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Rosie’s favourite game…


At 2.5 Rosie is really developing quickly now. Her language is amazing, she can say sentences and make almost everything that she wants to say known. And she is starting to really imagine, and play for longer.

Her favourite game (one which we play daily) is ‘making dinner.’ This involves using either play food or blocks, and pots / plates / cups or bowls. She makes ‘pasta’ or ‘sausages’ and cups of tea. She mixes, pours from one bowl to another, serves them and then takes them away and it starts again. We were woken up at 6am yesterday with her bringing in a little tray with pretend cake, and she woke us up serving it up to us (repeatedly, for just under an hour!) Sleep is overrated in the mornings anyway. Seriously though, it really occupies her for ages.

It’s role play, and the beginnings of using her imagination. I remember playing similar games with Amelia . Rosie knows that it’s pretend, but at the same time it’s a serious business for her. She really concentrates on whatever she is doing, and she plays is whenever she can.


Can you see the concentration on her face..

I have to admit that it’s a game I quite like too, if for no other reason than that it occupies Rosie so well. It can also teach them so much; colours, shapes, foods, co-ordination, motor skills and role play. It’s simple, but a really great way to learn about the world she lives in.


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


Good news Friday..

I’m doing my Friday positives again today – this week has gone so fast, I’ve only just remembered that its time to do this again. I’m a bit grumpy right now though (Rosie woke up at 5 so I’m tired!) so thinking of the positives will be good for me. Here goes:

1. I’ve lost 2 pounds this week. Weigh day was yesterday. It brings my total loss to 9 pounds, so I’m really pleased. Since January I haven’t gained anything. The last week went well too – I felt really positive about my eating and exercise all week. I can see a big difference in m tummy area (my least favourite area after 2 girls!) too. Not with clothes on so much, but that will come in time.

2. I went spinning last night. It was hard work – I did 30 minutes and that was enough! But it was something different – I’ve been to the gym twice too and worked hard, but I enjoyed the spinning class and will be doing it again next week.

3. I saw my friend Zara and her lovely daughter. Our girls played really nicely, we had cookies which I baked, and it was good to catch up with her. She’s having another baby, due next month too, can’t wait to meet her new baby boy.

4. Last weekend we saw my unofficial sister in law. She came home from London for the weekend, and we all love seeing her. Amelia loves her to bits, and loves spending time with her auntie. And we had a lovely Sunday dinner with her and Craig’s parents. We had a nice lazy Sunday actually.

5. We’ve spent a lot of time this week listening to the frozen soundtrack. Amelia loves dancing and singling along to it, and puts it on whenever she gets the chance. I like it too, which is lucky!

I think that’s it for this week. I’ve been really tired this week, but it’s still been a good week. ,y return to work it getting closer and closer too – I’m dreading it but a the same time part of me just wants to get it over with now, and get used to the new routine.




I’ve seen a few blog posts today, started by mummydaddyme . The Linky is about capturing a photograph of siblings together once a month, to capture their relationship over time. I looked through my photos, and realised that i actually have very few of my two girls together (mainly because of the difficulties in getting two children to stay still, and in trying to make sure Amelia doesn’t hug Rosie really hard, making her cry. So, I decided that this might be a perfect linky for me to try to make more effort to get pictures of them together on a more regular basis. Photos like this will be ones I can treasure always, as I watch the relationship between them develop and change.

My girls do have a wonderful relationship. Since the first time Amelia met Rosie, she has completely accepted her into our family, she tries very hard to make her happy by giving her toys / hugs and sharing her food when I let her. She loves her and has never once showed signs of jealousy. At times Amelia is a difficult child – she’s very demanding, stubborn, argumentative and grumpy with people. But, she’s never that way with Rosie, and she takes a lot of pride in her role as big sister.

Rosie also adores Amelia. I think that she is a little wary at times – Amelia can be loud and full on. But Rosie smiles a huge smile when Amelia comes in from nursery, and they play a lovely game of peekaboo – Amelia hides then jumps out and shouts boo, and this makes Rosie really really laugh. It’s obvious that she loves her big sister, although she’s too young to really know what this means.

So I’ve put a couple of pictures n to start. the picture at the top is from when Rosie was first born, taken the first time Amelia met and held Rosie, the day she came home. Then underneath I’ve added a couple of more recent pictures. One was taken at lunchtime today – Rosie had just finished her lunch, and Amelia perched on her walker next to her to hug and talk to her, and I managed to capture a few shots of them. I like the interaction between them, and the other photo of Amelia hugging Rosie.



I don’t feel the breastfeeding bond…

This is kind of my guilty secret I guess. My baby is now 8 months old, and is exclusively breastfeed. She has been since being born, and has never had formula milk.

However, I don’t breastfeed because I feel the magical bond I’ve heard so many others talk about. If anything, I don’t like it very much. She pulls and tugs, I don’t like to feed her when others are around, if leaving her I have to plan around her feeds and..well, I just am not that keen on breastfeeding.

I’ll continue to a year now. I did search about how to wean to formula when she reached 6 months but couldn’t find any information (maybe I searched the wrong thing.) if I’d really wanted to, I’d have stopped. But guilt made me continue feeding her. And I’m glad I still feed her, even though I don’t like it much. Because its best for her, because she’s happy and healthy and wonderful.

I wish I felt the special feeling that others describe. When I look at her feeding I don’t feel much at all if i’m honest – it’s a task rather than a pleasure. Maybe this is because I had the most awful beginning – I felt like crying at every feed, not wanting to continue but forcing myself through the pain. Then there was poor attachment (this may have been imagined, but it never felt ‘right.’) I don’t know really.

I love my baby with everything I am. I love both my girls so so much, they mean the world to me and make me so happy, so fulfilled and I’m proud to be their mum. But breastfeeding for me is not special, or wonderful, or any of those other things. It’s something I did because I wanted the best for my baby, and because I had a (completely irrational) fear that giving her formula would somehow give her life long health problems.

I look forward to the day when I don’t have to breastfeed anymore. When my body is back to normal. Is this selfish? Probably. Will my feeling change? I doubt it. I’ve been waiting for special feelings for 8 months now. If they haven’t happened so far, I don’t think they will.


The ordinary moments


This is a new ordinary moment for us, but one that so far I really love. It’s so simple, just doing a puzzle or two with Amelia, my older daughter while baby Rosie is having her nap. But me and Amelia are both enjoying these moments so much – I love doing a peaceful activity which she is learning from, working together to get to the end result. We only do them for 15-20 minutes each day (generally at Amelia’s request), but I really am enjoying it, and hope that this is one of our ordinary moments for a long time to come. I just gives us a bit of time out from the rush of daily life, and is full of talking, teasing, laughing and contentment.

I have also seen progress in just the week we have been doing these puzzles. Amelia is generally wary of getting things wrong, and relies on me a lot to guide her. At first she wouldn’t choose her own pieces but today doing these puzzles she was happily having a go at fitting pieces together, and she got quite a few right – there were times when i was really impressed with how she did. And in turn, I’m learning to step back, not to rush her, and to let her have a go and get it wrong rather than stepping in straight away to correct her. I like how such a simple activity is giving us new memories, which I hope to treasure for always.

This post will be added to the ordinary moments linky, which is a weekly linky capturing those ordinary moments which in the future will be the most precious memories. After all, it’s the ordinary which is really the extraordinary. If you want to join in pop over to the lovely mummydaddymeand join in 🙂


A monster ate my mum book review


The book

A monster ate my mum is a children’s book, written and self published by Jen Faulkner (which I personally am very impressed by!) It’s aim is to explain post natal depression (or depression) to children who may be wondering why their mum seems so sad…

I reviewed the e-book, and was really impressed by how easy it was to download. It took just seconds to open, and I opened it on my iPad both in PDF and in iBooks, both were really easy and quick to open, and has the beenfit of always having a book to hand when out and about 🙂

My impressions

I want to start by saying that my mum had depression when I was 11 after my little sister was born. There were a lot of reasons, but my mum really struggled to cope emotionally for a couple of years. I’ve never discussed that time with her properly, but I do remember a couple of things really strongly. I remember wanting to help and not knowing how. I remember thinking that if I could just do / say the right thing it would make my mum feel better. And I remember times when I wondered if she would ever feel better. As a grown up, I know that my mum did ‘find her smile’ again, and I think that those times had some really positive effects on me – it taught me empathy, and taught me how much courage it can sometimes take to get through a day.

Now, back to the book. Because of my experiences I was really keen to review this book. I have to say that this book was brilliant from my perspective. It looks fantastic – the illustrations really stand out, and the cover really draws attention to the book. I love the watercolour effect, and the colours used.I like the simplicity of the illustrations, allowing the words to take centre stage.

I feel that this book makes a lot of sense, and can explain a lot of complex issues in a simple way, but is also positive in that it explains that the sadness won’t last forever. I think that it is a great starting point to an open conversation between a mum and child who are in this situation, and where the mum is struggling to explain her feelings.

I love the rhyming – it deals with some quite serious themes, and I felt that the rhyming just made it more gentle. I think that it could help children to come to talk about some of the topics in a gradual, gentle way. And it could allow a mum to explain some of what she is feeling to her children f she can’t find the words.

It reads really well out loud when read to a child. And Amelia was able to repeat some of the sections – after just one reading I would start it then pause, and Amelia could fill the gap quickly.) to me, that’s always a sign that she’s really listening, and that the words make sense to her because she remembers them.

Amelia’s thoughts

– Amelia said that she likes this book, but doesn’t like the monsters because they ate the mum.
– Amelia asked why the monsters ate the mums smile.
– Amelia asked at the end if that means the mum is happy again now.
– Amelia took the book very literally (but then, she is only nearly 4).
– I was asked at the end of the book if I could read it again, straight afterwards. This hasn’t happened with any other book. I think maybe its so that she could process some of the ideas in the book. I asked Amelia after that if she would like to read it again another day and she said she would.
– Amelia noticed that on one illustration there is a green monster that is nowhere else in the book.

I wold highly recommend this book, either the e-book or paper version. If you would like to purchase this book, you can do so here: a monster ate my mum. The e-book is only 99p and the paper version is £5.99 – both bargains for what is such a lovely book.