18 Days of Summer #16

18 Days of Summer #16


So, the above horrendously blurry photography is down to the fact that I have somehow broken my DSLR. I don’t understand what I’ve done to it. When I press the capture button, it doesn’t take a photo. I have spent most of the evening trying to figure out exactly what I’ve done. The odd photos that I managed to capture today were as I was pressing random buttons to get it to work. It seems to take pictures when I press the lock button??? Totally baffled. Perhaps Katie at MummyDaddyMe will be able to help? I may end up going to a shop for advice on Monday. It’s James’ birthday tomorrow so I’m very unhappy that I won’t have the camera. Guess the mobile will do. So, anyway back to today….

Today was another very slow starter, James’ parents were packing to travel up to Shropshire for their holiday.  We didn’t want to disappear off without saying goodbye properly.  I thought it was early they were leaving, but it was closer to lunch time that they left.  Was lovely to see them off but as we weren’t sure at what point they would go, we hadn’t gone off to get ready etc until after they’d gone, and then that was lunch time, so James sorted that out whilst I tried to catch up with blogging (procrastinator).  I am really struggling with having to blog everyday, but I am so close to the end of our series and I have enjoyed looking back over the last 15 posts just earlier as I was updating my pinterest.  I know the children will appreciate being able to relive the memories as they can access the blog posts at any time.  This information just makes me feel guilty for not making today more exciting for them though.

In the afternoon Judah had a nap, as did Eden, Isis played Rayman on Uncle John’s PS4 and Shayla sat watching a movie by my side whilst I was blogging perusing twitter.  When I had finally finished the post that took forever we went out to go get craft supplies to make James’ birthday cards from the children for tomorrow.

Once we had supplies we were heading to the beach.  Now we have not had any accidents from Judah for days now.  Typical that the one time I didn’t have spare clothes with me, it was only a short walk from the house, he decided to throw a tantrum, lie in the middle of the street.  When he finally calmed down and got back onto his buggy board I could see he’d had an accident *oops*.

look at that teary face, let's say the wet patch is from the crying shall we?
look at that teary face, let’s say the wet patch is from the crying shall we?

As we didn’t have any clothes with us, we just ended up heading back to the house *sighs*.  Felt like it had been a rubbish journey for the girls, but to be fair they had picked up some gorgeous flip flops from ‘Accessorize’ in the sale ready for next summer if we don’t get the sun again this year.

apologies for the horrendous camera work, can’t figure out what I’ve done
beautiful flip-flops will fit Shayla next summer

The girls and Judah made cards for James for his birthday tomorrow whilst he stuck some chicken nuggets and french fries in the oven.  Really pushed the culinary boat out tonight.  Sometimes I just want something quick, in the oven and bam! everyone’s eating.  We then all piled into our bed to watch ‘Princess Diaries’ on the TV.  Then about 8:30 everyone was in bed.  A pretty uneventful day really, but tomorrow we will be busy celebrating a certain someone’s 29th birthday.  Hoping I can figure out what to do with the camera for tomorrow so that I don’t miss any magical memories.  I love my iPhone but since I smashed my iPhone 5, I’m not down with the lesser pixels on my iPhone 4S.  Need to fix the DSLR.
Well James is sound asleep now and ‘Happy Gilmore’ is on TV.  I guess I should just go to sleep, it’s a big day tomorrow *smiles*, I’m looking forward to the celebrations!!

Potty Training the boy #3 – holidays

Potty Training the boy #3


 This week Judah has done amazingly, I wasn’t sure how to do the whole potty training whilst out and about.  I think I care too much sometimes about what people think.  I worry about offending people, or more to the point about them potentially staring and pulling their face at me and especially my children.  I chose to forget about posts I’d seen on facebook, or things I may have seen in the media, the Katie Hopkins of this world, although I find her vile, I would worry about the people who agree with her opinions and how they may be disgusted with how I choose to raise my children.  Well, boo I say, boo to them all.  I thought back to how we did it with Shayla-Rae, and thought, yep, we’re just going to take the potty out with us.
I can count on one hand and with some fingers to spare the amount of accidents that we’ve had all week.  To be fair when we did have accidents it was just down to him being tired and forgetting.  If I spotted him concentrating and looking like he may be doing the dreaded number that comes after one, and say ‘Judah do you need the potty?’, ‘oh yeah’ comes the reply followed by a swift move to the potty.
I don’t know how it will continue as we go down South next week and it’s another new environment, but part of me feels that if we crack it there, after we cracked it at home and now at my parents, then he’s pretty much sorted apart from not always dry at night yet, but we’ve just been putting a nappy on him for bed.  He wakes up, takes it off himself and then goes on the potty, so I’m not too fussy about pushing him to be dry at night.  It will come naturally when he’s ready, 7/10 nights he is at the moment anyway, just can never be too sure.  I definitely don’t trust him enough yet with his lovely mattress at stake.


sat watching something on the iPad whilst on the potty…hmm…. who does he remind me of?

18 Days of Summer #6

18 Days of Summer #6

Sitting down to write this whilst all the rest of the familiy are asleep in bed (I am sat in bed next to the hubster who is fast asleep), I am very tired after a busy day, but I feel very blessed.  Today was one of those days that my heart just feels so full, full of love, joy, pride of how blessed and lucky we are to have such amazing children.

As I mentioned last week at some point, I’ve been asked to sing at a funeral tomorrow of a good friend.  They wanted me to play piano and to sing, but I know that I’ll be emotional and it’s been a while since I’ve accompanied myself for such an occasion, so I called a friend yesterday to see if they mind playing for me, then all I need to do is sing.  He kindly agreed, he was a friend of the gentleman that died too, so he saw it as an honour and a privilege.  However, this meant that we would need to practice, so as we finished the conversation yesterday, we arranged a practice today at 10am.

A friend recommended a hairstyle for the girls to try today – the ‘mermaid braid,’ I definitely have not perfected this one, but the girls loved it and the tighter version I put in Shayla’s hair survived all day, and looked great when they were playing in the water.  Definitely would recommend as a swimming do.

Isis' looser version
Isis’ looser version
Shayla’s stayed in all day
As the girls are always so well-behaved (not a brag, they just are and I know that we are very lucky) and into music, I thought I would take them with me.  They were so excited to be in my friend Keith’s studio.  I explained to them that it was where I recorded some songs I wrote when I was 16.  They were amazed by how long ago that was *shudders*, so am I.
in the studio 051
lovely moment, Isis singing in the studio I recorded in 15 years ago
lovely moment, Isis singing in the studio I recorded in 15 years ago

The girls had a go at drumming too, I think we’re going to need a music room instead of a playroom as these children get older.

Isis sang for Keith, a friend of my parents who helped me record an album of songs I wrote at 16. It was such a special moment, I sat down at the piano and played Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ and she just went for it. I was so proud that she didn’t go all shy on me, she shone like the little star that she is, and Keith said that he will gladly record a song for her for free anytime that she wants. So lovely, we’re thinking of maybe doing a little family album of songs for Grandparents for Christmas presents. I know James’ parents would especially adore a recording of Isis as they’re always trying to capture her on their phones when they come up to visit.

We left our friends home and went back to our holiday home (my parents), I made and packed up a picnic, James had snagged some bargain priced roast chicken the night before as Booths were closing up, so I made chicken sandwiches.  We took apples, raisins, drinks, and some Peppa Pig muddy puddle chocolate bars too, and off we went on our travels.  We decided to go on the bus to save on car parking at the other end and headed to St Annes on the Sea.

our little bus crew off on their travels
our little bus crew off on their travels
practicing their ballet stretches whilst waiting for the bus
James looking confused by the bus ticket
smiling – that’s better
Eden looking after Judah’s kermit

We went to visit Nana at work, she wanted her work colleagues to meet the children and then we were off to the paddling pool near the beach to eat our picnic (I was hungry by now for sure).  The girls munched down all their food, Judah had fallen asleep as we were getting off the bus, so he napped as they played for a while and then was able to join in.  He’s potty training at the moment, so as soon as he woke, poor child was put on the potty, then had his sandwiches – which I have NEVER seen him shovel down so fast as he was so excited to go and play in the water.

picnic time
picnic time
strawberry munching Isis
cute holding hands
they figured out it was warmer if they stayed low out of the wind
Judah shovelling in his sandwiches
getting his big sister
crazy bendy child
I love this photo, he’s so happy
telling his sisters what to do

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The weather was warm but as we were on the seafront it was VERY windy.  Judah was shivering but refusing to come out of the water as he was having so much fun.  Ended up making a judgement call after about 20 mins of them all playing that they would all come out and we’d head to the trampolines.  My mum had finished work and had come to join us by this point.  We got them all dry and back into their clothes and off we trekked.

walking with Nana
Isis loves the trampolines
My two bouncing girlies
having the time of his life
cheeky face
he loves trampolines, can you tell?
monster shadows


As we were walking down to the trampolines, Judah spotted ‘the beach’ well, he wasn’t happy, screaming and performing because he wanted to go on the beach ‘like it beach!’ he kept screaming.  Obviously, I didn’t want him to be sad or feel like he was missing out but I knew that he would love the trampolines and nobody else wanted to go on the beach today (we’ll be going another day).  He was tired from all the playing in the water and trying to keep his body warm.  So, into the Bugaboo Donkey he went.  Ooh, he wasn’t happy, lots of screaming, lots of typical stares from people walking past, assuming that I must be throttling my 2 year old.  He watched the girls on the trampolines and had to calm down dramatically before I would let him even contemplate having a go.

He did eventually calm down and he loved his time on the trampolines, he has a little one in the playroom at home, and he just loves to jump.  He had a great time.  When his time was up (it was £2.50 for 10 minutes), the screaming recommenced as he didn’t want to come out.  We had told him it was ice-creams next, which meant that he walked off the trampoline of his own accord, but then being 2 changed his mind once there was no more bounce beneath his footsteps. It’s hard being 2.

Again, he had to calm down, this took longer as there was an audience, we knew he’d had a lot of excitement and was upset so he couldn’t go and choose his ice-cream until he’d done a wee on the potty.  Not normally a problem for him, but he decided all of a sudden he was embarrassed to go on the potty (which he had done several times already that day).  Nana and her friends left for a coffee (don’t think they could cope with any more screaming) and he focused on my voice then, calmed down, went on the potty and was able to choose an ice-cream (he went for an ice-lolly) to eat on the walk back to the bus stop.

He walked all the way back to the bus stop, it took us about 25 minutes with his little legs, and then when we got off the bus at the other side, he walked all the way back to Nana’s house, about 15 minutes for his legs.  When we arrived home I realised how proud I was of him and the day he had done, no accidents all day, even though we were out with multiple distractions, how far his little legs had walked, for the first time ever really.  We had been aiming to go to the Blackpool church service our church is running at the moment, the children wanted to go, but again we made a judgement call, they’d been out in the sun all day.  They had been so well behaved and we would be pushing our luck to try and take them to church for a 7:30 service.

So, we stayed in, got a chippy dinner and watched ‘Matilda.’  The children had a wonderful day and were telling me about their favourite parts, Isis’ and Judah’s was the trampoline, Shayla’s was the paddling pool.  I had a lovely time realising how blessed James and I were, and look forward to more days out.  We are a third through our days now, and that makes me sad, but still 12 days to go.  Tomorrow I am singing at a funeral, so it won’t be the most fun of mornings/early afternoons, but then we will go into Blackpool to do something fun, so I’m looking forward to that.

I’ll leave you with a little clip of the crazy children doing an impression of their Father falling off the roundabout the day before, but for some reason in the water.


Potty Training the boy #2

Potty Training the boy #2 – outings

I thought we were doing well with potty training.  I thought it was right to keep him out of nappies whilst out and about, just required more concentration (from us).  This morning at church I have rethought my thinking.

Judah is great at home, he is aware of when he needs to go, goes on the potty himself etc.  He always says what he needs when he needs to, but, when we are out somewhere exciting he just switches off his brain and doesn’t mind going in his pants and being wet as he plays. *sigh*

Fortunately there are many other mothers at church to ask advice from, but this morning, as he had just had an accident in the play area I found myself whining to Elaine, who my brain then processed teaches Childcare at college.  Aha I thought, you will know about this, and I asked her advice.

After speaking to Elaine I have decided that I don’t want this to be a hard time for Judah, I want it to be as easy as he has been doing at home, so will return to using pull-ups when out and about and then he can use the toilet as and when he remembers and I don’t need to keep taking suitcases (exaggeration but not much) full of spares to places like church, the park, or soft play.

I think sometimes as mums we can care too much about how well others “perceive” us to be doing.  I feel like I’m not obviously potty training my child if he has nappies on when we’re out and about, but I need to remember, this is about Judah, his success, not mine.

He is doing really well, and he is the one who decided he was ready.  He is the one who takes himself off at home.  Yes, I ask him many times if he needs to go, and I’m consistent with it (there are far fewer accidents on my watch than Daddy’s) but really this is all about him learning independently, not me teaching him.  He has seen us go to the toilet, and his older sisters but that is as far as it goes for me teaching him.  He is the only one who can learn how it feels in his bladder/tummy when he needs to go, and how much time he has to get to the potty when he experiences that feeling.  He is the one who needs to communicate when he wants to go.  He only turned 2 six weeks ago so I need to remember to not feel like a failure all the time as it’s not really about me at all.

So, I will keep posting about how things are going and working out for us (or not), so you can see if this approach would work for you or not.

From one slightly less frustrated Mummy (hoping the relief in my choice will set in soon), thanks for reading.  As always comments and suggestions are always appreciated.



Potty Training the boy #1

Potty Training the boy #1

When I potty trained Shayla-Rae, thanks to our blended family set-up, there had been so many back and forths, it went on for months as we couldn’t reach a point of mutual decision on how we would do it.  The ‘other mummy’ as the girls call their Mum didn’t really want to do it and wasn’t sure she was ready. Finally after Judah was born (3 weeks old to be exact) we went to Butlins and were fortunate to have the girls for 11 days straight and I just thought, ‘right that’s it, we’ve been at this for ages’ and just took no nappies with us.

The girls at Butlins 2012

Shayla was a couple of months away from turning 3 and more than ready.  Aside from an unfortunate code brown incident in the swimming pool, which according to the lifeguard is quite normal (I was horrified) at Butlins, and some mysterious rabbit droppings (that apparently belonged to no-one) appearing in the bedroom one morning (yak) we were home and dry by the end of the week.

I have been informed that boys are usually later than girls so hadn’t expected to even be having the conversation about whether we should potty train Judah yet before his 2nd birthday, but, I guess as he sees his older sisters and us using the toilet and he is an observant child, he kept asking.

I procrastinated as I was not having a good time hormonally and figured it would be crazy to pile on any more pressure but eventually gave in and bought a potty and a seat for on top of the loo, as I was starting to feel like I was mean Mommy not allowing my child to potty train when he was asking.

I started to read up on various different techniques and thought we would have a go.  The first day was great, we just went for the bare-bum approach and had multiple successes that resulted in stickers, but we needed to go out for the evening and I didn’t want him to feel embarrassed or on show at our friends home so we caved and stuck a nappy on him.

Day two I was exhausted and had a severe headache.  Now us mum’s know there is no such thing as a day off, I was on my own with 2 babies and was trying to make sure Judah’s potty training journey was about success and not failure.  I was struggling to keep my eyes open so led down on the sofa, once I’d made sure they were safe to play.  Eden was in her MAGIC astro bouncer, Judah roaming around, but I had visions of him pooing on me as I accidentally fell asleep (obviously I didn’t fall asleep) so I just stuck a nappy on him just incase.  Feeling like a failure as we mothers do, I apologised to my husband for failing in our venture when he returned from work.  He was just finishing out his last social work placement and told me to just leave it til his university course was finished and to stop fretting.  So we did.

I was then advised by a friend as I felt mean stopping his progress, to just buy him pull pjs and leave the potty around.  This I did, and one week, it seemed as though Judah potty trained himself.  Getting a number two in the potty with Shayla was a MASSIVE deal, she would hold it in for days then when we would put a nappy on (if we were going out somewhere like a wedding where we didn’t want any accidents) she would go.  I expected it to be a big thing for Judah too, so like with Shayla we promised him a teddy of his choosing for the triumphant day when he did a number 2 on the potty.  I thought this would mark the pinnacle and finalisation of the potty training but with Judah it came much easier.  He just took himself to the potty and went for it.  Then demanded a minion teddy which I promptly ordered from Amazon next day delivery.

So this is where we are up to.  He seems to want to do it himself but not completely.  We had a triumphant day out with just underpants and no nappy at the soft play, but we then pushed our luck and went to visit a local nursery.  Judah stayed in the class he would be in as we looked round and had the time of his life but also wet himself three times in an hour which has put me off pushing it on him myself.  So nappies were back today. Boo, feel like a failure again.

I am definitely up for advice and tips, but thought if we journal the process it may help others with what not to do also.

Tomorrow is another day and we will see where it takes us.

Feel free to comment below any suggestions or recommended reading for us.


Alexandra (& Judah)


One for when Judah graduates