Saturday it happened. Spring. Finally. The kids and I hung out in the garden for a good 3 hours. Bliss I tell you. Yes, it was cool but the sun warmed our pale faces and made us all feel better. Whether Spring is here to stay has yet to be determined but for Saturday at least, it was glorious. Ella and Sam thought so too.
Guess what happened this weekend? Shhh, don’t say it too loudly! You might frighten it away and we’ve been waiting far too long for it. It’s S.P.R.I.N.G.! It’s sprung! Glory be, the sun and a bit of warmth spread out this weekend and made the whole of England breathe a sigh of relief. The sun from this weekend makes any flumpy days from this past week pale (ha, see what I did there) in comparison. Have a look at what we got up to! It’s not perfect or overly clever but it definitely had some shiny moments!
SUNDAY 31 MARCH-EASTER SUNDAY:
Ah, there’s nothing like a bit of chocolate for breakfast right? Ella was pleased to see that the EB had been and left a bit of chocolate while Mummy fretted that she hadn’t done enough to make the day special. We spent a glorious afternoon at Burghley House participating in a wonderful Easter Egg Hunt which was the highlight of the day to be sure.
MONDAY 1 APRIL:
Thankfully thanks to Monday being a Bank Holiday we got to enjoy having Mark home on a Monday! The highlight of our day was our Fish & Chips picnic on our lounge floor. Much preferable to the seaside right? Well, far less sand anyway!
TUESDAY 2 APRIL:
We kept the day low-key and stuck mainly to activities in the house. Ella was a swimming star at her regular weekly swim lesson.
WEDNESDAY 3 APRIL:
What a busy day this was for us! Ella had a fantastic play date with 3 of her classmates at one of their houses. I got to chat to the Mummies and Ella got to play! Then we popped over to Nanny & Grandad’s so Ella could have a sleepover. It still is hard for me to leave her but she has such a fantastic time that it’s hard for me to say no.
THURSDAY 4 APRIL:
Another quiet day with feelings of disappointment and motherly guilt for me. I hate it when that happens! Roll on Friday!
FRIDAY 5 APRIL:
Oops, roll on Saturday maybe as the feelings are still here. On the plus side, we received our Morphy Richards 9 in 1 Steam Cleaner for review which meant that cleaning happened. On the down side, I was less than impressed with the cleaner. Oh well, c’est la vie!
SATURDAY 6 APRIL:
Spring! This was the day it finally arrived! Huzzah and Pip Pip! The kids and I spent the day in the garden enjoying the first rays of sunshine! Fingers crossed for more of the same this week as we have Week 2 of the Easter Break to enjoy!
And as for my favourite photo of the week, well, let me know what you think of this one…
I read a blog post today written by the delightful Alice Harold who has just been signed by a literary agent to write her first book (woo hoo). In this post she asked the question, are blogs too perfect? I have often wondered this myself. In fact, recently I began to wonder if one of the major contributing factors to Mummy Guilt is the pressure that comes from trying to be something we are not. A wise friend of mine reminded me that we only really need to worry about being “good enough”. I like this philosophy.
So here is my reality. Life is far from perfect but most definitely good enough!
1) I wait until the last possible moment to empty a bin of rubbish. There will be a massive pile of tissues just begging to be taken out yet I don’t.
2) I love potato waffle butties. With salad cream and sweet chilli sauce. It’s yummy.
3) I do not iron. Ever. Never. My mother-in-law thinks that this is scandalous. I am proud.
4) Cbeebies is on a LOT at our house. It’s mainly background noise but it’s on a lot.
5) When Sam goes down for a nap, so do I most days. I could get housework done or other productive things but no, I take a nap. I like my sleep.
6) I am downright nasty to telemarketers who ring to make me give to charity/take a survey/switch energy providers/buy solar panels. I’m talking nasty. And I like it.
7) Our meals don’t always include vegetables. If it’s pasta and there’s veg in the sauce, that’s good enough.
8) These days I rarely make an effort dressing for the day. I bathe and am clean and presentable but most days my wardrobe consists of leggings and fleece sweatshirts. I hate wearing normal clothes because nothing fits me and I look fat.
9) I smile and wave every morning but reality is, some mornings I feel very sad and lonely and wish someone would take the time to notice.
10) I spend FAR too much time on social media. I will check Facebook or Instagram in the middle of the night if I get woken up. I love my smartphone a little too much.
So there you have it. The tip of the iceberg of my reality. I take pictures of my lovely children when they’re smiling and having fun but I am so far from perfect and I just want to make that clear. I am, however, most definitely good enough. And that is good enough for me!
This week has been filled with snow fall, frigid temps, a tired Mummy, a stressed Daddy, the beginning of a 2 1/2 week holiday and an attitude change. How has your week been?
SUNDAY 24 MARCH-
Ella got another chance to wear her favourite fancy dress costume at a classmate’s 5th burthday party. There was incessant running, twirling, dancing and laughing. I love that Ella has established good friendships with her classmates and has so much fun.
MONDAY 25 MARCH-
Monday was filled with visits from 2 different friends and their newborn babies. I did get plenty of cuddles which was lovelu. Thanks to Mark’s long hours this week, I had a solo bath and bedtime to start the week. Ella and Sam are so lovely with each other thankfully so bathtime is pretty easy. Lucky me!
TUESDAY 26 MARCH-
Ella’s school held an Easter Egg hunt after school for anyone who wanted to join in. Unfortunately, the single digit temps made the hunting far more painful than it should have been. In the end we accomplished our task, ran home with a snack-size chocolate bar and warmed ourselves by the fire before heading off to swimming for Ella. Sam has been practising his daredevil moves by climbing up on every possible item in the home. Surely this does not bode well for the future!
WEDNESDAY 27 MARCH-
The last day of school for 19 days! Ella was pretty gleeful when she ran out of the class door with her arms laden down with welly boots, PE kit and papers. Sam and I spent most of our last solo day together reading books, playing with magnets (studying of course!) and climbing. Sam is always thrilled when we go to get Ella and has finally learned to say her name: “Lella” can be heard at all times in our house! How cute??
THURSDAY 28 MARCH-
The first day of our Easter Break holiday! We started the day with a visit to Kiddicare to meet up with a friend of mine and then followed that up with a challenging trip to Hobbycraft. My patience began to wear thin so the remainder of our afternoon was spent at Nanny & Grandad’s.
FRIDAY 29 MARCH-
After a restless sleep thanks to Sam, I woke up tired and grumpy. However, thanks to some important reminders, I made a conscious effort to change my attitude and we ended up having a good day! I made meals in the slow cooker, chocolate krispie egg nests with Ella and we started several craft projects including a scrapbook for our Easter Break holiday. Not to shabby for a grumpy mummy. The tiredness crept in again at the kid’s bedtime however and for at least the 3rd night this week, I fell asleep with Ella for about an hour. Rock and roll eh?
SATURDAY 30 MARCH-
Because of the holiday we didn’t have to shuffle-step to Ella’s ballet and tap classes. Instead we attended Ella’s 3rd birthday party this month! This party was at a fab Paint-Your-Own-Pottery place and much fun was had by all. On the way home from the party we stopped at a garden centre in search of inspiration for our garden. Finding none we let the kids have a “ride” on the Big Red Bus. Aren’t we good parents? Our evening was capped off with a Chinese takeaway as I felt the need to accidentally dump the entire contents of my slow cooker chicken cacciatore on the kitchen floor. Well done saving money on that one!
And thus brought an end to our week. We went to bed on Saturday night, having sacrificed an hour of sleep for another hour of daylight, with visions of chocolate and Easter bunny plans dancing in our head. Stay tuned for more about Easter Sunday. I hope your week was filled with love, happiness, cuddles and giggles. I leave you with my favourite picture from this past week…
This morning I woke up grumpy and tired. Sam had us up twice in the night and ended up in bed with us. Today is Good Friday so Mark should have the day off. Instead, thanks to kerfuffles beyond his control, he is spending the day at work.
I was prepared to be a mega-grump today but then I was reminded that so many people have it far worse than me. Kerry‘s family have to endure their first Easter without her. Jennie and family are carrying on without their precious Matilda Mae. Other families I know have split up, others are struggling financially. We have it pretty damn good in comparison.
So I told myself what I tell Ella from time to time: CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE!! I have two healthy, amazing children, a loving husband who works far too hard, a roof over our head, food to eat and love in our hearts. Then I looked at this one…
…and this one…
…and changed my attitude!
I made two meals in the slow cooker, tidied the kitchen and prepared for a bit of crafting with Ella.
Then we pushed the boat out even further and made chocolate eggs nests for Easter. What fun we had!
Who knows how the rest of the day will go but I am committed to keeping myself thinking positively. I am grateful for all we have. It’s time to focus on that…the rest of the negative nonsense is just that. Nonsense.
Happy Easter everyone! Have a lovely weekend!
Since Sam joined our family I have spent the majority of my blogging focusing on him and our family. In fairness Ella had exclusive blog time for 3.5 years! However I have to spend a few minutes gushing about my best girl.
Ella is 4 1/2 years old now. I’m amazed sometimes, actually. How did my girl get to be nearly FIVE?! Ella is clever, inquisitive, sensitive, cheerful and exceptionally helpful. From the minute Sam was born, Ella has been a lovely big sister. We worried that Ella would be disappointed about having a brother but she never batted an eye. Ella continues to be a wonderful role model and good friend to her brother which is a relief to both Mark and me.
In September Ella started Reception at our local village primary school. She has excelled at everything she’s tried at school and has wonderful friends as well. At the conference with Ella’s teacher last week, the report was glowing. Mark and I were so proud of Ella. It’s wonderful to see Ella enjoy school so much. This love for learning spills back into the home as Ella sets herself homework, roleplays as a teacher and learns to read Dr Seuss books.
One of the fears that I had when I became a mum was that some day Ella would hate me. You know how it is with Mums and daughters! Thus far Ella and I have continued to have a wonderful relationship of which I am very proud. When I went away on my Royal Caribbean cruise last month, Ella slept every night in bed with Mark, sleeping on my side of the bed. Ella was the one who missed me the most. I truly hope that we will always be so close.
We have also been so pleased to see Ella enjoying sports and outside activities in the last 6 months. Ella has always been a water baby thanks to Nanny and Grandad having an indoor pool. We put Ella in formal swim lessons in September and she’s already moved up 3 levels in just 1 3/4 terms. We started Ella in gymnastics at a local gym in October and within a half session she was invited to try out for the Developmental Team. Ella’s real passion seems to be for ballet and dance however thanks to her delightful instructor Amy. Long may it continue I say.
Most of all, Ella makes me laugh. She knows when I need a cuddle and she still loves me to lay down with her at night. My best girl is a delight and I do my best to make sure she knows just how much I love her every day.
Life is too short…always tell your children “I love you” and mean it!
With the imminent demise of Google Reader, here is another way that you can follow little old me and my Cafe Bebe family. You surely wouldn’t want to miss a thing would you?
Ta muchly and all that jazz.
It’s been a month or so since I have tackled Project 365 but rest assured that I have not missed a single day.
This week has been filled with ups and downs including our seventh wedding anniversary and Ella’s first experience of vomiting in the middle of the night. Good times to be sure!
We’ve had difficult nights with Sam this week but fabulous days filled with laughter, making everything worthwhile.
I’ve been lacking in motivation and inspiration but am attempting to gain control of my path one step at a time. Blogging, for me, is not the same as it used to be. A year ago this month I took an entire month off blogging. I ran a series of 31 guest posts from 31 wonderful bloggers. My blogging life has changed but my family life is so much richer for it. And that is a very good thing indeed.
Here is a selection of my favourite photos from this week. Enjoy!
What has your week been like?
When I was pregnant with Ella, as a first-time mum-to-be, I was desperate to soak up every bit of information that I could find. At that time (back in the day), Smartphones had yet to be the rage and the only technology I used to learn from was my very old laptop with a LAN connection! God, that seems so long ago! I bought BOOKS to learn about being a Mummy! Actual BOOKS! Including Gina Ford, which was nearly lit on fire and has since been handed down to a charity shop. I digress. As usual.
Now, we have Smartphones, iPads, tablets, 3G, 4G, High-Speed Broadband, Wi-Fi; we are connected everywhere we go! Some people (my husband in particular) think that is a bad thing. I think it’s amazing. We have access to information at any time of the day no matter where we are (for the most part). As a first-time mum-to-be, I would have loved that access and ability to organise.
Aptaclub has a new iPhone app, Preparing for Birth, which can be downloaded for free to help you prepare for your impending arrival. Ideally aimed at first-time mums, the app focuses on supporting mums-to-be in their final stages of pregnancy, with practical tools, tips and checklists as well as a contraction timer and birth announcement. The Aptaclub Preparing for Birth app features:
- 6 editable checklists to help stay organised, all of which can be shared (What to include in your hospital bag, Shopping lists)
- Tips and practical advice to prepare for labour and birth
- A section to write questions to remember to speak to your midwife/doctor about
- An easy-to-use contraction timer
- A personalised birth announcer with a range of templates and share functions.
Genius eh? Almost makes me want to have another one! ALMOST! My favourite feature of the Aptaclub Preparing for Birth app is the Birth Announcement feature. I was tweeting my hospital stay with Sam as well as our progress into labour. I ALMOST asked Mark to continue the updates as we went into theatre for our c-section but I thought that might be pushing it. When we arrived in recovery following the c-section, after greeting our attending nurse and getting wheeled into space, the FIRST think I did was grab my Smartphone and start Tweeting, Facebooking and emailing everyone our fantastic news about Sam’s arrival. To be able to simply fill in a simple few fields and share Sam’s birth across all channels would have been much appreciated!
I really enjoyed reviewing the Aptaclub Preparing for Birth app. Even though I don’t need it, it would definitely be an app I would add to my smartphone if I was expecting a baby. Did you have favourite apps when you were pregnant or if you’re expecting now?
Eight years ago today, after being together for only 6 weeks, Mark proposed to me while we sat on a wall underneath the London Eye.
Seven years ago today, Mark and I were married in a gorgeous ceremony in Stamford, Lincolshire with friends and family in attendance.
On Friday, Mark’s birthday, I surprised Mark by taking him to lunch at The Garden House which was where our highly entertaining wedding reception was held. We celebrated Mark’s birthday and our wedding anniversary. Perhaps we knew that any other plans we might have had would be scuppered.
For the first time in her four years and nine months, Ella woke up in the night with a poorly tummy and proceeded to hurl all over her bedroom floor. We spent the next hour talking about why we get sick and worrying about the next time she would be sick. Ella was sick 2 more times in the wee hours of the morning and hubby was relegated to Ella’s single bed. When Ella doesn’t feel well, Mummy is the only one who will do.
Thankfully there was no further sickness to contend with but Ella stayed home from school for the first time all year and generally was miserable.
Mark and I looked at each other this morning, had a cuddle and said Happy Anniversary. Any plans went out the window as our girl needed caring for. Whatever bug Ella picked up seems to be isolated in her so far. The rest of us are puke-free…touch wood.
Mark and I celebrated seven years of wedded bliss with jacket potatoes, baked beans and coleslaw. We laughed while watching “New Girl” on telly and will probably be in bed, with Ella in between us, by 11pm. Ooh, the romance.
Mark did bring home flowers and a card for me, along with bottles of Calpol and Nurofen. The flame is still alive and I can’t wait to see what the next seven years brings. We’ve been pretty lucky so far and neither of us would change a thing. Here’s to us…