so on. 

Evenings were for cooking and prepping for the following day at work. Weekends were precious down time, a chance to have fun (wink, wink) and to keep on top of the house work, most of which would be blitzed on a Sunday morning whilst hubs was at footie training. 

Lazy
Cut to life as a stay at home mum. Life feels like one big weekend. Although of course hubs only joins us here and there as he’s working working (a bit like out out). Unlike myself (rolls eyes, ha ha).  

The cleaning well it happens when I get sick of looking at everything, things start to smell or my feet are getting covered in too much grit when I walk around the house, bleugh. We live in a two up, two down with me, hubs, George nearly three and three cats who mainly live indoors. 

Lazy
My house isn’t filthy as such but I have no set routine. I just do stuff when I can be bothered. There feels like a permanent flood of toys flowing in my direction along with crumbs and chalk dusk, magic sand and pieces of cut up paper. Chuck in the tumbleweed style balls of cat hair floating my across the laminate in the toddlers back draft and thus sets the scene. 

Then there’s me. If we don’t have plans and I’m not stood at the kitchen sink (why the heck do I feel like I live at that sink!?) Then I’m sat on the sofa watching George play. Or reading him a story or watching a film together. Doing some something research, planning or blogging related on my phone. 

Then there’s the dust. I used to be the type of gal that dusted the tops of her door frames. I felt compelled to after watching so many episodes of “Four in a bed” and seeing how much this disgusted people. Now I don’t know where the dust goes but it’s not on the duster as that thing barely comes out of the cupboard. 

Lazy
Why not? I hear you thinking. I honestly don’t know. I’m sure I could fit it in but now I’m a mama maybe I’m just lazy. Every moment of my time that isn’t commanded by George, I mentally tell myself to sit and chill. 

“You deserve this” I reward my lazy self. 

Do I though! I used to be on my feet 8 hours a day at my job. Yes I was tired but I was a fit size 12. Ok so I’ve been on migraine prevention tablets that made me gain 3 stone and go up to a size 16 but could I shift that quicker if I just got off my arse? 

Genuinely I don’t know. I have to be sure not to over exert myself too much at times as it makes my migraines more susceptible. But excuses aside I really need to maybe make myself a cleaning routine. 

I put a ridiculous amount of effort into days out, playing with George, DIY, tending to and revamping the garden. It’s literally the cleaning and tidying that makes me feel like I’m the laziest mofo of the land. And yet I know that if I made a schedule for every task that I will inevitably miss, I’ll then proceed serve myself a lovely helping of guilt. 

What do you think? Are you a stay at home parent or working parent? Do you feel any lazier since becoming a parent? Do you have any tips for staying on top of the household chores? I’d love to hear them. If nothing else but to make myself feel a little less like the lazy biatch I probably am. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

2017 – When every day is judgement day.

2017 has brought with it an increase in access to the internet, which, in my opinion, has increased our so called “knowledge”. We all think we are so damn knowledgeable about everything. Parents are literally the worst culprits of this.

Looking at my examples below, you’ll come to the conclusion that as parents we can’t do right for doing wrong. There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with what you are doing or have done. Is it any of their business? No! Are they with you 24/7? Doubtful! Should you give a toss what they think? Absolutely not! Will our children all turn out ok in the end? More than likely.

And those that supposedly turn out perfect may no doubt make some poor choices in adulthood. Perhaps they’ll make choices that mess up their lives and make us judge them moreover. There are many, many ways to live and grow. Very few are the “wrong way”. Please just stop judging.

Stop judging yourself, judging others. Stop making snide comments and passing hurtful looks. Instead try offering help to a parent that looks like they are struggling. Try offering praise to someone who looks like they are doing a “good job” by your standards. Appreciate that there are other ways to parent, and enquire with the person politely about their method. You may actually find a “better” method for your own parenting/grand parenting.

Any of these sound familiar?

Did you see that mum in the cafe, bottle feeding her baby? Poor kid is missing out on all those nutrients. Why doesn’t she breastfeed. Why doesn’t she want to give the best to her baby?

Did you see that mum in the cafe, breastfeeding her baby? Attention seeking she was. Getting her boobs out for everyone to see. Just so she can make the rest of us feel inadequate like we aren’t doing the best for our babies.

Did you speak to that that mum at the park? 5 kids she has and she wants more! She’s so selfish. Those kids will never get the attention and love they need with that many to look after!

Did you speak to that mum at the park? Her little boy is an only child and she doesn’t want anymore! She’s so selfish. That child is going to miss out on so much without a sibling to share it with.

Did you see that mum at the zoo? All her children drinking juice and eating chocolate and sweets. More fool her. All their teeth are probably rotten and it’s all her fault.

Did you see that mum at the zoo? All her children drinking were drinking water and eating homemade sugar free muffins. More fool her. First chance they get they will be stuffing their faces secretly with sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks. And they’ll miss out at birthday parties. It’s all her fault.

My gosh did you see that mum letting her kid run along on the pavement? He could’ve run in the road and had an accident any minute. I was on edge just watching. She’s so irresponsible. (I’ve actually heard this one).

My gosh did you see that mum making her kid hold her hand and wear reins whilst walking along? Give the kid some space or he’ll never learn. She’s making a rod for her own back.

Did you see that mum ignoring her child and looking at her phone? Look at your kid for crying out loud! Watch him play.

Did you see that mum following her child on all the play equipment? Step back and let him breathe! Let him play by himself.

Did you see that mum shouting at her child in the supermarket? You should never speak to a child like that! She should always remain calm and composed.

Did you see that mum in the supermarket letting her child get away with lying on the floor screaming whilst she quietly stood there? She didn’t do anything! She’s teaching him it’s ok to be a spoilt brat.

The list goes on and on. Moral of this post…we all do things different. Every child is different and has their own needs. By all means if you are genuinely concerned for the safeguarding of a child then please take action by reporting to the appropriate authorities.

If you believe you may be guilty of being judgemental of your fellow mama, try our three simple steps;

(1) Take a moment to think of some of the reasons this mum is doing what she is doing. Appreciate that she knows her own children and her own mind. She may be having an off day. She’s made her own choices after weighing up the facts for herself.

(2) Close your eyes and walk away. It’s not your child. It’s not your way. If there’s no safeguarding issue. You are just being a bitch. Mind your own business.

(3) Do you remember when you had your first child and when you no doubt did exactly the same thing she did? You’ve since changed your style but it doesn’t make your choice any better. It’s YOUR choice for YOUR child at THAT time.

Just to be clear. None of the above opinions are my own. Thankfully I don’t hang in circles where opinions like this are expressed. You only have to click on the comments of most Facebook stories to see this type of know-it-all negativity.

Do you think we are giving each other too much of a hard time? I know I give MYSELF a hard enough time. I don’t have anything left to berate others and wouldn’t dare. We won’t judge here.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Ain’t No Pleasing You – Why I really mustn’t grumble

This post is a shameful admission that I am a bit of miserable, moaning Mama. Ain’t no pleasing you is a Chas and Dave fav that myself and hubs like to sing along to. We have both mutually agreed that it is most definitely “my” song. I’ve come a long way from my song being “You’re so vain” by Carly Simon. Ain’t got no time for that shizzle anymore. Although I’ve always tried to still do my makeup most days since George arrived. Anyways, I’m waffling (blame my Dad for that trait).

Being a Chas and Dave fan it felt very apt to use two of their song titles to summarise this post. I often listen to “Mustn’t Grumble” as a way of reminding myself that no matter how tough or bad things seem, there is always worse and things always work out.

I can’t explain to you who I was Pre-motherhood but I can tell you what I wasn’t. Complaining and moaning was not on my agenda Pre-motherhood. I was known for my optimism and always being able to look for the good in everything. (Or at least I felt I was ).Yet as George gets older I feel as though I am moaning and complaining more and more.

The last thing I want to be remembered for is whingeing, moaning and sapping the fun out of everything. Never fear though. My solution to happiness is here and it starts with a theory I have. The theory as to why I may have this negative personality trait growing within me.

My desire to want the world to be a better place for George is leading me to see any negative aspects and want them hidden or fixed before he becomes aware of them.

Whereas previously I have chosen to live these past 30 years hoping on and off of a cloud. Avoiding news and turning a blind eye to anything that was less than perfect. Now I can’t just do that.

I can’t control what George witnesses and experiences all the time. No one wants their child disappointed or upset. I’m starting to realise that it’s a human emotion that we must all experience. I can’t stop it. Whether it be that you can no longer hand feed the sheep as he is so used to at our local farm. Or that the dinosaur puppet show I bigged up was actually a woman with a duster on her hand.

Nine times out of ten he is oblivious and none the wiser, happily smiling and enjoying his day. Maybe that’s the best part of me he has inherited. I’m trying so hard to go back to that part of me and stop looking for and dwelling on the negative. Be that with people, places or events.

Recently I have tried to just sing, dance or be silly to get past it. If I am starting to feel disappointed in a situation or a person’s behaviour, behaving like a child and making George giggle reminds me that the world is still ok. As mothers, parents, grandparents, we all (I would hope) want our children to live happy and fulfilled lives. I’m sure this is a natural attribute.

Miserable moan bag is not something I wish to remain a part of my personality and I shall try hard to eradicate it before it starts to rub off. The last thing I hope to create is a miserable mini moan bag.

Can you relate? Have you noticed a shift in your character or personality trait since becoming a parent? Do you think I have come to the right conclusion or could there be another answer as to why I am suddenly so critical. I have always had pretty high moral standards.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, if you would. And I’ll be sure to send some positive thoughts your way.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Giveaway (*CLOSED*) Review – Nick Cope’s collection of songs for all the family. 

We are hugely excited here at Gorgeous George’s mama to be reviewing these wonderful CD’s and DVD’s by Nick Cope. We also have two signed copies of Nick’s Cope’s, “A Round of Applause for the Dinosaurs” to giveaway. A collection of songs for all the family.

This is our first ever giveaway so this is kind of a big deal for us and we are very grateful to Nick for providing us with the CD’s for this giveaway. Enter at the end of this post for your chance to win.

So how did Nick and his fabulous tunes come into our life? I am always on the lookout for child friendly, educational apps for George to enjoy on our smart devices. This is where we came across Hopster. Hopster claims to;

“Help kids learn through the content they love”

With the ability to stream some of their favourite television shows, discover books, music and lullabies, Hopster is a safe and varied app. We decided to unlock everything this app has to offer by signing up to the £3.99 monthly subscription.

By selecting the music gramophone flower, or the music area wheel you will find a section dedicated to Nick Cope. From here I decided to find out some more info on this musical mastermind. Someone who had created music for kids but with parents sanity in mind. The songs have a sometimes comical and often thoughtful edge, and are as catchy for kids and grownups alike. Nick also has a soft and calming voice. Unlike the typical shrill women type, belting out cheesy nursery rhymes that we have become accustomed to.

Nick sings about all the cool stuff that kids really wanna sing about. Bums, poo, burps dinosaurs, ants and pirates to mention but a few. Anyone that knows me knows I love anything related to poo. Nick’s CD’s are great to listen to and sing along with in the car or at home. Many of the songs also have well illustrated, quirky videos. You can find these on Nick’s website or Youtube channel and by also by purchasing The Nick Cope Show DVD here http://www.nickcope.co.uk/ Or indeed via the Hopster app where we discovered him.

Two of my favourite of Nick’s tunes are The baby’s done a poo! and the opening tune to the Cd up for grabs, I’m a little Lizard. With lines like;

“……the baby’s done a poo, the baby’s done a poo, it’s not a bog surprise cos that’s what babies do”

and

“….the sand is too hot, so i’m standing on a rock, i’m a little lizard and I’m standing on a rock”

…you can’t resist the urge to sing along. The DVD also has a singalong option.

Another personal favourite is “I don’t wanna do that”. This song summarises toddler parenting perfectly. It doesn’t matter what his mother suggest he does, the little boy doesn’t want to do it for the most seemingly irrational reasons and what ifs. I’m sure many mums and dads can relate to this. It also warms my heart how the song ends. You will have to visit Nick’s site or the hopster app to find out how it ends.

“Don’t stamp on an ant” also appeals to the crazy earth mother inside of me. I jokingly accused my step dad of massacring whole families in recent years when I witnessed him doing what many of us have. The dreaded kettle of boiling water on an ants nest. I just envisage ants running screaming everywhere as ant wives see their ant husbands boiled alive in front of them and ant children run screaming. Welcome to my overactive imagination. This song supports my theory wonderfully though. Thanks Nick. We are all indeed just getting by on this little planet.

Here’s a little about Nick:-

“Nick Cope is the indie-surrealist kids’ entertainer Robyn Hitchcock and Syd Barrett, foolishly distracted by cult status, never were.’ Stewart Lee 2016

Nick Cope is a professional singer and songwriter, and has over 20 years of experience in music, including international success as lead singer and songwriter with The Candyskins in the 1990s. 

He now writes and records music for children and has established a fanatical army of little people and their parents, from all over the world.  Nick performs all over the UK at all the major art and music festivals including Edinburgh fringe and Book festival, Hay and Cheltenham literary festival and hundreds of theatre and arts centres. He regularly spends the summer performing at (to name a few) Wilderness, Somersault, Camp Bestival , Cornbury ,Wychwood , End Of The Road and travels to Hong Kong each year to the Clockenflap festival. 

What George thought;

nick cope

On the morning we collected the CD’s I popped them straight on in the car. Before the first verse of “I’m a little Lizard” had played out, hubs was already singing along, second guessing the words. They are that easily to follow and sing along to. It wasn’t long before I was singing along too. George was giving us both the dubious face as he wondered what we had both had sprinkled on our cornflakes. I think he recognised the songs from the app and wondered how they were being played out of the car speakers.

On returning home I put on the DVD. When he saw the illustrated videos I think he identified with the songs better and was mesmerised from start to finish. Dubiously eyeing me as I again sang and bopped along. He’s not one for audience participation much is our George but when I asked him if he enjoyed it his response was;

“Yeah”

Perhaps he is destined to be just like his father…a man of few words. Unlike Mummy who has enough words for all of us though and doesn’t allow anyone else a word in edgeways.

Click the link below if you would like to win a copy of Nick’s family friendly CD, “A Round of Applause for the Dinosaurs” . The first three options are mandatory. All other options will increase your chances of winning.

You can catch Nick next at the Edinburgh Fringe

Terms & Conditions:

  • No purchase necessary.
  • The Prize is ONE signed copy of Nick Cope’s CD ” A Round of Applause for the Dinosaurs.”
  • The prize is non transferable with no cash alternative.
  • The competition opens at 12am on Friday 21st July 2017 and closes at 12am on Monday 7th August 2017.
  • Entries are limited to UK participants only and you must be over 18.
  • The competition is run via Rafflecopter and TWO winners will be chosen at random.
  • The winner will be informed within 24 hours.
  • The winner should respond within 28 days with details for postage. A new winner will have to be chosen in the event of there being no response.
  • By entering this giveaway you are accepting these terms and conditions.

Disclaimer: We were provided with Nick Cope’s CD’s and DVD in return for this honest review. All opinions are our own.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Listed on Competition Database – a huge source of uk competitions!

– Find more competitions at http://www.competitiondatabase.co.uk

Gorgeous George’s Mama’s – a series of unfortunate events

The last few weeks have been interesting shall we say. Interesting makes it sound like it’s been fun….it hasn’t. It’s been damn right misfortunate is what it has been. I’ve said more “fucks” than I care to admit to and I’m clearly stressed. Wanna know how I know? Freaky dreams! Whenever I have things on my mind I start to have freaky dreams.

I once remember being on holiday with my brother in law and getting up in the morning to report I had had a freaky dream.
“Me too” he chirped up.
“Go on then, let’s here it” I replied
“Well I dreamt we were playing a footie match and I was playing in a different position to normal!”
“Is that it!” I said. I then proceeded to tell him the sort of dreams I have. Vivid, freaky and so not on any realm I’ve ever heard other people dream of.

I can’t remember my dream from that time because I’ve had so many since but this week’s dream was roughly as follows;

I was in a sort of scientific aquarium type building. They had a creature. The centre of its body was like a six foot man. Attached to the man was a soft shell tortoise. The entire creature itself was whiteish grey and just flapping about in this isn’t tank. Imagine it’s easily 6 foot tall and across the same of not more. For the most part of the dream I was creeping about going through trap doors and trying to find a way to free this crazy, sad creature.

Think you can beat that? I’d love to hear some of your strange dreams in the comments below.

So anyways. Back to my real life. afew weeks back my neighbour had a new fence fitted. She was so wonderful and made me handmade chocolate cupcakes in advance of the event. Unfortunately the fencing company were not as pleasant and completely trashed my garden whilst completing the work. My neighbour was oblivious so I had to tell her in order to get the guys details. Long story short, my neighbour was wonderful and couldn’t do enough to help me. The fencer on the other hand didn’t really have much to offer the situation. I tidied up my garden and bought new plants to replace the ones he had demolished. It encouraged me to have a good tidy up (although it wasn’t a messy garden). I pride myself on my garden, it’s in my blood.

As a result of all the garden tidying, my household waste wheelie bin was a little more full than usual and the lid was ajar. Something which rarely occurs. I aim to recycle as much waste as possible so the bin was only full of items I couldn’t recycle. The local tip is good but it is closed one of the days George attends nursery and it’s difficult and dangerous in my opinion to take a toddler to the recycling tip. So I assumed the dustman would be kind as I never have my bin full. Unfortunately they wasn’t and I returned home to a fortnights worth of used cat litter and nappies and garden rubbish still sat on my drive.

Having collections only once a fortnight I was feeling desperate about where I was going to store and dispose of another two weeks worth of rubbish. I dropped George at nursery and had to resort to lying the bin on its side, removing the contents and taking as much to the tip as I could. Not a productive use of my child free time.

After tidying up and putting some washing on, I went to collect George at lunch time. The road had been closed after we dropped him off (we were the last car down that road) so we had to leave earlier and detour. Using up even more of my ‘productive child free time). When we returned home I noticed the washing machine wasn’t moving and the lights were not showing up properly. Only parts of the numbers were showing. It was broken! Not only that but it had only been repaired 4 months ago! I have a cover care plan for it, thankfully? I’m undecided whether that’s a good thing or not at the moment!

I’m very wary of appliances, especially since the Grenfell tower tragedy. I wanted it unplugged immediately as it was acting strangely. However, it is plugged into the wall under the unit behind the machine. As it had stopped mid cycle it was full of water and too heavy to shift. By this point my calm side had all but diminished. Hubby was chucking “you need to’s” at me whilst I screamed at him to “shut up and fuck off”. I needed his help but he’s the main recipient of my frustrations.  I emptied all the dripping wet washing out of the machine. Removed the water from the drum by hand using a cup, and hubs helped removed the remainder via the filter using a baking tray and lots of teatowels that I now couldn’t wash easily.

Machine emptied, moved and unplugged I then began the sweaty and arduous task of hand rinsing and wringing each item to allow it to drip dry on the line whilst we still had a good part of the day left.

I then called the care cover company who have always been so helpful in the 10 years we have had them but this year they are utter shite. Last time they made me wait in all day, only to turn up at 8pm after George was in bed. They then didn’t have the part (although the next engineer that finally repaired it said they always carry the motors). All in all I was without a machine for 3 weeks and I made them reimburse my launderette fees. I also had a whole host of problems due to them still not updating my married name. I’ve been married 8 years this year!

So when I called last week to report the fault and I was told they didn’t have anyone by my name on the system, I lost it! I’m a calm person really and hate to be rude to people. But bearing in mind I’d spent my morning elbow deep in cat and toddler shit and filthy water I think my patience had been well and truly spent. I had also re-sent them a copy of my marriage certificate 4 months ago after the last fiasco. They informed me that someone will be coming this week and I will receive a text tonight with a 4 hour time slot. I’ll believe it when I see it.

To add insult to injury last week, hubby was in the process of trying to transfer over the finance on his car to a newer model. He has covered 80,000 miles in just over two years commuting and needed to switch to a comfier and less worn model. There were problems left right and centre with the finance and it has been a massive fiasco trying to work it all out. Then finally it was all agreed. We had the new car in our possession. Cut to collection of the old car and we couldn’t find the spare key. I say we, it’s hubby’s car, hubby’s key, but he suddenly needed my assistance finding said key to avoid a £150 penalty charge. He also couldn’t find the v5 document and had to apply for a new one.

 

I try so hard to keep our tiny house organised but we somehow have magic black holes that swallow things up for years. You then find them way after you no longer need them. Being told the car was being collected by 11, we waited in all morning. 11am came and went. Hubs called them. The collection guy was in Brighton! FYI, thats’ a long way from Essex! He agreed he would be with us by 1.30.

I collected George from nursery and took him swimming after another relatively wasted child free morning. On returning home at 3pm I was confronted with the old bloody car still sitting there! The guy eventually collected it not long after my return. Hubs then reported to me that the oil light was coming on in the new car despite it only having 2000 miles on the clock and having supposedly been serviced before they gave it to us.

Queue hubs driving to the dealers to try and find out what the heck that is all about. They have decided it’s not a leak but more likely a sensor fault and it is booked in tomorrow for repair.

I realise that these problems are hardly end of the world stuff. I have perspective. Especially in light of Grenfell and people having lost loved ones and everything they own.

Needless to say I am only human and there are only so many unfortunate events can occur before I start to wonder what the heck I’m doing wrong. I have decided there is only one conclusion……. that bloody fencer!

He broke a mirror I had in my garden (throwing the sharps pieces around my garden for my toddler to find I might add, twat!). He must’ve brought us 7 years bad luck as it’s on my land. Hopefully we have been dealt those 7 years all in the last fortnight.  One can only hope.

Do you ever feel like everything is working against you?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Is this hell, or is this a holiday camp? – my happy hellish holiday

Is this hell, or is this a holiday camp? Welcome to my happy hellish holiday. I love great british holidays. It’s all I’ve ever really known aside from a med cruise we took to celebrate getting my first job. I’m about to share with you my warped and twisted view of my surroundings at a british holiday camp. On this occasion we visited Haven, and it was amazing. They all pretty much follow the same script though. Enjoy.

It’s like something out of any sane person’s nightmares. Kids running at you from different directions as if running from an incoming asteroid. Taking it in turns to scream and cry. Or so it seems on face value. You can’t hear them as their screams are drowned out by the sound of cheesy pop tunes from the 90’s. All the classics are their. Steps, Busted, Cotton eye Joe and 5ive. Ah gotta love the dance move era. It’s a total cheese fest.

happy hellish holiday

The kids have been on the go all day. Like greyhounds in the race trap, that caravan door bursts open at 9am and they are off. Park, swimming, beach, amusements, repeat on a loop until one by one they flake out.

But what are they running on? Never you fear, here in hell they have an endless supply of fruit shoots, slushies, chips and nuggets, all washed down with a bucket of candy floss and a bag of sweets. Your kids will be on the most epic sugar rush and you’ll be there to take the tantrums and meltdowns as the rush wears off.

happy hellish holiday

But what about you, poor naive parents? Who innocently booked this ticket to hell thinking it would be fun. Heck they sold it to you as a holiday! Never fear, after spending a restless night sleeping in a freezing caravan on a mattress filled with rubble, you will be feeling on top of your game…..no? This is where your resistance to alcohol disables and you suddenly feel the urge to down pints of cider and glasses of wine. After watching the kids eat their body weight in nuggets, burgers and chips, you can’t bear the sight of anymore. So your food sustenance shall be Sahara nuts and krax snax crisps.

Joking aside, we’ve just spent a blissful week in a prestige Caravan at Haven Doniford Bay in Somerset. It was incredibly amazing to say the least and my satirical observations were made whilst slightly tipsy.

happy hellish holiday

What are your experiences of holiday camps? We all know there’s a little bit of hell in there somewhere. Don’t we?

Checkout the haven site now. We booked using The Daily Mail £15 holidays and upgraded to a prestige on arrival. Vouchers can also collected for cheaper holidays from The Sun on the £9.50 deal. Both tend to be term time though. Haven, Doniford Bay

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday