How well do you know your children?

As a mum I didn't think I would learn much about my children - naive I know. I thought they would grow up and I would know everything there is to know about my children. I'm their mum, they wouldn't keep secrets from me - would they? But this isn't just about my children keeping secrets, it's about learning that I don't know everything about my children - they can surprise me, and do!

It turns out that your children are not people of their own, with their own thoughts and likes and dislikes. Who knew?!



Football


Both the Hubby and I have never liked football, we don't play, we don't support teams, and we certainly don't watch it. It has never been something that interests us and we figured that would be the same for our children. I mean we never exposed them to it so why on earth would they like it?

Except, like I said, they're their own people. LP has proved that with his love of football. From a young age (I think around 4) he's been interested in football. He loves playing it with his friends, he goes to an after-school club to play with a team, and he is even starting to show signs he might want to watch it on the TV. I have absolutely no idea where this has come from. Not once have we encouraged him to like football - in fact I'm sure we've discouraged him at some point - but he likes it nevertheless. And now I couldn't pull him away from it, even if I wanted to. He surprised us recently by telling us he wants a football kit he can wear when he's playing in the after-school club - this is not something we ever thought we'd have to do!





Parents were invented to make children happy by giving them something to ignore. 

Ogden Nash





Writing


Okay so when I think about this one it's not so much of a surprise as the football was, but it has surprised me how talented my boys are. I write every day, I spend time at the computer tapping away and both boys know how much I love writing, so it's not a surprise that my eldest, BP, enjoys it too.

BP has a few short stories he's written the past few months and I have to say that his talent shines through. Yes, okay, I am a little biased but I have been blown away by some of his work. He has an expression in his words that has always eluded me and he can conjure images easily using words. Now obviously he is still young and some of the paragraphs need work but I still think he's a talented writer.



Grown up or still a child?


I have to constantly remind myself that LP is still just a boy, or rather LP is reminding me. LP has an "old head on his shoulders" - he often acts older than his years but there are times when he plays and it occurs to me that he is still only 8 years old. He can hold intelligent conversations with us, he discusses economics and complicated maths, but then he will go and play on his bouncer or get out his toy cars and play for 30 minutes or so completely engrossed in a game that he's made up. In fact we were talking the other day about how he still plays with his teddy bears in his bedroom when he can't sleep. He makes up games for them and gets them to play.


A boy of 8, wearing a white Batman t-shirt and blue jeans with white trainers and a baseball cap on his head, is pretending to do tightrope walking along a wooden barrier than lines a pathway. The boy is holding his arms out to his sides to balance himself. The sun is shining down through the shades of overhead trees. There's the trunk of a large tree in the background. Image for "How well do you know your children?"


And the same goes for BP, while he's 13 now he is still very much a child. Yes he has more complicated emotions these days and an outburst from him can mean anything from he wants extra goodies to he's had his heart broken by a girl, but he is still a child. He likes having fun with his brother, he likes playing board games, and sometimes he wants to sit quietly and watch a movie.

It's so easy to get whisked up in them growing up that you don't realise they're still young children at heart. And it's not a bad thing to let them be young children for a while longer.



Two peas in a pod?


My boys are nothing alike. They've had the same upbringing but they couldn't be more different - chalk and cheese as they say. While BP is quiet and likes to sit and do nothing, LP is chatty and likes to stay active - he can't stay in one place for very long. BP can sit and write for hours, he likes his quiet times and the thought of going on a bike ride fills him with dread. When I think about it he's a lot like me. LP on the other hand craves activity and fun, he wants to be doing something all of the time whether that's going for a bike ride with his dad or playing football in the garden on his own. BP likes alone time, and LP wants fun with friends.

Yes, they're brothers - they have the same parents - but that's where the similarities end.





Everyone knows that if you've got a brother, you're going to fight. 

Liam Gallagher




When you have children I don't think you really consider the massive life decision you're making. You are signing up to watch a piece of you (and your partner) grow up, change in ways you never saw coming, and make mistakes. You are going to watch that person become a person in their own right, they'll have their own likes and dislikes and they may not match your own. That's where the real learning comes in too - because when your children like the things you always hated you have to suck it up. You have to get involved.

So yes, parenting is a true learning experience - and it lasts a lifetime!

An image for pinterest, a young boy walks along a short wooden fence, using his arms out by his sides to balance. Over the top of the photo there is a black square with the words "How well do you know your children?" inside it. At the top of the image there's a logo for "Morgan's Milieu" and at the bottom of the page it reads www.morganprince.com


How well do you know your children?
Have they surprised you with their likes/dislikes?


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Childproofing your home

Until you had children, you’d probably never thought twice about that trailing lead, loose window latch, or sharp edges around your fireplace. Well, why should you? However, with a baby on the way, or steadfastly wobbling toddler now cruising your home the chances are you’ve begun to reassess your confidence in its safety. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents more than two million children a year have an accident within their own home, with children under the age of five more likely to incur injuries than their older peers and siblings. While accidents can, and will happen during your little one’s childhood, there are numerous things that you could be doing to childproof your home.

Childproofing your home could be easier than you’d imagined.




Remove clutter and maximize space


Trips, slips, and falls are among the most common accidents experienced by adults and children within the home – and yet they’re relatively easy to prevent if you know where to start. Clutter poses a particularly big risk to parents, as you navigate from room to room around dropped toys, piles of clothes, and a slippery book or two. One of the easiest ways to childproof your home is to ensure it’s always kept clean and tidy, with items stored out of sight when not in use. There are some fantastic storage solutions for such an occasion, which will allow you to reclaim space and your home’s potential.



Look for dangers hidden in plain sight


From trailing wires and exposed cables to steep stairs, burning hobs, curtain ties, and open windows, your home is a veritable playground of hazards. Perhaps you’ve become so used to these kinds of occurrences that you simply don’t see them anymore. It’s time to view your home through the eyes of your child; what stands out as being particularly interesting? Wires and cables should be kept out of sight, and out of mind, while safety gates will prevent your child falling down the stairs or accessing hazardous rooms. Plantation shutters provide a particularly attractive alternative to curtains; enabling parents to air their homes without the risks presented by an open window, and shutters control temperature and light flow without the need for pulleys or curtain ties.



Catch up with DIY tasks


It’s incredibly easy to allow jobs to go undone. You’re perhaps used to living with that broken doorframe, a loose stretch of carpet, or an exposed electrical socket. However, those kinds of DIY nightmares can become deadly when approached by a small child in search of an adventure. Whatever you’ve meant to get done in recent months, or even years, but have neglected to do, you should now make a concerted effort to rectify. 



Secure furniture, wherever possible


There have been far too many instances of bookshelves, chests of drawers, and sideboards toppling over for them to be ignored; most are now provided with fastening mechanisms to secure them to walls. Assess your home, seeking out the items of furniture that pose a risk. What could you do to prevent those kinds of accidents? Corner and edge bumpers, and doorstops will help to secure heavier, and pointier items of furniture, too. 



Install safety latches, locks, and gates


Don’t ignore the risks posed by hazardous substances; cleaning chemicals are among the worst offenders when it comes to accidental ingestion and cases of poisoning within the home. Endeavour to keep cleaning products, decorating and DIY accessories, and medicines as far away from children as possible, using locked cabinets, high shelves, and external storage facilities as much as possible. Security latches and cupboard locks will provide an extra level of protection against such items; educate your child about the potential risks of such substances as soon as it’s appropriate.



Don’t forget outside


Before too long your little ones will be venturing beyond your back door and out into the garden – particularly as the warmer, summer months approach. Is your garden secure, and free from hazards? If you’ve got a dog, ensure that his or her toileting habits are monitored and dealt with. These last few weeks before we welcome the spring are a great time to double check fences and gates, childproof your pond or water feature, and ensure dangers such as rockeries, loose ground, and wobbly walls are tackled. 



Keep your wits about you


Perhaps the best advice that I can give you is to keep your wits about you; as your baby grows, grasps, and develops he or she is likely to discover a whole new set of hazards for every milestone. Crawling, cruising, and walking present new challenges, too, so remain vigilant. That ornament that may once have been out of sight and reach is now looking inviting to curious fingers.


Regardless of how carefully you watch your child he or she is likely to get into a scrape or two along the way. It’s just how this parenting thing goes, unfortunately. However, some accidents are preventable if we’d just take the time to stop, assess an environment or situation, and take action. Indeed, by childproofing your home and remaining vigilant as your child grows and develops you can work towards ensuring your child’s safety at every turn and milestone. This parenting malarkey is tough at times, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

7 things you could throw away to make yourself feel better

This time of year is a great time to have a clear out, get rid of all the clutter in your kitchen cupboards or throw out the things you don't need or want and are filling up your dresser drawers and taking space that could be used for something better.

We all spend so much time (and money) buying and storing things we rarely use just because we can. Or more to the point, we hold onto things we no longer use or need.



1. Old make up


We're all guilty of it aren't we? We buy that shade of lipstick thinking it will look amazing only to learn that the colour looks totally wrong on you and you'll never use it again. But you don't throw it away. You think to yourself "what if I change my mind?" - but will you, really?

The same goes for old nail polish, eye shadow, all of it. Check the use by date and if it has passed throw it in the bin. 





If you've had something for more than six months, and it's still not repaired, it's clutter. 

Gretchen Rubin





2. Frayed or stained towels


Towels are one of those things I hold onto forever - even when they're really tatty and don't do the job they're meant for anymore. I have towels that are older than BP! But recently I was in the supermarket and saw some lovely looking fluffy towels and wondered why mine don't look like that anymore. The honest answer is because they're so old and so I decided to throw out all the old towels, the ones that are stained or not useful anymore and I bought some new ones. The new ones are much better and I won't have to think about getting new ones again for a while.



3. Old glasses or sunglasses


Being someone who has had hundreds of pairs of glasses over the years this is definitely something I'm guilty of hoarding. And the stupid thing is I have no idea why - it's not like I can use them again because the reason I get new glasses is because my prescription has changed and the old ones don't do the job anymore. Yet I still keep them! Crazy. 

When I had laser-eye surgery I did throw out all my old glasses, thinking that I wouldn't need them again. However, after my eyes reverted and I've now had glasses for years again I have a huge store of old glasses that I'll never use. I really need to get into the habit of throwing the old ones away. Keeping one set is okay, just in case you lose or break your current ones but any more that that is completely pointless.





4. Old electronics


Okay so this isn't really one I can say much about - the Hubby is a huge hoarder and refuses to throw away old electronics because they "might be useful one day". I don't know when this day will come but it's there, just in case. 

To be honest though what the Hubby keeps are things like old consoles (think Nintendo GameCube and Playstation 1) and given that he has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years I guess I have to let him off. 

What you should be throwing away though are things that don't have any value - old remote controls for the TV you got rid of 5 years ago, the old microwave that packed in. They're just taking up space and you will never use them again.



5. Old receipts


Again I have a habit of having a handbag full of old receipts, they get screwed up into the bottom of my handbag and I don't bother to clear them out. I'm not keeping them for any reason in particular, especially the supermarket receipts, but they're there filling up my handbag with what is essentially rubbish. 


The inside of your handbag could look like this!


Occasionally I'll clear out the receipts, checking to make sure I don't need any of them, and my bag always feels tons lighter. I feel better too because I have lots more space in my handbag for a whole new range of receipts!



6. Old bedding


Bedding is one of those things you use again and again, even when it gets holes in it or looks so old and tatty that you can barely fit it to the bed without it falling apart. A couple of times I have been in bed, turned over, and my foot has gone through the sheet. It was so worn that it couldn't cope with my leg sliding over it anymore - that's when you know it's time to buy new!



7. Lidless Tupperware containers


Okay admit it, you have hundreds of containers in a cupboard in your kitchen that no longer have lids. They did once but the lid went missing decades ago and you still haven't been able to find it. Well... me too. I went through my cupboard recently because it annoyed me each time I needed a container and couldn't find the lid. 

I pulled out all the containers and lids and paired them up, if a container had no lid it went in the bin. I now have a cupboard full of sorted containers and it is much easier to get a container when I need it - they even have the lids attached!





The more I examine the issue of clutter, the more effort I put into combating it, because it really does act as a weight. 

Gretchen Rubin





A quick clear out of these things will make you feel so much better. A lot of the time we hold onto our old things thinking that we need to when in fact buying something new will feel a whole lot better and you'll get rid of the old and tatty things.




When did you last have a clear out?



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Post Comment Love 23rd - 25th February

Welcome back to Post Comment Love - be sure to link up a post and get reading, commenting and sharing the blogger love! Stephanie and I will stop by your posts and do the same. Happy reading. 

Well it's half term this week so I've had the boys at home and it's been a bit of a pain keeping them busy. I never enjoy February half term, the weather isn't great and it seems to early to have a school break - or is that just me? To be honest they were ready for a break, I think it's just this time of year when the weather is still rainy and dull outside it makes it harder to think of things to do. I cannot wait to see more of the sun!

We haven't done much of anything this week, stayed at home mostly (I've had lots of stuff going on). But the boys have been happy that they can play their games so I guess that's good. It was Hubby's birthday yesterday so we went out for dinner - to Chino Latino in Nottingham. It's our favourite restaurant and we introduced LP to it on my birthday and he LOVED it. He liked that he got to try lots of different foods all at once so he couldn't wait to go back. 





Food is not just eating energy. It's an experience. 

Guy Fieri




We've been planning some of our Walt Disney World trip the last few weeks too. It's the kind of holiday where you need lots of planning, booking restaurants, thinking about what you might want to do on a particular day, checking out the opening hours of the parks, etc, so we've been getting that done. It gets me quite excited thinking about that holiday, spending so much time in the glorious Florida sun with no thoughts about work, cleaning, or anything other than having a great time. I cannot wait!


Gorgeous colourful flowers we see at Epcot every time we go!


Have your kids been on half term this week or are they back at school now?



Blogger Showcase


Due to a mistake in our list we have a week with no Blogger Showcase this week. However I thought I'd take this opportunity to encourage you to get in touch with your answers to our Blogger Showcase questions if you haven't already. To remind you here are our questions:




You can send your answers to postcommentlove@gmail.com, or get in touch some other way if you'd  prefer, and either Stephanie or I will be in touch to give you a date for your feature. If you haven't answered our questions we'd love to feature you!



Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions (above) and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.

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Health and weight loss update - month 5

I haven't done one of these updates for a few months, with Christmas and getting back to routine it's taken a while to be able to think about it. I am back to it now though and I thought I'd let you know how I'm getting on - things aren't looking good.



Last update


Weight: 13st 1.4lbs
Fitness: 10 minutes running within 30 minutes on the treadmill.

The last time I wrote an update was November, it was the run up to Christmas and I was getting prepared for gaining weight - not that I wanted to. The inevitable did happen and I gained over Christmas, but it wasn't as much as I thought it would be so it's not too bad. I stopped doing exercise over the Christmas break and I ate more food so it was bound to happen, the problem is how long it has taken me to get back to where I was.

How to make your trip to Walt Disney World more magical

Walt Disney World is full of magic, from the moment you drive onto Disney property you can feel the change. It's like you're transported back to a child (if you're an adult), the magic fills you down to your soul and you can't help but smile.


But you can go further than just the magic from being there - you can take steps to make your trip more magical.

Here's how:


Be a kid again


First up you are allowed to be a child again. This is such an important thing when you're in Walt Disney World - none of that being a parent nonsense, just enjoy yourself. The first time I went to Magic Kingdom and saw Cinderella's Castle I welled up, it was such an emotional thing. And then I got to MEET CINDERELLA!!! I had the cheesiest smile but I just couldn't help myself I was SO happy.





Even miracles take a little time. 

Fairy Godmother, Cinderella.





Skip around the park, squeal when you see a character, and let your own children see you enjoying it just as much as they are. Allow the magic to take you in and you will have the most amazing time.


Meet characters


Have you always wanted to say hello to Cinderella or dance around with Baloo? Well you can! Yes it means waiting in queues (isn't that what us Brits are great at?) but once you get to wrap your arms around that character and say Hi all your troubles melt away.


Morgan Prince stands next to Minnie Mouse, she has her arm around her waist. Both are smiling and looking at the camera.


I've gotta say that Mickey is my favourite - after all "it all started with a mouse" as Walt said. I adore meeting Mickey Mouse and you can be certain where Mickey is, so is the gang. Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Goofy and even Pluto - and be sure to have your camera ready!



Pressed coins


Machines in all of the Disney parks offer to squish a penny into a souvenir for a nominal fee. Some charge $1 others 50 cents but they're always amusing and if you get enough of them you can get yourself a lovely book to keep them in.


A Pressed coin collection booklet, it has Mickey Mouse dressed in a red cloak and blue hat on the front.


As you can see we have a fair old collection of pressed coins. It started by accident a few years ago when we let the boys try it out - well that obviously resulted in an obsessive collecting holiday. Every single machine we passed they wanted to try out. I don't know if we got them all or if they have new ones now, but we have 57 pressed coins and 1 pressed quarter.




My favourites include a few we got from Epcot, and the World Showcase, one of Mike from Monster's Inc, and one of Buzz Lightyear.





Pin trading


In 2013 we decided to let the boys start their pin trading journey, LP was just 4 but he took to it brilliantly and was so confident going up to cast members to ask to swap pins.


How do you start?


It's easy. You need a lanyard for your pins to go on - why not allow your children to choose one for themselves and buy a keepsake to go on the end of it. It let's the kids get involved and excited about visiting. You'll also need a collection of pins you're willing to swap - these can be doubles of ones you already have, or ones you aren't bothered about keeping. We tend to buy a collection from eBay or somewhere else before we go, they always have plenty we don't want to keep which gives the boys plenty to trade. We'll definitely be doing this again this year.





Don’t just fly, soar. 

Dumbo




In a morning we add the pins to their lanyards and the boys will spend the day trading until they don't have any they want to trade. We haven't managed to run out of tradable pins yet, and we're in Walt Disney World for 6 weeks usually!

There are times when I want to influence the boys' choices about which pin they're trading for, but it's for them, so I butt out - I do find it difficult though! A couple of times I've suggested we all do it, but the Hubby doesn't think we should. Boo.

Our collection of pins at home is pretty great now, we have a large pin board and it won't be long before we need another one!


Our whole board - there's only a few spaces left!


A few of my favourites are:


I love the comic book style of these.


I think the cars are SO cute!



Watch on-street entertainment


In all of the parks there is some sort of "on-street" entertainment. In Magic Kingdom there's lots including the band that plays in front of Cinderella's Castle. I also love the Jammitors at Epcot!


The big band were really good, they played Disney music (obvs!) and we smiled as we knew each tune. 


I love the Jammitors - we got to see them on our first day in 2013.


Seeing live entertainment like that, while you're standing in the amazing sunshine on holiday - that's truly something special.



Amazing food


The food in Walt Disney World is amazing, from the snacks to fine dining there's a certain something about everything they do. You can buy a turkey leg to munch on while you're walking around the park, if it's rather hot and you want to a cool drink or snack a Dole Whip is THE BEST thing you could have. The quick service places are brilliant, from huge burgers to lobster rolls (one of my faves!) there's plenty to choose from and you can be sure they'll fill you up.


This is Seabass if I remember rightly, and it was oh-so-yummy!


One of the many massive desserts you get in Walt Disney World.


And then there's the fine dining - an amazing experience if you can do it. Some of our favourite restaurants include Artist Point, The Wave, and Narcoosee's - but there are so many more it wouldn't be fair to list them all. Choose any fine dining restaurant in Walt Disney World and you are guaranteed to have an amazing meal.



Thrilling rides


Of course Walt Disney World is full of theme parks which in turn are full of rides. Some rides are for the little ones, they're fun and sometimes slow but still brilliant, other rides are fast, thrilling, and sometimes scary. There's a ride for everyone and I for one will always love "It's a Small World" and "Carousel of Progress" both at Magic Kingdom.


Splash Mountain


My boys, being thrill-seekers, love the coasters - all the mountains: Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Space Mountain. I've done the first two but you won't get me on Space Mountain, a coaster in the dark? No thank you! But while my boys are on Space Mountain I get to wander around the shops, buy more pins or lust after all the cuddly toys - WIN!





Walt Disney World is a wonderfully magical place even without all the extras but doing just one of the extras adds magic to your trip. And you want all the magic you can get right?

Have you ever been to Walt Disney World - what is your favourite ride?






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