In March of this year, I became a mother of two. Baby George is now almost six months old and Toddler Teddy is almost two and a half. They are close in age and, for a spell, I juggled and weaved my way through the obstacles of the dreaded ‘two under two’ assault course!

The age gap has (obviously?!) remained the same, and I have had to come up with some idea of how to keep them both entertained whilst still catering to their different needs and wants. Not to mention taking the weather into consideration as well as money and time…. the whole ‘What shall we do today?!’ topic basically takes over my mind of a morning. And, after sitting and staring into space for quite a few of them, I finally got up from the sofa and just got out and tried different places out. And here’s what I have learnt:

 

Places to Entertain a Toddler and a Newborn on Rainy Days

 

  • Garden Centres. I know they are filled to the brim with older folk who risk tutting at you whilst your toddler has a meltdown over a garden fork. But. There’s always so many interesting things for you to show the little ones ranging from plants, to fish ponds to Wendy Houses. I even found one the other day that has livestock outside to look at! Some sell pets too so its like a free zoo. Result.

 

Toddler Teddy at Garden Centre

 

  • Talking of which, Pets at Home are also a sure winner. Pop in there to take a look at the rabbits and gerbils and don’t pay a penny. I may have had to purchase cat food a couple of times to dissuade a guilty conscience attack, but on the whole it is another free zoo! Sorry Pets At Home.
  • Soft Plays and Play groups. I know, so generic and obvious. But, for the sake of letting the toddler run off steam whilst the baby feeds and snoozes then they are definitely worth a look. Plus, of you’re lucky, you may be able to drink a hot cup of tea! Win win.
  • Libraries. Gone are the days where you could barely speak above a whisper and there was a rather scary looking broad at the desk with her hair in a tight bun and glasses on a chain perched on her pointy nose. Nowadays, they welcome mums and kids with open arms and can’t be smiley or helpful enough.* Must be all those kindle downloads changing things a bit. Anyway, myself and the boys love stopping in for an hour or so to break up the day, soak up books and then take home our favourites.

 

* This is just my own view after past experiences in Libraries so am generalising. Just on case anyone comes after me with a pitch fork for mocking librarians. I love them really. Am even friends with one!

 

  • At Home. You don’t have to go out anywhere. Not unless your child is the type that really has to get out of the house and run off steam, or you yourself feel the walls closing in if it gets to 2pm and you still haven’t set a foot outside. I get it, in those cases go for it. Get out. Maybe venture off to one of the places listed above? But if you are only going out because Mummy Guilt Fairy is sat on your shoulder tapping her foot and whispering crap like “You have to go out… they will be bored cooped up in here? You are so selfish for not wanting to face the rain!.” Then tell her to kindly piss off and remember that its ok to stay home. Make dens, play games, paint pictures, bake cakes and (controversially perhaps) watch some telly! Cosy days are only cosy when it is wet and/or cold outside.

 

Baby George napping

 

  • Cafes. Hot chocolates, cakes and lunches. Grab a friend and face it together. You can catch up over the feeding fiasco!

 

Places to Entertain a Toddler and a Newborn on Dry Days

 

  • Farm parks – find your nearest one, chuck on some old jeans and a t shirt and go have fun. I used to worry about bugs and germs and all sorts but you can always pack the anti bacterial gel, they always have hand washing facilities and the look of joy on your toddler’s face as they race from one pen to the next is priceless. We went to an awesome one recently called Springbarn Farm . It had so much to offer that we didn’t even get round it all on the day that we went. Will definitely be returning.

Toddler Teddy with Tractor

 

  • Parks. Any size. Anywhere. Any time. If there is a patch of wood chip with a swing or slide on it, we are there. I usually perch on a bench and entertain the baby with a feed whilst his older brother runs around and plays. It’s lonely and boring at times but I busy myself with taking pictures if that sort of mood heads my way. Am relishing it at the moment. In a few years I shall be running around trying to prevent a trip to A&E as they scale the climbing frames!

 

Toddler Teddy at the park

 

  • Country walks. Makes me sound as if I am referring to a dog but a good run around in nature means an almost fool proof run at bed time. Fresh air and exercise, a Mum’s best friend.
  • Seafronts and Piers. More fresh air and lots to see and, if you are bloggy like me, excellent photo opportunities. And if you have a sandy beach then all the better for making sandcastles! If its the summer then you can top up your tan and get ice cream, on a crisp winter’s day you get rosy cheeked and a good excuse to stop for hot chocolates or fish and chips.
  • Fly a Kite! We live just by the Sussex Downs and they are amazing for kite flying! You can pretty much guarantee a breeze strong enough to launch a kite into the air and resist the urge to burst into a Mary Poppins Classic. Talking of which….
  • Feed the birds! Find a pond full of ducks or a town square full of pigeons and go nuts. Peas are a good idea for ducks as bread is actually bad for their tummies, and if you are at a Garden Centre on a rainy day then pick up a bag of bird feed for pigeons. As for seagulls… well… they’ll eat anything won’t they? With or without you offering. Ha!

Motherhood The Real Deal

Hi Honeybees Linkers!

I must admit, I am a bit nervous about hosting my first ever Linky. I take part in them all the time and don’t give it a second thought, I just link up and enjoy discovering all the new posts that every one puts up. I shall of course be doing the same here, I am merely being an Nervous Nerris (anyone get that reference to Only Fools?) and panicking that my linky badge won’t work or something techy like that. Am sure any issues will be fixable, and don’t anticipate any happening but, in case they do, please let me know as soon as you spot any, accept my apologies and bear with me if I need to fix any teething troubles!

I’ve named this linky after the Honeybee. Bees have a lot of symbolism to me, personally. My late grandparents were always kind and gentle to bees. Wasps were another story, mind you, but bees were always respected and cared for. If one was trapped at a window, it would be carefully set free. If one was found sleepy, it would be given sugar water and even have it’s furry body stroked delicately with a fingertip until it was time to fly. Now, if ever I see one, I always think of them. I loved my grandparents so much and wanted to incorporate a little of them into my blog as a little tribute.

I think that Bloggers are akin to the Honeybee really. We are grafters. Parent bloggers, probably doubly so. Growing and nurturing a blog is no easy feat, especially with littles in tow, but we all keep going. We build our blogs with the same care and dedication as a Honeybee does its Hive, our content being akin to their liquid gold nectar.

So, enough with the metaphors! Here it is! The Honey Bee Linky. Read the information below before taking part and thank you so much for joining in, I can’t wait to read your posts!

 

The Honeybee Linky #1

 

Honeybee Linky Badge

 

 

 

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What Have We Been Up to To This Week?

 

This week I have been quite a social butterfly…. only with less colour and grace and more rushing and darting about. Scrap the butterfly metaphor, I’m more like those moths the size of a bat that crash into the light shade on the ceiling because they are daft enough to think its the sun…

 

Regardless. It’s been a busy week. So busy, that I am currently writing against the clock whilst the teething baby sits on the rug playing like a ticking time bomb and the toddler is eating his dinner with a treat of sparkling peach water as his drink to buy me some peace to concentrate!

 

It’s been a lovely week though. I went to a comedy club mother’s meeting with my friend at the Komedia in Brighton one morning. It’s called BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby. Clever play on words! Although, to be honest, I think we all could have brought a bottle though too!.)

 

Myself and George at BYOB this Week

 

It made a really nice change to going to the usual groups such as yoga and rhyme time and paint and play etc etc. I have never really enjoyed those sorts of groups, a little bit boring for me but, like a lot of Mums, I force myself to attend for the boys’ sake. But this was great because there was adult humour to keep me chuckling away, the change of scenery and other little ones were great company for George (I couldn’t take Teddy as it was only for babies under 12 months due to the adult content that could be ‘picked up on’ by older ones) and it was actually nice for me to just have one on one time with my youngest baby. I share myself between them all the time, it’s nice to not have to worry about leaving anyone out. I might try and do it for each of them more regularly actually. Paul and I can swap and it benefits everyone. He took Teddy to see my Mum in Law that morning and they had a great day.

 

They brought a cot back for George that she was kindly storing in her bedroom for us actually. He has now graduated into a proper cot rather than a crib, although we are still dabbling in the co-sleeping realms at the moment. Mostly because he is teething and in need of feeds and cuddles for comfort. Plus it is the only way he is settling with it and I need to sleep.

 

Especially because I also went back into doing little bits of hairdressing work this week! It was nice to leave the house with my kit, drive alone like I used to all the time, and getting to task on people’s hair was so much fun! And a relief! Like scratching an itch that has been bothering me since January when I had to stop because of pregnancy pains. I’m stepping back into work really gradually, not running before walking and making sure that I don’t over do it. That wouldn’t help anyone.

 

George and I had another one on one date this week when went for breakfast one morning with my best friend and her little baby, Harry. He is only a couple of months old and so cute. She and I have been friends since we were 2, so it always amazes me to see us pushing real prams after all the make believe games and dolls prams we’ve played with together in the past. And to have sons near the same age is amazing! Be funny if they become best friends too wouldn’t it?

 

Baby George at Breakfast

 

I also ventured out with the boys on a solo outing to SpringBarn Farm in Lewes this weekend. It’s always a challenge juggling the two of them and their different needs on my own, but especially when we are out and about. I thought I was the only one but, as I looked about me on the Farm, everyone was there either with a friend, relative or spouse. Maybe it was because it was Saturday? Perhaps its a family thing to do? I’m not sure, it might be but it did make me wonder. And hi five myself. As a person with quite acute anxiety, I felt proud of myself for throwing myself into it all and enjoying myself with the boys.

 

Toddler Teddy on the swings

Baby George on the swings

Toddler George and Baby Teddy in the sandpit

 

Such a bizarre thing to feel as an accomplishment I know, but I compared myself to a moth just now. So. Just nod along and humour me!

Additional information and findings from this week: 

 

  •  I have not been late to anything this week. Oh… one appointment actually. By four minutes though so am hardly counting it. Am so proud of myself though! I struggle so hard with timings usually because I always try and cram too much into a day so this was another little victory for me this week.

 

  • I managed to get out for dinner with another of my closest friends on Friday night and we went to a delicious All-You-Can-Eat Chinese place in Hove called Danny’s. To all people living on the South East Coast! Go to Danny’s Chinese in Portland Road in Hove. We were stuffed within 2 hours of arriving but not in the queasy, greasy way that Chinese food usually makes you feel. It was scrumptious, especially the crispy duck and pancakes… I want to go back for sure. Can you tell?! Ha! 

 

  • New car is still going strong! Although it scared the complete crap out of me one morning when I was cruising along the A27 singing to Michael Jackson, and this sudden and very lour ‘Beeeeep! BEEEP!’ noise came out of nowhere and made my heart jump up to my throat and then down to my boots. ‘OH my GOD!’, I thought, ‘I knew this would happen! It’s broken! I have bought a second hand car and has BROKEN!’. 

 

It hadn’t broken. The dashboard was just letting me know I needed petrol and had 41 miles range left in the tank to get some. Felt like a bit of a prat after that.

 

  • George is almost crawling. And he looks like a pee on a drum in his new cot! He may be small but he is mighty and completely determined to get around like his big brother as soon as he can. He can sit himself up now too… not sure if I mentioned that in last week’s update?! 

 

  • Teddy is so desperate to talk more. He goes to say something and then it is just out of his grasp. I feel frustrated for him! It means that a lot of the time I get high pitched screams and yelling  when he is trying to tell me he wants something or can’t get to or do something. I start off ok with it in the morning, but by the evening I honestly fear for my hearing! Here’s hoping that the more I talk to him, the more he will get to grips with words. It’ll save us both a lot of trouble! 

 

 

Me, Being Mummy

Just Hannah Jane