Friday, 12 May 2017

Turning #TearsIntoSmiles with Elastoplast

One of my favourite activities to do with the boys is to spend time outdoors. The fresh air works wonders for them meaning  they are noticeably calmer throughout the day and even seem to sleep better at night! My boys are mini whirlwinds and while being outside has it's obvious benefits, with all the running around. they can also be prone to bumps and falls. Elastoplast is celebrating outdoor play encouraging us to help turn tears into smiles with their #TearsintoSmiles challenge! Check out this beautiful little video... 


Outdoor play is essential to a child's development and that's why its so important that they are not discouraged when they do fall. We were sent some wonderful character plasters which my boy absolutely loved. His favourite was an Olaf one which he wore with pride after a little fall and showed it to everyone that would look! 




Here are a few little tips and tricks I use to soothe my boys after a fall...
Distraction! My boys are obsessed with bubbles and have a little bubble machine which blows so many bubbles that they quickly forget any tears and carry on having fun! 
Cuddles! There's nothing better than a cuddle to turn those frowns upside down!
Plasters! Using a plaster with a fun design on helps to bring a bit of fun to the situation and if your little one is anything like mine, it will be worn with pride! 




This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast. http://campaigns.elastoplast.net/plastermoments/uk

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Ten Truths of Parenting

1) You will at some point find yourself trying to work out which Cbeebies presenter you fancy the most. Even if you don’t particularly fancy one, you will make yourself pick one.
2) You’d rather stick a pen in your eye than have to peel off and pass your child stickers for the best part of an hour.
3) Bing can do one.
4) And Flop.
5) At some point, while being car-bound due to a sleeping baby or because the thought of putting up the pram and unloading the kids again fills you with dread, you will have invented (in your head) the drive-through convenience store and been pretty chuffed with yourself.
6) Whenever your children eat Cheerios for breakfast you will, without doubt, later find yourself peeling one off your sock.
7) You’ll find yourself frequently wondering why they don’t just bloody attach the phone to the Vtech Walker.
8) You will instantly regret pointing out an interesting thing to your child whilst travelling in a car as they will invariably miss it and then you will spend the rest of the journey explaining that they’ve now missed it, that the cute bunny rabbit is now 8 miles away and will have surely hopped away by now and that no, you can’t turn back so that they can see it.
9) Whenever you read The Tiger that Came to Tea you’ll decide that should a tiger ever come to tea at your house and subsequently rob you of all your provisions, like hell will you buy it a vat of tiger food in preparation for it’s next visit. Shotgun anyone? 
10) You can buy baby socks until they come out of your ears, but the vast majority of them will live out their days as odd socks. True dat.

This post first appeared on www.meetothermums.com 

Monday, 17 April 2017

I'm Sorry, Little One

To my littlest boy, 

You know Mummy always feels guilty about everything, right? Well, this one keeps me awake sometimes. I want to explain something to you. When your big brother was born, Mummy and Daddy’s focus shifted. He became the centre of our entire world. Everything in the world revolved around him. This tiny precious, scrawny, beautiful little thing was suddenly the brightest, loudest, most glorious soul in the world. My days were spent properly indulging in him. I watched his every movement, I knew him inside out. I could distinguish between a bored cry, a hungry cry, a pained cry. I got to know all the little things about him like the glint he got (and still gets) in his eye when he was up to no good, the cute little squeaks he made when he was concentrating and the exact position he had to be held in to be rocked to sleep. When you arrived my sweet, he was still in the centre of my world but now so were you. And he was, at this point, a busy three year-old boy who wanted me to look after him and entertain him. He didn’t get knocked from this prime position, nor did he suddenly take second place; you both had to share it. So I hope you’ll forgive me but I never got to indulge in you in quite the same way. When pregnant with you, I wasn’t able to lie on the sofa for hours, watching TV, feeling every wiggle and kick. Nor when you arrived could I spend ages staring at you, trying to make you smile. It’s true, you’ve had to share the limelight but I want you to know that you shine just as brightly as your brother. It may have taken me longer to get to know you, I may still be learning, but I promise you, you’ll always be and always have been just as glorious as your brother.

Mummy x 


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Dolmio #ThankGoodness challenge

We were challenged by Dolmio to take part in the #ThankGoodness Challenge and to create a mid-week meal using Dolmio Bolognese Sauce. We were sent a fabulous delivery of veggie food and I decided to cook veggie Spaghetti bolognese for us all!


During the week, by the time my partner is home from work and we have finally got the boys down to bed the hour is usually getting on a bit so I love creating quick, easy meals! Now, my boys are really fussy so I was near certain they wouldn’t eat it but they not only tried it, but both actually enjoyed it! In fact, the eldest asked for it again a few days later so this was a huge success as far as I’m concerned! 


I was pleasantly surprised at just how tasty it was as I’ve never bought it before and the icing on the top is the fact that Dolmio Bolognese Original 500g sauce is 100% natural. A jar provides a family of four with one of their 5-a-day each and there are absolutely no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners!



If you want a quick, easy meal made with fine ingredients than I really recommend Dolmio. We will certainly be using it again! 

We used:
1 jar of 500g Dolmio Bolognese sauce
Vegetarian mince
Organic Wholewheat Spaghetti
Mushrooms
Courgettes


This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio. www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Why Mum Guilt Can Just Do One

I vowed to always be honest on this blog so with the risk of perhaps exposing a bit too much of myself, I wanted to share with you the things I’ve felt guilty about today. The things I can remember at least. There’s a point to all this so bear with me. 

Things I’ve felt guilty about today 
  • Not getting washed and dressed prior to the boys being awake
  • Having my shower before getting the boy sorted even though he was awake 
  • Giving the boy a breakfast cereal that I know contains sugar 
  • Giving the baby toast again 
  • Being late for playgroup
  • Deciding to brush the baby’s teeth when we get home because we were running so late for playgroup 
  • Not having the right money for playgroup so now owe it for next week. 
  • Not having more money full stop. 
  • Not working more hours to earn this money 
  • Working at all when I could be at home with the boys
  • Catching up with a friend for a few minutes while at playgroup and therefore not sitting and engaging with the boy 
  • Making him wait for his squash at snack time because I hadn’t managed to get it while sorting out the food and now there is a queue
  • Telling him off for whining in the car
  • Giving them both cheese sandwiches for lunch
  • Giving the boy some cheesy puffs with his lunch
  • Not having any cucumber in the fridge 
  • Not eating a healthier lunch as I’m still breastfeeding and never quite sure if I need to be eating better 
  • Not playing with the baby after his nap (boy at preschool) because I was doing some work on the computer and then some blog stuff
  • Giving the boy a little bag of Haribo when he arrives home
  • Putting the TV on for them both 
  • Not tending to the garden so now it’s all overgrown and the boys shoes are all wet from the grass
  • Not buying a cover for the trampoline for the winter and now it’s all grimy
  • Not taking the boy out on his bike more 
  • Not cleaning up the outdoor toys I bought from Gumtree
  • Not playing Playdoh with the boy as I wanted to get dinner sorted instead
  • Going on Twitter on my phone
  • Getting dinner sorted later than I planned because of going on Twitter
  • Not being better at getting vegetables into the boy
  • Letting the boy have an unhealthy pudding before his banana
  • Nagging him to tidy up his toys 
  • Spending too much time looking at phone
  • Making him giggle at bedtime even though I know I need to wind him down so he goes to sleep quicker and doesn’t wake the baby
  • Having a glass of wine with dinner


Right, I’m going to stop there. I feel quite exhausted writing all that down but it’s all true. I know I’m not the only one that feels constant mum guilt and I know it’s not healthy. And while I’m not sure if there will ever be a day I don’t torture myself this way, I guess the trick to lessening it is to try and change our thought processes. So for example, using the first four points in the list, here is how I could have viewed them: 


  • Not getting up, washed and dressed prior to the boys being awake…. I was allowing myself some time to relax in bed before the chaos 
  • Having my shower before getting the boy sorted even though he was awake… Getting myself sorted first so that I can concentrate on geting on with the day and supporting the boys fully 
  • Giving the boy a cereal that I know contains sugar… He’s getting some food which also contains vitamins and there is calcium in the milk 
  • Giving the baby toast again… he’s getting fed and he’s enjoying his breakfast




So although I can’t claim to have a hold on mum guilt, I do know that in the grand scheme of things the boys are OK and I’m doing OK. If our children are happy, loved and nourished then putting this level of pressure on ourselves is just not on is it? We owe ourselves a bit more than this, surely?



Monday, 27 March 2017

Surviving Parenting as an Introvert

I read something this week that said something along the lines of ‘if socialising energises you then you’re an extrovert, if it drains you you’re an introvert’. This was like a bloomin’ revelation to me, I’d been trying to put into words for some time how I feel when I’m out the house, interacting with people or socialising. Just to be clear, it’s not that I don’t like seeing people, I do like to talk to people and I love my friends fiercely, it’s just that when I do spend time interacting, engaging, creating conversation etc, I’m always a little bit worn out after. I realise how bad this sounds and if you’re one of my friends reading this, please still come visit me(!!)- it’s a good sort of worn out. I think this comes from a place of shyness and from past anxieties about what people thought of me. I do genuinely love to be around people for example, if the boys and their dad are out I feel a bit lonely but when they are back I’m more than happy to have a bit of quiet time reading a book (which coincidentally is about as likely as pigs flying with my two!) knowing that the hustle and bustle is going on around me. I think my natural state is a quiet one. I got told time and time again when I was employed that I was too quiet or that I didn’t appear confident and that was always used as a criticism, as something that I should be working on. It took me a long time to realise that being a quieter person isn’t a negative, you can have a quiet confidence and an inner strength without being the loudest person in the room and this is always in the back of my mind now that I’m self-employed. One of the reasons I started the business was to get away from this kind of negativity, it was just so draining and those past criticisms are the fuel that drives me to keep going, to try and make it a success and if it is, it’ll be two fingers up to those very people that dragged me down.


As a parent, I’ll be honest, some days I can feel completely and utterly drained at being climbed on, or pulled about, or just having the constant chatter around me whereas conversely, there’s really nowhere I’d rather be. I can sometimes feel like I’m all touched out. How I’ve managed this over the last four years is to allow myself time in the day where I do get a bit of space. So for example, I’ll encourage them to play by themselves for a little while, I might pop Cbeebies on, or I’ll nip them in the car and just let them enjoy the ride, leaving me to my own thoughts. Most of the time, once I’ve had a cup of tea and a chance to breathe I’m energised and ready for round two. The point of this is to encourage you to be true to yourselves. If parenting and socialising energises you then that’s fab and if it doesn’t then that’s ok too, you don’t need to change, you just need to allow yourself to do whatever you need to do in order to keep going. I spent years trying to change, to adapt to an environment that made no allowances for me – for my inner quietness, but I’m at an age now where I’m not going to change without a fight and I think I owe it to myself to stay true to myself.  


Pink Pear Bear
My Petit Canard

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Four Today!


My teeny tiny little baby boy is somehow four today. It’s hard to contemplate just how much he has changed since he was born. The very first time I met him he was being lowered towards me by the midwife and he looked like a little spider monkey, all long limbs and big hands and so tiny. 

When we eventually took him home he looked so diddy in his car seat.


Today he’s a beautiful, happy and bright little whirlwind. And he’s so, so funny. He makes me laugh every single day, from the time he smacked his bum and exclaimed ‘ooh, my arse’ (aged one), to exclaiming ‘nope’ at a christening when the vicar asked if everyone renounced the devil, to the ‘you have a poo in your eye, mummy’ wonderful randomness of him! He’s always very conscious of people’s feelings and sometimes he seems like the mature one in the house. He is the one that first burst my heart wide open, that taught me to slow down and take note of the world, who taught me to fight for what’s right and walk away from what’s not, who my happiness is always intrinsically linked to and who made me more than just me, I’m part of him and him of me. Happy birthday little man. Never stop laughing.  


My Petit Canard
Mummascribbles

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

I Still Notice

A letter to my husband, 
            There was a time when our world consisted of a series of lazy mornings in bed, late-night chats about where we would go and who we would be. My life was about you and yours was about me. But two babies later and although you still mean the world to me, they burst into our little bubble in a tornado of toys, sticky hands, night feeds, baby wipes, giggles, nappies, tiny toes and noise. A whole lot of noise. And while you are still my whole world, so are these little munchkins, and they are a whole lot louder than the pair of us. And so these days it can feel like we are passing ships in the night, when our daytime communication consists of ‘need milk’ or ‘will you be late?’ But I want you to know that I still I notice the little things you do to let me know I’m still loved. Like fetching me a glass of water every night without fail. Doing far more than your share of the night time calls. Charging my phone when the battery is getting low and putting my keys where I will see them so I’m not rushing around in the morning. These things are only little but they speak loader than words. You might think I don’t see them but I do. I want you to know that I still notice, I’ll always notice. You’re not lost in the chaotic, wonderful yet exhausting sea of parenthood, I’m right there with you. 
And I still notice x

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Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
Cuddle Fairy
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Reviewing Bambo Nature Nappies

I was delighted to be given the opportunity to review Bambo Nature nappies this month. I can honestly say that I was really impressed. Now, I’m fussy with nappies. I like them to be soft, thin and light, to have tags that stretch well to secure the fit and I also like those tags to be relatively soft to prevent them digging in to the baby’s skin. I don’t like them to have a chemical smell nor do I like the design to be too garish as it can show through their clothes. It’s safe to say that I’m hard to please! But I found that these nappies really measured up.



Firstly, the fit was great. There were no gaping parts that could cause a leak, nor did I feel I had to overstretch the tags in order to fit the nappy correctly. My son seemed settled and happy so was obviously comfortable. The nappies were thin and light which I loved as I definitely avoid the bulky nappies on the market. The absorbency was fantastic; no leaks and the nappies didn't feel wet to touch after he'd been in them for a little while so I knew they were protecting his skin. What I noticed straight away is that the nappies had no chemical smell which I find is really rare in most brands and this reflects the fact that the nappies are environmentally friendly and free from chemicals. The design was cute, not overly bright, yet it wasn’t dull. So for me, the Bambo Nature nappies, tick every box. Now, they are more expensive than some brands but you’re paying for a high quality product and one that is ethically sourced too. They are a soft, gentle, effective and environmentally friendly product, perfect for those precious little bottoms!


The Bambo Nature nappies can be found at www.theconsciousparent.co.uk

Friday, 24 February 2017

What I've learnt from blogging

I started Rice Cakes and Raisins in January this year and today I’ve been looking back over the journey so far. Overall it’s been a positive experience, I’ve really enjoyed exploring my creative side again, a part of me that seems like it’s been on hold for such a long time. I really do think it’s good for the soul to be creative, it’s certainly been on my to-do list for a while but other things have always taken precedence, but if it’s food for the soul then who am I to argue? During the first few weeks I became quite concerned with stats, checking the daily and weekly page views, always hoping I could better the previous score but now I’m not so concerned with that. Sure, it’s great to receive a lot of views and it’s never something I’d not welcome, nor will I stop trying to increase my audience, but I’ve learnt that it shouldn’t be the main focus as this really takes away from the enjoyment of the blog. It might be cliché to say, but if I can help just one person to feel less alone, to feel confident in their parenting abilities, to see the funny side of parenting and to go a little easier on themselves then I’ll be pretty chuffed with that. While I don’t mind the work that goes into the blog from promoting posts, updating the different social media accounts, as well as seeking, engaging with and retaining followers, I also have a baby that NEVER BLOODY SLEEPS(!!!) so I’ve really had to cut myself some slack here in terms of the length of time I can spend online but he’ll sleep eventually won’t he? WON’T HE??? 

Particular highlights have been engaging with other bloggers; I see the same names crop up on Twitter and Facebook and it’s lovely to know there is a little community out there of people willing to help and share their stories. Another highlight has been that my post ‘I Wish I was Evening Mum’ was selected by Mumsnet to be one of their featured posts of the day. I’ve also finally entered the world of Twitter, something I’d put off for years as I didn’t quite understand it. I’m officially down with the kids now! And lastly and most importantly, has been the interaction with the readers; like-minded parents that have exclaimed ‘oh my God, me too! I thought it was just me!!’ Believe me, it won't just be you.

So here’s to the next two months! I can’t wait to see what it brings x