Category Archives: Mummy Stuff

Gro-Clock Review

The Gro-Company have come up with many fantastic ideas to make like easier for parents. I have been ‘blessed’ with a child who has always loved early mornings, I have seen more mornings around 5 a.m in the last 3 years than is good for your sanity.  Cbeebies doesn’t even start until 6 a.m. proving that anything before that should illegal!

I have seen so many parents buying these gro-clocks but I never really believed it would work for Ben so I just got on with pleading, hoping and hiding under the pillow.  None of these work btw!

This spring was our first with Ben not in a cot and also being more aware of light/dark/morning/night time, I had made the huge mistake of saying it is night-time as it was dark over the winter and that came back to bite me when spring sprung with the delights of it being light at 5.30 a.m.

After a run of pre 6 a.m. wakings and the pad pad pad across the hall way into my bedroom and the argument of “Ben it is still night-time” “No Mummy it is light” I knew that now was the time to try something new.

I asked around for reviews on the Gro-clock and it was a general yes it works…most of the time.  So I decided to take the plunge, knowing that the re-sale on eBay is really high anyway so not really a risk.

I ordered from Amazon as it was the cheapest I could find at that time and it arrived in a few days.

The new version which I received now has the option of also showing the time to allow older children to learn the time as well as see the visual sun and moon display.

The clock comes with a book to explain to children the theory – we have only read this once on the first night then never needed it again, but for younger children it might be needed more.

I decided to be realistic on choosing when the sun came up so set it for 6.10 a.m. and we read the book, turned it on and had a chat about Ben would only get out of bed when the sun came up.

The first night I heard him wake at 5 a.m. mutter a bit then nothing until 5.45 a.m. when he called out he needed a wee.  So I got up and he did one and then I said “Back to bed as the sun isn’t up”  and he went with no fuss.  Usually that would have been us up.  At 6.10 a.m. I heard great excitement that the sun had come up.

We have had the Gro-clock for a month now and it really has made a huge difference to us, it means I have a definite thing to say if he does wake up too early, asking if the sun is up yet.  On the occasional times he wakes around 5 a.m. for a wee he then goes back to bed afterwards.  It was really useful when the clocks changed too.

I do think the key is being realistic about what time you set for the sun to come up as setting it to 7 or 8 a.m. when your child wakes at 5 a.m. is not going to work!

Also I got caught out one morning as Ben came in at 1 a.m. to tell me the sun was up – after posting on Facebook to ask friends what had happened as yes the sun had been up at 1 a.m. it seems the default setting for the 2nd alarm to be used for naps is 12 a.m. and I had by mistake chosen that the night before.  So as advised I set the 2nd alarm for the same time as the 1st so it doesn’t matter which one is set now.

So in this house the clock has meant no more coming downstairs at 5 a.m. and arguing if it is morning or night-time, it won;t change the fact sometimes Ben needs to wee at 5 a.m. I get that (it is only a clock after all!) but it does mean your child can easily see what is night and what is morning time regardless of the season and actual lighting outside.


The Gallery…Mother Love

The theme for Sticky Fingers Gallery this week is Mother Love.

This is Ben at 3 weeks old being dunked in the Tummy Tub with my other 2 babies cats watching.

For those first 3 weeks after bringing him home from the hospital, bathing him put total fear into me, I then got a tummy tub and although still terrifying you will drop them, slightly easier to do.

But this photo is my family, The Ben, The Dodge, The Charger, The Mummy. And I am the person they all love most in the world.

Mother Love

Children as Equals?

I have come to realise over the last few weeks that Ben thinks him and I are equals.  He is often heard saying the same things to me that I say to him, some of these are lovely like the “good sharing Mummy” some are not quite as nice to hear back “stand there and don’t move” “stop that” (I could go on!)

Something else I have realised is that he has no fear of me, none. Which I think is great, I don’t do smacking, I have been known to REALLY shout only a handful of times.  O.K. and then there is the huge BUT…

What is the correct relationship between parent and child at 3 years old? Respect? Worship? Fear? Equals?  Or have they not worked it out yet and just see you as Mummy?

I believe Ben to be a typical 3 year old, he is well mannered, polite, listens to me, responds well, understands he can’t always have everything he wants and then there is the remained 99% of the day.  O.K. that is unfair, depends on the day the % mix of delightful/devil and it flicks in the blink of an eye too.

At the moment my hardest battle – and believe me when in the middle of it, it is a full on battle, is when he loses the plot and nothing works, and I have realised just that, nothing works except me removing myself from him, and letting him calm down.  I do expect too much of him, I want him to believe perfectly 100% of the time but that is far from realistic and as time goes on I am lowering my expectations to understand that I have no failed if he behaves badly. But how I react to that behaviour is when I win or lose.

Our battles usually escalate when we are both tired and stressed, sadly neither are things that can be eliminated, but being aware that these are triggers should help me knowing when to back off.  He is a clever little boy, he knows exactly what buttons to press when in devil mode, and I often stupidly rise to them.  And at that point yes we are equals as I have the maturity of a 3 year old

I am a firm believer in they need boundaries, they need to know what is acceptable and not, what is expected of them in certain situations – but again am I being unrealistic with this and a 3 year old?

So any advice out there on what the parent child relationship should be?

So often I can see Cartman in my head blaring “YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITY”

Silent Sunday 3rd April 2011

Silent Sunday

Flashback Friday – Wedding 1930ish

This is my Grandma and Grandads wedding day I am guessing around 1930

This week I spend the afternoon with my Grandma who is now 91 doing her garden.  It wasn’t a case of her sitting from a chair giving orders, no.  It was her next to me with a spade & fork digging over the garden.  she is an amazing, remarkable women who 2 weeks ago was in bed with a chest infection.  She refuses to allow something as insignificant as her age to slow her down.  She wears beautiful clothes, hair and make up done for each outing.

People joke we are alike with our shopping addiction and attention to detail, well I am proud to have that said.  She was stunning then and is still today.  My Grandad passed away 18 years or so ago, and at that time my Grandma had no idea how to do things like bills in the house, well she has learnt and asked for help.  An amazing role model to her 3 daughters, 8 Grandchildren and 6 Great Grandchildren.

Head on over to Cafe Bebe to see more entries for this weeks Flashback Friday

I have a confession – Fussy Eaters Support Club

I have been round and round with this one, ignore, deal with, ignore, deal with…and now it is face it.

Ben is 3 and the only things he eats at home – (nursery is a different story) are

  • Chicken fingers
  • Fish Fingers
  • Asda alphabites
  • Baked beans
  • Bread sticks
  • French Toast
  • Cheerios
  • Rice Crispies
  • Toast
  • Frutapura
  • Yoghurt
  • Cream Crackers

That is it, well of course given the chance any amount of chocolate, crisps, cake etc.

I did weaning by the book (not baby led, didn’t have the nerves for that), with home made purees, progressing to various dinner, chicken casseroles with veg, spaghetti bolognaise with veg. he started to be fussy at around a year and went down hill from that point to where we are now.

His food refusal goes to ‘treat’ food too, like ice cream and squash, he only drinks water.

He was in nursery full time from 6 months until just over 2, then a 6 month break and he is at a different one 2 days a week now.  He doesn’t eat a full range at nursery but will eat fruit pieces, various meals and the little sod darling ate a WHOLE Christmas dinner this year, turkey, potatoes, veg the whole lot.  When they told me I just stood staring in complete disbelief.

At the end of last year we did a mini-mind course of healthy eating for children and families, it was great and there was a section of each week where we did food tasting, he did get that he needed to at least lick the food to get a sticker, so he barely let his tongue touch the fruit/veg and he got a sticker.  He is not silly, not one bit.

But…he is happy, healthy, growing, bright, alert and starves off scurvy with frutapura pouches.  So for the last few months I have chosen to ignore the non eating at home.  It is clearly a control issue with him, as in recent weeks he sussed at nursery if he didn’t eat his lunch/tea he got bread and butter and so he was refusing and getting it.  But they have twigged and are refusing him this now (with my agreement)

He isn’t a big eater, never has been since a baby with milk and would go without food rather than eat something he doesn’t want.  He eats a lot at breakfast of cheerios/rice crispies and I think is then often full so isn’t bothered about lunch.

3 months ago I bought the Gina Ford fussy eaters book and I have to admit I read the first few pages, felt guilt, rubbed the chip on my shoulder and it is gathering dust.

So what should I do?  Do I face this and start cooking other food basically destined for the bin? He is a very black and white child, not room for grey if his mind is made up then that is it.  He can dig his heels in as far as me, it is exhausting.

But I feel society expects me to tackle this as it is not right he doesn’t eat.  But a large part of me thinks that he will grow out of it, but will that only be if I tackle it head on?

Not to play the single parent card but, well with no support at home it is just him against me and no one ever wins.

Anyone been there and got results?

Fussy Eaters Support Club

Octonauts Fan? You need this!


Since its launch last year the Octonauts programme on Cbeebies has been a huge hit in our house.  Ben loves it and my V+ box has 3 pages of episodes recorded on it.

At the moment the only merchandise are the books to buy.

Last Christmas I added a Tomy Bath Rescue Centre to Ben’s Amazon wish list, and he luckily recieved one.

So what does this have to do with the Octonauts? Well for Ben the 2 characters in the set are Peso and Captain Barnacles and the rescue centre is the Octopod.  The boat is the Gup-B and the shark is many of the different fish/whale/sharks that they meet in various episodes.

The set is brilliant, and bath times are very much loved and requested.

The Diver (Peso) has a magnetic head so that the helicopter has a winch that comes out the bottom so he can be rescuded by Captain Barnacles, then put safely back on his shelf.

The Octopod (Rescue Centre) has 2 suckers on the back to stick it to the bath, my bath is rather curved but it works still and stays put. I then take it off and stick to the tiles for my bath time.   The boat can be clicked in at the bottom of the centre and either character put at the top and then the red button pressed and they fall down into the boat or bath.  This of course is very similar to the Octonauts going down the shoots in the Octopod.

Ben can work it all by himself, and I only showed him once how to save Peso with the helicopter and now he just plays with all the different bits of it.

I also never mentioned Octonauts to him when we first had it out the box, it was him who decided it was and well who am I stop point out it isn’t! Shushh, don’t ruin the peace ;o)

This is currently £10.99 on Amazon and worth every single penny

It will be interesting to see when the official Octonauts toys come out (I bet about 2 months before Christmas?) what the quality will be like and if they will have something similar – I bet it won’t be a similar price though!




Fill in the blanks

My new friend over at A Single Mother’s Journal has tagged me in this filling in the blanks meme.  So I have no choice but to do it (apparently the person in charge of all the blogs in the world presses a button that says destruction if you don’t do it..apparently)

I am…

  • Pig headed – which works in my favour 50% of the time, as it comes out as the more acceptable determined
  • Kind – I love to see others happy with a small gift or thought or comment
  • Messy – but I also have huge OCD issues, so I spend a lot of time tidying up & closing drawers
  • Scared – of how one day I need to have a conversation with my little boy about him only having 1 parent
  • Dyslexic – I struggle..a lot, have a post started about it, but not brave enough to post yet
  • Alone – but not lonely

The bravest thing I have ever done...

  • Leaving Belfast – I loved the city so much & coming up to a year later I miss it.

I feel prettiest when…

  • I get the camera angle just right
  • My new Joe Browns dress just fitted me so well
  • I remember & am reminded beautiful isn’t about thin, smooth or perfection

Something that keeps me awake at night is…

  • Paying the bills
  • Will I get another job when this one finishes
  • How will I redesign the garden this year
  • What veg shall I grow
  • Will Ben ever eat a normal diet
  • I am a failure as a parent as I don’t remember to get him to brush his teeth twice a day
  • My iPhone
  • Ben
  • Dodge
  • Charger

My favourite meal is…

  • Something cooked by someone else where I don’t have to wash up after, one of my biggest luxuries is food just arriving to me and then a plate disappearing after. At a friends, relatives or restaurant. Magical.

The way to my heart is…

  • A blow torch might be needed at this point…exceptions to this are by a 3 year old telling me he loves me and I am his best friend.  Friends getting me, laughing at my sarcasm & brutal honestly.  Honestly, 100% or don’t bother. Not being a knob.

I would like to be…

  • Accepted

So now the blog bible rules state I have to pass it on

Love you buckets

Growing my family tree

Bod for Tea

Silent Sunday – Sunglasses


Silent Sunday

Baggie Aggie Too – Wrist Keyring Review

I recently clicked on a link on Folksy for an iPad cover (I haven’t got an iPad but I’m at that stage of picking out covers in case I win the lottery and need to buy one) and saw a photo of a wrist keyring, I clicked through and found the best idea.

I got distracted and closed the page but a few days later when I had a bit more time I searched on Folky for the keyring.

Up came the page of the wrist keyrings handmade by Baggie Aggie Too, I reaslied that I didn’t love any of the fabric (I am ridiculously fussy about colours & patterns) so I followed a link to find the maker on Twitter and sent her a @ message asking if she made them in other colours.

I got a reply asking me what colour/pattern I would like and an email address contact to let her know some more details.

I suggested a red polka dot to match my Cath Kidston purse and after a couple of replies to agree the button colour etc I was told I would get an update later to let me know when it was for sale on Folksy.

And sure enough that afternoon I was able to purchase it via Folksy, I went on and used Paypal to buy it £6.50 + £1.16 p+p

The fob arrive the next day, beautifully wrapped in tissue paper with a handwritten note and I am so delighted with it.  I have been using it for 3 days now and it really works.  No more struggling holding keys as the wrist strap means they stay on your wrist and you are able to use the key still.  I find when I have no pockets & a child to put into the car seat the keys end up in my mouth (grim) but no more.

The fob is perfectly sewn and would make great present as it even comes wrapped too.  And the service I received can not be beaten, pick the fabric and it was made for me and posted that day.

There are lots of other items made by Baggie Aggie Too – Click here to see other items in her Folksy Shop

I will be back to buy more key rings for family & friends as it is such a simple idea but so practical for people who are always juggling children, shopping, phones and yesterday a Peppa balloon (don’t ask!)