The Toddler Interview with BattleKid

the toddler interviewLast week a personal friend of mine on Facebook put up a post entitled “The Toddler Test” with a list of questions she asked her son and his answers. We found it hilarious to read his answers as he is just three weeks younger than BattleKid. So we decided to do an interview with BattleKid with the same list of questions and we also filmed it. Here I am sharing BattleKid’s answers to those same questions and the Toddler Interview video can be viewed below.

The Toddler Interview.

1. What’s your name? Alexander
2. How old are you? I 2
3. When is your birthday? In mum’s belly (no idea where he got this from)
4. How old is Mummy? 2
5. What is your favourite colour? I want yellow car (I should point out that yellow car is a game on BattleDad’s PS4!)
6. What is your favourite food? Toast (a surprise to both mum and dad)
7. Who is your best friend? Fabien (his friend in nursery)
8. What is your favourite song? Incy Wincy Spider (this does actually seem to be a favourite of his at the moment)
9. What is your favourite animal? Horse (not sure it is)
10. What are you scared of? I go on an airplane (he’s not afraid of airplanes, in fact he loves them)
11. What makes you happy? (No idea what his response is! If someone can decipher it we’d very much appreciate it, haha.)
12. What is your favourite place to go? Animals
13. What do you want to be when you grow up? I go asleep
14. What does love mean? Nobody (not even cuddles and kisses with BattleDad!)

If you’d like to join in simply ask your toddler the same questions and write the response down. No coaching them though! And if you film it please send me the link to your video and I’d love to see it! And tag it with #toddlerinterview on Twitter so I can find it!

Cath x

Techniquest Toddler Day – Our Visit in July

At the beginning of July I took BattleKid into Cardiff and we met a friend and her little boy and we took to the two boys to the Techniquest Toddler Day. Once a month, during term-time, pre-school children have the run of the exhibits with activities on a special theme. Activities include:

  • Drawing,
  • Colouring and
  • Making something to take home.

The day myself and S took our toddler boys to the Techniquest Toddler Day, the theme was Under the Sea. We arrived after 11am as S had a hospital appointment and when we arrived Techniquest was heaving with toddlers, prams and stressed-looking parents. We paid our entrance fee, parked our buggies in the designated area and put the boys Toddlepak reins on so we could keep them under some control. And in we went to explore.techniquest toddler day

I’d only been to Techniquest once before, 2 years ago, when BattleKid’s cousin was visiting from Ireland and didn’t get to see much of it with a 6 month old. This time I got to see more of it.

We started at an exhibit that released bubbles into a vessel of water and both BattleKid and L were fascinated. So much so they could have stayed there just watching bubbles, and of course pressing buttons. We had to drag them away and onto something else. We moved onto a turntable in which children could release a circular shape onto the turntable and watching it go around before it came off again. Well, S and I could have walked away and the boys wouldn’t have noticed!  This exhibit was very popular and each child, including ours was vying for those circles to release back onto the turntable! techniquest toddler day

We moved passed the ant farm, which BattleKid wasn’t really interested in, onto a dark room, where my attention was caught. We started at the lightening tube and had fun putting our hands on the glass and watching the electricity move with our hands. There was an exhibit with what looked like dry ice but I didn’t get a chance to see what it was all about as BattleKid found something more interesting for himself and L to play at.techniquest toddler day

We wandered around, stopping at another bubble machine for a few minutes before moving into the water-based room. BattleKid and I touched the spinning wet wheel, before he played in the water river, splashing a few other attendees by mistake throwing things into the water. Oops, sorry. BattleKid then had fun at the water waste pipes, spraying water into certain parts and watching it come out somewhere else.techniquest toddler day

After the water area we moved upstairs where a ball vortex caught the boys attention and they spent ages there, finding the balls and putting them back into the vortex. We had a go at making music with tubes, but BattleKid just wanted to bash everything but the tubes with the paddles! What is that they say about not working with children?techniquest toddler day

techniquest toddler day

Next on the agenda was a wind-type machine called Blown Up into which you could place pieces of material and watch it go up and out the top of a tube. BattleKid and L had a ball with this exhibit. Another thing we had to drag them away from!techniquest toddler day

techniquest toddler day

techniquest toddler day

We moved back downstairs, passing by another wind machine which suspends a ball in air and it blew the head off BattleKid and L. It was really funny. Before we packed up our belongings to go, BattleKid and I had to stop by the dragon, his current obsession and took a few selfies with it.IMG_1043

techniquest toddler day

We thoroughly enjoyed our few hours at the Toddler Day in Techniquest, despite how busy it was and I think we may try to go to another Techniquest Toddler Day in the future. The boys had an absolute ball and there was lots to see and do. We didn’t do any colouring or drawing, so maybe we can try do that next time.techniquest toddler day

The Techniquest Toddler Day is a great idea for introducing younger children to technology and science from a young age. It costs just £5.50 per adult with under 4’s going free. Techniquest is buggy friendly and had baby-changing facilities. There are a limited number of lockers if you don’t want to carry a bag or anything around with you and there is a coffee shop if you fancy a sit down but be advised there are no bottle or food warming facilities at Techniquest.

There is just one thing I would advise if you are planning on attending a Techniquest Toddler Day – arrive early. As mentioned we arrived after 11am and the multi-story carpark opposite Techniquest was completely full. I got lucky at the car park beside St. David’s Hotel and so did my friend but parking was at a premium at that time of the day. And if you do park at the hotel carpark ensure it is within a correct bay. When we returning to our cars after lunch there were ticket inspectors checking tickets and all those not in a proper bay were ticketed. Also, ensure you have change for the ticket machine as it doesn’t take cards. I had to give one man my last change from my purse because he had none himself. Good dead for the day.

Techniquest is a great day out and not too expensive in my opinion. One TripAdvisor says:

“Great day out for my two children at the toddler day… good value and great atmosphere all round.”

and I would agree.

There are four more Techniquest Toddler Days coming this year:

  • When I grow up: September 16th.
  • Around the World: October 7th.
  • Get Spooky: November 4th.
  • Winter Wonderland: December 2nd.

I can highly recommend the Techniquest Toddler Day if you want somewhere different to take your toddler and there are, of course, lots of nice restaurants in Cardiff Bay for lunch afterwards.

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

*We were not asked to write this review.

techniquest toddler day
Pressing buttons at the Techniquest Toddler Day

Gro Anywhere Blind: Review and Giveaway

Now if you’ve read any of my previous reviews you’ll know how much I love Gro products. However, it took a while for me to fall in love with the Gro Anywhere Blind but boy do I love it now!

I bought the Gro Anywhere Blind in the summer of 2014 when BattleKid’s cot was still in our bedroom and the nights were still bright and mornings starting earlier. However, when trying to put it on our bedroom window I found it wouldn’t fit! I wasn’t very happy at all. There was a great big gap at one end of the window as it measures 235cm and the Gro Anywhere Blind just wouldn’t stretch that far. Down it came, into its storage bag it went and up into our attic storage bedroom it went. And I had forgotten all about it until we started having sleep problems with BattleKid last May. He was waking early, taking ages to fall asleep at night and naps were becoming hit and miss.Gro Anywhere Blind

After a particularly rough weekend away, while scratching our heads at what to do, I remembered the Gro Anywhere Blind in the attic bedroom and thought it was worth a try. BattleDad and I put it up in BattleKid’s room and we’re immediately amazed at how dark his room had become. The Gro Anywhere Blind fit his window with a bit to spare and with barely any light getting in, even on a bright sunny day, I had high hopes.

Before the Gro Anywhere Blind
Before the Gro Anywhere Blind
After the Gro Anywhere Blind
After the Gro Anywhere Blind

The Gro Anywhere Blind is a blackout blind designed for taking on holidays with you to create a better, darker room for your little one to sleep in. However, like me, I’ve read that alot of people use it in the UK for those long, bright summer days. As it weighs only 740 grams and comes with its own handy travel bag, it is light, portable and easy to use wherever you go. It is also non-permanent, being attached to the window via suction cups. There is an ample amount of these for attaching the blind to the window and the blind can fit a window up to a maximum size of 130cm x 198cm, perfect for BattleKid’s room but not ours as mentioned. If your window is smaller there are velcro fastenings which are easy to use to adjust the size of the blind to fit your window. Just make sure your window is clean before attaching the suction cups which are quite strong once in place.

The fabric is good quality, has a nice moon and stars design on the side facing into the room and most importantly, the blind conforms to British and European Safety Standards.Gro Anywhere Blind

And it really DOES block out sunlight. BattleKid’s room, despite having “blackout” curtains on his window was still light and bright in mornings and evenings, and during nap times but not once the Gro Anywhere Blind went up as you can see with the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. The Gro Anywhere Blind made an enormous difference to the amount of light in his room, even to the point of needing the light on during the day if doing anything in his room. As a result BattleKid, and we, were sleeping better. Naps also went back to how they were before the light was disturbing him.Gro Anywhere Blind

We left it permanently in place last summer and there it remained until winter was upon us and the mornings and evenings grew darker. From outside you’d hardly know it was there except when you compare that window to our others and notice the lack of vertical blinds in place.

What I love about the Gro Anywhere Blind:

  • value for money.
  • easy to use.
  • portable with its own travel bag.
  • plenty of strong suction cups for attaching to the window.
  • lightweight at only 740 grams.
  • velcro fastenings to adjust its size to fit smaller windows.
  • moon and stars design on fabric is nice.
  • good quality material.
  • great for home or holidays.
  • conforms to British and European Safety Standards.
  • it really does block out light.

What I don’t like about the Gro Anywhere Blind:

  • nothing, except we could have done with a larger one for our bedroom but this was negated once BattleKid was in his own room.

The Gro Anywhere Blind is a great blackout blind for your little ones nursery or bedroom during the bright UK summer months or for taking on holidays. It vastly improved BattleKid’s sleep last summer which in turn gave us better sleep as well. It is a very easy to use product, is great quality and is fantastic value for money. Anything that helps a baby/toddler to sleep at night is worth its weight in gold in my opinion.

This product proved invaluable to us last summer and I’ll be using it again this summer coming to ensure BattleKid’s sleep is not disturbed due to bright mornings and evenings. So far BattleKid is going down without any hassle for bedtime and naps but as soon as that changes the Gro Anywhere Blind will be making a reappearance!

The Gro Anywhere Blind is available from the Gro Company website as well as retailers like Amazon, Argos, Boots and John Lewis. The RRP is £29.99 although it is available at £19.99 from Amazon at the time of writing this review.

So if your little one is finding it difficult to sleep in those bright early mornings and evenings of summer why not invest in the Gro Anywhere Blind. It really does black out their room and I’d be surprised if it didn’t help improve their sleep, and yours!

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

*I was not asked to write this post nor host the giveaway.

PS Please excuse the stuff hanging off his doors!!!

PPS. Fancy getting your hands on one of these? I actually found another Gro Anywhere Blind up in our attic room that I’d obviously bought and forgotten about so I am happy to pass on my spare of this brilliant product. It is unused with the tag still on (as shown in the picture used) and hasn’t been taken out of it’s carry bag. So if you’d like to get hold of one, please follow the instructions below and good luck!

Gro Anywhere Blind Giveaway

T&C’s:

  • Open to the UK and Republic of Ireland only. Entries outside of these countries will not be valid.
  • Competition runs from 10am on 14th April until 23.59pm on 20th April.
  • There will be one winner, picked at random, via the option in the Gleam Competition.
  • The winner will be notified within 5 days of the competition ending and will receive their prize direct from me, BattleMum.
  • There are various ways to enter after you have posted a comment on the blog.

What to pack for 6 days in Portugal

Easter has been traditionally a time when I’ve gone home to Ireland for the long weekend to visit family. However, this year I’m breaking with tradition and heading to an all-together sunnier climate. My parents have been going to Portugal every year in March but normally around the 11th which is my mum’s birthday. However they decided late last year they’d like to go over Easter in order to bring my nephew with them as he’d be off school on holidays.

With that in mind it threw my usual Easter plans into disarray. If my folks weren’t going to be home then I wouldn’t go myself. I didn’t want to miss them so decided to stay at home this year and just chill out. They then said they’d cancel Portugal but I wouldn’t let them, it wouldn’t be fair on them or my nephew to miss out. That’s when BattleDad recently came up with a brilliant idea. Seeing as he usually does a bike trip while I’m away over Easter, why didn’t I just meet my parents in Portugal instead of staying at home on my own with BattleKid? Genius! I called my parents to ask if that would be ok and proceeded to book flights for myself and BattleKid as my mum had secured a 2 bedroom apartment so there would be room for us. We’re on!

Sunrise

As you read this I’m now there enjoying sunshine (I hope) but the week leading up to it has been a bit hectic for me. Firstly I’ve never been to Portugal, let alone in March, so I’ve had no idea what to pack for myself or BattleKid. Do I pack shorts or should I bring trousers? Will it be hot so we only need t-shirts or do we need cardigans and jumpers as well? I rang my dad earlier in the week but he said he wears light trousers out and about, and shorts by the pool so it sounds like both might be needed.

Also, as I’m flying solo with BattleKid I want to bring just one suitcase and the minimum amount of hand luggage than I might normally do when we’re travelling with BattleDad. That means no Trunki stuffed with toys. They’ll need to go into the main case with a few things in the cabin bag to entertain him during the two hour flight. I’ve loaded up his little tablet with plenty of Curious George and Thomas the Tank Engine episodes so hopefully these will do. I’m also bringing snacks to distract him with on board. I did pick him up a monkey backpack so might be able to put a few toys in that.

As he’s now fully weaned onto cow’s milk it means I don’t have to bring formula nor do I need to bring any food in my case for him like I have done in the past. I also only need to bring the minimum amount of nappies as my mum is planning on buying them and swim nappies the day we arrive so that saves a huge amount of space. However, as BattleKid is too big for travel cots now, I’m bringing a toddler blow-up bed so that needs to go into the case.

But as for clothes I’ve been rightly stumped as to what to pack. Not knowing what the weather will be like has been a bit unnerving for me. So I’ve had to pack a mixture. I don’t need to worry about dressy clothes as we won’t be going out late for dinner with BattleKid in tow. We’ll most likely be eating at our apartment or dining early in nearby restaurants. But I do think I’m still probably bringing more than I need as I normally do! I always over pack.

So here’s what I’m bringing with us, in brief:

Mum: 1 jeans, 1 shorts, 1 capri trousers, 8 t-shirts, 2 dressy tops, 1 dress, flip flops, 1 pair of sandal shoes, 1 bikini, 1 swimsuit, 1 pj’s, 1 hoodie, 1 cardigan, 1 hat.

BattleKid: 3 shorts, 2 trousers, 1 hoodie, 8 t-shirts, 2 swim sets, 1 sandal shoes, 2 shorts pj’s, 2 long pj’s, 2 hats.20160320_214617_001

Hand luggage will consist of  a change bag containing 1 change of clothes for BattleKid, tablet, few toys, George, a beaker and snacks, and travel documents. That’s about all I’ll be able to carry on my own! If I’ve forgotten to pack anything I’ll just have to get it when I’m there. And of course, there will be a holiday diaries series when we come back telling you what we got up to out there. Completely unplanned until this week and exciting all the same.

Wish me luck and have a great Easter!

Cath x