Tuesday, 9 December 2014

That Christmas Feeling

I haven't been feeling too festive recently, I planned to have all my uni work out of the way by the 1st of December so I could dedicate the month to fun Christmassy activities and blogging, but instead sickness struck the house, Baby Pop has had D&V closely followed by a cold which has now turned into a cough. Sleep has been for the weak and I've been walking round in a sleep deprived haze going through the motions but struggling to actually get anything done on a day to day basis.

I'm now left with uni work piling up, a neglected blog and Christmas fast approaching and nothing organised. I'm starting to feel stressed at a time when I just wanted to be relaxing and enjoying having fun with my children. So today in the words of Elsa from Frozen I am choosing to 'Let It Go'!

The Husband has next week off work, so I will be using the opportunity to finish outstanding uni work and to finish the Christmas shopping whilst enjoying some family fun with the children. I may or may not be back on the blog before Christmas, so I will take the opportunity now to wish you all a very merry Christmas and I will be back in the New Year continuing to blog all about my life with 3.

See you soon!

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Slow Cooker Freezer Meals ~A Review

This post has been sat in my drafts folder for months! I accidentally deleted it (twice) my slow cooker broke and just the general busyness of life has got in the way. I'm really excited to be finally sharing with you a great recipe book that I have come to love and really wouldn't be without!

I love my slow cooker, with The Husband getting home around 8pm and the girls needing to eat dinner at 5pm, and having 3 young demanding children meaning I don't have much time to spend cooking dinner in the evening, so my slow cooker has become invaluable. The only problem I have is preparing the veg to go into the cooker in the morning. I was finding by the time I'd have 10 minutes to gather ingredients for a stew or chilli it was lunch time and most of my recipes are 7-8 hours cooking. Reluctantly I started using it less and less and finding other options, but I missed the smell of dinner cooking throughout the day and not having to worry about dinner when the children were claiming to be starving, because it was already cooked!

I turned to the internet (Pinterest to be precise) to seek help and was reminded of a book a friend had written around 6 months earlier, at the time I'd wanted to buy it but life gets in the way and somehow I'd forgotten all about it! I purchased the book for just £1.95 and downloaded it there and then, it was a very easy process and once it was down loaded I printed it out, its only 27 pages so didn't take that long or cost too much in paper and ink.

The book is filled with 10 prep ahead and freeze slow cooker meals, there are tips on how to set out your working space and a shopping list so you can buy everything you need. The recipes are very easy to follow, simply made out and very delicious. The recipes are compiled with children in mind so some of the recipes are very mild, but you can easily add a table spoon of Worcestershire sauce or tsp of chilli powder here and there.

Chicken Noodle Soup
I found preparing the meals in the zip lock bags to freeze to be quite addictive, once I'd started I flew through 10 recipes in no time and its really easy to come back to at another time if you get distracted by children. This book really has changed the way we cook and prepare meals in this house, and now I honestly couldn't be without it. The book is only around for the next couple of months and is being taken off sale in January, so if you would like to buy your copy, you need to get in there quick!

Slow Cooker Freezer Meals is an eBook by Claire Duguid who writes Grubby Little Faces, you can purchase your copy here

I'd love to know what your favourite slow cooker meals are, please leave a comment, I'd love to try more.

Disclaimer: I bought Slow Cooker Easy Meals myself and decided to write about because I really love it. No money has changed hands, and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Monday, 17 November 2014

What Did I Actually Do Today?

Have you ever got to the end of the day, looked around and thought 'what have I actually achieved today?' That's exactly how I feel this evening. My kitchen is looking a tip and the washing up is piling up, the front room is filled with toys, clothes, blankets and washing that all needs to be put away, the dining room table is covered in my uni work and the bathroom floor is wet...I really don't want to know what that is! I'd planned to get all the washing done today, tidy my kitchen and get to those piles that have been sat on the kitchen counter for weeks. I'd planned to bath all the children, stuff all of Baby Pop's nappies and work on some social media stuff for the blog, but I get to the end of the day with none of that accomplished. All around me is chaos and mess. Instead I'm sat in my PJ's, exhausted, close to tears (mainly because my baby just wont sleep), wondering what I actually achieved today.

My day started around 4.30am when The Husbands alarm went off, waking up Baby Pop who then wanted feeding. The girls ran in and cuddled up in bed with me not long after, while The Husband had a shower. We waved him off to work and cuddled up watching Netflix and playing with toys. While the children were happily playing together I got on with some uni work, in-between feeding Baby Pop, refereeing fights between the girls and sorting snacks and getting drinks. In fact I got ahead with uni work which hopefully means I'll be able to spend quite a bit of December away from the books and doing fun Christmassy things with the kids.

Big Girl and I sat down and practised her letter sounds, I was amazed to discover she was able to read basic 2 and 3 letter words, something she hasn't really done before, I think she's finally starting to get the hang of this reading thing! We practised some hand writing and played around with the letter magnets on the fridge. Suddenly it was lunch time and none of us apart from Baby Pop were dressed, and thankfully he had decided to take a nap just at that point. I jumped in the shower while making dinner, which is not an easy task, threw on some PJ's and fed my children. After lunch we did some maths, matching and fine motor skills for baby girl and addition for Big Girl. I found some time to write 3 sentences of a blog post before I was wanted by Baby Pop for a feed, Baby Girl for some help drawing and Big Girl wanted me to help her make a mobile for Baby Pop's bedroom because, according to her, he's sad I haven't put back up his old one after I accidentally ripped it down few days ago. 

I did a quick bit of uni reading, I learnt all about secure and insecure attachments between infants and their parents, as if I wasn't feeling guilty enough already! I dealt with bouts of diarrhoea from all 3 children, comforted a grizzling teething baby, made the children dinner and fell asleep on the sofa while the girls emptied out the DVD cupboard. We had a quick superficial tidy and then I spent 20 minutes going up and down the stairs getting drinks, finding favourite toys and comforters and putting blankets on just right. I sat down to feed Baby Pop and looked around and felt like a failure. The house is a mess, I have got nothing done that I wanted to do, what have I actually achieved today? 

I started writing this blog post feeling defeated and useless, but I realised today I have fed all 3 of my children, taught my eldest to read, write and taught various maths skills. I helped out with art, taught my daughters they are the most important people in my world. I worked towards gaining a Psychology degree and becoming a better parent. I comforted my baby when he was hurting. I kissed bumped heads and hurt knees and refereed fights. I cuddled my children and made them feel secure and happy. So why is it that despite all of this I still feel like a failure? Why does society tell us that unless our children are pristine and houses spotless, then as women, as mothers and as wives and partners we have failed? I may not have done anything I wanted to do today, I may have a messy house and have washing up mounting but I haven't failed, and I will keep telling myself that until I start to feel it. I have not failed today. 

What have you achieved today?

P.S Don't forget I currently have a competition running to win the children's book The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson

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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Siblings ~ November

The Girls are 14 months apart which means when Baby Girl came along, Big Girl was still a baby herself! They've both grown up with each other and having each other around has been normal. Big Girl has always, for as long as she remembers, had a baby sister and Baby Girl has always, always had a big sister. The Husband and I were a little nervous at the idea of introducing a baby into the sibling dynamic, but from the word go the girls accepted him into our family and have loved the baby that needs lots of cuddles, sleep and feeding. They have loved the baby that smiles, coos and spends time in his bouncy chair or crib. 

November has been a month of changes as Baby Pop has become more interactive and mobile. The Girls have had to get used to Baby pop being able to roll around the floor to get what he wants, and chasing them around in his baby walker which has resulted in many games being played on the stairs where they are 'safe'. Through out this past month I've watched as Big Girl has developed into a loving big sister who wants to keep her brother safe and happy. I love that she can make him smile and laugh when I'm making the dinner and unable to feed him or keeping him from toppling over when I absent mindedly leave the room with him sitting up (doesn't happen often, honest!).

Baby Girl is a little more distant from her brother, but will show love towards him in her own way, like sitting so close she knocks him over or putting her hand on him when he's crying. She doesn't particularly know what to do next, but she knows he needs comfort! I have loved watching their sibling bond strengthen over the last month and am looking froward to Baby Pop being able to be fully included in their games. 

One day I will get all 3 children looking in the same direction and smiling! 

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A Happy 4th Bearthday Tradition

In our family a 4th birthday is very exciting. A 4th birthday means a trip to the place teddy bears are made to pick out a new best friend with Nanna and Pops. Last Friday Big Girl was so excited when I dropped her and her car seat off at Nanna's house. She ran in and didn't even look back. They drove to Cribbs Causeway just outside of Bristol and made their way to The Bear Factory (I may have been following at a distance taking photos!)

Big Girl ran in and chose her new bear in her favourite colour, pink! She had it stuffed and put the heart in after making it brainy, cheeky and nosey then she watched as the assistant sewed up her new friends back.

She went off to fluff her up and then she named her. She was so excited to fill in the birth certificate and proudly showed her off before carefully placing her in the box to bring her home.

So without further ado, meet Big Girls new best friend who hasn't left her side since! Meet Big Girls new best friend, Strawberry Bear. 

The only down side is Baby Girl doesn't understand she has to wait 15 months for hers! She keeps saying, 'but I like making teddy's too!' The girl certainly knows how to wrap me round her little finger!

P.S. Dont forget I have a competition running at the moment, you could win a copy of The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson 

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Our Story ~ We're Engaged!

After The Husband and I started dating we know very quickly we wanted to get married. In our culture marriage and family is very important and living together first just wasn't an option. So just 3 months after we started dating The Husband asked both of our parents if it would be OK if we were to get married. The response from both sides was a little less than enthusiastic. 

The Husband is the baby of his family and although his mum knew this day would come, I don't think she was expecting it to be quite so soon and with someone she had met quite so little. My dad stared at the husband for what seemed like a lifetime before finally saying 'I think that'll be OK'. 

Undeterred by their coolness towards the engagement, The Husband got down on one knee one bright, sunny Sunday morning and I was only too happy to say YES!!

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A Cookie plate and a Cheeky Daughter

Last Christmas I found a gorgeous cookie plate for Santa, but by the time I decided I wanted to buy it, it was out of stock. I was actually really sad, so today when I saw a really cute cookie plate in Mothercare I had to buy it, after all it is November and Christmas is technically next month. 

This sparked off a conversation with Big Girl about Christmas, Santa and what the cookie plate was for. I explained to Big Girl that on Christmas eve, if she had been a good girl Santa would come and eat her cookie and leave her some presents. She said excitedly 'If I'm a really good girl tonight, he will come tonight wont he!?' I had to explain that actually he only came once a year and he wouldn't come till Christmas eve, 'Then I wont be good till Christmas eve, there's no point being good every day if he only comes once a year'.

right. well. yes. Suddenly I'm not looking forward to bedtime!!

PS. Have you seen I'm giving away 3 Julia Donaldson books? Click here to see the details. 

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