20 Dec 2016

When we went to see Santa ... again

The kids with Becky's school "pet" Pecky, which she's taking everywhere, as it's her turn to write his diary. 
On Sunday we ventured out for yet another meet-up with Santa, visiting a zoological conservation project where Santa held residence in a very lovely and atmospheric yurt.

We had never actually managed to visit the place before, so it was as good a time as any to do so for the first time, when Santa was there. The kids were very excited; I’m still surprised that Alex is taking Santa in his stride and is neither particularly bothered, nor particularly scared of him, which is good, as Becky at his age was absolutely terrified of the big man, wherever we took her, and was always crying her eyes out if he even came near her.

As we’re approaching the final countdown to Christmas, it was nice to be out and about as a family and leave the pre-Christmas stress and craziness behind. We had a little wonder round the area and saw cheetahs, chimpanzees, wolves, reindeers, meerkats (my favourite!), mongoose lemurs and more, and then we stepped into the yurt, where Santa took time to chat to Becky (and Alex, though he kept wondering off and marvelling at the Christmas lights and decorations), who sang “Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer” with and for him – very confidently, I must add. Maybe she will actually be a popstar when she’s older, which is her biggest dream right now!

It was a lovely day out, which we ended with a huge hot chocolate topped off with cream and marshmallows. I just love Christmas. Such a magical time for kids - big and small! 
Five more days to go, peeps!

From one raindeer to another.
Hiding in a woodland den.

I love this picture of Becky and John. They are best buddies.

Gratuitous shots of mongoose lemurs and a meerkat, because they are just so cute.
The kids meet the big man. 

18 Dec 2016

So My Little Girl is 6

So Becky turned six earlier this week. Six! I honestly don’t know how this happened. While she will always be my little girl, she is growing up so incredibly fast. Four years felt like a big milestone, like a departure from toddlerhood, and whilst five years also seemed like yet another step up, six feels on another level altogether (I guess I will say this every year, but it does feel so momentous every year!).

Everything, from her looks through her demeanour, her interests, hobbies to friendships and overall skills and abilities have developed so much over the past 12 months; a lot has obviously most certainly to do with school and the fact that she is now in Year 1, which seems to accelerate everything somehow. 

She is a bubbly and extroverted little girl, and she has lots of friends whom she socialises with regularly, and these friendships are getting stronger and stronger as time progresses. When we had her pyjama party last week, it became so obvious to me how many beautiful relationships she has formed with so many different girls, and each friendship has its own dynamic and foundation, which I think says a lot about the type of character and personality Becky has, and how open, adaptable and friendly she is as a person.

She loves going out on play dates or birthday parties and her social calendar is considerably more packed than mine - we’re at various celebrations or other social gatherings nearly every weekend, which she absolutely enjoys – especially dressing up in pink party dresses, getting her hair and nails done (by me), acessorising and so on! She’s a typical little big girl.

She’s so funny and has us in stitches most of the time; the way she says things or asks things – she’s very dramatic and a bit theatrical; in fact, I think she would do well at a stage school or theatre group or so, which I will have to look into (I wonder whom she's got that from *ahem*). She’s also very confident and chatty – our little chatterbox, as we call her, and even though she can drive us nuts by just never shutting up, we wouldn’t have her any other way. She’s so incredibly eloquent though – I marvel daily at the wealth of her vocabulary, the sophisticated words she often uses, her grasp of language generally (she can do a mean American accent, which is hilarious!) and how articulate she is for a 6-year-old.

She continues to learn and speak German, and even though English will always be her primary language and the one she uses most frequently and naturally, she has days where she puts real effort into speaking German back to me or consciously asks how you say something or other in German or how it's pronounced, which I think is great. I’m not trying to put too much pressure on her, but at the same time I am keen for her to be bilingual, so I’m trying to strike a balance between teaching and facilitating German, whilst also ensuring that we still function as a family unit and that John, who doesn’t speak German, is included in everything and doesn't miss bits of conversation or so. 

It was parents evening at Becky's school recently, and aside from the huge praise her teacher had for her academic achievements  - she said that Becky is doing really well with her reading and writing, as well as Maths (apparently she always asks to be given new Maths challenges, which I’m astonished about as I always hated Maths; one thing she definitely hasn't from me)  – she also said that she wished every one of her pupils was as enthusiastic as Becky; that Becky is always up for every new thing, never moans about not wanting to take part in something, always gives everything her best shot and will try and try with determination until she has mastered something, which I think are almost more important life skills and character traits than any other academic accomplishment. She also said that Becky is always kind and polite and treats everyone in the same respectful and friendly manner, and I can’t express the sense of pride I feel hearing this.

Lots of people frequently comment on what a lovely child Becky is - of course I know that, but I’m obviously biased, so it’s nice to hear it from others, too, especially teachers and her friends’ and peers’ parents etc.

She has always been confident and outgoing in her personality, but physically she had a tendency in the past to be a bit more timid and a little scared to push herself. This has really changed over the past year, and whilst she is still considered and careful in what she does, she has become a lot more daring and courageous, which is brilliant. She’s learned to ride a bike without stabilisers in the spring, and since the summer she has been learning karate and recently had her first grading and she's now a red belt. How awesome is that?

To me, Becky is perfect, and I love her more than she will ever know. She’s the funniest, kindest, cleverest and most beautiful girl I know – and best of all, she’s mine!


12 Dec 2016

Becky's 6th Birthday Pyjama Party

We held Becky’s 6th birthday party at the weekend. It was a pyjama party for a total of nine girls (one unfortunately couldn’t make it in the end) at our house, and I’ve been agonising over it and planning it for what seems like ages. I just wanted to make it as special for Becky as I possibly could. I think I just about pulled it off, and everyone had a good time (and the house only got trashed a little and I only needed one large glass of wine to recuperate!).

Last year I hired a village hall and a disco dance kids entertainer, but I wanted to do something different this year; firstly, because I’m a little wary of having to go bigger and better every year (I mean, if we’re going through such an effort and expense when they’re this little, how are we going to top it every year until they’re 18 or so?), but also because now that Becky is older, friendships have changed, progressed and evolved, and instead of having to invite huge heaps of kids from school just to cover everyone, there is now a clear gang of girls and strong friendships that have a lovely dynamic, which I hoped would work well in a smaller environment. And that was definitely the case.

Because Becky’s birthday is in December and it obviously gets dark very early, I thought a pyjama party would be perfect – cosy and comfy and girly and pink and all the fluffly attributes you can think of. Becky loved the idea, so we went ahead with it and send the invites out.

We decided to get everyone over from 4pm to 7pm (a long time, I know!) and do party games, disco dancing, manicures, glitter tattoos and watch a movie, and we did just that.

The girls were very excited from the moment I sent the invites out, and Becky didn’t stop talking about it for weeks, she was so looking forward to it. I must admit, as the anticipation was rising in the run-up, I did feel slightly nervous whether I could live up to all the girls’ expectations, but they seemed happy and like they had a lovely time, which was a big relief.

As a little gift on arrival, I had bought each girl matching fluffy socks and a glow stick to get them into the spirit of the evening. In my head I had the image that all the girls would wear the same cosy socks and find it funny -  I just didn’t make provisions for the fact that some girls were clearly quite attached to their own socks, and a couple politely declined the offer and insisted on wear their own, which still makes me chuckle. You can plan so much, you can pin so many Instagram worthy ideas, but you can never quite predict how it’s actually going to work out when you’re dealing with kids, and especially strong minded little girls. So about two thirds wore matching socks, and the others just wore their own, hehe (but they received the socks in their party bag anyway, so it’s all good). 

We started off with disco dancing, then played musical statues followed by pass the parcel and charades, which was really good fun. The girls were so brilliant, and such good sports, up for everything, and they were actually a real pleasure to have around.

We then stopped for some refreshments and to refuel before the second part of the party began. In terms of food, I went with the usual party favourites of mini pizzas, cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, crisps, jelly etc., but I also added a few girly and fun elements, like a cupcake fondue. I basically filled a muffin baking tray with icing, which Becky and I had coloured into pink and light blue (like Rainbow Dash, which was on Becky’s pyjamas), and a load of different sprinkles, hearts, butterflies, hundreds and thousands, popping candy etc. I also bought mini muffins (I think you’re supposed to use fairy cakes, but I found that mini muffins worked better, because of their domed shape). The girls then dipped the muffins into the icing and sprinkles they fancied and devoured the cupcakes. 

I also made some fruit skewers, which I had only really done to have a healthy option that looked nice – but it went down surprisingly great with the girls, who all had some. I also filled a candy jar with lots of rainbow coloured candy, and made some glitter jelly, which they also loved. Then they all sat down for a floor picnic and chatted and giggled while munching away. 

For the cake, I went with a very talented local bakery called Tesco’s (!), which delivered a fab My Little Pony Cake. I have given up on the idea of baking my own cake – I just don’t have the time, and also, even though I am a good baker, and the cakes taste nice, I am absolutely hopeless using Royal Icing, so the cakes I have tried to make in the past are always a visual disaster, so I avoided this altogether by just buying one.  Who cares – the girls certainly didn’t, they loved it. 

At this point I had planned to do some more party games, but I could tell that the girls were getting increasingly impatient for the movie, nail painting and glitter tattoo part of the evening, so we dimmed the lights, put on the movie, distributed the jelly and popcorn and started our little nail bar. (I had planned to do hot chocolate and marshmallows, too, but I got so caught up in the pampering of the girls, I completely forgot – ooops. But they didn’t even notice, I don’t think). 

I have to say, I think this was the girls’ favourite part, and if I ever do another party at home again, I will probably do the nails and glitter tattoo again, as it went down a treat and was a lovely activity to do with them. Each girl had pulled out a number from a little sac I had prepared, to keep things fair and square, and while they were waiting their turn, they were watching the movie and huddling together and cuddling up on the sofa, which was so sweet. When everyone had their glitter tattoos, we sang Happy Birthday to Becky and cut the cake, after which all the girls wanted some more glitter tattoos, so we went into round number 2 (and 3 for some).

I have to say that considering there were eight girls together, there were no arguments, nothing like that, everyone was so brilliant. I can’t get over what a lovely bunch of girlfriends Becky has. 
So, all in all, I think it went well. Juggling all activities and the girls on my own (John had gone out with Alex for the duration to keep him out of the way so he wouldn't annoy the girls) was quite full on, but in parts the three hours also went by really quickly. 

Did it get noisy and messy and chaotic at times? Of course it did, but that's to be expected and comes with the territory when you do a birthday party at home and the kids stuff their faces with E-numbers and ride on a sugar high. But I had made provisions for it; I had moved anything breakable from the living room, covered up our white wool rug with blankets - and that’s about it. Our ground floor area still has the laminate flooring and tiles in the kitchen that the previous owners have put in (we’re planning to install a nice wooden floor at some point) and our carpet on the stairs also needs replacing, so there wasn’t much to trash anyway and I was quite relaxed about glitter and sweet remnants that were stepped on, as well as any drinks and jelly spillages - you have to be. 

I think all the girls enjoyed themselves, and Becky loved having all her little friends over. That’s another year ticked off – until the next birthday party. 


4 Dec 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This weekend we kicked off December and the festive period by visiting Santa on the Avon Valley Railway, which runs a traditional old steam train. We’d done this three years ago, when Becky was Alex’s age, and she loved it, and we knew that Alex, who is obsessed with trains and planes would love the experience, too. And Becky did anyway, because she absolutely loves Santa, Christmas and everything to do with it.

It was a cold, crisp day and, as expected, Alex absolutely loved the train. He kept going “choo choo” and he was bouncing up and down in his seat and looking out of the window, seeing the beautiful countryside go by. We picked a late afternoon slot, so it was slowly getting darker as we were doing the six mile round-trip, which only added to the festive atmosphere.

About 15 minutes into the journey, Santa’s helpers came to give everyone a mince pie and ginger biscuits, followed moments later by the big man himself. Becky was her usual chatty self, and straight away started telling Santa all sorts, whereas Alex wasn’t quite so sure what to make of that man with big white beard and the red get-up. He didn’t cry though, which we were chuffed about, he just looked a little suspiciously at him – though he was soon appeased by the lovely present he received.

Afterwards we drove over to Bath and visited the Christmas Market there. It’s such a beautiful city with such a gorgeous setting, and even though it was absolutely brimming with people – as we expected it would – it kind of only added to the atmosphere, as by that point it was already dark and all the Christmas lights, together with the lit up Cathedral culminated in a wonderful Christmas display.

All in all, it was a brilliant way to kick off December and get us straight into the Christmas Spirit. We have a few more Christmas trips and bits and bobs planned, and I can’t wait to spend this special time with my favourite people. We’re not going to Germany this year for Christmas, as we alternate each year; instead we will be staying at home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then going to Wales to see John’s parents on Boxing Day and stay there for a few days. Whilst I love going home to Germany for Christmas, I’m also excited about the prospect of staying home, in our home, and making our very own Christmas traditions as a family of four. Just our little unit – which is also kinda special. 


My November 2016

So, we’re already well into December, and I hardly managed to post in November. In fact, I’ve hardly taken any pictures throughout the month, it appears, so this post is very very short, and I’m only really including it to keep the continuity when I look back on the year that was. 

Apart from the usual things that are going on, some of which I have already touched upon before, we spent most of last month moving, redecorating, painting, disassembling and reassembling furniture in what has been the much anticipated (at least by us) and talked about (on here) room swap extravaganza. It was so much work, and quite a lot of upheaval, much more than I expected, if I’m honest, and we spent literally every weekend and every spare minute on this.

It felt almost like moving house all over again – but now its done, and we are all in new bedrooms and office set-ups, with Becky now having her big Princess bedroom and Alex now being in his own little space.

I’m really pleased with how they all turned out – I’m still putting the finishing touches to them, like sourcing accessories etc, but I will do the grand reveal on here soon.

So whilst it’s been very very quiet on here during November, December will hopefully be a different story, as we have lots planned and going on, what with Christmas festivities and Becky’s birthday and party etc. I’m determined to make the kids’s Christmas as magical as I can - also because I feel a little bit guilty that November was a bit of a wash-out in terms of activities, because we were so all consumer by the renovations - so we have a few things planned and I’m looking forward enjoying this special time through the eyes of my two beautiful two-some and as a family. 

16 Nov 2016

Being honest about motherhood

When I first had Becky and I was on maternity leave, I joined pretty much every mother & baby group going: breastfeeding group, baby massage, baby swimming, baby sign language, baby sensory, the local mother & baby meet up and more.

If I'm honest, they were as much for my as for Becky’s benefit, so huge was my desire for support from other Mums (and an adult conversation!), as I felt isolated and out of my depth quite a lot.
When I had Alex, I didn't join any. Actually, that’s not true, I went to one; it was run by my local midwife and was for all mums in the community who had had a baby in the last few months, and it was just useful in jogging my memory about baby care etc.  But that was it, I didn’t do any of the other groups.

The reason? Because after my experience first time round, I realised that as much as these groups are meant to support and help, they are also full of competitive and hyper critical Mums, and that more often than not, they didn’t offer support, but lots of judgment on the apparent rights and wrongs of motherhood, making me feel even more insecure than I already was.

*Maybe I need to insert a little disclaimer here – I’m not saying all groups are like that, and if you’ve had a positive experience, then that’s brilliant. That’s how it should be. But for me, a lot of these groups didn’t work. Maybe it was me, maybe I just didn’t fit in.*

That said, I did make some amazing friends, both times, but these were with women who, like me, didn’t shy away from sometimes just saying out loud that motherhood was hard. Is hard. That sometimes, as much as you love your kids, you really hate aspects of having them. That not everything is always rosy, and that sometimes you struggle.

I said it on here before, I found motherhood particularly hard first time round. I had just left a job behind - for a while at least - that I loved and that I knew I was good at, and swapped for a life swamped in nappies, a 24 / 7 crying baby with colic that would not sleep, breastfeed or put on weight, and I felt clueless, useless and scared. Very, very scared. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a model mum (does that even exist?), so much so that I could only fail. This was supposed to be the most magical time of my life, and I spent most of the time in tears! Then there was the added element of post-natal depression (which was only diagnosed retrospectively during my pregnancy with Alex), and things were really tough, to say the least.

It took a good few months until I came out the other side of it, until things started to settle down and Becky grew into a more manageable routine and I into my Mummy role.

I think far too few mums admit that motherhood isn’t always perfect. That the amazing gift that are your kids also comes with some rough moments. That, whilst you love your little cherubs beyond anything in the world, you don’t always enjoy everything, and there are times when you just want to run away from it all.

And in those moments, all you want is someone who admits that they, too, find it hard. That they, too, are at the end of their tether sometimes. And that sometimes they would also rather watch Made in Chelsea hidden under a duvet than read The Tiger Who Came to Tea for the umpteenth time. Sometimes you need solidarity from other mothers rather than judgment on whether you’re breast or bottle feeding, co-sleeping or control crying, attachment parenting or Gina Ford-ing, baby-led weaning or puree feeding, and so forth. Sometimes you just need a fellow Mum to say that they had a crap, tough day, too, where they sucked at motherhood and motherhood sucked for them. And that that’s ok.

Last week Adele made headlines with the admission that at some point she was questioning whether she had made the right decision having a kid, that she found it so hard, and admitted that she had suffered from PND. This was so refreshing, and it's exactly something we need more of; more mothers – celebrities and role models at that - need to speak up that whilst we love our kids and would die for them, there are also moments when we feel overwhelmed.

Thankfully I have a great network of Mummy friends who I can do exactly that with. Who I can chat about the shitty side of motherhood and those days when we just feed our kids junk just for some peace and quiet and when they spend far too much time on the iPad and so on.

There is so much pressure on mothers – mostly from other mothers. And most of it is unnecessary. I'm sure there are mothers who have it all, win at everything and are the image of maternal perfection. But for the rest of us, we have ups and downs. And that does not make us bad mothers. Just honest ones who are trying really hard and sometimes just need a break.

5 Nov 2016

My October 2016

I can’t believe we are already into November and racing towards Christmas! It feels like it was only yesterday that we were exactly at this point this time last year, but alas, it is indeed 12 months later! October continued to be a busy month for us, with work, school, house renovations and lots of other things keeping us on our toes and leaving us quite exhausted actually. Good job October offered a week off from it all during half term, and even though it wasn’t exactly relaxing, it was nice to get out of the everyday rut. But anyway, not to pre-empt this month’s list, here are my October events (clockwise from left):

1.       The month started not so brilliantly; suddenly and without any obvious cause, Alex went from confident toddler to terrified little boy. From one day to another he started to be petrified of everything – noises, me not being in his sight, something he’d see on TV … anything and everything. And it immediately affected his sleep. He went from normally going down quite well and falling asleep instantly to shaking uncontrollably as soon as we would go into the bedroom and crying hysterically. He would not be left on his own, and one of us has to lie with him (for up to an 1 ½ hour every night!) until he falls asleep in our bed, and then carefully transfer him into his cot. Apparently, it’s a normal developmental stage, but it feels like he’s regressed somehow, and it’s been a pretty rough few weeks, to be honest. I suffer from insomnia anyway, but coupled with a toddler who just won’t go to sleep or wakes up in the middle of the night for several hours on end, I’ve been beyond exhausted and have found it hard to function at times. Kids, ey? Let’s hope it’ll settle this month.

2.       We flew to Germany for half term, and it was the first time that Alex had his own seat on the plane and did not have to be on my lap all this time. I fly on my own with the kids several times a year and am quite versed at it by now, and Alex and Becky are also becoming quite the seasoned little travellers. Alex loved the aeroplane, he wouldn’t stop shouting “aeroplane” throughout the whole flight (much to the delight of the people around us, I’m sure), and all in all he was a little angel. So much easier to spread out and each of us having our own seat, I must say!

3.       The kids loved their week in Germany, especially with my Mum, who is totally besotted with them and tirelessly entertains them. I guess she’s making the most of having us over, as even though our visits are frequent, it’s not the same as if we lived in the same country and could just visit on a whim. Makes me a bit melancholic to think how precious this time is, and how I must capture these memories while I can.

4.       We used the autumn weekends for little family trips away, and as always, no day out goes without me trying – and failing – to take a family selfie!

5.       Becky’s school sent a letter outlining the different homework activities the kids could do during the month. One of those activities was to replicate our house from recycling boxes – and truth be told, as it was optional, I opted out of doing this, as I hate crafts and John was also busy with home and garden improvements and Becky didn’t seem bothered about this particular task. Honestly, who has the time to rummage through the rubbish to replicate their house? And what’s the educational value in that? Well, that’s what I thought anyway. Until the night before the project was due, and a couple of parents posted their creations on our Facebook Group. Aaaarrgh! I knew this would happen, and even though I really wanted to stand firm on this and not do the pesky house, in the end my mummy guilt got the better of me, not wanting Becky to be “the only one” who didn’t make a house, and a frenzied rummage in the attic for suitable boxes and a last-minute crafts session ensued. I think we did quite well, considering! This term’s optional project is to make a bleeding snow globe. And I’ve sure learned my lesson – best get that craft kit ordered in good time – because it might as well be compulsory!

6.       Halloween came and went, and Becky dressed as a spooky zombie princess. She looked really cute, and we went trick or treating around our village with our friends, which was lots of fun!

7.        Aaand finally *drumroll please*: Becky lost her first tooth. Well, technically she lost her first tooth on the 2nd of November, but it started to wobble on the 31st of October so I will include it in this month’s update, as it certainly feels momentous and like a major milestone that I need to shout about. Becky was sooo excited and the tooth fairy came, of course, and left a nice, shiny coin. If she continues like that, she’ll make quite a bit of money out of that fairy! 

2 Nov 2016

Becky's first tooth fell out

Today my little girl reached another milestone - her first tooth fell out. So I thought it only appropriate to document the day on the blog, seeing as it's meant to be primarily a diary of our family and our big life events.

Becky is so excited about the tooth fairy coming tonight! She just went to bed and she's still totally animated, asking me continuous questions about when and how the tooth fairy is going to come and what kind of coin she will leave for her.

It's hard not to be excited, too, even though it's another step towards my little girl growing up! But I'm celebrating this day and how special this moment is.

20 Oct 2016

Flying with a 2-year-old

Next week is half term, and the kids and I are going to Germany for the week to see my parents and catch up with friends. I’m a seasoned traveller on my own with two kids by now, doing this every few months or so (John only comes with me now and again for special occasions like Christmas or family dos or weddings – a mutual agreement, it’s just easier that way).

This journey will be slightly different though. For the first time Alex will have his own seat, as he is two years old now and no longer has to sit on my lap, which is a definite plus. The slight disadvantage, if that’s the word, is, however, that he is now also a bona fide, energetic toddler, and for the next year or so, it will probably be quite tricky keeping him entertained (and contained) on a flight (until he’s older and happy to sit still).

Luckily the flight to Germany is only just under 90 minutes long, so this is manageable – even if the worst case scenario happens and he screams and shouts the whole way through, I just have to put up with it for an hour and a bit (sorry in advance, fellow travellers!).

But hopefully it will fine, judging by previous experiences and the fact that he loves aeroplanes and gets very excited to be on one. I’ve also packed plenty of things to occupy and sweeten the journey with (literally!), so I thought I’d share all the things I’m taking with me to keep a 2-year-old entertained on a flight:

1.       Firstly, I always pack our Little Tikes backpack with reigns. It’s so handy for the airport to make sure he can run around, but not off. It’s quite hard looking after two little children in a busy place on your own, but this makes it a little bit easier.

2.       I picked up these two activity and sticker books from the Poundshop, one is a Paw Patrol one and the other is a Teletubbies one. They both contain stickers, activities and some pages for doodling, so hopefully these will help occupy Alex for a while.

3.       A pack of pencils so he can doodle and scribble in the activity books.

4.       Mini lollies. They are really handy for take-off and landing, when the air-pressure makes your ears pop. Sucking on a lolly really helps with that, so I always keep plenty to hand.

5.       A variety of children’s crisps.

6.       Raisins. Because he likes them and you need at least one token healthy snack, ha!

7.       I always make sure I get a couple of new books that he hasn’t seen before. Hopefully the novelty factor will keep him focused for a bit and make the time “fly” by quicker.

8.       Mini wine gum sweets, because he loves them, and they are an easy and mess-free pacifier if he gets cranky.

9.       The ultimate entertainer – the iPad. I always download loads of his favourite programmes from Cbeebies, and we have plenty of toddler games on there, too, so if all else fails, the iPad should do the trick once we’re up high in the sky.

I have learned from past experience that healthy eating rules don’t apply when you’re up in the air. Just pack loads of everything, because when it comes to the crunch and your little one kicks off, you’ll be glad to have some options and plenty of “sweeteners”.

One thing that I wouldn’t pack – and trust me, I learned this the hard way – is chocolate in any shape or form, be that chocolate fingers, chocolate buttons or just simply chocolate bars. They will almost instantly melt, your toddler will be covered in chocolate stains all over and will subsequently cover every inch of your seat aisle in chocolate fingerprints. Très embarrassant when the air hostess walks past and guaranteed gives you a stinking look!

With regards to Becky, she is really no issue any more at all. She loves flying, and usually she is also on the iPad for as long as we are allowed to have it on. And for the remainder, we also take lots of books, colouring & drawing pads and activity books for her to get on with, and that always works a treat.

Safe – and relaxed! - travels, y’all! 

* Linking up with #TheList

17 Oct 2016

12 Signs You're the mother of a toddler

Alex is now two years and almost three months, and therefore bang in the midst of toddlerhood. And boy, don’t I know it! Apart from being irresistibly cute, he is also inquisitive, boisterous, opinionated, strong-willed and very very naughty! He is absolutely hilarious and I love him to bits, but it can’t be denied that he is definitely a handful – just as you’d expect from a toddler who discovers the world and its (and his) boundaries. So I’ve compiled a list of all the things my little Alex does that leave me in no doubt that I am the mother of a bona fide toddler:

1. You get excited when you see an ambulance, police car, tractor or helicopter, and even when your toddler is not with you, you still go “nee-naw” enthusiastically – even if it’s just in your head!

2. The word “no” becomes your verbal adversary. Whatever you ask your toddler to do will be met with a resolute “no”, and equally, if you tell your toddler “no, don’t do that” it’s guaranteed to be ignored and he does it anyway. Just. To. Push. The. Boundaries!! While smiling sweetly at you!

3. UN peace negotiations have nothing on trying to be rational with a toddler! He wants a piece of toast. He gets a piece of toast. Only that now he wants it in triangles rather than squares and refuses to so much as look at the plate. Back to the drawing board aka kitchen and start again. *Sigh*

4. You can’t stop putting a “y” on everything, even in adult conversation. “Shall we have a drinky?”, “I don’t know where your sockies are!” and “Which cary are we taking?” are normal dialogues between hubby and I …

5. You thank heavens for Peppa Pig, Makka Pakka and Mr Tumble, even though they also kind of freak you out.

6. There are raisins in every nook and cranny of your house, car, pram … the bloody things get everywhere!

7. Equally, every corner of the house is covered in finger prints and mucky patches – TVs & iPads, walls, wardrobes, kitchen appliances, the lot - as if your toddler is marking his territory. Cleaning is futile – within minutes, the same spots will appear and everything will be covered in gungy banana or chocolate fingerprints over and over again.

8. You can’t remember the last time you went to the toilet on your own!

9. You become super efficient at interpreting your toddler’s own little language, even if no one else understands what on earth is going on: “Wa-wahs, da!” Yes, Alex, flowers, there, that’s right! “ – “Tscho-kee, Mummy, Mi-a Tum-uh pweas” Mummy, I want a chocolate and watch Mr Tumble, please – and so on.

10. You no longer visit friends (especially those without children), for fear of your toddler trashing their house within minutes of arrival. Furthermore, it’s bound not to be childproof and he’ll be grabbing kitchen knives and nibbling on the cat litter within seconds! Just not worth the stress levels – mine and the hosts!

11. Equally, your own house looks perpetually like it’s been burgled – even when you could swear you’ve only just tidied…

12. You’ve learned the hard way that when it’s silent, that’s when you need to start panicking. Because that’s when your toddler’s decided to smear your favourite Chanel lipstick all over the wall, empty the Sudocream jar all over himself, the couch, the throw, the rug… or appreciate Daddy’s collection of LPs by smashing them one by one (all happened to us!).

So there we are, my list of everyday life with a toddler. They are hard work and drive you nuts sometimes, but they are also the most loving little humans ever, and their cuddles and kisses more than make up for the chaos they cause. So I’m soaking up every minute while I can and take the rough with the smooth. Because I know I will miss the mayhem when it’s all over and my toddler is all grown up.

What are your key signs of toddlerhood? Let me know anything I’ve missed out.

* Linking up with #TheList


13 Oct 2016

A different kind of post

It has been rather quiet here on this blog for a while now; I have countless posts half written in my drafts folder, but somehow I lack the time and energy to finish them or take photographs for them, so my posting is a lot less regular than I would like it to be ideally.  There is, however, a reason for my lack of time, and I thought I'd pop a little life update on here to explain.  It's a different kind of post, and I have debated for a long time whether to write about it on here or not, but I've decided that yes, this blog is about my life, and right now my life is preoccupied with something very specific, so this post does have its place.

Basically, one of the main reasons for the lack of posting recently is that for the last couple of months or so a lot of my spare time has been occupied with reading about and researching the aftermath of the Brexit vote, what it will mean for EU nationals like me who are living in the UK, and how I can safeguard my future.

Since that day, the 24th of June 2016, when I woke up to the news that the Leave vote had indeed won, I have been somewhat numb with shock and disbelief. It still hasn't really sunk in that the UK will be leaving the European Union, and - political arguments aside - the effect this will have on millions of EU nationals who live in the UK (and vice versa, those millions of Brits living abroad, of course).

There is so much uncertainty over what will happen to the three million UK residents from the EU; every day there are countless new reports, speculations and campaigns, and it's become quite stressful to follow and stay on top of. The fact that the Government are unwilling to give a clear commitment and guarantee to us that our rights and status are protected is a really big worry. Not knowing what your legal status will be in two and a half years' time is a pretty shitty position to be in when you've made your life somewhere, when you have a husband and kids and family in a country that now seemingly doesn't want you. I think unless and until you're in that situation, it's probably hard to sympathise and understand what kind of burden this really is.

I suppose this post is more for my own benefit than my readers; it's a bit of a brain-dump as it were, because I find solace in writing my thoughts down, and maybe it will help me rationalise and compartmentalise my Brexit-anxieties. So you're more than excused if you don't want to carry on reading after this point. Normal Fairies & Pirates blogging will resume soon, I promise! But for now, I want to jot down what it's been like to be among those who will be most affected by the Leave vote.

I should probably start at the beginning.

I am an EU expat - or immigrant, as some might prefer to call me - from Germany, and have been living and working in the UK for 14 years now.

My love affair with the UK goes back decades, ever since I was a little girl in fact, and most of my friends who I grew up with will attest that I've always dreamt of living in Great Britain. My parents were also huge fans of this beautiful island, and I spent many a summer holiday as a child criss-crossing the country, exploring coast to coast, and over the years I have visited most regions, from Land's End to the Outer Hebrides and John O'Groats. I spent various spells in education in the UK, too, be that a rather fun and notorious three week student exchange with my best friend Meike aged 15, living as part of a British host family and going to the local comprehensive school in Christchurch, where we stayed at the time (and fancying the pants off our then English teacher, Fraser, who was a newly graduated teacher in his early twenties and rather cute!), or actually studying here at university for a year, which is where I met John, my now husband, 17 years ago.

To me, Britain was always a bit like the "promised land" - a more relaxed, friendly, open and multi-cultural society and way of life than I perceived Germany to be. I'm pretty sure I would have ended up here anyway, but having met John was the definite trigger to go for it, so straight after I finished my Masters Degree in Germany I returned to the UK and have been living and working here ever since.

For all those years I have loved living in the UK - still do - and even though you get a more balanced view of a country when you live there (I have come to realise that not everything here is perfect and as in the "promised land", and equally, I miss certain things about Germany that I never thought I would), I consider it my home. I have put down roots here, I married a Brit, I bought properties, I have children here, a good, respectable job, professional status, amazing friends and what I would call a good, happy life, all things considered. I view Britain as much as my country as John does, and honestly, for all those years it never once occurred to me that I might not be welcome or that I don't belong here. If anything, I would boldly consider myself the prime example of successful integration.

But the Leave vote changed all that.

Knowing that people you know - friends even - voted Leave, is a strange experience. Even though their vote was unlikely to be personal, you can't help but wonder whether deep down, this is what they "really" think. Whether deep down they don't want you here, too. But of course you can't dwell on it too much, and have to try to let those thoughts go, because at the end of the day, everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion. And whether people voted Leave because they were mislead, ignorant, uneducated or actually genuinely thought they were making a well-informed choice for valid reasons that will solve their frustration with politics (which it won't, I'm convinced of it), you have to let things go and accept the outcome. Only that the outcome is extremely scary when you're on the receiving end of the vote.

In my whole 14 years in the UK, I never bothered applying for British citizenship, because, quite frankly, I did not see the point. As part of the EU, there was no direct benefit to it, my status was no different than a British person's, my rights seemed protected under EU treaty laws, and the only obvious advantage would have been that I would be allowed to vote in general elections, which I currently am not (and which is indeed a major disadvantage and a big bugbear of mine). But the process is long and expensive, and I never thought I would have to go through it.

Now, with the wisdom of hindsight, this of course seems rather naive and optimistic.

Because as of now, my status is anything but safe. I have done a lot of research into this, and it seems that being married to a Brit gives me no better or stronger constitutional and legal rights than being single and foreign (I'm still confused by this, because, why do people bother with sham marriages then?), but that's the status quo. So with that in mind, I have no idea what my future will look like in two and a half years' time, after Article 50 has been invoked and the two year negotiation period has passed.

A lot of my friends say to me: "Don't worry, you'll be absolutely fine. They [the government] won't get rid of you!", but, even though these words are well-meaning, they are also somewhat meaningless coming from Brits who have nothing to lose and can afford to be a little blasé about it (though the sentiment and gesture is appreciated). Because nobody knows at this stage. I've even heard some say: "You'll be absolutely fine. You're one of the 'good' immigrants", presumably due to the fact that I work for my living, but this, quite frankly, infuriates me even more, as most EU immigrants do indeed work, be that in skilled or low-skilled jobs, as most statistics have proven, and using such a categorisation for being a "good" or a "bad" immigrant is very flawed and subjective indeed.

And whilst I myself don't believe that someone will come knocking at my door late at night and physically drag me away and drive me to Calais to pop me on a ferry, continent-bound - I bloody well hope so anyway! - I may still find myself at a disadvantage when it comes to things like employment rights, access to healthcare and welfare, should I ever need it, general insurance, pension, residential status and so forth.

So this is definitely something I have to think about and consider carefully. Who knows, there may well be a question mark over my right to stay in the country, and the sheer thought of being torn apart from my family, my kids, who need me, keeps me awake at night.

I follow a Forum for EU Citizens in the UK and Brits Abroad, which discusses and updates daily on latest developments and news around Brexit. And yes, it's a bit like self-diagnosing with Doctor Google, with a fatal illness the certain outcome. There is a lot of panic and doom & gloom, but at the same time there is also lots of helpful information on things I never even knew about, that the Home Office itself seemingly was never clear on, and a nice sense of community in that there are others in the same boat, and that maybe, together, our 3 Million voices might be heard.

Opinions on the forum are split between riding out the situation and waiting what happens, and actively seeking to do something about it. Those who favour sitting it out range from optimistic views that it won't be that bad, to being too proud, defiant and appalled at having to seek the nationality of a country that is so hostile towards them. They resent - as do I - that our lives are being turned into bargaining chips for the divorce from the EU, and a proposed "amnesty" to let EU nationals stay in the country. Indeed, the term "amnesty" is utterly misplaced - we are here legally, we haven't done anything wrong, therefore, we don’t need an “amnesty”; we just need a clear acknowledgement of our contribution to the country and a commitment to our permanent residential rights!

Many even contemplate leaving everything that they have built here behind and relocating, either back to their country of origin or elsewhere. But this is not an option for us; our lives are here, our jobs, our home, our kids are settled here, and John doesn’t even speak German - where and how would we start from scratch? And more importantly – we don’t want to!

So, whilst I fully sympathise and agree with most sentiments of my fellow expats/ immigrants, I am taking the second stance, that I would rather do something about it now than live with the uncertainty forever, because, honestly, it's quite depressing. So I have decided, reluctantly, to start the process of applying for British citizenship, so I can have dual nationality, and equally, sort out German citizenship for my kids, which they are automatically entitled to anyway and which should hopefully be just a formality. I need to be pragmatic and safeguard my future as far as I can, and the only way I see that I can do it, is to take this step. Maybe the rather nasty rhetoric bandied about by the Brexit camp and the people in charge of negotiations won't lead to anything negative for people like me; maybe, in a few months down the line they will indeed guarantee our status and rights, but I can't just sit and wait whether and until this happens.

Seeking citizenship is a very drawn-out process, the first step being that I have to apply for a permanent residency card. This in itself is rather tedious, as I will have to produce five years worth of proof of my residency, sending in payslips, P60s, proofs of addresses, bank statements, council tax and other bills, marriage certificates, birth certificates of my children, mortgage statements, details of my whereabouts in and out of the country for the past five years etc. - a whole catalogue of original documents that I have to find in the first place. The worst thing is that I will also have to send in my passport for a duration of anything up to six months, which really fills me with dread. Not knowing when I will get it back and potentially not being able to go back to Germany to see my elderly parents when I have to or in an emergency during that time is utterly scary and makes me feel really stressed and panicky. And it is a bit like handing over your identity.

If and once I receive such card, I can then start official citizenship and naturalisation proceedings, paying around £1500 for the "privilege". I can honestly think of other things I would have rather spent that kind of money on, but needs must.

A big part of me feels like I shouldn't have to do it; after all, in my 14 years in the UK I have nothing but contributed to the country; I pay a not insignificant amount of taxes, I've never claimed any kind of benefit apart from the child benefit for my children that they are entitled to, I speak the language and am fully integrated into British life and society, and I've never been a "burden" on the NHS, apart from spending two days in hospital while giving birth to my two - British! - children. And yet, I have to be pragmatic and put those thoughts to one side.

I have never been a nationalistic or patriotic person, and I truly feel like a EU citizen, a resident of the world, rather than from a specific nation. That is not to say that I don't agree that the EU needs reform, that there has to be an open and constructive discussion about immigration across the whole of the EU, and that the institution itself is far from perfect. But I do believe that change is more effective from within rather than from the outside. And I do and will always believe in the fundamental principles of the EU, that we are better united than divided.

On a positive note, I know a lot of Brits who didn't vote Leave and who are just as shocked and dismayed at the result and feel that it doesn't represent them, and not just because their summer holidays to Spain or Greece will guaranteed be more expensive and difficult to arrange in the future! I take comfort from their solidarity and just hope that things will turn out ok. And if I do get my British passport, then at least I can vote in the next General Election and help abolish these nasty, xenophobic voices who are trying to turn a great country that I so dearly love into a narrow-minded Little Britain.

12 Oct 2016

Room rejig continued

NOT my conservatory, but conservatory goals. Picture Source: Pinterest
So, as I mentioned on here before, we are currently in the midst of updating, renovating, rejigging and hopefully extending (in the near future) our current house, which we bought earlier this year.

John has spent almost all summer in the garden, digging it up and re-landscaping it, and even though he didn't manage to fully complete it before autumn and winter are setting in as it's such a massive job, it won't take that much longer to finish come spring time, so that we will have a lovely garden to play in, relax and enjoy next year.

As part of this whole house / garden project, we are swapping a few rooms around. I have already shared my interior plans for Becky's and Alex's rooms, and once John has put down the garden spade and digger for good for this year, we will dedicate the rest of autumn to finally making these room changes happen.

One of the first steps is to turn our conservatory into a proper, liveable and usable room, which will allow us to free up one of the double bedrooms, which will become Becky's new, bigger room. So the conservatory is kind of a priority now, as the rest of the house rejig depends on it.  It's currently used as a bit of a "nothing-room", it's mainly the kids' playroom in spring and summer and houses tons of toys, but it gets very cold in winter, which is when we don't really use it. So this needs to change, and I have been looking at heating options, both under floor and standard heaters, which we'll be making a decision on soon.

The next step is to repaint the currently bright turquoise walls (not our choice, might I add, we inherited a rather bright colour scheme from the previous owners) in Dulux Egyptian Cotton to neutralise the room. I love this colour. Over the last few months I've spent way too much time, effort and money on the wrong shade of off-white until I found this perfect shade for our living room, and I am now in love and want to put it everywhere. It's off-white without being too beige, too grey, too yellow or going into other funny shades of pink or blue, which many off-whites do.

Then, a major consideration are blinds, as we have both roof windows and a full window front to cover. For the roof windows I'm thinking energy blinds from VELUX as they provide not just cover from the glaring sun, but also insulation against the cold, which is what our issue is with this room.
And for the main window front we are probably going to get these easy to fit ones from Binds 2 Go. This will give us both privacy as well as openness when desired, and therefore lots of flexibility, which is always a good thing.

I also want to get new flooring in - currently it's tiled, which is fine, but I'm not a super fan of floor tiles. But we might have to leave that for another time, as I don't want to spend all autumn just on this room. We have a nice oriental rug in there, which I will keep and which covers most of the floor area, and I might add some more soft furnishings just to make it that bit more cosy. On the one, walled side of the conservatory, we already have a good old Billy bookshelf by IKEA, but I will be adding a couple more, so we have ample storage for books and bits and bobs, and I wouldn't mind a nice antique bureau and comfy chair to complete the look of this room - when it's a proper room.

Hopefully this will be a lovely grown up space for John and I, with beautiful garden views thrown in as a bonus next year. I'll share all room tours with you eventually, when all of our renovations are completed.

*Collaborative post 

3 Oct 2016

My September 2016

Where has September gone? It's been a strange month, so fast, fairly uneventful, and yet kind of full of events. The months was mainly dominated by the return to school and normal routine - well, at least that's what I thought. But if I ever thought Year 1 would be easier in terms of expectation on the parents and involvement - well, I'm having to think again. If anything, it is tougher yet, and there are so many things parents need to do and so much more homework and other things to do. No wonder we are all already pretty exhausted and finding it a little harder to adjust than anticipated. Roll on the end of October and term holidays!

1. We soaked up the last rays of sunshine and summer weather earlier in the month, playing with a funky water display while out and about. Ah, to be a child again!

2. I had a lovely Mummy-daughter-date with Becky the weekend before she started school again; we had cake, hot chocolate and marshmallows in our local deli, and it was lovely to just hang out. I feel like we don't get to do this enough, and it's weighing heavy on my mind sometimes. So we vowed to do this more often, just me and my girl.

3. We were also very last minute with getting Becky fitted for her school shoes, and had to squeeze this in on the Sunday before school started. Oops! The Clarks shop we went to was very "fancy", as Becky said - she was measured with iPads and a lot of hoo-ha and fanfare - which she really enjoyed, bless her. I had to put my foot down though over buying Becky some shoes she wanted just because they came with some stupid, cheap toy. Talk about sales tactics and pester power! Sigh!

4. September was also the month we got our first taste of autumn, and with it came the purchase for some cosy autumn pyjamas in dinosaur print for Alex. I couldn't resist - doesn't he look cute!

5. We went for a few long walks, and Becky and John were always ahead, Becky on her bike and John jogging alongside. Alex and I would be safely behind, taking it easy.

6. The day came and it was Becky's first day at school and Year 1. Year 1! Can you believe it.

7. It was also my birthday this month. Just how I got this old, I do not know - I'll let you guess my age, if you don't know it, ha! Please be kind! But, as the old (excuse the pun) adage goes - I'm not old, I'm retro!

8. Becky completed the rainbow run at her school, and got a lovely medal (to be fair, everyone got one, but that does not deflect from the fact that we were very proud!). She really enjoyed it this year (last time she fell over at the beginning and then cried for the rest of it!), and it was even a lot of fun to watch.

27 Sep 2016

Reading and bonding with my boy

I have always loved reading, and I'm kind of obsessed with books - you know, the real, paper, hard copy type ones (remember those?), not electronic or Kindle versions and all this new age stuff (how old do I sound?!). I like my books to be old fashioned, physical objects that I can keep, display and cherish in my bookcases around the house. I never borrow books, either - I like to own the books that I have read, almost like a little memento, or trophy if you like, it's kind of "my thing".

So reading to Becky has always been a big part of our time together, and this now also translates to Alex. He has always shown an interest in books , listening carefully when I read to Becky, but as he is growing, his own passion for books is really developing, too. At the grand age of two, my little boy is absolutely obsessed with books and is a right little bookworm - unusually so for a boy, many people comment, including his nursery carers, who seem amazed by his interest in books.

Nothing entertains him for longer or calms him down better when he's upset than to sit down, snuggle up and read a book.

And I so cherish these moments.

Especially at bedtime, as this is the only time in the working week that we really get to spend some one-on-one quality time together, but also all these random moments when he just brings me a bunch of his books and demands to be read to; lazy Sunday mornings, snuggled up under a blanket on the couch; on a rainy Saturday afternoon, spreading out with his sister and all our books on the living room carpet and reading one after another.

It's so nice to see how into the stories he is and how animated he gets, and he loves it when I make silly voices and noises. I think reading to your kids is one of the most important aspects of parenting, and one of the loveliest things to bond over. Moreover, it's so good for their emotional and cognitive development and builds the foundations for their future literacy, whilst also tapping into their imagination and creativity.

I hope he will keep this interest in books forever - and that we have many more of these moments of reading and bonding together.

What's your favourite bonding activity with your kids?


15 Sep 2016

Siblings September 2016

We've had a lovely summer as a family and it’s been so lovely witnessing the relationship between my little pair. Now that Alex is two and has started to talk and express his wishes, likes and dislikes quite vehemently, the dynamic between Alex and Becky seems to be changing a little, too. It's evident that it's intensifying and developing, and  they have a really tight bond and a lot of love for each other.

Alex still idolises his big sister; when she's at home, he'll always try to spend as much time with and around her as possible, he'll join into what she does (invited or not), and especially when we're out and about, he'll copy what she does. He's a very affectionate little boy anyway, but he has now started to randomly go up to Becky, too, and give her spontaneous cuddles and kisses, which were mostly reserved for me. But I don't mind, of course!

His other obvious sign of affection is that he'll go and pick a play fight with Becky; he'll go and tickle her and then he'll plant himself on her, and they are usually both in fits of giggles. It's really funny to watch!

I think Becky's attitude towards her brother is also changing; she's seeing him more and more like her little buddy now. They have proper little conversations together, and Becky constantly talks to him, explains things or encourages him or involves him in many of her activities, which is lovely. A few of the pictures below were taken at a playground, and she was all over Alex, trying to pick him up all the time, helping him to dangle from the monkey bars (which he obviously had to try, because his sister was on them, even though he's really too small), and she always insists on going down the slide with him, too.

But the thing that most makes my heart burst with pride and joy is that neither will go to bed without giving the other a kiss goodnight, and in the mornings they give each other a big hug, too, as if they haven’t seen each other for ages! It is so heart warming.

I can't wait to experience the next chapters in this blossoming relationship.

Linking up with the #SiblingsProject

14 Sep 2016

Review: Oral B Advance Power Kids Toothbrush

I’ve been talking to a few of my mummy friends lately about the dental hygiene of our kids – random, I know! Think it’s got something to do with the fact that our little ones are starting to lose their first teeth and all (I’m bracing myself for the day the tooth fairy comes to our house; Becky can’t wait!). And when I mention that we have been using an electric toothbrush for Becky since her 5th birthday, there’s always a lot of interest in that, so I thought I’d put together a little review in case anyone else is thinking of upgrading to one.

Just to pre-empt, this is not a sponsored post, and I’m not a brand ambassador for Oral B in any shape or form (though I should be, judging by the amount of people I have converted! Ha!) – not that that would influence my opinion anyway. But ever since my dentist recommended to me to start using an electric toothbrush around 2 ½ years ago, it’s really revolutionised my life - yes, that dramatic! – and I have become a little evangelical about it.

I can’t describe how clean my teeth feel after using the Oral B (I have the Oral B Pro 4000, in case you’re wondering), and since I’ve started using it, I’ve got John, my parents and John’s parent on to this, too, and they all love it as much as me.

So when I discovered that Oral B do a kids version, and that it’s available in pink and a Disney Princess design, I knew that Becky would love it, too. It’s recommended from 5 years upwards, which was the perfect timing, as we started using it on Becky when she had just turned 5. And what can I say? It's as brilliant as I'd hoped.

It has a smaller brush head than the adult version and performs really thorough cleaning through 5600 side-to-side movements per minute. It also has a two minute timer, which is great, so even when I’m not standing over Becky to make sure she brushes her teeth properly, she knows how long to brush for.

It has honestly made such a difference to the tooth-brushing experience. Becky loves using it – obviously primarily because it’s pink and features Disney Princesses – but also because she sees Mummy and Daddy using theirs, and I think it makes her feel all grown up having her own electric tooth brush. I’m also reassured that her teeth are brushed properly, because there isn’t much that she can do wrong, as the toothbrush takes care of everything automatically. I usually let her do her own teeth in the morning, without much supervision, so she learns to do it properly herself and to be in charge of her dental care, and in the evenings I usually go over her teeth one more time, just to make sure that we have covered all nooks and crannies.

So far, at each dentist appointment, her dentist has been very impressed with Becky’s teeth – no tooth decay or nothing there, which I think is a good result for our little sweet tooth!

We have got the battery powered one for Becky, and we are perfectly happy with it. There is a rechargeable version available, too, I believe, but I almost find the battery one more practical, as it takes two AA batteries and we’ve only ever had to replace the batteries after three months of use day in, day out, two times a day, which I think is pretty good going! And with a purchase price of £9.66 (we got ours from Amazon – bargain!), this has easily been one of the best purchases for Becky so far.

The toothbrush comes also in a boy’s version – I’ve seen an Avengers one, a Disney Cars one, a Star Wars one, and a Mickey Mouse style – and for girls there are the Disney Princesses and a Frozen version, too, so there’s plenty of choice for each taste.

When Alex is big enough, we will definitely be using it on him, too, as I can thoroughly recommend it.

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