Advent Video Day 7

Wow, day 7 already!! The days are flying. I have exciting news in this one, we bumped into someone pretty special…..any guesses who it might have been???? I’m also talking about my Christmas tree. Photos below if they ask to see!

As always, a hello, let me know if I can say hello to your little one by messaging me on facebook or twitter and if there are any photos, pictures they would like to show me, please scan or photograph, then send them over and I will make sure I mention them and thank your child on the next video I film.

 

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Advent Video Day 6!

It’s day 6! I’m still battling through the lurgy but I think I’m winning! Woo! If any of your children would like to show me their pictures or have a special mention, you can contact me on facebook or twitter and I will do my best to say hello to everyone. 😀

I’m having so much fun, having to rattle off pictures everywhere I go though, been sat at friend’s houses on play dates colouring frantically!

Please do share and spread the word about these, I would love for it to be successful so I can make lots and lots more story videos for everyone…and start preparing now so I can make this an annual event!!

Video Advent Day 5

I’m really sorry but I’m full of a cold and feeling just a tad less sparkly then usual! Hopefully you can’t tell. :)The 5.24am wake up this morning didn’t help. ( The .24 bit is so important because I couldn’t see  the hour on the alarm clock and stupidly assumed that it was just before 6.30am and that my husband’s alarm clock would be going off any second and so I didn’t bother returning him to bed. By the time I did realise, he was too awake for me to try and so he wiggled, fidgeted and chatted his way to morning.)

Today I’m talking about Sinterklaas and how the children of Holland celebrate their version of Christmas today, you can find out more here.

There are also more mentions. You can get in touch with me either through facebook by clicking here, twitter by clicking here, leave a comment below or on the video itself. You can also send me a private message if you’d rather. 🙂

Advent Calendar Day 4!

Ok, so I am absolutely full of a cold and not looking too polished buuuuut I have done some more videos tonight. I’m going to post them early as I know I have some kiddies watching in beautiful sunny Australia plus my gorgeous boy was up before six so I know for a fact we have some early risers out there!

There are some mentions too!  Thank you everyone that has been in touch already and I will work my way through slowly but steadily. It is so lovely to hear how much your kiddies are enjoying these. I am too! It’s so nice to have something to help get me feeling all festive.

Despite the fact that our tree is nowhere near up and my Christmas spirit is still firmly at the back of the cupboard, coming up with new pictures every day is starting to work it’s magic!

I’m so looking forward to the next weeks.

If you want a mention for your child, links are in the video comments or find me on facebook here and twitter here, I really love interacting with you all!

Calling all grown ups!

Be honest, reading the title, did you immediately think I meant you or was there a slight hesitation, a modicum of doubt?

The reason I ask is that I’m still wondering when, if ever, I will feel like a grown up. When I was a teenager, I’d see woman of my age, and think that they were so sorted and that at some point, in your twenties maybe, something changed and you were magically transported into the world of the grown up where you felt totally different.

This is yet to happen! And I’m not alone. I have spoken to several friends and they feel the same, a sort of Peter Pan complex. Although outwardly, I’m responsible and can be pretty mature if needed, (people even trust me with their children!), inside, I still feel like a teenager most of the time. I’m quite happy getting down on the floor to play with my kids, I laugh at silly jokes, I snort when I laugh too much, which makes me laugh even harder and I still seem to repeat the same behaviour patterns of my teenage years, I stay up far too late and am tired and grumpy in the morning and don’t get me started on ‘just a few drinks’ on a night out!!! 😀

It leads me to wonder whether any of these women I used to believe were proper adults, felt the same. From what I’m starting to discover is that you always feel young inside, until something will shock you into realisation, like going on a night out and feeling ancient because everyone else is a child and the outfit you felt on fire hot in is, well, not fashionable in any way! Or looking too closely in the mirror and seeing how old your skin really looks, or get up from an evening watching tv and your hip hurts!

There are some women, however, who seem to have been given the magic key to this mysterious world. They just ooze adult-ness, you know they never loose the vital school letters, they’ve completed their christmas shopping in august, they know how to budget, and meal plan. They also run things. Voluntarily. In their spare time. Which they seem to have despite having lives busier then the prime minister.

It would be very easy to feel inadequete in comparison, I am generally regarded with slight amusement for my scattiness, my only form of meal planning is when I look in the fridge at four pm, I try my absolute hardest to avoid being in charge of anything, I’m not a big fan of organised things in general. I am however, quite a lot of fun. I may be permenantly late but I’m good fun when I do get there, especially if there is wine involved! And I suppose I am more ‘grown up’ then I realise in a lot of ways, I manage the accounts, run a business, I’ve kept two humans alive for five years and I even volunteer in school, and they trust me to run activities without any supervision!

So in conclusion, maybe I too give off the illusion of being a grown up to others, maybe every one of the woman I perceive to be ‘adultier’ then me, actually feels the same inside. I also wonder if I will ever pass over into this ‘land of the grown ups’ myself. As I currently have pink hair and wear tights like this…. IMG_6350

……I’m not sure it will be anytime soon!! 😀

I’d love to know what you think, does everyone feel young in their heads? How do you feel? And how do you think you are perceived by others?

fartglitter

 

 

I’m a tantrum survivor. Sort of!

As I sat, white faced, close to tears, next to a pale, blotchy, hiccuping daughter, I tried to work out exactly why what just happened had happened. Believe it or not from that description, no major tragedy had befallen us, no near miss in the car, no death of a beloved pet, we still had all our limbs.

No, all that had happened was that we had just survived a tantrum, not just any tantrum though, not a bit of foot stamping or the lying on the floor wailing business that small boy is so fond of. No, this was a full on screaming, punching, kicking, flailing, sobbing, ‘you’ve ruined my life’ kind of a tantrum. (Yes she really said that, she is five, I have no idea where she got it from!!)

I’m aware that I’m sounding dramatic, and maybe we both have a flair for it, she certainly picked her stage well, a packed square in the centre of a popular Italian town on market day. (We had a crowd around us at one point!) However, I did feel completely drained, emotionally battered and physically shaken up in the aftermath, as if we had both weathered the sort of storm that you see on the news.

We have only had a few of these thank goodness, but each time I feel as though my soul has been slightly pummeled. I end up wondering if it was my fault, if I could have done anything differently, whether I am a bad mother.

There are certain things that I think trigger these monumental melt downs, tiredness being the main offender. I also think that sugar is a contributor, and if there has been a change in routine it doesn’t help and over indulgence and spoiling when on holiday or around birthday time is pretty fatal.

But it is impossible to work out which combination of these will result in the tantrum, if at all, because sometimes she is whacked out on sugar after an exhausting party and is the sweetest little girl.

I wish I had the answers as to how to deal with it. I have tried lots of tactics, the most recent being offering a no-strings-attached cuddle, and then sorting things out and getting the requisite apology when it has all calmed down.

Sometimes it is impossible to get through to her though, when she is so far into it, reaching out to her is just not an option, especially if she is angry and lashing out. This is fairly rare thank goodness, and getting much less frequent as she gets older and I learn how to read the warning signs.

During this last one, I kept calm, remarkably calm, I stayed firm and didn’t back down, I’d told her we were leaving the market due to her behaviour, after having given her several chances to turn it round and her continuing down the same line, and I was determined to follow through with it, even when she started screaming as if she were being kidnapped and the crowd gathered!

I am slightly ashamed to admit that I resorted to threatening to cancel her birthday party and even pretended to write a text to the bouncy castle man to tell him it wasn’t needed! (I know I know but it was a desperate measures situation and I was feeling totally out of my depth and at a bit of a loss.)

I got her away eventually, and managed to find a less public place to sit, she raged on for a bit more, until eventually the rage burned out and we were both left sitting there like tornado survivors.

After it had passed, she was the sweetest little girl again. It was hard to imagine her ever being like that. She is not coping fantastically well with the whole idea of school. She misses me when she is there and feels frustrated that she has to go and we do fun things without her. Which I can completely understand.

She is also exhausted, everything new, so much to do, so much to learn, and I am relieved to say that this was at half term and we haven’t had any incidents anywhere near this scale since, but I know that friends are struggling as well, and now I realise how many of us are experiencing this, it does make me feel better to know that I’m not alone, not that I would wish it on anyone else but it’s nice to know there are others out there who know what it’s like to cling to that emotional life raft in a sea of screaming!

Especially as all the mums I know that are also going through it are wonderful, kind, caring people, and it helps me to see that if we are all in the same boat, maybe it is just that some children are more sensitive to big life changes then others, can’t cope with tiredness as easily, find their emotions harder to understand and manage, and it isn’t the reflection on my parenting that I have been beating myself up about in the aftermath of these tantrum tornados. She is a lovely girl usually, she isn’t badly behaved as a rule, we are nowhere near applying for a spot on a ‘send in a nanny and film us all melting down’ type of tv program, generally she is sweet, polite, funny, helpful, just ever so occasionally, something overtakes her that she has no control over.

So if you are a mama and any of this rings a bell with you you, give yourself a hug from me because it’s hideous and horrible but these days will pass and I’m sure that one day we will be sipping wine and laughing uproariously about how embarrassing it all was.

Just not yet!!

Smiley crafty
Thankfully things are more like this between us…otherwise I wouldn’t want to get up in the morning! 😀

 

dragon

10 parent-y things I do, even when I’ve left the kids at home! 

This week I got two whole days away from the children, amazingly exciting!

Out! At the theatre. Drinking champagne. Wearing high heels. And a posh frock! So exciting. 😄

Though I quickly realised there are some ‘Mum things’ that are so ingrained in me as a parent that I do them even when the kids are not with me.

Here’s a quick round up;

Travel

1. Packing an activity pack.

2. And snacks.

3. Taking a water bottle. (Such a mum, pay for water?! Pah!)

4. Point out interesting things from the train/car window. Oooh look a tractor! Then feel like an absolute plank. This is 100% worse if you are travelling on your own.

Getting around

5. Wait for someone else to press the button at the traffic lights.

6. Then only cross when the green man tells me I can. Even if the road is completely clear. And everyone else is surging across.

Shopping

7. Spend most of my efforts looking for presents for my children.

8. And saying stuff like; ‘oooh they would love that Lego soldier!’ (Who goes to Hamleys without kids btw?! Me, that’s who!!)

Eating

9. Eating fast. Especially if there is cake. My mentally is firmly stuck on, eat fast and leave or eat fast so I get more then one bite and it is nigh on impossible to shake me out of that. Resulting in me almost always being finished first and waiting impatiently for the people leisurely enjoying their food! Anyone would have thought that meals were to savour and enjoy or something, not purely functional re-fuellings!

Lie ins 

10. Wake up before 7.30am. Like awake awake. Then get up because there is no point in wasting a day.

‘Wasting a day’?!?! I have become a mum cliche!

What would you add to the list?

(Just so you can see how ‘Mum’ I am, here are a selection of my photos from London!)


  

  

  

I did take a couple that were not totally child based too!


  
  
  
  

My top tips for flying solo with children!

1. Don’t.😂

2. Visit the doctors in plenty of time to procure some Valium for your fear of flying, only a white lie, it is genuinely a fear, just a fear of flying with children.

3. Pack plentiful snacks. The boxes of raisins will be tipped between the seats upon opening and the one thing they have always liked will be deemed disgusting after two bites. If you are really unlucky, they will be completely unable to swallow the warm and super sticky contents of their mouths and you will not have any tissues.

4. Pack suitable entertainment. Surprisingly, the felt pens in the specific travel wallet were not suitable. We all wish you well in your new life as a high flyer pen lid. You were appropriately, (and dramatically!), mourned for an inappropriately long time.

5. When the trolley comes round, do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the peace and order a hot drink. This will be the precise moment that pen lid-gate will occur. You will choke it down whilst attempting to hold your tray flat as small people batter it from underneath in their search for the tiny and round roll-y item.  There will be a lot of exaggerated crying and standing on each other, making it extra difficult to drink through the gritted teeth you now have.

6. Instead order two wines on the special offer, you can chug these straight from the bottle with no tray needed and minimal spillage risk. They will also help the Valium that you managed to wangle take maximum effect.

7. When booking seats, ‘accidently’ book the children into a row at the back of the plane and yourself at the front. These online booking systems are so complicated aren’t they?! Especially if you do it when testing out the Valium/wine combination at home, for research purposes of course. 😉

It was almost worth the extra grey hairs I now have to get these amazing in flight shots. Perfect for my instagram, where I post an awful lot more photos of my life, come and say hi!  😊

Thanks so much for reading! I’d absolutely love to know what you think and what your number one tips are for flying with children. Proper ones will be much appreciated as well, we have to go back still!!

dragon    

  

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!)

2d204-bestandworstlinky