Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A Lovely Week So Far...

I know it is only Wednesday but I am having such a lovely start to what I thought was going to be a rather stressful week, so I just wanted to share a few of the things that have contributed to some freakishly large smiles on my pea head.

Parents Evening
On Monday, Matt and I had an appointment with Noah's teacher to discuss how our little ray of sunshine was getting on at this point in year one. As always, we came away so very happy and full of smiles. Our little man is still so well behaved, polite and charismatic. He has a lovely group of friends and considered a very independent little boy in his class. Not that it is the thing that matters most to me but he is storming the curriculum and is excelling in all areas. It's no secret that I have always encouraged reading and a love of books and it is nice to know, that hasn't gone unnoticed and Noah is a true bookworm just like his Mummy. We were also told that in true 'boy' fashion, Noah is very fond of work with a right or wrong answer. Apparently, he flies through those. We enjoyed looking over his workbooks and found it so very interesting how far he has come on since September- it really is quite crazy. Noah's school career already feels like it is going so quickly. Anyway, as always we were incredibly positive when we came away from the meeting... and SUPER proud of our little dude.

My Dress Came.
Yay! If any of you watched this Vlog 'Panic, Play & A Lazy Sunday'... you will know that I had a bit of a nightmare on Sunday with my ASOS order. On Saturday, my Niece is getting married and in true form, I waited right until the last minute to sort out my own outfit. There was a bit of mayhem and further to that day, on the Monday, my dress disappeared from Online almost in front of my eyes. So, I searched again, in slight distress and found a beautiful dress which was actually better than any others that I had chosen. Well, it came, it fits perfectly and armed with my clutch and some killer heels (seriously, they will kill me... they are so high!)... I am going to be one happy wedding guest. I love my outfit now and don't need to think about it again until Saturday.

Sleepy Angel
Ellenah came in to work with me yesterday morning and was obviously so tired because she curled up in a little ball, snuggled in to my arms and drifted of in to The Land of Nod... for an hour. This just doesn't happen any more and it felt so nice. I kept looking down at her beautiful but squished face and thought to myself and out loud a few times 'Argh, I just really love her'....

Let's Swim
After I finished my morning shift at work, Ellenah and I went off to the swimming pool for a couple of hours and we had such a wonderful time. The baby pool was empty so we took full advantage of the space. While Els bobbed around, I swam around and got a little exercise for myself. We played mermaids, sharks and sea monsters and Els went down the slide for the first time. She thoroughly enjoyed slicing through the water as she splashed down at the bottom. It was nice to have some good, quality time with my little time, away from chores and to-do lists. We have now made a date with each other to do it more often.

Gym Squad
As you may know, Noah is now in the gymnastics squad in Faversham and over the next couple of months he will be taking part in his first competitions for his club. Noah has been doing gymnastics since he was two and a half, so it is lovely to watch him grow with the sport and to see him progress. He did so well this week in training and I am looking forward to watching him in his competitions...even though it means he has to give up a little bit of his Easter holidays for extra training... #teamnoah

Friend Time
As you read this, one of my best friends hasn't long arrived for a visit. We are going to see Usher at The O2 in London tomorrow and we honestly can not wait. My friend Laura lives a couple of hours away and so it is always so exciting when we get to see each other. We met at a training course in Brighton around eight years ago I think and instantly clicked over talk of exploring the nightlife while we were there. Alone in our mission, we had THE BEST time and have been firm friends ever since. Obviously, over time our lives have changed. She is a firm career girl and has worked her way up within the same company over time and I am self employed with a family. Nowadays, it is not so often that we have time, just us two, to simply be girls and let our hair down away from our responsibilities. We hardly ever get the time to get lost in a conversation without me having to dash off and attend to the children, her going back from her break or me again, having to whip up a dinner in mega quick time. I am really looking forward to her visit and our day out in London on Thursday. SUPER.MEGA.EXCITED....Eeeeeek.

Anyways, I hope you are having an amazing week too. Have you been up to anything good? Do you have anything lovely planned for the weekend. Let me know!!!

Squeezes & Smiles
x Maria x

Did You Catch My Last Post? 'Panic, Play & A Lazy Sunday'

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Panic, Play & A Lazy Sunday

It isn't that often that the we embrace the true meaning of a lazy Sunday in our house. I don't think that we have ever stayed in our pyjamas all day and festered under a duvet, only coming out for snacks and drinks. Not only do I feel like I need a good wash but I like to get dressed and pull myself together in some form. It makes me feel better about the day and about myself. 

Don't get me wrong, usually i'm in no rush but Sunday was an exception. If i'm honest, I didn't fancy looking... well... dead, when my ASOS delivery arrived. Especially when I was so excited that it was bringing such precious cargo- the outfit for my Niece's wedding this coming Saturday. Eeeeek.

Matt had to go to work, so it was just the kids and me. Usually as soon as Sunday hits, I am itching to walk around the woods, take a country walk and get up to some kind of adventure. This Sunday gone, we weren't really feeling it. It has been quite a manic few weeks and I think tiredness has caught up with us. I wanted to give the children a little chance to rest because as I have mentioned, this week is pretty crazy and I don't want them feeling too exhausted come the Wedding Day, it's a big deal... so we took a day off of all of our busy and played all day. Lego, dolls houses, sylvanian families, doctors... my house looked like and still looks like mayhem... but in the best way right? I love watching their imaginations come alive, nothing makes me smile more.

To sum up our lazy Sunday, it would have to be along the lines of 'American pancakes, eating, family time, ASOS delivery gone horribly wrong, major panic, play time, sylvanian families bride, hair bows, lego, spoilt Mummy, best husband EVER, plans fell short, I suck, cooking, more eating, bedtime hugs, bedtime stories, goodnight and sweeeeeeet dreams'...

If you are a YouTube lover, check out my vlog... that would be smashing! If you like it, let me know by giving the video a thumbs up and hit subscribe to see more from me and my little bunch...

Huge Hugs & Love
x Maria x

Did You Catch My Last Post 'I Need My Mummy'

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

I Need My Mummy...

Nothing quite beats that feeling when your child feels sad about something, poorly, over-emotional, worried and you hear the words 'I want my Mummy' fall out of their mouth, so easily, so naturally, it's like breathing to them!

They know and you do too, nobody else is an option! It's you that they need and it's you that they want.

They know that you can help them, they know that you can make everything okay. You've being doing it since before they were born. Everything that they could ever have wanted, your ultimate focus was on their needs and sod everything else.

Some days, I beg that they just let Matt read them a bedtime story, brush their teeth and turn off their lights while I collapse into a heap and stay there until morning. Some days I tell myself, let Matt persevere through the crying and calling out for me, he can handle it... before I fling myself up and bolt up the stairs, fall into there arms and get bedtime done. 

Some days, I wish that they would run to Daddy for comfort when they feel sad or have hurt themselves and then I realise that since their times began, if ever they have cried out for any reason, I have flung myself around them in an instant, like a forcefield, needing them to know that I am there for them, to protect them and nothing can break that force of love.

When I look at it like that, why would I ever expect anything else from them? I think about how I have been their person, their teacher, their friend, their cook, their cleaner, their all around care-giver... no role would sum up the reason that they only want me when life feels unfair and me to put them to bed than the fact that I have been their home.

I am their home. Still and always.

Life gets in the way sometimes and it is so easy to take the small cries for you for granted and the understanding of what that really and truly means. It means that they know that you love them, they can rely on you to release them from any fears or worry, they trust in you and your decisions. 

They are allowing you to know their thoughts and feelings, they are letting you in and letting you be a part of it all. No part of that is in any way small.

Squeezes & Love
x Maria x

Did You Catch My Last Post 'All By Myself''

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Saturday, 21 March 2015

All By Myself....

Do you remember in this post 'Ellenah's First Day At Pre-School', I explained how much of a train wreck I was when it came to waving my little girl off to start pre-school for the first time. Well, I have to say... I don't actually feel that way anymore.

It's hard to feel sad about something that makes one of the people that you love the most, so happy.

Just a few days ago, as Els sprinted towards the pre-school door,  so eager to start her session, play and explore... I looked up rather forlornly into the eye of a key worker and said ' It would be nice if she just missed me sometimes!!!'...#awkward 

I do really miss her still. As it happens, I don't really know what to do with my arms when she isn't with me and I do walk a little funny. BUT, not only am I getting used to having 3 hours each week completely to myself, I have come to rely on that time.

That is the time when I do my tedious jobs and chores. I use the time to get things done so that those boring tasks don't weigh in on the time I have with my two Angel-Pies. When I pick them up from school now, I can be completely present. No longer does my mind wander off to prioritise my to-do list while Noah is firing questions at me and no longer does the hoovering impact on story-time. I really feel like I am in the building now, in the zone and switched on.

It has taken a while to get to this place of acceptance. Handing your child over to the education system at the age of three years old screams out 'unnatural' and 'alien'. It goes against everything you are as a Mum and everything that you have told yourself that motherhood will be.

The first few weeks saw me glaring at the time, wishing the seconds away so that I could pick her up and our day could resume as normal- like it wasn't really happening.

Then I started doing a little yoga to busy my mind of wondering what the heck she was up to. I would light candles, play soothing music and try and clear my mind of worry for her. Well, as much as you can when you are away from your little people. It felt calming and the next part of my day felt a little easier!

One time I went for a run. I popped in my headphones and listened to a bit of Maverick Sabre. I ran quite far. I enjoyed being alone with my thoughts and having no direction. My feet did the thinking and I felt energised.

Another time I spent a fair while singing in to my hairbrush. Really bloody loudly (sorry neighbours!)

And a different time, I turned my phone on the loudest setting, set my alarm, curled up on the sofa and had a nap like a little old lady with a kitten asleep in her lap. I needed the rest. So, I chose a slice of time to be kind to myself and my needs.

Other occasions haven't been so interesting, like I say, the housework is a large section of that time now because I am aware that it is something that works better within our family life and routine. 

Of course it feels bizarre that someone else gets to see my child do things that I can't and if she bumps her head there or scrapes her knee, somebody else is looking after her. These thoughts leave one heck of a lump in my throat.

But, Ellenah has really grown in just the couple of months that she has been in pre-school. She has really come out of her shell and is showing more of her beautiful personality which she used to hide away. Her speech has improved, her ability to play and share with others has changed greatly for the better, she enjoys telling me about her friends and what she did and is always happy to go in and always smiling when she leaves. 

It does feel like she is too young to lose her to the system but she has developed such a positive attitude towards a school environment and learning. I hope that she will always feel this way and the transition to real-life school next September is going to be smooth because of this time.

I guess, what I'm trying to say is that I have found peace with embracing my few hours alone. At first I felt so guilty and like I should be busy doing, well, Mum things... but now... it really is alright.

Love and Hugs
x Maria x

Have you seen my last post? 'Girls Night Out'

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Girls Night Out...

I'm writing this post this morning with a rather fragmented voice (if you can call it a voice at all) and a rather loud ringing in my ears. Last night, I went out and came home at around 2am- What? This is almost unheard of nowadays. Now I am a Mum to my two Cherubs, I have grown to really appreciate my home comforts and #outout just doesn't feel the same anymore... However, I am willing to make exceptions for a fabulous night out with two of my sisters, especially when it means heading in to London and watching The Script on tour at the O2 Arena. That is what we did last night.

We whizzed in to London, straight from finishing work -where like true rebels, we closed the shop half an hour early to go out. We marched around looking for somewhere to eat together. We felt thrown by the queue at our usual place- Nandos. I know, not the most classiest of places but you know, we're simple gals looking for yummy pre-gig food and, well, we just really like it there. Alas. the queue left us in all of a frenzy like ants when an obstacle crosses their path- Where do we eat now? time is diminishing!

We found ourselves in a much shorter queue at the restaurant 'Cabanas' which brands itself as a Brasilian barbecue. It was all a bit strange. We waited for about 35mins for a table as we watched other groups be plucked from random parts of the queue which was frustrating because we spent most of those minutes near the front. When we were seated, we were told that we had to sit outside but by this point we were starting to panic about time and ran with it. I have to say, it's not that great sitting down to a meal over candlelight (albeit fake) in your thick ole' winter coat- a bit odd really. The food was blah and so was the service. We came out feeling about the food a bit like this 'flubbery chicken, non chilli-con-carne with just the con, unidentifiable foods, dry 'ole orange, slug slime sauce with really nice sweet potato fries and a decent skewered pepper'- Not the best! However, because we don't get out much and because we get over excited when we are together, we found the experience really funny and it didn't dampen our spirits at all.

We quickly paid and headed in to the packed out arena where we sat down, in the wrong seats. That was really funny and we quickly shifted back a row, giggling as we did.

We were thoroughly entertained for the whole evening. We were treated to a snippet of new talent by the name of Colton Avery, he has such a beautiful voice and i'll look forward to see more from him. We had Tinie Tempah who had us partying in our seats and he is probably the main cause of my sore throat and then The Script. The Script are the most genuine, humble and appreciate band I could ever hope to watch. They are so energetic, talented and their songs have such beautiful lyrics and meanings. I was gutted when the night was over but they ended their tour on a massive high and I was so glad to be a part of it.

Even though it did take us an hour to even attempt to leave the car park, The Script and their support acts were TOTALLY worth it... AND, it is Mothers Day today so I can enjoy being spoiled and pandered to with my dodgy voice and weird sense of hearing. Such a great weekend so far :-) xxx

Lots of Love
x Maria x

Are we Friends Yet?

Saturday, 14 March 2015

My Thoughts On Mothers Day...

When I was a child, I had a very different view on Mothers day than what I do now. I fear that I may sound slightly awful but as a kid, Mothers Day always seemed a bit unfair to me. I remember saying to my big brother, 'What about kid day?'... 'Why do our Mum and Dad get another day that isn't their birthday to celebrate them?'... 'I don't get it at all!'. It always felt like a day that I was held indoors against my will and prevented me from going out to play or when I got a little bit older, a day of making endless cups of tea. It all felt a little bit weird.

Time passed and I grew up.

I think I get it now.

Since becoming a Mother, I have come to realise that every day is in fact 'Kid Day' and I was being a brat to ever question why our Mums get an extra day of being spoiled. Because... they bloody deserve it.

From the moment your pregnancy test declares that you are in fact pregnant and responsible for the wellbeing of a little person, you give over everything that you possibly are and everything that you possibly have to make sure that they will be happy, healthy, loved and cherished- each and every day! 

I love everything about being a Mum...even the questionable bits! Like when you walk around Tesco with dried beans in the back of your hair because a food fight has happened when you've turned your head... or when you reach the terrible twos and your little joy turns blue with rage and you beg that she just takes a breath because you're scared she of what might happen if she doesn't... or the endless washing pile... or the potty training mishaps... or what feels like constant whinging... or the fussy eating days... or basically the days that happen and you go to bed wondering if you did ANYTHING right that day. At the time it kicks your arse, it's exhausting, it's heartbreaking, it's frustrating.. BUT... you get up, you show up and try again because the good parts massively eliminate the niggly bits that will turn in to stories, that you laugh about one day.

Being a Mum has made be realise how thankful I am for mine. We may clash sometimes and disagree on lots BUT she gives the best hugs when I feel sad, she has never made me feel that there is nothing that I couldn't achieve and she has always encouraged me to chase my dreams and be the best that I can be. She has alway loved me through any of my faults and I know that she always will. 

The reason that I give parenting my all is because I love my children and I want them to have the best life that I can give them. I want them to flourish in the world. 

I don't do it for the thanks... that is something that I don't need or want this Mothers Day. Being a Mum is not an errand or a chore. I'm thankful to and for my children every day- I'm pretty sure that I got the better deal.

I don't need or want gifts.

I just want to spend a day with the little people that make me feel so lucky in my life. The little Cherubs that make me smile, proud and complete. I want to play games with them, have fun and soak up these times that go by too fast.

I wouldn't knock a lay in ... or a cup of peppermint and nettle tea in bed... or a nice uninterrupted bubble bath where I can read a few chapters of my book and actually wash all of the shampoo out of my hair... I wouldn't knock the chance to go to the toilet alone either.

I'm not counting on it though!

All in all, I am just going to be happy being around my little Darlings this Mothering Sunday. I'm quite tempted to change the name of it to 'Kid Day' until they get bigger and have children of their own, when they understand it all a bit more- then maybe i'll let them make me lots of cups of tea and cook me Sunday lunch like I will be for my Mum. Shhh don't tell Matt though, he can spoil me all he likes hehe.

Before I go, I wanted to say a mass 'Happy Mothers Day' to all of you Mums out there, in case I don't get the chance tomorrow. I want to say it to - the Mums who stay at home, the Mums who work, the Mums doing it alone, the Mums sharing the role with another Mum, the Mums being Mum and Dad, the Dads who have stepped in to the Mums role, the Mums no longer with us and the Mums who can't spend it with their children for whatever reason. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY, YOU ARE AMAZING!

Big Squeezes and Love
x Maria x

Last Post 'Life Lately #3'

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Friday, 13 March 2015

Life Lately #3

It's no secret how much I adore Instagram. It is such a happy, pretty little place to look around. As aware I am that life is not quite perfect, always shabby chic, spotless and flawless, I enjoy sharing my family, things I love and snippets of life over there. 

Here are a few of the things that have been going down just lately over there.....

1. Oh my goodness!!! This little Yankee Candle from the Simply Home range in Morning Blossom is absolutely amazing. I am definitely getting this in the large version as soon as I can. It smells like my childhood- roaming around the fields and climbing trees. I love it so much.

2. Argh... Twinings Intensively Double Mint Tea. As much as it doesn't quite beat the peppermint and nettle tea, it is really nice and such a refreshing start to the day.

3. Coffee. I'm not even going to pretend that I feel guilty for using this as an aid to survive two poorly children on no sleep haha! Being a parent is all about figuring out your means of making it to the next day with happy children... nobody is perfect! P.S. How cute is that baby picture of Noah and Matt in the background- time flew by?!

4. Costa Hot Chocolate. It was such a beautiful day outside that day and my niece and I were working- which sucked! So, the Beaut did a Costa run. A naughty but happy me!

5. Glitter Hands. What non-crafty Mum doesn't like creating glitter handprints with their children. It is so simple and makes such a beautiful picture to keep and look back on when their hands are not at all small anymore?

6. Sibling Squeezes. Poor Noah gets squeezed until he is about to pop from his little sister. They love each other so much. Ellenah has him in the palm of her hand.

7. Dress-Up Fun. My two love to whip out their fancy dress costumes to get their imaginations going. Noah plays the hero extremely well and Ellenah laps up the attention from being a damsel in distress. 

8. Noah Reading. Noah can practically pick up any book now and read it to me. That feeling takes some beating. I am so proud of how far he has come in hardly any time with his learning.

9. Bath Time. Nobody is ever going to good enough for my girl I don't think haha. When my Sweetpea has had a hard day at pre-school it's only right to grab a Lush bath bomb and a scented candle and let her relax.

10. Saturday Nights. Oh how my Saturday nights have changed!!! Long gone are the headaches and sore feet- serious train track construction went down this night.

11. Princess Ellenah. Isn't she beautiful?

12. Sunday Mornings. Every Sunday, it is all about pancakes and in this photograph, Noah's beautiful smile and eyes too.

13. Park Life. One morning, straight from the school run, Els and I hit the park. It was such a nice day and it felt like Spring was really upon us. Yay!

14. Spring Has Sprung. Yay

15. Princess Puddle. As I came downstairs the other morning, I heard Ellenah's little voice say 'Look Mummy, Puddle is a princess too'... bit of luck Puddle loves any attention from her Ellenah sized friend huh?

16. Dad Life. I can't quite tell you how much waking up to this picture means to me. Ellenah can be such a Daddy's girl and Matt is completely under the thumb. Awwwwwww.

It was really hard picking these pics, I honestly didn't realise how many I post #instaaddict, haha!!! If you fancy popping over to find me and see the rest, you can find me at marianoell217... I hope to see you over there.

Until next time...
Lots of squeezes
x Maria x

Last Post 'Precious Moments With My Darling'

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