You’d never guess I have two little girls…

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Cute photo-frames for a girls bedroom.

I bought these for £7 or £8 in Tesco about a month ago. They’re not exactly high quality but they’re made of hard card, fabric and clear plastic so you don’t have to worry about the kids breaking the glass. They come in a pack of three (my other one’s in Maisie’s room) and I just couldn’t resist them as they’re so pretty.

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Balance bike review and comparison list.

There are loads of balance bikes on the market, but this is a list of the ones I liked the most. In the end I chose a Ridgeback Scoot for Sam and a Bikestar for Maisie and I was really pleased with both of them. I haven’t listed any wooden bikes as I didn’t think they’d last as well as a hand me down, but two good friends have a wooden likeAbike and swear by them so if you’re looking for a wooden balance bike, that’s the one I’d recommend.

Islabike Rothan

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Frame – Aluminim
Weight – 3.6kg
My impressions – If this bike came in pink then I’d have bought one second hand from eBay, as it’s a lovely piece of kit. It’s designed for children rather than using parts designed for adults so it rides really nicely for kids. It’s a quality product and so pretty expensive, but if you love cycling and bikes then you might not be able to resist this! Loads of kids here in Cambridge have them and the parents I speak to about them think they’re fantastic. I chose not to spend so much on a balance bike as they all pretty much do the same thing, but many people I’ve spoken to think they’re worth every penny. At the end of the day, the more expensive they are, the lighter they are and the longer they’ll last. Resale on these is excellent.
Price – £120 from Islabike. Secondhand you can pick them up for around the £70 mark on eBay.

Ridgeback Scoot

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Frame – Aluminium
Weight – 12.1bs, 5.49kg
My Impressions – It seems long and was harder for my petite little girl to get to grips with when she tried to ride her brother’s one. My son loved it though and he only started using a balance bike when he was 4 and quite big. This is a fabulous bike but definitely not the lightest out there. It’s great for bigger kids who aren’t going to struggle with the extra weight. The rear break is pointless but the kids like the look of it. New models have a carry handle on the seat which is a brilliant feature for those frequent meltdowns!
Price – £99 at most places where it’s sold, but I bought my son’s one 2nd hand from eBay for £52.

Strider

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Frame – light gauge steel tubing
Weight – ST3 (old model) 2.9kg. ST4 3kg.
My impression – This is a fun little bike and it’s the lightest on the market. it’s a great choice for small kids as the seat height starts at 28cm and goes up to 40cm. My hesitation was that after reading reviews it seems as though the EVA polymer, foam-like tyres, tend to wear down so are not ideal if you want to hand them down to a sibling. They have also just launched Super Strider which has 16″ wheels for older or bigger kids. If this had existed when I bought my son’s balance bike then I’d probably have bought it as his Scoot was always a bit small for him.
Price – ST 3 currently being sold for £69. 99. The ST 4 is £84.99, from
Balance1st.

Puky LR1

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Frame – Steel.
Weight – 4kg
My impressions – This is a good solid bike with a great reputation. It’s heavier than other comparable products but it’s also cheaper than the lighter bikes. You’re unlikely to go wrong with a Puky, but my daughter found it awkward which is why we didn’t go for it. I like the footrest and the kick-stand which is really useful and you can also get a strap to carry it when your child suddenly refuses to go any further. This bike also has pneumatic EVA tyres which don’t puncture, but loads of kids around us have these bikes and they don’t seem to wear down much. Puky also do a smaller balance bike called the LRM which is more suitable for tiny ones, the seat height on these is 28cm.
Price – £65.99 on Amazon. You can also pick these up on eBay for around £40.

Likeabike Rosalie

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Frame – Aluminium
Weight – 3.8kg
My Impressions – This bike wasn’t around when I was looking for a balance bike for Maisie, I’ve just discovered it tonight! I’d have bought this if it had been available, it’s, light, it’s pink (the Kokua was the only one available when I was looking and it didn’t come in pink!) and It’s not outrageously expensive. Gutted.com – I love this bike! They also do a red version called the Likeabike Hardy.
price – £99.95 from Likeabike.

Specialized Hotwalk

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Frame – Aluminium
Weight – Approx. 8.63lbs (3.91kg)
My Impressions – This is a really good bike, it’s light and (crucially for us) comes in pink. I didn’t buy it because the Bikestar balance bike was half the price and had similar features, but if I wasn’t trying to save a bit then this is the bike I’d have bought. The Hotwalk is one of the lightest bikes on the market, it also has a footrest to encourage balancing.
Price – 2012 model currently on sale for £89.99 from Freeborn The 2013 model seems to be £100 in most online shops.

Ketler Speedy
imageBalance bike comparisons
Frame Steel Tubing
Weight 4.1kg
My impressions One of Maisie’s friends from Pre-school has one of these bikes so I asked her dad what he thought of it. He said he was pleased with it, it seemed easy enough for his daughter to ride but his only issue was that the wheels (made of a tough synthetic foam), sometimes “chip”, i.e. a little chunk sometimes comes of when she rides over rough ground. That said, his daughter likes riding it and it’s pretty light so what’s not to like? It has a padded seat which is adjustable – 33-43cm, so it’s not really small enough for tiny ones but still a good size for your average two year old. This is a good little bike, it’s not expensive, it’s not too heavy for little ones to maneuver and it comes in both blue and pink!
Price £44.99 from Amazon

Bikestar

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Frame – Steel tube.
Weight – 4.8kg
My impressions – This is the bike I chose for my daughter for Christmas when she was 3 1/2. She’s small for her age so the bike had to be fairly light but more importantly it had to be mostly pink. This bike is really pretty and nicely made. I’m really pleased with the quality of it and Maisie loves it. The wheels seem really wide but this doesn’t seem to make a difference to how it rides. The Bikestar has a kick stand which I find is a really useful feature as it just means the bikes isn’t always just lying around. This brand, like Puky, offers a smaller version with 10″ wheels for tiny ones. The price is excellent and Maisie picked up the technique after a few tries. It must be said that this does feel quite heavy to carry home, but she’s only given up once which is a credit to the bike (and her!) in itself.
Price – Currently £49.99 on Amazon.

5 Days after The extraction of my impacted wisdom tooth…

Wow, what a thrilling title! But there is good news afoot. Last night (Day 4), after Hubby and I decided my face was even bigger than Day 3 and I noticed pus oozing from a hole in my cheek, I decided a call to the emergency dentist and was told to go to an out of hours doctor clinic. After giving me a thorough gob check, the Doctor told me that I had an infection and even gave me some stronger pain killers to treat the now, almost unbearable pain. At this point I could barely talk or open my mouth so I felt incredibly blessed to live somewhere where I could get treatment at any time night or day. You’re awesome NHS.

So, I took all my new pills and woke this morning without much pain. The swelling still looks about the same but I can deal with a face like Desperate Dan when I don’t also have to contend with excruciating pain. So I’m guessing that this is how I’m supposed to be feeling, a bit of an achey gum and cheek but no intense pain. There is still some pus, but I’m hoping the lack of pain means less infection. Hooray!

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Bit less massive? Certainly still odd looking.

I’m in agony and unfortunately none the wiser…

I had a wisdom tooth removed on Tuesday morning and to be quite honest I was absolutely oblivious to the potential agony the whole procedure can cause.

The procedure itself only took about 30 minutes and seemed to be very straightforward, although rather gruesome. In fact, the cracking and crunching and drilling and gurgling almost brought on a Victorian type lady-faint at one point. So now, 3 and a half days after the surgery (I know it’s minor surgery but it’s still surgery alright!?) and I’m in more agony than on any of the previous days and one side of my face resembles a lopsided moon.

What’s annoying is that I felt really unprepared for how much this was going to hurt. Although the leaflets you’re given tell you you’ll be in pain for a week or two, you don’t actually believe it’s going to be that bad, so when it is that bad, a certain sense of bewildered confusion mingles with the outrageous pain. So if you’re about to have a wisdom tooth removed and are preparing yourself then read on and weep. If you’ve already had the tooth or teeth removed then you’re probably already in tears from the pain and want to know when it’ll stop. Here’s how it happened for me so far…

Day One
10.30 – 10.40 Wisdom tooth removed. The most painful bit was the three anesthetic injections, the rest of it was just a lot of pressure and yanking and scraping, (bleugh).
10.40 -12.50 The calm before the storm. The pain was manageable and everything seemed to have gone swimmingly. There seemed to be a fairly constant trickle of blood coming from the wound so I used the gauze to bite down on and then kept my mouth open to allow the air to get to the gum and allow the blood to clot. This worked and I felt very pleased with myself.
12.51 – 14.00 The anaesthetic began to wear off, so the emerging pain was mingled with that weird, fizzy numbness that comes when you start to regain sensation. This made me want to pull my mouth out.
14.00 – bedtime I took Ibuprofen and paracetamol at regular intervals and the pain was manageable.

Day Two
5.30 (when my smallest one wakes up btw) – 13.59 The pain was manageable, no swelling, all easy breezy.
14.00 -19.19 The pain had increased and when I looked in the mirror I was annoyed that it looked like my face was fatter than yesterday. Inwardly I committed to a lower fat diet.
19.20 – bedtime. My husband came home and commented on how swollen my face was. I was secretly relieved that my cheeks hadn’t suddenly gained 6 pounds, but then also a bit alarmed that my face had swollen up a day after the procedure. I called the emergency phone line to see if this is normal and they asked me to see a doctor who told me this is normal, often the swelling is delayed by a day. I wondered why they didn’t tell me this over the phone…

Day Three
5.30 – bedtime I awoke to AGONY.COM combined with MASSIVEFACE.COM I went to the dentist to make sure there was no infection and she said everything was sore but normal, I didn’t have an infection and that I should call back if after a few days the swelling hadn’t gone down. My stitches fell out in the afternoon, but there was no bleeding so I assumed that was ok.

Day Four
Middle of the night I dreamt that I had a terrible pain in my jaw.
5.30 I woke up with a terrible pain in my jaw and then had to breastfeed my child who likes punching me in the face while she’s feeding.
All day today My face is more swollen than yesterday and more painful. Excellent. I can’t imagine it feeling any better tomorrow, in fact I can’t imagine it feeling better ever again. I’m also noticing that my cheek, chin and lips feel rather numb and am obviously concluding that this is permanent.

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So odd looking.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nomination

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A very big thanks to Kim Carlisle at http://www.kimcarlisle.com for nominating me for the Very Inspirational Blogger Award. These awards do the rounds on blogging sites and are a great way to highlight new blogs or blogs that bloggers love to read. The Rules for this award nomination are to;

1. Thank and link back to the blogger who has nominated you,
2. Post the award logo to your blog.
3. Nominate and link to 15 other very inspiring bloggers.
4. Notify them; and tell 7 things about yourself.

These are my 15 blog nominations, they are all blogs I enjoy reading and really want to support so please click through to them! You’ll notice that most are Mummy blogs but there is also a Dad blog and a French recipe blog too.

http://journeyintothespectrum.wordpress.com/

http://motherhoodisnotforsissies.wordpress.com/

http://makingitthroughmonday.wordpress.com/

http://charlotteroseblog.wordpress.com/

http://mummygorgeous.com/

http://fakingpictureperfect.wordpress.com/

http://mylittlegreenthumbs.wordpress.com/

http://northmelbournemum.wordpress.com/ northmelbournemum@gmail.com

http://ameliesbookshelf.com/

http://wonderhunters.wordpress.com/

http://myfrenchheaven.com/

http://aavicenna.wordpress.com/

http://poppyandtallulah.wordpress.com/

http://itsmineminemine.wordpress.com/

http://aworkingmum.wordpress.com

7  things about myself
1. I’m an only child.
2. I’m 5ft 1 but feel 5ft 8
3. I love dancing
4. I used to live in a castle
5. Repetitive sounds drive me mental
6. I love live comedy
7. I’m trying to enjoy every moment with my loved ones, without getting distracted.

The Twins’ 4th Birthday Party

This is an amazing cake fest, I just had to share. Wish I could bake like this!

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When you’re 4, cake is possibly the most important component of any birthday party.  I can’t say that I’ve ever really grown out of that feeling.

In celebration of their birthday – at a party shared with their best friend who was born two days earlier – I went a bit overboard and made a whole host of different delights.

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Coconut Cupcakes with a marscapone Icing topped with Coconut, and Chocolate velvet Cupcakes with Mint Icing topped with half an After Eight.  A tower of yum.

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Sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that are the best.  These Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache look as simple and basic as they really were to make, but the soft sponge and rich icing meant that they disappeared almost instantly (mainly in the mouths of the parents!)

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This was a Red Velvet Chocolate Cake with cream cheese frosting and edible silver balls.  Don’t ask…

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