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/B09KN7YCW7/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1636367181&sr=8-1

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

Amanda Henderson and Nursery Safely (Guest Post)

Once again, thank you Amanda for today’s guest post regarding safety in your nursery! A very informative read. And something that will assist all parents with small children…

Setting Up a Nursery: Budget-Friendly Tips

When you’re expecting a baby, it’s important to think of the best ways to save money. After all, having kids is expensive! You also want to ensure that everything you choose for your child is safe and will help him learn and grow while he stays healthy; however, merging all those things can sometimes be difficult. When designing a nursery for your baby, you want to choose items that will help carry your child through several stages. This way, you get more bang for your buck. 

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to save money while designing the nursery of your dreams. The key is to start looking for deals before you make any purchases. Many stores offer discounts and coupons that can help you save while getting everything you need for the baby. You can also set up a registry, which will keep you organized while getting you a discount on the items that are left on the list after a baby shower or other celebration.

Scout Out Deals

Start looking for the best deals on all the things you need for the nursery as early as possible. You can use savings and promo codes for various online retailers, and daily deals from Amazon and weekly ads for Target offer additional ways to save money. The key is to keep your eyes open for ways to keep your budget in check while getting all the things you need. It’s also important to pay attention to reviews; for example, if you decide you want to go for a space-saving mini-crib, you need to know which ones are perfect for your child and your nursery.

Also, make repairs to the room as needed, and don’t be afraid to call in professionals. For instance, if the window in your nursery could use some TLC before the baby arrives, budget around $290 and call in a window specialist to make sure the job is done correctly. Search for “window repair near me” online and use Angi to help you decide which pro to call.

Invest in Items That will Grow with Your Child

It’s a good idea to invest in things that your child can use for years to come; for instance, buy an infant seat that can be converted as your little one grows and, as Mother.ly notes, learning toys that have more than one use. There are many options on the market these days, from bathtime tools to bouncy seats, and each one has pros and cons. Do some research before making any decisions, and read reviews on sites like Amazon so you can see what other parents have to say — especially with regard to safety. When you’re ready to purchase something, use sites like Honey to help you keep those costs down.

Saving money on toys and essentials can allow you to invest more in nursery decor items like wallpaper. You can visit a website like Spoonflower and purchase made-to-order wallpaper in just about any design you wish. You can also look at ideas for wallpaper designs for the nursery if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options. While there are many “universal” designs that are suitable for all ages, you can pick removable wallpaper (either a smooth or woven fabric) in a design that represents a specific stage of your child’s life (e.g., newborn), then simply replace the wallpaper with a different design as your child grows.

Start a Baby Registry

Setting up a baby registry will help you get all the things you need for your child’s nursery without spending a ton of money. Make sure you add small and large items so that your friends and family will have a good variety to choose from as far as price range, and ask the store about discounts on things that are left on the registry afterward. You can even set up a baby registry through retailers such as Walmart to help everyone save a little money.

Make Sure Everything’s Safe

It’s important to not only find the right toys and equipment for your baby’s educational needs but Mayo Clinic suggests also finding the right items for his safety. Think about more than just the things you’ll use every day; consider window blinds, outlets, cords, and other hazards that can be easily taken care of. 

Baby-proofing the nursery is imperative and doesn’t have to cost a lot; look online for the best safety items for your needs and price-check at a couple of different stores.

Setting up the nursery of your dreams doesn’t have to break the bank. Start with a little planning, and look both online and in-store to find the right items for your needs. It may also be helpful to check on the items you want around the holidays, as many stores will have major discounts during that time. With some preparation and a little help from friends and family, you can build the nursery you’ve always wanted and have it all ready for your little bundle of joy.

Guest Post on Disability and Parenting by Lacie Martin

http://raisethemwell.org/

Home Modifications That Will Ensure Safety for Parents with Disabilities

Parenting is the toughest job anyone can undertake. It requires equal parts devotion, patience, and wisdom, qualities that members of the disabled community possess in abundance. The skills needed to make one’s way through a differently enabled world have direct application to raising children. Of course, being a parent presents many challenges. One of these is overcoming the limitations posed by physical disabilities.

Accessibility and Child Safety

Making your home as accessible, and as safe, as possible takes on added importance when children come into the picture. It’s important to consider all the possible risks to your child, both the obvious and the less apparent. The National Safety Council and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend the following guidelines:● Keep small objects out of your child’s reach. Seemingly harmless items such as watch batteries, coins, and even cooking spices can become deadly in children’s hands. If you’re unable to reach high shelves, then consider installing locking cabinets or other safeguards.● Control access to areas of the home such as stairways, workshops, bathrooms, and kitchens by using safety gates or similar measures.● Install slip-resistant flooring such as cork, linoleum, or tile. Avoid stone, ceramic, or porcelain materials, which pose slip hazards. If new flooring is beyond your budget, then consider using rubber-backed anti-fatigue mats around sinks and cooking areas. Another option, suggested by DIY Network, is to apply anti-slip coatings to your existing floors.● Consider using offset hinges, also known as expandable hinges, for interior doorways. These can free up as much as two to three inches in a typical hallway, which is a boon for both rambunctious children and disabled adults.● Wheelchair-accessible cribs are available in a range of colors and styles. Whatever crib you use, never add blankets, toys, pillows, or other objects that can impair the child’s breathing.

Making Stairs Safer

Stair-related accidents cost up to $12 billion a year in medical bills and lost work time, according to the Los Angeles Times. Making stairways as safe as possible for children and adults is crucial for parenting preparation. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:● Adding ramps if feasible. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines specify a maximum of one inch of rise for each foot of ramp. ● Using rubber mats for each step to add extra slip resistance.● Using handrails. There are many options for making rails both attractive and easy to use.● Keeping stairs free of objects that can cause slipping or trip hazards.

Other Options to Consider

These ideas may require special equipment or the services of a remodeler. However, they’re worth considering as part of an overall home safety plan:● Using the ground floor as much as possible for sleeping, cooking, and other daily activities.● Installing closed-circuit television cameras to monitor activities inside and outside your home.● Replacing conventional bathtubs with walk-in models.

Financial or Other Assistance

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for financial aid for some of these modifications. This is especially true if you’re buying a home, as you may qualify as a first-time homebuyer.

Possible sources include:● Federal, state, or city grants.● Aid from private foundations.● Home improvement loans from commercial lenders.

When applying for these programs, focus on the practical rather than the aesthetic advantages of the renovations. Also, be aware that the grantor may have stringent requirements for the choice of contractor. Review any offer of aid thoroughly before accepting.

It takes a big person to take on the job of parenting. Your willingness to assume this role says far more about your character and abilities that any physical challenge ever could.

The Purest Look of Joy

My daughter Tara has been dreaming about becoming a Koala bear mummy! Some series she’s been watching on Netflix! And yesterday was her birthday along side her twin sister Amritsar. Tara opened her main present to reveal her Koala suit. What happened next brought a tear to my eye.

Please play the following video with sound! And I’m really missing you guys xx

Guest Post on Parenting and Business by Laura Pearson

How to Launch a Thriving Business as a Stay at Home Parent. A guest Post by Laura Pearson.

Image from Pexels

Just a couple of decades ago, parents had to choose between work and staying home with their children. Today, stay-at-home parents have countless opportunities to earn income and pursue their professional passions. Launching a business has never been easier! 

If you’ve always wanted to become an entrepreneur, consider starting a business while you’re at home with the little ones. This quick guide will walk you through the steps involved in launching a home-based business and how to make it work as a busy stay-at-home parent. 

Choose a Fitting Business Idea

Your business idea can make or break your business. Before going into this major undertaking, make sure your business idea is right for you. The best business ideas are born from one’s own skills and experience, so start by looking inward and thinking about what you do best — as well as what you love! Passion is a key ingredient when it comes to business success, but that’s not all. It’s just as important to find a need for your product or service in the real world.

Stay at home parents are in a unique position to identify the key issues plaguing other parents, so consider building your business idea around challenges you experience in your own life. For example, running an at-home daycare could be a great way to help out other working parents in your community. Business Idea Insight recommends several other business ideas for stay at home parents, including dog walking, toddler education, and virtual parenting guidance. You could even launch a school meal prep subscription service. Your options are endless!

Establish Your Business

Once you’re set on a business idea, the real work starts. Your first task is to establish the legal framework for your business. Choose a business name, register your business with your state, and call your local permit department to find out which laws and regulations apply to your business. This is also a good time to find out if you will need to apply for a business license. Certain professionals, including mechanics, accountants, and cosmetologists, must be licensed to operate legally. 

As you get established, consider forming an LLC to protect yourself from personal liabilities and gain access to special tax advantages. As ZenBusiness explains, the process of forming an LLC differs from state to state, so make sure you read up on the requirements that apply to you before moving forward. 

Find Your Balance

Running a business and raising kids is a delicate juggling act, but it’s not impossible. Your success in this department will depend on your ability to manage your time effectively. Think about all of the things that are going to demand your time throughout the day, whether it’s preparing meals, cleaning the house, or dropping off and picking up kids. Establish a regular schedule that accounts for all of these time constraints and include certain hours of the day when you can direct 100% of your focus to your business. 

Know When to Hire Help

One of the most important skills you can have as a home-based entrepreneur is knowing when to hire help. There will come a time when the demands of your business exceed your availability. When you reach this point, trying to do everything yourself just isn’t realistic. 

Consider hiring freelancers to handle lower-level tasks so you can focus on other aspects of your business. Hiring professional contractors is also a great way to access expertise that you may lack, whether it’s web development, copywriting, or marketing. If you do decide to hire freelancers, make sure they sign an independent contractor agreement so you can avoid issues with employment laws. 

If you want to start a business, you might be wondering just how you’re going to juggle the demands of parenting and business ownership at the same time. Make sure you have all the tools you need to rise to the challenge! Choose a business idea that you’re passionate about, plan ahead, practice effective time management, and hire help when it’s needed. 

Are you looking for more relatable content about the joys and struggles of stay-at-home parenting? Look to Andi Webb for fun blog posts and advice from one parent to another.

Merry Christmas

Santa’s Mince Pie and Rudolph’s Carrot

Merry Christmas all. And wishing you a Happy New Year. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We had a lovely day.

High days and holidays… After feeling compelled to post something for Thor’s Birthday on December 22nd, I now feel compelled to show something of our Christmas Holiday 2020.

I might not be blogging at the present time, but every now and again, on special occasions! That’s alright, isn’t it?

Christmas Morning
Thor coveting Santa’s mince pie
Our Christmas Dinner
Merry Christmas to All.

Amanda Henderson (Guest Post)

getoutwiththekids.co.uk

How to Survive Winter in the Age of COVID-19:

A Parent’s Guide.

As a parent, winters were long, cold, and painful well before the pandemic hit — but there were still plenty of opportunities to take the kids to museums, indoor theme parks, and movie theaters. But now that winter is on the horizon and we’re in the midst of a pandemic, many parents are wondering how they’ll survive the cold weather months ahead while being cooped up at home with nowhere to take their children. Andi Webb from Diary of a Gay Dad shares some survival tips for parents in the sections below. 

Prepare Mentally

Winter is fast approaching, and it’s important to begin your coronavirus preparations now if you haven’t already done so. The earlier you can begin to prepare for the difficult months ahead, the more mental control you’ll have once you and your kids are officially cooped up indoors for the winter. Parade recommends thinking about what worked and didn’t work for your family when COVID-19 orders were first issued last winter — and then beginning your preparations from there. 

A few things to cover in your winter preparations include:● How you’ll structure each day, even on the weekends. ● The types of activities you’ll plan for your kids in the morning, while you’re working, and in the evening. ● The items you’ll need to stock up on now, like board games, coloring books, crayons, and finger paints. ● How you’ll take time for yourself and your partner, even when it seems impossible. 

Get Out Your Screens

Your family’s digital screen time should be moderated during quarantine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let your little ones disconnect from the world for a while with online games and activities. From online multiplayer games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, to kid-friendly YouTube channels like Sesame Street and Ted-Ed, the digital world has been a godsend for parents and their children amidst COVID-19. 

To get the most out of your screens this winter, it’s important to eliminate any obstacles that may be present — such as old tablets or laptops and slow internet connections. If your kids will be learning or playing online while you’re trying to work, the last thing you’ll want is to hear your children complaining about a slow internet connection! However, the solution is as simple as upgrading your tech before winter officially arrives. 

If you live in the US, for instance, Verizon’s fiber-optic connections are worth looking into — especially if your kids will be playing online multiplayer games this winter. With a fiber optic internet connection, you’ll experience smoother gameplay, faster download speeds, and minimal lag and buffering. In the UK, however, gamers can enjoy fast speeds with the Full Fibre 100 from BT Broadband or Big Oomph Broadband from Virgin Media. 

Make the Most of Your Family Time

Until the world returns to normal and you’re back to meeting the demands of modern life, the best thing you can do is make the most of your family time at home. There are so many fun waysto enjoy your time together this winter, like playing indoor and outdoor games as a family, starting a new hobby, and making arts and crafts. 

If you’re looking to brave the cold this winter, some family-friendly outdoor activities include:● Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowshoeing. ● Making a backyard snow maze for your kids to enjoy. ● Shoveling snow together for the neighbors.● Stargazing, camping, and winter hiking. ● Visiting a winter farmers market (depending on local COVID-19 restrictions).

While movie theaters, science museums, and other indoor attractions may be out of the question this winter, this doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun as a family as the pandemic continues on. With a bit of planning and strategizing, you’ll reduce some coronavirus-related stress and anxiety, maintain your sanity, and keep your family happy and engaged as the snow falls and temperatures continue to drop. 

Looking for more parenting advice and personal experiences from Andi Webb? Visit his blog, Diary of a Gay Dad, or send him a message at contact@andiwebb.net!

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…