18 Days of Summer #19 – Overtime

18 Days of Summer #19 – Overtime

Overtime - 1

So as you will know if you’ve been reading we had our beautiful girls for 18 Days but due to our whereabouts (down South) and their Mum travelling to where we were a day and a half after we would’ve had ‘hand over’ we thought it made sense to keep the girls down with us a little bit longer.  So, we changed our plans, sorted it out with the girls Mum who of course was missing them but could see it made sense for the girls not to do the long journey twice more than was needed.  This meant we got to have an extra full day with the girls.  Hence this last post to tag along with our 18 Days of Summer.

As we had failed to make it to the museum the day before (it was closed) we planned to venture out that way again later in the day.  Shayla and I had been out in the morning for our stepMummy and Daughter time which you will have seen on last weeks ‘Just the 2 of us‘ post. We hadn’t gone anywhere though before we had spent time choosing which hairstyles they wanted from the cute girls hairstyles app again:

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Isis went for this 'double dutch braided tie back' inspired by Heidi Klum
Isis went for this ‘double dutch braided tie back’ inspired by Heidi Klum

Shayla chose the ‘running braid’ which was fantastic for the following day too.  Both of them looked great when they’d been messing in the water for a while as well.

This will be great for sports at school, or swimming
This will be brilliant for sports at school, or swimming

On our way to the museum we found an exquisite little fabric shop that had the most gorgeous fabric swatches.  We bought some to create bunting for their school sports bags that we’re making, you’ll see more about that in a future post, some cute buttons, gift tags for the thank you biscuits that we made later in the day.

The children loved it in the museum, it made me laugh though.  Why do children always go straight to do something they could’ve done at home?

museum 1
look at the concentration

museum 2

 There were ready made templates of flowers and cats etc. on the tables for the children to draw around and scissors provided to cut them out with.  This was a nifty little idea, and one I intend to use.  I have some card that I will make some templates out of for our craft time, probably more like Peppa Pig and Minions from Despicable Me, but it will rescue me having to stop what I’m doing to draw them all the time *winks*.
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Judah thought this skeleton was a Pirate – he may be right
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the girls weren’t impressed with these hats, they refused to point to one they would wear
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‘want these out Mummy’ – drawn straight to the “toys”

Eden was much happier once we were outside and back in the sunshine, we headed to the beach, not before picking up supplies to make biscuits first.

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We headed to the splash pad again, as they had enjoyed it so much on James’ birthday.  It was lovely to see them all running around and having fun.  It makes my heart smile.

splash pad 1
Judah was a lot braver this time
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our lovely ladylike children pretending they could urinate like men
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gorgeous Isis
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beautiful Shayla

As we all walked back down the prom I felt sad knowing that tomorrow they would leave.  I also feel so proud seeing all my family together, I feel so blessed to have my hands so full.  I just wished we could all swan around Worthing forever in the sunshine and never return to real life, but alas, that cannot be so.  I’m sure many of us wish this at some point, not always about Worthing *chuckles* but when it’s been one of ‘those’ holidays that you just don’t want to come back from.

Isis DSLR
mini me

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When we got home I made them sausage and tomato pasta, ‘my favourite’ Shayla said with delight, as we had been talking earlier about her favourite food.  She seemed shocked that I remembered and we were having it *bless.*  It’s the little things that matter to 4 year olds.

Shayla enjoying her food
Shayla enjoying her food

I didn’t want them to go to bed so we made our thank you biscuits which you can read all about here.  It was the perfect day, I loved hanging out with all of them.  It was really special even though we didn’t really do much at all.  I want to remember days like this forever, and it makes me grateful to be able to blog about it.

What was your favourite day this Summer?  Is there a specific holiday that stands out when you look back that you wish had never ended?

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18 Days of Summer #18

18 Days of Summer #18

macdonalds

So today should’ve been our final day as our big blended family for the summer holidays, but we managed to extend for a day and a half.  The girls now go back on what would be Day 20 in the morning.  I have so enjoyed having this time, and I would have the girls all the time but of course they would miss their mum too much.  They haven’t mentioned her since Day 10, but I think that’s because they know in their head that this is coming to an end and they will see her soon.  I am starting to really worry now about how it will affect Judah when they go back.  We let him drift off to sleep in their bed before moving him across for the last 2 nights, the first night Shayla and him were holding hands and tonight he was hugging her when James went to bring him back to our room.  I am now thinking this was a big mistake, it will just make it harder for him when they leave *sniffs*.

so sweet
so sweet

Today the battery for the DSLR was left on charge so the pictures we snapped were taken on James’ iphone, so apologies for the quality, but these are our memories.  We had a relaxed morning, Isis caught up on reading this blog, I like that it increases her vocabulary, she will ask me what words mean and then I catch her using them in sentences throughout the day *winks*, educational as well as editorial content.  Of course the girls chose their cute girls hairstyle again:

cute girls hairstyles, cobra braid
Shayla chose the ‘cobra braid side pony’

and Isis went for the beach look with her already wavy locks…

bubbled fishtail, cute girls hairstyles
Isis chose the bubbled fishtail

I wanted to buy some sea salt spray (I fancy the Lee Stafford one) to encourage their natural waves to have more definition and stay throughout the day, but we didn’t really make it to a chemist that would stock it today.  I will stock up before we get the girls again.  Shayla’s hair just needs a little bit of water and it’s curly, but Isis’ hair is very straight, the only way I’ve EVER been able to get AND KEEP it curly was when I had her sleep in rags, which was the best way anyway as there’s no heat involved.  I’m sure the sea salt spray will help it have that beach wave look.

We sat and watched some television whilst the babies napped and got ourselves ready for when they awoke.  Eden woke first so we made sure that she ate some lunch at that time, then when Judah woke, we all got out of the house as quickly as we could so as to not waste the day.  We had planned to go to McDonald’s for them to have happy meals and then go to the museum.  We went to McDonald’s but when we arrived at the museum, it was closed *sighs*.  Open 10-5 Tuesday to Saturday.  Of course we had ventured there on a Monday.  So, I tell the girls, we’ll come back tomorrow and we ventured just a little bit further to the soft play centre around the corner.

Children LOVE soft-play centres, us as parents usually do not.  I like it when I can go and join in ie. with Judah, I have a great excuse, but with a baby too that doesn’t really happen anymore.  They all had a great time, James and I discussed how extortionate it was.  Eden practiced her standing, she cruised around a little as well, I was very shocked at how strong her little legs are becoming.  However, I don’t think I would encourage this anywhere else as she did bash her little face as she crumpled a few times, not that she even flinched as it was all padded, but at home she would have certainly injured herself.  Good tip to remember that babies can practice cruising at soft-play centres.

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he was far too excited with his balloon dog to stand still, this was the best we could capture as he kept jumping
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he turned his balloon dog into a Gandelf staff which seemed to encourage bravery
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Eden enjoyed talking to herself in the mirror
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‘hiya’

The girls were off doing far too thrilling things to stop and be photographed, plus they were usually surrounded by other children as they all shot through the older side like they were on ‘the eliminator’ assault course from Gladiators.

After the soft-play centre we perused some shops and then went for ice-cream before heading back to our holiday home (James’ parents).  It was nearly 7pm now so we all just had a quick pizza dinner and hung out watching TV in bed together before they went off to sleep.  I love the ordinary moments such as these, where we don’t do anything particularly special but I know that they will remember feeling secure and loved as we all just piled around the one bed watching TV together.

Tomorrow we will attempt the museum again and we’ve all been nominated for the ice-bucket challenge.  I was hoping to avoid carrying this out but the children are very excited and so we must comply.  We will do this in the evening and then have nice warm baths afterwards.
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18 Days of Summer #17 – Happy Birthday Daddy

18 Days of Summer #17 – Happy Birthday Daddy

Today I awoke, a woman on a mission.  It’s James’ birthday and that means that I am pretty much on my own with responsibilities for a day, not because I have to be, but because I want to be.  After I had given Eden her morning feed, I showered, got ready and went down to make James some breakfast in bed.  Don’t ask me why but at some point during childhood James decided his favourite breakfast was Kiwi.  His Mum would always give him kiwi in bed on his birthday, I’ve seen photos.  I made James’ mum a scrapbook a few Mothers Days ago with all her picture memories in it and this started the tradition of me serving him kiwi in bed on his birthday.  This is third year running James has had kiwi for breakfast from me.  So once James had his kiwi and his brew I went down to face the music.

I was a bit out of it yesterday and hadn’t realised when I went to bed what a mess downstairs had been left.  James’ parents have a lodger, granted she’s hardly ever around but there’s always the potential that we are not the only ones in the house and we can’t afford to leave the kitchen a mess etc. overnight.  It’s something they would NEVER do, so out of respect for their home whilst their away, I set about cleaning.  It took me a long time to wash up and then clean and tidy the dining room, the babies leave quite a mess in their wake.  It was a good move to clean up as the lovely lodger turned up whilst I was making everyone blueberry pancakes to drop off some vegetables from her allotment, apparently she does this for James’ parents a lot.  What a lovely lodger, hardly ever in, pays for this privilege and then brings fresh vegetables, can’t complain.

Once everyone was fed, I took them all off for a shower, the girls mostly sort themselves but I just check their hair has been rinsed thoroughly, today I did their hair for them as they were managing to soak their Nanny’s bathroom completely (not used to their shower I guess).  I also chose their hairstyles today, mean aren’t I?  I decided that as we intended to go out to play on the splash pad, and maybe in the sea that their hair needed to be a swimming appropriate do.  Well, I know it doesn’t have to, but it’s nice when they don’t look like scarecrows after they’ve been playing (also I love their hair off their faces, shows them off and they look so much like their Daddy).  I went for the laced fishtail …
and
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It’s crazy how similar they look in profile and from behind now.  It’s just like watching Isis at this age all over again.  Once all the poppets were ready we were going to head to Waitrose to grab some filling for some sandwiches, but James preferred the idea of KFC.  To be fair, by the time we’d raided Waitrose we’d have spent the same anyway and it’s birthday so we went for his option.
Judah managed to fall asleep sat on his buggyboard, so funny.  Where there’s a will there’s a way.  At least I know that it is suitable for when he is tired.  He snuggled right into the cosy toes like a pillow.
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On a little side note, KFC was a good one to feed us all, even Eden could have the chicken breast from inside the breaded skin.  James would break her off decent pieces once he’d munched the coating.  Obviously, not the ideal, but it did mean that she was able to join in with us before munching her banana and ella’s kitchen fruit pouch.
After KFC, we headed to the ‘Splash Pad at the Gap’ in Worthing.  It didn’t seem to be on though, the children looked disappointed.  Instead, we moseyed across to the stony beach, they were happy with this.  Promptly stripped down to their swimming costumes and marching off to dip their toes in the sea with Daddy.  I sat with the baby and tried to take photographs whilst attempting to learn what to do with my DSLR – novice.
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This pic makes me laugh, looks like they’re imitating a Baywatch pose.  They’re just shielding their eyes from the sun I presume.  Funny girls.158
After the children were fed up of the water they came to chill for a while.  Was really nice to just sit in the sunshine and hang out with our beautiful children.  A Lancaster Bomber flew overhead, children always love seeing planes don’t they?  That kept them excited for a while.
We made a video for James’ birthday.  We’ll do a new one each year to compare, just as we will for the children, Daddy was just setting an example :
 I am aware that my husband is very random, it’s like having another child most of the time.  Isis and Judah strongly take after his randomness.  I will have my hands full in a few years for sure as Judah comes into his own.  There’ll be 3 of them.  Let’s hope Eden is more like myself, then she, Shayla and I can hide in a room and play with make-up whilst they tear apart the house.
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As we were about to head back for ice-cream we noticed that the Splash Pad was now on.  So off we went.  The children were very excited as this was what we were supposed to be doing today anyway.

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Fresh Prince of Worthing
 The Splash Pad is great, such an easy way to entertain them for a very long time, but it can quickly get cold for them when the sun goes behind a cloud.  To be honest, they didn’t really feel the cold as it stayed sunny, but I was starting to get concerned for their fair skin in the water and sunlight.  So after a good half hour, we headed back for ice-cream on our way home.

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bugaboo cameleon
Eden enjoyed the teether on her Lamaze toy whilst we all had ice-creams
tiny ice-cream
I was resisting an ice-cream so James broke off the end of his cone and made me a teeny one, he wanted me to join in

When it was time to walk home, we should’ve known better than to let Judah try and walk the 300 yards.  He was upset over his ice-cream dripping and decided to reenact his scene the other day, just lying in the street (at least this time it wasn’t raining).  However, this time Daddy was here and could just bring him to the bugaboo, where he rode the rest of the way home.

this from the social worker
this from the social worker-he wasn’t crying by the way just didn’t want to walk

I was exhausted when we got home, but James had told me earlier that he wanted spaghetti meatballs for dinner, so I set about preparing dinner.  We all sat together to dine and after dinner enjoyed a lovely Waitrose strawberry chocolate cake that James’ mum had bought and left for this purpose – a lot of which is still cling filmed for desserts tomorrow.

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as usual Eden enjoyed her food

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We had planned to all watch a movie together but the babies were tired and wanted to go to bed, so it became an early night (which was infact 7:30pm, later than their usual bedtime, but earlier than they’ve been having these holidays).

James had a great day and I’m really pleased that he did, this is the first time we’ve been on our own as a little family for his birthday, instead a big family gathering.  It wasn’t what I would’ve originally planned, I would’ve loved for him to be around family, but we had a lovely intimate happy day.  Aside, from the constant cleaning I was doing when I wasn’t behind a camera, I thoroughly enjoyed my day too.

Love you babe, looking forward to another year with you, enjoy the last of your twenties.

xxx

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18 Days of Summer #16

18 Days of Summer #16

seafront

So, the above horrendously blurry photography is down to the fact that I have somehow broken my DSLR. I don’t understand what I’ve done to it. When I press the capture button, it doesn’t take a photo. I have spent most of the evening trying to figure out exactly what I’ve done. The odd photos that I managed to capture today were as I was pressing random buttons to get it to work. It seems to take pictures when I press the lock button??? Totally baffled. Perhaps Katie at MummyDaddyMe will be able to help? I may end up going to a shop for advice on Monday. It’s James’ birthday tomorrow so I’m very unhappy that I won’t have the camera. Guess the mobile will do. So, anyway back to today….

Today was another very slow starter, James’ parents were packing to travel up to Shropshire for their holiday.  We didn’t want to disappear off without saying goodbye properly.  I thought it was early they were leaving, but it was closer to lunch time that they left.  Was lovely to see them off but as we weren’t sure at what point they would go, we hadn’t gone off to get ready etc until after they’d gone, and then that was lunch time, so James sorted that out whilst I tried to catch up with blogging (procrastinator).  I am really struggling with having to blog everyday, but I am so close to the end of our series and I have enjoyed looking back over the last 15 posts just earlier as I was updating my pinterest.  I know the children will appreciate being able to relive the memories as they can access the blog posts at any time.  This information just makes me feel guilty for not making today more exciting for them though.

In the afternoon Judah had a nap, as did Eden, Isis played Rayman on Uncle John’s PS4 and Shayla sat watching a movie by my side whilst I was blogging perusing twitter.  When I had finally finished the post that took forever we went out to go get craft supplies to make James’ birthday cards from the children for tomorrow.

Once we had supplies we were heading to the beach.  Now we have not had any accidents from Judah for days now.  Typical that the one time I didn’t have spare clothes with me, it was only a short walk from the house, he decided to throw a tantrum, lie in the middle of the street.  When he finally calmed down and got back onto his buggy board I could see he’d had an accident *oops*.

look at that teary face, let's say the wet patch is from the crying shall we?
look at that teary face, let’s say the wet patch is from the crying shall we?

As we didn’t have any clothes with us, we just ended up heading back to the house *sighs*.  Felt like it had been a rubbish journey for the girls, but to be fair they had picked up some gorgeous flip flops from ‘Accessorize’ in the sale ready for next summer if we don’t get the sun again this year.

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apologies for the horrendous camera work, can’t figure out what I’ve done
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beautiful flip-flops will fit Shayla next summer

The girls and Judah made cards for James for his birthday tomorrow whilst he stuck some chicken nuggets and french fries in the oven.  Really pushed the culinary boat out tonight.  Sometimes I just want something quick, in the oven and bam! everyone’s eating.  We then all piled into our bed to watch ‘Princess Diaries’ on the TV.  Then about 8:30 everyone was in bed.  A pretty uneventful day really, but tomorrow we will be busy celebrating a certain someone’s 29th birthday.  Hoping I can figure out what to do with the camera for tomorrow so that I don’t miss any magical memories.  I love my iPhone but since I smashed my iPhone 5, I’m not down with the lesser pixels on my iPhone 4S.  Need to fix the DSLR.
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Well James is sound asleep now and ‘Happy Gilmore’ is on TV.  I guess I should just go to sleep, it’s a big day tomorrow *smiles*, I’m looking forward to the celebrations!!

18 Days of Summer #15

18 Days of Summer #15

dontcallmestepmummy

Today was a slow starter as we all took our time getting ready.  I seem to be lagging after all these busy days in the mornings at the moment.  I’m not sleeping very well which isn’t helpful when I’m trying to keep four children entertained.  It’s been really helpful having the inlaws around as they help keep the children entertained and allow us to rest a little.  Don’t know what we’ll do when they’re away next week.

As usual the girls chose their hairstyles from the cutegirlshairstyles app.

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knotted headband

Shayla went for the knotted headband that Isis wore last week

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ladder braided pony

Isis chose the ladder braided ponytail. This was easy to do but I don’t think it’s my favourite. She liked it though so I guess that’s what matters.  The difficult thing with four children and 2 that are still so young is that sometimes we have to work around naptimes.  We have never had a strict routine with naps.  Judah got himself into a routine at one point, but then it would change with different things that we needed to do etc. sometimes he gets woken up because I have to.  I don’t have the time to just sit in the car for a couple of hours if he’s fallen asleep on the short drive to the supermarket.  However, saying that, when we can allow them to rest when they want/need to, we do.  Eden went for a nap, so we started to prepare to go out for a picnic when she awoke.

The children were hard at work helping prepare the picnic with their Nanny.

cheese grating
Shayla official cheese grater
Isis sandwich making
Isis sliced and buttered the bread rolls, and then chopped up cucumber
Judah
Judah had to pull the tomatoes off stalks and put them into a container

Once Eden was awake we packed everything up and headed out to ‘Brooklands’ for a picnic.  We hit the playground first as we weren’t sure how long we would have the sun for, then it was time to eat, then we managed to go on the train ride before it was time for us to go and visit family.  Here are some pics :

shayla with hello kitty
Judah was petrified of this fake ‘hello kitty.’ Shayla was amazed that she met the ‘real’ Hello Kitty
buggyboard bugaboo
Judah enjoys his buggyboard

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We’d only put 2 hours on the carpark and the weather seemed to be turning so we then headed to see James’ auntie.  The last time we saw her was the day of her son’s funeral so it was strange to be back there.  We had the children though, that was nice, Shayla has never even met them before as she was born up North where I met James, the last time they saw Isis she was in a buggy, so that must’ve been before she was 3.  Was nice to be with family.  We are looking forward to when they come to visit us at the end of September which will tie in with Shayla’s 5th birthday party, so that will be a joyous time.

Shayla and Nanny
Shayla-Rae with Nanny
Eden maxi=cosi
Eden whilst we were outside waiting for them to arrive
Eden in headband
Eden in Isis’ headband
cheeky Eden
Cheeky Eden
pregnant Natasha
beautiful Natasha (James’ cousin) only has 6 weeks left
James & Caitlin
the teenagers were bored, gorgeous James & Caitlin
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Auntie Janette with Eden

We headed back once it was time to get back for dinner.  James’ parents nipped to Waitrose on the way home and we all had pizza for dinner.  I’m trying to eat better but as I don’t seem to be losing weight anyway (4 weeks of being good) and it was a one off, I caved and joined them.  It is difficult to eat right when you’re not cooking for yourself isn’t it?  Well, that’s what I find.  Not to seem ungrateful, I have felt really blessed having so much help with the day to day things us Mum’s have to do, but I am looking forward to getting back to meal planning *coughs*, sad I know.

The rest of the evening was spent with James’ mum and his brother having to do the ‘ice bucket challenge’, James loved being the one to sort out the ice-water, he’s quite sadistic like that sometimes.  Here are their videos:

After dinner they all watched a DVD of a childhood holiday with James’ late cousin in it. It was a special bonding time for the family, I was upstairs blogging whilst Judah and Eden slept in the room. I was sad not to be there for James, but knew I needed to catch up with blogging and didn’t want to be doing it after he came to bed. The Matrix was on television when James came to bed, I was so excited to watch it with him but just ended up falling asleep.

Does anyone else love ‘The Matrix’ as much as I do? Was gutted to miss it, think I will have to watch it when we get home *chuckles*. Tomorrow, James’ parents head on holiday and I plan to make cards with the girls for James’ birthday Sunday. First birthday where I haven’t bought James dozens of presents due to finances. He’ll be 30 next year so guess I can spoil him then…
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18 Days of Summer #14

18 Days of Summer #14

dontcallmestepmummy

Today was a strange one, I woke up late after barely sleeping the night before and then needed to just get ready and get on the road to go and see my best friend in London.  My friend is great at cleaning up Bugaboo’s and is debating starting a little business out of it as she’s starting to get some demand.  With great success in ebay in the past we sorted it so that she will sell our Bugaboo Donkey and we picked up a Bugaboo Cameleon 2 from her.  So, we now have the Cameleon and a buggy board with a seat for our monkey prince.  Excited to see what he thinks of it.  Also, so pleased to have a really girlie pram for our little baby princess.  Everything is soft pink and she looks adorable in it.

I headed up to London and arrived for lunch time.  I just took my littlest one with me, so she could try out her new chariot.  Was really nice to have some one on one time with her even if it was mostly in the car.  She is just so sweet and never any fuss.  It’s very easy to forget she’s around in the hustle and bustle with the other children, but was nice to be just the two of us for a little while.

Charlotte has been my best friend since we were about 11 years old.  We went to high school, college together, have holidayed and lived together for a short time before she moved down to London.  I miss hanging out with her a lot, but don’t often get the time to realise it.  Whenever we are together it is just like we have never been apart.  We’re still the same people but with little families now.  I have always felt sad that I wasn’t around for her more whilst she was starting her little family.  My ex-husband wasn’t the best for putting me in a place to support others though, so I guess I shouldn’t feel too guilty (past is past and all that), I like to make the effort now though.  I try and visit when I can, send birthdays and Christmas presents although, sometimes they’re delayed due to my posting efforts.

Charlotte’s children are 6, 4 and 2.  Spike was born just 6 weeks after Judah.  We always say how lovely it would be if we lived closer and the boys could be friends.  Eden made herself at home stealing Spike’s toast.  Spike also gave Eden her first taste of chocolate.  So funny, anyone else would’ve got reprimanded by me (Judah was nearly 2 before he had proper chocolate, about 16 months before he tried white chocolate), but when it’s a little baby, I just had to laugh.  Eden is a scavenger when it comes to food, she finds a way to get her hands on whatever is around, we have to be extra vigilant with her.

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My main regret with my time with Charlotte is that I didn’t spend enough time snapping some pictures.  Wasn’t sure if Charlotte would mind me papping her children for my blog.  Turns out she doesn’t mind at all so next week when I go back, I will get some more of our children playing together.

Daisy 1
gorgeous Daisy showing off her climbing skills
Matilda 1
beautiful Matilda chilling watching TV

We weren’t able to spend too much time with Charlotte as I had to drive 1 hour and 40 minutes back down to Worthing and I didn’t want to get stuck in the after work rush coming out of London.  Eden cried for about 30 minutes on the motorway, it was horrible, but I knew the best thing I could do for her would just be to get back.  She fell asleep after a while and as soon as I arrived back I gave her a long feed for comfort and extra cuddles.

James’ Dad had prepared some yummy food for when we got back.  A lovely fresh tomato sauce and pasta.  The children all enjoyed it.  As soon as we had finished eating, I took some painkillers and went to hang out in the bedroom as my head hurt and the girls wanted to perform another show for their grandparents. 014 019 022

The girls chose some hairstyles after dinner so they were ready for their show.  I put a zipper braid in both of their hair as I had been dying to try it out.  I think it will be a great ‘Back to School’ style.

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I then went to bed with the babies.  James helped me settle the babies down for the night and we were looking forward to the next day when hopefully I wouldn’t have a headache anymore.  Tomorrow we’re going to see James’ Auntie, Isis hasn’t seen her for a very long time and Shayla has never met them.  Will be nice for them to meet familly and to show off how beautifully well-behaved James’ gorgeous daughters are.  I love moments where they get to feel part of the wider family that their in.  They are in a wedding with their Mum’s family next weekend and that will be an amazing time for them too.  They will be absolutely buzzing when they come back from being bridesmaids, can’t wait to hear all about it.
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18 Days of Summer #13

18 Days of Summer #13

my family

Today we began our day safely in Worthing.  Judah had me up at 5am so it was another early start.  James’ parents had bought croissants and pain au chocolat in for breakfast so the children enjoyed their fill.  The girls wanted to read the blog to catch up, so they sat together and Isis read it out to Judah (who’s interest wavered much) and Shayla, they were very cute.

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We decided to just go and see what we could find to do in and around Worthing.  I did the girls hair as usual, their choices today …

diagonal loop braid
diagonal loop braid

and Isis had …

half-loop tieback
half-loop tieback

Isis’ half-loop tieback would be a great ‘back2school’ hairstyle if I’d done it a bit tighter to her head.  I had done it loose as I thought it looked pretty sitting where it did, but it meant that stray hairs kept working their way above the braid all day just making it look messy.  This began when the children were terrorising James when we were trying to get ready.

cute Dad's hairstyles
cute Dad’s hairstyles

We were going to head for lunch when our plans were thwarted by Eden’s need to have a nap, so James made us all lunch.  I had an omelette (trying to eat healthier) and the rest ate bacon and egg sandwiches.  Once Eden was up and had eaten her lunch (an Ella’s Kitchen pouch) we headed into Worthing.  As soon as we started wandering into town, we stumbled upon a mobile sandpit.  It was in the middle of the town and had a stage set up and music playing.  Buckets and spades were in the sand and the girls immediately wanted to go play.  Judah had fallen asleep in the Bugaboo Donkey by now, Eden was still wide awake, so I took her to join in too.  NB. I had to keep Eden’s pacifier in so she wouldn’t eat the sand.

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Shayla showing off her sandcastle
I love sunny Worthing
I love how paunchy she looks here, it’s all coat *wink*

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Dave Benson Phillips do you remember him?  The CBBC Presenter of ‘Get Your Own Back’ where a child gets to dunk a teacher or an adult who has wronged them in gunge.  He was singing children’s songs and party dance numbers.  The girls were far too interested in making sandcastles as it was one of the things on their bucket list we hadn’t managed to do yet, but I know if Judah hadn’t been asleep, he would’ve been dancing along.

After a while, I noticed it was going to start raining, again *tuts*, so we decided to head somewhere warm for a hot beverage.  We headed to the little restaurant on the Pier.  it was lovely, very buggy friendly, even with my double beast, I had no problems inside or out with maneuverability.  We didn’t quite make it to the Pier without them pulling funny faces in the face boards around the side of the sandpit.

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We all enjoyed hot chocolates with marshmallows, whipped cream and a flake apart from Alan (James’ Dad) who had a Baileys Coffee, think I would’ve joined him if I wasn’t still breastfeeding Eden.  Judah was still asleep and Eden had a bit of a crawl around the table and then the floor, it still looks so odd as she is so small.

Here are some snaps we got from our trip to the restaurant on the Pier ‘The Denton‘ as it is called.

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rocking my Prada
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hmm… why didn’t you get me a coffee Daddy?
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Close-up
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‘I love my Daddy’
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bored in the buggy
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being cheeky
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I want to get this made into a canvas for Alan
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doing a ‘Britney’, not a fan of the mamarazzi
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poor Judah was still asleep

When we got back to the house, Alan made us a lovely homemade staple… ‘sausage, mash and onion gravy’ it was so yum.  You know when you just fancy something simple and tasty.  It really hit the spot, also, he dragged another table through and made it very cute for us all to eat in one sitting.  Judah and Shayla looked especially cute on their table.

hmm... food
hmm… food

After dinner the children put on a performance for us, of the dreaded Ice film, yes, the dreaded F* word….. *whispers* Frozen.  My favourite part was they had dressed James up as a reindeer with antlers on his head made from a coathanger and a belt in his mouth as the bridle.  Shayla riding in on his back was hilarious.  Children can be so creative sometimes, I think they get their overactive imaginations from their Father haha.  Here are some pics of the grand finale and their audience.

113 124 129 141It was such a late night for them all.  I loved seeing them so happy, but by the time James and I got to bed we were absolutely exhausted.  I have to drive to London tomorrow to drop off my Bugaboo Donkey with my wonderful friend Charlotte who sells them, and pick up a Cameleon with a buggy board for my monkey prince instead.  I am really looking forward to hanging out with her, but not to the drive.  Also very excited to see my pint-sized princesses new chariot, I’ve gone really girlie as now Judah won’t be sharing it with her (aside from his manly buggy board) I can.

Anyone else have to watch constant shows and performances of the dreaded ice film, or just made up performances in general or is it just our fame hungry minions?
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18 Days of Summer #12

18 Days of Summer #12

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 Today was a very long day, as the alarm was set for 3:30am.  Today we were travelling down to Worthing, West Sussex.  This is a 6 hour drive if you drive straight down with no stops and there’s no traffic.  I had all the children with me and James was travelling down on the National Express (hmm… wonder who had the better deal?).
After everyone was ready, and I’d finished sorting boosters, isofix’s, seatbelts it was just before 5.  I had been throwing up all morning, don’t know if that was because it was early or the anxiety, but it was horrible.  Anyway, we were on our way.
The first part of the journey was great, I drove the first 3 and a half hours straight.  We listened to music, I had to sing along to some upbeat Beyonce to keep myself awake.  The children did some dancing to their church favourites, the babies mostly slept.  Shayla was fantastic, giving Eden her bottle, feeding her a banana and putting her pacifier back in when she wanted it.  She was being an amazing big sister as she was stuck in the middle between the two babies.
We finally stopped at Beaconsfield services as it was getting close to 9 o’clock and we were just outside of London.  I could see traffic was going to become a problem so I cheered at the sight of a Starbucks.  It was quite funny actually, I cheered, ‘yay, a Starbucks for Mummy, woohoo!’ and Judah exclaimed ‘yay, ‘Donalds for Judah, woohoo!’  The girls were in hysterics.
breakfast 1
Isis enjoying her pancakes
breakfast 2
Shayla had a sausage and egg snack wrap

breakfast 3

breakfast 4
Judah also had pancakes (minus the syrup *wink*)
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breastfeeding tip when travelling with 4 children, 1 that may run off (pack a bottle)

It wasn’t fun being in the services with all 4 of them at once.  I had Judah attached to my wrist with his monkey backpack (to learn more about his backpack click here).  My handbag with all electronic valuables I didn’t want to leave in the car over my shoulder, the my pinklining yummy mummy changing bag across my body, carrying the maxi-cosi car seat with the other arm.  Luckily, the two girls walked closely by my side and are well-behaved, otherwise I just wouldn’t have been able to do this.

As I tried to enjoy my coffee, I had downgraded to McDonald’s coffee as trekking them all across to Starbucks wouldn’t have been fun, Judah started to throw himself in the middle of the floor.  Jo Public just walked over him as the hustle and bustle doesn’t stop for a toddler tantrum.  I wasn’t enjoying my coffee for much longer so decided to cut my losses and get everyone back in the car.  Judah was not very happy at this idea, and did the usual struggle to get into the car seat, can’t blame him after the long drive but I still had to get where I was going so in he went.  He proceeded to scream for about half an hour.  I just switched off.  I had to, he set Eden off.  The result was something like this …

 Don’t you wish you were me?  Isis found my backing tracks on Spotify, I use them for my Popular Music pupils, we decided to have a singsong as we got stuck in traffic.  Here’s a couple of vids, the singing isn’t amazing, we were just having fun, but the faces the girls pull, especially Isis made me chuckle.

and the dreaded song from the Ice movie that cannot receive it’s proper title around most children without setting off a reaction.

 Singing kept me chilled and relaxed as I could be.  We never needed to use ‘Turbo’ on the iPad, I was so impressed with their behaviour.  It could’ve been so much worse.  We arrived in Worthing just before lunch time, Grandad sorted them out with some toast and ‘Despicable Me’ on arrival.  I was very grateful to just sit and chill for a while.
chilling in Nanny and Grandad's living room
chilling in Nanny and Grandad’s living room

Nanny arrived not long after to see the children.  She sorted them out with sausage rolls, salad, grapes etc.  They were very happy and well-fed children.

We then decided as the weather had brightened up a little bit to go and have a perusal of the local surroundings.  I needed to go and collect James in about 2 hours time at this point, but he had the double buggy with him.  Nevermind, I wore Eden in my Simply Good Cozy Wrap sling and Judah could walk with his monkey backpack attached…. or could he?  We headed out anyway.

This all went well when Judah was enjoying himself and we were doing the things he wanted to do.  The children had a great time, running through sprinklers, playing at the park.  Below are some of the shots I captured.

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It all turned when it was time to leave the park and Judah didn’t want to.

judah's refusal

I could tell that it was going to start raining so we were headed for home.  Grandad walked ahead with the two girls and Judah decided he wouldn’t move.  I was probably only about a quarter of a mile from the house, but when you have a baby strapped to you and a 2 year old that won’t walk this is not a good combination.  It started to rain, literally throwing it down, we were drenched, I looked as though I had been fully submerged in water.  Judah was just led in the street refusing to come with me.  I was concerned about how wet Eden was getting, we’ve all got coughs and colds at the moment.  Grandad was long gone with the girls.

I wanted to reason with Judah, hoping we could come to an arrangement whereas, he walks home and I give him chocolate, but no, he didn’t want to be reasoned with.  I told him he would lose his Peppa Pig watching privileges and there would be no cake.  This didn’t work either.  To be fair, he’s 2, he was tired and didn’t want to walk.  The problem was, I was exhausted and just couldn’t carry them both.  Unfortunately for me, after strangers were coming up to us to stand with us with their umbrella’s, cafe owners running out to tell me I could come sit in their cafe if I wanted, the reality was I pretty much half carried him, and half dragged him home.  Alternating as I had the energy, it was horrific.  I got in with 2 completely drenched babies, and informed James’ dad that he would have to go and collect James from the train station as I needed to get the children into a warm bath and into some clean clothes.  This is not an experience I ever want to repeat.

Once James was home, I stayed in bed.  I laid in bed, in my nightie, breastfeeding the baby and then just stayed there.  I was completely zapped of energy.  You know that feeling when you’re about to snap and you go one of two ways, I could either… drown all the screaming children in the bath (obviously not an option but can totally understand why people do these horrific things, not that it is ever excusable, I guess that’s why they now make new mum’s watch the shaken baby syndrome videos on the maternity wards) or just switch off entirely for my sanity.  I chose to just switch off, I let the children run riot and I stayed in bed with the baby.  All the other adults looked after the children and I zoned out for the evening.  Eventually, when the children were going to bed I gave them all kisses and cuddles, told them I loved them, checked they’d enjoyed their dinner Grandad made, and said goodnight.

James came to bed later and we watched Bridget Jones : The Edge of Reason that was on television, I say watched it, but I was asleep before they got to Thailand.

I was pleased with all we achieved today, but am grateful that I am not a single parent.  I think all single parents are amazing, I salute you and do not know how you do it.  You astound me, and I am very grateful I have a husband who can take over when I am at the end of my wit.

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18 Days of Summer #11

18 Days of Summer #11

baby Potter

 Today was the most stressful day I’ve had in a long time.  We had decided last night despite my anxiety that we would travel down to Worthing on Tuesday and allocate today as a rest day for me, so that I would be ready to do the 6 hour drive (not including stops) with 4 children on my own.  I felt happy with our decision, but awoke to a text from my mother-in-law with a different suggestion for us.
After a lot of back and forths, we had come to the conclusion that they didn’t want us to come down, we weren’t welcome for whatever reason (this would be very out of character) and I was getting so stressed out with all the extra thought processing whilst I was supposed to be resting.  We decided we would just forget travelling down altogether.
When we finally spoke to James’ Dad on the phone, we realised they really wanted us to come.  They had set up the whole house ready for our arrival and had even slept on the sofa bed downstairs the night before as they didn’t want to ruin the room they had prepared for us.  The truth was that they really wanted us to come down, but were trying to balance that out and not make us feel pressured as they were aware that I have been having some anxiety issues and whilst James is looking for a job there are financial pressures.  This had resulted in us being so confused with all the alternatives we kept being offered and thinking we weren’t wanted.  Bizarre.
Anyway, that was finally cleared up and we set about preparing to come down.  I have had a dreadful cold, maybe, just hayfever, hard to tell as I can’t take any antihistamines with breastfeeding Eden.
cute boys hairstyles
cute boys hairstyles
'the boo'
‘the boo’

The children enjoyed a relaxed day watching movies and performing shows for us.  The girls decided that as they weren’t have a ‘cute girls hairstyle’ today, they would give Judah a ‘cute boys hairstyle.’  So funny, he loved it and kept it in all day.  James and I called it ‘the boo’ as that’s what he reminded us of, from Monsters Inc.

The rest of the evening was spent packing, so hardly an action packed day of fun for the children, but they still had a lovely day.  Sometimes, I feel so much pressure to make every day exciting for them.  I guess that’s what us mum’s do in the Summer Holidays, but especially for the girls as in the future we would aim to go away somewhere with them, like the year we went to Butlins.  When you go away there’s always entertainment for them, so you don’t have to think, or feel guilty because they’re entertained.  It doesn’t do them any hard to have a relaxed day every once in a while.

shayla's attempt at packing, how many princess dresses does a girl need?
shayla’s attempt at packing, how many princess dresses does a girl need?

The Princess‘ made me laugh so much with her idea of packing.  I told her it would be cold and this is what she packed in her trunky.  I guess a princess can never be underprepared for potential royal engagements.

I downloaded ‘Turbo’ onto the iPad incase the children were bored in the car.  I’ve not seen it, so hoping to get chance myself at some point.  Ignoring my anxiety, I was prepared to travel the next day.

James and I got to bed very late and I set my alarm for 3:30am tomorrow.  This didn’t leave much time.  Not the best of days, but hey, this is a realistic account of our blended family life.

*pictures displayed are just random photographs I captured today, as opposed to details of what we were up to.  Apologies for a boring blog day.

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