Kids and technology

Technology – it isn’t the most exciting of topics is it. It is something we all just take for granted – we have unlimited internet access, Television 24/7 and mobile phones to contact anyone at any time. It’s something my family have always used often without even thinking twice about it.

My 2.5 year old is a bit of a technology whizz. She can already access Google on my IPad. She knows how to get onto ‘cat’ and she knows what Netflix (Leclix) is for, and how to find her favourite Mother Goose or Peppa Pig programmes on there. She also has a play phone and will often chat to ‘Dadad’ (Granddad) or various other family members on that.

We used to have strict limitations. With my 6 year old I would rarely have TV on in the day, and had strict internet limits. But over time these have relaxed; Having Amelia grow means that we let her use Netflix after School to catch up with her favourite programmes, which gradually increased to weekends too. It’s easy to think of the advantages:

  • They both enjoy using technology
  • It can be educational.
  • They will need to use technology throughout life, so they need to know how.
  • It’s a great way to make sure they are not causing chaos when catching up with housework.

When I really think about it though, for kids, there are no huge advantages to using technology. It is all about us parents; It gives me a chance to do jobs, its tidier than toys and I know where they are (the kids, not the toys!).

Rosie though has started to struggle. She has become a bit obsessed – she constantly wants the IPad or TV on. She has tantrums about me saying no. Her and Amelia argue about who is going to watch what. She was choosing this over playing or anything else.

As a Mum, I feel guilty. I feel that I have relaxed too much and suddenly realised how far things have gone. I should never have used the IPad as a babysitter, or let her go on it rather than play with her. But being a parent is about learning and reflecting. I’ve realised that the current arrangement just isn’t working and so we have done the following:

  1. Kept technology out of sight; Out of sight, out of mind. Not totally, but it makes it a whole lot easier to say no if they can’t get to it.

2. Led by example; It wouldn’t work if I said no to them then got my IPad out to use myself. I impose the same limitations on myself as on them (with the exception of my mobile, which I have within hearing range but have never used much anyway).

3. Don’t have it in bedrooms; Take TV’s or other technology away from where they sleep. I have to admit that this one wasn’t an issue for us – we have never had it in there. But if you do it’s worth considering.

              4. Give them limited access; I wont say that kids need technology. But in a world which is dominated by it, I think they do need some access. To be confident in using IT equipment. And just because in moderation it can be educational and fun. Amelia likes the Cbeebies App, Netflix and Paint. Rosie likes YouTube (yeah, I don’t know why either) and Netflix. They now have clear limits (cartoons for half an hour in the morning, the IPad for half an hour in the evening).

For us, we started last Friday. I expected tantrums from Rosie (who is in the terrible two stage) when I told her that we couldn’t use the IPad. Actually she loved it. We read loads of books, talked about colours, coloured in, played with corn flour goo and pasta and sang songs. I have to admit to it being a long afternoon; I am working on her level not my own, and slowing down to concentrate just on her rather than the housework wasn’t easy. But it was hugely rewarding and I felt like a ‘proper’ Mum to her.

Since then our family time has really improved. Amelia and Rosie are playing together, making obstacle courses, playing pirates or Lego. They aren’t arguing as much. I was worried they would get bored, but I didn’t appreciate how imaginative kids are. They have used their  imagination and found loads to do (including making some housework tasks fun, and having them join in. Ever played ‘Hoover tag?!’

We have laughed a bit more, been more together and just enjoyed each others company more.

I don’t know if this post will get read by anyone other than me in the future, but it is something I feel has made our lives richer in just a few days.

Thanks for reading. xxx

xx

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Life lately…

Hello.

It’s been a long time since I last blogged anything. I just stopped wanting to. It started to seem too much like a chore and became something I was making myself do rather than enjoying. So I just stopped for a while. I’ve done other things in between – a bit of reading, playing Sims 4,  watching Jonathan Creek on Netflix (leklix in Rosie speak). 

Now I’m back again – just as suddenly as before I felt that I really wanted to do a post. Because I like having a place to record my family memories, and to capture my life. I feel very lucky to have the kind of life that I do, and I want to have a place to look back and think about how great our family times were, and to smile at my family and the things we have done. 

And how are we? Well, the same as always would be the short answer. Still working, still busy, still stressed at times. But also still laughing, still enjoying life. We have had a brilliant summer and Autumn, and are just starting to ink about Amelia’s 6th birthday in 9 days, and after that Christmas (my favourite time of year). 

So this is my post to let people know that I will be posting again (I know, I know) and I will be back again tomorrow, about a change that we have made in our family that has only been made for a few days but has already made a difference to us all. I’ll end with a couple of photos of my girls I think.

Bye for now xx







Her first (and hopefully last) arm injury..



Last Sunday did not turn out anything like I had expected. I had planned an afternoon of sorting out and playing in the garden with the girls. Instead, when I was hoovering the car Rosie had a fall and hurt her arm. It could have been hurt by Amelia helping her up too possibly, but we don’t know exactly how it happened.

Anyway, usually the girls hurt themselves about 10 times a day. After a couple of minutes of sympathy it’s forgotten. This time was different though. Rosie wasn’t moving her arm, and she wouldn’t let me put her down. She kept holding her arm like it was hurting and didn’t want it moved.

I wasn’t sure what to so to be honest – I don’t like wasting the time of medical services unless I have to. So I got a second and third opinion from my sister and Dad before we agreed that I should go to a and e with Rosie. So me and Craig took Rose to A and  E. 

She was very good to be fair. It was hot, and we were waiting about 1.5 hours before we were called. Rosie just sat on our knee and talked a little to us, and watched people coming and going (so did I – I was playing my own little guess the injury game).

Anyway, once we were called in we saw a lovely nurse. She really was kind. She sent us to get the arm x rayed (which Rosie hated) but we had to go for a 2nd X-ray as they hadn’t got the arm in the right position. She took us a shortcut way as it was a bit of a walk away, and this time they got the right view.

There is nothing broken, but as it was hurting her they decided to put a pot and sling on it. This came from nowhere, as they had been saying there was boing broken, so it was strange. But anyway, Rosie came home the little owner of a pot and sling on her arm.

We went back on Tuesday for a review appointment. They decided at that appointment to put another pot on for 2 weeks – they explained that little bones are fragile and so there may be a small fracture that isn’t picked up by X-ray. So she now has a pink pot. She doesn’t have to wear a sling though, and this one is lighter than the other so I think Rosie mostly doesn’t know she has one on. 

The NHS is struggling at the minute. But every single doctor / nurse we saw were great with Rosie and with us – they took time to explain things, they worked with what Rosie would allow and were gentle and kind to her. I know every experience is different, and I work with hospitals where I hear bad stories / experiences. But I just hope that we never lose the NHS as it’s just such a useful and precious thing to have. 

And Rosie is just fine – still jumping around and generally causing me as much worry as she always does. She’s not in much pain at all other than when she moves it awkwardly and hopefully it will be better very soon. 

Xxx

The first ‘proper’ bike ride…

Amelia is good at a lot of things. She’s bright and learning mostly comes easily to her. However, something that she’s never grasped before is riding a bike. She’s had her current bike for about 2 years now, but we decided not to get her an updated one as she just didn’t know how to use this one. She either couldn’t do the handles, even after being explained how to steer a million times. And she didn’t understand the pedals. And doing both was just too much to ask of her until now. 

Now though, she’s got it, in her own time and in her own way. In the past few weeks she’s been practising in the garden, and finally riding it properly. With stabilisers, granted, but just seeing her on her bike is something I have been very proud of her for. 



We went out on it today. For the first time in a long time. We only went to my nanas – a ten minute walk if I have the kids with me. It took half an hour on their bikes (and was hard work too I must admit!) Amelia’s stabilisers kept getting her stuck, and steering Rosie is hard work. But we got there, and Amelia did great.

She was proud of herself for doing it. She rode her bike all the way to my nanas house, and steered and pedalled it. And because it’s something that hasn’t come easily to her I’m proud of her – for keeping practising, for not giving up, and just for being her. 

Well done little one. Now she’s added a purple bike to her birthday / Christmas list. Better start saving some pennies!

I’m adding this post to the ordinary moments linky run by Mummydaddyme – I haven’t joined in for a while but this is an ordinary moment of the future – one I’ve been waiting a while to get to 🙂 

Xxx

Namesakes…

When I was expecting Rosie, I really struggled with finding a name for her. Nothing seemed to fit, or seemed right. I must have gone through every name in the history of the world. It wasn’t until about a week before she was born that I decided.

Rosie Eloise. 

I chose it because it has meaning. Rosie is my nanas name (well, Rose, but we call her nana Rosie). It’s also my sisters middle name. And Elouise is a tribute to my other sisters middle name.

I chose this because I wanted her name to have meaning. And because my nana (and my sisters, but that’s not for this post!) is such a strong, loving, generous and unique person. She is funny – she has her quirks and once formed her opinions rarely change – once decided, she sets things into stone to remain that way. She’s an inspiration to me, and the centre of the family. 



I’m glad I chose it for my littlest girl. It suits her. She is placid but stubborn, brave but timid, easy going but with a temper when it suits her. She is a girl of opposites, and I see a lot of my nanas personality in hers. She is loving and loved, and quietly sets out to achieve whatever it is that she has set her mind on. Just like nana Rosie. 

My nana has a close bond with both my girls. But she especially loves babies – she dotes on them, and thinks each baby that comes along is the most clever / cute / forward baby there is. She has a close bond to my Rosie, and likes that she is named after her. 



I love my nana Rosie, and am grateful for the memories I have of her when I was growing up, and the memories I have and will create of her with my girls. I’m grateful that she knows and loves them and they know and love her. And I just wanted to capture just one day – an ordinary visit where I just took a few pictures of nana and Rosie together. 



Xxx

My weekend post #4

First of all, my random but lovely tulips – £2 from aldi and they look beautiful (in my homemade pottery vase / popcorn tub):



I’m not good at remembering to blog. But I do love looking back at our ordinary lives and thinking about how much I love family life, the little things and our time together. It flies by, but is so important to capture.

This is weekend was a bit extra special. Craig has Friday and Saturday off work, which is a huge rarity. On Friday he made good progress with our dining room project, bricking above the woodburner and sanding the mantle. It’s getting closer to being a lovely room, but is too far away to get too excited by either. One day I will be able to show it off. This is what it’s like so far:



 We all picked Amelia up together and went for a walk nearby – Amelia was  little grumpy and Rosie had just woken up, but it blew away some cobwebs at least. Then we came home and had pizza. We also watched the muppet Christmas carol for film night – Amelia’s choice, which is a film I love. 

 On Saturday morning I went to town with Amelia where she insisted that she wanted jelly shoes and nothing else for summer. I also treated her to new books – the magic faraway tree and the adventures of the wishing  chair. For after we have finished the famous five book that we are reading at the moment. We also went to the cafe where I treated Amelia to a cake. We also laughed a lot at our reflections on the car – it did what those mirrors can do and made us look really short and fat. 



 In the afternoon I had an afternoon out – it was my friends 30th and we went for afternoon tea as a surprise – it was my first one and I really enjoyed it – the food in some ways  could have been a bit better, but it was a nice afternoon out. Kate, I know you read this, so sorry for the photos – I already know you won’t like them. And thank you for being my friend over the past 13 years – we might not see each other all the time, but when we do I always enjoy our catch ups. 





 Today has been rubbish. I woke up being sick in the night and today has been written off – I haven’t been sick but I’ve felt it all day, – just been laid on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. And haven’t eaten anything except half a round of toast. I’m hoping it clears tomorrow.

what has been great about today has been watching my girls. They are so sweet together – they giggle at each other a lot, and Rosie copies everything Amelia does, so when A jumps so does Rosie, and when A says something Rosie copies it. They have a lovely and  close bond which I always wanted them to have, and it makes me proud.

and I came to bed to find Amelia asleep in my bed like this, which can only ever make me smile. 



 xxx

It’s been a while.

I haven’t blogged for the longest time (and now I’m pretty certain that I’m blogging just to myself!) for no reason other than I haven’t been bothered to write. Words don’t always come, and people have so many amazing blogs that I suppose I just lost the love for my little space.

Tonight though I suddenly felt the urge to write again. And to capture some of my memories from the past few months, so they don’t get lost forever. Here goes:

First, we went on holiday. It is a special place where we went – in the Lake District, a beautiful cottage in the best location. It was a perfect holiday really and just what I needed.



How grown up is my lovely girl here? This was at Buttermere.



Here, Craig and Amelia climbed down some rocks in Keswick, and this is one of my favourite photos. 



We had the best week, I would love to live there I think.

And last week it was Rosie’s birthday. She turned 2. We had a bouncy castle and BBQ on the Monday, she got a bit spoilt with lots of presents, and just enjoyed herself. Rosie is a lovely little thing, very placid and sweet, but knows exactly what she wants and mostly finds a way to get it. She is so very loved. 



Rosie and her auntie having a cuddle  🙂

 Think that’s it but I will post again soon. Xxx

Weekend post 3..

This weekend I have made an effort with photos and capturing our weekend. They mean so much to me – now that Amelia is at school full time we have to fit everything into two days, which go far too fast!

We have fallen into a routine of having Saturday breakfast – something different to the rest of the week. This Saturday it was these:



Then we did some painting – our daffodils are a work in progress, but we also painted Easter eggs and the Easter bunny (who is obviously a girl, as if you didn’t know!). we haven’t done painting for ages and we enjoyed it. Rosie especially surprised me – she was quite happy with her paintbrush and paper, experimenting with colour. She’s growing up faster than I’m ready to accept I think.



Then I cleaned up – it has to be done! And I bribed gave Amelia pocket money for hoovering the rug and polishing. The photos of her make me feel that she’s so grown up now – she is (in my eyes at least) beautiful, and is learning so much about the world every day. 



Ohh, and I made rice pudding in the slow cooker – pudding rice, milk and cinammon – slow cooked for about 5 hours, it turned out well, and lasted us for 2 days as pudding –  will make it again for definite 🙂

Today I wanted to have some time with my biggest girl. So we decided to take a trip to the museum (the fishing heritage centre locally). It was really interesting actually – I really enjoyed taking a trip on one of the old working trawls, guided by one of the fishermen. 



Amelia was scared of the actual museum though, which was botH sweet and frustrating. She thought it was like night at the museum and that the figures were going to come to life. We had to go and ‘check’ with the lovely girl on reception in the end. She did gradually start to enjoy it though, we just took it slowly and went back to some of the rooms she was worried by initially. I’ve added some photos below – please excuse her outfit, she chose it herself. 





We had lunch in a cafe, popped to see my sister and then came home to a huge hug from my littlest one – she just kept saying ‘mama’ over and over and it was lovely – small moments like that make me realise that they do love me. 





My weekend ended with more rice pudding and preparing packed lunch for tomorrow. For once I have been organised with it!





Apologies for all the photos, but since I took them I wanted to share them too 🙂 I hope your weekend was just as good xxx

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

The Blurb:

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

What I liked:

I chose this book to read because I loved Gone Girl when I read it, and got intrigued about other books by the same author. 

I really liked everything about this story to be honest. I thought the central character (Camille) was described brilliantly – she was flawed and troubled, but also narrated the story well. I loved that there was also a hint of darkness to her past experiences, but that she wasn’t always able to tell what was right and what was wrong about her past.

I got gripped by the story too and the characters – this is something that also stands out in Flynn’s later work (Gone Girl). 

What I didn’t like

As said above, I liked everything. If I was going to be picky I would mention that the actual murders became a bit of a side issue within everything else, and I would also state that I feel that Ammy (the step sister) to be varied hugely in her character, which at times just didn’t add up. However, I think that this is something that Flynn does master in Gone Girl. I also think that none of the above things detracted from the story.

I have another book to read (Dark Places) by the same author next and I can’t wait to get started.

5/5 

My weekend diary…

I love the weekend. I have to admit that I live for quiet relaxed days, pottering about with my girls and just appreciating life and the little things that make me happy.

This weekend has been a good one. Friday started well – from picking Amelia up we went straight to my friends and watched a film (barbie, although the girls got bored and went off to play!) had hotdogs and cookies and chatted. The babies are really cute together too – Rosie strokes Loic and gave him lots of hugs. And at one point they stood with her arm around him watching the fish tank. 

On Saturday I wanted a quiet day. I spent the morning cleaning this:



When my upstairs was respectable again, we all had lunch with my Dad – he made a lovely bacon salad with some jacket potatoes – he is a good cook, both my parents are. It was nice, it is my second home as we spend so much time there!

After that we came back home and spent the afternoon in the garden – my lovely sister and her future husband came and ended up helping too. Amelia made us all ‘pack up’ as gardening makes you hungry apparently – she made all sorts quite happily and put thought into it. And later on Rosie enjoyed playing with pots and mud:



Ignore the fuzzy photos, they were taken on my iPhone 🙂

We had haddock for tea and the girls loved playing with Craig when he got home – they love him loads and I love watching them play. 

Then today I went to the gym – I have to admit I was grumpy when I went – I felt tired still and didn’t want to go. But I did and I’m glad I did, I felt better the rest of the day. 

In the afternoon I took the girls for a walk in the very muddy woods with my sisters:





We came home full of mud, Rosie had her nap and we watched tv and I made roast gammon with roasted potatoes and veg for dinner – I didn’t take any pictures (sorry!) but it was lovely.

And now – now my girls are sleeping out as their nannie has them tomorrow while we work – so I’m sitting wishing I didn’t go back to work tomorrow, but excited about having more than 15 minutes to get up and ready in the morning.

Xxxxx