Lets be honest, when you become parents, evenings are not what they used to be. Don't get me wrong we were never the kind of couple that went out every night or had friends round all the time just because we could. We did however, have the option of a change of scenery at the last minute. A nice walk and a quiet drink in the local pub, a drive out to the pictures or even just a late leisurely walk around Asda because we couldn't decide what to have for tea.
Can you imagine, as a parent, a leisurely walk around Asda! My brain can no longer accept that there ever was such a thing. There can be nothing leisurely about supermarkets now, whatever the time of day is. If I go during the day I am most likely to have at least one child with me and even the best behaved child with the most patient mother in the whole world would get bored and annoying by the time they get to the bread aisle. If I go in the evening once the boys are in bed, I find that the shops are still busy, the fresh produce is often lacking a bit and I'm so tired and usually hungry that my heart is just not in it. My other half went through a phase of thinking it would be "nice" for the four of us to do the big shop at the weekends rather than the burden being mine during the week. The phase was short lived and it is fair to say it did not go well.
Anyway, as I was saying, evenings are definitively different since becoming Mummy and Daddy. The nights pretty much go like this:
6pm - Bath time
6.15pm - Kids pjs on and an attempt to calm everyone down
6.30pm- Supper and pre-bed cartoon viewing
7pm- Bed time which can take anywhere between 10 minutes to 1 hour depending on the mood of the youngest member
7.30pm ish - we usually have our dinner
8pm - collapse on the sofa in the hope that there is something good on tv.
Television is our main form of entertainment during the evenings, there is absolutely no doubt about it. With 'on demand' meaning we can catch up on missed programmes and choose from a massive selection of tv box sets there technically should always be something worth watching. This is not always the case but at the moment tv is looking pretty good.
Here is my list of top programmes that are on the box at the moment:
1. Broadchurch. I wasn't sure a second series would work with expectations so high after the first was such a success. The first few episodes have proved otherwise however and we were hooked after episode one. There are some well known names and the acting is superb.
2. Call The Midwife. Comfort television at its best. Lovely stories, lovely characters, generally a load of loveliness.
3. The Hotel. We love this. Absolutely cringe worthy viewing but completely compelling.
4. Wolf Hall. I'm Henry VIII I am. The first episode of this historical drama was quite heavy going but we can't wait for the next episode and with Damian Lewis starring, what more need I say.
5. Walking the Nile. The story of Levison Wood's epic journey has been fascinating. Beautiful, terrifying, heart breaking, inspiring viewing all rolled into one.
6. Mr Selfridge. I haven't watched the first episode yet but I'm sure, from my love of the previous series' that this will be a winner.
7. Silent Witness. Absolutely love the tension and drama in this series. A new story every week means you never get bored and the characters are very well acted.
Saturday, 20 December 2014
This week the boys and I were photographed making our Christmas chocolate log for the Nottingham Post Christmas baking feature.
Now, compared to the other beautiful, more complex recipes in the feature, mine does look a tad simple....swiss roll, chocolate. That's about the gist of it. This has got to be the best kind of baking for young children though. I would love the boys to be interested in cooking and baking as they get older. I will certainly make sure they understand the importance of being able to cook a healthy meal or two by themselves before they leave home (sob) but for now, age 6 and 3 they can stir and lick the chocolate bowl to their hearts content and I will revel in the fun they have from these simple things.
Check out the Posts Christmas baking feature at...
Friday, 21 November 2014
Friday, 7 November 2014
Today I took two steps closer to successfully living vicariously through my children.
First of all the littlest member returned from pre-school with the news that he had been chosen to be Joseph in the nativity. You cannot imagine my delight. The first musical my mum took me to see was Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat. A trip to London to see Jason Donavan in my favourite musical- I was hooked. I know we are talking about a different Joseph but that's just a technicality.
In my eyes this means he is one step closer to living my...I mean his dream.
The big, little one decided he wanted to write me a poem when he got home. Check out this beauty....
I was very impressed! Fireworks seem to have brought out his creative side. Obviously this is a sign of his inevitable life choice to be a writer.
I think pushy parent is a bit strong. I shall call myself a prompting promoter of all things positive.
Monday, 3 November 2014
The time has come...
We returned home from work today to find a school admission letter waiting for us for the youngest member of the clan.
I have gotten it out of the way and applied for his school place online. He sat next to me the whole time, obviously completely disinterested and paying much more attention to Frozen on the tv.
Will he still want to give me a cuddle and watch Frozen with me after he has started school?!
I'm excited that he will be starting such a significant chapter of his life next year, terrified because he will have only just turned four and utterly heart broken because he won't be my baby anymore.
The hubby has been getting a bit concerned lately- my broodiness and vivid dreams of us with three children have all pointed to one thing- another baby.
However, we have decided that two is enough for us. My utter uselessness at being pregnant, the logistics of having another but most all of the chance of another having a heart defect have actually made the decision a very easy one. That doesnt mean I don't crave that feeling of holding a new baby and new baby smell! I will simply have to get my fix by being a baby hogger around my friends and family. 'Yes of course I want to see you, now let me cuddle the baby!'
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Sometimes things aren't always Rosey.
We have had first hand experience of how fortunate we are to live in a country where there is so much medical expertise available and where we have a national health service.
When our youngest son spent three months in hospital after he was born he received excellent care from people that were clearly very passionate about their work. But putting the superb expertise and intelligence aside, these people were also nice to us. And they didn't have to be. Now I would like to think that most people would show at least a little sympathy to a mother and father who's baby was fighting for his life, but it was more than that.
The intensive care nurses in the neonatal unit at Nottingham City hospital for example, were some of the kindest people I have ever met. I was in complete awe of the fact that they had the strength to monitor a room full of very poorly babies. They also made the effort to answer questions without showing their exhaustion (which must occur after a twelve hour shift in a room full of beeping machines). They knew how to deal with my feeling of sheer helplessness and even encouraged skin to skin contact which meant so much more work for them.
I have had a couple of days in hospital myself recently for something minor and the care was second to none. Yes I had to wait a while and yes the staff were run off their feet. Alongside these things that people so seem to focus on, I felt absolutely confident in the diagnosis and treatment I was given and was made to feel very welcome and not at all a burden.
I'm not very brave when it comes to these things and I'll be honest and admit that when I was taken to theatre to be put under I was scared. The staff talked to me to put me at ease and just as I was drifting off, the nurse at my side told me I had nothing to worry about and that she was going to look after me. The next thing, I woke up to her at my side handing me a drink of water and talking to me again. She didn't have to be that nice, but she was and it was so appreciated.
Since then I have had to have a dressing changed regularly and have heard so many people moaning about and criticising the NHS.
I know mistakes are made and when they are, the results can be catastrophic to people. But these mistakes are rare. Inbetween all of the bad publicity covering what is so wrong with our health service, the staff continue to treat thousands of people with excellent care and consideration.
So (and this has turned into a bit of a rant) next time you are thinking about having a bit of a moan just consider that it may be you who needs hospital treatment (I hope not) and when you do, the staff are paid to make you physically better- them smiling and being kind is done because they care. That's what makes the NHS great.
Thursday, 4 September 2014
Good luck to all of the little ones starting back at school today and to those starting their first ever day.
More significantly, good luck to all of the parents.
What an emotional event. Packing them off with their book bags and plimsoles, attempting to look happy and confident for their benefit whilst every fibre of your being just wants to scoop up your baby and sob about how much you love them and how they can't possibly be ready to leave their mummy.
Our oldest started in year two today and was a very happy boy as he was reunited with his friends. When the children are happy to go to school itdoes make life easier for us parents and I was feeling quite good and downright confident about the whole situation.
That was until it dawned on me that this time next year I will be walking out of the school gates empty handed as our youngest will be starting.
If anyone needs me for anything around that time they shall find me huddled in a corner sobbing into one of my baby's sheety beety's.
For now I shall live in denial.