Thursday, 26 November 2009

Hot News.. Stokke® Xplory® Carries Two....

Yes you have so heard this hear for the first time....
If I had ever been forced to say something that I didn't quite like about the Stokke® Xplory® then it would have been that there was no option if you had a second child to think about too..  But I was lucky and instead of having to worry about my toddler - working for Stokke® allowed me to have a second Xplory®. Did you note then that I was talking in the past tense? 
Hello people..... I bring you the new Stokke® Xplory® Rider...

Stokke® Stokke® give me a Rider do
I’m half crazy – all for the love of you
It will be a stylish marriage
With two children aboard the carriage
And they’ll look sweet - out on the street
On an Xplory® that can carry two…..

It’s a well-known fact in Stokke® circles that toddlers don’t like to give up their Xplory® view of life. Seated high above the other strollers they love to experience life on the move whilst casually chatting away to Mum or Dad.
But, sometimes a new brother or sister comes along and toddler has to give up the prized position atop their beloved Xplory®.

Tears – yes. Tantrums – probably. 
But now we have the answer…….. The Stokke® Xplory® Rider.
Funky, cool and simply the latest way to impress fellow Xplory® babes. The Rider board simply attaches to the Xplory® chassis to allow both children to ride in style.
When not in use, it’s quickly and easily folded away to await its next adventure.

Xplory® Rider is intended for use with only one child at a time and is suitable from approx two years of age. Maximum weight limit is 20kg. 
Hurray!! Coming to a Stokke® retailer near you in January!!! Soo exciting!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Where to next?

You may have noticed that I have been a bit quiet since I dropped my big post natal depression bomb shell on you a couple of weeks ago. The problem is that I have been struggling to know what to say next.
My story had an amazing response. I've had emails from other women who have found themselves in that same dark place, from their friends and family asking for advice on how to help those dear to them and from journalists wanting to take my words to print.
It has been an unexpected and humbling time.
I've never seen my story as inspirational and until I laid it down here with the comment box open I don't think I've ever given anyone the chance to tell me how it has effected them. After all, what do you say to someone who has just told you that they jumped off the top of a building?
It's a conversation stopper let me tell you.
Hitting the publish button was a real leap of faith for me. Was I doing the right thing? Was it going to impact on my business? Was I going to regret it later?
Who could say? But I was right to speak out and by doing so I feel like I am finally standing up to be counted - and that feels pretty good.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to leave their thoughts and tweets. I'm still in total shock that every word left was positive. The post had over 6,000 views in just three days which proves that it is a subject that deserves a wider audience.
Thanks xx

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Win a Stokke® Tripp Trapp® in our fab colouring comp

Things have been a bit serious over here at MummyTips of late - so I thought that we are due a little light relief. With Christmas only a few short weeks away I thought that a colouring competition could be just what we need. The prizes and the template are courtesy of my good friends at Stokke®.
Simply click on the Tripp Trapp® colouring sheet to enlarge it, print it  and let your little ones inner creativity loose.

First prize is a Stokke® Tripp Trapp® and a Stokke® Table Top.
Second prize is a Stokke® Tripp Trapp®
Third prize a Stokke® Table Top

Open to all budding artists aged 1 to 5. Please follow the blog (if you aren't already) and pop me an email so that I can give you details of where to send your little ones artwork. We will feature all of the entries over of the Stokke® Lovers Facebook page.
Closing date 15/12/09 - winners will get prizes in time for Christmas.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Can you help?

One of my clients is an amazing lady called Robynne. She has a family of children that she has saved from foster care. She has loved them and opened her heart to them when the authorities would have been happy to let them languish without anyone to love them.
Her family now lives here in the UK and they are trying to adopt another child. This is proving very difficult because on nonsensical legislation. Please read over the email (below) that she sent to me. Lets get behind her and her to offer a deserving child the family life that he / she is being deprived of.

Most of you know that my husband and I have both biological and adopted children.  We are particularly passionate about children who desperately need families but languish in foster care instead.  In the US we were trainers, teachers and advocates of foster care and adoption.  Here, we have been thrust into the limelight about an issue we feel strongly about:
Interracial adoption.
We've been turned down to adopt a mixed race sibling group who has been looking for a forever family for about 2 years.  Simply because we are white.  We've even been told that it is better for a child to NEVER have a forever family of their own than to have one a different colour.  We could not disagree more.

What's even more frustrating, is that there is a double standard in place...fully black couples, for example, are allowed to adopt half black and half white children, but white couples can't do the same.  As a result, if you are a child of colour in the UK, your chances of being split from your biological brothers and sisters or never being adopted is extremely high.

We want this to change.  Race should be a factor in deciding adoptive placements, but only ONE of the many that you must consider. Every family is unique and every child is unique.  We just believe that, in a system which says that old, young, convicted criminals, singles, couples, gay, straight, married or not, rich or poor, etc. can be considered for a child, race should not automatically block loving families from adopting children of mixed races.

If you agree, we would be so thrilled for you to sign our petition, and forward it on to anyone you think might be interested:
Ian and I are going to be on BBC1's The Big Questions this Sunday at 10am discussing the issue, if you want to hear more about the issue and problems it creates in the UK. 

Robynne Cole
Managing Director
Sierra Distribution, Ltd.

Please get behind them by leaving a comment here, re tweeting this information and signing the petition.
thanks. xx

Monday, 9 November 2009

The BMB Carnival....

Welcome to my first hosting of the BMB blogging Carnival. As I'm the boss this week I am going with a birth / birthday / rebirth theme as it's my birthday this week and well it seemed like a good thing to do. It is quite a lot of work getting though all of the posts that I have been sent but I have found some amazing new blogs to add to my reader. I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I have.

I hope that you don't mind me kicking off with my own post. This is a story of rebirth and recovery following a very near fatal brush with post natal depression. It's called Me...
We are all programmed to think that the transition from person to mother is a smooth one. Your due date arrives and a beautiful baby is delivered by a Stalk wrapped in the finest cashmere blankets but in reality we know that is not the case. As mothers we deal with our own birth stories and move on, forgetting our own horror stories as quickly as we forget those around us.
Kelly from A Place of my Own is sharing an amazing journey with us here. Many of her Twitter friends (me included felt as if we were part of her experience) wanting to help and advise. Her story is sweet, lovely, from the heart and proof that you should do what you feel is right for you and not what you are being told.
Kelly and Piran – you guys rock.
And as for Claire at OMG pregnant / Then There Were Three, well she had the textbook birth that we can only dream of. Of course without the text advice of her Twitsters it could have been a totally different story!
Laura from AWNTYM shares her unexpected birth tale with a very sweet though slightly unnerving outcome!
Josie at Sleep is for the weak time travels through her birth story.
Over at the Angels & Urchins blog they plea for the smug side of motherhood to let rip. I know I'm good but how great are you?
Tara at Sticky Fingers tells an all familiar of tale of evil party bags packed with malicious swag! A true pet hate of my own, though i do seretly like getting to scoff all of the BAD sweets that I remove!
Karin at CafeBebe, has a birth experience not unlike one of my own (hey I’ve had 4!) .Four down mum to go shares a young fellas birthday story. 
Pippa at A Mother's Ramblings tells how birthdays in her life are a huge family affair. HomeBaked explains her obsession with Christmas.
Liz at Living with Kids has the birthday grumps that can only be truly appreciated by a fellow Scorpio! With you all the way Liz!

Elaine at Little Sheep learning has some wise words and practical advice on how to prepare siblings for the arrival of a new baby.
Everyone who knows me understands that I have a rather unnatural obsession with Hello Kitty, i am a nice person (i hope) and I don't kill people so I just go with it. Then I saw this from Alpha Mummy. OMG if I could have any more children (which i can't) I would be on the next plane to Taiwan (via Hello kitty World in Tokyo of course).

And my final mention has to go out to the best little blogger on the block. My little fella TotallySonny. It's his birthday next week and he so wanted to submit to the carnival but he said can't I ask him to blog about birthdays after he has had his? Urm... NO! I said but please stop by his blog anyway!
BMB are always looking for new carnival hosts.

Post Natal Depression suicide and me....

Mine is not a standard birth story but it is one that I have been trying to write for the last fifteen years, unable to know where to begin.
For the people who know me now, as a wife, mother and successful business woman my words may be even harder to take in but after fifteen years of procrastinating here is the story of my battle with post natal depression, suicide and the birth of my new life.
The morning of Thursday 5th May 1994 began like every other day except that was the day I was going to die.
I had suffered in silence (mostly) with an illness so sever that it was about to erase me whilst at the same time leave an innocent little boy without a mummy.
Of course with hindsight – I know that I had been suffering from sever post natal depression for the three and a half years since I gave birth to my son when I was little more than a child myself.
I had travelled along a dark and unhappy path in those three and a half years. Littered with excess excess and fraught emotions. Living on tinned tomatoes and toast so that I could support us both.
But it was too much for me. Even though I was in constant contact with my family I was living on a fragile deserted island and I couldn’t take anymore.
That Thursday morning I dropped my boy at my sister’s house explaining that I had a few errands to run. I kissed him, held him and willed him to be strong.
I drove my fathers car into the city and parked it where I knew it would be easily found and made my way to the top of the car park.
The fine rain had turned into that horrible wet drizzle and the street below me was mostly void of shoppers. I stood there looking, thinking, crying for an age. I was so angry with myself, with the world, with all of the people who should have helped me, that should have made me better.
I felt weak, useless and pathetic.
One side of my head was screaming JUMP, JUMP, JUMP but I was scared. Really scared, really, really scared.
I realised that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have it in me. I was so useless that I couldn’t even do this - that I couldn’t end it.
And so I jumped.
The irony is that I didn’t manage to end it. I have since been told that I am the only person ever to survive jumping the 75ft from the top of that multi-storey car park. It happens a lot more than you know.
I was conscious and able to give next of kin details to the paramedics that came to save me and then things get a little fuzzy. I remember the pain and oddly I remember a floaty feeling as I looked down seeing myself lying on a trolley, as I was shocked back to life.
Then it was a week later. I had spent 20 hours in theatre as the surgeons tried to put me back together again. My leg injuries were explained to me by a doctor;
“If you hit a Crunchie Bar with a hammer,” he said. “That is what you have done to your feet.”
I was numb.
Then came the spinal surgeon – totally lacking in bedside manner.
“Well young lady, what a totally selfish and stupid thing to do. You do realise that with your injuries, you will never walk again.”
I was devastated.
Irony number 2 – I was a dancer. I had been dancing all my life. I danced through school and on to a post sixteen dance training. I won a coveted place in the National Youth Dance Company. I was a dancer – full stop. That was me.
So here I was. In hospital and not only wasn’t I dead, but I was now facing life in a wheelchair too.
For the record, I smashed both of my feet into a million pieces, and my right ankle too. I landed so perfectly that my spine did its primary job as a shock absorber and crushed four of my vertebrae in the process. (All those hours of ballet training kicked in when I least expected it!)
Of course I should have been dead. But I wasn’t and it took me a long time to see this chance for what it really was for me.
It wasn’t my day to go. I did have another chance and although my progress has been slow and painful I have come through my self inflicted misery and built a better life for myself and for my boy.
Over the years journalist friends have tried to coax my story into print but my fear of being judged and condemned for what I did has always ensured my silence.
In truth, I have been selfish by keeping my story because do you know what?
I can walk. I can cycle, I can swim, I can work, I got married, I had babies (3 of them!), I have a business, I have friends, I have love and more than anything I have hope.
My recovery has been long and painful. I have screamed and cried and I live with the pain of my injuries and the pain of not being able to dance every single day. But if I did have the ability to go back to that morning, I would take the very same route.
I know now that I was given a chance that day to right all of the wrongs.
Sure this is a condensed speed blog version of my story but in its brevity or entirety the result is the same. A personal triumph over adversity – my rebirth.
If you know anyone who is suffering from PND, please, please try and reach out to them - they could really do with your time and attention. And if you think that you have PND, please, please, please tell someone how you are feeling. It may just save your life.

Me dancing
In recovery
After months in hospital I'd dropped from 10st of muscle to under 6st. I was like a bag of broken bones.
Please do leave comments on this post. I really didn't know if writing it was the correct thing to do. But I know now that it was. I have had emails and tweets from people with PND and people who have friends with PND and if I can be of any help please do let me know.
Your comments (good or bad) really show the support that is out there for this dreadful illness.
thank you.

Feature in Mother & Baby Magazine

Stokke® and Natural mat make organic Sleepi Mattress

Although it may not seem like it, your child spends around 25,000 hours sleeping from birth to seven years, so the Stokke press release says.
As parents we know that this is as essential for our own well-being as it is for our babies. I had personally been through three cots before I bought a Stokke® Sleepi for FunnyGirl and I have always thought it to be a tad decadent saving the most expensive option till last but hey ho!
I loved my Stokke Sleepi - OK so it wasn't really mine but I loved everything about it. The soft curves, FunnyGirls love of sleeping and also the fact that she didn't do that round in circles thing that all of my other children had done. You know where you put them to sleep one and and they wake up at the other!
Stokke® have now collaborated with Natural Mat, the leading manufacturers of organic cot mattresses to create a version of their beautiful natural organic Coco Mat mattress especially for Sleepi®.
Handmade in Devon, the Natural Mat Coco mattress is breathable, self-ventilating, hypoallergenic and offers natural protection from dust mites. Makes me all broody! I just wish that I had a baby to put into mine!
I should also add that the life span of Stokke® Sleepi goes above and beyond the cll of duty. It begins life as an oval mini-cot, perfect for new babies who need a cosy nest. As baby grows so does your Sleepi™ easily transforming into cot. When your monkey starts to climb to climb, you can lower the base and remove a side for independent access. When space is getting tight buy the Junior Bed Kit so that your little one doesn't have to move on.
FunnyGirl has recently moved into her big girl bed but she loves her Sleepi. It still takes pride of place in her bedroom as her sofa and she is usually to be found, snuggles up there watching TV!
Stokke® Sleepi™ Mini Coco Mat Mattress £85, Stokke® Sleepi™ Coco mat Mattress £199. Available from Natural Mat, Lullabys and Back in Action.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Saturday Review... Sigg Bottles

As a mum with three very active children we have gone through so many drinks bottles over the years. They always leak, stain, go smelly or get left behind at one activity or another.
Then we discovered the Sigg. Not only do they look fabulous with loads of different designs to suit all tastes but they actually don't leak.
A pretty basic requirement when it comes to a drinks bottle I would say but I am always amazed that the manufacturers don't see things the same way.
Every bottle has a high tec interior that is resistant to fruit juice acids, energy drinks, alcohol and just about any drink.
They are made in an eco friendly environment and are fully recyclable - not that you would need to recycle yours as they know of bottles that are still in full active use twenty years after they were purchased!
Sigg also see the importance of combining fashion and function and their bottles come in over 100 unique designs.
We tested the small kids bottle with a flip lid and the larger adult bottle with a screw cap. Both were brilliant.
They are more expensive than regular plastic bottles but I really do think that they are worth the investment. 

They have a really good video on how their bottles are made here.
The small kids bottles are £12.14 from Sigg and the larger adult bottle is £14.39 also from Sigg

Naming the kitten

Thanks for all the naming suggestions for the new kitty. After a family debate last night FunnyGirl came with the winning name.....
Purrfect we think!

Friday, 6 November 2009

The kitten saga

I miss my cat. She would have been ten yesterday. Since she passed away last week I have been searching for a Sphynx kitten but I have encountered nothing but problems. As a breed they have a problem with something called HCM, a heart problem that kills them.
I guess that I am lucky that I know about HCM because there are so many horror stories of bad breeding with HCM cats that I have finally resigned myself to the fact that I am not going to be able to get myself a beautiful Sphynx.
Then I met these guys. They have the most stunning Sphynx cats that I have ever seen - but all of their kittens have already been booked.
They also breed Cornish Rex and we took a look at them too. They still have the freaky big gremlin ears that I love and also have the softest coat I have ever felt. The kids fell in love and I fell in love and so we really really are getting a new kitten and I am so excited.
Shane & Mark, the breeders are awesome. Their animals are beautiful and social and I can't wait for our kitty to come to us on December 6th.
Shane sent me this pic last night..... All we need to do now is come up with a name so that they can register her. All ideas gratefully received.


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