Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Poirot at Christmas...

I am starting to realise that Christmas is not just the season to be jolly.

It is also the season for children to don their Sherlock hats, get out their magnifying glasses, and suspiciously scrutinise all things Santa.

We are getting away with it so far, given the boys are only five and two. 
However, I did notice that this year there are many more questions, followed by much longer, rather terrifying hesitations before our answers are accepted.

The other day our eldest turned to me with what he claimed was a very important question..."Mummy, Santa's reindeers can't run as fast as Superman can they? So how can he get to everyone's house in one night?"

It's just all getting a bit complicated! 

Last year I distinctly remember my husband threatening to text Father Christmas if there was any bad behaviour.
This year the boy would probably ask to see the reply.

This year as is tradition in our family, we spent a fab week at the winter wonderland at Center Parcs.
When we got home we put the Christmas decorations up and we found the previous years' photos with Santa from Center Parcs...

I noticed the big lad was just sitting looking at the photos for a considerable length of time.

I did not catch on at first but then the horror hit me...he was comparing the Father Christmas's!

I quickly tried to cover the conspiracy up by focusing on how much the boys had changed over the years. Obviously the same goes for Santa!

For now the secret is safe.
Mum's the word.

Sunday, 20 October 2013


The big lad is going through what I like to think of as his amateur dramatics phase.

Yesterday we were all upstairs playing whilst the bath was running.
Littlest little one was happily getting ready to get in the bath.

I could feel the tension building as I turned nervously to his brother and  said those dreaded words....
"Can you get ready for the bath...please?"

It was like a scene from Platoon as his arms flew up and he dropped to his knees and then crashed down on to the floor in a heap.

You get the picture. Any request to do something perceived as a chore is met by an Oscar worthy act of defiance.

Of all the different phases it is one of my least favourite I have to say.

His reactions to the smallest of requests is, at first, quite funny. After the twentieth time it all becomes rather tedious.

Our new next door neighbour has just moved in.
I can just imagine her walking into her bathroom only to hear me through the wall screeching at Samuel to, and I quote "for the love of god, just brush your bloody teeth."
What she doesn't know is that it was the seventeenth time of asking.

I used to be able to get away with the whole "we'll don't do it then, I'm not bothered." It always did the trick.
He has become wise to my lame attempts at reverse psychology and now simply smiles and says "OK then, I won't."

I then have no smarter comeback than simply "well you have to because I have told you to."

"But Mummy, a minute ago you said I didn't have to?"

This motherhood malarkey is exhausting!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Winter is Coming....

At the moment I am thoroughly enjoying reading and watching Game of Thrones.
I am only on the first book/series but I think it's fair to say I'm hooked!

In the story there is massive emphasis on the severity and length of winter time.
Winters do not last for a few months in this fictional world. Instead, they can last for years at a time. Snow fall can reach one hundred feet deep and the world becomes a dark and dangerous place.

I think we all felt like our last winter would never end. Snow in April? What was that about?

We have, however, had a brilliant summer of sunshine and warm weather. Surely even the grumpiest of cynic amongst us cannot complain about the summer of 2013.

The children have gone back to school. It is getting darker earlier in the evenings and early starts are increasingly difficult. All over the country domestic disputes are breaking out over when the heating should be put on.

Apparently there is potential for a couple of weeks of an Indian type summer this Month but other than that there is no denying that winter is coming.

Here are my favourite things about Autumn and Winter in case anyone reading this is seriously considering going into hibernation...

- The arrival of the conkers and chestnuts! Collecting conkers becomes a bit of an obsession in this house.

- Dark evenings means a complete lack of guilt over putting the pj's on at 6:30pm.

- Hats, scarves and gloves. The woolier and more colourful the better!

- The food. Winter comfort food is awesome. Pies, stews, homemade soups, all puddings served with custard. Bonfire toffee, mushy peas, mince pies and endless tons of quality streets!

- Halloween. I love a bit of spooky. As the kids get older the scare factor can get bigger and bigger!

- Bonfire night. Getting all wrapped up to write your name with a sparkler and watch the kids faces watching the fireworks.

- The build up to... (dare I say it) Chrimbo! I think I love the run up to it just as much, if not more than the event itself.

Don't be grumpy.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

What's in a name

In my job I am lucky enough to see lots of new babies and to record, for the first time, the names that their parents have lovingly chosen for them.

I say lovingly because I'm certain that that is almost always the case.

Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to names. Where would we be without some originality and uniqueness?

Unfortunately for some children it seems to me that the desire to be fairly unique takes over from sense.

Obviously all of the below examples are completely fabricated.

Things to remember when naming your child...

- The biggest deciding factor surely has to be the fact that said child has to grow up with the name you give them.

If you call your little blue eyed baby boy Frodo HE IS NOT GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME IN SCHOOL.

If the child is named after a character from Lord of the Rings or even has a name that sounds like he comes from the land of the hobbits your are in dangerous territory.

- Numbers are not allowed in names. Yes you may have decided long before the Beckhams that your daughter should be called Seven but you cannot spell it Se7en. Yes the film is good but it is also about a gruesome wrath of God type serial killer.
Have a word.

-Swear words are not allowed.
It's not cool.

- Named after an Alcoholic drink eh? Doesn't look great on a CV.

- If English is not your first language please ensure you check the meanings of certain names you may want to use.
It is very difficult for a registrar to keep a straight face when explaining the English meaning of the word 'bollock.'

If all else fails there is always George. Or Alexander. Or Louis. Or all three?

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Monsters University

I recently took child number one to see 'Monsters University' in 3D.

As fans of the incredibly original and hilarious 'Monsters Inc', this viewing was an absolute must.

Apart from the ridiculous amount of adverts prior to the film we were captivated throughout.

Who doesn't love Mike Wasowksi?

The film started with a ridiculously cute, school age Mike being shunned by his classmates. Obviously bringing tears to my eyes (one eyed green monsters are regularly bullied in real life didn't you know!)

Well that was me hooked and the slapstick style comedy from early on meant the boy was equally enthralled.

The film had many laugh out loud moments throughout. Including a rather troubled slug who tries his best not to be late for class!

The storyline revolves around a University Fraternity of monsters, led by Mike, who enter 'The Scare Games.'
In true Disney-Pixar fashion these monsters (who have been outcast by others as un-scary) prove that teamwork and friendship mean more than victory.

Throughout the film Mike and Sully's relationship develops from competitive rivals to the inevitable best of friends.

There are a few darker moments. A rather spooky and stern looking University Dean involved in most of these.
The boy loves a bit of spook so these completely added to the appeal of the film.

I'm not convinced about 3D yet.
For the first five minutes of the film the 3D aspect is a fun novelty but personally after that I don't really notice the 3D.
I think I would have enjoyed the film just as much (if not more because of the annoying glasses) in normal D (aka 2).

Overall I would highly recommend this film for people aged 3 to 103 years of age.

Monday, 22 July 2013

A Prince is born

Wow, the country is going crazy over the birth of the royal baby.

What wonderful news.
Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess on the arrival of their bundle of joy.

Kate's little baby boy has arrived into this world as new and unaware as all baby's are. Little does he know of the world wide interest in his arrival.

Obviously he will not know any different, but it is difficult to imagine how different his life will be from your average Jo Bloggs' little Princes and Princesses.

I wonder if the queen has studied Gina Ford to pass on some tips?

Well I think if my boys were to pass on a message to the royal baby it would be this....

Boys rule!!

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Why should I?

Why should I?

What a question.

So many potential answers.

The slightly thought out responses like 'why do you think you should?'

The mildly threatening responses such as 'because if you don't you won't get a treat."

The more wrathful responses: 'because if you don't you will go straight to the naughty step and I will tell your Dad.'

The completely useless, zero impact, meaningless response: 'because I told you to.'

Which do you think I used?


Friday, 31 May 2013

Growing up

The time has come for our special little man to start nursery.

It has not been an easy decision but we feel like the cheeky chappy is ready to experience all that nursery has to offer.

We did not have a great experience (to say the least) when it came to drop offs with the eldest so it's fair to say I'm slightly anxious about how things will work out.

After a few trial sessions it seems to me that the little man isn't too phased by the actual separation.
He did get upset because of the unfamiliar faces and surroundings but I'm hoping he will settle when in a routine.

When we first brought him home after those horrendous first few months of his life, I remember thinking there was no chance I would ever leave him until he had to go to school.

I am rubbish and will no doubt turn up to my new job with mascara streaks and nursery on redial.
But on the other hand I couldn't be happier and more proud that our little fighter has thrived so much that he is ready for this next big step.

It's at times like these when I wish those amazing people who saved his life could see him.

Thankfully though they are far too busy helping other little ones and their families.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

One Day More...

Last night after one or two too many glasses of vino I decided that I wanted my eldest son to grow up to be a West End star.
As you do.

As my friend who had joined me in the consumption of said wine burst into a version of 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables' I was actually starting to feel emotional.

No, it's fair to say her version of the Les Mis classic was not going to win her a place on The Voice (soz mate). The menfolk were mortified to be sat at the same table as us.
However in my useless, cannot drink, silly state I was actually genuinely picturing my boy on stage in twenty years time belting out One Day More.

It has made me think about how lovely it is that our kids have got a world of opportunity ahead of them.

Of course as a good parent I am supposed to say that I don't care what career path they take as long as they are happy.

Screw that though, here is a list of completely acceptable occupations for my boys when they grow up:

- Obviously theatre/singing/acting are paths I would greatly encourage.

- I wouldn't have an issue with them choosing to be sporting superstars. My preferred sports would be Athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, or tennis.

- Medical professional. I would especially encourage the youngest to go down this route given the amazing people that saved his life.

- Prime minister. I'm not so sure about this but the boys' Nanan decided this when the eldest was born.

The list goes on but I don't want to put the boys under any pressure.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Sharing the love...

Mostly due to my general love of all things sweet and choclatey there is plenty of Mummy to share.

My boys do not agree.

It has become a battle of gladiatorial proportions.

The littlest one is almost always in our bed first in the mornings.
When he hears his brothers footsteps approaching he pounces on me, sprawling himself as widely as possible so as to not expose an inch of mummy flesh that his brother could cuddle up to.

Any attempt to steal a cuddle with the older boy results in a tantrum and usually an assault on older brother from the little one. Said older brother then proceeds to act like it is the end of the world and turns on the fake tears and ten minutes of whining usually follows.

At first I thought this possessive behaviour from baby boy was quite cute.
I have now decided for my own health and safety (I swear these boys grow an inch every day) that I must put a stop to said violent behaviour.

My other half uses any excuse to produce a well organised spreadsheet.

I am tempted to ask him to create a mummy cuddle spreadsheet.

If it is not your allotted time, you must not throw a tantrum, you must not attack your sibling and you must not whine.

I will put said spreadsheet on the fridge and if you break the rules your on the naughty step.

I'm not massively convinced.

Thursday, 21 March 2013


Everyday, without fail, as we turn the corner on to our street on our way back from school in the afternoon I hear the same words...

"Mummy, I need a poo."

The end of the afternoon school run has become so stressful because a code brown is guaranteed.

We all end up legging it down our street, me pushing the buggy at super speed. The big lad leading the pack looking like one of those speed walkers as he desperately holds everything in.

I have tried to explain that he ought to go to the loo at the end of the school day.

He says he doesn't need it then.

I just think the lavatory facilities obviously aren't up to his high standards.

For those of you that have seen American Pie you will understand the shitbreak reference.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Recently I have realised how much we take some things for granted.

Our littlest man is finding his feet.

It has been a while coming.

Every day his confidence with walking grows.
He throws his arms up in absolute triumph and bounds towards you with the biggest grin on his face.

Steps are wonderful but as it happens bouncing and stomping are equally thrilling.

Whether it be a hokey cokey, a sleepy bunny, a dingle dangle scarecrow, a jelly on a plate, a trampoline or generally being as happy as you know it, a good bounce and foot stomp never goes a miss.

When our little man was two months old and at Glenfield hospital a wonderful play co-ordinator (one of the many amazing and invaluable members of staff at Glenfield) took his footprints and made us a wonderful picture.

I have shared this before and it was one of the readings we had at little man's naming ceremony.
The words mean even more now...

Someday I'll jump through puddles,
Take a stroll or run a race.
Someday I'll walk across a street,
Or maybe walk in space.

Someday I'll scale a mountain,
Or I'll join a ballet corps.
Someday I'll walk a tightrope,
Or explore the ocean floor.

Someday these feet will do some things,
That only heaven knows,
But for today they're happy
Just to wiggle all their toes.

I have been reminded recently, one way or another, of the pain we felt when we had to contemplate that we might lose our little boy.

Now he is walking and talking.
I am quickly reminded again of how wonderful life can be.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy Mummy's Day

I think this has been my favourite Mother's Day since becoming a Mummy almost five years ago.

The weekend started with a night out with some of the other Mum's from my son's class at school.
Last time we made the mistake of going out on a school night. It's fair to say there were a few mum's wearing sunglasses with sore heads on the school run the morning after.

This time there was no mad morning organising to be done which made the night even better.
Some random gentleman bought our table two bottles of bubbly which started the night off perfectly.

The eldest boy was confused when he got up Saturday morning to see me having a lie in. I could see panic in his little face as he recalled there was some occassion coming up. He said "what do I say Mummy...happy valentines day?" 
He was relieved when I told him Mother's Day was not until the day after.

I was treated this morning to a show put on by the toddler...

What more can a Mummy ask for!

It was 'watching week' at swimming today so we got to see how much progress the big lad has made with his swimming. 
We were very impressed.

It has basically been a day full of very proud mummy moments.

Thankfully the parental's have returned from their jolly (completely rude of them to take a holiday) so after swimming we landed at theirs.

The boys, along with their much loved cousin made lots of noise and caused lots of chaos!

Our littlest one decided to completely show off and out of nowhere was walking more than ever before and shouting and singing at the top of his voice!
I have never seen him so excited.
Lots of fun.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mum's. 

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Slugs, snails and puppy dog tails...

That's what little boys are made of.

I quote...

Toddler: "I wish I had wings Mummy"

Me: "Ahh that would be lovely sweetheart, where would you go?"

Toddler: "I would go to London and scare everyone and poo on their heads."

So basically my eldest son has a beef with London and aspires to be a dirty pigeon.
Who knew.

We are almost coming to the end of half term.
It has been a revelation in terms of the realisation that our eldest boy is rapidly changing before our eyes.

I am convinced he is becoming one of those boys that at least one or more of the following applies too...

- Neighbours loathe them. They are utterly convinced they wear pit boots to run up and down the stairs the thousand times they do a day.

- Other members of the public curse under their breath when they plonk themselves and their lanky legs on the seat behind them on the bus.

- Old dears used to remark upon how cute they were in the supermarket trolly. They now tut at them walking down each aisle telling members of their family that they are 'smelly poo heads' or 'nose bogies.'

I might be able to squeeze another couple of years out of the boy before he becomes completely engrossed in the grossness that is being a little boy.

He still has to have his special blanket on his pillow at night.

He is still partial to a verse or two of 'daisy' when he is tired or feeling a bit sorry for himself.

I am still mostly 'Mummy' and not 'Mum.'

I will make the most of those little things while they last!

Sunday, 3 February 2013


Toddler quote of the day...

"What is sperm?"

Thanks 'Octonauts and the Sperm Whale!'

Daddy replied, "ask your mum."

I panicked and replied "I don't know, eat your supper."

I don't think I would win mum of the year with that response.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

New Years resolution

Last week our eldest boy came home with some work he had completed at school.

I have a few issues with the below picture...

1. Actually it is not your ipad, it's mine. Childish I know but am I not allowed anything to myself in this house!!

2. You are four years old. You should be worrying about taking the stabilisers off your bike, not improving your computer skills.

3. I am quite concerned that by the age of seven you will have a far more advanced knowledge of technology than your Dad and me. Feel free to slow down.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Never work with children or animals...

This weekend we have mostly been...

Attempting to decorate the living room on an average of four hours sleep a night, with two very loud and demanding young boys and one naughty cat.

It is a work in progress.

Sunday afternoon we were quite pleased with how much painting we had managed to get done.
We were foolish enough for probably about two minutes to think that all was going to plan.

Enter the cat.

I do not know who let the cat in but whoever it was has much to answer for.
Tink (the cat) ran in the room and realised something out of the ordinary was going on. She had a bit of a meltdown about the furniture being in different positions to normal and then not knowing what to do with herself decided to jump into the tray of paint.

By this point I was screeching, the kids were laughing and the husband looked ready to throw the cat out of the window.
He pounced on the cat in some sort of rugby tackle move unlike any I have seen before just as she reached the stairs.
The carpet was saved, the footprints on the laminate were cleaned off.
All was not lost.

I expect the decorating of our small living room to be completed by 2014.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The power of love...

Our snowman did not take rejection at the John Lewis audition too well...

We love you anyway snowy.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Sleepless in The East Midlands

I was wondering the other day whether pre-children I had the energy levels of some kind of superhuman Wonder Woman?

I curse myself for ever having complained about being tired before the sproglets arrived...

"That dog barking woke me up last night I'm shattered."

"I had a funny dream last night I don't think I slept very well."

"You were snoring."

Screw you pre-children self!
You didn't even know the meaning of the word tired.

I'm sure you have realised from my rantings that we have not been having the most settled nights of late.

If it hasn't been the littlest little man's coughs and colds keeping him and us up, it has been the big little man deciding to wake up every hour for very random reasons.

Last nights reasons include:

My feet have come out the do do ( our strange word for quilt)

My leg hurts, oh no actually my arm hurts.

I can't remember what I wanted.

All of the above are invalid reasons for waking mummy and daddy up.
I have tried to explain that the only reason the boy has to get up in the night is if he needs the toilet.
The other night he called my bluff and claimed to need a wee five times throughout the night.

I am going about my daily chores looking like a character from The Walking Dead (not one of the good looking good guys either!).

I have decided the reason for lack of sleep could be one of several things..

1. Both boys have got into a bad habit of pouncing on their daddy just before bed time to give him his daily beating ritual. This makes them hyper and I'm thinking not in the best frame of mind for going to bed.

2. The biggest boy knows that the littlest boy often gets up in the night and gets attention. Maybe subconsciously he is waking for attention.

3. As with most things it is probably a phase!

The night that they both sleep no doubt I will wake up anyway thinking there is something wrong!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Impossible

Friday night I subjected my mum, pregnant sister in law and a mate to a rather traumatic cinema experience.

"Oh yes, why don't we go and see The Impossible. It is the story about the strength of a family and about hope."

Obviously I realised this film was based on one family's recollection of the overwhelming and tragic disaster that was the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.

I expected it to be an emotional film but was completely taken aback by the terror that ensued.

All credit to director Juan Antonio Bayona. You spend the entire film thinking how impossible it is that the family that are the focus of the film are surviving their ordeal.

Naomi Watts is Maria Belon, wife to Henry (Ewan Mcgregor) and mother to three boys. The family are portrayed as being British despite the family the film is based on actually being Spanish.

The family are enjoying a Christmas holiday in Thailand when the tsunami hits on Boxing Day.

The main focus of the film is on Maria and her eldest son Lucas.
It is very difficult to watch as the mother and son fight for their lives through the water and the debris. They see each other but cannot reach one another at first which is heart wrenching.

The injuries that Maria sustain are horrendous and the film shows them in graphic detail. Focusing on Lucas's perspective of seeing his Mum so badly hurt.
I have to say I struggled at this point.
I like action films with their blood and guts. I can tolerate the gore because I perceive it as being completely ficticious.
This was different.
The injuries shown were based on those sustained by Maria in real life.
The film very cleverly shows the overwhelming force that is water. Maria's body gets thrown about in the water like she is in an enormous washing machine.
She gets her injuries when she is smashed uncontrollably against debris that is being swept with the wave.
It is very upsetting.

Sniffles and sobs could be heard throughout the film in the cinema (mostly coming from me).

The moment the brothers see each other after not knowing whether each other had survived is so emotional and well acted. You need a heart of stone to not find the desperation in the little boys voice when he is shouting his Dad extremely moving.

I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone with a weak stomach or any slight fear of the ocean (you will never go to the seaside again!)

It's well made and well acted but I question whether or not it is entertainment?

Films have and will always continue to be made about real life tragedies, wars, desperate times.

Maybe the memories of seeing this horrific event unfold on the news are still to fresh to enjoy seeing a film about it.
Maybe as a parent these scenes were too nerve wracking and heart breaking to endure.