When things go wrong, but turn out right 

A few weeks ago I decided to try out a Channel Mum hack for making playdough. It showed the lovely Emily Norris making (non edible) playdough with just three ingredients.

• Cornflour

• Conditioner

• Food colouring

I took lots of photos to show the process and end result, so I could write a post about it.



BUT…. I just couldn’t get the consistency right. It was either too wet or too dry. I tried adding more conditioner, more cornflour. But it wasn’t meant to be. Every time I got what I thought was the right consistency it would start to crumble. It ended up more of a gloop, which my kids loved anyway. So no Mum points were lost. Phew!

A few days later I decided to try again with a recipe which was ultimately the same but substituted the cornflour for normal flour and it worked. Hurray! Me and my two middle boys had a great time making it, I didn’t take any photos this time whilst making it but, when it was finished and I realised how well it had worked I thought I would take some pics to share on Instagram and to say how easy it was to make… That’s when it all went wrong.

I popped upstairs to get my phone, leaving the boys playing with the playdough. I came down to this.

They had tipped a cup of cordial all over the table soaking the playdough. I’m not going to lie I was frustrated, why do they have to destroy everything?

* I know they weren’t destroying they were experimenting, but I’m tired and hormonal and yeah.

Anyway, we managed to sort the situation by adding more flour (after drying and cleaning the table). This is what we ended up with. Not too shabby and it’s the soft playdough EVER as verified by my eight year old who said it felt like “rainbows and dreams”.

Zachary got some great sensory feedback from it and was using his whole body to play with it, including his knees. We also got out the Easter biscuit cutters (that were never used at Easter) and the boys had loads of fun with these too.

But before we managed to sort the playdough and have all this fun. We had sprinkled the table wth flour to knead the wet playdough and the kids absolutely loved it.

Flour was everywhere including on our shoes. Zachary and Darwin helped to clear it up. They were drawing shapes and doing mark making, saying different letters and numbers. It ended up being lots of fun. I found a new activity for them to do and it’s super cheap too.

So things never worked out how I planned, but the boys learnt a few things about cleaning up, working together and got to work on some important skills which will help develop their literacy and numeracy. Most of all they fun.

That’s two happy little boys, albeit a bit floury.
Thanks for reading

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒

Cherie 💕

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#WickedWednesdays [10.08.16]

Well hello there Wednesday.

It’s time for me to join in with the linky #WickedWednesdays where we share the funny truths about parenting.

I call this “I shall not nap”


At this point I wasn’t sure who needed the nap more? Me or the boy.

Feel free to click the picture below and link up too. Check out the #WickedWednesdays hashtag on Twitter and Instagram and Click here to see the creator of this site Emma over at BrummyMummyof2

brummymummyof2

Happy hump day folks

Thanks for reading

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒

Cherie 💕

Our Favourite Five [July]

This month I am joining some fellow bloggers who participate in Surburban Mum ‘s link up Our Favourite Five I found out about this last month when my fellow Mummy blogger Mrssavageangel participated. I highly recommend popping over and checking out their blogs and if you like what you see, subscribe.

The Idea is that you pick out the Top Five Things that either you or all your family have enjoyed that month. It’s  a great way to remember the good things about the month and who knows you may even inspire or be inspired. Here are our TOP 5

 

Number One: THE PARK

When it’s the summer holidays and you have three boys to keep happy it can quickly get expensive. When it’s been raining and you’ve  been stuck in the house, sometimes you just have to get out. We love the park, it’s Freeee! The kids get fresh air and a run round. Win. Win. Win.

Oliver (7) normally ends up making friends, Zachary (3.5) just loves the freedom and Darwin (1.5) loves to climb. We like to keep it fresh by going to different parks with different people. Sometimes we will have ice cream, sometimes we will take a ball and other times snacks for a mini picnic. We are certainly making the most of the park whilst it is still summer.

Number Two: SWIMMING

Swimming has normally been something I haven’t been confident enough to do with the boys on my own and pool rules state I can’t as you can only have two under eight. I have three. This month has provided a few opportunities when I have only two of the boys to go swimming and Oh My! They are all well and truly water babies.

Oliver has been having swimming lessons for 12 months+ and is pretty confident in the water. Zachary has absolutely no fear and once he has his arm bands on there is no stopping him. Darwin loves to splash (no surprises there). It’s a lovely activity that allows for some Mummy and son time and it gives us all a bit of exercise and wears the boys out. As Oliver has a leisure card and Zachary and Darwin are free as they are under four, I get a discount as Zachary’s carer it is a grand total of £3.15 per swim session. Not bad at all.

 
Zachary was so excited this is how he went to swimming even though it was raining.

 

Number Three: Prepping for Tenerife 

This has been pretty exciting for me. We have been buying things to make sure we have everything we need from sun screen to shoes <see image above, Darwin’s new lightweight shoes from Clark’s a bargain at £20> I have loved buying the kids clothes from both the High street and smaller online businesses. Hubby has spent a small fortune in H&M their clothes are reasonably priced and practical, we love the leggings in the girls section for Darwin. The only problem is I have let the boys wear most of the pieces over here already, however I guess that just means we are getting more bang for our buck.

I have also bought Zachary an ICE ID bracelet, he has autism and can’t always communicate effectively. God forbid should he get lost this would help minimise any danger. I have also bought a second pair of reins and we have about 9 different hats between all three boys. I want to make sure they are protected and safe in the sun at all times. This is only my second time abroad (My first time was also to Tenerife five years ago for my honeymoon). This is our first family holiday abroad and i am very excited as  my Mum, Mother-in-law, Brother and Sister-in-law are all coming too. It’s going to be a real family affair.

  

Number Four: PEPPA PIG

Peppa pig currently dominates our screens and therefore our lives. Both Zachary and Darwin adore Peppa pig and when my niece came to stay we found out she too adores Peppa pig (seriously, what are her magical addictive powers?). She played with the Peppa pig toys and she sat quietly acting out stories,

Oh, so they are meant to be played with, not smashed and thrown and broken into pieces

-Sean aka Dad

That was Sean’s reaction to seeing the toys being played with appropriately. Peppa has managed to take over in the popularity stakes pushing Thomas and friends into second place, this was no easy feat.

I myself am not particularly keen on Peppa pig, particularly the portrayal of Daddy pig. Who is an Overweight, greedy, incompetent, bumbling male character. This does not sit well with me, but I guess that is my inner feminist** coming out, but that is a discussion for another blog post.

BONG. BING. BOO. BING. BONG .BING. BING. BONG. BINGLY. BUNGLY. BOO

[ ** I believe/ interpret feminism to mean equality and therefore it not about empowering women whilst emasculating men. just a though]

 

Number Five: NATURE

This month, I have particularly liked nosing at people’s gardens. I am in no way green fingered, but I love flowers and plants, although purely for their aestheics. I do not know much about them at all. this month I have taken lots of pictures of flowers, the colours are so striking and the shapes and sizes of the petals are very interesting. the boys and I have been pointing out the different colours we can see and if they are big or small. Zachary has started observing more and communicating what he can see “Owl’ it was a seagull, “white” it was a cloud and “spider” it was an ant, we don’t mind he labelled them wrong we are just glad he is sharing what he sees. Darwin has also learnt to say ‘fower’ too. We think nature is pretty cool and we love going on bug hunts and nature walks. Its great because you can do it all year round.

Zachary and I had a trip to Weston Supermare, if you would like to have a look at what we did, please check out our Stellar Story we also made one about a nature walk we went on, please feel free to look at that one also Look Mummy.

So, what have you enjoyed this month? Do you want to play along next month? I hope so

Thanks for reading

Mynamesnotcherry

The Kids Quiz

 

 I had seen this quiz on Facebook and decided to share the answers that I got from Oliver (7y8m) and Zachary (4y9m).

The Set Up

Without any prompting, asking your children these questions and write down exactly what they say. It is a great way to find out what they think.

Q1) What is something Mum always say to you?

O – Say Thank you

Z- Shopping. ice cream. Tasty. Bin

Q2) What makes you happy?

O – When I get to lie down with my Mummy and give her a big hug

Z – I na know

Q3) How does Mum make you laugh?

O – When she says seriously silly things

Z – *No answer given*

Q4) What makes Mum sad?

O – When someone dies

Z – Happy

Q5) What was mummy like as a child?

O – Ummm, she was very good at literacy and she was very kind. I remember you were a teenager and you left the door open and Aunty Sabrina came with you and got ran over. **

Z – Shops

Q6) How old is Mum?

O – 30

Z – No *starts laughing* 

Q7) How tall is Mum?

0 – Ummmm, I would say at least 50 cms

Z – My socks

Q8) What is Mum’s favourite thing to do?

O – To sit down and cuddle me

Z- go to the shop. Eat. Back in the box. Darwin

Q9) What does Mum do when you are not around?

O – Watch TV

Z – Shop

Q10) What is your Mum really good at?

O – Literacy

Z – Uh

Q11) What is your Mum really NOT good at?

O – Maths, she is absolutely terrible at maths even I am better than ou and I am only seven. *hystericsl laughter*

Z – Owwwwwwwww

Q12) What does your Mum do for a job?

O – Look after Zachary and Darwin

Z – Catch the throw

Q13) What is your Mum’s favourite food?

O – Is it prawns? But now you don’t eat meat or fish, sooo Veggie burgers?

Z – NO! *shakes head*

Q14) What makes you proud of Mum?

O – When I get good attendance and when I am kind.

Z – Blue Mum, Pink Mum

Q15) What do you and Mum do together?

O – Watch movies, read books, sometimes we have a date and go out together to do something fun.

Z – Together walk

Q16) How are you and Mum the same?

O – Because we are mixed raced and kind

Z – Party

Q17) How are you and Mum not the same?

O – I play the Playstation 4, you don’t

Z – Bridge

Q18) How do you know that Mum loves you?

O – Because you always give me hugs and kisses and you tell me

Z – Choo Choo

Q19) What does Mum like most about Dad?

O – That he is loving

Z – Sleep. Daddy sleep. A toilet

Q20) Where is Mum’s favourite place to go?

O – A restaurant like Nandos or something

Z – Playground house my

Q21) How old was Mummy when she had you?

O – Twenty something

Z – Ice cream, I Playground 

Final thoughts

I really enjoyed this and thought some of the answers were pretty funny. ** I would just like to explain, that Oliver hasn’t give the the whole story about when my younger sister got ran over. There are a few things I would like to clarify. First I was not a teenager, I was not responsible for her. She stood on her toy truck and unlocked the front door and followed me, she came out into the road from between 2 cars on her toy truck and was unfortunately hit by..Get this…Meals on wheels….I am not making this up.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to speak very briefly about speech and language. I have a very limited understanding, But I thought this quiz showed excellently how a child can have the ability to speak yet have delayed understanding and communication skills. Zachary’s vocabulary is constantly expanding yet he is often unable to understand questions, or follow lines of conversations etc. Zachary also struggles to change his line of thought, so prior to this quiz we had spoken about walking to the shops to get apples, eggs and ice cream and I said after we would go to the park (or as Zachary calls it the playground), You will notice that those words feature a lot in his answers and that is because he is not actually answering the questions, but repeating something which had been said to him earlier or stating what he wants to do. I used to get upset when he would do this, however now I am that he is responding and engaging, even if it isn’t at he level we wold expect. We celebrate every development. I hope this might help people to understand that there is more to speech and language than just being able to speak, I know i never really understood this before we began on this journey with Zachary.

Thanks for reading

Cherrysnotmyname

Forget the Terrible Two’s: Why did no one warn me about the Stroppy Seven’s

Meet my eldest son, his name is Oliver Jonah Idris Lewis-Quinn (I don’t often get to say his full name, so any excuse and I do, hehehe).

He is Seven years old. Who knew Seven would be such a significant age? Everyone knows about the terrible twos and when you have a child you then learn about the year of the threenager. Pre teens and the teenagers years are pretty well documented and to be fair, I think we as parents actually remember these. However the Stroppy Sevens as I now know them to be called are shrouded in secrecy.

I plan to break this secrecy, let’s hope I don’t break the Internet or make the world explode or something just as dramatic as a consequence. First of, let me tell you about before…

Before Oliver was Happy, Smiley, Giggley, Caring, Loving, Polite, Fun, Full of energy, Creative, Adventurous and so much more. Now… Hmmm well he is still all of these things, but these things surface way less frequently than I would like. Now he is Secretive, Moody, Shouty, Frustrated, Angry, Annoyed, Grumpy and sometimes damn right Rude and Ungrateful.

Now don’t get me wrong Oliver is a lovely boy and I am so proud of how he is developing into a young man. I don’t know if it’s the fact he has been so totally awesome in the past means I am totally unprepared for this monster that keeps surfacing. I am going to write a list of some of the things that have started happening that I have taken me by surprise.

  • Having to have the last word
  • Slamming doors
  • Stamping upstairs
  • Muttering under his breath
  • Refusal to take what I say as fact *
  • No longer asking permission
  • Shouting
  • Tone of voice
  • Tutting
  • Refusal to carry out basic hygiene requests

There are also the classic one liners

  • “I don’t know”
  • “Don’t ask me”
  • “In a minute”
  • “No I didn’t”
  • “Gosh, this is the worst day of my life” *

Now I just want to give some examples of the ones I have marked with an asterisk.

Refusal to take what I say as fact.

Let’s go back to Father’s Day July 2015.


This is Oliver dressed up as a waiter, ready to take his Daddy’s breakfast order. It was his idea and he made a menu that he read and everything was utterly adorable! What you don’t see here. Is the disagreement we had with regards to what waiters wear. It went something like this

O– Mum can I wear my wedding suit

M– Yes, but just the trousers, shirt and tie

O– But Mum, I neeeeeeeed to wear my jacket, that’s what waiters wear

M– They don’t darling they wear white shirts and ties

OMuuuuum, they doooooooon’t they wear jackets, I’ve seeeeeeen  them and they have that cloth over their arm

M– Oliver they don’t, you will be too hot anyway and I don’t want you to spill anything on your jacket. Your shirt and tie will be fine and we can fold a tea towel over your arm

O– But Muuuuuuuuum

M– Oliver please I don’t want to argue, you will look just like a waiter, I promise

O– How would you know you have never even been to a restaurant. *starts sulking*

M– Errrr, excuse me that was a bit rude. I know I don’t go out much but I have been to restaurants and I know what they wear

O– but muuuuuuum

M– OLIVER, that’s it I am not arguing with you about this anymore.

O– FINE, I’ll Google it

Ummmmm whaaaaaaaaat????

I was in shock, I couldn’t believe that he wouldn’t just take my word for it. Then I realised that actually even though it’s a pretty annoying trait to have now as a seven years old. If he keeps the ability to question what he is being told and not just follow blindly, who knows where it could lead.

Anyway, we googled ‘What do waiters wear’ and he got so excited to show me the pictures of waiters wearing suit jackets, except when I looked they were waistcoats, we decided we were both kind of right and decided it was best he didn’t wear his suit jacket this time.

“This is the worst day of MY life

– Oliver Lewis- Quinn

At times over the past few months this has almost been a catch phrase for Oliver. The smallest of requests can cause this line to come spiralling out of his mouth. Things such as

  • Not being allowed a lollipop before 12am on a Saturday
  • Being asked to put his shoes on
  • Being asked to shower before school
  • Being asked to get ready for Drama club
  • Being told we are going to a supermarket to get food

Generally I try and make a joke out of it and say that his life is pretty awesome if that is the worst day he has EVER had. He certainly has some real #firstworldproblems. We normally end up talking about all the things he is actually lucky to have. I tell him, I understand that sometimes he wasn’t to do stuff and that is fine, but he has to work on how he gets that across to people. I’m pretty lucky as he is generally quite open to conversations like this. I really really really hope that is something that stays with him as he grows older.

With all this going on it is sometimes easy to feel you are losing your little one. That they are becoming a teenager before their years, that they will be packing up shop and moving out at 13. But rest assured it is perfectly normal and there is actually a scientific reason why it happens. To put it very simply. They get an influx of hormones and they have not developed the cognitive ability to express what is wrong.

Have you ever had it where your child is really Upset/Angry/Grumpy and you try to talk to them and ask the what’s wrong and they say “I don’t know” it is actually more than likely, they genuinely don’t know what it wrong. The only thing I can liken it to as a woman is when you get some crazy hormonal surge before a period and you turn into either Godzilla or are in floods of tears for what appears to be no reason. The same way you don’t know what’s up, but eventually work out it down to hormones and then you can deal with the situation a little more rationally. That’s effectively what’s happen to our little pickles, BUT the difference is they have no idea why and they don’t have the privilege of being able to rationalise it.

So it’s our job to help them. In the past I have allocated pillows for punching, a corner where Oliver could take himself and no one could talk to him until he was ready, I also bought him a diary. All of these things worked for a short while, but as he is constantly growing and developing we have to keep growing and developing our tactics too. Well that’s all my waffling done, for those that are interested in reading the Science behind this, check out Jean Piaget’s Four stages of development theory, both the terrible twos and the stroppy Seven’s are in there… Have a read because it might just prepare you for the next one too.

I must say as a parent this age is hard. Every age has it challenges, but I think when you know that a behaviour is normal it allows you to relax. Every now again when you worry you are doing it all wrong your kids often have a way of showing you that it is perfect for them. My moment came the afternoon after Oliver’s end of year party, he told me about this song they had been listening to, the lyrics go something like

I think I found myself a cheerleader, she’s always there when I need her.

Oliver looked at me and said “Mum you’re my cheerleader”. I knew then despite all the outburst and negative behaviour. He is a good egg. So why did no one tell me about the stroppy Seven’s? I don’t know, but I hope this put a few Mummy’s and Daddy’s minds at rest. You are doing a great job and This too shall pass.


Thanks for reading

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒