Posted on June 11, 2014
I always thought I’d be one of those parents who would NEVER embarrass my kids!
Well, since having kids I’ve decided I’m going to embarrass them so much … as they have a tendency to have moments where I wish the ground would swallow me up. I want pay back 🙂
The most recent was Lexi (who is 7 yrs) announcing outside school that, ‘Mummy was pumping so loudly last night it kept me awake!!!!’ And then proceeded to say, ‘You’re going very red mummy!’ Really Lexi! Just really! Can I clarify I didn’t keep her awake, she will find any excuse 🙂
There wasn’t just one parent who heard her … oh no, the whole school! Well, that’s an exaggeration, probably 2 or 3 parents, but it felt like the WHOLE school! As I tried to explain about my constipation problems and how lactulose really didn’t help with movement, but I was in so much pain and the air really needed to be released … I realised I needed to change the subject very quickly … why was I giving so much information? Why couldn’t I just have said, ‘I think you were dreaming Lexi!’ and made a joke of it! Oh no, I rant on about my flatulence problems! Nice …
Because I have no dignity left, I will be discussing flatulence in another blog, as I’m learning so much about food intolerance and healthy diets 🙂
Anyway, it made me realise how many times I’ve tried to scurry away, or tried to cover something up because they’ve just announced whatever is on their mind. Usually it’s Gabriella. She is so inquisitive, she’ll ask the most inappropriate questions at the most inappropriate moment! Like the time she asked her great-grandad (Pops to us) if he was going to die soon???? Luckily he didn’t have his hearing aid in. But it just shows how much they think about things. The previous day we’d had a conversation about someone’s grandad dying, and she asked all the questions about, ‘why do people die?’ etc. I’d gone with the line, this is what happens when you’re old. In the nicest way I could. I didn’t expect her to question Pops about his lifespan!
But hey, that’s why we love them … isn’t it? But I will be noting down all the things I can embarrass them with … the devious part of me can’t wait 🙂
Love to hear how you too wanted to die on the spot 🙂
Posted on May 14, 2014
So last week I talked about Kids Parties. And yes, I’m still talking about them. As a parent it’s what life is about, isn’t it? 🙂
Last week, my week got more interesting with kids parties when we attended a pony party! My 7 year old, Lexi, loved it! But before we left, my hubby said to her, ‘I know what you’re going to ask when you’re finished, and the answer is NO!’ She had no clue what he was talking about until the party was over.
‘I want to start horse riding …’ she said as soon as we got in the car to leave!
So we had a chat and I soon talked her out of that one! Not that I’m being a cruel parent, but if this was something she was passionate about I’d encourage it. But it simply isn’t. She hadn’t mentioned it before and she hasn’t mentioned it since. Thankfully!
Anyway, this got me thinking about kids parties and how it might drum up some interest for them to start new activities. As this also happened with Gabriella recently too, but luckily her new little adventure was a lot cheaper than horse riding!
In my blog, Ideas for Kids Parties, I mentioned a company called PAGE2STAGE, who do fantastic princess and superhero parties. Well, I found out that they also have a stage school too! So Gabriella joined just last week and absolutely loved it. The class lasted for an hour and a half, split into singing, dancing and acting. If you live in the Tees Valley area, this company is definitely worth checking out. Kelly who runs the company is so lovely, having little ones herself, she totally gets them. The more I looked into Page2Stage, I was surprised by what they have going on! They have a Frozen Ball coming up, they are involved with Stockton International Riverside Festival and they have their own showcase every year.
To see their awesome reviews, check out the page2stage facebook page.
So I can honestly say this is one party that I’m pleased we went too. If you don’t live in the Tees Valley area (or the UK!) and you’re invited to a party similar to Page2Stage make sure you check out if they do any other activities.
However, if you do live in the Tees Valley area, Page2Stage is definitely worth checking out. I mean, come on, a Frozen Ball – how cool is that? Oh to be little again 🙂
I just had to share this, as I’m very pleased we found them 🙂
Posted on May 7, 2014
Sometimes I think my kids have a better social life than me! They don’t think so, constantly asking, ‘Who are we seeing today?’ ‘What should we do today?’ ‘Where are we going today?’ Yes, even on a school day, God forbid if I answer, ‘No-one,’ ‘Nothing,’ ‘Nowhere!’ At the ages of 7 and 5 years old they can do a very good impression of Kevin and Perry!
Many weekends, like most parents, are taken up with kids parties and sometimes, let’s be honest, it can get a bit endless. So you can imagine my own excitement when we attended a child’s party that involved the help of parents. This might sound hideous to some parents, but I’ll be honest, I’m not one of those parents who enjoys soft plays or lots of children running around playing ‘tig’ and bashing into each other! Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely to catch up with other parents, but half the time that’s impossible when your child is stuck up high in some kind of contraption of ropes and tubes, or you’ve got to keep an eye on them as you try to ensure they don’t get belly flopped to the ground!
I digress a little, but I once took along Gabriella, and my goddaughter Eva, to a soft play party. Can you imagine my horror when Eva came down a slide, (when I say slide, it was the smallest slide ever, infact it was more like a small slope!) and collided with a boy’s head. Her lip came up four times bigger than it should be. I had to take her home mid-party. What a disaster, and although I knew there was nothing I could have done about it, I felt so guilty that it was under my watch! My friends were lovely about it, but still, I felt so awful!
Hopefully you can understand my caution. Not that I’m neurotic or anything …
Anyway, when we were invited to a Woodland Party, I thought this sounds like my type of thing! A party in the fresh air, building dens and making fires! Yes, I probably should have had boys!!! I didn’t actually tell my hubby about the party because I wanted to take Gabriella 🙂 . So we attended this party last Sunday … and it was awesome! So different. Little Joe had definitely picked a winner – for boys and girls!
It started with a little hunt, leading us to a camp in the middle of the forest. The company Acorn Antics were hosting the party & the leader Cathy was lovely. The parents got involved, helping the kids making dens, fire lighting, making little elves from sticks … it was all safe and controlled. The kids then had pizza and hot dogs which were heated on the fire. The kids were allowed to heat their own marshmallows on the fire (obviously supervised). It was such a refreshing idea. It was great to watch the kids and parents working together. Gabriella usually hates being cold, but she absolutely loved it. She couldn’t wait to tell Daddy, who was a little gutted he’d missed out. 🙁
Since this party, Gabriella has been obessed with her own birthday, constantly asking me what can she do for her birthday, although it’s not until November!
But it did get me thinking about parties. It’s nice to do something different for parties. I’m not saying be bigger, better and spending lots of money, as there are ways to have a unique party but not spend a fortune. So I had a bit of a research for us, to see what ideas are out there. Although, admittedly, there doesn’t seem to be much, maybe some of these ideas will help you to expand on your own:
Hire a princess / or pirate party – PAGE2STAGE is an awesome company that have lookalike princesses. But they do so much more. Just tell them what you want and they’ll do their best to give your child the best party ever! Both my girls have attended parties hosted by these guys, a ‘One Direction Party’ & a ‘Pirate and Princess Party’. My girls absolutely loved both. I definitely recommend these guys.
Gymmanstics Party – Hire your local gymnastics venue OR set-up your own obstacle course in the back garden.
Sports Day Party – Set out some fun races in the garden, even get the parents involved by holding a ‘child & parent race’, or ‘mum’s race’ etc.
Craft Party – Help the children to make something in particular: a photoframe, a necklace etc. Something they can take home and keep. There are plenty of ideas on the internet, have a look at what would be suitable for your child’s party.
Baking Party – Let the children make their own cakes to take home.
A Cinema Party – We’ve attended a cinema party before, it was lovely. If it’s something you think you can’t really afford, or don’t want to spend so much, why not choose one of your child’s favourite films and host a movie party at home. Lots of cushions, popcorn and sweets, they’ll be in their element.
Tresure Hunt – You could design your own in a local park or in your own home/garden.
Christmas Party in the Summer – Kids love Christmas, why let them wait a whole year, get Santa to visit in the middle of the year!
Picnic Party – Hold a picnic party in the park. Play some old games, such as, rounders, swing ball etc.
Pet, Animal, Zoo or Farm Party – A great way to keep the kids entertained. Check to see if you have any local farms or zoos that interact with the kids, this would be a great educational party too. Some pet shops hold parties for children, this allows them to hold rabbits, guinea pigs or, for the more daring, snakes.
Skating Party – This obviously depends on age. But even the smaller ones can have a penguin to hold onto.
Science / Chemistry Party – Make something that involves powders and chemicals, such as, candles, soap, bath bombs or perfume. Usually better for older children, and would definitely need an adult to take control and lead.
Beach Party – If you’re lucky enough to have the weather, this is a great idea. Kids love the beach. And they’d love it even more when they get chips and ice-cream!
Flying Kites Party – If you have the space, and the time, let the children make their own kites – then go flying them.
Pamper Party – This is becoming a very popular idea: nails painted, hair styled and girls made to feel like a princess.
Build a Bear Party: We’ve attended 2 of these in the last few years. Both my girls loved them. Plus, they got something to cuddle when they came home.
These are only a few ideas, it’s also nice to go back to basics, a few games at home: pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs and my all-time favourite – pass the parcel. 🙂
Or do what we did last year, book a few days away instead of a party – Centre Parcs was awesome, you can read about our trip here.
Although, I’m not sure I’m going to get away with that this year! Gabriella really is on a mission!
Whatever you decide to do, just have fun! 🙂
Posted on April 23, 2014
A nice trip to London, as Santa had been very kind in buying us all tickets to see Mamma Mia. Which was quite good of Santa, as with the girls birthdays being so close to Christmas, it gave them something to look forward to after Christmas. However, if Santa decides to do something similar this year, let’s hope mummy and daddy will be more organised instead of booking only the week before the Easter Hols 🙂
It was such a fab show. However, I was so pleased there were lots of other children there as I didn’t realise how provocative it would be! I wasn’t the only one getting ‘Bad Parent of the Year!’ But, as musicals go it was brilliant and both my girls loved it. Luckily they haven’t picked up on anything that will scar them for life 🙂
But now it’s back to reality. If you read my facebook yesterday, you’ll see I had every intention of starting my day mega organised, but after putting dry dog food into the washing machine drawer, I realised that I had that much going around in my head I needed to sit, write it all down and get re-organised! Although I’ve managed to get some work done throughout the holidays, we did have our little break away, which was needed, once we got back from London I seem to stay in holiday mode! Hence the reason I feel so scatty!
One of the reasons I chose to work from home was so I could work around my children, but that means when they are off school I am at home with them. Although that sounds nice in theory, when they are off school, I’ve come to understand that my work shouldn’t just stop, but it’s inevitable that it has to slow down, as this sort of defeats the object of being at home with them. But no matter how much I prepare myself beforehand I always seem to be chasing my tail. I wouldn’t, don’t get me wrong, have it any other way.
I recently moved my desk downstairs, I was lucky enough to have a room to myself upstairs, however, I decided before the holidays that I wanted to be near the doors that open onto the garden. Our lovely weather (yes, we are having a few gorgeous days here in the UK) was just too lovely to miss out on. As I write this, the sun is shining and the doors are open, the birds are singing, it’s just bliss.
The other good thing about moving my desk downstairs is that I can actually get some work done while my girls play! (This is a complete bonus, as I didn’t think this would happen). The first week of the holidays worked really well. I would set them up with some crafty bits, or their own folder of work (they like to pretend to work in the office too!) and we’d all work away for an hour or two.
I always felt guilty going upstairs to my other office, when they were home, so I just didn’t do it. Whereas now we can still interact with each other, and I can feel like I’m getting through the pile on my desk that doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller 🙂
If you work at home and want to keep your kids entertained while you get the essential bits done, or if you want to entertain your kids while you get certain jobs done, hopefully these articles should help:
Tips on Entertaining Kids While Working at Home – This lady has a problem working while her 5 year old is at home, look through the conversation at the bottom for tips from other mums. Hopefully, these articles will help you, they certainly did for me. Now back to shifting papers on my desk and deciding what to do first 🙂
photo credit: http://www.alancosens.com/work-from-home-moms/
Posted on September 4, 2013
Well, the 6 weeks is over. Personally, I’m not sure where it has gone! Maybe because today is a big day in our household, I am changing my baby travel systems because my baby is not such a baby anymore, I didn’t feel as joyous or as ready as I thought I would. The thing is both my girlies are now in full-time school. Lexi joins YR2, and little Gabriella has started ‘big school’.
If you’d read my last blog (which was before the holidays) you’ll have realised I’d found school dinners quite unnerving. But now the time has come that my youngest (my baby) and her little 4 year-old friends are all taking that next step in their little lives. Another chapter for us all.
Now, as I mentioned in my previous blog, I thought I’d be skipping out of school, in fact, I thought I’d be running out of those school gates so fast all you could see was lightening. So why is it as I sit here writing this, I feel lost and I can’t take away that sick feeling? You know, the heavy lump that sits in the bottom of your stomach when something is bothering you! I’m constantly checking the time. I’ve been making note of the time they’ll be having snack, lunch, and as I write this I only have an hour and half to go before pick-up. It can’t come quick enough.
It was worse with Lexi we moved her schools in the first week of her starting full-time school, due to us moving house. I didn’t sleep for a week, but she was absolutely fine and settled straight in. Gabriella has her older sister to make sure she’s okay too, so really I have nothing to worry about. I know this, and by next week I’ll be loving my free-time to write my books, expand my wedding business and generally do all the things I’ve been dreaming of for the past 6 years. But I miss them! Lexi cried last night because she was going to miss me, and she didn’t want me to be lonely. I’m not going to admit to her that I do feel pretty lonely today, because that would just upset her more. But there are so many of you out there feeling lonely too. We’ve shipped our little ones off to full-time school, my little lunch partner has gone, my little friend who I discussed everything with on an afternoon has all grown up.
I’m not so much worried whether she’ll settle, (especially as I was with Lexi) but I’m worrying about little things. One of my main concerns is the whole toilet thing … will she ask when she needs it? And mainly will she wipe herself properly when doing a No2!? I worried about the same thing with Lexi who is absolutely fine and she didn’t even think about it, just got on with it. Gabriella has a tendency to go off in her own little world, will she listen when asked a question? Or will she listen full-stop? Will she be okay in the lunch hall? And in the big playground after (even though Lexi’s there!) The thing I know the answer is ‘yes’. I know many of you reading this will be shouting ‘of course she’ll be fine.’ And I know. I really do know. I just wish that rock would move out of my stomach!
Another concern is ‘Does she know enough?’ Does she know what she should know for her age? Will she pick things up okay? It’s not about my girlies being the brightest in the class, it’s about making sure she is happy. Making sure she doesn’t feel as if she’s struggling. I don’t want her to feel under-pressure. I was talking to my sister-in-law about this and she sent me a fab link which you must look at if you have similar thoughts to me: What Should A 4 Year Old know? I’d loved it.
Anyway, now I’ve distracted myself writing this blog, time is marching on (thankfully) I’m going to go and distracted myself with editing book 3! The book 3 which should have been out by now. However, I’ve totally enjoyed the holidays with my girlies and I’m just truly grateful that I had the time to spend with them.
And to all you parents who are feeling like me, I’m with you … you’re not alone xx
Posted on July 13, 2013
Well what a week it has been at Vic HQ. This week has been about little Gabriella. I’d never forget Lexi, who had a good week herself: school trips and glowing school report. *Beaming proud parents* Her school trip was part of her R.E subject, so they visited a local church then finished off at the library to listen to a storyteller. Admittedly, I would have loved to have joined her. Although I write chick-lit/women’s fiction, I love children’s stories. Anyway, I couldn’t attend the school trip as it was Gabriella’s sports morning. So cute: little 3 & 4 year olds racing across the field, little smiles as we all clapped and cheered. But then the morning got even better. As parents we had the opportunity to buy raffle tickets. We had 10 tickets, and nearly every ticket came out. I had to keep telling the teacher to give someone else a chance. After Gabriella had picked a lovely little set; a fairies craft set, which will come in very handy in the summer, our tickets just kept coming out. Now, the bottle of red was waving at me, it obviously really wanted to come home with me! So after we were all laughing and joking, the red wine was given to us (and gratefully accepted) when it became embarrassing that our numbers kept coming out: you’d think we’d fixed it! Now because of this lucky streak, we stopped at the shop and put the lottery on, plus I picked up a scratch card. We didn’t win on the scratch card, however, there were 2 x £100,000 and 2 x £100. Now if this isn’t a sign that we are on a winning streak, then I don’t know what is. But it wasn’t the lottery, as we didn’t win on the Euro Millions. However, I’m a positive person so I’ll keep you posted on our lucky streak.
However, as I started saying this week has been about Gabriella. My little girl starts full-time school in September. I know there are many parents out there in the same boat as me, that’s why I felt the urge to write this blog. You see part of me, can’t wait … I mean that in the nicest possible way. I plan my working (writing, wedding website and marketing) around my girls. So my two hours on a morning and working late into the night, sometimes isn’t enough, so I keep thinking I’ll have more time to really get my teeth into my work, which does excite me. However, Tuesday evening was an introduction to FS2 (foundation stage 2), which was fine, Lexi had the FS2 teacher, who is lovely, so all is good there. Wednesday was trying out school dinners. We were allowed to go with them, parents were allowed to eat, which I didn’t (I’m still on with my Green Glowing Smoothie – if you haven’t read that blog, you really must) but Gabriella had a plate of pasta and cake, which she just thought was great. But as I watched all these little people carrying trays which were half the size of them, my heart swelled. Gabriella is one of the taller children, but still she looked like a little dot. I wanted to tell them she couldn’t move up just yet. Could we not just wait another year? I didn’t think I’d feel like this. Lexi was so ready to go to full-time school, and the only wobble I had with Lexi was when we changed her schools in her first week joining full-time school (because we moved house). That was horrendous, I came home and cried, and then rang her new school to make sure she was okay! But she was fine. She hasn’t looked back. And I know Gabriella will be the same. I keep joking about celebrating when they are both in full-time school, but I’m actually feeling quite sad about this new little chapter in our lives. I thought I’d be skipping out the school (and I may just do that, as we have 6 weeks off before then!) but at the moment, I can’t believe I’ll have two big girls, who have their own little lives. I won’t know what has happened in their lives every minute of every day, and Gabriella may forget everything that has happened, as Lexi does, but as long as their happy I suppose I have to be too.
Many of you may know that in some countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland, school doesn’t begin until the age of seven! And their results are better than ours! Visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7234578.stm to find out a little bit more. Although I’ve known this information I’ve always somewhat disagreed, being a Stay at Home Working Mum (SAHWM) I’ve been desperate to have my working hours during the day rather working until late into the night. But suddenly, this week feeling a little nostalgic and sad I’m starting to wonder if four is too young to start full-time school. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to start campagning or anything as drastic, but it may not be the champagne I’m getting out, but the wine to drown my sorrows!
Anyway, I have a week left (as do many of you) to do 11.30am pick-up. A week left of just me and Gabriella on an afternoon. So I’ll just have to find something special to do. And then do something with Lexi so she doesn’t feel left out! So to all mums out there who have a little one starting full-time school I’ll be thinking of you when we either come home and sob, or get the Champagne out. I thought I’d be the latter, but I think this week has just proved that may not be the case. However, I’ll keep you updated in September, if I’m not rocking in my chair after the school holidays 🙂
PHOTO CREDIT: earlydaysnursery.org.uk
Posted on July 1, 2013
I like to think of myself as an organised Mum. But why is it when Monday mornings arrive I’m rushing around, dishellved and completely running behind time. This morning I was determined to be majorly organised. It’s active week at my girls school, so they have to wear their P.E kit all week. Everything was sorted, until we’re about to leave and I realise I haven’t given them any money: £2.50 voluntary contribution. (Although, this is a voluntary contribution, I’d feel very bad not giving anything). Low and behold, I have nothing except a few 2 pence pieces in my purse. So out comes the copper jar, that luckily hubby puts 10 and 20 pence pieces in. So after we’d counted out the correct money (because first time round I only put £1.50 in the little green paper bag) we headed out the door. And yes, we just made it, as the teacher blew the whistle!
The thing is, I’m the Mum that always arrives late into the playground, (actually, it’s most morning, not just Mondays) as the queues of children march miltary style (that is so not true … coats hang down backs, bags are dragged along the floor and children chat as if they have all the time in the world).
I have two places to be at the school, Gabriella is dropped off at the front, most other parents seem to find this a doddle – even those with two or more children. Not me, I’m always 10 minutes behind everyone else. So, as Lexi waits outside the nursery doors, I help little Gabriella take off her coat, (and cardigan, if she had a choice her shoes and socks would come off too!) I take out the little book where the teacher writes down their day’s events, we put away her bag, pick out her name, hang up her water bottle, before I can kiss her goodbye for three hours. I leave Gabriella smiling happily and ready to get filthy in water, paint and snot. Lexi and I then run top speed (okay, power-walk) round the back of the school, in hope the queue hasn’t actually gone in. Generally she makes it to the end of the queue, another happy child, mainly because she isn’t officially late! This morning however, Lexi had to go in first we were that late! Now I think the main reason why I get so wound up about this is because I hate lateness. I’m stickler for being on time. If you’ve read How My Life Became Chaos you’ll know where Kat’s dislike for lateness comes from. B.C (before children) I was always on time, if not early.
I read ‘Dont Sweat the Small Stuff’ by Richard Carlson, brilliant book – a must-read. I followed his tips on leaving the house on time. But still sometimes one child needs the toilet, or like this morning, I totally forgot something, but if I’d followed Richard Carlson’s tips I wouldn’t have been ‘sweating the small stuff’. But anyway, on top of Richard Carlson’s advice, I also decided this morning that I know what happens … the magic of the universe makes the time go faster. It can be the only explanation as to why I get out of bed at 6.30am and try to leave the house by 8.25am, but always seem to be 10 minutes behind. No matter how well I plan the morning, I’m fighting against the minutes that definitely double up. Because it couldn’t possibly be my fault; I hate lateness. So it’s official, and I think many of you will agree that the time definitely goes faster on a morning. So tomorrow morning, because I’ve figured this out, I’m going to watch the clock and I’m going to beat it. If all else fails, I’m going to re-read Richard Carlson’s, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. It’s a must-read!