Motherhood

It’s Mother’s Day coming up, and the lovely people at Ollie and Leila asked me to share my experience of motherhood. We are all different and our kids are all different, so I think it is inevitable that we all experience motherhood differently.

WP_000183I always knew I wanted to be a mum, but only in a vague way really. I wanted to live a bit first and then assumed it would happen when it happened. Ah the arrogance of youth eh? I was one of the lucky ones, I know that now, as it did happen for me, and pretty easily. Far more easily than I thought it would actually. I came off the pill (that I had been on for over 10 yrs) and was pregnant by the next month.

We were a bit shocked but it was what we wanted and we were ready for it… Or as ready as you can be. I don’t really think anyone can truly be ready to be a parent and no matter how much you talk about it, or how many friends and relatives you have seen become parents, it is still such a shock to the system when it is your turn.

DSC_0552I haven’t always found motherhood easy. We’ve dealt with colic and lactose intolerance and silent reflux. We’ve had fussy eaters and late talkers. The constant wondering ‘am I doing the right thing?’ can be so hard and I’m finding that doesn’t really stop. Nearly 5 years on I still have no idea much of the time whether I am making the right decisions or doing the right thing. But, my kids are happy for the most part and healthy so I guess I must be doing ok.

It’s exhausting too, especially so since our Little Miss joined us and made us a family of four. Going from one child to two is not an easy step. In many ways you know what is ahead of you, and I guess some mums are more relaxed second time around… But there a whole host of other challenges. First time round you didn’t also have a toddler to deal with while you were cluster feeding a newborn or changing outfits thanks to a pooplosion.WP_20141030_09_21_13_Pro

With two children, I have found it so difficult to find a balance between the needs of both children. At different ages and stages they need different things from you… But they both still need you. There’s jealousy, squabbles and bickering. Sometimes it is easier to tell Monkey to give in to LM when she wants something, to keep the peace. But that isn’t fair on him and actually doesn’t give her the right message either. That doesn’t mean I haven’t told him to do it though, because sometimes you just want an easy life.

Then there’s trying to find time for yourself, to still be you, when you have the constant demands of children. To make time for your partner when you’re both so so tired by your day. Making time to see friends, to have a hobby, to take care of yourself. It’s all too easy to let one or more of those things slip.

Motherhood is hard, it’s all consuming and it’s exhausting.

But.

I wouldn’t change it for the world.

These little people who run me ragged, who drive me crazy and who push me to my limits. These little people are amazing, and I’m so lucky and so grateful to be their mama. It sounds twee and cliche but it’s the truth. My little boy tells me that I’m the best Mummy ever and I melt. My little madam snuggles in for a cuddle, or gives me her cheekiest look and I just adore her. I watch them playing with their daddy or just messing with each other and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. It all happened so fast and my life has changed so much, but I couldn’t imagine life without this little pair, I really couldn’t.PhotoGrid_1489340144996

Motherhood is hard, but worth it.

Disclosure: I was gifted a beautiful necklace in exchange for writing this post however all thoughts, feelings and photos are my own.

Siblings March 2017

It’s that time again to have a little look at my pair of siblings over the last month. The end of February saw half term for us, which meant Monkey and Little Miss got to spend some time together, and I have to admit I loved how well they got on for the most part.

They both love to get dressed up, and they spent quite a large proportion of the week dressed up as a Tiger and “a miaow”  (actually a zebra costume but LM is convinced it is a cat, and I can understand why!) which was lovely. We had fun snuggled up at home but also lots of fun little walks where they ran around chasing each other and just looking really cute haha. They have a lot of fun together they really do.PhotoGrid_1489307069697

It was also lovely seeing them on days out together over the week. It was so cute at the zoo when Monkey would lean in to his little sister to tell her about the animals. He did it loads, talking just to her and I thought it was so sweet of our boy. They had a great time running around together there too.PhotoGrid_1489308361849

There were so many other little moments that week, both at home and out and about where they were just having fun together. It was lovely for them to spend some time together. PhotoGrid_1489308839128

They obviously do squabble and bicker though like any siblings and drive each other mad. LM can be very bossy with her brother and of course he doesn’t always want to do as she says. One thing this week that was so funny though was at mealtime. Monkey can take ages to eat his dinner, he procrastinates and daydreams and plays so we are constantly having to remind him to keep eating. LM has obviously picked up on this and Friday it was just the two of them at the table (hubs and I were planning a cheeky takeaway that evening) and she took on the role of parent “No, Cugger, ng, now!” in LM speech that tanslates to “No, brother, eat, now!” Monkey was not impressed by this and got very cross, shouting “you are not in charge!” back at her.

20170306_075539So they do have their moments, but I know on the whole we are lucky with how well they get on. One morning Monkey was supposed to be getting dressed ready for school, and I went in his room to find the pair of them sat quite happily playing lego together instead. Cute…. If we hadn’t had to be out of the door in 15 mins time!

They still love to mess with each other, with lots of tickling and chasing each other round. LM loves to wind her brother up by taking his toys to make him chase her and of course sometimes he gets massively annoyed but other times he takes it in fairly good humour! There’s also a lot of snuggling together under blankets,  which is adorable, and there’s been quite a few kisses and cuddles recently too, which I adore!PhotoGrid_1489309323757

So there we have it, my little pair of siblings over the last month, with tonnes of pictures as usual! Ending with my favourite shot of the month, showing just how much they love each other. IMG_20170308_195837_998

Children’s Chatter March 2017

March already? Blimey, this year is flying and the kids are growing up faster by the minute. I try and write down some of the gems my kiddies come out with but don’t always manage, and sometimes forget to write a blog post about them, still, here are some that I remember since the last time I wrote a post about them!

Monkey Says (at 4yrs 10 mths)

“When I was a little boy” funny how old and wise a 4 year old can make themselves sound isn’t it?20170305_131934

“On the 7th Sunday” Everything with monkey is on the something’th day. “Can we see granny on the 3rd tuesday?” The dates are completely random but I have to admit I like this random thing of his because he never remembers what he has asked for on which day (I mean, seriously, who could?) which means we can say yes to things we don’t want to do or can’t do, and get away with not doing them :):) haha bad mummy?

Looking in the mirror after a hair wash “hmm stylish”

A transformers programme “I think this is a bit too interesting for me..”

Larking about in the bath “I almost did a hula hoop!”

On finding one of my very long hairs somewhere and holding it up to his head “This is my hair, see, it fits” (errr no darling, your hair isn’t red and is about a 5th of the length haha)

“I was just imagining if, like in the book, we had flaps that you open and see inside our bodies.”

“Look at your bottom, it’s so big!” Um, yeah, thanks darling!

On learning about doctors at school ” They have a Mermometer and a Steposcope”

“Rain goes into the ground then through pipes back into clouds” loving his rationalisation of the water cycle!

“When is my birthday?” it’s the 21st. “We call that 21.” Yes but it’s the 21st day of the month.  “naooo its the 20 last day hahahaha”

I found out this week that one of the girls in his class has told her mum that she wants to marry Monkey. I asked him if he liked her and he said, so so sweetly “I would like to marry her.” My heart melted!!!

My heart also melted when on evening he got out of bed and came downstairs (not my favourite thing for him to do) to tell us “I know how to click my fingers!” he was so proud of himself and it was just adorable. Love our boy!

Little Miss says (at 2 yrs 4 mths)

Little Miss’s speech progression is still pretty slow. She is coming along even if not as quick as I would like. I don’t think she can say quite as much as Monkey did at this age (and we were worried about his lack of speech at the time) but it’s hard to tell. Because it is progressing, even if not as quickly as I would like, I refuse to worry about it!

Some of the things she is saying at the moment:

“Urbit (frog, as in ribbit I think)”

“Wuh, two, wuh, two, wuh, two, teh!” love this imitation of counting. She can say all the numbers from one to ten now when she sees the numbers and it is seriously adorable so I have tried to video it loads of times but she never plays ball haha, minx!

Her numbers sound a bit like “wuh, two, tree, or, yigh, see, seyeah, aigh, nigh, teh”

IMG_20170227_113108_087She was very cute the other day when she came in and I was watching the new Cinderella. It was right at the bit where she is given her pretty blue dress and LM was awestruck “oh, wow, a Dreh!” (dress) She then insisted on finding a dress and it had to be one that reached the floor, and she spent ages pegging it around the house giggling that she couldn’t see her feet!

20170228_121703Her current favourite TV programme is Dora the Explorer “Doo” and I don’t mind too much as she really interacts with it and is often shouting “uh” (up) “dow” (down) or “how” meaning any building amongst other things. It may also be the reason she keeps saying “Pah Bah” (backpack)  and wants to wear her backpack when we go out! We also had a recent obsession with both kids loving some winnie the pooh films, “bear” is what LM called Winnie the pooh himself but her favourite of the films was the heffalump movie, as indicated by her shouting “Ooh” over and over till we put it on. I think it was her impression of an elephant, as she still calls most animals by their sound rather than their names!

One of her funniest habits at the moment is involving food. She makes an “ng” sound to mean she wants food (meant to be an mm sound maybe though we don’t actually know for sure!) and she likes to tell us all to eat. If any of us pause for a second we get “mama/dada/cugger, ng!” while she points from us to our plate. I think this may be as a result of always hearing us nagging her brother to eat, as he can be so slow haha. The funniest though is when she decides she’s hungry. She will lead me by the hand to the kitchen, where she sas “mama, in nair (in there), ng, ng.” She will then close the gate to the kitchen and stand there while I make lunch/dinner. If I dare to step out of the kitchen or any reason before it is ready so screams and go made shouting “ng ng, in nair in nair” over and over until I go back in. Seriously she has become a 50s husband – basically shouting get back in the kitchen and make me some food! Funny girl!

“Tigh t go” or “T go” are her very cute ways of saying she wants to leave, like right now, and she says “go war” for go for a walk and “oh dare” when she sees something over there.

One of her favourite games involves us pretending to be asleep (I really love this game) “go beh” and then waking up when she shouts “Tigh to geh uh, tigh t geh uh!” and repeating endlessly :).

There are still lots of things that she says that only I really understand “too way” means too windy for example and there is yet more that I don’t even understand, bless her, but she really is getting there now! Slowly but surely!

My boy and my worries

Before having children I don’t think you can ever quite comprehend just how much you will love them, or how much you will worry about them! My boy. He’s such a lovely boy, he’s so kind and caring. He’s like a sponge and is learning so much at school, his reading, writing and maths are brilliant for his age. He is so good so much of the time and I know we are very lucky with him. 20170228_201952

He has his moments of course, he doesn’t always want to eat his dinner, but we can usually get him to eat these days thankfully. There’s the usual stuff, arguments about getting in the bath, about getting out of the bath, going to the toilet before we go out, etc.

They don’t worry me… But other things do. I know we are so so lucky with his behaviour and he’s lovely… But he can be hard work in other ways. I sometimes describe him as being very linear, which isn’t really fair as he is empathic and thoughtful and I don’t believe he is on an autism or aspergers spectrum (any more than we all are I suppose). But he has his ways for things. He’s grown out of a lot of it but one example is his swimming and getting water in his face.

Learning to swim is hugely important in my mind, and hubs.’ because of that we took Monkey to swimming lessons fairly young, and carried on with them for a long time, even though it was actually a bit of a nightmare. He screamed the whole session and clung to his daddy. Hubs started to dread Saturday mornings because of the misery it caused both of them.

I’ve written lots about our swimming journey since then and he is much better than he was. As long as the water is warm he isn’t too bad, and by taking things slowly with him we have got to a point where he will swim now with armbands on. I am proud of what we have achieved with him.. But then I see other kids his age or younger who are swimming without any floats or swimming aids, and I know all kids do thing at their own pace, but that doesn’t stop me worrying. Are we ever going to be able to get him confident enough to swim unaided, let alone underwater? Is he going to be behind the other kids at school when they start swimming in a couple of years? Are we failing him by not paying for 1 on 1 swimming lessons? Would he drown if he fell in the water? (not sure when that would happen but I can’t help but imagine the worst case scenario.)

It doesn’t help that he is such a tall boy for his age (at 4 he’s wearing age 7 clothes) . I see people looking at him with his armbands on and I try not to worry about the judgement of others, but it does affect me and I want to justify it, to justify him.

It’s not just his swimming that worries me of course but lots of little things. He can be very clingy, he likes to stay firmly in his comfort zone and doesn’t like trying new things at all. We try to encourage him as much as possible and get there with small things these days like trying new foods (a huge step if you knew what a fussy eater he was) but with other things he is too stubborn for us to win round. I know that all of this is probably just who he is, and I feel guilty for trying to change him, and I wouldn’t want to push him to do something he really doesn’t want to do. But what if we push him to do something he turns out to love? What if we don’t and he never finds it?

I guess it’s the eternal parenting question… Am I doing the right things for my child? Am I being a good parent? The answer is that I still have no idea what I am doing most of the time.

So, I worry. Then I convince myself that he is fine and I’m being daft and he will do things in his own time. Then something else pops up, or someone asks if Monkey does any clubs outside of school and I remember the dance class fiasco. Where he was fine when he was dancing with one of us, but when he had to move up to the next stage and go on his own, and he spent the entire 30 mins crying, every week and the teachers basically ignored him the whole time. Then I worry what he will be like at a different group and if I am a worse parent if I let him not do these things or if I make him go to things.

I’m sorry to anyone still reading, I know this post isn’t really anything more than a jumble of thoughts. I don’t have much of a point, other than that I have no idea what is for the best. This boy of mine is not a straightforward easy to please child, and I’m sure that is a good thing. His stubbornness and intelligence will probably stand him in good stead for the future. But his unwillingness to try something new, and the way he gives up on things so quickly without really trying, won’t, so, I worry. About his entire life, even though he’s only 4. Am I the only daft parent who over thinks and over worries about their children?

Answers on a postcard, please, (or, you know, in the comments below) they are very welcome!

Siblings February 2016

My two little people really do adore each other. Yes, they bicker and argue over toys. Yes, they compete to get our attention and, yes, they can seem oblivious to each other’ pain sometimes. But that’s all siblings, right? And at all other times, their love for each other is clear to see.IMG_20170113_084940_763

After school one day recently, we got to the playground and LM immediately started shouting “Cugger, (her word for brother) where are oo Cugger?” and she often asks me where her “cugger” is during the day when she wants him with us. When he us home, and if he is sat watching the tv, she will sit and rest her head on his shoulder, which of course utterly melts my heart.PhotoGrid_1486989108560

As Monkey was 2 1/2 when she was born we aren’t sure how much he remembers of a life pre-LM. But recently he was talking about before she was born, and said he likes it better now, which I thought was dead cute. I wasn’t surprised though as I know how he loves his little sister…. Even though he does like to wind her up… And gets wound up by her! PhotoGrid_1486738394407

He is the only one she will listen to at times. When I can’t get her to budge during a stand off on a walk, he is the one who can get her to come with us, by taking her hand. If I tried that it would be a scream fest haha.PhotoGrid_1486738594516

Life with two kids can be really hard, as any parent of 2 or more will know. But during a recent after school painting session I realised how far we have come and how much more manageable it is these days. Where in the past it would probably have ended in meltdowns all round, this time it went really smoothly. No meltdowns and no paint everywhere!IMG_20170208_162823_214

Of course there are times when the pair of them drive me completely and utterly bonkers… But there are also times when they are really just great fun!PhotoGrid_1486737985059

My must-haves for getting out and about in winter

Brrr! Winter does feel a long old time doesn’t it? Dark mornings, dark afternoons and some days so grey that it barely feels like it gets light at all. So easy then to just stay indoors in the warm, but I’ve written before about how much we like to get out, even during the winter months as it really does us all good! (and, random timing, but I’ve just read an article in the news about how much kids need outdoor time for their development!)

But how to make sure that it is a successful trip? With happy little people throughout? Well I have a few suggestions of things to have with you to help keep the smiles despite the cold.

  1. Warm clothing. Lots of little layers and for us it often includes waterproofs and wellies. Waterproofs mean puddles are no bother and wet slides at the playpark don’t result in soggy bottoms! They also work as an extra layer and can help with windy days as well to stop the chill permeating.PhotoGrid_1486126285252
  2. If it is a fairly dry and mild day and we forego the waterproofs I try and remember to take some old tea towels with us instead. Just in case any of the swings or slides are still soggy!
  3. Food and drink. A bottle of water and some healthy snacks. LM is at an age where I am wary of her snacking too much as it stops her eating her dinner, however some dried fruit or cheese can prevent a full on meltdown on the way home! Biscuits work well too of course but I try and encourage healthier options as much as I can.
  4. Spare clothes. Depending on waterproofs etc. and I don’t worry about these on a short trip to the park but on a longer trip out we have spare clothes, socks and even gloves in case the first pair get wet or overly muddy!
  5. Something to inject some fun! Regular readers will probably know that I rarely leave the house for a walk without taking a ball and some bubble mixture. Kids love bubbles and a few mins of bubble chasing can (not always mind you, but most of the time) avert let downs or persuade little legs to walk the direction you want them to go! We also recently did a bit of a nature hunt with Monkey, which is great for slightly older kids and definitely kept him entertained while we were out! Fun can be impromptu though too as hide and seek around trees always goes down well, or a simple game of chase!PhotoGrid_1486126054629

That’s probably about it really, other than a camera to capture all the smiles and fun you have :). What are your must-haves for getting out and about in the colder, wetter months?

Country Kids

Babyfoote

Monkey’s first few months at school

IMG_20170115_195918_007So our little Monkey is  about 4 3/4 and has been at school for about 5 months now. He has changed and grown up so so much in those 5 months that I thought I would write a little update about how he is getting along, and the ups and downs we have with our little school boy. Starting with some real positives, his learning is simply amazing. He is like a little sponge soaking up everything that they are teaching him.

Reading

His reading is amazing to listen to as he just reads so many words now, and sounds out and blends any he doesn’t know. It is wonderful sitting next to him reading his school book and he’s so proud of himself too. With a bit of encouragement (as he can be a bit shy) he has read his books to other family members too and they are all equally proud of him. We get him to read his book 5/6 times a week and can get a new book to read once he has read it twice. We tend to do this because after reading a book a couple of times he is more likely to try to read it from memory rather than looking at the words, so gets it wrong more often the more he reads it. The school recommends reading a minimum of twice a week but it has just become part of our routine now that he reads a story after dinner so he reads a few little books a week (pink band level) and this seems to be working well for him.IMG_20170124_174052

Writing

His writing is so good now too. It has been a bit harder for me to get him to practice writing at home, as quite often my suggestions to do it are met with a cheerful “no thank you” and if I push him he just gets grumpy and it’s not the right atmosphere for it then! Having said that he wrote the names in all 60 of his christmas cards to classmates and I think that all that practice definitely helped. I now try to get him to write things for a purpose. For example if we have been building something, and playing with something I try to get him to write a sentence about it. One day he came home from school so excited about what they had learned about ice that day and, as I normally struggle to get much out of him about what happens at school (“I can’t bermember,” “I just did lots of things”), I decided to capitalise on it and he wrote a sentence about ice and water. We’ve done similar writing a couple of times now and he is getting a tiny bit more enthusiastic about it.PhotoGrid_1485784890689

I have been so impressed with the way he has been learning reading and writing with his phonics at school. Last week I went for a stay and play session at the school which was so much fun. It’s hard to know really what is going on behind the school gates every day so it was lovely to see it for myself. There’s obviously a lot of play and most of the time that is what they were up to, but there were also sessions on phonics and maths. I loved the games they used as part of the phonics lessons and the kids did so much writing it was lovely to see and made it quite apparent why his progress has been so fast!

I remember a couple of years ago, talking to a friend about whether to send her summer born 4yr old to foundation stage at school, because they don’t legally have to start until age 5. I remember at the time thinking the foundation is a good segway between nursery and school because they are at school but mainly still playing. I now actually think that it is really important kids don’t miss out on the foundation year, because of how much I have seen them all learning. Monkey is a May baby so technically could have started later, but I’m glad he didn’t. We always felt he was ready and now know we were right. I fear that any child starting at age 5 straight into year 1 may be really quite behind. I definitely don’t think Monkey’s progress in reading and writing would be anywhere near what it is, if his learning were down to me. I definitely don’t have the skills or knowledge that his teachers do in this area!

Maths

I also got to see a maths session at the school and that was so lovely. Again I have been impressed as they have been learning about counting in two’s recently and when I was there they were working out “3 lots of 2″ and how the x sign means the same as “lots of.” Basically they are learning the 2 times table already, and the kids were lapping it up. Just lovely to watch. Monkey has always loved numbers so he kept turning around grinning and giving me the thumbs up during that session!

Drawing

Monkey has loved drawing for a while, and his drawings lately are just getting so good and so imaginative that I had to share a few here. He has a particular love of drawing instructions, like this one of instructions for how to build a house, but I just think all of is drawings are brilliant. Proud mummy moment! :)PhotoGrid_1485785015224

Friends

On the whole, Monkey has been pretty happy at school. He comes bounding out of school so happy every day and like I say, he loves to learn. He has always been quite a shy and sensitive soul though. he has started off pretty well in terms of friends, there seems to be a fair amount of children he plays with at different times and on the whole he has been quite happy. He quite often tells me he played with so and so and so and so on the playground and they played superheroes or police or something. Recently though, he has had a bit of an upset with his closest friend, F. F’s mum and I are really close friends so we see quite a lot of each other and had even got into a bit of a rhythm of walking to school together. I think because F and Monkey are such good friends that they began to have a bit of a power struggle and F said some things that upset Monkey. Nothing major, but things like “I’m not sure if you will be able to come to my party, I’ll have to see if there’s room” and “that bell on your bike is a baby bell.” You know, 4yr old stuff but it did bother Monkey a bit.

Speaking to other mums and the teachers and it seems to be happening amongst a lot of the kids at the moment. They got really friendly with one or two children and then the power play started. It’s what kids do as they are learning about other people and friendships etc. as well as all the academic stuff, so it’s natural they will say things to provoke a reaction, or have their feelings hurt by another kid. Having watched some of the “secret life of…” programmes, I’ve seen it and I guess am not that surprised by it… but the reality was still pretty hard. F’s mum was horrified at what he was saying to Monkey and I’ve been torn between hating seeing my little boy hurt in any way… and knowing that he has got to learn to deal with it, because it is all part of life. Sometimes people say things either intending to hurt you, or not thinking about whether it may hurt you.

It was a tricky few days and Monkey didn’t want to walk with F to school anymore, and said “F makes me sad” which broke my heart a little. I think that extra bit of space has helped and they seem back on good terms again now. I know the teachers have been talking to the children about not saying things that are mean or exclusive too so hopefully that is helping all round! I’m sure there will be many more times where things like this happen over the years though!

Tears

This tricky patch coincided with us really taking a backwards step and Monkey being tearful saying goodbye in the mornings. Back in September we expected to go through this phase but never did, he was so happy and excited to be going to school that he didn’t cry at all. Then a few days in to the new term in January and he started crying. Possibly brought about by the slight change of routine they have introduced, where on a Monday and Friday morning they have to sit on the carpet and get ready for assembly, rather than having a play to start off the day as they did before. It could also have been the spat with his friend but even after talking about these things and trying to resolve the issue, it didn’t seem to be getting any better. He was so happy coming out of school every day, and was happy even when dropping him off, right until the very second we said goodbye, when his face would crumple and the sobbing would start.

It was such a depressing start to the day to leave him so unhappy, especially when we couldn’t figure out the reason. After randomly finding one of hubs’ old sets of lego in the loft that Monkey hadn’t seen before, we decided to try a new tack. Because it was feeling like the crying had become a bit of a habit, rather than because he was really upset about something, we decided to give a little incentive to stop the tears. One week without tears and he could have the lego we found. Right from the first day of this bargain being struck, the tears stopped. He left with a big grin on his face. His teacher also noticed and praised him for it so he told her “my mummy says I can have new lego if I don’t cry every day.” I have to admit to being nervous about her reaction to this but she seemed equally pleased that it was working. If there had actually been something bothering him, I doubt the promise of lego would have stopped the tears. Even now, after he has the lego, we still haven’t had any more tears. So, phew to that!

Tiredness

One definite downside to school is the tiredness it brings for our little Monkey. He can be quite crotchety at times and he really is, just, tired. He gets really tearful sometimes, and often about the most irrational of things. He had a meltdown about putting his shoes away one afternoon, and a full on meltdown over the weekend about blowing his nose because he insisted that he couldn’t do it. This morning was particularly frustrating as he started to cry about his name. Yes, his name. At school, when there is a word that can’t be sounded out phonetically, it is called a “tricky word”. Such as “go” for example, it isn’t guh oh, goh, it’s go, and that is a “tricky word.” Monkey’s name is a “tricky word” too and this morning we had sobbing because “I don’t want my name to be a tricky word.” There is just no reasoning with him when he is in that mood so I just decided to change the subject and move on! Daft Monkey!

He also uses tiredness as an excuse though, especially when it comes to eating dinners. He is so slow at eating and often sits there and says “I’m too tired to eat.” We, of course, point out that eating food gives you energy, and stops you being tired…. but he refuses to accept that fact!

So, negatives aside, he is doing so well at school. He’s such a happy chap and on the whole, such a good boy. He loves the PRIDE code that they have at school and loves to recite the words it stands for “polite, respectful, independent, do your best and everyone matters.” He gets quite irritated that is little sister doesn’t yet follow these rules too lol.

At home

Monkey’s learning and growing doesn’t stop at school. He loves to learn basically constantly. I got a couple of new books recently that he loves, one is an atlas and another is a book about the human body which has lots of flaps you lift to look at. It’s a great book and he said yesterday “I was just imagining if like in the book, we had flaps that you open and see inside our bodies.” Bless him. He loves baking with one or the other of us and a LOT of time is spent playing lego when he is at home, and some of his creations are brilliant. We went on a nature hunt at the weekend which was great fun, and he’s just getting so grown up.

As a result, we have also been asking him to help out a little more. Just simple stuff,  he makes his bed in the morning, lays the table at dinner and puts his clothes in the laundry basket at the end of the day. So far he is doing really well with those and most importantly is happy to do them.PhotoGrid_1485793908458

Feeling very proud of our boy after writing all of this down :).

 

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Little Miss at 2yrs 3 mths

It’s been a little while since I have written an update about our gorgeous girl and she is changing so much all the time so I thought it was about time I did. I know that even in just a few months time she will be different again so I do want to try and capture her funny little ways as best I can.IMG_20170122_195901_828

She is really starting to grow into a little girl now while also still being very much a toddler. As an example, for along time now she has eaten everything with her hands. And I mean everything. I have never seen anyone eat soup using their hands quite so efficiently as she does. It is obviously a mess fest though so I have to admit to being massively relieved that she is now using forks and spoons a bit more. She still uses her hands a lot but there is a lot more cutlery being used.. And she’s starting to dislike her hands being so filthy which I see as a positive change! PhotoGrid_1485107527519

Another sign of her growing up is obviously her speech and how that really seems to be improving all the time now. I wrote an update recently and there’s been a lot of development even since then. It can be hard to quantify it but there’s a lot more sentences and a lot more that we can understand.

Until very recently she was a bit obsessed with jigsaws or “a di” as she put it. She’s brilliant at them and the ones we have done about 5000 times she can do by herself, even sort of 24 piece ones, and one of the 48 piece ones she is brilliant at.

Her obsession recently though has moved onto an Usborne “find the duck” book. Hubs and I both remember these books from childhood so we got it when Monkey was little, he loved it and now it is very much LM’s turn. She loves looking for the duck. “duh, waryou” (duck, where are you?) “dere” “down do” (there, found you.) It’s a brilliant book for her as it gives her a great opportunity to grow her vocabulary. We ask her what something is, or we say a word and ask her to find it. She doesn’t always get it but that’s the point as it’s about learning, but she surprises us a lot with what she finds. Her favourite things to point out on every page (other than the duck) are “a mama” “a daddy” “a baby” “a gur”(girl) “eeow” (as in miaow/cat) . Though I must admit I wasn’t 100% happy when she pointed at the picture of sumo wrestlers and said “mama”… must be because their hair was up in a bun or something….must be …(I am going to keep telling myself that rather than it being the wobble that made her think of me hahaha). PhotoGrid_1485107932961

“Daddy” is her favourite word because he is without her favourite person. It is the word she says most throughout the day, from the moment she wakes up in the morning and she is generally who she would choose out of mummy and daddy. I try not to mind (sob! Only joking it’s quite nice at times actually haha) but it can be tricky when Hubs is working from home and she can’t understand why he can’t play with her.

Her other favourite person is our friend Susie, though she calls both her and her little girl, A, “cha” no matter how much I try to get her to say their names! She loves “cha” though and again prefers her to me if we are out and about together.

She’s starting to get some of the other family names, though she doesn’t call her brother by his name, as she just calls him brother. Or rather “cujjer” or “cugga” or “bujjer.” She knows Pops is “poh” but Granny, Granddaddy and Nanny all seem interchangeable with a vague “gaga” word. She has said “nana” but actually uses that as another version of “mama” most of the time rather than for Nanny. She knows Uncle Paul as “uh po” and Uncle Mark as “uh ma” though she’s not there with any of the aunties or Uncle Andy, and Uncle Simon is also referred to as “uh ma” lol.

Some of her other favourite sayings are related to an activity she loves. She adores climbing onto a step “deh” to “push a buhuh” (switch the light switch.) She absolutely loves doing that, so we have a lot of side lights on to avoid being plunged into darkness whenever it takes her fancy!

She also has a couple of games that she loves. One where we pretend to be asleep and she kisses us (or jumps on us) to wake us up. Hearing her fake snoring as an instruction for us to start playing is so cute, as is her kissing us and saying a version of time to get up “ah geh uh.”

She also adores hide and seek and loves covering her eyes (though sometimes she forgets and covers her mouth instead haha) and counting “ee, bah, duh, two” while we hide. She does actually know and says a version of all the numbers 1-10 but so far not when counting for hide and seek lol. She also likes it when we cover ourselves in a blanket and pretend to be a ghost “a go!” she loves that game and telling anyone else in the room about the ghost. As you can see here.

For all that she seems to be growing up, she’s still very much a toddler and is just so clumsy. I love this video of her playing the sleep game with daddy. I’d watched it for a bit and it was so cute but as soon as I started filming she started to get distracted and kept falling over, which is just amusing in itself! (after this I managed to capture it on film properly, in one of the videos above.)

She also loves spinning round endlessly until she is massively dizzy (don’t all kids though?) and has recently begun to love her Daddy’s old cuddle dog Dougal “Dougah wuh wuh” (wuh wuh being what she calls all dogs, as in woof woof) much to Monkey’s disgust as he normally lives on his bed. A few arguments about that as a result but that’s siblings for you isn’t it!? She does adore her brother though especially bossing him around! PhotoGrid_1485108816155

I’ve stuck to mostly positives so far but she is a toddler so obviously has a lot of tantrums. When she’s hungry or tired and cranky and is easily frustrated, and ooh she can be a diva when she doesn’t get her own way. She eat well but only with things she knows she likes. Try and get her to eat something new and she will just scream until you let her down from the table, and even then sometimes. Sometimes she gets upset and even though we have a lot of words she doesn’t always know how to use them so we have screaming and we don’t know why no matter how much we ask… Which is frustrating all round I think. We are getting there though which is a positive and at least we have yes and no which helps a lot of situations.

Back to some positives, she has started to like having her photo taken and shouting “cheese” with a smile which I adore,and helps us when taking family piccies :). I also love the fake laugh she has developed when she tries to join in with the rest of us laughing, even though she hasn’t got a clue what is actually going on! PhotoGrid_1485109113755

She naps most days though not every day. A while ago I thought she was done with naps but if anything she seems to need them more again at the moment. She has a day with no naps then 2 days with naps and I basically play it by ear as to what we are doing and how she is acting.

She loves a bit of painting (though can drive me mad when she gets frustrated by it and I can’t work out why) and loves playing with lentils and cloud dough. I’m not always great at messy play but I do think it is important so try to do that for her. She’s brilliant with duplo and lego actually and does some great building as well as playing imaginatively with them. She really loves the duplo animals we have, especially the “girar” (giraffe), she adores him. She also loves playing with her babies, putting them to bed and giving them a bath. She doesn’t like any toys to wear clothes for some reason…. . She likes feeding all of her animals and toys and loves the little teaset her Granny has at her house and feeding all her dollies and all of us with the tea and biscuits there.PhotoGrid_1485109613140

She loves her pyjamas at the moment and really hates getting dressed in the morning – she would definitely rather be in her pjs all day!

She hates being cold so I have to layer her up a lot when we go out. She’s getting better at wearing her mittens outside, sometimes she still takes them off but we haven’t lost any for a while which makes a nice change as earlier in the winter I was losing them all the time as she would just take them off and discard them without me realising.

She loved seeing the brief flurry of snow we had and the wonder on her face when we went out in coats and pj’s was really magical :)PhotoGrid_1485112010018

This may not be the most well written of posts but I love sharing all their current likes and dislikes as a little update as my memory is useless and no doubt I would forget all her little idiosyncrasies otherwise! She drives me crazy at times but she is also just such a lovely little girl and of course I just absolutely adore her.

Siblings January 2017

Here we are at the middle of January and time once again to catch up with my lovely pair of siblings. After spending so much time together over the holiday period together they seem closer than ever. I’ve loved all the family time and watching my two play. We are well and truly back to normality now though so it’s actually lovely to look back at some piccies from our relaxed time off together.20170112_111450

Of course they have their moments and squabble in the way only siblings can really. LM is a bossy little thing but our Monkey doesn’t like to be bossed so she doesn’t always get her own way with him. For the most part he does play along though, he is very tolerant but I also thin he just loves having her to play with.

Some of my fave examples of sibling fun from the last month are:

Having fun at a John Lewis cafe when we visited the sales.photogrid_1484133222193

Having a floor picnic (and lots of snuggles) in their Den when we got home.photogrid_1484133444707

Some very cute moments on Christmas Day itselfphotogrid_1484133772799

Some lovely moments out and aboutphotogrid_1484135504333

And, all of these other times too!photogrid_1484136124159

Finally, in the smattering of snow we got yesterday I got a very lovely one of themIMG_20170113_084940_763

The outtakes for this are hilarious as at one point Monkey clearly got some snow in his face that he wasn’t all too happy about haha.PhotoGrid_1484299838207

I know there’s tonnes of pics here but all the time they’ve spent together have given me a lot of photo ops. Plus, to be honest the only thing that really keeps me blogging these days, is the desire for a record of my kiddies as they grow, and witnessing the development of their relationship is all part of that. Monkey is 4yrs, 8mths and LM is 2yrs 3mths.

Chatty Children, January 2017

I do love trying to keep a record of the funny things the kids say, and the way their speech and use of language develops. Every stage seems to be so fleeting in this respect and sometimes they move on without you realising it. It’s hard to remember a Monkey who didn’t chatter away constantly but I know there was a time when he barely said any words, and a time when he mispronounced words (like serbatry instead of conservatory and nockynurs instead of binoculars). It’s hard to imagine those times though, so I love being able to record them on my blog, mainly for me to look back on, but I hope they also entertain anyone who reads them! (I actually just indulged in looking back at when Monkey was a little older than LM is now and ooh did I chuckle at the things he said!)

I haven’t done one of these for a while but here is what my kiddies have been saying over the last month or so. Monkey first.

Monkey Says

Monkey is learning more and more about the world and just growing up so much in front of our eyes since he started school in September. He is 4yrs 7mths old.

First up, a real cracker and definitely a case of the things I say being parroted back to me. I was having one of those days where I was irritable and snappy. I kept snapping at him but I did apologise and tell him I was tired. The next time I snapped at him he said, quite calmly

“You are so tired today… But please don’t be grumpy with me”

I had to concede that he was right as it is something I have said to him many many times haha. Wise little man! He is such a sweety and loves to tell us how much he loves us.

“I love you all the way to Saturn and back.”

“I love you all the way up to the aliens”

“I love you down to the ground”

“I love you more than I love LM” (to daddy)

Daddy’s latest toy is an Amazon Echo Dot in the kitchen. “Alexa” does things like play the radio set timers and generally answer’s questions. Monkey loves her.

“Alexa’s so kind”

He comes out with some fab little pearls of wisdom.

“It’s a really exciting life”

“Felix and I will be best friends, even when we die”

About LM’s tantrums

“She thinks it’s the end of the world. It really isn’t.” Think I may have said something along the lines of that once or twice myself…

Again with the kindness, when Daddy told him that if he didn’t finish his dinner soon then he would eat his chocolate treat for pudding instead.

“I know daddy, we can share it!” ha, still have to eat your dinner Monkey!

Finally here are a few pure 4yr old comments.

“I was dreaming about reading a newspaper all about big fat tummies.” I should explain here that Monkey has a thing about shoving teddies up his jumper and having a “big fat tummy” I think it started when I was pregnant with LM, lately he seems to associate it with Father Christmas…

“This milk is making me have a cold tummy”

“my tummy is full up” (usually when he would prefer to be eating pudding) “my tummy is tired” (when be doesn’t want to eat any more dinner… Usually after mouthful 1).

I loved it when he chose his outfit the other day and wore all yellow. Proclaiming “it’s a bit foggy outside so I can be the sun.” :)img_20170107_133424_248

“When I get bigger I can be the Daddy and LM can be the mummy”
We explained that that wasn’t the way of it as they are brother and sister and explained about falling in love with someone…
“When mark and fran get married I’m going to be so happy and I’ll fall in love with LM”

Yep. Safe to say he didn’t get it. But there is hope yet that we can avoid incest.

“Get off goat” Don’t call your sister a goat!

Little Miss Says

I have to admit LM’s speech hasn’t developed as much as I thought it might have since the last update I wrote. Much of what she says is still just the first syllable of words, although then she will come out with basically a full sentence, and take me completely by surprise. It is coming, just very much in her own time. She is 2yrs 2mths old.

20161218_084517Some of the more recent words, are “yeah” which we love as at least get an afirmative response sometimes, rather than just all the “no”s. “Me” is another new one and she says that quite a bit at the moment when she is feeling demanding. One of her favourite games is running across the living room and she likes her brother to stand at the door with her so they can go together. He doesn’t always want to though which results in a lot of her shouting “me,  cujjer (brother), me!” over and over while pointing frantically between him and the patch of floor next to her.

Another favourite game is hide and seek and she loves running around shouting “care-dju-go? ” (where’d you go) and then “Dowdoo!” (found you).

She is a little herald and if someone comes to the door she will run round the house shouting at everyone to let them know “mama, daddy, gab a day de la do door a mama” or something to that effect that haha :)

She loves a good “Ni Ni”  picnic especially with her favourite person “Daddy.” From the moment she wakes up in the morning and calls her first word, all I hear all day is “Daddy?” even when he’s out or at work. If she can’t find him, it’s “Daddy? Care-dju-go?” and if he is there but not doing as she pleases, it is “Daddy, Now!” with the pointing again! Yep, “Now”  is another recent word. She is so demanding and can be frequently heard shouting “mo moi” (more milk, obviously) or “oer” (egg, no idea why) at breakfast especially.

It’s a funny time as she is saying a lot and so wants to be understand. We obviously understand a lot of it, even if we don’t understand why she calls some things by random words. My friend Susie, is “cha,” no idea why. Paw patrol is “dah dah de la” possibly because of the music? It is obviously harder for other relatives and friends to get what she is saying sometimes and we really don’t always understand either.

There are things that are easier to understand though “Go ho”  for go home. “Wana ge dow”  for I want to get down. “Teddy”  is one of my faves and she loves to shout “bear” in a bit of a northern accent randomly when she wants to watch “going on a bear hunt.” She also randomly correctly named a “giraffe” the other day and sometimes when you think she is jabbering a random load of syllables  you suddenly realise that actually you understood she said she wanted you to kick the ball to her!

I’ve done a little video of some of the things she says as it is seriously cute and I know it won’t stay this way for long. With Monkey I worried about his slow speech then he suddenly took off and there was no stopping him, so I really am not worried about LM and just want to enjoy this stage.

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