30 April 2015


That's 3 people in our house now who have runny noses. Not like 'uh oh I've got a slight sniffle, might go and find a tissue in a minute', more like 'holy CRAP there's a SLUG hanging out of your nose, we need to find a wetwipe NOW'. It's nothing if not gross having two boys. Gah!
In other news, my high turn-up jeans arrived from Next and were perfect apart from some really odd stitching they'd decided to put on both knees...so back they went. Groan.
And nPower are being totally and utterly useless...was told to ring and complain if I hadn't heard anything by 9.30am on call-out day. It's now 10.36am and guess what?? Bit bored now. Might go and install a new boiler myself. It'd be faster and probably just as safe.
OMG Dog has just vommed up his breakfast all over the dining room floor.
I am not having a very good day :-(

29 April 2015

What's up Wednesday...?

Ooh am trying to be flash and use a photo (mainly as a blog-update-moving-forward-type thing but almost because I always forget the blinkin' prompts for this post and wanted it there at the top to refer to when typing!!) hope it works!!
Anyhoo, happy Wednesday folks. Peak of the week, almost Friday, tra la la...
Here we go...
What we're eating...
Ooh got invited out for tea with the boys tonight which is always an amazing treat. No food prep, no washing up? I'm there. They both ate fairly well too with minimal spittage (there was a rocky moment in the middle between Baby and a spear of asparagus but I think I covered it fairly well??) Winner!
What I'm reminiscing about...
The world's oddest play date the other day with Leeds Dad and another mum from nursery who is (as Posh Mama has since rightly labelled it) a friend hog. As in, oh how nice that you're here, but he's MY friend more than yours, I shall now laugh hysterically to prove my point... It was, in a word, a rather odd experience. Like I was in a weird type of competition. And the prize was Leeds Dad? Who, in typical male fashion, was happily oblivious to the whole drama going on around him and consequently thinks I'm a moron who made the whole thing up. I didn't. She's insane! So yeah, keep thinking about that...
What I'm loving...
Baby can walk. He has gone through a crazy ass developmental phase and all of a sudden looks so tall and grown up and non-Baby-ish. It's a fun new stage, complete with coy faces, sloppy heartfelt kisses and throwing himself backwards so furiously when cross that he cracks his head off doorframes. It's a trying time!!
What we've been up to...
Recovering from 32 children at Baby's first birthday party. Nuff said...
What I'm dreading...
Have yet another appointment tomorrow with nPower to service/repair/replace the boiler at the old house. I really don't want to deal with it and feel Husband should take time off work to be there. He disagrees. Could cry!
What I'm working on...
Getting the old house ready for tenants on 21st May. Eeshk. Feel very grown up and responsible. Scary!
What I'm excited about...
The huge new swing set arrives tomorrow and then Husband is going to erect it in secret on Saturday while I take the boys out. Can't wait to see their little faces!!
What I'm watching/reading...
Not masses as am suffering from fatigue again at the minute so no matter how much sleep I have had the night before I am hanging by 9.30pm and falling into a coma instead of watching anything with Husband. Poor guy. Did treat myself to An Affair to Remember this afternoon while ironing, promptly burst into tears when he opened the bedroom door and saw the painting...such a good movie. 
What I'm listening to...
Still on Swifty's new album every time I'm in the car. Love love love!
What I'm wearing...
Same old boring shit I always do! Must crack out the temporary tan and release my legs, out of the safe darkness of the skinny jeans and into the harsh daylight. Sob. Can I change my answer to 'what I'm dreading...??'
What I'm doing this weekend...
Well I'm in charge of occupying the boys while Husband and Grandad build the swings. And I really wanted to do some more bike practice. Baby has his swimming lesson. And then we have a 50th garden party at a friend's house nearby which should be excellent. New house is so close we can now walk and get trollied. Bank holidays do have some perks after all! Other than that, hopefully just a lot of swinging in the garden!!
What we're doing next month...
May. How is it May already? May will bring an NCT play date, Imogen's birthday party, an overnight stay in Liverpool to visit Auntie, BFF's birthday, our wedding anniversary and a night out celebrating a wedding of some friends at nursery. Not too manically busy, just enough to keep me ticking over!!
What else is new...
Hmm not a lot. Rearranged the furniture in Toddler's bedroom (I know, wild style!) to allow his workbench to be put upstairs (room to breathe in playroom now, thank you sweet baby Jesus!) We took out new life insurance policies (rock n'roll!) incase one of us pops our clogs (please please please let me go first, if Husband dies I don't have a clue what half the remotes in our house do...!) Oh and we had a blow out row with Nana but she has decided to forgive us for our atrocious behaviour so we're back on the list (groan!)
Goodbye April. You were a blast. Have a great May everyone, who's got exciting plans??

28 April 2015


I'm beginning to wonder if I've angered the Gods. I fought tooth and nail to get this house and I appear to be paying the price...
Latest cash hemmorhage is the boiler at the old house. We've rented it out, people move in in a few weeks, and last week was the annual boiler service. Should have been a non-issue, a pure technicality, done and dusted within an hour. We'd mentioned the boiler was leaking water so we'd need a small repair at the same time. But then the Gods stepped in. 
Apparently they did the quickest of quick services and buggered off, then cancelled our cover because my father-in-law told them it was a rental (helpful!), so refused to come back and fix the existing repair, then accepted their balls-up but made us take out a new policy, have hounded us with phone calls to book an introductory service (surely we don't need one since you apparently did one two weeks ago???), finally agreed to come and fix the repair but failed to show up and now the boiler has died completely. They're apparently coming out again on Thursday. I can see a 2k new boiler invoice coming our way.  
*hands boiler issue swiftly over to Husband. Can't deal with that any longer. Will scream!
Oh, and the gas safety certificate guy came out to check the appliances. Only to tell me that a) he can't do the boiler coz it's broken and b) our hob is unsafe. The hob Husband fitted and insisted was fine and I subsequently used for 18 months? Yeah, that one. FFS! Luckily, that'll only be £120 to fix. But even so...
Sigh. Might nip outside and sacrifice a pig or something...

25 April 2015

Parties (and the loan you have to take out to pay for them)

Baby turns 1. Husband bemoans the visa bill.

So far the list is as follows:
Birthday t-shirt
Birthday hat
4 presents from Mama and Husband (play, read, want, need!)
Present from Toddler
Food and cake for birthday tea
Photo shoot to remember what he looked like!
Thank you cards
Hall booking fee
Baby sensory woman
Bouncy castle to entertain older ones
Food and drinks for 32 children
32 party bags
Balloons for birthday tea
Balloons for party

It's quite ridiculous. Only 2 more to though (Husband fast realised after the extravaganza that was Toddler's first birthday party that this was something to curb, so he agreed to 3 big parties for each child and no more. Toddler doesn't really understand this rule and is busy planning his 4th birthday in his head. That's gonna go down like a sack o'spuds!!)

Roll on 4.30pm tomorrow!!

Things we've learned...

Ok. It was Friday. It had been a long, hard day involving a play date with a child who had taken to chasing the dog around the garden with a plastic sword (grimace), then Toddler fell asleep on the sofa while I was prepping dinner and woke up whinging (kill me now, anything but the whinge!) then Baby decided pesto pasta was evil and demanded yoghurt in between mouthfuls (kids are so weird, declines pasta but the revolting combo of pesto pasta AND blueberry onken? Bring it!)
So, I was feeling shattered and cross. Husband walked in at 6.25pm and I suddenly jumped up, shrieked 'I'm just racing to tkmaxx to grab that chair I found for our bedroom...' and slammed the door behind me. He didn't even have time to respond!
First thing we learned? Don't drive anywhere on a Friday evening for two good reasons. 1. Traffic. And 2. You really shouldn't sit down at this time of day or you will fall asleep, crash and die. 
Moving swiftly on...
Got to Tkmaxx and Lo, chair had gone. Stood around for a while staring at the space it had been in on Wednesday, looking confused and bewildered, hoping if I stood there long enough it would reappear or get returned?? I don't really know. When it got to scary-shoplifter stage of stationery I mooched around the rest of the store (it was quite leisurely, no one asked me to hurry or announced they needed a wee, I did at one point have a small panic attack about where I'd left the pushchair but it didn't last long!) and chose a different chair and some decorative cushions (because, well why not?!)
BUT the main point of this story is education. And here's the kisser. When you live in a small cottage...measure the stairs before you buy anything. 
Husband swore a lot. Toddler looked bemused (because, after his mammoth nap, he was still up when I returned at 8.30 and didn't go quiet until gone 9pm, gah!). Baby slept through the whole debacle. But we eventually got it up the stairs and into our room where it looks wonderful. All I've got to do now is paint the whole damn room to match!

22 April 2015

On names...

Shay has taken part in the Show and Tell Tuesday blog challenge this week and since the prompt was so lovely I thought I'd share mine...

This week's idea was 'tell us how you picked your children's names, or how you got yours!'
Since my blog is anonymous this will be kinda tricky, but I'll try and convey what we were going for. I adore baby names and baby naming, it's probably my favourite part of being pregnant!

Basically, our family's names are strongly based around tradition and family members. We are big on honouring those who have helped mould our character, boost our spirits and encourage our personalities. Our parents followed this approach when they named both Husband and I (separately of course, without knowing one another, this isn't some hillbilly story of incest...) and Husband and I felt the same way when we started thinking of naming Toddler.

Husband is named after 3 family members. I can't really remember who, I only know that one of his names is after his father, but I know they were distant members of both families that meant a lot to his parents. (Mental note, ask Husband this, he will surely know??) I am named after my paternal grandmother, who my father adored, because I was born on her birthday. They then decided that they couldn't risk upsetting my maternal grandmother so that became my middle name!! My sister only has one Christian name which riles her to this day...my mother's response? We just didn't think of one for you!!

So, when it came to naming my children I had strong ideas. Unfortunately, and this happens a lot in our marriage, Husband also had strong ideas THAT WERE THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE TO MINE! I had always said that if we were carrying a boy then I would want to name him after my father, but once there was a real life person wiggling around inside who could potentially be a boy all these hundreds and thousands of names came pouring out of books all around me and I was swamped. I made list upon list upon list, most of which were instantly veto'ed bu Husband (he has weirdly strict baby-naming rules, some of which I'm convinced he makes up on the spot in order to veto whichever name it is I've just suggested...??) In the end, we decided on my father's name for a boy and Finley for a girl. I don't know why we decided on this, all I remember is that we were well and truly stumped for a girl's name, it ticked the 'unusual' box that I loved and I've always liked the name. Now I hate it for a girl. So good job we found out it was a boy. We had our gender scan, confirmed his name privately then called all our family into the room to introduce them officially on screen. It was perfect!!

Now, I have one middle name but Husband has two. So that was another row! But we finally settled on the name of the best man at our wedding. We felt this was a fitting role model for our son as well as a tribute to the friend who had stood by Husband on our wedding day and supported us so unequivocally when we separated the year before. A good 4 months after that, just before I was due to pop, Husband announced the second middle name which has military links but also links to our family Labrador. It's random, but I love what it stands for so I went with it.

When we found out we were expecting Baby, I had a girl name straight away. No questions asked, had it in my mind for months, this was IT. The boy name was a bit harder. We felt like we'd used the 'perfect, grade A, first choice name' with Toddler so how could we possibly choose another? I loved Rafferty and after weeks of arguing Husband finally let me have it. Then the night before our gender scan where we are due to meet our baby, name our baby and introduce our baby to family, he came home ashen-faced and announced he couldn't call his son Rafferty and that we would have to choose something else. (Apologies to any Mamas of Raffertys, I still adore it!)

Well, I hit the roof. He spent all night on the baby naming apps looking for alternatives and finally we had a shortlist of 3. It wasn't until we pulled up at the sonogram office the next day and Nana opened a baby name book infront of me that the decision became final...there on the page she had let the book fall open to naturally was option 1. That's how Baby got his name!

His middle names are after Husband's best golfing buddy and both of our paternal grandfathers (again, just fluke, we're genuinely not related!)

How did you name your little bundles of joy? Just a name you took a shine to or did you go with meaning?? I'm intrigued...

What a productive day!

The list of things I have achieved today is quite incredible, by anyone's standards. And this is AFTER I'd woken, fed, watered, dressed, packed bags for two children and driven one to nursery.
I have returned 200 plastic balls to Argos as Husband finally conceded that a ball pit was a dumb-as-fuck idea for Baby's first birthday (thank you Jesus!)
Returned some trousers to Next that I grabbed the other day thinking they would look fabulous on BFF. A 10 were too big. No words!
Mooched round TKMaxx. In itself this is not productive BUT I did find 3 potential pieces of cheap and cheerful furniture for the house which is good inspiration AND resisted buying all kinds of tat we don't need so that's amazing in my book.
Sorted out Baby's birthday gift for a whopping 50% off retail price, hazzah!! Went with the swing/slide/climbing frame combo idea in the end and found a sturdy one for only £200. Sold out everywhere due to moneysupermarket.com advertising it all over the bloody place but I HAVE MINE and that's all that matters. It won't be here on time for the big day which is equal parts unforgivable and irrelevant since he is 1 and doesn't know where his own nose is so won't much notice the glaring lack of gift tomorrow morning. She says. Hoping he's not scarred for life!!
Met gorgeous friends for lunch in nearby market town and discovered new restaurant/cafe type thing which is both aesthetically pleasing and has an excellent, well-priced menu. Score!
Did some shopping and managed to buy Baby's 'want' gift from us, Toddler's present to him, an outfit for myself (blame Posh Mama entirely as she was standing outside the changing room shrieking things like 'dahling it's FABulous, buy it at once, you look stunning, I simply can't TAKE it...', ridiculous!!) and a little 'happy not your birthday' gift for Toddler. It's the first one and while I don't buy into the concept, I don't want him to feel left out totally. So I bought him some CVC flashcards! Poor kid #exteacher
I went and picked up the birthday balloons for tomorrow, ordered the party balloons for Sunday, collected Toddler from nursery, fed and watered and bathed the pair of them, wrestled them both into bed, made Husband some supper, collected 32 golf bags from B&M (don't ask, party theme, cheaper than filling 32 party bags I'll wager??), did a quick shop in Waitrose for tomorrow's party tea, loaded the dishwasher, made 2 phonecalls, replied to one party invite (the biter from nursery who is celebrating at the local noro-virus ridden soft play, shucks we're busy, soz!), printed off 32 golf bag name labels and emailed a company who hire out crazy golf sets on a whim.
I can not believe Baby is 1 year old tomorrow. That means it has been 364 days since Husband announced he had a meeting in London that he simply couldn't miss and I said 'just go, it'll be fine, what are the odds?!' (Pretty fucking good it turns out, Baby arrived as Husband was on a Virgin Pendolino racing home, durrh!) He is such a happy chappy. On the whole. Let's just pray he doesn't wake up covered in the pox tomorrow...

17 April 2015

Friday Favourites

Quick one before the weekend. Was meant to be celebrating my birthday in Edinburgh but for a multitude of reasons I'm now staying at home with my 4 gorgeous boys, not too shabby in actual fact! So here's some Friday Favourites...
1. The fact that I've finally got round to moving the coffee cups and kettle to the correct place in the new kitchen. This seems small and daft but when you make 13 cups of coffee before 1pm these items really need to be in the right spot or you'll soon go cray-cray. Am a lot happier now they are living in the space my hand was automatically reaching for (never second-guess your coffee-hand, it knows what is right and true!!)
2. The fact that SAHD text this morning to say he was making a run out to the skips in his van and did I have any rubbish I needed rid of...errr YES! Done and done. Happy Mama!
3. BFF and god-daughter popped round for coffee and cake this morning and it was so heart-warming to see both Toddlers playing outside for an hour or so without any adult intervention or direction. Those two are just the best of frenemies, love it.
4. Baby may well have the chicken pox, he's been hot and lethargic for 24hrs now, and I'm trying to make that into a positive as this way, if he sprouts now, it'll be gone by his birthday. Please God, either make it go away or make it hurry!
5. We have a day of outdoor pursuits planned at Attingham tomorrow, cycling with no stabilisers, coffee on the playing field, a stomp through the forest, hot soup and rolls for lunch...it's gonna be good.
6. Dirty take-out tonight for tea. The healthy veg-filled fish pie is all cooked and ready to reheat later...pah ha ha suckers, we're having curry!
and lastly
7. I am grateful for true friends who reassure me that I'm not going insane. That's all that needs to be said about that.
Busy week, made worse for a while by the lack of diary, but am now back on track and determined to salvage the weekend. Come on 6pm, we want Husband home so we can close the door, snuggle up to watch Paddington and spend some quality time together as a family! Have a wonderful weekend everyone xx

14 April 2015


OK, so my last post was Bank Holiday related. And then it all went a bit radio silence...she'll be back in a minute...any minute now...I just know it...awkward pause...
I dropped my phone down the loo. Combine this with BT taking an eternity to come and install wifi and Husband's data package on his iPhone being devoured within seconds we have been cut off and literally been without communication devices for 5 days. Hellish.
Not only that but my entire diary and life is contained in my gmail calendar...on my phone. So we've had a fun few days of opening the door at random times to disgruntled plumbers/electricians/boiler repair men who had been trying to call (ha ha!) and were clearly not expected. Hey ho, no-one died.
So yeah, to bring you up to speed quickly, I dropped my phone down the loo, Husband went cray-cray, Toddler found the whole thing hilarious, I've had a very sad and lonely and frantic 5 days, BT finally arrived and hooked us up to the mainframe (wowzers!!) and lo, my new phone arrived today.
Thank Christ!
I shall return tomorrow with more regular posts. On how Nana infuriates me. And how my Niece is literally escaping death one faux pas at a time. And how I adore my new house so much it makes me feel a little bit nauseous. And other such useless natter!
Also have Spring wardrobe updates, school updates, Baby updates...it's going to be thrilling ;-)

6 April 2015

A week of silence...

...and for that I can only apologise. 
In short, April so far has been Go Ape with Toddler (petrifying, never again, would rather give birth in public) and then 4 solid days of packing / moving / unpacking / sorting / recycling / binning / sorting again during which I celebrated my birthday, yay!!
Baby decided that one molar just wouldn't do so has decided to crack on and cut the other three. This is painful for everyone, especially me and my ears. 
Husband was in the office on moving day and on call on my birthday so disappeared at 3pm yesterday. Was fleetingly furious, then remembered he pays for this gorge new house so quickly let it go...!
Nana has gone skiing. Again. On my birthday. Again. 
Big Sis and Lil Bro have been here for the long weekend helping with the boys and the house. This has been wonderful because we never get to bloody see them and because Big Sis is a unpacking and sorting GENIUS!! Between us, with busy Toddler and teething Baby we have unpacked 43 boxes and moved countless bits of furniture. Husband and Lil Bro have popped some items in the shed and loft and hung the TV on the chimney breast. That's all we need to say about priorities right there!! 
Tomorrow is Bank Holiday Monday so we have one more day with Husband at home before 'normality' hits. I physically can not wait. Feel like I'm in some kind of weird limbo, it's probably because our belongings are scattered across this new, alien building and I can't find things I need which I know I've seen. Yesterday we dropped £30 on a new friggin' bike helmet for Toddler because his original one just isn't here. It isn't. I know I have more space etc...but it really isn't here?? And I really wanted him to ride his bike at the big park in the sunshine for my birthday. So needs must. 
So I'm eager for things to calm down and settle and for us to get into our normal routine. That's terribly boring isn't it?
First things first though, egg hunt at the Big House tomorrow, yay!!

Hippy Hoppy Happy Easter Everyone