Sunday, 28 August 2011

Lucy's Birthday part two -Great Yarmouth

24th August was Lucy's actual birthday, I bought her some games for her wii and let her have them a day early as we had a coach trip to Great Yarmouth planned on her actual birthday.

7.40 am we walked to local post office to get coach along with nan and grandad.
The coach was crammed, we were the last to get on and although there were six seats, none of them were together. After a moan that we couldn't let the girls sit on their own next to strangers we ended up with Graham and the girls squashed into two seats, me, Joe and nan on another two seats and grandad next to a stranger.
Joe slept for two hours which was a relief. Then we had a break and a further hour of travelling. The girls were really well behaved.
We arrived at Great Yarmouth at 12pm and headed for the beach. The sun was shining and it was warm. Once on the beach we got out the bucket and spades and picnic. We had a paddle in the sea but poor Leila ended up falling face first into the water. I bought towels and clothes though so no real panic. A couple of hours later and it looked like it was going to rain so we packed up and headed towards shelter. It did rain, for about 5 mins and not very heavy.
Next we went to the pier and the girls had fun on the fair at the end. The sun was back and it was turning out to be a lovely day.
Then we went for  a walk around the shops buying rock and treats (Lucy and Leila had Sonic and Amy from a collectors shop) we stopped for a little rest and drink and then on again to find some milk for Joseph.
Then it was back to the beach and the girls went on some bouncy castles while we sat on deck chairs.
We then found a little cafe so we could have a nice hot meal, it was now around 6.30pm and we were all getting a little tired. I think that after filling up we were quite ready to go home but there was still a few hours left. mmmmm not returning until 10pm had sounded like a good idea at first.
After tea I took the girls and Joseph for a clean up and change. Then we went to another little fair and the girls had some more rides.
It got dark and the girls were tired. Joseph was sleeping in his pushchair so we sat on a bench by the sea and the girls had a nap. Finally it was time for the firework display and this woke up the girls. Then it was time to get back on the coach. Joseph and the girls slept all the way home.
We got back at 3.15am !!! to a torrential downpour, oh joy!
It was a lovely day and the kids were all so well behaved, but I dont' think I'd go on a trip with such a late return again.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Lucy's Birthday

There are both pro's and cons to having a birthday in the summer, you don't have to go to school, the weather is more likely to be nice (good for days out and outside parties) but you don't get many turn up for your party because you are not at school and lots of friends are on holiday. Lucy doesn't get many turn up to her parties as she doesn't see her school friends during the holidays, maybe it will change as she gets older.

So although her birthday is not until Wednesday (24th) she had her party on Saturday. She chose a Tangled (Rapunzel) theme. Quite handy as I'd already bought her a Rapunzel dress :-)
The cake we decided was to be the tower, and ended up being my nightmare. I never, ever want to make an upright cake again, cake is not meant to go up!

Anyway, she had a fun day, I'll let the photo's do the talking (although I did forget to take pics of the party games)
Tangled Cake which ended up being 10 cm shorter than originally planned

party food

enjoying some food

Tangled lanterns activity

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


There was a time that I would talk about sleep, or rather the lack of it, all the time on this blog. So I'll forgive you if you thought that maybe things were good now. In fact I don't think it's ever been so bad. Joseph is easily the worst sleeper I've had. He can wake up at least twice every night and is very reluctant to go back to sleep. He doesn't like his cot, he doesn't like co-sleeping, he does like the settee, but only for an hour or so. The longest period he has slept is 4 hours, mostly it's up to an hour during the day (once, sometimes twice) and two to three hours throughout the night.
Sleep deprivation is hard to deal with. I find myself finding it difficult to get through the day, I forget things all the time and sometimes simple tasks are so difficult to perform. I get days which I call fuzzy because I can't focus on anything.
Then during the day I have a moany baby to deal with which is no fun at all. The last few days/nights have been the worst ever.
And now Joseph is a year old, he had his birthday yesterday.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Let it Rain!

The past few days have been so hot. I know it's a sin to complain about hot weather in the British summer time, but I honestly don't care for hot weather anyway, mild weather yes, no rain  ok, windy  fine, but hot hot hot and thanks!
Yesterday we had some new lino for the kitchen. We do actually have some really nice red tiles on the floor, but I couldn't live with them. I tried once, I polished them to a gleam and they looked lovely, but they were so cold and hard, and difficult to keep clean. Give me a nice piece of lino anyday. I don't do laminate either, tried it, hated it. Always looks nice in other people's houses, but I just can't live with it.
While Graham was laying the lino, the girl's were around nanny's house and I was set to take Joseph to playgroup. Then I found myself (And Joe) on the bus going to the cemetery. I've not been for months now and was feeling incredibly guilty. So I took the opportunity to visit. I had a real good rabbit to my mum, you could tell I had some catching up to do. I'm sure she loved all the gossip from the big family party we went to last week.

Today we decided to take the kids to the park, it's about 15 minutes walk away. Going was ok, but it was hot and tough. The girls were excited on seeing the park and Leila got stuck in straight away. Lucy wasn't so happy though, the slide was too high, I pushed her too high on the swings and spun her too fast on the roundabout. Then she had an headache and her legs ached. I really don't understand a (almost) six year old little girl not liking the park. So we sat down in the shade to cool off for a while then set off home.

 By the time we got back we were all exhausted and hot and sweaty. Not fun at all. I think we'll stay indoors from now on!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Recipes for a perfect marriage

I've just read a book called Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Kate Kerrigan. Not really my sort of book at all, all slushy and romantic. In fact I don't even know where it came from, probably a book bundle I bought sometime. Anyway,  I was looking for something to read and this one caught my eye because it has actual recipes in it. I'm totally addicted to cook books, so I gave it a whirl. The blurb on the back promises an insight as to whether true love can be learnt. Something that strikes a chord with me, as I often feel incapable of true love, whatever that means.

The story itself is quite nice, set in two different lifetimes it follows the story of a grandmother and that of her grandaughter alternately. Both of them in seemingly loveless marriages, both of them foodies. I didn't care much for the grandaughter but the grandmothers story revealed some beautiful insights into life, dreams, love and motherhood. There are a couple of quotes I'd like to share. The first is from when the grandmother's mother-in-law dies and she is looking at her orphaned husband in his grief.

"A mother draws a map for her child and places herself in the centre of it. Her death wipes that map clean. She leaves you knowing you must redraw it to survive and yet not knowing where to start."
Anyone who has lost a mother they were close too can relate to that. I have never in my life felt so lost and alone in the world as when my mother died, for a while I wondered if it was possible for me to survive, what was the point. Then I began redrawing my map, often thinking what would my mother say, always with a sense of loss, but also with a sense of freedom never felt before. A mother's bond can be very strong.

The second quote comes from the grandmother's reflections on being a mother. She only has one child and longs for more but it never happens.

"No matter what wisdom or tricks for happiness you learn, a mother worries every day of her life for her child. A wise one will pretend to let them go to keep them, but it's just a sweet and sensible lie. Motherhood is a sweet sweet suffering; a joy today is marked by a fear for tomorrow and a craving for yesterday."

How quick does motherhood fly by, how quick do our children grow? It's scary, we want to hold them as babies, but we want them to grow and mature as well. We worry constantly even when they no longer require us to worry for them. Letting go is the hardest. I'm lucky as I've a whole brood around me, but does that mean I have five times the worry, does that mean I have to learn to let go five times over? What happens when Joseph leaves the nest?

Even though this was not the type of book I wouldn't normally read, I will admit to have actually enjoyed it. And, yes, I've tried some of the recipes too. In fact, yesterday I cooked the Slow Roasted Clove Ham, it took me hours. I liked it but the big kids said they preferred it cooked quickly, tough and salty! What do they know eh?