Life with a toddler – the 2014 model 

Does anyone else have a toddler, the male, 2014 model? It came with the early speech development add on already installed. The only reason I enquire is that I’m not sure if mine has a glitch. 

Let me explain in more detail. It was behaving fairly normally for two years and three months. In the past month though it’s suddenly developed a possible malfunction. It requests certain things and then when I produce these items it then proceeds to go into meltdown. It makes a high pitched whining noise and can often just collapse to the floor demanding the opposite to the thing it just requested. 

Toddler, two
The early speech development add on is useful in these situations in that it helps to determine more quickly, the error which has occurred. But it doesn’t always seem satisfied with my efforts to rectify the error. It can often produce statements which are very contradictory. 

I can’t fault it otherwise. It’s entertaining, the extra cute add on was definitely a wise investment, as was the “heart melting smile” option. It’s very helpful with everyday tasks and responds pretty well to suggestions and commands. 

Toddler, two
It’s pretty fuel efficient in that most of what I try to put into it is rejected and instead it prefers to run on empty. It’s relatively good at recharging itself through the day and night although sometimes I do have to help it during this process. I’m not sure if it was accidentally installed with the “extra reassurance” add on but it doesn’t seem to want to be left alone when recharging. 

Overall I love my male, toddler 2014 model. I am thinking of getting another but maybe hold out for the 2020 toddler model as I’ve heard that it may sync with my 2014 model better. 

If you can offer any tips to helps with these glitches then please do. I’m sure they are only temporary though so I will continue to monitor and document the behaviour for the time being. 

Until next time……

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

A romantic evening for three – Valentines with a toddler part two

Hubs arrival home from work is the start of a lovely romantic evening for three. Valentine’s Day with a toddler, part two.
Valentines, romantic
We’ve evaluated the dinner situation over the phone whilst he drives home,and Chinese takeaway is settled on. I was going to struggle to cook with George insisting I sat on the sofa and held his hand. Not objecting just stating it makes cooking difficult. I know these days are numbered.

Ou romantic takeaway unpacked and laid out on our laps, whilst George’s body decides now is the best time to have a poo in front of us. Hubs tries to put something grown up on the tele whilst George screams if we try to turn Iggle Piggle off. Meanwhile I eat with just as clingy a cat propped under my arm. Can cats get colds too?

Dinner done. Iggle Piggle has finally finished, hubby declares “yayyy, we can watch whatever we want!” I insist on more CBeebies as Tom Hardy is just about to grace our screens with the ever popular  and much publicised “Bedtime story”. Everyone is told to be quiet whilst I sit, mouth open (yes really), just analysing every inch of this hunk of gorgeousness whilst he attempts to read a kids bedtime story. I declare that Tom and hubs have exactly the same style beard and on that note, bedtime story is over.

Queue hubs getting up to change the pooey nappy, (my best effort at a valentines present) and I suddenly realise I actually haven’t changed George’s  nappy since I got him dressed that morning. The tantrums and the neediness due to Geo having a cold have distracted me. Hubs is astounded by my lack of carrying out my motherly duties.

Queue me giving hubs his card that tells him just how much I love his willy.

Back in the good books methinks. Who says romance is dead!

Valentines, romantic
Hope your evenings were just as adventurous………

Until the next time……

My funny valentine – Valentines with a toddler part one

🎶My funny valentine

Sweet comic valentine

You make me smile with my heart 🎶

– Frank Sinatra

I thought I’d start with just a few lines from this wonderful song. In honour of the annual celebration of Valentine’s Day  I wanted to share with you my estimation of the day. Do’s, dont’s and couldn’t give a fucks.

  1. Cards -we’ve admitted we have got each other cards. Mine to hubby is actually last years. I bought it, put it in a safe place, forgot where said safe place was, then found it some time in May. The sentiment is the same. It says something about loving his willy (the words on the card, not mine). Although I have been informed by my brother in law that ‘willy’ is soooo not the in thing to say. Apparently those ‘down with the kids’ (I’m in early thirties for fuck sake) now call it the D. The D! Yes, really. Anyways I’m waffling again.
  2. Gifts – we just don’t anymore. We are both watching our weight so choccies are out of the question. Love album Cd’s no. No space for then  and it’s all about the music downloads now. Blimey, I’m old enough to remember making mix tapes! Sexy undies, not planning on staying this size for long so kind of a waste of money.
  3. Flowers – we have three cats and hardly anywhere they can’t get to. One of our cats literally eats everything in sight. When George was born, our bro in law brought us flowers to congratulate us. Before I could get them out of the way she had already eaten a piece of a leaf. It turned it it was a Lily leaf. Cue 3 days in the emergency vets having her kidneys flushed as she was suffering severe poisoning and kidney failure. A £1,300 vet bill later, which was thankfully covered by the insurance, but no thank you. Those gorgeous flowers can stay in the shop.
  4. Going out for a meal. Now this has actually happened. Albeit 2 days prior to the event and with George napping in the pushchair next to the table but this happened. Ok it wasn’t candlelit or anything but we had some quality time together.
  5. The bragging. Now part of me loves the bragging. Seeing the lovely ladies of my life being spoilt all over Facebook. They deserve it. The men. I don’t know. They don’t often tell or they don’t get anything? Who knows. Then there are my single friends. I feel bad that this day is shoved in their faces. Then there are the lovely cards you get sent home from nursery and that’s when I feel like maybe Valentines is for sharing love with everyone,  not just a partner. That is until I see “happy valentines from the cat” in the shop and then I realise how commercially crazy the world has gone.
  6. Quality time – I mean if Valentine’s Day does anything for us it’s to make us feel guilty about not being bothered about spending quality time together just because the calendar says so. I have a cold or a migraine , hubby has had a hard day at the office and a shitty drive home, yet here we are expected to be acting out scenes from the latest 50 shades movie whilst feeding each other chocolate dipped strawberries. The the guilt because what we are actually likely to be doing is eating toad in the hole whilst watching Eastenders and then collapsing in bed with a toddler under one arm and a cat on each foot.
  7. Surprises – waiting for a knock at the door or a delivery to the office. A walking balloon in a box that never comes or a large bouquet of flowers. It’s not gonna happen so I’ll switch anticipation mode off now.
  8. Proposals – myself and most of my family and friends are already married or engaged so there’s few proposals expected. Sadly for me, as I am a bit of a wedding-a-holic.
  9. Spa days – ah yes the spa day. I would actually love a spa day. But I’m thrifty. I want the most I can get for as little money as possible. Just the word ‘Valentines’ added to a spa package will no doubt bump the price up a fair bit straight away. I’d rather we waited and went during a non commercial rip off period
  10. ❤️ Love ❤️ – save the best for last as they say. No matter what you think about Valentine’s Day, I will use it as an opportunity to think about how much I love hubster. We all have been known to take our other half for granted and when you’ve been together 18 and a half years it’s bound to happen. But I love to stop and remind myself why we fell in love. So maybe we will take the evening to watch our wedding video or just talk about the days when we first got together.

Wishing you all a wonderful day whatever you do.

Happy Valentines.

Until next time……

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Reasons to smile – the happy side of parenting. 

I’ve decided to share with you a few reasons to smile if you are a parent of a toddler. Sharing’s caring and all that, and if I make you smile then let me know. I’m a people pleaser so if I make someone happy, that’s makes me happy.

In this crazy world of parenting, I feel like a good majority get far too hung up on the negatives. Lack of sleep, lack of time to yourself, lack of time full stop, non stop mess to tidy, our bodies getting wrecked by these tiny beings blah blah blah. The list goes on.

Parenting does have this little known Happy sidento it. Very, very rarely though do I hear parents talking about it. When asked how they are,  parents often respond with something negative about their child, myself included. It just seems to be the norm now that if someone asks a parent “hi, how are you?” , the response is more often than not related to the child and what terrible phase or stage they are at. Well I’m here to change this trend!

Yes my toddler can drive me up the wall and sometimes I can’t wait to hand him over to someone else for an hour. But this post is to acknowledge how much happiness he brings to my life regardless of any of the struggle parenthood brings.

Kids say the funniest things. Here are some of the classics George has made me giggle with recently.

“where the fuck have you been?”. Said to me after I popped downstairs to grab my drink and bring it upstairs where we were playing. I have to admit I am guilty of saying this word a lot. Naughty mummy, I’m trying to stop I promise.
“I not go ‘flying’ through the windscreen because I don’t have wings!”. This was in response to me explaining why he needed to wear his car seat straps as in a crash he may go flying.
“Don’t worry mummy, I make you better”. Approaching me with his doctors kit after I said I had a migraine.
“Sockies don’t be scared, let’s be friends yeah”. To our cat who isn’t scared of him but the other two run away from him.
“Oh, what’s that noise outside, it’s a girl, she’s sad, she wants me to play with her”. Randomly said during an evening bath.
“Stop singing Daddy’s song!” Whilst singing Queen, Don’t stop me now. This is mine and my sisters karaoke song! When I smiled at him he questioned it! Kids! Always a “what” and a “why” to throw my way.

George is an adorable singer. At not far past two years old, he knows a variety of songs, some old school nursery rhymes and some theme tunes from his favourite TV shows. He often gets me to sing it and then says, “sing it again”. This happens about three times as he watches me intently, learning the words, then sings along with me. It’s adorable. Plus I love having a mini singing buddy and feeling like a superstar when he watches me so intently.

He now gets very excited by the arrival of daylight, jumping up and down on the bed trying to wake us up saying “wake up mummy, daddy, it’s morning time!” He will also put his head under the duvet or crawl under my pillows and declare that he’s hiding. I love his enthusiasm and world of wonderment.


So my challenge to you is to try and share something positive about parenthood next time you are asked.

I fully support sharing all emotions, following the belief that sharing is caring no matter what feeling you share. I am a huge promoter of positivity and optimism though and this post aims to show this.

Until next time……

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The Bedtime Tag : My Routine

The Bedtime Tag, Bedtime Routine

The Bedtime Tag ; just a bit of fun to share with you all my bedtime routine. You may find something helpful you want to instill into your own routine, I have found some fab ideas from reading other posts in this tag.

Shout out to the lovely Tiny Footsteps for tagging me.

  1. Describe your usual bedtime routine.

Honestly, I’m not a stickler for routines although I am a creature of habit. On a good day, I’ll have gorgeous George bathed, he won’t have had a daytime nap, and come 7pm we’ll be in mine or his bed, three stories and he’ll be asleep. Commence “me time”. On a bad day I’ll wait until “Daddy” gets home and George will disappear upstairs so they can both watch football and “wind down” (tickling and screaming for 2 hours because they’ve missed each other) before falling asleep. I’ll enjoy my “me time” during this period by catching up on my phone, blogging, watching tele etc. Me and hubs will get 30-60mins alone together once George is asleep before we are too knackered to watch any more tele or make the most of each other’s company, if you get my drift. TMI!

The Bedtime Tag, child sleeping, bedtime story

2. What are your favourite pajamas?

If it smells clean and it’s comfy, I’ll wear it. My nightwear usually consists of leggings or a t-shirt vest top. I have some lovely fleecy bottoms but anything too baggy generally annoys me and I end up ripping it off in my sleep. It has to almost feel like my skin. That said, I can pretty much fall asleep anytime, anywhere, wearing anything.

3.What is your current bedtime reading?

Reading? I’m not quite sure I understand this question! If you have ever heard the type of dreams I have you would know that no book is going to compare to that shizzle! Get to sleep as quickly as possible and let the mental world of my imagination begin!

4.What would I find on your bedside table?

My phone, although I’m a good girl and switch it to airplane mode once i’m in bed so that I’m not disturbed. Technology in the bedroom is a bone of contention in our house because hubbie can’t sleep without watching something so we have come to a compromise with him watching his I-pad from his bedside, (as opposed to the 42″ tele he insists we have in our bedroom) keeping my side dark and calm. I also have tissues as a bedtime staple and a drink. When Geo wakes in the night, I check the time on my phone and when I return to my bed I always need a drink of water.

5.What scent makes you sleepy?

I don’t have a ‘sleepy scent’ but after joining this taggy I’m going to get one. At best, I’ll squirt some air freshener around if one of our three cats decides to do a shit. Their litter box is in the bathroom across the landing and they usually decide my mealtimes and bedtime are the perfect times for a crap.

6. What is your usual bedtime and wakeup time?

Typically 10/10:30pm I go to bed. George wakes me anytime from midnight to 3am. Just the once. For a bottle of milk. I’m on migraine prevention tablets which on the downside make me fatter but on the plus side have a sedating effect so I have no trouble falling back to sleep. My adorable little alarm clock then wakes me up to the tune of “Mummy, Mummy” at around 7am.

7. What are your top three bedtime products?

Huggies wet wipes for removing my makeup. Although it does diddly squat for my waterproof mascara and I often wake up panda eyed. I really need a better option. Colgate sensitive whitening toothpaste helps send me to the land of nod with sparkling, happy teeth. And my prescribed Pizotifen to prevent me from getting migraines. Rock and Roll!

panda eyes, The Bedtime Tag

8. What is your most common sleeping position?

I’m a tosser. Erm… lets rephrase that, I’m a fidget in bed but I tend to end up on one side or another with one leg out straight and one pulled up as high as possible. A position that didn’t work too well when I used to co-sleep.

9. Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?

Hubbie. Awww. Vomits. No honestly we’ve slept in the same bed consistently for almost 10 years now so I miss him when he’s not there and usually settle easier if he comes to bed the same time as me.

The Bedtime Tag, couple sleeping

10. What is your worst bedtime habit?

I do have a tendency to steal the covers. I always have. And whilst I’m stealing the covers I may as well steal half the bed too. Hubby will be the first to tell you how he sleeps on a tiny sliver of bed, shivering. I’m the one who is up in the night tending to George, potential burglars, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms with low batteries, cats screaming at the window with anything that enters our garden. I know otherwise.

Time to tag some lovelies who would like to share their routine.

Stories of a Dad

Babynotincluded

All Things Amy

The ten questions for my nominees to answer

  1. Describe your usual bedtime routine.
  2. What are your favourite pyjamas?
  3. What is your current bedtime reading?
  4. What would I find on your bedside table?
  5. What scent makes you sleepy?
  6. What is your usual bedtime and wakeup time?
  7. What are your top three bedtime products?
  8. What is your most common sleeping position?
  9. Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?
  10. What is your worst bedtime habit?

The rules of the Bedtime Tag are included them:

Step 1: Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their blog.
Step 2: Display the Bedtime badge; which you can find at the top of this post. (save the picture)
Step 3: Answer the ten questions included above.
Step 5: Nominate between three and five fellow bloggers to take part, and set them the questions.

Box set addiction guide

You wanna get yourself a box set addiction, I’m your gal. Ok I may not watch all the current trending shows but when it comes to a boxset I am one committed lady! I honestly feel like you haven’t lived until you’ve got yourself a box set addiction. Here’s my list of recommendations.

Years back, we’re talking VHS here, myself and childhood sweetheart hubster used to spend hours in my bedroom as late teens. Probably worrying our mothers sick with their overactive imaginations, we actually spent a good majority watching box sets.

television box set addiction

Only fools and horses

A classic! I really don’t need to say too much about this do I? I mean where have you been if you haven’t watched this! And it never gets old. Ok, me and hubs can point out a lot of things that aren’t so politically correct these days but aside from that, this is classic British comedy. Please may it continue.

Vicar of Dibley

Should I be embarrassed of this one? The friendly female vicar who has to convince her parish she is worthy of the position. I own them all and hubs and I in our younger days used to watch them on repeat during dinner times. They never failed to make us laugh. Dawn French as the vicar plays the type of person I hope I have become. Forgiving, patient, and able to see the good in all.

Men Behaving Badly

Late nights spent in tears of laughter watching this together. Two guys, two gals living in the flat above and below each other. It’s obnoxious, hilarious and you so wouldn’t want it to be your life but it’s great comedy.

Friends

We still watch these on repeat now. Non offensive they even provide a great background when guests are visiting. 6 friends sharing life together. Although again, if you needed to read what it is about then you truly have been living like a recluse. I used to love having chats about which “friend” we felt we was. FYI I’m mostly phoebe but with a hint of Monica but only hubs see the Monica side of me.

Peep Show
My maternity leave was the start of this particular obsession. A hard going pregnancy and a strenuous job left me starting maternity leave at 7 months pregnant. Enter Peep Show box set addiction. I convinced myself that the baby couldn’t come until I had finished every last hilariously weird episode. Suitably apt for my mind.

Peaky Blinders

Skip to May 2016, and Peaky Blinders. Seeing series three was starting and featuring Tom Hardy (my newest person to swoon over after years of Leonardo-Di-Caprio addiction), anyway, I digress. So with series three’s imminent arrival on BBC one, and my mum having raved about it, I was desperate to get in on the action. I visited my local library and requested to have the DVD sent from another library for me to loan. Both series were on a waiting list.
Queue the moment when hubby made me love him even more by subscribing to Netflix. In less than a few weeks we had watched two full series of Peaky Blinders. I was starting to develop a brummie accent and even threatening to ‘cut’ anyone that upset me or mine (laughs madly). The box set addiction had begun. But as series 3 drew to a close, I quickly found I needed something to fill my time. After all, it’s not like I have a toddler is it! (Winks slyly, gosh I’m struggling to write these days without featured emojis).

The Walking Dead

Seeing that Season 7 was due to start in around 6 weeks of The Walking Dead, I felt compelled to jump on the bandwagon. Luckily Sky had all the series box sets 1-6. With sixteen episodes per season, the house fell into disarray. Every nap time and bedtime I crammed in as much as I could. Nothing else mattered! As Season 7 began on Sky, I was up to speed and happily joined in with everyone else. A bonus to this was my zombie phobia was pretty much cured and I was safe to browse social media without seeing spoilers.

The Crown

So here we here. 2017. My newest and highly recommended boxset (as are all of the above) has to be The Crown. Matt smith is easy on the eye and Clare Foy is just perfection at playing her royal highness The Queen. It certainly gives you a wonderful insight into the little known life of the Royal Family. They have always fascinated me and I’ve always said I would love to be a fly on the wall of Buckingham Palace.

television box set addiction

So there we have it! What are your favourites? I need recommendations to line up as my next addiction. I really don’t think I’m a Game of Thrones sort of girl and as much as I’d love to watch American Horror Story, I really can’t deal with the supernatural. Answers on a….comments box please. Although you can pretend it’s a virtual postcard.

For more in depth info on all the box sets mentioned I would recommend IMDb .

Until next time………

The truth about Father Christmas.

This post is going to reveal to you the truth about Father Christmas. Have you ever honestly, as an adult, sat down and thought about the story of Father Christmas as we tell it? If you have ever wanted someone to pick that story apart then never fear, I am here to do it for you.

If that’s not like telling a child not to eat the Haribo sweet in front of them, I don’t know what is.

Just to reiterate. This post is not to be read by those that believe.

christmas, nut cracker, father christmas, santa
So it’s Christmas time. A time for loving, sharing, giving, and for constantly trying to sell the magic of Christmas to our little ones. The thing with me is, that I love to pick holes in things, even things that are magical. I was a child once and I know that just because you are learning about the world, doesn’t mean you are stupid. So as fabulous as magical traditions and fairytales are, I feel that in order to be believed fully, they have to be believable. So let’s break it down Dave Gorman style. (If you’re not a fan of ‘Dave Gorman- Modern life is goodish’ then that last comment has gone over your head).

There’s the obvious of how does Santa get in if you don’t have a chimney. That has been solved but someone running their hands together as they cash in on “Santa’s magic key” that we all buy and hang on the front door. Personally, this freaks me out as I continually have nightmares about burglars coming in. If I was a clever kid, I would question why it doesn’t open the door for everyone but I know you will all say because only Santa’s magic can work it. Blah blah. So that’s that.

Then there’s the leaving white footprints across the house idea, in an attempt to make it look like Santa has walked across the room. Parents are buying stencils or making their own and using flour, icing sugar and alike to make snowy prints. The child will wake in the morning and think “wow”. Me, personally again, the burglars come to mind! Some strange man has evidentially walked round our house whilst we are all asleep! Ok he has left gifts as opposed to robbing us, but still! The kid has only got to watch Home Alone in the run up to Christmas and the snowy footprints suddenly won’t be so magical.

christmas, family
Now for the cracker (pun intended). So, we go to the effort of laying out yummy treats, snacks and drinks for Father Christmas and his reindeer to have when they arrive. They will be hungry and thirsty after all that present delivering after all. Some parents have given into buying a special plate for said treats, (the corporate elves are gleefully rubbing their hands again). The treats are chosen and placed on the plate carefully. The plate is then placed in an obvious place for Father Christmas to find. It’s all very well thought out, with lots of time and effort placed on this one act alone.

Now here’s the piece de resistance. We modern techies, get our smart technology out and show our marvelling little minds the Santa Norad tracker. For those of you that haven’t used it, I’ll explain. It shows you a satellite view of Santa flying above the world. It shows you at the time of loading, where Santa is, how many presents he has delivered and counting, and how many minutes until he reaches you. “Wow” my little one exclaimed when I showed him. Wow indeed! I mean what I have just showed you is Father Christmas flying through the skies, being led by his 8 reindeer. Continually travelling across the world,  with present delivery numbers rising. At no point have I showed you Santa stopping at every house, eating snacks and placing presents in stockings. If that’s not the most questionable thing about Christmas then I don’t know what is! (Well I do, but I was always taught that religion is a topic you should never discuss in a professional setting).  I asked hubby what he thought of the whole charade I had just played out and his answer was, “magic!”. Magic indeed!

I then proceeded to drink the perfectly laid out milk, whilst hubby rubbed the biscuits together to leave crumbs. I then snapped the carrot and grated the ends to give it that nibbled look! In the meantime, the Norad tracker showed Santa gleefully riding above Saudi Arabia!

father christmas plate, santa
Feeling exhausted by all the white lies I’d put so much effort into, I fell into bed on Christmas Eve. As I lay there, I suddenly realised that I wasn’t sleepy. Ironically, I was actually so excited about Santa coming and George seeing that he had been,that I couldn’t sleep! I tossed and turned all night, too excited by my own lies.

When morning arrived and we got up with George, it became apparent that I hadn’t done a very good job at lying. George has got the wrong end of the fibbing stick and was disappointed that Father Christmas was not waiting downstairs for him. After all, who visits someone’s house and doesn’t wait to see the person who lives there! Deary me! So there you have it, the truth about Father Christmas, or Santa, or whatever you like to call him.

Until next time…….

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Reasons to love and hate Christmas

So here are some reasons why to love and hate Christmas. You may relate to some of these, you may not. But however you feel about Christmas, the reality is that as with anything, Christmas is what you make of it.

So let’s start on a high with a reason I love Christmas.

christmas, magic

  1. Love:- It brings people together. Whether it’s forced or not, whether it happens on 25th December or not, people make the effort to come together at Christmas. Family, friends, neighbours, communities, they all come together to celebrate and marvel in the wonder of Christmas.
  2. Hate:- Christmas isn’t a happy time for everyone. For some it reminds them all too brutally of those they have lost. Those who are no longer around the dinner table. Then there are those who are homeless and desperately ill. For them can often just be another day of despair. Although many people now commit their time and efforts towards helping the homeless, I’m in no doubt that these services are likely oversubscribed. There are people who miss out and suffer the same as every other day. Not to forget the amazing people who work in our public services on Christmas Day, nurses, police and alike. They all give up their Christmas Day to be there to look after you and keep you safe.
  3. Love:- presents. In recent years I haven’t received as many presents. What with me being a grownup and all. We all often mutually agree to just but for the children. It’s much cheaper and we both come from a family of many siblings. Niece and nephew count this year is up to 12! But when the unwrapping commences I just love to see the smile on their faces. Hubby usually buys me something and our parents often disobey the rules claiming that technically we are their children so we receive gifts from them. I love buying, receiving, wrapping and giving presents though.
  4. Hate:- presents. Yes unfortunately as much as I love them, I also hate them. The insistence that something MUST be bought for people. I overheard a middle aged woman in the queue in M&S saying to her elderly mother, “Eugh, I’ve GOT to get you something yet!”. Talk about take the spirit out of Christmas!
  5.  Love:- The food! Oh the food! Without meaning to cause offence to anyone, I have always described myself as a fat girl in a not so fat girls body. Although trust me as I age and my metabolism slows, that and I sit on my arse a lot. I’m getting fatter all the time. Nonetheless I love using Christmas as an excuse to overindulge in all the yummy food. Just forget about points and calories and whatever else people worry about and eat, eat, eat.
  6. Hate:- The food! You’re seeing a trend here aren’t you. I love my food. I would even describe myself as a bit of a foodie. But my word, I didn’t realise I was a fussy eater until I thought about all the traditional Christmas food. Christmas pudding, mince pies, parsnips, mulled wine! Yuk! I hate them all. Then there’s the weight gain. As much as I spend Christmas minus my conscience, as soon as it’s over I feel bloated and dare not even look at the scales. The detox and healthy eating plans commence for all of 4 days until New Years and it all starts again.
  7. Hate:- The Money it costs:- Ok so you could argue that you know that Christmas is coming each year. So technically you could put some money by each month, but even this is a hardship for some. Christmas is an expense that leaves some feeling stressed or in unnecessary debt. And you could say that these people are silly to overstretch themselves but we have created a society where some kids are getting the latest technology or the must have toy for Christmas. Most parents don’t want their child to feel like they are missing out or not “good” enough. A lot of emphasis seems to be placed on the gifts you get depending on how well behaved you have been throughout the year when in fact it’s what your parents can afford.
  8. Love:-The Parties:- The obligatory Christmas work do. Despite being a stay at home mum, I still get invited to the works do where I used to work. It’s food, drink, dancing and silliness and it’s the only time of year it seems to happen. In recent years and more and more of my friends have become mummies, it’s become harder to get us all together for an evening out. Christmas seems to force this and for this reason. I love it.
  9. Love:- Father Christmas aka Santa aka St Nick. The man of many names, many a disguise and many a location. He seems to crop up in more and more places and I love him for it. I love the notion of a magical land where the toys are lovingly made and distributed by the fabulous man himself. I love visiting the grotto with my now two year old and knocking on his door waiting to see him.
  10. Hate:- Father Christmas aka Santa aka St Nick. There doesn’t seem to be a place now that isn’t cashing in on this guy. He’s cropping up in schools, supermarkets, pubs, garden centres, aquariums, even the Zoo! I’m sure there wasn’t this many a Father Christmas when I was a little un. If anything I feel it spoils the magic. You can take you child to see Father Christmas and as you are leaving you bump into another. Thankfully George is still too young to notice. Only a few weeks ago we visited the Winter wonderland at Centreparcs with my brother in law and his children. Their little boy is 4 and went in before us. When we both came out and looked at our photos with Father Christmas, my nephew pointed out that ours looked different. There was two FC’s operating at the same time in rooms next to each other! For this reason I have imposed a strict “one grotto a year” rule for George. If nothing but to try and keep him believing just that little bit longer. Kids are growing up wayyyyyy too fast these days as it is!

So there you have it. Do you agree or disagree with any? Are there any big ones you think I’ve missed? Feel free to share with us. This list expresses how I feel personally about Christmas.

Wishing you all a very Happy 2016 Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year. X

Until next time……

You Baby Me Mummy

Gentle parenting: Saying “No!” to time-outs

This post will be focusing on our love of gentle parenting techniques, as we approach the more challenging possibly not so aptly named, terrible twos. 

pregnancy gentle parenting

When I was pregnant with George I did a lot of research into raising a child. I have never been particularly maternal but I had an inkling that should I become a parent, that I would be a pretty good one, going only on the basis of how great an aunty I was. How smug does that sound! But honestly having confidence in our own abilities isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s not like I go round pointing fingers at people saying that’s right, that’s wrong. Although I can see some methods are a little ineffective, I still don’t believe there is a right or wrong. After all, every child, parent and lifestyle is different. And in all honesty, as much as I knew I had the capacity to be a good parent (whatever that is anyway), I was still very, very doubtful of whether my motherly instincts would kick in. To the point that I had nightmares about it when I was pregnant, and when George was born, I was very reluctant for others to hold him as I feared he may enjoy being held more by them than being held by my awkward self. Little did I know then that holding your own baby is nowhere near as scary and awkward feeling as it is holding other people’s. So back to the matter in hand;

Anyhow, I could and still can always see areas of other people’s parenting that was essentially failing. Can’t we all? Watching people lose their rag all too quickly, not watching what their children are doing when they are in danger, you know the type of stuff we all silently judge each other for. But I love a challenge and parenting is certainly that. I wasn’t prepared to have anyone silently judging me. I have to succeed. Failure from myself isn’t an option in my twisted mind. When I fell pregnant though, the pregnancy wasn’t as easy as I had imagined. That’s when I realised that this wasn’t going to be something I would be able to completely control. I could have an ideal of how I wanted it to be, whilst controlling factors such as my diet and exercise. But in the end, my body was going to do what it wanted and I was going to have to just learn to live with it as amicably as I could. Carpel tunnel syndrome, stretch marks despite using all the best potions, fluid retention, you name it, it bit me hard and there was fuck all I could do about it in the grand scheme of things, except ride it out and try and enjoy it. After all, you are supposed to be radiantly blooming aren’t you. I watched Father of the Bride 2 wayyyyyyyy too many times!

I took to social media, joining various bump and baby groups in an attempt to met some like-minded people and ensure that when bubba was born I wouldn’t be a hermit whilst all my pre-pregnancy friends worked. It was in these groups that I discovered Gentle and attachment parenting methods.

Since becoming a mum, I’ve realised that parenting is much the same as preganacy, life indeed! You can apply methods and theories to your way of parenting, but overall, your child is a living, growing person. Your child will be who they want to be. You have to learn how to leave in peaceful existence with them whilst teaching them good morals and values that they can carry through life. And as much as you fear that what you are doing could still result in them growing up to become a drug addicted, murderer (worst case scenario). You have just got to hope, pray and well just not be such a psychopath and chill the fuck out with it all. This is where gentle parenting matches how I wish to live my life and teach my son that the world is a happy, chilled place, for the most part.

Once George was born, my instincts of wanting to keep him safe and happy remained, as they had throughout my pregnancy. I never wanted him to feel sad or frustrated. I wanted to protect and nurture him in any way that I could. Being an 80’s baby I was raised as most British 80’s kids were. There was nothing wrong with it. I always insisted that I would raise my child in the same way I was raised because “I turned out alright”. But when this little 7 pound chunk of gorgeousness landed in my arms, I suddenly went all bohemian in my mindset. I wanted to do things my way and as much as I was happy to ask for other more experienced mums input, I didn’t want it imposed on me. 

This is where gentle parenting entered our lives. Gentle parenting is a compassionate form of parenting, focusing on empathising with your child and helping to support and respect their feelings as much as your own. After all they are merely humans like ourselves. I brought hubby on board. Adding him to the groups and sharing any articles I read to ensure that we were being consistent in our parenting approach. I’ve been so fortunate that he has been happy to follow the same methods and beliefs without any hesitation. Now I could tell you each and every aspect of gently parenting, what it means, how you go about it, but I think this article best explains it. Taken from the Gentle Parenting website itself. If you are a parent, just take the time it takes to drink your cuppa and have a little read. It would be so lovely if my post had ultimately let you to find ways you could enhance your style of parenting.

Taken from the gentle parenting website. http://www.gentleparenting.co.uk/kc/gentleparentingtips/

It does worry me how restrictive things might be when George enters the education system however. Thankfully his nursery doesn’t impose any limits that we disagree with yet. But it’s something we will definitely be adding to our list of things to ask when interviewing potential schools.

As a rule though, gentle parenting doesn’t back the use of time outs, naughty steps, reward charts and alike. It’s not to say George doesn’t get a sticker here and there if he does something outstanding like at the end of a play group session. But we don’t have a chart. He wears them and it’s not a consistent regime. We always discuss behaviour that could harm and then he goes about his day. If we did choose to remove him from a situation as he grew older and potentially more defiant then we would sit with him so he could vent his emotion but know he is safe with our presence. This teaches him morals and guides him towards thinking about his behaviour and why he should or shouldn’t do things. Rather than him thinking oh if I do that I’ll get a reward.

Here’s another article I have recently stumbled across to help keep us on track as the more testing “terrible twos” descend upon us. Although “touch wood”, we seem to be having an easier time than other parents around us that I see. I can’t help but wonder if this would have been different had we not led with gentle parenting.

http://news.nationalpost.com/health/no-more-time-outs-and-reward-charts-psychologist-advises-parents-ditch-traditional-approaches-to-discipline

So I hope this post has given you food for thought. And please don’t take it as me being a judgemental arsehole. I’m really not. I believe we are all entitled to parent how we wish, after all, its ultimately ourselves that have to live with the consequences.

Until next time …………

Happy 2nd Birthday – a letter to my gorgeous George. 

birthday
A letter to my gorgeous George on your second birthday…..

How can it be that I love you even more than I did yesterday my precious gorgeous George. I look back on the days when I used to gaze at your newborn self and wonder what would become of you. What would your voice sound like? What kind of personality would you have? Would you love everything me and daddy love? Well now two years have past and I already have answers for these ponderings.

You are an adorable little man. You amuse everyone with the things you say and the conciseness with which you say it. You are my world. I would do anything to make this the best world it can be for you. Be that protecting you from the nasties, or pushing through my own limits to make your day a happy and memorable one.

I know as you grow you will continue to amaze me and teach me as much as I teach you. Your personality is becoming so quirky and cheeky. You also have an exceptional talent for repeating what you hear. From coming into the kitchen to tell Daddy he is scum (think you may have overheard mummy and daddy commenting on one another’s pop offs) to getting upset because the moon disappeared whilst we are driving. I love your world. You can argue that a hat is not a hat, or be mesmerised for ages by a ladybird (who we have fondly named Gaston, after a character from one of your favourite shows Ben and Holly’s little Kingdom).

I love you dots and dots (not a typo, something mummy started when you were tiny, to be different).
I hope this, being the first birthday you are fully aware of, has been as fantastic as mummy and daddy wanted it to be for you. And there’s still more to come.

Until next year……