Monday, 26 December 2011

And Just Like That It's Over

Christmas has been and gone in our household. The tree is down and the house is looking fairly normal with a little less space for anything. Thank goodness it's over for another year!

As exciting as Christmas is, especially now with young children, I always have an anti-climax sort of feeling towards the day. All that preparation for one day and as quick as the blink of an eye, it's over!

On Christmas Eve we went to bed excited to wake up with the kids and see their faces as they entered the living room to open their presents from Santa. Their faces were a picture, especially Wee Z's, who took his time unwrapping each present and careful looking at what he had received. Miss C was a bit more production line about it but then she is only 2.

After the present opening was completed, we chose some of the new toys to play with and spent a few hours with the kids enjoying family time together. We then had to start preparing the food for our Christmas dinner. This year we had my Father in Law and youngest Brother in Law for dinner and as soon as I have to cook for more than us 4, I get a bit stressed. I mean, it's OK if the food tastes crap and I'm feeding it to us, but it's quite another story if I'm feeding it to other people. I want them to enjoy their food so they come back again...although maybe if it did taste rubbish I'd get out of hosting dinner at all?!

As my BIL is quite fussy, I decided to make macaroni for him and the kids. The kids would eat a roast dinner but I thought we should treat ourselves to some steak instead and Husband spent a small fortune buying fillets for my FIL, him and me. I made roast potatoes, steamed veggies and a peppercorn sauce to go with it. Husband made his prawn cocktail for us (garlic pizza bread for the kids and BIL) and I served apple crumble with ice cream for dessert. It was rather yummy!

After the stress of cooking and all the clearing up and once FIL and BIL had gone home, we got the kids bathed and in their jammies and settled under a duvet on the couch to watch The Gruffalo's Child. I thought the kids would fall asleep watching it but no, they stayed awake captivated by the story until the very end. I could feel myself drifting off to sleep as I was so exhausted but as soon as the kids were in bed, I got my second wind and Husband and I sat up watching TV and working our way through the chocolates.

When I went to bed I lay there and thought that's it; Christmas is done. I don't know what the end to that thought was because I fell asleep!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas Gifts - Homemade Truffles

Last year as Christmas gifts for the nursery staff and some of our neighbours, I made chocolate fudge. This year we decided to make truffles. I love truffles because they are bite-size deliciousness and really quite addictive. They are also really easy to make.

For my fudge, I asked my Mum to find me some cellophane bags as she's quite good at crafty things so I thought she'd know just the place to find some. All my Mum could get was some cellophane sheets from Thorntons (of all the places) but it did the job fantastically.

On Twitter a few weeks ago @Jessies_Online shared her eBay shop and a link to some cellophane party bags which is exactly what I was looking for. I bought some gorgeous blue and white snowflake bags which are perfect for holding all the truffles in and look really pretty as a gift I think.

There are so many variations to making truffles but I tend to stick with just plain digestives and chocolate drinking powder for mine.


1 pack of digestive biscuits
1 can of condensed milk
50g of unsalted butter, melted
50g dessicated coconut - optional
70g drinking chocolate
Chocolate sprinkles, icing sugar, cocoa powder or dessicated coconut for rolling them in

Start by crushing your biscuits in to a fine mixture. I did this with a food processor or you could put them in a bag and used a rolling pin to crush them. Add your drinking chocolate, dessicated coconut and butter and mix together. Then add your condensed milk bit by bit so you can judge easily how much you'll need. If you use too much the mixture will become too sticky and will make it hard to roll the truffles. Once mixed, allow it to cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

The mixture is ready to roll if you can roll a truffle without it sticking to your hands and it holds it shape when placed on a flat surface. You can roll them as big or as little as you like and coat them in sprinkles, cocoa powder...whatever takes your fancy. I coated these ones in chocolate sprinkles and dessicated coconut.

Place them in your bags, again how many depends on size and how generous you are feeling and seal them up with some ribbon. Yummy!

I'll have that one and that one and that one...

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Gallery - Christmas of Yesteryear

I'd love to say I'm sharing a photo from a Christmas many, many years ago but sadly I'm not. My old photographs are currently boxed in the loft underneath, behind and in between all of the Christmas presents.

This photo is from our first Christmas together as a family of 3. My Mum and Step Dad spent Wee Z's first Christmas with us. It was a relatively quiet one after everyone had visited to drop presents in for Wee Z. We spent the morning opening presents, playing with new toys whilst Wee Z had a nap (present opening can be a tad overwhelming to a 7 month old apparently) and enjoying a stroll in the afternoon to work up an appetite for our Christmas dinner. We enjoyed our meal together, playing games and watching Christmas TV.

Wee Z adorned a Santa outfit for his Christmas outfit which was so cute but didn't stay on for long. In the evening we went to visit my Father in Law and came home with more presents for Wee Z who was just ready for his bed by that point.

It was a lovely Christmas and really brought back the meaning of Christmas to me; sharing it with family and those you care about most.

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Christmas of Yesteryear.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Christmas Cracker Show

On Friday it was that time of year again at nursery where all the parents piled in to see their children performing in their Christmas show. Last year they had a nativity and recreated the story of the birth of Baby Jesus. This year the nursery put on a fantastic show for us all called The Christmas Cracker.

Each group at Wee Z's nursery had to learn a song and they performed it for us. They were all smashing! The 4 year olds that we watched as 3 year olds last year were much more confident and sang so loudly, knew all the words and knew all the actions too.

Wee Z's group were singing "When Santa got stuck up the chimney" and wore hats and scarfs and had tissues for props. They did very well; all the groups did and there were plenty of proud parents, some close to tears.

My "Proud Mummy" moment was when Wee Z opened the show with his lines he had been practising. He was the only child to have a line of his own so I was beaming even if you could hardly hear him! He had to say "Welcome to our Christmas show. Sit back, relax and enjoy!"

It's scary to think that this time next year we'll be watching a 3 year old Miss C in her first nursery nativity. How the time flies!

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Weekend We'd Rather Forget

Last weekend was one of those weekends I could quite happily forget about. It was terrible. Friday night, as I was finishing clearing away after dinner, Husband shouted me through to the living room. I thought he was shouting me to see something cute or funny the kids were doing but no...! He shouted me to tell me that Miss C had just done a poo but might have been pushing too hard as it seemed she had a minor rectal prolapse.

Husband phoned NHS 24 to get some advice and the nurse didn't seem to think this sounded right for a 2 year old, especially when Husband told her that Miss C had passed blood too. Husband had to take her out to hospital to see a DR. I was so stressed and scared and felt sick. All I could do was stay at home with Wee Z and wait to hear if she was OK.

Thankfully Miss C returned home fairly quickly after seeing the DR. They seemed to think that she has been straining to go for a poo and may have been a bit constipated. More fibre in the diet should sort her out and if that doesn't help, they can give her some laxatives. She seemed in good spirits though as she walked through the door wearing a bedpan on her head.

Whether it was down to the stress of Friday night or I was holding out for something, I woke up on Saturday morning feeling like death warmed up. My throat was swollen and it felt like I was swallowing knives. My ears were pounding and my joints were aching. I had to go to work though, it was my third to last shift before my holidays so I wasn't about to phone in sick.

My voice was strained, which was bliss for Husband as it meant I could hardly talk. When I got home from work, we pushed the couches together, I put my jammies on and we all cuddled up under my duvet and watched Despicable Me. Husband made sure I had plenty of painkillers, throat spray and cups of tea.

I didn't feel much better on Sunday and after spending the day with my Dad, I had an early night which I thought might help me feel more human again. I couldn't eat anything apart from some soup but I was craving carbs! I honestly felt like I'd never feel the feel of swallowing normally again.

This morning I awoke and all positivity left my body. My ears were pounding harder and my throat felt dry and raw. I got ready for work, took some more painkillers and wrapped up warmly. The thought of 4 hours at work was exhausting but I only had 2 more shifts to go.

I thought I may fall asleep at work, and then my painkillers started to kick in. My throat wasn't sore, I could swallow again. At first I swallowed cautiously, in case it was a fluke, but then I got braver and I was eating a banana and then a pear and gulping down cups of water.

My throat is still slightly tender but I definitely feel much better. However, Husband is now unwell so it looks like I'm on tea duty! I can cope with that though, so long as Miss C doesn't give us another fright.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

My Best Holiday Ever

Preparing to go on holiday is up there with one of the best feelings in the world. Knowing you've worked hard all year and saved up all your pennies makes that week or 2 away truly amazing. I've been really lucky to have gone on some fantastic holidays when I was growing up.

It's hard to pinpoint my best holiday because each one was memorable in it's own way. However, one that always makes me smile is when my Dad took my sisters and I to France. We spent 4 days at Disneyland Paris which was really good fun. I was 14 at the time but the kid in me still loved going on all the rides, meeting my favourite Disney characters (Tigger and Pooh) and watching the parade and fireworks at night. My youngest sister was 3 at the time, almost 4 so it was really amazing to share her first Disney experience with her.

After our 4 days in Disneyland, we headed over to a town called Berny Riviere just outside Paris to go camping for 10 days. I hate camping so I wasn't looking forward to it at all. I was also missing my friends and boyfriend because spending holidays with them was much more fun than being with my Dad and sisters (said the teenager in me!) We arrived at the campsite which was also a caravan site and immediately set about exploring the place. It was sunny which was bonus but that would mean cold, cold nights. No fun in a tent!

Not too keen on camping, can you tell?

Do you remember going on holiday as a teen and seeing the big group of kids who had gotten to know each other over the course of their holiday and thinking I want to be part of that gang, but not having the courage to go up to them? That was how I felt on our first night. The thing was, this group was no ordinary group of kids; this group was made up of around 6 or 7 boys and 2 absolutely stunning blonde girls. It was intimidating for sure!

Thankfully there was a boy in that group who apparently took a shine to me and we got to chatting. I found out he lived about 20 minutes from where I lived so we chatted about the area and places we'd go to hang out. We even shared a cheeky kiss in a tee pee in the play-park...! He was leaving 2 days later but he was kind enough to introduce me to the group.

My little sister loved going fishing!

The next 9 days were spent laughing by the pool, sharing life stories and dancing the night away with these 2 gorgeous blondes and the entourage of boys. Being able to drink at the age of 14 in France meant we took full advantage of cocktails and shots so most nights I didn't need my extra blanket in the tent! We were thick as thieves but made sure to welcome new people in to the group as they arrived and it was always a tearful goodbye when someone left.

It came time for me to leave and we promised to stay in touch. Sometimes these sort of friendships, like a holiday romance, just stay that way and don't develop past your holiday but we did keep in touch and I still have all the letters my friends H and K sent me over the years. We met up a few times although living far apart didn't always make it easy. We're still in touch to this day thanks to the powers of social media aka Facebook.

I never saw the boy who introduced me to my wonderful, gorgeous blonde friends again. He did contact me when I got home and persisted for a week or so but I remembered I was supposed to have a boyfriend and didn't reply. Being 14 is a fickle age! But I'll always be grateful to him for taking me in to the group and making my holiday to France one of the best holidays in my life.

This post is for the BritMums Blogging Prompts where this week they are asking about our best holiday.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas Happy Families

This weekend was an exciting one as Bella and Pops made their Christmas trip up to visit us all. It was touch and go as to whether they would make it with the weather being so bad up North last week and with their dog, Cooper, deciding he was going to swallow a ball and not pass it within a 24 hour period. Thankfully, the wind eased off and Cooper threw up his ball so Bella and Pops arrived on Friday afternoon and were welcomed by a very excited Wee Z and Miss C.

Miss C told Pops how much she had missed him which was very sweet. I think it's really lovely that they remember them especially when they don't see them often. As always, they came laden with gifts for us all; chocolates for me, wine for Husband, animal snap for Miss C and happy families for Wee Z. They hadn't been in the door five minutes and Wee Z had roped them in to playing a game.

On Saturday we had booked to go and see Santa and the kids were really excited. We were greeted by one of Santa's elves who Miss C decided to call Ben Elf, like the one from Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. He chatted away to Wee Z, asking him what he was going to ask Santa for. After a few minutes waiting outside of Santa's log cabin, the big man was ready for us.

The cabin was filled with presents and in the corner was Santa. Miss C immediately freaked out but Wee Z went straight up to him and said hello. Santa asked him to sit on his stool and to tell him what he would like for Christmas. "Stickers by numbers please Santa!" He had a photo with Santa and then took his gift and off we went.

We decided to have a cuppa and ended up running in to my MIL and her husband so we all sat together enjoying some rather overpriced very tasty carrot cake and cheesecake. Wee Z and Miss C opened their presents from Santa; Wee Z got a pirate dress up costume so he just had to put it on in the middle of the cafe and Miss C got a soft toy giraffe.

Once we got home and the kids had gone to bed, Bella and Pops treated us to a take-away and then we decided to tackle the present wrapping. I am a terrible wrapper; I could ruin the entire Santa belief with one misplaced piece of sellotape, so Bella offered to help. We chatted away, laughing as we recalled old stories and reliving the take-away we had just eaten. Quality family time!

All too soon and Sunday had arrived which meant it was time for Bella and Pops to go home. Thankfully the kids didn't get upset when they were leaving which made it easier. I don't like my Mum or my Sister leaving because they live so faraway. However I'm sure we all appreciate each other a lot more for it.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Funny Things My Child Says #3

Wee Z has a nursery concert on Friday and has been learning lots of Christmas related songs like Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney and Jingle Bells. He's been teaching Miss C Away In A Manger and all about Baby Jesus which she thinks is fab as she quite likes babies.

As I'm getting the bath ready I can hear Miss C and Wee Z talking away to each other. Wee Z is telling Miss C she has to be Mary and he will be Joseph and they have to find a space at the Inn so Mary can have Baby Jesus. They both come running through from Miss C's room to tell me all about their game.

"Mummy, me Mary!" says Miss C.

"And I'm Joseph and there is no room at the Inn Mummy so Mary has to sit in a stable!" says Wee Z.

"Mummy, me have Baby Jesus!" says Miss C.

"Really? Where is Baby Jesus?" I ask her.

"Baby Jesus in mine tummy!" says Miss C as she rubs her tummy.

"OH right! How did Baby Jesus get in your tummy?" I ask her.

Miss C looks at me as if I've asked her the most ridiculous question and then answers "In my mouth Mummy!"

Friday, 9 December 2011

A Letter To Santa From Miss C

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good girl this year Santa, just like last year although, to be fair, I didn't know much about Christmas or you then. This year my brother has been telling me all about Christmas and this baby called Jesus. I'd quite like a baby for Christmas, a pretend one Santa, not a real one. My Daddy says Mummy isn't allowed a real one and I agree with him as I liked to stay the baby of the family.

I'd also quite like a puppy. My God Mummy has a new puppy and he is really friendly although I'm not too keen on him giving me kisses. I think a pretend puppy might be a better idea as then my kitten Casper won't get too upset. But Mummy says you've not to get me one of those life-like puppies that do actual pees.

I really like doing jigsaws with my Mummy and Daddy so some new puzzles would be nice. My favourites at the moment are Peppa Pig and a fairy toadstool one but they are getting too easy for me now so Mummy says I need some new ones to help me learn more.

Thank you very much Santa,

Love Miss C aged 2 years and 6 months

P.S - Santa, my Mummy has been telling me and my brother that there are lots of children who won't get presents this Christmas. I hope you haven't forgotten about them Santa, but my Mummy says we can help those children by visiting Operation Christmas Child and making an online shoebox filled with goodies for a little boy or little girl so they can enjoy a Christmas gift too.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A Letter To Santa From Wee Z

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good boy this year although Mummy does tell me I have my moments. I try to tell her that I'm just expressing my individuality but she says that I am stubborn. Sometimes. Anyway, I'd like to think that I have been a good boy most of the year; I have helped my sister with her learning and given her lots of cuddles and played lots of games with her. I've helped my Mummy with her baking and helped her watch her tummy doesn't get bigger by eating the cakes we bake. I recently started emptying the dishwasher - just the plastic stuff Santa - which is lots of fun.

Taking all of this in to consideration Santa, I'd be really happy if I could have: -

  1. Some puzzles like the Orchard Toys ones I already have, they are great!
  2. Stickers by numbers
  3. Horrid Henry books
  4. A game for my MobiGo
  5. A flying board
In case you haven't heard of a flying board Santa, my Mummy hasn't either, this is a really cool silver board that can fly like the Silver Surfer from that film my Daddy watched. It's amazing!

Thank you very much Santa,

Lots of Love,

Wee Z aged 4 and 6 months

PS - This letter may have been altered by my Mummy slightly but that's only because I was too tired to write all this myself!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Gallery - My Awesome Photo

I love playing around with my camera to see what shots I can capture. Mostly my photos turn out OK but because I've been practising and snooping around other Gallery entries, I've managed to get a few really great shots; I think anyways!

So Tara is asking us to choose one awesome photo for the chance for it to be made in to a canvas courtesy of Photo World.

Do I choose this one that I caught without even knowing it?

Or this one of gorgeous flowers in summer when there had been a few rain showers?

The bridge we drove past in Aviemore?

Or this one? The one that Husband said is the best photo I have taken and it was taken on my phone.

You don't make it easy for a girl, do you Tara?

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is My Awesome Photo. Go check out all the other awesome entries.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

My Best Posts of 2011

The blogging prompt on BritMums this week is: what were your best posts this year? Usually I recap some of my favourite posts from the previous year in the New Year but since BritMums are asking...

In January I wrote about New Baby Visiting, something we all endure experience with a brand new baby. I found it quite hard with Wee Z because he was the first grandson in the family and being too polite to say give us some space please. With Miss C, I was a lot firmer and whilst I didn't refuse people seeing her, I made sure it was at a time that suited us. I also made sure I was made a cup of tea, not the other way around!

In April we welcomed a new addition in to our family in the form of Miss Baby K. Staying a few hundred miles away from her is hard but we enjoy our time together so much more because of it and I loved meeting her for the first time.

My Gran was really important to me and I often talk about her on my blog as I'd like Wee Z and Miss C to be able to read about her when they are older, even though they never met her. We toasted my Father in Law's birthday on May 22nd which coincidentally was my Gran's birthday.

In the same month Miss C turned 2 and I wrote her a letter which I hope she will read and cherish when she is older. I wrote Wee Z a letter too as he turned 4 a few days later.

My Sister wrote a post for my blog during breastfeeding week, sharing her experience as a new, breastfeeding mum. It was one of my most popular posts this year!

These have been some of my favourite posts of this year. I love reading back on what I've written, just to bring back the memories and often for some inspiration.

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Dear Santa, I Would Like...

It is now the 1st of December so I can now get in to the Christmas spirit. I don't mind talking about Christmas before December I just don't get in to it until I have my first chocolate from my advent calendar (Peppa Pig since you asked and yes it is Miss C's but they both have 2 each and I find that one chocolate a day for 24 days is quite enough!) (For a child!)

BritMums are asking us on the blogging prompt this week - what do you want for Christmas? Me? Really? I used to get really excited about Christmas (and my birthday) before I had Wee Z. I couldn't wait to see what everyone had bought me, often going on present hunts to see if I could find a stray present that Husband had forgotten to hide. Since having the kids though, my excitement is for them and seeing Christmas through their child eyes again.

But since they asked...All I want for Christmas is...

  1. Ugly Betty Season 4 on DVD (I love my boxsets!)
  2. Some baking goodies (baking utensils, cutters, shapers, cake tins and an icing piping machine!)
  3. I did want new underwear until I read Northern Mum's recession money saving tips...
  4. Some new PJs (lovely and cosy - maybe a onesie!)
  5. Some new socks (I keep finding holes in mine!)
  6. The Cake Boss recipe book (or bring Buddy to me please - if Santa is real, he WILL do this!)
  7. Lorraine Pascale's Home Cooking Made Easy book
  8. Tom Hardy (The real Tom Hardy, not a cardboard cut out...Santa prove to me you are real!)
  9. A new camera (as mine is knackered!)
  10. A big box of Thornton's chocolates - or any chocolate to be honest!
  11. A kitchen aid
I'm not asking for too much am I?

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Gallery - My Kitchen

My kitchen is the heart of our house. It's really spacious and warm and we spend a lot of time at our kitchen table playing games, drawing and eating meals together.

This is my favourite part of my kitchen; the art wall. Originally we had the blow air heating system which we replaced with gas central heating and Husband took the old system out leaving a great big gaping hole in the wall. We never got around to redecorating the wall as it seemed like a handy place to put notes and then drawings started to appear from Wee Z and Miss C. The wall even gets used as our Christmas card wall.

With a new picture coming home from nursery everyday, I'm considering turning the whole kitchen in to an art wall. Saves on the paint I guess!

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is The Kitchen.

Happy St Andrew's Day

What better way to celebrate than with cupcakes?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Bloggy, Bloggy On The Web, What Do We See In The Year Ahead?

It's getting close to that time of year again when this year ends and a brand New Year begins. You start to think of resolutions, (that are made in good faith but are often broken within a few days) plan the year ahead and look forward to a fresh start.

I'm not thinking about my own personal resolutions (I tend not to make any anyway) but I am thinking about where I'd like to see my blog go in 2012. When I started blogging 2 years ago it really was to have somewhere to record what was happening in the world of a 2 year old Wee Z and a brand new Miss C. I've always kept a diary and love reading back on what I was thinking or feeling. Writing a blog gave me the opportunity to share my diary with my family and friends who I don't live near to and who don't see Wee Z and Miss C often.

When I was offered review opportunities, at first I was like "what's the catch?" but I decided to give it a go and I haven't looked back since. I try to keep a balance on my blog and stick with what my blog originally set out to be but it is nice to receive some perks for my children to enjoy (or me!)

When I mention that I write a blog outside of the World Wide Web, some people look at me like "OK", others laugh and don't take it too seriously and others are really interested. I enjoy writing my blog though and that's all that matters. What started off as a hobby really has grown in to so much more. I have had some really amazing opportunities from blogging and have met some wonderful people too.

For 2012 I'd love to continue meeting other bloggers and being inspired by all the other bloggers out there who just enjoying writing and sharing their stories. I'm excited to be going to BritMums Live in June 2012 though how I'm going to deal with the London Underground I don't know?!

I hope that Wee Z and Miss C continue to keep me inspired to write my sure they will. They are pretty inspiring people!

I really believe that blogging is going to continue to grow as we move in to 2012. So long as we have social networking and social media, blogging is going to be right there amongst it. It's a fantastic business tool but it is also great for us who don't have the notion to put pen to paper but finger to keystroke instead.

The Belle Shall Not Go To The Ball

I was super excited on Thursday night as it was my work's night out on Friday. I was really looking forward to going; I bought a new dress and new shoes and had booked myself in for some beauty treatments. I needed a good night out.

As I went to bed I started to feel a bit ill. I kept getting up to go for a pee, which isn't unusual as I drink about 3 litres of water a day and my bladder isn't what it used to be pre-childbirth, but even the frequency for me was off. Then it started to get sore.

I tried to go to sleep and must have dozed off because when I woke up I was bursting for the loo. It was 5.30am so I went back to bed but couldn't switch off. I lay tossing and turning until I decided to go in the bath in a hope that my aches might settle. I took some painkillers and a pint glass of water and lay in a steaming hot bath for an hour.

After having a urinary track infection at the age of 15 and again in both pregnancies, I'm pretty confident on recognising the symptoms. I wasn't prepared for finding blood though. I made an emergency appointment at the Doctors and was seen within a few hours by the Nurse who tested my sample and confirmed I had protein, white cells and blood in my pee. She sent me off with 3 days worth of antibiotics.

I felt too unwell to go to my work's night out. Instead I lay under my duvet watching Masterchef.

I had to go back to the Doctors today as my 3 day course of antibiotics just hasn't helped. Thankfully I was able to see a Doctor who was able to prescribe me stronger antibiotics (penicillin bad boys!) and I have the joy of taking them for the next 2 weeks. I'm hoping they start to take effect soon as I feel like all I've done is sit in my bathroom all weekend.

The only fun I'm having for the next 2 weeks!

I'll get my night out one of these days!!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Gallery - Something I Am Proud Of

This photo is of Wee Z when he was about 4 weeks old. His head is resting on his Daddy's shoulder and by chance he pulled this "looks like I'm smiling but actually have wind" face.

Fast forward (and it literally feels like someone has hit the fast forward button on my life) and here is Wee Z aged 4 years and 4 months in his nursery photograph. I can't quite believe it!

Wee Z recently had his nursery report and it seems he is doing very well at nursery. He is making new friends and enjoying all the activities. His reading and writing have come on fantastically in the last few months to the stage where he can read us a bedtime story with little or no help. He has been learning sign language and Spanish and is already doing basic math sums.

I am so proud of my little boy who is growing up far too fast!

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Something I Am Proud Of.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Who IS She?!

On Thursday night I removed my tongue stud. It wasn't deliberate; I had a dentist appointment on Friday morning and didn't want him lecturing me about how bad it is for the enamel etc, etc. I still haven't put it back in. Why? I'm not really sure. Part of me thinks I've outgrown my piercing now I'm a mother. Part of me feels like I'm losing my identity pre-children.

I've always had piercings from a young age. I had my ears pierced when I was about 6 or 7 and then had another piercing in my ears so I had 2 earrings in each ear. When I was about 13 I had the top of my left ear pierced twice and then did a self piercing* to give me 3 earrings in each ear.

A baby at the age of 18
At the age of 14 I decided I wanted my belly button pierced and whilst I'm sure my Mum wasn't keen on the idea, she took me to a reputable salon to have it done hygienically and thus avoiding the risk of me going somewhere cheap and smelling of booze to get it done myself. Or using a stapler in Science class as a DIY one**.

At the age of 15 I had my nose pierced and then at the age of 17 I had my tongue pierced. I don't know why I wanted all these piercings, I just did it.

As I've grown up, the piercings have come out and never gone back in. My nose stud I had to remove as it wasn't deemed professional in my workplace and Husband hated it. My belly button piercing came out shortly after my first scan when I was pregnant with Wee Z when the midwife told me off for still having it in at 12 weeks in to my pregnancy. After I had Wee Z, my belly button changed and the ring just didn't look right when I put it back in.

What else has changed about me since I've had children? I stopped wearing all my jewellery (though sovereign rings just weren't cool after the age of 18), I stopped wearing midriff bearing dresses and crop tops and I stopped wearing thongs that rode up my bum and hung out over my jeans. I cut my hair a bit shorter and stopped dying it vibrant red. I stopped using the F word to describe everything.

Can't get away with that dress anymore!
Where did that young girl go with her multitude of piercings, seriously revealing party dresses and a love for all things naughty? Did she completely disappear or is she lying in wait for the day she can be re-released in to the world? Sometimes I do wonder if that was ever really me or if I'm now the ME I was supposed to be all along? Does having children really change your identity or do you just become the person you were always going to be?

*I do not recommend self-piercing in anyway shape or form. Always get it done by a professional in a reputable place. You don't want an infection there. Trust me!

**I also do not recommend self-piercing with a stapler anywhere, even if it does make the boys in your class laugh.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

10 Questions Meme

I've been tagged to take part in the 10 Questions Meme by Moors-Mummy. I'm quite nosy so I enjoy reading answers to these memes to get to know other bloggers better.

The idea of this meme, which Super Amazing Mum started up, is to answer 10 simple questions and then pass the meme on to some more bloggers.

Here goes!

1. Describe yourself in 7 words - I am slightly addicted to eating cake.

2. What keeps you awake at night? Generally I sleep quite well even if I am worried about something. At the moment Miss C is the one keeping us all awake at night. I wish she could sleep through all night again. I don't know why she wakes, she just seems to lie in her bed and cry.

3. If you could be anyone for the day, who would you be and why? I think I'd do a body swap with my Husband. I think we'd understand each other a lot more if we did. Otherwise I'd be Tom Hardy so I could come and find actual ME and go on a date with actual Tom Hardy after planting the idea in his head when I was Tom Hardy...lost yet?

4. What are you wearing right now? That's a bit of a creepy question! I'm wearing tartan jammie bottoms, a black vest top and a brown cardigan. What a combo!

5. What scares you? In everyday life, I'm not a big fan of wasps so I am pretty relieved when they start to die off and I don't have to constantly duck and dive randomly in the street. One of my biggest fears though is anything ever happening to my family.

6. What is the best and worst thing about blogging? The best thing I'd say is the release I get from sitting down and writing a blog post. Sometimes I do just write a post and then delete it because I've needed to vent but it's not been appropriate to hit publish and it makes me feel so much better. It's also a great way to keep a diary of my life with Wee Z and Miss C which I can share with friends and family. The worst part about blogging is getting bloggers-block.

7. What was the last website you looked at? Twitter - I'm always on there!

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I'm happy being who I am and how I look. Yes I'd maybe like to have the bump in my nose fixed and have some bigger boobs but I don't stress about these things and I think when you set about changing things about you unless they are to make you happy, then you should just stay true to yourself.

9. Slankets - Yes or no? I have no idea what a slanket is so I'm going to say no?!

10. Tell us something about the person who tagged you?

Moors Mummy is a teacher and a mum and likes whiskey. She's also a bit of an insomniac...maybe need more whiskey to help with that? Moors Mummy is a fairly new blogger and worth checking out.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 19 November 2011

What Am I Thankful For?

Do you know what I miss? Being a child and being totally oblivious to the ins and outs of the world. Not having to worry about money or bills, job security or cost of living. I never realised actually how much my Mum and Step Dad did for me when I was growing up until I had to pay my own bills and provide food for myself.

When I was 17 I did a really, incredibly stupid thing that did cause a lot of stress for my Mum and Step Dad and could have cost my Step Dad his job. I'm not proud of what I did and I think they realise that. I'd like to say it comes with growing up but really, I should have known better.

I went to stay with my Dad, moving 300 miles away from my Mum and Sister and all of my friends. It was scary. It was lonely. It was an eye-opening experience. My Dad didn't have the luxury of a well paid job or a partner to help with the bills. He was living within his means but his means didn't always stretch to be able to support me. He did the best he could but I quickly realised that I would have to make money myself to buy clothes, food and to help my Dad out too.

I had to grow up fast. I got a job at McDonalds which wasn't my dream career but it was a job and I could start straight away. I didn't do particularly well if I'm honest. On one occasion a customer left without paying because I forgot to charge them and another customer waited about 30 minutes for a chicken burger. Needless to say I didn't pass my probationary period.

During those months living with my Dad I helped him with his karaoke and DJing jobs and through this I made friends with the regulars at the local pub. I also got a new job working for Sky TV which was OK. I had to learn the train and underground travel routes myself and I was paying my phone bill and buying myself the odd treat. I was learning to be an adult. A responsible one.

Just before my 18th birthday I met Husband. I really feel like he came in to my life at the right time to help me make that last move in to full adulthood. My Dad announced that he was selling his house and moving away. I don't even remember him asking me if I wanted to come with him but then maybe he already knew I was staying put. I moved in with Husband the week before my Dad moved away.

I cried. I felt abandoned. I didn't have any family around me. Not for miles. But I was thankful. I was going to make my start my own future.

My relationship with my Mum and Step Dad gradually improved and I am thankful to them both for everything they gave me growing up and continue to give me now.

I'm thankful to my Dad for taking me in, no questions asked and trying his best to provide for me with the little he had.

I'm thankful to my Husband for the life he is giving me, Wee Z and Miss C. He works hard to provide for us and shows us love and support every day.

I'm thankful for my 2 beautiful children who really are a blessing and I cherish them both everyday.

I've a lot to be thankful for! Just remembering them makes the trivial things seem really insignificant.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Gallery 11.11.11

Remembrance Day; that was the date for the theme of The Gallery this week. Tara asked us to take a picture on Friday 11th November 2011 and to post it today.

Wee Z asked us why everyone was wearing "red and black flowers" so we explained that they were called poppies and we wore them as a sign of respect and remembrance of those people who fought in World War 1. He was silent for a few moments and pulled the "child processing new information" face.

Of course this really doesn't mean anything to him just now but I do believe it is important for him and Miss C to learn about the past, good or bad. We went in to town on Friday and saw so many Cadets walking the streets selling poppies in their uniforms, looking very smart. I smiled inside thinking maybe in 10 years time that will be Wee Z or Miss C; how proud I would be!

I never met my Great-Grandparents but I do know that they may have fought in WW1 and survived as my maternal Grandparents were born almost 10 years after the war ended. I may not have known anyone who fought in WW1 however I realise that without them fighting for their country, we wouldn't be where we are today.

I'll make sure Wee Z and Miss C know that too.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Childrens Autumn/Winter Trends From Next

I really do love Autumn with the crisp mornings, fresh air and low sunshine gently warming me up. I love getting wrapped up in scarfs and jackets and pulling on hats and gloves. I equally love seeing the kids in their jackets and scarfs, looking fresh faced and cosy all at the same time.

Next have got some gorgeous pieces to add to your childrens' Autumn/Winter wardrobe which will keep them warm and looking cool all at once. For the boys there are hooded fleeces, trapper hats and skinny jeans. Now I'm not saying I'd have Wee Z in those overly skinny, painted-on look jeans that Olly Murs wears but I do think Next skinny jeans look great and they are fab for wearing with boots or wellies to stop the ends getting wet and worn or cold drafts getting in. You don't have to mess around tucking the ends in to socks before putting boots or wellies on either.

Skinny jeans are also in for the girls and can be teamed with their lovely boots, funky gilets and hooded fleeces. Miss C loves her gilet as it keeps her warm but not so restricted when she's running around outside as a jacket does.

As well as these conventional Autumn/Winter clothes, Next are bringing fun in to fashion with these cute tutu skirts. Teamed with tights and a hoodie, girls will still be warm but with a quirky edge. Miss C loves her dress up tutus so Next could be on to a winner with these for everyday wear. Of course, if your own little girl loves tutus as much as Miss C does then their tutu pajamas will make bed time that bit more exciting!

With trends like these my children are going to be *even more fashionable than I am!

*that wouldn't be hard!

Bobux - Gorgeous Shoes For Little Ones

Win one of three pairs of Bobux, the original baby and toddler footwear that combines nature with nurture.

From birth to three, little feet undergo an enormous amount of change. Whether crawling, toddling or walking, a child's footwear needs to support healthy, natural development.

Bobux, a leading New Zealand innovator in children's footwear, draws on both science and working with globally renowned specialists and natural heath researchers to create eco-friendly footwear that allows unrestricted development as babies and toddlers grow.

Bobux offer 3 ranges of footwear based around the philosophy that children do better when they are comfortable, happy and free to develop as nature intended. Each shoe is designed to support key stages of a child's development from crawling to walking.

Soft sole (indoor wear): the first ever soft-soled elasticated leather baby shoe was created in 1991 by Bobux founder Chris Bennett. These are soft, breathable and flexible shoes for babies 0 to 27 months. Made with eco-leather and non-toxic stitching and dyes and with a unique ankle support, these Bobux originals work with little feet as they grip the floor, flex muscles and spread toes, assisting in crawling and making those first steps as easy as possible. The fun, colourful soft sole designs also work to stimulate little minds just as they are starting to take in visual information.

Pre-walk (outdoor wear): feature a revolutionary duo-flex sole (leather round the edges and rubber underneath) to support but not restrict natural movement during those first few steps. The pre-walk range consists of sandals, ballet shoes and sport shoes.

i-walk (outdoor wear): a soft, flexible rubber-sole shoe with extra grip that conforms to the natural walking motion of little feet allowing them to grow and explore without restriction, avoiding malformation and spinal issues later in life. The i-walk range consists of sneakers, loafers, casual shoes and sandals.
To view the entire collection visit Prices start from around £19

Competition is now closed!

Silent Sunday

Friday, 11 November 2011

Remembrance - Someone Special

I remember your laugh
Or cackle so you called

I remember your puddenclook
And you big red handbag

I remember your cupboard
Full of Clarks and Hush Puppies

I remember making bacon sandwiches
Cooking the bacon in lard

I remember your vegetable soup
And baking Tom and Jerry fairy cakes

I remember your house
The smell of each room

  I remember the garden
Where we used to play

 I remember the warmth
That made your house a home

 I remember the times
We never wanted to leave

  I remember you strong
And standing your ground

I remember you kind
Gentle and warm

I remember you well
And wish you were still here

I'll remember you yesterday,
Today and tomorrow

I'll remember you forever

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Making a Personal Change

I remember looking at my tummy a few days after Wee Z was born and thinking "how am I going to get rid of this?" Looking at pictures of celebs in magazines who had lost their baby weight and pouch within a few weeks of giving birth made me a tad envious. Where were they finding time between bonding, feeding, burping and nappy changing to actually exercise? You'll notice I didn't mention sleep in that list - that just doesn't exist when you have a new baby!

A few days after having Wee Z
I've always exercised even from a young age when I went swimming, ice skating and joined cheerleading. I enjoyed those activities because they were fun but the idea of running the 100 metres in P.E was unbearable. I often had "sick notes" for P.E blaming my lack of participation on "the time of the month."

Losing the baby weight after Wee Z took about 9 months and even then I could never get down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I did do some exercise when I could be bothered but mostly I kept fit by walking a lot with the pram.

With Wee Z when he was 10 months old

Then I found out I was pregnant with Miss C and any exercise went out the window. I was exhausted running around after a toddler, working and keeping house. I did go to aqua natal classes for a few months but had to stop when I started getting really bad back pain.

After Miss C was born I lost my baby weight a lot quicker and I put this down to breastfeeding and still running around after Wee Z. I didn't do any exercise and was constantly eating especially sweet things as I found I was craving them whilst feeding Miss C.

With Miss C when she was about 2 weeks old

Just after Miss C turned 2, I stopped breastfeeding altogether. Whilst I had lost weight, I noticed the skin on my tummy was really flabby and sometimes when I walked my thighs would be rubbing against each other. I felt horrible! Clearly my metabolism wasn't what it used to be either - I kept eating the sweet things but it wasn't burning off quite as quickly as it used to.

I decided it was time for a change. I made myself get back in to exercise whether I liked it or not. Mostly for me but also for my children. I want them to enjoy keeping fit and a big way I can help them do this is by being fit myself. I now exercise 4 times a week doing toning and cardio DVD workouts at home. I also walk to work 3 out of the 4 days I work which is a good 2 miles. I try to avoid eating junk during the week and eat plenty of fruit at work too.

On holiday in September. I'm noticing a difference in my bum and legs

I'm definitely noticing the laborious task of working out paying off. I stopped weighing myself, mainly because I forget, but I do see my tummy more toned and my bums and legs more firm. I feel fitter and healthier too. Heart disease seems to be running in my family so although it can be hard to keep motivated sometimes, I have to stick to my change.

And with all the exercise I'm doing I can still have my cake and eat it!

Previous Posts