30 June 2016

June over, already??

Seriously? I suppose the constant bloody rain isn't helping...where the feck is summer? We had that one incredible week of hot sun and then pfft, all over. Am almost looking forward Autumn already. Sigh!

Anyway, for someone who likes to be busy, June has felt a bit 'much' really. It is a universal truth that you can spend many a happy week, hell even month, with not much on and then all of a sudden you look at your calendar and you have plans of one nature or another for the next 14 weekends. I shit you not. That's a bit overwhelming in itself, but when you then realise you're the numpty who volunteered to be in charge of organising 50% of events laid out in front of you, it makes you want to lie down in a dark room and ignore the phone.

Posh Mama and I have decided that next year we're saying 'no' a lot more often. It's an art we are going to have to perfect, though, it doesn't come easily. I wish I were one of those people who just said it, offered no further explanation and then skipped off happily to the pub for a long leisurely lunch with girlfriends instead of curling up consumed with grief, analysing the reaction you got for hours on end...before eventually ringing up and claiming you ARE free after all and actually would love to take on the ENTIRE event...Grr!

So yes, the plan for next academic year is to stand back a bit. Thing is, what with our PLA committee only having 10 members, volunteers are thin on the ground. I'll see how I get on!

The month hasn't been all thankless toil though, I did get to visit Warwick Castle with Boy's school on Tuesday.

I'd never been before and had a great time. Loads to see and do, great layout (not too big for little legs but big enough that 90 of us could zig-zag around in groups and not constantly be on top of each other...!) and really helpful, knowledgeable staff. BFF went along too and she helped out with Kindergarten class while I was with the older children (so could keep an eye on her big boy, perfect arrangement). We also kept our class Facebook page updated throughout the day to keep everyone else's blood pressure down, it's so worrying when they head off on a massive day trip when they're so young (hence why this stressy Mama went along!) So yes, I would definitely recommend Warwick Castle for a summer holiday visit, check it out.

On the way there and back, though, I had to sit next to the Headmaster which was nothing but awkward. For some bizarre reason, the man makes me incredibly nervous and I spend the entire time we're talking not listening to a damn thing he's saying, just panicking about what to say next which causes no end of issues when he asks me a question. Every damn time I have to say 'sorry, what?' like a moron. It's mortifying. At one point he offered me some KitKat and I just giggled at him like a teenage girl. Let's face it, probably won't be ask to help next time...!

And with that, the end of the school year is in sight. Boy has his first swimming gala this Friday and then he only has 9 days to go. I can't believe Kindergarten is almost over, it feels like he just started... Must not cry!

Talking of things that make us realise life is whizzing by, Toddler had to have a new car seat this week. He has been using Boy's old Maxi Cosi Tobi but the straps started to fray ever so slightly which meant, bam, out it goes. The staff at the local Mothercare were really helpful, advising us on a Britax seat that would last him from now until he no longer needs one and winner, it was 50% off in the sale. They brought it out to the car, made sure it was fitted securely, made sure all the straps were at the right height for him, checked he was happy before we drove off...such good customer service.  

Car seat can be found here for bargain price!!

The only other thing I have on my mind right now is our upcoming trip to Disneyland Paris. Am trying not to think too much about the recent terrorists attacks on airports or missing aeroplanes and instead am spending my time on Pinterest googling things like this...

Who knew there were certain SHOES to wear? You won't be surprised to hear that I've ordered them!! That is, however, the only damn thing I HAVE done, really must get a wiggle on and start a list, at least. We leave in 2 weeks...!

So that was June. What a whirlwind. Husband spent a week of it in Texas, which didn't make much of a difference around here, if I'm totally honest. We visited the opticians (clean bill of eye health for all, hurrah!), this Mama attended a LOT of formal functions, we organised more school events than I'd like to remember and I finally chose the paint we're having in our master bedroom (more on that next month when it's all finished!)

Back tomorrow with my plans for July (organising one free weekend will be number 1 on the list!!) Have a lovely Thursday, everyone, and remember...

26 June 2016

What a crazy weekend!

Husband flew home from Texas and brought gifts. For someone who is always moaning about the amount of money I manage to spend and had limited free time available, he did rather well. Disney store, Lego store, J Crew, Nordstrom, Levi's, Aeropostale...who even knew he had it in him?!

(New Lion Guard figurines!)

Saturday night we had the grammar school ball with BFF, her husband and a gang of friends. Incredible fun. Boy kindly volunteered to take my photo before we left...

(Photo does not show true extent of white legs, thank goodness or you'd be blinded!)

Then this morning we were at school bright and early for the summer fair. This academic year will forever be known as the year we planned multiple practical exhausting huge events the morning after an alcohol-crazed party night. Not our finest hours...mind you, sunglasses are a wonderful invention, as is coffee. Nothing garners respect from the headmaster like turning up to a family event reeking of prosecco and sobbing into some Berocca. 

(Posh Mama did good!)

So yes. We were at school from 9.30-4pm and by 4.30pm I was enjoying a cheeky snooze in the large armchair with Toddler on my lap. Am looking forward to a day at home tomorrow, puttering around and taking it easy. This month has been crazy busy, and I usually thrive on 'busy'. Our upcoming trip to Disney hasn't even entered the planning phase yet, I haven't had any spare brain cells to think about it!!

Hope you've all had a great weekend? I'm off to Warwick Castle with Kindergarten this week, can't wait!!

24 June 2016

On politics...

I'm not political. I don't read about, care much about, understand much about politics. I don't even understand the photo above, just thought it looked good? Husband gets extremely irate and cross about the fact that I am blissfully, intentionally ignorant but when you suffer with anxiety AND have small children taking up every spare inch of your brain I find you have to pick and choose which topics you engage with and politics hasn't made the cut this decade.

But I have woken up this morning quite sad to find that we have voted out of the EU. In such scary, dark times worldwide, surely unity and camaraderie should have prevailed??

Sad times.

In other news, apologies for the radio silence. I have planned a regatta, a ball, a summer fair, sports day refreshments (twice!), a brunch at school, a mufti day, Husband has been in Texas for 6 days, there was a dinner party in Liverpool...the list goes on and on. Life has been incredibly busy and when there has been a small segment of time to sit down and write I found I had absolutely no words to say. Brain. Is. Mush!

(That's meant to be me, but I don't wear green...!)

Anyway, what other gossip do I have from the last fortnight?

Auntie has started her own blog. This is causing me immense hilarity, which is incredibly arrogant and awful of me considering I haven't told anyone that I write a blog incase they mock me. Oh, the irony. I know.

Boy got into trouble with the headmaster for calling people 'bumhead nerds'. He's 4.5yrs old. I don't THINK he's destined for a life in Belle Vue but maybe we should start him in therapy??

Toddler's favourite new phrase is 'I don't know?' when I ask him anything. Anything at all. Lovely!

Husband is away but has, like a good and loyal husband who would like to be allowed back into the marital bed after leaving me with his children for an eternity, been to every store I requested and bought me lots of lovely things. Hurrah!

God, I think that's it? How can I have been so bloody busy and have nothing to show for it? Shameful!

Right, am off to the playbarn and then must remember to go to Waitrose otherwise the icecream stall at the fair on Sunday will be decidedly lolly-less. Aargh!

Have a great weekend, friends. I shall try and be back on Monday!!

12 June 2016

Full on fatigue

I am officially broken.

Regatta luncheon last weekend, raised £15,000 for Cancer Research.

School summer ball on Friday, raised £2,500 for the nursery climbing frame.

Town carnival yesterday, Boy was a corgi and I was involved for four long hours of my life I'll never get back.

Birthday party for a Kindergarten friend this morning, no coffee served!

I am exhausted!!

May's no-sugar challenge lasted a shameful 36 hours so have taken drastic action and bought a Clean 9 which I am determined to start tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!

Am, of course, panic eating everything in sight this evening due to impending starvation. Not sure that'll help...

That's all. Am too tired to sit upright in this chair any longer, let alone type real life words in any sort of order. So I'll leave you with this...

Much love x

9 June 2016

Life Lately...

Sorry for the silence. Life has been so, so busy over here in the shire. The Cancer Research regatta was a roaring success but was a LOT of hard work to organise, and now I'm swamped in school ball prep. Husband has been working late a LOT. Then we had half term (when Boy decided to go on an 'adventure' at Attingham Park resulting in me having a nervous breakdown!) and the exhausting return to school and routine (Boy got carried out of the swimming pool last night in hysterical tears, can you say 'tired'?!) All in all, I'm ready for July to arrive already.

So here's a quick post about our life lately...enjoy!

Oasis, Rainbow Stripe T-Shirt Multi 1

Leeds Dad's wife joined us for brunch at Wyevale yesterday and was wearing the cutest little navy tshirt. When she told me she'd bought it in Oasis I decided to go straight up and grab one. Naturally, they didn't have it in stock in my size...but they DID have this little top of sunshine and happiness. Love it!

BFF's middle child and I are having a sticky-willy contest on the walk down the canal path each morning. Sent BFF this picture earlier for her to show him at playtime!!

Found this on Facebook last night. This is my life!

Am trying to decide how to have my hair done for the ball tomorrow so have been pinning styles and sending them to the hairdresser... am hoping its new longer length will give me a few more options?? Ideally, I'd just like to look like Jennifer Lawrence...too much to ask?

Regatta luncheon hilarity. There were 6 of us drinking on our table and we managed to work our way through 8 bottles of prosecco, 1 bottle of champagne and 1 bottle of white wine. All for a good cause. (PS I love Posh Mama's face in this, we had SUCH a blast that afternoon)

Boy was invited to stay over at his BFF's during the final weekend of half term...he nearly pee'd his pants with excitement. I'd already got his pjs in my bag so we could all stay a bit later after an epic BBQ...so we waved goodbye and picked him up again on the Saturday morning. Apparently, they finally crashed at 9.30pm!!

Image result for airbnb

Am tasked with finding a villa for 6 for the girls next April so spending every spare minute on airbnb...the pressure!!

And that's a corgi mask...because school asked for children to volunteer to be on the school float in this weekend's carnival...and due to my inate need to please people illness I said 'Yes, of course Boy can be there at 9am the morning after the school ball in a homemade corgi costume...' Fuck's sake!

Other than that our days have been filled with mundane school runs, swimming lessons, housework... how do such routine things take up so much time and energy?!

Must go and put the kettle on and drag Toddler away from Curious George. Glam Mama is bringing her youngest over so the boys can play together while she paints my nails for this bloody ball that I'm regretting ever agreeing having anything to do with!! Groan!!

Hope everyone is well, wish us luck on Saturday with the carnival!!x

3 June 2016

The lost Boy

When you give birth you are overcome with an amazing, unprecedented feeling of love and devotion to your perfect little bundle of joy. This might not happen straight away (it's different for all Mamas) but eventually, through the sleepless nights and the pain of breastfeeding and the soothing of colic, it arrives and you realise, whilst you naively thought you loved someone before you had children, you really had no friggin' clue! It's primal and bloody strong.

Problem is, hand in hand with that love comes a gut-wrenching, paralysing fear that one day, somewhere, somehow, something might happen to your little darling that will cause them harm and it will be completely out of your control. It literally is like having your heart walk around outside your body and the mere thought of anything causing them pain is enough to make you want to wrap them up in cotton wool and keep them safe and warm within the confines of your own house and garden. For life!

But you don't. You raise them up and you take them out and about and eventually you attempt small amounts of independence and freedom where you try, try, try to quell the anxiety as you watch them head off to nursery without you, climb aboard a coach for their first school trip, hell even playing in the park is a test for your nerves. But you know it's 'good for them' to explore this big, wide world without their Mama holding their hand / breathing down their neck / making all the decisions for them so you arm them with the rules, the tips, the tricks. You pray to whatever or whomever you can think of at the time and you try desperately to balance the art of free-range parenting with your instinctive desire to be within arms' reach of them at all times.

And on the whole, when you let them go, even if it's just for a moment, they have an amazing time and come running back, all excited to tell you what they've learned. They may have a screeved knee or a bruised ego, but that's the small price you pay for independence, kiddo!

Yesterday, some of our Kindergarten class visited Attingham Park in Shropshire. Altogether we were six mamas and eleven children, we set up camp at one end of the playing field and settled down to enjoy our day. Everyone had brought a picnic, the bigger kids were allowed a bit more freedom, the two smallest members were pootling around nearby collecting dandelions and harassing small insects. It was lovely. 

After lunch, Boy asked if he could go down the far end of the field to where there are some underground tunnels and a fort. The older boys were already down there, he was heading off with six others, I said yes. I knew I could see him from where we were sat, and whilst I couldn't intervene quickly if an altercation started, I knew I could make down there pretty quickly if I were needed... off he skipped.

And for 40-50mins this was fine. I spent my time chatting to the other mamas, helping Toddler on the slide, eyeballing him every time he popped up on the top of the mound, playing a great little game with his friends. One by one, they all trickled back for drinks or snacks or for a rest...and Boy didn't. I could still see him, he was still playing happily, I had no reason to worry about him...until he disappeared from view.

'That's fine', I thought, 'he's in the tunnels and in a minute I'll be able to see him again...' Nothing.

'That's fine', I thought, 'he's crouching down in the fort on top playing with pebbles...' Nothing.

I handed Toddler over to Posh Mama and headed off down the field and already I knew, already I could feel my heart quickening and my throat tightening. I couldn't see my child, I hadn't seen my child in a few minutes and I wasn't happy. Sure enough, when I got there, he was gone.

Within minutes, I had three school mums patrolling the edges of the field and there was a man on a walkie-talkie radio'ing the main house for assistance. I gave them a description, I kept my cool, I constantly scanned the busy playing field, I reminded myself repeatedly that people are good and kind and that he would be back in a second, any second now he'd be back...

Just as I was realising that I needed to ring Husband, Posh Mama shouted. There he was, absolutely fine, not lost at all, just on an adventure in the woods. He had moved from the tunnels over to a huge tree trunk that children clamber all over, had climbed up and over the top and was in the woods digging a hole with some other children he had made friends with. He was totally unfazed. 

And to a certain extent that's exactly how it should be, I suppose. He had had a great time, made new friends, was headed back to me because he'd realised he was thirsty, hadn't been scared or lost or panicked at any point and had a lot to tell me about his exciting foray into the woods. I have (somewhat inadvertently and entirely by fluke, might I add) created a child who is confident and adventurous, who doesn't hold back in fear.

This Mama, on the other hand, is a nervous wreck who just wanted to a) throw up and b) take him home. For life! 

Back at home, safe and sound.

I find motherhood so hard. I don't want my child to be weighed down with the angst I carry, about strangers and paedophiles and bullies and God knows what else. I want him to live in a world where he can go and dig a hole in the woods for a few minutes and then skip happily back to tell me all about it. Apparently, we need to keep hammering home those ground rules though, hopefully next time he'll tell Mama where he's going first!!

1 June 2016

Hello June!!

Golly, how is it June already? I say that not just because May has whizzed by like every month always bloody does but because it's gone super cold and grey outside again. I quite liked that week of sunshine we had, now it's business as usual again, how can it possibly be June?!

Anyway. May was busy and event-free (as far as I can remember), my only goal was to eat less sugar and I lasted an impressive 2.5 days...so let's move on quickly and focus on June!


The Cancer Research regatta luncheon which we have sold an outstanding 225 tickets for. I've still got floats to order and a table plan to create and will have loads of things to do on the day throughout the event. Feck!

The school ball. Which I still need to sort a shit load of stuff out for. Double feck!

The local carnival. Boy will apparently be dressed as a Corgi on the school float. So that'll be a corgi outfit being added to the never-ending list then!

An overnight trip to Liverpool for Ladies' Night at Auntie's church.

A whole week of solo-parenting while Husband travels to Houston for work. Am sending him with a very long shopping list as penance!!

Husband's grammar school ball. For which I'll need yet another new gown. Triple feck!

The school summer fair. I can't even bring myself to start thinking about this yet...!

These are all on top of regular things like taking Boy to the opticians, Eco-Mama's eldest's birthday party, PLA meetings, helping out at the nursery sports day and convincing Nana not to say anything mortifying at Grandparents' Day at school (God help us all!)

I am looking at the list and wishing June away already. Surely that's not right?!

In other news, khaki linens from H&M arrived and they are awesome. Love them. Still waiting on my espadrilles and still got to return that top to Zara, FFS.

Toddler's lurg spent most of today shooting out of his nostrils but now he's got one hell of a cough that he just can't shift, he's currently half awake and moaning himself back to sleep. Here's hoping a day of fresh air at Attingham tomorrow helps him clear the final bit?

Boy has been a little bugger for the past 48 hours, back chat, attitude, rudeness, sass...I am mentally exhausted. I adore my children and my heart hurts when he's at school, but my God, he's really tested my patience so far this week. I know the best thing to do with him is to completely ignore bad behaviour (within reason, obvs) It's the fastest way to get him to stop, tried and tested. But backchat is the one thing that makes my blood boil and I can't help but shriek in return. 

Tomorrow I am going to try using a bit more positive reinforcement when he speaks to me nicely, see if that helps. Unfortunately, today it got to the point where I told him unless his attitude changed then my answer to everything was going to be a big, flat 'no'. We then had to nip into BFF's to drop something off and he wanted to get out of the car, no. He then asked for the sprinklers in the garden, no. By the time I'd refused him the TV when we got home I think it had started to sink in. The child thrives on consistency and fairness. Tomorrow I'll throw in a bit more positivity to fill his tank and...wish me luck!!

Must go and take Toddler some cough syrup and load the dishwasher, the thrills!! Enjoy your Thursday, friends.


Do you remember those 2 Boden tops that shrunk in the wash?

Well my brand new Zara one did the same. Am so mad. I tried it on, loved it, so cut off the labels, washed it on 30' as per the bloody instructions and it now resembles a sort of odd crop top. I'm not built for a REGULAR crop top, let alone an odd one. Need to take it back but it's half term and I have two small children with me who wouldn't be too impressed if I announced I was dragging them to the shops. It'll have to wait, and of course I'll forget about it, and then it'll be too late since I bought it, so I'll throw it in the charity bag. Grr!

OTHER THAN THAT, Toddler has been fighting off some weird virus since Sunday. I went out with Yummy Mummy for a few hours and came home to a very hot little boy who just wanted to sit on my knee. When you can't normally get your kid to sit still for 30 seconds and all of a sudden he won't get off your lap, you know he's sick! He's had an upset tummy and been a Mr Cranky-Pants ever since. This morning he has woken up and eaten two breakfasts though, so hopefully is on the mend.

(We don't much like having our fringes trimmed in this house!)

Yesterday we pootled around town first thing. I had a meeting for the Cancer Research luncheon we're holding on Sunday (225 for lunch, eeshk!) so the boys 'helped out' for an hour in the estate agent where our Chairperson works. Then we visited the bakery where Boy made a list of all the cakes he's going to order this week on holiday! On the way home we bumped into Nana who had arrived at the house, found us missing, so come out to find us on the high street. We all walked home together, ate our cakes!, and then all had our hair cut. It was only 3/10 on the noisy scale, which is incredible considering that last time she was here, we almost made our hairdresser's ears bleed!!

Today we have a totally free day, which normally makes me anxious but I'm oddly looking forward to. Toddler could do with one more morning of Calpol and Disney movies, I have a tonne of paperwork to finish for this luncheon, the kitchen floor needs mopping (I never miss our cleaner more than when she goes on holiday for 2 weeks, waaahhh!!) and we only need to run out to Hobbycraft this afternoon for table plan supplies. Might treat them to a dirty McDonald's for lunch?! ;-)

Hope you're all enjoying your half term?? I trust your plans are a bit more exciting than ours!!