Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Will My Child Ever Sleep

Yes I did google 'Will My Child Ever Sleep' more than once! This post was written, in most part, in 2014 when the Termite was barely 1 and was not sleeping and had not slept for a long time, I've decided to post it in the hopes that some of you who are feeling the sleep deprivation may feel better knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel, Sadly I cant tell you how long your sleep tunnel is, Peanut slept from 16 weeks pretty much, The Golden Child not until 13 months and Termite, well there are still nights she wakes us up but she didn't sleep for more than 3 hours ever until she was 23 months!

So for all you sleep deprived parents, who cant remember whether its the left boob or the right, whether you put in 6 scoops or formula or 7. and even remember to put on pants in the morning I PROMISE sleep will come, and maybe you too will look back with rose tints at the nights you got to snuggle a teeny tiny in the dark quiet nights! But know that you are not alone in feeling BAD, here is my post...

July 2014
When Termite was weeny I embraced the night time get ups as a chance to write, it's short lived I told myself so take it as a gift of time! Soon enough though she started sleeping all night and we embraced that even more firmly. Then at 16 weeks we had our immunisations and that was the day the sleep ended! Most nights I'm up every 90 minutes to two hours and let me tell you most nights I'm now too tired to even string together a sentence never mind blog ! The novelty has truly faded, so too have the well though out posts. A look at my draft folder will reveal 37 unfinished posts, this one in fact, bemoaning the struggle of sleep deprivation,  has been started and discarded at various unearthly hours about 17 times! I've begun posts on the rules of sleep club, the things that sleep deprivation affects, the trade offs and the torture and the standards that start to slip. Let me tell you, there was a time not long ago that I could be organised and well planned, now however most days feel like just a survival effort. If we can get to bed time alive and well, clean and fed then we will take that as a win.

I know it sounds very dramatic but in the wise words of a fellow sleep deprived mum 'sleep deprivation seeps into every part of your life, every single relationship' and it does I've missed out on days out and activities because either I've been so tired I couldn't drive safely or honestly it was just too much effort to get ready and get three kids there. I've left pans on, or more insanely not switched on the oven so simply and cruelly found tea sitting just as raw as I last saw it an hour earlier when I put it in the oven! It makes you snappy and short or tearful and irrational. I smile and give reasons for her owl-like night behaviour because the truth is some babies just don't sleep well but behind my smile lies a scruffy emotional overwhelmed loon who sometimes thinks it would be easier to move house than tackle the seemingly endless list of chores to catch up on in order to have a tidy house. Because honestly some days it's just too much to contemplate the laundry or mopping or hoovering! 

At 11 months my nightly affirmations (after 7 straight months of broken nights) are ...,

'The Golden Child didn't sleep until 12 months, you're nearly there'

'This too shall pass'

'Embrace the chance of baby cuddles this time is fleeting'

But I will be honest most nights I praying to my god that I can have 4 straight hours or that the whimper won't turn into a full on wail 'please please let her sleep tonight' 

Friday, 26 August 2016

Quixels Kingdom Castle Attack

We were recently sent this amazing Quixels Kingdom Castle Attack playset to review, here are The Golden Child's thoughts ...

We Love

  • I love the educational aspects of this, problem solving, planning, colour matching
  • Great for fine motor skill development
  • Brilliant for developing concentration
  • No mess, no glue, just water
  • Everything packs away to be played with another day
  • You can but more quixels sets online to create even more characters

Room for Improvement

  • Maybe plenty of spare quixels 'incase' you make a mistake like we did!

RRP 29.99 and available from Character Online 

How Outdoor Play Builds A Healthy Brain - Guest Post

There’s no denying the effect thatoutdoor exercise has on our bodies. Not only does it help tackle obesity, it also reduces the risk of heart disease and improves core motor skills at the same time. Sound too good to be true? Well, it gets even better. The outdoors are more than just a chance for children to keep their bodies healthy. Through the process of outdoor play, they are also developing their minds.

For some, outdoor play might just be a collective name for outdoor activities. But to experts, it is a much more specific term. Children use play as a way to learn about their environment and the people surrounding them. Outdoor play helpschildren make sense of the natural world and get to grips with their own capabilities within it. While play time might seem like fun and games, it is also a great opportunity for children’s development to flourish.

The Effect Of Outdoor Play On Development

The outdoors is an abundant source of engaging and stimulating activities. Children crave outdoor play because it is such a fundamental part of their development. It teaches them the importance of making independent decisions, taking calculated risks and exploring the very realms of possibility. When opportunities for outdoor play are limited, children tend to lack these vital skills. Finding the time and the resources to initiate outdoor play can be difficult, but it should also be considered a top priority.

Even as babies, children begin to understand the importance of interacting with their surroundings. By the time they are one year old, this fascination has stretched to include familiar people, too. Through parallel play, toddlers begin to socialise with other children — though, for the most part, this play is still independent. It’s only when they reach the age of two that they begin to test out the ideas of cooperation and sharing.

By providing your child with as many opportunities as possible for outdoor play, you ensure they are given the time and space to develop healthily. The outdoors areproven to relieve stress and anxiety, making it much easier for your child to relax around others. Along with the unstructured element of parallel play, this effect creates the perfect recipe for fun and engaging learning. Children are naturally wired to enjoy the outdoors, so it’s a great place to get them thinking and creating.

Outdoor Play Equipment Vs Screen Time

Outdoor playequipment can be an ideal way to engage children in outdoor activities. As they grow, children need more and more challenging scenarios to keep their brains active. Nowadays, we’ve become far too reliant on technology for this purpose. Unfortunately, tablets and smartphones can only go so far towards helping the mind stay motivated. In fact, with children more and more likely to become digitally addicted, we could begin seeing their attention span decrease and their ability to socialise drop with it.

Outdoor play carries none of these unwanted side effects. Play equipment such as children’s climbingframes, wooden swings and sand and water pits all offer the brain something more useful to feed on. School playgroundequipment at many schools also offer the same benefits. They aren’t just visually stimulating projections; they are actual, tangible objects. Children can spend hours playing on an outdoor climbing frame and still find plenty of ways to keep it interesting. A smartphone app quickly becomes very one-dimensional. If we’re going to addict our children to anything, then surely it should be quality, outdoor activities?

It can be easy to overlook outdoor play in favour of less taxing pastimes. But, by doing so, you can actually prevent children from developing properly. Children’s brains are designed for play and the outdoors can provide them with all the stimulation they need to learn and grow.

This is a collaborative post 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Betty Spaghetty Relaunch

Do you remember Betty Spaghetty? I was a bit too old for them the first time around what with me being geet old! But I do remember them being very popular. Well they are back! Relaunched this autumn and sure to be a big hit with your kids, take a sneak peak here .....

My three love playing with these and I love how imaginative they have been, creating little stories and plays (as you can see in the video). These are very tactile toys, you just want to play with them and they have a huge variety of outfits once you start swapping and changing.

RRP £29.99 (for this triple pack)  and available from most big toy stores.
You can follow Betty Spaghetty on Facebook 

Item sent for review, all opinions are our own

Happy 3rd Birthday Termite

And there you were, 3 years ago to this very moment born at home just like we planned, within an hour snuggled in bed with all of us. 

Happy 3rd bitthday my littlest girl, my last baby and my most velcro of children! You still love nothing more than being close to Dad or I and are quite content to just watch a movie or read a book with us. You make us laugh so much and we still can't believe that you still love to be a 'cat' after  more than 2 years of meowing at us!!

I cant tell you how much my heart aches thinking that you are now 3, that I have blinked away your babyhood and that soon I will walk away from you at nursery and a fabulous new chapter in your life will begin, one where I leave you every morning me feeling sad that my little pal isn't there to chat to! I wont lie, I ain't ready , not even close, to say that my youngest is in school now. It means you are no longer a little baby although I know you still like to think you are sometimes.

I love you with all of my heart and you complete our family just perfectly my long awaited 3rd (well not that long we still had 3 under 5 ha ha!) You are funny and kind, fierce and determined, smart and strong and so very sweet that my heart is filled with pride for you  You love your brother and sister so much and its so lovely to see how eager you are to be just like them, even if that means you climb, jump, run, catapult yourself into situations that make my heart stop. You are a fiery adventurer and I love you more than all the sweets in the universe my little pussy cat.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Northumberland National Park

Just recently we were invited along to Walltown Country Park, part of Northumberland National Park for a family day. Its quite a long drive for us, but the idea of pizza making, zip lining (we were all too youg or too scaredy cat to actually try this) and bushcraft spurred us on and I braved the big scary (not really scary at all) roads.

The family day used a voucher system which you could pay for in advance to get a great deal or pay on the day, advance vouchers were 10 for £25 and on the day 10 for £40 or £5 each. Vouchers could be used for Zipline, Bird of Prey, Bird Box Making, Archery, Rock Climbing, and Pizza Making.

10 voucchers would  be more than enough for a child to do a whole day of activities but with 4 children in tow we had to choose wisely, we decide on bush craft, pizza making (always for the food with my lot!)  and rock climbing, you can see some of our adventure here..

Bush Craft was absolutely our favourite activity, and our whistle's even worked! We built dens, and a fire, we toasted marshmallows and had a very lovely hour with the rangers.

Pizza making was very good fun, and with delicious homemade stone baked pizza at the end too!

The rock climbing was great and the climbers were helpful and encouraging, I can't believe how eager Termite was during the whole day to just get into the thick of everything, actually I can she is totally the one who always has my heart in my mouth!

The quarry itself is an amazingly beautiful location, just one of many amazingly beautiful places in Northumberland National Park which covers a vast area of over 1000 square km from Vindolanda right up to the Borders with plenty on offer, check out these 25 Things to Do. The park is looked after by an army of Park Rangers who we found friendly and enthusiastic happy to chat about the things to see and do.

Walltown Country Park
Credit http://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/

We came home duitable muddy tired and happy and will definitely return next year.

This family day was part of National Parks Week, an annual celebration of the UK's 'Breathing Spaces. We had a brilliant time and we shall definitely be exploring some more of the Northumberland National Park in the future

We were compensated for attending this event but all opinions are our own

Monday, 22 August 2016

Baby Annabell Stroller Review

Termite is at an age where she loves playing with her 'babies', we have even created a little role play 'baby nursery' area under her bed ....

We have had prams in the past for our dolls, but space is at a premium at Monkeyfeet HQ so we need a dolls pram that will be able to be tucked away nicely, I'm pleased to say this Baby Annabell Stroller ticked all of our boxes, check out Peanut's review here....

Termite loves her new pram and is now saving her birthday money for a Baby Annabell interactive doll to add to her collection (the one featured has been kindly loaned to us after an unfortunate incident with some paint and our own 'My First baby Annabell'!!