Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Monday, 30 August 2010
This week our prompt from Tara was to take a photo, any photo on Sunday 29 August, thus all us parent bloggers would create one massive photo album for that day. The day that three prominent Mummy Bloggers head off to Bangladesh with Save the Children. I pray that the work that Josie, Sian and Eva are doing helps in some small way, large-scale awareness is not to be underrated!
S0 here is my chosen photo, as per always it is not an expert photo and there is not anything particularly aesthetically pleasing about it. The reason I have chosen this photo is because it captures my most favourite moment of our day to Chessginton on Sunday 29th August 2010. I was sat in the back of a car with my twin daughters sat in front of me, one perfect pale blond head and one perfect pale brown head and they were both driving the car and chatting away, having a ball. There is something so divine and special about twins.
Sunday, 29 August 2010
We arrived there about 10.30am and did not leave until nearly 7pm and not for a moment were we bored. We easily could have made use of the fab deal that they have to buy another entry ticket for the next day for just a fiver! How excellent is that?
The thing I really like about Chessington is how family friendly it is. Today we were a group of Daddy (avid theme park goer, likes the big scary rides and happy to tackle anything), Mummy (big fat scaredy cat who likes the calmer rides and really just goes for the kids), JJ who is 6 and thinks he is about 14 (he enjoys everything), Miss M, who is 3 and brave and wants to be big like JJ and is happy to give things a try and Miss E who is Miss M's twin and does not even like to go on the £1 moving ride on toys at the shopping centre!
In our time at Chessington today we managed to go on loads of the rides - Peeking Heights, Tuk Tuk Turmoil, Safrai Skyway, Bubbleworks, Tomb Blaster, Toadie's Crazy Cars, Dragons Fury and the Carousel. We also watched a super puppet show, had some fun in the soft play and visited the animals and sealife centre. It was a full on day!
I am trying hard to think if I have any complaints about the day and frankly I don't. The staff were amazing, courteous and chatty, they would not have been out of place at Disneyland. There were plenty of toilets and minimal queueing (well, you do expect some with 11,000 people in the park today). The food outlets were varied and not too busy and I really appreciated the free lost children wrist bands and parent swap voucher that we got so dh and I could both do BIG rides without both queueing. Things do seem pretty well thought out at Chessington.
We opted for a pic-nic today, deciding that the money we would have spent on a lunch out for the 5 of us could be better spent by being donated to Save the Children and their work in Bangladesh. There was lots of good grassy areas where we could have sat down together but we opted to use one of the multitude of pic-nic tables that are across the park.
If I had come to the park to go on all the BIG popular rides then I might have been slightly peeved at the amount of express tickets that had been sold as basically there ended up being a two tier queueing system on the popular rides. Dh and JJ found this on Dragons Fury where they waited for about 1.5 hours as so many people were expressed to the front of the queue. To be honest if you were paying the full price of £26 for a child to enter the park, could you really afford another £10 on top to miss the queues and have an express ticket, we certainly could not.
So if you are paying for your tickets to come to Chessington, it is still a great place to go but make sure you look out for the deals. You can often find 2 for 1 tickets or discounts online. In fact at the moment Chessington themselves are offering 2 for 1 on adult tickets. Without any discount our day would have cost £60 today as both our girls are still under 1 metre and are therefore free. Once they get bigger the day would cost £95 at current prices as you get 25% discount by booking direct with Chessington online.
I asked everyone what their favourite part of the day was and here are their answers -
Me - Watching my girls enjoy driving in Toadie's crazy cars
Dh - Driving the Dogems (aka Tuk Tuk Turmoil) with Miss M and JJ
JJ - Tomb Blaster, shooting the guns and scoring more than Dad!
Miss M - Having her face painted 'like a Princess'
Miss E - Playing on the soft play and having chips!
Pros: Variety of rides and entertainment, free face painting, loads of toilets and baby change, good food outlets, excellent little sealife centre, good variety of animals and animal shows, quick entry and exit by car with ample parking, good services for families such as the lost children wrist bands and parent swap vouchers to minimise queueing
Cons: Queueing, Dragon Falls being closed
I have written this post as a review but I was not paid to do so, this was just something I wanted to do after a great family day out!
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Friday, 27 August 2010
Here she is relaxing before the contractions really start!
And afterwards the family are overjoyed to welcome their new baby girl to the family!
WoodenDad realises that he will have to get a new car as they will never all fit in the mini anymore...
While Jenny gets to spend some time with her new baby girl WoodenDad takes the kids and his niece and nephew to visit the dinosaurs at Knebworth Park! Good on you WoodenDad!
This blog post has been written as part of the John Crane summer competition, in the hope of winning some lovely toys for my kiddies.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
I pondered this question myself and found that virtual life was just like real life, some people I like and some people I do not. Of course the harder thing is that the written word can come across as much more harsh and without heart and that can put me off people. I can read a really popular blog and wonder what it is about and why it has such a big following and then I can read another with no followers and love it and want to read everything they do. Different strokes for different folks they say! and wouldn't the world be boring if we all liked the same.
I have been blogging for what feels like ages now, I started for a very brief moment in 2008 and then came back to it seriously in April 2009 but I did not make my blog public until much later, January 2010. So I have been around and out there for 8 months and like many people I sometimes wonder if I am liked, if my blog is read, if my stats should be better etc but I really have learnt since my blogging break for lent that my blog is for me and readers and commenter's are a bonus rather than the be all and end all. This is not a business, I have never yet done a review (although I will certainly happily consider it if anyone wants to ask me! lol) and my career is not as a PR guru or journalist, which seems to me to be many of the people writing successful blogs.
If I was to compare myself to other people who started blogging about the same time I would probably end up crying as they have higher follower numbers, more comments, re-modeled and gorgeous looking blogs and I do not but it really does not matter. My blog is an outlet for all the crap inside my head and sometimes I feel as if I get to do some good by sharing my stories and life and showing these things happen to other people too and we survive.
My latest post has reached into the 20's with comments and that is fab. When I started out I was lucky to get 3 or 4. Some of the simplest things I have written or posted are the ones that have achieved the best interaction and you know what that tells me? That people do like me for who I am and not what I pretend to be or aim to be. So I will just go on being happy go lucky Mich, the woman with big issues around food, who shouts too much at her kids but adores them none the less and is a bit of a barmy Christian.
Anyway I think I have digressed, I started out writing a post about was what makes a good bloggy friend. I have sometimes recently started to wonder if I am keeping up my end of the deal. Some fab people are continually commenting on my blog and when I do not get to theirs very often I feel bad. I know it should not be tit for tat in this game but the whole thing of interaction and friendship is that it should be two way and of course, where would we be without spreading the blogging love. So recently I have been trying to do that much more, visiting new blogs and commenting, especially for new bloggers who have hardly any followers are are just in the beginning stages of developing their bloggy confidence. I am no Blog Idol (thanks for the fab phrase Holly) that they will want to aspire to be but if I am kind and encouraging, helping them on their journey, that can't be bad - can it?
So tell me this - How often do you get to visit sites of those you class as bloggy friends? Do you have a list of sites you must, should, could, will never visit? Is it pure randomness?
How many people are sat in your google reader? I assume you must have visited them at least once? but when do you go back? What pulls you - in the title? the first line of the post? the picture with it? or is it purely on the person and which blogs you have grown to love.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Yazz and The plastic population.
How is that for a group name? The good old 80's. How could today fail to be a good day when I had to listen to this cheese on the way to work. Following it came Boney M and Holi-Holiday and then came the Rednex with Cotton Eye Joe. My dh had been making CD's again and boy what a strange mix this one was but pleasant none the less. Every song holds a memory and all that.
I did decide at this point that enough is enough and I turned off, only for the radio to come on and I listened to 'Wake up it's a beautiful morning', I think by the Boo Radleys and instantly I felt transported back to 2001 when I used to hear this song most mornings in the car on the way to work.
Thinking about it, it feels really like a lifetime ago, it was pre-kids and I was earning very good money as a manager of a large high street recruitment agency, I worked about 45 miles from home and used to drive an hour there and and an hour back each day in my company car. Dh and I had a brand new apartment, all pristine and newly decorated. I could go out any night I felt like it and often did, with friends, with dh, with family.
I was about 1.5 stone lighter than I am now and would often spend hours shopping for me or my home. Saving money held no interest for me and economising was not a word I was familiar with. There were no ties and thinking back there are a few bits I would love to do again (in moderation).
However, think a little harder and I remember the difficulties dh and I had in 2001, when we called off our wedding, temporarily split up, when we would both work 12 hour days and be like ships passing in the night, when we would both yearn for more than the superficial things that money could buy.
The end of 2001 saw a big change to our lives, we really talked and we worked at our relationship and we made things better. We decided to get married in January 2002 and started attending Church and then when we got married in July 2002 it was so special. We moved into our new family house in September 2002, honeymooning in October 2002 and renovating the house kept us busy until we had our first babe, JJ in 2003.
Life changed even more dramatically then. I did not want to go back to my long hours, high pay, low family life job. So I gave it up and a ton of money with it and what dh and I gained in return was a family. Real ties that no money can buy. Here we are 7 years later with 3 little munchkins and a far richer life. So while it was nice remembering back this morning I do not want to change anything, I love my family and my life and in the future if we do pursue our dreams of fostering our family may even get bigger - who knows!
Isn't it nice sometimes to reflect on just how grateful we are for what we have?
I thought you might enjoy a bit of Yazz to make you smile!
Friday, 20 August 2010
When I typed '10 years old and anorexic', I felt like I was putting in the title of a gritty channel 4 documentary but actually what this post is about is a friend of mine called H. She is a 40 something mum of 10 year old triplets. H and her husband are fab parents, they spend lots of time with their kids - they go camping, bike riding, swimming, shopping and all sorts of fun stuff.
When I saw H about 8 weeks ago she told me that one of her triplets was getting slimmer and slimmer and that they were having problems with her eating. She was refusing to eat normal meals with the family, checking calorie contents on packets and performing rituals with her food. Now as someone with an eating disorder myself (be it the other end of the spectrum) I have heard enough anorexics share their story to know these were not good signs for a 10 year old. My friend said she had a doctors appointment scheduled in the hope this would scare her daughter into eating.
Roll forward eight weeks to yesterday and I saw H again. She sadly told me that when they saw the doctor they got referred to the paeds at the hospital almost immediately and that the specialist would not let them leave the hospital that day with their daughter. She was admitted immediately. Her weight was about 3.5 stone and she is 10 years old. That is not much more than my 3 year olds weigh. A lot less than my 6 year old weighs. How completely scary.
My friend feels like 'the worst parent ever', her words not mine and she says she knew her daughter was thin but there was no physical signs of it being a real problem, no hair loss, fainting, being sick etc. The doctor told her that her daughters heart rate was seriously slow and she could arrest at any time. Imagine being told that about your baby.
My friend can not believe she missed the fact that her little girl is anorexic. She did not realise that young, apparently happy girls got anorexia. But they do, it is sad fact. I searched for some good reliable stats on anorexia in kids but they seem pretty hard to come by, what I did find was that 29% of girls in the US in grade 10 are already dieting (age 16), 40% of the same age feel they are too fat and 6% have taken weight loss supplements without medical advice. These kind of statistics are why I feel the need to write this blog post and why I urge you to always try to show a positive attitude towards your own body image and your eating in front of your kids. Our children watch every little thing we do, we are their number 1 role model and they adore us and want to be just like us. Even if this means being warped around food.
The teen magazine Sugar undertook a survey in 2009 of over 500 girls aged 12 to 18 which showed that girls whose mums are on a diet are almost twice as likely to suffer from an eating disorder. They talk of 'thinheritence', ie parents passing on their own warped views on weight and body image to their children. This is yet another wake up call for me. I know I have a problem and I know that I need to do something about it but I just piss about and do I one day want to wake up and find that one of my children also has the same problem as me? No I do not. That is what first inspired me to start attending my ED fellowship and I know that in the last year I have grown emotionally and gained so much knowledge but my physical relationship with food and the size of my body and thus my health implications are still very bad. Yes on the outside the kids might hear me say the right things but they say actions speak louder than words.
So right now is another day. I can start my abstinence any time, it is a gift from God and I turn my food and lack of control over my food to God. Lord I pray that you help me to be free from my obsession with food and that I do not eat compulsively for the next 24 hours and more than anything I pray that you keep my children safe from this awful disease.
Please anyone reading this, be positive around your children and help them to grow up knowing that real people come in all shapes and sizes and it is important that we learn to love ourselves, flaws included. Rant over!
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
It was my birthday yesterday. I went away for the weekend with a group of twin mummies and I had a lovely time. We headed off to Birmingham for a make over, meal out and spot of dancing. I know I had a good time as both feet are covered in blisters and I still feel knackered now! lol
Here is a picture to the show the POPOTOMS just how much of a mess my house is right now. I once won the 'How clean is your house award'. That would not be happening nowadays! lol Can you see all that clutter in my dining room?
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Why did you have to steal my hubbies bike? What an inconvenience. Do you not realise how much that helps me when he cycles to the station and more than anything what about my little boy? How gutted he is going to be when he realises that him and Dad can not have their bike rides until we get dh another bike.
I hope you are pleased with yourself!
Angry Mich (grrr)
I was so mad and more than anything sad when you knocked the wall through and trashed my house as nothing was crovered. I am now recovering from that 3 weeks later and I am becoming so excited with how the old garage/ new playroom is transforming. My kids are going to be over the moon when it is finished.
Thanks for doing a good job, despite the hic-ups along the way and thanks for the £200 you have knocked off the bill!
Wow, do you look good! I am so proud of you. You are doing an amazing job losing weight and you really seem to be getting yourself together right now. I do hope you are still feeling better in yourself like last time we got to have a decent chat. When we get some alone time next week I will cook you a lovely meal for your birthday and we can enjoy being together.
Love you babe, Mich xxxxx
To my little angel Miss M,
You are my delight at the moment. I love to watch how you are growing up. Your polite behaviour today in the shop was just another reminder of what a lovely little girl you are becoming.
You make my heart melt, I adore you Mini me.
How could I do a note to your twin and then not one to you? That is the thing with twinnies it has to be equal everything. You, my baby are my sanity in a world of chaos. When your brother and sister are off the wall I can rely on you to come for a cuddle and a quiet read of a book. I love the serious way you to chat to me and the beautiful thoughtful look you get on your face.
You are my dream baby.
Love you, Mummy xxxx
To my big boy,
I am missing you handsome man. I miss the fun we have together, playing games, snuggling, watching TV, you being helpful and guess what - it is so much quieter without you here!
I know you will be having a fab time at Nanny's and I get to see you tomorrow for a big cuddle and kiss.
Love to the best boy in the world.
Why do you feel the need to keep raining at the moment? Yes, my grass looks much better now it is green again rather than straw yellow but surley we could compromise and you could rain at night.
I am supposed to be taking the girls swimming tomorow to an outdoor pool. This is a remarkable outing as it is so hard to find somewhere where I can take the girls 2:1 ratio and then I see you want to literally rain on parade!
Pah, pissed off Mich
To the POPOTOMS girls,
You know who you are! I had loads of fun when we met last year and stayed in Birmingham and I am expecting this time to blow that one out of the water. Roll on Saturday....
So cheers ladies, I will be raising my glasses with some of you and toasting those of you who can not make it.
Remember twin mum rock!!
Dear wonderful readers,
You keep coming back and that is great! Even in the summer when many people are away I seem to be finding some new followers and from that some great new blogs to read and follow myself.
I am back to setting myself targets. I would like to get to 90 followers by the end of September. So that is 11 to go. When I finally get to 100 I will do a giveaway to the 100th follower as a little fun thank you.
So if you like what you read please use google friends to connect/ follow and do leave me a comment. I always respond.
Cheers, Mich x
PS - It's FlogYoBlog Friday again! Have a look at the blog hop below and visit a few fab bloggers. Spread the blogger love.
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Monday, 9 August 2010
- Wonderful work colleagues who keep the ship afloat while I am not there and do a sterling job.
- A good visit to the doctors, my coil is doing a marvellous job. My awful periods and terrible pain are at bay right now.
- Mt garage conversion which is now 99% finished and we have space.... yay.
- My Dad who came this weekend and did tons of decorating for us.
- My lovely brother who has been working like a trojan to get all my electrics sorted.
- My Mum for just being her, being the backbone to the family, supporting us all in all the non-glamorous jobs and having my little man for the next 10 days (I miss him already).
- My dh for having Miss M in bed with him all last night when she felt poorly and letting me sleep in JJ's room so I got an uninterrupted night
- Being woken by Miss E at 6.30am for snuggles ('Has JJ said you can sleep in here Mummy?')
- Having been abstinent for over a week now. I have been acting sanely around food, it is a minor miracle.
Do you know what? I could keep going on and on today. I feel so blessed but my lunch break has ended and I better do some work.
Love to all, Mich x
Saturday, 7 August 2010
I am joining in with Big Mama Cass's 2nd Look Saturday. This is where we take the chance to repost an old blog entry and share again. Considering this time last year no one had my URL and I thus did not get any comments it is nice to be able to share again.
On thursday, 6 August 2009 I posted about - Positive affirmations
A few weeks ago I was speaking to my neighbour and he said how patient dh and are with the kids and that we are a lovely family. He has no idea how we deal with 3 small kids and stay calm and they hear them in the garden enjoying themselves with us etc etc. It was lovely to hear but I assured him he obviously only heard the good bits. He talked about hearing me trying to bath them and being very calm but firm - I went a bit red!
Then 2 days ago I was speaking to his wife and she started to say the same thing, about what wonderful parents dh and I are and that her and her hubbie think we are a lovely little family and they are lucky to live next door to us. How fab is that?
I think I ought to listen to them and get a bit of perspective/ balance as I always assume I a miserable/ impatient and agro with the kids - maybe not!
Then yesterday out of the blue a lady came up to us in the John Lewis restaurant and said she had been watching the kids and that they were gorgeous well behaved kids and that was all down to me, 'great mummy, great kids' she said.
So for today, I am taking all this praise and not letting my head get too big but believing for once that I am an OK parent.
Thursday, 5 August 2010
JJ and Nanny enjoy playing basketball. The girls and Archie want to get in on the act too!
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
I seem to be stuck in the rut of spotting all the tiny negative things in life and not appreciating the bigger picture. The big picture is that I am a very lucky lady - I believe in a God who loves, provides and forgives, I have a fab husband who loves me and the kids, 3 healthy and energetic kids, OK paid job with excellent hours that suit my family life, wonderful family, great friends, nice house that we are on the way to owning, a garage conversion being done so we have more space, good Church yada yada yada....
What do I possibly have to get me down? Not a lot, but often I just find myself getting caught up in the small stuff. Have you ever read any of the books by Richard Carlson 'Don't sweat the small stuff'? He is excellent, his books make so much sense. I need to get my copies out and re-read them. They are the kind of positive life books that really inspire me to be grateful and to live my life to the fullest. What is it that they say - Yesterday has gone, tomorrow is unknown, today is a treasure that is why it is the called the Present!
Here is an example of the crap small stuff that I allow to drag me down. Below is a picture of my car (ignore the funny sun and shade spots in the photo). What do you see when you look at it? An OK car? dodgy pink sun screens on the back windows? rubbish parking? What ever it is, I expect it is not the same as me. I see scratches and a small dent in the drivers door that JJ did about a year ago. We do not have the money to get it fixed or to buy a new car and looking at this photo I can see that it really is not a problem anyway. I just need to get over myself.
So here I am yet again laying my flaws out in the open and baring myself. I find writing so therapeutic and sharing stuff means that it is out there and I have to deal with it. My commitment to myself is that I will not sweat the small stuff anymore, well not for today at least!
Anyone else like me? Do you allow yourself to get drawn into things that really your logic tells you there is no need to worry about but your heart/ emotions just draw you in? Bare all here and make a commitment that by putting it down on paper it will have no power over you any longer and you too will not sweat the small stuff.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
A while back I visited the John Crane blog and they had a giveaway for the first few people who contacted them. I was lucky enough to be one of the people who were sent a set of little wooden dolls for my kids to play with. Well guess what? I have been enjoying them as much as the kids have! lol
Jenny Woodenmum and her family are great little dolls and so far they are proving very durable. Jenny has been for a swim, had a bath, climbed in the sand and been taken to literally hundreds of places in the grubby hands of my little twins. John Crane are holding a competition to find the best photo entry showing what Jenny Woodenmum has been up to this summer. Here are a few photos showing Jenny Woodenmum enjoying her time in Dorset with our family.
Jenny sat atop her castle and dreamed of a trip in the static hot air balloon at Bournemouth gardens (you can see it above her head in this photo)
One of Jenny's proudest moments as she built this castle and claimed it for GB (flags made by JJ, a great activity for a rainy afternoon)
Taking a well earned rest from all that play on the big red toadstall.
Lastly, Jenny and JJ's favourite activity - pot holing. You can see she is not really dressed for it but we forgot her suitcase and Jenny was a great sport and did not moan the whole holiday, she just wore her little pink top and denim skirt.