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Peppa Pig Live Tickets Giveaway!

Ramona is in love with Peppa Pig. In LOVE.  When she broke her leg back in February, and I was seeking ways to comfort and distract her (apart from by covering her in porridge etc) we came across it on Youtube and giggled our way through episode after episode. And now, at least once an hour, for the last ten months, she has enquired “Peppa Pig? Me? Watch?” It is incredibly hard to get her to wear anything other than the two Peppa Pig shirts she has – to the point where I am currently working out how to stitch pig faces with scraps of fabric onto exisiting items… (Cor, I am a cheapskate mum.)

I don’t really mind, she isn’t emulating the grunty snorts and there ARE worse characters to love- at least Peppa is feisty and strong and independent, eh?  And I suspect she’ll grow out of this amore by the time it comes to choosing a life partner.

Ramona enjoying the Paralympics with Peppa

When Ramona saw the poster for Peppa Pig Live at the Criterion Theatre she was enthralled. It was pinned on the notice board at Tim’s rugby club and I couldn’t budge her. She stood in front of it, mouth open, gob smacked that Peppa Pig had followed her here! Of all places!

So, you can imagine how completely delighted I am to get to take her and a chum to the show in December. I just can not wait to see her face- I get a huge grin on my own just imagining it. (Although she is a bit frightened of Daddy Pig, she hides behind me whenever he comes on, so we’ll have to see how that goes down.)

And, you know what? I have tickets for YOU too. (Well, not all of you, I’m afraid.)

To enter the giveaway for a family ticket (two adults, two children) to the 2:30pm showing on Friday 14th December simply:

  • Leave a comment below, telling me about why you fancy getting your hands on these tickets!For an EXTRA entry:
  • Like Lulastic on Facebook or share tweet this post on Twitter (mention @lulasticblog)

The winner will be picked by random selection on Friday 30th November, at 9pm. And if you don’t win you can buy tickets from www.peppapiglive.com for showings between 6 December and 6 January.

Thank you and good luck, my friends!

************* UPDATED 30th November*********************

And the winner is…. KAROLINA! I have emailed you 🙂 Congratulations!

So sorry to the non-winners, I wish you many hours of joyful Peppa Pig viewing on Youtube instead!!!

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Nappy Free at 17 months

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I have had a couple of interesting emails this week. The first came from a close relative who was just expressing some gratitude for getting her started with Elimination Communication (EC or Nappy Free for something that sounds less Willy Wonkery.) I didn’t mean to get her started, it is just that one time a few months ago I heard her little 4 month old lad do huge trump. Knowing it was approaching the time he normally filled his pants, I whipped of his nappy and he proceeded to do two wees and an implausibly large dump.

Now, I am well aware this makes me seem AWFUL! Imposing my parenting way onto another. I swear, I have only done it a couple of times, once to my nephew and once to my neice, both times when their mothers weren’t around, and I would never do it to YOUR baby.

Yeah, it still makes me sound awful, eh. I’m sorry.

Anyway, while he was taking his dump, his mama came in. It was, er, a little awkward.

But she emailed this week, saying how since then he has done all of his poos in the potty – THREE A DAY!!- and it has changed their lives. He used to really struggle, poor chap, and turns out  The  Hold helps it all along.

HURRAH!

Then on the other hand, the second email. It was a friend also doing EC. Her 13 month old has turned Anti-Potty. It is a common low in this rollercoaster of EC and I really felt some of her disappointment. Those two emails really encapsulate the good and bad of Nappy Free, I reckon.

We began when Ramona was 3 months old, primarily out of curiosity but partly because I felt there must be something in it. Within days we discovered there was and we quickly hit a rhythm, catching 80% of her shizzle.

With every month that passes it is becoming less unusual that Ramona is Nappy Free. Sitting a baby on the potty at three months is ridiculous by almost everyone’s standard, sitting a toddler on the potty is pretty normal. This is a nice feeling – it is hard feeling as if you have to constantly explain yourself, particularly when people can be really quite hostile about it (for example, people “explaining” that it is physiologically impossible for babies to hold their wees in – if this is the case, how comes Ramona has held her wees since she was about 6 months?)

But with her growing up there also comes a sense that perhaps we should be further along the “potty trained” journey by now- since we have been doing it for 15 months!! Of course, it isn’t training. It is communication. And in the communication stakes we are doing superbly- oh yes. She ALWAYS tells us as she is doing a wee, even if it IS on the new carpet.

There is something brilliant about Ramona saying “POO”, walking up to the potty, sitting down and doing her business. She has been doing that since she was about 15 months old, it blew our minds the first time, and even now gives us a huge smile to see the communication effort paying off. Other signs she needs to go include grabbing her bum, patting the potty, looking very serious indeed, and pausing. (Yeah, she really doesn’t pause for any other reason!) In fact, there is a particuarly style of Serious Pause which usually means she already has a turtlehead.

With this big leap in communication comes a tiny bit of disappointment too, when it doesn’t go to plan. Until now it has been quite easy to be breezy about the misses, but now, because we know she can communicate  effectively and even sit her self down on the potty, it is a challenge not to let manipulative language in, or show signs of frustration. The last thing we want is hang ups over taking a dump.

We have by no means nailed this but still I thought this would be a nice opportunity to share…

Things I have found useful in all of this:

  • The Baby Bjorn Potty Chair – when Ramona was tiny we had a little Baby Bjorn Potty, it was gorgeous but fell out of my bag on to some train tracks when we were going camping last summer. To replace it I got the BB potty chair, for £1 from Ebay. It is MAHUSIVE and I was gutted at first. But, because it is so sturdy, it means she can climb on and off and has been brilliant in fostering some independence about it all.
  • Keeping the potty in the same, visible place everyday, so Ramona knows exactly where to find it.
  • The Born Ready website– a totally honest, warm community of people doing Nappy Free with their little ones. It has been such an encouragement. Also the lively Facebook group found by searching EC UK.
  • Keeping on communicating. When she has a miss we routinely say “OH! It’s a wee, wee wee goes in the potty!” and then sitting her on the potty for a little bit. We hold back any negativity. It is lovely when she grabs a rag too, and helps clean up her pee.
  • Putting nappies on. This is controversial as some wonderful ECers suggest not to. But putting nappies on every so often when we REALLY don’t want a puddle has helped us to relax and being relaxed is probably one of the most important attributes in all of this.  Little ones pick up our cues so perfectly.
  • Commitment to noises like PSST. It is remarkable how doing the PSST cue encourages Ramona to take a whizz. If she is a bit distracted doing PSST just seems to help her release her bladder.
  • High entertainment. There are certain times of the day that sitting on the potty is obviously just the perfect activity – namely upon waking. However sometimes she is so into her playing it just seems mean to interrupt. Instead we incorporate potty time- putting the potty in front of the Superhero Base (otherwise known as the Dolls House) or getting out all the best books.

Ramona finding a tree to wee by

I have earlier on this blog suggested that EC isn’t necessarily for everyone. But I think I might backtrack now. Not because I think  parents need anymore pressure put on them – to add cleaning up rogue wees and chasing nakey crawlers around the lounge, or any more burdens of “Eek, I should be doing this” to shoulder.

But because I think a form of EC is accessible to every parent and will often times even EASE the strain of parenting. It is simply a case of adding in a bit more talk when you observe them doing their business – expressing from a tiny age exactly what is going on with their bodily functions, or, if you see your baby pushing out a wee turd, whipping of the nappy, holding them over a loo. A tiny wipe and clean up is done, nappy saved. For some babies, like the little guy mentioned earlier, getting help with the elimination could eliminate a whole lot of angst.

It seems such a shame that Nappy Free is seen as going all out- when it is essentially just about communication, something every parent is already doing.

Are you doing normal potty training, or a form of EC? Have you found anything particularly ace/ hard?

PS I rarely post about being Nappy Free but have a squizz here if you want more 🙂

Secondhand- how low can you go?

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We have found some totally schwing things around the streets in the last week or so. Stuff we have uncannily been in need of.

I kid you not, the day Tim found this haul below, including massive enamel bowls, we had just bitten the bullet about having to buy a new washing up bowl from Pounduniverse. Then we got three cool looking ones for the price of one! (Which was free.)

It also included a couple of giant heavy based pots (perfect for our old gass cooker) . Someone was just clearing out their house and had stuck it all in the skip.

The morning we found this long runner for our corridor  Tim had just commented to young Ramona “We really need to get a better mat for this entrance.” Then, tada! Outside the estate around the corner. Pristine too. Weird, eh.

(Sorry that I am so Instagram happy, the thing is, without this retro filter these are just crap photos of a rug and a pot. But now, cos of the wonders of Instagram, they look like old crap photos of a rug and a pot.)

But anyway, with this secondhand cookingware, it could have been used for all sorts of business. As sick bowls for the frail and infirm. Chamberpots. Boiling up neighbourhood cats.  Yet now they have pride of place in our kitchen; we use them for our pasta and noodles and potatoes.  It has made me wonder about the oddest second hand thing you have ever bought/found/used?

Personally, second hand saucepans barely scratch the surface.

My worst?

Earplugs.

(But hey, I got a GREAT sleep in an airport as a result and what’s a bit of earwax between, um,  strangers? It was posh earwax too, very clean I ‘spect, as I pinched them out of First Class on my way out the plane.)

Tell me. Anyone wearing any charity shop pants?

The weekend that we found Ramona’s Christmas pressie on the street

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Well, we NAILED this surprise heatwave. Swam in the sea at Whitstable, swam in the ponds at Hampstead Heath and swam in the river in Cambridge. The water was ffffffffreezing but once in, amazing, and Ramona completely loves splashing in cold water.

Score of the weekend was found on a corner in Hampstead – a mini house (dolls house/ tiny superhero base; whatevs) complete with all the trimmings. A tiny computer! A tiny shower! A tiny rocking horse! It is so cute and while Ramona mostly enjoys sucking the woolly heads of the tiny people I am having a fantastic time rearranging the furniture and deciding on the decor. (Haaahaha. It would be funny if it wasn’t TRUE. *Ashamed*) It is gonna be the wildest looking dolls house anyone has ever seen. (Yeah, yeah, I know we should do our actual house first. Meh.)

We will give it to Ramona for Christmas. Hello, she’ll be one, she won’t know that you aren’t meant to play with your Christmas pressies 3 months beforehand. And then we might take it away for a bit next year and give it to her for her second Christmas. And maybe with a revamp, again for her third. Ha.

People think we are lucky to find as much cool stuff as we do. But, I’m telling you, it does take some work. (And a back garden where you can dump all the stupid things you drag home.)

Here are my top finding tips:

As you walk or cycle along, scan the end of driveways by bins. People always leave stuff there.

Cross the road to look in skips. People chuck good stuff out all the time.

If you are in a posh area and see that it is rubbish collection day, take an extra special wander and gander.

Don’t be afraid of dirtiness. If it looks and smells okay it probably is okay and most things with a little clean will be more hygenic than lots of items you already own.

Imagine a quick makeover. That nasty pine chair could look GREAT with a coat of grey and a bit of a shabby-chic bash around the edges.

See things afresh. Could you use the knobs from that broken drawer? Would that window make a cool picture frame?

And, finally, remember that dignity is overrated. Most of the people that see you digging around in that skip will be jealous when they see the corroded biscuit tin you pull out of it. HA! Take THAT suckers!!