Sunday, 31 October 2010
I have heard people say many different things before - Friday, as it is classically the last day of the working week, Wednesday as the bulk of the working week is then over, Saturday as it is a day to shop and relax or just no getting up for the school run in the morning.
Well my favourite day of the week by far is Sunday. That is my sabbath, my chill day. The day my family gets to be together and we go to Church and do you know what? I love it, it is not a chore at all. It is something I look forward to each week. Often I will go twice in one day and that is not from necessity either - it is pure desire on my part.
Here is a few pics of my family at Church - do we look bored?
We have been going to this Church for just over 2 years now and it is fab. I never imagined I would got to such a vibrant Spirit-led Church. If you ever fancy coming with me to see what it is all about - just ask!
Sunday is also the time, when all my family are together and we can go out and enjoy each others company - here are the kids at a garden centre, pretending they are at Santa's door! Can you tell which ones the show offs are??
Today, Miss E and I spent about an hour together, alone and she revealed in it! We have done it many times before and every time she gets excited and tells me that it is special, just for me and her 'cos we is best friends Mummy'. So here is a picture of Miss E and her best friend in the whole wide world - yes folks - that's me! How beautiful is that?
Lastly a couple of snippets from the mouth of JJ this week. He really is turning out to be a funny little soul.
Me - Daddy is going to do some painting on Wednesday babe, you can help him if you like. You can be his apprentice.
JJ - What's an apprentice Mummy?
Me - Someone learning a new skill from a master or a trainee.
JJ - No Mummy, I must be the master and Daddy can learn from me, because you told me he is Mr X and I am Master X.
Well I suppose he is right, there was no answer to that!!
and I leave you with this classic -
JJ - Daddy, was Camden (as in London) named after David Camden?? (Current PM).
Pop over and visit Marilyn at Pure Unadultered Softhistle and see what other Sunday Snippets people have to share with you!
Enjoy your week, Mich x
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Last week the kids and I made up our Christmas present shoeboxes ready for collection by the Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child team. The kids had super fun and keep asking me if they can make more, but one each is plenty for this year. I am organising a collection from JJ's school and the local toddler group have also got involved now too, so we expect to get a good number of boxes to send off.
Here my kids show you in pictures how to easily make up your box. They do not have to cost the world. The three boxes that we made up probably cost me about £15 in total and then, of course, you make a £3 donation per box to help with the cost of transporting the box abroad (it is now £5 in 2020).
The reason they cost so little is that I love to shop around and find a good deal, I also keep wrapped McDonald's toys when the kids get duplicates and I keep the little toys from party bags. I buy bits all year round when they are in the sale, such as the after Christmas sales. Also, you have to remember that you may not want a pack of 2 toothbrushes from Tesco for 10p (yes 10p really!) but to a child who has very little that is a treat for them.
So I urge you not to be discouraged from doing this on the basis that it will cost a lot, it really does not have to. All the items in the boxes we made were new and at £5 a box that is worthwhile.
Also what a fab opportunity to talk to your children about how fortunate they are and that children abroad may not have the basics like water, enough food or clothing, let alone a DSi or bike.
Box Packing Steps
Wrap it all up in nice festive kiddie paper, inside and out. The box may turn out to be as big a thrill for the recipient child as the goodies inside!
The three boxes all wrapped, don't forget to stick on your sticker to show what age and sex the box is aimed at.
Then include with your box the wallet containing the donation or better still donate your £5 per box online and print off the barcode (2020). We also include a Christmas card for the child with an encouraging message for them and a photo of my children who have lovingly made the boxes for the recipient child.
and here they are all complete and ready to go to school next week....
We hope you enjoy making your box!
Why not pin this post for later?
Sunday, 24 October 2010
Well, my instant answer to that, is NO. Why would a 3 year old need a DS, PSP, XBox, Wii or any other type of computer game console .....but maybe that is just because I am not that interested in computer games? Or maybe it is just because I am lucky enough to have twins and therefore my 3 year old always has another 3 year to play with and thus they can do exactly what I think 3 year olds should be doing - imaginative play. The girls like to play doctors, hairdressers, Mummies, cafe's, shops, post offices etc etc. Most days I am bought an imaginary cup of tea and a cake or I have my hair put up in a very 'classic' design and I do not mind this one bit. If not imaginative play then we go out to the park, make puzzles, play board games, do cutting and sticking, get the play doh out - anything that has their hands and minds working together.
I always worried I would be a pushy mother but I have learnt that actually I am not. I never sit and do letter formations with the girls, we do not spell words out, my two can not write their names - so what, they are 38 months! We count as part of our play, we bounce on the trampoline and we bake cakes - all far more healthy I feel.
Yes sometimes the TV is on and the kids zone out for a while and relax while I make the dinner or sort the washing (or even pop on to view a blog or two!).
Now I do not write this post to judge you if your 3 year old has a DS or similar, it just seems completely alien to me. Why do they have one? Enlighten me.
My two have never been on a PC/ laptop. Do they need to? Will they be slower at school because they have not? I seriously doubt it.
I have this fear that if I give everything to my kids at an early age what is there for them to look forwards to or work towards as they get older? How will they learn the real value of money if they are bought £100 presents at age 3 and then want a new game every couple of months at £20 - £40 a pop. I love it that you can give JJ 3 boxes, a couple of postcards, bottle tops and some sticky tape and he can make a toy he will play with for days.
JJ has a DS, he got his when he was 6. Old enough to understand that money does not grow on trees and that he had to save his pocket money, birthday money or such when he wants a new game. He has a strict time limit on how long he can play for and we vet the games he is allowed. Call us controlling and I will answer 'yes and rightly so!'. This is our babe who we want to teach strong values to.
Here is my Mummy Manifesto -
- My children will not be encouraged to grow up too quickly.
- My children will wear modest, age appropriate children's clothes.
- My children will read fairy tales and stories about 'nice' things.
- My children can watch kiddie programmes on TV and should not to be exposed to phrases such as 'Loser' on Spongebob or 'Whatever' on Phineas and Ferb.
- However, my children will also have TV free playtime every day.
- I think it is important that children play outside every day and are allowed to get messy and to make a mess.
- My children will be encouraged to cook with me and to enjoy and have fun with all types of food.
- I think that variety is the spice of life and it is good for my kids to try all sorts of things.
- I believe that children should sometimes play alone, sometimes play with friends and sometimes play with their parents. They will gain something different from each of these interactions.
- My children will be involved in age appropriate household chores. They will pick up after themselves and learn to help me/dh too.
- My children will learn to make their own choices about money and how it is to be spent or saved.
- I will do everything I can to ensure that my children grow up knowing just how lucky they are and that many in the world have nothing in comparison to them.
Friday, 22 October 2010
Written on a card and sent with a big bunch of 12 beautiful red roses, delivered to my work. So unexpected and so welcome. The sign I needed that things would be OK, that we would work out.
This was the red jumper that prompted that comment! I love red, I wear it often. I would go as far as to say it is my trademark colour.
So what is the story behind the comment? Well this is the short version (without the gory details, sorry about that). I share lots here but nothing personal about my dh. Some things are sacred in a marriage.
It was November 2000 and (now) dh and I had split up. We had our wedding already booked for September 2001 but called it off, losing deposits and we placed our apartment on the market. There was no future for us, too many things were wrong, too many things that were too different about us. It was the end. I was sad. He was sad. There was no 'us' anymore.
Then one night I came home from work to find a note in the apartment saying that dh was staying at his parents but he wanted to talk, he did not want to give up on us after 6 stormy years. He was willing to change and make an effort. Meet him at this gorgeous Italian restaurant if I wanted to talk and to try to sort things out. I have to be honest I did not hold out much hope.... but he came through. He has worked his butt off over the last 10 years and we are happier now than we have ever been. I have also tried. It is never one sided in a marriage. We do not take our marriage, our relationship, our family or our great life for granted. You have to work hard at keeping these things alive.
If things ever seem beyond hope, I would just say - Don't give up on your marriage too early. Try hard, try really hard! Good things are always worth saving.
Dh and I have now been together for 16 years and been married for 8 of them.
This post was written for Tara's Gallery. It is hosted over at Sticky Fingers. Her prompt this week was 'the colour red'. This was prompted by Halloween but as Christians we do not partake in Halloween and as such I just had to go with my gut. Red always makes me think of this comment and how very excited I was to get those flowers and to feel hope, love and passion again.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Remember this important lesson - It is not nice to be a bitch!
When you were at work on Tuesday talking about a colleague, thinking that they had gone home, they hadn't - they were just in another part of the office and I expect they may have heard everything you said. Now this in itself is not a real problem as everything you said was true and probably things that the person needed to hear. They are hard to approach and unfortunately their unpredictability or seemingly bad moods does create an atmosphere in the office. However, you may have really offended or hurt this person in the unprofessional way you were talking. You were in short Mich, being a bitch. There the truth has been spoken.
I know you are sorry now for the way this happened and this important lesson has been learnt. It is never your aim to hurt people and because of that you won't be doing this again in a hurry - will you? If you can not say anything nice - keep your mouth shut and frankly Mich you do not need to be involved in everything - mind your own business!
Go and see the doctor if you are worried about your fingers. No, it is not normal to have 2 fingers and your thumb constantly hurting when you try to bend them. My totally untrained opinion is that it might be the start of arthritis, I know you feel you are too young but either that or RSI. Don't go goggling girl as you will just scare yourself, go and see the doc and get an informed opinion please.
Cheers. enjoy the weekend. Mich x
Sunday, 17 October 2010
JJ - So Mummy, Has Miss E got chickenpox?
Me – No darling the doctor says she has a virus
JJ – Don’t be silly, only computers get viruses!! (21st century kids hey?)
I turn the radio on and UB40 and Chrissie Hyde start to sing ‘I got you babe’.
Does it babe???? Lmao
Lying in bed with Miss E reading her a story:
Miss E – This is special, just for me and you Mummy, cos we is best friends.
Me – Yes sweetie, you have been a good girl.
Miss E – Not Miss M, she very naughty. What we do with her Mummy? Dustbin?
JJ - You see that S on that car Mummy? Do you know what it means?
Saturday, 16 October 2010
Being a twin is a fab thing!
Here are some of the reasons why being a twin must be great, as observed by me -
* Someone to wipe your nose for you (yes they grab tissues and do each others noses) or more recently they have even wiped each other bums....
* Someone to kiss you or stroke you when you cry, who needs a Mum when you have a twin?
* Someone to always play with (or fight!).
* Someone to lay the blame on - 'No Mummy Miss E did it, she took JJ's toy!'
* Bath time is far more fun when there is someone to tip jugs of water over....
* When you do not fancy sleeping, there is someone to giggle with in your bedroom.
* A double size wardrobe - you always have something to wear! (unless of course you are boy/ girl twins!)
* You never get lonely in the buggy or the car.
* Everyone wants to chat to you in your buggy and tell you how cute you are as there are two of you. Sadly this goes as the kids get older, especially if like mine they look different.
* Someone who will share their food with you. You like meat, I like potatoes, yay double portions of just the bits we really like if we swap.
* If you do not fancy speaking, there is someone who will answer for you. Or sometimes as is the case here, you may fancy speaking but your twin (or big brother for that matter) has already jumped in and answered for you!
* Someone to share your first day at school or nursery with! No need to be nervous, you have got your twin!
* You can make twice the mess in half the time! 4 hands are definitely better than two when it comes to destruction!
I am sure there are many more, it is so lovely to watch them interacting and growing together. Being a twin is a very special thing, being a twin Mummy is a massive privilege. I do hope my beauties will be good friends forever.
The majority of this post was originally published back 15 May 2009 before my blog was open and people read it. I have re-posted this (and amended it to update) to join in with the Multiples Mayhem blogging carnival being held over at Mari's World on 25 October 2010.
Thursday, 14 October 2010
Thank you so much for being you. I am loving being your Mummy right now. In some ways, you are wise beyond your years. I said to Daddy the other day that your behaviour has been so much better in the last couple of weeks and he said not better, just different - more grown-up. Yes, you still have those quirks that make you JJ and get you into trouble at times, but I have to count my blessings at what a delight you can be. How many just 7-year-olds get their uniform out each night without being prompted, can shower and get ready for bed themselves, help their sisters in the tasks they can not do, set and clear the table, tidy the playroom and numerous other tasks you know will make me happy. Like you say it means we can spend time together snuggling or playing.
How grown-up are you getting? You know your own mind, delight in music, love Mummy cuddles and would rather be playing on the swings than anything else. I delight in being outdoors with you as you notice the Daddy Long Legs missing a leg, the mushrooms in the woods and the colours of the trees. Yes, darling, the trees on the walk to school are very pretty at the moment and it is clever that the tree is both green and yellow in different places at the same time. No, I have no idea why you have to ask wise daddy that one!
You are my poppet!
My little nemesis. I know you have felt poorly the last couple of nights and it has been just divine to have you in my bed for snuggles. When you cry that your mouth hurts I can hug and sshh you while stroking that silky soft hair. Boy, do you have a character! I always said I wanted strong-minded kids and I certainly got them. Be careful what you wish for they say! but you know what, Mummy would not change you at all. It is my job to teach you how to reign in that attitude and to learn to toe the line whilst still having your own strong identity and self-confidence.
I'll try my best for you all babe.
Have I told you lately I love you? Not sure why but at the moment I feel as if I love you more than any other time. I suppose some of it might come from how proud of you I am. You have tackled some big stuff in the last few years and made so much headway this year and then with your sharing at Church too.
You rock let's spend some 'us' time together very soon.
Dear PTA Noticeboard at School,
Did you think it was funny to collapse while I was trying to put a poster up and after most of the parents had left? There I was stood on a bench holding your enormous glass cover in the air and if I let go you were going to crash to the ground. Yes very funny! Thank goodness for that woman who offered to help after I had stood there for 10 minutes and wondered how on earth I was going to get the caretakers attention!
I hope he can sort you out and you behave next time I come to visit!
Have you heard of Operation Christmas Child? Ever seen the scheme where you fill a decorated shoe box with gifts for a child in a developing country? Well, we will be joining in with this as a family and I am co-ordinating it for JJ's school. So if you are local and would like to join in let me know and I can collect your completed box from you in the week beginning 6 November 2010.
This is such a worthwhile cause. Just think what your children will receive this year and then imagine the joy that a box of goodies brings to a child who does not have any other gifts.
What an amazing chance to make our children realise just how lucky they are.
I hope you will join me. There are collections points countrywide if you are not local. I will be doing a post over the weekend showing you how we make our boxes.
Thanks a lot, Michelle
PS - thanks for all the new followers and also for those who have 'liked' my Facebook fan page. Leave me a comment and I can come to visit you.
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
When I do not see my Mum for a couple of weeks I get withdrawal symptoms and she is the same. Who is my kids favourite person in the world? If we are lucky they might say dh or I but generally especially from JJ, Nanny H will be right up there at the top of the list.
What is it that makes this lady so special? Such a wonderful Mummy? Such an ace Nanny?
I do not know, I can not put my finger on it. She just has that special ingredient that makes you want to love her and spend time with her.
Right here and right now I am in a good place.
I am a lucky woman, I am loved, I have the capacity to love back, I do not feel aggrieved, I do not feel hurt, sad, bitter or disappointed. I am just simply Happy.
Today anything is possible...... the world is my oyster.
For all this love in my heart I want to do a post showing my attitude of gratitude. When I have this attitude the world is a far nicer place. Have you noticed that when you wake up happy and in a good mood your day goes much better? Wouldn't life be simple if we just made a choice each day to be happy and fulfilled and not to let the small stuff grind us down.
So here is my list of things from the last few days that have led to me being in this good place - long may it last!
- Taking JJ to his snow ringos party and watching my little man love whizzing down the slope in -4 degrees.
- Going to camp and just sitting there for a few hours, enjoying watching my kids play and simply chatting to other adults. How amazing to have stepped out of the rat race that is my life and just to 'be' for a few hours. Arriving Saturday I saw my handsome husband without an ounce of stress on his face after spending a day in the great outdoors with 23 kids!
- For Miss E being a pretty good patient when she was poorly over the weekend. She tried to be a poppet even when she felt too poorly to eat or drink.
- For all the great trainees I have on the training course I am running this week.
- For the amazing time I had at bible study last night. For the great study led by Iris and her beautiful prayer. Also for the prayers and uplifting from all the members of my house group. It was a night to remember.
- For the realisation that God loves me more than I could ever imagine, for the realisation that he is patient and does not anger with me, he will keep waiting on me to change and to submit myself to him so he can help me change. One day I will not be enclosed in the prison that is compulsive over-eating.
- For my faith! I seriously wonder how people survive in this world full of so much evil and unhappiness when they do not have something true and steadfast to hold onto.
On the way to work today I was listening to one of my CD's and a song came on that I have not heard for ages but one that always makes me sit back and listen, raising the hairs on the back of my neck. I thought I would share with you. If you are a Christian friend or you have read this blog for some time you will know this song and know that I have an 'ever so small' crush on Tim!
Friday, 8 October 2010
or maybe not!
I am starting to wonder about some of the homework that JJ is being sent home with. He has just turned 7 and he is one of the older kids in his class, Year 2. He only has homework once per week and then we are also expected to read with him and do to do spellings and phonics to help him learn new words and to spell. That is all fine but I am starting to wonder about some of the homework he is being sent home with! My expectation is that his homework should be academic in nature. In year 1 it alternated between maths and literacy and I would have expected that to continue.
Three weeks ago I nearly wrote this post when JJ was sent home with the homework to make an A4 Rainbow Fish to go on a display at school. He could colour, decorate, collage the fish how he liked to make it nice and bright and they requested he write a few descriptive words by the side to use on the display wall. At the time I thought fab, we are a crafty family. What great homework all the kids can make fish and we will have a Saturday crafting session.
Then last week his homework was to design a Harvest Festival poster. So yet again crafty and now today he has come home with the homework to make a rabbit puppet! Yes he enjoyed it and again it was no fuss for us as we love to create and have loads of stocks of materials but has it challenged him academically - I seriously doubt it!
I am questioning myself what it has taught him? Am I just out of date and not all homework should be maths and English nowadays? Anyone in the know, any teachers out there? I would definitely appreciate your wisdom on this.
I suppose to give them their dues, JJ did come home with a set of instructions of how to make the puppet and he had written these himself from instruction given to them in class. So the exercise was about following instructions, but still I am not convinced - can you tell?
What do you think?
Thursday, 7 October 2010
I know I am guilty of saying 'just one minute', 'hang on JJ', 'yes be with you soon', 'just let me finish peeling the potatoes' or doing the hoovering or a number of other totally unimportant tasks! Are you? I expect so. I think most of us Mums hear the word Mummy so much that it is hard to instantly respond every time and we should not have to, right? We do not want to end up with pampered and spoilt kids, used to us being at their beck and call.
But are there times when we really ought to stop and listen to our kids? Not only listen but hear and see what they are saying? Most definitely.
When a child tries to talk to you a number of times and you always fob them off, what will they learn? They will learn that Mummy does not have time to chat with them and inadvertently they may form the opinion that Mummy does not love them enough to take that time. So why bother? If the answer is always the same,'in a minute'then why would they keep bothering?
So why am I harping on about this? Yes it is an important lesson for me and one I will do well to remember but the trigger was Waterloo Road last night. The drama that is shown on BBC1. Have you seen it? (For those who have not or the non Brits it is a drama based on a gritty Northern secondary school and it tackles real life issues. I think I have heard that real teachers cringe at it but I enjoy it!).
The story line last night made me so sad. A little lad was being bullied (I assume he is supposed to be about 12) and he kept trying to talk to people and they kept brushing him off. So what did he do - he stuffed his face and made himself sick. This small boy already had full blown Bulimia. Making himself sick 4 or 5 times a day. His immature little brain told him that if you are hurting and don't like your emotions then the answer is to stuff your face and to sooth the pain. I know that feeling very well. Luckily I am old enough to realise this now and I am trying to do something about it. I have never been down the bulimia route but all eating disorders share similarities in the fact that we all turn to food instead of dealing with the emotion or pain we should actually be feeling.
So yet again I urge you, listen to your child. Stop cooking and take 5 minutes to really concentrate on what they are saying. They might be trying to tell you they are being bullied or they feel angry. Help them to learn to deal with their emotions. In my opinion one of the greatest lessons we can teach a child is how to deal with their own anger in a positive manner and not to just brush it under the carpet.
I am very pleased to see awareness being raised - bulimia is a very real problem, even in male teenagers but I worry about it being on at 8pm at night and passing ideas to impressionable young adolescents.
There is so much to worry about as a parent. We can not protect our kids from everything but we can give them some love and attention and try to help them grow up to be well-rounded adults.
Have I given you some food for thought?
Saturday, 2 October 2010
It is second look Saturday again and today I am featuring a short post that I did back on 24 November 2009. This is as strong reminder to me today as it was a year ago. Eating moderately is the way forward, it is about living in the day rather than eating to forget!
Each day I read from a book called 'For today' and the reading I had today really stirred something in me. It talked about my past life being filled with diets and that these generally had a life span, ie: you would diet for Christmas, an occasion or a holiday and when that date came you would over indulgence and the downward spiral would start again.
It mentioned the change in my thinking which makes it a pleasure to use the power of my program to eat moderately on days when excess is the norm. That is very comforting to me, I think about Christmas and wonder how I will survive this Christmas without binging. The answer is I will not buy many of the old foods that we once enjoyed and for those visiting my house I am sure they love me enough to understand that it is more important for me to appear inhospitable and not offer them excessive food and to remain abstinent.
So today I am reminded that what I was first told when I entered ED is true, that even the worst abstinent day is better than any day where I was eating to excess.