Arthur is 30 months old

As is becoming the normal for me these days, this post is a little late!  
At least this month I’ve had Christmas as an excuse!  So anyway, Arthur is 30 months old,  2.5 years.  Crazy.

30 months old

For most of this month, we’ve had Mark home with us.  Arthur has absolutely loved it.  Every time Mark is off work, Arthur and him get a little closer, it’s always so lovely to watch.  Daddy is definitely big favourite right now!!  

30 months old.  Arthur and daddy

We’ve had so much lovely family time together with trips to the vallee de Mai, going to the pool and lots of trips to the beach.

Right at the end of term before Mark finished for Christmas, Arthur was starting to get very restless.  We were fighting nap times, more on that in another post!  He was also quite often acting up to get attention.  It was tough, we all needed the Christmas holidays!  Once Mark was home, Arthur’s behaviour improved massively.  I have put it down to Arthur needing more stimulation.  I’ve given myself quite a hard time over it all, but I have to be realistic, with Freddie still being so small I can’t give Arthur all of the stimulation he needs all the time.  It’s times like these where I wish we had clubs or classes for little kids here, or even an indoor soft play place!
 *i can feel all you uk mamas cringing at the mention of soft play, but you have to admit it’s a great way for kids to burn off all that energy in a confined area!!!*  
I think once Freddie is able to sit up by himself I will be able to take them both to the beach to run around but right now it’s just not really do-able! 

I think Arthur’s “bad behaviour” has also been about testing limits, all normal for a toddler I’m sure.  It’s frustrating for me when I know he knows he’s not supposed to do something but he goes and does it anyway.   When he does he’s watching me the whole time to see how I react.  It’s difficult to remain consistent ALL the time, particularly if I’m feeding Freddie at the time but I’m trying my best!  It’s been much easier with having Mark home!

Apart from our cheeky monkey testing his limits (i’ll use that phrase as opposed to “being a little shit” which is the phrase I have been using of late!) Arthur continues to be so loving and so funny.  He is still so so gorgeous with Freddie which I can’t get enough of. He loves making Freddie smile and laugh and loves to give him cuddles and kisses.
His smile can turn my mood around in an instant – I think he knows that too!!

Arthur’s speech is getting so good, we can’t believe how much it’s come on!

Obviously this month there has been lots of build up to Christmas.  We did our decorating right at the start of December so as to help build the excitement for Arthur (and us obviously!).  It was really amazing to see Arthur beginning to grasp the idea of Christmas, although he definitely still did not totally get it!  He has loved our Christmas tree and all the decorations, he also loved leaving a mince pie out for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve.  
I think he found Christmas Day pretty overwhelming.  On reflection it’s quite intense!  He loved seeing all the presents under the tree but didn’t quite get that they were to be opened, we then had presents to open with our parents on Skype which is quite a lot for him to deal with.  At the end of the day he enjoyed going back to things and checking our all his new toys on his own terms!!  

We are now 100% nappy free for Arthur, even at night time.  I am so proud of how well he has done, it really is quite amazing!  I wrote a post on our potty training journey and shared a few tips if you want to check it out! 

What Arthur is loving this month

In perfect timing, for the festive season, Arthur’s current favourite movie is….. Hotel Transylvania *typical Arthur to go against the grain!*  

I actually think this movie is pretty good too, I’m looking forward to getting the second one for him to watch too!

Arthur is really starting to get into his Duplo, he has a few different sets now; a little airport, a pirate island and a little farm.  

Climbing.  This boy is amazing at climbing.  His most recent obsession is climbing on top of our car.  Right up on the roof.  Pretty dangerous, but also pretty impressive!!! I snapped this picture quickly before I had to tell him off for getting up on the car, again, hence the rubbish quality of the pic! Isn’t it so hard to tell him off when he does things like this because I find it so funny!
30 months old.  Climbing on the car

Come and follow me!

Freddie is 4 months old

Argh, I am over a week late with this….I suck!  

Freddie is 4 months old.  

Freddie is 4 months old

His eyes are still very very blue, they are beautiful.  Sometimes they appear darker blue and sometimes rather light, Arthur’s were really dark brown already by this point, so it will be interesting to see if Freddie’s turn brown or stay light!  

Every day we are so amazed with how wonderful he is.  He continues to be the happiest baby I’ve ever come across.  Seriously, he’s such a little smiler!

For the first time though, we had some time where he wasn’t, and it was heartbreaking.
Freddie had his 4 month check up which included his immunisations.  He got a really bad fever from it.  It was horrible, he wanted to be held all the time, understandable.  The hard bit was that he didn’t want to be moved, at all.  He was really suffering, it was so hard to see, particularly since he’s usually so so happy.  2 days after his injection he suddenly came out with a rash.  
As with every rash the boys ever get, I did the glass test.  Then I panicked, the rash was non-blanching (didn’t disappear under the glass).  By this point his fever had pretty much gone and aside from being a little grumpy he was a lot better.  However, the rash was enough to make us get him checked out at the hospital.  He was seen by the doctor who said he thought it was a viral rash, but not anything to worry about.  The nice thing was that he reassured me that we had done the right thing bringing him in to be checked.  Doctors here aren’t famous for their bedside manner so it was really nice to have some reassurance.  Within a couple days he was back to his amazing self!!

I was pretty sure Freddie would have a couple of teeth by this update but he’s still a little gummy bear.  I can see his bottom two teeth under the gums but they’ve not yet come through.  He has been struggling with them and been biting down lots, the teething find have been getting lots of action!!

Between teething and being poorly, sleep has been a little disrupted towards the end of this month but things are settling down again now.  We seem to be back at 2 night feeds as opposed to the pretty regular one we were at, but still it’s not so bad.
We make sure he goes down awake as the general rule.  I wanted to be sure not to get into a routine of ‘feeding to sleep’ like I had with Arthur.  It’s amazing how much more freedom this gives us, but I think that might be its whole own post for another time!

Freddie is starting to get pretty good at rolling onto his tummy from his back, he’s even gone from his tummy onto his back a couple times too!

Freddie is such a thumb sucker, it is so cute! A bonus that it helps him to self settle too! I reckon it will start to get on my nerves when he’s blocking his face in photos all the time, but for now I still think it’s the cutest thing ever!

4 months old.  Thumb sucker!
He is absolutely loving Arthur right now, he can’t help but smile or laugh when he looks at him.  It’s one of the most gorgeous things watching their relationship develop.  

I’m hoping that this month Freddie pops out those teeth that have been bothering him and our smiley amazing little guy can be back on top form.  

Come and follow me!

Potty training at 2: our story and tips

We started potty training Arthur when he was 23 months old.  It wasn’t really planned but Arthur had been going without a nappy for a couple days around the house.  He’d been poorly and a rash had accompanied it so he didn’t want anything on him.

 Potty training at 2: our story and tips 
Here that was not really too much of a problem, it’s nice and warm so didn’t have to worry about him being cold, he generally would just wear a nappy around the house anyway.  Also all our floors our tiled so any messes were easy to clean up!

So after not very long Arthur very quickly started being aware of what was going on and telling me when he’d done a wee.  In no time he started to tell me that when he was going.   It got me thinking that maybe he was ready to start potty training.

After a couple of days his rash was better so I put nappies back on again most of the time but did give him nappy free time throughout the day to keep up his awareness!

I didn’t want to rush him.  We were in no particular hurry to potty train him.  My parents were coming out and mum said she’d bring a potty out for him.  She got him this one

and also the matching toilet training seat

We didn’t make a big deal about the potty while mum and dad were here.  We wanted to focus on having a good time with them.  However we did show him it and told him that’s where he can use the toilet.
He told me he needed a wee one day so I sat him on there and he did it on the potty.  We all made a huge fuss and we were all super excited.
The next day he went and found the potty on his own and did a wee! We couldn’t believe it!

As we were in no particular rush we didn’t want to push anything so we kept the potty just for in the house, he wore his nappies while we were out of the house.  In a couple of days he was using his potty all the time in the house.  We kept the nappy on for nap and bed time.

We carried on this way for a while, I was very pregnant and had read that there can be regression when a new baby comes along so didn’t want to push our luck!
So we left it this way until after Freddie arrived.

When my mum and dad came back out in September they said we should bite the bullet and try to go out the house with no nappies.  Arthur had not had any regression at all and so we decided to do it.  We took the potty out with us but would always leave at the car.  we asked if he needed the potty a lot when we arrived anywhere and then before we would get back in the car.

I noticed that Arthur’s nappies at nap time were dry most of the time, when he started fussing about not wanting a nappy on at nap time I let him go without.  It’s been over 2 months now and we’ve only had two nap time accidents.

We had tried a couple of times to get Arthur to use the toilet as opposed to the potty (mainly so we didn’t have to take the potty out with us everywhere we went!) but he wasn’t keen.  Then one day about a month ago I showed him again the little seat that went on the toilet.  I said how it was the same as his potty, he seemed happy with that and off he went and from then on he was more than happy to use the toilet.  Within a few weeks he was preferring to go without the seat and now just uses the toilet normally.

This weekend we decided to go for it at night time too, Arthur’s nappies were mostly dry and there would be days where he would take his nappy off in the morning to use the potty which we now keep in his room.  We always make sure he goes for a wee right before he gets into bed.  He’s done fantastically well so far, we had one little accident.

So, there we have it.  A rather long potty training tale, but one that has been stress free and very positive.   we are so proud of our little guy and we are so pleased we never rushed or forced any of it!

STRESS FREE POTTY TRAINING AT 2: MY TIPS
 

Potty training at 2 tips 

     
    Help establish if your kid is ready by letting them run round naked for a couple of days, being able to see what they are doing may help to recognise the feeling of needing to go beforehand so they can tell you.

      When you start out don’t worry about pants, it’s an extra thing for your kid to focus on that can be added later.

        Celebrate success!!!

          Break it down in to stages: day time at home, out and about near by, nap times, night times.  This keeps it easy to tackle for you and them!

            Don’t add any pressure, there’s no rush!

              use a potty and toilet training seat that look similar, or the same. this helped us hugely making the leap from potty to the toilet. if you want the same as we got you can buy them here: IKEA LOCKIG – Children-s potty, green white, green
              IKEA TOSSIG CHILD TRAINING TOILET SEAT

              Come and follow me!

              My Expat Family 17

              Hello and welcome to My Expat Family 17 the seventeenth ‘My Expat Family’ blog link up.

              the end of another year!  Thanks to everyone who continues to support the link up its been so great getting to know you all and your blogs!  I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and new year wherever you’re celebrating in the world!

              A a big thank you to everyone who linked up last month if you missed it take a look there are lots of fab posts there to read! I hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as I do! 

              Please add the link up badge to the post you are linking by copying and pasting the code from the box below into your post so that people can navigate back to the link up easily!

              You can start to link your posts from Thursday 10th December and I’ll leave the link up open until Sunday night.

              As with all blog link ups they work best when the love is shared around, please do read and comment on as many of the other posts linked up as you can!

              Tweet me the link (@chantellevr) and I’ll retweet for you as well!

              I look forward to reading all about your expat family! Remember old and new posts are welcome!

              Don’t forget you can also find us on Pinterest!  Check out and join the My Expat Family Pinterest board

              Follow Seychellesmama’s board My expat family blog link up on Pinterest. 

              Seychelles Mama

               

                My Expat Family.  A linky for expat family/parent bloggers to share stories of family life as an expat.  

              Come and follow me!

              island Christmas decorating

              We were so excited about decorating for Christmas this year.  Last year we went away to Sri Lanka and the year before that Arthur was only 6 months old so we didn’t really go all out.

              So, we have a lovely little artificial tree and some really lovely decorations we’ve collected over the past few years, a lot of them have been sent out by Mum and Dad.

              But on top of that I wanted to do something to celebrate and recognise that our Christmas is an ‘island christmas’ – you know, in case the hot weather didn’t do that enough already!

              My first place to go for a little inspiration was, of course, Pinterest.  I created a lovely little board full of ideas for our island Christmas!

              Follow Seychelles Mama’s board Christmas: island style on Pinterest.

              Feeling all inspired I started collecting some shells and driftwood.

              I’ve wanted to make a driftwood Christmas tree pretty much since we’ve lived here.  Since we had a lovely one as our ‘main tree’ I thought I’d just make a little one this year, as a bit of a test.

              I found a few lovely pieces on the beach when we were out walking the dog.  A week or so later we were there with some friends when we discovered a HUGE amount of oyster shells.  My friends little girl collected loads, and I took around 10.  There’s a pearl farm on the beach we were at so we think they were cast offs from there.  We didn’t care, they are shiny and lovely and I couldn’t wait to  make something with them!

              island Christmas decorating. Oyster shells

              I initially wanted to attach my driftwood onto some pallet wood but decided since our walls are white anyway I could just hang my tree on the wall and it would still look pretty.

              I tried to use fishing wire at first but after chatting with my Mum, and realising just how fiddly fishing wire can be, I used some material to tie it all together.  I actually think In the end, it added a little something using the material!

              Island christmas driftwood tree

              The material I used is from some old curtains that were in the house when we moved in.

              I decided to use my little oyster shells as Christmas decorations for my little tree!

              Because every christmas tree needs a star, I finished it off in true island style with a salt dough star fish!

              Driftwood Christmas tree. Salt dough starfish

               

               

              My salt dough recipe if you want to make some too!

              Salt Dough Recipe

              I was really pleased with how my little driftwood tree came out! I know it’s not perfect, but that kinda works right?
              The day we collected all the oyster shells I also found a lovely big piece of driftwood I knew I wanted to use for something.  I decided that I would have it above our patio doors.
              So, I made some more salt dough starfish.  Attached them on to the driftwood with fishing wire.  My first idea was to hang some of the oyster shells underneath.  I then remembered we hadn’t yet found a home for our lovely Christmas decorations we’d bought in Sri Lanka last year.   So, I attached them underneath the starfish.  The wood is suspended above the patio doors using more of the old curtain materials.

              Island Christmas. Driftwood. Salt dough starfish

              Island Christmas. Salt dough starfish driftwoodIsland Christmas. Salt dough starfish driftwoodIsland Christmas. Salt dough starfish driftwoodIsland Christmas. Salt dough starfish driftwood

               

              I think these two little things definitely shout island Christmas. They were super easy to make and I’m really happy with how they turned out!!  It’s nice to have a mix of traditional Christmas as well as embracing that  Christmas for us isn’t really all that traditional!

              what do you think?  Do you make or have any Christmas decorations that reflect your home?

               

               

              Come and follow me!

              How to have fun holidaying as a family

              Preparing for your next holiday is not an easy task, particularly if it’s a family holiday. As a parent, I can just very well leave the kids at home and jump on a plane. They need to come with me. It needs to be a family holiday. Now, of course, this will involve a little more planning than a regular holiday, but that’s not a bad thing.

              With careful planning, you’ll find the family break much more enjoyable and memorable. Having fun is the entire point of taking a holiday together as a family. So, be sure to take heed of these ideas, so you don’t leave yourself with stress and chaos!

              How to have fun holidaying as a family

              Pixabay.com

              Choose Somewhere Family-Friendly

              Having lived in the Seychelles for a few years now, I’ve become acclimatised. By that I mean I have gotten used to the place, the people and the culture. And the family have done the same. So, that’s why I think that when you go somewhere as a family you need to choose a place that is family-friendly. There’s no point in booking an 18-30’s holiday if it’s you, your hubby and two kids. Think about the destination you want to choose. We picked to go to Sri Lanka at the back end of last year, and it was an excellent trip. We had a really enjoyable and fun-filled experience, and I’d recommend you try somewhere similar.

              Don’t Stress Out

              You’ve got to remember that it’s important you don’t stress out on your holiday. Family holidays are a stress filled time as it is so you have to remember to keep calm. There’s nothing that will ruin a holiday more than getting overly stressed. Having the whole family in the same location for a prolonged period of time is enough to cause anyone stress. But it’s important to try to remain sane and calm if you want to have a great family holiday. If you can lead by example, the whole holiday is likely to be much less stressful.

              Take Everything You Need

              Remember that you’re going on holiday with the whole family not just yourself. And that means you need to make sure you take everything you need with you. There’s going to be stuff for the kids that you’re going to need to pack. So make sure you think about everything you’re going to need to pack. Make sure you take everything with you that you need. Read my piece on packing for Sri Lanka with a toddler to give you an idea of what you need to pack. You might not have the option to get any emergency things once you’re out there. So don’t forget to take it all with you before you leave.

              Have Fun With Packing

              The fun can start before you even get on the plane. Take the worst part of any vacation, the packing, and try to have some fun with it. You can do this by getting yourself, and the family, some Personalised luggage effective if you start packing well in advance, and do little bits now and then. That way it becomes much more manageable

              Family vacations should be the stuff dreams are made of. You should be able to have great fun jetting off to an exotic location to enjoy your time together. But, if you aren’t careful family holidays can end up becoming a nightmare. By checking out the suggestions I’ve made on here, you can ensure family holidays are much more fun.

              Come and follow me!

              Day out on a catamaran

              I’ve written before about how one of the definite highlights of expat life in the Seychelles is getting to go on boat trips!

              Well we recently got to indulge in just that.
              It’s been a little while since we’ve done a boat trip.  The longest time Arthur has been on a boat is an hour and Freddie, at only 3 months old had obviously never been on one!  This was the perfect opportunity to be able to go with the kids.

              So, every year the school hosts an annual dinner dance and auction.  One of the travel company’s always donates an outing on a big amazing catamaran.  Last year it was won by a man who donated it to the PTA as a way to help raise some more money for the school.
              This meant that for a few hundred rupees (about £20) me, Mark and the boys were able to spend an amazing full day out on the boat.

              The catamaran is truly amazing  with a large indoor area.  This was perfect for Freddie as it meant we could keep him out of the sun!  It ended up being great for us all in the end as we did have a couple of rain showers while we were out!

              When we got on the boat Arthur was at first a little unsure, until he realised that he could jump on the trampoline things at the front (yeah, that’s the technical term for those bits….) then he was delighted!!

              day out on a catamaran seychelles

              There was about 50 people from the school out with us.  It was such a great day.  I’ve only included pics where you can’t really see anyone else in, just purely because they might not wish to be included on my blog!!

              Freddie was amazing all day.  We very nearly didn’t go on the trip as we were worried about being out on the boat all day, but as I mentioned before there was a big indoor area and that was what made us decide to come.  We needn’t have worried anyway, he was so good.  Everyone was loving getting Freddie cuddles, and he was delighted to be getting lots of attention!  We kept him inside a lot of the day but did get him out when it clouded over and cooled off a little towards the end of the day.

              Seychelles catamaran boat trip

              We sailed around stopping off at different islands and beaches for lots of swimming and jumping off the boat.  Arthur loved getting in!!  He was a little nervous getting too far away from the boat but he did amazingly well for such a little guy!  He thought it was great that the steps went right into the water.  We didn’t get any pics of us in the water, we were too busy having fun!
              seychelles catamaran boat trip

              seychelles catamaran boat trip
              The boat was out 9-5 and Arthur did not stop the whole day.  We didn’t stress about him not having a nap, he was having so much fun and he was so well behaved!

              seychelles catamaran boat trip

              seychelles catamaran boat trip

              As always when out on a boat you get some pretty amazing views
              seychelles catamaran boat trip

              seychelles catamaran boat trip

               

              seychelles catamaran boat trip

              I really like this picture of Mark and I, was so sad that there was water on the lens!

              seychelles catamaran boat trip

               

              I couldn’t believe it when we pulled back up to the jetty.  The day had gone so fast, it was amazing.  The weather had been a little all over the place, but that worked for us, it meant it wasn’t too hot and we didn’t get burned!  Arthur crashed out in the car on the way home, which then resulted in him not actually going to sleep till about 10pm, not ideal, BUT that was a small price to pay for an amazing day out.  Days like this where we are reminded of what an amazing place we live in!  There are of course hard days, and days where things get on our nerves about here, but getting to go out on a boat like this with our kids is so incredible!!

              Ersatz Expat
              Come and follow me!