Mother Distracted

Mother Distracted

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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Angry Birds or Pigs? Who'll Win The #FrubesMoves Challenge?

Frubes, the largest portable yogurt brand has joined forces with The Angry Birds to celebrate the must-see family film of the year - The Angry Birds Movie.

Not only is there an on-pack promotion which gives you the chance to win a whole host of Angry Bird merchandise in a weekly draw, there is a grand prize of a fabulous holiday for four to spend six nights in the Bahamas up for grabs too. The competition ends on 31st of October so you'll need to get Frubes-Moving!

And to add to the fun, there is a great on-line game which involves a dance-off between the birds and those naughty pigs.

You simply choose a character and a style of music and you can challenge your friends and family to finally settle the question of who reigns supreme - birds or pigs?

Why not have a go at angrybirds.frubes.co.uk.

Frubes challenged us to show off our best FrubesMoves and get the kids dancing.  Caitin and Ieuan love to dance and I think it's an excellent way of getting kids to exercise in a fun way and to show off their creativity. There's something about dance that unites people and lifts the spirit, even if you've got two left feet.

Caitlin has been studying ballet for the past three years and is taking her Grade 3 Royal Academy of Dance exam in November. Ieuan has his own unique set of moves too (rather reminiscent of a funky chicken in places rather than a bird or a pig).

Frubes are tasty squeezable yoghurt tubes which can also help by providing vitamin D and calcium to build strong bones. They come in strawberry, red berry, peach and banana flavours and are ideal to add to a lunchbox or to give as a snack. You can find Frubes in all leading supermarkets priced around £2.

So who would you support birds or pigs?  Do you have some funky FrubesMoves?

"This post is an entry for BritMums' #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes."

My Problem Page - What Was I Asked This Week? (Week 42)

This week I'm talking about dating by text, trouble with solar panels and what to do when your glasses don't fit. A pretty mixed bag, as I'm sure you'll agree.  Sometimes though, it's the smallest things that cause us the biggest problems and all we really need is someone to listen to  us.

If you would like any advice, feel free to message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here's just some of the questions I've been asked this week.

Q: I found out my boyfriend is still friends with the girl he cheated on me with. What should I do? 

He cheated on me with her 3 years ago. I saw on the home screen of his phone that they were messaging via Facebook. I didn't snoop but I've found out that they have recently become Facebook friends again.

A: It sounds like they are both still in touch and given that he has already broken your trust once with this girl, I wonder why you have not confronted him about it. Unfortunately by taking him back, you basically gave him the green light to cheat on you again.

There are those who would say that you did right to give him another chance and that people do change. I’m with the other school of thought that says a leopard never changes his spots.

You need to ask him exactly what’s going on - otherwise he’s just playing you for a fool. When you took him back, did you do so on the condition that he broke all contact with this girl? I certainly would have done. And I’d certainly be asking him quite a few blunt questions now.

Q: Is he just not that into me if he isn't pursuing me strongly after 5 dates or is it normal to wait hours/days for him text and ask me out each time?

A: What do you mean by ‘pursuing you strongly’? If he’s texting you and asking you out for further dates then he is ‘into you’.

If you become obsessed by a timetable - by date 6 he must have declared his love, by date 9 he must have bought me jewellery, by date 12 we should be moving in together……. you sending him running for the hills. Try to relax.

I’m assuming he has a life of his own and needy isn’t attractive you know. 5 dates is very early days and you sound like you have spent most of that time glued to your phone waiting for it to ring or bleep.

Think smart, sassy and independent. Make him chase you. That way you will keep his interest.

Q: Can a high frequency noise from my neighbor's solar panel inverter cause permanent ear damage?

It is about 15-20 feet from my room and I can now hear almost the same high frequency noise at night even though the noise is not there (tinnitus). The solar panel system of the neighbor was activated about 4 days ago.

A: It’s unlikely. I have tinnitus and I know that stress makes it worse so in your shoes if I were worrying 24/7 about the panels, it would make me more sensitive to noise.

All you can do in this situation is talk to your neighbour and see if there is anything that can be done to reduce your exposure to the noise. Loft insulation? Sound proofing panels?

Did your neighbour have to have planning permission to install these solar panels? I’m assuming these are domestic panels?

I’m not sure if you’re in the UK but noise pollution can be reported to your local authority and there may be something they can do to help.

I’d advise trying to get your neighbour on side first rather than starting a dispute. You might be able to come up with a solution between you. A bit of positive action is needed here rather than stewing angrily about the din. 

Q: How do I relieve irritation that my eyeglasses cause to the area behind my ears?

A: It sounds as if you need to return to your optician to have the glasses fitted properly. They may be too tight.

An optician will be able to warm a plastic frame slightly to bend it into a more comfortable shape.

If you have a metal frame, it is possible you are allergic to the material they are made from (e.g. nickel). However, a poor fit is the most likely reason you are uncomfortable.

While you are waiting to see the optician, get some lightly medicated cream such as a hydrocortisone cream and apply lightly to help with the irritation.

Also, are you showering and not drying behind your ears properly? That might also irritate your ears.

Q: My girlfriend is not friends with someone she had an argument with, but I want to be friends with her. Is this ok?

A: The mature answer would be, yes of course it is OK for you to be friends with her. 

The realistic answer is no it’s not OK if you want to keep your girlfriend. It also depends on what the argument was about. 

I think most girlfriends would expect their boyfriend to take their side in an argument rather than their friend. 

If it was a silly argument and likely to blow over, I’d just keep quiet until things calm down. If it’s a serious rift then you have some thinking to do about where your loyalties lie because it sounds as if you will have to choose between the pair of them. 

This isn’t particularly grown up behaviour, as I have said, but I’m also interested that you seem more interested in taking the friend’s side. The argument wasn’t about you was it? 

You need decide whether you want to keep your girlfriend or whether being free to pursue your friendships is more important. And there’s no easy answer to that one.

Q: Is it time to move on if he hasn't contacted me 2 days after our last date? 

We have been dating a month and he never texted much but I guess my feelings are growing. Since he is texting less after spending more time, I am guessing it’s time to move on? If he was into me wouldn’t he text and ask to see me soon? I am big into communication, are we not compatible?

A: The only way you will find out is by asking him. 

You cannot have a relationship ‘by text’ - and if you are, I’d suggest it’s not a real relationship in any case - particularly if you are no longer teenagers. 

A month is nothing in terms of time to be dating. You are still getting to know each other whereas it sounds as if you have a wedding planned already. 

Have you considered he might actually be busy, or have things going on in his life that don’t involve you? If you don’t know what is going on with him then you haven’t learned much about him in the last month. 

Rather than playing ‘text’ tennis, why don’t you talk to him, get to know him and see if you want a longer term relationship. 

People don’t stick to a ‘texting’ schedule. Some people hate mobile phones and would prefer the good old fashioned method of communication - talking. 

You say you are “big into communication” - what you are actually saying is that you expect him to stick to your schedule. Can I gently suggest that’s a little bit controlling? 

Calm down, take a breath and stop obsessing. If he’s interested he will call but it is 2016 - you don’t have to wait for him to make all the moves. 

The only way you will find out if you are compatible is to put the phone down and spend time with him.

How would you have responded to these questions? I'd love to know. You can find more advice on my problem page here.


Friday, 21 October 2016

4 Things To Remember When Travelling With Kids

Any parent will tell you that travelling with kids can be a challenge. However, there are a number of ways you can ensure your journey is as smooth and fuss-free as possible.

Here are four things to remember when you’re making a trip with your youngsters in tow.

1. Put their health first

Your child’s well-being is a huge priority, especially when you’re about to embark on a big journey. So aside from making sure their overall health is in check ahead of your trip, it’s vital that you consider the other risks too.

For example, depending on where you’re travelling to, you and your brood may need to get vaccinated. These injections are designed to protect you from contracting a serious or even life-threatening disease while you’re away, so it’s crucial to find out which jabs you might need.

Most injections, such as the typhoid vaccine, are administered as a single jab, however there are others that are made up of several injections over a period of several weeks, so it’s important that you leave enough time for you and your family to get this done ahead of your departure date.

It’s also important that you don’t forget to pack any medicine you might need for your kids, in addition to medical essentials like plasters, antiseptic wipes, insect bite cream and a travel sized thermometer.

2. Pack lots of activities

Keeping your kids occupied is key, so don’t forget to pack lots of fun activities. From colouring books and crayons to portable games consoles, there is an array of travel-friendly activities for your little ones to enjoy during the journey.

If you’re hopping on a plane, you might find that the in-flight entertainment is enough to keep your youngsters amused, while a fully charged tablet packed full of their favourite films, TV shows and apps might be more suitable if you’re travelling by car.

3. Dress them for comfort

Comfort is key while you’re travelling, so it’s important that your children are dressed appropriately. The temperature on planes can vary, so if you’re taking a flight, it’s a good idea to dress them in thin layers that can be added or removed depending how warm or chilly they feel.

If you know the journey is going to be long, avoid putting your kids in restrictive clothing, such as jeans. Also, ditch lace-up shoes in favour of slip-ons or footwear with Velcro fastenings. Aside from being more comfortable for your little ones, this will save you a lot of time and hassle when you arrive at airport security.

4. Relax!

Although you may feel tense at the thought of travelling with your little ones, it’s important that you try to relax. Your kids are more likely to kick up a fuss if you’re acting tense, so to keep any potential meltdowns at bay, the best thing you can do is to remain cool, calm and collected.

What's your best tip for travelling comfortably with the kids?
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