No More Babies

baby boy

I’m broody.

But I’m also pretty certain I don’t want any more babies. I’ve had four and as my last ones (my twins) are now 5 and my eldest 15, I think it would be madness to go back to having another baby in the house. I’m also not getting any younger!

But still, I miss having a baby around.

I like being pregnant. It’s such a special, magical time and the thought of never doing it again makes me sad. Right now, if I see a baby bump on someone I immediately wonder if it’s something I could do again….. For a moment I get carried away in the thought process and I picture myself with a cute little bump, I love that feeling of a baby moving inside and feeling the little feet kicking as I stroke my tummy. Then the thoughts move on to a tiny newborn, a cuddly, chubby, bouncing six month old, a gorgeous little one year old… but then I picture it going to school and it brings me back down to earth with a, well, a bump!!

I couldn’t, for all the money in the world, do the school run again!

I’ve already been frequenting my kids school for the past 12 years and my twins are only in year 1, which means I have another 6 years of trudging back and forth to the place every single day of my life!! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely school, the best, but to start all over again there…. NO WAY!

I also wonder (and this shouldn’t bother me as it’s my choice) what other people would say! I know for a fact that the majority of people would think I’m mad, especially family members. Some would be annoyed I’m sure! Most would be concerned for me though as I already have enough on my plate, and some days I can barely manage my life as it is at the moment, never mind throwing another baby into the mix! Others might think I was just being plain greedy, why on earth would I want any more when I have four already? And I have to agree with this to a certain extent.

I have four beautiful, healthy children and I feel very blessed. I shouldn’t push my luck. If something went wrong with another pregnancy now, and it would be higher risk with me being older, the whole family would suffer and it wouldn’t be fair on the other children. I’ve also got to a point with the twins now where we can pretty much go anywhere we want. No need to worry about prams or whether they’d get too tired, we can do things all together at last. Having babies around meant I couldn’t do certain things with the older two at the drop of a hat, and that’s still the case for particular activities but usually now, if I have to, I can take the twins along and it’s not a problem. My children need me, I’m already spreading myself thinly so in that respect it would almost feel selfish.

But on another level, my children would love it! My daughter would be in her element! And after having two babies at the same time, struggling with all that that entails, I sometimes think having just one baby now would be a walk in the park!! Apologies to anyone struggling with one baby, and I know that babies ARE hard work, but NOTHING scares me after having to cope with two at once, as well as running around after two older children with practically no help whatsoever!!  Hell, I could probably do it with my eyes shut and one arm tied behind my back!! Ha!

Knowing my luck though, I’d end up with the most difficult baby ever!! Or quads or something…. Could you imagine?!

Joking aside though, I miss my twins now they’re at school full time and it feels like all my children are growing up. My son is in his last year at school, doing his GCSE’s and my daughter is in year 5 which means next year we will be looking at high schools for her. I can’t get my head around this.

My young twins are starting to be proper little boys now instead of babies and I don’t like it! I want my babies back!!!!! Maybe having twins has made this feeling of loss worse, having two babies around for so long with double the amount of baby / little child loveliness to dote upon has spoiled me. I don’t know.

I think I just have to accept that this is all part of life and even if I did have another baby, that too would one day be growing up and what then? Keep having more babies?!

I need to draw the line somewhere and admit to myself that I’m done.

But it’s hard.

It’s the closing of a huge chapter in my life that has spanned fifteen years, from when my eldest was born, to when my youngest have gone to school.

It’s a big deal.

Scary, in fact. And even though I know in my heart I won’t have another, I feel as though I’m not fully ready to draw that line.

Mama and More

Silent Sunday – 14/09/14

silent sunday

OneDad3Girls

Top Marks Teen

I haven’t written enough about my Teen here on the blog. I’ve posted the odd thing but I haven’t shared the oh-so-many trials and tribulations that life with a teenager brings. And I have SO many stories that I could share that would make interesting reading!! I will start documenting things a bit more I think!

This story is one of the good ones!

My Teen is 15 and, as teenagers often do, he can cause me a fair bit of stress at times but in general he’s a great kid. And he’s now in Year 11 at school, his final year.

How did that happen?! I can’t believe it to be honest with you.

I know it’s a cliche but once your kids start high school time really flies by. More than that for me, these years have literally whizzed past like a hurricane whirlwind at the speed of light, leaving me sitting here wondering what the hell has happened to my little boy! And now, here he is, getting ready to sit his GCSE’s next summer!!

Gosh!

It’s fair to say though that high school for Teen hasn’t gone smoothly. There are many dimensions to that comment and so many instances that I could cover where Teen has been in difficult times (he’s had great times too I should add) but this isn’t the post to go over them. He’s been in trouble at school, from mostly minor things like not completing homework or being a little cheeky to teachers, to some major instances which stressed me out no end!

All the while though he seems to have split opinion at his school. On one side you have the teachers that, and I’m not joking, literally LOVE him, they think he’s amazing, and have no problems with him what so ever. This is double for any P.E teachers who worship him! On the other side are those teachers who Teen doesn’t get along with at all, teachers that he’s rude to and shows little respect for and in return who probably hate him! I’ve met with the Head Master on a number of occasions and he tells me how much he personally likes Teen but equally lets me know that he really needs to drop his attitude and get the most he can out of school. We are all hoping that Teen will knuckle down this year, he has to, this is the final push. He’s a bright boy and is in top sets for most subjects but he hasn’t been achieving his potential.

(I’ve just skirted round the edges there but you get the picture!)

Today I learned something which has made me the proudest Mum on Earth right now! Teen has given me lots of proud moments during his short life, the majority of them have been sport related, he has been an outstanding athlete throughout his school years both at school and out of school but today it was very different.

His English teacher called me to let me know that he scored the highest marks out of the whole year for an English GCSE controlled assessment (this is coursework that is done in school now, rather than at home as it used to be in the past).

I was shocked! OMG I was so happy but it took me completely by surprise as English was one of the subjects he always misbehaved in. He hated it as a subject and claimed he wasn’t very good at it. He hated his teachers and I was beginning to despair. But last year things seemed to turn around, slightly.

The Head of English decided to take him out of the class he was in and put him into his. He couldn’t stay there as his lesson was full but he promised to find him a different class and teacher. Teens school is huge. There are usually 10 sets for subjects, with two classes in some of the sets and they’re all usually full, so moving him mid way through the year was going to be difficult but he found him a class with a teacher that Teen clicked with straight away. He was away from students that distracted him, and he immediately told me he was learning much more in this lesson, which was great for him and relief for me!

But I wasn’t expecting this!

His teacher called me because she was overwhelmed with pride and at how well Teen had done! I could almost hear her jumping up and down with joy! She explained that this particular English Literature paper was a very difficult four hour long assessment, and that Teen had understood exactly what was required and included every single thing he needed to, to gain maximum marks. It gave him a very high A* for result and she said it was outstanding what he had achieved, she was very hopeful for his overall result next summer after the final exams!

I wanted to cry. Bless this woman for bringing me such fantastic news and for helping my son to achieve his potential. And hats off to Teens Head of English for doing what he did at just the right time. I honestly believe that some teachers are simply born to be in that job, they know how to bring out the best in a student and instead of whining and moaning and handing out detentions every five minutes, they encourage, build confidence, support and inspire. My son has been lucky to have a few key teachers at school who have been amazing with him.

But ultimately, it’s the child who has to do it for himself, and it looks as though Teen has finally got this!

He has truly turned things around for himself and even though he makes me proud every single day just by being him…. knowing what he has achieved in that English assessment has blown me away! I’m so very, VERY proud of him ….. I could burst!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Harvest Your Own Spuds at Willows Farm

As a huge fan of Willows, I take my children as often as I can, we go pretty frequently but so far, I have never been to the annual Potato Shindig event. Probably because we visit once or twice over the summer holidays and the potato frolics happen throughout the month of September, and we usually don’t go again until the Pumpkin Festival at the end of October!

But not this year.

The Potato Shindig event has been part of the Willows seasonal programme for the last four years and this year I was determined to take the kids as I knew they’d love it!

On arrival at Willows, we decided to play first on the many, MANY other attractions Willows has to offer before having a late lunch in the cafe, situated in the indoor play area (which I have to say serves some delicious food), we then headed down to the potato patch last thing, as I didn’t want to carry bags of heavy spuds around all day!!

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The pathway that leads to the potato field is rather magical I think, makes you eager and excited to find out what we would discover at the end!

willows farm potato harvest

At the end we were met with this cute shed where the children were invited to choose a bucket and digging spade (adults given a large fork to do all the hard work help) then we were ready for some serious digging!

En route to the field, the track was lined with interesting and useless facts about potatoes that the children could read! My daughter enjoyed this part and read out loud every single one!!

The event only takes place at the weekends during September and even though the field is huge, only part of is revealed each weekend so that there is a brand new, fresh part to dig for people visiting the following weekend, which makes perfect sense.

Now, I’m not going to lie, you have to properly get stuck in. The potatoes are under the ground (obviously), although near the surface but you do have to look and dig for them. Unless you get there early on Saturday when the field is ripe for picking, a lot of the field has already been harvested and it can take a little time pushing around the plants to see which ones are still in the ground, ready to be dug!

willows potato shindig

But it was brilliant fun!

willows farm potato harvest

And the kids could really get their hands dirty!

Potato Shindig gives families the chance to make the most of the great outdoors and is the perfect opportunity to get out, get active and get involved with where their food comes from. It’s a great all-round learning opportunity as children get to experience first-hand what it’s like to take food from the field to their dinner table by harvesting their own crop of potatoes.

potatoes from willows farm

We managed to fill four bags worth and have already been cooking with them at home! I can report that they are utterly delicious!

Also, I have to mention that although we didn’t try any, as I hadn’t realised they were on the menu, but Farmer Anna has also developed a special children’s recipe for Roast Potato Mice made with their potatoes which you can buy at the cafe along with other yummy potato specials.

I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed the Potato Shindig! The weather was glorious and what better way to end the day than to do something we’d never normally do, something that’s totally fascinating to kids and fills them with a huge sense of satisfaction to find and dig up the potatoes!

If you can. do try and make it to the event, the kids will love it, and of course, you get the added bonus of spending the day wandering round Willows and enjoying all of it’s amazing facilities. There really is so much to do… there’s indoor and outdoor adventure play in Woolly Jumpers, The Farmyard and Woolly’s Activity Play Trail. There’s bouncy castles and funfair rides and not forgetting the lovely animals which the kids can pet and feed!

willows farm

There’s cute guinea pigs and rabbits, as well as horses, cows, goats, chickens, donkeys, llamas…..

We had lots of fun….

willows

willows farm

You can’t beat Willows for a great value day out

For more information about Willows including entrance fees, opening times, directions and events, please visit their website.

Project 365 and Diary Update 2014 Week 36

Another week. Another school year.

I cannot believe we’re here already. September, and heading into Autumn. This year is going so fast, in fact I’m sure the years are going faster now than at any other time! Someone needs to put on the brakes!

This season is a little bittersweet for me. It’s as though I’m mourning the summer that has gone and losing my children as they go back to school, but at the same time loving everything Autumn… the amazing colours of the trees, looking forward to cosy evenings and the build up to Halloween and Christmas, both of which I love!

I’ve heard the weather is going to be reasonably good this month though, so I want to make the most of it and get out with the kids as much as I can!

Here is my week 36

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Day 243 – School shoe shopping in Clarks. My twins took ages to allow to the shop assistant near their feet. Don’t let the innocent little face fool you. This was an ordeal!

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Day 244 – Last day of summer holidays and we spent it getting organised for school and chilling out at home. This is my Dad’s dog getting a tummy rub!

project 365 new term at school

Day 245 – First day back at school. This was at pick up time and playing on the school grounds, as we always do when the weather is lovely. The boys had a great day, which was a relief after a very bad start in the morning. They had screamed and had to be prized off me :(

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Day 246 – Another school pic, I love where my children’s school is. It has extensive playing fields and looks out onto more fields and trees in the distance. I enjoy hanging around after school, not for that long, but long enough for most people to leave whilst I chat to other mums or just with my children. It feels peaceful somehow and the kids love to play for a while.

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Day 247 – Playing in the garden

project 365

Day 248 - Keeping the twins amused while my daughter has her tutor session. I usually leave them at home but had no one to look after them on this day and it wasn’t worth going home so we waited in the car!

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 Day 249 - The birthday parties for this school year have started already. This was a little boy in the twins class who was turning 6. Bless my little lads, they’ve only just celebrated their 5th birthday!!

Hope you all had a good week. Click on the badge below to read other Project 365 posts :)

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Silent Sunday – 7/09/14

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OneDad3Girls

Meeting Xeno

Over the month of July I attended a number of Christmas in July shows. These consist of stores and brands showing off their new Autumn/Winter and Christmas ranges for the coming season. I will be sharing a lot of what I had the pleasure of seeing over the coming weeks as we get ready for Autumn.

My favourite Christmas products had to be toys though. As I have four kids, these are the most important at Christmas time, as well as the food of course!

There were a couple of toys in particular that kept cropping up at all the toy events that are predicted to be top sellers this Christmas and one was this one, the very loveable and interactive Xeno.

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Xeno

We were invited to the launch event of Xeno at London Zoo. It was a great venue for the unveiling of a super product and we were all very excited to be a part of it. As I said, Xeno is predicted to be a huge hit this Christmas and I can see why. He has a list of attributes that kids are looking for in a toy these days, in times when kids seem to have so much, you can almost say Xeno has everything rolled into one.

So who is he? Well, apparently he is an’ interactive baby monster who lives in a magical world under kids beds and comes out to play at night. Xeno is not just a cheeky baby monster but a friend for children to play with, care for a love!!’

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 The children were eager to know all there is to know about Xeno

The first thing my children noticed about Xeno was his snotty nose! They all thought this was very amusing! The ‘snot’ though, has a function, it is one of very many… let’s take a look at the features…..

Xeno has 8 sensors on his body.

  • Tap his forehead to make him happy
  • When Xeno sneezes you can clean his nose by pulling his snot
  • Xeno farts when you pull his tail
  • He is ticklish on his feet
  • He burps if you press his belly button
  • Xeno asks to be fed and you can feed him by placing your finger in his mouth
  • Play games with him by pressing his hands and using his snot, hands and belly sensors

This toy is pretty amazing I have to say! There are just so many things that he can do and he is sooooo cute! He has big adorable eyes that show emotions, he can laugh and cry, he can sleep, show sadness and excitement and is very easy to like.

xeno

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Xeno comes with his own App

I have to admit that I think some apps that accompany toys are a bit on the rubbish side and don’t really do the toy justice. Most just don’t have the play factor or good graphics and can look at bit boring.

Not this one! The Xeno app is amazing. It’s a game all by itself, it’s like something you would buy for a high end games console and my children thought it was brilliant! You don’t have to have the app to play with Xeno, and you don’t have to have Xeno to play the app, but they do interact and the app does enhance the play levels available for Xeno.

It’s an amazing game and yet another fabulous extension of Xeno’s incredible features.

xenoThe very playable app

We spent ages at the launch event for Xeno. There were so many Xeno’s lying around to play with that all the children that were there were able to really get to know him. My own children had so much fun and didn’t want to leave.

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One just wasn’t enough for my little H, he wanted all of these to take home!!

The thing to remember about this toy is that although it is on the pricey side (they retail at around the £60/£70 mark) you are getting so much for your money in terms of playability and technology. I don’t think there is anything as high tech as this on the market right now, not one that is also as much fun anyway, and so very cute and loveable.

Xeno can play a LOT. He can speak too. He has a few phrases that he will use to let you know what he wants. He will ask “wanna play?”, he will tell you when he’s hungry and if he’s eaten too much he will make naughty sounds! He can dance to music that you play and will also sing along, if he likes it that is, he has his preferences!

Xeno will also interact with his friends, other Xenos. So if your children want one each, they can play away to their hearts content and won’t ever be lonely :)

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 My little H fell in love with Xeno and didn’t want to leave him

I have to add that Xeno is very tactile, he is made out of a rubbery material that feels lovely to touch. He is soft and squishy and is similar to many cuddly toys in that he is a mixture of all the kids favourites… rabbits, teddy’s, puppy’s… he is all of those and more.

I would highly recommend this ever so cute toy to anyone who doesn’t know what to get their child this Christmas. It’s a must. It will be on my kids wishlist that’s for sure.

It’s safe to say that we think Xeno is awesome.

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 We were given some Xeno related goodie bags to take home with us…. before heading off into London Zoo for a fun day looking at the animals with my lovely friend Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby :)

You can find Xeno on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and Instagram under Xenoslife.

He is available now to buy from all major outlets :)