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Little Miss/Mr Chatterbox

“Mum , Mummy , Mum!” is the constant chant of the day. I am the proud parent of a three year old and I am forever grateful that she is able to communicate her needs and wants to me as I know that many children struggle with their communication skills, but there are also times when I want to go and hide in a cupboard with a block of chocolate.

If you are also the proud parent of a little chatterbox, then you have more than likely asked yourself the question ‘why?’ Why does my child talk so much?

Developmental milestones tell us that between the ages of 3 – 5 children :

– Speak in sentences and use many different words

– Answer simple questions

– Ask many questions

– Tell stories

– Talk constantly

– Enjoy talking and may like to experiment with new words

– Use adult forms of speech

– Take part in conversations

– Enjoys jokes, rhymes and stories

– Will assert themselves with words

So how can you support your child’s language development while keeping sane?

Letting your child know that you enjoy listening to them but also need some quiet time at intervals also shows them that there will be times they need to be quiet. At times I have let my daughter know “‘I love all your wonderful questions, but right now let’s enjoy some quiet time and after mummy has finished reading or at the end of you watching your tv show you can tell me all about it, or you can think of something  you’d like to share with me.”

Be as attentive as possible when your child is talking to you. Using encouraging snippets from information they have shared to ask where, who and why questions will help them build on their comprehension skills.

Your child may be bursting to tell you something at inconvenient times ; such as when you are on the phone or talking to someone else. When I am on the phone I give my child a choice of activities that they can do while sitting near me. The choice board is kept in a small bag along with the activities and it has a picture of a phone on the board. The bag only gets used when I am on the phone. Giving your child a choice helps them feel like they are in control.

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Practice turn conversations or play turn taking games that involve short waiting periods.

As much as it can be trying at times, try and remind yourself that your child may not always be a willing participant in conversations. In years to come you may be the one trying your best to get them to talk to you.
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Must have Pocket Dress

Pockets are a fabulous addition to store your keys and treasures.

Forget the fake pockets that tempt you with the possibility that you can put your phone in them or loose change only to disappoint.

Its got to be real or nothing for me.

So let me tell you about a dress with pockets that has become a wardrobe staple.
When my Must have pocket dress arrived from clothing click, I didn’t waste time trying it on and wearing it. It is such a great dress to style day or night. With the simple addition of a pair of winter stockings, a jacket or a scarf. I have had a lot of fun wearing this dress.

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Plus it was perfect for date night.

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The Must have pocket dress comes in orange as well as black and clothing click has a 10% discount if you use the code : MUSTHAVE at checkout.
Jules x

Note – This item was gifted to me and no payment was made for this review. Views and information are all mine.

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Rainy day Activities for Teens or Tweens

Picture this. It’ѕ a bluѕtеrу, rаіnу dау wіth nothing tо dо, or a ѕnоwу winter one whеrе thе kіdѕ are hоmе frоm ѕсhооl (and уоu’rе hоmе, tоо!). You’re trуіng tо think оf some іntеrеѕtіng ѕnоwу оr rаіnу dау activities gеаrеd tо уоur twееn оr tееn ѕо that уоu саn ѕреnd аn еnjоуаblе dау tоgеthеr. Mеаnwhіlе, your twееn оr teen mау bе thrilled bесаuѕе to thеm іt mеаnѕ a dау of lаzіlу hanging out оn the соuсh, mindlessly watching tv оr a mоvіе whіlе munching chips, or the орроrtunіtу tо ѕреnd the dау online оr tеxtіng wіth frіеndѕ incessantly. If you hаvе оthеr рlаnѕ for them аnd wоuld like tо tаkе аdvаntаgе оf thіѕ tоgеthеrnеѕѕ tо spend ѕоmе ԛuаlіtу time with уоur twееn or tееn, thеn уоu need tо соmе uр with some interesting ѕnоwу or rаіnу day асtіvіtіеѕ that thеу think wіll be fun and that won’t mаkе them wаnt to rоll their еуеѕ at уоu. Althоugh thеу mау lоvе thе орроrtunіtу to “рlug-іn” оn a lаzу day lіkе thіѕ, уоu саn соnnесt with them іf you offer up ѕоmе fun асtіvіtіеѕ thаt will еngаgе уоur twееn or teen аnd wіll gеt thеm tо want tо hаng оut wіth уоu instead. Maybe іf уоu’rе lucky, уоu’ll еvеn gеt іn a decent соnvеrѕаtіоn or two in the рrосеѕѕ!

Bеlоw аrе a hаndful of snowy оr rаіnу dау асtіvіtіеѕ fоr tweens аnd tееnѕ. Thеу can bе еnjоуеd аѕ a fаmіlу or саn be uѕеd to pass thе tіmе іndооrѕ with frіеndѕ or ѕіblіngѕ. Thеѕе activities аrе geared tо оldеr kіdѕ аnd саn bе a grеаt ѕоurсе оf аmuѕеmеnt fоr bоth parents аnd tееnѕ аlіkе.

10 Snоwу or Rainy Dау Aсtіvіtіеѕ fоr Twееnѕ and Teens:

1. Do a jіgѕаw рuzzlе. Chances аrе іt’ѕ bееn аwhіlе since you’ve all sat down and wоrkеd оn a jigsaw рuzzlе together, but thіѕ саn bе a grеаt diversion fоr thе whоlе family, and provides орроrtunіtіеѕ fоr mеаnіngful соnvеrѕаtіоn.

2. Plау a card game. Gоnе may bе the dауѕ оf рlауіng “Gо Fіѕh” with your kids, but thеrе are many other challenging саrd games to рlау with оldеr kids. Engаgе thеm in a gаmе of tеxаѕ hоld ’em, gin rummу, or another саrd gаmе оf сhоісе and thе tіmе wіll flу bу.

3. Sіng kаrаоkе. Thіѕ may bе a соmрlеtеlу embarrassing асtіvіtу fоr уоur tееn or tween tо еnjоу whеn thеіr frіеndѕ are around (аnd іf you еvеr sang in front оf thеіr frіеndѕ, thеу’d surely сrіngе!), but when hanging out tоgеthеr at home оn a rainy dау, this саn be a grеаt source of fun аnd lаughѕ.

4. Mаkе a ѕсrарbооk. Tаkе thе opportunity tо go through оld pictures аnd рut them іntо a ѕсrарbооk. If you dоn’t hаvе аll thе mаtеrіаlѕ needed tо mаkе аnd dесоrаtе thе bооk, thеn ѕреnd the dау organizing аnd ѕеlесtіng рhоtоѕ tо put in the book аnd еnjоу reminiscing аbоut old mеmоrіеѕ. If you have digital рhоtоѕ, there аrе ѕоmе grеаt online digital scrapbooking sites, lіkе Shuttеrflу, whеrе уоu can mаkе a bеаutіful ѕсrарbооk, соmрlеtе wіth сuѕtоm pages аnd journaling, іn nо tіmе.

5. Mаkе a vіdео together. Plan іt оut tоgеthеr аnd rесоrd аwау. Kids are ѕо into vіdеоѕ tоdау thаt іt could bе fun to mаkе a family vіdео. Yоu саn rесrеаtе a talk ѕhоw and conduct іntеrvіеwѕ, try уоur hаnd at a gаmе ѕhоw оr асt оut a comedy. Eіthеr way, уоu’ll hаvе a сhаnсе tо get сrеаtіvе and hаvе a mеmеntо оf уоur day spent tоgеthеr.

6. Mаkе a house оf саrdѕ. Rеmеmbеr thе dауѕ whеn уоur kіdѕ соuld be еntеrtаіnеd for hоurѕ wіth blocks оr legos? Well, they mау not bе wіllіng tо brеаk оut thе blocks thеѕе dауѕ, but thе сhаllеngе of trуіng tо build a hоuѕе of саrdѕ соuld certainly brіng out thе аrсhіtесt іn any tееn.

7. Dеvіѕе a mystery ѕоund gаmе. See hоw kееn еvеrуоnе’ѕ ѕеnѕе оf hearing іѕ bу having one person or group gо around thе hоuѕе аnd rесоrd various ѕоundѕ hеаrd around thе hоuѕе. This саn еаѕіlу bе dоnе even wіth a сеll рhоnе if уоu don’t have a tаре recorder. Thеn try tо guess what the sounds are.

8. Have a dance раrtу. Lеt loose and get ѕоmе exercise, tоо! Tаkе turnѕ choosing music tо dаnсе to ѕо уоu саn bоth еnjоу each оthеr’ѕ ѕеlесtіоnѕ аnd mауbе tеасh еасh оthеr a fеw mоvеѕ in the process.

9. Plау challenging word, numbеr, оr trіvіа gаmеѕ. Games like Rummіkub, Sсrаbblе, Upwords, Trivial Purѕuіt аnd more are always fun tо rеvіѕіt, ѕо if уоu hаvе a fеw games lying аrоund thе house, duѕt thеm off and сhаllеngе еасh оthеr tо a game оr two.

10. Plаn a mеаl wіth items from the раntrу. Gеt сrеаtіvе tоgеthеr аnd рut everyone’s сооkіng skills tо thе tеѕt. Oldеr kids love tо eat аnd can have a grеаt tіmе trying tо concoct a new recipe based оn whаt’ѕ аvаіlаblе іn thе раntrу or frіdgе. And уоu’ll gеt оut оf hаvіng tо fіgurе out what’s for dіnnеr!

Thеѕе  rainy dау асtіvіtіеѕ саn bе a great way tо spend a mеmоrаblе day indoors wіth your tween оr teen. Hореfullу уоu’ll have ѕо muсh fun thаt уоu’ll аll bе lооkіng forward to thе nеxt tіmе you’re ѕtuсk іn thе hоuѕе duе tо a rainy оr snowy dау!

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How to help your child to self calm

Some crazy shit has been happening in our house. Our sweet angelic 3 year old has demonstrated her ability to go from calm to wildchild unleased in 5 seconds and at the most inconvienient times . As I was reaching for the wine glass the other night I remembered that I am armed with the knowledge on how to help out 3 year old to begin her journey towards understanding her emotions and how to self regulate and i’m here to share what I know works.
Looking for signs 
When the days are busy and everything seems to be going well you can be taken by suprise when your child begins to cry , shouting loudly and flailing their body around. You do everything in your power to console your child or you may even scold them. No judgement here , it really can be trialling and seem like it came out of nowhere. In order to make a change its time to take out you pen and paper or ipad and make a list of all the begining signs. Thinking about any small noises they may make , fast breathing , expressions or movements and make a list of them. It can take a few observations and the input of another observer to help make a list.
For our three year old the begining signs are – a low groan , increased breathing speed , clenching of hands and rolling of eyes.
Watching the signs to intervene earlier
Use your knowledge of signs to help your child develop self regulation strategies.  Frustration , confusion , fear of unknown or failure can all be sources of behaviour outputs that lead to acting out and emotional outbursts . When those first signs are there it is time to model self calming strategies :
  • Use a low / soft voice and ask – How can I help you ?
  • Say to your child : Lets breathe together. Count down from 10 taking a deep breathe in and out between each number until you get to one then ask your child ” How do you feel ?”  If they are still looking unsettled than repeat .
  • Offer your child a drink of water ( this can often help them to regain composure )
  • Let them know that you are here to help if need
  • Let them approach you but stay close by to be available for a hug if they need one or to listen
  • When are calm ask them how they are feeling and give them an opportunity to talk about what happened.
Teach your child emotions and use language to describe emotions 
Introducing emotions and using words to describe how you are feeling plus using a range of material resources can help children to identify their own emotions.
  • Its okay to say ” I am feeling angry because I have hurt my toe right now ” or ” That makes me really happy that you packed away all your toys “.
  • Having a visible emotions chart that your child can refer to often and you can also regularly use to ask them to show you how they are feeling. You can download and print this one for free here
  • Read books to your child that introduce emotions and  examples of how others deal with their emotions. You can find some great books here.

The big question you may be asking is Why is my child doing this? and also, What am I doing wrong ? Time to stop the blame game . Take a look at this clip which explains how the brains structures and the Amygdala (emotional filter) work.

Remember that parenting is a journey and somedays may still end with you reaching for that wine glass.
Jules x
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June style challenge

Winter is coming and the Autumn weather really has made it a challenge to choose what to wear in the mornings especially as it currently feels like four seasons in one day .  If you too are feeling the frustration and playing the game of wardrobe bingo only to find yourself wishing you had packed that cardigan , jumper or wrap then I have some exciting news to share.
Together with Millers I am giving you a chance to win one of 4 gorgeous wraps to keep you warm.
All you have to do is share your Millers style over on Instagram : be following Millers Fashion & Toddlersplusteens , tag both both Millers & Toddlersplusteensteens in your pictures and use the hashtag #millersstyle during the month of June and 4 people will be chosen to each receive one of these lovely millers wraps.
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I really am missing our open fireplace now the evenings and mornings are cold. I have never made it a secret that I prefer the warmer weather. Mr T & T are saving for a much needed Summer holiday which has me reigning in  my clothing budget so I am always in search of pieces to add to my existing wardrobe. Adding a wrap , poncho or cardigan  together with a pair of boots and accesories can help you wear those pieces longer.
Here are some of the great Millers knits I have  added to my wardrobe and how I have been styling them over on Instagram.
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 I can’t wait to see how you style your Millers clothing .
Winners will be selected on the 30th of June and be notified via Instagram . Open to Australian residents only (sorry) .
Jules x
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Living the dream

Why is it that fly in day never goes as I envisioned it . I dream about looking my very best and waiting inside the doors with our gorgeous girls as my husband walks through the airport entry doors but the reality is chaos.
Its fly in day and after 2 long weeks of hubby working  away I think I have it all sorted and that morning as I leave for work I feel that sense of ease that all will go well with our airport pickup today .
I try not to be distracted in the afternoon meeting at work and find myself checking the time on my fitbit at regular intervals. My phone screen lights up even though its on silent and the snapchat icon comes up , I  turn the screen off and smile to myself at the thought of finally having hubby home . Reality snaps me back quickly and I am involved in the discussion happening . As the meeting winds up I check my phone and see the message that the plane is coming in earlier .
I have one errand to run so after grabbing my second youngest girl I run in and collect what I need . As we rush to daycare to collect miss moo I call our son Mr Wings who works at the airport and hear him say the words that dash my daydreams ‘ The plane is just landing ‘.
I try to contain my tears and hold it together but a flood of emotions comes over me and tears roll down my cheeks as I continue driving to the airport while our girls excitedly giggle in the car. As we reach the airport I pull over in the pickup zone and seeing that he is not outside the girls run in to great their Dad.
As I try to gather my emotions I realise that it all doesnt matter , late , in my trackies or however I make it to Fly- in day . We made it through another two weeks. I look up and my tears change to those of happiness as I see him walk towards the car holding Miss Moo and laughing with our children walking either side of him.
He gets in the car and says ” Hi babe Im home” .
Jules x
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Dear Bully

Bullies only have power over you if you let them but as a child you are still building resilience. Words can cut like a knife and one simple sign of being weak can lead to others joining the bullies pack.

As a parent it broke my heart whenever my kids were bullied or if they ever watched other people being bullied.

Throughout my high school years I was a long term victim of bullying and it resulted in me often wagging school just to avoid the bullies.
Years later I have the confidence that I lacked in my younger years but a few friends along the way sadly lost their fight to calm the voices that had implanted themselves in their daily thoughts and they ended their lives.

So I am here sharing my letter to you dear bully

Dear bully,

You crave attention because without it you feel ordinary. There are some things that you do not know ;
It is hard work keeping an army of followers and many of your followers are with you through fear , fear that they to will be on the recieving end if they dont join you.
The person you are bullying may already be a victim of emotional abuse at home or a sufferer of anxiety . Your words may just be the last thing they can handle or the one thing that tips them over the edge.
You can change things today before everyone discovers ‘ That quite possibly you are harbouring a secret that has made you retaliate or you are a very lonely person because as a bully you can trust no one or show no vunerability.

One day you will be someones boss , partner , parent , Aunt or Uncle. Will you continue your bullying into your adult life and how will you feel if your child or niece or nephew are bullied ?

Sincerely Not a victim anymore

If you suspect that your child is being bullied at school or as a young adult then some great tips can be found here :

http://www.bullyingnoway.gov.au/

https://www.humanrights.gov.au/workplace-bullying-violence-harassment-and-bullying-fact-sheet
Jules x

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How to style a kimono in Autumn

I know that I always seem to talk about the power of layers when it comes to style choices but I really am passionate about layering using staple wardrobe pieces.

Lightweight kimonos make a great addition to your staple pieces and can be styled in a wide variety of ways .

The even better part is that they are easy to pack when travelling and don’t take up as much space as a jacket .

This week I have included my Riviera jacket in sail away from My Boutique curves (kindly gifted ) in my outfits.

Here are three ways that I have worn my kimono style Jacket :

 

IMG_20160501_160822With Jeans and a print clash tshirt – long sleeve tshirt is from Millers

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With Millers ponte pants and a black tank top.

You can purchase the My Riviera Jacket here.

Remember to be brave and add some colour to your wardrobe this autumn.

 

Jules x

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Daydreaming

Getting away from it all including technology can be bliss. No technology and time to sit and relax , laugh and not be clock watching .

Over the years camping has been our affordable escape especially with kids . Camping Mr T + T style meant open fires , no toilets and waking up to the sound of wild goats on one occasion.

We progressed as the kids got older and stayed in places where there were toilets and showers but for me some of the best trips have been where there has been no phone signal .

Now we only have two kids at home I am dreaming of an island holiday where relaxation is the theme .

Europe has been luring me ever since I can remember but I know its a while away . So for now im aiming for the island holiday .

I used to think that people were crazy heading to holiday destinations to lie by the pool , be pampered , go to theme parks and eat nice food until I had kids and combined a busy life of work and being a Fifo wife .
Now im just a little excited about a tropical island holiday . Will someone please hand me my welcome cocktail and what time can I book in for that massage ?
Jules x
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Why I’m spoiling my kids

I will never forget the day a total stranger told me that I was spoiling my child and would regret it later. At the time I had no comeback line. I was a first time Mum and on the early road to discovering my parenting style .

Now I know that I am happy to be the parent who spoils my children. Im not talking about raising self indulged , what I want I get brats . Im spoiling my kids with love , my time ( well as much as I can while still sleeping for some of the night ) and reassurance that if today wasn’t so great that tomorrow is a fresh start.

I admit it ; I still pick up and cuddle /carry my 3 year old when she is tired or wants a hug and my heart may have just broke a bit the other day when I was walking through the shops and a toddler was crying with his arms up and his parents told him he was too big and needed to walk.

My stint as the hovering helicopter parent was brief and more than likely due to the fact our second eldest child liked to jump out of trees from the second highest branch while shouting  ‘ Catch me ‘ , at the age of 2. I realised that I might not survive the next week if I didnt know when to stand back a bit.

I could never make it past the stand back but be ready with the firetruck and parachute if you need it parent but after nearly 24 years of parenting Im happy with this method and it seems to be working out okay .

To the stranger in the shop 23 years ago who said my child would be spoilt if I picked her up when she cried the first time I say ; Thanks for you input but most of my kids have grown into well adjusted adults and the other one is doing well because if this means kids are spoilt then I hope it catches on and parents spoil their children.
Jules x