Katie – You are 4 years old (A letter to my Daughter)

My darling Katie,

You are 4 years old. In actual fact, as I write this you are 4 years and 2 months old.

This last year has been amazing and you have gone from your toddler years and grown in to a proper little girl.

We are so proud of you and the little lady you are becoming.

You have just finished your time at Nursery and you are patiently waiting to start school in September. You are so excited for it, and I know you’re ready for it. You made lots of lovely friends at Nursery and were very happy and settled where you were. It’s such a shame that you have now all parted ways and will go to different schools. I know you will make lots of new friends in your new school though as you are a very confident, chatty and outgoing little girl so I don’t ever worry about that.

You were so excited about turning 4. It was a milestone you were desperate to reach. Almost like it confirmed that you were a “big girl”. It will never matter how old you get, you will always be my little girl.

Your party was at a local soft play center and you invited all of your friends. You had so much fun and enjoyed being the center of attention!

You’ve always been so clever, Katie. I’m sure every mum says that about their children, but you really are. You are inspired by life and take in all your surroundings. You are inquisitive and you remember everything that is told to you and everything that happens to you.  You can count to 100 and you are currently learning the alphabet. You practice your writing and letters on a daily basis and feel confident in writing your name and your brothers.

Being 4 is such a bittersweet age for a mum. It’s sad to realise that your baby and toddler years are very far behind you but it’s exciting to know how much of your life you have ahead of you and how many exciting times we have to come.

You are the sweetest, most caring little girl I have ever come across. You take in to consideration everyone’s feelings and are so kind towards people. You really are a beautiful little soul.

We spend most of our days outdoors as this is your favorite place to be. Whether you are running, climbing, jumping, cycling, scooting or playing football you are always on the go. You are very sporty – a trait you DEFINITELY don’t get from me and your current life ambition is to be a gymnast or a footballer (although this changes on a weekly basis).

Daddy bought you a season ticket for Sheffield United this year so you now spend your Saturday’s with him at Bramall Lane and you love it. You love the 1-2-1 time you get as a Daddy/Daughter team and you love to watch the game. Your other hobbies include colouring and crafting.

We couldn’t be prouder of you sweetheart. I look forward to seeing what the next 12 months have in store for us.

We love you so much!

A blogging good break!

Sound the klaxons! She’s only gone and wrote a new blog post!

My last blog post was on the 31st March. Almost two and a half months of not writing, not engaging on social media and not posting on instagram (much). Boy, did I need it!

Towards the back end of March I had a very love/hate relationship with my blog. I loved it because it was my piece of the internet that enclosed all my personal memories and something that I had built from scratch myself. But I hated it because it was becoming a chore. It felt like another thing to do on my already expanding check list and frankly it was becoming all too much.

I needed a break. I felt I had nothing to give, nothing to write and nothing that anyone would be interested in.

I was completely uninspired.

Blogging for me is a hobby. I love it. I love what it gives to me. I love what it represents but it also felt like a full time job!

I felt like I was on my phone constantly. From the minute I woke up I’d be plugging posts and engaging on social media. I was spending more time in the cyber world than in the real world and I needed to break free.

When a hobby turns into a chore it isn’t fun. I didn’t like what my blog was turning into so I needed to get away from it all. I didn’t know how long I’d be away from it. I thought it may have only been a week or so but it turned into much more than that. I didn’t feel guilty. I needed the time away. I needed to go away and regain control and get some clarity.

I wrote a similar post a while back The one where I haven’t written in a while about how I took a break because blogging was becoming competitive and I was blogging more for the stats than the content. It was happening again and it’s just all too much for this little lady!

In the time I’ve been away I know that I’ve missed so much in the blogging world but I’m OK with that. I’ve reignited my passion and found some inspiration. I have thoughts, ideas and imagination.

I’m ready to get back in the game!

So, shall we carry on!?…

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The Me and Mine Project (March 2017) A Family Portrait

March has been a funny old month. The clocks went forward last weekend which left us an hour short on time and the weather has been absolutely crazy. One minute the sun was splitting the trees and we had no coats on and then the next the met office had issued a weather warning out for snow. SNOW. In March! I know, It’s ridiculous.

I think I start every family post with the line “It’s been a busy old month”…but it really has been a busy old month. Such is family life eh!?

Our new kitchen and flooring got installed in the 1st week of this month which is super exciting. It meant that our house was upside down for a couple of weeks though which is less than ideal. It’s all finally coming together now though and it looks amazing. I’m so pleased with it.

Katie had two dance exams which she passed with flying colours! We were so proud of her (although, can you fail a 3 year old in a dance exam? I hardly think so) So she had two new shiney medals to take home and are in pride of place in her bedroom.

March has been a month of bugs and illness in our house. Dylan came down with a wheeze and a chesty cough which saw us spend the night in the hospital with him. He was treated for croup and is absolutely fine now. I hate it when the little ones are ill. It makes me so anxious. It’s a horrible time. I always wish that I could have all their illnesses and bugs so they didn’t need to get them. I’m sure every parent thinks like that though.

The hubby has been away last weekend on his brothers stag du in Tenerife so we’ve got this week off to do lots of nice family things and days out. Our pictures this month were taken at the seaside and in our back garden. A slight mixture but I forgot to take my camera out with me on our days trips this month (!). Kids love the seaside don’t they!? Heck, I love the seaside. The sun, the sand, the ice creams! Children laughing and having fun! It’s fantastic. Let’s hope the summer brings lot’s more trips to the seaside!

 

This month

Mummy is loving

The new kitchen

“Hurrah for gin”

Broadchurch

Daddy is loving

The new kitchen

Being in Tenerife

Getting him and Katie a season ticket for the football

Katie is loving

Her dance medals

The seaside

Trolls Soundtrack

Dylan is loving

In the night garden

Peppa pig

Footballs

 

An out-take. When you cant control an 18 mth old

The photo’s are so blurry, I wasn’t happy with the way they came out at all. I can only assume it’s because we are on a hill and the wind was blowing my tripod. I’ll never make a professional photographer haha!

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A daily cleaning routine for busy mums

Cleaning laundry

Cleaning is one of those necessary evils that I hate doing but if you don’t do it your world seems to fall apart around you. I don’t know about you but if I don’t have a daily schedule in place I forget to do something and then it mounts up and before you know it, I’ve lost the cat under the laundry.

I’ve always been one of those people who function better when their house is tidy. It’s almost like the “Tidy house, tidy mind” mantra. That said, I have to try extremely hard in order to keep our house looking half decent because I have two tiny tearaways and a husband to keep on top of. Plus I’m not a naturally tidy person either.

Sometimes we are so busy that the ball gets dropped and our house can look like a bombs hit it but if I try to keep on top of this routine then I don’t fear the doorbell going if visitors decide to drop by.

My cleaning routine

Daily

These tasks need to be carried out daily in order for our house to function normally. If any of these get missed then it is disaster zone.

  • Empty Dishwasher
  • Re-load dishwasher
  • Put a load of laundry on (Seriously, we have so much laundry. I swear there’s someone else that lives in our house that I haven’t met yet. It’s just a never ending task)
  • Pick toys up
  • Wipe the kitchen sides down
  • Empty  the bins
  • Hoover living room
  • Sweep kitchen and hallway floor
  • Wipe toilet/bathroom down with Antibacterial wipes
  • Fold and put away clean laundry

If I keep on top of these little tasks they can be done easily in no more than 15-20 minutes which is realistic for our household. Most of the tasks I do in the morning so they are done for the day and others (such as tidy up toys, I do all day!!)

Weekly

  • Dust all rooms
  • Hoover all rooms
  • Change bedding on all beds
  • Clean fridge out
  • Iron (ha! – I laugh because I despise it. I “iron” once a week if it’s desperate or If I have to choose between that and stabbing myself in the eye)

Monthly

  • Clean inside of windows
  • Wipe down skirting boards

What do you think to my cleaning schedule? Do you do more or less than me?

Do you have a cleaning schedule? I’d love to hear from you!

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Being a mother and what it really means

It’s Mother’s day today. A chance to celebrate the fact that we, as mums, are bloody awesome human beings. Don’t get me wrong, none of us are perfect. I know I’m certainly not. When I first found out I was pregnant with my 1st baby, I had all these (unrealistic) ideas of how I was going to be and act as a mum and how I was going to raise my children. I certainly wasn’t going to be a shouty mum. I absolutely wasn’t going to be one of those mums who let their child play on some sort of electronic device and beige food was strictly band from the table. Only wholesome home cooked food in my kitchen thank you very much! Did that happen? Did it hell.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t scream at my children from morning till night as they sit googled eyed at the Ipad whilst shoving fish fingers and potato waffles down their necks. But I do have the odd day where I’m a little bit more shouty than I’d like (because if I have to ask Katie to put her shoes on one more time so help me god…) and the Ipad is out whilst Dylan is napping so I can quickly get the hoovering done. I’ve also had days where I’m absolutely knackered and I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer so only chicken nuggets will do. And do you know what?

It’s all good.

We are all doing our best aren’t we!? I know I certainly am. Sure, every day isn’t perfect. Sure, I have days where if I have to listen to one of the children whinge one more time I might stab myself in the eye.

I have days where I go to bed and I could burst in to tears because I’ve felt guilty over counting the minutes down until their bedtime. But all in all, I’m an awesome mum. I love my kids with everything that I am.

I tell them I love them everyday, several times a day. I keep them safe. I smother them in kisses and make them feel important – because they are. I feed them, dress them, play with them. I interact with them and I challenge them. I try to get them to see the world for what it is. I encourage them to ask questions. I embrace the fact that sometimes they want to be different. I nurse them back to health when they are unwell. I wipe their tears when they are upset and I kiss their “ouchies”.

I read to them. I comfort them. I reassure them when they are scared. I teach them right from wrong. I play that game “just one more time” even though we’ve played it a 100 times already. This to me, is what being a mother is. Taking the good with the bad, the giggles and the tears. The endless sleepless nights. The nights where I’ve stood for hours on end rocking them back and forth until they go back to sleep.

It’s not just about giving birth to a child, it’s about the aftermath. The years ahead where your not always perfect but you’ll do. Having days where you beat yourself up and tell yourself you could have tried harder or been more patient. The days where you should have listened a bit more instead of shrugging them off or telling them to be quiet.

We are all in the same boat. I know every single one of you reading this will relate to it somewhere because we are all awesome. We are rocking motherhood and our children love us for it. We aren’t perfect – we’re just mums.

Happy Mother’s day!