Part 3 – 3 Things ALL Expectant Mothers Should Know | Having More Than One Child

3 Things ALL Expectant Mothers Should Know

'Having more than one child' is the final part in my comical three part truth bomb series about what expectant mothers should know. If you missed the first two parts you can find them here:

Part 1 - 3 Things ALL Expectant Mothers Should Know | Pregnancy and Labour

Part 2 - 3 Things ALL Expectant Mothers Should Know | The Arrival

Having More Than One Child

#1) Extra job roles

When I was pregnant with my second child I began to wonder how I could love it as much as I love my first. Well when she was born I realised my love grew rather than got shared out. This worry was far from my mind when I had my third and fourth children, I knew I love them all equally.

What I wasn't prepared for was the new roles than came with having more children...

#2) You become blasé 

As a new mum you are likely to worry about EVERYTHING. Even those of you who are strong willed and do things your way (the exact type of mum I am) you will still worry.

With your first born you change their nappy every single time they have done a wee. With your second born you change it when you smell it. With the third or more you change it when you notice the nappy swinging down by your child's knees!

#3) Suspicion

Ok this might not be exclusive to having more than one child but it is certainly something that grows when you have more children. In fact it grows to a point where you almost (definitely) become paranoid about silence.

Even if you have managed to find someone who is willing to look after your terrors so you can have a few hours peace, when the house falls silent you still feel a sense of panic, despite knowing they are not there!

***

There has it. That's the end on my three part truth bomb series about what all expectant mothers should know.

I really hope you've enjoyed reading these as much as I have writing them. Why not let me know by commenting below 🙂

(Image source: Google Images)

Halloween Cup Cakes Recipe

Halloween Cup Cakes Recipe

Halloween cup cakes is one activity that I wrote about in my post, School Holiday Fun: Halloween so I have decided to pass on the recipe and how we made them.

Whilst I used this recipe to make Halloween cup cakes it can be used for a variety of cakes. On this occasion, as seen in the picture, I used it to make 4 large pumpkin and coffin cup cakes! They were delicious and because I filled the mould too high I was able to slice the top off making an extra two cakes; one each for all of us here.

The recipe can be used to make a 7 inch Victoria sponge, approx. 18 small fairy cakes or approx. 6 larger cup cakes.

I used a heat resistant silicone cake mould for the halloween themed cakes which is how they got their fabulous shape

Ingredients

  • 100g softened butter (I used Stork)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g self raising flour (sifted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 45ml (3tbsp) jam - Victoria sponge
  • 60ml (4tbsp) whipped cream - Victoria sponge
  • icing sugar - Victoria sponge

Recipe

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180*C / Gas Mark 4
  • Prepare your tins / cake cases. Using butter and grease proof paper, grease two 17 inch cake tins if making a Victoria sponge, or place your cake cases in a cake tray.
  • Cream butter and sugar together
  • Beat in eggs one at a time
  • Add 15ml (1tbsp) of flour with each egg
  • Gently fold in the remaining flour
  • Transfer equal amounts to your tins or cases and smooth the tops.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until well risen and golden (use the point of a knife to test if the cake is cooked through - put the knife through the centre of the cake from the top and pull it out. If it is clean the cake is done, if it comes out with mix on it leave it to cook a little longer)
  • If cooking Victoria sponge leave the cakes for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack then strip the grease proof paper of gently.
  • Put cakes in cases straight onto a wire cooling rack.
  • When cold, decorate / sandwich the cakes together with jam and cream and sprinkle on icing sugar.

Decorating Cup Cakes and Fairy Cakes

For the Halloween cup cakes we melted some white cooking chocolate , mixed in some gel food colouring and painted on with small cake decorating brushes - if you don't have these the unused children's small paint brushes will suffice.

Variation

Fancy making a chocolate sponge instead?

Just replace 25g of flour with 25g of sifted cocoa powder. Simples!

Readers Task

So, there is how I made the Halloween cakes and I would now like to set you a challenge...

I would love for you to make cakes using the recipe above and maybe even make your own variations. Send in pictures of your finished creations and they may be used on my Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest pages 🙂

Please note any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you use the links they will cost you no extra but Mummy's Munchkins will make a small commission.

Pumpkin Picking at Pickwell Farm

I often drive pass strawberry fields in the summer and think we'll go strawberry picking this year and then never get round to it. So this year after realising I had missed strawberry picking again I decided we should have a family day out pumpkin picking later in the year.

***

Fast forward to October, and after reading a blog and doing a quick google search I decided Pickwell Farm, on the outskirts of Southampton, was where we were going to go for our first ever pumkpin picking experience.

We decided that we would go on a weekend so daddy could come too. This of course limited us as to when we could go and we happened to choose the windiest day! The weekend we went was the weekend Storm Brian came to visit but if we’d left it until the following weekend we would have run the risk of there being no pumpkins left, so we ventured out determined not to let the storm dampen our spirits.

Although, not all of us were impressed...

It was blowing a gale, the umbrella blew inside out and the kids were loitering around muddy puddles like they had never seen them before. A huge gust of wind came and that was it, screaming "I want to go home", Phoebe was done! We didn't even have any pumpkins yet! It became very clear to those that passed us that we are most definitely city people. Whilst the hubby and I found all this highly amusing at this point the kids just wanted to get the pumpkins and get going.

On arrival we were offered a wheelbarrow which, being the ‘I can manage’ type person that I am, I nearly declined, much to my husbands despair. So we grabbed a wheelbarrow and off we went.

Trust me, you need the wheelbarrow!!

Not only is great fun for the kids to push and sit in but I definitely would not have managed!

Whilst we were able to fill our wheelbarrow with a variety of perfectly imperfect pumpkins the fields weren’t as full as I had imagined or hoped. This is no reflection on the farm just that next time we need to go sooner. Most of the pumpkins we picked were still on the vine so were nice and fresh and they were all priced at £2 regardless of size. So for a family of our size (6) this is a much more cost effective way to purchase our pumpkins.

We laughed so much while pumpkin picking, we slipped and tripped, got blown all over the place, the children were fussing about getting their hands dirty, I struggled with the wheelbarrow and our youngest just didn't want to be there. It is safe to say we were 100% novices!

Once we had picked our pumpkins we had a little walk around the farm and came across corn fields which the children had great fun getting lost in.

 

The farm also has a lovely farm shop full of fresh produce, it is here where you pay for your pumpkins after you have washed the mud off them in the pails of water provided.

Overall we had a lovely day out and we will definitely be pumpkin picking again next year...Only now I know to go at the beginning of the season before the pumpkin fields are almost empty. Oh, and I will try to avoid going when we are hit with a storm!

Thanks for a lovely family day Pickwell Farm.

School Holiday Fun: Halloween

Keeping the kids busy during the half term

I love it when the kids are home from school but keeping them entertained can be a mammoth task, this alone leaves some parents longing for the school break to be over with quickly! (Don't worry, we've all thought this at some point).

With this is mind I have listed below 6 Halloween themed activities that have kept my little munchkins entertained. I should point out though, trying to keep them occupied from the minute they wake up to the minute they go to bed is not advisable; you'll be completely worn out two days in and your children will keep expecting more from you. Let them know its ok to be bored sometimes and teach them to find their own fun and keep themselves busy.

Here is what we have been up to

  1. Pumpkin Picking

This is something we have never done before, I didn't even go as child so we decided to make our way to Pickwell Farm and see what the fuss is all about. Whilst Pumpkin Picking at Pickwell Farm one thing was for sure, it became very clear to passers by that our children are city kids! Still, we had a great time and lots of giggles...well some of us!

2. Pumpkin Carving

This goes hand in hand with picking the pumpkins. We decided not to carve the ones we had just picked straight away as it was still a good week and a half until Halloween and they would have gone mouldy in that time. We all agreed that we would wait until the following weekend which also means it can be a daddy activity (phew). However, during the week we visited my grandparents and whilst there my auntie and my young cousins arrived with six small pumpkins.

So all the children designed their own pumpkin faces and got to work. Here are the finished items...

3. Bat Making

At the beginning of the week we made bats. An easy and effective arty crafty activity. All that was needed was black paint, black tissue paper, white card and white paper. As a variation you could make spiders.

4. Chocolate Wands

So this one didn't turn out exactly as I would have liked, mainly because I couldn't get the right coloured sprinkles in the shop and had left it too late to order anything online. Nevertheless, this quick and easy make was a fun Halloween themed activity.

As you can see by the picture - Orange and silver sprinkles would have been much more appropriate! Ah well at least we know they look good for Christmas...although not sure what kind of wand you would have at Christmas?!

5. Halloween Cup Cakes

These were delicious! I like to make my cakes from scratch and this was no exception. I had every intention of the whole task being carried out with the kids but they just weren't interested in the making part as much as they were the decorating! Once the mixture was made I poured it into a heat resistant silicone cake mould; I had a coffin mould and a pumpkin mould. Once cooked and cooled instead of using icing we smothered them in white chocolate that we had dyed with food colouring...the kids LOVED this part. Ok, I did too!

6. Castle Building

I hear you...this is totally not Halloween related but hey we can do other stuff during the October half term!

Whilst we were out failing to find orange and silver sprinkles for our chocolate wand, the children saw a build and colour your own cardboard castle and practically begged me for it. As well as the castle there was a fairy house, shop front and an igloo; I am not ready for Christmas related items so the igloo was a no go, the fairies were too girly for the boys and the shop front didn't have enough for each of them to claim some of it as their own. So what with the castle being the strongest contender for causing less arguments that's what I settled on.  We all agreed that each of them had their own side to colour in as they see fit and everyone is happy...except its now taking up my dining room!

We've had lots of fun this week, I never look forward to the kids going back to school, despite the incessant sibling rivalry and as usual their time off has flown by. So now I guess I better get planning for the Christmas break!

Autumnal Sun Catcher

Autumn Leaf Sun Catcher

I'm sharing a fun and easy autumnal craft activity with you today, one I've not done before but one that I'll be sure to do again.

These autumn leaf suncatchers are lovely as they are suitable for children of all ages, making a great activity to welcome the new season and they really bring an autumnal feel into the house, as well as offering the chance to get outside to explore.

(Please note this post contains affiliate links)

What you will need:
  1. Paper plates
  2. Sticky back plastic
  3. Scissors
  4. Paints (in autumn colours)
  5. Leaves
  6. Hole punch
  7. String
  8. Sticky tape / blue tack (or just something that will hold it up)
How:

We started by painting the plates. ALL the children can do this from babies through to older children. Make sure you use autumnal colours - browns, greens, yellows, oranges, reds etc

Then I left them to dry. It is during this time that you can get out and explore your surroundings whilst collecting autumn leaves. My children and I have been collecting them for a little while so I already had some.

Once dry you'll need to cut out the centre of the plate. The younger ones will definitely need help with this but the older ones may like to give it a try.

Next you'll need to cut a circle out of the sticky back plastic. It'll need to be bigger than the hole in the plate. So to ensure it was I cut a circle almost as big as the plate. Again older children might like to do this bit themselves too.

Stick the plastic to the back of the plate so when you are looking at the plate on the side you painted it, the the hole is now sticky and it's here where you will stick the leaves.

Finally, using the hole punch, make one hole in the plate and pop the string through in order to hang it.

Purchase some of the items you need for this project here...

Weather board fun (and its benefits)

I've created a weather board for my childminding setting and I just had to share it. The kids and I love it.

This post contains affiliate links and explains how I made the weather board, along with the learning benefits it has.

Not only is it fun pretending to be the weather man (or woman) from the television but it has so many learning benefits too...

Understanding the world

🍂It teaches the children to be observant and pay attention to their surroundings - the kids in my care will be able to set the weather each day and learn about the seasons, which they will also change when the time calls.

Critical Thinkers

❄️I will occasionally set the board myself, but will set it incorrectly. This will encourage the children to think critically, by not accepting what is in front of them for face value and having the confidence to constructively challenge what has been presented to them.

Physical Development

🌻the moving of the symbols will help develop fine and gross motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination.

Communication and Language

🌞speaking about the symbols will encourage language development - talking about what each symbols is & means. As well as talking about the past, present and future (what the weather was like yesterday, how it is today and what could it be like tomorrow) and talking about what we know about the seasons.

weather symbols for kids

To create this board I simply googled 'weather symbols for kids' and this came up...

I cut out the symbols and discarded the words (although they could be used to enhance learning in other areas such as reading and spelling etc), then I popped them into a laminating pouch and laminated them.

As well as weather symbols I wanted pictures for the seasons too

This is what I found on google images...

Again I cut out what I wanted and laminated it.

Using blue tack I stuck them to my white board and hey presto the weather board is done.

Variations

You don't need a white board screwed to your wall at home to create this. I only have one as I've set this up in my childminding room. Here are some variations I've found on Pinterest...

Such a fun and simple activity with so many educational benefits for young learners without them even realising they are learning! Perfect!