Sunday, 26 July 2015

A little update...

Ok so I've kind of neglected this blog over the last... year. But I have been super busy! Here's a little update.

My girls

Harriet is now 16 months. As a working parent I can't seen to find time to record her developments every month as I had planned to do but I have tons of photos and memories! Harriet is a little madam and although she's just as clever, she is twice as naughty as her big sister. She's obsessed with the stairs and being outside. She thinks the word no is hilarious and her favourite game is to wind her big sister up. She's a climber and I'm pretty sure she'll be a biter too!
She's certainly a character and while I'm very reluctant to say it (girls can be just as boitstrous!) "She should have been a boy".

She is at an absolutely gorgeous age. Her beautiful strawberry blonde hair is beginning to grow long and thick and a few days ago she progressed from a clip to her first ribbon! Her blue eyes truly sparkle with mischief and her laughter is infectious. She loves getting messy and was the only baby to dive into the edible mud which was available at nursery! The ladies found it hilarious. Chris has built a fantastic mud kitchen for them both in the garden (complete with two sinks to avoid arguments!) Harriet absolutely loves it and is out there at any opportunity. I'm pretty sure she's eating the sand when I'm not looking though!

Heidi is 3 and a half now. Omg she's nearly 4! Reading my last post about Heidi, she has grown up a lot. It took her some time to adjust to life with a baby sister and although she still has her jealous moments, she's really settled down. She tries to pretend she doesn't care but in reality she's fiercely protective of harriet and I can sense her panic if we venture out without her. I'm obviously biased but she's a very bright little girl. She loves books, drawing and anything small world! (As well as films and the 'tablet' but the less said about that the better!) A few weeks ago Heidi was invited to a friends 4th birthday party complete with the 'animal man'. To my surprise (and everyone else's! ) Heidi happily held/stroked all he animals on offer including a snake, a gecko and a tarantula. At one point she was stroking the tarantulas legs saying "Oh he's soooo cute!" What?? This weekend she's been picking up worms, centipedes and woodlice to save them from Uncle Ed sweeping them up! She will definitely be a vet!

There is sooo much more to share so please pop by for more tales soon. I promise it won't be long!

Love and cuggies

Alison x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Our Potty Training Journey

One of my roles as a nursery nurse working with toddlers was to advise parents on potty training. Some took my advise and some didn't. But after seeing what works and what doesn't for other families, I thought I would be a pro when it came to potty training my own children!


Heidi was only 18 months old when people started whispering the P word. We had picked up a potty in the baby event at Aldi but Heidi was much more interested in filling it full of Happyland figures and flying it around like a spaceship. However, I was following my first piece of advise:

"Buy a potty and see what happens."

By the time she hit two years old the pressure to get her out of nappies grew. With baby Harriet due in a few months even my partner Christopher was eager to get things going, so we weren't paying out extra money. However, this was not a good enough reason for me. I stood my ground.

Courtesy of 

"Potty training cannot be rushed."

The potty stayed in view, gathering dust for another few months. We read stories and I would casually asked her if she would like to try the potty every so often. The answer was always a firm "No."

"Prepare and gently encourage, but follow their lead."

When baby Harriet, Heidi was nearly two and a half. Pressure from others was building and I started to panic. I abandoned my own instincts, bought looooads of pants and whipped her nappy off, in the hope that she would just 'get it'.

"Avoid pull-ups and let them run free."

With Harriet only a few weeks old I was going nowhere in a hurry so I was happy to stay in for a week to see how thins went. At first she did really well. She ran to the potty when she needed to and even had a No 2! Her potty was soon decorated with stickers to demonstrate her success.

"Praise, praise, praise."

Things began going wrong on Day 6. Heidi just lost interest. She wasn't even bothered when she had an accident! I persisted for another couple of days then gave up, much to the disappointment of Christopher. She knew exactly when she needed a wee and where to do it but she didn't want to! She had much better things to do than remember to use the potty. I went back to leaving her nappy on which Heidi barely noticed! A sure sign that she wasn't ready.

"Don't be afraid to back track and try again later."


It was time to stand my ground again. I ignored the "she'll still be in nappies when she's at school!" comments. Heidi is a very clever girl but will not be starting school until September 2016. I was confident that she would be out of nappies by then! I went back to my own advise.

"Wait, wait and wait some more"

I think the penny finally dropped when we were on holiday in Aberystwyth. But there was no chance I was going to start the ball rolling while we were there! As soon as we were home and settled, we asked Heidi if she wanted to try the potty, and she did! We allowed Heidi to run free while at home but popped a nappy on if we went out. We progressed to short nappy-free trips in the car and we always, always took the potty. After a week, I had stopped reminding her that she was nappy-free. Success!

"They will do it when they are ready"

After 8 weeks Heidi is still doing really well. Accidents are rare and we even have to bribe her to have a nappy on at bedtime. As soon as she wakes up she asks for it to be taken off! We have just overcome the fear of the toilet with a very successful trip to Chester Zoo without the potty. Number two's cause a little anxiety but this is normal and I'm confident she will overcome this soon.

Like most parents, I was dreading potty training but by allowing Heidi to take the lead it actually went quite smoothly. There was no need for stickers or rewards because she WANTED to do it. A whoop and a clap were enough!

I hope that when the time comes to start the whole process again with Harriet, I remember the key to successful potty training:

"Be patient."

Love and cuggies,
Alison x

Sunday, 17 August 2014

If I won the lottery...

This is a topic that my partner, Christopher and I discuss frequently. We don’t play the lottery religiously, only when we are feeling lucky. But it’s nice to dream!

I don’t agree that money makes you happy but it’s got to help surely? At the moment, the only debt we have is our mortgage. Christopher is against having anything on finance and we even manage to save a little each month. But wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to worry about money? If it just looked after itself? If we didn’t have to worry if one of us became ill or lost our jobs? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go food shopping and not worry about the cost?

I would love to win enough money to secure the future of my daughters and to settle any debts that my family have. We would move to a larger house in the country and buy a couple of new cars. A few nice big family holidays are a must, but I would definitely want to invest some into my own business, probably my own day nursery or pre-school.

My plans don’t sound very exciting but I can imagine a lot of responsibility comes with winning the lottery. It would be a dream come true but I would be very careful not to flash the cash!

Love and cuggies,

Alison x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

My Bucket List

Wow! I'm getting really behind with the Outmumbered Blog Every Day in August challenge!

I've not crossed anything off my bucket list... because I don't have one! I like the idea but there's a couple of things bugging me. How many things do I need on my list? I don't particularly want to go jumping out of a plane or bungee jumping, so is it ok that my list is not really wacky? What happens if I don't achieve everything? Is the list set in stone or can I add to it?

Am I overthinking it a bit? Probably. Here's a couple of things I would like to do at some point in my life...

  • Become a foster parent - it saddens that not all children are as privileged as my girls, especially as some of those children could live right around the corner.
  • Get to my ideal weight - this one is not going to happen any time soon. Not with this cake and custard next to me!
  • Try a yoga class - not a DVD or a Kinect game, a real yoga class with a real instructor and real people.
  • Run the London Marathon - it's one way to get to my ideal weight!
  • Go on a skiing holiday - maybe I should add 'learn to ski' first...
  • Experience the magic of Disneyland with my girls - hopefully for my 30th...
  • Visit New York at Christmas - it just looks amazing!

Love and cuggies,

Alison x

Saturday, 9 August 2014

15 things that make me happy.

Day 9 of the Blog Every Day in August challenge by Outmumbered.

Lots of things make me smile but apart from the obvious family and friends, these things make me especially happy:

  1. Sleeping
  2. Fish and chips by the sea
  3. Snow
  4. Surprise flowers
  5. Camping
  6. Muddy puddles
  7. Freezing cold nights snuggled up in front of our beloved log burner
  8. Made in Chelsea
  9. The magic of Christmas
  10. Autumn walks
  11. Days out at the zoo or farm or anywhere with animals
  12. New shoes
  13. Domino's pizza night
  14. Making other people happy
  15. Seeing children having fun, learning and achieving
Love and cuggies,

Alison x

Friday, 8 August 2014

A peek inside my bag...

Todays post, as part of the Blog Every Day in August challenge hosted by Outmumbered, I am required identify what's inside my handbag. So here it is, my Pinklining, Mum on the Run bag.

I couldn't really justify having the larger Yummy Mummy bag as I had a perfectly good changing bag from when Heidi was a baby. So I settled for this smaller one which is perfect for when I don't need to take the entire changing bag out. As well as the matching changing mat, it also contains:
  • my purse
  • phone
  • keys
  • lip balm
  • a bobble
  • three plasters
  • two Hoo Farm sheep race badges
  • a pack of travel wipes
  • a size 3 nappy
I also take a larger changing bag out with me but I try to leave it in the car if possible.

I didn't take a photo of the entire contents as that would have taken me forever and a day to organise! But here's a general idea:
  • Nappies
  • wipes
  • nappy sacks
  • changing mat
  • bibs
  • spare clothes for Harriet
  • spare clothes for Heidi
  • x2 sunhats
  • suncream
  • hand sanitizer
  • sudocrem
  • teething gel
  • sachets of Calpol
  • x2 bottles of milk
  • random toys/teething rings for Harriet
  • Anything else Heidi has thrown in
I think the kitchen sink might be in there somewhere too!
Love and cuggies,
Alison x


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Day 7 BEDA Challenge

Ok, so I've missed a couple of blog posts for the Blog Every Day in August challenge hosted by Outmumbered, but I've been super busy!

My parents are on their holibobs so I've been helping my sister out with child care. Heidi has loved having her cousin Billy to play with. We've had some lovely days out although I am absolutely shattered! Entertaining a nine-year-old and a potty-training two-year-old with a very clingy four-month-old is hard work!

Tittesworth Reservoir was a huge success! We played in the park for most of the day and as Heidi refuses to use a toilet we kept popping back to the car so she could use the potty which wasn't that far away! We enjoyed a little picnic and I treated them both to an ice-cream which obviously went down well.

The day after we visited Hoo Farm in Telford. It's about 45 minutes away so I was quite anxious about the trip for a few reasons.
  1. We could get lost.
  2. Heidi may need a wee or worse..
  3. I'm not that confident at driving on country roads and I'll have three children in the car.
  4. It was going to be absolutely packed and I'm rubbish at parking my little Kia Picanto never mind the big family car!

I needn't have worried. the journey there went smoothly and as few showers had been forecast, the car park was relatively empty. We wellied-up and headed off... to the toilets! I put my foot down with the potty situation and successfully persuaded Heidi to try a tinkle on the toilet. Result! We enjoyed wandered around, feeding the sheep and goats and nosying in the little houses in Hoosville.

The pigs were smelly and one pig wiped his nose on Heidi's trousers which nearly triggered a tantrum, until she saw me laughing!

We saw loads of animals, lemurs, meercats, donkeys, deer etc. After a big play in the play area, we picked a winner in the sheep steeple chase then headed home for a well deserved brew. Phew!

Anyway, back to the challenge.

A Special Memory
My most precious memories are of the births of Heidi and Harriet which I have already wrote about on my blog.

My Playlist
I'm afraid it's the Frozen soundtrack all the way at the moment, and on the odd occasion the car is child free I just pop the radio on. I'll sing along to anything, even the annoyingly catchy jingles!

Love and cuggies,

Alison x