Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Noah Thinks About Valentines Day...

After a pretty stressful day consisting of juggling being a Mum, doing school runs, play time with Els Bels, taking our kitten, Puddle to the vets, feeling swamped with insurance documents and stress... I can always rely on Noah to not only bring a smile to my face... but, to genuinely cheer me up and lift my spirits.

On our walk home from school, Noah was thinking long and hard about Valentines Day 2015...

Our conversation went like this...

Noah ' Mum, I need to write Lucy a card yet!!!'
Me 'Why Sweetie, is it her birthday?'
Noah (rolls his eyes and glares at me) 'No... it's for Valentines Day Mummy... I need to write in a card for her because she is my Girlfriend!'
Me ' Ohhh right... Do you mean girl friend?... as in, she is a girl and your friend?'
Noah (rolls his eyes... again and glares...again!) 'No, she is my girlfriend and I need to tell her!'

Everyone... My son is five years old!!!

Me 'Oh, okay... aren't you a little young to have a girlfriend... I'm pretty sure that girls have germs. don't they?'
Noah 'Not Lucy... Lucy is just lovely'
Me (giggles) 'Well, okay... What would you like to write in her card?'
Noah (thinks for a minute or two) 'I think I want to write...'

Dearest Lucy,

You are my girlfriend!

from
Noah
x

Me 'Hmmm, I like the beginning, it's polite! I think the trick with girls is to be nice to them. It's probably best not to TELL her that she is your girlfriend really. Why don't you try this...'

Dearest Lucy

You are my favourite girl friend!

From
Noah
x

Noah 'No... that makes it sound like I have more than one! Lucy probably won't like that really. How about this....'(p.s. #girlproblems)

Dearest Lucy

You have got the style and I like you.

From
Noah
x

Me 'That sounds smooth Son... How about saying that she is your best girl friend to play with at lunchtime?'

Noah (rolls his eyes...yet again and glares at me... yet again!) ' Mummy that is not cooler than what I said... and... I don't play with the girls at school, they scare me a bit! You don't need to help me Mummy, you're not cool really. I think I will write this though...'

Dear Lucy

I like you. You have got the style and I might play with you at school one day.

From 
Noah
x

Me 'Sounds good Bug... I like it'

A few minutes goes by and Noah looks up at me with his big, beautiful eyes, puts his hand out to stop us from walking and with the most serious look I have ever seen, says 'Mummy, is now the right time to ask Lucy to marry me?'.....

Who says boys can't be hopeless romantics... even if he is only five years old. He is sure going to break some hearts some day, that's for sure... and no doubt, mine will be amongst them.



Lots of Love
x Maria x


Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Things I Have To Tell You...


I am frightened to write this post really. I want to be free to write down exactly what I feel and then press publish... so, this isn't going to be perfect! I think, I have a kind and warm heart... so, please be kind to me like I would be to you...

I have wanted to write this post for a very long time... and now the time has come whereby, I can not actually write anything else. 

Here it goes...

Over the past year, I have noticed a trail of loss, grief, heartbreak and sadness. Be it from illnesses, diseases, freak accidents, being in the wrong place at the wrong time... either way, people have had to say goodbye to their loved ones... or more to the point, they haven't had a chance to. My heart has hurt for people and their situations and circumstances. This could be from social media, the news or worse, people close to me. People who I know, care about and wish the ultimate best for.

All the while that I empathise and sympathise with others... I can't help but feel vulnerable in my life and my world sometimes.

Over the past, six months maybe...little by little, I have been opening up to my nearest and dearest about some of the things in life that I find difficult or scary... things that make me anxious. I have been trying to find ways of tweaking my perspectives and my reasoning.

While I was celebrating my Sisters birthday meal last week and we were having a wonderful time, the later and darker it became, the more anxious I became. I have slowly but surely convinced myself that from the moment I start walking home alone, without my support system keeping me safe... I am in danger. I fear that I am not going to make it home. To my children. To Matt.

When I write it down and when I say it out loud. I know I sound ridiculous... crazy even. My Mum always told me that I have an over-active imagination and I am fully aware that she is perfectly right. My fear hinders me. The worry of walking anywhere in the dark in a town in which I grew up and has always kept me safe, consumes me.

I find myself consciously remembering the last words I said to my family... in case I don't get to say anything else to them again and hoping that I have done enough to make them good people.

I know that I sound horridly morbid. It's not that! In no way am I expecting or allowing anybody to hurt me nor am I wishing illness or accidents upon myself... It's just in those moments that I feel vulnerable, the 'if's and buts' of my existence, control me.

I never used to have these worries, before becoming a mother. I was almost fearless and lived with the attitude 'it just won't happen to me...' and I was confident that at all times, I was going to be fine. Anything bad didn't even enter my mind.

I am well aware that now I have children, I will never feel like that again.

All the while that my little babies are small, I worry that they are not old enough to remember me or remember just how deeply I love them, should something unexpected or terrible happen...or go wrong. I fear that they will forget the things that I have tried to teach them, about the way that they should treat people and how they should value themselves. I feel sick to the stomach when I think of them growing older without me and endeavouring to face things that only their Mum will have the answer to. It frightens me to my core.

I don't think that this is just me. I'm positive that I am not alone. I think all or most mothers have fleeting thoughts like this. A dread in the pitt of their stomach when 'the worst case scenario' rears its ugly, cruel and heartbreaking head. Some Mums address these thoughts by the way of photo albums or memory boxes. Somewhere in their thought process, they are creating 'something to remember them by'.

Don't mistake my fears and anxieties as anything but that. I am a healthy woman. I embrace life and I push myself to overcome my worries. We very much enjoy each and every day together and these little niggles will only pop up when I am out of my comfort zone and I think about things for too long. I know that I may sound super depressing, but it is not coming from a place of depression at all... Like at all! I truly am the happy, excitable, energetic and a bit dappy girly girl that you have grown to know. That is me. This is just something that I keep to myself because it isn't always relevant and I'm not sure I would class it in any way as a characteristic... or even a flaw. It is just the way I am and I feel this way out of love.

I am just voicing a heightened thought process that I am sure, as a Mother or even just as a Parent, others have had in some way or another.

Like I said, the one thing that I struggle with most is that if I ever had to leave my children in their early years... I would miss out on the things that I desperately want the chance to talk to them about. Like when Ellenah reaches her teenage years and she has boy trouble... she can't go to her Dad about that. He would have her sent to a convent. Or when Noah's worried that his voice hasn't broken and the only thing that seems to be growing is his arms. He will need me to remind him that he has the biggest heart and everything else will catch up eventually.

So, I guess what I want to do here... in my little space on the internet that is full of our memories, milestones, smiles and all of the things I love... is start a kind of series. It will be called 'The Things I have To Tell You About...'. I need to use my place in the world to make sure that I give myself the opportunity and chance to say all of the things that I want to say to the little loves of my whole entire life.


I will post these if and when they are ready. 

There will be no end date because I am sure that the more I grow and the more I learn about life, myself and the world... the more experiences and some shred of wisdom I will want to share.

My heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears will go in to them.

If I never write another thing in the whole entire world, I will be proud of these posts and I will be happy that I took my chance to care about saying those 'unsaid things' that could make such a difference to my people. 

It will encourage me to face my fears in a healthy way. This can only make me happier and even more positive. 

One day I know that this will make my children, Noah and Ellenah smile and they will know how much I cared. How much I cared about protecting them, raising them, loving them, nurturing them and preparing them.

This is their memory box for them to cherish.

Lots of Love

x Maria x



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

What Ellenah Did #7

I'm Baaaaaaack! The last time I spoke to you guys was back in, I don't know... The D'October. I told you about getting stuck in a storm and it was scary and horrible and I didn't like it. You can read about that madness HERE if you want to.

Anyway, today was cold. Like really freezing and my big brother had to go to school and he is a poo-head because he is a boy and I have to walk him to school with Mummy and my hands were freezing... So, I cried and pushed Noah because It's all his fault! Mummy said something about 'Kind hands'... I don't think my hands were kind because, well... I pushed him. I think my hands were feeling quite annoyed actually. Mummy and her opinions- Eurgh! She is annoying too! Actually, come to think of it... this is all her fault. I frowned at her!

Mummy wrapped me up really warm. She said I looked as snug as a bug in a rug! I think that she keeps talking about kind hands and stuff... what about kind words? I'm not a Bug! I'm an Ellenah.
A photo posted by Maria Noell (@marianoell217) on


Anyway, on the way back home, I felt like crying... the whole way... and so I did exactly that! My cheeks were cold and my hands were hurting...and my toes-ies. I cried out 'Mummy', 'Nanny' and 'Daddy'... I joined all of their names together and cried for 'Mandy' instead... Mummy laughed and I cried more...

When we got home. I cuddled Mummy really hard... Like really, really hard. I thought her head would burst and my arms would fall off... but they didn't! We snuggled under a blanket, ate our bananas and watched Doc McStuffins. This made me happier and we smiled at each other. Mummy wiped a tear off of my cheek and kissed my head. I wiped that off IMMEDIATELY and poked my finger up her nose. It's how I say 'I love you' sometimes.

While Mummy held me as we cuddled in front of the fire, we looked out of the window and snow was falling from the sky. Mummy rushed me to the window to watch as the pink (Mum interruption- 'White snowflakes Els, they are white!') snowflakes floated to the ground. It didn't last long but it was 'the pretties fing I ever-ed seen'. I said ' Mummy, we build d'snowman with my snow?'

Apparently there wasn't quite enough.

I just want to build a snowman!

I ran upstairs and grabbed my Olaf. I love my Olaf. I want a real Olaf made out of snow! My snow!...

Today was fun because we played kitchens and we made a tunnel out of chairs and I pretended to be a cat. Mummy said 'Good Kitten' and I said ' Meeeeow!'- We played that for a veeeeeeery long time.

At lunch time, Mummy made me beans on toast. I love beans on toast, a lot! We talked about fairies while Mummy listened to some mega boring music. I wanted to listen to the Frozen soundtrack... because I want to build a snowman... because it snowed my snow today... but not enough.
A photo posted by Maria Noell (@marianoell217) on

I think Mummy wants to be Tinkerbell. I said ' No, Ellenah's are Tinkerbells and Mummy's NOT!'

Today was happy.

I go to big girl's pre-school now but Tuesday's are just for me and my Mummy. I love Tuesdays... except when I don't like them.

I have to go to bed now. Daddy is going to read me 'Happy Dog Sad Dog' ... It's by favourite book. 


Goodnight Everyone
Knuckles and High Fives
x Ellenah x

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Tapas, Talking and Time Well Spent...

Hello All, I hope everybody has had a wonderful week and you are using this Sunday to relax and refresh yourselves for the week ahead. My week was crazy busy. I spent my time either working, juggling Ellenah's first full week at pre-school, doing Mummy things and/ or housework. Jeeesh, my life is nothing but glamour huh?

Hehe, jokes aside, I did actually allow myself a little 'Me Time' among the chaos that is my existence this week.

It was my sisters birthday so on Thursday Evening, my other sister and I made a date to take her for dinner and drinks... uh huh, on a school night.. Yep, that kind of makes me a rebel, right?




Coming from a small market town, it is easy to become creatures of habit. We could easily have taken her to our usual restaurant that we have visited a fair few times and had the lovely evening that we always do. However, this time we decided on something a little different and we three, were so so sooooo glad.

Sorry for all of you who aren't local to the sleepy Kentish town of Faversham but those of you who are, you literally have to go to Jittermugs in Preston Street. Many will know it as an incredibly quaint coffee shop by day but on Thursday we witnessed it after hours, when they serve the most delicious Tapas, like ever! They don't open every Evening- perfection is the child of time after all. 


From first stepping foot in to Jittermugs on Thursday night, I was astounded by how much it had changed since I went in there as a child. It has transformed from a soulless fruit and vegetable shop in to a trendy but intimate setting whereby not only do you get extraordinary cuisine but personal, friendly customer service too.

As soon as we sat down, we felt like we were visiting an old friend for dinner. The owner, Nick lit the fire for us, chatted and made our night feel incredibly relaxed. Perfection for busy Mama's like my sisters and me and greatly appreciated.


Considering we have grown up in Faversham, when we were sitting amongst the trendy artwork and trinkets with the winter rain splashing against the window... we seemed to forget where we were... and no, that wasn't down to too much Prosecco (because I'm sure that's not a thing, haha!)







The wine list was more than adequate...




And the menu was extensive. We were so spoilt for choice and I tried a lot of new things which was exciting for me. The presentation was on point and each and every mouthful was exquisite. I couldn't get photographs quick enough of everything before each dish was dived in to. I literally have nothing bad to say, just praise.







These photographs were really difficult to upload because they made me feel very hungry. I think that is when you know that you have had good food, when you look at a photograph and it sends your senses a little crazy, you can physically taste the food. Anyway, that happened!



Us Sisters had a truly fantastic time at Jittermugs and in our opinion, they come highly recommended. My Sister had a brilliant birthday evening out and that is thanks to some fine dining and the freedom to chat, laugh and be happy. Our night was well spent and we are looking forward to making up an excuse to go back A.S.A.P.

Lots of Love
x Maria x

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Saturday, 10 January 2015

How To Love January...



Am I the only person in the world who loves January?

It literally makes me so sad seeing what feels like everybody, walking around with their heads down and suffering from the January/winter blues.

January sees us all say goodbye to the festive season of Christmas and hello to the reality that it is winter, accepting that we are probably going to get colds and flu and easing back in to our normal routines. People feel sluggish because they have overindulged at Christmas and they are generally feeling a little glum because they are feeling poor and limited in the ways that they can spend their time.


I do not see January that way at all.

I love January because...

You know how bare your house looks after you have packed away your christmas decorations and fairy lights... Like that, January is a blank canvas and you now have the luxury to decide how you are going to decorate your year ahead.

It is the perfect time to hibernate. As much as I find sleep dull, I am well aware how much everybody else seems to love it and our bodies really do need it. Use this time to really recharge your batteries without the lists and all of the busy that the Christmas season brings, clouding up your mind. Allow yourself to be weightless and your mind to be free.

It is the perfect time to smile. Smiling is infectious. Ever heard of the saying 'Misery loves company'? No wonder everybody is walking around, feeling so down and gloomy. If more people made an effort to smile, then more people would smile at each other and January would be a much happier and more positive time for us all. Plus, even though everybody has overspent at Christmas and is feeling limited... a smile is completely FREE!

It is the best time to start a diary. January may seem long and a bit slow going but there is no time like the present to start slotting in events, holidays and celebrations for the year ahead. A nice idea would be to write a sentence under each day, about something that made you smile, happy, excited or content that day. The little things are the big things after all.

It is a great opportunity to turn your new years resolutions in to a lifestyle change. In January, we all see the most unexpected people take up running, joining gyms, practise healthy eating and all of that jazz. Some people have changed their whole life this way... others, not so much! January is your chance to appreciate that you are in control of the one and only body that you will have for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE and it is up to you to protect it and love it. Your health can restrict you or it can allow you to flourish. Positive steps lead to positive leaps and positive leaps are unstoppable.

As always, this is just what I think and feel. Everybody is entitled to see things in different ways and everybody has the right to live their own lives exactly how they want to. All I can hope for is that I have made somebody smile and/or given someone somewhere a little positivity.

I hope that you are all having the best January so far and you all have wonderful things planned for the year ahead.


Huge hugs and love
x Maria x

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Friday, 9 January 2015

Ellenah's First Day At Pre-School...


Today I endured the emotional task of taking Ellenah for her first session at pre-school. It was a killer! I didn't think that I would feel as sad as I did. I thought to myself, 'I've done it before, I can do it again!'... Right?.... WRONG! Boy was I wrong? I think that I actually felt worse. 

For weeks we have been trying to prepare Ellenah for her new routine at pre-school. We have explained that (Due to it being at the same setting as Noah attends school...) she is a big girl and will be officially going to Noah's school from January the 9th. We have focussed our attentions in to making sure she understands that her little world is changing and her days will be very different from now on. I didn't remember to check in with how I felt about my world changing too. 

She is going to be attending pre-school most days and for some of her sessions I will be... what's that word?????.... ALONE! I don't know if I can do alone now. I will walk differently and maybe develop a nervous limp because I feel like a part of me is missing. Over Christmas I said to myself, 'I'll just work out in that couple of hours, catch up on housework, bake, learn a foreign language, learn how to play the guitar, work on my Blog... It will be no big deal and the time will fly by!' and today when I returned home to wait for a whole excruciatingly long hour... I sat and stared at my phone, awaiting a phone call to say that Els misses me terribly, can't be without me and won't stop crying... No call came!

I sat and stared at my phone, watching the numbers on the clock change and waiting for the moment that I could leave home to collect her. Never before have I been so conscious of the time and being late (disclosure: I have never ever been late in the three years that I have been doing pre-school and school runs).

Also, in this hour... I cried... A lot!

I was also the first one in line to collect her and I was literally bursting with excitement to see her and hear all about what she thought of her first day.

She loved it.

She was escorted to the door, looking all kinds of cute in her puffy, yellow coat with a subtle smile but looking very happy with herself. Her keyworker was carrying her book bag for her, which held two of the biggest books ever that Els had chosen from the pre-school library. Ellenah talked about her books all of the way home. She also talked about her new 'best friends' and playing with the baby dolls at her school. I think it is safe to say that she had a smashing time.


I also think that it is safe to say that she did not actually miss me or need me at all.

As much as I struggled, worried and cried... Knowing that my baby girl had a wonderful time and went off so easily, well, it took the edge off.

Due to the fact that I am over-emotional and a sensitive soul, it will take me a while to figure out where to put myself while Ellenah is in somebody else's care. I will miss her and feel lost without her and I will grieve our precious time together. However, she needs pre-school. She needs to socialise, learn to share, develop an independence that will stand her in good stead for starting school and learn in an environment away from me. Knowing that and having complete trust in the Pre-school that we chose for her, it really helps a lot.

Love
x Maria x


P.S. Did I mention just how much I am going to miss this little face at all?






Tuesday, 6 January 2015

I Saw You...

Dear Noah,

Christmas must feel like a distant memory to you now. You were whipped away from the festivities yesterday and marched back to school. Like yesterday, today followed suit. Luckily, you were happy to get back to school, you missed your friends over the Christmas break and luckily for me, you missed the structure of learning that school provides you with. I know you missed it all because on Sunday (the night before school!) you told me that you were looking forward to school the next day and asked to go to bed at 2pm.

I guess I just wanted to say, that even though you were looking forward to getting back to your well established routine, It can't be easy to leave the wonderment of Christmas behind and I think that you are actually wonderful. Even today, when we practically flew across town after school, by foot... you still went in to gym squad with energy. You amaze me. 

What else amazes me is that sometimes you get stuck, like before when it took you months to learn how to do a bridge. Each week you would dread that part of the warm up. Each week you would remember  before your class that there was something that you couldn't do. It frustrated you but you kept on trying. Do you remember what we said to you? We said 'Noah, not everybody can do everything in the whole wide world! Everybody is good at different things and that is perfectly okay... BUT... If you want to do something bad enough, keep on trying and practising and eventually you will be able to do it. You can do ANYTHING that you put your mind to!... BUT, more important than ANYTHING, have fun!'... and eventually, you could do it.

Today, you struggled with hand placement for a cartwheel. Your hands went one way and your body flipped the other. Your coach guided you and helped you. From the sidelines, I could see that familiar stab of disappointment on your face. I could see you wonder to yourself why you couldn't do it. I wanted to run over to you and tell you that it doesn't matter... five year olds don't need to worry about that stuff and we are going for ice-cream! But, now I feel slightly bad for giving up on the whole process so quickly, because you most certainly didn't. The countless times that you got it wrong didn't matter to you after all. You simply brushed it off with a smile and tried again. I watched you try again and again, having more and more fun while each time your body was rebelling against you...until, that one time at the end, that you did it right.

You looked so incredibly happy and so proud of yourself. For once you didn't search for me in the crowd, your face flung towards your coach for approval but I don't think that she got to see. I saw! I saw the smile on your face and the look in your eyes. I saw your fists clench as you fist pumped the air and I felt so very proud for you. Not proud that you did it, I knew eventually you would. Proud that you didn't give up and proud that you believe in yourself. Proud that you believe in yourself like I believe in you.

This may seem irrelevant to you now or in years to come. It will never feel irrelevant to me. I was there and I saw you. I saw you achieve something that you doubted that you could. I won't forget it, ever!

AND, I believe that this day is important. This story is going to crop up in years to come when something may not be going your way. I can foresee the day when I have to sit you down with a cup of tea and a piece of toast and remind you of the time that you couldn't do a cartwheel. Today matters! Not only could it change the way that you see obstacles in your future but it says something about your character and the person that you are growing in to. A person that I am very proud to call my son!

Being a parent is scary. You constantly hope that your techniques and ways are raising the self-esteem of your children and that you aren't having a negative effect on them, their personalities and in turn their future. Today gave me a glimpse that through the many hard parts of being a parent, I think I am doing something right. I am on the right track and you Sweetpea, are definitely on the right path. 

I love you Noah and like every day, today you were pretty awesome.
All Of My Love
x Mummy x