Sunday, 30 December 2012

The twelve days of a family Christmas...

On the first day of Christmas my family gave to me...
A first school nativity.

On the second day of Christmas my family gave to me...
A dose of norovirus,
And a first school nativity.

On the third day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Christmas Eve magic,
A dose of norovirus
And a first school nativity.

On the fourth day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Competitive 'Doggie Doo',
Christmas Eve magic
A dose of norovirus
And a first school nativity.

On the fifth day of Christmas my family gave to me...

FIVE A-M STARTS,

Competitive 'Doggie Doo',
Christmas Eve magic
A dose of norovirus
And a first school nativity.

On the sixth day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Special first steps,

FIVE A-M STARTS

Competitive 'Doggie Doo',
Christmas Eve magic
A dose of norovirus
And a first school nativity.

On the seventh day of Christmas my family gave to me...
No floor space left,
Special first steps

FIVE A-M STARTS

Competitive 'Doggie Doo'
Christmas Eve magic
A dose of norovirus
And a first school nativity.

On the eighth day of Christmas my family gave to me...

Mamma's purple 'snuggie',
No floor space left
Special first steps

FIVE A-M STARTS

Competitive 'Doggie Doo'
Christmas Eve magic
A dose of norovirus
And a first school nativity.

On the ninth day of Christmas my family gave to me...

An hour to set up mousetrap,
Mamma's purple 'snuggie'
No floor space left
Special first steps

FIVE A-M STARTS

Competitive 'Doggie Doo'
Christmas Eve magic
A dose of norovirus
And a first school nativity.


On the tenth day of Christmas my family gave to me...

Baby bronchilitis,
An hour to set up mousetrap
Mamma's purple 'snuggie'
No floor space left
Special first steps

FIVE A-M STARTS

Competitive 'Doggie Doo'
Christmas Eve magic
A dose of norovirus
And a first school nativity.

On the eleventh day of Christmas by family gave to me...

A rather tired Mummy,
Baby bronchilitis
An hour to set up mousetrap
Mamma's purple 'snuggie'
No floor space left
Special first steps

FIVE A-M STARTS

Competitive 'Doggie Doo'
Christmas Eve magic
A dose of norovirus
And a first school nativity.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my family gave to me...

A Christmas to remember.







Thursday, 13 December 2012

Happy birthday Jesus...

My eldest son has his nativity today.

Last year he starred as a donkey at pre-school.
He spent the whole event looking very serious and bewildered and did not sing one word.
However, he didn't cry (I did) and he smiled at the end so I saw it as a great success.

Today he is one of the Pages (I didn't know what they were to be honest) he gets to wear a cape and walk behind the king which he is quite happy with.

The nativity has bought about one of the more surreal moments of my motherhood experience to date.

Yesterday the boy was on the toilet and kept advising me that 'it' wouldn't come out. Now we all know what 'it' is so I don't need to be crude.
He insisted that I read a story to him whilst 'the naughty it' made its exit.

The only thing to hand given my need to also keep an eye on the littlest monkey was a booklet that the big lad had been given at school.

'Happy Birthday Jesus.'

I read the nativity story to him, including the treacherous journey to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus in a stable, the arrival of the kings and the giving of gifts.
The story worked and the toilet visit was a successful one.

Then whilst my son was washing his hands he asked the following question...

'Mum, how do you get the baby out of your tummy?'

Thanks 'happy birthday Jesus.'

In my exhausted 'almost bath time state I simply answered its like doing a huge, 'naughty poo'.

He laughed.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

How many sleeps till Santa?

On the first of December our eldest boy came down stairs declaring "Merry Christmas" to all.

I reminded him of the following things.

1. It is half six in the morning. Set your voice to early morning volume.

2. It is not Christmas yet.

I was unaware (but promptly corrected) of an unwritten childhood rule that Christmas starts from the first of December. Also, Christmas has no place for the early morning voice volume.


I have watched the Polar Express approximately 523 times since then.

I love a bit of Christmas really.

Playing Christmas is actually one of my favourite games.
I am ordered to 'pretend' to go to sleep whilst Santa delivers my presents.
I never have a problem 'pretending' to sleep.

I laughed out loud today when the big little man asked me to dress his baby brother like an elf because he is the same size as one.


Quote of the day.... (There are two actually)

In the car:

"Mum it's cold. Ask Dad to put the air fresher on."

"How far is it? What junction are we up too?"

He's four years old going on forty?

X



Thursday, 15 November 2012

Cute factor

Last night we attended our son's first ever school parents evening.

We got to look at his work books. It was so lovely to see how hard he has been trying in class.

His teacher is very happy with how he has settled in and how he is progressing. She did however tell us that the little man is not tucking into his school dinners with the gusto of boy his size.

This being said we decided to give him a Spider-Man lunch box (that had been put aside for a Christmas present) as a reward for such a good report.

As soon as he saw it he asked if he could take sandwiches to school the next day.
I was planning on him trying a packed lunch next week but the subject was not going to be dropped and I gave in and agreed.

I have never seen anyone get so excited over something so seemingly normal to us old boring people.

He was ready for school half an hour earlier than usual despite me telling him that dinner time was at the same time no matter when he arrived.

On the walk to school he carried the lunch box in numerous positions- swapping hands, tucking it under his arm.

He asked me several times if I would like to feel how heavy it was.
He then decided he would rest the lunch box on top of his brothers buggy and admire it from afar.

He showed it off to his best friend like it was the most special thing to him in the world.

The cutest moment came when the lunch box fell on the floor from the buggy (gasp I hear you say!).

He picked up the lunch box. Blew off some non-existent dust and then gave it a shine with his hand.

Such innocence. His pride was so obvious.

I wanted to scoop him up (in a fashion, I'm sure he is about six foot eight already!) and give him a big kiss but he has his reputation to think of these days so I refrained.


Tonight is his first school disco.
I will probably cry.






Monday, 5 November 2012

Lovely Autumn

Autumn is definitely my favourite time of year.



Getting all wrapped up and going for a walk with the kids is lovely, especially because we always plan a coffee stop somewhere along the way!






I really wish the boys would stay in bed past six am, especially at the weekends. Being up early does mean we often get to see the best part of the day though.






Autumn also brings fun times like Halloween  and bonfire night and although not 'officially', you can start thinking about all things Christmas!



I took these photos at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham








Good times.




Saturday, 3 November 2012

Giggles

So half term already feels like ages ago and we are nicely settling back into the school routine.

The eldest little man has been making me chuckle lately.
His 'half Yorkshire' breeding has always been prominent in his personality.
Since being able to talk confidently he has been putting the world to rights with his little pearls of wisdom.
Often I think all he needs is a flat cap and a whippet.

This morning I was making everyone a bacon sandwich when he commented on how nice the meat was and asked if it was on offer at morrisons!

Not a particularly funny thing to say except when it is out the mouth of a four year old.

This week he has adamantly put forward his argument that a tomato is a vegetable and not a fruit. His closing statement was that they 'grow on stalks so must be a vegetable.' How could I argue with that.

He has sat very nicely at the dinner table and explained to his baby brother that if he didn't eat his carrots then he wouldn't be able to see the fireworks at night.

He got frustrated when I asked him if he had done Spanish at school one day this week. His response to this silly question was 'of course mummy because we had p.e. this afternoon.' My fault for obviously not realising the two were related.

Today he decided I needed to know that a certain boy in his class often has a poo at school.
Then came the anecdote about the time that said boy popped his head around the toilet door whilst my little man was having a wee to let him know he was having a poo and that it was smelly. I laughed but my boy said he did not find it funny.

I sometimes wish I was video recording just 'normal' conversations I have
With my little chap. I would love to play them back to him when he is a teenager!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Relaxing Retreat...

Before we had kids the prospect of going away for the weekend conjured up thoughts of relaxing lazy mornings, leisurely strolls, trips to the local restaurants and bars, and romantic evenings.

How things have changed.

We enjoy making the most of our weekends and getting out and about with the kids.

I never imagined however that merely surviving the weekend would feel like a massive achievement when you throw a baby and a toddler into the equation.

Returning home still talking to one another and without having filed for divorce deserves recognition of gold medal proportions in my book.

Here is a checklist of things the brochure didn't tell you to expect on a family weekend break:

• To arrive at your destination looking like you've travelled from the other side of the world when actually you've been in the car for a couple of hours.

•To resent the pitiful looks the hotel staff give your children when you are shouting at them to stop crying after you have just rudely awoken them from slumber in the car.

•To only get a few hours sleep because the toddler is too excited and the baby doesn't understand what's going on.

•To disrupt other people's breakfast when the toddler tips over the entire container of weetabix.

•To attempt to laugh it off when the baby nearly chokes on a piece of toast and you manoeuvre in to perform the heimlich.

•To tidy up the basket of potpourri the baby has tipped over his head.

•To be ready with the toddler's wooly hat in the cafe when he declares his tummy hurts and goes a very suspicious shade of green.

•To apologise to the hotel manager after the toddler pukes all over the bedding.


The plus side to all this is that when you become a parent your ability to cope with any form of curve ball thrown your way drastically increases.

Shit happens...
And often puke happens.
You get over it and get on enjoying the precious time with your babies.

Another weekend to remember.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The big bad wulf

Our eldest has been learning how to recognise letters and words with the use of phonics at school.

His teacher recently held a parents meeting in order to explain what phonics are and how they are used.

I have to say I came away thinking it was quite complex for four year olds.


However so far the method seems to very effective in helping our little learner develop.

Whenever we read together and I ask him what a word is he chops up the sounds (the kids literally use a chopping action) and eventually he will read the word.

My only concern with phonics is the impact it will have on his spelling.
We have been told not to correct the children's spelling if they have spelt it how it sounds.
This makes sense to me at four years old because the emphasis is more on teaching them to read than write. However, it will be interesting when they start having to learn how to spell correctly.

I am very happy and impressed so far with our little boys start in the world of education!


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Reminder

Being a mother of two young children means being reminded of certain things is more often than not very useful.

However we are once again approaching a time when we are reminded of the fact that our littlest little man is not perfectly healthy.

Every day this week we have had a letter addressed to the 'carers of' which I always know to be medical letters before opening them.

Next week we will be returning to the place that brings all of the memories and mixed emotions  flooding back. The complete despair, heart ache and exhaustion of watching our special boy battle against so many problems. Then the elation and excitement of being able to take him home for that very first time just under a year ago.

Four months have passed since his last scan and it has once again become impossible to imagine that the doctors would say anything other than his heart is perfectly fine. They never say that and they will never be able to, it's just that to know him and to see him developing so wonderfully you would never know there was even an issue.

All we can do is hope that the doctors do not find any new problems and that they are happy with the scan results on the day.

This week I was momentarily thrust back into the world of poorly hearts when he started showing symptoms that we have been advised not to ignore under any circumstance.

Thankfully after an immediate visit to the doctor I was fairly reassured it was not his heart and actually just the first of what I'm hoping wont be too many winter bugs.

It is so important to live life as 'normally' as possible in between these brief reminders of the traumatic times last year. It wasn't easy at first but the show did go on and the little man is thriving better than any of us could have ever dreamed this time last year.


How wonderful it is to forget.







Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dexter

On an addiction scale that almost equals 'Prison Break' we are currently on to the third series of American drama series 'Dexter'.

I urge anyone who likes to indulge every now and again in a little dark drama with a bit of added humour to put the Dexter box set on their Christmas list.

The main plot line of the whole series is unlike anything I have seen before.

Dexter Morgan is a blood spatter pattern analyst for the Miami Metro police department. In his spare time he is a serial killer.

Reluctant as he may be though he is absolutely the hero of this wonderful drama.
It takes some time to accept that you view this sadistic blood obsessed murderer as a hero. He does however have a 'code' of killing which means he only murders the 'bad guys'.

Michael C. Hall plays Dexter. He plays the character so well and has done for seven seasons that I wonder whether he struggles to be out of character during his day to day life!

I dare any woman to not develop a crush on this very good looking vigilante despite his very unusual hobby.

There are some other great characters in the series including Dexter's sister Deb. Deb is a police officer in the same department as her brother. Her every other word is a swear word and she is obsessed with furthering her career. However, her obvious vulnerability and dependence on Dexter makes her a very likeable character. She is completely unaware of Dexter's secret life which makes their relationship very entertaining.

We are only half way through season three but so far I have loved every episode.



Thursday, 27 September 2012

More extremely useful facts...

Today the school going boy informed me he had learnt a new song....

After lots of silly giggling and blushing he went on to sing....
"A pizza, a pizza, something about chicken and a pizza.  McDonald's, McDonald's, something about chicken and a pizza."

I quickly realised he was singing the Pizza Hut song and the 'something about chicken' was in fact 'Kentucky fried chicken'.

Of all the things he has done at school today I wouldn't be surprised if singing this song has made the biggest impact!
I think this because he has not stopped singing it since we came home.

Here are the lyrics to some songs bound to appear at some stage in the early school years...


'Do your ears hang low'
'Do they wobble to and fro'
'Can you tie them in a knot can you tie them in a bow'
'Can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier'
'Do your ears hang low.'


'A sailor went to sea, sea, sea,'
'To see what he could see, see see,'
'But all that he could see, see see''
'Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.'

And the classic...

'A Pizza Hut, a pizza hut'
'Kentucky fried chicken'
And a Pizza Hut'
'McDonald's, McDonald's,'
'Kentucky fried chicken and a Pizza Hut.'






Thursday, 20 September 2012

Anna Karenina

I knew this would be a film for me when I first saw the trailer.

I did however spend the first fifteen minutes of the film wondering if I had made a huge judgement error.

Anna Karenina is played out on a theatre stage with the characters moving between set and scene changes. The fast pace of the camera and changes of scenery actually made me feel queasy to begin with but once you accept the direction of the film it becomes essential to its impact.

Keira Knightley plays Anna, married to respected politician Alexei Karenina. Anna begins an affair with a young army officer which ultimately destroys her.
Knightley portrays Anna well. As stunning as always but with a dark side that is almost but not completely concealed she battles with her own demons after destroying her marriage.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays her lover, count Vronsky. An attractive man who's brains are quite obviously in his trousers as his mother and friends try to warn him of the destructive effect the affair will have on his life. Taylor-Johnson is convincing but his acting is completely overshadowed by the wonderful performance from Jude Law.

Jude Law's acting seems to improve with age. Or maybe it is his choice of roles that is improving. Karenina is an honest religious man who tries to warn his wife of the sin of infidelity as soon as he senses her distraction. Despite his calmness, his constant knuckle cracking and obvious growing despair at his wife's behaviour makes him a character to be somewhat feared.

Parallel to the main story is that of Konstantin Dmitrievich Levin. His story of political and personal struggles is somewhat distracting from the main plot but his battle to find his purpose in life becomes quite obvious.

Overall and once I had recovered from the strange start to this film I enjoyed it immensely. Beautiful scenes, beautiful people and dramatic twists and turns. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The willy song

My eldest boy has always been quite sweet and sensitive.
Then he started school.

In the last three weeks his cheekiness levels have risen to beyond acceptable and his boisterousness is increasing by the day.

Last night as he undressed for his bath he proceeded to throw his pants down the stairs and then come into our room shaking his little boy bits and making up a ridiculous song about his willy...
Oh dear.

As a parent how are you supposed to react?
Honestly, I just wanted to burst out laughing but the thought of the willy song making its first public debut during changing for p.e time at school discouraged me from doing so.
I therefore opted for the 'don't make a big deal out of it' reaction and quietly told him that it was rude and rapidly changed the subject.

My husband being a 'proper Yorkshire bloke' seems quite pleased with the change in our sons behaviour and insists it is all part of growing up. 
I think he was just jealous that he hadn't though of the willy song.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Pearls of wisdom continued...

Yesterday on the walk home from school the toddler (do i still call him that now he is at school?) in his impressively articulate way informed me that he had had an apple with his milk at school.
 My appreciation for this bit of information quickly turned into surprise as the boy went on to inform me that the Spanish word for apple is manzana.

"Did you know that Mummy?"
No, no I did not.

I would love to speak another language and one of my biggest educational regrets is learning basic German at exam level then forgetting it almost immediately. It would have been much better to have studied a language I enjoyed at a time when I was young enough to find it easy enough. 

Spanish is a beautiful language and I think it is great that young children are starting to be encouraged to learn other languages.

Here are some other Spanish words I have since learnt in case he tries to catch me out again...

"Good morning"
"Buenos dias

"Good afternoon"
"Buenos trades"

"Hello"
"Hola"

"Goodbye"
"Adios"

"Please"
"Por favor"

"Thank you"
"Gracias"

And apparently. "Conseguir en el paso malo" means "get on the naughty step!"

Knowledge is power!






Monday, 10 September 2012

Classroom survival 101

The week before the toddler started school it occurred to me that he would soon be introduced to the world of education and filling his lovely young mind with all things knowledgeable. 
I loved school and loved studying so am very excited about when the little man brings his first homework back! 
However, along with these lovely excited feelings also came the realisation that it is a long time since I went to school and that since having two children my mind is more filled with feeding schedules and shopping lists than knowledge of the world. 

The day this thought occurred went something like this...

The morning consisted of a shopping trip to purchase the boys first school shoes. After battling through a pack of snarling 'back to school' shopping parents to get the boys feet measured and to find some suitable footwear there was then a queue the length of the shop to pay for said shoes. Once at the till I was told the wellies I had picked up (he has to have wellies at school too) did not have a bar code on them. Ten minutes later the grumpy woman serving me in the shop finally found a code for said wellies so I was able to buy them. 
I am not the best shopper so by this point the stress vein was protruding and my need for a coffee was great.

The afternoon consisted of a trip to Ikea once the husband had finished work because we were decorating the baby's room and needed new furniture for it. We left the boys with my parents and despite neither of us particularly enjoying shopping for furniture the prospect of being able to concentrate on what we were buying rather than on who was tired, who was hungry and who needed a wee was quite appealing. 
That was until we got stuck in a horrendous traffic jam on the way home. 

So finally, an hour after their bed time I had the kids in my car on the way home from my parents and it is fair to say I was pretty shattered.

Half way into the journey my toddler stated that the moon was moving. I explained that the moon was not moving it just looked like it was because we were moving in the car. Then came the question...
"Mummy, does the sun move?"
Rather than just fobbing him off with a 'yes sweetheart' or 'no darling' I decided it was my duty as a mother to delve into a fifteen minute lecture on the planets and the solar system. 
However, it was not long into this 'lecture' that I promptly realised that I had no idea what I was talking about and was getting myself confused never mind the boy.
The conversation ended with....Me:"look, when its morning time here, its night time in Australia." 
Boy: "That's where Tom Thomas from Fireman Sam is from".
Me: "Yes, yes it is. Lets listen to Disney music."


I have therefore decided to start posting knowledgeable facts that may come in handy to any parents who like me have forgotten most things general knowledge!!

Starting with...

The Earth spins once every 24 hours on its axis. It is daytime on the side of the Earth that faces the Sun. On the opposite side, it is night.
The Earth and all the other planets in our solar system are oribiting the sun. It takes one year for the Earth to travel around the sun. 
Uranus is not funny. 

More thrilling facts to follow...


Thursday, 6 September 2012

The school run...

I am now officially one of those mothers (all who's children are of school age!) who's day completely revolves around the school run. 
We are lucky to live close enough to the toddlers primary school for us to walk to and from said school which is lovely but the week is proving to be pretty stressful. 

Anxiety has reared its ugly head of late and although talking writing about it is a bit naughty (I have found that the best way to get over it is to try and move on quickly) I genuinely think that my eldest starting school has played a massive part in the return of the dreaded anxious symptoms. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm starring in my own version of the Truman Show....'Return of the Panic Attack; thisa timea itsa personal.'

Who knew walking through primary school gates could be so terrifying.

On a positive note the not so little anymore man has done us proud this week. He did really well on his first  and second days at school. 

The problem with the toddler is the separation. I had to stop taking him myself to preschool because he got himself so worked up when I dropped him off that it just got silly.
We don't have this option for school. The other half is at work so its up to me. 

I always try my hardest to conceal any anxious feelings I may be having from the boys. I set off with the boys on the first ever school run with a big smile on my face and confidence in my stride when realistically inside I wanted to grab both my babies and run for the hills...perhaps to live some kind of 'sound of music' style life where we would spend our days making clothes from curtains and singing about flowers. 
I was quite obviously not the only parent that day battling with their natural urge to want to run away with their child. Thank goodness it was a sunny morning otherwise all of the sunglasses would have looked a bit daft. What better way than to conceal mascara smudged teary eyes!

I intend to not make a big deal of the ever increasing number of 'I don't want you to leave me Mummy's' that are seeping from the toddlers wobbly lipped mouth. 
I know he is fine as soon as I am gone and that as a mother I need to dig in and get used to the daily heart breaking feeling. 

Wish me luck!

x

Monday, 27 August 2012

"I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..."

What, where and when is this strange place?





When I was expecting our first bundle of boy, kitting out the 'nursery' was a very exciting experience and the room became a tranquil, calm place I used to sit in and dream about meeting my baby.

Then four years passed.

Now here is my 'baby' stripping the wallpaper from said nursery room as we decorate it for his younger brother who has already turned one.

How did this happen?


He already calls me 'Mum' more than he does 'Mummy'. I took him for his first trip to the cinema the other day and as he sat there taking it all completely in his stride I realised how ridiculously precious time is.
Soppy, I know and don't get me wrong he is still a clingy little boy who needs his Mummy to be there every step of the way but I am noticing some real changes.

Who knows how he is going to handle starting school next week.
 One thing is for sure, if any one will need peeling from the school gates all weepy and snotty...it will most likely be me.




Monday, 13 August 2012

ATTENTION!!

Who knew that sibling rivalry started so early?

My eldest is four and my youngest turns one next week. 

The youngest already has his eye on everything that belongs to the toddler or that the toddler shows any interest in.


This is a tray. To look at it you might think it was an ordinary tray. 
Yet this tray has become the source of such sibling rivalry the world has not seen since the Miliband brothers were battling it out for leadership.

The baby has very quickly realised:
                tray = good things

The toddler has his supper on the tray. He often has his tea on the tray also. 
The baby wants the tray.
It gets nasty.
I am seriously praying the the shop still sells the tray so that when the baby is old enough he can have a tray of equal stature. Quite obviously none other will do.

It works both ways. 
Any day now I am expecting to see the toddler riding a unicycle blindfolded whilst juggling and speaking fluent Spanish. 
That might get him some attention.
He has reverted to babyish tactics of following me around the house wherever I go. He asks me how many minutes I will be when I go to the bathroom. There is no where to run.
He gets more than his fair share of attention but now the baby is starting to roll around and pull himself up my attention is stretched beyond all recognition.

I keep reminding myself that I will miss all of this once the toddler starts school in September.
The sad thing is, I probably will.

Thankfully it wont be long till the baby can say Mummy and does so at least one thousand times a day.








Monday, 6 August 2012

Olympic Pride

Wow. 

What an Olympic games London 2012 is turning out to be for team GB.

It was evident from the number of people turning out for the torch relay, enduring all sorts of weather, that the whole nation was hoping that London 2012 was going to be something we could all be proud of. 

I have lost count of the number of times I have had tears in my eyes watching these amazing athletes achieve so much. 

I absolutely bawled my eyes out watching the torch relay programme that was on before the start of the games. Seeing some of the torch bearers that have overcome such hardship to hold that torch with such pride. Seeing the emotions of the parents and families of torch bearers was very touching.

The opening ceremony was absolutely amazing. Well done to Danny Boyle and all those involved with the organisation of such a gigantic task. 

What a way to show the world what Great Britain is made of. 
The music throughout the ceremony was absolutely amazing and I thought the Arctic Monkeys were superb. 

My favourite part of the show was definitely the short James Bond film featuring the Queen herself. What a good sport to be involved in something like that. The iconic figure that is Queen Elizabeth II saying "Good evening Mr Bond" to the lucious Daniel Craig was a surprising way of showing the world how great Great Britain is.


Since the opening ceremony, team GB have gone on to already win fourty medals including eighteen gold ones. 
The cycling has been absolutely amazing and team GB has dominated the events. 
I absolutely love watching the athletes that win the events look for and celebrate with their families. What an emotional moment. When Bradley Wiggins won the road race he was riding around so obviously looking for his wife and children to share the moment with. When he found them I had tears (again)!

The toddler has been watching some of the events with us when he is interested enough. He always cheers 'TEAM GB' and tells me they have won even when they haven't!

The impact of the Olympics on the toddler is already very evident. Today he was looking through one of his Disney encyclopedia books and found a page with a picture of the Olympic torch on it. He asked me to read it to him and was intrigued by the idea of the games being every four years. He worked out how old he'll be at the next games and asked if we could go! He hasn't grasped the concept that the games wont be in London every four years! Oh well, we'll just have to go to Rio I suppose. 














Saturday, 4 August 2012

Heart Matters

On 4th July this year a decision was made to close the congenital heart centre at Glenfield hospital in Leicester. 


This means that children's heart surgery will no longer be carried out at Glenfield and also that the hospital would lose its ECMO unit.
The hospital has the largest ECMO unit in the country and has twenty years experience of using the unit to save the lives of children and adults. 


An expert has declared that survival rates will drop if the ECMO unit is moved away from Glenfield.


When our little one was only two weeks old he was moved from a neo-natal unit in Nottingham to the specialist centre at Glenfield. 
It was about a fifty minute journey for us, which doesn't sound much but when you are under such stress and have another child at home to think about the journeys are just horrendous. To have had to travel even further would have been such a strain on the family.

The expertise of the staff at Glenfield was evident from the very beginning. 


Our son had to have major heart surgery when he only weighed five pounds. Because of the surgeons, doctors and nurses at Glenfield our (not so) little man is thriving and you would have no idea he'd been through such trauma.


Glenfield hospital serves a population of about five million and conducts around two hundred and thirty operations a year on children and seventy on adults. 


An e-petition has been set up to save children's cardiac surgery at Glenfield hospital. 


If you have a moment please add your signature. The petition is HERE.


Thank you 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Woman In Black

The blu ray version  of The Woman In Black was a birthday present from my lovely boys.
I was very interested in this film when it came out at the cinema being a fan of classic Wes Craven style 'he's behind you' horror.
Unfortunately, cinema visits are much less frequent than I would like at the moment because of two certain little people. Therefore, I was thrilled when I got this DVD.
It must be very difficult for Harry...I mean Daniel Radcliffe to prove that he can be anyone other than the spectacle wearing boy wizard popular throughout the world. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel sorry for the bloke, he hasn't done bad for himself.


I struggle with horror films (in my old age!) I used to love all things scary but I find a lot of the modern horrors far too twisted and gory to be entertaining. 
This film however, uses nothing more than creepy 'village of the damned' type stares and remarks from the locals, spooky middle of nowhere settings, dark rooms, strange noises and very spooky children's toys to make you jump out of your seat. 
On numerous occasions I found myself peeping from behind a pillow, always a sign of a good horror in my book! You know the scare is coming but it still makes your heart pound!


In a nutshell but without trying to ruin it for you, the film is about a young widower (Daniel Radcliffe) who has to travel to a small village to settle the accounts of a recently deceased client of the lawyers office he works for. He soon discovers that children of the village have been dying in strange circumstances. After seeing 'the woman in black' for himself he soon discovers who she is and why she is so vengeful.


As with most horrors some of the characters are a little far fetched with their creepiness and there is the usual  sense of 'you just wouldn't go in their would you?' 


Generally a very entertaining film and I would definitely recommend it as an easy to follow Friday night film. 


Just make sure all the children's toys are switched off before you go to bed that night otherwise you might get a bit of a fright!!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Newquay

This is my favourite place in the world...


It is Crantock beach, near Newquay in Cornwall. 


It is my favourite place for a number of reasons. One being the wonderful memories it provokes in my mind of fun filled family holidays when I was a child. 
There is no better way to clear your head of negative thoughts than going somewhere filled with precious happy memories. 








Another reason is its obvious beauty. The beach has so much character. From beautiful soft white sand where the sea never touches down to the soggy puddles and pools left behind when the tide is out. 


The estuary that runs the length of the beach makes it an ideal place to take children. The sea can be very rough and it is a long walk even when the tide is in. When the boys are older then it will be ideal for their first attempts at body boarding but for now the estuary provides a safe bit of the sea for them to play in.


Newquay is a great UK family holiday destination.
We stayed in a caravan at Travella campsite which was even more beautiful than I remembered from my childhood.
The caravan felt like brand new, was very spacious and had a veranda. 
We didn't just go to the beach, we visited Newquay zoo which our toddler loved. We spent quite a lot of time in Newquay town (some lovely shops if you get the chance), we played numerous games of crazy and then even crazier golf and had fun at Hollywell Bay.








I know it can be a risk with the weather having your summer holiday in the UK but I have to say I don't think it gets much better than this. 


Holidays with small children are never going to be relaxing. They are about making the most of the time when your kids actually want to spend their holidays with you!  














At the end of each day myself and the hubby were absolutely shattered but we still managed to sneak a few cheeky drinks in here and there and the peacefulness of the campsite was a blessing. 


























I would definitely recommend Newquay for anyone looking for a fun filled family holiday .













Normality returns....

Far too much time has passed since I last posted on my blog.


To follow on from my last post, I got the job that the 'jobin' was for! I am very excited about doing something new and interesting and meeting new people. It is looking like I will start in September.


Due to holidays and a post-holiday persistent bugger of a virus, I have had neither the time or energy to do anything other than the absolute necessities! 


However, I can steadily feel energy reserves returning to something like normality (zero by the end of the day instead of in the minus figures) and instead of instantly collapsing into a heap to watch Dexter or just go to bed I have the urge to blog again!


It was very recently my 28th birthday. It was a weekday so the other half was at work but I had a lovely day with the kids. 
When I was genuinely thrilled by the fact that at nine am on my birthday the baby had gone down for his morning nap very easily and myself and the other boy were still in our pj's watching Wall-E, I reflected on how different birthdays are now I am a mummy!


Who cares about fancy presents.....I was wishing for a non-teething day, a few moments peace scattered here and there and a few cuddles with my favourite little people in the world. 
My wishes came true. 


Only a mother could enjoy a birthday that starts with a pre-six am wake up call, a very smelly present left in a certain baby's nappy and Captain Barnacles and the rest of the Octonauts acting far to loud and enthusiastic.







Friday, 6 July 2012

'Jobin'

Today, for a couple of hours my mind was taken off all things toddler and baby, all things houseworky and all things mumsy.
I had my first job interview for a number of years but for what actually feels like an eternity! 


I enjoy being a stay at home Mum most of the time. My purse however does not have the same affection towards the situation. 
I applied for a job that will not be regular hours and mostly weekend work but it is doing something that I think I would really enjoy and a bit of extra cash would be useful. 
However, once I had sent off the application form I didn't really expect to hear anything back so when I got invited for an interview I had very mixed emotions!


My first thoughts revolved around the excitement of having to dress smartly rather than wearing whatever comfy garments I can lay my hands on. 
Then came the nerves at the thought of having to answer questions from professional people that I did not know when I haven't been in any sort of business/working environment for eighteen months. 
Next arrived the worry/guilt over having to think about leaving the littlest little one. However, this was coupled with the knowledge that this person would most likely be a grandparent and that a small amount of separation would probably do us both good. 


Overall I was quite excited about the whole thing. The prospect of a few hours to myself, after the interview maybe I would take advantage and visit a few shops and go for a coffee... who knows!


Then it rained.
Then it continued to rain.
Then it rained some more.


The fairly relaxed preparation for, journey too, and time to myself after the interview turned into a chaotic, soaking mad dash to simply arrive in one piece! 


The state of the roads and the continuation of the rain meant the original plans for who was on babysitting duty were scuppered. 
New plans were made fairly last minute and as I was scrambling the kids into the car my toddler decided to inform me that...  "you are going to be late for your 'jobin' Mummy! Knowing he meant job interview I thanked him for reminding me of this and we set off!


Anyway despite this, the silly amount of water on the roads, the frantic rate of my not so useful window wipers and  it looking like I was driving into the abyss the sky was that dark and scary, I arrived two minutes before the interview time! 


The interview seemed to go OK, I wont find out until next week if I got the job or not but even if not I have to say despite the madness I really enjoyed myself!


It was great having a bit of time away from the day to day routine and giving the brain a bit of a much needed work out. 
The interview was great experience and has made me see that although it is my favourite job in the world, I am more than just a Mummy!


xx





Sunday, 1 July 2012

Did you know?

Mummy....did you know that thunder and lightening is made when you shoot those things out of the shooty thing into the sky and they make a loud noise and things?


Nobody told me that once a child turns four they becoming an expert in all things.


My son with the extensive knowledge and wisdom that he has obtained in his four years on this planet now unquestionably knows more about everything than I do. 


I love the concentration on his face when he genuinely thinks he is telling me something very complicated and clever that I know nothing about. 


As much as I am anxious about him starting school in September because he's a sensitive little man the thirst for knowledge is so evident in him that I know he needs the school environment. 


These are the questions I get asked frequently during the day:


Mummy....what day is it?
Mummy....what date is it?
Mummy....what are we doing today?
Mummy....what are we doing in the morning?
Mummy.....why (regarding most things)?




He's a bright little chap and I am making the most of enjoying him thinking he knows more than me because I am quite sure that after a few years at school he probably will do.


He is a complete expert when it comes to his baby brother. I think because the three of us spend lots of time together when ever anyone else is in the mix (even Daddy) the toddler is quick to correct you. This could be regarding what his baby brothers favourite toys are, his favourite food, whether he is tired or not or even whether the baby has done a poo or if he has just done "some smelly trumps." 


The other night the hubby and I went out for a curry whilst the boys enjoyed the excitement of Mamma and Grandpops babysitting. I suggested the toddler watch his new film 'Monster In Paris' with Mamma and Grandpops before bed because they had never seen it. His face absolutely lit up at the thought of him being able to show his Grandpops something that he didn't know anything about! My Dad was in stitches telling us how the toddler had sat explaining every element of the film to him and flushing up because he was taking it all so seriously. 


I love watching his little face when he is explaining something to me. My favourite thing is when he frowns, mid sentence like he is lost in thought and then because he has forgotten what he wanted to say he says something completely random! Hilarious. 


He is growing up far too fast!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Why? Why? Why?

The word 'why' is a child's favourite word. When you have a toddler the word 'why' gets so frequently used that it almost loses its meaning. 

I now have the opportunity to ask my own 'why's!

The lovely Debra at My Darlings And Me tagged me in this fun meme.

The rules...

1. Post your why's - as few or as many as you like.
2. Link up your post over at Mummy Central, and it would be great if you could leave a comment too.
3. Tag 5 bloggers to keep this going.
4. If you're not a blogger, leave your why's as a comment below, I'd love to read them. 
5. Show your support by reading a few others and commenting on them.

So drum roll please....



  • Why does it always rain on me?
  • Why do I feel like my boys 'tag team' me sometimes?
  • Why do I love chocolate soooooooo much?
  • Why do I worry about everything?
  • Why does Brad Pitt not live next door?
  • Why does the cat insist on lying on my clean washing?
  • Why does the thought of my toddler starting school break my heart?
  • Why do children fight sleep when they are clearly exhausted?

Those are my 'whys' of the moment. They change on an hourly basis!

I tag the following fellow bloggers to join in if they fancy it...

Carly at mummys shoes
Victoria at dandelions and kisses

Monday, 25 June 2012

Does whatever a spider can....



WARNING!!!!
If you find a child dressed up as spiderman scary, offensive, rude, or troubling in any manner look away now!


Last week the toddler turned four! 
One of his birthday presents was a Spiderman outfit, complete with muscles and everything!


The day after his birthday we had a trip to the park. An opportunity to pretend to be Spiderman outside of the comfort of home was seized by the toddler. 

The park was fairly busy. The big guy has always been a sensitive little dude who flushes up at the slightest thing. The Spiderman costume however came with built in confidence powers and he seemed to be enjoying looking like the tough kid on the block for a change. 


It wasn't long before his appearance on the slide made another child cry. The upset little boy was younger than Spiderman and I know children aren't always particularly fond of masks and costumes when they are young. 
After another child got a bit upset we encouraged Spiderman to reveal his identity and remove his mask as that seemed to be causing the trouble. 


I have to say though (get ready for rant and in contrast to my previous post) some people can be so stuck up their own bottoms sometimes. For goodness sake, it was obvious that the toddler was being a good boy and he was keeping himself to himself and playing like four year old boys do. 
One little boy who had an aversion to Spiderman, mask or no got a bit upset when playing nearby. His Dad then proceeded to tell his son, who quite frankly needed to man up a little bit, that it wasn't the real Spiderman and that it was a poor impression of him anyway. 
Thankfully the toddler was too busy playing to care what was said and thankfully I didn't hear him. My Mum did hear him however and was pretty disgusted. 
What a horrible thing to say about a little boy who was obviously enjoying himself with his birthday present. 


I know its mean but I now wish that I hadn't encouraged the toddler to take the mask off and that he had pretended to 'web' the kid in the face!! 


Anyway if said man is ever to be seen again Mary Jane (aka me) will have to politely tell him where he can shove his ideas of poor impressions! 




Bet you didn't know Spiderman rode a bike. Safety first though!