Category Archives: Motivational

How to ensure your wedding is talked about for years to come.

** Disclosure – This post is a collaborative post  however, aside from recommending you checkout this company’s fab website, this post is all my own and comes from the heart, no integrity lost”

This post is totally my opinion, we could go as far as to say my advice, on how to make sure your wedding is THE wedding. The wedding your friends and family talk about for years to come. How to make it special for you and your partner, whilst making it feel special for your guests.

To quote the fabulous and renowned children’s author Julia Donaldson  from The Scarecrows Wedding   “Let’s have a wedding, the best wedding yet, the wedding that no one will ever forget” Said Harry O Hay to Betty O Barley – The Scarecrows’ wedding By Julia Donaldson.

My own wedding was a blissful 9 years ago. I’d love to relieve it every day, although minus the expense of course. It was everything we hoped and dreamed it would be. Hubs and I spent 18 months planning our wedding together. We hoped we had set the scene for the ultimate day of happiness. Was it perfect? No. Did it matter? Not at all. It gave us stories to tell, and hurdles to overcome. Much like everyday married life.

I think there are many choices for the types of wedding you have in the 21st century. We were one of the first of our family and friends to break from tradition and to have a civil ceremony. Our day was held in one location which house a small chapel style building for the ceremony with some picturesque grounds for photos. Followed by the rest of the day in a converted barn. There was also a house on site for us and our immediate family to stay overnight in. Checkout The Reid Rooms who hosted our wedding.

wedding

On the whole, the majority of weddings I have been very fortunate to have attended have all followed a similar suit. On the most part they are civil ceremonies conducted in a converted barn or large house. The days events continue on location. Sometimes they are a church service with the rest of the days proceedings continued in a similar location experienced in hosting wedding receptions.

For most, this is THE DREAM, especially for the bride who. She has meticulously chosen the most expensive dress she will ever buy. All hopes are pinned on seeing the grooms face whilst she wants to feel like Beyoncé for one day. All eyes on them, the happy couple.

wedding

If you hadn’t guessed by now, I LOVE weddings! I jokingly call myself a wedding connoisseur. I’m yet to start gate crashing, but it has been known for me to offer to pay to attend as a guest. I genuinely love the fairytale. Every time I see a bride turn that corner the tears well in my eyes. I can literally feel everything she is going through. The nerves, the excitement, the love.

When planning your wedding it is important to consider what will make you as a couple happy. But ultimately I believe you need to focus on what will make your guests have a day to remember. I personally wouldn’t have enjoyed my day if my guests were not content. For us, we gave the comfort and requirements of our friends and family a LOT of consideration.

wedding

Research, research, research. I used to spend every lunch hour browsing the internet and bridal forums. Having masses of wedding info collated on a website such as Confetti, is a great starting point if you don’t know where to begin. I can totally recommend you attend wedding showers in the area you intend to marry. I believe this is why many still say it was one of the more ‘memorable’ and ‘brilliant’ weddings they have attended.

Little things like ensuring there was a quiet place in the evening for older and very young guests to sit and talk away from the dancing and loud music. Making sure the venue were able to provide cups of tea throughout the day, not just in the evening and after the meal. We had grandparents with no interest in drinking alcohol. Having a simple cup of tea was all they needed to feel relaxed and comfortable.

Often when you attend weddings you can find yourself presented with food that you wouldn’t usually eat. Wedding days can be a long day for all involved. Nobody wants to feel hungry because they didn’t like the pea soup or lamb cutlets. Plus you yourself are spending an awful lot of money, you want it to be money well spent. We chose to have classic bangers (sausage) and mash with gravy with a chocolate fudge cake for after. We had a second option but it was all received well.

wedding

Whilst we had waitress service for the starter and desert and table clearing, the main course was a served buffet. Guests were encouraged to go up for seconds to avoid waste. And we used our nectar points to buy our own wine for the tables.

We tried to save money by doing a lot of things ourselves. I made the invites, buttonholes, gift card box and table plan myself, along with a photo montage of myself and hubs through the years for our guests to have a giggle at.

We found a company who allowed us to custom design our own wedding rings, and it was cheaper than many of the rings we had seen in the shops. I had also found a lot of the modern wedding rings quite bulky and they looked out-of-place against my Nan’s vintage wedding ring.

wedding

During the wedding breakfast we made a CD to be played to fill any awkward silences. The CD consisted of songs that were “the song” for our parents, siblings and other people close to us or songs that meant something to us. Each person or couple received a copy of this CD with our image on as a wedding favour. With the idea when they listened back to the CD they would always think of our day.

As my parents are divorced I didn’t want to tread on any toes so I decided to have my nephew who I’m very close to, walk me down the aisle. One of my younger nephews at the time was the adorable ring bearer. My nephew who walked me down the aisle to “give me away” was only 12 at the time but he stood up at the wedding breakfast and did a speech. He was such a cutie and we will always have a close bond.

Hubs has 2 brothers and asked them both to share the role of best man. A job they did rather comically when it came to the speech and entertaining the evening guests with their lack of dancing skills.

Breaking tradition I also gave a speech along with my mum. Hubs got so emotional I ended up reading most of his speech, until I got to the part about how wonderful I was and he was able to compose himself to continue. He’s always been teetotal pretty much. But that day he was knocking back the champers in order to get through his speech. I joked that he’d only been married 5 minutes and already I had turned him to drink.

wedding

A few other ways we tried to break with tradition… Instead of a wedding cake we had a 9 tier stand covered with 150 individual cupcakes. Hubs drove himself and I arrived in a minibus driven by my mum containing other family members. As we were staying on site there wasn’t going to be anyone to witness our arrival and it was an added expense we didn’t need. I did my own makeup and I had planned to do my own hair with my Mums help. After a failed trial run resulting in me burning my arm, we managed to persuade our usual hairdressers to do a simple up do with only 3 days notice. Everyone in the salon thought it was hilarious I had intended to do my own wedding hair. I’m so glad I didn’t.

The first dance can feel a little nerve-wracking for many. I insisted hubs and I made up a brief routine in our kitchen a week prior to the event. Making it our own and avoiding an awkward shuffle round the middle of the dance floor. If you look very closely on the DVD you can see me saying “we are doing it, we’re doing it” and him saying “No,no,no,no”. But it was great fun and added to the romanticism of dancing away at home to OUR song, Stand by Me by Ben E King.

wedding

Which brings me to my next piece of advice. Videographers. Technology has come a long way in the last 9 years. People are now using drones to get amazing 360 shots from the sky at weddings. My cousins’ wedding had a card on the table with a special hashtag for sharing any piccies you took on Instagram. Photo booths are now available for hire with props. Some companies upload the images to Facebook so you no longer have to wait for processing. All these advancements I think are a welcome addition to your day.

I totally think the day flies by in such a cheek aching blur, that to have it captured on film to watch over and over or share with the grandkids is invaluable. I would love to have my Nan and Grandad’s wedding on DVD. Who doesn’t want to remember their wedding day!

My final thought on how to make your day a memorable one that is talked about for years is this:-

 Don’t feel pressured to do what you think people expect. Make your wedding as big or as small as you would like and can afford. Get friends and family involved. Don’t forget to thank and appreciate your guests. I recently heard on the radio that on average guest spend just over £1000 attending a wedding. Share the love.

If you are thinking of planning your wedding, why not start by visiting Confetti.co.uk. Their website has so many useful links to help you choose a venue, dress and so, so much more.
I’d love to hear about your wedding day.

Our photographs were taken by Scott at The Edge Photography. Some of the images have been altered by myself for the sake of this post.

How I got my name – and other inspiring stories

I’ve always considered my name to be a little unique and I wanted to share with you how it came about. I also asked some fellow bloggers the happy stories of where their names or their children’s names derived from. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

My proper name is Cassandra but I have many abbreviations and nicknames. The most common being Cassie. I’ve met a few other Cassie’s in my 34 years on this Earth and I always get embarrassingly excited. I’ve always wondered how people with quite commonly heard of names feel. To me it feels like you are a instantly connected to the person who has the same name as you. It totally amazes me, as weird as I am for admitting that.
So how did my name come about? Being an 80’s child, most people assume I was named after Cassandra from the classic show “Only Fools and Horses”. In fact for the first 3 days of my life I was nameless. Deliberating over calling me Daisy (I’m soooo not a Daisy), my maternal Nan suggested to my parents they call me Cassandra. She had been watching a lesser heard television programme at the time Bouquet of Barbed Wire. Cassie was one of the featured characters.

I love my name and the meanings and stories behind other people’s names.

Cassandra was actually a Greek Goddess who was given the gift of prophecy but also the curse that nobody would ever believe her.

I often joke this is a pretty accurate story of my life. I’ve always come out with silly things and lacked a certain degree of common sense, despite being quite intelligent. Usually any knowledge I tend to share with people they don’t believe me and I have to go to great lengths to prove I know what I’m talking about.

  • Sally from The Happy Home With 3 Boys named her son Beau, meaning beautiful boy. Inspired by the John Lennon song, and after a 7 year infertility and IVF struggle it seemed beautifully apt. She also has a son named Rudy, owing to his Grandad (whom he resembled at birth) being a ska fan. Her third son Sonny whose theme song for life is the classic Sunny by Bobby Hebb.
  • Lianne from Ankles Biters Adventures owes the spelling of her name to dad Ian. See what they did there.
  • Jade from Raising The Rings is grateful to her Auntie for her name. Her Dad is still regretful that he didn’t get his way in calling her Mercedes.
  • Clare from Freddies Mummy UK has her partners love of cricket to thanks for their son Freddie’s name. Ironic considering Freddie Flintoff is actually called Andrew in real life.
  • Suzanne from And Another Ten Things also has a son called Fred but rather amusingly due to her daughters love of Scooby Doo. She quickly abandoned her preferred name of James after the realisation hit that her daughter would forever call him Freddie regardless. Her daughter was named after a local pub covered in Ivy.
  • Victoria from Lylia Rose incorporated her husbands name Ben into their son Reuben’s name.

Baby Names

  • Kate from Five Little Stars has such a beautiful story. She has a son called Albion after her and her husband were married in Scotland which is Alba in Gaelic. A little known fact, Albion is also the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. They have since moved to France and named their daughter Elyse. This derives from the Elysian Fields, meaning paradise. She was born in Paris and so the spelling is also a nod to the magnificent Champs Elysee (so named after the Elysian Fields as well). So perfect.
  • Nadia from Scandi Mummy didn’t understand her husbands suggestion to use the name Aidan for their sons middle name. He then explained the tribute as he arrived on her birthday and it is her own named spelled backwards.
  • Sarah at Mummy Cat Notes spent hours searching for a girls name, having only decided on a boys name. She then read about  the famous female pilot Amelia Earhart. The first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean. And thus Amelia was decided.
  •  Katy from KatyKicker.com used the middle name Blue, after reading a wonderful poem from the book “A Field Guide to Getting lost” by Rebecca Solnit.

The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue.

The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.

  • Gemma from Mummy In The Madhouse wishes her mum had the final say in her name. Her Dad believed the name Gemma to be pretty rare whilst she much prefers her Mum’s choice of Zanthia. Desired after they met a little girl in Brazil called that.
  • Hannah from Little Rainbow Dreams was herself named after the late Hannah Hauxwell who passed away at the age of 91. If you haven’t heard of  the life of Hannah Hauxwell you must google her. She was an inspiring female farmer in the Pennines who was absolutely full of determination and fire. Hannah’s parents named her after this wonderful lady hoping she would follow in her amazing footsteps.
  • Rebecca writes a lifestyle and parenting blog at I Always Believed In Futures . Her son Jack is named after Jack Reacher in the Lee Child novels. Their daughter Olivia was really adorably named by her older brother. He was given the final say from the shortlist. I love this notion to get older siblings involved.
  • If there was ever a methodical approach to naming a child then Becka from Mummy Est.2014 is the master. She and her partner found it really challenging to find a boys name to agreed on. They bought a baby name book and had a different colour highlighter each. They highlighted names they liked and any that had been highlighted by them both were written on paper and stuck on the fridge.

As the last few weeks went by they scribbled off the names they fell out of love with and it came down to 2 names. Becka was  induced early and when bubba was born her and her partner decided that their new son looked like the second name on the list…Jared.

  • Finally Laura, whose sounds like an incredibly strong lady. Her blog Five Little Doves will tell your more about her incredible journey. After 15 miscarriages and a stillbirth, she was absolutely terrified when she was pregnant with her daughter. She named her Eva, as it means “Life” and she was the first little one to make it into their arms.

Baby Names

I hope you have enjoyed reading these inspiring and often incredible tales of how myself and others got their names. If you are struggling to come up with a name for your child, these stories may offer you some guidance.
If you have an interesting story of how you or your child got their name I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Thanks for reading.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The ambition of an exhausting life

Life is so, so short. Plus, you never usually know when it’s going to end. For me, life is like an oozing slice of chocolate fudge cake, being dangled in front of of my inner fat girl. The idea that I HAVE to make EVERY day count. A mission for ambition. It’s fucking exhausting! Do you agree?

Believe it or not, I’m ambitious I’m just not particularly productive since I became a mum. Some may even say lazy! I also have a dubious husband that takes a lot of convincing when it comes to my plans and ideas.

You know when people say the days aren’t long enough, I’m one of those people. I’d love for days to be longer so that I could fit more into them. More productivity, more relaxing, more fun, more adventure. But to achieve that I’d need to either be a robot or a vampire as clearly the human body requires sleep.

Unfortunately for me, sleep is another thing that I can’t help but feel wastes a load of time… but I love it. I literally could marry my bed. My imagination is so overactive that my dreams often make me feel like the star in my own crazy, ridiculous film. I could NEVER give that up. Sometimes the dreams get a little intense and I dread going to sleep but on the whole I’m having a pretty exciting time whilst my human shell catches some Zzz’s.

Now here comes the notion, a rule to live by if you will.

Prior to becoming a mum I worked in the NHS for 11 years, quitting to be a stay at home, come blogger. I do harp on about it a lot to be fair but I achieved a lot and worked my way up through the ranks, achieving the some of the greater parts of what a qualified Pharmacy technician can.

So my theory became that staying in the  same career my whole life was not my ideal use of this short life. There are so many careers I’d love to try. A post person for example. You may laugh. It may not be everyone’s ambition but I’m nosey and I like to keep active so it kills two birds in my opinion. So what if I changed career every 10 years and got to experience a varied life? That way I could experience all there is to try out there and never get bored or too comfortable.

Does that now mean I have to be a stay at home Mum Come blogger for 10 years? Well I think I’ll call this 10 years my experimental phase. I’ve already dabbled in my husbands career in finance and accounts. I decided numbers aren’t my thing so I’ve fallen back into the admin/ date entry role. I’ll continue to work on my blogging and I’m also working on my childhood passion of story writing but I’m not sure which genre will be the most successful as I’m currently working on stories for preschool children and a novel aimed at adults.

When George starts school I’d absolutely love to take a course in carpentry and woodwork or soldering and welding. I’d like to eventually create custom pieces of art and furniture, up cycling scrap metal or crafting naturally felled trees. I’ve even contemplated midwifery in these past weeks. That totally took me by surprise.

Career ambitions aside there’s a whole exhausting world out there that I’d love to be exploring. But it’s so hard to “have it all”! So hubs and I have set our sights on kicking George and any fellow siblings out at 18. Ok we may let them look after the home whilst myself and hubs go travelling as we will only be early fifties. Is that a risky strategy though? Who knows what is around the corner? What if we are no longer able bodied..or heavens forbid no longer here!

There are always the people “I must catch up with soon”. I find making friends easy and like to enjoy a variety of company. But weeks turn into months and before you know it, it’s midway through the year, and you haven’t seen half the people you expected to. I’m always regretting not making enough time for EVERYONE that counts.

I’m so, so fortunate to be able to be at home looking after George. But I can’t help but think this gives me time to crave more. More ambition, more time with people, more expectations of myself. Before you know it you are left head spinning, feeling life is fucking exhausting.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Except to live in a universe where time is infinite or at least slower. (Insert big cheesy grin here)

Can you relate?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

My Vagina’s not pretty enough for cervical screening – #SmearforSmear

My vagina is getting a treat next month , and not because it’s pretty but because I believe prevention is better than cure. I have just booked my smear test following an invitation from my GP surgery. I’m jumping on board with cervical cancer prevention week to give you this lecture low down on why I believe all women eligible for the smear test should be getting one.  If you read the news, you will know that the number of women taking up their invitation for a smear test is at a 10 year low! The reason, embarrassment over the look and smell of their pubic areas! Yes apparently so!

Erm hello! Have we all gone fucking mental! 9 times out of the 10, (I’m taking a gamble) the person conducting your smear test is a women too! You can request a women carries out the test when you book the appointment. Said nurse/doctor has a fanny/ foof/ noo noo/ noonie/ flange/ vag/ vagina/ pussy herself! It smells at different times of the day or month. It varies in how hairy or not hairy it is. And do you know what else I’m going to take a gamble on? I bet you that nurse trained in her role so that she could help and save others in matters of their health. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t give a shit what state your fanny is in!

I mean be considerate, don’t turn up there unclean. But a simple wash and fresh underwear will suffice. Vagina’s smell! They’re ugly and unless you are a porn star there’s not much you are likely to do about it.

Are we that shallow now that we are risking our LIVES due to another body confidence issue! Please ladies! TAKE SOME PERSPECTIVE!

If you are a Mama then it’s very likely that you have endured childbirth and up to a dozen or more people have seen down there already so you really have no excuse. Plus you now have kiddies to care for and you are pretty useless to them in a coffin. Hey never mind kiddo. Mummy may  not be here for your biggest moments in life but at least she had a good looking vagina! Sounds absolutely ridiculous and yes I’m being harsh but it’s necessary.

How often are you confronted with a petition on social media for the NHS to test for this, that and the other. There are so many conditions that could be avoided due to routine testing but these tests aren’t available. Smear tests are so use them!

Cervical cancer isn’t pleasant. I haven’t experienced it myself but I know one way or another that the treatment for it can leave you with less than pleasant lifelong side effects. A small price to pay for staying alive… but nonetheless if you can avoid developing it all together then why wouldn’t you?! Although the smear test is actually a test to determine the health of your cervix, it stop around 1 in every 100 women’s from getting cervical cancer (according to the NHS pamphlet.

So where will I be February 15th? I’ll be at my smear as I have been every third year around my birthday since I was 21. (Although the age of testing is now 3 yearly for 25-49 and 5 yearly for 50-64 year olds.)This will be my 5th smear and once you’re on the table with your legs open you just get chatting about Eastenders. Before you know it it’s over. I tend to pop to the loo after to properly wipe away any excess lube if the nurse has been a bit over generous. I also put a panty liner on as I can sometimes get spotting after. I’m then careful not to lift anything to heavy that day as I do when I’m on my period as I often feel tender. Everyone is different though.

After 2 weeks I receive a letter, which for me has always stated my results were normal and no further action is needed. Sometimes they may find “abnormal cells” but again I know many ladies who have been called back for this and have been fine. Sometimes there is a need to remove the abnormal cells. Sometimes a repeat test is needed as it may be that the results were compromised.

Ideally avoid using lubricants, vagina creams or having sexual activity 48 hours prior to your smear. This will better prevent your results being inaccurate.

So you see ladies it’s just another stage of life that us ladies ideally need to go through. Yes it’s a bit of a bitch but isn’t most of the shit our bodies throw at us. It’s what makes us strong and powerful. It’s what makes us women!

My top tips when attending a smear test

  • Wear a skirt/ dress or long top so you don’t feel like you are getting so exposed. Although you will be given paper towel to lay across you once undressed.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed to chat to the nurse just like you would if you was having a blood test or any other test. Remember she’s seen it all before and the more you relax the easier it will be.
  • Take a panty liner just in case of any bleeding/ spotting afterwards.
  • Treat yourself to your favourite chocolate/ coffee/ manicure afterwards. You did good lady. Be proud.
  • Tell your girl friends all about it. Let’s not be shy. The more of us share our experiences we can hopefully encourage one another to do this.
  • Don’t over clean yourself before the test. You will remove some of the natural moisture and in fact dry out your vagina. This may make it harder for the speculum to be inserted ( although again don’t worry about the nurse struggling if you are naturally dry because she will use lubricant anyway).
  • Book your test mid cycle.

Ultimately it is your choice whether to have a smear test or not. But to my mind, if you are too embarrassed to share your vagina for prevention of cancer how would you cope if you ever (heaven forbid) require treatment for cervical cancer?! Book the appointment!

#SmearforSmear 

For more information on Cervical Screening in the U.K. checkout the NHS website here;

Cervical Screening – NHS.UK

Whether you have a vagina or not, here’s of read about  Health Checkups You Shouldn’t Neglect!
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Just call me Switzerland.

As a blogger, (or at least a mama pretending to play blogger), my role is to write riveting pieces. It is my observation of both the world of blogging and journalism that often, the way to attract readers is to write controversial pieces.

Controversy after all sparks emotion in people, leading to debate and a more wider coverage of the piece. Sadness, anger, pity, sympathy, rapport, they are all feelings that often make you want to read more. Once roused, you feel more inclined to share with others what you’ve found. This is of course the same for humour, but humour is a delicacy that differs depending on taste and isn’t always easy to get right. 

Overall it is my stance that if you read a piece and it makes you feel something then the writer has done their job. As an aspiring writer myself I think that’s what we all strive for. Only for me I’m a bit more selective. I only want people to feel positive emotions. Or at least compel them to think compassionately about the feelings and emotions of other living creatures. But I dread the thought that any of my posts would spark people to feel anger, hurt or disappointment. 

See I’m happy to admit that I am a people pleaser. Although a quick google search will tell you that this is a pretty substandard type of person to be with numerous articles on how to stop it.

I want my posts to trigger thoughts and feelings about things you may not have considered. I can’t tell you what to feel but I will try my utmost to make sure that it doesn’t make you dislike what you are reading. 

So if you are looking for controversy you won’t find it here. If you do then it was NEVER intentional. I hope I don’t sound like a complete sap without morals because I am very far from that. If I truly feel strongly about something I WILL argue the toss in the most diplomatic way I can. 

I consider myself to be a strong and independent woman but the people pleasing side to my personality is supported by my position also as a fence sitter. When it comes to many a subject, just call me Switzerland. Ever striving to remain neutral. 

Even if I start off with an opinion or a belief on a subject, I am very easily swayed once I start a discussion about it with somebody of an opposing view. This all combined makes me the worst candidate for a controversial post as I would undoubtedly receive a ton of back lash only to have changed my opinion on the topic. People’s opinions of me however may take a lot longer to change. 

So if you ever want a mediator to an argument. I’m probably your girl. Efficiently adept at seeing both sides I’ll help you to find a resolve. As for looking for a contentious post on the latest hot topic…I reckon I can point you in the direction of a fab fellow blogger or two. 

This said, my New Years Resolution for this year is to try and give less of a fuck. Last year I tried it and this year I shall continue to improve on the notion of treating others as I wish they treated me but without the expectation that this will be the case as it rarely is. 

Much love and peace to you and remember where to come if you need a neutral viewpoint in a disagreement. 

#ablogginggoodtime

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking SundayLetters to my Daughter

Tips to encourage your child to wash and brush their teeth

We are all looking for ways to maintain our sanity  make parenting easier. Three years into parenting, myself and Gorgeous George’s Daddy are still devising ways to encourage George to wash and brush his teeth.

George was two weeks old before hubs and I plucked up the courage to give him his first full bath. Scared of him being a slippery bugger and flying out of hands, thus causing himself  us to have hurt him, we waited until it was really necessary. We quickly realised this was going to be something George needed convincing was a fun and relaxing habit.

 

We have since devised many ways to encourage our child that the essential act of getting washed and brushing your teeth can be fun. I’d like to add that George has pretty much always loved bathtimes and teeth brushing. His main issue is either that he is too tired or the desire to want to play with his toys is too strong.

Here’s are my top tips to encourage your child to wash and brush their teeth twice a day;

  1. Explain what’s expected. I’ve always explained what is ahead of us. I think it helps to make tasks or trips seem less daunting.
  2. Get them involved. Yes it might take longer but let them have some control. George is almost three and can
  • Fill the sink
  • Wash his hands and face with soap and a flannel
  • Dry them on a towel
  • Load his toothbrush with the right amount of toothpaste
  • Clean his own teeth
  • Spit (Rinsing is not actually recommended by dentists)

I don’t know if this is typical for a child his age and although I still supervise him to help him remain focused, he is more than independently able to complete these tasks. I do assist him when I feel he’s missed a bit. I also try to clean his teeth myself a few times a week to ensure they are getting properly cleaned. I have taught him the proper brushing technique though.

3. Get a chart. Ask your dentist for a teeth brushing chart or download one like the one here Teeth brushing chart . A fun toothbrush with a character on also helps. Getting your child to choose their own toothbrush in the shop is good encouragement. Just make sure they are age appropriate.

4. Make up songs. Back in the day where I was forever wet wiping George’s face clean of food from weaning etc, we made up a song. To the tune of E I Adio;

We’re cleaning George’s face/arms/bum

We’re cleaning George’s face

We’re making George all gorgeous

We’re cleaning George’s face

This also worked for brushing teeth, brushing hair, putting on socks, coat and so on.

5. Challenge your child to a “teeth race”.

Teeth brushing is important and needs to be done properly for it to be sufficient.

The teeth race in short is you cleaning your teeth at the same time your child cleans theirs. If your child doesn’t clean their own teeth yet you can do this in conjunction with your partner. They clean their own teeth whilst you clean your child’s.

This should also help to get your child from anywhere in the house to the bathroom in a matter of minutes. You can also use this for handwashing etc.

6. Get the toys involved. George’s favourite toy changes almost weekly. Over the years we have tried to suggest that “rabbit” or his “Lightning McQueen” would love to watch him getting washed and cleaning his teeth.

Show them Mr Monkey how you wash your hands

If the toy is waterproof it goes in, or even simpler, use a favourite bath toy, or the toy can sit on a ledge from a safe distance to the water and “watch”.

This method can often mean that wash time takes up to 10 minutes or more but I often leave him to get on with having fun whilst I sneakily get a face wash in. This leaves me free to do my makeup or get dressed, empty the litter tray, or even have a quick clean up.

7. Following on from the “bring a toy” idea, suggest that mr car is all dirty and needs a wash. Before you know it your child will be elbow deep in bubbles and foam and getting clean without even realising it. Let’s face it, if they are that grubby then the bath is an easier option.

8. Songs, songs, songs. I had a tiny turtle, row row row the boat, I jumped aboard a pirate ship, any songs or nursery rhymes, preferably water related to distract your little one whilst you wash them.

9. Bribery! I insist that we cannot go downstairs in the morning until we have washed and cleaned our teeth. The bathroom in our house is upstairs, playing with toys happens downstairs. If like mine, your little one is eager to get up and play with the toys, then insist that they can’t until they have had their wash and cleaned their teeth. Works for me.

10. Buy fun soap. Here are a few of our favs. George enjoys mixing different colours and textures so we often have several different soaps on the sink edge at a time.

  • Johnsons easy rinse foaming shampoo
  • Lush Rainbow fun soap
  • Carex handwash in Bubblegum/Love Hearts or Strawberry Laces (Even my visiting nephew complimented me on the epicness of this soap)

So what do you think of our top tips? Do you have any to add? Obviously I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and means of encouragement.

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

The scrupulous word

Thursday 28th September 2017 is National Poetry Day with the theme this year being;

Freedom

I may be a little late to the party but I’ve been living it up in sunny Caister, Norfolk. However, now holiday mode is officially over I’m not going to let the opportunity of a poem pass me by.
I wrote these words with the aim to inspire, provoke thought and contemplation, promote compassion and encourage positivity and love. Enjoy.

The Scrupulous Word

Talk to me nicely
Earn my respect
I’ll always be kind to you
But with cause and effect
I’ll be brutally honest
Without holding back
If I feel the respect is on a one way track.

Don’t take me for granted
My chances are rationed
I expect good manners
Call me old fashioned
Apologies, thanks, they are all worth their weight
Excuses and ignorance are behaviours I hate.

Be accountable for the actions you make
The words that you spit and lies that you fake
Stand up
Own the words that you speak
The thoughts that you feel
Let strength beat the meek

Take me as I come
I’ve got nothing to hide
My remarks are to help
Not to hinder or snide
I’ll say what I feel if I think it’s of use
A promoter of kindness against the abuse

 

I’m here for anyone that would like to talk anytime. Much love.

If you would like to read more about compassion, check out this fab website I stumbled upon by Sharon Bull A compassionate voice .

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Mummy’s first day at preschool. 

Ah it’s here. September. Back to school. It feels like when you are starting a new job. Excited but nervous. The kid? Well he’s oblivious. I have a two (nearly three) year old. He doesn’t NEED to go to preschool. So why am I putting us through this?
 

Well he’s always gone to nursery as I DID return to work for a few months. After I left I kept it on just to give myself some child free time if I’m honest. 
My health hasn’t been fab in recent months leaving me unable to drive to where George attended nursery. We had to make the difficult choice to remove him from the wonderful privately owned nursery that he attended from ten months old. 

We opted to get him a place in the government preschool adjoined to where will hopefully be his school in the future. 
This was always going to be somewhere he had to end up eventually. 

So why the anxiety Mummy? Well in his private nursery he was in the presence of two carers and roughly six children per room. I was reassured he would get the love and attention he would at home. He would be in view all the time so no one could hurt or bully him. 

His new preschool is linked to the primary school. When he starts tomorrow he will be in the regular presence of 27 children and 6 carers. I attended the settle in day. It’s a large space both indoors and outdoors. The carers physically could not be everywhere and see everything. 

There were what can only be described as several sadistic shitbags that I wouldn’t want to be left alone with George. I know the apron strings have got to be cut loose at some point and he’s got to learn to find his own way of dealing with things in the world. But he’s two. You can’t even explain to him. 

When George has been upset by other children I often respond by removing him from the situation and giving him a cuddle. I know some parents may argue that he should “man up and hit back”. I’ve asked George if he would hit another child back that hurt him and his response was “why?”.
This left me realising this little boy is being kind, thoughtful and considering just like his mummy and daddy. We are raising him to be as such so why would we suddenly tell him to hit people!
That said, hubs is teaching him to box. Although he currently only uses that on hubs. 

So I turned to my gentle parenting train of thought and suggested that if another child hurts him anytime I’m not around he should say 

“stop! That’s not nice, I’m going to tell a grown up”. 

Again I asked him if he would do this instead of his current method of simply standing and crying until someone rescues him and he said “no, I’ll just stand and cry”. 

So here I am. So excited for my little boys first day of preschool. All the wonderful new toys and children to play and interact with. New staff to meet and learn the schools ways. We have attended several seasonal open days there and he has never wanted to leave due to the sheer expanse of the place and how many activities there are to do. 

Yet my protective, worrying side is scared. I know children, as fickle as they are, can be put off by things after only one traumatic incident. That said he still absolutely loves any child that hits him so perhaps he is also going to be a forgiving soul too. 
As I wave goodbye tomorrow and give him a big kiss and a squeeze, I’ll run home and immerse myself in some wall knocking down (yes seriously, it’s on my to do list). And when I return I know my fears will be banished. I know he will have had a fab time. I know he will excel and flourish even more there. But I know this worry is here to stay. 
As he grows, so will my worry. I’m losing the grip. He will no longer have me to protect his every move. He’s two for crying out loud. It’s ok I tell myself. There is always home schooling. 
And then there are the other mums. What if none of them want to be friendly. What if they all know each other and aren’t very welcoming. Perhaps you can tell but I was bullied at school. If I was the person I am now I don’t think they would have been so successful but then perhaps if I wasn’t bullied I wouldn’t be as strong as I am now. 
We all just want our children to be happy, safe and protected. Don’t we? 

So for all the anxious mummies in the playground tomorrow, I feel you. A few words of wisdom for each other and a bit of support and I’m sure we will all get through this. And for the mums of the sadistic little shits, (although you probably don’t call them that) I feel for you, really I do. It must be tough looking after a kid like that, you have my empathy. 

Good luck to everyone starting or returning to school tomorrow, Daddy’s too. I’m sure this probably applies to you. Although I can’t help feeling Daddy’s just get on with things without all the worrying us women do. Would love to hear from some Daddy’s with little ones starting or returning to school. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Has becoming a mum made me lazy? 

There are days I feel I’ve definitely fulfilled my potential as both a mama and a human being. And then there are days where I feel outrageously lazy. 

Lazy
These lazy feelings rarely happened when I worked a 9-5. I worked like a maniac as often my workload was more than the hours I could fit them into. Always working against a deadline. Patients needing their meds, doctors wanting the drug charts, the pharmacy closing for dispensing and so on. 

Evenings were for cooking and prepping for the following day at work. Weekends were precious down time, a chance to have fun (wink, wink) and to keep on top of the house work, most of which would be blitzed on a Sunday morning whilst hubs was at footie training. 

Lazy
Cut to life as a stay at home mum. Life feels like one big weekend. Although of course hubs only joins us here and there as he’s working working (a bit like out out). Unlike myself (rolls eyes, ha ha).  

The cleaning well it happens when I get sick of looking at everything, things start to smell or my feet are getting covered in too much grit when I walk around the house, bleugh. We live in a two up, two down with me, hubs, George nearly three and three cats who mainly live indoors. 

Lazy
My house isn’t filthy as such but I have no set routine. I just do stuff when I can be bothered. There feels like a permanent flood of toys flowing in my direction along with crumbs and chalk dusk, magic sand and pieces of cut up paper. Chuck in the tumbleweed style balls of cat hair floating my across the laminate in the toddlers back draft and thus sets the scene. 

Then there’s me. If we don’t have plans and I’m not stood at the kitchen sink (why the heck do I feel like I live at that sink!?) Then I’m sat on the sofa watching George play. Or reading him a story or watching a film together. Doing some something research, planning or blogging related on my phone. 

Then there’s the dust. I used to be the type of gal that dusted the tops of her door frames. I felt compelled to after watching so many episodes of “Four in a bed” and seeing how much this disgusted people. Now I don’t know where the dust goes but it’s not on the duster as that thing barely comes out of the cupboard. 

Lazy
Why not? I hear you thinking. I honestly don’t know. I’m sure I could fit it in but now I’m a mama maybe I’m just lazy. Every moment of my time that isn’t commanded by George, I mentally tell myself to sit and chill. 

“You deserve this” I reward my lazy self. 

Do I though! I used to be on my feet 8 hours a day at my job. Yes I was tired but I was a fit size 12. Ok so I’ve been on migraine prevention tablets that made me gain 3 stone and go up to a size 16 but could I shift that quicker if I just got off my arse? 

Genuinely I don’t know. I have to be sure not to over exert myself too much at times as it makes my migraines more susceptible. But excuses aside I really need to maybe make myself a cleaning routine. 

I put a ridiculous amount of effort into days out, playing with George, DIY, tending to and revamping the garden. It’s literally the cleaning and tidying that makes me feel like I’m the laziest mofo of the land. And yet I know that if I made a schedule for every task that I will inevitably miss, I’ll then proceed serve myself a lovely helping of guilt. 

What do you think? Are you a stay at home parent or working parent? Do you feel any lazier since becoming a parent? Do you have any tips for staying on top of the household chores? I’d love to hear them. If nothing else but to make myself feel a little less like the lazy biatch I probably am. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

2017 – When every day is judgement day.

2017 has brought with it an increase in access to the internet, which, in my opinion, has increased our so called “knowledge”. We all think we are so damn knowledgeable about everything. Parents are literally the worst culprits of this.

Looking at my examples below, you’ll come to the conclusion that as parents we can’t do right for doing wrong. There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with what you are doing or have done. Is it any of their business? No! Are they with you 24/7? Doubtful! Should you give a toss what they think? Absolutely not! Will our children all turn out ok in the end? More than likely.

And those that supposedly turn out perfect may no doubt make some poor choices in adulthood. Perhaps they’ll make choices that mess up their lives and make us judge them moreover. There are many, many ways to live and grow. Very few are the “wrong way”. Please just stop judging.

Stop judging yourself, judging others. Stop making snide comments and passing hurtful looks. Instead try offering help to a parent that looks like they are struggling. Try offering praise to someone who looks like they are doing a “good job” by your standards. Appreciate that there are other ways to parent, and enquire with the person politely about their method. You may actually find a “better” method for your own parenting/grand parenting.

Any of these sound familiar?

Did you see that mum in the cafe, bottle feeding her baby? Poor kid is missing out on all those nutrients. Why doesn’t she breastfeed. Why doesn’t she want to give the best to her baby?

Did you see that mum in the cafe, breastfeeding her baby? Attention seeking she was. Getting her boobs out for everyone to see. Just so she can make the rest of us feel inadequate like we aren’t doing the best for our babies.

Did you speak to that that mum at the park? 5 kids she has and she wants more! She’s so selfish. Those kids will never get the attention and love they need with that many to look after!

Did you speak to that mum at the park? Her little boy is an only child and she doesn’t want anymore! She’s so selfish. That child is going to miss out on so much without a sibling to share it with.

Did you see that mum at the zoo? All her children drinking juice and eating chocolate and sweets. More fool her. All their teeth are probably rotten and it’s all her fault.

Did you see that mum at the zoo? All her children drinking were drinking water and eating homemade sugar free muffins. More fool her. First chance they get they will be stuffing their faces secretly with sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks. And they’ll miss out at birthday parties. It’s all her fault.

My gosh did you see that mum letting her kid run along on the pavement? He could’ve run in the road and had an accident any minute. I was on edge just watching. She’s so irresponsible. (I’ve actually heard this one).

My gosh did you see that mum making her kid hold her hand and wear reins whilst walking along? Give the kid some space or he’ll never learn. She’s making a rod for her own back.

Did you see that mum ignoring her child and looking at her phone? Look at your kid for crying out loud! Watch him play.

Did you see that mum following her child on all the play equipment? Step back and let him breathe! Let him play by himself.

Did you see that mum shouting at her child in the supermarket? You should never speak to a child like that! She should always remain calm and composed.

Did you see that mum in the supermarket letting her child get away with lying on the floor screaming whilst she quietly stood there? She didn’t do anything! She’s teaching him it’s ok to be a spoilt brat.

The list goes on and on. Moral of this post…we all do things different. Every child is different and has their own needs. By all means if you are genuinely concerned for the safeguarding of a child then please take action by reporting to the appropriate authorities.

If you believe you may be guilty of being judgemental of your fellow mama, try our three simple steps;

(1) Take a moment to think of some of the reasons this mum is doing what she is doing. Appreciate that she knows her own children and her own mind. She may be having an off day. She’s made her own choices after weighing up the facts for herself.

(2) Close your eyes and walk away. It’s not your child. It’s not your way. If there’s no safeguarding issue. You are just being a bitch. Mind your own business.

(3) Do you remember when you had your first child and when you no doubt did exactly the same thing she did? You’ve since changed your style but it doesn’t make your choice any better. It’s YOUR choice for YOUR child at THAT time.

Just to be clear. None of the above opinions are my own. Thankfully I don’t hang in circles where opinions like this are expressed. You only have to click on the comments of most Facebook stories to see this type of know-it-all negativity.

Do you think we are giving each other too much of a hard time? I know I give MYSELF a hard enough time. I don’t have anything left to berate others and wouldn’t dare. We won’t judge here.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday