Tuesday 31 August 2010

My Toy, Your Toy, Our Toy?

Arrgghhh. You know that feeling? If you are a parent reading or even if you look after kids then you are going to have come accross the arrgghhh moments. Many of them for me come about early in the morning when I am quite happily lying in my bed, half awake and half snoozy. I have already received two little pretty butterfly kisses from a couple of stunners and they have trundled off to have a play while Mummy wakes up and then takes them down for their breakfast. Instead of giggles I tend to hear 'arrgghh, Mum, Miss M is trying to get in my room again', 'Get out' (said with very bad attitude), 'You can't come in'. 'Leave that alone, it is mine!'. JJ is stressed again. Why oh why does he think it is fine for all his stuff and his room to remain his property alone but the girls should share everything.

What is it that makes kids intrinsically selfish? What age are they supposed to grow out of it? I know I have read that children start out life with just concern for themselves and that this changes as they grow but it has not changed at all for JJ and in fact more and more he wants his own things but not to miss out on anyone else's things too. This is one small part of the reason that he has been referred for an assessment. He just does not get what is OK and what is not.

My girls are pretty good at sharing, this may be a twin thing. They have always had each other and been together, so from the start they had to learn to share, be patient and wait their turn. Don't get me wrong they are not a breeze to parent, having twins brings a whole new set of issues to get to grips with but the good news for us is that lots of perseverance and encouragement about 'twinnies always sharing' and 'loving each other' has definitely paid off. So things are practically backwards in our house, we have these two 3 year olds who are mostly happy to share and a near 7 year old who does not want to share at all. No hang on, that is not actually true. He does want to share! He fact he wants to share loads of things and they all belong to the girls or to dh and I.

From the start JJ (and the girls) have been taught that it is important to share. JJ is always encouraged to share things with the girls and when he gets stressed about them using whatever it is. I always reinforce that good boys who share get rewarded and do not lose out, ie, if they use all his stickers I will buy more for them all to use.

You may well know by now that we have just had our garage converted into a playroom and this weekend the floor is being laid. This will be all the decoration practically over and then I can move everything back in and I have been pondering about the toys in there. Do we maintain the girls toys and JJ's toys or are they family toys? What is the best plan?

Something has to be done, I am not sure how many more times I can deal with JJ going into meltdown and having a massive crying fit because one of the girls wants to play with a toy that he does not want them to touch.

All the kids have special toys that are their own, teddies, dolls, pushchairs (in the girls case) and JJ has numerous things they have never yet played with as they are too grown up for the girls - magnetix, small piece lego etc. But surely other stuff could just be shared? They all want to play with the kitchen and food, cars, big lego, puzzles, games etc. Does it have to be yours and mine? I would love it all to be referred to as ours.

What happens in your house? Do the children all share toys? or are things kept very separate?

Monday 30 August 2010

The Gallery: One Day in August

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.
After the ride I took this photo of the rest of my family and look at the joy on everyones faces. We do love a good day out together!

Sunday 29 August 2010

A Day at Chessington - Fun, Fun, Fun!

What a fun day we have had! As an avid bargain hunter I am always so pleased to receive my Tesco vouchers each quarter and have fun deciding which deals we will trade in for. This time we went some some free entry vouchers for Chessington World of Adventures. Have you been there before? No, then I recommend a visit, it is fab and our day was just perfect.

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!

Photobucket Photobucket



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

Notes From The Heart.....

Dear JJ,

What to do about your birthday my darling? I have no idea what is for the best. You want a party, you don't mind what type but you want all your friends there and you want to get a present from each of them (yes I can tell you are a 6 year old boy! lol). I just can not get past your referral for assessment that your teacher did earlier this year that said you had no real friends, because you tried to control all play situations. I do not know if I want a load of kids in my house or to take them out somewhere if they do not really like you. This is probably me over analysing things as the group of kids you play with and the Mums I chat to are a really nice bunch but because I am your Mum it just breaks my heart that they might just come to the party because it is A party rather than because it is YOUR party.

I love you so much little man, it breaks my heart that I do not know how to help you be more confident in social situations and to know what is acceptable and what is not.

Daddy says we should do a party and then you will get invites in return and this will help you bond with people and feel accepted. I hate the idea that we buy your friendships by giving a party or people feeling they have to invite you in response but of course I want you to be happy on your birthday and beyond. I wondered if we should have a celebration with another family who I know love you as much as we do and we will go out and bowl and eat with them.

I think I am realising that I can not live your life or even really guide your life. I should pray and hand this over to God and see where he takes me.

Thanks for being a fab son, looking forward to watching X factor together tonight and sharing our popcorn.

Love you, Mummy xxxxxx

**If any readers have any great input for me on this subject please do let me know, post here, text, tweet, FB, whatever. Thanks **

Little Ladies,

You make me so proud, much like your big brother. How can Daddy and I created such bright children?

But, yes there is a but... Little Miss E you have got to stop wetting yourself. Why has this started again? Months we have had with no accidents and dry nights and now all a sudden you are wetting up to 3 times a day and then smiling about it. I just don't get it babe.

And Miss M, you are not off the hook. You must listen to Mummy and Daddy. Stop trying to push us to our limits and test us. The boundaries do not change, will you realise that soon please. No means no in this house we do not have days when it actually means yes but lets piss about for a big first!!

Like I said before we love you a lot, just those little bits to iron out.

Mummy xxx

Hello Babe,

Thanks so much for taking JJ to work with you the last few Saturdays when it has been quiet. He so loves spending time with his Daddy and you must realise how much easier it is for me to just look after the girls alone.

You are a fab Daddy and generally a really good hubbie but I just have one wish, that when I come home from work on a Tuesday and you have been here all day with the kids that you take 20 minutes before I get home to tidy the house. You know how you come home to dinner and a tidy house most days of the week, it is really not that hard. It just takes a bit of thought and discipline - I just get the kids motivated for about 20 mins before we collect you to sort things out. I bet it is nice when you walk in the door to sit down and cuddle the kids or watch a bit of TV. I would really love to do that and I know you would say - just do it but I hate the mess around me and I know I won't be able to relax that night until it is cleared.

Yes I expect I do want too much, many men do nothing and can not even look after the kids or cook the dinner but that is the thing. I know you are capable, we used to work together so then I want more. Just a tidy house, not a clean one, I can do that but just tidied please.

Thanks so much, Love Mich xx

Dear House,

I am so happy with you right now. Yes the front room/ dining room still look like a pit with a big hole in the wall and a carpet which looks like someone has been murdered on it but the space, oh the space - it is divine. I never knew one woman could be so happy with a garage conversion.

I remember hearing an Indian folk story about the family who felt they did not have enough space in their home and the village wise man told them to put there sheep in the house for 2 weeks and then their cattle and then their chickens etc etc and then after a couple of weeks when the owner went back to the wise man he told him to remove all the animals and the problem will be gone and he was right - the owner was grateful for what he had.

Well my house has been a bit like that, all on top of each other since the conversion started a couple of months ago and now slowly things are moving to their new homes and the space is really making my day!

Just think within a few months the lounge will have been re-plastered and decorated and a new carpet laid and then how happy will I be? Fit to burst maybe.

Thanks for making my weekend,

Your owner, Mich x

Dear Readers,

Thanks as always for stopping by and listening to me waffle on. I can not believe how many of you came to visit my The Gallery Entry this week.

Have you seen I have got to 91 followers now? I had set myself the target of 90 by the end of Sept, blown out the water - you lot always pull the rabbit out of the hat and spur me forward, thanks. Will obviously have to aim for 100 now! lol

If you are new here and like what you read then press press the follow button or use Goggle friends connect and leave me a comment, I love to chat with you.

Cheers Mich x

PS - Pop over and see Kat at 3 Bedroom Bungalow as she hosts the Dear So and So meme and there are always some other fab entries to check out.

Friday 27 August 2010

Unexpected News for Jenny Woodenmum!

Well, well, well! Jenny Woodenmum has been keeping a secret from us all!

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

Being a Good Bloggy Friend

What is a good bloggy friend? Well not just a bloggy one but a virtual one in general. What decides those you engage with on twitter or in a forum or on their blog?

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.

Blogging is such an interesting arena, where else would we be privy to the innermost thoughts of often near strangers!

Wednesday 25 August 2010

The Gallery - Proud of the Simpliest Things

This weeks prompt at the Gallery is a Photo you are proud of. Now I am not what anyone would call a good photographer by any stretch of the imagination, so I never expect to win any prizes but I do enjoy taking pictures and can be often found snapping away. Especially when it comes to my kids. I love catching their antics on camera.

So here is a picture I am proud of today, not for the photographic skills but because it captures a moment. A special moment when all three of my kids were playing a beautiful game together. It was make believe hairdressers. It lasted at least half an hour and there was no arguing at all. I bet every parent will appreciate that.

(Yes my new room does look like a dumping ground at the moment, but the kids are having a ball! When the floor in laid in a couple of weeks and the shelves etc go back in, I will take a picture so you can see how it looks).

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Wake Up, It's a Beautiful Morning...

I got in the car this morning and was just about to put Heart radio on when the sound system came to life and what was I greeted with?

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

10 Years Old & Anorexic, This Could Be My Child...

..or it could be yours. It could be any one of our children. Children with eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. They come from nice, normal, suburban loving families, just average families, you know families like ours, where the parents nurture and enjoy their kids and the kids have happy lives and are free to be children, yet they can still develop an eating disorder.

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 peads 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

Tell Me, Am I Stuck Up My Own A*se?

Come on then, cast opinions. Am I stuck up my own arse? Would you say I am stand-offish, aloof, detached or even unfriendly? I am sure my Mum would say I am reserved, I know that is the word she used to use to describe herself when she was younger and single.

I bet you are wondering why I am asking this question. Do not worry, I have not gone all introspective and am worrying. I am just wondering as the conversation came up on Sunday after my weekend to Birmingham.

Basically Saturday night I went out with a group of great women, all different and from various areas of the country but mainly either the South or Wales. When out in a nightclub (and boy was it a meat market, good fun for dancing but a real pick up joint) a group of 3 guys came over and started chatting to some of my group. Not me, I was busy dancing on the sidelines with another friend. At least 2 of the southern girls were freaked out by these guys and really did not want them with us. The Welsh girls were being very friendly and having a chat, nothing untoward you understand we are all married or promised but just friendly and having a laugh.

They all disappeared off, not sure if to the loo or to get a drink or something and just one guy was left, a really drunk one. He came over and practically sat on one of my friends, probably the quietest and shyest one of the Southern girls and you could see her physically flinch. I lent over to him and this is how the conversation went -

Mich - 'Sorry, but none of us are really interested in chatting to you, we are having a girls night out and enjoying each others company'.

Mr Drunk - 'Why, we just want to be friendly'

Mich - 'Do you realise we are all married and are not on the pick-up'

Mr Drunk - 'Oh sorry love, we had no idea' and off he walked

In my mind, this confirmed to me that what they were after were some girls to have a 'fun' night with and who can blame them. It was a meat market and probably what 80% of the people in there were after. I had no problem with them trying but after a brush off and a very obvious one I do expect them to back off.

Once my Welsh friends are back the three guys come over again and sit down and start chatting again. Oh well I think, that did not work. Leave them to it. I carry on dancing and am having a fine time, singing along to loads of cheesy 70's tunes. In the blink of an eyelid there is a big burly 6footer about one inch from my face -

6footer - 'What's your problem love?'

Mich - 'I do not have a problem, I just told your friend we do not want to talk'

6footer - 'Why did you tell him to f*** off then?'

Mich - 'No I did not. I never used those words. Can you please leave me alone'

6footer - 'Your friends are nice, they want to chat, we are just being friendly'

Mich - 'Fine, go back and talk to them, I don't want to'

This carried on for a few moments with him very much in my face. I had to remind him he was a big guy and I was a woman and felt threatened and to please back off.

I have to say, I truly believe these guys wanted to pick up and for me if anyone thinks they are just being friendly then it is naive. I am not saying my Welsh friends were being naive as I do not actually know what their opinion of the guys was or why they were chatting to them. I think they are just three of the most genuinely friendly people I have ever met and they would chat with anyone.

So, is this me being stuck up and unfriendly? Should I chat to strangers in a bar when they barge in on a conversation I am happily having with friends? I don't think so, but then I suppose I would not. Scroll forward a few hours and I happily chatted to 'Knowlesy' the legless 23 year old from Bournemouth Uni who had lost his mates and was in the hotel bar. So it is not that I am unfriendly, I just want to be able to choose who I chat to and when. Surely that is OK?

The next day I was chatting to some friends and we were talking about the North/ South divide in regards to friendliness of people. It seems to be commonly accepted that Northerners are a friendlier bunch. Is this true of the Welsh as well? In my younger years I worked in hotels as a manager and I got posted in both Manchester and Cardiff and lived in each area for a short time and my experience was not that people were more friendly but maybe that was just me.

What is your experience? I would love to hear. Go on be honest with me, I can take it.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

My Memories in a Box (a very big box!)

I have a massive big plastic storage box, which I call my box of memories. I have been collecting mementos, photos, tickets, programmes, cards and the like since I was about 14 years old (that is 23 years ago, shhhhh!) and slowly I am gaining a mountain of stuff. It was first stored in my parents loft and then when I moved into my first proper house with dh in 1997 it moved with us and has moved to 3 other properties. For the last 8 years it has been stored in my garage. This box has had furry visitors at least twice and I have had to chuck out numerous bits as the mice have demolished them but now I have no garage any longer, a new home must be found!

Realistically I do not look through this box very often but when I do I enjoy myself and am thrown back to loads of different times over the last couple of decades. I have realised that it is time to yet again clear through this box and to try and make some space. The current box is too big and too heavy to get into the loft and I do not want to be responsible for dh putting his back out!

So this weekend, one evening I will lug this box out and clear through and move the lucky surviving items into a much smaller box, one that does not contain love letters written to me in 1987, ticket stubs for gigs I went to in the early 90's (INXS, Michael Jackson, UB40, Bon Jovi, Soul 2 Soul - yes my music tastes were diverse) nor every wedding card given to dh and I in 2002. I doubt I will be able to part with all the memento's that I gained at the time of the births of my three babes and I will have to be extremely strict with myself as to which pictures, drawing, paintings and art that the children have lovingly done for me will get kept..... but it is a job that needs doing and one I will feel better for getting out the way.

Not only will I be clearing some physical space and clutter, I will also be clearing some room in my head, room for more great memories to be made. That is a major upside of being a parent -every second of every day is the chance to gain a new memory - like the family pic nic we plan to have this Saturday, the trip to Chessington next Sunday or even the walk with Nanny's dog tomorrow around the local lake.

What memories will you be making in the next week or so? Enjoy!

This post was written in response to this weeks Gallery prompt.

Monday 16 August 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

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

The picture above is me after my make over. I do not think the photo does it justice, but a super lady at Suqqu at Selfridges made me over and did wonderful smokey eyes. I was completely pleased. I also went there last year when I went with the same group of ladies to Birmingham, it is a gorgeous treat. Suqqu are an exclusive Japanese brand that you may not of heard of. Their make up and skin care range is only available at the 2 Selfridges stores in the UK but the eye shadow I bought last year and the lipstick this year are some of the best products I have ever owned. They certainly give the other premium/ designer brands a run for their money.

I got home about 4pm and was greeted in the car by two little princesses singing happy birthday to me. This was probably the best 10 minutes of my day - pure happiness. 'Can we open your cards and presents for you Mummy?, Can we? Can we? please....'. I got presented with a lopsided but delicious cake which the girls and dh had baked for me and my garage conversion is now practically completely finished. My Dad has done an amazing job with the redecoration, thank you x.

After being home about an hour I spotted a crack running all the way down the wall in our dining room. This was just a false bit of wall and not one dh or I had ever liked so the decision was made to get rid of the wall and the dodgy arch and have some double doors instaled between our lounge and dinning room. So after getting my garage turned into a playroom and being on track we now have a great big mess in our lounge. Nothing like getting it all out the way together. Like dh says no point in getting a new carpet laid and then finding we wanted to remove the wall. Don't worry Dad we are going to engage someone to properly replaster and put the doors in.

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

Notes From The Heart....

Dear So and So...

What an asshole!

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)

Dear Builders,

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!


Dear dh,

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.

Mummy xxxx

Hello Poppet,

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.

Mummy xxxx
Dear Weather,

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!!

Mich x

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


Tomorrow is a new day, I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will live in the day and savour the moment

Tomorrow I will not yearn after things I do not have

Tomorrow I hope the sun will shine

Tomorrow I do not have to get up for work

Tomorrow I will laze in my PJ's and enjoy a snuggle in bed with my little ladies

Tomorrow I am a lucky Mummy as I get to spend a whole day with my girls

Tomorrow holds a fun picnic and playdate with good friends

Tomorrow's dinner is already prepared

Tomorrow I go to my ED meeting in the evening and get to spend time with people who 100% accept and love me

Tomorrow is 1 day away from Friday when my Dad is coming up to finish decorating the new playroom

Tomorrow is only 2 days away from my girls weekend to Birmingham (a make over, meal out, dancing at Flares, sleeping out with the girls and time to be Mich)

Tomorrow is 3 days from my birthday

Tomorrow is unknown and I am looking forward to exploring it .......
What does your tomorrow hold?

Monday 9 August 2010

Grace in Small Things

I have read a couple of lovely blog posts today (you can read them here and here) which have reminded me yet again how lucky I am and also that I need to acknowledge God for all the blessings he bestows on my life. So here are the things I am finding Grace in today -

  1. Wonderful work colleagues who keep the ship afloat while I am not there and do a sterling job.

  2. A good visit to the doctors, my coil is doing a marvellous job. My awful periods and terrible pain are at bay right now.

  3. Mt garage conversion which is now 99% finished and we have space.... yay.

  4. My Dad who came this weekend and did tons of decorating for us.

  5. My lovely brother who has been working like a trojan to get all my electrics sorted.

  6. 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).

  7. 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

  8. Being woken by Miss E at 6.30am for snuggles ('Has JJ said you can sleep in here Mummy?')

  9. 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

2nd Look Saturday: A Year Ago I realised I am an OK Parent

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

The Gallery: Playtime with the Grandparents!

Yet another fab gallery prompt this week. I have just spent an hour enjoying myself reviewing the last few months of our lives through all the photos I have taken. I realise we are a family who have fun. Those that play together, stay together - that is what they say! How marvellous.

A while back (about the end of May I think) we had a lovely weekend staying with my parents and their new puppy and here are some of the photos that show what a great time we had. Just look at those content giggling faces - sheer bliss.
I am so lucky to have such young at heart parents and I can not wait for my Dad to retire as then everyday he will feel refreshed and happy and the stress and anxiety will leave him, making him the best Grandad in the world...... and yes Mum I think it goes without saying that you are the best Nanny. You know the unanimous answer if we asked three small gorgeous people.

Blissfully happy eating their smarties after a good run around at the soft play centre.

Miss M enjoys a ride on Mummy's shoulders.

The local skate park is great fun for a couple of 60 year olds! It would not surprise me if they come here without the kids too.

JJ and Nanny enjoy playing basketball. The girls and Archie want to get in on the act too!

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Can't See The Wood For The Trees

That is where I have realised my life is right now. How sad is that? I always pride myself on being a glass is 'half full' person and actually I think that is just the image I want to portray and the feelings I would like to have but the reality must be that my glass is 'half empty'.

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.