Lower your standards or go insane…..

I’m not sure where I read this or if someone actually said it to me, but when I was pregnant with my first I was so full of how everything was or wasn’t going to be. How I would find it relatively easy to keep on top of all the usual stuff like, house work, personal maintenance, keeping baby/child amused.

How I laugh at these ridiculous notions now!!!

The best piece of advice I received was to lower my standards, I can be a bit over the top about liking everything ‘just so’.

I was told to pick 2 of the following options:

Clean House

Happy Children

Sanity

The ‘kick in the bum’ being if I managed to maintain 2 I would forfeit the third ha ha!

I have two boy’s now aged 3 and 1 and I have referred back to this analogy many times in my mind since embarking on the motherhood journey. I always find it to be true, I think it also helps to balance out your priorities in life.

Occasionally I change my priority’s and fairly quickly come to the realisation

‘what the hell was I thinking’ …………… fairly shortly after the switch.

Me persMinion hoardersonally, I chose the 2 options that keep me sane – Happy Kids and Sanity.

Now please don’t misunderstand me here, my home isn’t an environmental health risk or anything! It’s just not kept to the standard it was BC (before children).

So there are toy’s in the wrong rooms (aren’t there always) and the windows and mirrors are covered in tiny handprints, there may even be stuff under the sofa that is no longer recognisable …… it’s just one of those things.

I’d much rather be sane anyway…. Wouldn’t you????????

 

I want my blog to look prettier!!!!! (Strop)

Ok, so I have set up my blog so that I can tweet about it, link to facebook etc…. which is great.

But, do I really know what I’m doing with it? I think the answer to that is a big fat NO! I have been playing around with the format and have various things and still have issues that I can’t seem to resolve.

My short moan about is not aimed at WordPress, I think it’s great that I can set up a blog site for free!!! I love WordPress.

The comment is aimed at me for obviously missing the point, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and have a clear idea in my head of exactly what I want this site to look like. I want lot’s of photos that I haven’t got and pretty font and stuff.

I want to have different pages for each category of blog for example, but then why do I need that when if people wish to read any particular category, they can just select it from a drop down box!!!!

And I’m sure most people who find their way onto this site have done so because they have clicked on one of the many links I have placed all over the stratosphere anyway!

Another thing I want to do it put text and pics exactly where I want them on the page!!! I know I can do this if I update to the premium package, I’m just being tight ;-).

I know these things are obviously not as important as ‘THE CONTENT’ of the blog (der), but they are things that are important to me! I want my blog site to be pretty and cool like the other ones I look at and aspire to.

(I also want to be a funny and engaging blog writer, which is a subject I’ll save for another blog.)

 

………And breathe……….

 

That’s better!

Now, after actually putting this short strop into words, it has helped me a great deal. I can clearly see that I have everything mixed up!!

The little voice in my head says

‘Concentrate on your blog content sweety, and you’ll be fine’

and I whole heartedly nod in agreement! (Though obviously not this blog, this one’s all over the shop!!!)

P.S. I’m not mad, so don’t listen if anyone tells you I am!!!!!

 

My 3 year old naturist…..

I get that feeling of dread every time I try to get my little boy dressed, it’s the same every morning! Just a constant battle to try and convince, bribe or wrestle my 3 year old into clothes!

It’s such a basic thing to do and we do it every single day, so why do we still have this battle?

He is never happier than when he’s just milling around the house naked. Which is fine! I don’t mind if that’s how he’s comfortable. But when we do need to venture out of the house it’s frankly 

‘not so great’. 

The actual act of getting dressed is a battle of wills and strategy, if you don’t plan well, you will be defeated!!!!  

He generally ends up running round the house in his pants with one sock on. If he really wants to make things tricky he tries undressing himself again in the process!!

I try and be strict and say in a very serious voice ‘come on, we have to get dressed, everyone else has their clothes on!’ He just smiles and replies

 ‘I don’t want to mummy, I don’t have to’. 

So when nearly 45 minutes has passed, we’ve had tears and running round and mummy tearing her hair out. And we’ve done it! We’re finally dressed! (I’m sure I can hear angels singing or some kind of triumphant music like on a film)

I have triumphed in the battle of wills, I feel a sense of achievement and pride!!!

Then we go out, have fun, do normal stuff, with our clothes ON!!!!

We nip home for some lunch before we venture out again. I prepare a sandwich, get some drinks. 

‘Lunch is ready’ I call. 

In runs my little boy……… 

Completely stark naked!!!!!!
And so it begins………again!!!!!

A short rant about my breasts!

Well, I never thought i would hear myself utter these words, but my breasts are just too big now!!!!

I have always been adequately endowed in the chest area, even after I had my first son I was still fairly normally endowed.

I always thought I would love to have bigger breast, especially when one of my friends moaned about hers!! I thought she was mad, I though ‘How can you not want bigger breast!’

But after the birth of my second son, mine just seemed to keep expanding!!! Even after I stopped breast feeding.

How can this be?

It’s not like I’ve piled the weight on, I’m still only one size bigger than I was before I started having kids. And at 40 now I feel fairly lucky to be in the shape I’m in.

But I do not want my boobs to grow anymore!!! My LO is 11 months old now and it needs to stop!

I can’t fit into any of my blouses and the buttons keep popping off my coats!!!

And obviously my other half can’t understand what the problem is haha!

So I thought I’d write a poem about them:

 

My Big Boobs

 

My big boobs do wobble

at first it was quite novel!

But now their huge and bulging out

To find a bra now’s no doddle

 

My big boobs are huge

I can’t do downhill luge!

I not as streamlined as I used to be

I’d hate to be in a centrifuge

 

My big boobs aren’t bad

especially if you ask a lad

well their part of me, so I can see

they’re really not just a fad!

 

 

 

Top 10 Rainy Day Activities for young children

It’s sunday and … oh no, its raining cats and dogs.

We had planned to go to the park for a picnic, but somehow that doesn’t seem like it would be much fun now!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, we love a good splash round in the rain, puddle jumping etc, but this is proper rain, you know. The type when you just run to car to get something and end up drenched.

Anyway on these kind of days I always sit and rack my brains or search the internet (if I get 5 mins) to find some stuff to do. It’s quite awkward at the minute, as my oldest son is 3 and a half and my youngest is a couple of weeks off his first birthday. It’s hard to find things to do that they can both participate in and that will keep them both busy and interested.

I find that any activity we do only usually holds everyone’s attention for about half an hour max!!! So I try not to spend too much time getting stuff together, otherwise they just end up getting bored and wrecking the joint.

Anyway let’s just get on with the list, you don’t want to listen to me banging on all day!!

Top 10 Rainy Day Ideas

  1. Make your own playtime dough 

I like to make a few different colours and using ingredients that won’t harm anyone if they happen to chew it a bit.

What you’ll need:

Plain flour, vegetable oil, salt and food colouring

I usually use about 1 and a half cups of flour, 1 tbsp oil and 5 or 6 generous drops of colouring. I also put a tsp of salt in but just to put people of eating it really.

Wack it in a bowl sqwush it all up with your hands (at this point the kids can get involved as well) it may seem a bit sticky at times but keep sqwushing and it’ll be fine, I promise.

2. Cutting stuff out.

My three year old loves cutting things out, especially out of train magazines (which I usually pick up second-hand for next to nothing or free!)

So, we can spend a good half hour cutting stuff out ready for the next activity on the list.

We also love to cut shape out of craft foam, if we happen to have some in. We’ve made all sorts with this from my son’s names, train shapes to stick on the wall. (you can probably see a train theme developing here!! My oldest is a train NUT)

3. Sticking stuff together

I have found since having my kids and also having their little friends over that they just love sticking stuff, whether they are 4 or 1 they still enjoy the activity.

As long as you have some PVA glue or a glue stick that you can do loads of different things.

As mentioned above we cut stuff out of magazines to make our own collage pictures, we stick anything we can get our hands on. We’ve made rockets out of tin foil with rolled up loo roll for the stars.

4. Obstacle course

Now the things I’ve mentioned so far are pretty calm activities so we also need stuff to do that will burn off that excess energy.

We like to make a course that we try to race through (obviously my nearly one year old doesn’t quite understand, but he still chases after us and feels the fun!)

We do anything, from setting up cushion stepping-stones that we jump over (without touching the carpet, that’s the river!) to having to get through a hula hoop or run or get under a blanket. Pushing each other around in the washing basket is also a favourite! It’s great fun and will definitely wear them out (and you lol)

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5. Make a den (my favourite)

Making a den can be done out of any old thing, the easiest one we do is simply 4 dining chairs (2 on each side) covered with a big blanket or throw.

6. Baking!!!

Ok so probably not technically baking, but I always try to keep some cooking chocolate in the cupboard just in case.

One of the easiest things we make if rice crispy chocolate crunchy, this can be in one big tray to cut up or in fairy cake case. It doesn’t matter everyone loves making them just as much as eating them. My three year old can pretty much make these on his own now (apart from melting the chocolate!)

And I find any type of baking keeps my kids busy, my youngest is usually happy with and empty bowl and wooden spoon.

7. Painting

I don’t think this needs further explanation….. we do however keep a stock of plain white paper plates to use for painting and sticking stuff too.

This just seems to keep things a bit cleaner!!! Only a little bit though!!

8. House work

Haha no I’m not completely mental, my kids love helping with the housework, I use the term ‘helping’ very loosely lol.

If I want to mop the kitchen floor I have 2 toy mops that each of my kids can use to help, they also love dusting and generally splashing around with water to wipe things.

Now I’m not saying it’ll be clean when you’ve finished, but it WILL keep them busy 😉

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9. Hide and Seek

We love hide and seek, although my son’s don’t really understand how to play this yet.

If I walk into a room and shout ‘Is anyone hiding in here’ my son shouts back ‘Yes’ and giggles!

Still great fun though.

10. Indoor Treasure Hunt

I love this one, the treasure we look for is usually chocolate but we do use my old costume jewellery sometimes. We put is all over the place, in toy boxes, draws and sometimes just in plain site.

This ones great fun and again involves burning energy which is great when your stuck indoors.

On nice days we also do this one in the garden or at the park (at the park is trickier as I need to stay one step ahead of everyone!).

 

Well thats my top ten, please leave a comment with yours and I’ll do a round up in another blog.

Oh and I think I put ‘my favourite’ twice, but I just love them all so much!!!

 

Techno kids?!?

So wind back to being pregnant with my oldest son (he’s now three and a half) and I was completely adamant that technology would not play a role in our everyday lives as a family. 
We were living on a farm in Cornwall at the time. Living the dream!!! We had chickens and were fattening a couple of turkeys up for Christmas.
Sounds great, but in reality we had no central heating and a leaky roof with very little money to fix it all (haha). We couldn’t afford all the latest tech anyway!!!
Fast forward to now, living in Leeds back working as a project manager in the city centre. Busy lives, lots more hustle and bustle (I’ve never been quite sure what bustle is?) everything is faster paced, more stuff to fit into what seems like much less time. 
With all of this in mind, sometimes we do turn to tech to allow us to get stuff done, I know I know, I’m a horrible parent right????
This is the preconception I had before actually having children, and truly realising the extent of the task in hand (raising children, and doing a good job of it). 
Now I’m not so sure, my son now uses tech for all sorts, we have a smart tv, iPad,laptop,smartphones etc and various other bits of tech designed to entertain. 
Of course, I would hate my sons to be permanently glued to any of these things, but if we didn’t use them, how would we get stuff done?
I mean the normal everyday stuff like housework, personal hygiene!
So does this make me a bad mum, just because I use the iPad as a ten minute distraction to get some stuff done????
I don’t think it does, I think the main thing is to stick to the old adage ‘everything in moderation’. My three year old has some fantastic educational games on the iPad. 
Games that teach you to count, learn the alphabet, hand eye coordination all sorts of good stuff. 
And more to the point he’s knows how to use most things better than I do!!

He also loves a good bike ride!!

Maybe not such a techno kid after all

  

Dishwasher circuit training?!?

Loading the dishwasher seems like an easy job right? 

And I can already hear the distant sighs of everyone with no dish washer. (This would have been me a few months ago haha)

However this seemingly easy job becomes some kind of circuit training session when my eleven month old is involved! 
He likes to sit on the open door you see,

 oh, 

and also try and grab anything sharp and potentially lethal. 

So, when loading the dishwasher I have to break it down into mini circuits. 

Allow me to expand:

Grab baby, 

place baby at least 10 metres away from dishwasher, 

sprint back to dishwasher, 

Frantically load as many items as possible,

Re-grab baby

Complete 10 reps,

 job done!!!! If your lucky. 

It’s great exercise, I would recommend this as a multitasking time saver for all busy parents. 

Hellooooo Fresh

OK so I don’t normally go for this type of thing………..and by this type of thing I mean cool company, endorsed by Jamie Oliver and costing more than I would normally budget for family meals for the week.

The only reason I really put my first order in was I had discount voucher… I know, you don’t have to say it, I know I’m tight. I have a budget to stick to!!!!

So armed with my £20 off I venture onto the Hello Fresh website, which is fab, it’s all green and fresh looking like its exuding healthy vibes at you before you even order.

There are a number of different boxes you can order including a vegetarian option and trail box, I opted for the family box (as I have a family, seems obvious don’t it). Then I selected 3 of the various recipes than were available, I think about six to choose from but there could have been more.

At this point I must mention that Hello Fresh have all kinds of options available including recipes for specific dietary requirements and different sized packages depending on the amount of people consuming each meal. There really does seem to be something for everyone.

So back to me…… um, I mean my box. I had to wait nearly two weeks for it to arrive (I hate waiting for stuff), you order ahead to allow Hello Fresh to source great quality ingredients and deliver them fresh to your door. I’m not sure if it’s always that long or just the timing of my order. You can also select from different days you would like to receive your delivery.

 

Now for the exciting part!

My box arrived woo hoo… I had completely forgotten I’d ordered it until I got an e-mail from Yodel saying my parcel from Hello Fresh was on the way, luckily my baby daddy was home to receive it.

Sadly I didn’t get a pic of the box in all its glory! It was all put away when I got home from work, I did however have a fantastic sweet and sour pork dish with bulgar wheat on the table that my baby daddy had prepared.

It was FANTASTIC, I mean DELICIOUS completely DELICIOUS.

Now my other half is a perfectly good cook, and can knock up a mean stew or even a roast but doesn’t generally create meals of this complexity. When I asked if it was easy, he replied “yes, piece of cake” (or maybe another word instead of cake!).

Now I can’t wait to have a go at one of the recipes, all the products look so great, our fridge looks healthy and fresh and most importantly a lot of the ingredients come in really cute little containers that are JUST ADORABLE.

YES!!!!!!… finally the day has arrived for me to do a Hello Fresh recipe; I have been looking forward to it as it looks such an organised way to cook. You pretty much have all your ingredients already measured out for you and just have to do some chopping and reading of the recipe card.

While we are on the subject, the recipe cards are fabulous. They have a picture of how your meal should look once prepared, ingredients list, instructions and then at the bottom (just in case you have new ingredients you’ve never used) you have little pictures of all the ingredients you need for the dish! What a brilliant idea!

 

My choice of recipe was ‘Treat Day Cheesy Tomato, Chorizo and Mozzarella Orzo Risotto’

So I very easily grabbed all my ingredients and started following the cooking instructions, before I knew it my kitchen smelt lovely and my family where hovering around me waiting for the food to be presented.

The recipe card was fantastically easy to follow and the timings you are given all fit together well.

30 minutes (pretty much on the dot) after starting our meal is served. (The pics looks pretty much like the recipe card too, bonus ha ha)

Just as with the first dish, it tastes AMAZING, I’d happily eat this in a restaurant. My baby daddy and kids woof it down as well.

This is no mean feat for my three year old as he is so fussy! He has though eaten every Hello Fresh meal I have put in front of him so far.

So to round up, I am very impressed, even for the price I think this a great idea and will continue with my weekly subscription (just another note, it is a flexible subscription and can be paused until you want your next order) I have also been impressed by the portion sizes which are more that generous.

 

I think it’s awesome, I don’t need to plan or shop, it just arrives on my doorstep and gets cooked.

Super awesome idea, I love it.

Friday Feeling, Weekend Plans…..

Yes it’s Friday! After spending all week at work I really love the time with my children at the weekends. 

It seems so special just to be able to lounge around in pj’s for the morning….ha ha I’m so easily pleased. 

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I’m sure that’s not all I’ll do though, I usually start the weekend by writing a huge list of everything I want to achieve. This is great in theory but as I have two young boys I don’t have a cat in hells chance of crossing anything off it….. But still it’s part of my ritual so I have to do it lol

It generally includes overly optimistic jobs, like redecorate the bedroom… Seriously!!!!! What planet am I on that I think this would ever be possible with a preschooler and a toddler!! 

Well, I’m sure it’s possible, as long as you don’t mind painty little hand prints all over the house. 

I think I’ll write the list and put it to one side, just in case…….
I may manage to get out of my pj’s by lunchtime (probably not though )