Thursday, 31 October 2013

Easy Halloween craft you can do today!

So Halloween is here and Princess is very excited! So here is a roundup of the easy Halloween crafts we have been up to this week to get ready. They are all easy and use things you probably have at home already.

Really easy and effective pumpkins made out of paper plates

We had lots of fun turning an empty tin into a pumpkin
A spooky ghost made from a paper plate

Happy Halloween all, have fun!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Pumpkin plate craft for Halloween

Princess and I decorated our kiving room today ready for Halloween, so we made some pumpkins to put up on the wall. Even Grapie had a go, and they look great!

You will need: 
Paper plates
Orange paint
Black paper

First the girls painted the plates orange (it was Grapie's first ever go at painting!)

While the paint was drying, we made the faces. I drew triangles for the eyes and nose and drew some different pumpkin mouths on black paper, and cut them out. Princess drew her own, insisting that her pumpkin mouth needed proper teeth too! Then once the paint was dry we stuck on the faces. Here are our finished 3 pumpkins.

Once we were all decorated, we had a practice Halloween party which mainly consisded of the three of us dancing round to the Ghostbusters song!

What will you be doing for Halloween with your little ones this year?

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Recycled Halloween pumpkin craftt

Halloween is nearly here and the girls have been having fun crafting in preparation for the big night. Today we bring you a pumpkin made out of an empty tin.

This was so easy but Princess had so much fun doing it. We washed out an empty tin and Princess painted it with orange paint.

While it was drying, I cut some triangles out of black paper for the eyes and nose and a smily pumpkin mouth and once the paint was dry, Princess stuck them on. All done!

If you were feeling adventurous you could punch some holes in the tin first so that you could put a tealight inside but we didn't bother an the girls are a bit young for that sort of thing.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Time to make a plan to get more sleep

So, I have been moaning a lot recently about Grapie's sleep issues and how tired I am. We saw a paediatricion last week and I had been pinning my hopes on an anwer to why she is so uncomfortable at night and a solution. But we didn't get one, we were told it's just something that she will have to grow out of. I have been feeling very down about the whole thing recently, but today I have decided that I need to try to come up with a solution to help our family get through this, rather than fall apart.

  • Get rid of the cot

The first change we are going to make is a practical one, replacing her cot with a single matress on the floor with baby bumpers. Although it is pretty drastic, there are two potential benefits to this. Grapie currently starts the night in her cot but most nights has joined us in bed by 10. We fell into cosleeping a few months ago when I got so tired that I started falling asleep at night while breastfeeding. I realised that I was actually getting more sleep that way and for a while it was working better than staying awake to put her back in her cot only for her to wake up an hour later and go through the whole thing again. But she is a fidgety baby and likes to sleep sideways in the bed meaning that on top of her repeated wakings, we are often awake and uncomfortable even when she is asleep! This plan would give us a spare bed to move to for one of us to get a few hours uninterrupted sleep.

Also I'm hoping that it will be the start of getting her back to sleeping on her own, as I will be able to go to her bed to feed her back to sleep some times. But the main aim will be to get more sleep in the short term so I will have more energy to make more chanfes in the future.

  • No cry sleep solution
I used this book by Elizabeth Pantely when Princess was younger, it was how I managed to fet her to start falling asleep by herself. I have read through it before, but the time has come to use it properly for Grapie. The first thing the book recommends is creating a nap and sleep log to get an acturate picture of her sleep patterns. Here is the one I did for G before we saw the paediatricion.

Naps - morning, fell asleep in car for 5 minutes, woke up crying
Afternoon, fell asleep in car, then carseat put on pram, asleep for 45minutes

Breastfed to sleep, woke up when moved to cot so repeated breastfeed to sleep, put in cot by 8pm
10.15- woke up crying, came into bed, fed to sleep
12.45- woke up, tried to settle without milk but woke up fully, attempted to feed to sleep 3 times, awake until 2.30
5.00- woke up, fed back to sleep
7.15 up for day

Naps fell asleep in pram, asleep for approx 1  hour

Breastfed to sleep woke up when moved to cot so fed to sleep again, in cot bu 8pm
9pm woke up crying, fed to sleep, put back in cot
11.20 woke up crying came in bed and fed to sleep
1.00 woke up screaming, gave calpol and walked her around to sleep, back in cot at 1.30
4.20 woke up crying, came in bed for milk
5.30 writhing round in pain, daddy cuddled back to sleep
6.15 woke up crying, had milk but then up for day

Naps, morning fell asleep on bed after milk, asleep for 1hour 20minutes
Afternoon, fell asleep in pram, asleep for 30minutes

Breastfed to sleep, in cot by 7.44
9.50awake, came to bed for milk
12.30 woke up crying, fed to sleep in bed
1.50 writhing round in pain every 10-30 minutes for the rest of the night
6.00 up for day

So as you can see, we do not get a good night's sleep at all and bear in mind that G is now 13 and a half months.

Grapie is teething at the moment so we will have to wait for that to pass before we implement any changes. But the next stage is to come up with a plan. So watch this space for the next stage and to see how we get on.

Any helpful comments are welcomed

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Friday, 25 October 2013


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Monday, 21 October 2013

Fun Halloween Paper Plate Ghost

Halloween is coming, and princess is getting excited!  She was off preschool today because she has a cold so it was the perfect day for some Halloween crafts. This paper plate ghost looks very cool but was so easy to make that Princess did it (almost) all by herself.

You will need:
White paper plate
Black paper
White toilet paper
Glue and scissors

Cut out two circles for eyes and a bigger circle for the mouth out of the black paper. Alternatively you can draw these on with black marker, but glueing is more fun when you're 3! Have your assistant stick these on (making sure they spill the glue in the process, of course!)

Then take two strips of toilet paper, cut them up the middle almost to the top, and have your assistant stick these on too. Underneath the plate would be great but ontop of the plate like we have done us also good. My assistant also insisted that ghosts have teeth so we stuck on a big white tooth, this is optional, depending on your lovely assistant's views on the matter.

Allow to dry, hang up and enjoy!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Regrets, I've had a few

Last night I did something I regret. I knew as I was doing it that I would regret it. But I didn't stop myself, I did it anyway. It was something I had promised myself I would never do and I was so upset I did it anyway........

I put Grapie in her cot crying and walked out of the room. This is something that may not seem like a big deal to some mums, but it's I feel quite strongly about not doing. when Princess was a baby, I let myself feel pressured into trying controlled crying, just the once, and it's my biggest regret from her childhood. I understand that it works for some children, but I firmly believe that there are some children, the more strong willed children, that it is not suitable for and my girls fall into that category. It did so much damage to Princess and her sleep problems, it made her afraid of her cot, and she is still afraid of being on her own in bed.

So I promised myself that I would never put a child of mine through that again. And now I have. Now I know I wasn't attempting to try controlled crying again, and she was actually only in her cot for a minute as my partner knows how I feel about leaving her to cry, so went straight in to her, while I sobbed on the sofa, already regretting it. But I still feel terrible, like I've let her down. But she just doesn't sleep and wants to be held all the time, and I just reached breaking point and just needd to put her down. She won't be held by anyone but me, she screams the place down if daddy even tries to take her off me, and only ever sleeps for 2 hours at a time. Which usually I just dig deep and cope with, but not last night.

And today I feel terrible, like a monster mummy. But I'm probably feeling more guilt than necessary really, she still slept in my bed cufdled up withe last night in the end so she probably doesn't blame me too much.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Yummy oaty biscuits (and sugar free too!)

Today we made some yummy oaty biscuits for the girls, which are packed full of energy boosting ingredients, are sugar free and suitable for baby led weaning. The recipe is loosely based on one I saw in a BLW book I borrowed from the library, but I couldn't remember it properly, so I made it up.

50g butter
75g porridge oats
25g raisins
5 dried apricots (chopped)
Orange juice

Put the dried fruit in a saucepan and put enough orange juice in to just cover the fruit. Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes, until the fruit goes all squishy and has absorbed most of the orange juice.

Give the fruit a bit of a mash with a fork then add the butter and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly before forming into balls. Flatten the balls of mixture down and place on a baking tray. Pop them into the oven (preheated to 180) for 15 minutes or until they turn golden.

Allow to cool and enjoy! 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

when will I get some sleep?

Regular readers of my blog may have noticed that there is a sleep deprived theme to some of my posts, mainly as Grapie is the worlds worst sleeper! She was diagnosed with silent reflux when she was around 4 months old, and at 13 months has never even come close to what anyone in their right mind would consider a good nights sleep.

She writhes around in her sleep in discomfort, wakes up screaming and never stays asleep for more than a 2 hour stretch. To say we are sleep deprived is an understatement.

So yesterday, after many visits to my gp, we finally went for an appointment with a paediatrician and part of me went with high hopes of a miracle solution.

But after a good examination the doctor told us that she couldn't find anything wrong with her. Now obviously this is great news that my baby doesn't have a serious illness and doesn't need to have tests, which I was really quite worried about. But where does it leave us?

She is clearly uncomfortable at night time but with the doctor saying that its just something she will have to grow out of where do we go from here and how will we get through many more months with such little sleep?

If anyone can help in any way or has been through this and survived please let me know, thanks

Thursday, 3 October 2013

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Ok, so any excuse to sing that song as it reminds me of special times, but tomorrow we will be setting off for the airport to go on our holidays! We will be spending the night at the airport before jetting off to sunny Spain on Saturday.

We are going with another couple and their baby which is a first for us as my partner and I are both introverts and like our own space. But this time we have hired a villa big enough for all 7 of us and will be having a sociable time with friends.

I am currently at the 'aaaahhh nothings dry so can't finish packing, quick we must put the heating on, it's an emergency' stage of packing, but I'm sure that calm will be restored tomorrow as my mum has very kindly offered to do the school run and take Grapie out for a walk so I can finish up packing without a tiny person unpacking faster than I can pack!

Then there is the small matter of getting myself ready to appear in a swimsuit, after a month of snuggly autumn clothes where no flesh had to appear in public. The least said about that the better I think.

Getting to the airport by train will be an experience with two children, two suitcases and a trunki (which child number 1 will want to ride on the whole time!), too much handluggage, two carseats and a buggy (which child number 2 will refuse to sit in and try to escape out of at every opportunity!)

But once we are there, splashing in the pool, making sandcastles, eating ice cream and best of all making memories, we will have a fantastic week of family fun. Then we will have to travel home..........!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Sensory ways to explore letters

We have been playing lots of games recently involving letters and alphabet, to help princess learn without even knowing it. This post focuses on sensory ways we used to explore the letters in Princess' name.

We made some no cook playdough and while Princess was playing with it, I drew the outlines of her letters. She then made some playdough worms and shaped them to fit in the letters. Lots of wiggly playdoughy fun.


We used different coloured chalks to practice how the letters in her name are formed by writing her name on the stepping stones in the lawn. Princess then traced over each letter several times, using a different colour each time. This really helped her with learning to write the letters, but also forming the letters herself has helped her recognition too.

Incidentally, you might notice in the picture that Princess has shaving foam all over her arm. This is because we had just tried drawing letters in a tray of shaving foam. This did not work for us at all, as Princess was in sensory overload I think! All she wannted to do was spread it all over her arms! Bur at least she had fun!

I made Princess some letter cards with glitter to help her practice how the letters should be correctly written. Who doesn't love seeing their name in sparkly glitter! I drew each letter then painted over it with glue before tipping on the glitter. I added a star to show princess where to start on each letter. To stop the glitter from getting everywhere, I painted another layer on glue over the top when it was dry and it has sealed it nicely.

I showed princess how to draw each letter starting at the star. The feel of the glitter as she traces the letter evokes more senses and enables her to remember it on another level. We now have these stuck to the kitchen door so she can trace them regularly. As Princess is left handed, she seems to have a tendency to write the letters backwards, so this is good practice for her to remember how the letters should look.

Her letter recognition has come on so much since doing these activities, the can now type her name on a computer without any help, and is starting to be able to write her name. It's not quite obvious what she has written yet but if you know it's her name, you can definitely make out that she has made the letter shapes. And the main thing is that she enjoyed herself!