Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Pound-a-Peg: The old ones are the best

When I saw that Wooden Toy Shop were looking for mummy bloggers to review their toys I jumped at the chance.  I love wooden toys, and always think they look so much nicer than plastic.

I had a look on their website at the massive range of toys they have available, and after making a list of everything I wanted to buy for the children (that took a while!!), I eventually decided to try the Melissa and Doug Pound-a-Peg.  Having three children between 9 months and 5 years of age, it's really difficult choosing toys that are safe enough for the baby but not too babyish for the older boys, but I thought the Pound-a-Peg may work.

For those of you who can't remember this lovely, old-fashioned toy, it's basically a matter of hitting the pegs through the holes with a little mallet.  But this one is lovely.  It's brightly coloured, with four pairs of pegs in red, yellow, green and blue.  The holder is very sturdy and I reckon it could take a fair pounding with the mallet.  It also has the classic Melissa and Doug signature on the side.

The Melissa and Doug Pound-a-Peg is priced at £7.49

I think I definitely chose the right toy for all three boys to play with!  From the moment it arrived the boys started fighting over it!  Typical.  So I had to separate them and give them all a turn, one-by-one.

The oldest first:
My computer game obsessed 5 year old loved bashing away at the pegs.  It probably helped him deal with the frustration of not being allowed on the wii ;-)

Seriously though, he did love it.  He's gone straight for the red pegs (his favourite colour) and was very vocal in saying what a great toy it is and how much he enjoyed playing with it.  He's got to be the perfect child to review a toy.  He really does love to give his opinion!

Then it was his little brothers turn......

My 3 year old loves playing.  With anything!  So I knew it would be a success with him.  But I loved watching the look of concentration on his face as he took the pegs out, pushed them back through the holes, paired the colours, and then used the mallet to knock them through.  He really enjoyed himself and it was a pleasure to watch him playing.

And then finally, it was the little one's turn.  Now, this toy has got a recommended age of 2+ years, but it's sturdy and has no small parts, and his little face was looking so eagerly at the new toy that I just couldn't resist letting him have a go.

I think the smile on his face says it all.  He was so excited and really did a great job at pounding the pegs through the holes.  I'm sure this toy is really going to help his co-ordination and the mallet is currently his favourite new toy.  I would just advise keeping your distance from him when he's got it in his hand!!

Overall, this has been a massive success for three boys of different ages.  It kept them playing quietly for quite some time, which makes it a favourite in my opinion.  It is very reasonably priced for a fantastically well made toy that will provide a child with hours of fun, and would also make a very good gift for boys or girls.  My boys gave it 10 out of 10.

It just goes to show that children love the simple things and a bit of old fashioned fun can be best.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

My return to work

I've survived my first week back in work after having 10 months on maternity leave.  Well, I only actually work two days a week  but it's still a wrench to leave my darling little boy.  Oliver has taken it quite well, better than me probably.  He does have a bit of a cry when I leave him but he's easily distracted.  I'm in the very fortunate position that I work locally so I'm able to come home at lunch time to feed him.  This does of course mean that he has to put up with me leaving twice....

Being a working mother is full of difficulties.  My emotions are all over the place, and I feel like I'm no longer one person.  I'm the professional at work - a manager wearing smart clothes and high heels.  I spend my days organising work and telling others what to do.  Then I come home, change into my jeans, and it's as if the 'professional' me gets shed along with the clothes.  At home I've got a five-year-old telling me what to do, a three-year-old having a tantrum if I put his food on the wrong plate, and a ten-month-old who loves to pull my hair and cover me in dribble.  Though there's nothing better.  My five-year-old is always telling me that he loves me, my three-year-old gives me the best cuddles, and my 10-month-old beams and squeals with excitement when he sees me.  They all melt my heart.


And work isn't as bad as I expected either.  In some ways it feels like a bit of a break after the madness of the house in the mornings.  Though I also feel guilty leaving my boys.  It's a necessity, I know that.  Finances dictate that I need to work.  And it may actually be a good thing what with the long school holiday ahead of me!

I just need to get organised now.  Though at least all the running around the house every morning is keeping me fit!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

My waterbaby

Ollie had his Waterbabies underwater photo shoot today. Having done this with my older two boys I knew what to expect, but what I hadn't bargained on was having a tired, grumpy boy. I was really disappointed as he normally loves swimming so I though today was going to be easy. But I could barely keep in happy when bouncing around in the pool, and when the time came to hand him over to go under for his photo, he just started screaming. So off we bounced around the pool again, and I was just praying that he would calm down enough to at least get one good shot. He did cry the next time we tried, but we got a shot. And by the third attempt, he was (sort of) calm. The photographer let me have a look on the digital camera and I was surprised to see that he looked okay. I can tell by the look on his face that he's not that happy, but the shots looked great. I've got to wait until my viewing next week to look at them properly, and I can't wait to get his photo up on my wall to join the other two.

 For more information on Waterbabies see http://www.waterbabies.co.uk/

Friday, 15 July 2011

For my friends....

I've had a really busy week.  Busier than normal I think.  On top of the usual daily chores I've been trying to finish my application to become a registered childminder.  I've been drowning in a sea of paperwork.  But what's kept me afloat during this incredibly stressful week has been my friends, my support networks. It's started me thinking about how much I need it; how important it is to me.

Friends come and go through life, but I think we develop close bonds as adults, mainly because we tend to meet people with common interests.  For example, I've met a group of friends since having my third son 9 months ago.  Having children of the same age gave us that immediate bond. Something to talk about, to compare notes, ask for and provide support and advice. But we hit it off and it's progressed from there. Weekly lunch, a facebook group, lots of chat and laughs. We may not always agree on things, but we support each other, and the group continues to grow as we meet new mums to join our circle. It's amazing, and a need in my life. I hope our children continue to grow up together.

And I couldn't write this post about friendship without mentioning my 'virtual' friends. Yes, they are real, I've just never met most of them.  But strangely, I feel like I've developed some really important friendships through internet forums, Facebook and Twitter.  My mummy friends, compers and now bloggers too. The support I feel at times, is amazing.  I feel like there's always someone to talk to; someone to reassure, or even give me a kick up the backside when I need it!

So this post is for all my friends, both old and new, just to say a huge thank you for being there, whether physically or just out there in cyberspace.

"Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things"

Friday, 8 July 2011

Procrastination is the thief of time

I love this saying. It is so true and yet I can't help but procrastinate. I spend longer thinking about what I need to do than it would take me to actually do what I'm thinking about. I don't know why. Lack of motivation? Or just laziness? I wish I was the type of person who gets things done, and then sits down. Or do I need to procrastinate? I do get loads done - I cook, clean, iron, look after my children and do normal day-to-day things. But I also put things off. At the moment it's my application form to register as a childminder. I have now got as far as making a list so at least I know what I've got to do. But I'm still putting it off. I need someone to give me a push and make me do it. Anyone???

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Twitter Competition

Time for my next giveaway as I've now got over 50 followers on my blog. The winner will be able to choose one item from the following: Vampires Suck DVD, a pair of mother of pearl cufflinks, a pretty pink necklace or a lip and cheek tint palette.  If there is lots of interest there may be more than one winner.
I'm going to run this on Twitter and all you need to do is follow me @joanneblunt and RT the following "Follow and RT @joanneblunt to win a lovely prize. More details at http://tinyurl.com/6hqhemb Ends 8pm on 10/7/11"

Good Luck!

Competition will end Sunday 10th July at 8pm
Winner must be following me on Twitter
Winner will be chosen at random

Friday, 1 July 2011

If you go down to the woods today....

You might meet a very sleepy tiger on your way home....
The Teddy Bears Picnic wore my little tiger out.