>Don’t you tell me what to do…

>…is the Boys current favourite phrase. I have no idea who he learnt it from, who still has slightly toddler-ish tendencies with a penchant for tantrums, feet stamping and childish comments. Definitely not me. It was not me. No it wasn’t.

I love it when he says this, with a cheeky smile and a knowing look that he is saying something a little bit naughty. I advised him that I could, of course, tell him what to do and in fact it is my given right as his mother but unfortunately he does not have to listen. I am wondering whether I should have missed out the last part, I have a feeling it will come back to bite me in the bum.

I am very blessed (or clever as I like to think of it) to have made a Boy who is so lovely and so very good. He is very rarely naughty, unless he is tired. He doesn’t get into cupboards, pull wires, climb on tables or run off. He never tantrums in public and is always perfectly behaved when around other people. I honestly have no idea how he is so good, its definitely a nature thing. Which is why I actually love our little fights and his attempts at asserting his power. They always happen in the house (when he is tired!) and he is so so stubborn. I am concerned that he might become a product of me and the Man which would make the stubbornness person in the world but I would be quite proud of this. I want him to have balls! I am quite a wimpy person and a bit of a scaredy-cat, both emotionally and physically. It has taken me 29 years to have the courage to teach myself how to do a seat drop on the trampoline! The Man is the opposite and I really want the Boy to take this from him, although without the need to drive down country lanes at 16 without headlights “just for fun”.

So for now I am embracing his defiant tendencies, maybe because they are so few and far between and not very forcefully attempted, but I am sure I will regret that one day!


>Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday

>Tommee Tippee Digital Monitor review and competition

>A couple of months ago I was invited to the product launch of the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature sterliants range. It was my very first blogging event and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. As it was the Boy and I had a lovely afternoon at the Maggie and Rose kids club in Kensington and I was really impressed at the product range. Unlike a lot of other sterilising products it it designed for babies and children and what impressed me most is that it doesn’t have that burn your nostrils alcohol smell.

Tommee Tippee very kindly gave me a DECT Digital Monitor with Movement Sensor Pad (“DECT”) to review. I didn’t buy a monitor before the Boy was born, we live in a small, old house so the walls are thin and you can hear almost everything. Except of course you can’t hear the paranoia in your own head or rather you can, all too loud. The Man and I used to sit there in the evenings ears cocked to the side saying to each other “did you hear something”? After a very annoying week of this we decided to buy a monitor, this was a good move as our sanity, along with the volume on the TV, was restored.

We haven’t used a monitor for a while as the Boy is now very loud and isn’t shy about letting you know he wants something but I was quite pleased to have one again (the old one is at my mums as she has a big, monitor necessary house). The DECT is an all singing all dancing monitor which really gives you great peace of mind in a number of areas.

The sound is crystal clear and worked all the way to our garden which will be great on these lovely BBQ evenings. The temperature display, which prior to the Boy being born I probably would have viewed as an unnecessary feature but soon came to realise that paranoia linked to your precious baby is all reaching, is very handy and clearly displayed. A beep goes off if the temp drops too low, or if you are out of range of the monitor. The movement sensor pad, which triggers an alarm if the baby doesn’t move for 20 seconds, is probably best for newborn babies and will give that added peace of mind. My favourite bit of the monitor is the two way  feature which allowed me to talk to the Boy from the comfort of the couch, bed, kitchen (delete as appropriate) and give reassuring messages like “go to sleep now” and “its still bedtime”. There is a night light on the monitor although the Boy doesn’t use one and its not quite bright enough to help with nappy changes.

Although this is a top priced monitor at £99.99 it has many features which make it worth the investment, especially the thermometer, movement sensor pad and night light which would save you from buying these things all individually. The energy saved in running up and down stairs and the peace of mind that you can hear what’s happening is worth every penny!


The lovely people at Tommee Tippee have also given me some fabulous weaning goodies to giveaway to one fabulous and lucky reader. To enter please do one or all of the following, each item which will give one entry:

  1. Follow my blog
  2. Follow @tommeetippee_uk and @choc0range on Twitter
  3. “Like” Tommee Tippee on Facebook

Then please leave a comment below telling me what you’ve done.

Thanks for reading!

Competition ends 30 April 2011
UK only

>Easy stew recipe

>Yum yum, the Man and I have just enjoyed leftover stew for dinner and it made me think how much I love stew and how easy it is to make. Having said that it is still a treat for us as you need about 4-5 hours to make it and its not often we are home far enough in advance to make it.

Its also a really good way to use up leftover vegetables like potatoes, carrots, mushrooms. So for anyone who wants to try it:

Ingredients (and I don’t really measure them I just chuck em in

  • Meat – diced beef or lamb work well
  • Potatoes 
  • Carrots
  • Large glass of red wine
  • Flour
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Rosemary
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees
  • Heat some olive oil on a low heat in an ovenproof casserole dish and add finely chopped onions, rosemary and garlic, stir over a low heat until soft.
  • Put some flour on a plate and toss the meat in it till lightly coated. Add to the pan and brown slightly.
  • Turn up heat, add red wine and cook for a couple of mins to burn off some of the alcohol
  • Roughly chop potatoes and carrots into bite sized pieces and add to pan.
  • Add tinned tomatoes
  • Top up with water so everything is covered, bring to the boil, put on a lid and then put it in the oven for at least 3 hours although 4 is best.
Serve with crusty bread and a glass of red wine.

Leftovers can go in fridge or be freezed in batches, perfect for kids dinners.