When Daddy’s off work…..

Being half term and with a few days holiday to use up before end of next month, Daddy took some time off this week. It was lovely to spend some quality time all four of us, not having to think about preschool or alarm clocks etc. Routine went out the window completely and this is what we got up to:-

On Monday we had all had a haircut! Exciting right?!!!! Tell a lie, we didn’t all, Lauren still hasn’t had her first haircut. Our hairdresser is someone we’ve known a long long time, so we saw her at my mum’s house. Taylor can now see again without peering underneath her fringe. I did contemplate growing it out, but not this time!

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On Tuesday we took a trip to Chester Zoo it’s about an hour and 20 minute journey but worth it! We hadn’t told Taylor where we were going so once she realised it was lovely! She couldn’t wait and ran from enclosure to enclosure “what animal’s next? Let’s see the next one!” Despite the fact it absolutely poured down in the afternoon we all (mum came too!) had an amazing day. I’m still exhausted today from all the walking. I googled and found that there is 11 miles of pathway there and we covered A LOT!

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Wednesday we had a day at home apart from a brief trip to the dentist. This meant a lot of cuddles, reading books, playing imaginary games, lots of laughter and fun. I love watching the girls with their Daddy. I think they are really going to miss him being back at work even if it’s only been a few days together.

We get weekends together but they seem to get caught up with general “life” and household duties. Days off like this are special and create special memories for our little family of four

40 things before I’m 40

I realise I’m not the first person to do this, and nor will I be the last. But I suppose what’s a bit different is that most of the time these lists start on a 39th birthday. I turn 34 in May.

It’s something I’ve been jotting down for a while now on one of my many notebooks dotted around the house. After a conversation with a friend who’s starting her list on her 39th birthday in few weeks time (her blog coming soon) I thought I’d make my list a bit more official and publish on my blog as there’s things that are going to happen this year that are on my list. (Is that cheating?)

I don’t actually turn 40 until May 2020 and although that sounds ages away I know it’ll be here before I know it. I’m usually someone who leaves things to the very last minute so for once I am going to do this with plenty of time to complete.

So here’s my list so far of my 40 things to do before I’m 40-
(there will be 40 eventually, I’ll add as I think of more!)

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1. Take part in The Great North Run
I used to run long distances in my teens and early twenties. I was no superstar but I enjoyed it. During that time I always said one day I would do a marathon but to date that has never happened. A few years back I decided I would attempt the Great North Run to ease myself in. I have gained a place and I am going to be running this in September 2014.
✔️ 7th September 2014 – DONE

2. Visit Dubai
For years Dubai has been top of our “To Visit” list. We have a friend that lives there & we’ve been promising to go visit for a while. We hope it lives up to all our expectations and we aim to find out very soon – DONE!!

3. Study & gain a qualification
I haven’t narrowed down the subject yet. I have two main ones and a couple of others floating around my mind. The main one is Psychology with a view to becoming a counsellor. The other is bookkeeping / accountancy as I thought the job opportunities it could provide me with would be good.

4. Start in employment again – part time
I was made redundant when pregnant with our first child. It was probably a blessing as I’d have probably gone back to work if I hadn’t and missed out on being a stay at home mum. It’s now 4 years and 3 months since I last had paid employment. I have looked into going back to work but by the time I paid a childminder I’d have nothing left. So once the girls are both at school (September 2017) I will seek employment. What depends on number 3. I suppose!

5. Have a weekend away with my husband – child free
I think I’ve only spent 4 nights away from my eldest in her 3 years & 9months of living and no nights from my youngest who is now 14months. Hopefully one day my husband and I can go off somewhere for a couple of nights leaving the girls in Nanny’s care.

6. Take part in a London Marathon
Just the natural step after completing number 1. right?!! I know there are other marathons but London is the most prestigious. – (I got my name in the ballot for 2015. Find out October ’14 if I get a place)

UPDATE – 1st October 2015 – I got my place & will be running on 26th April 2015

✔️ 26th April 2015 – DONE!

7. Have a touristy few days in London seeing all the sights
I have been to London. Many, many times. I’ve even been inside Buckingham Palace but I really want to do it all again – The Palace, Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Harrods, Selfridges, London Eye………….

8. Join the PTA at the girls’ school
Bit of a weird one but those that know me will know that being part of the PTA would suit me down to the ground.

✔️ September 2015 – DONE!

9. Move house
I think this is a bit of an ambitious one if I’m honest. It could happen, but it might not. I’d like to think we’d move one day but whether it’ll happen before 2020 I don’t know, but for now it’s on the list.

10. Have a “make up lesson” and make more of an effort with my appearance
The only time I wear makeup is on special occasions. I don’t need to put any on before leaving the house. I never have really. Think part of it is laziness, but part of it is I don’t really know what suits me. When I say make up lesson I mean one of those counter things in a department store or something similar where I then know what to use (and costs me a fortune!)

11. Do some volunteer work
I don’t know what, or when, but everyone should do a bit in their life shouldn’t they? Mainly inspired by our friend who spends one day of her weekend helping out various causes.

12. Give blood
I’m registered but I’m yet to donate. I used to hate injections and giving blood but by the end of my second pregnancy I’d happily watch them stick the needle in.
✔️ DONE – 14th July 2015

13. Take the girls to watch football with Daddy (at Emirates to see Arsenal)
How dare I say this as a Manchester United fan?! But I know how happy it would make my husband. And Taylor’s first ever match was at Old Trafford, only fair Lauren’s is an Arsenal one.

14. Hold a dinner party with friends
We used to see friends and invite them round a lot but it hasn’t happened for a long time. It’d be fun to have friends round and cook for them.

15. Have a drunken night out with friends
I honestly cannot remember the last time I was drunk. I don’t really drink. I’ll have a glass of fizz at Christmas but for best part of 5 years that’s all I’ve had. When I go out with friends I drive. So a mental night out drinking should be on the cards.

16. Have a family day out at a theme park I don’t know which one because eldest will just be about to turn 10 when I turn 40, but a good family fun day out on rides is what I’d like.

17. See a musical in London
Broadway would be more exciting but there’s no way I’m getting to New York in the next 6 years, so London it will have to be! Can’t decide which one yet

18. Go on a proper shopping trip with my mum with plenty of money to spend!
I do go shopping with mum but we’ve never been on a trip where we just go for nothing in particular but end up with lots, with a nice lunch in the middle. Would have to be a city…..

19. Go ice skating
2001 at an ice skating rink in Dundee I fell and displaced my kneecap. Had it been a time of camera phones I’d no doubt have a photo to insert here, but you’ll just have to imagine being in a toilet cubicle and pulling down your jeans to see that your right kneecap is on the left hand side of your knee, not in the middle where it should be. Safe to say I haven’t skated since……. But I should.

20. Complete a cross stitch
When I visited my aunt in New Zealand in 1998 I bought several cross stitch kits. My aunt is very good at cross stitches and I think I wanted to emulate her skills. I still have those kits unopened. I really should complete one.

21. Read this book list
I’ve compiled a list of 40 books from recommendations of others that I should read. I will blog about The Book List as I read on my side blog which can be found here

22. Visit every house I’ve lived in
I was googling 40 things before 40 and have pinched this idea from Slummy Single Mummy I have only lived in 4 houses in my life; 2 of which are local, the other two; one is in Essex, one in Portsmouth. It’ll be fun going to see them.

23. Grow a plant and not kill it (added 27.2.14)
After sharing my blog post on Twitter, my friend was inspired to write her own list. One of hers is this so I pinched it but we’ve now decided we are going to buy the same plant at same time and see who last longest!

24. Go Nessy hunting
(added 28.3.14)
I’ve always wanted to go to Loch Ness and look for Nessy. Yes, I know, it’s most probably not real and if she really does exist it’s unlikely I will see her but I still want to go.

25. Go to Bingo
(added 30.4.14)
I’ve never been and played proper Bingo in a Bingo Hall. I’ve always thought it’d become quite addictive but I imagine with a group of friends it could be quite fun. So off to Bingo I go!

26. Go sit in the viewing gallery at court for the day
added 11.6.14
Knowing my luck I’d get a load of boring cases but I’d love to see the court at work

27. Go to Ladies Day at the races added 2.7.14
Preferably at Ascot but would settle for one of the others. Would have to be done with group of friends and us all doing it properly with posh dresses & hats!

28. Do a ghost tour / overnight stay added 27.7.14
It would freak me out – and yes they are most probably all just set up for entertainment purposes but I’d still like it!

29. Attend pole dancing classes added 28.7.14
Where I go to my boxercise classes, the instructor also does pole dancing classes. I keep wanting to have a go but am nervous! I will do it soon!
I did a pole dancing session for my hen night and loved it, so should love the classes too

30. Watch 40 films suggested by friends (added 28.7.14)
I asked my friends what the film is that they think everyone should watch and is the one that they say “you’ve never seen that film?”
So my 40 list is here

31-40 to be added

As I aim to blog as I complete tasks and hopefully there’s 40 big ticks on here by the time the next 6 years, 2months and 17 days have passed.

Why I won’t be watching One Born

Before I had my first daughter I couldn’t get enough of programmes such as One Born Every Minute, loving to watch all these wonderful births and the exhilaration of giving birth.

After Taylor’s birth, which involved two failed induction attempts, waters broken by a doctor, attached to a drip, an epidural which wore off, a spinal block, an episiotomy and finally forceps delivery at 17 days overdue – after that I couldn’t watch One Born or any programmes like it. I felt jealous of all these women who seemed to breeze through a natural birth. Why couldn’t mine have been like that? Why did my body fail at giving birth?

Then Lauren was born. I didn’t have drug free labour and birth, but I am so lucky that I had a birth so different to my first. Only missing due date by just over an hour, naturally started, feeling every contraction and the need to push. I do feel Lauren’s birth was a breeze compared to Taylor’s and I feel my body did achieve this time.

So now I can’t watch it because I feel lucky. I feel lucky to have my two beautiful babies. I had two very different, but two very beautiful experiences. And I feel sad that it’s highly unlikely I’ll experience pregnancy and birth again.

I can’t bring myself to watch, and no doubt cry many tears, as the emotions are brought back to me. The wonderful, amazing, exhilarating experiences.

To conclude – jealousy is why I won’t be watching One Born

The big fringe question :- to cut or to grow?

I remember being about 10/11 when Mum finally allowed me to grow my fringe out. There was that awful stage of several clips and hairbands trying to keep it out my eyes as it grew. I’ve never had a fringe since.

My eldest daughter has a fringe. For a good 18months of her life she hardly had any hair at all, but now she has quite long hair with a fringe.

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Her hair grows so flipping fast that her hair always seems to be in her eyes.
I can’t bring myself to attempt to trim it so it has to wait until either my Mum or I are having our hair cut.

But now I’m starting to wonder when to grow her fringe out. We are all having our hair cut at 12pm today and I can’t decide what to do.

Do I grow it out or do we keep trimming it?

Perhaps a tad premature purchase……

I love getting money off things and if I can help it I rarely pay full price for things, opting for sales and discount days to purchase things.

The other day George at Asda had 25% off all children’s clothes online which included school uniform.

Our eldest starts school this September and whilst we’ve not yet got definite confirmation of which school she’ll attend I’ve purchased the majority of her school uniform due to the offer. Madness right?!

A lot of the girls clothes are from George and I’ve never really had a problem with anything quality wise so I haven’t thought twice about ordering from them without actually seeing the items.

The package arrived on Friday.

Inside the package should have been-

2 pinafore dresses age 3-4
2 pinafore dresses age 4-5
2 skirts age 3-4
2 skirts age 4-5
2 packs 2 polo shirts age 3-4
3 packs 2 polo shirts age 4-5

Taylor will turn 4 in May but she’s a skinny little thing and hasn’t been wearing 3-4 for long hence why I ordered both sizes

All that came to a grand total of £34.
(I have a slight problem that 2 of the dresses were missing from the package but it should be resolved)

All that’s left to buy now is tights, school cardigans and school shoes.

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Yesterday evening we got her to try the uniform on. Our little shortie is almost drowned in the dresses and I did shed a little tear with seeing her in a uniform. I can’t wait until we have the full set in 6 months time


(Let’s just keep everything crossed she gets in the school we want now I’ve bought this!!)

Milestone – First shoes

There’s something special about that moment you go and get your baby’s feet measured for their first pair of proper shoes.

We took Lauren Monday before last to the Clarks outlet shop for her feet measuring. Tiny little feet she has – size 3G. Unfortunately they didn’t have anything in her size that we liked so yesterday we went to a different Clarks outlet shop and managed to buy her first pair of shoes

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Now she’s got shoes on her feet and walking around in them – all be it rather clumsily at the moment! – it’s like a marker, getting those shoes means she’s no longer a baby

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