Since being little (or rather littler), both Ethan and Megan have loved and embraced rock climbing. We used to go most weeks after Pre-school and it was something they adored and looked forward to. We would play games, have fun, explore, but mostly they would learn how to boulder and climb in a safe way.

The two of them are both natural climbers…inquisitive and built to explore almost anything above ground level! I found that rock climbing was a way for them to let it out, and a way for me to allow them to channel this away from our home, kitchen cupboards and windowsills! From the top of the climbing frame in the park, to cliffs at the seaside…these two are fearless little climbers!

Yesterday we visited a local manor house and Estate for a lovely nature walk around the grounds, bike ride and play in the park. As usual the kids ran off the beaten track to explore and find the perfect trees to climb. They ate their lunch beneath its branches (in their “den”) and then together climbed and explored. Higher and higher, laughing and chattering, and I never had a second thought. It is an ordinary part of their relationship, an ordinary part of our nature outings.

I forget some days that not all kids are like this, and it wasn’t until yesterday, when a couple passing looked up into the tree in a concerned manner, that I realised their confidence with climbing isn’t across the board!  They kept saying how high they were (like we didn’t know), but I put their mind at rest by saying its all normal! The tree wasn’t as high as the nets at the playground, and If they can get up there, then they can usually get back down.

I love that all kids are different. That as parents we are comfortable with different things, and therefore are raising variety in this world!  For us it is definitely all about heights, an adrenaline rush, a little risk, and climbing up things. Perhaps I am a little slack in this area compared to some, I am not an overly cautious parent when it comes to adventure and I don’t feel uneasy with them tree climbing or climbing generally. It is an ordinary part of childhood, and ordinary moment for our family that fills us all with joy and awe!

I love their confidence, their agility and mostly their bond in these things. I love to see my little playmates, my little risk assessors and little nature lovers. They are my little climbers and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Ordinary Moments
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This week I have been mostly housebound with a spotty, chicken poxy baby! As a result I haven’t had huge opportunities to get out and hunt for the bargs! Frugal living is a way of life though, and whether in or out, there are always thrifty choices to make.

“Make do & Mend”

The phrase “Make do & Mend” to the younger me used to stir feelings of missing out and being cheap. To the adult thrifty me, I love it. I love that I can sew, and I love that I can see passed a rip or hole and make something wearable again. Make do and mending means saving money and living less in the trap of disposable fashion… though I do love Primark still!!

This week I mended a sweatshirt, blouse and summer trousers, and am excited to have them back in my wardrobe! I still have some trousers of Nathans and a dress to mend – saving the pennies!

Left Over Lunches

Another way I have cut down on spending and food shopping this week has been to eat leftovers for my lunch. It’s so easy (and tasty) to fall into the trap of buying lunch for convenienve when out and about, and I often do. I see it as a little treat for myself but those 2 and 3 pounds a pot soon add up!

This week at home I have enjoyed Tuna salad with the salad left from dinner, Beef stew from Sundays dinner and Chicken fajita salad from dinner the other night… it was all GORGEOUS!

Reductions

I always love a good haul from the reduction section of the supermarket. These days it seems to be luck as opposed to pre-planned back in the day. On one stint I picked up yogurt drinks for 50p (12), fresh juice for 65p and fresh tortellini for 55p. On another it was asparagus for 20p each, courgetti for 5p, kid soups 10p, and a tex mex dip for 10p! Bargain!

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Last week I had forgotten that May day meant a bank holiday, and so it suddenly felt like such a bonus on Monday to have Nathan home for the day. It was so exciting to realise Monday meant no rushing but an opportunity to be able to spend some extra time as a family. So of course we made the most of it and got the kids cleaning up!!!

After a morning of tidying up and swapping around ideas of what we should do in the process with this bonus family day, we finally settled on a visit to the National Railway Museum in York. It’s been ages since we all visited there and it was great to see that the kids still loved it just as much.

Trains to most kids are an exciting concept, and more so for ours since loosing their grandpa.  They were a great love of his and it’s a place he would frequently visit with each of his grandchildren, and so they are something that ties them to memories with him. We told stories to the kids of their visits there with him it was nice and so natural to take time to reflect on memories of the past with Grandpa there.

Another exciting feature to our visit (aside from all of the amazing Trains) was that the museum also have a crime/mystery theme going on at the moment (until September) where the kids were able to use typewriters, make finger print badges and solve some mysteries for themselves! It was the perfect opportunity to get involved and get to grips with history (which is awkward seeing as though we grew up with them), and for Ethan to develop a new obsession he would later torment me with by whining for one! They also spoke to police officers past and present about crime on the railways and then went nuts dashing here and there to see all of the marvellous things on display!

They both loved letting off steam (lol) and exploring, wandering, snooping and riding on the trains – it was really nice to chill out together and I too really enjoyed myself. I felt all day that it was actually a really cool museum I have never properly appreciated and felt pretty chilled out and had a lot of fun with the kids. Now when I think back and look at my selection of pics I am feeling thankful for our bonus day of time together in a place our whole family associate with someone very special. It was just a lovely day spent together making memories in an exciting museum of all things trains!

During the visit we noticed Alice had a few red spots on her and by the end of the day we realised she most definitely had chicken pox! Its been a bit of a struggle and she looks so sad even though she is actually handling rather well. I am just so grateful we got out on Monday for a little train adventure, and were able to have a good laugh all together…because now I am going nuts with a spotty, clingy, can’t sleep properly baby!

Run Jump Scrap!
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For the past few weeks we have been trying out the “Guardianfix 3” car seat from Kiddy. It is their latest in the Guardianfix series and corresponds with the very latest safety standards. Suitable from 9 months and available in an array of beautiful rich colours, this car seat is not only a gentle beast to keep your child safe, but once invested in, will be the only car seat you will need from them being 9 months up to 12 years. Here are our thoughts on it…

Safety

As mentioned the Guardianfix 3 ticks all of the boxes for the latest safety standards for infant and children’s car seats. Currently you can turn infants forward facing before 15 months as long as they are in a weight based car seat and weigh at least 20lb/9kg (approx. 9 months), and are then also restrained in the correct way. They also must remain in a high backed booster until around 12 years old.

This car seat is suitable for both of these requirements. It is a weight based seat and therefore is suitable from 9kg… it has been fitted with a safety shield that sits across the baby or child (until they are 18kg) which works to absorb the energy of a collision so that the upper body of the child will naturally roll over; this gives a low load on the neck region compared to 5 point harness systems. This design corresponds with the law that from 9kg to 18kg a child must be restrained using a harness, or safety shield, and from 15kg a harness, seat belt or safety shield.  It allows for an overlap of belt or shield for the growing child.

It is fitted using both the ISOFIX in the car and then a 3 point seat belt, and this design means that the Kiddy Shock Absorber absorbs the energy acting on the 3-point seat belt, which protects the child in the case of an accident or sudden braking. The K-Fix+ connectors from the seat to the ISOFIX means that it will naturally slide sideways in a side collision!


It is made from high tech materials known as “Honeycomb 2” which can be found in the seat around the delicate head and shoulder area of the child, and is designed to absorb energy, offering more protection.

The Guardianfix 3 also has side impact protection and is cleverly designed so as to not obstruct the child’s view, but still offers maximum protection in the event of a side collision. It is designed to be able to be the perfect car seat for your child at any age.

I love how it all moves in order to accommodate the growing child – For younger children the seat is used with the seat cushion and the impact shield. For older children, the backrest can be adjusted to accommodate growth in height and width. The adjustable leg rest can also be extended and the eye level indicator on the head-rest ensures that the back rest is always correctly aligned with the child’s height.

Fitting

This car seat was super easy to fit into our car. We just have an old tacky Citreon Picasso, but it has ISOFIX and it literally took only a minute or 2! It simply clicks into the ISOFIX points at the back of the outer seats and boom – baby (or child) can be popped in, shield on and belted up.

Aesthetics

I call this seat the gentle beast because you can’t hide away from the fact it looks like a bit of a beast! Obviously this is to accommodate all of the wonderful and necessary safety features in order to make for a smooth and gentle ride for our baby/child. I am fine with that, its just a lot bigger than other seats I have been used to, but after the first week or so I was used to it and now I really do like having it.

I love most that it is available in so many colour options (8 to be precise) that are both “normal” right up to bright and beautiful. We chose the Ocean Petrol and I really like it. It’s a happy shade to see in your rear-view mirror!

Ease of use

Once fitted in to the car (which is easy to do), getting the child in and out is pretty simple and straightforward. Only its not with miss Alice! She seems to struggle with the fact she has to have the impact shield on and we always have a mini battle when she first gets in! It begins with a protesting shout followed by feet up and hands together pushing it away before we can get the belt on and around her. So yes, I’d say if you don’t have a rebel baby like ours that seems to want to live on the edge of safety regulations, then this car seat is super quick to both fit/take out and then to get your child/baby in and out of.

Babies response

Need we say any more?!!! No I’m kidding – once she is in and settled she really enjoys looking out of the window, being able to keep a sly eye on mummy and daddy, and joining in the jokes with Ethan and Megs. She can eat fine on a long journey, sleep and seems very content. The adjustable sleep position is useful though she seems to prefer to snuggle into the impact shield (not so bad now is it madam?).

Value for Money

I have thought a lot about this one as I am a thrifty person and don’t particularly enjoy spending a lot of money unless I feel it is necessary or good value. The Guardianfix 3 costs £279 which compared to competitors is on the higher end, but then I haven’t looked into each of their features to see how they compare, and to look at what you are getting for your money.

Taking this on an individual basis though and seeing how it can grow with your child from being only 9 months until 12/out of a car seat, I would say it is an excellent investment. The fabrics are machine washable and the seat can be moved in wondrous ways to accommodate the growing child, which is something I absolutely love. Most importantly though it is line with new safety standards.

Over all I love our new Guardianfix 3. It’s colour is gorgeous and it is super easy to use. It offers peace of mind with numerous and brilliant safety features, and the smallest member of our family is certainly loving life (once she’s in) back there in her beast of a throne as we cruise down the road!

 

 

We're going on an adventure
*We were sent the Kiddy Guardianfix 3 for the purpose of this and future reviews. All thoughts and pictures are my own.

 

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