Thursday, 30 July 2015

Eye Dropper Art

This activity was great fun my two year old especially enjoyed it, it is brilliant to develop their pincer grip.

1  Mix food coloring and water together in little pots.  I use the food colouring from Homestore and More as they don't dye your hands like many food colourings.

2  I used kitchen roll for the activity but you can also use coffee filters or none pores paper.  I cellotaped the sheet to paper, if I'd just left the kitchen paper by itself the children would have ripped the kitchen roll

The two children got well into things it was as simple as once you had water solution you made you fill the Eye dropper and then they squeeze it out.

And TaDa the results!

What you'll need

Eye dropper - your local chemist will have these I picked up these for €1.99
Kitchen roll
Paper to back the kitchen rool
Water to add to food colouring 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Shopping with Voices

Thursday afternoon and not a sip of milk or scrapping of butter in the house cupboards where bare, it was time to go shopping and I had to bring the two monkeys.  Whoop Whoop . . . 

Don't get me wrong I've had many a shopping trips with my two and yes I'm usually the mother rocking in the corner of the bread aisle, I vowed this time was going to be different, and it was.

Mammy Red Head's Tips for 
Shopping with Children

v Try doing an activity before going ie. soft play are, playground, walk etc, so their not totally full of energy.
v Make sure the kids and You have had something to eat.
v Pack loads of snacks and drinks; i find keeping my two feed is one of the only ways to keep them occupied.
v When you arrive at the shop if you have an older child explain what you expect of them.   So I for example explained to my four yer old that he could look at the toys but that we also had to get some food.
v I headed to Tesco first and when we entered i went straight for the books and let each child choose a book.  I have in the past bought magazines for my two but they are extremely expensive, the two books I got where €7 total that is the price of one magazine.
v If your child wants to look at the toys let them you’re as well to get "their important" stuff out of the way.
v Once you've started the shopping give the children tasks to find different items and if you've a child in the trolley let them place the items in.
v A reward is always good so on aisle two when the are we nearly finished starts I come out with, "how about if your very good and help Mammy, at the end of the shopping you can get a kinder egg".  This is always a winner.  If they step out of line remind them of the reward/treat.
v Throughout the shopping remember to keep saying how good they are.
v Remember the treats you brought with you?  Well make sure to give them out throughout the trip.
v When you’re finished and at the check-out let them unload and pack, now I know if your anything like me I ate my shopping been mixed but if your shopping with children your gonna have to let that one go, and just let the veg and yogurts go together.
v If you have a chatty cashier encourage your child to have a chat with them and you thus helping this stage of the shopping to move quick.
v Keep calm remind yourself that it's going good and you’re just shopping with the children. 
v The most important thing I find is have loads of time, if you’re rushing to do the shopping and have the kids with you it's not going to end well.

I couldn't believe that I came home last Thursday still relaxed, calm and with a full boot of groceries from Tesco and Aldi.  I was shocked I was able to go the two places and there was no rows, shouting and I didn't loose a child. 

I hope these tips help you on your next shopping trip.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

I am delighted to be featured on Budding Smiles Blog "Emotional Well-being of Parents, series"

Here is my post ;  My article - it's an insight into one of the many battles I've faced with Post Natal Depression.

Huge thank you to Hannah for feeling that my story was worth featuring

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The countdown is on

40 days and counting, it's not me counting it's Little red head, (LRH).   Every night he goes to his calendar and gets me to count the days till he starts school and every time I do it I swallow a little lump.

We've the copies bought the paw patrol lunch box and drinks cup, the lunch containers one of which is a lego movie one; that was a difficult one to find.  The pencil case was a big decision but he finally settled on a Minions one for his pencils and the like and a Transformers one for his colours.  I've bought three different pencils and two different sketch pads, who knew finding a 40 page sketch book would be so difficult.

Then the major choice was the school bag, at first the request was a transformer one.  I searched the shops then the net but anyone I came across was either expensive or to small.  As I searched for the perfect school bag my dear friend was across the town on the same search as myself, we spent one night swapping internet pages till alas my friend came across the Disney shop.  Now I've already said that some of the bags I had researched already were too expensive so then how had I come to spending in excess of €30 for Little red head bag, well i didn't Nana did, LOL.  It is a pretty cool bag it lights up and as an added extra we got Little red heads name stitched on to the strap.  When it arrived in the post and LRH Nana gave him the bag the excitement in his face; que more lump swallowing from Mammy.  For the rest of the day LRH went everywhere with the new bag on his back and I've put it away twice, but he appears with on his back going round the house saying "look at my bag".  The big new school bag dwarfed my little boy, but he was so happy it made me smile and of course do some more lump swallowing.

In all the shops it says "back to school" on the signs where you'll find that section, I think there should be a designated area for the first timers.  For the Mammies/Daddies I'm talking about and there we could have a sit down, take a breath and have a cuppa, I'd call it "sniffle area"...   In the area there would also be copious amounts of tissues available.

40 days and counting, where is the time going?

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Toys, toys, toys - Pre School age

Here is some of my best buys over the past four years 
Like most houses my two baba's have so much toys, but there is some that are a must have. I've put together the Mammy Red Head top 2o pre-school toys.

1   Vtech First Steps Baby Walker - this walker is great once baby is sitting up, aided or unaided they can play with the front panel of the walker.
5   Groovy Stars Red and Blue Keyboard  - you may not forgive me this one but I've got to say my two loves this and it has a volume button!

6   VTech Little Singing Alfie   - this toy is excellent for the buggy 
7   Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano - put this toy at the bottom of the cot and once baby is sitting they can play the piano with their hands.
8   VTech Spin and Discover Oce - we wore this toy out, yup seriously!
9   Fisher Price Chatter Telephone - a classic
10   VTech Crawl & Learn Bright Lights Ball - when baby starts moving round this floor this is excellent for keeping them on the move
11   Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set -  this is a great interactive toy with great realistic noises

14 Old MacDonald Farmhouse & Tractor  - this moves along the floor and sings.  The animals in the trailer also make a noise when you palce them back in the trailer.
15   Peppa Pig's Classroom Playset - this set is around €17.99 excellent value for all the charters you get.
16   Mega Blocks & Duplo - start off with mega blocks then at around 2 to 3 years of age move up to Duplo.
17 Sheriff Callie’s Wild West Figures -
this sheriff callie set is great value at
 €17.99, but just a note the charterers are
standing on stars.

18, 19, 20Happyland toys in Mothercare, I find are durable, colourful and good value.

 Mothercare always do sales on these sets, If possible choose the set your looking for and keep an eye on the website for it to be reduced.  

The Happyland products I've pictured are my two baba's favorite one and I loved that they all come with lots of characters so no need to buy extra character sets. 

The links I've up are to Smyths Toys store but shop around for the best price, there is always sales on and different shops, they will have % of at different times also.  Check out Facebook pages, DoneDeal and the like as you can get excellent condition toys for a bargain.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Am I the Worst Mother?

As a stay at home Mam I don't get performance reports on how I'm doing at my job, my pay isn't increased when I've another year done, hang on, I get no pay and I've no colleges to compare notes with.  Instead I base my productivity on how happy my four year old and two year are!  I have two very demanding children polite but demanding, so while they scream from the sitting room,"Mammy I want a drink" its always followed with a "please".  I must be doing something right? Some days are more trying than others as are some weeks . . .

Last week I said to my own Mam "my kids hate me", I've only recently being teaching Little red head that the word 'hate' is a very strong word,  so I am possibly being a bit dramatic?

My days are spent tending to the every whim and need of my two monkeys, there are days where we have a blast and then there is days where it seems like all I'm doing is roaring and screaming.  I want my children to have a voice to know they can come to me with their problems, stories, questions etc,  but there are times where I think I've let them have to much rains.  When Little red head (the four year old) is telling me he's cross with me and Mini miss (the two year old) is saying Mammy bold, I wonder have I done right by them?

I'm not afraid to admit I've tried all types of discipline the step, a slap to the leg, the naughty corner, many many charts the list is endless.  We stopped the naughty corner the day Little red head turned round to his Daddy and said "you bold into the corner", he was two.  There is only two and half years between my two and the youngest one is really starting to find her own and knows how to push the buttons of the four year old.  I try to be balanced when sorting out who pulled who's hair first, but goodness its difficult when she's laughing and he's saying I'm cross at you and stamping and grunting round the room.

The days where I just want to call in sick and I realize my work is at home jumping on my bed saying "pony on" and "paint nails", them days are difficult to just get to pee in peace finish a cup of tea or have a quick chat on the phone uninterrupted.  I know when I'm tired or having a bad day my patience is easily worn those are the days I try staying even more busy, because on the days I don't and I'm tired and the kids are tired the shouting starts and I'm watching the clock till hubby gets home so I can get a breather.

Every week I bake, do art/crafts, go for walks, go on trips, play, read stories and so on.  I just want my two monkeys to be happy, but the days I feel like I'm getting it all wrong I wish I could call a staff meeting in the board room with tea and muffins and hash things out.
No matter how the day has gone it always ends with a story, a kiss good night and "i love you".

Not a days go by that I don't ask myself the question 'am I doing this right?', like "they" say the child doesn't come with a manual.  Last week was difficult and I felt like I was the worst mother and getting it all so wrong, then this happened . . .

It was just like any other day, but in what office would I get to spent this moment with my Mini miss.  I had just painted her face and she said "Mammy turn". In that moment I just felt it's all worth it.