Gamer mum

From being a kid I’ve always enjoyed playing computer games. I was first introduced to gaming as a child when I was bought my PlayStation 1. I would spend many hours flying around with Spyro, running from giant boulders with Crash Bandicoot and exploring caves as Lara Croft. As girly as I was, some would say I could be quite the ‘Tom boy’ as well. Over the years I’ve enjoyed playing many games on the PlayStation 2 such as GTA, Timesplitters, No-one Lives Forever and many more. The Sims 2 for PC was my all time favourite for a long time and I loved playing the Nintendo DS as well.

But when I started High School a girl who played computer games wasn’t considered ‘cool’ so I would hide the fact that I enjoyed gaming and after a while even stopped playing them altogether. That was until I met my partner who also enjoyed gaming. We were both 15 years old and we would just hang out, he was my best friend (still is!) and just play the Xbox 360 for hours. This was when I first discovered Bethesda the creators of Fallout 3 and Skyrim and found my love for gaming all over again…

After almost 9 years of being together, 3 house moves on, 1 engagement and 1 baby later, we’re still together and we still love playing computer games. Except since becoming a mum, gaming for me is something I don’t have a lot of time for at all anymore and something I feel embarrassed of admitting that I like to do.

I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you why I find it hard to find the time for gaming, I’m a mum and I find it hard to find the time to do anything but the reason I feel embarrassed to admit that I like gaming is because the idea of a nearly 24 year old mum wanting to play computer games seems weird to some. I don’t know any other mums who enjoy gaming, in fact none of my friends enjoy it either. So when the other mums are complaining about their partners playing Call of duty or Fortnite or when they say things like ‘I just don’t understand what they like about games’ I feel like I have to nod and agree. Or when someone asks me what will I do now I’ve finally got some time whilst Kory is taking a nap, I don’t feel like ‘gaming’ is an acceptable answer. Once again I am hiding my enjoyment for this hobby because I’m worried I’ll be judged and the only person I’m lying to is myself.

It’s like High School all over again…

But why should I feel ashamed because I like playing computer games? Because gaming like any of my other hobbies such as reading, crochet, crafts and blogging allows me to escape day to day stresses.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m done pretending I don’t enjoy something when I really do! I’m a mum who likes computer games and if that makes me a weirdo then I’m okay with that. I have a young son who is nowhere near ready to play computer games yet but when he is and if he wants to, I will encourage him to and I hope he won’t mind when his mum grabs a controller and joins in the fun too.

So the next time someone asks me what I’ll be doing when I get a spare minute, I’m going to proudly say ‘I’m going to fire up the PlayStation 4 and I’m going to roam the wasteland with dogmeat find some loot and shoot some ghouls.’ Because when my child finally takes a freaking nap, if playing a computer game is what this mum wants to do then playing a computer game is what this mum is gonna do.

I’m proud to be a gamer mum!

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Bye bye dodi

(Old picture)

When the day came, I was so happy to say bye bye to Kory’s dodi. I honestly never thought I’d never see the day when Kory didn’t have a dummy in his mouth anymore. He loved his dodi! From being a small baby he could never go to bed without one, he would always have one in his mouth, day and night. I was worried that they would affect his speech or his teeth but to our surprise, Kory ditched the dodi sooner and easier than we expected.

Here’s what happened…

We didn’t intentionally wean Kory off his dodi but what happened worked in our favour. During this time, Kory was going through a pretty rough spout of teething and was chomping on anything that he could put into his mouth. Through biting down on his dummy, he had popped the teet with his teeth. He had already gone through quite a few dodis by doing this and quite frankly I was sick of replacing them and buying new for him to do the same thing again so I just kept giving him the same dummy with a hole in which he didn’t like. After a while he had no interest in a dodi whatsoever.

I always pictured when the time came to wean Kory off his dodi that it would be hard work, there would be lots of tears and tantrums but there was honestly none of that and I was pleasantly surprised when Kory didn’t want or need a dodi anymore. The whole process was a lot easier than we could have ever imagined.

Even if it wasn’t intentional!

Kory hasn’t had a dummy now since around the age of 1 years old and he’s now nearly 22 months old so he’s gone almost a full year without a dummy! Go Kory!

Birthday party

A little while ago we took Kory to his friend’s birthday party. It was the first birthday party Kory had ever been invited to and had ever attended so we was a little curious as to how he would behave whilst we was there…

As soon as we walked into the party Kory seen all of the balloons, the decorations, all of the other children, the bouncy castle and let go of my hand immediately and that was that, he was off! He got himself a balloon, he was showing it to everyone, he was running around after the other children, climbing on and off the bouncy castle and once the buffet had been opened even helped himself to some! I don’t think he came back over to sit with us once during the whole party.

He absolutely loved it!

It’s so bittersweet watching your child grow up, it seems like it was just two minutes ago when he was my tiny bottle feeding little baby and now he’s grown into this independent little boy who gets invited to parties!

Slow down time please!!

Kiddylicious review

I was so pleased when the lovely people at Kiddylicious agreed to send me a range of their healthy snacks to try with Kory. I always like to find new and exciting things to try with Kory and these Kiddylicious snacks were no exception!

As soon as we received our Kiddylicious package, me and Kory excitedly ripped it open and found the following tasty snacks:

Soft Biscotti:

This fab tasting snack is available in two flavours, apple and banana and we were lucky enough to receive one of each! This snack is perfect for when you’re on-the-go. Over the weekend we travelled down to Wales in the car and these snacks were great for keeping Kory happy whilst on our journey. Soft Biscotti are suitable for little ones aged 7 months and older or those sitting independently. These snacks include no added salt, no artificial flavours, colours or artificial preservatives.

They are available to buy from Sainsbury’s, Boots, Amazon and Ocado and cost £2.20 a box. Each box contains 6 yummy twin packs.

Mini Cheesy Stars:

These Mini Cheesy Stars are fun, savoury, delicious, star-shaped crackers that are perfect for small hands. They are available in two tasty flavours: original and tomato. Mini Cheesy Stars are oven-baked rather than fried and contain 40% real Gouda cheese. They contain no artificial ingredients and are gluten and nut free. As with all Kiddylicious products, Mini Cheesy Stars are available in portion-controlled packs and are suitable for children 12 months and above.

This snack can be purchased from Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Amazon and costs 60p for a single pack or £2.00 for a multi-pack. I think it’s great that Kiddylicious is donating 6p to the Make-A-Wish UK charity from each of these packs sold. (Make-A-Wish UK is a charity that supports children and young people living with life-threatening conditions.)

Oaty Porridge:

Lastly, we received 2 cartons of Kiddylicious’s Oaty Porridge which is from their Little Bistro range. It is made with wholegrain oats and fruit purée and it is nutritionally balanced for little ones 6 months plus. Their Oaty Porridge is the first range of porridge suitable for children with or without dairy allergy. The porridge is available in two yummy flavours: banana (made with milk) and blueberry (dairy free) Kory loved both! Neither flavour contains anything artificial or any added salt and both are fortified with vitamins and minerals making them a great breakfast for your little one.

Each resealable carton contains two to three yummy servings. The Kiddylicious Little Bistro Oaty Porridge is available to buy from Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Amazon and costs £1.60.

Well thank you for reading my Kiddylicious review, if you would like any more information, here is the link to the Kiddylicious website:

http://www.kiddylicious.co.uk

Please note, I recieved these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.

What the hell just happened?

Yesterday I woke up with every intention of having lovely day.

Outside the weather was glorious and lately me and Kory have been enjoying ourselves, we’ve spending a great deal of time outdoors making the most of the nice weather (Kory loves the outdoors) and just generally having a pleasant time together.

I thought today was just going to be like any other day. Why would it be any different?

I couldn’t have been more wrong!

From the second Kory woke up he was immediately dissatisfied with everything and I knew that I was in for a sh!t storm of a day despite the sun shining outside. Whenever a day starts with a tantrum, it’s usually all down hill from here.

First of all, he wasn’t happy that I said ‘good morning’ to him. Then he wasn’t happy with what I’d made him for breakfast. After that he wasn’t happy with what I’d put on the tv for him, he didn’t want to get dressed and he didn’t want me to leave the room, put him down or do anything at all.

This was all before 8:00am.

Kory was kicking and screaming but I decided to get us ready anyway. Despite his terrible mood I decided I was going to take him to play group. In my head, I thought this passes an hour for us, it gets me out of the house, it’s a change of scenery for us both and this could be the perfect distraction for Kory as he usually really enjoys play group. I was just willing to try anything at this point.

Oh boy.

Kory did not like play group that day. He didn’t want to play with the toys, then when it was time to put the toys away he didn’t want to put them away, he wanted to play with them, he didn’t want to join in with any of the sing songs, he wasn’t listening to anything I or anyone else said and was just a total nightmare. That hour spent at play group had to be the longest hour of my life. Not only that but I was so embarrassed! The lady who runs the play group also happens to be the nursery manager at the nursery in which Kory will be starting in September.

What must she have thought!

After play group things did not improve for me. Walking home I was already run ragged and felt ashamed of Kory’s behaviour and Kory thought this was the perfect time to throw yet another tantrum. All because he wanted to walk in the opposite direction from home and I told him ‘no, it was home time.’ He threw himself back on the concrete floor screaming and refused to walk or even get up so I had no choice but to carry him all the way home, which luckily for me is only up the road.

When we got home I made Kory take a nap, call it wishful thinking but I was hoping (and praying!) that this time when he woke he would be in a much better mood. If this failed, I did not know how I was going to make it through the rest of the day. When he finally gave in and fell asleep, I spent this time just thinking to myself.

‘What the hell just happened?’

Kory is no angel but in his 21 months of being here he has NEVER behaved like that before. It took me by complete surprise and I didn’t know what to do, I just tried to handle it the best way I could. I suppose that’s all any of us can do.

If this is the start of the dreaded terrible twos then god help me because I am not hoping for another day like that any time soon.

Another lonely mum

Since becoming a mum I’ve always noticed talk about how lonely and isolating motherhood can feel. I’ve read about it online and heard it on the tv but I have never really shared my thoughts on the topic.

But I think I should now.

I don’t know if I’ve been surpressing these feelings of loneliness because I didn’t want to upset myself or because I didn’t want to talk about it but I can say i’ve never felt this lonely before and lately i’ve been feeling more lonely than ever.

The reason I’ve chose to write this post is to try and bring mums together, to share with you all that feeling lonely happens to so many of us once we become parents, to make mums aware that there are so many other lonely mums out there and to say that I too am just another lonely mum as well.

So, whilst we’re being honest. I am going to share with you my story of loneliness in motherhood.

I have always been someone who enjoys their own company. I’ve never cared about being popular or fitting in, even at school this never bothered me. Growing up, I could count my friends on one hand. 1 of them being my mum, 1 being my partner, another being my sister and the remaining 2 are my close friends. I have always been the same. I have never needed lots of friends in my life in order to be happy.

But you do need some friends.

Life without having someone to talk to is crap. This is something I never really realised until I became a stay at home mum. My partner went back to work, my mum was at work and my friends were all busy with work whilst I was home alone with Kory. I did try taking Kory to play groups which was a big deal for me as I don’t like taking myself out of my comfort zone but I did it anyway, however I didn’t feel like I really clicked with any of the other mums there. They were all either older than me, had already formed ‘cliques’ or just weren’t interested in speaking to me. Or at least that’s how I felt anyway. Making mum friends is a struggle for me, in fact making any friends is a struggle for me. If me and Kory are bored there is no one I can just ring and ask if they fancy doing something.

I often wonder if I had more friends and more support would I have found motherhood to be so lonely?

I wish I was braver and could just speak to other mums but I just don’t know what to say. I am almost 24, I should be socialising more than ever yet I have spent a good portion of my twenties feeling lonely. Like I say, I do have a small circle of friends, it’s just not always easy to arrange plans, it’s hard to find childcare for Kory, work shifts get changed and plans more often than not end up getting cancelled. Kory is going to be starting nursery in September and whilst I’m dreading being the only mum stood by herself in the play ground, I’m going to use this as an opportunity to try and chat to some of the other parents. Maybe make a friend who loves tea and cake as much as I do and someone who doesn’t mind having a good chat. I love Kory more than anything and yes my partner is my best friend but I just don’t want to feel lonely anymore.

I know it’s hard to admit to feeling lonely but maybe if more of us are honest about it and open up about how we feel, it will encourage other lonely mums to speak up too.

If you’re looking for a Mum friend, here I am!

Kirsti, xo

Simply Coconuts Coconut Oil review

First of all I would just like to thank Simply Coconuts for giving me the opportunity to try some of their Simply Coconuts Coconut Oil.

The coconut oil is a natural, organic moisturiser made from coconutty goodness for your babies skin. It can be used from head to toe, for nappy rash and even cradle cap! It’s great for moisturising babies sensitive skin after bath time too!

Over the weekend, we experienced some very hot weather and after just receiving my pot of Simply Coconuts Coconut Oil, I thought this would be the perfect time to put the coconut oil to the test. I tried the oil on Kory and it worked amazingly at keeping Kory’s skin hydrated! As well as receiving my pot of Simply Coconuts Coconut Oil, I also received a list of their top tips on how to use it and thought I would share them with you:

1.) If the oil turns into liquid, simply pop it in the fridge to turn it back solid again.

2.) Use the oil to give baby a massage after bath time. To relax and help send them to sleep.

3.) To treat cradle cap, put a little bit of the oil directly onto baby’s scalp, leave for 20 minutes and then brush through with a soft brush.

4.) If your little one has dry irritated skin, relieve discomfort by applying the coconut oil to the affected areas.

5.) Use your little pot of Coconut Oil as a daily moisturiser from head to toe to keep your little one super soft and super happy.

The Simply Coconuts Coconut Oil is available to buy from the Simply Coconuts website and costs £7.95 for a large pot, they also sell a Simply Coconuts Coconut Oil for mums too as well as a range of their other Simply Coconuts products.

http://www.simplycoconuts.co.uk

If you decide to purchase any of their products, leave a comment on any of their social media pages or tag them, let them know and as a thank you, Simply Coconuts will give you a discount code for your next order. Simply Coconuts can be contacted on the following platforms:

Twitter: @simply_coconuts

Facebook: simplycoconuts1

Instagram: @simplycoconuts1

Well that’s all from me for now, I hope you enjoyed reading my review on the Simply Coconuts Coconut Oil!

Please note, I recieved this product in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.

To all the mums who feel like they got ‘nothing’ done today

At the end of the day, when the kids are finally in bed, you may look around at your untidy house, your ever growing to-do-list that doesn’t seem to get any shorter, only longer, and yourself who may not have even got dressed and feel like you got nothing done today. Even after another tiring day of being a parent, consisting of nappy changes, of making sure your little ones are fed, watered, cleaned, dressed, played with, nurtured and loved!

Here’s the thing.

Your children don’t care about how tidy the house is, your incomplete to-do-list or if you got ‘nothing’ done today and neither should you. When they look at you they see a mum who gives them her all. A mum who makes them breakfast every morning and reads them a story before bed every night, a mum who dresses them every single day, who cleans up every spill and re dresses them again. A mum who can make everything feel better just by cuddling them. They love your time together and they love when you laugh and play with them because these are the things that truly matter, these are the things that are going to strengthen your bond, your love and help your child to grow.

So, if after another beautiful, tiring day of being a parent is ‘all’ you got done today then don’t worry, you’ve got more done today than you think.

The days of NICU

I’ll never forget the time that Kory spent in the NICU. He spent two whole weeks in the hospital after being born and it was hard.

It was hard seeing my newborn baby so small with all these wires and tubes but it was even harder leaving him every night to go home to an empty moses basket, wondering when the day would come when I would be able to bring him home with me.

It was the worst experience of my life but I also have a lot to be thankful for. If it wasn’t for the staff on the NICU, who knows where my little boy would be now.

Tips for looking after kids when you’re sick

Until recently, I hadn’t realised that one of the hardest parts of parenting is trying to look after kids when you yourself are sick.

It’s hard work but sometimes we have no other option.

The problem is that whenever you’re sick, you’re usually just advised by others to ‘rest’ and ‘take it easy’, which makes sense as resting is essential in order to try and get yourself feeling better again. However, when you’re a parent, I don’t need to tell you that resting is not so simple, whether you’re feeling sick or not. Resting and taking it easy do not go hand in hand with looking after children.

So, I thought I would share with you some of the things that helped me to take care of my child whilst I was sick.

1.) Television. Television distracts kids long enough to give you some time to sit down. Kory likes to watch CBeebies but his favourite movie right now is Frozen, so I stuck that on for him and that gave me an hour or so to try and relax. If you usually have TV boundaries in place (limiting tv time for example) then don’t feel guilty to bend the rules whilst you’re sick. You can always get back into a routine once you’re feeling better again.

2.) Housework. Cleaning the house does not need to be a priority whilst you’re sick. If like me, you’re a tidy person and hate any sort of mess, just try to remind yourself that the housework can wait until you’re feeling better again. When I was sick I tried my best to clean the house but I was just making myself feel worse and in all honesty, I wasn’t even doing that good of a job due to feeling sick anyway. If the nappies are changed and the kids are fed and watered then you’ve already done enough.

3.) Duvet day. Wrap yourself up in a duvet on the couch, put some toys out on the floor and just let the kids play. What I did was I wrapped myself up on the couch and let Kory play with all of his toys on the living room floor. I could easily keep my eye on him and he could see me too. Kory was totally okay with this, he had pretty much every single toy he owned all over the living room and it meant I was also able to lie down and rest at the same time.

4.) Ipad. Okay, so I know not all parents agree with giving their children iPads and that’s fine, I honestly thought I was going to be one of those parents too before I became a mum for the first time. ‘My child will never have an ipad’ were my famous last words. Kory doesn’t spend all day every day on his, he still loves to play with toys, play outside and read books but the iPad is a god send when it comes to keeping him occupied whilst I’m trying to do the housework and the same goes for when I’m feeling sick. Keeping him happy meant that I had a chance to chill and hey, no-one got hurt.

5.) Hibernate. Choose a room that is both comfy and convenient, get all of your medicines, drinks and anything else you may need nearby and don’t move. You’ll need a comfy place to lie and the kids will need toys, books, snacks and anything else to keep them entertained. This will save you from having to keep getting up and hopefully give you some time to relax.

Well, those are all of my tips. I hope you too find them to be helpful. And just try to remember that when you’re feeling sick, looking after yourself and looking after your kids are all that matter.

What’s your top tips for looking after kids when you’re sick?