Life Update

I just wanted to write a quick post as I’ve been neglecting my blog a little of late, life has been getting in the way and however much I love my blog, family time has to come first.

I’ve decided to drop out of doing #Project365 which, for those that may not know, is a weekly linky that I’ve been joining in with for over a year and a half. I write a post each and every week with a photo representing each day and a few words explaining what the photo is about. I enjoyed it because it was a good way to keep a diary of what we get up to. I completed the whole year last year and was immensely proud of myself because it wasn’t easy, remembering to take a photo every single day for 365 days! Lots of people drop out so I’m glad I made it to the end.

But after nearly six months of this year I’m going to stop. I’ve missed a few weeks and whereas normally I’d write them all up at once, I have felt as though I’m just taking photo’s of anything really, for the sake of it, rather than enjoying it like I used to.

I think the main reason for this is my time. I don’t want to be confined to joining in every week. As I said, things have been busy at home, I work part time, we’ve had quite a few social events lately, my four children have had lots going on at school and I just want to blog when I can, not because I have to!

I still want to keep a record of what we do but will instead, just write up posts about certain events that have happened that I want to record, rather than the mundane.

If you enjoyed reading my #365 posts I do apologise! I may be back to start all over again next year, who knows!

New Job. New Exciting Times!

Back to work

It’s funny how things happen in life, how you can turn a corner and something new happens, something unexpected.

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend, a bit of a whinging session, I was feeling fed up and a bit pissed off to be honest. She’s a friend who I met through my daughter as her daughter and mine are best friends, in fact, I wrote about their friendship a little a while ago!

Anyway, my friend runs her own business, in fact she runs two…. she’s very successful and out of the blue asked me if I’d like to go and work for her!

I was completely taken aback, I wasn’t expecting it at all… she KNOWS me for gods sake, I would never have asked her for a job, even if I was looking for one because a) I wouldn’t want to put her in a position to have to say no and feel bad and b) I would’ve thought she might not want her perpetually late, scatter brain friend anywhere near her offices lol!

But she said she needed someone a couple of days a week to help out within her new venture and thought I’d be perfect for it, plus I have a sneaky suspicion she thought it would be good for me to get the hell out of the house now my twins are at school :)

I haven’t worked properly for years, I’ve enjoyed being a stay at home mum and being completely absorbed in all things kid related, so the thought of engaging my baby brain for something other than my blogging was slightly terrifying!

The role actually involves a lot of the things I’ve dabbling with at home in recent years during various projects, things along the lines of using WordPress, updating website content, PR and social media marketing!

I can do that!

I can actually do that?!

Of course I can. I do it most days in some way or another, but I never in a million years would’ve thought about applying for a job doing it…. yet here was someone putting her faith in me, offering me a fantastic role and giving me the opportunity to return into the workplace in a job that can fit around my children, where I can expand on my current skills and learn new ones.

And I absolutely LOVE IT!

I’ve been at work (feels weird saying that!) now for a few weeks. The offices are literally round the corner from my kids school and the hours are 9-3 which couldn’t be more perfect…. just gets better doesn’t it? The other members of the company are also Mums who are lovely and it feels great to be part of a team who are all striving to grow the business together, which is recruitment for Mums and a community based website.

I love getting ready for work too, wearing something a bit more interesting than my usual jeans and Uggs! Not that I’m dissing Uggs, I love mine. But it’s nice to get dressed up and look smart for a change, much dusting off of heels and skirts has been carried out! It’s feels good to be in an office again, having adult conversations and feeling  as though I’m part of a team!

Being out for the two days takes some getting used to though as it’s two days of housework/blogging that I’m losing, which needs catching up on. But hey, a small price to pay for the experience I’m gaining in my new venture :)


What’s The Story? Magic Moments – Holiday Snaps

Beach fun sandbanks

I absolutely love this photo.

It was taken whilst on holiday in Poole, Dorset in 2010, on Sandbanks beach.

What I love about this photo is that it shows my boy who is now my Teen, when he was 11 years old. He enjoyed this holiday so much. It was the August before he started high school and he was still my little boy, my baby!! I loved him at this age, still do of course, but this was before all the changes that go hand in hand with high school, teenage years and growing up.

He loved being with his Mummy at this age. He was old enough to be able to have lovely conversations with, yet still young enough to want cuddles, play with his siblings and be happy to be at home with his family. He was still a child!

I miss him being like this.

The photo also shows my gorgeous little girl who at this point had just had her 5th birthday. She was glued to me all the time when she was small, she wouldn’t do anything without me! Bless her.

We had such a fun, happy time at this beach that day, giggling all the time. Sandbanks beach is truly beautiful. We were making the most of it though as it was the only day really that the sun shone in the whole week we were down on the South coast. The weather had been great leading up to the holiday but changed and rained practically every single day we were away. Typical!

My twins were gorgeous little babies too at this point in time:

baby twins

God, I’d love to give them a squeeze right now looking at this!

My children are growing up too fast. I know I’ve said it before but I really would like time to slow down a bit please!

Here are a few more pics from that holiday….

dorset sandbanks kids

Treasured memories of a lovely time. X

Approaching 40

I suppose I should get it out of the way and write a post about the fact that I’m approaching 40 soon. VERY soon.

It’s crept up on me rather rudely, poised to snatch away my 30’s and with it, announce to the world that I’m no longer a young woman. I will be a middle aged woman! God, that sounds so weird – am I actually talking about ME?

I don’t feel as though I’m getting older, or wiser for that matter. I don’t really feel any different than I did twenty years ago. I’ve always been rather excitable and childlike so saying I’m 40 just doesn’t sound right – it’s not fair, almost makes me feel like I’ve got to grow up!

It’s a strange feeling knowing that I’m actually getting old. Ok, I know it’s not THAT old but it’s getting there, a reminder that time is passing rather quickly and if I’m lucky enough to reach the age of, say 80, then I’m already half way there!!! Slightly terrifying.

Having kids really seems to exaggerate the passing of time, in the sense that it’s so much more noticeable when we see how bloody fast our kids grow up. It’s way too quick, which unfortunately means that the very same time that’s flying by is making US older too! I console myself on this matter by looking around at my friends and being safe in the knowledge that they’re all getting older too…. ah yes, that’s alright then!!

But I don’t want to get old. Well, what I mean is, I obviously want to get old because at this point in scientific time there is no alternative, apart from not getting old, if you know what I mean, which I don’t want – but we can’t stop the clock or rewind it. More’s the pity. I want to stay young, I’m alright as I am now thank you. Or maybe even rewind the clock back to, hmm, lets see…. my early thirties maybe? I still want to have all my kids with me though of course, but early 30’s would be good, when my body was still pert, I had no wrinkles or jowls (what the eff are they all about?? How disgusting), and, more importantly, when I still felt relatively carefree!

I’m desperately holding on to an (almost) youthful appearance by the skin of my teeth. I’ve been lucky I guess so far, the years have been kind to me (I think. It’s subjective), but time is catching up at an alarming rate now and I’m clinging on for dear life!!!!

Aargh!!!! Go away old age!! How very dare you?!

Not that I do anything to slow down the ageing process you understand. I’m far too lazy. Can’t be bothered with cleanse, tone and moisturise… who has time for all that anyway? Does it even work? I think you’ll find it probably doesn’t. And going to the gym? Pfft – I’d rather have a cup of tea!

Seriously though, I do try and buy a good moisturiser as my skin is dry but I often use those all in one wipes to take my make up off, so much quicker. I even use baby wipes when I run out….. we all do that don’t we? I hardly ever floss my teeth because I hate it – makes me cringe, and I have done the gym/fitness thing too many times to mention, always give up – I get bored, plus I can’t justify it financially.

I have always been slim, I’m still a size 8(just) -10. I like clothes and fashion and I don’t have any grey hair which is surprising considering my stress levels at times, so I think I could get away with saying I’m a bit younger…. hell, people have even asked if my Teen is my brother lol – admittedly they were OLD and probably had bad eyesight but I don’t care, I’m taking that and running with it!

However, I think I’m unfit and I can really feel it now if I’ve eaten a lot – my older female relatives all say they were slim like me when they were young and they’re all quite big now so I’m guessing that’s the way I’m heading, probably going to wake up huge one day!

I need to take action.

And not because I’m worried about getting fat, but because I need to start looking after myself more. Over the next few weeks and months I’m going to feature on my blog my attempts to improve my health and well being, hopefully giving you some hints and tips too!

Healthier Eating

This means cooking from scratch more healthy meals. I need to cut down on stodge – I love comfort food and bread, I’m not a snacker but I do binge on chocolate and biscuits at times! I need to drink more water, I don’t drink enough even though I’m fully aware of the benefits. I’ve got a tea addiction. Love drinking tea and I’ve usually always got one on the go! I hardly ever drink alcohol so that must be a real plus.

Beauty Regime

This means selecting some good products, not mega expensive ones, and using them regularly. I need to start taking my makeup off at night more often too! I’m already seeing the dentist about teeth whitening methods (all that tea is taking it’s toll) and I may even look into some of the non invasive cosmetic procedures that promise to stave off the onset of ageing skin – cheeky botox anyone?!

Fitness

I plan to get fit and toned as I enter my forties. If Melanie Sykes can do it then so can I….. I’m not exactly sure what route I’m going to take in terms or where and how but I’ll keep you informed! I shall be disciplined!

It’s not all about appearance though, I’m sounding a bit shallow right now but I know I’m not the kind of person who wants to grow old gracefully, sod that! I don’t however want to look like I’ve stepped off the set of Towie but I want to ‘maintain’ what I have if that’s possible.

I honestly don’t know exactly how I feel about this big milestone, it’s just another year older after all, and I’m so busy that I haven’t given it an awful lot of thought until now.

But it does feel significant.

The nearer the birthday is getting, the more it’s becoming a time for reflection, a look back at my journey through life so far.

Decisions I’ve made. Paths I have chosen. How things have turned out.

It’s been eventful at times and so much has been packed into the last forty years!

So I guess it should be a time for celebrations (any excuse), to look back and look forward, but I’m not planning anything outrageous, I don’t want a party! There are a few different things happening with friends and family that I’ll share with all of you too, as I throw myself into a whole new era of my life!

A new chapter.

They do say life begins at forty!

Let’s hope so……… :)

Super Goldfish

Last week I believed I witnessed something quite…. umm…. Holy? Divine? Sacred? Supernatural?!!

Let me enlighten you….. (lol!)

Ok. There was a funfair and fireworks display near to where we live, we were all going to attend but my young twins weren’t overly keen on the fireworks. They liked to look at the pretty ones but the ones that made a loud bang put them off, frightened them a bit.

We decided not to go, but instead let Teen go with some friends.

He came back with a Goldfish!

Goldfish bowl food

Here he is :)

He rang to ask if he could try and win one. I said no, but he brought one back anyway.

Nothing like an obedient teenager!

Like most goldfish that people win from fairgrounds, we assumed it wouldn’t last five minutes. I felt sorry for it to be honest, bless it – swimming around in a teeny weeny clear plastic bag. We didn’t have a tank or anything but at least Teen had enough sense to buy the poor little sod some fish food.

Daughter was overjoyed at this new acquisition.

So of course I dutifully accepted this creature into our home and began looking for something for it to live in! Found him (let’s assume it’s male) a large glass bowl and carefully transferred him over from tiny bag. Teen put the bowl in his room.

Now, being the person that I am, I was already planning to buy a proper tank with a filter and plants etc….. I haven’t owned fish before – apart from a goldfish I too won from a fair when I was a little girl. In those days we bought a bowl and gravel from the stall but that was it, my goldfish lasted quite a few years which I presumed meant she (gender guessing again) must’ve been happy. I’ve since discovered that keeping goldfish in a bowl without a pump is cruel!

I thought I’d be sensible though and give this little fella a few days to decide if he was going to stick around!

Fast forward two days and he was still swimming around his bowl, my Teen came home from school on this particular day and didn’t feel too well so went to bed for a sleep.

A little later on, Teen came downstairs to have his dinner, stood in the kitchen and snapped….

“What have you done with my fish?!!!”

We all looked at each other and laughed… I thought he’d been dreaming or hallucinating… maybe he had a temperature?!

He was serious.

We all raced upstairs at this point, pushing and shoving each other out of the way, trying to get to Teens room first so we could discover what the hell he was going on about!

He was right.

No fish in the bowl.

I couldn’t quite grasp what I was seeing, or wasn’t seeing… the bowl was empty…. How was this possible?

I felt panic, then a pang of sadness, poor little fish. I recalled that I’d either read or heard somewhere that fish can sometimes ‘jump’ out of the bowl/tank, either playfully or because they need oxygen, so we began looking around for him. None of us really wanted to see him lying somewhere but we needed to find him.

Couldn’t see him anywhere.

I know I’d seen him in the bowl earlier in the day and Teen said the fish was in the bowl when he came home from school, so we can conclude he must’ve jumped out between 4 and 6.00pm (ish)

We searched and searched but couldn’t find him, it was the most completely bizarre thing. Such a mystery.

Where the hell was he?

We gave up the search for the time being and went back downstairs for dinner.

Teen said he expected him not to last, a statement I knew was concealing his disappointment, he won it on his birthday and wanted to prove us all wrong…. that it would last longer than a few days.

After dinner I grabbed a torch and headed up another search party. The bowl was on top of Teens large drawers in his room so we pulled them away from the wall and shone the torch down the back, almost crippling myself trying to see. Then on all fours looking underneath… nothing there but crisp packets and rubbish. We looked in every single drawer as Teen rarely shuts them, it could’ve dropped in any one of them. We had already done this the first time we searched but was convinced we missed it.

I felt like a detective trying to piece it all together. Racking my brains for an answer. I just needed a magnifying glass and I could’ve been Sherlock Holmes!

After deliberation we decided that the fish could possibly have wriggled for some time once out of the bowl so we broadened our search to other parts of the room.

Still no sign.

Can fish just vanish into thin air? (I have to admit I googled this! I know, I know, but I was desperate!!)

Teen was becoming a little frantic, announcing that he didn’t want to sleep in a room with the corpse of a fish somewhere.

Then I shone the torch under the bed, crawling under a little, moving a few bits around (lucky I had cleaned under Teens bed a few weeks back) and saw something goldfish coloured!

I felt nauseous. Aww, it was him. He was behind a bag.

Couldn’t believe this poor little fish had jumped out of the bowl, flapped about and, for something so small, ended up quite a distance from where he started. What a mammoth journey.

I had to call the OH up. Teen and I were both creeped out and didn’t want to touch it. I left the room and couldn’t watch!

OH retrieved the fish and was going to dispose (how awful) of it but Teen told him to put it back in the bowl.

Then…..

Hallelujah…..

HE WAS SWIMMING!!!!!!

Albeit very slowly, but he WAS swimming. He was ALIVE!

Was it a miracle?

I think it may have been, folks.

He had not only been lying under a bed for a few (dusty) hours, but he had also fallen off the high chest of drawers and wriggled like crazy all across the room!

And survived!

I’ll admit he didn’t look great. We began to oxygenate the water a little by taking some out and replacing with fresh water. He seemed to like this. But he really didn’t look great.

goldfish survives out of water

The Bionic Goldfish

We wrapped foil round the rim of the bowl, just in case he had any more kamikaze ideas and kept checking on him. He seemed so slow, probably what you would expect after such an epic trauma but we decided he probably wouldn’t last the night!

It’s now almost a week later and I am happy to reveal he’s still alive! Woo hoo!

It’s nothing short of a miracle. Was it a resurrection?!

Respect to him. Maybe it’s time to start shopping for that shiny new tank…..

Wot So Funee?


SuperBusyMum

Should Our Kids Watch Soaps?

I came across an article the other day and I have to say that coming from one of it’s long standing members of cast, I think parents should take note.

The article basically refers to some of Eastenders legend Dot Cotton’s (actress June Brown’s) comments in recent interviews where she states that she thinks the soaps are not suitable for children.

Hear, hear!!

I am absolutely resolute in my opinion on this matter and I agree wholeheartedly with June..

I DON’T THINK CHILDREN SHOULD WATCH SOAPS!!

In fact it really angers me that they’re on before the watershed. They are completely unsuitable. They are not meant for children, have very adult themes and only teach them aspects of life that they need not know yet.

I feel as though it’s unfair of broadcasters to air them before the watershed as it gives parents the belief that they must be relatively fine for children to watch, otherwise they wouldn’t be on so early, right?

I mean, yes – we could have our young children in bed before Coronation Street or Eastenders, but what about Emmerdale or even Hollyoaks?! Waterloo Road is another offender as far as I’m concerned! These are the main ones that kids want to watch.

And yes – us parents should use our discretion to decide at what age the content in soaps IS suitable, but why are WE making these decisions? Why are we getting into arguments with our children who want to watch something because their mates are watching it, and trying to justify our decision to deny them when they’re on so early?

I don’t think children younger than high school age or maybe even the early teenage years should be watching, personally.

I used to love the soaps and watched them all religiously until my eldest son got to a certain age, when I started to notice that he would stop whatever he was doing and be absolutely transfixed.  He seem completely enthralled with them, especially Eastenders. Probably something to do with the full on half hour of shouting and anger….. my little boy would stare at the TV screen, utterly absorbed. I remember one evening, when I was busy tidying up and sorting things out, not even really watching the tele that was on in the living room, there he was, my little boy sitting there glued to Eastenders in an almost hypnotic state!!

It could grab his attention better than any kids programme!!

It was then that I starting questioning myself and whether this type of viewing was suitable. I don’t know if the soaps story lines have got much more grittier and graphic over the years or whether my awareness was heightened and I just became more sensitive to them because I had a small child. Soaps are constantly competing with each other for top ratings resulting in sensationalised, shocking story lines, especially over the Christmas period.

The thing with soaps is, especially from the viewpoint of children, they seem real. The characters look and act like real people, which is obviously the intention, but there really is something that draws the viewer in, no matter how old the viewer may be apparently!!!

But it’s showing children aspects of life that aren’t the norm. So why would we want to frighten our poor kids by introducing them to the nasty side of life that really isn’t necessary?

Drugs, alcoholism, abortion, rape, fighting, death, criminality….. etc. Is this what we want the innocent minds of our children to see?!!

Disturbing.

Children are inquisitive and easily influenced so for me it was a simple decision to make.

I didn’t want my son seeing any of it anymore.

So we stopped watching them completely. I decided it was too much hassle to record them and watch them back myself as I didn’t have enough hours in the day so that was it. No more soaps.

My eldest son has just turned 15 and he still doesn’t watch the soaps, he’s not interested so I think I’ve probably done him a favour!! We have three younger children too so we’ve never had them on since in this house.

I haven’t missed them at all to be honest, they take up far too much time and I prefer not to be stressing about missing an episode anyway!!

Do you let your children watch?

MummyBarrow

Laid Back Parent

I have never been one of those mums who needs routine.

I’ve never been a routiney type of person. Or organised. Ever.

I’m disorganised and a bit chaotic at times which can drive me (and everyone else) mad, but I can’t help it – it’s just who I am.

Don’t get me wrong. I get things done (eventually) and I manage to get everyone to where they need to be, (albeit in a rush) which is no mean feat when two of your children have an out of school activities schedule as long as your arm.

Sometimes I wish I was more efficient, more tidy and generally a lot more disciplined.

But I’m not.

I wish I could get things done all in one ‘sitting’ instead of being so easily distracted by anything and everything.

But I can’t.

I would say that I’m a pretty laid back kind of parent. I’m probably too relaxed about a lot of things and minor irritations don’t stress me out. I do feel as though I’m up to my eyeballs in it at times and wonder what others make of my slightly carefree attitude – but is it really such a bad thing?

I mean, I probably don’t get as wound up about certain things as other people do. My God, I have friends who are almost suicidal if their house is untidy – What the actual fuff is that all about?! I can leave mine until I’m good and ready, not a problem.

I can zone out quite easily too when my kids are going nuts which is a definite bonus when you have four of the little blighters to contend with, or TWINS!!!

I remember when I was expecting my twins, people used to say to me “Aren’t you worried?” or “How are you going to cope?” but honestly my true reaction was always to shrug and say “I’ll just get on with it” – I wasn’t worried about it for a single moment. Why would I? What’s the point? The twins were coming, I was immensely excited so why stress? (Slightly naive I have to admit but that’s a whole other story).

I have never had much family around to help with my children, my OH works long hours so it’s a godsend I suppose that I’m rather laid back. I need to be. I just can’t let things get to me. This can be difficult at times but I know that I’m in constant demand and I have so much to do that getting worked up wouldn’t be good for my mental state. I certainly don’t ‘expect’ anyone else to be running around, doing anything for me which is maybe why I have adopted my ‘I’ll just get on with it’ attitude!

Being laid back though doesn’t mean I’m not strict about certain things; I am. Like what my children watch on TV; soaps are banned as is anything that teaches my children things they shouldn’t know at a young age. I like us all to sit down to eat dinner together, with manners. I don’t like messing around at the dinner table. I’m very picky about how and where my children spend their time. For my teen, he is definitely only allowed out when I say so and with whom I’ve agreed. One can’t be complacent where this is concerned!!

I make sure my kids are polite and well mannered. But that’s about it.

I don’t get stressed if my kids go to bed late sometimes. I don’t mind if they eat lots of sweets and cake on occasion and don’t get their five a day – who’s counting anyway? As long as they have enough, are fit and healthy I’m not going to lose sleep. I don’t care if there are toys all over the place. And so what if they get dirty? They can change, clothes will wash – no big deal.

My lack of disorganisation is frustrating at times though. I could really do with having one of those life coaches or whatever they’re called, come round to put some order in my life! You know, sort out my house so that everything has it’s place, they could show me how to manage my time better – as long as they don’t give me lists. I hate lists!

To be honest though, I would rather shun practically anything for that all important cuddling up on the sofa time with my kids. Take today for example, I picked my twins up from school at lunchtime, we came home, had some lunch, played, then we watched tv snuggled up together. The house looked like a bomb site and yes it bothers me that I will have to do it at some point (or the OH will come home and give me that look that says ‘what the hell have you been doing all day?’) but it doesn’t bother me enough to get up and do it! And miss that quality time with my sons?

Absolutely no way.

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