Monday 28 January 2019

Living Arrows 2019 04/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2019! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" Each week I post one photo of James and one photo of Freddie and share what they have been up to that week!

This week Freddie has started to go gluten free!! If you are a regular reader then you will know we have had a lot of issues with Freddie and his stomach over the last couple of years and since March 2018 he has been dairy free and since July 2018 he has been soya free. He has still been having quite bad issues with his stomach bloating and painful gas and so the doctor suggested we took him gluten free to see if that helped at all and even in the week and a few days its been we are already seeing an improvement!

James has been doing well at school on his homework and on his reading! He has been doing his reading book ever night with daddy while mummy entertains Freddie and cooks dinner! He is also still loving his Beavers group and counts down the days till its Thursday! Last week they did some star gazing outside which he loved!

Living Arrows

Monday 21 January 2019

Living Arrows 2019 03/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2019! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" 

Each week I post one photo of James and one photo of Freddie and share what they have been up to that week!

This week started quite oddly. Freddie had been ill at the end of last week but did not miss any playgroup as he is off on a Friday. So mummy and James dropped him off as normal but by 10am playgroup had phoned and asked if we could pick him up as he was very upset. By the time I got to school and got him home he was laughing his head off the little rascal!

On Tuesday he didn't even last an hour before I had to go and pick him up. Then mummy managed to get him into the doctors. It looks like the poor munchkin is reacting to something that is not dairy or soya.
He perked up and managed to do is last two sessions of the week having a brilliant time! Mummy left her bedroom for five minutes on Wednesday night and came back to find Freddie had spun round and was taking up all the room! 

James has had a brilliant week topped off with a visit to vertigo climbing with his Beavers colony! Mummy had to rush him home from school and feed him so we could get back out the door ready to meet the Beavers at quarter to six. By the time we got home it was nearly 9pm so it was straight to bed. 

Living Arrows

Tuesday 15 January 2019

Siblings Project 2019 - January

Welcome to the first post in the 2019 Siblings Project! How is it already January and Time to start the project all over again! 

As a new format for 2019 when I share my monthly siblings photos I will also be sharing three things that the boys have been loving that month!

This months photos were taken on the first night back at Beavers! James was wearing his full uniform including his new polo top and cap for the first meeting back! Freddie had to get involved in the uniform photo taking even though he was minus his trousers as he had just had his bum changed and he was refusing to put his trousers or even his pj bottoms on!

James is loving:
His action camera
His kinetic sand kits
His Beavers polo top and cap

Freddie is loving:
His Ninky Nonk
His Pinky Ponk
His Blaze truck!
The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Monday 14 January 2019

Living Arrows 2019 02/52

Welcome back to Living Arrows 2019! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" Each week I post one photo of James and one photo of Freddie and share what they have been up to that week!

James has settled back into school really well! He had a school trip on Thursday which he really enjoyed and then was back to Beavers after school which he was thrilled about!

Freddie has settled into his new playgroup routine so well! I was expecting tears from him on the Monday morning as he was not used to going in for morning sessions but he literally bounced in! On Tuesday he actually insisted on carrying his own lunch bag in and putting it into the box which was so cute!

Freddie ended the week poorly. He woke us up on Friday morning being sick so poor mummy had a clingy boy and then poor daddy was ill too!

Living Arrows

Friday 11 January 2019

How to Deal With Unhappiness at Home

Image Credit: Unsplash

Life isn’t perfect and feeling unhappy sometimes is inevitable. But this doesn’t mean that you should just put up with being unhappy at home, nor does it mean that you have to make radical changes to be happy again.

Unhappiness at home is quite possibly the most stressful form of unhappiness. Your home should be a safe space where you can chill out with your family and just be yourself. If you are unhappy at home, you need to deal with the situation as quickly as possible.

Talk About the Problem
The first step to solving any problem is talking about it. If you aren’t feeling happy at home, you need to talk to your partner about what the problem is and start thinking about some solutions. Sometimes this can be really hard because it’s difficult to admit a fault or problem within a loving relationship.

Talking to Family Law solicitors could be a good move. Just because you are in a lawyer’s office doesn’t mean that you are now destined for a divorce. In fact, many couples who visit a lawyer are simply seeking a way to talk to each other in a safe space and actually come closer together as a result.

When you do talk about a problem at home, give yourselves a specific time to talk in a safe space and make sure that you talk and listen. It’s completely normal to have ups and downs in a relationship but you need to be honest with each other to make sure that you have more of the good times.

If you can, try to isolate what the main issues making you unhappy are. It might feel really complicated to begin with but as you talk, you might realise that a very small thing is having a big knock-on effect that is making you unhappy. By making a few small changes, you might find that the bigger problems go away by themselves.   

Make Some Changes in the Home

It might sound like the kind of thing an overpaid interior designer might say but there is some truth in the idea that your environment shapes your behaviours. The clearest example of this is the way that mess can control your life. If you can’t move around your house or relax on the sofa without moving a whole load of junk, you have a big problem.

Tidying up might not be quite the solution you thought you needed at home but the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix would beg to differ. The tidying up guru shows that when you know where your stuff is and you aren’t constantly falling over things you don’t need, you have more energy to spend time with your family and be calm.

You should also make sure that you have calm spaces you can retreat to. Your bedroom is a good place to start and neutral colours, soft furnishings and gentle lighting can all make a big difference. Even if you are a maximalist at heart, creating a calm environment is really important for creating a space where you can think clearly.

Balance Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle encompasses everything from work to play and finding the balance can seem impossible. We are all stretching ourselves all the time to be amazing at work, fantastic parents and perfect partners when really what we want most is a quick nap to recover! You can’t do it all all the time so you need to learn how to prioritise and what will make the biggest difference.

Let’s start with that nap craving. A good night’s sleep is really important for everyone so establishing a healthy bedtime routine is definitely high on your list of priorities. When you are all well rested, you are much more likely to get on well together and have a good day - and that means you as well as the kids!
Getting into good habits will also help. We are all guilty of focussing too much on the negative that we forget to say what is going well and what is positive. Using the different love languages every single day can really help here. Get into the habit of seeing the positive and you will find that the negatives won’t pray on your mind so much. You might even find that now the problem doesn’t seem so big, it is a lot easier to manage and resolve.

Work Together
Everyone should feel safe and happy at home and so it is everyone’s responsibility to help. This means that even if you all have your own jobs to do and don’t really deviate, you are all working towards the smooth running of your home.
Getting your kids involved in keeping your home safe and tidy cannot be recommended highly enough. Not only is this a chance for them to learn some key life skills like cooking and cleaning, it is also an opportunity to develop their sense of responsibility and achievement. Working together to reach a goal is the best way to build a team and to bond with your family and whether you are cleaning the house, preparing dinner or building Stonehenge, working together is good for social cohesion.

Mixing things up is also crucial for happiness. While routine brings stability, if you weren’t completely happy before, doing the same thing over and over isn’t going to make you happy now. If you all have your own jobs, maybe you could try swapping them about and seeing what it is like to do something different. This is good for seeing other people’s opinions and gaining their experiences firsthand.
When you are unhappy at home, life can feel really heavy and difficult. But when you start to address the problems, instead of trying to hide them, you will quickly see that even the smallest positive changes can have a big effect. While nobody can promise you true and everlasting happiness, the best partners can help you through and will work with you to make things better.
You can do it together.

**Collaborative Post**

Monday 7 January 2019

Living Arrows 2019 01/52

Welcome to the first Living Arrows post of 2019! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" Each week I post one photo of James and one photo of Freddie and share what they have been up to that week!

James is back to school today and Freddie has his first session of his 15 hours a week at playgroup today as well! I can't believe my dinky baby is now 3 and doing 15 hours a week at playgroup!

Daddy had a few days off last week so we got to start the new year spending time together before the boys went back to school!

So last week mummy and the boys had a quite day on Monday as daddy was at work. We took a walk across to the retail park to return some jumpers the boys had got for Christmas which did not fit and then popped into Tesco for some bubble bath. We then spent the rest of the day watching TV and playing with the Christmas Toys. 

On Wednesday we ventured into town as James wanted to try and spend his half of the credit voucher we had for the returned clothes. Freddie had also had a doctors appointment first thing about his food intolerances! 

The rest of the week was quite chilled and quite before the madness of school starts! 

Living Arrows

Friday 4 January 2019

What's Your Child's Love Language?

Image Credit
You may have heard of the “5 Love Languages”, a book by Gary Chapman, which explains the five predominant ways people give and receive love.  

The book tends to refer to love in the context of an intimate relationship, yet the term
extends to that of family love… and, interestingly, a person’s love language is developed during early childhood experiences in the same way attachment styles are.

In summary, attachment styles are about how we connect with caregivers in that some
people form secure attachment styles whilst others form insecure attachment
styles - neither is better or worse, but a secure attachment style does tend to manifest
more stable and fulfilling relationships in later life.  Within the insecure attachment styles are
two predominant strands - anxious and avoidant.

The anxious child is the one that cries and gets in distress when their caregiver leaves them; perhaps becoming clingy in an attempt to prevent their caregiver from leaving them again.  The avoidant, however, is the child that gets distant and almost fiercely independent when their caregiver leaves them.

Think of it as a scale where both anxious and avoidant are at extreme ends; whereas a
stable attachment style is more in the centre.

The reason attachment styles are important as a precursor to discussing love languages
are that once you understand your child’s attachment style, you will better understand
their behaviour and how to relate with them effectively.

Now, let’s take a look at the five love languages - but remember, everyone values all of the
below, it’s not black and white - it’s just that people tend to have one or two predominant
love languages.

This is where people respond well to being told how much they are loved or appreciated
- these are the people that tend to like being told what a good job they have done, how
pretty or clever they are… this is the way to make a child with “words of affirmation” as
their predominant love language feel loved and cared  about.

In later life, this manifests as the person that appreciates having tasks like the washing up being done for them, or having breakfast in bed, if they are feeling low.  We all like being looked after in this way, but a person with “acts of service” as their predominant love language will require this in order to feel loved and cared about.

Again, we all like quality time, but a child with a love language of “quality time” values spending time together more than anything else - you can tell them how important they are to you, but if you aren’t physically present, they won’t be able to feel your love.  These are the children that crave bedtime stories, days out, and your attention - to the point that without it, they will feel unloved and often act out in destructive ways to engage you.

Every child likes receiving gifts, but a child with “gifts” as their love language will see gifts as much more about being loved and cared about than most others.  For instance, the chance to redeem an Amazon gift card will mean a lot more to this type of child than it  would to most others.

Finally, the child that really appreciates hugs and cuddles, or craves close contact, will tend to have a love language of “physical touch”.  As children they might want to sleep in the same bed as you, sit on your lap, or interact on a physical level such as painting nails or combing your hair

**This is a Collaborative Post**

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Review of 2018

So what can I say about 2018.... it was a strange one for us as it started in limbo after the loss of my lovely nanny in law on Christmas day 2017.

So here goes..
January :Well it started as I mentioned in limbo as we waited for funeral details, but Freddie started to attend a local playgroup two afternoons a week to get him used to being away from mummy so he would be happy to spend time away and with other adults and lots of children. I documented his first week here and boy was it a stressful one! 

This blog also moved self hosted last January and I haven't looked back since moving to my own domain!

We also reviewed the Adventure Belt which definitely helped us get Freddie to and from playgroup and we also attended lunch with Messy Little Thing which we loved and the apron still goes out with us now almost a year later!

February:This was the month that we went to Surrey to stay with Andy's parents for a few days and also take the boys on a day out in London! James had learned about the Great Fire of London in the Autumn term and he was desperate to go see Pudding Lane so a day out in London was what we did!

March: This saw us review the SnoozeShade Deluxe Plus for our buggy! This has got to be one of my favourite products and almost a year later it is still attached to our buggy on a daily basis and used virtually once a week to keep the cold wind off Freddie.

Well I turned 33, I wrote about what the boys took to school and playgroup and we also had the school Easter Holidays!

May: Freddie turned two and a half years old! It really feels like we had blinked and he was a little boy and not a baby!

June: I wrote about my blogging essentials! I now need to update this post as I have replaced a few of the items in the post!

July: The boys finished school and playgroup for the summer! I posted two posts about making holidays with kids easier in preparation for our holiday abroad.

August: Our big boy turned 6!! We also reviewed CanvasChamp and received a gorgeous canvas print of our two boys! 

September: This was when we really started to prepare for our holiday as it was only weeks away! I started off with posting what I was packing for James and Freddie!

October: This was when we finally jetted off to spend a week in Majorca! Once we returned I wrote a post all about our experiences on Thomas Cook Airlines!

November: Our little titch turned 3! I also wrote about the day we spent at Palma Aquarium

and finally

December: This year we took part in Blogmas and so there was a post everyday from 1st December to Christmas day! During this there was an update every five days on what our elves Rhul and Elfis got up to!

And so this was our 2018 in a nutshell! I cant wait to see what 2019 has in store for us!