The Potty Train…

 The dreaded word right?

After reading many baby books I always wanted to be on the ball with potty training, my granny always said ”back in the day your mum was potty trained at a year old!!” How could this be? Could she even walk? Statistics say 97% of children were potty trained by age 18months in 1957! Wow!!! I wonder how much of that statistic is true?

IVY

We took the plunge when Ivy was about 17months old. I followed Gina Fords book Potty training in 1 week. Sounds ideal right!? Thinking if we can crack this we can crack anything. The book is a short step by step daily guide with tips and signs to look out for to keep you on the right track. Previously I have used Gina Fords books for issues such as routine and weaning, and felt they really worked.
So we opened the book (I say we, but not entirely sure how much Sean was involved) page by page day by day she stuck to the book and she was ‘potty trained’ within 10 days…so a little longer than it says on the cover but I was impressed.  Of course we had the odd accident, and she wasn’t dry at night but it was a great success!

You think 1 week isn’t long…however it was the longest week ever! I thought she would never crack it. Its so frustrating at the time your life is consumed indoors, concentrating solely on potty training. As it states in the book they need to recognise to ask for the potty themselves to move onto the next stage and not just be reminded. I remember going to the top of the stairs with Ivy for her bath on day 8 thinking about packing the whole thing in…when she finally said ‘pee pee’ and ran to the potty and did the needful. I couldn’t believe it!  I was jumping about on the landing clapping my hands and dancing!! It had finally clicked and we were on our way!  A short while after we were on holiday with the girls abroad, and to my surprise Ivy was dry from the first night there right through the week. So it was a pretty easy journey with Ivy as she progressed in age she hardly has had an accident. To the point now at 5 years old I have to remind her to go to the toilet. As she would quite happily go the whole day and not go!

GRACIE

When Gracie became about 18months I decided to pull out the good old Potty training in 1 week book again. My girls even though they look similar they couldn’t be more opposite in personality. Unfortunately it didn’t click after a few days in or few weeks. We decided to abandon all efforts and give her a little time as she wasn’t ready. After several attempts at trying however she still wasn’t able to hold her bladder long enough. When we did get Gracie dry around age 2 it was such a relief. However she wasn’t dry at night and wasn’t accident free. There was lots of days she wet herself on many occasions and I felt we were right back to where we started. Some days she would deliberately have an accident to gain attention. I just imagined the whole process would be easy like it was with Ivy but it wasn’t. It wasn’t until she was about 3 she would go long periods without accidents. I began to worry and google for tips as now she was 3 and a half and was still wet through the night. I had tried several things however none seemed to work.
I called the health visitor for advice as she was turning 4 soon and I was beginning to get really worried as not one night had passed where she had been dry. I couldn’t help compare the girls how could they be so different? The health visitor came to see Gracie for her 4 year review and was very much pleased with her progress. So I thought It was a good opportunity to bring this topic up. I couldn’t believe when she began to discuss other situations and examples of other children’s issues at the same age as Gracie. it gave me a sense of not being the only one like this. She asked questions like if anyone in my family had been older in age before being potty trained? As it sometimes can run in the family. She advised me that unless the particular hormone in her brain is mature and released she will never be dry as she wont be ready. No mater what I try it wont make any difference until this hormone is produced she wont be dry at night.
Gracie turned 4 in February and we had the choice whether she went to school next year or waited until she was 5 1/2. We decided to put her forward for school as she is so go ahead we didn’t want to hold her back in another year of playschool if she is ready for school. Naturally I have been trying to prep her for going to school by dressing herself, toileting and zipping up her jacket independently. So with the bed wetting I was nervous of the fact that she continued to do this.
On her 4th birthday evening her granny was preparing for bed, I overheard her say she didn’t want a pull up on that night. I thought oh dear, but I let her go to bed without one since the sheets need changed anyway in the morning. Much to my joy in the morning she was dry!! She had never done this before it was a great achievement. I thought it must have been a fluke…but no she has been pretty ‘dry’ since.
I used to always lift her before I went to bed and sometimes she will shout in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. She has had the odd dribble since then so I tend to put a training mat under her in bed. However sometimes when we are having a bad week, when she isn’t getting enough attention/or her own way, like last week…for example I was working extra shifts she wet the bed for a whole week!! However usually the majority of the time she is dry.

So that was my experience with girls very different indeed. What about boys??

The average age now for potty training is 3 1/2 with teachers in schools seeing an increase in children coming to school not potty trained. 10% of 7 year old are still wetting the bed. These are facts I was glad to hear when I was struggling with Gracie’s bed wetting. Its nothing to be ashamed of and not spoken about enough. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help and advice with toilet training, and don’t feel like you’ve failed if they don’t succeed. If they haven’t realised the matured hormone they will never be ready, no mater what techniques you try at home.

”Potty training boys is so much harder than girls, they need to be at least 2 and a half!”

MALACHY

So Malachy was 21 months and he’s quite mature for his age I would say- he copy’s the girls a lot and had started showing signs like talking about going to the toilet and recognising when he’s wet! So I took a deep breath and pulled out the good old Gina Ford book for the 3rd time. To be honest I wasn’t planning on attempting it until nearer summer but I thought I would do a little test…much to my delight he knew exactly what he was doing. Sean was looking at me saying I thought we wasn’t doing this just now? But once I started and he got on so well I couldn’t stop! Didn’t want to send him confusing signals by abandoning ship.
Out of  10 days I would say we had 5 accidents/wet pants with me. Of course when I was working and grandparents had him, unfortunately not so switched on to he whole potty training thing and didn’t toilet him so often there was more accidents. He was absolutely no problem and I couldn’t quite believe how easy he was to train- even easier than Ivy.
He’s now dry for his afternoon nap, and sometimes dry at night so we’re on the right track! I must admit I was a little emotional when I began to train Malachy as he was my last and youngest in nappy’s.

What worked for me?

GINA FORD POTTY TRAINING IN 1 WEEK.
They need to be ready and show the signs.
Rewards for peeing in potty (penny sweet)
Don’t go back to nappy’s after you start- don’t confuse them!
Patients
Team work

It doesn’t mater what age they are toilet trained as every child is ready at their own pace. It can be something you don’t want to discuss with other mums as you might be ashamed or embarrassed as they begin to grow older and they have not achieved it. Speak out and seek advice. By sharing my three different experiences shows how good or how bad it can go.

The weekend before I turned 30.

Many people dread turning the big 30 or 40? Why because they don’t want to feel old?
I suppose people want to feel like they have accomplished something by the time they reach a certain age? Like a weight loss goal? Married? Kids? That dream job?


I was doing a bank shift recently and was given a student to shadow. As we were driving along in the car we were chatting about life and what she was doing at the weekend. As she talked I thought we sound like we’re the same age, although she wasn’t married or had kids.
When I asked her how old she was she said 18…my jaw literally dropped… I thought we were the same age….but in actual fact I was 11 years older!!! How could this be?? Even driving along the road that day chatting about life with 3 kids car seats in the back I felt not a day older than 18!
It was a reality check for me that day.. I thought she must look at me and think I’m old!! But I wasn’t I felt young! Age is just a number!! It doesn’t mater if your not married by 30 of 40 or 50! Marriage isn’t for everyone and we’re not born out the same box, everyone has different goals and views of life.
These days people aren’t getting married at 19 and Boom boom boom 3 kids. People are enjoying life a bit first before they have kids and settle down, travelling or meeting new people. Turning a milestone birthday is just another number.. has no meaning…you are just as old as you feel…and I don’t feel a day older than 18…

The last Saturday in my 20s was just another ordinary Saturday for us… usually we have a chilled out morning as it’s the one day of the week we’re not rushing to get out of the house for school or church. So on a Saturday we chill… my dad came round to finish more of the hall way floor and Sean decided to muck in too. There was a craft fate on the in village hall which I had planned to take the girls to… however my mum took Ivy away to Fraserburgh with her and my brother took Gracie away to Banff with him.


So I found myself ‘almost bored’ just me and Malachy. What were we going to do? As we were chilling I began to think.. this is my last weekend in my 20s I should have arranged a party or a get together with my friends, but life has been so busy with kids and other stuff, I guess I forgot!

When he girls got back we sat down to some lunch, Sean was always hinting ‘what we going to do today?’ To be honest I was quite happy just go to the craft fayre and come home again. However I felt Sean wanted to get out the house and kept commenting on that we needed a food shop from Lidl’s!
As the hours passed I was still sitting there in my polo neck, jeans & slippers…looking back now Sean must of been in a sweat trying to get me out the house half decent dressed.
So he mentioned something that would always make we jump… what about we go for a food shop and go out for supper somewhere nice… right he said it… let’s go!
So I decided It was my birthday weekend even though we hadn’t anything planned, I would dress up a bit and we would have our dinner out with the kids in the evening which I looked forward to as we never go out these days. The stress of eating out with kids just isn’t worth it.
So while Sean packed everyone into the car (at this point Sean was getting a little stressed at the time it was taking everyone to find their shoes and get out the door) I was thinking to myself, What’s the rush? It was 2 pm we had all afternoon to go to Lidl’s and go out for dinner.
Any ways we got into the car and off we went in the direction of Lidl’s… in the back the girls was popping out hints like when will we be at the fayre? I began to wonder what was going on.

Sean took a wrong turn. He stopped the car and pulled out a blind fold… here put this on! From then I knew my suspicions were right there was something going on. I said where we going but he would let out no clues.


He started to drive, to begin with I knew the road so I kind of knew where we were going. Later that day I got a text from someone who saw Sean driving me through the countryside blind folded wondering if we was doing a fifty shades stunt. I couldn’t help but laugh! If only!
So the car stopped, by this point I didn’t know where we were. He opened the door and lead me through the car park. I took my blind fold off to find all my family waving at me and laughing shouting surprise!!

Sean sneakily had arranged an afternoon tea for my 30th Birthday.
What a great surprise to receive. I was in shock as I sat down at the head of the table Sean began to thank everyone for coming, and thank everyone for their help with the kids ,as he did a speech for a moment I thought he was going to do a pregnancy announcement, I wasn’t the only one who thought this either.
Along with my mum they arranged this together with the help of some friends. It was lovely, food and cakes and party bags for the kids to keep them entertained in our own private room to ourselves.


I never knew my man could pull out all the stops and arrange something like that without me knowing. I did have my concerns when it must have been in the planning stages when he was continually on his phone, I would ask him what you doing and he would say never you mind!

Felt totally blessed to have all my family come together to celebrate my birthday. Made turning 30 that bit easier…

little did I know that wasn’t the only surprise that week he had up his sleeve!!

…to be continued…

Love Endures

What the bible says about love…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians ch13 verse 4-8.img_8166

What love means to me?
I love this verse its a perfect example of what love means to me. Love is all those things and more. It stems from a close friendship that grows to affection, feelings and state of mind between yourself and another. Love is forgiving, Love is about tolerance, Love is about compromise and putting others before yourself.
Before we got married 7 years ago my dads only advice was to never let the sun go down on your wrath. A well known bible verse. Yet so true, as relationships can be damaged if arguments and strain goes on and on. The best piece of advice I could ask for.pexels-photo-256737.jpeg

What is the definition of love?
The definition of love is different for everyone. No one can define it and no one has the right answer. To fall in love when a strong connection in your relationship kindles, the feeling of giddiness and excitement. That feeling when you cant wait to see each other again. Holding hands, and the feeling that you cant be apart. There’s a big spark between you and the relationship is very rosy and fresh and new. As relationships mature the spark becomes a glowing ember in your heart. Maybe your not feeling the same excitement when you see each other but you just know the love is still there. You don’t need to question it. You don’t need to express it with PDA public display of affection anymore or bunches of flowers. Love simply becomes a cup of tea made for you in the morning or plugging your phone into charge when you simply forget. Or prepping the kids before you head out the door to work to make sure they behave while your away. Love has your back, love forgets old wounds, Love doesn’t look at your bank balance or your race. Love doesn’t care about your cellulite or your stretch marks. Love is blind and love is from the heart. Love endures.


What love means to others…

Claire, also known as @Cailynsmummy

Love to me is being present, caring and wanting to be there for the people you care about. Love is such a strong word and one I’ve not said to many but love with Chris gives me excitement, happiness and security. Love to us is passion and support for each other, always. See more from Claires here

Hetti, also known as @blossomandbe mother of 2 take on her love…

Defining love is complicated as we each experience love in our own way. For me love doesn’t exist as one thing. The love I have for my husband is a passionate commitment that is always developing and being nurtured.
I think a key factor in this growing love is our compatibility, we share the same values, likes and dislikes and interests, and these common grounds were what sparked our love, and what allow this love to grow. I don’t find it difficult to stay in love with him, it’s something I never question. He makes me laugh, is there for me when I cry and I will care and protect him forever through thick and thin.
The love for my children is a different type of love, it is a profound emotion that is like nothing else in this world. When I first saw them i got an instant overwhelming urge to love them and I find it almost indescribable. From that moment these tiny babies were my main priority and I immediately had a fierce desire to protect them. When my children were born I also realised how much my mother loves me. I love my children unconditionally, it is an attitude, something that is eternal.
You can catch more from @blossomandbe here


Valentines Love

Around this time of year we can get caught up in the commercial aspect of valentines day, what about all the other 364 days what happens to the love then?
I love valentines it simply gives the men out there a nudge in the right direction. Or if you’re like my dad and father in law they still forget its valentines and I have to remind them. However, I don’t believe this phases my mother or mother in law. Except that kind of love even not shown is there like a glow. Cooking their supper every night when they come in the door. Keeping them company in an evening in front of the tv and just being there for each other.pexels-photo-196664.jpeg
Love can be seen in many different ways. Love is when the others happiness is more important than your own. I must admit Sean doesn’t whisk me off for a surprise weekend away or send bunches of flowers to my work for all to see, except he appreciates me in many different ways throughout the year, not just Feb 14th. If he’s down stairs in the morning before me he always makes me a cup of tea. That’s what deep down love is for me. He doesn’t need to show me with outward approach. When he does buy me flowers its usually the most unexpected times and a great surprise. He knows me when I’ve used my reserve tank with the kids and he steps in.

One Valentine’s Day he did actually run me a romantic bath. I had just finished a shift at work and was very pregnant and sore with my pelvis at the time. I thought to myself wow! He’s really pushing the boat out here. However the kids heard the bath running and stampeded up the stairs. I ended up sharing the bath with Ivy- It had slipped my mind for a second she was off nursery that day due to a tummy upset. Seconds later she passed wind… well u can imagine what happened next…I’ve never exited a bath so quick in all my life. Poor Ivy she didn’t realise what was going on! So that was the romance down the drain that night.coffee-cup-stack-break.jpg

I wish you all the love this Valentine’s Day. If its with that huge bunch of roses or the silent love expressed by that cup of tea he made you. Share the love. Today and everyday. True love endures.

Have a great valentines day

 

Happy Baby=Happy Mum Harry & Rose product review

Disclaimer: I was kindly sent a free sample of the product in return for my honest review in my blog. All opinions expressed are my own and unbiased, not influenced by the company and any links used in this review are not affiliate.


Background
Harry & Rose founder Alba Cusworth is an experienced parent who has a love for natural baby products. The company have specially formulated these products to a high quality, natural ingredients especially for sensitive skin. Which is good news for Malachy as he falls into this category also suffering from eczema. As much as myself Harry and Rose believe what you put on your skin is very important, especially baby skin. This product is manufactured in England with the best quality and standards and not tested on animals may I add. Ingredients used in these products are Calendula, coconut, camomile, cottonseed, aloe Vera and sunflower. I am a great lover of natural ingredients for your skin. So I couldn’t wait to try this out on Malachy.


Features/ Target Group
The target group is mothers/fathers and expectant mothers of young babies. The great features of this product are the natural ingredients and the affect they have on sensitive skin. For example, camomile is great for breakouts and rashes, and the sunflower extract is honourable for babies that suffer from eczema.

The Baby hair and body wash ingredients include:
Calendula, coconut, cottonseed, camomile, sunflower and aloe Vera. The attributes of these particular ingredients are quick absorbing, retain moisture, light and silky, great for break outs and rashes. I admire how this product is natural and doesn’t include the nasty preservatives or parabens. So many products these days are full of nasty’s and we don’t realise it as we wash our children with them every day and don’t give it a second thought. As a nurse myself I know too well of the effects of these parabens on frail and delicate skin. Even creams and washes prescribed from the GP contain many of these. I have many patients whom I purely moisturise their skin with 100% olive oil, it’s so natural and works wonders


Malachy loves a bath however with 3 kids he often endures it with the girls in beside him. Tonight was special and I loved spending time alone with Malachy. The bottle has an easy to use pump top, the great waterproof label is a hit as malachy is forever playing with the bottles in the tub. The product design and render is neutral and soft, which best describes the contents of the bottle.
The previous evening before I received this sample Malachys bath time was very stressful for me as a mum. As soon as I strip him down he always likes a good scratch. With eczema this is quite common however this night in particular was the worst I’ve seen it. I had to quickly bath him and pull him out the bath as he was getting so agitated and couldn’t stop scratching. Even after his pyjamas were on he just couldn’t content himself forever trying to scratch through his clothes.
The next morning, I booked an appointment with my GP to have him reviewed. Is this a food allergy? Is it my washing powder? I came out of the doctors with a prescription bag full of ointments, creams/steroid creams and antihistamine. I’ve been here before in this situation. I feel like I have tried every cream and ointment out there. I was very reluctant to start the process all over again. Coincidence the same morning my Harry and Rose sample arrived. When I stripped him off again for the bath he did have a scratch as usual and I placed him in the bath and began to wash him with the bath and body wash. I must admit it wasn’t instant relief but I didn’t want it to turn into the previous night all over again. I took him out and rubbed him all over with the body lotion cream sample they kindly sent me…It was like a miracle, after the cream was applied he was settled and didn’t need to scratch. Typically with other creams and lotions he scratches through them after they have been applied.
When I first smelt the product, I was slightly dubious it smelt so lovely I thought how can something so natural smell so nice. After his bath there was no scratching and no need for the antihistamine that night. I was so pleased as it’s so upsetting and frustrating as a mother not able to help your child who is constantly itching. I have been using the product for over a week now. I purchased the body lotion after the company kindly sent me a small sample which I am so glad they did, or I wouldn’t have discovered it. Malachys skin has returned soft and smooth and no blemished or rash areas from the eczema. I have been applying the body lotion morning and night.
Overall, I am very pleased with this product and its quality. As the products has won several awards including Best baby and toddler gear I have no problem in ‘sharing the love’ to friends and family. I am going to continue to purchase this product for Malachy as long as it continues to work wonders. It is more expensive than your typical supermarket products however I wouldn’t grudge purchasing this product if it works for Malachy. Happy baby = happy mum. A big thank you to Harry and Rose from Malachy and Mum for this new discovery in natural skin care.


The Harry and Rose baby hair-body wash and many other lovey product can be found at their website here.

My survival guide

Many people ask me how I cope with 3 kids 5 & under also with an occasional husband (who works away 2 weeks at a time) To be honest some days are more fun than others. Sometimes I look at people with 4 or 5 kids and wonder how they cope. Having 3 kids really push you to your limits when your solo parenting. I try to keep on top of the housework as much as possible to make this journey more enjoyable for everyone. It’s getting easier now the kids are older and more independent. I love to plan things out, write myself notes, and be prepared for the week ahead. I don’t have OCD but after you read this blog you might think so. It works for us. Everyone does life differently, so here’s how I do mine:

Prep the kids
I found out through experience and reading baby books that kids love routine. Keeping them informed makes them happy bees in the hive. A fine example of this: Gracie is sitting engrossed in the iPad, instead of taking it off her I would prep her beforehand. If i didn’t I would then endure a 10 minute tantrum which then leads to some serious misbehaviour. “Gracie, you’ve got 5 minutes left on the iPad” then a while later “two minutes, Gracie” then after a another couple of minutes ” okay Gracie, times up put down the iPad now that’s long enough” It works wonders. I would say 90% of the time she puts the iPad down. It’s a good technique to use when were about to leave the grandparents ” were leaving in 5 minutes kids” and so on. Usually we all leave happily and without a tantrum, tantrum free= happy mum!

Prep the food
At the start of the week I love to meal plan for the week ahead. I first got the idea from a Slimming world class. It helps you to stick to your chosen meals for the week and not go off track. I try to involve the kids as much as possible however their reply to “what would you like for supper?” is usually “noodles.” I have recently started to write out a shopping list before I head to the supermarket. We’ve found that we save money as we only buy what we need for that week, we actually come out with some decent meals. As before I would wander around the aisles throwing stuff in the trolley be £100 at the till and have nothing to make a decent meal with. So this is how we do it now. If its not on the list it doesn’t go into the trolley. On a Monday I do lots of food prep when the kids are away at school. A typical Monday can be quite stressful for me so I like to have a big pot of soup boiling on the hob. This will do us for 3 lunches. I also stick a big piece of meat in the slow cooker that will do us two meals too. Doing this just releases the stress of making supper after one of our busy Mondays knowing that the meals are sorted.


Housework
The dreaded word, right? I used to enjoy house work when I had time to do it before we had kids. Nonetheless with 3 kids now and sometimes a working mum I struggle to find the time. I like to be able to keep on top of it so it doesn’t nag me. There is more important things in life than housework however when the house looks like a bomb has hit it something needs to be done. I love following The organised mum method(TOMM) 30 minutes a day on specific rooms and your done! I hear you thinking that doesn’t work… but it does. She also does a deep clean method for all those homes needing a bit more tlc. I find that if I keep the washing & ironing basket empty I am not doing piles of ironing that I hate. I like to spend a little time each day in my utility room sorting out clothes and it keeps the whole thing at bay. Sometimes if were busy over a weekend and I don’t keep on top of it, and I go into the utility on a Sunday I could just walk out again and cry.

Morning Routine
From when I open my eyes in the morning even before I have a cup of tea here is a glimpse into my morning routine. This only applies when Sean’s away. As when he comes home the routine can sometimes get a knock on the head. When I hear the first child awake, usually one of the girls I jump in the shower while Malachy is still asleep in his crib. The girls will sit happily with the tv on until I shower. We are lucky with Malachy as he sleeps from 7pm till usually 7am. If I were to take him out of his crib there would be carnage in the bedroom and I would end up not getting a shower. He can be seen running about calling 999 with the house phone, emptying bedside table drawers or dunking the toilet brush down the toilet. So I tend to leave him in bed till I get myself organised. After everyone is dressed
1, Make beds
2, Throw all dirty clothes down the stairs
3, Quick tidy of bedrooms and bathroom upstairs
4, Open blinds and turn radiators down (Sean’s request)
5, Everyone comes down stairs and eats breakfast
6, While the are kids eating breakfast I load the washing machine.


I love to come down stairs to a clean kitchen and empty sink so the night before I ensure the island is free from dishes and clutter. I like to set out everyone’s clothes for the next day in the bathroom in their individual piles. When the kids get up they know the routine, get dressed and go down stairs. I try to encourage the girls to help with making their beds and throwing the laundry down the stairs. Which usually results in a pair of knickers landing on Malachys head. The girls can be so messy at times, I try to engage them in some games when it comes to tidying up. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Please note my routine doesn’t always go to plan the way I would like it. There’s usually a chase around the bedroom with a half-naked child trying to put on their socks. That’s what makes life exciting I suppose a lap around the bedroom before school. I’m not the perfect mum or don’t try to be. I just love routine and so does the kids. What is the perfect mum?

Attitude of Gratitude

I love how in times of trouble women tend to pull together, women talk and share things more openly than men and we grow great bonds of unity.

When someone openly shares their experiences, it’s a gateway for other to do alike. Sometimes a word of encouragement goes a long way, it can set you up for the day or week ahead. I’m part of a large group of women within our church called Chosen, we have a what’s app group and every week day someone shares a short devotional message.

I sometimes dread my turn, who am I to preach to these more experienced, godly women? But I have to put that behind me, if God has laid it on my heart- others often benefit from it.

So here is my one from this week.

Enjoy …

❤Remember the day you prayed for the things you have now ❤

Morning ladies.

An average morning in our house its pretty hectic! As you can imagine trying to get 3 kids organised and out the door for school/nursery starting at 9am can be quite a challenge. One particular morning was no exception and I couldn’t wait for school to start. Ivy was having a melt down about her jacket. After the 3rd time of telling Gracie to put on her shoes she was still staring at the tv, and Malachy was hanging about my ankles as usual while I tried to tidy up the aftermath of breakfast. My head was about to burst.

Mid argument with Ivy I picked up my phone to read a text. As I read it the world went silent around me and my heart filled with compassion as I read of someone else’s heart breaking situation. I couldn’t believe what I had just read. My eyes filled and I just lifted that person before Jesus in prayer. It brought everything in my life in to perspective that day.

Do I really appreciate all God has given me, including my kids the way I should? Do I show enough gratitude towards God for blessing me with them? Do I forget to give thanks for things after God answered my prayers? 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 ‘Be joyful always; pray continually; Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’

We sometimes get caught up with such a busy daily life that we can forget to give thanks to God for all He has done, and what He has blessed us with . Daily life and routines consume us and we can become self centred and our focus on God begins to wander.

Let’s pray we work towards an attitude of gratitude. Give thanks to the Lord everyday. Give thanks for answered prayer. Appreciate the blessing of children (even when we get a bit stressed out by them!) and He will give us a heart of gratitude helping us to be joyful always and pray continually.

Have a lovely weekend

On board for Christmas

Sean drew the short straw with his rota this year and ended up being away for both Christmas and New year. Which meant I either stay at home with the kids or join him on the boat.

No mess, No leftovers

Since the boat would be tied up in Aberdeen for 2 days over Christmas I decided to tag along and bring my mum, dad and two brothers too. For support of course! The company allows him to do this. Which I think is a pretty good perk! No stress no Christmas dinner prep, no mess! However the down side meant no leftovers and I had to cart all the kids presents through in the car. As Santa the good man that he is would come to the boat!

The kids throughly enjoyed the mini break. As it was single bed cabins Ivy shared a cabin with my dad, and Gracie with my mum. Malachy was in a crib in Sean and I cabin. Malachy was a nightmare, the age he’s at just now is just so frustrating. Christmas Eve he cried the whole night. I suppose the strange bed and New surroundings threw him off a bit. So when the girls knocked on the door at 7am shouting has Santa been seems like I’d only slept for about 5minutes.

I can’t function without sleep, so often when seans away I’m in bed by 8.30 ready for what the next day will bring with a good sleep behind me!

The Next Sale

So anyways it was a lovely few days away. Boxing Day arrived I had to jump at the chance of going along to the Next sale as we stay 50miles from our closest next store. So that day at 5.30 I brought my mum along as she’s never endured the sale at that time in the morning before. I gave her a prep talk her in the 2 mile long queue as we awaited the doors to open at 6! Don’t stick together, just dive right in there, grab every-size, even if your not sure just bag it anyways, you can return it all, go for the most expensive items first! Boots, coats etc. As I informed her I could hear the couple behind me doing the same! She was prepping her husband/boyfriend/partner on the next size the kids would require to go for that! Which I’m sure he would never remember as there was about 4 kids she rattled off! Anyways we got a good haul! Mother seemed to be pleased with her buys!

Headed home that day to unload the car into the middle of my living room where the chaos of Christmas began all over again.

Love Christmas chaos!

Xx