Round two

Of potty training (can I get a woohoo 🎉 )

So I've received loads of messages re potty training Elaina and have decided to dedicate a post to explaining my 'tips', please keep in mind that these worked for me.

I did almost everything the same as what I did with my first Zayn. He was about 4 months shy of turning 3 and decided yep enough was enough. I decided this abit earlier this time with Elaina, as she was aware of her "actions" much earlier than Zayn was. E.g. Would tell me when she was about to poop, about to do a pee.. even tell me that "pee pee on the toilet". I never did the whole "show them so they can see" business, just wasn't comfortable with the idea, they know where it goes and soon enough they'd figure it out. Here are a few things I did..ok heaps 😅

1. I gave them notice. Yes I believe kids need notice, they shit bricks at the slightest hint of change therefore I had to psych them out. One week before, I'd reiterate (conversations throughout every day) that they were a "big boy", "big girl" and that it was time to buy undies so we can say bye bye to their nappies.

2. We went undies shopping. I let them choose which underwear packet they wanted (then I'd sneak the cheap six pack of disposables) .. helps build a sense of excitement.. and it did once they started wearing what they picked out.

3. I promised them a kalsoon (undies in Arabic) party. I promised them that now that they were doing their pee pee and poo in the toilet that we were going to have a big party just for them!! This was brought up every time they did a pee pee in the toilet with a big clap "yaaayyy party for xyz".. when they'd have an accident "oh no don't think you're ready for your party yet" straight motivation I tell you!

4. You cannot CONFUSE. If you are going to do this, do this right, don't let them spend a day in undies and the next in a nappy. Don't take them to the toilet once then say that's it's okay if they let it go in their nappy.. children don't do well with confusion or change so if you're going to change it up, it takes them a while to adjust hence the answer you get when you ask a gp how long it takes to toilet train a child, common answer "4-6 months" why ? Because they're going to have accidents, they're rewiring their little brains.. brains that never flinched when they'd let out a pee to say "hold it in till you get to a toilet".. so be patient but consistent. You need a good three days at home ( I'm on my second at the moment ).. on the third, their accident will most likely not reach the floor anymore (puddles) and more likely to let abit out and hold the rest.. so rush them to the toilet to finish it off..

5. REWARD REWARD REWARD.. gosh we underestimate how far it goes sometimes.. although I encourage them with a party that comes after a week or two, it's important to reward in the moment. "Yaaayyy big boy/girl" this means you can help Mummy do xyz" "yaaayyyy big boy/girl look what I got you !" (Had ordered a few books off eBay that came) (or anything you have stashed) even phone calls to family/friends in front of your child "HEY GUESS WHOS WEARING UNDIES AND DID A PEE PEE IN THE TOILEEETTTT?" (Their little faces will light up with pride)

6. REMIND REMIND REMIND they're not going to figure it out on their own for the first few weeks ( if they do earlier then you're bloody lucky!). Every 15 mins ask "do you need to use the toilet?".. every half an hour place them on it anyway.. even when they have an accident and have let it all out it's still important to place them on the toilet so it reiterates where it belongs.

7. FLLLUUUUIIIIDDDSSSSS.. spoil them rotten with flavoured milk, juicy fruits and pick up their water bottle every 10 mins and ask them to take a sip.. this will fill their bladder and give you abit more opportunity to play with..

8. I placed a nappy on at night time.. not after their shower but right before bed time.. "nappy for sleepy time".. it worked with my son and after 12 months he was nappy free.. he gradually worked towards being nappy free, as he got stronger with his bladder during the day, he became more aware at night.. so let that be a process ( again worked for me )

9. CARRY SPAREEESSSS no honestly if you're going to be out or at someone else's place, have a backpack filled with about 7 spare bottoms.. I promise the number will decrease each week !!

10. Remember not to get frustrated ( well at least try not to).. they're so little after all.. hell if I was used to somebody changing me for nearly 3 years I think it would take me 30 to snap out of it 😂.. I've added some pics of Zayns Undies Party 🎉

Layale

Who will?

Who will do what I do for you ? Will they know ? Will they know that you both like your crust cut off your butter and jam toast ? Will they know that you like strawberry flavoured milk only every second day ? Will they know the routine to the funny dance we do at the traffic light ? Will they know that you both get piggybacked to bed ? Will they know the song we sing "to zee bed to zee bed we go" ? Will they know you prefer green apples over red? Will they know not to bribe you with sweets but with broccoli ? Will they know you love broccoli? Will they know to tickle you right before it's lights out ? Because the sound of your laughs is the last thing I want to hear? Will they know to answer your questions fully and not dismiss you as a "child" because your mind craves more than just a limited response? Will they know to look at you while you're swimming because you'll be looking their way ? Will they know when I'm gone ? Because I'm not sure they will.. I'd like to think you'll remember, Id like to think you'll be loved, I know you will.. who couldn't.

Your mother

The good life

Anxiety has settled.. I hope, maybe it has something to do with being back at university. Seems like my four year degree is turning into eight and that's okay with me.. I've learnt to count my blessings and realise that I have to start being EXTRA grateful, I learnt at uni that not every mother has the luxury of leaving her kiddies safe with their OWN mother, that not all women are supported by their partners/ husbands to pursue university studies.. I learnt to appreciate my life that little bit more.

Something has been tugging at the back of my mind for the last few weeks, when did you know your child was ready for child care ? With my eldest he was three and very independent in the sense of handling himself quite well without me and interacting with other children in playgrounds without any hesitation. Fair to say with Zayn I knew he was ready when I accompanied him to a trial day at childcare and he cried when I told him we had to leave😂

With Elaina though who just turned two in February, her signs are crying and embarrassing the hell out of me the three times a week when we drop off Zayn at pre school, her signs are fibbing and talking to her Aunty's about what a great day she had at school (also names Zayns teachers in her stories), she also craves me teaching her like a "student"; reading her books, setting activities etc… but is two and a half too early ? Obviously want to conquer the great world of toilet training before hand, but can anybody share their advice ? Experiences ?

Aaaaannnddd then there's our little Miss Anissa, three months in a couple of days and boy oh boy does this girl hold the key to my heart 😩.. a little pic for an update

Layale xx

Why we’ve decided enough is enough

Those who know us personally know my husband and I have come to the mutual agreement that having our three children is enough. Before you begin your mental judgement, I understand that the unexpected can happen after all I am a woman of faith and believe your fate has been decided long before you even had the ability to plan. That being said however we are content with our three blessings and my recent health scare tipped us over the edge. I’ve realised now I have new readers and I’m appreciative of that, though you all should know that years ago, beginning with my first born is when this “baby curse” as I came to call it started.. only then will you understand why we’ve come to this decision.

Natural, quick, healthy labour.. 9 days later I couldn’t get up, temp at 43, unable to call the ambulance myself, thank god somebody walked in on me otherwise given another 24hrs I wouldn’t have been around. Infection of the uterus, placenta (YES BITS OF PLACENTA LEFT INSIDE OF ME) stuck to the lining quickly became infected. Hospital. Away from my newborn, unable to breastfeed. Milk gone. It should come as no shock to you that I was distraught for some time, those days without my first born, smelling his scent, it was hell.. hell on earth.

Time passed, we began trying for another this time our second pregnancy ended with a miscarriage.. we tried again, and we were blessed💚  except this time, although same natural labour and healthy baby, someone noticed a growing lump on my back which after many tests confirmed a lipoma Tumor about 7cm long, the size of a handball had to be removed. Survey. Recovery. I had two kiddies to care for.. I just wanted to desperately be back to myself to be there for them.

And our Anissa, by far my scariest health scare.. confused, everything happened so quickly. Recovery HIDEOUS ! Pain unbearable ! Unable to carry anything over 5kg, crashing at mums because I was unable to do even the basics at home.I dismissed it as a sharp pain although following the surgery it was made clear there was something a lot more serious going on inside of my body. The surgery conducted was the removal of my appendix and during my follow up 4 weeks later they revealed my appendix appeared completely normal. BUT they found serious free fluid that they had to drain which they believe was caused by the rupture of a large ovarian cyst.. without this fluid being drained, my body would have had no way of getting rid of it.. 

Then came the serious conversation, my husband and I agreeing that we want nothing more than for me to be healthy enough to raise these kids. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it, if anything was to happen to me and our kiddies were left alone because I was selfish enough to have another child, knowing fully that something is bound to happen again.. I’d never forgive myself. Yes I know, fate, whether I die tomorrow or in ten years, but I want to live my life knowing I’m putting them first.. we can’t be selfish, three healthy beautiful kids, we are content. I want them to know I, their mother, him, their father, always put them first.

Layale

Death and more death

Is all that I’ve been thinking about recently! Call it newborn anxiety ? That sounds accurate.. staring into her big beautiful eyes every morning instantly triggers a long exhale.. “I’m here today” is the thought my brain triggers, I smile, I’ve got another day.

I know this phase will probably pass but dying is always at the back of my mind, when we’re giggling and Zayn cracks a joke that only I get, his father staring at him blankly confused at why I’m laughing – I think to myself  who else will get your cheeky jokes? Who’s going to know how to cut up your toast and put just the right amount of jam otherwise you’d say “mummy I can’t taste the butter” .. who’s going to understand my little Elaina when she begs to dance like “bawlll” (belle) and watch “betheebeethd” (beauty and the beast).. and who’s going to replace the smell of my skin that Anissa needs to sniff like she’s hanging on for dear life every two hours ? .. who? The thought of me gone, the thought of them upset, alone, confused, young – scares to the point of crying myself to sleep sometimes.. It can’t just be me right ? 

While I wait for this phase to pass

We are making memories ! I like to think their childhood is unplugged.. meaning most of the time they’re technology free. Don’t get it confused, family movie time is great for quality (quiet time) however in our home tv is a reward not a right.. sometimes used as background noise .. we own an iPad but they show no interest in it.. why ? They have an imagination.. parents get so anxious when their kids get bored little do they know that it’s that exact moment creativity strikes ! So we paint, we travel, we build towers out of blankets and play kings and queens with foil capes.. we are making memories.. unplugged


Layale 

What is this

being a mum to three children business ?? I’m sitting here on our lounge, admiring our oh so beautiful lounge room ( sarcasm ofcourse ) I literally cannot see the rug from all the toys and socks wait what ? Socks? Don’t know how they got there but they did.. dishes NOT DONE yep since the morning because I’m grubby like that.. washing NOT HUNG because I’m fun like that, bed NOT DONE because I’m fancy like that! 

Yep this is life… this is what I get for waking at 7am, feeding baby, burping baby, changing baby, stretching baby, placing baby on play mat, making breakfast for two kiddies, picking up crying baby, wrapping baby, put baby to sleep, re make breakfast because breakfast burnt whilst I was putting baby to sleep, feeding kids, changing kids, put dummy in mouth of crying baby, packing babys bag, getting ready and leaving home at 10am! That’s what I get.. BUT IF I WAS HOME ALL DAY.. I would have had everything done by approximately 6pm💁🏻 Honestly though you just don’t win! If I’m home, I’m spending most of the day cleaning in between playing and creating activities for the kids and if I’m out of the house kids are happy but at the back of my stupid mind is HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE with all these alarm bells surrounding the word HOUSE ( no joke ) It’s almost as if I lose either way and this has to end.. either I figure out how to be content living this way or I try to work a routine around the house chores ( you guys obviously know which one I’m going with 😫)

Trying to not feel overwhelmed and ATTEMPTING to accept that life will be like this for a little while until baby A grows out of the newborn phase (e.g. Feed = 15 mins but to BURP !! Dear LORD 5min – 1 HOUR) .. not to mention bath + bed time which takes 1+ hours ( fyi just the baby).. it’s really hard though especially on nights like these.. still in my clothes and it’s 8pm, still have to get up and do the dishes, have a shower and put a load in the washing.. but it’s nights like these that I fall in love with those three souls even more, when they tell me they love me as big as the “whole world” before they sleep, that’s when my heart melts that little bit more and I take a deep breath in… 

I have a dirty home.. my kids love me and they are loved.

I am luc- grateful.

L

Will I ever..

Catch a break.

I feel almost as though my body’s failing me and it sucks. 

My tears have dried and my head heavy both from the anesthetic and the four endone tablets I’ve had today. 

I type this post from my hospital bed.. funny isn’t it, how life works, you can be fine one second and be sent for an emergency CT scan the next. Acute Appendicitis is the medical term my GP used as she pressed down on my abdomen whilst I simultaneously moaned from the pain. Pain that I thought was caused from chasing the kids over the weekend.. oh boy was I wrong.Within an hour I was on my way to Emergency department, admitted almost instantly and given antibiotics through an IV.. For someone who has had three natural births and not once accepted pain relief both pre and post birth, I was surprised when I found myself begging for something to take the pain away. 

Fast forward to 8am today, four surgeons surrounded my bed explaining the procedure and how they intended to successfully remove my appendix.. 12pm I woke.. exhausted.. No other word to describe how I felt and still feel.. I am exhausted emotionally that I cannot be there for my two kiddies, and my 20 day young baby who loves to snuggle her way right up my neck followed by deep breaths, as if somehow smelling my scent will keep her heart beating.

It somewhat breaks me to know that I’d have to face my four year old and explain that Mummy’s tummy hurts AGAIN and won’t be able to do the normal things we just only recently started doing AGAIN. 10.35pm – So here I am alone but surrounded by three other patients, under three blankets but not in my bed, in a quiet room but no crying baby, comforted by night shift nurses but can’t hear my daughter snore.

I am thankful and understand how fortunate I am to have family, using the word ‘amazing’ to describe them would be an understatement.. They are my everything! Having strangers look after your children is one thing, but having family who genuinely love your kids and will do anything to see them smile is a complete other! 

Health is a blessing, and I am so grateful that it’s me that’s been hit and not my children.. we don’t ever truly appreciate our health until we’re tested and faced with something similar and in many cases a lot worse than ‘appendicitis’. 

I am grateful.

But I am 

Exhausted.