Happy 4th Birthday Little Z

Happy Birthday!

And so it is, you turn the grand old age of four this week and I do what I do every year leading up to your birthday and reminisce about the week you were born. It had snowed really really heavily and I spent the last two weeks before you were born completely bored out of my head sat indoors watching too much TV, eating too much and sleeping for hours and hours. You finally came along after a very long 40 hour labour and emergency section and I was almost hyper with happiness whilst feeling like I’d been hit by several tonnes of bricks.

It feels like you’ve grown up a lot this last year. After a lot of bawling from me we potty trained you straight after your third birthday and it really wasn’t as bad as I expected. I’m not sure why I left it so long now but am very glad that’s all done and dusted. You started pre-school and that was like another massive milestone. You cried each time I dropped you off for an entire term. You did fall in love with all your keyworkers though, as did I, and a year on you love playing with your friends and causing mischief together. There are still plenty of days you say you don’t want to go and that you want to stay at home with me and there are times I let you and we skive off and do something instead. It’s your last year before full time education so we may as well make the most of it.

You now have an answer for absolutely everything and keep us on our toes every minute you’re awake. People tell us the 4s are a bit more challenging and interesting so that’s err…something to look forward to. With some luck you may even skip that phase but so far you’ve gone through every phase for every age so I guess we just need to suck it up. And occasionally maybe scream into a pillow.

I think you take after me as you’re always asking what we’re doing that day or when we’re going on holiday. I need to teach more you than the destination “Turkey”. I’m thinking “Northern lights” or maybe even “Florida”. I’m not really sure if the first is child friendly but it kinda sounds it, right? We only have till April so we best get a move on. Your Daddy stared at me when I suggested it. I am taking that as a yes!

We’ve been having a massive clear out of your old clothes and toys over the last few weeks and we told you about children who couldn’t always afford to have toys so asked which ones you’d like to give to them to play with to make them happy. You thought about it long and hard for a few seconds and then let out a wail of “I DONT WANT to give them my toys. Tell their mummy to get toys!”. Followed by a lot of sobbing and almost body guarding of your toy box. I think we need to still work on your sharing a bit next year.

We are in full party planning mode for next week and the week after. I think I may be more excited that you. Each year I tell myself I am definitely not doing one next year and each year I do and am glad I did. I am anticipating a lot of Olaf presents this year as that’s your favourite. You’ve already had a dry run last week with Grandma when you bought her a Frozen cake for her birthday then helped her blow out her candle. I think you’re going to be very pleased with your own snowman and minion themed cakes. A big Happy Birthday for tomorrow and lets hope the parties are a lot of fun!

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When Zoomer came to live with us – A Review

When House of Fraser asked if we’d like to review a toy that reminded me of my childhood I was slightly stumped. Hmm….My childhood wasn’t that long ago but what could I pick for Little Z that would remind me of my own childhood? Then I came across a toy that brought back instant memories.

When I was little I had a plastic dog toy which had very colourful wheels for feet and I would happily pull it along on a string. It didn’t do very much except have a permanent smile of its face but it did look very very happy all the time. I used to love it and that, along with a scary looking life-sized doll with Maggie Thatcher hair, were my favourite toys ever.

Fast forward 30 something years as we browsed the House of Fraser toy section online and the Other Half came across a super cute looking robot dalmatian known as Zoomer. It had to be that! He arrived in his little box with a handle and we were so eager to get going bed time went out the window and we decided to let Zoomer free for a bit.

Zoomer 1

Zoomer the excited little puppy.

Zoomer is a small Dalmation with floppy ears and wheels as feet. It reminded me of an ultra modern version of the dog I had many years ago. Zoomer has a highly electronic look about him and the best thing ever is that he doesn’t take batteries. Hurrah! You charge him with a USB cable so we didn’t have to run about taking batteries out of other noisy toys to make him work. The recommendation is to charge for 2 hours for the first time. Of course, with two very eager boys in the house they managed to patiently sit for about half an hour before switching him on. And luckily for them Zoomer kicked into action. At first Zoomer is very much like an excited puppy and will zoom about on the floor. He’s very nippy on our floorboards and equally as quick on my mum’s carpeted floor. I find it really cute when he wags his tail which must mean he’s really happy. We sat about watching him glide about for a bit and he’s quite fast for a little robot dog. Mind you, puppies are hyper little things aren’t they?

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Training Zoomer

I can see why the toy is suitable for Age 5+ as he comes with a set of commands you can use to train him with. You tap on his head gently until a pair of question marks come up in his eyes and give him commands like “Roll over”, “Shake a paw”, “Sit” and many many more. We have so far managed “Sit”. He’s also not house trained as yet so he will randomly cock his leg up to have a wee somewhere (Wee is not included). I laughed my head off the first time he did it. Little Z was absolutely shocked as he was expecting them to be just as trained as our neighbours corgis that live opposite us. There was a lot of “No Zoomer No! You can’t wee like that. You have to sit down”. He then proceeded to demonstrate how to wee by parking his bum on the sofa and pretending to flush the loo. So far Zoomer hasn’t made it to the toilet yet as keen as Little Z is, and continues to have a wee wherever he fancies, most recently against the Other Halfs leg.

Zoomer 2

The Auto Function
Little Z’s most favourite function is the little button on Zoomer on his back towards his tail. Once pressed Zoomer will go into super trained auto mode and scoot about doing all the things he is excellent at once trained, including rolling over and sitting down. It’s nice to watch him nip about sometimes letting off steam. He does this one thing where he glides backwards with one leg outstretched in a perfect cycle and it always reminds me of Torvill and Deans Bolero. We may possibly have a Dalmation skater wannabe that will one day enter the Olympics. Once we get him toilet trained of course.

Zoomer 5

Being as fast as he is, Zoomer does get under our feet on occasion and we’ve tripped over him once or twice. Thankfully he’s quite sturdy and has remained intact. He’s definitely not a toy you get bored with quickly and does much more than my little plastic dog did all those many years ago. I think he’d make an excellent toy for any child wanting a pet toy without having to have the responsibilities of taking it for a walk or cleaning up after it. Of course it can’t jump up and lick anyone in the face just yet but I’m not sure any kind of drool near an electronic device would be a good idea anyway. The target age range is 5+ but I’ve found that it suits my almost 4 year old just fine as we can tell him what instructions to give Zoomer. We are currently
working on shaking a paw and rolling over. Little Z, having not that much patience, still prefers the auto function but that’s fine by me as I get to watch Zoomer doing a bit of Bolero, without the music.

Zoomer 4


This is a review. All words and opinions my own.

Family Fever

Mummy have you got a beard? And other questions from a 3 year old

As Little Z zooms towards turning 4 in less than 2 weeks I can very much already see what the next year is going to bring us. It is mostly going to consist of him questioning everything about his surroundings and correcting us each time we try to distract him with some very made up explanation. It’s started already and it’s like having a mini interrogation each time he opens his mouth to ask what seems like a very innocent sounding question. I think the only thing missing sometimes is the big flashing light in my eyes. I have occasionally been guilty of answering with “Ooh why don’t you ask Daddy?”. This does work, sometimes, but as most of our heart to hearts happen when we’re alone in the car there really is no escape.

Take for instance on one of our drives home:

Little Z: Mummy? Who made the trees?
Ahhh nice easy one…
Me: They grow from little seeds honey, they get all big and tall with lots of water.
Little Z: And who made the seeds?
Me: Well, the seeds come from the trees…
Little Z: But who made the trees??! Me: Ermmm.. Well, it’s like a circle… And..God made the trees.
Sounding satisfied, I could see him pondering something else.

Little Z: Who made the shops?
Me: Lots of people built the shops. They’re called builders.
Little Z: Builders? So God made the trees and people built the shops?
Me: Well….Yes, kind of.
Little Z: Who made the people?
Me: Would you like a Starburst?

After observing his Daddy trimming his beard a few times and whilst rifling through my toiletries bag…

Little Z: Mummy? Do you have a beard?
Feeling a bit horrified..
Me: Errrrmm No? Why?
Little Z: What’s that pink thing? [pointing to my razor].
Me: Ohhhh!!! Well, that’s Daddy’s razor.
Little Z: Shall I give it him back?
Me: Maybe later.

Little Z: Mummy? Why didn’t you take me to your wedding?
Me: Umm..because you weren’t born yet.
Little Z: I wasn’t born yet? Where was I?
Me: You were at nursery that day.
Little Z: I need to go to your wedding.
Me: Ok we’ll go tomorrow?
Little Z: Ok!

So yes, I do believe the 4s is going to be a very interesting year.


Win £20 worth of Funky Giraffe Bibs

Little Z was an ultra drooly baby when he was much younger especially during the teething phase which seemed to last absolutely forever. Each teeth had decided to pop out one at a time so we went through cycles of him being all grizzly, then snotty, then drooly. After drenching the top rims of his tops I made the brilliant discovery of bandana bibs. Very stylish and triangular shaped they jazzed up all his outfits and were a much nicer touch to his outfits than the big classic square shaped ones. So we then spent the next year buying about a hundred of them!

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Funky Giraffe are a company that design and manufacture bandana bibs and other baby accessories. They have a vast range of designs that would make any baby look stylish. Their personalised bibs are particularly cute.

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They also have a lovely collection of hats, mittens, socks, burps and a lot of other much needed baby accessories.

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Funky Giraffe are offering one reader the chance to win a collection of their sets which you can view here (to the value of £20).

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To enter all you need to do is leave a blog post comment saying you’d like to win. For a bonus entry you can also tweet (via the Rafflecopter below!).

This giveaway will end on Friday 5th December at midnight after which a winner will be picked at random. Please note – The prize will only be shipped within the UK.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/funky-giraffe-bandana-bib-sets#sthash.q1TobKCR.dpuf

Things my 3 year old could be when he grows up

3 year old careers

For a few weeks now my college teacher friend had asked if I would talk to her class about my career in IT to give them a flavour of career prospects in the wonderful world of computing. After various lame excuses I eventually caved and went along to inspire a bunch of teens who hopefully wouldn’t think I was boring. I got very into the swing of things and none of them fell asleep. In fact, they even asked questions (mostly revolving around “How much do you earn?”). I think it was a success and my friend confirmed the next day they had found it interesting. Phew!

It got me thinking about how hard it is for kids to think about careers and wondered what my own Little Z might like to be when he grows up. He hasn’t whacked out an amazing masterpiece on the piano yet or shown any signs of breaking records to become the youngest Microsoft certified so the jury is still out on his career aspirations.
From careful observation though I have thought of some things my 3 year old could be when he grows up. Here are just some of them…

An Architecht / Builder…
If a piece of furniture can be moved in our house at the moment then it will be moved faster than the blink of an eye and become part of his “House”. I now spend my days navigating around our nest of coffee tables all arranged to build an indoor den perfect for little people that can scurry about on all fours quickly. It’s like watching the Magneto of household items shifting everything about constantly. His skills are currently limited to building for people 3 foot and under. Failed attempts at squeezing my 5 foot self under a coffee table has confirmed this.

A Parkour Artist…
You know, the guys that seem to run up buildings and high structures and then leap about all nimble and Tigger like. Little Z would be perfect at this. His usual structures of choice for parkour-ing are the sofa, the park climbing frame and slide and the kitchen units. If it’s climbable then its leapable, often without any kind of fear and without any checks for a safe landing spot. I’ve discovered over the last year that its possible for a mid-30 something year old to almost have a frequent number of heart attacks whilst catching a preschooler that thinks he’s something kind of bouncing ball.

A Barber
Little Z will now give absolutely everyone a hair cut, every week. Whether you ask for one or not. I suppose being proactive about grooming is a pretty good trait to have and shows initiative. It’s usually when you’re about to make yourself comfy on the couch though. A towel or any kind of random blanket will be thrown around your neck and you hear the familiar sound of a 3 year old making hair trimmer sound effects. The haircut will then follow, mostly “freestyled”. If you’re lucky your hair will also be combed for you afterwards. You are then charged anywhere between £1.50 and £20 for what is essentially the same haircut every single time. With a remote control.

A Time teller
Is that a career? I’m not sure. But even before Little Z owned a watch he could magically tell time by looking down at his bare wrist. Like a cute small walking version of the Big Ben. Times can be pretty random though. I’m sure it was “Twenty o’clock” a few days ago. Time telling frequency has increased drastically ever since we got him a real watch.

A Doctor
Little Z is obsessed with all things medical, particularly his little doctor kit. As with his barbering skills, he will whisk out all the little gadgets from his doctors bag and methodically take everyone’s blood pressure, inject them with something random, check their pulse and have a good look in their ears. One load of guests a few days ago got additional checks in the form of having their reflexes tested, on both knees. The group of 4 politely obliged as they all tried to natter away to each other simultaneously. As Little Z completed his investigations and packed away his paraphernalia, my brother inquired about the diagnosis he had come to. After a seconds pause Little Z concluded, “I think they died”.

Maybe we need to try lure him down the path of his Mummy and Daddy and try a career in IT.




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