Perfect Parenting – The AWWWW and the UUURRRGGGHHH moments!

Most parents will understand where I’m coming from when I say that parenting can go from a heart melting, AWWWW moment, to a head screaming, hair pulling UUURRRGGGHHH moment. You can often wonder how the moments switched, or even merged and how you even got there!

I have often read that you’re not parenting right unless you’ve turned into a screaming, raving, lunatic. (Don’t judge, we’ve all been there!!!! Well done you if you haven’t yet, but give it time, we’re only human!!!!!) If this is the case, why did I pressure myself to be a perfect, Mary Poppins type, parent, if it’s normal to have the UUURRRGGGHHH moments? From finding out I was pregnant with my first, I had a magazine subscription for Mother and Baby magazine to make sure I was going to be a ‘perfect parent’.  I used to religiously watch ‘Super Nanny’ and strictly follow her rules on time out, bedtime routines, chores and reward charts. Yes, they did work most of the time but I kind of feel, now my children are growing up that I missed out on those extra cuddles they wanted when putting them to bed, and maybe some special AWWWW moments, because ‘Super Nanny’ said I should kiss them goodnight and leave them to fall asleep on their own. Apparently, gives them independence and promotes a good sleep routine. So I was lead to believe…… Well, my oldest, now has to sleep with the light on as she is terrified of the dark and it still takes her ages to fall asleep. Not really the independence I thought ‘perfect parenting’ would bring. She often climbs in to bed with me now, after having a nightmare, I let her these days and I cherish it, knowing she is coming to me when she is scared and I am a comfort to her. Well the former scenario of taking them back to their own bed didn’t work did it?wp-1475700108248.jpg

It wasn’t just ‘Super Nanny’ it was other people telling me, “You’ll make a rod for your own back doing that” I was so intent on being perfect at being a Mum, and not having the UUURRRGGGHHH moments, I listened instead of finding my own way. Now, I just want to go back and do it all again, MY WAY!!!! NOOOOOO I don’t mean have anymore babies, just if someone is willing to lend me their time machine, so I can just go back and have more cuddles and tell the old me, to tell those judgey perfect parents where to go! You know you’d never get the time machine back, right?

Yes, I know those judgey people are just trying to stick their ‘ore’ in, (oops) I mean help. I’m sure I may have ‘tried to help’ other parents myself at one point or another, but I just wish I knew what I know now. Don’t we all? Now, if someone asks my opinion or how I would do something, I tell them but I don’t, by any means, expect them to do it my way. Why should they? They know their own situation better than I do, but if my way helps inspire them to find their own way then I’ve been a good friend.  I do still ask the opinions of others on certain situations as this does help to steer me in the right direction, but it doesn’t stop me exploring other options too.

You see, by not doing it my own way in the past, made me lose the person I was, made me doubt my own decisions and even prevented my own children’s personality from shining through. I thought I was being the ‘perfect parent’ or trying to be perfect, raising perfect children. What I actually was doing was setting myself up for a fall. Realising now, no one can be perfect 100% of the time and with an expectation of perfect to live up to, I felt a failure when I got it wrong. I don’t want anyone else to feel like that! I was so hung up on being perfect, I missed special AWWWW moments because it was followed by a UUURRRGGGHHH moment that need to be put into time out or laid back down to sleep. Now I know, no one is perfect and our children are not perfect. It is so wrong to expect it.wp-1475700344911.jpg

Take Facebook, most of us share our best experiences, the good bits. Seeing everyone in, whats seems like, their perfect lives, when I’m smack bang in a UUURRRGGGHHH moment can often leave a bitter taste in my mouth, fueling the need to make my own life perfect, so I can show everyone how perfect my life is, I can do perfect too! I have since realised that everyone has these UUURRRGGGHHH moments and their lives are not perfect. The moments they chose to share with us all are their AWWWW moments and then every year Facebook reminds us of those moments so we can AWWWW all over again. I know enjoy seeing everyone’s AWWW moments instead of feeling like it’s a personal kick when I’m down.

I don’t mean never to discipline (I hate this word!) my children or teach them right from wrong, I don’t want to raise delinquents, but every child deserves to be the person they are supposed to be. We need to pick our battles and not lose those special moments or drive away their character. We, as adults, all have bad days and good days, we can cause those UUURRRGGGHHH moments ourselves, hormones and lack of sleep, amongst other things fuel them!!! So, as my girls get older, why should it be any different for them? I do pity John, living in a house of hormones. No wonder he works away.

You see that however horrible those UUURRRGGGHHH moments are, and how ever many of those moments you get in one day, it’s those AWWWW moments that make up for them. The first cuddle after hours of the worst pain ever and the longest 9 months of waiting to meet them. The first smile after 4 weeks of no sleep and tending to a screaming, feeding and pooping monster. The first chuckle, the cooing and finding their voice, the list goes on. Now my two are 9 and 6, they still give me those AWWWW moments everyday and these are what I hold onto and not the UUURRRGGGHHH moment that usually follows 30 seconds later, as I turn into that screaming, raving lunatic, I remember and I’m proud to say ‘We’re not perfect, we do crazy, we are normal’.

You all understand what I’ve rambled on about don’t you? Lets stop beating ourselves up and enjoy every moment!wp-1475700527904.jpg

3 Little Buttons

Mumsy Midwife

Summer holidays wish lists.

With the end of the school term just days away,¬†I’m feeling like it’s crept up on me and I’m totally unprepared for the extra carnage that comes with it. ūüėęThis summerūüĆě, Mr C and I have over lapped our holidays so we get to spend a week away altogether and¬†then there’s only 3 weeks I need to¬†find childcare for. I’m regretting excepting those extra hours on my contract, meaning I’m now working 4 days a week.¬†That’s 4 days I’ve got to find childcare for. (Groan) Thankfully, I have some amazing friends and family willing to step in so I can stop stressing.ūüėć

What bothers me is that the summer holidays will fly by, ‚úą missing¬†the chance to really enjoy it with the girls. As they grow older they are going to want to go off and enjoy their summers with their friends and being with their parents will not be cool.ūüėé I feel like there isn’t many summers left so I’ve got to make them count.

In comes the idea of a Summer wish list. Last summer the girls wrote out some summer bucket lists with things like ‘rolley polley down a hill’,¬† ‘make a den’, and¬†‘paint some pepples’. The girls enjoyed doing the things they had put on their lists last year and I photographed ūüďłeach task they accomplished so they could scrap-book their memories. There were a lot of things similar on their lists so this year I want them to balance out their desired tasks by including some readingūüďĖ, get some exercise, sort out a cupboard or draw in their rooms, and¬†to try different things. Encourage them to broaden their horizons and to think of others too.¬† So, I spent an hour designing a ‘Summer wish list form’ Each of us will fill one in, Mr C and myself¬†too, and we’ll spend the summer trying to tick each one-off.‚úĒ

Attached below is a copy of that form, or go ahead and design your own. Is there anything I might have missed of the list? Enjoy the summer ūüĆěūüĆěūüĆěxxx

My Summer wish list20170718_220713-COLLAGE.jpg Continue reading

A family day out in London – The View from The Shard

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During the half term break we had a family day out to our capital city, London, and decided to visit The View from The Shard. After one of E’s school topics being about London landmarks, she has shown a lot of interest in them, E was excited about being able to see all of them from The Shard.

We pre-booked our tickets online with a half term special offer of kids go free. It cost us £52 for all 4 of us.

https://www.theviewfromtheshard.com/en/tickets-prices/?gclid=CMnG2qaUmtACFUVccgodumkDzg&gclsrc=ds

We had the link emailed through to print the tickets off, straight after booking, but I stupidly left this until the morning we were going and then discovered that the kids had used all the ink in the printer scanning their elbows and belly buttons!!!??? (I know it could’ve been worse). This then resulted in me having to ring a friend at stupid o’clock to print them for us and resulted in¬†us missing the train we intended to get. Epic planning failure. The next train got us into London Bridge on time but we wasn’t sure how far the Shard was from the station. We made the decision to get the next train¬†and hoped that there wasn’t any delays.

We are lucky enough to live an hour’s train ride away from London and with children under 16 able to ride the train for just a ¬£1, and under 11’s able to ride the tube for free, meant that we were all able to travel to and around London for the day for ¬£46 for all 4 of us. Missing that first train did us favour as we were then able to travel off-peak.

After the hours train journey, we arrived into the newly refurbished, London Bridge Station. The station is all shiny and new, and has very nice, clean,¬†toilets you don’t have to pay 20p to pee in. The Shard is just outside the station and can not be missed. Standing at 1016 ft tall, it is the tallest building in Western Europe. (I can’t lie, I only know this from the Souvenir book we bought there, lets face it, I can barely remember my own name most days). The View from The Shard is a very short walk from the station and we soon joined the queue to enter at our allocated time slot. On time!

As soon as we entered, the queue¬†split into purchase entry kiosks and pre-booked. Staff where on hand to direct and to scan our tickets before being allowed in through a turn-style. ¬†Buggy’s had to be left in a storage area near the payment kiosks as these can not go up with you. We then had to empty pockets and remove belts, to be put through a scanner along with any bags and coats we were carrying.¬†Just like when you go to the airport, we then had to walk through a scanner ourselves. Being a high-profile landmark, it was reassuring to see the security of the building and our protection being taken seriously. It was well organised so didn’t hinder or hold up our entry. We did hear others complaining about how ridiculous it was to have such a high security presence as they felt it wasn’t needed but personally, the tallest building in our capital, made of¬†glass and¬†lot’s of tourists and business people on lower floors, would make it a high-profile target. I know I’d rather be hindered a little than be a sitting duck to a loony terrorist.wp-1478125531933.jpg

After collecting our belongings from the scanner we were ushered to an area to have our photos taken, for purchase on the way out, before being rushed round to a lift. We were well packed into the lift, now I understood why prams could go up with you. My poor 6-year-old had someone’s bum in her face, not the view she was expecting!! The lift was very fast-moving, moving 6 metres per second, and it stopped at floor 36 before the doors opened and a member of staff met us and took us around to another lift. Again packed in and fast-moving the 2nd lift stopped at floor 69, the Indoor viewing Gallery. This was as far as the lift would take us so we all had to get out on this floor. The view on this floor was amazing, with floor to ceiling windows and nothing¬†to obscure¬†your view.¬†To help identify all of London’s landmarks were some telescopic viewing screens which the kids loved using. We were lucky, it was a beautiful sunny day but had the view been ruined by bad weather, it was comforting to know that our tickets came with a ‘Guaranteed View’ meaning if the weather was bad, we would be able to have our tickets re issued for another day. There is also a champagne bar on this floor but you can just get a coffee.

We then climbed the 3 flights of stairs to the 72nd floor. The highest floor. The open air sky deck.¬†(There is a lift for wheelchairs and disabled) The view up here was breath-taking. It was also a bit chilly, worth knowing if visiting in winter months. It was busy and¬†Mr C¬†found it amusing that people were sat on the artificial grass having picnics. Although it was busy, it ¬†wasn’t packed ¬†and there was plenty of chances to get up close to the glass and take pictures and selfies. H didn’t like it, she felt like she was on a rollercoaster so chose not to get too near the glass. There was no rush to go back down and no one seemed to be¬†timing us or expecting us to go down after a certain time.¬†It was nice to be able to take it all¬†in at your own pace.

There is toilets on the 68th floor which you can take the steps too. E as usual needed a ‘wee’. There were 5 ladies toilets and¬†we waiting a while. After finally getting¬†to go in¬†the cubical,¬†we realised why. When we went into the toilet it was like a personal viewing booth with a floor to ceiling window behind the toilet. After telling¬†Mr¬†C,¬†he¬†had to go check them out and take a¬†‘poo with a view’ selfie. There is also a disabled toilet with the same view and¬†a baby change facility.

I think we spent about an hour up at the top and eventually we decided to¬†take the lifts back¬†down to the bottom. On our way out we were offered to purchase a souvenir book with 3 photographs of us as family that were taken on our way in. It was ¬£20 and we decided to buy it as we don’t get many photos taken of us as a family. I’m glad we did, as¬†the girls love looking at it, reading out different facts about the Shard. E even took it into school for show and tell. We then exited through the gift shop to the tube station to go and find some of the landmarks we saw from The View from The Shard.

Interesting Fact’s about The Shard

  • The view from the top of the Shard stretches 40 miles – the equivalent of 5800 London buses end to end!
  • The building has 306 flights of stairs!
  • If you stood on the pinnacle of The Shard you would officially be in civil aviation air space!
  • The Shard has its own Hotel on¬†levels 34-52. The Shangri-La Hotel. You can stay in one of its rooms with a view. Mr C looked into this and a nights stay will set you back around ¬£450!!!
  • Levels 53-65 are the highest residential apartments in London and offer exclusive views over the whole city. There are 10¬†apartments, and according to the Mail, they¬†cost between 30 to 50 million pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • The Shards developers’ key aim was to build a vertical¬†city incorporating accommodation, offices, restaurants and public space.

The night you were born, a message to my last born.

The day you were born should have told us everything we needed to know about your personality. April Fools day!

We should have known that you would be a head strong little girl who does everything on your terms. At 35 weeks, Mummy went into, what I thought was, labour. Even the mid wives were convinced and I was hooked up to a contraction monitor for 10 hours before they realised you wasn’t actually coming. The contractions were strong but not in a regular pattern and Mummy wasn’t dilating. It turns out on this occasion it wasn’t you but silly Mummy had got a urine infection that was making her uterus contract, making us all think you were coming. Back home we went with a coarse of antibiotics for Mummy to take.fb_img_1476173259349-01.jpeg

At 38 weeks, the contractions started again. They were together and in a pattern, you was coming this time, or so we thought,¬†Mummy was 2 cm dilated. Mummy and Daddy was sent home to wait until Mummy got to 4 cm. Mummy and Daddy waited a long time. A whole week in fact, because those pesky contractions stopped when we got home from the hospital. Daddy took a week off work because the mid wives said you’d be anytime and Daddy didn’t want to miss you. Mummy was scared to stand up in case you fell out. Well,¬†it certainly felt like that! The night Daddy went back to work Mummy’s waters broke. Mummy rang Daddy to tell him to come home, as you was definitely coming this time! The contractions were strong and fast! Nanny had to take Mummy to the hospital as Daddy wasn’t back yet!¬†Nanny stopped at¬†ALL the red lights,¬†at 2.30am and not a sole around,¬†Mummy began to growl, we nearly didn’t make it. Nanny got Mummy to the hospital but not to the maternity suite, it’s on the 4th floor and you was coming NOW! We made it just inside the hospital doors where security¬†staff¬†managed to get screaming, growling mummy into the Emergency Department, next door. (Oh the shame, but it gets worse!). They didn’t want Mummy making a mess in the entrance. Mummy didn’t want to make a mess in the entrance either! Then you were born, in front of a huge audience (Mummy’s worst nightmare) of Emergency Department Doctors and Nurses, clapping, cheering, tearing up. As Mummy was trying to get her maternity jeans off and screaming the whole Department down. Daddy didn’t make it but Nanny was there!

Daddy arrived 10 minutes later to a huge cheer and congratulations from everyone in the E.D that night. (I know, what did he do?) All the Doctors and Nurses were all on a high at seeing you enter the world. They said they see so much sadness everyday but had never had a baby born in their Emergency Department, so you baby girl, were their first, and you made everyone smile and happy. Mummy was still getting over the shock of being half naked and sharing something so intimate with so many people.

The day you were born tells me everything about you. The date, April Fools day, is so you. You are fun, and our little joker and you make me laugh everyday. The time it took for Mummy’s waters to break at 1.40 am, to you being born, was 1 hour and 10 minutes. You literally rushed your way into the world. You run everywhere and never seem to stop moving and the fact that once you had made your decision to enter the world there was no stopping you. You waited for no one, including Daddy. Mummy wasn’t even ready! You are our head strong little girl, who knows what she wants and I have no doubt that this will achieve you great things in your life. The smile on the Doctors and Nurses faces that you gave everyone that day, continues with you as you make everyone you meet smile and laugh. You were perfect, you are perfect.¬†You are my amazing little girl with an amazing story of life.

 

A simple Chocolate Cake Recipe, and a proper family bickering bake off.

As its national baking week I thought it would be a crazy nice idea for me and the girls to bake our favourite; a Simple Chocolate Cake, and share our recipe with you all. What I didn’t expect (Although it’s very normal, so I shouldn’t be surprised), is to have to referee a bickering match between my two girls, whilst doing so. A bickering bake-off!!! Where’s the wine? Really girls, this was meant to be good fun!!! Yet, I was close to repeatedly bashing my head against the work tops just to make it stop.

Firstly, like I could predict what was in store, I thought I’d be organised and get all the ingredients ready for them. Planning a head. I knew they’d get bored waiting for me so I purposely didn’t call them to bake until all the ingredients were ready for them. 20161018_170748-01.jpeg

Ingredients

For the sponge. (All ingredients should be room temperature to prevent curdling of mixture)

  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 190g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • 240 ml whole milk (I only had semi skimmed and it still turned out ok)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs

For the frosting

  • 225g icing sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter (softened or at room temperature)
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 50 ml milk

Ok we were ready, our hands were washed and aprons on.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190 c, gas mark 5. Line two 18 cm sandwich tins with baking parchment.

I did this while refereeing supervising the girls mixing the sponge ingredients together.

Beat together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt (all the dry ingredients).  It should all be mixed together until it resembles fine bread crumbs. We used my mixer to make it easier but it can be done by hand too. It’ll just take longer and I couldn’t take much more whining on whose turn it was next!

I made sure each ingredient that was added, was taken in turns, by the girls, to add and mix; careful to make sure, one didn’t have a longer turn than the other. (UURRGGHH this was exhausting)

 

  • In a separate bowl, mix the milk, vanilla essence and eggs, by hand. Pour half of the wet mixture into the bread crumb mixture and slowly mix together. Use the slowest setting on your mixer (if using). Scrap down the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the mixture is fully mixed. Now add the rest of the milk mixture and mix in until the batter is smooth.

So close to the end and the only thing keeping me going was the thought of a huge slice of chocolate cake and a glass of wine.

 

  • Pour the batter into the lined cake tins and gently tap the sides of the tins, to get rid of any big air bubbles. Pop them into the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Start checking at about 20 minutes. Lightly press the top of the sponges, if they spring back up, then their ready to come out. Leave to cool slightly before removing them from the tin, prevents them getting stuck and breaking into pieces. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Now it was time for my girls to play tug of war with the mixing bowl while fencing with spoons to eat what’s left of the mixture. Let battle commence.wp-1476814726767.jpg20161018_175522.jpg20161018_173813.jpg

  • To make the frosting, mix the butter, icing sugar and cocoa together until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs again. I used my mixer, again, for this. Then add in the milk and mix until light a fluffy.

We actually made double the frosting as the girls wanted some to spread on top. I would say, after tasting, it was a bit sickly so probably didn’t need the extra.

  • Once the sponges are cool, add the frosting.

After about the millionth time of asking ‘are they cool yet’ the sponges were cool enough to be iced. As I’m not one to be accused of  being unfair, one iced the middle and the other iced the top. Anything for a quiet life.

Thank God that was over. I usually enjoy baking, so do the girls, but on a day like today when they can argue over which way the wind is blowing, it really wasn’t fun. But I got my piece of chocolate cake, with Ice cream and a large glass of red. Enjoying the quiet now the girls are in bed!wp-1476822486890.jpg

3 Little Buttons

Living Arrows Week 42

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.”

This week my living arrows post is about remembering that kids enjoy¬†even the simplest of things in life. It’s not always about the money we spend on toys and days out¬†for them. With their imaginations they can play with practically anything, anywhere.

We had some new flat pack furniture delivered for our newly decorated lounge last week. This flat pack furniture came in some very big¬†cardboard boxes. The flat pack furniture needed two people to assemble so, so I could help my husband we gave the kids the boxes to play with. I remember having hours of fun, when I was a little girl, playing with a large cardboard box. It turns out, it was a brilliant idea and the girls came up with the idea and spent ages, using their imagination, building a cardboard city. Mean while we could get on and build the furniture. I know this picture isn’t of our girls but I’m so proud of what they’ve created I feel I need to share it.(The one I did take of the girls working on their city, has E’s builders bum on show, so I thought I best not use it. Ha ha)

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Once they were bored with city building, they decided to use the rest of the cardboard to slide down the stairs on. This I wasn’t so keen on especially as E, our very own dare-devil decided that she’d give it a go standing up, ‘stair surfing stylie’. She thought it was “Cool”, I did not and I didn’t fancy a trip to A&E, so Mummy was a kill joy and put a stop to their fun. :0(20161016_132510-01.jpeg

We managed to get our furniture built and the kids were happy building childhood memories.

Living Arrows

Warning to all Clown Pranksters

As a very tired mother of 2 frightened children, this is my warning to any wannabe Clown Pranksters, if you jump out on me or my children, I’m likely to stab you in the eye or continue driving straight at you.¬†A sleep deprived me is much scarier!

After 2 nights of having to deal with my children’s nightmares and their over active minds, I’m really not feeling the Clown love or finding it funny.¬†You see Clowns, when you started out with you scare pranks, you probably thought it was a bit of harmless fun to scare the living daylights out of someone. Me and the kids play ‘BOO’ all time to try to make the other jump, yes we all find it funny, especially our very own little prankster E.¬†I think the minute you introduce carrying weapons and insinuating that you might actually hurt someone, just to get a laugh, then I think this crosses a line, and breaks some short of code of conduct in the ‘How to be Funny’ rule book and enters into the ‘How to be Fruit Cake’ book.

When you started your online campaign you probably did it for viewings and ratings. Well done you, it went global.¬†Impressed!¬†What you probably didn’t anticipate is that you would get ‘Copy Cats’ that can’t come up with their own ideas, copy you or even try to take it to a new level and try to go one better.¬† It’s opened up a huge can of worms and now all sorts of weirdos¬†are trying it out and think that it is socially acceptable to dress as a clown, with a machete, going around threatening people …. In broad daylight …. With children around. REALLY! Do you still find this funny?

Now you’re not the only ones to blame. The media have given¬†‘The Clowns’,¬†‘Air time’, and it’s all over the news, on the radio in the car. My Kids can not get away from it and guess where it’s ended up. IN THE PLAYGROUND. Every break it’s talk of ‘The Clowns’. Some kids are making up¬†their own stories, which in turn is scaring others. H has heard a story about a Clown climbing through someone’s window. This is enough, enough for H’s mind to freak out, not sleep, turn every sound that she hears into¬†‘A Clown¬†climbing through our window’ scenario. She is scared. As she is 9 introducing ‘Clown Repellant Spray’ isn’t going to work like it did with the monsters when she was 4. I can’t even say it’s not real, as there really are ‘Nutters’ going around dressed as clowns. All I can say to console her is that I won’t let anyone hurt her or her sister. ‘Don’t you¬†worry Mummy will stab them in the eye with a fork’ I don’t condone violence but a sleep deprived mother protecting her children can not be held responsible for her actions.

Anyone, any ideas how I might get some sleep tonight?




 

My Miscarriage – breaking the silence.

October 9th to 15th is Infant Loss Awareness week and it’s all about breaking the silence and raising awareness. You are not Alone. So, I thought I would share the story of my own miscarriage. I haven’t really ever talked about it much but if this post helps just one person mourn the loss of their baby and feel like they are not alone, then it was worth sharing.

They say 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage but J and I never thought it would happen to us! We didn’t know anyone else to have had one either.

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant, my eldest was 9 months old and I had a little feeling that I might be pregnant so I did a home test. I was shocked at the positive test and also a little panicked as it wasn’t planned. I don’t deal very well with ‘unplanned’. I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope with another child. (To this day I feel guilty for having these feelings as a little piece of me thinks that my baby died feeling unwanted). J was over the moon which eased my fears and we quickly got into the idea of being parents again.

We were all checked in and had seen our mid wife and then came the day for our 12 week scan. We were excited at the thought of seeing our baby for the first time. We knew something was wrong when they turned the screen so we couldn’t see it. I felt a stab to my heart and I felt J’s hand tighten in mine, he felt what I felt. They said they were sorry that my baby had stopped growing and they couldn’t find a heart beat. I broke down in tears and tried to take in what the sonographer was saying to me. Something about a Mis miscarriage. I still don’t really understand what this is. I was booked to go back for another scan 7 days later. A WHOLE 7 days, I knew it would feel like a life time.

2 days after the first scan, I began miscarry. Adding to my heart break, now I knew my baby was really gone. The scan in 5 days had given me false hope that they might find a baby, a heart beat. I fainted due to the heavy blood loss and was taken to hospital in an ambulance. All the Doctors and Nurses kept telling me it wasn’t my fault, it’s natures way of saying something wasn’t quite right genetically and if my baby survived, it may not have had a healthy life or would be severely disabled. I know they meant to comfort me but it didn’t, I was mourning my baby. It felt so demeaning to hear the Doctors call my baby ‘product’ or a ‘fetus’. To me it wasn’t any of those things it was my baby. I know we didn’t get to hold or even see our baby but to J and I it was still a little life we had created.

A week later I had to return to the hospital to have an operation to remove what was left of my baby as my stupid body couldn’t do it on it’s own. Another failure from me. This is how I felt. I felt like I had let my baby, my husband and my first born down by not being able to protect and grow my baby. I also thought it was because the baby felt unwanted because of my first feelings. There was no one around to talk to who really understood. To others it was just another miscarriage, people have them all the time, it wasn’t really a baby. But it was, it was my baby, my husbands baby and my daughter’s younger sibling.

This was 9 years ago now and I still think what sex my baby may have been or who it would’ve looked like. Every year we pass that baby’s due date and I think about how old they would be now. Time has been a healer and 2 years later our youngest daughter was born, fit and healthy. She is our rainbow baby.

If you’ve ever been through infant loss or are going through it now, I hope it’s a comfort to you to know that you are not alone and you have every right to feel angry, heart broken and mourn the loss of your baby. I know it hurts right now but when your ready, there is life after a miscarriage and I hope you have your rainbow baby. xxxbaby-feet

Dear Bear and Beany

The Halloween Party Planner, my daughter.

When J, my husband,¬†said about hosting a Halloween party back in the summer, I was all for it. Now as it gets closer I’m not so keen.¬†With the idea of a Halloween party firmly planted in the kids heads, they have kept on and on about us hosting one. There really is no getting out of it.¬†The thing is, I’ve lost my ummph! My get up and go, has got up and gone. The thought¬†of a Halloween party seems like a big effort when my mojo has packed up and gone away. In steps H, my eldest¬†daughter, lists at the ready and off she went,¬†designing the party invites on the laptop.¬†They were impressive for something she just knocked up in 5 minutes.

After seeing the long list of people the girls wanted to invite, we managed to whittle it down to just 10 friends. Our house just isn’t big enough for anymore and as we can’t guarantee it not to rain, using the garden is kind of out, at this time of year. With the invitations sent out, there’s no backing out now and H is in full party planner mode. Lists of games have been organised and she is now talking about putting together a play list of music for the party. So far I haven’t had to do anything.

J and I had a very rare day off together while the kids were at school, so while we were out wallpaper shopping, (before the cheeky little pub lunch)¬†we managed to pick up some Halloween decorations. So far so good, this has been a family team effort, so it’s working out quite nicely. The¬†disco light I’d forgotten I’d ordered, has been delivered too. So really, it’s just the food and sweets to sort. Maybe losing my mojo isn’t such a bad thing after all, when I have a daughter with awesome PA skills, think I’ll put her in charge of my diary next year.2012-10-31-13.19.31-01.jpeg.jpg

Living Arrows – week 41

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

This is my first Living Arrows blog post. As it’s what I started my blog up for, to remind myself of how important my time is with my children, to remember it and document it, I feel it fits well in my blog for me to take part and share mine and other’s experiences of our children, our Living Arrows.

I want to share with you all, the importance of laughter and how everyone needs it in their life. Us and our children. The last few weeks I have felt a little down and wobbly, but what I have held onto is that my family; husband, 2 children and my dog, never fail to make me laugh or smile everyday. These moments that they give me, are what I hold onto, to stop me falling down further and hopefully my children will have fond memories of our fun and laugh about them in the future.

So this week I’m sharing with you the pictures of moments that have made¬†us laugh.wp-1476088369885.jpg

H and E trying out our homemade version of ‘Speak Out’. This game has sold out everywhere, and is rated at 16 years + so,¬†never being one to miss out on a chance for us¬†to have a giggle, I decided to make our own version by buying some dentistry mouth retractors of off Amazon and then getting them to repeat nursery rhymes and tongue twisters. It was so¬†worth the ¬£2.43 spent. ¬†http://amzn.to/2e7ju63

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My second photo is of my boy, our dog. Yes¬†I know he’s not a child, but he is part of my childrens childhood and he contributes to our family fun and laughter.¬†In this picture I had just been for a run with him and he usually rides in the passenger foot well as he doesn’t like the car journey much and I can see he feels much calmer and safer there. So, I put him in the passenger foot well and walked around the car to the driver’s side. By the time I got in the car, I looked in the rearview mirror and see him sitting there. I swear he thinks he is human sometimes. He seemed quite happy there so I chauffeured him home. I needed to take this picture to show the girls, as I wasn’t sure if I could really explain it to them. They found it as funny as I did.

My family, crazy, funny, silly and happy, I love them to bits.

Living Arrows

8 Ways I try to be organised.

My top tips on how I try to organise the chaos of our family life.

I don’t need to tell any parent about the chaos of family life. Time is precious, yet it flies by. I wish there were more hours in the day and more days to the weekend (but not the working week) so I can take my time to enjoy life and enjoy my children growing up,¬†but as that’s a wish that isn’t going to come true anytime soon I have had to be clever and learn a few tricks to try to free up my time.¬†Some of these you may have heard of or do already and that’s great and please if you have anymore great tips, then please share then with me. I need all the help I can get. I’m hoping this information will help other families in being able to spend more time together.

Tip 1. Using the Calender/Planner on your phone. I have a terrible memory so I let my phone remember for me. I put reminders in my phone for everything. Taking Emma’s earrings out for P.E, a reminder to put them back in at the end of the day, appointments, meetings, even for the tooth fairy to visit. I really would be lost with out this function on my phone. What did Mums do before technology?

Tip 2. Beep ‘n’ Go. How many of you have a purse full of reward cards, trying to get the best for your money? Well with this app you can upload copies of your reward cards onto your phone and have no need to carry them around it with you all the time. I have been using this app a few months now and only ever had a problem using it at the Sainsbury’s self-serve tills. I can use it everywhere else fine. A Tesco employee the other day said sometimes ¬†it doesn’t work on the iphones¬† but she never had a problem scanning a Samsung phone. So the effectiveness of this app may depend on what type of phone you but it’s worth a go surely.

Tip 3. Meal Planning. Boring I know, but if I don’t meal plan then I tend to opt for the easy option of chicken nuggets. My kids would love to eat these everyday but as it’s not seen as a healthy option and the guilt of being a parent want let me feed these to them everyday, then¬†I save them¬†for emergencies and the safe option when friends are round for tea. Meal planning brings my shopping bill down and reduces the amount of food we waste¬†too as I then only buy what we need for the week a head, rather than making sure we have everything and then throwing stuff out as it’s gone past its sell buy date.

Initially, this could take up a bit of your time while your planning meals for the week, but in the long run and as you get more used to doing it, it does get quicker and easier. I have a list of family favourites and I do ask everyone if there’s anything in particular they¬†might want. I then take into account the days I work, any after school activities¬†the¬†kids do and any other plans we have each week.¬†I also use this opportunity to try new recipes out too, by choosing to try one new ‘recipe’ out¬†a week. Sometimes, we find new family favourites out by doing this and it stops the meal plans from becoming boring and samey.

Another rule I take into account when I’m meal planning is:- we all¬† have the same meal. I don’t have the time to be mess around cooking 4 different dinners. If someone doesn’t like something then I adapt the meal to miss it out or be able to leave it out for the one that doesn’t like it. Sometimes they have to pick it out and leave it to the side of their plate. J and I recently did a low carb diet over the summer. The kids still had the same dinners as us, I just adapted it a little for them by adding rice or pasta and if anything, they benefited from having the¬†extra healthy meals and got to try out new things. I’m lucky that my children are quite happy to try out new foods.

I have recently started to plan lunches too as the kids seemed to be having the same thing every day and were getting bored with it. Planning has helped to make their lunches more varied. I don’t follow the same rule of doing all the same lunches though as H doesn’t like sandwiches and E occasionally has school dinners when she chooses too.

Tip 4. Internet food shopping. I have many friends that don’t like the idea of this option but for me it fits really well into my family life. With me working while the kids are at school, J working away from home and the thought of trying to concerntrate on shopping while dragging the kids around with me¬†complaining and wanting everything fills with¬†dread.¬†This is a by far, the¬†better option for me. I can shop¬†in the comfort of my sofa¬†with a cup of tea.¬†I tend to open my next internet shop just after one has been delivered and add things to it as I realise I need them. I also have the shop open when I’m meal planning. It helps me keep to budget and not impulse buy.

Tip 5.’Crap Basket’ system. I have 3 baskets that live on my stairs. One for each of the kids and one for J and I. Then as I come across things down stairs that have a home upstairs it goes in the appropriate ‘crap box’. Then when it’s full, whoever’s box it is, is responsible for empty it. Ths system has helped me keep on top of the clutter that accumilates down stairs.

Tip 6. Chores for the kids. Both the kids get a monthly pocket money allowance of ¬£10. If they want anything they have to buy it for themselves out of their pocket money, we¬†only occassionally buy something for them¬†as well as their allowance¬†as an extra reward for¬†good school reports etc.¬†If they want to buy something that costs more than than their ¬£10 they either have to save it up or earn it through extra chores. Harsh to some but we feel it’s teaching our children about what is expected of them in the future and understanding the value of money. Most of the time the kids do want something that costs more than their allowance which means they want to do chores to earn the extra. They get 50p extra per chore and their chores involve dusting, washing and drying up and running the hoover around. By them doing these extra chores frees time for me to be able to spend it with them. It’s a win win.

Tip 7. Walking the Dog included in my daily¬†exercise routine. To prevent behaviour issues, Dogs need to be walked everyday, come rain, wind, snow or shine. I have made sure I’m kitted out for what either the weather throws at us. I need exercise and having a dog makes me get that exercise. Killing 2 birds with 1 stone. At least once a week he comes running with me too,¬†which in turn burns some of his bouncy energy.

Tip 8. Spend 30 minutes a week decluttering and clearing out 1 area in our home. In therory this should keep on top of it but it can sometimes feel like a never end task as, with 2 kids,’crap’, seems to build up faster than we clear it and tidy it. Another system I’m thinking of using is the 1 in 1 out, where for every new item you clear out 1 old item but this is a recent idea so remember to clear out can sometimes be forgotten.

There you go, my top tips on how I try to stay organised in our chaotic family life. Yes, it does fail occassionally but that’s life isn’t it? What works for your family? Please share it with us.