Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Did you hear the one about Mr L’s new job?

So, the day has finally arrived. Mr L is finishing at a company he has worked at since before we were married to start at a new place up North!

Eeeek- that means he’ll be home every night. 

I hope we get on!! 

This move is very much needed and has been a long time coming. It is a massive thing for all of us but especially Mr L and I really, really hope that he enjoys the new role and new challenge.

I know that his 3 girls will enjoy having him around more. welcome home dada

Unfortunately, I have deluded my tiny mind into thinking that this one change will lead to amazing and magical differences in my oops our life almost immediately. Situations like the following will become the norm in our home and family life will, naturally become perfect… Read the rest of this entry »


Love the Little Things!

It’s Friday.

It’s Friday.


Wooooo Hooooo.

Now, many people, my husband included have been guilty of uttering the, frankly ridiculous statement

“Yeah, but it doesn’t really matter if you’re not working does it”.

Two points to note here:

1) He has been working away- I haven’t caved his head in and buried him under the patio ala Beth Jordash and co.


Everything is different at the weekend.

  • There are other humans around, not only mummy mates and, if you are lucky there is someone to share the chores with.

NB: to all my mummy mates- I don’t mean ‘only’, you are very important to me. What I am getting at is that you don’t always need to leave the house for adult conversation and, sometimes you can have that convo in your pants whilst being mauled by a toddler. Lovely stuff!

  • There is the suggestion that you might buy a paper and leaf through it in a leisurely fashion over brunch*
  • There is Saturday Kitchen and a what feels like whole world of possibilities. **

Friday (or Saturday eve as I like to call it) is also the day that this lovely linky called Love the Little Things comes out and (because I am a dufus, I saw this on twitter, thought it looked ace and then promptly lost the link) this is my very first one! A little late to the party but happy to be here never the less.

Soooo- the name of the game with this is to tell you, in brief, what has been going on in our world this week using various titles as prompts. Fab idea because it means you don’t have to warble on too much though as you can see I have already epically failed with that.***

Anyway, onto the task in ; our week in topic form…


Dogger, by Shirley Hughes

The Dave Book

This week has been pretty book heavy in Leary Land- the book of the moment is called ‘The Dave Book’.

It is actually called Dogger but, as we all know, the little boy who Dogger belongs to is called Dave and so, that is how we refer to it.

I love this book.

My Grandma read it to my sister and I as children and it is such a gorgeous tale about toys being lost and found and a caring big sister. The story will never date but, just to be a geek for a minute, the illustrations are a total social commentary on the time. Fantastic.


This week, do not ask me why, I watched this!!!

I think it is because I watched Les Miserables over the weekend and I love the song so I searched on you tube and- well, SuBo was always going to be top wasn’t she! Crazy to think that she had that voice for 48 years before anyone really knew! The hairs on the back of my neck stood up- again. What a talent. and what a geek I am!


The very very very favorite thing I have heard this week/ever comes from my babies;

‘Muma’ says the big little one.


‘Muma, I love you much.’

This is the most beautiful sentence I have ever heard and it was followed by her cupping my face in her hands and planting a big fat kiss on my mouth.

The second thing was when I heard the big little and the little little babbling to each other from their cots one morning. The babbles became giggle and the giggles became belly laughs. When I crept in they were both bouncing in their cots holding on to the sides.  It was amazing.

Important to note that it was subsequently followed by a bang and a wail but, for this story, I will gloss over that. (no long-term damage done to baby or cot)


Ah ha! This week we made a den.

In a wardrobe.

With actual doors.

It is brilliant.

Cosy Nug in the den.

Cosy Nug in the den.

I was thinking that by creating a cool space like this for the girls they’d want to be in there all the time and I would have hours to blog, clean, change the world but, as it happens, they only like it if I am in there with them too- oh well, there will come a day when that is the last thing they want so I am absolutely going to crowbar myself into a cupboard and read to my babies all afternoon.

Looking a bit like Penfold I think!


My contact lenses. It seems that glasses are no longer an option for me in this house.

It leads to the little little one taking them off my face every two minutes and the big little one snatching them from her and giving a stern

‘They are no toys. They are muma’s glasses’.

It is just easier this way!



And lastly..

As you are reading this we are skipping off to collect the gorgeous Mr L from the station. ****

We will again be a little unit of 4! YEY.

He has been away for two weeks and it has been pretty tough on occasion so this weekend we are going to embrace the park and the swimming and the den and LOVE LIFE. All the messy, crazy, imperfect madness that it is.

I can’t wait.

What are you up to this weekend?



*this will remain a stupid tongue in cheek gag until your children are at uni or have otherwise flown the nest.

**Essentially these possibilities include going to the park either before or after lunch and, whether to risk swimming too what with the history we have at our local pool!

***I’m afraid I write as I speak and, that means that these words are basically spilling out of my brain and onto the page without editing and my only deep-seated regret is that none of you are here to see the furious speed at which I am writing! It is immense.

**** Only if you are reading this on Friday lunchtime ish on day of publishing!

Love the Little things butwhymummuwhy


WOO HOO!! My first Winning Wednesday.

Howdy guys and gals!

I hope that your week is going swimmingly thus far?

Mine has been a little up and down what with an absent hubby (I hate that term!) and a toddler who is now old enough to vote with her feet on anything and everything.
Flash points this week include:

  • Wanting to actually drive the actual car (thanks to the occasion last week when her and Grandma were playing driving to kill time waiting for me and HM)
  • Wanting to hold her ‘boyfriends’ hand ALL the way around the supermarket (super convenient for me and bf’s ma who were both doing the hectic post playgroup shop!)
  • Not wanting to be anywhere apart from the den which I created in their wardrobe (I’M not going to lie to you, it is immense and I am tres proud of myself for coming up with it but as I am required to be in there with her most of the time it has had an impact on how productive I have been!) Read the rest of this entry »
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10 Reasons Running Rocks (keeping my motivation up!)

On Sunday I went for my second run of the year and it was awesome. I loved it. I ran 5.7 miles, listened to music of my own choosing and felt on top of the world for the next 24 hours at least! runners legs

The previous day I had felt a little bit sluggish after a bottle of fizz shared with Mr L to toast our baby’s first birthday and it made me think (yet again) how much better exercise makes me feel than drinking ever does and, it made me wonder why people (read ME) continually hanker after a glass (read bottle) of something after a hard day (read most days).

I am making myself out to be some sort of turps drinking alcoholic which I definitely am not, but the fact remains, exercise makes me feel amazing and, now I am a mum, it gives me some much-needed time out to clear my head and hear something other than ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ or ‘When Santa got stuck up the chimney’ (yes, still). Even when these are sung in the cutest voice ever, they can become a little mind bending after the 19th rendition. Ditto ‘The magic porridge pot’. Read the rest of this entry »


A trip to the Aquarium (Blue Planet Review)

For those of you that read the blog regularly, you will know that on Friday it was our baby’s first birthday. As Mr L is working away through most of January we didn’t feel we could manage a party (particularly since I haven’t even put the Christmas decorations back in the loft yet…does that mean eternal damnation or just back luck or, more likely, a simple sign of lazyitis?) so we decided instead to take a family trip to The Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port.

Initially I was open mouthed- no, not at the fact that the Aquarium holds an amazing 4,000,000 litres of water (in the principal tank alone) and features a 71-metre (233 ft) underwater tunnel, but at the fact that you had to pay for parking. Pardon me?
I was astounded by this since its location (near Cheshire Oaks outlet village) makes it easiest to visit by car and, though it is accessible by bus, I am sure they are aware most people will drive and take advantage of that. Humph- not a brilliant start!

Admission prices are also steep (£16.00 per adult and £11.75 for 12 and unders) but, kids under 90cm go free and there are a variety of offers online so it is always worth checking that out for savings.

Not actual size. Please do not hold your child up to your computer screen to check whether you'll need to pay

Not actual size. Please do not hold your child up to your computer screen to check whether you’ll need to pay

There is also the option of an annual pass which, in the end is what we plumped for. It offers FREE car parking (should be free anyway but I won’t go on) as well as many other discounts in the cafe, shop etc.

After over coming those two hurdles, we had a brilliant time!

Friday afternoon was the perfect time to visit; obviously, as both our girls are pre-school, it was easy peasy to take them on a week day and it meant that we basically had the run of the whole place so, for a slummy laid back parent, that means that your child can crawl and cruise without fear of being crushed and, you don’t need to battle with a buggy and lifts and the whole bloody palava that is sometimes a day out. Perfect.

 The aquarium is broken up into various sections and the majority of the tanks have viewing windows almost down to the floor which makes it easy for little people (and children) to see what’s going on without you having to bench press them for the afternoon.

Shhh- I'm counting

Shhh- I’m counting

I find fish really mesmerizing and could happily watch them for hours (well- minutes at least) and the girls seemed to feel the same.
Once we got over BG’s attempts to count them all which, when you sort of lose it after number 7, is a bit of a non starter- especially with moving targets; after that, the whole experience was fab with lots of kissing the glass (calm down, I was partly raised on a farm with lots of germs and muck etc and I’ve turned out ok…do not comment on this), pointing, chattering, babbling and giggling which was the whole point really.

I suppose one of the main attractions of the Blue Planet is the 71 metre underwater tunnel which allows you to see the rays and sharks swimming over head. It is fantastic. On busy days there is a moving walk way to prevent a backlog but, on a weekday afternoon we were able to amble through taking pictures, doubling back and taking as much time as we wanted.

How menacing is this face?  If there hadn't been a thick pain of glass between us I reckon I'd have been the next Steve Irwin

How menacing is this face?
If there hadn’t been a thick pane of glass between us I reckon I’d have been the next Steve Irwin

 It isn’t all about the tunnel though, you can see the fish being fed and, if you are old enough you can head on in and help out which sounds brilliant (in leu of a trip to the Great Barrier Reef of course!)

Stocking up on geeky facts!

Stocking up on geeky facts!

Swimming with the fishes

Swimming with the fishes

Looking a little less threatening.

Looking a little less threatening.

There are also crocs, jelly fish, turtles, frogs, spiders and meerkats to spy on.

I imagine with older children and, in sunnier weather, it would be easy to make a real day of it as there is outside space with a ‘Pirate Playground’ and ‘Otter Attraction’ BUT; be prepared, there are extra places to shed cash everywhere, from a Barney ride on car thingy to the vending machines not to mention the gift shop so, make sure you take snacks, drinks and a toy that they haven’t seen for a while, to entertain them as they pass through the gift shop to the playground…no one needs a semi precious stone or a ruler that also flicks around their wrist to make a crap bracelet. they just don’t.

The reason we went for the Annual pass in the end is that you only need to go 3 times in a year to get your money back in terms of on the door ticket prices and it makes you feel less like you need to spend the whole flipping day there. It makes a two-hour mooch more plausible, not excessive.

All in all, a really excellent way to spend an afternoon because there are exhibits to suit people of all ages and levels of interest and understanding.

I am particularly thrilled to have squirreled away a few new geeky animal facts so I am now able to drop bombs like this into conversation…’I mean, yeah, sure a piranha’s average life span is 25 years but, they can live for far longer’.
If you are thinking that this would make me a boring person to invite to a dinner party, you would be totally wrong; I also have facts on any number of other interesting topics such as the history of Neighbours (the soap, not Barb and John) and the people you meet on public transport!

Hope you have a whale of a time.*


*There are no whales at the Blue Planet.


Happy Birthday Beaut!

Good Morning My Beautiful Baby Girl.

Can you believe it- today is your very first birthday; you have been here with us for one whole year completing our little family unit.

Before you were born my darling, your daddy and I used to worry that there wouldn’t be enough love for you and your sister to share. I thought  that I couldn’t possibly have enough love for two babies. I thought that I would be stretched too thinly, that I’d have a favourite and that I wouldn’t be able to do justice to looking after two babies.
Now you are here I know that I was so silly to worry about that.
Even for a minute.
You have been loved unconditionally by 3 people rather than two from the moment you were born.
How lucky is that?

It hasn’t all been plain sailing. Let me tell you, it is absolutely knackering being a Muma of 2!!
There have been many moments when I’ve wanted to tear my hair out.
There have been moments when you HAVE torn my hair out (just when I was thinking I quite liked it actually!)

But, one year in to this life long journey, let me tell you this Hannah Muriel.

You are loved beyond measure.

I love the fact that you wake before your sister and we have precious time just the two of us.
The moment that I walk into your room and pick you out of your cot will forever be one of life’s highlights.
In some ways you are so ridiculously different from your sister and because of that, the way I get to love you is totally different too.
She wants to be near me, you just want the odd glance to check I’m checking you.
That means that when you do fancy a Muma cuddle it is one of the highlights of my day.
You are the ultimate independent baba. I can tell already that you are a go getter and I adore that.
Get out there sweetheart. You grab life by the scruff of the neck and fly by the seat of your pants.
Your dada and I will be right here if anything goes wrong. Don’t you worry baby.


Your naming Day- not a great picture of you as you had the pox.


I am actually writing this a couple of days before your birthday.

I hope you don’t mind, it is just so tricky to get anything done when you and your sister are around, (I don’t know why!)

 And I would much rather be snuffling at your lovely neck or watching you balance in your little truck than be messing about on the computer if you’re awake (and anyway, all of the stuff I am about to tell you will be just as true next week as it is now).


Now, you may recall that I wrote your sister a very earnest sort of poem on her second birthday.
Yours, my darling is a little bit different because, you are a lottle bit different (this is not a typo- I have made it up. It is a mixture of ‘a little’ and ‘a lot’ because in some ways you are A LITTLE bit different and in some ways you are A LOT different; ged it?!). A bit more like me I think…

So anyway, enough of this- here is your poem. 

For our Glorious little adventurer Hannah Houdini.

You arrived right on time with a bit of a nudge.
Without the ventouse you just wouldn’t budge!

I think it’s because I made a comfortable home.
I flippin’ well hope so, I was the size of the Dome.*

My actual stomach. (not really)

My actual stomach.
(not really)

So Hannah my darling, a year has now passed.
I blinked and I missed it.
It flew by so fast.

So here are some highlights I want you to treasure.
I’ve written them down for you to read at your leisure.

Your smile quite literally lights up my world.
My beautiful, gorgeous, little girl.

Look how beautiful you are!

Look how beautiful you are!

When I walk into your room and see you stood in your cot,
It’s hard to think of a thing I’ve not got**

You are crazy!

You are crazy!

When you are sneaking your way back up the stairs.
You turn and you smile, as yet with no cares.

Your giggling, crawling, cruising ways, bring such huge pleasure to everyone’s days.


You are part of a pair but are whole on your own.

Taken by Kate-Jade photography. Thanks Kate!

Taken by Kate-Jade photography. Thanks Kate!


Know this my sweetheart, you’re never alone.***


When you and your sister are giggling with glee,
There’s no sight on the planet that I’d rather see.

You’re naughty,

It's like the Brittas Empire all over again!

It’s like the Brittas Empire all over again!

You’re cheeky,

Looking a bit like Penfold I think!

Looking a bit like Penfold I think!

You’re gorgeous,

Just hangin in the shower!

Just hangin in the shower!

You’re loud.

Milliseconds prior to meltdown

Milliseconds prior to meltdown

Hitching a ride with Dada

Hitching a ride with Dada


You’re our darling daughter and we couldn’t be more proud.


Love Muma and Daddy.



An idea for Jo Malone…

It might have become clear from some previous blog posts that I LOVE Jo Malone. Specifically, I love Pomegranate Noir.

Beautiful presentation and packaging...not so good for the environment...

Beautiful presentation and packaging…not so good for the environment…

I don’t like ‘stuff’ in general, and I don’t like rubbish so, when people ask me what I’d like for birthday’s, Christmas etc this is invariably the answer.

HOWEVER…I have got a little suggestion to make to Jo Malone (not the person Jo Malone, she is now doing her thing at Jo LOVES which I haven’t yet tried).

YOU NEED TO OFFER REFILLS and, if you are feeling generous,


The reason I feel compelled to write a blog post about this is because I received some gorgeous bits for Christmas which come in really beautiful packaging.
It is in perfect condition.
It is too good to chuck in the recycling (because it takes energy blah blah blah to break down and make into something new) but I have no use for it and I am in danger of becoming someone who keeps things ‘just in case’. This is not a trait I wish to encourage.

I have asked in store and over the phone (I didn’t call specifically for this reason- I am not an elderly nosy curtain twitcher type) but no one knew of any schemes and this evening, to prevent myself from looking like a total idiot when I get a reply saying- we do recycle; this scheme already exists you fool, I have also checked the website and asked on twitter but nada, nothing. ZIP. so here is my plea…

Please can you make a refill for your room defusers so I don’t have to chuck away the perfect glass container.
Please can you offer a scheme where by people can return their boxes and bags and
Please, please can you offer an incentive scheme such as the one MAC runs, basically a free lippie if you bring back 6 empties. See more info here.

It’s just an idea- I’m not suggesting I will boycott your stores or anything- quite frankly, popping in and giving myself a cheeky (very generous) spritz is one of the few times I wear perfume but still, it’s important so, give it some thought.

I was wondering if you don’t do this because you feel it might devalue the brand? I honestly don’t think it would. It is everyone’s responsibility to try to cut down on waste, luxury or everyday item and I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Thanking you very much in advance,


Do you think recycling cheapens a brand or devalues a product? Let me know what you think…


In case of Emergency (Red Cross First Aid App Review)

You know that moment when your baby goes from chomping on a sweet potato ‘chip’ (homemade and not bad for you so don’t tut at the c word) to coughing and spluttering and basically choking?
You know how you panic and have no clue what to do and are frantically looking around the kitchen for someone other than a toddler to keep you calm and tell you what to do? Well I do.

Happily, the errant chip was coughed up pretty quickly and all was well but it is a nerve shredding experience.

I think having babies is similar in a lot of ways to a trip to Alton Towers (other theme parks are available).
It involves lots of anticipation, excitement, adrenalin and screaming. There will always be at least some sick and eventually, you’ll be left poorer, soaking wet and reliving the memories thanks to the dodgy pictures. Read the rest of this entry »


Resolutions, Smesolutions.

Hi there guys and gals and a very Happy 2014 to you!

I hope you had a ball last night and have woken up feeling full of hope and optimism for the coming year.

Look how handsome he is; I could almost cry!

Look how handsome he is; I could almost cry!

Those of you that read my post yesterday will know that it was not a good day! We spent yesterday evening at the doctors with our youngest who has wailed her way through Christmas with a tummy bug and teething and now has an ear infection. She is in such pain bless her, we trudged back home with antibiotics and settled in for a night of cuddles and Breaking Bad…no awful NYE TV for us!!

Happily she slept better than she has in days so I think she is on the mend- yey. Breaking Bad was, quite frankly, immense. We are mid way through series 3 and I am in love with Jessie. Actual Love.


Today, we have commenced operation potty training with the eldest and so, far from this being a day full of fresh starts and new beginnings is really is same s&*t, different day…3 knicker changes and a poo on the floor at my last count! onwards and upwards hey?

Anywho, as it is New Years Day and some people will be awash with positivity I thought I would share with you my New Years resolutions for 2014.

I know of some people who resolve to wear matching underwear for 365 days.

I know others that suggest having sex every single day for 12 months.

I have opted out of both of these for two reasons;

My underwear drawer is a sea of washed out whites and grim greys.

My husband works away.

I feel both of these could do more harm to my marriage than good so instead I have opted for the following:

Be consistently better to your body.

How boring is that???

But, given that I am a detox or retox, feast or famine, all or nothing kind of chick, I feel it is time to try to be a little more consistent in my approach to my health and wellbeing. I’m not getting any younger and, as I was pushing the buggy up a hill the other day I felt that my heart and lungs were going to burst so something has to give before they do.

  • I am not really unfit. I’ve run the London Marathon 3 times and several other 1/2’s but not for a while; it’s time to get back on the horse.

    Yup, thats right dudes, I was running when my baby was only 8 months old (and the other one was cooking!) BOOM.

    Yup, that’s right dudes, I was running when my baby was only 8 months old (and the other one was cooking!) BOOM.

  • I am not morbidly obese. I can usually find something to fit if we have an occassion to go to (we’re not over run with offers!)
  • But, I have a poor diet which is not helped by the fact Mr L works away and I often can’t be bothered to cook for one.
  • I have serious wrinkles- I’m not fishing for compliments; it’s true and, I am not the only person to have said it.

    I have all of the wrinkles and none of the ahh factor. (

    I have all of the wrinkles and none of the ahh factor. (

  • Some days I am so rushed and pushed for time I don’t even time for a shower. I am not proud of this fact but I comfort myself with the knowledge that at least it will be harder for witches to sniff me out…Rold Dahl told me.
  • My cleansing routine is none existent and make up is applied in the car if at all.

In short dear reader, I look like what I am…a really slummy mummy.

WELL, 2014 is the year it all changes.

Not over night.

Not in an extreme fashion but little by little.

I have signed up to run 4 races over the course of the year and have also signed up to a boot camp classes.

I am going to try to improve my diet and take up washing daily…I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.

Blogging wise I am going to include more images in my posts and to that end I am taking part in the 365 project so I hope to improve my photography skills over the course of the year.

What are your resolutions?

Whatever they are, I hope you realise them and that 2014 is your best yet.

If you’re a blogger and have written about your resolutions, feel free to leave your link in the comments box. If you’re not a blogger, comment anyway and tell me what 2014 holds for you.




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