The End of No Spend

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Thank the baby Jesus it is over. I have totalled up the savings, and its in the hundreds so the husband is rather impressed. He now tells me that I could do this every month! Err, I don’t think so! However restricting our spending in this way has definitely been a good learning curve, as I now see where we could throw in a few no spend weekends to some months,especially since I am on maternity leave. I am pretty sure maternity pay is designed to go down so rapidly that it makes you realise you should go back to work!

So in the months ahead, I’ve decided to forecast our spending for celebrations we are going to ahead, and small treats that we plan to do, like the occasional play place, coffee and Kaspa’s (waffle house) trip. However apart from those already budgeted outings, we are going to attempt three no spend weekends! Saving money is almost a bit addictive and I never thought I would utter those words. Just because we can do something like eating out, doesn’t mean we should. All those hundreds of saved pounds this month would have otherwise been consumed by us, so I am surely saving the waistline too! However I see no improvement on that front yet, I am currently eating Tangfastics as I type!

And to my unhealthy eating habits, may I add that today (pancake day) I have eaten 5, yes 5 pancakes! Shameful but delicious! I had one lemon and sugar one this morning accompanied by a nutella one and a maple syrup one! Healthy breakfast right? At least I had one of my five a day on there! For dinner tonight I also had to sample the ones my sister made, so just to be polite I had another lemon and sugar pancake followed by a nutella one. My sister wanted to know whether hers were better than the ones my husband made this morning, but in case they never make them for me again I said I couldn’t tell they were all lovely! Secretly though I think the husbands ones were slightly less chewy! But don’t tell her I said that!

I see everyone on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter tonight posted lovely pictures of their pancakes, with a side of fruit which I bet you they don’t eat (in fact I usually have strawberries with mine) and I realise I was too busy eating ALL 5 of mine to do the same! However mine were not Instagramable, they were not folded carefully into little triangles nor were they carefully and sparingly drizzled  with syrup! Mine was covered then rolled, so looked more like two unhealthy sandwich wraps. Enough food talk now I feel a bit sick from the Tangfastics.

Today has been, clean the bastard house day, yippee my favourite! NOT! My dear husband also chose this day to work from home in our living room too…what a silly mistake. Both children took it in turns to cry uncontrollably and sleep for a minuscule second and then wake up. Thank you children for performing well today, I do not want him to think it is easy being at home, drinking tea and watching THIS MORNING! In fact he got to see the reason why I am eating still for two but not putting on any weight because I am run ragged. I managed to clean the bathroom, hoover the house, make the beds, wash three floors, wash and dry up and put one wash on before 10.30am. I practically sweat doing housework at the sped I do these days just to fit it all in with the smallest amount of crying! This is why women’s deodorant is crap! It is clearly not made for REAL women like myself! Why is it that men’s deodorant lasts much longer, they barely break into a sweat if like my husband they sit and their computer and drink a hot coffee, only exerting oneself with their key strokes and occasional getting up to make a phone call. Enough said, I think you get the picture of what my morning was like compared to the husbands!

I also thought Id be a lovely wife and take the children over the fields for a walk in an attempt to burn of some of number twos energy and give the husband some peace as returning emails can be EXHAUSTING right? So I attempted to cross over a couple of fields nearby to our house, but number two does not like wind or mud! “Tuddle, mummy, tuddle” he cried. As much as I wanted to “Tuddle” him in his ridiculously muddy boots. I was carrying his “No I am not going to bastard sleep mummy” sister in the carrier. All in all,a very successful walk, returning home just 15 minutes later!

We return home and guess what I find …the husband has a hot coffee in the living room next to his computer and has paused the telly on THIS MORNING, “What a fucking LIBERTY”!

How is your day different from your other half’s? Ever feel like you’re the wrong sex? Share with me on Facebook and don’t forget to like after reading or even better share this with a friend and tag them in.

 

 

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The Weaning World

 

16681744_10154490318148869_3126912093970978222_n1Weaning can be a contentious issue fraught with uncertainty, guilt and surprisingly even shame. When to wean is now thought to be ‘best’ at around six months old according to the UK Department of Health, because those ‘experts’ tell us that a babies gastrointestinal function isn’t fully matured until seventeen weeks of age. Tons of information is provided to news mum’s not just by health visitors but other mums and the internet too, however with all of that ‘stuff’ and being a newbie at it can be a little bit daunting.

Pregnancy is monitored, predicated and recorded for nine whole months (if you make it that far) so it is hardly a shock when your baby is finally here, to find out that others welcome you with advice about feeding, from breast to bottle and then onto weaning. For new mothers weaning can be seen another exciting milestone yet to discover whereas mothers second time or so on, may secretly not be too thrilled by the idea of peeling, chopping and blending the shit out of everything. This is me currently!

I am now at the stage of finding teeny, tiny pots to put my (lovingly made with swear words) homemade puree’s, which look and often smell disgusting when it goes in just as when it comes out! This time I have waited till the perceived ‘right’ time, otherwise known as six months to wean my number three. However I had approached the whole subject of weaning completely differently both first and second time around.

As a new mum first time, like a rabbit caught in headlights, I did what any new mum did; chat lots about how and when I would wean number one, purchase a copy of Annabel Karmel’s book and stock up on lots of gender specific coloured pots and spoons! I was so ready to discover this new phase of parenthood, that I was probably more ready than she was! Blender ready, every organic dried snack on the market stocked and a chock a block freezer, I began our journey to food with Imogen at about 4/5 months old. I cant be sure about how many weeks she was, but if I did look back on Facebook I know that I took a picture of the first time she tried baby rice.

I used to make such huge portions of food for what was a tiny baby and more of it went all over her and up her nose than actually in the mouth! Who cares it was like some fun social experiment to see how many strange faces she could pull at each new food! I was absolutely adamant that my baby wasn’t having any of that jar food nonsense and that she would absolutely never EVER eat a packet of wotsits. Or heaven forbid taste a McDonald’s or a few chocolate buttons until she was like 5. Hmmmm. Aspirations are wonderful aren’t they? Reality however is slightly different.

I did however stick to making all of my own baby food, purely to punish and exhaust myself more…no really because I weirdly liked making them and because it made me feel better about my mothering abilities! I am sure there was the odd occasion when I gave number one something not homemade in them early days. But when I did make a purchase I was drawn to those Ella’s kitchen type pouches, as they simply read ‘organic’ which in the parenting world translates as ‘gold’ right? After many, many months on those tasteless organic vegetable type wotsits we eventually moved on to much cheaper alternatives, such as Skips, Quavers and real life wotsits! Funnily enough these went far quicker than those tasteless organic ones! And her first ever taste of McDonald’s was much later than number twos was. Still however racked with awful guilt and shame. I definitely did not take the shameless balloon out of my car for all to see where I had been! And I wasn’t one of those mummies with their child munching away happily in their buggy with their happy meal on show. Silly really!! Oh and as for chocolate buttons it was one for baby, two for mummy…

Number twos journey to weaning began at 5 months and I was like “This better make him bastard sleep”. “Feed em up to shut em up” that was the advice from my lovely Nan! Talking of advice, weaning is just like the subject of bottle or breastfeeding, what is ‘best’ and when to start can be met with a lot of tension! If like me with number one and two you wean before the six month mark, you may keep it hidden like some dirty little secret, just like how you enjoy watching trashy MTV shows! This was me, not bragging about weaning early, but if the subject was approached I replied with caution and would say things like “Oh he is just always so hungry, feeding like every hour”. Everything I said was a defence, like I was saying “I’m honestly not a bad mum, leading them into a life of obesity, heart disease and a zillion allergies”.

Why an earth I didn’t have the confidence to say, “I have decided it is now the right time for baby and I”, END OF. So with number two, I started much the same with all the blending of vegetables and puree of fruits until we moved onto our blended up dinners. I still had that Annabel Karmel book, but I must say I didn’t look at it once, in fact it’s still in my kitchen on the shelf! Sorry Annabel this mum has her own ideas! I moved number two onto our food reasonably quickly and found he was quite sensitive to dairy. Two many pettiti filous meant two many poonamis. I have picture proof of those too but for some reason that never made it onto Facebook!

So now with number three, I have started again with the blended up, mashed up vegetables and fruit and she is guzzling down everything I give her, which leads me to think waiting until six months may not have been best for her! In fact I think she was a bit starving!OOPS. Whenever you start weaning, is a decision only a mother or father who knows their baby well can decide. Advise is insightful but also at times unhelpful. Just because a mother doesn’t make her own baby food doesn’t make her a bad mother or mean her baby is less healthy than yours. And giving your child wotsits, or chocolate buttons or even a ‘dirty’ McDonald’s, does however mean you are quite normal!

What’s your weaning journey been like? Share with me your stories on Facebook? Also find me on Instagram not to miss my often daily picture posts!

Well Hello Doris…

img_2532Well, we have had a storm here in the East of England. Ok, so it’s not a patch on what places like Arkansas experience, but anything that blows our 10ft trampoline in the air and onto the roof is pretty exciting to a villager!

At about 4pm this afternoon I was starting to make dinner in the kitchen and was distracted at the ridiculous force of the wind in the back garden, which eventually blew away two fence panels off their posts. Pretty cool, I kind of started to see how these bat shit crazy storm chasers got off on the thrill of it all, watching the destruction as it happens! Live in my kitchen out of the window, I heard and saw a huge surge of wind blow the trampoline up into the air, over the washing line, over next doors conservatory planting it proudly onto the neighbours roof. SHIT BALLS.

I screamed like a girl, to my husband working in the living room, “James, james….OH MY GOD JAMES!”, and you would think he would come running right? No he casually answered “Alright Abbie, calm down”. I replied,”but the trampoline is gone…its on the roof!”. Because of my girly and very panicking screams, number one got so upset and started to cry!. Then this resulted in an argument with the husband about why I am so “overdramatic” as he puts it! I defended myself with, “but I was shouting because you could have ran out there and saved it before it went onto the roof”, to which he replied “Don’t be daft Abbie I wasn’t going to get that!”.

Well neither was I and I certainly wasn’t going outside in that weather to even attempt to retrieve it! But then I looked at the front of the house, and the roof and saw the trampoline in a stuck position still wafting about in the wind like some sort of for sale sign. Then I looked at our lovely new Audi and thought…hell no, over my dead body will that Argos special hit my very expensive motor! I went outside just to move my car over the road!

But when I parked the car and got out, I was literally sweep of my feet by the wind and that actually scared me a little…still didn’t pee my pants though! I was looking for something to hold as the wind was that strong! As had to hold onto the nearby house and guttering until I reached our bungalow where it was a little more sheltered from the wind. I wonder what the neighbours thought to this strange woman with a trampoline on her roof and her hugging the wall of a nearby house like a drunk! What a picture!

So my husband and I looked at several ways to get the trampoline down but it was well and truly stuck by the arm of the net, right over the peak of the roof. My husband went over to our friends house to borrow some rope. He came back with some rope looking thing with a hook on the end, not a clue what that is called. Anyway, the husband tries to lasso and hook the trampoline in an attempt to drag it down, but to no avail. He then gets a ladder and a hard hat on and instructs me to sit on the ladder whilst he climbs to the roof level to lasso again! After three lasso attempts the hook lands on the trampoline and we have it by the reigns.

Now the husband attempts to pull the trampoline down waiting for a gust of wind to chivvy it along a bit! After several attempts this fails and we start to worry about next doors conservatory as they are not at home and didn’t fancy them coming home to our trampoline in their newly built conservatory!

“Phone 999 Abbie”, he shouted, “No dumb ass, it’s not an emergency” I shouted back….”Err it sort of is” he cleverly responded. I then agreed to phone 101, then I was transferred but on hold for 10 minutes, then again I hung up and phoned again and was transferred to just dialling tones for another ten minutes! Oh fuck it I thought, I’ll phone 999. And yep they answer super quick and transferred me to the fire service. I told the operator its not urgent but also it sort of is if the trampoline was to fly off the roof, into someone or something. I gave out our address and the operator quickly responded with I’ll send someone right away! YES! Firemen at my actual house!

Shit I also thought, what if they come into our house, it’s now 5pm and I’m half way through cooking dinner and it looks like a bomb has gone off! Lots of frantic tidying by yours truly…and no of course they didn’t come into our house! Within about 10 minutes seven firemen arrived!! What a treat, not one but seven! They saw our predicament as did every sodding neighbour, taking pictures from their windows! To be fair I so would too! They then had a little pow wow type strategy meeting then got straight down to it. They got into next doors garden, one firemen was on the room attached ropes to the trampoline and the other firemen were in the neighbours back garden giving instructions.

When I saw how many men it took to get the trampoline down and how long it took that I realised, Ok that was a definite emergency and even if there weren’t winds of 80mph we still wouldn’t have got that trampoline down with one measly rope and a rickety ladder!

So the firemen are in the our shared driveway dismantling the trampoline with my husband and the fire truck is blocking any cars getting to our bungalows and then our poor neighbour arrives! She looked flustered and as would I if I arrived home to flashing lights, a fire truck in front of my home and seven firemen on my drive! I tried to explain what had happen in brief, and felt glad I wasn’t explaining how our trampoline smashed right into their newly built conservatory!

So that was just an average evening in our quiet village! Apparently I’ve made it onto our local village Facebook page and I am not even a member! Nice to be known for the idiots with the trampoline on the roof!

RIP Argos Trampoline, it was a short life Easter 2014-Present.

Share with me your stories of Doris! Have you lost anything? Share with me your pictures on Facebook.

If Carlsberg did Parenthood…

221.JPGIt would include a 24 hour support line for all sorts of necessary questions like, “Is three continuous hours of Paw patrol going to kill me or my child?”. A support line would have an array of professionals answering. You would of course be able to ask not just those idiotic but necessary questions but also the really helpful ones like, “What is a bedtime routine?”. The call handler and clever professional will then give out lots of reassuring advice and guidance which will actually work and will not be as useless as a the Johnson’s bedtime baby bath, which is apparently, “proven to help your baby sleep better”. Bullshit, did they test that shit out on baby rats…er I think so!

If Carlsberg really did do Parenthood, I would expect it to…

-Provide all new parents with a Nanny on stand by for when you just need to catch up on that all important sleep.

-Instead of bounty packs (which contain more leaflets than freebies….again bullshit) new parents would go home with some delicious, probably organic homemade ready meals to last a few days and then bounty would continue to deliver meals for six months.

-Your health visitor matches you with a cleaner come house/fairy maid on her first visit to you as these come as standard for new parents, and they visit weekly too.

-Parental leave is instead a whole year completely paid matching the chosen parents exact salary, not a penny over or under!

-New mums receive vouchers for an after baby ‘do over’, this includes; a hand and foot manicure and cut and colour.

-No journalist is ever allowed to photograph a new celebrity mum in her itty bitty bikini with her itty bitty waist because no parent in the Carlsberg world wants to feel shit about themselves.

-Car parking spaces at all supermarkets are now 30% mother and baby spaces which will always be close to the store and have an individual trolley bay complete with trolley in.

-Every Costa or Starbucks has a play area in the centre with tables conveniently laid around for those that actually want to watch their children or at least pretend too.

-Parenting can only happen between the hours of 7am and 7pm, anything after this time is seen as unreasonable and therefore the Carlsberg Nanny takes over.

-Two bottles of Calpol is sent to all parents monthly.

-If any nappy leaks it is the law that the producer of said nappy MUST wash all items for you or where poonami strikes, they reimburses you the cost of the replacement garment, even if you put the bastard nappy on ever so slightly wrong.

 

So I am off to talk to the CEO of Carlsberg to see if some of the above can become a reality, if you have any ideas I could add to this, please share with me here or on Facebook and don’t forget to like once you have read!

Unpaid Overtime and Jurassic Park

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Our Jurassic World

I  have parented six days this week pretty much solo, that’s a lot right? I am definitely due some overtime and at the very least the worlds smallest violin playing a god awful tune for me! I say this a lot but I really do not think I would cope single parenting full-time with my three Herbert’s because I am shouty mum pretty much most of the time as it is.

I have also been pondering (with my copious amounts of free time) how id like to spend my overtime…I think that id like to ask my boss (aka Daddio) if I can have some time off in lieu. I have just a few ideas that I am going to run via the boss man about how I shall spend my days off, ALONE may I add. To name a few:-

1.Spend one week in a spa facility- or at least till I am all wrinkly and chilled out

2. One WHOLE day ALONE pondering around the shops, maybe in Norwich or the Big Smoke-I’ll try shit on, look at unpractical things like handbags and high heels and have one of those make up tutorials in say, MAC.

3.  Eat a posh lunch in somewhere fancy so I can dress up- perhaps I’ll have one of those bottomless prosecco lunch deals, like our local does (The Hadleigh Ram-link below) with the girls or even just one. Only as long as they come without child!

Balls, can’t do any of the above until no spend bastard February is over. I’m beginning to dislike February a lot! No spending is becoming pretty drab! It wasn’t too bad in half term but at weekends when the husband is off and presumes my culinary delights are served 7 days a week, I cant even ask old Ronald to lend a hand!

I mean seriously in March I am going to go all crazy and have takeout every night and drink Costa like its water! Sadly however I am all boring and practical these days and I’m excited by buying a new baby food processor in March, perhaps a pressure washer and probably a tin of paint for the conservatory. Boring bastard alert!

So no spend shitty February aside, what have I been up to this weekend? Well in fact I have told a wee fib, I have actually only been looking after two kids solo since Thursday because the eldest has been to at her Nanny and Granddad’s from Thursday until Saturday night! For me this is quite something! This is because I rarely let my little darlings leave the nest for one night at a time so two nights and three days is massive! I felt kind of lost, and the house was very quiet without her. Perhaps I shouldn’t moan about her talking so much!

So I tried out that two kid lark for a few days and it was easier in some respects but actually what is one more? Two is a zoo, so what is three…erm…Jurassic Park? Jurassic Park would probably be a good analogy of parenting three children because hot drinks in this house are extinct, milk is used liked a tranquilizer and at least one of the parks inhabitants sleeps in a cage. Much like Jurassic Park, I could probably sell some tickets to some of our spectacular shows here, and of course the star of the show would be our little mad Maddox.

So after the husband has worked a six-day week, we have had a really exciting Sunday! NOT! The Aldi shop was the only outing to be had, none of us could be arsed to go for a walk, so we spent the rest of the time indoors hibernating from the cold weather, watching Toy Story and eating treacle tart and custard. What an exciting life we lead, not to mention a healthy lifestyle!

How many unpaid hours have you clocked up this week?? How would you like to be rewarded? Share with me on Facebook, and do keep liking away!

 

HADLEIGH RAM-    http://thehadleighram.co.uk/menus/bottomless-brunch

 

Bottomless Brunch Hadleigh Suffolk

Bottomless Brunch Menu

 Available everyday 10:00am – 2:00pm

Choose a brunch dish and enjoy unlimited Prosecco, Bloody Mary’s or Smoothies for 2 hours!

Fresh out of London, bottomless brunch comes to The Hadleigh Ram. Bringing together this ‘inbetweeny’ meal – not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, however still very wholesome – greatly improved with the addition of free refills anytime throughout your 2 hour stay with us.

 

No Spend Valentines…Hmmmm

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No spend February is much harder than I thought and it’s not necessarily due to the fact it is half term this week. It is however more to do with my laziness and extreme tiredness, when I would succumb to the soft fluffy buns that McDonald’s has to offer and the warm chocolaty delights of my much loved friend Costa!

Tonight I also fancied a takeaway as I am so tired (Story of My Life) and I thought that it was Friday but no such luck! I am so glad I didn’t go with the whole ‘Sugar Free February’ too, because I would be dead by now!

I am feeling in one of those moany moods, so I apologise firstly if this is a miserable blog and also I apologies if I swear too much!

This week went off to a surprisingly good start. On Monday I made the kids get up and sorted reasonably early so we could go out for a walk. Number two insisted on walking the entire way down to the park from our house with his little old legs and his dinosaur little life back pack. On route he managed to fall over twice,attract more dirt than on the buggy wheels and add a few more grazes to his teeny tiny knees. He was not arsed by this at all! He was more annoyed I picked him up to comfort him when all he wanted to do was get down and carry on walking! Strange one!

Eventually the repetition of the slide, got all too much for me and I managed to persuade number one and two to walk home so that we could do some baking before our playdate! I also may have bribed number two home and into the buggy with what we call “trickle”. To other human adults and children, this means sweets or chocolate. “Trickle, Trickle” he shouted as soon as I stopped the buggy outside! Shit, better stick to my word and diffuse the possibility of World War 4.

The eldest and I baked some chocolate cupcakes, which I accidentally left in the oven a wee bit too long and are now currently still sitting in the tin for someone to eat them! I have had a few but the icing is much better than the cake itself! Whoops! We also made some pink shortbread but I also left that in the oven to long, no idea again why, I was just ‘off my game’ I suppose! Anyway,it was somewhat edible as it contained sugar and this household is addicted. Probably because all three children have been fed in the womb nothing but sugar… doughnuts, to galaxy caramel, m and m peanuts….and so on. I am still blaming maoam pinballs for the reason number two is batshit crazy.

Monday ended with a playdate with my friend and now neighbour and her two children. A definition of a playdate to another adult is, you get to drink a hot cup of something, usually all of it and ignore your responsibilities for at least an hour, whilst every now and then hearing a loud bang and stating “Nah..they will be alright”. Playdates for playdate holder, means tidying the shit out of the house before the play date guests arrive only to do the same again when they have gone, however with a few more remnants of squashed biscuits and cake. This is however always worth it for the two following reasons:-

1.Because you get to finish a hot drink

2.Because you can talk to another human adult about human adult things.

So that was Monday, and free. Tuesday started with the same mind-set…lets knacker these kids out, so again I made them all walk to the park again in the freezing cold, this time however number two found an abandoned dog ball in the park and refused to let it go. When he fell over this time with ball in hand, he cried so much because he had sadly been detached from the ball, not because it hurt.

Freebie Tuesday also included our usual swim slot, on route to the pool number two fell backwards into a muddy puddle just outside the pool entrance! Luckily I had his gruffalo onezie to change into afterwards! That boy is a magnet for mud, puddles and poo!

Tuesday was also Valentines day, which both my husband and I are guilty of making it the shitest one yet!!

Last year we decided to boycott the whole affair because I hate that it is dictated that you must show the one you love, on this day that you love and care for them. You must also spend on them, spoil them and then share a gushing status on Facebook about how much they mean to you! Bleurgh! I am so not that way inclined!

It’s not that I hate Valentines day,I just don’t like to celebrate this on the same day as everyone else and I certainly do not want to go and eat in a restaurant with other smug couples because I would probably throw up into my soup or something! Haha! But then no celebration at all seemed to be even worse this year! We have been so busy that the husband and I didn’t even bother with cards, he took over the dinner cooking, which was gammon egg and chips and then we did the usual bath and bedtime with the children and pretty much ignored each other on our phones all evening! Then I stupidly perused Instagram and Facebook and looked at others romantic thoughtful valentines day! HMMMM.

I don’t intend on being a rubbish unthoughtful wife…it just happened!I don’t think my husband did either but next year we will at least get each other a card and maybe go out together around that time! So to hell with boycotting it, may aswell embrace it next year! In fact I did make him a valentine’s day cupcake with the kids so really if anyone has making up to do its him! ; )

How was your valentines/half term? Don’t forget to like this post after reading or perhaps share your favourite post so far?

 

Motherhood Milestones

410Too often we celebrate our little darlings milestones such as walking, crawling and we even encourage them to talk? All of which we later regret and the silly thing is we forget to celebrate our motherhood/parenthood milestones! “I took a pee in peace”, should feature on a fancy milestone card for mum’s, just as “I kept my shit together in the supermarket after a spectacular meltdown from said child”, that one deserves a hot cup of tea and some chocolate, followed by a peaceful bathtime.

This week after 9 long, agonising days incubated with the contagious one, I was reminded just how important mummy milestones are.

Whilst I have moaned about 9 days in not attending groups and socialising with other mums, I met my friend and new mother of one on Friday who informed me she had served four long weeks inside, and hadn’t yet ventured out alone. She kindly asked me if I would accompany her on a shopping trip at her nearby town, to which I accepted but informed her that I would be a bore as I was on ‘No spend February’!

Luckily this did not deter my lovely friend and her newborn son as she was just determined to get out of the house and feel normal again and hopefully not forget anything along the way. I watched and assisted my friend in packing the changing bag as I hadn’t forgotten how that bastard thing can trick you into thinking you have all your needed shit in there!

I was a bit like sergeant major in fact recalling out all the necessary items she could need and even did a roll call before we left… “Coat, purse, keys…etc.”. Actually I forgot to ask her if she needed a wee before we left, I expect she is most in tune with her bowel movements by now…especially after a baby.

Out of the house we went and into town, allowing my friend to do her banking, thank you card buying (she is super organised) and then she treated me to the best thing ever. It is a beautiful delicacy we both used to share, way before we became parents. That delicacy my friend, is called ‘Chicken ala bake’, otherwise known as a Greggs chicken bake. In the bitter cold, this ridiculously hot pastry was a welcome delight, she even treated me to a chocolate doughnut, all because she was so pleased she managed going out with a baby. To top it all her son was an absolute dream, sleeping the wholetime.

I wish her well, with many shopping trips just like this, however something tells me as her son grows he may not always be so quiet and dreamy. Lets hope she has got a good one hey!?

Now a mother of three, I almost forgot how difficult all those ‘firsts’ can be. Going out for the first time, without your other half (if your unlucky enough to have one ; )) is a HUGE deal, and once you have mastered this, there are yet more new hurdles to overcome. Like, the doctors with your newborn, especially if this is for yourself. Because it is difficult just getting a parking space and then having to listen to what type of crabs you have over a crying baby. That shit is not easy! I was joking about the crabs, there is only one type…or so I think!

Travelling with children anywhere, involves incredible strength and not just for carrying the bastard car seat, you need to pull a wagon full of paraphernalia for the smallest of trips. Just remembering all the correct shit you need, is a mummy milestone in itself. We should wave some sort of flag outside our homes upon return of such trips. People need to know the struggle because the struggle is REAL..

Another wave the bastard flag moment could be when you attend a singy baby group and you haven’t got a clue what nursery rhyme is being sung, but you blag your way through by miming and catching onto the repeated word. This new learnt word you sing loudly and then switch back to miming.Winner winner, the other half should reward you to at least dinner!

So you catch my drift, and I hope I am not alone in thinking how the little things, can be the hardest to accomplish and these small triumphs need recognition! Without looking like a complete div, I am not sure in what fashion it is ok to celebrate these, so Id be grateful of your comments! Especially whilst I google how much profit I could make from an interchangeable flag that has a universal fitting…

Like, share and comment away…

 

School Homework

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Who is it really for? Should children even have homework? The answer to those questions may depend on a persons circumstance, for example working parents and single parents may not have the time to complete additional tasks and also parents with literacy problems may not be well supported in order to complete homework with their child. I personally are neither strongly for or against homework, however this evening has made me reconsider, in whose benefit it is!

Since the start of school my daughter has been set homework once a week. It is set on a Friday in her homework book and must be back at school by Wednesday. In the first few years at school the homework would just be one piece of numeracy or literacy and now sometimes there is both or a project set. Like this week, my daughter has been given two weeks to complete a PowerPoint presentation or book about Crime and Punishment in either the Roman, Tudor or Victorian times.

Two weeks, phew I thought when I first read the little slip of paper in the book bag! The first week past and I thought, its ok we have another week! Until that new week begins and every evening I am saying to her “Right, let’s get some notes from the internet on the Tudors then”.

We have done this internet surfing/note taking for three evenings now, each taking at least an hour at a time, mainly because she is quicker at writing than typing so I made her take hand written notes! I’m old-fashioned and clearly a huge time waster!

I took this project to be child lead, so I asked Imogen what she wanted to focus on, she told me she would like to focus on the rich and poor Tudors and food and drink. So after three hours or more of note taking over the course of a week, an hour into the PowerPoint presentation, I go and check the slip of paper to see how many slides are necessary.

FFS! I read in black and white that the presentation or book must focus on ‘Crime and Punishment’. Balls, that’s four or more hours wasted of MY time, oh I mean hers, researching what is now pointless, needless shit!

After a lot of silent swearing in my head, and blaming her for not listening to the teacher when the homework was explained!!! I pondered all the excuses I could give to the teacher as to why the homework wasn’t completed. ‘Our PowerPoint crashed’, ‘We forgot to email it, we will send it tomorrow’, ‘The dog ate the computer’, ‘The brother chewed the computer leads’ (this is the most plausible excuse)….erm ‘Mummy is too busy blogging to help…’! Then I felt that lovely parental guilt, as she would be the only one in the class who hadn’t completed her homework despite giving her two weeks to do it!

FFS, I better crack on looking at the clock displaying now 6.30pm the night before AKA tonight!! After watching her painful one handed typing earlier I decided I could get this shit drafted faster than she could type a whole sentence, so I instructed her to play Barbie’s whilst I searched the internet for ‘Crime and Punishment’ in the Tudor times.

Alas, the internet is wonderful! PowerPoint presentations on teaching websites already completed! OH NO I DIDNT! To right I didn’t, I am not a fucking idiot! She is a teacher right who is marking, and she must know all the tricks! Two painful hours later I have completed the presentation with a little help from my sister for the whizzy fizzy bits.

So after four wasted hours for a topic she was never going to present to two hours and two adults putting together a presentation she hasn’t even done or read yet! Nailing parenthood right now! What a brilliant example I am setting!

No in fact, what I am showing her, is if at first you don’t succeed, TRY, TRY, TRY AGAIN! Also I must be showing her that if she becomes a student at university in later life like myself and her auntie, she doesn’t leave things to the last minute and if she does, she needs to keep going until its done!!

So thank you for this learning experience Mrs B. This evening I have learnt that I am uber fussy about all the text being the same size and font in PowerPoint, you must also trial out the slides as shit just slides in all sorts of weird directions and I would not want to be caught gossiping in Tudor times this would happen:-

  • The Brank, (the gossip’s bridle)
    The brank was a punishment enacted on women who gossiped or spoke too freely. It was a large iron framework placed on the head of the offender, forming a type of cage. There was a metal strip on the brank that fit into the mouth and was either sharpened to a point or covered with spikes so that any movement of the tongue was certain to cause severe injuries to the mouth.

brankwoman wearing a brank

 

I’m fucked! Goodnight readers, keep gossiping on my page if your brave!

 

No Spend February Kicks Off

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I may have forgot to mention that for some crazy reason we as a family have decided to have a no spending month! I have decided that we call this festivity “No Spend February”! What this basically entails, I am not quite sure as I am pretty much making it up as I go along and hoping for the best! Erm…the idea is that apart from bills, food and petrol (oh wait its diesel now-God I hope I keep on remembering that) we must not spend on anything else! This means no Costas, no meals out, no cheeky McDonalds, no magazines and absolutely no fitness DVDs (lucky enough I purchased Davinas last month…still in cellophane however!).

No trips to the pub for a swift one, no cheeky vino with friends and this also means that we cannot meet any family or friends for dinner for their birthdays this month! Sorry friends…family however, deal with it! This may seem like a crazy idea when half term is a week away, but I like a challenge just ask the husband, hah, because he is one!

It was a short while ago that I read an article online (The Guardian) about a woman who saved something like £22,000.00 over the course of a year. This woman was however far more committed than Ill ever be because she firstly did this for a whole year, cycled most places (living in a village that isn’t going to happen) and she also did not have any children. Because I think if I made my little ones endure this for a whole year they may become more annoying than they already are!

I picked February because its the shortest month and there’s no Council Tax to be paid in February so I feel like I am saving already! Also February is luckily light on birthdays so that’s even better as January almost bankrupted me! I say me, I mean the poor husband!

I was also going to do “Sugar Free February”, but I think this would be a ridiculous idea as I am addicted and I am still not coming off the good stuff just yet, I am just not ready!

Inspired by this lady’s sacrifice for a year, I thought I could at least try one month to see how I go and how much we could save as a family! Feel free to inbox me ideas of fun and free activities with the children this half term… and no one say park!

So this free weekend, our friend who is currently residing in Brunei came over to visit us, bringing Maltesers for the win! He can come again! Late afternoon we decided to have a short walk in our village as number two is still so poorly and we cannot mix with other human beans in case we transfer this horrendous foot and mouth! Poor kid does currently resemble an extra from the Walking Dead. Our friend from Brunei was well informed about our germs on Saturday but he still came at his own risk!

Oh and this Sunday I actually got a little lay in! Top marks husband, I will pick up your pants for another week in return. Then we treated ourselves to the usual Aldi weekly food shop! This is how we roll now. I better start enjoying this spending experience as only Aldi and the petrol station get the joyous moment of me handing over my debit card.

Back at home, the usual shit occurs, which is me, carefully cleaning out the fridge and putting all the items away, as I am a little OCD. I do not like the husband putting the food away as shit just gets shoved on any shelf, any way up…even our 8 year old could do a better job! Whilst putting the food shop away is not his forte, packing it into the trolley at 100mph at the end of the ridiculously short Aldi till is! He is also pretty good at putting the food away at the end of the store into the correct bags. Weirdly I just shove shit in anywhere in an item to get the shopping experience over and done with! This is why I love Aldi and not Tesco, its a small store, not too many choices to confuse my jam packed teeny tiny brain and you are in and out of their in under an hour!

After our marathon shopping experience, we ate lunch whilst poorly number two slept in bed, whinged then slept some more and then we decided to take two cars (because of bikes) to our old local stomping ground Hadleigh so the kids could ride behind where we used to live!

This much loved walking route is called the “Railway Walk” as we used to walk our lovely dog Maxie here when we lived nearby. In fact when we got there we realised we had never taken number two here at all, so probably hadn’t walked this route for 3 years! Then we reminisced about our days with just one child and one dog…oh how much easier those days were!

Despite number two being poorly, he forgot for the whole time we were there how much his mouth hurt and he got stuck in riding his little red motorbike and attempting to chase after his older sister. However he soon got bored of operating his little legs, so poor old Mummy spend half the time bent down pushing him! Suppose I could use the exercise.

When we reached a place called “the bumps” (too non Hadleigh walkers this is an area of lots of reasonable sized mounds great for riding bikes over) we decided have some fun, so the husband and I decided to race each other each using the children’s bikes. Husband got the short straw…or so I thought initially having to ride the two year olds plastic bike and I got to ride the 8 year olds bike! Winner winner I thought!

No…I thought wrong, because earlier in the day, the husband apparently fixed her swivelling, 360 handlebars so that they didn’t move! He is clearly not very good at fixing things as I lost control of the bike as I turned to steer! Bastard! Someone say FIX? Anyway, shortly after winning the husband carried on riding the very small red bike  (smug bastard) and somehow fell off carrying poor Ruby. Almost squashing her, he managed to recover his fall by rolling over onto his back like a turtle, just laying on his back, legs wriggly in the air, with a now crying baby attached! I detached poor Ruby from the demented, arrogant turtle and managed to stop her crying! Now both Maddox and Daddy sported matching mud stained jeans! How is it us girls stayed so clean!

Could you do a no spend February? Fancy joining me, or sharing your freebie ideas on Facebook?

 

 

 

 

That Friday Feeling

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Is somewhat different to what it used to be. My pre parent working self, used to kick Fridays off with a chicken bake and a Lucozade from Bakers Oven (now Greggs) for breakfast at my desk. This was a must on a Friday because I was usually suffering from a hangover as Thursdays were the night to go out out! Now I don’t even know if that is still the case. Fridays almost seem an impractical night to go out after a week of work and now I much prefer Saturdays for such frolics!

That Friday Feeling these days is all about the husband finishing work that tincy bit earlier, and me breathing a sire of relief when he walks through the door, as finally after a hard week it’s not all up to me!! This week has been just like that, as we have a poorly number two with a horrible case of hand foot and mouth. Which is basically a mouth full of ulcers, sores outside of the mouth, a temperature and a rash on the hands and feet.

And from all the fuss he is making, it must be even more horrible than it looks! Poor Maddox became poorly after swimming Tuesday night, so I have been inside serving time for three long days now! Now I am usually someone who goes out at least everyday, even if it’s just to the shops, but usually its to a baby group to see other human beans, so just one whole day in sends me gah gah. What did people do without the internet? My trusty connection with the outside world, a place to moan about how I was up until 5am with a fussy baby (teething, feeding, belly ache…fuck knows) and a poorly little boy in pain.

So yet again, I have been a slave to the housework. My dear hoover, old Henry, gets out more than I do. So much so, I never put him away, he lives in every doorway of our house (bungalow). Which results in my husband moaning every night about “Why haven’t you put the fucking hoover away Abbie, it’s a trip hazard”. Well his dirty pants on the floor are a health hazard but you don’t see me moaning!

So between the moans of my little boy in pain, I’ve managed to go into the kitchen and wash up in parts, until I was needed again! It’s so demanding being a mother, I don’t think I was ever prepared enough for this! Even when you do get the chance to leave the little darlings they are never far from your thoughts! A mothers brain just never switches off!

Even in the dead of the night, you can find your mind racing with many thoughts. I see a lot of mums on Facebook talk about suffering with Insomnia. Whilst I don’t suffer with that, I was struggle the more I am awoken, the harder it is after the 23rd time to go back to sleep. Like last night I just feel pissed off, that they are tag teaming keeping us both up and then I think why the fuck did I even tease my body by going to bed! But lets face it, you just never know when you are going to get that awful nights sleep (or lack off), they can catch you by surprise! I found the worst thing with number one was, once she started sleeping through at about 9months…teething happened or she was ill, then just one bad night out of seven can hit you like a ton of bricks!

Recently another mum I know commented on my moaning status about my lack of sleep and she said that “I think this is probably the biggest con about having a big age gap…I forgot all about the sleepless nights”. She has recently had a baby after a 7/8 year age gap. This is so true! I found that after 6 years of no baby, even though I told myself I remember how bad they could be, I really and truly did not! I also quite like the saying ones a pet and twos a zoo, when referring from having one child to two! I seriously struggled! It was hard, harder than I had expected! You can never be prepared for any lack of sleep! Number three has been an easier adjustment as I’ve said before, with a 15 month age gap, I hardly got used to sleep!

So I apologise my Friday Feeling post, has mainly been about the serious lack of sleep! But I am in Struggsville, my eye balls burn like I am urinating cystitis, I’m wearing all black, (leggings of course) and have zero make up on! Today I am not feeling very Friday! Hope yours is better!

Tell me about what your Fridays involve? Because I’m nosey and I like to know! Don’t forget to click like when you have read if you did!