29 Jun 2015

The Sea

I sit.

I listen.

And breathe...

The waves roll in and out, a shimmer of bubbles and pebbles drift slowly back out to sea.

And breathe...

Here and now this is my life, my family and my future. A contentment washes over me.

I watch...as the gulls squark and dive above us, hoping for a scrap of our sandwiches.

My children squeal with delight as they get caught in the incoming foamy surf. The boy has never experienced this and he is stunned and in awe of the magnificent expanse of sea. The girl has to be reminded that she needs to take care, be safe and enjoy as she jumps the wave.

The sea keeps a calm constant reassuring roll of wave after wave. It lulls your brain and reminds you simultaneously that you are tiny in comparison and it is infinite.

Breathe...

I vow to be a better mother, just like the tides and times, be more constant in my approach. Roll with the small waves and calmly jump the big ones. Try to embrace the breaks of water with a zealous squeal as does my girl. Watch everything with wonderment as my boy happily does.

The endless movement, never still and sometimes slow to meet the sand, other times with more force it drags the sand back. It has a rhythm and a purpose, subconsciously telling you to "breathe, listen, watch...breathe, listen, watch...breathe, listen, watch"

A mantra for life

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25 Jun 2015

Crawling Diaries - Cleaning Things

Well the cub is a fully fledged crawler and has now done a bit of walking. A few steps here and there but he hasn't got the confidence to just go for it.

So if he wants something he will drop to his knees and like a missile he goes for it, scampering over anything in his path.

I always worry (about everything) but mostly that he'll get ill, especially from crawling on unsavoury floors, so when I got asked if we wanted to try Zoflora, I jumped at the chance.

I told my mum and she said "oh yes, it's been around for years"

And it has, the website says 90 years of experience which is crazy. I must admit until having children, a bleach product wouldn't have floated my boat! But now it does.

So I first got to work on the floors and it smells so fresh and clean (& I really know it's clean) and exactly like spring time. The bottle did freak me out at first with the 'highly flammable' etc but when I realised I could use it for everything I soon forgot my nervousness.

So I've cleaned the fridge out with it, intend to put some in my washing machine softener tray and I am attacking the bin with it. I also had to have an impromptu toy cleaning session when my boy decided to throw his tractor into the toilet...I'm nervous now he has learnt he can do it.

It smells great and not all bleachy and industrial. Very floral and fresh and lives up to its springtime label. I will be getting some more as soon as I've used this up.

We were sent a sample to try and all thoughts are my own.
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24 Jun 2015

Wicked Wednesday - The Holiday Edit


I just wanted ONE good photograph of the three of us on holiday....I gave up


I'm joining the #wickedwednesday linky over at Brummy Mummy of 2


brummymummyof2
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22 Jun 2015

Mummy Tips - Those little gems we all have

As a mother you find that you constantly use short cuts every day to deal with the situations in life, often without realising you are doing it. My mum is great for giving me loads of cheats that I never even thought of and I've been perfecting a few of my own. Nothing grand but little short cuts....

My first was this idea to streamline my make up bag and only take essentials on holiday, first thing to go was my big bottle of foundation. I used my small sample tube that I received when deciding what foundation to go for (all make up counters provide these samples or you can buy your own). I decanted a supply into it and it did me for the whole holiday, we all know that you don't wear as much make up when the sun shines so it was just right. If you don't fancy decanting yourself, you could always go straight to your preferred brand in a big store and get a sample in your colour.


If you want to see more holiday related information then head over to my Top 10 tips for travelling with children. Whilst there, you could do a bit of voting if you fancy it...https://www.clickstay.com/mummy-bloggers

What are your best mummy tips? I started recording some more simple ones over on my YouTube channel 


I'd love to hear any tips you may have so please do share them.
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Four, Fourty and Beyond

So....I now have myself a four year old and a one year old child. My eldest will be going to school from September and so I will be going back to work on a more full time basis and the cub will spend longer at nursery (or that's the plan so far).

Later in the year I'll be wife to a Forty year old and then next year it'll be my turn at the big 4 0. 

I thought I was ok with these changes but the sands of time are slipping through my fingers at an alarming rate. I don't feel old enough to be here, doing this job and it doesn't feel like I thought it would.

My beautiful little girl is becoming a funny, quick witted mini person. Her brother is turning into an opinionated, simple (in some ways) funny little chap. I'm on the verge of an identity crisis as I come to terms with the fact that I will no longer be having babies. All my adult life I was working (most subconsciously) towards being pregnant and having babies and now I've done that and realise a child isn't just for Christmas but for life, well my life feels a bit topsy turvy. I wanted to be a mother and I'm so grateful and lucky to get that opportunity but what now....it feels a bit of an anti climax knowing that I may never hold another baby of my own and to be truthful I'm not even sure why that's important because for all their loveliness, babies are hard work.

I feel a bit lost thinking what shall I do now, I will help my little people grow and will nurture them but it's not like being needed by a newborn. I'm more of a servant now, the hired help who provides meals, cuddles on demand (but only on demand) and the odd plaster for cuts sustained in the pursuit of playtime.

I've promised myself that I'll get another house rabbit next year (or two, depending on how broody I feel) but that's as far as I'm looking. I'd love to start a small business again or resurrect my old one as I never really got to grips with that, I'd like to continue studying and get my Masters but at the moment I can't quite believe that time will be my friend again. I seem to have no time for myself, my fitness and life in general...once the babies are in bed it feels like it's bedtime for me too.

By the way this isn't a moanfest post, I know I'm lucky and loved and needed, it's more of a 'this is where my brain is at'.

I thought that approaching forty I'd feel like an adult who knew what they were doing but I don't, I still ring my mum quite a few times a week for advice about the kids, what I should do and the like. I thought I'd have grown out of this or at least had an idea what to do but I don't sometimes. I still need guidance regularly which worries me as what happens when I have to make decisions for myself!

I still cry at least once a week (if not more) due to frustration when the kids are scrapping or I just can't cope with it all. I find it hard with two little people needing and wanting different things at different times and some days I literally have to take it hour by hour to get through it.

My hubby doesn't get my angst and hasn't really had the full force of the children on his own for any length of time - I think he has had them both for one day without me. It's such a different experience when there is two of you parenting and I'm sure he thinks I over dramatise how our days turn from being ok to car crash within a few hours and he comes back to a snivelling wreck of a woman where once his wife stood.

Some days can feel like ground-hog day and weekends merge into the week, it isn't a nice relaxing difference for me and I admit I do get the Friday feeling but not like I used to. I'm sure this is the same for any mother of small children (well I hope it is anyway because otherwise I'm doing something wrong).

I feel massive guilt for wanting or spending time doing what I want to do as most of my time is child focused. For instance, I'm writing this after finishing my work accounts and hubby is bathing the children and I feel cheeky for not doing that instead (even though I do that during the week alone).

I can't imagine but equally am whimsical about the future and that there will come a time when I'm not needed the same and no small chubby arms are clutching at me whilst the child attached screeches at me and the other one is trying to climb into the small space left on my lap whilst making me sit in the most awkward position possible.

My little man is at that stage where life is frustrating, he is trying to tell me things and do things that are just a little too grown up for him, he can't work out what his legs are supposed to do and he just wants to get up and run off.

The girl is all for being a grown up and I can see the innocence slowly leaving her brain, she is still cute and cuddly but I'm mostly the annoying mummy who asks for cuddles and kisses a lot.

So where do I go from here, who do I become as the children grow up?

I feel lost inside my life


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16 Jun 2015

A Trip to Greenwich Park


We live in the South east and have lots of green places on our door step. The biggest and most well known is Greenwich Park and I have great memories of it from my own childhood, I watched the Olympic horses there and I hope my babies make great memories there too.


As well as the Royal Observatory and the Greenwich mean time line, there is an epic playground with sandpit, trails and lots of climbing equipment. We spent a while here.



Then we moved onto the Maritime museum which is free to enter. Inside is a brilliant exhibition and an amazing children's interactive area, it's really special and we stayed there a long time.

 

I would recommend it to anyone and we ate our lunch on the grass. It was a lovely day.


Even if my hubby took the pee out of me for taking a picture of a squirrel.



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14 Jun 2015

Drinking your Greens

My children totally shun anything healthy most of the time. I can get the boy eating peas and carrots but he seems to have gone off fruit, bubba will eat peas under duress and most fruit (but no other veg).

I find it a real problem sometimes and probably worry a little too much about it. So I decided to try a different tact....drink their greens.


I started with frozen banana, strawberry, blueberries and baby spinach. Popped it in the smoothie maker with some fat free yoghurt and a touch of vanilla essence.



I gave it to Bubba as a drink and the cub got a bowl of it. Both of them acted like it was a big treat and I felt very smug that I had filled them both with fruit and veg without them realising it. Perfect!


I made a little video in my series of Mummy Tips. So pleased do head over and watch my awkwardness on screen!!!

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10 Jun 2015

10 Top Tips for Travelling with Children

It's that time of year again where we can only think of one thing to get us through...HOLIDAY. In every advert you see and every shop window, the allure of the holiday is drip fed to us and then the sun shines and we are all in trouble.

Holidays with children are totally different from anything you can imagine when you go as a single, there is no lazing around on a sun lounger and drinking cocktails, unless you squeeze it into nap time or take it in turns with your other half. I'm hoping as the kids get older we will be able to do a bit more of this but with a four and one year old it's all about high octane fun from the minute the sun rises (or earlier if we aren't lucky) until they fall asleep.

I look forward to holidays now as it is so much fun watching my children experience things for themselves and going to new places. The one thing I swear by is an action plan and seeing as we go away next week, these are my top tips:

1) Take some pocket money in the currency of the country you are going to.

Or as I affectionately call it 'tat money', my girl can then be free to roam around trying to find something to buy with her small change. It keeps her busy for ages and makes every where we go an adventure in shopping for her. It also teaches her the value of money in different countries and handling money. Then the toy or ice cream or bucket and spade she has just purchased becomes her new prize possession.

2) Pack light for yourself...and heavy for the children

I'm so indecisive and seem to take tons of shoes, belts, bags and tops for myself and come home with most of them unworn. So this year I'm eliminating the choice because I just stand in front of the mirror deliberating for ages and then wearing the same shoes as yesterday! I can then make room for the extra t-shirts and hats and swimming gear for the little ones because lets face it, you forget how much mess suncream makes once smeared on a lovely clean top. Also perhaps let the children be involved in the packing process and take their own case (but last time Bubba wanted to take all her plastic food from her play kitchen).

3) Games, games and more games

I love a bit of Ipad time and it is a firm favourite for all in our house but on holiday I like to take a board game or puzzle or spot the difference books. It's all about the retro games for me because this is the time that you are hopefully most likely to interact with your family and nothing brings you together like an argument over who won! I often pick up cheap games in Pound land or the like.


4) Snacks

I take crisps and sweets and especially this time as we are staying in the UK and it's a couple of hours in the car. I'm all for bribery and indulgence on holiday. I dish them out freely as there is nothing worse than the chorus of "are we there yet and I'm hungry" so I fill the gaps with sweets.

5) Relax the rules

If you want cake for breakfast...well ok then, cake it is. Holiday rules are different and I like to indulge us all (within reason of course). My girl goes all wide eyed and incredulous that I'll let her eat chocolate before 9am...it's fun to watch. Same goes for dinner, ice cream first and then your main course, well why not!

6) 7) 8) Suspend worry, don't over think things and most importantly, take your happy face.

Yeah it's raining, so what...go out puddle jumping, they want to go to the beach again...go with it. Smile, grin inanely and even if you don't feel that happy, relaxed or worry free - fake it until you make it. Holidays aren't for being exactly as they are at home. You may be delayed but you will get there eventually and it will be ok.

9) Ear plugs, wine and travel night lights

Ear plugs work a treat on planes when little ones ears pop (as do two plastic cups with a bit of wet cotton wool put against the ears). Obviously the wine isn't for the kids but a treat for me and the night light is helpful when your babies are in a strange villa, hotel room or caravan.


10) Remember you babies favourite toy

Then guard it with your life the whole holiday, there is nothing better than a bit of familiarity to hold but nothing worse on a long drive or plane ride if it goes missing!


This is my entry to the ClickStay Mummy Blogger Awards - Please do go vote if you liked these tips
https://www.clickstay.com/mummy-bloggers

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8 Jun 2015

My boy - One year in

A year ago our already busy lives got a bit more hectic with the arrival of cub.

I'd say this year of motherhood has been far tougher than I'd realised it could be. Trying to juggle two little people's wants and needs has left me in tears some days, with a heavy mummy guilt complex and rather exhausted.

It's also been hugely rewarding and so much fun. My boy is developing a great character, he has tantrums (luckily short lived) to rival anything his sister threw at us. Already good at standing up for himself, if he doesn't want bubba doing something he is quick to take a swipe at her.

Eating seems to be his passion and he is always up for more food. I can see he is slightly picky now - in the last week he has gone off blueberries (which he consumed by the punnet before) and is suspicious of new foods now but he will still eat loads.

He can say 'ta' for thank you, shouts out his sisters name if he can't see her and if you ask him a question he will answer yes (although it sounds more like a chuckle). He calls me 'mumma' but he'll also call hubby that too if he wants his attention. I think he has started saying 'that' but it sounds like 'dat' at the moment

Cub still crawls everywhere and holds on with both hands but resists just the one hand holding venture. He has started to walk and yesterday had his first unaided four steps to me, so pleased I got to see it as I missed everything the first time round with Bubba.

He can climb the stairs in the blink of an eye. He also has a no fear policy and likes to go head first into most situations. It's a scary combination and he ends up with bruises on his head all the time. He will test things out with his head, banging it on things which I found strange at first.

He's a bit more of a sick note than his sister, I've visited the doctors three times already with him in one year whereas bubba has only been once. It's mainly been conjunctivitis brought on by teething or bad colds but it's a pain having to go back and forth. We are also mostly there with the teeth, only eight more to go. Thank goodness

My little man had his first haircut too, hubby used the clippers on the back and he looks so grown up now. Time is rushing past now and I'm trying to soak up all that I can.
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3 Jun 2015

Dandelion Wishes



I watch as she picks a dandelion and I have to remind her to blow and not suck at the tiny white fluffy stems. They take to the sky, catching on the breeze and again I have to remind her.

"Bubs, don't forget to make a wish"

Her smooth little forehead creases as she thinks and she smiles, her curls dance around her cheeks, also lifting in the warm air.

"Mummy, I wish that..."

"Sshh bubs don't tell me, it won't come true otherwise"

She smiles shyly at me and then she's off and running down the garden, chasing those little dreams floating in the air. Her laughter and delight spilling out as she goes, her little brother trying to propel himself of my lap in a vain attempt to join in this wonderful game.

I too made a wish and thought about hopes and dreams for my babies. Watching her little legs racing around I want so much for them in this life, more than even I can comprehend. I dream of who she'll become and how she will change, of the places they both will go and the delights to be found.

She often tells people that when she is five soon (she's only just turned four) she'll do this or that...it changes every day. Most people respond with 'don't wish your time away' and it's true, she's desperate to be a big girl. I want her to stay little forever.

I too have been wishing time away lately as I've sat in a dark room willing the boy to go to sleep or sitting on the stairs waiting for bubba to go to sleep. I must stop. 

I've got frustrated, thinking I can't wait until I no longer have to sit here, when they can sleep without help. So I can go off and do some of the other things on my ever growing list. It must be soon that they'll give me a little time to stop and think, be present in my own life, listen to my own brain and be still. Won't it be great when they don't wake and instantly think of waking me, a chance to sleep properly....

It's bittersweet as I too have been told not to wish it away, this is the time, the moment that I will long for when they have grown and started a life of their own. They won't remember these baby days where mummy watched over them, sat with them and soothed their worries. But I will, as I look in empty rooms or rattle around in a house that feels too quiet and too big. I'll make another wish, one that involves snuggles with soft podgy babies and little girls that seemingly can't stop moving. A fidget that doesn't stop talking and smiling and wishing she was a big girl. I'll remember that my wish came true many years before and how lucky I was.

I won't tell you my wish now, in case it doesn't come true but I'm wishing and dreaming and I'll find all the dandelions I can, hoping it comes true.
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How it feels - when you just need to be held

My arm is aching and I can feel the weight of you slowly sliding down my side. I use both arms to drag you up slightly and then swap you to the other hip.

I'm trying to navigate making dinner and helping you through whatever is troubling you right now. Your dummy falls out and hits the floor and instantly you start to scream again.

My head is pounding as I bend to the floor, trying to balance your weight and my back shoots pain down my spine in protest.

The peas are boiling over and I want to cry as one more thing to clean / deal with  and tidy up is added to my list. I shift you up slightly as I get a clean dummy and the plug is on and you stop crying.

I'm not looking forward to the next bit as I know I'll need to put you down so I can open the oven. The screaming begins as I prise your clinging chubby arms from my shoulder. I know the closeness is all that's keeping you from losing it completely as I glance at the clock. Still, at least, three hours until my shift can partially end when daddy arrives home.

The screaming reaches a crescendo as I try to cut up the fish fingers and shovel them onto plates. I too could curl up into a ball now and cry, I too just want my mummy to cuddle me and tell me it's all going to be ok.

Your rosy cheeks and runny nose tell me that those pesky teeth are hurting again and I wish I could take your pain away but nothing seems to help. So I hold you, my arms and in pain, my hip numb and my shoulders feel like they are carrying the weight of the world. But I hold you.

It's my job, my purpose and my honour.

But it's difficult, life still gets in the way and a toddler still insist on life carrying on as is, so I do everything one handed, as I hold you.

Back in my arms you visibly relax again and use my shoulder as a makeshift tissue and rub your face against me. I carry the meals to the table in relay because it's all one handed. It seems the thought of sitting alone or being parted from me is too traumatic so you sit on my lap, I hold you, I feed you and I mother you.

Small kisses on the top of your soft fluffy blonde hair to remind you of my love as I hold you and clumsily try and feed you cackhandily.

On days like this I cannot get much else done but have to remember holding you is what you need and the least I can give. 

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