Outdoor living


So we’ve had an early summer this year which can only mean one thing – playing outside! It’s amazing how a little warm weather can make all the difference to a day and ever since the sun has been out we’ve been spending the majority of our time doing outdoor activities.

A lot of the time we have just played in the garden. We had a new patio laid in an attempt to not only make the garden look nice but to avoid an inevitable serious injury that the uneven, stony ground was going to cause. Next to the patio I put some bark chippings and a playhouse and an old plastic toy kitchen. It is here that baby boy now spends the majority of his day. I drink endless cups of tea and eat plates of cake, all of the plastic variety, thoughtfully made by my 2 year old. It’s great fun.

The park is another favourite place at the moment. If I had to guess I would say that 60% of time there is spent on the swings, 30% on the slide and 10% on everything else. For a 2 year old, swings rule! For a Mummy, swings mean aching arms and getting kicked repeatedly when she misjudges the push. Baby boy loves them though so I give in to his cries of again, again because the look on his face and the laugh that escapes as he flies higher gives me the best feeling in the world.


It is tiring work playing outside though. Baby boy stopped having an afternoon nap shortly after baby girl was born but these past few weeks he has quite often fallen asleep for half an hour in the middle of playing. When it coincides with baby girl having a nap I feel like it’s my birthday and Christmas rolled into one (although they are actually only 3 days apart so at the time do feel like they are rolled into one). I actually got 2 fence panels painted yesterday!

Hopefully the summer has only just begun and we will have plenty of time outside. I am looking forward to baby girl learning to crawl on the grass, baby boy splashing in the paddling pool and hope against hope … A BBQ!

What are your favourite outdoor activities?

Hiding behind the smile


She laughs and smiles, playing with the children, happily chatting away. Nothing much to say about what’s going on with her but the children are doing great. The eldest won a dance award and the youngest is cutting a new tooth. Full of questions about your life, she listens intently, nodding, smiling and offering words of encouragement if needed. She’s happy, right. Life is great – she said so herself. She smiles all of the time and always knows what to say to cheer other people up. Of course she’s happy!

You go home and she is alone with the children. She loves the children but she hasn’t got the energy to play with them. She flicks listlessly through the TV channels. Nothing captures her attention and it wouldn’t matter anyway because not much really interests her at the moment. The house is a mess and although she knows that she needs to clean it, she just can’t face that chore. The youngest child comes over for a cuddle. It brings tears to her eyes. She knows that the children love her unconditionally yet she can’t bring herself to be the full of energy Mother that she once was. Where has that person gone? Where has the love for life gone? It was there not so long ago, she’s sure that it was. The eldest child wants to go to the park. Getting out of the house might do everyone some good she thinks so coats and shoes go on, changing bag is packed and half an hour later everybody is ready to depart. The park is bright and sunny with children running around and parents happily chasing them. She looks enviously at the happy families. They look care free.

A friend spots her and approaches to say hello. She laughs and smiles, playing with the children, happily chatting away. Nothing much to say about what’s going on with her but the children are doing great. The eldest won a dance award and the youngest is cutting a new tooth. Full of questions about her friend’s life, she listens intently, nodding, smiling and offering words of encouragement if needed. She’s happy, right. Life is great – she said so herself. She smiles all of the time and always knows what to say to cheer other people up. Of course she’s happy!

Do we really know how people are feeling inside? According to the World Health Organisation more than 350 million people worldwide will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. This doesn’t mean that all of these people will receive help and support however. Mental Health issues such as depression still have a social stigma surrounding them even in this day and age. Many people hide how they feel for fear of not being taken seriously. Depression is an illness and if we can raise awareness of this, then maybe more people will seek the help and support that they so desperately need.

Mental Health Awareness Week

16th – 22nd May

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Image Credit – http://quotesgram.com/quotes-about-hiding-sadness/

Celebrity Parent Envy

I have a little bit of a confession to make – I love following celebrity parents (in the online blog sort of way not the freaky stalker sort of way to be clear). It’s a guilty pleasure!

My favourite celebrity couple at the moment are Tom and Giovanna Fletcher. I really enjoy their Instagram and YouTube updates and I kind of wish they would adopt me (ignore the fact that I am a grown woman with a family of my own). Maybe it is because they seem so down to earth. Maybe it is because they have children who are very close in age to mine. Maybe it is because they actually come across as interesting. Or maybe, if I am completely honest, it is because I am the teensiest bit envious of them! They, along with most other celebrity, make parenting look easy! I’m not saying that they actually find it easy. I’m sure they all have those ‘close the kitchen door, let out an ear piercing scream, return to children with a smile on your face’ moments. I’m just saying that they make it look easy.

A few examples:

Celebrity version – walk in the park with toddler and baby whilst managing to drink a cup of coffee along the way.

My version – toddler decides to lay on the floor and refuse to move whilst I try not to bang baby’s head on the ground as I attempt to wrestle aforementioned toddler to a standing position.

Celebrity version – floor area of house is completely clear of toys, fluff and general debris (ok ok I mean that their house is tidy!)

My version – well the complete opposite really.

Celebrity version – children happily splash in the swimming pool or sea and look like they really are having a good time.

My version – baby boy clings to me for dear life, cries at the first splash of water on his face and attempts to climb up my body and out of the water.

Now I know that I may sound extremely jealous but I’m not. I’ve admitted that I am slightly envious but come on, is there anyone who isn’t a bit envious of a celebrity lifestyle. I don’t begrudge them their good fortune at all. Most celebrities are hard working, creative people who have earnt all that they have. Their children are blessed to have parents who work hard and will show them a good example of work ethic. However, sometimes I just really wish that I could see a picture of their toddler throwing a tantrum because they don’t like the Octonauts today, they want a snack but not anything that is actually in the house or they don’t want the baby to sit on your knee.

I think that it would make me feel slightly better as a not so perfect parent to know that the people who make it look so easy, also allow their child to watch peppa pig on repeat just to avoid the hundredth tantrum of the day!

Image credit – http://www.pinterest.com

I wore what?!!

 

My mum liked to dress my sisters and me in matching clothes when we were younger. I absolutely hated it! The worst ones had to be blue and white stripy sailor dresses and green, flowery dresses that my mum made for us to wear for a wedding (I later found out that they were made out of curtain material). Don’t get me wrong, my mum was good with a sewing machine so they were well made but I absolutely hated that dress. I was in a horrible mood all day at that wedding because of that dress (sorry Denise).

Now having a boy and a girl, my children won’t have to worry about matching clothes per se but they may have to worry about home made clothes. I have recently inherited my nan’s old sewing machine after she upgraded hers to a fancy digital one, which after seeing I am rather jealous of. It sat in the box for a few weeks but I finally plucked up the courage to have a go on it. I haven’t used a sewing machine since year 9 at school and we won’t say how long ago that was! Most people would probably start with something very simple with straight lines – a cushion cover maybe or even just a practise swatch. Not me! I jumped straight in and made baby girl something to wear!

pattern by Hatchlings Patterns

I’m not one for starting off small and so thought I would just go for it. I have to admit that I am very proud of them. They aren’t perfect but they do the job and look quite cool I think. They were easy enough to make so I did another pair in a different fabric.

  
Now I obviously think that they look cute but what will baby girl think when she looks back in 20 years time at the clothes she was made to wear? Will she cringe and be embarrassed? Oh well, if I had to wear a curtain dress then I reserve all right to put baby girl in my (maybe) dodgy homemade items!

Only thing now is to decide what to make next. Boys can rock leggings, right?!

Image credit – http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/4611481/Damn+parents/

I kept the kids alive

        

I savour the (now very rare) times that both of my children take a daytime nap. The house has a serene stillness and I almost daren’t move for risk of disturbing the peace. I take a second to look around me but then comes the DECISION… do I sit down, enjoy a hot cup of tea and watch one of the 1000s of programmes I have recorded yet never actually get time to watch, or do I tackle the housework?

I honestly believe that it is one of the most difficult decisions in my life at the moment. Housework or me time? Do something to benefit everyone or do something to benefit me? Normally I do the jobs (not that anyone can tell as I openly admit that my house is more often than not on a sliding scale of messiness – bit messy to nuclear disaster). Occasionally though I will think ‘sod it, I’m having a brew’.

Whilst I enjoy those times that I take a moment for myself I have to admit that I often feel guilty doing so. It’s as though every sip of my hot tea is taunting me and telling me that the washing needs doing or the toys need putting away. It’s on those days as well that I often find myself feeling extra paranoid about what other people think. Mr K comes in from work and I straight away jump to defend myself as to why the house is edging towards the nuclear disaster end of the messiness scale. He more than likely wasn’t going to say anything! 

Today however I am taking some time for myself without any guilt whatsoever. The children have been absolute nightmares (I still love them!) and right now the only way that I can guarantee that we will all greet Mr K this evening with our sanity intact is for me to sit in the kitchen dunking biscuits in my brew and not thinking at all about the box of cars and trains that baby boy tipped on the floor!

So today the only accomplishment I may be able to claim is that I kept the children alive but hey it’s still an accomplishment!

Image credit – http://www.someecards.com/