Tag Archives: activity

Hiding from Desmond

Sundays are often about chilling indoors, particularly when the Peak District is recovering from being hit by Storm Desmond.

When you live in the middle of fabulous, fantastic moors you need alternative indoor activities when you just can’t face the great outdoors in all weathers.

It’s quite old school, but today we ended up spending about 3 hours making jigsaws. What started off as one, turned into making all of them in the cupboard! I was very impressed with E’s concentration levels. She was very proud of her final display.

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We seem to have plenty of jigsaws (and or receive many as gifts), but if you want to stock up I’d recommend:

Minibugs: Djeco
Our favourite children’s shop in Buxton stock the wonderful Djeco toys, high quality that are designed by artists and all beautifully made. Our favourite jigsaw is the gorgeous Leon the dragon, if you don’t have one buy it before it is discontinued!

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The Works: a family discount store; you can shop locally or order online. Their stock changes frequently and you can pick up a set of jigsaws from a few pounds. The transport jigsaws (large and small) are from The Works.

Supermarkets: most large supermarkets stock children’s jigsaws, we bought our Frozen set at half price.

Charity shops: with children’s jigsaws you can do a quick count to check all the pieces are there! My mum bought the Spot set from a charity shop, reminds me of helping my younger brothers making their jigsaws.

I now want to get out my jigsaw collection, but I don’t think toddler E will have the patience for a thousand piece set.

Happy hibernating all, here’s to our next adventure!

Michelle

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Baby Yoga with Pure Bliss

I was looking for a way to bond more with Elizabeth so was delighted when I discovered there were baby yoga classes in Buxton. Katherine from Pure Bliss Yoga is a yoga practitioner with over 12 years experience who specialises in yoga for families. You can tell she’s pretty cool – just look at her socks!

Stripy socks
Funky socks

The other week was our third session and baby E and I were starting to get the hang of some of the poses and songs! My mum even came along to and joined in, it’s a real family activity. The sessions are held in the United Reformed Church in Hardwick Square, which is an easy walk from my house.

Each session starts with a chat about how the previous week has been, it’s lovely to be able to share with other parents the highs and lows of parenting and ask for advice on topics such as weaning (which we’re just starting).

Then, after asking baby E’s permission to carry out some yoga with her, it’s onto the session. During the hour there’s a lovely mix of stretches and loosening up poses for the parents (such a relief from being hunched over when breast feeding), close contact and movement with the babies and of course some songs!

I’ve really enjoyed the sessions because of the gentle pace, and that it’s aimed at me and baby E. We both benefit and baby E is definitely chilled at the end of a yoga session.

Snoozing baby E
Snoozing baby E

Also, due to an accident a few years ago, I have a slightly wonky leg which doesn’t do everything I want it to. When I was pregnant, living somewhere else, no class would let me join pregnancy yoga. In comparison Katherine has been completely welcoming and helped me adapt movements where necessary. It’s made me feel much better as I get fed up being told I can’t do things and don’t want to think of myself as a cripple!

After all the relieving stretches and songs that make E giggle, it’s time to wind down and chill. I’m not the best person in the world at relaxing (understatement) so it’s really important to me that I’m learning how to consciously relax. Either I do so with E, or if she’s particularly wiggly Katherine entertains the babes.

The social aspect at the end of a session is as much of a benefit, particularly as I don’t know many other local mums. I enjoy the cuppa, fruit and nuts and if she’s hungry E gets a feed in a lovely relaxed atmosphere.

Tasty snacks beside a yoga mat
Tasty snacks

We’ve both thoroughly enjoyed the yoga sessions and I’m really going to miss them when I start work.

In summary we loved:

* How the activity is for families all together, not just the babies
* Relaxing location, plenty of pushchair space and baby changing facilities
* Adaptability – Katherine adapted the session for me and my nervous mum
* Professionalism – a yoga practitioner who knows her stuff!
* Social side – a rounded holistic approach to parenting

Would be even better if:
* Hubby had been free to some along as well, I think he’d have really enjoyed bonding with E
* Weekend classes – just because I won’t be able to attend once at work!
* Prompt sheets with stretches / movements – because I forget what to do. I’ll have to ask Katherine for some book titles…

I thoroughly recommend baby yoga and hope to be able to attend sessions in the future.

Thanks for reading and here’s to our next adventure!

Getting to know people: NCT High Peak

This is the third county in which we’ve lived since we’ve been parents and I have to admit it’s the first time I’ve ventured into the world of NCT. I heard a lot about the National Childbirth Trust before baby E was born but as we weren’t staying in the area where I was pregnant there didn’t seem much point in getting involved.

When I knew we were moving to Buxton I searched online for info. about local parenting groups and NCT High Peak came up time and time again. They’ve got a brilliant Facebook group which tells you about upcoming events, a detailed regular newsletter and loads of activities for parents to be, mums, babies, toddlers and even dads!

Before moving to Buxton I was able to sign up and join events so I knew we had a few things to look forward to. Also, by stalking reading conversations online I started to learn some other mums’ names and faces.

The first time I met the NCT branch co-ordinators (Lauren and Kate) face to face was at a charity event at the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. Embarrassingly they recognised my photo from Facebook (my excuse is that boobing leaves you with one free hand for social networking), but they were very welcoming and I was even more encouraged to attend some get togethers.

So, last week, pram primed and with my best ‘I’ve actually brushed my hair this morning’ look we rocked up to the monthly Baby Express at Pizza Express in Buxton… and then halted. Pizza Express looked very closed, the meet up was from 10.30 but its opening hours showed from 11.30. A bit confused, I walked around for 5 minutes and then knocked on the door as E needed a feed. Phew, apparently people were likely to come but it was often late starting! Here’s an amusing pic of my first meet up with other mums 😉

An empty restaurant
Billy no mates!

We didn’t have to wait too long, just gone 11 other mums and a mum to be arrived and I had a lovely time feeding E and drinking the free coffee. I used the time to ask loads of questions about the area, the most useful information being that some garages store your summer or winter tyres when the other ones are on your car. When in my new job, I’ll have a daily commute to Derby to deal with so will probably need winter tyres.

Group of pushchairs
We were in the right place!

This week we ventured to the bi-monthly Bumps, Babes and Beyond coffee morning hosted by the Alison Park Hotel. We ended up being quite late, but were made to feel incredibly welcome. After a free caffeine hit to give me strength (and there was cake too), I plumped myself down to some mums and got chatting.

The half hour wizzed by and I was really pleased we made it, even if it was just towards the end and I didn’t win the raffle!

I’ve enjoyed both the NCT meet ups, it’s just a shame we can’t go to anymore before I start work. But I do hope to drop into some on days off and I might even be able to persuade hubby to go to some. They also run social events so I’m looking forward to leaving E at home and meeting other local mums. And hubby will be getting out and meeting dads at the dad social events.

In summary: the High Peak NCT group are a lovely lot, I’ve only scratched the surface of the activities on offer and feel confident about meeting other mums through them. The Facebook group means I can keep in touch even when I’m not attending. How I wish we’d moved up here earlier!

Family photo shoot

Saturday was one of those picture perfect kind of days; the sun was shining, Buxton looked beautiful and there were smiles all around.

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Action shot!

It seemed fitting that we had booked a photo session with White Box Photography to capture this new stage in our family’s life adventure – the move to Buxton. A few of my more organised friends have proudly shown off their new baby family pics on Facebook (yes that’s you Emily Macdonald!) and I wanted to try it out.

We don’t have many newborn family pics of baby E as she was in hospital for quite a while after she was born and once out I had the constant wild woman look about me of someone getting about 3 hours sleep a night – not particularly photogenic. I really wanted to try a family photo shoot and the criteria for me was a) not too expensive (incase I didn’t like the pics of me, more of a behind the camera kind of gal), b) gave us digital copies with copyright so we could do as we pleased with them and c) in a local, informal situation so I didn’t get too stressed about the whole thing!

After trawling the web I came across a discussion on a Facebook parenting group where they recommended White Box Photography. I had a quick peek at their website and was excited to see that the next session in Buxton was just after we had moved up. With only a £15 booking fee (of a total cost £45 per session) it meant that if we had to cancel due to E being unwell it wouldn’t be too costly.

Ahead of the session I messaged Liam at White Box Photography asking for advice on how to prepare. He helpfully suggested:

  • The sessions are informal and taken mostly sitting on a white background so wear clothes for comfort and modesty.
  • White clothes often lose detail and can make the subject a bit bland so pastel or strong colours which suit the individual work well.
  • Look other photos to see if there are any particular poses you’d like.

And I’d add to the list:

  • Take at least two changes of clothes in case the baby is sick and be careful holding them as they may be sick on you!
  • Pick outfits for the family that you think will compliment each other.
  • Plan the day’s timings, I worked out when I’d need to boob E so that she’d be a full happy baby for the shoot, not hungry or tired.

The session was booked, we sorted out our clothes to wear (first time for me not wearing jeans since E was born!) and looked forward to the shoot.

When we arrived we were warmly greeted by Liam and Carolyn who instantly put us at ease. First for photos was Elizabeth; we changed her into a dress, then repositioned the dress where she was a bit sick and with much squeeking of her Sophie giraffe Liam captured some smiley pics.

Then it was a family turn, three of us sitting together – was lovely and quick!

We then changed E into her awesome stripy outfit and tried just ones of her. She started crying so I went in to cheer her up and Liam took some pics of me and a giggling little girl before it was finally daddy’s turn.

The shoot wizzed by and Liam took loads of photos. After the session finished I picked E up and she promptly threw up over both of us – timing 🙂

Carolyn let us look at all the pictures whilst she burnt them onto disc and we were done. Here’s one of the gorgeous pictures of me and my little pickle!

Photo of Michelle and baby E
Cute baby!

A brilliant photo session, it was just what we wanted and for such a reasonable price we’re going to book to go back again.

Now I’m an ‘expert’ at this, here’s what I recommend you should think about before booking a family photographer:

  • Do you get copyright of the photos so you can print them how you like, e.g. a mug for gran, framed photo etc.?
  • How long a session do you want? We were happy with 15 mins but you might want a longer session with more clothes / prop changes.
  • Are they run at a time and location suitable for you?
  • Does the photographer seem friendly – you need someone who will put you at ease to get good photos out of you and your family.
  • Does the price fit your budget?
  • Can you look at previous photos the photographer has taken? You need to be happy with their style.

Here’s a summary of baby friendliness of the whole experience:

Pros:

  • Nice and quick! Babies have short attention spans.
  • Time for an outfit change.
  • Baby friendly photographer and colleague who made E smile.
  • Easy to get to location (space for pushchair).
  • Well priced.
  • Photos on CD and copyright free so we can easily share with family around the world.
  • If your baby is under 3 months the first shoot is free!

Cons:

  • No baby changing facilities we could see at the location, but plenty of floor space.
  • Short photo session – some people might prefer a longer shoot.
  • Nowhere to sit and feed a baby, if required, but High Street, with cafes, was 5 minutes away.

Thanks for reading, here’s to our next adventure!