Potty Training: Part One

Well…..this is new! It’s like weaning for the first time again (well weaning of a different kind) = Mum out of depth. 


Day One – Tuesday 4th April:

I decided to jump in to the potty training world around 10.30am after a lazy morning  and when I asked H if he wanted to wear big boy pants, he actually said YES

Not a single wee/accident until I went out of the room to prep lunch, cue ‘mega-wee’.  Full change of bottoms and a scrub if the carpet, but all fine and still insistent on wearing big boy pants. Lunch went without a hitch, we then put his sister to bed and had some quiet time together. 

I asked him if he wanted a snack, and asked him to do a wee on the potty. Hoorah, a big wee on the potty and a biscuit with jam in for H (otherwise known as a nutri-grain bar!). 

Getting ready to visit Nanna and Grandad and another accident, so a quick change before getting in the car. I popped a bed mat in the car seat to keep it dry if there was an accident. H fell asleep a nanosecond into the journey, but thankfully dry on arrival to Nanna’s. 

At Nanna’s, he managed three wee’s on the potty which was great and I praised him lots afterwards as did Nanna. Back home and time for bed. I feel a bit like I’ve taken a backwards step tonight putting a nappy on, a bit contradictory I suppose. Is this normal?

We are going on a 3hr car journey tomorrow, do I put him in a nappy or stick with pants and the bed mat in the car seat?? Help!!

What are your tips for potty training? Lots of praise? Treats? Reward charts? 

Watch out for ‘Potty Training: Part Two’ or ‘I Give Up!’ 

Scottish Adventures: Part Two

Gorgeous weather, Castles, fussy eating, bamboozelling, night time monkeying around, Scottish edibles, and family adventures. Wowzers, it has all been going on this week!

Fussy Eating

Both my children have been through and still go through fussy eating phases. Currently, it’s the big one and it is so so draining. We deploy all the ‘bad parenting’ tricks in the book to get H to eat. He can never sit still for longer than 30mins and often gets up from the table mid meal. It’s taken me such a long time to get over my children missing a meal and telling myself ‘they’ll eat when they’re hungry’. It can be so frustrating sometimes when you prepare wholesome food for them and they don’t eat any of it, yet they eat all their food (and often seconds) at nursery. This week has been testament to that and I’m ashamed to say H (and consequently L) have eaten ‘beige’ food a lot more than usual this week. My saving grace for H is that he devours fruit and so I hope he gets some vitamins.  Anyone else have a fussy eater? What tricks do you use to get them to eat? 

Night Time Monkeying Around

Both H and L have tested mine and Stew’s patience this week. We’ve had every trick in the book from H: snuggles, stories, snacks, clean nappy, you name it we’ve had it. I find it hard to resist when he asks for a snuggle as I love having a cuddle just H and I, but I have to drawer the line sometimes and camp outside his room checking social media until he gives in and stays in bed.

L on the other hand is definitely a night owl. She goes to sleep (usually) straight away and wakes up around 10pm, my particular favourite time is at exactly the same time as my foot touching the bottom step as I trudge upstairs exhausted after a day at work and catching up on school work of an evening. We are regular co sleepers as it’s a quick and easy solution for us to actually get enough sleep to function! A bad habit to have gotten into, but the simplest and easiest solution. She can sleep through, and when she does it’s usually twice in a row and then not again for another 4-6 weeks. We had a sleep through on Thursday night, so that should be us now until at least March! Do you have sleep issues? How do you try and combat them? 


Scottish Edibles

Having never really visited Scotland until I met my husband, we’ve been quite a few times over the years as he is of Scottish Heritage. Since our visits, I’ve come quite partial to some Scottish delicacies. I do love some good honey, haggis, neeps and tatties, butteries, potato scones and our favourite is a steak pie from the bakery in Ballater. The one thing I have never gotten into though is whiskey; we did a tour of the Glenlivet distillery some years ago, but I spent the whole hour holding my breath as much as I could as the smell made my stomach churn, but my husband loves some whiskey and we picked up some Royal Lochnagar Whiskey this trip. What are your favourite holiday treats? 

Family Adventures

Landmark Adventure Park is somewhere my husband frequented every summer on his family trips to Scotland as a child, so we decided to take a trip over there for the day. Sadly, on arrival we learned all the play areas were closed (which was a shame as we’d driven an hour), but the ‘Bamboozeleum’ was still open, so we paid £6 to go in. H and L thought it was great fun, and Stew and I had fun messing in the funny mirrors and playing with the illusion pictures. My particular favourite was the weird hand grabber illusion…

L loves a good mirror and ever since Christmas, H loves some sparkly lights! There were crazy mirrors, sparkly lights, illusion pictures, an interactive floor tv, and some other pretty cool bits. We then went on a red squirrel hunt on the wooden walkway. Definitely worth a trip, and we’d go back when it’s fully open next time we’re in the Motherland.

After our jaunt up Craigendarroch Hill and trip to Landmark, H was quite tired so we decided a bit of a lazy day was in order, so we went for a walk around Ballater and visited the sweet shop and the park. The park is actually brand new after ‘Storm Frank’ caused a lot of flood damage back in December 2015. Both H and L enjoyed a run around and H especially enjoyed looking through the ‘telescooter’ (telescope).

L’s first flump, and H exploring the park

H was wanting a visit to a castle, so not wanting to disappoint; we popped to Balmoral, the Queens Summer Residence. Sadly she wasn’t there to say ‘hi’ nor was the castle open to visitors, but we did manage a walk round the village of Easter Balmoral and up a hill for some lunch which gave a beautiful view of the castle on what turned out to be a beautiful Scottish spring day. We sat overlooking the castle scoffing our steak pie from Chalmers bakery (Prince Charles’s favourite bakery).

On our way back down we searched for pine cones, squirrels, diggers and tractors. On our way back south 🙁 we stopped in to H and L’s Great Aunt in Braemar on what was yet another gorgeous spring day and popped to Braemar Castle for a sneaky peak and then had lunch in the ‘Bothy’ in Braemar. We even managed to see a red squirrel!

The long drive south was much less eventful for the kids. They napped until Johnstonebridge where we stopped for dinner and then watched the iPad for the last hour before we handed them over to Nanna and Grandad so we could enjoy a peaceful cuppa!

The River Dee; Looking for the Queen; Tree peeping; Cheeky grins; Balmoral Castle; Braemar Castle; Shadows; Lunch; View admiring.

Scotland, it has been a blast and we will most certainly be back, until next time!

Scottish Adventures: Part One

Driving – 11th February

After a mammoth car journey (6hrs driving with a 2yr old and a 1yr old!). We finally arrived at our Scottish destination, a beautiful cottage in the heart of Ballater. A quick dash to the supermarket and had a pizza for dinner.

Relaxing in the evening, I sat and contemplated how one can ‘best’ prepare for a journey of that length with 2 toddlers and a dog! Top Tips and Top Don’ts from us below:



How to Survive a Long Car Journey with Kids:
Top Tips

1. Download ALL the episodes of anything and everything you think your littles will watch on Netflix (yes, you can now download and watch later with no wifi on Netllll, who knew!)

2. Pack EVERY snack under the sun and chuck them into the back at the first hint of a whinge.

3. Make sure you have the dummy and/or comforter and a back up dummy or comforter.

4. Have adequate tunes for the journey, and by this, I obviously mean a nursery rhymes CD (kill me now!). I have no idea how they know, but as soon as you even try to flick to anything remotely close to being in the Top 40, they demand ‘my songs’!

5. Take a pack up tea for when you arrive otherwise you’ll face a fraught ‘quick shop’ where you will buy a bunch of food you don’t need in a frantic bid for a quick and peaceful dinner.


What Not To Do (Tried and Tested by us!)

1. Don’t pack just one measly snack per child; thank goodness for my Mum who baked us a box of cookies and absolutely saved my bacon. Half the box was gone before we’d even crossed the border!!

2. Don’t got without a pack up lunch,  which will mean you will stop at services and pay ridiculously high prices for mediochre food and drink, and whilst you  try to eat them, the bigger one will charge around like a nutter and NOT eat the sandwich you paid £3+ for.

3. Forget a pack up dinner, so will end up doing a mad dash to the supermarket for dinner and breakfast provisions as naturally the following day is Sunday and everything will be shut!

However, despite the lengthy journey and crazy 2hrs frantically trying to unpack the car, shopping and put everything away, we managed to get both kiddies off to bed around 7.30pm and instead of working like I usually would during the school term time or watching tv, I actually sat down to read my book. The second of what I hope to be a series of 12 in my #ayearinbooks2017 challenge. It was blissful! And the cottage is gorgeous!



Hill Walking – 12th February

After a somewhat challenging morning, trying to get the children to eat breakfast, shower, chase the children round the house, we made it out of the house at what I thought must have been close to 10am, when in actual fact it was 8.50am!! (we usually struggle to get out of the house by10am on a weekend, so this is some kind of record!) I thought we were going for a walk round Ballater and perhaps to the park; but no, we ended up hiking up a hill with both kids in tow.

Daddy carrying L in the backpack and holding the dog lead and me in charge of H. The hill was a 15 minute walk away from the cottage, but onwards and upwards (literally). It was a bit rough going for the first 10 minutes or so (H kept saying ‘it’s too slippery for me’) until we found the easier circular route, and thankfully by this time H was really getting into it and L was just starting to not get into it…..but we soldiered on. As we reached the peak (a whopping 315m), the snow got slightly thicker, but the sun was out. By this point, L had reached the end of her tether so we let her loose at the top along with her brother and the dog. A quick snack and we were soon on our way again with an even whingier L…..

We marched down as fast as we could trying to laugh about walking along with an overtired, crying 1 yr old, which is actually quite loud when she’s in a backpack! At the bottom, her brother decided he was too tired to walk anymore and needed a cuddle (his clever way of being carried). So we swapped over and I carried Chief Whinger and Daddy had H on his shoulders. We took a minor detour (aka wrong turn!) at the bottom but made it home in time for lunch: Scottish potato scones and cheesy beans, yum.


After lunch, Daddy and I were counting down the minutes until nap time; how am I going to survive when they don’t nap!? An hour later and the ‘sanity saver’ had arrived (Alleluia!) and I even managed a 10 minute zizz myself. Phew.

Stay tuned for some more Scottish Adventures….and hopefully some snow!

Comment with your top tips or top don’ts for long car journeys with children.