My Aqua Baby (Aquababies West)

Aquababies logo My Aqua Baby (Aquababies West)

Regular readers will know that earlier in the year we were chosen by Konfidence to be Official Swimologists.  I had wanted to take Baby swimming ever since she was born, but my own personal body image hang ups, had prevented me from taking the plunge!  When we were given the opportunity by Konfidence, it gave me the necessary push to put my own insecurities to the side and say a big yes!  I didn’t want to go to a local pool, as bumping into people I know while donning a swimming costume wasn’t high on my wish list.  So, Konfidence booked Baby onto a Baby swimming course with Aquababies West, which runs from Marlborough Leisure Centre.

Aquababies West offer Baby and Toddler Swimming courses at various pools in Wiltshire, Bath, Bristol, Swindon and the West Country.  All the instructors are qualified lifeguards and parents of young children.  Aquababies West was set up by husband and wife Eddie and Lora (and their young son Zach, who was the inspiration).

Baby has been swimming with Aquababies West for just over four months.  At the first lesson I thought that there was no way she would take to swimming, as she screamed and screamed.  I was concerned for her and for the other parent’s ears!  However, our instructor Kate kept reassuring me that everyone had been there, which did help.  No-one likes to feel like they are ruining someone else’s experience.  The group were also really friendly and supportive, which is just what I needed as a worried mum!  Baby exhausted herself after the first lesson and I can’t say I was particularly looking forward to the following week, but glutton’s for punishment, we continued.

My Aqua Baby My Aqua Baby (Aquababies West)

Each week Baby improved and by the fourth lesson, she was the same as the other children, even going underwater.  By week seven Baby jumped in from standing on a float!  I am not sure I have ever been as proud in my entire life.  Kate has been our instructor throughout all our lessons, which I think has helped both Baby’s and my confidence.  I trust Kate 100%, which is pretty important in this situation, Baby loves her too and often requests additional high fives, which Kate always obliges with!  After the initial course Baby moved up to the Advanced Toddler group, which showed how much she had progressed.

Currently, Kate is encouraging the children to swim more independently, just short distances of swimming either to the wall or to mummy, which Baby is happy to do.  I can’t wait to see how Baby progresses in the next course she is enrolled on.

I cannot recommend Aquababies West highly enough and am so grateful to them and Konfidence for sponsoring Baby’s swimming journey.

Disclosure:  Aquababies West kindly gave us a five week swimming course.  All opinions are my own and are 100% honest.

The Black & White Photography Project #10

Photographer extraordinaire Charly over at Podcast Dove hosts a weekly photography linky, which gives us the opportunity to show off our Black and White pictures.

Just a simple afternoon in the garden.

BW  The Black & White Photography Project #10

 

Why not pop over and have a look at some other lovely black and white captures?


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Simple Sunday

On Sunday we decided to have a  family outing to the Ufton Court Educational Trust open day.  It was a glorious day and we were keen to explore the beautiful grounds of this manor house, that can be traced back to the Doomsday book.

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It was time for Baby’s lunch and so we wandered round, found a stunning grassy valley and settled down.  I have only tried a picnic with Baby once before and it was a nightmare, she just kept running off and trying to join in other people’s picnics.  This time, she sat on the blanket with Mummy and Daddy and ate some lunch.  Bliss!  I won’t say she resisted the temptation to go off and explore completely.  However, for the most part it was so lovely sitting in the sun with my little family, in such stunning surroundings.

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Then it was time to go and explore, which pleased Baby!  She requested her reins, she adores her little ladybird backpack.

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For a free event, there was lots on offer.  A climbing wall, story telling, a brass band, craft demonstrations, archery, a puppet show.  For children a little older than Baby, it would have been an incredible day out.

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Baby loved walking about, talking to strangers.  She was captivated by the owls and birds of prey.  The micro pigs were incredibly cute and I must admit I wanted to take one home (annoyingly they were for sale too!).

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The walled garden was filled with various garden games, which proved a great draw.

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Baby had her first solo ice cream, a mini milk.  Bless her she didn’t understand that she had to hold the stick end and kept holding the ice cream and looking confused!  In the end the mini milk had to be binned and she just stole mummy’s pot instead.

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Such a simple day, no great expense, just a low key day with my lovely family.  A day to remember.

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Dr Miriam @ Galt Toys

A couple of weeks ago Baby and I were invited by Galt Toys to a play date with Dr Miriam Stoppard.

“Dr. Miriam Stoppard has been at the forefront of the revolution in health information since she began her writing and broadcasting career in the early 1970s.

Since that time she has become well-known to millions all over the world as a leading authority on parenting, child care, women’s health, and many other crucial health issues.”  source

Dr. Miriam and Galt have joined forces to create a range of 21 developmental toys.  Each toy is designed to encourage learning through play and comes with a play guide to give parents tips on how to get the best out of the toy.   The range includes 7 wooden, 7 plastic and 7 soft toys.

The venue for this play date was the toy section of Daniels (a department store) in Windsor.  I have never been to this shop before, but I thought it was amazing, so much choice and so many beautiful things.  I could have got really carried away given more time to peruse.

Dr. Miriam gave us her insight and played with some of the children, highlighting various aspects of her toys.  Unfortunately Baby did not get to meet her, as the toy shop venue was so very exciting for her and boy was she on the move!  I spent a significant proportion of time chasing after her.

Galt Baby 1024x874 Dr Miriam @ Galt Toys

After she had pointed out some of her favourite character toys to me, we made it back to hear Dr. Miriam giving some advice.  She believes that parents should play one to one with their children (with no distractions, no TV, no phones etc) for an hour a day and they must not stop talking the entire time.  A bit of a different approach to the Fisher-Price event we attended a few weeks ago.  I think each approach has its merits.

Galt 1024x867 Dr Miriam @ Galt Toys

I really liked the toy range, all of the main types of toys are covered and the colours are great.  I fell a little bit in love with the soft bird.

Galt toys 1024x833 Dr Miriam @ Galt Toys

We were given a lovely goody bag and after the play date, we caught up with some lovely bloggers over lunch in the Daniels Cafe.

If you are on the look out for some new toys for your little ones, why not check out this great range.  Thank you very much to Daniels, Dr Miriam and Galt for a lovely morning.

 

Disclosure:  We were given a goody bag for attending this event.  All opinions are my own and are 100% honest.

 

Swan Lake

Last week we went to our local town to run a few errands and decided, while we were there, to pop to the lake canal to feed the ducks.  The Cygnets, that we saw a couple of months ago, had grown so much but still retained their grey feathers.  They were so beautiful.

Swan 9 Swan Lake

Baby was quite captivated and even tried to offer them her sandwich.  We enjoyed feeding them most of Baby’s snack box.

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Then we turned our attention to the older Swans.  I couldn’t believe how big this chap was!

Swan 2 Swan Lake

He was very friendly, so I decided to be brave and try to feed him a bread stick.

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After a couple of bodged attempts, when my nerve went.

Swan 3 Swan Lake

I managed to hand feed him!  It was amazing and Baby loved it!  I have never been that close to a Swan and I even stroked him.

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Baby loved having a chat with the Swan and I think she would have liked to take him home.  What an amazing pet that would be!  He was so confident, maybe a little bit too confident when he tried to steal my sandwich from the buggy handle.

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What a cheeky chap!

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Such a beautiful creature to be so close too.  We felt very honoured and it was truly a special time for both Baby and I.

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I am linking up with the following fabulous bloggers and their lovely linkys.

Katie from Mummy Daddy Me for #OrdinaryMoments

ordinary moment link Swan Lake

Jaime at The Olivers’ Madhouse for #MagicMoments magicmoments150x150 zps58f60c40 Swan Lake

Charly at Podcast Dove for #What’sTheStory whats the story Swan Lake

 

 

Living Arrows 37/52

It’s time to link up with ‘The 52 Project’ (Practising Simplicity) and the ‘Living Arrows’ (I Heart Snapping).  The aim is to take a picture that captures the beauty and magic of childhood in our eyes.  I am also linking with Snowing Indoors Point & Shoot linky.

“You are the bows from your children as living arrows are sent forth’ Kahul Gibran.”

37/52

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Point+Shoot Living Arrows 37/52

Our Week That Was Captured #37

This week has been reasonably quiet for us and we haven’t really seen anyone.  I always feel a bit lost on weeks like this, as I prefer to have lots of plans and be busy.  I have had lots to do, but nothing compatible with a small person!

Our Week

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  1. Sunday – We all went to Marwell and Baby decided to be quite moany and shouty again.  So it may not have been the relaxing family day we had planned.  But we did see an Ostrich chasing a Deer, then another Ostrich, it was quite a sight!
  2. Monday – We went to town to buy stationery and books for my French course!  A little bit scary,  the move seems so long away, but things like this make it feel real.  Baby and I had lunch in a lovely little cafe.
  3. Tuesday – Baby and I went swimming.  She wasn’t really on form, as needed to nap, so she was a little emotional.  It was good to get her back in the water though.  In the afternoon we played in the garden.  Baby spent some time in a drawer!
  4. Wednesday – After a trip to the supermarket, Baby and I went to Snelsmore Common.  We had a great time wandering about sans buggy!  We even spotted some grazing horses!  Baby tried to get in the drawer again!
  5. Thursday – We had to pop into town to collect a parcel and for a few reasons Thursday was a rubbish day and I would rather forget it!  There were tears!
  6. Friday – Baby and I popped to town to get some change for the Baby/Toddler sale on Saturday.  We had a lovely time feeding the ducks and swans.  Mr Hubby came home a little early, as Adsa had cocked up the delivery of my new phone.  He phoned round lots of stores and then drove to Reading to pick one up for me.  What a hero! So I can now hear people when they call me!
  7. Saturday – I spent the morning finishing packing up for the sale, then after a Baby car nap, we set up at the Baby sale.  Mr Hubby took Baby home via the park, while I tried to flog our wares!

So that’s our week captured.  What have you got up to this week? x

As always I am linking up with the fabulous Hannah from Make Do & Push #TWTWC

twtwc badge Our Week That Was Captured #37

If you enjoy my posts, why not
 Our Week That Was Captured #37

Silent Sunday 14th September 2014

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If you enjoy my posts, why not
 Silent Sunday 14th September 2014

 

 

Word of the Week #35

It’s ‘Word of the Week’ time with the lovely Jocelyn from The Reading Residence.  The word which sums up our week is,

Quiet1 Word of the Week #35

Baby and I had no plans this week.  No play dates, no days out, just the two of us bimbling around, with only each other for company.  We have popped to the shops, been swimming, played in the garden, had tea in the playhouse and spent an afternoon in the peace and quiet of Snelsmore Common.

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Baby loved the opportunity to run free and explore.  Stopping to collect stones, pine cones and touch the beautiful heathers.

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The I spotted some ponies in the distance heading off in their herd.  I told Baby she would have to be quiet so we could sneak up on them.  Unprompted she put her finger to her mouth and said ‘Shhhhhh’.

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We were so lucky to find these beautiful ponies, Baby loved watching them.  I am so glad that she seems to love horses and ponies, as they have been such a large part of my life.

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Baby decided on a little refreshment break, still clutching her first pine cone.  I made sure we brought it home, to put in her keepsake box.

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This afternoon was a reflection of our week, just us experiencing the simple pleasures; each others company and a walk in the woods on a beautiful day.  Perfect.

Which word would sum up your week?

Enjoy my posts? Why not

 Word of the Week #35

 wotw Word of the Week #35

Why not check out my previous words.

I am also linking with #PoCoLo over at Verily Victoria Vocialises,

and Fiona’s #CountryKids

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The List #2

Welcome to ‘The List‘.  If you are new here then ‘The List‘ is a great linky that I co-host with Hannah from Mums Days.  The idea is simple, just link up any post that is in list/bullet point format, easy!  I use mine to record my weekly highlights and remind myself of my hit list and targets, but yours could be a ‘top ten’ list or anything you fancy.  Your posts can be old or new, all welcome.  Each week both Hannah and I will pick our own top 3 lists and give them a little shout out in our posts.

Rules:

1.  You can link up to 3 posts per week!  Be sure to paste The List badge on each post you would like to link up (code below – paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform).

2. Comment on this post to say hi!

3. Comment on at least 2 other links – share the love man, it’s what makes this community great!

4. It would also be amazing if you could share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #TheList) on your social media channels to help grow the community.  Hannah and I will also retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention us in your tweets! (@youbabymemummy/@mumsdays)

5. Finally, if you could please follow Mums’ Days (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest) and You Baby Me Mummy (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest) that would be wonderful!

By adding your post to the linkup you are agreeing to be notified of subsequent linkups.

 

So onto my top picks from last week.  Well I was spoilt for choice with so many great lists linking up, but here are my favourite’s;  (click on banners for link to posts)

Make Do Push 300x96 The List #2

Hannah’s list included her Hen Do and a lovely picture of her riding!  Horses = Me sold!  Also I am super excited about Hannah’s wedding and cannot wait to see the wedding pictures!

3 Princesses and 1 dude The List #2Becky’s 15 things a Toddlers should do before Pre-school is so funny and Baby has definitely been taking notes!

Pouting in Heels 300x270 The List #2Style Queen Katie gave us her top tips for getting out of a style rut.  Fabulous advice, love it!

 

Onto my list this week;

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REAL LIFE

  • Baby returned to swimming classes after a few weeks off.  It was great to get back in the pool with her.
  • We have had a pretty quiet week, just mummy daughter stuff for most of the week.
  • I have been purchasing books and stationery in preparation for starting a French course next week.  #OperationMoveToFrance
  • PND has kicked my arse this week (mainly due to forgetting to collect my meds).  I am rallying my resolve to kicks it’s arse right back!

REAL LIFE GOAL: After the children’s sale this weekend, we can start Baby’s new room (we can’t do it now, as the room is full to the brim with all the sale stuff!).  I need to buy the Wallpaper asap.

BLOG & SOCIAL MEDIA

  • New blog discovery;  Jess’ beautiful blog Oh So Gawjess. Such a lovely blog and well worth a visit.
  • I was @UKBloggers1 Blogger of the Day and it was great to see them tweeting out my posts.  If you want to get involved just tweet them.
  • I have started writing for another blog this week, which has been fun.

BLOG/SOCIAL MEDIA WEEKLY GOAL: Still need to do my Instagram giveaway!

 

So you know what do to, grab the badge and link up your lists. I can’t wait to have a read!

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