{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #6 – An Ordinary Birthday

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #6 – An Ordinary Birthday

the ordinary moments, birthdays, an ordinary birthday, mummy blog, mummy vlog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, pamper time, woodland walk

Yesterday I turned 32. Not a special big birthday, no plans to celebrate in any specific way. Just wanting to have a day with my little family. If you’ve been following my blog for long you will know that birthday’s aren’t usually great for me. Last year I was horrendously unwell with a gastro bug that nearly resulted in me hospitalised a week later, yes, it went on that long.

The year before was my 30th and James took me away for a lovely boutique getaway in the Lakes. Looking back it was so special, but in the moment I couldn’t enjoy it fully, as my sister was extremely unwell in hospital. Turning 30 was supposed to be a joyous occasion for me, I was pleased with where I was in my life, with James, the girls and Judah. Little did I know Eden was right around the corner. However knowing my sister was unwell, completely overshadowed it.

The year before I was crying in the registry office because they informed me we couldn’t mention God at our wedding if we held it in the civil building we’d booked.  So we had to replan our wedding with just over a month to go.  The year before that was my first one as an abandoned wife before I met James, and the year before was mentioned in my ‘Life as a Domestice Violence Survivor‘ post.  Birthdays aren’t usually great for me.  Not that it’s always about that, I don’t want to be all woe is me, but I’ve come to view them as just another day (we all do as we get older really).

I spent the morning a bit lazier than usual, slow to get out of bed, the children presented me with loom band gifts they’d made.  A necklace, a bracelet, a headband… of course I had to wear them right away.  Then when I brought myself downstairs Isis and James had made breakfast for us all, croissants and bacon.  Lovely, they’d set the chair with balloons around it, and some cards on my placemat.

the ordinary moments, birthdays, an ordinary birthday, mummy blog, mummy vlog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, pamper time, woodland walk

I then went off for a bubble bath, and a nap. Amazing, I felt so guilty for not being out and about enjoying the sunshine, but I’d had an awful headache from the day before. I took advantage of the fact that today they would let me go and rest…so that’s what I did. After a lovely nap, Daddy had fed the children the soup and tiger bread I’d planned and we got ready to go out and enjoy a woodland walk. I did the girls hair, Shayla had a bow braided tie back and Isis had Katniss Everdeen’s reaping braid from ‘Catching Fire’.

the ordinary moments, birthdays, an ordinary birthday, mummy blog, mummy vlog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, pamper time, woodland walk               the ordinary moments, birthdays, an ordinary birthday, mummy blog, mummy vlog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, pamper time, woodland walk

Finally we were out and about and enjoying a little walk in the Woodlands near our home.  Here are some snaps from then, it was cute how they were determined to take the scooters whatever the terrain…

the ordinary moments, birthdays, an ordinary birthday, mummy blog, mummy vlog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, pamper time, woodland walk the ordinary moments, birthdays, an ordinary birthday, mummy blog, mummy vlog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, pamper time, woodland walk the ordinary moments, birthdays, an ordinary birthday, mummy blog, mummy vlog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, pamper time, woodland walk the ordinary moments, birthdays, an ordinary birthday, mummy blog, mummy vlog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, pamper time, woodland walk

We took some pics that are strong contenders for the ‘Me & Mine’ portrait project that we take part in at the end of the month. So, I won’t post those just yet… James cooked a lovely spaghetti bolognese for us all when we arrived back home and the girls and I prepared for a pamper time. We had face masks, nail varnish, hair products all at the ready, and Isis chose a movie to watch. See if you recognise it when you watch the video clip, feel free to comment your guesses below…

All in all, I had a really lovely, calm day just relaxing and doing things that I love, including taking pictures, and receiving lots of lovely messages on all forms of social media. Very grateful for those in my life right now, and for the realisation that, we have our health, we have each other, and I wouldn’t trade our little family for anything.
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Hope you enjoy the video of our day…

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18 Days of Summer #19 – Overtime

18 Days of Summer #19 – Overtime

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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

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 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 #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.

dontcallmestepmummy
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
Janette
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.

dontcallmestepmummy

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 #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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18 Days of Summer #9

18 Days of Summer #9

A more relaxed day today, as James stayed in bed most of the morning, he must have needed it.  It was throwing it down outside early so I started to plan in my head for a rainy day.  I booked us in to the cinema as planned for the evening, this made sense as I thought it would hardly be an evening for sunset strolls on the beach.

Slowly sorted breakfast, which ended up being in shifts rather than a family meal, Judah had eaten about 6 am when I’d taken him downstairs as he was up early.  The girls then ate about 8:30 after they’d been up and running around for a while.  Eden had her breakfast when she emerged with her Daddy about 9:30/10ish, I can’t remember what time James woke up.

I then commenced doing the girls hairstyles that they had been busy choosing.

braided flower tie back
braided flower tie back

Shayla-Rae had the ‘braided flower tie back‘ although her hair wasn’t really long enough, her flower looks more like a little rosebud, but hey, it’s the one she wanted.

knotted headband
knotted headband

I actually really loved doing Isis’ hair.  She opted for the ‘knotted headband‘ which although fiddly, I really enjoyed doing.  James wanted to get involved, so a crocodile clip was replaced with him holding some hair (bless) and I almost felt like I was weaving or something.  Anyways, it’s a fun one to do and I think it looks great.  This is definitely making it into my favourite school hairstyles list.

Once we had finished getting ready, the early risers (the babies) needed a nap, oh well.  Off went Judah and Eden for a nap and I made everyone some cheese and ham toasties.  Children love toasties, what a great invention, it’s just a sandwich, that can seem so bland sometimes, but just add some heat and pressure, and voila, something they think is exciting to eat.  I made Judah and Eden’s ready for when they woke, so that it would not be hot and I wouldn’t have to start faffing when they woke up hungry.

After lunch we helped my Mum clean up for tomorrow’s festivities – it’s my brother Jacob’s 21st and everyone is coming to my Mum’s for a meal.  16 people for dinner after a family of 6 has invaded your home for a week is a bit much, so we helped tidy up (as best we could, she’s fussy about how she likes things done).  Then I guess the festivities of the week caught up with me.  I ended up napping on the sofa in the front room for an hour and a half whilst the girls played in the back garden.   When I awoke there was just enough time to sort out nappies that needed changing, clothes for children (Judah had been napping in just a t-shirt),  My Mum volunteered to watch Eden and the rest of us went off to munch some chips before the cinema.

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This was literally all that we had time to munch.  We arrived at the cinema in time to find a carpark ticket, collect our 3D glasses, buy a large popcorn between us, and in we went to the cinema.

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This was the first time that Judah had been to the cinema where he was a paying customer who I expected to watch the movie.  His first film was ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ when he was a tiny baby and just in the buggy.  Shayla-Rae hadn’t been to the cinema for a long time.  She doesn’t remember when we took her to see ‘Tinkerbell – the secret of the wings’ or whatever it was called haha two Christmas’s ago.  We had arrived whilst the trailers were on and the house lights were down.  Shayla was petrified to even walk down the slight incline to find seats, you’d think I was trying to push her off the edge of a cliff to her death.  We got there in the end.  Judah was very reluctant to wear his glasses, until in the movie he realised the picture was better.

We watched ‘The Unbeatables’ – I am really sorry if you have seen it and enjoyed it, but James and I could not believe how horrendous the plotline was.  The children loved it so I guess that’s all that matters.  We just felt that they had spent so much time making the 3D effects cool, that they forgot the plotline.  Put it this way, my favourite part was the last half hour which was based around a football match – yep!

Outside the cinema was the most beautiful sunset, I was so annoyed that I had run out of battery on the DSLR and snapped a quick pic on James’ iphone.  It just doesn’t do it justice.  I think James thought we could grab a romantic one of us and Isis offered to take it.  She took a beautiful photo of the sky and her finger haha.  Better luck next time James, sorry.

my effort with the iphone
my effort with the iphone

When we returned home it was bedtime, I took the girls hair out for whilst they slept and they had cuddles with Eden.  We had kisses and cuddles and off they went.

snuggling with Eden on the sofa
snuggling with Eden on the sofa

It was one of those nights were Judah and Eden just wouldn’t settle, an hour later, James and I still had bed invaders…

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we finally settled them and got snuggled down for the evening.  Early start tomorrow morning as James is serving on Kids church and we have a lot longer drive than usual, and the children will all need a bath.  Excited to hang out with the family for my little brother’s 21st.

Hope you all enjoy the bank holiday, we’ll be driving down to Worthing, West Sussex and hoping the traffic isn’t too terrible.  Think of me driving a 6 hour journey (minus toilet stops) with four children.  If you get time to say a little prayer, please do.
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18 Days of Summer #8

18 Days of Summer #8

Today we were able to celebrate my Dad’s birthday as a family.  We were unable to attend the birthday meal my Mum hosted the weekend of his actual birthday as we had made commitments before anything was planned.  So, we took him out for breakfast at the local carvery.

We had to wait until 9am when it opened, so first the girls chose some hairstyles again :

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Isis went for the triple braided tie back.

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Shayla had the ponytail bow.  I was trying to distract myself as I was very hungry.  We packed up all that the children may need and when everyone was ready, off we went out for breakfast.

It was lovely all being out together.  Eden even joined in, munching a banana I had brought her and then some toast.  She looked so sweet sat at the table with everyone.  Judah was amazing considering how tired he was, he kicked off at one point, and I struggled to find somewhere that wasn’t fun for him to sit and do his time-out – this ended up being in the corner of the entrance.  The irony as he sat there performing on a mat that said ‘Welcome,’  I would’ve taken a picture but I hadn’t carried the camera with me to perform his time-out, as it’s not usually a moment that he or I would like to capture.

The girls enjoyed their huge breakfasts, we were all set up for the day and didn’t need to eat again (apart from the little guzzler that is Eden) until our evening meal.  They enjoyed clinking their glasses fruit shoots together with us, as we remembered that we were there to celebrate ‘Grandad’s’ birthday.

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this one was still eating as we were trying to leave
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Isis unhappy as I was making her finish the sausage on her fork

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 In our hasty dash for breakfast we had forgotten to put the Bugaboo Donkey back in the car boot so we had to go back to my parents afterwards before we could continue our day of fun.  Once we had the buggy in the car, we were off again, this time we went to play Crazy Golf.
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 Crazy golf was hilarious, it was like a massive free for all.  They were so excited because they’d not done it before that it was very difficult to get them to take turns or listen to instruction.  I had Eden with me so I couldn’t really get on to the course with them.  My sister ‘Auntie Jenny’ then arrived to come and spend the day with us, so she watched Eden for me and then I could go and snap some pictures of my little golfers.  They started to get the hang of it by about hole 8 of 9, so hopefully if we go again, Crazy Golf won’t be quite as crazy.
After Crazy Golf the girls were going to go water zorbing, on the lake so I thought we could head off the complaining if Judah got to go on the trampolines first.  He loves the trampolines bless him, jumping and singing for joy.  It’s so lovely getting to watch him do things that he loves.
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 The girls decided to join in and sing whilst he was jumping.
Also, they made me laugh when they started telling him to leap, which Judah thought was the word ‘sleep.’  As, you can imagine, him lying down to sleep wasn’t really the best way of spending his 10 minutes that we’d paid for.  So funny!
Then it was the girls turn to go water zorbing.  Isis has been able to go a few times over the years, Shayla is only just old enough and really impressed us last time (which was her first time), so when she asked again, of course we allowed her.  This time she didn’t seem to dare stand up though, not sure if that’s because this time she was in a dress instead of leggings.  Mental note – bring leggings next time we’re heading to St Annes.
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Next we took them to the children to go in the boats on the lake.  Isis decided she wanted to peddle with Daddy (although, I’m pretty sure he did most of the work).  I sat in the back with Judah and Shayla-Rae and Auntie Jenny (bless her) kept Eden on the shore, as she was ready for a sleep.  The girls wanted to play pirates.  So funny.  This resulted in us playing Bumper Boats with the other willing boaters on the lake, who I think had all wanted to play too but no-one wanted to offend anyone.  Our children just shouted at the other boaters ‘we want to crash into you!’ to which people said, ‘that’s what they want to do’ referring to their children.  So, a game of bumper boats was enjoyed by all.
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 We had to go back in after about 15 minutes (you get 45 minutes) as Eden was crying with Auntie Jenny, and a random lady was trying to take Eden off her determined that she would be able to settle her.  Why is it that complete strangers do this when it comes to babies?  I don’t see anyone offering to settle my screaming toddler when he’s having a paddy.  Poor Jennifer, we went back to rescue her.  She had sent the lady packing.  My sister makes me laugh, she looks sweet and usually won’t say boo to a goose, but if you cross her, she has some bite.  Love her so much.
I started to worry about not being able to replenish suncream at this stage, we all have very fair skin and we’d run out after the last application.  So, the children were allowed to go on the train and then the play park briefly and then we headed back to Nana’s cafe for a drink.
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yummy chocolate milkshakes
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sleepy Judah deciding what he’d like to drink
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Auntie Jenny, the baby rescuer

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 We left the girls with Nana, they wanted to join her going food shopping.  James, Judah, Eden, Auntie Jenny and I went back to attend the boys hairdressing appointment.  Judah’s fringe needed sorting after the lady near us butchering it about a month ago, and James was going for his routine hair cut.  I was getting sick of my hair just being flat to my head all the time.  With two babies there is no time to be spent styling my hair.  I remembered about 6 years ago, the last time my hair was this length I had a block fringe.  I asked the barber to chop me a fringe in whilst I was there (he’s a friend) and he gladly obliged.
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Judah having his fringe fixed, he never performs for Pete, he must trust him
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selfie taken infront of my grandad, I was trying to be discreet hence the serious face

I made a broccoli and cauliflower cheese bake, well, James and I did, Eden started screaming so James took over, for dinner which went along with my Mum’s ‘chicken recipe’ (original title I know) that she was making for my Grandad.  The children then had ice-cream for dessert and were in bed for just after 8.

They were thoroughly tired out and fast asleep by the time I got back from driving Auntie Jenny home.

Tomorrow 10 days left start counting down which makes me feel sad, but I will try not to think about it and just enjoy the time that we have left.  We’ll be heading to the cinema tomorrow evening to watch ‘The Unbeatables’ in 3D.  Only £3.50 in the small St Anne’s cinema ‘The Island‘ which I think is an amazing bargain.  It will be Judah’s first 3D movie, I’m really looking forward to his reaction.
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