29 Apr 2015

Preschool Games to Play

My girl loves to talk, she will babble on about all sorts all day long! I'm the same really and could talk about nothing (to people I know and am close to but I'm more shy when it comes to people I'm not as comfortable around). Anyway, I digress, she loves to chat...to anyone all the time. Hubby often tells me that I broke her and us girls talk to much, he's much more the silent type.

So this is a game we play all the time and it's something I've always played alone too - I often think 'if I were a rabbit, what colour would I be?' I know! I am so rock and roll sometimes.

I ask my girl questions such as "if you were a colour, what colour would you be?" or "what's your favourite game to play" or "if you were a fairy, what would your wings be like?"

I find it helps start a conversation...not that we really need help but ultimately it gets her thinking and being creative. I just love some of the answers she comes out with and I often have a good chuckle afterwards when I'm telling hubby about it.

We thought we would show you our 'What if, if you were' game.

We love it. Try it
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27 Apr 2015

Help! My four year old now has sleep issues

It's a known fact that I love my sleep, without it I become a grumpy, tearful shell of a mother. I don't function very well at all and I want all the food and all the coffee and that's before 7.30am.

I had geared myself up for the baby being awake and knew that pure adrenaline would get me through the early months. It did and I was fine, then we got some sleep where he slept through the night (bliss) and then we got times that either his belly or teeth would play havoc with his sleep pattern and we'd be up and pacing the floor with a fretful little boy.

I was ready and happy and could write it off as a phase but I wasn't up for my now four year old (three when this all started) developing a sleep issue and waking at least once a night, every night. It's been going on for about four months now and we aren't sure why, nothing new has happened and no significant situations could have (that we know of) brought this on. She previously had been sleeping through the night for a few years with the odd wake up here and there but nothing like this.

At first we thought it was nightmares and she would cry at her safety gate, calling out for us and we would usher her back into bed. Sometimes she took some coaxing to get back to sleep and one of us would be found slumped on her bedroom floor having fallen asleep whilst trying to convince her to go to sleep. The other night I had to almost crawl back to my own bed as both legs had gone dead where I'd been knelt on them and fallen asleep, it was sheer agony!

The gate was removed from her room as we added a gate to the top of the stairs when the boy started to crawl. So now she wakes and comes straight into our room, she doesn't want to get in our bed and can easily be ushered back into her own room, sometimes hubby carries her and she is almost back to sleep as he takes the five steps to her bedroom door. Sometimes she will do this a couple of times a night, it's never the same time (so not an outside noise waking her), it's not always bad dreams or a desire to be in with us.

We recently had three nights in a row of no wake ups from either child which was wonderful but soul destroying when the wake ups began again. It's mind numbing now and very unsettling, I just don't know how to alter this behaviour and can't pin it down to being a certain thing. I'm very keen on having a cause for things and don't like it when there is no explanation, to make matters worse, the boy has been sleeping through so in theory we could all be getting sleep.

Bubba no longer naps in the day (although if its been a particularly bad night she may doze off for 15 to 30 minutes in the car the next day). Hubby and I both feel broken and it's harder to understand and sometimes deal with when she is upset, we've tried asking her to pretend (like her friend does) to be asleep and she may fall back asleep or to wait a few seconds before she gets up (again in the hope she can fall asleep) and she happily agrees with us but her immediate reaction in the middle of the night is to jump out of bed and come running in to us.

She often wakes the next day and more often that not doesn't know why she woke in the night, she gets excited if she realises she stayed in bed. She had issues with the dark (what child doesn't sometimes) and has a night light on all night - it's only a low light as if we turn it off and she wakes in the night she really freaks out.

I don't know what to do to help her (and myself) get more sleep. At the moment she goes to bed at around 7pm and we read a story, have some milk and she is tucked up and lights off by 7.30pm. She wants me to sit in the room and I've slowly made it out to the landing where I now sit and read and usually she will be asleep within five minutes. Every morning she wakes around 6am regardless of the number of wake ups (she has always got up and been ready to start the day at this time).

I just want some help, some advice or to know that it's not only us....is there anyone out there who has suffered a similar problem? It'd be great to hear from you.
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24 Apr 2015

I'm that mum



Who...

Takes pictures before sorting out a situation, well I take several pictures to get the right angle and how am I supposed to remember the funny things they do otherwise.

Goes out of the house looking like a bomb went off in my hair and no make up. Honestly I salute mums who can get make up on and leave the house on time...I fail every time.

Hides in the kitchen scoffing crisps just so I don't have to share them with two little 'helpers'. What! Don't tell me you don't do that

Says "Because mummy said so" and "No" and "Sshhhhh" about a hundred times an hour, nobody listens and I still get questioned (or interrogated) by a four year old.

Worries endlessly about everything that I can control and mostly about stuff I can't control

Gives up her last piece of toast to her babies although I'm still starving and they've both eaten a huge breakfast

Can't wait to see the people they become yet don't want them to grow up...ever!

Is proud no matter what my children do, first wee in a potty - yep find me the phone, I need to tell the world

Feels a bit lost sometimes, I love being a mum but I often forget who I am.

Understands when I see other mums looking worn down over a tantrum their toddler is having in the supermarket

Doesn't want to miss a minute of their little lives, seriously I can't stop looking at them

Is emotionally compromised by teatime and is clock watching for bedtime

Crawls around on all fours pretending to be a horse, dog, lion...whatever animal has been chosen

Feels immense relief when 7.30pm rolls around and both babies are asleep in bed, only then I can look at them sleeping and think 'ah what angels I have'

Can't imagine a time when I won't see or speak to the little ones every day, I still won't leave my mum alone after thirty odd years.

Gained a new respect for my own mum, this shizzle is hard! Like really hard work!

Couldn't imagine being without the two loves, the good days, bad days and those that you wished you'd stayed in bed for.


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22 Apr 2015

Wicked Wednesday - Making a mess is fun


Some one is pleased with himself for making a mess - I wasn't so happy (although he did eat it all apart from the bits smeared on his tray so I couldn't really moan!)

I'm linking up with this weeks Wicked Wednesdays hosted by Brummymummyof2


brummymummyof2
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20 Apr 2015

Children love Fish Fingers

It's official! Well in our house it is anyway, I usually serve fish fingers on a week night (or as a treat on a Saturday lunchtime...wild I know!) and until recently it was only Bubba eating them. Cub has moved on to 'real' food now and will eat practically anything you put in front of him if he is feeling well.

When we heard about the new range of Birds Eye Wholegrain Fish fingers I was straight on the case and it was fish fingers all round. If you are confused as to what wholegrain is and tastes like then my hubby's appraisal of them should sort you out "they taste like fish fingers in brown bread" and that people is high praise indeed. The breadcrumbs have no artificial colours or preservatives which is reassuring as a busy mum who needs food on the go.

The kids love them and devour them without complaint - bubba's only problem is usually what I serve with her food, the vegetables get her all in a tizzy. The fish fingers always get the thumbs up and if you ask her on any given day what she wants for dinner it'll be fish fingers (even if she had them the night before).

I made a small video to show what meal times are like for us and it's only on watching it back that I managed to get the exercise bike a starring role and show off all our half ripped off wallpaper (we are in the midst of decorating).


My boy almost inhaled the whole lot - he was given two fish fingers and they didn't really touch the sides, after I finished the video I got him out of his high chair and we sat next to Bubba who was yet to finish hers and he lunged several times to reach her food.


I like the fact that they aren't that bright orange colour that you get from some varieties and the fish is a lovely white colour and no brown bits (again my girl is put off by them and refuses any more if she sees that). I couldn't believe that 18 Birds Eye fish fingers are served every second - my family are probably helping this number rise each week.

We served our fish fingers with peas and a mix of sweet potato and white potatoes cut into cubes (the kids had to be convinced to eat them!). We love them and I've already recommended them to my best friend as her daughter only likes 'real fish' and I thought these were perfect.

We were kindly sent some vouchers to try the wholegrain fishfingers but I've been back several times to purchase more as our family love them and 12 just aren't always enough.


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17 Apr 2015

Books, videos and Hats: All the Little Loves #littleloves

Read


I ordered myself a couple of books, something I haven't got for a while and I'm hoping for some free time to actually read soon. A biography about Twitter and also the Lonely Planet photography book

I saw the Twitter book on IG the other day and it looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a go and from the hastily read whilst the children play/eat/sleep bits it does seem to be ticking all my boxes. Such an extraordinary man and a real eye opener as to how businesses operate. I've only flicked through the photography book so far so can't really say whether its a winner yet.

Watched


I've suddenly got into YouTube (I know, kinda late to that party). I used to think it was only funny kitten clips and mad pranks but I'm now making my own little videos over at The Bubbababble and I'm also now subscribing to loads of new channels. So if you have a fab channel you watch or have your own then please let me know in the comments as I'd love to subscribe to a few more.

My Favourites at the moment are Charlotte Taylor, Brummymummyof2 and Isabel Brandon

Wore


The sun has indeed got his hat on over here in South East London (or Kent to the rest of us). It's been sandals and summer hats. Even my boy got in on the act.



My hat is from F&F Tesco and I do love a cowboy hat and each year I buy a new one. This gives enough coverage with a good structure whilst still being floppy enough to carry around.

Heard


I downloaded the latest Paloma Faith album this week, it's been out a while. It's a great motivational album and I often listen whilst working out to get me in the zone.


Made


As mentioned earlier, we've been making videos and our latest contribution is this one. Our game of 'If you were....' it's very basic but lots of fun.


And Lastly


We found out our primary school placement yesterday. I was so nervous all day....but we got the school we wanted (the one she attends now). Such a relief. And my boy turned one on Wednesday and we had a lovely afternoon eating cake and playing, it was simple and fun.




butwhymummywhy
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15 Apr 2015

One Year On...Life with a 4yr old and 1yr old


Today my son turns one, a whole year on this planet, it feels like he has been here forever yet it doesn't seem possible he has been here that long!

I was looking back at posts I wrote around this time last year when I was a huge whale of hormonal tears and contractions. I put that I felt a failure and that my body wasn't doing what I thought it should do...check it out here. In some ways (most ways) I still feel a failure at least twice a week but probably more like twice a day if I'm honest with myself!

One moment I can be flying high thinking I've got this shizzle sorted and I'm super mum, only to come crashing down and feeling inadequate and not knowing what to do in certain situations. Life can be stressful these days and everything is a logistical and organizational nightmare, spontaneity is a real distant memory for me. It doesn't help that I like to be ready for a situation and I've never been good at just winging it and letting go, I worry too much and end up not enjoying anything.

I often question my ability as a mother and say I can't do this to which my hubby replies "but you are doing it and you will continue to do it" but I do find it all hard work. In other ways it's the best of the best, even the bad times are easily forgotten when one of the babies makes you laugh or brightens the day in other ways. I haven't laughed as much as I do with my two and it's such a joyous feeling when all three of us (or four if hubby is home) laugh together about some shared joke. It's then that I feel we are a little team and it's all going to be ok for us.

Sleep is an issue but not in the way I thought it would be, the boy wakes sometimes for his dummy to be put back in or sometimes it takes a bit longer to settle him. The real shocker was that Bubba started waking once or twice a night and so sleep deprivation crept back in and my days are a cloud of wading through things and everything seems to take twice as long to do. We've had three good nights where she hasn't woken and I can't remember the last time this happened (and no doubt tonight she'll be up because I've been smug enough to write it down!).

Lots of things have been easier this time around, the transition to food and off milk about a hundred times a day has been so easy. It was such a natural progression for cub and nothing like it was with Bubba when there was lots of planning, worrying and little pots of weaning food. I'm more easy going with him and I think he is a more easy going baby too for it, nap times are sort of on the go and if he doesn't sleep or goes down later than planned I shrug more. With Bubba I got myself tied up in knots about timings, what would Gina Ford do and the like and was I doing it right.

I love the age gap between my two and I can see them becoming friends (albeit in a squabbling brother and sister way) as they get older. Bubba is really showing her good natured and caring side when it comes to her brother and gives him cuddles or kisses although he still pushes her away if she gets too close. They both squabble a bit over me, if I'm sat on the floor they will both try and clamber on me and take up residence and Bubba handles it better than cub, who will throw a paddy and try and push her off or pull her hair.

I feel loved by both children and sometimes it can be a bit suffocating that they both want to follow me everywhere and both feel they need to be sat on me at all times, I wouldn't have it any other way. Honestly it feels great being so important to them even if I moan about it sometimes, it's mummy all the way for them both and nothing (it seems) beats a mummy cuddle. I'm happy with that.

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13 Apr 2015

Crawling and schooling

This week is shaping up to be fairly momentous for our little family. At the weekend, my boy learnt to crawl properly and it just sort of happened. He went from slug dragging himself around to crawling and I posted a cute little video over on the BubbaBabble Facebook page. I sound a bit shrill and we are luring him to use using a coat hanger but hey...it worked. Now he follows me everywhere and shouts at me when he gets stuck, it's already a nightmare in the kitchen as he opens every available draw (we have loads) and empties them all methodically. The baby gates are already being used and it's weird going back to that situation again where we are all penned in to a room.

On Wednesday this week he turns one which I can't quite believe myself. He'll also get moved up a room at nursery which fills me with dread, it's a sure sign he's becoming a little man. We are having a family party at the weekend but not really doing much to celebrate on the day, he will be at nursery as usual and I'll be at work but afterwards I'm sure we'll go and eat cake somewhere. I feel like I want to stop time now, everything that happens I try and mentally remember it and that's why I've also started to video what we get up to over at The Bubbababble as otherwise my memory banks can't store it all and I fear I'll stop remembering the little details.

We switched from powdered milk to full fat pour from the fridge stuff. It's liberating to not have to mix up that awful sweet stuff anymore and to stop sterilizing all his bottles. He took to the changes really well, in fact he didn't even notice. He has a couple of breakfasts now and will pack away more food than Bubba, I guess all that movement is making him hungry.

Then on Thursday we find out what school Bubba will go to come September. I'm very nervous but unsure why as she's already at a school nursery and loves the whole idea of school. I just hope we get the school she's in as its lovely and we can walk to it easily. Again I guess my main problem is that it signifies she is growing up which I should be really happy about but I can't help think of all the negatives right now (trust me there aren't many of those and mostly they are made up and not really important). I will probably cry on Thursday regardless of the outcome and I will need wine, copious amounts of wine just to get me through.

Who said my kids could grow up and so fast as well!!!

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8 Apr 2015

A Day that was all about the Cake...

This time last year I was heavily pregnant and cake featured very much in my day to day, this year I wanted to keep that tradition going and relished the idea of a family Easter get together because it would involve coffee and cake, lots of cake. Lets face it everything is better with cakes...


Bubba is a confirmed cake lover too already (hubby not so much, chocolate is more his thing, so it was handy that it was also Easter. The boy isn't really fussy about what he eats).  So when I got offered some cakes from Mr Kipling to share our moments that are better with cake, I jumped at the chance  and knew exactly where we would take our cakes. My mum and dad hosted a little get together to celebrate Easter at their house.

I must admit at this point that we didn't take all our cakes as I'm saving some for my boys first birthday celebrations in a week or so and I'll blog about that when it happens (and show you more pictures of gorgeous cakes). We had also tucked into a few before we left home, you know to test them out and all that! My faves are Cherry Bakewells but Bubba went for the French Fancies and the swirls go well with a nice cuppa...honest I didn't try one of each and forget to take pictures! So here is a quick one I managed to snap whilst Bubba was having a rest from being Cinders.


My family love getting together and seeing as it was half term, Easter and a bank holiday all our stars were aligned and off we trotted to my mums house.

I love the sound of my girl enjoying herself with her bigger cousins and the squeals of delight as they run around. This day was no exception and as the three girls giggled their way around trying to find all the small plastic eggs that my mum had hidden in the garden my heart swelled. Then it was left to us adults to try and hunt out the last (missing) egg that my mum couldn't remember where she'd hidden it and the kids had got bored of looking for it..it's still missing in the garden.

My dad was in the kitchen making coffee for everyone and he takes his job as barrista very seriously and makes a mean coffee which is much needed after another night of wake ups from the kids.


My mum, as you can see from my little video, did indeed put on a brilliant spread and my Slimming World plan was off the scale but who cares, the treat is worth it. My sister in law and I often just stay and hover around where the food is whilst we catch up and it's the one of the simple pleasures in life, just picking at food, so I managed to sample quite a lot of stuff.

My brother was showing hubby and my dad videos of his latest skiing trip where they went off piste which all looked a bit risky to me and my mum was making sure everyone was happy. It was a perfect day for us and a time I look forward to each year and as Bubba gets bigger and my little man can run around after them it should become even more fun.


My boy passed out once we were back in the car on the way home and Bubba was complaining she too felt tired and tried to go to sleep but I think she was on such a sugar high that it made it impossible. That is always the sign of a good day when the kids are happy but exhausted.

This post is an entry for #betterwithcake Linky Challenge, sponsored by Mr Kipling. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/mrkiplingcakes

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Responsibilities of a four year old


Am I making my girl grow up too quickly?

With the arrival of her baby brother, my girl has had to grow up a bit more. Recently I've been asking more of her, making her get things for me (wipes, it's always the wipes...do they move away from me of their own accord?!?), asking her to watch her brother - not for a long time but whilst I leg it upstairs (usually to get more wipes or nappies). I expect her to be good, the example to be followed by her brother, it doesn't always work out.

I get a bit cross and frustrated that she isn't towing the line all the time, if she mucks around as I'm trying to get us all in the car, if she doesn't get things quick enough for me or wanders off.

I forget that she's only just four and not a lot older, I forget that she shouldn't have to be responsible. I forget that she's still a baby.

I know it's good to stretch her and make her aware that she isn't the centre of the universe but equally is she being robbed by having a baby brother. If she was the only one then I'd indulge her whims more and muck around more but I don't.

Four is such a magical age (as all the ages are), she is starting to really indulge her very vivid imagination and it's a riot to listen to her sometimes. But I'm worried I don't listen enough, I don't get the undertones of what she is saying or I catch myself saying "Just a minute" "in a minute" "not now, later" to her many requests for me to listen, watch or join in a game and it's heartbreaking.

I don't want to miss a minute yet I find it's difficult to be in the moment all the time and give her all the attention she needs.


She's a funny, intelligent and a thoughtful girl and I hope she stays that way.
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6 Apr 2015

Softer

Apart from the obvious parts of me that have become squidgy and soft after having two kids, I realised my mind has become softer too.

I look at photos of that fearless 20 something and the determined 30 year old and don't recognise her. Now in my late 30's (God, really, am I?) I've lost my edge. My world as for all mothers, is about keeping my babies happy and healthy.


I cry more often and easily and don't care who sees, I worry a hell of a lot more about the world around us. I do laugh more but I'm also conscious of what I'm laughing at.

I'd no longer challenge strangers, especially when I've got the children with me because I feel we are vulnerable. Obviously if it's serious then I would but for the flare ups in every day life like some one taking my parking space, I let it go.

The other day I made myself some toast in the morning and put two slices in the toaster, I only really wanted one but I knew that my babies would look at my plate and want to share and I too want to be a sharer. As predicted Bubba said "I want your toast" so I gave her a quarter and then the boy looked longingly at my plate and I offered him a slice too. Both babies were happy and I didn't care that I only had a slice because I wanted to give them what I had.

My approach is calmer now,  I'll think before I react and consider what my children would think and how it will affect them.

I'm softer but I'm stronger and I have real purpose now. I'm more than I've ever been before and I have two little people to thank for that.






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1 Apr 2015

Wicked Wednesday

Attack the Toys...

My kids get on most of the time but the boy does already try and steal his sisters toys, she gets all screechy and tries to enlist my help to stop him...sometimes I do, sometimes I just take photo's of it happening and wet myself laughing.



We've joined the #WickedWednesday linky, head over to see more amusing photo's.


brummymummyof2
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