Lazy mum’s Newborn survival kit

5 things that I literally couldn’t have survived the newborn days without.

You have waited 40 weeks, eagerly anticipating the most exciting time in your life, you have the cot, you have the pram, you have 100000 beautiful pastel baby grows and those ultra cute itty bitty baby shoes. You have followed every tick list “what you need for a newborn” “what to pack in my hospital bag” “what will my baby need”.
Here is my ultimate guide on other very random things that have helped me survive the best but longest days of my life so far.

1. Microwave rice

I did warn you it was random things. I am no Nigella in the kitchen, like at all, I can burn a bag of crisps. So with that been said microwave rice, 2 minutes in the microwave, warm up some sauce (sweet and sour is my preference – and I can then use the jar for my wedding centrepieces), bag of prawn crackers, you have a £3, 2 minutes, easy peasy fake away. Off course I am not too sure of the nutritional value to have the regularly and its always optional to add veg, chicken or prawns but that may take an extra few of those pressure minutes (and pounds) that you want to spend with your beautiful new bundle. So when Carl is busy working on late evenings, a quick, easy and my favourite meal is in the shape of a microwave rice package.

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Tip – Using the prawn crackers as a scoop to eat the rice saves on washing a fork and makes it easy to eat whilst feeding your baby!

 

2. Flask

So 2 days into mummy hood and bottle feeding, my first question was, when can I have a cup of tea? I was forever making a cup of tea at the same time as making Nalah a bottle. Only to find out that when the bottle was cool enough to give Nalah, my cup of tea was just the right temperature for me too. Obviously feeding Nalah had to take president so I was forever having to down my cold cup of tea. How do people have a warm cup of tea I kept asking Carl, until on my birthday along with loads of other thoughtful gifts I opened up my literal life saver, a travel flask! Now I can sip on a lovely hot cup of tea or coffee whenever I fancy.

ThermoCafé Stainless Steel Flask, 1.0 L

But the flask is actually a double header on this list. After the health visitor advised me on all the new health scares and changes, that bottles should all be made up fresh with freshly boiled water and not kept for any longer than 2 hours. Wanting to give Nalah the absolute best start and follow advice this is what we did. But making up a boiling bottle every 3 hours throughout the night, boiling the kettle and then waiting a further 10 minutes for it too cool down was not our idea of a fun time. So we went a head and bought a larger flask for Nalah’s bottles. Now the water is at the right temperature to sterilise the formula but also takes a lot less time to cool and I don’t even have to get out of bed to make a bottle, no more cold kitchen tiles under my feet!

3. Baby wipes.

Well you will have read this one on the Website and checklists and endless magazines you read throughout your pregnancy. Though baby wipes are actual life savers.

  1. They clean poo, wee, sick – that obvious that is what they are made for. Our favourites are the water wipes because they are so much gentler on little babies new skin.
  2. Make you feel fresh when you’ve not had chance to shower properly in a few days. Brilliant make up (if you’ve bothered to but on some – 4 days ago?) wipes, arm pit, neck and the rest fresheners!
  3. Speaking of the bathroom, when you do ever get to visit, baby wipes are also a brilliant two minute cleaning solution just to keep things grime free until you are ready for an actual deep clean.
  4. Speaking of cleaning, kitchen sides, oven tops, microwave door, sink taps, cupboard doors, skirting boards, mantle piece, kitchen table, baby toys, wiping a bit of snot of your 3 day old leggings or sick from your 2 day old top.

           Baby wipes can save the world!

WaterWipes Chemical Free Baby Wipes, Natural & Sensitive, 12 x 60 (720 Wipes)

4. Washing machine

So I know that babies create a lot of washing, I have had one, but 5 years ago I never remembered quite how much washing I did during the baby stage.
Bibs, we must go through at least 5 bibs by lunch time, dribble, sick drool soaked. And you can’t just put them on the radiator because they dry all hard and crispy so washing is a must.
And its not just the dribble and sick… Poonarmies are the worst. We have only had a few horrendous episodes so far but they have completely thrown us! The worst was straight after birth, I had just been stitched up following my Caesarean so was unable to move. We were both cooing over Nalah and telling her how beautiful she was #at this point she was in the clear cots wrapped in 4 towels# and suddenly we heard a very loud, very wet trump. Suddenly Carl, #who had never changed a nappy before# was faced with the first tar poo, that Nalah was covered head to toe, kicking her heels in and balling her fists in. All over 4 towels #which thank god we didn’t have to wash!# He managed though and I think that set him in good stead for the rest we have faced! The worst are when I pick her up out of her Moses basket and realise there is yellow wet liquid seeping into my palms! Thank god for washing machines!

Make more time for the fun things in life with the Indesit Innex XWC 61452 W Washing Machine – 6kg of capacity

5. Prosecco

Well okay, I could actually survive without this (I am not an alcoholic) but really this represents ‘me time’. Every mum, dad, carer needs me time. Even if it is just 10 minutes in the loo. My me time and escapism when you are barely managing to keep your eyes open and string a sentence together is here. Coming to write my blog. It is like me going out of the door for work, even if Nalah is sleeping just moments away from me it gives me time to think and focus on something that I feel is productive (It may not be it may just be read as the ramblings of a severely sleep deprived mad women.) but its the thought that counts. And if I can do this with a nice cool glass of prosecco in my hand well then why the hell not!

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Proud Parent Moment

The school play

One of the proudest moments as a parent is watching your little prince or princess up there on the stage performing their hearts out in their early school plays.

Oscar’s first school nativity was last December and boy was I a proud mum, 39 weeks pregnant may have added to the watery eyes as I clapped till my hands burnt.

When he first told me about his school play he informed me he was going to be a “Pexican”. Googling pexican and I was none the wiser what this was or what its role was in the nativity. Until one day he came home with a sombrero and drawn on moustache I realised he had meant a Mexican… though still none the wiser to where that relates to the Nativity 3 month on!

But he was so proud there singing and dancing at the front of the stage with his sombrero and waist coat singing his heart out. I was so worried I wouldn’t make it, with our little girl due any minute and had made back up plans which I had gone over 20 times with my mum to make sure he would see a familiar smiling face in the audience. But we made it and it was honestly one of the proudest moments of my parenting life, I mean they even sang in Spanish! They are 4 and 5 year olds!!

Last week he has just had his Spring sharing assembly. I had no idea what his would entail as I have defiantly never heard of a sharing assembly before, even with experience in early years and primary school. But none the less I was eagerly looking forward to it.

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Oscar informed me he had a line to say, which of course I had to listen to over, and over, and over … and over again. “we have been planting some beans and have written some instructions.” I could almost recite it in my sleep! He spent the last two weeks singing songs about beanstalks and doing digging actions and reciting the story of ‘Jasper’s beanstalk’ whenever he got chance, you know like, in the bath, at the check out in Morrisons or whilst waiting at the dentist.
Jasper’s Beanstalk by Nick Butterworth (3-Apr-2014) Paperback

So fast forward to Friday and Oscar was up extra early and told me today was an exciting day (for me – not him- apparently) because I would get to see him in his ‘show’. We all made the trip to school extra early, but were still the last ones there, and sat excitedly waiting for it too begin, camera phone poised to capture the actions. To be honest, it was a bit of a drag to watch 60 (yes 60!!) children each say a sentence,  but then there was Oscar and I was filled with pride, my little buzzy bee saying his lines extra loud and clear (like he had practised so many times.) But that wasn’t the best bit, the best bit was during a song they did the actions of a duck and I could’ve cried, when I was 4 I was in a school play and I was a duck doing the same actions I felt ridiculously emotional and proud.

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My Duck Day

In my duck day, my mum made me an amazing costume (featuring the yellow tights if you’ve read ‘the nightmares of world book day’) the best part of the costume was firstly my felt feet that my mum had actually cut out and sewn together using materials from her classroom at work, and secondly my fluffy bum! She had sewn white fluff on some pants (which I wore over the yellow tights of course) with a matching hat (which could have also been a second pair of pants.) So I could wiggle my bum, flip my flipper and flap my arms till my little heart was content. So when Oscar only had a cardboard headband with a bee on I was a little disappointed, what magnificent costume I could have attempted and properly failed miserably at making for a bee!

3 Piece Bumble Bee Dress Up Set

I have high hopes with risk of sounding like a completely pushy parent, that Oscar makes it to a speaking part in his next nativity you know angel Gabriel, Joseph, a wise man.. regular Nativity kind of characters!! I remember in year 5 I finally (after a lot of begging) got the lead role in our school play of red riding hood, including a solo! I cannot sing to safe my life so they really must have been low on volunteers that year. The next and final year of primary school I hit the ultimate height and was MARY!! This was a dream come true, I was so excited I could have fainted…
Oh no wait, I did faint, on stage, in front of over 200 parents, right after Joseph said “I think I need a rest my dear.” I woke up too my head teacher frantically shaking me until I sat up and threw up! Nice!!

5 lazy and skint activities to keep the kiddies happy.

Here is my tried and tested list of 5 things to do with the kids when your feeling skint and really don’t want to leave the house… these don’t even require you getting dressed!

I don’t know about anyone else but when it comes to the half term or the (dreaded) 6 weeks holiday I want to cram it as full as possible. I don’t want my children to feel let down in anyway that we haven’t done as much as absolute possible. I also don’t want it to come September and when Oscar is asked to wrote about what he has done this summer that he can list the entire netflix shows.
But realistically we don’t want to be spending £40 a week on these trips. Don’t get me wrong they are fantastic and are worth every penny, if you manage to get some good photos and forget the tear fuelled 5 hour journey home ever happened.
So here is my tried and tested list of 5 things to do when lets be honest you just don’t want to pay!

⦁ Bin bag slide

What you need:

  1. Slide (any size will do)
  2. Bin bags
  3. Washing up liquid
  4. A fearless child
  5. Cold glass of wine (that’s for you obviously)

This one is for a nice sunny day, when the kids want to be in the garden and you want nothing more than to sit back enjoy the sun and maybe a nice cold glass of white. This was far the best day we have had in the garden, I don’t know who laughed more.
So basically it is a DIY slip and slide, the only time you are needed it to set up the bin bags, fill a bowl of water (I used the washing up bowl) and occasionally take photos and laugh at the muddy wedgies your child may be getting! Water works fine but adding washing up liquid directly onto the slide makes for an extremely fast and hilarious ride. (small print always supervise your child on a slide especially when slippy)

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Science Lab

What you need:
  1. several empty plastic (or wine) bottles
  2. a jug
  3. bath bombs
  4. bi carbonate soda
  5. food colouring
  6. water
  7. doctor outfit (that’s optional)

This one doesn’t really require much adult input either, after you have set up the make shift chemistry lab you can sit back and enjoy, every so often make sure they’re not drinking the magic potions! I used old bath bombs that (lets be honest when do I ever have time to be in the bath long enough for a bath bomb) I had received at Christmas, we all have some lurking somewhere. These added to bowls of hot water filled Oscar with amazement for a long time. Let them explore what happens when you add different ingredients, we added food colouring, bi carb, vinegar, fizzy water. It was defiantly more fun then I’ve ever had in a science lesson. This game then progressed to playing doctors and Oscar pretended (I screwed the lids on tightly after the potions were poured) #noonewantsawetteddy. Lining all his teddies up and making them better. Simple free easy fun activity that he has asked to do every time he see a bath bomb!

Heart Bath Fizzers – Pamper / Spa / Bubble Bath – Women, Woman, Lady, Ladies, Her Most, Top, Best Popular Present, Gift Ideas For Secret Santa

Cardboard box

What you need:

  1. A box
  2. A big imagination
  3. Scissors

Everyone knows that you buy the most expensive present for your child’s birthday or Christmas and the one thing that they want to play with is the box. Well this has ran true in our family too. The best yet we have had was the pram box, it was massive, but I’ve heard washing machine boxes work amazingly too. Though even if you don’t have any massive deliveries making their way to you, you can make do with smaller boxes. We have had hours of fun with box play:
⦁ A boat/ submarine/ lifeboat is Oscar’s top favourite
⦁ Castle
⦁ Prison
⦁ House
⦁ Shop
⦁ A Ball pool
Obviously the more creative can really go to town on this decorating, painting and creating real works of art like I’ve seen on pintrest. But really all we needed was the box, lots of imagination and mummy with some scissors to cut some windows and a door.

⦁ Baking/ play dough

What you need:

  1. Butter
  2. Flour
  3. Sugar
  4. Mixing bowl
  5. Licking spoon
  6. Cutters
  7. Icing and sprinkles
  8. Rolling pin
    or
  9. Salt
  10. Flour
  11. cutters

This one obviously requires slightly more adult input than the others so may be one to leave for when your feeling less tired/ hungover. You can go crazy on Pintrest searching all sorts of weird and wonderful and lets be honest really bloody difficult recipes and bakes. I am literally the crappest baker so we stick to really simple recipe.
100g soft butter (or margarine)
50g Caster sugar
150g Flour
Then we cut them out using gingerbread man cutter and then I give Oscar free reign to decorate as he wants, this keeps him occupied for ages!

 
12 Pieces Metal Cookie Cutters, 3 Stars Shape, 3 Flowers Shape, 3 Round Shape, 3 Hearts Shape (Assorted Sizes)

 

If your not feeling like baking, or arestressing because you have no icing sugar because you made the last batch far too watery and ended up having to use the whole pack to make it thicker! (we’ve all been there). Don’t stress. Playdough bakers is just as fun, a lot less messy, only down side not so tasty!

Simple playdough recipe – 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 1 cup of hot water mix into a dough adding more flour if it is too sticky. – Set your child up at the table with a rolling pin, cookie cutters, dough and leave them too it.

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⦁ Playing Christmas/ birthday

what you need:

  1. Wrapping paper
  2. Cello tape/ masking tape (is easier because the child can rip it themselves)

This one is the easiest lazy parent game ever ranking alongside logs, sleeping lions and doctors (when you’re playing the patient in a coma). Its great to play after Christmas or the few months after when you still haven’t bothered to put away the presents or stockings and have surplus wrapping paper left over.
How to play: So your child is Santa, if you have a Santa hat this makes it more enjoyable I believe but isn’t a necessity! You go to sleep on the sofa or in bed for more realism. Your child then wraps any toy they can find (if you have no masking tape and they cannot cut the cello tape I would advice to cut lots of small pieces and stick them on the edge of a table so they can use them rather than asking you every 2 minutes to cut it/find the end for them. A few hours later when they have wrapped as many presents as they could they fill a stocking or pillowcase and then wake you up saying happy Christmas. You then open the presents with a big fake smile on your face (the one you practised for the pair of socks your great aunt got you last year) and once you have carried out your best fake excited act for about 5 minutes it is over. Or they can start again and you can have another nap.
Your welcome! Happy playing!

Hurry up…we are going to be late!

Hurry up… we are going to be late.148950945060132188154.jpg

I have always been quite clinical about getting to places on time, I hate been late and always ensure I set off in double the amount of time to get somewhere, for example, me and my mum were going to Manchester to watch Billy Elliot at the theatre, it is a 45 minute journey on the sat nav, so just to be safe we gave it 4 hours! Despite this, I am not saying it always happens, it usually doesn’t. Like in this example we did actually end up only just making it in time for the beginning of the show because we had so much time we decided to have both breakfast and then lunch, which meant cutting it very fine and apologising a we squeezed past the already seated audience. But been on time has always been something that panics me and I am very conscious of.

Ever since I have had a small child, suddenly everything takes so much longer and everything requires so much more time. Putting my shoes on and getting out of the door was a 2 minute if that, job that I could be doing eating a croissant and texting at the same time. After Oscar was born the shoe task and getting out of the door at best takes 10 minutes.

Since starting school I feel like our life is now a constant rush, a constant list of things we need to tick off and schedules we have got to meet.

So after realising every other word I am saying from opening our eyes too closing them on a night is HURRY UP,

1. Are you dressed yet?

2. Come on quicker!

3. We are going to be late!

4. We have literally 2 minutes!

5. It will have to be a quick story !

6. Your going to miss your bedtime story if you don’t hurry up!

7. Come on why haven’t you finished yet?

8. LAST TIME HURY UP!!

So after the mummy guilt had kicked in and I realised I am raising my child like a strict army Sergeant sticking to tight schedules instead of letting him live and cutting him a bit of slack in the meantime.

After the gut wrenching realisation I knew I had to do something about this. I mean does it really matter that a five year old (who can’t even tell the time) goes to bed 3 minutes past his bedtime? My baby won’t be a  little boy for hardly anytime at all and soon he won’t even want me too tuck him in to bed at night or read his favourite story.

So I vowed to give an extra five minutes, relax when I see the time ticking by. The time that counts is now, not when we are all fast asleep drooling the night away. And most importantly I vowed to not say “hurry up!”

 

That night I ran Oscar a bath, he went in the bathroom whilst I sat outside the door feeding Nalah. I always make him sing whilst in the bath so I know he is okay. He was singing B I N G O and Bingo was his nameo. I glance at the time, its 15 minutes till bedtime, but I remember my earlier promise and try not to watch the clock tick by. I manage to hold out for another five minutes and gently prompted Oscar to now be getting out of the bath.

“yeah I will do after.” He replies

“after what sweetheart?”

“after I’ve got in.”

“what?!?!” cue full mum rage. “Hurry up, what on earth have you been doing, get straight in and then straight back out or else no book.”

“I was just busy singing mummy.”

So okay I failed on saying “Hurry up” the word of mums all over the world, but there is always tomorrow. And lets be reminded the world didn’t end because he was  in bed  3 minutes late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 5 awesome things about school trips

Remember going on school trips as a kid? Weren’t they just the best thing ever! Here is my list of the top 5 awesome things that made them so bloody fantastic!

So writing about parent’s volunteering for school trips yesterday got me thinking.
Thinking about all the school trips I went on as a kid. It was always the highlight of my school year, I remember visiting some awesome places, Eureka, sea life, the beach, the railway museum, Dalby forest. I remember getting so so excited about every aspect of the trip. So obviously now as an adult I know school trips were all educational and work related but as a kid they were magic, they were a day off, a skive, a complete free for all.

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⦁ Non uniform

Okay so this wasn’t always the case, because sometimes (if they trusted us enough) the school liked you to be in your uniform because ‘your setting an example to your school blah blah blah’ Though most of the time the school would be happy not to have us hooligans setting the example of what their school can produce and would rather pretend we were from a neighbouring school. In these cases we would receive a letter the week before letting us know what suitable clothing would be for the activity ahead. No-one, I repeat no-one listens too what would be ‘suitable’, not when you’ve got your brand new Christmas clothes brimming in your wardrobe that no one has had a chance to set eyes on yet. So out come the brand new trainers, the best branded jumper and jeans that would make Beyonce jealous. School trips were a fashion show, end of!

⦁ Pack lunches

I was hot dinners for school, we tried pack lunches but it just wasn’t ever going to be a thing that worked for my family, sardine sandwiches so no one would sit near me, malt loaf, wrapped in kitchen roll and then having to peel bits of tissue from the butter, tupperware filled with raisins and grated carrots?! I mean really?! But I got excited when I could be pack lunches on a school trip, because it meant it could be special, I could have those things other kids had every day and I had always dreamt of, Sunny D, penguins, crisps, dairy lea dunkers, baby bels! And for these special pack lunches my mum really did go all out, it was a very exciting time. Though this was also my dad’s highlight, prime time for embarrassing us! One school trip we had a big picnic at Dalby forest, I opened my pack lunch up and there in my ham sandwich were little flies wrapped amongst the thousand layers of tinfoil. Plastic flies they turned out too be, my dads idea of funny. I wasn’t the worse off that day, my brother opened up his pack lunch and was faced with a giant dog turd! (again plastic.) but non the less we were laughed at for the rest of the school term for our ‘interesting contents.’

⦁ The coach

Another best bit about school trips was the coach ride, everyone always got wild withe excitement, chanting and cheering as though we were a hen party on our way to Magaluf. The coach ride was prime time to be opening up your pack lunch and having a snack and swapping with your mate your penguin for their twix (not in my case people didn’t really like to associate themselves with my pack lunch box, you never know what is lurking inside). If you were really luckily (or just a cool kid – again not me) you would have the row of 5 seats at the back and this was kind of the place to be. From here you could direct and dictate what would happen on the bus and the rest of the trip, if you were in that middle seat, well you were kinda god! But no worries if you didn’t make it on to the back seat, the highlight of your trip would be the little pull out tables from the chair in front that you could rest your head on and have a little nap, though for some reason they always smelt of gone of banana and I worried who may have been sick on them. Talking of sick, there would always be that one poor kid sat at the front next to the teacher with their head in the bin (yes the actual bin that I might need to sharpen my pencil in next week). However long the coach ride it was always sure to be filled with excitement, laughter and most importantly singing at the top of your voices “why are we waittttttting” at every single set of traffic lights.

⦁ Gift shop

Finally the bit I always loved the most was the gift shop! Wherever we went the gift shop visit always took at least 60% of the trip. When letters were handed out they always instructed to bring some change for the gift shop. So with lots of extra good behaviour and a few chores thrown in I bagged myself a nice crisp five pound note to spend till my heart was content. I got some brilliant tack from school trip gift shops. Nothing that would ever relate to the actual trip I had been on.
⦁ A pink plastic glitter bracelet filled with water so the glitter moves around. I bought this from Eureka and for some reason it was my by far best item of jewellery I had ever owned.
⦁ A water snake, though things you squeeze and the jump out of your hand, no looking back at these as an adult they defiantly don’t look like something a child should be handling!
⦁ A hairband (obviously) with my name written on in fancy gel paint, which I would then sit and  pick at for the reminder or the coach ride.
⦁ Gel pens, the smelly ones, so I could then write about my school trip experience and the teacher would have the joy of smelling cola as the marked it, or if they weren’t so lucky banana as they try and squint to read it.

Tinc “Pastelicious” Fruit-Scented pastel gel Pen – Pastel Neon (Pack of 8)
The gift shops were always so over priced and filled with crap but we would all leave beaming from ear to ear with our hands full of plastic tack in paper bags that were close to breaking point after we tried ramming in our McKenzie jacket in because 23 degrees was a bit warm for a jacket, like the letter had probably recommend.

We need you! ->

It is that time of year again were letters are getting send out highlighting the up and coming school trips, teachers are coming up to you to remind you that the residential money for little Sinead was meant to be in last week and there is that notice pinned to the school doors asking for parent volunteers, “we need you”.
When I first left work on Maternity leave it was Oscar’s first week at school, ever. So I was really excited and vowed to be ‘that’ mum, the one that helps out on the tombola stalls, the one who bakes for the bake sales, the one that goes in to listen to readers, the one that attends every parents play and stay session with a smile on my face and last of all the one that volunteers to help hold hands on school trips, alongside 2 or 3 other mums/grandmas who have also gotten roped into to wearing a hi vis standing in the middle of roads stopping on coming traffic while a class of 30 4 year olds toddle across.
So Oscar has only actually been on 2 school trips and by trips, I mean he left the school ground. One was his harvest festival in the local Church and the other was too the park on remembrance day. I took note of the tired looking piece of paper stuck to the door stating “we need you”, I couldn’t hide, they knew I was free, I agreed to hold my little ones hand whilst the whole class took the short 2 (in normal cases) minute walk to the church.
I got there eager and excited to be here, on time and alert despite been 8 months pregnant at the time. Oscar saw me and his face lit up that his mummy had come to walk with him, well that was priceless and made it all worth wile, however the actual reality of a 2 minute walk with 30 4 year olds is quite something else.
I held Oscar’s hand of course, but the ratio was too hold two children’s hands. Having been a nursery nurse in the past this was nothing out of the ordinary or weird for me but having to hold another child’s hand who kept letting go and wanting to run of was a little different. Having to ask Oscar the child’s name to encourage them to walk nicely, when Oscar admits he doesn’t actually know this child’s name…well it just makes it a little harder. Three other parents turned up to help that day, three! And weren’t we the unfortunate ones. We arrived at the church and got out little ones, and the rest, seated we could then go and find ourselves a seat and enjoy the first experience of them singing in a school show.  Oh but we couldn’t get a seat because all the other parents, from the entire school, who hadn’t walked had seats already. So at 8 months pregnant I leaned (sat) on a tombstone in the church trying hard not to throw up or pass out throughout Oscar’s rendition of been a little pear.
The walk back to school was equally enlightening, I had a different child’s hand to hold this time, he obviously noticed I was carrying a water melon in my jumper and went on to discuss with Oscar how he thought babies were made. Walking through the church red faced while two foundation students discussing tadpoles and eggs was defiantly not a highlight.
All been said I felt good that I had been a good mum that day, I had made my little boys day and even if I couldn’t see him be a pear I certainly saw lots of his pear hat (A pear stapled onto some card for them too wear) that I had to pick up enough times from the side of the road along with two dozen oranges and five apples. So all in all a really positive first school trip.
I got back to the car, only to find a parking ticket. So that ‘short 2 minute walk’ ended up costing me £60. Fair to say I didn’t end up volunteering for the park walk/waddle the following month.

Sunday Night Fever

When I see that it is Friday I give a little cheer, no school run, no early breakfasts, no getting dressed (just me?) for a whole 2 days. Weekends are my favourite, staying in our PJs till gone noon, slobbing out watching films, no-one caring if breakfast/dinner/tea all merge into one. And obviously spending lots of precious time with my small people.

No deadlines, no schedules, no school bells or rush hour traffic, just us in our bubble.

Until I pull out the book bag, look through the homework book and Bam! There it is our list of jobs to do to make it through the weekend. And when I say our I mean mine, no one gives a 5 years old homework like, “write a sentence explaining how frost is formed” or “write a paragraph about an animal who lives in a cold climate and list 10 things about this animal” without expecting the parent is going to have to be searching through trusty google to find these answers. And then sit for a further two hours painstakingly spelling out the words they need to write, p o l a r finger space b e a r. “No no no thats a rrrr (speaking like a pirate not an A, oh cross it out you will have to start that one again.”

No one tells you that when your child starts school, you too have to learn the alphabet phonetically, not only that , the actions that go with it. P p p (whilst blowing on my finger – I am meant to be puffing out candles apparently) O (pretending to flick the light switch on and off) L, you can imagine how long spelling out Polar bear took let alone the rest of the PARAGRAPH!!

Spring is here.

This weeks was one of the tamer weeks, only 4 tasks to complete, doable I thought. In recent weeks there has been 8 tasks which I had to literally set a timetable up to complete.

This weeks topic was Spring. We (Sorry Oscar should I say) had to look at plants in the garden or in the park and discuss the life cycle and then he had to draw or paint his favourite flower. Well we kind of bypassed the garden/park bit on this occasion but in our defence it was really miserable and wet out, which we found out later on. So we chatted (discussed) the life cycle of plants. Basically I told him that in winter a lot of the plants are dead, without googles help I am afraid I do not know much more than that. So I set him of on something we can do easily, paint a picture. Getting all excited I began to pull out Oscar’s paints he got for Christmas, the ones I’ve not really been letting him get out because there for ‘best’. Oscar shrugs and tells me his favourite flower is a daisy and that he is just going to draw in and then colour the yellow middle in with felt tip. Well I sigh, least that it one activity down. 3 to go.

The second was maths, it asked you to draw how many flowers each person had to help you work the answer out, but Oscar had already worked the answer out before we had chance to get his felt tips back out so he just wrote 5 on his sheet.

The third activity was “go to a shop or garden centre and look at packets of seeds, talk about what they might grow into.” I read further on and activity 4 is, “plant some seeds or bulbs, what do you think will happen.”

What? I have to actually leave the house? But its Sunday, I was so cosy in my PJs and mum bun and baby sick on my shoulder that I may or may not have wiped off since last night.

Okay so feeling productive we have to do this homework and make a go of it (I could do with Nappies and coffee anyway). We all make ourselves presentable, washed and dressed and leave the hours a good few hours later. I get out the pram in the rain, swearing as I trap my finger in it. Nalah is crying, she did not want to come out in the rain either.

We make our way to the shops, getting blown away by the distant cousin of Storm Doris.

Once in the shop I am pleasantly surprised to see a full wall of seeds (it must be a spring thing?) and even more happier with the prices, phew so just 50p for a pack of seeds, that should do. Oh but no wait, I need plant pots, I will need a trowel, gloves? £2.50! £2.50, no we won’t bother with the gloves we can just wash our hands. So we choose, some sweet peas, sweet Williams, sunflowers and carrots (god knows how you grow carrots, but we can give it a whirl). So we head off back home, unload the wet pram and now dripping rain cover and even grumpier baby into the car.

SUNFLOWER – GIANT Yellow 3 metre plus – 40 seeds

Once we are home luckily Nalah has a little nap so I grab that opportunity to start getting all green fingered, “come on Oscar shoes on coat on quickly we need to do this now” I shout. So there we are in the rain having a bloody lovely time, me trying to take photos for ‘evidence’ trying not to test the waterproofness of my phone out too much. Then I asked Oscar to write a sentence about what we had done, cue the jolly phonics and long drawn out spelling marathon (no one needs to know I had to use spell check to spell out favourite.)

The whole experience could have been over there, just 2 hours later and we could have been finished, well Oscar was. Lucky him. I know had to evidence what we had done. So for me this was just the beginning.

So I am no tech savvy at all. But because Carl has just recently bought me this laptop, and I know where the printer is I think I can save a few quid and a trek into town to print instant at boots, (So much easier.) So first I think all I need to do is get the photos from my phone to the laptop, easy you may thing. No actually apparently it is impossible! Well without social media it seems. So first I plug my phone in, nope, that doesn’t want to work, unrecognisable.

Then I think maybe bluetooth, both phone and laptop are paired, yes, I am doing great this might actually work. Nope, sending failed.

Right I know email, that is easy I will just make a draft and then pull the photos from that, I write the email, open it on my laptop, suddenly no WIFI. Not connected, unable to connect. What?!

As you can imagine this has already taken sometime and Nalah is waking from her nap.

I turn the laptop off hoping it might reconnect when I turn it back on, nope! It decides now is a good time to do a full update, taking a long 50 minutes! So once it has updated the internet is back working, phew! But no emails or drafts are showing. So I go to my last plan, I really didn’t want to have to, good old Facebook upload. So I apologise to my Facebook friends as they really don’t need to see Oscar’s homework in their news feed. And finally I can pull the pictures.

2 hours later and I have 4 pictures of Oscar planting his seeds on my laptop, now to print! This requires a lot more huffing puffing and swearing as I have to install, reinstall and download god knows what to make the printer and computer connect. But somehow I manage it and suddenly there are pictures splurging out of the printer. I did it!

Okay so the print quality was crap, the ink was barley there, the black was green and there were random bright red and Oscar thought his face looked just like his grandads. But they were there stuck in his book with all his writing and tiny daisy drawing. Finished! 4 hours and 30 minutes of my sunday it took, £4.50 it cost in materails, but hey we might get a pretty graden, and Oscar is certain to get an awesome smiley face stamp next to his work so happy days!

Update – Oscar was sick in the night, great big beans stuck to his face, so unfortunatly his homework won’t be needed today! Nooooo!!!

The nightmares of world book day and other embarrassing occasions.

So today is world book day, I’m not sure what that means but it certainly seems like another sneaky opportunity to bleed parents dry. Along with Easter, Halloween and of course the main event, Christmas, but this ‘day’ creeps up on you, because no one knows about it and then bam! You are suddenly having to create a costume in 1 evening.

Receiving a crumpled letter in his book bag THE DAY BEFORE! Asking for all children too be dressed as their favourite book character.

We are one of the more fortunate families on this occasion as Oscar has numerous costumes and luckily I was able to persuade him that while every super hero costume he has horded for the last 3 years (yes some are extremely tight and what were once trousers are now shorts) are presented in marvel comic books what his teachers had meant was a proper book. So I finally persuaded him he would look fantastic as Harry Potter. And I was right.

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So Oscar’s day was a success and I felt like I’d  gained mummy points today.

.Rubie’s Official Harry Potter Pack Gryffindor Robe, Wand and Glasses Child’s Costume – Standard Size

I then got thinking about my own school days and the excitement and anticipation of dressing up. Ending in the awkward humiliation of the end results, but god bless my hardworking busy parents they really were creative!

Red nose day

The first day that strikes a memory is red nose day. It was the year of the squeaky noses. My dad left it till the night before to go and buy me and my older brother a red nose. Living out in the sticks he took the 20 minute journey too the nearest town and scoured the shops. He came back several hours later looking disgruntled and with no red nose.

Though he didn’t come home empty handed, oh no not my dad, he bought us both a red ball, a squeaky ball to be precise, a dog toy!! Inventive!! He snipped a hole in it for our nose and there you go a squeaky red nose.

Okay it was double the size of everyone else’s at school the next day and we looked a bit like coco the clown but that day was actually one of the more successful.

Children in need

So the next day that I vividly remember is children in need, or as it was known as at the time Pudsey bear day!! I remember it well, i was ten and we were in the middle of moving house and were renting a small house from a neighbour whose mum had just died. (One of my least favourite houses especially as the sofa she had died on was still sat in the living room.) All of our things were in storage and we only took the bare essential with us. So you can imagine the horror when I am sat in assembly been told to dress as Pudsey bear. I looked through the slim pickings of the clothes I had Packed and pulled out a big baggy orange woolly jumper and some yellow tights. Brilliant they’re bear colours I thought and set out to put them on. I showed my mum, quite pleased with myself. She told me I cannot go too school in just tights and instructed me to find a skirt or some shorts to wear with them.

The only shorts I had with me were my P.E shorts. Cycling shorts! Blue, shiny, lycra cycling shorts.

So off I go to school, two buns in my hair (ears!)A big woolly jumper, yellow tights and blue cycling shorts.

I never did win best dressed, the winner won a Pudsey teddy. I was gutted. Though my mum did take me to buy a teddy to cheer me up, he was the same unfortunate colour as my burnt orange jumper.

Ladies White Pudsey Bear Children In Need T-Shirt CIN Charity Clothing[M]

So remember stressed parents out there, you may be creating a last minute DIY outfit for the numerous  occasions schools spring on us. But cycling shorts over yellow tights is NEVER a good idea! Have you had any embarrassing moments please feel free to share in the comments, so we can learn from not just my mistakes!

Also whilst writing this I saw that Red nose day is this month, so I will aim to bypass the pet shop and get Oscar a nose on time!

What I learnt whilst planning a wedding.

So planning a wedding is a minefield, a minefield that the higher percentage of engaged folk haven’t come across before. There are so many pressures that you could not have even dreamt about and never incorporated into your 10 year old self’s dream fairy princess wedding. Why can’t I just put on a pretty white dress and say I do?! What do you mean there are 12 different shades of pink?!

For me there has been so many very problematic areas of wedding planning. So you can either laugh at me and my mistakes that I have encountered and hopefully you won’t have to make them. That or just elope…

Wedding planning is so fun…. said no one… ever.

Superglue is super sticky. No jokes!

I learnt this cruel fact whilst DIYing my centrepieces. I had pinned over 50 repeated images of centrepieces which I was going to have a go at creating for our big day. Once I knew the theme I was happy with, my first question was how much will this cost me? So I spent days, weeks well actually 2 months stocking up my eBay basket full after searches and searches of ‘rustic table decor’ ‘burlap and lace items’ ‘wooden wedding’. After realising that paying at least £100 in centrepieces was as realistic as it gets in the wedding world so I decided to go it alone.

I played about with what I had to hand trying to keep to the same themes as the images I had trawled through on Pinterest In scooted through my recycling bin and found wine bottles (lots of wine bottles!! So I thought brilliant, these linked into some pictures I had seen and loved the idea of I could defiantly have go a upcycling some old bottles and what better thing to have as a centrepiece than a drink I am known too love?! So I got bidding on some cheap burlap with a lovely lace trim and picked up some bargain super glue five tubes for one pound.
1 Metre of Natural Hessian Ribbon with Lace Detail, Available in 2.5cm, 4cm and 6cm Widths (6cm)

After so long of deliberating  about my centrepieces I was ready to set off and give then a go. I got Nalah off to sleep and excitedly up to the table and started to carefully wrap the pretty burlap around my empty prosecco  bottle.

Brilliant. It looked fantastic beaming from ear too ear with the successful job I had done I stand back to take a photo of my masterpiece.

Ginger Ray Mr & Mrs Wooden Heart Rustic Table Party Confetti Scatter – Vintage Affair

Oh shit! My left thumb is stuck. Actually stuck. Not like the times in school when you pretend your stuck to your mate so you cant possibly do any work, but actually full on am going to have a wine bottle on my hand on my wedding day stuck! I had horrific visions of the registrar saying, “you may now place the ring on Hannah’s left…erm…bottle.”

After a lot of swearing I managed to peel my poor skin from the bottle and burlap leaving a little bit of my thumb behind. It stung like crazy and I was left for the rest of the day picking glue and bits of hessian off my fingers and nursing my new poorly!

So let this be your lesson, superglue is super sticky and defiantly not for the faint hearted or fair sensitive skinned of those among us.

And p.s double sided tape actually does the job successfully  with no mess, damage or skin loss!

10pcs LOVE Heart Wooden Embellishments Crafts Christmas Tree Hanging Ornament 8 x 8cm

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Hang on a minute, what’s that noise? I think I know, its Mr Tumble !

Hang on a minute, what’s that noise? I think I know, its Mr Tumble !

So Carl left for work at least over an hour ago. Nalah is snoring her little head off and has been for at least 40 minutes but the little hot water bottle just looks too content for me to put her down. Having said that I am sat sipping a lukewarm coffee (well I just wouldn’t have it any other way!)

I have my phone in hand lurking through the pages wedding forums looking at bizarre posts that got out of hand. Starting with a search for ‘how many bridesmaid is average?’ and ending up reading pointless posts about who do you thank first in the wedding speeches. This gripped me and actually got me pencilling up (in my head) a timeline and tick list for Carl’s speech. Which in reality I probably won’t even get a sniff at until the big day is here.

I mean does it matter who we thank when we thank them or why we thank them, its us that are buying them a nice three course meal and some plonk!!

I glance and the clock and realise I have wasted a good 40 minutes of my life reading and worrying about this trivial matter, I quickly feel sick that I’ve not done any housework or even in fact brushed my hair yet and it is almost school run time. I stress that Nalah probably won’t have a nap this long for at least another 5 days as they seem to be 10 minute clusters and that’s if I am really silent.

I also realise that along with the time I have been listening too cbeebies whilst my child has been sleeping for this same amount of time. Bare in mine Nalah is two months old, she couldn’t give a shit if she was watching Twirlywoos or the antiques roadshow but never mind it makes me feel more child friendly having it on. So this is when I am alerted to the fact I have been watching Mr Tumble on my own I pick the remote up to flick channels. 14882896622821718327496

Just then Justin Fletcher grabs my attention again saying “we’re going on an adventure today.” I physically put down the remote, put down my phone and sit enjoying the rest of ‘something special’. Who have I become?

And now its way too late to put the washing on or even contemplate doing the pots, this day will have to just go down as another fail day.