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Top tips for travelling with small children!

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Since we became a family of four; a year ago, we have been away a lot for weekend breaks and a couple of week long UK holidays. We haven’t travelled abroad yet because (Im not brave enough!)I don’t fancy paying lots until the kids are old enough to remember it. I do love a getaway though so we have got it down to a fine art. Don’t be scared to travel with the kids they are suprisingly adaptable! The packing, the travelling, the sleeping arrangements I have it covered so here is my easy guide!

• Sleeping arrangements. Most hotels and even some holiday parks offer travel cots in the rooms. We try to take our own travel cot and the babys matress from her own cot with us if we have the space as they always sleep so mucb better. If this isn’t an option then take as many of the babys blankets as you can to pad out the travel cot and make it as comfy for baby as possible. If you have a toddler then check if they can provide a bed guard. If not we push the beds together, we have all slept together on occassion or push a bed up against the wall and layer the floor next to it with pillows incase they roll out! Most obstacles in terms of sleeping arrangements can be overcome. Take all the kids comforters and their own pillow.

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•  Take a travel blackout blind they are lifesavers especially in caravans and lodges that have flimsy curtains.

• Take a nightlight if your wee one is used to having one, and don’t forget the baby monitor it is handy in lodges/caravans.

•Don’t worry about sticking ridgidly to your usual routine! It won’t cause a catastrophe and upset their sleeping forever. Stick to the basics as much as you can and try to either arrange to have them back at your accommodation, in the car or else somewhere they can be in the buggy for their nap times. No point having cranky babies!  Try and get them to nap later in the afternoon if you want to go out for dinner then they aren’t as grumpy. We always give a later afternoon snack if we are going to go out for dinner at half five. Can also put the baby in a sleepsuit before you go out so if they fall asleep they can be trasferred to their cot.

• If you are staying in a hotel, check you will have a kettle and mini fridge in your room. These are essential when travelling with a baby.  If it’s not going to be possible then invest in a travel kettle. You can buy travel steriliser bags that you fill with water and can add the bottles and hang up on a door peg overnight so you dont have to take a steriliser if travelling with small babies. (Obviously only applicable for bottle feeding).

•If staying in a lodge/caravan then check if you have an enclosed veranda. These can be heaven if you can sit outside and know the kids are safe. Also means you can put your feet up!

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• In a lodge/caravan then you have a kitchen so you can take all your regular food to prepare. In a hotel we always take plenty of snacks and also some porridge pots that can be made up with boiling water especially if your little ones like ours and are hungry when they get up!  We are always up much earlier than the hotels start serving beeakfast so we take things to have as a pre-breakfast! Those individual choc chip brioche are a godsend too.

•Check the place you are staying provides towels-saves on space whe packing!

•Invest in a roofbox for the car it gives so much space when the kids are little and you have a buggy in the boot!

•If self catering then as soon as you arrive move anything dangerous or breakable out of the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen that the kids can get in. I always put all the knives, graters and glass bowls in high cupboards then you don’t have to worry about them getting anything.

•Check travel times and try and leave about half an hour before the kids would be due a nap. This means you can usually travel a bit further before they get fed up or need to stop for a pee. Try to leave it an hour after they have eaten incase they are travel sick. If you know your little one is travel sick then pack a towel, bin liner,wipes and changes of clothes somewhere easy to pull out. You can also buy liners for the carseats. Check your route and make sure you have  places to stop at 2 hourly intervals if needed.

The first time we stayed in a hotel with the kids we thought it was going to be a nightmare but both kids slept great-I think because when you are away you have busy days which knacker them out. I definitely prefer lodges and caravans where you can have seperate rooms though it’s much nicer at night not to have to sit in the dark and whisper like we have been known to do in a hotel room with both kids! But it’s all an adventure and what you make of it .

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Essentials

-nappy sacks – handy for stinky nappies and also for wet clothes and rubbish, always have some in my handbag and the car.

-first aid kit (calpol, thermometer, plasters, antiseptic cream, small scissors, nail clippers)

-bin liners

-toiletries

-a small bag of books and toys for the kids

-portable highchair, we have a great one that can be slipped over any chair to make it easy for feeding anywhere – especially good if you stop in a small cafe or for in a hotel room.

-decant some washing powder and take it in a sealed container so you can do a little washing in the bath if theres a nasty nappy explosion!

-dvds of kids film/tv shows theres usually always a dvd player and this will be a godsend to get a little peace!

-phone chargers

-nappies/wipes

-more changes of clothes than number of days you are going, same for pjs.

-pack little rucksacks for each kid to keep in the car with a change of clothes, wipes, juice, snack and a toy.

-picnic blanket always comes in handy if you go somwhere and want to put the baby down.

-all in one rain suits for the kids, means that even if it’s a bit damp you can get out and explore

-big umbrella in the boot. Handy to keep everyone dry or as a sun shade at the beach.

-gaffa tape and hair bobbles, tape over plug sockets and use bobbles as temporary child locks for cupboards.

To be honest unless you are travelling to the moon there’s nothing that you wouldn’t be able to run out and pick up at a push. So don’t get too bogged down with remembering every single thing. The most inportant thing is to thet out there and make memories!

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What are your top travel tips?  Where’s the best place you’ve ventured? Any other handy tips?

Pam.xx

The Helpful Hiker

Lucy At Home

Dear friends…

  • Do you feel like you are constantly cancelling plans?
  • Do you feel guilty for not seeing your friends so much?
  • Or do you feel guilty when you do go out as you could be spending time with the kids or your other half?
  • Do you maybe feel like you’ve moved on from some friends?

Well you’re not alone!! It happens to us all.

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First ‘best friends’

My friendships have all changed since I became a mother. My priorities have changed, my energy levels have changed and my freedom has most definitely changed. My son has lately declared he has his first ‘best friend’ and this has set me thinking. The boys have known each other since they were six months old. They fight like cat and dog but love each other like brothers and it makes me smile to see them together. It also makes me a little sad at how I have let some of my own friendships slide a bit (ok a lot!).

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She will kill me for this but it’s my fave pic!

I have been friends with my best friend since we were 6 years old. We moved into the house next door and her parents invited me to join in their barbeque. We were inseperable from then on. But we had a complicated relationship. We didn’t agree on a lot of things. We had other friends who didn’t all hang out and we liked different things. How did we survive? I have no idea! It just worked. And now 26 years later we are the same. She is my constant. I met my other best friends when I was 17, I lived with them at university for 9 months and even when I dropped out we stayed close. We couldn’t be more different but yet here we are still in each others lives. But the challenges we face now are testing us.

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We drive each other crazy but couldn’t live without them

Before kids I was a party girl. If I wasn’t working I was out. If I had a free weekend the party was at our place. We did group weekends away, couples nights out, girls holidays. Inside of me still beats the heart of that girl but she’s just so goddam tired. Sure we’ve all got older so that definitely factors in to. But have I just been neglecting my friends? Because my life changed did I just opt out of their lives? How do you go about getting back on track?

With my best friend we can go for a long time without talking, infact we have never chatted on the phone. We will message each other and see each other at least once a month though. I wish we lived closer so it was easier to spend time with her. As it is it’s a 3 hour round trip to catch up so it’s tough. I think with us both working too it can seem like a massive struggle to fit visits in which is the problem we face at the moment. Once the kids are grown a bit I’m hoping it will get a little easier to grab more time together but for now it is what it is. We have survived other obstacles so this period is just another part of our lives we are manouvering together.

I have an assortment of other friends. I guess I am lucky in that respect. I have different groups and different ‘types’ of friends. ‘Mummy’ friends who I onlu got to know through the kids, yet some days these ladies pull me through and I can be so open with them without risk of embarassment and even the offer of gin!  I have work/social friends who have little to do with my family life and are sometimes the perfect antidote when you want away from it all. I have old shool friends who I can reminise with and have a proper laugh. I also class a massive bunch of women on a facebook baby forum as friends as I feel like I know them as intimately as anyone else even though we’ve never met.

So you have a free day, you’ve made plans to catch up with your mates…you just can’t be bothered! If these are your close mates they will understand, but not if it keeps happening. You have to have the kind of honesty to let them know why you aren’t around. If they have kids themselves chances are they will get it. And the ones without kids just need you to let them know – they aren’t mindreaders. A couple of friends of mine literally seem to have dream lives. They have their own places, steady jobs and lots of friends and good social lives. Yet they are constantly there for me. They drive bloody hours just to come see me and my terrors when they could be getting their nails done instead. It is this kind of sacrifice that has earned them my undying love. They might not have a clue how I’m feeling sometimes, but are there and that means everything. I know these are relationships that I am definitely failing at though. It doesn’t worry me too much as I know I will regain ground in the future when life settles for me and then I can be the one to do the running more for them. But have to remind myself sometimes to take a minute out and just be there for them. Ask them how their week is going, remember when they have big events coming up. We are close enough that they know me and know how much they means to me. Sometimes the key is just telling people what they mean to you and his is what most of us forget to do. Maybe right now you don’t have time for the kind of relationship you once shared but if it’ s something you want to keep hold of you have to put in a little effort.

When things start breaking down it’s generally because neither of you are that interested in keeping it going – much like any relationship! I have lost a few friends over the years, we would probably still stop and pass the time of day with one another, comment on a facebook post and send a card if they had a baby or got married. But we just don’t have space for them in our lives anymore. And that’s ok. With a husband, two kids, my family, a full time job, a blog, baking and some charity work…somethings got to give.
It can be hard to juggle everything and ultimately the sacrifice is always going to be social – you can’t jack in your job or hand a baby back when things get too much! But you can slowly start removing yourself from friendships. As long as this is not a sacrifce that makes you sad. If going out makes you pine for home then don’t go. You won’t enjoy yourself and your friends will notice and feel like you aren’t giving them your all. If you aren’t getting anything in return from a friendship then remove yourself from it and see how you feel after a few months. If staying in has become the norm and you need a change then get back out there. If you can’t physically get back out there can you call a friend who could come to you for takeaway and wine?! This solution is particularly useful for other mums who can’t always get babysitters or don’t want to get out their jammies! Ultimately we need to take a deep look at our relationships and decide for ourself how we feel.

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Lots of my friends

My friends will all know who they are from reading this and I’m sure I’ll be hearing from them later! (Least it’ll show me who’s reading this damn thing! 😂)

Do you think you have a good balance? Look forward to hearing from you all as always!

Pam xxxx

Lucy At Home

JakiJellz

Banana Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

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Banana Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

This cake is amazing on it’s own as it’s really moist if you prefer yours without a topping. Alternatively you could add 75g chocolate chips to the batter before cooking and top with a chocolate glaze!

 

For cake

120ml vegetable oil

2 eggs

50ml milk

320g self raising flour

2tspn baking soda

250g caster sugar

4 over ripe bananas mashed

 

For glaze

1/2 cup icing sugar

2tbsp peanut butter melted

Splash milk

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Method

Put everything for cake in a bowl and mix well – the beauty in this recipe is that there is no faff of creaming or adding in a certain order! Pour into a greased bundt tin or into two loaf tins if you want. Bake at 170°c for 50min (loaves will take a bit less) Check it’s ready by inserting a wooden skewer – it sould come out clean if cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10min before removing from the tin. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

 

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For the glaze, combine the icing sugar, melted peanut butter and milk and mix with electric mixer until smooth. Drizzle over the cake and serve!

 

Pam.xxx

Softplay…a beginners guide.

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Loving the softplay

So it’s another rainy day or you just need to get out the house before some sort of cabin fever grips you and the kids are driving you insane. You decide to go to the local softplay centre….bad call my friend…or is it?

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Don’t be fooled it’s a warzone

Entering these establishments is what I presume its like to enter enemy territory with a troop of men. You have to be constantly on the lookout for enemy insurgents whilst keeping your troops close by. Making sure they know the drills and being prepared for grenades (generally empty fruit shoot bottles lobbed by sugar high kids on their way back to the slide).

The lights are artificially bright-kind of like a casino where they need everyone to be awake. Softplay areas are neon rich with colour to kick start the senses of the sleep deprived mother. It makes you squint and also makes you realise that yet again you have left the house with the pair of jeans covered in stains – Oh, while I’m on clothing you will obviously have a pair of jeans on that ride way too low, causing you to spend the whole time hitching them up to avoid showing everyone your builders bum! Remind yourself for the millionth time to remember to wear better ones next time, you wont!

You will turn into the most judgemental parent upon entering – don’t feel bad you are being judged too!  ‘Why is that mum sitting on her phone while her bruiser of a toddler commandeers the ball pool like a rugby prop forward?’ ‘Why is that mum letting her tiny baby play unaided when all they are doing is causing you to freak out that your own children are going to trample said baby?’ ‘ Why is that dad shovelling quavers and smarties into those two toddlers with no regard to the fact that it is 10am?’ All these thoughts swim in your head as you search for a place to leave your stuff and try and locate your own children who have flung their shoes to all corners and ran wildly into the fray!

There are certain categories of parents that you will recognise.

The resident‘ the mum you see every time you go who sits in the same place and looks worn out.

The social butterfly‘ mostly in groups they use the softplay for catch ups (most likely so they can send the older children off while the mums get a chance to play top trumps about whos kid is doing better).

The goal‘ this is the mum who is sitting drinking a hot cappucino with a magazine in front of her  her hair is actually sitting nicely and her child come and goes at intervals and appears to play nicely. You can’t bring yourself to say hello as you are so in awe of her parenting abilities but want to ask her what her secret is – you yourself will never have had more than a few stolen swigs of a hot drink in such places!

The adventurer‘ This is the parent who has more fun that the kids going on all the slides and even playing with other kids – other people kids will want to chat to you,  yes I found it weird too the first few times now I just roll with it, they will see you playing with your kid and will want you to play with them too. It’s all about smiling and deperately searching for their own person and trying to make eye contact to let them know they need to get off their ass and come play with their child!

The OTT parent‘ who isn’t sure young Mickey should go all the way up there by himself. They are the parent who will come and tell you that your little one might need a hand or has just pushed little Micky. Just breathe and remember to smile.

On the whole I think most of us fit into a few categories – some days I definitely enjoy the slides more than toddler boy! Some days I want to interupt the mum talking to her mates to let her know her toddler is an absolute demon who needs a talking to. It can certainly bring out the worst in the best of humans!

The place smells like the changing rooms used to when I did P.E at school (boak), the foods crap, expensive and the tables are never clean.

Have you ever looked at some of the softplat surfaces? I not sure how many times anyone goes in there with a wet wipe. So I have to approach it with the same sense I approach the swimming pool, try not to think what be floating about in there and grab the antibac gel on the way back to the car – and make sure you take a long hot shower when you get home!

Your child will faff about wanting to go on anything that costs money, want sweets and moan a bit. They will then kick off when its time to leave making the journey back to the car an effort and leave you feeling worn out.

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Winning!

The benefit of all this my friend is the car journey home. They are so tired they always nap!! Plan this correctly and you can get yourself a lovely hour in the afternoon ( ok so you spend it sitting on your phone in the drive because you dont want to risk waking them by lifting them into the house but it’s worth it and you are a step closer to bed time – and you totally deserve that glass of wine tonight!

Cheers!

Pam.xxx

Mummuddlingthrough

Things I say far too many times every day!

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That’s not where your pants go!

Are you listening?! Telling a toddler something has the same impact that a diet chocolate bar has on your appetite..nil!  You have to watch as they continue to do whatever it is that you asked them not to do until you have repeated yourself to infinity and then crack. Finally shouting ‘Oh for Gods sake will you just stop touching that!’

 

Sit down. Wether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner my kids seem incapable of staying put for longer than 10min. They use any excuse to get up.

 

Put your clothes on. Getting dressed in the morning then again for bedtime is an epic battle, fought with all the diplomacy of a parliamentary debate. We have the initial optimism, turning to pleading, followed shortly by bribery then threats and finally anger and then sometimes acceptance. Why they find it so amusing to run around butt naked I don’t know! Shouts of ‘will you just put on your goddam pants’ are common.

 

Stop hitting your sister/brother. Our baby girl is no longer a baby, she is a fully functionimg toddler and is on a mission to ruin all toddler boys fun…or so it seems to him! He doesn’t want a baby touching his precious tractors so grabs them away from her. This instills a temper that for us was an eye opener (parents of girls.. just wow!) She lashes out, he cries or sometimes fights back. It never ends well. ‘Can’t you just play nicely?’ Apparently not.

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Like butter wouldn’t melt

What are you doing? Wether it be a longer than expected trip to the loo or a suspiciously long silence when I’m in the kictchen. Something will be afoot! The answer ‘nothing’ is always a sure fire way to know that armageddon may be about to be dicovered. 3 toilet rolls, a can of deodorant and  a plastic cow have all made their way down our loo after protestations that he was doing nothing!

 

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They don’t look like fish

 

Shhh. Children are loud. They have no regulator and care not a jot wether they are in a small cafè, library or softplay centre. Volume controls were not an optional extra unfortunately!

What other things do you find yourself saying too often?

 

Pam xxx

Lucy At Home
 

 

 

Rainbow Cookies

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Sometimes, when the biscuit cupboard looks like a hungry bear has ravaged it (or more likely my husband has snaffled all the good stuff and left us with a few suspect custard creams and an orange club that was around before christmas) the only thing to do is bake!

These cookies can be adapted to add in anything that you like or have in the house!

Basic recipe

•140g softened unsalted butter

• 100g caster sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

• 250g plain flour

• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

• 1 egg + 1 egg yolk

• 1 tub of coloured chocolate pearls (I get them in the baking aisle they are cupcake toppers and work brilliantly but you can use smarties)

 

Method

Oven 180°c. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Beat butter and sugar together. Add egg and egg yolk and vanilla essence and beat. In a seperate bowl mix together the flour and baking powder and add into butter and egg mix and mix together well. Add in choc pearls and mix through. Take handfuls of the mix and roll, about the size of a ping pong ball, place on baking tray and leave a bit of room to spread. Use a fork to flatten the balls out a little. Bake for 15min. Cool on a cooling rack. They keep well for a couple of days and freeze well for up to 4 weeks. Defrost then warm in oven for a last min pudding with ice cream!

You should get about 16 cookies.

Good for making with toddlers.

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Extras

• Substitute a tablespoon of butter for peanut butter and use dark choc chips instead of coloured pearls, amazing!

• Substitute 50g flour for 50g porridge oats, add cinnamon instead of the vanilla and raisins instead of the chocolate pearls. Also cook for a couple of min less for a chewy cookie.

• Substitute 20g flour for 20g cocoa and add white choc chips instead of coloured pearls for good choc chip cookies

 

Enjoy!

 

Pam.xx

Our Top 10 Favourite Books From Birth-Age 4

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1. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae/Guy Parker-Rees. This was the first proper book we read to our son and it has been a constant favourite. Charting poor Gerald the Giraffes horror at being singled out as a rubbish dancer. He slinks off and is given a pep talk by a philosophical cricket. With his help he learns to shake it with the best of them. It still makes us laugh remembering my son replying to anyone who asked that a monkey says ‘cha cha cha’!

 

2. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Don’t think you can do a book list for kids without this one! It can be pretty scary for the younger or more timid reader and even at age 3 my sons imagination goes wild. It has been the book that brought on my sons speach the best as he learnt the story quickly and reads aloud along with us. Beautifully illustrated and now has an accompanying film. A huge hit.

 

3. The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr. A brilliant read that is the perect length and one that you will be able to repeat word perfectly after a few reads. The children seemed drawn to this and very quickly remember the story-which isn’t good if you try and shorten it they won’t be long in telling you! ‘No mum you missed the eating all the food in the cupboards!’

 

4. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. A really interactive read with the animals hidden behind little flaps. It is a good way of geting them involved as you can ask them what the animal is behind the screen and get them to open the flap

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5. How Many? By Rod Campbell. This is a first numbers book and even at the age of 3 my son will pull it out and count the animals. It has been a fanstastic book that has stood the test of time. We started well before he could count but we read it and did the animal noises as we counted along.

 

6. What The Ladybird Heard Next by Julia Donaldson. So much going on in this funny tale about a pair of robbers and a farmyard full of animals who get the better of them with the help of a ladybird. The illustrations by Lydia Monks are a visual treat and there is much to be pounted out by little fingers and as they get older there is more to take in.

 

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. An oldie but a goodie as they say. I remember reading it when I was younger! When they are very young they enjoy the repetion of the ‘but he was still hungry’ part. As they get older it’s a good way of introducing how butterflies come about and is also another good counting book as they can count the fruits. A firm favourite.

 

8. Gigantosaurus by Jonny Duddie. For dinisaur fans this is a must. A really fun take on the boy who cried wolf about 4 small dinosaurs on the look out for the huge gigantosaurus. Lots of repetition and a pull out page they enjoy it immensley especiallly all the noisy bits – lots in BOLD for you to shout out as you read! A fun read.

 

9. The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl. This is our first foray into the older fiction for our son. He is a big book lover and this went down really well. It is quite a long read compared to what he has been used to but he will happily sit through the whole thing. About a big crocodile on the hunt for juicy children to eat! Lots of brilliant illustrations and a really fantastic story. I enjoy reading it and watching my son get excited and angry about the characters! A great start if you are looking to move on from picture books.

 

10. Paddington by Michael Bond. Couldn’t leave this little gem out. A wonderful tale about a clumsy, stow-away bear. Not sure what the appeal is for the children but my pair will both sit and read it with me and I always get ‘again’ when we reach the end. The new film that was released was a big hit with us too.

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So this is my list. I have a 3 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. The books that my son has moved on from are now coming back to life with my daughter – all the black and white baby books and the ‘that’s not my’ books are big hits. We also have a huge range of animal, dinosaur and farm picture books. But the books on this list are books that have lasted now from when we first started reading to my son to now over 3 years later. I’m so very glad that both children seem to have inherited my love of books it makes my heart glad to see them grab their favourite book and curl up with me on the couch. Long may it last.  Wether is be those first peek-a-boo books or more in depth story telling I believe it’s important to nurture any spark of interest. Stories bring about imagination and there is nothing more exciting than seeing blossoming young minds.

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What are your families favourite reads? Are your little ones big readers? Get in touch and share your stories.

 

Pam xxx

 Lucy At Home

I know I don’t want any more children…but I’m still a little sad about it.

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So a long time ago an early twenties version of myself wasn’t cut out for motherhood. I’d decided it was something that wasn’t for me. I got engaed at 23, married at 24 and bought my first house at 28. We had a ball for a while partying and holidaying in beautiful places. But towards the end of my twenties I felt a pull and knew being a parent was something I really wanted to experience.

Me and the hubster often joke about the fact that even though both pregnancies were meticulously planned, that we still feel like we have become an unexpected family of four! Do you ever just look at yourself and wonder how you got here? (Can’t just be me!)

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After my first I swore there would be no more (my friends can confirm how adamant I was!) But only two years later; there was our second bundle lying in my arms staring at me. What was it that made me a mother of two? And am I done?

Well to start things off my pregnancies both times were a struggle to put it mildly. I was sick for the full nine months, losing weight and even being induced early second time round because I was so ill. So that immediately puts me off the thought of doing it again. My pain threshold; I have found out is also nil so another labour makes me feel faint! Yet I still went back a second time? I think people are right in a way when they say that you forget quickly. You never forget the pain but you do contextualise it into a manner that makes it something that you feel you could overcome if you wanted to.

For me the decsion making when considering our second was that I never wanted my son to be an only child. There was a huge gap between myself and my brother so I never had a normal sibling relationship with him when we were younger – I mothered him! Yet we are extremely close now and I really wanted that lifetime bond for my son in his future years. Do I want my daughter to experience being a big sister? Not that much!

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Although I love my children, I have never felt that being a mother was something that’s come naturally to me. Yes I am organised, I enjoy ‘mumsy’activities so am able to conjur the image of that craftsy, baking, messy play loving mum that people seem to aspire to. But I still lie at night wondering why I enjoy that minute after they are both in bed so much?! Even now with three years mothering under my belt I feel like a novice. Whereas at work I am in control, at home I feel like I’m winging it! And as a self confessed control freak that is what I find the most difficult.

Money is obviously a factor. How many of us could say it isn’t? More children equal bigger houses, bigger cars and extra household expenditure. To think of having another you wonder what you would cut back on and the impact it would have on the family as a whole. Even when going from one to two we had to consider childcare costs. Which brings me on to time.

Do I actually have enough time for everything going on in my life? I sometimes cut myself in two trying to make time for both kids equally (mothers of three or more avert your eyes before you bitchslap me for complaining!) But I know my quality time with my eldest was impacted when I had my daughter so to add another would be cutting it again. I have a full time job, I bake, I blog and I am a wife. These roles do not just trundle on unaided. Each part of me needs nourished and I am forever watchful of spreading myself too thinly.

Selfishly I feel I am just getting on my feet as a working mother and know that I don’t want anything to unbalance that. This is what makes me believe we are complete. I look at my family and am overwhelmed by happyness(most of the time…when they aren’t tantruming, teething or being total prats!)

So why then do i still feel a little sad?

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Those baby snuggles!

Because everytime I see a squishy baby I still drink in the smell, the sleepy cuddles and the rememberance of first smiles. Of course I block out the night feeds, the colic and the horror of labour! I realise I will never feel that crazy feeling when you do the test and see those two lines appear. I will never experience those first flutters and kicks in my belly again, all the incredible first baby days are gone to me now. I wonder how my daughter would get on being an elder sister rather than the baby of the family. I know how amazing my son has been as a big brother. I also secretly love the idea of a big brood!

But alas the part of my heart that feels that way is vastly overshadowed by the part of my brain that reads me the riot act and tells me we could not afford the wine bills if we were to have another! In all seriousness I know we are done. I have so many more firsts to come with my two children. I have so many wonderful new experiences yet to discover. And even though I am content with the decision it’s ok not to be entirely happy with it. Just like I will never experience that heady first love moment or first date feeling again. In this life there has to be a point where you stop chasing the rainbow and see that you already have a pot of gold. Someone recently told me you would never regret the children you have, only the ones you do not. It is a lovely sentiment but for me I dont want to live my life in perpertual longing. We are already looking forward to the children being old enough to start having some proper adventures. I know parents of one who decided that was them done. I also know mothers of four who are contemplating another because they know their family isn’t complete. There’s no perfect number. Just whatever is pefect for you.

So I know I am done. I am content with my unexpected yet planned family of four.

How do you feel about your family? Do you feel complete or are you already planning the next? Please get in touch I love hearing from you all.

Pam xxx

The Tale of Mummyhood

My Petit Canard
JakiJellz

href=”http://motherhoodtherealdeal.com/ ” rel=”dofollow” title=”Mummuddlingthrough”>Mummuddlingthrough

Lucy At Home

Parenting Fails No.289

20170327_110007In a world where we can find out the weather forcast for the week ahead, cure horrible diseases and ask a computer the answer to any question that pops up into our heads,  how can parents everywhere be stumped by the mysteries of children on a daily basis?

 

Questions I have had from Toddler Boy this week…

• Why can’t I have chocolate for breakfast? After Easter it’s actually pretty hard to justify this one. One day it’s OK to be ravaging a Lindt bunny at 8am; the next day your being told that even coco pops should be saved for the weekend. It’s a cruel life lesson.2017-04-27 09.01.26.jpg

 

• Why can’t I go outside with no trousers on? Explaining to a small boy who thinks his willy is the best invention on the planet why everyone else doesn’t want or need to see it is tough. He wants to pull his trousers down everywhere and ‘helicopter’ to show off his grandest possession. They grow out of this right?!

• Why can’t I get a dragon to blow on our dinner to warm it up? Don’t think I even came up with an answer to this one.

• Why won’t our cat talk to me? After a few years of watching kids tv shows it’s no wonder that they get confused! Talking animals, magic fairies and superheroes make it hard to explain the boring world we live in!

•  Can we swap the baby for a rabbit because they are more fun because they poop chocolate eggs?…..just no. Sod off Easter and all your confusion!

 

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FML moments from the last few weeks

• Discovering Toddler Boy climbing into the bath to have a pee when he was going to the toilet because his daddy had said it was ok to pee in the bath! Ffs daddy he doean’t distinguish it being ok when he was actually in the bath and needed to pee to save getting out you said it was ok he now thinks its fine to hose all over the tub!

• Baby Girl screaming blue murder for a solid four hours the night I had been out with a few other mums and had a lovely few glasses of vino. Husband deciding after 5 min that only mummy could sort it so having to pace around the livingroom rocking a teething baby until my hangover kicked in at 3am! Only bonus to this was no hangover next day only raging tiredness.20170407_225105

– Husband having the cold at the same time as me, no sympathy or offers to make dinner. Him managing to spend 3 days at home doing no housework I’m actually still wondering what the heck he did all day!

– Toddler boy managing to work the hoover so he tells me that he’s cleaned the mess up…what this meant was that he had hoovered up everything in sight! Including half his lego, a toy cow, 3 pairs of socks and all my jewellery I’d stored in the hall telephone table. Emptying out a hoover To retrieve said items was grim!2017-04-27 09.01.59.jpg

– After witnessing his first lamb being born a few weeks back, Toddler Boy has been a bit obsessed with babies. He kept asking me if i had a baby coming out! Him saying this to me is fine. Him saying this to a porty gentleman in Morrisons is not.

 

So what gems have your littlies had for you this week? One thing is for sure life is never boring right now!

 

Pam xxx

 

 

How to babyproof your home.

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So back when I was pregnant with my first and we were shopping for things like highchairs and bibs, we came across the section with stair gates and cupboard locks. A little look at each other and an eye roll. Surely if you are looking after your precious bundle then you won’t need all this safety equipment? Surely only overprotective parents go to these lengths to secure their home? Well fast forward to when first baby was 6 months old and pulling himself up on the furniture. ‘Oh my god he was just an inch away from cracking his head off the corner there!’ Cue racing out to buy foam corners for the tv unit, a fireguard, playpen and cupaboard locks! Our house was like Fort Knox I’m not afraid to say that I am definitely one of those mums that errs on the side of caution!

Once he was up and about he started getting into the bathroom so a lock went on the bathroom door. He pulled out every bit of food from the kitchen cupboards so safety locks went on every door. I had left the window open to let in some air and he was up in the couch trying to get out! Safety catches were purchased and affixed to every window in the house. Some people laugh and tell me I am way too over protective. Some people tell me in a snidey manner that they just didn’t do stair gates/safetey locks. Some people even have the cheek to tell me that I am clearly not in control as a parent as the kids need to learn what’s right and wrong and so making everything safe teaches them nothing! That’s fine. It’s a completely personal choice and I’m sure one that is determined on your experience with your child.

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You see I have been to peoples homes whose children are not inquisitive, who have fear inbuilt so they do not attempt the crazy shit that my son does,so they would have felt no need to go to any lengths to secure what has not been a hazard. Or else their kids truly learn from one fall and don’t attempt it again.  Not so my child! If he falls and hurts himself he just tries a different way and I’m sorry but I’m not willing to take the risk of him seriously hurting himself when there is something I can do to minimise the risk. (Overprotective mummy!) When my son went into a toddler bed at the age of 2 we moved the chest of drawers out of his room as I knew at some point he would attempt to open the drawers and climb them. So next year once we decide on a theme for his grown up room, the drawers will be put back in and possibly secured to the wall!

With my daughter it was different, we had got a bit lax and forgotten the extent you hav to have eyes on the back of your head. We also broke the playpen so now have a stairgate across the livingroom door! She is taking far too many lessons from her brother and tries to keep up with him. He is also an added danger as he tries to lift her or run into her with one of his many toys!

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So yes there will be those who think that I should be glued to their sides and then I wouldn’t need to worry so much about risks in the house. There will be those who call me paranoid or morbid for thinking the worst. But when you hear in the news about toddlers getting strung up in blind cords, breaking bones falling down stairs and having furniture topple onto them, I will always be glad I have done as much as I can to make them as safe as I can. Of course they will attempt to find other ways to harm themselves!

Lessons learnt from experience…

• Never leave knives on the kitchen worktops once your children are on the move. Put them away or if dirty to the back of the sink behind the taps. While making lunch I’d left everything lying one day and my son took his plate through to the kitchen and came back through holding a massive chopping knife. Me and my mum were sitting on the couch gobsmacked as I crept towards him slowly to retrieve it before he hurt himself.

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• A playpen is one of the most wonderful things a first time mum can own. Once the baby starts moving things get tricky! You cant leave them to go for a shower or make dinner like you used to. We got a playpen for the livingroom and I could put all his toys in it when I needed 5minutes. It gave me peace of mind that he couldn’t hurt himself and gave me time to get on. I couldnt leave him unattended in the highchair after 6 months as he would rock it about so much that I was scared he would knock it over.

• Top tips- if you are going to use stairgates then put one across the childs room door instead of at the top of the stairs and do it before they can get out of the cot then you will be used to it.

• Start keeping matches, medicine and scissors in high cupbards well before baby is on the move to get used to putting them away up high-not the matelpiece as they start using stuff to climb on and the last thing you want is for them to start cutting chunks of their own hair because they got hold of scissors! (And even when you think there is nothing they could use to climb on you would be wrong-my son stacks cushions from the couch on top of one another to get to what he wants!)

When you’re going away, take hair bobbles to use as cupboard locks and gaffa tape to put over plug sockets. Great for lodge and hotel breaks.

• Start locking your front door and put a hook up close by for the key. Dont leave keys in the door as one day your child will either learn to open it and try and escape or else pull the keys out and post them through the letterbox leaving you stranded..yes it has happened!

So we have drawn the line at making them wear full face helmets and padding – although I won’t deny it has crossed my mind!

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In the space of two minutes (the time it takes to run to the toilet/answer the door/run upstairs, a toddler can unleash serious carnage that often leaves you wishing they could put that energy to better use.

So how do you approach safety? What have been your experiences?

Any tips?

Pam xx

PoCoLo
Lucy At Home

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JakiJellz