Real Relationships

In a world of Instagram and Facebook bombarding you with perfect lives, do you ever feel like others have the perfect relationship that you want? Husbands bringing wives flowers for no reason. Wives showing no signs of a post-baby tummy wearing a slinky dress for a night out with hubby. But people show what they want to show. Not many women would show you the two pairs of spanx she has worn to flatten out her lumps and bumps. Not many men would take a photo of their dirty pants (underwear) that they have left on the floor.

And do you really need the truth behind someone else's relationship to make yourself feel more satisfied with your own? The thing is, it doesn't matter what others portray. It doesn't matter what is the truth and what is a filtered view. Your own relationship is what matters. Focus on your partner, focus on your relationship. Too many times we concentrate on others, measuring ourselves negatively.

So I thought I would share the above photo. Husband and I at my best friend's wedding. Looking happy, but shiny. We do not have a perfect relationship. We don't go on glamourous dates (not often anyway). He leaves his pants on the floor by the bed. I am a control freak. We bicker about silly things. We argue about money. But this is our relationship. And it means more than anyone else's idea of perfection.

I am linking up to Mum Turned Mom, where 'Reality' is this week's topic of The Prompt. Why not pop on over to see more thoughts on reality.



rolling on the floor wednesdays

In my attempt to make things run more smoothly before bedtime, I no longer allow my children to watch television after dinner. I let them watch telly after school. Then they have to tidy up before dinner. I wanted the time after dinner to be more relaxing - reading, playing quietly and/or baths. On the first day of my experiment, the kids spent about 20 minutes rolling around on the living room floor. They had a great time, but there was no relaxation to be had. They have since gotten used to our new routine. But I love this photo as it shows what loons my children truly are. :)



The Legend of the Potty

Once upon a time there was a toddler. And by midnight of his 18th month, his wise mother had shown him the way to becoming a noble knight. The toddler shunned the ways of his diaper, and used the glistening potty that the benevolent fairies had bestowed upon him on the night of his quick and pain-free birth.

Uh, yeah right. I hope you all know that every bit of that is a fairy tale. Not one bit is true. Okay? No matter what your parents or grandparents, or that random old lady you met at Waitrose said, most children are not potty-trained at 18 months. There are always going to be some exceptions, of course. But do not feel like you have to compete with those people.

Since my children are aged 6 1/2 and 2 1/2, friends with younger children often ask for advice. And regular readers of my blog will know that I am more than happy to offer advice. When Moozles was two, we tried to potty train her. The kid held her wee in all frickin' day. She still drank normally, but her tummy would become distended until she relieved herself in her evening bath. After a couple of days, and much discussion, I knew that she wasn't mentally ready to stop using nappies (though there were no physical issues).

When Moozles turned three, I told her she could wear nail polish if she used the potty. She used the toilet from that moment on. She was still quite anxious about the thought of doing poos in the toilet so we let her use a nappy when she slept at night (and this is when she would poo). She continued in her nighttime nappy until she was almost four. We then took away the nappy and spent a lot of time trying to ease her fears (we had to eventually give her some child-friendly laxatives as she refused to poo for over a week). It really taught me how emotional potty training can be for a child.

So here are some things to contemplate if you are feeling the pressure to potty-train:

1. The Signs - Yes, there are signs that tell you when your child is ready to use the potty. But some children exhibit all these signs and still aren't ready. Potty training is physical and mental.

2. Genius - Your child's ability to use a toilet early is not an indicator for future membership to MENSA. So if he/she is potty trained at two, don't expect your child to be the next Steve Jobs.

3. The Elderly - You will get pressure from the older generation, be they health visitors, grandparents or random people you meet on the high street. Let's be honest, they're kinda old and forgetful. And they certainly don't know your child as well as you do.

4. Wiping Wee - For me, my child being potty-trained doesn't mean that I am cleaning up wee off the floor every day for months. I like my furniture urine-free. And changing sheets in the middle of the night isn't my idea of fun. If you potty change too early, then there is a lot of wee clean-up. We potty-trained Moozles right after her third birthday. Apart from one accident at the nursery, her wee remained in the toilet.

5. Poo to Poo - Same as number four. Enough said.

6. Fancy Potty - There are a lot of potties to choose from. Moozles used the potty for about three days then went straight to a toilet training seat. Don't be too caught up in finding the right potty, or buying a potty for every room. Again, if you want until your child is ready then it isn't such a big deal.

And remember, you know your child better than anyone else. Do what is right for them. And if someone asks why your toddler isn't potty trained, send them to me.

The Legend of the Potty


And then the fun began...


How Do You Pronounce Wigwam?

Apparently, British people pronounce 'wigwam' as 'wig-wham'. I learned this recently when we received our very own wigwam. And when I pronounced it as 'wig-wom/wig-waam', Husband made fun of me. Then our daughter laughed at me. *sigh* But I digress. British people pronounce 'wigwam' differently to Americans, but you can call it a play tent or tippee to reduce household cultural squabbles.

Whatever you call it, or however you pronounce 'wigwam', I can say that this has been one of our best toys my kids have ever had. I don't know if it is a toy, but it is a great conductor of independent role play (ooh, I talk fancy). Dubz, who is 2 1/2 has been spending a lot of the time in the wigwam. He takes in all of his dinosaurs, and when he leaves the wigwam he makes his big dinosaur guard it (top photo). Moozles loves going in there with her brother, and it is hilarious listening to their loud whispers. And when Dubz isn't around, Moozles goes into the wigwam and reads books and sings songs.

Our wigwam costs £59.99 from Big Game Hunters, which is much cheaper than similar teepees I have seen. It is made from a thick cotton canvas that has a waterproof coating. When the weather warms up, we will be taking the wigwam outside. And we won't have to worry about it getting wet. The only downside is that I feel like I should have gotten a wigwam sooner. It was one of those items I thought might get ignored. But it was invaluable during half-term. At one point, both kids were lying down in the tent alongside the car garage and all the dinosaurs (last photo). For ages. It was so quiet and calm.

I'm really looking forward to the kids having tea parties in the wigwam during the summer. But I will be calling it a teepee so that no one else laughs at me.

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Family Fever



We were sent this wigwam for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.





World Book Day Costumes

World Book Day is in less than two weeks. I normally try and make/put together a costume, but this is getting tougher as Moozles gets older. Plus Dubz is obsessed with dinosaurs and dragons so I have no idea how I would put that together. So this year I got the kids their World Book Day costumes from Escapade, an online fancy dress shop.

Moozles loves so many books, that it was quite tough to choose one character for her. We decided on Queen Elizabeth I since Moozles learned about her in the last term, and has loved reading about queens and kings. I picked a Dragon costume for Dubz. Dubz prefers characters that 'roar', and 'Room on the Broom' by Julia Donaldson is one of his favourite books.

I am pleased with the quality of both costumes. Moozles wore her queen dress for a few hours on Saturday, which included lunch and some running around with her brother. Dubz refused to take his dragon costume off from 11am-7pm. The costume was comfy, even with the tail, and he was able to run around, play and sit without feeling itchy. We can't wait for World Book Day now. Do you have your costumes?

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If you want to try winning a costume for World Book Day, enter the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning. To ensure that the winner receives their costume in time, I will email them first thing on Friday morning - please respond to me by noon with your postal address and your costume choice and size (please check that they have your child's size in stock). Thanks! x

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We were sent the costumes for the purpose of a review but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.





Bouncy Pillows

During half-term, we visited Hobbledown, a local farm/soft play in Surrey. My kids love it there, but we haven't been in about a year. And what a difference a year makes. Now that Dubz is close to turning three, he can do so much. These days we rarely take the buggy out on family outings, and Dubz walks around full of energy. He ran around the soft play on his own and always managed to find our table.

And this the first time Dubz had a go on the bouncy pillows, which is one of his sister's favourite things. Dubz and Moozles bounced and bounced and did not want to stop. We finally had to carry him away so that we could get a seat in the soft play area before it filled up. Of course Dubz was shrieking as we carried away, so some things haven't changed that much. He is still as stubborn and single-minded as ever. ;)


I am linking this post to My Sunday Photo over at OneDad3Girls and Ordinary Moments at MummyDaddyME.




book of life

On Monday, my family and I joined in with The Book of Life viewing party on twitter. This meant that people all over the UK watched the film at the same time and tweeted about their experience. We had a big box of goodies to help us - masks, face paints, musical instruments and some yummy snacks.

Husband and Moozles watched the film a few months ago at the cinema, but Dubz and I hadn't seen it. As Dubz is only 2 1/2, and very active, we haven't taken him to the cinema yet. This means that cinema trips are not yet family outings. So thank goodness for DVDs and Blu-rays.

If you haven't seen The Book of Life, it is a terrific film! Basically, it centres around Manolo, a man torn between bull-fighting and playing the guitar, and his quest to be with his true love Maria. Manolo travels through different worlds and the story is based upon Mexican folklore. It has a strong plot, and is filled with sweet and funny moments. The animation is gorgeous and the film is such a pleasure to watch. The Book of Life is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.

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We were sent a Blu-ray of the Book of Life and a party pack to enjoy the viewing party, but all opinions are entirely my own.