Thursday, 29 July 2010

There will be tears before bedtime!

Phoebe today has learnt a valuable lesson about doors and how they are not play things. Despite her father and I telling both girls this regularly the only way to learn is via exploration. So I heard the following earlier:

Slam / laugh / Slam / laugh / muffled slam / SCREAM.

Yup,  Phoebe has slammed her thumb in the door resulting in a scraped thumb, a little cut and, I suspect, a soon to be black thumb nail. Of course she has totally over reacted as always and has been sobbing that she will never be able to have another bath again (ha, you can hope kid!) since and has promptly passed out on the sofa.

I suspect tonight is going to be another long one as I can't wake her up.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Fun Day Out.

What a way to celebrate the first day of the summer holidays! We met up with Jane, Catherine and Rhiannon today and their gorgeous children Lexi, Rowan, Tabitha, Clemmie and Cordelia. We decided upon Horton Farm Park which was good fun, lots of animals for the children to touch and meet. Favourites seem to have been the HUGE pig and a gigantic rabbit named Jemima.

The play areas were awesome too, lots of structures for them to play with and absolutely tonnes to do. Lots of photo opportunities :

L-R Lexi, Phoebe, Tabitha, Clara and Rowan

Tabitha and Clara playing on the structures.

 And Miss Clementine. Alas I couldn't get a decent photo of Cordelia on account of the fact she is the most fabulous whirling dervish I have ever had the pleasure to meet!

Seeing my lovely friends was such a tonic, and I came away with a headache because I laughed so much!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Fabulous Farnborough!

My sister has worked on and at Farnborough for it's last two shows. She works for De Boer who do all the structures. Yesterday was friends and family day in the De Boer hospitality chalet and she invited us! When we got there (narrowly missing the hellish M3 traffic by deciding on the spur of the moment to go an alternative route!) we were very relieved to have had the foresight to take the newly acquired bike trailer that doubles up as a pushchair. It was quite a walk from the carpark to the showground so we were very pleased that we didn't have two moaning minnies and instead they enjoyed their ride!

I lost count through the day of people saying "Oooooh what a good idea!". Anyway we got to the chalet where Liz was and she had some presents for the girls, a Red Arrows tee shirt, a blowup plane and some ear defenders each. They really did need them as it got VERY loud.

Paul was in total Boy Heaven... especially for him! The girls were happy and delighted to see Aunty Wizzy and it was good to have a catch up with Liz too. We had a fabulous day and saw some amazing things! We saw that Airbus plane (the huge one) moving around the skies so gracefully it was almost surreal, planes playing chicken in the air, even one flying upside down!

We went for a little walk around at one point and the girls were fascinated by all the planes they had on the ground. I was very impressed that the bouncy castles and funfair rides were all free!

Then we headed back to the chalet to see the red arrows (pictured above) and the girls were delighted with their "sky dancing" even more excited when the smoke accidentally spelled out a P and a C. A few years older and we would probably have told them that Aunty Wizzy did it on purpose just for them! We stayed quite late so the main throng of people had left and indulged in the excellent hospitality on offer. By the time it came to leave I was really quite squiffy and we were worried about the carpark closing so Paul ran on ahead with the girls in the trailer whilst I weaved my own way. He came and picked me up once he had the car!

There is a hangover in the house today, although it isn't mine and it isn't alcohol related. Poor Phoebe has what I can only describe as a Sugar Hangover on account of the amount of it she ate yesterday! I am sure she will be fighting fit soon but currently she is curled up asleep on the sofa!

Thank you for a fabulous day Liz, we loved every minute of it xx

Friday, 23 July 2010

3 miles.

My bike trailer arrived today (finally... Interlink have landed them selves on my hit list for distinct idiocy). I put it all together, in retrospect the living room wasn't the place to do it. Especially when it didn't fit out the door without removing 2 wheel covers and 1 wheel lol! Anyway I got it hitched to the bike and off we went for a test drive. I decided to attempt the school run so that is a 3 mile round trip the way I thought I was going to do it.

Ok I had to push three times up particularly heavy hills and I had to have a sit down (it was sit down or throw up) but I did it! I haven't cycled since we moved away from Cheltenham 6 years ago so it was a fairly impressive feat! Wow my backside hurts now... I am going to have to admit defeat and get the lardy arse saddle for my bike aren't I!

On the upside the girls loved it and thought it was a fab adventure! I am looking forward to getting out and about more with them. Hopefully it will aid weightloss too so that is a plus point!

How to entertain 4 girls.

Aged from 2.5 - 10.

Bake cupcakes.
Make vast quantities of icing (PINK)
Pipe icing onto cakes
Allow girls to decorate liberally with PINK sparkles

We have negotiated eating one now, one for pudding and one for taking home. Muchos fun!


Thursday, 22 July 2010

Last day of Pre School.

It is official, Phoebe is no longer a Pre Schooler. Today was her last day, they had a party with their regular entertainer Mr Spotty and from Phoebe's excitable descriptions they had a fantastic time! I am not ashamed to admit I found it very difficult not to cry when I picked her up. She ran around and gave all the workers hugs and said goodbye. She gave them a big box of Thorntons chocolates and a lovely card. Then for Becky she chose a Momiji Doll, which we thought was right up her street. Phoebe chose the "Lucky" doll for her, and it is very cute:

and in the bottom of the doll there is a hole for a note and we wrote saying "To Becky, my first and best teacher". I believe I made her cry, twice... oops! She was, and indeed still is for Clara, a fantastically supportive Keyworker to her and a fab friend for me.

I can't believe that Phoebe is now a school age child! She is my baby, how has she gone from this:

to this:

in what feels like a blink?!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Six Weeks Of Summer.

I feel sick to my stomach thinking about this holiday. I am totally on my own this time which is making it worse. So far I have filled my Love Film list with children's movies so that we have different things to watch if the mood takes us. And I have written a little list of things we can do that are reasonably local to us:

Natural History Museum
Science Museum
London Wetlands
Deen City Farm
Boat Ride on the Thames
The Arc soft play
Corams Feilds
Brighton / Seaside trip
London Zoo

But a lot of those activities involve money I don't have so I will have to think of ways around it all or find different, free, activities. I have a headache thinking about it to be honest, I wish I could blink and it would be September.

I feel like such a horrible mother for feeling like this. But the truth is I am not coping as well as people seem to think I am. I am lonely but I am too shy to make friends from Preschool, I am frightened of getting hurt again I suppose. Call me stupid and over dramatic if you like but I am, events last year have left me feeling so wary of people. I am dreadfully paranoid of people's reaction to me, I just don't feel like I can do life "right". I am a perpetual outsider I fear, living on the edge of everything. I want to belong really but I am so frightened of it all. I feel like giving up on ever getting better, maybe this is the life I am meant to live and I should just put up and shut up.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A labour of love.

This is Phoebe's last week at Preschool. She has been there for 2 years and has loved every single minute of her time there. It is a wonderfully hap-hazard caring place, totally organised chaos and brilliant fun! In the time she has been there she has learnt to talk, she has potty trained, she has been in 4 of their concerts, learnt to write her name, learnt to count and so many more things!

She has had amazing support from all the workers there and so I wanted to give a little something back, something that I know Phoebe would have enjoyed playing with and summed her up. So I have made 6 bright red superhero capes and I appliquéd the school's initials on the back as an added touch.

I learnt a valuable lesson today about appliquéing. Short cuts don't work... I bought bonding tape instead of iron on bonding. All this did was gum up the needle and cause problems so I had to do a mad dash to Sainsburys to get wonderweb. Still, it is all done now and I am going to give them to school tomorrow! I hope they like them!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Weekend fun!

On Saturday we drove over to see our lovely friends Doug and Piper to attend a celebrate their birthdays and engagement. Unfortunately there was an accident on the M25 rendering it a parking strip for a considerable amount of time, what was meant to be a 1hr drive took almost 3! Still we got there and had a lovely BBQ lunch with our friends. The girls terrorised their cat and chickens and paid back the neighbours kids by shrieking a lot! They were so well behaved in the car whilst we were stuck that frankly they could have gotten up to much worse and we wouldn't have minded too much. Thank heavens for the sainted invention of the in car DVD player, it has been an absolute Godsend since it arrived from Grannie for Christmas. Now we just need to work on them using the headphones to listen to the movie so we can listen to our tunes in the front!

Today we decided it was Bike over haul day. After having gone to the meeting at Phoebe's primary school we realised there was no sensible way of me taking the girls there every day. It is too far to walk (and there is only so much moaning I can put up with) or scoot for the girls. I don't want Phoebe riding on roads and I don't approve of bikes on pavements even for her. So the only option left for us is a trailer attached to my bike. Erk. Today I purchased one on Ebay and it should arrive in the next few days. Meanwhile my bike has been living in the shed for the last 5 years so it was in need of some TLC. 2 new tyres and inner tubes, a brief go over with a brush and some oil and it is a happy bike! I have so far done once around the block on it... I must get a new saddle, ow! Because Paul's bike was 20 yrs old we decided he needed a new one so we bough a bargainatious one from Halfords and he rode it home. So now we are all set to take the girls out on bike rides at the weekend. I have 6 weeks to get up to a level of fitness so I can pull them in the trailer to school everyday and we live in a fairly hilly area. This is going to be fun! I am excessively proud of myself though as I have now learned how to change an innertube and a tyre on a bike, I have never done this before and now I have done 4 (Phoebe's bike needed new innertubes too). Woo, go me!

Friday, 16 July 2010

And now we get the pay off for the Dummy Fairy visit.

Clara is in the "why" stage [wail]. Everything is "WHY?!" or "BUT WHHHHHHHHHY?". No answer will satisfy her.

This is our first proper time out with the why stage as at this age with Phoebe she wasn't talking. Wow, I just realised that, seriously when Phoebe was this age she had 10 words and preferred the point and shriek or just tantrum to attempting speech! Anyway by the time we got to the why stage with Phoebe she was much older and is easier to answer as she asks sensible questions instead of just "Why?".

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Project Uniform: COMPLETE

(well apart from shoes and PE kit!)

Today we had our meeting with school for the final details before Phoebe starts in September. We were also able to buy her uniform and when we came home she was fit to bust with excitement about it so, of course, we had to have a try on session:

I have blocked out the logo and name just to be on the safe side. We also bought her a sundress whilst we were there as you never know what the weather is going to be like in September:

The pose was her idea and it is blurry because just after I took this she collapsed in fits of giggles! Roll on September 3rd for her first day (if only for an hour)!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

So, Phoebe what back pack would you like for school?

Ooooooh, a Totoro one!

Gah! Ask a silly question etc etc.

We adore the Studio Ghibli movies, especially My Neighbour Totoro. It was bought for Clara by her fabulous Oddparents Jane and Mike and has been watched regularly ever since. So it shouldn't have really surprised me that Phoebe would hanker after some of the merchandise really! However, being a crafty so and so I thought I could have a wee bash. So I got a plain backpack pattern, modified it (well I will...) and have bought enough grey and white fleece to sink a battleship. Phoebe picked some googly eyes and we chose a Totoro nose together (successfully confusing the woman behind the counter in the haberdashers). So now I just have to make this:

into something that looks like this:

Wish me luck, I am REALLY going to need it!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Well blow me down!

After one screaming hissy fit before bed time last night where upon she was screeching that she was a baby and not a big girl she fell asleep and stayed that way until she woke up in the morning! When she woke up she found this:

Hanging on her door knob much to her delight! We bobbed off to Toys R Us once we dropped Phoebe at school and she bought a [ahem]delightful[/ahem] Ariel Mermaid set with the voucher. The woman behind the desk played along admirably and I paid under the guise of buying some birthday cards. She has been a bit grumpier than normal but has talked non stop all morning!

I suppose it is now fare the well dummy... I won't miss you!

So now I have 2 children in pants and no dummies. Where have my babies gone?!

Monday, 12 July 2010

[hysterical laughter]

I just offered Clara plastic Disney tat if she gives up her dummy....!!! I think I might be completely bonkers but she is nearly 3 and pretty much has it All. The. Time. Yes, yes I know bad Mummy but hey, the entire family and most of our close friends know you don't mess with Clara!

I am just a little scared of tonight though! I REALLY hope she manages it!

A positive school update for a change.

Last Friday we had a visit from Phoebe's new teacher and teaching assistant. They were very lovely and Phoebe was so excited she immediately went into show off mode. She drew a picture of herself and wrote her name on it, roly poly'd across the floor, did a 35 piece puzzle as well as introduced Clara and her Granny to her teacher.

I found out about the uniform and, thankfully, it is not the dreaded yellow polo and green jogging bottoms. Instead it is a Purple Sweatshirt and grey skirt. We were bored on Saturday so decided to head out to the big Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer to get the basic bits for her. We had to buy her size 7 skirts (she is 4.5) to get a decent length on them, thank heavens for adjustable waists! We just need to buy the sweatshirts and logo'd items from school on Thursday when we go to the meeting. And a PE kit too (but we aren't sure what that entails just yet) and shoes but that wasn't quite so pressing and I didn't want to buy shoes until just before the start of term anyway for fear of the dreaded growth spurt!

The only other thing I need to think about it is a backpack for her. We bought her a Bento Box style lunch box in Sainsburys. I was thinking of attempting a Totoro Backpack, that is her current favourite movie! I have a pattern for a basic backpack I am sure I can alter into a Totoro style. Maybe I could even make the white bit of his stomach an extra pocket or something! Should keep me out of mischief over the summer at least I suppose.

Friday, 9 July 2010

The last 2 days of our holidays.

Sorry folks, back to the holibob tales!

On Sunday we went to visit my Grandparents in Bournemouth. Now a word about my Grandfer, I swear he is on a mission to get his moneys worth from the NHS! He is 84 (oh please let that be right!) and 6 years ago he had a major coronary in the Theatre shortly before watching Chicago. It was by pure luck that the man in the toilets with him was a doctor and was able to administer CPR and call and ambulance. He was taken to St Thomas where he underwent a multiple bypass. He was in ITU for a long time and then moved swiftly through HDU and the regular ward before coming home. He recovered well from that so much so that 6 months later he was boogeying at my wedding as if none of it had ever happened! Then at the start of this year he discovered he had Bowel Cancer, thankfully a contained tumour so he had an operation to remove the tumour (leaving him with an illiostomy). Again he has recovered well and will probably go for a reversal either later this year or early next year!

Anyway bearing in mind that my Grandparents whilst being in their 80s are very fit do get tired quickly and if my children have any talent it is exhausting people just by being around them! So we packed up the car and I took a meal to cook there to take the pressure off Granny. We stayed for a few hours in the morning and then took the girls down the beach to wear them out a little before going back for tea. Phoebe got her long awaited ride on the Carousel

Alas it was a little too windy for any real beachy fun so we retired to a cafe for an ice cream before bailing out back to the car. They were so tired we got them to a place the car could get to and I went up and got it and brought it back down to them. Paul wrapped them up in my cardigan to stop them getting too cold!

The next day was our last day so we decided to make the most of the local town. We started with a good cooked breakfast in the on site restaurant where Bradley Bear came to see us:

The girls were utterly thrilled to meet him! So thrilled in fact that this sucker disappeared off to the shop and bought them each a cuddly from the Haven Characters.

Then we headed into Poole to go to the Pottery Shop where it had a paint your own section. The girls made a plate each:

Phoebe's is the one at the back and Clara's is the one at the front! I am hoping they will look slightly better when they arrive after the glaze and kiln! I really wanted to paint a jug but it was a bit too pricey alas! After that the girls were clucking for  yet more ice cream so we found a cafe and indulged them. Whilst there I spotted some crabbing lines and a crabbing bucket so we thought we would have a go! The girls got so into it, we picked a dud spot initially but once we moved we caught loads. Phoebe somehow managed to enter into some sort of competition with some people opposite which was quite funny! We caught 5 crabs in the end and after we admired them we released them and let them have the remains of the bait we bought as a thank you.

We then went back to the caravan where we had lunch, tidied and cleaned up and packed the car. We decided to wear the girls out by going home via the swimming pool for one last dip! They had a whale of a time splashing about and bombing down the slide like loons. Then we had a snack in the cafe and we let them run riot around the play area before getting them in Pyjamas and heading homewards. We had such a fantastic holiday and we can't thank Becky, Matt, Millie and Abbie enough for the loan of their caravan (I am still cooking up a good thank you gift for them!) and it was just what we needed. Our first holiday as just the 4 of us was a total success!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Finally, 3 weeks before the end of term I have some details about the school Phoebe will be attending! She will be in Orange Class, they have a headmaster finally (who I will be researching shortly) and we are meeting her teacher on Friday as she is coming for a home visit. Do you think I can make the house habitable in time?!

The cancelled school meeting, which I did complain about, has been firmly re arranged for next Thursday so we will hopefully get the final details then. I have plans to go out with Phoebe after the meeting to go and buy her uniform as a special just girls treat.

I feel that a little of the weight of worry that I have been carrying has been lifted finally. Maybe things will be okay after all?!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

I am contemplating a name change to the blog.

How about "The life and times of an Omega Mummy"

A bit of a pun on the Alpha Mummy, of which I am certainly not one. I even got tutted at today for not emptying Clara's potty as soon as she had raised her bum. Never mind the fact I had to get her into the pool again, sort Phoebe out because she was mid meltdown and sort out the lessons for next term. Before anyone declare yick it was a travel Potette so there was no liquid in the bottom thanks to the absorbent pad so not totally minging! In all the kerfuffle it just slipped my mind until one of the mums complained. Oh yes, I am as far from a Yummy Mummy as it is possible to get.

I have accepted that I will never be an Alpha Mummy. I am too fat, I don't wear make up, I don't wear bling and I drive a Renault Megane Scenic, the girls wear Matalan, Primark, Asda and Tesco more than anything else. But I am generally a down to earth kinda girl who just wants the best for her kids so who cares (well me a little bit... but not much...mostly I object to the girls wardrobe not being nicer!). But it doesn't stop hurting when the Alphas turn their backs on me. Hey ho... their loss isn't it?!

The Heavy Horse Centre in Dorset.

If you ever get the chance to visit this place, please do! I spotted the advert in a "things to do in Dorset rag" and knowing Phoebe's current love of horses suggested it as a morning out activity. Well, for £25 we arrived at 11am and didn't leave until almost 4pm! Although it is only a small site it is incredibly well set out. We arrived to the find the boss rigging up Smokey Joe for cart rides, he was explaining every bit of the harness and why it is important to buy well for the sake of the horse. Phoebe also got to have a little pull around the yard in a little cart set up with a Shetland Pony while we watched.

By the time Smokey Joe was ready to take visitors off on a trip around the centre another worker came out with buckets to feed all the animals. Phoebe and Clara got involved with gusto and fed 3 of the heavy horses, all the shetlands, goats, a sheep named Phoebe (our Phoebe was delighted with that!), pigs, a Wussy Bull, a pair of donkeys and a pony called Peanut (who was later to feature again).

Once they had finished feeding the animals there was just time to go and get some cuddles with a baby bunny before number one ride of the day. Phoebe was a little too young for the rides but because she had ridden before and is quite tall they let her have a go. She was, of course, thrilled! Peanut was less so and distinctly unamused with having to walk around the small paddock with children. At least he bore his brunt sensibly and just dragged his feet instead of being silly though!

Then we had a nice lunch in the little cafe they have there. Paul and I had coronation chicken and the girls had beans on toast, of course only their toast got eaten but hey ho! Then it was time to meet the rest of the horses that live in the centre. I think we got to meet 5, all slightly different breeds and all beautiful but some with very sad stories. The moral of all of the tales though was that the will of the horse to get better means so much more than the injury. The man who gave the talk was so funny and down to earth and yet also so very passionate about these horses, it was really fascinating! It was so clear that the horses have a fantastic life and are very loved at this place.  You can read a little more about the individual horses here it is amazing what they have done with some of them and how steadily they work to improve their lives. Phoebe's favourite bit of this was going around and petting all the horses afterwards, I will remind you at this point that she is as big as some of their heads! She showed no fear (unlike Clara who is a little more cautious) and even when one of the horses accidentally knocked her back against the stable door when she was hugging it's head she didn't cry she just bounced up and declared "Oh Fred!" with a quick roll of her eyes and then went onto the next horse!

Then we had a quick play on the equipment they have there before taken Smokey Joe up on an offer of a trip around the farm on his cart. Which the girls loved and pointed out all the animals they had fed earlier! Then we went back for some more bunny love. Alas it was at this point we had to test the First Aid kit they have there as Phoebe got a splinter in her finger. I think after the fuss she made of me taking out made even the farrier they have admit that he would rather shoe a heavy horse than take a splinter out of a Phoebe finger! Bless them though they gave her a free pony ride to cheer her up so we made poor Peanut suffer some more Phoebe love! By that time we realised it was 4pm and, as we planned to have a swim on the way home we said goodbye to all the horses and got in the car. Without a word of a lie both girls were asleep by the time we got 5 minutes down the road! We decided against going for a swim as they were both so tired.

As a consolation prize to the girls we decided to go to the show at the entertainment complex. Paul and I lovingly sat watching how Princess Anxious, Naughty Ned and Roary the Tiger met and made friends with a Dragon. Phoebe wasn't too happy when they geared up to meeting the dragon but Clara was suitably in the moment! Then they did games and dancing which, to our surprise, the girls were really into! Phoebe declared her wish to go on the stage on the way home, so like me... it was my childhood ambition to go on the stage during a pantomime! We finally got 2 shattered children into bed and relaxed after a fantastic day!

Monday, 5 July 2010

We've been on our happy holidays!

Apologies for the delay in blog posts (if you cared!) but we have been on a long weekend away in Poole. We stayed at Mybecky's caravan on the Haven site, although I was sceptical about Haven it was a fabulous 4 days! We arrived on the Thursday afternoon, in time to whip around the supermarket, feed the girls some tea and taken them for a bike ride / scoot to the local beach for them to blow off some steam. They were in heaven, all that sand to play in! When we finally peeled them away from the beach we got them into bed and planned the next days adventures.

On Friday we decided to head to the Oceanarium on the Bournemouth seafront in the afternoon. First we tried out the swimming pool, Clara has been a little nervous about swimming since an incident when she let go of the bar and went under. However it didn't take her long to regain her confidence in the pool with both me and Paul there with her. Phoebe, as always, became part fish and swam around everywhere like a nutcase having masses of fun! We had to bribe her out of the pool to go and get lunch and head to the Oceanarium.

Wow! It is amazing, it is so amazing to see all the fish up close and it was a lovely afternoon. Then we headed off for a wander along the sea front as it was such beautiful weather. A lesson learnt that you should never, ever, ever take a 4 yr old with a magnetic attraction to water only usually witnessed in my old Labradors without a towel! Yes my lovelies she was in faster than a rat up a drain pipe, thankfully we had stripped her before she went for her wee dip (hence no pictures). The loony was jumping waves like a good un, and fell in regularly laughing all the way. Even Clara got over her fear of the sea and got into jumping the waves. They were suitably exhausted after a fab day, although Phoebe's worst moment was allegedly "Not Going On the Merry-go-round" ah... never pleased lol!

Anyway, it is 11pm now and it has been a long (but fab) day. So I am going to hit the hay and bore you senseless with the rest of my holiday stories tomorrow!