Homemade Snow / A bad day

There are two very different sides to this story, a happy smiley version, and the slightly less happy reality! We very rarely get snow where we live near the edge of the Fens and I didn’t think we would get any this year with the way things were going (we did though, hooray) . But Monkey has been a bit obsessed with snow and we watched “The Snowman” about a hundred times in the run up to Christmas, so I wanted to have some snow fun with him and thought the best way would be to make some of our own. After a troublesome time I also wanted to spend some time with Monkey. (This was a couple of weeks ago now and I debated whether to share it, but have decided I will!) We had to go and get the ingredients so we popped to the shops – my hope was also that a nice ride in the buggy and car would send LM into a lovely slumber meaning Monkey and I could have some time together. She slept well while we were out and we headed home for some fun.

Making the snow

We had actually tried this before but I never managed to get the consistency right, this time we were much more successful. we used a 1kg box of cornfour and 1 1/2 cans of value shaving foam, this seemed to be about right. Monkey loved the shaving foam spray and had great fun digging his hands in. He is less good at the actual mixing so needed Mummy to mix it around a bit. It certainly is a messy play! homemade snow Then basically have fun. Monkey was loving playing around and I had to make a little snowman, just to see if the consistency was right ;). I added in a few bits and bobs from the crafty draw to add to the snowman but of course then everything gets covered in the snow. I have to admit the Tuff Spot is invaluable for play like this as you just have to expect that they will get mess everywhere, no matter how much you try and contain it!

Where it all went wrong…

Monkey did have a lot of fun but now here’s how it really went. We did have a lovely time at the shops that morning and LM slept as I hoped she would. But it was really very windy outside and while getting them into the car a big gust of wind woke her up. She may have slept again straight away but for some reason I couldn’t click the car seat in for love nor money. I don’t know why but it took about 5 goes of bashing the seat about which wasn’t exactly soothing for her. She did seem to doze off again though so we popped to the petrol station and I like pay at pump so I can do it as quickly as possible. Except for some reason the pump I chose would not accept any of my cards so I had to drive round again to try another. By the time I was actually filling up the car LM was very much awake and screaming. I hoped she would doze off on the way home, but, erm, no. Screamed her head off the whole way and was still screaming when we got in. Having promised Monkey we would be making snowmen he was totally chomping at the bit. I wasn’t sure what LM wanted but tried various things, changed her nappy, tried having her awake with us, tried putting her down to sleep but she wasn’t having any of it and screamed and screamed. But she did lull me into a false sense of security a few times which meant we did start the messy activity, and then she started screaming again so there is Monkey and I with cornflour and foam up to our elbows and a baby balling. The stress levels started rising. I tried to cheer her up while also giving Monkey as much attention as I could but basically I failed, I succumbed to the stress and screamed at LM. I just didn’t know what she wanted or needed and all I wanted in that moment was to focus a little bit of attention on Monkey, but I couldn’t. Then Monkey repeated what I said. Hearing your 2 1/2 year old tell his baby sister to shut up because he has just heard you say it is not exactly a proud moment. We never use that term with him and I was mortified to hear him say it. It snapped me out of my frustration a little bit and I calmed down enough to apologise to both of them and to tell Monkey I said a not very nice thing. I then tried feeding her,but she only drank 20ml and was still so tired so I tried to put her down again. She cried her eyes out but this time did actually manage to get herself to sleep. This all probably took maybe half an hour, if that, but I was totally frazzled. I wanted to try and salvage the situation and have some fun with Monkey… but by now he was having none of it and was more interested in putting the snow outside of the tuffspot and on the old sofa (its old and we don’t really care but still don’t want it completely destroyed).  When I told him not to do that he decided he had had enough completely but trying to get him to stand up so I could take off his messy clothes was apparently an impossible task for him. So I got cross (yes, again) and he balled. Hubs happened to text at this point to see how my day was going, I think I replied with a one word expletive then when he tried to offer sympathy, I misinterpreted it and he received a tirade, poor hubs! Eventually I got Monkey back into clean clothes and plopped him in front of the TV. LM was finally asleep upstairs but I surveryed the scene and the clean up operation ahead of me and basically gave up. I sat in the kitchen and sobbed. It actually wasn’t too bad a mess and when I did get round to it, it didn’t take that long to clean up, but in that moment it felt like an insurmountable task and I just felt I had failed. WP_20150129_11_30_04_Pro The thing is I know it was my own fault. I expected too much of LM, Monkey and myself. The next day I popped LM to sleep in her cot, she slept really well and Monkey and I just played in the garden. Much less effort, hassle but still loads of fun. I sometimes feel like I am failing at being an SAHM if I am not putting in lots of effort to do awesome activities. Doing messy play, baking or some other crafty thing to teach him through play. In my heart I know that isn’t true. I know that as long as my kids are healthy and happy then I am doing well. I guess the fact that I want to try so hard is good as I want to be the best mummy I can be, but I have to go easy on myself. Things will get easier. LM is only a few months old and nowhere near a routine yet (no matter how much I wish she was, or how many online articles tell me she should be, she isn’t). She will be one day and things will get easier but for now I need to be less hard on myself and focus on what I can do, rather than pushing myself and getting angry and frustrated when I fail and things don’t work out the way that I want them to. So there we have it, on the one hand a great activity, if you have enough time to focus on it and don’t have a screaming baby in one arm! It really wasn’t my day as later on I had to take LM to the hospital to get her hips checked (she’s fine, just routine as she was breech). When I came out it was snowing and I paid for the parking ticket, walked through the snow to the car, got her in, put away the buggy then realised I had left the ticket in the machine so had to unpack the car and go back to the machine where thankfully someone had put the ticket on top of the machine, phew!

And then the fun began...
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Playing outside in the Winter

Monkey, like most toddlers I imagine, seems to have boundless energy. He is always haring about the place so we try to get out of the house as much as we can. Last year we started our “operation garden renovation” to turn our mess of a garden into somewhere he could play without us having to go anywhere. This was aimed at being ready for playing outside while I was pregnant, and it was amazing. It is still amazing now, as when LM sleeps upstairs, Monkey and I can get outside and burn off steam – even in the middle of winter!

We don’t very often get snow where we are but we have been enjoying running around on frosty mornings. He loves legging it round the garden, pushing his buggy around, and of course Mummy has to run too.

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Mummy getting told off for not running!

Mummy getting told off for not running!

And we finally got our first smattering of snow last week, which Monkey was HUGELY excited about! We thought this may be the extent of what we would get this year so we were out there making the most of it.

 first snow

Then, much to our surprise, a few days later we got a proper covering! So Monkey and I went out while LM was asleep and had some more fun. I have to admit, I love snow. I am a big kid and love building snowmen and snow just makes everything so pretty and white (until it turns into slush anyway, yuk!) and I was determined to build a snowman. I tried to get Monkey involved but he was too busy stomping around making footprints and was more keen on knocking over my snowman mid-build. “Twease, twease, knock it down, twease” um no.

snowy fun

I managed to fend him off and here is the finished result, thankfully he loved it when it was finished and even gave him (apparently it is a Daddy snowman :)) cuddles!

We love playing outside, even in the winter, do you?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Monkey Says – January 2015

On my recent Mini Milestones post for Monkey I made a note of some of the really cute things that Monkey says at the moment – but of course I forgot loads – and some of my favourite little phrases of his. I really don’t want to forget these over the years (my memory is atrocious) so I am making a note of some more of these here, (and there may be an uber-cute video of him at the end :)).

I am not sure where it has come from but he keeps saying “D’oh” at the moment. He has never watched The Simpsons and I don’t think either hubs or I say it, but Monkey totally says “D’oh” more like “D’oooooooh” in exactly the right circumstances, it’s pretty hilarious!

Everything with Monkey is a “Great Idea” shall we play with cars? “Great idea” would you like peanut butter on toast? “Great idea.” Even when he says something like, “go outside” and we repeat with would you like to go outside, “Great idea!” lol.

Our little Monkey likes things the way he likes them. There is ever so slightly a touch of OCD about it. He has always liked lining up cars and having things a certain way. If I don’t put his drink or “cerewal” (cereal) in the right place at breakfast it’s “Not this way, this way” when he moves them into the correct position. His chair has to be at the right position too otherwise he will get off and move it. He also says “too tight!” even when he doesn’t actually mean it is too tight, more that it is not quite how he wants it to be!

He also has a pretty strong mind, making declarations about something. Like he counted some biscuits a few days ago and though he is really good with numbers sometimes he gets it wrong – but not according to Monkey. He counted 6 biscuits when there were 5. Veryg ood, but there are 5, and I count out 5. “I think there’s not” ok, well let’s count again. Repeat. See there is 5 biscuits. “Actually I think it is 6”. This happens quite a bit, he will decide something and if we contradict him “I think it’s not” or “I think it is.” Love him!

He’s very bossy at the moment too “Come on Mummy” “Come on Nanny & Pops” dragging them by the hand! When he can’t find a toy he wants and I say I don’t know where it is he says “I don’t know either… try and find it, can’t be far, must be somewhere!” Sometimes while looking for it himself and other times trying to convince me to help him find it!

There are some other just cute things he says, “Hello There” as a greeting. “We’re a family!” when we are all together, often accompanied by insisting that we all hold hands (Even LM hehe).

Then there are the amusing conversations that show how much he is growing up and getting inquisitive.

Monkey: What does the moon eat?
Me: What does it eat??
Monkey: (very decisively) The Moon eats Smarties

After one of his first sessions at playgroup

Me: Did you have fun at playgroup?
Monkey: Yes
Me: What did you do?
Monkey: Ate toast read stories guin (gluing) an stickin… I cry a bit… don’t like cry (awwww)

and then at bedtime one day

Monkey: Want it want it want it
Daddy: In a minute, lets get you dry
Repeat until Daddy loses his temper and very firmly says “No”
There’s a little stare off between the two of them then but Monkey breaks first.
He chuckles and says “don’t like No”

Then I have to share this video, we don’t get a huge amount of snow where we live near the Fens so it is a bit of an event when we do and Daddy happened to have his camera out to catch this cuteness! (If you click on the cog at the bottom you can adjust the quality)

Little Hearts, Big Love