Hello!

My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 7 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

George / Asda's Halloween Spooky Scribes Short Story Challenge

Trick or Treat ...?!


I never really knew what Halloween was all about. I am only 3 years old, after all. This year, however, has been a little different. I walk around the shops and see these colourful decorations dominating the aisles and I can't help being intrigued. Witches and cats, pumpkins and ghosts, I'm beginning to quite like Halloween ... as long as the witches aren't too mean looking and the pumpkins aren't too haunting!!

We were set a challenge by George at Asda, aptly named the Halloween Spooky Scribes Short Story Challenge in which I am to create my own short Halloween tale. I was provided with a Fancy Dress outfit from their online range to help me and mummy to 'set the scene', and I was also given a fantastic Crayola set consisting of a sketch book and felt pens to assist me in my story writing! This is the outfit that I chose from the website ...


The Rainbow Witch Halloween Costume is available from the Girls' Halloween Costume section of the website and costs just £10. Mummy was really pleased with the quality of the outfit and thought it was outstanding value for money!

My costume arrived and mummy and I sat down and talked about stories and what I would like mine to be about. We hope you enjoy my story ... 

Rainbows at Halloween!


Once upon a time there was a little 'Rainbow Witch' called Rose who lived all by herself. She wasn't like a normal witch. This witch didn't like nasty spells or bubbling, smelly potions. Instead, she liked flowers, cute animals and, of course, rainbows. But every year, Halloween would come around and everything would look different. Pumpkins grew scary faces, black cats would cry out in the middle of the night, and trees seemed to take on frightening shapes. 

Rose decided she would change the way Halloween looked in her home forever! 

So she took out her Spooky Scribblers and her Beastly Book and started to draw. 



She drew things that would make people smile and decided that these would be the things that would decorate her house this Halloween! Instead of vampire bats and angry faces, she would draw pretty flowers and happy pumpkins. Instead of bubbling, smelly cauldrons she would draw sweets, cakes and candy canes!





From this day forward, The Little Rainbow Witch was known for making Halloween bright and colourful, with all the colours of the rainbow decorating her house. 



She could now look around her every year at Halloween and know that this time of year doesn't need to be dark, spooky or haunting, but can instead be bright, magical and full of the colours of the rainbow! And everyone she passed by would smile, and instantly feel a little bit of sunshine in their day that wasn't there before!

Make sure you keep an eye out for The Rainbow Witch this Halloween! She's always there to make the day a little prettier for you!!


Remember, this was Munchkin's story. Mummy has merely 'translated' it into a more reader friendly version!

All 'Proof Read' and approved by Munchkin!


Disclaimer: We were provided with the costume and stationary for this post by George at Asda and have been offered a store voucher as way of 'payment' for our time and work. All writing is 100% our own.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Our Review of The Gummee Glove

The Gummee Glove
Simple ... Practical ... Utterly Genius!


On 30th June, 2012, The Munchkin Patch welcomed a new arrival. We named our baby girl Rosie Elizabeth, although since her birth she has adopted a nickname that seems to have stuck with her! She was born with all the symptoms of a teething baby. The dribbling, the crying, chewing on the fists, and a symptom we never experienced with Munchkin, the growling! Yep, she growls as she chews on her hands! This lead to us affectionately calling her 'The Beast', and her big sister extending said affection to 'Rosie Posie Beastie Boo'. This name will stick with her now, and one day we will be able to explain to her that this pet name originates from her teething struggles! 



I had recently heard about The Gummee Glove after seeing them earlier in the year at The Baby Show in Birmingham. Immediately, I was amazed at what a simple yet obviously effective product it was! 

The Gummee Glove's concept, design and finished product are the result of the hard work of one lovely lady. As a mum of one, Jodine Boothby experienced the common teething troubles with her little boy.

"As a new mummy, I was struggling to find solutions to help my baby boy and after umpteen drops of teething toys on the floor on this particular day, I was changing my sons nappy in the nursery while musing over possible solutions in my head. My son was wearing anti-scratch  mitts & was about 9 weeks old. I looked up & he was sucking & chewing one of his mittens. That was my eureka moment."

And so The Gummee Glove was born! 

The Gummee Glove is a teething aid designed to help babies who are experiencing the pain and discomfort of shifting, growing and cutting teeth, but who are not able to securely hold onto a teething ring themselves. 


The lightweight Gummee Glove slips onto your baby's little hand and secures around his/her wrist with the use of a good quality velcro patch, allowing baby to chew away at the fist with much more effective results!


Now, at whichever angle Beastie decides to shove her little fist into her mouth, she gets a mouthful of pain relief without the drugs!! With 3 soft, ribbed, plastic 'tabs' which are the perfect size for baby's mouth, we noticed a drastic reduction in her frustration as soon as she started to use it. First, there was the intrigue, as she spent some time studying it and staring at its bright colours. Then the real experimenting began ...


On the top of the glove, as can be seen in the photos, there is a familiar accessory which is probably recognised by most parents - the trusty 'water filled teether'. This is attached to the glove with a popper button, and is easily removed so that the ring can be put in the fridge to deliver maximum comfort on those extra restless days, and is also easy to sterilise. The fact that the ring is detachable means that the glove is machine washable - another winning feature for any parent! The Gummee Glove is supplied complete with its own little drawstring bag. Pop the glove into the bag and it can be added to your regular wash! The bag also doubles up as a handy travel bag, so your Gummee Glove can be carried around inside your changing bag without the worry of it getting dirty. What's not to love?!


Another thing I have noticed since using The Gummee Glove is how much it improves the dribble situation. Yes, she still dribbles, just as much as she always did, but the fabric of the glove seems to help to absorb it before it soaks her clothes. The glove is fully lined, preventing any dampness from soaking through. Before we started using The Gummee Glove, Beastie's hands would be permanently clammy from being forever stuffed in her mouth. She would chew on her hands so hard, her knuckles would turn red! Our Gummee Glove has stopped this from happening - no more yucky, cold, clammy hands!

Apparently, Beastie finds genuine comfort in her Gummee Glove ...


When she gets tired and wants to sleep, Beastie will bring her hands up to cover her face. We usually make sure that her Bunny Blankie is positioned on her hands so that she can bring that up to her eyes, as this helps her to settle. However, it would appear that The Gummee Glove doubles up as a suitable 'sleep comforter' too!

We will, without dispute, rate The Gummee Glove as follows:


In fact, we would give top marks in any category, as the Gummee Glove truly is an innovative product with such a simple idea. Beastie has worn it whilst attending local Mother & Baby sessions, and every time she does, we hear nothing but positive praise and other mums saying they need to get one! We also hear the same question over and over again ... 

"Why has no one thought of this before ...?!"

Well, now they have, and The Gummee Glove is available to buy from the WEBSITE for just £9.99 plus p&p. Also, be sure to follow them on FACEBOOK and on TWITTER to keep up to date with updates and exciting news! I know they have a brand new product in the sample stages right now too! Pop over, say hi and take a look for yourself!


Yes, she is still a Beast, and yes, she still 'growls' ...


... But she's our Beast, and there's now a much more 'content' tone to the growling!!



Disclaimer: I bought this product at a discounted price. I did not receive a free product or payment in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Kindness

Mummy had her heart touched this week by a very special group of people. Whilst times have been tough and uncertain, these wonderful individuals have come together to show us that any obstacle is possible to overcome when you have precious people in your life. So while we have little to offer in return, mummy wanted to say a few words to show you all how much we are truly touched by the tenderness and selfless acts that you performed just for us. 



This week I was witness to sweetness
Of the most random kind,
And I know tenderness like this
Is often hard to find.

My story is long and complex
So I won't digress too much,
But some people will reach out a hand
And deep in the heart they touch.



They don't do it for recognition
Acknowledgement or self gain,
They do it for the understanding
To show empathy for your pain.

For when times get quite tough
And you don't know where to go,
There is someone there to take the load
To stop you feeling low.


These people might be strangers
Acquaintances of all sorts,
But the bond that builds is priceless
When you discover you're in their thoughts.

You know this verse is meant for you
I need to name no names,
As they don't do it for the praise or glory
Or any kind of fame.


They do it because they're loving
sensitive and kind,
A random act of kindness
That's rare and hard to find!


Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
You know who you are!
xxxx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Business after Babies ...?

Returning to work after babies


For three years now, I have been a full time mummy to Munchkin. I never did return to work. I have absolutely loved being around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for her, watching her develop, enjoying every minute of every milestone. No one will ever take this from me and I have memories that will stay with me forever. 

I had always intended to return to the job that I had before having Munchkin. I was working for a charity called Tomorrow's People who had a mission to help the long term unemployed to find sustainable employment. I was employed as an Outreach Worker and helped individuals from various parts of London. The job had its highs and lows. It was tough seeing people that had been broken by illness or injury or who had been left with few life options due to unfortunate personal circumstances, and trying to establish a positive balance between the needs of my clients and the limited financial budgets made available to us by the relevant Government departments. However, there were a number of aspects that made the job wonderful. The clients I helped, the feeling of achievement when I received that phonecall letting me know one of them had found a job, and of course, the people I worked with. A bunch of people I will always hold dear!

Unfortunately, when the time came for me to consider returning to work, I had been informed that positions there were not very secure and that my colleagues were being moved to other offices. Therefore, I opted to stay with Munchkin for a little longer instead. 

Since giving birth to Beastie Boo, I have started to think about ways to improve our future for the family, and have been pondering which work sector I would look at, should I decide to return to employment once Munchkin starts long Pre-School hours.


So if I were to return to work in the near future, I think that I would consider re-entering the childcare sector. It was my first ever career choice, and is the field in which I chose to train and qualify after school. Ideally, I would search for employment within childcare and education. I have considered a number of possibilities. From school based roles to childminding, there is so much to choose from. However, after a number of years working in alternative sectors before having Munchkin, I have decided that this is the kind of work I would like to do. Maybe the route I choose will involve some re-training or some skill refreshment, all of which I would be prepared to do for the right job. After all, sustainable employment comes from finding something that you love to do!


I know that juggling babies and a successful career can be tricky, and finding that healthy balance between work and family life can sometimes be a bit of a minefield, but I need to start thinking about being more than just a mummy! I will eventually want to start seeing the advantages of having some life away from the children and relaunching my more 'adult' life.


As anyone who has ever searched for work is aware, there are numerous organisations, both online and on the High Street, that are set up with the aim to help make the whole job hunting experience a little less daunting and ultimately successful. Naturally, the company we turn to for this help often depends on the types of jobs being offered. Returning to work after having children can be a stressful thought, and many mums have let many years pass without even seeing a job application form, let alone completing one! Gone are the days when applications needed to be printed and completed by hand. Now, many can be completed online, meaning no need for the old Tip-Ex! With JobsGoPublic, applications can be filled in, saved, and resumed at a later, more convenient time. This is an important feature for me as a mum, as I like the thought of returning to an application and reading it through at a quiet (preferably child-free!) time before submitting it to an employer.

So maybe, one day, I will return to childcare as a career. I would love to retrain at some point to ensure my skills and knowledge are 'current', but it is good to know that there are sites like this around that are ready to help make the whole experience a more inviting one for those of us that have spent a number of years bringing up our children!

JobsGoPublic can be followed on Facebook and on Twitter, so get connected to keep up to date if you are thinking about searching for that dream job. It could be easier than you think!



Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Baby Show returns to Earls Court!


I love going to The Baby Show, and have been lucky enough to attend two this year already. Therefore I am really excited to be attending the upcoming event being held at Earls Court, London, from 26th-28th October, 2012. With the recent birth of Beastie Boo in June, 2012, we will be looking for all sorts of practical, innovative and exciting products amongst the thousands offered by over 300 brands over the course of the show.

The Baby Show Earls Court is the flagship event in The Baby Show calendar and this year there’s even more to shout about because they are celebrating their 10th Birthday!



They will be joined by a who’s who of parenting experts including Professor Robert Winston (Child of our time), Annabel Karmel MBE (The Baby & Toddler Mealplanner), Claire Byam-Cook (celebrity breastfeeding expert) and Dr Julie Coultas (baby development expert). There is a host of exciting content for visitors including daily fashion shows, The Face of the Baby Show competition, giveaways and of course, lots and lots of opportunity to shop.



With over 300 brands present at the show it’s the ideal opportunity to test and buy in a tailor made environment that includes free changing facilities courtesy of nappy recycling experts Nappies2Go, a free Fisher-Price crèche (bookable in advance), Vtech Smart Play Zone packed with innovative toys to help development through play, a shopping drop off and collect by car service, so that you don’t have to lug your shopping around with you and for the first time you can take the stress out of shopping completely by booking a personal shopping experience with Baby Concierge!
With leading brands such as Britax, Fisher Price, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, M&S, Stokke, Superdrug, The Gro Company & Trunki in attendance, The Baby Show really is a one stop shop for all of your parenting needs.


I am really looking forward to The Baby Show at Earls Court. I will be there on Friday 26th October with Munchkin and Beastie Boo in tow! Every year, the event seems to become more and more popular with both brands and consumers, which always makes for a wonderful atmosphere. Keep your eyes peeled, and you may spot the odd celebrity mummy or daddy wondering around in the search for a bargain!


So whether you are looking for pushchairs or potties, clothing or unique nursery décor, The Baby Show is sure to have something that will have you reaching for your purse hubby's wallet!!

For further information about The Baby Show and to keep up to date with all the latest news, you can: 



The Baby Show, Earls Court 9.30am - 5.30pm 26th – 28th October 2012. 
Advance tickets cost £13.50 each (Friday) and £14.50 each (Saturday & Sunday) or £20 on the door. 







Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The things we take for granted ...!

The Little things mum used to take care of!


As a child, I my dirty clothes would go into the laundry basket one day and, as if by magic, they would reappear,clean and ironed and folded neatly in my drawer. That's just how it happened. No matter what day it was, no matter what the weather was like and no matter how busy things were at home. I'm not sure how I thought they transformed from creased garments sporting stubborn grass stains from falling out of every tree in the local woods into spotless, perfectly pressed items hanging in my wardrobe, but I grew up knowing it was 'just the way'! It came close to the mysteries of food showing up in the cupboards, and dinner magically appearing on the table every evening.

Naturally, growing up and becoming a mum has taught me that there were no such things as the 'Housework Fairies' and that these miracles were in fact performed by my own dear mum, with a little help from the trusty household domestic appliances!


A few weeks ago, I walked into the kitchen to empty the washing machine. It was a sunny day, so I was taking full advantage of the washing line. Well, who doesn't like line dried laundry?! However, instead of being met with the sweet scent of fabric conditioner, I was greeted with a huge puddle and a kitchen covered in a soapy mess. After a little mild cursing (at 'mild', read 'strong'), several rolls of heavy duty kitchen towel, and hours of finding water seeping out of cracks I never knew existed, the chaos was eventually controlled enough to start thinking about the next step. Then it dawned on me ...


The house we live in right now is rented, and our White Goods were included in the original let. Our own appliances therefore went into storage (ready for when we do move out) and we have always used the equipment provided by our Landlord. Easy - repairs and replacements of these items are the responsibility of the Letting Agents and the Landlord. One phone call (well, not counting the couple of 'reminder' calls!) and we had an engineer knocking on our door, tools at the ready, announcing he was here about the faulty washing machine. 

Well, that was simple and pretty 'headache free'. However, it did get me thinking. We have lived in a number of rented properties for the last few years and have never (surprisingly) been faced with the problem of one of our own appliances breaking down or blowing up. As a result, I don't think I would know where to start in my search for a solution if the situation did arise. Actually, I think there are two steps I would probably take ... First, I would call mum in a frenzied panic, ranting as though my whole world was crumbling down ... Second, I would most likely commence my hunt for a reasonably priced, within budget replacement. 

That was until I was told about a metaphorical 'Knight in Shining Armour' in the form of www.repairandprotect.co.uk.

"The name you can trust for a quality appliance repair!"

Domestic and General Repair and Protect lets you book fixed price, professional home appliance repairs at the click of a button!


This company offers some fantastic services. They will not only arrange to send and engineer to your property, but they will allocate the job to a specialist mechanic for the manufacturer of your faulty product, ensuring a thorough repair and increasing the chances of them having the parts you need on board their vehicle at the time of their initial visit. They also have a "No Fix No Fee" policy, which means no extortionate charges added before the workman has even walked through your door, and the facility to get an Instant Quote online! They also boast to have 2900+ Engineers Nationwide, 60 Years' Experience and 2.7 million Repairs in the last year alone. The fact that they are backed by some of the largest and most highly trusted manufacturers around would fill me with confidence, should I be faced with the situation of a broken appliance. I have spent a great deal of time, since being told about the company, browsing their site and exploring the services they offer and am really genuinely impressed. I don't know why this sort of thing has suddenly started to worry me and play on my mind. Maybe it's a part of my 'nesting' period, sub-consciously preparing myself for the arrival of another little mouth relying on the oven, another little body depending on a fully functioning washing machine. I do not know for sure, but it did make me think about where I would turn if I found myself in such a position of needing washing machine repairs, or help with other domestic appliances myself. As let's face it - I can't always turn to mum ... even if she is the original Housework Fairy!!