Thursday 30 December 2010

2011 - What Does The Year Hold For Us?

Image Credit

Ella at Notes From Home has prompted me to think about my resolutions for the new year and I have to be honest, I do not normally bother!

I started to ponder why this was?  Is it because I am a cynic and just think there is no point as then you break them within a few days/ weeks?  or could it be because I do not really give myself enough quiet time and space to actually think about what might be important and what I need to focus on in the new year.  I have a sneaking feeling it is that latter option.  So I am taking some time now to ponder on 2011 and to wonder what the year might hold for my family and me.

I won't be making a big list of all the things that I must not do as that for me would just be depressing and dis motivating. Instead I will make a list of positive things that I intend to do, things that are good for my family and me and things that we enjoy but sadly can get pushed to the side with life's more boring and mundane tasks.  Last month I blogged about my priorities, I had a moment of clarity when I knew for sure I was supposed to be spending more time with my family and that is where my resolutions will start..
  1. I will take time every single week to have quality alone time with each of my children.  Be it playing a game, snuggling and watching TV or going out together.  Just something for the two of us.
  2. I will re-start date night for dh and I.  Sunday nights used to be full of romance and longing - I aim to bring that back again.
  3. I will go to bed by 11pm at least 6 nights per week and I will not stay up blogging or on the PC for too long.  Life is more important that my blog!
  4. I will look after myself and stop stuffing my face full of needless food each time I feel any kind of emotion. I need to reconnect with my recovery program and gain abstinence.  Reaching out to others in recovery on a regular basis
  5. That is it, I will stay realistic in 2011 and know that if I can do all those things I will be a very happy lady!
It is a shame really that I was not making that big list of 'do nots', as I read the following resolution at a new blog I found today and it was just perfect for me, it was as if Helen was inside my own mind when she wrote this one -
  • I resolve to take a deep breath and count to 10 BEFORE screaming/yelling like a banshee at my children. No matter what the provocation. Even if they have written over the walls / peed on the new sofa / sneaked a lemon drizzle cake into the teepee in their bedroom and scoffed half of it / flooded the bathroom floor (again).
OMG, she is me.  I often feel like a banshee.  I pray that we both find the strength to have more patience with our kids this year, however much they test us!

So that is me.  What about you? Do you do the whole resolution thing?

Wishing you a very Happy 2011.  I hope you will continue to read Mummy From The Heart... and please do pop over and see my new blog Honest Mummy Reviews & Recommendations... I appreciate each and every one of you. Mich xx

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Baileys, Cheese and Chocolate!

That sums up my Christmas indulgences in one neat sentence and boy have there been quite a few indulgences over the last 3 weeks or so. I really need to take stock and start to think about abstinence again and getting my food obsessions back in check but to be honest I am not quite ready yet. I am enjoying this down time, not only with my food but also with my need to keep the house spick and span and it is so amazing to not have to be at work.  Waking in the morning and wondering what we all might do together is a once a year luxury that I really am going to savour.

I was on facebook earlier and someones status caught my eye, it basically said something along the lines of 'Why do people prepare for Christmas for weeks and then wish it is over in 48 hours?'  and this really struck me. By the end of 27th Dec I was desperate for a bit of normality.  I can only take chaos and non order for a short time and I just felt the need to clean things up.  If I could take all the cards down and dust without upsetting everyone else in the house and looking like a complete 'bah humbug fool' I would! 

I know I am not alone as I found a post earlier from Frugal Mom who was asking when she could take her tree down? and some of the commenter's also agreed that they would like to take theirs down too. I know it does not mean that we do not enjoy Christmas, just some of us like to get straight again!  I am the same when I go away on holiday.  I am then pleased to come back and especially pleased when all the washing, ironing and unpacking is complete. Yes, I do realise some people regard me as completely sad!

So now I have revealed my anal nature! Not only am I a food obsessive, I am also obsessed with order, tidiness, organisation and routine, but I will fight my natural urges to sort and clean for at least the next week and just enjoy time with my hubbie and kids.  Today we did an impromptu trip to London and the kids went to Build A Bear and had a complete ball.  Then when we came back Mary Poppins was on and it was wonderful to sit and watch that and have a lazy tea of jacket spuds!  Long may this luxury last.

But what about you - how has your Christmas holiday been?  Are you still enjoying the down time?  or ready to get back to normal?

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Keeping Perspective: It Is Just One Day After All!

People get so carried away with Christmas and tie themselves up in knots, its important to keep perspective and remember it is just one day after all
Christmas Gift Stack photo from Shutterstock

So Christmas day has been and is now gone...  How was yours?  Good I hope.  If you have kids, how was theirs?  Did they have a fun day or perhaps in their eyes more importantly, did they get all those toys or gadgets that they wished for?

JJ had a wish for a DSi XL and this mean mummy crushed that idea before it even made it to his Xmas list.  I just could not see why he needed one when he had a perfectly good DS and he is only 7 years old. I felt quite satisfied with my decision at the time and dh was in agreement but since then I have been thinking.

Last week I met some friends of JJ's and their mummies and I was asking about what their children wanted for Christmas and every one of them said a Wii, Xbox and kinect, DSi, iPod touch or flip video camera and they were all getting them.  I was the only Mummy who had said no despite others showing concern about cost or necessity.  I felt a bit like Scrooge and said this on twitter. I was relieved to see some tweets from people in agreement with me, that these things were not the be all and end all.

I have since found out that JJ can trade his DS in and get about £45 off the cost of a new DSi XL and I mentioned this to him and he has some xmas money so he can do this if he wishes but it just shows how much he really wants this new toy as he has not even mentioned it again since Xmas and he knows all the shops are open!  Arrgghh, peer pressure and TV advertising taunting our children to own the latest things and I know this will just get worse with age.

On Boxing Day my family came to visit and with them bought the next lot of presents.  JJ opened his and was pleased to receive a DS game and Guess Who Extra and with that he shouted 'yes, I have received everything on my Christmas list'.  I would loved to have heard the next sentence be 'I am so lucky' but I do have to remember he is a 7 year old boy who is seriously lacking in social etiquette but I do take his acknowledging that he had received his Santa list as being a realisation that he is lucky.  Would you like to know what was on his list?

This is what it took to make one 7 year old lad very happy -
  • DS Sims game
  • DS Club Penguin Game
  • Pink Smarties
  • Some smart clothes
  • Some Lego
  • Some craft things
  • Guess Who Extra
and that was it!  I was pretty pleased with that list.  Not too greedy and quite varied.

So today, do I still feel like scrooge?  No I do not, JJ got all that he needed and plenty more.  He was a lucky boy. I feel glad that I had the courage to take the unpopular decision and to say no to him when I felt his desires were too much. I urge other parents to do the same, it is not a case of being able to afford these things it is about teaching our children to value things and to learn that there is a cost to spending.  When we have a world which has wealth, that is completely unequally distributed, how we can justify all the excessive spending that we do?

I may make myself unpopular by posting this and some may read this and think 'who does she think she is, pompous cow!' but that is not my aim.  I am not sitting here thinking I am any better than you are as I managed to say no.  I am a massive advocate of parenting as you see fit, do what suits you and your family.  No, my aim is to just ask you to think these things through and to make your own decision, do not be a sheep and follow the crowd.  Christmas Day is just one day, have some perspective and know that if you do not buy the Xbox your child can still have a fantastic time if they get love and attention from you.

And now I will step off my soap box!

Do you like the army look?

Why not pin this post for later?

People get so carried away with Christmas and tie themselves up in knots, its important to keep perspective and remember it is just one day after all  

christmas one day pin

Monday 27 December 2010

Christmas Eve - My Favourite Day!

Thinly Spread

 25 November 2011 - Today I am linking up to Festive Friday with Chris at Thinly Spread.

I don't expect many people can say that Xmas Eve is their favourite day of this festive season, but for me it is great and our family have some lovely traditions that we carry out each year.  I also read about one fab tradition which I may just adopt for next year.  Mum at The Mad House has a visit from the Christmas Eve elves each year and they leave new PJ's, a book and some chocolate for each person in the house.  Isn't that a great idea?

Here is what our Christmas Eve includes - What is there not to like?
  • Off work with dh
  • All the kids excited and full of fun/ mischief
  • A visit to Santa in the morning with great friends

  • A cooked breakfast after to set us up for the day

  • Reading the nativity story on the way home

  • Preparing all the veg for tomorrow with my girls

  • Going to Christingle with the kids and having a thoroughly lovely time singing hymns and worshipping

  • Watching the kids open one present before bath time

  • Bath, story and ready for bed with their stocking

  • All off to sleep in no time at all (thank you Lord!)
  • Having an Indian take-away with dh and watching a good movie with a Baileys.
You see why I like Xmas eve? No cooking involved, all chilled and no big expectations, just lots of fun with the kids and as it is not 'the main event' it is never a let down to me.

Saturday 25 December 2010

From Toys, to Booze to Babes...

Well it is Christmas Day and I hope you are all having a fabulous time.

Before anyone shouts 'Get a life Mich, get off the PC and spend some time with your kids!', this was written days ago and is on scheduled post. So I am not really here....

I was chatting to a friend at work the other day and she was talking about how busy she would be that night as she had to get all ready for Christmas.  I wondered what it was she had left to do as she is going away and having a well deserved rest.  It turns out it was to do all her pampering treatments - face pack, nails, hair treatment etc and then pick out her special outfits for the big days and this made me smile a lot and also to realise just how my Christmas days have changed through the ages.  So I thought I would take a walk down memory lane and see just how much things have changed over the years......

Age 5 - It is all about the presents.  It is too exciting for words and I can hardly sleep on Christmas eve.

Age 8 - I still love the presents but I also love having my Nan and Grandad over for lunch and playing board games with them afterwards.

Age 9 - Bounding into my brothers room in the morning with my stocking and opening our presents together on his bed before we go into Mum and Dad.

Age 10 - Searching high and low to see if I can find any presents before the big day! Then on the big day getting all dressed up in my new presents - dress, shoes, underwear, make up, handbag and all sorts of other girlie things so that I can go out for a drink to the club that my Grandad helps to run.

Age 11 - I am so excited to get up earlier than everyone else and to set the table up with all the lovely things I have made - centre piece, name cards etc. I can not wait to see their faces when they see my hard work.

Age 15 - Working for 4 hours on Christmas day and earning 4x pay so that I can spend it at the sales.

Age 16 - Have my first serious boyfriend, so spend Xmas Eve night at the pub and have a super amazing time.  Stay in bed until very late on Xmas day!  All I can think about are sale shopping and getting a new outfit for NYE.

Age 19 - Happy to come home from Uni and see my family and boyfriend.  Work at a local pub Xmas Eve, Xmas Day and Boxing Day topping up my money.  Party all the other nights with my boyfriend!

Age 21 - Meet dh (to be at that time) and work at  hotel in Eastbourne.  My original thought was that it would be the worst Christmas ever with tons of old Grannies.  It turned out to be the best.  Yes I worked very hard in the hotel as one of the Trainee Managers but I made loads of good friends, gained a boyfriend, went nightclubbing constantly, got very drunk on many occasions and generally had a ball!

Ages 22 - 26 - Working every Christmas in various hotels. Serving all the guest but then having a great time with the other live-in staff getting drunk and having fun.Super staff parties in January to celebrate Xmas with karaoke - a real favourite of mine!  Still always with dh... Always receiving amazing and thoughtful surprise presents from dh, like trips to Paris, first class on Eurostar for 27th Dec 1998.

Ages 27 - 29 - Christmas with either my parents or dh's.  No hassle and no worries, waited on hand and foot.

Age 30 - JJ is just 2 months old and this is our first Christmas as a family of 3 - so many presents for such a tiny person!  Life has changed and that suits me just fine.  A nice quiet day, just the 3 of us - we can suit ourselves and it is totally relaxing!

Christmas 2004, JJ is 14 moths old
Age 34 - The girls are 5 months old and my parents and brother come over to us.  Boy does our house feel full but JJ is having a complete ball and there are lots of extra hands to cuddle and feed the babes.  Let the good times commence.

Enjoying our Christmas Dinner, 2008. JJ is 5 and the girls are 17 months

Christmas 2009.  JJ is 6 and the girls are 2.5 years
Age 37 - A family of 5, with kids all old enough to 'get' and enjoy Christmas.  Trying to focus on the time together and the experience rather than too many presents and a lack of gratitude.  Parents in law coming Christmas day and my parents coming Boxing day - It should all be fab!  and yes I still do look forward to the sales every year!

Friday 24 December 2010

Snow Fun

Lets be honest, what does every UK Mummy blog need right now? 

Yes, a mandatory snow post.  I had not as yet succumbed but now is the time.  I am sure my family and friends would love to see the kids enjoying this beautiful weather and who would have guessed how much fun a trampoline would be with a few inches of snow on it!

On our way to Church...

We love the sledge!

Our snowy house

Fun building snow castles

My arty shot! (lol)

Cold Mummy!  Like the hat?

Not content with the garden lets move outside for a snow fight!

I love the fountain at work right now

An icy dh, after walking 3 miles home from town pulling JJ on the sledge with no gloves! Brrrr

My cold little boy

...and in case you missed my last blog post.  Have a very Merry Christmas.  Thanks for reading Mummy From The Heart...    Mich x

Thursday 23 December 2010

Happy Christmas From Us

Well dear readers it is very nearly time for me to disappear for a few days and purely live in my 'real life' so I want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I pray that 2011 will be kind to you and those that you love.

Thanks for visiting me here this year and a special thanks for all the great comments you have left.  My little blog has gone from strength to strength this year and that is thanks to all of you. I'll keep blogging in 2011 and I have a new blog starting too, but more about that in January.

My girls wanted to sing you a festive song - so here they are with Father Christmas!

Be Blessed, Mich x

Edit - something seemed to be up with the video but I hope I have fixed it now!

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Nomination for Dad of the Year Retracted!

So last week I was posting about how fab dh is and what a great daddy he is.  I even suggested he could be Dad of the Year.  Well scrap that!  The nomination is being retracted....

Want to know why?

I came home last Tuesday from work to find that Miss M had emptied a massive new tub of talcum powder all over upstairs - in my shoes, in her room, in the bathroom, in bags etc etc.  Dh had done a pretty good job of clearing up, although I had to scrub the hoover and in fact I think it might just pack up as funnily enough it did not seem to like 1000ml of talc!

These things happen, I have had shit times when the girls have run rings round me too, I am not perfect and if I am honest one of my first thoughts last week was I wish he had taken a photo - would have been good for the blog.  Very #sad I know!

All was forgotten, we have continued with the week and then today, it is Tuesday again and I get home from work and all seems fine.  The house is quite messy but a full snow day in and 3 lively, excited for Christmas kids do that - no problem!  I enjoy my chicken casserole, mash and veg and we sit and chat and I keep looking at Miss M.  She looks different and I can not put my finger on it.  Why?  Maybe she just looks a little older?

Bath time, dh takes them up while I start to clear up and down comes dh with a clump of beautiful white gold hair in his hand.  Who's is that?  Oh wait, my baby has white gold hair....... That is why Miss M looks different, she has got hold of the nail scissors today and given herself a hair cut.  Little bugger, terror, minx but you know what, she looks good.  It actually suits her.  The clever little lady has managed to give herself layers all round the front of her face, framing it.  I just can not believe it and it is hard to keep a straight face.  So what does the bad mummy blogger in me do, take a snap and promote completely the wrong message to her, making her think it was funny rather than serious! 

Tomorrow will now involve a trip to the hairdressers to see if they can even up her hair.  It could well be a short bob by the next time you see her.  Thank goodness she did not do any more serious damage and end up with a trendy asymmetric cut!

So there lies the reason why dh can not longer be nominated for Dad of the year, two weeks in a row he has taken his eye off the ball and they have caused havoc!  Who would have twins?  lmao

How can she have cut off this much hair and still look cute?

Monday 20 December 2010

My Relationship With You - I've Fallen In Love!

I'm getting more and more brave, or is it stupid?
My relationship with you is becoming known about,
You used to be my little secret but now I am shameless.
My longing for you has increased, if I have a night away from you, I think about you, I pine for you.
I know it is not right, I am a married woman, I am a mother,
I have a career but you give me that special something.
You let me be me, I have no pretences when I am with you,
I can say whatever is on my mind,
you do not expect me to dress up and I find so much support through you.
My relationship with you is passionate but not sexual, obsessive but not unhealthy
and crazy much of the time!
You have made me happy, sad, mad and completely insane at times,
but I do not want to give you up! 
Dh knows about you and he is OK with the time we spend together,
I find you completely absorbing and you are my illicit affair.

My blog, I have fallen in love with you!

This post is part of Tara's Gallery over at Sticky Fingers.  Go and visit from Wednesday. I know you will find some great posts!

Sunday 19 December 2010

Thank You To My Kids...

To my gorgeous babies - JJ, Miss E and Miss M,

I wanted to write you a brief letter to say a big thank you.  I adore you my kids, each and every one of you. You are as individual and different as can be and you enrich my life greatly. I could not imagine being 37 and not having you, there would be little meaning to my life if it was just about money, possessions and self-gratification.

This year you have bought the magic back into Christmas for me. Watching you get excited and enjoy advent is helping me to remember my own excitement around Christmas. I have been thinking back to my childhood, decorating the tree with my parents, peeking a look inside the Christmas presents when they had gone out, eating chocolate yule log, playing board games with the family after our Xmas dinner and dressing up in my new Christmas outfit. I can not remember the last time that Christmas started in November and the sense of enjoyment and anticipation kept so high.  We have not even got to Christmas eve yet and I can not wait....  the three of you are really a blessing to me.

Mummy wants you to know that she is so proud of you.

JJ- I love your intelligence and inquisitive mind. You are so funny at times that you make great company and Mummy is very pleased with the way you have matured in the last 6 months and started to show more awareness in social situations. I must also say that you make me so happy when you help Mummy, either by being a great big brother or helping me with jobs around the house. You are my handsome little man.

Miss E - Woo betide to anyone who ever underestimates you.  On initially meeting you people think you are quiet and subdued but they have not seen that steely determination and fiery anger that lurks inside. Channel that well and you will be dynamite when you are older.  I adore that you love me so much and I love you that much right back, yes we are best friends darling. Your caring nature and desire to make people happy is very endearing. You are my poppet.

Miss M - My child who is wise beyond her years. Another clever babe but one who also has street savvy. Each day you amaze me when you undertake tasks in a way that 3 year olds just do not do! I love how you climb on me for a snuggle and all those amazing facial expressions that you make. Your chatty and outgoing manner makes even the most serious person crack into a smile. You really are a mini minx.

My message for each one of you is to be who God created you to be.  Be proud to be individual, live your life as you feel it should be lived.  Cherish every day and make the most of what you have.  Concentrate on the positives.  The secret to happiness is to want what you already have.  Remember to live in the day, do not project and allow any worries to creep into your lives, stay innocent and care free for as long as you can.  Enjoy life! Do unto others as you wish for them to do to you.  Think of that phrase 'what goes around, comes around'. Bless others and be blessed right back.  Right a good and righteous life in the eyes of the Lord and just try your best.

I don't care what you choose to do in life, you may wish to work in McDonalds or as an Ice Cream seller (JJ), or you may be a ballet dancer or vet (Miss M), or even a Mummy or teacher (Miss E). As long as you are happy in your life and you are not hurting other people then that works for me. 

I will always be there to support you, in the good and the bad and one day I hope to be a Grandmother and to see your children. I can not even think forward that far as yet but I know it will be a time of much happiness.

Anyway I am not drunk and it is not the end of the year yet so I probably should not be feeling so sentimental or mardly.  I was just struck tonight at Church about how much I love each one of you and how happy I am to be your Mummy.  Yes, you challenge me every day; you can be naughty, I can get cross and over react but by the end of any day we are always back to our loving relationship and enjoying our goodnight snuggle.

Thank you my babes for being you.  You are each just perfect for me.

Love you, Mummy xx

Friday 17 December 2010

Review & Fab Giveaway: Earth Friendly Baby

Fancy winning a super hamper of Earth Friendly Baby pampering products?  Yes, then read on... A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive some gorgeous pampering products for my children to try out.  We have been using them on a daily basis since so that I can report back to you having thoroughly put the products through their paces.

First up we tried the Camomile shampoo and bodywash and I have to say that I am loving this product.  It smells divine and very natural but is thick and soaps up well.  Considering the bottle is being used daily by all 3 of my kids it is lasting really well. At £3.99 for 250ml I would definitely buy this again.

As someone whose husband is very into natural, organic and ethical products this range really suits our family as the products are organic, are not tested on animals and do not contain any artificial colouring or fragrances.

Another product that I liked was the chamomile bubblebath. I even admit to using this myself on a couple of occasions as I love the smell.  I wrongly assumed that being an eco-friendly and natural product that this would not foam very well but how wrong I was.  This gives a god bath of bubbles, even using a sparing amount. At £5.99 for 370ml this is a little out of my personal budget but if you have the money available then I would definitely say buy this.

After the girls baths each night they have been trying out the Red Clover Diaper Care Cream.  Miss E still wears at nappy at night and even thought Miss M has been dry for a long time she is still prone to soreness in her private area so a soothing cream is still an essential here. I have tried most of the big brand creams over time and I have to say that I like this one from Earth Friendly Baby, it is soothing and helps to heal any soreness but goes on nicely and feels really smooth to the touch.  It is not thick and sticky like Sudocream. I even used it on some winter dry skin soreness behind Miss E's knees and it worked wonders there too. It costs £2.99 for 43g but you do not need much at a time, so it would go a long way.

The last product that we tried was the Earth Friendly Baby Eco Wipes and I have to be honest and say that I would not leave my regular brand and make a move to these.  It is definitely a big plus that they are 100% biodegradable but the fragrance was not to my liking and they felt more watery than others wipes I have used. They retail at £2.99 for a pack of 72 wipes.

In all, I think the range is good and if you are particularly interested in having eco-friendly products then these would 100% suit you. Take a look at to see other items in the same range and to place an order.  You can also purchase the products from Waitrose.

But hang on, didn't I mention a giveaway earlier? 

Yes I did, You could be the lucky winner of 5 great products from the Earth Friendly Baby Range - 1 bubblebath, 1 shampoo and bodywash, 1 diaper cream, 1 packet of wipes and 1 bottle of massage oil worth about £20 in total.

To enter -
  • visit Earth Friendly Baby's Facebook page and press like and while you are there check out my facebook page and like that too.
  • Once you have done that, leave me a comment below to let me know
  • If you want an extra entry tweet the giveaway with @michelletwinmum in the tweet so I know.

Terms and Conditions
  • Giveaway ends 12 noon Thursday 30 December 2010
  • Open to all UK and Ireland residents.
  • The prize is not transferable or refundable and there is not a cash alternative.
  • I will use a random number generator to pick the winner.
  • I will contact the winner within 3 days of the giveaway closing.
  • Please leave an email or twitter ID so I can contact you if you win

Good Luck!

This is a review post. I confirm that I received 4 products free of charge to use and honestly review. I was not instructed what to write by the company and I remain honest at all times. I am also publicising this giveaway on my new blog.

Updated 1 January 2011

Congratulations      @gingerbread_mum 

You are the lucky winner, chosen at random by my lad JJ!

Please email me or DM your contact details for me to pass to the Earth Friendly People to liaise with you.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Writing Workshop: Snuggling on the Sofa...

It is 1981 and a winter’s night, I’m cuddling my mummy and we have pulled the sofa right across the front room so it is close to the warm fire and we are watching some television. My younger brother has gone to bed, my Dad has gone out to watch a football match and now it is time to watch something we enjoy together – just my Mum and me. We are watching some kind of drama on the TV, perhaps Tenko or Prisoner Cell Block H. Both programs I felt very grown up to be watching, just my Mum and I.

We are chatting away, as we do. I am thrilled that we get on so well, even then when I was just about to blossom into a teenager. I could and still can chat to my Mum about anything. On this evening we are talking a bit about when my Mum was a young girl and she decides to share with me a poem she wrote when at school. I have always loved this poem and felt it should have been published. So here for the first time my Mums poem will be published –

I nearly fell asleep last night in daddy’s deep armchair,
when peeking round the clock I saw a tiny fairy there.
She came and sat amongst my curls and whispered in my ear,
what is the one word in the world the one you love to hear?
I thought at first of things to eat, of all things sweet and nice,
of chocolate drops, peppermint and ice cream pink and white.
I could not make up my mind, first one thing, then another,
then all at once of course I knew and whispered quietly, Mother.

It is so true, when I am down and troubled I turn to my Mummy! Thankfully I can also turn to my Mum to celebrate and be joyful. Looking forward to seeing you again soon Mum. xx

This post was written for Josie's writing workshop over at Sleep is for the Weak.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Dads Matter: Why My Kids Are So Lucky!

Have I ever told you how blessed my kids are? They have possibly one of the best daddies anywhere in the world. Let me tell you why -
  • This daddy will do all the things that some men might say are just for a woman to do - bathing, dressing, nappy changing, sick cleaning - it all!
  • When one of the children is poorly and wake in the night, daddy will go to them if he wakes first, he will sooth them, snuggle with them, clean them up - whatever is needed.
  • When daddy looks after the kids all day when I am at work on a Tuesday they go on trips to museums in London, parks, soft play, shopping, adventure walks - everywhere.  Tuesday is a far more exciting day for the twins than most days with mummy.
  • Daddy takes JJ out for 'boys days' - they cycle their bikes, go to daddy's work together, travel round London on the tube,  go away on camp and generally enjoy each others company.
  • Daddy likes to snuggle with all the kids and watch a good movie.
  • As long as daddy is home he helps every night to get the children ready for bed and he sits and reads with and to them.
  • Daddy will cook the kids favourites meals for them.
  • Daddy is a cub leader and he often takes JJ with him and will help with Beavers when an extra pair of hands are needed.  He has also recently started to help in JJ's children's church class.
  • Most nights daddy will sit at the table with us and eat dinner and listen as the kids talk about their day.
  • Unlike mummy, daddy is kind and will share the food off his plate when the children decide his looks better than theirs did earlier! (on the nights he comes in later).
  • This daddy comes on school visits, attends parents evenings, watches assemblies and basically changes his working hours to show JJ that he matters and school is important.
  • Daddy always sides with mummy and presents a unifed front, thus teaching the children about boundaries and choices with consequences.
Can you tell that I sort of like my kids Daddy?  Oh all right then, I'll say it - I really love him.

I have felt inspired to write this post as often Dads seem to get forgotten in favour of Mums being seen as the primary carer and the important one.  I do not agree with this at all.  Both parents have a equal role to play in the upbringing of children. I know dynamics can change from parents separating and such but I count myself lucky that dh and I want to stay together and keep our marriage alive.

Last week (I know, I know - I am late, sorry) was National Dads Matter Week and The ParentChannel.TV have published this short video which provides an insight into why the role of a dad is important and it offers tips to help dads get more involved.  Why not have a quick watch and try and inspire your kid's dad to be a bit more involved in their children's lives?

It does not have to be anything big or expensive, just sitting at the dinner table and really listening to your child talk about their day at school can make a massive difference to them and if you are a Dad reading this and you want to be more involved then chat to your partner and let her know, you only get one shot at this - make it count!

Monday 13 December 2010

I Made The Right Choice!

On Friday afternoon I made a decision that I would turn my PC off and do nothing bloggy for the whole weekend.  I wanted to say that I would not go on the computer at all but I needed to write the family Xmas letter and sort some photos, so basically I did minimal on the PC for 3 days.  This is big for me!

The tune I had going round my head all weekend was from the 80's TV show - 'Why Don't You?'  Do you recall it?  One of the lines in the theme tune was 'Was don't you switch off your TV and do something less boring instead?'  So in my case insert PC for TV! 

You may recall that earlier this year I gave up my blog for the Lent period. So that was 6 whole weeks and I remember it being very therapeutic and freeing.  I had been getting too tied up in how popular my blog was and why I had not been included in a blogging carnival - it's not fair - 'throw my toys out of the pram' type stuff! I could see some of this stupidity returning and thus the decision to remove myself for a short while.

What have things become when it feels like too much effort to get dressed up and go out on my pre-booked works do, when I just want to stay in and be glued to my laptop? When dh says he has to work on a night and I say OK as that means I do not have to go out and I can catch up with my virtual friends and work on my blog. I can easily waste 5 or 6 hours on the PC and feel as if I have achieved nothing. It is not healthy for me, it might work for you and that's OK, live and let live I say but I have lots of real friends and family and a husband all of whom need my attention far more than a blog and some people which seem nice but I hardly know.  I now have 600 odd followers on twitter and how many would I say that I even know anything about - err maybe 100? OK, it is a fab little ego boast, as long as I keep it in context and remember it is not all real. I should not be defining how good I feel about myself by a few statistics.

I have felt quite cross the last few days with the bloggy world.  Nothing really has happened but it feels a bit like when I was at school and I knew stuff was happening and I was not involved but no one was honest enough to just say I did not fit or they did not want me there.  This could all be totally in my head but it is my head and that is how it feels! I am so glad I have the maturity now to see this and to take a break and to reflect on what is actually important.

Have I ever told you what the fundamental aim of my blog is? You would be forgiven for thinking that is is to be the most popular girl in school and often I can be found out there pimping my blog but that is not it at all and I am guilty of forgetting my aim at times.  This is why this re-focus is so so important.

The aim of my blogging is to reach out to people, to connect with them, to offer inspiration, help and a message of recovery.  For people to know there is always hope, you can be imperfect like me, you can have shit happen to you and you can survive it.  The disease of compulsive overeating does not have to ruin your life, there is help out there and people are willing to bare their soul to help you. All of this falls under the overiding banner that through my blog I must glorify God as all things are done through him. Sometimes I know I really fall down on this and my ways are not very Christ like but I accept that I am imperfect and I will keep seeking to walk the better road and to be the person who Christ made me to be.

OK, I know I am putting off many of you by speaking like this.  I am making some of you cross and right now you want to throttle me but I also know you will respect that I am who I am.  I am not an evangelist I can not go out and spread the word of Christ through the Bible, I can only spread my own small message through my actions, as that is the way I shine my light.  I am just conscious that often my light is dimmer than it could be.

Boy, have I gone off track from my original thought process! What I was trying to say is that the numerous emails and facebook messages I have received from people that have told me they find my blog inspirational, that they relate to my food problems and that I brightened their day are the important thing.  I could have 2000 followers but if none of those people gained anything except a titillating read from my blog then I would not be meeting my aim.  By having far fewer followers but having 20 or so personally contact me to thank me then I am and Amen to that!

Thanks for reading.  God Bless. Mich x

Image Credit

Thursday 9 December 2010

Celebrating Advent...

..or perhaps you know it by my more cynical name for it - Countdown to commercialism!

We really try to have a focus on the meaning of Christmas in our house. You know, Christmas the special Christian festival celebrating the birth of our Lord and saviour (gone all Religious on you there, bear with me, I'll pull it back!), the time when you reflect and spend time in prayer and contemplation, the time to focus on others and give as much as you can.

It is not a time that was made so that kids could have a chocolate calendar with Miffy or Barbie on the front! It is not a time to get yourself into debt by spending as much as you can on your children, when probably they do not need it at all! Let me demonstrate this point - I was having a conversation with JJ today telling him there was no way he was having a DSi XL (if that the right term?) for Xmas when he had a DS last year and it was in perfectly good condition. We had a few words and then off he ran to play again knowing he had lost that argument. I turned to my friend and she laughed saying all three of hers were having DSi XL's this year as there was nothing else they wanted. I was just about to speak again when she said 'yes they only got the DS's last year'. There is nothing else really that JJ wants either but for me that does not mean I have to spend over £100 on him for no reason. I am not judging you S if you are reading but WTF has the world come to? Commercialism gone mad. Spending for the sake of spending I feel.

Sat in soft play last week I hard one lady say to her friend that she must spend equal on all her kids so they do not feel left out. One of them wanted something that was more than the £30 main present limit she had set so they were going to have the extra £10 taken off their birthday present in January. Can anyone please give me a good reason why my 3 kids all need the same spent on them? If the girls want a dolls house to share and JJ wants a DS game and they are all equally happy with their presents - then why do I have to feel as if I should top up the presents of one to make the money equal? Is that what the worth of my love has come to? Mummy loves me more as my present cost £15 more than yours! I seriously do not think so. Maybe I am still lucky as my kids are younger and do not have the commercial mindset yet, maybe I have all this to come but I seriously hope not. I will be teaching my kids that they are all loved equally and that life is not always fair. Sometimes things will not be equal at each point but it is swings and roundabouts - it all comes good in the end!

...and there finishes my rant. I am glad to have got this off my chest. Please do not think that I am getting into the spirit of the celebrations, I am. We have been to see Santa, we have bought new decorations, we have participated in our local Christmas tree festival and each day we open my advent calendar and read a little part of the Christmas story and then, yes I allow the kids to have a chocolate. I am not a complete bah hunbug!

Here is my lovely new advent calendar with a book a day. I hope to treasure this for many years to come. The kids are enjoying it. Each morning I get told to read the Jesus book -

Then here are a few photos from the local Christmas tree festival last weekend. The kids had a real ball decorating our family tree!

Ha 'pea' 'Crisp' 'Mouse'

Our family entry - Let It Snow

The proud decorator - JJ

Festive Food by the Lacemakers (all knitted, it was fab!)

I am joining in with Festive Friday this week, over at Thinly Spread.  Go and take a look at all the other festive posts that link up.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

The Gallery: Nice Day For A White Wedding!

This weeks theme at Tara's Gallery is White.  A theme inspired by the amount of snow and frost that has been spread across our lovely country these last few weeks.  Whilst I can really appreciate how aesthetically pleasing it is to look at, you all know by now that I am no photographer and I really could not do a snow picture justice.

So my take on White is a gratuitous show of how happy dh and I were on our white wedding day. 

White car. 
White dress. 
White confetti.
White gold rings.
White flowers.
White wedding cake.
White table cloths.
You get the idea???