Friday, 17 June 2011

A Night Out With the Girls

I hardly ever go out in the evenings, babysitting is hard to find and to be honest I usually get to about 8pm and find myself an in an exhausted heap. However last night @mediocre_mum organised a brilliant treat. We got free range in the local beauty salon Beautylase. I got to have eyebrows, make-up and nails sorted out and a free skin consultation. After that we went to the pub and then Pizza Express. It was a great night out and lovely to see some of my blogging friends. I'm quite wary about going out as part of a large group of women, however the atmosphere was so great I cant wait for us to do it again!

Meanwhile, the Boy had a sleepover with Mirka's daughter Isabelle. Apparently it was hard work for the hubby who had to deal with an epic nose bleed, 15 trips upstairs to see them and a couple of epic toilet visits. It was all quiet when we got home at about 11:20, but they had only been asleep for half an hour. Oh dear. When asked this morning about what they did, the Boy told me they played with his ammonite fossil. Unfortunately Isabelle says they played with something else....

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Been Sunning It

Or at least I would have been if it hadn't rained for 80 % of my holiday. In case you didn't know, we were sent to Lake Garda to the Altomincio Family Park resort by Thomson Al Fresco, fabulously kind of them and THE BEST thing that has ever happened to the kids as a result of my blogging every detail of their lives...

We didn't get back till gone mid-night last night, and so the full lowdown will have to wait, in the meantime a small flavour...

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Home Alone

The last few days I've been fending alone, testing the waters of single parenthood. Not somewhere I would like to swim out of choice. It's been demanding, especially as I haven't been well, but I have surprised myself at how calm and together I have remained. I've dealt with poo incidents, failure to go to bed, baths, feeding time, tantrums and getting themselves soaking wet. I've driven into central London and back and been to the shops (where I told a shop assistant that he didn't have the sort of attitude I expected from a member of staff at Waitrose).

I think I have done a reasonable job, but I wouldn't like to do it long term. So I find myself sitting here, hiding from the kids, hoping they go to sleep. I have found myself talking to myself, wandering around like a crazed woman seeking out chocolate brownies and wishing that the boy would just give me a bit of peace and quiet to watch Springwatch. 'Why does that bird eat fish mummy? Why does that bird eat insects mummy? but mummy, mummy'. On reflection, I should not have let an inquisitive toddler watch Springwatch, but he just wouldn't go to sleep. Never has one woman enjoyed the peace and quiet of her trashed living room so much. Must. Resist. The. Urge. To. Rearrange that throw, tidy those toys, clear those plates...

If you were wondering what the hubby is doing he will blog about it shortly, but you can see a lot of gloating and images on twitter just use the hashtag #svpchamps

Review: Mamas and Papas Cybex Pallas 2 in 1 Car Seat

We quite like testing out carseats in this house, mainly because I really am on a quest to find the absolute best one. When I heard about the Mamas and Papas Cybex Pallas 2 in 1  I was intregued not only because it's a three stage one, but also because you dont use a harness to strap your child in rather a pad goes in front of them to hold them secruely and you use your normal seatbelt. It's an innovative, safe design, possibly the future of car seats.

We tried the car seat with our two year old. It was easy to set up and she was very excited. The pad meant she could sit like her big brother using the normal adult seat belt. The seat is quite high up and in our Vauxhall Zafira she sat very high up which she liked. This made her feel very grown up.

I'm told that the pad is exceptionally safe, much safer than a standard harness. However, I had reservations that Fifi would be able to wriggle out. This wasn't the case, she was very secure. She was very happy, until she realised that its near on impossible to cuddle a toy. Not ideal for long journeys then, also I would imagine the pad would get very dirty if they had a snack in the car.

I really liked the concept, however in practical terms although our seat belts were long enough it was really tricky to put her into the carseat each time. By tricky, I mean a total faff. There really is something to be said about one click harnesses which dont require contortionist skills and super long arms. With this system you have to stretch across the carseat and child and pad. Really, truth be told, the 6 ft 4 husband had trouble so you can imagine the trouble I had!

After giving up on the pad system and going back to our normal car seat for Fifi we thought we would give it a go with the boy who is four. The beauty of the carseat is that it converts into a seat suitable for older kids. I cant really fault it at this age group, it's not a lot different to the other ones on the market, although the quality is superb. However, I find the cupholder on the boys Graco carseat absolutely brilliant and it's a feature I would look for in all future carseats, this one doesnt have one. But I guess you cant really have it all.

There you go, it's a brilliant car seat in theory, looks nice, and is well made the kids like it and it's very safe. In practical terms though, it's just not ideal for our family. If you are considering car seats make sure you go and have a look at Mamas & Papas car seats and if you get the chance try it out in your car to see what you think. I would suggest its a 'love it' or 'hate it' product and you wont know what side of the fence you sit on until you have given it a go...


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