Tag Archives: kids

White feathers, dreams and things…


I’m not a religious person, I used to be, I was raised catholic but that’s not what I want to write about today, the point is I’m not religious but I do believe in the human spirit and that it is more than just the human being it exists in at any one time.

My mum died on 12th November 2010 (12/11/10 interesting number sequence!) after a lengthy battle with multiple sclerosis, before her death I used to dream about it. For as much as a decade before it actually happen I would dream of her dying, it was never in horrific circumstances but it was always very real and very, very sad, I often woke up literally sobbing.

At some point in the last decade I was also told that some people believe that time is a very human concept, evolved by man to make sense of things but that past, present and future may not exist in the same context on the, for want of a better word, spiritual plane.

Somewhere in my head I bought that belief together with the dreams and developed the idea that somehow, on some level the dreams were my mums way of preparing me for the inevitable, for the absolute certainty that my Mum would die and that I couldn’t stop it. I have never really concluded whether it was my subconscious creating that idea of whether I believed somehow that my mum was influencing those dreams on some spiritual level but I didn’t matter as they served their purpose and when her time came it was a peaceful and loving time for our family.

The reason for writing this post however is because I don’t dream of her very often these days but I did last night, in the dream she was alive and not as sick as she had been the last decade of her life but was still frail and the MS still made her vulnerable. Aside from a weird start to the dream that involved my dad, some bats (the flying kind!) and the garage of our old house, it was a simple dreaming experience. I went into her room to find her falling out of bed (something that happened many times in real life), I caught her just in time and put her gently back into a comfortable position to rest and then I woke up.

I woke content to have spent time with my Mum albeit in a dream but also highly attuned to what day it was, you see today my husband, who I love enormously, had an operation to remove his gallbladder, he was very nervous, as was I and although very common he has had more than his fair share of medical problems and we both just wanted it over and done with.

I quickly moved on with getting us to the hospital only mentioning the dream in passing to him and we sat around and waited 4hrs until it was his turn, I was duly sent on my way and told the nurses would call me when he was out of theatre and so I headed to the car park to wait at home. As I got into the car I noticed something on the windscreen, a small, perfect, pure white feather. And I knew that everything was going to be alright.

As I said I’m not a religious person but I do believe in the human spirit and somehow, I am certain, my Mum looked after him for me today, thanks Mum x


Graduating aged 4… Am I ready for her to start school?


Ok so she graduated from preschool Friday, it was VERY cute, they all looked super in their royal blue cap and gowns, they smiled, giggled, collected their ‘Diplomas’ and sang a few songs for the adoring parents and carers gathered around, there was a local press photographer there and every adult present had either a camera or camera phone pointed at their child, me included!

She has loved preschool and has transformed from a shy and quiet nearly 3 year old who I often had to leave in tears, to a confident and cheeky 4 year old with a gaggle of girlfriends and repertoire of kids songs and silly games, I’m proud of her, she’s amazing, she starts big (infants) school in 8 weeks!

Am I ready for her to start school? I find myself looking way back to my own childhood at times like these, my own Mum was struggling with multiple sclerosis when I was 4 and I had 3 older sisters and a workaholic Dad. My mum didn’t (couldn’t) take me to my first day at school, a friends mum did, I distinctly remember that day, my parents also we’re the kind who never got round to labelling my clothes (I’ve already ordered hundreds of iron in clothes tags and labels for books, bags and lunch boxes!) and I hated the teachers reminding me that they should! I never missed school, my sister was the sickly one so I went everyday because whatever was wrong with me was never as bad as what was wrong with her…. I even had to go in at lunch time on my 8th birthday after spending the morning in hospital having a retainer removed following a dreadful bike accident 2 months earlier!

So I plan on being all the things I think she needs me to be and I hope that I can get organised enough to not be the one whose child ALWAYS forgets their PE kit, I want to help her with homework and not let her leave it till the last minute like I used to, I want her to make new friends and understand that having one best friend isn’t necessary!

I know, of course, that she won’t actually need me as much as I think she will, she’s clever and she won’t struggle academically but I want her to always be happy, am I the only one going into this stage remembering how cruel children can be? Perhaps I’m over thinking it, I normally do! So anyway, enough rambling, better get some activities and play dates sorted for the summer otherwise we won’t survive the next 8 weeks!


10 on Tuesday 14th February


1. It’s valentines day, and for the record, my husband and I do NOTHING for valentines day, not even cards! Neither of us is prone to big romantic gestures, we love each other every day and see no reason to waste £50 every February 14th, we are the bah humbug of valentines day. True.

2. Took the kids to a 2nd birthday party today, it’s half term so a midweek party makes sense, I can’t go to parties at the moment without scrutinising the details in preparation for my own kids party next month! It was a lovely affair, key points noted were a) kids don’t eat much at parties so don’t over supply food, b) kids don’t care what’s in the pass-the-parcel as long as they get a turn and c) always have loads of balloons!

3. We now have a new porch but it doesn’t have a roof. The window men did a fab job putting the porch together, our neighbourhood the roofer now needs to put a lid on it… He hasn’t yet, I’ve no idea why not, it’s most peculiar looking the door to a small room with no roof! …. On and the postman has overlooked the no roof thing…. Good job it’s not raining!

4. My husband has gone to Gloucester today or GlowStar as I like to call it, this means one of two things, either he will be home really early and we can all enjoy some family time before I go to work this evening OR he will be home really late and I’ll have to get the kids in the car and exchange the children with him at the office door, I’m hoping it’s the former.

5. My daughter is practicing her writing on an almost daily basis, I write the letters in dots, then she goes over it in pen, she’s getting very good! When on earth are they supposed to be able to write anyway?

6. I have no butter or squash in the house, this means a walk to the shop with the kids later and the inevitable begging from them for something sweet as a treat. We’ve already been to the aforementioned party today so they’ve had their quota of sweetness for today… If I could avoid going I would but the kids could really do with the fresh air and did I mention I need milk too? Without out the world will stop turning at bedtime!

7. Being that it’s half term we will be on a few play dates this week, tomorrow’s is soft play, I will need eyes in the back of my head as both kids spin off in different directions, it will be hot, exhausting and when it’s time to leave one or more of the kids will lay down on the floor and throw the mother of all tantrums. I. Can’t. Wait.

8. Yesterday I cleaned the bathroom, changed the beds, hoovered the house top to bottom, today you would never know I’d done any of that, why can’t I ever achieve that ‘Good Housekeeping’ look, where a collection of clutter looks liked a carefully structured installation of cool stuff?

9. I need a hair cut. I am rubbish at the hairdressers, I resent paying for it, I hate hairdresser small talk and there is absolutely no point in giving me a hair style because that would involve styling, and time, and products, I am the original Wash & Go girl… But more because it is right at the bottom of my list of priorities than because I use a particular brand of shampoo! I imagine I’ll get it snipped next week, just a few inches mind you!

10. I can’t quite believe I have managed my 2nd 10 on Tuesday! I’m often rubbish at doing things on a regular basis, go me!


Magic at the ballet & cowgirls that dance


Today I took my daughter to see her first ballet! It wasn’t her first trip to the theatre, we went in December to see a wonderful production of Peter Pan but that was different, less formal, talking and singing and jokes and stuff. This was a proper ballet, the Nutcracker no less, the perfect introduction to ballet!

Now the thing about theatres is that when it’s a proper grown up show like a ballet they put a notice on the tickets in big bold letters NO UNDER 5s WILL BE ADMITTED! My daughter is 3…she turns 4 next month… I cannot begin to explain my fear at us being turned away for being too young (I of course would be flattered to be considered too young for anything) I had nightmares about, visions of my daughter actually MELTING down at doors if they turned us away! As it happens they didn’t… They let us in without batting an eyelid!

The production was beautiful, simple enough for her to understand with minimal explanation, engaging enough to capture her attention for both acts and magical enough for her to be tapping her feet and swirling her hands to sound of Tchaikovsky’s score. I spent as much time looking at her enchanted face as I did the stage itself and when the dancing snowflakes in their sparkling tutus came twirling out we both let out a little gasp!

I’m glad I packed plenty of snacks, a drink, and change for ice cream at the interval. Relieved I dressed us in layers as it got jolly hot in there, and I was delighted that her behaviour met with my expectations, it could have gone so horribly wrong!

We talked at the end… “was is better than Peter Pan?”…. “Well Mummy Peter Pan is my best because we have the DVD and when we saw it here he flew over our heads!”….”Did you like their costumes?”… “Yes Mummy, the snowflakes were my favourite”…. “Do you want to be a Ballerina at your birthday party next month now?”…. “No Mummy, I want to be a dancing Cowgirl!”…. Oh well we had fun, and whether she wants to be a cowgirl, ballerina, rocket scientist or plumber, I’m happy if she’s happy!


Parties for little ones… Just what is the etiquette these days?


So we’re planning our first proper kids birthday party at the moment, in march the boy turns two and the girl turns 4! We figured we should just go for it so a hall has been hired, an invite designed and there are lists a plenty on the go!

We’re not dripping with money at the moment, far from it (very far in fact!), however we decided that spending a little bit on a decent party was worthwhile and the kids will grow up fast so it’s worth doing.

She wants princesses, he wants dinosaurs, they both want pirates, fairies, and super heroes! She doesn’t eat cake, he eats it like his life depended on it. He is confident and will mix with anyone, she will be devastated if her best preschool friend can’t make it! She wants lots of surprises, presents and sweets, he won’t notice that the parties even for him… So this is our first challenge, making it about both of them whilst knowing she will appreciate the effort more!

Other challenges have come up along the way…. The first was timing… Sunday seemed preferable over Saturday, less regular commitments to effect attendance and Saturday free to make preparations. Afternoon seemed more sensible than morning, after all who disco dances in the AM unless you’re 19 and under some chemical influence! We’ve gone for 3-5pm, heading off tea time hunger but late enough to allow the little ones an afternoon nap before the party (I hope! Sheesh he will be unbearable if he doesn’t nap before hand!).

Food is still not resolved, I’m thinking melon, grapes, bananas & cucumber, philadelphia, ham and egg sandwiches, sausages, sausage rolls and crisps…. A balance between processed junk and fresh fruit and veg…. Hoping this will please parents… I hate taking my kids to parties where they just get a bag of crisps and penguin bar with a sugary drink! Talking of drinks we are undecided… Something in a carton that can be disposed of easily I think and tea and coffee for the grown ups!

Grown ups! I’ve added a note to the invites to ask them to please STAY! Seriously I have heard such horror stories about parents just abandoning their kids at birthday parties! No way! Not till they’re at least….ummm…..I don’t know….7 or something? What age do you start leaving them?

Entertainment is sorted for an hour but I shall have to cobble together a pass the parcel I think and a playlist that avoids my kids favourite tracks, Lady Gaga and Guns ‘N’ Roses…. Not sure I’d be popular in the playground if I played those to toddlers and preschoolers? It doesn’t all have to be Disney though does it?

Dress code has changed a few times, she wanted to dress in her best Christmas dress for a while but it’s now back to being fancy dress but she can’t decide between a cowgirl or a princess…. We may have to get both to avoid tears!

I still have a month to go, which is good really as the invites haven’t gone out yet but they are ready to print, I’ve designed them myself and everything!

The lady dilemma is the cake. I am not (as mentioned in earlier blogs) blessed with culinary skills but I can rustle up a decent sponge…. Hubby reckons I need to do it myself to save money and prove my artistic skills can translate to the kitchen, I’m thinking pay someone else, do without the stress and be done with it!

Who’d have thought a party for 2 little people could be so complicated! Hints and tips from the more experienced VERY welcome!


Slow Cooker Slump…and other failings in the kitchen.


I bought a slow cooker in the January sales and for a fortnight I couldn’t get enough of it but a dreadful dose of flu and some lazy takeaway days and I’m back where I began… A culinary failure!

I want to be great in the kitchen and I want my children to eat good healthy food! I’m lucky that they will guzzle fresh fruit and vegetables without much persuasion and that they enjoy knowing where their food comes from as a result of our allotment but it’s the actual cooking I suck at!

It wasn’t till I met my husband that I really understood that great cooking is actually a skill much like being able to paint, or write or sing or dance. It takes talent and skill and some inbuilt ability that you just can’t magic up from nowhere. So give me some paints or a camera or a song and I’ll do you proud but I do NOT have a talent for cooking!

I CAN cook a roast, make a casserole, bake a cake or spaghetti bolognese but what I lack is that skilful palate to season correctly, choose the write herbs and spices and the quantities of each… My husband on the other hand oozes with these skills. He makes the most delicious meals and try though he might I know he finds my cooking bland, tasteless and a far cry from the enjoyable experience of his own meals!

The trouble is that my husband works full time and I should be preparing the meals, my repertoire is shamefully limited and my dependency on the freezer embarrassing! So I am going to make a promise to myself to try and master a new recipe or meal each month ( yes I know I should be saying each week but let’s be realistic!). I have all the Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith and Mrs Beetons books that anyone could possible need along with several others, so of I go to choose the first challenge…. Any suggestions?


10 on Tuesday 7th February


1. I have no real idea what 10 on Tuesday is meant to be but I enjoy some other blogs that do it, so I’m going to give it a go, at the very least it should ensure I post at least once a week!

2. I confess that my attempts to be a culinary queen for my children are failing miserably, they had chocolate spread on toast for their lunch today… I balanced it out with some melon and cheese so that’s ok? Isn’t it?

3. I am wearing yesterday’s clothes today, our washing machine has been broken for a week and isn’t being fixed until tomorrow, I’ve been sending laundry to the mother in law but put the children’s and husbands clothes first but I am now dangerously close to running out of underwear if the man can’t fix it tomorrow!

4. I had to wrestle my son to the ground and get him in a floor tackle to trim his nails today, am I the only one that has to endure this and the 10 minute tantrum that follows? It’s unbearable but then so are his talons so there comes a point when it must be done!

5. I am still I’ll! I finished my antibiotics yesterday following flu, bronchitis and a chest infection and the wisdom tooth related gum infection but I still have a permanent sore throat, cough and aching ribs, I am bored of feeling rubbish, even the Manuka honey seems to have stopped helping!

6. We poisoned the neighbours cat today! It walked across the wet bitumen paint that is forming the damp proof course for our new porch, then it walked into its house, across their beautiful wooden floor and kicked its paws. It’s not a very nice cat, ours is much lovelier but I do hope it’s ok and that they manage to get the paint of their floor!

7. Can somebody please tell the other school mums not to park their cars outside my house to walk their kids to school, I really don’t want to have to wade through a gaggle of mums and unruly 7 year olds in order to take mine to preschool! I would say something myself but they know where I live!

8. My 3 year old now helps my husband to put the 1 year old to bed when I’m at work in the evening, apparently she strokes his head and sings to him whilst daddy feeds him his bottle, then she tucks him in! How cute is that?

9. I think I drink too much tea, 5 cups today, big ones, how much tea is too much? I have no idea but I certainly went to the toilet a lot today!

10. I did it, my first 10 on Tuesday! How did it go?

I just want to be alone!… The selfish cry of the tired Mummy


The kids are at the grandparents for the night, the husband and I have been for a meal and a movie, my goodness it feels good!

I adore my children, I love that they are tactile and want to be cuddled and tickled and kissed and squeezed, I love that they want to brush my hair, stand on my head and nibble my toes but sometimes, especially this time of year when we are all cooped up in the house because of the wet and cold outside, sometimes I really, really, really want to be left alone!

I have started using the phrase ‘personal space’ with my nearly 4 year old, I cringe whenever I say it but haven’t a clue what else to say! She is still in the stage of believing the world exists to amuse her and we are all merely entertainers. She wants to do everything WITH someone and not alone! This includes going to the toilet, eating and playing. Her brother at just under 2 is still in the stage of being sensitive to the world around him and therefore wanting to be carried around it when it displeases him, he is teething, so at the moment this is often!

When my husband comes home from work tired from spending the day with an office full of people that barely look at one another let alone touch, he would like for me to be tactile with him… I try but to be brutally honest , once the kids are in bed… I just want to be alone for a bit!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husbands company and the kids too but I have always been one of those people happy with my own company, I don’t get to see much of myself at the moment! Between 2 jobs, 2 children, the chores, the cooking, the cleaning, the committee, the school runs, the visits with family and friends, there really isn’t any time to be alone. I know I’d moan if I was but if I could just be guaranteed 20 minutes of pure alone time each day….well what I could do with that time!

Is it just me or does anyone else just want to be alone sometimes?