This week… 20-26 July

This week it was the wedding of one of my good friends. It was a fantastic wedding, in a beautifully decorated barn and everyone looked like they were having a really good time. It was great to catch up with old friends – it’s hard to see each other when we live 1 mile apart thanks to conflicting calendars – let alone when many are spread across the country and beyond!

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Ready for the wedding

Even better than having a good old fashioned knees up to go to? No kids! Izzy and Clara had a sleepover at my sister’s house with their two cousins, who are 3 and 6. Izzy had been looking forward to this for ages and shared a room with her little cousin – they didn’t go to sleep until after 10pm as they were too busy talking and swapping beds! We even managed to get a cheeky child free trip to Wetherspoons for a fry up on Sunday before we went to pick up our very tired but happy little girls.

Our first week of Summer holidays meant that on the days I don’t work, I had some extra time with Izzy. Usually she would have been at pre-school in the mornings, tiring herself out for the rest of the day! So it was nice to have a couple of lazy days, with face painting and cake making. Izzy picked a recipe for an easter cake out of a book and insisted on decorating her cake in the same way – except we didn’t have any chicks or mini eggs so she used haribo and sprinkles (lots of sprinkles!) to replicate the pattern.

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Batgirl. Obvs.

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The masterpiece

Random things Izzy has cried about this week…
Because she doesn’t ‘know much about planets’.
Because Daddy left for work without saying goodbye (she was flat out asleep when he left).
Because she didn’t know how to leave a message on Daddy’s voicemail.

This week on the blog
Looking for somewhere to take the kids? Read our review of the Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester.

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Review: Legoland Discovery Centre, Manchester

A couple of weeks ago we kicked off a few days of birthday celebrations in Manchester with a trip to the Legoland Discovery Centre. Izzy, 4, is really starting to get into Lego and ever since I told her where we were going, she has been really looking forward to it.
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When we got there, Izzy wasted no time and started posing with the Lego models before we had a family photo taken. Every visit starts with a trip through a mock-up factory where Professor Brick-a-Brack talks through how Lego is made, and each child is presented with a special brick.
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It was then onto the first of three rides – the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride – where Izzy had fun shooting the baddies with a Lego gun and saving the Princess. Mini Land was next, where you can see models of popular northern landmarks including the Blackpool Tower. The centre then opens up into one large room, with a café, soft play, two more rides and lots of big tubs of Lego to play with. The Forest Pursuit driving ride was for children aged 4 and over – Izzy struggled to get the car to go at first but the second time she went on it she managed to almost complete a lap! She went on the Merlin Apprentice Ride 3 times although it was Mummy and Daddy doing the hard work as she couldn’t really reach the pedals to make the carriage go higher!
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There is an area where you can build and race cars and a Lego Friends house complete with karaoke machine – Izzy commandeered the microphone to sing Let it Go, unsurprisingly! In the corner there is a small Duplo Farm, with a slide and some large soft bricks, which Clara loved playing with. At storytime the children heard about the animals that live on the farm and got to build them out of Duplo.
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Izzy enjoyed the Master Builder Workshop, where she learnt how to build a parrot, and the 4D cinema, which showed two short films regularly throughout the day. Clara wasn’t really a fan of getting wet, but Izzy thought it was hilarious.
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There was a separate area with Star Wars models and a Ninjago laser game, where you had to try and sneak around the lasers in record time to hone your ninja skills. Izzy loved this game as she is a huge Ninjago fan (although she mainly just ran through all the lasers!) Even I had a go.
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Then it was out through the shop. For months now Izzy has had her heart set on some Ninjago lego. She only wants that particular set because it contains a Skylar minifigure, and Skylar is her favourite character. Then she saw the Frozen ice castle and stood with both boxes, side by side, comparing them. “Oh this is so hard” she said, but we were very proud when she took a little time and then made her decision, without getting upset that she couldn’t have both sets. She chose the Frozen ice castle, but I could tell she still really wanted the Ninjago set. She says she is saving up for that one next time we go to Legoland – as she has already decided she wants to go back again as she loved it so much! She has been telling everyone all about it. I did have to drag my Husband out of the shop as we are both a little bit obsessed with the Avengers Helicarrier set! It’s on the ‘things-to-buy-when-we-win-the–lottery’ list.
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The centre isn’t huge – but we still managed to fill over 4 hours. We took our time to play and see all the attractions, but if you don’t have long you could fit everything into a couple of hours and spend the rest of the day taking advantage of all the other activities that the Trafford Centre has to offer. Right next door is the Sealife Centre (you can get a combi ticket which gives you entry to both attractions) and there is a cinema and mini golf, as well as lots of restaurants and of course shopping!

Everything was quite close together so you don’t have to worry about the kids wandering too far, and being inside makes it a perfect trip out for a rainy day.

This has definitely reinforced that we need to book a trip to Windsor to get the full on Legoland experience now we have had a taster!
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The Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester has several events on during the year – including lots of Ninjago activities throughout August (Izzy must never know we missed that!)Book online before you go to save up to 40%.

We were kindly given entry to this attraction in return for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.

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Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

This week… 13-19 July

It’s been a week of firsts and lasts for our two girls – Clara got her first pair of shoes and Izzy had her last day at pre-school. Both were big moments as our little girls are getting so big.

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Clara got her first pair of shoes from Clarks, now she is officially walking! She has come on loads in just the past week, even walking a grand total of 12 steps before falling over. Her feet are really wide so she needed a size 3H, but her shoes just look so little and cute. She seems very happy with them and when she walks a few steps she looks so proud of herself.

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Last day at pre-school!

Now the Summer holidays have started I’ve got to keep Izzy entertained for 7 weeks. Hopefully we will get time to do some arts and crafts as we haven’t had chance to do much lately! On Saturday Izzy picked a Frozen pizza for tea. As in, a pizza with a picture of Anna and Elsa on the box. Is anything safe from the Disney phenomenon! She agreed to share it with Clara and they both sat at the little table eating pizza and watching Sofia the First. Usually they have to eat at the table so this was a little treat as we were having girls night – Daddy was away for the weekend. Clara looks so small compared to Izzy, yet so big that she is now able to sit on the chair on her own, happily stuffing her face!

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I even managed a couple of evenings out this week – for a work leaving do on Monday and belated birthday tapas with my friends on Tuesday. The desserts were amazing – after all the meals out I have had lately its unsurprising I had to go buy some industrial-strength holdy-in knickers for this weekend’s wedding!

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Amazing desserts, all for me!

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New glasses selfie with Clara

This week on the blog

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School’s out for Summer

Izzy finished pre-school on Friday. She is looking forward to going to ‘big school’ in September and she is definately ready for it – although she is going to miss her teachers. Luckily all her pre-school friends are going to the same infant school. I can’t believe how much she has grown since starting there two years ago – now she is a crazy, confident, outgoing 4 year old!

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She looks so different compared to her first day!

To celebrate their last week the kids wore fancy dress on Thursday (Izzy went as Anna from Frozen) and then went to the soft play for a party on Friday. We let Izzy chose where she wanted to go afterwards for lunch and unsurprisingly she chose McDonalds!

We’ve already started shopping for school uniform for September, putting away a few things here and there to save a mad dash later in the holidays. Asda have some great stuff – I got 2 white tshirts for £2 for PE, and a checked summer dress for £4. Shoes will have to wait until the week before term, as no doubt Izzy’s feet will grow two sizes if I buy them now.

As crazy as it is that I have a child who is old enough to go to school, it feels even crazier that I’m putting away her uniform ready for Clara to start pre-school next year! I don’t know where the time is going!

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13 Months Old

First steps
This month we have had first steps! On Father’s Day Clara took two steps on her own, and since then she has taken a few steps here and there. She has great balance when she is stood up and will happily dance away for several minutes without falling over, but she was just a bit reluctant to take that first step.
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Row row row the boat
This is Clara’s favourite song at the moment and I couldn’t believe it when she took hold of both my hands, started rocking back and forth and saying ‘row row’. She is very vocal. She isn’t really saying many more full words, but she is making a lot of the right sounds like she is trying to say the words – she loves playing with a ball and will say ‘ca’ for catch, and ‘bow’ for ball. ‘No’ has also made it into her vocabulary!

Peekaboo!
If you say ‘Where’s Clara?’ she covers her face with both hands. Then uncovers her face and starts laughing. She will play this game for quite a while! Sometimes she will use a bib or toy to cover her eyes and this game is guaranteed to put a huge smile on her cheeky face

Little helper
She likes to help me tidy up. If I start putting toys in a box she will come over and start picking up the toys. Of course most of the time as soon as the box is full she tips it all over the floor again but at least she is trying to help!

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She also likes to clean her highchair tray with wet wipes and she really likes having her teeth cleaned! She is a big fan of bathtime too and will splash water all over the place.

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New friends
She has settled in great at nursery. When I drop her off in the morning I love it when her little friends who are only a few months older than her are shouting her name and are happy to see her. She hardly ever cries now – of course it helps that as soon as we arrive she knows it is breakfast time!

Playmates and sisters
Clara and Izzy have started playing together now. Usually Izzy takes over but it is nice to see them both sat on the floor playing with musical instruments or the toy garage.
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Clara especially loves Izzy’s kitchen and will happily play for ages with the cups and plates. The tea trolley has saved us buying a baby walker as she pushes it up and down with all her toys on!
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Little gnashers
It’s hard to keep up with how many teeth she has now. New ones have popped up at the back of her mouth but trying to get my finger in there to check is mission impossible. She clamps down with her teeth and laughs manically until I manage to prise my tooth-indented finger out of her jaws.

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what katy said

This Week… 6-12 July

We started the week with our 2nd Wedding anniversary on Monday. The day didn’t get off to a great start when I got a phonecall from Clara’s nursery at 9.30 to say she had been ill. Her Daddy had the unenviable job of leaving work to look after her through the worst of the stomach bug but by the evening she was feeling much better and we still managed to have a nice evening with steak and gifts.

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Cotton-themed 2nd anniversary gift

The celebrations continued the rest of the week for my birthday. When it was my 30th last year, Clara was only about 6 weeks old so she was too young and I was in no fit state for any major celebrations! Hubby suggested we postpone the celebrations and have a roll-over 30th this year instead. And it was worth the wait.

On Thursday we headed down to the Trafford Centre in Manchester for some lunch and shopping before going to the Legoland Discovery Centre. That was awesome, Izzy loved it and we spent a good few hours there – but I will post more about that this week!

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Having fun at Legoland Discovery Centre

We had tea at TGI Fridays – complete with embarrassing birthday song and free cocktails – and I opened my presents from Izzy and Clara.

The In-laws picked up the kids very early on Friday morning so Hubby and I headed to the Chill Factore where I tried skiing for the first time with a one day beginners course. It was fantastic – really hard work and every muscle in my body is still aching two days later but definately worth it. I was really nervous at first but once I got my confidence I loved it and I feel really proud of myself for giving it a go.

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Before a day of skiing

Afterwards we stopped for a well-earned drink before heading round the corner to the Premier Inn. It was tempting to just fall straight asleep as we were so exhausted from skiing but we wanted to make the most of a child-free night. We went to the Odeon at the Trafford Centre to see Jurassic World. It was good – a predictable modern day follow up to the original, but worth a watch. That was followed by tapas at Pesto and a cheeky Bellini at the Champagne Bar before we had to admit defeat as we were both so tired.

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At the cinema, on our way to see Jurassic World.

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Birthday Bellini

Saturday brought more shopping with a trip to Ikea to buy lots of things we never knew we needed and then we collected the kids. It was Clara’s first ever sleepover without Mummy or Daddy but she did just fine. She wasn’t fussed at all, but I did get huge hugs off her when she saw me!

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Our littlest lego master builder

It’s been a lovely but exhausting week and today we have had a lazy day of recovery, building Izzy’s new Frozen Lego, watching the Lego Movie, eating birthday cake and having a couple of gift-bearing visitors. Clara also picked today to progress from making 2-3 steps to now being able to walk 4-5 steps at a time. I won’t be surprised if in a couple of weeks she is running around the house!

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Hubby found the candles leftover from the kids' birthdays!

This week on the blog
I haven’t posted anything or joined up with any linkies as we have been busy/away. I will have to make an effort to get back on track this week, especially as I have lots of blog posts half drafted in my head to catch up on!

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TWTWC