Category Archives: Mummy Monday

My Sunday Photo | #2

My daughter will probably hate me for sharing this photo. To me though it shows her happy and relaxed, laughing with her Dad. He was teasing her about how much rent she will have to pay now she has joined the world of work. (None yet she is going to be on a very modest apprentices wage FYI) 

This photo was taken whilst out for dinner celebrating that fact. We had all just raised our glasses in a toast to her. 

Molly started her placement for her Hairdressing apprenticeship just this week. We also collected her GCSE results meaning that those final ties with school and childhood have begun to be cut. 

My baby is all grown up and that terrifies me. Last week saw the book shutting on one chapter of her life and another one opening. This will bring with it the independence that carving out her career and earning her own money is going to bring. 

It signifies that she is no longer a little girl who is going to be reliant on her parents for everything. I say that Laughing, because guess who does all her ironing and makes sure she comes home to a hot meal? Mummy and Daddy! 

Whilst I still can though I will. I can remember what a shock to the system working full time was.

Molly wasn’t the most academic of kids. She is very creative and ambitious though. After taking part in her Schools work experience scheme she found something she  knew she would enjoy, becoming a hairdresser. I’m proud that she has gone out and found herself the opportunity to fulfill this ambition. 

She had a few knock backs finding the right training route. The local College turned her down originally because her predictive grades weren’t strong enough. Unfazed Molly decided that an apprenticeship within a salon would be better for her. I’m 100% supportive of her decision. In the long run I think it will work out for the better. 

Ironically she did actually achieve the grades to get onto the College course she had applied for. She is no A* student but I’m proud of her achievements so far. 

Molly is at a very exciting and scary point in her life. Once she has finished her training there will be so many opportunities available to her. I hope she seizes everyone of them. 

How we taught our teen to deal with online Trolls

Our thirteen year olds social media outlet of choice is Instagram. He is a bit of a skater boy and loves to post videos of his latest trick he has learnt, or a picture of his new deck that he has saved his pocket money up for and finally been able to afford to buy. 

We have no problem with this, our rule is that as parents we follow his account and are Facebook friends. This way we are able to keep an eye on what he is sharing, and ensure he doesn’t experience any problems. We feel we still have a small amount of control. 

One thing we aren’t able to do is control comments from online Trolls. Harrison has experienced his fair share of trolling. Some of the trolls actually turned out to be so called school friends. Teenagers can be absolute tools! Some are strangers who have seen the first comments from this ‘friend’ and see this as an opening for a free for all trolling session. 

Once particular boy from school became a huge problem for a while. He seemed to get a kick out trolling under the guise of it’s just ‘banter’. It isn’t just Harrison that has fallen victim to this boy.  Anyone who has tried to stand up to him then becomes his next target. 

One of Harrison’s primary school friends learnt this the hard way after responding to  one such comment, with the other boy going as far as making a video inviting people to hate on him for standing up for his friend. Nice kid!! Not! 

Knowing who this boy was we initially took the route of discussing this with the schools pastoral care to see if they could help. Unfortunately other than pulling the boy aside and having a chat with him about appropriate online behaviour the schools stance on this is there is nothing they are able to do if it isn’t actually happening on school premises. 

Left to deal with this problem ourselves we had to work out the best way to mange it. 

We had a sit down with Harrison and discussed to what extent he felt this was just ‘banter’ and if he was finding it hurtful. He admitted that he was finding some of the trolling upsetting but as the instigator was part of the same friendship group he didn’t want to create further problems at school. 

Harrison agreed that for now we would block this boy from leaving any comments on his Instagram page. This has reduced any trolling to almost zero. 

We also advised him to completely ignore anything that he felt was a trolling comment. After all the trolls get off on a reaction. Funnily enough that stops any potential troll in their tracks. 

I noticed one such comment yesterday and am glad to see Harrison has ignored it. By refusing to acknowledge this person they went away. 

I am so proud of the fact that Harrison is mature enough to deal with trolls in this way. It really isn’t easy to ignore such comments but it is by far the most effective way of getting rid of them. 

Harrison is a confident and sociable boy so is able to to do this. I do feel it would be much harder for anyone who struggles with confidence to just ignore trolling. This is why it is so important to have an agreement with your child that enables you to monitor their online activity. 

What do you think is the best way to beat those Trolls? 

#MummyMonday | Pokemon Go the bane off my life??

Unless you’ve been under a rock somewhere remote you can’t fail to have noticed the latest craze that is Pokemon Go. My two boys are obsessed, and to be quite frank they are driving me up the wall.

Honestly If I had a pound for everytime I heard “Mum, Mum, MUM!! Can we go look for Pokemon?” I’d be rich. It’s fair to say that at times its doing my head in. 

Now as weird as it may sound after that little moan, I actually think that the Pokemon Go app is a good thing. Let me tell you why. 

Just before the school summer holidays I wrote a blog post talking about how difficult I found it to keep the boys Screen time down to an acceptable limit. Pokemon Go does require a smartphone, which I class as screen time, but here’s the difference, it is actually encouraging the boys to not want to sit on their bottoms and get out and about more. 

If the boys have a Pokemon egg they want to hatch then they are desperate to go out for a walk as walking a certain distance is the only way to hatch Pokemon eggs. This is great as it means they are much more active and getting some fresh air. See here’s one they hatched earlier. I couldn’t tell you what Pokemon it is though.


It’s not just the kids that are benefiting from this as we have made a habit of going for a family post dinner walk now. I’m getting out for regular walks as well. 

I make the time to go out with the kids as having heard a few horror stories about people being the victims of muggings or more bizarrely managing to walk off cliffs (how??)  whislt playing Pokemon go I am reassured that they are safe. 

Even when I’m with the boys I am constantly having to remind them about road safety. 

This may also sound like an over reaction but if I see a group of what I consider to be undesirables ahead of us I make the kids put the phone away till we have passed them. Okay I’m judging people by appearance and body language but it’s important for the kids to understand that there are people out there that would be more than happy to steal their phone given half the chance. So why advertise the fact you have one on you? 

One thing I’m not so keen on when it comes to Pokemon Go, well…that’s the cartoon itself. Yup it’s available for viewing on Netflix, and Oh My God it’s annoying! I’m definitely not up for cuddles on the sofa watching that. 

So yes the constant “Mum Mum MUM! Can I check Pokemon Go ?” is blooming annoying, but it has found a positive place in our lives. 

#MummyMonday | How well are the kids brushing their teeth? 

Have you ever wondered how well your kids are brushing their teeth? Especially if they are no longer of an age that it’s appropriate to be standing over them and supervise whilst they brush. 

Well I recently discovered a handy little bit of kit that can help check the cleanliness of your kids teeth at home, thanks to some advice from our dentist. 

The Plaque bacteria that causes tooth decay can often be colourless, so is hard to spot. Boots Advanced plaque disclosing tablets cost just £2 for a box of 10. After brushing, get your child to chew on one of the tablets (without swallowing) and then rinse with water. 


The disclosing agent shows areas of plaque bacteria that have been missed when brushing by staining the bacteria red for newer plaque and blue for older plaque. 
With all my kids they were brushing most of their mouth well, even those hard to reach back ones, but for some reason would miss the gum line of top two front teeth. 

Actually being able to show them the bacteria has been a bit of a light bulb moment. I’m able to say to them “you’ve missed that bit, go back and brush again till the stain is gone”. This is a great way to visually teach your kids how to brush their teeth thoroughly. 

I wish I’d known about disclosing tablets years ago. You see, it also leaves no room for getting away with that teeth brushing dodging phase they all seem to go through. Yes!!! The kids are very aware now that mummy has a tool for random checking of teeth cleanliness. These tablets will catch them out. Mwahhhhahah! 

Now be prepared, these pictures aren’t pretty but this is the difference in the quality of teeth brushing when they can see the bacteria. 


I highly recommend you trying this out at home with your kids. Mine have actually found the whole process really funny and almost like a game. The prize being they have improved their brushing skills. Yes they still aren’t perfect but the proof of their improvement is in the pictures.

#MummyMonday | That damn Xbox!

One of the most difficult things I find about being a parent in 2016 is controlling the level of screen time my kids partake of. If they had their own way they could happily spend a day divided between playing on the Xbox, watching YouTube, Netflix or playing Angry Birds on a hand held device. 

It’s not even done quietly now, as thanks to Xbox live and those darn gaming headsets they are shrieking their heads off in the living room with their virtual mates. It feels like my living room is being invaded by a bunch of rautious 12 year olds. 

Oh and before you say ‘But you let them have them, stop moaning’ The Xbox is actually their fathers (who never gets a look in now, ha ha) and a well meaning grandparent supplied the headset. Thanks!! You don’t have to listen to it! 

I’m fairly strict about the rules surrounding levels of usage, however my kids are crafty little buggers and always try and bend said rules. I’d be lying if I said they hadn’t got one past me on more than one occasion. 

My two boys are both early birds, so a favourite trick is to creep downstairs  and play on it whilst Mummy and Daddy are still asleep.  

We’ve tried unplugging all the devices but no, they are more technologically savvy than we are and so have figured out how to connect it all up again. Without fail they will be happily playing on the Xbox when our morning alarm goes off. For how long?? Your guess is a good as mine. Yes, I know, that makes me sound like a terrible parent. 

My answer at the moment is to lay down a ‘to do list’ before they are allowed to go near the Xbox. At least it then limits some of their available time. 

  • Tidy room
  • Homework done 
  • Ready for school
  • Practise guitar 

If I find out they have skipped on anything then nasty mummy will ban them from any further screen usage until the next day. 

I won’t lie I find that option a complete pain in the bum as then I’m constantly getting ‘I’m bored’ or ‘I don’t know what to do’. 

When did kids lose their imagination? 

The summer holidays are coming up and I’m determined that it won’t be spent in front of a screen. Their lack of imagination though is going to mean mummy coming up with activities that they won’t turn their noses up at. Help??

I reckon I’m going to be exhausted by September. 

If you have any suggestions, that don’t involve robbing a bank, send them my way please. 

So far I’m thinking of visiting a local maize maze, den building, and heaven forbid the rain stops visiting the beach. 

Let’s cause Mummy worry!| Emergency Hospital Admission for DKA! 

Just when you thought managing a diabetic child’s  condition wasn’t challenge enough, the pre teen hormones kick in and it’s a bit like the poop hitting the fan. 

So this wasn’t what I had planned to write about today but as I’ve committed to blog everyday in May and Im unprepared whislt stuck in hospital with my Son I’m improvising. 

We are currently, fingers crossed, coming out the tail end of a DKA (diabetic ketoacidodis) after two stints of being placed on DKA protocol treatment. 

I have had one very sick young man on my hands and I’m not going to lie he scared me this time. Even when he was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes he wasn’t this poorly. 

Initially it was thought Harrison had a sickness bug, which in itself can cause complications but after 3 days of continued sickness and no body else becoming ill, well this couldn’t be the cause. 

No Harrison was in the early stages of DKA, the sickness was actually one of the symptoms that he was deteriorating and untreated this could have been life threatening. 

The Doctor’s suspect that due to his age and the increased hormones and growth spurts this meant his levels have been rising overnight for a prolonged period of time meaning his body wasn’t getting enough insulin. 

Instead of using insulin to absorb blood sugar for energy his body was breaking down fat. The harmful waste product of this process is ketones. 

As it stands the doctors have treated the DKA and are now working on getting his insulin dose increased to the right level. Fingers crossed it is enough and we don’t have a third day of going through the protocol again. 

Let’s hope that things will be resolved very soon. Though I think I’m in for an interesting few years of keeping on top of his control. Oh yes as well as all those other teenage challenges! Wish us luck!

Sometimes You Just Have To Tell Them They Smell!

“SHE DIDN’T JUST SAY THAT!!”

Uh yes I did….Hear me out though, before you start telling me off for being mean. 

I’m pretty sure fellow mums of teens will completely understand where I’m coming from with this one. 

I’m not saying all, but most teenagers at some point seem to go through that horrible condition called ‘the mysterious case of nose blindness!’ Yes they don’t seem to be aware of their own increase in body odour, or the fact that their room stinks and it’s not pleasant. 

They often have that one favourite hoody that they refuse to take off, so getting it off their back to wash is a mission in itself. It smells so bad it’s steaming (slight exaggeration), but call it poetic license. 
So what do you do about it? 
Try the softly softly approach and drop subtle hints, by purchasing them their own toiletries, or just come straight out with it and tell them they stink? 

In my experience the subtle approach just doesn’t work, I’ve tried it. 

My only option has been to resort to being blunt. Yes it is awkward and sounds mean but I have grown tired of the smell and have had to resort to just telling my teen that they smell bad. Yes it can make for an unpleasant conversation, and you will be met with that typical teenage defensive outburst but in the long run it’s for their own good. 

Here is my reasoning. If I can smell it then other people can too. Unpleasent body odour is one of those things that as much as we can try to deny it, we make judgments about people based upon it. 

I’m sure if you were a teen in the 90’s you can all remember there was always one kid in the class that would be labelled ‘skanky’ and picked on for it. Either because there was a certain whiff about them, they were unfortunate to suffer with dandruff or just struggled with spots. Kids are mean though and will jump on anything as ammunition for teasing. By not telling my teen that they smell then I’m be putting them in that position. 

So yes it may be awkward or come across as mean, but if they don’t respond to the subtle hints or gentle conversations, then sometimes you just have to tell them the smell!  

#MummyMonday – The one with the hide ‘n seek fail!

Yesterday was a lovely sunny Sunday, prompting us to take a family walk over the nearby woods and playing fields. All was going well, we had bought ice creams, taken customary Instagram shot and no one was squabbling. Yay happy times! 

  

Ice creams eaten, we went into the woods, the youngest then wanted to play a game of hide ‘n seek. Okay all sounds like a bit of harmless fun, right? Yup, that’s when it all when a bit wrong. 

Jed was going to hide first, so off he went. We could see he hadn’t gone far as Mummy and Daddy were cheating watching him in the reflection of each other’s sunglasses. My Husband had watched him go off behind some trees so we were loudly making a pretence of checking behind some of the bigger trees we knew he hadn’t gone behind, stupidly confident that we knew where he was hiding. 

Hang on a minute though, WHERE THE HELL IS HE? He was literally there a second ago but had vanished. 

Jed is 9, so he’s not a baby anymore, he is my baby though and I still struggle not to think of him as such. My baby had just vanished!

I kept saying to my husband,

“he was there, he can’t have got far”

so we carried on looking. After what felt like a very long ten minutes, but was probably only five, the panic started to set in. We literally had no clue where he was. 

Our eldest who is 14 was starting to get cranky and was unhelpfully shouting her head off. 

“Jed this isn’t funny anymore, come out”

Yes thanks for the help darling, that’s going to make him come out from his hiding place, NOT! 

At this point off we had set in various different directions (thank technology for mobile phones, no one else was going to get lost) calling his name and pleading with him to come out. Nope, still no sign of him. 

It was getting to the point my brain is starting to tell me he’s been kidnapped, yes I was really starting to panic. 

Thank god this was not the case though. 

The little Bugger can run! 

He had done a complete 180 on us and had run round the outside of the woods and across playing fields to the other entrance to the woods, Mummy and Daddy were looking in completely the wrong place.

It  was our other son, along with some school friends who found him in the end, after being dispatched to help find him. Thanks boys! 

Fortunately all was well, and Jed hadn’t even realised the panic he had caused. Mummy and Daddy though were very close to calling the police and reporting him missing. 

Just imagine that phone call! 

‘Um yes officer, we were playing hide and seek with our 9 year old, and now we’ve lost him’ 

Not my finest moment as a parent! 

At least I can see the funny side of it now. Though I’m not sure if I will agree to a game of hide ‘n seek in the woods again in a hurry. 

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The Dalek Birthday Cake

My youngest is a HUGE Doctor Who fan. So when asked what cake he wanted for his birthday party he had set his heart on a Dalak cake. Not your average cake available from the supermarket no, he wanted a 3D sculpture. Bugger!

Okay, this called for a DIY job! A bit of research and some design work I came up with a plan. 

 With the help of some internal supports I built what resembled a wonky wedding cake. Yes right now it looks a bit of a mess but but this provided me with a good base to start shaping.

 

This is the final shape I ended up with. The base I cut so that it was the hexagonal shape of the bottom of the Dalek. I then created a sloped front. 

I covered the cake in a thin layer of butter cream  to even out the surface and to provide a a sticky surface to adhere the fondant Icing to. 

 

 I like to use Renshaw Decor-ice ready to role icing when making my cakes. It comes in a wide range of colours and is very soft and mailable. 

For the Dalak I used 4 packets of teddy bear brown, 1 black and 1 grey.

For the rivets I used Galaxy Minstrels as they are the perfect size and shape. 

The eye stork and guns provided a challenge. After trying a few different things I opted for using a wooden skewer as the base and just shaped icing around it. 

An electric whisk paddle provided the perfect gun. The original Daleks had very similar looking guns. 

I’m so pleased with how the cake turned out. It passed Jed’s critique well so I consider it a success.  

 

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What is Kim Kardashian teaching our daughters?

Unless you were hiding under a rock last week, then you may have found it hard not to miss THAT naked Kim Kardashian picture on Instagram. She certainly sparked some controversy with the various Twitter feuds that followed. 

Yes not everyone was impressed with this latest stunt. Yet supprisingly it wasn’t a good day on Twitter for anyone voicing their disproval. With that in mind I am writing this post with the expectation of recieving some negative reactions to my views on this little saga. It’s okay though I have my thick skin primed and ready. 

Yup I disapprove with a capital D! Oh and I’ve already laid the law down with my 14 year old daughter that it’s not Okay. 

Before I go on though I just want to state I am not ‘Kardashian Hater’ or a prude for that matter. I have nothing against nudity but certainly wouldn’t post a naked picture of myself on my social media networks. No my Nan might see it for a start!! 

Oh and it’s got nothing to do with not feeling great about my body either. I’ve had three kids so there’s some wear and tear but thanks to some hard work in the gym I’m quite proud of my body. 

I would also like to think I’m open minded enough to understand that Kim was trying to be funny with the added caption “When your like I have nothing to wear” and to be fair to her also the picture had big black lines masking her lady bits. Nothing was actually on show. It was however what many would consider very sexually provocative. 

What I found more disappointing than the picture itself is the amount of young ladies that seemed to think it was okay to share such a picture on a public platform. They were very quick to call out anyone who didn’t appreciate Kim’s latest overshare. 

Am I overreacting because I’m a mum and just thinking;

 a) How would I feel if this was my daughter? 

b) What effect are such images having on her? 

Perhaps if I didn’t have a daughter I might have thought differently. 

I want to play Devils advocate and open up the question ‘what do the actions of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian teach our daughters?’ 

Are they saying that it is okay to post highly sexual naked pictures of yourself on social media for all and sundry to see or are they encouraging girls to be more confident about their bodies ? 

Most of The pro Kim arguments on Twitter, removing those unhelpful ‘your just jealous’ and ‘who are you’ comments centred primarily around the fact that Kim is a sexually confident women and proud of her body. Fine, great for Kim that she feels that way. I also don’t actually believe that her sharing such a picture is going to damage her personally in anyway. 

This isn’t the case though for many of her young female fans and this is what I personally had a problem with. 

What about the young girl in her bedroom copy catting her idol? Is she putting herself at risk? Could she be leaving herself open to bullying or becoming a victim of sexual abuse? Not to mention what future employers will think if they stumble across said pictures. 

Perhaps that’s is just the over protective mother in me speaking? 

I want to know from all generations, whether or not they felt as Kim suggested herself, that posting such a picture is empowering. Or is it setting us back several years in the fight to stop women just being seen as sexual objects rather than for their intelligence? 

Are celebrities promoting an importance on being seen as sexy rather than for intelligence? Point in case, the dumbing down of female cast members on TOWIE. 

Hello!! I’m from Essex and we are not all that daft, or glammed up everyday for that matter. 

Okay that’s a whole over post Katy, don’t even start!

So minor digression over, let me know your thoughts on this? 

Featured Image sourced from Rolling Stone Magazine

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