Monday, 28 February 2011

My Favourite Spider

I am absolutely phobic about spiders. Completely totally and utterly. However, when I was looking through my old photos tonight I found this one of Caleb at 11 months and remembered, there's one spider out there who always makes me smile.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Silent Sunday - OHHHHHH My Samurai

Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Alone Time is Good Time?

Something I've come to terms with over the last couple of days is that my kids don't need my constant attention at all available opportunity. Usually I feel bad if I go for a shower and don't let Caleb dot back and forward to me, or if I'm busy making dinner and he's all alone with just the television for company. When Sophie was his age I had extremely bad Post Natal Depression as I've said before and any timeout from being a mother was needed and I don't recall much of her life at Caleb's age. It's something I have eternal guilt over and probably overcompensate for it with them both now. I'm guilt ridden if I don't give them my constant attention when they need it.

Since we moved the rooms round upstairs though and Caleb has had more space to play he actually wants to be in his room. He's happy for anyone to play with him but also is so happy to be left alone and play. I spend the whole time checking on him though and even put my ipod in his room so he doesn't get lonely. He loves music and every now and again I peek round at him and he's dancing around his room and playing with his cars. But I still feel guilty that my boys alone and feel I should be in with him entertaining him and playing along side him. I sometimes worry that he thinks I've left him alone in the house and panics.

Snack, Juice and Music are the key. 
Having such fun with his cars.

 I wish I could just relax and let him have his alone time without the guilt or knots in my stomach.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Silent Sunday- Foooooood, one messy one not.


Silent Sunday

Friday, 18 February 2011

Decorating Nightmare

I've blogged in the past about us doing some work to the house and I can now blog about how I am stopping the work and doing no more. This is way to stressful.

So far we have swapped all the bedrooms round and totally redecorated, freshened up all the paintwork, wall mounted the TV, bought, assembled and rebuilt Sophie's bedroom (and its fab) and added new soft furnishings throughout the house. Right now we have decorators in to strip, repaper, and paint our hall and staircase and remove and replace the banisters. During this process, we have had workmen in all over the place and so far we have managed to have a phone broken, white gloss dropped on wooden  flooring, Caleb catch a stinking cold from them, hall rug ruined and both sky boxes now needing an engineer out to sort them (which wont come cheap thanks Mr  TV engineer). Our decorator in the hallway is working on average 2 hours a day and so far hasn't even managed to get the wallpaper up after an entire weeks work, mess and dust.

 I'm exhausted, stressed and generally have had enough.  We were due to start on the bathroom next then redecorate the kitchen, but I'm done. I can't cope with anymore mess or workmen in the house. My Hubby has been instructed that hes to hang the new bathroom cabinet, shower screen and bath panel and to hell with the rest of the work. It's not that badly needed in there anyway I just fancied a change. The kitchen does need painted but I need some time out.

Why oh why did I ever start this. Anyway, I must go and wipe my child's streaming nose and fight my way through the contents of my hallway that are in my dining room and reach for the Valium.  *sniff*

Lovely Surprise.

I got a truly lovely surprise this week during a pretty stressful time in this house. We were mid room move and I received a tweet letting me know that I had won a Hamper courtesy of the lovely guys over at Parental Circle from their launch competition. I was thrilled as I have never won anything ever ever in my life before and so it was totally unexpected.

It arrived on Wednesday night while I was ironing Hubby's shirt for work and he was catching up on his sleep on the couch for nightshift, so amidst our house of carnage and mid decoration it was lovely. It contained wine, chocolate, beer, tablet and cheese. I'm saving it for the weekend when we have a friend over for dinner who's going through a tough time right now and hopefully it will help cheer him up too.

So chuffed with it and thank you guys and hope to see you all soon.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day Everyone. How did you spend yours?

Well, this morning I had a hospital appointment and hubby who had been nightshift last night got up after an hours sleep and took me and looked after Caleb for me while I was in seeing the specialist. When I came downstairs he had left me a card which is lovely, a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates. Very sweet.

We quickly got organised and left. On the way back we stopped into Sainsburys and I picked up their Meal for 2 with Wine etc and we will have that later. When we got home hubby went to bed as he is working again tonight and Caleb and I napped together for a while.

Tonight  I shall make dinner for Hubby and I before he leaves for work and then I shall be camped out in front of a movie while I drink my wine, alone. Sounds like a perfect Valentines Night to me.

I hope you all have a lovely day, in a relationship or single, I think its a day/evening to be good to yourself or your loved one.

Much Love kisses etc to you all.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Silent Sunday-Big boy bed

Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Bedtime Stories

Recently in the news there was a report saying that a high percentage of parents no longer read to their little ones at bedtime. This shocked me and quite frankly made me doubt the survey.

I have always read to both my children at bedtime and throughout the day. Caleb is a lot more book orientated than Sophie was but still I read the same amount to both of them. Sophie still had a chapter or two of a book read to her up until she was 10/11. When she started secondary school she became 'too cool' to be read to and that's fine but at night I still make sure she reads herself when she has time or isn't too tired.

My husband comes in from work at night tired and hungry but always makes time to sit with Caleb and read a book. Caleb loves this time and I believe it's essential to have this special time with no TV's on. It's amazing how it affects Caleb's behaviour and demeanour too. He is calm and happy after all his stories at night and generally ready for his bed.

I hope the report and survey were flawed because I believe it's every child's right to have that snuggle time at bedtime when they get to hear their favourite books.

A Boy and His Cat

In the last two days Caleb has started noticing much more about our Cats. I have two. Honeys 7 and a friendly playful little cat around him and he has enjoyed much fun over the last 2 years with her.

Misti is 18 this year and old with a false knee due to a dog attack and many aches and pains from being run over too in the past. She was a feral Kitten who I got at days old and raised as her Mother had been Knocked over and killed near our Flat at the time. She was the runt of the litter and I was told she wouldn't survive long. Well, she's still here and still as wild as the day she was born. With both kids I've had to be careful when they were little as she is very protective of me and doesn't like strangers at all. Both times though she has accepted new babies as part of me and never minded them much. As Sophie grew into a toddler the hatred began though. She would get Misti by the tail and drag her backwards around the house with her hissing and swiping at her and many a time I had to lock the cat out to stop fights. She was a lot younger then and a lot less tolerant.

As Sophie grew up though they became very close and Misti can often be found cuddled up with her the pair of them asleep.

This time round she just accepts everything about Caleb as a toddler and they seem to have an unspoken deal I believe. He's never rough with her and respects her space greatly. With Honey he drags her around throws things at  her and generally treats her like a toy. Its a mystery why he seems to understand that Misti is old and fragile and needs love and care more than anything.

The last two days though they seem to be closer than ever. He follows closely behind her and talks to her gently all day long. He even sits and waits for her to finish her dinner and she lets him which is amazing as she is food aggressive with everyone else including the other cat.  I always follow closely behind just to be sure but they seem to be at peace with one another. It's bizarre but then who knows what goes on between a boy and his cat.

The Next Mr Titchmarsh????

Last week we went up to visit Grannie and Papa after not seeing them for so long what with everyone having flu etc after Christmas and New Year. We had a cup of Coffee and a lovely catch up. Caleb was desperate to get out in the garden to see grannies dragonfly ornament and as she had been planning to go out and do some cutting back we got wrapped up and went out to play. For the first half hour he just stood and chatted to the dragonfly and named grannies plants, but when Granny brought the bin out to clear up leaves and cut back plants he couldn't wait to get involved. And get involved he did. 

We spent the best part of 3 hours until it was dark helping Granny. Caleb had a step and every time Granny cut back a pl;ant he picked it up, stepped up and threw it  'In debeeeen' (in the bin).  When Granny missed a dead piece of plant Caleb went and pointed it out to her. He was great fun and so sensible too. As soon as it started getting too cold and dark he ran to Papa's office window and shouted up to him to come and get him which he did and we finished sweeping up.

He had a ball and Granny and I enjoyed his company and I think my Mum appreciated all his help. Maybe he'll be the  next Alan Titchmarsh. For now he's just our wonderful little helper.

Blown away by Technology

At Christmas time we bought Caleb a V-Tech Storio from Santa as one of his main presents. I wondered at the time if he was maybe a little small for it as it is considered for ages 3+ and at Christmas he had only turned 2 weeks before. At first he was a bit baffled by it but loved the Toy Story3 E-book that came with it and liked us playing with it with him and showing him his favourite pictures.  At New Year I went online and registered it with V-Tech for updates and found some free educational E-Books in their library to download onto it which I did.

VTech Storio Animated Reading System

Recently he has found these books on there, one of which is underwater world fun and another a wonders of the world book. You wouldn't believe how quickly his speech has come on because of the Storio and his had eye co-ordination is incredible. He can play the pick the picture games and get them all correct. In these games the Storio offers you two pictures and a word and you have to touch the picture that matches the word. I thought it would all be too advanced for him but the way it teaches these things is through repetition and recognition and it works. He knows all the underwater creatures and says their names aloud and all the landmarks around the world too. His Eco Explorer app goes on safari and he now knows a huge range of animals.

I can't get over the amount these gadgets teach your little one in such a short period of time. I was a believer of real books over what I saw as a electronic game but its even started to encourage him more with real books. He will now have us read him a story then he will read it back to himself. Not word for word or anything but its such a huge change in his development I am just astounded. His big sister suggested getting him the mobigo too and I think we will for his next treat toy as I'm happy to spend on anything that helps his development after all the worries we've had with him.

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 7 February 2011

I'll Always have Paris

When I agreed to do a guest post for the lovely Transatlantic Blonde I struggled a bit to decide what to write about. Usually I blog about my kids and my general family life. She suggested something a bit different from my usual and so I thought what better than to talk about my past life.......... before motherhood.

For those of you who don't know me personally, pre children I was a bit of a mad impulsive mover. I had numerous different houses/flats and was always up for a change. I left home at 16 and moved into a flat with a friend and went to University. Studying really wasn't for me but I finished my first two years and then went and worked in a friends bar until I decided what I wanted to do. During that time I did a bit of babysitting for some of my parents friends with young kids for extra cash.  It was through one of these couples that I met a family who had a daughter in Paris who was looking for a nanny. She had just had a baby boy who was 3 weeks old and her French Husband worked between Paris and London and she wanted some fairly part time help with reasonable pay, free accommodation and obviously no bills. I met the couple once when they came to visit but spent some time with her parents with them obviously vetting me and my family/background. After 3 weeks I decided to take the job on a trial of a month and then reassess. So off I went.

I'd never flown before alone and am a very nervous flyer at the best of times but the excitement of doing something so spur of the moment took over and I managed without creating mass panic on the plane (which isn't unheard of from me).

It was hot July in Paris when I landed at Charles de Gaulle and grabbed a taxi at the airport by myself clutching a piece of paper with the address of the couples apartment. First impressions???? 'ARE YOU ALL NUTS?' These people had no highway code and drove like mad loonies. I was terrified and most relieved when I arrived at the address in one piece. It was slap bang across the road from the Eiffel Tower and I was a happy happy bunny.

The apartment was fabulous and I settled in with a very friendly couple very easily. I loved the whole place and the people.

I only helped out with the baby a few half days a week and the rest of the time wandered around sight seeing. I adored everything about the place, but as I speak absolutely no French whatsoever it made for some interesting shopping trips there.  My favourite place to shop was Gallery Lafayette and generally I spent most of my free cash there on cute clothes and presents to send back home to my parents. I was in my element there and adored the hustle and bustle of it and people watching the stylish parisiennes.

I did a lot of exploring and loved taking a book and finding a lovely park to lie under a tree reading. My absolutely most memorable trip in those first few weeks though was going to visit the grave yard where Jim Morrison from 'The Doors' is buried. I had been a huge fan for years and even did my Higher English book report on the book 'No One Here Gets Out Alive'. So being in Paris and able to go to one of the graveside vigils was amazing.

People go in their dozens with guitars and candles and pay their respects. Its was popular the Police guarded the graveside to protect it. I took loads of photos but as that was back in the pre digital camera days I don't have them scanned.

After the month I decided to stay on with the couple and worked for the best part of a year with them between Paris and London. Eventually I left them as childcare wasn't in my long term plans (needless to say a year later I was a mum so that was bad planning), but I adore Paris and dearly hope to go back one day.

I'll always have Paris.