push along toy mini cooper buggy

This has to be one of the best fifty pounds I’ve ever spent: I must have clocked up dozens of man hours, this week, pushing the new baby “Mini Cooper” about in the garden. Angelica absolutely loves it. We went to Toys R Us looking for a trike and came away with a bubblegum-pink toy car, but it is so much fun. Moulded “leather” seats, an opening door, a dashboard with dials and a pink plastic key… She wouldn’t be able to work a trike, anyway – the car suits her laid-back, non-pedally sort of attitude. She just sits down, shuts her little door and chills whilst we do all of the work.

We knew that we wanted something with wheels that had a handle attached – we bought a blue plastic rocking horse thing, which is brilliant, but her favourite game is to be pushed about on it, and it’s an absolute killer for the back muscles! The Mini Cooper has an adjustable handle, which is surprisingly strong considering how flimsy it looks, so you just push the car along as though it’s a hoover. (Having a hoover integrated wouldn’t be a bad idea, it has to be said. Or a lawn mower.)

Anyway, as mentioned, one of the best ways to spend fifty quid. There are probably cheaper cars-on-sticks, but the detailing on this one was great and I liked the battery-operated sound effects on the steering wheel. Easily pleased, me.

The Mini Cooper is currently £20 off, down to £59.96. Toys R Us.

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eucerin sun protection

Here I am, trying to look chic in my Maison Michel hat whilst applying sun protection to a one year old. I’ll tell you something: it’s not easy. It’s like trying to have poise whilst riding a Bucking Bronco.

You need to have six hands to apply anything to a one year old – two to hold the legs, two to hold the arms and then two to hold the bottle and rub in whatever it is that you’re putting on. I reckon, also, just to add to the difficulty factor, that you have a window of approximately fifteen seconds in which to complete your task before the wriggling starts in earnest and things get tricky.

eucerin sun protection

Unfortunately, most of us have just the two hands, and so we have to employ other – very wily – tactics to hold our charges still. I like to use the “between knees pincer grip” combined with advanced distraction techniques – pulling ridiculous faces that make me look as though I’ve had a large part of my brain removed, emitting loud chirruping noises, placing various objects on the top of my head and shouting “MUMMY’S HAT! MUMMY’S HAT!” like some kind of deranged TV presenter.

eucerin sun protection

Thankfully, the sun protection I’ve been using, Eucerin’s Sun Kids Spray SPF50+, is so fast to spray on and rub in that Octopus Baby Angelica barely knows what’s hit her by the time I’ve covered arms, legs, back and tummy. Head and face have to be tackled separately – I do her face by spraying the product into the palms of my hands first and then pressing into her skin – but overall it’s a far (and easy) cry from my first couple of baby sun protection experiences!

The first ever baby SPF I tried was so thick and claggy that Angelica started to cry before I’d even rubbed it into her arms. It was like spreading PVA glue. I was surprised, because it had come very highly recommended (it was quite a niche brand) and I had expected it to be lightweight and quick to absorb. I tried again the following day, employing my pincer grip and distraction tactics, but the baby ended up looking as though I’d sprayed her with white pearlescent car paint. There were many tears.

eucerin sun protection

So a fast-absorbing, non-claggy, non-greasy SPF is vital, I think, when you’re dealing with babies and kids. The Eucerin Sun Kids Spray SPF50+ I’ve been using has the same sort of premium feel you’d want from an adult sun protection product but is perfume, colourant and paraben free and suitable for even sensitive skin. It’s extra water-resistant, so great for kids who are constantly in and out of the water (though you must remember to reapply after towelling them dry!) and suitable from the age of six months.

eucerin sun protection

I’ve tested Eucerin’s core sun protection range with my “beauty hat” on and it’s excellent. Eucerin specialise in formulating skincare for specific (often quite tricky) skin concerns, so there’s sun protection for sensitive skin, very dry skin, very oily skin and even skin that’s sun allergic. I’ve been using the Transparent Sun Spray SPF50+ on my own body, which I love for its weightless feel and quick-to-absorb formula. On my face, the SPF30+ Sun Creme for Dry Skin, which keeps everything feeling very moisturised and plump.

I wear SPF on my face year-round if I’m going to be outside and I think it’s an important habit to get into with kids, too, especially since they’re even more likely to be spending time playing outdoors. I’m hoping that by starting our little SPF-applying routine early on, the baby will eventually understand that it’s just part of getting ready and that reapplying it throughout the day is a quick interruption that is even quicker if she holds still! Ah, the optimism…

I should mention that the same basic sun “rules” apply to babies and children; that the safest place for your skin is always out of direct sunlight*, and you should cover up with protective clothing, sun hat and sunglasses as well as using a broad spectrum SPF. (Though trying to get my baby to keep a hat on for more than ten seconds is nigh on impossible.) Apply sun cream generously before exposure to the sun and reapply frequently, especially after swimming or towelling dry.

You can find out more about Eucerin Sun Protection on their website here** and you can find the range at LookFantastic, Escentual and Boots.

*in case I get worried comments, we posed for the pictures above in the sun for around two minutes and were both wearing SPF50!

**this post has been sponsored by Eucerin.

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baby and body update

I didn’t know whether I’d carry on with these baby and body updates past a year – the ONE YEAR mark seemed a very natural place to stop and I did wonder whether people might get bored. However, a quick straw poll revealed quite the opposite and so here we are with the thirteen month (or should I call it “one year and one month”?) update.

At any rate, the monthly updates force me to actually write something down, which is never a bad thing. A Model Recommends takes up so much of my time that posts here on The Uphill rarely get to see the light of day (there are hundreds in my drafts folder) and so having that little deadline every month is rather useful. On that note, I do have a lot planned for this blog, including video content, so watch this space. I’ve almost finished the self-cloning machine, so Ruth #2 should be ready any day now… Ha.

Here’s the thirteen month update.

Baby

I can still get away with the “baby” tag because Angelica is not toddling yet. She’s almost there – now and then she has this crazy surge of energy and pulls herself up and demands to be walked along – but a lot of the time she’s very lazy and just likes to crawl about in her weird commando way. If I try to make her walk or stand when she doesn’t want to, she just collapses her legs down and becomes a dead weight – she’s very good at letting me know when she has no intention of doing something.

Favourite game of the moment: trying to climb up into the vintage de Sede swivel chairs in the living room. This has to be the most stressful game on the planet, because the chairs have a tendency to – er – swivel (funnily enough!) just as the baby starts to pull herself up, meaning she is projectiled across the carpet in the most ungainly fashion. She seems to quite like it. I think she must be made of rubber.

Feeding is going well – favourite foods are bread, cheese (I make miniature cheddar sandwiches for her), grapes, yoghurt and apple. Eggy crumpets were a hit, toast with jam is always a winner, weetabix is the staple breakfast and Ella’s Kitchen chunky spag bol (yep, we’re still going with those, pouches will eventually bankrupt us) is the surefire winner in absolutely any situation. We’ve tried a homecooked version and she literally spat it out with a look of total horror on her face. I don’t know what Ella’s Kitchen put in their spag bol, but whatever it is they have cracked some sort of magic code.

Sleeping has taken a little slide backwards in that bedtime has been shifting later and later, mainly because if we put the baby down at 7pm, or even 7.30pm, she screams bloody murder until around 8.30pm. It’s harrowing to say the least. It’s easier to keep her up until 8pm and put her down when she’s a bit sleepy, but she still doesn’t drop off until 9 and it just seems SO LATE! Mind you, she doesn’t wake up until 7.30am – sometimes 8am – which I gather is also quite late, and she has an hour and a half nap in the morning and an hour and a half in the afternoon, sometimes a bit more.. The NHS say that a one year old should have about 11 hours of sleep in the night and 2.5 hours in the day (source here) so I suppose she’s getting her quota. Just not always in the “allocated” slots…

What else, what else? Books are still a major source of amusement, especially ones with farm animals. Moooooo! Also, monkeys. Why do kids love monkeys so much? Angelica says “ooh ooh ooh ooh!” every time she either sees a picture of a monkey or hears the word monkey. Oh, and she said “mama” the other day, though I’m not sure she knew what it meant. I’ve been brainwashing her with “mama” for over a year, so I suppose one day my work had to pay off, but I must say she’s very slow on the uptake considering I say it at her about twelve times a minute. I’ve said “dada” about twice ever (my evil strategy!) and “dada” is the favourite word! Bloody hell.

Body

Hmm. I’m in a bit of a tiz with the old bod at the moment, but I’ll fill you in next time, I think. I’ve never really had to think about dressing, too much – just chuck things on and hope they look ok – but summer has brought forth a whole world of sartorial obstacles. For example: I used to be able to go braless, which was great for strappy dresses and strapless dresses and tank tops and racer-back tops. The idea of going braless now? DON’T MAKE ME LAUGH! I literally need a miniature set of scaffolding underneath my breasts.

Read more monthly updates…

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