Day 3: Potty training and holiday travelling

852 Thoughts

After holidaying from home for the last couple of days today we’re off to spend the next week in a caravan park in Ayrshire, Scotland. After seeing the tiddlers excitement at playing in the sand in the park I’m really looking forward to seeing her reaction to the beach which is 5 minutes walk away from our caravan. There’s also an indoor swimming pool, playground and children’s entertainment on site!

Potty training is on hold for the 5 hour car journey. I don’t fancy scrubbing a urine soaked car seat. For future journeys I’ve ordered a Car Seat Protector that also fits the pram.
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Arriving at the caravan park was met with squeals of excitement as the tiddler explored her new home for the next week. We showed her the bedroom with her cot in as bedtime always seems to go well when she’s already explored!

The long nap on the car journey enabled us to stay up a bit later and make the most of our first night out in the complex. Thankfully even after the excitement of the children’s entertainment, dancing and being in a new place she went straight into her cot without a fuss and only woke once for her covers to be put back over. Great start despite the torrential rain!

Day 2: Potty training and good friends

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We had such a fun day today looking after our friend’s children who are 3 and 2. The Urban Beach and fair in the park was such a hit yesterday we decided to go back. Our tiddler goes to the same childminder as the other children so she plays with them a lot and their parents are her Godparents!
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We spent the first few hours playing in the house doing jigsaws, reading, and we had lots of laughs dancing to music and playing musical statues! Staying at home also gave us chance to give the tiddler some nappy off time and she did really well taking herself to the potty that we decided to take the potty with us.

The kids loved the playground, went on the bouncy castle slide and spent a while playing in the sand before our picnic lunch. The tiddler was too excited by it all to think about doing any wees on the potty and all suggestions about going on the potty were met with a defiant “no” and resistance because she wanted to play. We didn’t force it and just put a nappy back on after a couple of accidents.

Back in the house she continued to be great on potty so for now we’ll just keep praising everything she does and not push potty training out of the house until she’s ready.

Day 1: Potty training and the Urban Beach

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For the next 14 days I’m going to write a little holiday diary whilst I’ve got quality time with my little girlie and husband. Life can get so busy sometimes and the weekends usually fly by so I’m really looking forward to this quality family time together. My little girl, now 22 months has also started showing signs she’s getting ready for potty training so we’re going to devote some time to this too.

Signs the tiddler seemed ready to potty train:

  • Telling us she had done a wee or poo in her nappy
  • Doing a large quantity of wee in the potty at once
  • More aware of us going to the toilet
  • Good association of potty with doing a wee.

After her bath we leave her nappy off whilst watching the bedtime hour and having her milk and leave the potty out. We’ve been doing this for months and she’s never done anything on it. However last night after she’d finished her milk I said “potty time!” and she sat on it and did a big wee wee! We gave her lots of praise then she seemed to just love sitting on it and went on to do another wee wee and a poo!

This morning I took the nappy off and produced a sticker chart and tried to explain that if she sat on potty to do a wee wee or poo she would get a sticker. She sat on potty, didn’t do anything then wanted a sticker! She cried when I wasn’t going to give it her so I ended up letting her put a sticker on for ‘having a go’. After all I don’t want her to start getting upset and not wanting to sit on it! She then did 2 more wee wees on the potty that morning… The first time she started weeing before she got to the potty but did the rest in the potty and the second time she actually ran over to the potty saying “wee wee”! Some success!

We then went to visit my university friend and her newborn! He’s 5 weeks old now (although his due date is tomorrow) and he’s such a cutie! The tiddler was so gentle with him, stroking his hair and naming his body parts! “His hand, his nose…” Had a lovely walk in between rain showers.

The rest of the day was pretty good, although I didn’t brave going out without the nappy. She went on the potty after lunch then had a nap and her nappy was dry when she woke. However she was too tired and groggy to deal with going on the potty and went in her nappy.

The sun was out so we headed to the local park where there was a summer holiday beach and fairground. The tiddler went on her first ride and absolutely loved playing in the sand with her bucket and spade. We literally had to drag her away and there were LOTS of tears so must have been good!

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Beach in the Park

She went on the potty again before bed and still loves getting a sticker (how long will that last?!) Although she doesn’t seem to get much warning we’re definitely heading in the right direction…. I’ll get a new carpet one day!!

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Highlights of May

So another month has completely flown by. I can’t get my head around it being June ALREADY!

I love May.

For a start it’s my birthday month.

Then there are TWO bank holidays.

The weather is usually also a bit less crappie and I’ve got happy sunny* memories of BBQs, picnics, and camping trips over the past 31 errr… 21 years (oh to be 21 again!!)

*Note: when I talk about sunny weather this generally excludes the bank holiday weekends. In fact it is usually only Monday to Friday when most of the population are sat behind a desk looking out at it. However my birthday, weirdly, is ALWAYS really hot though and this year was no exception!

Anyway, despite the mixed weather this past month we have managed to have lots of fun. Here are my highlights of May in pictures:

Family Garden Party
The first bank holiday kicked off with a fun filled trip to my brother-in-law’s 40th! We joined the M6 car park and headed south and had a fantastic couple of days in his family home. The kids enjoyed rides in the lawn mower and trailer and the weather stayed dry for a few games outside and a yummy hog roast tea. Once the tiddlers were tucked up in bed we danced to some good old tunes in ‘the Granary’ with a smoke machine and glitter ball!

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Ride on Lawn Mower!

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This is wheely fun!

Bubbles, Tents and a Paddling Pool

We’ve had lots of fun in the garden and park on the seemingly rare sunny days, even managing a couple of paddling pool days! The bubble wand has been brilliant and the tiddler enjoys chasing and popping the bubbles. The teepee tent was kindly bought by Grannie and she squeals with excitement crawling in and out, playing peekaboo through the top air vent and sitting playing with her toys inside. It reminds me of the tent at my Grannie’s house that she made and we absolutely loved playing with!

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Bubbles in the Park

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Enjoying the May Sunshine

Makeover, Afternoon Tea and a Night Out!

On my birthday weekend I had some quality ‘Me Time‘ (you can read my post about it here). I had my hair done, joined a friend for a charity makeover, met the girls for afternoon tea and then the boys joined us for some cocktails. It was great to let our hair down and have some time together without the tiddler.

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image Birthday Night Out!

Picnic in the Park

On my birthday my husband took the day off and it was such a lovely sunny day that we took a picnic hamper to the park for lunch. We had a really nice family time together playing with the ball, making daisy chains and having lots of giggles.

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Chilling in the Sun

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I can play footy in a dress!

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Daisy chains

Shoo-ing Swans in the Lake District

We enjoyed a weekend in the Lake District with my parents, brother and Aunty and Uncle. Windermere Lake is very picturesque although a swan tried to steal our lunch when we arrived. The tiddler got very fiesty shouting “Shoo swan! Naughty swan!”

As well as shoo-ing swans she loved the ferry ride across the lake to see Beatrix Potter’s House and collecting stones in her bucket with Grannie and Grandpa.

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Lake Windermere with Grannie

The 3 Queens

Over a million people flooded into Liverpool’s dock to watch the Cunard’s 3 cruise liners The Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 sail in formation into the Mersey River. We braved the crowds and stood on our tip toes to see the spectacle which was very impressive. There was a whole weekend of celebrations to mark the 175th Anniversary of the famous cruise line including light shows, fireworks and a display from the Red Arrows. The tiddler managed amazingly well as we stood in one spot for an hour and a half and spent most of the time fastening and unfastening her pram straps! Was amazed how it kept her occupied for so long!

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The 3 Queens Cruise Liners

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Ships? What ships? I’ll just play with my pram straps.

 

Funny Sleeping Positions

The tiddler has made me chuckle recently by curling up to sleep in some odd places. She’s very cute how she curls up after swimming and gets herself ‘comfy’ with my jumper or a towel on the bench whilst I get changed. The other day she decided to lie down on the bottom step of the stairs. At least now I don’t need to measure her height… she’s a step width!

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Doesn’t look comfy

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Swimming was Tiring!

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“Night night Mummy” she said.

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Egg-citing Easter

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Easter has always been a special weekend for me and I have treasured memories of seeing my grandparents and other family. We traditionally always joined in the Good Friday walks where a cross was carried up a hill and we sang songs together at the top before climbing down.image

The services on Easter Sunday always started with everyone shouting “He is Risen!!! Allelulia!!” and were always lively and joyful. I have happy memories of receiving Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, knitted chicks with an egg inside, and my parents always had a lovely wooden egg filled with treats. We would make an Easter garden out of things we collected in the garden, blow eggs and paint them, and with an artist mum we would get crafty making Easter cards.

I would love my daughter to grow up with the same exciting memories as well as understanding the reason we celebrate Easter. It’s too easy to mindlessly paint eggs and eat chocolate and forget that the eggs are representing new life. I hope that she will celebrate Jesus rising from the dead on Easter Sunday and know that he died so she can be forgiven and have a new life with him. Now that’s something to get Egg-cited about 🙂

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Collecting Golden Eggs!

This weekend she had so much fun playing with her cousins, Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents! In the morning we went to church where they processed a cross decorated with spring flowers and there was a puppet show which the kids loved. After lunch and a snooze they did an Easter Egg hunt around the garden and the tiddler was so excited when she found an egg and put it into her little basket before saying “Anymore?” and running off to look in the next bush.

The cousins then decorated Easter biscuits with icing sugar and sprinkles and ate them whilst watching The Gruffalo.

 

 

 

It was great being around the family again and they really noticed the difference in my tiddler since the last family gathering only 3 weeks ago. Her speech has really progressed and here are a few new things she was saying this weekend:

“Issac” (her cousin)
“Where the trains?” (she shocked me going up to her Aunty Ana and coming out with this. At least that what it sounded like!)
“Baboon” (balloon)
“Ani” (Aunty Ana)
“Lorloo” (Aunty Laura)
“Ley ee go, Ley ee go” (singing along to ‘Let it go’ from Frozen) (oh no, it’s started…)
“Anymore?” (Searching for eggs)
“Mouse” and “Owl” (every time she saw them when watching The Gruffalo)

What did you do this Easter weekend?

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These are a few of my Favourite Things…

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… are probably not on the list of my tiddler’s favourite things.

I feel like I’ve been writing too many negative things recently about things that wind me up and my mummy fails so here’s a more positive look into the life of my 1-and-a-half year old cutie. As well as “mine” and “no”, one of her most used words is also “wow!!” It still amazes me and brings a huge smile to my face seeing her delight at the simplest of things in the world around us that, as adults, simply just don’t impress anymore.

These are a few of my tiddlers favorite things:

Fish

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Love how fish are greeted with a “wow”… I feel no need to pay lots to take my tiddler to an aquarium when she is frankly in awe of fish in a pet shop. The World Museum in Liverpool was a good trip too as it’s free and has a small aquarium on one of the floors. Having said that, this photo was taken when we went to the SeaLife Centre for my Goddaughter’s 1st birthday. I must admit it was amazing and they all loved it!

Mr ‘Bubble’ (aka Tumble!)

Her face lights up and she sings along to the theme tune in her own babbling way with the odd recognisable word thrown in when she can. She loves carrying round her spotty bag filled with more of her favourite things.

Dinosaurs

In the language of Peppa Pig’s brother, George, she excitedly shouts “Dine-saur” when she sees a Dinosaur. We recently went to the Natural History Museum in London and she nearly fell over backwards looking up in awe at the huge skeleton in the entrance hall. It was brilliant seeing her running into the entrance shouting “WOW!!! DINE-SAUR, DINE-SAUR!!!” Must make the most of this before the ‘I’m-too-cool-for-this-crap-boring-museum’ teenage years.
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Playing Mummy

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Feeding my baba

The most played-with toy she received for Christmas when she was 15 months old has got to be her Dolly, or “baba” as she calls it. I already love her so much but when I see her affection towards her “baba” I think I love her even more! She puts her dolly into her highchair and feeds it with a spoon (don’t need to spend money on special dolly highchairs!!) and plants loving kisses on her lips. She amazes me with her insight into looking after a baby when she puts the dolly into her pram in the hallway, covers it with a blanket and rocks it forwards and backwards saying “sshhh, sshhh, sshhh”.

The other day I heard her in the kitchen saying “oh dear baba, oh dear” again and again and went in to find the dolly had fallen out of her toy pushchair and was face down on the floor. I imagine you’d panic if you had a newborn and heard “oh dear baba” coming from the other room!!

Dancing with the Tombliboos

Every evening before bed we watch In The Night Garden and her most favourite part which has her abandoning her milk and leaping off the sofa is when the Tombliboos do their dance. She makes us laugh as she sways side to side, stamping her feet and turning round in circles. Yesterday she grabbed both of my hands to pull me off the sofa saying “dance” and we danced around the room in fits of giggles! So much for winding down before bed eh?

Horsie

This is a new game and now she can say “horsie” she accompanies the word by climbing onto our backs and giggles as we ride her around the house. It’s funny when she wants to play at an inappropriate time though, like in the middle of story telling at the local library!

So those are a few of my tiddler’s favourite things. There are so many things that amaze her and I know I must enjoy this young, innocent age as they grow up so fast. She inspires me every day to look at the world around me in a new way. I’d never normally notice a little ladybird on a leaf as I rush about my day and it’s no bad thing being made to slow down and notice the little details.

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Carrying my Mr Tumble Spotty Bag

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Travelling London with a Toddler

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We all learn from experience when it comes to travelling with tiddlers… that’s what I told myself when several things went wrong on our recent adventure to London. We were invited down for a friend’s 30th birthday bash and as he was a longstanding friend of my husband’s I volunteered to look after our 18-month-old at bedtime so he could stay for the party and we’d spend the next couple of days sightseeing as a family.

When we travel we usually go by car and have all our ‘baby equipment’ in tow. This time we had a 2 and a half hour train journey followed by a couple of tube changes so had to travel light. No problem… We’ve done this before lots of times, how much harder could it be with a little person? As we usually take our travel cot everywhere in the car it slipped my mind to check the hotel actually had a cot! (They didn’t) After finding this out earlier in the week we just posted ours down “guaranteed” 48 hours delivery to arrive the same day we did! Except it just didn’t!!

Our tiddler had just started settling and sleeping amazingly the week before our trip and without a cot for her I ended up having a very frustrating couple of hours trying to get her to sleep on the floor, in our bed, in my arms… anywhere!!! Then she was just up and about during the night and subsequently by the morning we HAD to find a cot for the next night.

The weekend got worse before it got better… we rang the nearest Argos who definitely had a travel cot in stock according to their automated phone system and they opened at 9am according to the website. Great, reserved it. Arrived at said Argos at 9:15 and had to hang around for 45 mins waiting for them to open at 10am! And yes you guessed it, they definitely didn’t have a travel cot of any kind in stock. Fantastic. I was straight onto LateRooms.com and booked a 4* hotel for £54 including a cot and we got on with the day and tried to forget about the travel cot trauma!!

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Visiting the Queen’s house!

 

We got the tube to Westminster and saw Big Ben, 10 Downing Street and then enjoyed a walk through St James’ Park in the sunshine. The tiddler was entertained by a variety of different ducks “rak rak”, chased a squirrel and when she got fussy we stopped for lunch before carrying on up to Buckingham Palace. We were entertained by the guards and Isabella pointing at them and shouting “daddy” was quite amusing. Met some friends, walked up the Mal and had a drink near Trafalgar Square while the tiddler napped. Then we realised we were near Covent Garden and they had an amazing display of all the James Bond cars featured in the films. After meeting another friend we wandered down to the river and crossed the bridge in glorious sunshine with views across various landmarks. I was amazed how much we were able to see without getting back on the tube, as negotiating the pushchair up and down the steps was one thing that worried me before. A handy tip someone told me before we travelled was to try and use tubes with a wheelchair symbol to make life easier but it’s not always possible.

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“Wow!! Dine-saur!”

 

The next day we visited the Natural History Museum which I highly recommend with a tiddler! It’s free entry and they have a HUGE dinosaur skeleton in the entrance hall which was met by an excited “WOW DINE-SAUR, DINE-SAUR!!” as she nearly fell over backwards looking up at the enormous neck towering above her. They have a brilliant collection of every kind of animal you can think of and I was impressed how much it captivated our 18 month old. When lunchtime arrived they had a couple of cafés with a selection of sandwiches, fruit, and cakes at the usual tourist London prices you would expect but if you’d brought your own lunch there were some benches in the entrance hall. If you visit at a weekend I would expect long queues to get in. It was a Monday when we went and we still queued for 15 minutes. It was quiet once we were inside but they check every backpack at the entrance which takes time.

 

 

My top 6 tips for travelling through London with a tiddler:

1) Plan your route ahead to use wheelchair friendly tubes as much as possible. You can download a step-free tube route here.

2) Use a rucksack instead of a suitcase to free up your hands for carrying the tiddlers, pushing the pram, or lifting the pram up and down stairs on the tube.

3) Phone ahead to check the hotel has all the equipment you need e.g. travel cot available

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Kensington Park Pond in the Sunshine

4) Use the parks – there’s so much green space in the city for tiddlers to run around safely. St James’ Park was good for feeding the ducks, Hyde Park has 3 playgrounds and the adjacent Kensington Park has the popular Princes Diana Memorial playground. For older children here is a list of adventure playgrounds across London.

5) Avoid queuing with an agitated tiddler to top up your Oyster Card as you can now use your contactless credit or debit card instead and it’s exactly the same price as using an Oyster Card and includes the same fare capping. You also save money by not topping up more than you’re going to use on the trip!

6) Download the Bubele App which gives you a guide to child friendly places around London. Go to bubeleapp.com and follow them on twitter @BubeleLondon

 

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Free day out at the Liverpool World Museum!

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You can pay over the top prices to go to Aquariums and even some museums can charge a fortune. My tiddler is 15 months and she goes “wow” at the fish in the shops so I don’t see the benefit at the moment of paying lots to go to an Aquarium. Today we discovered The World Museum in Liverpool which has free entry and a wide range of exciting things to capture both our attention, our tiddlers and her Grandparents’! We awed at the amazing coloured fish on the first floor before her Grandpa picked up the (free) tickets for the planatarium show. This was a fairly basic exploration into the existance or non-existance of Aliens and, although quite captavating with dynamic graphics and sound on the circular ceiling, the tiddler only lasted 10 minutes with her short attention span and hyper overtiredness. She may have been calmer and more attentive if she’d napped for longer than 20 minutes!! She went on to run around squealing with delight at the various bugs, beatles, butterflies and ants in the Bug House.

World Museum

I would definitely recommend The World Museum or somewhere similar near you for a day out with your tiddlers as they’re usually relatively safe, child-friendly places to explore. We didn’t have chance to try out the café but passed through it and it seems set up for babies and kids.

We’ll definitely be paying another visit on the next rainy day we have free as there were 3 more floors we didn’t have time to see.