Poorly toddler

I ended up taking Kory to see the doctor yesterday. Luckily I had managed to get him a last minute appointment.

The day before that, Kory had started with a dry cough, he was coughing for most of the day but was absolutely fine in himself. He was still running, still jumping around, still playing and eating like he normally would – nothing different there, just that he had a cough. That night I thought I’d have been up with Kory coughing all night but I wasn’t. I noticed he had started to get a temperature when I was putting him to bed so I gave him some calpol, that helped to bring his temperature down and then surprisingly he slept all night.

But the next morning I was woken by the sound of Kory choking, he started to heave and then he spat up a load of this yellow flem type stuff. (Sorry for tmi!!) He had me very worried. Despite this, Kory still went on to eat all of his breakfast, the only thing was he just looked a little paler than usual but I knew something wasn’t right. I phoned the doctors that morning and managed to make him an appointment for the same day and then I phoned nursery to let them know that Kory wouldn’t be coming in.

I took Kory to the doctors and on our way there, he fell asleep in his pram and never woke once during his appointment. It is so unlike Kory to sleep like that, especially during the day. It did make letting the doctor listen to his chest a lot easier though! Have you ever asked a squirming toddler to sit still why he sees the doctor? Yeah, it’s not much fun… After speaking to the doctor, it turns out that Kory has got a chest infection so the doctor prescribed him with some antibiotics and some cough medicine.

Other than that, Kory appears to be okay in himself, he’s still bouncing from the walls and driving me a little nuts. He just looks a little pale and he’s a bit more whiney than usual. I suppose that can be expected though, I’d feel pretty lousy too if I had a chest infection. I hate it when Kory is ill… Not just because he’s like a miniature Sheldon Cooper when he’s ill – difficult to live with and awkward (just kidding!) but because I know he isn’t well and it makes me sad. I wish I could just click my fingers and make him better.

I’m going to be keeping Kory at home for a few days just to keep my eye on him and continue giving him his medicine. I’m unsure whether or not to send him in nursery this week but hopefully he’s feeling better soon!

Stay at home mum

As a stay at home mum, I feel privileged that I am able to stay home and raise my child but sometimes being a stay at home mum also makes me feel like a bit of a failure.

As a stay at home mum, sometimes I feel like all I do is be a mum, my only achievement is being a mum, all I have to show for myself is being a mum and all that I am is just a mum. I do the same thing day in and day out, to most people taking care of your child, looking after your family and your home are not things worthy enough to be called achievements, I’ve been a stay at home mum for so long now that I don’t have anything else to show for myself, everything about me, everything I do and am revolves around my child and sometimes that makes me feel like a failure.

Do any of you ever feel this way?

Well if you do, I just want you to know that you are NOT a failure. As a stay at home mum myself, I know exactly how you feel. I’ve thought the same thoughts as you and I’ve felt the same way. I know what it’s like to be trapped in your own mind and to believe that you’re worthless because you’re just a mum. Other people or even yourself may not realise or believe this but what we do as mums is the most hardest and most rewarding job in the world, to some what we do may not seem like that much of a big deal but it is. We spend every waking minute taking care of our kids, learning them new things, loving and nurturing them and playing with them and it’s because of this that everything our kids know and have learned is because we have taught them. Our kids are polite, funny, clever and caring because of us. That is what we as mums have to show for ourselves and that is something to be proud of. To outsiders it might seem silly for me to class being a mum an achievement of mine but for me, being a mum is my greatest achievement and it’s what I’m most proud of in my life. Yes I would love a career. Doing what exactly? I’m not quite sure. I feel like the only thing I know how to do is look after my child and I even question my ability at doing that sometimes! But right now, I’m happy with being a full time stay at home mum.

On a bad day when I’m feeling down and in the dumps about the way my life is, I make myself feel better by telling myself that yes a career and all that other stuff would be amazing but all that stuff can wait. That can all be put on pause. But being a mum can’t and everything that we do as mums is so important. When our kids have grown up and left us and have lives of their own, we’ll have all the time in the world to do all of that stuff that we wanted to do and only then will we realise that when we thought we was ‘just’ being stay at home mums, that was the most important thing we’ll probably ever accomplish in our lives. Looking after our family and raising decent human beings is what truly matters above anything else. When we’re old and gray are kids at what we will look back at and be most proud of, not a job. None of that other stuff will even matter so why worry so much about it now!

Just remember that you are not a failure. From one stay at home mum to another.

Terrible twos

Do you ever look at your child and suddenly panic about how you’ll survive their threenage stage if this is how they behave at just 2 years of age? I did just that. It was only 8:30am this morning and we were already on tantrum number 3 in our house.

Kory woke up in a bad mood. I knew from the get go that we were going to have a bad day. It started with the light switch. Yes you read that right. A light switch triggered the first tantrum. Kory couldn’t reach the light switch to flick the bedroom light on and off and started shouting at me to pick him up whilst I was mid wee on the toilet, eyes half open because I’d only just rolled out of bed.

The next tantrum was over his breakfast. Basically, I’d put his toast in the toaster and it wasn’t cooking it quick enough for him. He was stamping his feet and shouting ‘toast! Toast! Toast!’ Over and over again. And then when it was ready and I handed it to him, he didn’t even bluddy eat it!

The last tantrum (up to now anyway!) just came out of nowhere and took us both by surprise I think. One minute we’re playing nicely together with his toys and just because one of them falls over, the next thing to happen was Kory began to scream, he was throwing things, hitting me, hitting himself and basically just losing his sh!t. Out of nowhere he was throwing this huge temper tantrum and I was just trying to ‘tell him off’ as nicely as I could, trying to remain calm and explain to him that it isn’t nice to smack rather than to have a ‘who can shout the loudest’ contest with him but it was like trying to calm down a wild animal! He got that worked up that in the end he climbed up onto my knee, cried whilst I tried my best to comfort him and then fell asleep.

I feel like disciplining Kory is something that I’ve had to do quite a lot, more than ever recently, it’s tiring and I don’t even know if I’m doing the right thing?! This is new to me, Kory is no angel but I’ve never really had to deal with this sort of behaviour before. I know we all have bad days when it comes to parenting, it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows and it’s important that we accept that but I’m going to be honest here, there are sometimes moments of parenting that I don’t enjoy and I don’t think I’m going to enjoy this stage at all.

The terrible twos are currently in full swing in our house.

I haven’t wrote this blog post just to complain about my son even if it does seem that way. I wrote this blog post to point out that even though I love Kory and he’s my pride and joy, there are times when he frustrates me and upsets me. Sometimes I find parenting a stubborn, strong minded 2 year old to be a struggle. I’m not ashamed to admit that the terrible twos stage has been my biggest struggle yet as a parent. I don’t enjoy every day, some days are harder than others and it’s okay to admit that. I don’t enjoy disciplining Kory, after a day like today you can guarantee I will go to bed feeling like a complete failure tonight, worrying about how I handled today’s challenges.

Did I handle the situation properly? Am I being firm enough? Am I being too firm? Is his behaviour a reflection of my parenting? Am I doing something wrong?

But the very fact that I worry about this sort of stuff, means that it matters to me and that I care. I don’t know how to be perfect and neither does Kory, all I know is to wake up every day and to try my best.

Kory, if you’re reading this when you’re older. Yes you could be a massive pain in the arse when you wanted to be but I never stopped loving you when you were being a ‘naughty’ toddler. Just because I couldn’t wait to get you out of the door quick enough some mornings when I was taking you to nursery does not mean that I didn’t love you. It just meant that after being screamed and shouted at, having toy cars rammed in my face, being told ‘play!’ 16 hundred times and after being pulled here, there and everywhere, I just wanted five minutes peace and even after a morning with you as hectic as that, I always missed you when you wasn’t home and couldn’t wait to pick you back up.

And when I brought you home, couldn’t wait to drop you straight back off at nursery. Just kidding!!

One day, when you have children of your own, you’ll understand. It would be impossible for me to ever stop loving you.

So today was a bad day, we all have them and it’s important that we acknowledge that. I have to try and keep reminding myself that like me, Kory doesn’t know how to be ‘perfect.’ We’re currently going through the terrible twos but that doesn’t make him a terrible toddler or the way that I choose to handle it, a terrible mum.

November

November, the last month of Autumn… And I have decided to set myself some goals for the upcoming month. In my head, I had a lot I wanted to accomplish in October but I feel like I didn’t get round to doing much of it. Writing down goals that I want to achieve helps to keep me motivated and productive. And I hope that by sharing my goals with you, you as my reader feel like you can connect with me better.

  • Goal for myself: Stop stressing! Lately I’ve felt swamped, just with everything. Home life, life in general, being a mum, a partner and just trying to make a real go of working from home. I didn’t realise how stressed I was until one day I woke and just felt drained, dizzy, sick, banging headache and didn’t want to get out of bed which is so unlike me. I wasn’t ill, I felt run down. I’d just let everything get on top of me. So this month, I want and have to try to reduce the stress in my life.

Here is my plan:

  • Start the day right and get as much as I can done the night before when Kory is in bed.
  • No working from my phone/checking emails when Kory is awake or when i’m getting ready for bed.
  • Goals as mum: Kory is usually well behaved, he has his moments like any other 2 year old does but lately he’s been really testing me. Shouting, throwing tantrums over the slightest thing, pushing boundaries and just trying to see how much he can get away with. I’ve stuck to my guns and been quite stern with him but it’s taken quite a lot of my energy. Mentally, emotionally and physically. I know that what I’m doing is the right thing because I can see him listening more now, when I used to say no he’d argue with me over it but now he accepts it. But what I think I need to do is to choose my battles carefully. Not everything has to be a lesson.

Here is my plan:

  • Stick to a routine.
  • Have a reward system.
  • Blog goals: When I first started blogging, I soon realised that balancing blogging with family life is a challenge. I’m still struggling to find the perfect balance now! I really want my blog to be a success but I also don’t want to jeopardise family time or be working from my phone or laptop when Kory wants me to play. I think what I need to do is assign blog time to weekdays and evenings when Kory is in bed. Weekends are for family time. I also need to be more consistent with posts and write more regularly.

Here is my plan:

  • Schedule work.
  • Set weekly goals.
  • Write drafts that are ready to be published.
  • Focus on managing blog work better.

I think that’s all for now. Have you set yourself any goals for the upcoming month? I would love to know!

Flu vaccine for children

Recently I have noticed a lot of people discussing the flu vaccine for children, this is probably because now would be the time to get it. I’ve seen and heard mixed opinions on this but most of them seem to be negative ones. So i thought I’d write a post about why I chose to give my child the flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine is offered to children, the elderly and pregnant women as they’re the most vulnerable. For children it is offered as a yearly nasal spray meaning no nasty jabs and it is over with within just a few seconds. Having the flu vaccine does not 100% guarantee that you will not get the flu but I’ve had the flu and it’s awful. Flu with children can also lead to further potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia which I don’t want for my 2 year old so if there is any safe way to at least try and prevent that from happening, then I’m all for it.

The way the flu vaccine works is that the vaccine itself is a live vaccine but only a very very very small (I can’t stress how small!) amount of the virus is put into our system, which is what encourages our bodies to develop antibodies to fight the virus. Those antibodies then remain in our bodies so that it can fight off that virus again. So as a result of the live vaccine, sometimes side effects may occur. The side effects tend to be runny nose, temperature or mild cold like symptoms but the flu vaccine doesn’t ‘give’ you the flu like some people say it does. Or sometimes after having the flu vaccine you might have no side effects at all. Like Kory did.

I’ve even seen people go as far as to say they won’t give their child the flu vaccine because they worry about our government and wonder why/what their children are being vaccinated with. Well unlike countries like America, our treatment is free so you can’t argue that the government is doing this for money. I’m not a doctor and I don’t claim to be a medical expert but I personally think the flu vaccine is offered to us because it’s beneficial for everyone. It’s beneficial for the population, the NHS and ourselves.

How many times have you tried to get an appointment at your doctors but have been unable to?

How many times have you tried to get an appointment at your doctors for your child but have been unable to? Resulting in you having to take them to see an out of hours doctor, having to ring 111 or them getting more sick?

How many times have you had to make an appointment to see the doctor just so that you can get a prescription that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get over the counter? They don’t just hand out prescriptions left, right and centre.

I in all honesty think they are offering the flu vaccine to us as a way to prevent so many of us being ill with the flu this time of year. I am grateful that there are these vaccinations out there that are made available to my child. The NHS is being stretched so far and I think this has been introduced as a way to try and help with that. I don’t think there is anything sinister behind it.

I must stress that this is just my opinion!

Finally, I just want to say that if you choose not to vaccinate your child, that is completely choice and entirely your decision to make. I’m not trying to tell anyone what they should be doing, I’m simply telling you why I chose to give my child the flu vaccine.

Halloween 2018

I’m sorry this post is a bit late, I’ve not been feeling too good lately so have only just got round to writing it. I just really wanted to let you all know what we got up to over Halloween.

We started our day by decorating the house. Something I’ve never done for Halloween before because I’ve never really had a reason to. For the previous 2 Halloween’s Kory had only been small and before that I had no children so it wasn’t something I really participated in but this year we thought it might it be nice to decorate the house for Kory. So we did. We didn’t decorate it too scary as I didn’t want to frighten Kory but we made the house look just a little bit spooky. It was spooky enough for the trick or treaters to come knock on anyway – more on that later!

As you can see from the picture we put up some decorations. We also had a cobweb in the window with a big spider on it, a spider sticking out of the hanging basket at the side of the front door, tape going all along the fence in the front garden, pumpkins and a black cat. Kory loved joining in with the decorating and didn’t seemed phased by the Halloween decorations at all!

Next up, we decorated pumpkins! Now I’m going to be honest, I am rubbish at carving pumpkins. So, we decorated ours using stickers instead. It was something new and different for us try out and Kory had a lot of fun doing this activity too.

And here are the results!

I decorated my pumpkin as a cat (obviously! Crazy cat lady over here…) I don’t know what Rory’s pumpkin was meant to be… A scarecrow maybe? And Kory wanted a paw patrol pumpkin. Not your typical ‘Halloween’ pumpkins but they looked pretty good to me!

After tea we started to get ready for trick or treating. Kory dressed up as Frankenstein this year (the cutest Frankenstein I’ve ever seen!) And I even joined in with the fancy dress too!

We didn’t want to take Kory trick or treating too late because we know how he starts to get tired and we’d also bought candy to give out to trick or treaters ourselves. So, as soon as it started to go dark, we headed out. Last year we took Kory trick or treating for the first time, he didn’t really understand what was going on, we took him door to door and spoke for him but this year, he soon got the hang of it! It wasn’t long before he wanted to knock on every door, scary decorations up or not, he would knock on himself and hold out his bucket to collect the sweets. He still he wouldn’t say trick or treat but he did say thank you!

(Sweets for the trick or treaters)

Once we’d got back home, it was our turn to answer the door to trick or treaters. Kory enjoyed answering the door to them and handing out sweets. Just not his own! This year we had the most trick or treaters we’ve ever had! I think it might have had something to do with the house being decorated. We had that many that we ended up running out of sweets! At least I’ll know to buy double for next year!

Thanks for reading all about our Halloween and what we got up to. Is Halloween something that you and your family join in with?

If so, I’d love to hear all about it.

Pumpkin hunt

Today we went on a pumpkin hunt at a place called Damhouse near where we live.

Damhouse is a historic Manor House surrounded by beautiful grounds, it also has a tea room and a coffee lounge. There is always different events taking place at Damhouse; from farmers markets, craft fairs, Easter egg hunts and so much more. There’s always something happening here to please the whole family.

https://www.damhouse.net/events/

The pumpkin hunt cost just £2.50 per child. We had to walk around the grounds spotting the spooky pumpkins in and around the woodland and each pumpkin had a picture on it and that picture was assigned a letter. We had to fill in our piece of paper until we had found each letter and then we had to work out what word the letters spelled out. It was a lot of fun and all the children got a prize!

Here are some pictures from our day:

Kory enjoying a cupcake from a stall!

Thanks for reading! Have you been anywhere/done anything during the autumn half term?

Halloween cookie mix

Next week is Halloween so to get in the spirit of things, me and Kory baked these spooky Halloween cookies this morning.

I purchased this Halloween cookie mix from bm stores for just 99p! The cookies were super quick and easy to make because everything we needed (except butter) was already included in this bottle which was great for Kory because it meant he could really get stuck in without much help from me.

The instructions say to preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Then to add the contents of the bottle into a bowl containing 60g of butter and mix until you have formed a dough like consistency. So Kory got to work mixing everything together.

Once we had done that, the instructions say to divide the mixture into 8 equal parts and place them on a baking tray.

As you can see, Kory did a very good job!

It says leave the cookies to bake for approximately 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Once removed from the oven, leave to cool.

And Taa-daa! Our spooky Halloween cookies. Now all that’s left to do is eat and enjoy them.

Kory did so well making these cookies, he did must of it by himself! Which doesn’t surprise me as we’ve baked together from him being small but it helped that the instructions were super easy to follow. Kory really enjoys baking and I enjoy baking with him. It’s one of our favourite activities to do together.

* This is not a sponsored blog post.*

My best ever holiday

My best ever holiday so far has to be our first holiday away with Kory because that was our first holiday as a family of three so that was special for us and it meant a lot to us that we’d taken our little boy away on his first holiday. There was a lot of firsts actually; Kory’s first time on a plane, our first time travelling as parents and while there, we visited a water park for the first time. Another reason why this is my best ever holiday is because we had some great company whilst there; we were joined by our best friends as well who also happen to be Kory’s godparents.

(Look how young Kory looks!)

We spent 7 nights in a hotel in Crete, Greece. We all had an amazing time together and made memories that we’ll never forget. This is a holiday that we will all always remember.

A dream of mine has always been to travel and to see the world. Me and my partner have been to some pretty amazing places. We’ve been to France, Paris, Disneyland, Greece, Spain and London. I would love to be able to travel more, to take Kory to see more places and to go on more family holidays and make even more memories together. After having Kory, I decided not to go back to work and to stay home and raise Kory which was my choice, it’s what I wanted and it’s what works best for our family so with only my partner working at the minute, the cost of living and saving for our wedding, holidays for our family are few are far between.

Imagine going to somewhere like Africa, on a Tanzanian Safari. Something like that must be truly special…

A girl can dream, right?!

YZS Tanzania

What’s been your best ever holiday?

This blog post is not sponsored, not paid and not gifted. I have wrote this as an entry to a competition for the chance to win a luxury safari trip to Tanzania with yellow zebra safaris. The competition is open to anyone. If you would like to enter, just write a blog post like I have done discussing your best ever holiday and a line or two mentioning the Tanzania Safari. Share your blog post via Instagram using the hashtag #tanzaniawithyzs and email your entry to: yz@yellowzebratravel.com good luck!

I spend 90% of the time solo parenting

My partner is at work more than he is at home, working hard to support us. I don’t have a large amount of support from family and friends, I’ve only really got my mum and my nan who I can ask for help and a small group of friends who I don’t want to burden with my problems. Most of the time when my partner is at work, it is just me and Kory and I feel very lonely when he’s not home.

Every day I do the same thing and I do it by myself. I get up, I make Kory breakfast, I tidy the house, I play with Kory, I make him his dinner, I tidy up again, we play some more, I make tea and then I go through the bath and bedtime routine. Every night before bed I read Kory a story, I tuck him in, kiss him goodnight and tell him I love him. After that I usually end up getting in bed myself because I’m just so exhausted, no time or energy for anything else. Then when I drift off to sleep, more often than not I’m usually woke by Kory in the middle of the night who’s woke for a drink or a cuddle, so I settle him, drift back off to sleep and before I know it it’s morning and it’s the same thing all over again.

Today is Saturday but it might as well be Monday because every day feels the same for me right now.

Sometimes part of me feels like breaking down but I can’t, that’s not an option, my son needs me. Who else is going to take care of him? So instead I choose to try and embrace the way things are. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and thinking ‘i’m parenting on my own again.’ I try to look at it as one on one time for me and Kory, I remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to stay home with Kory and how lucky I am to have a partner who works as hard as mine does because staying home and raising Kory wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I try to remember that as much as I miss my partner whilst he’s at work, Kory misses him as well and it must be hard on him too. When Kory is testing my patience and I think to myself ‘I’m stuck at home all day with Kory again.’ I remind myself that my partner isn’t having a break away from this stress, he’s at work, working hard and he probably wishes he was at home.

Someone once said to me: ‘how do you do it? Oh no I wouldn’t be able to.’ And I thought to myself ‘it can be hard but honestly what choice have I got other than to just crack on. Either way my son needs me. It has to be done.’ It would be so easy to just fall apart, easy to get mad at my partner or to take it out on Kory, it would be easy to just drag myself through each day, just sit Kory in front of the tv to pass the hours by and not really enjoy my time with him but I don’t want that. Yes I spend 90% of the time solo parenting and yes it’s hard but I still want to do a good job!

This solo parenting thing is hard. Heck, parenting is hard full stop. But I’ve learnt to accept that my situation, is what it is. Yes I’m allowed to be tired and feel lonely but what good does dwelling on things do? I might as well try to pick myself up and make the most of the way things are. Most days i’m unrecognisable to myself when I look in the mirror, I’m not the same person I was before I became a mother. I look like a zombie most of the time (as you can see from my picture!) I wander round the house looking lost wearing my pyjamas, I can’t function without 1,2,3 cups of coffee, I have tired eyes, messy hair and I’m so forgetful. Kory runs me ragged all day every day but my heart is full. Oh so full.

Please note: I don’t want to offend anybody by using the term ‘solo parenting’ I’m not trying to compare solo parenting to single parenting in any way or even trying to say that they are the same thing. If you are a single parent, I praise all the hard work that you do, my mum was a single parent for some years when she was raising me so I’ve seen first hand just how hard it can be and I know that what I’m going through is not the same as what a single parent may go through. I support all mums, dads, all their different circumstances and how they choose to parent.