Mommy in London

Trying to figure things out!

We are so excited about the Olympics!!!

The day has finally arrived, the Opening Ceremony is tonight!

We’ve already been in Olympic mode this week, we went to see the torch on Tuesday morning – it went by really quickly so we didn’t get a good look at it, but we were there!

We rang our bells at 8:12 this morning to celebrate 12 hours until the Olympics begins!

We were going to go and try to see the torch again this morning as it made it’s way down the river, but we just weren’t ready on time!  (It’s probably for the best as it was running late and it’s around E’s nap time)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/torchrelay/day70#pid=p00t6bbv&t=9h13m46s

Tonight we will eat Olympic themed food as we watch the Opening Ceremony 🙂  I love these ideas from Annabel Karmel

http://blog.annabelkarmel.com/recipes/an-olympic-party.html

The bagels and the ice cream cones are my favourites 🙂

I found lots of other great ideas on Pinterest and put them on my Jubilympics board http://pinterest.com/mommyinlondon/jubilympics/

Then on Saturday and Sunday we’ll go watch a bit of the cycling road race as they whiz through our neighbourhood, all leading up to our big day on Tuesday when we go to watch the swimming and explore the Olympic Park!

I’ve started making my list and organising all of the essentials that we’ll need to bring with us on the day.  I found out that we can bring a pram as there are places to store them at the venues, but we don’t want to bring our big Bugaboo, so we bought this:

It’s from Mothercare and I’m so excited for it to arrive 🙂

Here’s my list of things to bring so far, we’re only allowed to bring in a small bag, so I hope it will all fit!  They seem to say that there will be healthy food available around the park, but I still want to bring as much food as possible for E, I don’t think he’s ready for Happy Meals quite yet!

Olympics Packing List

Changing

  • Nappies
  • Water wipes
  • Nappy sacks
  • Changing mat
  • Spare clothes (vest, top, pants /shorts, socks, dribble bib)

Medicine

  • Sun screen
  • Bonjela
  • Nelson’s
  • Calpol sachets

Feeding

  • Muslins
  • Feeding cover
  • Meals
    • Breakfast – wakey wakey cakes
    • Lunch – wraps and peanut butter
    • Dinner – lamb roast dinner pouch
  • Snacks
    • Rice cakes
    • Biscuits
    • Carrot puffs
    • Cheerios
    • Raisins
    • Fruit pouches
  • Spoons
  • Sippy cup
  • Totseat
  • Feeding bibs

Sleeping

  • Soothers and clip
  • Big Muzz

Hot / cold weather clothes

  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Hoodie

Travel

  • Stroller
  • Baby Bjorn

Playing

  • Toys
  • Teething toys

Other

  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Hats
  • Umbrella
  • Rain coats
  • Water
  • Snack bars
  • Flags

 

Hopefully I’ve remembered everything, if you’re going to the Olympics too, please let me know what you’re bringing!

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What to do on a Sunny Day in London

The sunny weather has finally arrived, it may actually be summertime now 🙂  We are very excited, and can’t wait to get out there and see and do all that we can (before the rain comes back!)

On a sunny day

* we may not live by the seaside, but we can go to the riverside to play in the sand!

* there are loads of swimming pools around the city

* I just recently discovered our local one o’clock club, and it has loads of outdoor toys (and an indoor area, just in case)

* London definitely has some of the nicest parks in the world, and E loves to eat his lunch in the park, it somehow makes things much more exciting (and he gets to steal other people’s food too!)

* I am yet to find a splash pad local to us, but we may just have to venture out to Kensington Memorial Park on an especially hot day!

* As E gets older he is definitely showing more interest in animals, I think that he would love to walk around a city farm and feed some of the animals

* When E was less than a month old we went to pick a pumpkin for Halloween ( I really wanted photos of him with the pumpkins) and it was so much fun I said that we would definitely go back in the summer to pick some fruit.  I can just picture him now, crawling amongst the strawberries and eating as many as he can!

* E is probably still a bit young for Legoland or Chessington, but I can’t wait to take him when he’s a bit older 🙂

As always I’m open to more suggestions, what’s everyone else doing on this beautiful, sunny day?

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What to do on a Rainy Day in London

We’ve had quite a rainy summer so far in London, so I’ve been compiling a list of all of our rainy day activities!  As E gets bigger (he’s 9 months old now, crawling at super fast speed and getting into everything!), it’s become more of a challenge to keep him entertained in our small house on a rainy day, so we have to get creative!

On a rainy day

  • go to a soft play centre

* we haven’t tried one yet as I’m not sure if E is still too small and will get trampled by the toddlers, but there’s one that opens up next week during the school holidays so I think we’ll have a go

* as members of Gymboree we can go to open gym sessions at set times everyday, it’s a great thing to do on a rainy day and E loves it!  (they have a set day for pre walkers which is the one we mostly attend so that E doesn’t get trampled 😉

* if we can’t get to the seaside, we can always pretend!

  • make some playdough to play with

* this is my plan for this afternoon, we’ll see how it goes, fingers crossed that E doesn’t just want to eat it

* I haven’t been brave enough to try this since Canada Day, but will definitely try again soon, I may even buy some little canvas’ to display E’s masterpieces

  • go to a drop in class

* we’re very lucky to have loads of different music classes around, many of which are drop in classes, so most days we can find one to go to if we’re at a loss

  • go to a playgroup

* a lot of churches around here have great playgroups, many are only during term time which is unfortunate for us, but we plan to go more regularly starting in September

  • have a playdate

* we’re lucky to have made some great friends at NCT and through our Gymboree classes, so on rainy days someone is usually up for a playdate

  • bake cookies

* E may be a bit young for this one, but I’m sure he’d enjoy playing with the dough!

  • go to the library

* our local library is fantastic!  I don’t let E go wild with the books because I don’t want him to rip any, but it’s great to have a different selection of stories.  Our library also does weekly baby singing sessions and storytelling sessions, and best of all, it’s all free!

* we love the Pottery Cafe, there is a small sitting fee but then we can paint all sorts of pottery (and they’re very helpful if you want to do handprints and footprints) and they make great gifts!

* E loves to watch the fish swimming around, he’s mesmerised by them!

* two fantastic places to go in London that are free!  They are aimed at older children, but E still loves looking around at things and loves to watch the big kids run around, I think he’s planning all the fun he’ll have as soon as he figures out how to walk!

I would love any other suggestions as we’re always looking for more things to do (especially if this rain continues!) and fingers crossed that the weather really will get better next week, and then I can post my ‘sunny day’ list!

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Our Weekend Away

This past weekend we went to visit hubby’s family in a different part of the country for a family party.

We were looking forward to going, especially since we hadn’t been up since Christmas and E has grown so much since then!

The part that I didn’t realise until the weekend got closer, was just how much we would have to bring with us, compared to the last time that we visited.  Last time he was so small that we just brought the carry cot from the bugaboo for him to sleep in, but of course this time he needed the full travel cot.  He was also just breastfeeding last time, and now he’s having 3 meals a day (plus snacks!) and he’s not the easiest baby to feed (we’re not officially doing baby led weaning, but he prefers to feed himself so that is what we mostly do).  And because we were only going for one night and would be quite busy we really did have to bring everything with us, there would be no time to prepare meals (especially en route and at the party.)

Basically I had to bring everything that we ever need for E.  I think that packing for one night away or packing for a week away pretty much involve the same amount of stuff!  We had to bring clothes for all possible weather situations and lots of back ups just in case, everything for eating, sleeping, washing, playing, etc, etc, etc!

Just in case it’s helpful to anyone else with a 9 month old, here is our packing list:

Changing

  • Nappies
  • Water wipes
  • Cotton pads / balls
  • Nappy sacks
  • Sudocrem
  • Baby Balm
  • Changing mat
  • Vests
  • Tops
  • Pants / Shorts
  • Socks
  • Dribble bibs
  • Shoes

Washing

  • Baby wash / shampoo
  • Lotion / Baby Balm
  • Hair brush
  • Towel
  • Face cloths
  • Bath toy
  • Bath mat
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste

Medicine

  • Sun screen
  • Bonjela
  • Nelson’s
  • Calpol
  • Eczema cream
  • Saline nose spray
  • Snot sucker
  • Thermometer

Feeding

  • Muslins
  • Feeding cover
  • Milton tablets
  • Meals
  • Snacks
  • Bowl
  • Spoons
  • Sippy cup
  • Totseat
  • Feeding bibs

Sleeping

  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bag
  • Bedding (sheets)
  • Gloworm
  • Sleepy Bunny
  • Soothers
  • Travel cot
  • Pyjamas / Sleepsuits

Hot / cold weather clothes

  • Hat (tuque / sunhat)
  • Mitts
  • Coat
  • Sunglasses
  • Swim trunks
  • Swim nappies

Travel

  • Pram
  • Car seat
  • Car seat adaptors
  • Baby Bjorn
  • Changing Bag

Playing

  • Toys
  • Teething toys

Other

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Baby Monitor
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Going to Visit a Nursery School

We are going to visit our first Nursery School tomorrow!  I am so nervous!

As anyone in London knows, you practically have to sign up your baby for a good nursery school before they are born, so I’m already being a bit lazy by waiting until now (he’s 9 months old) but I just couldn’t imagine starting to plan his future before I even met him!

I happen to have been the deputy headmistress of a nursery school before I went on maternity leave (I have since decided to be a stay at home Mom and won’t return in September) but I think that my experience just makes this decision much more difficult!  I’m worried that I have too many questions and might overwhelm them, but I just want to know all of the information before making a decision.  So here’s my list of questions, what do you think?

Upon starting

  • Do you have space for October 2013 (when he turns 2) or would we go on a waiting list?
  • When would we have to decide when we want to start and for how many days?
  • Do children have to be potty trained before starting?
  • What is the induction process like?  Do we have visits beforehand?  Do the parents stay for the first morning?
  • What happens if he has trouble settling in?

Daily routine

  • What is the daily routine like?
  • What systems do you use for teaching CLL and PSRN (Jolly Phonics, etc)?
  • Are the children given snacks or do they bring their own?
  • How often do they play outside?
  • How involved are parents?
  • Are the holidays the same / similar to local state or private schools?
  • Are there any future plans for the school?  Possibly to offer full days?

Policies

  • What is the ratio of children to adults?
  • Are all of the teachers qualified?  Have they been at the school long?
  • What are the security measures like? Pick up procedures?
  • What is the accident procedure?  What is the sickness policy? (Are all of the staff trained in first aid?)
  • What is the discipline policy?
  • What schools do children go on to?

Also, do I tell them what I do?  Or should I keep it to myself?

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Happy Canada Day!!!

A few days late on this one, but we had such a fabulous time celebrating on Sunday that I’ve only got around to writing about it now.

As our little E is 1/3 Canadian (is that right?  I’m Canadian, hubby’s South African and E was born here, so he’s a third of each?) but we haven’t been to visit Canada yet, the closest we could get is Canada Day celebrations in London.

http://www.canadadaylondon.com/

They say it’s the biggest Canada Day celebration outside of Canada 🙂

We dressed in our cutest Canada tshirts, watched a hockey tournament, tried to get our hands on Daddy’s Molson Canadian and Mommy’s poutine, waved our flags, danced to Bryan Adams tunes and even met a Mountie!

At home we even tried a spot of painting (inspired by Pinterest http://pinterest.com/mommyinlondon/canada-day/ ) with homemade paints based on the recipe from The Imagination Tree http://www.theimaginationtree.com/2011/03/homemade-edible-finger-paint-recipe.html

Overall it was a fantastic Canada Day, definitely memorable as E’s first (maybe next year I’ll share my poutine 😉 )
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