Friday, 28 February 2014

Paint...Rock...Scissors... and felt!!

This morning the girls had some quality 1:1 time with one of Daddy M's closest friends. Whilst Daddy M got ready for work, "Uncle" J (Not actually a blood uncle, but just as much an uncle!) got stuck in.... even before his morning brew!! (WOW!!... that's more than I could do, I'm a zombie until after that first strong coffee!) He brought around a rock craft to do with them, and I stepped back to let uncle J get stuck in with the girls....

The girls loved this 1:1 time and especially using the paint so early in the morning.

The girls started with painting the rocks... S chose a lady bird, so painted red, J wanted an alien, so went for green... S soon got bored of painting the rock, and decided to paint her hand...
High five!!

and then the box.....       
Uncle J was left with the fiddly job of cutting all the felt shapes out, with a blunt pair of scissors.... whilst J patiently waited...
Then it was time to stick all the pieces together...

With the final results looking like a lady bird and an alien....
Thank you "Uncle J" the girls loved the quality 1:1 time with you.... and even more so, because it involved paint....

Thursday, 27 February 2014

What do kids learn on holiday...?? .....Lots!!!!

This post is an entry for the Visit Wales #Wales4Kids Family Holiday Challenge. Wales is the perfect place for a fun-filled family break
Kids learn a lot from holidays. Not just the culture, different foods, new languages, or that there is more to the world than what they know. They learn new skills and gain new memories. We were lucky enough that last year, we could take the girls on their first foreign holiday to Disney World, Orlando.
Whilst there, they learnt some of the different lingo i.e., mac n cheese for cheesy pasta, diaper instead of nappy, restroom instead of toilets. And the different types of food, e.g., corndogs and dole whips. They also got to try some of the American food.
J trying her first corndog Nov2013
But the main thing I wanted to write about on this subject, was J learnt not to fear the water. she's not scared of paddling pools, or baths and showers, but any water that goes above her waist, she panicked, and would have a melt down.
In our villa, we had a private pool, so could take things at her pace, we started with her sat on my hip like a younger child, until we were deep enough for her not to reach, then I'd start swishing around and splashing, then she would slowly let her body drift away, but still hold on, by the end of that 2nd afternoon, she was happily floating around on her rubber ring and arm bands.
Fear of water?? No way!!
By the end of the 2 weeks we managed to get her to swim lengths of the pool with just her armbands.
J's first length with no help.
 She even had a little try without armbands with Daddy M's help,

.....but she's not ready for that...just yet! What an improvement 2 weeks made.  
Whilst on that same holiday, the girls also learned about space, and the size of the rockets that go up, and come down. J was certainly impressed.


Another thing both the girlies learnt was how to build a proper sandcastle, we don't live near the coast, so don't go very often, and the very rare times we do go, they are either to busy paddling, collecting shells, or its muddy sand, almost clay like, or its just to windy. So on this holiday they learnt the right consistency to make a sandcastle, without it falling down again...

and then learnt that it was just as much fun to knock it down after, rather then watching someone else do it whilst we walk away.

I'm writing this blog to be entered into the competition to win a holiday in Wales, we have never been to Wales, and would love the experience to create new memories, and who knows what we would learn??? Where we would explore?? Possibly the Breacon Beacons or Snowdonia for the views? The beach for more sandcastle memories, a boat ride for the chance to possibly see a dolphin? A hill walk to find the ancient hill forts and castles? The possibilities are endless... all I know is that if were to win, I would want to do it all :-)


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

More fresh air!

Wow.... we can really tell spring is getting closer. We were blessed to have more dry weather today, this morning was glorious sunshine but J was still in nursery until lunch. Then after deciding we were going out, the clouds came over. We still made the most of it though, and headed to 3 sisters country park, near Wigan. Its a little trek from Warrington, but still one of my favourite parks, it has everything you need. Free car parking, Duck pond, various walks of different sizes, not to muddy, toilets, and a decent park. Perfect for family fun.
The journey there was fun, with J having a full blown tantrum, she always seems to have more tantrums after nursery, compared to days when she doesn't have nursery.

When we arrived, J was like a different child, and the tantrum disappeared. Our first stop was to the ducks, where the swans seem to have multiplied massively since our last trip here. Another loaf of bread each for the girls, and they were happy for 15minutes. (Cant grumble at 55p a loaf!) The girls were even getting brave and trying to feed them directly, the ducks, geese and swans are much calmer here compared to Pennington Flash the other day.

 S even managed to get her stick addiction sorted whilst J finished the bread off.

After the swans, we had a quick look at the map... yes another map... they sure like the maps,
 Then we were on our walk, we chose the middle length walk today, around the race track, up and down some hills, so J could get more practice gliding. We also let S go in her trike, as she's too short for her balance bike, and is climbing out of the buggy more and more. She stayed put in the trike though.

On our walk, we stopped to admire some of the scenery, and point our winter hill to J and S. Then S decided she'd rather walk, and run along side J.
S even stopped to pick up her phone, and held a full blown conversation with an imaginary friend, all well and good but J hadn't realised, and was off into the distance
We then returned back to the park, for a quick go on the swings and roundabout, where S got so dizzy, she kept falling over, it then decided to start raining, so it was time to head home.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Little Budworth geocaching fun!

Today J was back in nursery for the day, so S and I went out geocaching with Grandma M and one of her friends and her dog. Geocaching is great to get you outdoors for a purpose, and takes you to places you may not have been otherwise. You can download an app on a smartphone or have a GPS and then go hunting for Tupperware containers or smaller or larger containers in the woods, or on back of signs, etc. Great family entertainment on the cheap, you can find out more here.

One of our first caches (J holding a geocache!) March 2011
We have been geocaching since J was 18months, and I'm very much a fair weather cacher, if we are bored, and need to get out the house, it gives us a target to reach. Todays area to explore took us to Little Budworth Country Park, and we were able to grab 26 geocaches. (you sign the bit of paper in there, return it back into its hiding place, and if available, there is swappable small items/toys for the kids to swap, "treasure").

Once we were parked up, and into the park, we came across an old tree that was made into a carved seat, S really didn't like it.
S was off to a slow start, so a stroll it was to be, but we soon started to find the caches.
After a while we managed to bribe her into the buggy, so we could pick the speed up, and get more ground covered. Until we came across a couple of stiles.... a buggies worst nightmare.... the all terrain buggy is fairly bulky, but we managed to get it over ok, and into  a horse field,
the horses were very interested in the buggy... so much so I ended up picking S up, and leaving Grandma M behind with the buggy walking slowly so we could get the dog and S out the field. (thank you Grandma)
One we were safely over the stile, it was time for cuddles with the very friendly horses....
Another few caches under our belt, and we had stopped for lunch, on a fallen tree.... the recent storms have brought down many very large trees in this woods, and its such a shame to see, here is just one little lot we came across.
 S got some new found energy after a little rest, and especially after retrieving a ring from a cache for her treasure.
She also started a collection of sticks, stopping every few moments to pick up  a new one. This is new to me, J used to be a stone collector, which can easily be put in a pocket, sticks are a bit harder...
That new found energy soon became lost, and she came to a (almost) standstill, with the rain clouds fast approaching, so A (Grandmas friend) leant a back for a piggy back ride... (thank you) as she refused to go back in the buggy.
Once we had our normal shoes back on, we headed off to a coffee shop for a nice hot drink and a fruit scone and apple juice for S.
All in all a great day exploring a new area, grabbing some more caches, and catching up in the fresh air. Made even better by the rain holding off until we were in the coffee shop.... great timing.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Monday, 24 February 2014

Wacky fun...

Today was J back to nursery, meaning I had that 1:1 time with S again. We decided to go to a friends house, for a brew and catch up, and we ended up at a wacky warehouse. (indoor small play area, attached to a pub)
Even better as my friend had a monthly pass, we didn't have to pay for entry, so I bought us some costa coffees. Result, a hot coffee! :-)
S on the other hand, wasn't her usual brave self, and wouldn't venture far, and screamed going down the slide. What has happened to my brave girl? Why is she suddenly not wanting to splash in puddles and mud? or go down slides? This is the little girl, that would out brave my 4 year old, ten-fold... hope its just  temporary thing.
Any ideas?? Could teething do this? Is it a growth spurt? Is it an age thing?
After the morning play, she then proceeded to have a 3 hour nap... This is the girl who doesn't like to nap anymore! I was in utter shock, and didn't know what to do with myself, so we ended up with a roast dinner as I had time to prep :-) Even better was it was eaten by all 4 of us with no complaints or bribes :-)

A little background information....

I've just realised that I have gone straight into blogging without an intro into our little family, and after reading other blogs, people do give a little bit of background. So here is our story....
Daddy and I met back in May 2006 in Bournemouth, and yes we are one of those rare couples that actually met in a nightclub! I lived down there, (I'm a southerner) and daddy (the northerner) was down there for study. We hit it off straight away, and by February/March 2007 Daddy popped the question on the cliff tops over looking the sea, and of course I said yes!
Then in March/April 2007 we moved up to Luton for daddy's job. (Daddy is very restricted where he can work due to the speciality of his job). Luton brought a lot of ups and downs for us, as we only had one real good friend there, and 160 miles in opposite directions to our families. So after 18months, we decided to move further up north, in January 2009, which was the best thing we could have done.

Since moving up, we've had hardly any downs, and lots of ups, we started planning the wedding, then J decided to surprise us, so we had to push it back another 6months as maternity pay would throw a spanner into the works of saving. In Oct 2009, J made a very slow but worrying appearance into the world, (my waters contained meconium so was pretty scary, especially as she didn't want to come out).

Then in November 2010 I gave up work, and became a SAHM, and we finally tied the knot with all our close family and friends, and jetted off for our honeymoon.

In 2011 we realised we wanted another child, so the fun began, and 4months later we had the news S would be born in Jan 2012. This labour was so much different, she almost came in the Trafford centre, whilst we were shopping. A quick dash to a different hospital to which I was registered and within 15mins of arriving S was in my arms. (with no pain relief, very proud of that!) :-)

3 days after being home with S we realised something wasn't right, she would cry constantly, and it wasn't colic, and something just didn't seem right, after calling the midwife out, she tried to reassure us it was colic, 4 weeks later, and after all the anti colic stuff, she was still the same, this was around the time gripe water was extremely hard to find! :-/ after 3 months of persevering, my mothers instinct kicked in, and I was up the drs almost every day, we tried gaviscon, as they then thought she had silent reflux due to her vomiting, that caused her more pain, due to the stools changing.
After another 2 months of back n forth, they sent us to A+E as I was getting very annoyed at this point at the lack of what they could do. On entering they checked her urine, and that's when they realised she had a UTI. Which soon turned out to be the first of many. After we got one cleared up, a few days later, she would have another. After her 3rd UTI, we finally got sent for tests, where they scan the kidneys whilst filling her bladder with a sterile solution. She kept retaining the liquid, which wasn't good. Then we went for another one, where they had to inject radioactive solution into her so they could see something else with her kidneys. (I cant remember the name of that one, but was worrying a little 6month baby having that done.)

All the tests pointed to kidney reflux.... finally an answer! (Where the urine goes back up to the kidneys instead of being emptied through the bladder)
She is now on a nightly antibiotic to keep any infections at bay, and so far so good. She is now a healthy little toddler. If I hadn't been so perseverant she may have had damage, and things could be worse, so I always trust my mothers instinct now.
They are talking of taking her of the antibiotics once she is potty trained to see if she has out grown the reflux, that is great news, but also fills me with dread... what if she does still have it? And the next UTI does cause scarring? I'm just going to have to approach that when potty training kicks in... which wont be long as S is already showing some signs.

J suffers from speech problems, as when she was younger her eardrum was covered by thick hard wax, so she's learnt to speak without hearing properly, that has since been suctioned out, again a lot of pushing to have that done, as the drops didn't work, but now we are having a battle with the speech therapists to get her seen. She was last seen in September, and she starts school soon. She speaks, in fact she doesn't shut up, its just not clear to everyone what she says. Close family and friends understand her, but others don't, I don't want her to be left out in school or left behind.... does a mothers worry ever stop?

I'm sure both will be fine, and its just my fears. But that is the background to us.