Family Life – Have a nose into the life of the Family behind www.babynotincluded.co.uk. Living in the South West with our two kids, Ryan and Isabelle and our Labradoodle Charlie we love to explore our surroundings. You will find us either at the beach or the forest dog walking. We love to be out and about exploring what the South West has to offer.
Isabelle loves to make a huge song and dance whenever she falls over. She starts off crying and we’re desperately trying to work out if she’s hurt herself and if so what damage has been done whilst she bats us off covering up the ‘baddie’.
Once we’ve had a look we have to assess the situation and work out if it’s just a bang and we might need to rub on a bit of arnica or whether it’s more than that.
We have, like most parents a whole kit of stuff for every eventuality.
We have arnica for bruises
Antiseptic spray and cream to get all the nastiness out of a cut or graze
Plasters of course in all shapes and sizes
Cotton wool pads – for holding over the baddies (better with a sprinkling of magic water)
A cold pack that we keep in the freezer
I think that the biggest part of a cut or graze is the initial shock of falling over that scares them more than the resulting injury.
If we have plain plasters, then part of making it ‘all better’ is drawing a design on the plaster whilst a cotton pad is held in place to clean it is all part and parcel of making sure that all is good and well in the world again.
I’m not playing down any falls that Isabelle may have, but thankfully she’s never had any serious ones that have needed proper medical attention.
We were sent a set of both Frozen and Star Wars Plasters which have all the characters of the films on them so Isabelle has already pointed out her top few from both sets for ‘future baddies’.
I love a challenge so it was no different when we were asked to take part in the Tears into Smiles Challenge – #TearsintoSmiles
So what do you do when your child has a fall?
We do all of the above and Isabelle plays a huge part in this by cleaning it herself and putting the on cream herself. She likes to put on the plaster but her aim isn’t that great so we try and do this ourselves if we can.
Following the clean up we have a bit of calm time when we sit and have a cuddle and either watch a bit of TV or read a book together.
Once this is all done, it’s definitely a game of distraction that helps get the day back on track.
We were sent a Hoopla Garden Game to try out as part of the challenge which we set up in the lounge to start with but have since played with it in the Garden, and it’s even been on a trip to Nanny and Papa’s house.
Isabelle really liked this game and became the chief score taker (good for helping her count in tens and fives).
All the pieces come apart so could easily be packed away for the day on the beach as well.
This post is an entry for the Britmums #TearsIntoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.
#whatwedidthisweek – I’ve missed doing this for a couple of week’s as I lost my whole entire blog for just over a week which was so unbelievably stressful, and then it took me about a week to catch up and get over the whole debacle (not sure why I added that word as I’ve never verbally used it before).
This week I’ve been off work with the little miss as it’s the Easter Holiday’s so we’ve had our fair share of much needed lazy mornings and yummy weekend style breakfasts.
Monday we didn’t have anything planned so we decided to take a road trip with Daddy as he’s a top sales dude. We ended up in Burnham-on-Sea where I don’t think I’ve visited before. It was so windy but that’s never stopped a trip to the beach for us. The sea was so far out that you couldn’t actually see it, but we had a nice walk along the seafront and Isabelle wrote our names in the sand. We found a cafe come chip-shop as I was really hungry and fancied some chips. How disappointed was I when we didn’t get ‘chip-shop chips’ but were served a plate of chunky home-fries style chips. However all was not lost as we had ice-cream on the beach and won a teddy in the arcade that came had a velcro stick-on tear that Isabelle named Max.
We were treated to Isabelle singing us all the way home which she video’d for prosperity. The videos gave us quite a chuckle as you can hear Chris and I almost screaming over the top of her to shut-up!
Isabelle had a sleepover at Nanny and Papa’s (of her choosing) which she has only done a couple of times since she was born, but she was really excited and looking forward to it. Sleep and Isabelle are not two words that fit together in a sentence so this was as exciting for us as it was her.
Off she went with no problems, and we should have made the most of being in a child-free situation, but instead we had takeaway and vegged in front of the TV.
Tuesday, again being child-free should have been used a bit better but Daddy set off for work, and after a lovely walk with the dog I sat and updated blog post SEO and other tedious jobs.
Wednesday was definitely a stay at home day, as we had a catch up with the washing and other housey stuff so none too exciting.
On the plus side, or scary side we have confirmed the booking for Ryan’s 18th Birthday meal. His impending 18th birthday is really scaring the Shizzazzle out of me and making me feel about as old as can be. I hate having a teenage son!
Ha ha I need to rephrase that. Having Ryan as a son is great, but ME being a mum to an 18 year old makes me feel old and decrepit!
Wednesday did give me a little, actually BIG ‘fist pump’ moment. We have been accepted to be a Rainbow Awards Toy Tester. I love that Isabelle plays a part in my blog and her being given the opportunity to review toys is so cool. My kid is cool!
Thursday we had a park day with one of Isabelle’s friends, so I had the chance to have some adult conversation whilst the littles played. Following this I met with a friend whilst Daddy took both kids for their dental check-up. The dentist trip for the kids has to be done by Chris as I’m such a baby when it comes to the dentist. Just sitting in the waiting room sets my teeth on edge. It’s not great when you’re trying to coax a six year old into thinking that the dentists is a fun place to go ‘and you get a sticker’!
My friend and I sat and had a coffee and carrot cake in peace and quiet and had a much needed catch-up. She’s definitely one of those friends that I might not see for ages, but when we do it only feels like yesterday!
The kids came back from the dentist check-up with the good old thumbs up for the next six months. Isabelle had to have something removed from her teeth which got me worried, but it was just a piece of popcorn that I fed her before her check-up. Oops!
Friday we played on the trampoline and then Daddy took Isabelle out on her bike for a little de-rusting practice as she hasn’t been on it for a little while. We hadn’t realised how long her legs had got, but she definitely needs an upgrade.
Yesterday we started the day by making up chocolate truffle mixture for our Japanese Inspired Chocolate Truffles. We were sent some rather unusual ingredients by Yutaka along with some recipe ideas to make. Once this was in the fridge setting we went off out for a lovely dog walk along the river. Charlie went for a little paddle, only up to mid-leg though as we have a bit of a fradey-cat when it comes to water. We ended up at the Double Locks pub. It’s a great place to go when the weather is good, and it seems to have changed quite a bit since we last went with the addition of an outside bar and toilet block and it looks as if more work is being done as well.
Easter Sunday started off with CHOCOLATE. The Easter Bunny had left a great easter treasure hunt for Isabelle which she found and loaded into her easter bucket at lightening speed. We’ve been waiting for Easter Sunday for about three weeks now, or should I say Isabelle has been waiting for Easter Sunday and we’ve been suffering along the way.
You see my MIL had her for the day about three weeks ago and they popped into Sainsbury’s where Isabelle spotted a DC Superhero Batgirl Doll and Nanny bought it for her – For Easter. Realising that she wasn’t getting the doll on the spot she had the mother of all temper tantrums which lasted from Sainsbury’s to The Range and then carried on at home.
This Barbie Doll has been the topic of conversation since then with her even going as far as making a Barbie Day countdown calendar, a Lego Batgirl house, and an every day question of ‘How many day’s is it til I get my Barbie Doll?’
This morning we were on hourly countdown until we got to Nanny’s house, where at last she got the much wanted Barbie Doll and of course loads of chocolate!
Monday we went for a haircut and Isabelle was really annoyed that they wouldn’t wash her hair as she was too small for them to use the basin. It wasn’t particularly relaxing as Isabelle took off her shoes and gave us her best dance routine. Thankfully we were the only ones in the salon so she didn’t spoil anybody but my relaxing experience.
I’ll skip past Tuesday as there was nothing to report.
Wednesday Isabelle lost one of her bottom teeth so she neatly folded it inside a piece of tissue and put it under the pillow for the Tooth Fairy.
That evening I went to the Unmumsy Mum book launch at the Puerto Lounge in Exeter. On the way there I had to dash to the cashpoint so Chris pulled up outside Tesco’s and I jumped out to get some money. The cashpoint was broken so I quickly dashed back to the car, only to find that there was a tray of biscuits on my seat and a woman staring at me looking completely horrified. Chris honking the horn of our car, the car behind brought me back to reality. I apologised to the woman profusely who looked at me as though I was attempting to carjack her and sheepishly made my way back to OUR car. Oops.
The book launch – It was held at the Puerto Lounge which has only just recently opened and was packed with women all waiting to chat to Sarah, the Unmumsy Mum. Sarah sat and chatted about her book unphased by the many questions that were asked of her. She’s refreshingly down to earth and in her own words has no ‘filter’ when it comes to talking about the reality of being a parent. It was a fab night. I even got my book signed!
Unfortunately the naughty Tooth Fairy forgot to visit and so Thursday morning I found a tearful Isabelle clutching her tissue with her tooth still inside so I had to promise to help her make a Tooth Fairy sign when I got home from work so that she wouldn’t forget again.
Ryan and I went to a college open event to look at apprenticeship options. He wants to do a carpentry apprenticeship and the information and the feedback from the people that we spoke to was really positive, so it looks like I’m going to have a Carpenter for a son. At last there’ll be a man about the house that will be able to put up a shelf or other DIY type jobs.
I feel like a proper grown up when I do mothery things like college visits.
We put up this lovely glitter picture for the Tooth Fairy so that she would not forget to visit.
The Tooth Fairy came! Phew that was a close one.
It was my nephews birthday on the Friday so we went for the usual family gathering at their house. I won’t post a picture as he’s 17 so it would be totally not cool to do that.
Saturday Isabelle went to a birthday party in the afternoon. I usually have to stay for all of these kind of things including classes and play dates, but this time round she didn’t want me to stay and in fact told me to get off the dance floor as I was embarrassing her. Hmph!
Saturday night we went out to surprise my sister on her 40th birthday. It was a lovely night with family and friends. Here’s my mum and stepdad attempting a dab!
Sunday was spent at The Range buying housie stuff to sort and tidy Isabelle’s room. It’s amazing how much crap stuff you can fit in one room!
This week has been one of those weeks where I’ve regretted my decision to work full-time. It’s only a temporary measure and ends in the middle of July, but it at the moment I’m so tired that I wish I could fast-forward to July.
It’s also frustration as I’d much rather be here blogging my butt off but hey we all have bills to pay.
So Pancake Day we had normal pancakes with sugar and lemon (the kids had fruit as well).
We seem to be ending our days at the moment by putting on music and having a bit of a boogey before winding down with a game of some sort. We have a version of headbands, but the one we have has glasses that you attach the cards to and each person has to guess what animal or person they have. It’s my least favourite game of Isabelle’s as she cheats something chronic. We have coloured glass doors on one of our units so she either looks in glass on the unit or looks at her reflection in the TV and then pretends (badly) that she doesn’t know who her character is and strings it out for ages. I’ve hidden this game away for the time being as one day it will be quite fun.
The weather has been pretty pants this week with lots of rain and wind.
My biggest is going to turn eighteen next month.
Eighteen years old!
I thought looking after a baby was difficult, but sorry to say it but having a teenager is way harder. All those hormones and teenage mood swings.
It was World Book Day on Thursday and having just watched Alice through the Looking Glass we thought Isabelle would like to dress up as Alice. However, she opted for the Queen of Hearts so she could say ‘Awf with her head!!’.
Saturday was Rainbows morning which wasn’t as fun as she thought it was going to be as her friend wasn’t there so she was a bit reluctant to stay. We should have made the most of having daddy home with us this weekend, but as I’ve been so tired and achy I’ve been a bit of a a hermit this weekend.
We did get out with the dog today and Isabelle had a really good time jumping in all of the puddles. Charlie (the dog) didn’t look too thrilled as he’s a bit of a wuss when it comes to water.
Isabelle was soaked inside her wellies and everything but she had a good time, and they will dry.
#whatwedidthisweek – Monday was my first day back at work having had the half-term holiday off with the kids. It was a bit of a shock when the alarm went off as I always sleep really badly the night before I go back to work. The day just went downhill from there as my computer didn’t work (a bit of swapsies went down in my absence) so a few cups of tea later and a bit of a catch up and it was time to leave. Phew!
See you on Wednesday (impromptu day off on the Tuesday).
Tuesday was my birthday and I was hoping to keep quiet but my not best mate, Facebook blabbed about it to everyone! Anyway I had the day off and did some work in the morning (my choice) and then Chris took me for a lovely lunch at Five Guys.
The burgers were enormous and the cajun fries were moreish. There was no attractive way to eat the burgers as they were so big that you could hardly get your chops around it to take a bite. I would definitely never recommend it for a first date situation. We even had a weekday daytime beer to wash it down.
The rest of the day was a flurry of people and lovely presents including The Unmumsy Mum Diary which I’ve just started reading and I’ve bought a ticket to a Night Out with the Unmumsy Mum at the Puerto Lounge, Exeter. We then might have popped into the local pub for a couple of drinks (on a school night).
It was a lovely day even though I would have loved to have stuck my head under the pillow with a giant bag of Monster Munch.
I took part in a Twitter chat and won some beauty goodies which came in the post. I love getting things in the post even when I’ve ordered them and I know what’s inside. I like to shake it and prod it to guess what’s inside!!
On Saturday Isabelle went to Rainbows and got a badge for World Thinking Day. Apparently this means that she’s good at thinking. Ha ha!
Isabelle’s friend came back with us afterwards so it was a great opportunity to try out Pancake Kebab Recipe. These were really easy to make and you can just give the pancakes and a selection of fruit to the kids to construct. They both really enjoyed them, and even better you can batch make them and freeze for future yummy breakfasts.
Saturday night was watched Bad Neighbours 2 which wasn’t as good as the first one, but still worth a watch.
Sunday we started off the day with American Pancakes with Crispy Bacon and Maple syrup. I’ve never tried it before and it was a bit strange with the sweet and salty mix, but I kinda liked it. The afternoon was a trip to the pitch to watch Ryan in all his glory. It’s been a while since I watched one of his games as now that he’s nearly eighteen, it’s just not the same. It’s way more aggressive and the language and there’s only so many times that I can put my hands over Isabelle’s ears to block out the F’s and C words being flung around.
We finished off the day with a roastie. It’s been a while since we had a roast and it was absolutely delish.
It doesn’t mean that we get a lie-in but it’s so much nicer not waking up to the sound of the alarm and having to immediately jump out of bed and get ready. Non-alarm days or weekends we’re usually woken up by Isabelle climbing over us so it could be a misplaced arm, let or elbow that awakens us.
It was a great start to the week as the sun was shining, albeit it the wind was biting. Up we got at a leisurely pace and off we went to Wildwood Escot for a day of Creepy Crawly Welly Walking, walking in the woods and eating flapjack (which I’ve posted separately about).
We were really lucky with the weather as the following day it poured down with rain so we headed off to soft play in Exmouth. If you’ve been to Exmouth before then you will know that when it’s cold – it’s flippin freezing there! Isabelle had a really lovely time. We bumped into several people from school including Isabelle’s teacher. It ended with the filling in of an accident form as Isabelle got herself a lovely slide burn on her back and her arm.
We finished off that day with MacDonalds and a trip to a local farm shop where the Ostrich took a slightly liking to me and followed me backwards and forwards. I tested this theory by running up and down and it copied me. I only received a couple of odd looks.
Wednesday we had a lazy day at home and made cupcakes and Carrot and Lentil Soup.
Thursday we met up with a dog walker friend who is hopefully going to have Charlie when we go on holiday in August. This will be first time that we’ve left him so I’m a bit nervous as I don’t want him to think that we’ve left him. He had to meet the other dog that will be there at the same time as him to make sure that they would get along. I knew that Charlie would be fine as he’s such a friendly boy. He’s never shown any aggression to any other dogs or people, and just loves to play so I knew that he would be fine.
Isabelle had a playdate with a friend in the afternoon so I had a bit of a catch up with sorting washing and a little bit of blogging.
Friday was another dodgy weather day so Isabelle invited one of her friends over to play. It was the first time that her room wasn’t turned upside down and inside out. They sat and played pony hairdressers.
On Saturday we went to the cinema to watch the Trolls movie which we hadn’t got round to watching due to illness/being busy. I gave her a choice of pic n mix or Ice cream, and she chose ice cream. She opted for a two scoop tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. What flavour did she want? Phish Food, Caramel Chew, Double Chocolate Brownie? Nope she wanted vanilla. Really said the man serving. You just want vanilla? He tempted her into having one scoop of vanilla and one caramel honey.
The film was fab so we need to get it on DVD.
Today we went to Budleigh Salterton Beach with the pooch. The whole beach is just pebbles, no sand.
It’s really difficult to walk on pebbles as they move so running is almost impossible.
Charlie wasn’t keen on the beach to start with, but I think it was because the waves were quite fierce and they make a lot of noise going back and forth over the pebbles. We walked down as far as the nudey beach, and thankfully there were no nudists for Isabelle to point at and laugh at (luckily for us).
By the time we made it off the beach it felt like we were walking on fluffy clouds.
I feel like a bit of an expert on this topic as we’ve probably experienced the rough side of a cough and cold with our daughter more than the average mum and dad.
I say this not in a competing kind of way, but having Isabelle has changed so many things about what I used to believe was the ‘right way’ to look after a child.
Ryan was never a sickly child, slept and eat well.
We never avoided people with sniffles and were never really that phased when we turned up to nursery and yet another notice was on the door notifying of the latest illness going round.
Isabelle changed all of this.
We truly believe that you could sneeze across the road from Isabelle and she would catch a cold.
I hated it when I went to baby/toddler group and there were always children with coughs and colds as we knew that she would get them.
It irked me when family and friends would visit with a poorly child or ill themselves knowing that she would get it.
I can imaging you rolling your eyes at this point, but Isabelle never gets just a cough or cold. It was always to the extreme.
She would be poorly for days on end, none of us getting much sleep at night due to the crying, coughing and ultimately the projectile vomiting when she couldn’t control the cough.
She’s been given inhalers, antibiotics and steroids to help ease her symptoms mostly not helping at all. We know the signs a mile off by now so we know what’s in store for us.
So I pass on our baton of wisdom in all things ‘Cough and Cold’.
No milk. I know this one isn’t possible when little ones are little little, but milk is claggy in the throat and can sometimes promote coughing as it thickens the phlegm. Also milk sick is so gross smelling and a nightmare to get the smell out of carpets.
A nice calm bathtime routine. Adding a chamomile teabag into the water or a few drops of lavender oil to relax them and also open up their nasal passages.
No running. I know this sounds like a funny one, but Isabelle would have the most awful coughing fits if she had bursts of running around or being silly, so the run-up to bedtime has to be quiet play.
Open the windows – Even if its a freezing cold day. Open the windows during the day in your child’s bedroom to let some fresh air through. Alternatively you could get a dehumidifier.
Menthol vaporiser – We have a plug-in one that we got from boots which we put on about an hour before Isabelle goes to bed.
Raising the mattress – When they have a cough and cold lying flat is not the best thing for them so put something underneath the mattress so that they are slightly raised. I also give Isabelle an extra pillow for the same reason.
Vick’s Vaporub – Don’t be shy go for the massive tub. We get through loads of this which we apply to Isabelles back and chest. We also read on a forum to put it on the bottom of her feet and leave her socks on so we did this as well.
Water – Make sure that your child always has access to water so that they can at least try to help themselves by having a drink during the night.
Isabelle can’t seem to control her breathing very well when she has a cough and a cold and is quite often sick as a result of her panicking when she’s struggling. She now knows to get out of bed. If we can direct the sick away from the bed at least she can get back in without having to wait for the whole bed changing dance.
NEVER let them in your bed. We know only too well what happens when they’ve been sick in their own bed and thinking that it’s an easy option for them to climb in with you only results in nobody having anywhere to sleep!
We’ve also tried nasal sprays which she didn’t like at all so we keep them as a bit of a last resort to be used only with bribery.
Get some balm for their noses which get sore and red from all the nose wiping. It’s like a plaster, they love to have something to put on.
For coughs we give Isabelle ice lollies which she loves, but it also soothes her throat. If she’s not eating we can make them from fruit so that she’s at least getting some nutrition in her.
All the cough medicine that they are able to have. When things have been really bad we’ve been told by our doctor to give Isabelle an antihistamine so make her sleep.
During the day create a space where they can sleep if they want to. Isabelle won’t go to bed but if she’s comfortable she might at least close her eyes.
Have a selection of easy to play with toys. No jigsaws or complicated games which will end up in them getting ratty.
DVD’s or TV for them to watch. Whilst you don’t want them stuck in front of the TV all day some little one’s can’t seem to cope with much else.
Don’t expect them to sit and eat huge meals. When Isabelle is poorly she never wants to eat so we let her choose from a selection of things such as fruit, crackers, toast, yoghurts etc so that she can pick what she wants and is more likely to eat it.
Olbas oil on a flannel over the radiator and then dot a few drops around the room.
Honey and Lemon – Make them a cup of warm honey and lemon. Putting it in a fancy cup with a straw usually works for Isabelle.
Kids magazines always cheer Isabelle up. Isabelle’s favourite part is of course the toy on the front and it’s possibly the only time that she’s interested in the stories and activities inside the magazine as well.
Another good one is to be armed with an ipad or phone with some good kids apps. Isabelle is currently into kids youtube watching the unwrapping of ‘Blind Bags’. The voices totally drive me nuts but as each one only lasts about 4 – 6 minutes they’re tolerable in small doses.
We were sent ‘That Book’ – The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep. It was quite a long book and I’m sure that it might work on a child who stays in bed, lying down in bed and doesn’t talk all the way through, but it made me tired, and she did go to sleep quicker than usual.
We also received some finger puppets which at the moment have prime pillow space in Isabelle’s bed along with bunny.
We do all of this whilst trying to avoid the sneeze spray so that we don’t end up getting it ourselves. It NEVER works, one or both of us always comes down with it so make sure that you have a cupboard full of remedies for yourselves as well. Chris seems to like the Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray whereas Ryan opts for the Nasal Stick.
After last weeks coughs and colds finally lifting, normality and routine has been restored.
As it’s half term next week this week has been a bit of a drain waiting for our week off.
We haven’t really done very much aside from the usual round of dog-walking, cooking, school run and all the usual housey stuff.
As Isabelle wasn’t at school for most of last week we had a surprise Valentines School disco sprung on us on Thursday. Isabelle had a great time. She made up dance routines with her friends and they’d made a pact to all wear pink! One of her friends broke the ‘rule’ so she was mad with her. So young yet so grown up.
It SNOWED! On Saturday. I tried to take a picture but it was so fine that you cant see it in the picture.
Isabelle went to her second session of Rainbows on Saturday which she seems to like so I think we’re going to sign her up properly. We have the magazine for the uniform which is awful. I can cope with the top and the zip up hoodie, but the wide legged jogging bottoms are awful, so I think we’ll get the tops but pair it with leggings.
We also made these Aquabeads false nails which Isabelle really enjoyed making, but unfortunately they didn’t stay on for very long so some are missing, and I’m pretty sure that they dog might have eaten a couple as well.
Isabelle hasn’t been out on her bike for ages so we thought we’d go along the river and get an icecream (yep come rain or shine).
It was a disaster. She learnt to ride her bike in the summer but as she hasn’t been out on it for ages she was so nervous and wouldn’t let Chris let go of her so it was short lived, and we didn’t get anywhere near the quay to get icecream.
We’ve spent the rest of today in the warm playing and watching TV whilst the boys are out at football.
The best bit is knowing that for the next week our lives won’t be dominated by the morning alarm clock.