time flies when you're being a mum

How I've been learning to face them and move on...

20 Mar, 2018

On Sunday I sat down to write. I wanted to document a funny week and it’s turned into a 2-parter. This one is all about facing your fears and how I do it/hope to do it.

Mike is away in Tanzania. He’s been facing his own fear of heights as he climbed Kilimanjaro (read his story here) for Team Kenya (who are changing lives through empowering and educating women). Thankfully he’s done it and is safely back down. He gets home on tomorrow morning. Yey!

It’s also my Birthday today! It doesn’t feel much like it…It was just Reuben and me, and after the initial flurry of present opening (I didn’t open a single one!) it was back to business as usual!

facing your fear

Reuben decided today was the day to address the issue of not being allowed to play on the switch on the way to school, and he discussed it for quite some time coming to the conclusion I’m a horrible person. So fun.

(If you’d like to do me a Birthday Favour please fill in this! < More info at the bottom.) (more…)

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21 Aug, 2014

I experienced a bit of a revelation the other day when buying a croissant with jam here in Portugal…Jelly to American’s is the same as our Jam! I literally thought if we ordered the Croissant with Jelly, we’d get, well, a croissant with jelly. But no, the waitress assured me it would be jam. So, all these years I had assumed the famous America delicacy of the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich was made with actual jelly!! What a dork! I know you all know this but I didn’t. And, now I understand Claire’s invention; her Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie recipe is a classic American combination…it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in cookie form! What a genius.

Without further ado I bring you…

Cookie Recipe – Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Guest post from Claire Manby

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Recipe - a classic American combination (peanut butter and jelly) in a cookie! And, easy to make with kids: http://mumsdays.com/cookie-recipe-peanut-butter/

Peanut butter and jelly (jam!) cookies

This cookie recipe was born out of a need to bake biscuits but not enough butter in the house…hence the peanut butter! They are really easy to make and I have made them several times with George, and my littler helper was ever present when I made these to share with you today.

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Recipe - a classic American combination (peanut butter and jelly) in a cookie! And, easy to make with kids: http://mumsdays.com/cookie-recipe-peanut-butter/

Our official household biscuit and cake sampler testing today’s mix.

Ingredients

So, first off, have a good rummage in your cupboards or nip to the shop and assemble your ingredients for this cookie recipe;

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Recipe - a classic American combination (peanut butter and jelly) in a cookie! And, easy to make with kids: http://mumsdays.com/cookie-recipe-peanut-butter/

  • 50g (2oz) Softened Butter
  • 50g (2oz) Crunchy Peanut Butter (you can use smooth but the nutty bits are nice in the cookies also try and get one with no added sugar)
  • 50g (2oz) Caster Sugar
  • 150g (5oz) Self Raising Flour
  • Jam of your choice
  • 50g (2oz) Icing Sugar (optional)
  • Lemon Juice (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4 and lightly grease two baking trays.

2. Add your Butter, Peanut Butter and Caster Sugar to your bowl and beat together. I would suggest using a wooden spoon and elbow grease as an electric whisk breaks down the pieces of nuts.

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Recipe - a classic American combination (peanut butter and jelly) in a cookie! And, easy to make with kids: http://mumsdays.com/cookie-recipe-peanut-butter/

3. Add your flour (no need to sieve) and mix with your spoon until your mixture looks a bit like large breadcrumbs.

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Recipe - a classic American combination (peanut butter and jelly) in a cookie! And, easy to make with kids: http://mumsdays.com/cookie-recipe-peanut-butter/

4. Add a couple of tablespoons on water and bring the dough together with your hand till it forms a ball, adding more water if necessary. Roll the dough into 16 balls and squash them slightly flat with your hands before placing on your baking tray.

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Recipe - a classic American combination (peanut butter and jelly) in a cookie! And, easy to make with kids: http://mumsdays.com/cookie-recipe-peanut-butter/

5. You now need to make a hole in your cookies for your Jam. I use the rounded end of my teaspoon and wiggle it about to make the whole bigger. You’ll need to improvise with what you can find in your kitchen or use your finger. Don’t make the hole all the way through just about half way down.

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Recipe - a classic American combination (peanut butter and jelly) in a cookie! And, easy to make with kids: http://mumsdays.com/cookie-recipe-peanut-butter/

6. Once the holes are made fill them with your Jam but try not to get it on the sides of the cookie as it will burn slightly.

7. Bake them for 15 -20 minutes until pale golden in colour. Remove them from the tray and cool on a wire rack.

8. You can then leave them as they are but I like to add some icing as I think it makes them look prettier. Measure your icing sugar in to a bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of water. I also add some lemon juice as I think this improves the flavour of the icing. You want it to be quite runny as you need to drizzle it all over your cookies. I place kitchen towel under my cooling rack and can then drizzle away without a ton of mess or the icing pooling around the bottom of the biscuit (which is what happens if you do it on a plate).

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Recipe - a classic American combination (peanut butter and jelly) in a cookie! And, easy to make with kids: http://mumsdays.com/cookie-recipe-peanut-butter/

The finished article, enjoy with a cuppa and friends.

I’ve also made these with almond butter and flaked almonds as well as the icing on top with Cherry jam which gave them a bit of a bakewell tart feel.

Thank you Claire!

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Recipe - a classic American combination (peanut butter and jelly) in a cookie! And, easy to make with kids: http://mumsdays.com/cookie-recipe-peanut-butter/

Claire is 32 and lives in the lovely county of Suffolk. She shares her home with her other half, Ian, a London Firefighter, her gorgeous 2 ½ year old son, George, and their rescue dog, Larry.

She has a passion for doing makes her happy; cooking and baking; knitting and crafting; and she’s also a bookworm! I’m the youngest member by quite a way of our local WI, I’m a big animal lover especially Dogs and Horses and we’re out most days enjoying the countryside that we live in.

Of being a mums Claire says “Being a Mum has changed my life dramatically. George has meant I get a lot less sleep, and my patience tested daily. I cry at the most ridiculous things and have a whole new world of world of worry but he has also brought me unimaginable amounts joy and love.”

Read Claire’s childbirth story here!

 

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Guest post from Sarah Boud

20 Aug, 2014

Having recently been through this with one gorgeous girl, Sarah is currently tackling the joys of potty training with her second, Eliza! She has kindly written up her wisdom to share with us. My approach to potty training thus far has been denial. But as we’ve just had the big T.W.O. it’s time to stop pretending. This sh*t is getting real. Literally.

Potty training from Sarah Boud

Potty training can be quite a stressful time for a lot of parents, but it’s the last big hurdle from baby to child.

How do you know when your child is ready? Well, they’ll tell you! They’ll start pointing at the toilet, watching what you’re doing, pulling down or taking off their nappies. The big thing is don’t rush it. It can take much longer if you do. Huggies has come up with a list of signs of readiness to potty train and your child needs to be doing at least three:

  1. Your child stays dry for two hours or more at a time, or is dry after a daytime nap.
  2. Your child tells you in words or by behaviour that wearing a wet nappy is uncomfortable, and needs changing.
  3. Your child asks to use the potty or the toilet.
  4. You usually know when your child is likely to have a poo.
  5. Your child asks to wear potty training pants or normal underwear.
  6. Your child can understand and follow simple instructions, like ‘bring me the potty, please’.
  7. Your child can show in behaviour, or can use words, to let you know they need a wee or a poo.
  8. Your child can put on some of their clothes on unaided.

I think it’s quite useful! You should also trust your gut instinct too!

Boys vs Girls

Boys notoriously take longer than girls. You might expect a girl to start anywhere from 20 months to three years and a boy from two and a bit to four (as a generalisation, obviously there are exceptions.)

What do I need?

Well, pants, kitchen towel and a cleaning spray of some kind! Make sure your child is included when you get their pants as it really helps for them to engage. You can buy potty training pants that have a bit of toweling inside, but we didn’t really get on with them.

Loo seat vs potty

Anything else is up to you. You don’t even need a potty! My eldest went straight to using the loo. We had a fab loo seat that is part of the main toilet seat and folds down. She just wanted to be like me. I’m now potty training my second daughter and she is using the potty, more because she doesn’t want to miss what her sister is doing.

Pull ups?

I found pull up nappies great, but they’re not essential. If you go on lots of trips, you might decide to get a Potette Plus – it’s like a potty with a sanitary pad inside so it soaks up the wee and you can just throw it away.

I’m ready! What next?

Well, that’s where it gets harder. Most children will wee quite happily, but poo takes longer. However, many children are quite regular – both my daughters would poo like clockwork – after breakfast and dinner, so I could just take their nappies off when they said wee and let them run around naked. For some strange reason, children think they need to be completely naked to pee! I found it quite frustrating but it’s another phase.

It’s definitely easier when they’re a bit older because you can ask them to sit on the loo before you go out or eat and they’ll understand. They might not want to, but I just made sure I left plenty of time and said that we weren’t leaving / eating until they had sat on the loo!

I think the most important things to remember are to listen to your child – if they say ‘wee now!’, they can’t hold it in, so go with it!

Don’t rush

They might not be ready and it can make the whole process take longer. My eldest just wasn’t interested until she was two and a half, but then she was dry day and night within two weeks!

Don’t scold

And finally don’t make them feel bad if they have an accident. It will always be at the worst time, but they didn’t do it on purpose!

Good luck!

Sarah, mum to Ava and Eliza

Potty training - 7 key ways to help you prepare! http://mumsdays.com/potty-training/

Thanks Sarah!

You may also like these articles from Sarah… BLW, Bottle Feeding – the Guilt, Baby Bond – when it doesn’t go to plan

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06 Aug, 2014

So, you’re visiting the North East and looking for things to do in Newcastle and the surrounding areas…what should you do? The North East is a pretty big area covering beautiful countrysides, exciting cities and some of the best beaches know to man!

Lots of things to do in Newcastle and the North East with your kids.. A guide made by local mums! http://mumsdays.com/things-to-do-in-newcastle/

image courtesy of North East England

I was recently asked by Amy for ideas for what to do in and around Northumberland as she will be staying at Matfen Hall for a wedding very soon with the kids. The good news is Matfen Hall is beautiful and well worth a look, so it’s a good place to start!

To gather the best ideas, I’ve asked my local Mum friends on the Mums’ Days Facebook Wall

“If you could recommend things to do in Newcastle and the North East with children, what would they be?”

They have come back with loads of great ideas, so I recon if you just pick one or two things to do in Newcastle or the surrounding area based on your budget and how far you want to travel, you will NOT be disappointed. Without further ado, I bring you the North East Mama’s guide to things to do in Newcastle and the North East! (more…)

7 comments.

Guest post from There and Back Again…A Mother's Tale

23 Jul, 2014

My buddy Ang, from there and back again a Mother’s tale, is the bomb when it comes to travelling with toddlers; she and Joss are never in the house! And what makes it all the more amazing is that she does it without a car. I don’t know what I’d do without my car, I’m ashamed to say…

Actually I do know because we went to Brighton a few weeks ago and it involved a lot of sweating. So, after reading Ang’s fantastic post with tips for the no-car family, I asked her if she would rework the post slightly to come at it from my angle…Travelling with toddlers: taking a no-car city break!

If you’re taking a city break with the kids this summer – this is essential reading!!

Travelling with Toddlers – 7 Tips for a no-car city break!

I used to see city breaks as the preserve of the no-kid couple, strolling along taking in the architecture, romantic dinners, museums…sounds lovely doesn’t it?  Now why would you want to introduce travelling with toddlers into that mix?  Well, I want to experience lots of new places with Joss and wouldn’t be put off unless it wasn’t going to be right for her.

Taking a short break to Holland last year has made me feel a lot more relaxed about getting away as a family, you can make it work but you need to relax and soak up that holiday atmosphere to take the stress out of travelling with toddlers.  Hannah asked me to put together some top tips for taking a no-car city break; as car-free living is kinda our ‘thing’ and applies to city breaks too.  So here’s my rundown of 6 tips for travelling with toddlers to the city…

1. Take a kids eye view

Yes there’s so much to see and so much you want to do, but slow down Mum and Dad, is your toddler really going to be interested in that art gallery?  Is your five year old going to be up for that really long walk to a monument?

If you turn your plans for your break around how do you think your kids might like to enjoy the city?  I know that Joss would really enjoy parks and green spaces, and interactive museums so we might plan to do some of those activities amongst some of the more ‘grown up’ ones, taking it at their pace helps them feel comfortable with new places and if you’re relaxed you’ll soak up the atmosphere of the city too, people watching and enjoying the sights.

Travelling and toddlers and babies - Taking a no-car city break. Here are 7 tips for enjoying a city break with your children. Travelling with kids can be fun! http://mumsdays.com/travelling-with-toddlers-city-break/

Lonely Planet and other travel experts often have sections of their website for family breaks so you’re sure to get the lowdown on places to visit when you’re there.  Maybe you could show your kids some photos before you go so that they can get involved in planning and get familiar with the idea that you’re going to be away from home and doing some exciting new things?

2. Think about why you rely on your car!

This is a good exercise in planning, at home do you rely on your car for naptimes?  Is it about having somewhere to store stuff on the move?  Is it about keeping dry whatever the weather?  All of these issues are solveable without a car, you just need to plan for them!  Which takes us to…

3. Planning for getting around

Without your car to store things and transport your ‘stuff’ you’ll need to pack light and plan ahead, easier when they’re passed the newborn stage and need less ‘stuff’ but still possible with careful packing; also consider what you can buy when you’re there so you reduce your load.

We worked out ahead of our trip that we could take a train from the airport into the city, so we didn’t need to bring a car seat.  Joss was little so we took just a sling with us so that we could leave the buggy at home, now she’s older a toddler sized carrier compliments her wanting to walk more.

Travelling and toddlers and babies - Taking a no-car city break. Here are 7 tips for enjoying a city break with your children. Travelling with kids can be fun! http://mumsdays.com/travelling-with-toddlers-city-break/

Are you going somewhere with lots of cobbles and narrow winding streets?  If so you might find it more of a burden to have a pushchair with you; it felt a bit scary leaving all of these things behind, but travelling light in the city can be easier without them.  Subways and Metros are better navigated without a pram as they don’t all have step-free access for example.  Their little legs might get tired easily but again taking life at their pace can really help.

4. Test out public transport at home

We take public transport everywhere but I remember a friend taking a trip to Paris with her family and her boys had never travelled by bus or metro before; it was a headache for her as she was travelling in a strange place and the boys found it really stressful.  If you’re a family that really relies on your car it might help to take a few bus trips around your own town/city to get used to the idea!

Since you’re not driving you’ll get to enjoy the trip too and without being strapped into a car seat the chances are your kids will love the freedom of sitting in the ‘big person seats’.  People talk and interact more on public transport too; without a car you soak up so much more of the local atmosphere, people travelling to their jobs, with their shopping etc, you really see so much more of what local life is like!  Also, try to chat to the locals about getting about without a car as they might have more local tips or know quicker routes about the place.

Travelling and toddlers and babies - Taking a no-car city break. Here are 7 tips for enjoying a city break with your children. Travelling with kids can be fun! http://mumsdays.com/travelling-with-toddlers-city-break/

5. Be prepared in your packing

Kids can walk reallllly slowly! Consequently the whole family really needs decent coats and shoes, you can’t dash about with a toddler and with no car to shield you be well prepared for the weather!  My toddler loves the rain, me, not so much, so I need a good raincoat to keep me dry so I don’t get as bothered by the downpour!

A back pack is also a great idea for the whole family, get older kids to carry their own bits and bobs for the day in smaller packs and leave your family/changing bag at home, they’re really cumbersome and a back pack gives you free hands for navigating the city!

And finally consider finding a local supermarket to stock up on some snacks and drinks, I get crabby when I don’t eat little and often as does Joss so it’s easier to get around with something we can pick at!

6. Take frequent breaks

In keeping with the pace of the little ones make sure to take time out from sightseeing.  I only learned this recently at home, yes you want to get the 2pm bus home and you’re tired, but don’t rush about, chill.

I have learned to take the time to stop for a break before we head back.  This applies to holidays too, you won’t know the bus schedule like at home and the kids might well get frazzled if you’re dashing about, so stop to enjoy a drink or a sit down on a bench somewhere to just catch your breath before you head off again!

7. Take Stock

Most importantly make sure you take stock when you’re there and check that you’re all happy with how the break is going, and try where possible to accommodate your children’s routines; try to bear in mind that it will be different for them to be car-free too!

happy hols folks!

Thanks Ang, these are great tips – I only wish I’d read them before we flew to Brighton!

Are travelling with toddlers to a city this summer? What are you nervous about? Or perhaps your a seasoned city breaker! Do you have any tips to add?!

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