the fam

the fam

Friday, 9 November 2012

Half Term Happiness

I'm a bit late with this post (as eldest has been back at school for a week) but I really wanted a reminder of our busy time to look back on. I love the holidays with the kids - it's a nice break from the usual rush every morning and we get to spend 'proper' time together.

I adore Autumn time - everything looks so beautiful. I love to see the colour of the trees, the falling leaves and the misty mornings.

At the start of the half term Alfie went to the first of 2 halloween parties - the 1st of a schoolfriend who turned 6

Then we went on nature walks and ate chocolate cake in the park, looked at the beautiful trees turning to gold..

Did some messy art..

There were pumpkins and Trick or Treating...

A stay with Nanny & Grandad, another halloween party... 

...and then fireworks to end the week with a bang!

...not sure how we fitted it all in!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Normal Service Resumes. Sort of.

So we're back in the swing of things..shiny school shoes and lunchbox frenzy, early morning shoutiness and trying to find where Charlie has hidden various items before whizzing off to school. Then it's a full working day with intermittent washing and ironing and a forage in the freezer for tea.
I'm still working from home as this is the best option for now but soon it will be all change.

Our lovely Office Manager Charlotte will soon be leaving us for a while..she is off on maternity leave to prepare for the arrival of her baby. We will all miss her but are absolutely delighted for her and her family and I'm sure she will be a wonderful Mummy.

In the meantime Catherine and myself will be steaming ahead with painting and running the office while Steve battles with the wooden stuff. The run-up to Christmas always fills me with total panic and this year will probably be no exception! We have my Mum and Sister In Law on standby to help out but I am going to try and keep calm this year and not have a meltdown. It's such a hectic few weeks but feels like it will never end. I must focus on the good points (masses of orders) and not think about the bad stuff (4am finishes anyone?)

November has come around so quickly and I am not at all organised for Christmas presents or even what anyone will be getting. Alfie already has a growing list but to be honest Charlie would probably be happy with just the wrapping paper come Christmas morning.

I have started my own list..not for magical gifts but a massive 'to do' list which will also continue to grow as we head towards the big day but despite the panic I truly love Christmas. The family time, the sparkly stuff, the sherry (!), watching the kids smiley faces and lying on the sofa after eating my own bodyweight in Quality Street and trifle...that's Christmas for me.

So for now it's head down, focus and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.......


Since writing this post, Charlotte has been admitted to hospital with pre-eclampsia. She has had lots of tests and plenty of rest and this afternoon she was induced. We'll keep you updated with any further news. In the meantime, we are keeping everything crossed for her!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Is There Anybody There??

As far back as I can remember I have been fascinated by anything 'spooky'. I have no idea where this all came from but my mum has always said I have my Grandma's Gift. I've never communicated with 'the other side' (and I don't mean ITV) but I do seem to have a very strange knack of knowing stuff before others do.
My friends often call me a Witch..I'm hoping it's because of my extra sense.

Since it's been the spookiest of weeks, I decided to join in with Lisa Jarmin's Creepy Halloween Linky. (if you haven't read How To Be A Domestic Disgrace go and read it! I love Lisa's blog... it makes me laugh out loud) Reading her account of her little boy's new 'friend' (a lady called Felicia!) made me shiver and laugh in equal measures. Children are well known for their ability to 'see' what adults can't (mainly cobwebs and dust in my house) and since we moved into our new home I'm wondering if we have a new 'friend' too.

Years ago when we all lived together with my parents, I distinctly remember our eldest son talking about his friend Bobby Man. He told us what Bobby Man had been doing and where he'd been and often laughed at thin air. One day we asked him where Bobby Man was and he pointed 'over there Mummy'. Yikes.
Eventually Bobby Man seemed to move on. When he wasn't mentioned for sometime I asked where he'd gone.
'Oh he's gone to Blackpool to play Darts Mummy' came the reply. So had we been haunted by a big sweaty darts player or was it just an active imagination?

Our new home, which we moved into 4 weeks before Charlie was born last year, feels very friendly and welcoming. I knew as soon as we'd had our first viewing that we'd be living there. So I wasn't at all bothered being in the house on my own but I did start to wonder if I was slowly losing my mind or we really had an extra lodger.
It started as soon as we'd moved cupboards were constantly open, things were going missing then reappearing. I heard movement above me one night (Steve was out) in the spare room and presumed Alfie had got out of bed. I went up to check...both boys were fast asleep.

Then the electrics started playing up. We would be plunged into darkness by the trip-switch when various plugs were turned off. Bulbs blew constantly in every room..even ones we'd just replaced. Lights flickered all the time and lights would stop working then come back on again. One of the worst was a night I'd been working late so it was after midnight when I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom. We have small lights in the bathroom ceiling and they too had been replaced frequently. All was quiet then BANG! a lightbulb completely exploded showering me in glass and small bits burned into the scared the life out of me!! I sat on the toilet seat in my bare feet and waited as Steve bounded up the stairs to rescue me.

We got an electrician in to see what a mess the electrics were in, thinking we may need the whole house rewiring. He just scratched his head...everything was absolutely fine. He couldn't understand it at all.

Sunday evenings, Steve used to play 5-a-side football, so I bathed the boys on my own. One of these evenings I was bending over the bath when I was pinched from behind - just a playful kind of gesture and I assumed Steve had sneaked in. I let out a surprised 'Ooh!' as I hadn't heard him come in and then thought he must have gone back into the bedroom to get changed.
'Hello! Did you win?' I called.
No answer.
I got the boys out of the bath and chatting as I went, suddenly realised that Steve wasn't home at all.

The following week something similar happened only this time I was convinced I'd heard Steve return home. I'm sure I  heard a 'hello'.
'oh hello! You're back early' I said
'was the game called off?'
Nothing. Maybe he's gone downstairs I thought but strange that he hadn't been in to see the boys. Again, I dried the boys and we went looking for Daddy.

He came home an hour later.


I was starting to feel a little uneasy at this point but thankfully not scared - it seemed playful more than anything. Apart from the glass shower obviously.

Things then seemed to quieten down and recently we've not had anything unexplained happen. The only instance that recently freaked me out a little was when we were sitting in the front room watching TV. Alfie was in his pyjamas on the other sofa and could see the kitchen from where he was sitting. I saw him look towards the kitchen door and stare then he turned to me and said

'Mummy I've just seen a ghostie grey thing go across the kitchen'

To read Lisa's spooky tale, join in with the linky or read other similar terrifying tales click here

Don't have nightmares!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Small Steps

Watching our small son take his first few faltering steps this last couple of weeks has been joyous. He's really finding his feet now and becoming a toddler. Funny how I feel in a similar situation...wobbling towards some kind of normality at a slow and steady pace.

So yesterday I cried. I used to do that a lot. This time though it wasn't about a trivial matter that used to have me sitting in a heap in a state of post natally depressed hopelessness but a few tears of genuine sadness.

The tears came through a mixture of tiredness, emotional events and some truly devastating news. Too much work to cope with and not enough time for the kids...a big healthy side order of guilt thrown in.

My 'Auntie Linda' got remarried at the weekend. She wasn't a 'real' auntie but my parents were best friends with her and husband 'Uncle Jan' for over 16 years so they were very much part of our family.
Tragically Uncle Jan was killed at the age of 47 in a accident at the end of 2004 a week before Christmas...I will never forget that day. Seeing the look of despair on my Mum and Dad's faces was heartbreaking. It hit everyone very hard so it was emotional seeing Auntie Linda have her first dance with her new husband but we couldn't be happier for them both.

There were also a couple of pieces of news that left me reeling. An old school friend of mine fighting skin cancer but has just found out that it is terminal She may only have months left...she's 41. My friends sister also has cancer and she now has weeks to live...she's 49 with two kids. I wanted to rage at the world...this has been happening far too often in the last few years and it breaks my heart.

Thankfully there was a very good piece of news. Our darling little Charlie had a hospital appointment for his 'ranula' - a blister-like swelling in the floor of his mouth which was growing at an alarming rate. We were worried it may start to affect his eating and breathing so we've had several appointments with doctors and a wonderful surgeon. We were told that even if it burst it was likely to re-grow and an operation to remove the salivary gland would be the only option. I was dreading the thought of seeing our baby go through this kind of trauma so we'd been praying something would change. Well back in February on his big brother's burst. Apart from some sickness he seemed fine but we kept a close eye on developments. It didn't reappear! 

So last week's appointment confirmed that the ranula had gone..therefore no operation and the relief was immense!

So there may have been tears this week but it's a small step in the right direction in my eyes- my PND treatment has been a Godsend. I'm beginning to feel 'normal' emotions again ...however painful they may be.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

High Days And Holiday Helpers

Autumn again and I feel like life has been on fast forward. My eldest is back at school and the youngest is almost walking...I wish the world would slow down a little!

It's been an age since I've had chance to post anything but to be honest most of the time I was having too much fun with the kids so that's a good thing!

This was our first proper 'school holiday' and I was worried about how I would entertain the boys in the days that stretched ahead (45 days to be precise...Alfie had counted them) I also had to fit in my full time hours to keep up with the business. I thought I might unravel at the seams.

I actually really enjoyed the holidays and spending time with the boys and the family was fabulous. The number one star in all of this and who helped us through was my wonderful Mum. She also takes top prize prize for Best Nanny Ever

She looked after and entertained the boys when I had to work, took us all out on day trips and generally chivvied me along when I was feeling exhausted. She's the best and I would like to say an enormous thank you to her for all her brilliant help and support. My Dad also gets a mention for being the Best Grandad Ever but his navigation skills need brushing up - he 'lost' Rutland Water. Yes, that vast expanse of water somehow eluded him and we went on an epic journey that took much longer than anticipated and ended with youngest being sick in his car seat! Alfie sighed from the back 'I wish I was in a car with somebody who knew the way' ...I couldn't stop laughing!

We had some lovely days despite the thrashing rain and grey skies which put paid to our 'bbq party Summer'.

Our trip on a Steam Train and picnic in Ferry Meadows was glorious. The boys loved the journey on the diesel train to Peterborough first, then a walk to the station to catch the steam train. The diesel train part of the journey was less enjoyable for my mum as she misjudged the cinema-style train seat and landed in a giggling heap on the floor on the train. I wasn't much help being in hysterics at the time and even more so when she did exactly the same on the return journey!

We had a slight wait for the steam train so we ventured into 'Rail World'. Sadly it was rather run down and neglected but is run entirely by volunteers.

Disappointed we decided to see the 'nature garden' across the bridge. We were not quite sure what to expect at this point but the garden was beautiful! This was obviously where the regeneration of the site was taking place first with lots of volunteers working on the garden and features. It was full of beautiful wild flowers, beehives, a tiny stream and winding paths with new attractions in the pipeline.

Dora The Explorer!
The steam train ride was a joy - wish normal rail journeys were still this exciting! We arrived at Ferry Meadows in the sunshine and ate our picnic with a view of the lake.

Our Rutland Water trip started Dad's epic journey
, car sickness and drizzle weren't a great combination but we were determined not to let this ruin the day. As we left the car park, the sun came out and we headed to the game zone. Alfie was in his element on the quad bikes, trampolines and bouncy slide. Another tasty picnic provided by Best Nanny Ever and then it was Alfie's favourite pastime..Crazy Golf. This new attraction along with the childrens' play area was hugely enjoyable and highly recommended for a family day out. 

We all enjoyed the Olympic coverage over the Summer and Alfie decided that when he grows up apart from being a stunt driver, a spy and a karate man he would also quite like to be a Pole Vaulter. I loved the stories I heard online from friends and through overheard conversations 'You can be Cavendish I'll be Wiggo' said two little boys on bikes and kids playing diving off the sofa.

It was brilliant to see the delight on Alfie's face each time we won a medal - he was overjoyed (and particularly liked the fact that he could stay up late to watch 'history in the making'!)

At the end of the holidays we managed to squeeze in a short family break to the seaside - a much needed escape from work and chores and a chance for the 4 of us to spend some proper time together. The car sickness returned but this time it was poor Alfie who had 2 changes of clothes on our outward journey which should have taken an hour but took 2 and a half! Still it didn't matter once we saw the sea and breathed in the sea air. The family hotel room was very nice and Charlie loved the fact that he could climb onto all of the beds and go and sit in the shower cubicle at will.

We had a fabulous few days of fish 'n' chips, building sandcastles, skimming stones, paddling (even swimming!) in the sea. Playing in the park, amusements, fair rides and of course crazy golf!

There were also lots of trips to the local park and paddling pool, walks to feed the ducks and Alfie went for tea at friend's houses. We played in the garden, stayed up late watched films and started each day relaxed without the school-morning-mayhem

I didn't want the holidays to end!