The week after Easter my little (not so baby anymore!) boy will be 5. Nooooooooo! It has gone tooo quickly.
I made the mistake of asking him what he wanted to do and he announced "I want a party with lots of my friends in the garden with my trampoline and bouncy castle."
There are several issues with this:
The first is the weather, early April is very unpredictable. The day he was born I can vividly remember the gales and the snowstorm the day after, yet in 2007 I have photos that prove it was one of the best days of that year!
The second is the trampoline has not yet been built. We brought it last year when our garden was still a work in progress mud pit (we only seeded the grass last October!) and so we need a nice day, preferably with a few dry days before hand so the ground has chance to dry out, to make it up. Not looking good so far!
The third is the bouncy castle is quite small and one of the seams is giving way; it is fine for my two but not too sure it will withstand twelve 3 to5 year olds!
I delayed sending out the invitations for as long as I dared in the hope I would be able to find a long term weather forecast telling me we were going to have a fantastic Easter Week, it hasn't happened but I couldn't wait any longer. I also couldn't think of a cheap alternative.
I was quite concerned, and I explained this to an old schoolfriend of mine. She laughed when I said I was worried about having twelve children in my house for a couple of hours, and she reminded me of our childhood birthday parties.
And she was right. (Thanks Susan)
When I was young our parents thought nothing of having our parties at home, in fact the concept of hosting a party at a venue wasn't even an option. Most pubs didn't want children anywhere near them, or we were hidden in 'family rooms', and places like Wacky Warehouses just didn't exist. I am only going back to the 1970's so not so long ago really, but my how things have changed. Every party now seems to be a 'bowling party', 'a wacky warehouse party' a 'soft play party', a 'mcDonalds' party or even near us one place is offering a 'cake baking party' (10 children can bake and decorate a birthday cake for just £175 - don't think that includes food either!!).
So as much as I am keeping my fingers crossed for a gorgeous day so my son can have the party he wants I now also have an alternative plan.
We will have a traditional party full of party games:
Pin The tail on The Donkey,
Pass The Parcel
Dancing and any others I can think of!
A pinata (didn't exist in my day!!),
and set up football in the garage!
So with food and Birthday cake hopefully that will be enough to entertain them all if it rains.
I also have another cheat though - I think I am going to hire a bouncy castle. Not only does it come with a raincover it means we don't have to build a trampoline and it will save our bouncy castle from getting destroyed.
So thanks to my friend Susan I am now looking forward to the party; especially the glass of wine I will have on standby for once everyone has gone home!!!
For those of you, like me who are new to a Photo MeMe here are the 'rules':
1. Open the first (oldest) photo folder in your computer library
2. Scroll to the 10th photo
3. Post the photo and the story behind it
4. Tag 5 or more people to continue the thread.
Here goes; here is my photograph:
As soon as I saw the Photo MeMe instuctions stating that we had to open the oldest digital photo album file I knew that the photograph would be one from the day my first child was born as we purchased our first digital camera to capture the day our little boy came into the world.
In just 3 weeks we will be celebrating my baby boy's 5th birthday, I cannot believe it has come around so quickly and how much my life has changed for the better since that day.
When this photograph was taken I would guess that my little boy was not even an hour old. I had just gone through a normal deliverywithout any pain relief - I had been using Gas & Air but the midwives made me stop using it as they said I wasn't pushing proper because of it! OMG, it hurt, but by the time this photograph had been taken that had been pretty much forgotten because I had my little baby boy safe and cuddling in my arms.
If you look at the size of his tiny head to the little hat you can see he was a tiny dot, weighing just 5lb 10. He was born early, if had been born just 2 days earlier would have been classed as a premie.
I have loved looking back at these photographs, and the timing, being so close to his birthday makes it even more poignant.
OO - just remembered that the day the photo was taken we were having gales ( I can remember listening to the noisy gusty wind as I lay in my hospital bed looking at this little bundle of joy!) and the day after, when we brought him home, there was a snow storm! As it was early April it didn't settle but it was definately not for want of trying! Funny the things you remember!!
One of friends is waiting for the birth of her first baby, she was due a couple of days ago, and if she reads this I wish her as many happy memories as I have!
I know I am being silly but I am really excited that I have been tagged by A Humdrum Mum for my first photo MeMe.
Thank you!! I am excited because I now feel like I am achieving something in Blog Land but also because I have a valid excuse to go and search through my photographs.
We are paranoid in our family about loosing our precious digital photographs; if they get corrupted they are irreplaceable so they are stored on my computer in the spare bedroom , which I like to call my office, which at the moment does not connect to the internet, just in case!
It has occurred to me though that in the 'old days' when we had negatives and prints nobody worried about keeping their negatives in a fire proof safe just in case though, so maybe we are being over-protective!! Once we have a back-up of all our photo's maybe we will relax. Last week my hubby convinced me that we needed to invest in a 1TB HDD primarily for the purpose of backing up all our data, I am now thinking that actally that was really because the PS3 memory was nearly full! Hmmm, conned again!
So I will be venturing to 'my office' to browse and recapture some memories and will post back soon!
My little boy in in Reception class and today, from what he has just told me, they have been talking about the story of Easter, but I think he may have misunderstood a little.
Here is a little of the Easter story as told to me my by nearly 5 year old son:
"Baby Two Ears, er no, I mean Jesus, died when he was an adult. He was buried in a tube and the skeleton of him flew into the air and went to heaven in the sky. He has stayed there for a very long time."
He then added:
"You can talk to Baby Jesus. You need to be outside, or have your windows open so your voice can go up to the sky. I talked to him earlier in the hall. Mummy why didn't he answer me?"
I'm not going mad this is an article from Reuters news agency about how The National Trust are hoping to help calm down workers with jars of fresh air!! (see below for the article!) I wonder if it works on stressed out mums????
I am really reposting this as The Trust is offering the jars as part of a promotion to publicise a weekend of free entrance to its attractions on March 20/21. If you haven't got an annual pass it can be expensive to access Trust sites, so I think this is a fab way of having a cheap trip out with your family!! I am putting it in my diary! For more information try http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/ and you can find your local Trust locations!
Feeling stressed? Try a bottle of fresh air
The National Trust is offering stressed-out workers 10 minutes of calm, bottled up in a jar full of nothing but fresh air.
That's the effect, it says, of the air, which comes from some of the country's favourite beauty spots.
The glass jars are being handed out to workers in London who can choose a variety of aromas including the lakeside smell of Windermere in Cumbria and the grassy tang of Stourhead in Wiltshire.
"With most of us living in an urban environment and having little time to escape to the great outdoors, we thought it was about time the National Trust shared just a fraction of our copious amounts of fresh air with the nation," said Trust spokesman Andrew McLaughlin.
He said a study had shown 74 percent of workers admit they feel stressed every day but that 70 percent say that escaping to the countryside makes them feel instantly relaxed.
The Trust is offering the jars as part of a promotion to publicise a weekend of free entrance to its attractions on March 20/21.
Yesterday was my 35th birthday and, thank you for asking :) , I had a really nice day except for the fact that it was my first birthday without a card from either my dad or mom.
Now for you to understand the situation with my mom requires a very complicated, old and long story which I have no intention of boring you with apart from saying that it all started when I was 17, so as much as I mention it, it is long dealt with and I am actually very accepting of the situation. It has only entered my thoughts because of my dad.
If you have followed my posts then you will know that my dad had a stroke at the start of the year.
He is doing fantastically well, I am amazed by his progress, and thankfully he is now back at his home. Other than requiring his shopping/finances sorted he is pretty much looking after himself on a day to day basis; though he is still struggling with his speech and thought processes. Everytime he has an appointment, a food delivery or event(including my birthday!) I am writing it on the Classic Cars calendar hanging in his kitchen and he is, so far, managing and has not missed anything.
I nearly didn't go and see him because I thought it would really upset me if he didn't have any understanding that it was my birthday. But after having had a wonderful, non-rushed, pub lunch with just my hubby (bliss, and I actually don't remember the last time that happened!) we decided as we had some time before collecting children from school to pop and see him.
Now don't get me wrong I did not expect a birthday card or gift from my dad, but I was hoping that when he saw me that he would give me a hug because he had seen the date on his calendar.
No hug. No 'happy birthday' greeting attempt. And I didn't remind him as I did not want to risk upsetting him. I am really glad we made the effort though as I was greeted with him communcating to me that his central heating wasn't working; which meant his meter had run out of credit. So hubby and I raced to collect his gas card, raced to the shop for credit (added lots this time to make sure this doesn't happen again!), stopped to collect children and went back to see my dad. He loved seeing his grandchildren, it always perks him up, and now he has heating again so he won't freeze. And I realised it didn't matter to me that my dad had 'forgotten'* my birthday, it was enough to see him.
I am amazed that I wasn't upset or emotional and that I was just pleased to be able to help my dad and see him enjoy his grandchildren. In fact I was more disapointed over a bunch of broken flowers from someone else entirely lol! (The picture is for dramatic effect only, they weren't quite that bad, but really why did they bother at all??!!)
So I feel that at 35 I have reached adulthood and become a grown up!
*I know that my dad hasn't forgotten out of choice but out of circumstances beyond his control!
At just before 7am on this cold but bright sunny Sunday morning I was woken by the patter of small footsteps coming into my bedroom; if only it could have been an hour or so later!
My litle girl, Boo, lifted up the duvet and climbed into bed for a cosy Mummy cuddle. Awwwww.
This is a regular occurance and is also one of the best times of my day; yes she does it nearly every morning! Boo wanders in, half asleep and when she sees me open my eyes to welcome her in she gives me the most beautiful. loving smile I have ever seen and we have some just 'us' time. It melts my heart . She snuggles in for a cosy cuddle and if I am lucky she relaxes and dozes off to a peaceful sleep, and so do I. How idylic. Hmmmm.
I wish! Yes it is wonderful and I am enjoying it while it lasts, she is now 3 years old, and I know that in 10 or so short years (probably a lot less but I can hope) the last thing she will want to do is creep into my bedroom for a cuddle; but (why is there always a 'but'?) for some inexplicable reason she feels like she has spent the night in a freezer, and so I am actually rudely awakened by, what feels like blocks of ice being placed next to me. Brrrrrrrr.
I can't stand being cold and love to feel warm and cosy so I am always amazed that it doesn't seem to bother her; and worse within a couple of minutes of me trying to warm her up and wrap her in my duvet she is kicking my duvet off her, and me. Add to that the fact that she very rarely settles back down to sleep preferring instead to talk, poke or prod me (one of her favourite games is to poke my nose and loudly shout 'beep' at varying pitches) or generally just fidget so much that I end up getting up to make sure Daddy and her big brother aren't disturbed; then it isn't really that idylic, well apart from that smile full of unconditional love.
(I should add though that mornings when I just don't have the energy to get up I can manage to ignore her for long enough that Daddy will get up and I get a lie in, like yesterday when she came wandering in at 6.30am!)
This morning though she came through and as usual didn't settle back down to sleep but instead looked sincerely in to my eyes and very seriously asked "Mummy are you proud of me?"
Of course my answer was 'YES'! I know my little girl is the best, most adorable, beautiful and clever girl ever, as I know my son is the best, most adorable, wittiest, gorgeous, intelligent boy ever. I make sure I tell them this every single day.
(I do accept that I am not the only one to believe this of my children, but I know I am the only one that is right in my beliefs!! ) :)
So now I want to know why did she ask me? I can't help it, I worry about everything!
Phew - since I last found the time to sit down and cathartically splurge I don't feel I have stopped, to the extent where on occasions I have had to remind myself to breathe!
Last Thursday my little girl, who from now on I will refer to as 'Boo' managed to start off my manic run of stress by scaring me nearly to death.
Picture my kitchen; basically fitted cupboards which aren't fitted (but which are fantastic for moving around and trying in new locations to see which works best!) , with no worktops just some very large, and heavy, 60x60cm tiles on the appliances. It isn't actually as bad as it sounds, well it is visually, but as a working kitchen it is fine, it has to be! It has been like this since we moved in 18months ago when realised what was here was that bad that it had to go immediately and what we have now is what we managed before the money ran out!
So what did Boo do? Boo desperately wanted, as is her domestic goddess way, help me prepare the tea. I was having a very busy day and so was rushing, and she was flitting in and out of the kitchen. I knew she wanted to put the cream in the chicken curry I was making but at the moment I needed to put it in she was distracted. So rather than call her to come and help I carried on quickly, and grateful for the peace. A short while later she came through and spotted I had put the cream on the dishwasher, deliberately to be out of her reach. I explained that I had already used the cream and that she could help with the rice instead. Then I was distracted by the phone. Whilst I was less than 2 foot away from her but facing in the opposite direction, my little girl Boo decided that the way to reach the cream was by pulling open the dishwasher door and using it as a step.
Ordinarily, in a fully fitted kitchen, this would not cause a problem other than possibly damaging the dishwasher door but in a half fitted kitchen, Oh My God. The dishwasher fell over on top of her, with the large heavy tile sliding down onto her too and the breadmaker that lives on top of the diswasher, well that was dangling by its plugged in cable just inches above her head.
She was upset and very scared, but probably not as scared as me, and luckily just ended up with a nose bleed, bruised nose, bruised forehead and a chipped front tooth. It could have been so much worse. Inside the dishwasher were some very sharp knives and glasses, I dred to think how bad it could have been. So I spent Thurday evening shaking from the shock of it all and worrying about what might have been. But I she is now fine and was more upset that she may have broken the bread maker (she didn't we used it yesterday!), and that her sock got covered in cream, as did most of the kitchen!
So since recovering from Boo highlighting the urgent need for us to finish our kitchen, not just for asthetical purposes but also for her safety I have mainly been running around after my dad. My dad came home on Friday from rehabilitation following his stroke and I am amazed at how well he is doing but at the same time there are lots of things he is doing which worries me. So I am spending alot of time going around to check on him and doing all his jobs (which I don't want to do but there is no-one else to do them!) whilst my jobs and what I want to do isn't happening, and I'm not sleeping properly because I am worrying about him and my jobs getting behind so then I get more stressed. Looking after two small children and fitting in 3 school runs everyday doesn't help! So a vicious circle. ARRRRG!
But today I have made time to sit down and have a cup of tea, on my own with no children or husband or dad to want or need anything from me and I have decided that enough is enough. I am going to take control and de-stress as it isn't fair on all those around me, or doing any good in my quest to be known by my children as a practically perfect mummy, and anyway I have a kitchen I need to plan and finish!