Riley will be 3 in November and one thing we are yet to crack is potty training. To be honest, i haven’t really pushed the matter because Riley hasn’t shown much interest and i’m still not 100% sure he understands what i am asking of him. He was born 10 weeks prematurely and there has always been a delay with him hitting targets. He didn’t sit up until he was 18 months old and didn’t walk until he was 26 months old, but he got there eventually and i was here to support him all the way. So, if there’s one thing i’ve learnt from him, it’s that forcing children to do something they are not ready for will never work, they will achieve milestones when they are ready and at their own pace. LumiPotti

Having said that, i certainly feel pressure from other parents to get him potty trained and though i don’t want to rush him, he starts preschool in January and i really don’t want him to be ridiculed for being the only one still in nappies. Lumipotti recently contacted me to see if i would be interested in reviewing one of their potty’s so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get the ‘potty training’ ball rolling.

LumiPottiLumiPotti

The LumiPotti is designed for 24 hour use and guides your child through every stage of potty training. It looks and feels like your typical potty but it is made from anti-microbial plastic which has been specially formulated to help in the fight against harmful bacterias like MRSA, E-Coli and Salmonella. As the parent of a premature baby, i find this really reassuring because Riley was born with an under-developed immune system and is more susceptible to germs.

What makes the LumiPotti truly unique and stand out from its competitors though, is its removable night light which helps children master night dryness before total independent toileting. The night light is battery operated, motion activated and will turn off automatically when no movement has been detected for 1 minute. It also features a photosensitive light sensor to operate in dim/low light levels only.

The night light requires 3 x AA batteries to operate and these need to be inserted before its first use. This is a fairly simple process, although i must admit, the night light was quite stiff and it took a bit of force to pull it out for the first time. However, it does seem to have loosened up since then. To set up the nightlight you just have to unscrew the cover and insert the batteries where stated, the light flashes 5 times to demonstrate it’s working correctly and then you just need to replace the cover and pop it back in to the LumiPotti. Simples!

LumiPottiLumiPotti

Riley doesn’t like change, so i’ve started by leaving the LumiPotti where he can see it and get to know what it’s for. I’ve also been taking him to the toilet with me and explaining what i’m doing, he’ll hate me for it when he’s older i’m sure but for now it seems to be working. He has pretty regular bowel movements throughout the day, so i’ve been leaving his nappy off around those times and encouraging him to sit on the Lumipotti instead – we are yet to have any wees or poos on the potty but he is sitting on it for periods of time which is something i guess.

Another problem i face is that Riley was born with a mild form of hypospadias, an abnormality of the urethra and willy which causes problems when passing urine.  So on top of training him to use the potty, i also face the added pressure of trying to teach him to hold his willy in a certain position. It’s going to be a long process i’m sure but the LumiPotti actually helps with this because it’s well designed, with a high front peak and steep bowl to prevent any accidents.

LumiPottiLumiPotti

Product Features:

  • Made from Anti-Microbial plastic
  • Movement activated night light
  • Photosensitive light sensor
  • Removable and portable night light
  • Requires 3 x AA batteries (not supplied)
  • Designed by mums and made in England
  • Available in 2 colours – vanilla and green

So what did i think overall? The LumiPotti is a revelation and is one of those innovative ideas that just works. You can tell that it has been designed by parents for parents because so much thought has gone in to the design and function. It gets a big thumbs up from us.

The LumiPotti has a RRP of £23.99 and is available to purchase directly from the LumiPotti website.

*Disclosure: We were sent a LumiPotti for the purpose of this review but all thoughts are 100% honest and entirely my own.*

14 months old

Dear Harry,

Well little cub, as much as it pains me to say this, the ‘baby stage’ is well and truly behind us now and you have graduated with honours into toddlerhood. 14 months……WOW……How did we get here so fast? I don’t know who gave you permission to grow up but they are in A LOT of trouble. Half of me wants to shield you from the world and keep you small and innocent forever, yet the other half of me is enjoying watching you explore your surroundings and learning new things. Every new day is a new adventure and you are forever up to mischief, but i love that about you.

Your personality is really shining through now and you are without a doubt the cheekiest, happiest and funniest little human being i have ever come across. You are full of such charm and charisma that anyone who meets you or spends time with you is instantly wrapped around your little finger, especially when you give those beautiful, long lashes a flutter. It’s just hard for people not to feel happy around you because you are constantly full of smiles (although your best smile is saved for mummy and i plan to keep it that way!). For the most part, you have such a kind temperament and the sweetest nature to match, but when something doesn’t go your way……woah……you will scream, wail and throw yourself on the floor in a temper tantrum.harry14months3

It’s been a HUGE month for you in terms of milestones, you can now stand yourself up from a sitting or crouching position with no help at all and you are WALKING! I was beginning to think you were going to be late in achieving this milestone because you’ve never used your walker and have always refused to walk with someone holding your hands but then out of nowhere you literally let go of the sofa and walked across the room…….just like that! Within a couple of days you’d mastered it completely and were toddling around everywhere. This new found freedom has led to an injection of confidence and you are determined to do everything that your brother can do. You have learnt to climb the stairs, open doors and dance. Boy, do you two love to dance together, it’s so cute. You are also FINALLY waving hello and goodbye. I have been trying for months to get you to do this and you have such a proud look on your face now that you can.

You are trying so hard to talk and are constantly babbling away. Most of it make no sense at all yet but i love hearing you chatting away to yourself and Riley. It’s like the pair of you have your own language that mummy isn’t yet in on. You have been able to say Mama, Dada, Nana and Hiya for a while now but just lately, you really seem to be using those words in the right context.You are really paying attention and studying our mouths when we talk to you now and even try to imitate  new word this month is ‘bath’ and you know exactly what it means too. Not that i’m surprised because it’s your favourite time of day.Harry14months

Health-wise we’ve had no issues at all but those darn toothy pegs have really been causing you some discomfort this month. Your 4 back molars seemed to come through within days of each other and you were not happy about it at all. It’s really disrupted you at night and made you a total grouch during the day, it’s been hard i won’t lie but we seem to be coming out the other side of it. For now at least.

THIS MONTH’S MILESTONES AND DEVELOPMENTS:

  • You are pulling yourself up to standing from a sitting or crouching position.
  • You are walking unaided and toddling around everywhere.
  • You are waving hello and goodbye.
  • You love to be outside in the garden and chase Riley around.
  • You love living next door to nanny and Andy. You walk up to the gate joining our back gardens, bang and wait for her to let you in. Andy has even had a bell installed at yours and Riley’s level so you can ring to go in.
  • You absolutely adore playing with Candy and Poppy (nanny’s dogs).
  • You have 9 teeth now.
  • You love mummy to sing ‘Round And Round The Garden’ and ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ to you.
  • You are watching and learning from your brother all the time. We call you his shadow because you follow him everywhere.
  • You love to listen to Riley reading story books.
  • You are almost as tall as Riley and your feet are only 1 size smaller than his – CRAZINESS!
  • You had your first visit to a castle.

Harry14months4Harry, you really are the most amazing boy. A little ray of sunshine who brings so much joy, happiness and mischief into our lives.

I wouldn’t have you any other way baby, thank you for being mine.

Love from mummy xxx

  • Lisa H - I can’t believe he;s 14 months already!! Love the photos of him and he looks like Riley in those last four. He’s flipping gorgeous hun xReplyCancel

    • Vikki Holness - Oh i know, time is literally flying by this time round. I’m biased of course but he is a total cutie, thank you sweetie xxxReplyCancel

Something Mr B and i don’t have enough of these days is time. Time alone together. Time to enjoy eachother’s company. Time to be a couple.

I’ve mentioned before about how he works away. He is only home at weekends and the majority of that time is spent doing things together as a family, we don’t do anything for ourselves. We’ve spoken often over the past year about taking a mini break but he’s been so busy with work that it’s just not been possible.

However, now that we’re saying goodbye to Summer and welcoming Autumn, work is quieting down and now seems as good a time as any to put some wheels in motion. A place we’ve always wanted to visit is The Quays in Manchester, which is only a few hours drive away, but i want time to enjoy all that the area has to offer so i’ve been looking at booking overnight accommodation through Hotel Direct.

The Quays is Greater Manchester’s unique waterfront destination which is home to world class entertainment, restaurants, leisure facilities and beautiful architecture. It’s essentially everything you would expect from a big city packed in to one spectacular square mile. Or so i’ve heard.

With Christmas only 90 days away (not that i’m counting or anything), i’d love to visit the Lowry Outlet and stock up on gifts for friends and family. Mr B would call it an excuse for a shopaholic to satisfy their addiction, i’d call it bargain hunting. After all, the Outlet is home to lots of big-name brands with up to 70% off high street purchases.

foodmarket

They also have a Waterside Food & Craft Market which runs monthly (June-November) and uses open-air stalls to turn the outlet in to a bustling market place, bringing visitors the finest food and drink from some of the region’s best producers. Artisan breads, homemade chocolates, jams and chutneys, local cheeses and much more – i’m salivating at the thought. Plus i’ve always been one to support local businesses and i think markets always provide an unmissable opportunity to stock up on treats and goodies you wouldn’t typically find in the supermarket.

Speaking of food, i’d also love to check out the Manchester Food & Drink Festival which takes over the city centre for the month of September. What could be better than to eat, drink and dance your way into Autumn in a specially built food neighbourhood?

The Quays is full of history, charm, culture, art and beautiful architecture – From the Lowry Art Gallery to The Imperial War Museum, it’s the perfect setting for a ‘snap happy’ girl and her camera. I’d really love to explore the Unlocking Salford Quays heritage project, which is a permanent sculpture trail around the Quays. There’s no set route and each sculpture explores a different aspect of The Quays’ history. Plus, what could be more romantic than a stroll along the river and around this beautiful area.

Finally, one thing i’ve heard alot about and would love to attend, is the Buile Hill Park Bonfire Night. It hosts the biggest traditional firework display in Salford, with roaring bonfire, funfair rides, toffee apples and burgers. Now, I don’t know about anyone else but for me, this epitomises everything that Autumn stands for.

Have you visited The Quays in Manchester before? Do you have any recommendations for places to visit, eat or stay?

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post*

For as long as i can remember i have wanted to be a mama. I mothered my younger siblings and was forever playing with dolls. I always dreamed about rocking my babies, playing with them, reading to them and nurturing them. The role of a mother had always seemed, so wonderful, so rewarding and so fulfilling.

And it really is all of those things, some of the time at least, but the truth is, no matter how much preparation you do, only being in ‘new mum’ territory –sleep-deprived and sore all over– can you really open your eyes to the realities of this role. It comes with more responsibilities than you could possibly imagine. You are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There are no sick days, no holidays, no lunch breaks and no down time. There is little adult interaction and you will begin referring to yourself in the third person. Sleep becomes a thing of the past and a simple thing like visiting the toilet or showering alone, becomes a ‘luxury’.

No one likes to admit to the bad bits.

Motherhood is always portrayed by others and the media as such a glamorous role, but the stark reality is that most days are anything but glamorous.

Cussons have listened to mums, real mums with real children. They were invited in to a studio to sing (& shout) about real life as a mum. The ups, the downs, the snotty noses and the bad bits.

There is something about this video that just resonates with me completely and i can relate to every single one of those mamas. Never is motherhood more unglamorous than when our  babies are unwell. Walking around with snot trails on your clothes and an aroma of baby sick in your hair. Seeing them bleary-eyed and hearing them struggle with snuffles, wheezes and sneezes is tough and can be really hard on a parent. That feeling of helplessness that washes over you because you can’t soothe them, comfort them or make things all better.

Cussons have taken on board what us real mums go through on a daily basis and have created a new product ‘Baby Bath to Comfort’, which contains a menthol fragrance to help unblock little noses naturally and encourage a good night’s sleep. As a mama who’s been through those sleepless nights, anything that claims to help soothe a baby is well worth a try in my eyes.

You can find out more about the #voiceofmums campaign on the Cussons Mum & Me Facebook page or by following them on Twitter @MumandMe_UK .

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Cussons Mum & Me.