Initial thoughts: I love Miffy, I did when I was a child and I do now. So when we were offered something to review for Miffy’s 58th birthday in June (she doesn’t look a day over 5 does she? Amazing) we were happy to have a go with one of the iPad apps available. Kate has just started using the iPad for games and Piran had a go too.
They liked: The story, and the activities that you have to do as you go through the story. There are three separate games as well which they enjoyed. Kate: “Rabbits. Drawing. Mine.” Piran: “I like you on it Mummy and the squiggly writing game”. It totally blew Kate’s mind that it was my voice coming out of the iPad when I was stood right next to her not talking!
I liked: Miffy’s instantly recognisable colours and style looks as good as ever on the iPad. There is a lady that talks them through all the pages and gives encouragement as they complete the games and tasks which is nice. The ability to record three different people reading the story is a lovely touch.
They didn’t like: Sharing! Also as soon as you open the app yoou have to click on the Union Jack so you get the English Language version. On a number of occasions they have selected the other flag and the app is then in Dutch (I think) which confused them a lot! If you could set this once and it be the same all the time it would be better.
I didn’t like: It costs £2.99 which is quite a lot I feel for an app for my kids but I do love the voice recording feature and I will get Grandparents that live far away to record their own versions which will make it more special for my children. It is annoying that if you are listening back to a recorded version you don’t get the games and animations that are part of the story. The encouraging voice can get a bit annoying after a while.
Overall: This is a nice iPad app that suits Kate (2) quite well. It is a little young for Piran (nearly 4) – he can do everything in the app and I think will get bored quite quickly. It is nice that both of them are happy to play it at this time. Until they start to argue that is!
Further information: Miffy at school iPad app costs £2.99. Miffy is very tech savvy for a 58 year old and has a Facebook Page and Twitter account. I have seen a number of competitions on the Twitter account which is nice.
This post has been written by me about a subject I wanted to write about. It also includes a link that I have been compensated to include but I hope that will not detract from your enjoyment. More information on this can be found on my Disclosure for Readers page.
Since the start of 2013 I haven’t had a job.
Other than being a mum, and keeping this house and all of us in it going, obviously.
And, I am really loving it. I am so lucky that I have a couple days of childcare a week still, which gives me the time to do all the cleaning and washing and cooking and shopping. And, if I am motivated also some free time for sewing. Which is just bliss.
But, I have had trouble with one thing. Not being able to contribute financially to our lives is a very odd feeling and one that I am taking a long time to get my head around. I know that I pull my weight round here, I make it easier for Mr C to go to work and deal with all the entails. I get up in the night with the children, look after everyone and everything. But when a bill comes in that we weren’t expecting or there is something that I or the kids need it makes me feel bad that I can’t do anything to help. I make the occasional bit of money through my blog, or by selling something that I make but I am rubbish at putting in the effort to get sales. And most of that goes on fabric that I don’t need but that I do “need”.
I was worrying out loud about all this stuff recently, with Mr C and in the nicest possible way he told me that it is time to either get used to it, or go back to work. Well the honest fact is that I really don’t want to so it is time to put up and shut up. And so I have been trying to come up with ways to help out, saving our money and making it go further so I feel that I am contributing in some ways. I already meal plan but now I am thinking more about leftovers and buying bigger initially, so getting a larger chicken but making it last three meals instead of two. I am trying to think before I spend money, and be aware of where my money goes. I am going to compare car insurance and I am certain if I shopped around we could make savings on Gas and Electric and our other insurances.
I know that everyone is feeling the pinch these days, each time I go food shopping it costs more and more and other things too. I don’t travel as much as I did, trying to save money on petrol and I use my Tesco coupons for treats. I have been selling lots on eBay (which I hate, it is so frustrating) and adding to our holiday pot so we can afford to buy the things we need for camping.
Is this something that you do as well? Am I missing anything? Do leave me your top money saving tips, I would love to hear them.
This is a guest post bought to you by Hallmark that has been written for my blog. More information can be found on my Disclosure for Readers page.
Nanny Week Celebrates Britain’s Wonderful Childcare Workers
One of the most difficult choices that a parent ever has to make is deciding when to go back to work after having their children, and how to ensure that their children are safe and cared for when they do. There are numerous options for childcare in the UK, and one that more and more families are choosing is to hire a nanny who will care for the children in the family home – which, in the era of irregular working hours and long commutes, can feel like nothing short of a life-saver.
Some nannies simply come by the family home during weekdays, and take on all of the responsibilities of caring for the children of the household whilst the parents are at work. However, for some families this may not be enough and they may instead choose to take on a live-in nanny, who will be on hand to provide care for the children around the clock, and be an invaluable source of support to already over-worked parents.
Clearly, taking on a nanny is an enormous step for families, but it’s easy to forget just what an enormous commitment it is to become a nanny too. It’s for this reason that the British Association of Professional Nannies (BAPN) annually holds Nanny Week, during which the unique role of nannies is recognised and celebrated, and much-needed awareness is raised of the contribution that nannies make to families across the UK.
Recognising Their Role
During Nanny Week, which is held this year between the 6th and 13th May, events and activities will take place across the UK that will honour nannies of all kinds. Some events will be organised by the BAPN, but families and nannies are encouraged to arrange their own activities too that will help to highlight the important work that nannies do.
These events could be as simple as organising a Nannies’ Tea Party or a play date in the local park, to bring nannies and the families for whom they work together in your local area. This afternoon of fun, play and treats will give nannies a chance to meet other nearby nannies, as well as allow the children to make friends for future play dates, and parents to appreciate the value of the nanny to their family.
The parents of the family can also use Nanny Week as a reason to show their gratitude for the nanny for all their hard work, whether by giving them an extra night off, a small gift, or even just a personalised greetings card from Hallmark with a thoughtful message inside. It’s all too easy to forget to say ‘thank you’ when we’re busy, but one small gesture during Nanny Week can make all the difference – and won’t be forgotten for some time!
Two years ago I wrote a post with the same title. Looking at the pictures now Piran looks so small. I was two days past my due date with Kate and was enjoying our last few days (in fact hours) as a family of 3. I called it making the most of the quiet before the storm. Oh, how right I was.
This week it has been just me and the children and as the weather has turned nice we have been spending our evenings post dinner in the garden blowing bubbles and playing. Piran has learned how to do it himself which he LOVES and which means that I get to take some pictures at the same time.
I am all emotional today, thinking of that day two years ago, and feeling so lucky that we have two beautiful amazing children. Becoming a mum turned my life upside down and becoming a mum to my beautiful girl at times has been like being in a tornado but the sun is warm and the breeze is gentle and I am in a really very lovely place right now. And I appreciate it all so much more because of the past two years.
Life is good. And Mr C will be back tonight and birthday celebrations start tomorrow. I can’t wait.
Today you turn three and three quarters. When people ask how old you are I don’t like saying three as it seems too young to describe you. You are so different to the little boy that turned three that I need to say something else. Almost four I guess. Eeek!
As you get older I find these letters a bit harder to write. There are less milestones to mention, and you do and say so much that I am never going to capture it all. So today I think I will just try and capture some things that have happened in the last few days.
Daddy is away this week, the first time in a while and you seem to be coping okay with it. You ask how many sleeps until he comes home and when I tell you “Four” you insist it is two sleeps and will not hear any different. If I ask you to do something and you feel the need to tell me something first you will shout at me “JUST LET ME SPEAK FIRST”. I have learned that I should let you get the thought out or we will be there all day. The sun is shining this week and so yesterday we went to the park twice. First to Nanny’s park and then to the park with the big slide. I love the names you give them all.
You played beautifully with Kate nearly all day yesyerday. You butt heads between 4-5 when she is tired and hungry and you are tired and hungry and everything gets a bit fraught. You have been excited to be “garderwing” every evening with Auntie Alison as she has been coming round to water Daddy’s plants. You are thrilled that we can all be outside so much more. Yesyerday you worked out how to turn the water butt tap on and spent ages filling yours and Kate’s watering cans and watering the plants. I knew you were up to something as you both went very quiet.
Kate can now chat away to you and we love listening to your conversations. Most mornings you will go and let her out of her room and then insist on coming into our bed, drinking milk and watching tv. You are Spiderman obsessed at the moment and love wearing your Spiderman socks. Unfortunately you just have two pairs so you get upset when I make you put them in the wash. You love to play make believe and spend a lot of time on buses going to London. If I try and join in but say something too literal you just shake you head and say “No Mumma it’s a tend” (pretend). You explain everything to Kate so she can play along, and you really are a very nice and very kind big brother. The two of you turn to each other for comfort and you are always helping her or sharing your things with her. Long may it last!
On the way to Nanny’s this morning you suddenly looked so grown up, scooting ahead of me. You can out your own coat and shoes on and you can get yourself dressed when you can be bothered. You love wiggly pasta and rice. Your dancing is something to be seen, you throw yourself all around the floor like a really bad break dancer. You are obsessed with Walking with Dinosaurs, especially the sea monsters one and watch it every night before bed. You still have your Bubba as your constant companion. You have started sharing things with him, your dinner, saying he would like to do something outside, like he is a lot more real than he has ever been before. He is your best friend you tell me.
Sometimes when I tell you off or we have cross words you say “You are not my best friend any more Mummy” and go and hide somewhere. You think it is very frustrating and dull that I will not let you play out the front on your own with the girls next door. You are stronger and braver than you have been in the past and I catch you climbing and trying new things and I am so glad. You have a new red bike with stabilisers that you love. I am so looking forward to spending the summer with you.
In September you will be going to Big School and we now know which one so we talk about it every now and then. I am not sure you really understand, but you will soon. I try not to worry too much about it but I just think that you are so young and can be so shy, I really hope that you will be okay. I am sure you will, even if it is a bit of a shock at first. It will be so strange with you gone every day, just around at weekends. I wish we could have one more year but you will learn a lot and you are such a lovely bright little boy it will be great for you.
I love you more than I can say and you make me feel so very happy every single day. Thank you for sofa cuddles and extra squeezy hugs when Daddy is away. Thank you for your silliness and laughter. Thank you for your love for your sister and your sensitivity. Thank you for being you.