My 5 year old cut her hair when I fell asleep and it's taken me 8 years to talk about it

It has taken me 8 years to talk about this! *Takes a big gulp* Here goes...

When I became pregnant with our first child, my husband Mark and I had a big chat about what would happen when I had to return to work after maternity leave.

Without hesitation, Mark said he would be a stay at home dad so that I could continue my career as a newspaper designer.

He worked in various positions since we left college, and at the time I was Art Editor of The Sunday People newspaper, so he said it made sense for him to be the stay at home dad. We always said if we had children, one of us would try and stay at home if possible. He was very nervous, but looked forward to it.

2 weeks before I gave birth, Mark left his job. Honestly, I couldn't have done it without him. He was and still is amazing. I can't praise him enough.

I went back to work when our daughter, Amber was 10 months old. I did feel sometimes I was missing out on the life of our growing daughter. But with the rise of smart phones that could take pictures it helped me stay in touch. Mark would regularly send me photos of what they got up to so I didn't feel left out. But I work 70 miles away from my home, so I couldn't just pop home for lunch.

As I work full time, my days off were spent with Amber. Mark always looks after everything to do with the house, cooking, cleaning, washing, and I mean everything! So I was lucky I could spend all my hours off work with her.

One day Mark had popped out to do some shopping, so I stayed at home with Amber. I had tried (like you do), to trim Amber's fringe whenever it got a bit long. To do this, I invested in some proper hairdressing scissors, you know the super sharp ones.

The scissors were kept out of Amber's reach at all times. Until this one day that I'll never forget. 

Amber was now 5 years old, and we were happily planning our wedding. We had been together 14 years (we didn't want to rush these things) so in about 6 months we would be celebrating our big day, with Amber as our much loved bridesmaid.

Amber was playing nicely, so I sat on the sofa, then I put my feet up. Big mistake! I only went and fell asleep. 

I'm not sure how long I fell asleep for, but the sight that greeted me when I woke up is something I'll never forget or forgive myself for.

Amber had a big chunk of hair in one hand, and the hairdressing scissors in the other. She stood in front of me looking like Dave Hill from Slade.

Everything went in slow motion. I thought I was dreaming, sadly not. She had managed to cut all of her fringe off, and there was just a little tuft left like when you plant grass seeds and they first begin to sprout.

Mark returned to find Amber with her new hairstyle and me looking like a dog that had done something it shouldn't on the carpet!

I was so upset that I had fallen asleep, how could I? I was supposed to be watching Amber. Bad mother!

For the next 6 months she went to school wearing a rather large headband on the front of her head to try and hide what a bad mum I was.

The headband was also clipped on with some cute hair clips, just to make sure I could hide my shame as much as possible. Bless Amber she kept it on the whole time.

I'm sure all her teachers had a sneaky look to see the horror the headband was hiding.

Needless to say my husband has never let me forget it, and photographed the evidence! Every so often it gets brought up and we have a laugh about it. Mine is a nervous laugh obviously and it still makes me shudder to this day.

He says to me, imagine if it was the other way around and Amber had cut her hair while he was looking after her! Well yes, I wouldn't have been too pleased either!

Yes, we do have pictures, of which I have never shown anyone before.

And luckily, Amber's fringe had just about grown back in time for the wedding...phew!

Amber, now she is 13, finds the pictures hilarious, but I told her how I felt like a bad mum for letting it happen. If only I hadn't fallen asleep!

Our son, Jacob is 6 years old, and I still have those scissors, and yes I do cut his fringe from time to time, but they are kept well and truly hidden, I'm not going through that again!

I haven't talked about it for so long for fear of being judged by other parents!

As parents, we are only human after all and we all make mistakes, that's what I keep telling myself anyway. And after 8 years, I can finally talk about it!

Has your child ever cut their own hair? Come on, I can't be the only one! Leave a comment below.

13 superstitions on Friday 13th

Are you superstitious? Most people say 'Of course not'. But how many of you touch wood, don’t walk under ladders, don’t open an umbrella indoors, or if you spill the salt, throw some over your shoulder?
Ah, now you might say yes!

I am superstitious to a point, I always say 'I salute you Sir magpie', if I see one on it's own, no matter where I am, who I’m with or what I am doing, and yes this can cause some funny looks from people wondering what on earth I am up to, especially if I'm driving my car on my own!

I have read some really unusual superstitions throughout the years and I thought I’d list a few. I still do most of these!

  1. So you might think getting out of bed is easy enough, but you’d be wrong. You must get out on the right side (the side you got in). If you don’t, you will be irritable all day and your friends will say ‘Did you get out of bed the wrong side this morning!’ You must also put your right foot out of bed first or you will do things wrong all day.
  2. If you discover a knot in your shoelace, that’s lucky!
  3. You must put on your right sock and shoe first, if you forget, you are likely to have an accident before the day is out.
  4. Ever put an item of clothing on inside out? It’s lucky, but only if you keep it like that all day!
  5. Never put new shoes on the table, this is bad luck.
  6. Salt was a precious commodity in the days before freezers and cans, as salt was used to preserve food. Because of it’s value it was thought to be unlucky to spill even a grain of it. In Yorkshire (I’m a Yorkshire lass), it was thought the devil lurked around the table at meal times, waiting to do mischief. Spilt salt gave him the chance he was waiting for. To foil his evil plans salt had to be thrown over the left shoulder by the person who split it, where it would hit the devil straight in the eye!
  7. In early times crossed knives were a sign of hostile intentions, it was important to lay your knife tidily on the plate next to the fork. Many people still do this.
  8. If you have a spare knife, put it under the front door mat - it will keep the witches out!
  9. After breakfast, don’t throw your eggshells on the fire or the hens will stop laying.
  10. If you have to pass under a bridge, try not to speak when you walk under it - it’s thought to be unlucky to walk or drive under when a train or car is passing over the top.
  11. If you do accidentally walk under a ladder, you can solve the problem by crossing your fingers and keeping them crossed until you see a dog.
  12. Brooms must be locked away, in case a passing witch should steal one and cause havoc (thank goodness for the good old vacuum cleaner)
  13. Do not pass anyone on the stairs, this is bad luck, but you can get rid of the bad luck by crossing your fingers or touching wood.

So if you see someone walking around with clothes on inside out, throwing salt, saluting magpies whilst walking around with knotted shoes, say hello to me!

I'd love to hear what things you do if you are superstitious. Leave a comment below.

Review: Disney Junior Play App

With so many apps to choose from, it can be tricky to pick one that's right for your toddler.
Disney have just launched the new Disney Junior Play app and we love it!
By we, I mean my three year old son, Jacob, and I.

Jacob's face lights up every time I let him play on it. We're big fans of all things Disney, so we were really excited to see this new app.

It doesn't dissapoint. Great for little fingers, easy to navigate, quick to launch, and lots of games included.

The new iOS app Disney Junior Play is home to Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Disney Junior fans can now get even closer to their favourite characters on the go through a variety of activities including fun games, engaging video-clips and a digital sticker book.

 Jacob loves playing on the Disney Junior Play App

Jacob loves playing on the Disney Junior Play App

Free to download, Disney Junior Play comes with the “Disney Junior Favourites” pack, featuring four multi-level games and a digital sticker book featuring Doc, Sofia, Jake and Mickey. Additional packs based on Disney Junior’s smash-hit shows Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are available to purchase from within the app, each containing four games, a short form video and a digital sticker book.

It's easy to create a simple profile, and little ones can easily navigate through the home screen and access the games. One of Jacob's favourites is popping the balloons with Mickey and Goofy.

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The games encourage creativity, the kids learn how to solve problems, develop dexterity and the app helps with hand-eye co-ordination.

You know how much kids love stickers! Well, stickers are rewarded and collected during gameplay and can be saved in the sticker book; each pack having its own character themed sticker book and 25 stickers to collect.

Disney Junior Play will definitely keep little ones busy with fun, challenging games. Jacob didn't need muy help while playing on it, and I am pleased beacuse there are no adverts within the game, so he can't accidently click on anything. Jacob didn't want to stop playing it!

The app is free to download and you get a good variety of games with the free app. I would recommend you buy the bundle which is currently £4.99, better value which will unlock 4 more parts of the game. Or you can buy them individually at £1.99 each.

These are the games you can buy extra:

  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 'Farmyard Fun'
  • Doc McStuffins 'Here to Help'
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates 'Island Adventures'
  • Sofia the First 'A Royal Party'

Key Features:

  • 20+ games available, including;
  • Jigsaw puzzles to encourage problem solving
  • Catching games to reward fast fingers
  • Dress-up games to inspire imaginative play
  • Placement games to encourage logical thinking
  • Hide-and-seek games to reward observation skills
  • Three levels in each game
  • 25 digital stickers to collect in each pack
  • Catchy videos to watch again and again!
  • Supports up to four profiles, so each of your children can save their progress
  • Play anywhere, any time as all content works offline, including videos
  • No adverts so your child can play safely
  • In-app purchases are only available in the pin-protected store, so only an adult can access
  • Supports iPhone 4+, iPod 4+, and iPad 2+

Check out my video review and see the app in real-time.

Each pack features a set of adventures and stimulating play topics that transport kids into the world of their favourite Disney Junior characters; from helping Doc choose the right clothes for the weather to helping Jake and his crew design a sand castle for a pirate king.

Disney Junior Play has been designed to keep little ones busy with fun, challenging games that feature everyday themes, but while a lot of fun for kids, the app has also been developed with parents in mind.

Purchases within Disney Junior Play are both safe and secure with payments facilitated only after parents have correctly passed through the child-protection screen. Once within the store parents can browse and purchase additional character themed packs to add to their Disney Junior Play collection.  Each pack retails at £1.99, or can be purchased as part of a money saving bundle, all 4 games for £4.99

What are you waiting for, go an have a play on the Disney Junior Play app.
Available to download from the app store.

www.disney.co.uk

Disclosure: I was provided with the full app to review free of charge.

Father's Day gift guide: Ideas for what to buy your dad on his special day

If like me, every year you’re completely stumped on what to get for Father's day. Not just for your Dad, but also for your husband or partner from the kids... then I have a few ideas for you.

Each year we leave it to the last minute and end up sneaking out to the supermarket to the generic aisle of useless, novelty items that are just going to be shoved in the drawer or in back of a cupboard to gather dust, why not get something that he’ll enjoy and even be practical.

Don't forget Father's day is on June 15.

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Cool Clothing and Superior Smellies

TK Maxx Mens Accessories: Henleys Trunk Boxers (£9.99), Storm Aviator Sunglasses (£12.99) and Original Penguin Cap (£12.99).

TK Maxx have a great selection of men’s accessories either available to buy online or just browse and visit one of their 277 stores. With a wide selection of big names at affordable prices you’ll be sure to find something to suit even the most stubborn, unfashionable man! Examples here are the modern looking ‘Henleys’ cotton boxers at half price, cool and classic ‘Storm Aviator Sunglasses’ for under half price and stylish yet casual ‘Original Penguin Cap’ available in 5 different colours.

www.tkmaxx.com

Bad Boy Clothing: Walk-in Hoodie (£49.99) and Legacy II Camo Shorts (£39.99)

For the sporty dads ‘Bad Boy Clothing’ offer a broad range of training clothing and urban casual wear for all year round and modern dads will love the vibrant colours and extreme branding. With free delivery on orders over £30 and same day dispatch, you’ve no excuse leaving it to the last minute and getting him yet another Family Guy T-shirt from a supermarket that he won’t wear! Featured are the Legacy II Camo training shorts which are great not just for the Gym but would suit a wide range of uses including cycling or even just the beach and the ‘Walk-in Hoodie’ is not your standard hoodie but high quality with a striking embroidered logo to the rear.

www.badboy-uk.com

Gold JAY Z edt (£35), XANTHE Mens Urban Quickfix (£35) and Davidoff Cool Water (£27.99)

Now apart from Christmas, the best time to get some posh smellies for your husband is Father’s Day and let’s face it you're the one who has to smell him so why not get something you both like? Exclusive to Superdrug ‘Gold by JAY Z’ is a fantastic new eau de toilette launched by the rap legend Jay Z, spicy and rich this is no doubt a masculine fragrance but the ladies will love it too! Available online, ‘BeautyLab’ in Harley Street London make some high-end yet affordable male grooming serums and the ‘Xanthe Urban Quickfix’ is ideal for everyday anti-aging moisturizing with anti-oxidants and that all important UV sun screen. Finally if you’re really stuck on what smellies to get him, why not go for ‘Davidoff Cool Water’ from ‘The Fragrance Shop’? You can’t go wrong with this extremely fresh smelling moreish scent. Currently at a great price you even get a free luxury washbag and mini wash/balms.

www.superdrug.com
www.beautylab.co.uk
www.thefragranceshop.co.uk

Police ‘Voyager’ Watch (£99)

If you’re looking for a watch with character then what about this super timepiece from ‘Police’. The ‘Voyager’ model oozes retro yet contemporary charm. The rectangle brown watch face with chunky typeface is perfectly evocative of the 1970’s, with water resistant (5 ATM) and genuine leather strap it’s just the quality item you’d expect from this Italian designer-wear company.

www.policelifestyle.com

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Marvellous Gadgets

Ruark R1 Tabletop DAB Radio (£179) and Maxell Retro DJ Headphones (£25)

With loads of brilliant radio stations, DAB radios have been a must in households for some years now. Early models looked cheap and dated and sound quality pretty naff too, not anymore! The splendid looking ‘Ruark R1’ not only looks great with its retro walnut veneer styling, but the radio housing acts like an amplifying speaker which certainly packs a punch for a small desktop radio. No complex buttons all over the place either, just one uncomplicated dial on top for easy navigation. The large display is crisp and easy to understand and with a light sensor, dims in low-lit rooms, with this and an alarm makes it also perfect for the bedroom. On the rear there’s auxiliary inputs so you can enjoy the superb sound of the R1 through your iPhone, additionally a headphone socket so you can’t annoy everyone with Jazz FM!

And what better way to listen through when you’re plugged in is these retro DJ headphones from ‘Maxell’. Available from QVC these very comfortable headphones have an amazing rich & full sound whilst blocking out any background noise. With the cable on just one side, tangling becomes a thing of the past and with a 6mm jack adaptor you can easily listen to multiple audio equipment.

www.ruarkaudio.com
www.qvcuk.com

Forge Steel 47 Piece General Tool Kit (£59.99) and Draper Ultimate Spanner Set (£39.95)

Fed up of bemoaning Dads that can never find their philips screwdriver or that he’s mislaid his tape measure? The ‘Forge Steel’ 47 Piece General Tool Kit from Screwfix not only keeps all his tools all in one place in a handy carry bag, but comes with all the general purpose tools he’ll need to my jobs done! There’s a great selection of good quality tools including 6 screwdrivers, utility knife, measuring tape, pliers and hacksaw to name but a few.

But if the men in your life have plentiful types of tools but never seem to have the right sized spanner then what else do you need but the ‘Ultimate Spanner Set’ from ‘Draper’, Ingeniously colour coordinated so you can quickly Identify what size you need, this 13 piece hi-torque, hardened steel set will last him a lifetime.

www.screwfix.com
www.drapertools.com

Seagate 2TB External Hard Drive (£59) and Netgear AC750 WiFi Range Extender (£64.79)

Is your PC full up of junk that you wouldn’t mind keeping but killing the performance of your machine, or are you paranoid that when your computer goes pop you’ll lose all those mp3’s and precious family photos? Then a ‘Seagate External Hard Drive’ from ‘Currys’ is definitely the answer. Much more affordably priced than they were a few years ago and now available with absolutely massive storage. Compatible with XP, Vista Windows 7 & 8 operating systems it stores data information in seconds via USB 3.0 cable by simply dragging and dropping. Also available in 500GB, 1TB, 3TB and 4TB models.

Another amazing product that’s not just essential for home PCs, laptops and tablets but smartphones too is the ‘Netgear WiFi Range Extender’ from ‘Amazon’. If you suffer from loss of WiFi signal in your home because of thick walls or lack of coverage upstairs, you just simply plug in this clever little box to boost the WiFi coverage all around your home and even the garden. There’s also a Ethernet port for you to plug in games consoles, smart TVs and bluray players.

www.currys.co.uk
www.amazon.co.uk

Roku Streaming HDMI Stick (£49.99) and One For All Tablet Remote Control (£59)

Can’t find anything to watch on TV? The ‘Roku Streaming Stick’ streams 500+ TV channels via the internet all through this marvellous little stick that you plug into your TVs HDMI input. With free channels such as BBC iPlayer, You Tube, 4oD and Facebook it’s worth it alone, but there’s all the top pay channels to like Netflix, Sky Sports and Now TV. You can either control Roku through a simple remote or an app through your smartphone which via Roku apps you can send music, videos and photos to your TV.

I think at the last count we had about ten different remotes for various devices, it’s ridiculous, but the war on who controls the remote is legendary in all households across the country! Make him feel special this Father’s Day by treating him to the ‘One For All’ Tablet Remote Bridge by ‘Nevo’. It turns you iPad or android tablet into a smart remote via a WiFi Bridge and a free downloadable app. Works with 1,000s of TV brands, this device is simple to set up you can personalise your tablet to suit his needs and with one simple control to watch a programme it will switch on your TV, select the right HDMI ports and turn on your amplifier, now that’s quite special.

www.roku.com
www.oneforall.co.uk

We take so many pictures of our kids, but what about mum and dad?

As I dived behind a chair at my daughter's 10th birthday celebrations, I began to think about how many photographs of our children we had taken in just a few short years. 

We almost have a flicker book from when they were born to present day. 

At my son's recent pre-school photograph, I was amazed that at 3 years old, the photographer took 2 shots of him and it was done. Not much coaxing or squeezing a noisy animal whilst jumping up and down behind the photographer and saying 'come on smile' was needed!

Kids are so used to having their pictures taken nowadays they aren't fazed by it. Which is ironic because with digital cameras you can take as many as you like, you only had 24 or 36 (which you could always squeeze a couple more snaps out of) pics you could take when I was young on a roll of film! Apologies if any younger people are reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about (I'm starting to feel old now). Have a look on Google!

I remember having my picture taken as a child, mostly by my Grandparents. My Grandma had one of those long thin cameras that had a tall flash that you slide on top of it, that looked liked a mini tray of ice cubes! We'd have to wait what seemed an eternity for the flash to be ready, it took so long, no wonder we had some corkers! She always managed to chop the top of our heads off which was a running joke when we had waited 2 weeks for the pics to be developed and at least one had a sticker over it saying it could be improved!

I have to say, my Grandma who has just gone 81 (don't tell her I said that, she will go mad), sends me a text at least once a week, so she has always been into modern things! She isn't on facebook, and I'd love to get her a little netbook to use it, she calls it faceache, and gets a bit annoyed because people find out things and see pictures on there before her and she was always the one to know what's going on first!

It's sad really as we never print out our digital pictures, when we had been on a family holiday when I was younger, the anticipation in waiting for the rolls of film to be developed and returned, then going to my grandparents houses and having an evening of showing those photos was a lovely thing to do. We don't do that anymore.

I love taking pictures of the kids, on my phone, with the small digital camera or my big digital SLR (still never had time to learn to use it properly).

I got a bit grumpy with my husband while on our daughter's birthday cinema and meal outing because he'd put a picture of me with our birthday girl and her friends at the cinema on to Facebook without me seeing it first! 

Thank goodness for Instagram sometimes, because to be honest, that's the only time I'd be happy with a picture of me being made public, if it had gone through one of Instagrams lovely filters, oh and taken from a height, so I have no chin, erm... and only my left side, and head and shoulders only, ok! 

I then started to think of how every time a photo opportunity presented itself, I would always say 'I'll take it, go on, you lot get together'. 

The reason for this was I don't like my photo being taken! 

This can depend on how I feel about myself that particular day.  

In the last 20 years, my weight has fluctuated massively, I have clothes in 8 different sizes!

You will find plenty of pics of me when I was smaller in size! 

It only occured to me at the latest get together, that my children won't have many/if any pictures of me when I'm not here anymore.

I know it sounds a bit of a morbid thing to think about, but I love to look back at old photos of my family, to bring back the memories to the front of my mind and step back in time just for a few minutes. 

So I really need to pull myself together and start having my picture taken more, no matter what I feel I look like! Somethings better than nothing, right? 

So here goes, the first step... here's a picture of me with my children, Jacob had chicken pox when this was taken!

 Amber, Jacob and camera shy mummy!

Amber, Jacob and camera shy mummy!

I'd love to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment below. Thanks.

Saying goodbye...

As I sit here and look at your peaceful sleeping face, I remember all the good times we had.

It's difficult to let myself get deep in thought as it makes me so upset when I do.

Just looking round the room we are in at the moment makes me have a lump in my throat.

We had such good times together.

Your smile as we walked in to your warm, welcoming, loving home every Sunday.

 My much loved Grandma: Sheila Shaw

My much loved Grandma: Sheila Shaw

You loved having us all around to your house, your 'brood' as you called us.

I just keep staring at you, watching your chest move up and down, not knowing when it will do that for the last time.

Life can be so amazing and beautiful, but it can also be selfish and sad.

I know that we all have to die someday, but it's not a thing we like to talk about.

As I sit here in this chair, looking at you sleeping. I don't know what to expect.

I'm a little afraid, but I don't want you to be alone.

It's only when we face these kind of challenges in life, that we just stop and think for a moment, at what our life is like.

Yes, I like anyone else moan about things, but when it comes down to it, we are born into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing.

You are in the very end stages of Alzheimer's, and this is one horrible disease.

Bit by bit, the person I knew and who knew me so well, started to disappear.

That little bug eating away at your brain, is selfishly taking away the grandma I know and love.

How dare it, what right does it have to do that?

How can something so small, have such a massive effect on not only your life, but the life of your loving family around you.

I lean over the bed to talk to you, stroke your hair, hold your hand, and you are asleep.

As I am a need to know person, I try to read about what happens when we die.

I think I'm trying to make sense of it and trying to understand the process.

It's my birthday today. 

I'm so pleased to be able to spend it with you.

You have always been in my life, and I love everything about you.

Having to do a big swallow because one minute I'm ok, then the next I cry.

I cry at the thought of you not being here, the thought of not seeing your smiling face, the thought of never going back in time and doing the things I loved to do with you and grandad at your house.

I can see your life fading away, you are different today than you were yesterday.

So many things whizz through my mind, things from the past, the happy times, things now, watching you sleeping and wondering how long we have left with you.

To the immediate future and what is going to happen when you've gone.

Then the distant future and what my life will be like for me and my mum.

Will I be the same as you?

Will I get the same illness?

I've always been scared of dying, obviously the fear of the unknown.

Looking at you now, you look comfortable, serene, at peace in a warm bed, with people to care for you and loved ones at your bedside.

It is now my turn to make precious memories for my children.

If they have as good a memories as I had, then I will have done a good job!

I am very lucky to have been able to spend these last days with you, talking to you about times gone by, and all the lovely memories from my childhood made at your house.

Goodbye my beautiful grandma Shaw. 

Time to be back with the love of your life. My grandad is waiting for you.

See you in the morning for a cup of tea and some breakfast.

Rest in peace Sheila Shaw 1932-2013

The dreaded words.. 'I'm afraid your son has bitten another child today!'

Oh dear!  

Today when I picked up our (soon to be 3 year old) son Jacob from pre-school, I wasn't expecting this...

'I'm really sorry to say but Jacob has bitten another child today. '

My face hit the floor.

As she is telling me this I have my son in my arms after greeting him with a big kiss and a cuddle, and he is constantly kissing my cheek, in a very cute but, I know I've done something wrong mummy, kind of way! 

I can't apologise enough, I say. She adds to my horror when she says it left a bit of a mark on the other child.

I look to Jacob who by this time is running around the class with a big grin on his face. 

 Jacob looking like butter wouldn't melt!

Jacob looking like butter wouldn't melt!

'But he doesn't do it at home I protest', and I say I'll have a talk to him and say sorry once more. 

This is the second time he has done this! 

I leave feeling like the entire staff think I'm a bad mum after what my son did. 

As we leave pre-school and head home, he wants to be more independent by not wanting to hold my hand and to walk on his own.

Yeh right, no chance little man, as I tighten my grip on his little slippery like a snake hand. He's wanting to open the car door and climb in himself, all well and good but I have the sneaky feeling if I let go, he's going to make a run for it. Not good when you're near a main road! I let him be as independent as is safe and he's happy with attempting to climb into his car seat by himself.

When I fasten him into his seat, I say 'Did you bite someone at school today?' He looks right at me with his big blue eyes and says 'Yes, sorry mummy'. 

I then look at him and explain it's not very nice to bite other people and it hurts. 

I know he loves school (even though he's only been going since September, and only goes for three morning a week), so I say to him, 'You can't go to school if you bite people'.

I can see him taking the information in, so after my firm telling off, I leave him to think about it and we drive home in silence.

When we arrive home, as soon as I open the door to get him out, he says 'Sorry mummy' again. 

He is so different to our daughter Amber, who is seven years older than him. We never went through this with her. Our children have such different personalities.  Which is great of course, but this is new for my husband and I to cope with our little monkeys behaviour.

I can hear lots of mums and dads now saying 'It's just a phase, he'll grow out of it'. 

Let's hope so, very soon eh!

90 years of the Walt Disney Company

This week the Walt Disney Company celebrates 90 Years.

I love all things Disney and I've been a very big fan for as long as I can remember.

90 years on so much has happened, from the first feature length movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the first theme park, to the creation of Disney Channel, Disney Cruises, and joining in ABC, The Muppets and Star Wars! Let’s not forget all the classic Disney Movies in between – The Lion King, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Toy Story, Monsters Inc, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Tangled, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, the music, the rides, the shows, the stores, the magic!

What a great reason to post some pictures of well-loved Disney characters.

Timeline of the history of Walt Disney Company

October 16, 1923

Walt signed a contract with M. J. Winkler to produce a series of Alice Comedies — this date is considered the start of the Disney company first known as The Disney Brothers Studio.

September 5, 1927

Release of the first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon, Trolley Troubles.

 Steamboat Willie

Steamboat Willie

November 18, 1928

Steamboat Willie is released at the Colony Theatre in New York -- this marks the release of the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon, and the first appearance by Minnie Mouse.

January 13, 1930

Mickey Mouse comic strip debuts.

July 30, 1932

Flowers and Trees, first full-color cartoon and first Academy Award winner, is released.

June 9, 1934

The Wise Little Hen, the first appearance of Donald Duck, is released.

February 23, 1935

The Band Concert, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon in color, is released.

 Snow White

Snow White

December 21, 1937

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's first feature-length animated film, premieres at the Carthay Circle Theatre.

December 26, 1939

The Disney Studio begins its move to Burbank, California, from the Hyperion Studio in Los Angeles.

April 2, 1940

Walt Disney Productions issues its first stock.

November 13, 1940

Disney releases one of its highly regarded classics, Fantasia.

October 1, 1949

Walt Disney Music Company is formed.

July 19, 1950

Treasure Island, Disney's first completely live-action feature, is released.

February 5, 1953

Peter Pan, based on characters created by Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie, is released.

October 27, 1954

Emmy Award-winning Disneyland television show airs on ABC, starring Walt Disney.

July 17, 1955

Disneyland, the first Disney park, opened in Anaheim, California, to an invited audience on this day. The first guests were Kristine Vess and her cousin Michael Schwartner, ages 5 and 7.

October 3, 1955

Mickey Mouse Club debuts on television.

June 23, 1963

Enchanted Tiki Room opens at Disneyland, using the first Audio-Animatronics®.

 

 Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

August 29, 1964

Mary Poppins, the practically perfect tale directed by Robert Stevenson, about a magical English nanny, is released.

December 15, 1966

Walt Disney, the visionary whose pioneering spirit and inimitable creativity made the impossible possible, turning dreams into reality and building the foundation of The Walt Disney Company of today, dies at age 65.

December 25, 1969

The arena show Disney on Parade, in which costumed Disney characters put on lavish dance numbers, debuts in Chicago.

October 1, 1971

Walt Disney World Resort opens with the Magic Kingdom and two hotels near Orlando, Florida.

December 20, 1971

Roy O. Disney, who, with younger brother Walt Disney, co-founded the company that is now known as The Walt Disney Company, passes away.

March 22, 1975

Walt Disney World Village, a large outdoor mall with specialty shops all built by Disney designers, which later became Disney Village Marketplace, opens.

December 3, 1980

Tokyo Disneyland groundbreaking and site dedication takes place in Urayasu, just outside of Tokyo.

October 1, 1982

EPCOT Center, a major undertaking for Disney, costing in the neighborhood of $1 billion, opens at Walt Disney World Resort.

April 15, 1983

Tokyo Disneyland, the first international Disney theme park, opens in Japan.

April 18, 1983

The Disney Channel begins broadcasting with 18 hours of programming a day.

May 25, 1983

Fantasyland, one of the original lands of Disneyland, receives a complete remodel and opens to the public.

September 23, 1984

Michael Eisner and Frank Wells become chairman/CEO and president of Walt Disney Productions.

March 24, 1987

The agreement to build Euro Disneyland, later renamed Disneyland Paris, was signed in France.

March 28, 1987

The first Disney Store opens, in Glendale, California.

May 5, 1987

First Disney Dollars sold at Disneyland.

May 1, 1989

Disney-MGM Studios, later renamed Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Pleasure Island open at Walt Disney World Resort.

May 6, 1991

The Walt Disney Company joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

September 26, 1991

Hyperion Books, a Disney publishing company, releases its first book, Amazing Grace.

April 12, 1992

Euro Disneyland, the first Disney theme park in Europe, which was later renamed Disneyland Paris, opens.

April 18, 1994

Beauty and the Beast, the first Disney Broadway show, opens in New York.

June 15, 1994

The Lion King opens to a limited audience in Los Angeles and New York and nationwide on June 24, 1994.

December 5, 1994

Disney Interactive, a division first intended to develop, market, and distribute cartridge games and CD-ROM software, is formed.

May 22, 1995

Disney agrees to purchase 25 percent of the California Angels baseball team from Gene Autry.

July 31, 1995

Disney agrees to purchase Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion.

September 1, 1995

Disney Online, a division of Disney Interactive created to develop The Walt Disney Company's online presence, is formed.

October 1, 1995

The Disney Channel begins operation in the UK.

January 4, 1996

Shareholders approve the Disney merger with Capital Cities/ABC.

February 9, 1996

Final FCC approval and filing of merger documents completes the Capital Cities/ABC acquisition.

February 22, 1996

Disney Online launches Disney.com.

July 17, 1996

Disney announces plans for Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim.

November 18, 1996

Radio Disney, a live 24-hour music-intensive radio network, debuts.

March 28, 1997

Disney’s Wide World of Sports, a professional-caliber sports complex at Walt Disney Word Resort that was later renamed ESPN Wide World of Sports, opened to the public.

November 13, 1997

The Lion King stage production opens on Broadway.

March 23, 1998

ESPN Magazine debuts.

April 22, 1998

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens at Walt Disney World Resort.

July 30, 1998

Disney Magic cruise ship departs on its inaugural cruise.

March 31, 1999

Disney completes the purchase of the Anaheim Angels.

August 15, 1999

Disney Wonder sets sail on its maiden voyage.

September 29, 1999

Euro Disney announces plans to build Walt Disney Studios theme park in France.

February 8, 2001

Disney California Adventure park opens at the Disneyland Resort, in Anaheim, California.

September 4, 2001

Tokyo DisneySea opens at Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan.

October 24, 2001

Disney acquires Fox Family Channel and renames it ABC Family.

November 1, 2001

Disney acquires Baby Einstein, a company that creates products that bring the arts and humanities to babies.

December 5, 2001

100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth.

March 16, 2002

Walt Disney Studios theme park opens in France next-door to Disneyland Paris.

May 22, 2003

Disney sells the Anaheim Angels.

May 15, 2004

Disney acquires the Muppets properties and Bear in the Big Blue House.

June 15, 2005

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts launches Adventures by Disney.

September 12, 2005

Hong Kong Disneyland opens.

October 1, 2005

Robert A. Iger becomes president and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company.

October 12, 2005

Disney is first to license TV episodes, from ABC and Disney Channel series, for download on Apple’s iTunes Music Store.

February 9, 2006

Disney re-acquires Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from Universal.

March 14, 2006

High School Musical becomes the first full-length movie to be sold via digital download, on Apple’s iTunes Music Store, followed by theatrical features in September.

May 2, 2006

During its 50th anniversary celebration, Disneyland welcomes the honorary two-billionth guest to visit a Disney theme park.

May 5, 2006

Disney acquires Pixar Animation Studios.

September 12, 2006

Disney feature films are made available on iTunes.

August 1, 2007

Disney acquires Club Penguin, a virtual world for kids.

February 13, 2009

Disney XD, a new cable network, launches.

March 10, 2009

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club launches.

April 22, 2009

Disneynature label launches with the release of Earth.

December 31, 2009

Marvel Entertainment joins the Disney family.

January 26, 2011

The Disney Dream makes its maiden voyage.

April 7, 2011

The Walt Disney Company officially breaks ground on Shanghai Disney Resort.

August 29, 2011

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i, opens to guests.

March 23, 2012

Disney Junior, a 24-hour stand-alone television network, launches in the U.S.

March 31, 2012

The Disney Fantasy makes its maiden voyage.

December 21, 2012

The Walt Disney Company completes its acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC – the global entertainment company founded by George Lucas and the home of the legendary Star Wars franchise.

For more than nine decades, the name Walt Disney has been preeminent in the field of family entertainment. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to today's global corporation, The Walt Disney Company continues to proudly provide quality entertainment for every member of the family, across America and around the world. To learn more about the history of The Walt Disney Company, click through the timeline below.

When Adele met Fabrizio Petrossi, one of the Disney illustrators

90 years of the Walt Disney Company

How lovely that Kate is breastfeeding baby George

I was so pleased to hear that new mum Kate Middleton is breastfeeding baby George. What a special bonding time for them, getting to know this new little person.

Hopefully this will be a great influence for mums-to-be on the subject that everyone has an opinion on. The debate on breast versus bottle has been one that has been running for years. At the end of the day, mum knows best. All babies are different, and so are all mums. Not everyone can breastfeed and we need to remember that.

I hope Kate breastfeeding gives inspiration to mums who hadn't even given it a second thought, to maybe give it a try.

It brings back memories of my own experience with my two children.

Anyone who has had children will tell you their experience. And my mum always told me, listen to that advice and filter out the bits that are relevant to you.

I am not part of the 'Breastapo', but I am very proud that I breastfed both my children. It wasn't an easy thing to do in the beginning, in fact, it was a real struggle.

 Me feeding baby Jacob

Me feeding baby Jacob

For all new mums this is not an easy task. Both mum and baby have to learn this new skill and with the emotional rollercoaster you are on in the first few days it can be overwhelming.

Kate has a fantastic support network, and every new mum wants their own mum to be near, so I'm not surprised she is staying with her parents in Buckleberry.

Their decision to not give George a dummy is not a surprising one. A midwife told me when I had my first child, Amber, that when you are trying to establish breastfeeding, if you give your baby a dummy, the baby can become confused with the different shape and it can hinder a good start to feeding. So best to avoid one.

My first child, Amber, who I breastfed for 10 months, ended up having a dummy from about 6 weeks old, whereas my son, Jacob, who I breastfed for 16 months, wouldn't take to one, he preferred his thumb!

The health benefits for mum and baby when breastfeeding include: the infant having fewer chest and ear infections, and they are less likely to become obese. Let's not forget that it's free, something Kate doesn't have to worry about and it's always at the right temperature. Mums milk is rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby.

And for Kate: lower risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

It's really lovely that William is on hand to help Kate out. And great to see him as a modern dad. I was very impressed that he smoothly clipped the car seat into it's base (good idea to use an Isofix base), and that he drove his new family home.

My husband, Mark, is a stay at home dad, and he gave up his job when we had our first child. And thank goodness he did. He would make me food and drinks to keep my energy up while I got used to feeding. I don't think I could have done it without his help.

In the first days of having a very hungry baby that needs feeding roughly every half an hour, that's pretty much all Kate will be doing.

For me, yes it was painful in the very beginning, but that soon went as we both got used to it, yes I had to have an endless supply of breastfeeding pads, as everytime my baby cried it was like turning on a hose pipe, and yes it was tiring, but it was well worth it.

What an exciting time for them.

 

First time away from home: How we coped when our daughter went to Brownie camp

As parents, we are constantly faced with new challenges, and we try our best with each one.

Last weekend our daughter Amber, 9, went to Brownie camp for four days, yes FOUR days! Without us, no mobiles allowed (not that she has one anyway), but we couldn't just pick up the phone and speak to her.

Even though she only travelled 10 minutes down the road, it was the first time she had stayed away from home for longer than one night.

Months before we decided if she could go, I spoke to my mum and picked her brains about my feelings, which initially were, I didn't want her to go.

I had so many questions from who would be there, where would they sleep, how would she wash her hair, what would she eat, yes I know, I know, I can feel the eye-rolling of people who think I'm too over protective.

 Amber on her way to Brownie camp

Amber on her way to Brownie camp

My mum talked about her experience when I went away for the first time. I was a majorette and we had a yearly competition, which was held at a seaside location for a whole week, some one and a half hours away from my parents house.

Of course my mum worried if I would be ok, but she knew I would be safe as I stayed with my friends' parents in a seaside hotel.

All I can remember at that time was having fun and being nervous about the competition. Anyone who knows me, knows I took my competing very seriously as this was the major event of the year, and I wanted to win. I didn't have time to worry about not being with my mum and dad. My mum used to drive over for the day which broke the week up.

 Adele (left) and Kim in the majorettes

Adele (left) and Kim in the majorettes

I also remember my case with all my clothes in. My mum is a lover of making lists (which is where I get it from). On the inside of my case, in the lid, I had a big piece of paper with a list, days of the week, what clothes to wear, including socks! My mum made sure I had everything, which of course made it easier.

Amber has been to a sleep over just for one night, a couple of times, and she has stayed at her Nanny's house on the odd occasion, when my husband and I went on honeymoon, my mum stayed at our house, but these occasions are rare.

Maybe it's because I worry too much, or maybe it's just because I feel that I chose to have my children, my husband and I are responsible for them and I don't want to drop them onto someone else.

I do understand that parents have got their own life too but mine is for my children, husband, family and work. Maybe it's because I am a full-time working mum and don't see my children all day everyday that I find it harder to let them stay overnight anywhere else.

I think our daughter, Amber, was over 3 years old when she first slept at her Nanny's house. Our son Jacob, who's 2, has never slept anywhere other than in our house and my parents, both places with us.

It's very daunting doing anything for the first time as a parent and it's a learning curve for not only your child but for you too. Everything from feeding, teething, crawling, walking, talking, you name it, it's a constant worry that things are going to be ok. My mum tells me that never stops no matter how old your children get. She worries about me and my brother the same as she did when we were younger, but she lets us lead our own life and is always there when we need her and my dad.

When you are young you think your parents have the answer to everything and they know it all. It's only when you become an adult yourself (even though I don't feel like one), you get by and learn as you go.

I worked on 2 of the days when she was on holiday, but I clock watched all the time and my mind would wander and think about what she would be doing. My husband, Mark, missed his pizza and film buddy on Saturday night (I work late every Saturday, so they enjoy watching a film together). I text him to see if he was ok in the evening and he said he was bored without her. The 2 days I was at home without her there felt very strange. At night when she wasn't in her bed I wondered if she was sleeping well where she was.

Amber had a great time at her Brownie holiday, and she seems to have grow up in the four days she was away. She did say she missed us.

She did make me laugh when we picked her up. She said, she enjoyed it but didn't want to go again because she had to do jobs! Hilarious! They were earning badges and had to do some cooking and cleaning. At 9 years old that's a big deal!

Phew! Another parent hurdle jumped, now bring on the next parenting challenge, oh yes, that's probably potty training our son, wish us luck!