Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nikki's New Friend

Harry the Hoover!

Finally, my new hoover has arrived. Nikki was sooo excited! He has been talking about his new friend Harry Hoover for weeks, and now he got to meet him.

Cuddles for Harry the Hoover

Monday, November 28, 2011


I have a card for my camera! As you can probably tell from my previous post. I still haven't found the one Nikki 'tidied' away for me, and am hopeful that it will turn up eventually.

It wasn't as easy as I assumed. My positively decrepid 5? 6? year old camera will not accept the newest type of SD card. It is only thanks to my wonderful friend Sammy that I even have one now - she gave me the old card from her own camera. THANK YOU!!!

So now I can get back into blogging - there have been several things I wanted to share over the last couple of weeks that just wouldn't have worked without a photo.

An example would be this discovery - ice cream tubs are NOT microwave safe!!!

wool dyeing experiment gone wrong!
Sammy and I were experimenting with wool dyeing in the microwave and it honestly didn't occur to me that the tub would melt! Fortunately, not enough to make a mess or ruin the wool!

Little Ghost

Nicholas has been practicing being a ghost. At bedtime, for as long as he can get away with, he will sneak out. The odd thing is that he silently comes out of his room and silently stands in the hall - no calls for attention, he just stands in the dark, in silence, until I pick him up and put him back to bed.

This evening, he went to bed and demanded I put his sunglasses on. He then snuck out and I was greeted by this:

What a poser! He grinned at me as soon as he spotted the camera...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What are Grandfathers for?

In our case - not potty training! Nicholas was left in the dubious care of my father yesterday. I say dubious because he will allow Nikki to help himself to half a packet of biscuits and not think to take them away!

Yesterday, I sent Nicholas (who has had one or two accidents all week with me) in pants, with a potty. I left him for the morning, and when I went to pick him up, he was wearing a nappy that was hanging to his KNEES. At least I know he wasn't dehydrated!

I found out that he had two accidents within the first half hour. Apparently he didn't ask to go on the potty. Nor did my father think that after feeding him liters of juice, that he might need to go, despite clear instructions from me to PUT him on the potty frequently, especially after drinking. He might claim he doesn't need to go, but he is 2 - no is his favourite word!

Needless to say, he won't be staying alone with Granddad again until I am sure that he will ask for the potty.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Broccoli!

I don't know of many toddlers who eat their vegetables first and then ask for more with complete disregard to the meat and potatoes. This is what Nikki does. Often.

I am not complaining - it is much better than fighing him over his veg. Granted, he is quite limited in what he eats lots of (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweetcorn, cucumber) and there are some things he won't touch (tomatoes, green beans and peas come to mind). At least most of his favourites are in the mixed bags of frozen veg - it makes meal preparation so much easier on lazy days!

Now if only he would stop dropping all the peas on the floor...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Potty Trained!

I am now happy to say that Nikki is potty trained. He might not always remember to go and have a little accident (he is only two - playing takes so much concentration...) but he is now at the stage where he can wear pants and trousers and stay dry, rather than confuse them with nappies, and go 'on demand' - like when I know he's had a lot to drink or we are going for a walk.

We went out for a walk today, and although we were gone for nearly two hours, he was dry. I will admit to taking a potty with me, though! He just won't pee standing up!

We have been full-time potty training only 2.5 weeks - I think that is fairly impressive. Once he got over his fear of the potty, then figured out how to go when he wanted rather than needed to go, it fell into place really quickly.

The method we used can be broken down thus:
  • Lock yourself in the house for three days.
  • Bare bottoms at all times. Pants feel like a nappy so should be left off until they are confident using the potty.
  • Constantly ask 'where does wee/poo go?' and answer 'in the potty!' - one time Nikki stubbornly insisted it was on the floor!
  • Lots of fluids and dry/salty snacks (to encourage drinking) or watery snacks like cucumber and watermelon.
  • Keep a close eye on your child - when he starts thinking about peeing, say 'wee goes in the potty!' and put him on. Praise him for sitting there and get massively excited if he goes. If it goes on the floor, firmly say 'wee/poo goes in the potty!', put him on the potty to see if that's all, and get him to help clean up the mess (I simply made him fetch the cloths, unless it was only a couple of drops, which he could clean)
  • After a couple of days, put on trousers/skirt (no pants!) for a short walk.
  • Once you are mostly accident-free, put on trousers at home.
At least, that is mostly how I did it. Except for the locking myself in the house - not easy when you're on your own and need to buy food! Here is the link to the article I used.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Nicholas has started singing to himself all the time. His favourite is the ABC song, but he knows (parts of, at least) several others. This morning, I realised he was singing in Chinese! Only 2 of the words, but I'm still super-proud!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I could not believe it when I heard my front door close. Nikki was down for his nap and had finally gone quiet, so I assumed that I had left the door open a little, or left my keys on the outside and someone was downstairs...

Someone was downstairs - Nicholas! The little monster was half-way out of the front door, wearing just a shirt, a nappy and one sock in the cold drizzle! Somehow, he had scraped his knee, lost a sock and blackened his hands and face.

Needless to say, he went straight in the naughty corner. And I locked the door and put on the chain. I'm just relieved that he spent time playing with the door, rather than running off down the road. Just the thought of it makes my heart race...

Potty Success

Today, we managed to go to playgroup with no nappy and no accidents!

We are still not there entirely - Nikki needs me to tell him to use the potty most of the time, but we are slowly getting there. He is still bare-bottomed at home, which makes it easier for both of us, and has a tendency to think of any kind of pants or trousers as a nappy. So staying dry while completely dressed was quite impressive.

Maybe he will repeat the phenomenon tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I know, I know. Nikki is getting so many languages, do I need to add more? Honestly, in a perfect world we would have a different language for every day of the week. Because I am a geek and can't help myself.

As it is, Japanese was on my list above Chinese. The only reason we are doing Chinese is because I couldn't get any resources in Japanese. At all!

The other day, in my relentless search for more diverse Chinese video (more language than Pim, but not generic cartoons with overly-complex stories) I was linked to the Smart Tiger Chinese program. The only problem is that the simplified Chinese version is not available outside China, so I am left with the dialemma of whether to pay out for materials in traditional characters, just for the dvds. Or just watch what I can find on youtube.

It is exactly what I was looking for, but half the materials will be useless to me unless I can make friends with someone in China.

However, it is really just a Chinese translation of a Japanese program. Now, I am really tempted to sign up for the Japanese version. We watched some youtube clips which Nikki loves. I just don't know if I can justify the expense...

Mind Your Language!

Nikki is now at the age where he repeats everything. This is incredibly cute when he is watching his Chinese dvd and repeating vocabulary. It is not so cute when someone says a naughty word and he decides to repeat it over and over and over...

Bonfire Night

It was Bonfire Night here in England on the 5th, a celebration of the thwarted attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up parliament in 1605.

The bonfire and fireworks desplay in our village is one of the best locally - people come from miles around to watch, and you can't move down the high street for people. I decided it was safest to stay home with Nikki, especially since the fireworks didn't start until past his bedtime.

That doesn't mean that we missed out, though! We could see about two thirds of the display quite clearly from my bedroom window. Nicholas was delighted with the 'fie-urks' and shouted 'bang' frequently. He wasn't really scared by even the biggest bangs, though he did need to sit on my lap and snuggle for them!

The display went on for at least 15 minutes, and towards the end, Nikki was telling me the colours he could see. Or at least, telling me they were green unless I corrected him. I don't know why he still automatically says green if asked what colour something is...

The last couple of days, Nikki has often pointed at my window and said 'bang fie-urks' or 'bye bye bang!' or something along those lines. He seems quite put out that I can't conjour more for him!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nikki's Jobs

Nicholas has a few 'jobs' around the house. I don't force them, but he enjoys helping me so I have given him specific tasks to do.

1. He is in charge of the 'on' switch on the washing machine and tumble dryer, and sometimes 'helps' me load and unload laundry.

2. He has to sweep/mop up any small messes he makes. Sometimes he 'helps' with the bigger messes, but that can increase my cleaning time a lot so I just leave a little bit at the end if he's keen.

3. He has to help tidy up his toys. Again, he hinders more than he helps here.

4. He is generally in charge of turning on/off lights. As he has now realised that by standing on his plastic step stool (which he can easily carry around the house) he can reach the light switches, I hope this will deter him from playing too much. And no, he's not a giant. Our house is fairly new, so the sockets are raised and the light switches lowered to make them reachable from a wheelchair.

To make the 2nd and 3rd jobs easier, I have invested in a load of little plastic baskets. Actually, they were 60p each in Tesco and a bit of a bargain.

One basket has been dedicated for cleaning supplies - Nikki's floor cloths and dustpan and brush. I'll post about it in more detail later - once I find where somebody hid the memory card from my camera...

The others are going to make their way onto his shelves. I simply need to find the time to organize what I want where. This should really help Nikki to understand where his different toys 'live', as well as make it easy to change out activities and keep his toy choices fresh.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Nikki has finally gotten over his fear of the potty! He not only chose to sit on it (which he hasn't done since February!) but he INDEPENDANTLY used it! This should make potty training so much easier than trying to catch him and put him on the toilet before he pees on the floor...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Self Medication

I mentioned that Nikki has a cold. He kept me up a bit last night, too, and I was not ready to play at 7am (especiallly bearing in mind the recent clock change) so took him back to his room so I could have a bit of a lie-in.

He gave me 5 minutes before he found his trick-or-treat bag and started demanding I open all the sweets for him. I gave him a couple of chocolate buttons and took the rest away for later. He complained at losing the sweets, but seemed happy to play while I went back to sleep.

I had another 10-15 minutes before Nikki woke me again. I couldn't understand what he was talking about, he kept saying 'hands'. I gave up on sleep, got up, and found Nikki at the end of my bed covered in honey!

Nikki doesn't understand what medicine is, beyond sweet tasting. When he has asked for more medicine in the day, I have been giving him spoons of honey (since he has a sore throat). When I didn't get up right away he decided to self-medicate. I am just glad that the paracetamol has a safety-top! Although, I am a lot more cautious with it and keep it well out of reach, whereas I thoughtlessly left the honey on the edge of the worktop last night.

So not only did I miss out on a lie-in, I had to deal with a very sticky baby (straight in the bath!) and half a pot of honey on my kitchen floor! Serves me right for trying to take some time off, I suppose!