DIY Play-Doh

This morning me and Kory made our own Play-Doh together!

I don’t know about any of you but I have bought so much Play-Doh over the years as Kory just mixes the different colours together and after a while they dry out and then I have to buy even more and store bought Play-Doh is not exactly ‘cheap’ to buy either, especially when you’re having to keep buying it all the time.

Truth be told, I was getting tired of buying the stuff just to throw it away again after a short amount of time but I knew that we’d have to have some in the house because Kory loves to play with Play-Doh. I knew that Kory’s nursery made their own so after asking them how do they make it, I was so glad when they kindly shared with me their recipe to make our own Play-Doh at home and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make and how inexpensive too!

Kory did most of the making himself and I just observed – that’s really how easy it is! I found that it was also pretty fun to make together too and I love all of the different types of Play-Doh you can create yourself;

Scented, glittered, coloured, themed, ect! The possibilities are endless!

I don’t think I’ll buy Play-Doh from the shop again now that I know how to make my own. And it really is easy to make.

If you’d like to know how to make your own Play-Doh yourself at home, keep reading on because I am going to share with you how we made our own. You probably have all of the ingredients you will need already at home and it takes just 10 minutes to make!

So, without further ado. Here goes:

You will need:

  • 8 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp table salt
  • 60ml warm water
  • Food colouring or flavouring
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

1.) Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the water, a few drops of food colouring or flavouring and the oil.

2.) Pour the coloured water into the flour mix and bring together with a spoon.

3.) Dust a work surface with a little flour and turn out the dough. Knead together for a few minutes to form a smooth, pliable dough. If you want a more intense colour or smell you can work in a few extra drops of food colouring or flavouring.

4.) Store in a plastic sandwich bag in the fridge to keep it fresh. (Squeeze out the air first.)

And that’s really all it takes!

Do you make your own Play-Doh already? If you haven’t made it before and you decide to, please let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading…

Mama Tag

I have been asked to take part in the Mama Tag by the lovely Rebecca over at With My Love & Courage. She was inspired to create this tag after watching the new mum/new mom tag videos on YouTube that were originally created by Emily Norris.

So, let’s get started!

1.) Favourite mum hack?

I don’t really have a favourite mum hack or even a mum hack at all. I like to think that I’m quite an organised person but the truth is when it comes to parenting I’m honestly just winging this whole thing and hoping for the best. Every day is a different challenge. Maybe that could be something for me to think about, what mum hack could make things easier for me?

2.) Most embarrassing mum moment?

My most embarrassing mum moment would be every time Kory acts up in public and I have to try and keep calm and stop his temper tantrum all whilst feeling everyones eyes watching and judging.

3.) My favourite part of the day?

My favourite part of the day is definitely tea time when Rory gets home from work. After a busy day it’s nice to see him walk through the door and it’s also nice when we all sit down as a family to have our tea and to watch tv together.

4.) My worst part of the day?

The worst part of the day for me is definitely morning. I have never been a morning person and that’s not about to change now that I’m a parent. It’s not that I hate mornings it’s just not fun being woke up really early every day when you still feel tired from the day before and hearing ‘mum mum mum’ whilst your eyeballs are only half open. I’m usually okay once that first cup of coffee hits my soul though.

5.) Worst thing someone said to you when you were pregnant?

Where do I begin! Well there was this one woman that asked me to lift up my top so that I could show her my belly so that she could see ‘how big I was’ – that made me feel really good about myself!

6.) A baby name you disagreed on?

There was loads of names that I really liked when we were choosing baby names and out of all of them my partner narrowed it down to just one so I would say we disagreed quite a lot but I suppose at the same time it did make deciding on a baby name a lot easier as well!

7.) Do you co-sleep?

We never co-slept with Kory when he was a small baby but if you class a toddler coming into your room in the middle of the night and climbing into your bed then yes we co-sleep.

8.) Baby products you never used?

I can’t think of any off the top of my head, we used lots of great products with Kory when he was a baby.

9.) Name 3 hospital bag must haves:

There are lots of useful things that you can pack in your hospital bag but my top 3 would be sanitary towels, trust me – you’re going to need them. Nickers, big comfy ones and lots of them and pyjamas, because that’s all you’re gonna want to wear for a while.

10.) Are you a go-with-the-flo or routine mum?

I guess I’m a bit of both really. I’m quite strict about some things, the things that I consider important such as bedtime because Kory can be a real grouch if he goes to bed too late which isn’t fun for anyone, making sure I keep his behaviour in check and I like to make sure he’s ate his dinner before he has any sweets and that sort of thing but I’m pretty easy going when it comes to everything else like screen time and what clothes he wears.

11.) What sort of labour and pain relief did you have?

I had a pretty straight forward labour considering Kory was born premature, I gave birth to him naturally and had gas and air for pain relief.

12.) Have you ever been mum shamed?

Yes on quite a few occasions actually. Once by a health visitor when Kory was around 4/5 months old because I gave him rusk with his milk which was my decision, another time when he was a bit older, I’d took him to the weigh-in clinic and because he’d had a sick bug which was the main reason for me taking him, it was pointed out to me rather rudely that he hadn’t put much weight on, I’ve been mum shamed online for giving my child ice cream, I’ve been mum shamed for giving him an iPad and I’ve been mum shamed for letting him climb into bed with us. It used to bother me a lot when I first had Kory but as he’s grown older and I can see that he’s happy and healthy and that he’s obviously not come to any harm from any of those things it bothers me a lot less. It’s so easy for other mums to have their say on how you parent when they’re sat behind a screen, or for people who aren’t parents themselves to judge because they haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. When you’re a young, new, first time mum these can all seem like big, important things but they’re really not. You just have to do what works for you and your baby, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

13.) What have been the biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge as a parent has been trying to be the best mum that I can be even though I never believe in myself. It’s hard enough raising a child but when you constantly doubt yourself and think that you must be doing something wrong or that someone else other than you would be able to do a better job it’s a lot harder. A lot lot harder. I’m constantly in a battle with myself and I’m my own worst enemy but I do like to think that I have come a long way from the young, naive, first time mum that I was and that I am growing into a more confident person and giving myself a bit more credit where it’s due when it comes to being a parent.

14.) What is the best advice that you’ve had or been given?

The best advice that I have been given is simply just being reminded that I am Kory’s mum and that I know him best. A lot of judgement comes with parenting and when it comes to making decisions for your children, it can be easy to doubt yourself even when you know deep down in your gut that it’s what’s best. Many times I have made a decision regarding Kory and then changed my mind about it through other people voicing their opinions and having their say just for it to turn out that I was right and should have just listened to myself to begin with. This is something that does get a little easier the older your child gets. Being a parent to a new baby is scary!

15.) Who is your mum crush?

I know so many amazing mums in real life and follow so many fabulous mums on Instagram that I would feel a little unfair just choosing one, I think we’re all doing a fantastic job!

So that’s all from me. Thank you for reading my answers to the questions asked! I hope you enjoyed reading them. I would like to ask Megan over at www.withabandme.wordpress.com to take part in this tag. I look forward to reading her answers!

I’m tired today

I’m tired today but not because of Kory waking for once, or because I got up to use the bathroom or because I was just generally unable to sleep. I’m tired today but for a totally different reason…

Why does inspiration for my blog have to come to me at 4:30am?

Last night I lay awake in bed in the early hours for around an hour and a half just tapping away on my phone like a mad woman, noting down all of the ideas for my blog that had suddenly just popped into my head before I forgot them! After weeks of feeling uninspired, having no motivation to blog regularly and having no idea what to write about on my blog, i’m glad that the inspiration to write and the different ideas came into my head but did it have to be at that time in a morning?!

I’m tired today and I have to say I’m kinda glad that Kory is in nursery this morning just so that I can enjoy a coffee in silence and try to unfrazzle my brain.

When I’m not lay awake in the early hours jotting down blog content ideas, I like to stay inspired in other less, tiring ways. Such as:

  • Reading other blogs
  • Working on my blog on the go from my phone
  • Writing down in a note pad ideas that i’ve had/got
  • Writing about what’s currently happening in my life right now
  • Thinking about where I want my blog to go and what I want to achieve from blogging
  • Reading my previous blog posts from the past and seeing how far I’ve come
  • Sharing my honest experiences with you and asking for advice

All bloggers go through spouts of finding it hard to think of new and different things to write about regularly. So those are just some of the ways that I keep myself feeling inspired and motivated.

Do you ever find yourself feeling uninspired and struggle to think of things to write about when it comes to your blog? What inspires you to continue writing?

P.S. I don’t know why my coffee looks so strange on this picture but I can assure you that it tastes nice!

Why I want another baby

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Kory is 2.7 years old now (Where has that time gone?!) and I can remember going to the hospital and being in labour like it was just yesterday. Many people say you forget about the pain that you endure during delivery and even afterwards over time but I can honestly say that I have not and it’s something that has stuck with me and i’m sort of glad that it has. It’s not an experience i’d like to forget. Even if it wasn’t always pleasant but despite this, this has not put me off wanting just one more baby.

I think i’ve always wanted one more baby. I can remember feeling so overwhelmed after delivering Kory and even crying because the experience was over with, not just out of relief but because I was sad that I would never get to deliver him again. (I can’t explain this one, crazy hormonal women think crazy things!) But that’s how I felt. When I looked at him, touched him, held him and smelled him for the first time everything just faded away, that moment was so special, nothing else in the world mattered and i’ve always craved to feel that again. Watching him grow up has been so bittersweet. It’s been incredible to watch him learn, grow and reach milestones but at the same time, i’ve always felt a little sad too that I won’t get to watch him achieve these things for the first time ever again. I also loved being pregnant and was sad when my bump disapeared even though the baby that I grew was now in my arms. As well as all of this, I’ve always known that I wanted a sibling for Kory to grow up with, play with and share memories with too.

So call me crazy because i’ve already got my hands full with a very adventurous, independent and strong willed 2 year old that drives me up the wall daily but I want another baby and here are some of the reasons why:

  • Newborn babies smell sooo good. New babies just have this heavenly smell and I could just breathe it in all day. I don’t think I stopped sniffing Kory or his clothes for weeks!
  • Snuggles. New babies with their soft, smooth skin sleep a LOT which is the perfect oppurtunity to dose up on those snuggles. Everything else can wait! I’m so glad that I made the most of Kory being little and snuggled him at every chance I got. Now that he’s a constantly on-the-go toddler, the only time I get to snuggle him properly is when he naps – which is never by the way.
  • Newborn babies are the sweetest. Most people will tell you that the newborn stage is the hardest stage; lack of sleep, night feeds, ect and it is tough but don’t listen to those people. I would swap toddler tantrums for night feeds any day of the week! A newborn baby has never screamed at me because I told them that they couldn’t have sweets until they’d ate their dinner…
  • Re-using newborn items again. I kept so many of Kory’s blankets, teddies, clothes and baby grows from when he was a baby. I even kept his prep machine! I’m not one to be wasteful and just felt like I couldn’t part with them so kept them should the time come that I will be able to use them again. Re-using Kory’s old baby grows and clothes would be so cute to see another addition wearing them, being able to take pictures, putting them side by side and looking at the comparisons.
  • Play mate. I would love nothing more than to give my son a friend for life, a play mate and who better than his own sibling!
  • There is no greater love than the love that you have for your children. Parenting has its challenges for sure but the pros far outweigh any cons.

 So call me crazy but I want another baby and those are my reasons why.

 

Parenting

After weeks of Kory constantly being ‘naughty’ and driving me up the wall, I feel like we have really turned a corner with his behaviour. (Thank god!) I feel like this past week or so he’s sort of calmed down a bit. There hasn’t been half as many temper tantrums, screaming matches or meltdowns and I can’t tell you how happy that has made me!

I don’t know what happened, whether it was a phase of some sort that Kory was going through but I feel like I said nothing but ‘no, don’t do that’ ‘no, kory, stop that’ or ‘no that’s naughty’ every day for around 3 horrible weeks just to be screamed and shouted back at. During that time I found it really hard to parent, I wasn’t enjoying being a mum and I wasn’t enjoying Kory’s company like I normally would have. I would wake up dreading the day and go to bed exhausted and upset every night. I honestly had no idea what I was doing or how to handle it all which didn’t help with my anxiety or my feelings of guilt that I was already burdened with but I knew that I had to do something and as difficult as it was, it must have paid off.

I have no doubt that this dreaded ‘phase’ or whatever it was will return again at some point but right now i’m just gonna enjoy feeling like I’m in control of the situation again and not having to tell Kory off all the time. I know that as Kory’s mum I will always be his parent first and friend second because as his mum it is my job to make sure that as much as I have to allow him to learn and grow by himself, it’s also my job to keep him in line too.

It’s just nice to have my best friend back.

Half term

I feel like I haven’t posted anything on here properly for a while but with it being half term here I just haven’t had a minute!

I was really looking forward to half term and spending some time with Kory and planning a few different days out and a few different things for us to do together. We even got lucky with the weather too which meant that we wasn’t limited to activities that are just indoors! So here’s what we’ve been up to since we last spoke…

Me and Kory visited an open farm. We both had a really fun day seeing, holding and touching all the different farm animals and learning all about them too! Kory especially loved the ‘pets corner’ which is something that takes place at the open farm a few times throughout the day, in pets corner they bring different baby animals out to show you and you can touch them and even feed them! It was a lot of fun and I already can’t wait to visit again with Kory.

We’ve been to Southport for the day for fish and chips on the front, ice cream and for a walk along the beach. It was such a lovely day and what made it even better was that Kory’s dad was able to join us as well as he had the day off work.

We’ve been to the park because what 2 year old doesn’t want to go to the park?!

We’ve been for lots of long walks with Harley, our dog, because we can’t leave him out of the fun! And we’ve been for walks with Nan and Grandad too and we’ve even been for a picnic!

It’s not often we get such lovely weather in February so I’ve really tried to make the most of it and to get us out of the house every day even if it’s just for a couple of hours or so for some fresh air. Also have you ever been stuck in the house with a bored 2 year old?! Not fun!

So that’s what we’ve been up to anyway and that’s where I’ve been hiding if you were wondering! We’ve had a pretty busy half term… Has it been half term for your children? If so, have you been anywhere/done anything nice with your little ones over the half term?

I’d love to know!

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!