The Bedtime Tag : My Routine

The Bedtime Tag, Bedtime Routine

The Bedtime Tag ; just a bit of fun to share with you all my bedtime routine. You may find something helpful you want to instill into your own routine, I have found some fab ideas from reading other posts in this tag.

Shout out to the lovely Tiny Footsteps for tagging me.

  1. Describe your usual bedtime routine.

Honestly, I’m not a stickler for routines although I am a creature of habit. On a good day, I’ll have gorgeous George bathed, he won’t have had a daytime nap, and come 7pm we’ll be in mine or his bed, three stories and he’ll be asleep. Commence “me time”. On a bad day I’ll wait until “Daddy” gets home and George will disappear upstairs so they can both watch football and “wind down” (tickling and screaming for 2 hours because they’ve missed each other) before falling asleep. I’ll enjoy my “me time” during this period by catching up on my phone, blogging, watching tele etc. Me and hubs will get 30-60mins alone together once George is asleep before we are too knackered to watch any more tele or make the most of each other’s company, if you get my drift. TMI!

The Bedtime Tag, child sleeping, bedtime story

2. What are your favourite pajamas?

If it smells clean and it’s comfy, I’ll wear it. My nightwear usually consists of leggings or a t-shirt vest top. I have some lovely fleecy bottoms but anything too baggy generally annoys me and I end up ripping it off in my sleep. It has to almost feel like my skin. That said, I can pretty much fall asleep anytime, anywhere, wearing anything.

3.What is your current bedtime reading?

Reading? I’m not quite sure I understand this question! If you have ever heard the type of dreams I have you would know that no book is going to compare to that shizzle! Get to sleep as quickly as possible and let the mental world of my imagination begin!

4.What would I find on your bedside table?

My phone, although I’m a good girl and switch it to airplane mode once i’m in bed so that I’m not disturbed. Technology in the bedroom is a bone of contention in our house because hubbie can’t sleep without watching something so we have come to a compromise with him watching his I-pad from his bedside, (as opposed to the 42″ tele he insists we have in our bedroom) keeping my side dark and calm. I also have tissues as a bedtime staple and a drink. When Geo wakes in the night, I check the time on my phone and when I return to my bed I always need a drink of water.

5.What scent makes you sleepy?

I don’t have a ‘sleepy scent’ but after joining this taggy I’m going to get one. At best, I’ll squirt some air freshener around if one of our three cats decides to do a shit. Their litter box is in the bathroom across the landing and they usually decide my mealtimes and bedtime are the perfect times for a crap.

6. What is your usual bedtime and wakeup time?

Typically 10/10:30pm I go to bed. George wakes me anytime from midnight to 3am. Just the once. For a bottle of milk. I’m on migraine prevention tablets which on the downside make me fatter but on the plus side have a sedating effect so I have no trouble falling back to sleep. My adorable little alarm clock then wakes me up to the tune of “Mummy, Mummy” at around 7am.

7. What are your top three bedtime products?

Huggies wet wipes for removing my makeup. Although it does diddly squat for my waterproof mascara and I often wake up panda eyed. I really need a better option. Colgate sensitive whitening toothpaste helps send me to the land of nod with sparkling, happy teeth. And my prescribed Pizotifen to prevent me from getting migraines. Rock and Roll!

panda eyes, The Bedtime Tag

8. What is your most common sleeping position?

I’m a tosser. Erm… lets rephrase that, I’m a fidget in bed but I tend to end up on one side or another with one leg out straight and one pulled up as high as possible. A position that didn’t work too well when I used to co-sleep.

9. Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?

Hubbie. Awww. Vomits. No honestly we’ve slept in the same bed consistently for almost 10 years now so I miss him when he’s not there and usually settle easier if he comes to bed the same time as me.

The Bedtime Tag, couple sleeping

10. What is your worst bedtime habit?

I do have a tendency to steal the covers. I always have. And whilst I’m stealing the covers I may as well steal half the bed too. Hubby will be the first to tell you how he sleeps on a tiny sliver of bed, shivering. I’m the one who is up in the night tending to George, potential burglars, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms with low batteries, cats screaming at the window with anything that enters our garden. I know otherwise.

Time to tag some lovelies who would like to share their routine.

Stories of a Dad

Babynotincluded

All Things Amy

The ten questions for my nominees to answer

  1. Describe your usual bedtime routine.
  2. What are your favourite pyjamas?
  3. What is your current bedtime reading?
  4. What would I find on your bedside table?
  5. What scent makes you sleepy?
  6. What is your usual bedtime and wakeup time?
  7. What are your top three bedtime products?
  8. What is your most common sleeping position?
  9. Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?
  10. What is your worst bedtime habit?

The rules of the Bedtime Tag are included them:

Step 1: Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their blog.
Step 2: Display the Bedtime badge; which you can find at the top of this post. (save the picture)
Step 3: Answer the ten questions included above.
Step 5: Nominate between three and five fellow bloggers to take part, and set them the questions.

Box set addiction guide

You wanna get yourself a box set addiction, I’m your gal. Ok I may not watch all the current trending shows but when it comes to a boxset I am one committed lady! I honestly feel like you haven’t lived until you’ve got yourself a box set addiction. Here’s my list of recommendations.

Years back, we’re talking VHS here, myself and childhood sweetheart hubster used to spend hours in my bedroom as late teens. Probably worrying our mothers sick with their overactive imaginations, we actually spent a good majority watching box sets.

television box set addiction

Only fools and horses

A classic! I really don’t need to say too much about this do I? I mean where have you been if you haven’t watched this! And it never gets old. Ok, me and hubs can point out a lot of things that aren’t so politically correct these days but aside from that, this is classic British comedy. Please may it continue.

Vicar of Dibley

Should I be embarrassed of this one? The friendly female vicar who has to convince her parish she is worthy of the position. I own them all and hubs and I in our younger days used to watch them on repeat during dinner times. They never failed to make us laugh. Dawn French as the vicar plays the type of person I hope I have become. Forgiving, patient, and able to see the good in all.

Men Behaving Badly

Late nights spent in tears of laughter watching this together. Two guys, two gals living in the flat above and below each other. It’s obnoxious, hilarious and you so wouldn’t want it to be your life but it’s great comedy.

Friends

We still watch these on repeat now. Non offensive they even provide a great background when guests are visiting. 6 friends sharing life together. Although again, if you needed to read what it is about then you truly have been living like a recluse. I used to love having chats about which “friend” we felt we was. FYI I’m mostly phoebe but with a hint of Monica but only hubs see the Monica side of me.

Peep Show
My maternity leave was the start of this particular obsession. A hard going pregnancy and a strenuous job left me starting maternity leave at 7 months pregnant. Enter Peep Show box set addiction. I convinced myself that the baby couldn’t come until I had finished every last hilariously weird episode. Suitably apt for my mind.

Peaky Blinders

Skip to May 2016, and Peaky Blinders. Seeing series three was starting and featuring Tom Hardy (my newest person to swoon over after years of Leonardo-Di-Caprio addiction), anyway, I digress. So with series three’s imminent arrival on BBC one, and my mum having raved about it, I was desperate to get in on the action. I visited my local library and requested to have the DVD sent from another library for me to loan. Both series were on a waiting list.
Queue the moment when hubby made me love him even more by subscribing to Netflix. In less than a few weeks we had watched two full series of Peaky Blinders. I was starting to develop a brummie accent and even threatening to ‘cut’ anyone that upset me or mine (laughs madly). The box set addiction had begun. But as series 3 drew to a close, I quickly found I needed something to fill my time. After all, it’s not like I have a toddler is it! (Winks slyly, gosh I’m struggling to write these days without featured emojis).

The Walking Dead

Seeing that Season 7 was due to start in around 6 weeks of The Walking Dead, I felt compelled to jump on the bandwagon. Luckily Sky had all the series box sets 1-6. With sixteen episodes per season, the house fell into disarray. Every nap time and bedtime I crammed in as much as I could. Nothing else mattered! As Season 7 began on Sky, I was up to speed and happily joined in with everyone else. A bonus to this was my zombie phobia was pretty much cured and I was safe to browse social media without seeing spoilers.

The Crown

So here we here. 2017. My newest and highly recommended boxset (as are all of the above) has to be The Crown. Matt smith is easy on the eye and Clare Foy is just perfection at playing her royal highness The Queen. It certainly gives you a wonderful insight into the little known life of the Royal Family. They have always fascinated me and I’ve always said I would love to be a fly on the wall of Buckingham Palace.

television box set addiction

So there we have it! What are your favourites? I need recommendations to line up as my next addiction. I really don’t think I’m a Game of Thrones sort of girl and as much as I’d love to watch American Horror Story, I really can’t deal with the supernatural. Answers on a….comments box please. Although you can pretend it’s a virtual postcard.

For more in depth info on all the box sets mentioned I would recommend IMDb .

Until next time………

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The truth about Father Christmas.

This post is going to reveal to you the truth about Father Christmas. Have you ever honestly, as an adult, sat down and thought about the story of Father Christmas as we tell it? If you have ever wanted someone to pick that story apart then never fear, I am here to do it for you.

If that’s not like telling a child not to eat the Haribo sweet in front of them, I don’t know what is.

Just to reiterate. This post is not to be read by those that believe.

christmas, nut cracker, father christmas, santa
So it’s Christmas time. A time for loving, sharing, giving, and for constantly trying to sell the magic of Christmas to our little ones. The thing with me is, that I love to pick holes in things, even things that are magical. I was a child once and I know that just because you are learning about the world, doesn’t mean you are stupid. So as fabulous as magical traditions and fairytales are, I feel that in order to be believed fully, they have to be believable. So let’s break it down Dave Gorman style. (If you’re not a fan of ‘Dave Gorman- Modern life is goodish’ then that last comment has gone over your head).

There’s the obvious of how does Santa get in if you don’t have a chimney. That has been solved but someone running their hands together as they cash in on “Santa’s magic key” that we all buy and hang on the front door. Personally, this freaks me out as I continually have nightmares about burglars coming in. If I was a clever kid, I would question why it doesn’t open the door for everyone but I know you will all say because only Santa’s magic can work it. Blah blah. So that’s that.

Then there’s the leaving white footprints across the house idea, in an attempt to make it look like Santa has walked across the room. Parents are buying stencils or making their own and using flour, icing sugar and alike to make snowy prints. The child will wake in the morning and think “wow”. Me, personally again, the burglars come to mind! Some strange man has evidentially walked round our house whilst we are all asleep! Ok he has left gifts as opposed to robbing us, but still! The kid has only got to watch Home Alone in the run up to Christmas and the snowy footprints suddenly won’t be so magical.

christmas, family
Now for the cracker (pun intended). So, we go to the effort of laying out yummy treats, snacks and drinks for Father Christmas and his reindeer to have when they arrive. They will be hungry and thirsty after all that present delivering after all. Some parents have given into buying a special plate for said treats, (the corporate elves are gleefully rubbing their hands again). The treats are chosen and placed on the plate carefully. The plate is then placed in an obvious place for Father Christmas to find. It’s all very well thought out, with lots of time and effort placed on this one act alone.

Now here’s the piece de resistance. We modern techies, get our smart technology out and show our marvelling little minds the Santa Norad tracker. For those of you that haven’t used it, I’ll explain. It shows you a satellite view of Santa flying above the world. It shows you at the time of loading, where Santa is, how many presents he has delivered and counting, and how many minutes until he reaches you. “Wow” my little one exclaimed when I showed him. Wow indeed! I mean what I have just showed you is Father Christmas flying through the skies, being led by his 8 reindeer. Continually travelling across the world,  with present delivery numbers rising. At no point have I showed you Santa stopping at every house, eating snacks and placing presents in stockings. If that’s not the most questionable thing about Christmas then I don’t know what is! (Well I do, but I was always taught that religion is a topic you should never discuss in a professional setting).  I asked hubby what he thought of the whole charade I had just played out and his answer was, “magic!”. Magic indeed!

I then proceeded to drink the perfectly laid out milk, whilst hubby rubbed the biscuits together to leave crumbs. I then snapped the carrot and grated the ends to give it that nibbled look! In the meantime, the Norad tracker showed Santa gleefully riding above Saudi Arabia!

father christmas plate, santa
Feeling exhausted by all the white lies I’d put so much effort into, I fell into bed on Christmas Eve. As I lay there, I suddenly realised that I wasn’t sleepy. Ironically, I was actually so excited about Santa coming and George seeing that he had been,that I couldn’t sleep! I tossed and turned all night, too excited by my own lies.

When morning arrived and we got up with George, it became apparent that I hadn’t done a very good job at lying. George has got the wrong end of the fibbing stick and was disappointed that Father Christmas was not waiting downstairs for him. After all, who visits someone’s house and doesn’t wait to see the person who lives there! Deary me! So there you have it, the truth about Father Christmas, or Santa, or whatever you like to call him.

Until next time…….

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Reasons to love and hate Christmas

So here are some reasons why to love and hate Christmas. You may relate to some of these, you may not. But however you feel about Christmas, the reality is that as with anything, Christmas is what you make of it.

So let’s start on a high with a reason I love Christmas.

christmas, magic

  1. Love:- It brings people together. Whether it’s forced or not, whether it happens on 25th December or not, people make the effort to come together at Christmas. Family, friends, neighbours, communities, they all come together to celebrate and marvel in the wonder of Christmas.
  2. Hate:- Christmas isn’t a happy time for everyone. For some it reminds them all too brutally of those they have lost. Those who are no longer around the dinner table. Then there are those who are homeless and desperately ill. For them can often just be another day of despair. Although many people now commit their time and efforts towards helping the homeless, I’m in no doubt that these services are likely oversubscribed. There are people who miss out and suffer the same as every other day. Not to forget the amazing people who work in our public services on Christmas Day, nurses, police and alike. They all give up their Christmas Day to be there to look after you and keep you safe.
  3. Love:- presents. In recent years I haven’t received as many presents. What with me being a grownup and all. We all often mutually agree to just but for the children. It’s much cheaper and we both come from a family of many siblings. Niece and nephew count this year is up to 12! But when the unwrapping commences I just love to see the smile on their faces. Hubby usually buys me something and our parents often disobey the rules claiming that technically we are their children so we receive gifts from them. I love buying, receiving, wrapping and giving presents though.
  4. Hate:- presents. Yes unfortunately as much as I love them, I also hate them. The insistence that something MUST be bought for people. I overheard a middle aged woman in the queue in M&S saying to her elderly mother, “Eugh, I’ve GOT to get you something yet!”. Talk about take the spirit out of Christmas!
  5.  Love:- The food! Oh the food! Without meaning to cause offence to anyone, I have always described myself as a fat girl in a not so fat girls body. Although trust me as I age and my metabolism slows, that and I sit on my arse a lot. I’m getting fatter all the time. Nonetheless I love using Christmas as an excuse to overindulge in all the yummy food. Just forget about points and calories and whatever else people worry about and eat, eat, eat.
  6. Hate:- The food! You’re seeing a trend here aren’t you. I love my food. I would even describe myself as a bit of a foodie. But my word, I didn’t realise I was a fussy eater until I thought about all the traditional Christmas food. Christmas pudding, mince pies, parsnips, mulled wine! Yuk! I hate them all. Then there’s the weight gain. As much as I spend Christmas minus my conscience, as soon as it’s over I feel bloated and dare not even look at the scales. The detox and healthy eating plans commence for all of 4 days until New Years and it all starts again.
  7. Hate:- The Money it costs:- Ok so you could argue that you know that Christmas is coming each year. So technically you could put some money by each month, but even this is a hardship for some. Christmas is an expense that leaves some feeling stressed or in unnecessary debt. And you could say that these people are silly to overstretch themselves but we have created a society where some kids are getting the latest technology or the must have toy for Christmas. Most parents don’t want their child to feel like they are missing out or not “good” enough. A lot of emphasis seems to be placed on the gifts you get depending on how well behaved you have been throughout the year when in fact it’s what your parents can afford.
  8. Love:-The Parties:- The obligatory Christmas work do. Despite being a stay at home mum, I still get invited to the works do where I used to work. It’s food, drink, dancing and silliness and it’s the only time of year it seems to happen. In recent years and more and more of my friends have become mummies, it’s become harder to get us all together for an evening out. Christmas seems to force this and for this reason. I love it.
  9. Love:- Father Christmas aka Santa aka St Nick. The man of many names, many a disguise and many a location. He seems to crop up in more and more places and I love him for it. I love the notion of a magical land where the toys are lovingly made and distributed by the fabulous man himself. I love visiting the grotto with my now two year old and knocking on his door waiting to see him.
  10. Hate:- Father Christmas aka Santa aka St Nick. There doesn’t seem to be a place now that isn’t cashing in on this guy. He’s cropping up in schools, supermarkets, pubs, garden centres, aquariums, even the Zoo! I’m sure there wasn’t this many a Father Christmas when I was a little un. If anything I feel it spoils the magic. You can take you child to see Father Christmas and as you are leaving you bump into another. Thankfully George is still too young to notice. Only a few weeks ago we visited the Winter wonderland at Centreparcs with my brother in law and his children. Their little boy is 4 and went in before us. When we both came out and looked at our photos with Father Christmas, my nephew pointed out that ours looked different. There was two FC’s operating at the same time in rooms next to each other! For this reason I have imposed a strict “one grotto a year” rule for George. If nothing but to try and keep him believing just that little bit longer. Kids are growing up wayyyyyy too fast these days as it is!

So there you have it. Do you agree or disagree with any? Are there any big ones you think I’ve missed? Feel free to share with us. This list expresses how I feel personally about Christmas.

Wishing you all a very Happy 2016 Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year. X

Until next time……

You Baby Me Mummy

Gentle parenting: Saying “No!” to time-outs

This post will be focusing on our love of gentle parenting techniques, as we approach the more challenging possibly not so aptly named, terrible twos. 

pregnancy gentle parenting

When I was pregnant with George I did a lot of research into raising a child. I have never been particularly maternal but I had an inkling that should I become a parent, that I would be a pretty good one, going only on the basis of how great an aunty I was. How smug does that sound! But honestly having confidence in our own abilities isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s not like I go round pointing fingers at people saying that’s right, that’s wrong. Although I can see some methods are a little ineffective, I still don’t believe there is a right or wrong. After all, every child, parent and lifestyle is different. And in all honesty, as much as I knew I had the capacity to be a good parent (whatever that is anyway), I was still very, very doubtful of whether my motherly instincts would kick in. To the point that I had nightmares about it when I was pregnant, and when George was born, I was very reluctant for others to hold him as I feared he may enjoy being held more by them than being held by my awkward self. Little did I know then that holding your own baby is nowhere near as scary and awkward feeling as it is holding other people’s. So back to the matter in hand;

Anyhow, I could and still can always see areas of other people’s parenting that was essentially failing. Can’t we all? Watching people lose their rag all too quickly, not watching what their children are doing when they are in danger, you know the type of stuff we all silently judge each other for. But I love a challenge and parenting is certainly that. I wasn’t prepared to have anyone silently judging me. I have to succeed. Failure from myself isn’t an option in my twisted mind. When I fell pregnant though, the pregnancy wasn’t as easy as I had imagined. That’s when I realised that this wasn’t going to be something I would be able to completely control. I could have an ideal of how I wanted it to be, whilst controlling factors such as my diet and exercise. But in the end, my body was going to do what it wanted and I was going to have to just learn to live with it as amicably as I could. Carpel tunnel syndrome, stretch marks despite using all the best potions, fluid retention, you name it, it bit me hard and there was fuck all I could do about it in the grand scheme of things, except ride it out and try and enjoy it. After all, you are supposed to be radiantly blooming aren’t you. I watched Father of the Bride 2 wayyyyyyyy too many times!

I took to social media, joining various bump and baby groups in an attempt to met some like-minded people and ensure that when bubba was born I wouldn’t be a hermit whilst all my pre-pregnancy friends worked. It was in these groups that I discovered Gentle and attachment parenting methods.

Since becoming a mum, I’ve realised that parenting is much the same as preganacy, life indeed! You can apply methods and theories to your way of parenting, but overall, your child is a living, growing person. Your child will be who they want to be. You have to learn how to leave in peaceful existence with them whilst teaching them good morals and values that they can carry through life. And as much as you fear that what you are doing could still result in them growing up to become a drug addicted, murderer (worst case scenario). You have just got to hope, pray and well just not be such a psychopath and chill the fuck out with it all. This is where gentle parenting matches how I wish to live my life and teach my son that the world is a happy, chilled place, for the most part.

Once George was born, my instincts of wanting to keep him safe and happy remained, as they had throughout my pregnancy. I never wanted him to feel sad or frustrated. I wanted to protect and nurture him in any way that I could. Being an 80’s baby I was raised as most British 80’s kids were. There was nothing wrong with it. I always insisted that I would raise my child in the same way I was raised because “I turned out alright”. But when this little 7 pound chunk of gorgeousness landed in my arms, I suddenly went all bohemian in my mindset. I wanted to do things my way and as much as I was happy to ask for other more experienced mums input, I didn’t want it imposed on me. 

This is where gentle parenting entered our lives. Gentle parenting is a compassionate form of parenting, focusing on empathising with your child and helping to support and respect their feelings as much as your own. After all they are merely humans like ourselves. I brought hubby on board. Adding him to the groups and sharing any articles I read to ensure that we were being consistent in our parenting approach. I’ve been so fortunate that he has been happy to follow the same methods and beliefs without any hesitation. Now I could tell you each and every aspect of gently parenting, what it means, how you go about it, but I think this article best explains it. Taken from the Gentle Parenting website itself. If you are a parent, just take the time it takes to drink your cuppa and have a little read. It would be so lovely if my post had ultimately let you to find ways you could enhance your style of parenting.

Taken from the gentle parenting website. http://www.gentleparenting.co.uk/kc/gentleparentingtips/

It does worry me how restrictive things might be when George enters the education system however. Thankfully his nursery doesn’t impose any limits that we disagree with yet. But it’s something we will definitely be adding to our list of things to ask when interviewing potential schools.

As a rule though, gentle parenting doesn’t back the use of time outs, naughty steps, reward charts and alike. It’s not to say George doesn’t get a sticker here and there if he does something outstanding like at the end of a play group session. But we don’t have a chart. He wears them and it’s not a consistent regime. We always discuss behaviour that could harm and then he goes about his day. If we did choose to remove him from a situation as he grew older and potentially more defiant then we would sit with him so he could vent his emotion but know he is safe with our presence. This teaches him morals and guides him towards thinking about his behaviour and why he should or shouldn’t do things. Rather than him thinking oh if I do that I’ll get a reward.

Here’s another article I have recently stumbled across to help keep us on track as the more testing “terrible twos” descend upon us. Although “touch wood”, we seem to be having an easier time than other parents around us that I see. I can’t help but wonder if this would have been different had we not led with gentle parenting.

http://news.nationalpost.com/health/no-more-time-outs-and-reward-charts-psychologist-advises-parents-ditch-traditional-approaches-to-discipline

So I hope this post has given you food for thought. And please don’t take it as me being a judgemental arsehole. I’m really not. I believe we are all entitled to parent how we wish, after all, its ultimately ourselves that have to live with the consequences.

Until next time …………

Happy 2nd Birthday – a letter to my gorgeous George. 


A letter to my gorgeous George on your second birthday…..

How can it be that I love you even more than I did yesterday my precious gorgeous George. I look back on the days when I used to gaze at your newborn self and wonder what would become of you. What would your voice sound like? What kind of personality would you have? Would you love everything me and daddy love? Well now two years have past and I already have answers for these ponderings. 

You are an adorable little man. You amuse everyone with the things you say and the conciseness with which you say it. You are my world. I would do anything to make this the best world it can be for you. Be that protecting you from the nasties, or pushing through my own limits to make your day a happy and memorable one. 

I know as you grow you will continue to amaze me and teach me as much as I teach you. Your personality is becoming so quirky and cheeky. You also have an exceptional talent for repeating what you hear. From coming into the kitchen to tell Daddy he is scum (think you may have overheard mummy and daddy commenting on one another’s pop offs) to getting upset because the moon disappeared whilst we are driving. I love your world. You can argue that a hat is not a hat, or be mesmerised for ages by a ladybird (who we have fondly named Gaston, after a character from one of your favourite shows Ben and Hollys little Kingdom). 

I love you dots and dots (not a typo, something mummy started when you were tiny, to be different). 
I hope this, being the first birthday you are fully aware of, has been as fantastic as mummy and daddy wanted it to be for you. And there’s still more to come. 
Until next year……

The juggling act of being a first time mum. 

I have always been fabulous at multitasking doing a million things in one day and juggling it all seamlessly without very much flapping. Ok a couple of deep breathing in the loo moments but to the outside world, unflappable. Well that’s how I view myself anyways. Others that know me may beg to differ. 
Since becoming a mum though I seem to have reduced my juggling skills from 6 balls to 2. I’m quite good at taking care of myself whilst being a mum. This is my first ball. I can’t complain about not getting a chance to shower, not being able to pee by myself, or not having time to do something of a beauty routine be it moisturising, make up or a blow dry. I consider myself a master of baby distraction techniques and by using these and making things fun or allowing him to help me (so cute but in hindsight not a great idea) I have still managed these tasks. Ok I may have managed them 4 hours later than I would have pre motherhood, but I managed them none the less and felt rather guilty that I couldn’t join in with the other mums in pining for these things. 


The second ball is taking care of George. I have always managed to keep him clothed, clean, fed and watered with some entertainment and teaching thrown in for good measure. I’ve never had the “we’ve run out of clean clothes, let’s dash out and buy more” situation. We have obviously had an emotional journey with its usual difficulties. George becoming a fussy eater not long after a successful and varied weaning process and me crying a lot about most things he frustrates me with. But overall I feel like I’ve done a fabulous job with him and he is just amazing. He learns words and songs with ease. He’s approaching two and knows his alphabet, counts to ten and knows most of his colours. His speech is outstanding and he can hold a conversation with most adults without much ad-libbing from me. 


So what’s the problem? Well it’s all the other balls that I’ve dropped and have slowly rolled away. I haven’t forgotten about them and I feel partly lost without them. There’s going to work. I quit my job to become a stay at home mum when George was 13 months old. Something I’m pleased I did as it wasn’t suiting us but a ball that I miss none the less. This ball will hopefully be picked up again soon as I plan to retrain in a new career by enrolling on an accountancy course so I can work alongside my husband in his business. The problem is it’s nearly George’s birthday and with Christmas around the corner and a mini break booked some time back, there isn’t much spare cash left from my husbands single income to enable me to pay the first course fee. The ball is literally at my fingertips and my frustration is growing. 


Then there is the issue of my fitness. When I worked I was dashing around a hospital for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and this was keep me fit, trim and healthy. Since becoming a mum I’ve gained two stone, two dress sizes, a bit of greedy and un-restrainable appetite and a rather disappointed opinion of myself. I’ve accepted that I’ve changed due to he marvel of creating life, but there’s only so many times you can keep replacing your wardrobe and growing out of it. This ball is something I feel I should still be holding as surely running around after a child keeps you fit and healthy. But I don’t believe that applies to a nearly two year old. A lot of my time is spent sitting and observing him to ensure his is playing safely. I’ve tried to start going for regular daily walks but often George wants to walk rather than be in the pushchair, setting the pace at a rate that I’m sure won’t burn much fat at all. So I shall be shortly turning to some you tube videos on how to involve your toddler in your workouts. 


I used to love my hobbies pre motherhood. Swimming, gardening, DIY, baking and going to watch my favourite football team. These are all grouped together in one ball. A ball that I occasionally get to mix into my juggling routine but I’ve probably only succeeded a handful of times post motherhood. This at times can feel inadequate. It makes me feel like life is passing by and I’m not achieving things I want to. But then as friends and family remind me, my greatest achievement at the moment is helping to raise a wonderful human being. And I share some fabulously fun days out with the Georgeous.


This aside, I know these are all things I will one day do again. I now visit my footie team again but after a few seasons away I feel a bit like a stranger. I’ve also managed to add in a few new hobbies since having George including crafting, cooking more health conscious meals and learning makaton by attending sing and sign classes with George. 

What really matters is that me and my family are happy and surviving. It doesn’t matter how many balls I’m juggling. 

As a side note I have always considered myself a bit of a queen of analogies. It’s the easiest way for me to learn things and explain them to others. This post is based around the analogy of me juggling balls rather than actually referring to life as the mixed bag of activities that it is. However for the the more filthy minded among you I realise that this post may be giving you all a little snigger as I continually used the term ‘juggling balls’. No? Just me? O-K then. (Shrinks inside hoody) Oh dear. It’s written now and it shall damn well remain (she titters to herself).

Until next time……

Inspire & Flourish Linky

1469450059So here am I am partaking in my first ever linky thanks to the beautifully organised The Less Refined Mind.

As much as I love writing my blog, I absolutely love reading other peoples. There truly aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up to date with as many as I would like to, as well as juggling daily life but here is a run down of my recent absolute favourites. Enjoy!

  • Starting with my predecessor in the comments for this linky and also a good mummy friend that I had made before this world of blogging began. May I draw your attention to Taylor-made-ramblings . One of her more recent posts A poem for my son on his second birthday absolutely stopped me in my tracks. I love writing poetry myself but could never pen anything as apt and beautiful as Rebecca. And I wasn’t alone as many commenters said it brought a tear to their eye.
  • Next is Things I’d do differently on my next pregnancy! written perfectly by Simplyamama . I love this list, and whilst I’m not presumptuous enough to think I will have another pregnancy, I hope that I shall in the future be blessed with one. When that time comes I shall have this post securely pinned to my board to refer to.
  • Although I’ve been blogging since August 2015, I’ve only recently started to take it seriously in recent months and even that’s sporadic to be perfectly honest. So blog posts like this one, Blogging:5 tips to get you started are just invaluable to me and no doubt many others. Not only that but the writer of the above post, the marvelous Plutonium Sox has created an entire blogging resource, otherwise known as my personal new bible. Here Plutonium Sox combines posts from many other bloggers, (including our very own host for this linky The Less Refined Mind) all trying to assist the rest of us in this blogging journey. I salute you!
  • I love Realsimplemama ‘s blog. In particular her posts about attachment parenting. Something hubby and I try to follow and are always eager to learn more about. I basically love all of her posts but if I have to chose a favorite it would have to be the insightful How to talk to your kids . I’m alway eager to learn new ways to communicate with George as he develops and to avoid letting the attachment parenting slip, posts like this are perfect for this.
  • My last favourite read I’d love to share with you is my newest find The Rebel Mama . One of the most entertaining posts I have read so far on the blog, reminisces back to a post made in 2013 but with current relevance…Can we just stop it already?  I agree with a lot of this but it amuses me at the same time. The blog is written by a collective of mamas but captions itself with the term “Don’t call it a mom blog”. I just love reading it.

So there you have it. I hope I have introduced you to some new fabulous and interesting reads. They have inspired me to continue with gentle and attachment parenting methods which I share with my mummy friends. Not to take life and motherhood too seriously as I am most definitely guilty of being slightly neurotic at times. To take time to create beautiful, creative pieces such as meaningful poems. And above all to never forget that there is always something to be learned no matter how much you think you already know.

Until next time…..

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Our first family holiday – Butlins Bognor Regis

So our first family holiday has now happened! We’ve taken George on several holidays since his birth, but these have all included other members of mine or hubbies family. Mums, dads, nans, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles. Whilst group holidays are a nice way to spend some quality time together, I have found since having George that these type of holidays are hard work. You would expect that they would be easier and more relaxed as the baby sitting duties can be shared. This hasn’t ever happened though and to be perfectly honest I’ve never wanted it to. I’ve just spent nigh on 30 years holidaying by myself and 16 of those with hubby and I as a couple. I love the notion of having child friendly holidays now that we are parents. Doing all the silly activities we haven’t done since we ourself were children. This is something I find is near on impossible when you have a string of family tags on with you. All with their own needs, wishes and desires. Some can’t eat past midday, some can’t walk too far or detest kids play places, others have their own small children with their own nap times, likes and dislikes, then there are the fellas who would rather just slowly navigate from pub to pub. Overall, since I became a mum I find myself becoming exasperated with trying to fit in with everyone else’s requirements.

So imagine my extreme excitement when myself and hubby booked a tots week to Butlins, Bognor Regis for our first holiday as just the three of us, just a few weeks shy of George’s second birthday. It also included Thomas and Friends as the live show, which I knew he would love. (One of the reasons I booked this specific week.)

We arrived on a Monday and was greeted with a friendly reception team and directed towards our children’s themed hotel room. The corridor leading to the room was carpeted with fish pools and life saving rings printed onto the carpet. Your entrance and exit to the elevator was via a ‘walk the plank’ effect vinyl flooring. Each room had a pirate ship steering wheel and navigation board as well as a large octopus cushion and octopus feet sofa. George’s bedroom was a double bunk room complete with porthole effect lights as well as a soothing soft coloured night light built into the shelf above the wardrobe. The room also had a small flat screen TV. The ship/sea theme continued throughout the room with smart captions on the drawers and a fishy poem with pictures printed on the the bath area wall. We were impressed. It was clean, comfortable for us and exciting and novel for George. 

After unpacking our luggage we decided to go on a quick walk around the Butlins site to check out the facilities. We had been previously but not for three years and hadn’t stayed during a tots week before. As we walked around we made a note of all the shows and activity timings that we would be interested in throughout the week. George was running around at high speed in complete awe of everything on offer, including the huge expanse of amusement arcades. We did note however that there were quite a few older people without children, as well as a very large group of adults with carers. Many had a mental disability or cognitive disorder or down syndrome and it was apparent they needed an intense level of care. Their family didn’t appear to be with them, they all had a minimum of one to one care. I thought it strange they was on a tots week but mentally and emotionally many of them were behaving as children do so thought this may be why. We also couldn’t find anywhere advertising the live Thomas show. 


Arriving back at our hotel reception we were informed that it wasn’t Just For Tots week and it wasn’t the Thomas live show week. Feeling deflated, we got the reception staff to check for us. One call to the manager later and we were informed that it wasn’t our mistake. The website clearly had sold us a Just for Tots weeks but it wasn’t in fact on until the end of the month. The manager gave us complimentary tickets to a 3D Dino babies cinema experience to the value of £10 but given we had spent £262 on a break that was meant to be specifically aimed at toddlers we were less than impressed but felt helpless as really there was nothing anyone could do. Seeing George’s excitement continuing to build and the amazing  smile he had on his face helped us to realise that in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter. He was completely oblivious to what could have been. We chose to plough head on into our week of fun, despite the fact I couldn’t shake the feeling of disappointment. Having informed all our friends and family of our plans to commemorate George turning two, I felt a bit foolish realising it wasn’t going to fully be the experience we had hoped. A quick Facebook update to friends and family helped alleviate this. I also sent a tweet to Butlins to vent my disappointment, along with a screen shot of the misleading website booking. I’m yet to receive a response from them. 

Hubby, aware of how easily my mood shifts (we suspect I’m suffering a mild bout of depression) tried to boost my spirits by pointing out continually how happy and unaware George was. We threw ourselves into making it as memorable week as possible for us all. Clapping, singing, dancing and just generally being as silly and enthusiastic as the entertainment team on site as we went. George fell absolutely head over heels with the two star characters featured at Butlins, Billy Bear and his girlfriend Bonnie Bear. We watched and got involved in so many shows, we really did have a blast and the shows are really high quality. Unlike other holiday camps there are regular children’s shows and activities from 10am through to late at night including puppet shows, putting Billy Bear to bed, and live shows of their favourite TV characters. This week features angelina ballerina, bob the builder and fireman sam. 

The biggest negative of the week was the attitude and terrible customer service we experienced at some of the onsite food establishments and bowling alley. In the first day alone we walked out from the Papa Johns after being seated but no service. Three places couldn’t make the cocktails I requested from the menu due to lack of ingredients or “technical difficulties” as I was told. One restaurant charged us £22 per adult for an all you can eat buffet, failing to tell us they were stopping it no more than 10 minutes after we arrived. Realising they were clearing the food away whilst we were eating our dinner, we had jump up and grab deserts mid way through our dinner. The waitresses also didn’t ask if you were finished before they cleared your plate and had already made George cry when we visited for breakfast as they removed his food before he had finished. After complaining to management they couldn’t offer any compensation or refund. We also visited the bike hire to enquire if we George was suitable to sit on the front of a family bike, which he was. Leaving saying we would return the following say as we had a show scheduled, we returned the following day to find they only had two bikes and they have to be booked in advance so none were available. Probably things that are common sense to some but we didn’t realise and wasn’t informed. The bowling alley didn’t appear to be manned when we visited and it was a huge effort just to try to track someone down to enable us to book a game. Overall though we had a fabulous week and George fell in love with the place and we are crazily considering returning next year. 

I would recommend it as a concept but I’m eager to try one of their other resorts.  And I can’t reiterate enough that the shoreline hotel staff and all the entertainment crew were incredibly friendly and always gave us a warm welcome. And I will say that if you went self catering and didn’t visit any of the restaurants then you would probably write a rave review. 

Having now tried a bog standard mid week break, as well as an adults only themed weekend, I am eager to try a just for tots week (although obviously this would be ticked off my list by now had the booking website not been inaccurate!) I would recommend booking over the telephone as the website is quite evidently poor. 

 
Just to top the week off nicely we were surprised with a massive load of vomit from George on the car journey home. Something I wasn’t expecting as it’s only the third time in his life he’s ever been sick and I hadn’t experienced the previous two times as they happened at nursery. Thankfully we had a car full of spare clothes and towels but I have a car seat to deep clean now. Oh the joys of going on holiday! (She’s says gleefully)

Until next time……..

This is my church – football from a woman fans perspective

I’ve been a fan and regular season ticket holder of my ‘local team’ (despite relocating 30 miles away) for at least 14 years. Given this, I feel I just about qualify enough to be able to give my perspective of the wonderful game. 


Now please don’t mistake me for a fan of all football. Unless hubby is playing or its my beloved team then I am more or less clueless. Or rather I don’t give a shit! I’m happy to also admit that despite spending almost every Saturday for the past 14 years watching the mighty Daggers, I am still often none the wiser as to what is going on. Often spending most of the games unashamedly admiring the players and not for their footwork. But my favourite football match pastime is to actually watch the fans. I love nothing more than a bit of people watching. Something my son seems to have inherited, the telltale sign being we regularly frequent toddler play places only for him to want to sit and watch what everyone else is doing and comment on it, rather than participating himself. 

Please don’t get the impression I’m some pathetic woman that doesn’t know what she’s talking about when it comes to football. I don’t always feel confident enough to argue my case with hubby, but I like to think (and many silently agree I’m sure) that I view the game clearer than most of my fellow fans of the male variety. And why is this? Well for starters I refuse to accept the pair of rose tinted glasses invisibly offered to me at the entrance gate. I see the game for what it is and not what I believe it is. 


Week after week I listen to these silly boys…… yes boys, as soon as they enter those gates they checkout from manhood and revert to being eleven year old boys again! …..So I listen to these silly boys goading the lino and the referee…. 

Sorry let’s pause for a moment. If you are reading this and have no clue what these terms are then sorry this is not a “How to understand what happens at a football match” post. Maybe you should opt out of reading this post if that’s the case. 

(Fellow bloggers shudder in horror!)

“Did you see? She just told readers to stop reading her post!”

Anyways getting back to what I was saying….these silly boys, wearing their rose tinted glasses, standing there telling the lino’s and the ref and the bloody players how to do their jobs! Yeah, yeah I get that because you paid your entrance fee you feel it gives you the right to do this but no! You are paying to spectate! You wouldn’t pay for a plumber and then stand there screaming that he’s unplugging your blocked drain incorrectly. Or pay to watch a show where you don’t think much of the acting so you decide to start screaming that they should be acting in a different manner! So who agreed this is what should be acceptable at a football match? And it’s not just friendly advice, you actually believe you are experts on the matter. Though your fickleness fails you as I am there watching you taunting a player….
“You’re supposed to jump! That’s why it’s called a header” “Shoot!” “Chase it!” “Oh your crap!”
Only for me to find you minutes later clapping and cheering the same player as he celebrates the goal he just scored! I have no words (places head in hands).

I actually wanted to be a female footballer but my body let me down. Despite knowing what I should be doing and understanding the game, I couldn’t get my body to be any good at it. I remember trying out for the after school girls football club. The tutor, exasperated by my lack of skill, decided to try me in goal. I was pretty good in that I saved the goals, but usually with my face. Ending up laying flat on my back with everyone cheering around me, my face throbbing from the ball I’d just saved. No I’m much safer in the terraces sadly. 

My beloved George was equally content in his first year at football matches. Snoozing, having his milk and clapping along whilst people watching during the 90 minutes. This was when we paid extra to be in the seated area of course.  As the new season approached along with George’s impending second birthday, we decided to take advantage of the special offer for standing terrace tickets. Taking George to his first terrace game, we stood at the far end so he had his own play space and escape from the crowds if he so wished. Within 5 minutes the first chants and goads began. I hadn’t quite realised how aggressive these men can sound to a young toddler and being a hot day we thought his ear defenders would make him too sweaty so had left those at home. After 10 minutes of trying to move him away from the noise and him still being completely inconsolable, I left and haven’t returned with George since.  Hence why he now stays at Nanny’s house whilst me and hubby have some quality couple time, at a grubby football ground, surrounded by smelly shouty men (rolls eyes, yes I’m an easy to please date). George’s preference of sitting in the quieter, pricier seated area of the stadium just goes to prove he has inherited mummy’s expensive taste. 

So getting back to he wonderful game, if you are one of the poor souls I get chatting to over there (mainly because my husband doesn’t talk during the game, fabulous date I know) then you will know that players tend to become my favourite if they have an obvious haircut/colour. This allows me to identify them easier. I knew our team backwards and forward years ago but having missed a few seasons due to George’s arrival I now struggle to get to grip with who’s who. Why won’t they just stand still for 5 minutes! (Laughs whilst all the ‘fans’ shake their heads in dismay). Football matches are great places to learn about Geographical facts too. For instance, I recently discovered that Wrexham is in fact in Wales! I mean I would have never have guessed. Places like Maesteg, Caernarfon, Aberystwyth….they all sound Welsh. Wrexham! Well it just doesn’t does it! Sorry. 

There’s no knowing how much longer I’ll continue to be a season ticket holder but what is always a given is that I shall always be a Dagger. I’ve been there through promotions, relagations, cup ties and end of season fancy dress piss ups. It’s a part of mine and hubbies history together and something we will always speak fondly of together no matter who plays for us, who owns us, who stands next to us or puts us down. They are our team and nothing will ever change that. 

What love do you and your partner share? Are you footie fans? Would love to hear. 

Until next time…….

Life through the overactive imagination of one ordinary girl turned mummy.