31 December 2015

So long 2015...

You were the year my youngest son turned 1 and I waved goodbye to that precious first year for the second time.

You were the year that brought us endless stress and angst...but then we finally got the keys to our forever home which we love.

You were the year my firstborn started school and my heart cracked open a little wider.

When you list it like that, it seems like it's been quite a quiet, boring year for Mama. Except, I think those three events (and the details that came before them/are still dragging on after them!) were huge, monumental, even life-changing and actually, when I look back on 2015 I see a lot of happy memories but a LOT of fatigue and hard work and sleepless nights.

Here's to 2016. May it be calmer, more peaceful, slower and sweeter!

Gonna get these little whirlwinds into bed, crack open a bottle of champagne with my love and then work on my resolutions...

29 December 2015

A Christmas round up

Greetings from the depths of Christmas madness. I am just coming up for air!

I shan't apologise about the lack of posts, I doubt any of you had any time to even check this blog over the last week or so! Life here has been rather ridiculous but all in good spirits; the boys have had an excellent time. We have visited Santa, eaten mince pies, been to Christmas drinks parties, given out dog treats for an advent activity, completed last minute rushed shopping, fallen out with each other, filled the recycling bin (twice!), eaten a LOT of turkey, celebrated Lichfield-Christmas (in Birmingham!), had some snoozy lie-ins, gone through quite a lot of batteries...it's been fun. I am, however, ready for normality again now, thanks very much. I had hoped today would be that day because Husband did mention going back into the office today...the fact that he's still snoring in bed at 8am leads me to suspect this is not going to happen. Ho hum. Is it ungrateful to be frustrated?!

Anyway, an update. My Christmas gifts were mostly delightful. Am in love with my new coat
Double-breasted wool coat
and my watch is just what I wanted although, even after sending it back with Husband twice to have a link removed, it is still too big. I know, I know, I really needed to go WITH the watch to get it sized accurately but the thought of dragging the boys to the shops was more than I could handle. Third time's the charm!! The dress from Hush also looked like a weird black bin liner so that's got to go back (MUST do that today!) but I cheered myself up by replacing it with a skirt AND dress from the Boden sale so fingers crossed they fit better.
I also got a bottle of this under the tree...
which was a nice surprise, if not totally unprompted!

And that was that, a few bigger things to add to my wardrobe rather than lots of little bits of tat!

Our Dyson also upped and died on Tuesday last week so Santa brought this a bit early...

Living the dream!! The boys are delirious about the retractable plug and, as such, keep asking if they can hoover for me. I love it!

Snuggled down on Saturday night to watch the Agatha Christie special 'And then there were none'. Man, I wanted it to be so great. It wasn't. What an incredible let-down. Excellent acting and scenery but...meh. The end wasn't what I wanted it to be. Ho hum... Higher hopes for Sherlock on Friday night.

So apart from taking parcels to the post office, this week is going to be a nice, lazy week of forgetting which day it is and seeing some lovely friends for playdates. Today we are off to BFF's at 10.30am, tomorrow we are going to Shenstone to see Eco-Mama and the blond-haired wonder boy, Thursday is free as a bird and on Friday we're seeing some of Boy's schoolmates for a bike ride if the weather holds. Am leaving the shit jobs such as new school shoes until next week, they will not blight my holiday time!

Must do my end of year post on Thursday and post my resolutions on Friday, one of which will be implementing a proper blog-post schedule (I'm fine if I have a plan, ad-hoc posting and me don't mix!)

Hope Santa brought you something beautiful, almost time to take all the decorations down!!

22 December 2015

Tis the season...

...to take full advantage of your Husband's generosity and tick some lust items off the list! I may well be the epitome of restraint when it comes to buying for my children but as soon as I get the green light for choosing my own gifts...that resolve may or may not go flying out the window!!

This year I have chosen:

a new chunky watch.

a LBD that I can wear in the day to lunches (now just need some suitable boots to go with it?!!)
Double-breasted wool coat

and a knee length navy coat to help me stop looking like a bag lady in my North Face gilet. We shall see if it works!

As ever, I have ticked everyone off my list, wrapped the whole shebang and was sitting back smugly on the sofa last night when I realised that Husband has 3 items of clothing and a tube of fruit pastilles...and nothing else. Huh. He mentioned a book this morning and Nana's dogs need new beds (don't ask, after eating wooden toys, chewing open some gifts under the tree, raiding the dog food, emptying the recycling all over the kitchen and POO'ING in two different rooms they have been relegated to the kitchen but it's cold tiles in there and so I feel new beds for Christmas are in order) so once again my poor children are being dragged to the shops. I am going to try and convince them that it's a fun expedition by purchasing a McDonalds for lunch!! The things you resort to when desperate. 

Husband is out on a work do this evening and staying in a hotel (we have been together 14 years this spring, this is a safer plan for all involved, I don't do drunken Husband when I'm stone cold sober trying to keep babies and dogs asleep!) so after I've completed today's Davina workout (sob) and wrapped today's purcahses I shall be, once again, sitting down smugly. That's the plan anyway.

What have you asked Santa for this year? Anything gorgeous for your wardrobe?

17 December 2015

Oh thank you, baby Jesus!

It has been a looooong half term and I am delighted to announce that Boy has officially broken up for the holidays. We practically skipped down to church this morning and at the end of the service, when the children were dismissed until Jan 7th, we positively ran out the door whooping and hollering. 
Don't get me wrong, he seems to like school and I know he loves his friends but he is still so young and it is such a big ask. He needs the 3 weeks to replenish his little body, mind and soul. As we left school on Wednesday the headteacher asked me and another Mama if we were looking forward to the holidays and (after we looked at him like he was insane!) we both wittered on endlessly about how we couldn't wait, we adored them! I think he assumed our love for the break came from a fondness of lie-ins and the lack of school runs...
But it's just so much more that, isn't it?
We're not a sicky family on the whole but man, do we need to slow down and recharge before next Friday?! Boy is so exhausted he can hardly cope, Baby barely got over the last cold before this one started, Husband is about to start with man flu (God help us all) and I have fought off a killer head cold but am now suffering from nausea and stomach cramps.
The school runs won't be missed, I will admit, but it's nothing to do with the early starts (my boys are up at 7am no matter what!) I miss our lovely happy mornings where I didn't have to constantly 'nag' him into eating, brushing his teeth, getting dressed, finding his left shoe... I miss letting him choose, letting him just 'be', letting him relax and really get into projects around the house without worrying about timetables or routines. I am excited to watch him play soldiers with his brother for the next three weeks, build hundreds of Lego models and paint many, many pictures. We are going to pootle into town, leisurely run our errands, go for coffee together, take our sweet time and enjoy each others' company. 
Because that's the main reason I'm so stoked. I love my son and I think he's a hoot. I enjoy his company and the thought of spending 3 whole weeks with him fills me with deep joy. I know we'll fall out. I know we'll grump at each other. But I am his Mama and that's my job and the small shit bits are NOTHING compared to how much fun we're going to have together. 
School is necessary and Boy seems to be flourishing so far, but this Mama is delirious that it's temporarily suspended!!

Happy Holidays, everyone. Soak up every single moment with your littlies because, sooner than you care to admit, they'll be stolen away again. 

15 December 2015

I'm Back!!

Apologies, Christmas madness has taken over and writing blog posts has fallen off my radar. When I sat down to write this I thought, God, that's awful but at least I'll have loads to say. Ha!

In the last 10 days though...

We've snuggled under a lot of blankets and watched a lot of Disney movies after school!

We've had a lot of time with Nana's dogs (who are also coming for Christmas, who knew? Not me or Husband, that's for sure!!)

We've made a lot of mess!!

We've fought off the lurgy best we could (Mama succumbed over the last weekend but it's nothing some Beechams can't keep at bay)

And we've also decorated the tree-of-immense-festiveness! I love it even more now it's got sparkly twinkly lights on, sooooo perfect.

What else have we been up to? 

The school Christmas fair gave me a crackalackin' headache but raised an immense £1600, I thank you!

We went to the local grammar school's Christmas ball which was a hoot and a half.

Husband hosted his company's Christmas party at House of the Rising Sun in Shrewsbury which was a wonderful night with 8 of our nearest and dearest.

We attended the annual Light up a Life service at Lichfield Cathedral in honour of my beloved Dad.

I rearranged the playroom. Thrilling, I know!

Boy went into Birmingham with his Nana to see a Christmas Musical Concert at THSH, lots of festive fun.

We've already seen Santa twice and are scheduled to see him another 2 times before the big day, slight oversight on my part, happens every year!!

So yeah, life has been a little hectic over here in the shire and we're all suffering a bit. We could really do with slowing right down and just 'being' or we're all going to be ill for the actual day itself. Boy finishes school on Thursday at lunchtime and I think that is going to be my plan, hunker down at home for a few days and let us all re-energise. 

Add in the tumble dryer finally giving up the ghost so having to order a new one, the hoover tube splitting in two so having to order a new one, finishing off the Christmas gift shopping, finally starting to think about the Christmas food shopping, two big nights out, endless meals out with different friends and family...we are officially skint until March! Ouch! Some days at home is what our bodies and our bank account needs!!

How is everyone else getting on? Are we all decorated and shopped and ready? 

Back ASAP with some wardrobe ideas for gifts ;-)

4 December 2015

Be still my heart...

This week has been far too emotional for my liking. From Tuesday evening onwards it has been a veritable roller coaster for reasons I a) shan't bore you with and b) can't bring myself to relive just yet. 

It's now Friday night and I can not tell you how happy I am to be snuggled up on the sofa under our new fleecy, Christmas blanket (thank you, Asda!) with a large glass of wine and no school tomorrow. 

This also helps no end...

My entire adult life I have dreamed of a house big enough for a real tree, a mammoth tree, and this year we have finally made that dream a reality (we can't afford baubles to decorate it due to STILL paying two mortgages but this isn't a post focussing on shit!!)

Am so happy. It's only been standing there since 6.30pm but every time I walk past it I give it a tiny stroke and it makes me feel a little happier. 

What do they say? Make your home safe and cosy, let them know that whatever is happening out in the big, wide world your home is their refuge, their little haven of calm and security. 

Our tree helps me remember that on this difficult week. 

Now, where are the bastard fairy lights?!

1 December 2015

Happy December!!

The flannel, festive sheets are ON...

And the Christmas book box is OUT...

Let's get this advent started!! 
Happy 1st December to you all 

29 November 2015

Advent is coming!!

Are you ready??
Our calendars are bought (I may or may not have eaten an entire Dairy Milk one and had to replace it??)
Our activity calendar is complete and ready to print.
The majority of supplies we need to complete aforementioned activities have been purchased.
Our Christmas pjs are all wrapped up ready to open on Tuesday and wear for the next 30 days!!
Elf on the shelf is ready to go.
Behaviour chart (complete with elf stickers for success) is hung and ready for action - we're all over the positive reinforcement at the moment!!)
And just for fun, look what happened over at BFF's house last night...

That little blond blur at the front is Boy and the princess is red is Goddaughter. Their little faces when he walked through the door, priceless.
Come on Advent, we're ready for the festive countdown to begin!!

28 November 2015



This was me last night. FFS. The boys sharing a room is the cutest damn thing I have ever seen and it makes me heart melt every time they blow each other kisses at lights-out. That said, there are considerable downsides and last night was one of these.
Boy woke up crying at 10pm, sometimes he does this if he's in a deep sleep but needs a wee, it takes him a while to come round and realise why he's woken himself up. Anyway, the crying and confusion woke Baby who very sweetly sat up, looked all confused and snoozy then thought 'OK, if you guys need me awake THAT badly...' and promptly woke up 110%. What a trooper!
Cue Mama over here trying to convince him that it was, in fact, still nighttime...Boy bumbled across the landing, wee'd and was asleep again within 28 seconds. I was negotiating with Baby until 11.30pm. I finally got him back to sleep in his cot, stumbled back into bed all traumatised and bleary and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. For about an hour until he woke a second time, clearly still unsettled and upset. Fuck it!
In the end he wound up snoring between Husband and I (perfect excuse for Husband's weekend tradition of 'I just didn't sleep a wink last night...' urgh!) hence why I am blogging with a coffee at 7.45am. They are both sitting infront of Peter Pan with a banana, a hot chocolate and a brioche! Tough night = easy start! Husband thinks he got off easy, what he has forgotten is that we have a child's 5th birthday party at 2pm which I may or may not now be attending ;-) Insert evil laugh here!
Did your little ones sleep better?? Here's hoping...

27 November 2015

Want, need, play, read!

Readers from last year will know, this little rhyme is how we buy gifts for our boys. Minimalist and boring, some might say, but our children are very fortunate little boys all year round who are being raised to (hopefully) know the value of things. Not to mention the fact that they are spoiled rotten by friends and family so we see no need to add to the huge pile of lovely gifts they receive on the big day!!

Anyway, here's what they will be opening come December 25th...apologies for the photos being all over the shop, they won't line up either?!
Baby is getting a battery powered engine for the Brio set we already own and Boy has requested (odd, yes?!) a fleecy star wars blanket for when he was watching movies. TKMaxx, thanks very much!
Baby needs a fleecy onesie for Friday mornings when he gets out of the pool...possibly not this one as he'd look bit odd covered in snowmen come February??


This is a shared gift as it's rather large! On offer today at GLTC if anyone else is after a wooden garage?

Love the moral behind the story on the left, and Baby isn't in fact getting this book on the right...but I have searched online for the right image for almost 23minutes now and am losing the will to live. Needless to say, it's a generic Christmas book with a music CD!

So there you have it, easy as 1,2,3,4. No unexpected surprises when wrapping (and realising you've accidentally somehow bought 47 gifts for one child and 3 for the other!) and relatively budget-friendly in a sense?

What are you buying for your little treasures this year? Husband is still ranting about a balance bike for Baby but a) we've already filled each category! and b) we'll need an idea for his second birthday in a few months so am inclined to wait until then. Another trip to isla bikes coming up!!

26 November 2015

A public service announcement!!

Run now, Boden is 30% off with the code 3Y7L

Gap is 40% off with the code GAP40UK

You are all so very welcome!!

25 November 2015

What's Up Wednesday?!

Almost forgot!!
What's Up Wednesday?!

mince pies! Am so ashamed, normally I refuse to eat them until Dec 1st but this year I've caved. What can I say? It's cold, I needed comfort!

about last year's advent calendar. Have been busy putting the final touches to this year's calendar and am so excited to get started on Boy's activities this time round. Cards, gingerbread, hot chocolate, trips to the Big Man...what fun!

our open fire. It's lit every night, love it!

We've been...
snuggling under blankets and watching faaaaar too many movies! Hey, they don't watch TV during the week normally (no bloody time!) and again, let me say, it's COLD!!

swimming tonight. Groan!

Working on...
our work/life balance in the household. Having a few issues with roles and responsibilities, more on that in another post later on, it just needs some joint renewed effort I think?

Excited about... 
school nativity on 8th Dec and school finishing for the holidays on 17th Dec, need my Boy at home where he belongs!!

India Knight's 'Don't you want me?' An old favourite, need her to write something new!!

Listening to...
Michael Buble's Christmas album but only when Husband is out of the house ;-)

layers. Brr!

Doing this weekend...
We have a birthday party, the first of 4 Santa parties (don't ask!) and the NCT Christmas party. We'll be all partied out by Sunday lunchtime!

Looking forward to next month...
my new cross-trainer arriving for the back conservatory which is currently being cleared to make space!!

Sorry it's short and sweet, looking forward to reading everyone else's posts!!

An update

Happy Wednesday, everyone. We have been to an NCT coffee morning at Dentist Mama's house then battled our way back home through the teeming rain. Just time for a quick blog post while Baby plays cars, then lunch and naptime.
( rainy day by Ferdi Doussier)  http://tiendacostarica.cr/camaras-digitales/:

This is the weather in the shire today. God, it was hard to leave the house this morning! I can almost (not quite, but almost) make my peace with rain but it's the cold I hate (disclaimer: ironically, we all love to ski, but I suppose that's because you have proper gear on when you're skiing; you EXPECT it to be baltic, have prepared accordingly and are therefore conversely quite snug?)
I really need to investigate these merino wool thermal underlayer things, am tired of being so damn cold and miserable. And it's not just outside we have to moan about. Have realised in the last 48hours that old houses are actually quite fridge-like in the winter aren't they? Unless our heating is on or the fire is roaring, this beautiful, picturesque little cottage doesn't hold any heat at all. Boo! Baby has been waking in the night with freezing little hands and toes so have just ordered fleecy pjs and fluffy socks to warm him up a bit too.
This afternoon is swimming. I think this is what is causing my underlying feeling of anxiety today? Last week we were made to leave the pool in disgrace and I woke up dreading today's lesson. Thing is, Boy is only 4. He's a summer baby and it's the long, dark Christmas term...by the time he's done a full day in school he is walloped and close to tears. I appreciate that he is sometimes stubborn and whiny...and I'm the biggest eye-roller when parents declare 'well, he's TIRED...' as an excuse for bad behaviour but sometimes, dare I say it, it's just true? So yes, here's hoping his teacher has a bit more compassion and Boy has a bit more energy today or I'll be drinking wine at 7.01pm. Again! After an afternoon spent in tears. Again!
Must remember to fill the car with diesel or we won't make it there and back. And must remember to decorate Boy's Christmas tree decoration for the competition at school tomorrow. Last minute? Me? Never!
Auntie and Niece came to visit yesterday and it was only 6/10 on the painful scale so that's progress. In a nutshell, my sister owes my mother a considerable amount of money and is refusing to pay it back under the banner of financial issues therefore my mother and my sister are not currently speaking. They both spent 4 months ranting at me about the other until eventually I shrieked 'I don't want to hear this anymore' and, to be fair, on the whole they have kept their ongoing feud between themselves since (in total it's been 6 months and counting now, the pair of them are idiots) Saying that, my sister waffling on all day yesterday about her endless home projects, decorating ideas and current building works was a bit much to swallow. She infuriates me! But, I didn't lose my patience and scream at anyone and she's gone home now so it's all good. Ticked that box for another fortnight.
Ooh must remember tomorrow is mufti day!! (Golly, tomorrow has far too many opportunities for failure for my liking?!) 
Need an evening on the sofa under a duvet (cold house!) with some wine I think. Here's hoping it's celebratory wine after an excellent swimming lesson and not more 'woe is me' wine.
Have a great Wednesday, it'll soon be bedtime!!

24 November 2015


This is officially my all-time favourite store, if only they sent me discount codes more regularly!!
Am lusting after this jumper...

And I own these harem pants. Thing is, in this photo she looks like someone totes casual who has just run out to Waitrose to pick up some essentials. If I went out dressed like this I'd look like a bag-lady who had got lost in her pjs...Go figure!

And after weeks of refusing to buy a new LBD for the Christmas party, I'm seriously considering buying myself this...am in love with the neckline at the back!!

Have you checked out their new Christmas items yet? I am making a wish list for the January sale!

23 November 2015

Oh Monday, what fun!

It is bloody baltic out there, boys looked like tiny Inuit people when they rolled out of the front door towards the car, poor little bastards. It was all I could do not to ring school and invent a vomiting bug. Bloody weather. Bloody lack of ability to apparate. Bloody bloody bloody!!

Anyhoo, here's to Monday and the exciting concept of a brand spanky new to-do list. Gotta love it.

Here is this week's list:

Buy more food.

I don't know what this is all about but for some bloody reason my family eat all the food I go and buy. I literally can't keep up with the whole supply and demand issue. Husband keeps complaining about the grocery bills...but then keeps EATING EVERYTHING. Weekends are the worst. It is never-ending, the requests and the quantities of food they devour. I despair. So yeah, yet more food shopping for this Mama. Joys!

Auntie and Niece coming to visit.
Your face is good too ...not specifically what I was thinking about,but pretty close ;):
So really this job should say 'don't lose your shit and shriek at your sister...' I will try my damned hardest. I do miss her now she lives so far away...if only she wasn't so...anyhoo...

Decorate the school Christmas tree.

Once again, my disease of saying yes to everything takes over and lo, I am now decorating the school tree on Thursday with Baby in tow. What a hoot that'll be!

Finish Boy's advent calendar of activities and acts of kindness.

Which will look a bit like this. We've added some more grown-up jobs now that he's 4 and kept some old classics (such as picnic tea under the tree!) He loves it so much and I'm really excited about this year's, apart from day 18 which currently says 'decorate a gingerbread house with Mama', otherwise known as the world' most un-creative and control-freaky person. Poor sod, that'll be fun for him! Our new 'random act of kindness' is to put candy canes on all the cars in Waitrose carpark one evening after school so Goddaughter is coming with us and they have elf hats to wear whilst spreading the festive cheer. Weeeee, such fun!

Still have no ball gown for 5th December, really need to work on that.

Meeting Santa (for the first time)

As ever, we have somehow arranged 4 Santa visits. Here's hoping this isn't the year Boy gets wise and suddenly announces 'have you changed since we met THIS MORNING???' in a loud, accusatory voice!

Finish Christmas Shopping

Thanks to Amazon Prime and payday I have done quite an impressive amount already this weekend (ordered on Friday, in the office ready to wrap on Saturday afternoon, thanks very much!) but still have some bits and bobs to get hold of. Whilst I love queueing and shopping and physically holding my purchases in a smug, accomplished way, the thought of doing any of that stuff in the cold/wet/Telford town centre surrounded by chavs/with Baby in tow brings me out in a cold sweat so online is the way to go. Not quite so festive but needs must!

So, since I have so much to do I had really better get on with it. Will try and keep up with the posts this week, last week ran away with me and before I knew it 7 days had flown by without me noticing, dreadful I know!

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone. It'll soon be over ;-)

22 November 2015

Sundays are the best!!

Disney movie. 
Town park by 10am. 
Baltic conditions. 
Happy outdoor-loving boys. 
Harvester for lunch (slight low point there!)
Christmas shopping while Baby napped. 
TKMaxx for tat we didnt even know we needed!
Second Disney movie. 
Bike ride down the high street in the dark with Boy. 
Cheese and biscuits for supper. 
Boys to bed. 
Open fire.
Bring it, Monday. We're ready for you!!

13 November 2015

Fantastic Friday!!

Golly, this week has been emotional. I have been in tears more than I'd like to admit, for a variety of reasons, all equally ridiculous.
Monday was just, urgh, Monday, Boy back to school after a lovely weekend down south. We also got a phonecall to say that the two little friends we'd briefly seen on Friday had erupted with chicken pox on Saturday so am now watching Baby like a hawk. That'll be fun!
Tuesday was playdate tea with a little friend from school which was actually really lovely and went really well (read: noone cried and noone screamed about what was for tea!)
Wednesday morning is where it all started to go downhill. Despite every bone in my body shrieking 'no no no, it'll cause havoc with naptime' I had agreed to go for a loooong overdue coffee with the NCT girls straight after the school run and promptly spent the entire time there watching the clock and feeling a little sick. I really have to work on this control issue. Then when I got home I had an email about Boy's first class trip and promptly spiralled into a panic attack about coach crashes on the M6, paedophiles lurking in theatre bathrooms, children wandering off and getting lost for hours on end and being traumatised for life...it was emotionally exhausting. Needless to say, have taken decisive action immediately to put my mind at rest...I jest, have hidden the consent form and am refusing to think about it until the deadline for payment. Ostrich, head, sand, that's me!

(that's Baby admiring the traditional nativity line-up at Wyevale on the way to our fraught coffee)

Thursday was Boy's first class assembly and while he was the image of cool and calm, when he finally stood up to say his line infront of the whole school I welled up so much I couldn't even SEE him clearly.
(Batman's mother is the one at the back crying)

It probably didn't help that I had had to leave Baby with Husband's mother for the morning so was a hot mess about that too. As it turned out he was absolutely fine, of course, and hadn't really noticed I had left when I returned 90 minutes later. Sigh!

And the other thing that I've cried about is that I have set my heart on these little beauties...
and of course, after weeks of dithering about them and finally making my mind up...they are now sold out in my size. Which only means I need and want them even more. Have convinced myself they will solve all my Christmas party outfit issues. They won't. When they finally arrive they will look ridiculous. But that didn't stop me crying over them like a crazy woman. Le sigh!

So yes, am verging on dehydrated and have the worst puffy eyes since I first watched Gladiator (don't ask, something about that film has me in hysterics every time, Husband has banned it in our house)

Here's hoping the weekend won't involve any tears. Spag bol is in the slow cooker, have a girls' day out with Posh Mama planned for tomorrow (Husband doesn't know yet, hmm, we'll see how that goes down?!) and then it's Goddaughter's 5th birthday celebrations at the local soft play. Sunday is a comfy cozy lazy day...can not wait!

Have you got nice plans? It's meant to rain the entire time so whatever they are, pack a brolly!