29 Sep 2015

Our outdoor adventures - S'mores and more...

As a family we like to spend the weekends doing a little bit of what we all fancy. So on a Saturday morning we go to swimming lessons for Bubba and often then go do our supermarket shop. Hubby is always saying we need to get outside as soon as we get home because both kids really thrive on being in the garden.

So this week we decided to go out for a late bike ride to enjoy the last of the sunshine.

On Sunday we went to our nieces birthday party at softplay and the kids had the best time. We then went and did some chores before coming home and deciding to have some S'mores in the garden. Bubba wants to go camping and  toast marshmallows so we gave it a go (minus the camping bit until she's a bit older).We had been sent a brilliant kit from Certainly Wood but instead of making a proper campfire we used the BBQ. It was the best option with cub running around and his inability to notice danger.

It was easy to light the wood and get ourselves going, the instructions were simple to follow and suggested making a wigwam shape to light it. Bubba was so excited to see the real flames leaping up out of the bbq base and wanted to get straight on to toasting marshmallows. Hubby managed to incinerate the first one - it was literally black and sort of crumbled if touched...not edible at all!

We were sent some gourmet crackers, marshmallows and chocolate to test out and they were all beautifully wrapped and sent out to us.

Having never made S'mores before I had to find out how to make them and apparently you need to break your cracker in half and put a piece of chocolate on. Toast the marshmallow and then put on your stack, squash down whilst still warm and enjoy.

Luckily we had wood, starter lighters and flamers left over so will be doing this more often.

Bubba loved the adventure of having a real fire in the garden and doing something we don't normally do. Cub just enjoyed the goey delight which went everywhere. We enjoyed something a little different and hope the evenings stay mild and dry for awhile longer so hubby and I can go out after the kids are in bed, enjoy a little wine and toast some more marshmallows.

Our fabulous kit was from Certainly Wood - www.certainlywood.co.uk and there are lots of ideas over on their blog too for getting everyone outdoors.

ps. I did have some lovely shots on my big camera too but it decided to give up the game halfway through our adventure and my battery has stopped working...until I can extract the photo's unfortunately my phone snaps will have to do.

24 Sep 2015

Tell Me One Thing

"How was your day my love?"
"What did you eat?"
"Who did you play with?"

....."I can't remember mummy"

We have the same every day, sometimes she slips up and actually tells me something about her school day but it's very rare.

Daddy and nanny seem to be let into her brain and the wonderful world of her day. They get snippets of who she played with and what happened. I don't even bombard her with questions as soon as she leaves, we get home and over the course of the afternoon I try and make conversation. Hubby thinks she does it on purpose to have a bit of control as she knows it winds me up!

So I've started to ask "tell me one thing about your day" or "one thing you learnt today?"

It gets a better response, although finding out that Nancy has to keep running to the toilet did fill me with dread that we've got that bug on the way to us!

22 Sep 2015

Mum Thoughts

What's the time, where did I put my watch (checks wrist, pocket, table, wrist again). Dear god we are going to be late again!

Why can't we ever get anywhere on time.

Now where did she put her shoes and jumper, I remember seeing her coat stuffed in the back of the car.

Have I got everything?

Why does he always do a poo as we head out.

Is it raining, why is it raining.

I'm so unfit, running in these shoes hurts.

Why does she dawdle now! Normal I have to shout for her to slow down.

Oh sh*t! Did I turn the hair straighteners off? Don't know why I bother anyway, this rain will make it frizzy.

How do the other mums look all put together, why do I turn up a sweaty mess!

Must get sausages out when I get back.

I need to hoover.

Seriously how many more rice cakes can he demand.

What shall I cook with their sausages tonight?

I'll do an online shop this week before everything runs out.

Must sort out our winter clothes and give their too small stuff to charity.

Is it time for a biscuit yet, yeah it's past 9am I'll have a coffee too.

I hope he naps today.

Why does he empty every toy over the floor and then walk away, doesn't even play with them.

Is the washing machine finished, did it just beep!

God it must be lunchtime by now, I'm starving. Oh it's 10 past 10...

After this next load of washing I'll make us lunch.

Please let him nap today.

I wonder what she'll eat for lunch at school. I'm not sure she eats much, is that normal?

Honestly I clear up and he just dumps it all back on the floor.

Why is he not eating now? He moans all morning for his lunch and then this.

Honestly don't know where he gets his short fuse from, certainly not me.

Are all these tantrums normal? I'll google it.

When did I become in charge of doing all the washing!

It's too quiet without my girl.

Was that a yawn, did he just rub his eyes?

I've been sat in this bloody bedroom for ages, might as well go back downstairs, he isn't going to bloody sleep...oh he's flaked out.

I hope Life on Marbs recorded last night.

Has he been asleep long, what time did we go up?

Oh he's awake now. That went quick.

Right what do I need to do before I collect her?

Sh*t! Is that the time, bloody hell we are going to be late.

I hate running.

She hasn't stopped whining for crisps, bet she ate nothing at school. Welcome home!!

Why do they wind each other up so much.

It's gone all quiet in there, must be up to trouble.

Is it bedtime yet? Oh ten past four.

Why won't they ever eat all their dinner. Well that's it, no more food!

Is it wine o'clock yet?

It must be bedtime.

What time is daddy getting in, bet he's late.

I hope they sleep tonight, I can't remember the last time they slept all night.

Must be wine o'clock

Why is bedtime so stressful

Seriously aren't they cute when they sleep.

Is it bedtime yet...


20 Sep 2015

When the Sickbug Strikes

As a parent you get to a certain point when you think "I've got this down" and you truly believe that you can handle anything, your schedule is in place and nothing will derail you.

Then they get ill...

And life as you know it gets jumbled up.

This sickness bug hit us unannounced, cub was being selective on what he ate all day (not hugely strange, in itself) then at bedtime he drank his milk and five minutes later released it all over me and himself. We went into blind panic and bubba was sent upstairs to get towels and baby wipes. 

It's not easy clearing up a pool of illness and trying to strip the clothes off covered in sick (all of them) whilst your son screams because he doesn't want to be put down. But we managed until daddy came home and he cuddled our little boy to sleep whilst I started my washing marathon.

By morning cub was himself again, smiling, eating and being cheeky - I put the sickness down to a milk overload...just one of those things. We had a lovely day together.

That night hubby was up all night being violently sick and spent the following day in bed - we put this down to food poisoning, just a coincidence but nothing more. I wasn't worried and told anyone who asked that it was two unrelated events.

Friday night at about 8.30pm I heard bubba whimpering in bed and as I got in the door, she was sick everywhere. We then spent the night washing everything in sight again as it seems kids shun sick bowls and prefer adults to be ill on! Well mine do anyway!!! She too was violently sick for a lot of the night and so we took it in shifts to sleep in her room.

Saturday morning she was up early and bouncing off the walls, she didn't eat (so I knew she wasn't right) but she was full of life. By now I was anxious...I hadn't been ill and probably would be. We had plans to go out Saturday night, a rare night out and this too got cancelled. I got a headache and didn't feel great and wasn't interested in food, felt queasy but wasn't actually sick.

The mountain of washing and drying clothes seems to have multiplied and our weekend is over in a blink of an eye and spent indoors. 

You realise you'd do anything for your children to be happy and healthy all the time. It hasn't been our finest weekend but we've survived...

13 Sep 2015

Bad Dreams and Night Wake Ups

I've been missing: missing posting on here, missing sleep and missing the days as they rush by us.

We are staring our second week of school squarely in the eyes and my girl seems to be taking it all in her stride. Well during waking hours she is but night time is a different story.

For the last couple of weeks (but it's probably more accurate to say the last month, makes me feel better pretending it's only a few weeks though) she has woken once or twice a night, every night.

Last night it was twice, at 11pm and was put back to bed, she was up again at 2.30am (hubby put her back and spent 30mins in her room) and she was back in to us at 5.45am, up and ready for her day.

She sites bad dreams as the culprits, some mornings she can recite the dream and others she isn't aware she woke. As a family we are exhausted now (not taking into account her little brothers nocturnal habits). I can't see an end to it and it makes me snappy and probably hard to live with too.

We don't let her watch anything alarming, we have a nice bedtime routine and a non threatening story. No daytime naps and we try and talk through issues as they arise but she still wakes. The worst bit is that she instantly gets out of bed, we try to tell her that if she waits a few minutes she may fall asleep again but she doesn't. She blindly stumbles into our room where one of us then helps her back to bed. She then often wants someone to sit with her until she falls asleep and invariably I also fall asleep on her floor, only to wake an hour later with a stiff neck and freezing cold toes!

She just has a vivid imagination and probably it's her way of processing the changes happening to her with school starting. I don't know how to help her and I guess it's just 'a phase' but oh it's a hard phase to deal with regularity.

I just need some sleep

11 Sep 2015

The Best Motherhood Moments

The best memories of your little ones life come when you least expect it and it's often the tiny insignificant things you remember:

Sniffing your small child's head.. It never fails to calm and sooth us both.

Listening to them giggle.

Holding hands.

Watching them sleep - we all do it and ALL think 'what Angels' that's until they wake.

Opening your arms as they run into them for a cuddle.

The first "mummy"

Even better..."I love you mummy"

Reminiscing on the teeny tiny clothes but forgetting the time they got covered in baby mess.

Listening to their hopes, dreams and imaginations.

Curling up on your lap when they are tired.

Looking at tiny toes curl and wiggle when you tickle them.

Doing silly voices...bubba has a fab American accent and thinks she can speak Spanish too.


8 Sep 2015

Why Starting School Wasn't That Bad...

I worried, I cried and I watched my baby girl sleep in the lead up to her starting in Reception at our local Primary School. I wondered how I would cope not knowing what she was doing and her having this whole new world open up to her that I wasn't a part of.

She was ready, more than ready really, she soaks up information like a sponge and she is always one of those children who will try to accommodate you and help if she can. Her best quality (it will be but doesn't feel like it at 5am when you are sleep deprived) is that she loves a bit of a chat, she would talk to a wall if the need arose and no one else was around. She can talk about anything and everything and happily tells people about dinosaurs, the new food she tried, in this case it was lettuce at school, she cannot remember what was with the lettuce apart from cucumber and that she had strawberry ice cream for dessert but she was mightily impressed with the fact she tried lettuce.

That right there is one of the reasons that starting school wasn't so bad, my girl who has dodged all sorts of lettuce in the past actually tried it, without me being there and seemingly voluntarily via the power of peer domination. Others were having lettuce so she thought why not, lets give it a go and I love her even more for it and for telling me so proudly. She tried something new and didn't need me to coax her.

We got up and got dressed, all fuss free on the first day, the school shoes fitted her (thank god!) and she happily walked to school. She went in and lined up with the others, turning only once when the teacher said wave goodbye to your mummy's and daddy's. She merrily waved and was gone, off to adventures new with her classmates.

The wreck I thought I'd become didn't happen, I had a small lump of pride mixed with anxiety rise up and then disappear and the overwhelming pride took over. I was happy because she was happy.

I clutched at hubby's hand as we walked out and I congratulated us both for getting this far, I dreamed of a good mannered little girl and that's exactly what I've got, she's brilliant, kind, funny and sensitive (and a little bit cheeky too) but seeing as we didn't have a clue what we were doing these last four and a half years, it's turned out rather well.

I'm still apprehensive that this bubble might burst as I watched other little people crying for their mummies on their first day (our second) but if it does then I'll be ready and there is bound to be some days she doesn't quite feel the need for school.

The very best bit of starting school and the moment I will savour for a very long time, is the homecoming. I was the last mother to get to school so she was waiting at the gate with the teachers on her own (having a good chat no less) but when she saw me, she flew into my arms and gave me the biggest hug ever. Bubbling over with things to tell me - lettuce was high on the agenda, she clung to me and kissed my cheeks like she really missed me and wanted to tell me everything. I'm all for school if it means we look forward to weekends together and appreciate each other that little bit more when school finishes for the day.

So if your anxious about first days at school, just relax and remember, it's all good and they may surprise you by trying something new.


3 Sep 2015

The Start of Something New

As my girl hadn't started school, I always found summer holidays an inconvenience. Six weeks that I had to find alternative childcare when her preschool was closed, yes the roads were emptier on my journey to work but anywhere we went would be clogged with other people's children.

Now my girl is on the cusp of starting school, excitement building and uniforms bought. Labels being sewn into too big jumpers and coaxing her into trying on her new shiny shoes (that she'll scuff probably within the first few hours). I get the whole 6 weeks thing, I really get it.

It's not about her adjusting to a new phase, a new school year and new beginnings. It's for me, the emotional parent, the woman who will sob on her first day (even writing that has made me cry!). My husband is taking the day off on her first day and although he is keen  to see her off on her first momentous day, he's made it clear to colleagues and me. He is taking the day off because he knows she'll be ok but well me, that'll be a different story. He pitched it as "my wife will be all sorts of crazy that day so I'll need to support her, but her coffee and pass her tissues".

I'd like to pretend that he is exaggerating (he isn't). So this summer holiday season has been all about preparing me, giving my girl extra squeezes and crisps with lunch and looking at the clock thinking 'soon I won't know what she'll be up to at quarter past one in the afternoon!'

Because it's the not knowing what my girl is up to for six hours a day and when I try and wheedle out information about her day and who she played with, all I'll get is 'I can't remember!'

Oh and that it signifies that she's growing up! No longer a preschooler but a fully fledged big little girl who can't wait to grow up.

I'm trying to jam my brain full of snugly afternoon cuddles and our little three amigos days. Yes I'll still get weekends but it's a different dynamic and a tired girl from all the frenzied activity of the week. I'm hoping she will have a blast without me and it won't bother her at all, meanwhile I'll do my swan impression - all calm exterior but turmoil beneath.
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