Every day I am pretty sure I do at least one thing wrong. Most days I do more. I used to think I was alone, until I talked to other parents who were honest. Here is a place for more parents to feel less alone, and more "good enough".

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Feeling lost.........................

So I had a really great week at MAD week at Shipley Salvation Army. It was great to spend time with everybody, feeling part of things, and the children really came out of their shells and seemed to love it too. Adam really mucked in with the community aspect - he did gardening, litter picking, bag packing and car washing, and happily volunteered so I'm really proud of him x. Jessica spent most of the week in creche with me but did go car washing with her brother and other adults WITHOUT ME one morning, a massive breakthrough. She also was extremely excited because "John Froud came, we washed John Froud's van!!", bless her little cotton socks, he has a new fan since holiday club this year (another break through in that she went to holiday club for a week and happily so, with Dad doing the drop-offs/pick-ups who she is usually more clingy with). Jessica also went in Rachel's car without me, and was dropped off at Christine's house without me there for a little while. She felt confident enough to dress up as a fairy princess for the fancy dress, an absolutely amazing breakthrough considering earlier on in the week she admitted to not wanting to wear dresses or girly things out of the house because everybody makes a fuss and says "oh wow, Jessica is in a dress/looks likes a girl" etc etc. So all in all, a very good week. Toby was happy all week too and went to various people for cuddles with his usual grin xx. He also got himself into a little routine for meals from being in creche, which I completely didn't account for and then realised at 1pm today that he was probably grumpy because he had been having a biscuit at 10.30 and lunch by 12.30 all week, and here I was not feeding him anything since breakfast and only just thinking about lunch. Oops.

And after all that, I am left feeling rather flat. I don't really know why. Partly, I have no phone. I feel amazingly lost with no phone, I can't just text somebody and receive a positive *hug* back, or give somebody a ring and have a chat to make me/them feel better. I can't go on facebook to interact with friends unless I physically sit at the computer, which is rather tying when you have a 7.5 month old, a messy house, and an overwhelmed brain. I have one really big group of friends in particular who my main mode of contact with is facebook, and they are the most supportive and helpful and funny group of ladies (and one man!) you could hope to have, so I particularly miss them when I am not in the land of working technology. And then I start thinking, do I only have friends in my phone, do I not have any physical real friends, and then I feel lost. Which is rather daft, as after having a break from writing this whilst I had a chat with my mum (used the landline that we pretend we don't have because I don't know the number for it.......), James has managed to get my phone working and I have a gazillion text messages to wade through so obviously I am loved ;)

I am just really really rubbish at making new connections. I worry I am imposing, that people are already in established groups of friends and are just putting up with me butting in. I worry that people think I am too young or too old to be in their "group". I find that people don't invite me out or to go places because they think I can't - they make assumptions that I can't find a babysitter or they don't invite us as a family because they assume the children can't make it because they are at their Dads. That particular one I really dislike because we have an agreement that we don't want the children to miss out on things just because of us not being together so will always rearrange if it is for the children's benefit, so I really really dislike it when people decide for us! I feel I can't invite myself along to things unless I'm asked, and then feel stupid because people probably think I don't want to come because I don't ask and I probably look really standoffish and that is why I don't get invited in the first place! I have three friends who I still have the same level of friendship with that I have had  throughout having no children right up to the present. I love those three friends. None of them are constantly here or always who I call for help, but the fact they have never changed how they view me, have always still invited me along and arranged to meet up, not been offended when I can't come and stopped invited me to anything ever again (this sadly happens often, you can't get a babysitter once and suddenly people take that to mean you never will be able to get one), but equally have adapted enough to enable us to still be there for each other, that I love them for. There are others who are still around too, who I still am friends with and who things are great with, but those three really stand out to me. There are also others who have sadly fallen along the wayside. But hey, it's their loss, my kids are ace and I'm a richer person for having them, and I hope one day they can experience something similiar in their life that makes their priorities change  - not necessarily children depending on their personal choice, but definitely something they can be that passionate about.

So why am I lost? I have three children who are awesome, a great house (albeit a complete tip right now, which does have a vast impact on my mood so I need to tidy it), and I do have lots of friends who I can call, and a supportive family also. I guess it is my own feelings that inhibit me? My own feelings of not being part of things, that maybe people somehow think I'm not who they are really looking for in a friend, that maybe I'm not good enough? These can make me seem unapproachable, standoffish, like I'm not looking for friendship, when really I very much love company and would love to spend more time with people. I'm a strange creature, I need quiet and some semblance of order and routine, and alone time, but I also need the company of others on a regular basis, and to feel included and very much part of things. I think Adam takes after me in so many ways and that's why I feel so deeply for him when he's upset as I can really connect with how he feels, and dislike knowing my child can be feeling so anguished.

Parenting is not an easy job. This week I have been around people who see my children in a positive light, who constantly say good things about them and the way I've brought them up, and I can't say enough how much better that makes me feel. Everybody needs that kind of support. I think, as parents, we are pretty rubbish at looking at ourselves in a positive light, remaining forever scared that we are messing our kids up. Or maybe that's just me. I need to give myself a big shake in a black bag as my mother would say, count my blessings and just try and be more sociable and outgoing. I am feeling flat, I really am not sure why, maybe it is the house being a mess, or the children not being here, or uncertainty about employment/money coming in, or feeling a bit like I don't belong to any friendship groups in particular.......................I don't know. I do know that only I can pick myself up and get back up on a positive road again, so that'll be my task for the week I guess xx. For sure, I want my children to be happy in their own skins, so it's important they see me being happy in mine x.

This song is how I feel right now - my head is too full and I just feel a bit overwhelmed and lost.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Pirate Pandemonium

Today we went to Pirate Day!! Which the children loved and it was really fun, it was really great to see Adam enjoying himself as it was busy but not TOO busy for him, and I can really see his capability to deal with busier places is increasing which is encouraging. He did become anxious about getting pictures of everybody, and we missed Captain Hook, but instead of being upset he decided somebody else might put one up somewhere that we could see and that he was lucky to have got the rest, so another positive change also in how he is dealing with disappointments.

The day was slightly marred by some stupid old man who decided to plough into the bunch of children that Adam and Jessica were in and drag a little girl along under his scooter because he was fed up that the town was busier than normal, but luckily the little girl seemed to be ok and the bloke was caught on CCTV so hopefully will get his comeuppance. Jessica was asking at bedtime about the bad man and if the little girl is ok, think she was rather shocked by it all as she kept saying in her bed "Myra wouldn't do that, Myra stops her scooter doesn't she for children"...hmm think Myra may be answering some long questions next time we see her at coffee morning! (Myra is a lady we know who uses a mobility scooter, she is much nicer than the man today!) Again, Adam didn't become too anxious about this, was reassured the girl was ok and happily enjoyed the rest of his day. It appears he is growing up! As I said to him today, he is the first nearly 10 year old I have had, so I might get some stuff wrong when I'm trying to help him with life changes and learning to be accountable and take responsibility for things, but hopefully we will muddle through together.

Here are some pics of our fun :D

Jessica refusing to have her picture taken....
 My two little tearaways
 A picture with Peter Pan!!
 And, Jessica's shoes. She stole my camera again.
It was a pretty cool laid back kind of a morning, which is unusual for my two with organised public events, and we even managed to walk all the way home (aided by three bags of sweets from the market) without me having to do any carrying. I am hoping for some sleep tonight as they are all most definitely shattered, although Toby hasn't got the memo that it has cooled down and is not managing with the heat today despite being fine for the past week at hotter temperatures, go figure. Tomorrow we shall crack on with the school holiday plans, and after 3 more days of school next week, all systems are go :D

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Blog I Didn't Write

So I was going to write a really intelligent and thoughtful blog about the recent media reports on proposed changes to school lunches. I thought about lots of things I could write, including the fact that it would take an age to get even a small school like my children's through the lunch hall if they all had school lunches, therefore it would be totally unfeasible. Also about how they could cater for severe allergies, restricted food diets by parental choice, and where would they draw the line at "exceptional circumstances" without being discriminatory. Another thought was that it would merely be a "look good" exercise, because I could quite easily pack my child a packed lunch full of vegetables, salad, brown rice and dried fruit and pretend it was all getting eaten but it wouldn't actually improve his health at all or help him learn to make independent healthy food choices. The same as serving all children a school lunch may look good on paper but it doesn't mean they will all eat it, in fact it may just create more food waste, more food issues and higher obesity issues due to a generation of children who wouldn't know how to make their own independent food choices and would think they had to clear all their plate and that a pudding was a "reward" for doing so. I was even going to write about how I'm not that bothered if they have a crack down on "unhealthy" lunches but only if they are equal and let packed lunch children have a cake for pudding the same as school lunch children get without getting all hypocritical about it. Plus there is the fact that they don't know what other food the children have at home so can't really judge whether or not they are having a balanced diet just from seeing one meal a day. I never send my 9 year old with vegetables because he isn't really into salad or raw veggies (plus he seems to only get 10 minutes to eat his lunch so anything that is too faffy is a no-no anyway), but he eats plenty of cooked vegetables every tea time. But hey ho. I had a busy week and I'm tired and I decided that I'd leave it to all the Super Mum Bloggers out there who somehow manage to have massively professional looking blogs AND children who are still alive every night at bedtime. Not sure how they do it, I seem to be able to actually keep the children alive and the house vaguely tidy OR creatively and attentively write about the best methods for doing so. Doing both in the same lifetime is rather out of my reach. I wonder if maybe when my children are grown up I could do it in flashback style. Maybe that is their secret, their photos are all 20 years old as are the events they are writing about..................................hmmmmmm conspiracy ;)

I have booked myself a couple of nights away with my littlest baby in just over a week, when the eldest two are at their Dad's for the week having fun. I keep having vague flashes of guilt that I am looking forward to some time just wandering around aimlessly, reading/knitting in an evening, eating a meal in peace (albeit with a baby stuck on my boob but lets not get unrealistic here), but then I shake myself and remember I am a person too and part of my personality is that I need to reset myself every now and again, get away from busy situations and stress and noise and just have a little bit of a break from, well, people.I may be an imperfect parent, but I'm perfect at being me, I just have to remind myself how to do that every now and again. And to be yourself is surely one of the most important life lessons a parent can give their child x.

I promise I will put some pictures up of our goings-on this month very shortly......................when I remember how to get the stupid things off my phone and it stops constantly bleeping at me because apparently the voltage is too high and it has stopped charging, despite the fact it is not even actually on charge....

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Important Things in Life

I have been hesitant to post as we had a trip to A+E on Saturday. Again. This time with Toby receiving a really scary head injury. Again. This time he didn't have to stay in but he has a very obvious injury to his forehead meaning we are constantly getting asked what has happened and when we tell people, getting constantly reminded of what could have happened; either by them telling us or just from the shocked looks on their faces. My poor brave little man who fell down the stairs at 5 weeks old and has two skull fractures, was hit on the head by a falling metal tv bracket and has a deep cut to the front of his forehead. How on earth he managed to escape with only a deep cut to the forehead goodness only knows. Probably the same way he managed to escape with only two fractures and no permanent brain injury after a fall down a full flight of stairs. He is such a chilled out relaxed happy baby that it makes us feel even worse that these freak accidents keep happening to him. This picture was taken shortly after he had just had his head glued.

So happy?? He was actually smiling at the nurses when they were cleaning it. My funny little chap. Surprisingly we have not had a social services visit. To be honest as much as obviously I don't really want one it disturbs me that two head injuries in 6 months hasn't been flagged up, no wonder so many cases go unnoticed until it is too late.

So that is my confession for the week. That my little baby has had another freak accident and even though it could have happened to anybody, as could our first accident, I still feel rather rubbish about it. I suppose any normal parent would, it would be rather unusual not to be bothered.

Other than that, my week has been filled with trying to get things done such as order school uniforms for September, pay for school trips, send admissions forms back into the school office, ring up about the council tax, send a complaining email to Sky, get the car hire booked for my sisters wedding, find something to wear to my sisters hen do, tidy the house ready for the Children's Centre lady coming to visit tomorrow and sort out our wedding guest list. In answer to your question of how many of these things have I done? None. Zilch. Nada. I have however done lots of feeding Toby, tickling Jessica, chatting with Adam and drinking tea with James. All the important things in life ;)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Some common mistakes that I make...

Sometimes, I yell at my kids when I'm walking down the street. Like on Sunday when we were on the way to the Salvation Army (so therefore making me feel even more guilty) and Jessica was walking on the wall and then refused to move until she had a drink. Except I hadn't brought a drink (bad mummy fail). Background to this is that she is experiencing a bit of regression this past couple of weeks and being rather challenging and I am doing my utmost to be really sympathetic and lovely mummy but sometimes I am kind of knackered and I snap because, well, I'm not perfect. So there she was stood on the wall, about 5 minutes walk from the Army, and she wouldn't move. She wouldn't even be picked up and carried. And I was just like "Jessica, what do you want me to do, magic a drink from thin air?? Seriously, come on, we can get you a drink when we get to the Army!" And she didn't shift and then I yelled at her "For goodness sake what do you want me to do, I can't do anything, please just come on!!!" And for the life of me I can't remember how we resolved this, I must have because we got there, I think I distracted her somehow by seeing something to look at or somebody to beat or thinking of somebody she would see when she got there, or something. But it certainly wasn't the shouting that got her to move, so complete and utter fail - one for shouting, two for doing it even though I know it's pointless and just makes her dig her heels in further. I hate shouting at kids, and I hate it even more in public because it isn't nice for them to feel like strangers are looking and that they should be talked to like that anyway especially in front of other people. But still, I sometimes do it because sometimes I just haven't had enough sleep and I've already said the same thing ten times, and sometimes just because like on Sunday I just do not know what to do. I have myself an amazingly stubborn and fiercely independent little girl who sometimes I just don't really know how to handle and so I make mistakes and learn how to do better the next time.

Tonight we made cookies, because she really would have liked to go to the park on the way home but the problem is we pass that park every single day and we can't go to it every single day because we would never get home - especially as she is even more reluctant to walk home once she has run about at the park. So we have a rule that we go on Tuesdays, that way it is easier to say no the other days. Today she really would have liked to go, apparently, so I said we could make cookies if we went home. That is bribery in a form, I suppose, so possibly not great parenting, but she happily agreed and walked most of the way home so I'm quite happy with my decision. We also did actually need cookies making for packed lunches so it wasn't an extra job or treat or anything. I left her alone in the kitchen to go see to something in the room, and came back to this.

"Is it ok if I put more sugar in?" was the question asked. Hmmmm. "Did you put more sugar in already?" I replied. "uhmmmmmm.....nooooo...." was the very drawn out answer. I wasn't convinced. "I won't be cross, I just need to know that's all, did you put more sugar in darling?" I asked in a very light hearted voice. "Yes, but just a little bit", was the truthful answer. "How much is a little bit?".........."Just two". Very helpful, I have no idea what that means - two grains, two handfuls, two spoonfuls?? I just say "Ok, that's fine, lets get you down and cleaned up", and hope for the best. They have turned out yummy so either I am a sugar junkie or more than likely she did just put two tiny bits in.
So yes, I also leave my child sat on worktops whilst I go into the room next door, and let her eat brown sugar before tea. I am sure some people will tell me all the terrible things that could happen, but then they don't know my daughter. As much of a fireball as she is, she wouldn't dream of doing anything like touching kitchen equipment, jumping about on a worktop, tipping the ingredients out (on purpose - obviously the floor needed sweeping after this bout of baking with helpful child involved), or eating the whole box of sugar. Sometimes, you have to stop yourself before you judge other people and remember that they probably know their children better than you do.

As an aside, I just went up to see Adam in bed and his actual words to me were "This has been an awesome Adam evening". This is something I have not heard him say in a while, and all we have done is a normal Monday evening of Xbox, Family Tea Time, eating a fresh baked cookie,  baths/showers and film watching. I guess children don't need expensive things, spectacularly massive treats or even perfect parents. They just need to feel loved, safe, and like their family home is a good place to be.

*Must try harder tomorrow......................................and must stop eating the cookies..........*

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Standing in somebody else's shoes xxx.

When you see a parent carrying a 4 year old whilst pushing a pram with a 6 month old and holding a scooter balanced on their fingertips, instead of tutting that the 4 year old should be walking - Offer to carry the scooter, you don't know how tired the 4 year old is or how desperate the parent is to just get home.

When you see a frazzled parent counting their pennies because their toddler is demanding a drink AND chocolate, instead of commenting that they should learn to get what they're given - See if you can afford to help them buy the drink, you don't know how thirsty the toddler is and whether the chocolate was promised for walking instead of being carried or just because the parent didn't realise they had no money left and had left their bank card at home.

When you see a little girl running around with wild hair whose mother says she won't let her brush it, instead of commenting that YOUR child knows she has to do as she's told - Tell the mother it doesn't matter, it's not the end of the world, you haven't tried to get that particular child to have their hair brushed and you don't know how hard it might be.

When you see a Mama crying because their 4 year old child just plain won't budge and it's raining and their 9 year old is getting stressed and the baby is crying, instead of telling them it's their fault the children are like they are - Give the Mama a hug, give the 4 year old an incentive, tell the 9 year old they are doing a super job of looking after their baby brother, and offer to help them get home.

When somebody tells you they just can't work because their child just doesn't "do" childcare, instead of snapping that some people HAVE to make tough decisions - Believe them, not all children are the same, and they have probably worked with other children and DO know what it's like to juggle work, childcare and a house, quite possibly all by themselves without a partner, and even more likely feel guilty and like they have to justify themselves every single day.

When a Mama tells you they need some time out, a break, to feel less like a human climbing frame, instead of telling them that they should want to constantly be with their child otherwise they don't love them enough - Tell them that everybody feels that way sometimes, there's no need to feel guilty, and it's ok to need to feel un-mauled every now and again.

When you walk in a house where children live, instead of commenting on the mess - Be honest about how messy your own house is or how it would be if you had children, no cleaner, and hadn't slept in 4 years. If there is only one untidy room, do NOT focus on that one room, even jokingly.

Most of all, when you see a parent struggling, instead of judging, see what you can do to help. There are enough people in this world judging parents without us turning on each other. There is no such thing as a perfect parent - if you know you are doing it wrong, then at least you care enough to be bothered about whether or not you are doing it right........and as we tell our children, the most important thing is that you try your best, because sometimes, that just has to be good enough.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Plums From A Stranger

So, I have been very absent because we have been to DisneyLand Paris and we are moving house in TWO SLEEPS and I was ill. I am most likely going to continue being rather absent as we won't have an internet connection for a couple of weeks and I need to unpack the house and make it all lovely and "family home-ness".

Almost every night I have thought of things I could blog about, and many times I have almost picked up my phone and started writing, but stopped as I just needed sleep and I knew that if I started writing I wouldn't stop, and then as the days went by I just couldn't decide which thing to write about as so much as happened. I needed a break, and sleep. I had a virus last week which was, I think, a very mild stomach virus but my body decided that actually it was pretty tired and couldn't cope with a mild stomach virus very well so would just stop working for a couple of days and make me stay in bed. I was slightly ill Tuesday, woke up Wednesday morning feeling better, walked down the stairs and promptly passed out on the kitchen floor, giving myself a stupid burn/graze above my left eyebrow in the process. I was shipped back off to bed and the children were whisked away from me for most of the next couple of days, with the GP instructing me over the phone that bed rest and much fluids were needed so I did as I was told for once. At the weekend I ventured into Shipley with Toby and smiled at a lady at the bus stop because I had thought she was tucking into a chocolate bun then realised it was a plum and smiled at myself really for being daft. The lady then, bless her, decided that I needed her plums because I looked tired. I managed to persuade her I had lots of fruit at home (I didn't want to take the bag of plums she had just bought for herself?!) but she did insist I had one plum to eat on the way home because I had the little baby to feed and look after. I didn't tell her I had two more in case she changed her mind and tried to give me them all again! But it was a lovely gesture and the plum was very nice, and I find it refreshing when people are still just "generally nice" to each other these days, when there are so many reports in the news of negative events concerning friends and family let alone strangers. I don't want my children to be easily trusting of others, but I also don't want them to be automatically mistrustful, and scared to talk to anybody. Having a chat with a stranger at a bus stop can be an interesting 5 minutes, a break from a busy day, and can often give you another perspective on things. It is always good to have an open mind.

So, I apologise for not telling you all the interesting things that have happened this month and not sharing our amazing time in DisneyLand Paris yet. I'm sure I will get around to blogging about how Jessica's favourite spot was the Dragon's Lair and Adam's was all the caves and tunnels in Adventure Land, how amazing it was to see the looks on their faces when the light show came on and the concern Adam showed for his sister when she fell asleep just before it started and he thought she would miss it (she woke up as it started and stayed awake all the way through so no worries). One day I am bound to reminisce about Jessica having a fringe cut in her hair for the first time and, upon looking in the mirror, announcing seriously "Well I'll have to change my name now!" There was also Toby's first roll onto his side, his amazing little smiles and gurgles, the way he was a superstar on holiday despite not usually liking too many days out in a row, and his really ace new brand of cloth nappies that I absolutely love and want some more of. We have had many "made up off the top of my head to use up the contents of the kitchen" teas, all of which have been surprisingly successful and some that have made our "main go-to list" which will help with saving some money in the coming months. There will be further news of Adam's first foray into music with Cornet lessons, which apparently are going great, and he actually walked to school with a friend, with me very far behind (carrying a scooter, a Jessica, and pushing a pram with a Toby in it), and happily got there all by himself, so his confidence levels are having a surge it would seem.

But for now, I am signing off, because I have a really exciting few days ahead, with a real family home to be created and I want to focus on life, right now, as it happens. Sometimes I miss facebook and my friends on there, but the positive changes in my life I feel are worth it and I can't see myself going back anytime soon.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

The Breakfast Issue

I find it hard to eat breakfast even though I love breakfast food. The problem is that I love bacon and eggs, porridge, pastries, bakes, fruit salads, yoghurts etc. I'm not over keen on cold cereal and although I love toast, I eat far too much of it. Fruit and yoghurt are easy in a morning but I don't always fancy the chopping (plain apple/banana/orange doesn't grab me) or the coldness plus the kids steal it........

So I am working on this problem, trying to get a filling yet at least slightly healthy breakfast down me without it looking too cold, costing a packet, going soggy, getting stolen or just really not getting made in the first place.

One of my successes is Slow Cooker Porridge. Made overnight so I have to eat it the next day as it's already there! I grate an apple into it to get some fruit in me, might think about adding some seeds in there too. But it does require forward planning and it is getting to summer.

So this morning I whacked the following in the blender -
1 banana
2 yoghurt tubes (peach)
handful of oats
2 heaped tsp of crunchy peanut butter
Milk - just put in enough to part cover other stuff, didn't measure

And then I drank it straight down and it was yummy! No hard work crunching fruit and didn't seem same as other cold food first thing. I could improve it's health rating by adding more fruit and getting some plain yoghurt in the fridge (just used what was there today) but overall I think we have another winner.

Need to investigate my pins for some other breakfast ideas, maybe home-made muffins could be a hit...........anybody have any other ideas??

Friday, 3 May 2013

The May List 2013

May Outside-ness Mantra

Repeat after me......

1. At last flip flop o-clock is here
    & this month of may, I will get OUT & about
    Yes: Out of my comfort zone*
    (*which is where the magic happens)

2. I will spend at least 82% of my time in nature*
    (*including at night under the stars)
    Indeed, Alfresco will be my middle name*
    (*I may even get deed poll involved to make this official)

4. I will run til my legs hurt
    & laugh til my belly aches
    & have picnics.

5. I will go to places I have never been
    & have seven kinds of adventure.

Yes, May, you will be a breath-of-fresh-air kind of month you will.

and as we now also have a "the bright side" family calendar......

May Family Magic

1. Dance around in the kitchen*
(*if your kitchen is really small develop an innovative routine using very small movements ONLY)

2. Make stripey lollipops in the freezer

3. Fill your house with flowers

4. Learn a new skill*
    (*and show it off)

5. Gaze at clouds & stars & anything that makes you look up

6. Invite round your neighbours

7. Have your first BBQ

& Always look on the Bright Side

8. Pack up the entire house and move AGAIN - very reminiscent of The May List 2011, however with two extra people and lots more extra stuff* (*fortunately to a much a bigger house with, hopefully, places for it all to belong!)

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

...and from Limbo we enter Chaos

So the last week has been rather crazy. We have been in limbo for a while now, waiting to move, waiting for Jessica's birthday, waiting for Cub Camp, waiting for Disneyland, and now suddenly they are all upon us.
Jessica had a fabulous birthday party, with much help from Julie, Rachel and my Mum. Toby happily played whilst it was all set up, wanted feeding 10 minutes before it started, sat with my Mum for the whole afternoon and wanted feeding just after it finished - perfect baby or what?? All of the children were lovely and it was a fun and thoroughly enjoyed by all afternoon. I can't post any pictures as they all have other people's children on, and I know for a fact that three of the children there can't have their pictures on the internet and wouldn't dream of putting the other children on without their parent's permission anyway. But I can share a picture of the Treasure Map Cake I did at the last minute when Jessica suddenly decided two days before her party that she would quite like one of those.
Not bad I don't think - Jessica loved it so that is all that matters :D
We had telescope making, dancing, Pirate Pete says, dancing, musical bumps, dancing, Guess where the X should go on the map, dancing, colouring sheets, dancing, pass the parcel, dancing, a crazy 5 minute "CANNONBALL FIGHT!!!" with plastic ball pool balls and side-turned tables complete with table-cloth covered legs for good old fashioned health & safety (rather than just banning it outright like all these politically correct people would have you do these days :P) and then a "WALK THE PLANK!!!" to the food tables with cannonball cheese crisps + grapes, cheese on swords, jelly boats and pirate topped buns amongst other yummy offerings. The party bags were given out simply containing chocolate coins, freaky fish, a "Pirate ............'s Room" colouring sheet (free printable online) and a sheet of pirate stickers, and many thankyous were said by all. It was a fantastic party to say that a good amount of the children were only just 3 or under and I was really impressed.

So now on to the next happening which is Cub Camp, Adam took all his bed kit tonight and made his bed roll, luckily I had remembered to sew his Diamond Jubilee badge onto his camp blanket so I am in the good books. The rest of his kit needs packing up tomorrow, fingers crossed James is picking up his new walking boots from the sorting office tomorrow and we have everything he needs. He comes back at lunchtime on Monday and we are setting off at lunchtime on Tuesday so a quick laundry turn-around, possibly borrowing Nana's dryer, may be needed on Monday afternoon!! Although if he is the same as he was on Big Camp last year he will come home with a bag full of clean clothes, wearing his thermals and the same set of clothes he went in because "you have to get up early for breakfast and it was too cold to keep getting changed". So, uhm, a bath/shower at Nana's may be needed Monday afternoon actually, if we have to be all sat in the same car for hours on Tuesday afternoon.......

Talking not-so-good odours, we have car sickness tablets and sea-bands for Jessica to try out, and I am just about to search google for trips on what to pack for kids with a tendency to throw up on car journeys. Wish us luck!! I am also creating some travel activity bags for the kids, using and adapting some fab activity ideas I have found on pinterest. I got 2 velcro pads with attached ball (put away for future use) for only £1.69 today and created a figure play set each, and with amazing timing my Aunty got Jessica some magnets with a two-sided magnetic play scene so we have taken all of her magnets off the fridge and created another activity set for her.
Adam will no doubt be enacting a mini World War II, whilst Jessica can continue her bizarre obsession with Cut the Rope figurines.
Forever Friends set, with added Peppa Pig, Dora and Barney magnets, the other side is a garden party scene.

I have bought some dry eraser 'crayons' by Crayola that need no caps, some lollipop sticks, and will be working on a few ideas I have up my sleeve over the next few days.

So we are food listing, packing listing and car journey listing tonight, with a good sprinkling of tidying and getting everything ready for the morning so I can hopefully repeat last Thursday's success in getting all three children out of the house and Adam at school on time. Then in the afternoon it is time for new Jessica car seat shopping, looking for something that is relatively simple to clean in the likely event of it being covered in sick, oh joy. We will be mostly shopping and packing over the next few days, ready for our exciting trip to Disneyland Paris yippee!!! Then when we get back, only 2 weeks until move date so the packing can begin in earnest, double yippee!!

I am feeling a lot more positive, although having many meltdowns in the midst of all this as this house is just far too crowded and small things become big things in that kind of situation for all of us, except Toby who remains happy and chilled regardless, bless his little soul. I am sure, somehow, he has been sent to restore peace to our little family unit. He is definitely here for a reason.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Bright Side

I have been re-reading all of my old posts over the last few days whilst organising some labels. And I feel like my older posts were more positive and fun. I would love to get that back, in to my life in general as well as on here. So on that note I am going to get back to the original premise and as from the 1st May will be re-starting The Lists from my diary - in fact I have a diary and a calendar this year so it may mean double lists :-) I can't possibly start until May because there is only just over a week left of April and it is mahoosively busy. Put it this way - I could've been triple booked next Saturday night if I wasn't concentrating!!
See you all soon on The Bright Side xx.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Born to be Wild............

So my current 'project' (or most important of many) is to have a more positive relationship with my intensely brilliant and fireball of a daughter. I love her to pieces and she loves me intensely, but we seem to be constantly interlocked in battle. She has a very strong personality, which will stand her in good stead as she gets older I'm sure, but right now it means that every day consists of challenges for me to overcome even down to the daily events of dressing, breakfast, walking down the stairs.........
She needs a lot of input, a lot to keep her busy. Sometimes I run out of ideas and get so stressed trying to think of stuff to occupy her and keep her from bugging Adam (who also needs to learn more patience) and look after Toby at the same time. Adam is happy spending time with James but I don't want him to feel left out. Jessica wants pure undiluted constant MUMMY. Toby is amazingly chilled but only I can feed him and I don't want to not spend any time with him whilst he's so little and establishing bonds and relationships. Luckily Jessica loves him to pieces as does Adam xx.
So, I bought a new piece of battle armour the other day. 'The Preschooler's Busy Book'. I have the Toddlers version and love it but she has outgrown it. It came last week and looks great :-)
So far we have tried 'Cleaning Coins' and 'Paper Doll Chain', both with great success. I am hoping this will help us spend some quality time together, keep her busy when I need to be with Toby, and in general help us have a happier relationship. Fingers crossed xx.

I am pinning a lot on us moving, giving both older children a bit of their own space, and instilling some new rules and routines including new night lights, alarm clocks, less toys in bedrooms and BATH TIME!! Today we went to the park with friends and had a fab time, but the walk/scooter home was a bit much for Jessica and by the time we got home she was so tired that life itself became a battle. Being able to come home from that kind of sticky, hot, dusty day and plonk her into a bath is something I am massively looking forward to. I am sure we will still have many tantrums but hopefully some can be avoided. I am off now to organise my "Crazy Can", "Messy Can" and "Mummy Time Can" activities from the Busy Book and Pinterest and trying to feel a bit less stumped when something, ANYTHING, is needed to be introduced to prevent chaos ruling.

Friday, 19 April 2013

So, on Wednesday I fell down the stairs...............

So, on Wednesday I fell down the stairs. My right arm has been aching since, due to me having incredibly rubbish wrist strength anyway, and I've been pretty tired and have a slight case of "writer's block". When I got to the bottom I sat and cried, and just thanked God I wasn't carrying Toby this time. Less than 5 weeks now until we move out of this house. Not only are the stairs very steep, they also have rounded edges and just seem to have been put in by somebody who didn't like people very much. It is an ex-council house, what more can I say? Poor Jessica came to see if I was ok and brought me my phone to "ring Beard, he come home?" I did ring him but I told him not to come home, because I felt ok by the time I got through to him and I just wanted things to be quiet. I took Toby up to bed, extremely gingerly, and then Jessica, then I tidied around and wrote a list of jobs for James to do. We had kind of rowed as he'd promised to do lots of tidying that afternoon whilst I was out and had sat watching Dave instead, but not having facebook was good I think. Instead of venting on there, asking friends for advice, getting stressed, I just had a quiet time (after yelling at him of course), and worked through my feelings myself. When he came in he was really sorry, and he did everything on the list before he went to bed, even sleeping on the sofa so he didn't wake me early in the morning when he set off for work. Sometimes, people just don't think, it doesn't mean they do it on purpose, and there's no point staying mad if they're genuinely sorry and make amends.

Thursdays dont work very well for us. Firstly, I have to get all the kids to school for 8.45am as James goes out to work at 5am so he can't take Adam. Which I think is good as it will get Jessica used to going early in a morning before September, even if only once a week it's better than nothing. I get everything ready on Wednesday nights and it's all good, right up until the moment we need to leave. When something catastrophic pretty much always happens. Usually involving Jessica, although it can entangle all of us and frequently does so. This week we were almost on time, but hit a snag at the other side of the river bridge when Jessica suddenly had a meltdown and decided she couldn't possibly go any further because Adam and I had walked through the big gate instead of the small one. I don't think it helped that she had just pushed her way through the wind over the bridge. So I suggested to Adam he could actually run up to school from there, if I watched him over the road - he is capable of crossing that road by himself but I knew he wouldn't quite fancy that. So off he set with 5 minutes to go, and I turned my attentions to convincing Jessica to move forwards. Only to turn back around and realise Adam had moved about a foot and was stood by the fence sobbing. So I turned my attention back to him (Jessica was going nowhere fast), to be told that he couldn't possibly walk to school on his own, it's not safe. Now, how many people get told that by their almost 10 year old sons 5 minutes from school I wonder, aren't most of them begging to walk by themselves by the age of 8?? I reassured him we could walk together however (with an exasperated look backwards at Jessica), he would most certainly be 5 or 10 minutes late. He was fine with that, the child who hates being late for school would rather that than walk alone it seems. At least now I know. With less pressure, and a distraction of being able to take Adam into the office, we were soon underway and arrived exactly 10 minutes late. So next Thursday I shall set off 10 minutes earlier, we MUST be out of the door by 8.15am on the dot, so getting our coats on by 8.05am at the latest. We'll see how it goes...............................
Thursday afternoons don't work either. Jessica has PE, it's near the end of the week, and it's just me, her and Toby on the way home. So by the time we got to the corner of the road Jessica was already well on the way to meltdown-ville. Bearing in mind this is the first week back to school without a buggy board. It has been replaced by a scooter which works as a distraction but only half the time. Although it does cover ground fast when it is working, so I think it has a good success rate. Not this time however. I dared to suggest getting to the shop (about 10 steps away) and then deciding what to do, which prompted more tears and demands of staying where we were - dead on the corner where everybody was trying to walk. So, we had a big swap around. The raincover came off, the mei tai (that luckily I had left in the basket) was put on, Toby's coat came off and his jumper was put on, he was put in the mei tai and my baby wearing fleece was put on. Then the footmuff came off (this apparently is only for babies, according to the nearly 4 year old who wanted to get in the 3 month old's pushchair), which involved unpopping and pushing through of straps, the seat unit was turned around and sat up, and finally the 4 year old got in the pushchair. To get out 10 steps later so she could choose her snack from the shop. Luckily she wanted to get back in afterwards otherwise I'm not quite sure I would have remained so (outwardly) calm. So, off we set home, the day after I fell down the stairs and hurt my arm, pushing a nearly 4 year old in a pram, carrying a 16lb 3 month old on my front, with a bag full of raincover, footmuff and sweater swinging off one wrist and pram handle whilst a scooter handle was precariously clutched in the other hand along with  the other pram handle. To add to this juggling act, the sweets Jessica had chosen had writing on which obviously needed to be read by me every 2 minutes along the way.

I don't really know how we can solve Thursday afternoons. In a way, that is the solution. At least we had no falling asleep on buggy boards or needing to be carried up hills (and then falling asleep on my shoulder) whilst pushing a heavy pram. I'm sure it was easier to push her in the pram and carry Toby than it was to push the big pram up the hill with her on the buggy board. And we didn't have any major meltdowns once I realised that I had the solution right there with me in the pram basket.

Sometimes, I guess, as parents, we have to realise there isn't an "easy" solution. That these little people are indeed little, and just can't always do what would be easiest for us. When they have had to walk to school and back 3 days already, and had to get up and out early that same morning, and then had PE, they quite simply can not manage that final walk home, even when a bright pink fast scooter is there for the taking. And that when they are asking us to dig into our reserves of energy and be a packhorse, it isn't because they are being mean or unreasonable, it's because their reserves are all used up. How can I, as an adult, refuse to tire myself out, when that is what I am asking my 4 year old to do?

Tonight I let them watch DVDs in bed, because I am tired and film nights always end up with arguments over films and a hyper Jessica who won't go upstairs at the end of the film and I have all 3 of them all weekend on my own for the majority of the time. So I know it's supposed to be bad for them to fall asleep watching DVDs, but it's bad for me to yell at them because I'm exhausted and I think this is the lesser of two evils. I can always blame their Aunty, she bought them the DVD players.

I wanted a chilled out relaxing "what will be will be" kind of song, but my brain isn't working well enough to find one right now. It is whirling around with pirate parties and house moves and information on HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) children which I have been reading with much interest in connection with Adam - I'm pretty sure you will see further blogs on this soon as I have a book on the way about it - always good to know your children well xx.

Sorry for the ramble, the wrongly placed apostrophes and the many paragraphs of text. At the moment I'm still working on figuring out my life, so sometimes you might see building work in progress instead of a sleek well presented finished article xx.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Plans? You have plans? We three children laugh in the face of your plans...

So, I deactivated facebook. This morning I woke up feeling very relaxed and motivated. Toby had to be at the doctors for 10.40am for his injections and we managed to get there almost on time without any Jessica meltdowns. She rode her scooter all the way to saltaire roundabout which is up quite a hill, we missed the original bus I had planned to catch but I saw that she was trying her best and reminded myself that it was me who should have given her more time to get up the hill. So I encouraged her rather than getting cross, told her it didn't matter about the bus and just got the next one. We were only a few minutes late for the doctor and she felt good about herself.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Everything went wrong, Jessica's behaviour sky rocketed, Adam was mid meltdown and poor Toby was crying his little eyes out which he never does so presumably his legs were aching from his jabs.
James and I had planned to do as much tidying of the house as possible. Instead I was stuck on the sofa with a cuddly and bossy Jessica and the kitchen got more messy (as did James) when I tried to open the strawberry milkshake powder and ended up pouring it over his head whilst he was knelt down putting dishes away. Shaky hands. I've been having headaches recently, and now with shaky hands and noticing my engagement ring is more 'fitted' it seems that high blood pressure may be trying to sneak back in.
So James swept that up, I attempted to herd the children to bed without an all out war, and then I laid on the sofa and unashamedly cried. I am tired, I feel like I'm doing everything wrong with Jessica whatever I try, and poor Adam is getting grief at every turn - from his sister at home and a boy at school (letter to teacher has been written tonight and will be sent tomorrow and hopefully sorted) and is struggling to cope.
As an aside, James is sat watching 'Going Postal' and one of the lines struck me as what I would say "Can't I even die in peace?" hahaha. As many mums will testify, it's rare you even get to wee in peace.
So. James made me a cuppa and we talked and made plans for tomorrow, choosing to ignore the fact that they didn't work today. Without hope what is there left?? And I am currently sat reading "How to talk so children will listen and listen so children will talk". If nothing it helps just to know I'm not alone. Underneath it is "Siblings without rivalry", hopefully that will have some gems of wisdom. With another cuppa, and a pack of custard creams, we'll figure out a way forward I'm sure xx.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

A whole new beginning....

I'm debating leaving facebook. It's something I think about every now and again. Recently a few friends have left and said that after a week or so they really don't miss it. They feel like they are living 'real life' again. I feel sometimes it brings out the negative side of me. It's so easy to moan, or to get into arguments over stupid pointless memes.
I use it to keep in touch with friends I've met on facebook, or through BC. To keep in touch with far away friends, local friends with the same interests or parenting ideas. The home education community is busy on there. I could use it when starting up in self employment if that is what I choose to do. But something in me feels like I will be more free if I leave.
It's hard to decide. I'm going to put the idea to one side for now. I need to do that more often, instead of trying to work on lots of ideas at once I just need to focus on the most current. Right now I need to plan Jessica's birthday. Then Disneyland, then moving. After that I can focus on self employment and our wedding.
But maybe, after we move and before I start those next two 'projects', I could put some time into my 'real life', figure that out first, and move forwards from there. You never know, it could be a whole new beginning ;-)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

How to have a largely successful day out.....

So, we did this. We had a successful day out. All five of us. And it included a city centre, a coffee stop and a 2 course meal. Here's how we did it.

Firstly - the eldest two slept at their Dads last night so they were already dressed and first-breakfasted upon arrival at 730am. This is a very important note as it meant no negative morning issues. It is important to also note that James, their father and myself had a highly positive conversation about various things upon drop off, which even included laughter, so even more positivity sneaked into their heads whilst they weren't looking.
We had a slight meltdown upon setting off as Jess was in delay/avoidance mood and we missed the train and I left my phone at home, but we were back up and running (and thanks to James actual running also had my phone back) by the time the next train came.

A few minor mishaps involving platform races, swerving prams and Jessica having to see *shock horror* DRESSES on display whilst exchanging Toby's suit (for the next size up - milk monster alert!), and we were headed for the Lego Store. Having wisely set off early to avoid crowds (and thus meltdowns from pretty much all of us except Toby), we had the store almost to ourselves. The children were impeccably well-behaved, didn't ask for anything, and happily built and paid for a minifigure each from their own pocket money when the idea was suggested to them. On to the next store!!

We had wisely located the next store before going in the first store.......and upon stepping out of the lift were able to shout "Yay Toy Shop!!!" for the first time in ages in Leeds City Centre. The children loved the roof of the Trinity also at this point. In we went.........

I followed Jessica and James followed Adam. Jessica's conversation was a stream of "woah"s and "wow"s as she came across Doc McStuffins, Peppa Pig and various other tv toys. She brilliantly asked for nothing.
Until we came to the Cut the Rope display unit. "Pleeeeease Mummy. But pleeeeease Mummy, I keep this?" With many sad looks and cuddles. Looking at the 10 pound price tag I was extremely firm in my no. I offered to take a picture so she could ask for it for her birthday. She had a very cute pleading face in said picture.

But she put the toy back with no further questions, no tears or tantrums. I was so amazed I offered to buy her a foil pack with 2 cut the rope figurines in for 2 quid which she happily accepted. Soft touch, moi??
Both children paid at the till (Adam chose some more Kobots, again out of his pocket money) and we directed them next door to Costa which James and I had spotted on the way in ;-)

This, again, was amazingly stress free. We sat for 30-60 minutes, drank both our coffees, had one mini muffin each, fed Toby, changed a nappy, whilst 2 happy and cooperative children played with their new figures and then our phones as we noticed boredom triggers appearing. To the bookshop I suggested?? And both children happily agreed and didn't delay leaving?!

Upon arrival in the bookshop Jessica needed a wee. I headed back out with her to find a toilet (and bought a pot of fruit from a cafe to gain access to one). She happily walked, waited and wee'd. Both children spent time choosing books, a bit of 'Jessica wanting to buy books she already has, half the shop for Toby, and Adam wanting to spent 20 quid on sticker books' was dealt with surprisingly diplomatically and with no meltdowns and the man on the till was very impressed that Jessica was spending her pocket money on a book (Little Miss Star) instead of sweeties. Luckily she didn't hear him and gain ideas ;-)

On to the museum! No food and drink allowed in but thankfully Jessica had just finished her fruit pot (and shared it with Adam?!) so no issues arose. Adam enjoyed running all over the huge map "destroying Leeds" and James had fun spotting all the places he had driven to in the van recently. Jessica pushed and pulled lots of interesting "things" whilst Adam read about what they actually were. A few slight 'getting tired combined with warm museum' grumbles began to surface after about an hour so we took the executive decision to get excited about it being sunny enough to play in the Noble Comb park hint hint.....they decided yes it was ok to go back to the train station. We had a few wobbles from a tired 9 yr old (and a tired 26 yr old) on the way but nothing spectacular in our world ;-) and found the 2 spare mini muffins on the back of the pram just in time to offset a tired 3 year old's descent into 'I want to do whatever you don't want me to do' whilst James was buying juice in the shop and I was outside with all 3 children. Phew!

We psychologically tricked the children (mainly Adam) into making the walk to the pub feel shorter by walking right through the station "You can go through the tunnel AND on a lift this way!" and not surfacing until near Foxes Corner where "You can see the pub from here!" - awesome parenting at it's best ;-)

We arrived at the pub. And the rest is history.

Adam read his new book in the sun...........before joining his sister in the park.

Jessica ran about on the park, took off her tshirt because it was warm, straight away put on her jumper because it was cold, and ran about without her wellies on because "it's safe, OK!"

Adam ate all his meal AND an extra identical meal we bizarrely got free, and Jessica had a pretty good go at her "pizza, rice and peas, I don't like vegetables ok, so get me PEAS ok?" so we got puddings. 2 big sharing puddings between the 4 of us, because we were high on the no meltdowns so far day we were having.

Who likes their pudding? "I DO!!"

A park, an empty bench table next to it, weather *just* warm enough for us to sit outside, an extra pizza the kitchen cooked by accident and two sharing desserts later, two children actually happily walked out of the pub in the direction of home.

For about 2 seconds and then they realised it was 4pm, they'd left the house at 930am (and their Dad's at 715am) and now they were being asked to walk home. Slight parenting fail but one with no other solution due to the location of the pub, our house and that the walk for a bus/train would've been just as dramatic and almost as long. The 9 year old was the most vocal. Luckily, another 2 seconds later we were on the canal. And the complaints of "it takes ages, I'm tired, we've walked loads today" were forgotten as sticks and stones were flung into the ever accepting depths. It wasn't plain sailing and took a rather tortuous hour and ten minutes to get from the Noble Comb canal entrance to our house in Saltaire......bearing in mind we had the pram with us that Jessica had the option of jumping in and out of all day so we hadn't been forcing her to walk miles. Much was made of "ooh a red boat", "look that's where Aunty Karen works" and "I think the ducks are following us....quick run!". Jessica jumped in the pram just as we got to Roberts Park, we had a slight hiccup when she saw the icecream barge but these were the only tears of the day and were gone by the time we reached the train station and found a stick to bang on railings all the way home.

At home, surprisingly, Jessica didn't fall asleep (unlike Beard who nodded off on the sofa) and chilled out watching tv whilst Adam updated his kobots profile on the pc. A few Good Luck Charlie episodes later, a small upset over the water cup in the bathroom, and all three children were in beds/cot. Jessica fell asleep straight after her stories and a quick mummy snuggle so I actually feel rather sane.

The nappies are in the wash, the house is 'tidy enough', and it's quiet. And we had a successful day out. All five of us. So how did we avoid meltdowns? A mixture of planning, cunning, and a big dollop of luck. Maybe we have the skills to have a good time at DisneyLand next month after all?? I certainly hope so, for now I'm just happy that we managed it once x.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The perils of a countdown.

Recently I am struggling immensely. My to do list is never ending, my house is bulging at the seams (the man keeps selling things but then buying more with the money?!), and I have been waiting for a move date since November to a bigger house due to the owner being messed about by people he was buying from. So now, we finally have a definite secure date to move, at the end of May. I thought this would make me feel better, that everytime I got annoyed at stubbing my toe on an airer, or falling over 5 things in a row, or having to move the entire kitchen around to be able to sit for a family meal, or Jessica literally climbing the walls, that I could think "Only ... weeks". And I'm doing that, but it's not working. Because oh my goodness it's like the last pregnancy trimester, the clock seems to have stopped and wow is it dragging! Every little thing in this house turns into a big thing, the children are stressed, James and I are stressed, there are so many daily arguments and I am just hoping we make it to the new house intact.
I feel like packing would make me feel better, but we have no space to pack or place to put anything that we pack. We already have a ton of stuff boxed up at my parents that we could live without for a month or two. It's now been 4-5 months and the children want their stuff back. The plus side of that being that when we move they will have shedloads of 'new' stuff to play with whilst we unpack :-) Although Toby is growing out of his carrycot already so I may need to fish out the new pushchair that "We definitely won't need until way after we move so it can just go straight to my parents in the box" hahahahahaha.
Of course, have to look for the plus sides ;-) And we are amazingly lucky to have found somewhere local and spacious and within budget. But seriously, please give me strength, leeway, whatever for the next 8 weeks, I may seem grumpy and as up and down as a hyper 3 year old, but I promise things will improve soon. This year will be a good year, many unforeseen events have turned into positive future opportunities, and after all, it is Only 8 Weeks!!!
Jessica displaying crazy Mummy's feelings surprisingly accurately.....

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Finally feels like Spring

This morning I took Toby up for his first trip to the greengrocers, snuggly wrapped up under my fleece. I love being able to shop locally, the owners are very friendly and helpful, and your bags always get packed for you :-) I picked up a good amount of veg/fruit for just over £10 with the added bonus that none will get wasted as I could pick just the amount needed, also meaning the children can have different fruit without it costing the earth. Plus the broccoli there is oh soooo much nicer than the supermarket stuff!
So when we got back, and Toby had a feed, I put him for a play in his swing and wait for it - hung the washing out! Yes really, snow on the ground still but definitely washing on the line weather yay!! And when I stood, pegging his nappies out, listening to the church bells ringing out, I knew that Spring had arrived.

Watch this space........

Ok so this is a trial and if it looks random or messy or just plain wrong then well, I don't apologise. That feels weird, saying I DON'T apologise, I was writing the opposite but then realised I had no need to apologise, I am trying something new and if it doesn't go absolutely perfect the first time then that's perfectly fine. Unless I was a brain surgeon obviously.
So I have installed Blogger mobile app and am going to attempt more regular blogging once again. It might work, I just attempted oven baked pancake squares and they are delicious. I'm eating them with a fork as I write, liberally covered in banana slices and golden syrup, whilst feeding Toby at the same time, so three things at once is a good start to this I reckon :-)
This is really just a warning, that more regular posts may be appearing, should you wish to either seek out or avoid them, and that the milk monster allowing I may be rejigging my site a bit today. Have a happy Easter weekend!!
Three reasons my blog took a hiatus...