Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Glasto Baby!!! (actually an amazing #WinningWednesday)

As I type this, Arcade Fire are going mental at Glasto and my awesome friends, The Mix Nots, have just finished a 7 hour DJ set. Oh what I would give to be hanging in a sweaty tent at Glastonbury this weekend with a mouth like Gandi’s flip flop.
Alas, here I am, home alone writing about my former life a festival goer. Sad times!

Well, no more. I will not go gently into this good night…I WILL seek out a festival that is suitable for families, kids, people who don’t want to utterly give up on life because they’ve spawned children.

And, my friends, I have struck festival gold…I am not talking Bestival…too obvious- plus it totally clashes with work, that is The Festival of Code Weekend lovelies, YRS’s biggest gig of the year.

LOLLIBOP is exactly where is it at for Family Leary this year and I am so excited.
I am even more excited that I have a family ticket to give away to one of you lucky people.

 

Lolibop 2014

 

Lolibop 2014 is taking over the gorgeous Hatfield House which is under 30 minutes away from London, just an hour from Cambridge and Reading and less than 90 minutes from Leicester- it is pretty convenient for most of us really and, if it is just that bit too far for a day trip, you could make a weekend of it; in case it has escaped your attention, there is a bit of a passport situation at the minute so this summer is THE perfect time for a Staycation! One day in the city and one in the country? Sounds pretty good to me.

Hatfield House lOLLIBOP 2014

Looking serene before the littlies descend!

So, just what is Lolibop all about?

Lolibop is ALL ABOUT THE KIDS– it’s not an adult festival with a bouncy castle ’round the back, calling itself family friendly! It is totally designed with anyone and everyone under 10 in mind but, with all the necessary touches to prevent you from one of those awkward Mummy Meltdowns when the toilets are inadequate and no one will warm your bottle!

Divided into various zones to keep everyone happy, I have already checked the line up and earmarked a few ‘must do’s for Family Leary;

  • Lets make a story with Southbank Centre regular story teller Vanessa Woolf! As you know, I the girls love a good story.
  • Baby Yoga- surely I can’t show myself up in a field of toddlers…can I?!
  • Disney’s Silent Disco- AMAZING!! Who doesn’t love a head bang to ‘A whole New World’…Not the Jordan and Peter version!
  • The Thomas and Friends area- I really enjoy Thomas the Tank so it will be brilliant to see the engines ‘in person’ so to speak- I can’t wait to see the girls faces!
  • The Lollikitchen- The girls love getting their hands dirty with a bit of cooking so this will be right up their street- they could do with someone who knows what they’re talking about showing they the ropes!

The eagle eyed amongst you will recognise that none of these activities are the ‘Big Names’, I think, as with most festivals, it will be worth checking out the full programme and seeking out the hidden gems.

For older kids there is absolutely loads to do- you are utterly spolit for choice with football sessions, science shows, DJ sets and street dance, it sounds awesome frankly and I am a little bit gutted that my girls are too young for this session at the moment…it would be way too obvious that I was simply there to check out Mr G!

bear grylls, lollibop 2014

If you are more of a Pyramid Stage person, you can look forward to the likes of Sam and Mark, Mr Maker, Mr Tumble and so on but I reckon, with two under 3’s, we’ll save that for next year and enjoy the side shows this time round.

Mr Tumble Lollibop 2014

mister maker, lollibop 2014

If you fancy winning a family ticket to Lollibop, all you need to do is hit the link and enter my fab competition.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See you there- we can’t wait.

Muma.

XxxX

If you aren’t lucky enough to win- you can still get in on the action; check out the ticket section of the website here.

42 Comments »

Fairy Godmother…not here!

Watcha- Happy 6 months until New Years Eve!!
Sorry, I didn’t mean to stress you out but I do struggle for original ways to start these posts…

I have started this blog 3 or 4 times now and have even had 2 disastrous attempts at a video following a session at Britmums.

I know there is such a thing as too rehearsed but, I honestly think went too far the other way when I commented on the bird poo on the window and the potty training…clearly not about to be headhunted by QVC but, to be fair to me, it is my first attempt and I was talking and walking and recording so, you know, multitasking!

Anyway, since Fairy sent me some (brilliant) free dishwasher liquid capsules and; since 10 people that take part in this post are going to win £100, I thought I’d give you a swizz around the heart of our home…I wrote on this at 4:19 the Friday morning of Britmums…

fairy!

I must just tell you, incase this turns into THE most garbled, non sensical post ever, that I’m off to Britmums live today. The biggest blogging conference in Britain. Naturally, because I am due to be awake and on top form in just over 2 hours and 3 minutes, ready to spend two days presenting my very best self to some total strangers as well as some twitter mates and blogging friends and soon to be friends (I hope) I am sitting here in my kitchen (having cleaned up last nights beer bottles) thinking about this post….

Welcome to our Kitchen, grab a seat, I’ll whack the kettle on!

I love our kitchen. It is absolutely without a doubt what sold the house to us when we were beginning to think that we’d never find somewhere we really liked in time for us to move in before the little little arrived.

Looking around my kitchen now it is totally different to the way it looks 90% of the time, all washing up and piles of clothes and bloody ‘stuff’ everywhere.

WASHING PILE

Item 1 of 4…

Right now it is a still and quiet place where I can stare out at the view and gather my thoughts.

I love my kitchen.

It is genuinely the heart of our home.

It is what sold us this house and it is where we spend the lions share of our family time.

I spend hours crawling around the floor chasing my babies here.

I feed them here.

#MorrisonsMum

Meatballs AGAIN…seriously?!

They splash in the sink here; photo (30)

And it is where we sit around the table having ever more intelligible and surreal conversations! “What is life Muma” WHAT?!? Not ready for that yet…

Every surface is becoming cluttered with our daily lives and the fridge is plastered in what I will loosely refer to as art. It is certainly a lived in kitchen.20131025-202508.jpg

Oh, yes, obviously I have plans.

Obviously one day we will be knocking down this and re painting that and amazing bi-fold doors the other.

It goes without saying I’m sure that one day in the not too distant future I’ll be knocking out the perfect twice baked soufflé for our dinner party guests whilst we chink glasses and discuss high brow topics of the day around this very table.

One fine day the kitchen and garden will link seamlessly together and our home will grace the pages of ‘Look at our utterly amazing Home’ Magazine. Not Yet.

Not Yet.

Not whilst there is painting to do and play dough to grind into the table and dens to make underneath the table.

Not yet whilst we cook and we clean and we chat and we laugh and we live in this kitchen.

010

Yes I have been chewing a felt tip... don't worry, it was non toxic!

Yes I have been chewing a felt tip… don’t worry, it was non toxic!

Not yet.

For us, for now, this kitchen is perfect.

This kitchen is an absolute world away from our last one. That one was teeny tiny. I could touch both walls if I stretched out my arms but, once we had knocked down the wall dividing the weeeeeeny kitchen and the dining area, it did the same job. It allowed us to be sociable with our mates and enjoy each other’s company.

So, I guess the moral of the story is, it’s not the size of your cooker it’s what you cook in it that counts.

Yummy Tuna

Yummy Tuna

Crunchy topped Torte!

Crunchy topped Torte!

Brilliant Beef

Brilliant Beef

Oh, and just incase you are concerned that I am some form of step ford wife that has no clutter or mess or unfiled unsorted no designated home for this kind of gal…I have to tell you….we have a utility room!! The home of oh cr*p, were having guests!!

So, I’ve shown you mine, now show me,yours!
This crazy post is my entry to the “My Kitchen Story” Linky Challenge, sponsored by Fairy Platinum. Should you wish, you can find them on Facebook here; Facebook.com/fairydish

Lots of Love,

Muma.

XxxX

6 Comments »

My top 5 tips on how not to be a Div.

I am so sick of seeing people doing really, properly selfish, rude, mean, annoying things but, lately I have even wondering if people behave as they do because they’ve never been told any different.
So, just because I am kind and wish to give people the benefit of the doubt before totally going off on one, I have written my Top 5 tips on how not to be a total divvy and general annoyance to wider society…
Enjoy and feel free to add your own.

1) If it isn’t yours, don’t take it.
Not rocket science people. Whether it’s a packet of biscuits from a shop or war medals from a veteran, it’s wrong.
Earn it or leave it there.

2) Don’t watch Jeremy Kyle.
He is a hideous individual who feels the need to raise his voice and shame people in front of an audience. It is the modern day equivalent of a freak show and there is no need for it.

2b) Don’t go on Jeremy Kyle.
If you real feel you must air your dirty washing in public- start a blog!

3) Don’t aspire to be the next TOWIE or MIC or Jordan or anyone of this ilk.
Just plain URGH.
Consider being the next Bill Gates, the next Marie Curie, the next anyone who works hard, tries hard and gives others a leg up if they possibly can.

4) Don’t, just DO NOT park in a parent and child space if you’re not a parent WITH a child. It is selfish, knobbish behaviour and people hate it. They HATE IT.
The same goes for disabled spaces.

5) Don’t judge people for the way the choose to live their lives.
You have no idea what has lead them here in the first place.*

* Number 5 is null and void if the individual is doing any of the previous four tips.
Then, judge away!!

What do you want people to JUST STOP DOING?!
Let me know and I’ll pass it on!

You’re welcome. 😉

Muma.

X

18 Comments »

Trying to make your children less weird…a follow on

Good Morning All and a very Happy Friday to you!!

I don’t know what I’m so chirpy about, I’ve been up since 3am- couldn’t sleep and now there is no point in going back to bed because in a couple of hours I will be skipping off to the Amazing (I hear…) Britmums Live, once the bins are emptied and the kids are dressed and the nursery run’s done and all that stuff!

I am hoping to come back with a head full of ideas and a little black book full of contacts. I will post my Saturday book review after I have written  on the train… this week has been manic BUT- happily, I have two amazing #WinningWednesdays coming up for you as a result.

Think beautiful bags and Fun Family Festivals. Exciting times hey!!

Anyway, following my ranty, sweary, hopefully thought provoking, blog of Wednesday evening, I have had loads of lovely comments and feedback so thank you. (If you’ve not read it yet, it’s here).

So, to follow up from that I thought I’d repost an old post about how I’d like my girls to see themselves. Check it out and, as ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

If you are off to Britmums, I’ll see you there. I know No one. NO ONE. Please be nice to me. I’m nervous!

If you are not off to Britmums, have a wonderful weekend and I’ll catch you Sunday.

Loads of Love!

XxxX

 ——————————

This week I have read two incredibly thought provoking blogs this week which have really stayed with me so I thought I’d share them with you and would try my hand at a bit of a deep and meaningful myself, don’t let that put you off though ;-).

The first was a blog about the impact your own self-image and self-worth has on your children and the second one is written by a lady living with cancer. Seriously, this isn’t all doom and gloom- read on!

I can not comprehend what having cancer must be like, even though it has touched several members of my immediate family (and continues to blight their every single day) I imagine that you reevaluate what (and who) is genuinely important to you.

I can’t imagine that, if I had been told that I had only months to live I would be looking at my body and criticising it.
I like to think that I would have the fight and the drive of Helen who is working her way through her ‘List for living’. I am totally into numbers 6, 11, 13, 19….in fact, damn it Helen, your list is too good, I am thinking of taking it as my own).

I doubt I would wake up each day thinking;

Ergh, look at those stretch marks, look at the crows feet, you are a literal body stocking of porridge. Cover it up immediately, you are gross.

I am pretty sure I would be waking up and thanking God for another day on the planet to spend with my babies and those I love.
I hope I would be loving and lunching and laughing and LIVING.
I might give a nod of recognition to the fact this body of mine has seen me through 2 pregnancies, 3 marathons and 32 years (now 33!) and has done so, in the main, without giving me too much grief.

Not too shabby.

I would be horrified and broken hearted if my children felt that their worth was wholly related to the way they look and not to their glorious spirits and beautiful, imaginative, inquisitive and I hope, open minds.
Now, let me be perfectly honest; I am as happy as Larry if someone beeps my in the street, it is a boost! I have no issue if someone wants to comment (positively) on the way I look- seriously, do this more everyone- it makes people’s day!

I also like it if people say that I am kind, funny, friendly or intelligent. Basically, I like it when people are genuine and kind.

What I want for my children is for them to value themselves and have the confidence to say; yep, that’s right Bruce, I am off to my quilling lesson now and I am going to be wearing an outfit that I have fashioned from a shower curtain and a beret. I am sorry if you now feel I am not cool enough to be seen with. Good day to you.
I want them to be comfortable in their own skins and, since they are learning so much about life from me (as testified by this picture of Baba A with my eye liner on- we are approximately equally skilled in this area)

20130630-193520.jpg

I want to make sure it is good stuff.
To this end I have bought myself some Wonder Woman knickers.

20130630-193830.jpg

According to Wikipedia, she stands for justice, peace, love and sexual equality and I am all for that. Initially I will be wearing these underneath my jeans but as my confidence grows, who knows- I may have some sewing lessons to make a cape and some head gear. Incidentally, if you also wish to learn how to sew a cape, I know just the woman!

I heard a good piece of advice the other day which was- when you want to give someone a piece of your mind, why not start with a piece of your heart. I am going to give it a go. I am going to try to give people, including myself a break. I expect this may be tough as some people seem to insist on behaving like utter tits. I mean you cast of TOWIE.

Have a good week all.

Lots of love.

XxxxX

 

positive body image quote

found on theberry.com

postive body image quotes, kate winslet

Good Advice Kate.
Smart and Beautiful!

1 Comment »

Musicals, Meat and My First Britmums! #Love the little things!

WOW!! What a busy week. Dudes, can you believe that we are nearly half way through the year?? It is JUNE for pity’s sake and not even the beginning of June- Next week it is Wimbledon- that’ll give us something to watch since the footy team are heading home early…unless Italy do them a huge favour…fingers crossed.

So, as another weekend approaches it’s that time again- Little Loves! Would love to know what you’ve been up to this week too.

READ:  Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment »

Why are women so weird?

This evening I have been running.
By running, I clearly mean breathing out of my arse and sweating like a pig whilst dragging myself after Mr L who offers words of encouragement whilst I swear under my breath and ask myself why I am doing it!
It is the same almost every time. Sometimes I get the legendary runners high but, I’ll be honest, it’s not a given.
When I got home I was so red and out of breath I couldn’t talk but, now I’ve inhaled a pizza and three chocolate digestives I’m almost feeling human again.

So, as I delicately nibbled at the biscuits, I was leafing through Facebook and saw one of my friends was talking about the good old self-worth/body image fat/fit/thin debate and I thought you are SO right. What the fuck IS this?

Why is it that beautiful, intelligent, funny, articulate, sexy, interesting, sassy women equate their size and their body shape with the way that they feel. It is weird. AND it is sad.

I posted here about how I want my children to feel about themselves and their bodies, it certainly isn’t the way I feel about mine at the moment.

I thought back to yoga on Monday night. It was quite literally the hardest thing I have ever done. Ever. Including labour and after one of them I had a 3 pint blood transfusion.
Because it was hot yoga (If you haven’t been, go. It is awesome but I realise that the previous sentence may make you doubt my sincerity!) I wore a crop top and, as I was flailing about like an upside down tortoise I caught sight of myself and the teacher in the mirror and I was genuinely really upset at what I saw.
How shallow is that?
Instead of thinking;

  • YEY me. You totally held that pose for around 4 seconds this week.
  • YEY me. You could be sitting at home right now.
  • YEY me. You are getting stronger every week.

I was thinking why the fuck don’t I look like her??

Well, let’s think shall we,

  • This is her job.
  • This her life style and she is hugely passionate and committed.
  • She almost definitely does not eat pizza and chocolate for dinner.
  • (And two mars bars as a little lunch time treat)
  • She hasn’t had 2 children in quick succession and as a result is unlikely to have had a second arse hole ripped for her preventing any meaningful exercise for some time.

I think there is a genuine need for women to rewire their brains. To think of all the things that their bodies DO do.
To think of themselves as more than the shell that they reside in. Basically we need to become Sikh- check this out- it’s an oldie but a goodie;

Sikh Woman Teaches Reddit A Lesson in Tolerance

A Sikh woman’s classy, thoughtful response to a mean-spirited photo of her posted on Reddit has not only warmed the hearts of people around the globe, it has even forced the man who posted the photo to look at his actions and repent.
The original photo posted of Kaur, with the caption “I’m not quite sure what to conclude from this”

sikh womans idea of body image

Kaur’s response:

Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled 🙂 However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. 🙂 So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. 🙂 I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.

That story was published on Mashable in 2012 but it will be incredible forever.
I wish I had a bit of that ladies acceptance. It is incredible. She must have so much space in her brain for important stuff since she filtered out all the rubbish about wrinkles, saggy tummies and cellulite. No bloody wonder she’s got the headspace for a neuroscience and psychology degree!

So, I will carry on running.
And I will carry on avoiding the magazines that remind us every week that we’re not quite up to scratch.
And I will continue to go to yoga.
And I’ll always accept a biscuit or two… Because I actually AM more than the way I look and so are you.

Night.

XxxX

positive body image,

 

 

I am linking up this particularly angry, sweary post with Brilliant Blog Post by Vicky…I hope she doesn’t mind!! You can check out some other BBP’s by clicking the link below.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

9 Comments »

Oh what a Beautiful Bag…#ArchivePost

Well Hello My dears!

Here’s hoping that you are well and happy after a sunny weekend and knowing that, after tomorrow we will be rolling down hill towards another. Lovely stuff! Summer’s a coming!

So, as I was faffing about on Facebook (whilst troughing left over pasta at a rate of knots) I came across this linky and, having done a few reviews, I thought I’d share one of my oldest ones. The ones I did when I was a brand new and utterly naive blogger who though that companies would be throwing their products at me to sample and review…Well, it turns out, that after little over a year of plugging away at this little blog, Pacapod ARE sending me a bag to review! So, by way of thanks, I am giving this post some archive love. Have a gander and don’t forget to subscribe or like me on Facebook and Twitter so you can be kept in the loop with all the forthcoming reviews and competitions….

golden oldiesAre you sitting comfortably?! Here it is, sans my opening blurb.

Point to note- this post is probably only going to be interesting if;
A) you want a bag to accommodate baby stuff
B) you like gimmicky things
C) you simply love reading my musings!
D) you think mooning is funny- even though you are over 13 years old.

 

By nature, I am a very ‘all or nothing at all’ type of character.
Take this blog for instance, rather than do a bit of reading about how to start a blog, get a site that looks nice, will be picked up on search engines etc, I just jumped straight in and now have a page which I need to alter so that it does what I would like it to do. Sooo, I just threw some money at the problem and bought two books; Blogging for Dummies and Get Rich Blogging. (I wish!)
Guess what, I haven’t had the time to read the books so the page looks just as it did before and I am carrying on doing the bit that I find fun rather than deal with the nuts and bolts stuff.

The same goes for my plan to become an actual grown up. I am attempting to buy my way out of the chaos.
To that end, I have bought myself some Tupperware and a bag. beautiful, beautiful bag!!

Pacapod Firenze Review

Yummy Mummy Alert!

Pacapod Firenze Review

A child in a white dress…you can tell this is a website shot and not one of mine!

Now, because I am a fool, I expected the bag to magically transform me into an amazing and organised yummy who would laugh in the face of the disorganised slummy and say kind things like;

“Not to worry, I always carry a couple of spare Muslins incase of situations like this”.

(possibly whilst making eyes at their friends!)

The bag, although lovely, is only a bag and you will (as my mother has pointed out) still need to fill it to make you into the kind of person deserving of such a purchase. It will not turn you into Mary Poppins which is a shame as I have long coveted her parrot head umbrella and also her tape measure but I digress.mary poppins umbrella

Anywho, because I am high on the smell of leather and the desire to become utter maternal perfection, I check out what the peeps at Pacapod say about what you should pack for a stress free day out. See here for their suggestions
I must highlight at this juncture that I very much wanted to prove the website wrong and return the bag with a haughty note having spent all my eBay profits on it since the website accepts paypal. Too. Damn. Easy. Their marketing people are genius!

BUT, it turns out that everything you need DOES fit in it. Humph. Look, I even took some pictures to show you. (This is what becomes of you when your husband works away. You become an utter nerd!)

Pacapod Firenze Review,

Absolutely loads of room.

Pacapod Fireenze Review

Creates order where there once was chaos!

Here comes the science bit…

The idea is that even if you have a baby bag (which I have never, ever had before) you will spend time rooting around looking for all the things you need for various times during an average day out. Sooooo Jaccqueline Waggett designed a bag containing two other bags; one for feeding and one for changing. There is also a separate bit for your stuff. I LOVE IT. It even has a thingy to attach your keys to- you know, an elastic thing with a clip; Fab!
I fitted in everything I needed for both babies and we were out all day. TOTES AMAZEBALLS.

You do need to pack it in advance though as it takes some careful folding and organisation to get everything in but I guess that would be less important if you only had one.
It means that, if you are sending someone else to the bathrooms to do the changing bit, you don’t need to take the bag off the pram (it has pram attachment clips). You just remove the changing bag bit and voila, off they pop whilst you sit back and relax!
NB- this is best done against a backdrop of the French Riviera with a glance which says;

I think you’ll find there is everything you could ever need in there because I am freaking amazing  and, yes, I will have some more champagne!! 

(but, it also works in the car park of Homebase!) 

My only gripe with this particular bag is that the long strap is a bit thin for it to feel comfortable when worn like a satchel and also, it is expensive. I am justifying this to myself by thinking of it in terms of cost per use, how lovely it is and because I paid for it via eBay sales. There are loads of others to choose from though and they also have an eBay store which sells their seconds, prototypes etc so you don’t have to go mad!

Now, what I am very much hoping, is that the quite amazing team at Pacapod, will send me another bag for me to give away as a competition prize to my readers… Obviously, this is only a possibility if lots of people read this post so- please like, share and above all comment so that I can show how much we would all appreciate it!!! What do you say Pacapod?!

Oh, one more thing…I was very concerned that becoming an organised mother would mean the end of this blog, after all, what am I to write about if I don’t have chaos and disorder in my life anymore.
Turns out I needn’t have worried as Baby A saw fit to pull down my pyjama bottoms yesterday whilst I was making coffee for the gardeners. I had two cups in my hand and so, for what felt like an eternity, I was mooning in my kitchen which has two sets of French doors just as the gardener came round the back with his pruning shears. Not Embarrassing at all.

Until Next time!

Muma.

XxxX

2 Comments »

Wish you Were Here…Happy Fathers Day!

Hiya! Happy Fathers Day- to all the Daddys, daddys to be, and all the guys and gals doing the job of a daddy whether it is your title or not. I hope you have a great day.

I always feel I’m in a bit of a tricky position on Fathers Day; hugely grateful that my babies have got a brilliant dad and a little bit sad that my dad can’t be here to get together for a slap up celebratory meal but, that’s the way it is and I have a hundred reasons to be grateful, as do my girls.

So, here are a few words of thanks to the two main men in my life.

Dear Mr L;

I know you feel uncomfortable with these PDA’s so I’ll keep it brief and hope that you understand the sentiment. Thank you for being such a wonderful father to our two gorgeous girls. You are the cornerstone of our family and we love you. Always.

No wonder Celebs sell their stories to OK...Its the only way to ensure you have any up to date pictures!

No wonder Celebs sell their stories to OK…Its the only way to ensure you have any up to date pictures!

Feel free to watch as much of the world cup as you like today. We will bring you drinks and snacks on request.*

Mmmmm...Beer

Mmmmm…Beer

And to my own daddy…yours is slightly more formal- hope that’s ok…

Dear Daddy,

I drove past your grave twice last weekend but I didn’t stop.

I momentarily felt bad for not getting out of the car, unbuckling the girls and taking them to stand next to a shiny black stone with your name written in block Gold lettering.

But what would I say? How would I introduce you? Being made to feel glum on command because we were in a certain location didn’t fit with our weekend and I know that you’d never wish us to feel miserable.

———————————–

Instead your two girls went hand in hand with my two girls. We headed to the beach and the swimming pool and the duck pond and the ice cream parlour and the farm I thought of all the happy times we shared as a family when you were here.

I wished that you could have cuddled your grandchildren and marvelled at how brilliantly they are turning out so I cuddled them all the closer.

Tenby beach

My beautiful Babies!

I looked out on the views that you used to love and I drank them in.

Image by Gary Llewelyn Website: http://garyllewellyn.com/

Image by Gary Llewelyn
Website: http://garyllewellyn.com/

I looked at the sun peering through the clouds like rays coming straight from heaven and I knew that you could see us.

Folly Farm

Driving a Tractor.

Driving a Boat...are you seeing a theme?!

Driving a Boat…are you seeing a theme?!

Hitting the high notes.

Hitting the high notes.

And one of your babies.

And one of your babies.

Keep watching Daddy, there’s much more to come!

Happy Fathers Day.

I miss you, and I love you.

Always.

XxxX

Quotes on fatherhood* within reason.

PS- If you want to read my last years Fathers Day post it’s here.

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One for You, One for Me (A Saturday Book Review #6)

WOO HOO! It’s Saturday, THE WEEKEND. Grab a cuppa and chill out!

Obviously, if you’re a parent it doesn’t quite spell a day off but occasionally  you get big fat treat days like today which shall henceforth be known as

Lion King Day and cocktails in town with my Besties Day!

Mr L is happy because his bro is visiting and the World Cup is on. In short, It’s all good in the hood!

I am really pleased that so many of you are enjoying this little book review feature. As I have said before, I think that encouraging a child to take an interest in books and reading is so important and, on occasion, I allow myself to daydream about future Saturdays when our little family will relax in companionable silence reading…HA HA HA!!

Anyway, for the time being we are still very much reading together and this is what’s been a hit this week…

One for You: My BIG Readalong Fairytale Book (from M&S) if I was smart, this would be an affiliate link…it isn’t! Books for under 5's

This is yet another of our old faithfuls- a brilliant collection of 8 classic fairytales which have been abridged so they are just the correct length for toddlers. Another gift (people are so generous aren’t they? THANKS Tricia and co!) and a book which has a very long shelf life. Initially you can look at the pictures together and read the story together. In time your child will begin to remember the story, point out different parts of the pictures and perhaps recognise (or know by memory) some of the written words. Eventually this will become them wanting to read the text and that’s it, job done. Get yourselves a paper and look forward to your weekends of bliss!..perhaps!

Anyway, The pictures are big and bold and the text is large and clear. My only recommendation might be for the pages to be slightly thicker but, on the flip side, we always have sellotape and kids need to know how to treat books so it’s not a big thing M&S, don’t change it on our account.Books for under 5s

The ‘read along’ element comes from the fact that on each of the right hand pages there is a sentence for your child to read and, at the end of each story there are some questions which enables your child to point out key characters and begin to recognise words when linked with pictures.

Marks and Sparks have a really good range of read along kids books including traditional tales, nursery rhymes etc. They’re definitely worth a look. I’m a big M&S fan across most of their ranges- not so much mens wear if I’m truthful, all seems a little cord slacks and deck shoes but- well worth a look for all things kids I reckon (and underwear…I love their underwear!)

 

One for Me: The Skeleton Cupboard; The making of a clinical psychologist, By Tanya Byron.

Last year, I heard Dr Tanya Byron speak at Blogfest and frankly, I developed a bit of a girl crush on her. If you read her biog from Blogfest, it shouldn’t be hard to see why:

Prof Tanya Byron

Tanya is a consultant clinical psychologist who specialises in child and adolescent mental health. She’s written three parenting books, has a weekly column in The Times and the Saturday Times, and published the ground-breaking Byron Review into children, young people and digital media in 2008. Earlier this year she launched C4’s Bedtime Live – and she also co-writes comedy with Jennifer Saunders (including The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle, BBC2) – now, you didn’t know that, did you? 

 Being a Times Bird, I like to imagine that she and Caitlin Moran sometimes hang out together putting the world to rights. I’d go for a beer with them if they asked.

Anyway, when Mumsnet sent an email looking for people to review her latest book, I absolutely jumped at the chance. I am so glad I did. I LOVE THIS BOOK (and not just because of the crush thing!)

In an attempt to do a proper review, I stuck post its to pages where there was something I wanted to relay to you, quotes or scenarios or descriptions but in the end it became a total waste of sticky, luminous paper.

The book is divided into 6 chapters each of which introduces a fictional character and their individual stories and history. They also describe how Tanya felt throughout her training, how emotionally challenging it was and how woefully under prepared she felt at times. The stories are an amalgamation of the experiences Tanya had and the people she met during her training but none are based on specific individuals for obvious reasons.

Each of the chapters can be read as ‘stand alone’ stories so, if you only get snatches of time to read then this could work well for you but, be warned- they might pull you in. These not real, but real, men, women and children will engage with you and make you will them better. I thought that (whilst I obviously wish that these stories didn’t exist) it was very well written and a compelling and emotional (not in a cry on the train sort of way, more a sort of sadness that people experience some things) read.

I empathised most with chapter 2, Imogen’s story. Having worked closely with many children and young people over the years I absolutely know what she means about the responsibility you feel, the bonds you forge and the guilt you feel when something can’t be ‘fixed’. It reminded me of more than one of my kids.

Each of the chapters gives a really vivid insight into some of the stuff that goes on for people every day and the ways that they try to cope with things. Of course we all try to present our best selves when we head out of our front doors every morning. We smile and converse and do all of the day-to-day stuff because really, very few people actually want the honest answer when they ask ‘how are you’. This book gives an insight to what happens when the pretence slips away, when the mask cracks and when people need help. It is thought-provoking and beautifully done.

I don’t know if this book was of particular interest to me because I am inherently interested in psychology and the brain and the idea that some of us are a little bit ‘chicken oriental’ and others of us are regular, clever people with properly functioning brains. In the epilogue, which I particularly like, Tanya is so empathic and warm and clearly remains so very caring and committed to those with mental health issues. I am so, so very grateful that there are people like her out there that, despite their time ‘in the field’ dealing with really difficult situations, they still have the desire to inform and educate and encourage debate to try to make us a society that cares a bit more.

Verdict; If you are interested in people and want to feel reassured that there are still people in vocational roles that deeply and truly care about the people they work with, read this. It will make you think about the way you view people and society and we should all try to do a bit of that from time to time.

Happy weekend my dears.

Loads of Love

Muma.

XxxX

I am linking up again with MammaMummyMum so, if you like all things literary, check it out by clicking the badge.

MamaMummyMum

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Love the Little Things, you know you want to!

Morning All,

I am hoping that you’ve all dragged yourselves through the week with minimal vomit, snot and bodily fluids spilt? We are still in the midst of potty training so I can’t profess to keeping entirely clean this week but we’re getting there!

This week has sped by for us because we only arrived back from our little break late on Monday night- if you’re looking for a super-douper stay cation then you could do worse than check it out. In fact, check it out anyway, it’s sweet (if I do say so myself).

Right, I haven’t got time to faff around today- I’ve got a to do list as long as Stretch Armstrong, (Lances more popular brother) so lets get down to the business of the day shall we…What do I love this week? I’ve put them in a handy list below…

READ: So, you know the holiday I keep banging on about? I read a ruddy paper!!! Yup, my sister and cousin took the girls out for a couple of hours and, after I’d had a cheeky little snooze, I read about the D Day commemorations. I love the story about the guy who sneaked out of his care home wearing his medals and basically ran away to France. I think that is fab and it’s good to know that there is still a little bit of the fighting spirit that helped Great Britain win the war.

HEARD: Well, sadly this evening I have heard an inordinate amount of crying- absolutely no idea why. Not a clue. Perhaps the girls overheard me say how well they usually sleep. Perhaps they wanted to watch the opening ceremony of the World Cup but whatever, tonight I have been up and down more than a brides nightie. The other thing I was going to put in this bit was our new Babies go Coldplay CD. It is ace; Coldplay in lullaby format is so lovely and it is what finally got the girlies to sleep tonight. If you are sick to the back teeth of nursery rhymes, you need the babies go range in your life…

Guess when I bought it?! Annoying this game isn’t it!

WATCHED: I give it a Year. (Whilst I was on holiday!)

Oh my word- Utter crap.  Please don’t watch it. Stephen Merchant, I am disappointed in you. I can not believe that it is from the writer of Borat- there are absolutely no chickens in suitcases here. DREADFUL. Don’t give it 5 minutes!

I give it a year film

WORN: So, you know that holiday that I keep banging on about? I wore a swimming costume .Bright red. All very Special K! I also had cause to wear sunglasses and flip-flops!! WOO HOO! I love the summer. Prefer Autumn but Summer’s cool too.

MADE: Urgh, it feels like this week all I have been doing is making list after list after list. Blogs, work, life etc etc…Someday I’m going to add the following to the list:

Hire a PA/Butler/Housekeeper/Chef. I can not wait for that day!! Come on lottery…

 

AND FINALLY: You Know that holiday I keep banging on about? I bought this for absolutely no good reason!

Today i will be as happy as a seagull with a stolen chip

Fab hey?

Happy Weekend People!!

Until next time.

Muma.

XxxX

Thanks to Morgana for hosting this link up- why don’t you click the link and read some other posts….

Love the Little things butwhymummuwhy

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