Tag Archives: pbloggers

Rosie’s favourite game…

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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.

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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.

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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

Half a decade…

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Half a decade ago my first baby was born. A whole half decade of love; I cannot remember how life was without her. I sometimes look at the time before she was with us, and remember lay ins, hobbies, a tidy house, organisation and – a kind of lostness. Before Amelia I didn’t really know who I was or who I could be. I was scared that I didn’t know how to be a Mum, that I would mess it all up.

And I do mess it up sometimes. I shout when I should stay calm. I get cross where I should laugh. I get stressed at times. I’m human, and I’m still me.

But. I also laugh a lot. I love morning snuggles with little ones on my head, talking random chat. I wake to smiles, to love. I enjoy the company and chatter of my clever, lovely Daughter. I have loved watching her grow from a tiny baby – on her first night with us I didn’t sleep at all but just looked at her all night. And from then I knew I would do anything for her, she captured my heart. And she still captures my heart. I love my girl, and always will.

I don’t know what is in her future. But I do know that I will never ever stop loving my oldest baby. She is funny, kind, loving, stubborn, grumpy at times and clever. She is grown but still naïve yet – she believes that fairies come and eat the fairy cakes that she makes. She believes that I am a fairy who peeps In on her at School each day. She knows that she is loved.

We have had a busy few days. A birthday tea party, seeing the people we love the most in the world. Family that I know support us all, and love my girls as much as I do. Lots of fun, memories made. And a lucky and slightly spoilt little girl who has gone to bed very happy and tired.

Thank you to our families for loving Amelia as much as we do. Thank you for loving us too. We don’t know what we would do without you.

xx

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Meal Planning Monday..

Last week I did it 🙂 I mostly stuck to the plan for the week. The only change is that on Thursday we didn’t have beef stew -I can’t even remember what we had instead now though! The rest of the week went to plan though.

This week this is the plan:

Monday

Chilli con carne from the freezer for me and Craig after work.

Tuesday

What Craig makes.

Wednesday

Slow cooked beef stew and dumplings.

Thursday

Chicken pie (the filling was made and frozen) new potatoes and vegetables

Friday

Jacket potatoes, cheese and beans.

Saturday

Party tea  – my Daughter’s 5th birthday tea party.

Sunday

Leftover party food / picky day.

I do like to plan – it means I don’t have days where I don’t have a clue what to make! If you would like to join in, link up at http://www.athomewithmrsm.com/2014/11/meal-planning-monday-3rd-november-2014.html

Enjoy your week 🙂

The ordinary moments – smiles.

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It’s such an ordinary thing. Baby smiles. But this is something I know ill never forget. I may not remember every smile Rosie has ever given me, but for my whole life ill never forget my smiling newborn, and my happy baby. Ill never forget how naturally smiling comes for her. I’ll never forget how she brightens up my day with just one cheeky, eye crinkling, chubby cheeked grin.

You see, my oldest girl was different. She smiled of course, but she wasn’t a natural smiler. Her smiles as a baby were like a reward – you had to work to get one, and smiling at strangers (or even non strangers!) was often out of the question. At times i wished she would be smiley, but this just wasn’t part of her personality. Rosie on the other hand smiles all the time, easily. She smiles at the other parents during the school run, smiles at strangers, and basically at anyone. It’s still a novelty for me, this smiler of mine. And I enjoy this part of her personality so much – the world is just such a bright, happy place for her, and her smiles make my day bright too.

As always, I have joined in with mummydaddyme, the ordinary moments, to capture the ordinary moments which are the ones I will always want to remember.
Xxx

More Amelia-isms…

1. Listening to a (bad) song in the car:
A – ‘mum I think the cd is scratched, or the songs have gone a bit dizzy.’

2. Amelia’s dad is currently boarding out the attic. Amelia thinks he is building a space rocket in the attic, and that the body suit he wears because of the dust is a space suit.

3. Also relating to the attic, Amelia told her dad that he has ‘broken the house’ when he made a new hatch hole.

4. Amelia came into our bedroom at about 1am. She went to her Dad and said ‘dad, tell mummy I love her’ and then went back to bed.

5. Amelia is currently obsessed with frozen a soundtrack after watching the film at the pictures – we downloaded the songs, and we play the, all of the time. Amelia gets into the character and sings the words, really loudly and always out of tune, while dancing around. I love watching her (and I actually love the soundtrack too!)

6. Amelia is very loving at the moment – she tells us she loves us lots of times each day. I never tire of it.

7. We baked today then she was washing up. I got a bit cross as I hadn’t actually added the hot water yet. Amelia got cross back and shouted ‘well I didn’t know, I’m just a kid.’ Made me laugh anyway.

Xxxx

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The ordinary moments

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My ordinary moment for this week is about the current obsession my 4 year old has. She’s discovered Netflix on my iPad, and she can’t get enough of it. I limit it a lot, but occasionally it’s great, as I can get on with sorting tea out or getting Rosie ready and she will watch Netflix. She loves strawberry, and a mermaid series on there, as well as barbie in the dream house.

I never showed her how to use it, she just figured it out herself one day. She’s taken to going to her hiding place (see photo!) to watch the programmes. Probably as in her mind if I can’t see her I won’t know she’s on it and tell her she’s had enough time on the iPad for the day 🙂

I must admit that I don’t like her to watch too much TV / Netflix. But this is just something she enjoys, and in moderation I don’t mind it. And I do think its cute when I come in and she’s laid behind the chair with a children’s film on. She still has loads of time playing and imagining, and doing things, but this, among so much else, is one of the things she likes.

I have linked this post up as always to mummydaddyme, recording our ordinary moments.

Xxxx

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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.

Xxx

Festive Friday – cinnamon cookies (yum!)

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It’s that time of the week again – time to join in with festive Friday over at thinly spread 🙂 she has created a Linky full of Xmas craft / baking ideas – go have a look, there are some brilliant ideas there.

This week I made cinnamon cookies – I love making cookies anyway, and usually make either peanut butter cookies or double choc chip cookies, but as its Xmas I thought I’d do something a little bit different, and have a go at cinnamon 🙂 they were gorgeous too – I think when I make them again ill add a little less sugar as they are sweet, but other than that really pleased with them.

Ingredients:
200 grams butter/ margarine (I used stork)
200 grams golden caster sugar. This amount makes sweet cookies, if I made again I would only use 150-175 grams.
2 tablespoons golden syrup
300 grams flour (I used self raising by accident and they were fine, but usually I would use plain for cookies.)
3 tea spoons of cinnamon.
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.

For the topping I used flaked almonds and a pinch of cinnamon and then golden caster sugar in each.

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
2. Line 3 trays with greaseproof paper / grease 3 trays.
3. Cream butter and sugar together in a bowl then add the syrup and mix.
4. Add the cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda to the weighed out flour, and then add all to the bowl and mix together.
5. Break into balls of roughly equal size. Mine made 19 cookies in total.
6. Put on the baking trays and flatten with your hand.
7. Top if you choose to – I put 4/5 almonds on each, then a pinch of cinnamon, and finally a sprinkle of sugar.
8. Bake for 12 minutes.
9. Take them out – they will still be really soft but they do harden up quickly.
10. Leave for a minute on the baking tray, then as they harden move to a cooling ram to finish cooling completely.
11. Enjoy with a cup of tea or a hot chocolate 🙂

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Festive Friday at Thinly Spread

A monster ate my mum book review

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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.

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