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.

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

 

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?

Seared Scallops Pea Puree and Crispy Kale

So this is a new one for me as I have never tried scallops before. I later found out some people cut off the orange pieces on the scallops. However we ate them and we are okay! So optional I guess!

So this week were trying to reduce or have no carbs to see if we can boost the weight loss. So when I found this recipe I thought I would give it a go! Sean has been more hungry than usual this week with the no carb plan so put in some extra veg for bulk, to keep him happy.

The original slimming world recipe can be found here. I didn’t have mint so I made the puree without it and tasted lovely, and quite filling. I substituted the chilli powder for chilli sauce too.

A delicious extra I love with any meal is crispy kale. If you love seaweed from the chinese this is a great replacement and its healthy. Tastes pretty much the same

How I do mine: Crispy Kale

Pre heat the oven to 180c

spray the kale with fry light cooking oil on a baking tray

sprinkle some sweeter over the top and mix

place in the oven for 5-8 minutes.

keep a close eye as it can be easily burned

Enjoy!

xxx

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

Welcome to my blog!

For those of you who don’t know me I’m April. I am happily married to my husband Sean we’ve been married for nearly 7 years! We have been blessed with 3 beautiful children…Ivy age 5, Gracie age 3 and Malachy age 18months. We live in a small picturesque village in the north east of Scotland.

Nurse

I trained as a nurse about 10 years ago and been practicing on and off between having babies, but reluncantly gave up my perminanent part time job after Malachy was born to concentrate on bringing up the brood, as I felt asking any grandparent to look after 3 kids is a big ask! I still work the odd agency shift to keep up my registration from time to time. I loved my job as a community nurse so found it hard giving it up. Sometimes I liked just being ‘April’ at work instead of being ‘mum’ all the time (also getting lunch and tea breaks in peace is great without someone stealing a bite of my sandwich or wanting a toilet break when I’ve just sat down to eat)

Family life

We are a well grounded family I would say. Sean works as a Captain on board the North Link Ferry from Aberdeen to Shetland so he leaves me with the brood for 2 weeks That’s when the fun really begins! When he comes home after his trip I can be seen running for the hills…alone! In Seans spare time he has a small boat that he goes out fishing for crab lobster and mackerel during the summer months. We are very close with our paretnts and extended family’s and they play a big part in our life’s. Both of us were brought up in Christian homes which leads me to my next chapter.

God

We are a Christian family and we aim to bring our family up in a Christian and loving home and guiding them towards God as we were. We attend the Assembly of God church at Fraserburgh It’s a great church full of people buzzing for God! If you think church is boring or stiff, you should go there and it will categorically change your minds! Check out their page Here. Like most families at times we struggle with our Christian life’s as there is many stumbling blocks that come our way that test us. We are not perfect and don’t try to be. I believe every hurdle is out there to test our faith. I pray about everything and try not to worry too much as God is always in control of my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my faith in God. God is the centre of our home! Amen Sister!

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My Blog

I’ve decided to start a blog about my brood as we go through life together, having 3 kids life is very hectic at times. On my blog you will find a mix of everything from my brood stories, weight loss, wife stuff, family, baking, interiors, crafting and lifestyle. A mix of everything and the highs and lows of life. I will be as honest as possible in my blog to share the reality of life with my brood. Hope you enjoy!

Follow me on instagram for more updates my_brood_stories

April