Giving myself a kick up the backside

I’ve been struggling a little lately. It happens from time to time I find, being a Stay at Home Mum isn’t always easy and as our children are constantly growing and changing, nothing stays the same for very long and it is oh so easy to suddenly feel a little lost.

It’s hard to explain exactly how I feel but put simply, the house is a tip. I’m frustrated with LM a lot and the TV is almost constantly on. Now I’ve been criticised before for saying that using the tv to entertain your kids makes me feel like a bad mum as of course it doesn’t make you a bad mum. But the truth is that I haven’t been only using the tv while I clean up or do other important things. I’ve been sticking it on as I don’t know what else to do to make LM happy. Then instead of doing some jobs I sit and play on my phone.

That isn’t what being a SAHM is, not to me anyway. I’m not saying that it isn’t ok to do that occasionally but it’s when the balance tipped and that was happening more and more that I knew I was not OK with it. Continue reading

Re-creating the beach at home

We spent a lot of time enjoying the beach while we were on holiday, and I was loving how much Monkey was enjoying it, and how occupied he was with building in the sand. Now we are home and the nearest beach is over an hour away and too far to go for a day other than as a special event really! So with the sun shining last week I decided to re-create the beach feeling at home.

We got the paddling pool out and filled early in the morning in the hopes it would warm up. Last time we tried the paddling pool the water was just too chilly for Monkey and he didn’t like it. I thought it was worth a try though. I then got out his sand table, which he does love but is a bit small for making castles etc in, and then decided to use our Tuff Spot for added beach style fun.

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Easy peasy Homemade Thank You Cards – 2 yr old

I think Thank you cards are so important, especially when kids are little. Friends and relatives can be so generous with their gifts but very often don’t really get to see how much the little ones enjoy them. So a few little words to express how much they like the toy or present are often gratefully received.  Obviously Monkey can’t yet write the words, or even tell me what he would say as a thank you, but by making the cards together I hope we can build a good habit together of thanking people for their kindness and generosity.

Monkey’s crafting abilities are still quite limited though. We have made some lovely birthday cards using his finger paints, but I honestly think I have done that one to death now! We have tried glueing and sticking things but the glue gets everywhere and honestly, I find it all a bit stressful!

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Fun at the seaside – who’s the biggest kid?

On our holiday last week we spent a lot of time at the seaside. At Gorleston beach to be precise. Just south of Great Yarmouth there is free parking right next to one of the loveliest beaches I have been to in a long time. WP_20140601_09_52_32_Pro WP_20140601_12_35_26_Pro

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Moving up a class at Tumbletots

With Monkey turning 2 a few weeks ago, it is now time for him to move up to the 2-3 age group at Tumble Tots! We have loved going to Tumble Tots ever since he started walking, at around 11 months and I have to admit I was a little nervous about making the transition.

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Our lovely Holiday, 2014

Last week we had a very lovely family holiday. We didn’t go anywhere glamorous or exotic but we still had a wonderful time. We stayed in some lovely self-catering accommodation in Corton, a small village in between Lowestoft, Suffolk, and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. It was a lovely place, and I shall write more about it in a separate post.

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Random Playtime – 24 mths old

Our little Monkey is growing up and now has a lot more imaginative play, and a lot more independant play. This leads to him having a lot fun with mummy largely acting as a bystander.

Some of the things he chooses to play with are particularly amusing. I’ve blogged before about how random household objects can be fascinating for babies/toddlers but I am going to show you two recent play times which demonstrate this perfectly!

Gym Ball

Because of my SPD we have my gym ball down in the lounge a lot of the time at the moment, because it is good to sit on and do pelvic tilts etc. It is also a LOT of fun for Monkey to play on, and hilarious for me to watch.

He can’t get on it himself but he loves carrying it around the room (though it is about as big as he is)..

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And then launching himself onto the ball

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and laughing his head off when he then flies off it again!

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Very funny afternoon spent watching that!

Playing with my scarf

I got a lovely new scarf for my birthday and I had been a naughty mummy and left it in the lounge after I had taken it off. Therefore it was obviously fair game at play time. Monkey loves playing with blankets and hiding under them so it wasn’t a huge surprise when he decided to have a play with the scarf, but it was pretty funny!

He very much enjoyed hiding underneath it..

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And then there was lots of giggles looking at himself in my phone while he wrapped it around his head.

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He did look very pretty in it bless him!

You’ve gotta love the random things that amuse toddlers and the simple fun they can have with very little in the way of toys or parental involvement!

Do your kids ever turn random objects into fun playthings?

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Our Brave Little Monkey!

Part 2 of the bad bank holiday weekend story!

After coming home from hospital Saturday night, thankfully hubby and I managed to get a decent night’s sleep. Sunday afternoon we had planned to have Monkey’s 2nd birthday party. As what I had been so poorly with didn’t appear to be contagious and, though I was very tired, I was feeling a lot better so we decided to go ahead as planned. We did have chats with some of the family and Monkey’s Great Grandpa decided not to risk it in case he did get poorly, but everyone else wanted to come along and celebrate the little man’s birthday, and I certainly didn’t want my being ill to put a stop to the fun!

Everything was fine throughout the day and hubby’s bro came round to give us a hand with jobs and entertaining Monkey as I was still not a lot of use to man or beast! We popped to the shops to buy a birthday cake as we hadn’t been able to make one, and Monkey desperately wanted the Peppa Pig cake and insisted on carrying it all round the shops, back to the car, and in the car on the way home! Miraculously it survived! (Sadly I didn’t get a pic of this – a clear sign I was not well and wasn’t thinking clearly lol!)

Monkey had his nap and then the family started arriving and Monkey woke around 4, which was when we had planned to start everything. It all started off really well and Monkey was thoroughly enjoying opening his presents and having his family round.

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Then, about half an hour in, things went pear shaped :(

Monkey threw up everywhere, the poor thing, and we were immediately concerned but tried to be optimistic. “He’s just over-excited” was said numerous times, albeit with frowns and doubting looks! He opened a few more presents and then threw up again, and again. There was no escaping it now, Monkey had caught whatever bug I had. Our wonderful lovely family were so great at helping tidy things away and even clearing up the puke while hubs and I looked after our little man, but we made it clear, particularly to older and more vulnerable members that they should get outta there as soon as they wanted as we really didn’t want anyone else to catch it!

What followed was our little man being really poorly and throwing up a lot over the course of the evening, but you know what? He was such a darling. He coped so well with it all and we were so proud of him as he just acted so maturely for a just turned 2 year old.

He basically wanted to be in bed, on his own. When he was throwing up or crying, of course we were there, to cuddle, clean up, change sheets and clothes, rub his back and soothe him as much as possible. But basically as soon as he had finished, and often before we had finished cleaning floors etc, he would snuggle down in bed and wave goodbye,as if to say “It’s ok Mum & Dad I want to sleep now.” One time I lingered briefly in the doorway after he’d waved me away, because honestly I didn’t want to leave my poorly boy alone. I wanted to hold him and let him sleep on me. But he lifted his head, frowned and waved at me again, like “seriously, leave me alone, mum.” Honestly he melted my heart.

Another time hubby and I were knelt at the side of his bed and he was looking up at us with his gorgeous puppy dog eyes and Daddy said “Are you ok Monkey?” Monkey shrugged his shoulders, held his hands out to either side, and said in his gorgeous way one of the few phrases he knows “I don’t know.” Then he snuggled back down and again when we hadn’t left immediately, lifted his hand and waved us away.

Sadly a few hours later hubby also succumbed to the bug and was terribly, terribly poorly. My worst point of the night was soothing a poorly little man upstairs, with puke in my ear and hair, and all down my back, while listening to hubby throwing up downstairs. Really not a very good point of the weekend, and honestly with still not feeling 100% myself, being surrounded by all that vomit was not very fun.

We survived however, as you do, with numerous loads of laundry.Thankfully ages ago we bought a spare version of Monkey’s favourite blanket and managed to keep the two blankets in rotation between wash cycles. We only have one doggy bear unfortunately (Monkey’s favourite comforter, so named because we have no idea if it is supposed to be a dog or bear!) as it was a gift and we have never been able to find it to buy a spare. Thankfully he survived the night with some damp cloths and got a good wash in the morning! If anyone has seen this dog/bear/comforter toy anywhere, please let me know so we can buy an emergency replacement for the future!

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Monkey slept through from around 11pm (thank goodness) and hubby managed to sleep from about 2.30am. Around 6 am I heard Monkey knocking around and so went to give him a little water. Again, as soon as he had his drink, he gave me a wave and snuggled back down again to get some more sleep, and slept in til around 9am (VERY late for him).

Amazingly he was full of beans yesterday (Monday), and had far more energy than hubby or I, so he managed to open his remaining presents and have a good play, though a lot of Peppa Pig was watched!

Opening presents in his jammies

Opening presents in his jammies

Poorly boys watching TV

Poorly boys watching TV

Unfortunately though he had a poorly tummy Monday night and was not himself Tuesday morning. He threw up again and then slept a large portion of the day away, though he did later perk up (in between naps) and have a good play and a munch on some dry crackers. He was much happier after a second long nap in the afternoon and ate some soup for tea, so fingers crossed he really is through the worst this time! Hubby is also doing a lot better today thankfully though he and I are both still pretty exhausted from the whole weekend! As I type though i can hear lots of post bath time fun and singing of row, row the boat so I am confident both my boys are on the mend, if a little skinnier than a few days ago!

We are just amazed by how well Monkey coped throughout the whole thing. Obviously he cried a lot and was very upset when he was being sick etc. and obviously we would have been there to cuddle, rock and soothe all through the night if he had wanted or needed us. But he didn’t. He wanted his bed and his favourite things, and to be alone. Even today (Tuesday), he has made it clear when he wanted to go back to bed and just be on his own and it has felt so strange being without him through the day. But, I guess when you scale it up to adulthood, it’s what we want to do. To just rest and be on your own. To have a bit of a moan and receive some comfort, but then go and get some more sleep again.

So it may seem like a strange post to link up to Small Steps, Amazing Achievements, and Loud & Proud, but we are so so proud of him and can’t believe how quickly our little monkey is growing up!

N.B. We still have the Peppa Pig cake, it never made it out of the box – so as soon as the illness is well and truly gone our brave little monkey will get a lovely treat!

Oh, and thankfully, at the time of writing, none of our family have caught the nasty bug so fingers crossed none of them will either!

Ethans Escapades

Not My Year Off

Monkey is 2!! A Mini Milestones Special :)

Yep, today my cutie pie little boy turns 2! Happy Birthday Monkey!

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This is a little bit of a celebration of him at this point in his development – a bit of a special edition of his Mini Milestones, and mainly a way for us to look back in years to come I think!

Physical Development

Monkey is standing tall at 3’2″ which according to the percentile chart thingy (first time in ages I’ve even looked at it) he is above the 99.6th percentile line for height and means he could be a whopping 6’4″ as an adult! With a Daddy at 6’2″ we are not surprised he is tall, but he does feel crazily tall! We will see whether his growth slows down but he is nearly as tall as some of his 3 year old friends at the moment!

He may be advanced in height, but he still can’t jump. I think this is still quite normal (?) at this age and he just doesn’t seem to get it, bless him, it is funny seeing him try though!

He is getting more coordinated now and can walk up the stairs with one hand on the hand rail and one hand holding mummy or daddy on the other side. He will be going up a class at tumbletots after half term, which is very exciting, and a bit nerve wracking for mummy as it is a bit more structured I think!

His dance moves are coming on too, and now he does the dance moves to lots of songs (not just wind the bobbin) and actually joins in with other people doing the moves, rather than just staring at them then later doing the moves on his own to the music in his head!

He is learning to climb in and out of the bath himself (using his stepstool) and is gradually learning how to get clothes on and off. He is trying to master pulling his trousers up at the mo, though he struggles to get them over his bum! We need to encourage this more really rather than just doing it for him, which is less time consuming and easier for us, but doesn’t help him learn the life skill!

It’s also worth saying that Monkey loves running – particularly on the grass, and he looks like Phoebe in Friends – where her arms and legs are flying everywhere? It’s so cute and he loves it so much, so we do too :).

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Oh and he finally likes ride-ons and is figuring out how to make them move. He hated them, anything cars, trucks, bikes, anything for such a long time, then when he did like them, he could only work out how to go backward! He can now go forward and is getting better all the time, so yay! Definitely a sign his coordination is improving!

Speech & Cognitive Development

We are getting there with his speech, slowly but surely. “I don’t know” is still his favourite phrase, along with the word ‘no’ of course! Oh Wow and Oh dear are other favourites. He tries to say lots of other words but doesn’t really manage yet. But he can now roar like a lion and make monkey noises, which are very fitting ;). He also chatters away to himself, and sings nonsensical songs and counts with lovely noises instead of words. So we are getting there and I know he’ll be a right little chatterbox eventually! He understands so much and can point out lots of things in his books (he very much enjoys doing this!)

His imaginative play is really coming along, which I have to admit, I love! For ages he has loved playing on the telephone..

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and feeding his toys

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and playing with his cars. But it has taken a bit of a leap in that he now ‘walks’ his toys around. Postman Pat and Teddy are now often to be seen walking up and down chairs and the sofa. His favourite thing at the moment is giving mummy teddy to cuddle, then rushing in to get in on the cuddle action too :) It’s dead cute!

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There’s a lot more understanding too. Not just with language but with reasoning. he now loves wearing his sunglasses outside as he seems to finally understand that they help stop the sun getting in his eyes.

He also is suddenly ok with Daddy washing his hair! After, well, basically his whole life so far, of hating having his hair washed, he now finally understands that if he looks up and tips his head back, the water doesn’t go in his eyes! That is literally a recent development this week, but a very, very, welcome one!!

Social Skills

After being knocked over by a big kid at the park weeks ago, Monkey has been quite wary of other kids, especially at play parks. It’s amazing how such a little thing can have such a big effect. He is getting a bit better now but he’s still wary, particularly of kids he doesn’t know, but even if his friends climb up behind him on a climbing frame, he panics and pretty much throws himself off it into my arms, not good. In contrast though, aside from being scared of kids coming up behind him, he has been playing really nicely with his friends. He is a lot happier playing side by side, and he LOVES holding hands with his friends and even gives kisses and cuddles when it’s time to go home.

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Sleep

Always a good sleeper (as long as it is in a bed) Monkey still sleeps for a good 12 hours at night and 2-3 hours for his nap during the day, even know he’s in his bog boy bed! He doesn’t have a duvet and doesn’t like anything covering him while he sleeps. He has grown out of all his sleepy bags which he would tolerate and while he’s happy with the duvet being on the bed, so far he doesn’t like it covering him while he sleeps. We will see how we get on with that in colder weather! Still no pillows yet, but he likes sleeping on his blankie and to be well surrounded by his favourite things!

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Food

We have been doing a bit better again with food lately after a bit of a fussy stage and mummy and daddy needing to reestablish the rules. He is staying at the table more and actually ate meatballs and pasta in a tomato sauce for the first time that I can remember! So that was pretty amazing! He’s not perfect though, there are still some meals he won’t eat and we have to be careful how much, if any, snack he has in the afternoons or there’s no chance he’ll eat his dinner.

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Discipline

On the whole Monkey is pretty good. He’s a toddler so he has his moments but as long as we are firm with him he will usually do as we ask. The occasional temper tantrum is him running off to hit a door or something, then he starts giggling. I’m not sure if he’s laughing at himself or pulling an ‘aren’t I cute?’ act because he knows we love his giggles. Either way it defuses his temper, though not mine! Most of the temper tantrums are still food/tiredness/poorliness related and so end in tears. Anything else – over wanting something he is not allowed, is usually very short lived so far. We’ll see whether the terrible twos hit us soon!!

We are trying to teach Monkey about tidying up one set of toys before getting out another. I.e. putting away all the duplo before getting all of the brio out too. Sometimes he is very good with this, other times he does not want to help at all and stubbornly refuses. If I persist though we do usually get there in the end, after a few mini tantrums about it!!

Current Loves

Monkey currently LOVES:

Playing in the sand (and anything that is a bit messy, really!!)

Playing with Play-doh

Anything Red & Yellow

Dancing

Watching Peppa Pig – she may even be replacing Postman Pat in his affections!!

His current fave books are “Each Peach pear Plum” and “The Rhyming Rabbit” but there are lots and lots of books that mummy and daddy now know off by heart!

I’m going to stop there, though I feel I could go on for ages in these posts with all the little things he does. It’s amazing when you stop and think about how much they can do, that they couldn’t quite do before!

I can’t believe that our little Monkey is 2 already! He is growing up so quickly all of a sudden! He got a birthday card at Tumbletots yesterday and I must admit I almost cried! Soppy Mumma! I blame the pregnancy hormones! We had a mini party with his friends on friday (pics will be up in a couple of days) and the family are all round at the weekend, which will be lovely :)

 

Ethans Escapades
3 Children and It