Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Poppy Cat is Back

As you all know Myles is a huge Poppy Cat fan so when we heard Poppy cat was back there was some excitement in the house, his little Poppy Cat goes every where with him!

Sport the Old Vs the New!
Poppy cat is about Making Everyday Adventures Extraordinary, it encourages preschoolers to use their imagination to solve problems and discover the world around them. Each episode is seen through the eyes of Poppy Cat's young owner Lara. Poppy Cat and her friends will be off on exciting journeys through fantastical lands in aeroplane, pirate ships, hot air balloons and rockets.

When every Poppy Cat is on I get dragged to the telly by Myles saying looking Mammy as-well as running commentary of what is happening.

This series Joanna Page, start of Gavin and Stacey will be the voice of Poppy Cat! Joanna Page comments, " My daughter Eva loves watching Poppy Cat. She is fascinated with the bright colours and all of the different characters and their voice. I think subconsciously she feel as connection with the orange cat, Poppy Cat. I love voicing the character, particularly since becoming a mum - and it is already established as a popular pre-school show, it gives me a lot of kudos with my mummy friends! Seriously though, I think its great when kids can relate to a character, and for a show to bring to life their potential for imaginative play and creativity. as this series is jam-packed with fun adventures and even more colourful characters, I think the fan base with continue to grow!

Poppy Cat airs in more than 140 territories worldwide and is based in the international award-winning books written by British author. Lara Jones. It will be back on our screens on Monday 8th September on Nick Jr.

Head over to see what Poppy Cat is up to on Facebook and Twitter

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

So where do we go from here?

Back in March the health visitor came out and did Devon's 4 year check and his behaviour was out of control and the way in which he was dealing with emotions and socialising were causing her concerns and she wanted to refer him to the Children's and Young People Service (previously know as CHAMS), to me I had know since a young age his behaviour was challenging and he was hard to deal with it but for someone else to see and comment on it I was relieved, the health visitor said she believed that his behaviour was too do with the separation as he had been the same at his two year check and his behaviour was such a challenge for his dad that at the point of the separation they had a seriously fractured relationship but now it is excellent because being at Daddy's house is fun!

Devon has always been a funny little boy I remember from a young age his temper tantrums went on for hours you couldn't distract at all whereas at the same age Myles can be distracted and it stops within minutes but no not Devon it was hours! Yet physically he was fantastic walking at 10.5 months, climbing stairs and anything else he could achieve, at 18 months old when the door was shut at the doctors he took a chair to the door so he could climb on it to open the door! Not bad logic for an 18 month old, he certainly knew what he wanted to achieve, I have a video of him at around 2.5 of him climbing on to the bench so he could go through the window to get in the garden because the patio door was shut!

Devon had me at home for the first 13 months of his life and even after that point I only worked a few hours at week, it was only when he went off to nursery that I was working more so he has a strong attachment too me, he can be over clingy and very in your face, very demanding on attention and sometime over bearing, it feels terrible to say that about your own child but it is how he makes me feel at times, my Mam and I often joke he should have been an only child! He has had the most attention out of all three of the children and they say about middle child syndrome but he has been that way since before being an only child. I often wonder if its my fault as I suffered from postnatal depression with Alana so didn't bond as-well with her as a baby so Devon in some ways was like my first child and I wrapped him in cotton wool and he was never out of site, Alana stayed at my Mam's every other week from 2 weeks old whereas as Devon was 6 months old before I let him sleepover!

I had been going the battle alone before the health visitor sent the referral in and I had already completed a parenting course 1,2,3 Magic to help deal with his behaviour but it only worked to some extent. I had tried everything I could do and I was at breaking point and I think that made the situation worse as I was more on edge and therefore stuck on a vicious circle.

I had concerns myself about Devon in terms of he had been at Nursery for over a year and still couldn't name any of the children he went to Nursery with, when we were out and about he would never talk to any other children or at the park he would never find anyone to play with and instead play in his own little world with his own toys.

There are also a few other little things that concerned me about Devon:
He randomly stops and talks to people in their cars and shout hello to them
He blames random objects/people for hurting him
He bites himself and blames others
He cant be left alone without hurting his brother
If you remove him from  situation he will take himself and thinks you are playing a game
He has no fear!
He doesn't like loud noise, yet if its quiet he has to shout and make noise
You can tell in his facial expressions he isn't sorry and its just a word
His toys have to be in a certain order and notices if anything is missing!
He cant have food he doesn't like on his plate and it has to be removed, also gags at pictures of food he doesn't like
He struggles with learning and has an extremely short attention span
He knows what stickers he has in his sticker book before even checking.

There are loads of other bits that I will think about at the time but forget to write down, he is a lovely little boy at times but then others he makes me think what I have done to deserve this. A few weeks ago we had an appointment with the Children and Young People's service who went through all of the history, for weeks I had been blaming myself thinking had I caused all of his problems and his behaviour but the lady we saw believed it wasn't my parenting at all as I have two other very well behaved other children, we went through the possible options of what I thought was wrong with him and I mentions ADHD but then he is fine at nursery the model child in fact! I mentioned ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disoreder) but again she felt he was too young and this normally appeared in teenage years and the other thing that I felt he related to was Aspergers. Aspergers no longer exists as a name but she felt that he fits into the High Dysfunction Disorder and then the next steps would probably to be go down the testing on the spectrum route as she doesn't feel that his behaviour is the issue alone.

After the meeting I was feeling positive and felt like a huge relief to be told by an professional that they didn't feel it was my parenting!

The two weeks since the holidays started I felt like things were massively improving and that as a parent I could start afresh instead of being stuck in a vicious circle and really pushed time out despite it taking up to an hour at times and he eventually learnt that he was staying no matter what. Then last week something amazing happen he made a friend at the park and was playing lovely and make believe playing pirates I was over the moon and he learnt how to write his name and copy letters something he has struggled with. He has made massive improvements in his swimming after a week of 121 intensive course he progressed so much, more than the two terms and I was feeling like actually I have no concerns but then the last week its like we are back to square one :-(

I have no idea what if anything is causing my 4 year old's problems perhaps I'm expecting too much from him I guess all we can do is wait and see what his next appointment brings.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Gibside National Trust

So the summer is upon us we have become National Trust Members, we are lucky enough to have a number of National Trust Properties near us so it seemed like a good thing to go and get us out exploring.

So off we went to Gibside what I loved straight away was that there was plenty of parking despite it being a glorious sunny day, I had been told to take the pram with my for Myles as there is plenty of walking to be done!

Our adventure started up a wooden walkway up a steep hill but the way it was designed it didn't feel steep at all and if you cant make up the hill there is a bus to take you up to the top, we headed straight to the play park which was about a 10 minute walk when you have three children!

The play area was massive and plenty to do for kids of all ages and the children wouldn't move for ages. we also enjoyed some lovely ice-creams which were on sale next to the play area!

I eventually managed to convince the little monkeys away from the play area and we went for a walk in the forest which was really peaceful and we were able to walk at a leisurely pace.

 We went to the low ropes assualt course and Alana (6) managed the course pretty well but Devon (4) was a bit too little to do it with out help but still had a good go!

Our day ended rolling down the hill next to the chapel!

Gibside is a beautiful place and we didn't even get to see half of what it offers we will be going back and heading in the opposite direction, everyone we did go was easy accessible with the pram so great place to visit even with little ones.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Off to find the Gruffalo with Barny Bear

Having three monkeys means that we are always looking for little adventures to capture the imagination and to get outdoors and explore, so when we were sent Barny Bear to join one of adventures we decided to go on a Gruffalo Hunt at Hamsterley Forest.

Barny Bear is a bear shaped sponge with a delicious filling inside, you can choose from Milk, Chocolate, Strawberry or Apple. What mammy loves is that they contain no artificial colours of preservatives which is really good when you have a little monkey who appears to go hyper with certain foods and snacks!

We set off on our adventure in the car on an hours drive and within 10 minutes we had the dreaded question are we there yet, followed by when are we there and that went on for pretty much the whole car journey! When we set off the forecast was for rain and cloudy weather so we went prepared! But when we got there it was glorious sunshine.

First off we had a play in the park and whilst there middle monkey learnt how to do the monkey bars without any help!

After dragging the monkeys away from the play park we set off to find the Gruffalo and after a mile and a half of following the trail we found the Gruffalo deep in the forest and lets say the trail there was much more exciting than the trail back when you have grumpy tired children in tow.

After such a long walk it was safe to say the monkeys were hungry and so a picnic was certainly in order and guess who we found hidden away....Barny Bear. Its safe to say my monkeys love Barny Bear and chocolate Barny is their favrouite, they actually love them so much we had to replace the original Barny Bears for our adventure!

After the picnic the perfect way to cool off was to have a play in the rive, the monkeys were so engrossed in the river and climbing that the afternoon disappeared before our eyes!


It was definitely a successful adventure resulting in very tired monkeys who were fast asleep before we even left the car park!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Hectic Life

Well what can I say its been a while since my last post, life has been hectic!

I have been offered more hours work which I have take as it offers more financial security for me and the children and its a job I really enjoy.

I have been busy repairing my relationship with middle monkey and trying out some new techniques which have really helped whilst we wait for his appointment with CHAMS

Biggest Monkey has me running around like a lunatic she now does Gymnastics on a Monday, Rainbows on a Tuesday and Zumba on a Wednesday and Saturday is swimming, not sure what I will do when the boys do more than just swimming!

So I have been tired of late and juggling everything and find myself slumped on the settee at night watching all the seasons of Glee rather than switching the computer but the holidays are coming so hoping to record some of our adventures and really enjoy my time with my monkeys!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Poppy Cat at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

If you read my blog you will know that the children are big fans of Poppy Cat especially 2 year old Myles, so when we got to see Poppy Cat in real life Myles was in awe of one of his favourite friends and kept telling me 'Look Mammy its Poppy Cat' and he kept shouting hello!

When I told the children 4 year old Devon told me that we weren't going to see the real Poppy Cat it was just someone dressed up as Poppy Cat but when we got there he believed it was really Poppy Cat and he told her thank you for the magazines and DVD!

Poppy Cat is starring at Blackpool Pleasure Beach between the 2nd June and 30th June, when we there she appeared every hour on the half hour and the children really enjoyed going on adventures with Poppy Cat and Alana showed off her skills when they were asking who Poppy Cat's friends were.

 We then spent the majority of our day in Nickelodeon Land which was fantastic as a single parent of three children I was able to please everyone, Alana who is 6 and tall for her age was able to go on all the rides on her meaning I could take the boys on rides. There was a couple of rides we did struggle with as both boys needed an adult sitting next to them but wasn't the end of the world and they still had plenty of choice.

Within Nickelodeon Land you can find the Big Pizza Kitchen which is all you can eat and was very delicious constant hot food and always replaced quickly, the children really enjoyed the pasta and were very keen to eat quickly so they could get back to the rides!

We couldn't have left without visiting the shop and guess what they all choose....


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Stress Less Challenge

So at the end of Week 2 I'm certainly feeling aloft stressed at home and with general life, but going to holiday with three children was very stressful so to avoid that stress in the future I think I will avoid it full stop!

So last week the advice I was given was to do focus 1 task at a time, which I have done and started a little tick sheet when that task has been completed and on a Friday I makes sure everything is done in the morning and have started completely clearing out one room at a time to get rid of the clutter and wash everything down in that room so I feel like I can keep on top of things during the week and then Friday night is me time as the children stay at their dads.

With regards to exercise I went a bit further and started doing an exercise video each day and really benefited from but then I lost motivation! I haven't set myself an end goal as of yet I still feel I have so much going on in life that trying to add another challenge such as a charity walk etc. is putting more pressure on myself.

The batch cooking hasn't really happened I find that I have a huge aversion to defrosting meals and then eating them, I much prefer my food freshly made something I need to get over but as of yet its not happening, however I have focused on making sure I have vegetables with every meal and snack on fruit throughout the day so up from 1-2 portions a day to 3-4 which is a big improvement.

The challenge has been a success and the one thing I will definitely be committing to life will be the chore chart and eating more fruit and veg throughout the day, overall my stress levels have come right down and I am very grateful for this, they would be next to non if Aviva could get my youngest sleeping at night and then I would have more me time!!!

So I challenge my readers to look at a change they can commit to that help them to stress less in their day to day life whether that be a chore chart or sitting down 5 minutes with a cup of tea in silence!