Wednesday, 31 July 2013
After hearing "mum I'm bored" on the first day, I thought "oh no, this is going to be a long 6 weeks!". However much to my astonishment, it has got better. Whether I'll be saying this in a few weeks time is another matter.
I have found that the more I involve Joseph in my day to day jobs and keep him up to date with what we are going to do, the better he has been.
Each morning he has helped me go down the garden to tend to the chickens and to check our vegetables. He has thoroughly enjoyed helping me to harvest any vegetables that are ready and is starting to gain a real interest in what goes on and is asking plenty of questions. Yesterday we even had an impromptu water fight. Ok, maybe water fight is not the best way to describe it, I had the hose and chased Joseph around the garden spraying him. He was giggling so much, the more he giggled the more I chased him and the wetter he got. Having that bit of quality time makes all the difference.
Another thing that he has been asking to do is baking. Joseph does love to bake buns, like his mum, but it's also another opportunity to have that bit of time together. So while tea was cooking we got baking. I made a basic sponge batter, with the help of Joseph's weighing skills, and gave him half in a bowl and let him go crazy with his buns. I told him that he could mix in whatever he wanted as they were his buns. I played it safe with banana and oat muffins, whereas Joseph added rainbow drops, chocolate chips and banana! Quite a mixture, but he enjoyed it, and that's what it was all about out.
Today I had half an hour's quality time with all 3 children, which believe me does not happen very often at all. I had Taylor sat between my legs, relaxing with his cars. Isabella was trotting around playing with whatever took her fancy and kept coming over to jibber jabbering to me. Joseph was laid on the settee behind me playing with my hair and chilling. It was such a relaxing, tranquil half an hour, and one that I know I will treasure.
After the children had charged their batteries it was back to the normal manic house that we know and love.
Dinner was late but hey time like I've had this afternoon with the children is more than worth all the rushing about after.
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
This is going to be quite a soppy post, you have been warned!
I just want to say how lucky I feel each and everyday and how thankful I am for having such a fantastic husband.
My husband knows me better than even I know myself.
After yesterdays devastating news I have tried to go on as normal today. I honestly thought that I was doing a good job. I haven't been, consciously, thinking about everything and the future. But it wasn't until my hubby asked me what was wrong I realised that is was in the back of my mind and that I wasn't going on as normal.
I have never had anyone in my life, apart from my dad, who can read me like he does. This tells you how close we are. My husband is my rock, my lover, my best friend, my soul mate, my everything. He is the other half of me and I would not function without him. The only time we have been apart was when I was in hospital having the twins. We do everything together as a family and I love our life. I would not change it for the world.
James, I love you so very much, with all my heart, body and soul. Thank you for putting up with me and for knowing me the way you do!
Monday, 29 July 2013
Well today was the dreaded D-day. The day we would find out whether the cancer had slowed down or not.
Unfortunately we got the heartbreaking news that it has not slowed down. So now we really do need to face the harsh reality that this is something that will not go away. It is here to stay and it will inevitably leave us devastated.
As I have said before I cannot imagine life without my grandad in it and nor do I want to but I know, that one day, I will have to face that outcome but until it happens I really do not need to deal with that. Call it denial, call it what you will, its my defence mechanism coming into play and that's how I will cope until then.
But I have made a promise to myself to go over more often, even if it is hard work for me on my own with the children, the hard work will be worth it because I know, deep down, that if I do not make more of an effort now, one day I will regret not doing more. They have always been there for me. During the good times and during the bad times that I've been through they were always there for me. They never lost faith in me and I am proud to say that I didn't let them down.
Since being very young I can remember them having a huge impact on my life. This is why I am finding this all so hard to digest, he has always been there, I want the twins to know their Gramps as Joseph does and enjoy having him in their lives as I did when I was a child.
The only way forward, for me, is to go on as normal, well as normal as possible, and just be there whenever they need someone.
I pray that the new medication slows it down so that we can have some more time to create more memories.
Sunday, 28 July 2013
Yesterday (Saturday) we had a lovely but emotional day. We spent the day with 2 very special people that we just do not see enough of.
We went to see my grandparents. Unfortunately my grandparents don't live close by. They live in a remote village which is a good 20 minutes drive along country roads so we don't see them as often as we should. They are both in their late 80's and do well to say they are not in the greatest health.
I have always been particularly close to my nanna and grandad and I have so many happy childhood memories of summer holidays spent with them. I remember the excitement of going and spending a week or two with them on my own. I was well and truly spoilt and am so thankful for these memories. They have always been a huge part of my life.
Over the past years my nannas health has deteriorated and my grandad has become her carer. However during the last 2 years we have also notice a change in my grandad. At my wedding he collapsed and spent the night in hospital. This has happened before but I feel that this time everyone's alarm bells started to ring. My grandad is one of the most selfless people I know. He puts my nanna before everything, including his own health. As he is her carer he is extremely aware of how she would cope if he were not well or if he gave in and admitted he was not well.
Last year, just weeks after the twins were born, our worries became a reality and he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
It was the dreaded "C" word!
After various tests were done and biopsies we were given very unfairly misleading results. In the section of prostate that was taken out there was no trace of cancer! The doctors could not believe it either. These results gave us false hope that there had been a mistake. At a later appointment we were told that the cancer was still there and that it may have even spread. So you can image the roller coaster of emotions, going from delight and relief to upset, worry and dread.
Since then we have all noticed a huge change in my grandad. He was given hormonal tablets which were working and his psa levels (blood levels) had gone back down to an acceptable level. But at his last appointment we were told that these levels had gone back up again, so his medication was increased. Tomorrow he has another appointment. Tomorrow we will be told whether increasing his medication has worked. If it hasn't we will be told what happens next. But the only next medical step would be to go for chemotherapy. But we all need to be realistic, my grandad is in his late 80's, is this something that he could handle? If I am completely honest, I don't think he could.
So what next?
That really is the big question. I know that I cannot imagine life without my grandparents.
Yesterday they both loved seeing all of us but particularly loved seeing the children. I am going to make more of an effort to go over during the school summer holidays. I just wish that they lived closer so that I could do more to help but they didn't make the move when they had the chance and now is just too late.
So it is D-day tomorrow, just thinking about what might be said gets my stomach tied in knots, but I know we need to be strong for both my nanna and grandad. I am certain that whatever the outcome is, we will, together as a family face it and give each other the strength that may be needed and the children in the family will give us reasons to be strong.
Friday, 26 July 2013
I am a firm believer in having a good routine.
I truly believe that having a good routine in place gives a good foundation for children and it gives them structure in life.
I simply cannot understand how parents function without one. For example, bedtimes, our children have their set bedtimes. We take the twins up to bed at around 6:30 they have their milk upstairs and then its sleep. Joseph goes up on a school night at 8 and can read or draw until 8:30. At the moment, as it is the school holidays, he is going up between 8 and 8:30 and can read or draw until 9. As a family we need that structure as me and the hubby get some time together. I believe that when you have children, with all the focus on them, you can sometimes forget to make time for each other. This is the one thing that we do not want to do so having the children in a routine allows us to have this time together.
Sometimes I honestly believe that some people want to have children but still live a "childless" life ie doing what they want without thinking about supervision and stability for their children. It is sad that this is the sort of world that we live in.
We, as a couple, have what might be seen as old fashioned family values and I am so proud of this. We believe that children should be children. Once you have children your life revolves around what is best for our children and family. What we want comes second to what the children need. Most importantly we want our children to grow up happy, knowing right from wrong and with respect for others.
Its just a shame others don't feel that way.
Rant over x
So we are nearly at the end of the first week of the long summer holidays.
I will admit keeping 3 children occupied is a challenge particularly now the twins have discovered their talent for climbing. When they are not in their chairs I need eyes in the back of my head. They have absolutely no sense of fear but mine has doubled! The barricade that I made to protect the television has become a climbing frame in their minds. As soon as they see the coast is clear they are up. I feel that I am constantly saying "Isabella, get down, Taylor, get down". Taylor, most times, does get down but Isabella is developing quite a defiant personality. She just looks at us as if to say "and what are you gonna do about it?" so I can see little miss becoming a hand full!
Even though I am running ragged after the kids there are moments that just make me beam. We had one of those moments today.
I dared to go to tesco this morning for some bargain bubble bath that I saw on offer yesterday and we decided to try the scan as you shop gadget to save a bit of time. We were also in tesco yesterday and I left swearing that we would not go again! But the offer was too good to miss, so back we went. I let Joseph control the scanner and it worked a treat. It kept him busy and happy. But what I wasn't expecting was the twins reaction to a simple beep. They were in hysterics. Every time Joseph scanned an item and the machine beeped, they were in fits of giggles. People were stopping in the aisle watching them they were chuckling so loud. This time, our trip to the shops, was fun.
On the way home Taylor had fallen asleep and Isabella was just starting to fall asleep. If Taylor falls asleep I can easily get him into the pushchair asleep, but Isabella is a different matter so I try to keep her awake. Singing "Old MacDonald" is always a winner. So I got Joseph to sing to her. Half way through he shouts "come on mum, help me out!" this made me smile so much, how could I refuse? So we sang all the way home with Isabella joining in on the "ee i ee i o" part and Taylor slept through it all.
Thursday, 25 July 2013
As soon as I knew that Joseph was getting recognition from his school for all of his hard work I immediately knew what I wanted to get him as a well done treat.
A Hug Box!
I recently came across Hug Box through a Twitter competition and instantly became a fan! This is a fantastic gift for any sweet lover. As all 8 year olds, Joseph loves having sweets as a treat, so I thought a Hug Box would be perfect so I got one ordered.
I rang Wendy, Hug Box owner, as I had a few questions regarding delivery and ordering. Wendy was so friendly and helpful, it was a pleasure to speak to her. The Hug Box certainly does have a personal feel about it which makes it all the more special.
The box arrived very quickly and Joseph's face was a picture when he realised that the box was jam packed with sweets. The deeper he dug, the more he found, the bigger his grin got! We had about half an hour of him saying:
"oooh look at this"
"look what I've got"
"can I have this please?"
We gave Joseph a Hug Box and in return he gave both of us the biggest hugs we have had in a while!
He wasn't too cool to give us a Hug for this treat :-)
Thank you so much Wendy for everything and I'm you'll be hearing from us again in the future. I do keep on dropping hints how I'd love a Hug Box for me!
Hug Box can be found at www.HugBox.co.uk on Twitter and Facebook.
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
This morning it arrived!!!!
With me being such an avid cook, this has been a much awaited prize, and I certainly was not disappointed when I opened up the box.
The first thing that struck me when I lifted the box was the weight that was in there. These pans certainly are built to last.
The 13 piece set comprises of
- 2 x Frying pans (22cm + 28cm)
- 2 x Saucepans (16cm + 20cm)
- 1 x Saute pan (26cm)
- 1 x Wok (26cm)
- 3 x Glass Lids (16cm + 20cm + 26cm)
- 2 x Plastic lids (16cm + 20cm)
- 2 x Handles
My pan cupboard has always been unbelievably difficult to keep organised. This is mainly due to the lack of storage space and the amount of pans that I have. Since the twins have been weaned I have noticed how I am needing larger pans as I am now cooking for 5. I have been looking at purchasing a new, larger pan but have put it off simply because we had no more room for another pan.
The Tefal Ingenio has solved this problem thanks to the removable handle. All of the pans sit nicely inside of each other without having pan handles sticking out everywhere and ultimately taking up a great deal of space.
Tonight the pans will be getting their debut on and in the oven and will then probably end up in the fridge with leftovers for the twins tomorrow. I am going to cook a cottage pie. Normally when I cook a cottage pie I have a pan to cook the meat, one for the vegetables and then one for the potatoes for mashing. I then transfer the meat and vegetables to a casserole dish and then top with the mashed potato and grill. Tonight I am going to use the saute pan to cook both the meat and vegetables and the 28cm frying pan for the potatoes. Instead of using a separate casserole dish, this time, I am just going to continue using the saute pan and use this as my casserole dish.
I have a feeling that this is going to be great and that I am also going to love the fact that there will also be less washing up!
Now that I have used the pans I am even more impressed with the quality. The lids have got no metal on them to heat up so there is no risk of scalding. I found that my food cooked evenly and there was no sticking to the pan in the slightest thanks to the teflon coating. This coating also meant that washing the pans was quick, no scrubbing or elbow grease was needed. Because the saute pan was used for my cottage pie as opposed to transferring the food from pans to a cold casserole dish I found that the food, once dished up, stayed hotter for longer.
Basically I cannot find a single fault with these pans. If anyone was wanting to invest in some new pans I would thoroughly recommend the Ingenio 5th Generation.
The name Ingenio says it all, these pans are Ingenious!
I would like to make it clear that all of these opinions are of my own and that Tefal has, in no way, had any influence on this post.
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Last Friday I got a telephone call from Joseph's school. As any parent, who has a child at school, will know when you see it is someone from school ringing you immediately think "oh no, what's happened?" thankfully this call was different.
This telephone call was to tell me that Joseph was due to receive an award for all of his achievements during this school year and that it was top secret!
Anyone who knows me well will know that I really struggle with secrets. I always panic that I'll say something to give it away or it'll slip out before my brain has realised what is coming out of my mouth! When they told me about the award I was ready to burst with pride. I immediately rang hubby so he could arranged the afternoon off work and started thinking about a "well done" treat and ordered him a Hug Box (this will be another post that I'm excited about writing!). I also decided to cook Joseph's favorite meal on Monday.
So Monday came and Joseph had no idea that we were going to the leavers service or that his dad would also be there.
When we arrived at the village church there he was, sat very seriously, as he does. Then the moment came when the head teacher started to give out the awards. When she got to year 3 I could feel a lump in my throat. She said "this award is going to a boy who was very nervous before he moved up into key stage 2, but once he was in that class, you never would have known it. He settled straight in. This child always tries his best in everything he does and his confidence has grown over the year. This award is going to........
I could see in his face that this was a huge surprise and he had no idea that he was going to get this. I felt so proud of him as he went to the front to get his gift voucher I had a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Joseph certainly has had some great achievements this year and is really starting to mature. My baby is growing up!
Today is his last day at school for this academic year. I hope Joseph realises how well he has done and how much he has achieved.
I know that I will keep on reminding him!
Monday, 22 July 2013
This is yet another early morning post. I have got to admit that I do actually like this time of day. Taylor is sat enjoying his milk and watching tv whilst I sit here with a coffee. It is a peaceful time of day, believe me with twins they are few and far between.
Joseph has only got 2 more days left at school, then that's another year done. Year 3 completed!
Today is the schools leavers service. I have never been to one as I've never really had a reason to go as he's not leaving yet. However, today, we are going. James is finishing work early so we can go as a family as this leavers does involve Joseph. But I am not saying any more, that's a post all of its own!!! (excited mummy!!!)
As of Wednesday I'll have an extra one to amuse. I am just hoping and praying that, this year, the weather stays nice. Last year we had a terrible summer and I heard the words "Im bored" way too much.
This summer the twins are bigger so I am hoping we'll be able to do more during the summer, weather permitting. Last year the twins were only 5 months at the beginning of the holidays. I was still breastfeeding/expressing. My days were filled with feeding them both and expressing milk so we were more tied to being at home. This year we have the freedom to do more. I need to sit and have a good think about days out with are not going to break the bank, trips to parks and getting a season ticket for our local house and gardens are at the top of the list. We have also got an annual pass for historic sites so I am going to see what is close by for days out when James has some time off.
During the school holidays, particularly the summer holiday, is when my juggling skills really are tested, we'll see if I am so calm in a few weeks or if I am pulling my hair out!
Saturday, 20 July 2013
This afternoon I have tried a new cake recipe. As I am all for using home grown fruit, vegetables and herbs I am constantly putting on my thinking cap and trying to come up with new ways to use what is in our garden. At the beginning of spring we planted some lavender which is starting to flower. When hubby told me that we should trim the lavender to promote growth I got thinking and thought of a way to use some of the fragrant lavender instead of just throwing it in the compost. I would use it in a cake!
So I found a recipe for a lemon and lavender cake and with a few Kirsty adjustments I came up with a lemon drizzle cake with lavender.
Baking this cake I really was not sure how this cake would taste as this is the first time that I have used lavender in baking. But I have got to admit that this has to be up there with my best cakes. It was so moist with the added lemon juice and whenever you had a bite with some lavender in you got a fragrant after taste. Everybody had seconds and some even had thirds (hubby and my dad) so for me that says it all.
This will definitely be a cake that I will be making again.
This post is going to be a bit of a rant and a moan Im afraid.
I am just so tired! Since having the twins 17 months ago sleep, as we knew it, has gone out of the window. Yes, we do get more than we did, but to get a block of 8 hours sleep would be such a luxury. At the moment I am managing to get a maximum of 6 hours, not always in a block and that's on a good night, which I can manage on for so long but then I have a day like today and just feel shattered. During the week I have found the more I keep busy the less tired I feel. I know it sounds crackers but it does actually work! Im probably feeling like this because I am sat at the pool while Joseph has his swimming lesson, its warm and I've stopped. I am just feeling so drained and feel like I could sleep for a day. I don't remember feeling so sleep deprived when Joseph was a baby/toddler and please don't get me wrong the twins are good sleepers I just wish that they would both have a good nights sleep at the same time instead of taking it in turns to be up and down. However I do feel that some of the blame does lay with me, as I get up as soon as I hear either of them. I am not a fan of self soothing and could never leave them to cry but I am also aware that we have 3 children and I don't want them waking each other up or hubby up when he has to go to work. So I'd rather have disturbed sleep than everyone else being up. The nights wouldn't be so bad if they slept in but they are up at the crack of dawn, which at the moment tends to be about 5am!
I know it will get better and that Im obviously just feeling it today, I just can't wait until sleep returns!
Friday, 19 July 2013
Oh how my boy is growing up!
Last night Joseph went to his first disco. He put on a cool front, as he always does, but I could see that he was excited.
The build up this week has made me think of when I was a child, a few years older than Joseph, and how I loved going to the local disco. Those were the days, making up dances to Kylie Minogue, Tiffany and New Kids on the Block and whether I'd have a sneaky slow dance was my only worry. Just writing this is making me smile, its probably so different for girls, but I love to think how all that Joseph does is creating a happy childhood and happy memories for him. I'll have to quiz him later to see if he had a slow dance, that is if they still do them! I feel so old and can't believe he is going to be 9 soon. He's matured so much this last year and I am so very proud of him.
I picked up a very happy, excited boy from the disco. He had such a good time and thoroughly enjoyed himself. I couldn't resist asking him if they played any slow songs to which he briskly answered in a 'don't be silly mum' kind of voice "noooo, just fast songs" and he went on to tell me what songs they danced to and how much fun he had. This is just the start of my Joseph growing up and experiencing more in life, he has got so many exciting times to come on his adventure which is life.
When I was working, before I had the twins, I would spend weeks trying to organise childcare and annual leave.
During my pregnancy I had every intention of returning to work, however after the twins were born I felt very differently. The cost of childcare certainly had a lot to do with our decision for me to not return to work.
When we worked out what our daily costs for childcare would be we were gob smacked that it would be £75 per day for all 3 children and would rise to a massive £106 per day in the school holidays. I earned no where near this amount, so childcare alone would have taken all of my salary plus some of my hubbys. All in all it was a no brainer, being a stay at home mum and housewife would be more cost effective for us.
We will, no doubt, be faced with this problem again in the future if I decide that I would like to return to work.
I do still have aspirations and hopes in life however if they are still for a career is another matter entirely. I do have my little dreams that I hope to make a reality one day and have had ideas to start a business from home that I can work around my family once the twins are bigger. For now my mission in life is to be the best mummy I can be and to concentrate on raising our children and looking after our home.
After all home certainly is where the heart is.
Thursday, 18 July 2013
Yay!! We have had fresh home grown vegetables for tea this evening!!
It was so satisfying going down the garden and digging up some fresh potatoes and picking some baby courgettes from the plants. As soon as I had harvested these vegetables my mind went into cooking overdrive, thinking of new exciting dishes that I could prepare for my family. But then, as per usual, reality struck, who was I kidding I would never have time to create any of my ideas in the week while hubby is at work and I have the twins to feed and Joseph buzzing in and out. So all of my ideas will have to wait, but only for now, I will have the time, at some point!
This evening me and my hubby have been talking more about food that we want to grow. Eventually we want to have the end of our garden completely dug over for vegetables. We are lucky to have a long garden that already has the end third sectioned off by a hedge, this is to be our "food" section.
Self sufficiency, vegetable wise, here we come!
Oh what a night we've just had, I must have known! At the end of last nights post I said "I hope they don't give us hell tonight". They didn't give us hell but she did bless her.
Isabella woke up at 11:45pm and that was it up and down all night with a temperature. She wouldn't settle in her cot so she spent the night in our bed. As hubby has to go to work today I told him to go and get some sleep downstairs. So it was me and little lady. She did manage to get to sleep, I on the other hand, kept waking to check on her so am feeling it today. Since having the twins I have become used to sleep deprivation.
Then it was up bright and early to sort the kiddies and ice some ice cream cone cakes for Joseph to take to school. I have got to say I am feeling quite proud of the end result :-)
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Its is just gone 6am. I am sat downstairs with a coffee and Taylor has got his morning milk. Once upon a time I would have been mortified if you told me I would be up and about at this time.
Since having the twins, I feel that I have changed in so many ways.
Before they arrived I was very career minded and wanted to progress within the organisation that I worked for. Even during my twin pregnancy I was convinced that by 6 months off I'd be itching to get back, that's how much I loved my job.
However once they did arrived everything changed. Work never entered my mind and as my maternity leave flew by I felt my stomach tie up in knots whenever I thought about leaving my children. It wasn't just being with the twins that changed my outlook, but spending time with Joseph also made me realise what I was missing.
When Joseph was nearly 3 I started my job and was lucky that there was a nursery on site so I never felt far away from him until he started school. The place that I worked was 20 minutes away from the village that we live in so I relied heavily on a childminder. I'd drop him off just after 8 in the morning and most days I wouldn't collect him until 6pm. During my maternity leave I got to do the school run, which I had never had chance to do unless I had a day off. For me, I find this walk to and from school, a lovely time of day and feel lucky to be able to do this now after not being able to for so long.
Hubby has also had a huge part in my changes. He has given me the security and contentment that I longed for.
When we moved into our house last year we all settled straight in, this was meant to be our family home, the place that we will raise our children and grow old together. With the house another unexpected change happened within me, not only did I want to be a stay at home mum but I also wanted to be a 'housewife'. I had never been one that stayed at home before but I was starting to thrive on being at home and taking care of our family and home.
I can honestly say, hand on heart, I do not miss my job and feel so lucky that I am able to be at home with the children. I may feel differently in a couple of years but we'll deal with it if that time comes but until then I'll enjoy watching our children grow and caring for our home.
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Manic Monday seems a fitting title to describe our day yesterday.
The day started really well. I got so many jobs done. By 9:30 the kids were all bathed or showered, dishwasher and washing machine were on, we'd does the school run, cleaned and fed the chickens and watered the vegetables. I was on a roll!
But them the whirlwind that is Taylor struck! Arrr, he suddenly remembered he knew how to climb! He was on everything! The more he climbed the more fun it became and the more I took him down the more he chuckled! The more he chuckled the more intrigued Isabella became in what he was doing and before I knew it she too was attempting to climb. Thankfully, yesterday, she only got as far as one leg up, got bored of trying, and found a pair of shorts to put on as a hat!
The day flew by in a haze of running around after the twins yesterday and before we knew it bed time had arrived. Time for a break and spend some much needed time out with hubby.
Taylor after all of his climbing expeditions was out like a light but Isabella didn't have such a good evening and had tummy ache. This meant if it wasn't me with her it was hubby as all she wanted was to be close. In the end, at our bedtime, hubby managed to get her into her cot, at last we had a break, but sleep beckoned so that was our time gone. Luckily we don't have as many evenings like this as we used to and have got to the point where the children go to bed really well and we get some time together.
Sunday, 14 July 2013
On Sunday Taylor discovered a talent for climbing! Once he found that he could climb onto a leather chair in the lounge there was no stopping him. He progressed from the chair to toys, to using toys to try a climb on the tv table, to climbing onto the chair and trying to climb up the back cushion to look out of the window!
It was as if something had clicked and he suddenly realised that this was an exciting new game that made mummy run around like a headless chicken. The scary part was I could see Isabella watching and taking notes on how to copy her brother. One climbing is manic but what about if I have two climbing?!?!?
Please Isabella, hear my plea, please stay on terra firma and don't copy Taylor.
Gone are the days when I could sit them down, do some jobs, come back and they'd still be sat waiting.
However in all honesty I love watching how they are developing and especially both in different areas. Taylor is the physical one, whereas Isabella thinks more and jibber jabbers away non stop.
All 3 of them are my treasures and I constantly look at them in awe. My family is my world!
Saturday, 13 July 2013
How I love days like Saturday. It was sunny, hot and we were all at home just enjoying the day.
As it was Saturday, Joseph had his swimming lesson and I had half an hour with my book. Then it was home to enjoy the day as a family.
I did get the paddling pool out for the twins but they weren't sure as the water was cold, on hindsight I should have filled it up first thing in the morning to give it chance to heat up. Next time I will be out as soon as we're up! So it was another afternoon inside with the twins keeping them where it was cool.
However when hubby had finished his garden jobs and returned in I took the opportunity to enjoy the sun and pottered about in the garden for a while. However I didn't really have my practical head on when I went out, I had my "oooh its sunny, lets put on a dress" head on which wasn't great for weeding in. All of my kneeling and crawling about resulted in a lovel, tidy front garden and an unfixably ripped dress.
On the bright side though I did get to socialize with the blazing sun.
We finished our lovely day with a Chinese meal, thanks to mum and dad, a coupe of drinks and a movie!
Fab family days like this are what make happy memories :-)
Its just gone 8am on a Saturday morning and I am sat with a colourant on my hair! Only a mum who's been up since the crack of dawn would do this! Since having the twins and giving up work to become a full time stay at home mum seeing the hairdresser has gone to the bottom of our priorities. So I got brave and started colouring my hair myself. I normally play it safe with a dark colour, but the summer has brought out the inner blonde in me! So here I am waiting to be blonde.
Oooh its time to rinse :-)
Its been a few years since I've been blonde so its nice to go back for a change. Who needs to spend at least £40 for highlights? I've spent £5 and got the same results, and saved money!
Well at least my hair now goes with my personality as Im sure my hubby would say!
Friday, 12 July 2013
It has been on the news this morning that the government are "encouraging" head teachers to ban packed lunches in school because they are not healthy enough!
I would challenge anyone that tells me that my son's packed lunch is not healthy. Everyday Joseph takes to school a sandwich, which is always made with homemade bread, that's filled with either a "no added water" meat or cheese, if he doesn't have a sandwich he sometimes takes a pasta salad or a green salad. He has a piece of fruit, sometimes 2 different pieces, a fromage frais yogurt and yes he does have the dreaded confectionary that they are complaining about, he has a small packet of crisps. In this lunch Joseph is getting is carbs, calcium, protein and fruit! What is unhealthy about this lunch. He also takes a drink of diluted squash.
With the school dinners at our small village school, that does not have a kitchen, the meals are cooked at a nearby school and brought to the school for lunch time. The school menu does say that some of the meals are made with local produce and Joseph has had them in the past and enjoyed them but this was out of choice and not because we were told we had to.
One of the reasons that we stopped Joseph being on school dinners was because of the financial side of it. It was costing us £10.50 a week, that's £409.50 per academic year, then when the twins start school it would go up to £1,228.50 per academic year just for school dinners?!?!?
In the current financial climate that we are in it is completely unacceptable for the government to honestly believe that parents would be happy with this.
I for one will not be told how I need to feed my children by the government, I know my children and I am a responsible parent who knows how to feed my children healthily!
Thursday, 11 July 2013
What I did not realise was that the more you cut the flowers, the more you get and was mortified when hubby told me to cut the flowers.
As soon as the sun graced us with its presence they bloomed, it was a much awaited sight to see some colour in the garden. But I did as the hubby said, I got out my scissors and went cutting, the first time I did it was begrudgingly I must admit. I took them in and put them in a glass of water in the lounge. Over the course of the day I was amazed at the beautiful aroma that they gave the room and I soon had the idea of using the abundance of flowers that we are getting and putting them in various rooms around the house and using them as fresh, organic, chemical free air freshners.
I will definitely be suggesting we grow more again next year.
One of the things that appealed to us when we bought our house last year was the garden. We are extremely lucky to have a big, long garden. I am also extremely lucky to have a fantastic hubby who loves gardening :-)
We have always wanted to grow as many vegetables as we could and have them growing throughout the year. It would be amazing to become more self sufficient with our vegetables.
As soon as our long, terribly cold winter decided it was time to go and let spring time come hubby started making plans for the end of our garden and I started thinking about chickens.
With the continuous increase in food prices I am all for saving money in anyway that we can. I have also become a lot more aware of where our food is coming from. For me it is essential that I prepare meals using the maximum amount of fresh produce that I can. I am not a fan of processed food and am very wary as the majority of the ingredients are additives and preservatives. I want our children to grow up happy and healthy and to appreciate where their food comes from ie not from a tin!
In the end hubby gave in and let me get the chickens. He even built a big run for them. In April we got our 2 birds and from the day we got them we have enjoyed 2 eggs a day and regularly get huge double yolk eggs! Looking after the chickens has become part of our daily routine and the twins enjoy going down the garden to see the chickens, or "bock bocks" as Isabella calls them. I enjoy keeping the chickens so much more than I thought I would. They certainly are little characters.
While I am down the garden in the morning I enjoy seeing how our vegetables are getting on. Thanks to hubby's hard work we currently have potatoes, carrots, kohl rabi, broccoli, leeks, turnips, sprouts and courgettes growing. Our potatoes are just flowering so they will be ready soon. Down with the house we have a couple of greenhouses where we have got 6 different varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers growing. Hubby has also built me a couple of raised beds for my herb and salad garden. I get great pleasure and satisfaction from being able to just pop outside and cut off whichever herbs I need to the meal I am cooking. We have recently been enjoying a good harvest of strawberries which we want to increase next year.
Not bad to say we only moved in 7 and a half months ago! I am so looking forward to seeing how our garden grows in the future :-)
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
This morning I have been baking some new finger foods for the twins. I have found that they are wanting to do more and more themselves when it comes to meal times. But I often find myself stuck for ideas. So I have dug out a Finger Foods book that I have from when Joseph was little for a little inspiration.
I have started with some cheese sticks and some of my strawberry and oatmeal mini muffins (my recipe, see below).
My Strawberry and Oatmeal Muffins
110g butter or margarine
110g caster sugar
110g self raising flour
50g strawberries chopped
Heat the oven to 180°c / gas mark 4 / 350°f
1 - Cream the butter or margarine
2 - Mix in the sugar until you have a smooth, light mixture
3 - Add the eggs, one at a time, add a tablespoon of flour if needed to prevent curdling
4 - Sift in the flour, holding the sift high to get air in the flour, mix until you have a smooth, even batter
5 - Mix in the oatmeal
6 - Mix in the strawberries
7 - Put the batter into either mini muffins cases for the kiddies or regular size ones for bigger tummies and bake for 10 - 15 mins until golden.
Tuesday, 9 July 2013
As a treat I told Joseph that he can decide what we have for our tea as a well done for his fab school report. Many would think that I was being very brave, but luckily Joseph has got good taste in food and wouldn't ask for anything too bazar!
So tonight Joseph has decided that we are having hot dogs, potatoes and beans (salad for me and hubby). So I've been busy this afternoon making dough for some freshly made hot dog rolls and have baked a cake, on hubby's request! The apple crumble cake that I baked for his birthday was such a hit as soon as it had all gone he was asking me to bake another.
I am an avid cook and baker and for me it is a massive compliment seeing people enjoy what I have made. So when hubby asked me to bake another I keenly agreed but have changed it slightly. This time he has an apple, pear and sultana crumble cake. This one looks even more yummy! But we'll see what his verdict is :-)
Last night they were not their usual tag team duo, they tortured us by working in unison!
We usually find that its either one or the other that's up but its rarely both of them.
Isabella started at about 11:30pm and from then on I was up and down. At 2am I got her settled but as Id creep out she'd pop her head up to check if I was still there, sneaky little Miss! So I started to leave gradually and foolishly thought that she was fast asleep I did a quick dash to the toilet, which was a huge mistake! She must have looked up and seen I wasn't there and that was it, we had tears and the hubby was up. During the week I jump up as soon as either of them make a peep so they do not wake him up. Unfortunately for him Isabella had other ideas. As soon as she knows Daddy is around he is all she wants. So hubby lost some sleep too. Then it was Taylor's turn. Luckily when Taylor wakes up he tends to snuggle up and go back to sleep cuddled up, which he did. After an hour I got Taylor back in his cot and took Isabella off hubby so he could get some sleep. Well that was the plan anyway. I managed to get Isabella to settle after hearing her pull out her dummy and say "hi" various times. Then it was Taylor's turn again, as I had Isabella poor hubby had to get up to him.
So this morning when we woke up there were 4 in the bed, well 2 toddlers spread eagle in the middle of the bed and 2 parents half on and half off the ends of the bed. Co-sleeping with toddler twins is not the most comfortable way to spend the night.
Fingers crossed we get a break tonight!
Monday, 8 July 2013
Joseph has loved the weather and has enjoyed a spot of sunbathing, running underneath the sprinkler and playing on his new swing, what a hard life these kids have!
The twins have not enjoyed feeling so hot. The heat has resulted in a very grumpy Taylor thankfully Isabella has been her usual funny self and making us all laugh.
However, on the plus side, the twins have amazed us by actually sleeping really well in the heat. This morning we were astounded to see that when we woke up it was nearly 7 o'clock. Believe me there are have not been many mornings in the last 16 months that this has happened.
We heard Isabella playing in her cot at 6:45 but not a peep from our usual early bird Taylor. Bless him he was flat out until I woke him at 7!
So this morning I have twins that are full of energy and running around the lounge squealing at each other.
That has to be one of my favourite sounds!
Saturday, 6 July 2013
Well it looks like summer has finally arrived and hopefully is here to stay for a bit.
I love the heat and the sun. I think this is because I lived in Gran Canaria for 7 years and became climatised to the heat, I used to get my coat out whenever it went below 20 degrees! So as you can imagine returning to England certainly was a shock to the system and I definitely went into heat withdrawal. My heating bills were ridiculously high!
So when the heat does decide to grace us with its presence I like to make the most of it. However this year the twins have other ideas. Taylor in particular, who has been such a little grump today because he is so hot. So here I am inside with the fan blowing while everyone else is outside loving the sunshine. Isabella on the other hand is sat in the pushchair quite happy watching hubby put up another bigger greenhouse. As for Joseph he is in his element as hubby put his new swing up yesterday so all he has done is play outside.
Tomorrow we will be investing in a paddling pool so the twins can cool down outside and I can have a reunion with the sun.
After a lovely lie in until 6:30, yes that is a lie n for us :-) it is time for Joseph's swimming lesson. I particularly look forward to Saturday mornings as I get a bit of time out and half an hour to myself. I think that this is just about my only time out during the week apart from when the twins have their mid morning nap but even then my time is filled with housework and ironing. So every Saturday, when I take Joseph swimming, I take along with me my book (Dan Brown Inferno atm) and a flask of coffee and settle in for half an hours escapism into my book. Joseph has been having swimming lessons for nearly 4 years now, apart from a break once I was heavily pregnant with the twins and after they were born, and there is only so many times you can watch widths in the pool over and over again. Don't get me wrong, for the first two years I religiously got there early so that I could fight my way for a front row seat and I give the thumbs up after every width that he did. However after 4 years of lessons and manic, busy weeks thinking of everyone but me I relish my half an hour me time.
Friday, 5 July 2013
Wow what a busy day :-)
First of all I took the twins to little birthday party for my friends little girl who was 1. Because it was so hard to take the twins out on my own when they were small we always stayed relatively close to home and only really ventured out to my parents or to do a quick Tesco shopping trip. I always felt as if other 'singleton' mums would watch how I did and felt as if we were a circus act. But now the twins are bigger and my self confidence is coming back we have started to go out more and I've got to say I am feeling quite proud of myself! The twins are quite shy and often scream when people they don't know come up and talk to them so part of me was worried how they'd react today with a few strangers around and I have got to say they did so well! When they did start to panic, I picked them both up, one on each hip and took them outside into the garden for some lunch. At home they would have been all over the place but while we were out they both sat like little angels and had their lunch, I couldn't believe it. They really are coming on and I feel my confidence growing too :-)
Later in the day it was Joseph's turn to make me proud. At school he is part of the "Lighting of the Candle" group who take part in the church activities. Joseph goes to the village school which has very close links to the village church. Today was Joseph's first Community Service performance and he was brilliant! Joseph has never been one to speak confidently in public so i did wonder if he'd whisper his lines, but he stood there and clearly said his lines, we may have a little actor in the making :-)
So they are my proud mummy moments and just writing this has got me beaming with joy.
Today is also hubby's birthday! I have baked him a very yummy Kirsty Creation of a cake, Apple Crumble Cake. I know how he loves apple crumble and as its his birthday he needed a cake so I thought I'd mix to two together and hey presto we had a delicious cake.
Now the twins are in bed, I've now got the job of getting Joseph to bed and then me and the hubby can have a bit of chill out time before sleep beckons us. Early night tonight and we'll have a romantic date night tomorrow.
Thursday, 4 July 2013
Last night as I was settling down to sleep I realised what date it was, 3rd July, the anniversary of losing someone who was/is very special to me and played a bit part in helping helping me to become the person I am today.
3 years ago we lost Anita to an degenerative neurological disorder (brain disease) CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). This is an incurable disease which is caused by the progressive death of the brains nerve cells. I was told that Anita had this in the May of 2010 and by July it had taken her. When Anita died she was at at her happiest, she had recently married the love of her life after years being in an unhappy one and was finally living as she wanted to.
Anita was like a second mother to me. She took me under her wing during some of my darkest times and helped me find myself. During this time I was living in Gran Canaria. Anita came to my help after a near fatal accident and from that day on she was always there for me as a mother figure. 3 months after my accident I discovered I was 5 months pregnant, Anita was the person who I turned to for support. She never let me down. Anita was by my side, encouraging me to push, when I went into labour with Joseph and was naturally his God mother the day he was christened.
Once Joseph was 6 months old I returned to England but never lost contact with Anita. I had various trips out to see her and she also came and visited us.
Anita always said how proud she was of the person that I had become, I only wish she was here now to see how much further both me and Joseph have come. I wish she was here on the day I married james, or to see and cuddle Isabella and Taylor. She would have been overjoyed.
Losing Anita the way we did certainly does make you look at life and appreciate everything you have got, and I do not mean material items, I mean health, happiness, family and love. Anita always told me I should write so in a way I feel that this blog is a start for me.
RIP Anita, you were my guardian angel when you were here and I know that you are up there watching over us now, when the twins are bigger we will tell them about you and what a special person you were. We will look for the brightest star in the sky and know that you are there.
Miss you always xxxxx
Wednesday, 3 July 2013
One great way of that is my Super Soup. It is fab for the kids but also good for mum and dad!
4 good sized carrots
1 lg or 2 med parsnips
4 med potatoes
2 white onions
Bag of spinach (approx 120g)
400g tin chopped tomatoes
Tomato purée to taste
Handful of fresh parsley chopped
Handful of fresh chives chopped
Either a baby vegetable stock cube or a reduced salt one
Dried herbs and seasoning to taste
1 - Chop up the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions and turnip
2 - Boil a pan of water and when boiling add the stock cube stir until dissolved and then add the chopped vegetables, fresh parsley and fresh chives
3 - Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 30 mins until all the vegetables are soft
4 - Add the bag of spinach, chopped tomatoes and some tomato purée to taste
5 - Turn the heat up and boil. Once its reached boiling point turn down the heat and simmer for 5 mins
6 - Season to taste, I usually add some thyme and black pepper
7 - Once its cooled blend it up and you're done
For the twins I add a drop of full cream milk and add bits of freshly homemade bread. This goes down a treat with both them and me, its delicious for them and I'm happy knowing that they are having a healthy nutritious meal. This soup is also a great guilt free lunch for me!
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
So this afternoon I have barricaded in the tv, anything that is big and wide has been put in front to stop them. So far so good :-) but we'll see if I have beaten the sneaky duo!!!
Result: the barricade worked and will be going back tomorrow. It has saved my sanity and stopped me saying the word "no" endless times!
Hi, I'm Kirsty a stay at home mum and housewife. I have 3 beautiful children, Joseph who is 8 going on 13 and Isabella and Taylor our 16 month old twins.
3 years ago I met James, who is the love of my life and my best friend. We had quite a whirlwind romance and were married in 10 months! We always said we wanted to add to our family of 3, however we did not expect it to grow so quick! 3 months after we were married we found out we were pregnant. At 11 weeks I had a bleed so we're sent straight to the Early Pregnancy Unit and we had prepared ourselves for the worst news which miraculously turned into the best ever news, we were not expecting one but two babies!! Needless to say we were over the moon. I loved being pregnant and feeling our babies growing inside of me but it was hard work and I was HUGE!
At 34+6 I went into labour and Isabella and Taylor were born.
Joseph had gone from being an only child to a big brother which was an enormous thing for him. He coped so well with the transition from it being just me and him, to having James come into our lives to having 2 small babies causing mayhem in the house. I am so proud of him.
I soon came to the realisation that I did not want my maternity leave to come to an end. We did look at nursery fees and childminder fees and were amazed that they would take ALL of my salary plus some of James so it was as no brainer, I needed to have a huge career change and become a stay at home mum. I never thought I'd say this but I feel so contented, happy and settled just looking after my family and home.
As you can imagine having 2 toddlers running riot and an 8 year old who is finding himself our lives are constantly manic and it feels like we never stop but we wouldn't have it any other way.
I hope you will enjoy my blog as much as I think I'm going to enjoy keeping this blog of our lives x