New Beginnings

I’ve had an awful year. There has been lots of personal problems that have divided my attention and time. But these past two months things have turned a corner. Perhaps one I wasn’t expecting or initially wanted, but perhaps what was needed.

For all the best intentions in the world, sometimes things just cannot work out the way you want them to. Things break. Stress, life and illness can get in the way. 

So, what does that mean here on the blog? Well I am still rebranding. I am still sticking with the name and nothing much will change. However, for a while at least there will be little posts on parenting and family for personal reasons. I may comment on life as a parent but in a less direct manner. Instead this blog is going to be purely concentrating on gaming. Due to my pending move from one home to another in the near future, I do not know when I will finish the posts I have been writing behind the scenes. I also currently do not have access to my computers or consoles (I need to buy new ones). With my handy smartphone being much more blogging friendly, it means I should be able to update or at least converse over Twitter or Facebook more to chat with you all things life and gaming. 

I am in talks currently with hosting options and the blog will be gaining its own domain name which makes me very excited! I am also looking for an artist who can help me with the logo and design of the page. 

Related news is that soon I will be starting a journalism course which will gain me more links in the industry and in the press world. Rather exciting. I also plan to get back in with all you fellow bloggers and perhaps meet some of you at events across the UK. 

Thank you for being ever so patient and still following me. Please come and say hi on Twitter or Facebook the links of which are below. I look forward to giving you all further news and developments and talking to you all.

Always forward, forward always.

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Work & Family -The Home & Life Balance

worklifebalance

So my new job is in full swing for the past few weeks (wasn’t meaning to be so long between posts!), and my Hubby just got a proper job too! Of course, this is a massive change for Miss. She is used to having Mummy to herself (to a point!). And Daddy goes out sometimes, but not for long periods of time like shift work causes.

Adjustment is needed. Tonight while Hubby went off to work, she said “Daddy isn’t coming back.” And I said time and time again, yes he is just after your bedtime. I tried explaining how Mummy is at work in the mornings but Mummy comes back later. This is the same thing. But she is still finding it difficult to understand. She even started wetting the bed again.

It’s hard. I hate leaving at the morning at six AM. My heart strings feel like they’re breaking to be sneaking out of the house, even though I know this will be so much better for us. My job is also flexible, in that as she gets older I can move my hours around to longer or to be around school times.  Hubby will be the stable breadwinner, which makes him happy, and he’s guaranteed overtime if he wants it. My work, well it’s a bit pants money wise. But I’m enjoying it, and that’s great. I’ve worked in a variety of different settings, but this one is different entirely. It’s not all paperwork or being sat at a computer or stacking shelves. It suits me.

As time goes on, we’ve no idea at this stage what will happen. I may not get any work one week (I really hope not!) which would hamper that week entirely for shopping. At least for now, Miss seems to be adjusting. It’ll just take time.

What about you? Are you a parent who works? How did you manage if you went back to work when your kid was older? Comment or Tweet me, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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10 Things to Try with Your Preschooler This Summer

(c)TheGamingMum 2015

(c)TheGamingMum 2015

Summer holidays suck as a parent. As a child it never seems long enough. But for a parent who can’t explain to her threenager that we’re on a very low income as I await hours for my new job; this is hell.

When you cannot drive between you and the Grandparents are all busy, this means one thing. Most days you will be at home. Nearly every day. With no access to the garden which needs attacking by professionals. Seriously, I have a jungle for a garden, but unless you have over 30m extension cable, good luck reaching it!

But this sucks. I start a new job soon so I thought naively that I would be able to enjoy these last few weeks as a stay at home mum. No. We are officially a month down from when Nursery said it’s summer for those who aren’t paying for extra hours. And most of that month I admit has made me cry, scream, and wonder what I’ve done wrong. It’s not like a year ago before she went to Nursery and it was an everyday all day thing. Her mind has moved on, needing more and more stimulation or the meltdowns start. And quite frankly, for a child that can already count to thirty unaided, and has been saying the alphabet since she was two, this Mum has no idea where to go next learning wise!

Trying to teach her to write her name makes her frustrated, her name starts with a K and she can’t get the hang on the letter. I’m slowly teaching her French to compliment what Nursery are supposed to be teaching her (think I’ve taught her more than them). Miss is just so independent now, with a proper personality and attitude to match. The Threenager is definitely in residence!

So what am I to do? Here is a list of everything we’ve tried so far!

  • Colouring/writing/drawing – obvious but we just got given a printer so I’m able to print out many Peppa Pig/Doc Mcstuffins/Dora pictures as demand dictates.
  • Cutting/Sticking – only allowed when Mum is prepared for the mess and for the inevitable “I got glue in my hair Mummy!”
  • The ScrapBook. When she was in the Toddler room at Nursery, the kids would be given a copy of the Argos book to rip,cut and look through as they wanted. I thought this was genius as the massive book is free. All I have to do is walk into town, She will quite happily just sit and look through it and occasionally I’ll get the preschooler scissors out for her to practise with. And when it’s finished with, recycle and go get a new one!
  • Origami – I’m not great at this, though a quick google search can tell you all you need to make a paper hat, frog, pirate ship etc! Oodles of fun!
  • Dressing up – I admit, her dressing up box is a bit lacking. But combine bits such as old cot bedsheets for capes and the origami hats in different shapes and we have everything from pirates to superheroes to princesses!
  • Puppets – you can buy sets or make your own! Also if you use card and cut out the “puppets” you could try shadow puppets on a sunny day and make up a story!
  • The park – on good days, the best place to go to tire out little high energy persons! We’re lucky in that there is lots of different parks where we are so there is some variety.
  • Painting – With my Miss, this is not for the faint hearted. I have found paint on our ceiling. And we have high ceilings! Mind boggles.
  • Shopping – This is here because normally I do my shopping child free when she is at Nursery. I do not put her in the trolley and instead she walks around quite happily helping me fill the trolley and then emptying it! If I’m using the self-scan, she’ll help scan non-fragile stuff too.
  • Playdoh – The prepackaged stuff is amazing, but for cheap you can also make your own when you want it. It doesn’t last as long but hey, cheap is good! I’ll do a future blog post on my recipe for it and what I do to make it interesting!

There is more I could add to this list, but you get the idea!

How are you coping with the summer? Do you have any ideas to share? Tweet me or comment below!

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World of Warcraft: Legion!

Blizzard Entertainment announced a brand new expansion! Streamed live from GamesCon (not Blizzcon!)

World of Warcraft: Legion!

World of Warcraft: Legion.

Oh my goodness. I watched the stream with Hubby & Miss (who eventually went to Peppa Pig on the PS4) and my Hubby screamed. Maybe I did too. Okay so I totally did.

At the first cinematic, the lead in from WoD, both of us cringed. Neither of us want to see another Orc expansion. Just no. It was a nice cinematic and I am proud to say it was me, not the Veteran of WoW, who spotted Illidan! I may be overly chuffed at that.

There was talking, then the announcement trailer. This is what we were all waiting for. Here is the run down with screenshots of the slides taken from MMO Champion as I was watching on Hubby’s PC (he has the speakers!)

New Hero Class –  The Demon Hunter! 

Demon Hunter!!

Demon Hunter!!

So excited for this! When the teaser on Twitter suggested that there may be a new class that was already in Heroes of the Storm, I suggested a link to Illidan but both myself and Hubby poo pooed it. We didn’t think it’d happen at all! And a hero class like the Death Knight means no levelling from 1! I hope it also means we can miss out on levelling in Draenor again..

New Continent – The Broken Isles

The Broken Isles

The Broken Isles

New continent pictures of zones looks amazing. So pretty and interesting! And the fact Dalaran is coming too? Yes please!!! Dalaran is amaze balls ! Please make it like the current Dalaran though where we could mix with each faction!

Artifact Weapons

Doomhammer ArtifactDoomhammer & Ashbringer!!

Doomhammer & Ashbringer!!

The new type of legendary/no more class talents while levelling sounds brilliant! This is totally taken from FFXIV and I don’t understand why people are complaining about this, I think this is brilliant, plus the ability to get different transmog from different things through the game/expansion.

Class Order Halls

A glimpse of a class hall

A glimpse of a class hall

The new and improved garrison. Not instanced. With a class storyline? This sounds great! I still need to read up more and keep an eye out about these though. Could we all get class mounts too? Don’t make it cost a raid tier though….

Adventure to Level 110
Ten levels not five is the way to go!

New Dungeons and Raids

With eight others too!

Hall of Valor! with eight other dungeons too

So Blizzard want to make Dungeons more of a thing! Brilliant! The list so far is nine dungeons! That is correct, nine! Some for levelling and some for after the story! And the two raids also look amazing! I say amazing too much… but they do! I’m really looking forward to the Emerald Nightmare!

New Honor System

I love the idea of prestige ranks. Everyone has the same advantage, PVP gear also no longer being something to carry in your bag! Wohoo!

Beta begins later this year.

Yahoo!

Just, so happy. If they include everything announced it will be the largest and fullest expansion to date. And Blizzard please read my previous post HERE so you do not make any further mistakes and make this one what you have so far promised. Do not let your players down Blizzard, your subscribers and threatening to break Blizzard. If this expansion does not succeed, Warcraft will be over.

My guess is that beta will be launched at Blizzcon in November with the release making WoD an 18 month expansion which would funnily enough coincide with the Warcraft movie in May next year!

I will do more posts on the expansion as time goes on and more information comes out.

What do you think? Tweet me or comment below! Did you watch the stream and are you on the hype train or sitting in a jar of salt?

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What to do when tantrums get you down 


Picture sourced from Pexel.com

This week has been a pure battle of wills. Miss now no longer listens to me, and instead bites, hits, shouts and treats me like I’m garbage. A slave for her every whim. If I say “no” she completely ignores it.

This causes major problems when we are out. I no longer can risk taking her to my local shop as she cannot be trusted to stay holding my hand or not shoplift. Obviously this is dangerous, we do not exactly live in a very quiet area and some drivers do not think about their speeding in a mainly family orientated neighbourhood.

I’m starting a new job soon, so I really don’t want to come home and just end up with a headache. I want it to be that I can come home and play with her.

The final straw with this behaviour was when we took her swimming the beginning of last week. Both before and after she decided that it was her way or no way. The changing room echoed with her high pitched, ear piercing screams that completely made the fact she was swimming solo in the pool a non event. Hubby said after he knew something was wrong as other parents were coming out whispering and muttering to themselves. When we got home, I burst into tears. My darling girl who loves to help and was the most polite kid ever had turned into a headache-inducing monster. And ninety-nine percent of the time the evil part was aimed at Mummy.

There has been major changes since then, some of which mean there are a few extra tantrums. However, they are contained. To a point heh.

  • No TV after breakfast. Unless the PS4 is going on for a game for family game time, Spotify music is the rest of the day. More on this in a later post!
  • Time out/Naughty Chair. We have rules and if they are not followed there are consequences. Miss will be made safe on the chair and I make sure she cannot hurt herself in her rage before I leave and ignore her.
  • There are rules. Why is this a bulletpoint? Because kids need boundaries. If they think they can get away with anything, they will and they will do it.

This works for me. She and I are both happier people.

The point is, this is learning for the whole family. When looking into how to discipline your children, there are many different methods. Some will work, others won’t. If you’re a parent who like me last week is in tears reading this, don’t worry. It is okay to cry, go scream in a pillow and be mad. Just go take a break (safely!), have a cuppa and rethink. Remember that your child reflects your moods and just try to relax. It will be okay.

What do you do or have you tried? Comment here or catch me on Twitter @TheGamingMum and brainstorm!

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Just keep swimming! First time at the pool!

  

Wednesday was the hottest day of the year so far at 34c! We’d gone to visit the grandparents and were sat in the garden talking when Hubby had a brain wave. “Let’s go swimming!” Genius. The paddling pool, while great, meant that Nanny couldn’t get in and was feeling left out (she has physical disabilities) so when this was suggested, she kick started into gear and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her move that fast! 

This was the first time we had taken Miss swimming and to be honest, I’m not the best swimmer. I can swim but not for long and I flounder a bit, also I have to know I can touch the bottom. So no deep end for me! When Miss is older, I’m hoping she’ll have even just a few lessons so she can be properly accustomed to the water and feel safe in it. From pregnancy I wanted to take her swimming but due to not being a strong swimmer I always put it off. There is only so much you can teach her in a bath (safety stuff and about floating with Mummy holding). 

Armbands were purchased, costumes changed into and slowly walked Miss from the changing room to the pool. She did not want to let go of my hand. Hubby helped her get her armbands on and we walked in. Our local pool has a beach like setup so little kids can paddle and explore the pool safely. 

To begin with, she definitely wasn’t sure. The water was cool and it was a lot bigger than the paddling pool at Nanny’s house! We were lucky in that for a general swim session, it was fairly quiet. I think if it had been noisy, lots of kids and all hell breaking loose (how I expect it to be when summer break starts in two weeks!) she would’ve noped right out of there.

With a lot of encouragement and the introduction to a pool noodle, she started to float and kick her legs! (“A noodle?! Mummy you’re silly!”) I’m so proud. If anyone splashed near her she panicked a little bit but for the child that has screamed about hair washing for two years, she did amazingly. 

When time was finally up as we only had an hour in the pool, Miss started to cry.

“I don’t want to get out Mummy!”

Bless her. I had to explain that there were children having lessons now so we had to get out and we’d come another day. 

So really, that first swim went swimmingly! (Pah bum tsst! Alright I’ll stop the puns..) We are trying to be a healthier family (more on that in another post) and swimming is probably one of the better exercises this Mummy can do since she has no idea how to exercise. And bonus is, when Hubby and I went solo when she was at preschool on Friday, I got my confidence up and I didn’t hurt after. We are headed there today, and Miss is so excited! 

Have been swimming with young children? Did you pay for lessons or you also going solo? Comment and tweet me, I’d love to hear your stories!