Monday, 21 August 2017

To My Wonderful Daughter, Today You Turn 7 Years Old!



To my beautiful Gracie-Mae,


Today my sweet little girl, you turn seven years old. How time flies! How is it possible that it’s already 7 years since you made your grand entrance into this world?!? Little did I know how much you would change my life, turn it around & upside down. You were always a pickle straight from the start, making your Daddy & I wait an extra 12 days to meet you, you were just far too comfy in my tummy! 





7 years old. That is really a big girl now. You are totally your own person, you know your own mind, & you are strong-willed & strong-minded, which drives me insane & delights me, in equal measures.


You are such an incredible girl: you take after me in that you’re a total bookworm, I love watching you devour books, & I’m so proud that you can read pretty much anything now! I love watching you curl up with your blanket & a good book, going into your own little world, just reminds me how grownup you are getting now.




You are a wonderful sister to both of your brothers. You & Jamie are like the best of friends, (when your not squabbling over something of nothing!) & you've taken Isaac right under your little maternal wing. My heart bursts with pride with how much love you have got to give, your such a caring little soul. 


You make us laugh, you make us proud, you make us happy. I sometimes worry for you, as 7 years old seems so much older these days than when I was 7. I want to be able to protect you from the nasty stuff out there, whilst letting you have your independence as you get older, spread your wings & fly, making your own mistakes, & learning from them, as you go along. I try to, & I hope I get the balance right.




Whatever you do with your life, whoever you choose to share it with, wherever you decide to go, I will love you, be proud of you, & want to be a part of your life. So feel free to go out there, be who you want, & live your dreams, as it’s your life.


 It is clear that you have so much to offer this world. There has always been something so special about you. I love you & could not be more proud of my seven year old! Happy Birthday, Gracie-Mae. You light up my life. 


I hope you have the best day! 


Lots and lots of love,
Mummy xxxxxxx





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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Uncommon Goods- My Favourite Picks




Hey guys, hope you are all having a good week so far. How have you all been finding the Summer Holiday madness? It's been pretty quiet over here this week, as we have been getting over this Flu virus, hopefully *touch wood* we all seem to be coming out the other side of it, so let the rest of the summer holiday madness commence! 

Anyway....


Have any of you heard of the website Uncommongoods.com? It's an online gift shop that I've recently discovered. It's full of fun, quirky & unique gift ideas for everyone! 

I wish I discovered this site sooner as all of our Birthdays & Anniversaries are all out the way,(apart from Gracie-Mae's, which is next week!) her presents are all brought now, but I may have to buy another cheeky little present for her, as the gifts from the kids section are brilliant! 

Like this one here...


I LOVE this gift idea for my two eldest children, I know they would spend hours colouring this in, whats so great about this product is that when laundry time arrives, the ink will wash out, leaving a fresh new canvas for the littles to start all over again! You can also buy a Colour Your Own Map Duvet to match! See more gifts for kids on this page.

Firstly let me tell you a little abit about this wonderful site. There are lots of things to love about UncommonGoods. Sustainability is threaded throughout the organization's business practices, treating all employees with respect, dignity, & fair wages.
They work with artists & small manufacturers that work in a socially & environmentally-responsible manner, producing products that contain recycled components & do not harm people or animals. When you check out, you can donate a dollar to a nonprofit through the Better to Give Program!
I am a big fan of supporting small businesses, so I wanted to share with you a quick gift guide of my favourite finds. Maybe you have a loved ones Birthday coming up or an Anniversary gift that needs buying, something personalised or just a cool gadget, UncommonGoods really does have something for everyone! 
Here's a few that I have found:-

I absolutely LOVE this gift & I know it's something MR.B would love too! These docks for iPhone & iPod are handcrafted from natural driftwood, polished to a velvety smoothness by sand & surf before washing up on the stony shores of Maine. You can check out more unique birthday gift ideas for men here.

I know these glasses may seem a little pricey, but, how beautiful are they? I just love how different they are & also very stylish! Cocktail party anyone? 
Is a martini glass made without glass still a martini glass? Aside from being beautiful, wood is also a better insulator than glass, & helps to keep cocktails chilled longer. Click here to see more birthday ideas for women.

I am a big lover of coffee mugs & these are just so cute! I love the whole design, the knots, grooves, & rings frame a hand painted declaration of love—you & your other half's initials, complete with an anniversary date & a charming heart & arrow. Makes the perfect anniversary present, right? You can see more anniversary gifts on this page.

If your anything like me & love buying quirky little bits for your home, then you will honestly love the home section! Look at how beautiful these lanterns are! 
I LOVE candles, they are everywhere in my home! And these lanterns are just beautiful! They would match perfectly in my lounge. And for £12.37 these are definitely a steal! Check out more great gifts for the home & garden.

*disclamier- This is a sponsored post, however, all thoughts & opinions are of my own. Thankyou UncommonGoods
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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Mum Is The Loneliest Number



Last night, I was in bed, ready for sleep, doing my nightly terrible habit of scrolling through my facebook feed, when it hit me. It grasped my heart & stole my peace. It was just something as simple as a photo of a few Mum's hanging out & their playful comment banter under the photo. But it hit me hard. Jealousy. Bitterness. ANGER. And then when those feelings had faded away, all that was left was loneliness.

I get lonely.

Motherhood is lonely.

It just is.

Even if you're lucky enough to have one or two steady friends, how often do you really get to spend time with them? Life gets busy, babies need to nap, kids get sick, have rehearsals, practices, husband/partners get home late from work, things change, plans get canceled, you forget to reschedule, and who's court is that ball in this time? It's just really, really, hard to have friends in this stage of life.

Sometimes, I go to the shops & walk around just to have interaction with people outside of my house, how sad is that?! When I’m out with the children & I look up from the chaos long enough to see another mama doing the same things I’m doing, I just want to run over to her and say, “Are you lonely too? Do you want the same things I want? Do you struggle with the same things I do? Will you judge me for failing? For being scared? For wanting to run away from my kids? For forgetting to do the eldest hair & a clean nappy on the youngest? Can we be friends? Am I freaking you out? I don’t care. HOLD ME.”

Sometimes I just want to have a long conversation with someone other than MR.B. Someone with female anatomy. Someone in the same life stage as me. Someone that gets me. But I can’t dwell on those thoughts. Loneliness breeds jealousy, & bitterness, & anger, & regret, & then guilt, & sleeplessness, grumpiness, impatience, grudges, depression, & so on ... & on ... and on ...



Mama, I know that you’re lonely too. It's ok. Just remember that this is a season & it is the most sacred season you will ever have the honor of experiencing. This is the time when your babies need you & want you & enjoy having you around. This is the time when they will cling to your legs as you try to leave the house without them & run into your arms when you come home as if you’d been gone a lifetime. You will never be more loved & wanted & needed as you are right now...in this moment.

This is the season of boo-boos & spit up & dirt. It’s the season for 10 minute showers, half shaved legs, & one eyed mascara. You will get lonely. And jealous. And maybe sometimes you’ll begrudge your life & wish you had someone else’s. You’ll get frustrated & angry & you’ll want to escape. This will be the most unglamorous & unappreciated time of your life, & sometimes it just totally sucks. That’s ok. But have peace in knowing that this will be the season you look back on longingly. One day, we’ll gladly give up all the friends in the world to have our babies small again. To be able to fit them on our laps & read them stories & go on adventures & eat pancakes at every meal.

When loneliness creeps up in your heart & you start to feel sorry for yourself & wish for something other than what you have right now, fill that emptiness where your social life used to be with baby belly laughs & movie nights & pillow fights & silly songs. Don’t let temporary loneliness steal this season of your life.

I'm not saying that friendship isn't important. Obviously, it is, or we wouldn't feel its lack so strongly. We were never meant to live in isolation. Women, especially, need friendship. But sometimes, our friendships take the back seat in life & we can let that destroy us & affect our motherhood, or we can embrace it & give ourselves, & our friends, grace.

If you have friends, do whatever you can to spend time with them as often as life allows. But maybe you're in the same place I am right now. Maybe you're in a new county, & you don't know anybody, & then you meet people but they already have their group of friends & circles & you just kind of feel like the oddball out. It's easy to get discouraged & feel defeated. It's easy to cling to the computer & your online friends. Don't. Find a Musm group, a meet up, a park where Mums often hang out. Step out of your comfort zone, ask for phone numbers, & be intentional about forming friendships. Sometimes it will fail. But maybe it won't! Your new best friend could be sitting across from you at the playground feeling just as lonely as you. Don't convince yourself that you're the only one in the world that doesn't have friends. (I really need to practice what I preach...)

The point is, don't let loneliness steal this season from you. It's precious and it's beautiful & it will be over way too soon.



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Soft Play- Heaven Or Hell?



Yesterday, we went to soft play. I think I hate soft play, or maybe I love it…I can’t decide.


The benefits are that it keeps the children busy, makes them happy & burns off some of the endless energy they have.


When I say endless energy, I am not exaggerating.  They are always on the go.


NEVER TIRED.


They don’t consume any caffeine.  I don’t get this.  As someone who struggles to even speak in the morning without a cup of coffee, I marvel at the way they jump out of bed in the morning.  Anyway, what our mornings are like is for another post.


SO BACK TO SOFT PLAY, WHAT ELSE DO I LIKE ABOUT IT?


Well I guess I like the slides they are pretty good fun.  The trampolines too, although I really, really would like to go on the trampoline on my own but I guess that is against the rules as I am probably a little over the age limit.


Oh & I really love the grabby machines.  You know what I mean, ‘The claw is my master’ for all those that have watched Toy Story – which is everyone right?  If these games have a real name I would be interested in hearing what that is.  For now, they will be known as grabby machines.  I am pretty good at these, but I guess anyone would be good if they spent a small fortune honing their skills!





SO WHAT DO I HATE?


This is going to sound old but soft play is exhausting; really, really tiring.  I find myself desperate to have a sit down & enjoy a hot cup of coffee.  But I can’t, and here is why…  my littlest is 12 months & therefore needs to be accompanied around the soft play at all times. Gracie-Mae loves dragging MR.B & I into the dreaded maze to play, Jamie just does his own thang!


So with this in mind, here is the thing. It’s those massive rabbit warrens, the huge climbing frames that are built for children.  Not twenty-something adults….So as I squeeze myself through these labyrinths after the children. I feel a bit silly, fearing I may get stuck, all the while pretending I am looking after a little person.  In reality, the only person who is truly in trouble here is me.  It is very likely I am never going to get out of here, stuck in soft play forever.


I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE, OF COURSE.


As you crawl through these stupidly small spaces, you always meet another knowing adult.  You nod, maybe say hello & always exchange sympathetic glances.  Both of you know what this means.  You are in it together.  You are not alone!!!


The tables; you can never ever find a clean table in these places.  They are always sticky, even if just cleaned.  Wet wipes save the day once more, they are truly the best invention known to man & I am not sure how I got through my day without them before kids.


HERE IS THE OTHER THING: OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN.


By this, I mean the eight-year-old who is charging through the toddler area.  What is with that?  As I look around trying to catch the eye of said child’s parents, I notice there are no parents around.  Said child is running free, creating havoc in the toddler area, knocking my little ones out of the way, high on sugar from fizzy drinks & too many chewy sweets.   The other thing is how is the eight-year-old diving into the ball pool head first & not hurting themselves?


AND THE ABSOLUTELY WORST THING ABOUT SOFT PLAY…LEAVING.


Not because I don’t want to leave, I do.  I am done.  Tired.  Need a coffee.  But the kids, they never, ever want to leave.  They make bold claims like, ‘just leave me here all by self’, ‘I want to live here’ & ‘it’s ok mummy, they sell chips here you can go’.  They have a meltdown; you bribe with promises of sugar & treats (that’s probably why the eight-year-old is running around manically).  You finally get out to the car & heart sinks as you remember they are now old enough to remember your bribes & demand payment.


SO THERE YOU HAVE IT, I AM STILL NOT SURE IF I LOVE IT OR HATE IT.


What I do know is, when it is chucking it down & in the absence of any outdoor activities being an option, it beats being at home with them & the kids LOVE it, or at least I think they do if the screeching as they arrive & the crying as they leave is any indicator.




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Friday, 4 August 2017

An Open Letter To My Beautiful Baby Boy, On His First Birthday



My Beautiful Boy,


On this day, at 14:58, exactly one year ago our lives changed forever.  As I write this I will try my hardest not to cry at the thought of how fast this life moves & how so very much I wish I could turn back the clock so that I am able to relive it all over again.




One year ago today, your father & I received a precious gift — one that has made our family rich & whole. You were almost two weeks overdue & we couldn’t wait to meet you.


If I’m being completely honest, I was getting a little impatient… okay, maybe more than just a little. Your Daddy was convinced that you were going to arrive on his birthday but you were stubborn just like your father & wanted to stay put for a little while longer. 


You were a little 7 lbs. 13 oz., it took a LONG 30 hours to bring you into the world. But once you finally arrived, the hours just melted away & it didn't matter anymore. You were born at home in our bedroom & it was the most magical moment in our lives, one we will all treasure forever as a family. 




I can remember the hours that followed were filled with complete & total bliss. Daddy, Jamie, Gracie-Mae & I sat in our big bed & just stared at you & your perfection. Your brother & sister were over the moon as they huddled next to you, touching your sweet hands & feet. They worshipped you (and still do).




You inherited your father’s gentle eyes that provide a window to your pure soul. Daddy named you Isaac & it suits you perfectly. We didn't have any boys names picked out as I was adamant you were a girl, how wrong was Mummy & I'm so glad I was, as you are perfection. 


The past year has been one of the best years of our lives. I’ve watched you grow & develop your own little personality. Your belly laughs make everyone giggle & your siblings still fight over you daily.




If there was an award for the “Best Hugger,” you would win hands down. I can’t get enough of your baby bear hugs & butterfly kisses that you give me every morning & throughout the day. I hope you never lose the ability to show affection so boundlessly. Your innocence & the love that you show everyone in this family is a blessing that I will never take for granted.


Your wonder & awe of everything around you never ceases to amaze me. You see everything for what it is — as a whole — without any other thought. You are so completely present in every situation & because of that you are able to appreciate the little things so fully. You are continuously teaching me something new & wonderful. Every day when I wake up & see your beautiful face, I am inspired to become a better Mum & a better person.




Today, know that your life has made such a profound difference in our lives. You make the world a better place just by being here. I can only imagine what amazing things you will do & accomplish in the future, because at just one year old, you are living life to the fullest.

Isaac, I love you to the moon & back & then to infinity & beyond!


Happy Birthday my boy! I love you more than words can say, always & forever.


Your Mama xoxoxo






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