N is for ….

N is for NICU

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The NICU at St Marys in Manchester literally gave me my son and ensured he would have a quality of life.

I cannot thank the doctors, nurses and support staff enough, they got us through the most awful time of our lives!

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Linking up with PODCast for this weeks Alphabet Project

A Day at Alton Towers

We wanted to take the munchkin to Alton Towers, I wanted to see what the newly opened cBeebies land was like. Alton Towers is expensive, luckily as our friends have super-duper Merlin passes, they were able to get us in for really cheap as they can have friends and family tickets close to their birthdays if they accompanied us. So off we all set (us, my friend & her 2 kids), picnic and waterproofs in hand, for a day at Alton Towers.

The kids were excited straight away as we were welcomed into the park by pirates, they found the pirate driving round in a boat playing loud music hilarious! cBeebies land was great, it’s the first area you get to once you’ve walked in from the entrance. I was really impressed, the rides incorporated all of the cBeebies favourite characters, there was lots for the children to see and do. The munchkin particularly liked Justins House, you had to collect and fire balls our of cannons. Me not so much, I’m a big target and got whacked in the head!

The girls, both now tall enough to go on some of the bigger rides wanted to explore. Me and Mr C took them on Sonic Spinball. We had to shelter from the rain as it started pouring down, we ran for cover in the Tree Fu Tom training camp back in cBeebies land, which is where my friend was with the froglet and her son. The rain didn’t stop the kids going on the zip wire and having a run round.

Now wet we thought it would be a perfect time to get the water rides out of the way. After the log flume it started raining quite heavily again, we ran for cover in Sharkbait Reef, which is a mini sea life centre. We couldn’t take the pram in, we didn’t want to disturb the froglet who was cosy in his warm dry pram to carry him round in our wet arms. I could understand why the didn’t allow prams, there’s no way it would have fit but I was still disappointed. Mr C took shelter under a canopy whilst Me, my friend and the 3 kids had a wander round. Thankfully the rain then stopped and stayed off for the rest of the day.

We had a great time and really enjoyed the park. After the log flume and the river rapids, which got us soaked, the girls went on the runaway train, we all went on the tea cups, which were actually pirate barrels, talk about dizzy! We went for a look at the extreme rides but didn’t go on any, in the past we’ve gone on as single riders, we love fast rides but decided it wasn’t fair to have the munchkin waiting around, plus it’s much more fun queuing up and riding with someone else! Think a child free day might be in order!

There are plenty of things we didn’t get to see. We didn’t go across to Cloud Cuckoo Land, which is the other area geared towards little ones. I had started to ache, you walk quite a way getting from one place to the other. My stomach started hurting around my c section and my back was killing, something I was quite surprised at as we’re now 10 weeks on, but a sign that we were ready to go!

Why not watch the highlights of our day!

 

What's Happened? What's Happening?
Linking with Red Rose Mummy
What’s Happended, What’s Happening?

Project 365, Week #33

This week found us on our second week of our staycation. Like last week we had some fun days out and also some days just pottering around at home. It’s been a really good 2 weeks and I’ll be sorry to see Mr C go back to work on Monday.

Here is my week in pictures:

Day 222

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Sunday saw us visiting our good friends. We always have the easiest times with them, not having to do anything in particular but just enjoying each others company!

Day 223

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We had a day at home watching films. It was a really lazy day and the munchkin didn’t even get out of her PJs

Day 224

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We were back at the park for another Junior Rangers session. The munchkin loves the crafty sessions, this is what the children created today!

Day 225

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We took a trip to Alton Towers, it was tiring but we had a great day!

Day 226

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Thursday saw us at an arts session at a local farm. We created this garden in a box, the munchkin as usual loved it.

Day 227

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Friday we went to Apple Jacks adventure park (full post to follow), the munchkin tried her had an Archery!

Day 228

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Another pottering at home day. I got lots of cuddles with my favourite little man!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Getting Our Skills On

Here in the Cowley household we do love ourselves a challenge, so when I saw that tots100 had teamed up with Robinsons Fruit Shoot for a Get Your Skills on challenge I knew we should have a go!

It was easy to get the munchkin and Mr C excited, they like to learn new skills and they are, how should I put this, competitive! I have been witness to some pretty intense games of Uno!

All we had to do was complete 10 Challenges out of a list of 40, we actually did 12 as the munchkin snuck in Den Building and I will use any excuse to eat biscuits. As it was to be a family affair, we chose the activities we would attempt together, looking for things we knew the munchkin could try with little help, that we would all have to try for the first time and that Me & Mr C did as kids but hadn’t done with the munchkin yet.

The Challenges we set ourselves were:

* Shoot a Hoop

* Hula Hoop for 15 seconds

* Bounce a tennis ball on a racquet

* Throw and catch a ball behind our back

* Roll Down a Hill

* Skip without stopping for 10 seconds

* Score a Goal

* Swing as high as we could

* Dribble a ball for 15 seconds

* Throw and catch a frisbee

Each of us tried every challenge, the froglet mainly slept. We captured our attempts on video, inspired by the Fruit Shoot Get Your Skills On tour and how to videos on youtube. I *may* now be a little obsessed with making mini movies. I tried photos but I just couldn’t capture the enjoyment properly, I couldn’t think of a better way to preserve the experiences.

There were some skills the munchkin could do more easily than we could. Like Skipping:

She also had the right wiggle for hula hooping, Mr C not so much:

We found out she was brilliant at dribbling a football, a new found skill, and scoring a goal! Think we may have the next Kelly Smith on our hands.

There were some that the munchkin found a little trickier than we did. Me & Mr C managed it after a couple of tries but no matter how many times she tried she could not throw a ball and catch it behind her back:

It was the same for shooting a hoop, although the net at the park could have been a little too tall for her:

Rolling down a hill and swinging as high as we could had Mr C & I reliving our childhood and had the munchkin giggling:

We picked a really windy day to try throwing and catching a frisbee, something we realised we had never done with the munchkin before, she picked it up pretty quickly.

She’d also never tried bouncing a ball on a racquet, she was getting it with the little help of Mr C dressed as Clarke Kent (don’t ask!)

 We were pretty chuffed with ourselves when we managed a challenge, to say we had fun doing them is an understatement.

I’m really glad we took part, we have made some really funny memories and we laughed. A Lot.

I can’t finish this post without showing you challenge number 11 ’cause even now watching it back it makes me belly laugh!

This post is an entry to the

Robinsons Fruit Shoot Get Your Skills On Challenge

 A Competition on tots100

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A trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach

We worked it out that Me and Mr C hadn’t been on the rides at Blackpool for at least 10 years, which just made us both feel old! We usually just go to Blackpool when the illuminations are on, we go at tea time, grab fish and chips, play the 2p machines, grab some doughnuts and then drive through the lights home. We decided that as one of staycation days out we would take a trip to the Pleasure Beach.

We got a picnic together, packed for every weather eventuality as it was forecast rain and pre booked our tickets online. I had forgotten how easy it was to cart a lot of stuff around with you all day when you can load a pram up!

For a change, we got there early and the park wasn’t open yet but there was already people queuing to get in, it gave us plenty of time to pick our tickets up and by they time we had the gates were open and the queue had cleared.

There was several characters dancing and greeting the kids as they were going in. One of the characters got quite taken with her and kept coming over to dance with her. The munchkin loves anything like that so her excitement levels went up a notch!

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The predicted rain arrived not long after we got there so we took cover in a cafe, the first rides didn’t start running for another half an hour and the froglet needed feeding.

Luckily the rain quickly stopped, it actually turned out to be a really nice day. Mr C and the munchkin went running to find a ride to go on, we’d already checked before hand so knew which rides she was tall enough for. As well as some of the smaller rides they went on the big dipper, the grand national and avalanche more than once throughout the day.

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Big Dipper for the 3rd time

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As I was chief bag/baby holder, I only went on one ride, but Mr C took a couple of big dipper selfies! I think we have a little adrenalin junkie on our hands!

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The Froglet, well, he slept for most of the day!

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Nickolodeon Land is at the pleasure beach. It’s a fairly new area, I was very impressed as it struck the right balance between being child friendly but it also had a couple of roller coasters to keep older kids entertained. There are characters walking round the park all day and in Nickoldeon Land we saw Dora the explorer and Spongebob and I know that the teenage mutant ninja turtles are often there.

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Mr C took the munchkin on Valhalla, which got them really wet. I’m not really sure what they were expecting as people were actually buying ponchos to go on it! Luckily I had packed a spare set of clothes for the munchkin, Mr C was not so lucky and was pretty soggy for the rest of the day!

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Theme parks aren’t cheap days out. As I knew one of us would have to stay off each ride with the baby I just paid £6 entrance to get in. This differs from other theme parks where you have to pay full price if you’re going on the rides or not. I upgraded when we got there to a £10 ticket so I could go on one ride of my choice (I went on Infusion) we still made a saving by not paying full price. There are discounts on tickets if you book online and further discounts if you book more than 10 days in advance.

We had to go out of the park for lunch, our bags were searched on the way in and we weren’t allowed to take anything that had been pre prepared, like sandwiches. I was a little disappointed by this if I’m honest, the ticket price is not cheap so we were trying to keep the cost of the actual day to a minimum. You were allowed to go in and out of the park if you got a hand stamp, so we went and sat and had our picnic by the beach, which was nice but just a bit inconvenient to have to walk back to the car.

The food looked reasonably priced, although it can add up. We spent quite a bit on coffees and drinks when feeding the froglet, I wanted to sit inside and the only real option was to sit in a cafe, 3 drinks cost us nearly £10 each time. We also played the donkey derby and tried to win a minion by throwing a ball in a barrel.

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The park was clean, cleaner than I remember 1o years ago and the queues for rides were good, considering that it is the school holidays, I didn’t feel like I was waiting around for those two for very long. It did start getting busier late in the afternoon as we were leaving, the sun was really shining and the park does open until 8pm.

We had a great day and would go back, although we might wait until the munchkin is tall enough to go on the Big One!

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