New Items in Elsie and Bear.

Evening all!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. If you haven’t done so already, why don’t you take a trip over to our Etsy shop?

There have been 2 new items added in the last few days.

This is a mohair blend, hand crocheted triangle shawl/scarf.

Moonlight triangle shawl front jpg

 

And this is a moon gazing hare watercolour.

moon gazing hare watercolour (2)

 

Hop on over and check us out.

Kx

Cloud dough!

Got a baby or toddler that loves to put things in their mouth? Who am I kidding? They ALL do.

It does make crafting with them or doing anything sensory a touch difficult. MB is now 15 months and likes nothing better than to ram something new straight into her face and deal with the consequences later. This is why I have avoided play dough and painting … until now.

Nikki, my tea drinking, cake eating, maternity leave partner in crime, introduced MB and I to cloud dough last week. There are a number of different ingredients you can use to make this depending on what you have in the cupboard and how old your little one is.

Baaasically, it’s 8 parts of some type of floury ingredient to 1 part (ish) of an oily ingredient. For face stuffing bubbas it’s a good idea to use either normal wheat flour or cornflour mixed with a cooking oil of some type. This means that whilst not overly delicious it’s not going to turn them some hideous shade of green and bring them out in buboes. For the not so gastronomically inclined you can use baby oil. This has the added advantage of making your hands nice and soft too.

Stick the ingredients in a bowl and mix it up with your hands until the oil is evenly distributed. This will not make a dough like play dough. It will look more like very soft sand. Until you squeeze it. Go on. I dare you!

Squeeze it!

Cloud Dough

Crumble it!

Cloud dough soft

Squeeze it again!

Cloud dough squeeze

You don’t want to give it to the kids now, do you?

You can colour this with food colouring but I haven’t had much luck colouring anything except my hands. If you do manage it, please comment below as I’d love to make some rainbow dough.

If you don’t have a child that will eat it I’d go ahead and add some glitter too. Everybody loves glitter. Send me pictures as we are probably a least a year away from glitter.

Next step, place bowl in suitable place, add child and take several steps back. Better still indulge in my favourite supervisory past time, drink tea and eat cake.

Elsie absolutely loved this when I poured the dough into a tray and added some of her toys.

We then decided to make it rain. Onto the tray, of course.

You can see the video over on our Facebook page.

The nice thing about this is you can hoover it up! Your hoover may not thank you for it but I gave up worrying about that 15 months ago.

If you have any other cloud dough variations or things you can add to it, leave me a comment below.

For other sensory and play ideas, check out our DIY baby sensory Pinterest board

Ciao for now!

Kx

 

 

 

 

 

Find your person.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the things we feel we must be doing that we are blind to the things that are actually happening.

Since becoming a mother my life feels like it has been turned completely on it’s head. For the better, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it. I will admit though, it is the hardest thing I have ever done.

All of a sudden, there was a wee small tiny human that depended on me for EVERYTHING!! You become their whole world and, for me, that thought was terrifying. I was just about capable of looking after myself and hubby (and he is a grown man).

In the early hours of the morning, in the midst of a night feed, I looked at Elsie snuggled in my arms and realised that everything I do with her, everything I say, will help to shape the person she will become. Wholly petrifying! And then, because I had never done anything like this before, I started questioning whether I was a good enough mother and whether I was doing it right. Compound panic.

When she was about 3 weeks old I started going to a mother and baby group. I’ve never been one to “fit in” and I really noticed it then. I was acutely aware that I was doing things slightly differently to the majority of the other ladies there. I was one of only two women to be breastfeeding, I didn’t put my baby down, she was in baby grows and not proper clothes and, more evidently, I looked like the living dead whilst they all had nice clothes and make up on and hair beautifully straightened.

As the weeks went on I felt increasingly more alienated, which looking back on it now, had nothing to do with the ladies there and everything to do with my own feelings of panic and inadequacy. At the same time as this, I started to get well-meaning advice. In my head all I was hearing was that I needed to change everything I was doing with Elsie and then I would be parenting properly, she’d sleep through, I wouldn’t be tired, I’d be able to present a clean and tidy house to visitors, I’d look like I actually wanted to see people and maybe I wouldn’t be so miserable. In short, I’d be normal.

I’ve realised this year that I spent the first 12 months of Elsie’s life trying to do what I thought I ought to be doing for my baby and family from a picture I had built out of what other people were doing and what I was “meant” to be doing. So ultimately, by Christmas I felt like a complete and utter failure. I failed at being a mother, I failed at being a wife, I was a crappy friend and just a useless human being in general.

Since September last year I have met two amazing women from totally different parts of my life who have helped me to start seeing that this actually isn’t the case.

I have a brilliant family, I can’t have done too badly as we are all still here and most days actually clean and dressed.

I have the best friends any one could ever wish for, I have just realised I need to let them in. Ladies, we shall call you S, H, C and N, you know who you are.

I have a wonderfully supportive (and crackers) group of women on the interwebs whom I would never have met without becoming a mother.

Your story won’t be the same as mine, but you will have moments, days, weeks where you feel so overwhelmed by something that it is the only thing that matters, that you are the only person that can do anything about it and no one will understand, or care.

We all need someone to stand with us, even if they cannot actually fix it for us. Let them in. You don’t have to tell them everything, you don’t have to tell them anything but just let them know you need them.

Find your person and be kind to yourself. You are ARE worth it and you are most definitely not a failure.

Kx

p.s. It is now my belief that you cannot have a tidy house with a toddler.

 

 

 

A letter to my Daughter …

Dear Elsie,

I know that you are only little at the moment (and can’t read) but I wanted to write you a letter to tell you a big ol’ bunch of things that I will tell you when you are older, but you might not want to listen to. Especially if you have decided for the briefest of moments that I am uncool, which I point out now, I will never ever be. Let us not forget that.

You are, already, a phenomenal human being. Watching you grow and learn every day has been the most amazing thing I have seen. From seeing you realise when you were super tiny that that thing that waves around when you get excited was your own hand to you realising this week that if you smile sweetly enough at someone they are likely to give you their breakfast has been a wonderful journey of emotions that I have loved sharing with you. This is only the start.

I will give you many pieces of advice in your life, most of which will probably be along the “Yes, I know everyone else is doing it, but you are not having AWESOME tattooed across your forehead. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.” lines. There are, however, a few pieces that I want to share with you now.

  • Your curiosity for EVERYTHING is something you should never lose. It will lead you to beautiful places and people. Never be afraid to ask questions and rarely just take “No!” for an answer. I promise to try to explain why you cannot do something, rather than give you a flat no.
  • Remember to take some time to do something creative. Bake some bread, draw a picture, sing like a loon whilst dancing in the rain. Your body and soul will thank you for it. Now you are steadier on your feet we shall be practising the singing and dancing bit, you have the loon bit inherently sorry.
  • You will kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. This is not to say that each froggy frog will not feel like “the one”. If it turns out that they aren’t I will always be there with blankets and tissues and tea and cake and cuddles. As will your father. He may be secretly rejoicing that the “youth” has vamoosed, because he probably didn’t like him anyway.
  • Be kind to yourself. Speak to yourself as you would someone you love.
  • Eat cake.
  • There are a lot of people, blood family and chosen family, that love you very very much. They may not be very close in distance but they will always be there if you need them.
  • This last one is a big one, if you can only remember one thing I tell you let it be this. Do not EVER let someone tell you that your are not good enough or are incapable of doing something. ¬†You can, and will, do whatever you set your heart and mind to. Remember that other people’s negativity towards you is a reflection of their own fears and insecurities and not about you or your abilities.

Your dad and I will always love you and we will always be there for you, whatever you decide to do. We will probably all have moments where we don’t agree but that won’t change the way we feel.

A few last thoughts that are less mushy but equally important.

If you want to get something pierced, please tell me first. I will more than likely come with you.

Not everything in a Disney film is true. There are no delightful woodland creatures that come into your house and tidy everything up. Your fairy godmother is not a small plump creature with wings. She is a gorgeous lady called Aunty Sarah, who makes awesome cakes and is a very good listener.

As much as your father will try to make you believe there is a small family of weasels living in his beauteous beard, there is not. Sad but true.

I have probably missed some major parental points but hey! Bringing up a family is a learning curve for everyone.

Lots of love,

Mum xx

p.s. I will not be offended if you didn’t want to see my face every two hours at night.