10 tips to survive soft play.

Picture it if you will…….

We are at grandmas for breakfast.

A cold April Saturday when it’s rained on and off for a few days. The garden is wet and muddy and the kids have their cousin over.

The men are doing some work in the garden to get it ready for summer so there are tools everywhere.

Mud is being trampled in and out and I don’t know how many times a child has come in hurt.

I suggested I leave the babies with grandma and taking the big kids to soft play for a couple of hours to run off some energy.

So here I am. Sat with my cuppa. Watching 3 kids hate crash the bouncy castle. That has been paid for by the birthday party in the corner.

The birthday parade starts and the kids inevitably ask me if they can join in.

I need a plan.

A plan to survive this couple of hours of soft play hell.

10 Tips to survive soft play

  1. Take another grown up. Although the noise of 50 + kids may break the recommended noise levels that humans should endure taking another adult means at least you can try to catch up with some important gossip. Also they will be on hand if you need to nip one child to the toilet or change a baby.
  2. Find a soft play with comfy corner. One of our local soft plays has a couple of sofas I try and get the sofa before anyone else. Then you can …
  3. Enjoy a cuppa. While sat on your comfy sofa, drinking your hot cuppa you can at least pretend your at home. (I mean don’t go picking your nose or scratching your bum your still in public)
  4. Take advantage of the fact someone else is going to cook dinner and clean up the mess. Some soft play food can be half decent, so let someone else do the hard work.
  5. Juice jug. The best way to keep the kids hydrated is with a jug of juice. They are normally the same price as one of the bottles of juice yet they normally last 2 kids 3 top ups. Plus your being kinder to the environment by not having disposable bottles.
  6. Take a magazine or a book. The kids will probably just go off and play so long as bellies are full and they have been watered. So take the opportunity to catch up on your important reading.
  7. Go out of peak time. Generally we only use soft play as a last resort. (Like most parents) Like when the weather is bad and there are no other plans. That said I sometimes use it as a treat. In that case I pick the quietist time usually after school hours when some soft plays will have a meal time deal. These are normally quieter times.
  8. General hygiene & Antibacterial gel. Kids carry germs fact! Make them wash their hands and use your antibac gel too before they have food and before and after going to the toilet
  9. Don’t get into the “can I have just one penny”cycle. Some soft plays. Ok most soft plays take advantage of stressed out parents by adding more ways to part them of their cash. They add dreaded grabber machines or those machines or toy vending machines. Those little suckers will be dotted around soft play with their bright lights. Enticing children promising them their dreams will come true and they will win some amazing prize for just £1. We got caught in the habit of letting the kids have just one “penny” too many times now we are trying to break the habit. Try not to get into the cycle. Stand your ground you can do it!
  10. If you can’t beat them join them. Sometimes you just have to squeeze yourself into their world for a while.

I hope these tips help you survive your trip to soft play. If all else fails instead find a pub with a playground inside. Then at least there is gin to take the edge off!!

Nina x

Bath Time With Twins, Twice!

When I was pregnant with my first set of twins, I worried about everything.

How would I feed two at once?  How would I cope when one ran one way and one ran the other?  What would I do at bath time?

Well I have to say I was lucky that most of the time I had help from either my mum or  Hubby

Now I have two sets and bath time can be a bit of a chore.

Again most of the time I have help but I thought I would share with you how I get through Bath night when I’m running solo.

In our house bath time starts around 6pm,

I start by making sure the room temperature is good – Somewhere around 21o

Take the babies upstairs one at a time and put them in their cot in their own room

Run the main bath.

While the main bath is running I fill the babies bath and get things ready for afterwards

including:

  • Bottles
  • Towels
  • Vest
  • Nappies
  • SleepSuits
  • Bedtime Book
  • Wash Mitt
  • Nail scissors
  • Baby Massage oil

Both baths are filled. Little Miss M gets into the bath first and while she is playing and having a wash I bath Little Miss J.

At the moment I’m using Good Bubble, super bubbly bubble bath the smell is amazing and it so kind on delicate skin.

The bath mitt is from a gift set containing the bubble bath and bath mitt.

Little miss J loves it, as I use it like a puppet before I wash her with it.

Once Little Miss J is done I dry her, put her a clean nappy on and dress her in her vest. Then wrap her in a blanket and put her back down in the cot while I bath Little Mr M,

Little Mr M is not a fan of bath time, however using the mitt as a puppet has made him smile a little more.

Once both babies are bathed and in vests I put them in their cot in my room while I wash Little Miss Ms hair. Once this is done I shout little Mr J, who is in his room playing to come and have his bath. I don’t know what it is about boys in this house but Mr J is not thrilled its bath time either.

Miss M then gets dry with a little help from me and goes off to read in her room.

While Mr J is having his bath I go into my room and give the babies a quick massage using the Good Buble organic coconut oil, Its smells delicious (good enough to eat) I do this one at a time in laying in my bed. Then I dress them into their sleepsuits.

Once I’ve done this I go and get Mr J’s hair washed.

For the big kid’s hair, I’m using Good Bubble Shampoo and conditioner again the smell is amazing. It leaves their hair really soft too!

When everyone is bathed We read the big kids’ school books in my bed while I feed the babies, either one at a time or I prop Little Miss J on a pillow and feed together.

When feeding is over The big kids go to bed and I put the babies in their sleeping bags and into the cot while I go off and tidy up after the bath time carnage.

The products featured were gifted to me to feature in this post.

I have enjoyed using them over the past week or so the fragrance of the products smells so fresh and natural.

I’ve particularly liked using the coconut oil not just for baby massage but also I heard it was good for cradle cap and dry skin.

Little Miss J has cradle cap in her hair and also above her eyebrows although I think its too early to tell whether its working or not in her hair the bits around her eyebrows have definitely calmed down.

Its also helped clear up Little Mr M’s dry feet.

I will definitely be looking out for this brand again

Nina x

Good Bubble featured on dragons den can be purchased from Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.

10 Ways to improve my mental wellbeing – World mental health day. 2017

Today is world mental health day.

Mental health can affect anyone. From the young to the old! It can come in many different forms, anxiety, postnatal depression, post-traumatic stress, bipolar, schizophrenia and more.

Sometimes symptoms can be helped by doing little things each day to boost your mood. Sometime you may need a little more help from therapy or medication.

If you or anyone you know seems to be suffering from mental illness please contact your health provider. Do not sit in silence. Seek help!

I’ve suffered on and off myself with depression and anxiety since I was young.

Here are 10 ways I help myself if I feel my mood dipping or my anxiety creeping in!

  1. Eating healthy. Eating a healthy diet gives you essential nutrients that can, in turn, make your body produce chemicals that improve mood.
  2. Art. It has been proved that art & craft has beneficial impacts on your mental health. Activities such as painting, knitting, pottery where you can immerse yourself in the activity is a bit like being in a meditative state.
  3. Exercise. We all know by now that exercise is an essential part of everyday life that we should be participating in. However, still, not enough people are doing the recommended amount per week. However, even just a 10 min brisk walk outside can improve your mood. The vitamin D from the sun even in a winter, the fresh air into your lungs and the fact that you are moving creates chemicals that boost mood.
  4. Yoga. I’ve put this separate to exercise just because it encompasses more than just exercise. The stretching, the controlled breathing and the movement all help with getting you on the right track to a positive wellbeing.
  5. Gratitude lists.  we did start writing 3 things we were grateful for each day and share it between myself hubby and stepson, lately though we haven’t been doing it. You could put them in a journal, or write each one on a piece of paper and put it in a jar.
  6. Declutter – A cluttered home creates a cluttered mind. If there are things piling up around you it doesn’t create a calm space for your mind to relax!
  7. Be in the moment – Take a moment to be here and now. use your senses to really feel present. smell the coffee your drinking, taste your lunch rather than just gulping it down out of necessity, get down and play with your kids the way they do!
  8. Let it out – If you need to cry, cry – stick on a weepy movie grab some tissues and have a good sob!
  9. Talk – Grab a cuppa with a friend and tell them how your feeling, or seek out a counsellor who will not pass judgement and tell them whats bothering you. Sometimes when you talk about things they don’t seem as bad as they did in your head.
  10. Get enough sleep – Sleep is so important for our mental state of mind! We should aim for 7 -8 hours a night. Sleep gives our brains time to process information that it has been given through the day. sleeping can help aid recovery of traumatic events.

 

Nina

Half Term Bucket List

So the kids are off again next week. One whole week off. so I need to find some way to entertain them for the 5 days.

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I’m lone parenting too for the first few days as Hubby is working away!

  • Soft Play – I keep seeing vlogs of a fab soft play chain! I have found our nearest one and I am planning a trip there one day in the week.
  • Craft Day – I still haven’t gone through the Squiggle Dot Squeeze box with the kids So I’m planning a day to get crafty with the kids.
  • Pottery Painting – A local company are holding a Halloween Event with pottery painting and Fancy Dress competition So we are heading to this!
  • Movie Night – Im planning a movie night for me and the kids with popcorn using our new popcorn machine. Nachos, Pizza and milkshakes.
  • Garden Centre Visit – When my nan was alive we used to have trips to all the garden centres around us looking at the christmas displays and inevitably coming home with bags of stuff that i dint really need!
  • Baking – Id like to get in the kitchen with the kids this half term, things im thinking of include carrot cake, Chocolate apples, pizza whirls and more.
  • Halloween Party – So this year we are hosting a halloween party. Hopefully the weather will be good and we can have a BBQ and mingle outside.

So thats my plan for the week!

I am hoping to upload a vlog each day around 8pm of what we get up to each day I would love you to come join me on youtube!

Do you have plans for the week ahead?

Here is a video i did a while back with a few tips for holidays

 

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Screen Free Weekend – Splash Park Fun #Linky

Good morning everyone.
It’s Monday. And time for Screen Free Linky
So this weekend was not so good in the giving up screens. Hubby went easy Saturday and I like to check his journey.
On Sunday morning the kids woke and wanted their tablets. So while I looked up somewhere to go for the day they watched YouTube!
After we had got up and dressed however the screens went off. We had breakfast and spent the day at the park.

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I did check on hubby via Text message but for the most of the day we were screen free.
In the evening we had dinner at Nanny’s and then home to bed. Where we watched a little tv. And after the kids had gone to sleep I txt chatted with Hubby.
So not a total fail. However. I vow to do better in the coming weeks!
Watch this space

 

Here are a few reasons why screen free time is important.

  • Screen time can be linked to childhood obesity. – The more time you spend online the less time you spend outside playing and exercising.
  • Screens at bedtime and in the couple of hours before bed has been proven to disrupt sleep patterns. Not just in children bug in adults too.
  • Childhood Psychological problems such as emotional issues, hyperactivity and social skills are more likely to occur in those who have more than 2 hours screen time a day.
  • If you are immersed in screen life you are almost cutting yourself off from “real life. – living in the moment.
  • More Screen time means less time connecting with people in the real world.

 

So with these reasons in mind I will try harder next week.
How did you get on?
Have you blogged about it?
Leave your Linky here.

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So linky rules
Each Monday evening I will post how we were screen free over the weekend

  • Linky will be live from Monday evening to Friday morning.
  • Posts should be your own work.
  • Only one post per person please.
  • It’s only fair that we share the linky love by commenting on at least two other posts.
  • I will feature one blogger each week in my post so unplug those cables & let’s have some screen free time.

Share your posts on Twitter or Instagram using the #screenfreeweekends @readyforacuppa I will try to comment & retweet each one

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How do I explain death to my 4 year olds?

(When I struggle to deal with it myself)IMG_8842

In the four years my children have been alive a number special people in our lives have died. The Twins had been a little young to know whats happening. When I lost my Nan my twins were only two. They will have noticed she wasn’t here anymore however they don’t really remember her! 

A couple of days ago however the next door neighbour of my nan (who I have known since they both moved there about 30 years ago ) died – She had been having a few health issues over the past year but had such a positive outlook! She was in her 90s and so much more agile than my nan was at 90!

As I came off the phone to my mum I realised I was crying and J & M were looking at me!

I tried to explain but I don’t think they understood!

I tried the well “Mrs G” won’t be here anymore she has gone to be with my nanny somewhere in the stars!

Can we see her they asked! – I told them that we wouldn’t be able to see her again now.

I didn’t know what to say –  I think many of us are inept at dealing with death. I was talking to someone the other day who said I the olden days death was just what happened. In fact in times of poverty it was probably a bit of a relief as sick couldn’t work so therefore were a burden!  These times we as family dealt with the funeral ourselves.

Nowadays that job is usually  given to a funeral home so we only ever talk  about death through closed doors!

I am one of those inept people – I don’t deal with death very well and therefore am a little scared of my own mortality or selfishly the mortality of people around me (what will I feel when there gone?)

So with all this in mind I want to do the right thing by my two. I don’t want them to grow up with this fear that I have and that my dad had that death is something to fear so much so that it interferes with living!

Googling how to talk to a preschooler about death I came up with many don’ts

  • Don’t tell them that the person has gone to sleep – This may cause the child to not want to go to sleep
  • Don’t tell them the person has gone away – Leaving the child may then be an issue as they may think you have “gone away”
  • Don’t tell them the person has been so good that jesus wanted them – The child might start playing up so they don’t get chosen
  • Don’t tell the child the person is happy now they have gone – the child might question why the person is so happy when everyone around them is sad!

So what do I say instead?

What do I say to my 4 year olds about where this person who was a part of our lives is now?

How do explain death to them?

If you have any words of wisdom please leave in the comments below or message me on facebook.

Thanks

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Traveling with Twins – Surviving the Airport. My Top Tips!

Hola,

I’m Currently at 32 thousand feet M has control of my IWatch and J is sat watching Miles on his Electronic Nanny.

 

We left home at 7am and its now 2.30 in the afternoon.

It has been a long day already and we don’t land until after 4pm.

We are not new to traveling however each time we learn a little more about the best way to reduce the stress on our travels.

  1. Arrive in good time – There is nothing worse than arriving late and in a panic. Plan your trip – Are there road works? Do you have enough petrol? Fill up the day before if you want that extra 10 mins in bed!
  2. Bring activities for the little ones! – Our twins are 4 and I let them pack their hand luggage themselves. I do advise checking it before you get to the airport however as liquids and sharp objects are frowned upon through security. I also make sure they have their favorite comfort be that a teddy, a dummy for smaller ones or a blanket.
  3. Charge those Electronic nannies –We were early for our check in this morning (I know Un heard of!) J & M were able to

    entertain themselves with their Tablets & toys.

  4. Toilet stops – While Hubby cued with the suitcases I took J & M off to the toilet even if they say they don’t need it right then I tend to bribe them with a sticker if it means I’m not halfway through security with “mummy I need a wee, Mummy I’m gonna wee, Mummy I’ve wee’d” in my ear.
  5. Wheel your own! – Last time we were away I let My two pick their own wheeled cabin bags. This way they are more likely to carry their own stuff! – It makes them feel grown up and save me or Daddy carrying a thousand bags!SAMSUNG CSC
  6. Remove shoes, coats, etc. – when going through security You need to remove shoes if they have a substantial sole or if your kids are like mine and they have lights in their shoes they obviously have a battery in so they will need to come off too.
  7. Fold pushchairs- Babies should be removed from pushchairs and pushchairs folded and put through the scanner. This cam mean you need to empty it of blankets toys etc.– Yes you can take them to the aircraft door on most flights check your airline if unsure!
  8. Book the lounge. – It’s not as crowded there is complementry WiFi and the food and drinks are included. Sometimes you can get a good deal on the lounge if you are booking car parking – Ours came with the price of the car park this time round.
  9. Snacks – I put a couple of snacks in our hand luggage. airport prices are not cheap! SAMSUNG CSC
  10. Did I mention Toilet stops?
  11. Don’t rush to the gate – Normally by the time you’re on your way to the gate you have already been given your seat number so why rush. Those that board first are on the plane longer on the ground meaning more chance your little ones are going to get board or need a wee!

 

 

Right Seatbelt lights on M is now asleep as is daddy and J is not far behind – Come on kiddos were landing.

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