Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Activity: Baking With A Baby

Hi guys,
The Easter holidays started with a wet rainy day and a sinking feeling in my tummy. Wilbur loves to be outside and hates being cooped in the house. All of his normal classes and activities were off for the holidays, and it was too wet to go out. What were we going to do? The answer was to bake some fairy cakes:
I know mums with older kids let their little ones get involved with the washing up and opening the oven door etc, but Wilbur is still a bit too small for that. Instead I simplify baking for him as much as possible to hold his interest and make sure the end result is (sort of) edible! Here are a few tips, gleaned from lots of attempts and getting it wrong a couple of times:

-Weigh out all the ingredients before you let the monster into the kitchen, and put them on separate plates. That way he can add all the ingredients himself and I know that the cakes will still rise

- Use paper plates. Not kind to the environment I know, but hear me out! Wilbur loves throwing things. He throws everything he can lay his hands on up in the air and yells 'pop!'as they land on the floor. I don't mind flour and sugar thrown all over the kitchen but I don't want smashed plates, so I use paper ones instead. That way I'm not on edge and we can both enjoy the fun of the messy bake.

-Don't worry too much about hygene! At first I freaked out when Wilbur started eating the icing, licking the spoon and generally dribbling snot into everything. Then I decided to calm down. Noone was going to eat them except him and his dad....and there was no need to tell him what went in them! Making mess is all part of the fun, but....

-Have a strategic clean! When the cakes are in the oven I clean frantically, so that we can mess the whole room up again with our icing. Noone wants to get creative with their icing options on a dirty worktop. Not even a baby!

Do you bake with your babies? And are your results as unedible-looking as ours?!

Love Tor x

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Days Out Guide: Banham Zoo with a baby

Hi guys,
In the latest of our series of fun days out with Wilbur, today we took him to Banham Zoo in Norfolk. He's almost nine months old now, and he really enjoyed his day! At Banham zoo you can see a lot of traditional zoo animals, such as zebras, tigers, giraffes and penguins. However these didn't excite the little man too much - the walls to the enclosure were too high for him to see any animals from his pram, and often when we got him out of his pram for a closer look they were too far away from him to see anyway. What Wilbur really enjoyed were the enclosures where you could interact with the animals: he loved the farm barn and stroked the donkeys, rabbits and goats without fear (in fact he cried when we took him away from the goats, and I suspect he would have stayed there all day) He also loved the zoo mascot Tony the Tiger, who sought him out for a cuddle, and the seals, who jumped out of the water so close to the little man it made him gasp with delight!
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We arrived and the zoo at 10.30am and left at 2pm, having felt that we had seen and done everything. As well as visiting each of the animal enclosures we had also seen the penguins being fed and enjoyed the Bird of Prey display (definitely a highlight of the day, this is a great show). However £17.60 each for just 3 and a half hours of fun seemed a little expensive to us: at half that price it would have been a great day out, but we felt we had been overcharged. If you're not counting the pennies though, it is a fun way to spend half a day.  photo babyzoo3_zpsa5b60292.jpg  photo babyzoo4_zps4acba158.jpg
Top Tips for enjoying your day at the zoo:

1. The food in the zoo isn't especially good: a southern fried chicken joint and a fairly expensive cafe offering traditional British food (pies, roast beef, jacket potatoes etc). However there are loads of really lovely places to stop for a picnic. We took our own food and were definitely glad we did, not from a financial point of view but because our lunch looked so much nicer!

2. Take a padlock for your pram. The train around the park, walk through Lemur experience and reptile enclosure were all inaccesible to buggies, requiring you to leave your pram in an unsupervised buggy bay outside. Call me paranoid, but I just wouldn't have felt safe leaving an £800 pram unattended unless it was padlocked up!

3. Don't miss the giraffes! Wilbur wasn't bothered by them, but Mike and I thought they were the highlight of the day! You can talk across the top of their enclosure, seeing a giraffes eye view of the world and coming face to face with these beautiful docile beasts. Lovely!

To find out more visit the Banham Zoo website.

Love Tor x

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Wilbur Reviews: The Joules Little Nipper Short Suit

Hello everyone,
Mummy was sent this lovely short suit from Joules to review, but she said because I'm the one that's wearing it, I should probably review it myself. When we first opened the packet the thing I liked most was the Joules label. I love chewing labels, and this one was lovely and thick and colourful: there's still enough cardboard left to chew now!  photo wilburjoulesreview1_zps7a7deef5.jpg
Then I noticed the brightly coloured dinosaur. I really like dinos, and this one feels soft and has a nice kind face. In fact, the whole suit felt really soft because the cotton is gentle against my skin and even the waistband of the shorts, which is normally the thing that is most uncomfortable for me, was made of the soft cotton too. When I was rolling around on the carpet chasing my toys nothing dug in or bothered me. And the size was perfect too: I'm seven months old now (I'm growing up fast!) and this suit is a size 6-9 months.
Mummy laughed when she saw the words on the T shirt, but I didn't really understand, because I can't read! But I think it has something to do with the noises that dinosaurs make when they got cross, like mummy does when I pull her hair.
 photo wilburjoulesreview2_zps1d389c9f.jpg The colours of the T shirt are as bright as they look in the photograph. The red is really eye catching. I like to wear bright colours because it means people stop to look at me and tell me how handsome I am, and I just love smiling at strangers! So overall, this is a good short suit for me. And there are lots of other boys clothes items on their website to check out too! Now I have learnt to clap my hands, I think I'll clap so you know how much I like it!

Wilbur xx

Mummy's note: This two piece set is available from Joules instore and online and cost £24.95. However we received this for the purpose of this review. It also comes in blue and orange with a crab design on it. Here's the link if you want a dino suit of your own. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Fabulous Summer Fashion Finds From Matalan

Hi guys,
We've seen a glimpse of summer this week - and I like it! Wilbur isn't too sure though: he gets hot and bothered very easily, and on more than one occasion I've had to remove his shirt and trousers, and push him around in his pram wearing nothing but his vest.

With this in mind, I've been shopping around for some trendy summer clothes for Wilbur: but I don't want to spend too much money, when the British summer is so damn short! I suspect if I buy high summer outfits, they won't be worn more than once or twice. And we aren't taking our summer holiday until October, so I'll need a bigger size for his holiday wardrobe. So I checked out Matalan.
 photo matalanboys_zpsabe4eeba.png Boys printed polo T shirt, £4
Stripe short and T shirt set, £7
Dungarees and top set, £10
Yellow chino shorts, £12
Boy Genius T shirt, £2
Geometric print shirt, £5
Canvas slip on shoes, £3

What do you think? Have you shopped for children's clothing at Matalan, and did you like it? And (that all important mummy question) if you have bought it, how did it wash?!

Love Tor x

Monday, 27 May 2013

Days Out Guide: Dinosaur Adventure, Weston Park

Hi guys,
It's a sunny bank holiday Monday, so obviously we joined the thongs of thousand of other parents to take Wilbur for a day out. We chose the Dinosaur Adventure Park in Weston Park, Norfolk (A short 20-30 minute drive from Norwich).

Entry cost £10.95 each for Mike and I, and (because he was under 3) Wilbur was free. We also spent £6.99 on a dinosaur for Wilbur in the gift shop, and that was it! Total day out - £28.89

We didn't buy any junk food/drinks because the dino park has a well-publicised indoor and outdoor picnic area, so we packed our own lunch and ate it outside in the sunshine. Which was much nicer than a soggy theme park burger, and cheaper too!
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As you entered the park you were given an information book and a guide to the days events. There was a stamp collecting page inside each info book that was a really nice touch, and a great way to organise your trip. You had to collect 8 stamps from various attractions around the park, and you could then exchange your stamped sheet for a dinosaur medal: your reward for completing the task! We did this for Wilbur, but we got really competitive about hunting for all the stamping stations!
 photo dinoadventure2_zps0321269c.jpg  photo dinoadventure3_zpsd6244aca.jpg
I loved the dinosaur walks: lovely scenic nature walks with dinosaurs peering out from every corner. There were plaques so you could read about each dino, awesome photo opportunities, and even rangers stations so you could report back what you'd seen. Every part of the park was buggy accessible (which is obviously the path we took) but if you were buggy free you could climb over rickety rackety bridges, and clamber through the forest right up to the life sized T Rex!

The highlight of the day for Wilbur was the petting zoo: after looking at the goats, wallabies, pigs and tortoises, he held a guinea pig and a rabbit. He really loved the soft guinea pigs fur, and couldn't stop laughing as he stroked him. Which of course meant that seeing him so happy was the highlight of our day too!

There was a huge indoor soft play area and great outdoor adventure park too (for mums of older kids, I've heard this is the highlight of the day). At 6 months old, Wilbur was too young for these, but we can't wait to take him back next year and chase him up and down all of the giant slides! There was also a dinosaur themed obstacle course for the over eights, dinosaur themed crazy golf, and Raptor Racing (go kart fun!) . In fact there was so much to do I can't list it all: and we couldn't get everything done in our day!

There was so much to do for kids of all ages (from baby to early teen) and it was definitely a full day out that I would heartily recommend to other mums.

Visit the Dinosaur Adventure website to find out more.

Love Tor x

Monday, 11 March 2013

Wilbur: The mini gangster rapper!

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Hi guys,
Never has the fact that these little people we bring into the world have their own personalities been more obvious. Because even now, at three months old, it's very clear that Wilbur has his own musical tastes. And they are very very different from my own.

Not for my boy the tales of Incy Wincy Spider. He has no interest in the bears going over the mountain. Nope, the only music that can raise a smile and a laugh from my little boy is gangster rap. True story.

It started one day when he wouldn't sleep and as I was rocking him I started to sing R Kelly's Ignition (Remix). It was the 'bounce bounce bounce' part that got stuck in my head, because that's exactly what I was doing! Wilbur immediately perked up and started laughing. That song quickly became his favourite, and a guaranteed way to raise a smile. On it's own, this could be a one off. So his Dad and I decided to try an experiment.

Last night we had the first of what we have decided to call 'gangster rap hours'. We played Wilbur all of the rap we could think of: Usher's Yeah. Coolio's Gangster's Paradise (a real favourite). Even the thong song: we don't have much knowledge of rap, and it was all we could think of! He kicked his legs, he smiled, bounced and giggled. Then we tried playing our favourite songs: some Nirvana. Michael Jackson. These were met with a stony face and complete silence. During Smells like Teen Spirit he actually cried. And this from a boy who's parents will only listen to bands who play their own instruments: where does it come from?!

He's already his own person with his own tastes. My baby knows what he likes and it's songs about guns, expensive Champagne, and misogyny!

Wilbur's not exactly a gangster rappers name. But it doesn't look like it's going to stop him rolling with his homies.....

Love Tor xx

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Can you stop growing up now, please?

Hi guys,
Today was a momentous occasion worthy of breaking out the 'good' camera and snapping away frantically: today was the first time Wilbur wore a 3-6 month old outfit. He's officially outgrown his 0-3 month romper suits, which are leaving his legs scrunched and uncomfortable. He may be slight, but he has seriously long legs: he's going to be long and lean like his daddy! photo wilburandmummy_zps29f0d234.png
This joins a long list of firsts I've experienced over the past 12 weeks: his first smile, his first giggle. The first time he held a rattle and shook it: all. by. himself!!! It might not seem like a big deal to anyone else but to me each of these firsts is a massive occasion. His achievements make my day: but can I also admit that they make me a little sad because he is growing up FAR too fast!

Wilbur isn't a newborn anymore. He hasn't been one for a while if I'm honest, and he lost his newborn looks weeks ago. Now he has a proper, inquisitive little boy's face. He won't even let me hold him lying down like a baby any more (unless i'm feeding him) He likes to be sat up and watching the world go by: everything is fascinating to him.

I love my brand new Wilbur: he laughs when I smile, and is the only person in the world who truly appreciates my singing. I'm looking forward to a summer spent pushing him on the swings in the park, and introducing him to the joy of food for the first time.

But I wouldn't mind if time stopped for a little while, instead of flashing by in the blink of an eye. I want him to be my newborn baby boy for just a little bit longer...

Love Tor x