Sunday, 31 July 2011

My biggest phobia lives in my garden

Why? Because my biggest fear is slightering through it or was, if I can believe my better half, who tries to make me believe that he accidentally killed it when mowing the lawn. If you are a regular reader of Mummy Alarm, you might know what I am talking about: snakes. I am absolutely petrified of them. I only have to see a snake on telly and nightmares are guaranteed to accompany me for the following two weeks. I start shaking, I start sweating and I feel like I am about to faint. When I dream about snakes, I get so hysterical that I scream myself into a kind of trance. I jump up and shout and scream and kick but I don't actually wake up or remember it. The only way I find out that something has happened is either my other half telling me about it or the feeling that I have when I get up. My entire body is aching. I feel like I've run a marathon and I have a sore throat. I find it scary that my body gets out of control like that and I don't want to pass my fear onto Amy because that's exactly how I got to my phobia - through my mum - but I honestly have no idea how to fight my fears.
Now, there wasn't actually a snake in our garden, it was an Anguis fragilis - a common slow worm - but to me it doesn't really make a difference that it is a lizard and not a snake slithering through our garden, the place that is meant to bring me joy and relaxation. Ok, a snake has no ears but a slow worm has and apparently they have eyelids that blink which snakes don't have either, but it's not that I would go anywhere near this creature to examine their differences. So my mind tells me "Snake, Snake, Snake, Snake, Panic!!!" and that's exactly what breaks out when I think about going into the garden and seeing one of them. Ben swears that the slow worm he saw (knowing my fear, he didn't even tell me about it in the first place) died in his little lawn mower accident but who says that there aren't more of them? Who says that there isn't a nest somewhere? I am now absolutely paranoid whenever I go outside and I either have to come up with a way of getting rid of whatever might be living in our garden or learn how to fight my fear of it. I think pest control might be the easier option...

Have you any creepy crawlies in your garden? How do you deal with them?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Win amazing baby products by filling out a quick survey

If you are expecting a baby or have a child under the age of three, you are exactly the person that the lovely people from Allegra Strategies would like to hear from. They are currently running a survey that aims to find out more about infant nutrition in the UK and if you fill in the short survey and let them know that you have been sent by Mummy Alarm, you are also in with the chance of winning one of 18 fabulous prizes such as a Quinny Buzz 3 pushchair worth £380, a 1 night stay at a luxurious hotel and many more first class infant products.

To enter the survey, simply click here. Good luck and don't forget to mention Mummy Alarm!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Amy Update Week 1-13: Why I am a jammy farm animal

I know, I know - everyone told me that time flies when you are having a baby, but if I am being honest, I didn't expect it to fly this quickly. Amy is 13 weeks old now and I can't believe how much she has grown since I held her in my arms for the very first time.
When she was born, she was a 8lbs 8oz feather weight and only 50cms long. At 9 weeks (which is the last time we had her weighed and measured), Amy weighed a lovely 11lbs and 4oz and measured 59cm. I can't believe my baby is growing this quickly. I have obviously noticed that she was gaining weight and that she was getting taller but it really hit me, when I noticed that daddy had put her in a 3-6 months sleep suit and she didn't look lost in it. 
Amy has also outgrown her Moses basket. Last Wednesday, she moved into her cot and I can proudly say that she absolutely loves her big girl's bed. I was lucky enough to have her sleeping from 9.30pm to around 8.00am since she was 3 weeks old but since she is having more space in her cot, I am now even getting an hour on top of that. Yep, I know the words that all you unlucky mummies out there will call me now: the word starts with jammy and ends with cow...   

Since about 5 weeks we have been getting lots of smiles from Amy and I think it is just a matter of time until I can tickle her first giggle out of her. She is such a happy girl and must be really upset to actually start crying. Everybody tells us how lucky we are to have such a content baby and believe me, we are. Recently, Amy is trying more and more to laugh out loud but at the moment she can only produce funny noises that make her voice sound really husky. It's just too cute. I think, we are also getting very close to the whole rolling over business. Amy can happily rolls onto her side but there are still a couple of centimeters to go until she either lies on her front or her back. At times, she gets really frustrated about it and she starts grunting (one of the reasons why I call her my little piglet) but most of the time she just grins at me with the proudest smile you could imagine. She loves being cheered and told what a clever little girl she is but hey, don't we all? 

The funniest thing however is nappy changing. Her daddy just has to ask her "Have you made a poo poo" and she breaks out in silent laughter. It's hysterical. She also lifts her legs and her little bum up when she sees that I am unfolding a new nappy - I just hope she'll continue being such a good girl for us. It just makes this whole parenting adventure so much easier...

Friday, 22 July 2011

Baby torture a.k.a immunisations and why I still am for them

Amy had her second set of jabs yesterday and let me tell you one thing: I was absolutely dreading them. I know that Amy was good as gold last time round and only cried for what was probably less that 30 seconds but things can change, can't they?

I was sure she had remembered the whole needle-in-the-leg feeling and built myself up for what could only be described as the biggest crying fit ever but as soon as we got into the treatment room, my little girlie was all flirtatious with the nurses. Could my fear have been completely pointless? When they explained which immunisations they were going to give, Amy listened as if she was fully understanding what was about to happen and even the nurses were laughing about how knowingly she looked at them. Ben quickly signed the form of consent and then the immunisation (I call it baby torture) went ahead. Both nurses quickly stuck their needles into Amy's little legs and my little baby girl broke out in the most heart-breaking cry ever. I felt so so sorry for her. Especially when I noticed that the one of the nurses must have it a vein or something. The blood was literally running down Amy's little leg and the nurse needed two cotton wool buds to stop the bleeding. 

But has horrible as it is to see my baby girl cry, I am so glad that she has lucky enough to get immunisations to protect her from illnesses such as flu, diptheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and polio. Of course, it breaks my heart to see my baby cry but could I ever forgive myself if I didn't take her and she caught one of those life threatening illnesses that can be so easily prevented? - NO!
The jabs that so many of us take for granted or even refuse because we think that our children won't be affected by relatively rare yet dangerous illness such as polio or diphtheria are not available to 1 in 5 children worldwide. Around 10,600,000 children under age five die every year. Around two-thirds of these deaths could be avoided if these children had received basic immunisations. So be wise - immunise!

Did your children get their jabs or did you decide against having them immunised? How did your little ones cope with their jabs? Were mummy cuddles enough or did they need medicine to feel better? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Mummy Alarm Review & Competition: John Crane's High Tea Shape Matching Set

Some toys are almost too pretty to play with. One of them is John Crane's High Tea Shape Matching Set that we were sent to review.
It consists of a gorgeous wooden two tiered cake stand and 15 different types of beautifully coloured and decorated cakes that look so yummy that little mouths might want to try them. Amy is still a bit young to be able to match the shapes but she loves looking at the beautiful colours and touching the cakes. In fact, when I opened the parcel that the lovely people from John Crane Ltd had send us, I was (for a very short moment, of course) tempted to keep the High Tea Set for myself. Not to play with it obviously but to put it up for decoration. It really is that beautiful!
The small wooden cakes can be matched to their places on the cake stand either by their shape or by number. This does not only allow little ones to develop hand/eye coordination but also to improve their shape recognition and to practice their first numbers. The High Tea Shape Matching Set does also make a great toy for pretend play. I can already see Amy and her cousins and friends having their own little tea parties. I just hope Mummy gets an invitation too.
The High Tea Shape Matching Set is available from all good toy stores including Dillon’s ToyBox and retails at £23.95 - brilliant value for money, if you ask me. It is easy to assemble (all you have to do is screw the tiers on to the stand) and Amy will be able to play with it for years to come. Given the fact that both the cake stand and the cakes are made of wood, I am sure that even a little sister (no, nothing is planned) will be able to play with it in a couple of years. Also, you can combine it with many of the other toys from John Crane Ltd. - I already have my eyes on the Tea Time Set and the Daisy Tabletop Kitchen.

If you want to be one of the first to know when new John Crane Toys are hitting the shelves, why not follow  John Crane on Twitter and 'like' their Facebook page? Want to see what the team is up to behind the scenes? Check out the John Crane Blog

 Win 1 High Tea Shape Matching Toy with Mummy Alarm and John Crane Ltd.

How to enter the competition:
1. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite cake is - required

For extra entries:
3. Comment on one of my non-competition posts and let me know which one you commented on
4. Subscribe to Mummy Alarm's RSS Feed
5. Follow @caro_mad on Twitter and tweet "Win a High Tea Shape Matching Toy with @caro_mad and @johncraneblog. Enter here: - Pls RT #win #comp"
6. Like Mummy Alarm on Facebook
7. Use the +1 button below and share on Google+

Please, use separate comments for each entry. Failure do to so will result in only one entry per person.

The closing date of the competition is 12/08/2011
The winners will be chosen at random.
The winners' names will be shown on this page.
Competition is open to residents of the UK only.
The prize is non-refundable and cannot be transferred. No cash alternative is available.

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Mummy Alarm Competition: Win 10 Write & Spell Books from ZooBooKoo

If your little ones are anything like me when I was in my first years of school, the summer holidays won't stop them from wanting to practice what they have learned during the last term. But don't fear, Mummy Alarm is here to safe your sanity by offering 10 lucky readers a prize that will keep your little brainiacs occupied and give you a well deserved break.

Win a new Write & Spell Book from ZooBooKoo for your child and choose between the Reception Words Write & Spell Book for school starters or for slightly older children the Year 1 & 2 Write & Spell Book with the next 50 high frequency words. The write and wipe 8-page booklets have a sturdy backing to lean on and come with a dry wipe pen. Both booklets contain over 50 high frequency words which form the target learning aims for all Year 1 & 2 students and help your little ones to catch up or prepare for an exiting new year at school. With Write & Spell Books children can practice again and again without killing a whole forest, perfecting their spelling and their cursive handwriting. Being the perfect A5 hand-bag size, they are great on the go, too.

How to enter the competition:
1. Leave me a comment telling me what your favourite word is - required
2. Visit ZooBooKoo's Facebook Page and tell them why you think your child should win and come back to tell me you have commented on their page - required

For extra entries:
3. Comment on one of my non-competition posts and let me know which one you commented on
4. Subscribe to Mummy Alarm using the email form in the right hand corner
5. Follow @caro_mad on Twitter and tweet "Win 10 Write & Spell Books with @caro_mad. Enter here: - Pls RT #win #comp"
6. Like Mummy Alarm on Facebook
7. Use the +1 button below and share on Google+

Please, use separate comments for each entry. Failure do to so will result in only one entry per person.

The closing date of the competition is 13/08/2011
The winners will be chosen at random.
The winners' names will be shown on this page.
Competition is open to residents of the UK only.
The prize is non-refundable and cannot be transferred. No cash alternative is available.

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Monday, 18 July 2011

Mummy Alarm Review: Personalised Clock from Precious Parcels

A couple of weeks ago Amy was sent a gorgeous personalised clock from Natalie, owner of online shop Precious Parcels. Precious Parcels offers a unique selection of handmade gifts and home decorations such as handmade plaques, new baby gifts, room plaques and more...

The clock we were sent for Amy is absolutely gorgeous and fits perfectly with the theme of her nursery. It's in fact so popular that lots of our friends have complimented it and asked where they could get one for their little ones. 
The clock itself measures approximately 23cm's in diameter, is made of really light but sturdy wood and is painted in a lovely pale pink (or pale blue for boys) with cute little white polka dots. To add decoration to your battery run clock, you can choose between little white butterflies or stars when placing your order. There is also a field on the order page that you type your child's name in. It really is easy as pie.
The clock being of a light weight is another great plus point because it saves you from having to drill deep holes into your wall. All in all, the clock is a fabulous product that Amy will be able to enjoy for a long time and with a price of £11.99 it really is good value for money.

To check out all of Precious Parcels' products visit their website. For exclusive offers and to keep up to date with new products follow Natalie on Twitter or Facebook.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Do we expect too much from daddies?

Yesterday, daddy and I had a bit of an argument. I found that he wasn't spending quite enough quality time with Amy. 
With quality time I mean time that he uses to play with her or read her a story from a book. I know she's only little and it doesn't make a difference to her if we are reading a story book or a kebab flyer to her but I simply find it important that we interact with her and stimulate her little brain. Whenever she's awake I spend time on her play mat with her, sing songs, shake her rattles and and and ... you know how it works. Daddy however sits her up on the sofa next to him and tells me "She's fine" when I give him the look. You know, the one saying 'Ehm, that's not what I meant when I said look after her for a minute'. He loves her to bits and helps with her nappies and everything and he's an absolute diamond when it comes to cooking and cleaning (You must think 'Why are you stupid cow complaining then') but whenever I would like him to spend some time with Amy, he seems to have no idea on what to do with her. It's like telling a worm to juggle. "I'm going to be the best dad ever when she's a bit older", he says when I tell him to play with her and I know he will because he is absolutely amazing with children, but the answer I get each and every time at the moment is "But she's just too young now."
Well, it's not that I find it challenging to make silly faces and shake a rattle for what feels like three hours a day but I enjoy doing it. I enjoy it because I can see on Amy's little face that she loves it when I look like an absolute nutter and it's great to see that she starts reacting to certain toys. Daddy has said he'll make an effort of properly playing with Amy now and I can't wait for him to share these great moments with me. 

Do your other halves struggle to play with your little ones, too? Can you suggest anything to help daddies learn to play again? Feedback is very much appreciated!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Silent Sunday

And the winner is...

And the winners of a copy of 'Shoot the Baby' are:

Carolina Johnson - @pandcands
Chloe Hogben -@misschloehogben 

Congratulations - I'll be in touch shortly!

And the winner is...

And the winners of a 50ml Sun Sense Toddler Milk each are:

Lorraine Gaw - @littlemissnau41 
Jumbly Mummy - @jumblyMummy 
Laura Pritchard - @Isis1981uk 
Emma Clarke - @emma1111111 
Colin Gault - @thrlrds2007
Susan Willshee - @susanwillshee 

Congratulations - I'll be in touch shortly!

And the winner is...

The winner of a 60ml bottle of Bio-Oil is

Mike Smith - @mike4bev

Congratulations - I'll be in touch shortly!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Mummy Alarm Review: BuggyTug

A couple of weeks ago, we were sent a BuggyTug to review and if you have been to hilly Bristol before, you will have already guessed that this clever invention was very much appreciated in our household. The BuggyTug is the UK’s first pram wrist strap and is designed to ensure that should you take your hands off the pram that it won’t go rolling down the hill.

What does Mummy Alarm think about the BuggyTug? The wrist strap is made out of black neoprene and super comfy. The BuggyTug doesn't cut into your skin and your hands don't get sweaty when you have it wrapped around your wrist. In fact, it is so light that, even while going for a longer walk, you don't notice that you are actually wearing the BuggyTug.
The main benefit of the BuggyTug however is its simplicity. It might look a little plain but it does exactly what it promises on the box. There are no funky patterns on it, it is short (making sure it doesn't get tangled) and you can easily wrap it around your wrist without having to read a novel-like manual. Most of all it keeps your little one save without breaking your bank. The BuggyTug costs £3.99 and is available on the official BuggyTug website where you can also find a list of other stockists. For me it is an absolute must-have for new mums because it just gives you the little extra bit piece of mind that you need when you take your baby out for their first big walk.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Five Songs To Live Your Life By

The lovely Liz over at The Mum Blog has tagged me in the Five Songs To Live Your Life By meme. As she has already said in her post, it is not as easy as it seems. There are hundreds of inspirational songs out there and this is where the whole matter gets tricky. I love music and I listen to lots of different genres, so how do I decide which songs I find most inspirational? Is it the ones I like best? Is it the ones I sing all the time or is it the ones that make me cry, laugh or think? Well, I've made it a mix out of all those attributes and have come up with the following five songs:

It's My Life - Jon Bon Jovi

Your Song - Elton John

Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin

Eye of the Tiger - Survivor

That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick & Friends

But it doesn't end here. The fun thing about memes is that you get to find out more about the people you tweet with or whose blogs you read by simply tagging them. So here we go

Jenny, Adele, Carol, Sarah, Sonia -I can't wait to find out which songs you live by, ladies!


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