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Tag: kids

NOROVIRUS – Surviving Illness as a Parent

NOROVIRUS – Surviving Illness as a Parent

This week has been totally awful for everyone in our house. Within three days of the Biggest going back to school, we had been struck down by an array of germs. Bringing with them a virus or three that would last the entire week. At first it was just a cold and as much as I can’t stand them, it wasn’t as bad as what was just around the corner. With a cold we can curl up in front of the TV and feel sorry for ourselves for a couple of days. Which we did. When Norovirus hit though, it turned into a whole different story.

Sickness is never fun –

After having two HG pregnancies I honestly find even the slightest bit of nausea traumatic, never mind actually being sick. So just as I felt like I was recovering from the cold and happened to wake up one the next morning feeling slightly off colour, panic really set in. I knew I wasn’t pregnant, so there and then I had to resolve myself to the fact that I would spend the next couple of days with my head firmly glued to the toilet bowl. Joy.

Luckily Hubs was off for the first day, so I could freely alternate between the bathroom and the bedroom. Leaving behind the aroma of bleach, desperate to rid the place of germs so no-one else would catch them. It’s really difficult to explain to toddlers why you feel so rough though. I didn’t do the school run for an entire week and felt so guilty for ‘leaving them to it’. Between them, his Lordship and my parents managed to keep things afloat without me. For some reason, as parents we believe that we aren’t allowed to be ill, as the world will obviously stop turning. If this week has taught me anything though, it’s that it’s OK to take some time out when you need to. Things will be just fine, in fact the kids will probably enjoy the novelty of the situation!

When everyone else gets sick –

After a couple of days I thought I’d be on the mend, the dreaded Norovirus had other ideas though. Not only did it decide to linger with me for days on end, it also decided to infect Hubs and the Biggest. No. Fun. At. All. The last few days have seen Hubs attempt to keep the contents of his stomach down, as he hates being sick more than I do. They’ve witnessed the Biggest projectile vomit on the way home from school, right in front of the neighbours gate – whilst she was stood there. They’ve also endured more acoustics in the bathroom department than I care to remember.

I wish I could give you a very definite answer to how to survive illness as a parent. The truth is, I don’t think there is one. All you have to do is power through, or sleep through it. It’ll pass – one way or the other! 

 

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The CBBC Summer Social – Review

The CBBC Summer Social – Review

*We were provided with a family ticket for the purpose of this review, as always all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

After being invited to the CBBC Summer Social this year, I was a little dubious as to whether it would suit our girls at their young ages. Festivals are something that we have wanted to try out since having children, but doing it at the right age so everyone enjoyed themselves was a must for us. After speaking with the CBBC Summer Social team though, I was assured that there would be plenty for our girls to enjoy. It was clear that they were going to have a blast and so we prepared ourselves for our first ever family festival!

This years Summer Social was held at Croxteth Hall, Liverpool. A beautiful old building with amazing grounds, ideal for this kind of event. As I’d never been to Liverpool before and because I’m a bit of a Beatles fan, we decided to book ourselves into a hotel and make a mini break out of it. The first day saw us visit Paul McCartney’s childhood home and we had a walk down Penny Lane, I was in my element!

 

The CBBC Summer Social –

When we arrived at the CBBC Summer Social, the gathering crowds were a clear indicator that we were in for a good day. Right from the word go, there was something for the girls to see and do. From fairground rides, to story time and street bands. Entertainment literally was all around us and the girls just didn’t know where to look first!

 

 

Attractions we loved;

The Clangers Garden – This was huge hit with both of our children. Inside the walled garden there were life-sized Clangers hiding around every corner. There were crafts for the girls to get involved in and there was also the chance for them to water some of the pretty flowers planted in the garden. This was great full for all!

 

 

The Main Stage – the highlight of our day was by far the chance the girls had to see Mr Tumble, on the main stage. They loved every second of his performance and I take my hat of to the guy because he never faltered, even though we were in the middle of the heat wave of 2018!

Hubs and I were very impressed with The Philharmonic Orchestra too, they were amazing to see live!

The CBeebies Village – this part of the festival was a great addition for the younger fans. Our girls loved seeing Mr Bloom in real life and his set was very entertaining for them. They also loved seeing the Go Jetters, which is a firm favourite in our house at breakfast time!

The Fairground – as this was the first time our girls had been to a fair, they were very excited! We took them on the ‘cranky horses’ and the smiles on their faces just said it all! The only downside to this was that there were extra charges for the rides, which for a family of four could make the day extra expensive considering the original ticket cost to attend the festival.

 

 

Mr Wilson’s Second Liners – these guys were an incredible marching and dancing band! They walked around the festival performing at regular intervals throughout the day and they attracted a huge crowd each time! Hubs, the kids and I were so impressed with their performances!

Overall, we had a great day out at the CBBC Summer Social. With the exception of the cost of the fairground rides, the day was perfect and we all left with huge smiles on our faces! Thankyou at CBBC for the best, first festival!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tiny Treasures Realistic Baby Dolls – Review & Giveaway

Tiny Treasures Realistic Baby Dolls – Review & Giveaway

This post was written in collaboration with Kid Kreations and Tiny Treasures.

 

This week our girls have been lucky enough to have had the chance to review the Tiny Treasures realistic baby doll, as well as a selection of accessories from the Tiny Treasures range. Our girls have loved looking after dolls for a while now, so when they found out how much Tiny Treasures are like real babies, they were so excited to take care of them! These dolls are so realistic, that they weigh and smell the same as a real baby. They have super soft hair and closing eyes for added effect too.

 

 

They were sent a package which included a Tiny Treasures doll, a unicorn rocker for the doll and a mermaid sleeping bag with a super cute, matching headband. Both girls were absolutely amazed with the selection they got and I thought the unicorn rocker was a fabulous addition to the Tiny Treasures set.

 

 

The box that our Tiny Treasures doll arrived in, also doubles up as a rocking seat for her. It even has a three-point strap to hold her in, just like the seat we used to use for our girls. I think it’s really great that this company have made use of all aspects of the set. Making the box a seat not only makes it more fun for the girls, it also reduces waste which is incredibly important.

 

 

The Verdict –

The Tiny Treasures collection has been a huge hit in our house. They’ve been so looked after by our girls and have even been out on car journeys with us! From an adult point of view, I’m very impressed with the quality of the doll and all of the accessories. They are well made and can stand the heavy use that is inevitable when you have two toddlers. I’m also a fan of the range of accessories available. They’re novel and fun for the girls which means hours more play time.

 

 

The other good thing about this product, is that it massively encourages our girls to learn through play. If you read my post on reaching EYFS goals, you’ll know how important this is for us as a family. These dolls have succeeded in bringing out the caring and nurturing side in both of our children. They are an excellent way for them to learn how to be around other people, in everyday life. The features of the doll, including the closing eyes are great to get the girls’ imaginations working too. Their doll goes to bed when they do and it’s helpful for her to appear asleep!

 

 

Our girls don’t have a bad word to say about their new doll set. They’ve already had hours of fun and I know they’ll have so much more, especially as the littlest gets older. The only thing that has posed a small issue is the weight of the doll, as our youngest finds it a little to heavy to carry. Having said that, our oldest at three years of age has no trouble at all, so I’m sure the baby of the family won’t find this a problem for long. Overall, we have been very impressed with out Tiny Treasures set. The girls love it and so do I!

The creators of Tiny Treasures are giving my readers the chance to win their very own set which includes the doll, the unicorn rocker and mermaid sleeping bag. For your chance to win, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

Win a Tiny Treasures Realistic Doll Set

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Does Staying at Home with the Kids Mean I Lack Ambition?

Does Staying at Home with the Kids Mean I Lack Ambition?

My husband and I had a conversation recently, mainly about the family life of professionals. He told me that one of his colleagues had informed him that he does so well at work, because his wife ‘lacks ambition‘. What he meant was, his wife had given up her professional role to stay at home with the kids and that it was the right choice for their family. It would seem that he appreciated this ‘lack of ambition‘ though, as he felt it allowed him to progress swiftly in his own career. As you can imagine, I was a little taken aback by his admission.

I’ve previously written about my marriage and I’ve commented on the main reason it’s working so well. That reason was the fact that I stay at home to look after the kids. Yes this is so my husband can progress in his career and yes it meant I had to leave my first business behind. Does it mean I lack ambition though? Am I forever destined to be mother and housewife, with no desire to follow my dreams? I think not.

Ambition doesn’t always wear the same mask –

The thing about ambition is that it means different things to different people. From being a teenager, it was always my ambition to work for myself. I knew I wanted to be my own boss and a lot of hard work got me there. My husband always dreamt of working as a medical professional, he continues to work hard in this field and he will go far. This demonstrates ambition in two different ways, but both are ambition nonetheless.

Stronger than my ambition to build a business, was my desire to become the best mum I could be. It was my ambition to become a stay at home parent, that was and still is the environment in which I want to raise my children. How can that not be ambition? It’s a dream and it takes a lot of working towards, I believe I have succeeded. I have have fulfilled my ambition.

I do always put my husbands work needs before my own, but that’s because I want to, not because I have to. Just because I want him to achieve his goals and because I’m happy to work around his aspirations, doesn’t mean I’m faltering on the ambition front. Ambition doesn’t just have to be associated with career prospects, it covers life as a whole.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat –

The comment this guy made frustrated me most, because my ambition to be self employed will never disappear. That’s why I built up a blogging and freelance writing business from home. Just because people don’t always fulfil their ambition by taking the traditional route, doesn’t mean it’s not achievable. I know from my own experience that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Referring to your loved one as ‘lacking ambition’ is entirely unacceptable, given that there’s so much to be achieved without leaving the comfort of your own home.

So whatever your ambition may be, whether it’s to rise through the ranks of your company, to be a stay at home parent or to build a business of your own. Never, ever believe that you are lacking in ambition. Never let anyone tell you that you don’t aspire to do anything or be anyone. You are you for a reason and you’re already achieving so much.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Ease of One Child Parenting

The Ease of One Child Parenting

Ok, so the title to this post is probably a little misleading. Parenting and easy don’t really go well in the same sentence. I suppose what I mean is that when you’ve been bringing up two children for the last three years, then when that number drops to one for part of the week, I do believe that parenting gets easier. The logistics of having only one child to care for, are much simpler than having multiples. I love having two children, but I have to admit that I can see the positives of a little one child parenting.

The biggest was so young when we had baby number two, so I really do find it hard to remember only having one child to look after. For the best part of two years I’ve been permanently attached to two kids. For half of that time I had two kids that couldn’t walk, then for the rest of the time I’ve had two who think it’s hilarious to run in opposite directions. With me stood in the middle wondering which one to retrieve first!

 

Altering the dynamics –

Since the biggest started nursery, our family dynamics have completely shifted. It’s been a really difficult time for me, I certainly wasn’t ready to let her go. So for the first week, we filled every minute away from her with some sort of activity, anything that meant I didn’t have to think about leaving her with what felt like a stranger. I thought that if I didn’t think about it, then one day I’d wake up and be used to it.

The trouble is, I can’t fill every single hour of nursery with super fun stuff for the littlest to do. For a start, the house would start to look like a complete tip as I’d get nothing done and work would just pile up. So now, when the biggest is at nursery we spend some time at home too. I have regular periods where I only have to parent one child and do you know what? It’s not all bad. All of a sudden life with kids has become simpler then ever before.

There’s less bickering, no chasing each other around shops or disagreeing on what they’d like for lunch. I only have on child to keep safe on the playground and only one hand to hold as we walk down the side of the road. I only have one child to wrestle into their car seat and I only have one child to entertain whilst trying to do a million and one other things at the same time.

 

Getting used to our new way of life –

Even though there are many positives to only having to parent one child, I’m still not completely sold on the idea of one child parenting. I’d much rather have both of my girls by my side, but I know things have to change. Slowly but surely I’m getting used to our new way of life and soon enough I’ll have a few hours of completely child free time to contend with. For now though, I’m going to relish the ease of one child parenting. Who knows, I might even start to enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

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Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

When you have two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s hard work. Trust me, I know. When you’re the primary carer of two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s really hard work. Trust me, I know. I’ve spent the best part of three years willing time to pass. Looking forward to the next milestone because that’s when things will get ‘easier’. One particular milestone that’s been in my sights, is nursery. Life would surely be simple when the kids start their nursery placements.

Now nursery is literally just around the corner, the biggest has her third birthday and then BAM, she goes to school. I honestly didn’t think it would bother me, I would get the quiet time I’ve been craving. I’d get time to work as when one is at school, the other will nap. The perfect scenario. I’m absolutely dreading it though, how can she be three already? How is it possible that she’s old enough to attend a state nursery? Seriously, where did that time go?

Less than 24 hours old.

Ready for the next step –

Her, not me. She’s so ready, you can almost hear the cogs going around in her brain it’s working that hard. She loves reading, drawing, riding her bike and being outdoors. Everything that nursery will nurture and make even more fun for her. She’s been asking to go to school ever since we went to visit back in November. She loved every second and I know it’s time for her to spread her wings.

It’s me that’s not ready for the next step. I know she’s ready and I know how much she will blossom, but I just can’t help but think it’s too soon. She’s my first-born and time has just gone too quickly, time that I sincerely wish I enjoyed more. Just like everyone told me I should. Hindsight is a wonderful thing I know, but I can’t help but look back on the times I’d wished things were easier with regret.

 

Becoming a big sister at 10.5 months old.

Three is a magic number –

On the day that this post was published, the biggest turned three years old. Three whole years passed in a flash and she’s gone from a tiny 6lb 3oz baby to a walking, talking, tornado of incredibleness. She’s funny, she’s clever and she definitely knows what she wants. All I have to do is believe in her, believe that she’s ready to take on the world and know that this is where she needs to start. So Happy Birthday my beautiful girl, here’s where your next chapter begins!

 

Happy 3rd Birthday!
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Life Hacks – The Camping with Kids Edition

Life Hacks – The Camping with Kids Edition

*This post was written in collaboration with SimplyHike.co.uk.

 

Over the past couple of weeks, Hubs and I have set ourselves up with the ultimate camping kit. I decided on a whim that taking the kids camping would be a brilliant idea and still think it will be. In my rush to head off out into the wild though, I failed to fully consider just what camping with kids would entail. I’m a woman of routine and I do like my home comforts. In my haste to get our kit together, it didn’t occur to me that I would need all the tips I could get to make camping with kids as fun as possible!

 

Getting the right family tent –

After a little research, we decided that to make the whole experience as comfortable as possible then we would need to invest in the right tent. It would need to be big enough to fit in everything but the kitchen sink! It would also need to have a high waterproof rating and be strong enough to stand up to bad weather if we needed it too. With all of this in mind, we opted for the Coleman Mosedale 5 family tent. It has a huge living area, as well as two blackout bedrooms and we’re sure it’s the ideal home for our travels!

Coleman is a make that has been around for some time too. I’m always checking reviews on items before I buy them and this was no different. The reviews for the Mosedale 5 are really great, so many people said they’d made some amazing family memories in this tent and we want to be a part of that too. The best thing about this tent is that it’s so reasonably priced, perfect for families who need to get the whole camping set up without breaking the bank.

 

 

Getting the right equipment –

As well as the right tent, to make camping as family friendly as possible, I think it’s so important to get the right equipment. I did a little research through Simply Hike and I was gob smacked by how much high-tech camping equipment there is out there. We’ve invested in stoves, lanterns and so much more to make our tent a home from home. My absolute favourite piece of kit though is our cooler. It’s the ideal companion for any camping trip, perfect for keeping food and milk fresh all the time we’re away. We’ve even taken it on road trips, it’s ideal to keep drinks cool when you’re out on hot days!

 

 

Life hacks –

As much as having the right equipment makes for the perfect trip, there are many more hacks that you need to know if you’re going camping with kids. So to make your lives easier, as well as my own, I put it to my fellow bloggers to come up with the ultimate list of life hacks, the camping with kids edition!

Here’s what they had to say;

Sarah from Boo, Roo and Tigger Too: ‘Get shoe covers or old shower caps to pop over shoes as they come in and out of the tent to save getting mud/wet everywhere. As taking shoes on and off can be a pain, especially if you are the one who has to help each time’.

Nisbah from Five Adventurers: ‘Always set up the tent first at home before you go for the actual first camp! I have seen lots of families struggle with this. Always have loads of treats for camp fires.’

Janet from Falcondale Life: ‘We always buy a packet of glow sticks and use them as nightlights. We hang the big chunky ones inside the bedrooms. Outside we stick some garden solar lights in the ground so that there is no tripping over on the way to the loo in the dark.’

Louise from Pink Pear Bear: ‘Pack outfits rolled together (including pants and socks) so you can just grab an outfit for each child without having to rummage through the whole case. So much easier to just grab a roll and pass it to them to get themselves dressed knowing everything they need is there!’

Jennifer from My Mummy’s Pennies: ‘Take plenty of bin bags! They are super useful! Use them for muddy clothes or to put wellies on in the tent, even for sitting on wet grass.’

Claire from Wild Mama and Her Tribe: ‘Try a practice camp in the garden or locally to get used to the ‘its cold’ it’s dark’ ‘there’s a spider in my sleeping bag’ ‘it’s too lumpy’ ‘why are there no light switches’ – it’s a sanity saver.’

Fiona from A Mum Track Mind: ‘Camping with babies and toddlers can be hard work but what babies and toddlers are hard work full stop. They are also free-spirited, wild at heart and fascinated by the world around them, which are qualities that sadly we often lose as we get older. It’s best to switch your thinking from over-anxious parenting to a slightly more care-free style of parenting and let it go a bit. Rules, bedtimes and nagging can resume when you get home.’

 

A huge thankyou to all who made this post possible!

 

 

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Curious Kids Children’s Sweatshirt – Review

Curious Kids Children’s Sweatshirt – Review

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Curious Kids, asking if we’d like to review their funky sweatshirt. I would usually be the one to decide what we review on The Tale of Mummyhood. However, seeing as our eldest takes more and more interest in what I do, I thought I’d ask her if she’d like to take the review. As you can imagine, she jumped at the chance!

When the package arrived for my little apprentice, she was super excited to get to work. We took a photographs of the beautifully wrapped sweatshirt together, truthfully all she wanted to do was model it! From a parents point of view though, I was  really impressed with how much love was given to making our delivery look good. These sweatshirts are perfect to buy as gifts as they arrive wrapped and ready to go.

 

 

 

Our Little Fashionista

At just over two years old our daughter is still quite slight in frame, so when I buy girls coats and jackets I usually go size 18-24 months,  just to be on the safe side. I’m glad we did as it fits perfectly! The material feels soft and warm too, so it’s perfect for keeping the biggest warm and toasty on those blustery days. If you follow the washing advice that comes with the shirt, it keeps it shape and print really well. I make sure that I wash the sweatshirt on a low heat and I avoid throwing it in the tumble dryer with the rest of the washing!

Curious Kids clothing is a total hit with me. It looks cool, keeps well and is different from the standard jumpers on the market. The real question though is what did my little apprentice think? Well, it’s safe to say she loves her new sweatshirt. It’s a firm favourite of hers that goes with us every where we go!

 

 

 

*This is a collaborative post. 

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Days Out with Kids: My Top Tips

Days Out with Kids: My Top Tips

Going out with small children is always going to be hectic.  Since having Little E we seriously think about where we are going and how prepared we need to be.  Truth be told, we have decided to swerve certain outings just for the ease of it.

Since the New Year I have really tried to get out more with the children.  I don’t want them to miss out on anything just because it’s easier to stay in.  January has seen me pick up a few skills in juggling my two little balls of energy when we are out and about.  Here’s a little list of what makes our days out much easier:

Packing my bag with military precision…

I pack everything from nappies and wipes, to toys and snacks.  We always take dinner for the small one with us and I make sure we have enough for Baby J too.  We have hit that dreaded toddler stage where the food that she loves one day may end up on the floor the next, so having extra is handy just in case!  I organise my bag so I can grab what I need straight away.  I’ve previously had to rummage around for ages whilst trying to keep both girls happy, this just leaves me flustered.  Having a well stocked, well organised bag is key!

Visit family friendly places…

This isn’t always possible, but finding places that cater for little ones is a huge help.  Play areas and entertainment keeps them happy and wears them out, meaning they don’t get bored and frustrated.  We all know that’s not a good combination for a toddler!

Take reins…

When I use reins on Baby J, it makes me feel a bit like I’m walking the dog.  They are a god send though.  At nineteen months all she wants to do is walk, the pushchair just doesn’t have the appeal that it used to.  However, having Little E still on wheels means that I cant chase her sister if she decides to bolt.  The reins allow Baby J and I the best of both worlds and with all that walking, she’s usually cream crackered!

Chill out…

I know this is often easier said than done, but sometimes just letting things go makes life easier.  If they decide to have a tantrum, throw their lunch or empty the shelves in Tesco I take a deep breath and move swiftly on.  Previously I’d have gotten anxious, stressed and bundled them in the car to go home.  Moving on and letting things go means that the whole day doesn’t get spoilt…deep breaths guys!

A lot of these points seem so obvious, but we have been caught out so many times and ended the day feeling stressed out and a little defeated.  Having children changes our lives immeasurably, but being prepared is half of the battle!

Diary of an imperfect mum
Mummuddlingthrough

 

 

A Mum Track Mind
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