9.30.2013

Emily's temper tantrums

I would love to do a post about how great our weekend was. but the truth is...
it wasn't that great.
You see, I've got this little girl who, at the age of 7, still throws regular tantrums, strops, gets angry over tiny little things that shouldn't matter and just drives me crazy at times.
I've been going back and forth between writing this. In doing so I hope it will help me put things in perspective, come up with solutions and maybe even get in touch with other mums who are at their wit's end.
I mean, there must be others no, surely I am not the only one with a child past the age of two with temper tantrums?!
 
I always thought she would have been past this by now.
She has always been extremely stubborn, strong minded and opinionated, even as a tiny toddler. Then she reached 18 months and all of a sudden the BIG tantrums started. Me and my husband were prepared, we had dealt with Dylan when he was going through his "terrible two's", and we had learnt that ignoring these outbursts was the best thing to do. Dylan soon got the message and got over them quite quickly. Emily however did not get the message, at all.
 
When she was younger she used to have this ear piercing scream (she's still loud now but at least it doesn't hurt our ears anymore) and whenever she didn't get her own way she just went into melt down mode. Along with the scream came the rolling on the floor and kicking legs....and it didn't matter where we were, at home or out and  about, Emily did not care.
I used to hate it when people came up to me with advice or gave me "the look".
 
 
I think one of her worst tantrums will be etched in my mind forever.
We had just moved back to England after living in Gibraltar for nearly three years, Emily was two and a half. I didn't have any friends, didn't know my neighbours, had no family around and my husband was away on a deployment with the Royal Navy. On top of that I had a demonic toddler.
She went into tantrum mode with her super sonic scream and rolled around on the floor and this lasted for OVER AN HOUR!! I'm sure my neighbours at the time must have thought I was murdering her or something.  It was so exhausting for me and I just didn't know what to do or how to handle her. I remember walking out of the room and I just broke down crying.
 
Along with the tantrums came the stubbornness. What Emily wanted to happen, had to happen.
We've all been there right, when you are walking somewhere but your toddler wants to go another way? What would you do...just continue on right, she'll follow after all.
Wrong. She has never EVER done that! I could go behind a corner and she would just stand there, it was sooooo frustrating. I tried making the walks fun, or having a race, or distracting her...nothing helped.
 
Anyway, I always thought that by the age of three these tantrums would come to an end.
They continued.
Then she started preschool, oh the talks I had with her key person about her strops and screams...it always made me so sad.
Then she hit the age of four, surely by now they would end....wrong again.
At the age of five she started school and I just hoped she would get more sensible.
Well, she's in year two now and she still has them regularly and gets angry so often. It's as if she can't be happy if there's no drama.
 
 
This weekend was just a hard one. Emily had more temper tantrums and the thing is that once she goes into one of these there is just no reasoning with her. she'll scream, stomp her feet, run upstairs and slam her door. These tantrums are usually about such small things, I don't know why they seem so big to her. It could be me asking her to wear her coat, put her socks on, saying that it's Dylan's turn to watch his program on the TV, her not finding the right pencil to draw with, her drawing not coming out the way she wants it or one of the big strop causers at the moment, going to the shops. Yesterday's one happened when I asked her to wear leggings instead of a skirt (we were going to go to the park and I was thinking leggings would be better to go down the big slide with).
 Complete meltdown.
Thing is yesterday I didn't handle it so well either.
Call me human.
I try to be patient, use a calm voice and work things out  and most of my friends will say I am beyond patient with her.
But yes, sometimes I loose it too and I shout and it makes me feel so bad.
I wish I knew how to handle her better, wish I knew what to do when the signs of a tantrum are there...if I get signs that is, sometimes the outbursts are just so sudden. We have tried so many different techniques, time outs, taking toys away, etc......nothing seems to faze her.
After she's calmed down she always writes me a card to say sorry, I know she feels bad about her behaviour, just wish she would realise this before her outbursts.
 
 
I feel so judged by some people and everyone seems to have an opinion about how we should handle her and how we should raise her. Truth is, they are not with her all the time, they don't know what goes on half of the time. I don't judge their kids, so why should they judge mine!
 
I hate that she's labelled as a "bad child".
She's a lovely, sweet, extremely bright, kind seven year old girl...with a little temper and a lot of drama.
But she's mine, and I love her just the way she is.
Life would be dull without her.
 
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9.27.2013

Pumpkin love

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Well, we have officially said goodbye to summer...and what a glorious summer it has been.
As much as I like warm sunny days, I feel I thrive in autumn.
I think it's all the warm jumpers, scarfs, crispy leaves, delicious hot drinks and pumpkins.
Oh don't get me started on pumpkins...
I think I did a little jig when we came across some in the shops the other day! 
I really had to resist myself from putting one in our trolley, won't be long though....pumpkin and red pepper soup is calling my name. 
Last year I bought some small ones for decorations and even though I'd love to do that again I'm kind off at a loss of what to do with them after. Can you dry them and keep, please let me know.
I've been looking at everything pumpkin related on Pinterest and here are my favourite ideas, decoration wise and food wise.
 
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Glitter pumpkin
 
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Pumpkin table setting idea
 
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Chalk board paint pumpkin
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Easy autumn decoration
 
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Melt in your mouth pumpkin cookies
 
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Sweet and smoky roasted pumpkin soup
 
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9.24.2013

Bedtime stories

 
Every night the kids and I snuggle up for a bedtime story. It's such a special time to me, I find it's the time of the day when they really open up. After school they are usually too busy to tell me all about their day, but those quiet moments before bed, when it's just them and me is when I get to hear all about it. After they are done telling me all the exciting things they got up to we settle down with a book.
When they were smaller it was me reading while they admired all the beautiful pictures in the books. As they got older and learnt to read our roles reversed, they are the story tellers now and I love hearing them read. Their voices are so cute, especially when they are putting on character voices.
Dylan is really into the Diary of a wimpy kid's books. I must admit, they are a fun read.
As a result of that he also enjoys the movies, both go hand in hand really. He's got all the books in the series so far but I am keeping my eye out for a new release every time I go into the bookstore.
Emily is my little bookworm. She has been fascinated by books ever since she was tiny and she really has taken to reading so well. I don't think she's ever read a book she hasn't liked.
One of the books she likes to read over and over is Peter Rabbit. What a great book!
We saw the play a few years back and she loved it so much, so when we got her the book she was over the moon. I think she reads it monthly.
Reading is such an important skill to have and I am so glad my kids cherish this special time together.
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9.23.2013

Monday already?

 
 
I can not believe it's Monday already. Seriously, this weekend has just flown by.
Saturday started out really lazy, I think we didn't get dressed until about eleven.
The kids were meant to do their homework but then Dylan remembered he had a scouts party to go to in the afternoon so we spent a couple of hours dashing around like mad people to get everything sorted and get him a tombola prize. The scouts party was CRAZY! About seventy boys running around having the times of their lives, jumping on the bouncy castle and playing all sorts of games, all I can say is...it was loud! We ended up being lucky in the tombola, three times, yay! There were some really nice prizes, chocolates, bottles of wine, nice bath bubbles...so naturally I was excited.  I let the kids go up and choose the prizes and here's what they picked,  a giant teddy, a cats toy and some toilet refresher. Aren't they amazing at picking out prizes!! Next time I'll go and choose myself I think.
Toilet refresher, seriously!!!!
Sunday started out French style with croissants and hot chocolate, continued on Greek style with a Greek salad for lunch and ended British style with a roast.
Nice.
My favourite bit of the weekend was when Emily got a surprise packet from my aunty in the mail, some brand new ladybird earrings. she was beyond excited with these.
 
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9.19.2013

feeding giraffes and a stalker



 
My husband has such an amazing job. I'm kind of jealous that he gets to be near these gorgeous giraffes all the time. He often comes home telling me all about how they came really near or how he was able to feed them. He's so lucky.
They are definitely one of my favourite animals.
You want to know what else he gets up to at work?
Well, it appears he has a stalker...
 
 
 Let's hope she never escapes eh!
 
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9.18.2013

When sick, think of happy things!

I really should be cleaning instead of sitting here writing this post, you see my house in in absolute shambles. Toys are everywhere, washing needs to be folded and put away, clothes and towels are thrown all over the bed and don't even get me started on the counter tops!
All this because I was out of action for one day.
Thanks migraine!
To all of you who've ever had migraines before, I can now sympathise with you. I honestly thought I was going to die, that's how bad it was.
So while I was feeling sorry for myself and drifting in and out of sleep (I might have had a dream about Squidward there, hmm)  my mind started wondering about little things that would make me happier. Here are just a few of them.
 
Coral pink statement necklace
I loooooooove this necklace....this will so go on my Christmas wish list!
Giraffe print scarf
I am a huge scarf person and this one would certainly make a good addition to my collection.
 
I can not tell you how many times I've added this to my online shopping basket...and then not bought it. I know this would look spectacular on my coffee table, so please, if you are feeling generous let me know and I'll mail you my shipping address.
I need this in my house, and that's it.
 Dipped leaf earrings
These are so perfect for the time of year.
 
 So there we go, just a few things to cheer me up.
I really need to go now, I've only got about an hour left to blitz this house before the kids get home and no doubt undo all my hard work. It's a good thing I love them so much!
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9.17.2013

What's in their lunch box today?

Every day I pack my kids a lunchbox ready for them to take to school.
Luckily they seem happy with what I prepare for them most of the time, sometimes however the lunchbox comes home with items not eaten.
I try to keep it as interesting as I can for them so they don't get tired of eating the same thing everyday. I try and swap different types of breads, sandwich fillings, snacks and yoghurt's and if I know I have a couple of spare minutes in the morning I even get out the sandwich cutters, it's amazing what a difference it makes when their sandwiches are shaped like hearts, flowers or animals!
Today the kiddies will find this in their lunchbox
 
 
Looking at it now I realise I might have gone a bit overboard today with the snacks. Crackers, jelly, penguin roll AND milky bar yogurt...whoops!
Not that I think the kids will complain, at all. I actually bought the jelly by mistake thinking they were yogurt tubes, that's what happens when you are rushing around the supermarket and not reading the labels properly.
I add little cheese crackers to their lunchbox every day and I also try to add some mini scotch eggs or cocktail sausages, my kids love finger foods like that.
Sandwiches usually have cheese and cucumber, ham or egg fillings, occasionally they will have peanut butter or jam and Emily really loves Bovril sandwiches.
Fruit wise I always add two varieties, cucumber or carrot sticks being one of them along with grapes, berries, satsumas, apples or dried fruits. Dried mango is a big favourite in our house.
They always have a biscuit, this week I bought penguin rolls but again there is so much variety, more often than not I let them choose what they would like when we go shopping or if I have the time I bake something myself. 
I'm sure there are a million more things I could do to keep their lunch interesting so if you know of anything please do let me know.
For now I am off to have my own lunch...
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9.16.2013

It was a fun day

Saturday was our village's annual fun day.
Unfortunately Simon had to work but the kids and I ventured out and we still had lots of fun together. The highlight for them were all the different rides and bouncy castles, I think Emily rode the roundabout about ten times, each time carefully choosing which animal she was going to ride on, the swan proved to be her favourite. Dylan on the other hand preferred the more adventurous activities such as the boxing ring, sumo wrestling and the bunji runner, it was so much fun to watch him!
One of my favourite stalls was the scout stall, Dylan had promised to help out for a bit so Emily and me went over for support...and did some sponge throwing while we were there. It's not often you get to throw wet sponges at your own child.
There were tons of other activities of course such as a boot fair, craft stalls, a hog roast and a live band, all of which we briefly visited before heading back home.
Oh, and no fun day would be complete without some sugary goods, got to love some candy floss!
 
Anecdote of the day:
On our way back home we stopped at our local super market and whilst browsing the isles Dylan said "Oh, I've just noticed I'm not wearing any shoes!"
Turned out he left them at the bouncy castle.
Typical.
 
 
 




 
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9.13.2013

Friday, yes!

 
It's Friday and I am soooo happy!
This week has been crazy. I don't know if it's because we are still trying to get back into a school routine or because I went back to work, probably a combination of the two, but I feel like I haven't had a moment to myself. Mornings are hectic, they always have been. Kids need to be fed and dressed, lunches need to be made, book bags need to be ready and now I need to make myself more presentable than usual because of going to work. I wish I had a magic hairbrush...hair takes up so much time! I'm constantly looking for quick and easy hair do's...problem is when I try them they are never quick, nor do they ever end up looking like they are meant to. Clumsy hands.
I get back from work around lunch time which gives me a couple of hours to do laundry, pick up stuff around the house, hoover, wash dishes, dust, change bed sheets, clean bathrooms, fold laundry, sit down with a cup of coffee and go pick the kiddies up from school.
The rest of the day is just a blur of excited kids voices, homework, emptying bookbags, making dinner and a million other things.
So,
I am happy it's Friday...weekend.
Tomorrow will be a pyjama morning, with pancakes maybe.
A day full of fun and cuddles.
How I am looking forward to that already.
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9.12.2013

Cheese cake recipe

 
This cake is so delicious and so easy to make that I just couldn't resist sharing the recipe.
Here's what you will need:
250g digestive biscuits
150g soft butter
300g cream cheese
60g icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 ml double cream
fresh berries
 
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until crumbled and add the butter. When mixed together press the mixture into a springform tin.
 
Next you blend together the cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whip the cream in a different bowl and then fold into the cheese mixture. Finally add the mixture on top of the biscuit base and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
 
Add fruits just before serving and enjoy!
 
 
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9.11.2013

Throwing pebbles

 




 
 
Is there anything more fun than throwing pebbles in the water? I think not.
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