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".

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.