10 things I’ve Learned Living with a Teenager

I’ve been living with a teenager for 7 months now, since my son turned 13 last September I’ve learnt a few things about living with him. I’m not saying he’s an animal or anything like that but he has changed, he has become stroppier and lazier.

Here are a few things that I have learnt so far and I am sure that there will be plenty more to come.

  1. He has suddenly grown in height ways. Yes, I know we all grow but he has shot up immensely. He always had a slow growth and I could get away with buying him clothes that were often a year group below his age. He has literally grown a whole foot in 6 months. Looking back at photos taken over the year, I can see the big change.
  2. He has begun to roll his eyes a lot and has started to make these weird grunting noises. They are kind of noises that a dog would make and he always scowls when doing them. His younger siblings think that it is hilarious and often mimic him.
  3. Wardrobes no longer exist. Clothes are strewn across the bedroom floor or laid across the bottom of the bed. When I ask him to put his clothes away, he swings his arms around grabbing the odd material as he does and pushes them onto the nearest shelf. Throwing clothes into a space in the cupboard in my eyes is not putting them away. Folding them or hanging them is.
  4. Spots. They have come from nowhere. My bathroom cabinet used to be full of Matey bubble bath and lush bombs, now it has been over taken with spot cream and facial washes. In fact it got quite bad that we had to make an appointment with the doctor to get some stronger cream. I am happy to point out though that it has cleared up lovely. His skin is now clear and glowing, but not from grease.
  5. Girls. OMG. How many girlfriends does one boy want.
  6. Let me take a selfie. He takes selfies all the time and is forever sharing them over snap chat or twitter. I’m scared to leave my phone out as the album quickly becomes filled up with selfies.
  7. Online gaming. This boy can literally sit alone in his bedroom, light out, all day playing on his playstation (if allowed that is!) When he’s not on his PS4 he has his phone stuck in his hands constantly playing games or texting friends.
  8. Bulking up. As he is now aware of girls, my son seems to think that he will get more attention from them if he has muscles. I catch him using the weights in the bedroom or using the pull up bar in the garden. After a stern talk to him he has realised that he doesn’t need muscles to be popular and is now enjoying keeping fit by running, swimming and parkour.
  9. Not too interested in family time anymore. Anywhere we go he is always 5 step behind, pretending not to be with his parents and siblings. Everything is embarrassing. It’s hard to get him to sit and watch TV with us anymore.
  10. Clothes have to be a name, high street is longer acceptable. He now wants to wear high branded clothes, clothes that cost a small fortune. Oh and he isn’t too keen on wearing a coat anymore either. Coats are for wimps, don’t you know?

I know teenagers go through a lot of changes, the process of becoming an adult. They are just as confused with their behaviour as we are.

There is a light at the end of the teenage tunnel. He has just come in to the living room and said ‘Hi’ and smiled 🙂

Learning to Ride a Bike

Over the past couple of weeks, my son Oliver who is 2 has been learning to ride his bike with stabilisers. Oliver is quite small for his age, with little legs so it has only been lately that he has been able to reach the pedals.

Oliver has a balance bike and also a scuttle bug which he is very good on, but as he has grown his legs are just a little too big to be running along and pushing himself so we dug out his older brothers first bike for him to have a go on.

The bike is very special, it was bought 9  years ago for his eldest brother Jak for his first bike and then it was passed down to Joseph, who also learnt to ride on it and now it is Oliver’s turn to learn to ride on the same bike. It’s lasted well throughout the years as we have looked after it, it has very little rust and still looks new. We have lowered down the handle bars and seat as far down as it can go so that Oliver’s feet can now reach the pedals as they go all the way round.

At first Oliver turned the pedals with his feet backwards but he soon learnt that it wasn’t going to get anywhere by doing that so with a bit of guidance on how to push the pedal he was off, slowly, very slowly but he was definitely making ground.

 

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First time

Last weekend I took him on his bike to the local shop which is only about 5 minutes walk away, it took us about 20 minutes to get there and back but we made it with only one little accident, and after a little magic kiss on the knee he was soon back on and riding his bike.

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Oliver does tend to not look where he his going as he is concentrating on pushing the pedals with his feet, he keeps looking down and not forward but he is learning fast. He understands that he needs to turn the handle bars when he is close to a hedge and also not to go near to kerb. As he cycles along he says to himself  ‘Ooh there is a fence there, must turn away, I have to turn my bike’ Bless him!

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Are you teaching your child to ride a bike? How are you getting on?

Thank you for reading my post 🙂

 

My Cat Pip App Review for ipad

If your child loves doing puzzles they are going to love this new app (available for download on the ipad only) The app features a massive 24 puzzles!

My Cat Pip is a charming new app based on the little black card character cat created by Karen Bendy and published by Over the Moon Ltd. My Cat Pip is the story of a mischievous and adventurous little black cat and his friends.

Game Features:

  • 24 different themed jigsaws
  • 3 different levels to suit abilities and age on each jigsaw
  • 1400 object to be found within the puzzles
  • Fun scenes including the park, farm, space and circus
  • 24 sticker backgrounds to be used for picture making
  • 240 stickers to be unlocked
  • Creates good hand to eye co-ordination

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When you download the app the first thing you do is to choose a fun character to go set up your profile, four profiles can be made up each with a different name and character. Once your profile is created then you can start playing the game. Each puzzle has 3 different difficulty levels easy, normal and hard, each level changes the number and size of the jigsaw pieces and the number of hidden items you need to find. On the easy level, which is the one that my 2 year old played on, there is 9 pieces to the puzzle and once the puzzle is completed you need to find 2 hidden objects with in the puzzle, once found you are rewarded with a sticker that you can place onto a scene to make a picture. Once you have finished with sticking your chosen stickers down on to the scene you can take a photo of it which will be saved to your camera roll ready to be shared with friends.

The more puzzles you complete, the more scenes you can unlock and the more stickers you can collect. Each puzzle has a time limit on it, the harder the level the shorter the time.

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The puzzles can be put together by a simple touch and drag motion with the finger. The game is colourful with lots of fun characters and can be played by all ages, even the hardest of puzzles can be enjoyed by older children/adults. My youngest loves fitting the puzzles together but can sometimes get quite upset when the time runs out on him as it is quite short, even i had trouble finishing puzzles within the time limit. Children love to be rewarded with stickers and this is Oliver’s favourite part of the game as he likes to make funny pictures with the characters.

My Cat Pip can help develop problem solving skills, children have to figure out how to fit the shape and picture together.

The app cost ÂŁ1.99 and is currently only available on the ipad to download

We was provided with the app for the purpose of this review, opinions and words are my own

 

 

The Winter Potty List with Growing Up Milk

Winter is definitely upon us, the mornings are chilly and cold and it has been getting darker alot earlier. As it is a lot colder now we find it not so easy to spend lengthy amounts of time outside in the fresh air.

From October to April, the sun is at the wrong angle for our bodies and the bodies of our little ones to make the vitamin D we need. This can have an impact on your toddler’s health, as vitamin D plays an important role in the development of little ones’ bones and teeth. I wrote about Vitamin D a while back, you can read about it here. As we are spending less time outside because of the weather and also because the sun is at the wrong angle we need find ways to top up our toddler’s diet with Vitamin D during this time.

Why not Play chef on a rainy day and design funny faces for Fisherman’s Jackets (jacket potato with tuna). Not only is this a fun activity for you and your little one to enjoy together, but the final product is also a good source of vitamin D

Relax and curl up watching a movie, with a beaker of Growing Up Milk for your little one and a hot drink for mum. Just two 150ml beakers a day of Growing Up Milk provides 73% of toddlers’ daily dietary vitamin D recommendation

Other sources of dietary vitamin D include fortified cereals, eggs and oily fish. The Department of Health also recommends that all children aged six months to five years receive vitamin D drops of at least 7mcg, in order to meet their daily requirement

My son is 27 months old and still enjoys 2 beakers of Growing Up Milk a day, of which he drinks first thing in the morning after his cereal and one just after dinner of the evening. Drinking 2 150ml beakers of Growing Up Milk a day gives him 73% of the daily recommended requirement. I want to make sure that he has strong and healthy bones and teeth as this is important to his growth and development and he also really likes the taste of the milk and prefers it to drinking cows milk.

The guys over at Growing Up Milk  asked parents to send in their suggestions of things to do with a toddler over the winter months. After looking through all the great entries, they have created a Winter Potty List of 24 must-do activities for you and your little one to enjoy, including a few vitamin D inspired games.

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I think taking part in the Winter Potty List will be lots of fun and it will also keep us, as well as our children, active and healthy.

Scrambled eggs, canned Tuna, Salmon, Canned Sardines and Chicken are all ideal foods to get Vitamin D from.

Will you be joining in? What would you add to the list?

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Working it out

Last week I bought Oliver a wooden number puzzle with the numbers 1-10 on it for 99p from one if the cheap stores in our local shopping centre. Oliver loves saying his numbers and is always counting, when I say 1 he will say 2 and then I say 3 and he replies with 4 and so on.
When we are at the park he always counts the steps up to the slide and then when he goes down the slide he says 4,3,2,1 and off he goes.

I thought he would like the puzzle but never knew how much until today, I gave him a number and said
“Where does the number 2 go?”
He took it off of me and sat looking at the numbers scanning his eyes over them until he clocked the number 2, he placed it in the right place
“There it go!” He says.
He struggled at first with the numbers 6 and 9 but soon got the hang of turning them around to fit them in
“Turn around, wrong way!” He says.
As soon as all of the numbers are in the correct place he tips it up and starts again, he sat and played with the puzzle for a good hour. Wherever he went he took it with him and told me
“Not working” when he couldn’t find all the pieces.

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I love his concentration face when he is trying hard the think, he sticks the top of his tongue out of his mouth, it must work as he got it right every single time.

Goodnight my little 1 year old

As I pear over the top of your cot and look down at your cute little angelic face, I hold your chubby little hand and whisper
“Goodnight my little one year old”
Tonight will be last ever night you will go to sleep as a one year old, For tomorrow (at 11:10 to be precise) you will 2 years old!

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Every second I spend with you, I smile, I adore every bone in your body and I love to be close to you.

You are my past, my present and my future

This year you have learnt to walk, run, climb, talk, feed yourself, count, sing songs, draw, play alongside your big brothers and go to bed by yourself.

So as I lean over into your cot, I gently kiss your forehead and say
“Goodnight little man”
My last time to you as a one year old!

I love you Oliver

Happy birthday

Discovery Basket Heuristic Play

Oliver is now 22 months old and spending more and more time playing independently, he likes to explore new things and loves to play with my tins of food from my kitchen cupboard, stacking them up and rolling them around the floor.

Heuristic Play is exploring the properties of real objects as opposed to toys.

I set up a box for Oliver to explore filled with natural manmade  objects:

  • A metal sieve
  • A wooden spoon
  • A whisk
  • A hairbrush
  • A cardboard tube
  • A glove
  • A rubber cup
  • A piece of felt

He sat and played on his won for ages, exploring the tube by looking through it, putting objects into his sieve and stirring it around with the spoon and brushing his hair with the hairbrush.

I observed him for 5 minutes and noted down the things that he did

  • Stirring objects around in the sieve with the spoon and then changing to the whisk
  • Shouting down the tube
  • Putting the fabric on his head
  • He put his hand inside the glove, then he put his foot inside it, then he wrapped it around his neck as if it was a scarf

I introduced some pasta twists and a paintbrush half way through

  • First He sat and tasted the pasta
  • He brushed his face with the paintbrush then started painting the fabric
  • He held the paintbrush in one hand and the spoon in the other making circular motions with them on the floor
  • He wipes his hands on the felt using it as a towel
  • He put everything back into the sieve and mixes them around

I have recently been playing Silly Soup with Oliver and his big brother Joseph, introducing names of things and sounds.

Observing Oliver during his treasure basket play showed me that he has remembered about the silly soup as he done the same actions with the sieve and other objects. He was silent throughout his 5 minutes play but normally he is really loud, talking and singing away to himself.

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Oliver has objects stored in a box and he chooses to pick them up and play with them now over his toys, i love watching him explore them. I add new items to the box to keep him interested and each time he plays with them he learns new things to do each time.