What I see and what I think about it.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted. Too be honest not a lot has happened as I have been "proper poorly", as my brother would say. I have had a horrid, yukky cold that has filled my head with fuzz. I am slowly on the mend (2 weeks later!) but one thing that is still around is that my eyes get tired very quickly. This does not work well with blogging. But I am now a lot better and have lots to say.. so watch out one and all... I'm back!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Filling in the gaps

The girls and I are painting a dolls house. It was given to us by my lovely in-laws. It has had some heavy playing done with it and then had been in an attic for years, so it is a bit worse for wear and a bit out dated. I saw it and thought.. a lick of paint and it will be as good as new. But painting with small children isn't the easiest thing to do. Martha does quite well and is getting the hang of it but Tilly tends to scrap more paint off than goes on. All in all it is safe to say that it isn't a professional job. This is were I come in. When they are covered in paint and happy I set to work and finish the bits they miss out, tidy bits up, even it all up. In the end I think it is going to look really great.

When we give our day to God this is what he does for us. We do the best we can and then He fills in the gaps. He mends the bits we broke, makes the colours shine, puts a plan into place for the next stage based on what we have done so far. He beautifies us and our efforts. All we have to remember to do is to ask Him. To be with us, to help us, to fill in the gaps.

Saturday, 12 April 2008


I think that the best thing about being a parent is the surprises. The unexpected hugs and I love you's. The mad things they say and do that make your hear melt.
I think that the worst thing about parenting is the surprises. When you come in from hanging out washing and your child is shorn. You see your child about to fall down the stairs and know there is nothing you can do about it. When they throw up all over you!

In the last few days we have had good surprises:
Martha suddenly and with out warning got the hang of riding her bicyle. She still has stablisers but she can move forward and steer without help. Last time she went on her bike she needed guiding and a pushing. So this is great and fantastic and brilliant.

Also both girls have come on in leaps and bound when it comes to drawing.

Martha's picture of a happy face and a sad face.

Tilly's picture of a happy face.

I am always amazed with children that they suddenly "get" things. One day they are sticking the spoon their ear and the next it clicks into place and they feed themsleves streak and chips with no problems. I know that this isn't always the case and sometimes things need to be learnt slowly and patiently. That is why when thing do just click it is such a blessing. God knew what he was doing.

Friday, 11 April 2008

A good piece of advice

When putting the jar of Ovaltine back in the cupboard make sure that the lid is screwed on properly. Then the next time you come to use it, picking it up by the lid, your clean jumper won't be covered in the stuff!

Another lesson, hopefully, learnt!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Potty training - what they forgot to tell you

I have now potty trained two children and read a lot of books about it all. In each they do a lovely list of what you need (potty, lots of pants etc). Well here are some of the things they left out:

1) An older sibling. They should be going through a helpful phase at the time. An older sibling not only shows the younger the ins and outs of it all but can be a one person cheer leading squad. Tilly always wants to show her "results" to Martha who then shouts "hooray"! older siblings are also useful if you are busy up a ladder or something. They are more than able to find a potty and help with pulling down pants.

2) A different potty to the one that belongs to the older sibling. Just trust me that the £5 spent is worth it when you think of all the arguments you don't end up having.

3) Flushable anti-bacterial toilet wipes. This are great for a quick clean of the potty. I tend to do this after poo or once a day. In our house it is important to have a clean potty as they are also used to put stuff in!

4) Plant a tree. You get through lots of toilet roll. Not just on wiping that extra bottom but also wiping out the last dribble from the potty.

5) Save some water. Take a shower, turn a tap off, wash with a full load, let your grass thirst for a bit. The reason for this is that you will flush the toilet more than you ever thought possible. A small person has a small bladder. A small bladder fills quickly and needs emptying a lot. And you will be plying them with them with drinks so they get the hang of the thing quicker. All this means a lots of flushes. Best to balance it some how!

6) This one is the most important and follows on nicely from the above... HAND CREAM! I am not talking about the stuff that smells nice and does nothing. I am talking hardcore stuff. All this poo and wee means a lots of hand washing. Because you will wash yours and your child's EVERY TIME! (Getting them in good habits and all that.) Believe me when I say that your hands will suffer. And this isn't even taking into consideration that you will be also cleaning wee off the carpet and your hands get the brunt of it there too. So buy yourself a potty training treat. Some really good hand cream.

So there you go. I hope that helps some people who might embark on this most daunting of phases. Just think in a few weeks you will have a child in pants, looking at your still silky hands and thank me! :-)

An angel in Tesco's

I met an angel yesterday. She wasn't dressed in white and she didn't have tinsel round her head or glow or have wings (that I could see anyway!). but to me she was an angel sent straight from heaven to help a distressed tired, pregnant mother.

My children eat at 5pm. It was 4 pm. The gas men had just declared my hob to be illegally connected to the gas mains and so they took my kitchen apart to change the pipe to the copper it should have been. It would take 2 hours. Hopefully. So I decided, using my motherly ability to change plans quickly, to take the girls to Tesco's and to give them dinner in the cafe and then buy the bits we needed (bananas and batteries). Well... dinner went fine, jacket potato was consumed and so we embarked on our shopping. All was ok for about 2 mins. Then Martha decided that she had had enough. She started screaming that SHE DON'T WANT TO WALK. I had Tilly, a pushchair and a basket of shopping. I ignored her, as the manuals tell you too. And I ignored the stares of other people who thought Martha was older than her 3 years and thought me a terrible mother. I pushed the pushchair along the aisles with Martha dragging along the floor. The howls increased so we stopped and waited. She got louder. I asked if she wanted to sit in the pushchair. "NO, YOU CARRY ME". This is a child who fits 5-6 year old clothes telling her shattered 5 months pregnant mother with another child, pushchair and shopping that she needs to be carried. The screams got louder.... and then the angel appeared.

This angel was about 60, neatly dressed with a small trolley of shopping. She had kind eyes. She asked if she could help. She suggested things, knowing that the ability to think had totally left me. "how much more shopping did I need?" "Can she get it for me?" etc.. In the end she put Martha in her trolley. (Martha knows that you obey angels, even if you don't obey mothers!) walked beside me whilst I finished my shopping and took me to the till. Waited while I put everything up on the conveyor belt and then, after I had thanked her a lot, vanished. I am sure if I had looked for her she wouldn't have been there. Whisked off onto another angel task.

She really did save me. I cried on the way home out of sheer relief and gratitude for her kindness and help. She might not know it but she was an angel, sent to help me when I needed it most.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Tilly's hair update

Just wanted to let you all know that I took the plunge and trimmed the back of Tilly's hair. It looked very odd being so short at the front and long at the back so I have taken it as short as it will go and added a few layers. Although it still looks a bit...er... different. It no longer looks quite so eccentric! I will try and add some photos soon!
On the plus side Martha has learnt a big lesson - that only mummy cuts Tilly's hair! Thank you for all your lovely comments, I'm glad we keep you amused! If you would like to have your hair cut buy Martha then I have to warn you that as she is unique in her styling the fee is quite high! :-)

Monday, 7 April 2008

Spring clean and Potty training

The last week has been filled to the brim with 2 very time consuming activities. One was spring cleaning and the other potty training Tilly.

I spent each morning cleaning one (or two) rooms in the house. I don't think that this house has ever been so clean. I pulled things out and hoovered in corners, got rid of cobwebs, moved furniture (a girl after my own heart!), wiped woodwork and tidied, tidied and tidied. During this I became a bit dishearten. We rent this house and I must confess that I find it hard. We have to ask permission for everything and I want to just put up a picture, paint a wall, put up shelves. I could possibly do all these things but I would have to get permission in writing and in most cases put it back before we moved out. Some things aren't worth it when you don't know how long you will live somewhere. SO I started the week cleaning someone else's house, and not getting paid for it. And I was moany about it. Very moany. I was having a chat with friend and moaning to her when she pointed out that it may be the landlords house but it is my "home". I was not cleaning his house but my home. And she was spot on. I had been thinking about it all wrong. He may have a rights over the bricks and mortar but he can't do anything about our home. Our home is where our family are. Me, Nick, Martha and Tilly. The building may change but that heart will stay the same. That is what I am building when I say I am a homemaker, not a house wife. I am the one who is making the home. Part of that is cleaning and cooking and ironing and endless washing. But mostly it is about being there. Atmosphere. A feeling. A security. And no building can create that and no landlord can not give permission for it... it is something that is grown over time.
So I have a very clean house now and I am proud. But I also have a clean home. And I am pleased to be able to do that for the family that I love.

Onto potty training. I said to a friend that I wanted to train Tilly before Tummy tot arrives in August. But also really wanted to wait until she begged me to go into pants.... well she did! "Mummy (don't) ont nappy. PANTS!" So instead of training her it was more a case of letting her get on with what she wanted to do! So we tried her in pants around the house and she did really well. So we did a little trip the library and that went really well. That turned into a trip to the park and on it went...And so she has been nappy-less (apart from sleep times) since last Wednesday. I think we just got the timing so right because it has been very painless. Martha was trained at 2 1/2 years also very painlessly. I can't thank Martha enough for her help. Tilly loves copying her big sister and so Martha has been a great source of inspiration. I know that there will be accidents. But I feel very confident. The really great thing to know is that she will have been out of nappies for months when the baby arrives and so the chance of regression is quite small.
Our one problem is that Tilly is tiny and so her pants are HUGE. It must be very strange for her going from big washable nappies to very lose airy pants!

It was really great how the two things worked well together. Because we were at home cleaning it wasn't a problem training Tilly. And there was always a cloth handy, just in case. I know that some will say it is coincidence but I would prefer to give God credit for his very good timing.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


Just thought I would add that I do not usually leave scissors around for my children to cut each others hair with! We had been cutting hair over the weekend, so the scissors were tucked away by the computer, to be put away in a minute. The girls had been sitting watching TV on the computer to distract them whilst I cut. I totally neglected to put them away (another lesson learnt!). In Martha's defense she is really good with sharp objects and knows you don't play with scissors and knives etc. She genuinely thought... "Mummy cuts hair, I'll cut hair. Won't that be nice!" I think my shock and horror at what she had done has shown her that you don't cut hair!!
The scissors are now so out of reach that even I might need to stand on something to get them.
This is a before picture of Tilly's lovely hair...