30 August 2015

Oh, my bags are packed...

Ok. After writing list after list after list (after list) for our week's trip to Scotland I have packed what I believed to be a 'restrained' amount of belongings into one suitcase...then had to sit on top of the bastard thing to get it zipped shut. Why on earth do kids need so much stuff? Clothes and shoes and rain coats and emergency clothes and grobags and night light and blackout blinds and muzzies and toys and books and Calpol and swim gear...and I tried to really pare it down. It's insane. At one point I genuinely considered just wearing my travel clothes for the whole week as there didn't seem to be any space for so much as a clean pair of pants for Mama! I've had to sacrifice the blasted hairdryer and don't even know where I'm going to slot the toothbrushes come 7am??
Husband and I haven't flown together since 2008 (damn kids!) and it would appear I have totally forgotten everything I ever knew about airports and have turned into an anxiety-ridden stress-head. For this trip I have checked in online then checked I did it correctly three times. I only want to take one suitcase as I'm travelling on my own with the boys but if I have 20kg allowance and Toddler has 20kg allowance can I take one bag that weighs 23kg? I have checked my passport is in the bag four times so far this evening. I keep wandering around the house grabbing random items and staring at them frantically, will I need this?? Should I have packed this?? Is this crucial for the week ahead?? Probably not, it's a small plastic Minion, let's calm the fuck down...
I should probably head to bed as I will, no doubt, be awake every 30-40mins convinced we've slept through the alarm or that we're standing around naked at airport security...
Life with kids, folks. I used to book last minute trips with Husband, grab a rucksack and bam, we'd be drinking coffee under the Eiffel Tower within hours. Create two children and all of a sudden, everything is different. Even if you decide kids won't change your jet-setting lifestyle they come with a LOT of stuff, physically and emotionally. When there's just the two of you, naptimes aren't really a massive consideration. If your Husband is an asshole at JFK you just have a blazing row, throw him a donut and a double espresso and tell him to grow up. That approach doesn't really cut it with an 18m old baby who hasn't slept in 24hrs and who has sore ears... Running through airports to catch connections is a lot less 'adventure movie' and a lot more 'tear-inducing' when you're dragging Toddler on a trunki and Baby does a massive poo. Plus there's the ever-present worry that you might, you know, crash into a mountain side and die a fiery death... This seems almost exciting when you're young, free and still having sex in airport bathrooms. Once you have kids? Fuck no, too dangerous, cargo too precious, let's all stay at home wrapped in cotton wool and learn about foreign countries on t'Internet. 
Well, anyway. Have packed everything and checked everything and checked everything again so may as well go. Nana is waiting and we want our children to grow up with a love of travel and adventure, no better way to start than a short haul flight to Inverness. 
What's the worst that could happen?!
(Radio silence from here on in, I'm afraid, unplugging for the sake of my babies xxx)

28 August 2015

God says the funniest things...

OK, so if you were to ask me I'd say we're spiritual in our house but not overtly religious, if that makes sense? We speak to the boys about heaven and about God and about the baby Jesus, we try really hard to be kind and grateful and say some prayers when we're worried about someone or something but I wouldn't say we're particularly hardcore about anything?

So, today in the car on the way to skiing a little voice pops up with...

"Mama, God talks to me."
"Does he darling? That's nice. What does he say?"
"He says 'George?' and I say 'yes' and he says 'SMELLS'"!!!!!!

I kid you not. The child is a comedy genius!!

26 August 2015

What's up Wednesday?!

Have an hour before everyone arrives to party-take 2, so here's the world's quickest 'What's up Wednesday?!' Enjoy...

What we're eating this week: everything and anything now we have the new oven installed. We still need to skim the chimney breast and finish tiling the floor but Husband says he'll do that when we're on hols next week. Am IN LOVE with the new range (even though it's the wrong one!) It cooks everything so quickly, but then when you've been using an oven that only ever reaches 150'C anything would feel faster!! Birthday tea was postponed 24hrs so tonight we'll enjoying...hotdogs!

What I'm reminiscing about: Toddler being small. He turned 4 yesterday and starts school in 2 weeks. That's all I can type about it today, no time for tears if I continue...

What I'm loving: my new cross body bag. Needed something bigger than my usual nappy bag for the flight, something that came with a long shoulder strap or could be worn as a backpack and found one in the local corner shop in the sale. Sweet owner even let me bring it home and try it out for size before paying. Mental note, I owe her some money!!

What we've been up to: well after lying around on the sofa all day yesterday we took a leisurely stroll down the high street today, enjoying the sunshiney showers and taking our time. It turned out to be quite fortuitous as aforementioned shop owner let me borrow this bag and Aldi were giving out free cookies so the boys had snack on the way home ;-) Score!

What I'm dreading: next week's flight on my own with 2 small boys??

What I'm working on: not freaking out about it!

What I'm excited about: next week's flight on my own with 2 small boys!! Am trying to see it as an adventure. If we get delayed, run into difficulties, have any explosions or spills, I'm not going to panic. We will be in the same country, speaking the same language, it will all be fine. I know I'll be A-ok once we get in the car to go...it's just the planning and the worrying and the angsting beforehand that tires me out.

What I'm watching / reading: not a lot at the moment. Usual Suspects was on Sky Movies last weekend so I taped that for Husband and I to watch at some point, but what with all the tiling and present-wrapping and working and pootling we get up to each night when the boys are in bed we haven't really been watching much at all. Am downloading some books for my holidays though, am going to take full advantage of Nana and the free childcare!!

What I'm listening to: yet more Taylor Swift. Toddler is obsessed!

What I'm wearing: right this second it's some old blue harem pants and a tshirt - am hosting a Batman tea party in 50 minutes so wanted to be comfy and relaxed. Am looking forward to packing my capsule wardrobe for next week's trip - have ordered some of the new longer line Breton tops from Boden in preparation!

What I'm doing this weekend: packing!! BFF is holding her annual garden party on Saturday which will be awesome and another little NCT friend turns 4 on Monday so we will be celebrating with him on Sunday. Husband wants to play in the shed so he'll be out of action.

What I'm looking forward to next month: Ooh let's look at the diary, our very first flights to Scotland, tea at BFF's, my precious Toddler boy starting school, both boys restarting swim lessons, Niece's 1st birthday party, Husband competing in the annual cross-country running race at his old grammar school and a trip to Bristol for Teacher Mama's Baby's second birthday celebrations. Can't wait to see her!

What else is new? Nothing! Life is normal over here, old house is still not sold, Husband is still a busy little bee who we hardly ever see, Baby is delightful and challenging and funny and teething, Toddler is growing fast and continuing to amaze me every day (although I'm not loving the new 'growling' phase??) Am just trying to soak up the last 14 days of normality before life changes for all of us. Must be brave!

Have a great Wednesday evening, everyone. Wish me well with the 4 tiny birthday guests who are on their way!!

On germs...and horses in your stomach!

(In the car driving back from TKMaxx this morning...)

"Mama, my not feeling poorly any more. My all better."

"That's right, darling. The naughty sicky bug has all gone."

"What sicky bug?"

"You had a sicky bug in your tummy that wanted to push all your food out. That's what made you sick and made you have a sore tummy. But he's all gone now and you feel fine again."


(few mins of thinking)

"My not think it was a sicky bug, Mama."

"Really darling? What was it then?"

"My think it was a tiny horse and a tiny bird playing hopscotch."

"Well...yes...could have been I suppose...no wonder you felt rough!"

Kids are a hoot!

25 August 2015

Big day in our house

Toddler turned 4 years old at 46mins past midnight. I crept into his room at the right time to give him a kiss and take his photo. It was perfect. 
2 hours after I crept out he threw up all over himself and had vomit in his hair. He has a lot of hair! Needless to say, his day has been a lot more chilled than originally planned with all of our activities postponed by 24hrs. He managed to open his gifts but has done nothing other than lie on the sofa and watch Disney movies all day. To be fair, Mama hasn't felt like doing much else since we were both awake from 2-6am zzz ha ha!!
Happy Birthday my beautiful little boy, your Daddy and I are so blessed to have you in our lives every day. You are kind and opinionated, stubborn and laid back, adventurous and sensitive. You are perfectly imperfect like all the gang, you fit right in. There's nowhere else in the world you were meant to go and I, as your Mama, give thanks for you every single morning. Here's to a wonderful, bouncy, cake-filled celebration...tomorrow!! Xxx

21 August 2015

Five Friday Favourites!

Happy Friday everyone!! We've had a mental week over here in the shire what with Toddler's skiing lessons, Baby cutting two bottom teeth, having a gas pipe routed through the kitchen and then having a deadline to get all the tiling done before the man comes back to fit the damn oven (the wrong damn oven, but it's cool, I'm over it!!) 

Anyway, here are 5 little things that make me smile on this windy Friday...
Main thing that we've learned this week is that tiling is a bitch and there's a good reason why you can PAY someone to come into your home and do it for you. Groan. It took us 2 evenings to get into a groove and stop snapping at each other...then we ran out of grout! So oven man is coming over in 2 hours and...chimney breast is only 7/8 finished. But again, it's all good, I'm over it. I need an oven (it's been almost a week since Husband ripped out the old one) and we can always wiggle it out slightly in order to finish the last few tiles. Am quite excited to see it in situ...just pray the blasted thing works or there are going to be serious tears.

This week I've remembered how lucky I am and what wonderful friends I have. We have been invited out to tea at four different houses which meant we only had to eat one microwave meal and one pan of pasta. Our friends are the best and we love them dearly, especially when they feed us ;-)

(This is a food/cooking/oven related week I feel...) I'm loving my new saucepans! It took me a while to realise but all of a sudden I thought, the new hob is going to be inside the chimney breast and there ain't a lot of wiggle room either side, therefore my pans with long handles won't work. This didn't phase me much as a) I wasn't particularly attached to my existing pans and b) it gave me a reason to shop. We hit up TKMaxx (Toddler's fav place!) and bam, new pans with short stubby handles. Exciting times. Also, this makes me realise how old I am.

I have also finished my birthday shopping which I'm pleased about. Batman themed party bags threw me for a loop, but in the spirit of not throwing a big bash and toning it down slightly I decided to knock that on the head and buy each guest a lovely book as a keepsake instead. Am going to make Toddler write his name inside each one as a 'thank you for coming'. Gratefulness AND handwriting practice, oh yes!

We have a lovely weekend ahead of us. One of our NCT babies is having a big 4th birthday party tomorrow so I shall take the boys along to that while Husband finishes aforementioned tiling and then on Sunday we are going to the soft play nice and early for pancakes and coffee while he finishes assembling the last parts of the shed (he's been constructing new storage for some weeks now, I feel that I should probably allow him some time to complete this project since my oven took over slightly!)

There you have it, 5 little things that are making me smile today, from tile angst to saucepans! Add yours below to share the happy :-) Have a great weekend, everyone!

19 August 2015

Shoop shoop shoop

And so Toddler's foray into the magical world of snow sports continues. Granted, the kid has issues walking in a straight line. Granted, he's not gifted at listening, paying attention, following instructions... Granted, we have no immediate ski holidays booked just yet. But these are all piddly, insignificant facts that will not get in the way of my child being able to ski. We're paying £50 an hour for 1:1 tuition, SOMETHING has got to sink in AT SOME POINT!
I'm not sure if it's a strong desire to hold onto something we love from our pre-kid days, or an even stronger desire for my boys to be instilled with a keen sense of adventure and travel, but I am determined that he will master the skis and (hopefully) enjoy it as much as we do. Luckily, so far he loves it (obviously I'm not into flogging dead horses over here, parenting is hard enough without trying to make a Toddler do something he isn't 100% into!) Am hoping that once the old house sells, Husband will notice how keen he is and agree to a snow holiday at the start of next year maybe?? Obviously this still leaves us with the small 'issue' of Baby, but I'm sure Nana could be persuaded to tag along and assist with childcare ;-)
Here's my pinspiration for today...

Am off to triple check the ski bag ('what to wear' brings on a whole new level of angst when you're travelling to the ski dome in sunny, warm weather but then going to spend an hour in the freezing cold...?? Head hurts!) and then corral them both into the car. Lesson is at 10am so I need to give us plenty of time to drive there in rush hour, settle Baby in the cafe with a mountain of snacks and squeeze Toddler into 15 layers of clothing (only for him to decide he needs a wee a mere 3 minutes later!) IT'S ALL TOTES WORTH IT!!
Have a great Wednesday x

18 August 2015

On hives and cheating death!

So yeah, on Sunday we all headed to Liverpool to visit Auntie and Niece. This was all very exciting, bags packed, up and out the door by 8.20am (including Husband!), all delirious at the prospect of leaving the shire...then Baby went and had an allergic reaction a mere 2hours after we arrived. 
No joke. At one point we almost called an ambulance. We had walked along the water, met my sister and her family outside the ferry terminal, had a quick coffee and mooched around the Tate. No sooner had we sat down to order food and whoosh, Baby just exploded in a hot, blotchy, itchy rash from his ears right down to his knees. It looked like nettle rash? We have no idea what caused it, he hadn't eaten or drunk anything new, but we knew we needed piriton fast. 
His little eyes were almost puffed closed and he was trying to rip his ears off the sides of his head. It was awful. Cue a mad dash through Liverpool One to find a Boots and then a horrid 20min wait while it started to work and Husband talked to NHS direct.  
Luckily, the piriton did its thing and he settled down for his nap (with Mama constantly checking his breathing!) quite happily. NHS direct had assured us that he didn't need immediate medical attention so we continued with our day, visited the Maritime Museum, had a ride on the big wheel (I nearly vomited every time Toddler got out of his seat, don't do heights, blee!), did an excited dash around the Lego and Disney stores...but 3.5hours later when the piriton started to wear off you could physically see the rash spreading across his face and starting all over again. Something just was not right. He was being such a little trooper and ignoring it best he could, but at one point he had a line of hives across his forehead that were so red and angry I nearly cried. 
The problem now was, you can only have 2 doses of piriton in 24hrs, it's late in the day and we were still 2hrs away from home. I know we could have headed straight to Alder Hey but my gut instinct was that piriton would buy us another 3.5hrs and that a trip to the hospital wasn't strictly necessary, at least not immediately. Having two children is so hard, not least because you're always having to decide what is best for two separate people...I didn't want either of them spending their evening in a Liverpool hospital if we could avoid it, not to mention that Husband had work the next morning... 
So, second dose of piriton, dinner out, then a drive home to drop Toddler at home where Nannie was waiting for him (we'd rung ahead) before a trip to A&E at our local hospital. 
When I undressed him to show the doctor I gasped aloud. It looked like I'd poured a kettle of boiling water all over him. And what did they say? Allergic reaction, nothing we can do!
Apparently, although we would have called it relatively severe, on the official scale of allergic reactions it was mild/medium and unless a child is wheezy then they will not consider further treatment (strong antihistamines/steroids)
We bundled him back up, got him safely home and Husband got the angelcare monitor back out of the loft. They assured me that he wouldn't deteriorate but the soft tick tick tick reassured me every time I stirred and panicked that night. 
It's now Tuesday evening and you wouldn't know anything had occurred. All swelling has gone down, all hives and red patches have faded, appetite and ability to shriek are both back to full power!! As usual, they bounce back and are totally fine long before their Mama recovers from the scare. I'm still lifting his armpits looking for a rash and worrying about every damn thing I offer him to eat...
Husband says we're not leaving the shire again for a long time. Sigh. Any excuse to stay at home!
Tomorrow's post: oven update!!

15 August 2015

Little voice

Ok. I can't say too much about this incase I cry again because a) it makes me sound shallow and b) I have a headache. But Husband and Leeds Dad brought home the wrong oven. It can't be returned or swopped. 
Let's move swiftly on...

The new Autumn/Winter collection from Hush went live online today. You can peruse everything here: https://www.hush-uk.com

Remember, anything that's still in your shopping basket 24hours after it being added is MEANT to be yours. You're welcome 😘

14 August 2015

Goodbye awful oven!!

OMG so it's 7.30pm on Friday and THIS^^^ is currently happening in the kitchen. Terrible wall oven that only ever reaches 150'C is gone and the cupboards are well on their way.
Leeds Dad and Husband are off to collect the new range tomorrow morning and then while I have the boys at the NCT birthday party Husband is going to take off all the horrific tiles (looks like they all came to a clown's funeral, shudder!) Glam Mama's husband is coming round to assess the plastering that needs doing, gas man is coming Monday morning to run the pipe across...soon I'll be buying paint and tiles!!
Am so excited. Yes, the rest of the kitchen is going to look like shit in comparison. And yes, it is going to drive me crackers having to live with it. But it's a new oven that works and an excellent compromise until the old house sells.
Am hoping that by next weekend it looks a bit like this...

Wish me luck!!

Grab your wellies, kids

Seriously, this is us in Shropshire today. Where on earth did all THIS come from?? Also noted this morning: conservatories are not good for rain-coming-down volume control!! I'm sure it's the glass roof making this all sound much more biblical than it really is. 
I'm off to find my wellies though, just incase ;-)

12 August 2015

Yet another wardrobe update!

Have ordered the knee high brown boots (£20 in the sale? Thanks v much!), the white linen shirt and the layered navy top from M&S.

Have added to the wishlist a cream waffle knit jumper and a khaki slash neck jumper (I may have added them because I accidentally already ordered them...details schmetails!)

Let's see what they all look like when they come...am working on my capsule wardrobe for Inverness. Watch this space!


Aargh, Nana and Auntie aren't talking. Again. Nana says ABC happened and Auntie says it was categorically DEF. I, on the other hand, wasn't there and am waaaaaay past caring. Am making this quote my new mantra and chanting it like a lunatic every minute of the day.

I will not get sucked into this, it is soul-destroying. Not my circus...

9 August 2015

Fuller than a full thing!

OK. So Saturday was the 'annual day of food' summer garden party at Dentist Mama's house and, oh my God, she excelled herself. There was shredded pork, homemade burgers, sausages, 6 different side dishes, fresh breads, cheeses, 4 different puddings, Pimms...the list goes on and on. Boys were delirious in the paddling pool with their little buddies so Mama here just sat and ate and ate and ate...I was like the hungry feckin' caterpillar.
Today we were at Nana's all day attacking her jungle (read: garden) and once again I have stuffed my face like some kind of insatiable Labrador. I ate an entire roast, then filched a Bounty bar, then a chocolate biscuit, then we all had scones for supper...blee...
I literally can not press my abdomen without feeling ill. I feel 6 months pregnant, like I've officially run out of room and it has to stop.
Seriously, this evening I am all 3!!!
Tomorrow the healthy eating starts AGAIN!!!

7 August 2015

Birthday Presents

OK, so I've talked a bit about the fact that this month my beloved Toddler will turn 4. We've long had an agreement in this house that each child would be allowed three blow-out bashes before they begin 'birthday teas with 5 friends', and that's all fine. Baby still has two more big celebrations ahead of us for me to plan (yay!) and if we're blessed with another child then, woo, even more parties in my future!!
This post is more about gifts, how we choose what we're going to purchase for each of our children for birthdays (and Christmas)
Whichever way you choose to celebrate, huge party or small birthday tea, you also have the expense of a birthday gift and when it comes to gifts, you are their parent and you know what makes them smile. It's really easy to get pulled into the birthday hysteria and somehow find yourself on the eve of the big day sitting down with a glass of wine to wrap and realising you have inadvertently bought 32 items and somehow spent a small fortune. Don't know about you, but if I went out and spent a huge sum of money in one foul swoop I'd feel bad, obviously, but there's something so sickening about pulling more and more and more gifts out of their hiding places around the house so that the pile you have to wrap is threatening to turn into a small tsunami and slowly realising that you've spent waaaaay more than you intended...it makes me feel all wibbly.
It's not just the cost either. It's the excessive nature of it all, I suppose, the greed?? My children are extremely lucky and fortunate boys who want for nothing really. Their playroom is full of educational and stimulating toys, they own enough books to start their own library, they have enough clothes to wear a different outfit every day for 2 weeks...They need absolutely nothing, and the problem with buying for children who have everything is that people feel that they must buy something, so they buy tat. I hate tat. I would much rather people turned up to a party empty-handed (I don't mean that to sound snobby, I just genuinely truly honestly hate plastic tat and would genuinely truly honestly prefer you not to buy it for my children, I invited you because I enjoy your company anyway!!) This doesn't just apply to friends either. Husband tries this every year, he would go crazy buying random bits and pieces for the boys 'because it's their birthday'! Aargh!
I also don't like the mindset of spending a shed load of money for the sake of it. We used to have a friend who set a budget for each of her three children and would spend and spend and spend until she reached it. Literally, she would just buy ANYTHING that vaguely worked until she reached the budget and only then would she stop. Her logic was, then it's fair, each child gets the same amount spent on them. And while I believe that's a valid argument up to a point, I didn't really understand the way she went about it? I'd argue that Toddler loves his free happy meal minion toy more than his iPad...you work out how much each one cost!
The other thing is that we have a lot of generous and kind friends and family members who choose to treat the boys on their birthdays. By the time it gets to present opening time I need a pencil and a piece of paper just to keep track of who bought which item. Husband and I physically don't need to buy them a thing really, they get more than enough from friends!
Anyway, all this leads up to my main point, which is how we do our birthday and Christmas shopping. I read about it years ago, way before children, and it instantly struck a chord within me. I knew that this was how I would always shop for my kiddos...
We buy each child four gifts.
Only four!
They come under four categories which are 'Play, Read, Want and Need'.

Simple, right? I doubt it needs any explanation!!
Obviously, sometimes we see something amazing that we both agree they would love so we bend the rules slightly. And sometimes, even if I know I've already bought something under the category of 'play', I think of something else brilliant and try to convince myself that the aforementioned gift (say, a bike) could also be considered as something he needs, therefore 'play' is free again and allows me to buy this trampoline...you see how it goes.
It's not a hard and fast rule, and I totally appreciate that it might not work for all families out there. But it definitely works for us. It helps us stay focused when we're thinking of gifts, means that hopefully we avoid the scenario described above where you slowly realise you've bought way too much, and helps to keep the costs down. We don't really set a budget for birthday gifts, Baby had a climbing frame for his first birthday because we knew they would both use it all summer long and it would last for years, Toddler had new spiderman socks one year because he had been asking for them for months... swings and roundabouts! But I can definitely see how easy it would be to blow a tonne of cash. They're your babies and you want them to have a wonderful day opening loads of wonderful gifts...eeshk it's so tempting!
Anyway, this year I have purchased / spent:
Play - a batman dressing up costume from Asda £10
Read - some starting school books and some picture books £15
Want - some vintage Transformers off eBay (Husband's choice) £50
Need - some salopettes for his ski lessons £32

I think he will be one very happy boy. No longer a Toddler. Boo!!

How do you decide what you're going to buy / spend on your little ones for special celebrations?? Share below, would be interesting to see how other people work it!!

6 August 2015

Autumn/Winter wishlist

Always good to have a list to refer to, add to, help you focus when you're out and about wandering leisurely around the shops, browsing at your own pace, sipping a latte (read: shopping online late at night because your two small children never let you shop anymore, they're both horrid!)
Here's what's on my shopping list for the next few months...
My last pair of knee-high brown boots were cheap as chips off amazon of all places and they lasted me an entire winter during which I wore them every. single. day! I still have them in the mudroom, but if I'm honest, they have been worn into the ground and are well overdue a trip to the skips. Sad times. These new beauties might ease the pain of their passing...?!
Cashmere bed socks, because, well, because they're cashmere bloody bed socks!!
Have been thinking about a denim dress for a while and I think one with longer sleeves might suit the whole Autumn transition phase quite well. This one looks like it's crying out for some thick tights and the boots above!!
Have been lusting after some biker boots ever since Laura (http://wearingittoday.blogspot.co.uk/) posted this photo of her on maternity leave some 2 years ago. This year might be the year I sort it out??
And Kat (http://doesmybumlook40.blogspot.co.uk/) recommended a tonne of classic white shirts last week which is something my wardrobe is totally lacking. Have ordered one from M&S to try on next week...
I'm in love with these tan ankle boots from Dune
And I think I have ordered this top but the short-sleeved version in navy/orange in the M&S sale. We shall see when the parcel arrives!
When I thought about writing this post I was SURE I going to need a photo of the knitted Boden coatigan thing I ordered last week, adamant that I would adore and cherish it for all time...but it looked DREADFUL on me and was the itchiest thing I have ever touched in my adult life. Insane. It got bundled back into the bag so fast I almost got whiplash. Yack.
I'm sure there's other things I have looked at recently and thought 'ooh, yes, maybe...' but for the life of me I can't think what they are at the moment and after a short 65mins nap Baby has just woken up shrieking so I had better go and rescue him before he needs therapy later on in life. 
What's on your wishlist for the next few months? Let me know if you've seen anything lust-worthy!

A few days late with this...

...I totally didn't realise it's August already!!

July was fun, busy and sunny and rainy and full of friends. It went by ridiculously fast. I find that some months seem to drag while others fly by in the blink of an eye, July was one of those months.
So, am going to flick through my calendar and see, what does August have in store for us over here??
Last weekend was a quiet one for us after being at the races on the Friday. Toddler had worked so hard with his new sticker chart (we're on a positive parenting drive at the moment!) so he got to call the shots on Saturday which resulted in a bike ride, a McDonald's lunch, a visit to see Nannie and Grandad and sausages for tea! It was a lovely family day, just us, quite chilled and just what we needed to regroup after a busy couple of weeks.
This weekend will be a bit different as we have tennis lessons and a big NCT party on Saturday followed by a day over at Nana's clearing her garden on Sunday. Since my Dad died gardening hasn't been a very big priority for my mother and as such the garden now resembles an overgrown jungle where plants go to die. It's hard to look at. It used to be so neat and tidy, now it's an eyesore and a constant reminder that he's not here to look after it. But it's also just a total mess. The boys can't play outside, God knows what the new neighbours think when they look out of their upstairs windows... So we are all descending en masse and the plan is to clear out all the shit, fill a skip, light a fire, strim the heck out of it...am actually looking forward to it!
Toddler starts his skiing lessons soon, which will be a birthday gift from Nana. He had a block of 4 individual lessons last summer and loved every minute so I'm hoping it's the same this time round. He blew me away, only 3 years old and took the instructor's hand without so much as a backward glance! The plan is to book a ski holiday early next year (IF the old house sells and IF Husband can get time off work etc...) so we want him to have mastered the basics beforehand.
I'm starting Pilates classes this evening. Leeds Mum has invited me to join her and since finding time to run at the moment is becoming increasingly tricky I thought I'd give it a go. No clue what to wear...?
We're off to Liverpool to visit Auntie and Niece. This is such a long trip that I haven't been able to bring myself to do it in months, which I feel awful about. I just can't make the timings work in my head around Baby's naps and meals and then the drive home would undoubtedly mean he fell asleep on the way...aargh the mere thought of it makes me panicky! So we've arranged a visit on a weekend when Husband can drive, we can BOTH deal with the hell that will ensue if Baby's schedule is thrown out and I'll be a lot more calm ;-)
Niece has her MRI this month. This is causing me some distress, but am keeping calm and strong for my sister. We will see what they find...
BFF is throwing a huge summer garden party at the end of the month so am definitely looking forward to that. A whole day of lounging around on her massive lawns drinking Pimms and eating BBQ food? I'm in!
Ooh a trip to the dentist for all 4 of us. Thrills!
Toddler turns 4!! Have just ordered the last of his birthday gifts today and his birthday tshirt arrived yesterday. I am excited about this, mainly because I love throwing parties (even small, non-party parties!) but also dreading it because I know that soon after the celebration he will start school and slip out of my grasp for good. Mew.
And the very last thing on my calendar for August is 'flights booked for Scotland'. Inverness, here we come! Really need to start researching 'flying with small children' and 'must-haves for carry-on luggage when flying for the first time on your own with 2 small boys' and other articles of a similar sounding nature. God help me!

So there you have it. I can already tell that August is going to whizz by just as quickly as June and July did...I'm already 6 days late posting this, for pete's sake!

Have you got any wonderful plans coming up in the next few weeks? My August goals are just to try and make the most of Toddler's last month at home, to plan some sweet activities to celebrate his first day of school that we can make into our own little traditions (like taking his photo, making cookies when he gets in, getting him to answer a little questionnaire...), to update my wardrobe wish list for autumn/winter, to decide what we're going to do with the bloody kitchen, and not to lose either of my children in Birmingham Airport. I'll let you know how I get on ;-)

4 August 2015

Can you bloody believe this???

And apparently the majority of them ARE MINE!!! I mean, I bloody ask you!!! Rarrh. I really need to stop keeping the damn thing in my back pocket, that's 2 in four months. Sigh.

2 August 2015

Random purchase

Nipped up to the big town earlier because word on the grapevine was that they'd opened a new section of the park with sprinklers and water jets etc...and since I have two water-mad children, a Husband who was desperate to spend some time in the garden and the sun was due to make an appearance I figured it was worth investigating.
Verdict? It's true, there is indeed a new section of water fun but it's pretty basic. Baby fell asleep just as we arrived at the damn place (bad timing on my part) but Toddler had a blast and I only had one wet child to wrestle back into clothes at the end of it all so I suppose it was a successful trip out on the whole.
BUT that's not the reason for this post. Whilst I was in town I took advantage of the fact that their Boots was open (damn you tiny town where we live, everything apart from Subway is closed here on the Sabbath!) and nipped in to grab the 4/5 items that were on the 'to grab' list. You know the thing, you need nothing when you're doing the online Asda shop but as soon as it all gets unloaded into your hallway you run out of deodorant, toothpaste, shower gel, moisturiser, eyeliner...it's endless. Anyway, Baby was still snoozing so in we raced, grabbed armfuls of random bits and bobs and BAM, right there at the counter was a tube of Lanolips Golden Ointment with a £2 sticker on it.

This stuff retails at £17.99! I took a cursory glance to see if it was half-used/tampered with/out-of-date but to honest, even if it HAD been there's a fair chance I'd have still bought it at that price. This stuff is glorious, I've used it before way back when but had completely forgotten about it until I saw it there, sitting on the clearance shelf, waiting for me to take it home. It's a moisturiser which is described as 'very, very rich', smells of honey and can be used anywhere on your body. If you've ever breastfed a baby and used Lansinoh then you can imagine how thick it is! It's currently on my forearms (mainly because I just really wanted to crack it open and use some immediately!) I've suddenly realised that this is a pretty useless post, because I found it on offer by sheer chance, and chances are you guys would have to pay top dollar for it, but either way, I recommend it if you are in some need of some nourishment!!
So it's been a good Sunday. Husband is all happy and smiley because he got loads done in the garden (playhouse and bike shed have both now been relocated, bin area has been dismantled and a mound of soil has been moved from one place to another - that part I don't really understand but I know it's to do with something...important??) Boys are both tucked up in bed after their exhausting outdoors day and I'm off to finish the jug of Pimms I made when I got back! Bring it, Monday, we're ready for you!

1 August 2015

Home Tour - downstairs

OK, so whilst the boys were out bike riding this morning I took a little time to tidy up (read: hide everyday mess inside cupboards) and took some photos of our forever home to share with you. It is very much a work in progress, as you'll see when you clock the photos of the current kitchen!, but we love it and hope you can see what kind of direction we're going in with the overall look/style.

When you walk into our house, you come into a little room with an open log fire. Right up until moving day we weren't sure which of two rooms to house the TV in (we only have one) and in the end we chose to mount it here on the chimney breast. We don't watch an awful lot of TV in our family so this room is mainly used by the boys after their bathtime and by us in the evenings. It's small and snug and cosy...I love it.

Off the TV room is a sun-room/conservatory add-on room. It is like a SAUNA when the weather is nice and I love to fling those doors open and let the boys wander in/out as they please. The grey chair was a TKMaxx impulse purchase which was originally bought for next to our bed, isn't it funny how adamant you can be about something and then how quickly you can change your mind when it's in place? I think we kept it upstairs for a mere 2 weeks before bringing it down here. We then brought the chrome floor lamp to go with it and we love it. This is the kind of mix we're after, modern meets country cottage. I'm not entirely sure we're going to win any interior design awards!! The unit on the right temporarily houses my printer, the baskets hold our flipflops for running out the door into the garden and the boys' rucksacks. I try not to open the two drawers in the unit for fear of what they boys have dumped in there...one should hold the big blankies for movie nights, the other is probably filled with crap?!

 Turn left from the sun-room and you walk into our dining room. This is where we put our fab new bench, hung the family montage wall of photos and bought a new white ceramic light fitting. My PC is also hiding in the alcove next to the fireplace!

Off the dining room is my favourite room of all, the boys' playroom. This is what we were so desperately missing in the old house, and whilst it is slightly shameful how fast we have filled it, I adore it so much. Everything has a home, everything can be accessed by Toddler independently and it is so easy to tidy up (each bin has a massive photo on to make it super easy) This room was the other option for our TV room, a proper grown-up lounge with fancy wallpaper and beautiful fireplace...?? Maybe in a few years when their belongings have migrated upstairs?

The kitchen is next, and if you read my post yesterday on the vision we have for this space, you will see immediately why this makes me twitch! The broken wall oven, the random layout, the ridiculous electric hob...GAH I can't type any more about it!!!

You've all seen the utility before. Ahh the shelves. In fact, this photo is making me cross. See how fast we've filled the newly empty worktop?? As soon as I've finished typing this I am off to move all that stuff again. FFS...

We have our main bathroom downstairs, which I thought would be weird when we first looked round but was prepared to compromise about. Actually, it works fine! Go figure...

At right at the very back of the house there is another sun-room/conservatory add-on room that we use as office storage and a boot room. Who knew a family of 4 could own quite so many coats?

And that's it. A small insight into my world! I shall attempt to photograph upstairs when it looks tidy enough, but let's face it, I live with 3 boys and a dog... you may be waiting some time!!