Siblings 2015 {March} – Mother’s Day Special (Daddy Edition)

Siblings 2015 {March} – Mother’s Day Special (Daddy Edition)

siblings, daddy edition, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, family portraits

Last weekend I wasn’t feeling my best, we all got ready and were about to head out to capture our Siblings photos, as it was our last chance to do this before the girls went back to their Mum’s.  I started to feel extremely dizzy and almost passed out.  I had to lie down on the sofa and drink lots of fluid, I think I had forgotten to drink enough.  Either way, I was gutted as going out for a walk in the woods to take photos was not really the best idea at that moment.  My amazing husband stepped up and said, I will take them and I’ll get some photos for the Siblings post.

Bless him, this really touched my heart.  I was in a bad mood from feeling unwell and didn’t really allow him to see how much this meant at the time.  I also was frustrated looking through the photos as there were many things that I would have tweaked i.e. pulling down Eden’s dress so you could see she was in fact dressed properly.  Making sure Eden didn’t look like she was being dragged around, making sure Eden at least looked as though she was safely being carried, of course she was safe as Daddy was right there, but these little touches, and the removal of her pacifier would’ve been tweaks I’d have carried out.  Despite my whinging, I guess from frustration that I hadn’t been able to be involved, my wonderful husband had taken the time to capture these for me, and they had been creative.

So enjoy our Mother’s Day Siblings Special…. the Daddy Edition.

siblings, daddy edition, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, family portraits

siblings, daddy edition, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, family portraits

siblings, daddy edition, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, family portraits
Thank you Daddy for taking the time to do this for me, it was an awesome Mother’s Day present. You made sure that we had a March Siblings photo shoot and we could keep building our memories. I love you and I’m sorry if I’m a whinge bag when I’m unwell. You truly are the greatest husband ever.

dear beautiful

Siblings in September

Siblings in September

18 days of summer 5
our minions

It has been such a lovely month having time with the children all together.  20 days we had them all together for in the end, and it was amazing.  They really bonded so well, Judah has struggled a bit since but it won’t be long until the girls are back again.  There still were not many times that I was able to get the camera out and try and capture them all together though.

Eden is now crawling every chance that she gets, she wriggles off in the hopes for food she can scavenge usually.  Judah will never really look at the camera, but the girls bless them, the girls are always ready to pose.  So, we just need to spend more time making sure that we take Eden out of the pram and try to capture moments where all four of them can be in front of the camera.  I’m sure taking part in this project will feel easier when they’re all that little bit older and I can tell them where to stand (and stay) if they want to get some chocolate *chuckles.*

So this picture above, the first one I took of the four of them at the start of our 18 Days (that turned into 20) of Summer remains my favourite for the Siblings shoot this month.  I love how all of their clothes kind of match, even though it was completely unplanned.  I had just collected the girls from their Mums so they were wearing the clothes they had gone back in the Sunday before.  I love how they are all relaxed and giggling happy.  It marks the start of a beautiful season for us all.
I look forward to many more beautiful photos of our precious minions as this monthly Siblings project unfolds.

dear beautiful

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:


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*.
museum 3 museum 4 museum 5
museum 6
Judah thought this skeleton was a Pirate – he may be right
museum 7
the girls weren’t impressed with these hats, they refused to point to one they would wear
museum 8
‘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
splash pad 2
our lovely ladylike children pretending they could urinate like men
splash pad 3
gorgeous Isis
splash pad 4
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.

mini me


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?


18 Days of Summer #6

18 Days of Summer #6

Sitting down to write this whilst all the rest of the familiy are asleep in bed (I am sat in bed next to the hubster who is fast asleep), I am very tired after a busy day, but I feel very blessed.  Today was one of those days that my heart just feels so full, full of love, joy, pride of how blessed and lucky we are to have such amazing children.

As I mentioned last week at some point, I’ve been asked to sing at a funeral tomorrow of a good friend.  They wanted me to play piano and to sing, but I know that I’ll be emotional and it’s been a while since I’ve accompanied myself for such an occasion, so I called a friend yesterday to see if they mind playing for me, then all I need to do is sing.  He kindly agreed, he was a friend of the gentleman that died too, so he saw it as an honour and a privilege.  However, this meant that we would need to practice, so as we finished the conversation yesterday, we arranged a practice today at 10am.

A friend recommended a hairstyle for the girls to try today – the ‘mermaid braid,’ I definitely have not perfected this one, but the girls loved it and the tighter version I put in Shayla’s hair survived all day, and looked great when they were playing in the water.  Definitely would recommend as a swimming do.

Isis' looser version
Isis’ looser version
Shayla’s stayed in all day
As the girls are always so well-behaved (not a brag, they just are and I know that we are very lucky) and into music, I thought I would take them with me.  They were so excited to be in my friend Keith’s studio.  I explained to them that it was where I recorded some songs I wrote when I was 16.  They were amazed by how long ago that was *shudders*, so am I.
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lovely moment, Isis singing in the studio I recorded in 15 years ago
lovely moment, Isis singing in the studio I recorded in 15 years ago

The girls had a go at drumming too, I think we’re going to need a music room instead of a playroom as these children get older.

Isis sang for Keith, a friend of my parents who helped me record an album of songs I wrote at 16. It was such a special moment, I sat down at the piano and played Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ and she just went for it. I was so proud that she didn’t go all shy on me, she shone like the little star that she is, and Keith said that he will gladly record a song for her for free anytime that she wants. So lovely, we’re thinking of maybe doing a little family album of songs for Grandparents for Christmas presents. I know James’ parents would especially adore a recording of Isis as they’re always trying to capture her on their phones when they come up to visit.

We left our friends home and went back to our holiday home (my parents), I made and packed up a picnic, James had snagged some bargain priced roast chicken the night before as Booths were closing up, so I made chicken sandwiches.  We took apples, raisins, drinks, and some Peppa Pig muddy puddle chocolate bars too, and off we went on our travels.  We decided to go on the bus to save on car parking at the other end and headed to St Annes on the Sea.

our little bus crew off on their travels
our little bus crew off on their travels
practicing their ballet stretches whilst waiting for the bus
James looking confused by the bus ticket
smiling – that’s better
Eden looking after Judah’s kermit

We went to visit Nana at work, she wanted her work colleagues to meet the children and then we were off to the paddling pool near the beach to eat our picnic (I was hungry by now for sure).  The girls munched down all their food, Judah had fallen asleep as we were getting off the bus, so he napped as they played for a while and then was able to join in.  He’s potty training at the moment, so as soon as he woke, poor child was put on the potty, then had his sandwiches – which I have NEVER seen him shovel down so fast as he was so excited to go and play in the water.

picnic time
picnic time
strawberry munching Isis
cute holding hands
they figured out it was warmer if they stayed low out of the wind
Judah shovelling in his sandwiches
getting his big sister
crazy bendy child
I love this photo, he’s so happy
telling his sisters what to do

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The weather was warm but as we were on the seafront it was VERY windy.  Judah was shivering but refusing to come out of the water as he was having so much fun.  Ended up making a judgement call after about 20 mins of them all playing that they would all come out and we’d head to the trampolines.  My mum had finished work and had come to join us by this point.  We got them all dry and back into their clothes and off we trekked.

walking with Nana
Isis loves the trampolines
My two bouncing girlies
having the time of his life
cheeky face
he loves trampolines, can you tell?
monster shadows


As we were walking down to the trampolines, Judah spotted ‘the beach’ well, he wasn’t happy, screaming and performing because he wanted to go on the beach ‘like it beach!’ he kept screaming.  Obviously, I didn’t want him to be sad or feel like he was missing out but I knew that he would love the trampolines and nobody else wanted to go on the beach today (we’ll be going another day).  He was tired from all the playing in the water and trying to keep his body warm.  So, into the Bugaboo Donkey he went.  Ooh, he wasn’t happy, lots of screaming, lots of typical stares from people walking past, assuming that I must be throttling my 2 year old.  He watched the girls on the trampolines and had to calm down dramatically before I would let him even contemplate having a go.

He did eventually calm down and he loved his time on the trampolines, he has a little one in the playroom at home, and he just loves to jump.  He had a great time.  When his time was up (it was £2.50 for 10 minutes), the screaming recommenced as he didn’t want to come out.  We had told him it was ice-creams next, which meant that he walked off the trampoline of his own accord, but then being 2 changed his mind once there was no more bounce beneath his footsteps. It’s hard being 2.

Again, he had to calm down, this took longer as there was an audience, we knew he’d had a lot of excitement and was upset so he couldn’t go and choose his ice-cream until he’d done a wee on the potty.  Not normally a problem for him, but he decided all of a sudden he was embarrassed to go on the potty (which he had done several times already that day).  Nana and her friends left for a coffee (don’t think they could cope with any more screaming) and he focused on my voice then, calmed down, went on the potty and was able to choose an ice-cream (he went for an ice-lolly) to eat on the walk back to the bus stop.

He walked all the way back to the bus stop, it took us about 25 minutes with his little legs, and then when we got off the bus at the other side, he walked all the way back to Nana’s house, about 15 minutes for his legs.  When we arrived home I realised how proud I was of him and the day he had done, no accidents all day, even though we were out with multiple distractions, how far his little legs had walked, for the first time ever really.  We had been aiming to go to the Blackpool church service our church is running at the moment, the children wanted to go, but again we made a judgement call, they’d been out in the sun all day.  They had been so well behaved and we would be pushing our luck to try and take them to church for a 7:30 service.

So, we stayed in, got a chippy dinner and watched ‘Matilda.’  The children had a wonderful day and were telling me about their favourite parts, Isis’ and Judah’s was the trampoline, Shayla’s was the paddling pool.  I had a lovely time realising how blessed James and I were, and look forward to more days out.  We are a third through our days now, and that makes me sad, but still 12 days to go.  Tomorrow I am singing at a funeral, so it won’t be the most fun of mornings/early afternoons, but then we will go into Blackpool to do something fun, so I’m looking forward to that.

I’ll leave you with a little clip of the crazy children doing an impression of their Father falling off the roundabout the day before, but for some reason in the water.


18 Days of Summer #5

18 Days of Summer #5

Today was an interesting day, as somehow our Tax Credit renewal form had never been sent to us.  Therefore, we obviously hadn’t sent it back.  So our Child Tax Credits hadn’t gone in.  We had to get the car fixed last week, so you can imagine, this didn’t put us in good stead for days out with 4 children.  We barely had enough to buy nappies for the baby that had run out.  After some interesting phone calls, my inlaws to the rescue, lending us what HMRC reinstate in a few weeks once we’ve had the form etc and got it back to them.  However, we didn’t have money until later in the afternoon when they had transferred it so we scaled back our ideas for the day.

In the morning (before I realised we were running out of nappies) I was driving my Mum to work (we’re staying at her home) and thought it would be a good time to grab some one on one time with Isis.  I asked James if he minded us having an hour, he replied, ‘of course not,’ so off I went with Isis.

We went to Costa as it had a free car park right outside.  I got my usual Decaf Gingerbread Latte and Isis tried a ‘Sticky Toffee Creamy Cooler’ she let me have a sip, way too sickly for me but she loved it.

showing off her fishtail
showing off her fishtail

Normally, in a ‘Just the 2 of us‘ post I would have more pictures and what we chatted about.  Isis and I ended up having a very personal conversation, she offloaded something she had been carrying around for 3 years and broke down on me in the middle of Costa.  It was so sad, but also very precious that we were able to bond on an even deeper level.  As you can appreciate, this blog is for them, and some things are just meant to be shared between stepmum and daughter.

My sister contacted me whilst in Costa (she lives around the corner) and came to meet us as we finished up so she could get a lift back with us to spend some time with the children.  On the way back we nipped to the Pharmacy, I had taken a picture of Judah’s face.  He’d fallen the day before and below the little graze on his face was slightly raised, red and warm.  After Eden having had cellulitis twice, I just wanted to check it wasn’t worrying.  The pharmacist advised me it was probably normal, and he’d just grazed it over more surface area than I thought and to keep my eye on it.  When I got back I did the usual mum trick and smothered it in sudocrem (again), it did look better later in the day, so my heart was at peace.

We spent some time debating what we could do with no money, the babies were all napping, so rather than the girls just watch television we decided to play the ‘Game of Life’ this was great.  I meant to capture a photo of the carnage on the table, but was just enjoying being with the children so much, I forgot.  I love making memories for them, but sometimes you just don’t want to be the lady with the camera in her hand all the time.  I want to be in the moment with them, as well as capturing it for them, there is definitely a fine line and I am still learning this balance.

Once the babies were awake, and I had annihilated everybody in the Game of Life we had some tortilla wraps for lunch and then went off to the park again.  This time Judah and Eden were awake and could join in.

Judah with Auntie Jenny
my turn, my turn
enjoying the climbing frame
conveniently peeping over so I could snap this
Eden’s 1st go on the swing
our pint-sized princess
‘oooh what’s this?’
Judah getting braver every day
Ready, steady….
Judah almost brave enough to go on the swings on his own again, thanks to Auntie Jenny
Daddy kisses
James later tried to swing in one of these baby seats, this was interesting and required some assistance from myself to get him out.  This is not unusual behaviour from my husband, although hilarious, especially for the children, not often appreciated by myself *wink*.
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He asked me afterwards, ‘what would you have done if it had ended up with us having to get the Fire Brigade?’ I replied after careful thought, ‘take pictures.’
Check out Eden’s first time on the swing
James’ parents contacted us to say they had transferred us some money, how kind, and we then went to get the children an ice-cream.  I restrained as I’m still trying to lose weight.  James is becoming more and more impressed with my resilience as this theme has continued throughout our time away with the girls.  Here’s a couple of snaps of them enjoying their ice-creams.
James managed to catch a cheeky snap of me whilst queuing for the ice-cream
James managed to catch a cheeky snap of me whilst queuing for the ice-cream

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In the evening I had planned for us to all have Fajitas.  James cooked for us all, I’m very lucky, and the food was massively enjoyed by all.

What’s your favourite dinner to come home to after a day in the summer sun?  Comment below.

18 Days of Summer #3

18 Days of Summer #3

Sundays are always spent predominantly at church, however this morning when we woke (I hadn’t slept properly due to an awful nightmare) I was my usual stuffy, head-cold self when I’ve not really slept, and James had a horrendous headache.  I knew he needed to rest.  Normally, this would mean that I would take all 4 children by myself, they’re well behaved and they love the kids church, but because I also didn’t feel very well, and I’ve been struggling with some anxiety issues (yes, unfortunately this is rearing it’s ugly head again) the idea didn’t appeal to me.  I would normally force myself for the girls sake, as it is a constant in their lives that they love, but as we had them all day instead of going back to the ‘other mummy’s’ in the afternoon, I decided to rest too (by that I mean, not run around like a mad woman getting them all ready and out of the door) and took the children downstairs for breakfast and to hang out, so as not to wake Daddy.  The girls were able to come to church with us in the evening instead.

The girls chose a hairstyle each that they wanted from the Cute Girls Hairstyles app.  They absolutely love this site.  Isis will go on it on her tablet at the ‘other mummy’s’ and practice styles on Shayla, so cute.

Isis chose the lace braided ponytail
Isis chose the lace braided ponytail
Shayla chose the diagonal bow braid - I did not have the correct equipment
Shayla chose the diagonal bow braid – I did not have the correct equipment

I love learning to do these new styles, Shayla’s was exceptionally difficult though as I didn’t have the right equipment to pull the loops through.  I was trying with a curby grip and it was nearly impossible.  So difficult.  Need to stock up on some more hair supplies before we try this one again.

My parents nipped in with my brother after church to see how we were as it was so odd that we weren’t there.  They ended up taking Judah back with them for the day, so we had more room to pack things to take over after church in the evening, as we are being based over at theirs for the week.  It was nice to see my brother, we haven’t crossed paths recently, I was able to give him his birthday presents a little early so we could all see his enjoyment of opening them.  He also like the cards the children had spent all yesterday afternoon making him.  Happy 21st Jacob if you see this.

he loved his new t-shirt
he loved his new t-shirt

We were supposed to go to a friends for lunch, but James just wasn’t very well, so bless them, they came to us, they brought bountiful food, a big dish of macaroni and cheese, a pasta bolognese, salad, garlic bread, and an amazing chocolate cake.  They are quite a new married couple, and Laura I don’t think had ever cooked for so many people before so she had gone a little bit overboard, but it was so thoughtful and considerate of them.  We felt very spoilt and blessed by their company.

We had an hour after company left to finish packing and get to church as James was serving in the kids church this evening which meant we needed to go early for briefing, set-up etc.  We got packed up and arrived at church on time, had a great service, then drove to my Mum’s (aka Nana’s).

my little toast munchers, look how small Eden looks
my little toast munchers, look how small Eden looks

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Can you guess which of the three toast munching pictures I took?  My husband had the camera for the rest.

They were hungry when we arrived but it was late so they munched some toast and then were reunited with their brother who heard them and came downstairs.

Isis is wearing my Mum’s dressing gown

Judah was the most tired I have seen him for a long time, I think he was just far too excited to have us all at Nana’s.  He was so upset when it was bedtime, he didn’t even want us to sing him a song, infact he cried to make sure we wouldn’t sing him a song ‘Not want twinkle, twinkle!’ came the cries.  Ok, no problem, quite happy to not sing the same song as we have to do every other night.  Eden was happy enough in her new surroundings.  The girls have gone to sleep excited for what tomorrow may bring weather dependent.  In the morning I’m making them pancakes.

My princess before I got her into her sleepsuit
I love how she always smiles when the camera is out, well trained already
Judah needed cuddles to help him go to sleep

I’m looking forward to this time with them all.  I think I’m most excited because they’re so excited.  Ah to be a child again, nice that we kind of get to live the childhood memories again as we create new ones for our own.

The Ordinary Moments #2 – Bath Time

The Ordinary Moments #2 – Bath Time

Our little monkey prince absolutely loves bath time, he always has. I’ve been going back through my pregnancy journal and baby journal for ‘The Baby Diaries‘ and saw that he even loved his first bath which was in the hospital once he’s finally had all his canula’s and tubes taken out. Most babies aren’t so keen for their first bath, or subsequent baths but he ALWAYS loved them.

bathing in the sink at Butlins 2 and a half weeks old
bathing in the sink at Butlins 2 and a half weeks old

In our old home we didn’t have a bath, so I would shower Judah with me, even from being tiny. Due to my bad pregnancies, torn tummy muscles, bad back etc. I would struggle with filling and lifting the baby bath and then bending over to bath Judah so he would often join me in the shower where I would hold him close to me, clean him up and pass him to Daddy who’d be waiting with a towel so I could then wash my hair & body.

When we would go to my Mum’s house (Nana’s) he loved her big corner bath. We have many photos over the last 2 years of him enjoying a bath at Nana’s.

in Nana's big bath
in Nana’s big bath

In our new home we of course have a bath (after going through 2 pregnancies without one, I made sure it was a non-negotiable when we moved). I NEVER get to have a bath without Judah jumping in, James says I should lock the door then he won’t be able to get in, but he loves them so much, I usually just let him in. I think maybe this is because I know very soon it won’t be appropriate for him to be in the bath with me as he’s getting older. One of his favourite things to do is play ‘row row row your boat’ whilst in the bath. Also, to fill up his rubber ducks and use them as a water pistol, spraying me with water. This makes him laugh hysterically, and I managed to capture some photos this week.

shooting Daddy with his rubber ducky
shooting Daddy with his rubber ducky

bath time 5

Daddy had the shower screen for protection
Daddy had the shower screen for protection

The pure joy on his face brings me so much happiness and I will miss these ordinary moments in the not too distant future. Savouring them whilst I can.


18 Days of Summer #2

18 Days of Summer #2

Today we had planned to go and have a picnic whilst watching my brother (Uncle Bobby) play cricket. The children were excited for this but the weather was terrible, not quite bad enough that the cricket would be called off, but definitely not good enough to sit watching for hours with a picnic.

I had been out in the morning with Shayla for some one on one time (click here after Tuesday to see what we got up to) and then we went to ‘Waitrose‘ to get some bits for our picnic. We were all hungry at about 11am, bizarre but I thought it’s just too early to eat yet. So, I sent them on a mission helping me tidy the house (put away toys etc) so we could have a blanket picnic on the floor.

Getting them to help (although more aimed at serving my needs than theirs at the time) is a really good practice to develop for their futures. I strongly believe in them just being children and being allowed to play, but also feel there is need for them to do little tasks within their capabilities to establish good boundaries of what is expected (that they be helpful and obedient) of them. I set Isis and Shayla a competition of who could find the most dirty crockery around the house (I was washing up) and bring it to me, and then the most rubbish (empty diet coke bottle in our room for example). I realised half way through this was an excellent activity *laughs*, they were having a great time and they were helping me tidy the house – win, win!

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I then made them some cheese and ham toasted wraps. I fold the tortilla wrap around the filling into a rectangle and then finish it by dry frying it (or with fry-lite – the one cal spray, and that’s more for the benefit of the pan ) on each side, this keeps all the filling in and makes it more exciting for them than sandwiches. They loved them, even Judah wolfed his down served like this (he can be slow eating sandwiches and make a lot of mess) then they had mini cupcakes and some crisps that Shayla and I had picked up at Waitrose. I had bought them some little water bottles but we saved them until a day where we’re going out and just had some good old ‘corporation pop’ (tap water) as my Mum’s Mum would call it.

about to tear into their cupcakes and crisps, note Judah covering his potty training modesty
about to tear into their cupcakes and crisps, note Judah covering his potty training modesty

We then spent the afternoon making cards for the various people in our family with birthdays and a friend who had just turned 21 (I know!) who was coming with her husband to join us for dinner and then babysit so that James and I could have a ‘date night’. God bless them for being willing to come and babysit our tribe, they did a great job too, you can read about our first time leaving the whole blended family and our date night here.

craft time 1

some were more messy than others when we had finished
some were more messy than others when we had finished

James had got some meat (a pork joint) out the night before to defrost and decided he wanted to make us a roast. He is great at making roasts, he used to make them for himself all the time when he was single, even if it was after midnight, if he fancied one he’d just get cooking. So, whilst I had the children he set about on to that. My Dad is pretty old school and never did anything like this around the home so I always appreciate how fortunate I am to have stumbled across someone who is happy to pitch in, with cooking, cleaning, washing. I don’t know what I would have done through my horrendous pregnancies if he hadn’t been like this. I’m quite traditional after watching my Mum for years in the fact that I feel like I’m a failure as a wife if I’ve not got it all under control, or I’m not on top of doing all the housework and cooking. James reminds me that whilst he is at home job-hunting he is just as responsible for the upkeep of the home, and we’re getting to a place where we work well as a team. I will miss his help tremendously once he starts working again.

Our friends arrived at 5pm, we had a yummy roast pork dinner and after I’d washed up (James had cooked) we headed out for date night and left the children with our very capable friends. It wasn’t particularly the best day we could’ve had with the children, but they LOVE doing craft and enjoyed their time with Andy & Chrissie thoroughly, so they had a brilliant day. We set off to my Mum’s on Monday or maybe tomorrow evening after church (we’re undecided yet, see how the packing goes *wink*) and then the real holiday festivities will begin.

Tomorrow, the day will mostly revolve around church, and we’ve been invited to hang out with friends from church in the afternoon (again, very brave taking on our tribe), and getting prepared to go away on our jollies to Lytham St Annes.

Do you have any suggestions of picnic sandwiches alternatives? We are always looking for different foods we can make mobile, comments very welcome.