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Archive for the ‘London’ Category

Last week the kids and I headed up to London, we were lucky enough to be offered a family ticket to see the lastest Family show in the West End.

The Go! Go! G0! show

Go!Go!Go!

It  was the first time we had headed into London since we moved. So I anticipated a slightly longer journey on the train. As it happened a train pulled into the Station as I got my ticket and within 32 minutes I was at Charing cross. The kids love the train especially the ride in.

We got to Leicester Square an hour earlier than I had planned so we wandered around. I ended up buying water for myself and the kids, who had rapidly gone through their OJ’s and now Jerry was hungry and I was feeling a little lightheaded so we went and bought some Macdonalds, having never actually bought Macdonalds I stood there scanned the menu and saw nothing for kids so had to ask what was on offer.  I’m more of a Burger King person.

We went and sat in the Gardens and looked at the steady stream of people who had started to queue up for the premier of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz’s new move of which I should know the name lol.

I headed to the theatre which is just off the actual square. And collected my tickets, they said they would open the doors half an hour before the show started. OK I still had 30 mins to occupy myself we went for ANOTHER walk, but this time Jerry had, HAD enough and lay down in a huge puddle and had a MASSIVE tantrum. Me being me let him take it out on the pavement and then said “you done” I even heard someone say “do you think that’s her child” yeah lady because I am real child snatcher at 33 weeks pregnant huh. GRRR

ANYWAY then it was a mad dash to GAP to buy him some dry clothes. Back to the theatre and this is where it got a little crappy. Like I said I am 33 weeks pregnant. I had both kids with me and the P&T vibe to get into the theatre it’s two flights of stairs down to the theatre.

The kids walked down while I bumped down the stroller. Two staff stood at the bottom and neither of them actually offered to help. So be aware if you are going and going alone take lightest stroller you have. On the way out however they helped me lifted it up the stairs.

We found our seats and sat down, we were very close to the speakers which were on really loudly and the kids were waving their glowsticks £3 which I had bought and looking at their programs also £3.

Then we got told there was a 5 minute delay which turned into 20 minutes by this point. I was a little more than tetchy mainly due to getting in to early and Jerry having epic tantrum, then the “I’m hungry, I’m thirsty” chitter chatter started, this meant a trip to the bar paying a hefty £1.50 for the smallest pringles and the same for water, of course we were all very thirsty and it was warm in there, so take plenty of water and food it you go. I spent at least £15 on just buying us water the entire time and snacks.

The show began and within 10 minutes Eliza was in tears and asking to go home and Jerry was entranced. Eliza isn’t the best with things like this, you can read about our Disney experience earlier this year on my blog.

The cast interact with the children really well and the songs are really, really catchy and fab I really liked them. I was a little surprised when there was an intermission, I had been told the show was 45 minutes long. I really was quite over it , I had Jerry on my knee and Eliza clinging to me for dear life for the first half.

As the curtains closed both kids said one after another “go home now?” I said “well I think not, there is more to watch”. Eliza really looked unhappy and said she felt scared. Jerry was just exceedingly tired.

We sat and ate M&M’s and did more stickers in the programs.

The 2nd half started and I had made a point to both of them that they had to sit in their seats as I am way to fat to cope with both of them hanging off me!

Made all the difference Suddendly I was at the theatre with two different children, Eliza really, really got into it and was dancing and singing despite not knowing any of the words lol and waving her glowstick around frantically and Jerry was of course eating but bouncing up and down wildly in his seat.

It was great, the songs were really good again about sharing and having fun together, and of course the fluffalope was heavily featured.

The second half felt shorter, not sure if it was, or if it was the fact I was able to sit on my own and relax a little.

After it ended the cast come out to the Foyer and meet all the children, this was bizarrely crowded and people were pushing like crazy to get to the Cast who were lovely and polite and tired! I had to explain to Eliza about getting autographs she didn’t and really still doesn’t get what that process was all about, but she had her favourite character and wanted her name written on her book, which sadly she didn’t get but she got most of them.

I can now say three days after the show and neither of them have shut up about the show, Eliza is desperate to go and see it again, both have asked if we can get a fluffalope toy, what about a movie or a CD are there dolls?

They pretend they are in the show and act out little scenes together, it has been a huge hit and I hope they bring out a CD and a DVD of the show because it was great.

I do however think that 2 is the minimum age to take a child to something like this.  There were a few people with younger children and it looked a little tough on them walking around and trying to keep them quiet.

Over all we really enjoyed it. I didn’t plan as well as I should of in regards to timing and drink supplies but the show was fab and I hope if you go you enjoy it as much as we all did.

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This is a touchy subject with me. Lets start by saying it’s my opinion and like yours it doesn’t make it right or wrong, it’s just an opinion!

When I got pregnant with Eliza I was working in a hospital part time in the sterilising department, it was heavy work and I had other back issues and was trying to start my photography business. At 11 weeks my husband said, that’s enough quit you’re going to be a mum now.

Luckily we were then and still are in a position where I can be a stay at home mum, I have the options and choices to work if I want, and I do every now and again with the photography I take on as much or as little work as I want.

I took my new found life very seriously and said I hoped I could always stay at home and look after my children. Husband agreed.

I also always said I’d never send my children to Nursery, because I want to raise my children. I want to teach them, I chose to have kids not a job and I intend to be there until they start school.

This was probably fine until I had Jeremiah. All my friends started to send their children to nursery. But still it just didn’t personally sit with me. I understood why they were doing it, but I couldn’t. She was 2 years old still a baby in my eyes, those 2 years had gone by so fast, surely the next two would as well. And they have.

And I am so proud of myself. LOL

WHY?

Because at times I have truly felt like I can’t go on. And that she needed to go to Nursery pronto!

But I have never given in to that selfish feeling that is only fleeting for me. Eliza is a bright kid, and started to take an interest in numbers and letters at around 2.5 she wanted to start learning. I bought some little 3-5 year preschool books and for the past 2 years we have been using them and various other ones to help challenge her and to give her what she asks for. I don’t push her, if she didn’t want to learn to write or add 2+2 I’d never say “right we’re doing this today” I believe all children learn as much or as little as they want when they are home with their parents. Or as much as their parents can give them! I’m happy to encourage her and to be honest she could sit and do her writing books for an hour, where I tend to think at 3 years this was a little excessive and tell her to take a break for a little bit. Now at 4 she will sit easily for an hour doing her reading and writing books, sometimes I sit with her for the entire hour or she happily works away on her own asking for help if and when she needs it.

Jerry isn’t like Eliza at the same age and I don’t expect him to be, he’s a different person, he’s extremely physical and loves being active, he has very little interest in arts and crafts, and only recently in the last 6 months decided he quite liked being read to and now picks books for you to read to him, he’s not as independent as she was and I have to encourage him to play on his own. Just as I sit with Eliza I take Jerry into the garden and play football with him, and play hand eye co-ordination games with him.

When we moved to central London, I did a lot of classes with Eliza we did a dance class which was basically running around and having fun, then we did a arts and craft class, we had a music class like monkey music, we went to the Library, we went to French Class, and Ballet and Playgroups.  It sounds like a lot and it was and I was pregnant with Jerry so it got even more tiring, I had a lot of support however there. This was perfect for Eliza this was at a level of stimulation enough for her.

Once Jerry was born we went to French and she went to Ballet and we went to Playgroup that was it. Of course Jerry was little and she was older and she got bored so he didn’t get to go to playgroup, I ended up with one bored toddler and a sleeping baby, so I stopped a lot of the other classes.

Then we moved to Suburbia, and I had one 1 year old and a 3 year old and I couldn’t go to any classes with them both, they were now both missing out. I had no friends in the area, come to think of it I still don’t lol and no one except Monkey Music would take me on with both kids, so Monkey Music it was. And that’s all we have done for the past year. The rest of the time it’s been me as the entertainment.

Thankfully and if you look back through my blog, you’ll see we’ve done a lot since we moved out here, lots of trips to Europe, lots of family days out. There is a lot of other things to do out here, things that we all enjoy.

Now Eliza is starting school in September and she couldn’t be more excited she quizzed the headmaster on the computer room, asked if they had singing lessons and if she could learn violin. She asked the teachers if they taught maths and reading and writing, her first visit she came out thrilled with the fact one of the teachers had sat with her to read a book and she had read some words.

Jerry is still obviously with me, and bored. OH SO BORED. And I am 33 weeks pregnant and tired.

So with this all in mind. I started to look for a nursery, the first one I visited I was APPALLED this nursery has a “good” report from Ofsted I was thinking they must of come on a very good day.

You know when you go into a baby change room in public and you open the nappy bins to throw one away. Every room smelled like that. There were old cobwebs in the corners of the rooms, the floors were FILTHY, the toys weren’t much better and there were a lot, A LOT of kids there. I felt like J would be alone a lot of the time if he went there and there was no way in hell I’d ever send him there it was so dirty. I feel really sorry for the mums and dads out there who have no choice but to send their kids there. It was heartbreaking. So glad I do have that choice, I’d rather he hung off my trousers all day and cried and had tantrums.

So I decided the best thing for me to look into was Montessori I know I like that style of nursery and learning and I found one which had “outstanding” on it’s Ofsted report and next to it it said “above outstanding” having just been to the “good” nursery I held little hope for this place.

But I went along. It was as expected calm, the kids playing nicely, 1-1 a lot of the children, or sitting in pairs or tables of 4. The juice and snack bar is always open apparently and they can help themselves. Jerry stuck to the home corner he loves having tea parties and cleaning. He washed dinosaurs and dried them took them for a walk, put them to bed, then he headed for the maths corner and really got into shapes and what not and had a good look around at everything else.

I was happy.

Afterwards I asked him what he thought. “I liked it mummy, I liked that nursery, I like tea parties and dinosaurs” I said would he like to go again and it was a very keen “yes, now?”

So I’m putting his name down for 1-2 mornings a week see how he goes and fits in. I am easy and flexible on how long he goes for. I am easy if he doesn’t like it, but I really feel like he’s missed out on things that Eliza got to do. He isn’t as well socialised and is timid around other children. Hopefully this will help him and it will give me a little selfish break with the new baby.

I still feel like it’s selfish of me, I still feel that being a full time stay at home mum, I should be exactly that. And I feel like I have let Jerry down by putting him into Nursery. I wonder when he is grown up he’ll look back say “you did so much for Eliza why not me?”

I do however fully intend to get him into Tumble Tots and Little Kickers, although he ,despite liking football, has said he doesn’t want to go to football class!  So we might just try it and see if he really doesn’t want to go!

So am I alone in this guilt of sending to nursery?

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Last weekend the kids & I went up to London to where we use to live. We lived close to Regents & Hyde park so very central.

We led a good life there, mostly socialising extensively during the day with my mummy mafia friends, shopping, shopping in the evenings, hubby use to take Eliza to Selfridges a lot in the evenings when we moved she kept saying ” I miss Selfridges, me too” I use to say. walks in the parks in the evenings, nipping to London Zoo when ever we wanted.

Life was good. Then we had to move, my husband was out of work, I am sure most are aware London isn’t a cheap place to rent. We decided to move to Suburbia. Our idea of living hell.

9 months on we both miss London, we miss strolling down Old Bond Street, having tea & cakes here, then wandering home up Regents street. We miss having everything on our doorstep.

My husband now has a horrible commute along with hundreds of others think Hong Kong style cattle trains which isn’t great. But you only have to look at the kids to know it was the right thing to do.

BUT when I see this

so proud

discovering pegs

They’re having a great time. Not to mention there is so much to do out here, children’s farms, adventure parks, playcentres galore. We’re also close to the Eurotunnel giving us easy access to Europe.

Yep there are some downsides to being out here. But as the weather warms up it can only get better again.

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A few thank you’s

I’ve been working today which has been nice. I sometimes miss being “me” I didn’t have anyone call me mummy for 6 hours. Just before I walked out the door I stood for ages and looked at two books trying to decide which one to take with me to read on the train. I had the choice of “Elmo loves YOU” and “That’s not my Dinosaur” It was at this point I realised I was going to be alone. And I slapped myself in the face and put my headphones on.

I got to the station and checked my emails. I was thrilled to learn I am now a Contributor at London Mums Blog I am really excited to be apart of this and hope I can contribute useful posts as well as pointless ones 😀 I am not sure Susanna knows what she’s done. Aside from make me a very happy bunny!

I am also a featured “must read blog” Over on British Mummy Bloggers”  This forum is great and so far I have found some really great mummy blogs to read.

I don’t think I can explain how much I love blogging, I love to write and I love to read about other peoples lives and daily activities I love to see what other mums are up to, am I normal? I promise I am not stalking you mummy bloggers, but sometimes it’s nice to know you’re not alone and you love to blog!

SO thanks for the opportunity to contribute. Thanks to the people who read. I am touched and I am loving the comments & emails I love to hear from you, I love to see what you are talking about as well so please always link  back to your site so I can read & comment!

SMUK!

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A few thank you's

I’ve been working today which has been nice. I sometimes miss being “me” I didn’t have anyone call me mummy for 6 hours. Just before I walked out the door I stood for ages and looked at two books trying to decide which one to take with me to read on the train. I had the choice of “Elmo loves YOU” and “That’s not my Dinosaur” It was at this point I realised I was going to be alone. And I slapped myself in the face and put my headphones on.

I got to the station and checked my emails. I was thrilled to learn I am now a Contributor at London Mums Blog I am really excited to be apart of this and hope I can contribute useful posts as well as pointless ones 😀 I am not sure Susanna knows what she’s done. Aside from make me a very happy bunny!

I am also a featured “must read blog” Over on British Mummy Bloggers”  This forum is great and so far I have found some really great mummy blogs to read.

I don’t think I can explain how much I love blogging, I love to write and I love to read about other peoples lives and daily activities I love to see what other mums are up to, am I normal? I promise I am not stalking you mummy bloggers, but sometimes it’s nice to know you’re not alone and you love to blog!

SO thanks for the opportunity to contribute. Thanks to the people who read. I am touched and I am loving the comments & emails I love to hear from you, I love to see what you are talking about as well so please always link  back to your site so I can read & comment!

SMUK!

Read Full Post »

A few thank you's

I’ve been working today which has been nice. I sometimes miss being “me” I didn’t have anyone call me mummy for 6 hours. Just before I walked out the door I stood for ages and looked at two books trying to decide which one to take with me to read on the train. I had the choice of “Elmo loves YOU” and “That’s not my Dinosaur” It was at this point I realised I was going to be alone. And I slapped myself in the face and put my headphones on.

I got to the station and checked my emails. I was thrilled to learn I am now a Contributor at London Mums Blog I am really excited to be apart of this and hope I can contribute useful posts as well as pointless ones 😀 I am not sure Susanna knows what she’s done. Aside from make me a very happy bunny!

I am also a featured “must read blog” Over on British Mummy Bloggers”  This forum is great and so far I have found some really great mummy blogs to read.

I don’t think I can explain how much I love blogging, I love to write and I love to read about other peoples lives and daily activities I love to see what other mums are up to, am I normal? I promise I am not stalking you mummy bloggers, but sometimes it’s nice to know you’re not alone and you love to blog!

SO thanks for the opportunity to contribute. Thanks to the people who read. I am touched and I am loving the comments & emails I love to hear from you, I love to see what you are talking about as well so please always link  back to your site so I can read & comment!

SMUK!

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Taxis and Twitter

Not what you might think.

As some of you know I am on twitter, I am a huge twit-er. I’m always on there letting everyone know everything I know many of you wait on baited breath to know my next move.

I also search for things all the time, mostly about cameras, but I also search for Marylebone, I love seeing peoples tweets about Marylebone and what they did, where they ate, who they saw, I do miss living there sometimes!

Yesterday I had a newborn photoshoot to do, in Marylebone, I would need a taxi from Charing cross, I also had to go via a photographic lab to drop off some film. Quite often I find at Charing cross there isn’t many taxis this either results in me walking to Marylebone which is fine, it’s not far, but I had a lot of equipment with me and I didn’t want to walk the whole way as I had filled up the stroller with gifts and camera gear, this meant Eliza was walking, there’s not a chance in  hell she could or would walk that far.

I decided to use a service I had seen on twitter called tweetalondoncab I asked them if they could collect me and take me to my photo lab and then onto marylebone, I gave them my ETA and number. They told me not a problem about 8 hours before hand they asked if I still needed the service. I did. At this point I was getting apprehensive. I am a nervous soul, and I am HIGHLY protective of my children and cameras. I was thinking this was a bad idea and maybe I should cancel.

But I didn’t I told my husband what I was doing and he looked at me with that look I often get from him that says “you’re nuts, but I love you”

Yesterday morning I got on the train and got my final tweet from them to say where they would be, the drivers name, the cab license plate, and his phone number. I felt very reassured by this and was excited to meet my cab driver his name was Lee or as some like to call him Jackcabnory

And I did! He was lovely and professional he helped me get my stroller into his cab without me smashing into the side and scratching it. He was friendly we had a good old chat about why they set up tweetalondoncab and spoke about how micro-blogging can help business.

I highly recommend if you are on twitter, if you need a taxi and professionalism them try them out. You need to book ahead, this service will not work if you just walk out of your house/club/office as these guys actually are working and have to co-ordinate each job amazing huh.

Give it up for decent London Black Cabbies!

Thanks GUYS!

 

 

 

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