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!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Handmade Birthday Cards

Today is Pop's birthday so last week, Wee Z and Miss C spent the afternoon making him some cards. We got the busy box out that Bella and Pops got Wee Z for Christmas last year and had a good rummage through to find lots of things to use to make the cards.

I love handmade presents and cards. I'm already trying to think up some Christmas gift ideas for the nursery staff. Last year we made chocolate fudge and cut it in to small pieces, wrapped it in cellophane and tied it with some pretty ribbon. I don't know whether I'll go with food this year though as I know they get spoiled with boxes of chocolates!

Here is Miss C's card:

Here is Wee Z's card:

They both decided they wanted to draw a big birthday cake and also have Pop's name on the card so I did that for them and then they coloured them in. Wee Z chose some lovely gold love hearts to stick on the rainbow coloured cake and Miss C opted for some glittery snowflakes and beaver stamps. It's amazing where their imagination takes them!

After making their cards they decided they wanted to carry on drawing, which was fine by me because it keeps them entertained for ages. I'll just need to get myself a bigger wall to display all their lovely works of art!

The Gallery - The Letter T

The theme this week for The Gallery is the letter T. Short of taking a photo of the letter T, (which I did consider since Wee Z loves using his camera to take pictures of letter magnets!) I think Tara is saying choose a word beginning with the letter T and take a photo that represents that word.

I've chosen Togetherness.

I love watching my children interacting with each other. Mostly they squabble and shout at each other when one of them has a toy the other wants to play with and that causes me a real headache. But there are those rare moments when they will just sit together and talk to each other and be very considerate and kind to each other.

Those moments make your heart melt and you think them lucky that no matter what happens, they will always have each other.

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