Friday, 15 June 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful 1, 2, 3 - Week 4

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

It's been a bit of a tough week this week for me emotionally.  I think my depression is rearing it's ugly head again and I am struggling to stay cheerful.  Although I can see the good things, I am struggling to really enjoy them at the moment.

My reasons to be cheerful this week are:
  • Having a job interview next week.  I have come to the decision that with Noah starting nursery in September and Aled going to school full time, it would be a good time for me to return to work.  Before I had the boys I was working in a school as an administrator and really enjoyed it, therefore the first place I looked for vacancies was the schools website.  I was lucky as they are advertising a position that I feel I can do and it's term time only, so I still get to spend the holidays with my boys.  The best of both worlds.  Fingers crossed I get the job!
  • I went to a BBQ last night with my weekend job colleagues.  It's an annual BBQ that they have done every year.  The food was yummy and they did a raffle.  Normally I don't win in raffles, but this time I won a huge slab of Cadbury's Dairy Milk! Yay.  To top it off, at the end of the night, most of my colleagues were off to a nightclub (I am waaaay to old for such shenanigans) and one of the girls asked me if I wanted the bottle of wine that she had won, as she wouldn't be able to drink it before getting to the club.  Thank you very much, with the last episode of Desperate Housewives that I have recorded, that is now my Friday night sorted. :-)

Um, I am now struggling to find something else!  I feel terrible, I feel that there should be more, but I really can't think of anything more!

Hopefully next week I will have a much more positive outlook on life.

Jackie. x

Thursday, 14 June 2012

A real head scratcher.

This morning before school I was playing with Noah's hair when I noticed that he had what look like nit eggs in his hair.  Yuck.  We had an incident a couple of weeks ago when Aled had come home with head lice, but we treated it and I thought that was that.

Anyway, I get the nit comb out and lo and behold there were a couple of lice in Noah's hair.  I tell hubby and continue to comb through Noah's hair.  I got what I could out, but as anyone who has school age children will know, the eggs are a bugger to get out.

With Noah done as much as possible, I move on to Aled.  Well, although Noah had quite a few eggs, but not many live ones, Aled was the complete opposite!  Almost every comb through brought out more.  I'm squeamish when it comes to creepy crawlies, so you can imagine how I was feeling with this.  Coupled with a child who wouldn't sit still for me to comb through, it wasn't a good combination!

In the end, I bribed him with being allowed to play with my tablet computer so that daddy could shave his hair.  I really did feel that this was our best option.  Aled has quite thick hair and an intolerance to letting me go through his hair like Noah did.  Thankfully, being allowed to play with the Xoom did it's job and Aled sat still for the whole time that hubby shaved his hair with the clippers.  I was actually quite impressed as he doesn't normally sit still when we get the scissors out.  I think shaving his hair is the way forward in future!

So, this morning, instead of my usual quiet Thursday morning with the boys at nursery and crèche, I have them both at home and we are all sat here with our heads soaked in Hedrin!  Thanks to the advise of some of my facebook friends, I now have a 'Nitty Gritty' comb on order and will definitely be putting Vosene kids shampoo on my next shopping list!

All I can think of is thank goodness I don't have a girl!  Having to comb through mine and the boys hair is bad enough!  Oh, the joys of being a mother to primary school age children eh?!

Jackie. x

P.S.  I'm sorry to all of you who are now sat there scratching your heads from the thought of it! lol. x

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Herman The German Friendship Cake

A couple of weeks ago a facebook friend posted in a baking group that I am part of if anyone would be interested in taking on a Herman cake.  I saw the words cake and was intrigued.  She went on to explain that Herman is a sour dough batter that you have to look after for ten days and feed him every so often.  According to her 70 year old aunt, Herman is the best cake she had ever eaten!

So, about a week later I get home from shopping to find a Royal Mail red card through my door to say that they have left a parcel with my neighbour.  I pop over, a little confused as I knew I hadn't ordered anything and was very excited when I opened up the package to find Herman there in a jar.  I immediately emptied him into a bowl, gave him a stir and covered him with a tea towel.  The instructions then took pride of place on the fridge door.

Every day I attended to Hermie as I had now affectionately called him and on days 4 and 9 I had to feed him with a cup of sugar, flour and milk.  On day 9 I was to separate him into four portions, give three away and number four is kept to bake the next day.  I managed to find two willing people to take on the Hermie babies and kept the third to start the process over again.

On day 10 I added the last lot of ingredients ready to bake.  I am not a fan of cooked apple, so instead I got a bag of 'luxury' mixed fruit and some glacier cherries.  Using my 13x9" tin, I baked him up.  When he came out of the oven, I left him to cool a little before turning him out onto a cooling rack.  This was where I realised I had  been a little foolish in not using baking parchment to line my tin!  Yep, you guessed it, the cake got stuck to the tin.  I managed to get the cake out in mostly one piece and when cool, I put it back in the tin to slice up (I was afraid if I tried to move it to a plate it would fall apart! lol).

I must say, I was impressed.  Hermie does indeed taste scrumptious and I would recommend it to anyone!  My second batch I baked in a round tin and this one also tastes good.  This time I swapped the glacier cherries for walnuts, which does make it a little bit drier, but it is still nice.  I had three volunteers for Hermie #2, so I now have to wait and hope that I get another batch passed onto me again.  I would love to play around a bit with the fruits and spices in the cake.

Jackie. x

Monday, 11 June 2012

My Week That Was - Week 3 (The Half-Term Edition)

Look, it's Monday and I am doing My Week That Was on time!! lol.  Last week was the double bank holiday and also half term.  It didn't go quite as planned and although I was determined not to, the Great British weather did mean that some of my plans were postponed.

On Monday we decided to go off to Legoland to renew our annual passes.  Thanks to my weekend job, I had 50% off vouchers for the Merlin Annual passes, so we decided to get those this year, rather than just renewing our Legoland pass.  We got there about midday(ish) and by the time we got the annual passes sorted and walked down into the resort, the weather wasn't too great.  We managed to get one ride in before the rain really started to come down.  I had heard about the special Lego Jubilee Queen model that was there, so I insisted that we went to the Miniland area to see it.  The crown of the Lego Queen is encrusted with 48 tiny diamonds, worth thousands of pounds and looks rather pretty.  As you can imagine, there is a security guard there at all times looking after the little Lego Queen.  While we were there admiring the Queen, Aled calls out that he can see the Queens boat.  We had watched the Jubilee River Pageant the day before and I was rather impressed that Aled recognised the Lego model of the Queens boat.  I do find it fascinating of how much detail goes in to these little models.  After visiting Miniland we got the Hill Train back up to the top and hubby, PJ and Noah went for a wonder around the Star Wars area.  Aled thought that the area was 'too scary' and didn't want to go in, so we wondered around the shop.

Lego Queen with real diamonds
The Lego Queens Boat

On Tuesday we had a little Jubilee party at my mums.  It was originally going to be a family BBQ, but we had to change our plans due to the weather.  We got there for about 10.30am and me and mum went off to Asda to get the food.  We tried not to go too mad, as there weren't many of us.  When we got back to mum's, my step father was already there.  Not long after, my sister Susan came, followed by my other sister Helen with her stepson Brandon.  We put out our party food and tucked in.  It was a nice afternoon spent with my family and something that we really should try to do more often.  During the afternoon, it came about that mum was babysitting Brandon on Wednesday.  We decided that it would be nice to take the kids off to Legoland for the day.  For the rest of the afternoon we watched a bit of the Queens parade on the tv and then highlights of Monday nights concert. 

Our party buffet
As stated above, we went off to Legoland on Wednesday. I must admit, I wasn't expecting it to be as busy as it was!  When we got there we had to park in the overflow car park, so had to walk a fair distance up to the resort.  While walking up the hill the heavens decided to open and there was one hell of a downpour!  We were soaked!  We waited at the top under the shelter by the turnstiles for mum, Susan and Brandon to come.  They weren't too far behind us.  After going into the park we headed off to the Discovery Zone.  I was aware of a Ride Challenge that Legoland was doing during the half term to get special edition badges, so we collected our entry sheets.  The aim was to go on the rides listed and get a stamp.  Once you collected all of the stamps, then you go back to the Discovery Zone to get your badges.  We used this as our guide of where to go in the park, along with some of the boys favourite rides.  It was Brandon's first time at Legoland and I think he had a blast. He loves aquariums and fish and so the Atlantis ride was a huge hit for him.  As part of the Ride Challenge, we took the boys on some of the bigger rides that we don't normally do.  Some of them, such as The Dragon's Apprentice and Knight's Quest Noah was able to go on, but others he had to miss out and Susan and PJ took Aled and Brandon on.  I wasn't sure how they would be with rides such as Viking River Splash and the Jolly Rocker, but they loved them!  We ended up not leaving the resort until past 6pm and it did take us a while to get out of the car park.  With all of this and then traffic back home, I ended up late for work that evening!  It wasn't particularly busy at work, but my being late did mean that I ended up finishing slightly later than usual as well.

A few of my pics from Legoland
Thursday and Friday we ended up having 'duvet' days.  I had initially planned on going to Chessington World of Adventures on Friday, however, we (I) were still pretty knackered from Wednesday.  On top of that, the weather was pretty atrocious as well and it just wouldn't have been much fun being out in it.  Instead, we gathered up our duvets and vegged out on the sofa for two days.

On Saturday and Sunday I was back at work.  Saturday was pretty good.  After I had finished my shift I decided to get my lunch in the staff canteen.  Normally I go straight home, but I was feeling rather hungry.  After buying my lunch, the managers were there giving out free Ben & Jerry's ice cream.  Thank you very much!  It was really yummy (even more so as it was free!).  Saturday evening I baked up my second Herman batch (I promise I will do a post about this soon!!).  Sunday I had an early night with my book, but ended up not sleeping very well, resulting in me lying awake for hours until past 3am with all sorts running around through my mind.  

Well, there we go.  I don't think this week will be quite as exciting as last week, although it is only Monday, so who's to say what's to come!

Don't forget to click on the badge at the top there to see how the other bloggers week went last week.

Jackie. x

Thursday, 7 June 2012

My Week That Was Week 2 & #R2BC Week 3

Hello there.  I'm a bit late again this week.  With the bank holidays and half term it's been a bit manic round here.

I am going to start with my Reason's to Be Cheerful this week.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

This week it's an easy one.  With the double bank holiday, Jubilee fun and half term, I am really enjoying this week.  Monday and Tuesday I have enjoyed the lazy mornings, yesterday we went to Legoland, today we are having a pj day and tomorrow we are off to Chessington World of Adventures.  The only thing that could make this week better would be nicer weather, but we are not going to let the weather spoil our fun! :-)

Also I am really proud of my eldest son.  We got a letter from the interim headteacher at his school last week, congratulating him on his dance skills.  PJ is in a dance troop at school, which he and his friends set up.  They have one of the teachers helping them to organise and take part in various school/multi school activities as a troop and it was nice for the headteacher to take the time to write to us, I thought that was a really nice touch.

And now onto

Monday was pay day for me, don't you just love pay day!  Naturally we had to have a take-away for tea!  The day was not all sweetness and light though!  After Aled came home from school I noticed him scratching his head.  On inspection he had head lice, yuk!  This was something I hadn't had to deal with for about 10 years as PJ always had very short hair so never caught them.  So a trip to the chemist and almost £13 lighter I get a bottle of head lice treatment.  They had to keep it in for 8 hours, so overnight was the best option for us.  That afternoon Noah decided to have a nap.  Sometimes he may fall asleep for an hour or so towards the end of the day, but on Monday he fell asleep right after lunch!  He stayed asleep until about 5pm, so a very long nap for him.  This then resulting in a very long night for me!  He refused to go to sleep until about 9pm, which as bedtime is normally 7pm, it felt very long!

Tuesday was just a day full of bad moods and tantrums.  I think the late night really got to Noah and nothing I did was right.

Wednesday is crèche day for Noah and I had a lovely morning.  I had lots planned, but I ended up relaxing on the sofa for nearly the whole 2 & 1/2 hours catching up with Desperate Housewives and my soaps!  After picking the boys up from crèche and school, Noah fell asleep before lunch time.  I hope this isn't going to be a regular thing for him!  Wednesday evening I had work.  It wasn't too busy, so was ok.

On Thursday after dropping the boys off to crèche and school, I went up to visit a friend of mine.  The main reason for the visit was to drop off one of my Herman the German Friendship cake babies (post to follow soon), but it was nice just to catch up.  We hadn't had a good natter for a long while, so it was really nice to have that chance.  I really must make it my aim to keep in touch with my friends more often.  That evening I went to a Quiz Night, organised by the social team of my weekend job and it took place at work.  I was a part of team of 4 girls.  When we found out the names of the rounds, we didn't think we would do very well with the 'Star Wars' round and the 'Sports' round, but we surprised ourselves with our knowledge.  Although we weren't the winners, I have been told that we did come in the top ten of all of the teams.  I had a blast, I do love a good quiz night and it was nice to get out and socialise with my colleagues.

At 2am on Friday morning we were awoken with Noah having a screaming fit.  I went in to get him, but he stood in his doorway shouting for daddy.  If I went near him he screamed even louder, so hubby had to go out to him.  We brought Noah into our bed, but he freaked if I so much as looked at him.  All we could think of is that he must have had some sort of nightmare.  It took us about 45 mins-1 hour to settle him, but even then it was in our bed, so me and hubby didn't get much sleep that night!  As you can imagine, I had a very grumpy Noah on my hands on Friday!  After dropping Aled off at school I needed to go and do a bit of shopping.  I ended up pushing a screaming Noah all round Tesco's.  No matter what it was, it wasn't right for him and the morning ended up very exhausting.  Funnily enough, Noah didn't nap on Friday, even though he was knackered the whole day!  Friday was also my day 10 of Herman, so I added the last of the ingredients and baked him up.  He was yummy!  That night Neil and PJ were home from scouts, so I ended up having an early night with my book.

On Saturday I was at work in my weekend job.  It was fairly busy, so the morning went quite quickly.  I finished about 1pm and when I got home I had a bit of an afternoon nap.  We watched the final of 'The Voice' in the evening and I had another early night with my book.  I am reading Heidi at the moment, as after doing a post not so long ago about my favourite childhood book I wanted to read it again.  I was pleased to find that the Kindle version of it is free, so I downloaded it.

Sunday I was at work again.  This time when I got home hubby went for an afternoon nap, so me and the boys watched the last hour or so of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant.  I have to say, I do love our Queen and ended up quite caught up with the whole Diamond Jubilee goings on.  The boys really enjoyed watching the boats going down the Thames as well.

Well, there we go, that is my week that was.  Until next week.

Jackie. x

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Yummy Mummy Meme

I have been tagged by the lovely Shay and Family for this meme started by BusyBeeMummyBex.

Please post the rules:

  • When answering the questions, give as much detail as possible, it's all about the finer details people!
  • Leave a comment here (BusyBeeMummyBex's blogspot).  Actually, she has now done a linky, so add your post onto there. :-)
  • Tag three or more people and link to them on your blog.
  • Tweet #yummymummy when sharing on Twitter.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
The first thing I do is check my phone.  Depending on the time, I either roll back over and try to get that last 10 mins before my alarm goes off, or I might check my emails on my phone.  I then get up, nip to the loo, have a cup of tea and eat my breakfast while checking my facebook and twitter.

Do you shower daily? Are you an early morning shower or evening bath type?
I used to be a long evening back type of girl.  That was until Noah came along and I started to work/scouting/have darts in the evenings and work on weekends, so now it's a quick shower in the mornings.

Do you wear make-up daily?
No, I only wear make-up if I'm going out, so not very often at all these days!

What's in your make-up bag?
See this blog post here for the contents of my make-up bag!

When you're having a slummy mummy day what do you normally wear?
Ok, I am going to let you into a little secret here.....I HATE wearing jeans/trousers for long periods of time.  I normally wear jeans and a top when I go out of the flat, but as soon as I get in I change into tracksuit bottoms!  If I am having a particuarly slummy mummy day, then I will wear my black pair of jogging bottoms with my Ugg style boots.  To be fair, where I live there are quite a few chavs, so when I do dress in my trackies, I don't look that different to the other mummies at the school! lol.

Nails - how often do you get them done?
*rotfl* About 4 years ago!

Your top tip for tired eyes?
Hmm, I haven't worked that one out yet.  I know I should be using eye creams, moisturiser etc, but to be honest, I cba!

Are you a Starbucks or Costa Coffee kind of girl?
See my answer for nails!

How many children do you have/want & why?
I have three children at the moment, PJ who's 13, Aled who's just turned 4 and Noah who's 2& 1/2.  When I got married I told hubby that I wanted four children and that was how I felt up until about 2 year ago.  At this moment in time I am saying no more, however, I am a never say never type of person and seeing little babies do make me all broody again!  Hubby is adamant on no more though.

Where is your favourite place to shop for babies/children's clothes?
Most of the time they boys clothes are bought in the supermarket as and when they need them.  I am fairly lucky in that as soon as Aled outgrows his clothes, Noah is big enough to go straight into them, so I don't have to shop for Noah so much.  If I need to get something really nice for them, then I like Next for boys clothes.

Flats or heels? Your everyday shoes are..?
Flats, all the time.  With the sun occasionally coming out, then I wear my Avon version of fit flops.  They are by far the most comfiest shoes I have.  On rainy days then it's my trainers and on cold non rainy days my Ugg style boots.

The 3 people I'm tagging to do this are:
Redefining Clutter
Qwerty Mummy

I'm looking forward to your answers ladies!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

How and when do you find the time to.....MEME

I was tagged by Mum’s The Word for this meme started by Sex, Drugs, Rocker and Stroller.  I’m quite excited; it’s the first time I’ve ever been tagged! J

  • Please post the rules.
  • When answering the questions, please give as much detail as possible!
  • Leave a comment on Sex, Drugs, Rocker and...Stroller, baby, so we can keep track of the meme and I can totally steal your routine tips to make my world a happier place. 
  • Also if you want (and I'd really like you to!) add a little paragraph at the bottom to give a general summing up about your weekly routine!
  • Tag 3 or more people and link to them on your blog.
  • Tweet tweet tweet #howdoyoufindthetimetomeme

Here are the questions...

How and when do you find the time to... your laundry?
I try and do this at least once a day, but it doesn’t always happen.  We keep our dirty laundry in the kitchen, so it’s easy for me to bung it in when I get time.  Sometimes it’s when Aled is at school; sometimes it’s when I’m cooking the tea!  One of PJ’s chores is normally to empty the washing machine into the tumble drier, so I ask him to do this when he gets home from school when I remember.
....write a blog post?
This is usually done while Aled is at school.  Some mornings I do get caught up in other things, in which case I may do it during the afternoon.  Quite often I have drafted something up in my head before writing it down.  For my Week That Was posts I take advantage of my desktop ‘sticky notes’ and jot down notes to remind me what I have been up to.

....look after yourself...i.e. wash your hair, paint your nails, take a bubble bath etc?
This depends on the day and what I have planned.  More often these days I end up just having a quick shower in the morning or before my evening job, so to have time for a bubble bath is a real treat!

....spend time with your other half?
This is something that seems to be getting less and less at the moment.  I work 1-2 evenings a week and during the day over the weekend.  Hubby is also a Scout Leader on a Friday and I will be starting back up with my darts team on a Tuesday.  That only really leaves us with Monday and the weekend evenings to spend any quality time together.  We try to do something like watch a movie together (with our 13 year old!) on these nights. fun stuff with your LO?
I am home with the two little ones during the day.  Aled goes to nursery in the mornings and Noah goes to crèche every Wednesday and Thursday mornings, so we generally have the afternoons together.  With the summer coming up I am hoping on more trips to the park with the two little ones.

....spend time with family?
I usually get to see my mum about once a week.  Mostly she will come to us as it’s easier than dragging all of the kids out, but we sometimes go to visit her.  My littlest sister lives and works with my mum, so we see her quite often as well.  I see my other sister less often, but usually every couple of months.  All of hubby’s family live back home in Wales, so we only get to see them every few months.

....socialise with friends?
Socialise, what’s that??  In just over a weeks’ time the dart season starts up and I have just joined a women’s darts team.  I am really looking forward to this as it is an opportunity to get out on a social level.  Other than that, I don’t go out very often.  Over the last year or so due to various circumstances, I do feel that I have become a bit estranged from my ‘real life’ friends and don’t see much of them anymore.

....prepare an evening meal juggling a baby/toddler bedtime routine?
The evening meal I try to wait until PJ gets home from school and has chance to do some homework.  I normally start cooking about 5pm.  On really organised I will prepare a meal in the morning and chuck it in the slow cooker.
The little ones bedtime is usually done by hubby.  That is their time together.  They go to bed at about 7pm.  On the nights that I work I leave at 6.30, so hubby does it all.  Other nights I usually get the kids pyjamas on and mostly hubby does the bedtime story.  When hubby does the story they get an interactive one on the iPad, but when I do it they get a ‘normal’ book.

....deep clean your house?
Sorry, what now??  I must admit, I hate cleaning with a passion.  The toys get tidied away every evening after the little ones have gone to bed and the vacuum goes on every few days (more if needed).  The dishwasher gets done daily and the kitchen sides are wiped down, but too be honest, that’s really about it unless it really needs it. the food shopping?
Up until recently this was always done online, however, over the last few weeks I have found it a bit of a routine of me and Noah going to Iceland on a Tuesday morning while Aled is at school and then get the shopping delivered in the afternoon.

....bulk ironing?
Ha, after reading the other answers do you really think that I bulk iron?!  Ironing is done as and when it’s needed.  I try to hang up stubborn clothes when they come out of the tumble drier so that they are not too bad to iron.

So, there we go.  I am going to tag…

Have fun ladies!

Jackie. x