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Days Out: Drusillas Park, East Sussex. 

Drusillas Park is situated near the village of Alfriston between Eastbourne and Brighton and has a lovely ‘local’ feel to it despite it being quite a large zoo. We’re huge fans of zoos in this household – we’ve always enjoyed watching animals and how they interact. So when we were invited to come visit last weekend, we couldn’t wait to visit.

We have visited Drusillas Park before and have always had a nice time, so we were really excited to find out that they’ve recently had a few new additions to the zoo. These include; marmosets, otters, Macaques, and meerkats!


It was lovely to see all the young animals in the park – they were all so so adorable. It took T some time to focus on the little ones, especially when they were camouflaged so well, but once he found them he kept pointing and squealing.


Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stop and listen to any of the talks that were occurring throughout the day, but we were impressed that there was always something going on.

T’s favourite animals from the day were definitely the lemurs and the bats.

 


I think this was down to the fact that both enclosures were walkthrough enclosures, so it was really interactive. The bat enclosure was especially interactive with our noses!

We arrived just after 10am and spent a good 2-3 hours casually walking around the zoo – there really is plenty to see and do. Our friend’s children really enjoyed collecting stamps, using their spotters guides, and reading the tour guide.


After the zoo, we were definitely ready for some lunch. Although we bought a picnic ready to feed an army, the cafes surrounding the picnic area served a variety of food and drink. I really appreciated the amount of seating available – which you’d think by lunchtime would have been packed but we still managed to find a quiet table away from the hustle and bustle.


In addition to the babies, Drusillas have also installed a new water park for the summer, which is perfect for T who is a complete water baby. We explored this once everyone had digested their lunch.


This was by far one of T’s favourite part of the day as he could just let loose and enjoy the water on what was a really hot day. There was a huge variety of water canons and fountains, all ranging in speed, and because of the variety available you didn’t have issues with the bigger kids hogging anything.


The area itself is really spread out and considering it was the weekend (and the summer holidays) it wasn’t that busy – or at least it didn’t feel like it due to the amount of space available.

After the water park (and getting T changed!), we explored the soft play area, the adventure parks, and the Thomas train ride which travels around the majority of the park!

These features have been around for a long time (although you wouldn’t know it) as they never get tiresome. Me and S T really enjoyed climbing in the soft play arena. T was sadly a little too small for the Hello Kitty adventure park, but we’ll be sure to revisit it when he’s a little taller. Our friends children seemed to enjoy it as they went on each ride at least three times!

By 5pm we were ready to head home, although not before going to the gift shop! There’s three on site depending on where you are in Drusillas. T was treated to a little soft monkey and we treated T’s friend to a little gibbon as that was his favourite. We thought we’d make the most out of T not knowing what a gift shop is!

We had a wonderful time at Drusillas and will definitely revisit soon – we’re even contemplating memberships just so we can visit the adventure and water parks! Drusillas also have a number of special events and appearances happening.

T definitely enjoyed himself as we hadn’t even reached Alfriston before falling asleep!

K

We were provided with a family ticket to attend Drusillas, however all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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New Shoes. 

It felt like only yesterday that we were buying T’s first pair of shoes. 


We went to a popular high street shoe shop and after his fitting we were told that T has wide feet and a high instep. This boy was going to cost us a fortune. 


Thankfully, we didn’t need to go back after the recommended 4-6 weeks, T remained the same size and we were able to keep these lovely pair of shoes. 

Like with any ‘first’, his first pair of shoes were special. They saw him master the technique of walking. They took him to lots of new places. Farms, The Woods, Forts, even his second Pride

For us, it was the start of his transition into toddlerhood.


T adored his shoes and often took them wherever he went, although he also enjoyed throwing them around the car and into the dog’s water bowl. 

As expected, these little pumps will stay with us for eternity – unwashed and with the remnants of his last walk on them. They even have perfect little toe indents inside. 


And so on to the next pair. Where will they take him? Nobody knows. 


K

Days Out: Newhaven Fort

Last Thursday, we went to Newhaven Fort for the afternoon. I’ve been meaning to go for sometime as I absolutely love history; especially war time history.

Newhaven fort was built in  on the edge of a cliff in (you guessed it) Newhaven.

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I’ve only ever been to the Fort via their surrounding cliff top walks which have been a favourite of mine for sometime. It was nice to finally see inside.

At the time they were in use I imagine the rooms were extremely cramped and busy however you really do get a sense of openness when you visit the Fort.

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Although T wasn’t really interested in the smaller rooms, I really enjoyed learning about the war from a local perspective; ranging from Lewes to Seaford. T, however, was more interested in the open forecourts to run around in.

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Although a little pricey (£7 for an adult), I thought there was lots to see and do. There’s also a nice little cafe on site, although I resisted cake and stuck to our healthy picnic!

My favourite part was learning about what it was like being inside an air raid shelter during the blitz. It was even recreated somewhat later on when an old plane flew past ready for last weekends airshow at Eastbourne. We couldn’t have been in a more perfect setting!

I will definitely go again, taking S with us,  as there definitely would have been bits I would have missed as there’s really quite a bit to see.

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Days Out: Pride 2016

Last weekend we went to Brighton Pride for our umpteenth time and T’s second time. T was only 4 months old when we went last year.

Typically, T had to be woken up, even though 5:45 was his usual time throughout the week – he clearly didn’t know what was ahead of him. Once we were all washed, dressed, and rainbow’ed up to our eyeballs we were ready. We were so excited.


Arriving a little too early at Hove Lawns, we decided to go get breakfast at a local beach side cafe. During this time, it wasn’t long before we started spotting rainbows and glittery floats. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. We all started getting a little bit excited.

This year, we decided to join in the Pride parade alongside Brighton and Hove rainbow families. We’ve been part of this group for some time via Facebook, although we’ve never found the time to meet up officially (something we’re going to rectify soon). Even if you’re new, the group is always so welcoming, and has a wonderful array of families as members; from two mum families, two dad families, to co-parenting families. It was actually quite a sight to see so many rainbow families in one place. I was actually quite sad at the thought of then having to go home where we’re very much the only rainbow family within a 5 mile radius.

At 11:00 the parade officially started, samba bands and all. This was T’s cue to fall asleep and not wake until we reached Preston Park.

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The parade was fantastic, with a real buzz to it. Everywhere we looked we saw smiling faces and waving from onlookers. The younger children in the group enjoyed high-fiving people as they passed, where as the older children enjoyed dancing on the float. It was a real party.

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Arriving at Preston Park at around 12:45, some 18,000 steps later, we made our way to the family area to meet up with friends and families who we hadn’t seen since the previous year. This bit is like a massive reunion where we chat and swap stories about the past year – commenting on how our little ones are no longer so little.

Located a further back in comparison to last year, which was a shame as we like watching the being a part of the main park as well, I noticed that there was a lot more room for the children to run around this year. Plus, we also had exclusive access to the massive play park within Preston Park. This will be perfect for T in years to come.

After a little sit down and a fruit picnic, we grabbed some lunch; I had a mountain of nachos and S had a rather large Bratwurst (pardon). Although we packed T a lunch, he also helped himself to our lunches.

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Walking around the main park is my favourite part by far. The people, the music, the stalls. Everything about it reminds me why I love our community so much. Everything is so colourful, and everyone is here to have a good time. Now that the organisers charge to get into the park, it means people who do attend are there for the right reasons, and not solely to get drunk and rowdy. It meant the atmosphere was safe for T to have a little wonder, have a little dance, and get a few cuddles from passers by.

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Despite being robbed blind when it came to drinks and food prices we quickly got into the spirit of things. We enjoyed ice cream in front of the women’s tent, drank Pimms with the bears, and chatted about joining the Girl Guides. We had a wonderful time.

Pride for us is only going to get better the more T starts to understand what it’s all about. Over the next few years it’s going to be one giant carnival party for him, and thats ok. I can’t wait, however, to explain one day how far Pride has come and why it’s so important. I can’t wait for him to look forward to the Pride weekend and to meeting up with his friends.

This post really doesn’t do our day justice. It really was a fantastic day and I was sad to see it end. Although I nursed a baby wearing hangover for the majority of Saturday night and Sunday morning, it was totally worth it.

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All of the Emotion. 

It’s been a tough few weeks since T hit 15 months. His confidence grows by the day what with the numerous steps he’s taking. He even pushes off from tables and chairs, coming to me when I put my hand out. He clearly really enjoys it. With this added confidence, however, has come a lot of emotion and frustration on his part.

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I hope don’t think it’s the start of the terrible somethings, I think he’s just in a middle ground of knowing what he wants to do but without the knowledge of how to. Climbing his slide, getting his shoes on, sorting shapes into holes, getting food onto his fork, and even the dog not wanting to play are all things that can turn into tantrum central.

Before, he’d keep trying at something or walk away and come back to it later, but now he breaks down. He’s been known to fall to his knees and bounce in frustration, pick up things just to throw them, or kick/wriggle upon being picked up from somewhere he’s not meant to be. I miss when he used to put half as much emotion into exploring and laughing.

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I get it, it must be horrible wanting to do something and being told he can’t in one form of another (it’s never just “no”, I try and explain), but at 15 months I don’t really know how I can explain things to him. I try, oh do I try. But he doesn’t get it. Even trying to show him how to do something; like the shape sorter, will class as me taking it away so further moans ensue.

On top of this, we even have mini bouts of fake crying. The type where nothing, absolutely nothing, has happened but all of a sudden *moan whinge cry*. I look over and nothing. The cries are often empty and don’t have anything behind them – but they’re there.

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During a melt down I always offer a cuddle in a way to help him calm down and reset, and this usually works, but sometimes it actually makes things worse as he sometimes just wants to cry. So I let him. But it saddens me as I still want to help him without just doing whatever he wanted to do for him.

So we’re at a stalemate. He plays with something or goes to do something, can’t, and then sort of flails. I don’t think there’s been a day where he hasn’t cried or screamed in frustration at something, and all I can do sometimes is watch or wait it out until he’s finished.

I know I’m not alone and I know this is just the beginning of an emotional time, but I need some advice as to how to help him. I don’t want to stop him trying to do things, but the anger and frustration is so so hard.

K

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Costa

BLOG POST – Adding “Pride” To Your Coffee

*This is a collaborative post*

Coffee. My favourite word in addition to ‘Sale’, ‘Free’, and ‘Sleep’.

So when Costa, the nation’s favourite coffee shop, told me that they’re going to be showing support for the Brighton LGBT community this weekend by serving exclusive Rainbow Flat Whites to celebrate Brighton Pride at its London Road and Western Road stores, I was over the moon.

The History…

Costa flew world-class barista and Instagram star, Mason Salisbury 5,000 miles across the world to train five baristas in the art of making rainbow coffee in time for Brighton Pride festivities.

Costa Rainbow Latte 16.6.16 ©Richard Eaton 07778 395888

Costa Rainbow Latte
16.6.16
©Richard Eaton 07778 395888

Ella Wiseman, was one of the specially selected baristas to spend a day learning Mason’s technique before she serves the colourful drinks in Brighton this Saturday 6th August.

As an equal opportunities employer, Costa is a founding partner in GLOW (Gay Lesbian Out at Whitbread), which provides a network for the companies’ LGBT community as well as straight allies. People from across the whole Costa business – and the parent company Whitbread – from graduates, store teams to senior Directors meet regularly for informal networking sessions.

John Kerslake, Costa’s UK & Ireland Operations Director and co-founder of Costa GLOW commented:
We’re delighted to be bringing rainbow coffee to Brighton Pride this year. We hope customers will enjoy the multi-coloured drinks and admire our baristas passion and creative flair! Being an open and fair employer is extremely important to Costa: we’re proud to champion equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We hope to demonstrate our forward-thinking ethos with our Rainbow Flat Whites and will continue to show our support for Pride and the LGBT community.”

Ella Wiseman, Costa Barista Maestro added: “I love creating latte art, so I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to be trained by Mason to make these beautiful rainbow coffees. I hope customers will be as amazed as I am by the mesmerising patterns! Brighton Pride is such an incredible event and I’m thrilled that I get to be a part of it by serving our rainbow coffees.”

Costa Rainbow Latte 16.6.16 ©Richard Eaton 07778 395888

Costa Rainbow Latte
16.6.16
©Richard Eaton 07778 395888

The Costa Rainbow Flat Whites will be available from Costa London Road, BN1 4JA and Costa Western Road, BN1 2B stores in Brighton on 6th August during Brighton Pride for an RRP of £2.50.

Costa will also be serving Rainbow Coffee to celebrate Manchester Pride on 27th August.

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Follow us on Instagram on the day to see what they look like and we thought about it.

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The Breastfeeding Chronicles: World Breastfeeding Week 2016: Where We Are. 

This week is ‘World Breastfeeding Week’, which is an annual celebration held by worldwide organisations such as WHO and UNICEF.

Celebrated every year during the first week in August, it’s aim is to promote the benefits in breastfeeding. This year marks the 25th year!

Our journey so far…

I’ve been breastfeeding T for almost 16 months, which doesn’t seem that long when I think about our first feed.

I thought he may have started to self wean himself a few weeks after turning one, but since he mastered how to sign for milk I’ve noticed an increase, although this may also have a link to how poorly he’s been recently.

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Signing for milk has it’s positives and negatives. On one hand he can communicate a lot better and he can ask for milk before getting to that h’angry stage. Plus, it’s cute. On the other hand, because I give it to him if he asks (I’m still on a don’t offer, don’t refuse regime), he’s got into the habit of asking, getting, drinking for a few minutes and then he’s off – treating me like a water fountain.

I really don’t want to start refusing him, as that often ends in tears, but how can I keep up with that demand? He eats well and has cows milk at nursery so I’m baffled as to why he wants to drink so often when I’m around, especially as he finds as much comfort in a cuddle.

Night-time is getting better, with wakeups only happening every now and again; usually when T’s got himself wedged width ways and wakes himself up. S can usually comfort him and get him back off, but if he’s wetter than normal it’ll be a change and boob back to sleep. Again, if he’s been particularly poorly he may wake twice and require boobing back to sleep. On each occasion he doesn’t actually drink for that long before he’s fast asleep.

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At this stage I don’t know when ‘the last feed’ will be, and to be honest I don’t think I’m looking for it.

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#Photo365 Photo Challenge: July In Pictures.

July has pretty much sucked in our house, with sickness being the main theme. Although we are pretty chuffed that T took his first few independent steps this month!! 

Long gone are the days of a simple cold, we’ve now suffered with irritating coughs, conjunctivitis, chicken pox, and now hand, foot and mouth disease.

It’s been exhausting for us, so I can’t imagine what it’s been like for T; who’s also trying to combat walking at the same time! What’s worse is that we haven’t been able to really enjoy the summer weather as a lot of the virus’s have resulted in quarantine.  Thankfully, we have a nice garden, but even T is getting bored of the same paddling pool and garden picnics.

Not our most colourful month, but here’s what July looked like for us.

If you’d like to follow our #Photo365 challenge on a daily basis, pop over to our Instagram.

K

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Giveaway: Cheeky Wipes ‘All-in-one Baby Wipes Kit’.

I’ve known Cheeky Wipes ever since I met them at a baby show many moons ago, before T was even born. They’re a local company to us and are one of the nicest brands to work with. Last month, they even sponsored me to go to BML16 in London.

If you don’t know who Cheeky Wipes are, they’re the makers of the reusable baby wipe. They also make reusable feminine products, however I’m not daring enough to try those just yet.

I’ve saved a ton of money by using Cheeky Wipes, and considering I was quite against the thought of adding to my wash load, the use of Cheeky Wipes really hasn’t added to it at all. I’m even tempted to give cloth nappies a go for the summer months when T fancies running around in just a nappy.

This month, Cheeky Wipes have kindly offered one lucky winner to win an ‘All-In-One Baby Wipes Kit’ worth £39.99! We purchased this kit whilst at the baby show and it’s still going strong despite several “challenging” episodes. We found this kit to be the best when starting out and has proved useful when we wanted to freshen T up during his sweaty days.

In the kit you’ll get:

  • A ‘Fresh’ Baby Wipes container.
  • A ‘Mucky’ Baby Wipes container – with mesh bag insert.
  • A ‘Fresh’ Baby Wipes waterproof travel bag.
  • A ‘Mucky’ Baby Wipes waterproof travel bag.
  • A 10 ml bottle of ‘Fresh’ Baby Wipes Essential Oil.
  • A 10 ml bottle of ‘Mucky’ Baby Wipes Essential Oil.
  • White cotton terry wipes.
All-in-one Baby Wipes Kit

Credit: Cheeky Wipes

This is a fantastic kit, saving you heaps on disposable wipes.

To enter, follow the link below:

Win an ‘All-In-One Baby Wipes Kit’ by Cheeky Wipes!

Good Luck!

Terms and Conditions

Open to UK residents only.

One (1) winner will win one ‘All-in-one Baby Wipes Kit’ worth £39.99. The prize will be sent via ‘Cheeky Wipes’ and not via LesBeMums.

No cash alternative. Prize is non-transferrable.

Closing Date: Midnight (00:00) on 28/08/16.

Winner chosen between 28/08/16 and 30/08/16. Winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner has one week from the closing date to claim their prize, after which point a new winner will be chosen.

 

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We Have Steps!!

It was a warm sunny afternoon, on a rare weekend where both Sharon and I were together. We’d just had dinner and decided to let things digest before bath time by having bit of a play in the lounge.

Suddenly, this happens…

First Steps

STEPS! Actual, on-his-own-nothing-is-getting-in-his-way, steps.

As you can tell by the screaming, we were over the moon. T was pretty chuffed with himself as well. We must have spent the next 45 minutes watching T go back and forth between us, throwing himself onto us and giggling as soon as he got to us. It was fantastic. There may have been tears (on my part) and we were definitely late for bedtime.

Shake your head if you will, but I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I’ve been looking forward to the (independent) walks in the woods and the museum, the ball games in the park, the chasing. I know there will be time when I will say; “just sit still!” but the fun stuff will simply outweigh those times.

T’s not always been the greatest mover, with crawling only really happening a few months ago, but he’s always had strong legs and has enjoyed cruising round furniture. I think he’s just been too lazy to give it a go; but I’m so glad he finally has. He seems to enjoy the independence as everything seems more accessible to him. The lounge is now an obstacle course with hidden toys gems along the way.

Aaaaaaaand we're walking. He's been taking every opportunity to do this all day. I'm so so proud.

A video posted by LesBeMums (@lesbemums) on

At the moment, we’re still at the cautious stage with T looking around before he pushes off to go for a walk. He happily comes to me when I ask, and he’ll gladly walk to nursery whilst holding my hand.

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I don’t think he’s far from going for a bimble round the garden, but we’re quite away from walking to the shops and back, which I’m totally cool about right now.

K