Close your eyes and count to 10 

1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder – that is around three children in every class. 

So here I am, after a 4 month hiatus…I’ll be honest, I don’t think this blogging lark is for me. I love reading amazing posts and interacting with like minded people via social media but I just can’t get into “it” whatever it may be. 
So the purpose of this post today isn’t to promote anything, or tell you about my latest purchase. It’s more of a diary entry, or maybe even its me, reaching out for support during a really shitty time. 

As I’ve mentioned before my eldest who’s almost 11 was knocked over by a car 3 years ago, since then he’s struggled with anxiety as a result of the Post traumatic stress disorder. He’s had some therapy through our amazing NHS and their CAHMS which he initially responded well to. We are a very open family and believed that together we were beating the anxiety gremlin. But always in the back of my mind, I’ve known that he wasn’t 100%. You can’t cure an anxiety disorder, you can learn to control it but I know it will never just disappear. I’m also becoming more aware of triggers which cause it to rear it’s ugly head.

Little signs started popping up again recently, asking to sleep in my bed, complaints of sore neck/chest/tummy, panic attacks have increased again along with unrealistic/catastrophic thoughts about things happening to him or us. When I’m holding him at night as he shakes and cries uncontrollably, telling me he can’t breathe or he’s worried he’s got cancer I just want to take it all away from him. I want the world to stop for one second, just long enough so I can tell him everything’s going to be ok. He’s safe and loved. These things of course he knows, in his rational mind. But bedtime sets in and so does the worry. 

My gorgeous boy is smart, popular, sporty and caring. He has many friends and family surrounding him, he is a member of teams and clubs and has endless hobbies…on the outside he’s a happy boy with not a care in the world. But on the inside I know it’s crippling him slowly. It’s crippling me watching him suffer at night. I would sit up all night to watch him sleep, knowing he’s dreaming happy thoughts and not wondering if the bunk bed is going to collapse on top of him. (Yes, that’s a real worry of his). My precious boy has such an important year coming up, approaching secondary school transfers. I know only too well how important it is that he is settled and calm and ready for new challenges. But with him, it only take one small trigger…a school trip, a change in routine or an injury/accident at school. Now he is older he has become very good at telling me or his dad when he feels himself slipping into a state of panic. We have taught him calming techniques which he applies himself. He also knows saying his worries out loud helps him hear himself and deal with them. Other methods include positive affirmations, we find @theyesmummum mini pack particularly useful. We are also currently working through a CBT workbook called “starving the anxiety gremlin” 

But it’s a long road ahead. Children’s mental health is so important, and can be overlooked. Those who suffer as children are far more likely to go on to be adults with mental health issues. 

We are facing this and dealing with it now, reminding him how strong he is. All in the hope of preparing him for the turbulent teenage years and being there to praise him through every up and hold his hand during every down. 

A letter to my firstborn 

To my Precious Prince, 11 years ago you came into our lives and changed them forever. Daddy and I were scared, we were so young and didn’t really have a clue how to raise a child. We were busy being children ourselves. But from the second I saw that little bouncing bean on the ultrasound I was in love and just knew everything would turn out ok. December 5th 2005 at 9.07pm you arrived, 9lb 2oz – a big pink chunk with a mop of dark hair. You had poorly lungs and we knew you’d eventually need surgery to fix them but for now you’d made it, screaming and wriggling ready to take on the world. As you grew up, I grew with you. I was learning as I went along, sometimes I made mistakes but you never judged and you always made things better without even trying. Daddy and I worked hard to give you everything you needed and more, we were so lucky to have our family around. They supported us in every meaning of the word. Mummy went back to work when you were still so young, younger than your sister is now. Your wonderful nursery nurtured you and taught you things as you grew. You even took your first steps there. Mummy felt sad that she had missed this but knew there were so many more precious moments to come. Of course you’d never be cross or upset with mummy for going to work but some days it was a personal battle with my own guilt. You started school and with that came a whole new set of challenges for both of us. Mummy felt different from the other mums, sometimes I felt jealous of them. They seemed to have it all worked out, they had mortgages and professional jobs with husbands. I remember one day you said to me how lucky you were to have a young mum because I would definately  win the mummies race at sports day. And there it was, your innocence and pure undiluted love without judgement was all I needed to shake any feelings of doubt I had, because when all was said and done you were all that mattered (and yep, I won that race).

I want you to know that just because Daddy and I aren’t married it doesn’t mean we love each other any less, you know that even marriage doesn’t always mean forever as you’ve seen some  of your friends with parents who separate or divorce. You being born made us even stronger, we knew that whatever obstacles we faced we’d face them together. Every decision we made was made with you in mind. We were a team and we were going for gold! 

Do you remember when we told you you were going to be a big brother? You cried, Mummy cried. I know you didn’t cry because you were sad but it was a big surprise you never expected! Ten years is a long time to be on your own, no brothers or sisters.  If you ever thought that it meant Mummy would love you any less or I’d have less time to do things with you then that’s ok. I had those thoughts too. Sometimes change can be scary but sometimes it shows you something you were missing without even realising. When your sister was born you really came into your own. Any feelings of jealousy that you may have thought you’d have disappeared. It became clear to me that she was the final piece to our puzzle. You are a natural protecter, teacher and of course a professional hugger. The way you scoop her up and kiss her gently makes my heart burst. You suddenly seem so grown up but please remember you will always be my baby boy. When I watch you with your sister I realise how lucky she is to have you in her life. She has no idea exactly how super cool and funny you are yet. Her first best friend.

Honestly my darling boy, you are the most kind hearted and caring boy I’ve ever known. You amaze me every day and everyone will agree you are truly special. You’ve already had to overcome so much, with many challenges testing you over the years but you’ve done it all with courage and positivity that any grown up would be proud of. You are brave and forgiving, bright and hard working. I know it annoys you but I will keep telling you I’m proud of you every night before bed and I will keep listing the reasons as long as you let me. If I can ask you one favour, it’s that you please don’t ever stop calling me Mummy. I know you are 11 now but you’re still my baby and Mum simply won’t cut it!

Thank you for being you, for teaching me how to be a mother. You are the only you, unique and special to me. 

Love you to the moon and back, your biggest fan,

Mummy X 

Pink Pear Bear
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The first smile, take two 

Since the day my little lady was born people have commented on how chilled she is, she’s a calm contented little thing who smiles at strangers. She’s a dream. Ok I will stop bragging before you stop reading! 

I remember the day she flashed her first smile at me, well it technically wasn’t at me it was at her big brother! But I was lucky enough to catch it on camera. She was 6 weeks old.

I know it’s a cliché but my heart literally skipped a beat. It gave me all kinds of happy feels and I will never forget it. But this is not the milestone I want to share with you, for my darling baby girl fought a battle at a mere 4 months old that temporarily washed her gorgeous smile away. So this is about her first smile, take two. 

After a 10 day stint of suspected bronchiolitis my little girl was showing no signs if improvement, she was refusing feeds, sleeping lots then not sleeping at all, she was just downright miserable. We were admitted into hospital so she could be tube fed whilst they did further investigations. Whilst in hospital (the amazing St. Georges, Tooting) she developed a terrible stridor, the sound of her hoarse, dry and raspy voice with every breath haunts me to this day. The amount of energy it must’ve taken her tiny little body to just breathe in and out breaks my heart. Steroids and nebulisers eased the discomfort but the doctors just couldn’t piece together this puzzle. It wasn’t  until we saw an ENT consultant (my hero) that we knew what was really wrong. I was alone when I found out, the other half was on the school run with our son. It didn’t occur to me I might need him there, that was until the sting of hot tears on my cheeks and sheer panic took over. My little girl, a tiny 4 months had a mass in her airways. It was seriously compromising her breathing and they were rushing her straight to emergency theatre. What? How? Hold on, this can’t be happening! Dressing her in a hospital gown that drowned her tiny body, surrounded by wires and plastic.

 Panic, fear,despair, the feeling of its not fair, why us.

 After the longest 2 hours of my life we were taken to recovery to see our little bean. The surgeon explained that the mass was a parapharangeal abscess, an infection in the deep nodes of her neck. They had drained almost 40ml of pus from it. It was a very rare condition, especially in babies her age. They wanted to do further investigation once she was well to see why she could not fight this infection and why it developed into something so serious. She spent 4 days intubated in intensive care whilst her airways recovered. This was the hardest part for me, I felt so helpless. I couldn’t feed my baby, change her nappy or even cuddle her. She didn’t look like my baby, a tiny little face distorted by tubes and plasters. Once woken up her strength and determination amazed me, my darling girl came on in leaps and bounds and we were transferred from PICU to the high-dependency ward. 

I wasn’t allowed to sleep at the bedside but was free to visit at all hours. The first morning after being transferred I rushed to see her, she was coming off a cocktail of drugs so I had been warned she’d be slightly out of sorts. But when I got to the cot and peered over the bars I was met with the widest, cheesiest grin, it was almost a smile of relief. My baby girl knew it was all over. Metaphorical sunbeams filled the room. There was my girl, that smile that I’d missed for far too long. She’d made it.

My baby girl made a full recovery, has been happy and healthy since and her 1st birthday is now a matter of weeks away! What a journey. I’m eternally grateful to all the amazing nurses, healthcare assistants, consultants, doctors and surgeons from our wonderful NHS that looked after us. 


So here’s to my special baby milestone, the first smile- take two. This post was written as an entry into the Tots100/Water Wipes competition. 

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My #mummytag Q & A

Thanks for the tag @lozandthesprog0! I loved a good game of tag at school, although it was called “had” when I went to school. I hated kiss chase though, literally could’ve outrun Usain Bolt the way I sprinted away from those yucky boys.

Anyway, if you’ve  got 5 minutes to spare, have a read of mine and tag your mama mates, pass it on!

Are you a stay at home or working mum?

I’m on maternity leave, I’ve been lucky enough to to have a year off but am now counting down the last two weeks until I’m back st work!
Would you have it any other way?

Honestly,  yes. If I could stay at home until Baby I started school I would. But I love my job and don’t want to lose it.
Do you co-sleep?

Yep! Every night, sometimes with both of my kids (he sneaks in if daddy is out) It was unintentional but with breastfeeding it just worked at we all got maximum sleep. Her cot makes a great toy box/ place to store clean laundry though!


What is your one must-have item for your baby?

Newborn days I would’ve said the Sleepyhead Deluxe, literally worth its weight in gold. She slept in it on the bed next to me and we even took it on holiday to Spain when she was 5 weeks. Now our must have item is snacks…she’s a snack fiend and always hungry!


How many kids do you plan on having?

2. Before my daughter I would’ve said 3 but she came along and we just felt complete. I’ve got my boy and girl and it just feels right. Not to mention lots of health issues with both of my children which makes me wonder if I have the mental strength to risk going through any of that again. We’ve both agreed that we are done.
Date nights? How often do you have them?

Not often enough! Even our 10yo commented on how little we go out just us. We take the kids out to eat but tend to do date nights only on anniversaries or birthdays.
Your child’s favourite show?

The baby isn’t fussed on tv but I do stick CBeebies on in the mornings and she is mesmerised by Mr Tumble! She likes theme tunes more than actual shows. My eldest watches anything Star Wars.


Name one thing you bought before the baby that you didn’t end up using.

I didn’t buy these but was given swaddling blankets but never got round to using them.
Your child’s favourite food?
Baby I absolutely LOVES pasta, with cheese, pesto, butter, brocolli, basically anything. She’s a carb monster like her mum! The boy is a meat man like daddy…ribs, wings and burgers.

How many cars does your family have?

One. I can’t drive.
Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now?

So before this pregnancy I’d just lost loads of weight due to a tonsillectomy (ouch) so was the lightest I’d been in years. I gained just over 2 stone overall and lost about 10lbs straight away. I’ve lost the rest over the last year with slimming world  and am now back to pre pregnancy weight.
Dream holiday with your kids?

Ok, cliche BUT Disney is amazing. We did Florida when my eldest was 5 and apart from needing another holiday to recover from that holiday, it was amazing and every child’s dream come true.


Dream holiday without your kids?

Oh man, somewhere hot on one of those floating cabin things where you can just wake up and jump in the crystal clear sea then lounge all day on a hammock.

This will do nicely, thanks!

How has your life changed since having kids?

I can’t even remember myself before my children. I gave them life but they made me who I am.

Finish the sentence “It makes heart melt when…”

I catch my son hugging and kissing his baby sister. He’s openly affectionate with her but it’s those private moments when he thinks I can’t see that really tug at the heart strings.
Where do you shop for your kids?

I love H and M, next, Zara, mothercare and the supermarkets and even primark are great for basics. I love online baby boutiques like Fred and Noah for leggings or Burp Boutique but I also shop in charity shops for bargains to balance it all out!
Favourite make-up and skincare products?

I’m lazy and have no real skincare routine or favourites. I tend to clean my make up off with a baby wipe of I remember to take it off at all! I use Benefit boing concealer and love a highlighter, currently using No7 highlighting stick. My one make up obsession is lipsticks. Mainly nudes and reds. Fave at the moment is Avon matte.

Huggies or Pampers?

Pampers usually but often own brands. Boots are my favourite, no leaks and super soft.

Have you always wanted kids?

Yep! I fell pregnant with my first at 20, to make such a big decision at that age I had to be pretty sure.

Best part of being a mum?

Oh I couldn’t possibly pinpoint one, I just feel complete.
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Thanks again for tagging me @lozandthesprog0 I’m passing this on to-

@sothisismemrst

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Time to get thrifty! 

So it’s taken me almost a year but I’ve finally got the hang of this dressing girls thing. Having raised a boy for 10 years and been surrounded by nephews it took a few months to get the hang of. But there’s one thing that I can’t get used to and that’s the cost! With my first my sister had twin boys 20 months older, this meant a constant stream of hand-me-downs until E caught up with them. I didn’t have to spend a huge amount on clothes, and the bits I did buy I enjoyed treating him to! Baby I is not going to be so lucky, all she’s heard every time we go out shopping is daddy moaning about how expensive it all is! Ok, maybe I have bought her bits she doesn’t necessarily need. But it’s all sooo cute! Gorgeous handmade leggings are my weakness like Fred and Noah or Lottie and Lysh but the lack of income on my part (maternity pay has finished!!) has been a massive wake up call, it’s time to get thrifty! 

Now second hand clothes may not be everyone’s cup of tea but when you’ve got a kid (or 2) that eats for England therefore grows at an alarming speed unless you’re loaded somethings got to give. Add to this the fact babies and their super speedy growth means many of the clothes have been worn once or twice and you’re laughing!  So I’ve been ebaying like a woman possessed, my bidding skills are on point. Here are some of the beauties I’ve won for less than a tenner collectively.


Next stop was the charity shop today, I use Fara Kids in my local area as its a charity that supports programmes for disadvantaged children and young adults. Again, the quality of some of the stuff is amazing and I even saw items still with labels on! I spent £14 and got 2 tops, a dress and a pair of jeans, brands ranging from John Lewis to Carters. 


Overall I’m super impressed with my hauls and Baby I’s summer wardrobe is coming together nicely. 

Have you made some bargain purchases recently? I’d love to hear if you dress your kids on a budget or if they are strictly designer!  

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Club Hub UK – A parents bible 

You know the feeling, it’s 6am during the summer holidays and the kids are already pestering you to get up and out of the house. You’ve already exhausted the park, the zoo and the soft play and need something different! It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same old things to keep the kids busy.

Super woman Tessa Robinson came up with the idea for Club Hub UK when she was struggling to advertise her own musical theatre kids class. What if there was one app that found all the clubs and activities in the area for our kids? Launching in July Club Hub looks set to be a parents one stop shop for things to do to keep the smalls satisfied. Can’t wait to try this out for myself!

For now you can stay connected via social media:

Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

5 reasons we should be more like our kids 

Just do you.

Your kid doesn’t care if  you’re running late for work. If she needs to poop, she poops. She doesn’t care that you’ve got a 2 hour meeting in the morning, if she wants to play at 4am she will damn well play. My point is, don’t live your life according to others. (OK, easier said than done when you’re a parent) but at least try to dedicate some time to being selfish, get that manicure, eat the chocolate, get a babysitter and go out and get hammered or even check in to a hotel for some sleep (not gonna lie, it’s crossed my mind) 

Speak your mind. 

If something is bothering you, get it off your chest. Christ, if my little lady’s teeth are hurting her in the dead of night she sure as hell let’s us know. I recently changed my hair colour, I was unsure and of course could rely on my eldest to give his honest opinion. (He hated it) Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, it’s liberating! 



Eat well.

Ok, not all kids eat well but certainly in my recent experience of the weaning stage Baby I certainly enjoyed trying new things, eating it or just smearing in her hair and ears. My girl eats carbs like nothing you’ve seen before. She can inhale a bowl of pasta in 30 seconds flat. She’s not afraid to be adventurous with new foods, just the other day she sampled some gourmet dried mud from the bottom of her brothers football boot. Point being, eat well and look after your body. Lord knows we need the energy! 

 Be confident.

If you want to wear that dress, where it. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Forget about your muffin top or bingo wings and embrace your body for what it is and what it’s achieved. Baby I wears her skinny jeans with pride, chubby thigh rolls in all their glory. 

Smile.

Again, this doesn’t apply to all kids but baby I is at the age now where she smiles at everyone. She smiles at the postman, the shopkeeper, the old lady grabbing her cheeks. She even throws a gummy grin at people who aren’t even paying her the slightest bit of attention (true story) but my point is, just a simple smile can brighten someone’s day.  

Please note: this is her *actual* smiley face

We are all guilty of walking around with a face like thunder. I’ve certainly perfected my RBF (resting bitch face) but some days I feel better for just plastering on some red lippy and smiling my way through the day. 

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About a boy

You know that saying “he’s got an old head on his shoulders” and all those things people say about your kids. I’ve always smiled and agreed, my precious boy is overflowing with wisdom and compassion way beyond his years. I’ve had strangers comment on his impeccable manners and now seeing him bond with his baby sister just fills me with so much pride I could burst. But these people don’t know the half of it, they haven’t even scratched the surface of this courageous, caring and special soul.

What started this train of thought was a video I watched on Facebook. Oh. Dear. God. Do not watch if you’re low on sleep/carbs or feeling in any way over emotional. Its entitled “Slow Down” and it’s basically a lovely song about how fast our kids grow up, those blink and you’ll miss it moments and a lovely reminder to slow down and enjoy every little thing. Watch the video here and let me know how much you cried!

I guess I’m feeling proud, proud that I’ve managed to keep another human alive for a decade. Proud that he always says please and thank you and proud that he does well at school. What we all want and expect of our children. The thing is, my darling E has had some hurdles, a few hiccups and setbacks along the way. The first being before he was even born when he was diagnosed with a Lung Condition in the womb. This resulted in major surgery at 2years old. They say at 2 years old children don’t remember anything, however E is convinced his earliest memory is lying on white sheets looking up at a blue curtain and white circle lights. I’m not sure how true this is but it makes me sad nonetheless as my own earliest memory is a happy one.

Fast forward to 2013, he’s settled in at school, excelling in class and at sports. Every Wednesday myself and another parent would take it in turns to take the boys to football after school. It was the other mums turn so I finished work and went off to do some food shopping. I had no phone service in the supermarket and when I got out I had a missed call from the mother. She’d left a voicemail.

E had been knocked over at a pedestrian crossing. He stepped out at the green man just as a woman jumped a red light. He suffered a broken collar bone, facial lacerations and bruises. The next few hours were a blur, from rushing to the scene in the rain, getting in the ambulance and seeing my baby in tears, terrified. I had to be brave for him. He’d just celebrated his birthday a few days earlier and was sad the paramedics had to cut off his new Arsenal tracksuit. It’s funny the things that stick in your head.

We were discharged the following day to echoes of “you’re a very lucky boy” Doctors, family and friends kept saying how lucky he was, that it wasn’t more serious. But in my 8 year olds head, he wondered how?! How am I lucky? he asked me. He was right, I couldn’t answer. He’d just been knocked down at a crossing that every adult drums into you is safe. Wait for the green man, it’s safe. He did everything by the book yet this happened. He didn’t feel very lucky at all. As the days passed he listened to me talking to family members and friends about what happened, one morning he stopped me as I spoke and said “don’t be cross with the lady mummy, she will be sad too” This sentence alone sums up the solicitude and consideration he always olds for others, even before himself.

The bones healed, the scars faded but what was bubbling underneath and far more serious than I’d ever considered was his mental and emotional wellbeing. The stress of what happened took its toll, he became almost reclusive. He was going to school but wouldn’t go to friends houses, not even family without me or his dad. He’d turn down play dates and birthday parties, giving the reason “I’d rather be with you mummy”  The separation anxiety was worse than ever. He’d ask me things at night like “what would happen if you died?” Or “how do I know nothing will happen to you when you come to pick me up tomorrow” E also began suffering panic attacks, his heart would pound, palms sweating and inconsolable crying would ensue. I’d hold him, breathe with him and count with him. He’d complain of feeling sick, dizzy or short of breath. One night bizarre as it sounds, he was hysterical as he thought he couldn’t yawn anymore and the more he tried the harder it became. My special little soul was diagnosed with Post traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of the accident. Until it was staring me in the face I just always thought of PTSD as something grown ups got, soldiers after leaving warzones and that sort of thing. Not my child. He was offered some therapy which we attended, I guess it helped. But from a 10year olds point of view he wondered why we had to keep taking about everything that had happened as it just reminded him and made him feel sad again. I just think it’s been a natural progression for him and he’s finally leaving the past behind. He’s had moments of “why is it always me that bad things happen to” (I haven’t mentioned the split head, black eye and broken arm that have happened since the accident!) but generally he’s so much more positive.  One thing I do want to shout about is the amazing @yesmummum and her super special Yes Mum Mini cards. Positive aspirations are a simple yet effective way of reminding our little people of how awesome they are and that everything is going to be ok. The last year or so he’s turned a real corner and next week is our first big test. He’s off on a school residential! Think I will be the one crying into my pillow that night rather than him!

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Panic stations!

My head hurts. It’s already May and after almost a year of coasting happily through my maternity leave in a haze of sleepless nights, leaky boobs, early morning snuggles, giggles and coffee by the shitload it’s suddenly hit me like a 10 tonne truck that next month I will not only have a 1 year old, I will also be dragging my butt back to work. Now had you asked me 3 months ago how I was feeling about this I may have burst into tears on the spot but actually I’m now a lot more positive and almost, dare I say it looking forward to getting back into a little routine. I’m going back 3 days in the hope I can maintain some sort of work/home balance and more importantly still function day to day as I have a baby who refuses to sleep through the night. That is one thing on a very long, muddled list entitled “Shit I need to get done” I’m also currently in the middle of planning my best friends hen do, now I love her and am super excited about it all but Christ, does she not know me at all?! I literally couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery. Luckily! (For her) I have enlisted fellow bridesmaid and bestie H to be chief venue/events booker whilst I take care of the important stuff like plastic willy straws and “L” plates. In addition to my hen planning I’ve got to somehow wean my little darling off the boob, I’m proud that I’ve achieved over 10 months and it irks me when people ask if I’m “still breastfeeding” or seem shocked when they find out I am. I don’t ask you if you’re “still feeding” your kid 3 meals a day do I? However, I’ve decided that I’d like to claim my body back (and wear nice bras again) plus I’m going to Spain for part one of our hen do and will be sans baby for 3 whole nights!! Not really feeling the whole breastpump in the hand luggage deal, popping into loos on a night out to pump and dump…been there done that and quite frankly I’m over it. My problem is the night time comfort feeding, I admit it’s partly down to laziness…she stirs, rather then get up and settle her I roll over (yep, we are unintentional co-sleepers) and voila she’s back to sleep in a flash. We all get the maximum amount of snoozy time and everyone’s happy! So if anyone has any tips on how I can get this girl off the boob and sleeping all night, preferably with minimal fuss hit me up! (Not asking much am I!?)

  Also my eldest E is off on his first school residential next week to Dorset, he’s never been away from home other than the odd sleepover and has suffered in the past with mild anxiety and PTSD (but that’s for another post) so as you can imagine I’m having mixed emotions as is he. When I asked him if he had any questions about the trip he asked “do I have to go?” Cue massive gulp and wobbly lip from me. But we are staying very casual and positive about it all and I’m practising my best smile and wave from behind sunglasses so he can’t see my tears when we wave them off next Monday. Something tells me this may be the making of my biggest baby, watch this space. 


 So with hen dos, night weaning and a first birthday approaching, not to mention back to work, summer holidays and then secondary school applications my head feels a bit like a washing machine on spin at the moment. But every time the panic sets in I quickly remind myself the majority of these stresses are what  we call “first world problems” like there could be worse things to do with my time than plan cake smash photoshoots and find “butlers in the buff” (Not for the same party, but imagine that!) 
Come Septemper I will be ready for my #MEternityleave. (HA!) 

Let’s get messy! 

Now baby I is almost 10 months and the weather is getting warmer I decided to get together with a couple of friends and try out some messy play ideas in the park! I’m not massively creative and the idea of messy anything usually sends me into a cold sweat however, the fact we were in the park meant mess was minimal and easily cleared away (a huge plastic picnic blanket scooped into a bin bag at the end!) plus if you literally good “edible sensory play ideas” there are so many to choose from.

We scoured Pinterest  for ideas, here are a few of our favourite :

Rainbow breadcrumbs – super easy and edible! All you need is a blender, bread, food colouring, milk and a toaster!

•Lightly toast a loaf of bread and break up approximately 4 slices at a time into blender (I used my nutribullet with the milling blade)

• For each batch add a different food colouring with a dash of full fat milk (or your preferred milk)

• Blend until you have  fine breadcrumbs. I found if I added to much milk they were very sticky. Took a few attempts!

Next up we had rainbow spagetti, which is even simpler and super quick and again, edible for those pesky minis who inevitably put everything in their mouths!

• Cook your spagetti

• Add a few drops of food colouring to ziploc bags (one for each colour)

• Transfer equal amounts of cooked pasta to the bags and use your hands to spread evenly.

• Rinse pasta to remove any excess food colouring

Lastly we had some sugar free jelly with added berries for the babies to go digging for, some whipped cream and a bubble machine!

Baby I was cautious and very reserved, I’m not sure she touched anything for at least 20 minutes. The other babies dived in head first, literally! But for her first experience I reckon it went pretty well and by the end even she was sampling some whipped cream mixed with breadcrumbs.

Overall a fun afternoon, easy entertainment and makes for some great photo opps!

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