Making The Most Of Those Early Years

The other day I make the announcement that in a few months time I’m going to be a Nanny!

As you can imagine this revelation has caused me to have a million and one thoughts flooding through my mind and one of the things that has become even more apparent is the fact the time passes way to quickly.

That age old saying of ‘this time will go so fast’ is so true and I feel as though I have blinked and my eldest has turned into a young woman with her own family on its way.

With Oscar growing at a rapid rate I’m going to make the most of the precious time I have left with my youngest before I lose him to school.

We still have a while yet and I have decided that with Wednesday being the only day we have completely to ourselves it is going to be used to have as much fun as we can.

It’s going to be a day to forget about the housework and the millions of other boring jobs that need doing and just having quality time that I will never get back again.

Those early years are so precious and short that I’m going to make the most of these moments.

The dirty dishes and grubby carpets will still be there but those precious little moments with your babies won’t.

We started this off last week with a trip to Worthing where we threw stones into the sea, chased waves and ate scrumptious fish and chips and ice cream.

You can’t get much more perfect than that!

I’m Going To Be A Nanny!

Yes and not a Nanny of the childcare kind…a real life Grandma in my late thirties!

When someone says Nan or Grandma the immediate image that is conjured up in my mind is a grey hair lady with fluffy slippers on and a set of knitting needles in hand.

Of course I know that this is far from the truth these days and probably a small minority fit this stereotype, but I for one didn’t feel ready to become part of this category.

When my eldest came for dinner with her partner a few months ago my heart told me that the news of the pregnancy was coming.

Those glances to each other, egging one another to break the news was apparent before they had even muttered a word.

The mixture of worry of my reaction and the excitement of their impending arrival was written all over their faces and although for a good few hours before they broke the news I knew what was coming.

Although Alice is only 19, having her own family has been on her mind for a while now even if she had never admitted it to me. 

She has proved me wrong over the past few years by going it alone and creating a life with her partner that I thought would fall at the first hurdle but they have worked hard and created a home together and for them this was the obvious next step.

I was a young Mum myself and know only to well the troubles, isolation and unimaginable life change a new baby can bring.

That said youth does give you that carefree optimism and fresh outlook at everything that is sadly taken away with age.

So many things have been wirling  through my mind for the past few months and having my daughter’s baby shower at the weekend made everything that little bit more real.

All those worries are still in my head about how she will cope and what is she going to miss out on by having a baby so young; but selfishly I wondered where it left me.

With my youngest bearly out of nappies and my life still revoving around mums and toddler groups and school runs I didn’t feel ready to move onto that next phase in my life.

I am quite content with being a mum of young children and had hoped that as mine grew and that empty nest feeling began to set in I would then be able to sit back and enjoy my grandchildren, not whist I’m very much in the preschool phase of my life.

All this said I know this is the right thing for her and once my first grandchild is born I will not look back and will be there to love and support them every step of the way.

I am however still trying to find a slightly cooler name than Nan as this is still not sitting well with me!

Water:A Basic Need We All Take For Granted

If you’re thirsty you fill up a glass from the tap, if you a dirty you pop into the shower, if your little one has a fall you rinse the graze with some fresh water.

It’s a basic human right to have clean water and sanitation and thankfully in the UK it is something we all regularly have access to.

Sadly in many third world countries clean, safe water isn’t as accessible and this has a profound affect on many people’s lives, and the tragedy and suffering it can cause has dire consequences.

Illnesses such as diorreha can be fatal simply because they don’t have the ability to keep clean.

For us illnesses like this are horrible to deal with but it wouldn’t even enter or heads that it could be fatal.

Thankfully there is the help of some fantastic charities out there to try and help this horrendous situation with Frank Water being one of them.

India has the largest amount of people in the world that don’t have access to clean water so Frank has set this charity up to provide gravity-fed water systems, watershed management, waste treatment, sanitation infrastructure and education programs that have all massively improved thousands of people’s lives.

Because of their fantastic work Mahi Leather have joined up with them by donating $1.50 from the sale of each of their outstanding bags.

They take their name from the River Mahi in India where 103 million people lack the provision of safe water. For a river that is thought to be so sacred it has bought so much suffering to so many.

Through these charitable donations Mahi Leather has helped raise $7439 (up to Jan17) and wouldn’t it be great if you could help towards those statistics.

Not only do you get the good feeling of making a charitable donation to a good cause through your purchase, by cutting out the middleman and buying online you are getting a hardy canvas of premium cow leather bag at a fantastic price made to order and even personalised if you wish.

It was their wearable duffle bags that really caught my eye and would be perfect for carrying around all the paraphernalia  that come with a large family like mine and would be a great reminder each time I filled it with bits for my children of how lucky we are and how by purchasing through Mahi Leather I have done a little bit of good.

In this busy day and age it can be really hard to find the time to give to charity so by including a donation in something you can simply purchase online is a great idea that allows you to get a top quality product whilst giving back too.
*collaborated post

The Power Of Music And How It Evokes Memories

            “You can go your own way”

These words are just a few of many from Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits album that will always spark off nostalgia from my childhood.  

Singing along in the car with my family on trips to the seaside will always spring to the forefront of my mind the minute I hear the first few notes of this song.

I don’t know what it is with music that immediately transports you to a time of situation the minute you hear it, but it’s a powerful thing and is the same in all of us be the memories good or bad.

Years after certain events can seem like yesterday through the power of music and it’s a huge reason why I love to share a variety of genres with my children to open their minds to the sheer wonder of music.


Last year when we attended Camp Bestival it was wonderful to be able to stand their and enjoy artists from my youth such as Bananarama and share with my little ones the memories their songs bought back to me; which were mainly playing their album over and over again on my stacking system in my bedroom whilst driving my Mum and Dad mad!

It was not only blasts from the past for me that evoked old memories that I enjoyed sharing it was also creating new ones with my children like my daughter bundling me to the front of the stage to see her favourite Jess Glynne.

The moment she starting singing ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’ my daughter’s  face instantly lit up and it is a moment that will stay with me forever.

With Madness set to take to the stage this year who were another favourite of my Dad’s and Anne Marie a new fav of my daughter’s I’m sure their will be plenty more tunes that are going to be firmly etched in our memory banks for years to come!

If you fancy taking a trip to the best family festival around and enjoy an endless list of fantastic artists then take a look ‘here’

Family, Fresh Air And Precious Moments

When all the hype of Christmas and New Year is over and the rushing around like headless chickens has commenced one of my favourite parts of the season begins…outdoor adventure!

Although I love the excitement and magic of Christmas I equally love getting out in the chilly winter air and spending quality time with my family before the routine of school and work sets back in.

This year we managed to have a trip to Knowle Park to spot the dears, collect some sticks and get VERY muddy!


We also took a trip to Brighton to grab some delicious seafood as a welcome break from the richness of all the Christmas food and blew some cobwebs away with a long walk along the seafront.


The beginning of January can be a pretty depressing time with the miserable weather, the come down after all the fun of Christmas and those purse strings a little tight. So why not get out into the fresh air and release some of those feel good hormones and I can guarantee it will perk you up no end!

Country Kids

Getting The Kids To Bed On Christmas Eve

 

“‘Twas the night before Christmas and all though the house every creature was stirring, yes even the mouse”

Sound familiar to you?

This is my house nearly every Christmas Eve.  A house full to the brim with super excited children to hyped up to go to sleep and a list as long as my arm of things to get done once they finally drift off.

The excitement was in fact so great one year that my eldest daughter was crying she needed an ambulance; I kid you not she had got that worked up she was actually having a panic attack!

Over the years I have used some tried and tested methods and for the last few years things have been a little more smooth sailing.

I have a few tips here to try and get your little ones off to sleep as easily as you can:

Limit The Sugar What! No sugar at Christmas I hear you say. This is admittedly an extremely tricky one at this time of year, but keeping the sugar at a low on Christmas Eve will make sure that the bouncing off the walls is only from excitement and not a sugar high!

Wear Them Out this is one of my biggest tips. We always try to include plenty of outdoor fun on Christmas Eve that includes as much running, jumping and climbing as possible to ensure they will be greatful to get their heads on their pillows.

Quiet Rituals make family traditions that will become familiar each year so they are used to them. Quiet crafts, a bit of baking, a Christmas movie a board game. Anything that will draw their attention away from the main mans appearance that evening is a good thing.

Milk For Santa, Milk For Them as well as putting out that mince pie and a glass of milk for Santa, pour one for the children too. The amino acids in milk add sleep and let’s be honest every little helps.

Create A Restful Room there is no good trying to put them to sleep in a room full of flashing fairy lights and noise. Limit any stimulation and make their room as peaceful and dark as possible. Blackout blinds are perfect for this and might even get you a extra bit of time in bed on Christmas morning.

The ‘He Won’t Come’ Threat ifall else fails the threat of him only coming if they are sleeping always works wonders!

 
*collaborated post 

Saying Goodbye To A Fabulous Summer 

As much as the kids can drive me absolutely up the wall at times I love having them off school for the long break over summer.

We have had countless trips to the park and spent many days eating out of the sandwich bag, a wonderful week in Chichester where we got to explore places we’ve never visited before.

 

We had our wonderful family over from America and got to spend lots of time with them catching up on everything we have missed over the years and getting the chance to join them on the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

One of our favourite annual trips is to the Mayfield Lavender Fields, infact we had more than one trip this year!

What I have to be grateful for this year more than anything though is everything that we have been able to experience though the opportunities that blogging has bought to us.

The lovely ladies Ruth and Katy organised a brilliant day of pizza eating and movie watching with Pizza Express and Fox Studios that was the perfect start to the holidays.

 

We got the chance to visit Shrek Adventure and the London Aquarium. 

We took park in an action packed spy day with the new release of the Project MC2 for Netflix.

We filled out bellies with afternoon tea at sketch and Kerb at Camden Market.

For me though the highlight of our holiday has to be getting made an official blogger for Camp Bestival and having the chance to experience the most wonderful few days ever!

Those six weeks may be over but we have made some stellar memories that will last a lifetime!

What have you all been up too?

Mummascribbles