Sunday, March 29

My Girl



Do you remember the film My Girl? If not this won't make any sense but you're welcome to stick around.

I've just realised how significant a  film can be and how often I actually think of this one.

I remember always being fascinated with it, the love, the sadness, the fact the girl 'Vada' was so pretty and perfect and everything I wanted to be at that age.

I remember my obsession with Vada's mood ring and the fact I just had to have one. I still think of the film when I see one.

I remember the funeral parlour and the way  death is just put out there as an everyday thing and how I'd have been equally as scared.


I remember watching it at a 'sponsored stay awake' for school and the other girls checking us all to see who was crying, me being the only one sat in tears and everybody laughing. I can picture it perfectly sat in my blue sleeping bag. Three on the floor three on the sofa, we must have been around ten.

I remember the total heartbreak of Macauley Culkins character Thomas dying and how Dan Akroyd played the most perfect clueless dad.


I remember at that young age feeling terrified that life could end so quick.

I remember feeling totally heartbroken.

I remember it whenever I see bees or people talk about wasp nests.

I remember watching the second one and I was in pieces, the desperation and heart pounding when he pretends the ring is lost.

Here I am at 30, 24 years after its release still thinking of it.  I've had the film on DVD for years and I just cannot watch it. my eldest is a sweet little blonde boy. He reminds me too much of Thomas in the film and just thinking of what happens to him makes my heart hurt.



It's amazing how one little 90s film can mean so much and stir so many memories.

Thanks for reading.

Wafflemama

Why Playgroups Suck & How To Survive Them

You can call me grumpy, unsociable, unadventurous, a hermit, anything you like. I didn't like going out when I had my son. We stuck to one or two groups a week in a Children's Centre, a safe little bubble where I could feed and eat toasties to my hearts content. Then came the time we needed more to do. We were climbing the walls at home and A needed entertaining and socialising. We couldn't afford nursery, I needed to be with him - so it was time for playgroups. 

(Plan B)
I always had an image in my head of what play groups would be like. Happy mothers and fathers proud and happy playing with their little angels, amongst cups of tea, coffee and juice with home made biscuits. Children playing nicely while everyone chats away with some soft bumpity music beating away in the background, me looking presentable with my children busily making friends.

Well that image was totally shot out the water and play groups are far from the idyllic scene I had first imagined. They do in fact suck, for want of a better word and here is why.

  • The parents aren't happy and nobody seems to play with their kids. Mostly what you walk in on are a bunch of angry looking ladies giving you the evil eye like they want to kill you. If you make it past this bit, then you (well done you) get to sit amongst them.  Joy of joys - there is no happy conversation, its mostly doom and gloom. Why can't we talk about normal things like 'Do dogs go into comas?' or 'A put a penny in his bum today', like I can talk to my husband about? There are the few nice ones, some will open up and allow you to enter the clique, but you can bet most will continue with that evil eye for the foreseeable future .
    Picture this lot but less glam, 15 years older and your'e just about there.
  • There is tea and coffee - its hotter than hell and tastes like crap. If you don't really drink those like me, you can ask for juice which you either get given in a baby beaker or a glass so small I can only imagine they give them out as a joke or punishment for not drinking like a grown up. If play groups were any longer we would probably die of dehydration. There is a suspicious looking box of biscuits, mostly broken and fingered already by a dozen dirty handed toddlers.

  • The children don't play happily. There is usually one decent dolls pram for everyone to fight over, they won't wait their turn for the slide, they moan and cry and snatch their way till the end. They usually leave in tears for one reason or another, whilst secretly harboring some new bug that they have caught from the snot drizzling child that shouldn't have been out the house.
  • There is no soft bumpity music, and thank God. The already deafening sounds of thirty unsupervised Pre-schoolers trying to kill each other or pretend they are lawnmowers is punishment enough. Add to that some music, parents moaning, phones bleeping, and you my friend, are in my own personal hell.
  • I don't look presentable and if I did I'd be lynched. As it is I feel a right fancy pants just for treating myself to a hair brush, bit of lippy and a quick once over with a lint roller! I'm that behind on the washing that things get a sniff test some days but I soon wonder why I bother when I'm created each week by onion woman. She Smell's more like an onion that's been eaten, digested and fallen out the other end, but I'd hate to be so rude.
  • They are mostly far from fun for us parents unless you get stuck in and play with some toys or set yourself up at the play doh table (yes that's me sat their making a worm family, as usual). Am I the only one that still wants to play? I'll save the ailment chat for retirement and make my Lego tower instead thank you.
If you want to survive the dreaded groups and turn them good,  I'd recommend getting there early to choose your seat and let people come to you. 

If you don't really drink hot drinks take your own people sized drink in protest of their thimble sized juice. Screw you borrowers!
Watch your kids, most people don't seem to and its just total carnage.
Wear what you like, chances are you'll feel like the belle of the ball anyway as long as you're wearing pants and wash your Marmite moustache away from breakfast.

I hope this helps some of you get through the playgroup days. I have recently found one lovely group, suspiciously lovely ladies, kids, snacks and surroundings, so good ones do exist. 


But mostly people, playgroups suck - it's all about survival!

Thanks for reading.

Wafflemama


Saturday, March 28

Frugal Mama #1 - Charity Shop Chic

If there's one thing that can make things difficult at times once children come along its money. I will be sharing some general tips in my new series of 'Frugal Mama' posts on how we manage after dropping a whole monthly wage. It's been hard, where did all our money go before? I have no idea! I've been able to spend every day with my son (something I felt I needed to do) since he was born and although its meant sacrifices for us, he's never wanted for anything and he's happy. I figure they will remember the fun they had more than anything else.

This is where charity shops help me find a middle ground.

I've always had a love for charity shops, it's like a grown up version of looking for treasure for me. If its possible I think I'm actually pretty good at charity shop shopping, I think it just takes some dedication and an open mind. I'm not necessarily lucky with my finds, I'm just dedicated to looking. 

Some charity shops have become a bit too fancy and even a bit expensive to the point I'd rather just buy new,  but we have some real gems round here, old school junk style 'run by grannies' shops full of under priced treats to make a mummy like me happy. 

I've had a good haul this week so thought it would be a good time to share this post. There can be a real stigma with second hand and especially charity shops but if you keep looking its well worth your while!

This week I have spent a total of £17 and have good as new items from Coast, Zara, M&S, Next, Fat Face, TU and Carters. A new toy and lots of books, you can never have too many can you?

My favourite charity shop (Barnardos) charges £1.99 (maximum) for adult clothing and baby/children's clothes are four items for £1.99 or 99p each. Books are also included in the four items offer. Our local homeless shelter (The Nomad Trust) also has a shop where books are 15p each, hats 50p and we got a Little Tykes drum for £3.  The Red Cross charity shop has ex high street stock and even some current season bits from H&M. 
It feels so nice to get lovely clothes without feeling guilty for the price tag. They even have a section for faulty clothes that just need a stitch or a button sewing on, but are otherwise brand new. Total bargains to be had!

I would agree some things are best off new, but with this weeks buys we have saved well in excess of £100, which would more than pay for our little Haven holiday next month. 

So don't just walk past these amazing shops. Pop in, have a dig around and get some treasures! 

Details of my buys this week are below. Amazing or what!! 


For me, a Fat Face jumper, M&S going out top (stars) and a long length Coast jumper dress. £2 each.

Loving the nautical blue!

Kids Books 15p each.

Some real classics too.

Hat 50p, tights 50p, both TU and brand new with tags. (Dress HM sale £5).

Perfect.

Zara kids striped top. Primark (I think) Skulls top, Next and Primark shorts. All 4 for £1.99.


Sailor vest by Carter's, Next dotty dungarees, Daisy dungarees and a Regatta jumper (in next pic) all 4 for £1.99.

I'm blown away by these

Regatta top (as above). Little Tikes drum £3 in perfect condition.

Why buy new?
New HM cat horse riding style hat and checkered braces for my sons wedding outfit. £1 for hat (new) 50p for braces. I'm so happy with these two!

Does it get any cuter than these?
I hope you'll agree that you can really find some great bargains. You do need to look regularly for the good bits, but I genuinely get lots of the kids clothes at these crazy prices and I'm always told how well turned out they are. Kids grow so quick as well that it makes total sense buying Pre loved.

I hope I have converted some people to go and take a look, please do also donate your old clothes to the shops, its such an easy way of helping good causes, as well as helping mums like me along the way! 


Thanks for reading, if you've enjoyed my post please share :)

Baby Led Weaning: 2nd Month Update

BLW - Our 2 Month Update 


The biggest strawberry I have ever seen.
Firstly, if you missed our Part one you can find it here. Baby S is my second child and I am new to baby led weaning.

Two months ago when we began our weaning journey, I wondered where we would be a month or so on. I delayed doing an update earlier as we got off to such a good start I figured I'd leave it to two months to see if we came across any problems or faced any difficulties, luckily we haven't. I'm very lucky and grateful to have  great little eater! It has made life so much easier than I thought, the fact I can feed both kids pretty much the same despite the three year age gap, I even get a little time to make myself food, what a treat!

Exploring her mushy peas. 'What the ...'
The only negative I can think of, and to be honest so far its really not been an issue, is that Baby S doesn't like spoons all that much unless she's the shoveller. I know all babies are a bit grabby with them but she's just "OK Mum I've got this", and she usually has, but does like to feed her eyes nose and hair as well as her mouth so we are working on that.This being the case I've still avoided things like porridge, but things like mashed potato she quite happily eats by hand which is fine at her age I think and she enjoys feeling the food too. Yogurt made her sick to start with so we had to abandon that but I'll be re-introducing that from now on as well as the dreaded spoon.


Loving her corn on the cob!
The only other thing I have found difficult is that I now have to really plan where we will be at meal times (not great for a laid back Mama), if we are likely to be out and about I have to make sure I am prepared now, bibs, beakers, food and snacks for on the go. 

One massive plus point is that big brother A has now massively upped his fruit intake, just from seeing his baby sister eating them and not wanting to feel he is missing out. He has gone from only really eating bananas peaches and pears, to all the berries, grapes, mango, pineapple and plums by the truck load!
My little fruit monkeys this week, mischief much?
We have tried lots of new foods for baby S too, here are some new of her favourites;


  • Corn on the cob
  • Raspberries
  • Chinese omelette (with spring onions, fish and mushroom)
  • Sausages
  • Waffles
  • Baked beans
  • Peas
  • Mushy peas
  • Sweetcorn kernels
  • Cake (big bro's baking) !
  • Pizza toast
  • Plums
  • Mango

Mega close up of our home made Mac cheese, served with peas & broccoli.
Baby S does seem to like everything so far pretty much which is great. I think we are a tomato and melon free house and S seems to agree. She seems a little off breakfasts this week but I think mainly because she has such a big early morning milk feed which must fill her up, added to that the joy of teething. 
Lunch and dinner however, she makes it very clear she is ready for some food and usually only stops because it runs out! Her favourites I would say are the mac cheese with broccoli and peas, Marmite sandwiches and as much fruit as she can get her squidgy hands on, a total fruit bat! She loves veggies but we have found broccoli to give her a bit of a tummy ache so I tend to give that at lunch time so she sleeps better. We've also rediscovered the local market where although the fruit tends to be riper, its at least half the price of supermarket fruit, great when you are experimenting with so many things and eating so much.

Ready to eat!
We've also introduced more water and she seems to really enjoy a good guzzle with her food. We are just using a standard soft plastic spouted beaker from Ikea. I've heard so many different opinions on what they should have to protect their teeth that I just have no clue. I am going with what I know worked well last time, especially as baby S still gloriously 100% gumsville, I love a gummy smile!

So at two months in here are a few tips from what I've learnt so far.


  • Their tastes change and some days they won't touch things they loved the day before. Just keep trying and use or freeze what you can.

  • When you make things like pasta, make a little extra for them to try cold the next day or put in a dish with some cheese for a quick pasta bake, its amazing how different and as tasty it can be!

  • There will be lots of mess on the floor, use a sheet so you can pick back up or chop small to reduce waste. Soft pelican style bibs are great, though I find just folding any bib up in front of them does well to catch bits.

  • You will get through lots of wipes. Stock up on value ones, buy some anti bacterial ones too, you will thank me later.

  • Foods that are in easy to pick up shapes save waste and are good for baby. By this I mean cutting strawberries into zig zags, sandwiches cut into fingers etc. They get frustrated and give up if they can't grab things easily. That said, letting them practise picking up little things like peas and sweetcorn is great for their fine motor skills, cruel to be kind and all that.

  • Always keep snacks on you. This is an obvious one but now the little one is eating, she won't let me forget at times so a quick snack on route can save tears and stress. I don't remember having to do this so early last time but it seems a lifetime ago now so maybe I did. 

  • Try and keep a bib and sippy cup in the changing bag in case of am unscheduled meal out or surprise invitation.

  • Visit your local market for cheap fresh fruit and vegetables. They tend to be riper but so much better than super markets and a lot cheaper. Frozen veg and tinned fruit (in juice) are always good to keep in too. I find we get through the fresh stuff so quickly.


  • If you want to eat out, Toby carvery is the best place I have found. Quick self service, oodles of veg, stuffing and gravy and best of all its free for under threes!


That's it for now though I will keep with the updates as we venture on. Our next steps are trying yoghurt again, pasta pesto and hummus and we will explore the vegetables that are coming into season. The main ones we have tried already but we will see if we can do something with cabbage and leeks to make them baby friendly.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 24

Weight Loss Update #5: (23.5lbs down, many more to go...)

Five month update

I'm on my fifth month of Weight Watchers filling and healthy and due to my own lack of motivation and self control we've not come a great deal further than my update at Christmas. I do have a number of excuses, but they are just that so I won't go into detail.

If I had carried on as I had started I would probably have around three stone off by now and be totally transformed. Instead I am a total of 23.5lbs down (188 sausages) only two more off this year. Shocking! I'm still going in the right direction and slowly bringing that BMI down though and reducing the risks of illness which is mainly what this is about.

My favourite F&H burger meal.
My main problem is emotional eating and getting out the habit of black out binges where I'll think I don't care, binge and instantly wonder why. 
We tend to not have anything too bad in the house which is the easiest way to stop me having it, but I will still find a way some days and some old habits slowly crept back.

I have left it until I am firmly back on the wagon to bring you this update and as we speak I have been back on it for two and a half weeks and lost again both weeks.
I've started part of a 'drop a stone for summer' campaign in my meeting which should be totally achievable. 

So right now regardless of what the scales say, my aim is to shift that 14lbs in 14 weeks. I already walk loads but will try and up my exercise and drink more water too.

I just ran up this hill for the first time ever!

The 'diet' is ever so easy, non limiting and does change your eating habits for the better. I just need to stay focused. I have a few friends who have joined me now which should really help.

Here is a little before and during picture so you can see the difference so far. I think its noticable when I see it like this even though I struggle to see it in the mirror. What do you think? I wasn't going to measure but have this Morning and have apparently lost 6 inches around my waist and 8 from my hips!


Thank you for reading, I'm off to be a massive loser hopefully and crossing fingers the next update will be a little more positive and impressive.

For more information on your local Weight Watchers groups, visit www.weight watchers.co.uk.

Monday, March 23

How To Keep A New Mum Happy

Keeping a new mummy happy

So your friend/sister/daughter/daughter in law is having a baby and you know there is a distinct possibility she will be tired, hormonal and maybe even a little tearful or stressed once the new baby comes along.

You can be such a great help to her and enjoy being a part of this exciting adventure, but there are a few unwritten 'rules' which although everyone may not agree with, certainly applied to me.

So many people decide to come out with the most ridiculous and even offensive things just to add to the load on our already weary shoulders.

I've put together this list which will help you survive your first visit, your relationship and maybe even help or comfort a new mum that you know. If you're pregnant now yourself then make sure your family and friends are aware of these points too, to save any future stress or violence (joke) at a later date.

Our latest squidge xx
  • Tell her you would love to meet the baby, then sit back and wait for an invite. They will call when they are ready. Sometimes we just need a day or two to come back down to earth or to help us recover. Having too many people visit early on can be stressful. It's also such a precious short time for us with our partners, let us enjoy it.

  • If there is an older sibling, please please please help us make a fuss of them too, maybe even bring them a gift. Its a huge adjustment for them and we need all the help we can get to reassure them they are still equally as loved as they were before.

  • Do not ask if the baby is sleeping through. Sometimes they do - but mostly they don't and you are likely to annoy us or upset a first time mum who may think they are doing something wrong. I like to think of it as extra cuddles, lucky me!

  • Don't wake my sleeping baby. I will kill you.

  • (This ones for the older generations). Forget what you did, what "never did us any harm" or "nobody ever told me it was wrong". Its not a personal attack that we have chosen to do things differently. Its twenty, maybe thirty years of research, experimenting and experience later and times have changed. By all means make a suggestion if we ask but please don't jump straight in with what should be done. We may be wrong but let us learn from our mistakes.

  • Do not criticise. Unless some sort of danger is looming, never criticise our choices or point out what you may find odd. Advice, technology and baby gadgets have changed. We still appreciate the old stuff but we embrace the new.

  • Don't ask if we are breast or bottle. I'm a boober as I'm far too lazy and disorganised for bottles. However, I always hated being asked this question, its nobody's business and you are highly likely to offend or even upset a mother that has tried and had to turn to bottles, or just chose bottles because it suits them. Does it affect you? No.

  • Please don't mock us if we sound confused. No sleep can really mess us up and I for one get very confused. Add to this some kind of mockery at my uselessness and you have yourself one sad mama. Baby brain is a real, sometimes annoying thing that really gets in the way.

  • Don't ask us about work, or when we are going back. Its bad enough we have to go back at all one day let alone be reminded five minutes after we get back from hospital that we have to leave our babies and go back to a different life some day.

  • Don't ask us when we are planning our next baby, let us heal at least! Sense of humor failure may just occur.

  • Offer to watch the baby while we take a shower or ask if we need help around the house but never insist on it, some of us are quite happy to muddle on and hog the tiny cuddles for a while. Don't be offended if we decline your kind offer, its just not what we need at that time.

  • Don't expect us to suddenly be ready for a night out or booze up, we are busy and tired and will most probably take some time to adjust to our new role.

  • Don't expect us to suddenly hand our babies over for a night or weekend, some of us don't feel comfortable with it, but if we ever want to, we will ask, I promise!

  • Don't tell us if you don't like the name we chose. Its special for us and just because it isn't something you'd choose doesn't give you the right to comment negatively. Also, please don't give our babies nick names or shorten their names unless prompted by us. It doesn't really matter but its really bloody annoying.

  • Don't turn up to our house unexpected. We want to show off our babies and see people but like to do it when we are not in our pants with one boob hanging out on a day we happen to have left the pukey baby in a faded old baby gro. Give us a chance to prepare ourselves so we can feel proud when we open that door.

I could probably list a million more but for now that should be enough to see you through!



Thanks for reading.


Wafflemama
xx

How To Keep A Pregnant Woman Happy

How to keep a pregnant woman happy.

Stand back and throw chocolate at them? Yes that could work, but there are many other ways you can make them happy simply by not saying certain things or doing things that may bring on 'the rage'.
These points may not apply to everyone but certainly applied to me, especially first time round. Every single one relates to something I experienced. I don't know if I just keep bad company or if these things are common, I'd love to know!

Me pregnant with my daughter
  • Buy them food. Seriously, it can make them happy. Our body craves things we have no control over and at funny times of day or night too. First time round it was pizza, I'd have had it for every meal if I could, especially that pesky Papa John. Second time it was raspberries by the punnet load, an expensive habit!

  • Don't joke about multiples. Yes there could be more than one. Yes their bump may look big for their weeks and yes just maybe the blind sonographer may have missed one or two babies. They may however just have too much water or just be a little fat.

  • Don't joke about them having a giant baby or comment on how big or small their bumps are. Most women are worried about everything when they are pregnant so having people point out things they are already worrying about (probably needlessly, but still) doesn't help.

  • Don't mention other peoples scans/births that have gone wrong. They feel sad for those people of course, but lets not make this any more terrifying than it already is. Someone told me on the morning of my 12 week scan "My friend knows someone who went for their scan and the baby had no limbs". I mean seriously? Last thing anyone wants to hear, and that wasn't even the worst story I was told.

My scan picture
  • Don't call a pregnant woman fat, fatty, fatty boom boom or pat her belly saying 'wooooaaahhhh', making jokes about 'who ate all the pies'. Yes people are really this stupid.

  • Don't laugh when they tell you their birth plan. Yours may have ended with a sunroof exit instead of your blissful 'hypno-Enya-on-the-panpipes-under-water' style birth but it just may go to plan for them, you never know they may just get their 'Barry White singing, out in one push, pain free drug free' birth!

  • Don't talk about their hormones. Sometimes they may think you're being a royal dick bag. Its not always their hormones, but if it is then you are probably best off not mentioning the 'H' word.

  • If they choose to find out and share the gender of their babies, please don't comment negatively saying things like "another boy!?" Or "oh no didn't you want a girl?". They just want a healthy baby and sometimes yes, they do want it to go a certain way, they feel guilty enough about that without someone reiterating the point.
My son measuring my bump. "It measures lots".

  • Tell them they look radiant, they probably do, but if they don't? Just don't tell them they look rough or tired, they will cry, hate you, hit you - or all of the above.

  • Ask them what they need and help them get it.

  • Be nice to them when they are grumpy, they are after all growing a human, high five to that!

  • Let them be emotional. And don't laugh at their reasons. It may be silly to cry because the lady down the road has lost her cat, (poor Fluffy waaaaaghhhhhh) but at that moment it demands tears, so be it.

  • Let them eat cake. They love cake.
This one please.
If you are pregnant reading this and agree with the above, please feel free to share with your friends and family to help prevent any unwanted arguments, stress or murders.

Thanks for reading!

Wafflemama
xx

Sunday, March 22

How I Met My Husband: Our Story


In 2002 I made the journey to Lincoln from a small town near Brighton to begin University. I was single, excited and so ready to meet all the new people and finally have a crazy social life.


I quickly made friends, we were all in the same boat after all. I lived in halls on campus and we were paired with at least one person on the same course and four other odd-bods all equally as excited, clueless and some desperately trying to impress us girls. My flat mate Nick who looked like a stand in on the Mr Muscle adverts eagerly informed us of how he 'got offered a job as a professional footballer' but decided to grace us with his presence at University anyway because he 'couldn't be bothered with the fame'. Hilarious! 

Me and Claire - One of my new flat mates.


I spectacularly partied hard for my whole first year, luckily the results of which didn't affect the end result like on some courses or I would have been screwed. I had a boyfriend for a bit, a lad called Andy who I was very impressed with until him and his mate had a 'who can eat the most paracetamols competition - yes really. I later ended things with him for many many reasons and also the fact that I rather liked this other laid back hip hop skater boy I'd seen in my lectures, and having two on the go would have been far too much work. Andy is now happily married to his husband Dave (yes) so luckily his heart wasn't ever so broken.

My friend on our course (Media Production) introduced me to the hip hop rapper wannabee Adam who I thought was just a little arrogant as well as stupidly handsome and a mile or twelve out of my league. He never gave any signs, I thought this was because he was either too cool or not interested but later found out he is just shy and a bit hopeless with women, luckily for me I suppose or he may have been snapped up sooner.

Me and Adam - you can see the appeal...

We hung out a few times with mutual friends and were a little flirty Gerty with each other for a while. One night I went to a party with a super cool lad I knew from halls called James (looking back he was a massive bell end to put it politely, damn my low self esteem!).
When we got to the house party it became apparent (mainly by his massive sack of magic mushrooms) that this party was a drug fueled bender, people doing lines of coke on the stairs and balloons filled with some sort of gas? Everyone was off their proverbial tits and I felt way out my comfort zone with my tin of Fosters. I was desperate to leave but being a busy Friday night I couldn't get a taxi so just walked to a main road. I wasn't a million miles from home but in an area where there had been a series of rapes of young girls so I was scared. I rang a few people who I knew lived in the area but most were out. Luckily for me, Adam was in his room in a flat nearby 'chilling out' and more than happy to come and rescue me. 


I went back to his flat for a while and got a taxi home later on, I was totally smitten.

So young!
We started to hang out and had loads of fun together, he was cool and wrote rap songs, made beats on his computer and did actual graffiti, He was a bit of a know it all and far too cool for me but I figured I'd keep it up as long as he put up with me. It turns out that actually he wasn't quite the rap wannabe I thought and that he was actually quite nice and most of his 'coolness' was just a front to try and impress me, it worked somehow! I was totally in love with this fool as I still am today, though he would be the first to tell you I don't show it well.

As we were on the same course we began to spend lots of time together, going to lectures and even doing projects together. We got amazing grades for our animations and I'm pretty sure he would have flunked if I hadn't began nagging him so early on (he would agree)!

We enjoyed the rest of University together and when we graduated we lived in Leeds briefly where we worked in Blockbuster, which was a very good place to work but we worked opposite hours so it wasn't much fun. I soon heard about a job in my home town and as Leeds wasn't working for us, we agreed to go down south and give it a try there. 

The rent was crazy, our jobs were not that great and we were at a stand still so moved once again back to the city we met in, sunny Lincoln.

He looks different in every picture - ha!

We married in 2010 a year after buying our first home. Five years on we have two beautiful children, three cats, a dog and two axolotls. I could honestly not be happier.


We are so lucky we found each other. Its like he is me but in male form, we have the same brain and very few people understand my sense of humour and strange ways. I suffer from anxiety which he puts up with even though I know it does make his life hell at times. In turn I put up with his night terrors, still being a bit of a know it all and forgetting Mothers Day, again. 

It's hard to remember what it was like when it was just us. Having children has been so amazing and I wish we had done it years ago but we both need to remember just how great the last 12 ish years have been and how lucky we are, its so hard on days where we just want to sleep and moan at each other. We've been through so much already both ups and downs but must be made of super strong stuff, I'm proud of that.

Our two beautiful babies
Hopefully we have lots of happy years ahead and can  enjoy ourselves even with little money and no sleep and being terribly grumpy a lot of the time. 


Adam is not much of a reader but I really hope if he does read this then he knows I love him, always have and always will. (Cue cheesy music and sloppy dancers throwing roses).

This is not The End, just the middle.
xx







My Sunday Photo #2

My Sunday photo #2

This weekend we did some more exploring of our city, I've lived here since 2002 but you really do see it all through new eyes when you have children.

Nothing beats getting to spend lots of time with my number one boy and enjoying his crazy little mind, happy happy. Here we are at the museum play area playing pirates, garrrrr.

Happy Sunday!





Home Made Sensory Toys: Nap Time Fun

Just a quick little post on one of our nap time shenanigans this week: Toy making!

Simple little Pepsi bottles
Earlier this week we made sensory bottles for Baby S. This is something I think we will be doing quite a lot of from now on as they were fun to make for A who is three and a half, and his 7 month old sister got new toys, win win. 

A helped me to fill the bottles and thread buttons onto ribbon, beads onto elastic and I just did the fiddly taping and knotting parts. 

There is the fiddly bead necklace which they are both obsessed with (guess what we've made again this weekend!) and then this little button fiddler (great to hang on the pram) and bottles.
Baby S
Button 'fiddler'
It was really fun making them while baby S slept and nice to have quick (and cheap!) new toys to keep them both entertained and teach baby S about new textures, shapes and sounds.
A made the big bottle when I was pregnant for his baby sisters arrival, he was so excited bless him and he's so happy now she likes it!
    
Bead necklace
      
The bottle A made while I was pregnant.











How to make them...

For the liquid bottles we used one part water to one part cheap baby oil. To the water we added a tiny bit of acrylic paint and mixed before adding to the bottle with the oil. As the two liquids won't mix, it gives a 'lava lamp' sort of look when they shake them up. We also added glitter, as everything needs glitter! 

For the noisy bottle we just used buttons and beads as they make a super clunky noise which the baby seems to like so nothing much more was needed. We started adding ribbon to liven up the bottles and add texture but A just wanted to get playing so will we finish that part another day. 


  

For the 'Button fiddler' we literally threaded buttons (with big holes) onto ribbon so they can be moved around, and tied super tight knots to keep it coming apart. The other one was simply cheap wooden craft beads on elastic.

We have started different sensory boxes so I will try and keep you updated with our homemade bits and bobs as we go along. I'm also trying to put together treasure baskets and make use of my ever growing craft stashes!

I'm off to drink some pop, we need the bottles :)

Monday, March 16

Nap Time Craft - Animal Ink Stamping!

While baby S sleeps I to do an activity with just my big boy A so we get some nice one on one time together.


Totally adorable boy.

He loves baking and painting best, we also play games and watch films whatever he chooses.
Today he chose ink stamping and I think its so under rated I thought I would share this one.

After the initial "oh my gaaaaaddddd I'm stamping stamp stamp STAMP!" Is out his system, I like to draw a scene for him with sea land and sky so he can put the animals in the appropriate section. 




This particular set is animal themed but you can do the same with any sets, space, robots etc. We also wrote the day on with my Letter stamps and put the letters with the animals (C for cat). His letter linking and recognition is really coming along well. 



Its a great activity to do, doesn't take much cleaning or setting up which is always good and kids love it.

This particular set is by Melissa and Doug and spare ink pads from pound land. The letter stamps were from Paperchase.

Happy stamping!

Wafflemama xx