Going to soft play – Review Hilton Jangalla

I took Jake to soft play twice last week. We’ve been to soft play areas before that are a part of a larger establishment but we’ve never been to a large dedicated soft play. We went to Jangalla in Hilton to meet up with some friends in the week and then went back again at the weekend with Jamie. WP_20140221_001

I was quite taken aback with just how large the soft play area itself was – it was huge – three stories of child friendly craziness! I was also really pleased to find out that children under the age of 1 enter for free : ) which means that both of our outings were free – big Whoop whoop!

The first time we went was slam bang in the middle of half term and the place was literally full to the rafters and extremely loud. I don’t think Jake has ever really experienced a noise quite like it so I wasn’t really surprised that upon entry he burst into tears, which is very unlike him. I really think it was just a shock to him how loud and strange the place was.

We spent our time in the dedicate baby area. It took a good half an hour before Jake would even move from my side and he was quite tearfull through our entire visit, but he did relax a bit and start to explore his new surroundings.WP_20140221_006

I on the other hand was very impressed. There is a large seating area for the parents with comfy chairs and tables and a well equipped little café serving some lovely looking food and drinks. The soft play is obviously geared at children that are older, but to me that didn’t matter. There really aren’t any other places that are open all day long, and indoors where you can take a baby to play for free. Although the baby area was small it is still bright and colourful and provides a change of scenery for Jake.

On our second visit at the weekend we went right as the soft play opened and it was considerably quieter. We had no tears for Jake and were able to take him into the larger play area so he could go down the slides and play in the ball pit which he enjoyed. WP_20140220_004

Over all I can’t say a bad thing about soft play. I love giving Jake new experiences and taking him out and about, but have to be conscious of the cost involved, so I will certainly be a regular at soft play in the future!

A simple happy day

Today the sun was shining for what feels like the first day in months! So I bundled Jake up into his pram and we went for a walk to our local park where Jake had his first ever ride on the swings!WP_20140226_011

Going on the swings is such an ordinary simple thing to do. But it really did feel like a momentous occasion. Jake was out enjoying the world and interacting with it in a way he hasn’t before. It was lovely to watch and see him smiling and laughing as I pushed him back and forth, and I really have felt that I have achieved something with my day by helping my little boy gain a new experience and develop just that little bit more.

There really is nothing special about my son going on a swing. Many children have done it before, it takes no skill and is completely ordinary. But that’s the thing about being a mum. Your child is the centre of your universe and every tiny milestone is important and valuable in a way that is almost impossible to describe. Something new happened in our little piece of the world and it was lovely!

Its amazing to think of all of the things that he has achieved in the last two months.

At Christmas he hadn’t yet started crawling and now he crawls brilliantly, can pull himself up to standing and shuffles round the furniture. He’s also started waving. It both scare and excites me to think off all the things he will achieve in the next few months to come!

A day in our lives – with a new born

When you have a baby in the house life is constantly changing. It doesn’t feel this way at the time, you think that two hourly feeds and living off four hours of broken sleep a night is going to last forever! Thankfully, it doesn’t. With each developmental change your baby makes your routine will gradually change with it. This is why I decided to start a series called “A day in our lives” where I will document what a normal day is like for us with Jake at different stages in his development. I’ll start with a little bit of a recap on what a day in our lives was like with a new born….

There is no real time of day to start a day in the life with a new born, as without a solid period of sleep it is very hard to establish when one day ends and the other begins, therefore I will start with 7am

7am – Feed Jake. I’ve been looking after Jake in the living room for hours while Jamie has slept. By now I’m at breaking point so I go upstairs and wake Jamie up. Jamie gets up and goes downstairs to Jake and I go to bed for a couple of hours.

7am – 9am – Sleep

9am – Jamie brings Jake upstairs to wake me up and I feed Jake in bed. Jamie starts work at 9am so its time for me to get up again. I get dressed while Jake watches in his crib, then I dress Jake and we go downstairs.

10am -12pm – Look after Jake in the living room. This consists of breastfeeding him every two to two and a half hours and changing his nappy almost as often. (11am Feed Jake)Jake has reflux so doesn’t sleep very well on his own, he will however sleep beautifully if he is being held. So a lot of our time is spent sat on the sofa either feeding him or letting him sleep. I’m sure daytime TV was on, but I am so tired I can’t remember watching any!IMG_0279

12pm -1pm – Jamie works form home (Thank god!) so he comes downstairs for lunch. He’ll make us both a sandwich and we’ll take it in turns to eat while the other holds Jake. Jamie being around for this hour allows us the time to do some household jobs quickly such as putting some washing in or washing some pots.

1pm – 5pm This is again time that Jake and I spend in the living room (1.30 Feed Jake) we’ll do a little bit of tummy time on his play mat but mostly he will want to be held so he can sleep and of course feed (3.30 feed Jake)

5pm Jamie has finished work so he comes downstairs to start dinner.

6pm Eat our dinner and do the dishes.

6.30 Feed Jake. We’ll then give Jake his top and tail wash before putting him in his sleep suite ready for bed (not that he actually really goes anywhere)IMG_0543

8pm Feed Jake. After Jake has fed I will go up to bed.

8pm – 1am – Jamie looks after Jake downstairs while I sleep upstairs, every couple of hours Jamie comes and wakes me up so I can feed Jake in bed. (10.30pm feed Jake /1am Feed Jake)

1am – Jamie is exhausted an comes to bed. I get up and go downstairs to be with Jake.

1am – 7am – I look after Jake downstairs. Trying to get his to sleep in his crib – this usually lasts for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time, so I get some small cat naps where I can. (3am feed Jake) I stay up as long as I can so That Jamie can get a good amount of sleep.(5am Feed Jake)(7am Feed Jake) When I reach breaking point I go upstairs and swap with Jamie, who will let me sleep until it is time for him to start work.

And then the cycle begins again…..

At the time it really did feel like my life was one constant blur of feeding and hold Jake. In reality I think we worked this pattern of Jamie and I sleeping in shifts for about 9 weeks.


My Sunday Photo



Review: Day out at Rosliston Forestry Centre

This week we went for a day out at Rosliston Forestry Centre. The centre is fairly local to us and is free to enter. The only thing you have to pay is £2.50 for all day parking. You can also buy an annual parking pass, which is something I think we might invest in in the future.WP_20140220_013

The forestry centre is basically a large outdoor nature centre, their are paths and trails that you can easily walk around with a pushchair. Everything is really well signposted and their is loads of information about the trees and wildlife as you walk around. As well as just being able to walk around the trails and footpaths there is also a large outdoor play ground, as well as a small indoor soft play and a lovely café which had a beautiful wood burning stove belting out loads of heat, which was just lovely as it was quite a chilly day.

As Jake is still pram bound for these sorts of outings we went for quite a long walk through the woodlands, thankfully the weather held out and we didn’t get any rain. We then spent a little time in the soft play area before going for lunch in the café. The food in the café was very reasonably priced as well as being fresh and tasty. There were plenty of high chairs available and the staff were happy to heat up baby food for us (always important to know if places will do this!) I should add that there are loads of outdoor picnic areas where you can eat, which is something we definitely will be doing in the summer.WP_20140220_007

As we were leaving the centre I picked up a leaflet to have a quick look at what else they offer and was really impressed with the range of activities they provide (at a small cost) from bike rides to nature walks as well as laser combat and orienteering. They have a full range of activities that lasts the whole year.

I love taking Jake to local attractions, especially ones where I can see us coming back for years to come! The fact that the centre is local to us and free makes me so happy to live where we do, I have a feeling that Rosliston forestry centre will play a large part in providing the outdoor childhood we want Jake to have.

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