Saturday, 23 April 2011

Oh bliss, sweet peaceful bliss!

Granny and Grande have the girls, they have had them since Thursday Evening! We will shortly be driving to them to meet up for the remainder of the Easter Holidays. Oh, it has been lovely though!

Yesterday we got up late, bumbled around and then caught the tram to a local common and had a lovely grown up picnic. We even had Pink Fizz too so decadent! We lazed in the shade of a gorgeous tree, sipped our wine and ate lovely food, lay back and read our books, people watched, tutted at the male students intent on shrieking out as many names for a penis as they could think of and generally did nothing!

We got home, lazed and read some more and then donned glad rags to go out. We had a lovely meal at a local fish restaurant and drank wine without the worry that we had to race home. It was wonderful.

Another late morning this morning, a wander around the garden centre and some bumbling in the garden (I am at war with the ridiculous number of dandelions!).

Now it is time to go and pack, shower and jump in the car. We both feel relaxed and refreshed from our 2 days off from parenting and ready to re enter the fray. Hopefully it won't be nearly 2.5 years until the next time we can have some time just to ourselves.

Both of us adore the girls, they are the lights of our life and the best thing we have ever done together. But time off is needed sometimes, just to breathe and be ourselves. Find Vix and Paul again instead of Mummy and Daddy!

Monday, 18 April 2011

My Hero...

I mentioned a while ago that my beloved Paul was running the marathon. Well he did it yesterday and his time was 5hrs 06 mins and 46 seconds! I am so so proud of him.

He is having pangs that he didn't do it faster but a combination of heat and people traffic worked against him. Still given that I couldn't stagger 26 miles in that time I think it is a tremendous achievement.

Here he is at 13 miles

and here again after the race:

We got a rickshaw back to Mum and Robs house as the girls and Paul were all exhausted (ok ok I was too!) and on the way home he got congratulations from a cyclist and a couple on the street gave him a round of applause! He was thrilled!

Everyone in the family is so proud of him and the amount of money he and his mates have raised for The Neuro Foundation is brilliant! Although his just giving thingy bob doesn't close for another month so if you have a few pennies spare:

Friday, 15 April 2011

Wooo Hooo! First stone off and a fab reason to lose weight!

Today I have officially lost one stone since I started dieting :D. I am rather chuffed with myself especially as this week involved rather a lot of cake (I am looking at you Jane with your irresistible brownies and you Mahri-Claire with your delicious mega cupcake!).

I also had some fantastic news that one of my oldest and best friends is actually tying the knot this year! In approximately 3 months so now I have an excellent reason to lose more weight... I wonder how much I can manage in that time! I am stupidly excited about this wedding as the couple in question are just lovely and it is the first wedding we are going to sans enfants! I am also doing the Photography but thankfully they are keeping it very simple which should make my job a lot easier and take any undue pressure off. It does give me an excuse to rent a fabby lens though and spend a little on some more memory cards! Not to mention finding a gorgeous dress to wear for such a momentous occasion!

So much to look forward to this year!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Skewed perspectives.

I have been thinking about this a lot recently. Why I expect so much from myself...

Well for a start I have 5 siblings. One real sister three step sisters and a step brother but the steps have been in my life for so flipping long I generally ignore the step bit. I defy anyone to truthfully say they have never compared themselves to their siblings. I know I certainly do and, at least in my comparisons, I come off a lot worse.

But a friend said something to me the other day that really made a penny drop. She asked if I thought my perspective was skewed as I come from a family of fairly high flyers. And I really think it is, hard not to be really when in your family you have:

A very successful businessman
A Consultant anaesthetist who also used to run the hospital.
More Doctors
An Officer from the Army.
2 Pilots
TV producers
Event Managers who have done incredible events
Talented Artist
Talented Singer

Not to mention you were the lowest achieving academically in school.

Now I don't hold anything against my family for doing so well and, without exception, I am ridiculously proud of them! But sometimes being "just" a mother feels like I am scraping the barrel of life. I forget my arty stuff, my sewing stuff and general all purpose juggling. So is it any wonder I fall short of my own expectations?! My mission over the next few month is to just accept what I do, take pride in it and enjoy it!

Two Bowls Phoebe....

Pasta And Sauce.... What together?! In the same bowl?! Sauce and pasta? Pasta and sauce?! You have to be kidding me!

Well if you are Phoebe anyway.

She used to eat Pasta, which was excellent as it was one of the few meal bulkers I could reliably get into her. And then she stopped. No reason she just didn't want it anymore. Riiiiiight. So we worked around it, instead of pasta and sauce she just had the sauce and had more, maybe with a little bit of bread to bulk it out. But I didn't make a fuss as that would be detrimental to Phoebe.

Until today when I pointed out to her that pasta was exactly like noodles and I had a lot of evidence that she liked noodles. I convinced her to try a plain bit of pasta and she ate it! I held back the whoops and suggested that maybe, just maybe, she might consider having pasta in her sauce today. Nope, brick walled. Then I had a lightbulb moment... ok so not IN the sauce but what about two bowls. One with Pasta and one with sauce.... YES! So off she toddled in the garden (they were eating on the patio) with her two bowls and when I joined them she was EATING it! Of course she was forking a bit of pasta, dipping it into the sauce and then into her mouth but hell she was EATING!

Net result of this two bowling is that she has been full of food all afternoon so moaning for food has been minimal! Wooo and indeed Hooooooo! And she looks pretty pleased with herself too:

And in the essence of fairness here is one of Clara too:

(Ps yes they are in sunsuits and it is 10th April! It has been glorious all weekend!)

Friday, 8 April 2011

How we intend to survive the Easter Holidays.

Clara broke up last week and whilst my beloved smiled at me and said "but at least it is just Clara" I smiled back and told him that "just Clara" was like saying "just a nuclear bomb!" however she survived as did I so I call that a triumph!

Phoebe broke up at 13.30 today so now we have 2 weeks stretching ahead and I am writing this blog to remind me NOT to feel overwhelmed by it! Next week is sorted thankfully:

Monday: Granny is coming over
Tuesday: Rowan's 6th birthday party
Wednesday: friends are coming over for a mass play date (for which I have purchased plastic eggs and will be hiding them around the garden and house)
Thursday: Clara is swimming so I might do a picnic in a park that morning.
Friday: Granny coming again
Saturday: Into London as Paul has the marathon the next day, added bonus that I have just found out that Angelina Ballerina will be in Peter Jones on this day too!

Then I just have 3.5 days to work through until we head back into Central London to celebrate Easter with Granny and Grande! I think ast least one morning we will head to the cinema as our local is a Vue who do the splendid Kids Am feature. Kids Am means we can all go for 95p a head :D and they are showing Tangled that week... RESULT! Ok so they need snacks etc when we go in but that is minimal cost frankly and still cheaper than going on a normal viewing!

We also appear to have developed a serious Dora The Explorer crush chez moi. The girls adore it and love joining in... and as a side effect their attempts at spanish are highly comical! It is the first TV show they have ever got so involved in. In fact as I type this Clara is clapping, stamping and shouting COCKADOODLEDOOOOO as she helps them wake up the sun! So I suspect Nick Jr will aide us in our quest to remain entertained :D

How are you planning on entertaining the beasties during the break... any ideas I have missed?!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

My feet hurt... morning at Legoland.

As there was a splendiferous offer on for one adult and one under 6 to get into Legoland for £15 I decided to take Clara today as Phoebe was getting a "passport trip" to a local Hellhole, er I mean soft play!

So after dropping Phoebe off at 9am Clara and I tootled off down the motorway to Legoland! We got there at 10.30 ish and made our way into the park. We did the hill train and worked our way back up. A few small issues involving Clara, queues and changing minds before we settled on a boat ride first. Wrestling a small child for a steering wheel whilst hoping you manage not to be the first person to accidentally capsize a boat isn't the easiest thing but we managed to get around the course with minimal crashes!

Next we headed for the water play area and Clara was delighted to find I had been organised (for a change) and had packed her bathing suit and a towel so she stripped off and dashed into the water for a bit to have some fun! We were really lucky with the weather and it was about 22 degrees and absolutely BAKING hot so I was rather jealous of Clara's cooling off.

After that I was reliably informed it was time for Ice Cream... repeatedly. So we popped into one of the eateries to shut her up and bought a lovely chocolate chip ice cream

We then went on the Sky Rider and enjoyed bumping up and down a lot.

After that we headed to the loos and bumped into a friend who uses the same forum as me. I haven't met her before but she recognised Clara from pictures and it was confirmed by my calling her shortly afterwards. There are two sentences you expect to hear from this forum to identify fellow users, in jokes mostly but referring to oneself as a "looper" is a dead give away that they are also a user! I did expect to bump into someone as the deal was posted on the forum and lots of people were interested.

Clara and I then went and looked at a watery ride but The Boss decided it was too fast and too wet so we didn't go on it. Instead we walked further up the hill and saw all the mini towns and lego buildings and found some cool slides on the steps!

once we got to the top of the hill I was informed it was lunch time so we stopped off for a very nice lunch of chicken goujons, chips and peas and a nice drink of milk. Well Clara did anyway as I wasn't hungry. Not too bad a price either at £4.75 for the meal.

Then we wandered down to the other side of the park where the faster rides were. We were going to go on the rapids but they were closed when we walked past. Instead we went and found a mini rollercoaster, Clara LOVED it! I wasn't sure of how her reaction would be because she can be a bit funny with stuff like this but she was in utter heaven! By then it was time to head home and pick Phoebe up from school so we caught the hill train back up the hill and got in the car. This happened before I even got to the motor way:

I call that a result!

In fact the only thing that irked me was not enough cashpoints near the places that only took cash (like in the knights bit where the face painting and gold panning was). We didn't have time to go and get cash from pretty much the other side of the park so missed out on those which was a shame as she would have LOVED having her face done and the panning for gold looked like fun.

As we went on a school day the queues were non existant so minimal moaning occured. I can imagine it would be less fun in the summer when the place will be rammed to the gunnels! I also don't fancy paying   £130 for all of us to get in, especially at peak queue times!

Still it was nice to have a special Mummy - Clara morning and we had fun so net result was pretty good!

Monday, 4 April 2011

I was spoilt yesterday!

I hope all Mummies had a rocking Mother's Day yesterday, I certainly did!

Paul managed to hold the beasts off until 8am before I got given cards and presents. This was no mean feat as Phoebe was humming with excitement about it all! I got 2 gorgeous home made cards, a necklace Phoebe made at school. I also got a bought card and the Hairy Bikers Mum's Know Best cook books (downside, I wanted to bake but can't eat the produce so didn't!). Best of all Paul then took the girls back downstairs and let me go back to sleep for a couple of hours!

We had a lovely day at home pottering. Paul got the girls involved in his annual battle against the lawn (or lack of it!) so I was able to sort the kitchen out to the tunes from the musicals courtesy of Elaine Paige on radio 2.