Now Thomas is 2 the question everybody seems to ask is "Are you on your potty yet?" When a child turns 2 that seems to be the average age to begin potty training. I am trying to spot the signs that Thomas may be ready to use the potty as I don't want to force him on to the potty just because he has turned 2 and before he is properly ready but I thought it would be a good idea to start getting Thomas use to the idea of using a potty sooner rather than later.

The most common signs that a toddler is ready to use the potty are;
Not liking the feeling of having a dirty nappy on
Can tell you when they need to do a wee or a poo or they can let you know when they have done so
They start going to longer periods of time with a dry nappy.

Thomas pretty much ticks all 3 boxes but the biggest sticking point at the moment is that he doesn't like having to sit on a potty he would rather be playing so he doesn't like it when I keep asking him if he wants to sit on his potty. I don't know if he actually understands what he is suppose to do when he is sat on a potty as when I do get him sitting on his potty after a while he will get up walk off and do a wee so each time this happens I explain to him that he needs to do the wee whilst sitting on the potty.

I have recently ordered a couple of potty training story books to start reading with Thomas to see if this will help him get the idea quicker if we read stories about other children using their potty's and Thomas can see the pictures.

I've got a feeling that potty training isn't going to be the easiest of things to do with Thomas but I guess it will happen when he is ready but until then I shall keep getting the potty out so he can start getting use to the idea.

Every so often I come across a news article that leaves me fuming and this week I spotted a news article which Charl from wrote about, which talked about the negative effects of separated parents sharing custody of young children a "parenting expert" has claimed that there is evidence to support.

Being somebody whose parents split up and divorced when my sister and I were pretty young I was adamant that was something I didn't want to put my children through when I eventually had them. Life rarely goes how you would like though and things happen

When Thomas's dad and I first split up I wanted to try and keep things as normal as possible for Thomas, I think he had pretty much got use to the fact that he rarely saw his dad anyway because he was always at work so only really saw him for about half hour a day if that. When we first split his dad use to come round my house to see him mainly because he didn't have anywhere to take Thomas that I was comfortable with. He use to see Thomas for an hour or 2 a week, but it soon got to the point where I didn't want him coming to my house anymore because there would be a horrible atmosphere and I didn't want Thomas to experience that.

Fast forward a couple of months and Thomas's dad moved in to his own flat and we agreed that he would start having Thomas overnight one day a week so that he could spend a little more time with him as he was working full time and Thomas was full time at nursery he couldn't have him during the day. "Parenting expert" Penelope Leach has now said that there is evidence to support that sharing custody of children after separation or divorce can be damaging to the child's development.

Surely trying to keep things as normal as possible and allowing them to see the absent parent as often as they can whether that means them staying over at their house or not. In my eyes not allowing them to see the parent they don't live with as often as they would like would cause them more problems as they are growing up. I try and make the effort to arrange for Thomas to spend as much time with his dad as possible so that when Thomas is older I will know I tried my best to make sure that him and his dad had a good relationship the rest is up to his dad.

Whilst reading an article from the Daily Mail website I came across this talking about children who often spend time away from their mothers "If they don’t form that all-important secure attachment to their mother, or if it is worn away by constant handovers from one parent to the other without a sense of a secure home in the background, the break-up will leave them vulnerable to lifelong feelings of insecurity and anxiety. "

Surely children who do spend time away from their mothers will have less attachment issues and gain independence sooner. Up until Thomas started nursery he was like my little shadow I couldn't leave him and he hated being left with other people if I even needed to go somewhere but since we have been spending more time apart he is getting a lot better. Same goes with overnight stays I dreaded the thought of having to leave him overnight with Grandparents in case he didn't settle but even mums need a night off every so often. Now Thomas stays with his dad once a week Thomas has got use to spending nights away from me and he knows he will always be coming back to me. 

From when Thomas was born until he was around 16 months we lived in a terraced house and I hated it for the simple fact that we didn't have a garden. As Thomas was getting older I was desperate for a garden so that we could get outside more because I hated the idea of us being stuck inside.

As a child I grew up in houses with gardens and I loved being outside, school holidays were spent in the park with my sister and Nan, if the weather was nice we weren't allowed to have the television on at my Nan's house we were to make the most of the nice weather there would be plenty of time to sit in front of the television when the weather was rubbish.

Thomas absolutely loves being outside he runs round like a loon laughing and shouting he would stay outside for hours if you let him.

We are looking to move again in September to somewhere cheaper so we have a little more extra money to save towards buying a house but my number 1 top priority is to have a house with a garden I could never go back to not having a garden for Thomas as I want him to grow up enjoying being outside and preferring to play outside than being stuck indoors in front of the television.

Just before Thomas's 2nd birthday I made the decision to move Thomas in to a big boy bed. I knew the time to make the move was fast approaching as he was getting older and I felt he was getting to "old" for his cot even thought he was nowhere near outgrowing it yet. I will be honest I was a little nervous about making the move as Thomas is a great sleeper and has been for a long, long time I was worried than moving in to a bed would disrupt his bedtime routine and I definitely didn't want to go back to having sleepless nights.

We only have a bit of an off night every so often where Thomas makes a fuss about going to bed but on the most part I could just put him in his cot and leave him to fall asleep on his own and then not hear a peep out of him until the morning when he wakes up. This was my biggest concern, how do you put a toddler to bed at night in a toddler bed and get him to stay there without getting up wandering about and playing with his toys?

Answer is you can't... well I don't think you can anyway. Every night I put him to bed and he causes a fuss and cries for a while, sometimes has a little strop where I can hear him thrashing about on the floor, other nights he just gets out of bed plays a bit until he is tired and then gets himself back in bed and tucks himself in which I don't mind. The only nights I can put him straight to bed and he stays there without a fuss are nights he is super tired.

Once Thomas is asleep though I don't hear a peep out of him until morning still which I am glad of as I was expecting him to start waking up during the night and getting out of bed and trying to get out of him room. I actually think mornings are better now he is in his toddler bed as when he wakes up he is now happy to play with his toys in his room instead of being eager to get out of his cot and for me to take him downstairs.

How did the transition go from cot to toddler bed for your toddler?

Since starting a new type of pill earlier this year my skin has been terrible especially around my chin area which after I read up on the pill I found out it was quite a common side effect. After trying quite a few different skincare products and not really having much luck I decided to try out the Origins Super Spot Remover after hearing about it quite a lot on different beauty blogs.

When I actually saw it in in the shop I was a little dubious when I saw that it was £14 for a 10ml bottle but as I was feeling pretty fed up with the break out on my chin I went ahead and bought it. I soon found with this product a little definitely goes a long way so it will last you much longer than you expect.

I have been using it for a couple of months now and as you can see I still have loads left. It is a clear gel, with a strong alcohol scent, which quite be quite off putting at first when you think you are applying it to your face. It contains salicylic acid which speeds up heeling, caffeine to calm the skin and red algae to get rid of irritation and redness. I dab a little on spots that appear and I find it gets to work really quickly and takes away quite a lot of the redness really quickly. When you first apply this product to spots it can feel quite tingly and tight but I quite like that as it makes me feel like it is actually working.

I have found that this product works better on individual spots rather than if you apply it on a large area as it can leave your skin looking quite dry and flaky, where as if you just pop it on one spot it works a lot quicker to dry a spot out.