Sunday, 26 August 2012

Happy Birthday Noah!

Today my littlest boy turns 3.  I can't believe how fast the time has gone!  In just over a weeks time he will be donning a school uniform and starting nursery!

A few hours old
Noah has always been the laid back baby.  Where Aled was always quite highly strung and needed plenty of attention, Noah was the complete opposite.

Noah was born by elective c/section.  After having two c/sections and with the fact that Aled's was an emergency, there was no way that the consultant was going to let me have a natural birth.

I found myself more nervous the morning of this c/section than what I was for either of the other two boys, but everything went smoothly and he was in my arms in no time.  At 8lbs2oz, he was also my biggest baby!

Noah's ezcema
On the whole, Noah was a happy baby.  Even though he suffered from dreadful eczema from about 5-6 months old right up until just after he turned two, he always had a smile.  Most of his first year was spent on anti-biotics from the infections caused by his eczema, but this still didn't get him down.  From about six months old onwards, Scratchsleeves and sleepsuits with build in mitts were our best friend!  He is still prone to getting a flare up every now and again, but nothing like he used to.

As he's gotten older, Noah and Aled's relationship has blossomed as brothers.  There is the usual fighting (on an hourly basis) over toys, but you can already tell just how close those two are going to be when they are older.

He's a cheeky little monkey, but we wouldn't have him any other way. :-)

Happy birthday Noah!

Here is a little montage of my baby from birth to 3.  I hope you enjoy!

Jackie. x

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Reason to Be Cheerful (#R2BC)

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart
Well, it's that time of the week again and I have survived one more week of the school holidays! Yay!
This coming week is a bit of an exciting week for us, so here are this weeks Reason's to Be Cheerful:
Picture from www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com
  • Sunday is Noah's 3rd birthday!!  I can't believe that he's going to be 3 and starts nursery in two weeks!  Time has flown by so quickly, he will no longer be my little baby. :-(
  • Of course, birthdays mean cakes.  Noah has asked for a dinosaur cake again this year, so I am going to attempt to make one like the one on the right there.  Wish me luck!!
  • Birthdays also mean days out.  I am really hoping that the weather report is lying at the moment and really the weekend is going to be hot and sunny.
  • The weekend off work.  Since starting my weekend job, I have made sure to book the birthday weekends off.  So a whole weekend off work, yippee.  :-)
  • And of course, it's a Bank Holiday weekend, so even more time to relax.
  • Today is Aled's last speech therapy appointment, so next week we can do what we like, when we like. :-)
  • We had a great time at our play date yesterday at the park and had a nice picnic and fingers crossed, we will be having another play date again tomorrow.
  • I got my first two sponsors for the Race for Life that I am taking part in in October.  The link is there on the right if you would like to sponsor me. ;-)
Well, that's me for this week.  What are your Reason's to be Cheerful this week?

Jackie. x


I see you....(or maybe not)

On Tuesday I  took Aled to the opticians for a check up.  I wasn't overly concerned.  I did notice that he tends to lean in quite close when looking at books or pictures etc, so with that and the fact that I am short sighted I thought it was best to get him checked out before going back to school.

Mistake number one was the time of the appointment.  It was at 4.30pm and really, I should have gone for a much earlier appointment.  Mistake number two was going to a couple of shops before the appointment.  With the boredom of the shopping and the time of day, Aled wasn't very co-operative at the opticians.

Before going to the appointment I had a look around on the net to find out the process of an eye test for small children and for a video or photos that I could show Aled to prepare him.  To be honest, I didn't find much at all.  The little information that I did find said that for small children they don't use the big machines, but tend to test their eyes manually.  Thinking this was the case, I was quite surprised when we were taken in for Aled to look into the machine.

Not surprisingly, Aled wouldn't sit still and keep his head in the right place for the assistant to get a reading from the machine. (Honestly, I think that was a bit much to ask of any four year old, let alone one with additional needs!)  After about 10 minutes of trying this, the assistant got the optician, who, after trying himself for 5 or so minutes decided that it wasn't going to work.

We were then taken into the opticians office and the optician put on the 'funny' glasses.  The letter board is now a computer generated one, where the optician was able to isolate a single letter in different sizes.  With the glasses on and covering each eye in turn the optician was able to get a bit of a look at Aled's eyes.  What he did manage to find is that Aled has an astigmatism and that he is long sighted.  Unfortunately, that was about all the optician was able to determine.

Apparently, when a person is long sighted, dye needs to be put in the persons eyes to be able to fully assess them.  As Aled was already being unco-operative, the optician felt that it would be too much for Aled to have to do at that time and the best course of action now is to refer Aled to the eye hospital.

So, the outcome for us is that we know Aled needs glasses, but we now have to wait for the referral to go through and for an appointment to come in from the eye hospital.  From previous experience with the eye hospital for Noah, I know that it can take months for an appointment to come through, I'm just hoping that it will come through quicker seeing as Aled starts full time school in two weeks along with the knowledge that Aled does need glasses.

Jackie. x

Friday, 17 August 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful...1, 2, 3 (#R2BC)

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

It's been a little while since I have taken part in this linky.  I'm going to be honest, I've not been in a good place recently, but I've decided that I need to try to 'snap out of it', which is my reason for making sure I take part this week.

This week the linky is being hosted by the lovely Mama Owl while Michelle is taking a well deserved summer break.

So, without further ado, my reasons to be cheerful this week:

  • Tonight I am going to an Ann Summers party.  I am really looking forward to having some girly fun.  It is way overdue.  The host has been busy the over the last couple of days making themed cupcakes.  I can't wait to see how they look!
  • Next week is payday for me and I can't tell you how much of a relief it is knowing that we have some money coming in!
  • The boys and myself also have a play date scheduled in for next week.  We have been trying to arrange something for the last couple of weeks, which unfortunately due to the weather or other circumstances have been cancelled, so I am really hoping that we do get to meet up with friends next week.
  • Aled's speech therapy is coming along in leaps and bounds.  Yesterday we had our third out of the four sessions and I'm really pleased with his progress.
Well, that's me for this week.  We do have some other exciting things coming up, but as they are not until next weekend, I will save them for next weeks post. 

Jackie. x

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Buttercup Bag - Take 2

This week over at The Crafty Bums Sewing Group, we have been set the challenge of making the fabulous Buttercup Bag from Made by Rae.  As you may recall, last month I made this bag using my gorgeous teapot fabric, but felt it would be cheating to enter something that wasn't made that week.

Therefore the sewing machine came back out and I hijacked a pair of hubby's jeans to make this denim version.  For the lining I found a lovely purple fabric in my stash, which I think compliments the denim well.



I decided that as it was a plain colour, it needed something to liven it up a bit, so after a little look around the web to find a good tutorial, I made the flower out of a jelly roll strip left over from my quilt and finished it off with a button from my collection.  I then sewed the flower onto a safety pin, so that it can be taken off if necessary.

I think the overall result has come out really well.  What do you think?  I am loving the Buttercup bag pattern and I think it's only a matter of time until I buy the bigger pattern for it!

Jackie. x

Friday, 10 August 2012

See it! Snap it! Love it! - Best Friends


This is my first time taking part in this linky, but when I saw the theme, I knew straight away that I had to share these pictures of my boys.  They may fight like cat & dog at times, but at heart they will always be besties. <3



Jackie. x

Toy Review - Vtech Innotab

*I am writing this review as part of my application to be a Toyologist for Toys R Us.  It is also a post that I have been meaning to do for a while.*


You may remember that back in May it was Aled's 4th birthday.  For his main present we got him a Vtech Innotab.  This has been one of the best presents we have ever got any of our children!  Aled was always playing on our iPhones and iPads and we wanted them back!  For Christmas we had bought Aled a second hand Vtech Smile Cyber Pocket, however he didn't really take to it, so although the Innotab looked great, we weren't entirely sure whether he would accept it as a suitable substitute for the iPad.

"InnoTab is a multi-media educational tablet for children 4-9 that combines interactive and animated reading, learning games, creative activities and a rich collection of applications. It features a 5” colour touch screen, a tilt-sensor for game control, as well as interfaces for USB, SD card and a headphone jack, all housed in a sleek, kid-tough and compact design for easy portability." (from the Vtech website).

Before purchasing the Innotab, I did do quite a bit of web research as to whether it was any better to the Leapfrog's Leappad.  Both had their pluses and minuses, but after watching a couple of You Tube comparisons I settled on the Innotab.  I felt that the fluid movement of the touchscreen and ability to add an SD card far outweighed the camera and positives of the Leappad.

One of the first things that you will notice on opening the box is the Learning Lodge Navigator installer cd.  This is a great bit of software on which you can monitor your child's progress on your laptop.  You can also download games or ebooks in the download centre here.  When you register your Innotab to the software you get 3 credits, meaning that you get 3 free games or ebooks for your Innotab.  There is a good selection of games on there, but I do hope that even with the release of the Innotab 2 Vtech do release more for the original Innotab.


The Innotab is very robust and has taken a bit of a bashing from my boys, but is still intact and not even a scratch on the screen.

Aled has the Toy Story 3 games cartridge, which at approximately £20-£25 each are quite reasonably priced.  Aled loves to play the games on here, which have different level abilities.  Sometimes he chooses a level above his ability, on which either myself or hubby have to help out with, but on the whole he is able to play the game by himself with no help from us.

Aled is able to easily navigate the menu and find what he wants to play with.  As of yet we haven't tried out the function to play videos or music, so I can't comment on that ability.

With every great item, there are always downsides.  This is no exception with the Innotab.  The first thing to have gone missing from the Innotab is of course the stylus.  Anyone who has ever owned a Nintendo DS will know just how annoying it is to loose one.  Luckily the Innotab doesn't need the stylus as it does respond well to finger touch.

Next, the slide out plastic stand on the back came off within a few weeks.  I don't know if this is due to the 'rough and tumble' way that my boys play with their toys, or if it is just a flaw in the design, but the stand didn't last very long with my boys.  The clip part of the battery cover also broke off very quickly, which again, it could be from the boys playing with it too roughly or the fact that we have to change the batteries quite often, but our battery cover is now stuck on with tape!

That brings me onto the biggest downside of the Innotab, the battery life!  It takes 4 AA batteries and they only last about 3-4 hours of play.  We have invested in some rechargeable batteries, which has made a great deal of difference.  I would dread to think of the cost if we hadn't.  It would be nice if it had a rechargeable internal battery like a mobile phone.

All in all, the Innotab has been a huge hit in our house with both Aled and Noah.  So much so, that we have bought another one for Noah for his birthday in a couple of weeks (shh, don't tell him!).

Jackie. x

Friday, 3 August 2012

Twilight Race for Life

Regular readers of my page may have noticed a snazzy new badge at the side of the page there ---->

2011 Shine
On 6th October this year, I will be doing the Twilight Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research.  The Race for Life is not a knew thing for me, as I have taken part a few times now, but only during the day.

Last year, I did take part in Shine for Cancer Research, which was a 1/2 marathon length walk (13.1 miles) overnight, which was by far my toughest challenge yet.  

2007 Race for Life
This year, although I am going back down to 5kms, I am going to up my game by attempting to jog or run the whole distance.  For those that know me, you will know that this is something that might be of a challenge to me.

I am going to take part in the Couch to 5k (or similar) programme to hopefully be able to improve my stamina and running ability and do this!

Wish me luck!!

Jackie. x




If you would like to sponsor me, you can do so online at http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/jackie-crocombe or by texting 'JCRO £5' to 70070

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Superheroes and Theme Parks

Hello again.

We have had a rather fun packed few days.  While everyone else was caught up in the Opening Ceremony on Friday night, I was busy making my Superhero costume for work on Saturday!  As I have mentioned before, I work at a local theme park and last weekend was our Superheroes event.  Staff members (and guests) were encouraged to dress up as superheroes.

GS Girl!
After a quick trip to the supermarket, I was unable to find a suitable t-shirt (really, when I don't want one, they are everywhere!!), so I ended up getting a plain tanktop and some felt.  I drew out a design and then cut it out of the felt and stuck it onto the top using fabric adhesive.  I then got about a meter of plain red cotton fabric, cut it into a trapezoid shape and pinned it onto the top using safety pins.  VoilĂ , a superhero costume.

Captain America & Thor
Of course, we didn't want the boys to be left out either, but I did cheat for their costumes and bought ready made ones.  Say hello to Captian America (Aled) and Thor (Noah).  They loved being able to wear their costumes all day and, for the most of it, they kept them on!  Occasionally Noah did take his costume off for about 10 mins 'to be Noah again'.  I am loving this age with Noah and the funny little things he comes out with!

The fun didn't stop there though.  Saturday night was also a kind of 'Date Night' for me and hubby.  The girls night out that I was supposed to be going on ended up getting cancelled, so me and hubby went out instead. We went for a Chinese at a local restaurant, which we have been to many times and as it always is, the food was gorgeous.  After the meal we met up with some friends for a 40th birthday party.  All in all, we had a great night and rolled home, rather merry, at about 3am.  My sister was sleeping over, so I was happy in knowing that I could just send the monsters in to her when they woke up!  Hubby did end up getting up with the kids and I had a lie in until about 11am on Sunday.  Perfect. :-)

On Monday, as a treat to the eldest PJ, we went to Thorpe Park with my mum, sister and a friend of PJ's.  We hadn't been before, so it was all new for us.  PJ, his friend and my sister went off to go on the big rides and me, the little ones and my mum explored the more tamer rides of the park.  Having researched the park on their website, I was rather disappointed to find that the man made beach area was closed.  I was planning on spending alot of our time in there, knowing that there isn't much for the younger boys.  We ended up going on about 5 rides that were suitable for the boys, some of them a couple of times.  The rest of the day was spent just walking around the park.  The boys really enjoyed watching the wave of water from the Tidal Wave ride come down over the bridge onto the pathway and by the end of the day I gave up trying to keep them away and let them go into the splash zone!

I was also a day of firsts for my mum.  She told me that she had never been on a carousel before in her life!  She got to do it three times on Monday! She also came onto a couple of the faster rides so that the boys could both go on together.  I think she was more scared than Noah on those!  The boys really enjoyed it and the older ones had a blast.  Although the queue lines were quite long for the big rides, we were lucky on the ones that we were able to get on and didn't have to queue for more than 10 minutes for a ride, which for my boys is a blessing!

Thorpe Park
Well, that is all the fun we are going to have for a little while going by the weather report at the moment!  Aled's speech therapy starts back up on Thursday for 4 weeks and I have *finally* got his appointment for the Child Development Centre, which is also this Thursday.  I really hope that the appointment goes well and we get the outcome we need for him.

Until next time..
Jackie. x