Crabby.

Yesterday evening I took the girls to the beach for fun on the sand and a splash in the sea. Living with a couple of beaches so close is amazing. It provides hours of fun for my girls and best of all, being outdoors is so good for them. 

We had a lovely evening playing and a great bonus was the girls daddy and nanny were able to join us. The girls both loved every minute. Well actually, Aoife didn’t like the minute or two were she had sloppy sand between her toes, but in general there was lots of fun and smiles. 

At one point, we found a dead, but wholly intact, crab. Molly picked it up (beautiful little weirdo that she is) and claimed it as her pet “Crabby”. She carried it the full length of the beach and sat it on the wall next to her while we had a cone of chips. It came home in the car too. 

Upon trying to show her friend next door the crab, it got dropped down the fences between our house and next door, and all molly was left with was three little crab legs. She was heartbroken. I’ve actually never seen her sob so much and between sobs she told me she wanted her crabby back as she was going to look after it really well and feed it and cuddle it and let it get in the bath with her. My poor girl was so upset. I do have to say, I am a little glad that we didn’t have to go down the route of living with a dead crab, but if I could have saved that little crab corpse for her, I strangely would have. Things we do as mothers! 

 Molly did eventually settle down in bed and with the promise of buying her a Sebastian the crab teddy when we go to Disney World, she managed to nod off quite happily. And I was able to sleep without worrying about a crab zombie trying to get me😂.

So, what’s the oddest thing your child had gotten upset over? I can’t be the only one with such an adorable, yet crazy little five year old! Share your stories. 

And here she is. Molly and her “Crabby”.
  

And after not being able to link up last week because time wasn’t on my side, I am very pleased to be able to link up with Twinkly Tuesday this week.

The Twinkle Diaries

It’s a Vicious Cycle.

Any parent will tell you that trying to keep your house clean is practically impossible. Ok, maybe not hard to keep it clean, but definitely so to keep it tidy. I feel like I never stop picking up toys, returning socks to little feet, putting shoes in the shoe cupboard and switching my washing machine on. Ok, I don’t feel like that, it’s actually true. Recently, I stopped following my two year old around tidying up behind her, and opted for a few big tidy ups throughout the day. It’s definitely helped squash my workload a bit. Once she falls asleep at lunchtime I tidy up, just before the school run and then whilst both girls are eating their tea. This way I get more time playing with Aoife and also don’t feel like bagging up all the toys and binning them! 

I always find odd objects in my handbag or bed too. The feeling of bliss as you climb into your fresh bed wearing your fresh jarmies is pretty short lived when you lie down on top of a remote control safari jeep! And going in your handbag at university to find a spare pen and grabbing soggy toast crusts your cheeky 8 month old daughter has stashed in their while you’re packing her nursery bag is pretty embarrassing, whilst also highly amusing. And yes, both of those things have happened to me! 

I’ve written myself a daily chore list and this helps me stay on top of jobs plus it means if I look at the house at the end of the day and it still looks like a bomb has gone off, I can refer to my list and remind myself I did do housework and maybe it was an upstairs day 😉. Mainly the list is to help me not forget certain things, like de-cluttering food cupboards or wardrobes and to stay on top of toy sort outs regularly. 

What things do you do to help you stay on top of your housework? Parents are all in the same boat so there have to be tips that one of us has that another doesn’t. Share your wisdom ladies and gents!

And in reference to the toast in handbag saga, I wrote this at the time and thought it was time to share, plus I am sure I can’t be the only one who has experienced this!

Mummy’s handbag
Now it smells like soggy toast,
When I used to love this one the most.
Now it contains nappies and toys
And lots of things for my girls or boys.
A toy or ten and a nappy or two.
Anything that will distract you
When the doctor wants to look in your ears
Or I need to speak to someone and you can’t hear.
It has a book to teach you words
And snacks for you to feed the birds,
I’m lucky if I fit my keys,
Amongst all of the things you need.
I go to work and pull a dummy out
Let’s hope it doesn’t make mummy’s boss shout
I used to love this bag so much,
Now it’s full of soggy lunch

And here is Tuesdays fab link up. 

The Twinkle Diaries

It’s About to Get Chaotic.

About a month ago, I started to notice Bellatrix was beginning to look a bit plump. Her appetite started to increase, her colour started to fade and she stopped venturing as far as she usually does and started spending more time sleeping in the sun than is normal for her. I put the pregnancy possibility out of my mind and vowed to watch her closely for the next week or so. She continued to get plump and her beautiful black fur started to fade and a reddy/brown colour set in. I rang Vets for Pets and an appointment was made for a check up two weeks later. Before this appointment arrived, I noticed her tummy fill out A LOT! I also think I spotted it moving once or twice. I knew the appointment was going to result in a confirmed pregnancy so mentally prepared myself and the girls for that. One vet visit later and yes, we are definitely waiting on the imminent arrival of a litter of kittens. 

“There is more than one. There could be up to ten” were the vets words. So here we are, waiting on our lovely Bella cat to go in to labour, preparing dark quiet cubby holes for her to give birth in, and investing in shallow litter trays that make it easier for the kittens to master litter training. Life is crazy with two children and a cat. It’s about to spiral way out of control. However, that cannot be changed and I love Bella a lot and so do the girls so we better get prepared. Looking after Bella and her kittens is something that will be happening no matter what, be there one kitten or be there ten kittens, so we had to quickly get used to the idea. Aoife will happily repeat a well rehearsed statement I have been teaching her in preparation, and oh my gosh, it is adorable. I somehow feel she may not abide by it, but at least she knows the rules. Her statement is “Bella got kittens in tummy. No touching, just looking with eyes.” Molly knows she mustn’t touch them too, and is very prepared for Bella to give birth, even filling in my parents on how the kittens will “come out of Bella’s vagina”. Her love for animals and the fact that at five she already says she’s wants to be a vet astounds me. It will definitely help her with this whole experience. And then of course, I need to grow another set of eyes to be able to keep the kittens safe, to keep Molly and Aoife from picking them up, and to ensure I don’t end up with a scared and frightened Bella. Any ideas on how I do this, would be most welcome 😉

So we are stocked up with kitten food, I have bought the extra litter tray, and I have blankets laid out ready and spare ones on standby. I have also watched enough videos of cats giving birth to last a lifetime and read as much information as I can. I know once kitten day arrives, what will be will be but being prepared will definitely help. And the way Bella has become my shadow the last few days is really nice. She’ll cuddle up with me of an evening once the girls are in bed, she’s following me around a lot more and when I go to bed, she comes and cuddles up for half an hour before going to her favourite spot, Molly’s bedroom, which is where I am sure the kittens will be born. 

Right now it’s a waiting game. Yes, I am apprehensive about it all, but I’m also really excited. I’m secretly hoping Molly will go with my suggestion for naming the kittens after Disney characters, and I am very much looking forward to lots of cuddles with Bellatrix and her little balls of fluff. 

And of course, watch this space for an update about cat labour and birth and pictures of our beautiful Bella being mummy with her teeny baby kittens. 

 

Mummy monday link up🙂

Lists, Lists, Lists!

With the onset of spring, and the beautiful weather we seem to be getting, I have been reminded of our upcoming holiday and realised with only six weeks to go, I need to get planning. I started one lists, which led to another, which led to another, and before I knew it, I had a to do list longer than any other I’ve seen before and a bank balance about to take a hit. 

We are off to Florida on the 2nd June, so with that comes the need for Visas (or Estas as they’re now known). They’ve all finally been applied for (apart from little Wafer who’s passport should arrive in the next week or two and we can do it then) and have all been approved. We’ve also ordered our theme park tickets and bus passes to get us from our hotel, to Disney. Now all that has been done, I feel like a weight has been lifted and have stopped stressing so much. 

Then the fun started. Booking dining experiences with the characters definitely brought out the little girl in me and the excitement I get every time I think about my girls meeting the Princesses and meeting Mickey is just amazing! It makes me feel like dancing in all honesty! With the reservations made, I could finally start to get an intinerary put together, and the fantastic themed planner I found is brilliant! I’ve included the link below as I thought it may come in handy for anyone else planning holidays either now or in the future.

I’m itching to start packing, but I know how quickly it’ll go from exciting to emotional breakdown once the cases are out. Plus, I’m trying to keep little hands from wanting to put on their holiday clothes before we even leave the country. So I’m leaving that for another three weeks or so. Plus I’m clumsy enough without suitcases lying around  and hey, I don’t want to meet Mickey Mouse with a broken arm! 

So, in all the excitement of the upcoming trip, I’m trying to be organised and ensure I haven’t forgotten anything I need to tak. My lists are slowly being worked through and I have started picking up sun creams, sickness bands and swim nappies. 

What do you take on holiday with you, that you can’t live without? Any tips for keeping an active two year old busy on the plane? And how do you nappy change on planes? I’m sure there aren’t changing tables so I am wondering how to go about this.  Any advice any of you have would be most welcome! Plus, it may help others going on holiday who are reading, as well as myself!

And, this my countdown right now, not long to go 😊

 

And here is the Twinkly Tuesday link up. Click on the image to find out more about linking up!

The Twinkle Diaries

Do We Eat Real Chickens Mummy?

For Molly’s fifth birthday, we took a trip to Chester Zoo. It was a great day out and we were lucky to see more action this time than all the other times we have been.  One of the highlights of the day was watching the lions being fed. They were rubbing themselves along the fence while the ranger was getting what he needed ready,  so we got a great up close view of them and Molly pointed out how huge their paws are. Once the ranger was ready, he threw three big chickens in to the enclosure.  It was very clear they were chickens and this prompted Molly to ask why the lions ate chicken. I pointed out that lions eat meat, just like we do, and as they have bigger tummies, they need more meat. This then of course resulted in a moment of realisation and the question “do we eat real chickens mummy?” This spiralled into a lot more questions and a pretty eye opening discussion for my lovely five year old. However, instead of being put off, she was intrigued and wanted to know more.
From now on, when prepping our dinner together I am going to be a little more open in the fact that the meat we have is actually animals. She seems to be accepting of this and I finally see the appeal behind the farm to food workshops offered for children. Molly is not quite old enough to attend these yet, but once she is, I know it would benefit her and so will be keeping my eyes open for a local one for her, when the time is right.
So as well as our day out being a learning experience for my two daughters, it was one for myself too. From now on, I plan to be a little more open with these things and stop trying to shield my children from real life as much as I do. Sometimes it is necessary but other times it is more beneficial for them to see and understand the truth. 

                                                                               Twinkly Tuesday Link up.

Mummascribbles

Mummy Got Played.

As a parent, you know that when you want your child to do something, despite the fact they have done it a million times before, they will point blank refuse. This happens from a very young age, or at least it did for me. I’d sing and dance about how Molly could grasp her toys at 3 months old, only for her to not do it in front of any other person for a couple of weeks at least. I’d shout from the rooftops that Aoife could hold her own sippy cup at 6 months old, but hey ho, no one else was to see this new trick until nearly 7 months old. If I want them to smile for the camera, they won’t, but the minute my camera memory is full, they’re all poses and grins that challenge the Chesire Cat. 

The minute I realised I needed to bite the bullet and take Aoife to get her passport photos done, I knew my little diva was going to challenge me. Singing, smiling and dancing we made our way over to Liverpool City centre. She was in a lovely mood and I dared believe it might go smoothly. Boy was I wrong. We stood her in front of the screen in the photography shop and instantly her chin pressed against her chest and she refused to even look at the camera. The rules for passport photos are pretty strict so I needed her to play ball. In that moment, I had what is possibly my worst parenting moment yet. I bribed her. I didn’t just bribe her a little, I promised her cakes, chocolate, toys, the playground, ice cream and a number of other things that I thought just may get her to look up for at least a moment while the photographer clicked away. I don’t know what was worse, the fact that I reeled out a list of bribes as easily as I did, or the fact that she totally ignored said bribes, and just grumpily shouted “NO”. 

I was at a point where I was out of ideas. Thankfully her daddy was with us for the day. I asked if he would stand behind the photographer and dance or sing or anything to get her to look. I looked back at Aoife and it clicked! MAKE UP! The girl always tries steal my make up bag and is constantly asking for “lit-stick”. I grabbed my make up bag out and passed it to her daddy who proceeded to pull items out and ask her what they where and if she wanted them. She lifted her head and started to talk back, naming products even her daddy didn’t know. The photographer started clicking away and after about 5 minutes of make up talk and 50 pictures, managed to get a picture that was perfect for her passport. HURRAH! 

We made our way to the till to pay and get the prized picture, at which point I felt I better excuse my mummy fail and announce how the bribery may have been my worst parenting moment to date. The man laughed and proclaimed “you got played”. Yes! Yes I did get played! And in all honesty, if he hadn’t informed me of it, I think I still wouldn’t have realised to this day. So yes, we have hit a point in life where my two year old tot can play me. And not only play me, but play me in public. I really don’t have anything else to say about that if I’m honest, so I’ll leave it there and send Aoife with daddy next time any situations similar arise. She’s played him since the day she was born, so at least he is used to it. 

  

I thought I had a while before the make up stage started!

Mummascribbles

                                                                               Twinkly Tuesday Link Up.

The Co-Sleeping Experience.

To those of you who have co-slept, I applaud you! Not because you’re staying close to your baby and tuning in to their needs (which that does deserve applause, but it’s not where I’m going today), but because you’ve survived. You’ve survived the nightly beatings from your sleeping bundle of joy. Except, they’re not a sleeping bundle of joy, but a space stealing, sweat inducing, duvet hogging gymnast. I know because I have co-slept with both my daughters. My eldest was a co-sleeper on a part time basis for her first 12 months, but my youngest co-slept for two years. I loved them being close to me and being able to hear their cute little baby snores (yes, snoring is cute when it’s coming from a baby) and enjoying some cuddles, but at the same time, when I’ve had a day of running around with babies/toddlers hanging off my leg, I feel completely touched out and long for my own space. Space to starfish in bed, to read my book with decent lighting, and to be able to cough, roll over or actually get underneath my own duvet. 

The heat these little tiny beings can give off is just ridiculous. Aoife is a very fidgety sleeper, I don’t know if that’s what adds to the heat she generates, but seen as I am always too hot, her cuddling up can make me feel like I’m on fire. Trying to encourage her to roll back in to her own space is another story. The gentle technique of trying to move her and her pillow at the same time, to avoid waking her (trust me, once she’s up, that’s it, she up and there is no getting her back asleep unless it’s on her terms) always, and I literally mean always, seems to signal  something that makes me need to cough, or sneeze, or makes a car alarm start in the street, or a couple of noisy cats to screech in unison. It’s like the universe knows I’m trying to be quiet and thinks it’ll screw me over a little. Every morning, after sleeping with my beautiful Aoife, I wake up feeling like I’ve had a full body workout. If it had benefitted me like an hour in the gym does, I might feel a little better, but with a sore back from clinging on to the slither of bed my two year old has left me and a dead arm where I’ve had it up and above her head to sleep safely (yes, shock horror there is such a thing as co-sleeping safely. The lullaby trust or unief will help you with how to go about it), I’m a little more “mombie” (zombie mum) than the Mary Poppins style mother I would have hoped. At least until I am three cups of tea down anyway!
So this idea of the perfect nights sleep while cuddled up to your baby that I’ve seen pictured and read about, actually turns out to be pretty chaotic and much too hot. However, as I mentioned earlier, the cuddles, the fact that my sleeping gymnast sleeps all night as she feels secure and safe with me near, and the beautiful little dopey morning face that wakes me up every day with a “morning momma” makes it totally and utterly worth every single minute. Plus, it’s much nicer to deal with any wake ups in the warmth and comfort of my own bed, rather than having to sprint in to another room in the dark in the middle of the night. 
 
And here she is, my little co-sleeper. Now can you see why I can’t bare to part with her? 

Mummy Monday link up.

Does Second Child Syndrome Really Exist?

Does second child syndrome really exist? Does your darling child number two really have a chip on their shoulder, in regards to how you’ve changed your parenting with them? A lot of mums and dads believe that it does, and worry about baby number two thinking things are unfair. 

After speaking to a few mums with two, they seem to find the second more demanding, more prone to tantrums and in general harder work than number one. Those mums with second children who find things harder, could it not be due to the fact that whilst trying to look after number two, you also have number one to keep an eye on, help and care for too? Aren’t you still figuring out how things work with them, as they’re you’re first toddler, pre-schooler, young child? So your ‘workload’ has doubled and you’re still experiencing new things with that older child as well as looking after the younger one, so more than kept on your toes. With my girls, it’s not that my youngest is more difficult, just different people and that I have a lot on my plate.
I know I don’t treat my girls exactly the same. They are different people, and what  works with Molly, does not work with Aoife and vice versa. Molly is very emotional, she wears her heart on her sleeve and needs calm and firm tones when she toes the line. Aoife, well if I was calm but firm with her, she’d laugh in my face. So I appear to be stricter with her but only because she responds better to that. Part of this is due to her age. She’s too young to understand explanations about why she can or can’t do something but in general, she is my wild child and I need to be a little more stern with her, mainly to stop her from swinging the cat around, diving head first of the coffee table and breaking bones! It doesn’t make me love her any less and I think her personality is just phenomenal and that we all need a little wildling in our lives to brighten our day! But as I said before, I have to be a little stricter with her or she just laughs at me. 

My parenting has undoubtedly changed since Molly was the age Aoife is now. I have learnt what does and doesn’t work, how best to avoid meltdowns, what I will never do again, and the things I will do again. Parenting is a learning curve, and we apply what we’ve learnt the first time round, to our second and any subsequent children. We would be mad not too. So of course I do things differently this time, as I am sure I will do if I have any more. But if any one should have a chip on their shoulder, it should probably be child number one. Child number one is kind of the guinea pig. The one who you test your methods on and the child with whom you have no idea what does and doesn’t work. By the time you’re raising darling number two, you know your stuff (at least better than before anyway), you rock that nappy bag damn hard and you can change a bum, express your milk and update your baby record book all at the same time. Or at least that is the dream! So stop worrying about second child syndrome, or about whether you are parenting in the same way and just do what works and enjoy your children. They’ll grow up and know you tried your best either way I am sure. And if they don’t, get a puppy, they’re undoubtedly easier!

Here is my “little wildling” as you can see, she just oozes total cheekiness! 

Stranger Danger.

How do you get across stranger danger to a four year old without mentally scarring them, or making them scared of every person they encounter. I’ve recently started giving Molly a little more independence on the school run. She knows to stay in my sight, and she’s always surrounded by other parents, other children and I’m never far. However, occasionally, she may go a little further than I would like her too. She usually realises this and stops, but I need to reiterate to her, how important it is to stay close to me, whilst still being able to allow her to scoot ahead a little with her friends. It’s a hard conversation to broach with children, especially with my people loving, talkative and friendly girl. 

We started out with the very basic, you must stay close to mummy because you might get lost. It worked for a while, but now she knows her way from school to the playground or home, and her friends also scoot along with her, it meant my answer was no longer effective. Her answer of “It’s ok mummy. I know the way, I won’t get lost” does make me smile a little, but meant better answers where required. 
We’ve started simply with the goody/baddy scenarios. She loves her Disney films and they’ve meant she has a good grasp on the idea that not everyone is a goody. Therefore in simple terms “there might be baddies and you need to stay close so mummy can keep you safe”, seems to have worked. She did tell me she would do her karate moves on any baddies, but when told I think it would be best if she just stayed near mummy to stay safe, she accepted this and moved on. This last couple of days, I’ve seen her stopping and checking to make sure she hasn’t gone too far from me so it’s worked, but not been too frightening. I’ll have to expand on things as she gets a bit older I am sure, but we can cross that bridge when we come to it. 
How did/do you approach this scenario with your own little ones? I’d love to hear from others and see if anything else may work for us. Little Miss Molly keeps me on my toes with her clever answers and understanding, so a variety of plans and explanations will be extremely helpful!