29 Jun 2016

I kiss you a million times

What must it feel like to be loved so much...

I kiss you first thing in the morning whilst I carry your warm snugly body downstairs and hug you close.

I kiss you and laugh when you do something really silly and start brushing your nose instead of your teeth

I kiss you when I catch you after you ran off when I told you we were changing you nappy

I kiss you as I rush out the door, feeling guilty and already late for work, constantly looking back

I kiss you when I collect you after your day away from me. You are tired and shrug me off

I kiss you when I've just snapped at you, an I'm sorry kiss and I hug you so tight

I kiss you when you take a tumble in the garden and graze your knee, tears in your eyes

I kiss you after telling me how someone called you names for wearing glasses

I kiss you as you run over and voluntarily give me a big bear hug

I kiss your head when you snuggle on my lap tired from the day

I kiss you goodnight as I tuck you in, ready for a new day.

I kiss you as I watch you sleep and marvel at your brilliance and I love you just a little more than yesterday

I look forward to kissing you again tomorrow


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27 Jun 2016

The Job...I will never resign

No alarm clock needed as a small elbow comes to a sudden rest in my right eye socket. I'm then aware of the niggling pain in my shoulder blade and I pull a small soft toy dog from the spot and rest it on my bedfellows chest.

The wailing begins and I remember 'oh yes, there is an alarm clock' groggily I extract myself from the bed and rub my eyes in a bid to wake myself up as the shouts "out mama, out!" get infinitely louder. Opening the door to the dark room I am greeted by my second employer and he instantly demands to be removed from the room.

We trundle outside to be greeted by employer number one. This one is trickier, as she doesn't seem to trust any move I make and has to accompany me at all times. Even on toilet breaks.

Off we head down stairs and I deposit No.2 on the sofa, I go back and collect No.1 who felt it unfair that she wasn't carried down the stairs. I retrieve her as I'm too tired for the fall out that will be generated in my direction otherwise. I get to work making drinks and catering to various (somewhat obscure) breakfast requests. Politely pointing out to my boss that crisps are not an ideal breakfast and this leads into a discussion on what she wants and that I don't do. I'm told that I am no longer her best friend so I go and make myself a cup of tea before I get myself into more trouble.

We continue with them eating and me referring the proceedings as my bosses both have egos and believe THEY and they alone are my most important priority. It's not worth trying to make myself something to eat because it will be met with either demands to play at the precise moment or I will have to share it with employee no.2 (and by share I mean give it all to him).

I become personal shopper and dresser of the employers and both put up a struggle with what they want to wear and how they then proceed to get dressed. I remind them of the time constraint we are facing and the fact that it is up to me to get us all out of the house on time. I will get in trouble with other establishments due to the fact that employer no.1 decided she needs to go to the toilet at the moment I set the alarm and go to shut the door.

I carry all bags and accompanying paraphernalia at all times and help the employers to get to their next meeting on time and with the correct things. There are no goodbyes - employer no.1 runs off without a backwards glance, just happy to be free of her annoying assistant, employer no.2 is keen to make sure I am aware of how much I am putting him out and so makes sure he doesn't look at me as he is handed over to a lovely lady who will make his second breakfast and lunch today. He refuses to wave or even acknowledge my existence at this point!

****************************************************************

Afternoon duties include: collecting employer no.2 from his happy place where he is right royally looked after. He looks happy to see me before checking himself and making sure I know my place and he requires lifting and carrying out of the room. In the car he continues to deny he is tired and although he has had lunch, he demands crisps, part of my duty is to help him sleep so I drive around usually for at least 20 mins so he can be rocked to sleep despite this making my lunch break even further away. He usually makes sure he wakes up just as I sit down to enjoy some 'me time'.

The afternoon continues at a quiet pace as we await the whirlwind that employer no.1 brings with her at every opportunity. We collect her at the allotted time and it gets all very emotional with shouts that we must visit the sweet shop, I again point out that this will disrupt the next meal time but alas neither employer can hear me as they are now chanting.

Back at our office I prepare dinner and coerce both employers into eating, at times I also spoon food into their mouths. I'm kept on my toes the whole time as both keep getting up, getting distracted, getting in the way of the other, we make it through with time to spare and I am enlisted into playing games that require no skill or mental participation from me but I am required to just sit there and be talked at.

I have to remind both employers when bedtime approaches and that they need to go to bed and recover from their highly stressful day but they are such workaholics that they resist and stifle yawns. I use some bribery to make sure that they both get their nightwear on and listen to a story read by me, I then put one to bed and my colleague who has now returned from his other job puts employer no.2 to bed. Employer no.1 needs me to sit on the stairs until she has fallen asleep (I'm sure this is more so I don't go off and do something mildly more interesting in my spare time without her).

After eating my own dinner, I attend to paperwork generated by the meetings employer no.1 has had during the day, I make sure everything is ready to do this all again tomorrow. I go to bed dreaming of the time I get the day off...when will that be, you ask?

Never........!!!!!
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22 Jun 2016

Little ones water Intake - #EnjoyMoreWater

I've always prided myself on the fact that my babies drink lots of water each day, they have squash but both much prefer drinking just plain water (although cub is moving towards wanting more saturated drinks). So when we got the chance to try out the Robinsons Squash'd drink and help their #EnjoyMoreWater campaign I thought I had it sorted.


Except when we started the lovely chart we were provided with, I quickly realised that my kids might not be hitting their targets. So I started checking my figures and I was one of the 64% who didn't really know how much water they should be drinking.


How much water should a toddler drink daily?

Well a toddler needs just over one litre a day of fluid (this includes milk) and bubba should be on about 6 / 8 glasses of water a day. She gets close to this target on a weekend but interestingly during the week she didn't get as close, what with school and being busy after school the water got forgotten.


So for our challenge we decided to set up a hydration station in the garden, I got these nifty water dispensers with the idea that we could have different flavours. But the kids argued and I changed my mind and we put the same in each dispenser. I also let them squeeze the squash in themselves which added another dimension for them both and at times I had to almost wrestle the little bottle off them!


They would run off around the garden (they like to do laps up the little hill and back down again, sometimes I join in other times I watch) but the dispensers were a great visual stimulant for them both and I found they both came over at different times to fill up and drink water. As we mainly spend most of our time in the garden after school and at weekends, it really helped having the water bottles outside and accessible for both kids.


We also spent time one evening after school decorating our own plastic cups to use at our hydration station and it was great fun and both the kids got involved, they also only wanted to use their own cups.


We made a little video over a couple of days to show how we made sure we stayed hydrated in the sun.



I'm also going to take the squash'd out and about in the summer holidays as a treat and also when we go on holiday in Bath. Hubby drinks lots of squash and until now we've always lugged a large bottle around with us but not any more as these great little bottles take up almost no room but still provide you up to 20 drinks.

We were supplied with some Squash'd to try alongside our challenge - this challenge in association with Brit Mums and Robinsons. This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater challenge, sponsored by Robinsons.


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20 Jun 2016

Bye Bye Babies - Am I finished being pregnant

I sit leafing through a book of baby names, stopping on those that l like, imagining what that baby would look like. I'm gripped by a deep pressure inside my heart and head, my heart starts to race. I close the book and put my hand on it, remembering sitting in bed with a huge bump and going through names. Testing them out loud and discussing them with hubby to see if we could agree, the feeling of excitement and promise in the air, stroking my bump knowing that soon we'd meet another small person.

This is it, someone is coming to collect this book for their next exciting adventure and with that its the closing of a door on my adventure. Or at least I think it is...my hormones and my head often tell me differently!

Life takes on a very bitter sweet edge when you've decided that more babies aren't in your future. I feel guilty for the relief I feel and just as quickly tears sting my eyes, I'll never carry another human, grow them, deliver them and love them fiercely. My babies are becoming more independent all the time and don't need me like they used to, am I ready to close the door on being needed like that?

My littlest baby is growing fast, he throws tantrums if I try and help him do things, so I let him struggle and find his own way. I usually smile or roll my eyes but I watch him trying his hardest to be a little grown up boy. Sometimes I give in to the nostalgia and remember holding my newborn and feeling that utter devotion, I would do anything to protect them. I let him fall asleep on me and I stay pinned under him just because I know that this will soon be few and far between, soon he will drop that nap and I won't get those types of cuddles anymore.

My two are as thick as thieves most of the time and I'm lucky that my big girl makes sure her brother is looked after and actively involves him in games and at softplay the other day she opted to stay in the small section to look after her brother rather than go off and play with the kids her age. My motto is always 'nobody gets left out' and it's true, if we can't all do it then we don't do it and I think it makes my two think of each other first.

Would I really want to upset that dynamic by adding another sibling into the mix?  Would they all get on just as well or would one of them always feel a little bit left out by the other two. By having a third we would nudge ourselves over the edge for cars and holidays...going bigger to fit every one in. Let alone not having enough rooms in our house to accommodate another small person!


But for me, I now have to work out that being a mother of two will never transpire into being a mother of three, never experience the wiggles in my growing bump, never kiss squidgy little cheeks. No more newborn clothes but it doesn't stop me still testing my hubby and seeing if I could get away with another baby...perhaps I should stick to pets from now on!
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14 Jun 2016

Reading to my Toddler

It's great now that Bubba has started to read to herself and us and can recognise words. She enjoys books with stories now and listens intently as you read to her and with her. Cub has a different relationship with books, it's lovely to see him explore them with wonderment but he hasn't developed a respect for them yet. He bends the pages, throws books around and sits for moments rather than ages.

He does love books and we read a couple of stories every night - it's still the basics at the moment but it will do. Now he will bring books to me to look at and points, shouting 'Look!' at every page and I'm looking forward to our reading adventure.

Cub has his favourite books and he also loves nothing better than emptying his sisters book case and taking the loose covers from the books and scattering them around the room. I've started to notice that he is more careful now though, in general, and will bring a book to me and sit down ready for me to read.



For his birthday I got him a few new books and he also got a few from family which he also loves.

So here are what my toddler is currently reading...or being read of a night time.


Lost and Found - we already have this in hardback but there is such a delight in reading a picture book and this one is a firm favourite every night for our boy.


Very First 1.2.3 - he loves the three boats and traces the numbers with his hand. He is starting to get the hang of counting now.


What's for lunch? - this Eco book is lovely and simple, each page we find what's for lunch in different places and for different animals. It's quirky and its right up my street....good job really seeing as cub wants to read it all the time.


Very first book of things to spot out and about - my boy loves cars and bikes and trucks and trains and so this book is one that he can look at and point at. It's also great for his expanding vocabulary now and he is like a little sponge...say it once and he repeats it back to you. This book has lots of cute pictures and is a riot of colour on each page, great for any new language learners out there.

What are your favourite books? I'm always looking for more to add to our collection....
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8 Jun 2016

Easy Meal - Family Favourite Salmon fish cakes

****Thought I'd re-share an old favourite, so easy to make and loved by us all*****

Now Bubba likes salmon of all description (her favourite is smoked salmon) and red tinned salmon is next on the list. The girl has some serious expensive taste.

Knowing this I have never made her salmon fish cakes which is rather short sighted of me. Well with half a tin of pink salmon left over I decided to take the plunge. She ate them with a shrug and a look as if she'd always eaten them.

Ingredients:

100g cooked potato (peeled and then mashed)
1tbsp mayo
1tsp tomato ketchup
half a tin of pink salmon
15g cheese of your choice grated
breadcrumbs to coat fishcakes

Method:
Peel the potatoes, chop into small chunks and boil. Drain and leave to cool
Mix the mayo, grated cheese and ketchup into the potatoes and lightly mash. Mix in the salmon and season to taste.

Form into little fishcakes and coat in the breadcrumbs. Heat some oil in a pan and gently fry the cakes for five minutes each side (as you can see above, I went a bit mad on the frying and so mine came out more golden (read burnt) than they should have been. You can also use fresh salmon for this recipe or tinned red salmon if you prefer.

Serve with veg of your choice for a super healthy meal. I made about eight little cakes and Bubba had one and a half - I then took the rest to work the following day with a salad and scoffed the lot!


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6 Jun 2016

The Changes

It's small and insignificant to some, it wouldn't be noticed by most. I saw it almost immediately, only a few flecks but they were there, no mistaking them. I pointed them out to my husband, my mum and to Bubba herself, no one found it as significant as I do and each one of them had to check for themselves. Bubba even studied her face in the mirror and slowly smiled at me in wonderment.

My baby girl, the little face I have studied constantly these past five years is changing and I watch as her eyes cloud over when she's sad or her brow furrows when she doesn't quite understand. I know that face better than my own, I could tell you in detail for hours on end what it's like, every small detail.

Across her tiny nose (almost identical to mine) there is a sprinkling of freckles that are trickling onto her cheeks. Little cheeks that get rosy red when she's hot or cross with me, pale and clear until now, It's as if she's been kissed by a fairy and the magic dust is left behind. I am both excited and worried about these changes, it's as if it's my own face and until now I've known every mole or where her first chicken pox scar is (just above her eyebrow and to the left of her nose if you are wondering), her eyes have a ring of almond brown and the same flecked blue pupils as mine. But these freckles have a life of their own, I too have freckles but these aren't mirrored by mine...she's changing right before my eyes.



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2 Jun 2016

Water - How I stay hydrated

Hubby and the kids are all big drinkers of water. I'm lucky that my two only really go for water and we take water bottles with us everywhere.

I've been the only fly in the ointment, I find it difficult to drink more than a glass of water or two a day. It's not that I was particularly drinking anything else (although I do like a couple of coffees a day). I just didn't drink much at all and often forgot to drink, which sounds really silly now.

I had a wake up call when I had to go to hospital with abdominal pain. They couldn't find anything wrong and suggested it could be IBS or something similar. Whilst there they assessed me and found I was dehydrated and it wasn't helping the situation. In fact not drinking enough water aggravates irritable bowel syndrome.

So I vowed to up my water intake and a few days later whilst scrolling through Instagram I found the hydratem8 bottles being used. I'm such a sheep that I was on the website and ordering one straight away.



These bottles are brilliant because they are motivational bottles with a message one side, mine says HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER, you can choose from a couple of options. The other side has a rather nifty water gauge on it to help remind you that you should be drinking and by when, the time increments help you stay on track and then at lunch time you refill and start again. Easy to get to your 2ltrs in no time at all. Rather than a 5 minute fad for me, my water intake has risen from a mere glass if I was lucky to at least 2 ltrs a day, every day for the last month.


Wherever I go, people ask about the bottle and often order themselves one too. I feel lost if I leave the house without mine now, it's on a par with my phone. I love that it has a flip lid so there are no spills and a straw, I always hate having to swig from a bottle. Oh and they come in various colours but I chose pink cos I love a bit of hot pink in my life.



The kids often steal mine too and the website does bottles for children. As you can see in the photo, I sometimes mix it up and add fruit.

I must admit I did think my skin would clear up as people told me it might but sadly it hasn't. I think that's down to hormones...oh well! I have noticed that I get a lot less tired now, if we have a nightmare night with one of the kids, I don't spend all day yawning and unable to cope. I'm still tired but not in a 'my head may explode way' so I've noticed it's more manageable.

I get fewer headaches now, I've always been prone to them but now I don't very often wake up with a fuzzy head that won't clear. If I am struck down with one during the day, the more water I drink the easier it is to carry on through it.

The best bit is that every day when it gets to 7pm and I've drunk 2ltrs I feel proud of myself. Then when I reach for another glass in the evening I feel almost smug.

This isn't a sponsored post and I'm not affiliated with Hydratem8, I just truly believe this is a simple yet wonderful product that's changed my life. So if you don't drink enough I'd urge you to give these bottles a go...it may change your life too. www.hydratem8.co.uk
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