Saturday, 25 July 2015

How To Revitalise Your 'Super Parent' Energy

All Parent's know that a child wants attention - a lot of it! Whether it's playing a game, lunch time, going out. You are there, always there and in reality you feel like 'Super Mum' or 'Super Dad'. 

How are they still running about? I'm knackered!" You always try 110%. You are likely yawning before your children and you still haven't had your time yet. So what do you do?
Time management. Break down your day and see exactly what need's to be eliminated and put right to focus and balance your schedule. Children want to play? Fine. You want a few minutes to yourself? Fine. You have an important task to do? Fine. There is nothing wrong with being selfish and frankly you deserve to have your own time.

How our bodies cope with this 'Super Parent' Energy is something we are probably overwhelmed with. How are we so strong in dealing with everyday life tasks? How do parents find the time with 1, 2 or 3+ children? You should deserve a medal, even own a trophy cabinet. Nope, it's probably snot on your favourite clothing and dirty dishes at the end of the day. But, you smile. Let's not be hard on ourselves, we love it. I know I do.

One of my big stresses is time. Not enough time of the day (and it kills me). I want to give attention to my family, myself and not to mention my friends and family. Unexpected appointments can become a big event and cause stress you do not need. Simple solution. Write it down and manage your time.

Your children notice your energy - so if you give too much of it maybe lay back. Let them use their own energy - sit back and relax!

Don't be afraid to say no.

You've woken up, the children are asking for breakfast and the phone rings. Everything is going on again but you answer and it's a friend you haven't seen in a long time. She is asking to see you today (even though it's short notice they are desperate to visit). What do you do? Your instinct is to respond with a firm "Yes! Of course!" but in reality, you regret it. I have learnt over time that saying no can save a lot of time and stress to focus on other things you had to do that day (even if it's a rest day!). Time is ticking and you don't want to spend all of your energy starting a new task. - The unexpected task. These sort of things should be filled in when your diary has a blank space. (Maybe you've left it empty to have "your time" or to catch up with friends but this is probably the best way to tell your friend that you have free time another day. (even if you are also desperate to see them). They will understand.

If your day really has been overwhelming and non-stop. One simple & effective solution to calm and relax (even if it's a minute) is to just breathe... Inhale and exhale. A deep breath can be a quick fix to relax and unwind. Remind yourself your a strong person and your 'Super Parent' energy is ready for a recharge for the next day! You can do it!

Question & Answer.
How do you deal with time management?

Thursday, 23 July 2015

D.I.Y 'Seaside' Gloop

D.I.Y 'Seaside' Gloop

This week, Leon and I have been exploring the seaside life here in NZ. Not long ago, Leon managed to find a lovely collection of sea shells and stones amongst other quirky and curious items. Since that day, we have been going through them all , discovering the different patterns, textures and colours shells have.

I decided we could take things to the next level and use play-dough to explore patterns and shapes. I have the most simple and safe recipe for your little ones to play with this 'gloop' textured play-dough. There are plenty of ways to making play-dough however we went for our 'seaside' gloop and it is still being used a week later! Success!

All you need is four basic ingredients from your store cupboard and mix it well to combine a dough-like texture - as if you were making a pizza dough!

1. Flour (2 cups) plus more for kneading
2. Oil (I used olive) but any kind will do (about 1 cup)
3. Water ( half a cup) to combine.
4. Food Colouring of your choice (We used blue).

That's it! Too wet? Add more flour. Too dry? Add more water and oil.

This 'seaside' gloop was so great to play with! It is stretchy... it is squeezable and so much fun adding shells to! When Leon was finished I reused a plastic tub and stored the gloop into the fridge. The next day it seemed even better to play with!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

5 Useful 'Moving House' Tips with Toddlers

5 Useful Tips when Moving House with a Toddler. (& with little resources)

Moving House? Stressed? Active children? 

I have written some useful tips when moving house. In my case, the other side of the world with a 2 year old. It's been 3 weeks to this day we have moved from the UK to NZ and with an empty shell & suitcases to begin with, it can be difficult to improvise!

Learning that just a couple of boxes, laughs, songs, outdoor exploring and a little imagination can go a long way - without the expense.

Moving house is known as one of life's big stresses (but it doesn't have to be).

From changing schools, moving away from family, changing direct debits and sorting out a whole new life - with children is a big task. Not to mention new jobs, and a whole new routine.

Try making the move exciting, new and enjoyable:

Out with the old, in with the new
Packing boxes can be fun when going through everything your have. Children love to help and get involved (even just by watching what you are up to). Explain why you have big boxes and that you need help sorting an clearing. Throwing away old toys are a great way to explain how your little one is growing up and moving on to 'bigger toys'. Going through old toys can also be hard especially if you have some lovely memories of them. Throwing away belongings is never easy but a clear out is essential (in our case anyway!). Ask your little one which one they remember the most and let them put it in their 'keepsake' box. 

Ask for help
Family nearby? Need to sort out something important? Need time-out? 
Just Ask. Even if it's an hour or two.
If it wasn't for an extra pair of hands then yes it would have taken longer to manage our move. Luckily we had family close by to take our son to the park- whilst going through the important stuff. Phone calls, paperwork, sorting out our finances etc. When you need full attention on something you can't have distractions so a little help is appreciated in order for the move to go smoothly. (Plus the children love playing with Nanny & Grandad!)

Day before the Move
(Make a to-do list). List's are very important to keep yourself prepared for the big day. For example your first shopping list. (This can be quite long and stressful so make sure you write everything you need!).
Again, ask your little one to help you around the isle or simply pop them in the trolley with the big shopping list (they love it!)  Your house looks so much bigger than you expected, the fridge is nearly empty and  everybody is excited and nervous. Your boxes might not arrive until a later date so make sure you pack your essentials for the first day/week! Oh, and don't forget to have a bottle of bubbly with your loved one to celebrate...

Moving Day
Moving Day, everyone is rushing and you have a dirty nappy to change. Take is easy, it will go smoothly. 
Pack a packed lunch - you might not have your pots and pans arrive yet so make plenty of everyone's favourite sandwiches!

Some Key Essentials:

1. Pen & Paper - You will always need one handy for something!
2. Toiletries 
3. Toilet Paper - always!
4. Basic food (milk, pasta, rice, bread etc).
5. Toy's for your little ones - pens, films, blocks, puzzles etc.

First Night
Your in. New home, fresh start and a totally new routine. You've made your first shop and the house is really bare. Take it step by step and soon it will become your 'home sweet home'.
If your child is bored or touching things they shouldn't, use empty boxes to make houses or roads for cars. So much can be done even with washing pegs or a simple pen & paper can keep them entertained. Your happy, it's gone better than you expected yet still plenty to do. 
Don't forget, children adapt easily to new surroundings so that's one less stress to worry about.

Now open that bubbly! 

Here in NZ, it was a big move for us. (A 30 hour journey just flying and walking through airports). - Preparation and concentration makes everything go smoothly. Bring the milk bottles, that favourite toy and plenty of little games you can pack easily.

For you and your partner just keep writing top - do lists and the top essential jobs to settle your first week.
New nursery, sign up to doctors, change address, set up your insurances/phone/etc. You will be done in a flash and the routine will follow.

Enjoy your new home!