Sunshine Blogger Award Post.

I was nominated twice for the sunshine blogger award, (I say recently but it was quite a while ago now, been so busy with summer hols that I’ve not had a moment!), I keep stopping and starting with this post, we have been off camping a lot in the newest addition to our family, Wilma, the VW T5 campervan conversion that lovely Mr PB is in the middle of perfecting for us and signal is not always brilliant on our adventures. I am now exhausted so this seemed like a nice post that wouldn’t overtax my tired mind! (I started writing this a while ago and am only just getting a chance to finish it now!!)

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The lovely Mr Pear Bear hard at work making Wilma beautiful!

The first lovely blogger who nominated me is the fabulous Claire at Art and Soul. These are her questions for me.

If you can’t have both, do you go for a starter or dessert?

Ooooh this is so tough!! I think it would have to depend on what was on the menu, if there was nothing I really fancied for desert, I would probably go for starter.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell myself to be myself no matter what anyone said about it. To have more confidence!

What celebrity would you like to meet and why?

Michael McIntyre. He makes me cry with laughter.

Tell us about a personal achievement you’re proud of.

Last September I completed a half marathon, I’d only been running for 10 months!

What was your favourite toy(s) when you were a child?

Spot! My stuffed toy dog. I loved him. Oh, and Gaby bear, you could put a cassette in him and he’d tell a story and his face would move. Until I took him in the sandpit and he got sand in his inner mechanisms and never worked again. Sob!

The other lovely blogger who nominated me is Miss Ky.

What is your middle name?

Pear 🙂

What is your favorite thing to do?

Sleep!! Only half joking 🙂 I also love to make things, sewing, painting etc.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, or maybe Ubud in Bali.

Would you rather live without Facebook or Instagram – why?

Instagram I think, as I’m pretty new to it and so haven’t really built up a following. (Since I wrote this, I have got massively into instagram, and now I would say facebook for sure!!)

What is your favorite memory?

I have so many that it is hard to pick but I think one of my most wonderous memories is our hotel lobby when we went to Disney World as it had real parrots flying around. It was just out of this world to a 9 year old!

Do you have any favorite makeup products?

I cannot live without mascara, glitter is a big must and I’ve just started getting into nail varnish again.

If you could re-name your blog, what would it be?

I don’t think I would rename it. I’m pretty new to it and so my name is all shiny and perfect. Ask me again in 5 years time!

What’s your favorite season?

This is so hard for me as there are things I love about all the seasons but if I had to pick, I’d say Autumn. New boots and colourful leaves and chunky knitwear. Bliss!!

What do you look for mostly in people? (ex: personality, smile, funny..)

Sounds really cheesy but kindness, it helps if they share my silly sense of humour too. Oh and I’m a sucker for a dog lover!

What’s a secret that you have kept? (can be either yours or someone else’s)

When I was at school, we regularly used to climb out of the window and escape over the roof. Plus my friend and I once had to run down the school corridor with lit cigarettes and ended up passing the headmaster! I was a bit naughty at school I think!

Your ideal date?

Hmmmm, pretty much anything child free is bliss at the moment, but one of our most fun dates was a hot air balloon flight. Sooo amazing.

The rules:

  • Thank the people/person who nominated you.
  • Write a post featuring the award button and answering the questions from your nominator(s). They will have nominated the same number of people as questions they answered.
  • Nominate the same number of bloggers the person who nominated you did and come up with the same number of new questions.
  • Let your nominees know you’ve nominated them.

Ok, so my questions.

  1. There is a national shortage of, erm, milk, and there can only be one for the rest of time, pick the ice-cream flavour that we will all have to live with forever.
  2. Which song do you absolutely have to dance to, no matter where you are (think the Full Monty post office queue scene!), even if you totally embarrass whoever you are with?
  3. You are about to be kidnapped, you’re at home, how do you escape?
  4. Who would you take on a really really long road trip?
  5. Zombies are coming, choose your weapon!!

I nominate the following bloggers, (if you would like to take part of course!), because I think you are all pretty fabulous and I really really want to hear your answers!

  1. Mudpie Fridays
  2. Silly Mummy
  3. Run, Jump, Scrap
  4. All the beautiful things
  5. Brummy mummy of 2
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A day of firsts.

I had an exciting day yesterday with two new firsts. We were invited to the book launch of a children’s author who was celebrating publishing her 150th book. She had become a little disillusioned with the whole publishing process and this felt like her revival. She has never had a book launch and so decided she wanted to do something special to mark the occasion and to give herself a bit of a boost I think.

The children were so excited, they absolutely love books and to go to an event with a live reading was something that really appealed to them. When they arrived, they were offered a bag to get a lucky dip for a teddy with a number on the label. We went in and settled down on the rug. The children were even more buoyant when they realised there were biscuits and bowls of crisps everywhere, and usually they wouldn’t be allowed snacks so close to dinner time, but because we were out in public, they knew they could wear me down quicker with some extra energetic pleading, and so they got to snack, (in their minds), illicitly, which made it all the more pleasurable.

After a short while, the author, Sally Grindley was introduced and she began a very lively and energetic reading of one of her books, ‘Knock knock. Who’s there?’ involving lots of masks and jumping around. The children were totally enthralled and really enjoyed the story.

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I think you can see how much they enjoyed it from their transfixed little faces! There were even a few scary bits and there was a lot of audience participation required, and provided!

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I think these pictures show the range of emotions the children were experiencing, even the much older children seemed to be held in suspense, especially at the scary bits.

After the readings and a few short talks, there was an extra special presentation. A beautiful cake with one of the book characters sitting proudly on the top, all handcrafted by the very talented Heather from Cherry on The Top in Gloucester. They drew a number and one very lucky little girl matched it to her teddy tag and got to take the wonderful dragon home.

After everyone had had a chance to marvel at the fabulous detailing of the little figure, especially the perfect little cover on the book he was reading, the cake was taken away to cut up and distribute. I’m happy to report that I tried it, (all in the name of blogger duty of course!), and it was absolutely delicious. As a bit of a cake connoisseur, (I eat a lot!), I was very impressed.

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After that fun filled afternoon, it was time for a quick dinner, and then I left our overtired, sugar hyped children to poor Mr PB to put to bed, (sorry again about that love!), and went to pick up my friend because we had very exciting plans. We were off to, wait for it, a WI meeting! Did you laugh? You did didn’t you?? Mr PB did a lot too. Imagining a group of very elderly ladies making jam, (which I actually would have really enjoyed too, truth be known), he teased me a fair bit beforehand, but he couldn’t have been more wrong.

I had heard rumour that the WI had had a sort of revamp, and was now a really energetic, vibrant group with a real mix of women and some wonderful, varied speakers, and it’s all true! The group we went to were chosing topics for next year, and a few that really caught my eye and surprised me were forensic psychology, the life of a spy and Tudor medicines, all of which I would really like to hear, I was pleased to see they were all getting lots of votes as ‘newbies’ weren’t allowed to vote. There was also tea, a lot of cake and so many other fun things planned outside the meetings. And not a Calendar Girls style crochted nipple tassel in sight!!

There was a talk, demonstration and taste test with recipe to make sloe gin, I must admit to not being a big fan of the end result but I don’t like gin, so that is probably not a very good start!!! 😀 It was a bit like cough medicine, but seemed to go down very well with all the gin aficionados there.

The evening was rounded off with a talk and demonstration by a raw food chef, vegan, vegetarian cafe owner and general all round super healthy person, Jay Halford, who owns The Core in Cheltenham. He made some courgette and cucumber ‘spaghetti’ with a spiralizer, (never thought I’d say this but I need one of these gadgets in my life!), and a sort of vegan pesto. It was seriously delicious and super healthy. Not two things that usually go together in my mind. It made me realise that I need to act on the random thoughts about getting healthy that flit through my mind about once a week. It’s going to be very hard for this die hard cake addict to change her ways, but I’m determined to give it a go. Baby steps though, today was a bad start with two chocolate biscuits for breakfast, baguette for lunch and vegeburger and chips for dinner. Oh well, with a diet this bad, it must be easy to make improvements right?!

All in all, I thought the whole night was really really good fun, and I’m so pleased to see a massive revival of what is, quite literally, an institution, and I can’t wait to sign up!

With regards to my new lifestyle change ideas, I promise not to become a diet bore. Mainly because I’m not convinced there will be a diet, but also because I have just got involved with a very awesome cause, the Bake and Brew in support of The Children’s Society, so I will need to get my cake bake on, in the name of charity of course. Maybe I can combine the two somehow, and make some healthy versions of the different monthly themes. Hopefully I can better my first raw ‘brownies’ effort when I didn’t de-stone the dates and almost broke Mr PB’s tooth!! 😀

Watch this space for more details, oh and any healthy but sweet treat recipes would be very much appreciated! This month’s theme is traybakes!

This is me doing my very best, 'serious WI member, I'm a grown up too' face!! :D
This is me doing my very best, ‘serious WI member, I’m a grown up too, trying not to laugh’ face!! 😀

Things I have learnt about school so far.

1.The morning that you have everything laid out ready and perfectly prepared your children will wake up ridiculously early so you have far too many hours to fill whilst keeping the uniform spotless because changing routine to not get washed and into uniform the minute you get up will result in a total anarchy and confusion and resistance.

Then there will be tears.

Yours.

And you will be very nearly late.

2.The morning that you don’t set your alarm because your children are always up so early will be the morning they enjoy a lovely long lie in. This will also be the morning you discover that school child has taken her song book out to sing to her teddies, put her spelling book down ‘somewhere’ and has a whole list of places she thinks the bag itself may be, each place in a completely different part of the house to the one you are in.

You will end up very hot.

Will be near to tears.

And very nearly late.

3.If you are being ‘phased in’ as we are, you will suddenly find yourself with whole mornings to fill with a not too tiring activity that they will get really really into right before it’s nearly time to go and the then the ‘battle of the bottle greens’ commences. (Getting them into their uniform.)

You will end up being very stressed.

Probably near to tears

Oh, and very nearly late.

4.When you sit down, all peaceful and relaxed, maybe with a cup of tea for you and a snack for them to ask them what they did that day, they will have nothing to tell you. When you are on the phone to the tax man, whilst cooking dinner, with cbeebies blaring in the background, they will suddenly have lots and lots of information to volunteer. The other time they will want to talk in depth about what they have been up to is when you are trying to get them into their shoes and coat on the way out of the door.

You will end up very flustered.

Close to tears and…..

You guessed it, very nearly late!!

5.You will realise with a somewhat sinking feeling that this whole palaver is something you will have to repeat every single day. Oh, and discover that the old adage you’ve always heard really is true, the ones who live closest to the school really do end up being the latest!!

In conclusion, it has been a few weeks of tears, indoor and outdoor shouty mummy and some serious rushes through the school gates!

What I imagine we look like every single morning!

All (semi)-joking aside, it seems to be going very well once I get her there and she has learnt so much already. She looks so grown up rushing out of the doors when I pick her up.

That is hands down my favourite bit. When she is scanning the sea of parents anxiously and then the moment she spots me, the massive smile that lights her face up like sunshine and the way she runs into my arms, ponytail and book bag swinging totally melts my heart!

Here’s to many more sunshine smiles and hopefully a lot less tears in the coming weeks. I’m not sure I can bear to hear myself parrot repeat ‘You have to have your hair brushed’ one more time. It feels a bit like deja vu!! 😀

How is everyone else getting on with school? New starters settling in ok? School returners dealing with the routine again? I’d love to hear how much better it gets. (Crossing all my fingers and toes that it does!)

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Fab free day out at The Wilson in Cheltenham.

A couple of weeks ago, on a free morning, big girl and I had the pleasure of discovering The Wilson, an art gallery and museum in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

How have we never found this awesomeness before?! We’ve been to the cafe and a few craft sessions there which have been great, but there is so so much more there.

To start with, there is an ‘Art Cart’ with lots of different pictures to colour, clipboards, colouring pencils and various different gallery trails for you to spot things in all the different galleries. We were given a map of the gallery and lots of advise on which way round to go from one of the very friendly staff members. We have met a few now and everyone has been lovely, and genuinely knowledgeable, trying to ensure that we have the best experience which is so nice.

  

Big girl had fun choosing a colour pencil, picture and trail. We set off, the clipboard gripped firmly in her hand, me laden down with all the other things that she had promised faithfully to carry herself.

In all honesty, she wasn’t too interested in the trail itself, her attention was wavering at best! She is only four though, and was pretty tired after a busy summer holiday and the excitement if school starting. It didn’t matter though we had fun just exploring, along the way are lots of hands on interactive displays for children to get involved. We had a lot of fun doing this beautiful wooden puzzle. Which was actually fiendishly difficult, as you can probably tell from the triumphant finishers’ grin on big girl’s face!

    The best bit for her, the stay and play area, is absolutely brilliant and full of dressing up clothes, masks, story books, a beautiful big doll’s house and lots of other toys.
    There was some hilarious dressing up.
  Big girl was determined to squeeze herself into the jester’s outfit which was about four sizes too small!  Being ever so mature, I couldn’t resist the dress up box either! 😀
  
    I was having far too much fun with this!
  
    Surely this is mother abuse?!
  A donkey riding a horse. Bizarre!  She spent a lot of time setting up a silver service tea party for the teddies there. Very Downton!
  A very odd bunch! I’d put the wrong plates out here apparently. Not classy enough!  Now she was happy.
  This photo I think, is the absolute height of grown up and adult behaviour. It sums me up perfectly.
She had so much fun there that she wanted to go back with small boy this week. We are still in phasing in with school so are getting lots of days of just a few hours and so this is a perfect activity to fill a morning or afternoon. They have a lovely drumming statue that plays when you put coins in and so I also managed to empty my purse of lots of coins while they had a lot of fun dancing along!

Little loony tunes! 😀
  They have a great selection of story books and the whole area is themed to the season and changes regularly. Looking forward to see what they will replace the summer stories and buckets and spades with.   Such a goon!
  My little cowboy.  The court jester had lots of fun pretending to build a sandcastle.
  They have lots of lovely sensory activities there, like the rainbow bags filled with different coloured objects that the children can sort.
  I love their wall art, designed to fire up the children’s imaginations. The whole area is so well thought out, small but beautifully designed to make optimum use of the space, with different areas to make sure there is something for all ages.
  
  I can’t rate it highly enough, as well as the wonderful children’s area, there are creation stations dotted around with pictures to colour in and pots of colouring pencils, lots of interactive displays all around the galleries and so much for me to look at too. Because we are usually passing through at a less then leisurely pace, I see new things every time we go. Look at this absolutely stunning tiara I discovered. One of many in a gorgeous display case. They also have fun cabinets with bonnets that rotate and lots of different drawers that the children can pull out to look at different clothing items. Including some beautiful silk stockings that were promptly labelled ‘stinky socks’ by my two horrors! 😀 

Best of all, it is totally free, (apart from the contents of the change section in your purse! 😉 ), and also very quiet. Both times we have been there it has only been us. For somewhere so child friendly, very close to the centre of town and cost free, that is very welcome! 😀

How to throw a Superhero party. With only mild panic!

I have been sorely neglecting my blog for a very good reason, small boy turned 3! I just can’t believe our baby is growing up so fast!! He is superhero mad. Not sure how he got into it but I love it, being a bit of a superhero geek myself! (It drives me mad when small boy goes up and asks Mr PB the names of new heroes he discovers as he has never been into them and pretends he is, so small boy thinks he is cool. Pah! 😀 )

So a party theme seemed pretty straightfoward, I got myself onto Pinterest and had a lot of fun pinning things and deluding myself that I would actually have time to create all these amazing things!! What I did want to do was make something for the kids that they could decorate and take home, so I ordered a large amount of material and found an absolutely brilliant cape pattern, which you can find yourself here.

This is the pattern I used, so easy to print out too.
This is the pattern I used, so easy to print out too.

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It’s been a long while since I got a chance to do anything crafty and I had an epic fail the first pattern I tried to cut, what an idiot, I obviously missed the instruction, (and the clues on the pattern!!), and cut half a cape. Doh!

My first attempt. I did laugh at myself!
My first attempt. I did laugh at myself!

That was stupid but I soon realised my mistake and tried again. I think I was probably really tired that day because this happened…..

Seriously?! The instructions are so clear too, and even written on the pattern! I laughed a little more desperately at this one, then almost cried when I realised my idiocy has left me short on material!
Seriously?! The instructions are so clear too, and even written on the pattern! I laughed a little more desperately at this one, then almost cried when I realised my idiocy has left me short on material!

So I needed 11 capes and after my fails, I was short. Luckily I’d bought some extra material to do Frozen capes for big girl’s next party, (I know, I know, but when you have a good idea!!), and some bright pink to make her a Aurora cape for her birthday, (it’s a REALLY good pattern!!), so I made Small boy a special turquoise one with red lining and my super crafty friend took it away to make it ten times more amazing for his birthday pressie.

The special blue and read one for small boy, before it got some serious bling added to it, think sparkly red stars and lightning strikes!
The special blue and red one for small boy, before it got some serious bling added to it, think sparkly red stars and lightning strikes!

I made big girl a special, ‘it’s not actually my birthday but I am special too’ pink cape. I had initially been going to get the children to glue bits to them but when I started to think about it, I wanted them to have something that lasted a bit longer. (Don’t you just hate it when your ideas grow out of control!!) So I hemmed them all on my sewing machine, after a very unsuccessful, (and sticky!), try at hemming one with tape.

This pretty much sums up how I felt trying that one!

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I then bought a few metres of an amazing product called ‘Bondaweb’ from the haberdashery and ironed it onto felt squares. The backing paper is perfect for the children to draw their shapes onto before cutting out. I also bought some stick on velcro and once the children had made up their designs, we ironed them on and attached the velcro for the fastening.

Nb: I just stuck the velcro pieces on but this wouldn’t be any good long term as they were already coming off during the energetic play during the party. A couple of stitches are all that’s needed but I just couldn’t face it!! 😀

I also had a pack of foam sheets and decided to make masks, I found a mask template, (again through Pinterest), and used it to cut out lots of of masks from the foam, I then hole punched the edges for the elastic. Which I forgot to buy. Resulting in the dads improvising with masking tape! Another fail!! The cutting, glueing and sticking bit went down very well though!

Lots of late night scissoring! Looks like we're planning some serious burgling!! :D
Lots of late night scissoring! Looks like we’re planning some serious burgling!! 😀

So finally, and probably most importantly, food! I’d seen some babybel superheroes, (the little round cheeses in the wax wrappers), and thought they looked fun. My first attempt was, well, tell me if you can spot where I went wrong…

Oops!!
Oops!!

My other attempts fared a little better but honestly, they were so fiddly that I didn’t actually get a chance to make them for the party, I think I will just keep them for special lunches when there are only a few children!

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I also found the idea for a Captain America fruit/marshmallow shield and used strawberries, marshmallows and blueberries to recreate it.

This was actually pretty simple to do, and not as time consuming as you would think.
This was actually pretty simple to do, and not as time consuming as you would think.

We also made cheese and pineapple on sticks, (Thor’s hammers!), and had hot dogs as this is an easy party favourite. Every year we seem to go crazy with the food, spend a fortune and end up with a silly amount of waste, so this year I wanted to streamline it all a bit!

To tie in with the theme, I’d seen an amazing backdrop idea with a black skyscraper ‘skyline’ with lit up windows. I recreated it by cutting a piece of A1 black card, using a book to get the different size building effect, and sticking small cut out rectangles from yellow felt for the windows. This was really last minute and done very quickly but I was so pleased with how it turned out.

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Finally, the most important bit of all, the cake!! This was a bit of a rush job and probably the most stressful part involving a last minute dash to two different supermarkets to try and find the right sprinkles as I actually made it the morning of the party! Good job the kids get up so early really!

I made two square sponges and sandwiched them together with raspberry jam and bright blue buttercream icing, (I used the gel colours that I had left over from last year’s rainbow cake, they are the only way to get such bright colours in my experience), then I iced over the whole thing with a bright yellow buttercream.

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My lovely friend had made a ‘Pow!’ stencil for me from a cereal box, and I used it to ‘write’ on the cake with bright neon sugar. I then used the edge of the stencil to freehand a zigzag line around the words to give it more impact. Considering it was finished about half an hour before the party started, I was really happy with how it turned out, as you can see from my face below I think!!

Checking the ‘bounce back’ of the sponge. Oh and totally showing off my batman themed nails!!!
It really did taste good too, bit too good, everyone left with a lot extra as it really isn’t a good idea to have all that cake in the house when you have ‘cake resistance’ as low as mine!!
Can you spot him? The ever present labrador lurking in the hope of a fallen crumb!!
Getting artsy for my instagram! I’m pinkpearbear if you fancy seeing more piccies.
You will NEVER guess what we got him! 😉

It was an absolutely brilliant day. We had a bouncy castle and between that, the various crafts and the eating, the whole thing went very quickly and smoothly. I really did enjoy it and found it far less stressful then previous years, even if I was swearing just a tiny bit at the capes!! 😉 If you’re on Pinterest, do check out my boards, I’m a bit of a pinning addict and love looking at other people’s too. It really is heaven for me, although a big part of me wishes I was less of a diy mum and more of a buy it one! I just can’t resist, I love crafty stuff and see all these beautiful things that I want to make too, and then kick myself when it’s midnight and I’m sobbing into my pva glue! 😀

I’d love to hear about party themes and ideas you’ve had, what worked and what didn’t, some funny fails would make me feel so much better about my first two cape attempts too!!

The next party I’ve got coming up is a princess themed one, look out for my unrealistic and over enthusiastic princess party pinning that will soon be commencing……..!!

Keep scrolling down for a few larger pictures from the post, for some reason they post much bigger from my phone but I can’t work out how to do that from the laptop.


I knew I couldn’t let the backdrop go to waste, so I had a little fun with a Gotham City window display! We started these last Christmas and got such a good response from passers by on the school run that we’ve kept it up. Every few months we change it but I think this one might have to be my ultimate favourite!

 I also had a little fun trying to add the Batman symbol to my nails. My first attempt at nail art and I think I need some practice!! 😀

babybrain

So, school, every day then!!

We’ve been doing pretty well so far. Had a week of afternoons. Fine, easy.

This week is mornings. Bearing in mind we are just two days in to the week, as I was getting her uniform all ready for tomorrow morning, I just thought; ‘Oh flipping heck, this is every day now!!!!!’. and had to sit down for a minute to let the shock subside!

I felt pretty smug at my amazing planning yesterday morning, she went off looking the model pupil, and then today we couldn’t find her tie so she went without it, god only knows what disaster will befall us tomorrow!!!

Pleeeeaaaase can someone tell me I’m not the only Mum struggling with this realisation, the horrifying, crushing, worrying realisation that I now have to be organised every single day, apart from the weekend. When we are not supposed to do too much.

I now remember why I hated school so much when I was younger!! 😉

I can’t believe the novelty has worn off already. (For me anyway, big girl is loving it!!)

The other option is homeschooling, which involves far more organisation so I will just have to suck it up and find that tie before the morning!!

In other, less whingy news, we have blackberries and apples in the garden and today we had a great bake off! Blackberry and apple crumble, apple and cinnamon crumble cupcakes and biscuits. The kids love baking and we all love eating. Win win!

Really regretting leaving the bag of flour with them!!!!
Our delicious haul! This is NOT good for my waistline.

*Edited to add that this is why we don’t bake every day!!! Look at my kitchen!! :O The Great British Bake Off tent never seems to look this bad, I think I need a team of clearer uppers in the back ground at all times, instead of the two professional mess makers I seem to have living with me! 😉

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Dear Mum-expecting-baby-number-two.

To my beautiful best friend,

There are a few things I really wanted you to know before your gorgeous new bundle arrives. Just in case it’s 2 in the morning, and you’re feeling those night time lonely blues, you have something written down to refer to, to know that I love you, I understand what you’re going going through and I’m here for you. Although possibly not at this very moment, it has taken almost 3 years to get both of mine to sleep all night and I’m making the most of it! 😉

1. You will feel constantly guilty. The Mother’s guilt will not just double but morph into something bigger then the pile of washing that will accumulate by the machine.

2. Your first born will probably eat far too many ready meals. This is ok though, it just means that if they refuse to eat something, you will feel less rage in comparison to if it’s a meal that you gave up a nap to make for them.

3. You will endure far more bad latching during night feeds then first time round, this is because, in a desperate attempt to stop the baby waking your bigger baby, you will just want to stop the screaming. This is partly out of concern for your biggie’s welfare and also because you sure as hell don’t want to deal with them both at 3am!

4. There will be more instances of your baby having up-the-back poo-plosions as you are walking out the door. How you deal with it depends on how urgently you need to be somewhere. You may change them in the door way, you may have to hose them off in the shower and stick them in the sling in just a nappy & snowsuit. One thing is for sure, you will not be doing anything that takes too long in case your first born gets bored & takes all their outdoor clothes off again.

5. Your baby will spend far more time in a sleepsuit. Not a fresh going out sleepsuit but the suit they actually slept in. On a good day you will sponge off the sick marks.

6. You will never know what to buy your second for birthdays or Christmas. It doesn’t matter though, your house will already look like a cross between hamleys and the crappy toy carousel in your local shop, ( thanks for all the plastic tat magazine companies!!), plus the youngest will only ever want to play with whatever your eldest is, especially fun if this contains unsuitable small parts.

7. Your baby will get part of their nutrition from things they find on the floor. First time round, you made sure the floors were always clean. Second time you consider it immune system building and only intervene if they are about to eat the dog or cat food. There are limits!

8. You will be amazed at all the stuff you really really don’t need. Your baby will spend far less time at any milestone then you remember with your first. Rather then a case of documenting every facial expression on camera, it will more of a, ‘when did they learn to roll over?!’ parenting experience. This may be after they fell off the bed. 😱

9. That one toy that used to buy you 10 minutes for a shower first time round and you’ve raved about to every new mother ever since? Your new baby will hate it.

10. You will forget your identity. When you finally emerge, blinking out of the new baby fog, (and you will!!), you will have no idea what music you like, what clothes are fashionable, which books you like, (anyway, you probably won’t have the concentration to read more then a paragraph before a vital, urgent job pops into your mind), or what it is like to leave the house alone/with just your other half/in the evening.

11. You will most likely eat way too many pringles, fish fingers and cake in the first months. (Ok years!) After the effort of purchasing and heating up your first born’s ready meal, all you will have the energy for is a snack from the cupboard, after polishing off the ready meal leftovers of course.

12. You will doubt yourself a lot. You will quickly realise you do actually clear space in your brain to retain important new things like the children’s tv channel numbers and where you hid your cake, and so you have forgotten most of the basic baby care essentials. Like ALWAYS packing several spare outfits and nappies. Even if you are just popping out for two minutes. If you forget, the severe puking incident on the shop counter with no muslins   handy will soon jog your memory.

13. Your new baby will have a huge percentage more second hand then your first. Especially clothing. For a start, you will now know far more people with children who are dying to have a clear out see their first born’s beautiful expensive baby clothes get some more wear. 😉  You will also not change their clothing half as much and so have no need for as much. See point 5.

After all, you don’t really go anywhere now. Forget about dinners out with everyone admiring your cute well behaved baby, now you will have rushed meals at generic family restaurants. It will be stressful and you will leave slightly unsure whether anyone actually enjoyed it. You will feel happy that you don’t have to cook tonight though! (Heating up a ready meal is technically cooking ok!)

14. Before the baby arrives you will probably have 2 main thoughts. What will happen with my eldest when I go into labour and will I have enough love for another when I love my big baby soooo much. Firstly, have a good plan in place to deal with labour, don’t forget you will have a fair bit of time huffing and puffing usually, it’s pretty rare to have those ten minute tv labours, although it does happen, and if it does to you, at least it will be over very quickly and your first won’t have time to really register what is going on.

As for the love, it is so true that your heart just expands to make room. It can take a while to adjust though, you may find yourself resentful of your first when you want some newborn staring time and they do not! A good friend told me this and it made me feel much less guilty when it happened with us. Swings and roundabouts though as you will soon find yourself irritated by a stroppy toddler when you are trying to do an activity with your precious big baby.

15. Time will fly. I mean seriously fast. It will whizz by like you wouldn’t believe. Soon you will have two children out of nappies, out of buggies, no more naps, and you will wonder where those years went.

This is where the real fun starts though. Life gets an awful lot easier. Unless you go for number 3 of course!! 😆

I will be here for you every step of the way. Despite everything, I wouldn’t for a minute change things, and I have two gorgeous children who I love to bits and who love each other. When they are not fighting like cat and dog of course! 😉 It has been the hardest job of my life but the reward is greater then any cash bonus, (not saying that it wouldn’t be nice though!), I’m so impatient to meet your new little darling, I am almost as excited as if it were my baby!

I can’t wait for newborn cuddles. I get all the fun bits now!!

All my love,

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babybrain

England is beautiful!

Not a very long post tonight, as I’m tired and short of words, but school settling is going wonderfully, and because of the odd hours, we got some special time with just us and big girl this morning.

We took her and Monty dog to a canal nearby that I’d never been to, and it just took my breath away! We had an amazing nature walk with foraged blackberry snacks along the way.

I managed to get some great shots.

   
    
    

Dew drops on a spider’s web. Amazing!
 
It was very useful that Mr Pear Bear could take an hour or so off to come with us, because everyone knows the best berries are up high!

  
The berries needed very thorough checking for insects though.

   
 
Then home to get little bro and get ready for school. I’m going to miss these little adventures when she starts full time. It’s not often we get to enjoy her company just us 3 now.

Selfie into the sun! Dodgy angling and squinty eyes! 😀

Doing something.

I am trying to do something to make a change. I have written about the refugee situation, and how it broke my heart, but I didn’t want to just leave it at that. I joined a local facebook group that is gathering donations and arranging trips to take them out to Calais. I also offered to do a run out myself. It makes me feel nervous, I don’t know what to expect, but I have read some wonderful stories written by people that have been out to do the very same thing, and I feel that if I can make even a fraction of a difference, to help just one family, I will have done something.

My heart still hurts when I think of all those children, senseless young lives cut short, but so many more are out there, tired, cold and hungry. I have had a massive clear out too, it was actually easy to give things up. My friend gave me a badge once, it said ‘All these things, of which we have no need.’, and in my case, I feel that that is more then true. I have a hoarding gene and am loathe to throw anything away, ‘just in case’ or if it holds a sentimental memory. Trouble is, everything can hold a sentimental memory! I keep clothes, birthdays cards, shoes, coats, toys, books, nothing gets thrown away. Now however, I have filled bags and bags of things. Things I know for sure I won’t really wear again, a cropped shirt may hold many fun memories of nights of but come on, I’m a 32 year old mum of two, the way my diet is going, by the time I get my body in a fit state for anything shorter then mid thigh length, my daughter will be at an age where I will be a crippling embarrassment to her, in a neck to ankle covering outfit, never mind a flesh flashing top! 😀

This is just my stuff, I've not even started on the rest of the family's things yet!
This is just my stuff, I’ve not even started on the rest of the family’s things yet!

I am splitting our things in two. Half will go to the refugees and half to another charity who collect through the pre-school my daughter attended. After all, there are people suffering everywhere, including in our own towns and not everything is suitable, not sure there is any need for pretty high heels in the jungle!!

I will keep you updated with how the trip goes, I’m not sure when it will be exactly, but I know there will be people in desperate need for a long time to come, and so help will still be needed when the initial drive has eased.

I had one negative comment on my previous post, and while the woman’s attitude really shocked me, her words made me think. She believes that it is a ploy to get terrorists into the country, she fully blames the father for the deaths of his family. If she truly believes that, surely even blinded by hatred she could see that by offering gestures of kindness, warm clothes, a kind voice, a smile, we can try and mend relations? These children are going to grow up. They will remember kindnesses shown to them now, and maybe we can make things more peaceful for future generations.

I’m not naive, I know that not everyone will be in genuine need, I realise that we can’t support everyone, but surely by donating some old clothing, showing some compassion, giving up some time, we can try and spread some love and care rather then fear and hate.

Don’t tell the kids though, I’m going to have to tackle their things when they are both out! 😀