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31.3.12

Silent Sunday


Saturday is Caption Day!

There's an image...now you give me a caption. GO!

Pale Green Fingers

When we moved into this house not much really needed to be done to it. It was decorated nicely and was livable.
The only place untouched and a blank canvas was the garden.
We have about 50/50 patio/grass which is nice as it means we get the best of both worlds. We have the area to bbq and place our tables and chairs [patio] and we have the area to place a slide for the boys and play football on [grass].
This would all be great if only we had decent grass. Our grass if FULL of weeds, and at the moment has lots of muddy bald patches despite us not being out there much with it being winter.

The soil is also pants. Its very tough and full of pebbles, rocks and sometimes quite large stones. Only a small variety of plants which I have bought over the years have survived.

Whilst pregnant with Charles I spent most of my nesting days in the garden. Moving around pots, digging holes, laying stones, planting shrubs and then knocking in a small log border along one side.
I had great ideas for this border but once the baby arrived I had no time to get outside.
Two of my favourite plants died due to neglect and the border area never came to anything.
2010 flew past as did 2011 and still this border is uneventful. We did buy 3 large(ish) rocks last year and have spaced them out amongst the shingle but something is missing and I'm not sure what.

I spend most of my time moving pots from here, to there, back here, back there.
Deciding where the bench should live. The boys toys. The bbq. And the bunny.

This year I am determined to get my garden looking how I want so we can relax when we spent time there this summer.

I have an area in the right hand corner which always had awful soil and grass would never grow there. We planted 3 shrubs/trees. One seemed to get diseased last year but the other two are thriving. Getting rid of the diseased shrub left a huge gap which I needed to fill but I couldn't dig it up due to us burying two cats in that area. Instead I have planted a budlia nearby and hope it will grow somewhat 'on the huh' (as my dad would say') and will fill that area.

We've been unlucky with garden furniture before so this year we've decided to just stick to basic chairs...you know the folding £6 picnic type ones? Those. A lot more reliable than the wooden ones we had previously.

As for the rest of my garden. I need inspiration and I need it fast.
I need plants which aren't fussy over the soil they are in. Evergreens in particular as they are my favourite...and are easy to maintain. Something pretty but also plants which look a bit "wild".
I'm hoping the weather stays nice and we have a lovely summer so I can get the garden I need...finally.

30.3.12

Charles: The Daddy

 Today Charles decided he wanted to be pregnant. We stuffed a cuddly snowman up his top and after 5 minutes he pushed his baby out.
We cuddled it, he breastfed it, and comforted it to sleep.

This evening the game has continued. Charles refers to the snowman as 'our baby' but I explained that I must be the babies nanny if Charles is his daddy.

We did all things that needed to be done.
Breastfed it. Changed its nappy (apparently it had done a stinky poo) and rocked it to sleep. Charles laid it on the sofa and joined me in the kitchen.
*sigh* "our baby is asleep now mummy" He told me
"Oh that's good. You are such a good daddy"
"Yes, my AM a good daddy. Oh our baby is crying again. My need to get him to sleep again"
Charles ran into the lounge and rocked his baby again. He set him down to sleep then told me that the baby needed to play. They played for a little bit and then the baby had fallen asleep again.
"He's got to come into bed with me tonight mummy" he told me, despite it actually being Harry's teddy.
We discussed that the baby may wake up in the night and need feeding, which he said was ok, and that if the baby is crying then he needs to wake up and deal with it, again he said this was ok.

I asked Charles what he thinks is the most challenging thing about being a parent.
His reply:
"Looking after my baby"

29.3.12

He Doesn't Say I Love You...

 But I know that he does.

* The way he looks at me says it.

* The fact that I am better than any toy. If I sit down he will leave any toy and come over to me.

* As soon as I walk into the room his face beams and he wants me to cuddle him.

* As soon as he wakes up in the morning and looks at me he smiles the biggest smile [then covers me in spit as he blows raspberries]

* He needs to know where I am. If I go out of sight he panics.

* He laughs at me when I'm trying to be funny, but really am not.

* As soon as I walk near him he lifts his arms for me to carry him, always wanting a cuddle or to be held.

* He is my shadow. Constantly following me around.

* He will always give me a smile, even when he's grumpy.

* If he is in his pushchair or in one of our baby carriers he will look at me the majority of the time.

* He makes contented noises when I cuddle him when he's asleep.

* He kisses me. Not huge slobbery baby snogs but lovely soft wide mouthed kisses.

* He rests his head on my chest sometimes just to hear my heartbeat and to cuddle.


He doesn't say I love you yet...but I can see it in his eyes.

27.3.12

"Where'd it come from?"

Is this a phase every child goes through?
We seem to have so far steered clear of the "why?" "Why mummy?" stage and instead have hit "where'd that come frong?" [Frong = from]

He needs to know who bought him things and the exact shop name.

"Mummy, where'd the rug come frong?"
"Mummy, where'd my train come frong?"
"Where'd you dress come frong?"
"Where'd the milk come frong?"
"Mummy, where did my shoes come frong?"
"Where did Harrys ball come frong?"
"Where did my cup come frong?
"Where'd my sunglasses come frong?"

Try and trick him with the wrong answer and he'll tell you straight away that you are wrong and ask the question again until you answer him correctly.
Its very cute and much less annoying than "why?"

26.3.12

My Week That Was {1}

One of the challenging things about being a stay at home mum is keeping life exciting for your children. Over winter days can get stuck in a loop and we're constantly on a "get up, play, lunch, play, dinner, bed, get up, play..." routine.
I thought that by joining in with the weekly "My Week That Was" link up, hosted by Mummy Daddy and Me Makes Three it would encourage me to get out more and do some more exciting things with the boys.
Monday: My mum came over in the morning and left at 12 to go to work. Thanks to my season ticket I took the boys to the zoo in the afternoon. We normally have a particular route that we walk but today we decided to go a different way which was lovely.

Tuesday: My mum came over again in the morning but this time to look after the boys whilst I went for my appointment. She left at 12 at go to work. Harry had quite a long nap today so Charles and I watched lots of Mister Maker then once, Harry woke up, we all played in the garden and moved the rabbit hutch to the other side of the garden so our patio is clear ready for the summer.

Wednesday: Charles goes to the childminders on a Wednesday morning so I have my Desperate Housewives catch up whilst cuddling/feeding Harry. We'd woken up an hour and a half earlier than usual so Harry napped in the morning and I was able to catch up on some laundry whilst watching the Glee episode featuring Ricky Martin!
Normally I drive to collect Charles but with the weather being so lovely I decided to stick Harry in the pushchair and we walked to meet him.
The walk back was really lovely, we talked, Charles pushed Harry and also picked daisies. Once we had lunch we played in the garden and put the rabbit in his run for this first time this year!

Thursday: We had a productive morning. I did some more laundry, made dinner and we cleared and tidied the lounge, including removing our old sofas to make way for the new ones which were delivered at 12.30.
After rearranging the lounge a few times to make room for our new monster sofas we, again, played in the garden.

Friday: Laundry in the morning, again. Put covers on old suite & waited for Aid and Assist, a local charity, to collect. We spent some time in the garden and got the rabbit into his run again. My dad popped round in his lunch break to measure up a job for us and stayed for lunch and a coffee.
As the weather was so nice and I wanted to get out of the house we went to the beach for 2 hours which also included a trip to the park (which is right next to it). The beach we went to is very special as my husband used to own a flat right on the seafront. Its the same flat we got engaged in. We also had our 'quality time' wedding photos taken here.

Saturday: Yet MORE laundry. Saturdays are normally uneventful for us as my husband works in the morning so we normally just chill out, all share a bath and watch tv. I did sort out Harrys clothes and ended up with a big bag of outfits which are too small. In the afternoon we popped to the supermarket and played at home, and yet again, sorted more (neverending) laundry!

Sunday: I made us all bacon baguettes. We then all got ready and headed out to Norfolk. We went for a lovely long walk around an old Roman Town in Caistor St Edmund.
We popped to the supermarket on the way back to buy some beers and once home had our first bbq of 2012!
My husband then put Charles down to sleep at 6 [5] so last night was...interesting!

That was our week!


25.3.12

23.3.12

{Flashback Friday}

I'll never forget my job at Boots. I loved working there and had an amazing boss.
I was in charge of remerchandising and promotions and loved my job.
I always helped my boss when we had staff parties in the canteen.
For Christmas 2005 I somehow became the person to plan the night out. It was very stressful trying to find something everybody liked and was happy with so  opted for a meal at a local pub/restaurant then if people wanted to they could go to the nightclub next door afterwards.
It was a good night but some of the team let us down by throwing food and being rude to the pub staff so I didn't plan anymore nights out, other than my leaving meal.

These are photos of me and a girl I became close with, and am still in touch with, at the Christmas Party.


I love my hair in these photos and this makes me wish I'd never cut it or decided to go a touch darker!

These ones are from my leaving meal.
The lady in the bottom photo was like my surrogate mum. In fact a couple of times customers thought we were mother and daughter.


I'm linking this up with Emma at A Matter of Choice and Flashback Friday
FlashbackFriday

The Door Of Choice

 Charles no longer uses a high chair and instead either sits on his 'giraffe chair' and eats his dinner in the lounge (if we are having a casual night) or sits on one of the dining room chairs if we want to sit up the table.
Sometimes its a fight to keep him sat up the table and he'll do the best he can to get down.
On Tuesday night I didn't expect him to eat much dinner because he'd eaten a late snack. As predicted he tried to leave the table and as he made his way underneath and towards the door into the lounge my husband came up with a great idea.
We'd already been joking throughout dinner and had all been putting on the voice of "The Cube".

"Charles. That is the door of choice. Choose to go through the door and you turn invisible. No one will be able to see you and you WON'T get any chocolate ice cream."
He then ran through laughing. And for 15 minutes we pretended to cry, asked where he had gone, wondered if he would ever return. The whole time he was laughing and shouting Charlie is here! We didn't react.
My husband then said to me that Charles could be seen again if he came back through the 'door of choice' but he had to stamp his feet three times and say "the cube, the cube, the cube". Charles heard this and after 3 times of us explaining it [not directly to him] he did it.

The game has stuck and we play it a couple of times a day.

My husband and Charles play some great games using their imagination. I am expecting chaos when Harry is old enough to join in!

22.3.12

The Appointment {Summary}

So Tuesday morning started with me feeling quite sick and anxious. I didn't know why.
I'm comfortable talking to people about my feelings, as I've said before I'm not ashamed and have accepted that these feelings are part of me, but maybe it was the worry of how/if I was to be judged.
Or what if she said "actually you are totally normal, of you go" and then I get no help.

As I sat in the doctors waiting room I immediately became aware of my body language. I was sat on the edge of the seat, bag in my lap, huddled, cuddling the back so tight. Eyes down, shoulders up to my ears.

My name was called and I followed the lady into the room. She wasn't what I imagined her to look like. Smart but not suited and booted and Uber Professional. Casual but not 'I wear this everyday, just threw it on' slummy-ness.

I didn't know at first if we would click. For some reason I expected her to be younger than she was.
I'd practised our chat in my head for weeks but this isn't what she looked like at all so everything I imagined just disappeared out of the window.

I was sat in a chair facing a window. The curtains were open, blinds were a bit messy in that some were closed and some had a great big gap. The spring sunshine powered in.
Just seeing the fresh outside helped me breathe.

After introductions it was time to start.
Where did I start?
No, really, where did I start? I can't remember.
The appointment was an hour and in that hour I talked more than I've ever talked before.
Total brain dump.
I cried, I laughed, I apologised, I said "oh I don't know" a lot.
As time when on I felt my shoulders slowly dropping.
By the end I felt a stone lighter. A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.

Not only did she listen but she understood. She helped. She came up with a plan.
"The last man I saw was nice but I didn't feel a connection with him. He didn't seem to know where to go. He sent me off and told me to sort out my feelings with Reiki or meditation but with no real support" I told her. "You. I feel like you are holding my hand. Giving me a gentle push. Telling me its ok."
She simply smiled. She told me I'd done really well in the session, talking about Harrys birth, family problems, my issues with my dad leaving, friends letting me down. It was a lot of information for her to take in, which I kept apologising for.
"I expected you to feel exhausted at the end" she told me.

As I left I felt so much better. She told me to go and enjoy life and enjoy my boys and I do. Every single day I do. I just want to enjoy being me a bit more and go through life without worrying that a lion is about to eat me, that there is a sniper aiming at me 24/7, or any other crazy ott thoughts I have.

I'm really looking forward to the things we have planned and hope I don't have to wait too long.

I don't want to just concentrate on keeping alive, I want to concentrate on living.

20.3.12

Thomas Land {review}

On Sunday, March 11th we all woke up excited.Our visit to Thomas Land was finally here.
Due to it not being peak season only Thomas Land and the zoo were open to the public. We were slightly limited on time, it was only open 10.30 until 2.30 and this is the only negative we had. We simply ran out of time. There was so much to cram into those 4 hours and we felt slightly rushed.
We entered via The Grill Inn and had quite a walk to reach Thomas Land. Walking past closed Drayton Manor Theme Park rides, deserted shops and maintainence works on the pathway didn't give us the desired "magical feeling" we'd hoped for but this disappointment soon left when we reached the rides.

For our first ride we [Charles and I} sat in the carriage of a train [which annoying I can not remember]  and went round and round a few times. It was basic but a lot of fun. We then went on the 'Crazy Bertie Bus' ride, which was actually quite high and fast for children. I expected a few tears from various children, Charles included, but they ALL loved it! Even I found myself smiling away whilst we were on.
We went for a walk after this and at this point Charles and my husband spotted Harolds Heli Tours and queued for around half an hour to get on. It was worth the wait and both had fun! Charles was very excited to have been able to fly a helicopter.
The boys then went on our favourite ride of the whole day. Again, I cannot remember the name of it but it was an extremely fun amd fast boat. Again we thought it would be a bit much for Charles but as he gripped on to us he couldn't help but laugh very loudly, smile and kept shouting that his tummy was going funny,

We then queued at Knapford Station to have a trip on either Thomas or Rosie. We thought we were going to circle the track and end up back where we started, so were pleasantly surprised when we were told we'd reached our stop and ended up at the zoo [which will be reviewed on another post].
If you wish you can get off and wait in the waiting area to board the train again and head back to the station or, as we did, you can get off and explore the zoo. Also here you will find a HUGE play area and the Dino Trail.
As it wasn't peak season there weren't many cafe's or restaurants open, but the one by this stop was. We stopped there for a drink. There was plenty of places to sit but I would recommend possibly taking drinks with you. We queued for a long time just for 3 drinks and heard a few other people complaining over slow staff. We lost around 20 minutes here which, when you only have 4 hours in the first place, isn't ideal.

Near the zoo there is also the Thomas and Friends Exhibition which is worth looking at. Charles loved walking around the outside following the train as at rode around the track.

We walked through the zoo and eventually ended up back in Thomas Land. We again went for a ride on Berties Bus and the boat. This time we also went to Jeremys Flying Academy so Charles could fly a plane. This was another fantastic ride.
Altogether we went on 4 rides [2 of them twice] went for a ride on Thomas, visited the zoo, walked around the Dino Trail and had time to visit the Thomas Land shop.
I wanted to visit the shop because I do like to buy the boys a little something from each place we visit. I was worried that the £7 spending money we had allocated Charles [he'd spent the other £8 the previous day at the Space Centre] wouldn't get us far. I expected the shop to take advantage of parents and overexcited children and be overpriced. This wasn't the case. I had a lot to choose from and found the prices very reasonable.

If you are very lucky then you may spot The Fat Controller and Thin Controller walking around the park. They may even stop and have a chat with you!

We had an amazing day. Suitable for all of the family and will definitely be making a return trip so we can test out the rides we didn't get time to go on and the play area.
I highly recommend Thomas Land and would say it was suitable for children of all ages. Even Harry, at 8 months old, really enjoyed himself.
Combined with a stay at Drayton Manor Hotel it would be the perfect family break.
A week and a half on and Charles still talks about it and asks to go again.

* We were given free tickets to Thomas Land for the purpose of this review.