My plans were that Ellie would be completely toilet trained by the time the 6 week holidays were over but the closer we got the more I realised she really wasn’t ready. She would have tantrums whenever we offered the potty or cry if she didn’t have a nappy on. She would tell us it is safe in her nappy and I knew we’d cause more anxiety by forcing her and we needed to wait until she was ready.
At the start of the summer Ellie was suddenly ready. She asked for her potty and didn’t want her nappy on as much. It was fine while we were at home but I was dreading going anywhere. I’d concluded we wouldn’t be toilet training so I wasn’t prepared for the sudden change of mind! We did little journeys, putting a towel on Ellie’s car seat and carrying enough pants to last a month 🤣
We had no accidents but found car journeys were causing Ellie too much stress as she worried about leaking on her chair. We survived a wedding where I carried her toilet seat everywhere and a 2 hour journey to our holiday making regular stops. Ellie was doing amazing. I would definitely say that once they are “ready” it will just happen.
Now that Ellie is dry in the day and has been for just over a month, she has now decided she doesn’t like the pull ups at night. We’ve used the pull ups at night since she stopped wearing nappies and she hasn’t had an issue with them but they do irritate her on the sides. Again, I wasn’t prepared for night time toilet training but so far she’s done really well. She hasn’t had a pull up on for 5 nights now and she’s been dry for 5 nights too! I’ve limited her drink once she’s in bed and she’s been using the toilet just before bed too. I’ve then been taking her to the toilet when I come to bed just as an extra but find if I don’t she wakes herself up and tells us which is great. Now just to show her she can use the toilet without waking me up… Now that would be amazing!!
I wish I had some magic tips to offer but I feel like our toilet training was a bit of a fluke. My biggest tip would be to get them used to having pants on without nappy time and not worrying too much about the mess. Waiting until they are ready is also the best way to try toilet training as it won’t take as long to master.
I am so proud of Ellie as she has done all of this before she is even 3.
For as long as I’ve been buying toys for Ellie I’ve been aware of the discussion between parents as to what is better for babies/toddlers/children wooden or plastic toys. Now I’ve always been on the fence I suppose because honestly, Ellie has her fair share of plastic and wooden toys. I have always tried to make a conscious effort to buy wooden toys where possible but found they are usually more expensive than plastic and in Ellie’s eyes they aren’t as colourful/exciting/playable as the plastic toys are advertised to be which has made it difficult to be as wood friendly as I’d like. We are two parents who are both on a Teaching Assistant wage (which I have to tell you really isn’t great…) and living penny to penny each month. Sometimes you just have to accept that what you want isn’t always achievable and that’s okay. I’m not here to judge, every parent does what they can to get through each day right?
Here are my 5 advantages to choosing wooden toys from my own personal experiences!
They are DURABLE. Ellie is a tough cookie and she likes to play rough, as do most toddlers I would assume. Wooden toys are long-lasting and they don’t break easily meaning no little sharp bits on the floor. Ellie loves being outside so having her wooden toys means I can clean them easily too.
They are SAFE. Plastic toys usually carry toxins and chemicals that you wouldn’t want near your babies/children. Wooden toys are safe to play with, don’t have chemicals and are usually painted with non-toxic paint which makes them perfectly safe to be gummed, licked etc by those playing with them. Wooden toys are designed not to break easily so there won’t be able broken pieces lying around with sharp edges.
They encourage OPEN PLAY – whether this is imaginative play or real-life skills, the possibilities with wooden toys are endless. Without the constant electronics and noise, the wooden toys encourage children to use their imagination to build on the play. The toy might be a dinosaur but the child must know how to make a noise like a dinosaur or stomp like a dinosaur themselves. As the child’s imagination builds so does their play. They start to include real-life experiences and scenarios in to whatever they are playing with.
They develop KEY SKILLS such as hand eye co-ordination, problem solving, reasoning skills and fine motor skills. Wooden toys can be made in all shapes and sizes making them perfect to develop the skills children need to hold a pencil. Poor development in these key skills at an early age can cause issues in later life.
They are BEAUTIFUL. Their natural colour means they can be transformed in to any colour and anything a child dreams of. They can be monochrome to support babies development or bright and colouful to grab toddlers/childrens attention. They are timeless!
In the past few months I have treated Ellie to a few toys that I know she would get a lot out of. We became brand reps for a fantastic small business; Timber Tots who create and hand paint wooden animals. With so many different animals to choose from I found it so difficult choosing which Ellie would like most of all. I decided to show Ellie and let her decide…which she didn’t. She wanted the bear and the lion and the elephant and the giraffe and the dinosaur and the unicorn….and she continued until I took the phone away!
I decided that as she loves singing and nursery rhymes I would order her the 5 little ducks set and a green “Rex” dinosaur to start with. She has had so much fun singing, counting, matching the numbers and re-enacting Gigantosaurus. The possibilities have been endless, they have made me think more about encouraging her to learn through her play and let her explore things I wouldn’t have usually thought of. It’s far too easy to put the TV on and give myself 5 minutes to sit and enjoy the peace…that turns in to an hour because I just need to get these jobs done…and then before I know it she hasn’t played much at all.
I love how colourful and sturdy the timber tots toys are and I was impressed with how big they actually were. Although I am only a brand rep for three months I know I will be making regular purchases and building Ellie’s animal collection up as these are toys she will play with for years.
We’ve used our wooden toys in so many different ways and I am loving trying out things we’ve never done before too. We’ve used them when reading stories, playing outside, with small tuff trays and I have some amazing new ideas for our new order when it arrives.
We’ve even had fun singing nursery rhymes, Ellie loves singing and whenever she sees her 5 Little Ducks set she starts singing and playing with them.
Disclosure: I am a brand rep for Timber Tots but have not been asked to review or post about our items other than share pictures on Instagram. All views and opinions are my own. I have paid for all the toys we have (except the 5 little ducks which was a gift from the owner for joining their brand rep team!) HOWEVER I do have a fantastic 10% off code for anyone wanting to purchase their own. Just use RAINBOW10 at checkout…You’re welcome!!
This first half term of work has been a killer. A new teacher, new routines, it felt like starting a new job, it’s been 7 weeks since we started back after Christmas and it has felt long but things have settled and seeing as I started the year off feeling completely lost and in need of a change, I am back to enjoying my job and feeling worth-while again.
It’s so important for me to be able to have a good work/life balance because when it isn’t balanced my mental health takes a massive hit and I start to feel down in the dumps. I finally feel that my mind is taking a more positive approach to life and I’ve come out of my slump. I am enjoying life again, enjoying work again and not struggling as much to get out of bed in a morning. I’ve really been bothered about this, I am a morning person and if a morning person is struggling to get out of bed there is a problem.
I have been looking forward to this half term for weeks, not only because we have all needed a break and time off together for a while but also because the weather is slowly picking up and I am wanting to do more with Ellie. Nothing too extravagant; some walks, maybe a bit of shopping, trips to the park that sort of thing along with a meal out as I was treated to a Pizza Hut voucher for my birthday so will treat the man and the girl to some unhealthy food. We are planning an afternoon at the cinema for just Luke and I, Ellie wouldn’t sit long enough for a film and we really want to watch The Lego Movie 2 so while Ellie spends a day with my in-laws we will be enjoying that!
The only other thing I am really wanting to fit in this week is a trip to the farm, there are quite a few local farms we could go to so it’s really just based on money and the weather as to which one we decide to head off to. Ellie is fairly good at walking now and that means we don’t need to take the pushchair as long as one of us is willing to carry her a little bit (she’s very lazy!)
Since breaking up, I have already kept up with my want to take Ellie on more walks as the weather was absolutely beautiful and so I dragged her to one of our local National Trust places for a little walk, which turned in to quite a long walk and she did so well. We headed off to look for the deer but they were too far away unfortunately but Ellie wasn’t bothered, she loved having the space to run around and be outside.
Birthday’s come and go so quickly don’t they? I have never been a bit fan of celebrating my birthday, something about being in the spotlight I guess, it’s just not my thing. I’d happily celebrate anyone else’s in their’s was the same day and so i’ve never really got excited about it. Turning 28 doesn’t really mean anything either, I freaked out turning 21 it just seemed like a huge milestone where suddenly I was VERY grown up. For background info; I passed my driving test and moved in to our first home just weeks before my 21st birthday so yeah, suddenly my whole world had turned upside down and I was pretty much an adult. 25 didn’t really phase me much either and i’m 100% sure i’m not bothered about getting closer to 30 either.
Age really is just a number.
My birthday this year was quite ordinary, being a Wednesday and not half term meant I was working until 1pm and then taking Ellie to our weekly toddler class in the afternoon however I was quite happy to treat it as a normal day. I love our weekly classes and doing something we both enjoy on my birthday made it more special. Work was more eventful than I’d have liked (I will just leave you with the words cleaning and shit for you to work out the rest!!) and leaving slightly later than I’d have liked meant that I was in a huge rush to get to our Hartbeeps class on time…which I did…JUST!
I was incredibly spoilt by my lovely work colleagues and had so many beautiful flowers and daffodils (everyone knows they are my Jason flower) that I had to go to Tesco after Hartbeeps with Ellie to buy a new vase! Even that wasn’t the disaster it can be and we took a little detour to the farm (okay Pets At Home!) to see the rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and fish which Ellie loved. She isn’t too keen on animals close up but quite liked watching the rabbits hopping about.
Despite spending most of the previous night squashed on our very old 2 seater sofa downstairs with Ellie because her cough kept waking her up and it was Luke’s long shift at work and I decided he needed some sleep after already getting up with her earlier on which meant I had less than 4 hours sleep all night, woke up feeling VERY much my age and then some, it turned out to be a pretty nice way to spend my birthday.
And in true form, I fell asleep in bed before 8:30pm…I know how to party!
Wow the terrible twos are in full swing over here. I have always heard that redheads have fiery tempers but I’d never fully believed that hair colour could define temper yet I seem to have the fiestiest toddler ever!
Her temper is definitely worse more recently. She has learnt to scream, tighten her fists and shout as loud as she possibly can. I’m 100% sure our neighbours either hate us or thinks we are trying to kill her.
Anyone else’s toddler squeal like a banshee when she’s in a complete meltdown? Or is it just mine? She is so incredibly loud too so the banshee noise travels throughout the house. Earlier on today a meltdown happened over not being carried down the stairs, the squealing started and I had to walk away. I really struggle walking away, I don’t want Ellie to hate being on her own because we leave when she is having a tantrum but today we both needed 2 minutes to calm down and the noise from upstairs was deafening.
I know tantrums are all part of being a toddler; exhurting independence and learning about boundaries and I believe E needs to learn early on that this behaviour is not acceptable but I also know this is a healthy part of her growing up and I don’t want to squash her fiestiness too.
On Wednesday, I had a wonderful afternoon with Ellie. I’m doing some extra hours at work at the minute and it was lovely having time just the two of us. We went to our weekly Hartbeeps session and had lots of fun. Ellie was full of smiles (even though I woke her up) and loved singing the songs and dancing. It was Party week after all. I love our sessions because she becomes more confident with every week we go and Ellie loves our Hartbeeps leader too. Emma is amazing with her and Ellie feels comfortable around her. What a perfect way to spend our afternoon off together ❤ #perfect #mummydaughtertime
Of cause, life isn’t always Instagram friendly and there are certain things you don’t share on there to be seen to the world. Nobody wants reality on IG do they? Well in reality our Wednesday afternoon wasn’t quite as perfect as I wanted it to be, we really did have a lovely Hartbeeps session and I really did love spending that time with Ellie seeing as I have been doing extra afternoons.
After Hartbeeps I wanted to pop to the supermarket to grab Ellie some milk, we didn’t need much so I knew we wouldn’t be long. We went to B&M’s because Ellie was in such a good mood and was enjoying the walk around; she pushed the basket around happily and even helped put the few bits on to the conveyor belt to be paid for. Ellie then decided she wasn’t ready to leave the shop and threw herself to the floor in protest. I picked her up screaming and took her outside where lots of people starting looking over. When this girl wants to scream she does it VERY loudly. We didn’t make it to Sainsburys before I decided Ellie was not going to play ball and took her back to the car. Our afternoon just got worse from there, Ellie was NOT going to sit in her car seat, she decided to cry and scream and throw tantrum after tantrum for nearly 45 minutes. I was stook in Sainsbury’s car park with a Community Support Officer who appeared to be circling my car making sure I wasn’t trying to kill her. She just wouldn’t stop. I contemplated driving home with her sitting in the foot-well of the backseat (obviously I would NEVER do this but I thought about it!) I was tired, sweaty and really wanted to be at home where I wasn’t being stared at by people who obviously thought I was a terrible mother.
Life isn’t always perfect and children really do test your patience so much. I never imagined I would find parenting so difficult at times but the messages of support I received proved that we are not alone and despite the glaring stares, Ellie is not the first toddler to have such a public display of emotion in the way that she did and she probably won’t be the last. I’m 100% sure we’ll end up having more times like this. She is ginger haired and has a temper to match.
And I love her for her fiesty attitude and her wonderful personality.
Weaning Ellie was so much fun, I adored watching her experiment with finger foods and then with her cutlery. She has always been such a curious little girl and has enjoyed trying new foods however recently she is much more fussy and depending on her mood she wont even eat food I know she likes. Ellie has always been keen on eating fruit and so when choosing a snack I try and find ones that are also 1 of your 5 a day and arent full of sugar. Even in some well known baby/toddler brands they can have lots of hidden sugars and when Ellie is really hangry it has been easy to just grab her a biscuit from the cupboard.
Scrummies are a fruit based snack that contain a mix of dried raisins and cranberries that are then flavoured using natural fruit juices making them 100% natural! They also come in six fruity flavours; strawberry, cherry, blueberry, apple, raspberry and blackcurrant. What makes these Scrummies even more appealing is that they are 1 of your 5 a day, they contain no added sugars and they are 100% vegan! They are a perfect snack suitable for 12 months +.
Ellie can be quite fussy and they first time she tried the Scrummies she refused them, I found the blueberry raisins to be a very powerful flavour (but seeing as I don’t like blueberries I still ate a few). Ellie took some time to eat the cranberries as she had never had them before and is definitely going through the fussy eater stage so I was worried she wouldnt try the other flavours however she now goes through an entire pack really quickly and loves them.
I have found Scrummies are perfect to send for her lunch as they are individually packaged and I know she will definitely eat something while I am at work.
At the moment Ellie has a clear favourite and loves the apple flavoured Scrummies however blackcurrant are a close second.
You can order Scrummies from the Clearly Scrumptious website