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!

 

The Siblings Project (March 2017)

What a month March has been already and we are only on the 15th! We’ve been struck down with illnesses and bugs that even saw Dylan in hospital over the weekend (don’t worry, he’s fine!). One positive thing that has come with March is the spring weather – Hello Daffodils!! Today is especially beautiful and we’ve even been to the park without our coats on! What is it about the sunshine that makes everything instantly better? It’s a natural anti-depressant. Everything looks brighter and the children are happier and I feel more motivated to be productive with my time. Roll on the summer months, they are long awaited.

Dylan is at a funny old age. He turns 18 months old on the 18th March and I feel like it has hit us all hard. I’ve noticed a slight change in the dynamic of my siblings relationship. One minute they are the best of friends, kissing and cuddling and the next minute they are fighting. Well, if we are honest, the fighting is all one sided. Dylan has always been especially fiery but it seems to be more this last month or so as he develops more of an independence. It’s so frustrating for him to not be able to communicate as effectively as everyone else and he is lashing out and having temper tantrums because of it. Katie has been on the receiving end of a lot of these tantrums and often comes to me in tears because he’s hit her or pulled her hair. It’s not something I particularly worry about as it’s just a phase that he’s going through and it hasn’t changed the closeness they have but it can make days quite stressful.

There isn’t a massive age gap between my two but as Dylan gets older and is developing more I can see the age gap closing in. Dylan is able to run, play and interact with Katie a lot more and Katie loves it. It’s like having a live-in play mate. I do have to remind Katie that although Dylan can do a lot more these days there’s also things he can’t do which she is desperate for him to participate in such as climbing trees and jumping off sofas! (Yes, this happens daily. Please don’t judge me haha!)

I’ve took this months pictures on a variety of days. Dylan has been particularly grumpy over the last week due to illness etc so getting a photo of him smiling was almost impossible. I do like the perfect imperfectness of photo’s like these though as they represent real life and that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t get your bloody child to crack a smile!

Here’s to a sunny, more smiley month!

Motherhood. The good, the bad and the eye bags

It’s 3am and the house is quiet. Everyone’s asleep (or trying to sleep) all except for me and Dylan. It’s the 5th time I’ve had to get up with him since I went to bed at 10pm. I’m not sure what’s unsettling him. I don’t know whether he’s teething, he’s feeling unwell or whether he just wants some company.

What I do know is that I’m the only one at this hour that can comfort him.

As he lays there on my chest, his head rested on my shoulder he instantly relaxes. Whatever was bothering him seems to bother him no longer so long as he’s in my arms. When I think he’s drifted off to sleep I try to gently lay him back in his cot only for him to cry again. It really is exhausting. I never had sleeping issues with my daughter. She was always such a good little sleeper and even now she sleeps 7:30pm-7:30am. I wrote in a post a couple of weeks ago (Dylan – You are 17 months old) that, after 17 long months of wakeful nights, you had finally cracked the sleeping through bit. Well that post came back to bite me on the arse because he’s not slept through since!

What is it about little ones needing you? It’s a mothering battle that I will never win. On one hand I’m at the end of my tether, praying that tonight will be the night he sleeps through and on the other hand I feel an overwhelming sense of love and softness when it’s the still of the night and it’s only us two. Nestled in each other, not making a sound and just enjoying the quiet cuddles. It’s like our own special club. I feel like I’m needed and that I serve a purpose. I remind myself that these moments, however exhausting they are, won’t last forever.

The days without sleep are hard. My patience is short, my energy levels are zapped and I have bags under my eyes big enough to carry the weekly shop in.

But you just cope don’t you?

You do whatever you can to survive and get through the day and do it all again the next night. Because that’s what motherhood, or parenthood, is. It’s surviving. It’s about winging it at every opportunity. You pray to the big man upstairs that tonight will be the night that you get more than a 2 hour stretch of sleep before you have to get up again and when you hear those faint little cry’s (that soon turn it to extra loud wails if your not quick enough!) your heart sinks a little bit. But as soon as you realise that those cry’s were for you and your touch, every little irritated and exhausted feeling goes straight out of the window. That’s motherhood. It’s the good, the bad and the eye bags all rolled in to one and do you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way!