Thursday, 24 July 2014

How To Camp With A Toddler and Two Dogs

Goodness, what A title. Sounds virtually impossible doesn't it? It isn't. Well, it boarders on impossible. But, there's a few perks to the adventure that makes it more than possible. I mean, don't get me wrong - I didn't say 'How To Make Camping with A Toddler and Two Dogs Easy.' Oh no, I never mentioned the word 'easy'. That word never passed my lips. But, hey if it were easy we would all be doing it wouldn't we? Too right. It would appear that only the mildly insane amongst us risk it for a biscuit where this style of family holiday is concerned.
Well, risk it we did. And, guess what? We survived with stories to tell and snapshots in our memories that will last for years. So, no not impossible. Completely possible.

First things first ...

  1. Be Organised
    When it was just the two of us and 1 dog packing the morning that we went really wasn't that difficult nor was it the end of the world. But, trust me do that with a toddler and the kid really will feel like his world is ending. No 18 month old feels happy hanging around on the spot waiting for his parents to spend hours packing tent poles, wet wipes and dog leads into the back of a car that he is desperate to jump into. Don't do it. However, if you do - Best of luck and I'm sure you will learn from your mistake.
    We spent the day before getting ourselves sorted. Trailer packed, car packed, dogs exercised, clothes ironed, cases zipped etc. Everything that you know needs taking sort it the day before. No doubt, the morning of the trip will arrive and you will still find yourself hanging around for an hour or so sorting bits. so, don't add to your stagnant time.
    Oh, by the way. I say 'Be Organised' But, no matter how 'organised' we try to be we are still pathetically 'disorganised' it's untrue. But, we try. Oh, we do try.
  2.  Do A Mini Food Shop Don't be duped into buying everything you possibly need from the local store or even the on site shop. It will work out expensive that way and to be honest, a fair bit of effort. Imagine this - "Dear, I fancy a rich tea with my coffee. Could you pass me them please?" Partner responds somewhat thus - "Yes. sure dear. Let me just pop to the shop to get them for you." No fun. No fun at all.
    If a little frugal like us, get yourself to Lidl, fill some stackable boxes (Great for packing) with your grub and be on your way.
  3. Take Toys (and Another Child If Possible).If your kidlet is anything like mine, they are on the go constantly unless sleeping. So, don't be fooled that the sea air and pretty views will be enough to occupy them for hours on end while you cook, wash up, clean up, peg down and set up.
    We took a box full to the brim of book, cars and animals for Moose to play with and even that wasn't enough. We kept topping it up as we visited places.
    We found that as soon as Moose had company different to ourselves he would be occupied for far longer. I guess, initially the thought of taking numerous children with you camping is a fright. But, I believe in many ways your trip will be made easier by doing so. They would keep each other company and be a different face from yours.
  4. Be Safe Drive safely, pitch your tent safely, enjoy the beach and sea safely, have fun in all that you do. But, do it all safely.
    If pitching near a road think about your sleeping arrangements. Perhaps invest in some solar lights. That way cars at night can see your tent and take their speed into consideration. Think about what you are pitching next to. Steps to the beach? A cliff top? Car park? Stream? etc: Be safe!
    Remember that the Sea although fun fun fun can be a very dangerous place. Think about swimming aids (if needed) and keeping a close eye on the kidlets. Be safe!
    I guess, it goes for everything when camping. There is a little danger in the whole experience. But, if your sensible and organised all will be well.
  5. Expect A Rainy DayYour camping. Of course it is going to rain at some point during your stay. it's like the camping law. Expect it. Don't let a rainy day take you by surprise. There is nothing worse. It's going to rain, you're going to get wet, it will be grim. But, it will pass in time and in a way it is a little adventure. Try and be prepared for the rain drops. Take suitable clothes and footwear for all the family. be ready with snacks and hot drinks. Make sure nothing is touching the sides of your tent. This way nothing will get wet. Take time to check out local attractions. There may be something nearby that you can enjoy on a rainy day. But, don't forget the dogs.
  6. Enjoy YourselvesThis is the most important piece of advice that I can give you. Enjoy yourselves. What you are doing with your family is exciting. It is a holiday like no other and it is worth savouring every single moment. Take as many photographs as you can of your family. Enjoy being so close to the ones that love. On this camping holiday you will sleep together, eat together, wash together, do chores together, play together and drink together amongst other things. So, take this time to enjoy it. You wake to each other faces every single morning and sleep knowing that they are beside you. Take the time to see how great your family is. Enjoy every minute. Enjoy yourselves!
Camping is wonderful and we love to do it. Give it a go. You never know, you might just enjoy it!


Friday, 4 July 2014

Creating A Creative Moose

I would class myself as a creative as apposed to an academic, for sure. Give me an equation and I am screwed. But, give me a script, paintbrush or camera and I'm rocking. I don't always class this as a good thing. I guess, it would be nice to be a happy mixture of both a creative and academic. But, that would just be greedy huh? Not much I can really do other than to embrace what God has given me. So, I do as best I can. And, well, it seems to be rubbing off on my little man. I see a little creative in him also. Perhaps, not in the same way as myself. I am more of a performer. Where as I see my son as more of an artist and a craftsman. He just loves getting his hands dirty and mixing paint in a paint pallet. He is a little creative monster. I like that. I like that he is not afraid of the mess and dirt. It's great that he loves to express himself through colour and art.
Perhaps, I am looking a little too deep into this. I mean after all he is only an 18 month old. Is it possible to see how creative my little man is going to be already? 
This morning, he didn't just stop at painting his paper. No, his whole body had to be graffitied and had I not stopped him he would have continued to cover every limb. Granted, I joined in for him when asked and popped a little of my own design on my son. But, he knew exactly what he wanted me to do. 

I remember the first time Moose painted a picture. He didn't use a brush and didn't quite understand it. He just sort of got on with it and liked what he saw. It was a big paint mess. Very uncontrolled and a bit of a whim kind of activity. But, now I see his concentration and I can tell that he is thinking ahead. It's almost like every stroke he now paints is thought about. He knows exactly where he wants the paint brush to land and which colour he wishes to use. The development in something as simple as painting is quite extreme really when you look at it. It's so amazing watching him grow. Not, just as a body but as a mind. The way his imagination is expanding surprises me every single day. It's a little sad (in a way) that Children's development happens so quickly. It's almost like as a parent we miss it. Literally, you blink and they've changed. I try my best to capture as much of it as I can. Hurrah for this blog I say and hurrah for the camera. 
So, what I am trying to say although one does beat around the bush, is that my son is a little creative and I love that. One of my favourite activities with him is painting and we will continue to paint together forever.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Taking An Outdoor Moment

I'm running a little behind with my posts currently. So, apologies for the vagueness of this post. But, my little Moose wishes to take a moment and love the outdoors. If my son could live in a a tree in the middle of a field, he so would. Like, so would. He belongs outside. 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Pink For Girls and Blue For Boys ... Right? WRONG!

I do truly believe that the above statement, 'Pink For Girls and Blue For Boys' is totally wrong. Now, I may receive a torrent of unhappy emails for saying that. That's fine. I'm happy to receive them.
Who exactly created such a rule? And, why? I fail to see the point behind it. Please understand that in this post I am only talking about colours .If you want to go further and more in depth with this discussion, that's cool. Please do so. But, note that I am only speaking of the stereotyping that comes with pink and blue.
I am more than happy to see my son in pink, to allow him to play with pink toys etc. Why wouldn't I be? What's the biggest fear around it? Why are toy aisles split in to a pink section and a blue section. Sections based on colour. Perhaps it due to worrying what others may think of us when they see our littlies enjoying the opposite sex's colour. Your son may be wearing a pink shirt that looks lovely. But, you can't rest easy because you fear what others think of your little boy. Or, worse, what they think of you for putting him in it. To hell with those people.So, you decided to mix it up a little. Who's getting hurt by it? No one. It is not your problem that someone else's mind set it stuck in such a stereotype and to be honest I bet there are far less people judging than you actually think.
A few days ago My sons lovely Auntie and Uncle gave him a tea and kitchen set that their Grandchildren that have now grown used to play with. I was dead chuffed with this upcycle as I was on the hunt for a tea set. Now, below is a photograph of this tea set. (Please excuse the box, I have a new one on order).

Right, first thoughts?
I am the Mommy of an 18 month old boy named Montgomery and I let him play with a pink tea set. Is this in your eyes a problem?
If so, let's talk about it. Don't worry, I'm not going to bite your head off. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, be it differing from mine or not.
I love the fact that my son has a pink tea set and thinks nothing of it. And, I will continue to make sure that he sees nothing wrong with playing with the pink stuff as he grows older. If I spend time fussing about it or surrounding him with those that do, I will create the type of negativity that I hate within him. I hope he continues to see and understand that toys, clothes, cutlery, fabric, decor etc should not be defined into gender by their colour. It's an old fashioned way of looking at things and the world is changing. We should embrace those changes and understand that the colour pink does not necessarily mean that our boys are (and even if they were it wouldn't matter. I'm just stating that we shouldn't, as a nation be so stereotypical):
  • Gay.
  • Afraid of things.
  • Girly.
  • Feminine.
  • A pushover.
  • Pathetic.
  • A Mommy's boy.
  • The list goes on.
The colour blue does not necessarily mean that our girls are (and even is they were it wouldn't matter. I'm just stating that we shouldn't, as a nation be so stereotypical):
  • Gay.
  • Butch.
  • Un-feminine.
  • A Tom Boy.
  • Physically strong. 
  • The list goes on. 
I am very proud of my self, my husband, my son and my family for having this attitude where colours and gender stereotypes are concerned. In my eyes, there are for more important things to be worrying about than whether your child prefers the colour pink or blue. Life passes you by in an instant and children grow quicker than you could ever imagine. Why waste time filling both theirs and lives with negativity around something that can totally be a positive. Live and let live.

Please not that all views within this post are my own and are not intended to offend. Just to be shared. I am more than happy to hear every ones opinions. We are all entitled to them. Understand, that i may not always agree. Just like you may not agree with mine.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

What My Blog Means To Me

'Moms The Word 2012' may not be the most traffic heavy or well read blog/parent blog out there. But, that is not what my blog is about. My blog is written to make me happy. And, yes of course more readers and subscribers would be great. But, it won't change what this blog does for me. You see, every day when I write my new post, I have half an hour to be just me. I don't have to think about nappy changes, or washing or cleaning. I just sit and write. This is my little haven of creativity. I am a creative person with creative juices and they aren't always allowed to over flow. Life as a Mother can move very quickly and can move in a way that does not allow you time to yourself. So, on occasion my chance to be creative is taken from me and this bothers me. Sometimes my head is so full of imagination it often feels like it's ready to explode. I can't keep all that imagery locked away up there. I have to find a way of venting it. And, what better way than writing a blog.
Being my sons Mother is by far the greatest thing that I will ever be. Nothing will compare to satisfaction I get from being Mom. There is no other job on this planet that could possibly make me happier. So, using Moms The Word 2012 to document that is wonderful. Knowing that I am able to share my knowledge and experience of being a parent with those that enjoy my writing is really something special. I am being creative at the same time as being a Mother. To me that is a win win situation.
Being a Blogger can be a little difficult at times and people can be very cutting. Some folk don't quite understand the world of blogging and see it as time wasting. I guess that is just ignorance. It is not time wasting. It is time well spent. My blog provides me with my my own world and I have gained many friends through it. It has given me the chance to remain up to date and social. I don't enjoy the dark side of blogging. But, the bright side far outweighs it. The world of the blog can be competitive and unpredictable. But, that to me is part of the thrill.
I blog because I enjoy it, I like the people I meet through it and I enjoy sharing my experiences. Moms The Word 2012 will always be dear to me. Hopefully as Moose grows so will my blog. It will be a platform for my son to read as he get older. Everything that we did together and do together he will be able to read about. That makes me happy. If no one else reads my blog at least one day my son will.
Moms The Word 2012 will continue to grow and gain it's readers. With it, as a Blogger so will I. I will grow stronger in what I do and day by day I am learning to do it properly.