Toddler v’s Baby: Sibling Rivalry?

 

My eldest is 3 1/2yrs and my youngest is 3 1/2 mths.  Ever since I announced my pregnancy with my youngest (son) people kept saying :

  • Have you started to prepare for the jealousy from the oldest?
  • Have you explained how there’s going to be a new addition to the 20151107_113018 - Copyfamily that will be loved equally?
  • Why don’t you get a dolly for Toddler so that they get used to having a baby around the house?
We were of course aware that bringing back a day old baby into a house where my daughter has been the ‘star of the show’ for 3 years would be a change, I mean a really big change, but we were prepared!
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Even the nursery said she may ‘regress’ to being a baby because the attention is often taken away from the older sibling so we sort of came to expect it to happen.  My son is now 3 months old, and I can honestly say there’s been no dramatic regression, she’s not smothered him…yet, and she seems to…well…love him!
  • We’ve always encouraged her to help out by fetching nappies, reading stories and kissing him good night.
  • We never shout at her for giving a bit-too-20151214_122034tight-a-cuddle (which she does regularly!)
  • We always say she’s our big girl and is a great big sister.
  • We do make a greater fuss of her when she comes in from nursery.
  • We do try to have 1-on-1 time just me and her even if it’s just for 5 mins.
Too quickly we are told the toddlers nature is to be jealous and to cause havoc, but I think a lot of the time we impose it ourselves by expecting it to happen, because of what other people say.  Each family is different. I know they will have their arguments as they grow older, and I may well have a full basket of eggs on my face in a few months time –  but for now just call us the Waltons!
What are your experiences of introducing new siblings to the family?
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You Baby Me Mummy
Binky Linky
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Lucy Bee Coconut Oil & and the Benefits for Babies

 This whole organic, virgin, coconut clean living thing has honestly passed me by until now.  Yes, I’ve bought cod liver oil tablets in the past and even extra virgin olive oil, but being more of a visual-seeing-is-believing type of person I’ve never really felt or seen many benefits.

I breastfed for as long as was personally possible and during that time my second born, who was only 3 weeks old developed a small eye infection and cradle cap.  The health visitor recommended that old ‘comeback free’, ‘health and safety at its best’ ‘risk free’ remedy… COOL BOILED WATER!

After a week it still hadn’t cleared up and I was due to take him back to the Dr’s.  I happened mentioned it to a fellow breast feeder who advised dropping a tiny bit of breast milk around the eye and rubbing it in like a moisturiser.  Within 12 hours his eye had cleared up.  I then decided to rub a bit onto his cradle cap and abracadabra it cleared up after a few days!  If he got a pimple, neck rash, or any blemishes on his skin I would always use breast milk and it worked!  Even the health visitor was shocked at the results.

Now he’s 3 months old and my breastfeeding days are unfortunately over. His cradle cap came balucybee2ck and so did his neck rash.  After a bit of a google I’d read that coconut oil was a natural remedy for softer skin and had a multitude of health benefits.  So I purchased my first tub of Lucy Bee Coconut Oil.  I can honestly say I don’t know why I’ve never used it before. Although there’s no substitute for breast milk I feel it’s the next best natural thing for me and my babies:

 

1.       CRADLE CAP – this image is my 3 month old son with a nice shiny head after applying the oil with a cotton ball. I’ve used baby oil before but it’s never really absorbed quite as well as the coconut oil.

2.       NECK RASH – I had terrible problems with his neck rash and have had to use a prescribed cream to clear it up. However, as a natural barrier cream I’ve started to use the oil.

3.       DRY SKIN – My toddler who is 3 will occasionally get dry skin around the back of her ears and yes, I use the oil

4.       CHAPPED LIPS- The whole family uses it as lip balm.

5.       FRIZZY HAIR – My daughter has ridiculously curly hair, which when combed resembles a tumbleweed. After a small combing of oil it does bring it under control.

And of course the smell is lush.

How you found any other benefits from coconut oil?

Family Fever
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“HELLO” by Adele – A Baby Pastiche Version!

Hello, it’s me…

I was wondering if after all these months

You’d like to meet, to go over everything

They say that time’s supposed to heal ya

But you won’t do much healing…

 

Hello, can you hear me?

I’m in your tummy dreaming about who I used to be

When I was swimming and free

You’ll forget how good you feel when I fall out in a heap

There’s such a distance between us

And a million piles…

 

Hello from the inside

I must’ve kicked a thousand times

To tell you I’m not sorry, for stretching your tum

And when I kick you always make a loud groan

 

Hello from the inside

At least I can say that I’ve tried

To tell you that I’m not sorry for making you fart

But it don’t matter I will clearly tear you apart when I’m born…

 

Hello, how are you?

It’s so typical of me to roll and kick around I’m sorry

 I hope that you are well

Did you remember ‘making out’ in that town

Where my creation happened?

It’s no secret

That the both of us know you drank too much wine…

 

Hello from the inside

I must’ve kicked a thousand times

To tell you I’m not sorry, for stretching your tum

And when I kick you always make a loud groan

 

Hello from the inside

At least I can say that I’ve tried

To tell you that I’m not sorry for making you fart

But it don’t matter I will clearly tear you apart when I’m born…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Love and Dirty Dishes
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My Do’s & Don’ts of Maternity Leave

 

The Naïve Dream: This is my 2nd time on maternity leave. The 1st time I naively planned too much to do.  I was to write that novel. I was going to start my own business, I was going to join the gym and finally get back into those size 10 jeans that have been in my cupboard since I was 17, and I was going to ‘find myself’!  It’s hilarious when you think about it! *cringes*

The Reality Check: I returned to work after 10 months. Three years later here I am again and I still have a wish list, it’s just more realistic! We all know we don’t ever actually get ‘me’ time anymore and it’s even more rare with a newborn AND a toddler to look after, but I’m learning to time manage.

Time Management: Time is precious.  My toddler goes to nursery 3 days a week. I know my toddler is getting the stimulation and education she needs at nursery, which I can’t give her at the moment with a newborn. These 3 ‘golden days’ are rigorously routined to make sure I make the most out of my time.

Of course, apart from the feeding, the bathing, the tummy time and everything else that comes with a newborn, it is possible to find some ‘me’ time.

I DON’T:

  • Turn the TV on – If the TV goes on then before I know it I’m a Loose Woman sat eating a bowl of Coco Pops and there’s a couch with my name on it.  5pm would arrive and I would have entered 3 competitions to win a car, voted on which anti- wrinkle cream do I think is the best value for money and watched a group of jobless adulterers with no teeth fight about who slept with the dog…
  • Do a Big Clean – I would spend whole days sorting out clothes, cleaning cupboards nobody goes in and tidying random drawers that nobody cares about.  The truth is that the house will always be untidy with 2 children, so now I just tidy as I go and try not leave everything for one day.
  • Go Shopping – I do all my food shopping online, I get milk delivered and anything else I need I pick up either on the way to or from nursery so it’s done before 9am. The thought of walking aimlessly and hopelessly around Sainbury’s  trying to remember what I need because I’ve left my shopping list on the kitchen table at home makes me want to cry!

I DO….

  • Read and write – I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to have a multi- million pound book deal in place before I have to go back to work (or ever) but I can take enjoyment from reading and blogging.
  • Take pictures – I love photography but don’t often get time to use my camera. Editing takes sooo long and also filing them, saving them and backing them all up.  I’m currently organising over 3,000 images I have of the family into photo books *collapses*
  • Get to a toddler group – To be honest I’m not a great fan.  I do like the odd get together with other like- minded mums and dads but with a newborn I sometimes find it more trouble than it’s worth. I occasionally attend one with my newborn and toddler on non-nursery day but I’m not sure yet if I attend out of guilt or whether any of us actually gain from it.  When time is precious you’ve got to be picky.  I don’t want to talk about piles and nipple cream.  I want my company to be worthwhile and first and foremost a benefit to my kids.

I’ve learned that there’s no more waiting for a ‘quiet time’ or for a ‘clear’ week in the calendar because something will always crop up to fill in that time.  I have to make time for small achievable goals because before I know it I’ll be back at my office desk wishing I was back on maternity leave!

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Ever Feel Like You Don’t Fit In Anymore?

When you no longer fit – like those size 8 jeans that are still in my cupboard from when I was 17. Twenty years later I still have them, hoping one day they will reach above my wrinkled chubby knees. Even if they did fit they would be crudely out of fashion…but it will remain my long term goal to beat them.

I used to be popular by being the ‘joker’, the ‘funny one’ in the group.  If I had to be a character from Sex and the City I would have probably been Samantha in my teenage years and loved every minute of it. I liked to wear the wrong school uniform and take chances.  Long before YOLO appeared in the urban dictionary my catchphrase twenty years ago was ‘you only live once and you won’t get out of it alive’ (YOLOAYWGOOIA).  I was the ‘live wire’ in a core group of firm friends whom I’ve ‘grown up’ with. 

We’d supported each other through births, deaths, marriages (no divorces…yet!) and although we don’t all get together that often when we do it’s like ‘old times’.  But that’s the problem…. old times aren’t me anymore.  I really don’t want to talk about that time when I threw up in the plant pot or snogged a stranger! I hate the thought of being that person again because for me that was a different life – life before kids.

I’m a mother first and foremost, I’m a faithful wife and loving daughter and have worked incredibly hard to have a successful career and stand on my own two feet – something some people my age have not yet succeeded in doing.

One last get together made me realise how disconnected I really was from my ‘core’ group of friends.  I was pretending to drink as I had a suspicion I was pregnant but had already decided I would not be telling anyone that night.  Being sober, and listening to the ‘old’ stories, the times we all got drunk and did frightfully stupid things made me realise we had grown apart.

I was there because that had been the norm for 25 years.  I was there out of guilt.  I would have felt guilty if I hadn’t had gone. I was there but I actually wished I was at home sat on the settee with a cup of coffee.

I felt as though I was being dragged back down into the murky past rather than being sprung forward into an exciting, and encouraging future.  Like a teenage break up from your first boyfriend I felt empty and a bit disappointed.

We’ve had a lot of changes this year, new house new baby, new friends. Whilst my life was changing for the better, my role within the group couldn’t because that was the norm, that’s how the group worked because we all had our roles to play.  I love each and every one of them dearly and there’ll be no dramatic ‘bow out’ from the group but sometimes to move forward you just have to leave a little bit of yourself behind.

Have you ever felt this way about friends?

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French Side Braid for Toddler

DSC_0005My toddler has ringlets…the most frizzy, curly tight ringlets. We still have no idea where they came from! They are beautiful but can be difficult to manage. She can’t have a fringe as she would just have a forehead of frizz.

To keep it out of her eyes I have started braiding the top section on one side.

One tip for any plaits/ braids on children from me would be to only braid to the edge of the head.  Once you leave the head and start a ‘normal’ plait it will start to loosen at the sides so tie the bobble straight to the head leaving the rest of hair free as shown in the image below.

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Day Out: Nature Tots at Brockholes Nature Reserve

Overview

DSC_0002On the morning of Friday 15th February we did the Nature Tots Walk at Brockholes Country Nature Reserve.

It was a crisp, sunny morning perfect for a stroll in rural Lancashire!

The children were given buckets to collect leaves and twigs to make a collage when they returned.

It started just outside the activity centre where the water was completely frozen over. They enjoyed writing their names in the frost and throwing ice onto the frozen water where toddler thought Elsa lived!  Even in the middle of a nature reserve there’s no escaping Elsa!DSC_0007

The walk then continued through the woodland encouraging the children to jump on the ice and in the muddy puddles.  So many times we hear of risk and health and safety issues and it was a breath of fresh air to be involved in a children’s activity which was safe and assessed but also allowed the kids to be kids and encourage them to touch and feel the environment aDSC_0030round them.  There were plenty of snotty noses and red fingers!

Then back to the activity centre where they made a collage from their findings and were given a small refreshment. We stayed on at the reserve and had lunch which cost around £20 for 2 adults and the toddler.

Summary:

Cost: £4.50 for the toddler (mummy, daddy and pram FREE!)

There is a small car parking charge but you received a 50% discount for taking part in the activity.

Time: Every Friday at 11am – 12:15pmDSC_0024

Best Bits:

  • Great for toddlers who like to be out and about
  • Pram friendly if you have a smaller child to care for
  • Educational for toddlers in terms of exploring the senses
  • Nice way to meet new people and plenty to do if you wanted to stay on for the day.

Although £4.50 per head seems a little steep for something you could probably do with them on your own, the group leaders and having a ‘guide’ around the reserve made it worth it.

We gave it 4* out of 5*

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