Hopeful holidays…

Is it just me, or do any other mums out there feel absolutely wiped out at this time, the time we call the End-of-term!    I have no real explanation for it.  But a change of routine is definitely required for not just me, but for my kids to recharge their batteries in this game we call life.

This last week has been a typically bonkers, crazy, school obsessed scenario, with school trips, Easter projects, Church services, and finished off with non-uniform today.  A typical last week really, but my head just doesn’t seem to be able to cope with SO-MUCH-STUFF going on.  It hasn’t helped that I’m trying to plan my daughter’s birthday parties.  Yes, partieS in the plural…One for the family this weekend at home, and one for her friends the weekend after trampolining, not to mention pressie buying and wrapping.

I enjoy the family coming over, but what I can’t love is the clean up of the house before hand!  I might have mentioned before that Domestic Goddess I am NOT!!  Also, I know it’s not worth doing anything until the weekend, as the house will just get messed up again, God love ’em!

At least the weather is on our side, which means my lovely hubby also needs to mow the lawn tomorrow!  Which is slightly worrying as he is on a ‘lads’ night’ tonight, so let’s hope they don’t suffer too much of the ‘Tequila, it makes me happy!’ syndrome!

I actually managed to drag myself along to ‘Tennis Cardio’ last night, with my lovely  ‘Always-late-but-always-smiling’ Buddy!  We both had a good ol’ debate about totally losing it with our kids while trying to simultaneously cook tea, assist them with their art projects and get our tennis gear on!  It is reassuring when you realize you’re not the only one, my pal put it down to the ‘Summer Moon’ so I’m quite happy to go along with that one!  Once on court, it was going great until I managed to position myself behind a super-sonic tennis ball which whacked me right on the ear!  My ear was ringing big time!  So I had to sit out for a few minutes, feeling a right plonker to wait for the buzzing to stop.  It didn’t really hurt per say, it just stunned me slightly, so I put on a brave face and carried on regardless.  Other than that, it was mostly enjoyable, although I really need to improve my fitness levels!

The annoying thing is, I’ve been on this exercise lark for several months now and the weight is just not budging!  I wouldn’t mind but it didn’t used to be this way!  Now I am more mature, shall we say, it’s a lot harder to tone up.  It’s not impossible, just flipping hard work!   Unfortunately, the holidays don’t really help as I won’t get to go to any classes, but I’ve just got to make sure I stay active with the kids.  I’ve done my best not to plan anything out for the next two weeks, so I’ve not put anything in my calendar, as I usually end up filling the days up too soon and the weeks fly by!  Although I must admit I have been kind of planning most days in my head – I can’t help it!!  It’s the Project Manager in me!!  I have to plan and be in control of EVERYTHING!

I bet it sounds bonkers to all you working mums out there that I’m complaining about being worn out.  However, the lack of structure in my day does not help me cope with my stress levels.  I am a creature of habit, and have to fill my days with exercise classes, and personal projects to keep me sane (but the housework can wait!).  I really feel my tolerance levels have dropped massively. When working in a school, patience is paramount to your ability to do your job effectively, so I had it in bucket loads.  But lately, I seem to be lacking the propensity to maintain my patience.  I am hoping the holidays will provide an outlet to do some fun stuff with the kids, enjoy celebrating my daughters birthday and put me back on track.

My blessed hubby doesn’t always help put me in a positive mood either.  The other morning, my son decided to pick a school jumper from his laundry pile which was creased.  My husband calls me into my son’s room when he is on his way out of the door.  “Have you got an ironed jumper for him, he looks like a homeless person”.  Well you can imagine my very-slight-irritation at this comment.  So when he decides to repeat again. “Well, have you got another jumper for him or not?” I could not stop myself being slightly short with him.   He didn’t mean anything by it, I know that.  But questioning my ability to simply cloth my children in something respectable, when I manage it EVERY-OTHER-FLIPPING-DAY-OF-THE-YEAR, was rather insulting.  Bless him.

So, lets put on our happy faces and enjoy the time we have with our children these Easter Holidays, life is too short to huff and puff (which my husband tells me I’ve been doing a lot lately apparently)…. so turn that frown upside down (and maybe book a pedicure for when they go back…)  Enjoy!

Have a Fab Easter Everyone!

Target:  Hopeful Holidays

Done!

 

 

 

Chasing the Rainbow!

Our kitchen looks like we have taken out shares in ‘The Range’ Arts and Crafts division.  We have my daughters rivers project (in progress), my daughters Easter project (in progress), my son’s Easter project (in progress)… And finally my daughter’s ‘making boxes’ project, you guessed it..Still in progress!

I love how creative my daughter is, I am more than happy for her to craft to her hearts delight if that’s what she enjoys doing.  My son, however is not the creative one, and does these projects under duress usually..  However, to my amazement this weekend, my daughter was helping him by holding his eggs, while he painted them.  They managed about 4, before they started calling each other names.  As my son didn’t agree with the dots my daughter had decided to sporadically add to his lovely symmetrical design.  At that point I took over, but I was impressed by the focus he was able to apply to said task.   Why am I always surprised when my children prove me wrong… Lets hope they keep doing it!

I managed to escape ‘Mister Maker’s paradise’ by going out for a lovely long lunch on Saturday, as a belated birthday outing for my buddy and I, who have our birthdays two days apart.   We debated everything from our children’s futures, Sun soaked hols, hot men on TV – you name it – we had an opinion on it!  Probably getting louder and louder as we consumed several vinos and a lovely ‘Eden Rainbow Cocktail’ which was super yummy!  The tapas and homemade burgers we had didn’t really go any where near soaking up the drinkie poos!  Wish we had two birthdays a year like the Queen!

My husband had done a sterling job of cooking the munchkin’s tea and cleaning up etc… However he was rather perturbed by the children’s comments on his cooking.

“You don’t take the skins off the Daddy!”  “No, no, I don’t have butter, he does!”

Poor Daddy, I blame myself.  I do pander too much to my kids at teatime.  We have got into such a routine that I automatically know how each child prefers their potatoes.  When I was a child I’m sure it was just a ‘take it or leave it!’ mantra.  If I didn’t like it I would go hungry.   The fact that most teatimes, I cook two different meals, one for the kids and one for us adults is I know ridiculous, but I’m sure I’m not on my own.  Fussy eaters are common place these days, and I’m sure it’s just down to soft parents like me who do it just for an easy life.  Of course, there is so much more choice nowadays.  I can only remember having meat and two veg every night.  I didn’t have my first Chinese meal until I was a teenager.  So our taste pallet has grown so much we are a slave to too much choice!

At least the children had some appreciation of the Mumma’s cooking skills for once!

Target: Chase the Rainbow.

Done.. with bells on!

 

 

Holiday Dreaming…

Last night my hubby and I started to talk about our holiday this year.  We are both keen to go to Florida, as of course are the kiddies, so it’s about time I started to look for a good deal!

I asked my husband brightly “Would you like to travel from our local airport this time, rather than travel down to London?”  A simple question you would think.  “I don’t really mind either way” he replies.

“Oh, well I just thought it wouldn’t be quite such a squash for me and the children in the back of the car”  What happens is you see, Daddy’s car does not have a big enough boot for all our suitcases for two weeks.  Daddy and I have a big suitcase each and the children have a medium sized one each.  Therefore we end up with two cases in the boot and two cases in the passenger foot well and front seat.  This means it is a very uncomfortable journey in the back, with me squeezed in between the munchkins all the way, which last time, took about three hours.

“Why don’t we get a roof rack storage thingy?” I offer.

“I am not spending money on something that we only use once a year!” he retorts.  Easy for him to say..

“Well, then..” I try again… “We are planning on getting a new car soon, why don’t we get an estate car?  Then we could fit the bikes in too?”  This did not go down well.

“Genius!” Is his sarcastic reply, “I tell you what let’s just buy a van!  Or maybe a plane of our own!  Just so we can make our only holiday trip of the year more comfortable!  Honestly!”

“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit dear..”  I thought it best to leave it at that.  Hubby was clearly not in the right frame of mind for this discussion, so I thought I’d best leave it.  He had only just got in from work at close to ten pm, so I’ll let him off!

Mummy logic has decided to try my best to avoid the luggage discussion again, because it really isn’t a big deal in the scheme of things.  Instead I will do my utmost to find flights from our local airport which is less than an hour away, problem solved!

Although I wouldn’t mind one of those Mummy Truck thingies which I see around so much at school pick up time.  It really is hilarious when you see some poor frazzled mummy trying to park a beast of a car (like the white one’s though!) in a normal car spaced spot.

This is why I am quite pleased we stuck at two kiddies.  Once you go for three plus all manner of different issues arise, not to mention sibling rivalries escalate.  There is the Seven-Seater-Mega-Truck you need for all the children, goodness knows what the arguments would be like about luggage storage in that scenario!  Also booking holidays becomes all the more problematic… and expensive.     Most package deals seem to be based on the typical two kiddie family, if there is an extra kiddie, or one less adult things get complicated.  Looking at extra rooms, extra transport etc. etc.  I’m sure it’s worth it to have another lovely to care for, but I’m quite pleased I dodged that bullet!

So, the holiday research begins…  No doubt I will spend hours pondering over different options and then just choose the first one I found… Similar to any clothes shopping trips really.  I have to look round every other shop to make sure I’m doing the right thing before purchasing that first LBD I saw in the first shop I came to!  It is the same on line, everyone does it now.  We have to compare everything,  using comparison websites for everything from holidays to drain insurance and they are raking it in!  Still it can be helpful to do everything from one place, otherwise it would be several more pointless hours of surfing!

Anyway, I already kinda know where we will be staying, my daughter has informed me “If we go to Florida mummy I want to go to the hotel with the big spotty doggies outside please”  So, that’s settled then, Disney Hotels here we come!

Target: Think about holiday research (but not actually get round to it!)

Done!

 

 

Retail Therapy

Does anyone else freak out when they enter Asda, or even just think about entering through those huge sliding doors.. Does it fill anyone else with fear and dread?

I don’t know what it is about the light open space of this Superstore but I can’t bear it. Maybe it’s the bright lighting, the constant assault on the senses, the Asda price this, or the Asda price that!

It is amazing how brand awareness spreads.  On holiday in Egypt many years ago, I remember the entertaining shouts of the street vendors running alongside the Nile, shouting “Asda Price! Asda Price!” – Hilarious!

For some reason my daughter loves this shop, well it’s not rocket science, I know the reason.  Toys, toys and more toys!  My son however has the typical male gene and absolutely hates any kind of shopping, so he would rather eat his own tongue than shop anywhere!

I’ve never considered myself a Supermarket Snob, but I don’t get the same feelings of trepidation going to say, Sainsburys or M&S.  In fact the endorphins start flowing as soon as I’m in the car and on my way to these stores (unless it’s Christmas).  What do they do differently?   Is it just the snob factor that sets something off in my brain to say these places represent quality rather than quantity?  The marketing clearly makes a difference.  It is very clever subliminal tactics that seduce me to react this way.  As I used to work in the Food Manufacturing industry I am well aware that the majority of products come from exactly the same places and are processed in exactly the same way.  The only difference in most cases is the brand.  I know all this yet I am still seduced… Maybe I enjoy being seduced.  Just like when I have a rare trip off to the city and go into one of the big department stores.  The makeup counters call to me… I usually end up buying every single extra the beautifully made up assistant recommends to me, because I just love being made a fuss of.  They are very good at making you feel special, and it’s ‘because you’re worth it!’

It just doesn’t feel the same buying your make up from the Asda aisle, even though once again, no doubt the ingredients are not that different.

I have absolutely no excuse what-so-ever for doing my grocery shopping on line either.  It has just become the norm.  I never pay for delivery, as I always make sure we spend enough to warrant free delivery.   Once again this is a false economy, but it makes it easier to justify. Who wants to make a trip to the shops and pay for petrol?  No!  I can’t do that??  I just begrudge wasting an hour out of my day wandering aimlessly around a supermarket, most probably being seduced by products I don’t really need and spending more anyway…

Nah!  I’ve convinced myself it all makes sense!  Ladies logic and all that!

Now, I need to get back to working out what the hell my daughter can do for her ‘rivers’ project.  The deadline date seems to be looming … And unfortunately I have not been able to find a nice little ‘model kit’ to buy online, so we may even have to use our own creativity!  God help us!  There’s nothing for it, I will have to involve the Dadda in this one!

Oh for goodness sake, I surprise myself at times!  I’ve just said goodbye to the Washing Machine Engineer Man, happily signed his device and said ‘thank you very much’ as he says he’s fixed it!  Then I go and see, after he’s gone.  I turn the dials..Nothing happens.  I stare at it for a while and think ‘surely not’ I heard the thing going round once he’d fixed it!  If I’ve let him go and it’s still not working, hubby will not be happy!  I really should have checked it before he left!  But then…  I peer behind the machine, and notice something.  He only left the plug switched off at the mains!  I wonder if he did that just to test me!  Well, I didn’t do very well.  I despair at my dizziness at times!! Hey ho!  All’s well that ends well… although now I suppose I’ll have to get on with some blessed washing!!

Target: Prove Ladies Logic

Done.

School Choices (or not!)

Wowzer!!!  I made it…  I’m back to my blog!  Oh how I’ve missed you!  I know it’s only been a few days, but I’ve got serious withdrawals!  This week has just been Mummy Madness!  Not that every week doesn’t have a little bit of ‘MAD’ about it.. But I’ve not had any time to get in the ‘Zone’ to magic up some blogging time this week!

I don’t know about other Mummy bloggers, but for me, I have to have complete and utter focus on my blog, otherwise the ‘Magic’ just doesn’t happen!

I have tried writing when other members of my family are at home, but it just doesn’t work.  The constant interruptions just ruin the flow…  sounds a bit hippy I know, but it’s true!

This week has been a bit of an emotional one…  It was Secondary School Places Day on Wednesday.  We found out where my son has been accepted.. And of course it hasn’t run smooth.  We did not get our first choice of the lovely school just 10 minutes around the corner.. Oh no that would be just toooo easy!!  It was oversubscribed, therefore we have been offered a place at a school outside of the town perimeter, which means travelling every day.  It is not an ideal outcome.  However, I was feeling quite positive about it, I do abide by the mantra that ‘everything happens for a reason’ (once again, a bit hippy, but hey ho!).  My husband however did not feel the same.  To say he was upset was an understatement!  It does seem a bit daft that we can’t get into the school in walking distance, yet we can get into the school several kilometers away in the countryside.  The school really is, in the middle of nowhere, on the outskirts of a quaint village.  We haven’t actually been around it yet so I am reserving judgement, as I have heard good things… However all this said, we are appealing.  So we now have to go through the drawn out process of the Appeal and uncertainty for several months.  I know deep down that my son will be just fine wherever he goes, I just wish the whole selection process didn’t have to be so unpredictable!

The ironic thing is, I heard on the news that 90% of children got their first choice!  Well looks like we’re in the unlucky 10% then!  Typical.

And Yesterday..  Of course it was world book day!!!  My daughter went to school as a Dalmation, but I copped out a bit on my son.  He just put his football kit on, and said he was from the book he has called ‘Boy Wonder’ or some such thing… I know – rubbish… but now he’s in Year 6, we have had so many of these dressing up days, that quite frankly my son’s pretty bored of it!  It is, let’s be honest, just putting more pressure on parents to either make (which, not being of the ‘arty’ genre, I am hopeless at) or buy stuff.  I know it’s fun for the kids, and I’m happy to do it, just maybe not quite so often.

It’s like school projects.  My son had his ‘coastline in a shoebox’ project last month, my daughter has her ‘rivers’ (I know a bit general, don’t you think?) this month.  Then we get a parentmail yesterday there’s a chuffing Easter project for them both to do as well.  I mean really…  I’ve seen enough decorated bonnets and eggs to last me a lifetime!

Despite also attending an ‘English Workshop Day’ at the school yesterday, I did manage to kick off a free book promotion on my debut novel.  If you fancy a free read:

 

Okay, plug over!!  Today was yet another school event!  As a Church of England school there are 5 Lent services at the Church next door, held throughout March, finishing with an Easter Service.  It was the first one today.  It really is a feat keeping over 500 children sitting in the same position for longer than 30 minutes!  My hat goes off to the staff, as I remember the constant pressure of keeping the little darlings quiet, when I worked at a primary school.  It is no walk in the park, I can tell you.

So, we are nearing the weekend, and after the week I’ve had I’m ready for it.  Especially as we’re off to a Charity Ball on Saturday night so I get to put my glad rags on!!  Also going out for a birthday meal on Sunday as I hit the bit 45 on Monday.  I have decided not to let this number bother me.  You cannot always control how life pans out, so just need to live every day as if it was your last! (Yep, I don’t know what’s wrong with me today, must be my spiritual side coming out in time for middle age!)

Have a Fab Weekend Peeps!

Target:  Get my Blog Fix!

Done.