• Blogs,  Discipline & Boundaries,  Parenting

    Other People’s Children

    We all know how difficult it is as parents to toddlers, who are prone to act and behave in ways we’d sometimes prefer they didn’t, but we accept and understand they are growing, learning and at an innocent age that needs nurturing and guiding. As a father to two year-old twin boys, not a day goes by where I don’t see them getting a bit heavy handed, snatching, not sharing and all the rest… but also, not a day goes by where I don’t challenge this behaviour and use these moments to teach them about acceptable behaviour. I’m pretty sure I’m talking to a brick wall most of the time,…

  • Blogs,  Dads,  Father's Day

    Dads Like Presents Too!

    Last year was my first Father’s Day and to say I was excited to receive my first set of extra gifts for the year was an understatement! My birthday is only a few weeks before Christmas, so it’s a long time to wait to get gifts again… it’s rare I get an acknowledgement on Valentines Day (other than the odd inappropriate card) and Easter can be hit and miss with an egg (or at least one of any quality chocolate!). As the day approached I spent hours (slightly exaggerated) pondering what my other half was planning with the kids; a nice meal out? a lavish gift? a homemade card or…

  • Adoption,  Blogs,  Share A Story

    This thing just got REAL!: Our Adoption Journey (Part Two)

    Panel day arrived and I’d hardly slept the night before… Craig was fine, nothing keeps that man from snoring. I remember sitting in the car outside and thinking I was going to throw up, Craig was fine… (really wanted to hate him for being fine but remembered I needed to give the impression to the panel that I loved everything about him haha). We walked into a room with 12 people sat around a table staring at us (TWELVE!!!), as I sat down I nearly chucked a glass of water all over the place which Craig found hilarious but only sent me into a nervous spin. The chair, a stern…

  • Adoption,  Blogs,  Share A Story

    Poked & Prodded: Our Adoption Journey (Part One)

    As we’re celebrating National Tell A Story Month, I thought I would use the opportunity to share our story about how we came to be adoptive parents. Being a dad was something I had always dreamed about, and for quite a while adoption was something really on my mind, however it wasn’t on my partner’s. We had brief conversations about having kids over a few years but it became clear that it just wasn’t something Craig wanted to do. So, I finally swallowed that dream and tried to moved on from the idea. About 6 months later, Craig was working away in India and totally out of the blue sent…

  • Adoption,  Share A Story

    Guest Blog: Accepting the Past, Loving the Present, Shaping the Future

    Our next Guest Post for National Share A Story Month is a real heart-string-puller! The author wishes to remain anonymous, which is understandable given the sensitive nature of adoption. One not to miss! Enjoy!   Accepting the Past, Loving the Present, Shaping the Future by an Adoptive Parent  “Fancy writing a guest blog?” my mate Phil said. I thought NOPE but here I am?! I’ll stay anonymous so you can moan at Phil and Pips if you don’t like this one. We love stories in our house, we have a three and four year old who loves picture books, lift the flap books (some now flapless), made up stories (usually…

  • New Mum,  Pregnancy,  Share A Story

    Guest Blog: Putting Midwifery to the Test!

    Our next Guest Blogger, for National Tell A Story Month, is Helen Wright. A Midwife from the North-West and a new mum. Here, Helen shares her experience of trying to wrap her ‘midwife head’ around becoming a mum. Just a pre-warning… we give Helen a good quizzing at the end so its a long one… well worth the read but you may want to save the link for when you have a good 10 minutes to take it all in! 😀   Putting Midwifery to the Test by Helen Wright A qualified midwife for over 10 years and an unqualified mother for 4 months… I love my job and have…

  • Fostering,  Share A Story

    Guest Blog: Keep Calm and Foster On!

    Our first Guest Blog for National Share A Story Month is from Foster Carer, Anna Edwards. Anna has fostered for 7 years now and could probably write a blog a day with the varied experiences she has had. Here she gives us a whistle stop tour of her journey so far…   Keep Calm and Foster On! by Anna Edwards It was with butterflies of fear and excitement in my belly when I opened the door to my first placement, (two gorgeous little girls staring at me with wide eyes!) I had no idea how much my life was going to change from that moment on. It’s been seven years…

  • Books,  Reviews

    The Family Book by Todd Parr

    I really wanted to share one of my favourite kids books that I read with my boys regularly and they love it… it’s called ‘The Family Book’ by Todd Parr. Todd, from Berkeley (California) was originally an artist and this really shows in his books – bright, colourful and creative illustrations that my kids seem to really respond to. It’s a book that was recommended to me as a useful one for adopted children… and also as a same-sex parent family, but it goes beyond that. In my opinion it should be on the shelf in every family home and school as it’s an excellent way to start educating children…

  • Blogs,  Health,  Potty Training

    The Brown Stuff (and I’m not talking about chocolate!)

    I’m going to start this blog with an apology… because I am about to spend the next 700 words or so on the subject of ‘POO’… and not just poo… but Toddler Diarrhoea… in twins! Yes people it’s a real thing and I have it twice over and coming at me from every direction! So, needless to say, read on at your own peril! We were aware of the boys diagnosis of Toddler Diarrhoea from the word go, the foster carer had given us plenty of warning about the smell but she did fail to mention the volume and frequency… which I think are pretty important details to know when…

  • Days Out,  Reviews

    Dunham Massey Hall & Park

    After all the snow and miserable weather we’ve had in March the sun finally came out, the bubble machine made an appearance from the shed (much to our delight… neighbours not so much as any sighting of a bubble sends these two in a crazy spin of shouting and laughing… I think it’s cute) so we decided to book in a lovely family day out to Dunham Massey Hall & Park having never been before. The day came and so did the rain, but we threw on our waterproofs and wellies, packed up the picnic and made the journey regardless. M60 traffic left much to be desired but hey, that’s…

  • Blogs,  Kids Entertainment

    365 My Arse!

    My name is Phil and I use too much technology to keep my kids entertained… there I’ve said it. Feels good to get it off my chest but in fairness (to myself) I’m sure I‘m not the only one, and if AA did support groups for techno-abusive parents I would imagine the room would be filled and the meeting a lengthy one at that! I might be being a little harsh on myself but I started fatherhood with all the best intentions of not having kids sat in front of TV’s and certainly not in front of an Ipad… I mean what 2 year old can or should be able…

  • Blogs,  Sleep

    Cooking on Gas

    I’m writing this blog with unexpected energy and enthusiasm given I’ve only had 3 hours sleep! Before children I was unable to function on less than a solid 8, and boy did people know it in work when I rocked up on any less. I jumped out of bed this morning, threw the kids into nursery (they have just started doing full days this week so that may have some influence on my current mood), chucked the dogs into the grooming salon for a morning of pampering, whizzed around Sainsburys and came home and did my best Mary Berry impression preparing tea for the family later whilst listening to the…