Car Seat Safety: What to Know Before You Hit the Road by Guest Contributor Samantha Meredith (The Carlson Law Firm)

Advice from The Carlson Law Firm

Traveling with kids can be difficult. Making sure everyone has what they need and gets buckled up properly is a daily struggle for many parents. However, paying special attention to car seat safety is absolutely vital to protect children in the case of a car accident.

What are the Safety Guidelines for Car Seats?

Safety guidelines for children in the car usually specify four different stages. When your child is ready to progress to each stage largely depends on the child’s age, height, and weight. To keep your child as safe as possible in the car, make sure that they are buckled up in whichever seat is appropriate for them.

  1. Rear-facing seat

The first stage of car seat safety is the rear-facing seat. This car seat should always be placed in the back seat of the car, with the infant facing away from the front of the car. The CDC recommends keeping children in rear-facing car seats from birth until they outgrow the height and weight limit of the seat.  

Many car seat safety experts recommend keeping children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, rear-facing car seats are the safest way for children to ride as long as they fit in the seat properly. This is because the rear-facing seat absorbs most of the force from the crash while providing better support for the head, neck, and spine.

  1. Forward-facing seat

The next stage of car seat safety is the forward-facing car seat. This car seat should also be placed in the back seat of the vehicle; however, with this seat, the child will face the front of the car. The front-facing car seat should have a harness and a top-tether, which will help limit head movement in the event of a crash. 

The CDC recommends that children should stay in forward-facing car seats until at least the age of five. However, it’s best to keep them in a front-facing car seat until they outgrow the seat’s height and weight limits. 

  1. Booster seat

Once a child has outgrown the forward-facing car seat, they should move to booster seats. Booster seats do not have harnesses; rather, they help position the child so that the seat belt fits properly. As with all car seats, booster seats should be placed in the back seat of the vehicle, and the car’s seat belt should be used to secure the child.

The CDC notes that seat belt fit can vary depending on the vehicle,so children may need booster seats in some cars but not in others. In general, though, children should keep using booster seats until theys seat belt fits them properly without a booster seat. Most children will be ready to move out of booster seats between the ages of 9 and 12.

  1. Adult safety belt

The final stage of car seat safety is simply using the seat belt in the car. When the seat belt fits properly across the child’s chest and lap, they can move out of the booster seat. The seat belt fits properly when the lap belt sits across the thighs and the shoulder belt crosses the center of the shoulder and chest. 

Even if the seat belt fits properly, the CDC recommends that children should stay in the back seat of the car until the age of 13. Additionally, every person, child or not, should buckle their seat belt when they get in a vehicle. Countless studies have shown that wearing seat belts reduce injuries and save lives in car crashes, so make sure to buckle up!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Car Seat

Even when parents have the best of intentions with car seats, there is still room for error. With all the different car seat brands and models, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or confused about installation and proper usage. If you’re a parent, watch out for these common mistakes when using car seats:

Using the wrong seat for age, height, and weight

Make sure that the car seat your child is in fits their age, height, and weight. The car seat should also fit into your vehicle and be easy to install correctly every time. Again, using the right car seat for your child’s age and size will help protect them if you get into a car crash.

Incorrect installation

Make sure to install the car seat correctly according to the directions given with the car seat and your vehicle. This is important because the car seat can’t properly protect your child in a car crash if it’s installed incorrectly.

Buying used car seats

This common mistake seems to be understandable, especially when considering how expensive brand-new car seats are. However, buying a used car seat comes with some risks. First, you don’t know if the car seat has already been through a car crash and sustained damage that is invisible but makes it less safe. Second, car seats can be recalled and often have expiration dates. Essentially, it’s much safer to buy a new car seat.

Chest clips in wrong position

Another common mistake when using car seats is putting the chest clips on the harness in the wrong position. The chest clips should rest across the chest at armpit level, not on the stomach or up by the neck.

Straps too loose

Many parents also make the mistake of not tightening the straps on the harness properly. One test you can do to make sure the straps are tight enough is to try to pinch the straps at the collarbone. If you can pinch them, they are too loose.

When is it Safe to Stop Using Booster Seats?

By the time kids are using booster seats, they’re probably old enough to wish they didn’t have to. They may complain about wanting to ditch the booster seat; however, parents need to (and often do) realize that their child’s safety is more important than their child’s wishes.

As discussed earlier, kids can move out of booster seats when seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt sits across the thighs, not the stomach, and the shoulder belt sits across the chest instead of riding up to their neck.

If you’re still unsure about whether your child is ready to move out of the booster seat, you can use this test to help:

  • Have your child sit straight up against the back of the vehicle seat, and see if his or her knees bend over the edge. 
  • Check to see if the seat belt stays low and tight across your child’s lap.
  • Look at the shoulder strap of the seat belt. It must lay over the collarbone and shoulder, NOT on the face or neck. 
  • See if your child can maintain the correct position for an extended period of time with the seat belt in its proper place.

If your child can maintain the proper position with the seat belt, they can move out of the booster seat safely.

The Carlson Law Firm Cares

Car seat safety is so important for protecting little ones in the event of a car accident. Even if getting kids in and out of them is a hassle, the effort is definitely worth it in the end! 

However, if despite your best efforts to protect them, you or your kids ever end up injured in a car accident, you can rely on caring and compassionate personal injury lawyers to help. We care, and we can help.

Rest in Peace Remus! We Love You…

Forever in Our Thoughts

Rest in Peace our Beautiful Boy REMUS. We were devastated on Sunday to find our beloved boy Remus had passed in his sleep. He was 14 years and 3 months.

The children, Gracie, John and I are so saddened. Today I took him to the crematorium to say a final farewell to our Remus. May he rest in peace.

Taking Control of your Wellness (Guest Post from Laura Pearson)

Want to Take Control of Your Wellness? Here Are 5 Tips for Health Advocacy Today

Advocating for your health is one of the most important things you can do. It will help you lead a happier, healthier life, but you’ll also find that your confidence skyrockets as you learn to speak up for yourself. If you’ve been looking to become your very own wellness ambassador, keep reading as Diary of a Gay Dad shares 5 essential tips for doing so today.

1. Stay Informed about Your Health

Read up on health and wellness topics that interest you, and ensure you understand any medical information or instructions from your doctor or health care team. If there’s something you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask questions. After all, the more you know about your health, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions about your care.

2. Find the Right Support

A big part of being your health advocate is referring to the right professionals. Taking advantage of free preventative care under the Affordable Care Act is an excellent place to start. You should also find the right healthcare professional for your health goals and needs. LGBTQ+ families often have unique needs in healthcare and advocacy, and finding a professional who respects and supports your wellness will be critical to achieving your health goals. 

3. Take Care of Your Mind and Emotional Wellbeing

Physical health is closely intertwined with mental and emotional health, so taking care of all aspects of ourselves is essential. Make sure to schedule time for activities that make you happy and help you relax, such as spending time with friends and family, reading, listening to music, or getting outside in nature. According to Everyday Health, taking care of your mental health will help you be your best self and better able to advocate for your own physical health.

4. Prioritize Prevention

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. So, in addition to staying informed and speaking up for yourself, another essential way to be an advocate for your own health is to prioritize prevention. This means making lifestyle choices that will help you stay healthy, such as eating a nutritious diet, regularly exercising, and getting enough sleep. It also means being proactive about your health by getting regular check-ups and screenings and taking steps to prevent injuries and illness, such as wearing a seatbelt and sunscreen.

5. Manage Your Records

Finally, being aware of your rights as a patient is essential. According to HIV Legal Network, this involves knowing your rights to privacy and confidentiality, understanding your right to informed consent, and being aware of your right to access your own medical records. It would help if you also were constantly maintaining your documents. This way, they will be ready for easy access and can be reviewed for errors after a visit or prescription. In addition, saving your health records as a PDF to your iPhone is a great way to access important files and documents on the go. When you do so, you won’t have to rely on WiFi to access your documents – just remember where you saved it, and you’ll be good to go!

Advocating for your health can seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that you have the right to be involved in your own care. By staying informed, speaking up, and taking care of yourself, you can be your best advocate and ensure you get the care and treatment you need.

Baby Proofing Mistakes to Avoid by Guest Contributer Andrea Gibbs

You have finally brought home your new bundle of joy and are excited to start your new adventure as a parent. You spend hours caring for your little one and see her go to sleep before you take off for the night. But just as you’re about to submit to sleep for the night, one final concern pops up: What do I need to babyproof my home? For months from now, she will be able to move freely; you need to make sure that you have made your home a safe place for her. In order to be ready for these inevitable changes, you try to go to the internet for tips and advice.


You find that the answers you’re looking for are so abundant, not really leaving you with any questions at all. But then, you soon realize that while many articles generally talk about babyproofing your home, few talk about specific mistakes in the process. As a result, you feel lost and confused about how to move forward in this daunting task. Fortunately, this article aims to help such parents by pointing out the common mistakes made in babyproofing and how you can avoid them.

  1. Setting Hot Drinks Down Within Reach Of Your Little One
    It is tempting to put down your hot drink anywhere so you can take a break from her for a minute. But this is a huge mistake to encourage, as the first thing babies do when they learn how to roll over is search for things within reach. Being curious by nature, your child will probably grab it and accidentally spill it on herself in the process. The accident may cause a serious burn or injury requiring a hospital visit. This is a very common problem, which can be solved by simply keeping your hot drinks away from your baby’s reach. You can do this by placing them in a separate area and stored away in a way that they cannot be reached. You can also cover your hot drinks to discourage the little ones from nosing around them.
  2. Leaving Some Batteries Around
    It is much handier to have backup batteries in your house, as you may need them for anything from your remote control to your smoke detectors. While batteries are important, you need to make sure you store them out of your child’s reach. Children are naturally drawn to things like shiny objects, and batteries are no exception. They may think they are fun toys and, in the process, swallow a few of them by accident. This can cause serious injury or even death if they ingest the whole pack.
    The best way to prevent injury by batteries is to store them safely away from all of your children’s toys and electronics. Instead, keep them out of sight, and put them in a locked container your child cannot access. You can also use a battery cover over the batteries inside so they cannot be touched until needed. Also, instead of tossing used batteries into your household trash can, where your little one might fish them out, it is much more ideal for throwing them out directly into the outside garbage container.
  3. Letting Your Little One Play With Toys For An Older Kid
    Toys are fun for your baby to play with, and when you bring more toys home to entertain your little one, it is hard to stop yourself from letting her play with the new toys. However, you must ensure she doesn’t play with items intended for older kids. This is a huge mistake that moms often make, as they feel it is not a big deal to give their babies toys intended for their older siblings.
    Try to also keep in mind that there are certain toys that can be harmful to a baby. So if you see any toy with small parts or sharp objects, you should make sure that your baby cannot play with it. After all, your little one is too young to handle them at this stage of development, and they could cause major damage if he were to swallow them. It is also advisable that you know the toys that are appropriate for your baby and toddlers and that you discuss the items with other elder family members before bringing them home.
  4. Letting Your Babies Play with Balloons
    Balloons are a popular toy that is often given as a gift to babies on birthdays or other special occasions. They can be fun, especially when you fill them with air and let your child pop them. However, balloons are among the most common causes of choking in babies and toddlers.
    When you give your baby a balloon for the first time, make sure you supervise her every second that she is playing with it. As soon as she puts it in her mouth, try to remove it from her with caution and care. If she accidentally pops it, make sure you keep the pieces safe by placing them in a separate bag. This way, your child won’t be able to get into the pieces and swallow them, which could cause serious problems. Also, this habit can be fixed with time by keeping your balloons out of reach of your baby until he is older enough to play with them by himself.
    Mistakes are an unavoidable part of human nature. Just like mistakes in any other area of life, you need to recognize them as opportunities to make significant improvements. As we have seen, there are several common mistakes that parents tend to make in their babyproofing process, and there are ways in which you can avoid these common pitfalls. In your quest for babyproofing your home, remember that while it can be challenging, there are simple things you can do to make the process much easier.

Author bio
Andrea Gibbs is the Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, where she helps create content for their clients’ blogs and websites. She is currently a blog contributor at Montessori Academy, a blog dedicated to helping parents with the ins and outs of parenting children within the Montessori tradition. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog.

Outbound link:
Keyword: toys that are appropriate for your baby and toddlers
Location: under 3. Letting Your Little One Play With Toys For An Older Kid – second paragraph – fourth sentence
Link: https://montessori-academy.com/blog/8-awesome-open-ended-toys-that-provide-hours-of-creati ve-and-innovative-play-for-your-kids/
Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/full-length-of-boy-sitting-on-floor-315265/

Getting ‘Up to Date’

Well, this diary was predominantly written way before covid hit us. The children were still quite young. So where are we now in their development?

Amritsar and Tara were 9 years old back in March. They are both happy, beautiful girls. And yes, they do fight often… Tara is a bit of a Tomboy, but we can still get Amritsar into a dress on occasion!

Thor (now 7) is a little charmer, and a bit of a dude! They like that word – dude! Then we have Aaliyah, who loves pink, rainbows and unicorns! And she happily gets into a dress at any opportune moment. Then there’s finally Caleb, a good looking chap as it happens, a little too prone to tantrums for my liking however.

Caleb has a few learning and socialising difficulties. We are working out a plan for his future needs with his school at present. The others all seem to be excelling at school, especially sports! Aaliyah would like to return to gymnastics. She gave it up before covid hit, falling out with the coach, who seemingly made a rude comment about her hair of all things!

Amritsar loves netball, Tara football (obviously) and Caleb is undecided on his chosen sport! It’ll come, though they all ran well on their sports day at school last week. I’m not sure about Thor’s chosen sport! He did start football club, like Tara, but doesn’t really know what to do with the ball!

The children’s summer fete was held last weekend and today’s photo is of Thor with his snakey looking face paint! Fun was had by all.

I will remind you that I am known as Dadda in the family, and my partner John is Daddy. Daddy’s work keeps him busy, and home life seems to keep me busy enough! Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner is still a thing! We do eat rather well for sure.

We are at present looking to move house. The children are all growing so fast. Their two rooms on the top floor just don’t seem to be big enough. Amritsar definitely wants her own room, as does Aaliyah. Tara would definitely be happy to kip in with the boys. Though that’s not going to happen. She does get a bit boisterous at times! And definitely leads the two boys astray.

That’s it for now. Oh! I didn’t mention Aaliyah and Caleb’s age. They will be 7 next week on 5th July. Though their party will be held the following weekend. More on that for sure.

A Happy Medium!

Before we found our ‘Family Life’

I was going to name this post ‘Instagram vs Blogging’, but I have settled on ‘A Happy Medium’!

Yesterday, quite randomly, I decided to ‘Google’ myself and was surprised at a little memory that I found… once upon a time my name, ‘Andi Webb’ would have uncovered someone else with this very same name! One lady working for the US department of Education, or maybe an artist who produced a style of art that wasn’t really me!

But yesterday I ‘Googled’ my name and I, yes me, I came up! Well, a couple of the others alongside, but predominantly me. And that made me smile.

Several mentions down, way past my Instagram, my Worldpress, my book, or rather books on Amazon, there is a mention on IMDb, the movie information site, with my name, and that brought back a happy memory! A time when I designed clothes and costume, and worked on wardrobe for a couple of productions. I even made clothing for a few major celebs…

As you know, I tend to go visual nowadays, using Instagram as my main interaction within social media. But today I thought that I would reminisce about my experience yesterday here, on my blog, at Worldpress.

I smiled as my Instagram account Instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife came up first on the search, but then my blog, showing me, that it is relevant, somehow it means something! Then thirdly came my books, as mentioned, on the Amazon platform.

My audiobook of Eighteen Moons came next, then the IMDb mention…

I did enjoy designing clothes. I actually talk about this period of my life in my third book released by ‘My Life Publishing’ in January of this year. The title being ‘Many Moons Before’, the prequel to parenting. You know, I even made clothing for ‘Slash’ of Guns and Roses fame, back in ‘The Day’!

So back to the title of this post, a ‘Happy Medium’? I could not really have relayed what I am saying right now on Instagram! I forget this… I am a writer, a man with a diary… haha, predictive text has just shown me the word diarrhoea! You gotta smile…

I have made many friends on Instagram, several have purchased and reviewed my first book ‘Eighteen Moons’. And for that, I am grateful. But then again, I have made several friends over the years on Worldpress too. I hope you know who you are?

So, I have realised that I truly do want to write, and to do this with any effect, Twitter and Instagram are just not the right medium!

Lol and I can post photos on here too! that’s simply amazing. I’m sorry if they are mostly square…

So, ‘My Big Crazy Family Life’ continues, here at andiwebb.net / diaryofagaydad.net

Right, ‘A Happy Medium’ has indeed been struck! So, what about those photos I have been talking about!

Two Dads
And 5 beautiful children

Right Post Called Tail Towel

That was my reminder!

What on earth could it mean? I am now thinking?

I have failed to blog over this last month! A birthday befell me 4 weeks ago, then the tragic death of my older brother…

Though this post is not going to dwell on either of those things. I have just traveled the globe to be there for his goodbye service in Australia, (I live in the U.K.), and I have only just circumnavigated my way home, to John and the children. They all missed me, these last 8 days, as I indeed missed them.

You already know, I’m the guy who wrote, The Diary of a Gay Dad, don’t you?

Well, if not, here I am, Andi Webb. A two year diary blogger who took a break. One of those years ended up in paperback format, Thirteen Moons More, the successor to my first novel, Eighteen Moons. That was the story of how my partner John and I became parents! It only seemed fitting to write a second book on just how those two naive blokes, Andi and John panned out as parents.

Well, last year there was even a third book, Many Moons Before. It only took me 6 months to write, and then a couple of months in the editing. Thank you dear friend Bern for that. And that book was all about me, rather selfish huh? The prequel to parenting. I’ve sold around 25 copies! So, a big thank you to those who invested in reading my true life story. It’s a cracking story, a life well lived, or maybe not! You be the judge of that?

We can’t always be responsible for what befalls us, can we? It’s what we do to put things right that matters… or indeed embrace the good that touches our daily lives! Keep it close.

Okay, so what about this posts title, I hear you ask?

Haha… I had asked Alexa earlier, to remind me to ‘write post called tall tale’ or something suchlike!!! I forget now, tall tall, tail tall, or was it tail tail. I’m sure it really doesn’t matter as I have moved on already. And these last moments and thoughts don’t even seem to matter now as they may have a short while ago. Because I am my own life’s creator and commentator, aren’t I?

You know what I mean – right? I’m expecting a few comments today by the way! And I will answer all and any.

Why is it that popular bloggers or TikTok’ers ask you? ‘Just drop me the name of your town or city and I’ll give you a shoutout’!!! WTF!!! Am I that desperate to increase the volume of my comments on this blog and in particular, this specific post. It’s a seminal one, for me, that is!!! Maybe for you too… ummmh!!!

So, I ask myself, three real life novels into my career of writing… well, just what can I write about next?!?!? I have promised Dadda Gets Jammin’ and that title will surely come into being! It’s started of course, but as it’s relative to life being lived, I will be adding new chapters as and when! Julia Child took many years to compile her book after all.

The Diary of a Gay Dad (the teenage years) is of course, yet to happen. And the children are all for now, just happy children, going about their early school hood years! Completely bonkers at the weekends of course, but overall, just happy children…

I want, no, need a writing project outside of blogging, away from the 3 biographical stories.

On my journey home from Australia, which was over thirty hours from door to door by the way, I imagined that I had joined the ranks of fictional writers!!! Yes those who write and invest in their imaginations, and build worlds and situations. Possibly within unimaginable worlds from present, past or future…

Okay, my next novel is now my #wip (work in progress) and it’s title is going to be ‘Portal’. And this is the first time it has been spoken of, and it is truly now, down on paper, as to coin a phrase.

‘The full moon was cloistered by cloud’… (The first sentence!)

Well that’s it really! I have now officially joined the ranks of fictional writers out there! Hoorah! This is a good thing…

Also, if you are still reading these last paragraphs, please drop into comments any thoughts that you may have! this project is in need of your participation. I’m going to write this book having noted your feedback! Will this book be children’s fantasy fiction, something of the soul, science fiction, or completely something else?

I have reached this point now in this blog post and I am feeling completely jubilant! Firstly, to have recognised the processes and life situations that have led me here in my writing career, with 3 books written, and all available for you to read through Amazon (just search Andi Webb). That’s Andi with a ‘I’ by the way. And secondly, I now appreciate that the small seed sown here today in this new adventure, Portal, will now be given all of the nourishment it needs, in order to grow and flourish. A fourth novel – unconnected, wild and random…

I actively want you to help co-write this novel. To help within it’s conception, to guide what will be an amazing story. I want you to give a little piece of you. Or a bigger piece, that’s up to you.

I don’t think that there has ever been a writing project quite like this before?

I am, or rather, WE are about to build a whole new world together. And that makes me smile.

So how is your day going?

Do you see what I’ve done? I have invited you, the reader of this blog, to comment a third time!!! And I hope, for one reason or another you do!

Join me?

I just realised!

Being back to blogging, albeit not daily, I just realised that I had reacquainted myself to you lovely people! But I have done very little by way of actually filling this diary with the day to day happenings within my family space!

Well, Aaliyah has only just hugged Remus, our Dalmatian and told him that she loves him. She is now skipping around the living room with Tara.

We are planning on going out shortly! To a local retail park to buy some ‘stuff’ at Pound Land! More, Chinese made, plastic tat, that will inevitably find its way to the bin. Especially if Caleb gets his hands on it!

A couple of Christmases ago he ripped the heads off of all 5 animal ‘squishies’ they had been given, over a 24hr period! He is still so very bad when it comes to breaking things. He makes it his mission to fidget with something until it gives / breaks.

He is presently watching ‘Siren Head’ on YouTube, on the television, with Thor! I’m not really sure if it is age appropriate! We will wait and see on that score.

Daddy has just gathered wood and kindling for a log fire that we shall light on our return home.

Tara and Amritsar are presently hugging daddy, or have they actually taken over playing daddy’s iPad? Hmmmh…

Aaliyah now doing art in the kitchen, and I? Well, I am resting on the sofa after having just served up a lunch of Sausage, mash and peas! I think that we are ordering ‘Chinese’ tonight! We only order takeaways about once a month! Last time it was Indian. Tandoori King Prawns… heaven, though a little too red looking I remember! Why do they do that?

I might give you an update on Thursday as it is my Birthday! Hoorah. I am not making a birthday cake this year, rather a pile of chocolate brownies with embedded Oreo cookies and roasted hazelnuts! Damn those hazelnuts took ages to blanch, peel and roast! Note to oneself! Buy pre done in the future! Like dressing a crab! I have learned that life is too short!

Happy Valentine’s all for tomorrow! If you celebrate it, that is! I think we are doing cards and a nice dinner of Alaskan Spider Crab and homemade triple cooked Chips / Fries… bliss!

Earlier in the day Daddy and Dadda are watching Tara play football for the school team. They are in the county quarter finals you know! Last week they won in all 4 matches they played to qualify! Fingers crossed that they are triumphant.

A very jubilant Tara last week!

More from the ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’ soon…

The Children

Somebody once told me! ‘Show me the three year old and I’ll show you the adult!’ And I believe this saying to be 100% true. As all five of our children’s personalities were set in stone very early on…

Amritsar with Gracie

Amritsar is our oldest and undoubtedly our most academic thinker. As a toddler, she would be so focussed on play and tasks undertaken, like round peg in round hole, star peg in star hole etc! Such a meticulous thinker. She is definitely our best behaved child.

Tara and Koala Babies

As this picture may suggest, Tara is our most empathetic child. She is Amritsar’s twin. The younger twin, or rather lighter, as their births were down to a C-section.

She has always shown consideration and kindness to her other siblings. Especially Caleb, the youngest and the one needing the most support.

It is no surprise that people immediately take to Tara. Every child in her school boasts her friendship! Mind you, she still has a mischievous streak! Expertly pulling the strings of our younger three to do her bidding! The ‘Puppet Master’!

Thor at Daddy’s work desk

Thor, from the very beginning has been our screamiest child. But he also brings with him character and wit. In the last two years he has progressed much. Less screamy and more witty as a result.

He will make you smile with his mumblings and muses! He has a whole repertoire of behaviours that create smiles and drama.

Just this minute he has said ‘hello Dadda, I love you Dadda’! He really is a lovely boy! But his wrath… oh my goodness, his wrath!

Aaliyah and Gracie

The older of our younger set of twins is Aaliyah. Again, older due to her weight at birth due to a C-section. She absolutely loves dogs. And she has that special affinity with Gracie our Dalmatian. Her three most beloved soft toys are all dogs.

Aaliyah is head strong and assertive! Three years ago, on our Summer break in Provence, she took to swimming like a professional. She just ‘Got It’, like a fish to water.

She also shows much compassion to her younger twin Caleb. Though they are also just as happy fighting like cats and dogs!

Caleb up a tree

Caleb, our youngest. Already mentioned twice! Yes, the children are all protective when it comes to Caleb. Well, maybe not Thor as they are often fighting! But that’s a boy thing right? Caleb is a late developer! He is at present going through various tests in order for us to ascertain his level on ‘the scale’!

He is more screamy now. Especially if he does not get his own way. Academically he struggles a lot. He is finding writing most difficult, to the degree of still misspelling his own name!

But like crawling late, walking late and talking late – he has ultimately mastered these things!

So, I hope this update on the children finds you all well, and reacquaints you a little bit with ‘My Big Crazy Family Life’!

More diary entries to follow! I thank you for stopping by. Happy weekend all…

Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner

It has been a very long time since this blog has seen a post devoted to Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner!

And we have dined at home extremely well. Simple ingredients mostly, but maximum flavour for sure.

On Instagram there is even our own hashtag #daddyanddaddasdinner which will bring up the full feast of what is our lives in food.

I will attach the last 10 foodie pics from my iPhone library and give a few basic words explaining each.

Presentation is key when you see food, you really need to excite all of the senses, appearance, smell and taste are all as important!

Red Prawn with ratatouille, salmon and sautéed creamy potatoes
Crab Linguine made with the reserved liquor from our lunchtime Mussels and Frits
Chicken Tikka’s with homemade Masala Sauce and Naan Bread
Moroccan Chicken with Couscous
Bacon, Sausage and Mushroom Terrine
Salmon and Oyster mushrooms, served with black pudding, mashed potatoes in a Savoy cabbage leaf and a white wine sauce
Lamb filet, garlic green beans and homemade dauphinois potatoes
Homemade Donor Kebab
Sea bass, scallops, Green beans and Mash
A Jersey Royal Terrine with steak, salmon, field mushrooms and petite pois ala Francaise

I think that should do for now. The first dish was Friday nights dinner! Those red prawns were excellent. Tonight we are going with Singapore noodles with prawn and a mushroom fried rice with Chinese five spice chicken! Bon Appetite Everyone!

The Dogs Dinner

In a couple of my earlier diary entries, I’ve told you all about our 2 Dalmatian dogs, Remus and Gracie. They really are part of our family, our first born.

Quite ironically, the fact that Remus had fathered Gracie (with a little coercion), was one of the elements that led John and I to the decision ourselves, to become parents! If Remus could manage it, why on earth couldn’t we (with a little coercion)?

Well, It didn’t take me too long in my return to diary writing to plug my now, first book, Eighteen Moons. You know, I have written three books at this stage. This first story is the story of how two blokes (John and me) went about becoming a family of seven, nine if you include Remus and Gracie. Available through Amazon, simply by searching Andi Webb, that’s Andi with an ‘I’… it really is the most amazing story, filled with a whole myriad of emotions! But we persevered against huge odds, and here we are, several years on, living my big crazy family life!

So, Now is the time to reacquaint you with our two rapscallion hounds! Both a little crazy, and both act like they are still pups of 6 months old. Especially Remus, he has a very dear heart and is 100% devoted to me, and the family.

He has always been my constant, my shadow. Always there, always beside me, always needing to know that I am there for him. And Gracie applies the same tactic more or less! A dog really is for life, aren’t they?

Right, back to the dogs dinner!

I have previously explained that our dogs are on a 23 and a half hour day. Their dinnertime was 4pm around 3 years ago. But given that they would whine for an hour before they got their food, daily. After a few months their dinner would be brought forward by 30 minutes… a few months would pass, and again, given the sheer amount of whining, another jump forward of 30 minutes.

When I stopped my regular diary updates in October of 2020, Remus and Gracie’s dinner was at midday, no longer 4pm!

Well, in this more recent time, they did whine, whine, whine!

Now guess when their dinner is, these spotty dogs of mine?

A month just past, it had settled at nine…

Okay, no more rhyming, I promise!

Today the dogs dinner is in fact as soon as I get up, be that 7am or 7.30 – unbearable really as they whine at the bedroom door for the longest time!

At present, they are snuggled up beside me on the sofa. Tara watching the television, Thor, Amritsar and Aaliyah drawing at the kitchen table and Caleb, well, Caleb is running around like a headless chicken as he often does!

Just a small story today, to ease myself back into the rhythm of diary writing. Thank you for reading, and wishing you all a lovely evening.

I wonder what the weekend has in store!

The Wolf Moon 🌙 and a Return to My Diary

With Monday’s full moon in 2 days, the Wolf Moon, and the first full moon of 2022, I return to my ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’!!!

This will be the 16th full moon since I stopped my regular diary record in October of 2020.

With all of the children so established in their Monday to Friday schooling, I ask myself, will I have enough content for this diary blog? And the short answer is yes!

Our weekends are always so full of fun and the joys and the dramas of living a big crazy family life…

At this point, I should say sorry for not contributing more to my ‘high days and holidays’ promise to sharing something to this diary these last sixteen moons.

So with that said and done! Expect to see me in your feeds a little more often. And I will make you a deal! If spending this absent time from blogging in getting to grips with Instagram has taught me anything! I sincerely promise you – if you send a blog post of mine a like, I will courteously respond to your blog by reading your latest post and liking it in return. The same can be said about comments! If you comment on my post, I will respond by paying you with the very same attention and commenting back on your latest post.

It will be great to get reacquainted with you all. And hopefully our friendships will blossom once again…

My first entry on diaryofagaydad.net is a happy one as it is Daddy’s (John’s) birthday today. We have just enjoyed Birthday Cake in the kitchen and the children are all now settled and watching a movie. Sindy our nanny is still with us you will be happy to know. And she is very kindly coming in this evening to babysit, allowing Daddy and Dadda to venture out for a meal at one of our favourite local restaurants.

An update on that tomorrow perhaps. It’s lovely to be back guys.

So, now can I finally take this moment to say ‘Wishing you all a wonderful 2022’ and let us all continue to dare to dream…

Many Moons Before

It has been a while since I have put pen to paper at andiwebb.net! But this month is certainly one to celebrate! My third book release has just happened on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1739754638/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1643550765&sr=8-6

This memoir is the prequel to my previous 2 books. You may remember that the first book, Eighteen Moons, was the story of how John and I became ‘Gay Dads’, and the second book is a year taken from this actual diary, ‘Thirteen Moons More’.

Many Moons Before takes you on a journey through my adult life, lived in London Town, taking us up to the moment that ‘Eighteen Moons’ begins. At very least, check out the book blurb via the link.

If you are not in the U.K. just search ‘Many Moons Before’ in your countries Amazon browser. Or ‘Andi Webb’ of course, to bring up all three book titles. All are an amazing read I’ve been told! Just look at the reviews…

Some of you may remember that I had been considering a project to write a Jam Making, recipes and lifestyle book Dadda Gets Jammin’ and this will be undertaken in 2022. A recipe book quite unlike any other!

But for new, do check out ‘Many Moons Before’ you’ll be happy that you did. The Trilogy now complete…

And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram. Instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife

My Final Diary Entry, At Least For Now!

It is with some regret that on the 2nd anniversary of my diary blog diaryofagaydad.net, I have to explain, that after these past 24 months of sharing the ups and downs of parenthood, my musings on this forum have (for now) come to an end. I will of course leave the archive online and intact if you ever chose to relive the ups and the downs of 2 years of parenting five small children?

A message from a fellow blogger tonight that ‘I am bored’, has lead me to the conclusion that it is now time to step away!

No pictures, no finale, no fanfare, just goodbye for now my friends…

On other social media such as Facebook, I do not post often. But if you found any part of my blog something positive to muse over (btw predictive text just flashed up ‘pissup’ lol) just search ‘Andi Webb London’ and I will surely follow you back!

The other option is Instagram of course! http://www.instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife

I am certainly considering ‘Diary of a a gay Dad, the teenage years’ though 4+ years away at this point! Another time altogether, maybe it will be a great time for us both to catchup once again.

Thank you for listening these last 2 years, thank you for being there and ultimately thank you for caring. I am very happy to know you.

And for those that I am not connected to on other social media platforms, good bye and take care.

Two Years on Worldpress

A moment ago I opened the Worldpress app and to my surprise I found a ‘Happy 2 Year Anniversary’ text!

Has it really been 2 whole years!

I started blogging back then in order to have a presence on social media. A diary blog seemed like a great idea to help promote my recently finished manuscript entitled ‘Eighteen Moons’. So my ‘diary of a gay dad’ began.

At first I was just blogging out there into the ether. I then shared to my Facebook page and attracted a few readers from there! Not many likes at all but I noted a readership after a few months of 39.

I joined Twitter so that I could share my blog to that platform and later on Instagram!

I thank Twitter for bringing many of my current readers. You know who you are! And I thank you for sticking with the ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’.

I have since stopped sharing to Facebook! And if any of my Facebook friends are still reading this, then I believe that you are indeed true friends.

As you know my mojo has waned in recent weeks. The blog didn’t really sell any books but a couple and I would like to thank the few of you who have enjoyed the story of ‘Eighteen Moons’.

Also did you know that there was a follow up book called ‘Thirteen Moons More’ a kind of ‘who we are now’ opposed to the ‘how we became’ of the original book. Both are available on the Amazon platform. The latter book is a kind of edit of the first 11 months of this diary! A time when thirteen moons passed!

But for now, two years on, the diary of a gay dad continues! So, Happy anniversary to me today! Two years hey! Who’d have thought it.

I thank you for your support.

First Fire of the Season

Late in the day and the rain has finally given up and moved on from its 300ml weekend downpour!

The children all presently spinning in a circle, dancing to ‘don’t leave me this way’ by The Communards. No, strike that, they are doing a conga train through the living room, kitchen and both hallways.

That’s one way of tiring them all out before bedtime I guess. Tara and Amritsar now screaming at each other as one pushed the other! Song finished now all left panting and out of breath!

Sunday family dinner of roast chicken finished and at this point, I’m thinking an early night for daddy and dadda! Which is very odd for me as I usually head for bed around midnight!

Roast Chicken, roast potatoes, glazed carrots, braised Savoy cabbage and broccoli

All now settled, if not slightly tired out! About to dress for bed! Wish us luck, won’t you. And best of luck if you have little ones. It’s not the easiest time of the day, is it? I hope you had a great weekend.

So, What’s Been Happening with you, with us?

After a short while away from my diary posts, today I find myself back on worldpress with a little catchup to be done!

The first Autumnal blush of our Canadian Oak

So sorry if I haven’t reached all of your blogs out there on my feed, I have missed so much of your writings and on a personal level, I have also missed many of you fellow bloggers. This is a writing community after all! Where ever we reside on this planet, we have our mutual blogs, opinions, histories and hobbies that we share with one another! And that is a great thing.

It is true that I have in some way defected to Instagram, a more visual media and that I enjoy. But I have missed hearing all of your opinions and day to day experiences! That is what blogging excels in, isn’t it’

So what’s been going on with us?

Vine leaf releasing its red pigment before its decay

Over the last weeks we have enjoyed the last of the Autumn sun and indeed the first of the Autumnal rains. We have also had a massive declutter around the house! The children are presently enjoying a lunch of peanut butter and damson jam sandwiches and black currant squash. All shouting around the table as I have left them to their own devices whilst I finish this post!

They got a bit too rowdy, so I had to stop writing and come back to this! Haha, they can self manage well at this age, if they want to that is! A chasm away from the screamy threes and fours! However they all still have their moments of course! Especially at bedtime…

Last weekend saw the annual grape vine harvested and juiced. Now bottled and frozen for making ‘Dadda’s Jam’ or rather jelly at a later date. Daddy also pruned it back along with the yew hedge.

Last of the grape juicing post roast dinner

All of the children are back into the rhythm of school now. And Johns two days a week at the office has demised to but one, given government advice on a return to work from home! Troubled time ahead I fear, but I will do my best to keep upbeat for you. It doesn’t pay to dwell on the negatives, especially to perpetuate them, does it?

An exotic fruit salad was made up from fresh pineapple, kiwi fruit and mango. Just the taste of mango always takes me back to my time spent during ‘Eighteen Moons’ in India, Nepal and indeed my time spent serving in the Thai Army a little while after Thor was born!

So, diary entry at an end! I promise to be a bit more regular. All the children send their love to all who may be reading this. As ever thank you for your time. I know we all lead busy lives.

Tara enjoying freshly picked grapes last weekend

Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner

Memories of Marrakesh
Chilli and rice with a Sriracha smothered fore rib.
We held off on Sunday Roast and went all Moroccan
Lamb Dhansak
Yet another Shrimp Noodle Tom Yum
Beef Massaman
Curried Chicken, Mutter and Chapatti
Moules Et Frits
Ham roast and fine beans with Dadda’s Apple Jelly

Hoping everyone is well and thank you for browsing my diary page. I have been a little absent of late! If you don’t already follow on Instagram, our page is http://www.instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife

I’ve been spending a little too much time on there! Have a lovely day…

The Last Sunflower

Beautiful aren’t they? But it is only this year, upon the final wilting days of the children’s homegrown sunflowers, that I dared to take a closer look!

We tend to see the rays of petals and consider the plant as a whole to be the magnificent sunflower! We know that the inner disk is a nursery for seeds, but have you ever taken a really, really close look?

Once the petals have wilted, what are we left with? A thousand small flowers, those mass producers of nectar are in fact mini flowers at the base end of the seeds! Fascinating I thought!

I believe we should hang them upside down in the shed over the winter with a paper bag tied around them in order for the seeds to mature and fall!

Maybe a thousand seeds for the children to sow next springtime. The humble, yet majestic Sunflower…