Saturday, 8 November 2014

10 things I had forgotten about having a newborn

My latest addition is now 9 days old!

Having had two before I guess I thought I knew what to expect but here are 10 things I had totally forgotten about having a newborn...

1.  How wonderful they smell.

2.  How three hours of night time sleep can feel amazing!

3.  How all consuming their needs can feel and yet how simple they are.

4.  Just how difficult it is to make their arms and legs be inside a sleepsuit.

5.  How much longer it takes to leave the house.

6.  How being stuck in traffic, especially if they have fallen asleep in the car, feels like you have a ticking time bomb in the back that you are completely powerless to defuse.

7.  How your heart will break if they are crying for more than about 30 seconds and you're not in a position to meet their needs in that moment.

8.  How much washing can be generated by one tiny person (both their own and also by puking/weeing/pooing on your clothes)

9. How grateful you can feel if someone appears with a meal or a competent pair of helpful hands!

10.  How  completely, totally and utterly besotted you can be with someone who can barely give you anything in return.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Encouraging helpfulness

I have been musing this recently.  At the moment I have two children, one is nearly 2 and the other is 3.5.  They have such completely different temperaments and personalities and require totally different parenting.  Sometimes things I took for granted as being "difficult" I now realise are only difficult when your child has the personality of my eldest but equally some things that were easier with her are proving more difficult with my younger girl.

One way in which my children are *completely* different is to do with helpfulness.  Clearly we want our children to be helpful but my youngest is just naturally helpful whereas my eldest really needs some help to be helpful.

I've come to the conclusion it is all about looking for opportunities, this might mean pushing yourself outside of what is easiest in the absolutely right now but hope I will reap the rewards later.

Some examples of encouraging helpfulness in my two are

N likes to help cook so here she is helping make tonight's dinner

She wanted to help make Daddy's packed lunch one day, so here she is putting some fruit in a pot for him to take to work.

M wanted to help carry home N's nursery bag

Passing me the laundry to hang on the washing line (to be honest, now that I am nearly 34 weeks pregnant this is about as helpful as it gets)

As N has got older I have tried to explain how helpful it is to just do things like getting dressed without a fuss

Other things the girls will do is put rubbish in the bin (N can even sort the recycling out for me) or put books away on the book shelf.

I try to get the girls to help tidy up each evening before bed, this is very much a work in progress and despite being much more into carrots than sticks it does sometimes only work if the threat of time out for "not listening" to my request is made.

Largely, though, my girls are good and I am happy to help them grow in this area of development.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

What happens when your three year old works out how to take photos on your phone?

This happens, in as little as about 2 minutes!! (I apologise to the internet at large for sharing some of these terrible pictures of myself!)

I will now set about trying to regain some space on my memory card!

Friday, 22 August 2014

My Babies

I made it! The summer is over! Term has started and so recommences the nursery run and toddler group routine that brings me so much comfort.

However, this week has been hard.  So hard.  So much harder than I had expected.  N has been exhausted and I am sufficiently pregnant that I don't really have the capacity to deal with the consequences!

So, in an attempt to overcome my negative feelings about the week so far, I would like to shout.  Loud and proud.  I LOVE MY BABIES!!!!

Sometimes it is hard but I love them unconditionally

I love them so very much

Monday, 11 August 2014

The final stretch...

We are on countdown, N goes back to nursery on Tuesday next week and she is *desperate* she asks me, at least once, every day if she can go back.

I am trying to dig deep and make this week as fun as possible.  The blog has been a little stagnant as I felt like I was repeating lots of our activities and didn't have much new insight to share but today's comes with a recipe to inspire!

This morning I desperately needed to get a few things from town and so off wee trotted, N did really well and walked around town all morning (I hadn't even taken the double buggy for emergencies, I am trying to wean her off it in time for bump being a baby!) and then we did a quick pitstop at the supermarket on the way home.

Slightly frustratingly, in an attempt to leave the shop as quickly as possible because M had started eating the food in our basket and peeling labels off of things, I forgot to buy butter which I needed to do the baking I had planned with N this afternoon but twitter came to the rescue with lots of suggestions, the winner was....[insert dramatic drumroll here]... peanut butter cookies!

As it happened I had dropped a jar of peanut butter a few days ago, breaking the lid in the process, so this was great for using something up too!!

The recipe we used was this one, only tweaked a little because I had crunchy, not smooth, peanut butter and because I've never found an affordable chocolate chip that is fair trade we just cut up a chocolate bar!

Here is N having a go at spooning the mix onto the baking sheets

And this is what the finished article looked like, the rest are in the oven being baked! (They come out the oven very squashy but rest assured they crisp up while they are cooling)

And to prove we have done some other things the last few days, here are some pictures of our holiday happenings!

A trip to a new park


These photos were taken thanks to a top tip I once heard (and will now share with you, obviously) when you go on a day trip or similar, take a photo of your child BEFORE anyone is allowed to run off anywhere, so that if the worst comes to the worst and they get lost you have an up to date photo of them in the clothes they are wearing that day.  I do feel a little better for doing this, although clearly you should keep an eye on them too!

We made a medal by wrapping a cardboard circle in paper and taping some wool (or ribbon would work) to the back.  We have, in fact, made a LOT of medals this summer, I think it must have been the commonwealth games that made us do it!

Here we are enjoying a snack with a friend (this is at the friends' house, I love their improvised sand table in the background.  They just sit boxes of sand on top of storage boxes that contain their garden toys)

Finally, I let N and M start a Mister Maker activity a few days ago (I was assuming it would be on the cbeebies website and I could link to it but I can't find it anywhere!)

Here are the girls painting sheets of lasagne ready to break into pieces so they can make a mosaic picture with them.  We haven't done the picture part yet, I'll let you know how it goes.  I used half glue, half paint (having only been half watching the telly when it came on) but it seems to be cracking poorly and can confirm that M managed to paint both sides and get lots of newspaper stuck to her pieces!

Here's what it looks like broken up!

The idea is just that you draw a picture, I assume the simpler the better, although Mister Maker drew a crab! and then "colour" it in with the bits of pasta.

And my final tip, if the summer holidays are really proving too much is that Tesco has Cardbury's Marvellous Creations  chocolate on offer!  Clearly too good for the kids, but Mums and Dads should eat to help the day pass!