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It’s My Birthday …..

……. and i’ll blog if I want to!

 

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The 18th August has been an iconic date my entire life. As a child I would be waiting patiently and excitedly leading up to this date – the weeks and days beforehand would drag. It felt like it would never arrive the day beforehand! Time went so slow.

I would wake up on the 18th, full of beans and excitement for the day ahead. We would always go somewhere on my Birthday as a child and I would always have a party on the day itself if not a few days later.

I would wake up to (in my eyes) loads of presents and my mantle piece would be adorned with cards from family and friends from far and wide. The phone would start ringing from early morning until late into the evening with well wishers ringing to wish me a Happy Birthday – no on ever bothered to answer the phone on my Birthday because it would always be for me anyway.

We had lots of family living away from us when I was little but someone would always make the journey down to stay with us a couple of days beforehand and somehow it felt like my Birthday was extended, especially if I had a party a few days later.

Fast forward to today … it’s still my Birthday but these days they feel so very different. As a busy parent the days certainly don’t drag in the lead up to today (there’s always something keeping my busy) and I don’t get those ‘excited’ moments knowing my Birthday is approaching.

When the day arrives I get up to my presents, flowers and chocolates from the kids and the hubby and their cards – I love opening their cards to see their messages & bright colouring in or pictures they’ve drawn for me.

But this is where it’s different …. Birthdays as no longer as they used to be, they’re not like how I remember they were.

I have presents and cards from my Mum & Sister (obviously my Step-Dad & Brother in Law too) but that’s is ….. I don’t have any other family left. It’s really quite sad actually and today I was sat reflecting, looking over at the mantle piece at the handful of cards I had received. I have no-one left to receive cards from. The phone doesn’t ring apart from my Mum …. there’s no-one else to call me. These days I have to be the one to make the calls to the handful of people to say ‘Thank you for my card” ….. It used to be the other way around. I would get the ‘Happy Birthday’ phone call where I would then thank them for sending me a card.

The day almost passes without much of a different feeling to all the other days in my week. As a child the day would be all about me but these days I have my children still to think about – they still need looking after and they still need their dinner cooked. Being a child you could just do what you want, play with your new toys or whatever and not worry about doing mundane things.

Today will be the first time in 34 years i’ve not seen my Mum on my Birthday too. That feels like somewhat a big achievement to get to this age and to have seen her for every single one of my Birthdays yet today that has been broken.

Aside from all of the above a big difference from then to now is social network …. Every year on facebook/twitter/instagram I am showered with messages and love. Something you definitely didn’t get when I was younger. I get messages from people i’ve never even met before and from people who i’ve not seen in years, so that is really lovely.

Anyway i’m off to make my phone calls thanking people for my cards. Sad that I don’t get to speak to people who are no longer with me … people who I miss calling me up on my Birthday wishing me a lovely day – just to hear their voices again would be a present in itself.

That said I do get all that excitement like I did all those years ago as it approaches either L or C’s Birthdays.

Goodbye July …

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I honestly can’t believe we’re into August already. This year seems to be flying by. It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago we had Christmas.

For us in July it saw L complete her time in year 7, although she only joined the school in May she’s all done in year 7. July also bought my Mum & Step-Dad to us, they have just returned home after being with us for 10 days, they actually only left yesterday. We absolutely loved having them to stay and we had a brilliant week. Both kids adored having them and they were throughly spoilt. They bought them a huuuuge trampoline for the garden and they bought C a slide and goal post as an early Birthday present.

 

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August is a month for Birthdays …. it’s Hubby’s this week and it’ll be mine in a few weeks too. It’s also still the summer holidays so hopefully we’ll have lots more sun and lots more days out 🙂

The Goodbyes Never Get Any Easier …

As some of you may know we moved back to England in May of this year leaving My Mum & Step-Dad behind. Saying goodbye on the day we left was just awful, I still think back and remember those feelings & sadness like it was yesterday.

Today we’ve just had to do it all again. We have had them over to stay with us for the past 10 days and a few hours ago we stood at the bottom of the drive and waved them off …. they won’t both be back over together until Christmas now. That seems like ages away. So much time will have passed between now and then. My 2 year old will become 3, he will have grown up so so much and the difference in him will be huge. He changes and develops so much over a few days let alone months. My 12 year old will be almost a teenager and again more grown up than she is now.

I have loved having the company as well. They weren’t in with us all day everyday because they were out most days making the most of their break over but i’ll miss the company first thing in the morning when I get up with C. Mum has been getting up with us and we would sit and enjoy a cuppa & have a chat before the rest of the house showed signs of life. We would all then sit down and have breakfast together. I’ll miss the company in the evenings too.

C has been loving the attention of having his grandparents here. He’s had lots of giggles and he’s had someone giving him attention or playing with him almost constantly.

I just feel a bit empty I guess and the house feels very quiet. I doubt the goodbyes will ever get easier. I’ve always lived near to Mum so having her so far away isn’t something i’m used to.

We’ve had such fun these past 10 days and i’m sad it’s all over.

Potty Training Day 3

Today we’re onto our 3rd full day of C being in pants and I have to say I am amazed at how well it’s going. On our first full day (Sunday) I spent the whole day changing pants & clothes. He was coming to me telling me he needed to go but it was as he was doing it. We didn’t make the potty in time. I didn’t make a fuss about it and all I said was ‘Never mind, lets get you some new pants, good boy for trying.’

Later that afternoon we were due to go round to some friends just for an hour – they’re really good friends of ours and I knew they wouldn’t mind me taking him in his pants and the potty so that’s what we did – the hour we spent there he kept asking to use the potty but each time we sat there he didn’t do anything. By the time we got home though he managed to do both a wee and a number 2 before it was time for his night time nappy. OMG He was SO pleased with himself, he proudly picked up the potty and showed Daddy & L before flushing it down the toilet.

Monday morning I got up and took his nappy off and put him straight into pants – something must have just clicked the previous evening because we had absolutely no accidents ALL day – he spent the whole day in he same clothes. I was amazed by how quick it took him to grasp it.

Today is now Tuesday and again we’ve had absolutely no accidents all day and we even ventured out of the house for a few hours earlier (armed with spare clothes and the potty) but he stayed dry the whole time. Even at bath-time he asked to get out so he could go.

Feeling proud is a huge under statement – I was actually dreading this milestone because for some reason I was expecting the journey to have been a lot harder. I of course am expecting a few accidents over the course of time but I really didn’t think he would be doing so well on days 2 & 3.

It feels odd now only putting him in one nappy a day.

A Well Needed Smile

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I was feeling a bit sad today, I was a bit emotional and just generally down in the dumps. For a good while now I’ve been trying C in pants whilst we’ve been at home but it’s not been going too well. He’s really not been very interested in trying to go to the toilet either on the toilet or the potty – we just kept having accident after accident. I did a post on it here recently.

Fast forward to today and we’ve been at home all day so I asked him if he wanted to try his pants again … he must have been in the mood because up he jumped and went to his drawer to decide what pair to wear … all very exciting stuff when you have an array of characters and colours to choose from.

Throughout the afternoon I kept asking him if he needed to go and he would say no then all of a sudden I would hear “Oh no” or “Nappy on” and I would find a wet patch where he was sitting! I tried to sit him on the toilet afterwards just incase there was a chance he still needed to go …. but nothing!

Something at some point must have just clicked though – he ran out to me in the garden saying ‘Come Here’ whilst holding himself – I sensed the urgency and seeing as I was by the garage I spotted a potty grabbed it and sat him down. At first we just had a few dribbles, he would then get up and say all done. I still praised the bit he did produce because up until now he’s never done anything. Over the next 5 minutes he kept running over saying “oh no” and again we would sit on the potty – this time though I tried to take his mind off it – luckily there was bird tweeting in the garden … “Listen” I said … “Can you hear that” and BINGO we had a wee – those few seconds he took his mind off what he was doing nature took it’s course and he let it go! (Sorry if you are now singing ‘Frozen’s Let it go’)

He was SO chuffed with himself, we did the whole lets go and show daddy routine, and then he had the fun of being able to flush his wee away in the toilet. Lots of praise, high fives and a very excited, happy little boy.

So there we have it one dull day was instantly brightened by another milestone – who knew wee could cheer you up so much.

After that he didn’t have to need to go again before it was time for pyjamas and nappy. He went to bed however really eager to get into pants again tomorrow morning …… only thing is … I have the food shop to do Haha! That could be interesting.

Growing Confidence In the Water

Up until recently C hasn’t been keen on getting water on his face, wether it’s in the bath/shower or the swimming pool.

A few weeks ago I noticed my local swimming pool have session on a Wednesday or Thursday for Parents/Carers and toddlers. They only have 12 adults and toddlers in each group and the class only lasts for half an hour.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when we went along to our first lesson. I have to say though I was very impressed. There was a class instructor and throughout the half an hour we covered lots of different activities. We did some singling, we taught them to ‘walk’ along the wall holding onto the hand rail like Monkeys, she had them jumping in, blowing bubbles, blowing balls along in the water, swimming with noodles, learning how to push off from the side, swimming on both their front and backs …. I was exhausted by the end of the lesson Haha.

We’ve now been to three of these classes and already I am seeing a huge improvement in C’s confidence in the water. He doesn’t mind now if he gets water on his face, he jumps into my arms from the side of the pool, he’s kicking himself along whilst ‘digging’ with his hand and he’s slowly allowing his ears to get wet when he swims on his back.

Today was the last class for the next 6 weeks because of the summer holidays. I will be looking forward to taking him in September again though.

My New Year Goals … how am I doing 6 months in?

Seeing as we are 6 months in (well just a little bit over) I thought I would update on how i’m getting on with my 2015 Goals. You can see my Goals for 2015 in a post here.

1) – Savings Tin – Back in January I bought myself a little tin and begun adding at least €1 a day – I was only using €1 & €2 coins so it soon added up and started to feel heavy. Ideally I would have liked to have filled the tin but as we moved in April, I obviously had to open it because we would no longer be living in a Country using Euros. I was really surprised at how much I had saved in such a short space of time & I never really noticed the odd few coins coming out of my purse each day. I haven’t started another one as yet but I do plan on starting a new tin now we’re back using £1 & £2 coins instead.

2) 365 Project – I had planned on taking photos every day of the children and uploading them to the 365 project so I could to see how much they changed over the year. I was doing really well but when C was taken into hospital, getting the camera out and snapping a photo of him was the last thing on my mind. Plus L was staying with my Mum so I wasn’t able to take many of her either. So the 365 project did fail but I have been making sure I take lots of photos of them both, especially since we’ve moved back here. I’m making lots of memories of the things we get up to.

3) Memory Jar – Again this got off to a good start but once the jar got packed away for the big move it’s kind of not really come back out yet 🙁 I have been documenting special moments and milestones on the blog though, so does that count?

4) Drink more water/fluids – I have been doing much better with this – I have been making an effort to drink more – some days I could still do better but I have improved!

5) Stop stressing and worrying so much – Ahhhh well yes, this is a tough one .. moving house (and Country) certainly had a lot of stresses and so did registering our car for UK registration but on the whole I have stopped worrying about certain things I guess.

6) Have some earlier nights – Hmmmm …. lol could be doing more of this!

7) Make new friends – This is ongoing – we’ve not been here long! Hopefully though I will do.

8) Make more time for me – No, this hasn’t really happened at all – must try and do this.

9) Cupboard and house organisation – Working progress – I still have some of this to do – unpacking boxes takes time doesn’t it?

10) Try and reduce waste – I think i’ve improved on this actually – for a start our wheelie bins are smaller here and we’ve been doing ok so that’s a good sign.

11) Get the house finished – Well yes we finally did get it all finished and decorated – only to move out and rent it out to tenants. Ahh well at least it’s a completed goal eh?

12) Making memories – As I said above I have been doing that by taking lots of photos, videos and uploading special key dates to my blog 🙂

13) Have a family holiday booked by the end of 2015 – This hasn’t happened as yet – we’ve still got 6 months though!

So there you go – not doing too bad and i’ve still got 6 months left to continue and improve on certain areas.

 

How are you doing with your 2015 goals/resolutions?

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Arts and Crafts Fun!

I had a few forms that needed filling out this afternoon so I thought what better time to set up and little Arts & Crafts activity for C on the table next to me.

I went to Home Bargains this morning and quite literally picked up some bargains. I bought a few items for a sticking activity.

I also used some items that you would normally in the kitchen cupboard to make things a little different, using different textures and shapes. He loved it and I got my forms filled out!

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Our Week 29th June – 5th July 2015

Last week was actually a really lovely week so I thought I would share it with you.

Monday – We still didn’t have a car so we spent the day just pottering round the garden – the weather was amazing. C had a music class in the morning and my sister come with us. When we got home we sat in the garden for a few hours with C in and out of his paddling pool.

Tuesday – We finally received our documents for the car. WOOHOO it’s now all official and registered on UK number plates. We didn’t have all the paperwork and number plates sorted until the afternoon so up until they arrived we spent more time in the garden enjoying the sunshine. It was so good though in the afternoon being able to pop out in the car for a drive – just to have the freedom finally to go out when we want is brilliant. It took almost 8 weeks to get it registered.

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Wednesday – In the morning hubby had an appointment so we went along to that and afterwards we drove to the local shopping centre for a browse. The weather during the day was really warm and humid but it was a bit cloudy .. perfect time to shop 😉 Saying that come the afternoon/early evening the clouds shifted and the sun was soon shining again so the kids and I washed the car. They had great fun. For dinner we decided to have a BBQ – the first of many! I’ve really been enjoying a nice glass of lemonade, a few cubes of ice and some sliced strawberry this week – it’s so refreshing.

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Thursday – C and I met a friend & her little girl for brunch on the beach. Despite the weather being a bit iffy with some rain on and off we had a lovely time – we went to Urban Reef down on the seafront. C and I both chose pancakes (which were delicious) and had a lovely chat and catch up. We didn’t do very much in the afternoon and again luckily the clouds shifted and the sun come out so it was decided we would go out for dinner … no cooking for me YAY.

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Friday – In the morning we had a settling in session at C’s new pre-school – we popped along for an hour just for him to have a play and an explore so he’ll be a bit more familiar in September (or January, depending on when I decide to send him) Afterwards C was in need of a hair cut so we popped into a local town. He loves getting his hair cut and will sit in the chair so well. The weather was stunning all day so of course what did we do for dinner …. yep another BBQ – I could get used to this!

 

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Saturday & Sunday – We had a throughly good weekend with lots of gorgeous weather – we spent the morning on Saturday at the shopping centre getting bits for L’s residential school trip next weekend and I also did the food shop then all afternoon & evening we spent round a friends house for dinner. Sunday we went to a nearby village to see the Annual Ferrari & Italian market, then spent the afternoon round a friends house in their garden. You can see a separate post here with lots of photos from the 2015 Ferrari & Italian market.

My Must Haves When Out & About!

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As a Mum of two, I never like to leave the house without my essentials, especially if we are going out for the whole day. I would hate to be out somewhere and need something and not have it to hand.

Now that L is 12 I no longer really need to ‘carry’ anything around for her in my bag, but I do have a few items for her for those ‘just incase moments’

I currently have the Pink Lining ‘Not So Plain Jane’ Bag but now C is getting bigger i’ve been considering swapping this to maybe a smaller bag or even one of their backpacks. The bag I currently have is perfect for hanging on the buggy but once he is out of that stage I feel maybe a rucksack would be easier to carry around.

 Here is what I have packed in my bag on a typical day out for us:

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1) Nappies – C is still in nappies so obviously these are pretty essential to take out with us.

2) Wipes – Wipes are a godsend – not only for nappy changes but they are so handy for wiping sticky hands or mucky faces.

3) First Aid/Wet Bag – It’s amazing how much you can fit into a little bag! I have in there a few sachets of Calpol, a bottle of Nurofen, a few Calpol tablets for L, Paracetamol for myself or the hubby, Sudocrem, Metanium, snuffle babe (you just never know), a packet of tissues,  Plasters, hayfever relief tablets (L suffers from hayfever in the summer) and Antibacterial Gel (a must have especially after nappy changes/using public toilets or before eating).

4) Snacks – Again I use a little wet bag and I always have a supply of dry snacks in the bag. If we are going out for a longer period or a picnic then I will of course pack fresh food with me for the day.

5) Drink – I always make sure C has a drink of water when we go out.

6) Spare Change of Clothes – Seeing as we are in the summer at the moment I have a spare change of shorts, a t-shirt & a summer hat.

7) Suncream – Super important with this gorgeous sunny weather we have at the minute.

7) Mummy’s Things! – I of course always carry my purse, I make sure I have my sunglasses, a small hairbrush, my house/car keys and my all important iPhone!

It might seem a lot but what I love about my bag is it all fits in so well. There are lots of handy little pockets and compartments inside the bag so everything has a place if its own.

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What are your must-haves in your bag for when you’re out and about?

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