Toddlerdom

The joys of toddler singing… part two

Toddler singing part twoOver the last week Little Mister has started to find his singing voice! Ok, so it’s not really proper singing yet, more repeating certain lines, but he is attempting to follow a tune. And it is so cute.

His current repertoire is very heavily influenced by his older sister – Let it Go from Frozen being his favourite. He gave us a few rounds of that one in the early hours of the morning on Saturday night but it was so sweet we instantly forgave him for keeping us awake. He’s also tried to copy Little Miss singing along to Angelina Ballerina.

Little Miss has always been a little singer and as a baby loved being sung to from just a few weeks old – amazingly even by us! She was singing the Angelina Ballerina theme tune at the top of her voice as she pedalled along happily on her little bike on Sunday afternoon. I loved the way she was so content in herself, so unselfconscious, in her element, in her own little world.

I’ve been told that singing is a sign of a happy child. I really hope so. I hope they’ll always sing and always feel secure in themselves to do so.

Hearing Little Mister  trying to sing in his cot reminded me of a post I wrote about his sister almost two (gulp, two?) years ago. She’d started to her sing herself to sleep with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Hence I called this post ‘part 2’ as we’re getting to enjoy those magical moments all over again.

Little Mister seems to be just as keen on music as his sister’s always been. For a long time now he’s responded to hearing music by starting to sway or do a little dance. He definitely responds to rhythm, perhaps even more than she did. Nursery often tell us how much he loves the singing they do there too.

So I’m loving sharing music with them both at the moment. We got into the party spirit on Spotify over the weekend, meaning both children now know how to do a Conga! An essential life skill, I say, and a standard at every family wedding we went to back in the 1980s. You’ve got to love a bit of Black Lace. Who remembers them? Superman also went down well. I’ve yet to even break out Agadoo.

Anyway – I’m getting sidetracked by the nostalgic cheese – the new-found singing ability is obviously all part of Little Mister developing his language skills. At nursery they say he holds little conversations between the toy animals when he’s playing with them.

He copies so much of what he hears now. My current favourite is “leave it!” which makes me laugh even when it probably shouldn’t. It’s usually said during nappy changes.

And on that note, it’s getting late so I’m going to take my own advice and call it a night!

my petit canard

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Categories: Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Them, now… December 2015

So here we are, almost at Christmas! It will be Little Mister’s second festive season and Little Misses’ fourth – and her last as a proper toddler before starting school next year (deep breaths!). Today our baby boy (rapidly turning into a feisty toddler himself) turns 17 months old, and a few days ago our his sister turned three years and 8 months. It’s been too long since I wrote a post just about them, their ever developing little personalities and their lovely little quirks. So here’s a snapshot of what they are both like right now, so I can look back and remember details that might otherwise become a hazy blur.

Them now.jpg

The last month or so has really seen Little Mister finding his voice. He’s saying new things every day and yesterday strang together what I think might have been his first mini sentence –“bib on”. All important to him as it signals that food is imminent!

His early words, other than Mum-mum and Dada (now quite clearly being said as Daddee) included banana (said as “mana” and now generally requested at the end of every meal!), “mulk” (milk) and “more” (again, important at meal times!). He’s also really keen on animals, using “baa” for sheep, “woo” or “woof” for dog and “neigh” for horse. And tiger and duck are also popular. He gets very animated about his animals, it’s so cute. Monkeys are also a favourite too.

Our little man certainly knows his own mind now too, demanding to be let “out” of his cot, buggy or highchair as soon as he’s fed up (or fed in the case of the latter).

He’s learnt that his sister’s favourite dolly is called Wah Wah and he’ll say that too whenever he gets his hands on her. All dolls are called Wah Wah as far as he’s concerned. And he quite likes to play with them at the moment. This is probably because he generally likes to get involved in whatever little Miss is doing but possibly also because he’s learnt he can wind her up a bit by doing so. We’ve had quite a few skirmishes lately over Wah Wah and her accompanying buggy!

But despite the daily tussles, he loves his sister really and now says her name and has started to call out to her, which is lovely to hear. Although they are in separate rooms at nursery they sometimes meet in the outside play area and last week I was told Little Miss and her friend had been playing with Little Mister, pushing him around in a Crazy Coupe car. Cue lots of warm fuzzy feelings!

Siblings autumn 2015

His first fumbling footsteps seem so long ago now. He can still be a bit wobbly on his feet but he’ll happily run across a room shouting “go, go go!”. Apparently he also does this at nursery while chasing two young lady friends!

He’s already trying to jump and is a keen climber, which keeps us on our toes. Having an older sibling to copy has made him far more daring than she was at his age. Being much bigger and a boy probably also has something to do with it. Given half a chance he’ll be stod up on one of our little wooden toddler chairs, grinning with delight, arms aloft, wobbling precariously. “Get down” is becoming a common parental phrase. He also loves climbing up on his sister’s bed and the other morning we caught the pair of them stood up by their window, drawing on the steamed up pane. It’s definitely a case of double trouble now!

Sharing a room

Little Mister finally moved out of our room at the end of September (having enjoyed a much extended stay compared to his sister). In our little two-bedroom house, he now shares with Little Miss and so far it’s been great. We’ve heard her talking to him in the mornings and him trying to communicate back, it’s very sweet.

We recently redecorated to give the room a new identity for the both of them, with sunny yellow walls, grey as an accent colour and star prints on the curtains and new toy basket. We just have some new wall stickers to add now as a finishing touch.

Not-so-little Little Miss

She’s still one of the more petite ones for her age but it feels like Little Miss has grown up such a lot this year and the last few weeks have seen us visiting schools and applying for places for next September.

Like any three year old, she asks lots of questions about the world around her – including this week why her brother’s ‘bottom’ is different to hers! I’m surprised she hasn’t asked that one before. She also asked how I got her ‘out of my tummy’ when she was a baby – a lot of hard work I replied!

Her games have become increasingly imaginative and I would love to be a fly on the wall at nursery where some of the most creative scenarios seem to originate. She’s also starting to get a bit better at incorporating her little brother into some of her role play and he in turn is becoming a more able participant (for five minutes or so at least!). She likes to pretend he’s her pet dog and take him for walks using the rein on her old backpack. And he’s very happy to run up and down barking enthusiastically! I must film it to bring out when they’re older.

Her drawings are becoming more detailed. She recently did her first family portrait of us – see the masterpiece below. I am far left, looking rather serious. Daddy is far right, hanging upside down. This was, apparently, not a mistake!

Family portrait

I wouldn’t be surprised if she really did draw Daddy upside down as a joke. She is quite the little comedienne and has been from an early age. She will say things to be deliberately funny or silly.

And she says a lot. It’s amazing to think that this time two years ago she was only really just starting to talk. She still can’t always say her Fs properly, pronouncing them as P instead which leads to the somewhat amusing use of “pox” instead of fox, “pish pingers” for fish fingers and one of her favourite songs in Frozen (which she adores right now) is “Por the Pirst Time in Porever!”

I’m looking forward to a Christmas where she understands just that little bit more than last time and really appreciates all the magic. It’s such a blessing to have two small children at this time of year – even if life does feel a bit like a hamster wheel at times.

Categories: Motherhood, Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | Leave a comment

A classic for the family album!

Meal times are always interesting with a baby and a toddler sat at the table.

What might have caused Little Mister’s distress, I hear you ask? The discovery that there really is no more yogurt left in his bowl, that’s what. The indignity!

I’d thought his sister was just smiling nicely for a photo but maybe there’s some smugness as well. Clearly she still has pudding left to enjoy.

Love it!

WickedWeds_3Picture copyright http://www.mummystodolist.com

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Categories: Baby days, Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | Tags: , | 16 Comments

Potette Plus 2-in-1 travel potty review

Potette Plus travel potty reviewI have to admit I approached potty training with a certain amount of dread. Actually, make that a huge amount of dread! All I could see ahead was weeks of mess and mountains of extra laundry. Plus our sanity-saving trips out of the house looked set to become an even bigger logistical nightmare than they already were with a feisty toddler and small baby in tow.

As you may have already read, potty training Little Miss, once we really put our minds to it, actually went surprisingly well. But using the potty or toilet at home is only one part of the process and, if you’re anything like us, any more than two days stuck inside the house is enough to drive everyone crazy. So by day three we had to get out.

Now I haven’t written many reviews on this site to date. I’m still waiting for all those lovely PR opportunities and perks that all honest parent bloggers dream of to come flooding my way – and yes, in case anyone was wondering, I am totally up for a few of these! But this is one review I felt compelled to write off my own steam. This particular product, the Potette Plus 2-in travel potty, has proved so useful I had share it here. It’s become an essential item that comes everywhere with us and I’m sure will be used for many years to come with it being handed on to Little Mister when the time comes (sob!) for him to also leave nappies behind.

All hail ‘the original folding potty’

I bought our Potette Plus back in September for about £14 – this seems to be the average price, although at the moment you can pick them up online for a bit cheaper. Prior to purchase I’d spent several hours pouring over the various travel potty options on Amazon – oh the glamour of parenthood! This one seemed popular and, while not the cheapest option, customer ratings were generally very good. And since it is both a travel potty and a toilet seat, hence the 2-in-1, you’re effectively getting two products for your money. Pennies well spent I’d say (sorry, I really couldn’t resist the pun).

It’s described as ‘the original folding potty’ and boasts a string of awards from various parenting publications. The original Potette was, apparently, invented by a grandad who couldn’t believe the amount of paraphernalia his daughter had to take with her when going out with her little one.

What a cool grandad? And yes, like his daughter, the sheer amount of stuff that leaves the house with us these days meant I was desperate to find the smallest option possible. I’ve seen parents cart a full-size potty in a carrier bag around the park but it’s not a look I wanted to go for.

Small but perfectly formed

Potette Plus foldedWhen it arrived, I was quite amazed by how compact and lightweight the Potette Plus looked and felt. It really does fold down very small, as you can see from the picture, but at the same time it doesn’t feel at all flimsy. The plastic is satisfyingly solid and there are rubberised grips on the legs to hold it steady when in use.

It is fantastically portable and so easy to discreetly stash under the buggy – we have a fairly compact Babyjogger City Mini – without hogging all the space for our other gubbins. I usually leave it under there and can actually fold the buggy with it still in situ, meaning it never gets forgotten.

So how does it work?

Potette Plus as pottyWhen the call panic of nature comes the legs unfold and click into place to make a surprisingly sturdy little potty which you use with an absorbent, disposable liner, AKA a really posh bin bag, to collect whatever your little darling has been brewing. The beauty is that once they’re done you can just tie the bag up and go! It’s just like getting rid of a dirty nappy. Everything is nicely clean and hygienically contained, no yucky used potty to sort out or stash somehow.

The liners cost around £10 for 30, which may be a bit pricey for some but I’m willing to pay for the convenience. And since we try to encourage Little Miss to use the toilet wherever possible we’re still only on our second pack of bags.They have an absorbent, fragranced pad that turns liquid to gel. It’s claimed the bags, which do feel thicker than your standard plastic bag, are leak-proof and I’ve yet to have proof to the contrary. Apparently they also make good travel sickness bags should you need them! And they are biodegradable so they are not as bad for the environment as you might think.

‘Get the frogs wet’

Perhaps the most important thing about the liners is the frog holding an umbrella print! We use this as encouragement… Little Miss loves to ‘get the frogs wet’! Overall she has never once complained about using the Potette Plus so I’m, assuming it’s fairly comfortable – she’s used it for plenty of alfresco wee wees! Thankfully the girl has had the good manners to have never needed to poo on it! But in general it’s been a really useful thing to have, especially for trips to the park and long car journeys.

One thing I would say is that in the early days, when the toddler is new to toilet training and you’re still getting to grips with how the Potette Plus works, it’s easiest to have the potty set up ready to go before it’s actually needed. That way you’re not having to fiddle around unfolding it and sorting the liner at the crucial moment.

2-in-1 greatness

Potette Plus as toilet seatThe big bonus with the Potette Plus is that it can also be used as a toddler toilet seat, which is how we’ve used it most. It’s made the transition to using ‘big’ loos out very easy. Little Miss feels secure and the sides make a handle of sorts giving her something to hold on to. It does also mean that if the loos look a bit dubious she barely has to touch anything other than her own seat, which feels more pleasant to me.

Minor niggles

The only negatives, and these are little niggles that aren’t enough to diminish my love for it, have been that the ‘travel carry bag’ that came with it lasted only a couple of months before splitting. It was, essentially, just a thick, plastic draw-stringed carrier bag. Ours is now fashionably stowed in an M&S carrier! Not a big deal but something more durable would have been better.

And I would say there is a knack to clicking the legs in and out that some people pick up quicker than others. Annoyingly, my husband got it straight away. I found it a bit of a fiddle to start with and some of the less favourable reviews I’ve read were because of this. I will admit there have been a few occasions when I’ve cursed the legs for not immediately complying as I’d like but we’re talking a few seconds of faff and the pros of the potty far outweigh any momentary strops I might have with it!

I do also wonder if bigger children might find it a tad on the small side. Little Miss is quite petite so this hasn’t been an issue for us but we’ll see with Little Mister as he will definitely be much taller and more sturdy when he reaches her age – he’s on the 91st percentile for weight and 98th for height.

But so far the Potette Plus 2-in-1 travel potty gets a firm thumbs up from us. It’s proved a very sound investment, if toddler toilet gadgets can be described as such! I would definitely recommend it. It certainly made getting out and about during those earliest nappy-free days feel far less stressful than it could have been.

For those who like to co-ordinate, it’s available in several different colour combos: light blue/dark blue (we have this one), pink/purple, green/blue, white/light blue.

You can find out more and watch a video of how it works on the Potette website.

For more on how potty training went in our house the following posts might be of interest:

A relieved mum’s top 10 potty training essentials…

A tale of two potty triumphs!

Fanfare for a poo!

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Categories: Reviews, Toddlerdom | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Now you are three…

I can’t believe more than a year has passed since I wrote the post ‘As you turn two’. What a year it has been! And you have grown and changed so much darling. Looking back at last year’s birthday pictures, you look so small and your hair has yet to grow into the beautiful head full of long auburn waves it is today. You’re still yet to have your first ever haircut though!

Just writing this fills me with so much emotion. Your baby days seem long behind us now, and they were truly magical, wonderful days. You taught us how to be parents – you still are, every day teaching us more, of course. But you, our first-born, taught us what it was like to feel the all-encompassing love of a parent for their child. I know there are so, so many more magical moments yet to come. And a whole load of fun. And giggles. And cuddles. Now you are three We are so proud of the little girl you are fast becoming. There have been so many major milestones this last year and you have taken them all in your stride – moving to your much-loved big-girl’s bed, potty training and, most importantly, becoming a big sister when your baby brother arrived ten months ago. You’ve also now moved up into the oldest (gulp!) room at nursery, which you’ve absolutely loved.

As I started writing this you were sleeping peacefully on the sofa across from me – a rarity these days since you have generally dropped your daytime naps now. But you hadn’t been very well. You were just getting over a 24-hour sickness bug that had been doing the rounds. Peppa Pig birthday cakeWe knew you were coming down with it when you turned down the last piece of your Peppa Pig birthday cake. You never usually turn down cake! And, as we’re on the subject, it was a pretty spectacular cake. I don’t like to brag but Mummy and Daddy did a surprisingly good job of recreating your favourite TV character in icing form!

So now you are three. As you say yourself, you are ‘getting bigger’. And you can be fiercely independent. “No, I do it all by myself!” is a common phrase these days. You like have a go, to figure things out and copy us grown ups. You can get very cross if we try to help.

Yet sometimes you’ll ask – and it makes my heart lurch – “Am I still little?”. You like to play at being a baby. It’s your way of being like your little brother. You can be so cute with him. You often join him on the floor, crawling next to him. And while the two of you do already squabble sometimes, usually when you want the same toy, you have always accepted him as part of our little family, from the day we arrived home from hospital with him. We know that you love and care for him and that is so lovely to see. Birthday girl Favourite things…

So, what does our now three-year-old love most right now?

You’ve always been a girly girl, from way back when you first started to make your own choices. At nursery you loved playing with the dolls before we ever even had any in our house. And since you could barely walk you’ve loved pushing a buggy along. I try not to gender stereotype and, of course, you like plenty of other things too but you have always seemed to be naturally drawn to the pink end of the spectrum.

You love wearing dresses. I live in jeans but you now point-blank refuse to wear them even though so often you want to be like mummy. If you could, you’d wear a party frock every day. Maybe I’m just a scruff, hey! (I like to think casual). Anyway, you certainly have very strong opinions when it comes to getting dressed in the morning.

And you still love pretty much all footwear. Whereas some kids find it a major drama, shoe shopping is always a treat as far as you’re concerned!

On the subject of pink, the pink fairytale castle wendy house you got for your second birthday is still a firm favourite. Currently taking up half the ever-decreasing floor space in our living room. Anything princessy or sparkly usually goes down well and, despite Daddy’s aversion to everything Disney, the songs from Frozen have managed to penetrate these walls.

New loves include your birthday bike, pink (of course!) with a dolly seat on the back for Waa-Waa AKA Big Dolly (although as anyone familiar with Baby Annabel will know, she’s really not that big!). Since Christmas 2013, Waa-Waa has been your trusty sidekick and sometimes naughty alter ego, the toy you sleep with every night. You also adore Woolly, the musical spider, another birthday present, who sings you to sleep every night at the moment (your little brother is also partial to a bit of Woolly when times are desperate and nothing else will calm him!).

Food-wise, pizza and pasta remain top of your ideal menu. Followed by chocolate cake! And we’ve recently introduced you to the treat of hot chocolate when we’re out. What’s not to like?

The salmon encroute served up at nursery is probably lurking at the bottom, if not thrown on the floor. You refused it as a baby and it continues to get the thumbs down now although your baby brother demolished the same meal this week. We have yet to find a food he won’t eat! In fact, we’ve yet to find anything he won’t try to eat. Grass, sand, carpet, books… anything goes with that one. You were always that bit more discerning. And mashed potato is also a no-no at the moment. It makes you gag.

You love being outside, be it at nursery, the park or in the back garden. Inside, you love making houses, getting involved with cooking – especially cake! And you still love books and will ask us to read them one after another.

You love being with family, especially your grandparents and young cousins. Family gatherings are so much fun these days. And at nursery you have your little group of girly friends who you always talk about and look forward to seeing and playing with.

You’ve changed so much this last year. As a friend at church who hadn’t seen you for a several months told us only yesterday, you are gorgeous. Full of questions and curiosity. A little bit cheeky. A bit of a joker. And we love you so much. Happy belated third birthday!

Super Busy Mum
Categories: Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

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