Sunday, 12 August 2012

August book of the month: The Gift

As you know, I am an ambassador for Barefoot Books . Barefoot have lots of amazing books for children and I will be highlighting one as book of the month, that I think you and your little ones would love. This month I have chosen a beautiful book by written by Carol Ann Duffy and illustrated by Rob Ryan. The book is a story of a girls journey through life and the desires that shape it . With a kind of magic that is timeless, ' The Gift ', speaks to everyone who wonders about the mysteries that lie in the heart of the human experience.

The book celebrates all that is important about life, love and family and is aimed at all ages. Younger children can simply enjoy the lyrical tale, older children can explore the themes of the cycles of life of birth, love and death and adults can simply get lost in the wonderful art work of Rob Ryan. I adore this book, its one of those that puts a smile on your face as soon as you open the first page and think it is definitely one to keep on the shelf for years.

Take a further look at Barefoot Books and get 20% off your first order using the code TWENTY12 at checkout. Sale on until 27th August, with unto 70% off.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Meet the parents

It has been a few weeks since my last post as I have been quite busy with of late; meeting up with friends, making the most of the nice weather and, as usual, shopping too much. Another thing that I have been doing a lot more is going to playgroups, which is something that I have never been a huge fan of. As soon as Sofia was born I put her name on the very long ' baby massage ' and ' baby yoga ' list at the local children's centre but when it came to the other groups I was a little hesitant. I am not sure if my reluctance was down to my inherent shyness, my intolerance of  'know it alls' or my inability to be up, ready and out the door at silly o' clock, probably a combination of them all,.Thinking about it though, after years of worrying about my shyness I have finally learned to accept it as a part of who I am and I try not to let it stop me from doing things as I am very confident ( the two can go together) and love to try new things, so I suppose it is not down to that. The 'know it all part ' probably hits the nail on the head for me, there is nothing worse than people trying to tell me what to do especially when it comes to parenthood. Yes, I am human and do need to ask for help and advice at times but I do like to ASK for it and not be subjected to the whole ' you should be doing this ' and ' you need to stop that '. I know that I do not have to listen to people and can shrug it off, as I do, but simply being around people like this can drain me at times, particularly when on top of all the ' advice ' you hear women prattling on about how their child is so much more clever than all the other kids. I know we all want our children to be beautiful and brainy but, for me, all children are adorable and have potential and we should embrace the diversity that children bring.

I realise though, that keeping myself away from people is not good for me to Sofia and I should not let the odd annoying mother put me off. I thoroughly enjoyed the massage sessions at our local children's centre and it really encouraged me to attend other groups, particularly as all the staff are so friendly and encouraging. Despite the small worries about flashing my bum or wondering does my mummy belly look big in this and of course my awful singing, I have come to feel relaxed amongst other mums and it has become easier to switch off from the mumsnet types. I feel like I should wear a sticker on my head with my name, baby's name, age, etc and I am finding it increasingly bizarre how many types I get asked ' is she sleeping through the night ' ( don't we all wake up to get comfy/go the loo/get a drink now and again) but overall I am glad I took the plunge into messy play and story time. Most importantly being a mum is not all about me, my daughter is most important in all this and it is a joy to see her mixing with other children and trying to sing and jump along. I want Sofia to be a happy, interactive and confident child and taking her along to meet up with other children is certainly doing her the world of good. There are lots of great Sure Start centres across the country and I would encourage everybody to go along, it's not that bad and if those mums do annoy you simply smile!