4 hits and 1 miss!

Hope you all have had a lovely Easter – the weather here has really been fab! It really helps when the sun is out, don’t ya think? There’s so much I could write about this evening I’m not sure where to begin, or what to tell, or what to leave out. Facebook followers will know we got away on a little surprise holiday to the most beautiful part of Ireland – the North Coast - last week for 4 days. A lovely, lovely friend gave us the use of her caravan in Portstewart and we spent 4 brilliant days up there. So good for so many reasons – change of scene, change of pace, change in routine, I came home a new woman!!!!! It had made me realise how important a holiday is for your well being. I think I’ll be starting a little piggy bank with something like, “Holiday Fund” written on it – you know one of those ones that you can’t open unless you break it?! I could write a whole post on our time away,. but I’ll not bore you with that, instead I’ll show you 2 of my favourite pictures -


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Over the weekend we had the obligatory Easter Egg hunt – was lovely that J, S and L all could really enjoy it this year. They were very excited! Especially little S who must have hidden his eggs at least 4 more times after the hunt was over!





And lastly then a little about our potty training!!! Quite a number of people have been in touch over the last year asking me how I went about potty training. I wasn’t so keen on writing a blog post about it as I REALLY don’t feel like I have any great wisdom to impart on the subject. But I thought that I’d just be honest and share with you how I am going about it with S. I’m going to do it in point form to keep it simple and less boring! (Hopefully!) Ok, so, here we go.


1. There IS a ‘right time’ to potty train you child – however there IS NOT a set time/age of when this should be done. Each child is DIFFERENT. You just need to find the ‘right time’ for YOUR child.

2. If you child is potty trained at 18 months or 3.5 years old IT IS NOT a sign of their intelligence / abilities or indeed your capabilities as a parent. There are many factors that determine the age at which your child will have success with potty training. DO NOT listen to people when they say, “it’s time he was potty trained” or “she’s not potty trained yet?!?!?!?!”. A child needs to be emotionally ready, physically ready, mentally ready. Again I will say, every child’s readiness is DIFFERENT.

3. Don’t be afraid to try it and then abandon it. This happened me with J. We tried it, he was definitely not ready, so abandoned it. Waited a few months, tried again and by the end of the 3rd day he was brilliant – no more mistakes. BOOM!

S had pants on for part of the day yesterday – from lunch time until bed time. And he really was not getting it – or so it seemed. We went through 5 pairs of pants and had a dry, clean potty all day.

Today we have had much greater success – 4 hits, i.e. 4 ‘floods’ in the potty and 1 miss, i.e. 1 flood in the pants. So, I am hoping that it is all beginning to click for him. He’s off to bed now all chuffed with himself and delighted that his Mickey pants are “so comfy and cosy”, (the things kids come out with!).  Let’s hope tomorrow goes as well :-)


Trains, pants, pancakes and some tears!

Saturday was “Date Day” for S and I. In January 2013 we started a ‘Date Jar’ in this house. Where once a month the hubster and myself try to spend some quality time, on our own with each of the kids. It might be something as simple as going for an ice cream after dinner or something a little more fancy like a night out for dinner to a fancy restaurant. They were such a hit in 2013 that we decided to do them again this year.

The little card that S picked out from the jar said “A trip to Belfast”, which was perfect as little S is going to be potty training very soon so I wanted to take him to pick out his big boy pants!

We decided to get the train – GREAT decision, what little boy doesn’t love a bit of Thomas or a wee play with a train set. And what a treat to go on the real thing! He loved it! I loved it. It’s lovely to be reminded of a child’s awe and wonder and excitement about the little things. S was excited about buying his ticket, climbing up the huge set of steps, over the bridge and down the steps to get to the platform. He was excited about waiting for the train and nearly burst when the train pulled up! He put his wee fingers in his ears, claiming, “IT’S SO NOISY!!!”, giggling uncontrollably. He was excited about climbing onto the train and picking out his seat beside a window. And, when we got moving, well he literally squealed with excitement! “I CAN SEE HOUSES AND CARS AND TREES AND THE PARK AND THE TUNNEL. WE’RE GOING REALLY SPEEDY!” It’s so sad that we as adults no longer can see the wonder of such a simple thing, oh to have that childlike joy once again!


When we arrived in Belfast the first place he wanted to go to was the Disney Store. We don’t get to the Disney Store very often, and normally when we do it is to spend birthday money or Christmas money. So S was super excited that we were going today, as I guess it is a place that is special for him. I LOVE the Disney store too. I always want to buy everything I see! And some more. The wee mite walked the whole way there, sometimes bursting into a little sprint, but all the time holding tightly to my hand. “Wow weeeeeee, we’re here Mummy! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!” Bless him, we were only picking pants!! lol

In we went and he headed straight to the Mickey Mouse section. Anyone who knows wee S will know that he just loves Mickey Mouse. So, what other type of pants would a S boy need, but Mickey ones?! And yip, that’s what he picked. Pleased as punch and swelling with pride he carried his chosen pants around, delighted he was “going to be a big boy like J” – lets hope that enthusiasm continues!



Pants chosen, the next stop was the huge screen at the back of the store. The kids love that part. Me – not so much. They could sit for ages watching all the clips. Me – not so much. But, since it was his wee day I let him make the call of when it was time to go. He spotted a jigsaw and said he “needed to bring it home”. So we did. S is our jigsaw king – he sits every day doing jigsaws, some with 32 pieces, some with 3 pieces, he doesn’t mind. It is the one thing that is guaranteed to keep him busy and quiet for a prolonged period of time.


Next on our agenda was lunch. I have to confess I was a little selfish here and took him to Starbucks. I know, I know, but he wasn’t too fussed about where we went. He picked out some pancakes and jam and had a great little jam feast. The little jam jars added to the whole cuteness of the day! It was lovely to get a chance to just chat with him with no other interruptions. Sometimes I worry that as the dreaded ‘middle child’ that he can get overlooked at times. But not on Saturday. And I could tell he loved it. All through lunch he kept kissing me and telling me, “I love you, Mummy” – remember from the birth stories? He’s my cuddly, snuggly affectionate one.


We had a little potter around town, looking in a few more shops, bought a bag of sweeties for the journey home – (fell out over which sweeties he could bring home for J and L – he wanted a HUGE bag for each of them) and made our way back to the train station. With coffee in hand and a tight grip of my 2 year old in the other we got back on the train.


He sat all snuggled into me on the way home. A tired little boy. He told the conductor about his big boy pants and pancakes and “J and L not here. Just me”.  It was a great date.  My little S is growing up. He is delighted with his Mickey pants. Me – every time I look at them, my heart sinks a little -  another little reminder that his dependence on me is getting less and his independence is growing. And while that is truly wonderful for him, it ain’t so great for me.



**Potty training has been postponed we got a little surprise offer of a holiday up to the Port**

He’s got this.

Evening all.  Hard to believe it’s Friday again – this week has just flown by. So glad that both the hubster and little J are off now for Easter. I love them both being at home and having nowhere to be at a certain time! Hooray to 2 weeks of a change in routine! Although I am hoping to potty train Mr. S over the hols, so it might not be the little jolly holly that I’m imagining!

Anyhow, just wanted to share with you 3 little things that have happened this week. 3 little things that were kinda big things to me. 3 things that really were God’s way of telling me, “I’ve got this”.

So, the first ‘little thing’ :

As you know, we got away on our own last weekend to the Slieve Donard. If you somehow missed that (?!) and fancy a little nosey you can do so here. Now, since last Summer really, I had been really praying for a little holiday of some sort for us. Maybe a little break somewhere for the 5 of us, the dream was to get a little break for the 2 of us, although I really didn’t think that that would ever happen. But truth be told, there was just no money in the budget to allow either. So I had kinda just shelved those notions and accepted that for now, it wasn’t going to happen. But, it turns out. God knew differently. He had it sorted. And when, I least expected it, the opportunity to go to the Slieve Donard came along, with a VERY small price tag. Not only did God give us the dream of a little holiday / break, He gave us that break to a place which is very special to both B and I. God is amazing. He gave us more than we could have asked for or imagined.

The 2nd little thing:

Myself and the 3 munchkins spend a good bit of time in the car – leaving daddy to work, and then waiting outside playschool for 15 mins each morning, then going to collect daddy at the end of the day and waiting in the car until he is ready.  Then there’s the little journeys in between to tots and the library and Tesco and playdates etc… etc….sometimes I guess it could add up to 2 hours in the car on a day. So we get through a good lot of Cds - nursery rhymes / audio books. I had been wanting to get some new ones, there’s only so many times a girl can listen to “The Smartest Giant in Town”, but again the budget just wasn’t stretching to anything too exciting and I was having trouble finding what I was looking for in the shops. I had gone in specifically, 1 day last week to make a purchase but came home empty handed. Then on Sunday, completely out of the blue, a lady handed me a bag in church. What was in the bag – around 20 CDs with nursery rhymes, stories, bible songs and stories!!!!!!!!! A – MAZE – ING. God is so good.

The 3rd little thing.

S is getting to the age when he really should be walking everywhere now and so I have been on the look out for a buggy. A single, pop up buggy for little L. Turns out those things are pretty dear, huh?! I had been in town on Thursday morning and had had a browse around the shops for one and had called in to some charity shops, but again had come home empty handed. Went back to collect J from playschool and was standing at the gate with the other mummies. When a lovely lady, who lives a few doors down asked me, “Would you have any use for a pink single buggy?” OH. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! That afternoon she very kindly dropped up the buggy that she was now finished with and it is a beauty! A gorgeous girly pink for Miss. L in immaculate condition. God again giving me even more than I could have imagined. He is amazing.

I have been reminded this week of God’s provision and care. Of how, He knows. He’s ‘got this’ and we have no need to worry.

No kids allowed!

1977040_10150389903519957_426651841449916258_nSo, after a LOT of hmmmm-ing and haaa-ing (you know what I mean!!) and a LOT of persuasion from the hubster, we went away for a little night on our own!!!!! I eventually plucked up the courage to swap my changing bag for a handbag. And I have to admit we had a really, really lovely time. I came home feeling refreshed, reconnected with my husband and feeling much more ‘ready’ to be the best mum that I could be to my kids. Granted we were only gone from Friday evening until Saturday lunch time, but it was enough. It achieved its purpose and more! I’d highly recommend it!

Here’s some little snaps from our time away. (I apologise for the quality – I really need to buy a decent camera!) The Slieve Donard is a special place for us – we got engaged at a nearby beach and then had dinner there and we also had our wedding reception here, so it is always a treat to return!


This is what I wore :

For dinner on Friday night!


Can you tell how excited I am to be there?!

On Saturday :


 Had to swap out the heels for some trainers when we headed to the beach!


We headed TO THE SPA!!!!!!!!!!! Hooray!!!!!


Did I have you worried for a sec there?? I wouldn’t do that to you – show you a pic of me in a bikini!!!

This is what we ate :



Yes we ordered Room Service for breakfast – A MAZE ING!!!!!!!!!! Yoghurt / fruit / pastries / cheeses / cold meats / Guiness wheaten bread  AND we each had a Full Irish!!!!


You can’t go to Newcastle and not get a Mauds!

There we have it, some little snaps from our jolly jaunt kid free! A HUGE thanks to Mum and Dad for coming to our house for, in J and S words – “THE BEST SLEEPOVER EVER”!!!!! The kids loved it and it has to be said, we loved it too!!!!



To blog or not to blog – a revisit!

Evening folks. How are you all doing? I want to start by saying a HUGE thank you to you all for the wonderful response to my last post. I am truly overwhelmed and touched by all your kind words – they are so very much appreciated and have certainly given me a little boost. Thank you, thank you.

A little while ago, Emma who writes over at Life at the Little Wood, tagged me in her post, Blog your heart out. Emma has the most beautiful blog – in both looks and content, be sure to pop over and have a peep – she is quite the pro. Part of the post was to answer 5 questions, so here we go…..

Who or what encouraged you to start blogging?

Hmmmmmm, well I guess the idea of writing a blog came through my Facebook page. I had been running a little page for about a year and had built up a great little community. Sometimes when I was popping up a photo of things that we had been up to there wasn’t enough scope to say what I wanted, so I thought about a blog. I didn’t think though that anyone would follow it or be interested in it, so it took me a long time to finally take the plunge and go for it. A few people ‘pushed’ me into it via my Facebook page without even knowing that I was considering it. A few friends suggested I write a blog, also without knowing that I was considering it. So, I thought – maybe I should just give it a go! And here we are, 9 months later :-)

How do you choose which topics to blog about?

This is where I’m going to have to fess up -  I don’t really ‘plan’ what I’m going to write, hence why my posting is a bit random and unpredictable! Sorry about that folks. I kind of just post when the notion takes me!!! Is that really bad?! Yeah, it probably is.

I guess though, my blog is what it says on the tin, kinda thing! It’s all about Making Memories In The Chaos that is life at the moment. So, I mainly blog about kids, family life,  what makes me tick. It’s a little place for me to record things that we did, how I felt, how life changed at this very special time in my life.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I did make reference to this in a post before but I suffer from real bouts of panic attacks, sometimes I have them every day of the week, sometimes I won’t have one for months. They started in 2003, peaked in 2008 and now in 2014 I am learning to cope / manage / deal with them. It has only been in the last 6 months that I have been able to actually tell people about them, before that it was only really my husband who knew. I guess I was kind of embarrassed – I mean, I was a ‘leader’ in so many things – my work, my church, charity groups; people in leadership, especially Christians don’t have panic attacks right?! WRONG. I have come to realise that they are nothing to be ashamed of. The mind is a terribly complex thing and all too often, our thoughts are out of our control.

What 3 words best describe your style?

Oooooo I don’t know. Style in terms of my blog?! Mmmmmmm – informal, honest and random!

Outside of the blog, I’m not sure I have ‘style’ – hence my some of my documented attempts at putting a little yummy into this mummy!!

What do you like to do when you’re not blogging?

When I’m not blogging or running around with my kiddies, I like to -


Meet friends for coffee.

Talk -  I really like to talk!!!!!

So, there we have it! A little bit of background info on Mrs. Making Memories ;-)



Can someone please send me some Galaxy and coffee?

So, I think I’ve decided that my late 20′s / early 30′s has been my toughest time yet. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not all annoyed at being in the “30′s club” or anything like that. I’m not feeling old or even that I’m getting old, I still kinda feel 19 in a strange way. It’s more - life right now is a bit tough. Rough. Stressful, ,maybe? Exhausting? I’m not really sure what word to use. But I just feel like life, in general is perhaps the hardest it has ever been. Mentally, I think, most of all. I guess for me, personally, a LOT has happened in the last 5 years – I’ve spent 2 months in Uganda, got engaged, then married (14 weeks later!!), moved house 4 times, got a promotion at work, resigned from work and had 3 babies!!! That’s a lot, right?!

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the hubster with all my heart. I adore my kiddies. But things are hard. I feel guilty / exhausted /overwhelmed/ confused/ silly / anxious/ stressed at some point every day. There are days I think to myself, I don’t know how to be a mummy, how to be a wife, how to be a friend, a daughter, a sister, a neighbour, a Christian. I don’t know how to balance all that. I don’t know what a mummy of 3 kids is meant to be able to do -  should I be able to do the weekly shop, with them in tow? Should I be able to make it out to church every Sunday? Should I be able to have all the ironing, washing done? Should my house be lovely and clean and tidy all the time? Should I be able to cook delicious, homemade dinners every night? Should we able to go to a restaurant and all be able to enjoy it with no meltdowns? Should my kids be at ballet / football / dance / gymnastics? Should we be going on a family day trip every week and again all enjoying it – smile everyone!! Where are these pressures coming from? Am I placing them on myself? Does anyone else feel the same?

Things in your 30′s just seem hard. Careers are just getting established. Money, well, what even is that?! It seems to be in short supply. Health – our bodies just don’t seem to be the same anymore, we’re starting to get diagnosed with ‘certain’ conditions. Our kids health – sometimes it feels like you just roll from one illness to the next with young kids. Friendships change. Lifestyle changes. YOU have to be the responsible one now. Yet, I’m not sure at 32, I really know how to manage/balance all these ‘new’ things. A lot of changes happen in your late 20′s / 30′s….married life, getting a mortgage, having kids, climbing the career ladder, some people though do feel like they are ‘in their prime’…….

This post may be a little like therapy for me and all you guys are the lucky ones who get to listen ;-) Sorry about that. But I just need to be honest. I kinda blame Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram for some of it. I do believe that’s where some of the pressures come from. I tell myself, CATCH. A. GRIP. You are 32, who cares if the rest of the world live in fabulous houses with perfect kids and they craft and bake and wear designer brands, with perfectly groomed hair and freshly applied make up all day?! AND they do it all with a smile on their face, while kissing and cuddling and basically skipping their way through life!

Life is just not picture perfect all the time. People don’t post pictures of real life – no one wants to share that.

So, if you’re sitting somewhere reading this, feeling a little overwhelmed / stressed / guilty or just utterly exhausted – I hear ya. I feel like that too.

I can’t wait ’til I’m 40. A LOT of folk have told me they’re a great decade ;-) Here’s hoping anyway!


P.S. I feel like I need to add a tag line – please no one panic  – I am doing ok. I genuinely LOVE my life. Just sometimes, it’s a little tough being 32 xxx

A birth story #3

It’s kind of hard to know where to begin my 3rd birth story. You see, Bubba #3 was due around 3rd / 5th June 2012 according to doctors and scans, according to MY dates bubba #3 was due 11th June – Seth’s birthday. Bubba #3′s labour started and stopped from 21st May and then finally she was in my arms on the 5th June 2012 :-)

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This pregnancy had been completely different again. I was tortured with anxiety and panic attacks, in the last month I had baby elephant ankles and feet (it was that really hot May/June) and also in the last month I was pretty nauseous – especially when feeding little Sethy his morning Weetabix! Boke!! I also spent the last month waiting for my waters to break – I guess since the other 2 labours had started that way I just assumed this one would too.

21st May, we were sitting watching some 24 (LOVE.THAT.SHOW) and I started getting pains. Now, you would think that by now I would have known what a contraction feels like, especially after all the books and midwives tell you, “Oh, you’ll know.” To be honest I’m still not sure I really know. Anyway, I started having pains every 20minutes or so. These went on for a couple of hours and then they stopped.  A few days later they started again every 20mins, so went up to the hospital to get checked out. I was 3-4cm dilated – WHOOP! But, nope they stopped again. I have to admit to being a little freaked out at being 3-4cm dilated and just going about my business as normal! Apparently, this is very normal in 3rd pregnancies – to start and stop labour for a week or two before baby actually comes! Who knew?!

When the 5th June rolled around I was fed up. I remember ringing mummy about 2pm and having a good old moan about being uncomfortable and just wishing baby would come. We were on the phone for over an hour and a half. I got off the phone and was having a little toot about when boom, completely out of nowhere a contraction hit! One of those, stop and hold onto something, can’t talk, gotta breathe contractions. Ben asked me, “Are you alright?” I said, “yeah, yeah, just took a wee pain”. It was 420pm. 440pm and another contraction. I said to Ben, “oooooo there’s another.” Ben said, “maybe we should give your mum a wee ring.” I wasn’t convinced though and decided I’d just let her know I was having a few pains and to just be ready that evening, just incase. I jumped in the shower to see if it helped me relax, but at 5pm I rang mum – “I think you better come!” Jonah and Seth were DELIGHTED to see Granny and Granda. This time, it’s funny I was really excited for them!!! I was excited for them to be getting another sibling. I knew how much fun they had with each other and I just knew they were going to love having another wee chum to play with!

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We got to the Lagan Valley for around 540pm. Mary, who had delivered Seth was on duty. She is LOVELY. She remembered about Seth and asked how he was doing, she couldn’t believe it was nearly a year as she remembered delivering him. She remembered little Jonah too coming in to visit. She checked me out and said you’re about 5cm, do you want to take yourself off and have some dinner, as I hadn’t eaten yet. I have to admit I wasn’t too keen on the idea. But I didn’t like to argue or make a fuss so off we went. We arrived at Ed’s Diner, again at Lisburn Omniplex (we are so classy, I know!) at around 630pm and explained that I was in labour and was there any chance we could kind of be rushed through. They were very obliging.

I’m not sure what happened next, but things decided to just accelerate!!!! We had got that contractions app and Ben was timing my contractions – they had gone from every 10-15mins to every 3-4. Ben had to order for me as I couldn’t speak! I am sure that waitress wondered what on earth was wrong with me!! 650pm I said to Ben we’d better go!!! Ed’s packaged up our dinner, as Ben wanted to reheat it later (!!)  I still have the receipt – it says we paid at 7.08pm. We rang the hospital on route to tell them I was coming back. They got the birthing pool ready for me. I got into the birthing pool at 7.30pm.  The midwives weren’t quite expecting things to move so quickly. I remember Mary going out to get my notes and “write up a few things,” me asking the other auxillary nurse, “Can I push?” and her saying, “Well, if you feel you need to, you can give it a wee try” and then her shouting, “MAAAARRRRRYYYYYYYY we have a baby!!!!!” Our darling little Leah Karen was born at 7.37pm, weighing 8lbs 7oz.

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Bless her, she was a little stunned at her speedy arrival into the world – she burst out in 1 almighty push – I remember bringing her up into my arms and kissing her little nose. Ben just about got a picture taken as he hadn’t had much time to find the camera! We were all a bit stunned truth be told. Mary was rubbing Leah’s wee back to get some colour circulating, Ben was click, click, clicking, and I was cuddle, cuddle, cuddling. Mary said, “Well, what did you get this time?” ……..yip, I’d forgotten to look again!!

“It’s a girl!!!!” I cried and promptly burst into tears! A little sister for Jonah and Seth to love and protect.  I was so surprised, I was so convinced that God was going to make me a Momma of a little 5 a side football team!

Jonah and Seth came in to meet their little sis the next morning. They were completely smitten from day 1.

They looked at her tiny wee fingers, her tiny wee lips, her soft cheeks. “She’s just like a dolly Mummy.”


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From that very moment you were born little Leah, you have been my BFF! I really hope and pray that you will always be my BFF. That first night in hospital you never left my side and you haven’t really left it since. We cuddled and snuggled that whole night, just you and me. I was totally exhausted, your ‘big’ brother Seth had been up teething the night before, but I didn’t care. We were awake all night as all you wanted was held. And that was ok. This world is a scary place to be sometimes and we all need cuddled. I’ll always be here for you Leah. I’ll stay up all night and cuddle you anytime you want. Because I’m your mummy, your BFF and you’re my precious daughter. (my handbag loving, jewellery wearing, shoe obsessed, giggling little daughter!!)