As Their Relationship Grows...

It's amazing watching my children interact.
Over the past 14 months it's been a real treat to see how they react to each other, how they communicate, how they seem to understand each other more than we do sometimes.

I've definitely seen a change in their relationship not only as Harry has become a baby-toddler but also since Charles has started Preschool. They seem to appreciate each other a lot more and like being in the same room a lot more.

Playfighting has become a big activity recently. Before they would both attack me but now they are quite happy to just roll around with each other.
I used to worry about this. Mainly worrying that Charles would hurt Harry BUT it seems it's the other way round. Harry is really quite rough, and their isn't too much difference in their weight so he can easily hurt Charles. The main difference is that Charles has understanding of what may hurt and what not to do, whereas Harry isn't quite at that stage yet and thinks nothing of pulling your ear or sticking a finger up your nose!

Last week my mother in law stayed over one night and the next day the duvet was still in the lounge. Whilst I was cooking tea I could hear a lot of laughing and looked in the lounge to see that the boys had opened the duvet on the floor and were playfighting on it.
Charles told me it was ice and they were slipping onto each other because of it.




Sometimes Being a Brother...

Quote by Marc Brown


Walking Home From Preschool...

It has it's advantages. Not only the exercise of course. The fresh air. The chance to chat about how Charles' afternoon has been.
But also, the fact that the lane we walk down is home to lots of Bramble.
Today I greeted Charles from preschool with his cardigan and a freezer bag. On the way home we picked lots of Blackberries, armed with a stick to knock away the spiders and their webs.
Charles was able to grab some of the blackberries but his main responsibility was to hold the bag open.
I wished I had a stool or something with me as the best berries were up high and we couldn't quite reach them. In hindsight I should have just lifted Charles up.

When we got home he showed his blackberry treasure to daddy, washed them and then shared them with his brother. They were gone within a matter of minutes!




My 27th Birthday Full of Surprises

On Tuesday, September 11th, I turned 27. We didn't have much planned for the day with my husband busy at work and Charles having to attend preschool in the afternoon.
When I woke up I had a bath, much to Charles' disappointment as he wanted me to do presents straight away. After I had my soak I got dressed and headed downstairs and opened my cards and presents.
My husband was supposed to be cooking us Eggs Benedict as a special birthday breakfast but forgot. In the end he treated us all to a McDonalds breakfast (yes, I really did see that as a treat and actually enjoyed it)
The morning mainly consisted of lounging around, with the Polar Express dvd on, and then taking Charles to preschool.
Just before we left for preschool the postman delivered a package which I wasn't expecting.
My super amazing friend (whom I'm actually yet to meet) sent me a heart shaped photo keyring and a beautiful East of India friendship plaque.

Sarah: I am so grateful for my fabulous gifts and your generosity. You really made my day and made me realise that there truly are friends who care about me

The afternoon was lovely and went totally to plan.....this plan being that I laze around on the sofa with a sleeping baby and getting to watch the new series of Real Housewives of Orange County.
I then drove to pick Charles up (lazy and lack of time) and when he came home we played in the garden for a while.
After dinner we then got Harry in bed early and Charles went up at around 7:30. My mum was due to arrive any minute to babysit so I could go out with my husband for a romantic meal.
He kept putting off me going to get changed, I was suspicious at first but then thought that maybe the glass of wine he'd consumed had made him giggly so I went off anyway.
As I came downstairs my mum arrived and asked me to close our hallway blinds as it made her feel uncomfortable as she felt people would look in. I did this, thinking nothing of it.
I opened my presents from her then there was a knock at the door. I wasn't expecting anyone.
It was a friend of my brothers. She came in and said she was child free. And handed me a card.
I thought it was weird as I hadn't seen her for two years and couldn't work out why all of a sudden she would come round and bring me a birthday card.
I didn't say anything of course and was polite.
The weirdest thing was what was written on the front of the card.
"You're like a sister to me"

I felt really awkward. I wondered for a second if I had gone crazy and if we were close friends and my mind had blanked it all out.
Then I opened the card and recognised some handwriting.
My twin brothers.

I said to Abbey "This is from Dale. Why do you have a card from Dale?"
Then, it clicked.
"He's here isn't he? He is isn't he? Don't tell me he is."
And then he walked in.
And I collapsed with a panic attack.

I thought he was still in Somerset and was at work.
Everyone had known for months that he was due home to surprise me.
It was an amazing surprise.
And he gave me a present which turned out to be the web cam I had asked my mum for!
He came out for the meal with my husband and me, as did his friend too.
The food was amazing and the headache the following day was totally worth it.



Life's Truest Happiness....

A beautiful plaque given to me by a very special friend for my birthday. I will treasure it forever.


Normal "Therapy"

Today I get my second phone call with my "therapist" (not quite sure of her official title) and I'm feeling quite defensive.
It's been over a month since I last spoke to her.
There are a lot of things I feel disappointed and annoyed about.
The amount of time between phone calls is one of the things.
It's not nice to feel like a number. That's exactly what it feels like.
I hate that I have to "fit in" to their busy schedule.
That's no way to make someone feel important or like they mean something to you/your work.
I need someone who is there whenever I need them. Someone I can ring anytime and say "bad day! Fix me please".

I already hate being restricted to 30 minutes per session and being rushed towards the end. I feel like I can't properly open up because I'll be told that we need to move on as we're at the end of the session.
I have to fill in a form at the beginning of every session. I have to record my feelings and score them between 0-10 or 0-4.
It's not consistent. We had a really good day yesterday at the zoo, it is my birthday tomorrow, therefore I am on a happy cloud at the moment which will effect my scores. In 2 days time my scores may be completely different.
If I am having a good day I can't remember feeling bad in the previous week, and vice versa.
I can't see how this sheet indicates whether or not my anxiety is improving.

I feel since doing this form of therapy I have got worse because I am over thinking things a lot, which isn't good for a natural over thinker!

I have opened up to an ex-collegue of my husband whom I am still friends with, and always kind of looked up to and she has given me amazing advice, which I feel I can really work with and move forward with.

So, I have to come up with the courage to say all this. To reject the therapy I so desperately wanted.
The therapy I expected a lot from, but feel I have achieved very little from.

I feel in the past few weeks that I have improved myself. My eyes have opened a little bit wider and I'm seeing things clearly. Accepting a few things. And making changes.

I've realised that life online can offer so much to me and have 2 people in particular who have been so helpful to me, and so supportive, especially in the last week or so. I feel I can really open up to them because they are going through/have gone through the same as me.
They make me feel normal.
And that's a wonderful feeling.
A feeling I don't think therapy can ever give me.

"Our worries make us empathetic, thoughtful people and that's awesome ."


An Early Birthday Present

Last year I decided I wanted to learn to sew and set myself the challenge of making some bunting. I'm slack with this challenge but as the end of the year is swiftly approaching I decided to get my bum in gear.
I didn't quite realise just how excited I would be at the prospect of creating some bunting for the boys bedrooms. I've fallen in love with so many fabrics so am yet to buy any until I can settle on which one's I want. I also have other ideas I hope to create for the boys rooms too.
So, I have a pad of paper I am using to jot down ideas and sketch out possible creations. I've also made a list of things I need to get this hobbie going.

Today we went for a visit to a local(ish) zoo. As we arrived and walked to the entrance I was enticed by a shop selling all things second hand and vintage.
I was surprised when my husband said he didn't mind popping over to have a look, and was grateful for that when I fell in love with a sewing box.
I became really excited and checked that it opened, checked the condition, checked the price, checked the price again, and checked the price again.
I said that if the shop accepted card payment I would be buying the box there and then. That's when my wonderful husband said he would buy me the box as an extra birthday present.
The shop didn't accept cards but the lovely lady who worked in there put the box to the side for me to purchase after we had visited the zoo and had been to the shop over the road to get some cash.

I can't wait to fill it up with needles, pins, pretty ribbon, an assortment of buttons, tape measure, scissors and may home a gorgeous owl pin cushion I am lusting after.

Look at her, isn't she beautiful.



What a Wonderful Thought It Is....

Author of quote: Unknown.


Special Unplanned Moments

Sometimes the best and most special moments are unplanned.
Yesterday afternoon at around 3 o clock I decided to pack the boys up and head to the beach for a while. By the time we got there it was pretty quiet. We found a good spot and Charles set up his diggers and Harry immediately planned his escape route. Thankfully the tide was out so we were a distance away from that hazard.

We had a really lovely time building sandcastles, digging, running after each other and then it came to 4.30 and I said it was time to go as I had to do the boys dinner, bath and bed alone as my husband wouldn't be home from work until 8pm. Although none of us really wanted to leave. I comprimised and said we could stay but we'd have to go for a paddle. Harry had been begging to go down to the water the whole time we were there.
On the walk to the sea we drew hearts in the sand and wrote messages for daddy.
Initially the sea was cold but the longer I stood in it the warmer it got. Harry was weary and walked in and out, mainly wanting to splash.
Charles asked me to pick him up and carry him in. Which I did. Except I then walked a couple of steps away from him. I expected him to be scared as he has had issues with going in the sea before but he loved it. He laughed, ran out then asked me to get him again.
We did this a few times but then got a bit over excited and our little paddle in which we were only supposed to get our feet wet turned into almost a full on swimming session.
We were soaked. Harry soon became unhappy so I picked him up and kicked the water at Charles as he did the same to me.
We were fully clothed and had no towels. But it didn't stop me.
We laughed, and laughed and laughed.

Walking away from the sea both boys were sad and waved at the sea.

It was amazing and I must do it again.



Caramelised Onion and Sausage Rolls {Recipe}

For some reason I've never been able to cook with pastry. Something has always gone wrong.
I really wanted to make mince pie parcels one year. I'd seen Kirsty Allsopp making some and being a "Kirsty Allsopp Wannabe" I thought I could do them.
I couldn't.
They ended up burnt on the top and outside yet the inside was all soggy.
I gave up on that idea.
I tried to make a ham, cheese and tomato tart but again, that didn't go to plan at all. In fact I've tried that a couple of times and it's messed up both times.

This year I set myself the challenge of making sausage rolls and pies. I had to keep going until I got it right.
Last week I made sure I bought the ingredients needed and on Friday I set to work.
I didn't want my sausage rolls to be plain and after my first plan was immediately dismissed due to lack of ingredients but knew there was something in the cupboard which would suit perfectly!

I recalled once having Sausage Rolls with a red onion chutney, without having any chutney I knew I had red onions. I decided to caramelise them and then add them into the pastry.
The result. Perfect. And they were all gone within 12 hours. Charles doesn't like onions or pastry yet ate one of these whilst saying "mmmmm" they whole time. He loved it.

What you need:

Caramelised Onions
3 Red Onions
Brown Sugar
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

Slice the onions into tiny pieces. Drizzle with honey and add to a frying pan with olive oil. Fry until they start to colour then add  brown sugar (I used 5 dessertspoonfuls) and balsamic vinegar ( I used 4 dessertspoonfuls) Fry until brown. You may want to add more honey or balsamic vinegar until it meets your required taste.
Place into a bowl and leave to cool.

Sausage Rolls
Caramelised Onions
Sausage Meat
Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
1 Beaten Egg

Take the pastry and roll it out on a board or work surface. Cut the pastry in half. Take your sausage meat and line it down the middle of the pastry. Add to the top of this the caramelised onions. Make sure you spread the mixture right to the ends of the pastry.
Once you are pleased with the amount of sausage meat and onions then brush the beaten egg on the pastry either side of the sausage meat. Then fold however you you like.

I made one of them with no excess pastry and one with. With the one on the right I just pulled and pinched at the pastry, which made it easy to eat actually as it was almost like a handle!
Brush Egg white over the top of the pastry, cut to size and then transfer to a baking tray.
I oiled the baking tray before putting these in the oven but would use greaseproof paper in the future.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the meat is cooked and the pastry brown and crispy (not burnt!)
Serve warm or cold.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com


RADAR Museum {Family Days Out}

Being married to a radio man and producer of jingles and adverts means I regularly have to visit places that normally may not interest me. I have to look at amazingly tall transmitters and old masts and so on.
I'm not complaining, it can be quite interesting, and as his wife I have to be interested in the things he is.

On Bank Holiday Monday we visited the RADAR Museum at Neatishead. I expected it to be really boring and to want to leave as soon as possible but in the end it was quite the opposite. I wanted to stay as long as possible.

There were seperate rooms which contained different artifacts. These were probably my favourite at first as I love looking at old typewriters, old medical equipment, fashion and old cameras.
My ultimate favourite thing at the museum had to the the control room. It was amazing. You walk in and it really takes your breath away.

The museum is run by volunteers which I love. I love how passionate they are and how they can never do enough for you.
We talked to one man, called Harold, who talked to us about Lowestoft, my home town which he happened to be born in too, and how it was bombed in the war. We could have talked to him for a long time. He was really really lovely.
It turns out this man was born a few doors down from a house my dad used to own. 

Not only was I surprised at me enjoying the museum, but both boys seemed to too. Charles asked questions about certain things and of course Harry didn't understand any of it but they really seemed interested in what was around them.
Charles loved being able to sit in an old cockpit but stood up, was helped down by daddy and kept shouting "I'm so brave! I'm so brave! It was really scary in there".
All three of them were very excited about the missile that greeted us outside. Even Harry was excited by it...it was almost like he knew what it was.

I'm really glad we went and that the boys experienced it. I think it's so important to teach children at a young age by going to museums as it's a fun way of learning about our past without just reading books or being spoken to by a teacher.
We have faced critisism for taking our children on "boring days out" but we are proud of it and know that the boys both gain a lot from it.

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