Children · Family · family holiday · Parenting · Uncategorized

Things I have learnt about T on this trip

She has the independence I knew about but is now growing the confidence to go along with it, during meal times she would happily go off to get her own drink and would get her own food and sit at a table on her own if I let her! Once I even had to chase her back to the poolside as she walked off to see where Scott had got too, this was day 2 and she had been at this pool once before! I don’t know why but she must have felt so immediately comfortable where we were she just seemed to forget all usual rules about not walking off alone.


 She can sing anywhere and not feel self conscious about it. Not loudly but quietly along to herself occasionally accompanying it with a dance move or two. Unless in the car when we get the full surround sound of whatever is going through her head phones, no need for radio!

She can laugh at herself, unless she is tired then she gets grumpy.

She has a determination that makes me proud-we saw this with her swimming, sea swimming.

She is young enough to still say things wrong and make us laugh but old enough to be able to go sightseeing in an old town and not complain.Some of the highlights of holiday were 

“Runaway track” – runway 

Sunball – the sun

“I’ve got dots on my screen!” – she is swimming and water has splashed her sunglasses!

Air freshener – air conditioning!
She is happy with hers and our company and doesn’t set out to make friends, She would have been friendly towards anyone that we met but as no one approached her/us to play she was happy to play at the park/in kids club etc on her own. This must come from being an only child but I’m pleased she isn’t needy of other kids attention and can be happy having fun with us for now.

Is too polite a lot of the time and often lacks guts/balls/just a bit of umph! She gets pushed infront of in lines and doesn’t speak up when I’m a group of kids until it’s too late and someone has already been chosen for the activity.

She isn’t boastful, T was lucky enough to get a suitcase scooter for Xmas that we could use around the airport and a lot of other kids commented on it how cool it was, they wanted one. She just smiled and looked at us proud of her new toy, one little girl even threw a tantrum because she wanted one right then! She was only about 3 bless her. 

Children · eat the rainbow · fitness · food diary · Healthy eating · healthy parenting · Uncategorized

Eating the rainbow

We are always looking for new and exciting ways to eat food in our house, whether it be counting our fruit and vegetables and trying to outdo each other or finding new snacks that are healthier than the pre packed alternative. This week we have discovered ‘eat the rainbow’ after seeing it on a tv documentary I was hooked at the way it encouraged young children to try new foods and the benefits that came from this. 

T has been really up for this from the minute I mentioned it, she loves a chart and couldn’t wait to get started trying new foods! 

To start with I downloaded this simple chart which is easy for us to complete every day and has a space for us to tick each time one of us has the colour food.

To go along with this I also downloaded these, 

These show T why is is good to eat as many different colours as we can and we can also record our new foods too.

There is a whole world of foods out there and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when going shopping. So this week we tried 3 new foods already,

avocado –  unfortunately I still don’t like it and neither does T but at least we tried, 

Cherries- T was nervous at first, shouldn’t have done the avocado first, but she actually really liked them.

Apricot – these were an instant hit, We added them to yoghurt with blueberries and natural honey, delicious!

So now I don’t have T here for a couple of days it’s easy to fall off the bandwagon and stick to my beige plates but nope I’m determined to carry on eating colourful foods so I can show her when she gets back how much I’ve enjoyed doing it, this was my lunch today 

Alongside eating the rainbow I’ve also been made aware of the health benefits of apples, cutting cholesterol, lowering the chance of diabetes and aiding weight loss/fighting obesity. So from now on we are going to try doing various different recipes with apples to try and include them more too (I’ve not eaten an apple since I had my braces fitted 6 months ago so this will be good for me too!)

I’ll keep you all updated on how we get on and all the new and colourful foods we try along the way!

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Changes · Children · Easter · exercise · Healthy eating · Parenting · Uncategorized

Healthy parenting vs convenience 

Parenting is a minefield this we know and one part of that minefield is parenting healthily. From the moment we have a baby we are given advice like breast is best, only use homemade baby food, water over juice and so it goes on. As your child gets older this advice gets less and less and you are left to make your own decisions and parent your child in the way you see fit. Yes this is good, we have this little person that we can shape into whatever we choose diet wise. They can be vegetarian, vegan, drink only soya milk or live off of McDonald’s!

T has always had a balanced diet, she loves all vegetables and fruit, has never been a fussy eater and is usually willing to try new foods. But as your child gets older and becomes easier to parent on the go, grabbing a quick snack on the way to ballet becomes the norm rather than preparing a fully homemade blended fruit puree decanted lovingly into a sterilised Tupperware!

Sunday’s are now no longer for batch cooking the weeks meals and freezing individually into carefully measured portions but instead for completing homework, attending play dates, ironing school clothes and searching for PE kits.
The days of searching for organic, unprocessed, appealing snacks for your little one are now replaced with handing out the closest item to hand from the snack cupboard.
Gone is the separate meal time for your little one including a separate menu using carefully selected seasonal vegetables to broaden your child’s tastes as they grow. Now they eat what you eat at the time you eat it, and frozen vegetables occasionally is no longer a cardinal sin.

Does all this mean I am a bad parent? No, it simply means I am human. T has become easier to parent as she has grown but in this time her needs have also understandably changed. This means my time is spread between hobbies, school work, play dates and family time rather than fully focusing on prepping and planning her weeks food while watching her play on the carpet.

Yes she still has balanced meals and she likes to count her fruit and vegetables at the end of every day to see who has had the most, often if she hasn’t she will ask for more, but certain areas of her diet have become convenient. We have noticed this and a couple of weeks back we decided to make a conscious effort to try and change things.

A few things we have decided to change are;

Cereal- we are no longer buying T anything with chocolate in because she loves it or deserves a treat. She loves healthy cereal and hasn’t complained once since we switched so this is something we can easily stick to. This week we have been adding fruit to porridge and Weetabix to make it even more fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoghurt- kids yoghurt is so convenient, you just pick it up and pop it in the lunch box, or hand it out after lunch or dinner. They are also full full full of sugars and colours. We have gone back to basics with natural yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and fruit. I’ve also bought lots of smaller tupperware pots so I can send these in lunches and make them for us adults too!

 

 

 

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Snacks- gone are the Barney Bear cake bars, The individually wrapped, brightly coloured packets of sugary treats will no longer appear in this house on such a regular basis. I was actually surprised how little searching it took to find healthier snacks while shopping in the supermarket and T has enjoyed granola bites instead of biscuits and rice cakes instead of crisps. The good weather has also meant our meals have all been sprinkled with salad and T has enjoyed adding herbs from the garden. Our Easter week has also been the most active it could be with T taking her bike out 4 times and scooter twice and playing outside nearly every day.

Our decision to change our own eating habits as well as T’s hasn’t come at the easiest time with our house now being full of Easter eggs but the initial excitement wears off we intend to go back to chocolate days twice a week, usually a Tuesday and Saturday, this is something we have done for a long time and T looks forward to.

Once school is back and the work routine begins again I’m hoping we will be set to continue with our healthy choices, fitting in fun exercise where we can. I’m not saying there won’t ever be a time where I will say no to throwing a fruit shoot in the back of the car or that a packet of crisps won’t ever darken our cupboard doors again but hopefully this will just be something we see as more of a treat not a staple part of our diets so it will be better for all of us. Overall I will feel I am doing the best I can for T and not relying on convenience when I could make healthy, easy and fun swaps in all our diets. I’ve seen that kids can find just having a change fun so why not change from convenient to healthy and nutritious and get the kids in involved in making and preparing their own food choices when you can too.

Making easy healthy food fun and exciting while enjoying the changes yourself = mum winning!

Children · Easter · Family · happy · horse riding · Parenting · Uncategorized

Our Easter Week

This week has been great. It has been a week full of play dates, Easter egg hunts, bike rides and more. It has been a week of having fun with my girl, enjoying being her Mumma and having as much fun as possible with her before she goes away for a week on holiday with her Dad. I’ve loved every minute of it, here is a diary of our week. 

Monday we biked round the country park near our house, T helped us wash our cars to earn some pocket money and we went to the library for their Easter event. It was a beautiful sunny day and we finished it by watching a movie together.


Tuesday T went on her pony day. She spent the day at the stables and had 3 hours of riding and spent the rest mucking out ponies, feeding and grooming them and walking them to fields. She hasn’t done a day like this since August and she loved it.

Wednesday we went to a friend’s for an Easter hunt, games and lunch. We have done this for years now and always have a great time there.

Thursday we went to a friend’s for a play date and had a lovely time catching up and it was warm enough for the girls to play outside which was great. In the afternoon we went swimming with my cousin, something we haven’t done in months so T loved it. This is something we need to get back into now so she starts to get her confidence back before our holiday in June.

Friday we went to a friend’s for lunch and a little Easter hunt. T made an Easter crown and enjoyed playing with our little friend Kali while i had lots of cuddles with her baby brother.
We then took a bike ride round the same route we did Monday so I could track it and see how far it was. T was great and so was Poppy. The one bad thing, my phone needed an update so didn’t track the route! This meant when Scott came in from work he ran it and took T back on her bike again!
We found out the route was 2.5 miles so T biked 5 miles today! My little trooper:)


Tomorrow we have our Easter egg hunt at home after the bunny has been 😉 then T and I have the rest of the day to ourselves. It’s been such a fun week and I am just now starting to feel sad I have to be without her for a week. This is the pitfall of having to share I guess. At least I know I couldn’t have shown my little person a more fun week and will remember this every minute I miss her next week. 

Blogger · Childhood · Children · friends · Parenting · Thankful · weekend

All good things…

Well this weekend has been filled with fun times, friends and play dates for T, it has simply been great! I’m so used to sharing T for either part of or all of the weekend but this weekend I was lucky to have her right through until Sunday lunchtime. Anyone who is separated from their children’s father will know this is a luxury which needs to be made the most of and we did! 

Friday night we went to a friends and T had a great time catching up with a friend she used to go to school with. It’s so nice that they haven’t seen each other for a while and immediately ran upstairs to play without question or shyness. T then had a sleepover in my bed Friday night due to Scott being at work most of this weekend. Apart from her stealing the covers I love being in a bed with her and getting cuddles when she wakes up in the morning. Little people are so beautiful when they sleep.

Saturday we went to a friends for coffee then she tried ice skating for the first time in the afternoon, after some encouragement and a few tears she eventually enjoyed it and wants to go again, success. Later on we had a friend bring his children round for tea and another play. The kids loved making their own pizzas and dressing up was the favourite activity as usual! 

Yesterday we had another friend round and T spent 2 hours with her making a castle complete with draw bridge to take to school today and show their teacher! 

It really was such a great weekend that after Scott and I finally got to spend some time together last night I had a pang of wow I miss her. Every time she goes after we have had so much fun I get this, and I know she will be the same because she didn’t want to go yesterday. Just a day at work to go and then I get to kiss those little cheeks again. 

Big Ben · Birthday · Buckingham Palace · Children · happy · London · London Eye · Matilda The Musical · Uncategorized

Our day in London

So Saturday was a day Tiana and I had been looking forward to since her birthday, we were off for a girls day out to London as her main present was a ticket to see Matilda the musical! All our family put towards her ticket and Scott and I paid for the rest of the day. T was so excited she had a countdown she had been checking off since her birthday on 2nd January and had her outfit planned and little bag packed ready!

Off we went at 9am ready to get the train, this is something she has only done a handful of times so she was already excited! On the train we played games and treated ourselves to a chocolate muffin to share during the hour trip.

On arriving in London we had a planned route of places to go before the show at 2pm so we could fit in as much as possible into our day. We started at the monument, T’s last topic at school was the great fire of London so she was really excited to see this as she already knew it’s significance. It really was something, taller than the surrounding buildings it hits you as soon as you step out of the underground.

After this we were back on the tube to Westminster to show T Big Ben and the London Eye. The first words were “wow that’s so tall!” ,again, I was loving showing her the sights.

After taking some photos here we were off to see the Queen! Well Buckingham palace anyway. T was just as impressed by the huge gold gates as we walked across Green Park but we were lucky enough to see some of the Queens horses as we walked up to the gates of the palace. A quick wave to the Queen and were were off again!

We stopped for some lunch after this and then had a quick chance for some photos with a street performer on the way to find the biggest toy store in London, Hamleys! T had some birthday money to spend and chose to buy a London bear and a new outfit for her build a bear Hollie.

After this it was time to get to the show! After a quick stop to get T a keying for her collection we took our seats. I would recommend this musical to anyone! Its a fantastically fun filled story with adventure, courage and a little bit of naughtiness thrown in! We loved it! We really did have a fantastic day and all T kept saying on the train home was how sad she was it was all over! I feel the same and enjoyed so much my day getting my little T round London that although we were both exhausted I cant wait to take her back again.

Birthday · Children · Uncategorized

Back to reality

So our celebrations are over, in my 10 days off work we have had Christmas, new year and T’s birthday and it’s been fantastic! Right now I’m just feeling lucky to have spent it with such lovely people and had so many good times. Today has been filled with smiles, surprises and one happy birthday girl who finally fell asleep at 7 30 exhausted! I on the other hand don’t want to go to bed tonight as it means I have to wake up and go back to work tomorrow pretending I know what I’m doing after nearly 2 weeks away! Oh the plus side I feel much more confident with my braces now, I can talk a lot easier, know how to manage aches and pains and use the wax when I need to and am getting more confident with food (even though I did have an incident with spaghetti sauce sending my wax slightly orange earlier) I just won’t try anything new at work especially in front of my trainees and I should be fine!

New years resolutions, I intend to continue focusing on this blog because I’ve really enjoyed writing and connecting with people from around the world on so many different issues. The support I’ve received on here has been really wonderful just when I thought I was writing to no one! I also just intend to keep spending my time with as many of my wonderful friends and family as I can and focusing on the positives in my life to help me to deal with any negatives easier.

Happy new year and here’s to a great 2017!

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Adult braces · Children · Christmas · fairy door · Parenting · Puppy · Uncategorized

Our family Christmas

I was really apprehensive about this Christmas as it was the first I wouldn’t wake up with my baby girl but I was so lucky to have my Nan stay with me from Christmas eve right up until boxing day and she helped me through my mini breakdown when T left Christmas eve. After that there were a couple of moments during our quiet morning where me and Scott hugged and just missed her but before we knew it she was home and our Christmas began.

I am always so amazed at how well behaved T can be when there was not even a mention of her main present as we had opened everything and were clearing up Scott wheeled it in. Her face was a picture and then she ran over and threw her arms around him, I’m so glad I videoed this moment.

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I’ve learnt to manage my braces over the Christmas period but am still finding foods I can’t eat, crisps and crackers are off the menu and I find myself fishing through the chocolate box for the soft centred ones but apart from that I’ve coped pretty well with food. The wax is now my best friend and I’m getting used to the cleaning routine at night. I can’t really talk properly until I’ve had a hot drink in the mornings as my face feels like it’s glued to my braces but maybe Scott will tell you this silence is a good thing😉

One thing we have done in the post Christmas haze of dvds, winter walks, chocolate and presents is set up T’s two fairy doors she got from two separate people. She is really excited and if I’m honest so am I!  Any little chance to keep the magic alive for my girl as she approaches 7 and I’m on it so today as she has left for her Dad’s again the first fairy has visited. The key has ‘disappeared’ from the outside door and I cannot wait for her to notice. I’m already planning ideas for this fairy and how I will tell the tale, my Nan says I should write books I have such an imagination.

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Our woodland fairy door
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Our tooth fairy door

As for Poppy she celebrated her first Christmas as any 6 month old puppy should, playing with friends and enjoying new treats and toys. She has been amazing with all the noise, company, present giving, change of location and routine and we couldnt be prouder of her.

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All in all it has been a fantastic few days, now time to relax infront of the fire with a glass of wine before the real excitement begins for T’s birthday party Friday!

 

Adult braces · Ballet · Children · Christmas · Parenting · Uncategorized

Christmas Cheer

So here it is a whole week since I had 4 teeth out ready for my braces to be fitted and today is the first day without any pain relief! What a week, I’ve lost half a stone, been tired, emotional, powered through work and existed only on a liquid diet but I can still say I’m pleased I did it all in one go. The thought of going for two separate visits and doing all this twice is pretty awful and as a Mother and working wife I’ve still managed this week as usual just pumped on pain relief so it can be done people!

This week is definitely ending on a much better note than it began, T had her last ballet lesson this year yesterday which means it’s time for us to watch! This is not something we get to do very often so it was a really enjoyable 45 minutes watching what she is learning for her next exam. No I’m not one of those pushy parents, T has done ballet since she was 4 after she started dancing to a ballet dvd with Darcy Bussell and she hasn’t looked back since. We go once a week and she does a show each summer and an exam each spring. When she first started she didn’t know a single child in the room and apart from needing to be walked in the room she didn’t need me at all. Since then she has had friends join and leave but this doesn’t bother her and she always looks forward to her lesson every week and always comes out with a smile. I love that this is something she can do and enjoy that doesn’t take up too much of her time and I don’t need to push her into. Plus her cousins who are now 19 and 16 have been ballerinas since they were tiny too so I think watching them just makes her excited to be like them as she gets older.

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So not only did I get to watch ballet yesterday but it was also the Christmas nativity performance at the school during the evening, yes it was a busy day, and it really was a fantastic Christmas story with plenty of humour and lots of singing so just perfect for a nativity. My little innkeeper did me proud!

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So finally tomorrow is our family Christmas! All my family will be enjoying a Christmas dinner, exchanging presents and playing games, after a 2 hour drive to get there! So the presents are packed, the puppy is bathed and our outfits are set for the morning, here is to the chaos that will follow! 😊

Adult braces · Children · Love · Orthodontist · Sisters · Teeth · Uncategorized

Little by little

So today I have managed my pain relief much better and it has worked out a better day. Work passed uneventfully with soup and a shake and this evening I helped T finish her homework project and then washed and dried her hair. This is something I’ve loved to do since it started to grow long. Tonight she looked like Rapunzel, there is no other word for it, I’m totally in love with her beautiful hair and won’t ever let her cut it!

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My little Rapunzel

After bath time I wrapped presents then curled up with a peppermint tea after a recommendation from a friend.

I think it’s fair to say I still have a way to go but I may have turned a very small corner.

Thank you for all your support everyone

Lou xx