Thursday, October 23, 2014

Showing my true colours!

Here it is!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Grey skinhead, coming soon!!!

Following on from my post a couple of weeks ago "growing out my grey", I decided I should give the charity thing a go after all. People might not give as much as they would if I was cutting off some long tresses, but I will still look pretty daft for a while so it has to be worth something.

So I decided that at my next appointment  I'd have it shaved. Not bald, as I think there will be some entertainment value in the colour and the patchiness of it. So going for a number 2 or 3 (depending on how short I need to go to get rid of all my colour). I will have white on the sides and black at the front and back, I may well resemble a zebra! 

My appointment was booked for my birthday, but I decided yesterday to bring it forward. Partly because I had a bad hair day on Monday, but mostly because now I've said I'll do it I am anxious about it and want it over ASAP.

I am having a bit of a panic in the mid life crisis kind of way too. Am I really ready to say goodbye brown hair. I love the colour. People always think I'm younger than I am. They might soon be asking if I have a seniors card!!! 

Anyway, I guess one advantage of going public and trying to raise a bit of cash is that I have to do it now. And on the plus side, the sooner I do it, the sooner it will grow back to a decent length.

My chosen charity is Macmillan, who provide care and support for people and their families living with cancer. If you would like to make a donation it would be  greatly appreciated. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Spot A Lot Animal Escape - Book Review

We are loving the latest book that we have received as part of the Parragon Book Buddies Scheme. Spot A Lot Animal Escape is a brand new picture book by Steve Smallman and Nicola Slater. It is a story in which the animals have escapers from the zoo and the reader has to find them on the following pages of the book.

It offers many things on many levels. First, there is the animal that has escaped. Each double page spread has a different animal to find.

Also, on each page there is a tortoise that you need to find,

and then other animals to look for too.

It includes number, 1 giraffe, 2 elephants, 3 gazelles and so on. It contains some simple rhymes, and nice descriptive language -"4 gibbons, long and slim, swinging by the jungle gym".

It has also introduced some new vocabulary, such as the "soaring dog" who has jumped on the trampoline.

There are so many things to look for that the book can keep you entertained for ages, and you can look at it again and again and notice new things in the images each time.

This is an excellent book to look at together. Its too stimulating for a night time book, but a great one to share during the day - we have read it at breakfast several times now.

Spot A Lot is so new that it's not even available for sale yet - but it is coming very soon to both The Book Depository and Amazon and will make an excellent stocking filler.

 Disclaimer: This book was received free of charge for the purpose of this review as part of the Parragon Book Buddies Program. All opinions are our own.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Growing out my grey

At what age do you think it is appropriate to accept your grey hair?

I have been going grey since I was about 16. It became quite noticeable when I was in my mid twenties, and after a few people suggested I dye it, I finally did. I have been trapped in the cycle of dying my hair ever since, at first by using home dyes, and then when my hair started to suffer, by going to the hairdresser - or the 'grey line police' as one friend calls them.

I've been wondering about when to stop. At what point in my life should I accept the fact that I am grey? And how to grow grey? A work colleague from Darwin shaved hers off for charity and then embraced the grey when it grew back. I liked that idea. But now I have short hair anyway no one will be interested in sponsoring me - I should have done it when I had it cut last time.

There have been a few things that have been stopping me from embracing the grey up until now. Firstly for BB's sake. I live in a town where there a lot of young mums. I tend to be the same age as the grandparents of BB's peers, and sometimes older. I was worried about how people might respond to him for having such an old mum. Perhaps he would get called names at school.

There was also the whole issue of TTC. Could I really be a white haired pregnant lady? I got enough stick last time about being a 'geriatric pregnancy' and I was only 39 with brown hair. Being 43 with white hair would certainly make me stand out in the labour ward.

But we are planning to leave this town, BB is not going to school yet, and I think I have just about accepted that there won't be another attempt at TTC, so my reasons not to embrace the grey are becoming irrelevant.

Reasons to go for it are the money I would save every six weeks from having it dyed, the time I would save sitting in the chair waiting, the need for child care while I do such, the horrible grey line that appears in my parting,  and the damage it does to my hair.

Also, I feel kind of ready to step into that phase of my life in a way that I didn't before.

The only thing I am still concerned about is that I will look like a zebra. My grey is very uneven. At the front of my head I have no grey hairs at all, my hair is naturally really dark, almost black. On the top and sides it is almost white. My hairdresser tells me that the back is mostly dark too. I could end up looking like I have tried some strange two tone stripy look. But I guess I won't know unless I try.

My roots on the top of my head - nearly all white

My roots on the front of my head - all black

So the next question is how to do this without looking like a complete idiot in the interim. I have already had my hair cut really short so that should help - it shouldn't take too long to grow it out. I have also thought about using a semi-permanent dye for a few weeks until all my permanent dye has grown out, and then I can stop. It's also winter and I have a great collection of woolly hats!

My next hair appointment is booked on my 43rd birthday. I think I am going call and cancel the dye. My gift to myself will be to embrace the grey and all that goes with it. I hope that includes maturity, wisdom, and self assurance - and maybe an affinity with zebras!

If anyone out there has any tips or tricks to share on growing grey, I'd love to hear them!

Design and Drill Power Tool Workshop - Review

On the day of the haircut, we got home to find that our latest toy from Learning Resources had arrived. It is a Design and Drill Tool set, which is a self contained box filled with lots of different colour bolts, some special fun bolts, two battery operated tools (a drill and a screwdriver), and also a manual screwdriver and spanner.

We quickly unpacked it and installed batteries in both power tools. BB soon got the idea of how it works and straight away picked up the booklet with examples of pictures that you can make and tried to copy. He needs help with this though, he can copy the shape but doesn't always get it the right distance from the edge, meaning when he gets to another part it won't fit on the board. He's getting the idea of counting the rows now though.

Also, having made a few examples, he has started making his own designs - they are usually a steam train - though I do need him to tell me what it is.

There are lots of great things about this resource. It is great for developing creativity and fine motor skills. There is also counting, colours, design. Having both a drill and a screwdriver means that it can be a good toy to work on with a friend, and both people can have a power tool. There is also a hand held screw driver so a third person could even join in, or when the batteries go there is still a way to play.

On the batteries, I anticipated that they would wear down really quickly. Indeed the main reason I have taken so long to write the review is that I was waiting to see how long they lasted. We haven't played with it non stop by any means, but it has had a fair amount of use and I still haven't changed the batteries which is great news. The other thing that I really love about it is that it is all self contained, coming with its own easy to carry and store tool box case. This means that its a good toy to take with us when we got to visit my Nan.

The only downside is that you have to take all the bolts out of the board before you put it away. This might not be a downside at all, it teaches you to put things away properly - but at the moment it's mostly Mum that does that!

It is a great resource though, like everything else we have had from Learning Resources it is a very well made and robust toy. I would definitely recommend it.

You can buy the item direct from the Learning Resources website, or from Amazon. There is also a cheaper option where the tool box is not included, for those people watching their budget.

Disclaimer: This resource was sent to me free of charge for the purposes of this review. This review is however 100% my own honest thoughts and opinions and I have not been paid to write this!
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