changing bag

What’s in your Changing Bag?

What’s in your changing bag?

When I first became a mum I knew that the size of my handbag would have to change.  Gone were the days of the small bag with just enough space to put your purse, keys, lippy and mobile phone in.

My very first nappy changing bag, (I only had 2!), was grey and boring but very practical and had so many pockets inside and out! I could practically fit my whole house in it!

The contents of the bag went a little like this…

Changing mat – a handy little foldaway mat that can be used anywhere, including the boot of your car!

Nappies – I always carried way too many, and being a reusable nappy kinda mum, the size of the bag was a big deal! I did have the odd spare disposable nappy too, you just never know when you’re gonna get caught out.

Wet wipes – with my first little pickle, they were the washable type, but my second child they were disposable ones. They just have so many uses; mucky hands, sticky fingers, bumps and bruises and a quick fix to clear up the odd bit of sick!

Hand Sanitiser always came in handy for freshening up after a nappy change, but I have been known to squirt some on the table in a coffee shop ready for snack time too!

Nappy bags were handy not only for the dirty nappies but for keeping the mucky clothes contained.

Spare Clothes – from vests to babygros, cute girly outfits to boy’s comfy trousers. Depending on the age and stage of my kiddies, there would even have been a spare pair of shoes for those potty training accidents!

Breast pads – I exclusively breastfed so the last thing I wanted was a leakage, especially when my daughter was newborn, the feeding was all over the place and milk was on tap.  Breast pads have other uses though, I once used it as a plaster when I was on a long walk and had the worst blister on my heel you can ever imagine!

Muslin squares – handy for feeding, using as a bib, over the shoulder burps and even as a sunshade.

Suncream and sun hats in the summer, and gloves and a beanie for the winter.

Calpol sachets and teething gel / powder – handy to slip safely in the bag.  If it wasn’t my bubba that needed them, they were always handy to help out a friend.

changing bag

As my family grew from child to children,

additional bits were added to my bag, which was upgraded to a more sophisticated style.

Snacks and sippy cups for my toddler.

Crayons and a pad, books and small toys – for those times when you just want to finish the coffee you treated yourself to, while it’s still warm!

Tissues for runny noses or teething dribbles.

Money – lots of change was always a must. Popping to the shops for supplies and getting the buggy out of the car, all set up for baby and toddler, was always a mission.  To then find you don’t have any change for the car park must be any mum’s nightmare. I was caught out on numerous occasions stood at the parking meter when I remembered that I hadn’t replenished my coin purse!

As well as the essentials there would be a small space, somewhere in the bag, for my bits

Purse – a must when having a coffee and cake catch up with another mummy friend.

Mobile phone – full of hundreds of baby snap shots.

Lip gloss

Powder brush to help cover up those dark circles

Sunglasses –  nothing worse than going for a walk with the sun in your eyes.

Chewing gum / mints – did I ever rush out the door without brushing my teeth?! I don’t think so!

So this is mine, what’s in your changing bag?

Written by Gemma our Poole and Ferndown Organiser

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I didn't know you were there

I didn’t know you were there!

I didn’t know you were there!

I was tired all the time and had been working for two weeks straight on my feet in the run up to Christmas. I thought after Christmas and New Year I would start to feel less tired!

How wrong was I! It was now the middle of January and I had all sorts of thoughts running through my head. I wondered if maybe I was diabetic as I have struggled with my weight since a teenager. I was now 27 and worried that maybe I had abused my body with eating junk, drinking too much on a Friday and Saturday night and was now paying the price.

I plucked up some courage and made a doctors appointment for 31st January, the day which would change my life forever!

The Doctor asked me lots of questions and gave me an examination. I popped up on to the bed and he pushed quite hard on my stomach and left the room.  I was so worried I didn’t know what to think.

He returned after a few minutes with a Fetal Doppler he put it on my stomach and within seconds there was a heartbeat! I couldn’t believe it. I was pregnant.

He said I was quite far gone so he would send me for an emergency scan. I went the next day and they told me as they had no point of reference for size as I hadn’t had a previous scan that I was probably close to full term! I couldn’t believe it. What was I going to do? My partner already had children! How could I be that far pregnant without knowing I hear you ask! Well I had periods every month, he was small and laying flat on my spine. I had no bump. I had probably put on 10lbs in last year but I did this all the time up and down with my weight. I suffer with back pain already. How could this be happening?!

I was worried about telling my partner and it was his Birthday. I decided I would tell him over dinner and take it from there. Only we were not alone for dinner in the end so I couldn’t do it! I was in shock didn’t know what to do, where to even start. I decided I would spend a couple of days getting my head around it and went and got a couple of baby grows and a little outfit and hid them under the bed in a bag with my scan photo. The days went by and it got harder and harder. Until one night the baby decided enough was enough and I started having contractions.

Newborn Ryan
Newborn Ryan

So from 11 days of pregnancy, Ryan was born on 11th February, a gorgeous little boy. Who still 11 years on I am never sure if he is here, as he is still quiet and laid back but most of all he is my precious son.

Written by Tanya – Little Pickles Markets Hampshire Organiser

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House Bursting at the Seams

Is Your House Bursting at the Seams?

House Bursting at the Seams

Is your house bursting at the seams???

If your house is now over run with tons of lovely new toys and clothes from Christmas, you might be wondering what to do with all of the bits and pieces that your Little Pickle is no longer interested in.
Well look no further than our Award Winning Baby and Children’s Nearly New Sales

Why not take this opportunity to sort through all of your Little and Bigger Pickles toys, clothes, books, games, baby equipment and anything else your Pickles have outgrown or no longer needs by booking to sell at one of our 2017 Markets now.
And recoup some cash for the new year.

We have hundreds of Markets coming in 2017.  Our early January and February dates are available on our website now to book.

Alternatively, if you a buyer looking to spend some money your Pickles have been given for Christmas then why not have a look on our Facebook Events and see when we will be in a town near you.

We would like to wish to you a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you all in 2017.

Jess and Team Pickles x

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Chessington World of Adventures – family day out

Chessington the all around family day out.

As a child I have some fond memories of family days out at Chessington World of Adventures. So it is great to add to those memories by taking the pickles all too.
A few years ago we were invited to attend the launch of the Azteca Hotel, we had an amazing time and ever since I have wanted to return with the whole clan. Now we have our Merlin Annual passes, top of myself and most of the pickles theme parks to visit was Chessington.
After a rocky start to the holidays with the man of the Family breaking both of his wrists, I wasn’t sure if we should still go as he wouldn’t be able to go on any rides and could be bored. But seriously what was I thinking, after taking a good look at the website, I saw there was shows for him to watch and tons of animals to see.
So we set off along the M4 on Wednesday, loaded up with a hearty picnic and waterproofs well it is British Summertime so rain was forecast.
After several toilet stops, we arrived just after 10, I thought being the first week of the school holidays it would be packed but I was wrong, the park was pretty quiet, with most ride queues only being between 5-10 minutes.
We downloaded the Chessington app, which was really helpful, to keep an eye on queue times, showtimes, closest toilets (essential when your taking a recently toilet trained toddler), a map of the park and where you were in the park, plus planner to help you keep track of all the things our family wanted to do on this visit.

What did we do and see?

So going back to those childhood memories of mine, a firm favourite has always been the Bubbleworks and as it is closing in September we hot footed it there, we will be returning later in the summer hopefully once Faryl’s plaster is off for him to ride it before it closes.

Then we had a rest and a snack watching the sea lion show, next to the sea lion bay is the Land of Kings featuring Tigers, Lions and Gorillas. The lions were pretty sleepy but always for the pickles to see the sheer size of them close up. As we got to the Tigers one came out had  a wander around and the pickles followed her to the top of her enclosure, where she stretched out to bathe in the sunshine. We could watch the cheeky gorillas for hours on end, seeing the silver back get a little bit irritated by the young gorillas and beat his chest, then Aliza, 3 was so excited and proud that one of the baby Gorillas came to the glass and high fives her, definitely the highlight of her day.

I have seen the adverts for Pandamonium and have to admit I wasn’t so sure but, the kids were captivated and loved the interactive, entertaining show. Plus the baby Panda was pretty cute.

We headed to the sealife centre, definitely more interesting for the older pickles than the Little Pickles that were more interested in just dashing through until they found Dory, which the did and briefly looked at before racing off again.

We stopped for a picnic, but then it obviously started to rain, so we had to decamp and shelter under a tree finishing our picnic before the rain passed and we continued with our day.

My favourite animals are Giraffes so I couldn’t miss Zufari, the bumpy truck ride to see, Zebra, Rhinos, Giraffes and Flamingos.

chessingtongirafffe
Chessington – Giraffe

We donned our poundland ponchos and got soaked on the Dragon Fall, a complete must for a family day out at a theme park.

Then we did some other rides including Tomb Blaster, Scorpion Express (The Baby’s first roller coaster) and finally myself and the 3 oldest girls braved the Vampire ride which I remember from my childhood and it was just as heart racing as ever.

So what did we miss?

Things we missed the Penguins of Madagascar show,  Temple of Mayhem, Dragon’s playhouse, Canopy Capers and Jungle Bus plus several smaller rides. So plenty more to explore on our next trip plus you can never have enough goes on Zufari and of course the Bubbleworks before they close.

Plus all the rides Faryl missed out  whilst waiting with Grandma sporting his plaster cast duo!

What did we eat?

We took a bumper picnic like we always do on a day out, full of plenty of bottles of water and snacks as walking 16,000 steps (yes that’s what my iPhone told me) needs lots of energy.

We only brought the odd coffee and slushy from a kiosk on this visit but next time we will hopefully take advantage of our 20% Merlin Annual Passholders discount and fill up at one of the parks restaurants before our long drive home.

Kids verdict?

On the way home the kids actually said a huge Thank You off their own backs (no prompting, that is like a huge parenting win in itself). Then went on to say that Chessington was the best theme park they have ever been to and can’t wait to go back, so off to find my diary and schedule a date to return.

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Our Summer 2016 To Do List

Little Pickles Summer 2016 To Do List

So the 6 weeks summer holiday lay ahead of us, here in our household we breathe a massive sign of relief. As the constant running around for school runs and extra-curricular clubs (yes between them my pickles do most of them, apart from playing an instrument, well that would be nice to have a pianist in the family ((off I wander to think which would be the best candidate, seriously woman we have enough to do)) where were we).

Yes the holiday are a time for us to chill out and recoup, but we also want to have a plenty of fun along the way. So I have asked all of the tribe to make a list of what they want to do over the break. We are proud owner of exciting Merlin Passes and members of the National Trust so we are planning some days out close to home and a little further afield.

summertodolist

So here goes with the kids wish lists.

Jolie, 7yo

  1. Go to see BFG in the cinema
  2. Complete the Big Reading Challenge at the local library
  3. Learn to ride my bike
  4. Go to Chessington
  5. Day out with Mum!

Lexia, 10 yo

  1. Go to see her cousins in Wales
  2. Visit Chessington World of Adventures
  3. Go to the Beach
  4. Go swimming at Oasis, Swindon
  5. Have a day out with just me and Mummy

Faryl, 5yo

  1. Make a Noah’s Ark
  2. Have a day out to Chessington
  3. Go to the Aquarium
  4. Try out Warwick Castle
  5. Go to my friend’s house

Firstborn, 15yo

  1. Go shopping with Mummy
  2. Take a trip to London
  3. Go to Swindon Designer Outlet
  4. Change our room around and get new bed
  5. Chill out alot

Aliza, 3yo

  1. Go to the park
  2. Go to Cbeebies Land
  3. See Finding Dory
  4. See Peppa Pig’s house
  5. Have fun

Mummy, do I need to tell you, ok! 33yo

  1. Stay in my PJs for the whole day
  2. Laugh until I cry
  3. Paint the hallway
  4. Go to see the AbFab Movie
  5. Get my hair done

So we have a huge list to achieve, hopefully you will see lots of updates over the Summer of our fun and days out for updates

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