I hope the summer is treating you well with lots of sunshine and smiles!
Can you tell I’m in a good mood? Well, I’ve got a few bits of good news to kick things off.
Firstly, it seems the dairy free diet is taking effect- yipee!. Although we’re not completely colic free, NW’s been a lot easier to settle and the screaming and pain has been down to an hour or less a night, which is amazing!
The only day we had any trouble was the day I couldn’t resist an ice cream from my favourite shop in Beddgelert (check it out if your ever in the area). Anyway, that night he was in pain again, which suggests we we’re on the right track. Good news is I’m also getting into my soya milkshakes so this dairy free aint all bad! Yet again, thank you all for your advice.
A fantastic consequence of this improvement is that he’s hit that amazing milestone all mum’s dream of – he slept through the night! Granted, in reality he only slept for about 5 and a half hours, but he went to sleep at midnight and woke up in daylight, which is good enough for me. Unfortunately, DW decided to wake at 4am so it wasn’t exactly an unbroken night, but it really feels as if we are turning a corner.
And there’s been another magical first too – baby NW smiled for the first time! I’d taken the boys to see the playgroup DW will be joining in September, and the little girls wanted to see the baby. I knelt to they could see him, and he flashed them (and his mummy) the biggest gummy beauty! I think I have a heart breaker on my hands. 🙂
Anyway, back to my topic of last week, the question of how to entertain a toddler.
When I embarked on the journey of motherhood, I had this golden vision of long days in the warm sunshine and fresh air picking berries and gathering food with my kids. We’ve had the chance to do a bit of this recently, as discussed last week, but unfortunately, living in North Wales as I do, sunshine isn’t something you can always bank on.
So, what to do with DW on one of our many rainy days?
The easiest thing to do, of course, is reach for the remote control, and it’s a temptation I can’t pretend to be immune to, but I feel really guilty for sedating him with telly so I’m making a concerted effort to lessen our dependence on the goggle box.
Next easiest is to grab a colouring book and some crayons. DW’s happy enough colouring, and its relatively mess free so he can be left doing it while I see to/comfort NW, prepare dinner, put a load of washing on, blah blah blah!
However, he’s much happier if I go one step further and let him do some painting. It’s fortunate that I’m not particularly houseproud; painting with DW would be a somewhat stressful experience if I were! I do love to see him get creative though, and I was really proud the other day when he painted something rather than just dabbing paint on a page……. and here is DW’s crocodile!
Quite good I think, although I am, of course, biased!
We’ve tried other crafty things, such as making salt dough decorations (salt dough recipe), and making plasticine models. I’ve bought a bumper pack of crafty stuff; pipe cleaners, googly eyes etc so I’m ready to go, all I need now is inspiration. I thought this blog looks interesting http://belladia.typepad.com/crafty_crow/ , but I’d love to hear any recommendations you have.
Apart from crafts, we’ve tried cooking together, but so far this hasn’t been a massive success. We’ve made flapjacks and the classic corn flake cakes, but to be honest, DW looses interest quite quickly. Either that or I end up taking over when ingredients end up all over the kitchen, given to the dogs or get eaten raw.
My other rainy day fallback is, of course, toys!
Now, this is where I have to confess to a bit of an addiction. DW has the usual array of plastic toy trucks, building blocks etc, but his favourites and most definitely mine are his growing collection of Plan Toys toys. I’ve lost count of how many we have; some might say too many (OH for example) but I say not enough!
I was introduced to Plan Toys through Babi Pur, and I was impressed straight away by how much imagination goes into their products. Not some singing, dancing plastic lumps that teach children nothing more than how to press a button are these. They are proper, well crafted and beautifully designed toys that encourage children to interact with them in creative play that is lovely to watch. Not only that, but they look fab in your home too!
My favourites must be the solid drum (which makes an amazing sound!), the dancing alligator and the walking elephant. Do you have any Plan Toys, and if so which are your favourites? I may well find myself checking them out!
But as we’ve found with so many of the Plan Toys we have, it was actually really easy to put together, and it’s lovely.
The house is easy to access as the roof comes off and the sides are open so little hands can get in, or you can add an extention! In many ways, it’s really simple, but I love little details like the hooks above the fireplace for hanging pots, and the really cute furniture.
DW’s favourite bit (and mine tbh) is the little porch with raised bed where little man gets to tend to the ‘blodau’ (welsh for flowers).
I think my next investment will have to be the Plan Toys farm animals . DW is like most two year old obsessed with animals and their noises so I’m sure he’ll love this. Until then, I’ll enjoy watching him play with the farmer and his wife, and enjoy all the compliments we get from people who come round and fall in love with it!
Anyway, before I go, I thought you’d be glad to hear that OH has braved the shed and detonated our elderlower bombs. Poor man was terrified (I can’t say I blame him) and was fully decked out in body armour complete with chainsaw helmet to face the task.
Thankfully, none of them exploded on him, but it sounded like there was a shooting range in our garden, and the process could have been dodgy for the weak hearted! Anyway, I now have a different and hopefully less dangerous recipe bubbling away.
So, from sunny Wales it’s goodbye from me, or, as we say here: hwyl fawr!