Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

What a start to the day as I was woken abruptly by the chaotic one. She’s the only person I know who is ready to start the day as soon as her eyes open. She certainly does not get that from me. L asked if she’d had a can of coke in her cot this morning as she was bouncing round the room like Tigger. Frog in a blender – bit like my dancing when I’ve had too many Apple sours. I could only open one eye at that point. It was all too much for 530am. TGI Friday.

Today’s the day I get to book both of the kids into nursery to get the house jobs done and steal a few minutes to myself to blog and eat cake. Sssh don’t tell L! Sometimes I feel guilty for booking extra sessions for the girls especially when I have friends who don’t even take the nursery up on the free hours when their child is 3 and they don’t work and here’s me working and then also booking them in on my days off. Trust me though I’m much better for it later when I’ve got the jobs done and I can concentrate on the girls and relax about the house. I guess it’s about getting that balance.

So to make the most of the 3 hours (technically 2hrs 30 mins once I’ve dropped them there and got back and then returned for them) I decided we had enough time to go and do the grocery shop before the drop off. I promised I would cook for L tomorrow night as I haven’t done anything special for a while so I needed ingredients plus have you been to the supermarket on a Saturday? Geepers it’s hideous.

So I bundled the kids in the car and sped my way round to the shops. G was loving my singing but I’m not entirely sure “Staceys Mom” is the most appropriate tune to be belting out for their tiny ears. Sorry but not sorry!

It was like supermarket sweep racing round the shop skidding round the corners. I especially loved how Vodka was second on the list before the essentials like bread and milk. L is knocking up some winter speciality with werthers originals for a girlie get together. I wasn’t 100% sure what size bottle of vodka I should be buying at 850am so I went for the biggest that way if anybody thought it inappropriate with the two kids in tow and me being pregnant they’d think I was really bad and not just a little bit wreckless.

I gave the Xmas pudding aisle a dirty look as I passed it after consuming a whole one last week. All 1372 calories of it. I felt ill. I am still annoyed at L as she didn’t even try and stop me but she said I was enjoying myself so that’s all that matters. Poor baby will have been high as a kite on sugar and rum!

So after the nursery drop and unpacking the shopping I now have about 90 minutes to do the cleaning, change the beds and get at it with Henry on the carpet and make the place look beautiful for the weekend. Following that, lunch with a friend then G’s first swimming lesson going solo where I’m expecting tears and tantrums and that’s just me never mind the 2 year old I will have with me who will be wholly unreasonable when I try and explain she’s not swimming today and her lesson was Wednesday. I plan to pack all of our swimming attire just in case a) chaotic decides to jump in in protest b) it’s my only negotiating strategy when it all goes belly up.

And if I survive until 7pm without consuming my whole body weight in cake then pudding club will commence which I am the honorary member (or only member) but it’s what gets me through the day.

Happy Friday!


I need a holiday 

I need a holiday 

So we are back from our quick week in Spain and now I need a holiday to get over the holiday. The girls had a ball but what was I thinking when I packed a book to read when I got some chill time???

The small chaotic one decided she didn’t much like sleep on foreign soil so the first 3 nights at least became musical beds with at worst 8 wake ups before morning. So that meant we would need to take shifts sleeping when we were both exhausted anyway. The sleep battles began and the tetchy little arguments about who has had the most sleep and who is the most tired were frequent. Sleep top trumps we call it.

I used to think it was cute hearing “my mummy” from the little one until it echoed round the fully tiled spanish holiday home in the wee hours. Now I dislike it a lot. It sends shivers through my body. 

Thankfully the week was just about being together, getting some sunshine and no real plans and this we did have. That’s normally boring for me as I like to have places to go and see and activities to keep me occupied but I think we were both so burnt out we didn’t care much for anything.

We were almost burnt in other ways when unexpectedly the gas bbq set on fire. Normally that would be no big deal to me when I turn up with a few colleagues, wearing fire gear and with a truck full of water but when you’re 5 and a half months pregnant in your swim suit, without a hose, it’s a whole different matter. Even tried calling the bomberos for assistance but they put me on hold for 3 minutes while they found an English speaking call handler. Unbelievable. Finally managed to put it out but still had the faulty cylinder to deal with which was still leaking and needless to say our steak was well done. As I shrugged it off as just another day at the office L was quite shocked by it all. The girls were just laughing not realising the seriousness of it but it frightened L so we are definitely not getting a gas bbq next year. Wouldn’t be a holiday for us if there wasn’t some sort of drama!!

Highlight of the week had to be high fiving each other when we made it through 3 whole courses at a lovely restaurant with the kids. That’s an epic achievement for us. Thank goodness for fully charged ipads and attentive waiting staff. Plus the food was amazing as an added bonus.

The girls were awesome on their flights to and from Spain but we had an epic journey back as we were on L’s staff travel and all of the Spanish routes were busy. We had a 5 hour drive to Madrid then a few hours messing about at the airport before we finally boarded our plane. By that point toddler pants had had enough and lay screaming on the floor of the plane refusing to move. We were past caring by this point as the passengers and staff looked on probably wishing we would disappear with our unruly child or at least control her. So although staff travel has many perks, which I am so grateful for, 13 hours for what would normally be a 2 hour flight was hard work. 

We need to learn that we shouldn’t go on holiday and that perhaps staycation is the future. If it wasn’t for needing that little dose of winter sunshine I think we would be convinced but by the looks of L’s tan I think there will be more foreign adventures to come. Next one will be with a 4 year old, 2 year old and a 3 month old. Yikes.

Halfway there

Halfway there

That’s it I’ve now passed the halfway point of pregnancy!! Wahoo! It’s only 18 weeks to go until we meet baby no. 3 and find out if they are as a chaotic as no. 2 and if it’s a boy or girl. G has taken quite a protective role over my bump as the chaotic one tries to sit on it!
Early pregnancy seemed to go on forever since I’d started my treatment back in March and then there was the horrific ‘I’m so sick of myself’ sickness which lasted until about 12 weeks. Since then time has been flying over. Definitely the quickest pregnancy EVER. Mainly because I keep forgetting I’m pregnant and when people ask how far along I am I have to give a pretty vague reply of “5 months I think”. Then later I check the calendar just to be sure.

I’ll never forget when pregnant with my first and going to see the doctor for a check up I was asked how far along I was. I sat there all prompt with my notes in a little plastic folder “33 weeks, 2 days” without any hesitation. The doctor said “you’ll have to double check by the time you get to your second” and I looked at her weirdly thinking oh my goodness how on earth can you possibly not know how far along you are. What an arse I was! I now can smell a first child pregnant person from a mile off from their cute little plastic wallets with their notes in and their smiley well rested faces while I turn up late for my appointments, sometimes with both kids in tow, scrambling around in my bag for the notes that I’m sure I had in there whilst praying I’ve packed a stash of those sugary biscuits I would never feed my child to keep them quiet in the waiting room. I’ve gone from pregnancy super geek goody two shoes to barely getting through the day mum of three in less than 4 years and the bags under my eyes prove it. I’m literally just winging it so it’s damn good job I have a wonderful support network around me to help with the fallout as there has been plenty. 

I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy hormones or the tiredness or a combo of both but I waited over an hour for my consultants appointment yesterday and my patience level was probably on par with L. The receptionist had already got an eye roll from me as I arrived in a rush busting for a wee. I legged it to the bathroom then came back and checked in for the appointment and she said leave your urine sample over there. I explained I’d actually just emptied my bladder and she waved her hand furiously at the sign which clearly states that you have to do that which I clearly missed as I was dragging the 2 year old to the nearest toilet hoping I didn’t cough or sneeze and let my bladder explode down my legs. My response was “that’s not really helping me now”. Okay okay so obviously she was just doing her job but come on woman you could’ve just said it’ll be forever for your appointment so just go get yourself a couple of glasses of water and leave a sample before you go. Nothing winds up a person more than being kept waiting more than an hour for an appointment when you have your 2 year old in tow and you’ve ran out of biscuits and there’s no signal for you tube. That’s how to really push my buttons. Secretly I was just annoyed with myself as I should really know the crack by now 3 kids in.

At the scan everything was smashing with the baby. We got a really clear picture which the girls were very excited about when we showed them. The sonographer found my placenta to be low but they’ll just recheck it nearer the time so nothing to worry about. We were divided on finding out what we we were having. L wanted to as she is rubbish with waiting for surprises and patience is not her strong point but me, I didn’t want to find out. Admittedly, I had a bit of a wobble in there that day but now I’m glad we didn’t find out. We can now keep annoying ourselves with the “do you think it’s a boy/girl?” questions. Although that does mean we need two names and we don’t have one yet! It’s hard trying to pick a name. I’m adamant it’s a girl. I’ve got a gut feeling and i’d be very surprised if it was a boy. So i’m researching more girls names than boys. Finding something that goes with our girls names and doesn’t annoy you or sound like some chavvy kid, is proving quite difficult. We also have to consider how it sounds with both a southern and northern twang as that can make something go from sounding quite classy to a fish wife down the quay and we don’t need that!

This week we are being booted out of our house while the floor is laid so it was timed perfectly as we have a week in Spain at our friends villa. We need this holiday so much, especially L. She’s been so busy with work working all hours we’ve hardly spent anytime together as a family and the times we are together we are so busy completing some crazy task related to the house project. It’ll be great to get away from it all where we can do nothing but relax and spend some quality time together. The girls are so excited to get on a plane and have their own swimming pool. I was slightly embarrassed (secretly proud of what L provides for us) that our 3 year old said “mummy sleep in the bed on the plane?” Assuming that everytime we travel now we get on beds on the plane. She’s 3 years old and she’s already accustomed to travelling in style all thanks to L. Let’s hope she’s not disapponted with a regular upright seat. What a diva! Wonder who she gets that from?!

It’s only this week where I have actually felt pregnant as well. That feeling when you sit down and your belly pushes up to your massive boobs and you’re just all a bit uncomfortable. Plus regular clothes aren’t fitting but still the maternity clothes are too big. Today I’m dressed in my dungarees and I can’t decide if I look like a total lesbian, a pregnant woman or an extra life-size minion. L thinks I look like I’m a painter and decorator about to quote for a job and just need a pencil behind my ear. I’m not overly concerned as it has expandable buttons so I can eat more cake. Everybody needs these in their lives.

The enormity of choosing childcare

The enormity of choosing childcare

The childcare setting for your child is a massive decision for any parent and I really felt the weight of it heavy on my shoulders. Constantly you worry if you are doing the right thing. Are you providing enough for them? The parenthood guilt creeps in trying to balance your career with their settings, matching up drop off and collection times and then considering how your child will grow in that environment. To confuse matters more; the costs. Assuming the most expensive will be the best. 

You’re weighing up the location, the timings, the gut feeling when you walk in the door, the building and equipment, the smells (yes I know it sounds nuts but someone showing us around a nursery had proper minging cigarette breath-put us right off them) and of course there is the staff. To make it trickier a place may tick all the boxes on paper but then when you go and visit it’s a let down. One place said it had a swimming pool and French lessons so I was daydreaming of my little cherub reciting Frère Jacques while running around in her swimming costume but turns out you can’t swim unless you’re potty trained which cuts out about 2 years of her time there plus she hasn’t really managed any English words yet and these were the best parts about the place.

Now the staff is a big one. Are they someone you instantly connect with and trust your most precious little bundles with? Do they listen to you and nod to all your wild concerns or do they blank you and make you feel even more nuts than you are? Do they look presentable or a bit scruffy? Your child is going to be looking up to them so you want them to look nice but not over done. Do they look kind and have a warm smile so that your little baby will want to be comforted by them when you’re not there? Do they also look like they will be fair, yet firm and not a pushover so they get some discipline to keep them in check when you’re not around? See! All this is running through your head before you can commit. I wonder if nursery staff realise this.

We recently moved the girls nurseries and all of these thoughts came into my head. It wasn’t like the first time choosing the nursery when you’re shown around holding your little shiny baby in a car seat awkwardly through the rooms while they throw statistics at you about the nursery and how all the food is organic and how many nappies you get free when in fact you could buy shares in pampers with their daily rates. This is not all new; this is a “we have tried other nurseries now we really know what we want and we want to know if we can get it here”. I actually felt much more objective in my thinking but it was still a difficult decision. You still never know if you’ve made the right choice until you finally make the move. But a wise woman told me, right back in the early days with G when I was still a rabbit in the headlights wandering around thinking would I ever settle into this being a mum role, that to always go with your gut instinct as it will always be right. Mothers intuition she called it. G’s nursery teacher said the same to me when I was expressing my concern about the move but she’s a mum and she gets it. My only criticism of the new nursery is that they send the girls home with a ridiculous amount of their ‘artwork’. I’m running out of places to put it and to be fair some of its not really that good. I’ve started sending bits to the grandparents but if they just did a quality check before handing me the burden of binning some of the drawings it would be much appreciated.

There were loads of reasons for the move but the clinching factor for us was the staff. They are friendly. They ask you about things going on in your life and remember when you’ve been on holiday etc. It’s a smaller nursery so maybe that’s why they can add the personal touch but I dropped G off after her hols at the old nursery and her key worker wasn’t around and none of the other staff asked her about her holiday. I know it sounds pretty small but I wanted them to at least show some interest in her and know about the big things going on in her little life. Plus we also wanted a nursery where they were approachable to talk about our family. We are not unique being a two mummy family but we are not the norm  (Just yet!) So it was important that the setting we chose for our children can talk about this as there is no doubt that the girls would ask questions and we want them to be surrounded by people who can answer them as honestly as possible. Plus I’ve already experienced the G wanting a daddy few weeks which I wasn’t prepared for and didn’t know how to deal with and it was in fact the nursery which helped me with this. Their support is huge and no doubt it comes naturally for them without thinking, but for us it’s a big deal.

Then we are balancing up if they will get lots of fun and playtime alongside learning for each of their needs. G was behind with her speech so that was a big factor for us as we wanted to make sure she would get the support and encouragement she needs. We also wanted to make sure that the little chaotic one would fit in well with being very young and still get lots of cuddles and attention while still being able to grow her independence. No wonder this gave me sleepless nights. Surely I can’t be the only one who worries about all of this stuff.

My main battle in my neurotic mother brain was about the cost. I automatically assumed that with higher costs care must be better and give you an automatic peace of mind but I’ve found it not to be the case. So I battled in my head thinking the girls needed us to spend the most on their childcare to ensure the quality was high but the reality was they were surrounded by the newest equipment and toys (even a smartboard) but what was lacking was the personal approach which we both wanted our children to have. We wanted them to be surrounded by people who cared about them and took time to develop them taking an interest in their achievements. Afterall it’s people that make the world go round not materials. 

Although the first few weeks of the move were nerve wracking, second guessing the decision, as soon as they see their little t-shirts ready for nursery and they are excited and talking about going it hits home that the right decision was made. They are happy and that’s what matters.

We’ve done all of that trying nurseries and getting settled and now we need to start school visits for G’s school application. I’m so not mentally ready for this! My little first born starting school is a massive milestone which I need more time to get my head around plus the pregnancy hormones don’t help!

I survived the school holidays

I survived the school holidays

Can I say the Summer is over now? I checked the weather for the next week and it looks pants so to me I’m getting prepared for Autumn; boxsets, duvet days and homemade soup. This summer was my first summer where I’ve had to come up with a whole different routine to get through the summer as our nursery is term time only. At the beginning 6 weeks seemed like a long time and I thought it would be pretty hard going sorting out childcare for when we were at work and organising activities for the girls with none of our regular favourites running and other places being so busy. Anyway I’ve been pleasantly surprised and I’m feeling quite smug with just how awesome it has been for the girls. We’ve had a trip to LEGOLAND where it had monsoon type downpours on several seperate occasions. Kids absolutely loved it and didn’t seem bothered- me and the chief bridesmaid could’ve told you a different story as we aquaplaned in our flip flops. There’s been swimming trips, walks in the forest, lunches with friends and even a trip to IKEA which as you can see the kids just loved as much as their mummies. We also totalled 19 guests staying with us during that time; visitors from the North and Holland as well as one unplanned guest who was too drunk to make it home!  So extremely busy and lots of fun but now I’m counting down until we go on holiday…4 little weeks!

4 more weeks at work holiday countdown where it’s pretty tame in comparison to pre-pregnancy as i’m now non-operational so fitting smoke alarms, working on community projects, lots and lots of admin and making tea but I’ve had a couple of my own home rescues to deal with. The first being G with her leg stuck through the baby gate. I would’ve got a picture of this if it wasn’t for her being so upset. Then the chaotic one got stuck between the wardrobe and the wall. “Mummy stuck! Mummy stuck!” I heard with her no-volume-control voice. I had to laugh and take a picture before I released her. So at least I am getting my rescue fix at home and good to see i’m keeping my skills up!!

I’m now over 4 months pregnant and look about 6 months. That’s all thanks to it being the third child and everything being nicely stretched by those two tiny human big sisters. Great thing is the sickness has now gone and apart from this giant bump I dont feel pregnant at all. I have started to feel the little one moving around and we’ve now had 3 experiences of being told that the baby is very active from the sonographer who struggled with our last scan; the acupuncturist who said it is very yang and full of energy; and the midwife who tried to listen in to their heartbeat last week. L and I just gave an eye roll to each other and both said it was going to be another chaotic one!! 

My nesting hormones are kicking in early so this extension is feeling like it’s taking forever. The builders have knocked a wall through and now we have a massive porch and hallway (no front door) but no idea what to do with it. We are going on holiday in a few weeks and I’m staying hopeful we will have it all finished by then but L reckons it will be nearer Christmas. I always watch those home redesign shows and wonder how people cope as they are almost always pregnant halfway through the construction. Well now that’s me and I’m currently trying to tame the hormones before they drive me nuts and make me feel like I’m going to explode!!!
I’ve been on a mission to get my exercise back up to an acceptable standard now that I have a bit more energy and have tried out spinning classes. Oh my word my bottom area (front and back) took one hell of a beating. Supposedly your body gets used to but I have no idea how!! Thankfully due to timings I can only commit to one session a week which gives me plenty of recovery time. I’ve also learnt not to go running with a certain friend – baby loved it sleeping all the way in it’s comfy little bubble but me on the other hand barely made it up the last hill. I think I’ll keep my extra curricular goals to myself from now on!!

Whilst on the subjects of looking after myself L has started back at Slimming World which is fantastic for her as it keeps her focused and really motivated. I’ve been prepping some of her meals trying to make sure they are all on the plan and we are not eating junk. So now I’m secret eating chocolate and fatty foods through the day so not to send her off track. Probably why my bump is so big really when I’m having cake for breakfast!! L cracks me up with her slimming world stories from the group. She saw one of the members in Starbucks stuffing their face with a croissant and latte and L was frantically looking through the book to see where it said that many syns were acceptable. She has me giggling with her tales from the class and I’m even get tense when we reach the weigh in day on Thursdays as I’m just wishing her to do well. So proud of her she lost 2lbs this week. I’ll send her to spinning she will lose a stone in a week!

The Whiskey Fitz wedding

The Whiskey Fitz wedding

Child free for a whole 24 hours. 24 hours of not answering constant “mummy mummy mummy” or checking a million times what is going on when they are playing/fighting or daydreaming about a little bit less volume but it also meant 24 hours without cuddles from the tiny humans. I think I can cope with that to attend our good friend Whiskey Fitz’s wedding!!!

Whiskey fitz is so called from the sheer amount of whiskey she consumed at our hen do. She had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and if you’d cut her in half she would’ve oozed whiskey goo. So I shouldn’t have really been surprised when I jumped on her for a piggy back and she brought us both crashing to the floor!!

Well it turns out she decided to get married and we made it on the guest list. The venue was on loch lomond which is one of our most favourite places and we were going to be childfree so it didn’t take much persuasion.

We flew up there on the morning of the wedding which was a bit risky since we were on standby and the flight was chocka. Thankfully we made it albeit sitting separately but we are used to that. Quick turn around at the hotel as we only had an hour before the ceremony but we managed to scrub up ok I would say. L was determined to wear a tartan bow tie and handkerchief for some reason and in our 12 years together I’ve finally realised it’s easier to go with it than fight it. We will never match at any formal event with our clothes but our big cheesy grins do. And she did look really cute.

The ceremony was in the church where Take the High Road was filmed. I was a bag of emotions throughout the service even before the beautiful bride arrived. I’m going to blame the hormones but actually i’m just really soft and love these special moments. It was a beautiful ceremony, nice and relaxed, and I absolutely loved their choice of hymns. All some of my favourites including ‘Amazing Grace’. It didn’t take long for them to be married and for them to be leaving the church grinning as Mr and Mrs.

They had a piper walk the newlyweds along the shore of the loch which brought tears to my eyes. I was bursting with happiness for them and their smiles were shining to their ears. Totally magical moment and so honoured to have been part of it.
They are such a lovely couple. You just want to give Nigel a massive hug and Nicci is nuts but good nuts. The kind of nuts you even trust your kids with. Well actually the chaotic one vomited all over Nicci once and it didn’t put her off looking after them again so really she is part of the family if she can deal with that!!

There was free flowing alcohol all afternoon and evening which I couldn’t indulge in but it was fun watching the others getting merry and the conversations becoming less and less serious and more abusive to each other. There were a few occasions where we mingled with guests and we’ve said “I don’t know you but I know you from Facebook” so although we had never met we were all familiar with each other. So much so at one point a load of us made it out on the loch on a banana boat just for the craic. This is me sober so probably best I was off the booze or I might have had another go on Nicci’s back which we know doesn’t end well.

We shared a great meal in the afternoon  and to top it off her mum had made tablet favours – its a Scottish sweet which is delicious. Totally melts your teeth but tastes so good. I had two helpings and would’ve taken more if i wasn’t being polite. I love making it back to my home country and indulging in all of the culinary delights I miss. This day was no different with a pizza supper (Google it!) and a can of Irn Bru to end the night. Honestly I’m so easily pleased.

Thanks to the new Mr and Mrs for having us at your very special day. We will treasure it forever and wish you a lifetime of happiness. But you’ll always be our Whiskey Fitz.

When the Chaotic one turned 2!

When the Chaotic one turned 2!

And right on cue the terrible 2’s have begun. Well actually this was 4 days premature as she wasn’t quite 2 when she threw this hissy fit in the queue at m and s cafe. I couldn’t do anything to stop it. None of my tools were working so I had to just leave her. I could feel myself getting hot. I could feel the people looking and I was trying to manoeuvre a 3 year old, carry the lunch tray, order a coffee and make sure the chaotic one didn’t hurt herself while she was making shapes on the floor. I knew that if anyone had said anything derogatory in that moment I would’ve completely lost my cool and the pregnancy rage would’ve set in and potentially I would’ve been quite rude. Thankfully the only comment I had was from a young girl who worked in m and s and she said “I feel like that when I come in here too”. That made me smile so thank you for lifting the mood.

As a little treat for G we took her to her first ever cinema experience. Aww bless her heart you should’ve seen her little excited pea head face. She was beaming. I’m not sure if it was just the cinema experience or the fact she had a rare few hours with her mummies on her own which never happens. She sat there with her ice cream all happy and giggling. Totally lovely but definitely not time for the chaotic one yet to go to the movies. We would get thrown out for sure.

As for toddler pants we took her to gravity tots for her birthday with some friends. It’s where under 5s can go play on the giant trampolines etc. Such a shame I cant go on the trampolines as I’m pregnant (plus my bladder is not really up to it post kids). L’s face was a picture when I told her but she actually had a really good time. It was hard to work out who enjoyed it the most!!
Back to our house for a tea party and cake with a few of her little friends. We decided the thing that makes chaotic one happiest is food so we made sure that was a focal point of the day with all the things she loved.

But 2???! 2 years since she was born. How on earth did that happen. It really does fly over and I think if I wasn’t expecting a new little baby to arrive next year I would’ve been really upset about our baby growing up. I still remember her newborn smell and snuzzling into her neck when she was just a few hours old. Aww newborn bliss.

She makes us laugh every single day with her crazy personality but I really do wish she came with volume control! And as for cuddles you can’t really get those now for more than a second as she is like a firework about to explode. We wouldn’t change her for the world. Happy birthday little lady.