Wednesday, 29 February 2012

I did a Bad Thing!

I did a bad thing today!
I brought my child a toy when he didn't deserve one. We have an unwritten rule in our house, that we don't just randomly buy toys for the kids unless it's a birthday or a special reward for good behaviour and today I broke that rule.
However there was logic to my moment of madness...
Recently my sweet blue eyed baby boy has turned into, well, a devil child! He screams at me, throws himself on the floor, pushes his sister around and just generally does the opposite of everything I tell him to. It actually got to the point where I thought there was something wrong with him, I'd convinced myself that he must have brain damage because know one can have such an extreme change of personality in a month. (I have since been informed that it is not brain damage and he is just being 3).
After hearing about the 'terrible two's' and how he sailed through that year without a single tantrum or raised voice I did not see this coming.

Anyway back to the subject, so I now have a devil child and I wake up every morning with a feeling of dread, knowing that I have to face a whole day of abuse and raised voices.
I told Phil how I felt this morning and he suggested that I do something with him to keep him amused.
His teachers at pre school recently told me that h
e spends a lot of time doing puzzles so I thought I'd give it a go, problem was we don't have any puzzles at home. So this is why I had to buy him a toy when he didn't deserve one.
We went to the shops and got a puzzle and he's been playing with it all day. It's definatley been the best day we've had in over a month. There was still the odd tantrum inbetween puzzle making but nothing like it normally is. Result!
I'm still not proud of what I did but I've got to say it was the best £5 I've ever spent.

The Photo Gallery: Friends

Just yesterday my little boy told me that Lj (his sister) was his best friend in the whole world. He absoulutely adores her and is very protective over her. (Poor girl is never going to be allowed to have a boyfriend when she's older).
The picture quality isn't great as it was taken on the spur of the moment from my mobile but I thought it was to cute not to share.

To see more gallery pictures this week visit Tara's blog at Sticky Fingers.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Photo Gallery: Landscape

This photo is of the Teignmouth/Shaldon bridge in Devon
and I have to confess that as much as I would like to take credit for taking it I can't. It was infact taken by my partner. However I felt it was too good a photo to get lost in a folder with all the others.

This was taken off of our boat not long after we moved down here.
We treated ourselves to a new camera and Phil went out to play with it. Not bad for a first attempt.

Check out Tara's blog at Sticky Fingers to see other landscape photos of the week x

Boxes, boxes and more boxes!

Looks like we might be moving again!
We have only been in this house for 6 months but I have found the house of our dreams. A lovely cottage with exposed beams and open fireplaces and a spare bedroom for guests, fab!

Just the thought of having to pack all over again fills me with dread but luckily we still haven't unpacked half our stuff from the last move so this time it should be easier, (We'll see about that). Also this house is only just down the road instead of 200 or so miles away.
The kids, no doubt, will be about as much help as they were last time, (unpacking the boxes as I was packing them) and screaming at me if I try to pack any of their toys. Oh joy!

Last time we moved they looked like this...

and now they look like this...

They change so quickly, blink and you miss it.

I'm going to have packing a house down to a fine art by the time we settle somewhere.
Let the packing begin.

Monday, 20 February 2012

...and then there was Bob!

We seem to have a new edition to our family.
His name is Bob and he's a hedgehog! (One of the stuffed and cuddly kind)
Bob came into our lives while I was out shopping with Lj.
I'd just like to point out at this point that Lj hates shopping with a passion. Infact she hates it so much that the minute we get into a shop she screams at the top of her voice and won't stop until we leave.

So on this particular day we are in a charity shop, Lj screaming while i'm trying desperately to look for a frame for a picture.
Next thing I know the volunteer came up to Lj and gave her this fluffy hedgehog (Bob) and ask her to look after it for him. The screaming stop instantly. Hooray now I could look in peace.
So I found my frame, went to the till and paid the man but it then came to the moment where we had to give Bob back.
I tried to get him off of her but she wasn't having any off it. The volunteer, sensing the impending meltdown, said she could keep it. Result!
That was by far the easiest shopping trip i've ever had with Lj in tow.

The problem I'm now faced with however is getting Bob into the washing machine.
Lj never lets him go (hence the picture above).
It's very obvious looking at Bob's matted fur and slighlty funky smell, that Bob had formally been loved by another sticky fingered little one and is really in dire need of a good scrub down.

The thing I don't get though is that since Lj was born we seem to have accumilated a number of furry, fluffy & cuddly soft toys and she has never shown an interest in any of them. Even with me putting an adorable (clean) elephant in her cot every night, hasn't resulted in her growing any kind of attatchment to it. Backed up by the fact that I come in every morning to find it on the floor on the other side of the room, where she has clearly thrown it out of her cot in disgust.
And yet here we are with Bob, the manky hedgehog that the man in the charity shop had to give away for free because no one wanted to buy him.

I fear that I'm going to be spending a lot more time with Bob in the coming months.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Face of an Angel

Whenever I start moaning about my son everyone always looks at me like I'm mad and the reply I get from them is always the same, 'rrr but he has the face of an angel'.

He may well have the face of an angel but not the mentality of one.

He has really pushed me to my limits this week.
I am so glad that half term is over.
He only goes to preschool two days a week but it's part of what he does.

The problem is that he is fanatical about routine, if anything is different in his weekly plans, he just can't cope.
The week started okay and progressively got worse.
All i've found myself doing all week is repeating the same phrases again and again and again, 'Don't touch that, put that back, get down from there'
He has an obssesion with pressing buttons whether there on the CD player, plug socket, light switch or microwave.

The final straw came today when I came downstairs this morning, opened my fridge and found the entire contents of it frozen! The little monkey had turned the dial right down without me noticing. Grrr kids.

Ice Ledge

Photo by Robert Fornal

It's not like we haven't been out and about this week, infact we've been out and done something every single day. He just generally can't cope without his routine.
I hoping it's just a three year old thing and will grow out of it eventually.

Mystery Slug


photo by Louise Joly

I think I am living with a slug!
That can be the only explanation for the slimy snot trails I keep finding everywhere.
Of course it's nothing to do with my 1 year old that keeps pulling herself up onto things face first with her nice runny nose.

As a family, we seem to have got every bug going this winter. Constant runny noses, persistant coughs and sore throats, you name it we've had it.
Phil and I were hardly ever ill before the babies came along and now we seem to go through medicines and tissues like there going out of fashion.

More tissue boxes in more places

Photo by vanherdehaage

People keep telling me that it's good they are getting all the bugs now, while they're still little, less time off school when they're older.
So I suppose it's a good thing, however I do wish they didn't feel the need to share all of the bugs with us.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Why Mars & Venus Collide

I have just finished reading 'Why Mars & Venus Collide' by John Gray and I have to say it was a fascinating read.
I'm not usually a 'self help book' kinda girl but I saw it on the shelf in our local charity shop and thought i'd give it a go.

Why Mars & Venus Collide

Photo by Mark Larson

I really do believe this book has helped me gain a better understanding of why my partner and son do the things they do. Which in turn has made more a lot more patient with the two of them.
An example of this would be when my partner use to get home from work and plonk himself down infront of the TV and promptly fall asleep, now that use to wind me up something chronic. However after reading Gray's book I now understand why he does this.
Gray explains how over the course of the day a man's testosterone levels fall. Then when he comes home and the stress of the day is over he needs to replenish these levels.
He does this by having a nap, watching TV or doing something simple like reading a newspaper.

'When a man's workday is over, a switch turns off in his brain, and he shifts to a passive, relaxed mode'

This made a lot of sense to me and so now instead of getting angry with my partner and spoiling the rest of the evening, I let him have his 30 - 60 mins of down time and after that we can enjoy our evening together.

In complete contrast to a man, a woman is fulled by oxytocin, 'known as a social attachment hormone'.
A woman regualry needs to perform oxytocin producing activies to make herself feel good. Some examples of these are having a massage, talking to a friend on the phone, cooking a meal for someone and, believe it of not, cleaning! Really it's any feel good activity, anything that involves 'sharing, caring, befriending and nuturing'.

This explains why when a womans day is over she wants to talk about it in great detail, this is her way of releasing stress and after she has she feels more relaxed.
This is where you can see problems arising when the man and woman come home and she wants to talk and he wants to sleep.

'Women mistakenly expect men to react and behave the way women do, while men continue to misunderstan what women really want'

Gray explains in great detail how men and women are 'hardwired to be different' and the different things that cause us stress.
He believes that the rise in stress between men and women is because of 'the shift in the roles of men and women'.

I for one completley agree with this theory. When my granparents were younger the roles that both sexes played were very clear cut, the men went out to work and earnt the money while the women stayed at home, raised the children and kept a house. Everyone knew where they stood and what was expected of them.
My Grandparents are still married and have been since they were in their late teens. They've had a very happy life and are still very much in love.

'When woman become men, men lose purpose, meaning and inspiration in life'

My Wife's Suspicions Were Confirmed

Photo by Carl Revell

Gray also covers the increase in testosterone levels in woman and how 'taking part in testoeterone-producing activities at work can diminish a woman's oxytocin levels' (the thing that makes her feel good). Gray also explains how unlike a male, a woman's stress levels increase when she get's home from work because she still has a million and one things to do. This is when things such as cooking dinner, being a mother or partner can seriously overwhelm her.

'Having a job or career is often no longer a choice for most women, but a necessity'

Obviously the book covers a lot more than just the points I've highlighted here and I could go on and on about it, but at the risk of boring you I will stop (well that's if you even made it this far!).
There were so many different points in it that were actually very simple but perhaps things you wouldn't have thought about before.
I would definatley say this book is worth a read. x

'Being equals does not mean men and woman are the same or should be the same'

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Dreaded Potty Training

H was 3 in January and we are still not getting anywhere with the blasted potty training!

My partner suggested bribing him with a biscuit (H loves his biscuits) but I was against it.
Silly paranoid mummy thinking he'll end up with some kind of deep rooted psychological issue about toilets and biscuits!

However as everyone of my methods had so far failed I thought I'd give it a go.

So I pop H on the toilet and tell him that he can have a biscuit if he does a poo. H seems happy to oblige, all was going well.
Well at least it was until he pulled a funny face, went bright red and proceeded to burst into tears. Bugger!
He then said to me through the sobs " I can't do it Mummy!"
I don't think I have ever felt more terrible than I did at that moment.
Great now not only do I feel like the worst mother in the world but my son probably has piles from strainning to hard.
That did not got well at all.
I don't think I'll be trying that method again, back to plan B - wait for warmer weather and let him run wild and naked in the garden, following behind him, potty in hand.

Baby Changing Table for Boys

Photo by The Rocketeer

The Delicate Politics of Mother & Baby Groups

I personally go to quite a few mother and baby groups, I find it helps to break up the monotony of the day but I can't help but feel that there are a certain set of unwrittern rules that you must abide to or otherwise run the risk of being ousted forever.

The 'your child hit my child senario'

If you find yourself in this akward situation you have two choices.
When the mother of said child approaches you and says ' rrr is he/she ok?" You could react in the way that we all secretly want to and yell at them "your child has just whacked them in the face with a stuff giraffee, how the hell do you think they are?" or you could use the politically correct response of "oh he/she's fine, they all do it at some point", with your perfected fake smile plastered on your face.
The fact that your little baby has just been mauled by another human being
is irrelevant.
You must follow the rules!
(Note there will occasionally be a mother that doesn't follow the rules and after that sessions she is never seen again).

Cry baby

Photo by joanneQEscober "MoodCreations"

The Queen Bee Mummies

You get these at every group, you'll know them when you see them. The mums that all sit together, talk in huddled whispers and immediatley pounce on you the minute you walk through the door, welcoming you into the group with their fake smiles (just so you know who's in charge). They are the woman that have been coming to the group for years because they keep popping out sprogs.
Now these are interesting creatures.
If you don't get in with them you've had it.

Return of the Bee

Photo by MightyBoyBrian

The Brewing Fight

To intervene or not intervene that is the question!
If you're unfortunate enough to find yourself in the situation where a fight between two children (neither one is your own) is about to break out right in front of you, then the best solution for this is to run! Ignorance is definatley bliss in this case.

If you do however feel compelled to interpose then proceed with caution. You will never be right not matter what you decide is best.
The last thing you want is to find yourself being screamed at by an irate mother for telling off her little angel.

scream and shout

Photo by mdanys

The Token Dad

The Token Dad is the one guy who comes every week with his offspring, keeps himself to himself and sits in the corner watching his child.
This Dad finds himself in a rather awkward predicament at these groups.
If he approaches anyone to have a chat they might think he's hitting on them if he keeps quiet and doesn't share anything, then eveyones sits there wondering 'why isn't he at work, where is his wife, why would he come to a group like this".
He is basically buggered from the start

Silhoutte of Akki in the Great Wall

Photo by kaex88

Making Friends

Mother and baby groups are a bit like speed dating. You have precisely two minutes to speak to another mother and get to know as much about her as you can while also telling her a bit about yourself before your times up because your child has just bobbed another child on the head with a plastic hammer!


Photo by Robert Parviainen

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


I find myself becoming obsessed with my blog.
I spend a huge proportion of my day thinking about what I can write next.
I have even gone as far as to carry a blog notebook around with me, for any random ideas or thoughts that pop up in my head. This really is addictive!
In any one day I seem to have a billion thoughts going round in my head and now having somewhere to express and share that is great.

I am still finding it a little hard to learn the correct blogging etiquette though.
I never realsied there were so many rules to blogging.
I still have so many questions about blogging, like should I only be posting once a week or once a day, am I not suppose to use pictures that I have found on the internet in my blog and do I have to comment on other people's blogs for them to comment on mine?
I never realised it was quite so complicated or am I just missing something?

Putting all that aside though I am enjoying this x

Monday, 13 February 2012


I was just successful in going into town, in half term, with two kids and no buggy.
Whoever said that bribery isn't the answer clearly never had kids! X

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Crash Course

I have just realised that I must have been in a 'technology free bubble' for the past 10 years.
I appear to be the only person in the world that knows nothing about Tweats, Apps, Blogs, Code, Tags, URL's, Rss or any other word that has some relation to technology.
Why it is that eveyone seen to know about these things but me? Was there a crash course in technology that I missed?

So this week, in the vain hope of not letting my children show me up, I am giving myself a crash course.
I am now even the proud owner of a Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry or some kind of fruit phone.

So you can now expect to get regular updates about my progress with this as well.
Wish me luck. x

Friday, 10 February 2012

A drowning day!

Yesterday was a bad day. I felt like I spent the entire day running around after two grumpy children that were going stir crazy from being insdie all day. I hate the winter! Grrr
It was one of those days when you never seem to be able to get on top of anything. A day when your little angels seem to do things deliberatley just to wind you up! (Of course there not really, I don't think a 1 and 3 year old is quite that devious)
I felt like I was literally drowing.
It was a case of give in and accept it wasn't going to get any better and console myself with the fact that this day cannot go on forever and the little angels would eventually go to bed. Or wrap them up and get out of the house.
I opted for the latter, so there we all are wrapped up as if we were about to go husky sledgeing in Antartica, just to go a play on the swings at the local park.
But do you know what, the day got better from there, I think both myself and the kids needed the fresh air.
We came home pink cheeked and exhausted and the kids played nicely togther for the rest of the afternoon right up until bedtime.
So what started as a drowning day actually turn into a much better day than I anticipated. x