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30.1.14

Love The Little Things #5

Read

I discovered Code it Pretty this week when I wanted to add Pin It buttons to my images. I love Blogger and will never move to Wordpress, unless if I have to, but sometimes I feel a little restricted. I plan to have a further browse of the site to see what other things I can do to my blog.

Watched

As I'm writing this I'm in my room as the boys play with my mum. I have my phone next to me so have YouTube open so I can listen to some songs whilst I write some posts and catch up on "stuff".
I couldn't resist listening to this....except it distracted me too much. I think Ricky Martin is such a beautiful man and it reminds me of a time in my life when this song meant so much to me and kept me happy as I played it on repeat ALL.THE.TIME.
It was my dream to here him sing this live and I did when I saw him in concert in London. It's one of those moments I will never forget.

Heard

Last Friday whilst doing a medicine run to Charles' school I was listening to Radio Two, I don't always pay attention to songs that I am not familiar with on there but this one really stood out to me. It's not usually my style either, but I just think it's so beautiful and pure that I absolutely love it. The video breaks my heart a little though.


Made

I made friends with one of the mums on the school run! Yay! She has a daughter the same age as Harry, as well as one the same age as Charles, and on Thursday we are going to a toddler group together. I'm really excited, and nervous of course!

Wore

I'm not usually a fan of nude nails, but taking advantage of the nude colours in my Ciate Mini Mani Month package I ended up falling in love with the 'Amazing Gracie' shade, with an added accent of 'Snow Globe' on my ring finger. This reminds me of a Dior colour I wore 5 years ago. It was part of a mini Dior Varnish pack I bought on the Cruise ship we were sailing on. When I purchased the bigger bottle a few months later it chipped within an hour or so of being on so it's nice to have found a perfect replacement.


And lastly...

I went into town with my mum on Wednesday, something I don't do often because I'm not the biggest fan of the people who frequent the town these days and also because I can't really shop as I like with the boys.
I had a browse in Boots as I had planned to buy the new L'Oreal mascara but changed my mind and ended up buying the Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves mascara instead. I'm a big fan of the Scandaleyes mascara anyway so am interested to see how different this one is.
I get so nervous buying a new mascara!
I also got the Scandaleyes Thick or Thin eyeliner. And as we were leaving spotted a Clearance stand and purchased a Bourjois lipstick in Rose Corset. I had a similar Bourjois lipstick a couple of years ago but it ran out and I hadn't been able to find a similar shade to that one so I'm extremely excited to have found this one!

butwhymummywhy

28.1.14

A Bubble of Happiness and Love

Life isn't always easy. The hard times and down moments can consume you and you forget the happy times and highs. The feelings of warmth and the smiles that have stretched from cheek to cheek.

It's easy to be lost in the fog of uneaten lunchboxes, ya's instead of you's, dropped t's, piles of clothes needing to be sorted, a list of housework that you can't ever imagine being ticked off, weight issues, money issues, life issues, mental health issues.
Taking a moment to step back and look at the happiness in your life, and that is surrounding you but may be out of sight due to the fog, however thick it is.

Kirsty and Clara from MyTwoMums have come up with a fantastic linky encouraging us to celebrate the happiness in our lives.

I'm not sure what I would do without these two in my life. Ok sometimes I get stressed, upset or angry but past all that is a big bubble of happiness and love.
They are funny, kind, loving and make life a big adventure.
At the moment they are both learning SO much.
Harry's speech is amazing me. I feel so guilty that at one point last year I wanted to take him to a speech therapist and thought he was behind with his development, only for him to prove me completely wrong. With his little French / Italian accent and finishing his sentences and questions off with a high pitched voice and exaggerated vowels he has us laughing with a lot of what he says. He can recognise letters too and knows H is for Harry, C is for Charles, M is for Mummy, D is for Daddy and N is for Nanny. If he see's these in books or on signs he always points them out and at 2 and a half I think that is BRILLIANT.
Charles is a little sponge at school and comes home with new facts about everything every day. His reading is so amazing. I panicked so much about him starting school as I couldn't see how he would pick up reading words and letters and learning sounds BUT he can do it and I'm just left stunned.
Being a parent is just full of these surprising moments, which is funny because every parent goes through these things every day, our parents went through these things as we learnt to talk and to read and to write but when your child does it, it feels like noone has ever experienced such pride ever in their lives before. No other child has ever achieved what your child has just achieved.
And I love that.
It makes me happy.

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27.1.14

A Photoless Christmas Day

On Christmas Day I didn't take any photos at all, other than a couple of my Naked Palette and a snugly photo on my phone in the evening.
The past few Christmases I spent photographing every little thing, and didn't actually experience the present opening as I should have. Instead I had to relive it all through the screen on my camera, making sure I had captured the ripping of the paper as I wanted. But come on, it's difficult taking a photo of a child furiously ripping apart paper trying to get into this fantastic new box.

After present opening I'm up and down, in and out of the kitchen, and I don't get that time to sit and soak in the Christmas atmosphere, watching the boys explore their new toys.
I love cooking the Christmas dinner and I didn't want to ask my husband or the mums to do it and instead sacrificed camera time to just sit and watch the boys. To watch my husband open his presents too. And it felt good. I don't feel I missed out by not taking any photos, in all honesty I could just use the same photos from last year and no one would know any different.
I did capture the most important time for me when it comes to the boys around Christmas though, and that was the leaving food out for the reindeer. Every year I have taken a photo of Charles on the door step and then under the tree leaving Santas treats.
It was even more special this year because it was Harry's first time joining Charles to take part in the tradition.
In my eyes, these are the only photos I needed. And I have no regrets of leaving my camera untouched on Christmas Day.

  

How To Brighten Up a Kitchen on a Budget

In a lot of houses kitchens are the hub. The heart of the home if you will.

As a result we want to keep them looking their best, and due to be in use so much this may be the room that needs updating the most. I came up with a few ideas on how to brighten up and decorate a kitchen on a budget.


1-     Rather than buying new cupboard doors simply paint the ones you have already. The cost will be cheaper and you will have a wider selection of choice due to the different colours and styles you can go for.

2-     On a similar theme to the above, instead of breaking off tiles and buying new ones, simply paint over them. Again not only will you have a lot more choice, but it will cost less, be a lot less work, and save a lot of time.

3-     Simply repainting the walls can also create such a big difference and change the atmosphere and feel of the room. 

4-     Create a blank canvas. Having a neutral room will be easy to update as and when you feel. You can simply buy atrwork or a range of colourful durable kitchen ware to brighten up the room or work surfaces.

5-     Don’t be afraid to make big adjustments. We had a breakfast bar with 8 cupboards in our kitchen/dining room and it was just space to dump everything on really. One morning we decided to get rid of it, and by that evening it was all gone. We wallpapered the wall and then had room for a dining room table. It created more useful space for us, was something we could do ourselves with no outside help and added costs, and completely changed the feel of the room.

6-     Researching online stores such as The Homewares Company to find a variety of storage ideas and items to really make use of space you have whether it be floor space or worktop space is a good place to start.  You could even find an item to work a whole new kitchen theme around.

Sponsored Post

26.1.14

Brothers {The Ordinary Moments}

My boys have always had what I would call a typical sibling relationship. They adore each other but sometimes it all gets too much with sharing or getting in each others space and they will fall out.
Overall I think we are really lucky. They adore each other and are best friends.

Whenever Charles is at school and I am taking Harry out in the car he always asks if we are going to get Charles, and gets quite upset when I say "no, not yet".
Both of the boys have just had Scarlet Fever. At this point I saw a big change in their relationship. They seemed to accept that they felt poorly, and that the other one felt the same, and would just go over to each other and have a cuddle, or stroke the other ones back or hair for a while.
Charles was sick a couple of times and as his head was over the toilet Harry gently went and rubbed his back. He hadn't seen me do it, he just knew that was what he should do to help his poorly big brother.

When Charles returned home from school one evening last week he sat on the sofa and was joined by his little brother. I went into the kitchen and came back to find them cuddling up together. Harry was sitting so close to his big brother and had his arm around him.
I could tell that they were both feeling tired and needed comfort and it made me smile that they can give that comfort to each other without the need for fighting over me for it.
They stayed like this for a while. Every now and then giving each other a lovely squeeze and a reassuring look of "I know you are tired and feeling run down too".

Moments like this make the hard work worth it. I can't force them to be best friends, or friends at all, I can't force them to like each other either, but knowing that they care enough for each other to do this without being told to or without being prompted makes my heart swell and fill with pride.
It reminds me that just because they fall out sometimes and fight over the same train, or section of the train track, that they will always love each other and were always each others first true best friend.

25.1.14

Skibz Bibs {Giveaway}

This time last Saturday I was on my way to London with Charles to attend bumpPRs 4th birthday party.
We were given a fantastic goodie bag full of lots of wonderful items and also including a couple of Skibz Bibs.
I no longer have a use for these although I wish I did as the quality is AMAZING. Not only are they extremely well made they are also nice and thick meaning little chance of dribble soaking through to babies tshirt too. The design is really lovely too.

I have two of the camoflauge bibs to giveaway (the choice was either giveaway or have another baby, apparently a giveaway is easier). I will be giving them away as a pair so there will only be one winner.

All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below.

GOOD LUCK!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

24.1.14

Love The Little Things #4

Read

The Joules brochure came through the letterbox yesterday, that was the best thing I've read all week. Obviously.

Watched

My husband is a big This Is Jinsy fan, and I guess I am too really. It has me sat open mouthed most of the time due to how random it is. The songs are bizarre, the stories are bizarre but it is hilarious in it's own little way.



Heard

One of THE best songs EVER came on the radio at the end of Tuesdays school run. I ended up driving the long way home so I could listen to it and sat on the driveway until it finished.



Made

I've been trying to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables this week. One of my favourite lunches was my pineapple pitta.
Griddled pineapple, pitta, small amount of philidelphia.

Wore

On Saturday we went to the bumpPR 4th birthday party in London. I used it as an excuse to wear one of my Joules 'Leila' dresses (I have two) along with a pearl necklace I only really wear on special occassions.
Charles also wore his new Joules shirt.
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And lastly...

Having my first full long date day with Charles on Saturday was fantastic. It was nice to have that one on one time with him. I'm so pleased we managed the train and tube with no problems. I'm hoping we can do similar things together again, like heading to Norwich for a day out and lunch together.

butwhymummywhy

23.1.14

All Too Familiar

Today

Driving a familiar route. Pulling into an all familiar car park, although being able to find a space, which isn't so familiar as it used to be so busy.
Sitting in the car with a familiar feeling in my stomach, in my heart, in my head, creating a tingle in the back of my eyes, and a shake in my hands.
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I lock my car and walk towards the familiar building, walk through the familiar automatic doors and then press the familiar doorbell to be let inside.
I smell the familiar smell inside, a really clean smell. I notice the familiar silence, and just hear the clicking from the buckle on my right boot.
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I inform the lady on reception that I'm there and go and sit on the familiar chairs. I can hear someone talking in one room, and hear footsteps down a corridor, a door buzzer go and someone walks through one of the security door, footsteps again as the person heads across the reception area, scans their security card, and walks through another security door.
Silence.
I can hear someone in a nearby room, I feel uncomfortable at being able to hear them, I'm glad I'm not in there.
I listen for the footsteps and buzzer again, waiting for an unfamiliar face.
I hear it, we say hello, we walk through the familiar door, down a familiar corridor and into an unfamiliar room. I sit in a familiar chair and for an hour talk about familiar things.

Four years of the same thing. Pouring my heart out to different people. To strangers.
I have no problem writing it down. It's easy writing it down. But actually speaking the words, telling people the deeper things, the things I haven't written about, is extremely hard.

I wonder how many times I have to talk about these things. How many more people I'll have to open up to.
How many times will I have to tell people about the odd, extreme images in my head, the thoughts, about my seriously bad luck when it comes to friendships, the fact I am lonely, the fact that my own dad has made me feel worthless and unimportant for 13 years.
The fact that I can't trust anyone, that my self-esteem is so low that I doubt everything about myself.
How many times do I have to talk about the fact that I am sometimes scared to leave the house because I think something awful is going to happen? The fact that I can't bring myself to take my own children to the park, that I believe an animal at the zoo can escape from an enclosure and attack me.
How many times do I have to tell people about my embarrassing overeating? The fact that food makes me feel better, yet at the same time has created this monster that I don't recognise when I look in the mirror.


All too familiar surroundings, all too familiar appointments, all too familiar conversations, all too familiar emotions and feelings.
Alone, and it feels all too familiar.



22.1.14

Dreaming

When I was younger I'd definitely say I was a dreamer. I would daydream about what life would be like as an adult. What my wedding would be like. What kind of house I would live in, what pets I would have. What kind of job I would have and what kind of holidays I would go on.
I think once I got older and realised what real life is really like, the hard work you have to put into things, money stresses and the fact that life just isn't easy.

I've been thinking a lot about this recently. About the things we dream about and hope for. And I've been wondering whether or not we set ourselves goals and dreams that are too high and unachievable. Is it a good thing to do that? Or a bad thing?
I couldn't actually come up with an answer.
Of course it's good to aim high. To feel an immense sense of achievement if you reach your goal and succeed. But what if you never reach that point? What if you never achieve those things you so desperately hope for and have planned for so long?

I always dreamt about a honeymoon in the sun. Relaxing by a pool, or on a pure white sandy beach. Swimming in clear blue waters, drinking cocktails and champagne. Eating a whole range of different foreign foods. Exploring different cultures and various historical monuments. Nothing too exotic.
We ended up going to Disneyland Paris for 4 nights, which was really lovely. It wasn't the honeymoon I always dreamt of, but it didn't mean the honeymoon wasn't perfect. It was what we could afford at the time, and it was what we wanted to do.
We walked around and planned our children's names, we had sneaky visits to other hotels to plan which one we would visit when we had children.
I started dreaming of the day we would visit with our children.
I'd watch the Disneyland Christmas adverts and dream of visiting with our children. A great way to get into the Christmas spirit.
Last year that dream came true, and it was amazing. The hotel was a fail, a big fail, and oddly enough we left feeling less Christmassy than when we went.
It wasn't the break I had always dreamt of but we made some amazing memories and had a fantastic time.
It made me realise that dreams can come true, they may not be exactly as you plan but then where is the fun in that? Knowing exactly what will happen?
We don't really want life to be scripted do we? Or to work out completely as we plan?
With no surprises, no wonders, no adventures.

Last year we decided to be serious about our dream to buy a boat and that dream is moving ever closer. So far, touch wood, our dream is happening sooner than we thought it would.
Our dreams of sailing the Norfolk Broads, visiting various towns and villages in Norfolk, going on adventures, seeing different wildlife, learning a new skill, doing something as a family, and our dream of sitting on deck drinking Pimms and a Gin and Tonic are within reach.
But we are realistic, we know this is just a dream, and that it may not all become reality. We know we have to work extremely hard to make our dream close to being as perfect as we hope.

In terms of the future I am leaving it up to whoever is in charge of that.
Although there is no harm in dreaming I know not to expect it to come true.
Enjoying now is more important than planning something which may never happen, but there is no harm in dreaming.

21.1.14

On The Verge

My eyes tingle. A wave of emotion flows through my entire body. I feel uncomfortable.
My face prepares itself for the expressions about to follow.
The corners of my mouth turn down a little, my bottom lip comes out and quivers.
I try to distract myself. I try to think of something different.
I try to wonder why this is about to happen.
I can't stop it in time. I wouldn't have been able to at all.
I'm crying again.

A regular occurance now and something I'm just having to learn to live with. Crying over nothing. Crying over the smallest of things.
Just crying.
Crying because of happiness, crying because of sadness.
Crying because of a thought, crying because of an action, something I've read, something I've seen.
Something I've wanted, something I have, something I've lost.
Just crying.
Crying over nothing.
Simply just crying.

Always on the verge of tears. Like a ticking timebomb.
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Happy 4th Birthday BumpPR.

Since starting blogging almost 3 years ago I've worked with a few different brands and PR companies. Some have been ok, some not so ok, but one had been a cut above the rest.
That company is Bumppr and they celebrated their 4 year birthday this weekend and invited some bloggers along to celebrate with them.

So on Saturday myself and Charles set off at 7am to head to the train station to catch the train to London. It was the first time we had been to London without my husband and Harry so we were excited, and I was somewhat nervous. It also meant I had to navigate the tube by myself and thankfully the stop from Liverpool Street to Bethnal Green was really short and we managed with no problems at all....other than my bottom getting stuck as the barriers closed at the Bethnal Green station.

The museum is just a minutes walk from Bethnal Green Underground and as we'd arrived half an hour early we went to the toilet, then had a look around the shop which is FANTASTIC. We wanted to buy everything.
We soon spotted Katie and Jennie and after more browsing in the shop it was time to go to the party.

It was SO lovely to finally meet the ladies I had been working with since October 2012.
Not only that but it was really lovely to catch up with some of my favourites in blogging and to meet others I have talked to online before but never met, along with their children and of course Mr E.

The party was wonderful and the cake was beautiful. We ate some of the mini cupcakes and they were SO yummy. I'm not usually a fan of cake but I went back for another one which Charles actually stole when I turned my back to talk to Kirsty and Clara.
So after a few hours of fun, gossip, laughter, cake and lots of bouncing on Happy Hoppers the party was over.
We had a while until our train was due as we wanted time to look around the museum, armed with a rather heavy and full goodie bag.
After an hour of browsing the museum we decided to go and get the tube and head back to Liverpool Street to get some dinner and wait for our train (and to also look through our goody bag).

Finally home at 9.30 we cuddled on the sofa for a little bit and talked about the wonderful day we had.

Thank you Bumppr for inviting us along to your birthday party and for inviting a lot of other fab bloggers too.
I look forward to working with you again on other exciting projects.




20.1.14

Me&You: A Family Portrait Project

The Family Portrait Project has expanded and now made up with three different photo based projects.
The original being Me&Mine, which is the whole family. Be it the unit you live with or also extended family too.
Siblings is quite self explanatory and is especially for the children. This project started for this first time this month and the response was AMAZING.

And so now is the first Me&You post of the year. It's all about couples. Taking a photo of you and your husband/wife/partner.
It doesn't have to be from a fancy date night, although of course that's good too.The photo/s can be taken on your phone, compact, ipad, DSLR, whatever.
I think this project will be fun as there are so many themes to it and it can either be fun, romantic, classic or a little bit fancy and different.
We left it until the last minute (slapped wrists) but still tried to have a bit of fun. Sat on the sofa next to each other we did these. I'm able to take these photos at the same time as the little stamp icon reverses the camera, or if the camera is reversed the stamp icon is focusing on whatever is infront of you....a bit like Facetime I suppose, but real life.



My husband: 

I have... 

a wonderful family. 

I have never...

skydived.

I love...

chocolate ice cream. 

I loathe...

sniffy people. 

I wish...

people would learn to keep left on the motorway. 

Random fact...

Sean Mcguire once sung Happy Birthday to me. 

Me:

I have... 

fallen in love with Ciate base coat, Play Date and top coat.

I have never...

eaten Coffee and Walnut Cake.

I love...

blogging.

I loathe...

bullies, especially those who get away with it.

I wish...

my friends lived closer.

Random fact...

I have more grey hair than my husband who is 10 years older than me.


19.1.14

Just a Cat? {Ordinary Moments}

When I met my husband he had a young cat called Harry. I wasn't a cat person in the slightest.
Harry was lovely though and after a while of being jealous of this new person in his daddy's life, he soon accepted me and we had this lovely bond.
My husband was always the one to play and fight with him and I was the one he would go to for strokes and cuddles.
After we got married we decided to add another cat to our family and went to a farm in Warwickshire, the same farm Harry [cat] came from, and met and fell in love with a tiny tortoiseshell kitten.
Once she was ready to leave her mum she came to live with us in Cambridgeshire. After going through all the names of the Disney Princesses and being told a stern no I was eventually allowed to call her Jasmine.
Harry wasn't a fan of her at first but after a month or so would let her snuggle up to him and eventually she had him wrapped around her little claw and he would spend the majority of his time being a protective big brother [they share the same dad and their mums were sisters] and would be cleaning her constantly.

When I was pregnant with Charles he was my bodyguard. I will never ever forget how protective he would be of me. He would follow me around everywhere. Would walk me to the car and when we returned home from going out for the day or for a short trip to the supermarket he would meet me at my car door and walk me inside. Jasmine didn't really react at all and carried on as normal.
4 months after Charles arrived Harry was killed on the main road near our house. I know people say "It's just a pet" and I always knew we were taking a chance letting the cats out anyway but it hit me really hard and I still cry about it. He wasn't the type of cat to go near the road so we think the bully cat in our area chased him towards it.

We decided to add another cat to our family 4 months later although this wasn't successful in the slightest. We rescued Dominic and not only do we think he was actually a Feril cat, Jasmine didn't take to him and spent a lot of time away from the house.
Dominic was quite fussy and constantly in your face which would have been fine if we didn't have a small child to look after too. We phoned to get Dominic taken back to the rescue centre when all of a sudden he fell ill. 2 days later we were being told he was extremely poorly and the best thing to do was to end his life. We were eaten up with guilt for wanting to give him back to the rescue home but we know we did all we could for him.
The rescue home were pretty unsupportive of us and instead made us feel as though we'd had him put down to save us the trouble of taking him back there. Which was obviously not the case.

With Dominic gone Jasmine came back to the house a lot more and we accepted that it wasn't fair for her if we got any more cats. She also didn't seem a fan of our new baby and with her brother gone it must have been a really tough time for her.
Our original intentions were for Dominic to be a few friend for her rather than for her to feel threatened and driven away by him.

One of our neighbours took a shine to her and after 3 years of trying to stop this neighbour from stealing her and feeding her we decided we needed to keep her as a house cat. It wasn't an easy decision but Jasmine has taken to it quite well and infact has become closer to my husband, who in the past she didn't really take to.
She hides away from the boys in the daytime, but at nighttime is by my side on the sofa. She snuggles in and stays there, sometimes venturing over to see my husband for a little bit of fuss but mainly she is by my side.
If I'm in the bedroom by myself in the daytime for whatever reason, or if Harry naps, she will come out from hiding and see me for fusses.

Although she's not overally keen on the boys she is always by their side at nighttime if they wake up and will sit on their beds for a cuddle and a stroke. She seems to be aware of when they are poorly too and will go over to them, sometimes in the daytime, to see if they are ok. I think secretly she doesn't hate them and instead just likes the attention.

She's coming up for 9 this Summer and I hope we have another 9 years of her in our lives. She might be just a cat to some but she is a big part of this family for me and I couldn't imagine not having her around. My evenings just wouldn't be the same.


mummy daddy me

17.1.14

Love The Little Things #3



Read

Today I am the guest poster for the Tots100 Fresh Five. I have picked 5 posts which fit the 'positivity' theme. I really enjoyed taking part in it and hope everyone likes the posts I chose.

Watched

We're a bit late to the Sherlock party but we watched the final episode from the last series when it was on last year and have looked forward to the new series. It goes a bit over my head but the actors are amazing as is the way it's all filmed and created.
I also got round to watching The 7.39. I really like the programme, but the storyline just made me feel so uncomfortable. The cast was fantastic and how good was it to see Sean Mcguire again....VERY.

Heard

My husband was watching something on the television the other day and Earth, Wind and Fire 'September' was on. I love this song and couldn't help but to dance around the kitchen to it. I think my husband is impressed when I appreciate classic songs like this one.


Made

This week I have felt incredibly lazy when it comes to cooking dinner. I've had two poorly boys so haven't had much time to make anything amazing and fantastic. I made a sausage casserole this week just because I had sausages to use up. Stupidly the previous day I used up all of the fresh vegetables we had so I just put the sausages in a casserole dish with chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, some frozen veg and a little Perfect Shake Chicken Herb and Spice Blend. I didn't think my husband would eat it as it looked a bit 'meh' and boring but it was really nice.

Wore

I bought the Ciate Mini Mani Month in the sale for £21, down from £42. I was a tiny bit disappointed because a lot of the colours are similar. I think I expected a couple of darker ones (blues maybe) to go with Christmas but the colours featured are nice and the quality is amazing.
I finally got round to trying it this week and I got a full 5 days of NO CHIPS which was brilliant.

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And lastly...

For a while I've seen people talking about the Q&A a day 5 year journal since Kara mentioned it and around 2 weeks ago I bought it, after quite a search, at WHSmith. It finally arrived today and I can't wait to fill it in everyday, once I've caught up.

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butwhymummywhy

15.1.14

Enjoying Now

Don't wish time away.

One of my promises for this year is to enjoy life more.
I can be a bit lazy, be a bit negative, focus on things that went wrong and not appreciate the positive things as much.
I am a planner and am always happy if I have something to look forward to. I need something on the calender that we are heading towards, be it a holiday, birthday, weekend away, date night, day out or Christmas.
I was watching a Youtube video recently and someone added that one of their goals for 2014 was to starting enjoying now more, and to not wish their time away.
You know how you sometimes hear things and think you were meant to hear that? That's exactly how I felt.

I realised that I need to do this and to do more last minute things.
Just decide at the last minute to take the boys out for the day and not plan things so far in advance.
I spent the weekend looking through photos on my computer, remembering the great days out we had last year, and the moments where I felt happy. The days I maybe forgot about but that a simple photo made me remember what it was like that day, how happy we all were, what we did, how we felt.

I need to appreciate small things that the boys do, remembering days out we've been on, remembering what they enjoyed and doing that again.
Watching them eat. I find it oddly comforting and wonderful watching my children eat.
Watching them making new discoveries and learning new things. Watching them change from babies to toddlers to proper boys.
Remembering special days out, the reasons behind them and stopping to take a selfie to remember that moment. The one below was taken at the Dinosaur Park in Norfolk, Charles was attached to a stick....yes you read that right, and left it near the Diplodocus. We had to walk up a big hill to go and find it, which is easy in the woods, and we took this sneaky selfie. His left eye was really sore all day and we didn't realise until the following day that he had conjunctivis.
Charles and Harry both held a snake that day, Harry went one step further and squeezed the snake. This day out really made us aware of Harry's abilities and part of the point of the day out was for us to spoil him and do something he would like. We let him walk the majority of the day when we used to stick him in the pushchair constantly.
Last minute walks around the field, just to get some fresh air and to explore our local area.
Date days with both boys and a chance to reconnect and bond with them without distraction.
Watching them working together and discovering how things grow.
Capture the mood and the excitement. Our Christmas Tree search was a great example of this. The photo below of the 3 boys may not have the best focus but Charles makes me laugh so much. This was from our Christmas tree search.

Looking at these photos reminded me that I don't have to plan things weeks and months in advance. I don't have to have something booked on the calender for every weekend. I don't have to put pressure on myself, or on the rest of the family, because things will simply fit into place and we'll end up having the best time together.
Most of the fantastic days we had together last year were spur of the moment or the odd planned day in between weekends of relaxation.
That's what I need to continue this year. Enjoying now rather than constantly busying myself planning ahead resulting in me wishing time away.


14.1.14

Complete.

"You'll know when your family is complete. If you don't feel done having babies, then you are not complete".

I remember someone saying this to me once Harry was born. Why do people feel that they can constantly ask you if you will have more children? I don't mind really, it's just a question, but so soon after giving birth (hours after a traumatic birth) is slightly inappropriate.
Anyway, someone asked me if we wanted more children. I did my usual reply of "oh, oh, well, no we wanted two. We've always wanted two. I might quite like another one, we'll never say never but we always wanted two".
I guess that question always seems to get me flustered.
Due to my reply the person then said that my family wasn't complete because I didn't feel done. And I wasn't quite sure what to make of that.

I look at my family and I love the team that we are. I love that we are an even number. That we can pair off.
We don't need a massive car. We can go on a rollercoaster together with no one left to sit at the side and wait.
We don't need to extend our dining room table. We can all lay comfortably in our king size bed.
We can get a hotel room, we may need to shop around a bit but 50% of the time we'll find something suitable.

I love my boys.  An obvious statement and probably a silly thing to say due to it being so obvious, and I never feel a gap in my heart or my life due to not having a daughter.
There are times I've felt like it would be nice to have a daughter, but there's no burning desire or need to have one, or to try for one at least.

I think because I'm only 28 I've always felt that if I want another child I am in the position, age wise, to have another now or in 5 years time. The age gap between me and my husband could be an issue if it ever came down to it, but I think we are solid enough to be able to talk things through and discuss what each of us wants and why and to come to a decision based on our family and what's best for us as a couple and as a family.


I love babies, and I think I will forever want a baby.
Do I want a house full of teenagers? No.
Do I want extra madness on the school run? Trying to get more than 2 children breakfasted, dressed, washed, in the car and into the classroom on time? Not really.
But do I accept that having other babies would lead to that? Yes. And it would be fine. I would cope with it, and embrace it because I would have to. Because it's part of the package.

My children and my husband fill me with a lot of love and happiness and I don't feel any gap that needs to be filled.
I feel our family is complete in a sense that I am happy with us as a unit and as a team.
But I'm not sure if I feel done. What if there is never a point in life when I feel done? Would one more baby make me feel done? Would three more babies make me feel done? What if I had give more babies and still didn't feel done?

"If you don't feel done having babies, then you are not complete"

I choose to not live by that and instead feel my family is complete, and know it's ok to never feel done and to always want to have more children as long as I accept that this is probably my complete family unit. And if that is the case, I will always be happy with that.


12.1.14

Potty Training: The Sequel {The Ordinary Moments}

When it came to having a second child I thought I had everything covered. Going through breastfeeding again, weaning, moving him into his own room, taking the sides off his cot, sleeping through the night, drinking from a cup. The little things that we deal with that are really a major pressure and stress before they happen, and whilst we are experiencing them, but a great success eventually.
What I had forgotten about of course was.....potty training.
From what I can remember it was pretty easy with Charles. We had a few accidents of course, but never whilst we were out, they were only at home. And within a few months he was dry at night too, again something which was pretty easy and we completely followed his lead.
With Harry starting preschool this year I knew that at some point we would be facing the potty training stage. I thought I would have the chance to prepare, to work out my strategy, have pottys dotted all over the house, mats ready for his bed, the pushchair, the carseat. I would be ready, we would be a team.

He had other ideas and at Christmas time decided he didn't want to wear nappies in the daytime anymore. Que panic.
I have one potty, unlike the three we had when Charles was potty training. There would now be 4 of us using the bathroom. FOUR. I'm pretty sure fighting three males to get into the bathroom is worse than fighting three females into the bathroom, despite what is usually said.
The thing is with potty training, that once you start you can't go back. And this worrys me as Harry has chosen to start when we have a few meetings and appointments to go to, these involve some longish drives (well only an hour) so we may have to hold back slightly and stick a nappy on for car journeys.
The past couple of days he has done really well, I think it's easier because he has a brother to copy, but also he has a brother who will praise him and tell him he has done really well. He also has a brother who will offer to take him to the toilet...which is a nice break for me.

I'm really glad that it hasn't been something I've had to force with him, and that he's taken the first steps himself. I'm also glad that we have 9 months to get it sorted until he starts at preschool.

mummy daddy me

11.1.14

A Boat.

How to buy a boat:

1- Find a boat you like.
2- Go and view the boat.
3- Decide you like it.
4- Hand over money.
5- Congratulations you have a boat.

Living so close to the Norfolk Broads is part of why we love living where we do. 5 minutes from a beach and 5 minutes from the Broads, we are extremely lucky.
We've talked a lot over the years about how wonderful it would be to own a boat and to just wake up one day and go out. We hadn't decided what kind of boat we would like, I suppose a motor boat was pictured in our minds and on a couple of occasions we were close to hitting Buy It Now on a couple of boats but my husband hadn't had quite enough whiskey...which now seems like a good thing.

Then last year my husband said he seriously wanted to consider buying a sailing boat and learning to sail. He was so serious that within no time at all he was out on a Sailing Course for the day.

Our thoughts of what kind of boat we wanted changed a few times and we settled on one that we would be able to sleep on so we could go away for the weekend whenever we wanted and not worry about paying for a b&b or hotel.
Last week our search moved on and we finally go to view 3 boats.
One was too big and too much work, one would restrict us on where abouts in the broads we could sail and the other. Well, we fell in love.
It's a wooden boat and it's beautiful. It was built locally, which is important to us, and has a lot of history.
But the only thing holding us back is the maintenance. It's a lot of work to keep it looking as beautiful as it does, a lot of sanding and varnishing but at the same time we love that we can put a lot of time into her and to love her as much as her previous owners clearly did. But then there's the added costs if we need to replace planking and we're trying to find out how much roughly this could cost us in the event of it needing to be done if we decide to purchase her.

Then there is a  fibreglass boat. A little easier on the maintenance as we have no varnishing, no sanding, with just paintwork when she leaves the water every winter. Still built locally we have that on our side but we don't have that wonderful history like we do with the wooden one.

We've done the typical pros and cons list for each boat, hoping it would show a clear winner but instead they kind of both balance each other out.

My husband has a heart vs head dilemma going on and I am absolutely no help whatsoever.

I think we've both had a big shock as we didn't realise just how emotional this search could be. Choosing the right boat, and then taking the risk and buying it.
We are taking a risk with whichever boat we go for.
What if we get the wooden one and it doesn't live up to our dreams? What if the woodwork goes and we need to pay however much for new planking?
What if we get the fibreglass one and we don't feel special enough sailing it? What if we don't feel that wow factor? What if we sit and watch other classic wooden boats go past and regret not getting one of those?

We're looking at another boat on Monday and we're hoping that things will become clearer then. If not, then we step away for a week and have a really hard think about it.

We are incredibly lucky to be in the position to be able to buy a boat and to be able to follow this dream but did we realise it would be so hard and emotionally draining? Absolutely not.
But we will get there and follow my husbands motto that
"It's not about us finding the right boat, the right boat will find us eventually"


10.1.14

Siblings: A Family Portrait Project {January}

Last year I successfully completed Me&Mine: A Family Portrait Project.
This year it is BACK, except not only is it back, it's also BIGGER. Ohhhhh yeah.
Along with Me&Mine this year there is also Siblings and Me&You (couples).

Siblings is pretty self explanatory, if you have 2 or more children take a photo of them together and link it up.
Simple.

I love that the new year has started with the boys getting quality time together before Charles returns to school. It's so odd because although he has only been home for 2 weeks it feels like he never went to school and has always been here, his return to school will be hard on us all.
They both had a fantastic Christmas and have really enjoyed playing with, and fighting over, their new toys and games. They made Christmas so special and I can't wait for all of our adventures and celebrations this year.

Taken with flash, yuk, but I love it nonetheless.