Category Archives: Motherhood

My potty training tips.

I present to you my potty training tips. I personally prefer the term potty practice. Training makes me feel like I have a puppy that needs teaching. From my own experience, George will do things when he is ready. It is my role to guide him and just show him a good way of doing things. Not to train him, not to show him the right way. To guide him towards a way that works for the both of us. All the while gauging what he feels comfortable with.

I am by no means claiming to be an expert. Blimey who really is! We are all so different, we have to adapt things to our own and our child’s specific needs and capabilities. But we have smashed this so called potty training in 5 days. After 5 days George was dry DAY and NIGHT. I will admit he had one night time accident, but I will explain how to try to avoid this later on in the post. I read so many mums saying how awful and horrific the process was. Aside from day 2 where I had to clean up 6 wees it really was easy.

  1. Look for signs your child is ready. However, this isn’t always a good indicator. At 18 months old George was telling us he had soiled his nappy and getting the bits for us to change it. I took this as him knowing when he needed to have a wee or poo. I introduced the potty, quite successfully for a day or two. Until he needed a poo. He was bare bottomed and started pooing in the kitchen whilst standing, he ran in the living room screaming, poo pebbles falling around his ankles.

Hubs and I used gentle voices and told him it was fine and tried to get him to sit on the potty. We told him not to worry and quickly cleaned up. From that point he refused to use the potty or the toilet. Preferring to stand and scream and cry that he wanted a nappy on. For fear of him hurting himself by holding on to his toilets, we reverted back to nappies.

We spoke to him lots and tried a few times in the months following that to get him to try the potty again. At his 2 year check-up at 23 months I told the health visitor what had happened, half expecting a “why isn’t he potty trained yet?” lecture. She was so supportive and told me to leave it a long while as he was clearly traumatised by the poo-cident.

Note our successful 5 days leading to the farewell nappy parade happened at 33 months.

  1. One of the most important things is to avoid making a big deal when accidents occur. We are all human. None of us are 100% perfect. I really believe this will only put your child off the whole process even more if they see you getting angry or upset over spilt wee. I know myself that if I am doing something and someone reprimands me for the way I am doing it, I am very reluctant to perform that task again in the presence of that person.
  2. On the flip side, complete over the top praise is definitely necessary during potty practice. Did you ever see “Look Who’s Talking Too” when John Travolta and Kirstie Alley sing the pee pee on the pottayyy song. This so needs to happen. Along with numerous hi-fives, cuddles, and stickers for the t-shirt and facetimes and phone calls to grandparents to tell them what you just did. Anything that makes them feel accomplished, special, amazing and worthy. They need this so much. I really believe this helps immensely.
  3. I’m not going to tell you to prepare as such but it does help to have a few items in place before you start. Personally the items that have got us through this transition are;
  • A potty. We don’t have the latest all singing all dancing character potty. We have a bog stand, white, cheaper than cheap floor potty.
  • A toddler toilet seat. This helps make the seat smaller so they can sit comfortably without fear of falling in the toilet bowl. A seat with handles is ideal. Ours again was cheap and cheerful, easy to sling in a bag and take out with us.
  • Pull-ups. Because if accidents are going to happen, it’s a damn site easier. Some people choose to remain housebound during potty practice, we still had to go about our lives. So for bedtimes, trips to other people’s houses, or longer than 10 minute car journeys, pull ups are a godsend.

I’d recommend the more expensive ones with a wetness indicator so your child can aim to ensure the indicator doesn’t disappear. Otherwise they will just try and use it like a nappy potentially. FYI, they don’t hold much wee compared to a nappy. If you can get them with a favourite character on, bonus points! The character helps to encourage them to wear the pull up. You’ve just won the “you aren’t going to wear nappies anymore” battle and yet here you are presenting them with something that looks very much like a nappy. Confused much. The character will help distract from the point. Emphasis this is just to catch accidents which won’t happen but it’s ok if they do.

  • Big boy/big girl pants or knickers. If you can get them with a favourite character bonus points!
  • Loo roll. You’ll suddenly go from the Queen/King of multiple uses for baby wipes to the Goddess/God of loo roll and lessons in how little you actually need to use.
  1. Rewards chart. I know many of you will shudder at the thought of such a system. I too was against them having followed gentle parenting methods for the first year of George’s life. As he evolved into a toddler however, I realised that no ONE method was going to suit us when it came to parenting. Instead we choose to take advice from parenting styles we agree with and then adapt them to our child and our way of life.

Don’t get me wrong, I was so fearful that as soon as he received ten stickers and got his hands on that new toy, the pants would come flying off and he would scream for his nappy back. One week later and he is still totally rocking the pants and has sampled so many types of loo and loo seat I don’t think he will ever contemplate using a nappy again.

How we used the reward chart was to give a sticker for every poo or wee on the potty/toilet. He chose the sticker and stuck it on himself. The chart was beautifully handmade by moi. With inspiration taken from Pinterest. There are a huge choice out there and many seem overly complicated. I chose a simple, ten stickers and you get a new toy. This meant he could literally complete the chart in a matter of two days, if you consider how many poos and wees you do in a day.

Tuesday morning saw the chart at 6 stickers but unfortunately so did Tuesday evening. We had so many accidents Tuesday, he only made it to the toilet the once, first thing. Wednesday being a new day, we discussed with George the idea of removing the stickers he had earned and starting again, in light of the accidents. He was more than happy for us to do this. And so we began again. By Friday lunchtime he had his 10 stickers. The last of which was earned at nursery.

I’m wondering if because the chart was so simple and short, this allowed us to accomplish the unthinkable so quickly and successfully. I could be wrong. It’s worth a try though.

potty6. Many other mamas recommended I provide a form of distraction for little one as he sat on the toilet/potty. Especially when trying to overcome the “fear of the poo”. Distraction suggestions ranged from singing songs to reading a favourite story or blowing bubbles. We opted for me to read him a story which we kept in the bathroom.

7. Take their potty with you. When we took George to nursery on day 3 of potty practice, we had discussed him using the potty their and he agreed. On collecting him they told us he had refused to use their potty and only wanted his own. We took his own in on the friday and this problem was solved.

When we came to going on our first trip out, we took our seat adapter from home. However, despite having familiarity with the seat, he was still upset the first time he needed a wee and stood in the toilet and cried. I placed him on his seat and explained it was the same as at home. Used my usual distraction techniques, song singing, look at that bug on the wall etc and he realxed and did his wee. After that there was really no stopping him.

8. If all else fails talk about how it looks. We discuss what shape his poo’s are. It gives him determination to try and do a different shape next time. We do a wee in the toilet first and tell him to do a wee on top of ours so they can be flushed away together. All things that make him feel safe and reassured. It can be tough for toddlers to let go of things, even bodily functions. Knowing they are with Mummy and Daddy’s or they are being big and copying you can help them relate.

9. Share the love. Get them to tell everyone you encounter what they have achieved and how wonderful they are doing. get them to recognise and brag about their own accomplishments with potty practice. Ultimately you are also encouraging discussion of bodily functions. Something that, as we grow older, can often develop a stigma. I’m a great supporter of nothing being out of bounds. Your bodily functions can tell a lot about your health and I don’t believe we should ever be embarrassed of them or teach our little ones to be.

10. Best of Luck to all you potty practisers out there. If it feels like too much hard work then stop and wait a few months and try again is the best advice I can give. There will obviously be people out there who have persevered and successfully said farewell to the nappies.I can only give advice based on our experience. I’m not here to play the smug mum or knock anyone else’s methods. I aim to help.

So take these tips on board if you will. Change them to suit you, completely ignore them altogether if they don’t suit you or your child. You know me though, I love to share so I couldn’t resist. Would be great to know my tips have helped at least one person.

Best of luck to you all. If you have any tips you think may help our readers please feel free to add them in the comments below.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Ain’t No Pleasing You – Why I really mustn’t grumble

This post is a shameful admission that I am a bit of miserable, moaning Mama. Ain’t no pleasing you is a Chas and Dave fav that myself and hubs like to sing along to. We have both mutually agreed that it is most definitely “my” song. I’ve come a long way from my song being “You’re so vain” by Carly Simon. Ain’t got no time for that shizzle anymore. Although I’ve always tried to still do my makeup most days since George arrived. Anyways, I’m waffling (blame my Dad for that trait).

Being a Chas and Dave fan it felt very apt to use two of their song titles to summarise this post. I often listen to “Mustn’t Grumble” as a way of reminding myself that no matter how tough or bad things seem, there is always worse and things always work out.

I can’t explain to you who I was Pre-motherhood but I can tell you what I wasn’t. Complaining and moaning was not on my agenda Pre-motherhood. I was known for my optimism and always being able to look for the good in everything. (Or at least I felt I was ).Yet as George gets older I feel as though I am moaning and complaining more and more.

The last thing I want to be remembered for is whingeing, moaning and sapping the fun out of everything. Never fear though. My solution to happiness is here and it starts with a theory I have. The theory as to why I may have this negative personality trait growing within me.

My desire to want the world to be a better place for George is leading me to see any negative aspects and want them hidden or fixed before he becomes aware of them.

Whereas previously I have chosen to live these past 30 years hoping on and off of a cloud. Avoiding news and turning a blind eye to anything that was less than perfect. Now I can’t just do that.

I can’t control what George witnesses and experiences all the time. No one wants their child disappointed or upset. I’m starting to realise that it’s a human emotion that we must all experience. I can’t stop it. Whether it be that you can no longer hand feed the sheep as he is so used to at our local farm. Or that the dinosaur puppet show I bigged up was actually a woman with a duster on her hand.

Nine times out of ten he is oblivious and none the wiser, happily smiling and enjoying his day. Maybe that’s the best part of me he has inherited. I’m trying so hard to go back to that part of me and stop looking for and dwelling on the negative. Be that with people, places or events.

Recently I have tried to just sing, dance or be silly to get past it. If I am starting to feel disappointed in a situation or a person’s behaviour, behaving like a child and making George giggle reminds me that the world is still ok. As mothers, parents, grandparents, we all (I would hope) want our children to live happy and fulfilled lives. I’m sure this is a natural attribute.

Miserable moan bag is not something I wish to remain a part of my personality and I shall try hard to eradicate it before it starts to rub off. The last thing I hope to create is a miserable mini moan bag.

Can you relate? Have you noticed a shift in your character or personality trait since becoming a parent? Do you think I have come to the right conclusion or could there be another answer as to why I am suddenly so critical. I have always had pretty high moral standards.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, if you would. And I’ll be sure to send some positive thoughts your way.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Giveaway (*CLOSED*) Review – Nick Cope’s collection of songs for all the family. 

We are hugely excited here at Gorgeous George’s mama to be reviewing these wonderful CD’s and DVD’s by Nick Cope. We also have two signed copies of Nick’s Cope’s, “A Round of Applause for the Dinosaurs” to giveaway. A collection of songs for all the family.

This is our first ever giveaway so this is kind of a big deal for us and we are very grateful to Nick for providing us with the CD’s for this giveaway. Enter at the end of this post for your chance to win.

So how did Nick and his fabulous tunes come into our life? I am always on the lookout for child friendly, educational apps for George to enjoy on our smart devices. This is where we came across Hopster. Hopster claims to;

“Help kids learn through the content they love”

With the ability to stream some of their favourite television shows, discover books, music and lullabies, Hopster is a safe and varied app. We decided to unlock everything this app has to offer by signing up to the £3.99 monthly subscription.

By selecting the music gramophone flower, or the music area wheel you will find a section dedicated to Nick Cope. From here I decided to find out some more info on this musical mastermind. Someone who had created music for kids but with parents sanity in mind. The songs have a sometimes comical and often thoughtful edge, and are as catchy for kids and grownups alike. Nick also has a soft and calming voice. Unlike the typical shrill women type, belting out cheesy nursery rhymes that we have become accustomed to.

Nick sings about all the cool stuff that kids really wanna sing about. Bums, poo, burps dinosaurs, ants and pirates to mention but a few. Anyone that knows me knows I love anything related to poo. Nick’s CD’s are great to listen to and sing along with in the car or at home. Many of the songs also have well illustrated, quirky videos. You can find these on Nick’s website or Youtube channel and by also by purchasing The Nick Cope Show DVD here http://www.nickcope.co.uk/ Or indeed via the Hopster app where we discovered him.

Two of my favourite of Nick’s tunes are The baby’s done a poo! and the opening tune to the Cd up for grabs, I’m a little Lizard. With lines like;

“……the baby’s done a poo, the baby’s done a poo, it’s not a bog surprise cos that’s what babies do”

and

“….the sand is too hot, so i’m standing on a rock, i’m a little lizard and I’m standing on a rock”

…you can’t resist the urge to sing along. The DVD also has a singalong option.

Another personal favourite is “I don’t wanna do that”. This song summarises toddler parenting perfectly. It doesn’t matter what his mother suggest he does, the little boy doesn’t want to do it for the most seemingly irrational reasons and what ifs. I’m sure many mums and dads can relate to this. It also warms my heart how the song ends. You will have to visit Nick’s site or the hopster app to find out how it ends.

“Don’t stamp on an ant” also appeals to the crazy earth mother inside of me. I jokingly accused my step dad of massacring whole families in recent years when I witnessed him doing what many of us have. The dreaded kettle of boiling water on an ants nest. I just envisage ants running screaming everywhere as ant wives see their ant husbands boiled alive in front of them and ant children run screaming. Welcome to my overactive imagination. This song supports my theory wonderfully though. Thanks Nick. We are all indeed just getting by on this little planet.

Here’s a little about Nick:-

“Nick Cope is the indie-surrealist kids’ entertainer Robyn Hitchcock and Syd Barrett, foolishly distracted by cult status, never were.’ Stewart Lee 2016

Nick Cope is a professional singer and songwriter, and has over 20 years of experience in music, including international success as lead singer and songwriter with The Candyskins in the 1990s. 

He now writes and records music for children and has established a fanatical army of little people and their parents, from all over the world.  Nick performs all over the UK at all the major art and music festivals including Edinburgh fringe and Book festival, Hay and Cheltenham literary festival and hundreds of theatre and arts centres. He regularly spends the summer performing at (to name a few) Wilderness, Somersault, Camp Bestival , Cornbury ,Wychwood , End Of The Road and travels to Hong Kong each year to the Clockenflap festival. 

What George thought;

nick cope

On the morning we collected the CD’s I popped them straight on in the car. Before the first verse of “I’m a little Lizard” had played out, hubs was already singing along, second guessing the words. They are that easily to follow and sing along to. It wasn’t long before I was singing along too. George was giving us both the dubious face as he wondered what we had both had sprinkled on our cornflakes. I think he recognised the songs from the app and wondered how they were being played out of the car speakers.

On returning home I put on the DVD. When he saw the illustrated videos I think he identified with the songs better and was mesmerised from start to finish. Dubiously eyeing me as I again sang and bopped along. He’s not one for audience participation much is our George but when I asked him if he enjoyed it his response was;

“Yeah”

Perhaps he is destined to be just like his father…a man of few words. Unlike Mummy who has enough words for all of us though and doesn’t allow anyone else a word in edgeways.

Click the link below if you would like to win a copy of Nick’s family friendly CD, “A Round of Applause for the Dinosaurs” . The first three options are mandatory. All other options will increase your chances of winning.

You can catch Nick next at the Edinburgh Fringe

Terms & Conditions:

  • No purchase necessary.
  • The Prize is ONE signed copy of Nick Cope’s CD ” A Round of Applause for the Dinosaurs.”
  • The prize is non transferable with no cash alternative.
  • The competition opens at 12am on Friday 21st July 2017 and closes at 12am on Monday 7th August 2017.
  • Entries are limited to UK participants only and you must be over 18.
  • The competition is run via Rafflecopter and TWO winners will be chosen at random.
  • The winner will be informed within 24 hours.
  • The winner should respond within 28 days with details for postage. A new winner will have to be chosen in the event of there being no response.
  • By entering this giveaway you are accepting these terms and conditions.

Disclaimer: We were provided with Nick Cope’s CD’s and DVD in return for this honest review. All opinions are our own.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Listed on Competition Database – a huge source of uk competitions!

– Find more competitions at http://www.competitiondatabase.co.uk

Gorgeous George’s Mama’s – a series of unfortunate events

The last few weeks have been interesting shall we say. Interesting makes it sound like it’s been fun….it hasn’t. It’s been damn right misfortunate is what it has been. I’ve said more “fucks” than I care to admit to and I’m clearly stressed. Wanna know how I know? Freaky dreams! Whenever I have things on my mind I start to have freaky dreams.

I once remember being on holiday with my brother in law and getting up in the morning to report I had had a freaky dream.
“Me too” he chirped up.
“Go on then, let’s here it” I replied
“Well I dreamt we were playing a footie match and I was playing in a different position to normal!”
“Is that it!” I said. I then proceeded to tell him the sort of dreams I have. Vivid, freaky and so not on any realm I’ve ever heard other people dream of.

I can’t remember my dream from that time because I’ve had so many since but this week’s dream was roughly as follows;

I was in a sort of scientific aquarium type building. They had a creature. The centre of its body was like a six foot man. Attached to the man was a soft shell tortoise. The entire creature itself was whiteish grey and just flapping about in this isn’t tank. Imagine it’s easily 6 foot tall and across the same of not more. For the most part of the dream I was creeping about going through trap doors and trying to find a way to free this crazy, sad creature.

Think you can beat that? I’d love to hear some of your strange dreams in the comments below.

So anyways. Back to my real life. afew weeks back my neighbour had a new fence fitted. She was so wonderful and made me handmade chocolate cupcakes in advance of the event. Unfortunately the fencing company were not as pleasant and completely trashed my garden whilst completing the work. My neighbour was oblivious so I had to tell her in order to get the guys details. Long story short, my neighbour was wonderful and couldn’t do enough to help me. The fencer on the other hand didn’t really have much to offer the situation. I tidied up my garden and bought new plants to replace the ones he had demolished. It encouraged me to have a good tidy up (although it wasn’t a messy garden). I pride myself on my garden, it’s in my blood.

As a result of all the garden tidying, my household waste wheelie bin was a little more full than usual and the lid was ajar. Something which rarely occurs. I aim to recycle as much waste as possible so the bin was only full of items I couldn’t recycle. The local tip is good but it is closed one of the days George attends nursery and it’s difficult and dangerous in my opinion to take a toddler to the recycling tip. So I assumed the dustman would be kind as I never have my bin full. Unfortunately they wasn’t and I returned home to a fortnights worth of used cat litter and nappies and garden rubbish still sat on my drive.

Having collections only once a fortnight I was feeling desperate about where I was going to store and dispose of another two weeks worth of rubbish. I dropped George at nursery and had to resort to lying the bin on its side, removing the contents and taking as much to the tip as I could. Not a productive use of my child free time.

After tidying up and putting some washing on, I went to collect George at lunch time. The road had been closed after we dropped him off (we were the last car down that road) so we had to leave earlier and detour. Using up even more of my ‘productive child free time). When we returned home I noticed the washing machine wasn’t moving and the lights were not showing up properly. Only parts of the numbers were showing. It was broken! Not only that but it had only been repaired 4 months ago! I have a cover care plan for it, thankfully? I’m undecided whether that’s a good thing or not at the moment!

I’m very wary of appliances, especially since the Grenfell tower tragedy. I wanted it unplugged immediately as it was acting strangely. However, it is plugged into the wall under the unit behind the machine. As it had stopped mid cycle it was full of water and too heavy to shift. By this point my calm side had all but diminished. Hubby was chucking “you need to’s” at me whilst I screamed at him to “shut up and fuck off”. I needed his help but he’s the main recipient of my frustrations.  I emptied all the dripping wet washing out of the machine. Removed the water from the drum by hand using a cup, and hubs helped removed the remainder via the filter using a baking tray and lots of teatowels that I now couldn’t wash easily.

Machine emptied, moved and unplugged I then began the sweaty and arduous task of hand rinsing and wringing each item to allow it to drip dry on the line whilst we still had a good part of the day left.

I then called the care cover company who have always been so helpful in the 10 years we have had them but this year they are utter shite. Last time they made me wait in all day, only to turn up at 8pm after George was in bed. They then didn’t have the part (although the next engineer that finally repaired it said they always carry the motors). All in all I was without a machine for 3 weeks and I made them reimburse my launderette fees. I also had a whole host of problems due to them still not updating my married name. I’ve been married 8 years this year!

So when I called last week to report the fault and I was told they didn’t have anyone by my name on the system, I lost it! I’m a calm person really and hate to be rude to people. But bearing in mind I’d spent my morning elbow deep in cat and toddler shit and filthy water I think my patience had been well and truly spent. I had also re-sent them a copy of my marriage certificate 4 months ago after the last fiasco. They informed me that someone will be coming this week and I will receive a text tonight with a 4 hour time slot. I’ll believe it when I see it.

To add insult to injury last week, hubby was in the process of trying to transfer over the finance on his car to a newer model. He has covered 80,000 miles in just over two years commuting and needed to switch to a comfier and less worn model. There were problems left right and centre with the finance and it has been a massive fiasco trying to work it all out. Then finally it was all agreed. We had the new car in our possession. Cut to collection of the old car and we couldn’t find the spare key. I say we, it’s hubby’s car, hubby’s key, but he suddenly needed my assistance finding said key to avoid a £150 penalty charge. He also couldn’t find the v5 document and had to apply for a new one.

 

I try so hard to keep our tiny house organised but we somehow have magic black holes that swallow things up for years. You then find them way after you no longer need them. Being told the car was being collected by 11, we waited in all morning. 11am came and went. Hubs called them. The collection guy was in Brighton! FYI, thats’ a long way from Essex! He agreed he would be with us by 1.30.

I collected George from nursery and took him swimming after another relatively wasted child free morning. On returning home at 3pm I was confronted with the old bloody car still sitting there! The guy eventually collected it not long after my return. Hubs then reported to me that the oil light was coming on in the new car despite it only having 2000 miles on the clock and having supposedly been serviced before they gave it to us.

Queue hubs driving to the dealers to try and find out what the heck that is all about. They have decided it’s not a leak but more likely a sensor fault and it is booked in tomorrow for repair.

I realise that these problems are hardly end of the world stuff. I have perspective. Especially in light of Grenfell and people having lost loved ones and everything they own.

Needless to say I am only human and there are only so many unfortunate events can occur before I start to wonder what the heck I’m doing wrong. I have decided there is only one conclusion……. that bloody fencer!

He broke a mirror I had in my garden (throwing the sharps pieces around my garden for my toddler to find I might add, twat!). He must’ve brought us 7 years bad luck as it’s on my land. Hopefully we have been dealt those 7 years all in the last fortnight.  One can only hope.

Do you ever feel like everything is working against you?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Manners, the forgotten art of – how NOT to thank someone for a gift.

I’m noticing more and more that manners are becoming a forgotten art. Just watching an episode of Eastenders the other night it was even apparent. Michelle pulled up in a black taxi and said “wait here while I get your money”! What! This is not how I would speak to anyone! I would have said “please could you wait here a moment whilst I grab my money from inside. Sorry about this”.

I’m not even going to ask if anyone thinks I’m wrong because I I’m a believer of manners and I’m disliking this world that has not only forgotten them but doesn’t seem to be teaching them to our children. 

This leads me to my biggest and longstanding bug bear. Thanking people for gifts. When I was growing up, after each Birthday and Christmas, I would, along with my sister, write thank you notes and send them out to everyone that had sent me a gift or card or money. This wasn’t under duress. I actually enjoyed writing a thoughtful letter to each person that had sent me a gift or money. I would explain how much I liked that gift and why or what I was intending on spending the money on.

As I’ve aged and technology has advanced, I have on occasions switched to the same routine but sending it via text message, email, whatsapp and alike or phoning the individual. A personal thank you to let them know that the thought and effort they placed into ensuring I received something for my birthday or christmas had not gone unnoticed.

I took a leaf from my sister, as a fellow list lover and would have a running list next to me as I opened the gifts. Documenting who the present was from and brief description of what it was. At my baby shower my sister ran the list for me. I just find it helps later on in remembering who gave what. Especially if you receive a lot of gifts.

As George is now in our lives, I quickly jot down presents as he opens them also. I try to ensure this doesn’t take away from me watching him open the gifts. In between making a list and taking photos of him, gift opening is somewhat of a military operation in my world. It’s still fun though I promise. It encourages him to take his time and appreciate each gift. I’m not sure how practical this will be at christmas if we have more than one child but I’m sure we’ll manage.We usually open gifts over the course of several days so as not to overwhelm him and also to encourage appreciation. We have a relatively large family so he receives quite a lot of gifts.

Here’s my list of acceptable and unacceptable ways to thank people for a gift.

Totally acceptable and I will love and respect you forever

  • Bespoke postcards – mass ordered but with a handwritten note thanking me for noted gift
  • Text message/Whatsapp to me personally, thanking me for the specifically identified gift. (Bonus points if you include a picture of you wearing the gift, of it in your home, your child playing with it etc).
  • Handwritten letter or card
  • Creative art from the child who received the gift. (A scribble, a scrawl, a handprint in paint, it’s the thought that counts.)
  • A verbal thanks at the time of opening

Pretty unacceptable methods of thanks leaving me unlikely to give you any more gifts , or at least no longer put much thought or effort into them.

  • no thank you at all
  • A verbal thank you on being handed the gift but nothing after you have opened it and actually discovered what it is.
  • A “one message fits all” Facebook status, thanking “everyone” for their gifts. No! I want to know you personally received and liked MY gift not everyone’s.

I try to treat people the way I wish to be treated. Unfortunately this sets my expectations of people far too high, often leaving me disappointed. I’m making a stand though. No longer shall I spend hours of my time putting together well thought out gifts for those that cannot find the time to thank me properly.

Here’s a fab post I found with some great tips on how to thank people for gifts for many occasions;

12 ways to say Thanks and mean it

What’s your idea of good manners when it comes to thanking people for gifts? Do you think I expect too much? Do you get annoyed by people’s apparent ungratefulness in this day and age?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The opposition party – trying to be more at peace with the world’s issues

The opposition party is by no means a confession of which political party I support. Very far from it. I thought I’d use a smart play on words being as we are in the midst of a political upheaval here in the U.K. This post is about how I am, and you can, try to be more at peace with what happens around us. Particularly in light of the recent stressful election and with Brexit about to begin within the next week.

As humans we always have something we are opposing. The closing of a factory, the opening of a new big chain store in a our small town. The building of too many houses. Not having enough affordable houses to buy. Train fares being increased with not enough seats already. 

That brings me to the recent election result in the U.K. Over the course of my life so far, I’ve learnt that there are two things you should refrain from discussing publicly. Religion and politics. For that reason I refuse to divulge my own political stance. 

Since the results of the election were announced though, people have been divided in their opposition. The country was divided after the Brexit results were so close. Many potentially switched their party support. As a result, the recent election outcome was, as we all know by now, a hung parliament. This left pretty much everyone opposed. For so many rightful reasons of course. I’m not belittling  people’s opposition. 

opposition

For me it’s as simple as accepting things for what they are. They are circumstances which are out of my control. Petitions can be started, protests can be marched. But in the end there will ALWAYS be someone who is isn’t happy with the outcome. You will never, ever please everyone. I believe in morally just outcomes, and hope that those are the ones that are reached. 

I cannot live my life worrying about the what ifs. What if this political party wins, what if we leave the EU. What if we build 1000 new homes in our town and we don’t like how it affects the status quo. We can only guess at the outcome. 

So I choose to worry about my today. My immediate family. The things I CAN have a small amount of control over. Although any other parents of a two-year old may disagree. (Smiles sarcastically). 

What do I want you to take from this post? Never oppose what you believe in? Never stand up for what you believe to be morally right? Not at all. I want you to think of your immediate happiness and emotional wellbeing. Worrying about the tomorrows, the next weeks, the never’s will only serve to cause you more worry. Worry that you can not directly resolve and which therefore will only intensify. 

Find your means of peace in this world. If that means climbing inside a big bubble or perching on a cloud once in a while, then go ahead. It works for me. I’m a lot happier when I’m not trying to save the world.

Have a worry free day. 

Until next time……

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Is this hell, or is this a holiday camp? – my happy hellish holiday

Is this hell, or is this a holiday camp? Welcome to my happy hellish holiday. I love great british holidays. It’s all I’ve ever really known aside from a med cruise we took to celebrate getting my first job. I’m about to share with you my warped and twisted view of my surroundings at a british holiday camp. On this occasion we visited Haven, and it was amazing. They all pretty much follow the same script though. Enjoy.

It’s like something out of any sane person’s nightmares. Kids running at you from different directions as if running from an incoming asteroid. Taking it in turns to scream and cry. Or so it seems on face value. You can’t hear them as their screams are drowned out by the sound of cheesy pop tunes from the 90’s. All the classics are their. Steps, Busted, Cotton eye Joe and 5ive. Ah gotta love the dance move era. It’s a total cheese fest.

happy hellish holiday

The kids have been on the go all day. Like greyhounds in the race trap, that caravan door bursts open at 9am and they are off. Park, swimming, beach, amusements, repeat on a loop until one by one they flake out.

But what are they running on? Never you fear, here in hell they have an endless supply of fruit shoots, slushies, chips and nuggets, all washed down with a bucket of candy floss and a bag of sweets. Your kids will be on the most epic sugar rush and you’ll be there to take the tantrums and meltdowns as the rush wears off.

happy hellish holiday

But what about you, poor naive parents? Who innocently booked this ticket to hell thinking it would be fun. Heck they sold it to you as a holiday! Never fear, after spending a restless night sleeping in a freezing caravan on a mattress filled with rubble, you will be feeling on top of your game…..no? This is where your resistance to alcohol disables and you suddenly feel the urge to down pints of cider and glasses of wine. After watching the kids eat their body weight in nuggets, burgers and chips, you can’t bear the sight of anymore. So your food sustenance shall be Sahara nuts and krax snax crisps.

Joking aside, we’ve just spent a blissful week in a prestige Caravan at Haven Doniford Bay in Somerset. It was incredibly amazing to say the least and my satirical observations were made whilst slightly tipsy.

happy hellish holiday

What are your experiences of holiday camps? We all know there’s a little bit of hell in there somewhere. Don’t we?

Checkout the haven site now. We booked using The Daily Mail £15 holidays and upgraded to a prestige on arrival. Vouchers can also collected for cheaper holidays from The Sun on the £9.50 deal. Both tend to be term time though. Haven, Doniford Bay

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

It’s only a phase – the parenting guide to phases your child will go through

Parenting, in a nutshell it’s only one phase after another. I’m going to give you a little satirical guide to the phases your little one will go through.

So you’ve got that magical positive result on the pregnancy test. You feel excited, overwhelmed, in denial, emotional, elated. Little do you know, you have just signed up to at least an 18 year sequence of phases.
I will now describe to you the phases I myself have been through with George. We are only at the two and half year mark. No doubt this is a post that will eventually become a long standing series.

Phase

For ease of writing I will refer to your little one as he. Let’s face it, as much as we thank the men in our lives for this magical event, with the amazing joy comes occasional annoyance. Pretty much sums up the male species from my perspective (winks coyly with her tongue in her cheek). So “he” it is.

Congratulations. You are pregnant with a baby boy or girl. Or both but let’s just assume everything I say and double it, triple it, depending on your brood. I’m sure I’m being naive and there’s more to it than that. I only have the one so can’t comment.

Phase
Third trimester. That incredible yet surreal feeling you get when your baby is moving inside of you. Something which you can often see as well as feel now. You love it, you’re thankful for it, then comes being woken up at night with the kicking and fidgeting. You’ve just settled back into bed, surrounded yourself with 6 pillows after your tenth wee, and now the little darling decides it’s time to start practicing his gangnam style. Welcome to the “get me out of your belly” phase. Towards the end (I’m talking around the 36 week mark), the head can engage and the “get me out of your belly” phase progresses to “fuck it I’ll make my own way out” as you can almost feel the head pushing down there trying to eeek his way out. Uncomfortable isn’t the word.

Phase

Let’s cut to the birth. It happens however it happens. Don’t beat yourself up about it. He has to come out somehow so as long as you are both safe and well at the end of it, you are a hero. You’ve grown this little boy. Give yourself credit where it’s due.

You’re first night together. Poor little darling is stressed. He cries on and off all night; “It’s cold out here, and I’m hungry. What happened to that hose with all my scrummy food. I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going on. I want to go back in the tummy please”. Welcome to the “indecisive charades phase”. He won’t quite know what he wants but he will make small movements and random incoherent noises. You must learn to decipher this code, get the correct answer, then apply this answer to little darling and see if he is satisfied. Keep trying this for 6 months.

Congratulations! You made it six months! You thought the charades phase was tough. Wow you really have no idea what’s in store. The last six months has seen you become a master. A master of dangling things in front of your little darling. Master of bouncing him, rocking him, feeding him, changing him. The washing machine has become a multitasking part time babysitter. And it’s worked right? He’s been happy and content for the majority. You are both learning each other ways but overall you are managing to not annoy each other too much. But all good things must come to an end.

Phase

Welcome to the fidget arse phase. By now your little one will likely be rolling over, shuffling, maybe even attempting a backwards crawl. Suddenly dangling things in front of his face or bouncing him gently is unsatisfactory. No. He’s had his eye on that DVD cabinet for 6 months now and he wants to know what exactly is in all those little cases. What does that red glowing button do? That fluffy long thing at the end of the cat looks fun.

You suddenly need eyes in your arse. How do I see using eyes in my arse you wonder. Well let me tell you, you won’t be sitting on it. You’ll be up and down and up and down and up and down. Rescuing little darling before he delves into something else. Rearranging your house slowly day by day.

 

Phase

Never fear. You will soon tire of the fidget arse phase and will begin willing your little darling to take their first steps. We are homo sapiens after all. It’s instinctive. You eagerly encourage him until one day, hurrah, those teeny tiny steps are taken without your assistance. A triumph in your naive eyes. At last he can walk. The end of the days of you carrying them around is in sight.

But what’s this….he is climbing the stairs! Darling little can suddenly get from one end of the lounge to the kitchen in the time it takes you to sip your cold cup of tea. He’s had more bumps, trips and falls than an accident insurers handbook. What have you created you absolute plonker!

Phase

And then the day arrives. Little one’s first birthday. A milestone. A day to celebrate. But what are you doing? Sobbing, and updating your Facebook status mourning your little one is no longer a baby. They are “all grown up”, “where did the time go” “time to think about having another”.
And so the cycle begins again. (Faceplants).

Phase
Ps. Honestly I’m not as cynical as I sound. From the moment I got that positive result, I have thanked my lucky stars for being given this opportunity. Something many would give anything for. Doesn’t hurt to tell it how it is sometimes. We all have our own experiences. This is mine.
To be continued…….

Until next time………

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

‘Good Bubble’ Bathtime range – a poetic review

The Georgeous has reached that age, the grand old age of two and half. The age at which playing with his toys is everything. Not a moment can be spared for anything else. Eating, bathing, getting ready to go out to his favourite phonics class. It’s all a distraction in his mind, to drive him away from his precious toys.

We have found a way to draw him away for a  few vital minutes to allow us to occasionally leave the house and to stop for mealtimes. Bath time however is a struggle. He actually loves a bath. It’s a place where he has another array of toys which he can only play with at bath time. Once he is in there he loves it and needs convincing to get out. So when I was invited to review some fun and friendly bathtime products by https://www.goodbubble.co.uk/ I couldn’t resist.

 

A bath said mum with a tired old sigh,

A bath for whom? Said mini Sir, not I!

Indeed mini sir, a bath for you,

To rid you of smells like sweat and like poo.

But I don’t want a bath, said mini Sir.

I want to play with my cars first.

But this is a new bath, explained mama dear,

With bubbles of cloudberry to clean out those ears.

And magical hair wash containing fruits of the dragon

To clean and detangle, what’s the worst that could happen?

And as surely was promised, the cloud bubbles grew,

Mama scooped them all up and gently she blew.

The cloud bubbles floated, as soft as they are,

Whilst mini Sir squealed in delight, forgetting all about cars.

His hair was then washed with the fruits of the dragon,

As mama reached for the comb, would you believe what had happened!

The tangles were gone and good fun had been had.

With “Good Bubble” products, bath time isn’t so bad.

Silicone, paraben and PEG free,

No artificial colours or nasties you see.

With ingredients sourced from mostly natural sources,

It’s not tested on creatures likes rabbits, or horses.

Vegan friendly and  great value too.

Pop down to your local store and buy a few.

We’d like to thank Good Bubble for letting us try and review,

So we could share their fabulousness with all of you.

All opinions included are simply our own.

They make mini Sir happy to bathe instead of to moan.

Until next time…….

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The blogger recognition award

The blogger recognition award. An award by bloggers for bloggers. As hubby asks why I’m sat at my laptop smirking, I sit here relishing in the fact that a fellow blogger has nominated little old me for this recognition award. I post these thought outbursts hoping that someone, anyone read them and feels a little smirk too. So to know that this has happened at least once pleases me.

So here’s thanking you, My Real Fairy. Thanks for the appreciation , the recognition and the nomination.

Now for rules.

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to. (if 15 is pushing it a bit for you then do 10;)
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

♥ How my blog started ♥

Officially my blog started in August 2015. I’ve loved writing since I can remember. My stories written at a very young age were very vivid and imaginative. With a massive creative streak in me coupled with a ridiculously  overactive imagination and several vivid dreams each night (All of which I can usually remember in great detail.) Add a need to share my crazy, overthinking thoughts with the world, (I don’t seem capable of a full on non fiction novel.) I’ve tried dozens of times and given up. Then blogging was brought to my attention. Don’t ask me where from but I knew it was for me.

I could write, whatever I wanted (within reason) and it didn’t need anyone’s approval to hit publish. As I delved deeper into the world of blogging, researching every aspect, I discovered that blogging and photography go hand in hand. I love photography. I had several professional books to take inspiration from when I was younger. I’ve never got round to taking a photography course or even investing in a ‘proper’ camera. Armed with an iphone 6 and a host of editing apps, I’ve found I can produce my own photos to make my blogging experience that more personal.

Cut to November 2016 and I knew I wanted to go self hosted to fully benefit and feel in control of my blog so I purchased my own domain name and delved into the world of html code and a other things that I’m still not sure what they are called. But I get myself through with the support of google, my web domain support team, plugin support and most importantly help and advice from fellow bloggers I know or can chat to in facebook blogging groups.

I often saw people saying the key was to find your niche and work from there. I almost drove myself crazy and gave up on blogging altogether whilst I was trying to work out my niche. Then I realised I can only be me. I’ll write what I want, when I want to and if it’s not good enough for some it will be for others.

Blogging helped me through the tough transition of giving up being a working woman with a career, to be a stay at home first time mum. It was and still is an outlet. I’m always at my most creative when I feel slightly overwhelmed or stressed out. This is my therapy, my happiness and my sole aim is to people please. I love knowing I’m made someone smile or feel like they are not alone in how they feel.

I’ve never looked back. I have my doubts here and there about sharing information so publicly. I try to set limits for myself and not show or give out any information that may embarrass George or put him at risk at any age.

♥ My advice to new bloggers ♥

  • Set yourself up with business acccounts/pages for Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, You tube (If you intend to Vlog), stumbleupon and some people use LinkedIn. Promote, promote, promote.
  • Don’t expect the world on a plate, in a day. It takes time, effort and more time.
  • Share the love. Read other people’s blogs, join in linkies, comment on other people’s blogs and social media profiles.
  • Go self hosted from the start to make your own life easier. I use WordPress plugin and I get on ok with it.
  • Share the love some more. Bloggers are on the whole a friendly bunch and your love will usually be reciprocated.
  • Enjoy it. If you enjoy writing it, the chances are people will enjoy reading it.

Best of luck

My nominations in no specific order are as follows. I’ll tweet you to let you know too.

A Moment With Franca

Odd Hogg

One Frazzled Mum

Wingin It

Diary of a Little Peach

Along Came Poppy

Mind Your Mamma

Suburban Mum

Burnished Chaos

Me and B make Tea

Mrs Morgan Plus 3

Ordinary Hopes

Mums the Word

The Less-Refined Mind

Five Little Doves

Until next time…….