Saturday 30 July 2011

Things I have learnt this week...

It has been a good week, you know one of those satisfying weeks where lots has been done but I have also had loads of great time with my kids and work was full on but satisfying.  A blissful week really!

So what was different about this week? A bit of a double whammy really - my boys have been away this week, for the whole week and this has happened before, a few times in fact but this it the first time that things have continued as normal at home whilst they have been away.  I have been at work, the girls at nursery and Nanny has not been to stay with us.  You see, this is what normally happens when the boys go away.  Mum and I take it as an opportunity to have some girl time, I book the time off work and we have our own holiday at home but we are off on our real holidays in a couple of weeks and my work is full on at the moment, so I decided this time I ought to be grown up and see if I can single handidly parent a couple of pesky twinnies for a week!

I survived and so did they and in the process here are some of the things I have learnt this week -

  • A house is far easier to look after with just 3 people in it, even if one of those 3 is the biggest mess maker of all. I suppose when I only have to have enough emotional energy and patience for 2 kids rather than 3 I can be more 'on form' and able to engage the kids in all sorts to help me clean and sort things
  • My house is quiet without my vivacious boy, I did not realise how much I had missed him until I set eyes on him again
  • and better than that, as soon as he saw me he gave me a big hug and a kiss, told me he had missed me and he had bought me a gift from his own pennies (we must be bringing them up all right!)
  • I can do it, I can look after my kids on my own and not fall over! In fact better than that, without burning myself out I can do loads of activities with the girls and have some fun times out with them all as part of a normal week
  • That it is worth feeling fat and getting in my swimming cossie even when all the other Mums are not, because I had the best fun having an hour in the water with my little girls.  Their squels of delight as I threw them up in the air and dipped them back in the water were reward in themselves.
  • That I like life in the summer holidays, no school walks, no after school clubs or kids for tea and no picking dh up from the station, it all makes such a difference
  • That running a very busy training course can be completely satisfying, I do hope next Monday and Tuesday feel the same, wish me luck with the 90 people I will train on those 2 days, arrggh
I'm loving this picture!  My boy on camp blowing his trumpet!

But my biggest learning by far has been that I need to do more to please myself and make sure I get some rest and relaxation when dh and JJ are home.  I am not intrinsically a selfish person, it is not my nature to just take care of myself so next time I feel I should have a rest or read a book for 1/2 an hour I must listen, take note and then act on it.  For some strange reason I always have the feeling I should be constantly busy and that I should explain myself to dh if I am not.  This is a bit crazy as he is not the kind of guy to question what I do and I certainly do not think he would ever accuse me of letting the house or the kids go. 

I have felt so free and happy just answering to myself this week and I need to make sure this continues.  If I am too knackered to cook a full meal, then so be it.  I do not need to answer to dh, he does not demand or expect it, so I do not know why I feel a crazy internal pressure to perform and do it.  I actually think that if I am more relaxed and focused in the moment, rather than planing and living life at break-neck speed we will be happier and more fulfilled as a couple and as a family.  If I show some vulnerability and ask him to help and cook the meal he may even appreciate being needed, don't you think?

How about you, are you good at looking after yourself?

    Thursday 28 July 2011

    #R2BC - Bargain Shoes, Neat Gardens and Soft Skin! Wk 30

    Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

    Evening all,

    How are you on this fine evening?  It has been a lovely week here in the Home Counties, what about for you?  My boys have been away camping with the Cubs and Scouts so I am so pleased it has been good for them, how miserable to get rained on for a week when camping with 30 odd kids, it has happened to dh on many summer camps in years gone!

    I am super cheerful tonight, my week has been good and I think much of that is down to my choice to be in a good mood and my handing over the crap to God. For example I found a leak earlier this week and my new insurers impressed me by getting someone out 4 hours after I called them, yes they stopped the leak but they also broke my toilet and now I am still without an upstairs loo!  I pray they will call and book me in soon.  Add that to the broken front door and all the ripped out carpets upstairs and things are mounting up but lets be honest I am sat here watching 'Help my house is falling down' as I type and this poor woman's water logged house is making me feel immensely grateful for the small problems I have.

    See how tidy my garden is looking, there is another reason I feel good tonight.  The girls and I spend quiet a bit of time outside today getting both the front and back gardens in a good state - roll on twinnie play date tomorrow.

    We also popped into town today to buy a pressie for one of their friends and we popped in M&S to use the loo and Miss M really made me laugh, she started to properly browse and show me dresses she liked.  Ohh a lovely glimpse of the future as we have a girls day out shopping, nothing Mummy (and Nanny too) love better than a good shop, especially when there is a bargain to be had.  And oh yes, big bargains to be had in M&S today. I spent £8.00 and got 3 pairs of shoes for the kids, all 1 size bigger, so they can grow into them.  JJ's are £28 leather school shoes!  Whoop, whoop - mega pleased with £8 for them all.

    Lastly I have only just logged on here tonight as I took a lovely long shower and then pampered myself for an hour whilst watching TV.  My skin now smells gorgeous of Paris and is completely soft too.  Rachel reminded me the other day that when we take the time to pamper ourselves we then feel so good we do not want to spoil that feeling by eating and I sure hope to prove her right tonight. So I am doing this post and heading off to watch a chick flick, 'Love and other Drugs' and enjoy and evening alone.

    So there is me, happy Mich!  (Trying not to think about next Monday and Tuesday and the busy time I have ahead at work, I can get through it, it is just 2 days and then I am off for 2.5 weeks).

    Over to you, what is making you cheery this week? If you are new to Reasons to be Cheerful, then check out HERE and then link up a cheery/ gratitude post from the last week.

    Thanks for joining in, leave me some comment love. Visit others and leave them some comment love and don't forget to tweet with #R2BC. I hope to be able to visit everyone this week and offer some comment love, I have managed it the last 2 weeks now!

    As far as guest hosts go, I think the people who have offered are Bod for Tea, Seasider in the City, Celebrating Mums,  Glass Half Full, Mum of all Trades and A Matter of Choice. I think everyone except Mum of all Trades has let me know when they can't host, so if you read this please email me on mummyfromtheheart @ virginmedia .com  so I have a contact for you and know which weeks suit you.  I will then send out an email in early August with dates/ instructions/ badge code/ linky code etc. 

    Cheers Mich x

    Wednesday 27 July 2011

    I am Strange, I am and maybe a bit Crazy too!

    Image Credit

    Many people would say I am committing a cardinal sin by putting this post up, the amount of times I see people saying that it is boring (with a capital B) when bloggers post about blogging is untrue but this blog is about my life, all of my life and let's face it, this blog is a big part of that. So why would I not write about this subject? I find it interesting - shoot me!

    My Klout score has steadily been dropping over the last few weeks from 63 down to the 58 I am a now and you know what?  It pleases me.  See, there I told you, I am very strange.  Why does it please me?  Because in my mind it shows me that I am not on the computer too much.  I would hate to think that the biggest part of my life has become my blog and the social media and networking that surround it.  Yes it is incredibly important to me but life will not stop if I do not blog and it is good for me to remember that.

    Tuesday 26 July 2011

    New Persil 2 in 1 with Comfort, Pass on the Love Picnic

    Twinnie Rabits for my Twins!
    For the last month or so I have been putting the new Persil 2 in 1 with Comfort through its paces, the Passion flower fragrance to be precise.  I can honestly say that I have probably used it for in excess of 50 washes, what with the recent moth problem, every piece of fabric in my house has been laundered and vacuum packed for safe keeping.

    Monday 25 July 2011

    Yes, Yes I Realise I have been Neglectful!

    Image Credit
    No, not of my children you will be pleased to hear but neglectful of myself.

    It is a hard position you find yourself in when you become a parent, my gut and heart tell me to put the kids first, they are my number 1 priority and then I go to the eating disorders meeting and that preaches that I must put myself first, what use am I to others if I am not well looked after?  I find so much common sense and truth in that, but I do not seem to be doing it.

    The Best Birthday Presents - Gorgeous Wooden Toys!

    You can either call me savvy or a cheapskate, I don't mind which!  I was offered the chance to review some wooden toys from The Wooden Toy Shop and I have to say, I was super impressed.  It was my girls birthday recently so with the object of not spoiling them (too much!) at other times I kept my review items until their big day and wrapped them up to be unveiled.

    From my first glance at the site, there was so many things I wanted to buy and I do not know about you but I always thought that wooden toys would be expensive, but not so!  Yes there are some things that cost a bit more, but there are plenty of lovely toys that are really great value.  Let me show you what my girls were lucky enough to receive:

    Sunday 24 July 2011

    My Positive Birth Story, C-Section withTwins

    Earlier this week I got a bit emotional and posted about the day before the birth of my twin girls. I did at the time promise that I would write up my birth story and I also promised a while back that my C Section for the twins was worlds away from the one I had with Jacob.  Don't worry I won't be making anyone cry with this birth story!

    I spent the first 30 odd weeks of my pregnancy with the girls in turmoil. I was just over 3 years post JJ and I was still completely traumatised. My dream of the natural, calm waterbirth had been blown out the window and I had even doubted I gave birth to him as I had been under a general. I felt determined that this time I would have the birth that I wanted and that I would not agree to being induced at all!

    At 6 weeks pregnant I had early bleeding and the doctor referred me for a scan.  I was told that I either had one area of bleeding and a baby sac or there might be twins.  As yet there was no heartbeat as it was so early.  I needed to wait 10 days to be scanned again.  Instantly I knew I was pregnant with twins and happily told dh this.  For some strange reason I was not phased at all, I recalled a dream I had the year earlier where I knew I had 2 pregnancies but 3 children - it did not click what it meant at the time! doh Mich.

    Saturday 23 July 2011

    Just me and my Boy on the Space Trail at the Science Museum...

    ... well I say me and my boy, there was actually a few more people than that but no one else from our family.  I adore having one on one time with each of my children, that is when they get to shine and you can really delight in their growing personalities and experience all their quirks.  JJ and I have pretty much the same sense of humour, so we always have a good laugh together.

    On Wednesday evening, a school night (yes, yes naughty mummy) JJ and I travelled into London, we offloaded the girls with Daddy and travelled on alone to the Science Museum.  We have been there quite a number of times before as JJ always enjoys it but this evening was for a very special treat.  After the Museum had closed about 20 of us were taken on a preview tour of the new Space Trail, that opens today, Saturday 23rd July 2011 ready for the summer holidays.

    Each child received a flip camera to play with for the evening, to record their own journey around the museum.  To be honest I am not sure how much footage JJ filmed as he is such a hands on kid he wanted to be in there with the exhibits and touching everything.  I did manage to get a bit of footage though, so take a look and you can check out the Science Museums blog here. Which I believe will feature some of the kids footage soon.

    Friday 22 July 2011

    Call Me A Bloggy Bad Parent? I Don't Think So!

    Image Credit

    Today I read an article in a national newspaper that really rattled my cage!  I stumbled upon it from a tweet sent out by Bounty.  It is not the first article I have seen that slates parenting, or more specifically mummy bloggers but it is the first one I have seen that completely has its facts all screwed up!

    I have no idea who this Jojo Moyes the author is, but her writing sucks. Under the photo she talks of 'Netsmums', who?  a bunch of fisherwomen?  She goes on to say that Netmums (yes the correct wording here) is the quieter version of its better known sister, Mumsnet.  Better known by who?  Mums like yourself?

    Thursday 21 July 2011

    #R2BC - Wk 29. My Family make me so Happy!!

    Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

    Hello all,  I am keeping it simple this week.  Here is why I am feeling cheerful -

    My wonderful family.  Mum and Dad trekked back and forth twice last week to come and help me do all the cleaning and washing that resulted from the dreaded moths! I am so grateful to them.  It looks as if we have done the job, none spotted for a few days now.  

    Tuesday 19 July 2011

    Disney meets the Athenaeum - Does it get any better than this?

    I blogged last November about a phenomenal London hotel that I stayed at for a work conference. This hotel was the Athenaeum in Mayfair, it is a 5 star hotel which is unique and beautiful but also manages to be exceedingly welcoming and friendly.

    One session of my conference was around brand positioning and we all did an exercise about a brand that we felt passionate about and could easily sell as it was well established and recognised.  We had to identify the USP (unique selling proposition) and convince others to choose our brand.  Both Disney and the Athenaeum are the kind of established and quality brands that I could have chosen for this exercise. They are now working together and boy does that create a smash hit combination!

    Monday 18 July 2011

    A #MumenTum Week in Tweets

    Here I sum up my week as if I am tweeting a daily update.  A way of trying to keep me to the point!

    Arrgghh, Brain overload. Moth infestation, work too busy, head is spinning! Can't cope, want to go to bed & sleep.

    My boss is fairy Godmother, sorting work for me. Good Birthday party for my girls. Feeling positive, Mich can cope with anything!

    Sunday 17 July 2011

    This time, 4 years ago...

    I looked like this -

    I was so ready to pop it was untrue, the blood pressure medication I was taking made me tired and I wanted to sleep all the time, I could hardly walk with all the swelling. I had been in hospital for 2 weeks already with pre-eclampsia, see that wrist band - they just let me home each day to see JJ for a couple of hours.  My Dad would drive to the hospital to get me and I would come home and flomp in bed to watch a DVD with my beloved boy, letting him have some special time with Mummy before those pesky sisters arrived.

    #Silent Sunday - Picture of the Week!

    Silent Sunday = One photo, no words, taken in the last week!

    Saturday 16 July 2011

    Freebies, Freebies, Come and Grab them Here!

    We all love something for nothing don't we?  The thrill of knowing that we have received something and did not have to pay for it and where better to receive numerous freebies than being a parenting blogger at the moment - the market just seems to want to throw things at us for free, or they seem free - are they really?

    When you search for a definition of free, you come up with things like 'costing nothing' or 'not controlled by obligation or the will of another'. So how does this apply to bloggers reviews? Do we receive a product and there is absolutely no obligation on us to do anything except enjoy it?  Yeah right! Numerous times I read threads on forums or tweets from bloggers who have become overwhelmed by the number of 'freebies' they have received and now they have a whole ton of review posts that they are either feeling guilty for not writing or in some cases being chased by PR's to write.

    Thursday 14 July 2011

    #R2BC - The Glad Game Edition - Wk 28

    Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

    About a year ago I wrote a blog post entitled An Attitude of Gratitude.  Go and have a read, it won't take long.  Did you watch the clip of Pollyanna and the Glad game?  Isn't it just fab?  Even when times are tough we all have things to be glad for.

    At the moment things are a bit stressful here, nothing in comparison to many others but the combination of my house being infested with cloth eating moths, work being ultra busy with very pressing deadlines, it being the girls birthday and all the induction stuff with them starting school in September I have had a few arrgghhh days.

    Monday 11 July 2011

    #Mumentum Reflections from the Week

    It is Monday and it is #Mumentum time. So here are the things I have been thinking and reflecting on in the last couple of weeks with regard to all things weight and size wise:
    • Your feet get fat too!  Yes, I mean it, honest. You have never seriously put on weight if your feet have stayed the same size, it must be to do with the width.  I got my summer work sandals out of the wardrobe and 3 pairs do not fit me. I don't want to have to buy more...
    • My stomach has got to ridiculous proportions, my clothes are getting tighter but strangely I am less weight that I have been before.  It seems that after children when you have split stomach muscles (like I do, properly separated) it is extremely hard to get the size of your tummy down. I am bigger than many pregnant women, that is not something to be proud of.

    Sunday 10 July 2011

    Discovered on my Camera!

    OK, it is Sunday and here is another 'Its not a #silentsunday post!'.  I can't seem to help myself, I like lots of photos and words too.

    I decided to download some pictures from the camera to my laptop last night and boy was I glad that I did.  I discovered some real treasures that I had no idea were there.  Good old dh has been snapping away when I have not been about and I did not even know.  So let's enjoy...

    JJ and Daddy helped to man the Fairtrade London stall at an event a month or so ago.  Apparently JJ is a superstar campaigner and gave out the most leaflets and chatted to loads of of people!

    Thursday 7 July 2011

    #R2BC - Reasons to be Cheerful - Week 27

    Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

    I have lots and lots to feel grateful for today, just like every other day of my very fortunate life.  In truth, I am very tired today and I feel a bit blue (no massive reason, I think it is just that time of the month, you know how it is sometimes).

    So going through the exercise of looking at what I am grateful for is especially good for me today. Here is my list -
    1.  JJ had a little friend home for tea today and this morning as the boys Mum and I confirmed the details he had his fingers crossed that it would come off and he would come home with us. My heart jumped for joy as I knew he genuinely wanted to come and spend time with my beloved boy.
    2. A wonderful night out on Tuesday with my Mum,  Some lovely time alone: a meal and then we watched Wicked at the theatre in London.  It is fantastic, if you have not been I recommend it. The costumes and staging are amazing.
    3. I had a great phone call today with a lady from Thinking Slimmer and I am very pleased to start trialling this product in the next week or so.  I so need to get my weight in order and if anything can help my illogical mindset then I will be over the moon. Watch this space, I'll keep you updated.
    4. I am very much looking forward to a family day this Sunday in London with Disney at the Athenaeum Hotel.  You may recall I stayed there last year for work and just loved it.
    5. It is my little beauties birthday in just over a week and tomorrow I collect their bikes for them, they are having a party with just a couple of friends next Tuesday and then a family party the weekend after.  I think they will be thoroughly confused and not know when their birthday is at all!
      I could actually go on and on but I won't bore you.   You know what though?  I really do feel just that bit lighter and brighter for having gone through these great things.

      Over to you, what is making you cheery this week? If you are new to Reasons to be Cheerful, then check out HERE and then link up a cheery post from the last week.

      Thanks for joining in, leave me some comment love. Visit others and leave them some comment love and don't forget to tweet. There was only 11 of us last week, we have become a select little group!

      Wednesday 6 July 2011

      Freaked out by a DHL Man!

      Late last week I was happily chilling out while the kids were all at school, there I was enjoying 60 minute makeover (yes I know how to live!) when there was a knock at the door and I opened it to find a DHL man stood there with a  big box.  Nothing particularly strange in that, I receive a fair amount of parcels but when I looked at the box I started to freak.

      'What is it?'  I ask him.  'You sure it is for me', 'It looks like a pet carrier', 'There is not an animal in there? Is there?'.  The poor chap could hardly get a word in as I bombarded him with these questions.

      So I stand there dithering, not wanting to take the box off him and refusing to sign as I worry that some weirdo has got my address and sent me an animal.  What is it?  I do not want any animals? I try and peek in through the air holes and yes there appears to be straw in there. Just as I tell him he has to take it back, I won't accept it, he points out that the straw is poking out the bottom on his side and that it is iridescent pink.... oh OK, I don't think they use coloured straw for real animals.

      Tuesday 5 July 2011

      Teaching your Child to Swim

      Image Credit

      What age should your child be able to swim?  That is the question I am pondering at the moment.

      I did not learn to swim until I was 18 years old and on my first foreign holiday with my super confident swimmer boyfriend. This is quiet bizarre considering I recall receiving a swim badge at school (for 10 metres or whatever the first stage was then) when I was 9 years old. I do remember my feet kept touching the floor though and the teacher not noticing!

      Due to this I have a desire for all my children to be able to swim. Not to Olympic standard you understand but to be confident to be able to save their lives if they ever needed to. JJ is now nearly 8 years old and he can not swim yet.  This is not a problem per see, as he is still a young boy but I am wondering what to do for the best.  JJ had swim lessons as a baby, we did about a year of once a week lessons together when he was just months old. I hoped this would improve his confidence to be under the water - sadly not so!

      Sunday 3 July 2011

      Simple Fun on a Saturday

      I had a choice to make tonight, do I post one photo and make it a #SilentSunday and know that I could get about 30 comments without any real hard work. If I post it at midnight and tweet and then schedule a tweet for about 8am and make sure I am up and lurking at the laptop for 8am ish ready to link up the minute the linky goes live.


      do I post something that I really want to do? A post that takes you through my Saturday with loads of photos and shows you that simple fun is good!  I may not get any comments but my family and friends will enjoy it and most importantly it is what I wanted to post, for me, not for comments! I also get the bonus of laying in bed as I have no pressure to link up or tweet.

      Don't get me wrong I have nothing against Jay's #SilentSunday linky and I am sure I will join in again but never again will I join in just for the sake of it and I know that Jay would agree with me that I am doing the right thing.  When I have one photo that demands no words then a #SilentSunday it will be but for now, I am a lady of many words and many photos, none of which are technically brilliant but they all tell a story ...