Pets and kids

I always knew that I wanted my children to grow up around pets. Mainly because growing up I did just that and some of my best childhood memories are from time spent with the pets I grew up with.

When I was a kid, over the years we’d had a few dogs and cats and I spent a lot of time with each of them. I remember one of the dogs we had giving birth to 15 puppies and I helped my mum to hand rear them all! What an experience that was! I remember bottle feeding them and as they got bigger I would play with them and run from one room to another while they all would come charging after me! (There is no way that I would ever allow 15 small dogs to run around our house – sorry, Kory! but I still wanted Kory to have at least one dog in his life.) One of the puppies from the litter was truly special to me, he was the smallest and the softest of them all and I wanted to keep him, I remember putting him in my stocking for Christmas and I asked my mum could we have him but she still said no. At the time I thought she was being mean but looking back as an adult, I understand that obviously we already had way too many pets in the house! We could have opened a zoo!

Sometimes growing up can be lonely, you might not always fit in, you might struggle to make friends or have a bad day. Not necessarily when you’re a toddler like Kory but already at 2 years old, when Kory comes home from nursery he is always so excited to come home to see our pets, especially Harley, our dog, who he’s very close with. This two have such a bond, they’re honestly the best of friends and it melts my heart to watch them together. He usually shouts ‘Kory missed Harley!’ As soon as he walks through the front door and gives him a great big hug. Knowing he’s got Harley to come home to must be comforting for him.

Sure, having pets can sometimes make your house messy and they can break things but watching Kory with our pets reminds me of my own fond memories from my childhood with my old pets. When I watch him snuggling up to Harley on the couch, or when I watch him playing a game with the cats, I can see he’s happy, he’s making memories and in that moment, I know exactly how he feels because I’ve felt that too and I hope one day he can look back at the memories he’s made with his pets with the same fondness that I have for the pets that I grew up with.

That for me is well worth a couple of chewed socks and a few plucked steps on the stairs along the way…

Self care ideas

So yesterday I was having a bit of a down day, I felt like utter rubbish and was sat at home just feeling sorry for myself. When I start to feel like that, more often than not it’s because I need some way overdue me time and it’s a reminder to myself that I need to look after me as well.

Finding the time for yourself when you’re a parent is tricky. The only time I have to myself is when Kory goes to bed and by this point I’m way too tired to do anything anyway and usually just end up going to bed myself so that I can catch up on some zzzzzzzzz. And there’s nothing wrong with that but if that’s what I’m doing all the time then before I know it it’s been months since I last did anything that I enjoy that was just for me. Sometimes I feel like i’m stuck in the same routine of just waking up, seeing to Kory, tidying the house, playing all day, making dinner, tidying up again, putting Kory to bed and then doing the same thing all over again on repeat day in and day out and it’s so easy to get stuck in a loop. I love being a stay at home mum but when you start to feel fed up of the usual day to day life then it’s starts to feel more like a chore and that’s not how I want to feel. That’s when I know that it’s time for me to reboot.

I don’t know about you but if I do something that’s just for myself, I feel guilty. I feel like I shouldn’t be reading a book once Kory has gone to bed because there’s pots that need doing instead or I try to tell myself that if me and R go on a date, I’m palming Kory off which I know isn’t true because he’s always with me but this is just the way that my mind works. I’m sure some of you will know what I’m talking about and will have felt this way yourself at some point but it’s still so easy to feel all alone.

So I want to share with you a list of self care ideas that I recommend for when you’ve had a bad day or just find yourself needing a bit of time to recuperate. Here’s some things you can do to make yourself feel better again because self care is important, I need to remind myself that it isn’t selfish to take care of myself, we all need to look after ourselves so that we can look after our littles:

  • Take a long, hot, relaxing soak in a bubble bath. Maybe even treat yourself to a bath bomb? Wash, shave and exfoliate. Make yourself feel human again!
  • Escape by reading a good book.
  • Listen to happy songs.
  • Do absolutely nothing. Relax.
  • Write down a list of things you’re grateful for.
  • Write down a list of things that you like about yourself.
  • Nap.
  • Watch a feel good movie or tv show.
  • Wear pyjamas.
  • Get dressed up.
  • Declutter.
  • Go for a walk, get some fresh air.
  • Have some alone time.
  • Paint your nails.
  • Drink a cup of tea.
  • Apply a face mask.
  • Do your hair.
  • Eat chocolate.
  • Pour yourself a glass of wine.
  • Take a break from social media.
  • Make something. Get crafty. Bake.
  • Treat yourself to takeout.
  • Light a scented candle.

I’ve come to realise that whilst I’m pretty good at taking care of my family and looking after the house, I’m not very good at caring for myself. I often find myself run-ragged and tend to neglect my own needs. So this blog post is a reminder to myself to slow down and practice more self care. And this reminder is as much for me as it is for you…

Running on empty

Today I feel like I’m running on empty. Mentally, emotionally and physically…

Last night, I had a really bad night with Kory. He ended up in our bed with us and all night he just kept screaming in his sleep, it would take ages for me to finally calm him down and get him back off to sleep and then when I did he just kept waking back up for a drink. I don’t know what that was all about! I lost count of how many times I woke up with him through the night and despite how many times we were both up last night, Kory still managed to get up out of bed first thing this morning, I thought maybe he would have wanted to sleep in this morning and at the very least I thought he’d just want a day on the couch watching tv and reading but today he seems so full of energy! Meanwhile I’m walking around the house looking like a crackhead?! I honestly don’t know how he does it because I’m absolutely shattered so how does he run off such little sleep?! Recently he seems to have spouts of sleeping really well and then spouts of his sleep at night just being dreadful. I don’t know what the cause of this is but I suppose with kids it could be anything. So that’s the reason why I feel physically tired.

Emotionally, I feel like I’ve had a lot to deal with recently. Some of which I haven’t shared online but especially with Kory’s new stutter that just seems to have suddenly come on out of the blue. I speak more about Kory’s stuttering here. It’s something that has me really worried. It very well could just go away and I’ve been reassured by plenty of other people that it will but my worst fears are that he gets embarrassed by the stutter and goes within himself or the kids at nursery point it out and he gets a complex from it. I don’t want this to effect my confident, out going little boy who has fantastic speech for his age and has come on leaps and bounds since starting nursery. Somewhere he really enjoys going.

Which leads me to my next form of tiredness. I feel mentally tired because I feel like I am to blame somehow for Kory’s stuttering and I’ve been giving myself such a really hard time about it. I think as mums we always blame ourselves when it comes to our kids; is it something we’ve done? Is it something we’ve not done? It must be our fault? I’ve just been going round and round in my head thinking every thought possible as to why Kory’s stutter could have been brought on because of me and what can I do for him to make it better. When he’s speaking and I can see him struggling to get his words out and stuttering, I can’t help but get upset and it’s hard holding it in. And not just the guilt. But I’ve been worrying about it lots too, worrying about my little boy and how I want to protect him in this world and shield him from anyone who might upset him.

So that’s why I feel like I’m running on empty today. I’ve been trying to keep my head up and deal with it all by myself and I think I’ve just reached that point where I have to realise I need to cut myself some slack.

Being a mum and taking care of your child is hard enough but trying to do it whilst you’re running on empty just sucks.

Stuttering

Recently i’ve noticed that Kory has started to stutter a little when he’s speaking. At first I put it down to his age and maybe him just trying to get his words out a bit too fast but I don’t know anyone else’s children that do this? So I thought i’d do a bit of research of my own about stuttering in children and see what information I could find.

Apparently developing a stutter is quite common between children aged 2-5 years which happens to be Kory’s age group which did make me feel a little better. It also said that stuttering is usually just a phase that children go through and that it’s not normally anything to worry about, it’s hard to determine whether the stutter would become a long term problem because that’s usually something that’s figured out further along down the line but it’s more often than not nothing that needs to be worried about.

After searching the internet and reading forums, I found out that stuttering in children can be brought on by their brain working faster than their mouth (which is what I thought was the cause for Kory’s sudden stutter initially), there’s also a few other potential causes as well but none that seem fitting… There was also some suggestions in which I can help Kory with his stuttering. I read that I can help by slowing down how I speak to encourage him to do the same, get down to Kory’s level when he is speaking to me, make eye contact with him and show that I’m listening, remain patient when he’s trying to get his words out and do not draw attention to the stuttering by saying things like ‘slow down.’ ‘take your time, you’re stuttering.’ For example. These remarks may sound helpful but really they’re just drawing unnecessary attention to his stutter and this could effect him. If I’m honest, I’d already put a few of these suggestions in place to try and help Kory so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and see if that helps with his stutter.

I really hope the stuttering is nothing that I need to be worried about. Kory has always been a brilliant speaker and I really don’t know how or why this stutter has suddenly come on out of nowhere but it would be a real shame if something like this was to have a negative impact on him. Kory has always been a really out going little boy, I also don’t want this to effect him at nursery, amongst his friends or have an effect on his confidence. Speaking of nursery, I’m going to mention it to them tomorrow and see if they’ve noticed anything or can help in any way. Chances are, they’ve had plenty of experience with children who stutter and will be able to help both me and Kory.

Have your children ever suddenly started to stutter? If they did, what did you do to help them with that? Any advice is appreciated!

Kory’s name

Kory’s name is very meaningful, we didn’t just stumble upon it one day in a baby name book and think ‘oh that’s a nice name!’ (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) But after discussing names, we only had the one name in mind for a boy, it’s the same name we kept coming back to, the only name we could agree on, the only one that seemed to ‘stick’ with us and it’s the same name that I’m going to tell you about.

As soon as we found out we were having a baby boy we already knew what we wanted to name him and he had the same name all throughout the pregnancy and was named Kory George Lonsdale on the 08/08/2016. The day he was born. And so I thought it would be nice to share with you the reason behind his name.

Kory George Lonsdale, our first born baby boy. His first name ‘Kory’ is a combination of my name and his dads names together.

Kirsti & Rory = Kory

His middle name ‘George’ is my great grandads name who I was very close to growing up before he passed away. He was a great man, very kind and I have very fond memories of him.

Despite being born in August, Kory was only meant to be due in mid September. He was born 6 weeks early, weighing 4lb 7oz after my waters had spontaneously started leaking. Him being born early took us completely by surprise, I had a very straight forward pregnancy with no complications so him making an early appearance was a shock and a bit of a mystery to us all… As a result of him being born earlier than planned in August meant that he now shared the same birth month as his great great grandad George who he happens to be named after, which also means that they both share the same star sign too. They are both Leo’s.

‘Lonsdale’ is Kory’s dads last name. We are getting married in 2020 and I can’t wait for the day until we all share the same name.

And so that’s the story of Kory’s name. I’ve always liked names with a meaning behind them and Kory’s name is definitely special to us.

What did you name your child? Is there a reason behind their name?

I’d love to know!

Kory’s bedroom

This blog post is way overdue, if you remember from a while ago, I said we were switching rooms with Kory so that he could have our bedroom as it was bigger and we weren’t making much use of the space in that room anyway.

Since then, we have swapped rooms around and I feel like we really did make the right decision by doing so. Swapping rooms has meant that Kory has so much more room to play with all his toys in his bedroom, he really does love playing in there now and I think his new bedroom is lovely and just perfect for a little boy. He doesn’t really have a theme going on, just a little bit of everything that he loves. We thought we’d let him decide that when he’s a little older. We were going to paint his room a pale blue but I quite like the cream walls as they make his bedroom seem nice, bright and open, so for now, I think we’ll just leave them as they are. We just decided to go for a blue lampshade, lamp and blue curtains instead.

As well as providing more space for Kory to play, we were able to put more furniture in his bedroom as well which means that he has a lot more storage now too. Of course that meant getting rid of his nursery set which was hard but seeing the outcome of his new bedroom made it easier. As well as new furniture, we got Kory a new single bed and ditched the cot and I have to say, he actually sleeps a lot better in his bed.

Letting Kory have the bigger bedroom has meant that he can have a book corner which is amazing because he has a lot of books and he loves reading them (just like his mum!) and it’s nice that we’re able to display them. It’s so much easier for him to choose a book to read now.

So that’s the update on our little project that was Kory’s bedroom. I’m sure we’ll continue to keep adding to it and making changes over the years to come. How did you decorate your child’s bedroom/nursery? Did you go for a particular theme or colour? Let me know!

My new year’s resolutions

Today is the 1st of January and with 2019 upon us, I thought I would share with you my New Years resolutions. Please let me know yours in the comments!

  • Read read read. I used to always read, I used to always have my head in a book but it’s been so long since I started a book and actually finished it. It’s not because of lack of interest – I love books, it’s having the spare time to read that’s an issue! But I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m going to make more time for reading, even if it’s just a couple of pages at night and in doing so, hopefully fall back in love with reading all over again.
  • Blog more. I’m really enjoying blogging at the moment and eventually I would like my blog to go somewhere so this year I’m going to blog as much as I can and take blogging more seriously.
  • Stay positive. I like to think I’m a pretty positive person anyway but sometimes I let things get me down and I can get quite stressed. But life’s too short for that and I just want to be happy.

So those are my New Years resolutions for 2019. I know these may not seem like majorly important resolutions to have but I’m happy and content with my life and where I’m at right now and these are just some of the things that I’d like to achieve in the upcoming year.

Thanks for reading my New Years resolutions, Don’t forget to leave yours in the comments!

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.