So the other night was movie night, we have a good sized collection of Disney classics, as any home should and Lady and the Tramp happens to be one of them.
Now we have watched this film countless times but probably not for a few months and this time I came to realise how much my little persons mind is changing. There were a lot of questions she has never asked before and I guess I just assumed she knew the answers to or I didn’t want to explain because I thought she would get upset.
So I thought I would share with you her questions and my answers to give you some idea of how a 7 year olds mind works.
T- Why is there one puppy at the end which looks like tramp and the rest look like lady?
Me- Well because they had puppies together.
T- but how did they get one looking like the dad because puppies go in the mummies tummy?
Me- well because he is the Dad and Lady is the Mummy so some look like each one, like Poppy looks like her Daddys colour but her Mummy’s size. (I bailed at this point and did not go any further into why the dogs look like the Mum and Dad! She’s only 7!)
T- what does lost your sense of smell mean?
Me- that dog is a hound so he uses his sense of smell to hunt things out so as he’s got a little older he can’t smell things as well any more which for him is pretty sad.
T- where is the dog in the pound going?
At this point the dog is being taken for the ‘long walk’ from which he never returns.
Me- well in the old days when they had a dog at the pound and no one came to claim him they would kill it after a few days because they didn’t have enough space to keep them all.
*watches T’s face for reaction*
T- and the dog just thought he was really going for a long walk, he was excited to go out the door.
Me- yes babe.
*realises this film is actually pretty sad in places*
T- Why does Lady get that put on her face?
Me- because the Aunt thinks she is going to bite the baby so they put those on dogs that aren’t very nice to keep them from hurting anyone.
T-why does the Beaver need that log in the river?
Me- because they like to build a dam to stop the water so they have a home to live in.
And that’s all folks!
The lesson for today- no matter how much you think your kids can follow these films and they have watched them since they were tiny there is still a lot they really don’t understand so one day be ready for the questions!
Wow I can’t believe I made a year! When I started this blog it was as an outlet to share my experiences with braces as an adult and to hopefully learn from other people’s journey also. The thing is it’s turned into much more than that! I’ve learned I love to document my life! Sharing experiences, hobbies, days out, trips away, special moments gives me real enjoyment and it’s the lovely comments and likes I get from readers around the world that keeps me writing. I have written about so many things in the last year from my experiences as a step parent to buying our puppy last year. I’ve talked about my love of being married and the happiness it brings to my struggles of trying to progress a career while still being a present parent. I’ve continued to document my experiences with braces and will keep on doing so in the hope that they help others deliberating whether or not to take the plunge or are already on their journey. My new found love of walking/hiking has been a hot topic over the summer months this year culminating in a walking challenge which saw me walk over 80 miles in a month!
This blog has been like a journal at times being the first thing I want to do when I’m going through a tough time and a way to vent my frustration while also sometimes allowing me to see my opinions in a different light.
Reviews of places I’ve been have almost become a part of the experience now and it’s a given to my husband that some of the many photos I take will be specifically for my blog. If I can show someone how great a place was or how dog friendly somewhere can be and they can enjoy it as much as I did then my writing is all worthwhile.
There are plenty of mum blogs out there and I don’t just write about my experiences as a Mum but this has also been a huge part of my blog. Again if I can show someone else what we get up to and they enjoy doing it then why not!
Whatever my chosen topic is I would just like to say thank you to everyone that has taken the time to read my posts, like them and leave a comment. Without your interest I wouldn’t have continued to write and had 2 pieces published, something I would never even have attempted to do before this!
My plan for the future is to keep blogging, sharing my happy times and my sad times too, hopefully helping others with my braces experiences and reviewing everywhere I go!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my journey so far and here’s to the next year!
I love this time of year, the leaves are crunching under your feet, the mornings are starting to turn a little crisp and the the nights are drawing in making the days feel very autumnal. This time of year brings so many opportunities for activities with your little ones and with half term approaching what better time than now to start planning your days! Here are a few activities that will keep you and your little ones occupied over the Autumn break.
Plan a nature trail
Firstly plan a walk, this could be round a local park, nature reserve, farm or just round your local neighbourhood and can last for however long you want. Longer walks can be planned in with a snack stop in the middle!
Next take an A4 piece of plain paper and write out anything you can spot along the way. This could be anything from animals to farm gates, bat boxes to railway lines, or from conkers to post boxes! A little drawing next to the item helps your small person to identify the object even if they are too young to read the words.
Now set off with a pen and something to rest on and enjoy checking off everything on your list!
This can be varied by creating trails for different things such as writing out every letter of the alphabet and trying to spot an object for each letter or every colour of the rainbow!
Be imaginative and keep your little ones interested by helping them with clues when they get stuck and this can be an activity everyone will enjoy!
Set off on a leaf collecting mission!
Take a walk around your neighbourhood and collect up different leaves, they can be all different shapes and sizes but ideally they need to be whole. Once you get home there are lots of different activities to choose from, you could create a leaf animal by sticking your leaves on paper and adding heads, arms, legs, tails or wings!
You could even create a story with your different leaf characters on a few sheets of paper! Let your imagination run wild and give your leaf characters names, draw them houses and think what their favourite food, colour or activity might be! Maybe create a short bio for each character stating their name, age and most embarrassing moment!
Make your own tree
Take a large piece of plain paper and draw the trunk and branches of a tree. Now take your leaves and glue them on to the branches. You can use as many or as little leaves as you want as its your design, you could even add orange glitter to really make your tree design pop!
Make a leaf butterfly
Take a piece of plain paper and arrange your leaves in the shape of a butterfly.
Try to make your leaves symmetrical and fan them out into the shape of a butterfly’s wings. You can use stalks for antennae and once you have finished perfecting your
design glue your butterfly into place!
Conkers are in plentiful supply at this time of year and used to be for one thing and one thing only, this being conker championships but nowadays there are so many more things you can do with them. The good old fashioned game of conkers can still be fun and is easy to do by simply drilling a hole through the middle of a conker and threading some string through you can try and beat your opponent but seeing whose conker is made of stronger stuff!
Another way to use conkers is to decorate them and leave them around the house in jars or ramekins. You can use paint, glitter glue or stickers, go crazy and create some Halloween themed conkers painting them orange to look like little pumpkins or green for mini monsters!
Now this is one of our favourite activities to do as not only do you get to carve a pumpkin at the end of it you also spend time together as a family choosing the perfect pumpkin for your creations! We have local farm where we can go and pick but there are locations up and down the country where you are able to wander off into fields of pumpkins with a wheelbarrow and come back with your desired crop. Remember to keep in mind if you go for the biggest pumpkin you will need a design that will carry it off, the same applies for the smallest which means its best to choose a medium sized pumpkin unless you want to be carving for a very long time! Usually at these locations there are other activities going on during peak Pumpkin picking season, there might be a pop up cafe or a farm shop or a bird of prey display.
Its always good to support local businesses and although pumpkin picking usually works out more expensive than buying one from a supermarket it is much more of an activity that can take a good couple of hours up before you have even started work on your pumpkin carving!
Make pumpkin soup
This is one of my favourite things to do with the left over pumpkin after we have carved our Halloween lanterns. Its so simple and tastes delicious, a sure way to warm up after an Autumn walk. Here is the recipe I use and it always gets a great response!
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook the onions for 5 mins, until soft but not coloured.
Add the pumpkin to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.
Pour the stock into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins until the pumpkin is very soft.
Pour the double cream into the pan, bring back to the boil, then purée with a hand blender. For an extra-velvety consistency you can pour the soup through a fine sieve. The soup can now be frozen for up to 2 months.
To make the croutons: cut the bread into small squares. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the bread until it starts to become crisp. Add a handful of pumpkin seeds to the pan, then cook for a few mins more until they are toasted. These can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container.
Reheat the soup if needed, taste for seasoning, then serve scattered with croutons and seeds and drizzled with more olive oil, if you want!
I hope you enjoy these half term activities and can make the most of spending time with your little one without braking the bank.
So this is it, the last day on my own! While Scott has been away on his annual windsurfing trip all week and I’m ready for him to come back now! I feel like this week out of all his trips I have felt more comfortable in my own company than any other before. Me and T have had a busy week with her having a party, two playdates, ballet, riding and first week of choir at school. To add to that I’ve been to work, attended a meeting at Ts school, managed to maintain the housework, seen lots of friends and yesterday finally managed to take Poppy out for longer than 20 minutes!
It’s been a good week but the highlight has to be visiting my brother on Thursday. He is leaving for Japan on Sunday for his 3rd year at University studying Japanese. He will be there for a year minimum studying so I really wanted to take a trip to see him before he went. It was a rush to get there and get back before the school pick up time at 3pm but I managed it and we had a really good catch up over hot chocolate and cake!
I gave him a few small but thoughtful gifts along with some Yen to take with him and he was really chuffed.
I got a reluctant photo of the both of us, he’s really not into photos for no reason as he calls it, and this is a smile for him!
Quirks and all I’m super proud of him for what he has achieved, all be it winging it a lot of the way he has still done all this and is going to live on the other side of the world on his own, something I couldn’t imagine him doing a few years ago.
T also had some good news this week in that she got a place on a 3 day residential trip in March with her school. She was super happy and I’m pleased for her, I feel it will be a great experience and she will love the freedom and independence it gives her. This was her happy face when she found out the news!
We also marked 4 years at ballet for T with the customary photo, my baby seems to small to have done anything for 4 years but she has!
All in all its been a good week, I feel like I’ve been able to create a good balance between Mummy and T time, Me time and Poppy time. Don’t get me wrong it’s been busy and a lot of work at times just the two of us but I feel like I’ve created a little routine and we have adapted just fine.
Half way round the lake yesterday though I wished I had someone to share this beautiful view with!
So it’s been a pretty great weekend! Summer holidays always brings pressure with what to do that’s interesting, but doesn’t cost a fortune, and makes T feel like this is what summer holidays are all about.
So we started off with Thursday, we did a spot of food shopping in the morning and then it turned into quite a grey and cloudy day so in the afternoon we stayed on the sofa watching George’s Dragon, a really great film. After that we went to last ballet lesson before break and I cooled us homemade burgers which were so good!
Friday we we took Poppy round the lake,A lap of 2.5 miles and it was such a windy day T’s bike blew over when she stopped to use her new stand!
After this we had some good friends over for a playdate and using inspiration from the film we watched T got everyone to decorate a picture of a dragon as an art activity! The girls all loved it really got creative! Afterwards they spent some time playing outside and eating strawberries, raspberries and blueberries on a strawberry Angel delight as a treat! We had a lovely afternoon.
Friday nights dinner was salmon and brocolli pasta with a creme fraiche and chive sauce.
Saturday was a very special day, We became godparents to our good friends son Kaleb. We felt very honoured to be asked and with Scott also doing a reading during the ceremony it was such a great day. Although I have to say T’s favourite part was probably the bouncy castle at the party after!
Again the weather turned bad later on so it was comfy clothes and a film again and this time it was Mr Peabody and Sherman! T also finished a colouring she had started on the last day of school.
Today we have been to riding, She had a great lesson, right up until she fell off! Well it was more of a plop but she was fine and got herself a certificate for being brave! I think she just wanted to christen her new jodphurs on the sand!
This afternoon T played outside while we gave the garden a good tidy up, it’s amazing how much you can clear up if you haven’t done it for a while and we got loads done while T amused herself. After we popped out and finally got some cushions to finish our garden seat that Scott built a couple of months ago. I’m really pleased with how it looks now. Scott made dinner tonight and it was delicious!
Now as the weather is still good we are off to take Pops for a walk round the lake as I’ve only managed 10 miles so far this week because it keeps raining!
Hope you’ve all had a great weekend and start to the summer holidays, I would love to hear what you have been upto!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.